Free Chat Thursday

I have to be honest….I don’t have a whole lot to talk about this week! Nothing  crazy or exciting has happened. Unless you count the Twins winning the season home opener. Now that was exciting but I know not everyone, certainly not here, finds that very exciting! And Jason surprised me with a new Twins shirt, a very nice one too! We have a brand new field, and it’s amazing. I cannot wait to see a game there, hopefully sometime this season! Tickets are so dang expensive now. I’m okay with that though, in my opinion no other ball club deserved that more than the Twins. What it really means to me is, we now have the revenue to buy and keep great players!!!! 🙂 GO TWINS!!!

I forgot, does anyone here watch American Idol?? I’m so hooked this season, more than any other I think. And I have two favorites. That’s never happened. A boy and a girl, Crystal  and Lee. I think it’ll be those two in the finale. I hope so anyway!

Assessment testing for Bailey’s school was this week. We essentially lose an hour in the evening because he studies a little bit more than usual and goes to bed earlier than usual. Makes the night seem so short! I’m glad they are done now and we can get back to well, be a little lazy about it if we want.

Oh yea, I have a funny question for you all. Okay I was making supper awhile back (no I cook every night, almost) and I was getting ready to set the table. I had just gotten some nice serving bowls from Joy that had been Paul’s mothers, if I’m not mistaken. Anyways, they were sitting on the shelve and I thought, hmm, I’m going to use those!  I always either used what pan or pot it was cooked in, and served it in that! Or a plastic bowl. Now I had these nice ceramic bowls and the table looked so much nicer! I use them all the time now, most the time. I don’t mind the extra dishes, the table looks nice and there’s just something about nice serving dishes that makes me feel, at home? Yea, at home. Does that sound weird? So finally here’s that question I was talking about? What do you use? Serving dishes, pots, pans, plastic bowls??? Thanks for the bowls BTW!!! 🙂

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42 Responses to Free Chat Thursday

  1. SKL says:

    Hm, serving dishes . . . well, when it comes to food, I don’t claim to be very domestic! Probably half of the time, we don’t even eat at the kitchen table; we’ll have a picnic (as often as possible in nice weather) or go to a restaurant. When we do eat at the table, usually, I serve from the pot and then go wash/soak the pot before sitting down. So, nothing on the table to serve from. Sometimes I keep the pot on the table, when I give the girls a small portion in case they don’t like it, and they can have more. The pot is not very attractive, but it saves me from having to get up from my seat too often. Sometimes I’ll use a plastic or china serving dish if I want the kids to just grab stuff throughout the meal (like fresh veggies, fruit, stuff like that). So it depends. If I have “people” over, then I will use actual porcelain serving dishes. But not just for my little family.

    Today was another “girls’ night out” so we had some fun. We explored the “circle” where the museums are. This was the first time we got there when it wasn’t either cold, dark, or raining. Then we had to hang out in the museum until 8:30 because that’s when they opened the obsevatory. We got to look through this big telescope and see Mercury. We had to go up this steep, narrow ladder in a dark room, and the girls were just a little too short to see without me holding them. So it was a little precarious. One of them was too scared to sit alone at the bottom (in the dark, surrounded by strangers), so we all had to go up together. Oh, well, it was worth the effort, because as they say, “ain’t nothing like the real thing.”

    Modern childhood sometimes seems so weird, because when I was a kid, there was no remote possibility of getting to see the planets in the sky, nor a lot of the things today’s kids do. I don’t even think I knew what a dinosaur was at age 3. (I guess that kinda makes me a dinosaur, doesn’t it?) But at the same time, today’s kids aren’t allowed to do a lot of the things I did as a kid. We had so much more freedom and came up with our own ideas and inventions. I’m working on finding the right balance as my kids grow.

    In the news – the adoption community is talking a lot about the little 7-year-old Russian boy who was shipped back alone on a plane because his adoptive mom said he was defective (psychotic) and she’d been lied to. Russia is putting a hold on all adoptions to US parents, which is really sad, considering that this is an isolated incident and those kids in orphanages aren’t going to benefit by having their adoptions delayed (or possibly even canceled). Part of this is that Russia has to save face before Russians. It’s true that the kids in the Russian orphanages have all kinds of problems, some of which are related to poor care from the state. And, it’s also true that they will minimize the kids’ issues to help an adoption go through. So families get home and after the “honeymoon period” (if any), all hell breaks loose. Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t always that bad, but the fact is, it “can be,” so every adoptive parent should be prepared, just in case. But they aren’t. This is the fault of the US adoption system, and also parents who don’t bother to research deeply because they think “that won’t happen to me.” You can’t help feeling for the young kids who get caught in the middle of all this. And yet, sometimes, the reality is that those kids can’t be successful in families. And more often, they can be successful in the “right” family, but those families optimally equipped with both the heart and the skills to deal with them are few and far between. Reality bites.

    On a related note, the international trend is toward adoption restrictions that make cross-border adoptions take a very long time. Basically, organizations such as UNICEF don’t believe it’s good for kids to be raised outside of their birth country, so they will make the kids wait a long time to confirm that nobody wants to adopt them domestically. Domestic adoption is rare in many of these countries, but they ignore that. So the kids end up coming home at an older age. And the problem with that is, the longer they have spent “in the system,” the more likely they are to have emotional and developmental problems and to have a very difficult transition to their new family. Basically, UNICEF and like-minded organizations are setting adoptees up to fail.

    Not much else happening that I haven’t blabbed about before. Just working and eating – and eating. I ate up my week’s supply of chips in half a week, so I hope I will eat better for the rest of the week! I would hate to go backward on my dieting progress. Gotta get back into those size 8s (and I don’t mean the stretch ones)!

    • Joy says:

      I feel like you do SKL about kids today. They have so much more available to them in some ways but they lack doing things on their own and are constantly under their parents thumbs. I’m not sure which is better. I’ve seen so many “kids” in my life lately that are nowhere near ready to take care of themselves when the time comes for them to and it’s their parents own fault. How can one expect someone to one day just know what to do as far as working or cooking and paying bills if they’re not taught to as they grow? They almost seem stunted emotionally.

      That whole adoption thing with that little boy was/is so sad. I know that things don’t always work out but man, I’d have a very hard time doing that. There were times I wanted to send my own back but I didn’t know where the returns were.

  2. Laura says:

    My week has been busy. On Sunday, I finally decided to end the Vacuum War, once and for all, and I went out and bought a Dyson. I got the Bad Boy… the big DC28 Animal. It’s HUGE! And suddenly, I have CLEAN FLOORS!!! I discovered that the rug in my living room has a navy blue border on it! I thought it was sort of a nasty, furry, tannish-grey color. I was absolutely amazed by the amount of dirt that it sucked out of my rugs. I live on dirt-roads, but holy-camoly, people, I had to empty that canister FOUR times!

    Needless to say, I’ve been doing a lot of vacuuming – rugs, floors, windowsills, etc.

    It’s been a week of errands, and just getting things done, and I’ve also broken out some old and favorite TRN’s (Trashy Romance Novels) by Nora Roberts that I’m re-reading in this nice weather. I should be out turning over the garden and getting it ready for plants, but lying in the shade and reading is so much more instantly gratifying.

    And my BIG NEWS for the week… I watched Princess Bride again last night. One of my all-time favorites. That’s not the BIG NEWS, though. While I was watching, at about 10:10 CST, I noticed the sky outside my windows lit up. It got all orange-red, almost like lightning, but lightning is more blue-white light. I immediately thought, “oh, crap, my woods are on fire!” It was that bright. I leaned forward – I was sitting in my bed, watching the movie – so I could see the sky better, and saw several small fireballs falling, along with a streak of orange-red-yellow in the sky. “Cool,” I thought. “Someone’s shooting fireworks. Those are pretty huge.” Fireworks are pretty common around here, and I settled back to watch the end of the movie. When it was over, less than ten minutes later, I flipped the news on to catch the weather. And found out that it was NOT a firework… IT WAS A METEOR!!! How COOL is that??? And they say that it was seen all over the Midwest. So, my Minnesota friends, and any of the rest of you who live in the midwest, did you see anything? Here’s the story from my local news:

    • Joy says:

      I am simply green with envy that you got that vacuum. I want to see pictures.

      That is really cool about the meteor. I wasn’t out so no, I didn’t see it.

  3. Sue says:

    This week has been filled with trying to decide on a place to stay on vacation and it’s not going so well! Toby left mad this morning b/c he suggested a place that looks great except you have to bring everything. Bed linen, towels, pots/pans, utensils, plates/cups/bowls. Everything! I said no way and he stomped out the door! I know what he was thinking too…”What I pick is never good enough!” No, my dear, that’s not what I was thinking. It was more like, I’m going on vacation so why do I want to haul all that stuff with us when we don’t have to nor have the room to!

    Toby saw the meteor last night on his way home from getting milk in Kimball. He said it was crazy and actually scared him b/c it was so big and bright. “I thought it might have been the end of the world!” is what he said! It must have been gianormous for the whole upper midwest to see it. Sad I missed it 😦

    I have a doc appt this morning and Christopher’s conferences in the afternoon. Oh, BTW, great news here!!!!! Christopher got into all day every day kindergarten for next year!!!!! WHOOP WHOOP! When we went to KG roundup, the principal made it sound like there would only be one section of the all day every day and it’d be a lottery to get in and so we had to make a down and that still didn’t guarantee anything. Well, the letter came Monday that told us the good news! Turns out they had enough interest for 2 sections of every dayer’s and 1 section of every other dayer’s. This will be one of our school’s largest classes in quit some time. We do have to pay for the every day class, but we are fine with that. Our daughter got to go every day and I feel our son should get the same chance. The only thing Christopher said about it was that he was going to miss Karen! (Our daycare) How sweet is that?!

    Ok, now that I’ve written a book I’d better get my buns ready for the doc. So lucky to be a woman…..

  4. mssc54 says:

    The “twins” has a totally meaning in the South. 😉

    As for the dishes we use; I ALWAYS use our ceramic dinner plate. I mean it doesn’t matter if we order pizza or any take out food. I ALWAYS get one of the nice plates and eat off of it. The kids, eh, they can use the plastic dishes. lol

  5. Laura says:

    Oh… dishes… It depends on what dinner is. Sometimes I’ll put it into one of my casserole dishes, but most times, I plate the food before bringing it to the table. Our kitchen table is very small, so we don’t have a lot of space to put serving dishes.

    When we have company, and we’re using the big dining room table, I’ll usually put the food into serving dishes. I don’t have many fancy ones, though. Just the serviceable pyrex and corning ware ones.

  6. starlaschat says:

    Wow giant fireball, that was very cool to watch the video. Thank You Laura for the link on your comment. That was huge.Must have been very cool to see live in person, what a treat for you.

    I’m going to pick up my car now breaks all around yippee. Boy that’s a bit spendy. Oh well glad to have safe wheels. I will come back home and try to piece together blogging party it feels a bit like a puzzle at this point. I have the pieces it’s just a matter of putting it in order. Joy you know how party planning is ;+/. Navar’s helping clean the house oh wait we don’t have to clean. I keep thinking I have to clean the house. Oh well, My week was a bit long because I threw my back out, so I was walking bent over for a few days. Navar kept calling me Grandma. I don’t like being slowed down. I am so greatfull to be feeling much better and sitting straight up. This week it’s gratitude for the simple things I guess walking and a safe car.

  7. akamoms says:

    A lot of the times I just leave the pan on the stove and dish up the plates in the kitchen and then bring them to the table. It helps control portion size. You are less likely to take seconds if you have to walk to the kitchen. This is very helpful if you are trying to shed those unwanted pounds.

  8. Laura says:

    Oh, and my “big thing” today – other than watching to see if anyone posts discovery of whatever it was that streaked through the sky – is to go to the grocery store. They have Ribeye Steaks on sale for $6.99/lb, if you buy in bulk. Time to fire up the Vacuum Sealer!!

  9. SKL says:

    Here’s a question. How much do you spend, per person, on fod for an average day? I mean only stuff that gets eaten, not other groceries. When I was young, single, and very poor, I could eat on $1-$2 per day, but I definitely spend more than that now! I don’t “cook” much, so that is part of it. But on the other hand, I don’t buy a lot of the stuff others buy. So I am wondering. Am I a spendthrift?

    • Laura says:

      Hmmm…. that’s a toughie. I’ve started watching sales and buying certain things in bulk, like my ribeyes (nothing beats a good ribeye steak) and boneless chicken breasts. I bring the stuff home, clean it, and vacuum seal it myself, and freeze it (I LOVE my vacuum sealer). I also buy lots of fruit and veggies to have as snacks in the fridge, and we buy lots of lunch meat and sandwiches (I should really find a good sandwich bread recipe, that would save some serious dough. Har har.)

      Josh takes his lunch four days a week – he gets to buy “hot lunch” one day a week, which averages about $1.50.

      And we do a lot of cereal for breakfast.

      I also try to plan dinners a month in advance – we sit down as a family one day at the beginning of the month and pull meals from a bucket and arrange them on a calendar page, which is then posted on the fridge. We have built-in days for take-out, ‘silly dinner’ (breakfast for dinner) and “Mom’s Choice” (which is whatever I decide, since I’m chief cook, and sometimes it’s take-out). I find doing that saves me a lot of stress, and money, since I know what to watch for in the papers.

      So, I’d guess I spend in the neighborhood of $5-$10 per person, per day, depending upon what’s on the menu. Obviously, it’s going to be cheaper if we’re having chicken wings for dinner and a little more pricey if the ribeyes are up.

      Usually, it’s closer to $5/day. per person.

      It gets FAR more pricey if you factor in the junk food that Steve is fond of – he’s big on chips and other snacks.

      • SKL says:

        I do include chips and such, because that’s a lot of what I eat, as meal replacements. (I tell myself they are relatively healthy types of chips.) On the other hand, we very rarely do “snacks” in addition to meals, nor pop, etc, so I want to factor that into the overall picture.

        I like to tell myself that abstaining from “junk” snacks/beverages and from meat (usually) offsets the fact that I buy organic foods, many of which are semi-prepared and/or packaged in single-serving sizes. And also the fact that we go to restaurants 2-3 times per week (mostly modest ones; usually I spend between $10 and $20 (total) on a restaurant dinner for me and the girls.)

    • Joy says:

      I wouldn’t have any idea how to figure out the expense of eating for a day. I guess I’ve never thought about it. But I did things a lot like Laura does as far as planning meals out. I usually did it for two weeks though. I would also do almost all of my cooking on Saturdays. I would cook and freeze what I could so when I got home from work all I had to do was heat everything up. It really saved me a lot of stress and work. I also buy in bulk too. You really can get good deals on meat if you do that. But we buy a pork, beef and all our chickens from farmers in our area. They are all home raised and it’s really good meat. Occasionally we will buy meat at the store if it’s a really good deal. Also, since I quit smoking, got sick and gained weight, I’ve started buying a lot of vegetables like carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and cucumbers and I clean them and put them in Tupperware and they are just a handful away. I find both of us snacking on that a lot more often because they’re ready.

      • SKL says:

        I like to do that with veggies, too. More often, I buy them already cut up and mixed. But the bad thing about me is, I get tired of things (especially “healthy” things) and then it is hard to force myself to eat them. I’ll get on a “kick” and stock up, then one day I don’t ever want to look at another [spinach leaf] again.

        That reminds me, I need to get outside with my kids and plant some veggie and sunflower seeds in the next few days, or it’ll be too late.

        • Joy says:

          I find with us when we want a snackrightnow, having things washed and cut up really helps. Otherwise we’d both grab BAD things!!

          • Laura says:

            I do that with apples. Our Walmart grocery store has cut up apples in bags, and I just love them. I put them in a tupperware, and they are gone in two days. I figure the cost is worth it, since we eat so much of them, and I KNOW that they wouldn’t go that fast if I had them in the house, whole.

            • SKL says:

              I have an apple cutter / corer. It only takes a couple seconds to cut the apple into sections and clean off the utensil for next time.

              I don’t know how they keep pre-cut apples from getting brown. I assume they put some chemical / preservative on them, which I would rather not eat. That said, I do buy them for my kids when we go to McDonalds (once or twice a month).

  10. Just a Mom says:

    Go ahead and brag about your Twins Nikki! My Lastros, I mean Astros are 0-8!! My Redsox are at least doing so so with 4-4. Hopefully they can rack up another win tonight! 😉
    This week has been crazy for me! I went on a field trip with my oldest daughter’s high school Vet class. I was in charge of 8 of them and luckily I got 8 really great kids! We had a blast. The zoo put out special locked boxes and gave us the combo. They had different Vet facts in each one other stuff in them. For example at the elephants the box had an elephant hide and taught them about pregnancy and birth. Our zoo has an elephant that has been in labor for a month and a half!!!
    This weekend we have softball games for my youngest daughter and my oldest is going to prom with her senior boyfriend.
    As for the dinner table, I always use serving bowls. The only time I don’t is when we buffet it in the kitchen when we have something like tacos.

  11. Joy says:

    I’ve had a pretty good week. I’m getting a lot of stuff done in my house. I’ve made myself walk away from the computer. I’m getting my living room painted and I’m also getting new carpet so I’ve been trying to move and get rid of stuff I don’t want. I’m telling you, on Saturday I thought I was going nuts. I moved the Direct TV box, the big TV and both VCR/DVD players. I just prayed really hard everything would work when I replugged it all in. Thankfully, I did it.

    Nikki cleaned my house on Tues and Sue washed my walls upstairs last night so my house is all nice and clean. Thank you so much girls. I really appreciate it.

    I used to put things like the meat, potatoes and stuff like that in bowls/platters and put them on the table. If I made a stew or a soup, then I put that pot on the table. We don’t really eat like that much anymore but I wish we did. We seem to line up and eat buffet style and I really don’t care for that. It seems like a cattle call to me. I like sitting down and passing things around. It also seems like now we use the microwave a lot more often and most of that stuff is in a bowl already.

    Jason’s really pretty cute isn’t he? He was always really thoughtful.

  12. I completely get what you mean about the bowls making the whole dinner table just seem more homey. I feel it’s like that with a lot of really small changes in homes. It’s like the way a painting put in just the right spot can make a room feel so much more beautiful, or a rug on the floor and a blanket draped on the couch making it feel cozier. It’s little things like serving bowls that make the place you live in into a home.

  13. starlaschat says:

    Funny, I’m back from picking up my car and on the drive home I was thinking about Nikki’s question about plates. I have received several sets, 4 full sets of plates. That seems amazing to me. That’s a lot of plates. I also have a set of mix and match plates that I actually really like because they are old and pretty. I say Life is short use what ever makes you happy. Live it up! I say take the plastic off the couch.;+) silly ….anyway that’s my 2 cents back to finishing piecing my puzzle together.

  14. Sue says:

    I just read on our local news website that it’s possible we could have more meteor showers tonight! Eyes peeled people!

    • Laura says:

      *sulk* YOU get meteor showers. I get RAIN showers. *pout*

      seriously…. I hope you guys get the chance to see what I saw last night. It was the most incredible, awesome thing I’ve ever seen!

  15. Adell says:

    I loved watching the opening Twins game this week with my 18 yr old grandson, Jonathan. We all are still Twins fans even if we live in Arizona. From the time our Jonathan could talk or at least on his first birthday….he was obsessed with “ball-ball” as he would say. On his first b-day someone gave him a little blue glove and ball(still have it)…he was so excited, he couldn’t concentrate on anything else after that. He played ball for hours on end…joined T ball at three and played every summer with the NE Mpls. parks and recs. When we moved to AZ he played summer and winter ball. He played two years in HS and then didn’t like the coach so stopped playing, denying us the joy of watching him pitch. He loved Kirby Puckett and all those all guys from back then. Coaches over the years told his parents he was a natural…all it took was one bad coach and Jonathan turned sour…very sad!
    About dishes, my mother was old fashioned and only served from glass bowls and that is how I am…I am always looking for a new glass serving bowl. I do like dishes…just comes from being born and raised in good old Canada-British territory….I will finally be able to bring my china tea cups out of boxes and display them in my china kitchen cabinet, in my new little house after packed away since we moved here.

  16. I heard that Target Field is really nice! I can’t wait to see it on TV.

    Go Dbacks! ;^)

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