Howdie Family and Friends - here are the going ons in the life of me. Stew shows up frequently. My family and friends visit a lot. My nieces and nephews are represented throughout. It's all about me and how I'm traveling along in this thing I call my life.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Facebook: 31 Jan 2012

Tuesday 31 January 2012

4:08 PM What to do for dinner, what to do for dinner....go out, stay home? I can't make up my mind.

Journal: January 31, 2012

Not such a good day today and I can't tell you why.  Stew called early today to tell me that our dinner plans with Chuck and Amber and the little ones was canceled (AGAIN) because PAM is sick.  It was a bummer - I really wanted to see them.  I haven't seen the girls in forever and a day.  I think not since the beginning of the football season and here it is almost the Superbowl.  Just not good.  Life and sickness gets in the way.  After I heard about that, all of my motivation just wooshed right out of me.  I didn't even shower until like 4:30 - so not good.

I couldn't decide what I wanted to do for dinner then.  Stew decided when he got home.  We were going to go to Olive Tree, but it was way too crowded so off to La Tolteca we went.  It's like our favorite Mexican place that is near us, but tell me why I deviate from the things I know I like?  I ordered the quesadilla tonight - big mistake.  Should have stuck with the Tilapia or the fajitas.  It was awful.  Ended up eating the vegetables from Stew's fajitas - he doesn't eat a lot of them anyway, so it was okay.

Then we came home and watched Mike and Molly - still loving this show.

Stew had therapy today.  Here's his numbers:

Steering Wheel
Right: +9
Left: +12

Door knob
Right: -2 (the machine shut down in the middle of this exercise so it's not accurate)
Left: +18

Screwdriver, switched from the larger one to the smaller one for a tighter fist like grip
Right: -3
Left: -12
His therapist expected these numbers to go down because she changed the.

Right: +50
Left: -4 (the key fell out of the machine again, numbers not accurate.)

Stew got to talk to his doctor who told him that he's very happy with the progress of his skin.  He doesn't have any worries that Stew won't make a full recovery.  There is a worry about his gloves.  They might be too tight.  So when I wash them tomorrow, they want me to shove socks in them while they're in the washer and the dryer to see if that helps to stretch them out.  We'll see.  He might need to order new ones - he has ginormous (I hate that word) hands, after all.

POTD: January 31, 2012

Ignore the mess in the craft's quite a sight.

Look what I got today.  I'm so excited.  I can start to film crafting videos because now I have a tripod that will support the weight of my tripod arm and camera!!!  Just in time to go back to work.  HAHA.

Monday, January 30, 2012

POTD: January 30, 2012

Stew's first day back to work.

Journal: January 30, 2012

Well, my Stewbert went back to work today.  It's kind of lonely being home without him now, but it's a good time for me to get things caught back up around the house so that when I go back to work next week, we'll be in a good place for that. 

I spent a good deal of time in my scraproom today and doing some laundry.

When Stew got home, I made dinner.  Steak, corn and potatoes (roasted).  It was delicious.  A very good meal, indeed.

Other than that, not much going on around here.  I did score some awesome lamps today.  They're regularly like $70, but they were sitting on a palette marked at a substantial discount.  When I got to the register at Joann's, I asked the cashier to check the price before ringing them up because the price sounded too good to be true to me.  They came up regular price.  I told her where I found them.  She went back and looked and then discussed it with her manager who said they needed to honor that price.  Awesome customer service and awesome score for me.  Thank you Kelli at Joanns.  I mean, they're Ott lights for goodness' sakes and I can't even tell you the steal I got on them.

 Tomorrow, I'm going to attempt to get motivated to take these Christmas decorations down and then we're having dinner with Chuck, Amber, PAM and PEM.  Can't wait to see them.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Facebook: 29 Jan 2012

Sunday 29 January 2012

6:24 AM Things are getting back to normal around here - I'm downstairs freezing in fleece pajamas, no less. I guess Stew's temperature sensitivity to cold is going away.

Journal: January 29, 2012

What a wonderfully, lazy day.  I got up really early this morning and spent time in my craft room - where else?  I watched all of the preview videos from Two Peas in a Bucket for the CHA manufacture releases.  Oh there's going to be so many new things on my wish list.  Stew's wallet is shaking in fear.  LOL.

I cleaned up the craft room today and installed my new Clip It Up.  Only problem is, I didn't anticipate how huge this thing is, so now I have to find a new place for my silhouette.  Ahhh, the problems you encounter when you own too much stuff.

Stew and I spent a lot of time just lounging in front of the tv.  It was good to spend his last day before going back to work this way. returns to a somewhat normal existence tomorrow.

We finished watching the first season of Body of Proof. 
 We both enjoyed the show and we'll probably get season two.

When we finished that, we started the first season of Mike and Molly - I probably should not be laughing so hard at all of the fat jokes considering the size of my behind - but holy goodness this show is hysterical.  Stew and I laughed out loud throughout the episodes we watched. 

Off to bed at a reasonable hour - before 10.  Unreal!

POTD: January 29, 2012

My new Clip It Up - it's holding all of my kits from my subscription clubs - think I ought to start using those.  Sigh....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Journal: January 28, 2012

Where to start in documenting the things that happened today.  We spent the day up at Matt and Kelly's, finally celebrating Christmas with GDH.  And that girl is crazy.  She is constantly on the go and no slowing down for her.  Oh no....there were so many things, so many stories, I'm overwhelmed at the thought of getting them all down.  I do want to thank goodness for my iphone - cause I was able to make some notes which will at least help me to remember.

We hadn't seen GDH since Thanksgiving due to the holidays being pretty much canceled for us, so now that Stew is almost back to being 100%, it was time to go see her.

We had to pick her up some new Christmas gifts as the ones originally purchased were a no go due to the new food allergies (poor little one).

To say that GDH was excited with her present is the understatement of the year.

She had to have it opened immediately.  She told her father, "it has directions on the back.  It says, open it."  So Matt did as he was told.  Stew said, "when Grace said she wanted a turn table, I was thinking she wanted a record player."  Matt said, "that's because you're old."

Grace's dad and uncle spent some time putting together the rest of the tracks for her - two Pollacks putting together a train track, hmmmm, I'm not surprised that one side of it just ended in an abyss of nothing.

Grace spent the next few hours playing with her trains.  Undeterred by the one side of the railway to nowhere.  I was so happy that she liked her toy - it's the best part of gift giving for me, to know the recipient really enjoys what you gave them.

The other thing we learned is that Grace is quite the storyteller.  She was telling us stories constantly.  The best one was about us building a roller coaster (this started because every one was talking about summer plans and Grace said that she wanted to ride the roller coaster).  She kept telling us not to push the green button because that's for emergencies only.  I asked her what the red button was for.  She said, "that's for emergencies, too."  Okay, I'm following, don't push the buttons.  So, we're building a roller coaster outside and she said that we'll need coast to keep us warm.  I said, "but it's cold out there."  She said, "no, no, no," complete with finger wagging, "We have lights."  I could hear the "stupid Aunt Gina" comment even without her saying it.  LOL.

She also likes pretending now that she's a dog.  This was mentioned on Kelly's blog in reference to her building a dog house out of, I think, the stroller's box, but I had no idea how literally Grace is taking being a puppy.  She was crawling around with a ball in her mouth, growling and barking.

When Kelly asked her what her name is, she said, "puppy dog," and she wouldn't be deterred.  Though later in the night we did get to hear her spell Huminski - so cute.

At one point, GDH and I were crawling on the floor together and she tackled me with hugs and kisses - awwwww.

She also enjoys blowing raspberries - it's one of her favorite past times.

At one point during the day, Matt and GDH were throwing a ball.  Kelly told them, no throwing the ball in the house and while she's saying this Matt is urging GDH to throw him the ball.  So Matt put himself in timeout and pretended to cry.  GDH comforted him.

The uncle, the dad and the kid played a lot of hockey.  GDH was so excited every time anyone scored.  I have a good video of this.  Every time she didn't do so good, she would say, "ahhh nuts."  LOL.  At one point, Matt tripped or something and GDH told him, "Watch where you're going team master."

The team master...

She shoots.....
 She scores....

 All three of the hockey players...

Celebrating Uncle Stew's goal...

Being goofy together...

 My favorite picture of maybe all time - look how cute.

Besides all of the GDH happenings, it was great to get caught up with Matt and Kelly.  We talked a little about cravings Kelly is having as she is pregnant with CEH.  Apparently, Whopper Jrs and ham on rye with mustard are on CEH's meals of choice.  When Kelly was pregnant with GDH, it was oranges and pickles.  How strange!!

Stew's favorite commercial of the day was for Kumho tires.  In the commercial, there are a bunch of scantily clad women at the beach.  Can you see Stew's amusement?  If not, I'm not spelling it out for you.

A good day, indeed.  This Aunt needs to rest tomorrow.

POTD: January 28, 2012

Stew driving for the first time since the accident.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Facebook: 27 Jan 2012

Friday 27 January 2012

6:29 AM I have to say nothing much happens on the internet when you log off at 2 and check again at 6. LOL. Waiting to go pick my little GEP up and take him to school.


8:10 AM Things that are driving me nuts this morning: lack of turn signal use; driving 50 miles below the speed limit because of a little rain, flashing high beams; crossing solid lines to pass; not understanding that if traffic signals are out the intersection becomes a four way stop. Gotta love Marylanders driving in the rain. What's that Frank always says about water soluble driving skills?

Journal: January 27, 2012

An early start this morning - off to pick GEP up for school.  Why I get up this early to take his abuse, I'll never know.  LOL.  He is just so ornery.  I don't even know what to do about him.  Some classics from today:

He was holding the dog's leash and was asking me if I wanted to be the dog.  Then he could take me for a walk.

I told him I was going to throw him in the pool.  He told me, "No you won't."  So I picked him up, fireman style and carried him outside to the pool and he's laughing - he has no fear that I'm going to do it.  Hmmm.   I just may have to rectify this situation.

He was eating his cereal and I was talking to him - and he tells me "talk to my hand."  I didn't say anything to him.  He says, "no, I mean it, talk to my hand."

 (I don't know what's going on with my camera on my phone - sometimes the pictures are so good and other times - they're just not.  Maybe I have to do some research on this.)

Some more pictures from my morning:

The Evil Eye

My one good shot for the day.

I see you with that camera.

Taunting me with the Ravens shirt.
 Mollie giving him a kiss while he put his shoes on.

Then there was the showdown about the bookbag.  I told him to go upstairs and get it, he told me to do it, this went back and forth - the sad part about this is when I asked Stew, "who do you think won that one," Stew said, "GEP."  WHAT!  The outrage.  GEP did go get his bookbag but with a lot of pouting involved.

I finally dropped him off at school.  Whew...that kid will wake you up.  LOL - love him.

Came home, searched high and low for the papers Stew needed to take to the MVA to renew his license.  Couldn't find it anywhere.  I'm getting more and more annoyed with myself before Stew says, "Wait, I have a hunch."  Yeah, they're in his work bag.  Sigh....

I had a therapy appointment in Bel Air so before that I dropped him off at the MVA, then went to therapy.  Picked him back up and we had a round of errands to run.  Went to the cabinet place - they have the brand that is in our kitchen, but they want to see the door (I had forgotten it, though Christina told me to make sure I took it).  I'll have to go back on Monday to order the one we need.  While we were in there, we saw some of the most fabulous kitchens ever.  Stew and I were starting to think about totally renovating our kitchen before we stopped and asked ourselves if we wanted to renovate the kitchen of the house in which we live currently or wait until we have the house we're going to live in the rest of our lives - yeah, solved that salivating right quick.  They were awesome though.

So with no cabinet in sight, it was off to Toys R Us to get GDH a Christmas present.  We had purchased her presents previously, but with her new food allergies, the Easy Bake Oven wasn't going to cut it.  I'm glad Stew can read.  Kelly told me what it was that Grace wanted and somehow in my head I got that Grace wanted a train table - not, exactly.  She wanted a train turn table with a round house - a what?  Stew saw one and we were off....LOL.  Some days my brain isn't connected to anything else in my body - especially my mouth.

After Toys R Us - we found ourselves in Chick Fil A.  Even though we're trying not to eat out as much, my appointment was at noon, so it was too early before we left the house to eat lunch and with the running around we had to do, it made no sense to come all the way home, eat, and then go back to Bel Air.  So, Chick Fil A it was - it was really good, too.

Next up was BJs - we got another gel mat for the kitchen and a rug for the dining room and picked up the steaks we needed for dinner.

Headed for home and Stew's barber shop - he's going back to work on Monday so it was time to cut off the charred ends of his hair.

He's looking so cute now.

Finally home - threw the steaks in the fridge.  We're both worn out.  Settle in to watch some Body of Evidence - liking the show, so far.  Neither of us felt like cooking, so it was mac and cheese for dinner.  Then bed.

Heading to Jersey tomorrow - can't wait to see my little girl.

POTD: January 27, 2012

I so want this game will look so purdy in my game room.

Fast Fact Friday, January 27, 2012

Have you ever been:
1.  Scuba diving?
2.  Bungee jumping?
3.  In a helicopter?
4.  Sky diving?
5.  Cliff jumping?

Let me just answer all of these questions with one word:  No.

Though numbers 3 and 4 are on my bucket list.  The others - no interest, at all.  I'll trust a parachute over a rubber band any day.  Have no interest in going into the ocean's depths - there are sharks there and guess what - they belong there.  And cliff jumping, one word - rocks.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Thought I would do something a little different and little craft centered for this week's Thankful Thursday.

My seven favorite scrapbooking tools (there are others that I love, as well, and it was a hard decision, cause look Versamark didn't even make the list and I use that all the time - but I narrowed it down, I think for today anyway, these are the seven most used tools in my scraproom.)

Paper trimmer by Fiskars - love this one.

My Silhouette - haven't broken down and bought the Cameo yet.  Will, someday, but for now, still loving this one.

ATG - never thought I would want one of these, but had a coupon and thought I'd give it a try.  Really glad that I did.

Martha Stewart scoring board - another of those, it's on sale so why not give it a try purchases that I'm so happy to have bought.

Large format printer from Epson.  I don't use this one as much as I use my Canon photo printer or my HP general printer - but when I want to make my own background paper or print something directly on a layout - this printer is a must.

Camcorder - learning how to make videos (in fact ordered a heavy duty tripod today to help the process) and this camera works beautifully for that.  (Thank you Marriott - ordered it with my Marriott points.)

My camera - it is true that this thing laughs at me while I'm trying to use it but just the camera itself has made me a million times better as a photographer - so just think where I started.  HAHA.  (Again, thank you Marriott).

Journal, January 26, 2012

Stew and I spent most of our time today at Johns Hopkins Bayview.  Stew had a therapy appointment and then on to see the doctor.  I love waiting almost 2 hours for an appointment and seeing the doctor for 35 seconds.  It puts me in a fine mood, let me tell you.

Let's start with therapy.  His therapist continues to be happy about his progress in strength and mobility.  The numbers for today (all weights stayed the same):

Steering Wheel
Right: +6%
Left: +13%

Right: +20%
Left: +1%

Right: +15%
Left: -6% (but this is due to a positioning error on the machine, so the result isn't accurate.)

Right: +63% (another machine error in the tension, so the result isn't accurate.)
Left: +10%

The off to the doctor which was more like sitting in the waiting room.  In the 35 seconds it took the doctor to look at Stew's hands, he said that both of them look fine.  He expects them to return to their natural color with time.  No more dressings for the right hand - leave it open to air.  Continue PT.  Wear the compression gloves 23 hours a day and he's been released to return to work and to driving - all with no conditions.  He'll go back to work on Monday.  We picked up his compression gloves, got his paperwork signed, and was out of there. 

Steve came over tonight to help me get the storage bins down from the attic so I can finally take down these Christmas decorations.  As Stew pointed out, there is a house in our neighborhood whose lights are still lit and whose tree is still in the window - so I shouldn't feel too bad, right?  Yeah, nice try.  I'm sick of looking at these decorations now and want them in the attic where they belong.

Steve stayed for dinner.  He's lamenting the fact that his girlfriend has returned to school.  He says he's going to be bored, depressed and lonely for the next 4 months.  I told him that he ought to get better grades since he's not going to be distracted by the girl.  He tells me that he got 2 Bs last semester and I want him to do better??  I told him, "mom moment - I'm allowed."  LOL.

For dinner I made chicken risotto in the slow cooker.  It turned out very well.  It was enjoyed by all and Steve's got a few meals in the form of leftovers.

We spent some time chatting with Steve and then after he left we made a 7-11 run - damn Hot Fries and Slurpies.  Just too addicted.  Next week we'll put an end to the 7-11 runs. 

Watched DVR'ed shows:

Top Chef, Texas:  Agreed with who went home.  Only 5 chefs remain and I still don't have a favorite.  I guess if I had to pick, it would be Ed.

Criminal Minds:  Love the Hoch.  Interesting episode this week. 

Project Runway, All Stars:  Can't believe the person kicked off this week - really thought it should have been the other girl.  Mondo's my favorite in this one.  Love Rami, too, though. 

Archer:  Just no words for this show.  We watch it just because we spend 30 minutes saying to ourselves, "did they just say that on tv?"  Tonight for instance, Archer says to Lana, "Look on the bright side."  Lana asks, "What's the bright side?"  Archer replies, "I don't know; it's a figure of speech."  Not really one of the more out there jokes - but I'm so using that some day.

Big Bang Theory:  Not such a good episode.  Not enough Sheldon I think.  Though, Stew and his bad jokes (if they can even be called jokes).  Leonard comes in to see Sheldon continuing his Fun with Flags video series.  Sheldon is dressed out in the traditional German clothing - Leonard turns around and walked out.  Stew said, "Do you know what Leonard said just then?"  I said, "What?"  So Stew says, "Lederhosen."  Oh Stew - sigh.....

Dad called tonight to check on Stew - or more to check on the NASCAR fantasy league.  Who is starting it?  The season is starting soon.  I swear I could hear the pout from across the room.  These boys and their fantasy sports.  I'm sure that Stew will take care of this issue, post haste!  If only I could get him to take out the trash on such a routine schedule....

That was about it and it's time for me to be calling it a night.  Going to pick up the little GEP monster in the morning to take him to school.  This time I'll remember to warm up the car and to not leave the house before 8:30 on the dot.  Although, GEP was almost in for a rude awakening as my therapy appointment for tomorrow was scheduled for 9 - so I would have had to have him at school as soon as the doors opened at 8:30 to make sure that I could get to my appointment on time.  He was saved though as my therapist moved my appointment to noon.

POTD: January 26, 2012

My new crockpot - my Christmas present from mom and dad.  It's inaugural use today.  Made a new recipe - Chicken Risotto.  It was delicious.  No pictures - it didn't last that long.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Journal: 25 Jan 2012

Been up since 2:30 this morning.  Just could not go back to sleep.  It's going to be an early night for me.  In bed before 10 - what a concept.

Kind of a boring day around the house.  I spent most of the day in the craft room.  Made some Valentine's day cards for my kids (all the ones for the girls are done - boys are tough).  My goal is to mail them on Monday, so hopefully will finish them this weekend.

Stew and I are doing well on our goal to eat three good meals a day and not eat out.  Today it was cereal for breakfast, leftover chicken on salads for lunch, and pork chops with couscous and carrots for dinner.  Still need to cut down on the snacking while watching tv.  Sigh...

Really that was it for today other than making some plans.  Going to see GDH and her parents on Saturday.  We haven't seen her since Christmas due to various things - so we have new Christmas presents to buy since she can no longer use what we have purchased already because of her newly discovered food allergies.  It's okay with me, I kind of like Toys R Us when it's not Christmas time.  We'll see PAM and PEM and their parents next Wednesday.  Haven't seen them in an even longer amount of time and have Christmas presents for them, as well.  Really need to find more time in our hectic lives....

Tomorrow's the trip to the doctor that Stew and I have been waiting for.  The doctor will let us know if all is well with his right hand.  I'm anxious about it.  I just want the appointment over so we'll know what's going on.

POTD: January 25, 2012

The sky off the back porch at dinner time.  Really should have gotten the good camera instead of settling for the phone camera - the sky was so much prettier than this picture represents.

Home Decorating Ideas

From Good Housekeeping Magazine

Get an old set of encyclopedias and use to make an end table.

 Give a white board some personality by adding a shelf and a frame.
Use old graters as a centerpiece - just put a candle inside of them. 

Recipe: Tiramisu

Recipe for slimmed down Tiramisu from Good Housekeeping magazine - have to make this one day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Facebook: 24 Jan 2012

Tuesday 24 January 2012

7:28 AM Stew woke me up this morning to breakfast already made and on the table. Now, he's doing the dishes while I get ready. A girl could get used to this.


1:02 PM Just put Stew down for a nap - got the "But I don't wanna" sad face. He's still not sleeping well and rest is the best thing for his hands. The therapist was happy today with his strength. She said his hands are strong and his strength is coming back quickly and movement wise everything is doing far better than she would expect just one month post the injury; however, the skin on his right hand has made no improvement in a week - that's a worry. He'll see the doctor on Thursday and we'll find out what they want to do then. She gave him new torture gloves that hold his hand in a fist, though she had to make some modifications since even the extra large didn't fit him - we weren't surprised by that. He'll get his custom gloves on Thursday.

Journal: January 24, 2012

Today started a few times - though as they say, the third time is the charm.

The first time I woke up feeling nauseated and my stomach wouldn't let me go back to sleep.  I think it was a bad case of gastric reflux which I'm happy to say I don't get very often, but with the burning and the coughing, I didn't want to disturb Stew (first night sleeping back in our bed since the accident - now that his hands aren't as sensitive, I felt like it was safe to return.  Though as he points out, if I hit him during the night it's normally his feet.  I may start out vertically on the bed but by the time morning comes I'm diagonal.  LOL).  I went out to the living room and read for awhile before finally being able to go back to sleep.  Stew woke me up when my alarm went off at 6 - yeah, not getting up yet, still had an hour before I needed to get up to get ready, so I went back to the bedroom and went back to sleep.  Stew woke me up again at 7 - with my breakfast waiting for me.  Fried egg on toast with OJ.  What a sweet, sweet man.  He's trying to get back into a routine of doing things, like he was putting dishes in the dishwasher while I got ready - I certainly won't be fighting him on this.  HA!

It was off to therapy then.  The therapist is really pleased with the progress he's making in both movement and strength in his hands.  The normal tests:

Steering wheel, additional one pound on each side:
Right: no change
Left: better by 10%

Door Knob, additional one pound:
Right: +10%
Left: +22%

Screwdriver, additional one pound:
Right: +47%
Left: +31%

Key, additional one pound:
Right: +51%
Left: +8%

She thinks he's making incredible progress in these areas considering his injury happened only one month ago.  The one worry is that the skin on his right hand hasn't changed in a week.  It seems to be at a standstill.  This was a bit discouraging for both Stew and me.  We've been doing what the doctors have told us to do, but nothing's happening.  He has a doctor's appointment on Thursday, so we'll find out then what they want to do about this. 

He started heat therapy today on the left hand to stretch out the skin.  She ace bandaged both of his hands in a closed fist to help with stretching and the left one she put under the heating pads today.  He'll eventually be doing this with both hands.  She gave him gloves that will mimic this wrapping which was kind of funny considering the modifications she needed to make to the glove just to get it to fit him.  We weren't surprised that extra large didn't fit.

On the way home we stopped at the grocery store.  We had lunch - warmed up leftover hamburgers from the other night's dinner.  Then I made him take a nap.  He slept for a good hour.  He needs all the rest he can get.

He got up and we took care of his dressing changes.  We watched our DVR'ed shows:  House and Castle.

Made dinner - tacos.  That's five days without fast food.  Yay!

Finished up the night watching Boardwalk Empire - Stew's still liking it a lot.  I'm kind of neutral about it.  It's not bad, it's not good.  It's okay. 

We'll just read the State of the Union tomorrow - it's what we normally do.

POTD: January 24, 2012

Stew's therapist never fails to find a new way to torture him. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Facebook: 23 Jan 2012

Monday 23 January 2012

3:04 AM Sleep would be great right about now. Stupid medicine I took too late in the day is keeping me up.


9:47 AM Just finished reading the Transformers book with my nephew. Now I know more than two of their names. HAHA.

Journal: January 23, 2012

To say sleeping last night was a challenge would be an understatement.  I took my pills way too late (and couldn't skip them because withdrawal symptoms really suck) so sleep was not to be had.  I finally fell asleep in the family room around 6:30 only to be woken up an hour or so later by a voice saying, "Aunt Gina, get up."  I opened my eyes to see this cutie standing in front of me.  Cute and full of sass - I said, "Why do I have to get up?"  He says, "I don't know, just get up," in his best growling voice. 

He and I start the day by making pancakes and then we head downstairs to do his reading.  He picked the Transformers book.  I was impressed with how well he read - though, some of the words gave him a bit of  trouble, words you would expect someone his age to have trouble with.  But all in all, he did a great job.  He even drew a picture of him and me.

He then settled down to play the Wii.  We were going to go out today and maybe see a movie or something, but Stew, who also didn't sleep well last night, didn't get out of bed until 11:30 and by the time he ate, showered, we did his bandage changes and stuff, it was too late.  Didn't bother GEP much though - he was happy to have alone time with Uncle Stew.  They played games and teased each other mercilessly. That's what they do.

We had dinner - cereal for GEP (again)!  He had pancakes for breakfast, cereal for lunch and cereal for dinner.  We did compromise at dinner, though.  I told him he could have cereal but he needed to eat some vegetables - so he chowed down on a carrot.  Stew and I had parmesan crusted chicken breast and salad.  I didn't follow the recipe to the letter for the chicken so there were a few issues with it (it's not a matter of not following the recipe, it's a matter of not reading the recipe!!).  It didn't affect the taste any, but I was supposed to pound the chicken out to a much smaller size to help with cooking.  Since I didn't do this, it took forever for those chicken breasts to cook.  I'll know better next time.

We took GEP home after dinner and then headed to Best Buy.  I needed to get a webcam so that I can skype.  We picked up one of those and some more tv series that we want to watch:  Camelot; Mike and Mollie; Body of Evidence; and Big Love.  We also got the move Inception.

Bed, Bath and Beyond is right next to Best Buy so we headed there to look at canisters - they had what I wanted, only they were black and my current canisters are white.  Black does go better with my kitchen though, so we just bought enough to replace the ones we have and I'll have to find another use for the white ones.  We also got the canisters for the pastas and rice.  And I found a spatula for my little egg pan.  I'll have to take a picture of it.  It's so cute.

Came home to watch some more of Boardwalk Empire and off to bed.

Therapy early tomorrow morning.

POTD: January 23, 2012

GEP drew this picture of us as we were reading the Transformers book.  I love how his people have no bodies, their arms and legs just come out of their head.  It's too cute.

Movie Review: Blue Valentine

A couple of weeks ago, Showtime was having a free preview weekend.  I looked through their schedule of movies and found a few that I wanted to see, so I recorded them.  Blue Valentine was one such movie, only due to the fact that it stars Ryan Gosling.  I knew nothing about the movie before I started to watch it.  Honestly, I thought it was a romantic comedy.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  For the summary of the movie, go here:

(I should preface this review by saying while I watched it, I was suffering from a terrible case of insomnia and the movie didn't put me to sleep - so that's a pretty good telling of the quality of the movie.)

The end of the movie left me feeling unfulfilled and maybe that's just because I'm a girl who loves a happy ending and this one never came.  When I step back from what I wanted the movie to be and look at what the writer wanted me to see, the movie was well done.  It's a movie that I will watch only once as it is not a feel good movie.  The performances by both Gosling and Williams are superb - but the movie depicts the arc of a relationship and poses more questions than it answers.  Both of these individuals have idealized visions of love even though neither come from backgrounds where examples of such love are available.  Gosling's character (Dean) comes from a broken home.  He's a high school drop out and his father is a janitor.  He hasn't see his mother since his parent's divorce when he was ten.

Williams character's (Cindy) parents remain in a loveless marriage.  In each other, through a whirlwind, though short, romance, they think they find their one true love.  The viewer is shown the beginning of their relationship interspersed with the current day problems that they face.  I found myself rooting for them all the while knowing that there were problems that could not be overcome.  The movie ended the way it should have.  I saw no realistic way for the writers to give me the happy ending I so craved; even though, I was tempted to believe as Dean pleads with Cindy to give him another chance, to tell him what he needs to do, to keep the promise that she made to see him through the good times and the bad, as he points out, this is "his worst."  We know just by the building of Cindy's character that there's no way she can accept this.  She doesn't want to tell him how he needs to be; she thinks that by now, he should know.  What she wants out of life and what he wants out of life are things we don't see them talk about before marriage and while Cindy tries to discuss these issues during the marriage, she learns that Dean will never want out of life what she does.  It's an insurmountable conflict and one I'm glad that the makers of the movie did not skirt around.

The movie left me thinking, so while this is no where near a movie I would say is a favorite, I can appreciate what the filmmakers were trying to do and would recommend that people see it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Facebook: 22 Jan 2012

Sunday 22 January 2012

10:19 AM Thank you, Food Network. Using a microplane to mince ginger is a heck of a lot easier than the knife. Learn something new every day, I'm happy to say.


8:47 PM The naan was the best I've ever made. The chicken tikka masala was delicious. The birthday boys were happy. The nephew was (is) crazy. The Ravens lost. Awesome day!

Journal: January 22, 2012

I found myself in the kitchen as the day started.  Lots to get ready.  Have to make the Chicken Tikka Masala and the Naan.  While watching a cooking show on The Food Network recently, I saw one of the chefs use a microplane to mince ginger.  Awesome idea, since mincing is one of the things I hate doing the most.  It worked like a charm. 

I finally figured out my issue with using yeast, as well.  What I think is 115 degrees and what is really 115 - way off.  It's amazing what happens when you get the temperature right.  Since this post is already photo heavy and I'm not even sure if blogger will accept videos - you can head over to smugmug to watch a riveting video of yeast doing what it's supposed to do.  LOL.

Stew and I made a trip to Target.  I need new canisters for rice and pasta in the cabinets.  Unfortunately, Target didn't have any.  They did have some nice fruit baskets and some plastic mixing bowls (needed them since the soot never came off of mine no matter the amount of scrubbing).  We also got a KitchenAid pot that has a straining lid - it was on clearance.  Awesome deal.

Phill, Christina and GEP arrived around 3 - I was in full on cook mode by then, but I had a little helper.  Here's the little evil man helping make the naan.

 And his final product.
The rest of the naan is finished:
 And here's the Chicken Tikka Masala:
 The meal was delicious.  I think this is the best naan I've ever made.  The chicken tikka masala - still a little hot for me even though I quartered the amount of jalapeno and halved the amount of cumin.  I don't know - next time, I will try deleting the jalapeno completely.  I love the taste, but don't want to burn my tongue off in the process.  Thank goodness for rice and naan - cools down those taste buds.

Birthday boy 1:

Here's the cake.  Phill and Christina had the idea of doing a fire and ice theme since you know, Steve is cool as ice and Stew is on fire.  LOL.  Poor Stew - never going to live this one down. 

But as you can see from this picture, he doesn't much mind the jokes.  He's "heating" his hands over the fire.  Phill's expression of disbelief matchings mine.  LOL.

Birthday Boy 2 - this was the least goofy picture I could find of him...

 Here he is opening his presents - new laptop.  I think he gets one every year.  This was supposed to be his Christmas present, but since we're not celebrating Christmas until February,  (the reason why we picked February has to do with something my mom did when we were kids) - I wanted him to have it before school started - so he got it for his birthday.  I'll have to find him a different Christmas present.

Then it was time for the ridiculousness of Phill and GEP outside of the sliding glass doors - why do I clean them again?  Like father, like son, I'm telling you.  They're both nutso.

GEP and Stew ended the night playing the Wii, which I think they will probably do a lot tomorrow as well since GEP is spending the night.

All in all, I think the day was a success.  Everyone had fun.  The Ravens lost.  Can't ask for a better day than that.