Archive | November, 2009


13 Nov


Now for my week in review…

Relax, I’ll just give you the highlights.

*  Butter was on sale in Wal-Mart for $1.50 a pound.  My heart is palpitating with joy.  Don’t tell the diet police.

*  I survived yet another set of parent/teacher conferences without getting sent to the principal’s office.

*  Our woodstove installation is complete (a story to be sure) and now I’m acting like my pilgrim ancestors and stoking the flames.

*  I really did lose one inch from my hips, despite the butter.

I hope your week was exciting.  Share your highlights in the comments section.  Be sure to tell me if you found chocolate for $1.50 a pound!

Happy Weekend,

M&M’s & Weight Loss

12 Nov

It all started a few weeks ago when I received an email inviting me to become part of a secret society.  This secret society was to promote health and fitness and motivate us to not only lose weight, but to become physically fabulous.  It was hard not to catch a bit of the organizer’s enthusiasm; however, when I realized that I was going to have to admit not only my weight, but also my measurements to this secret society, enthusiasm went out the window to make room for common sense.

It is only natural for a woman to protect two things – her age and her weight.

It’s what keeps her a mystery to the opposite sex and I have worked overtime to brainwash my children into thinking I am still in my twenties.  My husband gets so confused that he occasionally demands to see my driver’s license.  I step on my scale only when I am in a shroud of solitude, and although my husband isn’t delusional, he thinks I weigh my less than my scale.  That’s why I married him.  Granted he’s not blind enough to think I am Barbie, but he also doesn’t see Mrs. Potato Head when I am draped on his arm.

My doctor once called to schedule me for an MRI and he told them I was a full THIRTY pounds less than truth.  That man is immortalized.  He will forever be on my Christmas list.  I’ve nominated him for doctor of the year.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that these women wanted numbers and real numbers.  I would have bailed, but it was too late.  The health and fitness queen is now hot on my trail and checks up on me after I go silent for a few days.  I’m silent because my mother told me not to talk with a full mouth.  I haven’t seen the little arrow move much on my scale, but I am proud to say that I’ve lost three inches.

I got a hair cut.

Monday I realized that I sabotage my own efforts to slim down.  This ‘Aha’ moment came while I was jogging.  After popping the fifth peanut M&M into my mouth, I realized that I exercise to eat.  Does any clear thinking woman pop M&M’s while jogging?  It’s beyond bizarre.

Every quarter block run equals one peanut M&M.  I’m sure I saw this in a Weight Watcher’s add.

Now before you think that I am an anomaly, I missed lunch and was absolutely starving.  As I walked out the door, I turned to the only thing that was available – my daughter’s bucket of Halloween candy.

Diet Rule #1  Rid your house of your children and their snacks.

They will work as Satan’s tempters asking for things like maccaroni & cheese, ice-cream, and cup-cakes.  A hungry woman can only resist so many Oreo cookies.

The worst part of this ‘fitness journey’ is that I’ve lost the 3×5 card that has my beginning measurements in permanent ink.  I fully expect it to resurface in the hands of my children, who will be begin reading off body parts and numbers when I have house full of company.  I am on the precipice of my worst nightmare becoming reality and I have no power to stop fate.  I’ve scoured the house in search of that card and it remains elusive.

If only my fat vanished as easily…

Your ever hungry, but constantly slimming,

Happy Veteran’s Day

11 Nov

Red Cross Journal (25)

Written by my grandfather in his Red Cross journal, given to him while a prisoner, during WWII.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

The Crumbling Cake

9 Nov

If I had my wedding to do all over again, I’d have it on the beach in some tropical paradise.  I’d be barefoot, slathered in sunscreen, and already at my honeymoon destination.  The only problem that I see with a destination wedding is convincing the wedding party and guests to GO HOME.  I would have had to spend my honeymoon with my entire family, so I guess I’m glad I got married in my church and then left.

My Wedding InvitationWedding Card 3This is my wedding invitation.  For a while, our identities were replaced by frogs.

I shake my head in shame.

What was I thinking?  Women think  of roses, romance, and beauty when they plan their wedding.  Did I have pond scum on my mind?

FringeMan and I had our first date in December.  We were engaged on May 20th and married on September 20th of the same year.  Whispers were told in person and on the telephone; however, our first child was not born until two and half years later.  Unless I gestated for thirty months, I was not pregnant on my wedding day.

Because we were poor had a budget wedding, we enlisted the help of friends and family.  My mother-in-law made chocolate bride and groom lollipop favors, a friend took pictures for us, my aunt made my veil, and a relative drove me to the church in his car…no limo.  I fixed my own hair and put on some makeup.

Now I would need a crew of landscapers and painters just to work on my head, but this was twelve years ago and youth was on my side.

In keeping with our simple wedding, we decided to forgo a big reception.  In New York your parents generally take out a home equity line to pay for your wedding and you promise the florist your first child’s college fund.  Weddings are elaborate.  You begin your lives in a blissful heap of wedded debt.

I decided that I was going to have cake and punch and hold my reception in the church’s all-purpose room.  I think I made more than one aunt cry with my hasty actions, but I promised them that it would be a good cake – the best; however, my mother had a friend.  The end.

Never let your mother’s friend bake your wedding cake and transport it from Brooklyn unless you live exactly three blocks from her house.  New York’s potholes have been known to devour eighteen wheelers in one gulp.

My cake was to have five layers, strawberry filling, fluffy icing, and a sort of basket-weave pattern with mini pearls.  This cake cost more than my wedding dress.  It’s sad to eat so much money, but we did.

If I were making the decision now, I’d go to Kleinfeld’s, spend all my money on a dress, and be on TLC’s ‘Say Yes To The Dress’.  I’d trade my cake for five minutes of fame and an overpriced cloud of tulle.  Then I would send my guests away with their chocolate lollipops and call it a reception.

But I bought the cake and my grandmother bought the cookies.  She said we must.

Wedding pic 4You can see by the high-end plastic table cloths that this was to be an event laced with class.

All good weddings need an events coordinator or wedding planner and my big day was no exception.

Wedding pic 2My aunt, the one with her hands on her hips, became ‘The Director’.  Twelve years later my father-in-law still refers to her as ‘The Director’.  She did her job well.  She also made that veil that’s flying in the wind.

After the “I do’s”, the rings, and the big kiss, FringeMan and I dismissed our guests row by row.  They filtered into the reception area and began drinking punch and nibbling on cookies.  I’m sure they were hungry because I was starving.  Lunch was on my mind, but we had to get through dessert first.  Pictures were taken and we were led to the reception room.

For me, the morning of my wedding is mostly a blur.  On the way to the church, my stomach knotted and my heart froze with fright.  I walked down the aisle without really seeing anyone.  It wasn’t until I tried putting FringeMan’s ring on the wrong hand and everyone broke out into laughter that I relaxed.

After the ceremony, we were led into the reception area.  The time had come to cut the cake.  I walked in and expected to find a party going on, but as I looked around, everyone stared at me and several women had tears in their eyes.  I looked to ‘The Director’ and saw a grief on her face.  Her hand covered her mouth and I heard her whisper, she doesn’t look too sad.

I was clueless.

They they, the throng of women, pointed to the cake.

I looked and thought, “It should be bigger.”  That is when the women converged on me with a million words, tears, and hugs.

Apparently the cake fell victim to a New York City pothole.  FringeMan says that before I arrived at the church, Spanish women were wailing like he only thought possible at a funeral.  My cake was salvaged and scooped onto plates to serve our guests.

The top two layers survived unscathed.

Wedding pic 1Wedding pic 5The wedding topper – two frogs under wedding bells.  One with a veil and one with a bow-tie and tophat…my grandfather’s creation.

My wedding advice…

Order cupcakes!

Happily Ever After,

The FringeCouple

**this post is part of Meetings, Marriages, and Memories.  Click HERE for more stories.

Lentil Soup

8 Nov

100_4754This soup is good and good for you!  This recipe is also proof that I’ve learned to eat my veggies.  I’m a good girl now.


1 bag dried lentils (rinse)

5 peeled and chopped carrots

1 bag baby spinach

1 large onion (chopped)

6 cloves garlic (pressed or chopped)

1 lb. ground beef

4 large beef bullion cubes (if you use the tiny ones, double it)

3 tsp. basil

2 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. pepper

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 bay leaves

12 cups water

1 29oz can petite diced tomatoes

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a large pot, brown beef and drain off fat.  Add onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes.  Add water and all other ingredients except for the spinach and parmesan cheese.  Bring to a rolling boil and then simmer on med/low for about 1 1/2 hours.  During the last half hour, add the spinach and parmesan cheese.  This makes A LOT of soup, so invite company or freeze it.

If you’d like, you can substitute the ground beef for sweet Italian sausage and add 1 cup red wine – for cooking, not drinking. ;-)


You can make it vegetarian by leaving out the meat.

I’m all about options.

I also made these rolls from The Pioneer woman, except I substituted the rosemary for garlic.

100_4757You MUST make them.  For the recipe, click HERE.  While you’re over there, grab her chicken parmesan recipe.  It’s heavenly.

I must be hungry tonight.


The next installment of FringeLove will be posted by Monday evening.  Hope you all had a good weekend.

Today I’m linking this recipe to 2nd Cup of Coffee’s Fall into Flavor.  For more great recipes, click the button below.

Conflict of Interest?

6 Nov


Praying for the Families of Fallen Soldiers

At the risk of sounding narrow-minded and unloving, today I pose a question.  I encourage you to weigh in with your thoughts, comments, and opinions.  It should prove interesting.


No, I haven’t thought through all the ramifications of this question and I am looking at things through a very narrow lense.

I’m not military.

I’m not seeing the big picture.

I’m not saying I’m right.

I do not believe there is a simple answer.

I believe in religious freedom.

Why do I even bother to post?  I don’t know, but I’d ask you this over a cup of coffee, so pretend we’re in Starbucks…you’re buying.

Since we are at war in muslim countries with terrorists who happen to be muslim, do you think that there may be a conflict of interest with an active duty American military serviceman being muslim?

Just wondering.

Lowe’s won’t hire you if your spouse has a hardware or appliance store within a certain proximity because of conflict of interest.  Many companies ban ‘moonlighting’ because of a conflict of interests.  You cannot serve on a jury if there’s a conflict of interest.

Get my point?

What do you think?

Am I Crazy?

5 Nov

100_4538I need your help.

I have this habit that FringeMan says proves I’m nuts, but I’m not.

Of course I’m not.

Some people are obsessed with cleaning and keeping things perfectly neat.  I am not one of those people.  Before you even think it, I know my sterile bedroom says otherwise, but you cannot see the dust in the pictures and right now there are dirty clothes in a clump on the floor and the bed is a mess.  That kind of thing doesn’t bother me.  In fact, it may still look the same tomorrow morning except with a bigger clump of clothes.

Remember my closets?

What bothers me is cross-contamination of food items or instruments.

That sentence alone may prove I’m crazy.  I don’t know.  That’s why I need your help.  Even if you’ve never commented before, comment today.

I need to know…

Do you clean your can opener ever single time you use it?

Because I do.

FringeMan thinks it’s obsessive.  He is perfectly happy to open a can of peaches today, beans the next, and tomatoes a month from now without ever washing the can opener.  I can’t do that.   I’ve tried to allow it, but no.

So while some may wash their hands fifty times a day, I just wash my can opener.

Tell me you do it to!


The Bedroom – Behind Closed Doors

4 Nov

I know you want to see my kitchen and I’ve taken pictures, but I just don’t think you’ll be able to catch my vision yet and retain any hope that one day I will be cooking in a kitchen that would make Paula Dean jealous.  Let’s just say I have enough outlets to single-handedly provide power to Sear’s entire inventory of crockpots; however, the kitchen is for another day.

Today I will take you into my bedroom.

Don’t get too worked up.  Love stories are only told on Mondays and today is Wednesday.

Remember that this is a work in progress.  We renovate and decorate at the speed of turtles, but I’ve always heard that good things take time and if you’ve ever tried pot-roast cooked in a crockpot, you’d agree.

100_4743Most people say “Very White” or “Sterile” and I agree, but if my room were any more warm and inviting, I’d have two kids and a dog in bed with me every night.  I like ‘sterile’.  I’m having an adjustable hospital bed delivered next week.

Not really.  FringeMan would never get any sleep, because I’d be adjusting all night.

100_4745These are some things I think are necessary for this room.  Feel free to add to the list.

A Down Comforter – Frankly FringeMan would like me to sleep in something skimpier than a snowsuit.

A Head Board – I have one in mind that I’m still trying to talk FringeMan into building for me.  I’m sure he’ll get around to it after finishing the kitchen, installing the chimney for the woodstove, and hanging wainscoating in the bathroom.  He’s like a carpenter bee!

2 Scenic Photos framed in square black frames for above the bed.  The tree of life is going in the bathroom.  I fear FringeMan thinks it’s a sign to be fruitful and multiply.

A Brightly Colored Chair – Maybe something Mid Century Modern.  Who am I kidding?  I have no clue what I’m talking about!  Maybe a bright plastic reproduction chair from Ikea.

Several Neutral Throw Pillows with a Matching Solid Quilt for the foot of the bed.

100_4746To me the plainness is calming, peaceful.  My life tends to border on crazy, so I enjoy having a boring room to sleep in.

Any suggestions?  What would you add?

To see my inspiration room, click HERE.  Just keep in mind barn doors are out of the question and I’m not into canopy type beds anymore.  I don’t like to dust!

For other rooms in my house, click HERE, or HERE, or HERE.

Oh What a Night

3 Nov

100_4719Our town sanctioned trick-or-treating to be on Friday night this year instead of on Halloween.  My kids didn’t care what night it was on.  They just wanted to come home with enough candy to rot the remainder of their baby teeth.  Needless to say they are happy almost diabetics with no teeth.

I’m a little disappointed in FringeMan’s behavior, because while I traipsed around town with our little girl begging for candy and donations to fill a UNICEF box, FringeMan sat on our front porch guarding a bucket of candy and making little lady bugs cry.

100_4717He’s becoming an opportunist in his old age and taking full advantage of every opportunity to scare the M&M’s out of the neighbors.

UNICEF has been collecting on Halloween for 59 year.  Apparently I’ve been a self-absorbed greedy little candy monger for 34 of those Halloween’s, because I’ve never heard of kids bringing UNICEF boxes door to door.  I’m proud to say that my daughter’s entire second grade class set out to fill their boxes….from my change can.  At least that is how it seemed.100_4699

At any rate candy flew from my house more quickly than cash and before I knew it, I found myself face to face with temptation.  I felt exactly like Eve in the garden and for once, I sympathized.  I only wish my vice were Granny Smith Apples and not Three Musketeers.

annaliese cat

I fell.

I broke my vow to eat no chocolate.

I’ll say no more; however, when I think back on the births of my two children, I’ll no long curse Eve’s name with the memory of each contraction.  No.  Instead I’ll think of  a Twix and forgive her.

Wedded Bliss

2 Nov

Today is Monday, the day I share my  love story one little memory at a time so I can make it drag out for months and torture you all.   Notice how ‘you all’ is two separate words?  That’s how you can tell that I’m not from the South.


Here’s my favorite wedding picture.


The next installment of Meetings, Memories, and Marriages includes our wedding day mishap; however, I need to find pictures to scan, so you’ll have to wait with bated breath to see what went wrong.  You know something had to wrong.  After all, it was my wedding.

For the entire saga, click the FringeLove link at the top of the page.


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