Filed under: Awesomeness
So, over at Citizen Of The Month I am participating in The Great Interview Experiment! I have the privilege of interviewing Margaret of Nanny Goats in Panties and here it is! If you’re interested, I was interviewed by Nichole of Butterscotch Sundae
This is fun, and you get to meet some awesome people, too! Anyway, here’s Margaret’s interview:
1. Where did you come up with the name “Nanny Goats in Panties” Do you
have some strange goat thing lifestyle choice?
I wish I had a better story than the truth, but those words came off of a chalkboard during an exercise in a writing class where we threw random words together. The phrase “A thousand nanny goats in panties” was born and when it came time to name my blog, that phrase sprung out from the custard-like gray matter in my skull.
As for it being a goat thing lifestyle choice, I didn’t choose the goat thing lifestyle. I’ve never owned goats and have only seen them a handful of times in real life. The goat thing took on a life of its own when readers began sending me goat pictures, goat videos, goat stories, goat… things. Now I’m drowning in them. But it’s kind of awesome.
2. Sacramento, eh…what’s your favorite place to eat there? Why? Is
it reasonably priced? Can I refer my husband next time he’s there on
Awwww, poor little Sacramento. Home of the San Francisco Adjacents. We’re trying, though. One of my favorite restaurants is a place called Ink, in midtown. Owned by a tattoo guy, I think. The booths are lined with ink vials and the walls and ceilings are bedecked with red tattoo-like art work. It’s a funky casual place with great food served until well after midnight.So yeah, it’s reasonably priced and I’d totally recommend it to out-of-towners.
3. This humor concept I’m seeing prominent on your blog, is this how
you look at life all the time?
Pretty much. Even when I’m complaining and feeling cynical and negative, I’m still looking for the humorous angle in it. Because otherwise, I’d be a crotchety old cuss, chasing rugrats off my lawn with my knitting needles. I need humor to stay sane.
4. What is a human characteristic you see in real life that makes you
laugh so hard you cry?
Wow. This is a hard question. Do you mean cry because you are laughing uncontrollably? Because that doesn’t happen very often for me. I guess I’m like a diabetic when it comes to laughter. Like how you eat several small meals a day, rather than one big piggy meal which can overload your poor pancreas. That’s right, kids. Laughter is my natural insulin, regulating the blood sugar in this, my body of humor.
5. Is there some aspect of your life that you use humor to cope with?
For instance, I have teens that regularly make me worry and
occasionally break my heart, but by laughing at them, I can get past
it…what do you laugh at in order to deal with?
From a certain perspective, life itself is ridiculous. So I try to maintain that perspective. After I’ve bawled my eyes out and beaten the crap out of the proper assailants, of course. Here’s the thing: worrying and fretting never, ever works. It’s only a reaction or impulse that stems from fear and the feeling of the loss of control. If you can find a way to replace worry with laughter, more power to you. Sometimes stepping back and looking at yourself and your situation in a detached way provides relief whether laughter is involved or not.
Also, humor doesn’t fix everything and is sometimes very very inappropriate. Having said that, however, two of the eulogies that I’ve had the misfortune to deliver absolutely killed, if you’ll pardon the expression.
6.What is absolutely your favorite meal, the thing you would eat if
you knew it was the last meal you’d ever eat, and who would you eat
This is your second question about food. Are my cheeseburgers showing or something? Are the french fries talking behind my back? Did the vanilla milk shake say anything that would prompt such curiosity? I’m sicking my husband, Mr Mud Puppy, on those loud-mouthed bastards!
I’m sorry, what was the question?
7.What do you absolutely refuse to blog about?
Private, scandalous stuff about myself or my family. I have to save SOMETHING for my memoirs. Don’t want to blow my wad on some free goat-bedecked website.
So, I’m kind of half listening to David (20)playing some game on his computer, talking to the other players and all, not paying any attention to what he’s saying until I hear “Ok, are your eyes still glowing green with some half-used demonic energy?”
“That’s a pretty personal question isn’t it, David?”
“Mom, it’s a 40 yr old housewife in Minnesota.”
Filed under: aaawwwww, Dewicate feewings, family, Holidays!, home and hearth, Hooray!, kids
I’m up early this Sunday morning, big surprise, eh? Terry and CJ got up in the attic yesterday and dug out the boxes of Christmas shi…er…stuff. The Santa mugs are in their places (guest bathroom, dining room, living room). There’s so many now I don’t have room to put them all in one spot, and they’re so, y’know, festive and whimsical!
I love whimsy. Carousels and windchimes, the jokes a friend always puts on facebook, kittens. Is there anything cuter and sillier than a kitten? That doesn’t mean the house is full of little tchochkes, just that I like them. I don’t like to dust, and a balance has to be met somehow. So, for Christmas, there’s the mugs.
/ˈʰwɪmzi, ˈwɪm-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [hwim-zee, wim-]
–noun, plural -sies.
1. capricious humor or disposition; extravagant, fanciful, or excessively playful expression: a play with lots of whimsy.
2. an odd or fanciful notion.
3. anything odd or fanciful; a product of playful or capricious fancy: a whimsy from an otherwise thoughtful writer.
Terry is taking CJ back to Madison today, after church. Yesterday as we were getting the Christmas stuff out, CJ said he wanted to go to church with us today (!), so we’re taking him! Terry was kind of planning on leaving earlier than that, but the boy said he wanted to go to church and what kind of parent would we be if we said no?! No kind! That’s what! So, while they’re making the drive, I’ll get David’s birthday dinner together. Technically his birthday is tomorrow, and he’ll be 20, but The Boss’s Boss and His Boss will be in town tomorrow, as well as several other dignitaries, so Terry will be entertaining them. ergo, birthday will be done today, or maybe Tuesday or I don’t know when. Probably today. With a snowball cake even though the German Chocolate Cake from Grandmother still exists because Bro Scott showed up with pecan pie and pumpkin cheesecake.
Can you say Toot Household Sugar Coma?
The drive will be good for Terry and CJ. 3-1/2 hours of forced proximity and probably some good talking getting done. Things are fixing to change up again for CJ. Uncle Navy Dude’s wife is moving down from Virginia middle of December, for good. She’ll be The Mother CJ Never Had for a bit. Then CJ’ll get pissed and she’ll get pissed and throw him out and he’ll have to move into a friend’s barn (already offered, rent free) to have a place to live so he can finish school. I don’t want that to happen but it’s what I’m predicting. Hopefully, because the only stated reason that she’s moving down is because CJ will be in the house at night so she won’t be out there in the boondocks by herself, the off-pissedness won’t happen, but it’s that old “expect the worst” philosophy of mine, because I want to be prepared, and I want CJ ready for it as well. I also know what a hard time he has not getting pissed off at people. Especially when they snoop through his shi…er…stuff, and UNDW is most certainly a snoop. Since she’s going to be unemployed, she’ll have plenty of time to go through his shi..er…stuff during the day when he’s at school. So we’ll just see how that goes, eh.
Cj’s visit here has been remarkable in it’s normalcy. He didn’t call friends and spend the time gallivanting. He stayed right here the whole time, except when he and David were out doing Brother Stuff. We played pool, he played video games with #4, he ate, and slept, and (Glory!) did his makeup homework for Science! I saw him do it! Here’s hoping it will bring his grade up to passing. That’s all I want, a passing grade. A 70. I don’t ask for an 96 or even an 85 (which, from the test grades he’s capable of), just a 70. This is what it’s supposed to be like. Peaceful. I hugged him now and then, and he hugged me. I told him how happy I was that he was here, and he said he was glad to be here and he missed us. No drama. no shouts or arguments or holes in the walls. Just him eating all the candied pretzel sticks and leaving his tobacco spit bottle laying around (gross!). Totally deal-withable. It’s been sort of a gift, this week. And I’m grateful for it.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Today’s agenda: a little bit of laundry, and not sharing the bourbon pecan pie whilst watching House.
I have the rest of the day to vegetate in front of the TV, do a bit of laundry, maybe eat some food, maybe not share that bourbon pecan pie Bro Scott brought. Plans weren’t made for Christmas…as we’re all going to be far too busy working and doing church stuff before hand, and probably too exhausted to do much afterward and honestly, I’m ok with that. If anyone wants to see us, they’ll just have to come here.
But today, it’s a little bit of this and plenty of leftovers. I’m thinking…a bit of ham and some potatoes gratin and perhaps a green bean. Whilst watching Supernatural and maybe House. But that’s it.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings, family, Good grief, Holidays!, home and hearth, I feel so smart!
This is one of those great days, after-anxiety let down but still looking forward to a bit of fun and even after that there’s still a whole ‘nother day of rolling around in our jammies and eating The Glorious Leftover. It’s the only time of year I like leftovers. And then, Christmas Shall Commence! Well, after David’s birthday on Monday. Or maybe Sunday. Terry might have to work late Monday which would kinda eat into the whole “manliest grilled steak ever with a football sized twice baked potato” that David requested for his birthday dinner. Except that I have to take CJ back to Madison Sunday and that involves 7-8 hours driving and would prevent me from making the twice baked potatoes.
Get this…even though Grandmother baked him a 3 layer German Chocolate Cake he still wants me to make him a Chocolate Snowball cake. Maybe, if he were turning 21 and this was some sort of momentous important birthday I would, but honestly, he’s turning 20. Part of me is thinking *meh* and part of me says he’s been the least problematic of all our kids so far (the only trouble I’ve had with him is the mess he keeps his room. He even calls us when he’s planning on getting drunk at a friend’s and will be out all night.) so maybe he deserves a snowball cake.
So, perhaps the Christmas shi…er…stuff will get put out next week, after I bribe David to get the shi…er…stuff out of the attic. Dunno how I’ll do it, maybe I’ll let him take me to lunch one day or something. But it’s that time of year, for the myriad silly santa mugs I adore to go up on the sideboard or maybe the shelves in the living room or maybe across the top of the piano. What say ye? Dining room or living room?
Do I fuss with the garland that no one notices except me, the one that spirals around the stair rail and has little lights and big poinettias and gold beads and I think is very pretty but no one else notices it? Or do I simply put up the tree and out the mugs? What about that amazingly tacky yet delightfully sentimental ceramic tree with the plastic lights that you put a lightbulb inside of and it’s so joyously screams “I had an Aunt who made this in 1973!”? That’s pretty much a given. It goes in the foyer on the copper bound blanket chest where it will serve as a beacon for all illegal intruders or maybe Santa Claus, whom we don’t really even believe in anymore but he makes for colorful mugs and stuff.
Every year I find something I’d forgotten about, when I dig out the Christmas shi…er…stuff. Maybe it’s an ornament someone gave me, or one of the kids made. Maybe it’s one of the mugs, or…something else, I won’t know until I see it. But it’s like, y’know, Christmas, every time I open those big blue boxes the stuff gets stored in. It’s all “Oh! I forgot about that!” or “Where did that come from?” or “Oh yeah! I remember buying those million little lights when they were 75% off last January!”
So, now the
dilemna delima dilemma is this:
colored or white? Terry and the kids like colored. I like white because the ornaments we have are so varied and colorful. Terry and the kids like blinkies. I say if we can get the kind where each bulb blinks independently of the others that would be fine, but whole strings blinking give me a headache and maybe even trigger moodiness and heavy drinking. Sometimes I (because I’m so reasonable that way) put the blinky bulb in at 5 pm, and make everyone happy, then take it out in the morning after they all leave.
oh! I’m a flamin’ genius! How about This! I could put DUAL light strings on the tree, colored and white, and unplug the colored when everyone’s gone, and get to enjoy my white lights, and plug in the colored to make the children happy! Is that not the essence of compromise? Do you think that would work? Do you think I’ll do it or will I be too strung out (haha!) about getting the stupid tree up that I won’t care? prolly that, really. I think I deserve some kind of Mother Of The Year award for coming up with that.
Next item on the agenda, figuring out when JerseyChicks #1 can come for a few days…
Here it is, Friday after Thanksgiving. Lunch involved leftovers, but CJ had his own ideas of culinary indulgence. “mom, let’s fry some pickles.” We knew this would be likely to happen, as Uncle Navy Dude dislikes frying (greases up his huge gourmet kitchen, doncha know. Can’t cook in a kitchen like that cuz it’ll just get messy). CJ is learning the fine art of the deep fryer, and has made fried pickles before. They’re a great GameDay food, as well as a Post-Thanksgiving Carb OD antidote.
You need a deep fryer, or a really deep skillet like a dutch oven, and shortening. get it hot.
Toss a drained jar of hamburger dill chips in a bowl with a couple of eggs and some milk (beaten together), then toss the chips, a handful at a time, in flour seasoned with Lawry’s or Tony Cachere’s. Fry them a handful at a time (too many and the grease will cool and make the chips kinda greasy). It takes a while to cook them- maybe 12-15 minutes per batch, but keep an eye on them. Pull them out when they get golden brown and serve them with ranch dressing.
I have my own philosophy about kitchen. When you design one, you do it with the knowledge that cooking, really GOOD cooking, is inherently messy. Things spill, burn ,smell funny, and get coated in drips, slops and grease. It just happens.
If I had this kitchen to do over, I’d figure a different way to store the pots, and not have the potrack over the stove. I mean, I love the way it looks and all, and having the pots hanging right there is awesome, but…the rack itself gets greasy and it’s awkward to clean. However, there are aspects of the kitchen I will repeat 100 times over if I have to. Polyresin countertops. O yes. Those laboratory deep black stain/heat/scratch/bullet resistant counters. How I love them so. Melamine lined cabinets. So easy to clean. Laminate floor, easy to clean. I used to think I wanted a BIG kitchen, but now…the only thing I’d change (if I could, which I can’t) would be to make it a bit wider, maybe a couple of feet, so there’d be more room for the island/table. Not much bigger, because I prize efficiency. A while back I stole David’s mat, the rubber thing that went under the weight bench he no longer uses, and put it in the kitchen. It’s just big enough that it covers the area between the sink, table, and stove, where most of the work gets done. Now I have this super squishy comfortable surface to stand on, and it’s black, and sweeps and mops easily. I recommend it highly if you’re one to do alot of standing in the kitchen.
Anyway, there’s pickles a-fryin and fragrancing the air, and CJ is making noises about onion rings in the near future. I may see if he can hold off until tomorrow.
Filed under: aaawwwww, family, Grandparents, Holidays!, home and hearth, Hooray!, outlaws
My motto worked this time: Expect the worst, when it happens, you’re prepared, and if it doesn’t, you’re pleasantly surprised!
So Mother In Law and Father In Law came in Wednesday afternoon, and we had a pleasant and light meal of (couldn’t find anything wrong with it except too many green beans) vegetable soup and (this is pretty good!) cornbread. Pleasantries happened, and around 8 the Gossip kicked in, at which point I said “Well! I don’t know any of these people you’re talking about and don’t care about their unfortunate congenital disorders, so I’m going to bed! Goodnight!” Terry fixed breakfast the next morning (“Oh I don’t like any kind of Mrs Dash and I don’t want that. Salt really needs to be added to the grits when you cook them, it’s not the same if you have to add it at the table.”), and the dinner preparations commenced. I got on her good side by admitting it had been 100 years since I baked a ham, so she told me how to do it, and a very good ham it was, too.
Her dressing, of course, was stellar. The turkey, cooked by someone else somewhere else, was a touch dry but that’s probably because I had to warm it up. Totally worth the $25. I’m never cooking a turkey again because I had the whole oven (convection, BTW, I’ll never go back to a normal oven) for dressing, potatoes, and ham. All at the same time. Yes.
There was no discussion about my lack of parenting skills. No snarky commentary on the condition of the house, no lectures to CJ on his behavior. I only relied on fortified cranberry juice twice: a half-hour before they came in Wednesday, and last night. They left this morning after breakfast, even when we told them there was plenty of room for them and Scott&Co. “You’ll want to have time to spend with them without us in the way.” Bless them!
So now the fridge is full of all sorts of goodies for noshing on the rest of the weekend, ham for Hawaiian pizza tonight, and biscuits tomorrow. And stuff. Lots of this and that people can fix them a plate or bowl of if they’re hungry. Bean soup, vegetable soup, Lordy I won’t have to cook for days. The house is clean, all it needed was a sweep and a change of the sheets on the guest bed and now BRING ON THE NEXT WAVE!
I am listening to the triumphant bit of the Gladiator Soundtrack, cranked up loud to drown out that whatever-it-is David listens to.
And, I am very, very happy. Oh, you don’t KNOW how I’m smiling, and dancing around with the broom and hugging my kids!
Filed under: aaawwwww, family, food, Grandparents, Holidays!, home and hearth, outlaws
antidote to tryptophan coma and mother in law boredom: Military channel talking about Abrams tanks, and a deep glass of cranberry and vodka.
There is the son “you just threw away like yesterdays garbage” leaning against my knees on the couch, after he and I took a walk on the golfcourse and shot the breeze. But see, I don’t love him, I mean, I barely tolerate his presence. But see, she loves him more than I ever will. That’s why he told me “Mom, I’ll probably always live nearby…I’m too much of a mama’s boy to get too far away from your cooking.” Because he’s yesterdays’ garbage doncha know.
We’re comparing notes…Mom, what would you do with an Abrams tank? Why son, I’d drive you to school every day in it. See, mom, that’s why you’re awesome. Son, what would you do with an Abram’s? Mom, I’d pick you up after church and take you for Mexican in it… Son, I’d totally let you borrow it for the Prom. Mom, I’d let you drive it to Prayer Group.
Yeah, yesterdays garbage said it was my cranberry sauce that made the meal.
Rootie’s cranberry sauce
1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 orange
Put it in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer until the berries pop and it gets thick
Chill until gelled. It’s even easier than trying to get that jelly shit out of the can.
I believe I will never ever cook a turkey again. We got a deep fried turkey ($25) from Uncle Shug’s and it was as good as anything I’ve ever slaved over. And the oven was free for the dressing and scalloped potatoes.
Scalloped Potatoes au gratin
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 quart heavy cream
5 3 inch sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Simmer the garlic and thyme in the cream. Layer the potatoes and cheese in a casserole dish and pour the cream mixture on it. Top with some more cheese. Bake at 325 for a while…maybe an hour? until it’s all done and brownish on top.
Filed under: Uncategorized