Please sign my Guestbook.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Elcie with Caramel last night

Of course the first thing they did was name the kittens. We have Caramel, Raider (Oakland football - boo, hiss), Demon, Fidget, and the other one ?? Elcie is wearing what used to be my heavy flannel duster. Sometime after they go back to school I'll do something about their small bookcase. It holds most of their arts and craft and all of the paper, etc. they need for schoolwork. I organize, they disorganize. They pitched in on the living room yesterday except for Rochelle who was with me and earned her keep that way. Everything picked up, all their videos back in cases and orderly, vacuumed, etc. L., the reason I can't find a vacuum cleaner bag is that my machine doesn't use them. I bet if I went through my closets I'd find some that no longer have a matching machine.

Fahrenheit to Celsius - (212 (boiling) - 32) divided by 1.8 = 100 Celsius (boiling). Celsius to Fahrenheit - (100 Celsius times 1.8) plus 32 = 212 Fahrenheit. Much simpler than the 5/9's formula. Someday my country will join the rest of the world.

It's almost 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 31st here. Happy New Year Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. New Year's Eve for Europe still and morning for me, our midwest and Rocky Mountains, and western Canada. Ontario and our East Coast are early afternoon.

Andrea in Japan has a feature on her sidebar with links to time zones, conversion tables, and other useful international information. I can do rough calculations in my head but it's always a double think for me as I'm sure it is for you when I start talking about miles, ounces, and temperatures.

I spent much of last night browsing through my archives from late September on. Mollie had done an online retrospect which started me wondering how long she and I have been corresponding. I couldn't believe it was just late October; seems like we've known each other forever.

That's how I feel about all of you. I ran across an early comment from L. which, in retrospect, was really funny although I'm sure she didn't intend it to be. She hadn't begun a blog yet and she was one of the main arm twisters to convince me to begin. When she began, she really took off.

I'm glad so many of you liked the picture of Ray. I passed on Roger's comment about tickling to him and he actually smiled. Caught himself quickly though. He has a persona to maintain.

My trip back down the memory lane of my archives reminded me of how much you've all come to mean to me. You've cheered me on through the happy times and been a strong shoulder through some of the sadder moments. You've helped me when I've struggled with computer ineptness, added variety to our diet with recipes, passed on child raising suggestions, told funny stories on your own blogs as well as mine. I've learned more in a personal way about the world and the wonderful people who inhabit it since September than I had in the twenty years preceding.

Too many to list (and the blogroll keeps growing). You all know who you are. Or you can read my neatly organized blog roll. Most of you (except for the non-bloggers) are there.

May 2006 be better for us all than 2005. May we learn to live in harmony with each other and the earth around us. It's the only home we have and I, for one, would like to leave this place for my three generations of kids (5), grandkids (9 & 1/3) and greats (3 living with me) better than I found it.

Happy New Year everyone. I'll lift a glass of Martinelli's at midnight in a silent toast to all of you. Posted by Picasa
Rochelle is in her "gown tail" as we used to say in Arkansas, covered in her sleeping blanket from Camp Green Meadows (inside out). They do have beds but like the living room when there's no school. Now we're alternating, one night in living room, one night in their bunks.

I took Rochelle shopping with me yesterday. We found a full sheet set for her bed in purple that she preferred to the one just like her sister's. Funny how it just slipped my mind that they have different size beds. Their bunk is full size on bottom, twin on top. I had really wanted one that was built like that with a trundle underneath but by the time I got around to looking for one, I couldn't find them anywhere. Now that they're older, it doesn't matter. Elcie has her own room, sort of. She sleeps there, the computer (#2) is on her desk, and she has a hideaway on her "hate the whole world days". The three don't seem to do too well in the same room for any period of time.

I'm sitting here looking out at a dreary sky, empty branches that were full of fall color just a few weeks ago, rain dripping from everything, and trying to plan my day.

I must go to the store. I managed to run out of ground coffee. I switched over to decaf a couple of years ago but I still want my morning fix even though it's only in my head.

Rochelle and I started at the supermarket yesterday. We picked up two boneless chuck roasts, clam broth, bought them out of "sale" hamburger (I'll go back for more) and a couple of miscellaneous things (oh, the Martinelli's Sparkling Cider and plastic fluted champagne glasses). This is the most expensive of our stores, very high end for Merced. However, they sell yesterday's ground beef the next day at a huge discount. There is nothing wrong with it. Other stores do as well of course but Raley's is the best.

Then on to Target for the sheet set, laundry and dish soap, and a few more odds and ends. I wasn't out of nearly as much this month. Sometimes I fill the entire van by the time I buy all the cleaning products, paper goods, medical supplies, and toiletries.

I'm giving Target a shot although I'm not convinced they do much better by their employees than the dreaded Walmart. We'll see. Sometimes reality (fixed retirement income and the small amount we receive for the girls) sets in and back to Walmart I go, at least for non food stuff. I've tried Costco a couple of times. Problem is, I can beat their prices for what I buy much of the time by shopping sales and stocking up. It isn't worth the membership cost just for the few things like their paper products where I would save. Smart and Final is free membership but again, not competitive and I do keep checking back.

How did I get started on that? Anyhow, on to the "used" bread store. Rainbow Bread would hate to hear me call it that but we've called the day old bread store that for as long as I can remember. They aren't the bargain paradise they once were but they are still good. We ended up loaded down with 12 Grain, cinnamon raisin, and half a dozen packages of English muffins. I can have my muffin with marmelade this morning. Oh, and some Moon Pies on sale for 10¢ each.

I took Rebecca along to Jim's house last night and played cards for a couple of hours. Melissa and I were ahead until the final hand and the boys got lucky. Bummer. We play Samba usually, a fancy version of Canasta with more cards and using runs as well as sets. Good partnership game. Sometime pinochle which Jim and I really like and Melissa and Tim tolerate although Melissa has become quite skilled. We taught her cribbage and pinochle. Her education simply wasn't complete until then.

Today back out after coffee and possibly a treat for our New Year's Eve to go with the sparkling cider. I'd like to find the tiny loaves of rye bread and make little sandwiches. "Used" bread had them one year practically as a giveaway but if I can't get them there, they're like buying platinum; especially for this crowd of vultures. Children eat like birds, a peck at a time. We'll probably settle for chips and dip and maybe a small veggie platter. Depends on what I find when I drag myself out of here. I procrastinated yesterday. Raley's was too high and I didn't feel like trucking through a 4th store.

I'm starting over with another picture. This is getting too long. Posted by Picasa

Way too many cats

There are four black and white kittens, one calico kitten, and buried underneath is the mama kitty, another calico.

Rochelle is at her happiest when she's around small critters.

Blog roll now alphabetical. Thanks Andrea.

On way to bed - much too late.

I'll catch up on everything tomorrow. Today was busy. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Again, as good as it's gonna get!!

He hates having his picture taken. The flash bothers him even though this is a very subdued flash.

He said the last time he was photographed smiling was on our wedding day. I'm sure he's right.

Anyhow, this is my wonderful Ray with a brand new haircut and beard trim for the occasion.

Anvilcloud, I just saw you popup. I agree about Sid, he's beautiful, gentle, and smart. I would try to keep him under the radar here but he is his own worst enemy and I don't know how to keep a diaper on a cat. Posted by Picasa

In case I get absent minded (how unusual)

From Chicago Sun-Times Quick Takes today:

Better chill a bunch of bubbly

The Mahayan Buddhist New Year will be Jan. 14.

The Chinese New Year will be Jan. 29.

The Muslim New Year will be Jan. 31.

The Sikh New Year will be March 14.

The Baha'i New Year will be March 21.

The Hindu New Year will be March 30.

The Therevadin Buddhist New year will be April 13.

The Jewish New Year will be Sept. 22.

The Celtic New Year will be Nov. 1.

And then there is the other one.

Happy Other One!

And eat some black-eyed peas.

It will bring you good luck


We substitute navy beans for the black-eyed peas around here.

Cat story. We somehow ended up with a cat named Sid. He was supposed to be here for a few days a month ago. Nobody has ever come to get him. He's an impossible indoor kitty so we've been trying to keep him outside most of the time. We may have to take him to the shelter along with 5 half grown kittens and their mother, none of whom belong to us. We're not supposed to have pets. I can hide one but not that many and Sid is a real nuisance. The girls, of course, are upset but sometimes we just do the best we can. The shelter here has connections with no-kill shelters as well as a good record with adoptions so maybe these kitties will get lucky. Sid is beautiful; he just refuses to be trained although they claim he was previously.

Anyhow, he kept getting back into the house even with doors and windows closed. None of us could figure it out. Finally, the girls' mom spotted him. Sid was climbing to the roof, up the outside of the chimney, and then dropping down the chimney into the fireplace below. Smart cat or dumb cat? I haven't decided. At least we don't use the fireplace. I don't trust the chimneys in older houses.

Carol just finished cutting my hair - long overdue. I don't like my hair around my face or on my neck. She's on a roll tonight. Ray's is being done as well. I may finally take a picture of him when he's not looking like a wild man.

Girls go back to school on January 3rd. They're almost at the bored stage now. Next will be cranky. It was clear today but supposed to rain for 3 days straight at least. Ouch.

I finally remembered the game I got Elcie for Christmas. A glass chess set - the pieces are glass, not the board; I'm not that silly. She's been wanting to learn. I know just enough about chess to know I have no business playing the game. I lack the patience. I do know the moves and enough basics to get her started. If she likes it, the school has a Club and I think so does the Boys and Girls Club. We struggled through our first game last night with Rebecca looking on. Then Rebecca and Rochelle decided to play. They said they had a good time. I don't know how much Rebecca remembered of what I showed Elcie.

Elcie has started reading A Wrinkle in Time. I'm leaving her alone with it unless she asks for help. It's the most advanced of anything she's tried.

What else? Hi to Andie D. and Angela. I know them from Blogging Baby. Also to Sarah (another one) who found me somehow. Hi to grannyfiddler from granny no fiddle.

I saved this as a draft, went back to it and lost the last two paragraphs.

I just took a couple of pictures of Ray sans beard and shaggy hair. I'll see how they look - he's one of these people who don't photograph well no matter what.

Rebecca is about to eat an onion or part of one. Strange child. Oh, in the picture of the girls at Mandarin Shogun, that green stuff on Elcie's plate is all broccoli. She adores it. We all like it but she's extreme and has been since she could chew and swallow. I also noticed that she's wearing the same shirt in every photo. She does own another, honest.

Angel must be reading the older posts. Hi Angel.

I'd better go - kids getting ready for bed.

Rochelle - the one below is Rebecca

Rochelle has a matching "skort". So does Rebecca. Sassy is what she wanted and it certainly fits.

I'll probably be back with a funny cat story later if I can remember.

Now, it's dinner time although I don't think they could be hungry.

The vague shadow in the background is my daughter Carol pouring hot and sour soup we brought back to her and Ray. Posted by Picasa

Rebecca (that's Rochelle behind)

In the larger photo, I can see Rochelle peeking over Rebecca's head looking like Kilroy peeking over the fence. Posted by Picasa

Pigging out at Mandarin Shogun

And a good time was had by all. Look at the size of those plates. They cleaned them up and went back for more. Posted by Picasa

Lunch with the girls

I'm a little behind on everything. I spent Tuesday running errands and generally shoveling out from the weekend, can't remember what I did yesterday but it must have been something, and today finally took the girls with their mom and her friend Johnathan to use their Target gift certificates.

Elcie finally made up her mind to buy "Van Helsing" DVD. Rebecca and I had headed for the clothes, Rochelle stayed with Elcie, Tasha and Johathan. Elcie was riding one of the store's electric carts like a pro. Rochelle had picked out a pair of shoes and was sure she wanted them until they caught up with Rebecca and me. Rebecca had picked out the skirt and top outfit which will probably appear in the next group of pictures.

Rochelle forgot all about shoes and started wading through the clearance clothing. Girl after my own heart. She picked the outfit I'd tried to talk Rebecca into with no luck. They each owe me six bucks. I told them if they wouldn't ask for $1 for the next 2 weeks, it would be paid off. They had been making a couple of trips at least a week to the corner store at $1 a pop. It adds up.

Then we went to eat since we were all together. Mandarin Shogun again. These are outside photos, actually after lunch. To be continued with the inside pics.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

On reflection

My friend Angel, the originator of several of the recipes I've posted here, is saddened by the loss of someone close to her. It must be especially hard at this season, although there is no good time for something like this. She wrote a lovely tribute on her blog, Give Me Something to Sing About.

Many of you know her from her comments on Blogging Baby and I've come to know her quite well from her blog and our online conversations.

For those of you who think it appropriate, I'm sure she'd appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and comments. The title above should take you to her blog; she's also listed on the blogroll.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Green eggs and ham

Let's see if I've got this straight. I've mixed up commenters before. Beck, of green eggs and ham fame, is a cook, among other things. Some might call her recipe eggs florentine. She calls it "green eggs and ham", a much more interesting name.

I would have posted it here but my copy and paste is giving me problems for some reason.

The link at the top or should take you to her blog where you can find the recipe, a few posts down from the top.

Katt at is a friend of madcap mum's who has just begun blogging. I don't think I mentioned her either. Things get away from me sometimes. Between the holidays, my van going belly up and then being struck by lightning, and the run of the mill household stuff, I become easily confused. Anyhow, welcome to them both.

Rebecca ran out her string of angelic behavior. We couldn't find the leftover turkey. Turns out she had taken the entire ziplock bag across the street (I don't know why)and got in an argument with her friend. Somehow, the bag hit the ground, her friend kicked it and no one is sure what happened after that. She did come home and tell me they weren't friends anymore but not a word about the turkey.

All of that would have been minor except she stonewalled us when we asked her. That got her grounded for a while. Running off with the turkey would have just earned her a talking to. I wish she'd learn that the truth will serve her better. Besides, you never have to remember which fib you told when.

She's back to good once again. Apologized and offered to pay for the turkey. I said what was over was over. She and her friend are once again buddies. Kids do that all the time and usually, if the adults stay out of it, it blows over quickly.

This really is short but I'm thinking once more about an early bedtime. Also, not that much going on.

Good night - I must be forgetting something but how important could it be if I can't remember.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Martinelli's - I almost forgot

Someone asked me about my reference to Martinelli's and I answered via email. It just dawned on that others might not recognize it either.

Martinelli's is sparkling cider dressed up in a champagne bottle. It comes in two varieties.

I'm not crazy about it but I do like the idea of something served in a pretty glass and used for a toast.

Now I'm really done.

The day after

Jerry Wightman (see blogroll) lives in Phoenix, has college age sons, is a pilot, and has what I would call an interesting life story. He's a brand new blogger (2 posts so far, the latest with family photos) and probably wouldn't mind talking to someone other than himself.

We all survived the big day in good shape; I can't say as much for the night that followed. I woke up to find Rochelle piled in between us. She hasn't done that in a couple of years. Turns out I slept through a frightening thunderstorm. Rochelle doesn't do thunder well.

When we looked at my old van later on in the day, the paint had all curled and much of it had peeled off the roof and hood (bonnet to the U.K.). The only thing we can think of is lightning. Strange because a car is usually the safest place to be but there was no hail and the car has been rained on a few times in its 14 years.

I've said facetiously on more than on occasion that God was going to strike me dead for some of my more outlandish pronouncements. Maybe this was a near miss? At least He nailed the old van, not the new one.

I should have taken a picture. It's very hard to describe.

The girls have had a good day. Sometimes they suffer from post Christmas trauma but not yet this time around.

The window over the sink struck a chord with many of the commenters. I remembered that Peg Bracken of "I Hate to Cook" and "I Hate to Housekeep" fame also wrote a book called "A Window Over the Sink". I believe she'd just moved to Hawaii and her only contribution to the floor plan of her new home was her insistence on a window over the sink.

Most of the other comments were about the blog photo. It seemed to be unanimous approval so it's there, red face, shiny nose and all. I'm getting used to it. Thanks for input and words of cheer. I've been reluctant to let a camera within a hundred feet.

Andie, thanks for the compliments about the girls. I think they're beautiful as well.

I think I've already answered all the others. If I missed you, I apologize.

Something strange is happening every time I type an apostrophe. Something called a "find" tool bar pops up at the bottom. Don't know what's up with that but it's a nuisance. Three times in that last sentence alone. I think it only happens in Blogger.

I spent today putting away clean laundry that I'd let pile up since Thursday night. It was folded and on hangars but still a job. Had to run out after a few things (we were somehow out of bread and how can you have turkey sandwiches without bread?). Being without a car for so long, I lost track a little on what we needed. Took two girls and Ray along. They brought Elcie back a treat.

Other than that, I did a whole lot of nothing. No need to cook - we have leftovers.

It's after 10:00 p.m. and I'm actually thinking of going to bed early. Maybe I'm the one suffering from post-holiday trauma instead of the girls.

Good night.

Andrea rocks!!!

Just so everybody knows, that was not Granny writing the last post or the two comments. That was Andrea in Japan beside herself with joy. She managed it working with a Japanese system which she tells me is a little different from mine.

She told me not to delete it so I won't (lol) You've all seen it already so it's too late now.

Way to go, Andrea!!!

The picture resized

Sunday, December 25, 2005

As good as it's gonna get

I'll never see 30 or even 60 again and there's no point in pretending otherwise. To quote Popeye, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam". To any of you who were expecting maybe Jane Fonda (we're almost the same age), sorry. This is the real me, especially when I've spent an hour in a hot kitchen. I could put on some makeup and actually pose but that wouldn't be me.

I'm thinking of using it (cropped) on the blog profile. Maybe get rid of the open cupboard door and the hand towel (not a vacuum cleaner bag) hanging by the sink. That's a large package of holiday napkins I'm holding. Rochelle took the picture and very nicely too.

My kitchen window is the best thing about the house. I do my best thinking or meditation, whatever we want to call it, standing at the sink washing dishes, watching life go on, and daydreaming. So many houses are built without them these days. I would miss it.

Elcie's in bed - she's usually the first one. Others are scheduled for 8:30. They've had a long day and also a good one. I don't want it spoiled with an argument because they're exhausted.

Christmas is almost over for another year. Our New Year's Eve will be quiet. Probably a bottle of Martinelli's to share with the girls so they'll feel special. If they make it until midnight, they watch the Times Square ball drop, and then get to open the front door and yell "Happy New Year". People usually holler right back. After that they go to bed. Usually, one or more of them sleeps through the whole thing.

I think this is enough from me for the night. I'm already into New Year's and Christmas is still here for three more hours. Posted by Picasa

A decent photo of Tim - Christmas afternoon

 Posted by Picasa

Elcie with Pastor Charlotte Bear at rehearsal

Pastor Andrew plays the drums and flute and sings, Pastor Charlotte leads the early choir.

They share other duties equally. The kids adore them both. They're gentle, loving, and progressive. We got very lucky here. Posted by Picasa

All three with Pastor Andrew Bear - Christmas morning

 Posted by Picasa

Elcie - Christmas Eve

 Posted by Picasa

Rochelle - 12-24-05 - showing off

 Posted by Picasa

Her eyes really are that blue.

This is the best snapshot of Rebecca we've ever taken. She's wearing her new outfit. Posted by Picasa

She's obviously researching something important

But if you look closely, Rebecca's playing a game. The girls' computer is running fine but we haven't installed much on it yet. Just been too busy. They have Yahoo games which should old them for a while.

My crowd left a few minutes ago which gave me time moving my photos from one place to another. I've finally figured out how to do it twice in a row. Everybody seemed to have fun. A whole day with no squabbles.

Only fed 16 today - 4 less than Thanksgiving.

I have a good picture of the girls at church this morning which I may put on later and a bunch in their new Christmas outfits. They're so vain.

I also have a picture of me in my kitchen with my nose shiny and my face red from leaning over the oven. I'll have to think about that one but it'll probably show up. I may use it for my profile since that's what I usually look like.

I was up at 6, the girls were up at 7, and Elcie had to be at church by 8:30. In that time, we put the rest of dinner together, opened presents, cleaned up from opening presents, and got Elcie to church. The rest of us went at 9:30.

Home before 11:00 and ate dinner around 2:00. Jim was late with all his crew and he was bringing the mashed potatos and ham. The rest of the day, except for cleanup, the kids all played and we all laid around.

They're wearing their watches and painting on velvet. I bought one pair of sheets the wrong size and have to exchange them but not tomorrow. I forgot the bottom half of their bunk is a full mattress, not a twin. Silly me.

Other than that, everything is fine.

Let me get the pictures on here and then I may call it a night.

Hope everyone has as good a holiday as we did. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Darn it - I missed Medea

Medea is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, currently living in southern Japan.

She wrote an entire post the other day on words which are unique to Canada. I didn't know there were so many. She says not all of them say "aboot" and "eh".

Anyway, welcome Medea. I notice you and Andrea are already acquainted so maybe she'll add to your name to the list.

Merry Christmas although yours is almost past by now.

Another new commenter (she's been visiting)

I've run into Andie D. many times on Blogging Baby and have often echoed her comments or she has echoed mine. I read one of her recent posts on Kmart shopping and didn't know whether to laugh or weep for her.

Andie lives in Phoenix, AZ (another one of my former cities - I have lots of them). She left a comment telling me she had been reading the blog for a while (I'm much too polite to call it lurking) but hadn't commented.

I hope by now Andrea has turned her computer to the wall and is enjoying Christmas but maybe when she has a chance, she can add Andie to the blogroll.

Welcome Andie.

I have 2 store bought pies in the oven (pumpkin finished yesterday), the turkey is cooked, I or we will take it off the bone and then I'm taking the rest of the evening off. I'll set the alarm a little early and finish up everything else.

The church pot luck was fun and surprisingly well attended. As usual, church ladies (including me) can cook and there's always too much food. We fed ourselves and any number of people we didn't know. I hope we made someone's Christmas Eve a little less lonely.

I will put more pictures up of girls in their new outfits from their San Francisco grandma (their mom's mother) when I can figure out what caused me to send 40 pictures in one email to 3 of my formerly close online friends. It must be something I did but it was working okay before. I'm having problems getting the photos from Kodak over to Picasa2 which I love and almost understand. I can never remember what I did the last time that worked.

Oh and we still have to fill the Christmas bag that we use for stockings. It won't take long.

Church tomorrow at 9:30 then home to finish up dinner and prepare for the onslaught. I had 20 at Thanksgiving. Christmas is usually fewer but my son managed to have his kids with him for both holidays and I wasn't counting them in. I don't know if his stepdaughters will come along or go to their relatives. They're teens so it's hard to tell.

One of the commenters said on Blogging Baby the other day that they were going to Mom's for dinner. I said what a great idea but I am the mom, grandma, and great-grandmother. Everyone shows up here.

Turkey off bone and in refrigerator. Pies out of oven - still need to be covered in a few minutes.

It's been a very good day for all of us. Even Elcie rose to the occasion and forgot about her pre-teen angst for the day. They're all enjoying computer #2. I'm a network.

Two hours to Christmas on the USA West Coast. I'd like to make it but may be asleep when it gets here.

Good night.

Why do I have all that whipped cream?

The aerosols are for pumpkin pie. The container is for 7-Up Salad. I thought I had all the ingredients but of course I forgot one - the 7-Up. Stores are open tomorrow and now that I am mobile once again, it's not such a challenge. Still haven't decided whether to try it tomorrow. It'll depend on how the early part of the day goes.

Gawdessness has finally rejoined us and posted a picture of her refrigerator. Not to be outdone, here's mine. The big odd looking thing is a turkey and there's a ham hidden behind something.

Everybody pitched in today and straightened, put away, wiped, dusted (somewhat), and generally made themselves useful. Once again, Rebecca outdid herself. I'll have to check her for fever if this keeps up. She girlhandled a 16 lb bird into the fridge, peeled eggs (see refrigerator shelf), ate one, and hung out at my heels much of the day. She enjoys the company of adults much of the time. Elcie was crabby which explains why I didn't post a later picture of her. I'll try again tomorrow. She's hitting the teens with a vengeance and I had to speak sternly to her. Rochelle was giddy most of the day. She loves hats and that was the only Santa hat left from last year. She wasn't actually posing with a picture of herself. She'd picked it up to put it away until after Christmas (making space on the piano) and I caught the snap.

We got the girls all down early. Mommy Tasha and friend wrapped all the presents and arranged them under the tree. I started doing prep work for Sunday, caught up laundry, and washed another batch of dishes. Then we started in on pumpkin pies. Six are wrapped and ready. I haven't decided whether to make another variety or just let it go. I have pecans from Thanksgiving so maybe I'll throw a couple of Karo pecan pies together once again.

Oh, the vehicle is the '98 Olds Silhouette (extended) I was talking about yesterday. It's beautiful, seems to run fine, and is easier to drive than the Caravan which cornered like a semi. The Olds corners like my old Volvo which would almost turn on a dime.

The four doors will be so much help with everything we haul and pack in.

If anyone is silly enough to be blogging or surfing between now and the day after Christmas, I hope you enjoy the pictures, Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night. Posted by Picasa

Finally - wrapped presents

My present is parked at the curb. Finally picked it up at around 5 this afternoon. Posted by Picasa

Fireplace with creche

I picked up this creche at a thrift store years ago. It's missing something but I can't remember what now. A wise man perhaps? The wise men showed up later anyhow. Posted by Picasa

Understated - what's that?

The piano - what you can see of it Posted by Picasa

Rebecca surrounded by chaos

 Posted by Picasa

Santa Rochelle with picture of Rochelle

 Posted by Picasa

Our entryway - more mess

Books, pictures, and trophies - dolled up a little for the season.

Notice prominent book. Posted by Picasa

Two days before Christmas - Spunky and mess

That's a manta ray I think L. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 23, 2005

Chicken pepper pot

I checked in on dragonfly 183 (witches cottage) and I found a recipe. Here it is: Easy, adaptable, and I bet it tastes good.

The comments are all hers. She grows things.

Here is a recipe I make a lot of. Its easy and quick. Just throw your ingredients in the crockpot in the morning (or solar cooker in the summer) and leave it all day while you work outdoors. Serve it over pasta when its dinner time and sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese.

The recipe for chicken pepper pot. . .

1.5 pounds chicken cubed (peel it right off the skeleton of a whole one, it doesn't matter how you get it as long as you got it)
1 1/2 cup garden grown bell peppers (you can use store bought but home grown has much more flavor because its allowed to ripen on the plant instead of being picked before its ripe)
2 cans condensed tomato soup undiluted
1 can of water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tbsp fresh or frozen basil
2 tbsp fresh or frozen rosemary
2 tbsp fresh or frozen oregano
1 tsp fresh or frozen sage
1 dried bay leaf (or use fresh if you have a bay laurel)
1 tbsp white wine worchestshire sauce

Combine all ingredients but the chicken in the crock pot and stir. Then add the diced raw chicken, put on lid and cook. The longer you cook the more tender the chicken. Ten hours is the best setting, but 8 or 6 will work to if you didn't get up early enough for 10 hours.

You can use dried herbs if you don't grow your own. You can buy them to if you want to spend the money on fresh herbs from the store. But it seems silly to spend that much money when you can grow them yourself

Rebecca and coal in the stocking

Rebecca has been a jewel all day long. When she's at her best, she's amazing.

She has helped with everything I asked and then volunteered for several projects like cleaning out drawers, making my bed, cleaning off the computer area, and generally making herself indispensable. She's been playing Santa Claus is Coming to Town on the piano. "Oh You Better Watch Out". Do you suppose she took it to heart?

Rochelle and Elcie have been pretty good as well.

If you haven't read the comments, Angel refers to Gizmo as a "monitor" lizard. Funny Angel. L. says he looks a little like a vacuum cleaner bag. You might have to go back to earlier posts to figure that one out but she and I know.

It's been a busy, rainy day but at least not cold.

I may have a vehicle by this time tomorrow. I'm almost afraid to hope too much but my credit cleared and I talk to the owner of the car lot tomorrow. He's married to a friend of mine from church. I didn't make the connection until I was chatting with her about my car problems and she said she'd call her husband. Oh, that's why her last name seemed so familiar. It's on a television ad daily.

It's a '98 Olds minivan - roomier than the Caravan I'm driving now but not an SUV which I don't want. Too big. It has sliding doors on both sides and the seats operate independently instead of a bench. Lots of extras which is nice but would not have been my first priority. It should be much easier to get kids, groceries, wheelchair, etc. in and out. Keep your fingers crossed for me please. I'm getting tired of being without wheels, especially this week.

It's not new but it's six years newer than what I have now and I'm pretty sure we can afford it.

Once again, I'm up much too late.

Good night.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Here is Dmitri

Again, click on the title for Dmitri's blog. He lives in from Amsterdam (the original, not the one in New York) , turns up all over the place, and is now here. He's the first visitor from The Netherlands, I think.

Now, I'm quitting for a while in case Andrea wants to try to figure out what's happening on this side of the Pacific.

We're doing this the long way around

Click on title for anvilcloud blog. He lives in Canada with his wife Cuppa and has two blogs, raindrops and snowflakes. You have to see them doing the karaoke and playing in the snow.

We're having some glitches with things disappearing and links not functioning. I'm doing the missing stuff (abbreviated version) one thing at a time. I'll be back with an introduction to Dmitri.

Welcome anvilcloud.

7-Up Salad

Let's try the link to 7-Up Salad by clicking on the post title.

I kind of remember what I said earlier but let me get this on first.


Christmas and giving

There's been an ongoing debate on Blogging Baby about giving - how much is too much? What is our motivation? Is Christmas being lost in the shuffle?

I've talked a little about it and my own feelings and some of our commenting friends have responded.

I just found this article in Slate that's worth a look.

Gizmo and friends

Gizmo is wearing a red t-shirt with Crayola spelled across the front. Rochelle dressed him. He guarded my computer at work for 10 years or more and then moved with me when I retired. Now, he has his old job back. He's named after the critter in Gremlins.

The other two belonged to Rochelle but she thought Gizmo might be lonely so she put them there. She's also responsible for the folder label with my name on it in case someone forgot.

I have some more pictures but I'll save them for another time.

I think I finished my shopping today. New pretty sheet sets for all girls, a new bingo and Pictionary game, something else I can't remember right now, and bubble bath collections as stocking fillers. (Elcie's is Star Wars which should make her happy.) I left them in Jim's car until I can sneak them in later. I had already bought them wristwatches and, of course, the computer which they understand is their major Christmas present for all to share. They'll have clothing and books and a few small toys as well. They'll each have a $15. Target gift certificate to shop with after Christmas. That should be interesting. We never go overboard. In the first place we can't, second place I don't think it's good for them. They're fairly undemanding and I'd like to keep it that way. I'd much rather "surprise" them throughout the year with a new dvd or sweater (whatever) than have a big blowout on Christmas. It's not what the day is supposed to be about.

I still have to get Christmas candy and oranges for their "stockings" (actually one large Christmas bag which they share). I need to check the pantry to make sure I have everything I need for lasagne for the church on Christmas eve and dinner the next day. I think between Ray and me, we can get it done. Having the girls' parents around some of the time helps.

I want to make 7-Up salad too but I may save that for New Year's to go with the ham hock and beans I always cook that day.

Just checking in - it's late and I have a busy day tomorrow.