Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Aftermath

I wish I would have taken a picture of our messy kitchen and our dirty dishes after Thanskgiving dinner. David cleaned it all up right away. He is so good... I would have left them a few more days.

I did end up (about 10 minutes after my last post) making some detailed time-lines and checklists for Thursday.

Everything on the menu came out very good (in my opinion anyway). I made:
turkey- really good! I used an idea I saw on Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade and seasoned and froze a log of butter and then put slices of it under the skin.
Aunt Cookie's stuffing- only made a little bit since I'm the only one who will eat it here.
corn souffle'- I absolutely love this stuff and TG just wouldn't be complete without it! It's always a big hit!
green bean casserole- another one I just couldn't NOT make!
sweet potato crisp- still sweet and delicious but with apples, cranberries and oats instead of marshamallows
mashed potatoes- I put David to work mashing. I tried to make them as delcious the ones one of my student's mom brought in but could't get them right. They were alright though.
gravy- turned out better than last year, but still needs work. I did 2- one from a packet and one from the drippings.
maple-glazed baby carrots- it was really easy not to have to peel and chop the carrots!
apple-cranberry-pecan stuffing- anything you make with Stovetop is super-easy, right?
fruited cranberries- really simple, but no can-ridges like Grandma's. I just mashed up a can of whole berry cranberry sauce with other canned fruit- pears, apricots and mandarin oranges. One of our guests had never had turkey and cranberries together before!
Crunchy, crusty french bread from the breadmaker.
bacon-ranch dip- I still have a lot of this and it's so good... David and I have been snacking on it every day!
crab rangoon- good and easy, but I baked them a little bit too long...oops.
pumpkin cake- my second of the season. I love this cake so so much!
pumpkin swirl brownies- they weren't actually brownies because there's no chocolate, and I need more practice with my swirling.

David made his "chocolate heaven" dessert, which I eat the top of but the pecan crust is too overpowering for me. He also helped a lot with the mashed potatoes and did tons of the prep for getting the house ready for guests!

Guests brought sushi rolls, pumpkin-oatmeal cookies, and 2 store-bought pies. Blueberry and something else.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey Time!

Last year, my Thanksgiving was filled with detailed schedules, lists and spreadsheets. It was my first time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving and I was cooking for 14!

This year, I'll be a hostess again, but for half the number of people. I'm cooking less (but still should be plenty!) and stressing less. Of course I've planned my menu and now I'm making sure none of my serving bowls/baking dishes will be expected to do double-duty. I've already gotten a head start chopping and slicing some of the pre-Thanksgiving stuff.

Now I just have to write the left-right Thanksgiving story Camp Lawrence style to find out who will wash the dishes!

Monday, November 20, 2006

No Rest for the Weary

Well, isn't that nice? Last time I posted, I complained about my page showing up in Japanese and now it's fixed. Thank you, whoever is out there spying on me in computer land, for fixing that.

What a week... and what weeks to come! I have been on-the-go non-stop and things don't look to be slowing down anytime soon... like not until Christmas.

Thursday, 11/16- made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins that were absolutely delicious. (Thanks, Krista L, for sharing the recipe!) I made them because it was my turn to present in this class I am taking and I wasn't really prepared, but I know just how to distract the other people in the class!

Friday, 11/17- Designed and made 1 invite to my cookie exchange.

Saturday, 11/18- ran 9 miles off base. One of the guys I was running with actually got hit by a car and kept on running. I don't even want to run if I have a blister! Came home and made cranberry-walnut stuffing and famous Bartochowski pumpkin cake for a function at school. Went to the function, came home with intentions to go to another event, but skipped it in favor of making some Christmas gifts. And some of Brenda's pizza dip so I could take it to another party.

Sunday, 11/19- Commissary. Nap. Knitting.

Monday, 11/20- Woke up early to make corn souffle' for my class Thanksgiving feast. Spent the whole day with CRAZY kids... anytime just one little thing is out of the ordinary, they go wild. So imagine them dressing up in Native American vests and headdresses, singing turkey songs for a large crowd, having a huge lunch and even more huge desserts. Needless to say, I went to bed at 8:30 last night!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Really irritating

I was going to write about something else, but then when I got to this page, I got really irritated and forgot all about it. It's a good thing I can use my practically-photographic memory to recall where on the page the sign-in, new post and publish buttons are, because for the past few days, everything on the page (except for my posts, thankfully) has been in Japanese. Arrrrgggghhh. First of all, I find it a little bit disturbing that someone (thing?) out there in computer land has been able to track me down and figure out that I'm in Japan. Makes me a little nervous about changing my clothes around computers. Second of all, just because a person is in Japan doesn't mean they can speak Japanese, much less read it! Third of all, why can't the computer just mind its own business and let me have my page in English? Just who does it think it is, changing my language without even consulting me. Like Jimmy Buffet says, I don't want this much organization in my life. I just want some Junior Mints and to be able to read the words on my own blog.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I am Excellent!

David is the guy who gives the PT (physical fitness) tests for his squadron. The other day he was telling me about this girl who had never passed one, so I asked him if it was really hard or what. Well, he offered to test me so I could see.
This morning, I had my waist measured and scored all possible points for that portion of the test.
Then, I did 41 pushups in 1 minute to score all possible points for that portion of the test. Can you believe that 41 pushups only gets you TEN points? *huff*
I did not score perfectly for sit-ups. My stomach was making really funny noises and I just had to laugh. So I only got 44 sit-ups instead of 47. Lost 2.25 points.
The run portion is worth 50 points. I had to run a mile and a half. I'm so disappointed---David had bet with the guys at work that I would beat their fastest runner's time and I missed it by about 20 seconds. But I've been sick all week and my chest was so heavy. Anyway, I ran 11:36 for a mile and a half. I lost 2.5 points on that too for not running 12 seconds faster.
BUT, I scored over a 96, which is "Excellent" according to the standards set by the US Air Force! It's also a higher score than David and everybody at his office. And, I'm *almost* the highest scoring woman David's ever tested. One girl that he tested got a 100 because she was exempt from all portions of the test but the waist measurement.
So... I'll try again another day and shoot for a perfect score! Until then, I'm happy enough being Excellent!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Loooooong Week

Isn't a 4-day work week supposed to be shorter than all the 5-day ones? Well this week seemed horribly long. Horribly. It doesn't help that I was sick all week (but still went to work...must save my sick days for scrapbook marathons). Most of my class was at least a little sick and snotty too but I was the only one I ever saw actually use a Kleenex.
Then there's our "Thanksgiving Program". Let me just take a moment to tell you how much I am NOT looking forward to that. Okay, first of all, there are only 16 school days in November--that means 14 days of no school. 16 days to read, write, do math, etc. Add to the mix 185 kids singing some lame-o turkey songs for their parents followed by a Thanksgiving luncheon at which most of the food will be cold. So I mention the fact that I am really not looking forward to this dumb event and my teacher-neighbor says, "Come on, kids are only kids once". True. But, hopefully, kids are only going to be 2nd graders once. And that means they have lots to learn during this year. And when I have an extremely limited supply of white construction paper, I'd rather do something besides making pilgrim girl hats.
Maybe it's not so bad. But my throat hurts, my nose hurts, my back hurts, my eyes, my head and my ears hurt. How can you expect me to be anything but cranky?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Just Say No!

Oh my goodness... It's a good thing I don't have to type with my legs because I would not be posting right now!
Last weekend, I met a running friend (darn, she leaves in February). She invited me to run with her group this morning and I really wanted to do that. Unfortunately, I had already invited another teacher from school to run a 10k at Torii Station with me. I just didn't want to say no to either of them... so I ran both.
At 6, I took off on a 7.5 mile run. Then at 8:30, we did a 10k. Which was fine, until I found out that the 10k was really closer to 7 miles than 6.2! My legs were dead... my teacher-friend sped up and finished without me, but I wasn't too far behind. So, I ran more than a 1/2 marathon today! Crazy! Next time, I should just say no to one of them!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

An Oldie but a Goodie

Today there was such a sweet surprise in my e-mail inbox! It was an e-mail from an ooooollllddddd friend Chad! I haven't talked to him since May 17, 2002 (our college graduation)! We had some great times and I just decided to look him up a couple weeks ago. Just to say hey. I had just been reminiscing and thinking of how dumb I was to have all my close friends in college be guys... we hardly keep in touch. Of course, I send birthday cards and Christmas cards and random e-mails, but they rarely get answered. I even asked one of them to stand up in my wedding... but I was stood up for a girlfriend who he thought would make a better date for New Years. (They have since broken up and he has seen the error of his ways!)
Anyway, so I e-mailed Chad and really wasn't expecting a response, but today I got one! It makes me want to hunt down all of my other friends! He's married and expecting a baby in January (and what do you know, I have a baby blanket on my knitting needles that just might be done by then!) And you know what, HE (with no prompting from me!) said we need to keep in touch... I think he's right!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trick or Treat

Monday we had our Character Carnival at school. The kids were supposed to dress up as storybook characters (so it would be a Character Carnival instead of a Halloween Party). I dressed up as Eloise. Except I didn't have any suspenders so I didn't look quite right. None of the teachers knew who Eloise was and very few of the kids. I couldn't believe it!

Last night we (and by we, I mean ME) passed out candy to our Trick-or-Treaters. Some of the kids were too cute. Others were too OLD for trick-or-treating. If a mother of 3 can be out collecting candy in her own costume and her own treat bag, why can't I??

The treats were still coming in today since one of my students celebrated her birthday today!
Will the sugar rush ever end???

3 day weekend (for the students anyway) coming up!
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