Category Archives: Friday 5

Friday 5: Only 2 at a time allowed

I’ve discovered something about myself: I can only handle 2 crises at once (and of course I’d prefer only one crisis — or none at all — but life doesn’t seem to work that way).

Here, in current order, are the 5 crises I am juggling for those top 2 spots:

1. My mother’s cancer and continual decline despite her denial (definitely the top stressor this week)

2. Selling our house (trying to be top stressor but being trumped by Mom’s cancer)

3.   The logistics of moving (When? Where? How?)

4. The arrival of 4 more adults next weekend– bringing our household up to a count of NINE — for 2 weeks of graduation festivities and moving mayhem.

5.  The graduating senior who must be prepared for college (he will probably be fine, but his mother isn’t prepared to send him off)

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Friday 5: birthdays, chocolate chip cookies, and Rod Stewart

me with my dad in May 2008

1. Today is my dad’s 75th birthday. True to form, his card is late (what happened? I used to be so good about mailing cards on time!) but I will call and wish him a happy birthday.

2. Today is also my nephew’s birthday. How can it be that the little 2yo boy who stuck his fingers in our wedding cake is now a husband and father?

3. I finally took the cat in for her annual appointment (only running 4 months late on that one). The veterinarian and the technician and I all agreed that she is part-Abyssinian, which explains her gorgeous caramel coloring. I doubt it explains her perfect behavior throughout the exam, but I was glad for that, too.

4. This morning my friend ~P~ is coming over to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies (not exactly a national treat in China).  Last Saturday, I was at her house learning how to make a few easy, healthy dishes. I think I have the better end of the deal!

5. I’m in love with the Rod Stewart Great American Songbook CD collection. Unfortunately, there is no money in the budget for buying CDs just because I like them.   😦   But at least the next time someone asks me what I’d like for a gift, I can actually name something!

Friday 5: Broken Blogger and Mmmmm…. brownies!

1. Blogger has been broken when it comes to making comments (or even reading). So if you haven’t heard from me and you usually do, that is probably why! It’s not for my lack of trying to comment.

2. It drives me crazy to not be able to comment on your posts! I’ve read some great ones and Blogger renders me “speechless.”  Grrrr…

3. The house is still for sale. We haven’t had anyone in to look in the past 12 days.  Frustrating doesn’t even begin to cover the feelings I’m going through.

4. It’s definitely been a week for comfort food.

5.  Betty at http://glimpseintomidlife.blogspot.com/ asked me to share my homemade brownie recipe. Here it is:

4  squares (1 ounce each) of unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup of shortening (a little more if you like really fudgy brownies)
2 tsp. Vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups of Sugar
1 cup of flour
1 cup of chopped nuts (optional — I leave them out)

Using a large saucepan on the stove, slowly melt chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add vanilla and eggs (stir quickly so eggs don’t cook!) then the sugar. Sift in the flour to avoid lumps, stir thoroughly. Add nuts if desired.

Transfer batter into a 9″ X 13″ X 2″ greased pan. Bake at 350°F for approximately 30 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick. Let cool before slicing with a sharp knife. Brownies should be moist and fudgy (esp. if you are a bit generous with the shortening).

What is your favorite comfort food?

Friday 5: Hope

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who have yet to see Spring, I offer you hope:

Wishing for you a weekend of warmth. ♥

Popping up for air

I should probably let you know what’s going on in my world, especially since certain events have taken priority over blogging.

1. I recently spent 9 days in the Seattle area, being a caregiver for my mother while she recovered from surgery.

2. Cancer really ought to be spelled with 4 letters.  Thin, sick, weak… it does that to people. In this case, “cure” is not part of the vocabulary and time is limited.

3. Prior to flying to Seattle — and ever since I returned home again — I’ve been dedicating most of my time to decluttering and cleaning my house. My husband has been packing boxes, painting blue walls beige (“beach sand” is what we told the 11yo boy) and generally being understanding of my stress level (code orange).

4. The house goes “on the market” today (with much prayer).

5. I hope to get back to blogging near the end of the month, after I take care of a few more responsibilities and get into the groove of keeping the house “show-ready” at all times.

What is going on in your world?

I miss my faithful blogging friends!
~KC

Friday 5: A penny for your thoughts

It’s high time for a Friday Five, so those pennies will add up to a nickel today.

1. My BFF flew in for a visit last night. I’m excited to be able to share a few of my favorite things with her this weekend!

2. I very much want her to make future visits, so I personally cleaned the hall bathroom (a.k.a., the boys’ bathroom) instead of just sending the boys to do it.

3. Boys don’t notice dirt and mess, nor do they seem to appreciate clean.  What’s up with that? (I’m talking about grime, not just clutter.)

4. Decluttering is such a hard thing for me to do. Once I let the clutter in, it mixes with important things and I have trouble sorting it all out, especially when it comes to papers and paperwork.  But even beyond things easily recycled, I have to keep reminding myself:  Just because it is useful or pretty doesn’t mean I should keep it.

5. My mom had cancer surgery on Tuesday. I’ll be flying out there next week to be her caregiver until the end of the month.

Friday 5: Blessings (when Boring is Good)

Betty wrote about blessings a few days ago, and I thought I’d do the same here. Her post started with the thought that she didn’t have anything to blog about — life was good, but possibly boring. That certainly rang a bell!

1. Life with my husband

“You are the perfect woman for me because you’re so incredibly dull.”

My husband actually said this a few months ago. Oh yes, he did! I wrote it down and told him I was going to blog it,  so he decided it would be best to clarify his statement…

a)  Dull is good when the man is an introvert.. It makes the wife easier to live with and less expensive (AKA, low maintenance).
b) Dull is more comfortable to live with… the home is for serenity, safety, and comfort.

We do lead a somewhat dull life. We rarely go out and we rarely host a get-together, but we have comfortable and pleasant times at home together.  My dh used to say that I was “cheap to keep” — he has tempered that into the more palatable “low maintenance.”

2. Girls’ Night Out... or perhaps I should call it Girls’ Night In
There is a small group of us that are getting together on a semi-regular basis at one person’s home. For the cost of a box of hair color (bring your own) and a bottle of wine to share, I had my hair colored, cut, and styled a few weeks ago.  While this blessing isn’t at all boring, it does keep me rather low-maintenance… how many women get a color, cut, and style for under $25?

3. The DVR and on-demand television
I’m not a big TV watcher, but it sure is nice to know that I can record a show and have it on-hand to watch whenever I feel like it! (This is something we will probably give up as an “unnecessary expense” when my husband retires.)

4. Hanging out with family
On any average night, you will find us sitting around the dining room table talking over supper for at least 45 minutes.  On Friday nights, we normally have “find dining” while watching a show we recorded on TV. Wipeout is the favorite for all ages.

5. Friendship
There were 4 of us squeezed into a NYC-sized hotel room last Saturday night, two of whom had never met before Saturday morning. After the show, we stopped at a deli for some hot soup and then came back to the hotel. We had planned to change into something warmer and go back to Times Square to people watch. Instead, we changed into pajamas and talked in the dark until long after 3AM. 

Friday mish-mash

It’s been a busy week:

1. SuperDad played the part of a famous international lover when he acted as Master of Ceremony at the church Valentine dinner last Saturday night. Truly, he performed wonderfully and people are still talking about it.  My introverted husband is having a difficult time fading back into obscurity (his dearest wish).

2. SnakeMaster had his first piano lesson on Tuesday and loved it. Yay!
We continued the music theme for the day with a band and orchestra concert that evening;  Humorous-Juniorous performed with the wind ensemble.  This was a “pre-festival” concert, playing the pieces they will perform for judges at the end of the month.

3. I’ve now been to 3 knitting group meetings and have graduated to the purl stitch.  Or rather, I’ve been taught to do this stitch and I seem to make fewer mistakes with it.  (When left alone with a knit stitch, I start by casting on 20 loops and end up with 40… I can’t really explain why, but it sure looks strange.)  However, my right shoulder, arm, and elbow has been hurting ever since Wednesday evening. I think I might have a knitting injury. How pitiful is that?

4. It was 60° F (16°C) last night at 10pm. Today we are supposed to reach 72°F  (22°C).  I’m pretty sure this will melt the remainder of our snow.  Time to get out in the garden and prune some of the plants. Do you think they know it’s still February?

5. I’ll be up early in the morning tomorrow. I’m headed up to NYC to see Mamma Mia! with 3 friends.  😀  I can’t begin to express the excitement of this trip, especially since it came together so quickly and easily…  “For one night, and one night only!”

Friday 5: Communication

There are some things that we only share amongst a few understanding friends, like the following text messages saved on my phone:

1. “There are some things we never tell our children … Like about the stinkbug that just fell onto the hot griddle next to their blueberry pancakes”    [28 January 2011]

2. “At elementary school sing-along and the dreidl song had a country western beat. Oy vey!”   [22 December 2010]

3. “Calm winds here … Except the ones created by black bean soup.”   [01 February 2011]

And some things that are too sweet to not share:

4. “______’s brother Johnny was just elected Homecoming King. Gotta love a school that elects a kid with Downs Syndrome.”  [09 October 2010]

And then there are things that need to be shared:

5. I encourage you to go read Leah’s account of leaving Egypt over at The Goat’s Lunch Pail.  (Leah is the cousin of The Bag Lady and Reb)
**Please note that I love Canada and my Canadian friends. It’s the lack of governmental response and obvious lack of concern for its citizens that we are criticizing. **

A Stitch in Time

Things I’ve done this week:

1. Compared driving and walking on ice…
Conclusion
:  my own driveway was more hazardous than any parking lot that I encountered.  (Please note: the streets were cleared before I ventured out!)

2. Compared Weird Al songs/videos with the original songs/videos that inspired the parodies…
Conclusion: “Weird Al” Yancovik is insanely talented.

3. Discovered that my 18yo had never seen “Thriller” or “Beat It” (but had seen Weird Al’s “Eat It”)…
Conclusion:  corrected noted deficiency in his cultural knowledge.

4. Considered what kind of mother forces her children to watch Weird Al videos after school…
Conclusion:  the same kind of mother who spent her teen years listening to The Dr. Dimento Show on the radio every Sunday night.  Besides, it’s exam week — they needed to lighten up.

5. Began the process of learning to knit…
Conclusion: it will be a long time before anyone gets a scarf.