Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brace yourselves.

We had some mighty nice weather this afternoon. How nice? So nice that Shea ventured out from the indoors.

Perhaps it only seemed so nice today because yesterday was so not nice.

Yesterday, Rich and associates were trying to work on a roof on The Mountain we used to live on. They couldn't because of the snow. The snow in Pennsylvania on March 30. That's kind of why we left the Adirondacks and all. Granted, it didn't snow here in Gettysburg.

We won't discuss such ugly four letter words any longer.

I've decided to focus on a few five letter words: spring, sunny, bloom, balmy, warms, and renew.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

On this anniversary...

Today is our 8th anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Rich.

But, we share our anniversary. We weren't married alone. We were married with my brother John and his wife, Monique. Happy anniversary John and Monique.

We hope you have a wonderful anniversary filled with love- like your marriage!

Yeah, yeah. That's a nine month old baby in the wedding picture. Old news that.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm really good at procrastination.

I'm really, really good at procrastinating. I've been putting off a new post because I was uninspired. Not just sort of uninspired, but really really uninspired. And it got me to thinking about procrastination and some of the things I've put off until the absolutely last minute.

1- Returning library books and movies. I could probably own a small library with what I've paid in late fees over the years. In college, I once had to use materials from the special collections area for a history class. You had to check these materials out. I owed some astronomical fee and couldn't check anything out. I ended up having to read the materials standing at the desk. I was standing and reading when my history professor walked in and then I had the good fortune of explaining why I was standing and reading to him. Good times.

Netflix has saved me a small fortune in late fees. The Little Supermarket in Wilmington, NY no doubt wondered why their overall income went way down when we moved. I know it's because I wasn't surrendering half a paycheck for dratted late fees.

2- Oh how many years have I been at the post office on April 15. At closing.

3- When I went into labor with Greeley I wanted to wait as long as possible before I went to the hospital. I wanted to be able to move around freely and not be hooked up to monitors and whatnot until necessary. Rich went out for juice for me and when he came back, I asked him to time the contractions for me. Less than a minute apart and we still had to drop the kids off at a friend's house. I so thought she was going to be born in the front seat of the minivan. On the bright side, it was a full forty minutes later. Lots of time to spare.

So, um. That's what I've got. A picture of Greeley with a sticker on her head that has absolutely nothing to with a post about nothing.

Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A well thought out post.

Well, it would be a well thought out post if I had the time for such things. But the reality is that now that my Time Share Dog has gone home, I'm too busy cleaning up spilled milk.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Adequate Supervision.

I'm thinking I don't provide it all the time. You?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Not Quite Instant Karma

So a few days ago my brother in law posted as his status on Facebook something about how he still wasn't feeling well. He's been sick on and off a lot this winter. Smart ass that I am, I posted a comment about how he was just being a squealer and my father would tell him it was all in his head.

I'm sick and while it does seem to be mostly in my head, I'm pretty sure I'm not imagining it. And no, I'm not squealing. I'm sharing.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Best Corned Beef Recipe Ever. Really.

First matter of business is the above picture. It's from www.irishviews.com. I used it last year with this corned beef recipe and neglected to give due credit. I was a new blogger and feel deep, deep shame over this. So, now that that wrong has been righted, on to the best corned beef recipe ever.

You still have time. Well, you still have time if you follow me and get this post today and run out to the store and buy your beef and get cracking on this right away. It's worth it. I just whipped up twenty pounds of this corned beef for our St. Patrick's Day party last night and it was well, well received.

So, without further ado.

Helen's Corned Beef Recipe (I say Helen's because it was in my mother-in-law's recipe box. My apologies to any friends or family that may have provided this recipe to her decades ago.)

Helen's Corned Beef Recipe:

4 lb. brisket, flank or plate

4 qts. hot water
1 1/2 lbs. salt (3C.)
1/2 lb. sugar (1C.)

Rub meat with salt. Put meat in enameled pot, stone jar or tupperware. Add Brine. Cool. Weight meat so it is submerged in liquid and cover. Meat corned in 48 hours. Wash under running water. Boil about 3 1/2 hours.

***The salt you rub into the meat is in addition to the three cups of salt you put into the brine. This is clearly not a good choice for someone adhering to a low sodium diet. ***

***The recipe says boil 3 1/2 hours, but I go with a steady simmer. A steady low simmer.***

Now run out to the store to get yourself a brisket and some salt. And Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Speaking Canis Familiaris

She's either wishing me a happy birthday or telling me to put the damn camera down already and take her for a walk. Tough call.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The obesity epidemic hits Gettysburg Family.

It's true. It's true. I've recently discovered one of our own is morbidly obese. Who is it? It's Acorn the Rabbit.

I should warn you, there is about to be some pretty nasty rabbit/medical talk here. If you're squeamish, you might want to just move along to checking your Facebook account for today.

Still here? Don't say I didn't warn you.

I've noticed over the last few weeks that Acorn's poop had gone from the familiar rabbit pellets to something much nastier. Something smooshy and stinky. Realizing the situation wasn't going away, I went running to my rabbit veterinarian, also known as Google. (This is your last chance to go check your Facebook page.)

I learned that this smooshy, stinky rabbit poop is perfectly normal. However, what isn't normal is that Acorn ISN'T EATING IT. Didn't I warn you all? Apparently rabbits make two kinds of poop. One is, well, poop. The other is called cecotropes. Bunny is supposed to eat the nutrient rich cecotropes. So, why isn't Acorn eating her cecotropes? The most common reason seems to be because the rabbit is too fat to reach her butt.

So, I've been mulling over this fact for a few days now. The rabbit is fat. The rabbit is obese. The rabbit needs exercise. Like my schedule isn't full enough with all my bon bon eating- now I have to exercise a rabbit? Really?

Then it occurred to me. The easiest way to exercise this rabbit is to let her become a free range bunny in the house. Surely running for her life while being chased by one dog, two cats and two kids should just melt the pounds away.

Anybody have any good hassenpfeffer recipes if this plan doesn't quite work out?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Now that I've been thwarted.

My goodness. Did you know that what you post on the internet can be seen by other people? Including the person you're planning on rustling a canine from? Oh, you did. Well, clever you.

If you live anywhere on the East Coast, I imagine your weekend weather was as glorious as ours was. Saturday temperatures ventured into the 70s. We kicked off the spring weather with bubbles!

Greeley strolled the grounds barefoot.

See how happy she is for spring! Oh wait. It's just another shot of Greeley glaring at the world.

Atlee recently got a Big Wheel for her birthday. Now that she has transportation, it's a matter of time before she's out of here.

Greeley too.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hatch a second plan about my dog that I won't be posting all publicly so that people boozing on a beach in Costa Rica can read it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Gettysburg Family Jumps the Shark.

Remember before realty television, when there were sitcoms? Well, I've hatched a plan. I've been refining it for a few days. Mom and Dad are coming to collect their dog in a few weeks. I've kind of decided I like this dog. Rich has referred to her a couple of times as a "good dog". Do you know how hard it is to match my husband with a dog? I trust this dog with my children. But my parents are coming to take her back.

Our local SPCA has this dog waiting to be adopted. Her name is Sadie. Even rhymes with Cady, right? In the grand tradition of sitcoms, I'm planning on swapping dogs! I know, I know. Crazy.

They're both black lab like dogs. Floppy ears and intelligent eyes. Why don't I just adopt Sadie you ask? Because I don't know if she's a good match for my husband. I don't know if I can trust her with my kids. Hear me out now. Mom and Dad love dogs. Whatever dog they end up with will be spoiled. And if she's skittish with kids, we'll keep the kids away at Christmas.

In order to swap dogs, I need to stash Cady someplace. I've found her a safe house across the street with our neighbors. She even gets along with their little dog, Romeo. [Although all the kids in the neighborhood just call him RoRo.]

I suppose I could just ask Mom if she wanted to swap pets. She considered swapping cats with my sister Katrina last year. So, you know, she might consider it. But what about all the hijinks that would ensue with this sort of plan? Comic gold I tell ya.

If you live in the Gettysburg area and are interested in adopting Sadie, please visit the Adams County SPCA. While I really want her, I don't know if it's going to happen and she certainly seems like a dog who deserves a home.

And join us next week on Gettysburg Family when celebrity guest star Ted McGinley will make a special appearance!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm sorry, did I miss the part where Hell froze over?

A few days ago, Shea said, "You know Mom, school isn't that bad. I mean, it's not great, but it isn't too bad either." While I almost fell over, I chalked it up to the delirium of the stomach virus and moved on.

A couple days ago, Rich said, "I was thinking. We should move Cady's cage away from the doors. It's cold over there. She's been a good dog lately. She's probably just sleeping on the couch at night because it's so cold." Pardon me? Rich making an excuse for the dog? Perhaps he's still recovering, as well.

Yesterday, Rich said, "I was thinking. Maybe we could get a dog. I really like having the bark in the middle of the night thing and the kids really enjoy her." I fell over dead. Falling over dead doesn't get me out of laundry or dishes today, but I fell over dead nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Did I mention Saturday morning?

She's a tiger all right. Saturday morning was a battle with a little tiger. Greeley had been extra cranky and feisty for a few days. (Hindsight, as always, proves it was probably due to the impending stomach virus. At least, that's what I tell myself to feel better.) Saturday morning was when Greeley's recent discovery of her own identity butted up against my and Rich's insistence that she follow her parents' instructions.

Greeley and I were at the dining room table when I told her no to something. I can't even remember what it was. Isn't that always the way? She responded with a gracious toddler fit, screaming and throwing everything in front of her on the table onto the floor. "Greeley, no. We don't throw things on the floor. Pick it up." "No!" "Greeley, pick up the erasers and the pencil or you are going to time out." "No!" Off to time-out she went. Screaming "No!" the whole time.

Rich wakes up to this. This was about the point where time started to slow down for me. Rich claims the whole scene only took about half an hour. It felt easily like an hour, if not longer. She refused to pick up the erasers and pencils. We gave her opportunity after opportunity to do so. She kept refusing. At one point, she picked up the erasers. But the pencil? That was a sticking point for her. She absolutely refused. Back to time out, again and again. It kept occurring to me that this entire battle was over a stinking pencil. I know, as parents, we are supposed to pick our battles. However, Greeley picked this one.

At one point, Shea came slinking up the stairs quietly. He was ever so nonchalant as he began to pick up every pencil he could find on the floor. "Shea, are you picking up all the pencils?" "Yes. I just wanted Greeley to stop crying." Ever so sweet, but overruled by tyrannical Mom and Dad.

At another point, the crying coming from timeout was no longer a toddler's cries. She sounded like a helpless infant, crying out for me. No words, just cries. I had to go outside. I came back in and looked at Rich, doing the crossword puzzle at the table. "Really? It really doesn't bother you? You can listen to her cry like that and not want to go to her?" "Yes, because it's more important that she learns to listen to us."

In the end, Greeley picked up the pencil. I know we broke her fierce little spirit just a little. But it was necessary.

Monday, March 2, 2009

As a favor to you, no photos from this weekend.

Alternative Title: Too much information.

It all started so nicely. Friday evening was our family movie night. There were snacks and the fifth Harry Potter movie. Even if the girls and I fell asleep during the movie, it was still good.

Saturday morning started out so well. I finished the book I was reading and could finally start Breaking Dawn, the last in the Twilight series. Ah, bliss. But, wait. What's Shea saying down there in the family room? "Greeley's puking!" And that's where the weekend went downhill.

Greeley continued to get sick for the next twenty-four hours. Anything that went in shortly came back out. Do you know what nursing babies want to do when they don't feel well?

I also realized this weekend that the only parts of the house that are not covered in carpet upstairs are the bathroom and kitchen floors. At one point we all took turns hanging with Greeley on her towel on the kitchen floor. Rich and Atlee played Barbies with her. Shea explained he was clearly not going to play Barbies with Greeley.

Sunday afternoon, she seemed to perk up. Some applesauce and bread and Gatorade for dinner and it all stayed down. Yeah! We put Shea and Atlee to bed and Rich, Greeley and I settled in to watch the latest Indiana Jones movie. Greeley and I fell asleep. I can tell you the beginnings of all sorts of movies, but strangely not the end so much.

Rich wakes me up to go upstairs to bed. I bring Greeley into the girls room to go to bed. Atlee's sitting in a ball at the foot of her bed. And what is that smell? I know I need to change the rabbit cage, but really. And Atlee says, and you knew she would, "I'm sorry Mom, but I got sick in my bed."

I changed all of her sheets and got her the bucket. I settle in to nurse Greeley. Atlee gets sick all over again. Then, a magical moment happened. One of those moments that reminds you of just how wonderful your husband is. Rich came into the room and held Atlee's hair while she got sick. He stripped her bed, again. He covered her bed in towels and got her a sippy cup of water to rinse her mouth with. He took care of the bucket. He reassured her the whole time. Who knew you could have a magical moment while a child was vomiting? She's gotten much better about her aim. She's still getting sick upstairs, poor thing.

So, nope. No photos of this fabulous weekend. I had been planning on sharing pictures with my North Country friends of all the spring like things we've noticed going on around here. The trees are beginning to bud, the iris and daffodil bulbs are coming up, and the geese are flying north again. But all of that? It's under piles of snow right now. And the snow is still coming down.

If you made it this far, and you do want to see some great photos, I'll send you over to my brother John's website, Patio Boat. He has vacation pictures from a recent trip to Northern California. He even has a picture of the General Store where I purchased my wedding dress. And the garden we all got married in in Berkeley.

I'm going to stop rambling now.

**Edited to add that we've lost Rich now. It's only a matter of time before Shea and I succumb. I'm going to hang the quarantine flag out front now.