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“Ultimate Dog Tease”

May 31st, 2011

Why do I love this dang dog so much? I’ve probably watched this video twenty times. I’m worse than the kids.


See you in the funny papers! Recipes From The Oregonian: Vegetable-Heavy Freezer Burritos + Bran Muffins from the MAC Club; Lelo’s Salad Dressing; and Staying Home for a Living

May 31st, 2011

You know why I still subscribe to the newspaper? (We take three, actually — west side paper, Street Roots (homeless guys’ newspaper) and Thee Oregonian.) Four reasons: 1) Page One of the funny papers. 2) Page Two of the funny papers 3) obits (“hatched, matched and thatched,” as my dear departed Granny said of the birth, wedding and death notices) and 4) the FoodDay section.

I am sucker for recipes, y’all who have been reading me for awhile know that. Today, along comes this cute hippie guy, making some vegetarian burritos for himself and his girlfriend. Awwwwwwww… just like Stevie and me! So I had to make some for lunch and some to put in the freezer. Of course I only had the burrito-size tortillas, and no sweet potatoes. And I was too lazy to fry up some new potatoes. And I wanted to add rice, anyway, so forget about the spuds.

Also, I used some El Pato and tomato sauce, and did them enchilada-style.

What else? I subbed collards for kale, due to the fact that we had no kale in the fridge. But Steve’s not crazy about kale, anyway, so it’s all good! (As the hippies say. “It’s all good hemp!”)

Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. So there you go. Steve had a nice, home-cooked lunch, and we have a pan of enchilada/burritos in the freezer. This working from home thing rocks. I have had a hard time with it, in the past, keeping on a schedule, getting the writing/editing done, paying enough attention to laundry/cleaning/reading/bread-baking/gardening/bill-paying/kids/everything else. (No, not in that order. The bread-baking comes in second place, right after the kiddos.) (Probably helps that they’re in school most of the day, my little darlins. But with as many days as we have off? It’s not that different from when they were babies.) (No diapers though!!!!! Right on!!! Right on!!!)

(speaking of… Lelo posted some dynamite salad dressing recipes. Don’t get too skinny, girl! I like ’em curvy ;)

I also went all crazy and made the MAC Club’s Bran Muffins, from a recipe I cut out of the paper about two decades ago. So of course it’s not online. OregonLive barely has stuff that’s two weeks old online. I’ll type it up later, I promise.

Oh, Oregonian… Sorry I was hating on you so much awhile back. (Internet can’t see my fingers crossed behind my back.) I’m sorry! I feel so bad every time I think about you! OK, I’m not sorry.

Bon appetit!

Wacky Mommy

and… here’s the recipe. My changes (they all worked well): I subbed two real eggs for the egg substitute; dark molasses for light; soymilk with a tablespoon of lemon added instead of buttermilk (this is also a trick I use with real milk if I don’t have buttermilk in the house; and I added a little extra milk — maybe should have used three eggs? Yeah, I added a little honey, too, cuz sticky bran muffins = heaven.

And I left out the pineapple. My daughter wants me to add bananas next time. I think blueberries would be good, too. We’re anti-raisins and nuts over here, but you may feel differently. Also, I mixed it all up in one damn bowl because life is too short to mess with separate bowls.

We all four like this recipe. And even though I filled the muffin tins right up to the edge (muffin tops!! the good kind) it still made enough for lunches and snacks, plus some for the freezer. Done!

MAC Bran Muffins

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups wheat bran
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup liquid egg substitute
1 tablespoon light molasses
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 15 1/4 oz. can juice-packed crushed pineapple, drained

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, soda, baking powder and wheat bran until uniformly mixed. In a separate bowl, mix oil, egg substitute, molasses and buttermilk. Add egg mixture and pineapple to flour mixture all at once. Stir until all of flour is wet, but do not overmix.

Fill lightly greased muffin tins (or paper-lined tins) 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes approximately 2 dozen.

song of the day

May 31st, 2011

from my son:

“Did you ever go a-fishin’ on a sunny, sunny day/
sit on the bank/
’til the bank give away/
with your hands in your pockets/
and your pockets in your pants/
sit on the bank/
and do a hootchie-kootchie dance…”

(psst — wanna see a picture of our grumpy cat?)

QOTD: His Holiness the Dalai Lama

May 31st, 2011

“Also, in the individual’s mind there are many hopes. If one hope fails, it does not mean that all hopes fail. I have met some people who tend to feel completely overwhelmed and who become desperate when they are not able to fulfill one of their hopes. But I believe that the human mind is very complex. We have so many different types of hopes and fears that it is quite dangerous to invest everything on one particular hope, so that when that hope is not fulfilled we are totally overwhelmed. That is a bit too dangerous.” — His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from “The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Wisdom: The Essential Teachings,” p. 366

reading this week: “Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys,” “The Art of Happiness at Work” and “The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Wisdom”

May 30th, 2011

gah gah gah gah gah

May 30th, 2011

Yeah. That’s right.

I stayed up late watching stupid-ass TV two nights in a row. First it was the Judds and their insane reality show. Then it was the end of season five (final season, and to that I say, Fucking amen) of Big Love. Really, they should call that show Sick Love. But I am nuts for the three actresses who play the wives — Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ginnifer Goodwin and Chloe Sevigny. Also I liked how they spun out the (also sick love) storyline of Bill’s parents, played so skillfully and scarily (???) by Grace Zabriskie and Bruce Dern.

Zabriskie I have adored and followed like a little puppy dog ever since “Drugstore Cowboy.” (She played Matt Dillon’s mom. Gus Van Sant did it up when he cast that movie, man.)

“Lord, it’s my dope fiend thief of a son and his crazy little nymphomaniac wife.” (then she hides her purse.) If you haven’t seen that one, check it out.

I cannot give that kind of ringing endorsement to Sick Love and the Judds, though. I say, run for the hills instead of watching those shows.

My point (and I do have one, as Ellen DeGeneres would say) is that even though I slept in, after staying up way too late, and even though I have been eating and drinking all right… I have been fighting off this frickin’ virus for two weeks now. And yesterday I woke up with low blood pressure, low blood sugar, wheezing from asthma and bronchitis, total crash, and ended up in urgent care. (Steve drove, don’t worry.) Bronchitis, allergies, and blah blah blah blah antibiotics and more sleep and etc. The kids were worried and gave me lots of attention and brought me sorbet and there you have it.

Me, resting. I’m dying at some point, but it’s not going to be today. Whew.

However. Now I’m awake at 6 a.m., on our day off (Memorial Day here in the States, or Decoration Day, as my Granny used to call it) so I can go have some delicious breakfast, take an antibiotic and not crash again. Then I will nap and avoid all responsibility. We visited the graves on Saturday. They’re all resting peacefully, fyi, my grandparents, two uncles, my one uncle’s mom, my two aunties and my dear Dad. I left them notes. Wacky Girl was a sweetie, as always, and respectful. Wacky Boy paid his respects in his own way, namely, he raced around the graves, then told me, Try not to step on them! Then he threw rocks in some big mud puddles and eventually couldn’t resist the urge to jump in. So he did.

My dad, grandpa and uncles would have been thrilled, especially since where he was playing was where the baseball diamond used to be. (Now it’s all cemetery.) I hope they noticed, y’know? All of them would have said, She looks just like Nancy when she was little! about my daughter, because that’s what everyone says. Makes me beam every time. At my grandma’s funeral, my uncle’s friend drove down from Seattle — I hadn’t seen him since Grandma’s 80th birthday party. When my daughter walked by, he just said, Little Nancy, under his breath and smiled at her. She didn’t notice, of course, but it made me happy.

Next time I go I’ll take food and flowers and do the whole Day of the Dead thing. The kids are getting older now, they think it’s a little weird, but they’re OK with me doing whatever I need to do, for my little rituals. But I thought I’d spare them this time, since the weather was nice on Saturday and there were a ton of people decorating the graves, leaving flowers, trimming back the grass, all that.

Not everyone understands my need to leave cookies, fruit and notes at the graves of my dead relatives. But I do, so that’s that.

Also? This was amazing and a little Six Feet Under weird. I had twin aunts — they were just adorable. They cheated at cards and were yin/yang funny and no-bullshit about everything. (“Now you’re just reminiscing, Nancy” as one of them used to tell me.) Well, someone in the family needed to look at the world through rose-colored glasses, and it sure wasn’t them or my Grandma, God love ’em. Prairie girls from northern North Dakota who would walk over to Canada when they wanted to play with their friends. Seriously, how cool is that? Six years old or whatever, you’re just going to walk to another country to go play :)

I went over to see them one time — they were both wearing sweatsuits and white headbands — very Olivia Newton-John, “Let’s Get Physical.” They said, in unison as always, “You like these?” (about the headbands.) “The little lady who does our hair gave us these!” omg, too cute and funny.

My point (again) — we were at my Dad’s grave, saying goodbye and getting ready to leave, and I saw two big crows fighting and flipping out (just like my aunties used to do) and sure enough, they sent them.

It was right on their grave.

the end.

— wm

QOTD: Ciardi

May 28th, 2011

“You don’t have to suffer to be a poet. Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.” — John Ciardi

music, music, music

May 27th, 2011

American Idol gone wild.

Wednesday Book Review: “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” “Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill” and… “Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America”

May 25th, 2011

I wanted to like Jennifer Egan’s “A Visit From the Goon Squad.” I really did. But it had too many characters, too many switch-ups, too much name dropping (hip bands, hip clubs, hip people at hip restaurants) and… I just wasn’t into it. I realize that it won the Pulitzer. And the National Book Critics Circle Award. Just not for me. The End.

Robert Whitaker is a genius, and I appreciate the work he is doing to expose all of messed-up stuff that the mentally ill have to face and deal with in our country. It’s too painful for me to write about this topic, especially because today is my late father’s birthday. (I love you, Dad. So very much. Happy birthday.) But I really recommend that everyone read the information that Whitaker has painstakingly gathered. Such a wake-up call.



ps don’t forget… the door to hell is in your living room. (under the carpet.)

heh heh heh

May 23rd, 2011

Steve (hearts) Beyonce.

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