Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, New Beginnings

2011 ended with promises that 2012 might be a really good year for our little hoard. Today my husband started his new position, with a new company. Goodbye Sears and hello Kraft Foods. The change is eagerly anticipated however inevitably we are going to have to move. Moving itself is not a problem, it is all the details that bog me down that I dread. 
I have already started packing, anything nonessential, personal and extraneous is getting boxed up. The kitchen alone took 25 boxes, and I do still have a full kitchen which has lead me to the conclusion that I am a kitchen hoarder. I hoard kitchen items and for some reason I just cannot seem to let go of the ridiculously inane. I have 5 sets of measuring cups, 5 sets of measuring spoons, a shoebox full of utensils I never use and so much more. I have taken down all of our personal items that hung on the wall, began spackling the holes, along with all the wall dents the boys have created. I spent yesterday sanding down all the high spots so when we got to repaint it looks flawless (yeah, I attempt perfection allow me this delusion). 
Today I am packing up toys. Three boys means ALOT of toys and they do not even play with them all. I figure they will not even notice, and when they get the boxed toys back it will be like Christmas all over. I sorted through the boys books yesterday and made 3 piles; one to pack, one to leave out and the last is for a book swap the school holds every year. I never realized how many books these kids have. We do not buy books much these days because we use the libraries and we are given so many from friends and family. I have to say I am a huge fan of the recycle, reuse and second-hand items. 
Last year was a good year, even though it started out shaky. We had to replace the top of our raised septic mound for the cost of 7K and we took on some water in the basement after the hurricane came through the northeast. If we had a generator that would not have happened, but no electricity means no sub pump, and no sub pump plus a ton of rain means water in the basement. We did not have any damage to our home, but everything we owned in the basement has been damaged in some way. We literally filled a dumpster with damaged personal items. The year turned out ok, we managed to finance the mound, and as it turns out it was a fortunate turn of events as we need to sell our home and the mound would not have passed inspection. Things happen for a reason, and I am hoping that everything falls into place with this move.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Okay so it finally hit me right in the frontal lobe this week, Friday to be exact, the Halloween spirit. I started with a spider web on the porch, and today I managed to put up the lights on the front porch. I am hoping to drag the men of the house out to the pumpkin farm tomorrow for good times and noodle salad frivolity.

I love the way my kids look at holiday lights, their eyes light up and I can feel the magic that they see in the world around them. It is a euphoria that I nearly forget the rest of the year, only to be reminded again in October, November and December. I love the excitement, the anticipation and the inability for my middle son to wait for me to put up the decorations. He practically bursts when I bring up the decoration bins, and he cannot contain his excitement and it really reminds me how exciting life is, how good it is to be alive.
We have a garland of little skeletons over the porch stairs

This was a mistake, but I really dig it

Nothing like the orange glow enveloping the porch.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


School started for Kaleb and Evan the first of September, a week late since Hurricane Irene paid our area a visit, knocking down trees, power lines and flooding roads and our basement. Kaleb is already unhappy, lacks attention, needs constant redirection and battles me every step of the way. We have rescheduled a sleep study for Kaleb, since the septic mound is now (7 months later) repaired. I am at my wits end with him, it is only third grade and he hates school, hates doing the work. He gets good grades on his tests, but that will soon come crashing down as he does not pay attention in class and is missing crucial lessons. He does not act out in class, create disturbances or fight instead he daydreams, reads when he should not be and just does not do his seat work.  We have been starting the whole process of diagnosing ADD, but are ruling out any other possible causes first, hence the sleep study. Kaleb does snore, and in my opinion he does not get nearly enough sleep every night so this could be a very real possible problem that is causing the behavioral woes. With everything I have read, heard and seen I still am torn between feeling like he is just being lazy or feeling sympathetic that he might be physically unable to make himself concentrate. Other mothers I speak with describe similar behavior with their boys which makes me think maybe it is just boy behavior. The only reason I do not fully concede to this thought is that there is a change in Kaleb, a disengaging that is occurring. He would rather stay at home and be on the computer all day (if I would let him) then go out with the family, or do things he used to enjoy.

So, in need to some warm comfort food for dinner, and because I have cooked chicken that needs using, I have decided to make some chicken alfredo for supper tonight.


10 oz Italian cheese and herb cooking cream
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
6 ounces cooked pasta

In a large skillet over low heat, melt cream cheese and butter; stir until smooth. Add the milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.Stir often. Cook and stir for 3 minutes or until thickened. Add Parmesan if needed.
Add the chicken and broccoli. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Reduce heat; cover and cook 5 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Serve with fettuccine. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Wow has time been getting away from me lately. I really wanted to carve out some time for myself to sit down and just write, to make sure I remembered these days however tiring they may be. It seems all the boys have a head cold, and are miserable. I have finally managed to complete all the steps to volunteer at the boys' school; just have to get it to the office and annotated. I did fill out an application for Evan to go to preschool next fall, and I have been trying to figure out the swim lesson scheduling because as of right now it does not look like Kaleb and Evan's levels happen anywhere near the same time. But besides all the mundane bull crap I have tips, tips to jot down to try to remember to add to the boys survival/recipe books for when they are older. These are merely suggestions, they do not take place of seeing a doctor or doing what is best for you. I have just found these very helpful.

These tips came from a great friend, whose wisdom has helped me out of many times...

Coughing. When coughing keeps the kids up at night, slather the bottoms of their feet with Vicks Vapor Rub and put on some socks. Something about the menthol, it eases the coughing.

When cutting onions, keep a lit candle near the chopping block to help ease the crying. Also running the onion under cold water and keeping a window open, fresh air on the eyes is very soothing.

Salt is awesome. Anytime the boys get a bite or sting we take a teaspoon of salt and a couple drops of water, mix until it forms a gritty paste and then rub it on the bite. It's great, draws out the pain and itch.

more tips to come....

Monday, March 7, 2011


BROCCOLI CASSEROLE adapted from Paula Deen
I loved this it is a great side dish, and if you do not like broccoli, you barely taste it. I will definitely make this again.

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used cream of celery)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Well I have to say I was more then disappointed when I woke up to snow on the ground. Trying to ignore the weather I made myself a fruit breakfast and in doing so I remembered what it is about spring and summer that I love. I love walking out to my garden and picking fresh fruits and vegetables. I am adding to my fruit plants this year, hoping to do grapes. I made a little salad of banana, strawberry, grapes and raspberries. It was so yummy I decided to add some pecans to it, but it still looked a little bare and too healthy so a healthy serving of Reddi whip had to go atop and it was DELISH! so here I am left anxiously awaiting spring...


It has been a month of dealing with refuse both liquid and solid. We had septic issues, and while it was not as costly as it could have been it was not cheap. We had to have the honey dipper come out to pump out the tanks (we have two) which is 435 bucks. Yeah whatever, a necessary evil of septic systems, and especially here in the Delaware watershed where we have to have raised systems. EEEEWWW. Now the tanks are buried, but we have a mound for a leach field. It sucks to take care of and it worries me nearly year round. Ok, so back to our woes; the septic alarm went off, we had bigger problems then being full of shit. $960 later we have a new pump and wiring. I tell you what spending over 1K on my shitter was not what I expected to do this year. There is never a good time to live your plans, something will always pop up and surprise you. If I had waited to have kids until the time was right I would still be childless, if I waited to go rafting through the Grand Canyon until I had saved all the money I would have never went. I am thankful for all that I have  and try to remember that sometimes I just need to go do, live life, not waiting for the right moment because those rarely ever come.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


See I cut this in half because it was the first attempt and I did not want to be inundated with something if I hated it. Well I loved it and so did everyone else except Evan. I will note my alterations in parenthesis.
12 slice(s) white sandwich bread (1-1/2 C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs)
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 package(s) (1 pound each) smoked Polish sausage, halved lengthwise, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces (I used only one package)
2 large onions, chopped (only used 1 onion)
8 clove(s) garlic, chopped (only used 4 cloves)
1/2 cup(s) tomato paste (used 1/4 C paste)
1 can(s) (14 1/2-ounce) reduced-sodium chicken broth (used 7.25 oz of chicken broth)
1 cup(s) dry red wine (used 1/2 C of white wine)
1 teaspoon(s) dried thyme (our of thyme so I used 1/2 tsp sage)
4 can(s) (14 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern or cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained (I buy the gigantic cans so I used 1 can- 40 oz- of white beans)
I also added: 1 tsp lemon pepper, 2 tsp Adobo, 1 tsp poultry seasoning, and 1 C of cooked white rice that was left over in the fridge)
1.In a food processor, pulse bread until large crumbs form (you should have about 6 cups); season with salt and pepper. Set aside. (I did not do this I used already made crumbs)
2.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 6-quart heavy-bottom saucepan, cook sausage, onions, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and sausage is starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
3.Add tomato paste, broth, wine, thyme, and 2 cups water( I cut the water to 1 Cup and added the lemon pepper, Adobo, poultry seasoning and rice); bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; add beans. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened but still soupy, about 10 minutes.
4.Stir in 2 cups of the breadcrumbs( I did not stir in any crumbs since I added the rice). Divide sausage mixture between two 3-quart shallow baking dishes (only used 1 baking dish since I halved the recipe)or eight 10-ounce ramekins. Top with remaining breadcrumbs.
5.Bake, on a baking sheet, until topping is golden, 30 minutes.

I wish I could take photos of every recipe I attempt but lately more then usual 3pm hits and the kids turn into these crazy, half-starved, attention-deprived creatures. I literally barely make the food fast enough for them, I get it to the table right from the oven no pit stops. Interesting crowd these boys of mine.