Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Going on my Christmas List

OK, I think I fixed my link...if not, they are the capacitor earrings.

People, I am pretty sure I need THESE EARRINGS

Now watch me get either ten pairs...or no pair.

But really, those are just way too cool. And I desperately need a pair.

Haha. And ya'll thought I had grown up or something. Fooled ya!

Now buy me those earrings!


Is anyone tited of their turkey yet? I am. But I still had quite a bit left. I made up a turkey rice casserole for lunch and a turkey divan for dinner. Both recipes came from my dear sister and both I will share with you.


Turkey Rice Casserole (this is ot a recipe really, rather a throw it all in and cook it how you want instruction guide)
Turkey (or chicken...I bet tuna would even work) No amount specified...use what you have.
Rice (did you know you can cook rice in the microwave???I did not until today, i cup of rice to 2 cups of water, put in a glass bowl, top with a plate...cook for 14 minutes EASY)
cream of something soup (whatever is on hand)
Some kind of veggies (I used peas)
Mix it up in a casserole dish and bake.

Turkey Divan (Again...we don't use real recipes in our family- no amounts are ever specified...we just use what we have and eyeball everything)
1. Lay broccoli in the bottom of a 9x13 pan
2. Top with Turkey chuncks
3. Top with cheese slices or grated cheese
4. Mix a can of cream of mushroom (or chicken like I did because I had no mushrooms) and a can of evaporated milk
5. Pour on top
6. Bake at your favorite temp for your favorite amount of time...see...we just wing everything. My guess would be 150 for 30 minutes. everything is cooked, you just need to get it hot and meld the flavors together.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Tiny Gifts

Sometimes the best things come in teeny tiny packages, brought by teeny tiny hands. We spent a good portion of the Thanksgiving Holiday raking leaves, and Weston saved me this itty bitty flower. He wrapped it in his hands and said to me, "I have a present for you but you have to give me what I want first." Cheeky little manipulative kid... What did he want? A kiss. That's it. I traded a kiss for this precious tiny flower (which is actually a seed pod, but shhhh, don't tell him) for a kiss. Great trade, thinks I.

Oh, and it's time to celebrate Christmas. I pulled out all my Christmas music, and am very close to being Trans Siberian Orchestraed out. And where is my Manhiem Steamroller? You can't have Christmas without Manhiem Steamroller, but it seems someone has stolen mine, I have the album cover but no CD.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Plan #2

She is so sick, but still so pretty. Esther ruined our Thanksgiving plans. We had really been looking forward to a trip to Ohio to visit my grandparents, but as usual, the oncoming winter season has showed itself by bringing us some good old fashioned illness. Esther is nasty sick and so, instead of traveling with a pukey mucousy child, we stayed at home.
And we cooked. Boy did we ever cook. Started at 7 in the morning and finished in time for a Thanksgiving meal at 5 in the evening. I let each kid choose a menu item or two and they helped to make everything. It was a blast. A messy blast- but we had such a good time.
Here's the menu:
Turkey (of course)
Pumpkin Stuffing (Dustan's choice, stuffing made from pumpkin bread and mushrooms- most delicious stuffing I have ever had. The kids loved it too, despite the fact that they hate mushrooms)
Green Bean Casserole with Portabella Mushrooms (Oh, my! This was fantastic- it will become a family tradition.)
Green bean casserole without mushrooms- because the kids hate mushrooms (silly kids) they hated the green bean casserole anyway (silly kids).
Sunday Rolls (I have to find a better roll recipe- this one was not so great)
Mashed potatoes (boring but yummy)
Sweet Potato Casserole (chosen and made by Marcus)
Cranberries (and yes, I DID forget about them until the very last minute- family tradition!)

Desert Menu! We went a little crazy:
Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Pecan PIe (out of this world and made by Dustan)
Rum cake (also made by Dustan)
Eclair cake (made by Weston and Esther)
It was a feast meant for the Kings...and we enjoyed every bite of it!

Here it all is in the oven. I can't believe it all fit in there.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and may you have a very grateful Holiday Season

Friday, November 24, 2006

Favorite Things Friday-

A man who cooks. And cleans up the mess afterwards. Nothing better than that!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A place to create:

Done by Marcus, age 7 on a chalkboard.
When I redid Marcus' room, I wanted to make sure to make him a place to be creative. The desk belonged to my dad as a child and has gone through several adventures, but I think an art and craft desk has been its favorite one. You can see how passionate Marcus is about his work...it covers his walls. The watercolor colage on his desk is my favorite. That is a cowboy there...riding into the sunset. Wanna buy it? You can't. I would outbid whatever price you would be willing to pay for it. I am hoping that Marcus gives it to me for Christmas.

As an afterthought: I really really need to get some curtains made for his windows.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Metamorphasis of a Kitchen

This was my kitchen when we first moved in. That is not a microwave above the stove, it is a HUGE oven. It was horrible. Not only did I have to learn to use an electric stove, I had to do it in a small area that would not even allow my stock pots to sit. Uggg, I hated that thing. But, since it was circa 1970, and since our refrigerator went out, and since Sears had a sale on multiple appliances, and since Dustan was in a generous mood, I did not have to use the hideous thing overly long. Lots of other changes took place too.
Out with the upper bar cabinets. Ahhhh, that felt better. Now I can watch the kids play in the family room while I prepare dinner...or breakfast...or lunch...or one of their one million two thousand, and forty-three snacks.
And blue paint! So pretty! I adore the color, and eventually the bottom cabinets will be painted as well. We moved the plexiglass cabinet doors over to the stove wall, and took off the doors on the sink wall, to make a shelf. Eventually, that cabinet will come done and actual shelves will be installed. It was getting to be a lovely place to be, if only I could eliminate that hole above the new stove.

Voila! Done! There is now a microwave, where once was a humongous ugly oven, and then followed by a big cavernous hole.
This is the kitchen of my dreams, and the cost has been almost nil...except for the new appliances, sink, and faucet. Everything else I have used has been existing.

Oh, and knobs, I am slowly replacing the knobs. I found those in a junk store and paid 1.00 for four of them. They came from an antique cabinet. Eventually, all the knobs will be mix and match...

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Big Pile of Favorite Things:

Do you remember my promise to create a sacred corner? Probably not...it was so long ago. Anyway, here it is and I filled it with my favorite things for a favorite Friday.
First there is the small baby quilt my sister mad Marcus. None of my children are small enough for it anymore, and so I use it to cover the beautiful hope chest my mother and father made me one Christmas. The inside is filled with cozy blankets and crocheted afghans.
See my laptop there? It is all ready for me to sit down and polish off my nano novel. The phone is just waiting for a ring from my sister.
Hanging on the wall is a set of prints from Charles L. Peterson . Make sure to click the thumbnails. His work is beautiful and I wish I could afford a large print instead of the notecards that I matted and framed.
Look at the cutie tootie orange tumbler. Dustan bought a set of them for me last night at the antique mall. I fell in love with them right away and at 5.00, they were the perfect price. They will make such a cheery addition to my mornings.
My corner is peaceful and relaxing, and to be honest, it is exactly what I need today.

Yesterday I recieved the news that my Uncle David had passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. I did not spend a great deal of time with David, especially in my adult years. I loved him because he was so loved by my mother. I hurt for his death because his standing with God is unknown and because of the pain my mother is enduring. As a child, it is always something akin to torture to see a parent hurting and I am still a child. The world does not seem to be on its axis when mom is hurting so badly. I know that many of my readers pray. Please pray for my family this week, they would all love to be held in your intercessions.

And a story about David, from my childhood:
For some reason, I had been left in David's care. He was babysitting me, and in true Rebecka fashion, I quickly made a pest of myself. David was good natured, and even a bit jolly. I can still hear that Wheelis laugh... Anyhow, he quickly tired of me, and on top of that- his girlfriend came by for a visit. What to do with Becky Sue? Hmmmm.... Maybe put her on the roof? I guess that seemed a good idea to him at the time, and a ladder was always hanging around in the yard at granny's so he had easy access to an easy way out of babysitting. I sat on the roof while he smoked cigarettes with his girlfriend. You would think this is a horrible thing....but it was not for me. Being on the roof was a grand adventure and I loved every second of it. It was the first and last time I was to have the same adventure. I sat like a Queen, ruling everything i could see, which was..everything. It was an amazing view of the world.
Thanks Uncle David. And we will miss you.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just Dreaming

I spend way to much time dreaming of my house. I stare at my kitchen and think and think about how to decorate it. How would it look as my dream kitchen?
What would my living room look like if I had an unlimited supply of money?
I pore over catalogs and magazines and dream.
I didn't always used to do that. My old dreams were far different. I would disappear onto a stage, I would be in full make-up and costume...or I would be recieving an Oscar for my stunning performance in "A Doll's House".
Even more recently, I have begun to fantasize again about writing...but truth be told: My home brings me so much more pleasure than these old dreams. It is such an accomplishment to me to have gone from messy slob with no style, to what I am and what I have now. My home brings me such pride and such peace and I am beyond grateful to God for bringing me to where I am now.
Remember the baking Center I had talked about? This is it. Right now it's just an old 70's cabinet stuck inbetween a door and my refrigerator. But imagine with me...I will paint it...still not sure what color. Maybe white, maybe green, maybe red? I miss all the red from my last home, so maybe I will add a spalsh of it here. I will pull out the panals from all the doors and insert punched tin. I will add either a stone or wood counter top, and hooks along the back wall to hold my measuring cups and spoons, and a nice towel. I will have a clippy thing to hold the current recipe. Can you see it? It's lovely isn't it?
It has been nice dreaming with you. Now I have to get back to my real life, in which I am baking muffins, getting ready for Marcus' school, and I promise myself I will sit down and write 5000 words sometime today- because new dreams are good too...especially if you chase after them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Creativity rules when one is a writer. Right?

Okay, well. I haven't been to the grocery store since this nano thing started. Bad mommy. I do however have 31,000 words written and Reba has taken a very fun trip down the river on a frozen chunk of ice. Don't worry, she has a park bench to sit on. I swear, reba has gone completely out of her mind, every story gets more and more bizarre. Anyhow...So, 31,000 words and an empty pantry. What does one do for breakfast? How about cookies? Again? Why yes. And this time, I did not make them. They came in a package, and are not cookies meant for breakfast- Oh, no. these are just plain Jane oatmeal cookies, laden with sugar and not much else. I did make peanut butter sandwhiches out of them though. Does that make it better? I included a gratuitous shot of my Big bird cookie jar- because it makes me happy. Big Bird was a gift to my mom from my aunt Denise on mom and dad's wedding. I received it as a wedding gift from mom. Big Bird has cracked both his nest, and lost his nose. Nothing a little glue didn't fix.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I had a write-in on Sunday with some fellow nano friends (aka national novel witing month members...or kaka stupid people).
I had a dare to include oompa loompas in my story (I had to use them white at the write in)...here is how I took the dare and ran with it.

Jaci skipped up to the choir loft and Reba ran down the aisle, her arm thrown out and her hand thumping along the tops of the pews. Thump, thump, thump, thump, thumpity, thump. Thump thump thump thump, thumpity thump...Up one aisle and down the next.
Oompa, Loompa, Doopity doo, sang Reba's mind, to the rhythm of her hands, the wood feeling hard and un-giving, and the song inside her head, willing her to skip.
Right passed Mrs Tolbert (who was- at least in Reba's mind, the twin sister in heart to the wicked witch of the West). Ooompa, lomapa.... she sang, under her breath... “that child is weird,” thought Mrs. Tolbert.

16,000 words now. I really wanted to have 18,000 by bedtime tonight, but I don't think it will happen.

And, because this is a homemaking blog, I wanted to share with you that my kitchen no longer has a gigantic hole above my oven...what once was a small cavern is now a microwave. I will try to put up some before and afters in a bit. This allwas me to start on my grand scheme for a baking center! Yay! The old microwave sat where my new baking center will be.

I am sitting at 14,000 words

I was told that the second week was TOUGH. No kidding.

I want to quit.

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's day Three!

And I can't get much farther. I am stuck on this little tiny scene that should have been finished hours ago. Little scenes that cause so much trouble should be cut into oblivion.

Again: No editing here, I hope you can read it.

Carol listened as the clinking, stomping, and banging sounds went on in the kitchen. She heard it all, and even recovered from her stupor long enough to wonder what was going on in her kitchen. Just as quickly she sank back into her pillow and despair. Life was not what it was supposed to be. Reba at six years old had caused her more stress than any child should, and she was such a bad mother that she hardly even knew who Jaci was. The house was a mess and Carol despaired that she would never be able to stay caught up. The cupboards were almost bare of food and she felt humiliated every time she had to stand in lines for government handouts. Byrle was difficult and Withdrawn, and she just felt so tired. Parker. Where was Parker? She fell back into a depressed stupor and slept until the smell of something burning woke her again.

Very quickly, after she sat up in bed the fire alarm began to go off, and she heard the screaming of two little girls and the wailing of a baby boy!

Jaci and Reba were scared beyond belief. The muffins had exploded like a volcano with jam shooting straight out of the tops, and then oozing and bubbling out to the bottom of the oven. Jaci timidly had opened the oven door and she and Reba decided there was nothing to do but to let it finish cooking. By the time Mama walked in the room there were flames leaping up from crusty black jam caked and fried to the bottom of the mustard yellow oven.

First I had to find out which ingredient Reba and Jaci switched. I need to know what cook book it came from and then I had to find the recipe. To my aid come Super Tara who just happens to have the little red and white gingham covered Better Homes and Garden's cookbook that has the exact recipe I needed.

Now I am stuck on what happens next. The fire department needs to be called. But how? (No 911 yet that I can find in my research), and after the fire department comes what happens? Do they call social services? I don't want Social Services called, that will introduce characters and an element to the story that i don't want there.

So...I am stuck. at 10126 words!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Update day #2

Still doing well. I am logging in at over 5000 words. My goal is to hit 8000 by the end of the day. Little Reba is such a stinker that I am having fun writing about her. I was told that everyone enjoyed my excerpt from yesterday and it was quite a boost to my self-confidence. Thank you for the kind words.
Now for a question and answer time:

Q: How are you finding time with your already busy day to write a novel AND take care of three kids.

A: It's not easy. However, I made a log of what I spent my time doing and I was amazed at how much was wasted doing piddly things. I streamlined my day a bit, cut out all the non-essentials and ended up with several hours a day to write. I made a new routine which is helping me keep up with life. I wouldn't want to keep up this pace for my entire life, but I can do it for one month.
6:30 wake up, get dressed, make bed, carry down dirty laundry to top of basement landing
6:40 walk the dog
7:00 feed kids
7:30 sit down to write

10:30 snack for kids- run downstairs and throw in a load of laundry
10:45 School (I pared school down this month the the bare essential)
12:00 lunch for kids- run downstairs and change laundry. While I am down there hit the treamill for 15 minutes and do some sit ups and push ups.
12:30 Fix my lunch and sit down to write
2:00 Take the dog for a walk and spend 20 minutes on his training
2:30 Start dinner (tonight will be bean soup and cornbread)
3:30 sit down to write for a short spurt
4:15 read to kids
5:00 dinner

And then, I try to get my kitchen cleaned, andany other housework done. I won't have many evenings at home, so I have to reserve my day for writing.

Here is an exerpt from day 2

Now to understand Reba's reaction to this, one must understand that Micheal Pepper had told her that the principle's office was a horrid place where children were strapped to a table and beaten with electrical paddles that sent a shock through their entire bodies. He had told Reba that he had gone into the office with straight hair and cream colored skin. Reba was horrified! Micheal had obviously been fried by those electric paddles! His skin was dark cocoa and his hair was full of tight curly kinks.

As Mrs. Alexandria pulled Reba down the hall she screamed and hollered. If that had been all that had happened, I am sure the incidence could have been forgotten, but no. Reba was a strong girl- no human was going to drag her into the great abyss of torture without a fight. And so she fought. And hit. And bit. She kicked the teacher's shin until there was blood and bit her arm until there was a hole in the teacher's flesh. She would NOT be paddled with an electric paddle. She WOULD escape and run all the way home- to the safety of her mother's arms. Surely everyone would forget by the next day. But as strong as little Reba was; her teacher was much stronger. And to the principles office a tiny terrified child was hauled, held by both a handful of hair and a knotty little wrist. Reba stopped struggling by the first step into the office. This was not a place of torture. It smelled so pretty. Like peaches. And cinnamon. There was a pretty lady sitting in a chair, and although there was a look or horror on her face, it still maintained a look of kindness. Reba went limp and Mrs Alexandria dropped her on the floor.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Update #1

So far, I am doing very well. Thank you for all the encouragement that I have received so far. I have been told that the first week is the easiest, so I may be updating more often this week than in the second and third week. It is supposed to get easier again during the last week.

As far as word counts goes, I have written 1411 words on one novel and 1860 words on a second novel. The bad news is that I have two novels. I started one, and it was having trouble going anywhere. Instead of saving it and trying later, I deleted it and began a totally different story. After realizing that the research for this second novel (which was a mystery) was going to be more than 30 days could handle, I went back to the first story concept and began again.

By the time 30 days is over, I just might have 100 novels started and none completed. Let's hope not. I have put the mystery adside for now and am sticking with the highly, almost entirely fictional account of my life. Here is an excert for you to read.

I am not allowed to edit and even spell checking is strongly discouraged. the point is to get as much wordage out of the month as possible. I am a notoriously bad speller, and my typing is even worse than my spelling- so please forgive me all the mistakes. Hopefully, it will be readable.

"Reba's first memory was that of being strapped to a car seat, that sat on a lush green lawn. A large concrete apartment complex loomed gray and formidable behind her, and before her sat a small black lab puppy. There are no adults in this memory. Just that gray stone building and the black puppy that promptly lifted his hind leg and peed on Reba. Sometimes Reba remembers that she was wearing a yellow dress with ruffles. Other times she remembers that she was naked. Either way. There she was: strapped in a car seat, all alone, and being peed on by a dog. Every one highly doubts this memory is true. Reba is well known for being imaginative, and not being able to discern reality from her vivid dreams. But Reba knows it is in fact, a very true memory. She has hidden in her room, in a box. Buried underneath concert tickets, and cheap jewelry pieces, a photograph of a young child, sitting in a car seat, and beside her sits a young black lab. In Reba's mind, this is enough proof. It doesn't matter to her that Someone had to take the picture, that SOMEONE was behind a camera, it doesn't matter that it would be impossible to be alone and have a picture taken at the same time. Reba remembers it one way, and in her mind, that memory is very important."