Two Commercials

Rave: Have you seen the Citibank commercial where the outdoors-ey guys are mountain biking but one dude doesn’t have bike? And he pretends to pedal down the mountain and totally eats it? Ok, I laugh out loud at the commercial, I think because it reminds me of my brothers- they would totally do that. But here is the totally funny part- the boys saw that commercial, and now they RIDE their IMAGINARY bikes all over the house! I can’t stop laughing!

Rant: Who in their right mind thought it was CUTE to make scissors walk all over the freakin’ place, chomping and nibbling and being flippin’ SCARY, as they eat your old credit cards? OH how cute, look little Suzy, cute scissors- put your fingers close and lets laugh as the 100′s of POINT-UP scissors dance around the roadway! Holy crapsticks, it gives me the heebies just thinking about them…

That is all.

GOOD Morning, Sunshine!

Grrrr. Some mornings just shouldn’t happen. Wake up late, with a headache. (Why does this happen sometimes? Why on earth would a person wake, after a good night’s sleep, with a headache. Grrrr….)

Jeffrey forgot to do his homework- rush rushrushrush… do homework, ruffle through handouts I should have looked at last night. He needs $$ for a project at school- ruffle through change jar on DH’s dresser to pilfer proper cash…

Get dressed. GET DRESSED! NOW!

Wake baby up *sob*

In rush to get out the door, catch my pants on the door frame and tear pocket.  Get Abby and Jeff in car, go back inside to grab Beanie, and realize THE DOOR IS LOCKED.

Spend several minutes persuading Beanie it really IS a good idea to let mama in- grab him, self, purse, phone, KEYS and coat and head out the door.

Halfway to school, realize no one has had breakfast. Drive-thru, here we come! All I can think of is Supersize Me- and how atrocious a McMeal is for breakfast- is it really better than nothing? The Monkeys think so…

I can’t reach the Monkeys to give them their “food” from the drivers seat, so I have to pull over and brace myself on the ice and snow to go around, open the back door, and hand out the “food”- at which time Beanie, so excited for his potato crispy-thingamabob, inadvertently dumps his whole jug of milk out on the seat.

Back in the car and on our way. Yeehaw. Get Jeff there in the nick of time (barely) and head for Target. When? When Oh when, will I just give up hope on the Target thing? Long story short, there is a full cart of things I want and need somewhere in the middle of Target, left because Beanie thought hitting me and screaming “Don’t HURT ME, Mama!” was a good idea- even though I wasn’t touching him. Oh, I wanted to hurt him, believe it-!

So, dragging Kicking-Screaming-Boy directly to Jail, not passing GO, not collecting $200, we came home.

I’m going to go cry now.

*sob*

Heaven

Pre-dawn, Jeffrey crawls in bed and nestles down next to me, holding my hand tightly.

“Mama?” he whispers.

“Hmmm- what, baby?” I inhale the shampoo and Little-boy from the flames of hair tickling my cheeks…

Rolling over,  he puts his hands on my face, looking earnestly at me from two inches away. “I don’t want to grown up, mama. I don’t want to get big.”

Barely able to focus on his freckled nose- I ask why he doesn’t want to get big.

“I don’t want to get big because when I do, you will be old and die.” He starts to cry as the words choke out.

Gulp.

Lump in my throat, thoughts whirling, I try and figure out what to say… He is right- I won’t lie to my children, someday I will get old and someday, hopefully a long time from now, I too will die. It just wasn’t something I was prepared to face before the sun was even up today- and here it was, freckles sprayed across it’s nose, staring earnestly towards my face.

I hope and pray my answer was not only good enough, but that it was the truth.

Sasquatch

I have big feet. When I say “big feet” I really, really mean that- as in, it’s been often impossible for me to find cute shoes since my feet hit their current size in 7 th grade. I remember my grandma taking me shoe shopping as a fashion-victim Jr-high student, and the only shoes in my size were the old-lady podiatry specials. When you’re 11, and you wear a size 11, the world is not a pretty place. It was not beneath me to shove my long feet into too-small shoes and hobble around in pain for months. There’s no counting the tears I have shed in shoe stores.

I thought I would surly die when I heard having a baby can make your feet grow– the wail of pain. Yes, they did grow a tiny bit post-baby #1, but mercifully not again with #2 or #3- at least not enough to push me over into the realm of “transvestite and cross-dresser” sizes…

Thankfully, things have gotten a bit better. There are now quite a few shoe makers that carry what they call “extended sizes”. So I’m still not normal, and not all shoes make it up to the ES bracket, but the choices are way better than they were 20+ years ago. Way better.

So look at what I found, on total SALE, in MY size today:

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Presenting the Cutest Shoes I Have Ever Owned! I simply could NOT pass them up- in homage to the teary, misfit, self-conscious mid-adolescent girl I once was, I bought these wild, totally impractical, will not match anything, looks a little like Minnie Mouse, shoes that FIT ME!! AND I LOVE THEM!!

Note to the wise: Round-toed shoes make even water-skis like mine look acceptable in polite company. Darling, I tell you. I’m going to wear them with my Bee Girl outfit when I blog!

Footnote: Ha ha! I modeled them for DH when he got home tonight, and he was glad I was happy, but didn’t say much beyond a vapid stare- maybe the gray sweats and one of his white t-shirts kinda threw the outfit off? The Monkeys kept telling me how pretty I looked- A mama’s gotta love her boys! 

Overheard

Scene: My kitchen, the boys are peeling potatoes for dinner. They like to help, and I like having them help. I have given each of them their own peeler, cutting board and 4 potatoes to peel.

Beanie: “My potatoes are juicy, Jeff!” *giggle giggle giggle*

Jeffrey: “Oh, Bean! Mine too- if I skwish them, more juicy juice comes out!”

Beanie: “I’m a drink da juice, Jeff!”

Jeffrey: “No Bean! It will kill you! It’s poison like apple seeds!! Besides, we have to skwish them so all the juice comes out. That’s how you make mashed potatoes.”

Mr. Clean, Where ARE You??

We got a call the other day from a friend of a friend who heard from her hairdressers cousins parakeet that we are thinking about selling our house- and when I called her back this morning, she is flying in this afternoon and wants to come take a look-see.

Any guesses how big my laundry pile is? Any guesses how deep the toys are in the playroom? Or how long it’s been since I scrubbed the shower-doors? Uh, yeah, guess what I’m doing today?? I need the Scrubbing Bubbles, Mr Clean and a drill sargeant! Oh, and maybe a gallon of Clorox, too! 

Bee Girl

You may not remember Blind Melon, and you may not know the melodious young hippie-man who sang her tap-dancing ditty over-dosed on heroin and died a few years ago. But I’ll bet you remember the Bee Girl.

Millie posted the video for this song yesterday, and watching it took me far and deep down memory lane. Even now, years removed from those struggles, at home in my own skin, tears spring to my eyes when the mean girls laugh at Bee Girl. Bless her little sweet, stout heart, she keeps trying, dancing and tapping and looking for another bee… someone, anyone, who gets her.

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I spent most of my life being Bee Girl. It’s a hard girl to be.

When you finally, ultimately, one day, find that meadow full of other dancing bees, the joy is palpable. It’s a blessing that I have felt more than once in my life- and I have also felt the sting of the mean girls more than I care to recall.

I think this is why I keep this blog. No longer can I run in the meadow, dancing with Jerry and Carlos and Stevie and Bob; going wherever the wind blows. But I can still nurture the part of me that lives there and loves that freedom. I can let the creative side out- I can write my hopes, frustrations, ideas, be a mother, rant and love my kids all in one post, and say whatever I need to say. It’s my modern Bee Girl Dance, and you are all my fellow Bees, twirling around in the meadow with me. Thank you for Bee-ing here.

SWK

I was a tiny girl and membership was decades away when Spencer W. Kimball was leading the Church. My afinity has been for GBH and how wonderful he is- and for the last several years (since I became a member) we have been studying the “old timers” (no disrespect intended), it is wonderful to me discover how pertinent and aplicable the teaching of SWK are. Reading the lesson and studying for RS has been a joy the last few Sundays, and I just wanted to throw that out there.

So GBH isn’t the only amazing man, eh? How ’bout that. I’m delighted.

Oh Yes! “Jakes” Pizza Recipe

This makes enough dough for two 12″-14″ pizza crusts…

  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 4 cups flour

Now, every bread recipe I have ever seen calls for too much flour. The “4 cups” thing is a general amount, but it’s more than likely you won’t need it all. Here is what you watch for to know you’ve added enough flour: If the dough cleans the sides of your mixer-bowl, but still is sticking to the bottom, you’re good. If the dough is sticky, add more flour. Let your mixer knead the dough until it’s the softness and texture of fat baby thighs. Also, let the dough sit for a few minutes before you really get down and knead it- the water takes a few minutes to fully hydrate the flour molecules, so what may look dry, in five minutes might be perfect.

So make your dough, knead it, then place in a lightly sprayed (with Pam or whatever) bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate overnight. Yes, this step really does make a difference. The crust I tried making the same day was good, but the overnight one was chewy and had a much better texture and tooth. No idea why, but it’s true.

Also make your sauce the day before- the herbs will have a chance to bloom and meld.

  • 1 – 14 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 – 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Stir all this together, cover and refrigerate. No need to cook.

To make your pizzas you will need the following:

  • a pizza stone, in a preheated 500* oven 
  • A cutting board or rim-less cookie sheet
  • parchment paper
  • dough, divided into two balls
  • sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • Canadian bacon,  12 slices per pizza
  • Salami, 12 slices per
  • Pepperoni, 24 slices per
  • Mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • Green pepper, sliced thinly
  • Red onion, sliced thinly
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Italian sausage, 1/4 lb per pizza, pinch off pieces and scatter on pizza
  • Linguica sausage, 1/4 lb per pizza, pinch off pieces and scatter on pizza
  • Ground beef, 1/4 lb per pizza, pinch off pieces and scatter on pizza
  • Louisiana hot sausage, 1/4 wiener per pizza, diced
  • cheddar and provolone cheese to top
  • cold sliced tomatoes to top after cooking

Of course, you can add or subtract any ingredients you like or not, but this is the quintessential combination pizza.

Take one of your dough balls, and press into a circle, and start pulling and pressing in your hands to make a disk. It will be very springy. That’s good- it means you have excellent gluten, and the crust will be fabulously chewy- but it does not make for easy rolling. You can try and roll with a pin, but just working it with your hands really is the best way. Keep pressing out until it’s approx 12-14″ circle.

Dock the whole disk with a fork (prick the dough), and set on a piece of parchment paper on a rimless cookie sheet or cutting board. (you’ll transfer the pizza andthe parchment paper to the hot stone in the over by sliding it off the sheet or cutting board- so “no rim” is important)

Smear the amount of sauce you like all over the dough- leaving about 1/2 inch around.

Top with cheese, and the toppings in the order I have them listed, or be a rebel and do whatever you want- but don’t blame me!

When you have your Mt. Vesuvius created, get your kids out of the kitchen, open your blistering oven, slide the rack with the stone out, and carefully slide the pizza AND the parchment right onto the stone. Slide rack back in, close up, and set the timer for 18 minutes.

In 18 minutes, you will have the best pizza you’ve ever eaten. Pull the hot pie and the paper from the oven, toss the browned paper, and use your Chef’s knife to cut the pie- a pizza wheel just squishes the topping off a pizza this big. Top with cold tomatoes. Enjoy!!!

If anyone makes this, let me know how you like it!

Mmmmmm!

Here are the results of the Jake’s pizza cook-off- look and weep!

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This is what it should look like before you cook it- a virtual Mt. Vesuvius of toppings. And I’m totally serious. For a Jakes Combo pizza, here is what MUST be on it, in this order:

Crust, tomato sauce, real mozzarella cheese. Canadian bacon, salami, pepperoni, mushrooms, green bell peppers, onion, black olives, Italian sausage, ground beef, linguica, Louisiana Hot Sausage, topping cheese.

And here is what it looks like after 18-20 minutes in a 500* oven on a blisteringly hot clay pizza stone:

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Does that or does it not look awesome? And for those of you in the know about what a Jakes pizza should look like- pretty good, eh? 

This mountain of pizza cannot be cut with a wheel- cut it like they do at Jakes- with a great big knife, rocked back and forth so as not to lose your toppings…

It’s all gone already… DH took the rest of it to work today… sob.

Now, I must be off to actually MEASURE what I did so I can share it with you! Recipe coming soon! Darn, that means we have to have pizza, AGAIN, tonight. I’m sure the family will be crushed.