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Friday Advice Column for Wacky Mothers & Others

March 31st, 2006

Dear Wacky Mommy,

How do you get your in-laws to stay in a hotel if they are going to visit you every three or four months for a week at a time, because we live in a small two-bedroom house and it would be more comfortable for all of us , especially for their three-year-old grandchild who gets displaced from her bedroom to her parents’ room every time they visit?

Signed,

Expecting Company

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The Strange, Harried Life of a First-Grader

March 30th, 2006

Spring Break = No Homework.

True or false?

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And now, a Message from the Contractors

March 29th, 2006

No news from contractors since last Thursday. Yeah, you’re thinking, “She’s never going to get that frickin’ bathroom done. Blog about something else, would you?” Sorry, I can’t.

Oh, wait, they did call to say that marmoleum was too expensive and homeowners’ insurance won’t cover. (Thank God they’re footing the cost of some of this. Yes, I’m fond of “African Desert” and “Red Copper,” too, how did you guess?) And that we should go for tile, instead. Oddly, my husband wants tile (cold); I prefer marmoleum (warm). What does this say about us? What does this say, that the contractors magically agree with his choice, not mine? Bastards. They’re in cahoots, I know it.

(Note to WM: Figure out prices yourself, why don’t you? Enough of this male bonding bullshit between my spouse and the contractors. All their conversations go like this: “How you doin’?” “How you doin’?” It’s like having Tony Soprano here, times three or four.)

Now comes a call from Himself, AKA Hockey God:

WD: “So, I just talked with the contractors.”

Me: “I can’t hear you!”

WD: “They got the tests back — there’s asbestos under the bathroom floor.”

Me: “Break out the red and the blue!!! Blah blah blah moves on to glory! Courage will lead us on to vic-to-ree-ee-ee!”

Yes, that’s right. I sing my high school fight song when I’m ignoring someone. Or I can always tune it to the “bladdity blah blah blah” channel, as Roxie suggests.

Check out this great Portland winery, Hip Chicks Do Wine.

After that news, I’ll need them. (Hip Chicks Do Whine? Only sometimes, when the news is rilly bad.) Check out Blue Heron French Cheese Company, too. Delicious brie and nice wines…

QOTD

March 29th, 2006

“Tell all the Truth but tell it slant– / The Truth must dazzle gradually /
Or every man be blind.”

– Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886)

Tuesday Recipe Club: Homemade Pizza Dough

March 28th, 2006

My new favorite Pizza Dough recipe:

HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH FOR PIZZA OR CALZONES (for bread maker)

1 cup room temp beer or water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or use 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon oregano)
2 1/2 cups bread flour (OK to substitute one cup whole wheat flour — more than that makes it too heavy)
2 1/2 teaspoons bread yeast
cornmeal

Place all ingredients (except cornmeal) into bread maker. Hit start button for “pizza dough” cycle.

While it’s kneading, I usually get ingredients ready for pizza — grate cheese, chop peppers and onions, etc. If you’re going to use the dough within an hour of cycle completing, OK to leave out of fridge. Otherwise, put it into a big covered container and refrigerate.

My girlfriend, Wacky M, got us making individual heart-shaped pizzas for the kids. Cute. Calzones are great, too, or just make one big pizza. If you don’t have a pizza stone or forget how to use it (I always preheat the oven without remembering to put it in first — pizza stones have to preheat along with the oven), just use a roasting pan.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and roll or stretch dough out into a 12 inch round (medium crust) or several small rounds or a large rectangle. Place pizza on a greased roasting pan, sprinkled with cornmeal, or on pizza stone, sprinkled with cornmeal.

Cover pizza with cheese and toppings; bake about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbling.

Knit One, Purl Two

March 26th, 2006

Have learned to knit. Am unable to blog. Am using fancy, foofy, rainbow-colored hippie yarn that is fun to work with. I swiped this half-finished project from Wacky Girl, in order to fix a large hole we had started. (This involved unravelling half the work we’d done, and mangled. It was a big pain in my ass. But I salvaged it! A coup.) Wacky A showed us how, while we were at the beach taking a little spring break trip.

Once I got it all fixed up I couldn’t stop playing with it. WG had started on larger loom, with easier yarn. Once she saw how pretty her old project was, she tried to reclaim it. Ha! I said. Who ever thought we’d be fighting over craft projects? I am not the craftiest.

Also, Wacky Neighbors have purchased something I’ve been begging them to purchase since they moved in four years ago. Yes, that’s right. Window coverings.

Al-le-llu-IA!!!!

“No more peep show,” Wacky Neighbor S said. Dammit! I did so enjoy it. Oh, wait! Only one window is covered so far, out of several. We still have time to peep.

QOTD

March 23rd, 2006

On hockey: “How would you like a job where, every time you make a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?”

– Jacques Plante

Fire, Fire, Water, Water

March 22nd, 2006

I just got this e-mail from Wacky Mommy A and she agreed to let me share it. She needs to vent, pobrecita. I’d heard about Amalah’s Heartbreaking Friday of Staggering Suck, as she so sweetly put it. And I thought, “Doesn’t get much worse than that,” followed by a rapid prayer, “Please-God-let-me-never-have-that-kind-of-day. Please? Thank you.”

Then I hear from A, who reads Amalah’s blog, too (who doesn’t? The girl has a larger fan base than Reese Witherspoon), and had uttered a similar prayer. So you know what’s next. Yeah, A’s day completely bit. “…Unless the car is on fire” isn’t what you ever want to hear your mechanic saying. And she created a new phrase: “move-a-fucking-long now.” I like it.

It’s making my little inconveniences with the contractors, the weather, the kids freaking out and using the Swiffer duster as a weapon on each other, all of that is looking pretty manageable.

So A — Don’t jump, lady! Just enjoy your first week at your brand new job.

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Tuesday Recipe Club: Pesto Frittata with Roasted Asparagus

March 21st, 2006

Perfect for brunch, or a nice fattening dinner. Makes two to four servings, depending.

Bon appetit!

WM

Pesto Frittata with Roasted Asparagus

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The Sopranos

March 19th, 2006

Apparently everyone and his little old rat-faced granny has seen the Sopranos but me. I’m rooting for Adrianna. Heh heh.

OK, even though I haven’t seen any of ‘em except for the entire first season, and a couple of episodes here and there, the Sopranos has completely and thoroughly become entrenched in America pop culture and I know all the jokes, I know all about the plots, the characters, I know the recipes from reading them in TV Guide.

It’s a righteous show. The best way for me to watch is to get copies from the library. And while I am 303rd of 366 reserves for the fifth season, I’m four of four for the second season! I mean, hot damn. For those of you not fluent in “library speak,” this means there are 3 people ahead of me on the wait list. Each person gets the set of that entire season for three weeks.

Most of us are crazy, and don’t keep the tapes or DVDs that long because we’re powering through them. Cuz they’re like crack cocaine or Pez, really, they’re that good. So that’s, like, no wait time at all for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th seasons. Fifth is the popular one.

Also? We went hiking in the Columbia River Gorge today. I am so lucky to live here. See? That’s the thing about Oregon. It rains just about 9 months out of the year, combined. But those clear days, when you can see Mt. St. Helens forever (it has no TOP! What happened to its TOP?), this is God’s country and the best place to live in the universe.

xxox

WM

PS — Internet, did I mention that I love you? I do.

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