Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lake Mons-ter

So, we had a huge storm that brought a lot of rain. Our basement actually flooded. Fun, huh. Here are pictures!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School pictures

Better late than never. Here are school pictures!

school starts!

Yeah! I am so excited. So the remainder of last night was good. We started our new bedtime routine with the kids. Start getting ready for bed at 8, lights out by 9. They had their Father's Blessings for the first day of school. Then I have from 9-10 to get my stuff done so I can be asleep by 10, awake by 6. Yeah. That didn't happen. More like asleep at midnight. I just lay there in bed thinking and couldn't sleep. Anyway, I didn't wake up at 6. I woke up at 7:30, the boys' new wake-up time. I got them up and going on their new morning routine. It went pretty well, but it is new, so they needed a little more time. Plus, we ran out of toothpaste. And I had to take lots of pictures. So, I didn't have time to walk them to school, so we drove. It wasn't a ton of fun waiting for D's class to start. I guess they won't let me in the library after all. I went to the Principals office to see if they have a solution. The other lady said to sit in the car for 1/2 hr. I asked if that is what she does. "No, that is what my nanny does." I'm thinking, I'd sit in a car too for 1/2 hr if I was getting paid. Anyway, I'm supposed to hear some kind of solution later this week. The childcare option isn't good. It is $6 from 7 am -9 am. Even if I don't drop him off until 8:30, it is still $6. Yeah, no thanks.I spent my time today doing Craigslist emails and updates since I don't do it on Sundays. I didn't do my chores today either, but I am very close to caught up on My Money. I should be, I literally spent hours on it today. Ugh. Neglect something too long and it turns into a beast. Brad is on call, but this month it is in-house on call, so he is sleeping at the hospital. At least he gets home early the next day. I also made dentist appointments. That's about it. It was productive, but I feel bad I didn't do my chores. Or exercise. Oh well. Lots to do, I should get some rest.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Here is the Slow-Cooked Taco Meat Loaf recipe. It is from Lacey Kirsch in the Mar/Apr 07 Simple & Delicious magazine. It is SOOO easy!

2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot sauce

DIRECTIONSIn a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture; mix well. Shape into a round loaf.Cut three 20-in. x 3-in. strips of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Crisscross the strips so they resemble the spokes of a wheel. Place meat loaf in the center; pull the strips up and bend the edges to form handles. Grasp the foil handles to transfer loaf to a 3-qt. slow cooker. (Leave the foil in during cooking.)Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160°. Combine the ketchup, brown sugar and hot sauce; pour over meat loaf during the last hour of cooking. Let stand for 10 minutes. Use foil strips to lift loaf out of slow cooker. Yield: 8 servings.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Garbage gone wild

This lady cracks me up. I can't help but laugh out loud. Such a hoot. If you have time, run to Reader's Digest and read her articles. They are short, fast, and hilarious.

Garbage Gone WildWhen did garbage disposal become so high-tech?
From Reader's DigestAugust 2007

The Touchless Trashcan

One day last year, our progressive California city distributed small green plastic compost bins designed to collect kitchen scraps and create marital disharmony. While I was eager to contribute to the municipal composting effort, my husband, being the hygienic sort, was less so. He ignored the little green bin, which was not, after a while, easy to do. Owing to my failure to empty the little bin into its bigger counterpart each Monday when the trashmen came, what was going on inside was not composting, but garden-variety rotting and stinking. Ed banished the bin to the deck. Now that I couldn't smell it, I would forget about it for weeks on end. The city was not so much composting as creating subsidized housing for molds and flies and their little squirming children. One day I saw Ed coming up the driveway holding, at arm's length, what we had come to call the maggot zoo. He was approaching the trio of wheeled garbage, recycling and compost toter bins lined up alongside our house. "Which bin do you use for bins?" he said. So we went back to our old ways: Ed using the in-sink Disposall, and me, having heard this was bad for our waterways, scraping the plates into the kitchen trash. Then we came upon a product called the Touchless Trashcan. Its lid had an "infrared sensor eye" that enabled it to sense your approaching hand and automatically open for you. "It is convenient to use, and it is very hygienic," said the packaging. We succumbed. The Touchless Trashcan came in three pieces and included a four-page user manual. One piece, the enigmatic Smart Retainer Ring, required eight steps to install and took up an entire page of the manual. The page was captioned "How Does Smart Retainer Ring Work?" The first thing to hit the bottom of our new can was the user manual. "I refuse," said Ed, "to read a garbage can instruction manual." Back to Basics The Retainer Ring, we finally figured out, had nothing to do with the automatic lid opener. Its purpose was to prevent the top of the bag from sticking out in an unsightly manner. And also to turn the task of changing the garbage bag into a ten-minute ordeal involving, quoting Ed, "an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic." Ed stuck a bag into the can, folded its top over the edge in the usual way and dangled the Smart Retainer Ring over the can. "Oops. I inadvertently threw the Smart Retainer Ring away." We lowered the automated top onto the bin and switched on the infrared sensor eye. For three or four minutes, throwing things away was a delightful novelty. Like many infatuations, that of a touchless trash can and its owners soon sours. For us, it happened that night after dinner. The sensor eye couldn't see very far, and so the lid tended to pop open at the last second, knocking garbage out of your hand and to the floor. I understood why this was happening, but it came across as impertinence. Also, since the eye didn't sense garbage per se but rather the heat of your hand, it ignored things like platters and dustpans. Ed came in one day to see me moving the dustpan over the lid in a series of slow, priestly motions, a ritual that became known as "the blessing of the refuse." Some weeks later, the touchless can took to intermittently popping open its lid when one of us passed by. Sometimes I'd catch Ed standing there, staring at it. "What does it want?" he'd say. I had a different interpretation. "It's trying to imply that you and I are garbage." Ed didn't believe this. "Maybe it just wants to be touched." Owing to the number of times it had slapped fish heads or yogurt lids out of my hand, its top and sides were spattered with food yuck, and neither of us was willing to test Ed's theory and embrace Touchless Trashcan. In the end, the automated touchless trash can was replaced by the old-fashioned kind of touchless trash can -- the kind that opens with a foot pedal. It requires no batteries, and if it has an opinion about its owners, it keeps it to itself.