the RATS of moose

The Random Access ThoughtS of a mid-west, approaching-middle-age, nurse starting the next phase of life.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A beautiful site!

Nothing is quite as beautiful as the
Magnificent Mile
holiday lights
in a snow storm.
A perfect end
to a perfect day of shopping.
November 25, 2005

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

(burp) Happy Turkey Day!! Once again, I ate toooooo much... but it tasted good. Thanksgiving was at my house this year. No snow, just cold and windy! Our (mine and my sisters) culinary skills are slipping in our middle years... it started with the orange jello.

We've been making orange jello for 20 or more years, 3 times a year. You would think we'd know the recipe by now. Not so. This is how it's supposed to look....Orange Salad
Well... I got it backwards... instead of 2 boxes of tapioca pudding and one box of orange jello, I got 2 boxes of jello and one of pudding. We first noticed a problem when it didn't thicken up right.. so we put it back on the stove to cook some more. That didn't help. We ruminated about the cause, figured out the mix-up.... (I couldn't fine the recipe, we were doing it from memory-shoddy memories, us).. and just figured we would eat it anyway.... So.... we finished it today... took the electric mixer to beat the stiffness out of it, added a whole bowl of Cool Whip, dumped in some Mandarin oranges (why Mandarin? are they raised in China?) and it tasted gooooood. A tad thicker than normal, but goooood.

While Sister was busy on the stove with the jello, I was busy at the counter mixing up.... or, rather, attempting to mix up pastry for pie crust for the pumpkin pie. Got the dry stuff in the bowl. Went to add shortening. Guess what I ran out of 1/2 a cup shy of necessary? I had been to the store Monday to stock up... got butter, eggs, milk, flour, brown sugar, confectioners sugar, Kosher salt. I got it all. Except shortening. One 10pm trip to the store later, I had shortening. Unfortunately, I had lost the desire to bake so set everything aside for morning.

A night of sleep didn't help the memory or the ability to read directions.

Everything started okay... got the pie crust made and in the pan. (Ate the leftover dough, raw egg yolk and all!!) Set that aside and worked on the pumpkin filling. Got that all done, poured in the pie crust and popped it into the oven and turned to the next project. Sister was busy making mulled cider over on the stove.

A few minutes later, Mom wandered into the kitchen and stuck her finger into the pie filling bowl, tasted and grimaced. (Grimaced??) "Did you add any sugar to the mix?" Umm... Oops. We just roared with laughter as we pulled the pie out and dumped the filling back into the mixing bowl....PieOops Welcome to pie - filling.... the crust in the back left corner totally ripped off and got in the filling.... we left it in there and decided to treat it like the baby stuck in King cakes at Mardi Gras.... Sister got the crust in her piece after dinner so she has to make the pie next year!

I also made an apple cake this morning... we haven't tried it yet, but we are pretty sure we got all the ingredients into it!! While we were in the middle of cake making, I went to get a cuppa cider... pulled the lid off and ladled me out some and took a swig.... TOTALLY COLD!!!! I started laughing again and waved my hand over the burner behind the one with the cider... it was hot... cider was not!!

The rest of the day went fine... the bird was a little frozen coming out of the frig... warm water fixed that. Got it stuffed and popped into the oven. Took a little break and ran Mom over to some friends house a couple towns over so she could deliver a baby quilt she made.. They sent us on our way with cookies and goodies.... (some of which made it home to Dad and Sis!)

Added green bean casserole and garlic mashed potatoes to the fray and called it dinner.

It tasted wonderful! The only thing missing was BB.

Maybe next year....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Zombie Land

One down, 14 to go.

Night shift. For the next 4 weeks. (minus a few days for T-Day and shopping)

Why did I agree to this? Moving my office hours to the land of nod?

I have 30 minutes to go this morning and haven't found my eyes at half-mast yet. That's a good sign.

Tonight is 12 hours. Ugh.

But, I was productive. That's good.

But maybe it's time to pack up now and get ready for sleep....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Change of Seasons....

Flaurella says... "It's 76 degrees on my outdoor thermometer and so green, it looks like May instead of November."

Moose says.... "IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Lessons not learned

Measure twice, cut once. Measure thrice, cut once. Measure measure measure measure measure and then think about cutting. Dad was always VERY specific about that.

((((sigh)))) You would think I would learn. Especially when I am making an exact copy of something sitting right in front of my eyes.

I measured. Twice. Several times even. Flipped the piece over and around to find the best angle. Looked at the measurements again. Revved up the table saw. Cut the piece. Cut it exactly on the mark. Exactly to measure.

Unfortunately, I calculated the distance wrong.... sheesh.... I was an inch short.

Crap crap crap.

What was once a warm, sunny November day by now had turned into a raging thunderstorm. Crap crap crap.

Out into the storm to the plywood store. Back home. Decided to take a break from that project and return to my other project. It only required paint and stain. Seperately, that is... two different pieces.

I love my basement workshop. I have power tools and saws and nuts and bolts and projects all over the place. I also have an ever-growing stack of whacked plywood and miscellaneous oak and pine pieces. It's beginning to look like a quilters stash made of wood. ;-) No, Mom, I am not going to quilt with wood..... I don't have nearly enough different colors of wood.


Friday, November 11, 2005

I have no willpower....

I can't believe I did this. Me.. who a mere three days ago was wailing about the Christmas tree going up at BBs place. Me, who wants laws passed to limit the egregious displays and promotion of STUFF to the 30 days prior to the holiday. Me, who absolutely adores the winter holiday season, but hates seeing tinsel when I'm still in shorts and flip-flops.

I did this.

I Succumbed

I bought Christmas tree ornaments.

For the Norfolk Island Pine.

I didn't mean to buy them. But they were so cute. And so little bitty. And sooooo purple. It's my favorite color. And they are sooooo cute. And they were on sale. And I had been soooo good at not buying other superfluous trinkets while at the grocery store (have you ever noticed how much non-edible stuff they sell at the grocer? And who moved the Toys-R-Us into the last aisle?) I really shouldn't have done this.

But they were on sale.

And purple.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


This is just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It's November 8. It's barely a week after Halloween. They have the damn tree up across the street from BBs apartment building. The crane was still setting it up when I snapped the pic. Cripe, we still have candy laying around here from the pagan ritual. What happened to waiting until just after Thanksgiving????? I can't stand this.

(grumble, grumble, grumble)

On the upside, Dad had surgery today on his rotator cuff. It went well and he is recovering at home. (I drove up to Grand Rapids to be there. Unfortunately, I haven't slept well for the last couple of nights and am close to dead even as I type. It will be an early night.)

But, on the upside.... the Christmas Cactus is blooming very well.XmasCactus7

But, it is bedtime.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005


The cactus is getting ready to bloom and my camera is at work. Rats.


Weird. Weird how the brain can go completely blank without warning. Just a moment ago, ideas were forthcoming. Frothing, if you will, right out of my white matter. I think they frothed right out my ears, ran down my neck, bypassed my fingertips and made a run straight down my legs onto the floor where the catz licked them up. I just peeked over the edge of my cranium and there is nothing in there. No white stuff. No gray stuff. Not even sawdust. I must have turned on the shop vac and sucked it all out.

Or maybe it's BBs fault.... he called earlier tonight and asked where he could get 30 cups of sawdust for his daughters science project. I think BB found it and just failed to tell me where he got it from. I feel strangly blank.

Ought to make school tomorrow lotsa fun. I have to give a little presentation to my fellow classmates... on strokes. I think I just had one. I can put myself on exhibit. Kewl. It will be like show and tell. I can point to self and say...... DON'T DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or, maybe not.