The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2010-07-25

Friday, July 30, 2010

Some befores but more afters and of course, Ginger...

By Wednesday night I'd made so little progress with the Jersey Shore Declutter Fest 2010 I got the cleaning lead out.

I looked around, realized my family would be home (really) soon and Uh-oh I am so far from being done and how the heck did that happen anyway?

My family's been gone six days and there's still junk all over the place and all I have to show for it is a few empty bags of pretzels, an empty box of jaw breakers and red licorice wrappers...

Oh by the way, I don' eat well without my family.  If I have no one to cook for... I don't know.

So starting Wednesday evening I was a whirlwind and did nothing but clean and eat pretzels. And jawbreakers.  And licorice.   Ginger's been following me around all, What the hay?  I'm not even kidding.  I just took my AFTER pictures for you and she's in almost every one like a four-legged Where's Waldo.  Poor thing doesn't know what's going on.

Ginger follows me from room to room anyway but usually I stay in a room for more then a few minutes.  Poor thing keeps looking up at me like, Can we stop now?  Are we staying here NOW?  Will you please just sit down and stay down...NOW?

You'll see what I mean...

Dining room before....


After - with Ginger milling about -  and my much pared down books towards the back...


Bookshelf and pantry area before.  I never got to that messy pantry but maybe soon...


I freecycled the bookcase and moved a smaller piece of furniture in it's place.  I think it works much better. 


The entry where the rug pad had stuck...


The entry area now with what is really a bathroom rug but it looks okay.  I threw out the rug that was there because I think it was really a pee-pee rug. 

 To the left is one end of the living room,  I added reading area.  I've always wanted one there.


And it's much better then it was a few weeks ago!


Here's the other end of the living room when it was still in the Ay-yi-yi stage...


And this morning with Ginger...


The furniture is set up where I want it but..


The room looks bare and unfinished to me.  Most of the pictures aren't up.  It looks undone to me.


It needs more of something.

I started my bedroom at three this morning.  The laundry is done and checked off at last, half the dusting and vacuuming done.  The bathrooms aren't done at all and neither is my kid's room which I wanted to do. So shoot on that. 

My dresser...


is looking much better today.


I have to tell you something funny about Ginger though.  She has a new place to sleep besides her muffins.  She still loves her muffins, they are all over the house but....


She got this new thing.  My headboard has a bookshelf in the back because my bed frame is old and used to hold a water bed.   (I want to get rid of the clunky old frame.)

Like most of those typical dated water beds the headboard has cubbyholes and shelves.

Out of nowhere Ginger started dragging all the pillows and blankets to the main cubbie and sleeping there.  I wake up frequently with a dog foot in my face.  And she's indignant if I want my pillows back.  She wants all of them.


She wasn't crazy about me taking pictures of her there, Get away was the general vibe.


I still have things to do but I had to post some progress that was actually progress.  I know I've posted some cleaned-up shots but it was just a cleaned off table or something...  Not even a whole room.  I wanted to show there has been some real progress finally.
It feels good to be able to walk from one room to another - finally and scan the room and perhaps not see something pending to do.  


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Being a Dip and Giving it Away on Retro Tuesday...

I recently did a post about my love of community cookbooks because Mongo gave me her collection.

 We are having crazy fun going through  them on week-ends.   Since she's had to gave up her apartment and gave me have her furniture, you know what - She comes here and sits in her favorite recliner and it's...   I don't know.  Really nice.

(Sorry about the bad cell phone picture of)

Mongo in her recliner with her cookbooks

Once a week we spring her from the acute care facility to eat some fun food.  Not that her normal diet there isn't fun.   Okay, I lied.  It's not.

She likes a good egg roll or a piece of pizza.   Sometimes a roast beef sandwich.  A few weeks ago I made her Onion Dip and veggies  because  she hadn't had it in ages and used to serve that when she entertained.


I looked up the history of the dip  and found it was invented by an "anonymous California cook" in 1954 and became so popular that it's been on every Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Package since 1958.

And yep it is, I looked.

We spent the afternoon dipping, reading and I realized that dip wasn't the only thing with Lipton onion soup.  Far from it; there wasn't a cookbook without it and her cookbooks date from the 50's to the 90's.

Some recipes are simple...

rice special

....but for perspective this cookbook dates from the mid-fifties.  Most kitchens at the time had few conveniences and most women still did from-scratch cooking.  People didn't do take-out dinners, dried soups were pretty new,  there were certainly no microwave ovens.

Mongo didn't have  central air for another 15 years, I asked, so a recipe like this would have been a wonder.

Going through the cookbooks it seemed to me..


you couldn't swing...


a beef brisket into the oven...


without a packet...


of onion soup ...


Although one of my favorite chicken recipes uses it too.


That's not the exact recipe I use.   I posted mine on  The Family Dish

I call it Baked Polynesian Waikiki and Sometimes Russian Chicken, it makes sense if you read the recipe.


So guys, I know you all love community cookbooks and I bet you have your own favorite recipes.

See this?


The Family Dish has a cookbook and I'd love to give you one and I'm throwing in a Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix because I'd love to hear what you make with it.

To enter just leave me a comment, one per person please.  Ginger will monitor the giveaway to sniff out all double comments. 


Tell me what you'll make with the Onion Soup Mix but of course you may not know until you get the cookbook so you don't have to leave me a recipe.  

You can also tell me what your favorite thing about New Jersey is...

Or just say Hi! to Ginger, she likes that.

The giveaway will end on August 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm Eastern time by random drawing.  US only, 18 years or older.   *LEAVE ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS - IF I CAN'T CONTACT YOU ANOTHER WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN AUGUST 12 AND C'MON - WHAT A BUMMER*

This giveaway is sponsored by The Family Dish Program but was made possible because Mongo and generations of woman like her shared their best loved and most requested family recipes. 
 This post was created in connection with my appointment as an ambassador in Unilever's Family Dish Program.  For more great ideas go to The Family Dish.

 Subscribe and don't miss a crazy suburban word


Monday, July 26, 2010

The mystery of the sticking rug pad and a theory

So about the mystery of what happened to make the rug pad stick to the floor.


It was sort of interesting.  It didn't vacuum up.  I tried a plastic scrapey thing and that didn't budge it either so I figured this would be a giant mess involving straight edge razors, toxic chemicals, a haz-mat suit and some sort of DANGER DANGER! tape from the EPA across my front door.

But I decided to try water first.

Weirdest thing.   Stuff just started to flake off and really, I have no earthly idea why.  I threw the bathroom rug  down and called it a day.


I  also have no earthly idea what would make that rug pad change form, disintegrate and become part of the wood floor but I have this theory.....

peeking ginger

Problem with it is....Much like my theory about the doody rug....The only one who really knows what's going in is Ginger, and she's not talking.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Third weekend round up in an hour...

So a few minutes ago I say things are getting better and I post a picture of my dining room and I'm happy, so happy. I mean, I'm whistle while I work call me a Seven Dwarf happy.

Any way I walk past my front door and say, Yo that area rug needs a good 'cuum ...  So I go get the vacuum and pull the rug up to get what ever's been living under that thing for the year and OH!



The rug pad is stuck to and now part of the wood floor.

I need a bag of  doodles because the only thing that will ease my pain is something extremely crunchy, day glo orange and really bad for me.


A follow up to the round up...

I already did a weekend round up but I had to add something.  I have (finally, unbelievably, who knew it would happen...)  made some progress on the house and I wanted to post a picture because my dining room is looking way better...


and the clutter is relegated to a small (relatively) spot over to the left instead of just, omg ....



Weekend round-up, jersey shore declutter fest and I got your engine service right here...

1. Pandora - Pandora's perform service light came on the other day.  I screamed, Oh yeah tell me something I don't know.

2.  Giveaway - I have a giveaway coming up in about a week.  It's really good, here's a hint...

Here's another one:  It's something I've wanted for years but I'm not getting it because you are, any guesses?

3. The Jersey Shore Declutter Fest  .... Commences.  On top of what's going on already it's about that time when my family to goes away I stay to do my yearly cleaning fest.   I'm not sure I have that much left in me this year. 

I have one more charity truck scheduled tomorrow and then - Um, I just have to find space. Room. Nooks and crannies... I guess.


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