Friday, November 27, 2015

Our Thanksgiving feast

Sharing our thanksgiving meal...and documenting it so I remember for next year...what worked...what failed

Turkey - It is only the 3 of us, so last year I cut our small bird in half and only cooked one half...this year I thawed the other half and cooked it... It was already brined from last year (a huge time saver!) and it turned out perfect!  The half size is perfect for our family as we will have enough for dinner tonight also and possibly turkey with gravy tomorrow.

Gravy - cooking just the half bird can make gravy time a bit scary, but I've learned that if I carve the bird I get enough juice to make the gravy with.  A brined bird makes for a really flavorful gravy.  This is something that always concerned my mom.  She searches all over town for her special sausage and then bastes her bird constantly.  Me, I brine the bird and roast basting! 

Mashed Potatoes - this year after boiling the potatoes, I ran them through the food mill into my crock pot with a stick of butter and some milk.  I set it at low until it was heated up (a lot of heat is lost in the milling process) and then left it at warm until after dinner.  We had nice soft potatoes that didn't get all dried out in the oven.  The only problem was that the potatoes did dry and stick to the sides of the crock...but a bit of soaking and scraping (I use an old gift card as a scraper) got it right out.

Rolls - I made the rolls with my bread maker several weeks ago...I just had to thaw them out and pop them into the oven.  yum

Yams - couldn't be easier.  I don't care for yams.  But DH & DD like them in the syrup that they're packed in add in brown sugar & butter.  Bake for an hour.  done!

Rutabagas - I'm the only one who eats these, but since I don't eat the yams, this is my treat.  This is also how I sliced open my finger last year!  But I searched online how to cut the rutabaga... and while I didn't find it any easier, I also didn't end up in the ER again this year.  I just cut it up, add some salt & sugar and boil them until soft.  Then run them through the food mill.

Mushrooms with quinoa - This was my attempt at a stuffing replacement.  I'm the only one who eats stuffing.  But basically stuffing is just bread with fat.  I read online that it was done as an attempt to add calories to the diet.  My family stuffing recipe does that quite well...and I don't need it.  So I tried the mushrooms & quinoa instead.  It tastes just fine, but Thanksgiving food it is NOT!  So I'll probably have it for lunch this afternoon.  I'll stick with just mushrooms next year.

Green Beans - just microwaved with seasoning

Corn - just microwaved... no matter what I do to the corn, hubby always adds salt at the table.  So I stopped bothering to add any salt when I cook it.

Cranberry Sauce - DD could just eat the entire dish with a spoon.  oh it is just the jellied cranberry juice.  She'll eat the whole cranberries also (but not the fancy stuff with oranges & spice :p ) but I get the cheap stuff and she loves it.

Pumpkin Dessert - This is sort of like a dump cake or cobbler.  Mix pumpkin (I get whole pumpkins and make the puree myself...which no one seems to notice or care.  If I manage to grow the pumpkins myself it's a savings of money.  fingers crossed for a good crop next year!)  with spices, sugar, eggs & evaporated milk.  pour into a greased pan and sprinkle a dry yellow cake mix on top.  pour melted butter on top.  The original recipe called for pecans, but DD might be allergic and it is fine w/o the nuts.  bake til cake is golden brown & delicious!

Cherry Dessert - Oh this is soooo easy.  Cherry pie filling (that's the hard part...finding one that isn't full of garbage) dump into greased dish and sprinkle with dry cake mix and pour melted butter on top.  bake til cake is golden brown & delicious!

and that's it.  For lunch, I served cheese, sausage & crackers.  I served dinner at 4:30 because it was done by then.  Lilly thought it must be midnight though.  sigh!

Sunday, November 08, 2015


It's over now and I'm really okay with how everything ended up going, BUT!!!

I came across this article today  Is it selfish to have adults only weddings?  and that got me thinking about it all again.

I should probably first say that when I got married I wanted an adult only wedding... BUT I DIDN'T GET IT!  I was not a fan of children back then (honestly, my kid is the only one I really like...okay some of her friends are really cool...but)  so I didn't want them at my wedding, messing anything up.  I can also add here that back then America's Funniest Home Videos was in full swing and the most popular videos were guys getting hit in the jewels and kids messing up weddings.  We also did NOT want our wedding video taped... guess what we have...

I was not able to have a kid free wedding because my dear fiance is the youngest of 5 children who were all married with kids and so to exclude their children would have really ticked off my new in we had the kids there.  Steps were taken to insure that the kids did not ruin my wedding and they didn't.  a fun time was had by most and there were no tantrums from the bride.  ;)

Now we are into the time of life where my husband's older nieces and nephews are getting married.  The same kids who all had to be invited to my wedding.  After attending two weddings in hubby's hometown we had already decided that when the next one got married that we were probably not going to when the save the date card arrived with a Fall date on it, we weren't all that concerned.  We didn't want to go anyway.

But then came the invitation for the wedding.  It was addressed to just hubby & me.  The invite and reception said it was "Respectfully an Adult Only Occasion."  and the RSVP card had that only 2 seats were reserved for us at the reception.  It was very clear that my nearly adult (17 & 1/2 year old) daughter was not invited at all.

And even though I had no intention of going to this wedding...I was really bothered by the fact that the couple had clearly excluded my daughter.  (I know, weird right?)

But then I got to thinking...

Perhaps the couple really didn't want any of us at the wedding?

I mean think about it...

Do they really expect for us to a) leave our kid at home alone (I know, loads of people do at her age and that's fine...we choose not to) b) pay to fly the 3 of us out there and leave daughter to do something else while we go to the wedding?  Or did they expect us to fly all 3 of us out and then ask for kiddo to babysit her younger cousins?

I don't know.  And honestly I am not upset at not going to the wedding.  We've done two there and there isn't much of anything else for us to see or do in and around hubby's hometown.  And sorry family but the thought of flying anywhere for just one or two days?  I don't think so.

I guess this opens the door for when kiddo gets married though and she doesn't want kids there... thanks for making it okay couple...  and I really do hope that no one gave you any grief about your kid free wedding.  It's your party.  I guess I'm just a wee bit jeally cuz I didn't get my kid free wedding.  :-/

Sunday, October 25, 2015

it's crazy here

starting to wonder when it isn't crazy

So kiddo is in a musical revue...she's been practicing and rehearsing for that...every night on her own and then at least once a week with the group, sometimes more.  They opened last night to a decent sized audience and they'll close and strike this evening.

This afternoon she has an audition for her next show.  Different theater company.  Fingers crossed as getting in here could lead to a lot more things.  She's pretty attached to her current company, but the new one could mean payment instead of paying.

There's an audition next week with her current theater company but she is leaning toward not doing that show at all...we'll see how she feels this evening.

and now it is the next day so I have updates on the stuff above and more things to add as always...

the revue is now over.  They did very well.  I didn't go see it as I've been listening to these songs for the past two months and a wee bit tired of some of them.  But overall it was a marvelous show and we're looking forward to the next one.

Unfortunately the audition didn't work out for kiddo.  they had about 20 girls or so show up with ages ranging from 11 to 17.  and all different looks.  But judging from the first cut it seemed they were going for a shorter certainly looking for a size difference between the older and younger versions of this character...oops I forgot to mention that...kiddo was going for the younger version, the older was already cast.  However, the silver lining of this is that a friend of ours who was in the revue also was not cut yet.  So we look forward to hearing if she is cast or not.  Her mom was telling me that they were asking the girls with lighter hair if they minded coloring their hair for the show...our friend already has darker hair.  :D  plus for her!

We still don't know if kiddo is going to audition for the other show yet.  She was trying to determine if any of her friends were going to be in the show also and of course she can't get anyone to commit to it.  ;)

In the mean time she has a different kind of audition coming up in December...this one will be for getting into a musical theater program in college.  there is a chance of a scholarship, which would be awesome but it will be interesting to see which schools might be interested in her.  A friend of hers ended up in New York!  so fingers crossed on that one.

still plugging away on the driver's license.  I went out with DH & kiddo last time and she was driving my car for the first time...she did awesome.  She still needs to get comfortable with my car, but most of her problems were with DH changing the directions on her.  We were both ready to hit him.  lol

My garden never really did all that well this year...I think I didn't get started in time and all the rain we had also put a hamper on things are cooling off quickly so today I took several of the plants and put them on the compost pile.  I am still hoping for a few more tomatoes but they and the peppers keep splitting so probably not.

Time now to make kiddo's halloween costume and then start making broth out of all the bones in the freezer to make room for our turkey and stuff.  I have no idea how much I might get...I should go count my jars first.  ;)

I found a sewing job the other day.  The gal had wanted to meet on Saturday to discuss the details, but of course I was busy...hopefully we can get together soon so I can knock that one out...super easy sewing job, shouldn't take me more than an hour.  and then I'll look for others.  or maybe keep an eye out instead.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Not that it will help any...

today I posted this to my Facebook


someone decided to use Facebook like Twitter to keep me totally up to date on a soccer game.  Not to worry, she wasn't the first who felt like I needed to know all about the game...  I've had several Facebook "friends" who wanted me to be aware of other sporting events or other things constantly! 


While I'm sure that folks on Twitter aren't wanting the play by play either...but really I'm pretty sure that it doesn't go on Facebook.

I had unfriend a family member recently because their FourSquare let me know where she was...all the time!  and even though I hid her posts they kept popping back up.  and I couldn't block FourSquare because I use it for the discounts...sigh!

Maybe I should just stop social media-ing....  yeah right!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I got me a treadmill!

After lots of searching, I finally found a used treadmill that wasn't falling apart and I could get home easily enough.  Turns out it was at our favorite thrift store!  I had seen several listed on craigslist but this one the money is going to a great cause.
All we had to do once it was in the house was to realign the belt.  And even though hubby nearly blew a gasket that I had got the treadmill and moved it inside by myself, he insisted that he be the one to fix it.  It really bothers him how independent I am sometimes.

I've used it several times now...still trying to figure out the controls on it...and even with the manual it is confusing.  I'm a bit spoiled with the treadmills at my old gym that "talked" you through it.  ah well.  Another thing is the book rack/control panel is set too far back.  If you get close enough to use them you're bumping your feet into the motor housing.  I know it doesn't work so well for the folding (oops, did I remember to fold it back up last night???)  but the bar should be over the tread more.

In other news:
Darly did get into the musical review (we knew she would though).  She's currently singing 4 songs with a few solos.  There are still more solos to be assigned so she's working on that music so she can get a few of them...she really wants one that would be one of her bucket list roles.  fingers crossed!

She did NOT get into the "Improv" show that wasn't really improv.  The folks casting went with their own people.  Which I know happens all the time, but why bother wasting folks time if you're not really going to consider them???  Another thing we learned was that this show was for a fundraiser that was going to be $100 per person to attend (not the cast, but if I wanted to see the show).  And then there was all that the part required, in the end it didn't seem to me that the pay was going to make the part worth doing...we're a bit spoiled in that the improv troop that Darly is in charges more per hour than she would have made doing this show.  ah well

I submitted Darly's headshot & resume for another role, but we haven't heard anything so I guess that's a no.  It would have been nice if they had told us that they got it.  sigh

Lots of Halloween gigs coming up, but I'm not sure we can squeeze them in with the musical review.  One that came up today had their show running for two weekends including the weekend of the review.

Darly went driving last night.  With me she was pretty much totally against driving.  She got mad at me for DH asking her to go drive.  But apparently that went really well.  Parents are hopeful to get her driving here soon.

Monday, September 07, 2015

BIG Sore Loser!

Darly decided to teach DH & I a card game that she plays with her friends.  It is called Nerts.  You can look it's all over the internet and it's a game that I enjoy.

At first I was winning the game almost exclusively.  I play solitaire all the time and the game is solitaire with more people.  My winning was upsetting to the other two players though, so making sure that I was following all the rules I found that I could stall my wins to make the game higher points for everyone.  Well THAT didn't go over well when DH noticed that I wasn't playing my winning card and ratted me out.  So I had to be more sneaky about it...

At this point, DH feels that to keep me from winning that HE has to be in charge of shuffling my deck so that I can't win.  And at first I allowed this because he was being rather bratty about it and I assumed that allowing him this simple concession would calm him down and show that I was winning only by skill, not trickery.

um no.  It seemed that allowing the shuffling made him worse...even though I wasn't winning the hands anymore.  He was STILL being a BRAT about it.  He was even winning hands (okay, I was still throwing hands) but that wasn't enough to make him quit.

Sigh!  It seems that I will have to give up playing my new favorite least with DH.

I've known since meeting him that all of DH's family plays for blood at games...highly competitive and will play all night in order to be the winner.  It's so sad.  I usually do not play with any from his family.  This makes them complain that I'm just a sore loser... but really I don't care about winning...I just have fun playing the game...but not against any of them.  They totally take all the fun out of the game.

At one point Darly gave DH a mini speech about how it was JUST A GAME OF CARDS!  It was awesome.  I told her that I couldn't be more proud of her.

I'm pretty sure that sore loser totally ignored her!  sigh

Friday, September 04, 2015

Dares BEARS.....

in dem dare NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!!!!!!  (translation: there are bears in my neighborhood!)

okay, they found one cub about a mile from my house...but where there are cubs there are momma bears...usually.  We still don't know where momma is.  Baby was caught and taken to a rehab center where he'll be fattened up and snuck into a hibernation den in a few months to wake up and wonder "whut now?"

Apparently the word is that last winter froze the berry bushes so the bears are hungry.  There have been 8 caught closer to the mountains and one in my friend's neighborhood...which is totally odd because she's pretty much in the all human part of town.  At least "our bear" could follow the gulch to where he was picked up.

I've always said that "I don't run, unless there's a bear chasing me.  So it is a good thing I live where there aren't any bears!"  Now it looks like I'm gonna have to move.  sigh

well at least I no longer have to worry about meeting a bear on the walking trails... because I bought a treadmill.  Unfortunately, the trauma from getting the treadmill into my house has me not using it yet.  That and I also have to adjust the belt and that's just effort!  :p

In other news:  Darly finished up Fiddler on the Roof Aug 16th.  Then took a tiny break...

Aug 29th - Audition workshop
Sept 1st - Audition for Broadway Musical Review
Sept 2nd - Audition for "Improv" show  (that's in quotes because I don't think that means what they think it means)
Sept 3rd - rehearse for her standing improv show
Sept 4th - work on picking song for Musical Review
Sept 5th - Improv show


The Audition workshop was just as I suspected...a great big LONG ad for acting classes with this group.  But for FREE what can you expect?  At least we came away with some useful tips.

The musical review audition went well - but today we have to run over for a bit more work on picking a perfect song for Darly...the director wants to match her voice up perfectly.

The "Improv" show...hummm well first they asked folks to prepare a monologue, but never had them do it.  Then they provided way too much for the bits...almost an entire script.  It was weird.  and they seem to think that a 5 hour long performance will be all short form improv.  Like I said ...I don't think it means what they think it means. 

Improv rehearsal (see we know what improv is!) - I had to leave Darly to go pick up DH at the airport, so I don't know too much of what went on, but they had fun getting ready for the show.  BTW:  you can't really rehearse just run a version of the games so you can fit the suggestions into it.

and in a bit we'll be off to go work on that music piece for the Musical Review.  Hopefully she didn't fall asleep in the shower!