Cowgazer's blogging moos
Friday, August 25, 2006  

Well, summer is over and kidlets are back in school (insert happy dance here).

Guess it's time for me to update huh? It's only been eons! *snort*

Summer started with a trip to Seattle (kidfree) where I was lucky enough to stay several days with Kathryn and then meet up with Eliz in the Market!! Ohhhh.. I could have spent days and days there in the market area. The sights and smells and vendors selling darned near anything you could imagine. It was amazing and even better to share that with friends!!

Then there was sleepovers and family visits and more sleepovers and kids everywhere. Typical summer break stuff I suppose and nothing rushed or stressfull.

Then there was the hike. Eliz, her daughter and I strapped on backpacks and walked into the woods on a hot August weekend.

It was alot tougher than I thought and several times I wanted to have a tantrum and beg someone to carry me, but the glory of making to MacAfee's Knob was outstanding!

Next time though, I will weigh EVERYTHING that goes into the pack and take only what is absolutely needed to lighten that bitch up!! And yes, I'm thinking there might indeed be a next time... we'll see.. I think it depends quite alot on WHO you have along. Eliz and Kari were easy and funny and .. just made the thing worthwhile. Thanks you 2, for a memorable adventure!!



















Then My mother and I and the boys went to the beach for a week.. Awesome!! I could live on the beach. Give me a good book, a comfy sand chair and something cool to drink and I'm good for hours and hours!
Beach pictures to follow soon.

Then after being back for 1 1/2 days, school started and the house is quiet and anything I clean or straighten actually stays that way for a while!!

A good sumer though..

Oh yeah... and I turn the big 40 tomorrow... Cheers!

11:42 AM

Friday, June 23, 2006  

Well once again, I've been bad about updating here.

It seems I haven't had time to do much of anything. End of school had me running to all the events they pack in for those last few weeks like a crazed person. Then I got to go visit Kath in Seattle and just had a great time! Then Eliz joined us for a day of laughter and walking and shopping and eating! I can't tell you how wonderfuly that recharged my batteries!

While I missed my family (well, okay.. Didn't really miss them all that much LOL), I think I needed that kidfree, husband free little getaway!

Now I'm home again and kids are here all day. Thank god for the pool! It's saved lives here already. Plus when friends want to come over it allows for them to hang out and have fun OUTSIDE.

The cousins came visiting last weekend and that was fun. Not to mention easy! They all get along well so there is no fighting or whining.

8:09 AM

Tuesday, May 02, 2006  


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Jack's tin lantern


9:40 AM

 


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Jack's (he was a cooper) house and shop!


9:40 AM

 

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A paper colonial villiage

9:39 AM

 


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Colonial songs!


9:38 AM

 

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Drummer

9:37 AM

 


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Colonial guy in uniform


9:37 AM

 


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Corn husk doll making!


9:35 AM

 


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Colonial games (toss the corn cob into a basket)


9:34 AM

 

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The blacksmith demonstration

9:33 AM

Thursday, April 27, 2006  
So tomorrow is the fun and exciting Colonial Days at Ye Olde Elementary School. Jack has his 'outfit' (DH rolles eye at this as HE says females have 'outfits' and males just have clothes, but trust me, Jack is wearing an outfit!!)

I volunteered to make some colonial dish and a recipe for Lemon Curd Squares comes home. (recipe below). It occurs to me that lemons would be a rarity among the common Joe's of the villiage in colonial times and feel overly eager to quiz his humorless teacher on this topic tomorrow (insert evil grin here).

Anyway, the questionable Lemon Squares are done, Jack's OUTFIT is ready to go, the tin lantern (which came out GREAT) is ready, the report is done, Jack has his lines for the play memorized and he knows how to do the Virginia Reel. So what is left? Parents are encouraged to also dress the part. Great! Nothing like a little notice huh? Long skirts and long aprons will do, they say. Okay, the only long skirted number I have in no way, shape or form could remotely be considered colonial. Slinky, yes. Colonial, nary a chance. And really, how many of us just happen to have long aprons tucked away these days? I have a full one stuffed in the laundry room that has a rude saying on it but somehow, I'm thinking it would be frowned upon. Maybe I can be the Villiage tart? *sigh*

So, check back in the next few days and I'll hopefully have some pictures up of all the fun.!

Lemon Curd Squares

1 cup flour
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) of melted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 beaten eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

Mix together flour and confectioner's sugar. Add and combine the melted butter. Press the mixture evenly into an 8x8 greased pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350.

Meanwhile, combine the other ingredients. Pour this mixture over the warm crust. Bake for 25 minutes. Chill then cut into squares. Sprinkle top with confectioner's sugar.

*** The crust on this is sooo good!

3:01 PM

Wednesday, April 26, 2006  
Jack had to write a Haiku for homework last night under the topic of Spring. He whined and complained but came up with a pretty good one.

Spring

Flowers are blooming
smiling, cheerful and happy
Dancing in the fields

I decided to come up with one of my own

Period

Due any minute
crabby, grumpy and aching
Chocolate a must

See? not so hard at all! LOL

1:10 PM

Monday, April 10, 2006  
So on Friday evening, while eating some leftover pizza, I managed to break a tooth. It's a back tooth so cosmetically speaking, I could care less. However, you DO use those back teeth for chewing so on the importance scale it rates pretty damn high. Worse news, it hurts like a Mo-Fo!

I find some tooth repair kit at CVS that could help. What a joke this stuff is! You are supposed to wash and DRY the affected tooth before applying this miracle cure. So you are set up to fail right from the get go. Teeth are in the mouth, bathed in saliva. Drying a tooth lasts for about 1/2 a second and trust me, the ball of repair stuff ain't coming off your finger that fast.

Best bet seems to be to just jam the stuff on there as fast as humanly possible, then bite down to keep it in place. Of course, if you have any pain, this method will drive you to your knees with tears streaming down your face.

Then, within a few hours, bits of the repair stuff you will find floating around in your mouth and have to spit it out all day. Much the same as a tobacco chewer must do. Lovely.

I call the dentist office first thing Monday morn and get told of a 2:00pm appointment for Tuesday! Yipee, I think to myself! Then I hear, "Um, Ma'am? That's next Tuesday, not tomorrow". SHIT! A week and a day of this? I did explain that the tooth was broken and painful (emergency, right?). "Oh that does sounds nasty. You could call and check for cancellations in the mornings and if we have one maybe we could get you in sooner" *sigh* Yeah, thanks. Off I trot to the bathroom to torture myself with the repair paste again..

9:52 AM

Saturday, April 08, 2006  
During a cleanup session w/ Jack and Mitch.

Jack- Come ON Mitch, put that car away and get those books in the shelf

Mitch- I AM, quit rushing me

Jack- Why do you have to take so long to do something so simple?

Mitch- I DON'T

Jack- You do so, now quit acting like an idiot.. I think you just do it so I end up doing most of the work.

Mitch- Nuh uh.. Maybe I really AM an idiot..... wait

Obviously, Mitch needs to work on his witty comebacks eh? LOLOLOL

11:01 AM

Saturday, March 18, 2006  
Last night, my new 10 yr old informed me that since he WAS now 10 (and he made 10 sound as though it was nearing 30), he'd like to have a cup of coffee in the morning. I managed not to laugh (actually I pretended to drop something so I would have the few seconds to compose my face), and told him that would be fine, I'd happily include an extra cup for him.

Flash forward to this morning, coffee pot sputtering. I pour my own cup and ask the BIG man how he'd like his coffee.. I spy the look of confusion on his face. I ask "do you want cream and sugar or black". The confusion clears (sortof) and he says "black, thanks" in a rather manly tone. Oh goodie, I think, and pour his cup and set it in front of him. Then casually walk away to giggle to myself and watch him out of the corner of my eye.

He picks up the cup and takes a healthy gulp. The look on his face was priceless and I almost peed myself trying not to shout with laughter. He swallows and even though I KNOW he wanted to spit it out and choke, he didn't. A few moments of complete silence, then I hear "uhm, Mom? maybe cream and sugar would be okay". I practically skip over and pick up his cup. I add cream and sugar, stirring merrily. I bring it back to him. He stares at the cup with suspicion, heaves a huge sigh, and takes another cautious sip. It's better but not what he thought. Not at all. He DID drink the whole cup, took him about an hour. LOLOLOL

7:57 PM

Friday, March 17, 2006  
Happy 10th Birthday Jack!! I wish for you to keep your enthusiasm and excitement for all you approach in life!

10:52 AM

Tuesday, March 14, 2006  


"the lazy gardener"

Sometimes, it pays to be lazy. In the fall, I would do darned near anything other than rake leaves. It's on of those chores I truly HATE. So rather than do this evil task, I half assed kicked and raked all the leaves from the backyard into the herb garden. I said "but honey, it'll protect them over the winter". Hubmeister rolled his eyes at this and accepted the fact that no more raking was going to be done.

Yesterday and today, I have been dragging back the now icky leaves to prepare for this years planting there and what do I see????

The 1st is CHIVES!! Both regular and garlic! The 2nd is a hearty bit of ROSEMARY.. HOLY SHIT!! The leaf mounds actually worked!

I am all knowing and wise.. I can hardly wait to point out my wisdom to the skeptical husband!!

1:39 PM

Friday, March 03, 2006  
Happy 13th Birthday my sweet Katarina!! May you experience nothing but joy and love and happiness!!


12:07 PM

Wednesday, March 01, 2006  
Sometimes, school irks me to no end. They seem to go for months with nothing much exciting going on, then BAM, tons of shit happening all at once. For Jack's class, they have an overnight field trip to Williamsburg & Jamestown, a science fair and Colonial Days at school.. All happening in the latter half of March.. The field trip isn't too bad, just sign about a million reams of papers, make sure he takes clean clothes and a toothbrush and he's good to go..

The science fair is another story.. 1st off, I HATE that it's mandatory. Jack likes science and does well in it, but is NOT excited about doing a project. So after waiting until the very last second to decide on WHAT the effing project IS (with me hounding him daily, of course) I now have to continue the hounding process to get him to do anything on it.. Look, I already passed 4th grade science AND bitched my way through my own time wasting science fair projects that I had zero interest in.. And here I am telling my kid how important it is and pushing him to do the very same. I feel like a hypocrite and really want to be honest with him and say "I know this is a pain in the ass and is doing NOTHING to further your education, but your stupid teachers are insisting so just do the damn thing and get it over with".. *sigh*

Then, we have Colonial Days. This is actually sort of fun but it too requires a hell of alot of the students... Here is the list and tell me what you think.
1) Ancient Letter
2) Colonial Job Report
3)Biography of Famous Colonial Virginian
4) Hornbook
5) Mob caps (girls) or Buckles (boys)
6) Booklet of Colonial Terms
7) Colonial Town construction
8) Be part of the Colonial Days play (memorizing lines)
9) Learn to dance the Virginia Reel
10) Cooperative Colonial Days Preparation (sets for play)
11) Polite Colonial Day Participation in period dress
12) 2 Colonial projects (choices are)
a) design and write a Virginia Travel Brochure
b) design and draw a map of VA showing historical places
c) Do a project or report on a famous historical event
d) Teach a 10 minute lesson to the class on some event in VA history
e) Do a report on the 8 Virginian Presidents
f) Do a report on some local history before 1828
g) Report on VA's colonial crafts
h) Make a board game or puzzle about VA's geography or history (20 questions, at least)
i) Read a book on colonial life and make a report (book must be approved by teacher)
j) Make a map of a typical colonial plantation (only 1 project can be a map)
k) Make a 3 dimensional replica of the Jamestown fort
l) Draw a cartoon strip about an event in VA history (see teacher before you begin) Cartoon must be at least 8 frames and in full color.
m) Make a colonial item and write a report about how you did it.
1) make candles (must be dipped)
2) make a tin lantern
3) make soap
4) make a weather vane

Now imagine doing all this crap AND a science fair project AND keeping up with all the other day to day stuff required of a 4th grader (reading, homework, journaling). It seems a tad too much to me, which means the PARENTS will be doing ALOT of this.. Once again, I have already passed 4th grade history... With all this, it's hard to have a positive response when your child comes home looking overwhelmed and panicked..

12:22 PM

Sunday, February 26, 2006  
Hmm, once again I have been neglectful here..

THE TOOTH finally did fall out, with no help. After all the whining and pleading, it fell out during dinner with a tiny smear of blood. Of course, we all cheered and jumped about like lunatics, as required.. Mitch quickly reminded me that we need to put it under his pillow so the tooth fairy could bring him a million dollars for it.. Ahem... Uhm.. A million dollars??? LOL If only!! Since he is but 6, and really has no concept of money amounts, he acted as though the single dollar bill left was worth a million!! And the tooth fairy was pleased to note that Mitch sleeps like the dead and she probably could have rolled him to and fro on the bed without him waking :)
Quite different from his brother. I've practically killed myself trying to sneak money under HIS pillow.. The tiny floor squeak upon entering their room sounds and he's awake.. *sigh* I think the worse was the time I stepped on something (an army man or dinosaur I believe it was) while trying to be stealthy in my tooth fairy quest.. It felt like a dagger had been plunged into the bottom of my foot and I couldn't make a sound.. I then stumbled sideways like a drunk and slammed my pinky toe into the bunk bed ladder.. Which sent me careening towards the body of the still sleeping child.. To save the day, I managed to leap onto said ladder (think Tarzan) while my mind screamed several filthy curse words... I think he changed position in bed and maybe farted, but DID stay asleep.. After limping out, dollar bill safely under the pillow, DH says "what took so long"? I'm fairly proud that I didn't punch him in the nose..

Other than THE TOOTH, we have been trying to stay well. Poor Kathy has a lowered immunity since her surgery so had caught EVERY bug and virus out there, and in turn, passed it around here.

We've had the puking thing, twice.. We've had snotty noses, we've had mystery fevers... I am SO looking forward to spring, if nothing else to air out the house with fresh, germ free air!

Mitch and Jack competed in a chess tournament (Mitch's 1st). They both did lousy but a good experience I suppose. Now that it's done, Mitch has decided he'd like to do it again (he got cold feet days before the last one and wanted to back out). So they are entered for another. This one is a 2 day tournament so I'll take the Saturday and DH will take the Sunday.. Sure hope they do better this time around!!


11:22 AM

Saturday, January 28, 2006  
OH MY GOD... Will this tooth never fall out?????

I'm ready to sneak into his bedroom at night while he's asleep and remove this loose tooth. It is hanging on by a mere suggestion of of skin and looking as though a good strong wind would cause it's removal.. Yet, it's still there.

I have asked (about a billion times) if I could touch it.. (thinking to be done with this drama already) But no.. I may not touch it, look at it or even think about it since it sends him running and screaming into some small place to hide. I offered every hard, crisp and chewy food known to man in an attempt to *help* it be gone..

It must be some tough bit of skin.

2:29 PM

Saturday, January 21, 2006  
This week as I was searching the boys room for lost/forgotten socks to wash, I found something else.. Something I was really not ready to find. On the top bunk (the one that never gets slept in), under a plastic tub filled with PS2 games, I found a Victoria's Secret catalog.

It didn't hit me at first, since ignorance is bliss. I thought huh, whats that doing in here.. Then it turned into "Holy shit, what is THAT doing in here", followed closely with "iiicccckkkkk".

Apparently, the 10 yr old is growing up and I will need to figure out what to say about this discovery that will not embarass him and encourage him to ask questions. Since I am not and have never been a growing boy, I'm in unfamiliar territory here. And I'd also like to burst his bubble by pointing out that real women do NOT look that perfect and it's an unrealistic image.

On the one hand, this is totally a natural thing and all children at some point are curious. And a VS catalog is fairly tame material. Like the Nat'l Geo my brother saw that showed him his first naked boobies. lol

BUT.... he shares this room with his 6yr old brother... And I can't help but wonder how soon the ogling at a nearly naked body will roll into other 'discoveries'.. (another iccckkk added here).

I think it may be time to seriously persue the addition to our house. Obviously, the time is coming when privacy is needed here. (iiiccckkk)

Any pointers (no pun intended) would be welcome!!

12:56 PM

Saturday, January 14, 2006  
It's happened!! Finally, my baby (well, okay he's 6, but still..) has his 1st loose tooth. He ate an apple for snack on Friday and a tiny bit of blood was there and *walla*, his tooth is loose. He was running in the door to show me this miracle. He shoved his face about 2 inches from mine and gave it a wiggle with his tongue. "Look Mom, it moves!" Jack was standing there, waiting for my reaction.

I lept from the couch and thew my hands in the air and shouted WooooHooo! Jack quickly joined in and danced around with me. Mitch, standing still with no smile on his face, never said a word. In fact, he looked very sad and worried.

I go hug him and ask what's wrong, aren't you excited? It means you're growing up sweetie.

"No" he says, "I don't want to grow up and get old and loose all my teeth"

Uhm... "Babe, these are just your baby teeth. Baby teeth fall out and you get new grown up teeth in their place" "it happens to everyone"

Oh my. I guess this was never something we discussed. He thought he would forever have a missing tooth. I had a hard time not laughing.

His expression cleared and happiness replaced that sad/worried look. "So, lots of teeth will fall out and then grow back?" *sigh*

Then I asked if I could wiggle the tooth with my finger, very gently, of course.. He hesitates, then a rather unsure "I think so". Slowly and carefully, I use my index finger and reach towards his mouth. I think we were both holding our breath. I'm nearly there. His mouth opens a tiny bit wider. I'm there!! I'm touching the loose tooth!! I start to give a very gentle wiggle... He yelped/screamed at the very second so of course, I yelped a tad too. Wasn't expecting that!! My yelp futher frightened him and he burst into tears. UGH! I told him I didn't have to touch it anymore and would take the greatest pleasure in watching, from afar, as HE wiggled it with his tongue.

Jeez, what a drama queen!!

10:35 AM

Tuesday, January 10, 2006  
My husband got a cookbook for Christmas. A chocolate lovers cookbook to be specific. Chocolate cookies, bars and brownies. Chocolate cakes, tortes, bombes. Even pies and puddings and sauces.

I have looked through this book (drooling all the while) several times. Have even marked some things that really appealed to me.

This was done directly after DH and I had the "we really must join the gym" conversation.

I then thought the giver of this book must be a truely evil person. They want us to be big as houses with chocolate stains around our mouths.
Who is this sick individual? *sigh* My mother, of course..

1:26 PM

Monday, January 09, 2006  
After a horrid 3 weeks, my girl is finally home. Thank you all for the prayers, positive thoughts, hugs, kindness and concern. I was deeply touched. I couldn't have had a better outcome for what, at times, was considered a fatal incident.
Recovery will be slow but, she will recover. I'm grateful.

11:01 PM

Thursday, December 08, 2005  
Raspberry Fondue Dip
Prep/total time- 25 min

1 package (10 oz) frozen sweetened raspberries
1 cup apple butter
1 tbsp red-hot candies
2 tsp cornstarch
Assorted fresh fruit

Place raspberries in a bowl; set aside to thaw. Strain raspberries, reserving 1 tbsp juice; discard seeds.
In a small saucepan, combine strained berries, apple butter and red-hots. Cook over med heat until the candies are dissolved, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine constarch and reserved juice until smooth; stir into berry mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir over med heat for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Transfer to a serving dish, fondue pot or slow cooker. Serve warm or cold with fruit. Makes about 1 cup
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Cucumber Shrimp Spread
prep/total time- 10 min

1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp mayonaise
1 tbsp ketchup
1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 can (4 oz) tiny shrimp, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped, seeded and peeled cucumber
1 tsp finely chopped onion
Assorted crackers

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayo, ketchup, mustard and garlic powder until smooth. Stir in the shrimp, cucumber and onion. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Serve w/ crackers. Makes about a cup
** Note, you can use reduced fat cream cheese and fat free mayo
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Creamy Black Bean Dip
prep- 10 min + chilling

2 packages (8 oz each) fat free cream cheese, cubed
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained; divided
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
6 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
a dash of cayenne pepper

For the Topping
1/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
2 tbsp diced tomato
2 tbsp chopped green onion
Baked tortilla chips

In a food processor, cover and process cream cheese until smooth. Add half of the beans. Cover; pulse until blended. Transfer to a bowl; stir in cheese, onions, cumin, cayenne and remaining beans. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, garnish withthe cheese, tomato and onion. Serve with tortilla chips. Makes about 3 cups

10:51 AM

Wednesday, December 07, 2005  
Pistachio Cranberry Bark
prep time- 20 min + chilling

2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
5 oz white candy coating, chopped
1 cup chopped pistachios. toasted & divided
3/4 cup dried cranberries, divided

In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Repeat with candy coating. Stir 3/4 cup pistachios and half the cranberries into semisweet chocolate. Thinly spread onto a waxed paper lined baking sheet.
Drizzle with candy coating. Cut through with a knife to swirl. Sprinkle with remaining pistachios and cranberries. Chill until firm. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes about 1lb
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Cranberry Feta Cheesecake
prep time- 20 min
bake- 30 min + chilling

7 crisp sesame breadsticks, crushed (about 2/3 cup)
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup ricotta cheese
8 oz crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp prepared horseradish
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 carton (12 oz) cranberry-orange sauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
assorted crackers

In a bowl, combine the breadstick crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 5 min. cool on a wire rack.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the ricotta, feta and cream until smooth. Add the cornstarch and horseradish; mix well. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in the cranberry-orange sauce, pecans, thyme and rosemary. Spoon onto crust. Place pan on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 min.

Carefully run a knifearound the edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hr longer. Cover and into the fridge overnight. Let cheesecake stand at room temp 30 min before serving. Remove sides of pan.
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Cranberry Cheesecake Tart
prep time- 30 min+ chilling

Pastry for single crust pie (9 in)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2/3 cup water
3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
Sugar substitude = to 1 tbsp sugar
1 package (8 oz) reduced fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups reduced fat whipped topping, divided
1 tsp grated lemon peel

Press pastry onto bottom and up the sides of a 10 in tart pan with removable bottom. Bake at 400 for 9-11 min or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth. Add cranberries. Bring mixture to a boil over med heat.
Reduce heat to low; cook and stir for 3-5 min or until thickened and the berries have popped. Remove from heat, cool to room temp. Stir in the sugar substitude.
In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and 1 cup whipped topping until smooth; add lemon peel. Spread over the pastry; top with the cranberry mixture. Into the fridge for 2-4 hrs or until set. Garnish with remaining cranberries.
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Layered Cranberry Dessert

2 packages (3 oz each) cranberry gelatin
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup melted butter
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese (reduced fat is fine), softened
1 carton (16 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges, drained

In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cranberry sauce and cold water until blended. Refridgerate for 45 min or until partially set.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter. Press into an ungreased 13x9x2 dish. refridgerate until set.
In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and the remaining sugar until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over the crust. Fold the oranges into the gelatin mixture; spoon over the cream cheese layer. Refridgerate for 4 hrs or until firm. Cut into squares; dollop with remaining whipped topping

12:51 PM

Wednesday, November 30, 2005  
Ok, I know this time of year everyone is supposed to be filled with cheer and the yuletime glow and all that crap.. But If one more well meaninged person reminds me how many days are left til Christmas I may have to hit them. No, I am not all done shopping... In fact, I've barely started.

This is nothing unusual for me. I am the one on Christmas Eve's day still out picking up that last minute thing. While I'm used to this sort of thing, I really don't want to hear how YOU have everything bought, wrapped, shipped and ready to go. Seriously, I really don't. And if you tell me this I could very well strike you upside the head with whatever is handy. Then, maybe, I'll be filled with glee!! Hehehehehe

Just as soon as all the stuff is done, I swear, I'll be jolly. I'll sing carols. I'll roast chestnuts even. Just please, shut the hell up til I'm done!!

3:41 PM

Thursday, November 17, 2005  
We are avid football watchers here in Hokie country. At one time we had tickets for home games there in Lane stadium. After a while (read: after we started having babies), going to the games became a problem. At least going together. Finding a babysitter on a game day was near impossible so eventually, we stopped getting the tickets. Now we have several friends who do still get tickets (their kids are older and need no sitter), so it's still possible for us to attend a game here and there.

Harder if Tech is doing well. I know at the game w/ Miami (a dismal loss) some fool paid 1700.00 for a single ticket!! Yikes!

My brother, who comes here every Thanksgiving, asked if it would be possible to get tickets to the NC game (Saturday after Thankgiving). Hubby said he'd try. He was lucky and found a friend who was going out of town. So he has two tickets. He was so proud of himself. The seats, I noticed, are in the GG section. Wayyyyy up top. At some point soon, I will have to bring this news to his attention.. But for now. He can gloat!

He apologized for only getting two (leaving me home with the kids) and I plan to milk that for all it's worth. So, perhaps I will wait til the last possible minute to point out the seating. I wonder if he and my brother will still be gloating as they climb to the top of the stands, probably freezing their asses off and forced to stand the entire game. I'll be thinking of them fondly as I sit on my comfy sofa, in my warm house watching the game. hehehehehe

10:49 AM

Tuesday, November 15, 2005  
Steph, I hunted up these low or no sugar treats just for you!! ApplesauceCocoa Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup granulated artificial sweetener
2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
Cream together shortening and sugar replacement. Add egg and blend well.
Sift all dry ingredients together and add alternately with applesauce and water to creamed mixture. Be sure to add flour first and last.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.
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Apple Cranberry Streussel Pie
Provided by: EQUAL® Sweetener

"Colorful pie that pairs seasonal cranberries and apples. Crunchy topping adds to the overall crisp texture. Serve warm topped with frozen vanilla yogurt."

INGREDIENTS:
Pastry for a single crust 9-inch pie
1 cup Equal® Spoonful*
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed cranberries
1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
1/4 cup Equal® Spoonful**
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups sliced, cored, peeled Granny Smith or other baking apples
Streussel Topping:
1/4 cup quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Equal® Spoonful***
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons cold stick butter or margarine, cut into pieces
DIRECTIONS:
Roll pastry on floured surface into circle 1 inch larger than inverted 9-inch pie pan. Ease pastry into pan; trim and flute edge.
Combine 1 cup Equal® Spoonful* and cornstarch in small saucepan; stir in cranberries and apple cider. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute.
Combine 1/4 cup Equal® Spoonful**, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; sprinkle over apples in large bowl and toss to coat. Pour cranberry mixture over apples and mix gently. Arrange fruit in pie pastry; sprinkle Streusel Topping over fruit.
For Streusel Topping, combine oats, flour, 1/2 cup Equal® Spoonful***, cinnamon and nutmeg in small bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit in pie pastry.
Bake pie in preheated 400 degrees F oven until pastry is golden and apples are tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Cover pie loosely with aluminum foil during last 20 to 30 minutes of baking time to prevent overbrowning. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm.
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Okay, so maybe this isn't so low sugar *snort* but would be something cool to give as gifts. And something both kids and adults would like. Hard Rock Candy

"Spicy, cinnamon flavored hard candy. Wrap pieces of it in decorative bags for perfect stocking stuffers. You can vary the flavor by substituting lemon, orange, anise, or other oils. These flavored oils can be found in candy making supply stores and drugstores." Original recipe yield: 3 pounds


INGREDIENTS:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 3/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon oil
1 teaspoon red food coloring
DIRECTIONS:
Roll the edges of two 16 inch square pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle the foil very generously with confectioners' sugar.
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the white sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Stop stirring, and boil until a candy thermometer reads 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C). Remove from heat.
Stir in the cinnamon oil and food coloring. Pour onto the prepared foil, and allow to cool and harden. Crack into pieces, and store in an airtight container. You could also pour into molds

11:43 AM

Monday, November 14, 2005  
Ginger Raisin Cookies

1/4lb, plus 4 tbsp butter, softened to room temp.
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 cup raisins
Additional granulated sugar for coating

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in egg and molasses. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Stir into creamed mixture. Stir in raisins and mix well.Chill cookie mixture for 1 hr, or longer.
Preheat oven to 375. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen
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High Fiber, Low Sugar Oatmeal Chews

1/2 cup raisins
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp buttermilk powder (can find this at a health food store)
1 tbsp miller's bran (unprocessed bran)
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted, raw or roasted)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (whatever you like)
1/2 cup prunes or apricots, diced
1 egg
1/3 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350. Simmer raisins in 1 cup water for 5 minutes to plump them. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.
Mix whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, buttermilk powder and bran. Add oats, sunflower seeds, nuts and prunes or apricots. Mix well.
Beat together the egg, reserved 1/4 cup raisin water, safflower oil and honey. Stir liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix well. Drop bt teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes, or until slightly brown around the edges. Makes 2-3 dozen.
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Pfeffernusse Cookies

1/2 cup vegtable shortening
1/4 lb butter or margerine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey
2 eggs
1 cup black coffee (not too hot)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp aniseed
7 cup flour
3 tsp baking soda

Cream together shortening, butter, and both sugars. Beat in honey and eggs.Beat in coffee. Stir in all the spices. Sift together flour and baking soda. Stir into liquid ingredients. This will make a soft sticky dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 375. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and roll in confectioners sugar. Makes about 300 cookies

3:13 PM

 
My Buddy Steph, has her Yule cookie list up and ready to drool over. So I thought I'd dig up some treats as well. Not sure if I'll make all of these or not, but they all look and sound good!

Almond Shortbread

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup blanched almonds, finely ground

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating til light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, beat well. Stir in almond extract. Gradually add flour and almonds, stirring until well blended.

Press dough into a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut into 2 inch squares while warm. Cool in pan 10 minutes, and remove to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen
**************************************************************************
Orange Balls

1 (12 oz) package vanilla wafers
1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup butter or margerine, softened
1 (6 oz) can concentrated frozen orange juice, thawed and undiluted
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Flaked coconut (optional)

Crush vanilla wafers to make fine crumbs. Add sugar, butter and orange juice, mixing well.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll balls in pecans and coconut (if desired). Chill until firm. Makes about 6 dozen
***********************************************************************************
Mint Chocolate Snaps

1 (6 oz) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup, plus 1 1/2 tbsp shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy
additional sugar

Melt morsels in top of a double broiler over simmering water.
Cream shortening in a large mixing bowl, gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add chocolate, beating well. Add egg, syrup and flavorings, beat well.
Combine flour, soda and salt in a mixing bowl, stir in chocolate mixture and peppermint candy.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls, and roll in additional sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Makes about 7 dozen.
*******************************************************************************
Raspberry Cookies

2 cups butter or margerine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp almond extract
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
sesame seeds
Raspberry preserves

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl, gradually add sugar. Add almond extract, flour and salt, mix well. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sesame seeds. Place 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten cookies slightly and indent centers with thumb. Fill centers with raspberry preserves. Bake at 400 for 12 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen.


I'll add more as I see them!!

11:36 AM

Thursday, November 10, 2005  
I am still here.. really. Just seem to have the blahs and ho-hums as far as writing anything.

The 1st cold landed here already. Brought home from the 9yr old and passed lovingly to all. It's passed now, for the most part. Though all are still sniffling and coughing.

I tried that Zicam stuff and it did seem to help but next time will go with the swab thingies. I got the nose spray (but really, it's more of a nose glue) and didn't read it til I got home. Nose spray/gel/glue can only be used by 1 person, whereas the swabs could be used by all.

**************************************************************************************

Fall is really and for sure here now as well. Even on sunny days it's chilly and windy. Makes me want to start hibernating already and ignore chores. Reading while snuggled under the covers really is a nice time way to squander my time. I loved the latest installment from Janet Evanovich and Diana Gabaldon.

*******************************************************************************

Kathy and Mitch went last week for their flu shots. I dicussed this with Mitch in great detail and all was well til we were in the Dr's office. I asked if he'd like to go 1st or if he'd rather Kathy went 1st. Big mistake, that. He, of course, said SHE should go 1st. Okay. Fine. As the nurse was pulling the needle out of Kathy, Mitch starts crying and saying he wants to leave. Now mind you, Kathy has hardly made a peep while getting her shot.

I say, "But look, your sister isn't upset, she's not even crying". Apparently, he didn't care that she wasn't crying and had no interest in being a big brave boy. His attitude was, screw that, I'm afraid and will cry and make you feel awful for bringing me here. After much bribery with halloween candy and telling him I would hold him for the whole time (*snort* yeah, flu shot takes a whopping 2 seconds), the dreaded shot was administered and we were out the door. Later, when Dad asked if he was brave, he shook his head and told him "no Daddy, I was a big baby about it and cried and tried to leave". LOL I guess I can at least say he's an honest kid.

11:58 AM

Sunday, September 25, 2005  
Hmm, guess I need to update here. Between back to school and regular day to day junk, I seem to be MIA!

Finally, Kathy's aides are trained up and I no longer have to trot myself over to the middle school for that. Whew! She seems to be having a grand time this year with very little of the 'hissy fits' we had last year. Her aides are nice people who seem to enjoy their jobs and now that we've adjusted her classes (groan), she is a happy girl!

Jack announced on the 2nd day of school that 4th grade SUCKS! What a cheery start, I thought to myself. Apparently, 4th grade is harder than 3rd. Imagine that! Also, 4th graders are expected to be organized (Bwa ha ha ha), and keep track of their daily homework via the assignment books. I have already had several discussions about this assignment book and can clearly see, it will be a constant argument. Now, I too hate the assignment book. I'd like to cover the assignment book in dog doody and mail it to his teacher. However, since I'm a grown up and this may be a drastic step backwards on the old maturity road, I will pretend to love it and sprout all these stupid sayings to my son about how helpful this will be for his future.

Mitch is loving kindergarten. He's making friends and riding the bus (apparently this was a huge draw for going to school). He cannot hardly get through the door before proudly displaying the work he's done. He's mad because he has no homework! He told me this in front of Jack. Jack looked at him as though he should be in a padded room. After he stopped stammering, he told Mitch that he'd be getting homework soon enough, and would grow to hate it. After I twisted Jack's ear, I told Mitch that homework will be fun and I could hardly wait to help him with it (huge, huge lie).

Other happenings include the big 16 years of marriage celebration. This mostly consisted of hubby and me eating fatty foods and too much cake. There was a bottle or two of wine in there as well. Sadly, we felt like crap the next day and he had to truck off to an out of town meeting so overeating was about the extent of our celebration. Sucks being old farts!


Future attractions might be horsebackriding lessons for the boys. They have both attended Kathy's hippotherapy and seem pretty desperate to ride a horse. Of course, I won't make it that simple. If they should ride a horse, they should also learn to care for the horse. So the lessons will include catching the horse in the pasture (taking my camera for this one), fitting it out properly with blanket and saddle and bridle and bit, proper riding, then caring for the horse after. They are unaware of these bonus items. They think they will hop on and walk around, then go home. Won't they be surprised? Gosh, being a parent is fun!

8:55 PM

Thursday, September 22, 2005  
Another birthday has come and gone. My last year as a 30 something woman. *sigh*

But hey, 40 is the new 30, right?

Yeah... bite me.

On the brighter side, I got carded for my birthday lunch...

10:52 AM

Wednesday, July 13, 2005  
Okay, the grand total for school supplies came to 47.83. Gotta love Walmart. This includes a backpack and the damned tissues that seem so crucial to our public school system. Funny, my kids hardy ever use tissues at home, that's what their hands and shirts are for. Yet, every grade asks for a couple boxes per student. Is there a black market on these or what?

I also had to buy some new sandals for Mitch, since he left his laying on the floor and Daisy happily chewed them to bits. Apparently this took place on his bedroom floor (where I found the remains) while he was IN THE ROOM with her. Did it occur to him to maybe remove them from her slobbery mouth? Or to at least shout NO DAISY? Of course not. *sigh* Somehow, it's my fault. I think I told someone she was getting better about chewing stuff recently.

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After the daily downpour this afternoon (Damn Dennis), I noticed the ole herb garden looked a tad.. Skimpy. The dill is shredded to bare stalks, the parsley is about gone.

I remarked to hubby about this and he said he saw two groundhogs in the am, busy in the yard. We have the BB gun loaded with critter pellets and ready to go by the back door but we are less than accurate in our aim and rather slow on the draw. By the time we are actually ready to fire the thing, the critters are already running for cover. So it is time again to break out the old traps and start the relocation process. I bought a great looking bunch of parsley to lure them in since they seem so fond of it.

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Also, some good news, the Pergo flooring installer has called to say next Thursday is a go. Now the less than pleasant task of removing everything from the family room and hauling up the beyond funky carpet and padding. I'll start the removal process tomorrow. Wondering where I'll put furniture though.. Never occured to me before.. DAMN!


10:27 PM

 
Today's mission is back to school shopping for the suggested list of crap they'll need to tote in on the 1st day of school.. I'm hopeful that no one else will be doing the same so I can get it done with little bloodshed. That they will wait til the week before (like I used to do) and be frantic to find these items. We'll see..

The list is.

Mitch:
backpack (already has)
beach towel (already has)
tissues
$25 (for the supposedly already bought by the teachers supplies)

Jack:
backpack
1 pk Expo Markers
scissors (already has)
white glue
ruler (already has)
2 boxes of tissues
colored pencils (long-6-8 colors)
2 pks notebook paper (no college rule)
2 boxes Dixion Ticonderoga brand #2 pencils
1 spiral notebook (100 page non perforated)
1 composition book (sewn, black and white cover)
1 Two inch 3-ring binder
6 folders w 3 brads & pockets inside
1 pkg of 20 top loading 3 holed clear sheet protectors
$2.50 for assignment planner

Kathy:
nothing!! She has all she needs leftover from last year!!

10:45 AM

Saturday, July 09, 2005  
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
This is what life would be like had I had 6 kids! LOL The girlfriend I stayed with in MD also has 3 kids (all boys). Add my 3 in the mix and it made for some interesting days. Ages 12 (2), 9, 6, 5 and 3. You can imagine how hard it was to capture all 6 in a photo, so we'll cherish this one!

9:30 AM

Sunday, July 03, 2005  
I'm back from the MD trip and feel so so tired. Corralling 3 kids for a week in someone else's home is WORK!! I felt grateful when we managed to leave the house on time. And exhausted. We didn't do any sight seeing this time but did experience Chuck-E- Cheese full force and discovered that triple A can be at your location in 75 minutes when your son has locked your keys in the car. Good to know I guess, but jeez!!

Home in time to celebrate hubby's birthday (this means that we had to race out and shop for prezzies and cake with luggage still in the back of the car). Once that celebration was done, I get to scrub toilets and mop floors for the arrival of MIL. Aren't I the lucky girl?

Here's where I begin to ramble.. DH was not a virgin when we met!! Shocking huh? LOL Yes, he'd had sex before.. Relationships even..From this came a child, a daughter to be exact. Jessica. When she was about 2 1/2, DH caught her mother with another man.. For the 2nd time. . It was over for them then, obviously. However, in order to wound DH to the max, this woman/girl decided to take Jessica far far away. So from about 3 yrs old on, she never saw her father. At the time, DH was also young and did not have the wherewithall to search them out. Oh he tried to find out info and such, but to no avail. They both had vanished.

Forward 12 or so years later when ex's husband dies in a car wreck. Jessica is heartbroken as she mourns her 'father'. Her grandfather, drunk and loud, announces that her father is not dead at all but was alive and well. The truth (shit) hits the fan and she discovers that her 'father' was not really her father after all.. Fairly deep shit for a 14 yr old to handle. The phone number for her real father is found and a call in the middle of the night is made to our house. Many phone calls happen after that night.. But Dh is a guy, after all. So doesn't say the right things (as if there is some guide for stuff like this). He talks about stuff but is too afraid to ask much about her and doesn't want to seem bothersome so doesn't call as often as he should. She decides she wants nothing to do w/ him and cuts off all contact. Well, almost all contact.. She maintains connections with DH's mother. Calls and emails and letters and such.

Forward another 10 years when Jessica is now 25. We get a letter from MIL with some pictures. Pitures of Jessica's wedding that we knew nothing about. Naturally, DH is hurt and angry at being left in the dark. Forward a month or so later when we get a note stating that MIL is on her way here fora visit.... Yipeee.. I both dread and look forward to this visit. DH will be tense, MIL will truck out some photo album filled with pictures of an event he should have been a part of. I will pour more wine (for myself) and paste a cheery smile on and try to redirect everyone's attention from the big white elephant that is shitting on the kitchen floor.

Sound fun?? Yeah, I don't think so either. Happy 4th of July!!


9:35 PM





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