Monday, November 27, 2006


Thanksgiving was nice, as usual. The following morning around 8:00, Dear Hubby left with all three of my sons to go on a one-night camping trip. It's a tradition of sorts, since 1999. Dear Hubby and some friends of his from high school take their kids camping the day after Thanksgiving. Which left me ... alone.

For the first time since Son #3's birth four years and nine months ago, I was going to have a whole day and night to myself. Just me. (I've taken mini-vacations by myself to visit my mom, but that's hardly all alone, is it?) Ah, the possibilities!

I ended up doing what so many others do on the day after Thanksgiving. I went shopping. I left the house at 10 am and was finished by 1:30 (including a quiet little lunch - party of one). It's surprising what you can accomplish when shopping uninterrupted and with both hands. Usually my right hand is occupied - holding Son #3's hand, or dragging him by the collar out from under the racks of clothes, depending on his mood. No tug-of-war, no 100 questions. Yes sir, even as the 20th person in the checkout line at Bath & Body Works, I was still smiling!

In the afternoon, I cleaned the house and assembled our Christmas tree. I did not put a single ornament on, though. The kids wouldn't forgive me, if I had (we decorated on Sunday). I thought it would be nice to watch a movie uninterrupted for a change, but by dinnertime, I was getting a little tired of the quiet. Fortunately, my friend, Sandie, invited me over for dinner. She and her husband were cooking filet mignon. How could I say no? I spend a few hours at their house and was home by 9:30.

At this point, I should tell you that I'm not really comfortable being home alone at night (with or without the kids). I don't sleep well when Dear Hubby is away. So I did a quick check for the boogeyman (closets, under the beds, behind the shower curtains), put on my pjs, cranked up the Christmas music on the radio and read for a few hours. It was around 1 or 2 a.m. before I finally turned it for the night. Dear Hubby and the boys came home around noon on Saturday.

It's Monday evening now, the holiday week is over, and the kids are back to their usual antics and squabbling. Now I miss the peace and quiet (even if just a little). Just goes to show you: the grass is not always greener! OY!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Wishes!

It's 1:00 on Wednesday. Thanksgiving Eve, if you will. I've just finished cooking for tomorrow. As I mentioned in my previous post, my father-in-law will cook a turkey and ham and we "kids" bring side dishes and desserts.

My herbed bread stuffing game out very well. My cornbread stuffing - embellished with pear, walnuts and cranberries - is okay, but not as tasty as I hoped. Turns out the pears lost their flavor in the cooking process. Go figure. I'm not stressing about it, though, since I make it primarily for my brother-in-law who's allergic to poultry and therefore, cannot have my herbed bread stuffing which is made with chicken broth. He might be eating my cornbread stuffing just to be polite, for all I know.

My green bean casserole came out very well, if I do say so myself (it's pretty hard to screw that up).

Tonight we've been invited to a little get together at the church before the prayer service. Tomorrow morning there's a Mass at 9 am so I'll go to that too. After I get home, I'll start heating my stuff in the oven then bring it to my father-in-law's house (4 blocks away).

Lots to be thankful for this year (a partial list, in no particular order):
1) Family
2) Friends
3) Church
4) Health
5) an uneventful hurricane season

Hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thanksgiving Traditions

Since moving back to the state in which Dear Hubby and I were born and raised, and where his family still resides, we’ve settled into our regular Thanksgiving tradition. It’s generally accepted that we will all gather at my father-in-law’s house. We always did with the exception of two years: his Sister #2 hosted one year, his Sister #4 hosted another year. Her house is largest of all the family’s but hers has an older oven and smaller than ours.

Still the drill is the same: Father-in-law will cook a turkey AND a ham. (Dear Hubby’s Brother #2 is allergic to poultry.) He also makes a casserole of some kind and a meat dressing.

I never understood the concept of meat dressing, but whatever…My mother would always make herbed bread dressing (aka embellished Stovetop Stuffing). This is my contribution to the festivities. I have also branched out into cornbread dressing with cranberries and walnuts because of my brother-in-law’s poultry allergy (my regular Stovetop Stuffing contains chicken stock). I don’t eat it though – not a fan of cornbread.

I also make the traditional string bean casserole, complete with the Durkee’s fried onions on top. And I’ll buy an apple pie. I remember early on when Dear Hubby and were dating, I was initially mortified by his family’s Thanksgiving menu. Meat dressing? Pumpkin and mincemeat pies, but NO fruit pies? No black olives? (Okay, so that was a stretch. My mother used to set out a little dish of raw radishes and pitted black olives to snack on while the turkey was roasting, so I’ve come to associate black olives with Thanksgiving.)

My own personal tradition – after dishes have been loaded in the dishwasher and the football game’s on TV – I’ll write my Christmas cards.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm at a loss for words today (rare, I know) so here's this from

You Are Blitzen

Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.

Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!

Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.

Monday, November 13, 2006

So What's Next?

I don't know what made me consider this, but here it goes:

My 20's - I partied my way through college, got engaged to be married, graduated from college, got married, began my pretty-much-nonexistent career, moved to the Washington DC area, bought a home, and started college (again). Not too shabby.

My 30's - I became a mom twice, finished my master's degree, sold my home in Virginia, moved back to Louisiana, bought another home, became a mom again, and quit amy going-nowhere career. All in all, a very good decade.

So what will my 40's hold? (For those who know me personally: Oh, hush!)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Little Rant

I like my house, but it's small. Five people and two dogs in less than 1200 feet. (It's also located two doors away from The Jerry Springer Show, but never mind that today.) The real estate prices jumped substantially after Hurricane Katrina, but prices seem to be leveling off. Dear Hubby and I have been pre-approved for a loan, but truthfully there's not a lot in our price range in our area. We did find one that we liked a lot, but despite the fact that it's only two blocks away, it's in a different flood zone than our current home, which makes insurance significantly higher.

This past week our insurance company, Allstate, has announced that effective later this month, they will not write wind/hail policies on any new homes purchased by Allstate customers. (If you aren't already an Allstate customer, they won't write any type of homeowners' policies in our state.) This is a change from the way it was when we started our search a couple of months ago. At that time, if you were an existing Allstate customer, you'd be able to get wind/hail coverage on a new home. However, now even if we DO find a house we like, the only way we'll be able to insure it against wind/hail is to go with a state-sponsored insurance plan (read: costs a whole lot of money for very limited coverage). So much for the house hunting, it seems.

So, it looks like we're staying put. That being the case, I've been trying to set up cable TV service for the past two weeks. We bought the house new five years ago and never bothered to sign up for cable. I called the cable company's toll-free number which connects me with a call center located in another state. One person I spoke with was in Spokane, another in Minneapolis, and so forth. They 'opened a ticket,' which is apparently the first step in establishing service.

After not hearing back from them for a few days (they were supposed to contact me within 24 hours), I call the toll-free number again. This time I'm told that the cable company doesn't service my area. Uh yeah, it does, I explain. My neighbor to the immediate right has cable TV. My neighbor across the street had cable until switching a year ago to satellite. The house three doors to the left of mine has cable TV. They tell me I'll have to go to my local office to see if they can straighten it out. The 'local' office is 35 miles away and the call center can't seem to find a local phone number for me to call. Neither can directory assistance, or

I told the alleged customer service rep that I find it hard to believe that there's this one little "pocket" on my one-block dead end street that is not serviceable - and I'm it. Today I spoke to yet another person - this one in Tennessee - and she contacted her manager to see if she can't email my local office for help. The manager is supposed to call me back by the end of the week. I'm not holding my breath. I'm starting to think satellite TV might be the way to go.

Of course I deal with stress by eating and there's this whole box of Halloween candy sitting on the kitchen counter. Not pretty.

End of rant.

On a positive note, the essay that Son #1 wrote for the school's PTA-sponsored contest was one of 8 from his school chosen to go on to the district level. Woo Hoo!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Halloween 2006

The white Clone Trooper is Son #1 (age 11), Darth Vader is Son #2 (age 9) and the one who bucked the Star Wars theme is Son #3 (age 4) - he is a Mystic Force Power Ranger. They had a nice time trick or treating in our neighborhood. Dear Hubby stayed at home to keep an eye on things (just a tad suspicious of the teen who lives a couple of houses down - if you've been following my blog, you'll understand why). We don't usually get many trick or treaters at our house since we live on a one-block, unlit, dead-end street. This year was no exception. The rest of the neighborhood, however, really gets into Halloween. I sorted the kids' candy, keeping the bubble gum and the pitifully few Almond Joys for myself (the boys don't like coconut).