Monthly Archives: January 2016

~ Birthday Boy ~

Critter turned 13 last week, and we celebrated pretty much the whole week long.  We didn’t party that long out of a thirst for excessiveness, or other tomfoolery….I am just so disorganized that sometimes these things just happen.

His presents were wrapped and opened one day.

His cake was made another day.

We had friends over to share said cake yet another day.

Look, I’m not proud, but I’m also not ashamed.  Rather, I’m charmingly muddled and unsystematic.  And the benefit is that Critter gets to celebrate for a great deal longer than I suffered labor!  It’s a win-win!

When I asked him what kind of birthday cake he wanted, he responded ‘yellow with raspberry filling, and buttercream icing!’  I was so relieved he chose something within my abilities!

And when I danced through Walmart in search of birthday candles, I found the COOLEST birthday candles ever!

2016-01-26 12.47.05

These candles burn with colored flames that match the candle wax!  It was crazy, man!  He loved it!

2016-01-26 12.48.11

And, it turned out, that they were also the kind that tend to re-light.  I loved these candles!

2016-01-26 12.51.09

Behold, I did as my Critter requested!  It was dingdang yummy, too!  It would have been perfect had I not placed a bright green doily (left over from last St. Patrick’s Day) underneath the cake as a cake-plate liner, while it was still warm, so that it inadvertently became one with the cake and was a wee bit CHEWY. What was I thinking?  Who likes the stale taste of year-old doily paper with green dye, mingled with yellow cake?

No one, that’s who.

But I digress.

2016-01-26 12.51.27

The cake was still delicious….but WAY sweet….perfect for a 13-year-old boy with boundless energy.

2016-01-26 14.35.28

So we wrapped up that energy, and took it sledding with our friends!

A slap-happy, affection-filled, snow-down-your-pants time was had by all!

2016-01-26 14.46.05

Except me. I just lounged in my full-length, waterproof, down-filled, comforter-sized coat.  Although, I did gather my strength a couple of times to throw snowballs at people as they careened down the hill.

Happily, no one was in any danger, as I have noodle arms, and throw like a baby.

2016-01-26 15.03.58

By the end of the week, Critter felt well and truly 13, and now wants to experiment with colored flames.  An overly-energetic, teenaged boy, playing with pyrotechnics.  What could possibly go wrong?

This is why we can’t have nice things.

2016-01-26 12.47.53

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

~ We’s Stuck!!! ~

We’re well and truly stuck.  Well, technically, I am well and truly stuck.  My Captain has been able to move about with his 4-wheel drive and testosterone; that and the fact that he was wise enough to park at the end of the driveway at The Little Cottage.

My little pea-brain didn’t consider that.

2016-01-24 11.44.40

Honestly though, I don’t mind a bit. I am not so important that I have places to go or people to see.  In fact, I have no where to go, and no one wants to see me!

But My Captain is all wound around the axle because I am well and truly STUCK!  He worries about me, God love him!

2016-01-24 11.44.09

That’s my van.  It’s not coming out of 30″ snow drifts all the way down to the road, any time soon.

In years past, Papa lived here, and he always shared his tractor and snow plow and that was how everyone on the street got out after a snow storm!  But Papa moved, and he sold his tractor, and that left us all to realize how much we depended on him!

In short: My Captain is feeling impotent, and missing his dad.

I miss dad, too, but instead of feeling impotent, am gleefully cocooning in place, delighted that I can’t leave, and no one can come bother me!  Isn’t that AWFUL?!  We couldn’t be more opposite in perspective on this one!

“What if it snows again?!” he cries.

“We’ll be fine!  We have food and everything we need!” I answer, cheerfully.

“What if we have an emergency?” he returns.

“Are you serious?” I cock an eyebrow at him  “You’re a freaking fireman for 30 years and you ask me what we would do in an emergency?  DORK.  911 works for us like everyone else.”

“We are NOT going to be a drain on the emergency system.” he argues.

“You’re right, we’re not.  Know why?  Because we aren’t going to have an emergency!”

As you can imagine, we’re not getting anywhere in this argument.

Kinda like our driveway.


Don’t judge.



Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

~ A Couple Of Slackers ~

Today has not been as relaxing as I imagined it would be.  Something about having over 2 feet of snow dumped on a Mama makes her go into feeding overdrive.  I MUST feed anyone within 50 feet of me.

Since I got up this morning, I’ve made no fewer than 6 dozen cookies, a batch of homemade egg noodles to go with the Homemade Chicken Soup, grilled cheddar and smoked turkey subs, sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches, homemade cocoa, cinnamon rolls, and fresh fruit salad.

In short, I’ve either been cooking or doing dishes all day!

The evening was upon us, and I was tired and beginning to get grumpy.  My Captain and Varmint had gone out to shovel the back deck and pathway again.  I was doing dishes for the umpteenth time, but it was the LAST set of dishes I had to wash, and I saw light at the end of the tunnel.  Then, I saw this through the window:

2016-01-23 18.33.34

What the heck?

2016-01-23 18.33.22

Yeah, I see you guys.  I see you guys NOT WORKING.

2016-01-23 18.33.26

And by the smarmy look on your face, you’re not at all ashamed.  I need to get a better look at this.

I’ll tiptoe out onto the deck, past the massive snow fort Critter built earlier….

2016-01-23 18.37.25

and see if my eyes were deceiving me.

2016-01-23 18.36.16

Nope.  I saw what I thought I saw.

2016-01-23 18.36.27

Don’t you guys have better sense than this?

2016-01-23 18.36.31

Don’t you two numbskulls realize that you’re just sitting in the blizzard?

2016-01-23 18.37.02

You’re just letting the snow  and wind hit you in the face.

2016-01-23 18.36.40

Why? Why are you doing this?

It’s below freezing, it’s a blizzard, it’s dark, and you guys are SUPPOSED to be clearing the path, while I’m slaving in the kitchen!

2016-01-23 18.36.52

You could at least stop looking so smug about it.

I’m going back inside to eat all the cookies.

That’ll teach you.






Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

~ Trophy Prepper ~

My Captain jokingly referred to me as his darling “Prepper” today.  I had no idea what he meant.  Food prepper?  Get the kids to school prepper?  Laundry prepper?  What? What does he mean?

Apparently he was making fun of my penchant for behaving like a girl-scout-survivalist-prepare-for-the-worst kind of PREPPER.

He teased me like it’s a bad thing! What the heck?!  Who wouldn’t want a partner who always has what you need?  No one, that’s who.

How did he come to this affectionate little moniker for me?

Well it sure as heck wasn’t because I bought a year’s worth of freeze dried food from Mountain House, to go with the gallons of beans and rice packed in the basement shelves.

And it probably wasn’t because I bought two emergency water purifiers, to be able to re-hydrate said food.

And it most likely wasn’t because I have stored enough chocolate and toilet paper to last this family generations.  (Priorities, friends, priorities.)

It was apparently because I asked him to help me build a planter/candle heater.  THAT was where I crossed the line….you know, the line between a delicate trophy wife who needs to be taken care of,  and a bad-ass, self-sufficient, get-you-through-the-zombie-apocalypse, she’s-a-little-bit-scary kind of spouse.

And despite my unmitigated, saucy leap over that line, he grinned at me indulgently, and drove me to Lowes, where he braved the pre-blizzard crowds to buy terra cotta pots, nuts, bolts, and washers.  He might have been concerned that I’d crossed the line, but he was still willing to humor me.  Is that love, or what?

Why did I want those things?

Well, imagine in this blizzard that we lose power.  (We live in the styx.  We’re gonna lose power.)  And suppose I am unable to get our generator started with my wimpy noodle arms.  How am I going to get heat of any kind?  The Little Cottage doesn’t have a fireplace.  We’d have no heat source whatsoever.  I must keep my babies warm!!

Check this out, my friends:

2016-01-21 22.43.27

VOILA!  A few tea lights, and I’m in business.  Oh sure, it’s not going to heat the whole cottage, but by golly my kitchen will be toasty!  And where does everyone like to congregate, especially during a storm? That’s right, the kitchen!  (The place where I’m rehydrating all of those beans and rice packets….)

2016-01-21 23.26.29

You can go to Youtube and find a ton of videos on how to make one of these, but in a nutshell, it’s different sizes of terra cotta pots, attached with a bolt, with nuts between to create insulation space.

2016-01-21 22.38.32

You put these in bell formation over some tea lights, securely balanced on something to raise it (in this case bricks), with something flame retardant below (in this case, more bricks).  The radiant heat can get to around 200 degrees, which can really help you out when you’re powerless!

2016-01-21 23.26.44

Cheap, but genius, and certainly easy.  All the things he loves in his wife.

Now, if only I had a way to work my well without electricity.  Once I overcome THAT challenge, then I really could accept My Captain’s PREPPER nametag.  Though, to be honest, I prefer to be called ‘Love Of My Life, Who Makes Me Complete’.  But I can understand how that might be too long on the tongue.  Why don’t we all agree that when we hear him call me PREPPER, he really means ‘Love Of My Life, Who Makes Me Complete’?

Deal?    Deal.

And chuckle as he will, while he’s out saving the world on Friday and Saturday’s blizzard, and the kids and I are alone fending for ourselves…he will know that we won’t be human popsicles when he gets home.

Always a good thing in a family.  That whole thawed out, warm to the touch thing.

See you all on the other side of Blizzard Jonas !!!







Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

~ Peace, Love, and Lack of Internet ~

We just got back from a trip out west…western Maryland, that is.  Holed up in a nearly century-old log cabin, we rang in the new year quietly, all snug in our woodstove-heated, three room abode.

2015-12-31 12.04.19

There was no internet.  There was no cell service.

2015-12-31 12.03.50

There was only the flurry of beautiful fluffy snow, the sound of the trickling creek, and the wind dancing through the Hemlock.

We hiked, we geo-cached, and we ate constantly.  There wasn’t enough snow to do anything with, but it was just fine.  We had board games a plenty, and no pressing responsibilities.

And you know something?  It was amazing.

After a few days of this, however, My Captain had to check in with those that depend on him back in Montgomery County, so we drove to a place that had open Wi-Fi.

2015-12-31 12.58.04

We ended up at a completely empty ski shack.

2015-12-31 13.00.54

It was fun to watch the kids after unplugging from electronics and society for a while.

2015-12-31 12.59.10

It was fun to watch them just FLOP.

I could actually see them look down at their roots and remember where they were planted.  It was a deep, peace-giving, breath of fresh air.

2015-12-31 13.01.41

And silliness, of course.

They’re back at the grind now, all three of them.  But they all seem more centered.  I don’t know how long it will last, but at least now I know what to do when they need a reminder.

2015-12-31 13.12.28


Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: