Monday, October 26, 2009

The One With Jif in the Skeleton Costume

Okay, seriously, now... how cute is my grandson? (and my daughter-in-law the pirate is pretty cute, too). Well, Saturday morning my son Skippy (who is six) came and woke me up. He had tears in his eyes, and he told me how disappointed he was that we didn’t put up our Halloween decorations. The main problem is that we have this really adorable Halloween advent calendar from Pottery Barn Kids from a couple years back, where last year I left treats, cars, little mini skateboards, notes and such... and here we are at the 25th of October, and we haven’t even hung it on the wall. So guess what... yup. I got out the Halloween decorations. And my house is pretty much a disaster. But Skippy... he is happy. So it was worth it, right? Say right. Now I need to come up with something to put in the remaining advent pockets. And quickly.

One last thing... the shameless plug. Please please please go over and check out the Christmas blog. I just added a new song, and I will add another tomorrow. If you haven’t purchased your CDs, hurry hurry! They will be shipping out in just over two weeks to everyone who pre-orders. And when you go over, leave some comment love! I start to think I am the Lone Ranger.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The One Where She Can’t Figure it Out

Okay, so... fellow bloggers help me out here... I can’t fix my Christmas blog. Despite everything I have tried, it keeps putting all the items that belong in the sidebar (gadgets, profile, followers, etc...) at the bottom of the blog! I tried removing my third-party background. That didn’t help. I changed the template, and changed it back. Nothing. I am using the same template (Minima Lefty) that I use for this blog, and this one is not having any problems. Does anyone have a fix for me? It has been like this for about three days, and it is seriously driving me nuts.

Here is the link to go look:

Oh, and while you are there, listen to the sneak peeks of music for the new CD I have on there. And for goodness sakes, leave me a comment or two! Let me know if you can figure out my problem... (and I am talking about the blog problem... I’m just saying...)

Okay... I give up. As soon as I posted this, the problem FIXED itself. I don’t understand... but I’ll take it. If you know why I am having this issue, you can still let me know! And go enjoy the new song I just put up.... there are three now!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The One Where She Found Poison in the Pantry

Guest poster - ah ha! Shouldn't have told you I was an im-poster. (Pun intended) Actually, I come from a land far far away. So don't even try to come chase me down if you don't like this one :)

(Wow this is really hard messing with someone else's blog - I'm sure there are a gazillion mistakes here somewhere . . . )

Today I received the following email in my box -

Check the expiration dates on your mixes with yeast! Read on...

Cake Mixes & Toxins- **PLEASE READ **Poison

This is confirmed on Snopes

A student at HBHS (high school) had pancakes this week and it almost became fatal. His Mom (registered nurse) made him pancakes, dropped him off at school and headed to play tennis. She never takes her cell phone on the court but did this time and her son called to say he was having trouble breathing. She told him to go to the nurse immediately and proceeded to call school and alert the nurse. The nurse called the paramedics and they were there in 3 minutes and worked on the boy all the way to the hospital. He came so close to dying. Evidently this is more common then I ever knew. Check the expiration dates on packages like pancakes and cake mixes that have yeast which over time develop spores. Apparently, the mold that forms in old mixes can be toxic! Throw away ALL OUTDATED pancake mix, brownie mixes, Bisquick, cake & cookie mixes, etc., you have in your home.

P.S. Tell this to your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and anyone else who keeps these types of mixes in the cupboard.

Well, me, ever the sceptic and keeper of almost any pantry item as long as I'm still using it (if you can extend that concept of 'use' to like - yes, I'm pretty sure I did use that at least once this last year, hmmmm. . . better keep it).

I was sceptical, after all I also am an RN, and I've never heard of such a thing. I made my way over to, the ultimate documentary and researcher of all things such as
urban legends, common fallacies, misinformation, old wives' tales, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip, and similar items. I just wanted to see with my own eyes what Snoopy at Snopes had to say about it . . .

Apparently it is not a totally unfounded claim . . . .

Snopes article "Flapjack Flap" originated back in 2006 with a letter written to "Dear Abby" that contains a story similar to the one shared above. Dear Abby's response that became widely circulated was

"Thank you for the warning, I certainly was not aware that pancake mix could turn moldy and cause an allergic reaction in someone with an allergy to mold - but it's logical. I wonder if the same holds true for cake mix, brownie mix and cookie mix. If so, then a warning should be placed on the box for people like me. We hear so often about discarding prescriptions and over-the-counter medications after their expiration dates, but I don't recall warnings about packaged items in the pantry. Heads up folks!"

After investigation, Snoopy at Snopes decided that while there is truth in this tale; the inherent warning is overblown.

It is possible for someone who chows down on pancake mix that has sat around for too long to suffer a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction to the molds that have grown therein, and a resultant death has been documented. It is also true that there is nothing inherently toxic about pancake mix that has past it's freshness date. It's not like Cinderella, transforming immediately from good to poison as the clock strikes midnight. Nor does the growth of mold in a package fell all who consume it, only those who have allergies to mold are at risk, and again, the package must actually contain mold spores, not just be "over the hill".

Also keep in mind, for mold to gain access to a food product, the foodstuff has to actually be exposed to its spores. Mixes sealed in wax paper, foil, or plastic within its outer packaging would not have this contact and still should be safe no matter the age of the product. However, a mix sold in cardboard boxes, or paper sacks would be at risk due to the lack of a moisture barrier surrounding the mix, and mold thrives in a damp environment.

So what exactly IS the bottom line to all this: If you don't have allergies to mold, you're quite safe! You needn't fear the pancake, cake or brownie mix. If you do have allergies to mold, you shouldn't keep your flapjack makings around for a couple years after opening the box or pouch it came in. It's not worth dying over 50 cents worth of pancake mix. So when in doubt - throw it out!

Oh dear, even though we have no allergies to mold in our household, it sure wouldn't hurt to go through my pantry. Now might be a pretty good time to be like Old Mother Hubbard with nothing in the cupboard!

aka - Kristin, "One Day at a Time - Alpine Klein Bunch"

Get some sleep Victoria!

The One Where She Hasn’t Been Sleeping Enough

... which is, I am sure, the reason I had this horrible awful idea. What if you just kept updating the time and date stamp on your blog post, so that it would keep appearing at the top on everyone’s chronological blog lists? I know... right? And that, my friends, is why I am not blogging here this week. So, who’s up next? Can’t wait to see.

Friday, October 16, 2009

{The One Where She Learned To Be A Better Friend}

Hello - Cherie from Bakow Babble guest posting here today. Victoria and I are bloggy friends - but amazingly enough we both have sons at BYU and they have met - Go figure! I love this woman - she is talented, spiritual, beautiful, an amazing mom/missionary mom, cook and if you didn't know, keep scrolling down because, she has incredible musical talent as well! AND you have the opportunity to get her new CD - You are one of the first to know because you are here!!

My topic today has nothing to do with that though, it is about becoming a better friend through food, or rather the lack of it!

This has been troubling me for some time.

There's nothing worse than looking in the mirror three quarters of the way through your day and seeing some huge shredded piece of green nastiness lodged between your two front teeth. You think, "For the love of all that is holy, how long has THAT been there?!"

You begin recounting the events of your day - all the people you've had face-to-face conversations with.
Why did they stay silent? Surely they saw it. You think, "Good grief, if I'd sat any closer to them they could have taken a bite of it!"
How could they let me just keep on about my day without telling me that there's an entire crop of romaine lettuce protruding from my face?
Friends don't let friends walk around with food in their teeth.
So the next time you seem some poor, clueless person walking around with a vegetable garden sprouting from their two front teeth, do the right thing and tell them about it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The One With The Bread Of Life....

....never 'tasted' so good!

We were finishing up dinner dishes and getting ready for Family Night. The phone rings:

Officer Davidson: Is this the Duffy's?
Me: Yes.
Officer D: I have a Kevin Mc. here at the gate.
Me: (surprised because we weren't expecting anyone). Oh. Okay.

Doorbell dings a few minutes later. It is Kevin and Liam with 2 loaves of hot bread right out of the oven! Victoria is a master with homemade bread. She doesn't buy bread anymore. How did she know? That bread was family night treats with butter and honey and jam. With all my extra family here on Wrightwood fire evacuation it hit the spot and gave lots of comfort.

Loving service is the example of He who is the true Bread of Life!
(p.s.Love You!)

The One With the $22 Bread

In my opinion, nothing is going to top DK’s post from yesterday... I am pretty excited about pre-selling my CDs. And make no mistake: I have been hard at work. It is 1:07 a.m. and yes, I am still at it. I had four different singers over today to record, and now I am trying to make it all work together. With varying degrees of success. If you haven’t ordered your CDs yet, go down a post and click the link. It is super fun! And don’t forget to check out my “All About the Baby” blog. I am going to put up another song tomorrow (okay, well... today, I guess it is), so there are some sneak peeks.

But tonight I am stopping for a moment to ponder where my bread is. I am going to guess somewhere in the air over the midwest. I did not have time to make a package today, but one of my boys was in need of bread. It happened to be Ethan, in Virginia. He pointed out that I have never (not once) sent him a package, and that furthermore the chow hall at the Naval Base does not even try to approximate home cooking. That is sad, but true. What he really wanted was homemade bread. Homemade bread is less delectable after three or four (or six) days. So I made the bread... all white, as per request. Sliced it, bagged it, and headed over to Fedex with two very soft, fresh loaves. There the Fedex employee who saw me cramming the loaves into one of those three-inch high Fedex boxes was very offended. She yelled across the room: Stop! You’re squishing that bread! She insisted on finding me an larger box and padding the bread so that it would arrive fluffy instead of a compressed ball of dough.

The package... it wasn’t my best work. A quickly typed letter from Mom, a Nightmare Before Christmas CD, the bread, and a well bubble-wrapped jar of homemade jam. But it was the best I could do today. Or this week. Or this month. And I couldn’t help but think: Two loaves of homemade white bread: 50 cents. Fedex standard overnight shipping: $22. A package from home: Priceless.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The one where the CD store opens

DK here as a guest blogger. I’ve got big news! The day has come. Victoria now has a storefront for pre-order of her first, published CD. She has been working long hours to get the ducks in a row. You can check it out (literally) at

Guest artists have travelled great distances (some, thousands of miles)--thanks Ric and Garry and others. Tandy and Stephanie were in the studio this morning; Ric, until late last night. Cupcake is laying down tracks like crazy. It’s all very exciting. BTW, the CD will have 4 traditional numbers and 10 of Victoria’s new compositions.

So check out the other blog VixChristmasMusic for the ongoing story of the CD and the production of the music.

Several people have expressed a desire to order several CDs for special Christmas gifts e for friends, family, even work associates. The music has a special quality that is just filled with the Spirit. Here’s the thing: the production run will be limited. Once they are gone, they are gone. The first run will be available in plenty of time for holiday gift-giving.

I hope that friends from all over find this to be a delightful addition to their holidays. Check back to this blog to hear occasional postings of new songs as they are completed. Follow the story at VixChristmasMusic. For those who want the actual CDs, order early. They will be shipping just as soon as they are published.

You can’t believe the work it takes to prepare music for publication. But I think you’ll agree with me, it is worth it. And when you’re ready, give the new storefront a try. VixMusic

DK-out. )

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The one titled 'Non-perishable.'

The puddle on my kitchen floor kept growing and growing.

The kids thought Christmas came early to the back of our freezer. “Snow. It’s snow.” Jax said.

Five bath towels and two days later the glacier in my freezer is gone.

I’m hoping for a week of worry-free cooling bliss. A week where I don’t have to use frozen pureed tomatoes to keep my goat’s milk cold. A week where I don’t have to take the temperature of my food like it was a sick child, hoping it’s internal temperature is just right.
The repairman will be coming in a week for his 4th visit. We’re getting quite well acquainted at this point.

A month ago I noticed my normally icy cold milk was a bit tepid. Mmmm? I opened the freezer. Bags of hamburger were squishy and crunchy with melting shards of ice.
Hold on. (I’m baking sweet potato oatmeal chocolate chip cookies; the secret is not the potato but the duck eggs. refrigeration required. Good for emergency fridge breakdowns. We’re having cookies for dinner. Don’t judge me.)

Ok back to the great thaw.

I called Sears.  I was sweet as honey on the phone. Honey is the best way to get what you want if you are a woman and you live in the south. I’m not being sexist, just a practical housewife with a fridge on the fritz. They said the repairman only came ‘up my way’ once a week. Thursday.

Fine. Fine.

He comes. “You need a new thermostat.” He says.

“Ok, I say. How much?”

“$258.98” He says.

Gulp. “Ok.” My hand shook a little as I was writing out the check.

“I don’t have the part with me. I’ll be back next Thursday.” He said.


I can survive until Thursday. Cinnamon rolls and candy caramels. All nonperishable. I will survive.

The part was installed. The milk was still tepid. There’s nothing less appetizing than tepid milk. Even sweet goat’s milk, not so tasty at room temperature. We had fries for dinner. The kids thought they’d won the lottery.

I called. “He’ll be back out on Thursday, ma’m. I’m sorry ma’m.” Sears said.


“It’ll be $123 to fix the automatic defrost. The other technician should have noticed this glacier here. If you defrost it, it may work for a few days.”

“I have to pay again even though the first guy didn’t fix it?”

“I don’t know you’ll have to call.”

15 calls, 3 hours, and 5 days later.  (I repeated my name address and phone number over and over and over again. Each time I got put on hold, or transferred, or told I would be called. I wasn’t called. I had to call and call and call.)

“Oh, that’s right you don’t have to pay since it’s been less than 90 days since the first repair.”

“Why didn’t they tell me that the first time I called!!!!” I asked. (I ran out of honey after the 11th call.)

“… “

Sigh. “So I guess the technician will come out an fix it.” I said.

“The technician will be there next Thursday.” Sears said.


I think homemade cinnamon raisin bagels are on the menu for tomorrow night. Don’t judge me. They’re non-perishable.

(Wyatt with chocolate on his lip from tonight's cookies. The photo is blurry, but it will last forever. It's non-perishable.)

Visit Fruit of the Carolyn for more tales of goats, children, duck eggs, cookies, autism, a pesky raven, my love affair with my husband, and the magic of every day. I promise to make a mistake in every post and I promise that poo will be mentioned frequently.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The one where her account was hacked by a friend....

Not really, but I thought this would be a funny lead in.

Its great to be here at The Welcome Mat! I have known Victoria since she swipped the highly coveted slingshot monkeys from me over on Della's blog. I fell in love with her right away and soon after we found out we have about 8 young, handsome men in common. NOoooo - not what you are thinking we both seem to be the mission moms in our respectable wards and since we are in the same district we share alot of the same Elders. I love The Welcome Mat and have since the moment I have happened upon it. Sometimes, I have to admit, I have come JUST to hear the music! SO to make a long story short - it's great to be on this side of the mat!Thanks for the invite Victoria!

For my first post, I will actually repost one of my favorite posts for your reading enjoyment!

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Okay so this here is my theory. Just mine. You might think differently and that is really okay. Remember theories are meant to be proven or disproven with time and application. Now where was I?

I think bumper stickers can tell alot about a person.
Yes, not just the usual they belong to the national rifle association or do they have AAA , whom they are voting for but soooo much more.

If you have.....

0 bumper stickers - You are boring. Now don't go taking offense here. I am boring also.Remember this is just my theory.

1 bumper stickers - You stand for something. You either believe in a candidates stand on something, want to save a rainforest or have an opinion.

2 bumper stickers - This is where the gray area slowly begins to seep in. You have many opinions ( and sometimes weird ideas on life) and want to share them with everyone on the road.

3 bumper stickers - You , my friend are walking the line of being freaky. A little scary almost. If you added one more you could be considered a suburban redneck. Cmon, really why is it necessary to know that you "flick you boogers" ?

4 bumper stickers- Oh dear. Maybe professional counseling might be a good step in the right direction. Again this is my theory. Please, comment and help me to prove or disprove it. I just think that when you start having 4 or more stickers you might have a lug nut not fastened properly.

When ya got more stickers than bumper - Okay, first, don't go getting all obnoxious when you walk into the school parking lot and find someone using her cell phone to zoom in on your bumper( while her toddler runs around her SUV). And further....when she nicely tries to dance round the question of why she is taking pictures you really shouldn't start haulin off pushing at her. Seriously, you might really have a few things you need to work out and maybe the purely innocent bloggers of the world are not the place to begin.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The One Where She is Not Too Proud to Beg

This last week has been a little overwhelming. I am not used to trying to be organized and disciplined. I don’t wear a watch. I don’t use a calendar. Just to be clear… I am also pretty good at following through on commitments and being on-time. I just like to maintain the illusion for myself that I am not overscheduled. But I had a catering job, company, piano lessons and music recording commitments this week, so I had to try to schedule myself more carefully than usual. I didn’t get everything done.

I realized a couple of things. The first thing is, that I may not get much sleep in October. This is do or die. The other thing I realized is, I need help. Truly, and desperately. I am working on getting help with my CD project, because I know I can’t finish it in time if I have another week like this one. I am also trying to scale back my participation in other activities for the month of October. I also need some help over here in blogville. I feel like I have been settling, by just posting recipes every now and again. While that is fun sometimes, it is not how I think of my blog. So I am wondering if some of my blog friends would like to be guest posters on my blog during the next couple of weeks. I am going to ask some family members to participate... but I thought it would be also be interesting to hear from some others, so...

I am calling you out… Fruit of the Carolyn, Bakow Babble, Cranberry Fries, Duffy Doings, Kristin @ Alpine Klein Bunch, Matt and Corinne Bos, Pike’s Pickles, My Amusements, Obsessions and Things, It’s Miller Time, Italian Signorina, Sad But True… I am begging for your help. The posts don’t have to be long. Will you do a guest post on my blog? These are just a few of the folks I read all the time… I know I’m forgetting people... Jamie... Jan... Linda... Life is Beauty-ful? so if I didn’t mention you and you would like to be my guest, even if you don’t have a blog... just give a holler (or, this being the Halloween season, a screech). So friends, what say you?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The One Where She is Not Pregnant

Nope. Not pregnant. Didn’t even think I was. Not so much as a little “scare,” even. But I just created a post called “Why I’ve been eating peppermint ice cream...” and, well... it just looked questionable. So I thought I would rule that out right off the bat. And tell you that I have started a new blog. It will explain itself. And a lot of other things, too. And it will explain why I am going to be too busy to post much in October. I will still try, but if it is sketchy, you will understand. So go see my new blog. Bloggy friends, PLEASE: Follow my new blog. BE the follower. Invite your friends to be followers. (Hurry! You could be the first!) I need your help, here, friends...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The One Where She Was a Monster

Yesterday I found myself giving unsolicited advice to a friend. For like… forty-five minutes! I’ve never liked that quality in others, and have always admired my parents for being so good at refraining from doing so. It’s pretty bad when you can’t just have a friendly conversation, right? A listening ear? I don’t always have to have my say.

I need to watch my monster mouth, and ask myself, before I speak:

Is it timely?
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?

Maybe I should carry around a stack of post-it notes with those questions printed on them, with check boxes alongside. Maybe with a little reminder at the bottom that says, You. Are. Not. Everyone’s. Mom. Or maybe just some duct tape. For my mouth. Am I really the advice monster?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The One Where it Was Too Hot For Soup

I am dreaming... of fall.

I know it is supposed to already be fall and everything. In fact, I have heard wild rumors of snow in Utah county. But I will tell you that Southern California is not cooperating. We had a little cool weather last week, that lured my liquidambar tree in the front yard.. the only indication of changing seasons for miles around... into beginning its autumn metamorphosis. And just as quickly, some Santa Ana winds showed up, along with a nasty dry heatwave, and now the leaves are baking on the tree instead of turning red and orange. I don’t really appreciate that sort of behavior in October.

And today I had a request for this recipe. Taco Soup. It is a great one for the cool weather. Which, as previously stated, I am not having.

But I did make crepes this morning...

Crêpes. They are good food for watching LDS General Conference on TV. They are good for summer. Spring. Fall. Winter. I have tried, but I just can’t think of a down-side for crepes. Make them.

P.S. This new blog background... totally ME, or WHAT???