Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 random things

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I knew I was going to marry M the minute I met him. It was love at first sight!
2. We've been married 9-1/2 years (together for 13).
3. Which is amazing since we are polar opposites.
4. We have two great kids. About half of the time I want another.
5. My kids are also polar opposites of each other. D is the easy one. A is "challenging."
6. I think the hardest part of motherhood is getting kids to eat. A is a very picky eater!
7. I am NOT a picky eater. If it is edible, I will eat it.
8. EXCEPT I hate: olives, okra, eggplant, couscous and (oddly) hot fudge.
9. I'm not so fond of turkey either.
10. I love seafood, blueberries, oranges, tacos, pasta, chocolate (but not hot fudge) and sour cream.
11. My favorite dessert is ice cream & cake. But if I could only have one I'd take the ice cream.
12. I don't eat much candy or cookies though. And when I do, I prefer homemade.
13. I am Chinese-Irish.
14. I was born in Wisconsin but grew up in Jamaica.
15. In Jamaica, we lived in a huge house with my paternal grandparents and about 8 other relatives, plus my mom, dad and 2 brothers. My mom, grandma & I were the only girls.
16. We had a maid, a cook & a gardener. But in Jamaica everyone does, so we were nothing special.
17. I have a live-in maid and cook: ME.
18. I don't like to garden at all.
19. I love to bake. It is like therapy.
20. I'm a blogger. I've "met" many lovely people through blogging.
21. In the next ten years I'd like to: go on a safari, go to Macchu Picchu, and spend a week in the Maldives.
22. My favorite city is Budapest.
23. My favorite island is Aruba.
24. I finally learned to ski this winter. It was fun but scary!
25. I'm terrified of lizards & frogs.

Consider yourself tagged!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Black hole

Target is my Personal Black Hole for all disposable (and not-so disposable) income. I know I'm not the only person to go in there with an innocent list for maybe $43 worth of stuff and routinely come out having spent $143. Whatsup with that?! I don't even know how it happens. About three times a year I do a temporary boycott of the place just to see how much money I save per week by NOT going in for essential stuff like diapers, wipes, garbage bags and Tide and then, like a zombie, end up buying handtowels, craft supplies, lip gloss, hair stuff, a few outfits for the kids. I figure that the extra money I spend there blows what I could have been saving by buying those essentials* at Publix.

So I'm not going to Target this week. Even though I know they have contact solution on sale. It's a ruse to get me to buy Valentine stuff, I just know it.

I will be strong.

*EXCEPT (and with Target there is ALWAYS an exception) it is by far the cheapest place to buy Diaper Genie refills. I can't wait til A is potty trained! And if you know of a cheapo place to buy Diaper Genies please let me know!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Buyer be wary

I live in a pretty quiet neighborhood and just happen to be one of the only SAHMs in the few blocks that surround us. We don't often get door-to-door salesmen but when we do, I always keep the door locked and tell them I'm not interested. However, last week, a young man approached me as I was on the porch with the kids. I immediately got the kiddos inside, but I was too late to escape the dude's sales-pitch which was "selling magazines for college tuition". And which was also a typical sales pitch: fast, friendly, an answer for everything, if I didn't want to order I could just give him cash (um, no thanks!) and then he showed me a copy of a receipt for my next door neighbor's order. Here's where the alarms went off, because when he showed me her order, he said that she told him to tell us that she was definitely recommending we buy something. HELLO?! Of course there was no way this scammer could have known that she hasn't talked to us in 4 months, that there is a lot of bad blood between us, and wouldn't recommend anything to us, ever. EVER. If our house was on fire, I doubt she'd call 911. She won't even walk her dog by our house -- she crosses the street first. (And, Suzanne, if you're reading this: you wrote down a ton of personal information on that little order form. Not too smart. Not that you'd listen to advice from me!)

Anyway, when he started in with that pitch, I got really suspicious, told him I wasn't interested and turned to go in the house. Right away he got hostile and gruff and started making comments about how come I didn't want him to go to college, what was wrong with me, etc. It was like turning off the friendly switch. I immediately went inside, locked the doors and called M to come home a bit early. I was that freaked out.

Today, the event still rankled me, so I googled "door to door magazine sales" and almost fell off my freakin' chair when this article came up. Call me naive or whatever, but I never imagined that the kids who sell these things were part of "crews" often selling phony subscriptions. Total rip off and total exploitation of the kids too.

A pretty tough reminder that there are some bad people out there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winter in Florida

Ice on my windshield
Didn't have a scraper
Had to wipe it off
With a piece of paper

It IS very chilly
It IS very cold
And we're talkin' inside our house
Because our windows are so old

I love this weather
I love a winter storm
But since our only heat is the boiler
It's love that keeps me warm.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter crazies

Why oh why is January always so nuts for us? I've been on the go (or the kids have) for the whole month. Thus, the lack of regular blog posts.

This week was school registration for D AND for A. If we are lucky, he will be starting pre-school next Fall - three mornings a week. Three mornings in which I plan to do all the things I've been wanting and waiting to do for the last 6 years. Good grief, I love my kids and would do literally anything for them but I badly need some time for myself. I want to go for a swim.

For those following along, here's an update on my Dad: He is recovering from his surgery slowly but surely. He has lost 20-23 pounds - and he didn't really have it to lose! But his appetite is coming back and he's starting to be able to eat more at each meal. He had a PET scan this week (to make sure the cancer had not spread to his lungs, upper-body lymph nodes, basically anywhere above his waist) and he had a port placed yesterday. That is how he'll be getting his chemo in a few weeks. (Scary, so scary, I never thought I'd write those words about someone in my family. I cry just typing it.) He has another surgery this Friday so they can remove a stent they had placed during the initial cancer surgery. So more recovery associated with that, but at least he doesn't have to spend a night at the hospital.

My ILs are here for Grandparents Day at D's school tomorrow, so we've had lots of company. And they brought some lovely cold weather with them so we've been enjoying a brief "real" winter as well.

Busy, but fun.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Humble pie cake

It was M's birthday yesterday and for his special birthday dinner he requested baked pasta and homemade birthday cake. No problemo!

I cracked out the Martha and spent an hour baking a marvelous, moist yellow cake. And hours and hours and hours making swiss meringue buttercream. I don't normally make swiss meringue buttercream because 1) it uses over a pound of butter and THAT can't be good for you and 2) it's normally way too warm here for the meringue to cool and not end up melting the butter into a horrid frosting puddle. But all the factors lined up yesterday, including cool, not-too-humid weather and butter being on sale at Publix. So for almost three hours I made sugar syrup, whipped egg whites and beat in the 1lb+ of butter by the tablespoon and voila! the most delectable, light, rich, creamy buttercream.

It was an amazing cake.

Just as I was getting sore from patting myself on the back, I asked D if she liked it. Her reply?
"Well, it's better than Cool-Whip."

Never count on your six-year-old for affirmation.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Very good news about my Dad! I'm posting an email from my Mom, because she says it all and says it best....

"Hi To All...What a happy day!!!!!!

We met with the surgeon yesterday who gave us the pathology report: Great News.
Yes, the tumor was large ( about the size of an apple - almost a complete colon blockage); yes, the tumor is cancerous; but it DID NOT extend through the colon wall, it DID NOT invade any other organs and 18 lymph nodes are benign. Praise the Lord!!! The tumor was budding and there is a Crohn's-like inflammation which infiltrated into the sacrum and ureter...But it's inflammation, not cancer.
The surgeon said it is remarkable, amazing...... this is considered a Stage 1 cancer!!!!!!!

There are no words to describe our relief; feeling of joy and gratitude. Thank you for all your prayers through this crisis. And we thank the Lord for His favor on Lloyd. We thank the Lord for moving his hand and seeing us through to this point and for His continued blessing during the next 6 months as Lloyd undergoes chemo. There are still hurdles to overcome but nothing we cannot overcome. So......please continue your prayers. And know that the Lord hears AND answers prayer. Sometimes in the moment all we have is prayer. And we always have the Lord.

Now I'm off to feed that man...his appetite is great and we are trying to put back some of the 18/20 lbs. he lost since early Oct. Cake anyone???? Maybe an apple and cheese???"

Talk about answered prayers!!


Funny Site of the Day:

May I have a cheeseburger - not quite as funny as f.u. Penguin, but also doesn't have the extreme language issues.

Funny Christmas Malapropism:

We taught D the song "Winter Wonderland" - and then we realized she was singing "it's a beautiful site, we're happy TO DIE"

Ok. Go laugh now.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Make that top 11

I'll have to call it the Top 11 Best. Must add this product:

11. NV Perricone Ceramic Skin Smoother - Put it on before your makeup/powder/sunscreen. It is marvelous. I got a free sample from Sephora a whiles back and LOVED it. I keep jonesing free samples from Sephora, Nordstroms & Needless Markups so I've got a few months stocked up. But eventually I guess I'll have to shell out real money for it.

Top 10

I LOVE Top 10 lists. I always find something new to try, eat, see or read. So just for fun, I thought I'd list my totally random Top 10 Best and Worst - 2008 edition.

2008 Top 10 Best
1) Our new house
2) Korres lip butter - best lip balm ever
3) Fruitcake (I get to eat it all since I'm the only person in the world who loves fruitcake.)
4) Fleur de sel caramels
5) Roasted tomato soup
6) Learning to ski (sort of)
7) D learning to read
8) The TV show "Worst Week" (CBS)
9) Our family reunion in NC last summer
10) Quirkle - our new favorite game

2008 Top 10 Worst
1) My dad being sick
2) All the $$ we've had to sink into maintenance projects at the new house (instead of fun decorating projects!)
3) The movie Balls of Fury. As bad as it sounds. Don't waste your time.
4) My paternal grandmother passing away -- my last living grandparent
5) Backing into a telephone pole in my new MomMobile (maybe a minivan is too big for me!)
6) Babysitters who flake out on you at the last minute
7) A throwing up all over the back of van in the middle of a road trip
8) A throwing up in church all over me
9) Tofu
10) The kids getting scabies right in the middle of Christmas vacation (I have NO IDEA how they got it. The doctor assures me anyone can. And not to blame the dog.)