Monday, December 29, 2008
Twin'sWife and D are both gourmet cooks. They immediately invade the kitchen and start cooking. Every year they make garlic soup, so I make sure to lay in a good supply of garlic - the recipe calls for 44 cloves, but why go half way. It's absolutely wonderful, but the next day you'd best hang around with folks who have also eaten it...
The kitchen invasion doesn't stop with cooking, they also do dishes. TheTwin is much better trained than the Engineer. Tonight he charged right in to the kitchen and started doing dishes before I could even arise from the table.
Now, as anyone who knows me at all well can tell you, I'm not the neatest kid on the block and I hate to do dishes. I should be eternally grateful to the relatives for taking care of it for me. But, nasty creature that I can be, it really grooches me.
I'm a picky old broad and set in my ways. I have definite ideas as to what belongs in a dishwasher and what doesn't. I'm also a nut for loading it "properly" so that every item gets an equal squirt of the water.
TheTwin and Twin'sWife both wash dishes three or four times faster than I do. Stuff flies from the counter to the dishwasher all helter skelter and stuff that doesn't get dishwashered gets a swish with a soapy sponge and tossed into the drainer. Or dried with a linen. A cotton terry towel won't do, it has to be a linen towel. They can go through five or six linens a meal and a half a roll of paper towels.
One might think this leads to sparkling clean dishes, but it doesn't. It leads to goobers.
I hate goobers.
But what's a goober hater to do? These folks have just washed my dishes, a task that I devoutly hate. I never ask them to, they just do it.
But they leave goobers all over everything.
I can't whine and moan after they've just done something above and beyond.
And they throw things in the dishwasher that I never put in. I was hoping tonight to slip back into the kitchen after they'd all gone to bed to rearrange things "properly" in the dishwasher, removing and hand washing the misplaced items, and to hunt for goobers on things TheTwin had hand washed.
It was not to be, however. TheTwin squirted the dishwasher detergent in, slammed the door and pushed the start button.
Aauuggg! I was too disheartened to even begin to hunt for goobers after that.
Besides, I know I will find all the goobers eventually.
How happy for me.
(Ungrateful bitch, ain't I?)
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Such fun driving in the dark to my cousin's house. The trip which usually takes about 45 minutes took two hours. I saw 15 or 16 wrecks and slide-offs on my way. Thank goodness the Engineer had loaned me his BitchInABox (Garmin nüvi®), so all I had to do was listen to her boss me around instead of looking for street signs.
It was cold, single digits in the mornings, so the snow didn't go away. And it kept snowing intermittently throughout the week.
On Christmas Eve the temperature briefly went above freezing and the snow started melting. Then, of course, the cold descended again along with more snow. But first came rain, and me out in my EldestNiece's driveway shoveling a couple feet of accumulated snow along with her 13 year old son. I figured I needed to be shoveling too in order to lend my lecture on responsibility some credence. He and I both ended up with blisters. I hope the lecture made at least a little bit of an impression. If it did, the blisters were well worth it.
Slippin' and slidin', I was the designated driver with a car full of well lubricated relatives. The Twin had rented a big, rear wheel drive, boat of a Lincoln Town Car that flashed a dashboard icon of a little yellow car with slippy tracks when the tires lost traction. Like I couldn't already tell the car was going sideways.
By the time we left on the 26th, the snow berms along the sides of the roads were three to four feet high, darn impressive.
The Engineer drove back to the Detroit Airport in the front wheel drive Chevy Cobalt I'd rented. Since the road was an ice skating rink for about half the drive, I think he was glad I had rented a more modest car than his brother's Town Car.
We arrived home at midnight at the tail end of a major snow storm.
Since the Engineer had thoroughly fortified himself with wine during the flight and layover, I got to drive home. I was fearfully anticipating trying to navigate the dread, car-eating, driveway with a foot of new snow on it, but sometime miracles do occur...
The driveway had been cleaned! I have the best across the street neighbor in the world.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Ewwww, I don't think so, but this is the way the Engineer likes it. He's in charge of thermal transfer once the thermometer's placed and the meat is in the oven. He's the decider of when it comes out.
He has the chutzpah to make fun of my preference for chicken that's just a wee bit pink at the bone.
Ah well, to each his own.
P.S. My dinner was mostly vegetarian this evening - surprise.
Heat you through,
Grow hair on your chest,
1 cup of left over coffee
A dash of salt
1 spoonfull of instant expresso
1.5 spoonsfull of sugar
0.5 spoonfull of cocoa powder
Pour the coffee into a small saucepan on high heat, lightly salt it (really), add the instant expresso powder. When it starts to boil, sprinkle in the sugar, then add the cocoa powder. Keep stirring until it works itself into a roiling boil and almost froths over, then pour in canned milk until it's as light as you like. Cool enough to not burn your tongue and enjoy (once you get over the jolt.)
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Check out the bug photos she posted today. They knocked my socks off!
Why don't my bug photographs ever look like that? Even a fly looks glam when Martin Amm takes it's picture.
My bug photos are the acme of ugly. (Though I, personally, think this one's so ugly he's cute.)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
From there it's a short stroll to the bakery department and the LeBrea bread.
Easy Bruschetta Recipe
Toast in oven set to broil until it's as toasty as you like it.
Flip and toast the other side.
Arrange roasted tomatoes on top of toast then pour over some of the oil and spices they were packed in.
Sprinkle generously with freshly grated parmigiana or romano cheese.
Put back under broiler until cheese shreds start popping.
Eat and Enjoy.
In the summer I like to mix the roasted tomatoes about half and half with fresh from the garden tomatoes, makes it even better.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
My family has never done such a thing, though my sister did circle anything she wanted in the Sears catalogue. When she got into high school, she started circling the studlier guys in the underwear section despite never expecting to receive one. It was considered acceptable to ask someone what they would like, and we often did.
My brother's two daughters, 16 and 12, had one word replies to the question this year: "Money."
My Mother would have hung her children by their toenails and slowly flayed the skin from their quivering bodies had they dared give such an answer. To this day, it's an answer that shocks and offends me. (See Mom, some of your training did take.)
The younger generation of the Engineer's family shocked me ever more this year. Hmmm... Shocked doesn't really convey it... horrified, pole-axed, disgusted, appalled.. Yeah, appalled is a bit closer to how I felt.
13 year old nephew:
1.CCM Vector U+ Pro. Sr. ice hockey skates
$600 and his feet are still growing
2.Nike Bauer Vapor XXR Senior Inline hockey skates
$200 souped up roller skates - would he even wear these before he outgrows them?
3.Flak 5 Senior hockey gloves size 13 in black
$50, after the skates, these seem almost reasonable
4.CCM Vector U+ Int. Composite hockey stick 75/Ovechkin/Right
$160 could he be a little more specific?
5.Play Station 3
only $400 on Amazon
6.American Eagle gift cards
kinda like money in my book, but that's just me
7.!!!!!NEW TV FOR MY ROOM!!!!!!!! 32"
seems like he really wants to replace the TV he already has
8.xbox 360 or PS3 game-Call of duty World at War
$60 for blood splattered violence - I don't think so
9.xbox 360 or PS3 game-NHL 2009
not violent, only $57, but note he wants it either for the platform he already has, Xbox 360, or the Play Station 3 he's planning on getting
23 year old niece:
1. Garmin Nuvi
2. queen mattress set
3. Nintendo Wii Fit
4. Blue ray DVD player
5. couch and loveseat covers (black)
6. Dolce & Gabana The One perfume
7. gift cards- Target, Barnes and Noble, Kroger
Not as bad as the nephew, though a good queen mattress set runs a couple thou' these days. No TV on the list because Daddy already got her a 40" HD flat screen Sony.
And the Crown goes to:
(mom of 13 year old nephew):
2 Round trip tickets to Florida for Spring Break for my son and I we need a vacation
32-40" tv for my bedroom
Poofy Recliner for Living Room (Taupe or maroon color)
Ecliptical exercise machine
Sterling Silver jewelery
Coach purse-Ramblers Legacy or Patricia's Legacy-Black (either costs $400)
Bath and Body Works
Bed Bath and Beyond
I think I'm going to get everyone underwear this year. Cotton underwear.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Dancing Grannies Hat is going to feel right at home in this environment.