Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thoughts & Remembrances

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all that is in your life. Not just the good things. Everything. With that thought in mind, I give you the following brain waves:

I am extremely thankful for Grau. He is truly the Yin to my Yang. The old corny lines like 'you complete me' come to mind. I am finally at peace and happy, and it is all due to him.

I am thankful for the little things.
The cat we didn't catch.
The cat we currently have.
The two flights of stairs to do laundry, because unlike a friend of mine who recently had her leg amputated, I *can* walk them.
For Freecycle and the unbelievable finds that now adorn my house.
For my mom and her little comments when I was married to asshole. I now know what she spoke of, and I recognize in her own way she was telling me something without saying it outright. I get it now.
For Grau's boys, they are each unique and interesting.
I am thankful for the ability to cook for Grau's dad and family.

And believe it or not, I am thankful for my asshole ex. Without him, I wouldn't be where I am today. I hold no hard feelings.

I am thankful that my daughter is not pregnant. That, even though she is making poor life decisions, she is healthy and still in school.

I am thankful for my friends, old OK friends and new IL ones. The new ones accept me as I am, warts and all.

And I remember Thanksgivings past....how I would do all the work and receive no help. Because it makes me appreciate all that I have now.


Three more batches of fudge....done, cut and ready to pack away. Chocolate fudge, Peanut Butter/Chocolate fudge and Dark Chocolate/Mint fudge.
We are going to Grau's dad's for Thanksgiving. I am cooking the meat, Grau's sis is doing veggies and taters.
Oh, and gravy. I suck at making gravy.
No, I don't suck at it...I plain-'ol can't do it.

I have a gravy block.

Many times my father has tried teaching me how to make gravy. Once, in 30 years, he's been successful, and I have not been able to duplicate whatever it was that I did.

Seriously, when I make gravy these days, it comes from a package and I add water. Yeah, I know, I suck. Get used to it.

So, anyone else have I can't make that if my life depended on it blocks?

Monday, November 15, 2010

In the Kitchen

The holidays are coming up and I have been scurrying around in the kitchen when I find the energy. I made two batches of fudge, one of which is sea salt fudge. OMG! Can you say crack? Wow. If you have never tried sea salt fudge, go get some right now....go on, I'll wait.....

.....got it? Good. Now if you eat it, you will be in fudge bliss for about two minutes until the sugar kicks in. It IS fudge, after all.

So, I made two batches of fudge. The first I shared at the twisted food party Grau and I held last week. I should post on that, I just haven't had the time or the memory.
The second batch, well, let's just say that I only cut up half and put into a container in the freezer. The second half? Not cut, but in the freezer. This way, I can't steal a piece. Am I smart or what?

Next I made Faux Toffee. If you have never made this? Again, it's sugar crack and so easy you're going to want to forget the recipe. Personally, I try not to have graham crackers in the house because I want to make Faux Toffee. (It consists of 1 cup butter & 1 cup brown sugar, boiled for 1 minute; pour over broken grahams, and bake for 15 mins at 400. That's it. If you want to add chocolate and nuts? Go for it...when you take the toffee out of the over, place broken chocolate on top, wait a minute then spread. While the chocolate is still warm, add nuts.)
Well, Grau took some Faux Toffee to work, because I messed up and boiled the sugar too long. His coworkers said they would be happy to 'dispose' of any more mistakes I make....too funny!

Over the weekend I cut, cooked, peeled and mashed pumpkins. I put them, spices included, into individual pie-ready measured bags and set them in the freezer. I need to make at least one for Thanksgiving. I have five.

Today I decided I want to try my hand at making candied orange peel. I've been researching recipes, and a few sound promising. Do any of you have a recipe you know works well and is not that difficult to prepare?

Do you have any specialties you prepare around this time of year? I'd be curious to know what they are (and the recipe!).

Thursday, November 11, 2010


As many of you know, Grau and I adopted a kitty. The previous owners called him Lily, before they knew it was a boy. They said Lily never really answered to his name.
Hmmm, wonder why?

So, about two weeks ago (three this Saturday), we drove to the next town over and picked up Lily.
He hyperventilated in the van on the way home....literally. Mouth open, heavy breathing, panting like a dog. He emitted only a few gutteral meows. I did keep my hand inside the travel carrier petting him on the way home....I think he appreciated that.

So, we've had this cat not quite three weeks. We changed his name, as I mentioned to Cal Techgirl whose friend inspired kitty's new name....his name is Askhim. What should we call him? I don't know, let's ask him!

He took to his new name right away. He actually comes when you call him! He understands what NO means. He must follow me from room to room, like a dog. And when Grau gets home at night, Askhim goes downstairs to say hello and play before coming back up to bed. It's adorable.

Askhim is pure-bred dork cat. He doesn't lie down, he flops like a dog. He follows you from room to room, like a dog. He 'sits pretty' to get a treat, like a dog. He is definitely a good fit for our little family.

The week before we got Askhim, Grau and I saw an adorable cat in the forest preserve....skittish and alone, with no collar or apparent owner. We went back with tuna fish to try and capture it. No luck...and when I came across Askhim, it is apparent why- we were meant to have Askhim.

Everything happens for a reason.
Askhim was ours. :)

Project Update

The project I have been working on the past few weeks is still in the developmental stage. I know I mentioned tidbits here and there, and if anyone cares, this is a business venture.
I have an idea for a product. I have a idea, theme, design, name, logo and Grau and I are working out a few of the small details.

I do not yet have a prototype..because some of the small design details have not been ironed out just yet.

I feel very strongly about this product. Grau and I are determined to make it work, even if it will be a year from now before we can get it 'to market.'

Just...wish us luck.