in transit

I was going to post the mad libs response that entertained me most but since no one seemed much up to blog reading this week I think I’m just going to leave that in the ether and let you know that today, is a day in transit.

As I type this post I am curled up on the sofa in our hotel room.  K sits on my feet (even though more than half the couch is left empty she is still on my feet…  odd I know).  She’s watching cartoons while she breathes with some difficulty through and incredibly stuffed up nose and stares ahead with glazed eyes.  She could be staring at nothing the way she sits there with a blank face…

Mike is in the bedroom still wrapped up in sleep.  He’s oblivious, for the moment, of all the hustle and bustle we’re about to undertake as we pack up our things.  In the course of 3 days our stuff has spread comfortably throughout the hotel room.  I’ll have to wake him up soon and get him going.  We have big things to accomplish today before we head back to the little corner of the world we call home.  Once we check out we’ll head to the Wax Works and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.  Then the monumental task of choosing which restaurant to eat at before we pop back in the car for the several hour drive home.

Part of me hopes that K will take that chance to snooze.  With her cold she’s bound to be grumpy and that’s not fun to travel with… but a more practical part of me says:  Deal with the 3 hour of whining, keep her awake, entertain her.  Then when she gets home she’ll be exhausted from a day of travel and willing to snuggle into her bed early and go to sleep.

If I were a normal person, a wise person, I would then climb early into my own bed and let the big soft mattress and pillows embrace me as I slumber between my cool sheets under my warm heavy blankets.  Since I am neither normal, nor particularly wise today though, I’ll be doing an episode of Strange Love Live tonight.

With all the craziness of the day, I’ll try to hold on to the calm, the peace, the laziness I’ve found on this vacation.  That, and this image…

I do so love a day at the beach.

Thankful Mad Libs with Mr. Fabulous

Back when I was a wee little baby blogger there was a blog that I lurked on.  I laughed and threw up into my mouth a little every week.  I grimaced and grinned at the sick sense of humor and then after a while I started commenting.  That site was Pointless Drivel, the home of today’s guest, Mr. Fabulous.

When I asked Fabby to write a guest post for me I knew there could be some content control issue, but since I am editor and chief of this here bloggy prison I picked my brain, came up with no contingency plan and then waited for my husband to make a helpful suggestion.  For a very odd specific reason I am unable to post this particular guest post without some editing.  But since I hate to put words into someone’s mouth I’ll let all of you do it.  So instead I bring you Thankful Mad Libs with Mr. Fab.  Fill it out and enjoy.  I’ll post my favorite adaptation on Friday.

1.    A title: _______________
2.    Adjective:  _______________
3.    Adjective:  _______________
4.    Addictive substance:  _______________
5.    A decade:  _______________
6.    Same addictive substance.
7.    Store name:  _______________
8.    Noun (plural):  _______________
9.   Adjective:  _______________
10.  Proper Noun plural (person or thing): _______________
11.  Same Proper Noun.
12.  Another Store Name:  _______________
13.  Noun (small item):  _______________
14.  Noun (small item):  _______________
15.  Noun (small item):  _______________
16.  Organization or club:  _______________
17.  Adjective:  _______________
18.  Adjective:  _______________
19.  TV Show:  _______________
20.  Field of Study:  _______________
21.  Adjective:  _______________
22.  Official Organization or Group:  _______________
23.  Plural noun:  _______________
24.   Adjective:  _______________
25.   Adjective:  _______________
26.  TV show genre:  _______________
27.  TV network: _______________
28:  Verb:  _______________
29.  Adjective:  _______________
30.  Part of a house:  _______________

****
Hey. Mr. Fab here, semi-retired blogging icon and –                 –. When the –                 – and –                 – Cami Kaos asked me to do a guest post this week, I could hardly refuse her.  After all, I owe Cami a lot.  She was instrumental in helping me get off–                 – back in the–                 – .

Sigh…I miss –                 – .

In any event, in the spirit of the season, I thought I might share with you what I am thankful for these days.

I am thankful that our backyard is completely fenced in.  Privacy is important.

I am thankful that the ground in our backyard is soft, enabling me to dig large holes on a regular basis with very little trouble.

I am thankful that we live so close to a –                 – ; and that large bags of –                 – can be purchased there at very prices.

I am thankful that there are so many –                 – the area, even if there are not as many  as there was before I moved here.

I am thankful for the nifty lockbox I purchased at –                 – .  Lockboxes are perfect for safeguarding little trophies like –                 ––                 –, and –                 –.

I am thankful that our local   –                 – is    –                 – and   –                 – .

I am thankful for shows like  –                 –that teach us so much about  –             –.

I am thankful that Lexington has an understaffed and –                 –, and that this city does not attract the best and brightest   –                 –.

I am thankful that my time off from blogging has allowed me to pursue a  –                 – and   –                 – hobby.

I am thankful for all the   –                 – shows on the    –                 –, without which I would never have been able to  my    room in the  –                 – .

Now what are you thankful for, other than the fact that you don’t live near me?

Thanksgiving — Why Bother Planning?

This next guest author needs no introduction, because luckily she’s written one into the very first sentence!

***

So, if you’re like me, Melissa Lion of Recovering Californian fame, you’ve talked a big game about how you’re going to cook Thanksgiving dinner FROM SCRATCH because, basically you’re the man with balls of steel and a big red cape that says BIG MAN on the back, except you’re a woman and none of that is necessarily relevant but you want to flex your mighty cooking muscles. And your in-laws (all of them!) are coming up from California to stay in your 934 square foot house and you’ll be cooking for seven people, when you’re used to cooking just for two adults and a three year old. And you have just a day until all this happens, and you have deadlines and a house that needs a light cleaning and by light cleaning I mean a full-on sandblast followed by a spritz of Agent Orange (just for funzies). And HOLY SHIT WHAT ABOUT THOSE DEADLINES?!?

Here’s what you do: you plan your week’s cooking in advance.

Okay, I know that many of you already realize this, but there’s one of you who’s been nodding and gnawing at her fingernails through the previous 191 words. (Hi!)

It wasn’t until last year that I realized that cooking in advance was even an option. Seriously. One Thanksgiving was so very, very poorly planned by a woman with black hair and bangs and pale skin and lots of cleavage (I’m looking at you Miss Kaos…okay it wasn’t her, it was the other Portland lady who fits that bill — *me*) that my family and I wound up in Chinatown getting a chicken. In Chinatown, the chickens are merely de-feathered and not de-footed or beheaded and so we had to ask the nice gentleman with the buzz saw to take care of those unseemly bits.

I don’t want that to happen to the one person out there who had no idea she could cook the meal in advance.

Here’s my schedule for cooking Thanksgiving dinner this week:

Monday: Work on my deadlines and finish cleaning the house.

Tuesday: Cranberry Sauce, Turkey Stock.

Wednesday: Stuffing, Yam and Squash Puree, Pies (apple and pumpkin), Gravy, prepare salted turkey (no brining this year, going with Bon Appetit’s salted suggestion)

Thursday: Turkey, Brussels Sprouts, Potatoes.

See? Easy Peazy!

And to make things even easier, here’s my favorite cranberry sauce recipe. It’s so good, I made it two weeks ago and canned it for the relatives to take home with them.

Cranberry- Pomegranate Sauce with Satsumas

from Seriously Simple Holidays by Diane Rossen Worthington

(The only holiday cookbook you’ll ever need)

3/4 c sugar

1 c pomegranate juice

12 oz cranberries

4 satsumas

1/2 c pomegranate seeds

dash of balsamic vinegar

In a medium, non aluminum sauce pan, combine sugar, pomegranate juice and cranberries. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes, until the cranberries just begin to pop. Remove from heat and let cool.

Add satsuma pieces, pomegranate seeds, and balsamic and mix to combine. Place in a glass container, cover and refridgerate until using. Adjust seasonings to taste just before serving.

Can be made up to 5 days ahead.

Got that everyone? Now who’s going to help me with those deadlines and to clean my house?

Would You Like An Ad With That Meal?

Please welcome our second guest writer of the week, a man who really needs no introduction (at least he shouldn’t)  The Blog Father, my father, Daddy Kaos.

***

I have been afforded the honor to guest post for CK while she enjoys her Thanksgiving on the coast. While it will not be the same lighthearted commentary you would normally see on her site, I believe it fits the overall scheme of her concern as a mother. So here we go.

As we all think about stuffing ourselves like the proverbial Thanksgiving turkey the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) want you to think about this.

How do you feel about a ban on all advertising for fast food that is directed at children. Why do this you ask? Well according to the study, doing so would reduce the number of overweight (obese) children between 3 and 11 by 18% and in the 12 to 18 age group there would be a 14% reduction, with a more pronounced impact on males than females according to the study. According to NBER this is the largest study of its kind to directly tie childhood obesity to fast-food advertising on American TV. The data is based on U.S. Department of Labor done in 1979 and 1997 and involved over 13,000 kids.

Just think of it, no more McDonalds ads for the Happy Meal. No more ads for the or BK kids meals with the Simpsons (or what ever the latest bribe of the month is) toys therefore no more pressure on irresponsible parents to get in the car and take their fat little progeny to the nearest gorge and gobble. And after all, look what the ban on alcohol did for us from 1920 to 1933.

To my knowledge, our lovely grand-daughter has never had a quarter-pounder or a whopper pass her lips and it is that way because CK and Dr. Normal have acted as responsible parents making the right choices. That’s what we should focus on, not banning more advertising. We might as well ban car ads because they cause kids to have traffic accidents.

While I can agree that ads may impact habits, it is the parents that should take control and limit couch time. After all, a child does not get a lot of physical activity when their exercise routine is no more strenuous that turning on the Sony Playstation. Hell, if nothing else get them a WII.

Deb on the Rocks Writes Me a Love Letter…

This part of the post up here at the top?  Still me… Cami.  I couldn’t just thrust my darling guests into these pages without a wee bit of introduction could I?  What if you fall desperately in love with them and want to be able to follow/ stalk them at the click of a button and don’t know how to use google search?  It just seemed easier for me to say that today’s post is from Deb on the Rocks.  If I had a list of bloggers around the world that I wanted to meet (which I do, and shut up because you know you do too) she would be in the top five.

***

My long, torrid devotion to Cami Kaos dates back almost exactly give
or take hours or weeks to a year ago when right here on this site
(wait, it looked different back then) I tried to lure her into
spanking me by submitting lyrics for the talented Kaos family
Christmas song contest.  Which was awesome.  By winning in the adult
category
, I got to hear Cami sing my lyrics in this breathy sexpot
voice.  Oh, that voice. Hot, but all digital.

Same thing happened when Cami invited me onto Strange Love.  I dialed
in, which was a lot of fun, but I didn’t get to sit on the couch or
anything.  Imagine the coziness of that couch in the studio, with Cami
perched to the side, sort of a psychoanalytical session meets porn
fantasy.  You know, the one where the chick is being interviewed by
this hot couple and then the guy stops everything because the sound
quality is off but the camera is still recording, and they both move
in to try to adjust the microphone, accidentally spilling the ice cold
martini down the guest’s breasts, freezing her…

That porn fantasy.

But I didn’t get to experience that coziness or anything else, because
I was long distance.  Only digital.

And now, while I am thrilled to blog-sit, I didn’t have time to buy a
plane ticket and accept the keys to the vehicle in person from Cami.
I’m here, rolling around in her bloggy bed, but she’s gone.  I’m just
a digital visitor.

I don’t know if I’ll ever break the digital divide.  I live in
Florida, which is about as far from Portland as you can be and still
be in North America.  Aside from the Kaos attraction, not seeing
Portland itself is a tragedy, because I have come to find out that
Portland must be the coolest city in the country with all of these
amazing geek, literary and creative events and groovetastic people
just wandering around drinking coffee and teaching each other
Wordpress and Igniting and podcasting and who knows what else that you
don’t bother telling us in the provincial land because we would never
understand. Why don’t I live in Portland?

I thought I was going to at least visit Oregon by attending Blogher
09, because when Portland was on the shortlist I thought it was a done
deal.  What city could compete with Cami’s town?

Chicago clearly rigged the voting.

So, there’s no Portland in my schedule at this point, which means I
have to continue to make do with only digital Cami.  Fortunately,
digital Cami Kaos is a powerhouse of sexy, creative, dynamic
deliciousness.  It’s what drew me in, after all, and her writing and
interviewing are so good.  Even if I have yet to meet her, I’ll always
be devoted.  Virtual love can’t be compared to skin time: one’s not
better than the other, they’re just different.  In the flesh–
whatever.  Cami gives good digital.

thanks, not giving…

We here at the house of Kaos work a lot.  Granted some of us may work more than others… I’ve been known to get a good night’s sleep most nights while Mike tends to stay up all night like a lunatic… but that’s not the point.  We work hard…

But not next week.  I’m taking the week off to spend with my family.  I considered leaving you all out in the cold and that didn’t seem very seasonally appropriate.  Then I thought about finding some oldies but goodies, I’ve been writing this blog for two years now, there must be a gem or two, right?  But then Mike suggested that I turn the reins over for a few days to some trusted bloggy friends.

That man of mine, he is a clever fellow.  Now I get a week off and you get lovely fresh blog content and a peek into the minds of some of my favorite bloggers.  Pop by each day next week for a different blogger helping to give me a week of peaceful non writing.

Which means I’m going to spend the week  basking in the glow of a family vacation on the beautiful Oregon coast or desperately freaking out over the fact that I’m not actually writing anything.

Probably a little bit of each, so when I come back to you on December 1st I’ll likely be a freakin mess… I know you’re looking forward to it.

no one is dead here…

I think things are going well.  Really well.

I’m no longer upset with myself over my gratuitous use of the number 7 and the random shaking and shivering seems to have passed.

Also, I made banana nut bread.  Not just any ol banana nut bread though, whole wheat banana almond bread sweetened with honey instead of sugar.

That’s right people… I baked bread.  From scratch.  In the oven.

With no help at all.

(so it wasn’t one of those fancy breads with yeast… a girl has to start somewhere)

Those of you that know me know that I’m not much of a baker.  I make food…  dinner, breakfast, lunch anything.  Food that you would serve as a meal… I can make it.  But pastries and breads, cakes and cookies?  Not my thing.  Normally I call my mom 27 times to make sure I am using the right mixer attachment, temperature, pan etc.

(note my non self loathing use of the number 7 up there… yeah, I still got it baby)

But not this time.  This time I did the entire thing by myself.  I didn’t even call her and inform her of my plan to bake banana bread until it had already been in the oven for 10 minutes.

Baking that bread?  It put a huge smile on my face and a spring in my step.  Then when it came out of the oven all golden and beautiful in it’s healthy wheaty goodness…  I beamed.

I was afraid to eat it.  Terrified it might be gross… but you know what?  It was delicious…  and so begins my willing adaptation to this new dietary bump in the road of my life…

I think I’m going to bake something on Friday too.

sugar free… day 4

Oh my god.  Why do things have to be so difficult?

Why on earth can’t the child (as she is now being referred to because I can not see past my own annoyance to even think of her name let alone say it) just eat something? Do something?  Use the bathroom?  Inhale air without it being a huge production?

Also, as wonderful as they smelled those baked potatoes I made for dinner?  Did nothing for me.  They were not made of sugar.  They certainly did not taste like cherry coke.

Every time I want a cherry coke I drink a glass of water, except the two times I had a glass of iced tea.  Do you have any idea how much time I’ve spent in the bathroom today?  I peed like 72 times.

Also, and this is very irritating, I think anytime I make up a number?  It has a 7 in it.  Now I know that 7 is my favorite number but really… do I have to put it in EVERYTHING?

When I had lunch with my best friend today I was so lethargic I couldn’t even fight with her.  I didn’t even make fun of her.

At all.

I’m having serious withdrawal symptoms too.  And I had a glass of orange juice today…  and I didn’t put any booze in it.  I did it just because it was the only sweet thing in the house I could think of that I could have.  It’s a good thing I didn’t remember the jar of honey, I might have guzzled it like that fat little fucker, Pooh Bear.

I think I’m losing my mind.  This is worse than when I quit smoking… hopefully, it will be just as beneficial.  Excuse me now while I go hide in a hole, that will greatly decrease my chances of killing someone who smiles at me or happens to be drinking a soda in a 10 mile radius.

goodbye sugar pot pie…

Sugar pot pie… where did that term come from…  I’m terrified to google it because who knows what I might find…  I don’t even know what the hell it means.  I don’t like sugared pot pie.

I like sugar…

I like pot pie.  Well I like home made pot pie, a lot.

Sadly, for the time being those are both things I can’t have…

Why?  Well because, that’s why.  Let me take you back, back, back a few days.  Thursday November 13th to be precise.  Yes, that was the day of Ignite… and yes I said I was done talking about it, but that was before I remembered that this all started on the same day…  That very morning.  I woke up early to get K ready for school only to determine that she was still a little too under the weather for class.  I fed her breakfast, got her dressed anyway, rushed Mike to get ready, I DID NOT eat any breakfast, and then we all piled into the car together to head to my doctor’s office.  That’s the thing about having a medical condition and being medicated.  You have to actually go to your doctor on a regular basis… otherwise they do things like stop refilling your life saving medicine.  I was in just such a position.  I needed to see my doctor, have my blood pressure checked and have a panel of blood tests run so that I could get my blood pressure medication dosage adjusted.

So I did just that.  We got to the doctor’s office a few minutes early, and in a stunning turn of events he saw me about 3 minutes before my appointment.  I was weighed *shudder*  had my height checked and my  blood pressure taken *shudder shiver* and then he asked me a few questions, we had a bit of discussion and I was sent downstairs to the lab for blood work.

I was prepared for this to take FOR.EVER.  It usually does… but my doctor had moved his office to a new building and it had a new lab, and this new lab?  Very efficient.  I waited about 3 minutes to go back and see the phlebotomist and then it was a matter of moments before she was done sucking the precious blood from my vein.

With that done we headed out of the office, picked up an order of buttons for Strange Love Live, picked up a new heavier duty prescription for my high blood pressure and then picked up lunch from Sellwood’s fantastic food carts.  I had soup, Mike and K had barbecue.

Then I napped and *mumble mumble 5 minutes mumble mumble bruised the balls of my feet wearing mumble mumble mumble was up too late mumble*

The next morning after I dropped K off at school I was understandably tired so I decided to take a nap… just as I was about to get off the phone with my friend and curl up for some sleep I got another call.  It was from my doctor’s office.

It had only been 24 hours since my blood test so I couldn’t fathom what they could possibly need from me… I mean really… they’d already gotten a bunch of my blood, they know how much I weigh, when I quit smoking, how much I drink, my family’s medical history and the frequency of my blogging… What did they want?

They wanted to tell me that my blood sugar is too high.  Yes, because my blood pressure being too high is not enough.  Taking my medication and carefully watching my sodium intake and being sure to drink enough water and get rest and walk 2 miles a day and take care of myself is not enough.  We need to pile more onto the medical shoulders of Cami.

What does this mean?  That if there were such thing as a sugar pot pie I would not be allowed to have it.  I have been asked to cut out refined sugar and simple carbohydrates for a while until another blood test can be taken to determine where I stand.

With my blood sugar.

It’s not the cherry coke alone that’s doing it but I had to say fairwell to my dear addictive cola friend for good.  I’ve also had to say good bye to sour dough bread, white rice and regular pasta.  Anyone have a good recipe for a whole wheat pie crust they can recommend… I really don’t want to give up my home made chicken pot pies…

can someone dim the house lights?

This will be the last post about my Ignite presentation… almost certainly.

I had intended to put up my slides over the weekend but then a funny thing happened… I decided to try to take it easy a bit… I know I know, where do I get off making holiday plans and reading books to my kid, bad blogger no donut for me…

No really, no donuts for me.  I’m not allowed to have them anymore, but that’s a story for later in the week.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are the 20 slides that made up the visuals for my IP4 presentation, though I wish you luck making sense of all these without me talking over them…