Thursday, November 29, 2007

Is It Strange...

...do you think, that MM calls me on his way home from work every night and we talk until he pulls in the driveway, at which time I say, "Are you home" and he says, "yes, I'm in the garage. I'm going to *insert random thing here (like go put my lunch away, or check on the dogs)*" and I said, "Ok, see you in a minute" and he says, "Ok. I love you." and I say, "I love you, too. Bye." Only to have him walk in the door right then?

Just curious...

On another note:

I told MM about my December Cooking Challenge day before yesterday. Only he misunderstood and thought I was starting yesterday. Although I've been in the mood to cook lately, I wasn't last night. I was exhausted when I got home from work and the idea of making something - especially when I hadn't defrosted any meat - just made me even more so. So I didn't cook. I let the kids eat cereal for dinner and relaxed on the couch, chatting online with Grace.

Whilst on the phone with MM, I told him I hadn't made dinner. He said, "What about the cooking thing. You told me, 30 days of cooking. You can't not cook when you say that!" I said, "Babe, read my blog. We start December first." he said that was cheating.

I told him it wasn't cheating and he said, "You said you weren't making the same thing twice. So now you've already made nothing. That means you can't make "nothing" again. You have to have dinner ready tomorrow night."

I just snorted.

Freaking MM.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

December Cooking Challenge

I love to cook, but I've been kind of lazy about it lately. I used to try a new recipe at least once a week, much to the (sometimes) horror of my children. Lately, however, I've just been making the basics. Meat, bread, potato, veggie. And a lot of pasta.

But during the holidays I was looking for some new side dishes to serve at Thanksgiving (Which went pretty well, btw) and came across some great recipes. One of them was a Butternut Squash Soup.

Normally I wouldn't have tried it (I mean, come on, it sounds nasty..and doesn't look much better) but I tried it in a restaurant a few months ago and knew it was good. Last night I decided to make it and was pleasantly surprised. The soup rocked. SO much so that between MM and the kids, there was none left. High praise indeed.

So I got to thinking: Why don't I try more new recipes? And why not challenge myself during the month of December to try new things? And then I thought..why not solicit all my lovely blogging buddies to do this challenge with me?

My plan is this:

At least five nights a week during the entire month of December, I'll try a new recipe - or perhaps an old one I'd forgotten about. I realize this is kind of a grand plan considering how busy my life is, but I think I can work it out.

Anyone interested in trying along with me? I figure I'll post the recipe I intended to try and how it turned out. Which works for me on two levels: One, it gives me a log of the new stuff I try and what went over well with my family..and it gives me a much needed reason to blog on a regular basis.

Now, I realize we all have lives and making dinner - from scratch - may not be an option five nights a week, so I'm leaving it up to you how often you participate. Once a week? Once a month? Doesn't matter as long as you post the recipe and how it turned out.

I'm going to start officially on December 1st, but to get us started, I'll post the recipe for the Butternut Squash Soup in case any of you want to try it. Again, I know it doesn't sound that great, but it was rich, creamy and almost tasted like melted butter (in a good way).

Butternut Squash Soup
INGREDIENTS

* 6 tablespoons chopped onion
* 4 tablespoons margarine
* 6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
* 3 cups water
* 4 cubes chicken bouillon
* 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese


DIRECTIONS

1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.


I used 1 package of cream cheese instead of two and it was plenty. The soup was really rich, so I guess it depends on your personal preference if you add the second package.
I also substituted nutmeg for the cayenne pepper. I'm just not big on cayenne.

Another tip: I cut the squash in half and microwaved it for 5 minutes, the cut it into sections, halved those, and cut the skin off, leaving square chunks, peeled. It was much easier than trying to cut through the raw squash.

Like I said, it doesn't sound that appealing (or didn't to me) but it turned out fabulous. I'll be trying it again for sure.

So..interested in doing this challenge with me? If so, leave me a comment here and post the rules of the challenge on your own blog, inviting people to do the same. We can also use this as a recipe share group, if you like.

And if you don't want to participate, that's fine. But you can check back for recipes throughout the month of December, and maybe some regular posts, too. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Untitled

My darling friend Andrea called me two days ago. I hadn't talked to her in a few weeks and it was nice to hear her voice. The first thing she said to me? "Are you ok?" when I answered that yes, I was fine, her second question was, "Then why haven't you posted a new blog?"

I'd like to say I have a good reason for not blogging, but the truth is..I don't. I have more time now. Business is slow and with DW back to work (and fully recovered) I have time on my hands. Well, more than I've had in recent months, anyway.

I honestly think I've just gotten out of the habit of blogging. I have millions of drafts saved from the last few months when I - literally - had no extra time in front of my computer. The older ones are a few paragraphs I meant to add a last thought to before publishing. But the more recent ones aren't anything more than a sentence - or even just a single word - to remind myself what I wanted to post about. And then, well, I just stopped adding anything.

It used to be something funny with MM or one of the kids would happen, or I'd think of some odd topic or memory and say to myself, "You have to blog that!". But now? Not so much. Something funny happens and I call MM, or my mom, or whomever to share, and then it's gone from mind. And that, I think, is the crux of the thing. My mind is gone.

I've always had a memory like an elephant...I just never forgot. But lately, I can't remember my own name half the time. And I'm not exaggerating that. I literally forgot how to spell my name last week. Yesterday MM and I took the kids to meet the RB (this year Thanksgiving is his holiday with them..which means I get them for Christmas..YAY) and we took a slight (unplanned) detour. I was studying the map, trying to figure out how many extra miles we'd gone and MM and I were arguing about it. I told him, "Look, it's 25 miles from here to here. And another 25 from here to here. That means we've gone 50 miles out of our way". And MM says, "No, we would have driven 30 if we'd gone the other way, so we really only drove 20 miles out of our way" and I said, "No, it's 50" and back and forth we went until I realized - DUH - he was right.

I told him, "Babe, I didn't used to be dumb" and he said, "I know, it's ok". But it's not. Not really. I just can't think lately. My brain is full of worry for The Girl, my job, the wedding, money, life, etc, etc, and it doesn't seem to have room for anything else.

Maybe I need a vacation (ok, no maybe about it, I need a vacation) or maybe I just need a vacation from my blog? I honestly don't know. I considered closing it down, but then I thought I might want to come back to it later. Of course, the last five times I said that, I immediately felt the urge to start posting again...so maybe that's what will happen this time. In the meantime, thanks for sticking it out. I'm sure eventually something will happen and I'll feel the need to share it with all of you...and then I'll be right back where I started, entertaining myself with my own thoughts.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We're converging at my house again this year. My family and MM's. I think we'll have somewhere around 25 people. I like entertaining and cooking, but I'm a little overwhelmed. Especially since I'm in this weird funk right now. *sigh*

It's got to get better, right? Well, that's what I keep telling myself, anyway. Until it does, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Friday, November 09, 2007

You Called The Wrong Number

When MM bought this house and moved in, he called the phone company to switch his service and was offered a choice of 3 different numbers. He chose the one he thought would be the easiest to remember and called it a day. What he didn't realize until well after the fact was...his new number was formerly the number of a doctor's office.

As a result he received sometimes upwards of 20 calls a day for the doctors office. This was especially frustrating for him when he was working nights because he needed to sleep and the phone kept waking him up. So when he set up his answering machine he put a little notice in there:

Hi, this is MM. Leave a message after the beep. And if you're calling for the doctors office...you callllllleeeed the wrong nuuuumber! Dee Dee Dee!

Yes, he actually did the Dee Dee Dee. *sigh*



Naturally the kids thought this was hilarious. Me? Not so much.

When MM and I moved in together, he said, "let's do one of those really gay couple messages! It'll be fun!" So we did.

MM: Hi, this is MM
Me: And Holly
MM: Leave a message after the beep
Me: And if you're calling for the doctor's office
MM: You calllled the wrong nuumber

We've had a lot of comments about that message, ranging from "you two are idiots" to "that was the funniest thing I've ever heard" to "Are you kidding me?" Mostly we just think it's funny.

Flash forward to Monday. The Girl had a doctor's appointment at 10:15. At 8:45 the doctor's office called and said that the doctor had been called in for jury duty and asked if they could call me the next afternoon to reschedule (by then they figured the doc would know if he'd get called up for jury duty). I said that was fine, but gave them my cell phone number because I'm not home during the day and didn't want to miss a call from them.

So later that afternoon the doctor's office called me. The conversation was kind of strange:

Me: Hello
Dr: Hi, this is the doctors office calling. Is this The Girl's mom?
Me: Yes
Dr: Ok, I just left you a message but I guess I called the wrong number
Me: Uh, ok. *thinking, how would you know if you called the wrong number?*
Dr: Well, alright. Anyway, we'd like to reschedule The Girl's appt for....

I hung up with her and didn't think a thing about the conversation until I was driving home later in the day. I was replaying the whole thing over in my mind and I started busting up (I'm sure the guy on the freeway in the car next to me thought I was on crack). Why? Because I realized what she meant when she said, "I called the wrong number". Obviously she heard our message and thought we said, "if you're calling FROM the doctor's office" instead of "If you're calling FOR the doctors office".

My suspicions were confirmed when I got home and listened to the message on our machine. "This is the doctors office. I'll calll the other nuumber". She even drew it out like MM did in our outgoing message! LOL I totally cracked up and called MM to tell him. Of course he thought it was hilarious.

We'd rescheduled her appt for Wednesday morning. Tuesday afternoon the doctor's office called to confirm her Wednesday appointment.

Me: Hello
Dr: This is the doctors office. I'm calling to confirm The Girl's appointment tomorrow?
Me: Yep, we'll be there.
Dr: Ok, as long as I have you on the phone, can I confirm your home number? *rattles off number*
Me: Yep, that's correct
Dr: Oh, because I could have swore when I called the machine said I called the wrong number

Dude, I was rollin'! I explained the situation - what with MM getting the old number of a doctor's office and our reason for putting that on the machine - and she laughed. And was apparently laughing the next day when I brought The Girl in, because she mentioned it to me when I signed in. And so did the nurse who took The Girl's vitals. And so did the doctor when he finally came into the room.

Apparently we're infamous for our answering machine. I told MM it's probably time to change it, but he said no way, this just made it even sweeter that we have that on there.

Freakin MM.

I will admit...it was pretty funny. "I'll call the other nuuumber!"

HA!

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