Archive | April 2014

Good-bye baby toy project

You know how sometimes a project lurks in the back of your mind.  You don’t really want to do it, not because it is hard, but you just don’t want to have to do it.  Daily I feel that way about poopy diapers, this is like that feeling x100


I did, however, start today.  My ‘baby’ woke us up at 6am and wanted to get going on the day so we started going through all the toy boxes and I weeded out the baby-baby toys.  I have a friend having a baby in July so they are going to a good home but it is still on the sad side.


On top of that, I have to do it while they are all gone because even though they are rattles and teethers they become MY FAVORITE, I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT toys if they saw me putting them away.  So, I’m sad to see the baby things go and it isn’t even balanced by my darling children cavorting around me reminding me why 3 is enough and I have 3!

technically LLamar is not going, but, all the others were already packed when I decided to write this.

To find a middle ground between heartless and hoarder I’m keeping 1 or 2 toys and I’m taking pictures of the others.  I have a slew of free photo book offers kicking around so I will make a lovely book with pictures and my memories and the story of the special toys.  In reality, only some are special, far fewer then I thought – plenty just got cleaned and put in the box to go.  As of now, I have a full diaper box of toys ready for their next baby.

Neighbors… everybody needs good Neighbors

I might be the only person in MN to have ever seen that TV show but when you only get one channel in english you watch what is on it!  Anway… for years in the back of my mind I’ve toyed with the idea of making a melodrama about my neighbors.  Total fiction but great to blog about.  I never did because this isn’t really a spot for fiction – possibly not a place for the whole truth either but you get the idea.


Anyway… Things have actually gotten interesting.  Before anyone worries, we are a few houses down a loop road that basically nobody goes on and I feel that drugged up teens are not motivated walkers so I feel fairly safe down here at the end of the block.  I also lock doors and keep a weaponized husband plus my phone is always in my pocket so we are prepared.  So there is a shady looking house on the lake near us.  It has been shady since we moved in and has not improved.  We were warned early by the nice neighbors (the vast majority) to NOT trick or treat there and generally stay away.  We have, they don’t bother us, we don’t bother them and they live in a downward spiral of squalor but whatever.  Recently things have changed a bit.


1. a month or two ago some very high kids tried to push in the door to one of the houses right by this shady house.  The wife was home and didn’t let them in and they were yelling on her porch and she locked the door and told them to wait, she would be back in 5 min.  They actually did?!?  Then they sat on her porch and she called the police and they were collected so two less idiots on the streets but scary.


2. Easter Sunday was a gorgeous day so we were in and out of our back deck all day.  I notice a police car, then another, then 5… then guys with vests and guns entering the house.  I didn’t really want to see this but the view is fairly easy.  In the end a tow truck appeared and took away the pickup truck in the driveway.  I thought that was an awful lot of trouble to go to for a repossession…  We went for a walk and talked to a neighbor who said that the truck did NOT belong to the people who owned the house. They came up to open the house (they are summer people) and saw the strange truck and called the police.  Nothing was wrong in the house but still….


2a.  While talking to the neighbor on our walk the police came up to us and asked us if we had noticed that truck around and when etc.  Sadly I did remember because I take fifty million car trips through the neighborhood every day and I notice cars that are there.  Since we had the officers attention we asked him about the shady house, how could such an obvious place still exist after so many years?  He said yes, they know about it, but they can’t really clean it up because of lack of evidence.  Apparently we have bright criminals on the block; they don’t break any laws, their cars are in date, they don’t use a trash service….  It is however like a police pez dispenser since they just wait for someone to leave and then arrest them.  I’m sure it is the equivalent of a random 30mph section of road in between two 55 mph zones for catching speeders.


3. This one is a mystery actually.  I was gardening in the front yard last week (before it turned arctic and ugly again) and Fiona was very happily playing and out of the corner of my eye I see a car park at the end of the road.  White sedan, not a police car.  Out of the car comes a guy in a bulletproof vest and a large looking weapon.  At that point I pick up Fiona and go inside because I like to live in my bubble.  I risk a look out the back door and see a marked police car so I’m relieved that it wasn’t a citizen in a vest with a gun but I just go back inside and MYOB.  I have no idea what happened next but I’m keeping my eyes open.


Now I’m being extra watchful of the shady house and the random coming and going of my neighbors.  I’m either bored or practicing to be an old lady.  Either way there is real ‘stuff’ going on in the neighborhood worth writing about so thats cool!


I will have to keep an eye out for more fun things to write about and resist all urges fostered by too many mystery novels to do anything about the situation other than observe from afar.

Freezer meal – Pot Pie

I’m putting this up here so I can pin it.  A good friend e-mailed me the recipe (no clue where she originally got it) and anytime I want to make it I need to mine my e-mail.  I know I could print it but then I would need to mine my kitchen and that is even less organized than gmail.  Given that the whole point of Pinterest is to Pin things you want to reference quickly I am blogging it so I can then  pin it and in the future reference this copy.

This is a pot-pie that I actually like.  It is hearty, easy, and NOT sloppy.  We have varied the protein and also made this kosher by removing the meat and adding a second type of bean.  For our family it is easily 2 meals for each pie so that equals 4 meals.  I’m making this for our freezer meal exchange since it is such an easy recipe to scale up.  I’m not posting the actual original recipe but I’m posting what  I do for two reasons; 1. it is easier to just make the recipe rather than remember what I do different.  2. Since I changed a few things I feel better about publishing it.

Without further adu

Beans in the pot, pie crusts in the boxes, and my cuman is being stolen….

Southwestern Pie

prep time 15 min
total time 1 hr 10 min
ingredients 15
servings 6 per pie, yield; 2 pies


2 boxes Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

9oz chicken – boiled or baked and then shredded (I have also used pork)
1/2cup uncooked instant brown rice
15 oz/ 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed – I use dried beans to cut the sodium –  **note dried beans are apx 2x heavier when cooked
11 oz/1 can whole kernel corn – I use frozen to avoid the sodium
1can (2 1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained <- I consider this completely optional and leave it out
1teaspoon ground cumin
1/2teaspoon salt **salt meat to taste, original recipe called for pre prepared and mexican ‘flavored’ chicken (yuck!)
1/2teaspoon pepper
1cup sour cream
1cup  salsa
2cups shredded colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (8 oz)
1egg, beaten
1to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley <- also optional in my opinion


1 Heat oven to 400°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan.
2 In large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients except egg and parsley. Pour into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust. Brush top with beaten egg; sprinkle with parsley.


taste as you cook…

before the lids went on

3 Bake 38 to 48 minutes or until golden brown. After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Selfie Sat

Joining the hoard at Costco

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Never turn your back

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Lawn service

A tidy law and an hour of entertainment all for a very reasonable price.

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