Monday, July 30, 2012

I Just Know I'll Win It This Time

You might remember a few years ago I was up for Mother of the Year only to lose at the last minute due to the "Great Bouncy Ball Fight of 2008".  Well I'm still after that trophy!

Last December I took NG to an ENT doctor for nosebleeds.  He performed a silver nitrate cauterization, and for the last six months it hasn't been a problem.  Then they came back with a vengeance.

Three weeks ago I had to take her to ER because we couldn't get the bleeding under control.  The triage nurse stuck a clip on her nose and told us to have a seat.  Four hours and $125 later I realized we didn't need a doctor, what we needed was a clothes pin. 

The next day we were back in the ENT doctor's office where he performed another silver nitrate cauterization.  He then told us if this didn't work he would want to perform an electrocautery and due to her age recommended doing it under anesthesia. 

It didn't work and the next week we were back in his office to set a surgery date.  Furthermore, we needed it done ASAP because she would be leaving for camp on July 29.  He scheduled her for July 27 and assured us camp would be no problem.

Friday morning NG had her minor procedure with a side of major anesthesia, and was home by that afternoon to recover. 

Her nose was basically painfree but she did have a lingering headache from the anesthesia.  Sunday afternoon she decided she would still like to try going to camp, so L and I dropped them off, checked them in, and left with a promise to come get NG if she got worse or did not continue to improve. 

Today the surgery center called to check on her and I had the following conversation:

Nurse: May I speak with the parent or guardian of NG?

Me: This is she.

Nurse: I was calling to see how she's doing.

Me: I guess she's doing fine.  I dropped her off at camp yesterday and I haven't heard from her so I assume she's fine.

Nurse: Um...ok.

Me: The doctor said it was fine for her to go, I spoke with him about it on Friday.

Nurse: So she's at camp now?

Me: Yes, and I checked for pictures this morning and she looked ok.

Nurse: Ok, thank you.

So do you think they'll mail the trophy or will there be a ceremony?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Minus The Metal

At GG's last orthodontist appointment she was told that if she wore her rubber bands at least 21 hours a day for the next six weeks there was an excellent chance they would remove her braces at her next appointment.  She not only wore them the required 21 hours per day but I'm pretty certain she mastered the art of eating with them in and only removed them to brush her teeth.

Today was appointment day!  At 11:00 this morning we arrived to hear the verdict.  I'm not sure who was more nervous, her because she really wanted them removed or me because I wasn't sure what it was going to take to console her if they didn't remove them.  I was pretty certain that a cookie wasn't going to cover it. 

In anticipation of good news we took a "before " picture...

and with great joy (and relief) we took an "after" picture.

As we were leaving she was handed a treat bag of all the goodies she wasn't suppose to eat while she had braces.  Oops.  Seriously?!?!  Who goes 20 months without popcorn?!?!

Since a consolatory treat wasn't necessary we went for a celebratory lunch instead.  In two weeks we'll go back for the retainers.  As we're leaving the orthodontist office GG and I had the following conversation.

GG: I've ordered my retainers in black and hot pink.

Me: What? (I must admit I did not realize colors were an option)

GG: Black and hot pink!  What do you think?

Me: Well they sound like they'll be feminine and slimming. (??)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Instead Of A Birthday Cake...

GG requested take out for her traditional birthday meal this year.  I thought that was wonderful since we would be leaving on vacation the next day and that meant less work for me.  Then she made her in lieu of a birthday cake request for homemade cheesecake.  I agreed to make it but told her she would have to wait until after vacation.

This weekend she reminded me that I still owed her a birthday cheesecake, so on Sunday afternoon I anted up.

The recipe I use is called Satin Cheesecake and has a sour cream topping.  However, since GG prefers her cheesecake with fruit topping I omitted the last step.

It's important to allow the ricotta and cream cheese to warm to room temperature, not only does it make them easier to use but it also seems to make them smoother as they are mixed.

I beat my batter about two minutes per egg as they are being added.

Since spring form pans can leak I cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set it on that to bake.

Allow the cheesecake to cool and set before removing the sides of the spring form pan.

I usually top individual pieces of cheesecake rather than the cheesecake as a whole.  This way everyone can choose what they like.

Satin Cheesecake

1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
15 oz ricotta cheese, room temperature
6 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Spray 9 inch spring form pan with butter spray and coat with graham cracker crumbs.  Combine cheeses in a bowl and beat until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time and beating until well incorporated.  Add 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, and lemon zest and beat until very smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Pour batter in pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue cooking until cake is set in the center, about 30 minutes.  Remove cake from oven and reduce heat to 250 degrees.  Combine 1 1/2 cups sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla and beat until sugar is dissolved.  Pour over cheesecake and smooth with spoon to cover cheesecake evenly.  Return to the oven, bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack.

Monday, July 23, 2012

This Means War

I currently have a total of four cats living at my house and at least one mouse living in it.  GG found the evidence in the towel drawer last week.  This led to the following conversation with L:

Me: Explain to me how we can have two cats that will search the field next to our house for a mouse or rat trophy to bring to the back porch and I have a mouse making itself at home in my kitchen.  What are they CIA?
L: Yep, obviously they're field agents!
Me: So I guess I need Homeland Security?!?!

Smudge (the exterminating machine) wasn't much help the last time I needed a hero close to home, Lacey (the old lady) is just too fat, and Trixie (the foolish kitten) is much too...well foolish.  That left Kathy (named after Kathy Lee Gifford because that cat never shuts up) to save the day, and she just wasn't getting the job done.  So I decided to intervene.

I read an article one time that said mice are unable to pass gas and since chocolate can cause intestinal gas it could be deadly to mice.  With this in mind I left some chocolate in the drawer with the towels.  Apparently the mouse didn't read that article.  It ate half the chocolate the first night and expressed it's appreciation by leaving several mousy turds on my clean kitchen towels.  It returned the second night to eat the remaining chocolate and once again leave behind it's heart felt thanks for the snack.

Yesterday I sent L to town for supplies.  Last night, armed with two peanuts a marshmallow and a Tomcat Glue Board, I declared war on the rodent population trying to take up residence in my kitchen.  Today when I checked the drawer there was nothing, not even a mousy turd on a towel.  I have to say this really disappointed me.  Not only did my well baited and strategically placed glue trap fail to catch my mouse, it didn't even scare the crap out of it!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This Is My Last Official Birthday

Haven't you heard?  Age is just a number, and I'm picking 35!  So it'll be all anniversaries after this.

Today I turned 35, and at 35 I intend to remain.  I have informed L and the Girls that next year we will not be celebrating my 36th birthday we will be celebrating the 1st anniversary of my 35th birthday and I will be 35 to the 1st power.

Furthermore, I have also informed L that with this plan in place he too has celebrated his last birthday, (he will be celebrating only anniversaries in the future) and will be remaining 44 by default.  He was pretty excited about that!

So if the 30's are the new 20's and the 40's are the new 30's then L and I are going to be young whippersnappers for quite some time to come.

On another note...I kicked off my last official birthday by climbing into a tree this morning.  Why?  Because our newest addition to the family was stuck.

It wasn't until later that I began to wonder who was the bigger fool...the 4 month old kitten that climbed up a tree and then wasn't smart enough to figure out she couldn't climb back down headfirst or the 35 year old woman that climbed up after her and then spent 15 minutes trying to reach her while waving a hair ribbon and cooing "here kitty kitty". 

Friday, July 20, 2012

I've Been A Bad Bad Blogger...

but I promise I'm going to do better.

The last couple of months have been busy.  We've been making the middle count, I've just not been accounting for it.  So I'm going to finish writing the blogs for our excursions and solemnly promise to do better in the future. 

Last month we went to see an opera.  Just in case you're wondering the same question L's sister LE asked, the answer is yes we went on purpose.  We went to see A Little Night Music at Opera in the Ozarks in Eureka Springs.  I deliberately chose this opera because it was in English and it was adapted to a film starring Elizabeth Taylor in 1977.  Just so you know...this particular opera (and film) is, for lack of a better word, raunchy.  When I decided to take the Girls to an opera I did it because I wanted them to have some exposure.  However, that wasn't really the kind of exposure I had in mind.  All that aside we still had a great time, even L admitted that he wouldn't mind going to see another one sometime.  Maybe next time I can pick something that doesn't require so many parental explanations on my part.

Just an FYI: the woman's character in the black and gold dress was played by a man, and he did a fantastic job. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Our All Girls Wide Open Tour: We Found The Rain...Or Maybe It Found Us

Remember that trip to Ohio I mentioned earlier in the spring?  The one the Girls and I were going to take to calm our inner roller coaster junkies?  Well that's where we went last week.

The roller coasters weren't the only thrill though, the weather provided it's own adrenaline rush.  We left on Friday morning with the intention of stopping in Fort Wayne, Indiana for the night and then continuing on into Oak Harbor, Ohio the next morning. 

When we left Arkansas had just been upgraded from a "severe" to "extreme" drought region and our county (along with most others) was under a burn ban, so we were excited to see rain.  What we weren't excited to see were the effects of the major storms that swept through six states, three of which we were either in, planning to be in, or had just left.  This isn't my first experience with driving in unfamiliar territory during terrible weather (remember our exciting nerve wracking drive through the 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak?), and it wasn't even my last for this particular trip, but I'm going to go on record with I DON"T LIKE IT! 

The winds that accompanied the storm we drove through in Indianapolis, Indiana affected the satellite signal for Big Momma and we took a wrong turn.  That wrong turn provided us with it's own little adrenaline rush when we found ourselves on a scenic tour of an Indianapolis ghetto area.  I recommend avoiding that route if possible. 

The storm knocked out the power to the traffic lights.  Want to know how long it takes to get through a traffic light on a four driving lanes/ two turning lanes major highway when that traffic light has been reduced to an "on your honor" four way stop?  Exactly 1 hour and 37 minutes, provided three people pull out of your lane, drive across the median, and cut off traffic in the opposite lane (one driver did this while making an obscene gesture to the people in the car he almost ran over, he was obviously a multitasker). 

It was at this time that the Girls and I noticed we had actually crossed into the eastern time zone and therefore had missed Happy Hour at Sonic (not that we were able to find a Sonic).  This only added to the frustration...after all you know how much I hate to lose an hour.

We arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana without anymore excitement.  I had considered filling up with gas that evening but since I still had a quarter tank of gas I decided to wait until morning.  That plan would have worked if the storm that night hadn't knocked out power to all of the gas pumps.  Want to know where they did have gas pumps that actually pumped gas?  Ohio!

They also have pumps for kerosene.  Anyone know exactly what they use that for?

Guess what else we found in Ohio!?!?  Hail!  Yep, that came on Sunday night along with more rain.

Tuesday night when we got back to the condo I decided since we had already had one hail storm, three thunderstorms, and it looked like something else was blowing in I would parking in the covered parking beneath our condo.  That decision led to the following conversation:

NG (from the back seat): Did you just hit those lawn chairs with the truck?

Me: No, I just gave them a gentle southern love nudge.  They're fine.

GG: Well it's a good thing no one was around to see your southern loving!

Me: The rental rules say 10 pm to 8 am is condo quiet time and it's after 10 now, so hush.

However, that was just a temporary fix.  The first words out of the Girl's mouths when they called L?  "Momma hit some lawn chairs with the truck!"  As I've said before... tattle tails!

See?!?! They're fine, a little love tap never hurt any chair.
We almost made it home without anymore weather excitement....almost.  Just outside of Branson, Missouri the skies opened up and it poured, hard.  It was that kind of rain that made it almost impossible to see the lines on the road, the kind that has most people pulling to the side of the road with their flashers on.  I say most people because after being gone from home for almost eight days and having been on the road for over fourteen hours I wasn't one of them.  Nope, I was a woman on a mission... I was also the one driving down the middle of the road.   

On another you want to know what's in Oak Harbor, Ohio?

Not much, but we did find a nuclear reactor plant (every time we heard thunder GG checked to make certain it hadn't exploded),

and the Happy Hooker

bait shop.