Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a little stellan update

Baby Stellan is doing a little better than last time I updated.

Here's the latest.

Monday, December 29, 2008

this is extremely urgent.

Eight week old baby Stellan, who is a miracle baby to begin with, is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with an extremely bad case of RSV, a respiratory virus that kills infants.

Click here to read what his mama has to say.

And please, please, please, say a prayer for this tiny babe and his family tonight. I can think of only one thing that would be worse than having a gravely ill child.

it is almost over

And by 'it' I mean Christmas. Christmas is almost over. I know there are some of you who are actually finished with the CELEBRATING and the EATING and the PRESENTS and the BOOZE (well, I don't really know anybody who's finished with the booze except me, so it's just poetic license or something to mention the booze).

Barney and Friends are rocking out to Riding in the Car... riding in the car, riding in the car, we love riding in the car. That's my life...rocking out to the occasional Barney show and neverending celebratory gatherings. Barney makes me want to scratch my eyes out. It's the voice that does it, I think. And the stupid chuckle. Looky, looky, it's a...cookiecookie, cookies are wonderful fun! (huh huh) First we make 'em then we bake 'em then we get to eat 'em eat 'em. (huh huh) I want a cookie. And a nap. And more coffee.

Speaking of coffee, SOMEONE TALL in my house (who is not pregnant, but did contribute to myveryown pregnancy) dropped the Tupperware container FULL OF SUGAR on my French Press Saturday morning. I was thirty-five seconds from having a cup of coffee and then I was what amounted to practically eighty hours from having a cup of coffee. Meh. And grrrrrrr. But, lucky for said Tall Person, he turned around with a sad, sad, sad face and promised to never touch my French Press again (yes, it's mine-all-mine) before I could reach out to bitch-slap him.

We don't really engage in bitch-slapping in our house. But I think that's only because we are both quick to admit wrongdoing and apologize faster than the bitch-slaps actually happen. Except if that guy continues to insist upon molesting my French Press I will possibly begin to consider the bitch-slap. Or, even better, I will start to pay off the children to run up to him, fling their arms around him, and hug him super hard. Because, as it happens, they are all of a Certain Height, one that causes a specific surprised look to capture his face every time their heads come into contact with, ummm, him. And my kids are cheap, and will probably do it for a penny.

The good news for this bleak situation is that I had the excellent forethought to purchase an extra carafe after the LAST TIME SOMEONE TALL SHATTERED MY LIFE. Er, French Press Carafe. Which is especially good news, considering there is life happening in our drip coffee maker. But we're not going to talk about that right now. Except to say, No, I don't know when the last time I used the thing was. And yes, I am throwing the whole thing away tomorrow when the esteemed garbage man comes.

Even better news? The I Love You song is on right now. Freaking Barney is about to be over.I love you, you love me, we're best friends like friends should be. With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you, won't you say you love me too?

The time has come, the mama said, to brew some coffee black.
Then dress it up with cream and sugar.
And yes, my rhymes are whack.

Won't you say you love me, too?

Except here's the bad news: Stupid Bald-headed Whiny Pissant Caillou with his Patronizing narrator is on now. Caillou liked being a lookout. He even got Rexie to help, too. Wow! Caillou thought it was beautiful. Wow! A dragonfly. Look! Wow! Bye-bye, heron. But Caillou missed mommy.

Let's get in closer. Maybe we'll get lucky and spot some beaver.

That's what Caillou's grandpa said. Dirty old man.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i'm glad i'm not a cow: reason 1,749,375,892,890,734

I have lived amongst the cows nearly all of my life, a sum total of thirty-one point five years. Never in all my wildest imaginings did I ever think I would witness the miracle of Bovine Afterbirth.

And NO! I do not actually have wild imaginings about cattle. Really, people. I like to drink the milk (raw) and I like to eat them (rare-ish). And that is it.

I do not have the vocabulary to express the disgusted wonder and raging dry-heaves I experienced on Saturday when I watched a cow eat her placenta.


And all I have to offer you is the standard Car Crash Response.

I just.couldn't.look.away.

It was like a big gelatinous...thing. All sloppy. And steaming. And thing-ish. And that cow was eating it up. Maybe slurping is a better word to use.

And even now, as I sit here in my comfy chair, grossing you out with neither rhyme nor reason, I find myself wondering: With all the calf nut talk going on over at The Pioneer Woman, and the ninetybazillion cattle they have, how has she never once mentioned that those beasts excitedly eat their own placentas? Because that? Is WAY GROSSER THAN DE-NUTTING A CALF. Way.Grosser.

But know this. I, Pamela from The Dayton Time, keep it real. For real.

So if you haven't gotten the message, here it is, once again.

Mama Cows Eat Their Afterbirth.
It is fun to watch.
And by fun, I mean completely and horrifyingly disgusting.
Thank you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

smile and say 'cheesy!', or thank the lord i washed my face yesterday

The lovely, illustrious, mistress of verbosity ChurchPunkMom tagged me this morning for a supersweet, come-as-you-are meme. And seeing as how I play well with others (being snowed in with the shorties, and aggressively ignoring the vacuuming has nothing to do with it, really)... I am playing along immediately. Because that's in the rules, that's why. And also, I loves me some embellished truth, and also fiction, whether it be polite or impolite.

I give you Da Rulez. (That's pronounced rool-ehz. It's French or Iowan for rules.)
  1. Take a picture of yourself.. riiiiiight.. NOW!
  2. DO NOT change your clothes. DO NOT fix your hair.. Just take a picture. (It's like come as you are day, back in high school.. remember?)
  3. Post that picture with NO editing.
  4. Post these instructions with your picture.
  5. Tag 10 people to do this!
Here I am, sitting at my computer, drinking coffee. Notice the smile. Smiling in the AM = coffee consumption. Other possible causes of AM smiling: Donuts or pastries of any kind; coffee; peace and quiet; coffee; coffee; sunny days; coffee; being generally up to no good; caffeine.

And now for the tagging:
Danae at Beauty In Distress
Julia at Java, Literally
Stephanie at Led By The Shepherd
MainStreetMom at Team Dudgeon
Heidi at Battlemaiden Chronicles
Shelly at Desperately Seeking Shelly
Mary Anne at The Stiletto Mom
Jill at The Daniels Five
Joce at Tillaboro Orchard
Jess from New Momma's World

Go ye, and meme the world!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

hunkered down

We are having some beautiful weather to celebrate the official First Day of Winter! And here is a synopsis:

SNOW, SNOW, SNOW, SNOW, SNOW (3 inches per hour... that is a LOT of snow, hence the caps lock)

There is so much snow blowing around and also stuck to our screens that we can't see across the street. Also? No travelling allowed, by order of the County Sheriff.

The best? No SNOWPLOWING allowed.

That's right... the towns have pulled their snowplows off the roads because it's too dangerous to plow the roads.

Happy Winter from all of us here in New York!

Friday, December 19, 2008

the irish always know

Sung by The Corrigan Brothers

No one as Irish as Barack OBama

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama
You don't believe me, I hear you say
But Barack's as Irish, as was JFK

His granddaddy's daddy came from Moneygall
A small Irish village, well known to you all
Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

He's as Irish as bacon and cabbage and stew
He's Hawaiian, he's Kenyan, American too
He’s in the White House, He took his chance
Now let’s see Barack do Riverdance

Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

From Kerry and Cork to old Donegal
Let’s hear it for Barack from old Moneygall
From the lakes of Killarney to old Connemara
There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama
From the old blarney stone to the great hill of Tara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

2008 the White House is green,
They're cheering in Mayo and in Skibereen.
The Irish in Kenya, and in Yokahama,
Are cheering for President Barack O’Bama

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

The Hockey Mom's gone, and so is McCain
They are cheering in Texas and in Borrisokane,
In Moneygall town, the greatest of drama,
for our Famous President Barack O'Bama

Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

The great Stephen Neill, a great man of God,
He proved that Barack was from the Auld Sod
They came by bus and they came by car,
to celebrate Barack in Ollie Hayes’s Bar

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

Hardy Drew

Thursday, December 18, 2008

it was the kind of awkward, when you do something that isn't actually wrong, but is kind of odd for an adult, and somebody drops by for a quick visit?

The Mister took the short people upstairs after dinner the other night, and I set out to brew some Fine Legal Addictive Stimulants for us. You know, to help us make it to bedtime.

The tea kettle was on the stove, the burner on high, coffee beans ground and waiting expectantly in the one true love of my soul French Press. I left the kitchen to quick check my email.

The tallest short person had been playing Webkinz before dinner, and that was what came blaring from the monitor as I shook the mouse awake. Today's Big KinzCash Game? Cash Cow. It's kind of like Bubblet.

Miss O loves to accrue KinzCash for her horse, Bleckberrie. And no, I can't explain the name. One would think that the black horse would be called Blackberrie, Blackberry even, but no. That is not the case.

So the kid likes to bank her KCash. I figured I had to be smarter than the average child, and therefore be able to score some mad KCash for the kid. So I decided to play a little.

Easy or Difficult?

Ummmm, DIFFICULT, of course, because I AM AWESOME!!!!

Except? Not so much with the awesome.

That stupid Cash Cow kicked my ass. The first game I made 4 WebKinz Dollars plus no bonus bucks. AWE-SUH-HUM!!! So naturally, I played again. Because I could not understand how I could suck so badly. That time? 8 Bucks. Seriously. Eight.

So I played again. And again. And when the kettle whistled? I ignored it until I lost. Again. Then I quick poured the water into the sultry body of the French Press and ran back to the computer. I lost some more. I ran to the kitchen to give the grounds a little stir, you know, to speed up the brewing process so that I could attend to my children and get them in bed. Or play more. Either way.

I started another game. Yes, I understand the level of patheticism to which I have fallen. But you can leave comments detailing this to your little hearts' contentment. I will understand that, too.

So I was playing my ninetyeleventh game of Cash Cow, and there was a knock on my door. I got up from the computer to see who could possibly be interrupting the enormous personal quest I had undertaken.

It was a lovely woman I know, who had just had her ninetyeleventh baby last month. I brought her family dinner, and she was returning my dishes. She noticed I had been on the computer, and glanced at the screen. From that moment on, I was feeling a little bit like an ass for having a lovely person, such as the one who was standing by my front door, know that I rock the WebKinz Arcade like my 5 year old.

Anybody have a good I'M AN ASS story to share? Just remember, we're all friends here, and nobody's laughing AT you, we're just laughing because we ARE you.

Oh, and by the way, the coffee turned out great.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

lesson of the week: moose hash.

Moose. It's what's for dinner.

Moose. The other red meat.

Save a chicken. Eat a moose.

This is not the loveliest bit of photography to ever cross the dayton time. But I was exceedingly pleased to eat this (mess) for dinner. Here's the recipe for Moose Hash ala Pamela.

  1. Go to Canada and kill a moose. Alternately, find someone else, who's going to Canada already, and have them kill a moose for you fun and food, say hi when they stop by your house on the way back to Pennsylvania, and be sure to admire their rack. Of moose antlers. Thank them graciously when they offer you a pound of ground moose. Because OF COURSE YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH GROUND MOOSE!!!
  2. Bake some potatoes. Cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Chop one large onion.
  4. In a very large cast iron skillet, combine the moose, the onion, and the potato pieces with 1/4 cup canola oil. That does sound like a lot of oil, but moose is very lean.
  5. Fry it all up until the potatoes and the moose are a lovely shade of golden brown.
  6. Season liberally (unless you are from Tillaboro Orchard, in which case you should season conservatively) with salt and pepper. Serve with carrots, peas and corn, so that you can easily turn the leftovers into soup.
  7. If you are having a hard time locating ground moose, you can substitute pork, chicken, or beef. Another amazing option, in a completely BadGood Way? Hot dogs.
Next up: Moose Soup, with potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, tomatoes and onions. A culinary masterpiece.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

it's award time at the ok corral

Danae over at Beauty in Distress created this fabulous SuperWoman Award. And then she gave it to me. I will refrain from all of the self-depricating comments that are circling my brain, and just be flattered in peace. See? Even when I don't do it? I do it anyway.


Thanks, Danae. I'm glad I have been able to be there for you. (xoxo) I will be passing this along later.

And next, but by no means lesserly appreciated... ChurchPunkMom lurves me so much she gave me a manward. Because I measure up.

There are some Rules for the Measures Up Award, and this is what they are:
1. Say one nice thing to a man in your life.
2. List at least six ways that you measure success in your life (or for your blog).
3. Assign this award to six other blogs and leave them a comment telling the blogger that you’ve assigned them this award.
4. Link back to the blog that you received this award from.

So here goes:
1. Saying one nice thing to a man in my life: I loves me some Mister. Because when I am crazy he tells me to (and I quote) Sit down on the fucking couchfor Pete's fucking sake!!! If that's not the mark of true love, I don't know what is.

2. How dost I measureth mine blogging success: Hmmm...Well,
a) I love comments;
b) I enjoy a good debate;
c) awards;
d) the paycheck I got in the mail last week was sweet, even if it was for $30;
e) growing traffic;
and most importantly
f) when I am having a crappy day, and I blog about it, you people say the loveliest things to me, and even though you're somewhere, out there beneath the pale moonlight, I know you're thinking of me and loving me tonight. And that is really, really supercool.

3. Six other bloggers that measure up: Okay, here's the thing. If I read and comment (well, except for lately, when my commenting is totally spotty and often inappropriate), you measure up in my book. So grab the badge and pass it along. And pat yourself on the measuring tape. Or back. Whichever suits you.

4. Linking up to ChurchPunkMom. And goodfather. Because he's good. And the Father. Well, not *my* father, but he's certainly father material. And he started this whole business in the first place. Props to him.

Thanks for the awards, ladies.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I have major teeth issues.

I love brushing my teeth. I hate flossing. There is no explanation for either of those little factoids. I just DO, that's all.

The noises that grate on me worse than anything are noises produced by applying one's teeth together. Clacking, chewing, grinding, it doesn't matter. I will instantaneously want to kill you if you choose to make that sort of noise. Or if you do it accidentally. I'm totally fair that way. Equal opportunity for all and whatnot.

I believe I have always been this pleasant to be around way. Naturally charming, that's me.

But I do love crunchy foods. Is that weirder?

So I'm thinking about teeth-related things and stuff today because The Mister participated in Mama's Losin' It: Writer's Workshop, and has posted about getting his wisdom teeth removed on his, umm, twenty-somethingeth birthday. I'll go conservative and say 25th. Why is that? No, not because I'm super-sensitive about my dear darling husband's age, I will always be the first to inform anyone of the fact that I am his MUCH YOUNGER BRIDE. I chose 25th because The Mister's Mom stopped aging at 49, and we all stopped aging at 25, so we are all 25 from the time we actually turned 25 until we die. Which was really great when I was 25, because I looked young for my age. But when I'm really and truly 86 and going on 25? I will look like CRAP for a 25 year-old. But my 49 year-old MIL will probably be dead then (and I will still be mourning her, for the record), so I could probably get away with going by my real-life-actual age. And besides, if I'm always 25, when will my children get their chance to provide for me? Let us not deny them their birthright!

But I digress.

I had my wisdom teeth out when I was seventeen. Due to my diligence as a thumb-sucker until the ripe old age of 11 5, I had quite effectively narrowed the space between my molars...and not the adjacent molars, mind you, the molars that wave to each other from either sides of my mouth. Add that to having a naturally small mouth to begin with (oh shut up, really, a doctor said so), and those wisdom teeth needed to be gauged out with sharp sticks surgically removed.

I remember meeting with the orthopaedic surgeon for teeth, whatever surgeon that guy really is. He was truly odd, and wore odd glasses, and his breath smelled odd, the whole thing was odd. Also I remember he gave me a choice about the anaesthetic: local, so I could/would know what he was doing; or general, so I would not.

I corrected him: Oh, no, Dr. Teeth, there is one option, and one option only. You will knock me out. And not a little knocking me out, you will cause me to be very nearly DEAD because if I have ANY IDEA WHATSOEVER about the terror you are wreaking in my precious mouth, I will die and I will take you with me. And my parents? Will.Be.Pissed.At.Your.Dead.Self.

Also? Dr. Teeth told me I could have a Frosty from Wendy's after my surgery. Score.

So we went back, me and the fam, on the Big Day. The nice nurse lady took me back into the room, and the crew proceeded to knock my smart ass out. Except I had never been under the influence of any sort of anything at that time, and I really did not enjoy the experience of going under. I held on as long as I could (ummm, hi, control freak?)...which was probably 2.9 seconds because I forever have been, and forever will be a cheap date.


And then they tried to wake me up.

Except for I am a cheap date, and that rendered me completely impossible.

Eventually, they dragged my half-dead carcass out of the recovery room, and instructed my father to carry me out the back entrance of the place, so as not to disturb the customers.

I asked for a Frosty.

My father said something to me, I'm sure, and tried to carry me.

I wanted to walk. And I demanded a Frosty.

The back exit was similar to a fire escape on a high rise. We compromised, and I walked while my father carried me down the stairs. I can only imagine how truly awkward that must have been.

He tossed my floppy self into the family minivan. I demanded a Frosty.

I did not know this at the time, but my mouth was packed with gauze. The gauze was there to soak up all the blood that was pouring from the holes in my gums. Yes, pouring. Despite the stitches. Also, I did not know that my tongue was completely dry. And swollen to at least twice it's size.

And I was incredibly frustrated that nobody was giving me a damn Frosty.

Eventually the realized that I was not saying FUNKY, I was saying FROSTY, and that rang a tiny bell for them, and they drove to Wendy's.

Where I demanded to GO INSIDE. They deduced my intention to go inside by the manic way I was beating on the seatbelt and throwing my floppy self up against the door of the van, all the while keeping my head remarkably still. (Drugs are amazing. And don't you forget it.)

My mother convinced me not to go inside. Or she sat on me. I have no idea.

They brought the Frosty out, and I was SO THIRSTY!!!! And I had been SO VERY COOPERATIVE!!! And NOT CURSED AT DR. TEETH!!!! And NOT VOMITED!!! And I wanted the Frosty. RIGHT.NOW.

My mother spooned some Frosty in my mouth. I closed my lips, and felt the refreshing, cold, chocolatey bliss that is a Frosty bring life and rejuvanation to the desert that was my mouth. I savored that bite of Frosty. I swallowed what was the most amazing bit of food to ever have crossed my lips. And I opened my mouth for more.

Except I didn't actually swallow. I only THOUGHT I had swallowed.

Opening my mouth was a huge mistake. The blessed Frosty dribbled from my mouth. Gushed, actually. Down my chin, on my clothes, in my lap, on the seat belt, and on the door of the van. Also? Blood and bloody gauze came falling out of my mouth.

And they refused to give me any more Frosty. Also they laughed.

So there I was, in the Wendy's parking lot, covered in blood and Frosty, sobbing and shouting drunken anger in the direction of my parents. People were watching, horrified, as the poor, bloody, retarded girl was laughed at by her parents.

Ah, the joys I bring to the lives of those around me.

The next thing I remember is lying on the couch in our living room, and taking some sort of happy pill to keep me from hurting. My mother told me my Frosty was in the freezer and I could have it later, but could she please help me change my shirt? I was feeling a little more compliant by then, so I flopped around and let her put a clean shirt on me.

They saved the shirt.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

mental health week

It's not the official mental health week of the nation or anything, so don't get all excited. It *is*, however, mental health week for me. I may or may not be posting, depending on whether or not I am feeling like it, and I will probably continue to be just as crappy at commenting on y'all's blogs as I have been so far this month.

So come check in whenever you want, the typing test is still here, and the welcome mat is still out front. But there's a little too much crazy in the air for me to catch my breath right now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

super typer

This is my kind of fun. I can race me and race me and race me.

And sometimes? I win.

75 words

Typing Test


1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument

The Mister posted this little gem the other day, and since I'm not really putting effort into many things this week, I thought it would be perfect to slap up here lickety-split. And now you know 59 things (of the ninety gazillion) I've done.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

lesson of the week: ask the googles, ask the dayton time

Here's the Ask-The-Googles phrase of the week:

i have a small soft lump after kissing

Oh, dear google-er. Allow me to help.

It's called an erection, and it's normal, except if you were kissing a goat. Or your sister.

Or if you're a woman.

In either of those cases, it's still called an erection, but you should probably seek some sort of professional assistance, specifically intensive therapy on (at least) a weekly basis.

If you weren't kissing a goat or your sister, I would suggest you try kissing a little bit longer, and the lump will grow larger, and firm up a bit. However, this larger, firmer 'lump' can become quite obvious and sometimes uncomfortable for you and the person/item you are kissing.

Best of luck to you.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I do not hate Love, Actually.

I was really not in the right mood to watch Love, Actually.

I value my love-fest with WRH.

I do not want to break up with WRH.

Or blisscaff.

I actually love Love, Actually.

The End.

Postscript: And for the record? I believe that the stupid antibiotic I was taking to eliminate the yuck in my abdomen (and by yuck, I do not mean BABY) was playing a nasty-evil-horrible game with my hormones and my brain. I stopped taking it yesterday, and despite feeling a little more crampy, I am no longer suffocating on crazy. Things are looking up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

grey day betchfist

Grey day.
Everything is grey.
I watch
But nothing moves today.*

It has been a grey week. The whole is-it-or-isn't-it-a-health-related-drama. The noncelebration of our anniversary. The there's-no-Christmas-tree-in-my-house. The whole business of being married this week. The resting. The child who is in Kindergarten.

It is just all very awful.

And I really, really, reallyreallyreally hate whining, but I'm starting to lose my shit over here.

The health business. I'm fine. The grotie antibiotic I'm on to kill the grotie bacteria is doing its job (and more! hello, yogurt, here I come!!!), and I no longer feel like I'm having contractions. The whole is there/is there not amniotic fluid situation got a smiley face sticker at the OB, and that is great. Really, I'm thrilled about being fine.

The anniversary blah? Well, I felt like crap all day long + I went to the ER = not fun. And how not one single, solitary person that I am related to even remembered or mentioned my anniversary to me? Let's walk away from that one. Because it just doesn't do any good to be annoyed with, say, my mother, for...well...anything.

The lack of Christmas tree? Goes back to the feeling like crap. I'm supposed to be resting (ha!) and traipsing around a Christmas tree farm is probably not the bestest of ideas.

The marriage business? There are some things I mention just to keep it real. And sometimes marriages are a colossal pain in the ass. And that is all I am going to say.

The resting. Ach, the resting is killing me. I have sat still for a really, really, really long time, and I watched some STUPID movies, yes, The Jane Austen Book Club, Sweet Home Alabama, and Love, Actually, I AM LOOKING AT YOU. (Those are in order of decreasing amounts of suck, in case you are wondering.)

And the Kindergarten-aged child. Will.Not.Stop.Shouting.At.Me. We made gingerbread houses with some friends on Sunday, and they are completely adorable. (Here is where I start about Homework In Kindergarten.) Our homework assignment, due two days ago, was to make a Christmas craft. Gingerbread house? Check. That will totally qualify. Except Miss O. didn't want to actually take it to school. No big deal, another parent in the class was planning to send a picture of their family's elaborate craft in, so that's what I did, too. Except I got a phone call an hour ago telling me that the photograph of the craft was not an option. Bringing in a photo was not the assignment.

Here's the thing, I said as calmly as I possibly could without losing my shit on the teacher, because I reallytruly am thisclose, I told Miss O I would bring her to school with her gingerbread house today. And she wants her gingerbread house at home. She worked hard on it, and she wants to admire it here.

That's not an option, Teacher said. It needs to be in school, in the display case, and nobody will touch it or eat the candy. I will be happy to pick it up from your house, if that would make it easier.

Do you know what would make it easier? I asked. If my formerly pleasant daughter would stop screaming and yelling and stomping her feet and being a general terrorist at home. I told her I would bring her to school with the gingerbread house, and she flipped out. I mean REALLY FLIPPED OUT. And honestly? It's not worth it to me to deal with that behaviour so that you can put the thing in a display case. I am very glad that she is doing well in school, but frankly I have had enough of the ridiculous behaviour at home, behaviour that only ever gets worse.

It was at this point that Teacher offered to work with Miss O in school to help reinforce the idea of good behaviour at home.

It was also at this point that I was sniffling quietly into the phone.

Because I have had enough.

Ten minutes later, I got another phone call, someone with lovely intentions, who knows I am having Some Fusstration In Me. And everything said was kind and made sense and was valid and useful, and also just too much for me to handle right now.
Have I mentioned I've had enough?

I realize I am painting a picture of a week that is nothing but disappointing and frustrating, but it's not all that. I have had three friends bring lovely dinners to my family. I had lunch with another friend (who also kissed me on the mouth for sharing coffee with her). I had good news about my pregnancy. I spent an hour and a half on the couch reading with HB this morning.

It's not that I don't see those things, and don't appreciate them. I do. More than I can say.

I am just having a hard time finding the middle, the place between losing it and the other place. I'm not really sure what the name of that place is, or where it's located.

Also I am not at all remembering that other place. And I don't know if it exists.

*My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss

Monday, December 1, 2008

i know you won't believe me, but here's the short version:

Today is The Mister's and my anniversary. And the only man to have his hands up in my (ahem) places (ahem) was the ER doc.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

happy blog-o-versary!

Today the dayton time is one year old. Now we can mostly walk, smear food all over ourselves, and drink from both a straw and a sippy cup. Unfortunately, we won't be 100% for pooping in the truly appropriate place for a long, long time yet. Alas.

Here's a little update on this year.
  1. Miss O has stopped asking me to do this.
  2. My love affair was fully supported and funded by my in-laws. I did conquer the learning curve, by the way. But then this happened.
  3. In January, I wrote my Very First Offensive Post, and received Hate Mail. Also, we Went To The Mattresses with the children.
  4. I went on a date.
  5. I began to dread Kindergarten.
  6. My very first Dayton Time Hater got the comments all fired up. Bastard. Also, I admit to being a kleptomaniac.
  7. I began the Cinco de Mayo Chronicles.
  8. I had my first guest blogger, a lovely girl named Miss O, who REALLYREALLYREALLY wants to be a flower girl. Really bad.
  9. I talked loudly about toilets in church.
  10. We found out about this happy result of a pleasant event. Also? I reached my limit.
  11. I wrote the best product review in the history of product reviews. I also wrote a letter for a friend who is applying to grad school.
  12. Everybody came out of the woodwork to comment on this post. Also? More hate mail. I wasn't even TRYING to be controversial.
  13. And finally, we have unpleasant neighbors, and I saw the weirdest thing ever in the Target parking lot.

I like this whole blogging thing. And I'm glad you're here. I hope you stick around.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

so close!

This is my twenty-ninth post in as many days. And yes, I do see the sign up there, the one that says 30 posts in 30 days. And tomorrow's post? It's done. Oh, yes it is.

I've been working on it, because tomorrow is my blogoversary. This little bit of html called the dayton time will have been floating around the interwebs, earning readers, followers, and, well, haters, too.

Thanks for sticking around for my daily blathering on, and chiming in to tell me I'm smart. Also thanks for when you have other opinions, too, because I appreciate a good debate.

I don't know what to tell you about what to expect, seeing as how I'm expecting myself. I will probably get a little more nutty, make sweeping generalizations about lots of mundane topics, and complain about my Round Ligaments.

It's likely I will cross the Information Line and mention things that are gross, for example: Leaking Body Parts, Poop, Barf, Children, and Politicians.

But really? You should expect that by now. Because the dayton time is honesty time.

And you, my dearest readers, can count on me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

this is my karate kid

And yes.
He is wearing a bwack wee-uh-tahd.
It's one step up from a bwack bewt.
So watch what you say,
or he'll bust out wif his mad chopdicks skillz.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy birthday, little surprise

It was one of the world's shortest pregnancies that resulted in a nine pound, twelve(ish) ounce baby. I was astonished to discover I was pregnant in June of 2006. It was a Monday, around 8:15 in the morning. I had been feeling sort of off-ish for a long time, and had decided the night before that I would call my doctor. But after thinking about How Things Actually Work at the doctor's office, and weighing all the information I had written down on my handy-dandy info card, it seemed clear to me that the first thing they would do upon my arrival would be to Collect A Sample.

You know, to see if I was knocked up.

I decided to save them the trouble of billing my insurance for the pee stick, and rummaged around in my medicine cabinet for an extra.

I unwrapped the thing, assumed the position, and EVEN BEFORE THE WET HIT THE STICK, the second line appeared. Just being in close proximity to my HGC-exuding vagina was enough to tip that stick off. I'm only slightly exaggerating here. Actually, the liquid had not traveled far enough up the stick to make it appear wettish when the second line appeared.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday.

Yep, she said, you're pregnant.

Huh, I said.

So, you're having a baby!
the cute ultrasound girl said on Wednesday.

Meh. I have a baby right now. He's not one yet.
I'm just hoping that this baby still looks like a bean.
Or an alien.

(Cute Ultrasound Girl squirts the goo on my belly,
then on the Magic Wand, then places the Wand on my belly.)

That's no alien. That is an enormous baby. Oh crap.
How much baby would you say that is?

That's a lot of baby.
Let's see...the machine pegs you at 17 weeks, 5 days,
so you'll be due around Thanksgiving.

Wow. That's like 23 weeks away. That is an enormous baby.

And he was.

Today, when he got up, I asked him what he wanted for breakfast.
A present, he said with a grin.

How old are you?
I five.

Send help, please.
My mama won't let go of me.

See how much cuter I am today than when I came out?
I am like a good cheese.
I'm a cheeseball.

And this? Is the best present ever.
From Wee Man, who was tired of beating
the snot out of HB for taking *his* horsey.
It was Wee Man's own idea.

Happy Birthday, Cutie Pie Dimple Head Baby Big Boy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

this is serious, people. really.

First things first: I have been interviewed on a Very Important Blog called Pink Asparagus by my bloggy friend, Catherine. It is a Very Important Blog Event Catherine hosts called PenPals. And now that I'm Very Important, I am directing you over to her place to check her out.

Because she? Is totally checkoutable.

Second thing, umm, second. Have you gone to visit Elle? You know, Elle with the chocolates? Who I told you to go visit on Monday? In all the excitement about the CHOCOLATES and the CARAMELS and whatnot, I forgot to mention that adoption is near and dear to my heart because I, myself, am an adoptee. That means I was adopted, for those of you with suffix issues. So naturally, I must plug the adoption advocates. Like this:


And now on to the rest of the serious business.

I'm over halfway done baking this here baby in my belly. See me pointing? At my belly? That is what I mean by THIS and HERE.

And in a fairly short amount of time, this small person will come out and it is probably not right to refer to this new short person as Sweets for the rest of his or her life. And yes, I am saying his AND her. Because I'm just not telling you about information I don't have yet I don't want to share with you at the moment.

I found a website called Nancy's Baby Names, where you can ask Nancy, a semi-pro baby namer, what you should name your child. Fun, right? So I sent Nancy an email, and on Friday, she posted MY STORY!!!!! WOO HOO!!!! So now you and the whole rest of the internets can tell me what to name my as-of-right-now-gender-undetermined baby.

If you click here, on Nancy's Baby Names, you'll see the post where she discusses the names of the rest of my children. I know you are dying to know what their actual names are, and I swear to the Almighty I will delete you if you talk about them here. Leave Nancy a comment, too. Because comments are fun, that's why. Oh, and you may say things like I like the nice names you and the Mister have chosen for your children, and What the blazes were you thinking when you chose a name like Herkimer for the (current) baby? No wonder you call him HB!

But that is all.

Also, I may or may not be having the DETERMINING ULTRASOUND at 4 this afternoon. It is possible that I may (or may not) check back in later to let you know what flavour of bambino (or bambina) was spotted in the watery cradle that is my uterus.

Uterus. It's fun to say. Try it about six times in a row, really fast. It sounds like a horse galloping quietly. But I don't really know anything about that, so don't take me too seriously.

I'm off to make some pies. Miss O has requested a pumpkin, an apple, and also a cheesecake, but not a cheesecake pie, just a plain, old cheesecake. All of them are super easy and don't take long, except for the whole peeling the apples part, which has been made a much happier experience since I purchased an apple peeler-corer-slicer from Pam the Pampered Chef Lady.

No, that's not me. I am not a Pam. Ever. If you require some Pam in your life go to the grocery store and pick some up (I hear Pam's pretty cheap) or watch The Office.

Anyway, before I go, I leave you a challenge:
Leave a comment with your bestest ideas evah regarding what we should name the baby. I am pretty fond of a couple of Nancy's suggestions, and you can feel free to incorporate any of her ideas. (One last thing...we aren't going to name the baby Naomi if it's a girl. That's one on Nancy's list, and we have a little Naomi in our life already, so even if you love it, we're not gonna do it.)

Give us some direction to our lives! Help us name the baby!

Oh, and if you peg the gender? I'll send you a gold star. Yes I will.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a little tuesday morning encouragement to brighten your day.

The only consistent feature in all of your dissatisfying relationships is you.

Madness does not always howl.
Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
"Hey, is there room in your head for one more?"

If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you,
you probably have a very easy job.
The kind robots will be doing soon.

When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true.
Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for.
Unless it's death by meteor.

Monday, November 24, 2008

shameless plug monday: it's adpotion awareness month

I know, WAY TO INFORM YOU OF THE NEWS ALL AT ONCE, but I just found out about Elle, who is apparently awesome, and her Sweet Hope Truffles.

You can read Elle's story here, but I'm going to sum up because I know some people are too lazy to press their right forefinger on the link, and THIS IS IMPORTANT. Elle and her husband, Mr. Smartypants, adopted a son from Russia. As you may know, and I really hope you do know this, adopting a child is NOT CHEAP, no matter where you are adopting. Even here in the US, adoption is expensive. So Elle decided to make some stinking fabulous chocolate truffles and caramels, and she sold a bunch of them to help cover the cost of the adoption. The next year she decided to donate the money to another family adopting from Russia, and the year after that, and the year after that...

Anyway, Awesome Elle is STILL selling her chocolates. This time, her goal is to make a documentary about the older orphans and developmentally disabled orphans in Russia, children that nobody hears about.

I STRONGLY URGE YOU to go visit Elle, and to buy ten or twelve pounds of chocolate from her, because HELLO! FLAT-RATE SHIPPING!!!!! I am happy to email you my home address, should you have no idea who you should give these yummy bits of happiness and goodness. As you may know, I am becoming more and more exceedingly pregnant by the day. Also my midwife has denied my request to give me a chocolate IV drip.

Or, you could give the chocolates to your mother, or your sister, or your child's teacher, or yourself, or me, or your boyfriend's mom, or your old granny, or your librarian (they all usually like chocolate, too, I hear).

Click this button, right here. Yes, the one with the sweetiepie bumblebee on it. And see if you don't slobber all over your keyboard right then and there. Better yet, run and get a napkin first.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

just hanging out

We are having a quiet day at home today. We're blowing off church and staying home in our pajamas (with the exception of the Mister, who is leaving for a short time to preach at one of the churches our church is mentoring).

I got some bacon out of the freezer. It's the last pound from the pig we bought last year. I am a total bacon horder. Or bacon whore. Or both. If you have never had non-commercially produced bacon, you are missing out. Big time.

If you're a non-meat-eater, you're missing out, too. But I respect your choice, because it means more for me.

I'm knitting a wool soaker for HB. A soaker is a woolen diaper cover, for those of you non-cloth-diaperers out there. It is a pretty green (er, handsome). I am going to sit on the couch after we eat bacon and eggs and pumpkin bread toast, and I will drink coffee and knit until I am bored with that, or until I have to get up and make more coffee.

And the children will play.

And we will have potato soup for dinner.

The end.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

meme-a-licious, yes i am

I must be cheaper than junk at a garage sale, what with the number of times I've been tagged lately. Seriously.


And because Dory wants to get to know me better? Dory? Are you thinking clearly? I am a bit of a wack job sometimes, and I'm crazynutty pregnant which only exacerbates the situation.

See the rules? They're over there. On the right.

Here are my seven weird facts. They might be random, I'll leave it to you to decide.

Factoid Numero Uno: I wear long underwear from the end of October until late April, sometimes even early May. Because I'm ALWAYS COLD, that's why.

Factoid Numero Dos: I would like to live way out in the country, on a little farm, and be a hermit. The only thing standing in my way, besides, you know, loving where I live and stuff, is well water. I hate well water.

Factoid Numero Tres: I bite my nails when I am stressed. But I did manage to have super sweet nails for my wedding.

Factoid Numero Quatro: I stopped vomiting when I was four. I hate vomiting so much that I willed myself to never vomit again. Then? I went to college. The end.

Factoid Numero Cinco: I got glasses when I was in the second grade. They were GINORMOUS. I hated them. My mother made me get the biggest ones they made because if they're bigger, you see better out of them. She completely missed the part where the optician told her about there being one place, smaller then the size of a dime that is the part you can actually see the best. And then I wasn't allowed to get contacts until I was a junior in high school. Oh, but when I did? My life improved so drastically. And that is the truth.

Factoid Numero Seis: The smell of eggs and onions makes me gag. It might just be the pregnancy, but every Sunday, I have to go away whilst the Mister makes his lunch. I just can't deal with the odor.

Factoid Numero Siete: I aced high school Spanish, but I nearly failed Spanish Diction class in college, because the dialect they tought in college was Castilian, and instead of the S sounding like an S, it sounds like a TH. So Castilian = CaTHtilian. It darn near killed me.

Tag-ees: I'll pick a few NaBloPoMo peeps to help them out.
1. The Stiletto Mom
2. The Mister
3. Catherine at Pink Asparagus
4. Danae at Beauty in Distress (she just has a bloggity-block, that's all)
5. Jill at the Daniels Five
6. Joce at Tillaboro Orchard
7. Kara at The Simple Life

Go ye, and meme the world!

Friday, November 21, 2008

searching blogger

I KNOW that blogging about blogging is verboten, but hang in there for just another hour with me so I can get where I need to go here.

Looking at my stats is fun for me. For example, I wonder who is the person in Alden who reads me pretty much every day? Or how is it possible for there to be so many men who look to me for advice on how they ought to seduce their wives? Just because my husband and I had sex four times, okay, it was five, you got me there!, doesn't mean I know how men should seduce their wives already.

But today? I had a most unusual search turn up. Someone searched blogger for "birthday spanks images".

Classy. Real. Real. Classy.

I was looking at the Referrals part of my stat tracker, and clicked over to the corresponding number on the Details part of the stat tracker. And Details told me that the server my visitor came from was Yes, that is the real website.

Turns out is a toy wholesaler out of Brooklyn, NY. A lovely, child-related product company. And these are the guys whose pictures are on their website.

This is James.

This is Charles.

This is Richie.

Presumably, one of these gentlemen came across my blog, looking for pictures of Birthday Spanks, and found a picture of my daughter. It was not her birthday. And also? No spanking.

So there you go, Presumably Dirty Old Men From Brooklyn. Go eff yourselves. And not to a picture of my daughter. And should you come back here? You should feel comfort knowing that I am on the other side of the state. Warm, cozy comfort.

And supposing I am wrong about this? Apologies all around.

But even so, you ought to know better than to go snooping around a blog looking for Birthday Spanks.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

how to ruin target

Step 1: Take the children.

Step 2, as if Step The First is, in and of itself, not completely effective: Go to Target at lunchtime, or nap time, or even worse...go between lunch and nap when you haven't actually fed the children.

Step 3: Forget your list.

Step 4: Allow the 3 year-old to walk. As you will notice, this is NOT my first mistake in this scenario, and ****SPOILER ALERT**** I will tell you in advance that apparently I did not actually learn my lesson here. Because I'm super smart, that's why. Did you have to ask? Right. I know you didn't, but you ENJOY asking me questions, and having me tell you why.

Step 5: Give too many warnings. When you tell the three year-old that you will walk out of the store without items A, B, and C, (even though you really, really, reallyreallyreally need baby wipes), you need to leave the store and walk out. Before you pay. Even without the lifesaving latte. I know this.

Step 6: Engage in discussion with a preschool aged child, who believes Buzz Witenear calls him on the phone. And yes, if that is ruining our child's life, then we are PROUD OFFSPRING LIFE RUINERS.

Step 7: Answer the phone whilst in the store with a completely obnoxious child. Yes, Jocelyn, I know how you feel about the Satanic Cell Phone. And often I do feel this verysame way about the phone, however my BFF from college has been having a real sonofatime of it lately, and I do my best to answer the phone whenever she calls because that's the only way I have of loving her and supporting her because she is far, far away. But not Far And Away. That's a whole 'nother conversation, one that won't take very long at all. Except for the part where I mention that one of the supporting cast is a certain Colm Meany, who I saw perform the role of The Phantom in, no, not the Phantom Tollbooth The Cinematic Experience, but yes, in The Phantom of The Opera in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A whole 'nother country. And that guy? CAN SING.

And except for the part where I just asked the googles about Colm Meany, and they told me I'm an ass, and I really am trying to discuss Colm Wilkinson, because Colm MEANY actually played Miles O'Brien on Star Trek Deep Space Nine, for which we all should love him and be grateful. But Colm Wilkinson? THAT GUY is apparently the one who can sing.

See what I mean about the singing? Sorry to confuse you. And this is Colm 'The Singah' Wilkinson playing Valjean in Les Miserables.

Do you see why I have the troubles I have? How did I even get here?

Step 8: Forget your Obnoxious Child has run down the toothpaste aisle, laughing like a crazy.

Step 9: Shout His Name, his entire, full, complete, three word long name, eighteen times until a security detail (or three bored, yet helpful, teenagers) comes to assist you. Triangulate around Child Who Wishes A Public Flogging, catch him up under your left arm, thank the Teenage Security Detail who has been SO helpful by corralling Child Who Wishes A Public Flogging (the trickery!!! ha-HA!)

I would just like to add that the entire time all of this nonsense was going on, I had hung up the phone. Also, Cutie Pie Dimple Head said, broken-record style, I sittin' right here. I sittin' in the cart. I bein' good.

Because he knows who butters his bread, yes he does.

Step 10: Completely in compliance with Step 5, pay for the items you've chosen, and possibly say, out loud to Child Who Wishes A Public Flogging, IF YOU DO NOT KNOCK IT OFF RIGHT NOW, I WILL SPANK YOU RIGHT HERE IN THIS STORE, AND I DON'T CARE WHO THEY CALL ON ME. Because, at that very moment, you don't care. You want to drink, and that is all.

Step 11: Load the children and the four things in the car. Unintentionally glance over at the adjacent vehicle and COMPLETELY STARE AT A WOMAN SHAVING HER CHIN. In the car. In the parking lot of the Target.

And, voila! Easy as pie, your trip to Target is RUINED.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

wordless wednesday: toothless edition

Yes, that's me.
Yes, they came out naturally.
No, I did not choose the wallpaper.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

makin' the dough and eating it too.

I have tried and tried at different points in my life to make bread. And in the spirit of being bitterly honest, it was awful. Every. Last. Dry. Bit. Horrible, I tell you!

But I have been reading more and more about food additives, preservatives, and colors, and those things, my dearies, are worse than my bread. And the ingredient I am currently hating the most: corn syrup. I also am not a fan of partially hydrogenated ANYTHING! but I have been working to eliminate the corn syrup-filled ingredients from our diet. Please note: We eat marshmallows. We lo-uh-uh-uh-ove marshmallows. And there is just no way we will be removing s’mores from our diet, corn syrup or not.

And people, I have read the labels. Every last one at the tiny grocery store in town, and many labels in the bigger town (they do call it a city) to the north of us, and I have found one bread that does not have corn syrup. ONE! It was a Pepperidge Farms whole grain bread, and a few of the breads in that line also had no corn syrup.

So in the spirit of winning The Battle of the Corn Syrup, I ventured into making bread for the Dayton Five. I experimented with the Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking book, which yielded some lovely results. But those recipes didn’t utilize whole-wheat as much as I wanted, and they felt labour-intensive. So while they were good, that one place did not provide what I was looking for.

Other nutty-whole-grain friends of ours have been making bread for years, so I called for their recipe.

And that was the answer to the deep and penetrating question of bread.

The best thing about this recipe is that it is flexible. Add oats, don’t add oats. All white flour, all wheat flour, a comibination…whatever you want will work. Half a cup of sweetener, a whole cup, it’s all good. Butter, olive oil, vegetable oil…what you have in your kitchen will be just fine.

That said, I use rolled oats. Actually, I use a seven-grain rolled mix that provides a wonderful nutty flavour. For sweetener, I use a half cup of honey, and I use olive oil. The eggs are optional, but I always use them. Not sure why, exactly, but I do. And finally, I use instant yeast that I purchase from my Bulk Food Store. It costs $2.99 for a pound. That is an amazing deal. (I did recently learn that you can get the same instant yeast from BJ's, two pounds for the same price, but then you'd have to go to BJ's, and that's not always a good idea. The packets cost about a dollar, if I am remembering correctly, and who wants to spend an extra dollar per batch of bread? Not me. So look for instant yeast in big packages.

And the most important thing: USE A SIFTER!!!! Why? Because in a 1 cup measuring, umm, cup, you can get nearly two cups worth of sifted flour. Flour is one of those things you measure by weight, not volume, and it’s not meant to be packed like brown sugar. So go buy a sifter and thank me later.

what you use:
2 cups rolled oats (or not)
6-7 cups warm water
2 eggs (or 4, whatever you want)
1/2 - 1 cup sweetener (sugar, honey, maple syrup)
2 Tablespoons yeast
1 cup wheat bran (or not)
7-9 cups flour
1/2 - 1 cup butter or oil
2 Tablespoons salt (less if you use sugar)
6-8 cups flour

what you do:
In an ENORMOUS bowl, combine oats, sweetener, and bran with 6 cups warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Or until you remember that you had started to make bread a while ago. (If the latter is the case, stick your finger in the mixture. If it’s mostly warm, you should be good to go. If it’s room temperature, boil 2 cups of water and add it to the mixture. Stir well and proceed.)

Add yeast, and 7-9 cups of flour. At this stage, it should be really easy to stir with a wooden spoon.

Let sit for at least an hour. This is the sponge stage of the bread. It’s where the yeast makes out with the sweetener and the natural sugars in the wheat. It gets all bubbly and full of itself, like a couple of naughty teens.

Stir in all of the rest of the ingredients. This is where I abandon the use of a utensil to mix the bread. Because, really, I come with two handy (har, har) ones on the end of my arms, and they work way better. And, hey, less dishes.

Knead the bread. I have such an enormous bowl that I just knead right in the bowl. (Yes, also I don’t like to clean my counters, it’s just way easier this way. Purist I am not.) Knead until the bread is elastic and springy, and you are tired of kneading. About 10 minutes. Or so. Don’t be a wimp. You might need to add flour if things are getting sticky. Sticky = bad in breadland. Another way to tell that you're done kneading is that the dough doesn't stick to your hands in a gloppy mess.

Put the bread back into your enormous bowl. Cover it, if you like. Or don’t. This bread is not a fussy guy. Let it sit for about an hour. It will grow to twice its original size. Like seamonkeys. But better. Much, much better.

Punch the dough. This is not so much about thrashing your bread as it is about letting some of the fermenting gasses out. If you are a lover and not a fighter, you could gently poke the air out of your bread. Do what you need to do, but get the air out of the bread.

Let it sit for about an hour. Yes, again. Patience, people. Use this quality time to oil your bread pans. Gently oil your bread pans. Bread does not need to bathe in oil as it is baking. That is called fried dough, and you find it at carnivals and amusement parks.

Cut the dough into four equally-sized blobs. Flatten each blob, one at a time, into a square that is slightly longer than your bread pan by slightly longer than your bread pan. Roll up the dough, nice and tight. Fold the ends down toward the seam (that is where you ran out of dough to roll up), and place the loaf in the pan. Gently apply a little oil to the top of your loaves. That makes it purty.

Let the loaves sit for about half an hour. This is a good time to not forget you are making bread. Otherwise, your bread will rise too darn much and then it will be a disaster. And I can’t help you with that. Sorry. Turn your oven to 350 degrees. Or 375. Whichever.

Bake bread at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, and 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. To find out if it’s done, tap or knock on the top of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it is done. If it sounds full, it is not.

Turn out of pans onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before cutting, or you will have a serious mess to clean up. That is, unless you plan to eat the entire loaf at once. Then go ahead and dig in.

There are a lot of steps involved in this recipe, but I think that the hands-on time is 30 minutes or less. There’s just a lot of waiting time, which could be used to drink coffee, read, or paint your toenails. I mostly do laundry when I’m baking bread. Actually, I just mostly do laundry, bread or not.

Bread is not scary. Try it. Just remember to use a sifter.

Monday, November 17, 2008

thank you for the meme, that's just one less post i have to think about for NaBloPoMo

Rules: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 56. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The CLOSEST BOOK, NOT YOUR FAVORITE, OR MOST INTELLECTUAL!

So, the closest book to me is...Still Life With Crows, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

The thing about that book? Well, it's the Mister's library book. The Cover is a little bit red, and has a shadowy field with crows (go figure) flying all over the place. Thank the Lord we do not live at Hogwarts, where these birds would actually be flying on the cover of the book. Because that? would be freaking creepy.

She popped the clutch and peeled out of the parking lot, leaving behind a pall of oilsmoke and a nice ten-inch pair of tire marks on the sheriff's asphalt. As she careened out of the alley and slewed (slewed? seriously, that's a word?) onto the street, she was gratified to see the stumpy little sheriff tumble angrily out the door and start to shout something just as her black contrail obliterated him from view.

Well. Ain't she a little hussy. According to the little description on the cover, this is Corrie Swanson, the eighteen year-old misfit. Who, as the authors would have it, takes up, in one fashion or another, with an older FBI agent.

Whatever. She's legal, right?

There are so many things wrong with this book already.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

sometimes things just work out.

I don't really ever talk about money things, because I'm not the kind of person who a) cares about money, b) has any quantity of money to care about, or c) desires to discuss finances. We are We make enough money to keep our house, feed our children, and buy toilet paper.

Sure, I like to be "green" as much as possible. We purchase the environmentally-friendly items we can afford, and don't stress about what is out of our control. Do what you can. That's our motto.

We do buy organic vegetables from our CSA, but only because it is less than $15 a week for 22 weeks out of the year, and I can't feed my family appropriate amounts of vegetables from the grocery store for $15 a week. I don't think I could buy enough of the cheapest, off-brand frozen bags of vegetables to provide 50 servings for $15. (I am just speculating there, but I would bet I'm estimating correctly.)

We purchase our meat from local people who raise the critters and butcher them, but we do that because we get amazing, pasture-fed, Black Angus beef (roasts, steaks, and ground) for $2.40 a pound. I'm picking up our pig tomorrow, about 200 pounds butchered, at about $2.00 a pound.

It works better for us to plan ahead, and know what we will eat over the next year (within reason, of course, there's no way to actually know specifics), and buy in bulk, finding deals when we can.

The trouble with this is the VERY OLD, COMPLETELY ANCIENT freezer that is in our house. Last year, we (read: I) had frozen tons of fruit and vegetables when they were in season, and our VOCAfreezer was packed full. So when it came time to fetch the pig, we had to purchase a small chest freezer to preserve our porcine investment.

Since that time, VOCAfreezer has been running non-stop. All hours of the day, that thing is cranking away. We have newish appliances, including a super-efficient washer and dryer, I dried clothes on the clothesline from March to October, and barely used the dryer, all our lightbulbs are compact fluorescent, the TV is off most of the time, the computer...well, ignore the computer... What I'm getting to is the fact that my electric usage has not decreased at all despite all the good choices we are making.

VOCAfreezer has to go.

We purchase our appliances from the family-owned store around the corner from us, because those guys provide the most amazing service. I went to visit them yesterday, to price a new freezer. The one I chose didn't cost as much as I had been bracing myself for, but still? It is a big purchase.

I came home to crunch numbers, and decided I was just going to have to wait until next year, all the while praying over VOCAfreezer that it would not die and ruin all my loverly pork. Because that would ruin the food budget for sure.

This morning, I was fishing in the plastic 4x6 file that I keep my extra checks in, and lo and behold, there was a packet of savings bonds my parents had purchased for me quite some time ago. I checked them out on the savings bond calculator on the interwebs, and the savings bonds are worth $7.62 MORE than the cost of the freezer.

I don't know what you call it when things like this happen, but I like to thank God for blessings. While God didn't put those savings bonds in that little box miraculously, maybe He was the little urging my parents had years and years ago to purchase those for me, because He knew I'd have a freezer that was about to crap out on me.

So tomorrow, I'm cashing those bad boys in, and paying cash for my brand-new, energy-efficient freezer. Hooray!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

ooh, ooh, *DO* go there

Motherhood is the very condition of sexy. Remember that the next time you see some bedraggled woman with Play-Doh in her hair, dragging a toddler around the grocery store: THAT WOMAN HAD SEX. THAT WOMAN MAY HAVE SEX AGAIN.

*Caution: gratuitous, grammatically correct use of the eff word. I'm just saying, because I don't want you coming back here and telling me I'm corrupting you by pointing you down The Path. Use of the eff word is not to be vulgar, but to make a point. I am pretty sure I don't have to explain this, but I just want to be sure.

Friday, November 14, 2008

it's madness, i tell you

Well, maybe not true, unadulterated madness, in its greatest possible scope, but it's late as I'm typing this, and pretty much everything is madness at this time of day.

The Mister is participating in NaBloBlahBlah, just like me, and was out of stuff to say. Just like a man, I tell you.

What? Oh, hi, babe. I was just saying how much I love you, and how we like to help each other out, and how you ate a lot of meat and didn't feel quite up to posting, and how I TOTALLY HAVE YOUR BACK.

So go, read me over there. And leave him lots of nice comments about his nice blog. And have a good laugh at my expense. Or somebody's. Just make sure you have a good laugh. That's what Fridays are for.