Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Just Call Me Suzie

Do you ever get an overwhelming desire to make something interesting, complicated and different for dinner? And to just kick it up a notch, invite lots of people over to add even more stress?

(I get that urge often.)

That is why I started making sauerbraten last night.

I've never made it before.

I've made German Pot Roast lots of times, it's one of my kids favorite meals, but sauerbraten is something I've never tried.

I found this recipe here and last night I made the marinade and started marinating the meat. I couldn't find juniper berries, so I left them out.

I hope that doesn't change the taste too much.

This Thursday night it's gonna be sauerbraten night at Yew Nork Babe's house! I invited some neighbors and some family. I'm using the good china too....wanna come?

Oh yes, being a Suzie Homemaker makes me all excited!

Monday, January 29, 2007

I'm Cool Now

I'm here!

I have successfully joined the New Blogger.

So what if I forgot my username and password for several days and was unable to post or comment?

The important thing is that I've joined the "cool" crowd.

I can now post in a rainbow of colors, if I want to annoy you all.

It was a long, difficult process of filling out answers, figuring out passwords, assigning email accounts and sending Blogger a nude photo of myself. But I finally did it.

What do you say? You didn't have to send a nude photo when you joined? Darn, that stuff always happens to me. Excuse me while I go chase down my mail carrier.......

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Oven Saga

YNB: Capt, don’t you think you should get a new oven since yours is not even working properly and it’s gas and could explode or something? I mean, I burn everything I bake because the thermostat is broken, I don’t even know if I’m putting it on broil, bake or self-clean!

Capt: Nah, maybe I’ll just replace this knob at Home Depot. (30 miles away)

[So off we go on Sunday, right after church still in our Sunday clothes (which gives me the creeps because that place is so dusty and dirty)]

Looking, looking, looking.

Capt: Do you know the brand of oven I have?

YNB: “Obsolete”

Capt: Very funny.

We go home without the knob.

Capt: Hey, maybe I’ll look for a new knob on the computer.

Looking, looking, looking.

Capt: Hey Babe, I can’t find the knob on the internet.

YNB: Have you tried, Antiques dot com?

Capt: Very funny.

To be continued......

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Another Glimpse Of What I Have to Deal With:

YNB: Capt, I just want you to know how absolutely happy I feel. I feel so comfortable around you, I've never felt as comfortable with anyone before.

Capt: So what you're trying to tell me is that you're gonna fart.

YNB: Yeah, I love you.

Capt: Love you too.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Take One Giant Leak - I actually said that in Sunday School by Accident

The following story brought back a memory of a troubled little 3rd grade girl on a cool fall school day. That day seems ages ago and the little girl has grown up to be me.

*deep breath*

Many of you have posted about eating disorders and the reasons why you starved yourselves or overate during your youth. The reasons always come down to one thing: control. Our lives spin out of control and we must try to control something, anything and it usually becomes eating, especially when we are growing up.

Although I did not have an eating disorder, someone in my family did and still deals with those issues in their adult life, and is victorious every time.

During my ‘dysfunctional’ childhood, I tried to control something different than food, I used to try to control my bladder. I would convince myself that I could wait from the time I went to bed at night until lunch time the next day before I ‘went’. I would walk home for lunch every day in pain, but to me it was wonderful to have control over something in a life that was just unpredictable and crazy. Sick, huh?

One day, during one of those mandatory 3rd grade national tests we were required to take, I raised my hand and asked to go to the bathroom, I just couldn’t wait any longer. The teacher wouldn’t allow me to go because of the test. I had an accident right there in my seat. The teacher apologized and sent me to the nurse. I was humiliated and not sure if any of my classmates knew what was going on. No one said anything to me, but I still felt like everyone knew.

Those childhood years taught me many things. The most important thing I learned was how to be a good parent. Not by doing the opposite of how my parents raised me, but by understanding what a child needs to feel safe, secure, loved and confident.

I overcame my need to control as soon as I left my parent’s house to live on my own when I was 18. That is when I began to live and renew myself.

So, *deep exhale* now that I just shared a deep dark secret with you all I want to share this story that a friend sent to me. It brought me back to that day, 40 years ago, and it made me smile and touched my heart.


Come with me to a third grade classroom..... There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat."

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done enough, you klutz!"

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" Susie whispers back, "I wet my pants once too."

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Fun Fact About Yew Nork Babe:

She can eat a jelly doughnut with such split-second timing that she just tilts her head and stares at the empty plate wondering where the heck it just went.

Friday, January 19, 2007

New Do

After work today I went to get my hair touched-up.

After the colorist finished applying the schmutz on my roots she asked me, "Would you like me to color your eyebrows or anything else?"

"Sure, I....guess....you, um, can do my eyebrows.....if you, um, think they need it, sure,.....I've never, um, had them done, um, before."

The rest of the time I sat there thinking, "What else does one dye besides hair on your head and eyebrows?"

See...it's questions like this that float around my head and prevent me from sleeping at night.

Just an Update

Today my house goes back on the market. Unfortunately, all the money I just dumped into is not recoverable.

I just renovated this bathroom:

...got some new carpets; painted some of the bedrooms; and had the underground oil tank abandoned.

On this coming Monday I've hired a contractor to fix the kitchen floor where I had to cut out some of the floor due to a pipe leak in the slab 3 years ago. (I've been hiding the patch under a throw rug.)

The good news is, maybe now I will get a buyer.

It is a wonderful neighborhood, great neighbors, no traffic and an excellent school district.

My daughter Jen and her dog moved out in the beginning of the month (I really miss the dog.....oh and her too!)

As a sidenote, my daughter and I went out to lunch last week. I got to meet her co-workers for the first time. The last time I went to her old workplace to meet her co-workers, about 2 years ago, they all were amazed at how young I looked. In fact, they would tease Jen and sing, "Jenny's Mom's Got It Going On" over and over to her until she left last year. I got nothing this time. Oh, how one ages in a mere 2 years!

So things are moving along, change is happening, decisions are being made, 26 year old kids are moving out, finally, thank you Lord. (One more to go.)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'm A Party Animal!

Okay, for the second night in a row I tried to stay awake long enough to watch the show that everyone is watching, American Idol. I just wanna be cool like you.

The first night I struggled and struggled but managed to watch 15 minutes until my eyes shut for good and sleep encompassed me. I didn't even have the ability to remove my eyeglasses first....or remove my makeup....or brush my teeth. It's times like these that I'm glad to not have a husband, lest he see me in this condition and run as fast as he can in the opposite direction.

Last night I had a brilliant idea and asked my son Dave to sit on my bed and watch it with me thereby killing two birds with one stone: I could spend some one on one time with him before he moves out next week and he could keep me from fading away into a coma before let's say 8:30pm.

Again, I didn't get ready for bed first, I just sat there with him in the same clothes I went to work with.

When I woke up at 4am, my usual time, I had my glasses on, my work clothes, my makeup on and my tv blasting.

What happened? I don't remember. I remember only seeing a few contestants. Where did my son go and why did he leave me like that? I don't know.

All I know is this: I am hopeless! I cannot stay awake past 8:30pm EVER!

Next I'll be eating supper at 4pm, calling everyone, "Sonny" as I shuffle along with my walker with those tennis balls on the bottoms.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pick, pick, pick

I’ve never been one to watch a lot of television. In fact, I hardly ever watch it.

Since yesterday was the last day of my vacation I decided to keep the tv on while I was doing some odds and ends around the house. What I saw was a bit shocking.

First of all, when did Kelly Ripa stop being just thin?...now she’s emaciated beyond belief! I kept thinking that television makes everyone look about 10 - 20 lbs heavier and that she must look more like a walking skeleton in person than she does on tv.

I had lunch with Kelly Ripa about 15 years ago. She was in her early 20's and just finished playing a softball game in my neighborhood. Her and her friends came over to me and told me that they liked my outfit (it was a floral jump suit shorts thing and a straw hat with a matching band, hey - stop laughing, it was fashionable back then!). Then she asked if me and my kids would like to join them for lunch, and we said yes, of course. She was so friendly and sweet. We had a great time.

Secondly, when did Oprah get so old? I remember her going to New Orleans last year and thinking that she looks great for her age. Yesterday she didn’t look so good.

I could go on and on about Jerry Springer, Judge Judy and the chick who seemed drunk during her hearing, Dr. Phil......but I just remembered why I don’t watch television.....it brings out the worst in me. I start picking and picking at people.

So, I’d better just step away from the tv, I’m more of a book reader anyway.

What about you?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Woodstock with Diamonds...that's me.

Memes....you remember them, right? Right? Well, I'm in a meme mood this morning and I found this one at An Island Life.

So here you go, consider yourselves tagged, just let me know if you do this so I can come and read yours.

1. If you had to choose one vice in exclusion of all others what would it be?

It would have to be fine dining. There is no other vice that even comes close.

2. If you could change one specific thing about the world what would it be?

That people would see each other for what they are instead of what they look like.

3. Name the cartoon character you identify with the most.

Woodstock. I'm quiet and reflective, small and flighty. And kind of live in my own little world at times.

4. If you could live one day in your life over again which one would it be?

It would be the day my then 12 year old daughter asked me to play basketball with her outside of our house. I had been working all day and just got home. She was all excited that I was finally home and was waiting for me to play with her. When I came out of the house dressed to play, my neighbor came by and started talking to me. Even though we'd lived in the house for a few years, I'd never had an opportunity to make friends with any one of the neighbors because I was a single mom and had to deal with all the work that entails. I was so excited that my neighbor was treating me like a regular person/neighbor that I made a stupid choice and held a lengthy conversation with her instead of playing ball with my daughter, who stormed into her room crying. I often think about that day and wish I would have spent the time with Jen instead of whatever-her-name was, because shortly after that the basketball hoop came down and my daughter went through her teenage years, never to return to that little girl wanting to play a game of basketball with her mom.

5. If you could go back in history and spend a day with one person who would it be?

Jesus, of course, during one of His last three years in the flesh.

6. What is the one thing you lost, sold or threw away that you wish you could have back?

The gold watch my father gave me when I graduated high school. I loved that watch. One very early morning, let's say around 2am, I was stupidly riding a subway in New York City...alone....and pregnant....and in a bad neighborhood. A bunch of bad ass dudes got on after me and surrounded me. I sat there as they tried to intimidate me until my stop. When I got up from my seat, I strutted away with my head held high and arms swinging. Then as I got to the door my gold watch went flying off of my wrist and slid right under their feet. I just looked at them and they just looked at me and I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had to leave it there and walk off the car.

7. What is your one most important contribution to this world?

My three awesome, talented and successful children.

8. What is your one hidden talent that nearly no one knows about?

The ability to squirt water out of my mouth by arching my tongue. My baby brother thinks this is the most awesome thing.

9. What is your most cherished possession?

I want to say my bible. I've had it since 1984. But there's something else too. My ex husband gave me diamond stud earrings that I wear all the time. Throughout our marriage I would sock away money and do without extras for me to be able to surprise him with gifts. He wouldn't reciprocate, he would just charge something, usually last minute and usually not something that I would like. One time when his daughter was making a list of the presents she would like for Christmas I decided that I was going to do the same. On the top of my list was a pair of diamond earrings, at least .5 carat each. I got them but he made a big deal out of how he got them for me to our friends, but he really just put them on my credit card. The earrings remind me that I have to stand up for myself and not assume that someone knows what I need. They also remind me that I have value.

10. What one person influenced your life the most when growing up?

A childhood friend, Karen Gabor. She and her family introduced me to art and music. Her mother taught me about love and caring.

11. What one word describes you better than any other?


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sorry in advance, but it was too cute to not share.

Dave: Jen, how's your vitamins coming along?

Jen: Fine, and yours?

Dave: Well I'm feeling better, but still having trouble sleeping. And now when I poop, man it just comes out so easy now.

Jen: Really, mine's still the same.

This is where I turn around as I'm doing the dishes and say, "Okay kids, enough with the poop talk, you guys sound like a bunch of old people and I'm too young this right now!"

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Yesterday I had lots of home improvement stuff planned and ready to start.

It was a good plan.

But I didn't stick to the plan.

Instead, I hung around home, took a few naps and started getting upset....upset because I hadn't done what I planned; upset because this was my vacation and I wanted to do so many other things than what I was doing, although doing nothing was one of the things I dream of.

I get like that sometimes, not knowing what I really want and not being satisfied by what I am doing. I usually keep busy, very busy. Sitting around doing nothing is probably good for me.

Then something happened that made me giddy with joy! I got a package in the mail from a blogging buddy. Inside the package were gifts one of which was home made and obviously took a long time to make. I love gifts! My blogging friend is going through a very difficult time in her life yet she took the time to send me gifts to brighten my day.

When I started blogging in April, 2006, I never imagined how blogging would affect me. I've learned so much from you and gotten so much support from you. I've been able to give advise too....which is great because I don't have to see you roll your eyes at me.

Thanks Liz for brightening my day. You are an amazing friend.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Why I Don't Heart Cats.

On Monday we all went to basketball practice. In the middle of the practice I left, by myself, in order to put the dinner that Capt prepared (shepherd's pie) in the oven. I'm like that, always thinking of ways to make the day flow easier.

I parked in Capt's driveway and ran out of his car leaving the engine running and driver's side door open.

I ran inside the house, opened the junk drawer, removed the pliers and applied them to the broken knob in order to set the oven on what I prayed was "bake" and not "clean oven" because you have no way of figuring out where to turn the thing, threw the dinner in and ran back out the door. (The broken oven is a story I may post about another time.)

In true New Yorker fashion, I glanced into the back of the car to look for unwelcomed passengers before jumping back into the car...even though I was in a rural area in Connecticut. There wasn't anyone there, there never is, but we New Yorker's check anyway, it's a habit.

As I reached the first turn way down the road I felt a tap, tap, tap on my forearm.

A chill began to run down my spine.

I froze.

Then I mustered enough courage to turn and look.

A cat then jumped onto the dashboard right behind the steering wheel.

Now, I really don't like cats. I'm sorry, but they always, always attack me for some reason. I'm a little bit afraid of them, but they seem to love me. When I was growing up, we had a cat that would attack me everytime I went upstairs. Shadow would hide around the corner and just wait for me to reach the top of the stairs then jump, grab my legs and give me a little bite. It would freak me out. But I learned later that cat's do that because they sense you are friendly.

So as this cat was sitting about a foot a way from my face all I could think of was that it was going to be like all other cats and claw and bite me at any moment and probably do it to my face.

This was Capt's car, not mine. Capt's car locks automatically when you start it or something. It wouldn't let me open the door for the cat to jump out of.

I panicked. I didn't scream though. I didn't want to freak the cat out or anything.

I tried and tried to unlock the door but it wouldn't budge. Then I figured I would just turn the car off.

That worked.

The cat ran out without attacking me. Without attacking me!

Maybe I shouldn't be so afraid of cats anymore. Or maybe I shouldn't leave the car doors open.

Or maybe it's just me that these wierd things happen to.

****Just for clarification, yesterday's post was not a proposal. It was an email Capt received and talked about, I asked him to forward it to me. I tried to clarify it yesterday, but blogger was down for repair and I could not even comment.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

May 13, 1955

Capt sent me this article from 1955 on how to be a good wife. He wasn't trying to imply anything, I hope.

You'll have to click to enlarge.

Haven't we come a long way?

Monday, January 08, 2007

someone help me!

Are those your socks under the coffee table?

Yes, so?

I know you haven't lived here in a year but don't you remember that whenever I find anyone's socks lying around I throw them out?

Don't throw them out I just bought all new socks.

Oh and you know that t-shirt that you left on the couch?


Well, I use it to dust with yesterday.

Mom, you're killing me.

Your killing me too Dave.

Hey Mom, do you like my gray socks? I only wear gray ones now because I can never remember when to wear white and when to wear black ones.....this way I'm right at least half the time.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Hammer Time

Today is the first day of my vacation time.

"Yew Nork Babe, where are you vacationing to?", I can hear you all asking.

I am not going anywhere. Except for a trip to see Capt later today and staying until Tuesday morning, I am staying home. Staying home and doing last minute home improvement jobs, i.e., spackling, painting, installing more carpets...wonderful stuff like that.

"Wow, Yew Nork Babe, what a fabulous and prudent way to spend your next 10 days", you say. Yeah, I know.

Although I was thinking about visiting my baby brother in Colorado for a few days, the weather.....well, you know all that.

Although my parents want me to visit them in South Carolina, well, they just left my place after spending the whole month of December. Not only that but I must have flown down there 7 times last year when Mom got thrown from her horse.

So practical me is going to get my house, the investment that I have poured most of my money into over the past 15 years, into better fitness for its sale during my vacation.

Maybe there will be before and after pictures. Oh the joy. Because, after all, what fun would this be without all of you joining me?

I leave you with these questions to ponder because God knows, I'm done pondering them myself:

Is all that black smoke that came out of the furnace yesterday bad to breath in?

Can the thin layer of black soot that the puff-back deposited all over the eastern area of my house, including my bedroom, be considered a new decorating trend....I think black is still in, right?

How much money can one person shell out for a working heating system without having to claim bankruptcy?

When you spend more of your time at work in a 24 hour period, more days than not, preparing everyone and everything for your upcoming time off, can you consider your office your primary residence for tax purposes?

Am I the only one who hasn’t had the time to take down their Christmas decorations yet?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Hmmmmm, let’s see.....what am I thankful for?

The first thing that pops into my little head is my oil burner. Things broke this past weekend. It wound up being the hoses on my oil tank. My oil tank is underground. This should have cost about $2,000 to fix and lots of digging in my yard. With the help of Capt and a few friends, it got fixed and cost a lot less. And now I have a new eyesore of an oil tank on my back patio all nice and shiny-looking and taking up way too much space.

Have I mentioned how much I despise owning a house by myself?

This morning I insulated the pipes as the sun rose in the east.

And I have to have the underground tank abandoned properly.

But I really am thankful, really. It could have been a lot worse. I’ve heard of people having to spend $70,000.00 to fix an underground tank that has leaked into the environment. That would have destroyed me.

The second thing I am thankful for is that I got to see an A-10 Fighter Jet, the Warthog, this past Monday. I used to build them way back in the late 70's and early 80's. Capt got called in to fix a problem and took me with him. Capt supervises a department in the Air Force. He works on the same planes that I built...isn’t that so cute? Anyhow, climbing up to the cockpit again got me all excited and reminiscent and all.

It was like seeing an old friend, not really, but sorta. I put a lot of hard work into those planes, well, me and thousands of other people, but you know what I mean.

So those two things I am thankful for right now. What about you?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

An Embarrassing M@er

The Queen over at Miller Mayhem is posting about embarrassing moments. This is one of mine and yes, any of you who know me know that there are many.

When my boys were young they joined a wrestling team. Every Saturday we would spend the whole day in an auditorium waiting around to see them wrestle. To any of you who ever had to endure such butt torture, I will say no more about the hours and hours of sitting on those evil wooden planks.

One of those wrestling Saturdays fell during my law finals. I sat up high on the bleachers for ultimate back support, opened my brief case and spread out my study notes all over the place. As I was engrossed in the study of torts I heard, over the loud speaker, my boy's names advising us to get them weighed in. I had to hurry up, grab my stuff and take them across the gym to get weighed in a locker room in a matter of seconds because everyone was waiting for them to begin.

The gym was filled with hundreds of people sitting in the bleachers.

My boys started off ahead of me.

My boys decided to cut across the gym in front of the whole audience in stead of walking around the perimeter like everyone else.

I hate drawing attention to myself, but it was a shortcut and not only was I having a great hair day I had taken the time to apply makeup.

There was nothing else going on at the time so the floor was empty except for my boys walking across it.

I had my papers and books in my arms, my briefcase and purse over my shoulder when it happened.

My foot got caught under the mat.

I fell face first.

My papers and books when flying.

Everyone gasped.

My boys started laughing, loudly.

Hundreds of eyes were on me.

I just laid there for a moment in my embarrassment.

And my boys learned a valuable lesson on respect: that even though rolling on the floor laughing at their mother could be a first reaction, it isn't the appropriate one.