November 20, 2017

Cream Cheese Pie

Since it was requested from my last post (okay, it wasn't actually requested, but Suburban Correspondent was curious...) today I will tell you how to make a cream cheese pie.

This pie (or more specifically three of these pies) has been a staple for Thanksgiving since I was a child.  And you should realize this does not technically fall under the term "Baking."  Instead it falls under the term "Mixing Up a Few Things and it Works." 

You should also realize, my mom was not a baker - so it's no wonder this was a Thanksgiving and Christmas staple.  Generally, we had chocolate, cherry and blueberry.  Occasionally, a lemon one would sneak in.

I have found this recipe which claims to make one pie.  The directions I have make enough for three and I figured I would spare you the drama of trying to make only one from that - of which I have consistently failed.  I'll probably use that recipe this year instead.

Without further ado - you will need:

1 9-in graham cracker crust
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp of vanilla
1/3 cup of lemon juice
filling of choice (as stated earlier, usually chocolate pudding, cherry or blueberry pie filling)

Beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth.  Stir in lemon juice and vanilla.  Pour into piecrust; top with filling.  Chill until set (I usually make these a day ahead and that seems to be okay).

As I said, "baking" it's not - but it IS easy, quick and delicious.  And obviously, a favorite of Man-Child's.

November 18, 2017

A different Thanksgiving this year.

Long time readers will know that generally, every year we host Thanksgiving for dear friends that are also far from family.

This year, those friends - who are close enough to be considered family - are going "home" for the holiday to celebrate and deal with family issues.

This news wrought much havoc in this household.  Not that we begrudge them for not being here - we are so happy that they will be going home and dealing with the issues that must be dealt with - but...this leaves just the three of us.  And while The Husband loves to cook, a full-on Thanksgiving meal for three is just too much to ask of him and, honestly?  Cleaning up a full-on Thanksgiving dinner for just three is too much to ask of me.

So I threw a wild and crazy idea out there figuring it would wither on the vine.  I suggested that we go out for Thanksgiving dinner.  The Husband was on board, surprisingly.  We figured the sticking point would be Man-Child.  This boy man is ALL about tradition...and food.  He agreed, albeit reluctantly but he warmed to the idea.

Last weekend, I began casting around for local restaurants that would be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and found quite a few.  What I wasn't expecting?  That most of those would already be full of reservations.  Who knew?  Going out for Thanksgiving is a "thing" here.  Luckily, I was able to secure one of the last available reservations in town.

After making the reservation, *I* began to have reservations.  So I texted Man-Child asking if he wanted me to make a dessert - you know, just to hold onto a piece of tradition.  His response?

So, it's nice to know that at least ONE tradition will stand this happens every year - no matter what complicated math I use to divide the recipe, I will end up with enough filling for three; never fails.

What's your Thanksgiving looking like this year?

November 10, 2017

Quiet house...

Such a rarity, but here it is.  The Husband and Man-Child left for a weekend of male bonding.

Yes, you read that correctly.  The Husband, of the Refuses to Relax and Unwind-kind, actually took his son on a weekend trip.  I know!  I'm as amazed as you are!

Well, if the truth be told, I booked the trip.  Because, of course, I did.  BUT, The Husband mentioned that it would be nice if he and Man-Child headed up to Smith Mountain Lake for his birthday - so like any sane and rational wife I took that to mean that I should just start scouting out a location to stay.

I found four possibilities right off the bat and forwarded them on - thinking, this is NEVER gonna happen.

And then?  The Husband said he really liked the one and asked if I would book it.  Between you, me and the wall, I about fell out of my chair.  And then, when I didn't immediately reserve the place THAT VERY MOMENT, he told me I should book it before someone else did.  (What alien life form had taken the place of my husband?  In conversations since, we have determined, if the action involves spending, I am the one to pull the trigger because it is in his DNA to not spend it - unless it's on unnecessary groceries.)

Little did he realize, no one - and I mean NO ONE - is headed up to Smith Mountain Lake in the middle of November.  Eventually, I booked the place and he was pleased.  He even said, "I'm glad you did because I was having second thoughts...particularly about the cost."  No surprise there.

And immediately after I booked the reservation the forecast changed.  Until recently, our weather has been rather warm.  As of today, the low tomorrow here will be 25 degrees, and we are significantly south of where the lake is located.  Seriously, who goes to a summer destination in the winter?  But, this is my husband - the man who is famous for going to a place known for their chicken and ordering the fish (and being extremely disappointed, I might add - when will he learn?!  Chicken place - order the chicken!).  He goes against the flow.

Now I sit in a house that is so quiet I can actually hear when the refrigerator kicks on and contemplating how I will spend my quiet time.  No television blaring.  No football.  No loud conversations about football.  Popcorn and wine for dinner.  Pure bliss.

Without a doubt, by Sunday I will be ready for them to be home - but until then?  Quiet - sweet, sweet quiet.

November 6, 2017

I get it...there are only seven more weeks until Christmas, but seriously?

Don't shoot the messenger!  I heard it on the radio the other morning.  I didn't believe them so I had to check for myself...and it's true.

Then and there, I resolved that I'd be AHEAD of the game this year - but honestly?  If I was going to be ahead of the game, I would have started before now.  But again, honestly?  Not having very many little people to buy for means that Christmas presents aren't nearly as much fun to buy as they used to be when Man-Child was small and you could FEEL the excitement ratchet up as the big day got closer and closer.

I especially noticed the change this year when we celebrated Man-Child's birthday.  There wasn't anything that he HAD to have, so I was at a loss when it came to buying his gift, therefore I left it in The Husband's hands because otherwise, he would have received cash - which, in retrospect, may have been a better choice.  Oh, he enjoyed and appreciated what he did get...but the excitement just wasn't there; on either end.

So I have started prodding people for ideas, much to their horror.  Didn't I realize that Thanksgiving was still on the horizon, they wondered; but what they don't realize is that in order to try and restore "the magic," and as the one who "does" the majority of Christmas, I need to start early.

Also, it will be easier on the pocketbook if I spread out the buying - so there you have it, if you need it, the practical reason to bring up the "C" word.

But today?  Today is where I drew a line.  Yes, I'll be starting my Christmas prep this weekend (although truthfully, I should have started a few weeks ago...) but Christmas carols? No.

We need to celebrate Thanksgiving before we start up with the Christmas carols.  Why, you may be asking yourself, is she bringing up Christmas carols?  Is she insane?  Maybe.  But maybe not.

At lunch today, I found myself in a local eatery and I heard the air conditioning kick on (because it's unseasonably warm right now) and then the music in the background finally was Elvis Presley singing I'll Be Home for Christmas and I was floored.  I hoped it was just a fluke but no, the next song was a carol, as was the one after that and so on.

So there I sat eating my salad and hearing Christmas carols - while the air conditioner was blowing - before Thanksgiving.  And that's just ridiculous.  And I, for one, applaud Target for taking a stand, of sorts.  They do have their Christmas area - usually toward the back of the store - but are keeping Christmas out of your face at the front of the store until after Thanksgiving.

So yes, I AM gearing up for Christmas as it's only prudent for me, but I'm not advocating Christmas Creep.  And having Christmas music playing on the 6th of November is far too early.  Far, far, far too early.

October 26, 2017

Lesson learned: Don't leave The Husband in charge and actually listen to what he says before agreeing to it

I made a huge, tactical mistake.  If you've been anywhere near Twitter recently, you have seen me ranting about our internet service.  A few recent highlights...

As you can surmise, the internet has been HORRIBLE around here.  Well, during a conversation with a service tech (which was probably the BEST interaction I have EVER had with this company!  They must have seen my tweets about my previous contacts with their service techs, and fixed the issue.  That's MY theory anyway), he mentioned that we should move from the DSL line to fiber - that it would probably solve all of our problems.  And, even better, it would cost about what we are currently paying.

So, after those last two tweets, we bit the bullet and set up a service call for today.  It was determined that since The Husband was taking today off anyway that he would arrange to be home when they arrived to hook us up to what is, hopefully, some kind of magical cure for our internet woes.

So I swanned off to work (and, I must admit, resenting it just a touch that he was still in bed) and thought nothing more about it.  Until, I received a call from The Husband telling me that the guy was going to set up the new fangled system where the old one was.  He also said something about drilling a hole in the floor - but I was distracted because work and said fine.  This is part of the huge, tactical mistake I mentioned earlier.  

The Husband and the tech looked at the area and neither one thought, "This might be an issue..." because, they don't think like I do.  And this is what I came home to...

"What?" I can hear you asking.  "Other than that mess of wires
from the old router, it looks fine!"

What you can't see is that this is THE first thing I see when I walk into the closet/dressing room/whatever.  Had I known that THIS was what the finished product was going to look like, I would have suggested that they place it behind the chair in the room.  Now, I'm sure once I clean up all the old routers and wires it won't be as big of an eyesore but it will still be a prominent feature in the room.  And I have no one to blame but myself.  On the plus side, if I rearrange the entire room, I may be able to minimize it's prominence.

So far, two hours later, the internet speed and connectivity is amazing - so if that continues, obviously the placement will not be an issue at all.  But since I'm currently the only one online, the true test will come when we are all home and all connected.  *fingers crossed*

October 22, 2017


The boys left about 4:30 pm to go watch the Giants play.  I am over the moon about this because I got SO MUCH accomplished!

I have realized that I prefer to do chores in the quiet, maybe with a little music in the background; but that's rare.  I like to be all alone with my chores.  When football is blaring on the television, or really anything, it does not inspire me to take care of chores.  It inspires me to play on the computer or to hide in my dressing room/closet (what ARE we going to name that room?!) and read.

I will do the chores that are necessary if they are here, with the television blaring, but those little, nagging chores?  The ones that aren't do or die necessary?  Like that shirt that's needed ironing since spring?  Those get left undone until I find myself a chunk of free time that hasn't already been designated to a different project.

Since they've been out, I've ironed that shirt finally even though it required pulling out the ironing board and setting it up in the dining room.  Because of this, if there is only one item that requires pressing, it will usually be put on the back burner...for months, apparently.  I also completed a few sewing repairs, washed the towels, cleaned the bathrooms, tidied up a bit, set the dressing room/closet back to rights and then?  Washed and dried my hair straight.  It's been a long while since THAT has happened...let's see if any of my family or coworkers recognize me tomorrow.

Oh - and I composed this post. 

It becomes more and more apparent to me that in order for me to be productive, I need to have some alone time. 

October 13, 2017

A little bit of fun...

Due to random events, I was recently reminded that I have a FaceBook page tied to this blog (come find me - but I can't promise I'll remember to check it...) ...yes, I had forgotten.  Hey, if I ignore my personal FaceBook it stands to reason that I've ignored the blog FaceBook; right?!

At any rate, I found myself over there today and came across a status update from a blogger that I love (unfortunately, she hasn't blogged in a while *sad face* but I am hopeful she will return eventually; in fact I'm positive she will return one day, she is too talented not to.) that said, "Just for fun, ask Siri what you should be for Halloween."

As we all know, I shun all things Apple, so I turned to the android version, and asked my phone, "Okay Google...what should I be for Halloween?"

I especially love how she interrupts our conversation
to answer the door to some trick-or-treaters....

I also love that she (of course Google is a she; why do you ask?  She has ALL the answers) wants to continue the conversation!  So I played along...but, of course, a bit later after I realized this could be blog material and had to ask her again...

I replied yes, and then she asked about obtaining a
brain for a demanding boss and wondered if I'd comply or
find another job...yes I failed to screen shot that portion...sue me

Umm, I think I need a different costume...but what about you?  How does Siri or Google respond when you ask you should be for Halloween?