Posts

Showing posts from 2007

Amateur Night

I heard New Year's Eve called this for many years. My mom and dad, both working in the business, truly saw those who were not used to drinking cavorting and becoming a menace to society on the road.

As a result, I've spent very few NYE's out. Having kids is a convenient excuse. Heck, if I had friends with kids, I'd be offering to watch the little ones if the parents wanted to go out. It's far less stressful to be at home.

So, you ask, did you *ever* go out for NYE? Yes, I did. One year (my first dating my ex), we spent a lot of money to go to a fancy dinner at a place on the North Shore (the Pig and Whistle). It was good, but not 100 bucks a head (in 1985) good.

A couple of years later, I went out again. Our friend Lisa had a party at her house, the dozen or so of us in the crowd met up at her place. It was memorable for a few reasons. Two bottles of 100 proof booze (1 SoCo and one Absolut) were dropped on her tile kitchen floor. Byebye booze. I also too…

Goodbye, 2007. Hello, 2008

It was a crazy year. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as some of the prior years. I'm relatively healthy again and back to work, so it can't be that bad!


Some of my musings and assvice for the new year:

Take some time today or tomorrow to pick up the phone and call friends or family you haven't talked to in a while. No one's psychic (that I know, anyway), so if you've been thinking about them, let them know. I need to get those phone numbers out of the old cell phone (still), so I can do my part.

If you didn't get around to sending out Christmas cards (hi, nice to see you! I'm in good company), send out New Year's cards!

For 2008, just remember the most important words in the English language are Please, Thank You, I'm Sorry and I Love You. Words are free, so use them often. :)

Have a Happy New Year, everyone!

With this post, I've done two events in a row successfully. Let's see how Blog 365 goes. I'm hoping that it brings me some…

Resolutions

What resolutions do you have in mind for 2008?

I've got a few noodling around in my head. First and foremost is that I will get my head back in the books-2008, I WILL go back to school. I need to get those two CLEPs out of the way. I'm debating whether I should go to the graduation ceremony-graduates don't walk the stage. Then, if I get this act together quick enough, I'll start the education program in July.

Next up is to get in better shape. The leg is probably about where it's going to be, now I've got to exercise and adapt to the changes. Perhaps I need to get the physical therapy ball rolling, but I think I have a date with the iPod and crocs to walk a half hour a day several times a week. Too bad I can't dictate the blog while doing that, because it'd mean I walk every day AND blog.

Another one needs the okay of someone else. I'd like to catalog the photographs my stepdad has. He's gotten the short end of the stick since Mom passed b…

Food, glorious food

News from the land of food:

A couple of nights before Christmas, we had Mellow Mushroom for dinner. Chef jr was insistent that he was having anchovies. We'd said if he wanted to try it, that was fine-so we got him a personal size. The verdict? Anchovies 1, Chef 0.

They impart good flavor, but the oil is so concentrated that you probably could have put one anchovy on the thing and the oil would have seeped out onto the whole thing with plenty of flavor to spare. At least he wasn't devastated by not liking them!

Last night, we used the gift certificate my boss gave me for Christmas and went to Red Lobster. Yum! When the server took our drink order, I told him we'd definitely order an appetizer when he came back-we just needed to choose one. As soon as the words left my mouth, I had two men insisting we were getting the lobster fondue. No complaints from me.

Three of us made short work of it (Gameboy passed on this one, but he'll sometimes join in). Chef was so e…

Soooo, have you all gotten sick of me blogging every day?

Or would you like to see more of it? Perhaps 365 days more?

Yes, there's Blog 365-participants are going to blog every day for 365 days or until the Internet blows up, whichever comes first.

Whaddya think?

The Game of Life

Image
We gave Chef Junior that game of childhood for Christmas-we gave him Life. Ed dubbed tonight "family game night" and the three of us sat down playing Trouble and then Life. Gameboy admitted fatigue and put himself to bed at 7:30pm. Should have checked him for fever.

Apparently, in the twenty odd years since I've last played Life, the game has had a revamp. There are student loans, midlife crises (a few of them, IIRC) and ways to earn more buckaroos. I read the rules to the menfolk and got the typical glazed over thing that guys get when confronted with instructions. C'mon Mom, we want to PLAY!

Okay, we start. Ed cracks that he's not going to make the same mistake in the game that he did in the real world-he's going to college (only now in the game, you're 100k in the hole before you go one space!) All three of us go the college route. I'm proud to report that my son became a doctor. Ed became an artist and I don't think you have to guess …

eBay rocks!

I have said it before, but I love eBay. If you know what you're looking for, you can find some great things at great prices. Sometimes, people don't know how to list what they're selling-and you win out because you're proficient at stealth searching. ;)

Lately, I've got a little scratch in the Pay Pal account and I've been going after books. I've got a handful of authors that I like to own the books. If they're going to get read over and over, it just makes sense.

For instance, one of the latest acquisitions is the latest Faye Kellerman book. She has a series of books about LAPD detective Peter Decker and his wife, Rina (nee Lazarus). I'm a sucker for a well written mystery/police procedural and this series delivers the goods. On top of that, the couple observes Orthodox Judaism and the religion and its rituals fascinate me.

A friend turned me on to her books when I was holed up in the hospital for nine days with that DVT. I plowed through fo…

The upshot of Christmas

The kids opened the Wii, Gameboy was banned and I actually played a gaming system. After years of not using any gaming systems due to fear of pain or injury, the Wiimotes finally are something I can handle.

The afternoon involved some Bowling and Tennis for me and Chef Jr. I know he played with the Mario game while I was preparing dinner, and Ed played some of the sports games with him. Later, the Lego Star Wars was played as well.

Dinner involved preparing everything from scratch this year-just felt like doing it. I made a spectacular Cabernet au jus gravy that I wanted to eat with a spoon, lol! The roast turned out great and I think the crab cakes were enjoyed.

After dinner, more game play until bedtime for Chef. Then, Ed and I went head to head Bowling and playing Lego Star Wars. We cracked open the Wii Play and check it out. What a dud. After you consider the remote that was included in it, I suppose we got a ten dollar game. Lame.

This morning, Gameboy got his chance with…

Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Image
After being disappointed about the opening of presents, we decided at lunchtime that the time had come to open the present. Gameboy won't get to play today at all, but he'll get to watch.

The nice part of it being a family gift is that Ed and I got to share the story of how we got the thing. We set each boy down in the living room and had them take a side. Chef Jr, as soon as he saw WHAT it was, began tearing paper in an Animal-like frenzy. They are very happy.

Ed's in the process of getting the thing set up...

Prior to opening the box. They've got no clue what this is all about.

Gameboy displays his stealth unwrapping mode (very quiet and methodical), while Chef Jr has realized what's in the box and stops short in shock!


Hey, we got a WII!


Look, Gameboy opening a present! Again, he displayed his quiet unwrapping technique.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I'm going to feel better after some bowling.

Ho Ho Ho

Image
This morning, the presents were unwrapped and there was joy in the Suzanne household. Nice dream, right?

Instead, Gameboy woke up sometime very early and took all his presents into his room, hid under his bed and opened them. Never mind the coaching he got prior to bed. The rules are simple: if you wake up and it's dark, go back to bed. If it's not, come get the rest of the family. Nope, he was up before we got up at 6:30 and opened every damn thing.

Daily, it's a struggle with this kid. He doesn't get it, doesn't think he did anything wrong and the friggin OCD is going to be the death of me. Ed and I got each other some very small gifts. For both of us, the joy of the holiday is the giving-seeing the kids reactions to what we chose.

Now he's in his room and the presents have been taken away. When asked, he says "instinct took over". I had to explain that instinct would have had him getting his family, because Christmas has ALWAYS been about be…

Merry Christmas!

A nice little holiday video from us!

Don't send a lame Holiday eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

Making a list and checking it twice...

It's Christmas Eve and I AM OFF FROM WORK!!!!!! I can count on one hand how many of those I've had since I started working. This means that things are a little less hectic.

Still on the to do list:
Make the lasagna for tonight.
Finish making the Korabiedes from Monday (that triple batch went FAR, people)
Macerate some Strawberries. Yes, it's official-Strawberry season in Florida.
Wrap Ed's present for under the tree.
Fill the stockings.
Prepare the Crab Cakes for tomorrow.
Clean house.
Get the kids to take showers.
Charge up the camera batteries and make sure we both have empty Compact Flash cards.

Fortunately, we switched out one tradition last night. Usually, present wrapping didn't occur until around 11pm Christmas Eve. We'd make sure the kids were sleeping, pop in some Christmas CDs, then have a wrap fest until 2 or 3am.

This year's task was done in about an hour and a half after Ed detoured to Wal Mart for some Santa paper. Yeah, he figured out there was…

Some of the hard to find Christmas Toys for this year

Image
Bobby D sends me a lot of the funny stuff that comes his way. These had us laughing the other night, so I'm sharing the best of his email of "Top 14 Hard to Find Christmas Toys." These are the top three. If you want the rest, I'll be happy to send the email on to you, just let me know.

I really don't want to see the head popping off on THIS toy!


Every kid on J street wants one, right Jeff? Fun the whole family can enjoy!Mandy, I'll bet you didn't get THIS toy for your princess this year!

Once again, I want to share that I was meant to have boys. Now I get to play with the Legos and the stuff I didn't get to as a kid.

Bobby D's the guy who points me to blog entries about interesting Doctor Who rumors and Monty Python stuff. The recent one had a rumor about a one off 'Doctor' appearance. However, the blogger had the word "ExTREMinate", which makes me wonder if the Daleks are going to cut off limbs, a la the Black Knight from Hol…

Love the phone, hate the phone user

Okay, a confession here. I've had the new phone for almost two months and I still only have about a dozen numbers programmed into it. It's because I am lazy and frustrated.

The old phone's backlight died about a month before I got the new phone, so I can't read the display without my eyes doing a cartoonish "ah OOOOH gah" popping out of my head. I suppose I could bring the thing over to an AT&T store and get them to port my address book into the new one. However, I think the throngs of people who are smart and buying gadgets for Christmas will be crowding the place. (Yes, I am firmly in the "gimme gadgets" camp and think they make awesome gifts, lol.)

This does present dilemmas, not having numbers in the phone. I suppose I need to break down and get some of those phone numbers transferred so that I can make calls for Christmas. One of my sisters and her daughter are getting a box of clothes sent to them. There is a pile of perfectly good …

Eat Drums, Eat Drums

Oh, BEAT Drums!

The other night, Chef Jr sang in the chorus for the school's winter concert and play. I missed the event, thanks to only having three days notice of it in December. In trying to switch shifts with a coworker, I got the okay-but didn't relay the confirmation. Alas, I missed out.

Ed was puzzled by what happens with the music programs in elementary schools nowadays. Both of us were participants in chorus in elementary school, and then I spent another six years involved in vocal music classes. Apparently, the kids don't learn multiple parts. They all sing in unison to a prerecorded soundtrack. Where's the learning here?

We both recalled singing two and three part pieces in grade school. My memories include the flamboyant elementary music teacher teaching syncopation and how to read music. We got recorders in third grade. We weren't spoon fed a simple melody, to be sung with a soundtrack. I'm of the mind that if you challenge a child musicall…

Christmas head scratchers

We've all received them. The gifts where you just wonder WHAT on earth the giver was thinking when they picked that item for you. I firmly believe in 'it's the thought that counts'. However, it is still very important to think about what that person's likes, dislikes and possibly even allergies are before choosing a gift.

Some of the winners of years gone by:

I mentioned one in the Christmas meme recently. A cobalt blue sweater that had black sequins on it, size SMALL. This chest of mine has not worn a small since high school. It was angora like, which means I'd be scratching non stop. The giver probably regifted it to me, thinking that blue was my favorite color.

Hmmm, that gives me an idea. They should make color toilet plungers, 'but its your favorite color!'. The gift for that impossible person on your list.

My ex's mom was quite fond of buying me nightwear from Sears. Not flannel gowns, that would be an improvement over these. For four …

Making this Christmas Memorable...

Ed is DA MAN! Based on informed suggestions, I sent him over to Game Stop yesterday for a coveted Wii, after calling and getting the "we MAY be getting some". That's retail speak to CYA when you're scheduled to receive something and it gets stuck somewhere en route.

He spent an hour at the chosen Game Stop and the UPS man had no Wiis. However, the employee suggested he come back today. If they didn't arrive today, then tomorrow he could put his name on a waiting list for the ones they will most definitely get next week.

This morning, he was back at Game Stop. He was customer number 4 at 11am when I called during my bank run. If they only got one box, we'd be out of luck, since each box contains three Wiis. He waited patiently, as we had a Zen approach to it. If it is meant to be under the tree, it will happen.

He called me about 45 minutes later and he was ecstatic. We have a Wii! This will be the memorable Christmas for our game crazed children. So,…

Memories of Christmases Past

This time of year, I think everyone reminisces about Christmases in years gone by. I am no different, especially since I've got kids. I wonder what they'll remember when they're adults, what will make a big impression, what did we make a big deal over that doesn't even register on the radar.

We have our traditions, but not too many. Christmas dinner (eve or day) has to have Crab Cakes with remoulade. The rest of the meal is no longer set in stone, but that one item must be on the menu. I didn't realize it, but three or four years in a row now, we've had eggnog pancakes for breakfast and the kids are looking forward to them. (like camping breakfast must be pancakes, according to Chef Jr).

As I watch the traditions and memories in the making, I think back to the things that stand out from my youth. My parents did an amazing job of making the holidays special, even in the years where there wasn't a spare dime to be found. I never lacked for anything and…

A Slurpee to go, please!

Image
What do you do when it takes too long to get out of your Hummer to go into the 7-11 to get yourself a Slurpee?It's the Co Owner's Hummer, so perhaps they decided to add the drive through and cut out the contractor middleman?

If you want to read, here's the story. However, this IS the Hagerstown paper we're talking about. It's written to a second grade reading level. Yes, I did that exercise in college lit. My favorite columnist from the Post came up as 13th grade and the Herald came up as 2nd grade!

Straight No Chaser - 12 Days

Those of you who spent all those days in Tal's choir room will appreciate all the work these men put into this.

The rest of you will just find it hilarious in and of itself!

We saw SANTA!!!

Image
Tonight at our scout meeting, we had a special guest. The man in red himself took a break from the North Pole!
It's pretty neat when Santa addresses all the kids by name, but that's because he's a professional in the business AND is a den leader.
Seconds before this picture was taken, Chef Junior was patiently waiting and singing one of his famous made up songs, "I want a Wii this yeaarrrrrrr" Uh, that's a toughie, kiddo.
Santa's reaction to Chef Junior's request. Apparently, almost every boy in attendance tonight told him this is what they want. Oh, except for J, our former cub master's son. He asked for cow meat. His sister was teasing him that Santa was going to bring him Butterscotch. See why I like their family?

Gameboy is in touch with reality this year. He told Santa that he and his brother would like a Wii, but they know it's hard to get one. Santa, would you bring me a Nintendo DS and one for my brother if you can't give us …

Entertainment

I was talking with a friend about entertainment tonight. Not the movie, concert, or sports entertainment, the 'occupy yourself' entertainment.

One child's constant refrain is "I'm bored." This is what is uttered from his mouth at least once every five minutes when he is denied his video games. It's the ultimate in CD skip-the same thing said the exact way every time. He hasn't figured out ways to occupy himself-no matter how many suggestions we as parents make, it doesn't click in his head that he could just read a book, play with legos or do something else. His brain is stuck in "must play games" mode.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm supposed to be the entertainment, come up with the fun things to do, places to go, people to see. Perhaps this is due to being the unofficial 'cruise director' for the gang when I lived in NY. Perhaps I used up all the good ideas back then. ;) It can be hard to hear that "I want to do *s…

I'd say it's a habit...

Since October 22, I have only missed two days of blogging. It's past the middle of December and Holidailies is going strong. There are boring posts, but hey, that's life. I'm looking at things each day to see if they're blog worthy. At that, I've still left the list of topics alone so far this month.

Those of you who were with me before NaBloPoMo, are you sick of me writing every day? Do you like coming to the blog and finding something new every day? Is there a January blogging event?

Only in Tampa

I'm driving to work and I see the front rolling in. The cold front that has plenty of snow for those up north, but down here, will bring some violent thunderstorms and temperatures in the 50's.

There's a clear line of demarcation. It is that way here, you can see the rain pouring down from the clouds miles away, a lighter gray curtain against the dark clouds.

Of course, I get over to work and the rain has started. Little drops that are the leading charge for the huge drops. The advance army, as it were. I'm here early, so into the coffee shop to borrow some bandwidth and kill some time.

I make my purchase and look out the front window. It is a brilliant sunny day and there is a deluge going on outside. It took a while to get accustomed to it, but such is life here in Tampa. You can get a sunburn in a rain storm!

It's the most wonderul time...

Nine shopping days left, so this means my store shifts into extended hours today. I love not working in a mall! December 15th is our first late day! I've got to be to work at 3pm today. However, I'm providing part of our lunch today, so I'll drop that off at 1pm and run some errands.

Last night, we ventured over to the mall, and the extended hours made things easier for us. When you don't visit the mall very often, changes surprise you. When did Kay Bee decide to shutter their stores? We went in and found that the games (of course) were down to the dregs of Gameboy Advance titles. No trying to sneak a purchase under the kids noses neccessary.

The trip out was because I wanted Tijuana Flats. Thankfully, Gameboy is finally on the Mexican food bandwagon and had some soft tacos. In a funny moment, one of the staff asked if we wanted refills on our drinks. We accepted. I held up my queso dip side and said "Can I get a refill of this?" and laughed. I to…

My Earliest Christmas Memory

Last night, we got the inevitable question from Chef Jr. Fortunately, his thought process got derailed pretty quick and the question didn't get answered (I'd thrown it back at him and got "I think he is and I think he isn't").

Somehow, the comment was made about big presents under the tree. My response was that sometimes good things come in small packages, so don't go for the big present first. Then, I told Chef Jr my earliest Christmas memory.

When I was a kid, we'd be woken up around 2 or 3am with the words "Santa was here!" We'd all race down the stairs to find the tree was hidden by all the presents. This is what happens in a house with eight kids. Pandemonium would ensue, with packages being opened rapidly, paper flying all over, and loud exclamations ooohing and ahhhing over newly opened gifts.

The first Christmas I clearly remember was when I was four. We lived in the big duplex in Rockville Centre. I came down the stairs that …

My cool day

Today, I (re)met a man who I was a HUGE fan of when I was younger, and it was while working!

A couple came in around noon and was looking around at items in the store. The wife asked if we had an item in stock, I checked on it and we did. She decided to purchase said item. While ringing her up, I asked for her zip code (something we ask of every customer). She gave me one that I'd recognized as from Long Island. I say "Lindenhurst? Jericho?" and she replies that she's from Syosset, a town on the north shore of Long Island.

She looked at me quizzically, and I explained that I was from Merrick. East Meadow, she says. Practically neighbors, we joked. We talked about how much warmer it is here, that they're in town for the day, that they've got a house elsewhere in Florida that they hope to move to full time someday.

Then she asked if she could leave the item with me while they shopped in other stores. Sure, can I get your name to put on it? Nystrom, she …

He blinded me with...

SCIENCE! Tonight, Chef Jr. and I worked on the experiment portion of his science project. Ed and I thought he had another week to conduct the trials, but it is due Friday.

What is the project subject matter? Which product makes the biggest bubbles. It was inspired and it only involved a couple of hours of trials. We tested two types of normal bubble solution, Body Shop's bubble bath, Ultra Palmolive Soap and Kirkland Dishwashing Detergent. Each item had to be tested five times, but fortunately, it went relatively quickly.

I was smart. He dictated what his observations were during the process and this means tomorrow night's work load isn't that bad. This is where the ADHD was obvious-he'd manipulate the fixed items (the fan, the line measuring the distance from the fan and the bubble wand) and we'd have to put them back. He forgot why we were doing some of the process, but gosh, what he remembered was pretty neat.

You're probably thinking "how do you…

They like me, they really like me...

The work schedule, submitted for your approval. Our work week is Monday through Sunday. Makes more business sense to have the two busiest days be at the end of the week.

I've spent the last three days off, Sunday as my second day off last week and Monday and Tuesday this week.

Next week, Monday and then Sunday the 23rd. Then Monday and Tuesday, Christmas Eve and Day, then another day off later that week. That's two three day 'weekends' in a month. I am the only manager with Christmas Eve off. Boss says that I don't complain about the schedule. Apparently, this is the reward!

Heck, three days in a row off for Christmas. If there was some way to convince the boys that Santa would show up at a campsite, I'd say let's go camping!

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

Christmas in Florida still takes me for a loop. For instance, we've been hanging Christmas lights on Thanksgiving for two years in weather that seems more August than late November.

It's the 11th and the lights haven't been hung this year because it's just too hot (and we got sidetracked on Thanksgiving, instead of following that tradition). It's in the mid 80's right now and that just seems too warm to be up on the ladder and putting them up.

I'd rather hang them in the evening, but Ed doesn't like that idea. Mind you, I am the one who does this job and it doesn't bother me in the least. It's cooler and I can wear long sleeves to ward off the bugs. Nooooo, his big fear is that I won't be able to see. Hmmm, there is a street light right in front of the house, I don't think it's that dark. Last year, I was even smart and sunk a bunch of nails in the trim to anchor the lights along with those clips.

I don't know when they'…

I want to create a new meme (now with answers!)

This has been noodling around for the past couple of days. Seeing people who have all the time in the world, yet do nothing with it makes me think about what I'd do if I had free time like that. Can I just say that it frustrates the heck out of me? So, a pet peeve of mine (wasting time) is what inspired me.

Anyway, I came up with this meme.

Finish these phrases...

I can...read upside down, calculate most percentages in my head, write with each hand.

I can't...roll my tongue

I will...eat a whole bag of Milano cookies in one sitting if you leave me to my own devices

I won't...eat liver or eggs

I never...have traveled to Hawaii

I always...read Christmas letters (no matter how treacly they are)

I wish...people would take time to put themselves in the other person's shoes.

I want...more time with Ed and the boys

I don't want...to explain stuff to people that should know better. (Yet, I seem to end up doing this a lot. I'm an expert about medical issues that I've never…

Ikea, now without a seven hour road trip!

When we lived in Maryland , we had first two, then three Ikeas within a 90 minute drive (due east, slightly SSE, and then another South.) Roughly once every month or so, we'd pile in the car and find some sort of furnishings for the home without leaving the entire contents of our wallets behind in the store. Life was good.

All these journeys resulted in a house where you don't have to look far to find Ikea's imprint. Billy and Roi bookshelves, a computer desk and work station, the kids beds (formerly bunk beds), our dressers (all five of them). Out in our garage are unassembled shelving units for the records and a rough hewn utility storage system. In the kid's closets, there are a bunch of clear plastic tubs from Ikea. The kitchen also has a thing or ten from those travels.

Alas, we moved to Florida and went a long time before getting to the blue and yellow building. Our DVDs are housed in two gunmetal gray Billy bookcases. The acquisition of the first involved…

Vital

Yesterday, Ed and I talked about my Mom while talking about some other matters. He commented that my Mom was so vital until a couple of weeks before she'd passed away. That one word, vital, conveys so much.

In spring of 2005, she wasn't feeling well and went to her doctors. Tests came up negative, but she knew something wasn't right. When things really seemed to be going wrong. she had a PET scan on August 24th. She was gone on October 30th. My step sister showed Giggles and I how to read the thing after Mom had passed. Nearly Mom's whole torso was black on this scan. According to L, black indicates cancerous cells.

Meanwhile, Mom was still driving her car, visiting friends and kept on keeping on until about six weeks before she died. The only things that she had altered in her routine in the last few months were that she had been using a cane because it hurt to walk, and she was on the Duragesic patches for pain. This bothered her greatly. She was very proud…

Tangled in the tentacles

Last night, we completed some errands. As dinner had not been defrosted (or planned), the executive decision was made to dine out. The only criteria Ed had was "NO Mexican", the only one I had was "No pasta", as another manager had offered to make Baked Ziti for the staff in exchange for donations to the designated charity.

Once we'd left our first stop, the topic of where are we eating came up. I mentioned Greek, Ed said that sounded good and we had to make a slight detour to head west over to Ybor City to Acropolis. There will be a review on Wine and Foodies either today or tomorrow.

I love me some Greek food. Like Mexican, it can be consumed nearly every day and I'd still want more. The native born in the area that I know (very few of those around here) all mention it as being the best Greek around if you want more than a Gyro. There's a great hidden gem in Brandon, Romano's, but they're a blend of Greek and Italian in a storefront tha…

Mmmmm, Brownies

In the oven is my latest batch of what may be the yummiest brownies you can eat. Thanks to Alton Brown (and a cupboard filled with the right ingredients), I hardly ever buy brownie mix anymore. We're having a bake sale at work to raise money for St. Jude Children's Hospital, and as soon as I mentioned cookies or brownies, the unanimous vote was for my brownies.

So, you're wondering what recipe I use? Glad to share it. It's actually a recipe found on Hershey's website. I'll post the link and the recipe and note my changes to the recipe, too.
Best BrowniesIngredients: (double or even quadruple-I regularly quadruple this and no one is upset that they didn't get some)1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted1 cup sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I always double this-tastes like you melted vanilla ice cream into the brownies)
2 eggs (when doubling, 3 eggs. Quadrupling, 6 eggs. We like a chewier brownie)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour1/3 cup HERSHEY'…

The realities of Asperger's

Usually, I try to find a positive spin on parenting a child with Asperger's. Many times, when Gameboy surprises us with something good, it is noted in the blog. The day to day is very different, with yelling, screaming, temper tantrums and frustration. He cries like a two year old when he doesn't get his way. His most common phrases are "That's not fair", "But I want", "But Mom/Dad", "I hate ..." . He turns heads and we get rude looks constantly in public, because hey, your kid is 11 and is a brat. If they only knew...

Last night, we had one of those meltdowns that happens every night at bedtime. He didn't want to stop playing games, he hates bedtime, he doesn't want to take a shower because he took one last week, he hates bedtime. Yelling and screaming. As is typical, I ask if the crying makes him feel better, does it get him what he wants? What happens when you cry? Okay, so if it doesn't make you feel better,…

A Flick of the Wrist

My wrists are frequent fliers when it comes to visiting the surgical suites. Normally, I can forget about it, but I have a colleague at one of our sister stores that is experiencing some issues that I know all too well.

Back when I was a young teen, I rode my bike A LOT. I also played the piano A LOT. Both activities put my wrists in an awkward position. Once, after a 25 mile bike ride (yes, I rode that much), I began to have pain in one of the wrists.

Years before Carpal Tunnel and Repetitive Stress Injuries were common phrases, I was in a world of hurt. Dad took me to our (nearly useless) family doctor, who sent us to the ER. Some Xrays were taken, and no fractures could be found. I was sent home with a script for anti inflammatories.

Six weeks later, the hospital sent an appointment card to come to a follow up clinic. Apparently, this is what they did with cases where they didn't arrive at a definitive diagnosis. I did something that shows a lot about me at 14 years old:…