The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2009-05-10

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ruffles and wings and thongs! Oh my!

I was up to seventy-three before I lost count. I was standing alone in the feminine hygiene aisle looking for the same kind of-What do they call it? - Protection that I bought last month. I couldn't believe the overwhelming number of options there seemed to be. But there they were in all their pastel-packaged glory.

I can not only get pads, but pads with wings and pads with wings that flex and pads with wings with Velcro. If I don't want pads with wings, I can get pads with ruffles (No doubt for my more feminine-yet-formal pad needs) and I can get pads for thongs (Which I assume are not pads for my shower shoes). There are hospital-style pads that protect all four walls (where ever they are) and in the future, I will always think of this pad when I hear the term padded-room. I can get pads in petite or plus sizes. You know its funny, I had always assumed some things didn't grow no matter how much weight you gained; apparently I was mistaken.

The choices multiplied as I stood in the feminine hygiene aisle perusing the pads. Do I want the pads that are thin yet long? And is the perfect long thin pad, the super long thin pad, the maxi long thin pad or the overnight long thin pad with baking soda? And why baking soda? Why not basil?

But my options didn't end with the pads themselves because I needed a carrying case . Some open silently ("Shhhh!" Is printed on the package) for special evenings when I will be needing my pads in quiet theatres, I suppose. This is also explained in French and Spanish; because apparently the French and Spanish need pads in quiet theatres, too.

As I stood transfixed by all my options, I wondered if they had really exhausted every possible pad permutation. Have the preeminent pad people really given this enough thought? Maybe the next winged-wonder just over the horizon?

Next month when I can't find the same pad I bought this month-And I assure you I won't -Will I find a collectable pad instead? When I'm lost in a sea of pastel packages, will a Limited-Edition Franklin Mint Collectable Pad catch my eye? Or will it be the I.D. Pad with clear slot for my picture. A pad with no wings but lots of Velcro so I can wrap it around my upper arm to display my identification. Or will it be the handy pre-printed business card pads? If someone hands me their card, I could hand them a pad. Better yet, I could Velcro it to them.

It's hard to get my mind around the need for all these pads. It's even harder to imagine perfectly normal people brainstorming new pad-ideas. I am, however, certain that in a top-secret facility somewhere in the desert southwest, lab-coated technicians are discussing it at this very moment. And I am equally convinced that at that top-secret facility the feminine hygiene companies are helping the government manage nuclear waste because not even the Nuclear Regulatory Agency fights leaks with the gusto of the pad people.

My musings were interrupted when a pale, dazed woman asked, "Ever tried these?" Shoving a pink package at me.
"I dunno," I told her.
She sighed. "Me either." And after giving me a defeated look, she shuffled off to laxatives.

At least, now know I'm not the only woman who feels like this in the feminine hygiene aisle. All of us feel this way, none of us knows where to look , and each pad really is clamoring for attention.

The pads have beaten me. Uncle. From now on Im sending my kid in to get them. And while I stand there and agonize over which one I had last month, and which one to get this month, and which one might meet my needs better. I have no doubt that my 17-year-old son will make it in and out of the store in 7 seconds flat (albeit scarred for life). And I'm betting whatever he gets will work out fine.

Last day to get in on my vintage pyrex giveaway!



Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Ghost of Granny Panties Past...

Last Saturday I drove my son to a friend's house. Feeling hassled and it being early I grabbed the keys, stepped into my Crocs and ran out the door in my pajamas.

Besides the Barbie-pink crocs, I was wearing midnight blue flannel pajama pants (with shooting stars) and an inside-out mustard yellow Cape May, New Jersey night shirt. Before leaving I looked in the mirror and decided I was reasonably presentable for the current circumstance because:

1. I wasn’t getting out of the car.
2. The trip would take less than 15 minutes
3. The night shirt looked like a T-shirt and the chances of someone seeing my shooting star pajama bottoms were practically nil.

I wasn’t thinking about much during the car ride. I listened to talk radio; the boy had his iPod on. Someone on the radio was complaining. The sun was in my eyes. People were trying to pass me so they could get nowhere two minutes faster.

My normal day came to a crashing halt when I looked in my view mirror. That’s when it happened. Instead of seeing the traffic behind me I saw Grandma.

But not the Grandma with her perfect nails and immaculate attire; Grandma, the day she opened the door to her apartment in her underwear, holding an enema bag.

I was 18 years old and had my driver's license. Grandma was kind of cool and always had maple walnut ice cream; my mother didn’t, so Grandma's was a good place to go after school.

Grandma and her enema bag opened the door and said, Oh, Tracy. Good. You can help me with something.

I, stunned to near unconsciousness just went, No. Um, that’s okay, you look (I was struggling for a word here) ...busy?

You have to understand my horror at this point. I had never seen my Grandma in her underwear before, a fact I was good with. Things she had said to me over the years came tumbling back. Stomach ache? You need a good physic (Physic is what Grandma called laxatives). Headache. Physic. Confused. Get yourself a Physic. Got to move those bowels, she would say.

I started backing away from the door.

Grandma and her bag laughed at me, Don’t be silly, come in.

And with that Grandma walked into her kitchen (It was a small apartment, I could see the kitchen from outside her door) where she resumed defrosting her freezer.

With the enema bag.

I never forgot the day she answered the door in her Granny Panties. I've thought about it a lot since it happened. I didn’t want to; it’s just a visual you can’t forget no matter how hard you try.

And there she was the other day, in my rear view mirror, smiling, nodding, pointing to the enema bag. My first thought was, but I don't have a head ache... and than I realized she had come to save me from going farther down that slippery slope she herself had gone down all those many years before.

How is it that one day going out without mascara is unthinkable? And the next day (or week, or year…They all sort of run together) the only mascara you have on is what’s left under your eyes from the night before?

How does acceptable public attire go from I look hot! To, I look presentable, to, eh, at least I'm clean... To, no one is going to see my shooting star pajama pants anyway.

And believe me, when going out in your shooting star flannel pajamas becomes okay? You are so far down the slope already you need divine intervention from The Ghost of Granny Pantys Past.

I just showed you the next step. And it’s not pretty.

I’ve seen it.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The difference between men and woman # 3

This is the Vera Bradley Patchwork cosmetic bag I got for Mother's Day.

Okay, well the whole story is I went out, bought it, handed it to my son and said, Give this to me on Mother's Day.

It's about 9 inches long and perfect for cosmetics!

How did it go?

On Mother's Day he walks in and says:

Happy Mother's Day, Ma! Here's (takes a quick peek in the Gift Bag)...... log holder!

Than he kisses me and hands me the bag.

Clueless #2 (but absolutely adorable)
This post is a follow up from Clueless #1
and just plain Clueless


The difference between men and woman # 2

My son's girlfriend likes Vera Bradley. (Yeah, me too.) When he had to get a present for her birthday I said, Why don't you get her a Vera Bradley purse?

He said, What for, she already has a purse?



My boy has a chatter filter or the difference between men and woman # 1

This is a conversation I had with my son 10 years ago when he was supposed to go with a family friend who does maintenance work. It gave the boy a chance to run around on roof tops.

Me: Okay, so listen to me... You have to call Roger and tell him you can't go to work with him today.

The Boy: 'K

Me: But wait, look at me.. No, at me. You have to let him know that Mommy messed up the schedule and that you're really sorry. You don't want him to think you don't want to go.

The Boy: 'K

Me: And tell him that maybe you can go next week and Mom will look at the calender and if you can go we will call him back. But today you can't go. Maybe you will call next week if you can. Or maybe the next....

The Boy: Ma....

Me: Say it...

The Boy: You screwed up, maybe next week, something something, sorry...

Me: And tell him that you were all ready to go and it's not like you are doing anything else instead. You don't want him to think that something came up that would be more fun, it's just that you can't go this week but you'd love to go next week. If you can. And if not maybe next month.


Me: Hello?

The Boy: I heard you. I can't go.

Me: No the rest, did you hear the rest.

The Boy: How could I help it?

(Don't you just love a sarcastic 8 year old?)

Me: Okay, go call him and tell him everything I said.

My son goes to the phone, turns away from me and dials.

The Boy: Rog?

The Boy: Mmmm-hhhhmmm...

The Boy: Yeah. Me too.

The Boy: Can't go this week.

The Boy: 'K Bye.

He hangs up the phone and walks past me. Oblivious to the look on my face.

The Boy: Roger says, Hi.

And with that he walked upstairs and I realized that men and woman really do communicate differently.

It's a fact. It's chromosomal. It's not environmental. Men view conversation directly.

And seem to think what woman say is 90% chatter. Even if its' their moms saying it.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dixie Faux-Fried Chicken First thing in the morning is good with coffee...who knew?

I got a lot of great suggestions (here) for the faux-fried buttermilk soaked boneless, skinless chicken parts.

I so need a shorter name for that recipe.

Dixie Faux-Fried Chicken?

To make it more yummy (unless you're Rachael Ray, in which case I made it more Yumm-O), I used:

  1. A composite of all the suggestions (More soaking time, more spices)
  2. What I had vs. what I had to buy
  3. The fact that my store didn't have Panko breadcrumbs and I ended up buying something called Dixie Fry Coating Mix.
  4. And ultimately I had to agree with elohssanatahw about frying. If I was using a bread crumb type coating I could get away with an all-bake recipe (maybe). But I thought this might have an odd coating with out a fry.

The basic recipe was to soak boneless skinless breasts and thighs (A few pounds) in buttermilk overnight.

To the buttermilk I added:

5 cloves of pressed garlic
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoons of better than boillion chicken flavored stock - or as I call it, chicken paste.

The rest of the recipe:

Poured the Dixie Fry on a plate and dipped chicken in to coat evenly (What a mess. Note to self: Next time use a bag like the directions said to). Dixie Fry is like a fine flour. It tastes (I tasted it) like a lightly seasoned flour.

Ultimately I decided to pre-brown the chicken pieces in canola oil to set the coating. There are directions for oven frying but I decided to do a quick 2 minute ( one minute, each side) fry on each piece.

You can see from the pictures that the Dixie Fry gives a really nice brown coating. (And no, I don't know the Dixie Fry people, I just bought that because my store didn't have Panko.)

in progress

The dark meat especially looks great.

in progress

The white meat didn't seem to coat as evenly or brown as much. Weird, huh?

I baked for 30 minutes at 350 and the internal temp. never got past 156 on the bigger pieces. I'm a freaky about chicken in the raw so I put it back in for another 10 minutes. And as you can see, even though there was some difference between the light and dark meat at first; during the final cooking it ALL browned up evenly, beautifully and crispaliciously (Is that a word? Spell- Check says, no.)
Yummy looking, right?
I had to try it.
And while I don't normally eat fried chicken with my morning coffee. It worked. Or maybe it was just so good I didn't care that it didn't go.

And did the boy like it?

I heated some up in the toaster oven after school and asked, How is it?

Good, really good, he said, with a mouthful.

Does it taste like fried chicken?

Yeah, it really, really does. Swallow.

That's amazing. I haven't heard anything that close to all-out love for anything that wasn't surrounded by Styrofoam and packed inside a bag, sitting next to a Sponge Bob toy in a really long time.

Don't miss my Pyrex Giveaway! No strings, No complicated hoops
to go through just comment... No kidding...
But be sure to come back and rea
d this or you'll be sorry...
What are you waiting for? C
lick already!


Ginger is so confused...

She can't understand why I'm following her around with the camera today...

why are you taking my picture?

Last week every time she doodied on something she got a camera in her face.

Today she was just minding her business and catching some rays. She looks a bit perplexed.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Teriyaki Chicken, Pepperoni Bread, Random Space Age Polymers and Rocket Science...

My family knows me.

For Mother's Day they got me a brandy, new, never before opened, Overlook Hospital Auxiliary Community cookbook. Not one of the old ones where every other recipe has Cream of Mushroom soup as an ingredient (including desserts), but a new one with some big city flavor profiles (as they say on the Food Network). I made the Pepperoni Bread today.


But first the results of this mornings Teriyaki Chicken (Recipe is here)

teriyaki chicken

This was very good and was easy to put together. Besides marinating time (a few hours) the prep was quick and it took about 40 minutes at 375 degrees to cook.

This has a nice savory soy flavor with a hit of lemon. Maybe it could use a bit more sugar...but maybe not. It was really quite good and I would make it again. The kitchen smells wonderful while it's cooking, too. And the chicken turned a beautiful appetizing golden brown with no basting.

Now on to the Pepperoni Bread.

I know I already made chicken today but I never know how those kinds of recipes (with lots of, ya know, flavors) will go over with my boy. Some days he will eat that kind of thing and say, That was great. And some days he says, I never eat that.

Most days my answer to either scenario is, Fine.

Today he has to go to work and I like to be more flexible on those days. Plus, I want to try this pepperoni bread recipe.


And how 'bout that pansit recipe? Honestly, I don't get it at all. I thought pansit/pancit was a Filipino noodle dish like Pad Thai. I've never seen a recipe calling for 3 cups of Swiss cheese and Miracle Whip refer to itself as pansit before.

Actually I don't think I've ever seen a recipe where the main ingredients are cheese and miracle whip (which is not really a food as much as it is a space-age polymer)...

It's so bizarre. I totally want to make it.

Anyway.... I've digressed, painfully...

I thought the boy would like the Pepperoni Bread but it's so hard to tell. The pickiness I deal is very frustrating. I do my best but... Honestly, dealing with it all is like rocket science.

Only way, way harder.

Regarding pepperoni, my son told me he likes it on pizza because it's 'well-done'. And if it's not well-done it's 'gross and tastes like baloney'. And what is that mystical and nebulous point between well-done and baloney?

Who knows?

Like I said, rocket science. Might as well ask me to calculate the thrust of a rocket...

If you're wondering how to do that....

Go for it...

It's certainly easier than finding a whole meal that everyone will eat with no complaints.

So I decided to shoot for the moon and make the Pepperoni Bread even though the actual Pepperoni is inside a crust and the chance of getting it well-done were low.

So what did it look like?

pepperoni bread done :)

Pretty darn good!

And the verdict?

You know, this was good. And my son liked it too. And so did the friend he brought home from school (who said, it was like a lot of tongue -tingling flavors all over her mouth. Yeah she really said that).

His only issue was, Next time use less pepperoni. And the weird thing was, I thought the original recipe called for much too much. A quarter pound of pepperoni is inches of pepperoni and I used half that... And I thought it needed even less than I added, too. It also needed at least 6 minutes longer in the oven... But I would make this again. For sure.

P.S. I didn't add the parsley or basil. I'm sure it adds something delicious but I don't have the strength for the question, What's that green stuff? today.


What's in my pantry for dinner? And thank you for the help with my buttermilk soaked chicken...

First, I'm giving this whole baked faux-fried chicken another shot.

We are all done with attempt number one.

Well, sort of....


Well, okay. I actually dumped it.

I have more skinless, boneless chicken soaking in some buttermilk and hope to have the results tomorrow night. I read through everyone's comments and what I ended up doing was based on:

  1. A composite of all the suggestions (More soaking time, more spices)
  2. What I had vs. what I had to buy
  3. The fact that my store didn't have Panko breadcrumbs and I ended up buying something called Dixie Fry Coating Mix.
According to the Dixie Fry people:

Dixie Fry® Coating Mix Original Recipe was first introduced in Los Angeles in 1942 and has been a favorite ever since in California restaurants and homes. The recipe's distinctive blend of milled flour and herbs and spices gives you chicken and seafood that's light, crunchy and packed with mouth watering flavor.

Dixie Fry® is not only delicious, it is a great value. A 10-oz package of Dixie Fry coats up to 32 pieces of chicken, twice as much as the leading brand.

Sure sounds like a plan. And the back has a No-Fry option which is what I was going for.

Today I'm working on some Teriyaki Chicken Thighs. I'm using bone-in, skin on because that is what I have but it could easily be done with the skinless, boneless variety. Or breasts.

In the recipe I used 5 chicken thighs which I dumped unceremoniously in a zip-loc bag.

To the bag I added:

A cup of teriyaki sauce.

1/4 cup of lemon juice

5 cloves of garlic, pressed

2 large chunks of brown sugar off my brown sugar brick - maybe 2 tablespoons, it's hard to tell, but that was my goal amount.

3 scallions roughly chopped, including green parts.

1/8 cup vegetable oil (okay, I really don't know how much I used because I'd already put the measuring cup in the dishwasher. But an 1/8 of a cup was what I was going for.)

That's a lot of chicken isn't it? I've been dealing with chicken all morning. Thawing it, thinking about it... Handling it (And handling raw chicken isn't my best subject) and generally prepping the heck out of pounds of chicken. And do you know what that makes me want?

Did you guess chicken?


I want one of these like crazy.


I think it's a reaction to all that chicken...

Although you really don't need a reason to want a Cinnabon, probably.


And one more thing since this post is an exercise in tota randomness!

The Knutson Klan over at My Four Monkeys Blog just awarded me the Sushi Award...which is now making me want sushi to go with those Cinnabons!

She said I make her laugh but I'm guessing she didn't read that horrifying bowel cleansing post I wrote this morning! I'm not sure I deserve an award for that one!


Much ado about bowel cleansing... and a tropical go...

I watch a lot of TV.

Even though I have a pretty minimal DirectTV package I still have a lot of channels. So many that there should be something that I love on every minute of every day, right?

So tell me...

How can I have 100 channels at my disposal 24 hours a day and yet the other day I ended up watching an infomercial on bowel cleansing?

Which I promise you (in all sincerity) is the most horrifying half hour of television you will ever experience... It was perhaps the most horrifying half hour of my life, now that I think about it.

So, how did I find myself white-knuckling the couch as I twitched
(and sometimes screamed out-loud) in the face of one colon horror after another? (Which is a pretty disturbing visual if you think about it...)

Yes, you know the answer. Everyone does. Because I have 100 channels and nothing's on. We all do.

And the really weird thing about this post?

Well, okay that last thing was weird enough, I know. But this post happened because I wanted to post pictures of my bathroom. And the next thing I knew I was on this rant about television and colon cleansing... Talk about A.D.D...


If you are still here after all of that. Which no one probably is, the point of the post was to show you pictures of my master bath. I painted a sunset going around the room. I had to put three pictures together to get most of it in so the actual visual if you were in the room, is more of a 'U' than flat like this looks... but it's probably enough to get an idea.

masterbath sunset

The colors are somewhat more subtle than they turned out here with more variation. I know it looks like the wall is painted orange and blue...but its really a gradation of glowing yellow, to golden orange to a blue to a darker periwinkle...

And one more thing.... This morning I got this!

I received this award from Veronica Lee over at Of Mice and Ramen
A very, very, VERY kind thing to do to me since today's
post was especially horrifying.

Go visit Veronica, she is a kind soul.

And since I found out that The Knutson Klan over at My Four Monkeys has only ever had one blog award I'm inviting her over to grab this one! She just awarded me the Sushi Award...which is now making me want sushi to go with those Cinnabons!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pyrex giveaway? Oh yes! Right here!

See this?

pyrex givaway

I've decided to have a Mother's Day giveaway
...or rather a giveaway for Mother's Day....and give this away!

No kidding!

This is a small pyrex bowl (Cinderella, I think it's called because of the handles) The bottom reads - 441 1 -1/2 pt Trade mark 27 Pyrex

(I think that stands for a 1 and 1/2 pint size bowl. What does that make it? About 3 cups? Math isn't my thing...)

I read a lot of blogs and it seems everyone is doing it and although my mother said that wasn't a reason to do anything... I think she was wrong.

I post a lot of my Vintage Pyrex (SCORE!) finds and a lot of people write how they can't find any themselves. I've been lucky in that department lately and frankly my family is starting to say... Um, don't you think you have enough?

Well, no. No, I don't. I don't ever think I have enough. But the truth is I have two of these. And that is too much for someone with an itty bitty house with no storage. Or at least no storage for doubles.

So I've decided to give some of it away. No strings. No postage. No nothing. You don't have to jump through a hoop to get this, you don't have to go to a website and come back, you don't have to twitter, you don't have to follow me if you don't want to.

Just leave me a comment and tell me what you want to put in it but you don't have to do that if it's personal...and at the end of the giveaway time period I will throw the amount of entries into an online random number generator and let randomness prevail for one lucky winner.

The giveaway comment period will run through NEXT SATURDAY,
MAY 16th until midnight, Eastern Time.

(I can't find you!)

One entry per person, strictly enforced by Ginger, my 14 year old mini-pain.

She's small but she's mean. And don't let the fact she only has 4 teeth fool you... she knows how to use them.


Happy Mother's Day to all my friends! Thank you...


Thank you all for enriching my life. Thank you for filling my days with laughter...and sharing your tears. Thank you for reading and for being here. Thank you for stopping by to see what I have to say. Thank you for your braveness with your own lives...

There is nothing compared to the strength of a mother; and I've seen it all on your blogs.

And thank you, my son, my boy who is almost a man, really, who I love more than anything in this world. More than I have the ability to express. More than I loved you the first time I saw you. And that was quite a lot. Rock on, Lamb, rock on....



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