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5 For Friday – Spring Cleaning

Five things I learned last week while cleaning:

  1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I chose one room each day to clean. And when I say clean, I mean move the furniture and rediscover your baseboards kind of cleaning. So while one room a day sounds wimpy, believe me when I say it was plenty to tackle.
  2. Don’t use Swiffer Wet Jet or Orange Glo or any of those other advertised hardwood floor cleaners. You will be sorry you ever did! I am. At first I loved the shine on my floors and the way my house smelled after using them, but over time I noticed a scummy, build up on my floors that only hands and knees and scrubbing like Cinderella would get rid of. Only water and vinegar on my hardwoods from now on!
  3. Don’t forget to take breaks and pamper yourself during large cleaning projects. Ok, so I didn’t do such a great job with this one myself, but I did take time out to watch a few movies with the boys and I ate a few bowls of ice cream. And popcorn. And Little Debbies. In fact, if I stayed home all the time I think I would instantly gain 15 lbs. from all the available snackage around the house. Good thing I went back to work this past Monday, huh?
  4. Don’t be too hasty to put the winter clothes away just because it’s Spring Break! We had a little cold snap and actually had some sleet and snow last week. I know it’s crazy, but this is Georgia and like they say, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around because tomorrow it will change.” Ba dum bump! Thank you, folks. I’m here all week.
  5. Don’t get distracted while you are cleaning and start rearranging furniture. Why is it that when I’m cleaning it suddenly becomes a good idea to start moving furniture, pictures, lamps and accessories around? I don’t know! It just does. Maybe it’s the adult version of ADD.  One minute you’re dusting and polishing the next thing you know two hours have gone by, and you’re still working in the same room, but all the furniture is in the middle of the room and you’re thinking the couch might look really good along that other wall. Not that this has ever happened to me or anything.

Someday maybe I’ll listen to my own advice.

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The Gift Trifecta

Hubby and I will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary this month. I was sort of forced into choosing the month of February for our wedding because of sports’ schedules. And my inability to handle weather with temperatures over 76 degrees or any type of humidity.

I was never destined to be a June bride. Or July. Or August. Or the first half of September for that matter. It’s just too hot.

March wasn’t an option because Hubby informed me that was when March Madness took place. April had spring breaks and Easter (usually) to contend with and May had Mother’s Day. December and November were never really contenders because of the holidays.

Besides, I had always wanted a fall wedding. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I had decided October would be the perfect month to get married. Except I didn’t take into consideration the fall college football game schedule. And it quickly became my nemisis.

(about to be) Hubby informed me that were no good Saturdays in October for a wedding because it would be too difficult to get his groomsmen to attend our wedding instead of game day at their alma maters.

I asked about away games, looked for a by week, all in an effort to have my wedding in Ocotber. It soon became clear that I was losing the battle, and we finally comprised on the sports deprived month of February.

I knew I would live to regret it eventually because I suspected I had a lifetime of combination Valentine’s and anniversary gifts ahead of me.

Oh, Hubby made the valiant effort the first years of our marriage. He brought home the Brach’s chocolates in the heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day and the occasional grocery store bouquet of flowers for our anniversary, but then, in all the sports minded brilliance he could muster, he created The Gift Trifecta.

He made me the promise that each year he would surprise me with one big gift that was intended to cover Valentine’s Day, our anniverary and my birthday. And even though my birthday falls almost a month after our anniversary, I was willing to agree.

So for the past decade I have been receiving my Trifecta gifts. I start to get all giddy this time of year with anticipation because some of my past gifts have been the kind of fun toys that take the sting out of receiving a combination gift. (digital camera, MP3 player, cell phone, Palm Pilot, etc.)

I may have lost the battle for my wedding date back in 1990, but I have definitely won the war! Long live The Trifecta Gift!

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Congratulations! It’s Another Teenage Boy!

Happy Birthday G!

Today boy #2 is officially a “teenager”. Thirteen years ago I gave birth to our second son. It seems as if I blinked and thirteen years went by.

Thirteen. A baker’s dozen. A teenager.

One teenager in the house is quite enough, but now what am I to do with two of them? Teenage boys are something I wasn’t prepared for. I wasn’t ready for the flow of hormones that causes them to want to curl up and snuggle with you in your favorite chair and then ten minutes later causes them to hide in their rooms listening to music because they “just want to be alone.”  Okay, they’re just my little male versions of Greta Garbo.

And you want to know the best part? I’ve got one more to go!!!

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Somebody Had a Baby Casserole

I have a tried and true recipe for those occasions that call for a meal being delivered to a friend or neighbor’s house. You know, like when someone has had surgery, a death in the family, given birth. There are many instances when a casserole can just brighten someone’s day.

Give this one a try. It’s easy and I promise, everyone will love it. It’s tradition for me to make it for anyone we know that’s had a baby. So much so that my family actually calls it “Somebody Had a Baby Casserole”. There are even members of my family who have had babies just so I would bring this casserole over to their house. It’s that good, people! So here you go.

Somebody Had A Baby Casserole

1 whole chicken (I cheat sometimes and just use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store deli)

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups of chicken broth

1 stick of butter or margarine

1- 8 oz. package of Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing

Place chicken in stock pot and cover with water. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, thyme, etc. Boil chicken until done. Remove the chicken and let cool. Reserve 2 cups of broth. (If you use a store bought rotisserie chicken, then you will need to pick up some chicken broth as well). Remove the chicken meat, cut into bite sizes and place in casserole dish.

Mix the cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups with 1 cup of broth. Add to the chicken and stir well.

Mix the stick of butter and cup of broth together until butter is melted. Add the stuffing and mix until stuffing is moist. If it is too dry add more chicken broth. Remember you can add more broth but you can’t take it out.

Place stuffing on top of casserole and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

I usually make a double batch of this recipe when I am taking it to someone, so I have one for my family as well. I actually made this the other weekend at the special request of my family. We didn’t know anyone who had actually had a baby recently, but we reasoned that someone, somewhere had had a baby that day, so we ate it in honor of all the babies born that day around the world.

Enjoy!

For more recipe ideas, check out Saturday Stirrings over at “It Coulda’ Been Worse”.

 

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The Mystery of the Empty Egg and other Miscellaneous Missing Items

Okay, back to Special Guest Writer Week. Thanks for indulging me yesterday as we celebrated a special birthday. Today you get hear from the birthday boy’s mother herself. Sometimes I forget what’s it’s like to have a preschooler around the house, but then Sis reminds me. And once again it makes me really glad it’s her and not me!

 

 

Some months ago, someone (and I don’t remember who) bought my 4 year old a small canister filled with a pink gel/putty substance.  Now, what makes this gel/putty stuff special, and supposedly fun, is that when you mash it down into the canister it makes a noise.  This noise is similar to a bodily noise that, shall we say, might come from the southern region of the body.  Delicate enough?  I thought so. 

 

After many days of fun and giggles, I found the canister.  Empty.  I asked, he shrugged, I asked, he said, “I dont know.”

 

Fast forward a few months.  Enter into my life, I mean my 4 year old’s life, a pink egg.  Yep, you know the one.  The Silly Putty Egg. (And by the way, I KNOW who bought this one, and I keep it fresh in his mind!)  A fun day was had by all teaching said 4 year old to smush, bounce, squeeze, shape, and I even believe a newspaper got involved.  Although, I think I remember it not working so well on black and white comics – you really need color comics.  But anyway, the next morning while tidying up, I find half an egg.  Yep, you got it!  Empty.  Sigh.  I ask. He says, “I don’t know.” I ask. He shrugs.

 

That was a busy week.  You know the kind, where you just toss up the covers instead of actually making the bed every morning.  Keep in mind, all the while, I’m still asking, and he’s still shrugging.  After several days of “making” the bed in this fashion, I notice that the covers have become lopsided.  I set in to actually make the bed.  I throw back the comforter to straighten the sheet.Only, the two seem to move as one.  I peel them apart, and what do I see?

 

Pink! 

 

All over, between the sheet and comforter.  After my initial investigation, I conclude that this is indeed, Silly Putty.

 

I call down the stairs to my precious 4 year old telling him to come to my room.  He arrives, I call him over to the side of the bed.  I ask him if he sees anything.  He looks around asking, “What?” 

 

Then, he spots it.  He freezes. Doesn’t move a muscle, and stays that way for a long few seconds.  I’m watching his face, and he has a complete look of “uh-oh” written all over it.  I can tell the wheels are spinning, and before I know what hit me, he spins around with a huge smile on his face and in the most excited voice exclaims, “We found it!” 

 

I lost it.  I couldn’t help but laugh.  He totally saved himself with his quick thinking. And his cuteness.

 

And, just so you know, I googled Silly Putty removal.  It is suggested to scrape the globs off, then use WD-40 to get the pink out, then use alcohol to get the WD-40 out, then launder to get the alcohol out. 

 

Or, place in garbage bag, and go shopping. Which is exactly what I did.

 

It’s now been 6 months or so, and as you know, the silly putty mystery has been solved. But remember that noisy gel/putty substance?  I still ask every now and then. He still shrugs.  It still has not made its reappearance, although I do still hear it around here occasionally.

 

TMI?  I thought so, too.

 

Have a good day ya’ll.  

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