Friday, February 27, 2009

cough syrup and eye candy

After Lexi had her first asthma attack in years, we spent the afternoon in urgent care, gearing up for nightfall.

With Albuterol in hand and a mountain of laundry waiting for me, I stopped by Blockbuster for a little something something to pass the time.

King Henry & Anne Boleyn, in my favorite sexy historical soap

Now serious historians make take issue with the twisting of truth, especially in the first season of The Tudors. It's a Showtime production, and it is full of hanky panky; the royals in this depiction are not chaste.

But I am fascinated with this show - the pageantry and the politics and the power of the Pope; the beginning of Protestantism.

Oh. And the King? He's pretty too. It certainly doesn't hurt.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

late breaking news: highlights

I'm prone to DIY, and often Doing It Myself Poorly. Like the last time I colored my hair.

It was a nightmare.

But I handed my roots and my sanity over to a professional today and she remedied my errors and gave me delicious butterscotch highlights.

I am ever so pleased, although I had a hard time capturing the new (out)look on my camera.

It was worth every penny.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

fat tuesday

Lent was the topic of conversation over breakfast, Lexi leading the way, coming up with strange food sacrifices for Jesus. I told her to get in line; Zack and I have that department wrapped up quite nicely, thank you, and one more dietary restriction may send me right over the edge.

I'm steering her towards giving up anger or pouting or IKEA envy, a suggestion that made her angry and pout-y, slamming her door to be alone with her catalog.

Fish on Friday is sounding better all the time.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I love Monday, just this once

I've put my pouting on the shelf; last night's show was fabulous.

(And Kate? She made me cry. Or maybe it was the wine.)

I'm just in a good mood today, racing through my to do list, resorting to bullets and some things I love:

red ruby rings (love you, honey ox)

red lipstick (congrats, Penelope)

red hot friends (Jen & Holly)

red wine (yummy)

red hot talent

Friday, February 20, 2009

academy shorts

I was poised to ponder deep(ish) thoughts about this year's nominations today, but it's just not coming together. I'm distracted by the school bus, carrying away my much-healthier kids, and clean sheets and did I mention the sun is out.

But my Superbowl airs this Sunday and I can't help noting:

  • I haven't yet seen three, 3!!, best picture nominations as of Friday morning. Can I cram? And Benjamin Button is 3 hours long...This may prove not to be a magic number.
  • I'm still not loving Slumdog Millionaire; I liked it, that's all. I know this is blasphemy. I'm supposed to love it, I know, but it felt 1 part brutal, 2 parts unrealistic fairy tale. This bullet could become it's own post, so I'll stop there.
  • I did love Gran Torino. I loved Clint Eastwood. I loved Bee Vang and Ahney Her. This bullet could become it's own post, so I'll stop there.

  • I don't care for Barbara Walters, but I'll suffer through her interviews in the name of tradition.
  • I'm rooting for Kate. Her performances in The Reader & Revolutionary Road were spellbinding. She is completely crush worthy.

I can't wait for Stephanie's party - be strong oh warrior, against the mighty germs - and the good food and company and our own red carpet.

{silly yelp} {so embarrassing}

Google images, googled
(I just re-read posts from last February. I was whining about coughing and fevers and missing school last year too. This is a pattern I am ready to amend.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I wrapped up in the bed I cobbled together after my son vomited on all my bedding, punctuating his first day back to school with some newfangled virus.

Such is February it seems.

So began the washing and the weariness that comes when the kids are sick, and my husband is fast asleep, working out of town, collecting a paycheck and messages from me, his beleaguered wife, needing to say aloud that I miss him - leaving a message on his cellphone to say I am too tired, this one night, to parent without him by my side.

I crept into Zack's room, draped in trash bags and towels, watching him wrestle to sleep, before turning back to my big family bed, where we weather out the last weeks of winter, petting heads and taking temperatures and waiting for spring.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

B is for broth

I'm gone for a week, on a muse hunt and came away with feverish kids.

Go figure.

But when you have a stopover in Feverland - adjacent to Whiny Kidsville and Too Much TV town - brewing your own chicken broth, between petting heads, just makes sense.

It's soothing for sore throats and coughs; homemade broth tastes great and leaves you with chicken for another dinner, later in the week.

So, vegans: Avert your eyes. Here's my recipe for chicken stock, straight from Nourishing Traditions, the cookbook my Naturopath recommended last fall when my blood work came back all wonky.

Chicken Stock

1 whole free-range chicken (You can also use 2-3 pounds of bony chicken parts, but I'm lazy and like to knock out another dinner in the process, saving the chicken for enchiladas, or salads. And by whole chicken, I mean I throw in all those less than savory bits and pieces.)

4 quarts of cold filtered water

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

I should suggest the celery and parsley here, but I rarely add them. But you could. It's your broth, right?

You can cut up the chicken, but I'd rather not. I place everything in a big stainless steel pot, and let it sit on the counter for about an hour. I skipped this step once, and the broth was less gelatinous, so I've been faithful ever since.

(You know all those expensive supplements, for arthritis? Well, I like the fact that I can get these same nutrients in this broth; the gelatin is essential. It's also why I choose a free-range chicken; battery-raised chickens tend to produce a stock that is refuses to gel. Insolent brew.)

Bring the concoction to a boil and skim the scum. (Words to live by.)

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. I can't take cooking overnight, because I'm a Nervous Nelly, but I start this early in the morning and it works just fine for me.

I strain the stock into quart containers, freezing some and sticking the rest in the frig for soup, for cooking, for risotto. It's amazing.

I cover the chicken - I deal with it the next day - stick it in the fridge, proud of my Suzy Homemaker ways.

Now, I'm off to check on Zack, the straggler, staying home another day.

Someday soon, we'll be back on our feet.

Chicken stock shot from google search.

Monday, February 09, 2009

blog break

Is there a term for blogger's block, the third year in? Because I'm feeling uninspired.

I'm taking a week off, to find my long lost mojo...

Friday, February 06, 2009

blogger's block fast fix (post the paper's picture of your girl)

Newsflash! When your daughter is on the front page of your local paper, it is big news at dinner. Oh, the excitement. Oh, the blog fodder.

Way to go, Lexi! We are always proud, thankful always, that you are our girl.

Picture by Andrea J. Wright of The Columbian.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

fibs I tell myself

I'm making a confession: I'm a big liar.

Oh, not to you, and you, and you, over there, giving me the stink eye.

But I've been telling myself some whoppers, like:

I can lose weight, and eat higher cholesterol foods - I'm anemic and my cholesterol numbers are too low, of all things - jumping on my mini trampoline.

I will start/finish my novel any day now, once I research/self-actualize/catch up on House.

My kids will continue to grow spiritually at the church I have chosen, the one that has my heart.

I don't like what I know to be true.

I must work out harder, despite my chronic health problems, if I want to feel better, in the long haul.

I need to adhere to a daily writing routine. I need to find a writing group, though the idea sounds grueling and gives me hives.

And I have started dating a local, smaller church, one complete with a best friend and an active middle school youth group, for my girl. I think I've made the right decision for my family, but there's no denying I am a bit sad, letting go of the first church we've attended regularly, since I was a ministry major dropout.

What little white lies are holding you back?

Monday, February 02, 2009

a letter to Monday

Dear Monday,

Here we are again; I guess it must be fate.

I made an outline of my New AND Improved schedule - when I will post and when I will write fiction and workout and paint and clean and cook and volunteer - applying this little known concept called discipline into my daily round.

My world showed promise, until you came along. You, with the crabby, overtired kids and the dishwasher rack, bowing to pressure, spilling broken glasses and mugs all over my messy kitchen.

(Oh, be careful, I think I got all the glass, but NO, I am not *yelling* at you it's just that - OUCH - see? I just got a sliver of glass in...yes, I will make you some breakfast and please stop crying over Pat (loaned to another sad child) and yes, I will put green goo in your hair as soon as I pull my head from the oven.)

Monday! For shame!

Maybe we should slow down, see other people. I've always had a soft spot for Thursday.

I'll facebook you. I promise.

Mama Milton