Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm Still Here

Yes! I am still here. Here are the posts I haven't had time to write...

-My Dad's 60th Birthday Party at Brett and Rachel's over a week ago Saturday.

-Spring is Here - Last Monday after supper I took pictures of the deer poop/pellets all over our yard, lots of dirty mostly melted snow, the river from the neighbors yard, and took photos of our other neighbor's pink flamingos they recently put out.

-Spring is GONE again. I never got around to taking photos of the fresh white snow on Tuesday.

At the moment, I need to concentrate on work. I'll be back next week! Maybe by then my brain will be able to focus on something besides our big gala coming up this Saturday. Maybe I will actually be inspired to share something again. In the mean time, be well!

Friday, March 18, 2011


This morning Marly and Dean did NOT want to go to Daycare Cindy's. It happens to all of us. Sometimes I don't want to go to work. I get up and go anyway.

If you are 4, and you want to stay home, you don't just get dressed and GO ANYWAY. Life is simple. You object. You stomp your feet. You yell, "NO!" to your mommy. Then, if you are 4, and you really want to be difficult, you go into your room, lock the door, and crawl under your bed.

This morning Marly locked herself in her room. She did NOT want to leave. Dean did not want to leave either... and here is where the problem begins.

You see, I wasn't ready to leave anyway, and I didn't really care yet that Marly had locked the door. I went about my business as usual.

Dean DID care. He was very upset that he was on the WRONG SIDE of the locked door. Not only had Marly locked out Mommy, but Marly also locked out Dean.

Dean was distraught. He kicked, he banged, he shouted... "MaaaaaaarwwwEEEEEEE! Let me in!"


"MARWEEEEE - It's DEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let Me In!"

Okay - I was in the kitchen laughing as Dean repeated this over and over and over to the locked door.

If you must know, I finally opened the door with a bobby pin. I located Marly wedged under the bed. I pulled her blankets away from her little hands peeking out from under the skirting and bolted for the door.

Yup - Eventually she was going to have to come out for her blankies!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The past few weeks Dean has become the Egg Man. The kid LOVES eggs. He eats oodles of eggs. He asks for eggs EVERY day.

I bought an 18 pack of eggs on Saturday morning. I went to the store at 8 am specifically in need of eggs to make french toast and to scramble. On Sunday I ran to the store for potatoes for supper. I picked up more eggs.

It is Wednesday and Dean ate the last three eggs for breakfast this morning.

Mark makes fried eggs over easy. Dean wants 3. I go the simple route. I scramble. Dean has alerted me he prefers "FLAT" eggs (over-easy).

We start Dean off with 2 eggs. He always requests a third. Usually he ends up eating Marly's.

Last week Dean requested eggs when he got home from day care. Mark steered him towards fruit.

I suspect Dean is craving protein. He is a growing boy. We will go with it.

Enjoy Little Egg Man!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Coffee Reflections

One of the main reasons I blog is to record my history... for myself, my kids, my family and my friends. I fear I will forget my own stories and realities as I get older. I also think I have relatives/readers who have their own memories of our shared history, and might enjoy reading my take on the subject.

Naturally, I hope someday Marly and Dean will enjoy revisiting my stories, and the stories that are their own as well.

Anyway - on to today's story.

I love coffee. Rumor has it I started drinking coffee around the age of 3. This would have been watered down Lutheran coffee, so don't get too worried about my caffeine intake back then. I recall using my mom's coffee to dunk my cookies in. She would get mad about the cookie crumbs floating around her cup. Early on, I got my own cup when out visiting. In the country coffee was usually a part of any visit among women in their homes. (Oh.. and entering houses through the garage, but that is another story.) One such occasion - when my mom came to town to pick us up from school. We would stop by my Aunt Toots's to visit. (Our normal bus ride took about an hour.) Toots lived just a block from school. I would get on the bus, and then look out to see if my mom was parked up the street. If she was, Brett and I jumped off and headed over to her white Chevy Caprice Classic with the baby blue vinyl roof. At Toots's, we would have coffee and some selection of my aunts wide and varied array of baked goods before heading home.

My mom hated baking. She only made oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies, and various pans of bars when necessary. Those two kinds of cookies were REALLY good though. She would make DOZENS at a time and freeze them. When she baked big batches on Saturday mornings, she would listen to records like Carol King or Cat Stevens. She placed chocolate chips in some of the oatmeal when they were hot out of the oven for my dad, because my dad preferred cookies with chocolate in them. Both the oatmeal and chocolate chip were excellent for DUNKING in coffee. The chocolate chip were always perfectly round and uniform in size and shape. I wish I could have one RIGHT NOW!

I also remember going to "coffee parties" with my mom and the neighbor ladies in the country (Brookfield Township to be more specific) - Patty, Yvonne, and Irene. If there were others, I don't recall. The ladies gathered for each other's birthdays. No gifts - just coffee time. I got to come. I was the only child there, as the other ladies were older. I guess Brett got sent off with my dad in the tractor or to the shop while we were gone. And here, I drank coffee.

Coffee on Saturday at my Grandpa's in Bird Island was an institution. My cousins Dee, Kris and I got to go up town to the bakery to get rolls and donuts to go with the coffee. My grandpa used a percolator pot on the stove. He told me the coffee was going to stunt my growth, but let me drink it anyway. I have no idea if coffee was a factor, but in elementary, I was usually the shortest child, and always the skinniest.

At our own house, my mom had a Bunn drip brew coffee maker, so the water was always hot and ready. She brewed Folgers every day. (At my grandpa's it was a can of Hills Brother.) Looking back, I believe it was rather watered down. My mom would re-heat cups through out the afternoon in the microwave. My dad didn't/doesn't drink coffee, so the pot was hers.

I wonder what she would have thought of grinding her own Caribou beans, like I do at my house? I wonder what she would have thought of a latte? (...or what people will pay for coffee.) I suspect she would still prefer her Folgers.

Anyway, this Saturday I had a Breve from Caribou. I grabbed it when I made a quick run for eggs and a few others things at the store around 8 am. I decided it was time for Marly and Dean to give it a taste. Dean wasn't interested. Marly was willing to try.

She didn't take to it.

I think I will keep on trying. A love for coffee must be somewhere in the blood of Marlys's namesake.

Maybe I need to start with Folgers...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pay it Forward

Once a week or so (okay... who am I kidding...more often TWICE a week) I indulge and treat myself to a 1/2 caf medium latte at Caribou. Today is Friday. This morning I decided it has been a long week and I DESERVED a latte. (okay... no one DESERVES a latte). Actually, I decided I had EARNED a latte. I am struggling to keep on my toes and ahead of the game at my new job. I remain very happy with my move, but am surely challenged in new ways, and learning a lot, quickly.

Anyway, today in the drive thru at my local Caribou, the lady in the car in front of me payed it forward. You got it. My drink was COMPLIMENTARY by the guest ahead of me.

Oh my gosh, I felt like I won the lottery! I was giddy, and expressed this whole heartedly to the barista.

I did NOT pay it forward for the next person in line. I broke the chain (if there was one). The truth is, the lady in front of me made me sooo happy, I wanted to keep her gift for myself. Passing it on to the person behind me would have taken away my treat. I have decided this wasn't selfish, because the person in front of me achieved their goal to please someone else 100% on their purchase for ME.

I do plan to pay it forward for someone behind me in the future.

THANK YOU anonymous lady! You made my morning. Mission accomplished.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birthday Party!

Sunday was the kids actual Birthday, and the day we hosted their big party with family and friends. I will tell you, I had a really good I hope everyone else did too.

The kids enjoyed running around a playing with the gang. I wish I was the type of person who hosted a nice gathering just BECAUSE, and had my extended family over for occasions outside of my kid's birthday. As a consolation, I hope to serve a meal that pleases the crowd. I hope it is worth the drive, since many aunts, uncles, and cousins come from a distance (for which I am so grateful and happy).

This year I made a crock pot of hot shredded turkey sandwich meat. Easy and delicious. You put ten pounds of turkey breast, a can of beer, a stick of butter, and a packet of onion soup mix in a crock pot on low, and let it cook overnight. In the morning you shred it up with a fork, remove the bones, and serve when you are ready.

The recipe indicates it serves 10-12 people. I was expecting around 20 adults plus kids, so I made TWO crock pots full. I borrowed them both from neighbors, since I only have the round one. You guessed it, we didn't even touch the second crock. I suspect I may serve this next year, I thought it was so good (but will make less of course).

Rachel made her delicious baked beans. We served fresh berries, cold slaw, fish eye salad and chips.

Marly's dress coordinates with Dean's shirt, which has his initial appliqued on it with a king's crown. I ordered them from Olive & Ollie at Etsy. Marly let me curl her hair, but refused bows or embellishment.

Of course there was cake (chocolate from Byerly's).

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thompson Family Birthday Brunch

Saturday we had Mark's family over for a birthday brunch. I served Martha Stewart's Ham, Swiss and Tomato Strata, roasted potatoes, fresh fruit, and fish eye salad.

The grandparents.
Kelly and Jeff.

Blowing out their candles. The cake is white with chocolate mousse filling from Jack's Bakery. Saturday we had white cake (Dean's pick) and Sunday we had chocolate (Marly's pick).


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