Friday, November 26, 2010

For Dessert Pumpkin Pie With Whipped Cream. But First...

There is nothing like an early start to Thanksgiving--530am. 
 A start that did not summons to stuff a turkey bird in the oven...
instead to dress girls in uniforms for a parade down St. Louis' Market Street.  

The one and only time I have been to the Thanksgiving Day "Christmas in St. Louis" parade was in 2004 when Princess A marched.  Back in 2004 it was beautiful day.
In 2010 it will be remembered as a dreary-cold-windy-rainy day.
And the band marches on.

No one complains as we watch our favorite band take to the pavement--
where they placed fourth in the competition
with the bonus of outstanding drum major and percussion. 

Well M did moan a tad about how hard holding a flag pole can be 
as the wind attempts to take it sailing from her hands. 
 She fought back and kept a hold. 

      For just a little while the weather calmed and we were all smiles watching

There is only one other person in the world who would enjoy watching the popper scoopers in the parade more than me and my pal Terri...and that's Nellie

 I wonder how one gets this prestigious job? 
Do you volunteer? 
Are you appointed? 
Maybe it's a punishment for being a crappy (no pun intended) employee...
or are those criminals serving community service--those are the police mounty.
 Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like a good shovel and a 1.5 mile walk whiffing horse dung. 
Try being placed next to those guys at dinner--no thank you! 

Where else in the world can you go to see Clifford the Big Red Dog all stretched out in a sexy center fold pose looking more like a wiener dog than a bloodhound?
  I'm guessing no where!
 Only in St. Louis.

Thirsty for some hot chocolate?
 There was this kid whose parents made him dress like a penguin and a bill board peddling beverage screaming no figgy pudding for you till you sell the hot cocoa

      Ha kid we have our own hot chocolate--and it's spiked.

Next time you go grocery shopping you may want to consider this cart as an option.

As the balloons began to mimic in the rain and wind an episode of Sanford and Son, with an echo of Fred saying "it's the big one" as they were going down--we decided to bolt. 

I know you are thinking before Santa's appearance and the snow? 
But bolt we did! 

Got all cleaned up and looking good...  

where we went over the river and through the woods [and snow]--literally.

For this:    
Aaaahhhh the proverbial turkey shot.

Now that I have paid homage to the turkey. 
It's time to begin the next season:

Commencing with tuning the radio to constant Christmas tunes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Horn of Plenty

Usually I spend the weekend and the weekdays prior to Thanksgiving stressed as I scribble and scratch my menu and grocery list. Shop and beat folks down the isles and around the turkey case, as the perfect bird is lifted to the cart.  I unearth special dishes and polish the tarish off the silverware.  I set the table.  Arrange the vases with a mix of Fall flowers.  I chop, mix, brine and bake.  The house fills with the aroma only Thanksgiving offers up--nutmeg, sage, thyme, rosemary....

Except this year.

This year King Ralph's cousin and his wife decided they wanted a turn at hosting the family feast.  Who was I to arrgue the offer.  As much as I am finding a measure of relief from the always welcomed stress that hosting can be--it seems I am beginning to miss that stress.  I love stretching the table from one end of the Great room to the other while collecting every dining chair I can rummage up in the house.  Filling the house with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, gorging on a feast of foods and laughing through a night of games...aaaaahhhh horn of plenty.

Keeper's castle kitchen is silenced this year.  The oven is cool. Still my horn of plenty runneth over.  And. So. I present, the annual list of thanks. My list can be rearranged in order of listing with the exception of one and two.

1. God
2. Family
3. Dog
4. Friends
5. Laughter
6. Job
7. Medial insurance
8. Health
9. My new truck
10. fresh laundry
11. tears of joy
12. tears of pride
13. football games
14. marching bands
15. a good movie
16. sunny days on the playground
17. mountain hikes
18. campfires
19. classic rock music
20. a good pillow
21. bandwiches
22. parades
23. trivia nights
24. ice cream
25. Milky Ways
26. Flip Video camera
27.  a new razor to shave my legs
28. shampoo in my shower
29. toilet paper on the roller
30. TIVO and DVR
31. Glee
32. show choir
33. neighbors
34. new rental neighbors who mow the lawn
35. pumpkin pie
36. good books
37. Tostita Roasted Garlic and Black Bean chips
38. Rack-o
39. Yahtzee
40. clean sheets
41. ice water w/ a slice of lemon
42. Snuggle bamboo silk and blue iris fabric softner
43. my laptop
44. my camera
45. skin kissed by the sun
46. menstral cycle free months
47. hair color
48. Cardinal baseball
49. Project Runway
50. Prop L passing
51. Good doctors
52. teachers who teach with passion
53. motorcycle rides with the spousal unit
54. raked yard
55. drive-in movie gatherings
56. flip flops
57. good choices teenagers make
58. vacations in the camper
59. power naps

And the list goes on and on....

I hope your horn of plenty is as plentiful a harvest as mine.

Now if you don't mind I have a parade to get to, so I can burrrrrr freeze my turkey tail off watching.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On The Eve of Thanks

I just worshipped with my daughters was the best service at church in a long while.  We worshipped with two other churches of different denominations.  Such a presence of thankfulness in a shared God instead of division by chosen faith practice.  The sermon reminded us all "to be thankful for what is".  I am thankful!  So while I take the time to list the things big and small that offer and bring blessing a plenty--I leave you with this tune to inspire you as you make your list...or reflect upon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Family That Lives Together Works Together

Or is it that I should I title this entry as...

The unearthing of a mine field of dog crap. 


It's fun to watch D dry heave while carrying a sack of crap as big as Santa's satchel


Uli is a genius dog who was cultivating a fertilizer company.


The dog track is open--clear and free of leaves.


Whoever said child labor is wrong never had children of their own.


Or is it... Glad those new rental neighbors are better than the old ones and rake their leaves.


That girl can work a gas powered machine.

 I think we are going to stick with the original.  A FAMILY THAT LIVES TOGETHER WORKS TOGETHER and laughs while doing the evil chore of Fall--raking the yard.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coming To A Mailbox Near You

Me: Hey King Ralph, we snapped a few Christmas card photos today.  Wanna see?

KR: Sure.

Me: There's these, pretty girls....

KR: Oh I like.

Me: and these, silly girls. The girls want silly girls on the card.

KR: I don't like. 

Me: To bad dude! 

Really since when does the only man in the house get any say in how to create the Christmas cards--NEVER!  Now if he aggravated himself with years of moans from girls about how to fix hair and what to wear...if he ordered the cards, addressed and stamped the seventy-five cards, fought the post office parking lot to mail'em all...well, then, maybe.  But still, probably not. 

I toiled between which silly photo to use. 
This craziness was a close contender.
I thought folks might think that snarly beast in the middle, known as Princess A
riped D's hands off  leaving her with just wrists.  
I wonder if you can guess who in trio plays the jester at home?

In the end I decided to go with the original crazy shot.
Because gosh damnit I want to be real this year.
Showing off their beauty and brains.
Which shows the brains are a lil' crazed.

Here you have it: finished product. 

 The only thing that could have made the card even better is if the doghter
would have paused from her backyard lap race to join in the fun. 
 Oh well, maybe next year. 

Enough with's time to show a bit of respect to the turkey this week. 
HAIL TO THE TURKEY!  May he be pardoned only to my table [and plate] on Thursday. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This Just Might End Up On The Christmas Card

Because aren't cards suppose to say-- hey friends this is how life in our house is? 

  Instead of presenting life with two teens and a twenty year old as all: calm and serene.

Truth is--I love life in photo number one.
It's never boring, that's for sure!
 I wouldn't have it any other way!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Playground Talk, Now Let's Eat

One can hear the darndest things out on the playground.  Sometimes you don't even have to stretch an ear to hear, the kids come right up to tell you.  Today was no exception. 

Girl: Mrs. Avery my mom won't let me wear my Guiness shoes anymore.

Me: Really? Why?

Girl: 'Cause it's to cold out now.

Friend: What are Guiness shoes?

Girl: My beer flip flops.

Me: I don't really think you should be wearing beer shoes to the fourth grade anyway.

Girl: I thought they said "genius" when I bought them...I can't read.

That is when I thought but your mom can.

As long as we are talking beer here is a recipe I tried out tonight.  I got it from a high school classmate of mine. Everyone but one in the family liked it.  You know what  I say to that one...make yourself a dam PBJ then.  

Pork Chili

4 lbs picnic/shoulder roast
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans not drained
(16 ounce) jar salsa
2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 can rotel with diced chilies
Juice of one lime
Chopped garlic, cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes and 2 beers *Budweiser's (use what you are comfortable with)
Frozen corn 2 cups? Whatever you want….

Dump it all in crock pot (except for corn and cilantro) cook 7 hours on low. Pull pork out, shred add it back add corn and cilantro cook 2 more hours. Serve over cilantro lime rice.

Rice is 2 cups long grain rice to 4 cups water. When rice is cooked add juice of one lime and a half cup of chopped cilantro. Mix.

Here's my finished product (crappy picture taken with my phone)
Question is...does mine look like Sally's?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sure We Came In Fifth Place But We Laughed Till We Cried

$50 a couple for DECA trivia, that included dinner and an open bar
$10 worth of mulligans, which we clearly needed
$1 for "heads or tails" and being in the final four
$0 to play the scavenger hunt during trivia and our team being in the final two, losing to the guy who produced a grocery list from his wife's purse
$10 worth 50/50 raffle tickets, the team agreeing if one of us won we would split the winnings--we did!
My sister-in-law bidding on $300 worth of auction items under her husband's name without his knowledge and the look on his face when they kept calling his name--PRICELESS!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flyers of Fall

All the hype I've been feeding that marching band had come to an end... I kept getting all farklempted that the end had come...liar, liar pants on fire.  The season continues.  I keep on dressing the color guard. Washing uniforms. Why?  Because of the boys of fall.  The boys keep winning and the band keeps on playing. The green and gold is a force to be reckoned with on the field.  Friday Nights Lights is hitting the road for another big game.   So boys this ones for you.

Good luck and stay warm.  I'll be cheering from the comfort of my house listening to the play by play on prepcast.  Boys if you win tonight I promise to support in person next week at Flyers Stadium--the home field.

Go Lindbergh!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simply Titled--Veteran's Day

Something most everyone knows is that King Ralph is a police lieutenant.  Something most people don't know is that I keep one dirty white undershirt of his at all times.  I started this years and years ago when a rash of suburban police officers' lives were being taken in the line of duty.  In my young married years I was naive to the idea that King Ralph's life could ever be in much danger--the bullet proof vest was just a fashion accessory worn to induce sweat.  He works in a white-suburban-cookie-cutter-community, so what could ever go wrong. Right? Wrong!  Crime knows no boundaries.  Crime doesn't care if you live and work in the inner city or in an affluent community.  It was when officers in suburban communities were losing their lives to senseless crime that I wanted to be prepared in case the scent of my spouse would be stolen from me.  I want to be prepared to smell that musk like deodorant that clings to the cotton fibers that is, his, scent.  And. So. One dirty T-shirt at all times it is.

Monday night the school district put on the Annual Veteran's Day concert that supports the Backstopper's; an organization that assists families of fallen police, firefighters and EMS workers.  A troop of color guard girls clad in green velvet welcomed veterans and district residents.  An orchestra played.  The elementary school aged choir singing patriotic tunes in voices that sweetly struggle to increase volume and turn to slight shouts.  Innocent cuteness.  There was the high school acapella choir whose voices sounded like a symphony of angels--so beautiful words hardly describe.  There was the marching band who flooded the auditorium playing "God Bless America", followed by a medley of the armed forces theme songs.  With each branch's song that was played the veterans [and active duty] in the auditorium were asked to stand and be recognized, honored.  The Navy grabbed prize for the branch best represented.  Then I noticed, what we all do, I am sure, that there is an unspoken brotherhood among our WWII veterans.  As the band played Anchors Aweigh men in there eighties, strangers to one another turned, reaching rows apart to shake hands--a bond of brotherhood that only their hearts understand but we appreciate.  It leaves me asking why the Generation X'ers can't have that same kind of military brotherhood?  The evening ended remembering the men and women that the Backstopper's exists for as a police department's bagpipers played Amazing Grace.

Those names scrolling past remind me why I keep that single piece of dirty laundry.  In some ways I like to think as long as that t-shirt is there full of its musk scent-- life is safe.

Who knows there may be a wife whose spouse is serving our country right now who also has a fabric of clothing laced with a familiar scent.   What else is there say to that thought, except-- thank you, thank you for honoring our nation and protecting our freedoms.   

Heroes of different kind, yet both with the common goal to protect and serve, honored.                 

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Rapunzel ,Rapunzel let your hair down.

Last time I saw a Disney animated movie that totally captured my heart and left me in Disney love, was when Princess A was 20 months old. (Not saying I haven't seen some really good animated features since then, because I have.)   It was her first movie in a theater--Beauty and the Beast.  Princess A sat so entranced by every second of the movie it was hard to tell between the 20-month old and the adults in the theater.

Until tonight...

I scored some sneak peek tickets at work, compliments of Radio Disney, to see Disney's new movie Tangled.  It was Disney love all over again!  The theater was jam packed full of kids.  It has been a long time since I have sat amongst that many small people enjoying a movie.  Hearing the sweet sound of children's laughter sprung me back in time...remembering how M could always find humor in movies even when others couldn't.  Even with the infectious laughter of wee-ones, Tangled's humor isn't hard to find.  It is brimming with the perfect dose of slap stick.  Mandy Moore's voice is a captivating song bird leaving you to rush home to buy the Tangled CD.  Of course, like any good Disney animated movie there is the handsome hero Flynn Rider and the evil sinister Mother Gothel.  The message of believing in yourself, reaching for your dreams, never holding back or giving up is played out in the most perfectly beautiful way that the smallest of children and the children at heart can totally understand.  Disney magic at its best.  

If you want my suggestion for which dessert you should pick on Thanksgiving...I'm going to suggest a serving of Tangled--coming to theaters November 24.            

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pilgrim Pride

Flash back to Sunday. The TV was still brimming with commercials dedicated to costumed ghouls (and I don't mean politicians running for office tooting there own horn while they slaughter there opponent with forked tongue) eating Reese's peanut butter cups.  Then came November 1.  The commercials are (still chock-full of nasty politicians) bursting of elves creating magic and vision of sugar plums are being planted in children's heads and Overstock dot com sings parents into an Internet shopping trance.  Walgreen's has the holiday isle battling it out--one side is the fifty percent off Halloween leftovers while the other side is stacked with red and green candies, jingle bells, stuffed Santa's and reindeer.

Screeching halt here folks.

What about the turkey?

Does the turkey get no respect?

I mean it's the pilgrim who paved the way for this country to have a day of costumes and sugar overdose.  A day for the man in the red suit to stake claim to the month of December.  So tell me why can't the TV media pedal me Stove Top stuffing and Ocean Spray cranberries.  Campbell's whore the green bean casserole topped with French's french fried onions.  Why can't Butterball give me a dancing turkey table top or a pilgrim sailing on a Norelco razor?  Macy's saves Santa for the end of the parade-- they don't appoint him Grand Marshall making appearance at the lead off.

While the candidates for the Missouri senate polish their axes and daggers for a battle for blood-- known as 'the election"...I'm taking it to the mattresses for the turkey. I will demand Mr. Turkey rein supreme for just the first two weeks of November before I am choked with everything Christmas. I love Christmas, I do I do, its just....

So as soon as I return from my polling place my campaign for the turkey will be waged.       

I heart turkey.  I've got Pilgrim pride!

Be scared Christmas. Be scared.


Off my soap box, on a side note-- I just wanna say

Jodi has voted in the election

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday's Reflections

While the kids are given the next two school days off to recover from their self induced sugar high from bite size candies--to which no signs of left overs are at this house...darn!  I am left with this Kodak moment to remember M, I mean Lady Gaga, on Hallows Eve hanging out at Hugh Hefner's bash.

The dog on the other hand is rather pleased its all over-- she can shed her shark costume.  Although Uli shouldn't get to use to not wearing it; A and M purchased her the fancy get-up and seem to enjoy torching her with the wear.  They have been entertaining themselves with the shark for a month now. Poor doggy!

While the kids plan to laze around (we'll see about that) I can be found outside tackling a yard full of leaves. Much to my chagrin.

One last did it get to be November already?  Not to panic anyone but there is only 53 days till Christmas...55 days till M and I leave to attend the Tournament of Roses Parade.