Archive for December, 2007

Purging

Monday, December 31st, 2007

The end of the year is always a good time to say goodbye to things we no longer need or use. As it happens, I’ve been culling through some things on my bookshelves as I rearrange the junk and move it from one area to the other. I’ve filled an entire trash bag and another grocery bag with recycling, but I’ve also got a giant stack of stuff sitting here on the office room floor just begging for a new home. I wonder if any of my readers could use some of this stuff. I’ve separated it into lots, and if you’re willing to pay the postage, or if you’re local and willing to pick it up, it’s yours first-comment, first-serve.

Lot #1 Food Allergies (3 lbs 11 oz.)
The Parent’s Guide to Food Allergies by Marianne S. Barber et. al.
The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook by Marjorie Hurt Jones
The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook by Cybele Pascal

Lot #2 Super Sock Yarn
Okay, not really so super. But it’s kind of super-man colors. This was an experiment last summer that I just don’t love, not even enough to put up in the etsy shop.

Lot #3 Old Palm Pilot
This is a Palm V that used to be Joe’s. I had an identical one, and it was great for its time – about six or seven years ago. It comes with the manual and all the cables and cradle and stuff, including a very nice Coach case that fits it perfectly. You’ll have to download the software to synch it up to your computer, but it should still work just fine.

And finally, a copy of Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perrie, aka Crazy Aunt Purl. I just finished reading it, and it was a fun read. I really liked it, but it’s not the kind of book I think I’d read again. I mean, I really identified with aspects of Laurie’s personality – the awkward, funny, just-wanting-to-be-liked part. And I really identify, both in her book and blog, with her attitude of doing the best she can in the moment, of moving forward one step at a time.

Oh, and one other thing – I’d like to spread the joy. If you’ve won anything in a contest here before, please hold back and give someone else a change this time.

Monkey off my Back

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

No, I haven’t been knitting the Monkey socks. But I do have a finished object to report! Actually, I have two finished objects to report, but only one really counts. I finally finished the border on the mitered-square blanket my class started at camp this summer, and it’s blocking right now.

To review, I spent a week up at Camp Unistar over the summer with my family, and I (mostly) paid for our trip with my job there teaching knitting to the campers. The camp is run by and for the Unitarian church, and Unitarians are really into community service, so I planned ahead and brought a bunch of Plymouth Encore in a striping colorway. Any camper who wanted to could knit up a mitered square to go into a baby blanket for charity.

I knit up a couple of squares to start them off, then the rest of the campers pitched in and made enough to complete the project. Then, I was stuck with the “fun” part of sewing it together and knitting on a border. I put this off long enough, and as soon as the December gift knitting was done, I jumped back on it. I have to say it’s a little psychedelic – not quite as beautiful as I’d hoped. But it is nice and warm, and this afternoon as I was knitting on the last few rows of border, Julie told me she wished I’d make her a blanket like it. So it must not be all bad.

I’m going to make a call or two next week to find this blankie a home. I definitely want to give it to a local charity – there are plenty of babies in our area who don’t have enough warm things for our cold winters. I was originally thinking of the Minneapolis crisis nursery, and I think they will be my first call – but I see on their donations page that they don’t want blankets – or maybe they just don’t want *used* blankets. We’ll see. A second option may be the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Agency – I think I remember having donated something to them through the Guild a few years ago, and I know they visit moms with new babies.

In any case, it’s a feel-good finished object, and I feel like I’m finally fulfilling my promise to my campers who worked so hard to help make this blanket for some special baby who needs it.

Oh, and the not-so-feel-good project recently completed…

Here are the clogs I was working on for Joe. It turns out I *did* knit the size bigger than he needs, so I will be whipping up another pair for him right away. Also, I ran them through the dryer in an attempt to get those last unruly spots to go ahead and felt already. You know, every time I’ve made a felted project, it seems there are always one or two little spots that just don’t want to shrink down and give up their stitch definition. That was certainly the case here. I thought the dryer might help get those spots to shrink, but it didn’t. And now they’re dry and lumpy looking. I need to run them through the wash one more time and stuff something in there to keep their shape while they dry. I may keep them for myself around the house, or more likely, I’ll put some soles on them and give them to someone next Christmas. They are quite cozy – I was wearing them around last night.

I have to say, though – as nifty as these clogs are, and as popular as they are among recipients, it’s a pattern that I just don’t really enjoy knitting. It’s too futzy. Not an interesting kind of futzy, like color work or something flashy. No, just futzy of the kind where you’re always counting your stitches, picking up stitches, doing three-needle bind-offs, and sewing up seams. Bleh. Still – worth it if it can make someone you love happy, I suppose.

Recipe Box

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting wants to see our recipe boxes, and I want a spot in the contest.

I don’t use a recipe box – I stole an idea from a friend of mine several years ago, and picked out a pretty three-ring binder at an office supply store.

Actually, now I have two. The top one is for recipes in my regular rotation, the bottom one is for holiday food and other occasional-use recipes. I love this method of organizing them for several reasons. You can use clear plastic page protectors and pull the recipe out with its sleeve when you need it. The plastic keeps me from spilling food all over the paper (and trust me, I am always wiping those suckers clean). It’s also nice when you’ve torn something out of a magazine or have an oddly-shaped piece of paper to be able to just slide it in a page protector and it fits right in with the rest. It seems like most of my recipes are ones I’ve printed out from various websites over time, so it’s nice being able to accommodate letter sized paper without having to fold it.

The recipe I’m choosing to share is one that my father won a cooking contest with when I was a little kid, and I used to ask for it whenever I had the occasion to pick a special meal. I call it Dad’s Yummy Chicken, and I have it here in my collection of recipes that are friendly to people with multiple food allergies.

Thanks for the contest, Kay!

Christmas Loot

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

In my after-Christmas post, I mentioned lots of the gifts everyone else got, but I totally neglected to mention the awesome gifts I received. I figure after all the hard work y’all went to helping me figure out what I wanted, you deserve to know that I did end up getting some nice swag that pleased me to no end. There is much to be said for telling our dear, beloved husbands exactly what we are wishing for right before a major gift-giving holiday.

First, I knew I was getting pajamas, and I had a pretty clear idea of exactly which pajamas I was getting. I wanted flannel pajamas, but not the kind with the button-down flannel top – I wanted a t-shirt type top, but not a short-sleeved one. Long sleeves are better for cold winter evenings around our old house. I saw what I wanted on a certain page in the Eddie Bauer catalog, and there were several colors to choose from. I pointed the page out to Joe and told him I’d be happy with any one of the colors and that he should pick.

The stinker ended up buying me three sets – one of each color. I was actually pretty happy about that since all of my winter pajamas were old, stained, ill-fitting, falling apart, or all of the above. I’ve set all the old ones aside and will throw them away in a few weeks once it is clear that our laundry cycle will keep me in clean pajamas without needing to save the old ones as backup. Flannel pajamas aren’t exactly wildly exciting, but they sure are a nice little luxury that I enjoy every single night. Oh! and I just looked – it seems that E.B. has these jammies on sale now, so go snag a set for yourself. They even come in tall sizes, so for once I’m walking around with jammies dragging a bit on the floor instead of halfway up my shins, exposing my legs to the chilly drafts we sometimes experience around here.

Buried at the bottom of one of the pajama boxes was this:

I have wanted this book for so long. I hadn’t held a copy in my hands for quite some time, and I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I love the lace patterns in it as I paged through again. It made me want to cast on for some new lace project immediately, or maybe just sit around swatching them all for a while. I’ve resisted that temptation so far, and probably will for a while – I have other plans for my knitting for the next few months, to be explained soon. He found a nice copy, too. Thanks, sweetie!

Oh, and in my stocking were a couple of packets of my favorite stitch markers and a gift certificate for my favorite yarn store. I kind of knew about the stitch markers a few days before Christmas when Julie came and sat in my lap after I’d spent the afternoon with Sophie while Julie and Joe ran errands (or something – that was the day Sophie and I were super sick and tired, and we’d been napping together). Julie said “Daddy bought you stitch markers!” And later that night when I mentioned it to him, he told me he’s told her it was a secret. Ha! At least the gift certificate was a surprise.

Okay, this one wasn’t mine, but really it was for me as much as the girls. I think I had it in Julie’s stocking. It’s just so cute!

It’s got grass seeds and some kind of growing medium and will soon sprout little grass hairs.

Even though I had hinted about the knitting calendars, I didn’t get one of them in my stocking, so after Christmas the girls and I hit the mall and I ended up getting copies of both of them for half off.

I think this year I might actually resist the urge to flip through them all at once and maybe look at a page every day, or at least keep up with them a couple times a week or so as I remember to.

Also while we were at the mall, I picked up a new belt. I’m still wearing some of my too-big pants because I want to hold off on buying new pants till I’ve lost a few more pounds (must start counting points again soon!) The belt I was using was falling apart, so I just needed something simple and functional. I picked one out that said $28 on the tag, and when I went to pay for it, it rang up at $2.80. Somehow, it was on sale 90% off, but was not labeled that way. I call that a gift!

In the what-we’ve-been-up-to category, today was an Ikea day. We realized, while trying to put away the new Christmas toys, that we were out of storage in the living room. So we went and picked up a new bookcase, which will actually go in my office room, so that I can move some of my stuff out of the living room and make room for games and puzzles out there. Here’s Julie in the ball pit there. She loves it when we drop her off and let her play while we shop.

Joe’s off all this week, through New Year’s Day, and I came on this scene one afternoon:

And this scene a different afternoon:

Sophie likes her new sled…

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

We had a lovely, if slightly excessive Christmas today yesterday. I’m afraid we may have gone overboard on the gifts after all, but if that’s the worst of it, I suppose we did pretty well.

Joe’s parents had agreed to come over and have breakfast with us so they could be here to watch the girls open their presents. We thought they were coming over at 9, and planned to just let the girls wake us up and figured we’d be up in plenty of time. Well, the girls slept in a bit because they’d been up late the night before. And Joe’s parents thought we’d agreed on 8. So I’m laying there in bed half awake and I thought I heard a thump downstairs, which got me more awake, but I laid there for a few more minutes anyway. And when I dragged myself down to start the casserole baking, there they were waiting for us – they have a house key. But it all worked out, and they were gracious about it.

While we waited for the food to cook, the girls opened up their stocking gifts. They were both thrilled with their dolls.

And there were many other things in there that were also deemed acceptable. I took pictures of most of that loot – do you all care what little trinkets they got in their stockings? Julie is looking in a kaleidoscope here.

Sophie had a struggle getting her things out of the stocking, but that just made the fun last a bit longer.

We still had a bit of time left before breakfast, so they dug into a few prezzies. Sophie did pretty well tearing the paper off, with only a little bit of help.

Here she is admiring a new doggie bath towel. This was really a practical gift – the towels we have for them are all the ones meant for infants, and they really are getting worn out and too small for bundling them up after baths on chilly nights.

Julie trying out the stencil set.

And Sophie trying out a remote-control car (which we added to the list after my initial present post because it seemed like Julie had way more presents than she did.)

Finally, the breakfast was ready. An egg strata, from a simple recipe that allows you to do most of the prep work a day or two ahead of time, so final assembly is almost nothing. So tasty!

And, uh, those cherry turnovers that come out of a can. So naughty! So delicious. Joe’s mom really enjoyed hers. I could have eaten about two more of them if there had been more to share around.

Aren’t Joe’s parents cute in their matching red sweaters?

Breakfast was over, and we resumed the gift opening…once Julie found her towel, they both modeled them for us.

Sophie enjoyed the melody harp, and in fact, Julie is out in the living room with Joe playing it right now.

The trampoline was a hit, although getting them to use it safely may be a challenge. (As in, keeping only one child on it at a time, getting them to hold, but not climb on the handle bar, etc.)

And here are a couple of little videos of the girls playing with their new toys. Sophie’s ball-rolling toy…

and a silly duck puppet that quacks songs.

Here’s what was in Joe’s stocking – a copy of A Christmas Story, which I think is one of Joe’s favorite Christmas movies (it’s SO his sense of humor); a book of Yoshimoto Nara postcards – he’s one of Joe’s favorite artists; a head lamp that attaches to a baseball cap – Joe loves any excuse to get his headlamp out, and this one is small and easy to use; a jar of bacon-flavored salt because he is a bacon fiend; Pocky because it’s one of the few candy-type things Joe likes; and a mini terrarium for growing venus flytraps because *I* thought it looked like fun.

Joe’s parents headed home, and we spent a relatively quiet day trying out the new toys, and generally relaxing until it was time for the party to start once more. First the cousins arrived…Nathan learned how to walk since we last saw him at Thanksgiving.

And here is the whole family at the end of the evening.

Here is the luminary ice sculpture that our neighbors made for us – we love it when they bring these over.

And a wide view of our home just before the guests showed up.

Oh, and finally a little video of Joe using the snow blower. I thought it was funny because our driveway slopes a bit at the street, and he was sliding the last several feet down to the end.

Now I must go continue cleaning up the aftermath – I can hardly wait for this weekend to take down the tree and get all the crap put away! I love Christmas, and I’m always glad when it’s over.

Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Party the first is over, and it was a fine success. But first, let’s look at the lunchtime scene from yesterday. I can’t believe how big Sophie is getting. She’s got such an independent streak in her – lately she’s been insisting on sitting at the table like a big girl, and it’s so cute, although she’s having a hard time with the concept of staying put through the duration of the meal.

My cousin, his wife, and her parents came over for dinner and brought with them gifties for the girls…

Julie got a Dora-branded dancing-mat game, and Sophie got a Fisher-Price Little People dinosaur set.

And then it was time for the game. It involves drawing numbers, taking turns opening presents and/or stealing gifts from others. We started off with quite the stack.

Sophie was in charge of opening gifts at my turns.

Julie was deemed big enough to play the game in her own right.

Some of the prizes are actually desirable to one extent or another. Other gifts are a little – well – less so. Here’s cousin Ron having just opened a Jesse Ventura action figure doll. Sophie was quite interested in it. And by the way, yes, this is my cousin Ron who was shot in the chest last month. He is on the mend, but still has a way to go. He was obviously tired and in some pain, especially as the evening wore on. But, thank the gods, he was here, playing Uncle Ron to the girls. He is really good with children, and my girls love him.

Finally, the party was over and Joe and I were cleaning up. He spent a few minutes sorting through the game prizes, culling out the stuff we couldn’t use in the end. And then I caught him playing with Jesse. I’m not even going to tell you what he was doing to our poor ex-govenor.

Julie left a plate of cookies and veggies out for Santa and his reindeer. Look! They must have been here because someone has nibbled at it all and eaten the cookies.

Oh, and look! The stockings are full.

And now it is time for me to go to bed. Joe’s parents are coming over for present-opening and brunch at the crack ‘0 dawn. Tomorrow will be a busy busy day.

And Now Back to Our Regular Scheduled Programming

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Hey, all my wonderful readers – thanks for your support this week. I really appreciate all your wishes for a wonderful holiday for our family. We are so gearing up for it! I know you want to see some of the fun we’ve been up to.

We made some pom-poms the other day. I raided my stash and found a few bits and pieces of yarn I was willing to contribute to the project, and got out my trusty set of Clover pom-pom makers. I’d tried this last year with Julie, and she wasn’t ready for it. This year she did a lot better, and even made one or two of her own. With a little help.

Sophie “helped” too. She had a blast tangling up all the bits and pieces she got her hands on.

Even Daisy cat got in on the action. The scene under the tree has since changed drastically – Joe and I finished wrapping all the presents, and it’s pretty full under there now.

And some of the fruits of our labor.

A few nights ago I boiled a chicken and made up a pot of chicken noodle soup from scratch. It is SO easy to make chicken noodle soup, and it was so perfect for our puny little family at the moment.

The clogs for Joe are coming right along. They just need second soles before felting. Except oops – I realized last night that I think I’m knitting the wrong size. He has small feet, and I think I’m knitting bigger than he needs. I can’t remember what size I knit for him before. So I’m going to go ahead and finish this pair and knit another if necessary. Either way, they’re not going to be done before Christmas.

And finally, a couple of product endorsements. I’ve been all crazy cleaning these last few days. Normally, I’m not all that huge into cleaning. I mean, I love a clean house as much as the next person, but it’s just not usually the first on my list of priorities. But since we are now hosting both Christmas Eve and Christmas night, I figured it couldn’t hurt to spiff the place up. And it helped that I had a few hours by myself to get a head start. So that meant I had a bit of extra time over the last day or so to do some detail work a step above and beyond scrubbing the toilets. And I tried a couple of products I don’t normally get around to using.

First, on the left that’s a Swiffer dusting tool. Joe actually bought these, and I don’t usually dust because dust is even lower on my list of priorities than toilets. But there was time, and there are guests coming, so I tried this thingie. It works really well, and was even kind of fun to use. I did feel a little guilty about the disposable aspect to it. I have to wonder how it compares to the usefulness of a feather duster, which is permanently reusable.

On the right is a packet of Pledge Stainless Steel Wipes. Now, I have to admit that I have tried more than once to get the fingerprints and water stains off my stainless steel appliances, and I’ve been less than satisfied with the results of at least two or three products. I don’t know what possessed me to try this product, but it ended up in my shopping cart and I brought it home. I couldn’t believe how well they worked, and with how little elbow grease. Look at my fridge!

And it was addictive. Once I finished the fridge, I did the rest of the appliances and even cleaned up the hood over the range. Those darn things even cut through the grease up there. Again, they have the evil chemical and disposable landfill filler thing going against them. But there you have it, I’m glad I bought ‘em and I’ll probably buy them again.

Okay, and here’s a little Christmas present for you in case there’s no post between now and then…

Merry Christmas, if you celebrate it, and peace and joy all around.

Dear Dad: Bugger The Fuck Off!

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

And open letter to my father, Jack Dale Rhoads, aka Jack Rhoads of Columbia, Missouri (Columbia MO).*

Dear Dad,

My In-laws just left for the afternoon with my girls – they’re taking them to their house so that I have a blessed few hours alone in the house to clean and prepare for hosting Christmas here in a few days. When they came to pick up the girls, they dropped off a card from you, which arrived at their house just like one has every year since we lived with them for a few months while transitioning to this house a few years ago.

A Christmas card every year, and the occasional guilt-laden e-mail every year or two are the only communications I’ve received from you since I cut off communications with you six years ago. Those guilt-laden e-mails with the photos attached of my niece and nephew who I will probably never meet because my sister is so angry with me for refusing to put up with the lifetime of crap you’ve subjected me to, and honestly because I can’t deal with her either in her state of denial about just how bad my childhood and early adulthood were.

Let me remind you of the reasons why I can’t deal with you. First, there was the physical abuse. The constant knuckles rapped on my head from as early as I can remember, the pants-down spankings after church almost every Sunday for years because I couldn’t sit as still as you wanted me to during the sermon. Worse than that, though, were the constant put-downs and emotional abuse. You were always picking on me. I was the family scape-goat. Your own brothers and sisters have admitted to me that they noticed this when we were at family get-togethers – how Jackie (my sister) was never wrong and somehow I was always to blame. I know I was a squirrelly kid, but I couldn’t have been that squirrelly! You were always telling other people how horrid I was too.

And let me just add one more thing to the list that I don’t think I’ve mentioned directly to you before, although we’ve talked around it in the past. I do think it was partly your fault that my mother’s live-in boyfriend sexually abused me for months on end, and that when I finally came forward to make him stop he was not prosecuted. If you had been a bigger part of my life, maybe I would have had someone I felt safe telling. Maybe you would have noticed some of the warning signs that I’m sure were there. And good gods, why on earth didn’t *you* see to it that he was prosecuted? Why didn’t you yank me the hell out of her house immediately? And why on earth when I came begging and crying to your house, asking for a safe place to spend the last couple years of high school, didn’t you make me feel at home, but instead let your wife call me a guest and refuse to even empty out a spare room for me to keep my things in? I can add all this now after years of therapy – don’t worry, I think I’ve figured out the answers, and to be honest, the hurt doesn’t even hurt that much any more – I’m just trying to remind you of the things *you* need to figure out.

The final straw, let me remind you, was when you told my then-future in-laws at my engagement party (the first time you met them) that I was bad for their son, and that I had “moved to Minnesota to run away from all the horrible things I’d done in Missouri.” No parent should every say something like that about their child, even if it is true. But in my case it wasn’t even close to true. The closest to truth I can honestly come to that remark is that I moved away from Missouri to put distance between you and me – to get away from the poison in our family.

So there. The tip of our family iceberg of skeletons in the closet (how’s that for mixed cliches?) is out there for the whole world to see. I have no shame. I don’t think I can possibly be in the wrong here. I was a child. I was muddling through the best that I could. You were the grownup, the one with the power. Now let’s go back to that card you sent me -

Oh, and readers, click on it to see the full size, but I’ll just transcribe what it says here for you – his writing is hard to read.

“Hi, another year got off to a rough start but made it any way. In February I spent 4 days in Hospital with 4 units of blood. Last week I had a echo stress treadmill exam and the doc said they won’t have to replace the valve for at least 6 months. As always our door is open. I have 2 of your old dolls I will send after the 1st of the year if this is a good address. dad.”

Oh, where to start with this? Well, let’s start with the fact that I asked you to never communicate with me again until you were prepared to go get some therapy and figure out why you are compelled to treat me so horribly and learn how to behave like a decent human being. And then you would need to come back to me with a pretty huge, deep, sincere apology. At that point I would be willing to gradually open a relationship with you. I mean, maybe I would visit by myself and spend some time with you, and if you behave, maybe you could earn a visit with my children. But that would depend on Joe’s input too. He’s not all that fond of you, see.

Secondly, you open up your letter with a giant load of health information, sort of mid-stream with no background. Sounds like you’ve been having heart problems. I’m sorry to hear that. Sorry in the way that I feel sorry for the mean old neighbor lady who lives next door to me who is in kidney failure. I feel badly for her and her family, but I’m not going to go over there with a plate of cookies after she stood in my yard and told me in front of my kids that she thinks interracial relationships are wrong. It sounds like maybe you’re scared, and I hope things get better for you. Maybe also this would be a good time to look at your life and think about what kinds of things you’d like to change before it’s too late? That is totally up to you.

Which leads me to the “our door is always open” crap. You’ve pulled that every time you’ve sent me a card. I find it freakin’ hilarious! Yeah, your door is open. Mine is the one that’s closed. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt!

And about the old toys. Yeah, actually, I would love to have them. While you’re at it, see if you can snag some of the stuff that I’m sure my mother has hidden away somewhere. One of the saddest things about having lost my family the way I did is that I don’t have many artifacts of my childhood. I’d love to have some pictures of myself as a little kid too. Send the album! I’ll even scan them and ship it back to you. You can send them to the address you sent the card to if you’d like. But don’t think that doing these material favors is going to change the way I feel about opening up other communications.

And finally, why, now, after six years of silence, am I finally spilling this all out? I’m tired of spending Christmas pissed off at you. Every year I get the same crappy card from you that brings up the same anger at your stupidity. I’ve been through a lot of therapy, and I’ve worked through about 95 percent of my anger and hurt and grief about all this family crap. There will always be a little bit left, and I think I have most of the tools I need to deal with it pretty well. But I’m tired of spending my already spread-thin energy at Christmas time processing this shit. Pick a different time of year – how about March – not much going on in March – to deal with me – not four days before Christmas.

Whew. Now I feel better. I’m going to go clean my house and write up the menus and grocery lists for *my* family’s holiday. Merry Fucking Christmas.

*I’m including your name and location this way to insure that Google and all the other search engines will grab it and this will be pretty much the top thing people find when they come looking for you on the ‘net. One of the joyous things about having a semi-popular web log is that I can actually use this tiny little power of mine when I’m pissed off enough (never before) and when dealing with someone not already graced with much, if any, web presence. And the unusual spelling of your last name kind of comes in handy for once as well.

Oh! The Trials!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Amazing how difficult it is to peel an entire bowlful of chocolate
kisses without popping every third one in your mouth, even when you know
that they are for a good cause.

A good cause like peanut butter blossom cookies, being baked just for
fun and casual eating, as there is already a dozen sitting
double-zipper-bagged in the freezer waiting for the Christmas guests.

This batch is to help me survive an entire day in the house with my two
girls, all of us just sick enough to be whiney, clingy, tired snotty
messes, yet still in need of ample entertainment. There is little so
good as a peanut butter cookie (made with real, unadulterated,
trans-fat-free, chunky peanut butter and real butter in place of the
shortening) just cool enough to be picked up without falling apart, just
warm enough that the chocolate you've squished in the center is still
gooey-melty. And don't forget the glass of cold milk, please.

Julie

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Woke up with a fever this morning – signaling the onset of her turn with
our nasty cold, I'm sure. No school for her today, so I let her stay in
her pajamas. She looks really upset about it, huh?