Tag Archives: parenting

Bits and Pieces…

I’ll start by apologizing to my regular readers for the long hiatus from posting…it was a combination of laziness, and not having much to write about.  Here’s what’s been going on the last little while:

1. Kaylee and Scott celebrated their fourth anniversary together last Monday.  Anna put her artistic touch on a Black Forest Cake I made.  We also made cupcakes, which Hope and Brianna decorated. 

This is the cake...we found out afterwards that neither Kaylee or Scott are fans of maraschino cherries...

Brianna's cupcakes...

 

Hope's cupcakes...

 

The cake recipe was from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook…I’d like to try pairing it with my brownie recipe for a “chocolate overdose” dessert…maybe a layer of each with chocolate ganache in between?  Yummy!

2. Jim made a delicious turkey soup with the remains of our Christmas bird and some more of our garden veggies, and served it with awesome homemade biscuits.  That was a good supper!

Jim's soup and biscuits...delicious!

3. Jim was on vacation last week, but spent almost every day doing something IT-related…a great deal of time was spent building my dad’s computer for him (Christmas present).  We installed it at the bookstore on Wednesday (the same day I was running late, and Dad decided I wasn’t coming and left ten minutes early, without me!)…unfortunately, neither Jim or I remembered to feed the parking meter out front in the afternoon, and we got a parking ticket!  On Saturday about lunchtime, Dad’s monitor “went black.”  We didn’t find out about it until Sunday morning about 9, when we came down to find a note he’d left us.  If he’d called us at one of the three phones we have between us, we could have fixed it for him Saturday (my dad’s picture is in Webster’s under “passive-aggressive”)!  I discovered this morning that the monitor had bitten the dust…luckily my old one was still out back, and I got it hooked up with no help from my techie guy…I was pretty proud of myself! 

4. Last week, I was honoured to be asked by my blogging buddy and fellow Ohioan, Maura at 36 x 37, to be a guest host at her blog while she is offline this week.  You can find me over there on Thursday with a post from when I had five loyal readers my early days.  It was neat to get the invitation…it’s lovely to know that someone likes (and trusts) your writing enough to put it on their blog!   I told Maura that I finally felt like “one of the cool kids” (the other writers who are filling in are also on my Blogroll).

5. I have a famous visitor coming in the next couple of weeks…all very hush-hush for now, but of course, I’ll be blogging about her visit!  We’ll be showing her the highlights of Saint John, New Brunswick…she’s never been in the Maritimes before!

6. We got a big bunch of books in on Thursday…17 garbage bags full…yes, I did say “garbage bags.”  Believe it or not, they’d been thrown in the back of a pickup truck!  It was all anybody could do to lift them, and of course, all the corners were ripping through.  What a mess!  At least there were some decent books in the lot.  That was a first in ten years…it amazes me how stupid people can be, especially with valuables!

7. Devin went to driving school last week.  He had some bad luck in the classroom simulator the first day…I asked him on Thursday after he got home if he’d hit anything that day: “I don’t think so,” he replied.  Probably not the best answer…he reported that at least when he had hit something, he didn’t scream and take his hands off the steering wheel the way the girls in the class did!

8. I was pleasantly surprised at the reaction/support to my last post…so far, we’re doing well with our “experiment.”  Anna and Brianna de-decorated the Christmas tree on Friday, and Jim dismantled it (that’s probably a record for early removal!).  I almost “slipped” on Saturday, when Anna demanded I make breakfast for her.  I was making my own anyway (the same thing), so Jim suggested I do it at the same time in a larger pan (I was going to make mine first, and then hers, after she got out of the shower).   Anna floored me yesterday by asking what I needed help with while I was trying to get dinner ready (I needed someone to take stuff out of the washer and dryer, and put more clothes in, which she did).  Anna and Hope have even been getting along better!

9. Anna’s friend, Celia, came over on Saturday for a sleepover.  It was her first time visiting.  Jake liked her as long as she was either sitting or lying down (or feeding him treats)…standing up, not so much!  Luckily, Celia works part-time in a veterinary hospital, so was fairly comfortable with our neurotic dog.

10. I am now the proud owner of a “pastry cloth.”  After a search through Saint John’s kitchen stores, I finally found what I was looking for at Decor 8 in Brunswick Square…a thick cotton cloth especially made for rolling out dough.  It even came with a rolling pin cover: $10 plus tax.  It will make things easier not having to use wax paper!

11. Elise and her parents were here for a visit last night.  Elise’s vocabulary of words (and signs) is growing quickly…that was the first time I’d heard her say “NO”!  I warned her parents that Kaylee had hit “the terrible twos” at eighteen months (Elise was 16 months old yesterday).  I’m working on trying to get Elise to say “Gramma.”  She is also having fun with the Elmo drum set that her sadistic “Uncle Ben” got her for Christmas…glad those things stay at her house! 

12. The kids go back to school tomorrow, after the longest Christmas break ever!  We’re all happy!

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We’re Taking Back Our House, Kids…

Long-term readers of Herding Cats in Hammond River are probably aware of my love for the ABC sitcom, The Middle.  I wrote about their Mother’s Day show here:

https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/just-call-me-wendy-for-one-day/

I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard or as loud at a show as I did at the episode of The Middle that aired last night!  I swear that ABC has video cameras hidden in my house…this program is my life!  Here’s a video clip (please watch – it’s essential to the post):

http://abc.go.com/shows/the-middle/video-detail/featured/catering-to-the-kids/pl_PL5539592/vd_VD55105136

Sadly, Jim and I are “Mike” and “Frankie.”  We spend most of our time making ourselves crazy/miserable/tired so that our children will be “happy”…I don’t think they appreciate how much we do for them!  We do their laundry and dishes, spend massive amounts of money to feed and clothe them, and drive them anywhere they want to go.  When we plan meals, the menu’s based on their likes/dislikes, not ours!  We listen to their music (they whine when we put ours on) and watch their TV shows (seriously, people…how long can one watch Family Channel before losing one’s sanity?)!  When the kids tell us they need something for a homework assignment (that they’ve known about for weeks), it’s usually the day before it’s due…we drop everything and run to the store to get the posterboard/modelling clay/three-humped camel that they need for their project.  We used to get away twice a year for a long weekend without kids…there were no trips for Jim and I in 2010…we were too busy and too broke (although somehow we managed to scrape together the money to take them to PEI for three days, and go to Sandspit and the go-cart park)!

I spent three hours folding laundry (there were 10 loads or so) on SUNDAY night.  Mine, Jim’s, Devin’s and my dad’s clothes are put away.  Four days later, the neatly-folded girls’ clothes are still taking up two chairs in my living room!  I refuse to cave this time…they’re putting them away, not me! 

When I came home from the store on Monday night, the dishwasher was full, and still had not been run (it was full when I left in the morning).  “You didn’t tell us to run it, Mom!” Anna protested.  Really?  Three teenagers home all day, and nobody thought to turn it on?

Since Tuesday, Jim has been getting up early every morning on his week off to take Devin to driving lessons (to be fair, this was Devin’s mom’s idea, not his!).  I’m sure Jim would rather sleep in…

Tuesday night, I went to the kitchen to get a glass…there was a lone plastic cup in the cupboard, which normally houses in excess of two dozen drinking vessels!  I’m sure there are dirty glasses in every room in my house, except the kitchen!  The same people who hoard sticky, crusty glasses in their bedrooms will be the ones complaining when the dishwasher doesn’t get them clean! 

Yesterday, Jim spent the day installing the new computer he built Dad for the bookstore.  We went out for lunch (to a place which doesn’t serve its food in cardboard containers)…it was glorious!  It’s been way too long since we did that!  We’re going out again on January 22nd to a concert…no kids then, either! 

So…I’m drawing my line in the sand…things are going to change around here, from now on!  I urge other parents of teenagers who find themselves in this rut to stand up with us and take back your houses!   

We’ll start with dinner tonight…guess what, girls?  We’re having fish, because Jim and I like fish!  If that’s not good enough for you, there are Pizza Pops in the freezer…the microwave’s over there!  After supper, we’re going to watch Eureka on the big TV in the living room…and then maybe we’ll put on a record and dance…flee to your bedrooms if you must!

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Filed under family, food, rants, satire, self-discovery

Post #50…Random Observances…

I’ve been writing this blog for almost two months now, and as my title suggests, this is Post #50.  I feel like I should deliver some amazing wisdom to celebrate this momentous occasion (I have a fondness for statistics).  Since I’m not feeling particularly wise this morning, I think I’ll do something else…

1. A friend observed earlier this week that more people in Saint John were aware of the opening date for the long-awaited Costco than the fact that our city celebrated its 225th birthday on May 20th…I wonder how many people know that we are the oldest incorporated city in North America?  This is indeed a sad commentary…

Our current Saint John logo...

2. My father called himself a “numbnuts” yesterday…I didn’t have tape running…the man never admits when he’s wrong!

3. While watching the season finale of “The Middle” last night, the mother, Frankie, decided that she and Mike were “lazy parents” because their kids were having trouble at school…Mike countered with, “Maybe we’re not lazy parents…maybe we just got stuck with crappy kids!”  I’m with Mike on that one.  No offence to my “perfect” children (but when you forget your homework, it’s not my fault!).

Frankie and Mike's "Crappy Kids"

4. My peas and beans are up in the garden…hooray!  One of the squirrels has been digging in the big lettuce pot…bad squirrel!  Herbs are still hanging on…

5. My beloved Jim has become obsessed with birdfeeders…we have 2 regular ones, a suet feeder, and three hummingbird feeders on our back deck!  The squirrels and the starlings are having a field day!  Jim is also working on finishing a huge birdhouse that his dad started years ago…we may need heavy equipment to hoist it into the tree where he plans to put it!  He and Anna are getting some good photos though…

Anna took this one before the feeder got moved to the deck...

6. Our rhubarb is ready…wishing I knew how to can things…maybe I’ll make some pies (with pre-made pie crust, of course).  Anybody within driving distance is welcome to come and help themselves (to the rhubarb, not the pies!)…

How come my pie never looks like this?

7. My daughter, Kaylee, wants to reclaim her elliptical machine, which she refused to come and get when we were moving…it has resided in our back kitchen for the last year-and-a-half…there are at least ten boxes which have to be relocated before it’s going anywhere…oh, joy…

8. We were folding another massive amount of laundry last night…Jim repeated his idea of making the kids do their own laundry (while he was matching the full garbage bag full of socks).  I’m starting to think maybe he has a point…with three teenaged girls, it’s impossible to keep track of whose stuff is whose!  Another observance – when folding a towel, I fold it vertically first, and then horizontally.  My dad seems to think the other way is right…it’s really not helpful if I have to fold it again.  Just another peri-menopausal moment of rage…you’re welcome!

I need this guy to fold my towels...

9. We have overnight company coming from Ontario in about a month…wondering how we’re going to have the house in a “presentable” state by then…where did I leave that magic wand?  Oh…it’s over there, under the big pile of crap!

10. I rediscovered pesto and feta cheese recently…really enjoy spreading it on a tortilla and popping it under the broiler for a couple of minutes…discovered that writing a blog and cooking at the same time can cause the smoke alarm to go off…

Pesto...food of the gods...

11. I bought the new cookies with blueberries and brown suger – you know, the ones they’ve been advertising on TV like crazy?  They were on sale at Shopper’s…they are as good as they say…and they even have flax in them!  Delicious, and healthy too (at least that’s what I keep telling myself as I shove them down my throat, six at a time – they are kinda thin!).

You have to try these...

12. I might be getting that bike I was wishing for (https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/fear-of-falling-terror-on-two-wheels/).  Jim’s dad says there’s one in their shed they’re not using…yay!  I have to work off those cookies…

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I hope you continue to enjoy it as much as I love writing it!

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