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Tonight we had a very nice dinner with our friends and neighbors. It was nice that the two couples (who both have children) could get out. It is even nicer that both our respective sets of children are old enough to babysit themselves. It was nice to get out and socialize without the pressure of the time clock and the babysitter, which always put a damper on the evening and made it feel like we were always working against the clock. Linger over dinner….stop for coffee on the way home….go to the movies after dinner on the fly….these types of things never happened with a babysitter. We always had a plan and a ticking clock. I always felt like I was a teenager again with the curfew–but we told the sitter we’d be back by 10. Babysitters were a luxury….kids old enough to babysit themselves is a treat and allows us the opportunity to have evenings like tonight. A couple hours of nice conversation and good food with good friends….. well worth the effort.
Tom and Tyler are crazy for potato bread. There is a recipe in this month’s Cooking Light magazine which I tried today:
The loaves rose nicely and baked up in 30 minutes. This was deemed a “keeper” recipe for potato bread in the T’s house.
Here is the recipe from Cooking Light which I adapted slightly:
- 1 large potato, skinned, boiled and mashed
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 3 T honey
- 2 T butter
- 4 -1/2 c. bread flour
- 2-1/4 t. yeast
- 1-1/2 t. kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- cooking spray
- Combine mashed potato, milk, butter and honey in microwave safe bowl, microwave about 3 minutes or until mixture is 110 degrees.
- In mixer bowl, combine half the flour, salt and yeast.
- Add potato milk mixture to bowl.
- Mix until combined.
- Add eggs and mix until combined
- Add remainder of flour and mix until you have a slightly sticky ball of dough.
- Turn out into a bowl that you have coated with cooking spray. Turn dough over to coat. Cover – let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Remove from bowl onto floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll out each half into a rectangle approximately 14 x 7. Roll the dough from the shorter side ending with seam side down.
- Place dough seam side down into a greased loaf pan. Repeat with other half of dough.
- Cover loaves and let rise until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until loaves are hollow when knocked upon.
Here are some pictures of the snow piles around our house. This is some of the most snow piled up that we have seen since we’ve been here.
The boys and their friends were sledding off the roof of the shed the other day.
Underneath these piles are our fences and rosebushes if you can believe it.
Arghhhh…. if I survive my children in their teenage years, call me superhuman. Our oldest definitely has an on again, off again case of teenageritis and tonight it took every bit of restraint to not boot him into his 20s. Seriously, he is on this it’s not cool to be in scouts kick because his friends aren’t and he chose tonight to demonstrate that “you can make me go, but I’m not going to like it or behave.” He was rude and not cooperative and while his behavior might not have appeared as bad to the other adults there, Tom and I were seething that he was behaving as poorly as he was. Definitely not acceptable behavior in our house. Afterward on the way home, he got a really good talking to — or more appropriate, yelling at and hopefully he got it (his brothers hopefully got it too since they were captives to the whole scene in the truck). I hope he got it because seriously I don’t know if I will survive him being a teenager.
This is one of those days that I remember exactly how grateful I was for Catholic school. Today I need to figure out (or we think we did) how to get everyone to church for ashes since its Ash Wednesday. Complicating this is the fact that we live in Vermont, which isn’t particularly Catholic and the churches don’t quite have the volume of services that we grew accustomed to in New Jersey because of it. Even better were my sons’ looks when I threw out the possibilities for a decision. Why can’t we just go after school or at night (well those choices just don’t exist here) When the boys were in Catholic school, I knew that they went to church during the day and the only one who had to go was me. While life here is simpler in many ways, in other ways it can be more complicated. If this is as complicated as my day is today, I am grateful.
Pancake Day is one of the names for today. Other more common days are Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). Traditionally, in Christian countries it is the last day before the beginning of Lent which is a season meant to demonstrate abstinence and fasting. Pancake Day originated in the United Kingdom and was called such since pancakes were one food that used the rich ingredients (fat, eggs, cream) that were off-limits during the fasting season of Lent.
Whatever you call it, today is the day – the last day to do or have whatever is considered decadent, rich and over the top before succumbing to the frugal and puritanical ways of Lent. The Big Picture has some really awesome scenes of carnival from around the world. Check it out as the imagery is wonderful. Whether you’re eating pancakes today or chocolate or having that last drink before tomorrow, enjoy – Happy Pancake Day to you!
Sounds horrific. Really it does. I have it and it pretty much sucks, although the doctor advises me that it is not uncommon and not dangerous or life threatening or anything terrible like that. Basically, for those of us who like the real world version, my cornea sticks to the inside of my eyelid when I sleep. I can’t open my eyes when I wake up right away. They are stuck, like someone planted cement in my eyes while I slept. Trust me, if I do force them open, which I have done before when I was startled awake because I thought I heard a child in our room, my eye hurt like mad all day long. The doctor explained that the reason for that is essentially that I am ripping off corneal cells from the surface of my eye every time this happens. Lovely. Keep talking, doctor, it is just getting better and better and I am about to throw up listening to you.
Simple solution he tells me. All I have to do is put some ointment into my eye before I go to sleep. I have been doing it for a couple weeks now and beside the fact that I am basically blind after I do it, since it is an ointment and not drops, it is working. It still sticks but they are easier to get un-stuck. No horrific cornea ripping events to date. Lucky me! Still sucks. But it is working and we don’t have to resort to “other treatments” as he said. What “other treatments”? Do you oil up my eyes with some more heavy duty lubricant before bed? Do I pull them completely out of my head before bed and re-insert in the morning, this way they don’t get stuck? I just don’t sleep any more or maybe we resort to the old “toothpicks holding open your eyelids” trick everynight. No worries, the blinding ointment seems to be working for now. Calm yourself or you’ll break out itching girl! And somewhere in the back of my mind is the possible correlation between this new found eye issue and the possible sarcoid diagnosis scare of a few months ago. No wonder why I don’t sleep well — I fear that I am going blind and if that’s not the case (as the doctor assures me), the worse that can happen is only that I can just rip my own eyes out one of these mornings if I am startled awake. Just dandy…..
One of those nights, I just feel much like last night. Putting on my pajamas and crawling into bed. Not tired, necessarily, just seeking the refuge of something safe and secure. And un-manly. I live in a house where I am surrounded by men (and I love them all) and their men-stuff. The lighting, the music, the voices, the phone, it’s all manly. Men, being men, just come in and take over. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a guy thing. Through the years, I have learned to relent, succumb, not put up a fight. Pick your battles. Some of it really isn’t all that bad. But sometimes……I would love to sink into a bed that is soft and fluffy and frilly and girl-y. Have a conversation about something totally un-masculine. Not that I want my husband to have a deep discussion with me on the color of my nail polish, but …..
There are many things that the only woman in the house gives up to be the only woman in the house. And I am sure that in speaking to my male friends who are the only men in their houses, I would get comparable feelings. Sometimes, you just feel out-gendered. I guess that these last few days have been that way. Especially in packing up things in the old house and realizing that there aren’t many girl things in my life anymore. Now — take away the makeup, the hair, and since I really go nowhere that clothes matter (not that you could dress up in feet of snow anyway) – I haven’t even worn jewelry since we suspected that might be making me itchy (well, really we know that in some sense it has since I am allergic to certain types of metal). So very little in the girl department in my house these days. I guess that I am just moping and feeling sorry for myself. I will snap out of it, I always do…..
Five things that I am grateful for today:
1. Snow and lots of it.
2. School not being closed because of it.
3. Healthy kids
4. Fire burning in the stove.
5. Crockpot -with dinner already in the works.
Snow has slid down our garage roof and has been precariously perched, curving as if held up magically for a couple of days now. We have admired this each and every time we have been in and out and since it is snowing like crazy outside and I had the camera in hand on our way back in from skiing this afternoon, we decided to take a few pictures. I am sure that since they are still predicting close to 2 feet of snow for us before tomorrow night that the snow curve won’t be hanging there much longer.
I woke this morning to snow which is supposed to not stop until Monday evening. The forecast keeps changing, but essentially now we are supposed to be getting 20 inches of snow which is supposed to fall later this afternoon/evening at the rate of 1-3 inches per hour.
Today is skiing day and in a few minutes I will have to rouse the troops to get them ready. First I am sitting here, by the non-fire (since I can’t get it going again) having a cup of tea and reading the news.
The question, I supposed will be whether I will be getting home later or how long it will take to get home. Well, these questions, like others will have to be taken, one at a time, that’s the only way to deal with it.
Odyssey of the Mind Saturday. Two weeks to the States competition. The team is working hard and you can see that they are getting tired. I saw the run-through of their skit and I am impressed. Everything laid out and seeing all the props and all the kids in one place, you can really see how it is coming together. Today is a 9-9 day and by 4 p.m. when I left, you could see it in their eyes. But they are troopers and they are trudging through with their eyes on the prize. Go team MRU, go!