Monday, December 31, 2007

Quick post

I will do my 2007 wrap-up tomorrow; it'll take too long right now. I have a lot of thoughts. I will say, briefly, sarcastically, that whoever thought up the "original" flavor for night time NyQuil either had damaged taste buds or a hatred of the ill. DH refers to it as death-flavored, and I'm inclined to agree. With all the technology that exists, couldn't someone come up with actual good-tasting medicine? They got the formula down for the thick pink penicillin that little kids take, remember? I loved that stuff. But for now we have bluish-green death flavor. Yum. Taking medicine remains the one time I truly wish I could do shots.

On a nicer note, my new desk faces my backyard, currently covered with beautiful snow, the light kind that looks like someone sugared the tree branches. I do love it.

Happy New Year, people! Have fun and be safe.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


OK, I am sooooo sorry! I didn't realize it had been so long! I got busy and then I got sick. Seriously, people, I was so tired this last week I fell asleep several times at 8:30 until my husband woke me up to tell me I still had work to do. But now I have vacation time, so I have good time to blog!

Right now I could not feel happier: I have my fleece pants on, I have a blanket wrapped around me...and right next to me on the couch doing her nails and watching Law and Order: CI is Scarlet Lily! She and her nice fiance, her mother, and her brother all came in for the Bills-Giants game and current bad weather has forced them to stay another night. Yay! She also brought us some of her delicious "twelve days" cookies: the lusikkailevat ones. Make them immediately! They all went to the game and I had choir practice singing unto the Lord, as DH says.

I have nothing terribly exciting to report: It's the Christmas season, we've got the great Christmas Road Trip ahead, and all my shopping is done, which never happens with me. I'm sure I'll have more to report soon. In the meantime, here's a website to try:, a site to practice vocabulary and donate rice to the UN. It's the season of giving, right?

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas if you celebrate it!

Lovely Ladies

S.L. helping B. get his jersey on over several layers of clothes
(it was freezing, pouring rain, and windy as all hell)

Awww...we love them even if they're Giants fans....

Relaxing in the Man Room: Scarlet Lily, Die Frau, and their men

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Update on the furnace, ways to keep warm

Our heating guy rocks: He fixed the heater until at least spring (hopefully). Thus we can hold off on getting gouged for a new furnace. This also means that DH and I can have a real Christmas instead of our wan, "Merry Christmas, honey" as we gave each other the gift of heat. Ech.

In celebration of coming home to a warm house, I made cookies from Cooking Light which also count as 1 point each on Weight Watchers. They are YUM and will sit for a short while in our gorgeous cookie jar we received as a wedding present from Ouiser and fam. Consider it my contribution to the 12 Days of Cookies that ol' Scarlet's putting together.

Ooh, also tried Billy Blanks Tae Bo today. That guy is nuts, but I certainly got my workout. What I loved was the equally overenthused chick who militantly counted out each set and would randomly yell out, "YEAH!" during the workout.

Here's the cookie recipe:

Brown Sugar and Spice Cookies


1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg (or egg substitute)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup whole wheat flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking spray

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
Dash of ground allspice


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cookies, combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, baking powder, and next 4 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until well blended.

Shape the dough into 30 balls [a little bigger than a large gumball]. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray; flatten cookies with bottom of a glass.

To prepare topping, combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, and allspice in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over cookies.

Bake at 350° for 9 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on pans. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Yield: 30 servings (serving size: 1 cookie)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 64(32% from fat); FAT 2.3g (sat 1.3g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 1g; CHOLESTEROL 12mg; CALCIUM 10mg; SODIUM 46mg; FIBER 0.3g; IRON 0.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10.1g

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful...

...and my fuuuurnace iiiiiiisn't working....

Yes, I came home yesterday to a chilly house for the second time in less than a month. Last time occurred right before Thanksgiving and we almost had to switch to my mom's house, but the furnace people got it jerry-rigged and working in time for Turkey. This time it was the same problem, but instead of it being 50 degrees outside, it's a balmy 30 degrees with 45mph winds. For those who do not have to deal with this, that means wind chill, a lovely little addition. Wheeee.

Long story short, our furnace came over on the ark with Noah. The thing's 40 years old and rotted out in the bottom where the furnace man needed to fix the blower motor. Plus he didn't have parts for our ancient appliance, small wonder. So we've got it running thanks to the magic, intuition, and experience of the fantastic heater man, but it boils down to one point: We now have to buy a new furnace right before winter, when prices run highest. I could complain about how if the previous owners had done a little more maintenance this would not have happened (true story), but the fact remains that we wanted a high-efficiency furnace anyway to save on bills and whatnot.

So, Scarlet Lily, when you and your fam come to visit in a few short weeks, trust that the house will have heat one way or another; no snuggling together for warmth will have to ensue...but maybe we will just for fun and happiness to see each other. Plus the fireplace works.

Stay warm, people!

P.S. Watched A Charlie Brown Christmas last night, which warmed my heart as well!