The Cluster

>> Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yesterday morning, my parents were due to arrive from Seattle. I was expecting them around 11am. What I wasn't expecting, was a complete mess due to the recent snowstorm down the east coast.

It started in New Jersey. The flight from New Jersey to Seattle was delayed due to the snow storm which spiraled. Seattle was late going to Anchorage which was late going BACK to Seattle to pick my parents up to take them to Newark New Jersey. Because of this, they will missed morning connection to Albany from Newark. Great. Perfect. It is 4 days before Christmas, half the flights have been canceled while they other half are delayed and no one knows what they are doing.

At nearly midnight PST, they are on the red eye to New Jersey.

Having missed their connection, my parents were automatically put on the first standby flight list to Albany at 12pm. No luck. They were shipped from one terminal to another terminal back to the first one and so on.
They were put on the next standby flight list to Albany at 4pm, which happened to be delayed 2 hours. Finally, they were ON the plane and landed in Albany nearly 12 hours late.


A little after 10:30pm EST they finally arrived at my house. Over 36 hours without sleep but save, warm and very hungry.

They are here. Yay!


Potato Stuffing

>> Sunday, December 13, 2009


7-8 medium Potatoes
8 slices fresh white bread
1 package pork sausage meat
2 large onions
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons pepper or garlic pepper if preferred
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon sage
1/2 cup softened margarine


Cook and mash plain potatoes, cut bread into small cubes, ground onion and uncooked sausage meat in food processor fully cook meat mixture, do not drain fat. Add salt, pepper, sage and poultry seasoning. Mix sausage, potatoes and bread in big bowl. Add margarine and mix well. Add more seasonings to taste. Stuff in raw turkey, chicken or bake in lightly greased casserole dish with tinfoil cover for 1 hour at 350 degrees.


Christmas Time Christmas Time

>> Saturday, December 12, 2009

I love Christmas. The excitement of watching my children open their gifts, the smell of the turkey roasting in the oven, the feeling of being with family is what makes Christmas so special to me. We've had a few hard years and the generosity of my online friends towards us just astounds me every year. I love Christmas.

Christmas is also the time of year that makes me a little more loonier then normal, if that is possible. There is stress that really isn't necessary but because I am the way I am, I stress out way to much over things that don't matter. This year I thought I would find a way to relieve my stress by writing everything down. The organization does help me keep my cool a little more. I wrote a note on facebook yesterday which started as a menu for the 3 days of Christmas (Eve, Day, Boxing Day) and turned into a shopping list as well as an itinerary for the activities. Realistically I know the itinerary is not as detailed as my mind wants it to be but you really can't PLAN Christmas. I thought I would share my organization on my blog. If you think I'm forgetting something or would like to share your own Christmas menu in the comments section, that would be wonderful! A few of the recipes are on my blog. I hope to add more in the coming days.

Christmas Eve:
Hot Spinach and Artichoke dip with Rye bread pieces
7 Layer Taco Dip with tortillas
Mushroom and Cheese Turnovers
Veggies and Dip

Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

Christmas Brunch:
Assorted flavored cream cheese
Blueberry muffins

Christmas Dinner:
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Steamed mixed veggies
Crescent Rolls

Carrot Cake
Pumpkin Pie

Boxing Day Brunch
Leftovers from Christmas Eve
Turkey Sandwiches

Cranberry Gingerale
Pepsi and Coke
Hot Chocolate


Christmas Eve:
Finger Foods
Watching A Christmas Carol
Wrapping presents and setting up for Santa

Christmas Morning:
Early Dinner
Watching A Christmas Story all day long on TBS(even if we have it on DVD) LOL

Boxing Day:
Grandparents Brunch

Shopping list:
(4)cream cheese
boursin garlic cheese
frozen spinach
(2)green onions
canned artichokes
refried beans
(3) avocado
(4) tomatoes
(2) cans olives
(2) cheddar cheese
pepper jack cheese
large sour cream
puffed pastry
4 cans mushrooms
swiss cheese
frozen veggies
half n half
chocolate shell
whipping cream
frozen mozza sticks
tortilla chips
rye bread
carrots (full and baby)
white bread
flavoured cream cheeses
crescent rolls
cranberry sauce
Ziploc bags
roasting pan
tin foil
sandwich rolls
french fried onions
(2)mushroom soup
(3)green beans
old english cheese
pie shells

Oh and my parents will be here in 9 sleeps!!


My little secret

>> Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Although I'm not sure it is much of a secret to anyone who really know me, knows I'm a little freaky, anal, OCD, whatever word they may use to describe me.

Anyone who may meet me may think I'm friendly but a bit shy. What they may not notice is I'm freaking out on the inside. I have social anxiety and it is really debilitating at times. I'm not really sure when it started, sometime when I was a teen but living in a small town where everyone knows everyone, I dealt with it a lot better then I do now. Although I may appear normal, my brain is screaming at me to run away, hide, lock myself in my room, curl up into a ball and never come out. This makes life with two kids very difficult. I would love to join the PTA, volunteer with my daughter's school but there is this HUGE wall stopping me. Whenever I'm in a situation with new people I start to get very nervous. I get migraines and make myself sick. It is very hard being this way, especially when it is my dream to start my own business. I keep reminding myself that in order to work with people... I have to actually talk to them!

I love my online world, which most people would think is a bit sad, but to me it is perfect because I can really open myself up. I have two friends who I talk to daily and although I've never met them and they both live a bazillion miles away, they are my link to the outside world, to friendship and normalcy.

I'm not sure what to do to cure myself of this anxiety. I'm sure there is a medication that can help and therapy but with our health insurance we have now, only until February, I'm not sure I should start something when I'm not sure I can follow through long term. Am I destined to remain in my shell forever?


Happy Halloween!

>> Monday, November 2, 2009

We had Halloween at home this year. It was raining very hard so the kids couldn't go Trick or Treating since they were just getting over the flu. Instead we let the kids dress up and took them to Walmart to pick out their own bag of candy, then grab a pizza and watch a movie with popcorn.

Elizabeth was ok with the plan but Christopher didn't understand and was very first. Once we finally got him calm, he understood the plan and was happy about it.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing



>> Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chris and the kids carved our big pumpkin tonight. While Chris was busy working, the kids separated the seeds from the guts so we could make roasted pumpkin seeds!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Jack Skellington!

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing


Hello Big Boy!

>> Monday, October 19, 2009

My baby is no longer a baby. He will always be MY baby but he is now a big boy.
On Saturday, Christopher turned 3. He was very excited about this birthday. I'm not sure if it is because he knows what to expect now or because he knew he was getting a pirate ship cake!

The birthday boy

His pirate ship cake

His gifts


Curling hair with flannel strips.

>> Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The best rags to use are strips of flannel. I used an old sheet. I snipped it about 2 inches wide (then just pull, it will tear straight) and did them twice the length of Elizabeth's hair.

You need the cooperation of your kids.

Put the strip on their head and have them hold it tightly, you don't want it to be loose. You want to start a few inches down the strip so there is a good part left to tie.

Take a section of (wet with a little hair gel combed in) hair and start to wrap it.

There are two ways to do it. Wavy:

You are going to corkscrew the hair around the strip, twisting the hair slightly as you wrap

For ringlets you will wrap the hair around completely without twisting:

When you get to the bottom, tuck the end around as best as you can, take the end of the strip and start to wrap it back around the hair so its completely covered (you want to have it flat)

When you get to the top, bring the end your child is holding and wrap it down to tie with the other end piece.

Let this dry overnight. Untie in the morning and gently unwrap from the hair. Run through your fingers or just leave as is, little hair spray to hold it and you're done!

This is the final result using the corkscrew

*** I used to do this to myself and would use a couple barrettes to hold the strip to tight to my head



>> Friday, October 9, 2009

1lb of raw hamburger
1/2 cup of white rice (NOT minute rice!!)
1 egg
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp cloves
salt and pepper

1 family size can of tomato soup (some prefer canned tomatoes but I think the soup works best)

Throw a couple cans of tomato soup( I use one family size can) and a couple cans of water in the crockpot and get that heating up while you are making the meatballs. Sometimes I cheat and throw the soup and water in a big dish and pop in micro to get it hot first.

Mix up the ingredients and form into meatballs...

Add your meatballs into the soup and let simmer a few hours until the meatballs and rice inside them are cooked.

We serve over mashed potatoes.


Burlington Vermont

>> Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chris and I took the kids to Burlington Vermont for the day on Sunday mostly to take photos and have lunch.

The first bunch I took are pretty rough because I took them from a moving car.

This barn was SOO cool but we hit a bump just as I pushed the button and I swayed back and got the door thing in the shot! DAMN!!

Some turkeys lol

The boardwalk

There were these cool rock formations all along the waterside

The playground

The harbour


  © Blogger template Shiny by 2008

Back to TOP