just call me seven

My Sister-In-Law Has Appendicitis.
25 January 2008, 3:14 pm
Filed under: This Is My Family

Hey, all.  My sister-in-law was throwing up a lot, so she and my brother went to the hospital, thinking it might have something to do with the pregnancy, and the doctors told her that she has appendicitis.  So she’s getting it taken out, pretty much as I type.

My mom and I are going to drive up to Eugene to be with them and help with stuff.  She (my sis-in-law) hasn’t been feeling really well anyway, because of morning sickness, so it’ll be really hard to keep up on house stuff while recovering from an appendectomy.  I’ll probably be staying there for about a week, so if I’m not around for awhile, that’s why.

I would really appreciate your prayers.


My Latest Obsession: Pot Pie.

Yes, you read a-right. I am recently (since Wednesday) addicted beyond belief to pot pie of all flavors. I had some at Marie Callendar’s when I was there Wednesday with a friend, and, while I enjoyed it, my immediate thought was, “I could make this… better.” So I did. I looked up pot pie in my mom’s trusty Betty Crocker cookbook, and set to work.

Oh. My. Gosh. The crust that Betty has you make is a celery seed crust, and it is to die for. It’s really light and flaky, and it has this great flavor from the celery seed. I actually used celery salt (since that’s the only thing we had) and just omitted salt from the crust and the filling to make up for it. It turned out really well.

Liquid-y stuff:
1/3 C butter
1/3 C flour
1/2 an onion
1/2 teaspoon salt (remember, if you use celery salt, I recommend that you omit this stuff.)
1-3/4 C chicken/turkey broth (I used bouillon… who has chicken broth just sitting around?)
Lots and lots of pepper (I’m obsessed… you might want to use less.)
2/3 C milk
Heat butter over low heat until melted.
Whisk in the flour, and keep whisking until it’s smooth, with no lumps (trust me).
Stir in onions & pepper… and salt if you must.
Heat until thickened (it says to stir constantly, but whatever. I didn’t, and it turned out fine. I also had to turn the heat up to almost medium before it would thicken at all… Betty knows some stuff, but she’s not a magician).

For the chicken, I just cooked some thighs up in my mom’s cast-iron pan, along with half an onion, chopped pretty big, and some sage and some cardamom (another obsession of mine). I just cooked it until it was all done, and then drained it and set it aside until I was ready for it.

Crust: (I would do this after your saucy stuff and chicken are done, so it doesn’t just sit there and dry out.)
1/3 C Crisco (that’s right… Crisco. This ain’t no diet food.)
2 C flour
2 t celery seed
1 t salt
4-5 T water
~Cut the shortening into the flour, celery seed and salt until pieces are the size of small peas (mine never look like peas… they always look like shredded cheese… Betty, I am not.)
~Sprinkle in water, 1 T at a time, tossing with fork until all the loose flour is moistened and it almost cleans the side of the bowl when you stir it around. (I didn’t measure the water at all… I just added a little bit at a time until it seemed like it was the right consistency. Be sure to just toss it with a fork instead of doing some hard-core stirring, because I think when you handle the dough too much it gets tough.)
Use 2/3 of the dough for the bottom, and the other 1/3 for the top.

I improvised a little lot on the vegetables… Betty thinks that a 10-oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables is going to cut it, but she’s WRONG, folks. Don’t do it. I did some layers… I love me some layers:
Frozen spinach
Chicken mixture
Cut-up baby carrots (that’s what we had…)
Broccoli that was about to go bad, cut up in little pieces (keepin’ it real, people.)
More chicken mix
Frozen french-cut green beans
Frozen corn (I love corn)
the rest of the chicken
the rest of the sauce

I used this really deep crockery-sort of dish that we have, so it’s like the mother of all pot pies. But really, it needed to be that big to fit all the veg I crammed into it. I’m not about the weenie pot pies with two peas, a few carrot slices and 1 piece of chicken (Hey! I never knew there was chicken in this soup!)… I like my stuff to be hearty, and well worth my time.

So you just put all this crap in the crust, and put the top crust on… I always make something pretty in my crusts, because that’s how I roll, but you could just cut a couple slits for ventilation, otherwise your pie might sprout a leak and blow a hole out the top.

I would recommend brushing the crust with a little buttah to make it extra delicious. As I may have mentioned before, this ain’t no diet food. But really, it’s not that bad for you, either. Aside from all the butter. And the Crisco. And the flour. You know. It has veggies! Lots and lots of veggies! That’s all I’m saying.
Bake this puppy uncovered in a 425 oven for about 30 minutes, or until your crust is golden.

I am looking forward to experimenting further, using zucchini and summer squash and “every good thing” (if you can name this movie, I’m just going to say, you have issues. Just like me.) now that I’ve used up all the stuff that was in the freezer.

Here are a couple more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

My sister drew this one on the computer… I love it. I thought he was blowing through his nose onto the pot pie; I am wrong. He is sniffing in the zesty aroma. Yummy, yummy in his tummmmmy. Ho, ho. (Family inside joke)

That’s all folks. Chicken Pot Pie: Eat it.


Wow… I ate way too much today, most of it an abomination to everything that is decent and healthy. But so good… funny how that works.

For the last couple of years, my family has drawn names and bought presents for just one person instead of everyone… This year I had The BFF and I got to buy all kinds of cool, girly, fun stuff for her. It was nice.

I’m always a little afraid that someone won’t have a good Christmas… I think know that I get that from my mother. I think we both just want so badly for no one to be hurt, for everything to be perfect. And you know what? Life just doesn’t really support that concept.

I’m not saying that our Christmas was bad… just that there were really good parts, and some not-as-great parts, and I cried a little, but I do that pretty much every year day anyway, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

All in all, I’d say it was a good one.

Plus, we got a little bit of snow, which is a rarity in these parts.

Some People Have a Way With Words, While Others… Erm, Thingy.

I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I don’t really know why, because I am not busy. It just seems like my to-do list is always a mile long, even if it’s only in my head and not an actual, physical, paper list. And I think about doing the things on it, and it makes me tired. So I don’t do it… but then I feel all lame because I didn’t get anything done. What is the answer to this problem? I feel like making a list is sort of like setting myself up to fail (I can’t even make a list without rewriting the whole thing once or twice because, I don’t know, not all of the list items are prefaced with a verb, or my R looks weird on that third line…), but I know that if I don’t have any sort of goals, I will ACTUALLY never get anything done. [Side note: When I type the word “anything,” I always type “antything” first.]

I finally got my hair professionally trimmed though (first time since August, when my talented cousin cut off my frizzy, limp cloud of curls)… so I’m happy about that. I trimmed it myself a while ago, and it looked pretty good, but then it wouldn’t stand up in the back anymore so I thought I’d have a go at trimming it again myself. This time it didn’t end up looking so hot, and I knew that I should have someone who actually knows what they’re doing fix me up before I did anything really stupid. So I went to this chick right here in my hometown, and got it all taken care of.

Earlier today Smalls and I were talking about my Christmas stocking. I was feeling it, and wondering at what one of the two things were… she said, “It’s your boyfriend.”

A couple weeks ago, I told Smalls to smell a cologne ad from one of my magazines… She said that it smelled like a boy, and I said, that’s kind of the point (it was Aqua di Gio, if you’re curious). I also said that while I appreciate guys who don’t wear cologne, and that in fact I usually prefer that they don’t, I wouldn’t mind one bit if my (still unknown) boyfriend wore it. Smalls asked if she could rip it out of the magazine… I said, “Ok… that’s weird. Why do you want it?” and she said that she
wanted to put it in my stocking. She said that since I didn’t get a husband for Christmas two year ago (yep, I put it on my list), that I could have a boyfriend in my stocking this year. She’s hilarious.

I said that no, this thing was bigger than my boyfriend (who, let’s face it, folks… is some paper-thin (I’m punny) homogenous model on the back of a cologne ad), to which she replied, “Is your boyfriend still in there?” I said, “He better be.”

To which my Mom replies, “I’ve been praying that God would bring you a boyfriend.” I love my mom. She always seems to know how I’m feeling about stuff… I know that she said that because she knows it’s hard that The Married One & The BFF are having a baby, and that The Croodler and The Quas are now declaring love (WTH?), while I stay at home with only two dates to show for my nearly twenty-six years of life, though I am the one out of all five of us kids whose childhood career ambition was to be a wife and a mother.

I just wish that I could find some other dream to pursue, grasp some other ambition, hope in some other objective instead of whining about my shattered dreams and sucking air that other people (people who are actively pursuing life instead of just cruising on auto-pilot) could use. Because, honestly, real people need to have goals and dreams and desires that don’t hinge on marital status. What kind of wife could I be to anyone if all I am is a wisp of an idea, a shadow of a woman, some empty vessel who has no forward motion to contribute?

I’m not sure if I’m making sense at all… it’s too late. I know that there’s more inside of me that I’d like to get out, but my words are flowing like… uh… something really slow. Not to mention I’m using the old computer, and everything I type shows up a second or two after I type it, so by the time I catch that I’ve made a mistake, I’m halfway done with the next sentence. Plus, just watching it makes me feel slow and tired. I will attempt to continue some other day with the pressing questions/thoughts that I can’t seem to elucidate at the moment.

In Which I Willingly Display Stupid Pictures Of Myself.

Oh My Stinkin Heck requires faces today… I shall oblige in order to (possibly) win some free jewelry.

Picture #1 I willingly snapped of myself, because we all know that faces you make on purpose are always more flattering than faces someone else catches you in the middle of, right?

Picture #2 is a photo that Smalls took of me yesterday, mid-cough. We were laughing, and since I’ve been sick, laughing makes me cough (wah, wah… poor me). So she managed to catch this “precious moment,” and I’m sure I’ll never live it down. She wouldn’t let me delete it, so what do I go and do? Share it with my precious Internets. I am a moron.

But anything for free stuff, right? So here you are… and try not to hit your head on the desk when you fall down from laughing so hard.

In Which I Challenge You To Fight Me.
3 December 2007, 10:34 pm
Filed under: I'm a Big Dork, LaBloShoeMo, This Is My Family

Day Three of LaBloShoeMo 2007.

My trusty flipflops earn the spot today. These guys cost $10 at Target (I believe I’ve mentioned how classy my shoe collection is a couple times before), and are the most comfortable flipflops I’ve worn to date, except for a pair of Reefs that one of my friends used to own. My budget doesn’t include Reefs, though, so I content myself with the Target version.

If you’ll take a quick look at the bottom picture, you’ll notice that the toe of my right shoe is a little chewed up. In honor of my poor injured flipflops, and in order to pay homage to the injuries I myself received, I bring you the story of an incident that occurred earlier this year (September 11, to be exact) which involves pain and humiliation, and me being laughed at for WEEKS by my sister (who I’ve just now decided shall be named Smalls instead of Pippy) every time she remembered the incident. Without further ado:
So, I’ve been going to Curves lately to get some exercise. I didn’t feel like going today, so I said to Smalls, “Do you want to go on a walk with me?” and she said, “Sure.” So we walked around the block that’s kitty-corner from our house, then we walked around the block that our house is actually on. If this doesn’t make sense, don’t fret, don’t fret… this isn’t the funny part.
So we were walking, and kicking rocks, and when we were right about where our house was, only on the next street over, she started kicking her rock further than mine. Well, I wasn’t about to be outdone by a twelve-year-old, so I ran and kicked my rock. Only, rather than actually making contact with the rock and kicking it past hers, thereby winning, I proceeded to trip myself over my own feet. Yep. So I took a few crazy tilting steps, fell on my knee and skinned it, fell on my hands and got a nice case of road rash, and then, because I had so much forward momentum going on, fell the rest of the way down. I didn’t hit my face, thank the Lord, but really, I should have. Smalls started laughing, and so did I… because, let’s face it… falling is funny.
She asked if I was ok, and I said that I thought so. So I stood up and looked myself over, and noticed that my flip-flop is all chewed up at the toe, and hey, so is my own toe. I had a huge flap of skin flopping around on my big toe and bleeding into my sandal.
Smalls and I started walking home… and every few steps she cracked up again. She was making me laugh too, which was probably a good thing, because I was really shaky and all my shoulder muscles hurt, sort of like I gave myself whiplash from falling down so fast.
When we got home I made her get me a drink of water and some wet paper towels so I could clean myself off and my little nail scissors so I could cut the flap of skin off, because it had dirt stuck in it. And while I was tending to my wounds, Smalls started reading her book, but every few seconds she would lose it all over again. She had just recovered after one such laughing fit when I realized that the back of my hand hurt… I looked at it and it was all scraped up. I said, “How did I scrape the back of my hand? I fell on my palms!” Smalls just laughed at me, and I bandaged it up too.
All of a sudden, Smalls started laughing so hard that she was pretty much crying… I said, “What the heck is so funny?” She said, “I was just remembering… you looked so funny… your shoes were all over!” Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I fell down so hard that both of my shoes fell off. How does that even happen?
So anyway… that’s my funny story for the week.
Laugh it up, clowns.

And I know it isn’t much, but they are my wounds. I got them, and they hurt. So now I’m gonna show them off. If you don’t want to see them, don’t look. :)

This is the back of my hand…

This is my knee, and…

This is my poor little toe.

Isn’t that awesome? Who does that? My only consolation is that we weren’t on our own street when it happened, so at least the neighbors shall remain ignorant (hopefully) of my complete geekdom.

But you shall not! Behold, my robot statistics:

Just so you know, Sevenis a Robot that has Hundreds of Tiny Wheels and Wooden Panelling, runs on Methane, is Here To Protect You, can Sidestep Attacks, and is Semi-Organic.Force: 4 Handling: 4 Weaponry: 0

To see if your Battle Robot can
defeat Just so you know, Seven, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights Just so you know, Seven using Force Handling Weaponry
Fight me if you dare.

In Which I Instate Nicknames and Pontificate For Awhile.
25 November 2007, 10:50 pm
Filed under: I Like to Flap My Gums, This Is My Family

My father: Dad (genius, I know.)

My mother: Mom (I just keep getting more creative.)

My oldest younger brother:
The Married One (which I’ll have to change in the event that someone else gets married.)

The Married One’s wife:
The BFF (because she’s mine.)

My middle younger brother: The Tall One (If I need to explain this one, you are dumb. And I’m allowed to say that, because this is my blog. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.)

My youngest younger brother: The Croodler (This is sort of a long explanation; bear with me. So, when a good friend of mine and I were highschoolers at church, we had a long standing joke that when we got married, we were going to do a lot of “croodling.” This was simply “cuddling” with a little “canoodling” thrown in for good measure, though I’m pretty sure we didn’t think about it that hard at the time. We would use the word all the time, because it was funny: “We’re cold, so we’re croodling.” “I’m sad, will you croodle with me?” Anyway, to get to the point, the youngest younger brother of mine is especially cuddly, thus the nickname.)

Update~ The Croodler’s Quasi-Girlfriend: The Quas. Because I can’t think of anything clever.

Pippy (She’s been called that off and on, along with a host of other things, for years. She’s the youngest child, so she had six people making up nicknames for her instead of just one or two. Which is nice, because it’ll take all of us pooling our resources to pay for her therapy when she’s older.) Update: She’s now Smalls, because I like it better.

That said, on to the real stuff.

my family
(We all look terrible because it was so bright… we don’t normally look this squinty and mildly handicapped, honestly)
(Left to right: The BFF, The Married One, The Tall One, Dad, Me, Pippy, The Croodler, Mom.)
(Note: The Tall One isn’t as tall as he looks… Neither am I. The Tall One, The Croodler and I are all standing on the front stoop, and everyone else is gettin’ their feet wet on our swamp of a lawn. Suckers.)
(Stoop is a funny word. I like it with more O’s though: Stoooooop.)

Saying goodbye is pretty much the worst thing ever. Today after church my brothers and sister-in-law went home (The Tall One to Portland; Dandy & The BFF to Eugene)… Crying issued in copious amounts from The BFF and me, with a little (I think) thrown in from Mom. Pippy looked as if she thought I was silly for crying, though Heaven knows she’s seen me do it enough that she should be used to it by now. She’ll find out soon enough what it’s like to cry about nothing, though (she’s almost 13… you can almost smell the hormones growing), and then she’ll understand crying about something. The Croodler just held me and offered to drive home from the restaurant… that boy is going to make some chick wonderfully, disgustingly happy someday.

I wish that families still stayed close to home. I think it’s really sad that so many families live across the country from each other… My immediate family lives in Oregon, and all of our relatives live in Michigan. I haven’t had a big family Christmas since I was two, which means I have no idea what they’re like. And I think that’s unfortunate. I think it also was a contributing factor in the emotional trauma that The Married One’s marriage created… things are good now, but I think they were tense back then because he was the first in our family to get married, or even have a girlfriend; he was the first in our circle of friends to get married, or even have a serious girlfriend; she was the first in her family to get married and we’d had no up-close and personal experiences watching cousins/uncles/aunts/what-have-you get married. Christmas was really weird the first year they were together, because it wasn’t just the seven of us on Christmas morning. It felt like our family was being invaded.

Please, don’t think that I wish The Married One and The BFF didn’t get married; not at all. I love that they’re married, and I’m happy for them. I don’t REALLY feel like our family was invaded– in fact, The BFF belongs in this family so much, it’s not even funny. Even her birthday fits in with all of ours (*long story ahead* we have a weird thing… we have a January, a March, an April, a July, a September and two Novembers. We also have a 9, 16, 18, 19, 20 and 22. We always said that the Pippy should have been born in May instead of April, so that we could have a birthday every other month, and that the day should have been the 17th instead of the 22nd, so that the numbers would be in sequence. So guess what The BFF’s birthday is? [drumroll please…] May 17th. *end of long story*). So she’s completely one of us, and she would have been even if her birthday didn’t magically fit into our bizarre coincidental sequence.

That’s not my point. My point is that I have a suspicion that if we were surrounded by the family that lives so far away, observing all the dating and marrying and adding to the family, it wouldn’t have been so weird when it happened to us. We have 26 cousins, not including the 5 of us, and at least half of them are married right now and have been for awhile, so we would have had plenty of observation fodder. And I think it wouldn’t have caught me off guard so much to have a change at Christmas if Christmas had always involved change, instead of just being only us doing the same thing every year for 20 years. I love the things we do every year, and I love that Christmas was always peaceful, but a little corner in the back of my mind wonders if it would have been better to have a little chaos to keep us from being so wrapped up in our own little thing we did every year that having someone new threw a wrench in the works. Because what are holidays about, other than family, and laughter, and reaching out to people, and loving the people around you, no matter who they are? I’m being preachy, but it’s the truth.

This Thanksgiving, we had 3 families and 2 individuals over for Thanksgiving who either didn’t have anyone or couldn’t be with their own families… it was really loud. We had four big tables full of people, and we used most of the silverware that we own, and when everyone was first getting there I thought I might go crazy with all the people running around, but you know what? It was a lot of fun. We had lunch at 1:00, and we still had people around at 7:30, just talking to each other. How cool is that? I wish that I could have had a chance to experience this every year, instead of having to wait until now, when I’m 25. And you know something else? I am going to do my darnedest to stay in the area when I’m married and have kids, because family is important, and it’s hard to be good family when you’re far away.