Monday, September 26, 2016

Apple Bake

I love old recipes, old ('vintage') recipe books, and the feelings that go along with them. For Christmas one year, I asked my grandmother for her old recipes/recipe books. And she gave me a lovely recipe 'library' where-in the cook can insert her own recipes. On a notecard, of course.
I found a recipe using apples, which I needed. But the recipe is unclear. I called my grandmother for clarification. But she could offer none. After I made the dish, I recognized it from my childhood.

Simmer apples (I used five smallish ones) 1/3 cup butter
put into pan (I sautéed the apples with butter, and mixed the other stuff in the casserole dish)
1/2 c. milk  1/2 c. flour  1 tsp sugar
3 eggs
500 5 min (I made mine in 450 degrees, for ten minutes)
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon for 5 min (I used brown sugar. And forgot to put it back in the oven)

Hope yours turns out as good as mine did!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Kidney Infection

Last night at about 2:30 am, I was awoken with an intense pain in my right flank, around my kidney area. I did some internet diagnosis, which of course proved unhelpful. I thought about going to the nearest ER, but I know that my insurance isn't accepted there. There is the possibility that this will be considered a 'true' emergency, in which case I won't be charged as much. So with the staggering cost of healthcare in my mind, I decided to call the nurse hotline listed on the Blue Cross Blue Shield website.
The nurse asked a few questions, and she seemed knowledgeable and helpful and recommended I get help within three hours. I thought I could go to an Urgent Care Clinic, but they didn't open until Monday. I discussed the issue of cost and quality of care with the nurse, and at that point, the pain was intense. I decided to head to the ER. I woke my husband up to tell him I was going, and I asked him to drive me. He said no, which in retrospect was the right thing to say.
At the ER, the pain was bad enough to make me wince, and I had trouble keeping my tears from flowing. And I had trouble sitting down. Luckily, there was a short wait, and I was seen quickly. After updating my information with registration, I watched a few clips on CNN about Trump's antics. When the parents of the soldier he insulted gave their speech at DNC, I started to cry. The hate and terror Trump brings is alarming. And, of course, emotions are different at 3am then they are at 3pm.
After being admitted, I was asked to give a urine sample, and I answered all the questions about the incidents leading up to my being there. I had a UTI, which I self-diagnosed and treated with cranberry juice. I had pain in my flank earlier than I realized, and the pain was intense at about 8pm. I thought I was about to be on my period, but there was no blood. I thought I had to poop, but I didn't seem to have to.
The nurse recognized that I must have had intense pain for several hours, which I supposed was true. She says I was lucky to get in on time. That nurse was a lovely woman! We joked around, I told her about myself, she told me about herself, and she was able to acknowledge the seriousness of my condition without alarming me or allowing me to think the worst was going to happen.
Of course, the ER is filled with waiting, but things progressed quickly enough until about 7am. There were some life and death traumas being brought in, so I wasn't tended to as quickly as I would have liked. In order to move my discharge along, I stood at the nurse's station in my gown with my IV stand until someone came to help. I remained grateful that my health problems seemed solved, and that the personal were nice, but busy.
On my way out, I told one of the staff members that a person's ER outfit choice at 3am is much different than it would be at 10am (it was close to 10 by the time I was discharged). And looking how I looked when I was discharged meant that I was going to have to rush out of there and rush to my car and rush home. Luckily, he thought that was as funny as I meant it to be. Except I had to drop my script for antibiotics off at Walgreens.
When I got home, The Hubs was loading the kids in the car. I wanted so badly to be with them, because I was so scared while I was at the ER. I wanted to be normal, and hang out with everybody. But I was exhausted, had a headache, and was really hungry. The Hubs took the kids, and I made food, called my mom, and took a nap.
Things looked better when I woke up. But my flank still hurts a little.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Library

I read an article, forget where of course, about finding your 'mom tribe'. I would say with certainty that I don't have one. I have a few moms my age, with similar life experience and backgrounds, with kids around my kids' ages. We hang out sometimes, and text, and call each other. But pretty infrequently. Anyone else have a mom tribe?

We went to a neighboring library, where we maxed out on the number of materials we could get. I chatted with the librarian about all kinds of mom stuff and she found books relevant to my kids. But I'm pretty sure I overshared. And another mom and I talked and she was really nice and we laughed about mom stuff, but I'm pretty sure I overshared with her too. I wish I could have interactions without being so over-analytical afterwards.
On the upside, this library has great resources. And for some reason, during this trip, the librarians were particularly helpful and friendly. I got a calendar so we can plan out our next events. Yea!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Decluttering and Photos

The Hubs is freaking out about the amount of stuff I may or may not have. I'm pretty sure we need almost all of it.
I cleaned out a drawer today, and found an envelope of photos. I spent some of the afternoon putting photos in my scrapbook and some in my photo album. They happen to be photos from The Hub's childhood, and from a visit with family in 2010, 2012, and 2013. It was nice to look at them again. Part of my job in this family includes being the memory-maker and memory-preserver. Yes, I know, memory is so subjective, so fluid, so questionable (in some cases). But I am the one who albums photos, who creates the scrapbooks and who takes photos of many experiences. My hope is that one day, we can all gather around the albums and reminisce.


I decided to make a container out of used coffee bags. I used a big one for the bottom, and four more around the sides. I used clear packing tape to hold it altogether. The corners are rounded.
This is my first time making an item like this, and I liked the way the materials construct together.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


I put my make-up on in front of my boys, almost every single day. Today I was applying it while sitting on the couch. The Baby came up and put his finger in my liquid foundation, and I think he tasted it. Then he watched me, and he put his finger back in the bottle, and applied some to his chin. The Boy came up and did the same. My BIL was appalled. He told them point-blank-period that
"Only girls wear make-up. Stop that! Boys don't wear make-up!"
And to me he said,
"You got them doing ballet and everything else, and now they're wearing make-up!"
Ok, cowboy. Slow the hell down. My kids are not taking ballet, and I hadn't even considered signing them up. And secondly, some boys do wear make-up. And although I personally think its a little weird, its not a problem.
BIL said that if the kids are 16, and they 'come at him' all 'cross-dressing and what-not' they will get an uppercut.
I told him that if he ever uppercuts my kids, he better hope I can't get to him.
I want my boys to know that whatever they do, whoever they are, whatever they wear, I will always love them. I want them to know that they can make bad fashion choices, they can love who they want, and they have whatever profession they decide...and they will always be my kids and I will always love them. I want to give them the opportunity to recognize and name their feelings. I want The Boy to know that it is ok to think Mama's necklaces are pretty. And I want them to know that rigid gender roles hurt everyone.
I just want them to know that Mom is in their corner.

Monday, September 5, 2016

New TV

The Hubs bought a new TV, which I do not approve of. We live in a tri-plex (is that what its' called? We have three levels, but none of them are full floors.) and we have a TV on each floor. As a person who grew up in a house without cable, with a 32-inch TV, and strict viewing rules, this is alarming to me.
The kids like their 'shows', and sometimes I like them watching their shows. But there is a lot of weird stuff on TV, and although I don't have them watch commercials, and I watch the shows with them, I get unnerved sometimes. I know The Boy is at the 'magical thinking' stage, and I'm sure TV watching doesn't help that. I want my kids to know that TV isn't real. (I have to remind myself of that after I watch my 'reality' shows!) I want them to be able to shut it off and go outside or go read a book.
As their parent, I know that it is up to me to monitor their TV intake, to talk about the shows, and to remind them to do other activities.
When we do watch TV, I sit with them, and we cuddle and we talk. I do not use the TV as a babysitter. Perhaps as a mother's helper.
I'm still pretty conflicted about this. But in my house growing up, we were taught that TV is bad, and thus it was forbidden fruit. I remember sneaking into the living room late at night to watch my 'shows', and it was my go-to activity if I wasn't feeling well.
New technology and the speed and ease with which these devices have entered our lives makes me question what the new reality will be. It is very likely I will not be able to keep up with my kids, and that scares me. But I am a self-proclaimed Luddite, a term I find endearing.
What are your viewing habits? Do you let the kids in your life watch TV?

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Baker's One Bowl Brownies

Another recipe from a package:
Baker's One Bowl Brownies
prep time: 15 min.    total time: 50 min        makes: 24 servings

what you need:
  • 1 pkg. (4 oz) Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate (any brand will do, I'm sure)
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped Planters pecans (I used Jewel brand mixed nuts-turns out peanuts are a little weird in brownies)
Make it:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over the sides. (I used a few sheets.) Spray foil with cooking oil. (I used a dash of sunflower oil.)
Microwave chocolate and butter in large (regular size is fine) microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and pecans; mix well. Pour into prepared plan.
Bake 30-35 minutes (mine took the full 35) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Do not overbake. Cool completely. Use foil handles to lift brownies from pan before cutting to serve.

My BIL says these brownies were rich and delicious. I agree! Hope you do too.