Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good Birthday

I had a great day yesterday. It started with Pete taking the kids to their schools. I hung around the house a bit and then ran some errands. Before leaving the house, I got a phone call from my mom and my sister. And Pete's dad and grandmother called me. Every year my mom will sing happy birthday to me and then say, "(x number of)years ago, it was snowing in Northwest Arkansas. And two weeks later, we got 18 inches." I wait for her to say it every year! Even my brother called me last night. :)

After picking Clayton up from preschool, I met my birthday buddy, Ronda, for lunch. We had our little guys with us. We both love Coke Zero and Ruby Tuesday's has fountain Coke Zero. Bonus! So, we ate lunch and then went back to her house for cupcakes. When Pete got home from work he took the family out for dinner. We tried a new place called Say Sushi. It was a lot of fun. Kendall told the waitress it was my birthday and at the end of the meal, she brought out a bowl of ice cream with a candle in it. A special touch.

At the end of the evening the kids were in bed, the husband and puppy were asleep on the couch, and I watched my netflix movie Vicky Christina Barcelona. I hadn't heard of this movie until the Oscars. Penelope Cruz got the best supporting actress Academy Award for her role. It's a quirky, but good film by Woody Allen. I really liked it. Scarlett Johansen is in it, too.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Da da da da da da da da.....You say it's your birthday

People I share my birthday with:

February 27, 1981
Josh Groban, American Musician
February 27, 1980 Chelsea Clinton, daughter of President Clinton, 1993-2001
February 27, 1968 Loy Vaught, NBA forward for the Los Angeles Clippers
February 27, 1968 Mike Sullivan, Marshfield, NHL center for the Calgary Flames
February 27, 1968 Ron Cox, NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears
February 27, 1968 Michael Vartan, French Actor
February 27, 1961 Grant Shaud, actor, Miles Silverburg-Murphy Brown
February 27, 1961 James Worthy, NBA forward, Los Angeles Lakers, 1988 Playoff MVP
February 27, 1951 Lee Atwater, Republican National Committee Chairman, 1989-91
February 27, 1943 Mary Frann, born in St. Louis, Missouri, actress, Joanna-Newhart, Days of Our Live
February 27, 1941 Paddy Ashdown, British Politician
February 27, 1940 Howard Hesseman, Salem Or, actor, Dr. Johnny Fever-WKRP, Head of Class
February 27, 1934 Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, Unsafe at Any Speed
February 27, 1932 Elizabeth Taylor, born in London, actress, Cleopatra, violet eyes
February 27, 1930 Joanne Woodward, born in Thomasville, Georgia, actress, 3 Faces of Eve, Rachel
February 27, 1928 Ariel Sharon, Israeli Leader
February 27, 1902 John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, author, Grapes of Wrath-Nobel 1962
February 27, 1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born in Portland, Maine, poet, Hiawatha
February 27, 1622 Rembrandt Carel Fabritius, Dutch painter
February 27, 274 Constantine I, Great Roman emperor, 306-337, adopted Christianity
My friend, Ronda. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Roll on Friday....

Is it Friday, yet? I mean, really. Tomorrow is my birthday. And I hope that both kids are back in school tomorrow or I may have to commit myself to an insane asylum. It has been a rough week with sick kids. I was so stir crazy today that I dragged both kids to the driver license place to get my new driver's license. Talk about desperate. Then we went to the grocery store together. YOU KNOW I've got cabin fever when I do that. They were actually fairly well behaved. Or so I didn't notice if they weren't. HA! I gave them all the warnings--"Don't misbehave, don't ask for anything," etc. or blah, blah, blah. I've gotten spoiled being able to go shopping without kids.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kendall sick now...

It was a beautiful day today in central PA. But, I stayed home all day with both kids. Clayton is on the mend and bossy as ever. I think 4 year old boys getting over a stomach virus are meaner than snakes sometimes! Kendall is sick now. Poor girl. All she had today was water. She tried to eat a pop sickle but she couldn't even keep that down. She stayed on the couch all day, too.

Our electric raclette maker came via UPS today. Pete is going to the store for some cheese, gherkins, pickled onions, and salami on his way home from work. I have a feeling it will be just Pete, Clay and I eating dinner. I did make some jello for Kendall but she isn't a fan of jello. I don't like it, either.

Well, not much more to talk about. I need to get out one of these days...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gimpy cat

I took Buddy to the vet today. They x-ray'd, drew blood, and manipulated this leg around. Poor kitty. The vet thinks he jumped or something to injure his lateral ligament (something like that). She said he is a 13 year old cat and was acting like a 3 year old cat. That sounds about right. Anyway, just waiting on the blood work results so we can see how to treat him for the next few weeks to try to get the swelling down. For now, I'll carry him around some so he doesn't have to hop along.

And if that isn't enough. The other little man in my life (Clayton) had me up last night throwing up! Poor fella'! He had fever, too. So, today, no play group for us. I had even made cup cakes since the mom hosting play group and I share the same birthday (this Friday). Oh, I can't wait until summer when we are all healthy again!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back from the dead....

But first let me say how great is it that Slumdog Millionaire won so many Oscars last night!!!

Or at least it seemed like it last week and this weekend. I feel like I can get organized and take control of my life again. Hallelujah!

I should have taken the cat to the vet last week. Buddy has a gimpy leg and it's been this way since a week ago Friday. Poor kitty. In my defense, he looks OK one day, and then he's gimpy the next. So, I called and got him scheduled for tomorrow AM. I hope it's nothing serious. He is about 15 years old, so who knows?

I must get back into my Bible study on Esther. I really let it slide last week because all I wanted to do was sleep. I will definitely catch up in the next few days!

I need to clean the house! I was so sick and guess what? The man didn't pick up the slack! I know you are all shocked at this revelation, but alas, it's true. The dog fur and laundry seemed to get piled higher and higher over the last few days.

I did cook a yummy meal last night (if I have to say so myself ;))! I was in a funk this weekend and it really felt good to get in the kitchen and try something new. I know it's weird. It's called Chicken with Saffron Rice. I got the recipe out of the Williams-Sonoma March catalog we received in the mail last week. I will definitely do it again!

Olives and saffron and rice, Oh my!

And one more thing. My birthday is coming up on Friday! Woo hoo. I'll be 41. My daughter wants to get me a ring (I like the way she thinks) but Pete said I'm not getting that! Pete's birthday is two weeks after mine so we usually get one present together and go out to dinner without kids. He wants to get an electric raclette maker for our combo gift. I think it might just do!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Feeling well enough to go to dinner...

I think I'm finally getting out of that sinus infection hole. Yay! We went to dinner last night at our friends' house, Lou and Peggy. Some other friends were in town from Ithaca. They used to live here and every February I would host a February Birthday dinner since all three couples have one spouse with a birthday this month. So last night was sort of that dinner. I may still see if Lou and Peggy want to come over next weekend for my actual birthday so I can cook. Anyway, it was good to get out of the house and have some good food. The kids got to play with old friends, as well. There was another couple there last night. Our friends from Ithaca were staying with that couple who are former neighbors so that family came, too.

Here is Rich giving Pete a friendly kiss. I'm sure he'd had plenty of wine at this point. :)
We had roasted chicken, green beans, potatoes, spinach salad, and I made roasted vegetables.
Here is Clayton after the older girls dressed him up as a girl. He loves being the clown and making people laugh.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just what the doctor ordered...

I have been feeling a little irritable the last few days. To say that Clayton and I were joined at the hip would be an understatement. He was sick last week and I've been sick this week. We have spent a lot of time together. And I know that I should savor every waking minute with my precious, precious son. But, it has been getting to me. He's a little spoiled (my fault) and he's human so he knows how to take advantage of a person when they're weak (sick momma). Tonight was supposed to be my Girls' Night Out with the moms. Pete had some colleagues up from University of Maryland-Eastern Shore so I assumed that I would need a baby sitter. With the way I've been feeling this week, I thought it would be a waste of money to pay for a baby sitter so I can go out to dinner when I'm not feeling so great. I canceled the baby sitter and opted to stay home. I've been in a hibernating mood this week. Anyway, Pete ended up taking the kids with him to dinner. Ahhhhhhh. I really needed that. I came home after Kendall's ballet to an empty house. I turned the oven on and started putting a chocolate cake together while listening to my iPod. Dido, Joe Jackson, Abba, Dixie Chicks. A little music and baking does a body (and mind) good.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Went to the doctor

I went to the doctor today. I have a sinus infection. Wow. I get one every year in January or February. I got some antibiotics and took the first dose (2 pills) and two hours later, was running to the bathroom! Holy moly. Needless to say, I'm having a banana for dinner. But, I am feeling better already. How can that be? I have to take 1 pill every day for the next 4 days. I haven't decided if I'm going to the Womens Bible study tomorrow. I think I'll wait and see how I feel in the morning. I'm behind anyway because I haven't had the energy to read.

I took Clayton with me to the doctor and he was good as gold. He sat there quietly and patiently. He is growing up. The doctor asked him if he had a girlfriend. Clayton smiled and said, "no." That's my boy. You stay away from those girls.

Here's hoping for a brighter tomorrow.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Proud Momma

Kendall's teacher came by tonight. Accompanying her was Mr. B. (I can't think of his real last name right now.). He is the Character Ed teacher at the school. Kendall received the Citizen of the month. She got it for listening to the teacher, being a good example, etc. We are very proud of her. I couldn't help but think where does this kid go after school? But, I didn't say everything I was thinking. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Pete took the kids to school today on his way into work. Yes, he is a federal employee, but worked today anyway. He has to give a presentation this week and wanted to get it done. I got up this morning and packed the kids' lunches, poured their cereal and milk, and then ate my own breakfast. After some coffee, I decided to go back to bed. I think I slept from 11 am to 2 pm. I'm still moving slowly but now I know why Clayton was a bear last week. He must have felt fairly yucky. My throat isn't hurting as much, which means no strep (I hope).

I really must get the energy to clean and tidy this house. Tomorrow, we are having a home visit from Kendall's teacher. I don't know why this school does this, but they do. The Character Ed teacher is coming with Kendall's teacher tomorrow, also. Kendall is being awarded the "Citizen of the Month." On Friday, there will be a ceremony at school and this award is one of them being acknowledged. So, I need to get this place looking a little better than it looks now.

It's been so quiet in the house today. The three animals and I have just been lying around and sleeping. I always thought I could have been a cat.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sore throat.

I think I'm coming down with something. I woke up today feeling fine after getting my shot last night. For the last three weeks, I've woken up on Saturday with energy. I can't remember how long it's been that I've had energy when I wake up. But, around 11 am this morning, my throat started hurting and I just started feeling blah. It almost has that strep feeling. I really hope not.

I was supposed to go to the dollar theater with the kids and some friends but didn't feel like being on duty! Pete took the kids out with him so I could get some quiet.

So, no pictures of pretty cakes or pies today. I think I'll go have some Tylenol with water.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Where did the time go?

Where did the week go? The time seems like it just flew by this week. And to be honest, I have nothing to show for it. I was really tired one day and went to bed early (8:30), so that might explain one day. Just what did I accomplish this week?

  • I did finish my Bible study questions and readings for the week.
  • I did help the kids with their valentines for school.
  • I mopped the kitchen floor.
  • I cleaned the master bathroom (it was bad).
  • I stayed up and watched The Office and 30 Rock.
  • I did some never ending laundry.
  • I sat for an hour with Clayton and watched Kendall do her ballet.
  • I got my blood drawn today.
  • I dropped by the hospital to see if anyone is taking off so I can work some!
I guess I'm forgetting that Monday and Tuesday were spent home with a sick boy. I was not very productive this week. I hope I'm forgetting something because this is really sad!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Plan B

Today was a "Plan B" day. Clayton woke up with his cold hanging on. He even had a low grade fever, so I felt like we needed to have a down day and skip play group. We've been home two days in a row. I really hope he is better tomorrow for selfish reasons! I haven't been sleeping that well with him waking me up in the night and I know he wants to get better too. Poor guy. We have been lucky with the snotty nose colds this year. I guess we can't complain.

I spoke with my in-laws the other day and my father-in-law mentioned that they had eaten an onion tart (not sweet) for brunch at some restaurant in Cambridge. This sounded good to me and I was convinced I could make one.


1 Pâte Brisée (tart dough) for one 10-inch tart (see method for making pâte brisée) or 1 packaged, flat pie crust (Trader Joe's has one in their frozen section)
3 medium sized red onions
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup (not packed) roughly grated Gruyère Swiss cheese


1 If you are making a crust from scratch, prepare the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator while you are cooking the onions.

2 Peel and slice the onions.

rustic-onion-tart-1.jpg rustic-onion-tart-2.jpg

3 Heat olive oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sprinkle a little salt over them. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened and are translucent. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are well browned. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 10 minutes more, until onions are completely caramelized. Remove from heat.

4 Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes before rolling it out. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10-inch diameter. Remove the crust dough to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

rustic-onion-tart-3.jpg rustic-onion-tart-4.jpg

5 Place all but a couple tablespoons of the cheese in the center of the dough. Spread to within 1 1/2 inches from the edges. Add the caramelized onions, layering them on top of the cheese. Fold the edges of the crust dough over so that a small circle of onion is still showing in the centre of the tart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the tart.

6 Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

OK, I clearly need a little practice making mine pretty. This was so easy! The most expensive thing was the cheese. And I bought the froo-froo fancy Gruyere because my husband is a food snob! But, one wouldn't need to buy the expensive cheese. I served the tart with a salad on the side with a Balsamic/Olive oil vinaigrette I made.

Monday, February 09, 2009

For the love of dog...

Picture taken at the 133rd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, at Madison Square Garden in New York.

I am not a dog lover but I do have a sense of decency when it comes to the species. I mean, really, this is ridiculous.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Dinner last night.

We had friends over last night for dinner. I made a new recipe--Chicken Bouillabaisse. It wasn't too hard, just took a while to make. And I had to buy some expensive liquor and the recipe only required 3 tablespoons. However, Pete like the Pernod over ice. I'm not a big fan of fennel/licorice/anise flavors but this recipe was good. There were other flavors going on so I wasn't over powered by the fennel seed. I perfected my apple tart (if I have to say so myself).

Today, I slept in (tired from all the standing over the stove last night) and we skipped church. Pete didn't mind, of course. I'm not sure what I'll do the rest of the day but planning to take it easy....

Friday, February 06, 2009

Lunch with a friend

Wednesday, I had lunch with the mom of a friend who I went to high school with 20+ years ago in Arkansas. She and I both ended up in the same area in Pennsylvania and every so often we have lunch. We went to Spats. It's a Cajun restaurant with some regular Southern dishes, too. She's always wanted to go, but her husband wasn't interested in going. It's always a delight as she shows up with a big smile and a great strong Southern accent! She's originally from Mississippi (I don't remember how she ended up in Arkansas---maybe for college) and still has this thick accent. I know it must have been really strong years ago because she is probably close to 70 now. I ask her how my friend is and she updates me. I hear about what's been going on with her and her health (she's always coming from a doctor's appt) and what big plans are next. She talks loud and has this contagious laugh that causes the reserved Northerners to turn their heads. It's great. I'm looking forward to our next "Ladies Lunch."

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Yesterday, my post was a low blow and I don't want people to think that's how I operate. I was very hurt when I wrote it and should have used restraint. Sorry to the person that I was griping about. I should have kept it just between us.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day

According to Puxsutawny Phil, there will be 6 more weeks on winter. If the groundhog sees his shadow, the winter will be around for a little longer. Don't you need sunshine in order for there to be shadows? The sun doesn't shine a lot in the winter in Pennsylvania! There is NO WAY that varmint saw his shadow!