Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Not too much to post, mainly photos.

We made a trip to the pumpkin patch on Saturday, also known as Bates Nut Farm. Or Nates Butt Farm, as we like to call it. Harrison had such a good time crawling all over the pumpkins he couldn't pick one. So after much patience, we finally got out of there with three regular size pumpkins, two baby pumpkins (one which I carved for Annamaria), and two jack-be-little pumpkins. When we got home, Vince and the kids made a scarecrow. Our house was looking very festive.

So yesterday my mom had her almost annual pumpkin carving party. It was a lot of fun, as usual. I made a broccoli salad my mom titled "Moldy Monkey Brain Salad". Sounds appetizing, doesn't it? And deviled egg eyeballs. I also made a "Ghost Graveyard" for dessert.

Today I volunteered to help out with Sophia's 1st grade Halloween party. I took the "decorating sugar cookie" job. So when we got home from the carving party last night, I made a couple dozen sugar cookies. This morning I got the frosting made, then spent an hour at Sophia's school, helping 19 1st graders paint their cookies with frosting. I painted a couple myself, just for the fun of it. I'm proud to say, mine looked the best. I should hope so, they're only 1st graders afterall.
Tonight Vince took the kids out trick-or-treating, while I prepped for tomorrows lunch job. Vince had a good time dressing up as Indiana Jones. Sophia was Pocahontas, and Harrison was Buzz Lightyear. I'm telling you, that little boy has been buzzing around the house yelling, "To infinity and beyond", for the past few weeks. Annamaria slept through it all. She is dressed up as a chicken though. I'll try to get a picture when she wakes up.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Some Much Anticipated Down Time

Life has been a whirlwind lately. How did my life come to this? I'm not complaining, just wondering. Not even a moment to blog lately.

My dinner for 200 last Saturday was knocked down to 120, then back up to 130. But that was just fine, 130 is do-able. And it was, dinner went just fine. Better than fine actually, I got a round of whooping applause towards the end of the evening. Actually I was quite embarrased, but pleased. They actually seemed suprised by how good it was. Maybe I should be insulted? I worked my ass off all day. Starting at 7:30 a.m. Baking fresh rolls. White rolls with poppy seeds, whole wheat bran rolls, and onion cheddar rolls. I carefully planned out my schedule Thursday night, and was anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes behind the entire day on Saturday. Which really isn't bad, but it stressed me out just the same. The rolls took longer to prepare than I had scheduled, but I still ended up getting to the function site on time. Of course with the help of my wonderful husband. He really came through. Shaping 12 dozen rolls takes quite the toll on the upper arms. He plowed through them like a breeze. I guess those daily pull-ups do come in handy. So the pork was roasted, and the scalloped potatoes were baked, the green beans were sauteed. Salad dressing was made, walnuts for the salad were candied, and the creme brulees were waiting to be "bruleed" from the day before. Everything was ready to be finished at the site. Just a note, 140 (always have extra) creme brulees don't take 30 minutes to torch. More like 60 minutes. I had to pass the torch, literally, to Karen, my friend/assistant because my elbow was cramping. My only complaint could be from the little old lady who wandered into the kitchen in the midst of it all, asking me how I prepared the roast. I was quite complemented, until she then proceeded to tell me how she prepares pork roast. And she not only told me, but then went on, and on, and on about it. "Gee, that's great, uh huh, melts in your mouth, great. Yea, I've got to get back to plating 130 dinners, if you don't mind. It's not like I'm busy or anything, but I've just finished plating 130 salads, and am now in the middle of 130 dinners, and it's just me and one assistant, so if you wouldn't mind. Don't mean to be rude or anything." Of course I would have loved to say, "Get the hell out of my kitchen!", but I'd never do that. What is wrong with people anyway? Don't mind all the chaos going on around you, maybe now is not the time to be swapping recipes. Geez.

So Sunday was some much needed recouperation time. After Mass and serving donuts, I don't think I left the couch much that day. Monday I got to shop and prepare for lunch for 20 on Tuesday. I also baked two batches of mini pecan tarts and chocolate chip banana bread for St. Mary's PTG meeting that night. At Sophia's school we have PTG meetings, not PTA meetings. PTG stands for Parents-Teachers-God. I guess it's a Catholic school thing. Anyway, Tuesday was Cobb Salad for 20. Cobb Salad, fresh baked whole wheat bran rolls (hey, I was on a roll - no pun intended), and mini pecan tarts for dessert. On Wednesday our church hosted the San Diego Deanery meeting, which I think was for about 130 people. Now I was asked to cater this back when I was still pregnant with Annamaria, but I thankfully declined. So my friend Sue got roped into co-chairing it, she asked if I would bake some scones for the continental breakfast. So Tuesday night I got to bake 5 dozen candied ginger scones. All that baking and none for me. Unfair. Wednesday was back to shopping/prepping for Thursdays lunch for 20. Thursdays lunch was Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Carrots & Peas. Friday (today)found me preparing Chicken Enchiladas, Salsa Fresca, Salsa Verde, Spanish Rice, Avocado Ranch Salad Dressing, and Snickerdoodles. Not for us, to be delivered. On a Friday. At 3:00 p.m. Thankfully traffic wasn't too horrible. Only took 45 minutes to get back home. Actually, I'm happy to do it. So I'm off to finish preparing my dinner. Roasted acorn squash risotto with pan seared scallops. Are you hungry yet?

O-kay, did I ramble enough? Ugh, I just had to get all that off my chest. Thanks for listening. Who needs a therapist when you can blog?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Halloween Costumes

O-kay, I know I already sent these to most of my friends, but just in case I missed someone.
I submit these for your viewing enjoyment, courtesy of my mom . . .

Geeze, none of my kids looked this happy during the birthing process

I find his crotch to be the most disturbing part of this costume. Is it just me?

Retired Hooter Girls. So there is justice in this world. I just need to wait 30 or so years to see it

Arkansas, where the men are men, and the sheep are scared. Sorry Vince.

Just in case you were wondering whatever happened to Wonder Woman

I really don't know what to say about this costume, other than it's just wrong.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

All By Myself

Well not really. Annamaria is off taking a nap, and Harrison is here to pester me, but Pat, my father-in-law, went back home today. So back to our normal routine. Dropped off Sophia at school with the little ones in tow. Then to church for bible study. I mentioned to someone that Pat left this morning, and they commented that I looked relieved. I don't know where they got that, we're all very sad he went back home. I know the kids will miss him, and I will too. He was a very easy guest to have around. And it was very nice being able to leave Harrison and even Sophia with him when I needed to run a quick errand. I hope it's not another four years before he decides to come see us again.

So my dinner for 200 this Saturday night got bumped down to 120. Am I upset? Heck no! Relieved is more like it. 120 I can do. 120 is easy. I just kept remembering last year, when the headcount was 205. I kept telling myself, "never again, never again". "150 is my cap, what was I thinking?" And Vince was in total agreement. Then this comes along and because it's being thrown by an organization Vince is an officer in, I get roped into another dinner for 200. And not buffet this time, but seated. I just kept stressing over how much bread I was going to have to bake. 300 rolls seemed overwhelming. That's 25 dozen. Good grief! But fifteen dozen? No problem. Just need to decide if I can bake them fresh that day, or will I need to make them the day before. I need to get my scheduling finished.

On that note, I'd better get my butt in gear. I still have lunch for 20 tomorrow I need to get going.

Friday, October 14, 2005

In Memory of Ron Seibert

A friend of ours passed away this Wednesday. His name was Ron, he was sixty-seven years old, though it never occurred to me he was over fifty. His death was very unexpected, he was playing racquetball and collapsed. The paramedics were never able to revive him.

You knew when Ron was in the room. Loud and opinionated, not afraid to tell you how he really felt. But a heart of gold. He was a teaser too. He loved to get Sophia going. And the kids really enjoyed him. He was fun.

Ron is survived by his wife, Olga (who understandably is devastated), a daughter and a son from his first marriage, and four grandchildren. Ron's love for his children and grandchildren was so apparent when he spoke about them. He also made the trip to visit from California to Oregon whenever he could manage. He is also survived by his mother. I can't imagine outliving any of my children. They are all in our prayers.

My greatest memory of Ron is from an evening at my mom's house when we were all over for dinner. I was trying to convince someone to eat their cabbage, telling them it was good for their colon. "Yea", says Ron, "but it's a bitch to get up there".

He will be missed.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Photo Update

I had been meaning to update the blog with some photos since I haven't posted any in a while. The problem was that I hadn't been able to locate the camera for a few days and it was loaded with all the new pictures that weren't downloaded yet. And after losing my car and then my mail, I was quite embarrassed to admit that I had lost my camera too. Luckily my husband came to the rescue and found the camera, so last night I finally downloaded the pics.

Here is the Little Baby Big Head. Just hanging out with mommy. And even though she's the smallest of the bunch, she's the best eater. Both Sophia and Harrison would make the biggest mess when I started spoon feeding them, but not this little bug. She swallows right down, with minimal mess. Currently her favorites are mashed bananas with rice cereal and apple juice. Last night she tried zucchini and crook neck squash sauteed with garlic and olive oil, mashed of course, with success. I'm very impressed.

Sophia's school had their annual Fall Fiesta last weekend. Her class is studying the South Pacific, so their class sang BaliHai to open the festival. Here is our little hula girl.

I have a dinner for 200 coming up in two weeks, and I think the stress of it is already starting to seep in. Last night I dreamt that it was 4:30 pm on the day of the dinner, and I just then got around to shopping for the event. No shopping lists or preparation of any kind. And I was handling it quite well. Pork roast - check, green beans - check, scalloped potatoes - check. Creme brulee for 200 - did I ever decide what kind to make? No. Rolls for 200 - did I ever start on the bread? No. Needless to say, I don't think dinner was made on time. Much to my relief I finally woke around the time my dream self realized there was no way on God's great earth that I would be able to pull it off, and there would be 200 very angry people at me. So this morning I'm pulling my stuff together, finalized the details of the menu, and getting my lists started. Why, oh why, did I agree to this?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dude, Where's My Mail?

It's not my incoming mail that's missing. It's my outgoing mail. This morning as I was leaving to take Sophia to school, I put an envelope in our mail box for our mail carrier to pick up. See how I used the term "mail carrier", and not "mail man"? I'm so politically correct. Anyway, in the envelope was a check to pay for an order I made through e-bay. Normally I would pay by PayPal, but for some reason unknown to me, this particular vendor does not accept PayPal. Irritating to say the least. Anyway, while backing out of our driveway to deliver lunch later in the morning, I notice our mailbox door is open, the flag is still up, but the mailbox is empty. Someone stole my mail. And no, I didn't just park it somewhere else this time, it was actually gone. So I called the bank to stop payment on the check and explained that it was stolen out of my mailbox. At the end of our conversation I was read some legal mumbo jumbo, do I understand the terms?, blah, blah, blah. Part of the mumbo jumbo was that I agreed to pay the stop payment fee. Of course I wasn't told what the fee was, I had to ask. So basically I had to pay $18 to stop payment on a $24.32 check. Need I say more?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dude, Where's My Car?

Don't you hate it when this happens? After running several errands today, I come out of store number three and head to where I parked my car. As I'm approaching said location I realize my car isn't there. I look around as my stomach knots up and the first thought that comes flooding into my head is, "someone's stolen my car!". Of course living so close to the border, it really wouldn't be that improbable that someone had indeed stolen my mom-mobile-of-a-mini-van. And it wouldn't be the first time I've been a victim of car theft since living in sunny San Diego. So as I'm standing frozen in the parking lot with my cart full of stuff, my baby in her car seat propped in the front of the cart, and my stomach in knots, I look around one last time and there I spot it. My car. Not parked where I thought it was, but parked two aisles over, farther back, and facing a different direction than I had remembered. Yea, the place I thought it was parked was where it was parked at the last place I stopped, store number two. My brain was remembering store number two's parking place, not store number three's. I'd completely lost track of where I was. I hate it when that happens.