Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Limbering up the typing fingers

Here it is, the day after Labor Day. The Ninja starts school this morning (his bus picked him up at 6:23; school starts at 7:10; I hate it but there is nothing to be done. Toots is still at Children's Hospital; she starts school tomorrow. I have pretty much, though not totally, recovered from my digestive problems. And, this morning, I start a new job!

More later.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I am being treated for diverticulitis. It has not been pleasant. I'll get back to writing regularly when I can.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


We got back from our vacation in New Jersey and Delaware several days ago. We had a quiet but fun time; went to Rehoboth Beach, go-karted at this place, rode the Cape May-Lewes ferry, and ate at Maria's in Manasquan, New Jersey (my family's favorite restaurant since 1979).

Now we're home and getting back to normal. Sort of. I have not been feeling too well the last few days, and I don't have much energy. I'm going to have tests on Monday. So I may not be writing much for a while. Anybody out there who's reading, please don't desert me. I will write when I can. Everybody take care of themselves and their loved ones.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I find it disconcerting....

...that when I'm out in public with Ninja, people pull me aside to comment on how tall and good-looking he is.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ninja works

As part of his community service probation requirement, The Ninja and I worked at our church's Stewardship Supper again this afternoon. (Well, I have to drive him, and I'd feel awful not doing anything.)

He took out the garbage, fetched and carried, opened packets, sliced butter, plated cake. I chopped onions and garlic, sliced jellied cranberry sauce, and washed a lot of very large pots and pans. We had to leave before the meal was served, as he was due at his mixed martial arts class. Still, it was a good feeling getting food ready for hungry people. I hope he feels the same way.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Method to my madness

So, The Ninja has a chores requirement as part of his probation. One of the projects that's been "on the list" for a long time, but has not been gotten to, is to paint his and Toots' bedrooms. In fact, we've never painted the kids' rooms; the walls have been white (with plenty of posters) for ten years.

The corner where two walls meet, in The Ninja's room, has a crack running down. It appears that the two pieces of drywall have pulled apart. While running errands today, I picked up a container of lightweight spackle and a putty knife for filling the crack.

I told The Ninja that this is something that has to be done before we can even think about painting.

He's on it right now.

By the way, tomorrow will mark the halfway point of his probation. Our attorney told us that, in his experience, a two-month probation period was unusually short. I'm OK with it.

Changing subjects, did I mention that Toots was elected head of the student council at Children's Hospital School? Yes, we all know that student councils have no real power, and the student council in a psychiatric hospital will have even less. Still, it was pretty cool to hear that.

Toots has so many fine personal qualities - leadership, empathy, stick-to-it-iveness, creativity - when she's feeling well. Back when she was graduating from the special ed elementary school, she won the top award for character and helpfulness.

If only. If only. If only she wasn't mentally ill.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A happy picture

Did I mention that, back in June (before the episode of Toots and the pills) we attended a wedding of family friends?

We obtained permission to take Toots, as she had been doing fairly well just previously and had never been to a wedding.

The kids both like to dance. But we've never seen them dance together. Didn't expect to ever see such a thing.


It's moments like this.....

Cherry pudding

We ate this on Saturday night.

Adapted from my 1943 copy of Mrs. Simon Kander's Settlement Cook Book.

1 quart hot milk
Pinch salt
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1 quart fresh cherries, pitted

Preheat oven to 380 degrees.

Mix the crumbs in a large bowl and add the salt. Heat the milk until bubbling around the edges. Pour the milk over the crumbs. Stir in the butter until it melts. Pour a small amount of the hot mixture into the eggs and stir. Stir the egg mixture into the crumb mixture. Add the sugar and mix. Fold in the cherries.

Pour mixture into a greased casserole. Place the casserole in a larger pan with about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Bake until firm in the center.

I have to say that, since I was running around cooking multiple items, I didn't check the total baking time for the pudding. Set your timer for 45 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick. If it's not firmed up, keep baking in five minute intervals until done.

I served it warm, but we are also enjoying finishing it cold. You could put ice cream or whipped cream on top.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tonight's menu

I don't think I would do well as a professional cook. I wouldn't want to make food every day all day. But I do enjoy cooking a big meal once in a while. Tonight we are hosting the monthly meeting of Write Club.

Spinach dip, veggies and chips
Beer can chicken
Vegetarian enchiladas with fresh veggies from the farmers' market this morning
Tomatoes and peppers
Cherry pudding (a recipe from the old Settlement Cook Book)
Sliced fresh peaches
Various adult beverages

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


We are having company on Saturday, and I want to try making Beer Can Chicken on the grill. I have what sounds like an easy recipe, with a lot of five and four star ratings from people who have tried it. My concern is, how possible is it to get the chicken to stand up nicely on the beer can, when placed on the grill? Is it likely to fall over? Anybody have any recommendations/cautions to share?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Down and dirty (in a good way)

Part of The Ninja's probation requirements is ten hours of chores per week. Yes, we do have to keep after him, but mostly he's been pretty good about it.

We recently had our driveway redone. All around the edging bricks, where the grass was torn up, there was bare sand, rocks and concrete. For today's project, Ninja and I took compost from the backyard composter, mixed it in with the sandy dirt, put down fresh grass seed, and watered. Well, I did some, and The Ninja did the bulk of the hard work. We are not as used to garden work in hot weather as some people (such as this lady, whom I admire tremendously for many reasons), but it got done. Just called Dad and he was very impressed.

Tonight is the weekly free concert at the town gazebo. The Ninja gets to hang out with his friends, while young and old listen to live music. Tonight, it's a Billy Joel Beatles tribute band.

As far as everyone in The Ninja's world knowing about the shoplifting. He told me yesterday that a few people have come up to him, asking "Did you really go to jail?"

Darn that big-mouthed Partner in Crime.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Did I mention?

Apparently, just about every kid in The Ninja's world knows what happened at the mall last month. Friend aka Partner in Crime couldn't keep his mouth shut.

I just hope it doesn't make the girls look at him as some kind of romantic outlaw.