Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

To the UPS man who supposedly delivered our packages today: no, you didn't. You might have delivered them to someone else, but you certainly didn't deliver them to our house. Thanks a lot, asshat.

And to our possible neighbors who got said packages, I hope you enjoy our Omaha steaks and my clothes from Victoria's Secret. I hope they don't fit you.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Sights

This was our view of Christmas Eve:

From the bedroom:

Racing outside in the frigid cold to catch the last few glimpses:

Trying to be creative:

Brown Christmas? No way!

Happy Christmas To You

Can't help it...I'm a Harry Potter fan, so I liked it in the first movie where they said, "Happy Christmas" to each other. I also like Burl Ives' "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas". So take your pick.

Right now, Wiley is upstairs and I am snuggled in one of his fleecy shirts, keeping somewhat warm (the toes are always cold). We've opened presents, had a fantastic breakfast consisting of blueberry pancakes, sausage and clementines on our china (this stuff is going to get used, jolly golly), and have listened to some Christmas music and even found the Yule Log on TV that Auntie Em told me about. The stockings have been emptied, the cats have batted around their mice, and A Christmas Story has already been watched. It's been a good day.

Have a wonderful holiday wherever you are!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holy S*#@ It's Cold.

7 degrees above 0 with a wind chill of -12. It's kinda chilly. And inside the house it is as well. We keep the house fairly cold - 65 degrees most of the time. But the windows let in so much cold air, it's probably closer to 58 in the living room. I put a blanket up to try and save my heat. We also figured out how to start the fireplace, so that's been going for awhile and is a nice little burst of heat. It's also very pretty and kinda makes it feel like Christmas. Our Christmas will be a brown Christmas, and I'm ok with that, though I can't say I'm used to it.

This was the weekend we were supposed to go to Chicago, but weather conditions on Friday prevented us from doing so. So no Christkindlmarkt for me, but we did rake leaves yesterday and took 12 bags to the drop-off center. Yeah, I would've rather been in Chicago. Today, my back screams for something stronger than Aleve, and I realize that I've become a lazy fat-ass. No 31 year-old who's in shape would be feeling this pain. So while not a New Year's resolution (I don't believe in them), I believe I will start working the free weights again...amazing how quickly you can turn to mush when you don't use your muscles and how easy it is to drop something that was rather routine...and how hard it's going to be to get into it. Who the hell wants to walk a mile or two when it's -12 outside, other than Jill up in Alaska?

Tonight we are having dinner with some friends. I made my mom's peanut blossoms - you may know them as something different. They're the peanut butter cookies with chocolate stars on top (or Hershey's kisses because those stars can be really hard to find). Sometimes my chocolate stars roll off, but they're still tasty. Being a baker is a curse. No - being a baker without willpower is a curse. Hence the lazy fat-ass comment above. Sometimes I wish I could have someone else's tongue, one who had nothing but the bitter taste buds covering the whole thing. I think I read somewhere that the less sweets you have, the less you want them (so maybe I just need to eat bitter-tasting stuff and get myself used to it). Can anyone confirm this?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Where've I Been?

My loudmouthed coworker today went to my blog and said, "It's been like a month since you updated your blog!" with an exasperated look on her face. So my following of 1 has spoken.

Where have I been, you ask? Eh. Around. Here. There. Not really at the computer. It's hard to write when you don't really feel it. But I will oblige and kinda update you, Dear Reader, on the opinions in my world...not so much happenings, but opinions. That may change as I write.

I'm happy Twilight was made into a movie. I thought the book was fun, and I think Robert Pattinson will be a dreamy vampire. I hate the color of his hair, not to mention the length. That is not sandy-colored to me. And the more I look at him, the more I'm convinced he's related to the Gallagher brothers from Oasis.

Extreme Makeover Home Edition recipients from 2004 are facing foreclosure. I believe General Blather really had the best blog on this from last year, so I won't go into it.

For living in a house that's relatively new (under 10 years old), it really shouldn't be this drafty. I am always cold.

And like Pom, I too have a hard time keeping it clean. Too much shyt, over half of which is not Wiley's and mine, mixed with our shyt does not a happy home make. No room for anything!!

We have decided to stay put for Christmas. Traveling so far in only four days just isn't my idea of fun anymore. Do you know what this means? That's right - shopping for sport begins on Friday, December 26th, so I can find a couple of good deals for next Christmas. Oh yeah. Bring it on.

I'm really tired of seeing Beyonce flounce her shyt on TV and telling me she'd like to upgrade me.

We found lights in a really big bin and put them on the shrubs out front. It's actually a festive-looking house now. Next up? My Festivus pole.

Last night was fun at a friend's house making gingerbread houses. For all the mess that was made, it was actually all cleaned up REALLY quickly. It was fun.

Tis the Season

For getting fat. And hopefully making other people fat as well so then you don't feel so bad about your own weight gain. Today I bring you pictures of peanut brittle. First, the ingredients: 1 cup corn syrup, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tsp. baking soda, 2 T. butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 2 cups raw peanuts. To make good peanut brittle, humidity should be less than 60%. Just trust me, or say goodbye to your teeth.

I skipped the pictures where you wait and wait and wait for the water, the sugar and the corn syrup to become a boiling pot of silver over medium-high heat. You "spin a good long thread" in the words of my grandmother, which means you dip in your spatula and then hold it up high over the pan and let the syrup ooze down and watch the thread. When it's about the size of a piece of string and is about 2 feet long, then you're ready for the next step, which is adding in the peanuts and turning the heat down slightly.

When you first put the peanuts in, give them a good stir, but don't be discouraged if they all stick together. It takes a little bit of time. You are now cooking the peanuts. Keep stirring them - not constantly, but you don't really want to leave them alone either. After the peanuts are cooked, you add the butter, vanilla and baking soda, and stir like crazy.

This is what the brittle will look like as you're frantically stirring:

("Mad dog! Mad dog!")

Once the butter, vanilla and soda are mixed in, grab your greased jelly roll pan (I use Pam spray) - you really need something with a lip on it - and pour out the brittle.

This is how it will look in the pan:

With your oven mitts, take your brittle outside and let it cool. About 10 minutes after putting it outside, you can insert a knife underneath it to help get it out of the pan when it's cool. When it's cool, then you bring it inside and turn it over on your countertop. I line my countertop with paper towels, but it's up to you.

Then with that knife, take the heavy end and tap the brittle:

Break and break and break, and you have the finished product:

And there is one way to treat your friends and family. Don't fall prey to the peanut brittle you buy in the store. It's not that complicated. Try making it yourself.