Thursday, October 29, 2009

Potato's what was for dinner!

Due to the popularity of this soup (at our house), I'm posting it here for others to enjoy.  I originally got it from my sister's college roommate (thanks, Sandee).  I've tweaked it to use chicken broth (she was [is?] vegan), and its still the yummiest soup in the world.  So simple, so satisfying, and so colorful with the inclusion of the carrots & celery.

Sandee’s Potato Soup


4 cups water (or chicken broth, or vegetable broth)
4 cups potatoes
1 cup onions
1 cup celery
1 cup carrots
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
Salt, pepper, butter/margarine

Peel & chop vegetables (this is the chicklets’ job).
Saute onions in a clump of butter/margarine until onions are translucent.
Add broth/water.
Add potatoes, carrots, celery & bring to a boil.
Reduce heat & simmer until tender (approx 20 minutes).
Remove from heat.  Pour in evaporated milk.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir.  Serve with bran muffins.

And because my family goes through so many of these muffins whenever we have potato soup, I naturally have to include this recipe as well.  These suckers are so tasty.  Make sure you double the recipe & throw the extras in the freezer.  Excellent straight from the microwave on a cold morning.

The Original All-BranTM Muffins


1 1/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 c All-Bran cereal
1 1/4 c milk
1 egg
1/4 c vegetable oil


1.  Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt.  Set aside.
2.  In large mixing bowl, combine KELLOGG'S ALL-BRAN cereal and milk.  Let stand about 2 minutes or until cereal softens.  Add egg and oil.  Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring only until combined. Portion evenly into twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin pan cups coated with cooking spray.
3.  Bake at 400° F about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Wow, now I'm really hoping for leftovers for dinner.  Something tells me the chix will beat me to them!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So here I am. Sitting on a gurney in the emergency room.

Should I express my disdain for my primary care doctor? Or my chiropractor? or both?!

I awoke on Thursday with what seemed to be a deep cough.  Throughout the day I felt worse.  I went so far as to predict I wouldn't be at work Friday and that I likely had bronchitis.

And I was right.

And wrong.

I woke up Friday feeling crappy & did send an email to my supervisor letting him know I would be out due to illness.  I had had the presence of mind on Thursday to make a doctor's appointment for Friday morning.  Yay me.  Whatever.  The doc confirmed what I thought I had - bronchitis.

I got my prescription filled - ONLY $193 - thanks doc - and then went home to two little girls (dh is out of town) who attempted to take care of me over the course of the day by making jello, chicken noodle soup, ramen noodles, and hot apple cider.

I managed to wake in time for my chiro appt.  I knew I should have canceled.  But I didn't.  I went in the hopes of alleviating the pain I knew I should be feeling as a result of lying in a very tense position (while trying to avoid coughing).

And at the chiro appt, the doc again said I should bring in my girls to get their immune systems in alignment.

Uh, doc, you 'aligned' my immune system 12 hours BEFORE I started this nasty cough.  And now you're aligning it 36 hours AFTER I started hacking up a lung and it's phlegmy contents. And AFTER a medical doc diagnosed bronchitis.

How come immediately AFTER your alignment I developed a nasty case of diarrhea? Yeah, I know you'll probably try to tell me it was my body getting rid of some toxins.


I still ended up in the emergency room on Saturday.  24 hours AFTER your 'immunity alignment' -- being diagnosed with H1N1, getting two breathing treatments, steroids, and a painkiller to help me stop coughing.  If I'd waited for another 'immunity alignment' I'd probably be DEAD! My oxygen sats were in the 50s.  THANKS!

Dear Chiropractor, you SUCK!

Oh, I won't be seeing you again.  Enjoy your flakey self-righteous life with your son who has never had an illness or a vaccine.  Doorknob.

Oh yeah, and primary care doc?  Thanks for not bothering to check to see if I had H1N1.  As a result of your inefficiency, I wasted $193.  You may have that kind of money to throw away, but I DON'T!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

School Science Fair

My class is having a science fair and I really need a good idea for mine and A's project.  I was thinking about doing a memory test for a couple of different age groups, but I am not sure.  Let me know if you have any ideas or comments about this!  :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Random. Just Random.

Things overheard:

12:30pm  "Hey, you foreigner!"  (heard from a co-worker possessing his own Indian accent)

11:20am  "Aaa Schoon!  BM!"  (Niece-ling called to tell me she went potty on her own little potty--Yay Niece-ling!!!)

supervisor-type-person:  "So, I don't understand.  You renumbered this chapter because....?"
me:  "There were duplicate entries.  12.02 and 12.02.  So I renumbered the area following the initial entry."
supervisor-type-person:  "Okay.  Let me look at this...why is this a different number?"

8:59pm  "Oh man.  I put my underpants on inside out again." 

7:40pm  "Waaaaah.  That reminds me of D______ and D________....I miss them so much!" (in reference to a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse promo)

12:10pm  "Mom, I just wanted to let you know I can't open my medicine bottle.  That's all.  Bye."  (this was from the twin with the 22 day sinus infection on her 3rd antibiotic)

8:55pm  "Mom, the TV won't work!"  (because they'd entered the wrong PIN# on the cable box a few too many times)

And I thought the conversations got less interesting once they spoke English (as opposed to babbling pseudo-English as toddlers)!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hey it's Crab again

Hi, it's almost fall break and I am still sick, if you didn't know it I have been sick since October 1st. I can't believe that it's almost Halloween already! I am going to be mismatched for Halloween and Yell is going to be either a hippie, a weirdo, or a hippieweirdo. Fun stuff!

Friday, October 16, 2009

mixed up

I can't wait till winter; but when it comes I'll hate it.

Sickness in the 6th grade

Wow.  My computer teacher said that the 6th grade started getting the whole school sick, and basically everyone in my class agrees.  I especially agree because our classes are the ones that started the swine flu virus. In my sister's class of 29, 15 were out sick last week.

I do not feel good.  I have been sick for the past 11-16 days.  Yay.  I am so excited, can't you see my enthusiasm.  It's totally non-existent enthusiasm if you can't tell.  I wish I could feel better.  Tell me if you feel the same way.

Understanding Underwear

As I was leaving work yesterday, I realized I hadn't worn a jacket or coat.

::mental head slap::

me:  "Oh my gosh, I forgot to wear a jacket this morning.  I'm an idiot."

co-worker:  "I can do better than that.  I forgot more than my jacket yesterday..."

me:  "Yeah, but yesterday didn't you wake up at 6:28 and had to have your kid at the bus stop by 6:45?"

co-worker:  "Yeah, but this is pretty good."

Co-worker went on to explain that while in the bathroom, at some point in the workday, co-worker had realized that the tag of the underwear they were wearing front.

Yep.  An adult.  Put their underwear on backward.  This co-worker also explained that they had sent a text message to their spouse asking for advice on the situation.

I'd say that was a bit of a hectic morning (but I was glad for the story, it was the highlight of my workday)!

But it reminded me of going to a bridal shower a few years ago.  The bride-to-be had left the room to use the facilities.  All of the other women chatted & visited, but did notice she took a while to return.  Upon her return, she said, "I don't know what your husband's like...but Matt likes these thong things..." and we started laughing immediately.  "I was going to the bathroom and figured out that the label was on the side of my hip.  So I had to take off my pants to put them on the right way.  But I couldn't figure it out..."

To think anyone is slender enough to put their hips through the leg hole of a pair of underwear...yowza.

And then I remembered watching my little niece Nallie a few months ago.  The Chicklets had gotten her dressed for church; diaper, top, bottom, socks, shoes.  I remember noticing it was a little difficult to strap her into her car seat, but didn't make an issue of it and we all got to church on time.  While at church, though, Nallie wanted to sit facing me on my lap.  But she was having a tough time straddling my lap (and I'm not *that* much overweight, I swear).  While shifting her position, I realized her legs wouldn't come apart...oops.

Both legs through the same hole of her outfit.

Last underwear story of the day -- I hope.

My girlfriend had triplet girls eleven months after I had my twin girls.  R used to take "the babies" to their grandmother's house so she could attend church in peace (I totally understand this)!  One Sunday R got baby A dressed in her dress/pants, baby B dressed in her dress/pants, and baby C in her dress...couldn't find the coordinating pants that went with the dress.  Searched and searched, couldn't find the coordinating pants that went with the dress.  Gave up and put on another pair of pants, took the babies to their grandmother's house, then took the two older girls to church.

Upon her return to the grandmother's house, she found a laughing grandmother.  Apparently one of 'the babies' had needed a diaper change and Grandmother had found the pants!

R, in her sleep-deprived-half-crazed-gotta-get-out-the-door-to-church state had clothed baby A or baby B in TWO pairs of the coordinating pants.  How's that for efficiency?!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Hey, I am sickly and tired and my throat hurts really bad.

Oh my aching back!

Way back in my not-so-distant past, I fell off a ladder.

When I fell (such an amazing demonstration of poise & grace), I not only landed on my back in a searing blaze of pain, but also nearly decapitated my husband by bringing down the ladder on top of both of us.


Sapper had the presence of mind to insist I take a walk (with out hyperactive dog) to keep my muscles moving.  For that I am grateful.  The next day I was sore, but was able to move.

When I say I was sore, I should mention the parts of me that were *not* sore.  Hmm.  My nose.  My ears.  My eyes.  Everything else hurt.

I couldn't move my neck (whiplash?) and head.  I had bruises on both arms.  I especially remember the pulled muscle feeling inside my right thigh.  I was moving so slowly that our choir director didn't recognize me walking through the school parking lot!

Anyway, fast forward to eight days later when I went to donate platelets.  Crab n Yell's school participated in a blood drive but I was ineligible to donate whole blood because I'd done so less than a month previously.  blah blah blah so I talked to the blood center & they said they reallllllly need my platelets.

I thought I was doing alright.  Honestly.  I was still a little stiff and sore, but thought my back would get better over time.

I was really wrong.

These bed things they have at the blood center are pretty comfy.  I've been tempted to nap in them more than once.  But on the 12th I laid on the bed for approximately eight minutes before realizing my back hurt -- a lot.  The phlobotomists noticed something awry (moving my legs incessantly? moans of pain?) and after a little bit of conversation gave me the phone number of a chiropractor.

I managed to see the doc that afternoon.

Good news?  My back isn't broken.

Bad news?  The doc says I have a bulging disk.  And 3 or 4 vertebrae out of alignment.  And they're putting pressure on my sciatic nerve.  (I saw the x-ray, didn't see what the doc was talking about.  But I'm not a doc, nor do I pretend to be one.)

Weird news?  At the appointment for my 'adjustment' on Tuesday, the doc suggested I'd need treatments every day for two weeks, and that after 'two months' I should be pain free.  Yike.

Weirder news?  At my appointment Wednesday, the doc offered to 'adjust the kids' backs to get their immune systems in alignment' after giving them each a free sample of chewable vitamin C.


Freaky-might-make-me-switch-doctors-news?  The doc then said, "Watch out for flu shots and antibiotics.  Toxic!"

The chix said, "Was he serious?"

Anyone know a tactful way to switch chiropractors without having to talk to the weird one ever again?

Friday, October 9, 2009

How to go camping without being there

I love my husband dearly.  I am completely in awe of his abilities to perform small but daunting tasks (fix the broken light fixture in the hallway), larger labor-intensive jobs (remove a cabinet, plumb & install the dishwasher), craftsmanship (design & build the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in our home) and general household maintenance (strip & paint the back deck).

But sometimes I wonder how he gets along without me.

Ring.  Ring.

me: "______, this is Susan."

person: "mumblemumblemumble"

me:  "This is Susan."

person:  "Suz!"

me:  "Oh, hi, try not to mumble next time."

Ironman:  "I'm not trying to...mumblemumble...(men's voices) do you get the awning up?"

me:  "Seriously?"

Ironman:  "Yes, seriously...mumblemumble...I need you to talk me through it."

me:  "Oh, gad, let me remember.  Okay, go to the arms & unscrew the black travel locks on the back."

Ironman:  mumblemumble..."Unscrew those black things!"

me:  "But don't take them off!  Just loosen them.  Then take the hook and flip the lever down.  On the far right."

Ironman:  "The silver metal? or the gray metal?"

me:  "What?!  The lever - at the top right - very top - by the awning.  And then flip the arm levers."

Ironman:  ", talk to KD."

KD:  "Hey, how's it going?"

me:  "Is this a clusterPu(k or what?"

KD:  "Hey, watch your language now! Are those arms supposed to be in two pieces?"

me:  "What?!  Is he using the pull bar to pull the awning out?"

KD:  "It's not pulling out."

me:  "What do you mean?  Is the arm taken apart?  Did he flip the switch down?  Did he flip the arm up?"

background:'s's voices

Ironman in the background:  "It's not moving out...tell her it isn't coming out."

me:  "Tell him to flip the switch down again.  And the arms up."

KD:  "She says to flip it again..."

in the background,'s

Ironman in the background:  "It's not...hey, you have to flip these things up...why didn't she tell me..."

me:  "I did tell him!"

KD:  "She says she did tell you.  Man, I'm telling you, if Julie told me, she probably did and that's it."

me:  "Is it extending?"

in the background:  clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick

KD:  "Yeah, it's working."

me:  "OK, once it's out you have to lock it using the levers on the inside of the arms."

KD:  "Yeah, we got it."

me:  "Have you guys got it?  Do you know what to do next?"

KD:  "Yeah, I think so."

me:  "OK, tell him to call me when he needs to retract it."

I'm awaiting a fun phone call on Sunday when Ironman is done with his relay race and everyone is exhausted.  Something involving Kentucky, our camper, a bunch of Army guys, and Bourbon(???). 

Fun times ahead....

Of course, in his defense, I can't start the lawn mower.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Grace - it's my name - don't wear it out!

Wow.  So yesterday Sapper tasked me with going to various home improvement stores to buy this stuff.  It seems he'd like to actually park a *car* in the garage.  Go figure -- we buy a house with a 3-car garage & he decides he'd like to put more than one car in the garage.  What a weirdo!

I should probably mention, too, that the task was assigned during an event some women wouldn't want to watch the Colts game.  There was a bit of growling involved in my being physically maneuvered out the door of the house.  Anyway, I get to one store and find that they have some of the stuff we need/want, but not all.  So Yell & I headed to another store to find some more of the stuff we want/need, but again, not all.  ::sigh::

Fast forward to the return home.  Sapper is pleased, but not thrilled, with the items purchased.  Like this - and this - and this - but this item wasn't available at either store (and we wanted not one, but two of them).  And of course the 'specialty' items like the weapon baseball bat holder, the golf club rack, and the mobile obstacle course container vertical ball rack all have to be special-ordered.  Aren't we lucky!

Blah blah blah, I get to stuff a bowl of chili down my throat prior to assisting Sapper with his installation project.  Yay.  I'm just glad I had the foresight to throw the stuff in the crock pot before heading out the door to church (7 hours previously).  Bent on showing Sapper that I indeed deserved the tool set he'd given me for Christmas (by the way, honey, where is my #3 Phillips screwdriver?), I climbed the step ladder to help nail the pilot holes for all of the FastTrack Rails.  Labor intensive, I'm not kidding, I bought a box of 50 stud-screw-thingies to help anchor the rails into the wall and we ran out after only 2 rails.

I promise you, I do not have a fear of tools.  I was managing on my own.  Managed to smash my fingers only once with the hammer possessing the ridiculously too-long handle handed me by Sapper.  I mean, I learned how to use a SawZall when we assembled the girls' playhouse (perched 5 feet up on what used to be a pool deck), how hard could it be to hammer pilot holes?

We got done with the pilot holes, and Sapper stuck the rail up against the wall and we began to 'start' the screws in the drywall locks.  Thus begins the end of our story.

I had to stand on the 2nd step from the top so I could reach over the top of the ladder.  When I ran out of area that I could comfortably reach (without leaning so far over on the ladder I'd topple), I began to step down so I could move the ladder.  And boy, did I!

Took one step down with my left foot, completely missed the step, sprawled in mid-air, reaching desperately for the following step with my left foot while the right is still planted on the 2nd step from the top, all the while desperately holding a Phillips screwdriver in my right hand along with the edge of the ladder, and multiple screws in my left hand, doing amazing splits I haven't attempted since cheerleading tryouts in high school....

and down I tumbled.  To the floor.  Arms flailing.  Screws flying.  Ladder tumbling over, nearly onto me & Sapper.  My arms hitting a ladder on the right, and an immobile object on the left.  And oh my word, my back and tailbone hitting concrete below.

And that, ladies & gentlemen, is the reason that today I am hardly able to move my arms, neck, back, and hips.  Not too bad for a SAHM turned WOHM/taxi driver, huh?

Tomorrow, adventures in baby-catching (a memory)!

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