3 August 2012

Lambrini's Revenge - the making of a cocktail

Our friends are staying with us on their move back from Gibraltar to Northern Ireland and we have decided to  to throw both a welcome back (for them) and housewarming (for us) party/casual get together.

I very rarely do anything casually so today Sam and I decided that we could make these really cute looking jello shots in lemons and grapefruits to serve.  There were dozens of blogs that showed various shots in fruits with instructions that seemed straightforward and pretty simple.

Step 1:  Halve the citrus fruit of your choice.
Step 2:  Gently scoop out the flesh leaving the rind pristine and tidy
Step 3:  Make jello and add the liquor of your choosing
Step 4:  Pour the jello into the fruit rinds and put in the fridge to set.

They LIED.

Here is how it went down:

Step 1:  Cut the fruit squirting and staining liquid all down your white top.
Step 2:  Mutilate the fruit skins to within an inch of their life trying to scrape off the tiny mutinous pieces of pulp.
Step 3:  Scrape off the skin from the tops of your fingers trying to prize the crap from the carcass.  Sting those scrapes by repeatedly sticking your hand back into the the limpid, lifeless evil shell of a fruit.
Step 4:  Burn your thumbs making jello by pouring boiling hot water into a metal measuring cup which you are holding onto with dear life.
Step 5:  Pour jello into the fruit holds watching it pour out of the bottom because your fingers have broken through the fruit skins leaving holes.
Step 6:  Fling the whole pan into the fridge and pray that it turns out and you haven't sacrificed your fingers and an hour of your time for nothing.

After the jello shots went into the fridge I decided that it would be a shame to waste the gorgeous fresh grapefruit/lemon juice that made it into a bowl.  I thought I would try a juice and vodka combo.  Unfortunately it was: waaaaaaaaay toooooo tart.  I added some sugar.  Still way to tart.  I decided to try adding some Lambrini which I had in the fridge.  If you have never had Lambrini it is a fairly low alcohol content sparkling wine.  Getting the twist off cap removed turned out a bit more of a burden than I thought and I actually punctured my thumb on the beasty bottle, which is still bleeding down my keyboard as I write.  The Lambrini was finally opened and added to the grapefruit/vodka concoction and garnished with a spring of fresh basil (it was handy).  And voila - a new cocktail was created.  I called it Lambrini's Revenge.  It was so tasty that it has almost erased the jello shot fiasco that has just occurred in my kitchen.  I highly recommend you try one sometime!

14 July 2011

A Vagillion Points of Light

"We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a Thousand Points of Light...We all have something to give."   -  President George Herbert Walker Bush

I would like to take this a step further by suggesting a not a million, a billion, nor even a trillion - but a vagillion points of light.  It appears that this beauty salon in Lincolnshire agrees with my thinking and is prepared to make this happen for me and like-minded ladies.  How much more of a shining statement can one woman make? Score one for the Bush-meister!

12 July 2011

Holey Pants? Not it this family!

My daughter and I have had it pretty easy on the relationship front.  She is normally pretty easy going and I am normally pretty able to go with the flow (with her only BTW - I am NOT a go with the flow person whatsoever).  One breakthrough area with me has been her wardrobe.  I don't need a girlie-girl - and I PRIDE myself in not needing to dress Maddie in all pink and frills and lace and dresses. Trust me at 4 she  can ROCK her blue jeans and mud brown Henry Vilas Zoo t-shirt!  Would it KILL HER though to not DEMAND to find the most:

1. Ill-fitting
2. Stained
3. Holey
4. Eye sore

parings of clothing every freaking morning and refuse to wear all of the:

1. Clean
2. Weather appropriate
3. Matching
4. Just plain damned cute

clothing that she owns.

I have allowed myself to let her have choices in what she wears even if the colors clash or its actually a pajama top (only once).  I do put my foot down on dirty and full of holes.  I don't care if she comes back from school looking that way, but I will be damned if she goes in looking like it.

Which is the discussion we had this morning.....while she was on the toilet......clutching her purple leggings because they were her teacher's favorite color.....with me ripping them out of her hands because they were filthy and full of huge holes. It took 30 minutes to get her to agree to something else and by agree I mean we were running so late I threatened to drop her off in her underwear if she didn't choose something else.  She eventually released her kung fu grip on the leggings and told me that this house wasn't fair and she didn't want to live here anymore (which she thought better of when I mentioned that snacks weren't readily available 'on the road').

She did finally manage to choose some clothes that fit, were clean and had no holes (although they didn't match but a small concession on my part).  After we both apologized to each other for the very crappy morning we induced upon each other Maddie asked me on the way to school why I made her change her clothes.  I had to remind her that pants (in all varieties) are important and that is just how we roll in this family!

Tonight we pre-chose an outfit for tomorrow that I approve of (because I hid all of the stuff that I don't).  Done and Done!  This motherhood thing is like being a magician sometimes - smoke and mirrors baby!

7 July 2011

Summer Ball Gown Extraordinaire

Summer Ball time is just around the corner (like next week) - let the festivities begin!  This year may just be the year that we make it all the way to the champagne breakfast.  We have always left around 2 or 3am, because even with somebody watching Maddie overnight, we still have to tend to her the next day and it would be irresponsible and just plain ugly to do it on no sleep (and fairly tipsy).  This year, though our neighbours are not only watching her overnight, but taking their kids and Maddie to Sundown Adventureland the following day - all day - so.....the potential is there if we are up for the challenge.  I'll let you know next Saturday!

I wasn't going to buy a new dress this year because I have loads of ball gowns now and I thought I would not spend the money and instead re-wear one (gasp, horror, shock)!

Then I saw this one and I felt it would have been a crime against humanity to not buy it.....and wear it... and sleep in it....for at least a couple nights weeks.  I don't have anything to go with it shoe or jewelry wise and don't really have time to look, but I don't care.  I will go barefoot and jewel-less.   (Happy sigh).

22 May 2011

Joy and Rapture

I am sure that you may have heard that the Rapture was meant to come yesterday.  BTW - it didn't. But I don't see it as a total loss. I mean sure, now I have to go to work on Monday and there are the 13 loads of laundry I was hoping to put off......

That aside, Isn't it great how crazy people like Harold Camping bring out the best in all of us.  Let us look at a glass half full.  Who else but a nut job could inspire so many people to get creative and have a giggle. Here are a few nuggets that I have found delightfully laugh worthy.  Don't stop Harold - I may need more laughs in the future.

A little practical joke you can plan on friends, neighbors and strangers the next time a Rapture opportunity presents itself.

Obviously this guy's family knew something he didn't.....

I think this one is my favorite.  What an awesome day this guy had.  First, drinking beer whilst doing a number 2, then getting to meet the big guy in the sky. My only question is, did he have a chance to wipe?

 I am going to see if I can order this billboard for the side of my house.

I'm just saying.......

I have some wonderfully twisted friends in California that would probably be on board to make this one happen.  If you need extra hands for the big release, please give me a call and I will get on a plane and be there.  That is one party I do NOT want to miss.

I think this just says everything.  Blame it on Bill Gates.

███████████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ 44% DONE.
Install delayed....please wait.
Installation failed. Please try again. 404 error: Rapture not found.
EVENT "Rapture" cannot be located. The rapture you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Enough said.  LMAO.  I am going to go do my 13 loads of laundry with a smile on my heathen face.

3 April 2011

The one where I thank my brother for helping Matt for get it so right.

Today is mother's day in the UK and it is third one out of five since Maddie has been born that I am spending it without my husband. Yesterday morning was bittersweet because Matt was leaving again and had only been home for 3 weeks.

After dropping him off at work to catch his plane, Maddie and I came home and I closed the front door feeling an overwhelming sense of emptiness. It felt so lonely that the dog had to fill the void with an alarming amount of gas.

When the doorbell rang 5 minutes later, I welcomed the possibility of company and the strong fresh burst of air that I knew would clear out the cloud of nastiness that still lingered from the dog.

What I didn't expect was my neighbour holding a massive bouquet of flowers with a sheepish smile saying "these were delivered while you were out".

The flowers were from Matt. The card simply read: Don't thank me. Thank your brother. Happy mother's day, you are really amazing.

It was a bit of an inside joke really. Last week my brother's wife posted pictures on facebook of some gorgeous flowers that my brother had given her. In response to a comment that someone had written, she replied that my brother gave her flowers all the time - special occassion not necessary. To which I responded "tell my brother to have chat with my husband...lol". Some facebook banter ensued and the rest (as they say) is now history. My younger brother has apparently schooled Matt in the art of some fine flower gifting.

What I really didn't expect was for another flower delivery today. I thought that it must be either a mistake or maybe flowers from my mom (she is awesome that way)!

The card read: Don't thank me, thank Uncky J. (my brother), love Maddie. Now Maddie is great with a computer but even she doesn't have the skill set to order and pay for flowers online (or does she)??? It would appear that my lovely husband got me another bouquet of flowers and sent them in Maddie's name. I don't think the delivery person was ever caught in such an awkward moment when I started weeping "I can't believe he did this!  Why would he do this?" She backed away quite quickly perhaps confusing my incredulous reaction with anger (it is not like I said it whilst shredding the flowers with a pair of scissors.....)

Those flowers made my weekend and I don't think that either my brother or Matt will ever know how much. Thank you Jeremy for being such a great man (and husband to Maria) and thank you Matt for being the most wonderful husband and getting it so, so right!

You do realise that the bar has now been set........

29 March 2011

Counting Down the Days

You may (or may not) know that my husband is in the Royal Air Force.  He is an engineer.  When we got married I knew that there was the possibility of him spending some time away here and there.  I never expected to have him gone quite as much as he has since Maddie has been born.  The last year or so has been rough - he has been away for 4-5 months or more out of the year.

I know to some that this doesn't seem like much.  I know that some people in the forces spend 18 months or more away from their families at a time.  I don't think I could be married to somebody that has to have that kind of commitment to their job - power to the wives, girlfriends and families that do.

Matt left in early January for what was to be the last deployment for a while.  When he got back 2 1/2 weeks ago I could have wept.  I was tired, stressed, overworked and unbalanced.  I was really looking forward to having some time for us to be a family again.  To have somebody share the (wonderful) burden of caring for a 4 1/2 year old child and an 11 year old dog with bad gas and even worse breath.

We got the first call about 4 days after he came home - deployment......again.....

He was meant to leave mid-May.  I was heartbroken, but thought "okay at least we have a couple of months to spend together.  At least I have a while to re-charge my batteries before being a single parent yet again.  At least Maddie can relish in the possibilities of having 2 parents to dote on her."

The second call came not long after.  Things had changed.  Deployment moved up.  Leaving on the 2nd of April.  "Crappity, crap, crap." I do believe that my actual reaction included a wild variety of bonus words that I will not type here just in case somebody gets offended.  But to give you a glimpse of the conversation that went down between me and the man I will say that the "F" bomb was dropped at least a half a dozen time as well as some vocabulary that would probably see me going to hell for a good long while in at least 6 of the major world religions.  By the way - I swear like a sailor - just thought you should know.

Matt will have been back for less that 25 days when he leaves again.  He is on standby to leave fairly soon.  I want to scream and cry but everybody I know is in the same boat or worse and pity parties don't last very long when you are a RAF wife.  My friends and acquaintances that don't have partners in the Forces aren't always understanding, implying "you knew what you were marrying into....."  I want to slap them, but I don't (okay sometimes in my head I do and seriously I have got a great imagination so it is AWESOME when it plays out).  I usually bite my tongue.  I smile.  I make a joke.  I let everyone know that it will be okay.  In the meantime I just keep counting down the days.