Saturday, May 16, 2009

Finding My Motivation



In case you don't have xray eyes... the bin is full of my overflowing collection of sewing supplies. This has NOT been an adequate storage system. Anytime I tried to find anything I'd end up having to rifle through the entire bin... and as is always the case... I could never fit everything back in.

My bin and overflow and sewing machine were crammed in the bottom of this closet. The closet also holds our *dressy* clothes and Mr F's more occasional foot wear.

I took the hanging sweater shelves from my bedroom closet (what was the point of having it in there... they were empty and my clothes were piled on the floor in front of my closet anyway). I took out all my fabric and folded them and put them away on the shelves. Now I can see everything I have (and get to it). I can also keep works in progress on them where I can see them but they are out of the way of preying hands.

I took 3 small shoe box bins and sorted out ribbons, thread, and patterns into them.

I have a larger bin with paints and another with misc sewing notions.

I found the plastic shoe organizer (that had been left in the basement since the move) and filled the pockets with the rest of my craft supplies. Everything is now easy to see, get to, and keep organized.

There was still plenty of room for the clothes and shoes...

And I not only now know where the tape is...

I can finally shut that closet door!

Near Miss

The other day I had to run into my Mecca for a quick return and a few purchases. I commended myself on successfully avoiding the snack bar (or whatever you call it) and then did something really (especially in retrospect) STUPID.

Now I think Baby's personality has been well established as has her fearless love of danger.

Well... when we got to Target and I only needed a few things I decided that we could try not taking a cart (she just throws stuff from it anyway) and try walking through the store with a little basket.

Yes (again in retrospect) it was kind of like the night (4 AM) that I decided to try walking Canine (4 months old) without a leash (in NYC). That didn't end well (me lunging out into traffic to tackle him to the ground).

Either did this...

So we're walking through Target. It was midday and so pretty empty. I needed to pick out some girls shirts... Baby REALLY enjoyed reorganizing the stacks of clothes in the girl department (don't worry Target employees I did my best to put everything back). Then we needed to get a few more things in the baby section.

Baby REALLY liked to reorganize the clothes in the baby section. And after awhile I had what I needed and we needed to move along. But Baby wouldn't. So I thought about what to do and I decided to bust out the Old School "I'm leaving" and slowly walk away. I did this pretty loudly and a couple other moms saw me and heard me and may have snickered... this comes into play with the embarrassment factor I was about to endure.

As I left the section Baby kept in a parallel line with me. She wasn't coming out of the section but she was keeping up with me and could see me. I thought that was a good sign. When I made it to the end of the section I decided to step around the corner and wait a second.

Of course she would come running.


I mean that is what happens... right?!

Two seconds later (literally) I pop back over to her side of the section.

Baby is gone.


I am running and frantically looking under all the clothes.

How far could she possibly get?

How did I end up in a horrific Lifetime Original Movie about child abduction?!!!


I'm starting to panic and hate myself and wondering how to get the store LOCKED DOWN.

She's two for crying out loud and would happily run out the door and into TRAFFIC!!

She's faster than the speed of light!!!

Then I saw a glimpse of something small, moving quickly, through the shelves of boxes of strollers and car seats.

It was Baby.

She saw me and then put some serious gas on it.

She tumbled through the display to the other side of the divider and took off down the other aisle.

I had to run all around the entire section to get around the divider and catch her taking off to the back of the store.

I did catch her.

She was not scared.

She was thrilled.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Because I Care

That you have some sort of new entertainment everyday (no matter how lame)...

Birthday Pie

I have been making this pie for the last 8 years. Mr F has been a life long Apple Pie fan and would have said that was his favorite... until the first time he sampled this. This has been his birthday "cake" ever since. This is seriously THE BEST fruit pie I've ever had. The blend of rhubarb, strawberries and blueberries is both sweet and tart and has much more depth of flavor than the traditional strawberry and rhubarb combination. We also really like that this pie is only in season in May so it stays a special birthday treat that we look forward to all year. Try it!

Triple Delicious Pie
taken from BHG May 2001, Prize Tested Recipe

1.5 c sliced fresh rhubarb (3 stalks)
1 c sugar
3 T quick cooking tapioca
1.5 c fresh blueberries
1 c sliced fresh strawberries
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t vanilla
dash ground mace or ground nutmeg

1 recipe Pastry for Lattice-Top Pie

In a large bowl stir together sugar and tapioca. Add fruit, lemon juice, vanilla, and spice. Gently toss to coat fruit. Let mixture stand 15 minutes, stirring once. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.

On a lightly floured surface roll out one ball of pastry to a 12 -inch circle; carefully transfer pastry to a 9 -inch pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate.

Transfer mixture to pastry lined pie plate. For lattice top, roll out remaining dough as above. Cut into 1/2 inch wide strips. Weave strips on top of filling to make a lattice. Press ends of strips into rim of bottom crust. Fold bottom pastry over strips; seal and crimp edge. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until top is golden brown and juices are bubbly. Cool.

Pastry for Lattice -Top Pie
Stir togehter 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in 2/3 c shortening until pieces are the size of small peas. Using a total of 6 to 7 T cold water, sprinkle 1 T over part of mixture. Toss with a fork. Push to side of bowl; repeat until all is moistened. Divide in half; form each half into a ball.

The pie makes 8 servings at 390 calories a piece.

I always find it easier to mix the rhubarb with 1 c blueberries and 1.5 c strawberries (just reversing the amounts listed in the recipe) because blueberries are sold in 1 c clamshells at the store and it is just so much cheaper and easier... equally delish.

Yesterday I used OJ instead of lemon juice because I forgot the lemons... tasted the same. I also just dumped the sugar and tapioca on top of the fruit and mixed... and thought it was actually easier to mix it through the fruit.

I also (hey it was a stressful hour!) forgot the vanilla and mace... still it tasted the same.

Oh and I brush my pastry with an egg beaten and mixed with a splash of half & half (milk will do) to make it golden and glossy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Am So Freaking Excited!!!

A couple of weeks ago Kid's teacher convinced me that I should apply for financial assistance. I had hesitated just because I guess I couldn't justify taking money for something that is not a *necessity*... it's just my nature not to ask for help. Then I worried... and kind of assumed... that we might not qualify. But as I thought of the other families I thought... there is no way in hell that they are not doing better than we are... no freaking way.

So I applied.

And we got it!

No not a full ride... but a $200 a month reduction.

And that is some serious groceries!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The other day I was picking up Kid at school on our way to the library with a friend of mine and our children. I like this woman a lot. We have a surprising amount in common despite our near 20 year age difference.

She's smart, talkative, sarcastic and somewhat intimidating.

When we got out of the car at pick up she asked me how my day was... and I decided the time had come to reveal something personal and quirky... my love of the Amish.

"Great" I replied somewhat uncharacteristically.

"Really?" She responded eyebrows raised.

"Yes... I got my new Amish romance novel." I said slowly and suggestively.

And that's how it started. I told her all about the books. I told her everything I know about the Amish. We went to the library and I picked out a good one for her to start with.

I was a bit nervous though (possibly even somewhat embarrassed) and apologetic... also picking out a piece of true literary genius (Big Rock Candy Mountain) to balance out the potential lowbrow-ness of the Amish novels.

All weekend I've been sucked into my latest book. And when I say sucked in... I mean it... I want to take it in the shower with me... I'm tempted to read a bit at red lights... on the treadmill... in the bathroom... while I'm cooking. Yet I worried about my friend. What was she thinking about her venture into Amish romance? Would she think less of me for suggesting it? Would it somehow alter her opinion of my intellect?

I need not have fretted so. (hey that kind of sounded a little Amish)

I saw her today at pick up. She bounded out of her car and said...

"Thanks for the crack!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

This Week The Plan

Well this is about the third week in a row that I have been diligent with my exercise and food journaling ALL week... only to totally sabotage myself EVERY FREAKING weekend. I'm actually quite pissed with myself since at this point I could have gotten where I want to be already if I had been able to allow myself to stay on course.
As I said in my food journal today... I will not disappoint myself this week. Seriously. I really don't want to sit here and do this halfway so that in another 3 weeks I can be exactly where I am right now. I'm done acting out. I want to be successful. I know what I need to do... I just need to do it all 7 days instead of only 4.


Monday - pasta w/ meat sauce, peas

Tuesday - Salmon Noodle Casserole, steamed veggies

Wednesday - Shrimp Scampi w/ Linguine & broccoli

Thursday - Tomato & Meatball Soup

Friday - b'day party

Saturday - Fish Tacos w/ Guacamole (I'm using my cornflake crusted tilapia in the tacos... so freaking good)

Sunday - Quesadillas

Errands & Chores:

Monday - grocery shopping, cookie dough

Tuesday - bake & decorate cookies, laundry

Wednesday - get boxes ready for shipping, put away clothes

Thursday - clean kitchen

Friday - no school... clean bathroom

Diet & Exercise:

I'm going to stick to my calorie limit every fucking day. And exercise.

P.S. For those of you who are wondering... I have started having a snack ready for Kid when she comes home (typically a small portion of whatever Baby & I had for lunch) and it has helped immensely in regards to her constant asking for food. It seems if I preempt her she eats and then moves on. Regarding exercise we have walked home as many days a week as we can... also seems to change her entire perspective. If we walk she comes home and just continues being active... when we drive she comes home and continues being passive. Unfortunately we are having quite a rainy season so we haven't been able to walk EVERY day (although we do walk in the rain as long as it isn't pouring).

Things You May Have Missed

This weekend started with me trying to get some time (sans kids) to get some sewing done. Kid came and sat right next to me and rested her elbows on the material that I was trying to sew (at that very moment) and said "Don't you wish you could have a sewing room?" Ah... yes... one with a lock on it.

A little while later Baby started shouting "And Mine" and running around and appeared carrying her wooden mixer and put it up just as I had my machine. And my heart melted. Such a good idea... it really does look like a sewing machine. Now if she hadn't needed to sit right next to me and stick her pudgy little hands UNDER the needle as I was sewing, things would have gone more smoothly. Amazingly no injuries... unless you count my heart attack.

On Mother's Day I did what most moms do... I refused to mother. When you set out to have a day like that you might want to choose a location that can't be accessed from outside. Because nothing is as relaxing as you planned it would be when your children are standing 5 feet away from you banging on the glass of your windows... and alternately staring at you or spying on you.

Kid was really the only one on her game this weekend.

She's old enough to know it is Mother's Day and she was into it. It was kind of hard to explain to her that what I REALLY wanted for Mother's Day was for her to not lie in my bed mooching off my cinnamon roll while I tried to read the rest of my Amish romance novel. Don't worry she got over it when she realized she could spy on me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Apparently Baby forgot.

Because this morning she woke up about 2 hours early by screaming at the top of her lungs and throwing herself out of bed on her head (not accidentally).

I scooped her up and tried to snuggle her back to sleep... but... she screamed like I was trying to rip her limbs off and scuttled out of the bed and ran out of the room.

Mr F found her in the hallway.

When she saw him her screams (if possible... and yes... it was) intensified as if he whispered "now I'm going to dip you in a cauldron of burning oil" because she turned around ran back in my room and slammed the door in his face.

She ran up to the side of my bed and flung herself up.

I was lying tucked in... thinking... that Mr F was going to keep her and I would go back to bed.

She scurried up over my head and lied down. Across my neck. She weighs 30 pounds.

Amazingly she feel instantly asleep.

I lay there for a couple of minutes wondering what I should do and how long I had to wait until I could do it.

Then I realized that because I had been tucked in my shoulders were pinned down as she lay across them pulling my quilt tight under her.

I was immobilized thinking... "I can breathe", somewhat surprised that I could... but wondered how long until my windpipe crushed.

That's when the panic filled me. I flailed my arms and legs until I could get my shoulders free and pushed her off my neck.

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