Saturday, February 10, 2007

Why Do Men Leave the Toilet Seat Up???

It's kind of like that feeling you get when you grab the milk in the fridge, expecting it to be heavy, but it's almost empty and you realize that too late as the jug hits the top of the refrigerator.
I don't know how many times this has happened to me but I know it's happened at least once because I can remember exactly how it felt. It was the middle of the night, dark and quiet. Quietly I felt my way into the bathroom, sleep in my eyes. Just a quick trip and I'll be back in bed. But no, I'm falling too far! There is nothing to stop me from falling. SPLASH! Ahhhh! Cold and wet and ooh! I'm IN the toilet!
If this has ever happened to you, you know what I'm talking about. So I pose the question: Why do men leave the toilet seat up? Since my early years I have been very particular about the toilet seat being down. In college I called my roommate's boyfriend back to the bathroom multiple times to put the seat down. When I married Chris we compromised by putting the seat and the lid down. That has worked great for us!
The other day my realtor sent a really nice, good-looking, clean-cut guy over to draw a floor plan of my house. As he headed upstairs he asked if he could use my bathroom. Sure, no problem.
Later that day I went into our hall bathroom where Tristan was playing with his Elmo table. He had been in multiple times that day to play with his toy. When I went in there, the toilet seat was up and I was really grossed out at the thought that my child could have gone over and played in the toilet water! Not to mention that kids have drowned in the toilet!
I was surprised that someone would come in my house, use the toilet, and not even put the seat down. I personally think it's good manners to put both the seat and the lid down. Am I alone on this issue?

Friday, February 9, 2007

I'd Rather Be Quilting

In this part of North Carolina people are not divided by religion, race or sex as much as they are divided by the color blue. There are two colors of blue here, Carolina Blue and Duke Blue. It's amazing how people automatically congregate according to which blue is preferred. I honestly have felt out of place in some circles just because our household is Duke Blue!
My quilting group typically meets on Wednesday nights. This group of girls I meet with are hard-core quilters. There is not much that keeps us from gathering on Wednesday nights--call it therapy. We take turns hosting and providing the treat. We usually end up sewing, chatting, eating, etc. until about 11:30 p.m.
This week was my turn to host. Usually I have a recipe in mind of something new I want to try but since I have been so busy keeping my house looking clean for showing I went with an old standby, Chicago Chocolate Cinnamon Cake (recipe follows). I like it served when it's still kind of warm with a scoop of ice cream.
Anyway, 8:00 p.m. came and no knocks at the door. I wasn't worried. Most people have at least 2 or 3 kids to put to bed so it's usually 8:30 by the time most people can leave home. At last 9:00 came, time for the "Big Game" to start--yes, Duke vs. University of North Carolina and still no quilting friends. Chris served himself a big piece of cake and I started thinking my friends had abandoned me. Sure enough, they were all home watching the game. I can't believe it! I would much rather be quilting that watching a basketball game.
As a side note, I finished a queen-size quilt for my brother-in-law who is getting married in March. It feels good to be productive! (Not to mention I have been working on this quilt since August--that's a long time.)
It looks like we'll be eating chocolate cake for a week. . .

Chicago Chocolate Cinnamon Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
6 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Mix flour and sugar in large bowl. Bring 1 cup butter, 1/4 cup cocoa and water to a boil in saucepan. Pour over flour mixture and mix well. Add buttermilk, soda, cinnamon, one teaspoon vanilla, eggs and salt and mix well. Pour into greased and floured 9"x13" pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Bring 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup cocoa, milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla to a boil in saucepan; remove from heat. Add powdered sugar gradually, mixing until of spreading consistency. Stir in pecans, if desired. Pour over warm cake.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Dream Dinners

Yesterday I went to a "Dream Dinners" Sneak Peek. My friend, Monica, was the host of the party. It was really cool.
The company was started by two moms in Seattle, I think. The idea is that you pay for so many meals and then assemble them all at once. The meals are then taken home and stored in the freezer until needed. The meals can be made in 3 or 6 portions. They have the same menu for a month and it changes every month.
So last night at the Sneak Peek we assembled Hawaiian Chicken and Coconut Chicken. It took me about 10 minutes to assemble both meals. The ingredients are all at one station ready to go. Each ingredient had an appropriate measuring tool so it was a no-brainer. Each station has a card with the recipe to follow for whichever size you are making, 3 or 6. The meals we made last night are stored in freezer Ziploc bags. After the meal is assembled, an instruction label is provided to stick on the bag. Very easy.
I could see myself, someday, using this service. The price is about $3/serving, depending on the items chosen from the menu. We had the Coconut Chicken and rice tonight and it was very good. All I added was a salad. I could get used to this!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

You Are Special

We love the children's book "You Are Special". It's about a community of wooden people called Wemmicks. The Wemmicks give out stickers all day long. The Wemmicks who are smart or brave or talented usually receive gold star stickers. If a Wemmick did something the other Wemmicks did not like he/she would receive a gray dot sticker.
A Wemmick named Punchinello who had many gray dots met another Wemmick that did not have any stickers at all. He asked her how that was and she said that she goes to see the wooden doll maker, Eli, every day.
In the end Punchinello goes to see Eli and learns that Eli loves him and cares for him because he is special to him. Eli tells Punchinello that it only matters what he thinks and Punchinello should not care what the other Wemmicks think.
We went through a period with Kennedy of reading this story every day. She has not requested it in some time so we were surprised the other day when she made reference to it.
Chris and I were both busy picking up and cleaning to get the house ready for market. It was close to bedtime but we let Kennedy stay up a little later to watch a movie so we could get some work done. Her movie wasn't quite over when Chris turned it off and announced that it was bedtime. Kennedy was not happy with that. She scowled and pouted and finally hit Chris on the leg. As she ran off Chris told her to come back. "What did you just do to Daddy that was wrong?"
Kennedy: "I put dots on you!"