Monday, December 31, 2007

Wait, Wait... I'm Playing Too

Well the blogpshere is a buzz with New Year's Resolutions. As you know it doesn't take much to entice Mrs F into list making of any kind so I'm jumping in too.

I've been thinking on this subject for quite some time and hoped to really blow you all away with my stellar resolutions. Although it should be noted that New Year's Resolutions are something I have typically not been able to stick to in the past. They have historically been just another highly detailed list with arbitrary deadlines that gets lost in the back of my desk drawer only to be found 2 years later and laughed at. Daily crossword puzzle anyone?

What are you all trying to change in 2008? What is worthy enough to make your resolution list this year? MommyTime is trying to come up with attainable resolutions. Danielle is going to try and work at being satisfied with what she already has... and Heather is planning to master Norwegian for crying out loud. I don't really know what to do or say or commit to.

Last year saw the birth of Baby followed by a 68 pound weight loss. I managed to stay committed to both calorie counting and exercise.. and heck it wasn't even a New Year's Resolution. Maybe that's why it worked? Anyway here I am one year later. For once in my adult life losing weight isn't my goal. Can you believe it? Sometimes I can't. Seriously this is the FIRST time EVER I haven't wanted to drop 5-10 pounds. So what do I want to do? And is making a resolution the best way to accomplish it anyway? What exactly kept me motivated to lose the weight last year and how can I replicate that with say.... organization or cleaning?

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dinner Is Served

This is what I made as a side dish tonight after looking in the vegetable drawer at 1/2 bag of baby carrots and an aging sack of clementines. My inital thought was that the carrots needed a little rehydrating and thought that a nice glaze made from Clementine juice reduced with a little butter and ginger would be delish and do the trick. Unfortunately I found the clementines to be pretty dry and not too juicy either. So I added a quarter cup of water (OJ would have been good but we didn't have any... hey now that I'm thinking about it Triple Sec would have been really good in this!) to plump them back up. The result was delicious even considering the state of my ingredients. Simple (okay there was a little prep involved) and good and the perfect accompaniment to my Brown Sugar and Ginger Salmon.

Carrots in Gingered Orange Compote

1 pound bag baby carrots (halved length wise)
4 clementines (or 2 oranges) sectioned with membranes removed*
zest of 1 clementine (or 1/2 and orange)
1.5 T butter
1 T pureed ginger (I use a store bought kind in a tube but you could certainly use fresh)
1/3 c OJ (1/3 water and 1 T sugar... or 4T water & 2T Triple Sec)*
salt to taste

Lightly steam (or parboil) the carrots for 2-3 minutes, drain, and set aside

In sauce pan add clementine or orange segments (hint: section them over the pan to catch all the juice!), zest, OJ (or substitue), and the ginger. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid a bit (about 5 minutes). Add butter and return to gentle simmer. It should be pretty thick and pulpy with just a little liquid on the bottom. Add carrots and salt to taste. Heat through and cook until carrots reach desired tenderness (we like ours pretty al dente... about 3-4 minutes).

Makes 6 - 1 cup portions at 81 calories each
(or if you are me 4 - 1.5 c portions for 122 calories a piece)

Cooking Notes:
*Remove zest from orange using a zester, microplane, or the smallest holes on a box grater, and set aside. Cut ends off orange, and remove peel, pith, and outer membranes, following the curve of the fruit with a paring knife. Lift sections away from membranes, and set aside. Squeeze juice from membranes over sections before discarding. If your oranges are really juicy and you have a 1/2 c or more of juice in your pan you don't need to add any additional juice.

**heck if you've got it add 2T of triple sec either way

Hey Mrs F that sounds good but I don't want to section 4 clementines.

I hear you... if you have a large can of mandarin oranges (in juice or light syrup not heavy syrup!) in the pantry use those instead... juice and all. Omit the extra cooking liquid,the zest, and the sugar. All you need to do is add the ginger bring to a simmer and finish the sauce with the butter and salt. Boom. Pretty festive and flavorful and on the table in less than 10 minutes!

Hey Mrs F I don't want to steam the carrots first why can't I just cook them in the sauce?

You can but you'll need a little more liquid in the sauce to be sure you don't scorch your pan... it is not a very *saucy* sauce it should be pretty thick. I like to do this step first since it really only takes about 2 minutes to get a small amount of water to a simmer and steam them up... and it allows me to have more control over the doneness of the carrots. It also means I can let the sauce simmer away for as long as I like and put the carrots in right before I plate the food (ensuring they aren't over cooked!).
This is how I prepare most veggies. I'll cook them part way and then finish them off right before serving.

Is This Enough Of A Thanks You Whiny Baby?

Apparently Mr F didn't feel I had honored him enough for all his hard work setting up the playroom. It appears that mentioning his ADD in the labels of my post wasn't enough and he was expecting more of a traditional thank you. So he went ahead and posted his own self-love tribute over at his site. Go read it and BEHOLD his photo montages.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Holy Mother Of God

We just got our credit card bill. Let me just say... SWEET FUCKING JESUS! In the most horrible of all timings our Disney trip transaction didn't post until a few days after the end of our trip... which put it on the same bill as all of our Christmas expenses... BONUS! This brings this months bill to over two times our usual monthly bill. Oh did I mention that our mortgage needs to be paid at the same fucking time!

Clutter Control

The Long Awaited Before and Afters.

From This...

To this...

Friday, December 28, 2007

It's Gonna Be A Bright, Bright, Sunshiny Day

Any of my local readers will know how completely bogus that is. Winter in Michigan is miserable... and today is the worst kind of day. The sky is a dull dark grey... no sun... no way to discern if it is noon or dusk. There is no fresh snow and it is raining slush... seriously.... slush. It is disgusting out and we have about 5 more months to go. I'm not kidding... F-I-V-E.

But here is the good news. I'm feeling infinitely better than I did yesterday. We headed out to IKEA and came home with 3 new shelving units for the playroom.... that match our existing units that we had brought up from Mr F's old office set up perfectly pretty closely . So in a matter of hours we will actually have enough storage for all the new toys and books.... and get this.... we will even have enough room to put our winter hats and boots away too!

Tag You're It

"Okay Dude,
it is time for you
to watch both kids
and not just one

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Doldrums

Yesterday I was up and rearin' to go. I had even started a post about getting this ship back on course. So what happened? Today I've got to say I'm actually feeling a little depressed. I don't know if it the fact that my house looks worse than it ever has, or if it is because all the specialness and magic is over and we are just left with the trash and a dying tree, or if it is because it is Thursday and I have to *start* my week midway through (which never works out well). It could be that I have to go to the grocery store and get back to menu planning, or that Kid is off for another two freaking weeks. But either way I'm just not feeling it today. Today I'm longing for my child-free days when the days after Christmas meant sleeping in, visiting family, eating cookies, and lazing around reading for hours. When I didn't *have* to do anything.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas... It's A Wrap

After a week and a half of posts, believe me, I'm ready to move on from Christmas... and I'm sure you are too (especially those of you who don't even celebrate Christmas!)

But there are things that have been left unsaid (and unseen!) so here we go...

The Furious Christmas Wrap Up:

So What did Kid and Baby get in their stockings?
Kid: Wooden Jailhouse (so she wants to lock people up in a jail... what?!?... that doesn't mean anything)
Baby: 4 new pacies (you should have seen her shoving them all in her mouth... huge hit!)

When Your Best Friend is The Home Editor at Martha Stewart Living What Does She Give You For Christmas?
#1 personalized LL Bean Totes... yes mine says "Mrs Furious" and Mr F got "Mr Furious"

#2 filled with these adorable knit animals and books for the kids

#3 and ALL of this for the Mrs... Yes that is my face gracing the cover of all the Kathy Smith DVDs (God I love her!)

#4 Mr F got his HUGE tote filled with Audubon Bird Prints (for our living room), Life.Doc, Photo Album, and Graphic Stationary... Mr F is looking forward to filling up this bag when he goes to the library for his weekly fix of HUNDREDS of Cds and Magazines (no I'm not exaggerating)

When Kid Asks For A Furby EVERY Year For Christmas (even though she got one 2 years ago) What Do You Do?Like the genius that I am... you find it at the bottom of Kid's toy bin and give it to her again.... how did that play out? Perfectly! "Oh look... Santa must have known I lost my Furby!"

What Were The BIG Gifts To The Kids From Mr & Mrs F?
Baby: Ball Pit (seemed like a good idea at the time... but can you say broken ankle?)

Kid: Crazy expensive German wooden Stroller (guess who fits in it perfectly?)

What's That?"White Trash"
This is something our neighbors give us every year. But as of yesterday we still hadn't gotten any. Mr F was jonesing for it so badly that he went out to the store and bought all the fixins. This shit is so unbelievably good that you CANNOT stop eating it. You just want to shove your face into it and suck it up. Seriously. I cannot control myself around this. We brought some over to Christmas dinner at my brother's and then Mr F and I proceeded to eat all of it! I'm not kidding.... at dinner I wanted to hold back so I would have room for more "white trash" afterwards. When we got home I had a big hunk and then I had to pack it all up and threaten to throw it out if Mr F didn't hide it by his desk. I'm done with it. See you next year!

What Time Did Mr & Mrs F Go To Bed On Christmas Eve?
3:00 AM

Who Had To Pee In A Cup In The Car Because All The Gas Stations Were Closed On Christmas Eve?
Who do you think?!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

No... This Is Our Gift To You

Mr F finally opens one of last years presents....

First part: (don't worry they are VERY short!)
"The Presentation"

Second Part: "The Preparation"

Third Part: "Oh My GOD!"

Our Gift To You

As promised The Furious Family (okay just Kid and The Mrs) Preforms a Christmas Favorite...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's The Final Countdown

I'm not going to lie to you I've got a little bit left to do on that stocking. Keep in mind I said it would be done by tonight... so I haven't failed you all just yet!
In retrospect I should have just stayed up last night until it was done. I don't really have that much more to do but I've lost my motivation so in the meantime....

I Plan To:

Take a Shower
Cut Kid's Hair (always fun)
Put away the extra fabric, etc and find thread
Vacuum... damn needles!
Pay Bills (hey did anyone else forget that they still needed to do this?)
Wrap Up The Presents (not for Kid/Baby)
Re-wrap The Presents Baby Has Partially Unwrapped!
If I am a total Badass (and not too mad from the haircut) let Kid make a Gingerbread Train (yes I bought it people... cut me some slack!)

Haircut... The Discussion:

Before:Bangs & Front Shaping:Mrs F takes 4" of The Length:Finished Cut:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

After Twelve Hours Of Intermittent Labor (er... Make That 13!)... Let's See What You've Got Mrs F

It is 12:50 PM this is what Baby's stocking looks like:

This is my top priority now.
1:29 PM2:25 PM3:306:30
(appliques are not sewn on, but embellishments are, and the number and letter patterns are cut... still need to cut them out of felt and sew all the appliques on ...then I'm done!) We're going to dinner... be back soon!
12:20 AM (yes roughly 12 hours later!)12:35 AM Crafting genius strikes... note real grapevine twigs for arms (harvested from my wreath!)1:25 AM Mrs F decides to remove the snowdrifts... so much better!

Watch The Damn YouTube Video Or Else!

I am amending my warning... it is not "stupid" it is "hilarious"... it is not "too long" it is 3 minutes. Watch it. Kid's crazy laughing is contagious... and you won't be able to stop yourself from laughing along. I promise. Plus you get a really good taste of what Mr F looks and sounds like... entertaining in and of itself!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Moment You Have All Been Waiting For

So yesterday I had no problem posting my little test video... today was a different story. So I am following Heather's lead and going the YouTube route for today. So my morning video is now up... you can watch it HERE.

And I'll reward you for your patience with this little gem:

Testing Part Deux

Alright I Can't Wait Anymore

I thought it would be fun to document every part of my life on my little Canon for you all... but Blogger is not cooperating and now I've got bigger fish to fry.

I just got off the phone with my old college roommate. This is not a good times holiday post so if you are not wanting to hear a major rant on abusive relationships then move along. Maybe sometime today my video will finally finish uploading and you can come back for the "fluff".

Okay let me just say I love my friend. Love her. We had great times in college and she is as much of a goof ball as Mrs F, which is a rare find. But she has two downsides. One, she talks non-stop, even though Mrs F is quite chatty her own self, my friend doesn't take a breath to ask you how you are.... EVER. If she is calling she is calling to talk AT you. Period. And she will do it for two straight hours. This gets old after the first twenty minutes. I don't think she knows anything that has happened in my life in the last 6 years. Seriously. She calls me several times a week. I have to screen her calls because she doesn't ever get off. I can have a screaming kid in the background and I can say "umm Kid is bleeding from her eyes and her arm is on fire!" And she will respond "okay just one more thing..." and then go on for another 25 minutes. I'm not joking (okay I am about the blood and fire... but you get the gist). The second downside is her husband. He is a dick.

My friend has been with her husband since she was 17 years old. He is 5 years older.. so the fact that they overlapped in high school already tips you off to the potential for mental issues on his part. But I'm of course getting ahead of myself...
Okay they dated all through her years in college and grad school. They got married one week after we did. We had been together a little over 2 years... they had been together for 11! Now it was clear even when we were younger that he was VERY controlling. The fact that she is Jewish and he was at one point a neo-nazi (I'm serious) is another little weird oddity that I've never been able to wrap my head around. Anyway he is unstable and a yeller and he flies off the handle if she buys the wrong meat... or is 5 minutes late.... or whatever. I spent a lot of time wondering WHY, WHY, WHY she was with him. WHY she would marry him (I know her parents have wondered this too)? I think partly the fact that she grew up with him kind of shaped her frame of reference about herself. I know at times she had thought of leaving him.... but she never did, and never will.

And listen I'm not uneducated to the cycle of abuse. I worked on a domestic violence hotline for years. I get it. I even can see the things she does to instigate it. I have not ever been able to figure out what made her choose this type of relationship... it isn't a model she grew up with. And although I am very aware that abuse happens in all socio-economic classes... I will say it was very unusual among the girls I was in college with. We were all smart independent types who chose to go to NYC for college. Getting yelled at by your boyfriend every night because you called a minute late... was not typical, or even heard of, among my friends. We would seriously just look at each like "what the hell is going on?!?".

She has had moments of awareness and then they pass. They are married now they have a little boy. They moved across the country and we only talk over the phone now. I have tried to make peace that this is her choice. That maybe he has mellowed. That hopefully he doesn't yell at their son. She will call and say something about it and I'm always like "you have got to be kidding me?" but I don't say anything... what good will it do? She is in it and at some point I'm not even sure she is aware that "normal" men don't act like that. I mean she gets that on some level but she just deal with her life for what it is. Sometimes I respect her ability to "rise above".. which is not the same thing as respecting her choice... but she is aware that her husband has a mental issue (most likely bi-polar) and that he has triggers and that when he is set off fighting isn't going to help. I could never do that. My mother has her own problems and as much as I can and do work to find a place of understanding inside of me.. I don't sit there and eat it... I'm compelled to get validation.

Now my friend's husband will never get help and either will she. She called today and after screening her first couple of calls this morning I accidentally answered it. I was glad I did. She was having a bad day. And believe me I want to be there for her when she does... but hearing what that entails and knowing she chose this life is hard for me listen to. Her sons threw up last night at 3 am. No fun and we've all been there. But what transpired in her house was just plain crazy. Her husband freaked out because her son wanted his mommy and ended up screaming at him to get out of his bed. Then he yelled at her and then went back in to yell at their sick 3 year old some more. So my worst fears were confirmed. He does yell at their son. Not that witness an abusive parental relationship isn't damaging enough! Let's be real clear... it is!

Anyway after that he stormed out of the house at 4 AM and never went back. Seemingly he went to work. Now she is calling me to ask me if she should take her son on a school trip. What? Seems like that wouldn't really be a priority... um with the throwing up... and the abusive dick. But apparently that is just me. So these calls always put me in a tough spot. Obviously she is calling because she needs support, but I cannot, CANNOT, pretend that I think this shit is okay. So I asked how her son had responded to his dad's freak out... and I was alarmed that she hadn't done anything to address it with him. And so I told her that it was unacceptable and that they needed to find a way to help her husband gain control of his emotions or give him an exit strategy BEFORE he exploded. She of course agreed but then went on to blame herself for "talking back" and escalating the situation.

And I get it... I get that in that moment she had a choice to eat it or get pissed. And at her own admission if she instigates it makes him madder but the explosion is faster and easier for her to deal with then weeks of bubbling over. And the peace I made with this situation is that she did chose it that she is an adult and on some level I of course think this is damaging to her self-esteem but I can't make her leave him or even want to leave him. But what pisses me off is that they should not have had children. I'm sorry. They shouldn't. It is one thing to love a man who you know is mentally ill and chose for yourself that you are willing to deal with what he dishes out. But it is not okay to have children and allow your partner to take it out on them as well. Period. They need help... he needs medication to stabilize his moods and they both need therapy.

I asked her if he ever has the self awareness to sit down and have a calm discussion about it. She said sometimes he does... but it has to be right after and incident or he will already have re-framed it in his mind as being her fault. And I get that too. I get that he lost it last night. I get that he felt so badly about yelling at their son that he had to leave. I get that he feels so badly about being out of control that he can't tolerate that feeling and has to see it as being her fault in order to live with himself.

So at the end I said to her "You know that it isn't okay. That if Mr F did that he would be out of the house. You know that whether he yells at you or he yells at your son... it is shaping the way your son feels about himself." What more can I say? She was still most worried about the stupid train ride for her son's school outing. She was worried that if she took him her husband would freak out on her for taking a sick kid. I suggested she really needed to think about her motivations. She said her son was really looking forward to the train. I told her that in a few years he would not remember the ride... but he would remember his Dad screaming at his mom because she took him. I just don't know. I don't even want to know. My heart breaks for that little boy.

This is the exact reason I had to take a break from counseling kids. I would work with these kids whose life experiences were un-freaking imaginable.. seriously, I won't even go into it because it is that bad, and their teachers and parents would get so frustrated that I couldn't "cure" them. And you just want to beat your head against the wall. No amount of Ritalin is going to fix your kid if you are going to continue to (beat them) (shoot up in front of them) (turn tricks in the living room). I just couldn't hold all that sorrow and devastation and heartbreak inside of me anymore. (And sorry I said I wasn't going to go there... and believe it or not that is NOTHING). And right now I just want to cry because it is so frustrating to be so helpless and to have no way to make a change. No way to hold up a giant mirror and say "LOOK AT YOUR LIFE"... stop worrying about the goddamn train ride and start worrying about your son.

She just called me back. She called to ask him his opinion on whether they should go on the train ride. He said "well, you already told me my opinion!" and hung up on her. She is going to go and told me there will be a blow out tonight if we go or if we don't go... so we might as well go. I didn't even know what to say, all I could say was "I hope it is not too bad tonight." God this just sucks... when the best you can hope for someone is that their night isn't too bad.

Abusing My Power

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Testing Testing 123

Please Tell Me...

I'm not the only one who has let a few things go this week.

My "Home Office":

My "Moblie Office":


I deserve a goddamn medal! I did that all in one hour!
No my car isn't clean yet... I'm not a miracle worker!
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