Friday, April 29, 2011

It Was SO Worth It!

I bought my popcorn and caffeine and Chex Mix and cookies last night, and set my alarm for 1:45 AM. The rain coming through my open window at 1:00 AM woke me up, and then I was too excited to go back to sleep.

The last time I got up in the middle of the night to watch a Royal Wedding, I was 13 years old. I loved it then, and I loved it now! Back then, my parents let me bring the little black and white TV into my bedroom, and my cousin "slept" over. We stayed up all night, waiting for the wedding. I remember when Diana mispronounced Charles' name. I remember how nervous she looked. It all seemed so magical.

This time, I went to bed really early so I would be able to get up and still make it through the rest of the day. I made my Kate go to bed early too, so she could get up with me. We cheered when Princes William and Harry left Clarence House. I teared up when I saw the Queen. I sighed when Kate (now the Duchess of Cambridge) climbed into the car with her sweet Dad. Oh, the Pomp! Oh, the Ceremony! I almost missed The Kiss, because I was filling lunch boxes at that point. Good thing they gave me a Second Chance!!

And all those amazing British hats. Wow.

Now I feel ill from all the caffeine I ingested--could also be the lack of sleep. Who knows? WHO CARES? It was SO worth it!

photos courtesy of People Magazine











Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Very Important Moment in My Mothering Career

There's so much to say, so much to tell, about what I learned over the past few weeks. I have been initiated into a whole new level of parenting. It's called PROM.

Prom is SUCH a bigger deal than it was when I was in High School!! But with Kate's guidance and unending patience, she helped me know what needs to be done to make Prom a special evening for your daughter.

Once all the asking and answering has been done (this activity is, in and of itself, a HUGE production, but I already knew that...) and she has a date, you hope he's organized and plans the evening. Then all you have to do is get a gown (good luck finding something modest), a clutch, shoes, jewelry, hair, nails, makeup, and a boutonniere. I suggest you start WEEKS in advance shopping--even before she has been asked, just to be safe.

You should also plan for your daughter to be gone most of the day of Prom. It is called a DAY DATE. This is worth skipping school, and don't bother arguing about it, because you won't win.

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT schedule a chiropractor appointment for yourself the afternoon of Prom. This will not leave you enough time to get her hair done, especially if she has miles of hair like Kate does. If you find yourself getting home from the hair appointment at 5:00 and her date is picking her up at 5:45, just do the best you can. It doesn't do anyone any good if you get upset. Help your little girl with her nails and her makeup, and zip her into her beautiful satin gown, and hope your failing vision doesn't prevent you from seeing the microscopic hook and eye. Then you help her find her phone while her date is waiting downstairs and you're both whispering furtively because you haven't taken the traditional pictures yet, and she can't focus on anything else because she can't find her phone.

Carefully snap a photo or two while she's digging through the pockets of her jeans.

Try not to make too much noise taking photos
while her date is waiting downstairs.


Photograph The Descent
(and be glad the dirty dishes aren't
piled above the edge of the sink in the background!)


Watch while he puts on her lovely wrist corsage
(it had a pearly bracelet!!)


Hope she doesn't poke him
as she struggles with the boutonniere
(this would be worth practicing beforehand...)


Still working on it...


SUCCESS!
And HAPPINESS!!

The traditional "smile while Mom cries..."

"...and cries some more...."

Her carriage awaits,

And away they go!!

And then you go stand in the cold,
and wait,
for the actual PROMENADE.
If you want to sit, you have to buy a ticket.

But she's so beautiful,
and it's worth it to watch her
coming down the stairs, beaming.
You just pray and pray that
she doesn't trip!!

And then they go back up the stairs,
and you, and she, and he, breathe
a sigh of relief.

Then you go home and get warm,
and wait for her to come home
and tell you all about it.


And I suggest you let her sleep in the next morning!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Owie!!

I just need to whine a little, I hope you don't mind.

Remember back in August when I took that graceful little spill out in front of my neighbor's house? And I broke my foot and wore that awesome boot around for two months? And then when I got the boot off my foot was so swollen and stiff that I still couldn't walk normally for several weeks? Right about that time (October, if you're counting), my back started hurting. It was just a little twinge now and then, kind of like maybe a pinched nerve or something. It got progressively worse, and I wondered if my ancient bed were somehow to blame...

So Dennis and I decided it was time for a new bed. My back was hurting, his knees and hips were hurting, and in 20+ years of marriage, we have never bought a new bed, so it was REALLY time.

Well, in spite of the new bed, my dang back kept hurting, and if you want to know the truth, it was getting worse. But these things usually go away on their own, right? RIGHT??!!??? Now that I'm several months older and wiser, I realize that I was OH. SO. WRONG.

I've been in pretty much constant pain for over six months now. I've been to the doctor, who prescribed anti-inflammatories, which I took faithfully for two weeks and didn't notice any difference until I stopped taking them. Then I noticed a significant increase in the pain. Then I ventured into the new and painful world of chiropractic medicine. I got lucky because the chiropractor I've been seeing also uses accupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine to promote healing. YAY! Needles, my favorite!! And since I've been seeing the chiropractor, the pain has been at least double what it was, plus new pain, including bruises, where I have been "treated" by the sadistic torture man (I meant to say chiropractor, but my fingers slipped a little...)

So I find myself at an impasse. I actually really like the sadistic torture man, he's really nice and funny, except when he's trying to beat me to death or twist my head off or poke my back full of electric needles. But I'm in so much pain, and it ebbs and flows, and I'm starting to worry that it won't ever get any better.

The chiropractor said he's pretty sure that after my foot injury, with all my limping and hobbling, I irritated something in my back, and then never took care of it so it could get better (he used some right proper medical terms to describe this to me, but since I don't speak right proper medical, I can't be expected to remember any of it).

So I find myself not sleeping well, in pain 90% of the time (loose estimate, that), cranky and sad. I don't know if I should keep seeing that dang torture man--he's confident that he can fix it, but he makes me cry, and I don't like it! Or is there another route of treatment I could try that won't hurt and that will help me feel better? I feel pretty darn sorry for myself, that's for sure! (As if you couldn't tell--you can thank me later for pointing out the obvious...)

Yeah, and it's raining today, too. Happy Monday!

:-(

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time Well Spent

I just spent twenty minutes composing the perfect comment for a friend's blog. Ironically, the blog was about not wanting to cook dinner. Ever. And as you may note, right this minute it is dinner time. And you may also note that I am not currently fixing dinner. I'm posting on my blog.

With every word I type, every phrase I write, the minutes tick away and bring me closer to the dreaded moment that I began considering before I even got out of bed this morning. The moment when I confess that I don't want to fix dinner. I think about it before I even eat breakfast. What will I fix for dinner tonight? Usually, I have no answer to this query. Even immediately after I return from the grocery store, I have no answer. Right this minute, there is hamburger thawed in the fridge. There is a recipe book open on the counter. All the ingredients are waiting for me, all I have to do is get up out of my chair, walk up the stairs and into the kitchen, and cook the dang meal.

But you know what? That ain't gonna happen. BLEH. That's about all I have to say about that. BLEH. BLeh. blEh. BlEh. (Oh great, now I'm getting all eloquent, and nobody wants that...)

Help.

(But please don't advise me about the crock pot, or the weekly menu, or the planning ahead. What I really need is a maid and a cook. A hot tub would be nice, too.)

Little Caesar's, here I come! I'll probably stop at Krispy Kreme on my way home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Italian Cream Cake

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 stick butter
5 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
5 egg whites
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 c. lightly packed coconut

Cream butter, shortening, and sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with buttermilk. Add coconut and nuts. Beat egg whites until they are stiff and fold into mixture. Pour into four 8 in. round cake pans or three 9 or 10 in. round cake pans. (Grease pans and line bottom with wax paper for easiest removal). Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let cool until pans are finger warm before removing cakes from pans. Cool completely before frosting or you'll be really sorry.

Icing:
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk, if needed
1 c. nuts, chopped (I use pecans)

Cream butter and cheese. Gradually add sugar. Add vanilla and beat until creamy. If needed, add milk. Frost cake and sprinkle with nuts on top and sides.

Helpful hints:
*Chill the egg whites before beating--they'll whip up a LOT faster.
*Don't use your mixer once the coconut is in the batter--it's super messy.
*The icing tends to be runny--add more powdered sugar if you want to.
*This recipe doesn't make enough icing, in my opinion, to really fill between layers and still have enough to frost the cake. It takes a batch and a half of icing to do a good job.
*This cake should be refrigerated because of the icing. When you want to eat a piece, the cake is cold, and not as delicious that way. If you spread a little butter on the cake, and then put it in the microwave for 20 seconds, you'll be able to enjoy a little bit of heaven.
*WARNING: This cake is delicious. And very rich. Don't try to eat the whole thing yourself, even over several days. Invite your friends over to share, or heaven forbid, you're going to end up with a figure like mine. Consider yourself warned!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

When It's Springtime in the Rockies...

BEFORE


AFTER






I shouldn't be surprised.
But still...
My poor flowers!