Daily Posting In December


For years I’ve participated in Holidailies, where you vow to blog daily from the first day of December (or whenever they start it) to the last day. Over the years they moved to a new format, and last year I simply couldn’t keep up with they way they had the group set up. No knock to Holidailies, I’m just not that hip. But I enjoy my daily December posts. So… I just made up my own little logo and my own little group (through Google, ’cause Facebook gets all the love).

If you want to blog along, go ahead. I’ll be starting tomorrow.

Animal Control

We had a nice Thanksgiving. Thanksgivings, I suppose I could say. With Frank and I being off, and the kids being off I hardly know my head from a hole in the ground. Eating, sleeping, merriment, a bit of shopping (in store and online)… it is quite enjoying. I can handle this. I also think I’m getting old, because I could be sleeping in, too (11am is a nice time to finally roll out of bed on a lazy day for me), but I’m waking up between 7-8am. I’ve been trying to lay around in the bed until 9am to at least grasp on to the feeling of being a teenager with the abandon of sleeping until my parents throw buckets of water on my face.

Didn’t work.

I’m up, showered and having coffee, load of laundry going… Frank’s vacuuming (getting ready to bring the tree up). Help us.

I was talking about Thanksgiving, though, wasn’t I? Ah yes. I don’t get a lot of pictures of my oldest child since she’s off “exploring her freedoms.” But this one was nice. Great-grandma was coming up to the door trying to navigate the stairs, and as Frank and Dante (and Carlito, sort of) helped her up the stairs and safely in the house, I asked Sophia to be on dog control. I took pictures of her misery.

dog control

The dogs were, naturally, excited to be part of the festive day (our dog is in her left arm, pleased to have not been left home – the host’s dog is in her right arm), and happily humping and playing to their heart’s content. Being picked up and taken from their play didn’t make them so happy.

dog control not working

Shortly after I took this picture I had to take one of the dogs. Shortly after that I let it go. It was like a furry piggy, squirming and bucking (like in the picture).

I am happy to say, however, that with the abundance of children running around the house making noise, it was both inviting and valuable. Sophia announced earnestly, about 3 hours into our visit, that the evening was the BEST BIRTH CONTROL SHE’S EVER HAD. Being one of the last of her friends that hasn’t yet made their mother a grandmother,  I was OK with that proclamation.

Happy Thanksgiving (And A Free MP3)

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Something to be thankful for? FREE Mp3 for Amazon Students

A deal too good not to share. Realizing it doesn’t apply to all, probably most, ignore that part and take my Thanksgiving greeting. We’re off to the cousin’s for some gobble-gobble goodness. My morning has been spent drinking coffee, making pumpkin bread. It’s hard not to have the smells of Thanksgiving festivity in the house (since I’m not hosting). The bread helped with that problem.

Peace, love and gratitude for an abundance of joy.

Holiday! Celebrate!

Somehow yesterday as I scurried around the office trying to accomplish all the tasks before the end of the day(cramming days worth of work into one day), I failed to realize that, when my day was done, I was off work for nearly a week. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday… I don’t know how it didn’t cross my mind until I bid my boss farewell. “See you… wait. See you next Tuesday. Huh.” I work at home on Mondays, so technically – Tuesday it is.

This past Sunday was spent cooking dinner and hosting Thanksgiving. Scrambling was the name of the game on Monday. Tuesday was drop the kids at school, fly to work, come home, get dinner ready to avoid a take-out meal, and then savor the 15-minutes of Me Time listening to my new-found love, Librivox on the iPod while knitting and waiting for everyone to burst through the door. I really did relish the time. I had to check myself from moaning a stage-worthy complaint when I had to put my knitting away and detach myself from the recliner.

Homework, updates, completing the concoction that was dinner (turkey and bean tacos), jetting off to wrestling practice where we take both the car and the van so the car can be handed over to the high schoolers (Dante and Carlito) who are just finishing up with their wrestling practice. I went to a board meeting (wrestling stuff), Frank coached. An hour and half later, we’re on our way home to a house with ready dinner (score), showered high schoolers (another score – the younger two get to hit the shower without a fight).

The whole time I’m thinking of my audio book and completing my scarf that I’m knitting to donate to the homeless shelter via my work, mind you.

Holiday! Celebrate!

In my bed at 10pm, earbuds in. Scarf completed and on to scarf #2. Who’d of thunk it?

Today the elder boys, once again, took the car to school and I am left car-less. This is preferred, as of right now at least, to having to drop them off at 6:30am and pick them up again at 6pm with their two-a-day practices twice a week. If I’m desperate, I can walk to Wal-mart. It’s not much more than a mile or two away. I have enough to do at home that it’s not a bother. Loads of laundry are being washed, yogurt is being made, dog has been walked, the 2nd scarf has been completed. Now I need to move on to the tedious tasks like paying bills, cleaning the bathroom and cleaning up around the house. Oh, and figuring out something for the wonderful thing called “dinner” – that’s right.

Holiday! Celebrate!

Tomorrow — feasting at the cousin’s house. Frank’s side of the family. I’ve only been asked to bring an appetizer. I can manage that. Then, if everyone does as I say – we’re off to pick up our Christmas tree. I’d like to decorate early and get the most out of the season. It goes by so quickly every year that as soon as I get them up, I’m needing to take them down.

Happy Thanksgiving. Wishing everyone safe travels, delicious food, and a bounty of gratitude.

Thanksgiving Day 1

Yesterday was our first installment of Thanksgiving. My parents were in town, and we had dinner at our house (my family, brother and his wife, my parents). We have a small kitchen, but it worked. I didn’t put on a huge spread, but had all the necessities: turkey, potatoes (sweet and regular), cranberry sauce, mom’s stuffing, cornbread, pie and cranberry bread (mom’s). Oh – and beets. I like beets. Nothing to do with the traditional Thanksgiving fare, just that I like them.

I have a new favorite recipe: Grandmother’s Corn Bread


  • 1/2 cup butter (I use 1/2 butter, 1/2 Crisco)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I “sour” my milk stirring in 2T. white vinegar, letting the milk sit for 10 min. or so)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan. (I double this recipe and use my large cast iron skillet, which is what I melt my butter and Crisco in)
  2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

The directions, to me, are a little sketchy since the eggs begin to cook in the hot butter, and it seems weird to mix in baking soda with the liquid. So, I add a little milk in with the sugar to cool it, add the eggs, quickly add the milk, and I give the dry ingredients a little stir before adding them, too. No problems and everyone likes it.

We all fit around the table, though it was a squeeze. After the food was done, the adults sat around the table a little longer to have wine, coffee, dessert and to talk.  This was the first family holiday we’ve had since my parents have retired and moved out of town. I wish I had enough space that they could have stayed with us (they stayed in a hotel), but we hardly have space for ourselves. We’ll have to figure that one out. Maybe the kids will have to squeeze in a bit better. The evening went well. Sometimes it takes a holiday to get everyone together;  I was thankful for the excuse.

It had been confusing having the kids go back to school this morning, since I’m in the mode of the holiday, feeling like we’re already into it. Not. Quite. Yet.

Thursday, Frank’s side of the family is having Thanksgiving dinner – this time at his cousin’s house. I don’t know what that will be like, but there will be chaos, excitement of the cousins running around – the norm. that we are accustomed to.

Today is my work-at-home day. I had Dante, along with Lootie, take the car to school this morning since they have a two-a-day wrestling today (morning and after school). I’m car-less, but not without plenty to do around the house. Laundry, cleaning, meal-planning… there’s always something to do. I might even walk to the store if it isn’t too cold out. We will see. Hopefully I can be productive instead of a sleepy little slug. Right now all I feel like doing is curling up on the couch and knitting.


Coupon Printing Issues – FIX

I’ve been couponing. I’m not even gonna lie. I know I mentioned it before. I’ve been blogging local (and non-local) deals outside of this blog, simply because I don’t want them cluttering up this one so much.

If you’re a couponer running a Mac, this may apply to an error you are getting (/usr/libexec/cups/filter/CouponConvertor_v2 failed). If not, disregard. Carry on. I’d been getting errors lately when trying to print my coupons, but found a fix, thank goodness.

I’m happy now. Although, I’m a bit concerned that my recent printer purchase could have been avoided, which makes me a NOT happy camper. Sigh.

Make Your Own Fancy Shmancy California Garlic Powder

I love my McCormick California Style Garlic Powder. I do, I do. I use it as my go-to garlic powder (I skip garlic salt and if a recipe calls for garlic salt I add garlic powder and salt). I use it as the base for my homemade pizza topping. It has a coarser grind and splash of flavor/color from the parsley.

But I also like to simplify. I like to make things myself if I can. Not to mention, whenever I’d buy the McCormick kind, I’d be spending more money than I cared to spend. So, I made it myself.

Pretty simple ingredients, both of which I purchased bulk-size from Costco (which sells some McCormick, if you like that kind). You can see in the picture that I used “California” garlic, which has a bit of a coarser grind.

For the price of two bottles of the store-bought kind, I can make about 2-3x as much of the mixture (and have enough parsley to use for at least 6 more). The ratio I used was about 3:1 garlic to parsley. But you can tweak to your desire. I have made it with regular-grind garlic as well and it did fine, but I prefer the coarse grind. Works for me!