Monday, February 13, 2012

Leave of absence...

If any of you have read my last post, then this is a followup!

Since not spending 23 hours a day on the computer in my chair, I have been eating super healthy and have dropped 6.5 lbs in two weeks!  How have I been doing it?

2 egg white omelet with spinach, roasted red peppers, and feta or parmesan cheese
Black coffee with splenda

Celery or carrots with homemade hummus

Protein smoothie

Celery or carrots with peanut butter

Huge plate of salad or veggies
Lean protein

Lots of water and green tea

Work out:
Walks, Jillian Michaels, various circuit training

I feel great!!!  I have so much energy!  I am so much happier!

I have been taking the time to play my guitar, read to the Yeti, and paint the fingies.  Although I miss the blogging community, I needed to do this for myself.  I shall return!

Friday, February 10, 2012


When I first got the bright idea to start blogging two months ago, I was a virgin.  I knew nothing about the blogging community.  I very quickly became wrapped up in following the advice of fellow bloggers to grow my blog - link ups, commenting, following, daily posting.  I found myself checking my blog feed more than Facebook - spending hours researching blog stuff, finding new blogs to follow, and copying buttons.  

Last week, I posted that I was getting a little depressed and needed to pull my head out of my ass.  Well, goddamn it, I have been.  Yesterday, I didn't turn my computer on ONCE and what got accomplished?
I ran errands, taxes got done, guitar got played, the Yeti got read to, the nails got painted, it put the lotion on it's skin, got paperwork done, exercised, and made healthy food.  I was still full of energy, in an amazingly good mood, and ready to start a new day when night time rolled around.  

So, dear readers, while I will still be posting several times a week as I find it very therapeutic, I realized that I needed to get my fat ass out of the big brown sleeping pill and DO STUFF!  I think I was becoming a part of that chair - my ass was growing roots.

That is all...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My 10 biggest fears...

Sometimes, when I get a little low on writing ideas, I like to swing on over to Mama Kat's for some fun writing prompts.  This week, the '10 biggest fears' prompt inspired me...

1.  That Snarles Barkley's cat hair tumbleweeds will meld into a clone of said mini-panda and continue to reproduce more cat hair.
Snarles Barkley fiercely guarding the dog treats, ammo, and wrist rocket.

2.  That someday, while blow drying my hair and doing the upside down volume adding hair flip, I will smash my head on the sink in our bathroom phone booth, and suffer irreparable brain damage.  Ahhh the cost of beauty.

3.  That the Yeti has a perfect storm of genetics - genius brains, good looks, and an insatiable craving for trouble.  Look out world, it's a category 5 brewing.  We don't have a college fund started, we have a bail fund.

4.  That my mother will visit unexpectedly before I have a chance to clean (see item #1).

5.  That one of these days I will open my cupboard and the neatly organized stash of Tupperware will avalanche down on me, trapping me for hours until Red comes home, at which point I will be suffocated with my stiff hand clutched upwards toward the ceiling.

6.  That my mother is right, that public toilet seats really do transmit a variety of incurable, terminal diseases that will be contracted through nine layers of TP while hovering precariously.

7.  That I will trust a fart too much.

8.  That someday the Flying Monkey scene from The Wizard of Oz will be on every channel, the batteries in the remote will die right after the Yeti falls asleep in my arms, and I will know that getting up to shut off the TV will only wake him up.   I watched that movie ONCE when I was 6 and they still scare the ever living flying monkey poop out of me.

9.  That Snarles Barkely will puke in the exact spot that Red puts his feet when he gets out of bed in the morning and I will have to clean human and cat messes up at approximately 4:30 am.

10.  That I will step in the jet fuel from an AIDs infested pedestrian's snot rocket in sandals.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Test Kitchen Tuesday: Hodgson Mills European Herb and Cheese Bread

A few weeks ago, I had emailed Hodgson Mill requesting some coupons.  They were very generous and sent a STACK of coupons for free products to me.  So last week, when our friend came over for dinner, I thought I would take the coupons to the grocery store and see what products I could incorporate into dinner.

Unfortunately, the selection of Hodgson Mill products was very limited at our small grocery store, but I picked out their Italian Herb and Cheese Bread to go with lasagna and Caesar salad.  Please note:  I have NEVER made self rising bread before.

Just because this is a 'mix', it still needs to rise, be kneaded, etc - this is NOT a quick bread.

I made the bread EXACTLY as the directions said and it came out delicious.  The boys ate the entire loaf themselves, I got two slices.  Making this has certainly inspired me to make more bread (also, Red informed me that I was no longer allowed to NOT make bread for him).  I must admit, that as intimidated as I was by bread baking, it really is very easy.  Aside from the rise times, it really takes very little time, and I would like to think that from now on, on Sundays, I am going to make two loaves of bread, rather than buy them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things they don't teach you in parenting classes...

1.  Snap education 101:  Trying to connect the 33 snaps and get them properly aligned on a screaming infant's PJ's at 3:00 am is like Helen Keller trying to solve a Rubik's Cube.

2.  Breastfeeding:  No matter how great they make it sound, there are just some mothers and babies that aren't cut out for it.  Sorry hippies.

3.  Showers:  Don't expect one daily anymore.

4.  Things that make a baby cry: mommy sitting down for dinner, mommy taking a shower (see item 3), mommy putting her head on a pillow, mommy sneezing while putting sleeping baby in it's crib

5a.  Things that a baby will sleep though: chainsaws, a helicopter landing, loud music
5b.  Things that will wake a baby up: cricket farts, the cat walking by, see also item 4

6.  The day after you clip baby claws fingernails, they still look like they will be able to climb trees the next day.

7.  No one can prepare you for the fire hose that baby boys produce.  No one.  Always have a cover on that thing or wear a rain coat.  I have had pee dripping from the ceiling.

8.  Baby puke is like garlic.  You get it on your skin and the smell can't be washed out.

9.  You need a 4 year engineering degree to put together most baby items (swings, bouncy seats, cribs).  And a beer.  And extra tools so you can throw at least one.

10.  It never fails that the instant you have gotten the baby rocked to sleep after hours of crying, you realize that you have to piss like Seabiscuit at the Kentucky Derby.  Maybe invest in catheters.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gramma Growley Reincarnate...

Last month, I introduced Gramma Growley here.

Last month I also indicated that one of my 101 in 1001 goals was to be a nicer, more positive person.  I am usually quite introverted, judgmental, and down right bitchy to the idiots that populate the general public.  As evidence that I have risen above my formerly negative attitude, I have this funny (in my opinion) story to tell.

A friend of ours needed some support in a rough time and asked if he could stop over for dinner.  So, being the Betty Rocker that I am, I decided to whip up some lasagna.  Not having lasagna noodles in the house, I decided to make a quick run to our local grocery store.

While in the baking aisle picking up a bread mix (Hodgson Mill European Herb and Cheese Bread yum), I overheard an elderly woman tell her husband that she could not find baking powder.  She was about 15 feet from me and it was right in front of me.  The skeptic in me told me to keep my trap shut, but new me decided to pipe up.

"Ma'am, the baking powder is right over here in front of me."  I offered with a smile as I pointed up to it.  So she strolled down and engaged me in friendly conversation.  She said that she gets so frustrated because she buys baking powder, but before she uses it all up, it tends to harden.  I listened and nodded as she lamented over her baking powder woes.

Then, as if Dr. Jekyll's evil alter ego had sprung forth, she spat out, "But what would you know?  You kids today don't know how to bake and probably don't even know what you use baking powder for."

My mind raced.  I was faced with the internal struggle to beat her old lady ass down for insulting me that way.  While I agreed with her, that most people my age do not make a lot of 'from scratch' foods, I felt it was very insulting that after I was simply trying to help her, she felt the need to slam my generation.  Hmmm...maybe if the people from her generation passed down this knowledge, more of us would be better cooks.  Haggard old bitch.

But, in an effort to be more positive, I simply smiled and asserted that I LOVED to cook and actually have my own website in which I post recipes and cooking experiences.  She turned around wordlessly and snatched the mega-size of baking powder because it was cheapest.

I really wanted to offer that maybe she should buy a smaller tin of baking powder and buy it more frequently as she needed it.  If it has been in your cupboard so long that it has petrified, it's chemical properties will no longer cause your baked good to rise anyway.

As I walked away, frustrated that my attempt at courtesy was shot down, I realized that you can't control how people will react to you.  Oh well, I smiled, knowing that I had done my part for the day.  I laughed, thinking that she was so much like my Gramma Growley and actually called mom to tell her.  She thought it was hysterical and agreed.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I have a confession to make:

For the last couple of weeks, I have been desperately depressed.  We are talking eating a bag of chips on the couch all day in my rotten pajamas while watching 19 Kids and Counting depressed.

Why was I depressed?  Well...
*New England winters get pretty dreary.  Even if this has been a warm one, we still deal with shorter days, more cloudy days, and plenty of gnarly weather.
*With said yucky weather, for about three weeks, Red was either working or sleeping.  Since the weather sucked, I never wanted to pack the baby up and go visiting due to bad road conditions.
*I was informed that I didn't get an interview for a job I really wanted.
*Being out of work since August is absolutely making me stir crazy.  I wouldn't trade this time I have spent with the Yeti for anything, but frankly - the Insomniac Mom misses the social aspect, the mental challenge, and the physical change of scenery that a job provides.
*I'm just plain freaking bored.

I was getting lazier, eating crappy food (which makes me feel worse), was drinking more - hell even venting to you people had lost its magic.

So what did I do about it?

I forced myself to get my ass in gear!
1.  I went out and bought a new sexy outfit, spent the day primping, left the Yeti with grammy, and Red and I went out on a hot date.  It felt amazing to feel hot again, walk around Northampton and giggle and flirt like teenagers, and have an amazing meal at The Eastside Grill (phenomenal roast duck).  It made both of us realize that while we both need time for each other, we couldn't believe how much we missed our little Yeti.

2.  I had some talks with Red, my mom, and my dear friend Bobby D about my unemployment and job search woes.  They all told me the same thing, there may be days that it is lonely, but you will never get this time back with the Yeti.  Cherish it.  Also, that I have an opportunity to find what I really want to do.  There are so many opportunities out there and that I truly am a valuable asset to a company or organization.  That when the right thing comes along, I will know it.

3.  I bought a guitar.  Yes people, you heard me.  Look out Miranda Lambert.  I needed a hobby - a me thing.  I needed some mental challenge.  Something that required minimal set up (as you know, with a kid, you have to savor every thirty minutes) and equipment.  I love singing and performing (as I did with Bobby D once in a while pre-Red).  I am so excited about it, I can barely sleep (oh, wait, I do that anyway).

4.  I bought some Jillian Michaels' fitness dvds and decided it is time to get my ass in gear.

5.  I remembered what my mom had always told me - even though you have a bad day or feel a little down, it is your choice every day to put a smile on your face.  So I took that advice and decided that I need to smile more and laugh.  Stop watching depressing train wreck reality TV and do something!  Nothing puts a smile on my face like making my baby smile!

So, readers, I hope that in posting this, maybe I will help one person out of a slump.  I realized I needed to stop dwelling on negative things, and focus on the positive.  I have a perfect, healthy, gigantic baby boy who is truly a blessing a puts a smile on my face every time I look at his chubby puke covered cheeks.  I have an amazing fiance/gigantic leprechaun who is amazingly supportive and truly the love of my life.  I cherish every day that I get to spend with him and can't wait for March 17th, the day I become Mrs. Red.  I have a great family (both new and long time) that loves me unconditionally and is always there for me and us.  My friends are also amazing and always there for me too.  Thanks Bobby D, Johnny B, and Mindi-moose, with out you, life would be pretty boring.

So now that I am filled with rainbows, unicorns, and cupcakes, let's get life started again.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

All seriousness aside...

I am about to broach a subject so taboo, I don't even discuss it with Red.  It has brought me to tears numerous times.  I have to go in for weekly treatments, just to maintain this condition, but it will never be cured.  It has taken me years to come to terms with this condition and I still don't truly accept that it will haunt me for the rest of my life.  While you will occasionally see advertisements on TV for products that correct this condition, the actors in the commercials never have this disease nearly as bad as I do.  I feel that only by coming clean to you, my dear readers, may I continue down the path of acceptance.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here it is:

I have facial hair.  We aren't talking a few cute little blond hairs here and there, but full on saplings growing out of my chin.  I wouldn't have caterpillars over my eyes, I would have wooly mammoths, complete with tusks.  My mustache would make Tom Selleck jealous.

My facial hair is so bad...
*that when I asked the lady at my local Vietnamese nail salon to wax me, she started yelling at me in her language and shooing me out of the store.  I'm pretty sure she was calling me a She-demon and was scared I would snatch her child away in the night.
*that a local spa actually gave me my money back, because after waxing, there was still a full beard on my chin, and she didn't feel right about charging me.
*that I get waxed or wax myself EVERY week.
*that I tweeze stragglers every day, twice a day.
*that I keep tweezers in my car because the natural light allows me to see hairs that I couldn't see in the bathroom.  The mirror above my visor is my booger and facial hair detector.
*that I have more than once, garnered the nickname of 'Bearded Goat Woman from Hell'.
*that if I gained 5 more pounds and stopped waxing, I might be confused for a seal.
*that sometimes wax and tweezers just isn't enough, I have to get out the come-along and winch.
*that I once tried a chemical hair remover and it just sat on my chin sizzling and popping for the directed amount of time, leaving the hair completely unscathed.
*that I got an estimate for laser hair removal and before giving me the price, they asked if I was able to remortgage my house.
*that the circus told me I was TOO bearded to be their sideshow freak.

I can admit, that there are days I don't leave the house and think that nobody will notice if I let my hair removal maintenance lapse.  I then realize that it only creates more work for me the next time.

Having this condition has made me very aware of other women who suffer from this horrifying condition.  So for these women, I would like to offer some advice:
1.  Bleaching facial hair does just that.  Now you look like you have a yellow mustache on your face.
2.  Shaving.  Don't do it.  If your condition is as bad as mine, you would have to shave daily, which you probably won't do.  It only draws attention to your face that you shave your face.
3.  Waxing really is the only way to go.  I know it hurts, but frankly, it is truly the only way to get rid of the hair temporarily.

So ladies, I know that I am not the only person suffering from this condition.  Lets start a movement to bring this to mainstream media.  Let's get a ribbon, a facial hair Barbie, and a celebrity spokesperson.  Will you campaign with me?

-The Insomniac Mom

Oooo Oooo That Smell...

I'm sorry that I was absent for my weekly 'Test Kitchen Tuesday' post.  I seem to have contracted a bug that has rendered me incapable of functioning.  My sap is running, my ear hurts, my sinuses are killing me, I have had a fever, and it feels like someone used my throat to sand the walls in our apartment.  About the only thing I was able to do from Monday to this morning was drink tea and honey and take care of the Yeti.  I slept all day yesterday and that is extremely out of character for me.

Finally, this morning, I woke up feeling better but not great.  Red kissed me good bye and I got my ass off the couch and decided to accomplish something today.

I realized that there was some sort of smell in the house.  Odd.  Red took the trash out this morning.  The dishes got done last night.  It's not baby diapers.  It's not the cat litter.  What else could it be?

Holy shit, its me.  I scanned my memory and realized that I didn't shower yesterday.  Or Monday.  My god you are disgusting.  I'm gonna need a wire brush and power washer to get this stink out.  Hopefully the couch hasn't absorbed this horrific odor.

So dear friends, since I am concerned that the neighbors might call the police thinking there is a rotting body up here, I am going to take a shower before the Yeti wakes up.  I promise I have a great post all worked out for tomorrow.  Don't call the EPA for the oil slick that will accumulate in the shower please.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yes, I have a crying baby. Sometimes he does that.

I know this is my first go around with a baby, but I'm pretty confident that the Yeti is fang-ing (yes fangs, not teeth).  He is miserable, produces enough drool in a day to fill a 55 gallon drum (they really should find a way to turn that into an alternative energy source), chews on his hand all day, and if you happen to get your meat beaters anywhere near his face, he attempts to chomp them off.  A side effect of the fang-ing, is, of course, very long bouts of inconsolable crying.

Unfortunately, these bouts of crying seem to bring on my biggest parenting pet peeve: unsolicited advice from anyone in your life from the snaggle-tooth cashier at the grocery store to my mother.

Top ten pieces of advice I have gotten on how to console a crying baby (yes, the comments in quotations are actual suggestions that I have received):

*"Maybe you should rock him."  Yes, thank you, we have a rocking chair at home.  The usual effect is that he cries while I rock him.

*"Have you tried a pacifier?"  Yes, thank you.  It seems that unless I duct tape it to his face, he spits it back out at me.  Maybe I'll try super glue next time so nobody sees it, the duct tape usually attracts stares.

*"Oh, maybe you should put him in his stroller and go for a walk."  Yes, thank you, because both of us want to be on the side of a truck route with no sidewalk in subzero temperatures.

*"Maybe he is hungry, you should try to feed him."  You're right.  He is looking a little chubby these days and we think he needs to lose weight so we have been rationing him to 4 oz of formula twice a day.  Maybe we should up it.

*"Well he looks tired, you should really lay him down."  You're right.  I've spent every waking second with him since he was conceived, seems I've lost track of his sleep schedule.

*"Maybe he is a little gassy, have you tried gas drops?"  Have you heard the Yeti's father and both grandfathers?  Farting is a sport.  Of course he is gassy, its genetic.  They drink water, shit themselves, then blame the cat.  We scotch guard boxers in our house.

*"Well here, let me hold him, maybe he just needs a change of scenery."  Of course at this point he stops crying.  "Huh look at that, he cries for his mommy, but not for me.  He loves me sooooo much."  Yeah, I'm a bad mother.  He and I have this agreement that he stops crying for everyone else, just so mommy can have a break from holding him and have a stiff drink.

*"Well maybe he needs to be changed."  What do you mean, changed?  Like as in switch him out for another baby?  Oh, his diaper, yeah, I did that last week.

*"Maybe some quiet music would calm him."  I've been playing Five Finger Death Punch and Pantera for him, quietly.  "No, like classical music.  I read it makes them smarter."  Oh, we were hoping for an underachiever so we won't be doing anything like that.

*"Sometimes I put my baby in his car seat on the dryer, they like the motion."  Yeah, I saw this movie once where a woman sat on a dryer too, she wasn't wearing any clothes and she REALLY liked the motion.

So, thank you everyone for your advice, but keep your goddamn mouth shut.  I have a baby screaming for no reason.  The last thing I want is for you to make me feel like a contestant on Teen Mom 2.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

RIP Tyrannosaurus Chainsaw

I have been anticipating tonight's big event more than a sexually active 16 year old waits for her late period.  

After tolerating the roaring child of an earthquake and freight train that emanates from Red's face, every night, for WAY too long, he is having his sleep study tonight.

Let's give an absolutely honest and accurate description of Red's snoring:
*So loud, it scares the baby.
*So loud, his 3 year old niece once asked me if there was a monster upstairs (when he was passed out in a bedroom at his parents house, with the door shut, and we were all in the living room downstairs).
*So loud, when we were in the hospital after having the Yeti, it was the primary topic of conversation among the nurses.
*So loud, I can hear it in the living room, with 2 rooms and 3 doors shut in between us.
*So loud, that if he falls asleep in his chair, I have to put Closed Caption on the tv just to know what Snooki and J-woww are talking about (usually sex, but I like the juicy details since I have a child now, it is the only action I get)
*So loud our friends will not camp next to us, we are required to get a site across the campground.

In celebration of ear plug free nights ahead and a sleeping baby, tonight's menu consists of:

*A bottle of Sangiovese Di Toscana (the Insomniac Mom's favorite wine, please email me if you would like to send wine donations)
*Brie and Honey on French Bread (Warning: do not put honey in your hair, see previous post)
*70% cacao dark chocolate

So raise your glass and toast to me, dear friends!  God bless the CPAP!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The BP Oil Spill has nothing on this disaster...

Once again, it was a snowy night up here in Vermont and I was all alone with my Yeti and Snarles Barkley.  I was perusing Pinterest and saw a pin for an at home hot oil treatment.  Some dumbass I got the bright idea to try this out.  Hey, its from eHow, someone must know what they are talking about right?  So, I cooked myself up a nice hot cup of tea, turned on some shameless reality TV, grabbed a Valentines Day Debbie Cake, and whipped up this concoction.

Here is the recipe:
3 tsp olive oil
1 tsp honey

Bring to a mixture to a boil and stir to combine well.  Remove from heat, allow to cool.  Pour into hair, comb through, wrap in a plastic bag or shower cap for 20-30 minutes and shampoo out.  Be sure to use cold water rinse as it keeps the hair shaft closed and allows the oil to stay in there doing it's thing.

Me thinking that I have tackled much more complicated recipes and procedures, feels that this is a sure thing.  It's about as easy as a drunk freshman on prom night.

Cooked up the recipe no problem.  Got to use my cool new non-stick whisk/sexual torture device.  There seemed to be a little difference, however, in the end result of the product.

I poured it into my hair (after lots of whisking) and when I tried to comb through my hair, there seemed to be a gigantic glob of honey and matted hair.  Oil was no where to be found.  Still thinking the situation was salvageable, I grabbed my pick comb, and tried to comb the greasy crap through my hair.

As this amalgamation cooled, the rat's nest cemented with honey continued to solidify on the back of my head.  I tried to 'pick' through it, but ended up ripping out more of my already thinning post pregnancy hair.  Panic set in.  I flashed back to visions of getting bubble gum getting cut out of my hair in kindergarten leaving me with a huge bald spot in the back of my head for ages.  I thought I would have to call the EPA in to rescue me a la an otter an in oil spill.  I can see them breaking down the door now in their orange hazmat suits and bottles of Dawn in their hands.

Solution: get the bottle of olive oil and dump it in the hair.  Now, I have hair drenched in olive oil, with a huge honey soaked tangled knot.

I contemplated getting Red's clippers, but didn't think the Britney Spears/GI Jane look was really for me.

With little option left, I turned on the shower, praying that shampoo and near boiling water would dissolve honey.  I didn't care if I smelled like a character out of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

I got out the Head and Shoulders thinking it was the harshest shampoo in my arsenal.  I scrubbed like a rookie hair dresser.  MOST of it came out (with MOST of my hair and black dye job I did yesterday*).  I could still feel clumps of honey.  So...I worked in about 20 pumps of Wen conditioner, wrapped my mangled hair in a towel, and am now sitting in my leather chair (which needs a name by the way).

I thoroughly regret my decision to have a nice girly spa night.  Clearly God is telling me that I do not deserve any mommy beauty time.

Word to the wise: information on the internet may or may not be true or useful.

Screw you eHow.

*Can someone explain why at 28 the hair on my head is gray but the hair on my chin is black?

On Nagging and Diet Food...

I have recently been nagging positively encouraging Red to eat healthier and maybe even drop a few pounds.  It certainly has nothing to do with appearance, I just want him to live a long healthy life, not become a Discovery Channel special involving cranes, the indoor use of chainsaws, and three fire departments.  

The epic challenge surrounding this war is that Red is absolutely the pickiest human being I know.  He is the polar opposite of me.  I watch Bizzare Foods with Andrew Zimmern and would eat most of what he features on his show.  The list of foods Red will not eat ranges from tomato sauce (unless it is sandwiched between crust and cheese and involved in anything referred to as 'Meat Lovers') to apples.

So, I have made it my mission to stock the house with healthy paw food (a term my father, who, like Red, drives truck for a living, coined for food you can eat easily with your hands).  The kitchen is stocked with grapes, clementines, granola bars, homemade healthy banana nut muffins (recipe to follow), 100 cal packs of various snack food, and many other goodies.  So here are some conversations regarding the foods I have stocked for him:

*Regarding Pringles 100 cal packs:
Red:  You know those Pringles you got me?
Me:  Yes.
Red:  They're kind of small.
Me:  Really?  Sorry, I didn't think an entire tin would fit in your lunch box.

*Regarding grapes:
Me:  Hey, how come the bunch of grapes I packed in your lunch three days ago is still in there?  You love grapes.
Red:  They are hard to eat.
Me:  Are you peeling them individually?

*Regarding Clementines:
Me:  You drink orange juice by the 55 gallon drum, why won't you eat oranges?
Red:  They make my hands smell like orange when I'm done eating them.
Me:  They make soap and water.

            *3 days later*
Red:  I ate four tangerines today.
Me:  Awesome, where did you get those?
Red:  Off the kitchen table.
Me:  We don't have any tangerines.  Do you mean clementines?
Red:  Whatever.  Can you buy more?
Me: Sigh

*Regarding my homemade healthy banana nut muffins:
Red:  Those have a funny texture.
Me:  Yeah, I bought them from Dunkin Donuts, picked out all the fat, then reassembled them.  The super glue holding them together makes 'em a little chewier.

Beware the evil health food.

Hannah's Healthy Banana Nut Muffins:


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup liquid (you can use milk or OJ*)
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or ground oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F
1.  In a small bowl, mash together eggs, bananas, and liquid.  Make sure very or over ripe bananas are used, you really need that moisture
2.  In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  In the center, form a small 'bowl'
3.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredient 'bowl'.  Fold in gently.  DO NOT OVER MIX, IT WILL CAUSE THE MUFFINS TO BE TOUGH
4.  Put mixture into muffin tin.  I use an ice cream scoop and use a nonstick muffin tin.  This recipe is a little sticky.  I made the mistake of using paper cupcake liners and they were difficult to pull off the muffins.  This makes 11-12 muffins.
5.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  I find these bake at exactly 20 mins.

Note:  these muffins do not have a traditional cakey texture - they are a little chewier.  However, they are VERY low fat and low cal.

*I have a large Tupperware in the fridge that I reserve the liquid from canned fruit in.  Since I only buy canned fruit that is canned in fruit juice or light syrup, it isn't all sugar.  I use this in anything from marinades to cooking to mixed drinks.  It does have a lot of flavor.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wacky Wednesday: I Miss Spontaneity

My dearest Red and I have not been on a nice date in probably 8-9 months.  Work schedules, lack of money, weather, holidays, and a Yeti seem to have put a serious damper on our dating/romantic life.  Last weekend, I couldn't take it any more.  I put my foot down and set a date for this Wednesday (todayyyyyy!!!) of dropping everything, no matter what, to have a romantic evening out.  It got me thinking how different planning a night out really is before and after having a baby, lets examine some of those:

Planning to take care of a week in advance BEFORE children:

  • expect me to commit to something a week in advance?  Unless it is a major holiday like Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day, or Thanksgiving Eve, I don't think so, a better offer might come up.
Planning to take care of a week in advance AFTER children:
  • Find a sitter.
  • Find a restaurant where absolutely NO screaming children will be allowed and you will not see anyone you know.  I want to have conversation with Red, not eat my meal while he has conversation with his long lost best friend five tables away.  Hell, why not just join each other.
Outfit planning BEFORE children:
  • Sniff test any number of very hot bar hopping outfits you own.  Preferably the one that the cat has slept on the least.  Pair with hooker boots.  Wear enough body spray so nobody will notice you haven't done laundry in at least 3 weeks (ummm laundry seriously cuts into drinking time)*
*I've always thought that a bar with a laundromat in it would be a huge success.

Outfit planning AFTER children:
  • Oh fuck, I only have two pairs of jeans that fit me since hatching the Yeti and one shirt fit to wear in public that doesn't have baby puke stains on it.  Time to go buy a new outfit.
Primping before a date BEFORE children:
  • Bi weekly acrylic nail session? CHECK.  Bi weekly full body waxing? CHECK. Bi weekly pedicure? CHECK.  Hair cut and color obsessively maintained? CHECK
  • Date actually wears sexy clothes and cologne
Primping before a date AFTER children:
  • Wake up at 5 am for the following activities because I have let myself go for approximately 6 months and everything takes six times longer when you have an infant in the house:
    • Dye hair to hide roots/grays
    • Wax face to avoid confusion with being a circus freak and/or the Bearded Goat Woman from Hell
    • Shave arm pits AND legs - not just the calves, the ENTIRE leg (yeah right, you will get a shower that long).  Prepare for the possibility that I MIGHT get some tonight.
    • Try to figure out how you can't paint your fingernails and hope that the Yeti requires no maintenance for at least an hour (yeah right) so as not to smudge nails.  Screw it, he can cry.
    • Try to find another 25+ minutes to paint toe nails.
    • Clean house because Mother decides she wants to come visit
    • Find: flat iron, make up, jewelry, and footwear OTHER than Crocs
    • Do laundry so Red has something to wear.
  • Pack diaper bag
  • Answer the question "Honey, do I have to wear something nice?"  If you expect me to bring you.
  • Drop Yeti at in laws BEFORE you get dressed to avoid puke stains on new stain-free outfit.
Purse contents on a date BEFORE children:
  • Eye shadow
  • Lip gloss
  • ID, Debit card, $
  • Condom
Purse contents on a date AFTER children (note, you really only need the first three items on that list):
  • Spare make up
  • Wallet with every store and club card within 23 miles
  • Baby wipes
  • 3-4 rogue pacifiers
  • Kleenex
  • Lint roller
  • Gas drops (not for me)
Date conversation BEFORE children:
  • Anything fun, exciting, engaging, political, gossipy, naughty that comes to mind
Date conversation AFTER children:
  • Oh hey your W2 came in the mail.  Cool.
  • I paid the cell phone bill.  Yup.
  • The mail lady came at 11:39 today not 11:35.  
Post date activities BEFORE children (one of the following):
  • Holy shit, it's last call already?  Time to find a party to go to.
  • Holy shit, it's last call already?  Shit, I gotta change and get to work.
  • Holy shit, it's last call already?  Gotta find a random.
Post date activities AFTER children:
  • Holy shit, it's 7:00 pm, we have to get going to go pick up the baby and get to bed.
Me BEFORE children:

Me AFTER children:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Test Kitchen Tuesday - Johnsonville Chicken Sausage

I'll admit this is a slightly uninspiring blog post, but hey, what the hell...
Keeping in tradition of Test Kitchen Tuesday, I recently tried Johnsonville's new Chicken Sausages.  We have covered Red's love of bacon, but not sausage.  It ranks a close second.  I thought that since I was able to match a coupon with a BOGO sale, I would try these alternatives to snausage.

One night I made baked ziti and added the sliced up 'sausage'.  I will admit that the flavor and consistency were not what I was expecting.  They were more like Polish Kielbasa rather than a traditional pork sausage.  Red loved them, I found them a little yucky*.

*I have a pretty permanent visceral reaction to all forms of ground meat.  Working with it, cooking it, eating it - makes me gag.  Don't know why, I think it is a texture thing - I like my meat whole, not mashed.

The next time I used it, I sliced it up and sauteed it with some frozen pierogi (Polish ravioli for all of you not in the know).  This is my favorite unhealthy - I don't feel like cooking meal.  I thought that the sausages were better in this dish, but still not a huge fan.  Red gobbled them right up.

Would I recommend them?  I personally wouldn't, but Red thought they were great.  It is probably my hatred of ground meats that interferes with an unbiased opinion of this food.

Maple Dijon Glaze

Since Red sugars every spring (makes maple syrup for those of you who aren't in the know), we always have a pretty heft supply of maple syrup and maple cream in the fridge at my cooking disposal.  I created this recipe to be used on pork chops, but have also used it on boneless chicken breasts.  The last time I made this, I brined my pork chops for a day before cooking them for a little added moisture and flavor.  It is certainly not necessary to do this, but if I have the time and forethought, I always do.

3-4 pork chops

2 qt water
1/2 cup sea salt
Any fruits or veggies for flavor
1 tbl whole cloves
1 tbl black peppercorns
1 tbl whole allspice
1 tbl rosemary

1 tbl butter
1/4 cup maple cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
3 tbl apple cider vinegar
3 tbl mustard (either a dijon or stone ground)
1 shallot, sliced

1.  Bring to boil 2 qts water and 1/2 cup sea salt.  In addition to this, I add fruit that I think has no where to go but in the garbage can.  This time I added 1/2 grapefruit, 2 clementines, 2 apples (cored), and 3 cloves garlic.  Boil for 45 - 60 min.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Pour cooled brine with contents over pork chops, cover, and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Remove chops from brine and discard brine.  Pat the pork chops dry, this allows them to get that nice browning effect.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.

3.  Heat an oven proof skillet over medium high heat with enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom.  Cook chops on both sides until lightly browned.  Remove from pan.

4.  Melt butter in the pan, use a whisk to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

5.  As butter is melting, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.  When butter is melted, add the other combined ingredients to the skillet.  Allow to simmer until reduced by half.

6.  Place chops back in the pan, spoon sauce over them, and place in a 350 F oven.  Cook until internal temp of pork is 160 F, basting with the sauce every 4-5 minutes.

7.  Remove pan from oven, allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is a hit in my house and is not time consuming at all.  It comes out great every time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Inspectin' Bridges!

I've recently had some people inquire as to what I used to do for work, so I'll show ya!

State transportation agencies employ 'inspectors'.  Our job is to make sure that private contractors are building bridges and roads to state and federal specifications.  We read plans and specification books to make sure that everything is getting done the way it should be.  So, here are pics and vids of the last job I was working on - it is an almost $50 million dollar project in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.  The bridge is over a dam on the Connecticut River (96 feet from road surface to rocks and gushing water).
The view from under the bridge - almost 1/4 mile long

Me running the big Tonka toys
Water running under the bridge - DON'T fall in.
What is more exciting than walking on 8" wide beams 96' over rocks and gushing water in the dark?

There ya go!  It's dirty and dangerous and I loved every second of it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Extreme Couponing Gripes...continued

If you weren't sick of me ranting about that stupid show, you may be when you are finished reading this post.  I spent a few minutes of quiet time researching the negative impact of the show Extreme Couponing.

Google 'Extreme Couponing Backlash' and you will be awarded with a plethora of articles from such sites as MSN Money, Today News, Yahoo, and other reputable sites who are listing the effect of this train wreck show.

It seems that since EC has been on air, coupon use has skyrocketed, which super markets and manufacturers appreciate to a point.  However...

-Many major supermarket chains have limited their coupon policy due to the large number of people shelf clearing.  WTF people - this is a true sign of American greed that couponers are clearing shelves so that others may not use their normal amounts of coupons to feed their family economically

-Supermarket managers are stating that people think it is acceptable to argue with cashiers or the managers over coupon policies/usage.  Doing this also angers other customers who are waiting in the check out line behind said selfish assholes.  This is unbelievable to me - I will admit that I have had POLITE interactions with my store staff about couponing discrepencies, but work within the rules people.  My local chain has a crystal clear coupon policy that I have never had a problem following.

-Theft of Sunday newspapers and illegal coupon photocopying has gone through the roof.  My god people - I'm sure we all know plenty of people who buy Sunday papers who DON'T coupon and would be more than happy to give you their inserts.

-More coupon manufacturers are placing heavier restrictions on the usage of their coupons.  Had to ruin it for everyone didn't you?  Selfish bastards.

-Women (usually stay at home moms) claiming they spend 40+ hours per week and making their kids clip coupons is a way to spend quality time with their brood?  Can you say 'violation of child labor laws'?  Looking for ways to spend quality time with your children?  How 'bout you plop them in front of their xbox 360 or DS.  Maybe if you had less than enough kids to replace the robots on Its A Small World, you wouldn't be so broke.

-Women who vehemently state that they will ONLY buy food that they have a coupon for?  What about fresh fruit and veggies and meat that isn't canned, processed, or frozen?  I will admit that I think it is a myth that coupons only exist for junk food.  As long as you aren't a organic-gluten free-food Nazi, there are plenty of coupons for healthy goods (soups, eggs, yogurt, etc).  I will admit that I concentrate my produce and meat shopping on foods that are currently on sale, but never deny myself and my family fresh food.  Have you seen some of the morbidly obese women on this show?

-Some psychologists are actually claiming that couponing is the newest form of OCD - people are obsessively scouring flyers and clipping coupons to get the best deal.  Have you seen these people having anxiety attacks at the register?  Not normal.

-Also, the marketing psychology behind coupons can sometimes get the unaware consumer to spend MORE money, not save.  For example, you need ice cream (everyone needs ice cream, right?).  You only need ONE half gallon, but you have a coupon for $1.00 of of two - hey, why not get them both, you are saving money right?  You have a coupon.  In reality, you are now almost doubling the money you have spent on ice cream and are bringing home an extra 19,439 calories into the household.

In one article, a journalist contacted TLC about these apparent negative effects on the couponing microcosm.  TLC gave the standard 'McDonalds answer to obesity' stating that it is just a television show and people can do with that subject matter what they want.  Hmm...doesn't TLC stand for The Learning Channel? or is it Take Lots of Coupons?  Looks like they are teaching people bad habits to me.

In conclusion:  thank you Extreme Couponers for ruining couponing for those people who use it in moderation to feed their family or to be able to afford to make donations food pantries, animal shelters, and emergency services.  Way to go.

Giddy Up!

Wow!!!  In the short amount of time that I have been blogging, I have already won an award from one of my fellow bloggers!!!

Maria over at Lil Mys Ninja gave me the Versatile Blogger Award!  I found her when she was featured over at when she was featured.  I couldn't resist following a fellow motorcycle ridin' chica!  She's a smart girl and I love reading her posts (especially her recipes!).  Plus she is a fellow couponer and philanthropist - I highly recommend that if you haven't, you should check her out.  Thanks Maria!!!

So, here are rules for this award:
  1. Thank the person that nominated you, and give them a shout out on your blog with a link to theirs.
  2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  3. Send on the award to 15 other bloggers whose blog you love and appreciate and then let them know they won the award.
Here are my 7 random facts:
1.  Our local chocolate shop (Richardson's Candy Kitchen) is quite famous.  The Kennedy's have been known to order from them.  I can't survive with out their dark chocolate covered English toffee with sea salt.
2.  Dishes are my arch enemy, I avoid doing them like the plague.
3.  I suffer from anxiety, but control it med-free.  Being more than four feet of my cell phone will induce an anxiety attack.
4.  I am a thrill whore - I loved my old job because I climbed bridge beams on a daily basis, sometimes 100+ feet above rocks and water.
5.  My dream (when I win the lottery) is to own a dairy farm/no kill animal shelter accepting everything from chinchillas to draft horses.
6.  Someday (when said lottery is hit), I will also own my dream Harley - a murdered out Fat Bob with red and cream pinstriping, vintage leather saddle seat, and LOUD pipes.
7.  My mom's first car was a 1967 Ford Mustang and I think that is the coolest thing ever.  It reminds me that all moms were cool at one point in their life.

Here are the blogs that I am passing this award on to: I couldn't come up with a full 15 I thought deserved this...sorry...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It came from the mint green lagoon...

I woke up at 8:00 am this morning.  Yes, I said 8:00.  The house was quiet and snow was falling softly outside. The Yeti slept all night long.  For those of you who don't live in the snow belt, such a precipitous event is almost impossible to describe.  Everything outside is a shade white or gray punctuated by the occasional naked tree reaching upwards.  There is no noise, only the occasional crazy asshole from New York who has to prove that they can drive their Mercedes SUV 93 MPH in inclement weather so they can get to their ski condo.  The 12 year old inside of me jumped up and down reminiscent of the hopes of a snow day.

Soooo, I went in the bedroom (yes, I sleep on the couch because Red snores worse than the child of Tyrannosaurus and a chainsaw, thank god for the magic of a CPAP mask that is arriving soon) to wake Red up.  He plows snow for the State of Vermont on our main highway, so I figured I'd get his ass out of bed before they called so he could at least shower and have some coffee.  Have I mentioned that he has literally been at work 18+ hours per day for the last two weeks and blogging is the only adult interaction I have had?  Well, about 2 minutes after I woke him, the phone rang and he flew out of the house (with shower thankfully for all involved).

Realizing that it was time for my morning poop and that the Yeti was happily bouncing in his bouncy seat, I decided to enjoy a few minutes of quiet alone time in the bathroom.  I never realized until I had a child, how much I would come to enjoy even the simple act of an uninterrupted poop.  So, as I was sitting there, I casually gazed at the horrible institutional mint green paint bequeathed to us by a former tenant, day dreaming about new decorating possibilities when I spotted this:
My sphincter instantly slammed shut.  I have a paralyzing fear of spiders.  Don't move, it may attack at random.  It was guarding the door, waiting for me to make my escape so it could sneak down and suck my brains out through my ears.  This picture does not aptly describe the size of those front legs - they were at least four feet long.  The better to remove your eyeballs and feed them to its young, my dear.  My mind flashed to this:

What would I do?  Red was gone and all my killing implements were through the portal that the vicious monster was hovering over.

It was time for me to utilize my ninja skills and sneak by this evil gatekeeper.  No sudden moves, don't even flush - it may alert the the killing machine arachnid that I have become aware of its presence and thwart it's plans to wrap me in its web and suck the fluids out of my body.  A quick wipe and I did my Navy SEAL tuck and roll out the door.  I reached for my shotgun mop and returned to the cavern of death.  I prayed that in the 30 seconds that I was gone that the spider had not teleported back to it's lair where it would wait for me to sleep and lay eggs in my nostrils, allowing it's spawn to eat my cerebral cortex.
30 points to anyone who can name this movie

I quickly dispatched the spider a la Norman Bates but with out the arterial bursts of blood spattering the walls.

Peace at last.

I would like to add that I cannot figure out where this thing was hiding.  Aside from the occasional cat hair tumbleweed and a small pile of unfolded baby clothes that I have been avoiding like a bum with a cute puppy, my house is pretty clean.  I will have to send Red on a mission to the attic to make sure it doesn't look like this:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reality? I think not

Shame on you, TLC, for leading the general public to believe that you too, can spend hours and hours clipping coupons and save one hundred percent on your weekly groceries.

I will admit that I tune in to Extreme Couponing and even caught the special Extreme Cheapskates (both on TLC in case any of you live under a rock).  I spend a lot of time trying to stretch our dollars (as I am currently unenjoyed unemployed).  I make every effort to conserve our resources on our meager pay.  I do spend several hours per week clipping coupons and perusing sale flyers.  I am able to save 50-75% on my grocery bill with sales and coupons.  I go to lengths not to throw away food as it is irresponsible both economically and with regards to sustainability.  I'm no tree hugger - I hunt and fish - but I HATE throwing away food - it is money and resources down the drain.

Here are my gripes regarding the process of Extreme Couponing (I will also refer to such sites as Krazy Coupon Lady and Coupon Mom)
-I have been couponing for years (not as much as I do now).  I have NEVER come across deals from my local grocery store in which combining a coupon with a sale gets an item for free (excluding the time that I wrote to Huggies complaining about their diapers and they sent me $20 coupons for diapers).
-My local grocery store does NOT allow you to redeem coupons for more than the value of the item (it seems that these people frequently have negative balances at the end of transactions)
-Several sites encourage you to hit multiples stores to take advantage of their sales - well I'm sorry, but my gas is worth something too.  Living in a very rural area of Vermont, it is costly for me to drive around to several stores in terms of gas.
-Printing out online coupons?  I feel it is environmentally irresponsible to waste all that paper and what is the cost involved in buying paper and ink for all those coupons?  I think some of these people need to do a cost/benefit analysis

Side note: I recently spoke to a girlfriend whose husband is a produce manager at another local grocery store.  She informed me that he says that there aren't any northern New England grocery chains that give deals like that - allowing savings of close to 100%.

Next, lets look at Extreme Cheapskates - for those of you who didn't catch this show, here are a few examples of the way that people on this show were saving money:
-One gentleman would go out to eat, bring several containers, and go around the restaurant asking people for the uneaten food on their plates.  Ok, people, setting my pride aside, that is truly an unsafe practice.  Realistically, you have no idea what communicable diseases these people are carrying around with them.  That is how the plague gets around.  There is still debate over whether or not HIV can be spread through saliva.
-One woman who was a member of a babysitting club (an situation in which 4 neighborhood families would leave their kids with one family every Friday night, with the requirement that in addition to sitting, you had to provide a meal as well) actually showed her shopping trip to the local discount store and purchased food that had a two year old expiration date to make pizza for her herd.  Again, I feel like this is a dangerous practice.  Why risk food poisoning to save a few cents here and there?
-This same woman also refused to buy toilet paper, instead, she made her family use rags, left a hamper in the bathroom, and washed them when it got full, citing that no forms of bacteria could survive a washing machine.  While I am not a biologist or sanitary engineer - come on people, this is just gross.  I understand that it really isn't any different than using cloth diapers, but for some reason I cannot wrap my noggin around wiping my ass with something that someone else in the house used to wipe theirs yesterday.  Aside from the yuck factor - how much more money does this woman spend in electricity and detergent to wash the 'toilet paper'?  Again, I feel a cost/benefit analysis is necessary in that instance.
*PS if I ever found out someone babysitting the Yeti was feeding him wildly expired food and making him wipe his ass with the family toilet paper, I would shit on her doorstep.
-One gentleman advocated the use of bartering to get free or discounted services/products.  In one clip, he was reciting verses and singing to get a discount on a wedding cake.  I will admit that I have traded services in a means of saving some money (i.e. working for the landlord to take some money off the rent), however, I don't think it is realistic that ANY business would trade singing for free services.
-One gentleman also went dumpster diving for food.  Do I even need to elaborate on that?

My question with regards to the Extreme Cheapskates is: how much money does it really save you?  Buying two ply TP and peeling it apart?  I don't know about you, but I would use more one ply trying to get all the cling-ons off my ass.

Maybe I don't see the bigger picture here because I certainly know that every penny counts, but I would never endanger my family's health to save a few cents.

More on baby puke...

It seems that one of the few mom talents I have yet to master is proper burp cloth placement.  I have no finesse when it comes to catching puke on anything other than my shirt.  Either that or I have one extremely devilish and uncooperative Yeti.

Upon the advice of my girlfriend, rather than purchase those wimpy terry cloth, buy cloth diapers, she offered.  They are super absorbent, bigger than most burp cloths, and a lot cheaper!  Right up my alley.

She did not, however, advise me on proper burp cloth etiquette.  It never fails that after the Yeti feeds, I do my best to keep him facing the cloth and at the millisecond before he pukes, he turns his head, making sure that he completely misses the burp cloth.  Or, he spouts an impressive display of projectile vomiting that would rival Disney's nightly display of fireworks before he is anywhere near the burp cloth.  He should choreograph it to music.  He never does this to his father.  It must be that manly bond - an unspoken agreement to torment mom.  Red cannot fathom how I get so much puke on my clothes (although, logic dictates that there is a direct relationship between the amount of feedings performed by mom and the amount of puke she gets on her shirt).

Of course, however, after the release of recycled formula, his eyes sparkle and his slimy white lips curl upwards.  My heart melts and all is forgiven.  God help the girl babies of southern Vermont, someday this kid is gonna be deadly in the dating scene.

So, every day, I proudly bear that honorable badge of motherhood above my breast - a white stain that indicates that I am completely incapable of finding a good place for a burp cloth.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

For the last month or more my right shoulder has been killing me.  There are days that I can't pull the chain on the over head lights or pull food off the top pantry shelves.  

Mind you, I am no pain wuss.  Reminder, the Yeti was 9 lb 3 oz at birth.  Speaking of the Yeti, I am fairly confident this whole situation is all his fault and that damn car seat.  You know, those ones that weigh as much as a Mazda and manage to smash into every door jamb you pass through.

I finally got fed up and called the doctor this morning to see what she had to say.  Come over at 1:20.  So, I decided to keep the horse and buggy in the barn and dust off the Ford Escape to make the 1 hour trek to the medical center in pouring rain/disgusting mess falling from the sky.

I arrive at the medical center (30 minutes early albeit, because Lord knows if you aren't super early, you won't make it though the registration line in time and therefore will be late for the appointment and they 'won't be able to squeeze you in' even though they would have taken you late anyways).

After checking in, I make it up to my physician's office (whom I have never met before - my old physician moved to a different department within the hospital, and I have now been stuck with someone named Marika - what is that?  It's not even a country).

Let's discuss the people in the waiting room:
*Deaf 70+ year old morbidly obese woman, in a wheelchair, coughing up blood (literally) and commenting on it, discussing her every medical ailment with what I assume to be her daughter, at the top of their lungs, of course, because she can't hear.  I truly enjoy hearing about the trials of diabetes, incontinence, and a slew of other pleasant maladies.  Awwww your baby is so cute, can you bring him over so I can see?  No, I try to keep his exposure to Tuberculosis to a minimum.

*Snaggle toothed 50 something woman who somehow has a broken shoulder a week after having rotator cuff surgery who is yelling at the receptionist because she needs to see her primary care physician NOW.  This injury COULD be doing more damage to her shoulder and ruining her surgery.  The bitch in me really wanted to ask, why she isn't in the emergency room or the orthopaedics office.  I'm pretty sure that whatever you have done to your shoulder since your surgery probably has done damage to the repair they have already done.  But hey, what do I know.

*Morbidly obese 20 something woman with 3 screaming animals climbing all over her seeking attention while she plays on her cell phone.  Awww your son is adorable.  Mine will be here in two months (as she rubs her belly).  Mind you, there was absolutely no visual indication that this woman was expecting she was so huge.

Even the Yeti was annoyed.  He started screaming.  Oh joyous sweet distraction.

Finally, as if the angels were trilling down from heaven and a shower of sunlight and rainbows showers upon me, my name was called.  The nurse quickly processed me and assured me that the doctor would be right in.  

Enter Marika.  
Her: So tell me about your shoulder.
Me - explained symptoms, time frame, pain levels, etc.
Her - performed some diagnostic range of motion, strength, and other such tests
Her:  Well there is definitely something going on with your shoulder.  I don't think it is your rotator cuff, only tendonitis so ice it, rest it, and take ibuprofen 3x per day.
Me: Thank you captain obvious, really putting that medical degree to use.
Her: Call back in a week if its not better.
Me: Yes because its already been injured over a month, it will magically be cured after coming here.  Clearly your evangelical touch has miraculously healed me.
Her: Make sure you try not to carry your son.  
Me: No problem, I'll make him walk.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Test Kitchen Tuesday - Venison Steaks

Ok, I think we've been through my mortal fear of cooking meat.  Fortunately for me, I have had an opportunity to overcome my carniphobia due to the abundance of free venison in the freezer.  No, I have never cooked a steak on my own.  I always thought that was manly work. we goooooo...

I had several packages of venison steaks.  I spent quite a while on the internet reading up on marinades and cooking techniques and finally came up with the following situation (sorry, been a lot of Jersey Shore on).  This recipe made enough for 2 lbs of venison steaks in a covered bowl.

Marinade Recipe:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 clove garlic (rough chop)
1 shallot (rough chop)

1.  Thaw vension (if frozen, duh).  Rinse off the steaks.
2.  Make marinade, place meat in it.
3.  When ready, place meat on grill and cook to desired doneness.  Venison only needs to be cooked to about 150 F.  If you over cook it, it will come out tougher than boiled owl shit*.

Note:  I made this in the morning and left it in the bowl OUT of the fridge all day.  Several articles I read on cooking venison stated that because venison is so lean, if you leave it out of the cold it absorbs the marinade better.  I have used this recipe twice in the last two weeks and both times we did not die from eating meat that had been out of the fridge for 8+ hours.

Another note:  The second time I made this recipe, I was a little empty in the wine department.  The meat was a lot less tender than the first time I made it (all other factors were the same, I mean the steaks came from the same deer).  So if you chose to make this, I highly recommend using the wine or some other form of alcohol.  I know that acid from the vinegar is also a tenderizer, but it just wasn't the same with out the wine.

*I'm not really sure how tough boiled owl shit is, but it is something that my father has referenced many times through out my life.  I'm assuming with all that mouse fur and bones, it gets pretty tough.

Red did say that this was maybe the best venison steaks he had ever had and LOVED the marinade.  So ladies, try this out on your hubbies.

Friday, January 13, 2012

10 Things I Love About Motherhood

OK, I'm feeling very creative tonight...posting a couple of times...maybe it's the second bottle of wine I'm consuming while Red is out plowing snow for the third night in a row...maybe it's the fact that I feel like this is the only one sided adult conversation I am capable of having other than the 462 texts that I have sent and received today.

I saw a great writing prompt over at Mama Kats Losin It and just had to vent...
10 Things I Love About Motherhood:

1.  I'm the cool kid at parties who has a bottle of formula, not beer in her back pocket.
2.  My entire wardrobe used to consist of black shirts.  I cannot do this anymore as it shows baby puke more than any other color in my closet.  It has given me an excuse to buy a whole new puke friendly wardrobe.
3.  I love being the obnoxious person that I used to hate who bragged about their future model/Nobel Prize & Heisman trophy winning/President of the World/bazillionaire child.  Annoying people has always been a hobby of mine.
4.  Killer bi's and tri's from lifting a gigantic Yeti all the time.
5.  I will have someone that I can spend hours creating new ways to embarrass and it will never get old.  Hey, payback is a bitch, kiddo.
6.  It's a great excuse to blow off those people who always want to do stuff with you, that you tolerate, but secretly hate.
7.  A new pupil in Farting Education.  I feel it is very important to pass on a beloved family tradition.
8.  I was running out of things to complain about after 28 years.  Pregnancy and motherhood have given me a whole new exciting avenue of bitching.
9.  It's better than TV.  I can stare at the Yeti for countless hours, entertained by every expression, fart, burp, and indication that he will be the child mentioned in item 3.  Realistically this is a money saving tactic.  Cable is highway robbery.
10.  Lastly:
I can confidently say that I pushed a 9 lb 3 oz child out of my vagina.  Remember folks: putting them in is a lot more fun than taking them out.

Of Wo(men) and Mice

I was inspired by a fellow blogger who wrote about how long it takes to get out of the house when you have children to tell a story...

Setting the scene:
We live in a very rural area of Vermont on a large dairy farm.  There are literally over 1500 cows here and several hundred of them shit reside in the barn attached to our house.  For you city slickers who don't know, cows eat grain and silage (a delicious fermented amalgamation of chopped up corn stocks).  Another connoisseur of gourmet livestock feed - mice and rats.  They are enormous on farms.  They are more closely related to small bears than other rodentia.  The herd of wild cats don't even make a dent in the vermin population.  I mean, they aren't armed with RPG's, what can they do?

Story time:
So, I had the Yeti on October 25.  Ahhhh fall in New England.  The temperatures drop, the days get shorter, and small furry creatures look for a warm place to live.

I was trying to get the Yeti ready for his two week check up at the doctor's office that is about 45 minutes away.  Don't worry, we park the horse and buggy and take one of those new fangled automobiles up over yonder mountain to see the vet doctor.  In addition to trying to get a two week old baby ready to go to the doc, my mom pleasantly surprised shocked me by taking the day off from work so that she could 'help' me take the Yeti to the doctor.  She had to surprise me because if she had offered, I would have said no.  I'm convinced she thinks I am incapable of keeping another human being alive.  Maybe it was because I lived on coffee, alcohol, nicotine, and Totino's Pizza Rolls for a good ten years.

As I was saying.  I'm elbow deep in car seat straps with a screaming infant and my mother commenting on my inability to buckle said car seat (who can?) when I hear Snarles Barkley the Wonder Cat (who I only see move from her perch to the fed bag to the shitter box when necessary) cause a commotion in the kitchen and clearly crash into the cabinets.  I mistakenly assume it is nothing.

We are currently running ten minutes late.  Mom thinks it is her duty to check on schizophrenic dilusional feline.  The mountain of dishes in my sink flashes through my mind.  Oh fuck it, I have a two week old.

Shrill cry.  HANNAH.  WTF.

I abandon the screaming half buckled infant in the car seat momentarily to see what the HELL is going on in MY kitchen, when I discover that Snarles Barkley's long lost hunting instincts have not failed her.  A rather mutantly large mouse is cornered in front of her (hey, we do live two miles from a nuclear plant that leaks both Tritium and Selenium).  So, I go grab the shotgun broom, with intentions of killing said prey.

I was informed I could not kill the mouse, there is a baby in the house.  To this day, I have no idea what the link is between the two situations.

Huff.  15 minutes late.  Good thing we upgraded from a Model T to a Ford Escape so we can travel faster than the speed of smell.  So I coax the terrified mouse into our mop bucket with an empty cereal box and throw it outside.

You didn't wear gloves.  I didn't wear gloves.  I might catch a disease from not touching the mouse that probably makes our kitchen his playground every night.  Obsessive hand washing per mother's orders.  20 minutes late.  The cat is now pissed I interfered with her kill.  She will sooooo shit in the shower before we get back.