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Ever Seen A Bald Cake?

Well, I have. I actually made one this past weekend. Did I set out to make a bald-headed cake? No. Did I think for some reason the recipe wouldn’t walk me into a disaster? Yes. So why didn’t I flour the pan, you ask? Simple..I thought the baker who wrote the instructions knew something I didn’t. Don’t you hate when you know something should be done, but trust the print? I shall never again. A lot went into that cake–5 eggs, 3 sticks of butter, 4 zested lemons…and a bunch more stuff. Not to mention time. Then to have the top fall off…to not exit the pan when I flipped it. Come on Ree!

I made 3 recipes from the newest issue of her magazine, The Pioneer Woman. Mom bought it for me at the bookstore. The cake I mentioned was a lemon pound cake. Now it was good…but it was missing its top. I didn’t even bother with making the icing. Why? I called it the ugly cake. 

On to the next recipe I tried. The meatloaf. I’ve not ever wrapped my meatloaf before, so this was something new. It also called for A LOT of carrots. Okay, so 2. But it was enough to get some turned up noses from my vegetable challenged children. How can you possibly hide all these bright colored strings hanging out in each slice? The taste? It was okay. Nothing I swooned about. In fact, I felt I wasted a pound of bacon, as it wasn’t really that good to eat as a garnish. It was floppy and fatty. I like extremely crispy bacon. My grandma would fry me 6 pieces at night when I said I was hungry. I remember getting a stink eye from my mother when I’d say ‘yes, please make it!!’

Then comes the potato casserole. It was a creamy baked one, topped with chives, sort of like au gratin potatoes. But unlike the dehydrated ones found conveniently in a box that you shake the cheese on and bake for 20 minutes, I slivered 5 russets, sautéed the onion garlic and mixed with a block of cream cheese. It baked for 90 minutes!! And yes, I started it after 4:30 on a school day. We ended up eating at almost 7 that night. It was a bit cheesy for me. I’m not into all the cheese. My family claimed they like it, though. Of course they did. They’d waited hours to eat it! Their bellies would’ve liked the peelings at that point! 

So there you have it. I got the book and made 3 recipes within 3 days. Not to mention I grated my finger. Not the cheese, but the finger. And it was on the knuckle. Hard to mend in that area. Especially with washing and bending it. I will survive! And I will make more of her recipes. I’ll just remember to add the flour and hold back on the cheese!

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I’m sensing a pattern here…

Okay, so I didn’t wake up grumpy, but I seem to be going to bed a bit miffed. Do I know why? Not consciously, but I assure you that if I had some couch time I’d get to the bottom of it! Tonight it’s the little things that are rubbing me…you know, like I’m ticked with Special K Red Berries cereal because the first bowl is a bounty of berries, however by bowl four you’re searching the box for them. Why? Can’t they get the ratio and way it comes out more precise? LOL Yep, that even sounded crazy in my head. But let’s back up to this morning. Maybe I’ll find why I’m a bit out of sorts.

I woke up late. Why? Because my bed is incredibly warm. Because I go to bed past the time I can keep my eyelids open. Because I don’t like mornings. So I had to go to the dentist with boy 4 and girl 1. He had a cavity. The horror. The complete horror of having to go and wait 2 hours….2 hours to have that thing filled. Of course the majority of that time was letting him get sedated and then the gas and the waking from the gas. See what not brushing every night got you, I asked. This. He assures me he will brush, floss, fluoride, and soak teeth every night to avoid such future horror. Sidenote: Girl 1 had no cavities. Yay!

As for the rest of my day, it went okay. I did some errands, ate a crappy lunch, and wandered around for what to make for dinner. Ah, my favorite time to sit and wonder what I’ll feed my tribe. Nothing good, I assure you it was. Nothing. I couldn’t even bear to clean it up. Boy 2 surprised me by clearing it out while I was washing laundry. I finished up the evening by eating a bowl of my berry cereal and feeling as though I got nothing accomplished today. Maybe that’s my problem. All I did was ride in a car or ride that dentist waiting room chair. And then of course I’m on the kick of feeling fat again. Yet nothing stops me from eating. Go figure that!

Okay, now for the positive portion of this segment. Because being negative is beginning to make me look even worse. I will mention a few things that light up my world and give me reason to be the happiest person ever. Let’s see:1. I have the most wonderful 6 kids ever. Maybe not every second of the day. But when I’m around other bad children, I know my really aren’t all that naughty. LOL! No, they are good. Down in their core they are good. Now to just not have to police them every second. 2. My home is just what I need. It’s beautiful, provides most with their own room, gives us security, and has a serene setting. (I mention this because I get the itch to move every day). 3. My husband is one of the best. I’d go as far to say I think he puts my needs before his own. You just don’t get that lucky usually. 4. I’m getting the chance to adopt a very sweet little girl in just 2 short months. Although it has been some of the most stressful times of my life with deadlines, hoops to jump through, and finding the money…I will be her mother before her 5th birthday. Amazing!! 5. Speaking of moms, I have the best one ever. This woman could’ve bunked with Mother Theresa for all I know. Drank from her same cup. Brushed with her same comb. She is giving, empathetic, compassionate to a fault, and all mine! Yep, that made me feel better. Sometimes you have to check in to what’s important and check out of what you have no control over. Like Kellog’s or cavities. I know this. 😉

Till next time! Have a good rest of the week.

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Have You Ever…

…woke up grumpy for no reason? It’s like trying to step out of quick sand to shake it off. I mean seriously…really? A brand new morning, and this? And I must add that I had pretty decent entertainment last night in my sleep. I have no idea where my dream came from. Who implants these things? To have a full blown plot…extravagant dialogue, and thought out imagery? Who? Last night I was training for Chick-fil-A. I was with a pack of other new employees and we had to wear yellow raincoats and perform show tunes for drive-thru customers. Are you kidding me?

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I had to. I remember forgetting my lines. It was horrible. And the rain…it was pouring. Some dream weaver, interpreter would love to get into my head! I would love to get into my head! LOL

I am going on a birthday getaway this weekend. My sister is hosting a hotel stay and play in Pennsylvania. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been asked minute by minute by my children the precise time we’re leaving, and what time we’ll arrive, what will we do, when will we get back…..it’s daunting to say the least. I’m going to pre-record a message and let them play it back at will.

Anyway, about the whole getting older thing. I’ve noticed some changes. Subtle…but alas still creeping up on me in the mirror. My neck appears to seem a bit more detailed. Where there was once a regular neck, there are now definitions of other things going on. Can’t really explain in words, but it seems different. I’ve decided to stop looking at it. Then there’s my cheeks. They look swollen. Do I have a gum disease lurking? Or is this how it’s going down? Plump cheeks. I guess they could be drawn and empty. Okay, I’ll take plump. Still need to see the dentist though. 🙂

I’m okay with getting older. I get to use it to my advantage a lot of the times. You know, “I know because I’m ancient like trees. I’ve been there, done that” sort of thing. Learn from your elders! Yuk. That’s become me, hasn’t it? *sigh*

Last point of the day. My bed. When does it become that there’s too many things on the bed? I love extra pillows. They prop me up at night to watch television. Then my husband bought me this Peppa Pig lamb for Christmas that makes noises. I love it. So I kept it on my bed, where my children know not to squeeze it. It could stop and I don’t see where to replace batteries. But then my mom just got me a new bunny for Easter. Yes, my mother still loves me! And it looks good on there, too. Oh, and there’s that new pillow that happened to be a complete steal at Target. I bought the comforter to go with it for my new daughter’s room but it didn’t match. I kept the pillow instead. But is it too much? It’s beginning to be an ordeal to make up my bed in the mornings and account for all this junk!

It doesn’t look like it, but there are 7 pillows there! No, 8. One of them is hiding. Shewee…I must put a stop to the collection. Who can just go to sleep anymore without cataloging this stuff? If I don’t watch it, I might come home and find my husband doing a little of this!

But seriously….have a great week and weekend. I’ll make sure and take a lot of pictures of Amish country to share with everyone! Peace out!!

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Two things to stew on…

First…healthcare. No, I promise this won’t get political or raise any awareness 🙂 , but seriously…I took my daughter to the “doctor” this evening because she has had a persistent stomach ache and it’s added a pretty hairy sore throat to the list of ailments. Know this, my daughter NEVER misses school, not even stupid half days. (Who ever thought of a half day? Pa-lease) So when she dropped her backpack by the door this morning and morphed into a ball beside me in bed, I knew that meant business. By dinner (of course) she’d become worse, so I drove her to the “doctor”. Only to be awakened to what’s, er I mean, who’s out there at these facilities now. They are referred to as “providers”. Yep, I was told I’d see a provider today. Hmm… Then I was called back by a “medical assistant”. Did the nurses and doctor’s get new names? Are these so called “providers” and “assistants” getting the same education as the others used to get? They even wore name badges; ‘medical assistant’. I’m a bit confused, and concerned. What was more eerie was they kept referring to one another by these cold titles. “The provider will be into see you shortly.” “You can ask the provider when she comes back in.” “The medical assistant will come do the strep test.”Are we running out of doctors and nurses? And will I be charged based on a provider and medical assistant rate?

But all that mess came before the drive pool lane at school. Today was extremely rushed for me. I left my house a total of 4 times today. And when you live on Little House on the Prairie that’s kind of a big thing. You usually plan to get groceries and call it a day where I’m from. No, seriously. There are no quick trips from my house. They all take about an hour one way. So before the doctor…provider debacle (which by the way, it’s a virus…yeah sure. I know strep when I see it) there was the car pool at school to pick up my son. Or as I like to call it, the 4k run of my patience. I mean seriously…mothers actually unbuckle themselves, stroll around to the sidewalk, kiss child on head, ask child how day was, undo their backpack to make sure nothing’s missing, place child in car, hum a little tune, buckle them, blow a kiss, shut the door, and saunter back to the driver’s seat. At which time they buckle, wave at the teacher who hasn’t quite exited the building, wait until they see them and return wave, then with turtle speed pull forward. Just once I’d like to blow my horn. I’ve thought about it. Long and hard. Who would scold me? Others might join in. You know who the culprit is by the third week of school. I look for that bumper sticker of the multi-colored bear and pray I’m not behind it. Or the red little hatch back. Oh, I’ve got the offenders down pat, all right.

Well, I’ve got to wake up early so I better get off my little soap box tonight. I somehow made a dentist appointment for all of my children in the morning. You know, when you make these appointments six months in advance, they should tell you where it hits. Lucky for me, it’s the day before Easter…the day I usually earmark for doing all the things I’ve procrastinated a month to do…Easter shop, menu prep for 14 guests…you know, the normal pre-holiday stuff. So this year instead of all that, I get to drive 2 hours to the dentist in holiday traffic.

So to leave on a spectacular note, because after I overcome my hurried day and watch some mindless television, I’ll be fine…I wish you a magnificent Easter. A time to feast with family and friends. To be oh-so-happy warm weather is settling in finally, and to eat all the coconut cake you want! 

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Unable to Pull It Off

Funny thing happened today…my mom stopped by (she generally does on Sunday), and she looks around my kitchen. Now you know the ‘mom look’, as if she is saying a million things in her head–“dirty floor, dirty counter, just look at those piled up dishes.” So I save her the trouble and make the remark, “I try not to do much on Sundays”. In which she remarks, “how about the other days of the week?” I wonder sometimes where I get my mouth?! Um…I’m getting to it, mother! Sometime later. I like to think I can multitask, but the truth is it’s getting more difficult. Especially when I walk from the kitchen to the pantry and stare blankly at the shelves trying to remember why I walked in there.

This week I must really try my best at even ‘tasking’. Don’t you hate going into the week with your plate full? Like having to do a gazillion things and then trying to fit in remembering to call this place or that about really important things you forgot about last week. Eek.

This week also my baby turns 18. 18! 18! Must this continue? Haven’t I already given society my first born and watch him come and go on summer and fall breaks? Walk slowly by his empty room the other times and know he’s only good for 2 more summers in it before maturity sets in and asks that he get gainful employment and a real life. Why must I do this with my second son. What does he care? He’s moving up and out. Lonely for us, future for him.

My little Margie went to stay with an aunt while I go out of town for my birthday. I must say it’s a bit quiet around here without the little stalker/big mouth. I do fuss about her obnoxious behavior but when it comes right down to it, she’s one of the gang. I won’t miss, however, the way she throws food. Get this, she doesn’t eat a morsel all day while I’m gone (even though it’s in her bowl). Then when I come home, she eats like there’s no tomorrow. Does she want me to watch she doesn’t choke? Is she the type that won’t go into a restaurant and ask for a table for one? Who knows. I pick her up April 9th. I wonder if she’ll miss me, too? Cute, right? Yep, she’s all of three pounds of sass. I miss you, Marge. Come home soon.

For all of you guys, have a splendid week and I’ll keep you posted if anyone else turns of legal age and plans to move on! Cheers.

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Hooked on a Book

I feel great! I feel driven! I have a new book set to release this summer! Yay! But here’s the thing….I’m hooked on it. Can’t put it down. Can’t stop re-reading it…editing it…thinking of different things to write in it. This is the way I become. It holds me captive. I’m in the zone. Weird, huh? If I’m not careful, the house will crumble around me. Which is how I realize some of us readers feel at times when we’re waist-deep inside a plot and not wanting to face the dreaded ‘what’s for dinner’, or ‘are you going to sleep tonight?’  Yeah, yeah, yeah. After one more chapter!! LOL

Second day of spring here! (As I’m sure it is everywhere). And it snows. All day. As in buries my freshly sprung daffodils, coats my cherry blossoms, and dashes my reality that it’s Wednesday. Because, well you can guess, all of my kids are home. And pulling and tugging me from working and writing on my new book!! Just got word school is closed tomorrow, too. Oh joy!

New book, you ask? What is it about, you ask? What name shall we refer to it? Hmm…well I am at a loss for the title. I’m sure it will come to me. There are so many variations. None of which any of my peeps like. I get the standard eye roll on all of them. Seriously, what do they know? They haven’t even read the thing. 🙂

So it’s about a guy and a girl. Interesting, yeah? Aren’t they all with guys and girls. Well this time said guy and said girl fall in love but never are supposed to. Sort of like Romeo and Juliet. Their houses are not meant to mingle. And so it moves swiftly along to other secrets that eventually see the light of day. It’s what I’m currently hooked on. I mean the laundry is piling up around here! I can’t find socks, washcloths, you name it. I did pull off dinner tonight, though. It pained me, but it got made and consumed. And I managed to bake a pound cake. It was my way of saying, ‘hey kids, I do exist.’

Well, happy weekday everyone! It sure feels like the weekend over here in my part of the world. We’ve got bored kids, the need for 3 meals a day, and lots of yelling for everyone to just get along. The roads will melt soon and all will be back to normal. I hope! Cheers. 🙂

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Yep, It’s that time again

Seven bags…that’s how many I dragged out of my closet into my car and drove to my mother-in-law for inspection. I threw out anything I hadn’t worn in the past year, no matter how I dreamed one day I could squeeze the button shut on that glorious pair of jeans, or those black flip-flops I quite possibly was inebriated when I purchased but loved anyway. Seriously, what was I thinking about black leather straps with silver bolt-like things on them? I stared at them each time I walked into my closet, knowing I wouldn’t get as far as the car before I’d talk myself out of them. I’ll probably laugh when I see someone wearing them out in public, knowing they did see daylight once again. You see this is what happens, I purge my closet and take everything to my mother in law, who then has an extended group of friends and family take a look and take whatever, then on this go around, there was a family whose house just burned down and they got the lion’s share. So happy it happened that way this time. I love to help in any way possible. Even indirectly like this.

Now comes paint for the next step in spring cleaning. I’m spiffing up a few rooms with some fresh colors. Our new daughter’s room is going from a sage green to a soothing, cool lilac. Eww, I can’t wait. I’ll post a picture for comments. And then my sewing room is going from drab white to a Tiffany blue. Just an accent wall. My husband shudders to look at the piece of wall I tested on. 🙂 It’s my happy place and no one needs to be concerned. LOL. Oh well, we’ll see what it looks like when it’s done!

I got a date night last weekend. It’s true. No ransom was paid to get it, no children were harmed…it was just a thing that sort of just happened. Let’s see…it’s been months since I’ve been on one of those things. Months, I say! So we did it big. Dinner, a movie, AND popcorn. Not smuggled either. We actually paid the fifty dollars and got an extra soda too.

We saw The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman. It was great. I had no idea it was a musical. (Since when do I see movie trailers when I only watch TV classics?) I have to be in the mood to watch one of these things (musicals). Luckily that night I was relaxed and willing to sit through impromptu spouts of singing. It ended well and I always appreciate that.

My college boy returned for spring break. It’s been a fast week. Lots of school activities to juggle. I even showed up to take my smallest boy to school one day and no one was there. I felt I was in the twilight zone. School had a delay for snow. Um…there was no snow. And why didn’t anyone inform me? We pulled out of there and onto work I went. With him. What a lovely day that was. You never know what’s going to happen when you wake up and stick your head out the door. No really, you don’t.

The weekend is upon us and I’m ready for it like every Friday that comes so slowly it seems. I’m going to tackle some more rooms with more closets. My kids better watch out!

 

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Pointless

Friday night movie night at the Dove house! Stovetop corn popped, peach gummies in check, and my tea waiting on the nightstand to be be sipped. Now all that was needed was a good romantic comedy. Uh…I’m still waiting. Yes, it’s Saturday morning, but I’m pondering what I watched last night. What I gave up precious hours of my life to never get back.

I wanted to like it. I begged to like it. Look at the star. I love her in other movies. Four Christmases, Walk the Line, Sweet Home Alabama…. So what went wrong?

First the acting was off, the camera shooting was amateur-like, and the characters were…a strange medley to say the least. I’d have to say, I didn’t really care or was invested in any of them. Not to mention the storyline. Who takes in 3 complete strangers, guys no doubt, to live with you and your 2 daughters? Who? And then to tell one of the strangers, of whom you’ve known a day, to take your child to guitar lessons? In your deceased father’s vintage Porsche? It just wasn’t believable. Nothing was. There was a scene in which one of the guys she moved into her sanctuary, for no reason, hit her husband in the face. Out of nowhere!!! For no reason. Sheesh!!

So what was good about it, you ask? The movie had that weird vibe of “It’s Complicated”. And I love that movie. Turns out this director was the daughter of the woman who directed that one. They even used similar scores in this one, and they shared food in the kitchen. (you know what I mean if you’ve watched “It’s Complicated” or “Something’s Gotta Give” even more than twice!)

Anyway, the ol’ hubster gave this one a two on the snore-o-meter. He was out cold before the last half hour. I was determined to see what happened, though. There were 3 men in chase of Reese. So with half-shut eyes and the clock about to strike 12:30 I hung on for the last scene…the one that would wrap it all…the one to tell me who it was that ended up with her. ……………..and nothing. Nope, nothing. Fade to black, nothing.

So to all the readers who threw raw eggs at me during the Sarah series when I didn’t bring closure for them after book one….I apologize. Completely.

Yep, truly I am. But understand this, my next book will have double closure. Zip locked, ironclad, double-laced closure. I know this to be true. Because who wants to spend the time being invested….for nothing.

You all have a great weekend…and stay away from those movies that don’t wrap it up for ya!!

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Fan’s Pick 2018

Please cast your vote!! There are an array of choices…

Juicy Reviews

2018 FAN’S PICK NOMINEES:

Here are the list of nominees that YOU, the reader, can choose from to win the highly-coveted Fan’s Pick award. You may only pick ONE film out of the list. If there is a tie, I will do a randomized drawing to decide a winner. There are 77 films in total, lighter than usual. This award will go into effect January 18th!

La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
What We Do in the Shadows
The General (1926)
Split (2016)
Psycho (1960)
True Memoirs of an International Assassin
The Fall (2006)
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Hacksaw Ridge
Arrival
John Wick: Chapter 2
Logan
Masterminds (2016)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Midnight in Paris
Trolls
Moana
The Founder (2016)
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Passengers (2016)
Nocturnal Animals
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Balls of Fury
Lion
Allied
Braveheart
The Happening (2008)
Wonder Woman (2017)
A…

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The End

Sometimes….if you really like how something’s going…’The End’ can be some of the saddest words to see or hear. For me, it’s bittersweet to see Sarah’s story come to a close. Of course she will live on in the blank pages that are yet to be, if ever, written. However, for now it’s good-bye.

Release day, January 4, 2018. Sounds a little like Star Trek when I read it aloud! Anyway, what will happen? Will Sarah spark again with Sam? Will Liz ever settle down? Can Carter make it through another year without going back with Paige? And will Maggie and Michael’s marriage survive? What about that new neighbor….what’s his name? Oh right, you haven’t met him yet. Well grab yourself a copy of “Falling For Sarah” and let me know what you think of him. Is he a contender for Sarah’s happily ever after? Or, is he like all the other men in her life and comes with a boat load of baggage?

I’m tickled and waiting on pins and needles to hear what everyone thinks! Finally it has closure. What so many of you wanted and deserved. I apologize for making you wait this long. 🙂 I promise, no more of that in my upcoming releases. Cliff hangers stop with Sarah. Girl scout honor! (Yeah, I was never really one, but it always sounds so official and meaningful to include it in a declaration).

I assume everyone had a fabulous ringing in of the New Year. What does ringing in the New Year even mean? Are bells involved? I used to, many years ago, watch Dick Clark and wait for that ball to drop. Listen to the bands play and laugh as I sat in my warm home watching all the cold bodies in New York, freezing their butts off, blowing smoke when they talked. Where do they all go to the bathroom? Seriously? Have you ever pondered it before? They’re all drinking for Pete’s sake, and come on…no one can hold it that long. I’m pretty sure they don’t have potties on the street for this, and even if they did, how could you even maneuver to get to one? Someone said today when we were discussing it, (yes we were) that they were certainly going somewhere. Eww…

Okay, on to resolutions. Isn’t that the second question to “What gym did you join” that comes after the first of January? The only resolution I’ve made thus far is to delete emails. I hoard no where else in my life except for yahoo mail. I’ve got so many emails that the counter has stopped counting. I’m horrible with the delete button. I read and move on. Or not and still move on. So this year I plan to delete. So far I’ve done it one and a half days. We’re on day three I realize, so I’m not doing so bad.

Last year I, as many others do, found a word that threaded through my entire year and had profound meaning. It was preparedness. And wherever my life went it seemed as though preparedness was looming. I felt compelled to prepare for many things. And so I did. And so I needed to. This year my word was change. It’s a year of change. As you may know I’m adopting a little girl. If that’s not enough change right there, I don’t know what else is. But three days into the new year and I’ve been met with even more profound change in my family. And I’m okay with it. Change is change. Change can be good. At least if I’m looking for good I’ll find it, right? We’ve sort of torn up our basement changing things around. And eerily I’m okay with that, too. I’m upside down in my organization, but all right. (I’ll keep you posted of my attitude as things get lost).

So Happy New Year my dear friends. Ring in the change that we know will come with a happy heart. And remember, if we don’t have change, we have the same. And don’t you want a little change? Life isn’t meant to be a groundhog day. 🙂