Sunday, February 28, 2010

Party Pictures

Pictures from Mikey's Birthday night. That's me below, presenting him with his cake.

Then here is our dining room, decorated for the party. My brother Sam is going to be twenty tomorrow, so we've left the streamers and stuff up so we only have to add a few things for him. Just so it's a little different. We don't want him to feel like he's only good enough for leftovers. Aren't they spoiled. I'll probably just add a few more balloons and curl some ribbons and hang them from the chandelier. He's shy about celebrating anyhow. And my Mom gave him all his presents yesterday because he was in a bad mood. Personally, I would have made him wait. It builds character to learn how to pull yourself out of a slump.
Here, below, is the meal Mikey chose for his Birthday dinner. It sounds simple, but boy was it actually a lot of work. Homemade french fries, fried haddock, and a yummy salad. The french fries took forever to peel, soak, and fry twice. Because, my mother claimed, that is how the French do it so they stay crispy. They were, in fact, totally awesome fries. Perfection in a potato, but lots of effort for the outcome. Same with the fish. But Yummy, Yummy, Yummy!!!
And, of course, the cake. A white cake with a raspberry buttercream frosting, layered with raspberry jam. And, topped with fresh berries! Mikey likes chocolate but he really can't eat it because it gives him headaches and then we have to listen to him complain. So he got the chocolate haters dream cake instead. We liked it too. But it didn't really come out as good as it should have. I'm not exactly sure what I did wrong. I mean, it was edible, even tasty. But just not right. It should have been much more light and fluffy. It was supposed to be six layers, and it ended up being only three because my cakes just didn't puff up like they were supposed to. Maybe I didn't whip it enough. Maybe my raising agents were bad. Whatever it was, I don't know, but I do know that I won't rush to make this recipe again. I only like to reuse recipes that work great without a lot of fancy moves and rules. But, alas, it fulfilled its birthday cake role.
And lastly, Mikey's big smile as he blew out his candles. I think he was really happy that we did so much for him for his B-day. I haven't done much for the past couple years, just because we've been so bumming. We just had to work so much, any extra effort was just too much. So, finally, we can appreciate the finer moments of existence. We can enjoy the highlights of life. We have the time, finally, to pay attention to the details rather than just slogging through the best we can.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!!!!!


Everyone must have a morning, at least every now and then, when they just don't want to get up and it seems like everything sucks even though nothing has even begun yet. Today is that day for me. Maybe it will get better by the time I get back from the clinic. I just don't feel well and it's cold and gray, again. Aside from nothing, I really have, oh, let's see, NOTHING, to bitch about. So I'll be on my way and see if it doesn't get better.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Long day, too tired to post right now. Just made a really easy dinner. Egg noodles, broccoli, peas, chicken, garlic with lemon, butter sauce. Yummy, quick, cheap, easy. Goodnight.
It's gray and snowy on the coast of southern New Hampshire today. It would be a beautiful day to go stand by the ocean. I imagine it as so pale and serene. Maybe I will try to find time to head over to the beach later on. Although, I feel as if the day has already slid away right beneath my feet. Where did the morning go? Where did the afternoon go, for that matter? One minute ago it was six-thirty in the morning, and now it's almost late enough that I could have a glass of wine without seeming like a total wino. But I'm not going to have wine because it's making me fat. Well, I don't think there is really a single ailment in the world that can be attributed to just one thing. Any occurrence is caused by multiple factors converging to cause a specific result based on that particular combination of events. Meaning, it's not just the wine that contributes to my fat cells growing. It's all the other food I eat as well, my over fondness for pastry, and my under active desire for exercise.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Who Doesn't Like Fairies?

How cool are these pictures of smooshed fairies? Awesome!!! It's from a book called Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book. The actual book is SO much better, obviously, than just a couple of computer images. Totally worth checking out if
fairies are your thing.

Birthdays and An Electric Outage

The weather here in NH has been nutty for the past twenty-four hours or so. It's been raining for a few days, but last night the wind became so strong it blew the screen off the second story window to my Mother's bedroom. A tree was felled in the yard across the road, and we lost electricity around eleven.

Luckily we had a fire going which created enough light to see by. We were able to gather candles and flashlights, enough for each of us to get to our rooms. And luckily the night was more or less at an end by the time the lights went out. Hours had gone by since we cleaned up from dinner. And because we live very near by the Exeter Hospital, our electricity was restored by about two a.m.; but the rest of the town was dark still when I began my drive to the clinic at six-thirty this morning. It was a traffic disaster because none of the traffic lights were working, people were charging intersections all at once, yielding to no one. And even worse, the gas stations were out of commission. And I was on empty. I thought that I could make it a few exits down to the next area with a gas station, but as I approached I realized that they too had no lights, and their pumps were also down. I was a bit worried at this point. It wasn't until I made it the entire forty miles to Manchester that I was able to find an open gas station; I putted in on fumes, just barely. It could have been a bad scene since I was alone and I still don't have my license back. If I had run out of gas on the side of the highway and a State Police Officer had driven up upon me, I would have had problems for sure. But luck was on my side, as usual.

I should have my license back soon though. My Mom has been helping me out so much, I feel absurdly indebted to her right now. I try to do as much around the house as far as cooking, cleaning, and various other chores and errands to make up for a small chunk of what she has given to me. Of course, as children, we can never really fully repay our parents for all that they have given us. In essence, we owe them a life, which is priceless. But just because I'll never catch up doesn't mean I can give up trying. It's important for me to show my gratitude as often and genuinely as possible. I think my Mom appreciates how much I am truly grateful for what she does for me. Because my siblings are often short in the gratitude department, I think it means all that much more for me to show thankfulness since she doesn't get it often enough.

But I still feel guilty and pathetic for having to accept her generosity to begin with. I know that for me to move ahead, I need to clear my blemished past. I need a license to do anything. I can't get a job without a license, and I can't pay my fines without a job. So I'm stuck in this vicious cycle. So I know that without accepting her help, I may never be able to help myself enough to ever repay her. So the fact that she paid off my NH fines is AMAZING! And she has promised to help me take care of the other states as she is able.

Even though in some ways I have reverted, like by moving back in with my Mom, and not having a job, accepting money to live from Mikey and my family, I still feel as if overall I am moving ahead. Not having the closest relationship with my family, harboring resentments, was blocking me from being happy and healthy. Working as hard and as long hours as I was just to scrounge by was causing such high levels of stress that it was making me physically ill. I was not happy being so isolated from my family, hours away with no license. If anything went wrong we were basically on our own. We were at least a half an hour from any of the few friends we had out there. If our car broke down, if we needed to borrow ten dollars for gas, if we needed someone to go to the doctors with us, it was always an ordeal. Now we have a support system in my family. They can be annoying, they can be lazy and emotionally volatile. But they will make sure that someone drives me to the clinic every day, no matter what. There is always someone there to talk to or ask a favor of, and it's a really satisfying feeling.
I'm beginning to feel as if I'm regaining a physical and emotional balance that I have not had for quite some time. My body is readjusting itself to not have to deal with as much stress and anxiety ALL THE TIME. I can finally relax, I don't feel like I'm fighting just to keep my head above water anymore. I don't have to take care of everything all by myself, I know my Mom will make sure we have food and electricity, whether we pay her or not, those things will be there. That's an amazing luxury that I have not had for over ten years. When my Mom doesn't see me struggling right in front of her, day in and day out, it's easy to think that we're doing fine. Especially since I won't tell her we're not unless something horrible has happened. So all this time, my brothers and sister have been benefitting from my Mom's generosity and I've been trying to go it alone. I should have accepted her help when I was younger and maybe I wouldn't be here now, in this humbling situation, at thirty-one years old. But here I am, Nellie the Late Bloomer (has anyone ever read the children's book, 'Leo the Late Bloomer? It's awesome.), but at least I feel as if I might actually be blooming, finally.

Anyway, here I go on and on, yap yapping about myself, as usual. I am, generally, my favorite topic. Aren't all Bloggers a little self-centered? We have to be to think we're interesting enough to publicly present our thoughts. Who are we to think anyone cares?

It's Mikey's Birthday today. He's thirty-two. He's been wanting to go to the casino in CT for his B-day for a while now. But, in typical Mikey and Nellie fashion, we didn't do our planning ahead of time and now we have to go a week after the original date of his actual birthday. It's also my brother Sam's birthday on March first, so we thought, since Sam and Mikey get along so well, that we would invite Sam along. He got wicked excited about it and then we realized that you have to be twenty-one to go to the CT casinos, and he's just turning twenty. So we found a place in upstate NY, called Turning Stone, and you only have to eighteen for that one. But it's, like, five hours away from us. And I didn't think, because I AM an idiot, about getting my methadone. Because we want to get a hotel room and stay for the weekend, so I'll need to set up host dosing somewhere. But since I just transferred clinics I'm not sure how cool they are about setting up guest dosing at another clinic. I imagine they'll be cool enough about it but since they have so many patients I don't think they'll be up for rushing the paperwork through on my account, and due to my own poor planning. So we're setting it up for next week. Hopefully it will be fun. I'm not really big into gambling, but I'll keep myself busy while they do guy stuff. That's kind of why I want to make it a group trip, so Mikey really enjoys himself and can play the games he wants to play.

But for tonight we're just making the dinner of his choice and this raspberry cream layer cake. Then he's getting some money to go toward the casino trip. And I think my brother's getting a laptop, thanks to me. My Mom was all talking about getting him a drum. And I was like, "Mom, Sam doesn't even know how to drum. And I've really never even heard him talk about wanting to learn". And she replied something along the lines of "Well, maybe he'll get into it, if I get him one. It will give him something to do". So I suggested a new laptop might be better because he spends all his time on the computer making videos and stuff. And he's been bitching, like, every day about how old, slow, and crappy his computer is. So, now, I believe that is what he's getting. I love him, but he's a spoiled little brat for sure. But at least I won't have to let him use mine anymore. Thankfully, because I spent, like, fifteen minutes this morning wiping the goop spots off the screen. I don't know how they manage to destroy things as quickly as they do, and with so little contact. It's a skill really.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a good day ahead of them. Everyone likes Friday's, right? It's the end of the week for a lot of people. It's almost March, almost Spring. Happy Friday.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rainy Day Wednesday

Rain, rain, most people would say go away, but not me. I like the rain. I may feel differently if it were to rain all day, every day. I lived in Portland, Oregon one fall, and I must say that I did get a bit tired of the rain there. But in general, I like that the whole world around me seems darker all day long. I like the slower pace of a rain day, cops don't want to get out of their cruisers so less people are pulled over, stores aren't as crowded because people stay in.

Ever since I read 'Another Roadside Attraction' by Tom Robbins, I make an effort to walk from my car to the house or store or whatever. By running you don't really get any less wet, all you do is stress yourself out and hunch yourself up. There's nothing wrong with getting a little wet anyway.

I had to do a lot of driving today in the rain. I don't mind that either. It's a little annoying being around other cars and the shit they spray up on the windshield, but it can be kind of pretty and relaxing, just watching the drops slide down the glass and get swooshed away. I had to drive my Mom to the doc for cortisone injections for pain in her neck or something. She can't drive herself home after the procedure because she's in pain and tired. So we did that today, and now I'm doing the dinner thing. I just put my dough for a blueberry pie in the fridge to chill. And we're having stuffed peppers and collard greens. Collards are really good if you tear them into smaller pieces of leaf and then saute them in a wok with olive oil and salt. They come out tender and juicy, and they're SO good for you.

Anyway, I better get cracking. I just wanted to check in today in case this is the only moment I could get my hands on my computer. Between Mikey and brother, it can be hard. Good Evening!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Trash Day

I love, love, love having my laptop out all the time. I've been leaving it out in the living room so I have been able to write more often. Plus I've put the smack down on Mike using it ALL the time. I usually have to pry it out of his hands. But lately, the past few days anyhow, it's been the other way around. Technically, though, it's mine. But I can't really be like that because, technically, all the income we live off of right now is his. So who needs to push pennies, really?

Oh, what am I doing? Monday is trash day and I always, always, always wait until the very last minute to put the trash out. I always start to get it together on Sunday night, but I never finish. So I really should be out there doing it right now. I'll be back.

Eeww, my brothers, and my sister, actually, smoke like chimney's. And they have this nasty little habit of putting their cigarette butts into cans of soda, beer, red bull, whatever they may have handy. A plain old drinking cup will do just fine if there is any amount of liquid in the bottom to put out the butt. It's F'n disgusting. Especially for the person who ends up cleaning it out of the cup after it's been sitting there stewing for who knows how long. But it's even worse when you're out in the cold, lugging the recycling, and one of those cans falls out of the bin, onto your thinly gloved hand and seeps into the wool, leaving a lovely ass and water scent. Yippy!

Well, I better get on with my day. My Mom is coming home from CT or RI, or wherever she is, today. I think my brother is coming home with her too. But maybe not since he apparently met a woman last night as he was coming back from a movie. I have yet to collect all the details, but I will definitely dish when I do. It's SO exciting. He really needs a girlfriend. He has dated the same girl on and off for almost ten years. They finally broke up, hopefully for good, just a couple months ago. She really wants to get back together, but he's had enough. I hope this new girl is cool and things work out. This could be the best thing that could EVER happen to him, as long as she's not a drug addict. I can't wait for him to come home and tell me more!

Anyway, I have a ton of cleaning to do, as usual. So I better run. I have so much I want to write about so I'll be posting again soon. Everyone must be SO excited that I now have a new, Oh so accessible, location for my laptop. And now I can write about nonsense and housework ALL DAY LONG!!! Whoo hooo!

Yeah, Right. I'll try to spare you somewhat. I don't have a lot of self-control though. So beware.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Coffee, Bud, and Cleaning

Most people would enter our house and see that it was really clean and well put together. On the surface it is, more often than not, vacuumed, dusted, and organized. But if you were to open any number or drawers or closets, you would be confronted with a mess that would assault all your senses.

I love my Mom, dearly; but she is extremely disorganized beneath the surface. It matters more to her that everything look at ease and pulled together upon first glance. I would rather clean things from the inside out, creating a more thorough feeling of clean. That generally means that things will look messy while the project is being completed. But then there is longer lasting harmony and cleanliness because it's easier to keep a space tidy if it is not overcrowded and chaotic.

That being said, her refrigerator has always been a point of disagreement between us. I like my fridge to be very clean and easy to navigate. That means no dried milk flaking upon the shelving. No puddles of maple syrup. No molding food, no rotten meat. And I like to be able to see everything I have, or else it doesn't get used soon enough and goes bad, hence we wasted a bunch of money. But my Mom must figure that strangers don't generally go poking around in your fridge, so it's not one of her top priorities. Vacuuming is her thing. Since I can remember we constantly are getting on my Mom's case for vacuuming a million times a day. There will be, like, three crumbs on the floor and she has to vacuum right under your feet. She's always picking up cups of juice and coffee while you're still drinking it and dumping it in the sink and washing the cup. But she WILL NOT clean the refrigerator, ever. It's truly disgusting. So ever since I was a kid I've cleaned the fridge when she's not around. Of course, it never takes long for it to return to a state of nastiness. But maybe with me doing the bulk of the cooking and shopping these days it will stay nice and clean.

So that's what I'm doing right now. I'm taking a little break, but I'm almost done. I just have to wash out the produce drawers and put them and their contents away. Then I have the little condiment shelves that are located on the inside of the door. They usually get pretty gross. And I'm trying to wash my Mom's linens for her before she gets home because my sister slept in her bed while she was away. And then I have to admit I've begun to understand the obsession with vacuuming. With this many dogs and people, a lot of dust and dander kicks up. So I have to vacuum and clean the floors and get the trash ready for pick-up tomorrow. Man, I really believe that for every family to be really happy and comfortable, there needs to be one parent who stays home to care for the family. It doesn't necessarily have to be the woman either. Sometimes men are better at taking care of the kids and the house while the wife loves her job. Whatever works, really. It could even be a sibling or other relative or family friend. It's way too stressful to try to fit in cooking, cleaning, bill paying, yard maintenance, and everything else that comes with a home while working a full-time job. I think that a big reason the family unit has deteriorated to such a degree in this country is because there is no caretaker at home making it a happy place to be. It's no better than being at school when both parents are too tired to care about anything so there is no conversation, no family dinner, no connection or relaxation.

So anyway, those are my quick thoughts during an afternoon smoke break. A little coffee, a little bud, and slopping goop from the fridge doesn't seem so bad after all.

Sunday - A Toast to the Best Day of the Week

There is just something relaxing about Sundays. And it's not simply because it's the weekend and it's been ingrained in our heads to feel more relaxed on weekends, even if it's not the part of the week that we get off from work. Saturday is the weekend too, but it doesn't feel like Sundays, does it? No, Sunday's are special. They are slow and sweet and lazy. You can wear sweatpants or even pajamas all day and people won't judge you too harshly, because it's Sunday. You can eat a lot and go for long walks, and feel as if it's just the perfect day for it. No matter the weather, or the season. I love Sunday.

So it's a pretty early start for me today. I still haven't rectified all my fines in order to get my driver's license back, but I still need to drive to the clinic everyday. Most days Mike drives me which I really appreciate because he hates to do it. But I really like to take that morning drive alone. It gives me time to wake up and think without having to deal with anyone else's crap. I like to get up early when no one else is up and the house is quiet. I feed the dogs, let them out and build a fire. I usually clean up the kitchen from the night before so that when I get home and everyone's milling about I don't have to clean with them crawling all around me like ants. So even though I shouldn't have, I drove myself this morning and took a chance. When I can drive my Mom's car nobody even looks twice at me unless I'm speeding. She has a nice, new, silver Volvo and I love driving it. It's smooth and has a loud sound system. There's not too many things I like more than a Sunday morning, in a nice car with the music blasting. I'm one of those people who dance in the driver's seat. I smack my hand to the beat on the steering wheel. I have to use cruise control or else I'll be driving along singing my head off, pounding my fist in the air and then look down and realize I'm going ninety. Yikes!

But I made it to the clinic and back, no problems. Thank you God, for watching over me, like, all the time, even when I don't deserve it. And I've said hello to my dogs, put the groceries away, tidied up and it's only nine-thirty. I still need to eat something. I'm the only one in my family, besides Mike, who eats breakfast. In fact, they hardly eat anything decent before three or four in the afternoon. And then they wonder why they are emotionally unbalanced. If I don't eat healthy, filling meals at least twice a day, with snacks in between, I want to murder anyone who looks at me sideways. I don't know why they do it to themselves. I believe it's pure laziness. Because if I make food they want to eat mine. Especially my Mother, she's the worst when it comes to stealing food off your plate. I hate that!

Anyway, just wanted to throw some blah, blahing out there. A toast to the best day of the week.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sunny Morning

Goooood Mornin' To Ya! (You have to say that with a Jamaican accent, or it just doesn't work)

It's a beautiful, sunny day here on the coast of Southern NH. We have a busy, busy schedule ahead of us here. Lots of chores to do today, cleaning, shopping, cooking. Ten dogs who all need a walk.

I'm totally obsessed with the Dog Whisperer, which really shouldn't be too surprising considering how many canines I have at my home. I really want to have all the dogs get along with everyone in the house, and all the other dogs. Right now, my Mom has two dogs, Seneca and Lizzy. They are really easy going and well-behaved. Then my sister has a little Bijon (I don't think that's how that is spelled, those little white fluffy dogs) who is friendly for the most part. Sometimes she shrieks when you go to pick her up and she'll growl and snarl at the other dogs if she gets jealous of another dog getting attention. Then there are all my dogs, all seven of them, who are terrible with any people but us. They are good with other dogs as long as it's not ALL of them against the others. If they get a "my pack" vs "your pack" thing going on they just lunge repeatedly at the other dogs and bark, and bark, and bark until one or the other group of dogs is pulled away. We can bring up to three of them at a time upstairs and introduce them to the other dogs, and they are generally okay. They may hide under the couch or crouch by our feet. If they try to growl or lunge at one of my Mom's dogs, we have to put them on their backs. They're getting a lot better, with people too. It's hard for them to get enough exercise in the winter. They get cold quickly, even if I put doggie jackets on them. And the booties they make for dogs are hideous and useless. They always end up flopping off the feet one at a time as you're walking along. You have to be absurdly vigilant about watching to make sure they stay put on the dog's feet. But all they are is a canvas and rubber sack with a velcro band meant to be used to strap the sack around the lower leg, or ankle, I suppose, of the dog's leg. Inevitably they slip off the sleek fur of any dog. I really don't have a better solution though, as far as dog shoes go. They best option I've encountered so far is a goopy wax-like substance that you smear on the pads of the feet before a walk in the snow or sludge. It's used, mostly, I think, on sled dogs. It keeps their feet sealed up from the elements. It seems to work pretty well as long as it doesn't get rubbed off too soon. It seems like it's mostly the salt that irritates their feet. That's when they start to hop around whining until you pick them up and wipe their feet off. So the point is, finally, that they don't get as much exercise in the winter as they should.

I know my rambling about my crazy number of dogs is just so interesting, but I have to get the hell out of here. I was sitting alone in the living room alone, eating my oatmeal and toast, writing my post, and then suddenly my brother, my sister, and Mikey all migrated to the same room. And they are smoking cigarettes all around me and it's making me feel like I'm going to puke. It's just too overwhelming, I feel as if each and every breath I take is killing me, slowly and with black mucus. I think I'll go for my walk and hit the store on my way home. I think I may have an evening alone tonight. Mike has a friend on vacation who needs his house heated with a wood stove and he needs his chickens fed. So Mike and my brother, Sam, are going to spend the night at the friends house with some of our dogs. And my sister is going out with her boyfriend. And my other brother is on his way to Rhode Island to pick up my Mom. It would be so, so nice to have a peaceful night to relax in a house that will stay clean for the night after I cleaned it. It won't be like it generally is, which is that I can't even tell I cleaned anything ten minutes after I clean it. I can't wait to have a relaxing night alone.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just Another Winter Evening

Tonight's Menu:

Pork Tenderloin with Honey-Butter Sauce
Roasted Gold and Red Beets
Artichokes with Melted Butter
Warm Foccacia

For Dessert is the Oreo Cookie cake w/Vanilla Frosting I made last night.

Having a glass of Pinio Grigio and about to slice a bit of bread for an appetizer. Then I'll get the beets roasting. I have to check my recipe for the pork and then get the rice started. I also have some leftover squash. I may serve that too.

On another note, every day that goes by I wish to God that we can open the store soon. I need to go my separate way from Mikey. I mean, we can run the store together, but that's about it. i want him to be happy. Maybe I can help him find a girl (or whatever) who he likes. I know that once I really put my mind to it, it shouldn't be hard for me to find another guy. I admit, it's easier for girls. I'm small and pretty. I'm smart and I like to cook and I just want to have a family to take care of. And soon, hopefully, I'll own half of a thriving business. It should be easy to find a rich, handsome man who wants to have passionate sex every night, right? Come on fellas, man up!!!
Uh oh, I think maybe I drank too much wine on an empty stomach. I'm being honest and, by default, vulgar. I can't help it. I know I'm a little chubby, but for real. Most men would be all over that butt. I'd rather have some tit and ass than be a skinny rail. I'm just so sick of dealing with whiny ass Mike. he's good friend, but we can't live together forever. I'm just not physically satisfied. I don't know how he can be. As soon as I know he can take care of himself because we're making money. And we can get him his own place. Right now I sleep on the couch upstairs every night. It's cleaner, cooler, and I'm not near Mike. I love him as a friend, but I know I can find more passion.

Just opened an old hunk of unused French Brie to have wit my Foccacia so I don't throw up before dinner. It will probably take longer than I have to soften to the desired consistency. And I think I just heard the Honda, which means I may puke anyway when I have to listen to Mike complain about how his back hurts, some more.

Oh, here he is. So he wants to play his dumb ass Mafia Wars and stupid ass Facebook. So I get to go make dinner and clean up the kitchen, vacuum, feed the animals, and all that crap while he smokes up and dicks around on the computer. And I'm supposed to be all enraptured, yeah, right.

Until Later.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh, Quit My Bitching Already....

Despite all my bitching and complaining, I am surprisingly easy to satisfy. I like good food, good wine, and good company. I am sublimely content with a beautiful day and a little time for a walk with my dogs. I like a good bud, a clean bowl, and a safe place to smoke. I am happy with a clean, soft pair of socks. A sunny spot on a cushy couch, with a clean blanket and a book is a perfect afternoon.

Speaking of walks and afternoons, I better be going before the sun goes down anymore and it gets chilly. My little dogs get kind of wimpy if it's too cold.

But I must say before I depart, I am a Chiropractor convert. I just had my first chiropractic experience and I have to admit that it was amazing. It was as if my head was floating above my neck after he cracked it the second time. I feel as if little men jest finished scraping the cement out from between my vertebrae. And he said I wasn't really that bad. That makes me seriously wonder what other people feel like. I thought my arm was going to freeze and I'd never be able to move it again. I'd stretch and massage it and it would only help a bit. But between my massage last week (that I only got because my Mom decided not to go to her appointment so I got it) and this guy today, I feel like a new person.

I have to say to anyone who has a kinked neck or throbbing back muscles: GO to the CHIROPRACTOR!!!! NOW!!! I swear It WILL HELP!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day - No Hater's Allowed

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I know that many, many people really hate Valentine's Day. I can understand why people dislike this holiday for various reasons; I, however, will always celebrate Valentine's Day happily. It serves it's purpose by bringing up my spirits during an otherwise long, cold time of year. I have celebrated some Valentine's alone and been a little depressed. It's great if you have someone to spend the day with, just the two of you. But if you don't, I think it can be just as nice to celebrate with family or friends. This year I am making a dinner party for Mike and I and my younger brother Sam is here with us so he's going to eat with us. My sister may be with us as well if she ends up getting home soon enough. I kind of hope she doesn't make it because she puts me on edge. I never know when she's gonna freak out and start swearing at people. And if her boyfriend is with her I'll be really disappointed. He really grates on my nerves. His voice annoys me as much, if not more than, that aaaahnt, aaahnt alarm clock buzzer sound. And I hate that sound.

Anyway, it is now hours after I originally began this post. Shortly after beginning, as usual, my computer was usurped by Mike so he can play his Mafia Wars (I hate Mafia Wars). And I've been cooking and baking all day now for my Valentine's Day Family Feast. We're having currant scones and sugar cookies that my Mom made for us before she left for VA with my other brother. That's a whole other story involving a KKK affiliated police officer and a sawed-off muzzle loader. That will have be a tale for a different holiday. Perhaps President's Day. That would be more fitting anyhow.

Let's end this rant with a favorite topic of mine: Food, of course. Keep in mind that I am aware that the combination of food is bizarre. It's because today's feast began in my mind as a tea party. But a combination of events and circumstances has led me to combine tea with dinner. So we have a sort of mish mash of desserts and tea cake type items, mixed with a hearty winter dinner. Besides what my Mom made, we're having lamb stew, chicken salad tea sandwiches, Madeleine's, deviled eggs, and strawberries with whipped cream. I'm really bummed because I tried to make eclairs and I really, really screwed them up. I love, love, love chocolate eclairs. I may try again later tonight. If I'm up for it.

Anyway, I hope everyone has an alright, at least, night. No moping allowed. I hate that!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pride and Pot Roast

Moving in to my Mom's home has taken its toll on my pride. Being able to take care of myself has always been something I was proud of. I didn't always do the best job of things on my own, but I always managed to do well enough. But as I get older I have begun to realize that I'm not moving forward very quickly, in fact, hardly at all. I live week to week and barely scrape by. And I know I set myself up to have a hard time by moving out so young to begin with. And I keep telling myself that there are plenty of people who have to move back in with their parents at one time or another because of hard times. I think sometimes I'm too hard on myself. I just want to be able to take care of myself but not have to struggle so much. We're paying my Mom rent every week, admittedly it's less than what our apartment cost. But we do a ton of chores around the house to make our stay less of a burden.

Less complaining and explaining about nothing worth wasting time on.....Let's focus on something I love: food. I've been making a pot roast lately that has definitely become something I will keep in my repertoire for handy, easy, yummy dinners. It's really so fricken easy I can't believe it. But it seems like it must have taken forever and required so much preparation once you set it on the table.
I start by looking for the least expensive cut of meat that is appropriate for the recipe. The first time I used a hunk of shoulder roast and the second time I used a bottom round. I had no preference other than whatever was cheaper and at least three and a half pounds. Enough to feed me, Mikey, Sam, Scooter, and my Mom. And we have extra meat that can be used to make a Shepard's Pie tonight. Anyway, then all that's left to do is brown the meat on all sides in a big, heavy-duty, metal pot with a tight fitting lid. Use just a bit of oil in the pot for browning. Once browned, add a bunch of chopped onion or a handful of boilers. I was so excited recently to learn about boiling baby onions for a couple minutes then transferring them to ice water to cool which makes popping them out of their skins super simple. They just slide right out with a little squeeze. Awesome. So anyway, add the onion, shallots, garlic or a mix and let those soften for a few minutes. Oh, I also rubbed salt, pepper, and some various Italian seasonings and a tiny bit of butter (I just LOVE butter) on the meat prior to browning. Once Onions are softened, the last remaining step is to add about a half a cup of wine to the pot. Let the whole shebang come to a simmer and then turn the heat to a very, very low setting and basically just let it sit for about three hours or so until the meat seems to almost come apart. Yummy.

I also tried a new chocolate cake recipe that I found on the Bon Appetite website. It was a bit more dry and crumbly than I would have liked. But it still managed to seem fluffy while not quite moist enough. The flavor was very good though, either way. The thing that made it good in the end was really the frosting. It used no butter and instead used hot cream and marscapone cheese. Wicked Good.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Coming Home to be Housekeeper

I kind of feel like I have accepted a job as a live-in nanny/housekeeper. I knew that part of the reason my Mom was so accepting of Mike and I moving in, with all our dogs no less, was that she wanted help taking care of the house and my siblings. I guess I just didn't realize that by help she meant do everything while she stayed with her new boyfriend three states away.

It should be noted, as well, that all my siblings should be able to care for themselves by now. Should be able to and able to are very different things, however. None of them can hold a job, and they have no way of earning any income, so my mother supports them all. This is not really something she is able to do easily either. They are under the impression that my mother is a bajillionaire. In reality, we are lucky to be considered lower middle class on a good day.

I moved out originally when I was seventeen, partially because I wanted to live with my boyfriend at the time but mostly because I couldn't stand living in the mayhem that had become our life. My parents had just got divorced and my Mom was a basket case. She didn't know what to do with the three teenagers and one pre-teen she was left to raise on her own. She was overwhelmed by all the responsibilities of caring for an enormous, old, falling apart Victorian home. And her heart was broken on top of it all. So it's not surprising that we were all, very suddenly, left to our own devices. And perhaps due to the fact that my parents had, for a time, fancied themselves ritzy, they had taught us shockingly little that would come in handy in the real world. And we all know that the school system doesn't do any of us a lick of good when it comes to filling out job applications or opening a bank account.

I had been lucky in that I had both parents in my life for the longest amount of time. I had also been lucky in many ways (although also unlucky in many ways) because my parents were able to send me to boarding school for most of high school. So I was super fortunate to gain skills there that my brothers and sister just didn't learn. For instance, I have a lot more discipline than any of them because I had to live by very strict rules and uphold firm expectations that taught me perseverance. They are still under the impression that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter, literally. But I really feel like we all didn't learn many skills which could have proved useful when it came time to make lives for ourselves. Our parents were terrible with money, and so are we. Although, I really believe I am accurate in saying that I am the most frugal and thoughtful when it comes to finances. That's really not saying much when the people I'm comparing myself to are members of my immediate family.

For example, my brother owes my Mom a ton of money. He has been living off her with no job for months. He was arrested in Virginia right after Christmas carrying a sawed-off shotgun (long story. But it sounds worse than it was. He was hiking part of the Appalachian Trail and he was in town waiting for a package and he didn't know his gun was a couple inches too short. What an idiot, I know). So he owes my Mom for the lawyer and travelling expenses, the whole lot. And finally he gets his taxes back, and what does he do? First thing, he goes out and buys a PlayStation Three and a bunch of new games. And then he wants to sit three feet from the T.V. in the living room and play video games all day. My Mom is furious, to say the least, and he has no idea why "she's being such a bitch". Can anyone believe that? I find it difficult and I witnessed the whole thing!

Anyhow, back to the overwhelming amount of responsibility I have just recently had dumped into my hands. My Mom opened a household bank account from which I must purchase groceries and any household supplies or necessities. I have to help my brothers get to their appointments and pick up their medication. I have been doing most of the cleaning and cooking when my Mom is home and all of it when she is away. I stacked the wood we just got, and the pellets - after we called around for the best prices. Holy Shit, it's never-ending. If I thought I was a maid to Mikey before, I just didn't know the half of it.

Anyhow, enough bitching and moaning for now. I'm making a pot roast and I'm worried it's not going to be juicy and tender but dry and tough. Oh, I hope not, it's taken hours! And I'm also trying to assemble a cream tart that is going to be done around two a.m. if I'm lucky. Oh, sad you, I'm sure everyone cares just so much about my disastrous life. Not. Until later.

VV is the shit

VV is the shit
We all have to love VV