Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

His & Hers

It’s hard to divide up your household and remain dispassionate.  Not that I was ever all that dispassionate, but I had promised myself that there would be no outward evidence of inner turmoil.

I guess I’m doing OK with that.

Still, it’s a struggle to see things that marked milestones in your relationship leaving their places.   I’m finding that, in way, the memories are being packed up along with the items they accompanied.  A painting we bought my first visit to Charleston; a table and chairs we saved for so long to buy; pictures of us; the living room furniture we bought our first Christmas in this house.  Some things are leaving.  Some are just getting put away – maybe our daughters will want them some day.  But they have no place in my home anymore.  Now I just need him to hammer down a date to take away all of these things he wants.

Once, I thought that we could not have a home without him.    But that was fear talking – because just last night this house was brimming with love and laughter and optimism and hope .  It’s definitely a home and I’m not afraid any more.



Going to Channel Ren & Stimpy

Just received the happiest e-mail from Barnes & Noble.  It would appear that my e-book Settlement Credit is $108.79!


(really, that’s all)



When Teenagers do Stupid Things and Then Answer “I Don’t Know” When You Ask Them Why They Did That, They Aren’t Kidding. They Really Don’t Know

Some years ago I read an article which put forth the claim that the human brain does not fully mature until a human reaches the mid-30’s.


Witness the following:

0600; dark; traffic moving at 80 mph (yep – I’m keeping up with the traffic).

Why am I out at this hour, driving like a crazy woman?  Well, as you may recall from the first Ball Gown update, Miss Iseult spent the night with her bosom friends about 20-something miles away in North Chuck.  I set out to pick her up and deliver her out to the re-enactment site by 0800.

I hear the distinctive “ding” of Miss Iseult texting me, no doubt to enquire if I am on the way to pick her up.  The “dings” continue.  And continue.  And continue.  Eventually they stop.

I arrive at the destination and check my cell phone:  yep – it’s her alright:

“So, Mama, r u on the way?”

“Mama, r u coming to get me?”

“Mama, r u still sleeping?”

“Mama, u need to come get me”

“Never mind I texted Angharad and she says u on the way”

“Are u nearly here?”

“Can u text me when u get here?”

I obligingly text her:  “I’m here”

Out she trots with all her gear; stowes it in the back and hops down next to me.

Mama I texted you!” (there is a slightly accusatory tone)

Yes, I realize that.” (exasperation)

How come you didn’t answer me?” (befuddlement)

I fix my gaze upon her (lovely euphemism for “glare”, isn’t it?)

I don’t know, Iseult.  Why do you think I didn’t answer you?” (not doing a good job reigning in the snark here)

The conversation pauses here slightly

Cos you were driving?”

Because I was driving

I just wanted to know if you were on the way.”

I glare some more.

Was there something wrong with your vocal cords this morning, Iseult?”

Uh, no Mama, I’m fine

Glad to hear it

More fixed glaring

Uh, I guess I could have called you?”

Note that the question mark (?) is deliberate.

Yep – so why didn’t you call when you realized I wasn’t going to reply?

I don’t know

See….I told you!





Trying to Give Myself a Reason to Look Forward to Next Month

April will be a challenge for me. Going to be one of those “take a deep breath, and suck it up” kind of months. I’ll get through it, but it’s going to be rough.

However, a new month brings new tasty celebrations, so with that in mind, here’s a sneak peek at what’s going on in April:

    • National BLT Sandwich month (I’d like it better if it specified no mayo though)
    • National Grilled Cheese month (yay!)
    • National Soft Pretzel month (have never made them, but might try this year)
    • National Garlic month (this almost makes up for the rest of what April is to me)

Also, the first Monday in April, in this case 07 April, marks the beginning of National Bake Week. I’ve sort of given up baking for Lent, but I might – maybe – bake something on Sunday. If I do, it will be something I haven’t baked before.

So there you have it. And I’ll be updating the blog with more tasty things to celebrate in April.

Bon Appétit

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More Ball Gown Update

It’s beautiful and she looks beautiful in it.  And if I can get the picture off my new phone, I’ll be posting it.

And did Miss Iseult have a good time at the dance?  You bet she did.

Did she dance a whole bunch?  Yes, she did.

Also…she met a young man who re-enacts.  Danced with him a whole lot.  Hung out with him for couple hours after the dance at one of the campfires.  Yes – was suitably chaperoned the whole time.

He’s 17.  A Junior in HS (although not at Iseult’s HS).

I’m not ready for this.


Not one bit.

For Pete’s Sake, she was just in diapers yesterday!

Le Sob.



Ballgown Update (of sorts)

Sooooooo we’re coming down to the wire here.  Re-enactment starts tomorrow. And what have we accomplished so far?  Well, there is a lovely blue cord trim at the neckline.  The boning is in the bodice and there are poufy sleeves.  We  still need to figure out how she is going to raise her arms higher than say 45 degrees (A minor detail, I realize).  I’m all for the discreet use of elastic; my BF is scandalized because there was no elastic in 1864.  Also, the hem needs to be finished and the bodice needs to be attached to the skirt.  We (and by “we” I mean my BF, because I could bleed to death trying to sew on a button) are trying to avoid hand stitching the hem because, it takes FOREVER to sew that much yardage (last year Iseult and sister both worked on the hem of her daygown and it took hours upon hours).

She needs a shawl of some sort (and possibly gloves), which we may have to purchase at the re-enactment, but that’s fine.  And the daygown needs to be pressed.  I’m doing that – no way she’s going near that dress with an iron yet (the results are just too unpredictable).

And where is Miss Iseult with all the goings on?  Is she ready for a final fitting tonight?  Uh that would be NOT.  You see, Miss Iseult has plans – she’s off to see Divergent tonight and then have a sleepover at her friend’s house.  Before the sun even rises tomorrow (at least here on the East Coast), I have to pick her up and schlep her and her re-enactment paraphernalia to the campsite.  Then I get to go to work and she gets to step back in time.  It’s going to be wonderful!  🙂


Iseult gets fitted for her Ballgown


And it has to be ready by Friday – are we cutting things a little close here?

My BF has been making all the girls’ re-enactment dresses for ever!  I think she deserves a huge thank you – now I just have to figure out what best fits her. Hmmmm….. I know – fabric for a new ball gown!


Happy Corned Beef & Cabbage Day

AKA St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s going to be a little bit low-key here Chez Maeve et Filles.   Many meetings this week (which means I have to get dressed and trudge to my office).

We love corned beef & cabbage (with potatoes and carrots), so everybody is feeling a bit excited about dinner tonight.  Think I’ll whip up some Irish Soda Bread too.

I don’t actually have anything else to add.  Also I’m running later for first meeting, of course, and need to put gas in the car.  Plus locate actual office-appropriate attire.  Let’s hope at least one pair of tights has escaped Iseult’s “delicate” touch!

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Happy National Potato Chip Day!

I love potato chips; love to smoosh them on my sandwiches; love to crush them on top of my baked macaroni & cheese.  It’s so funny how particular folks are about the potato chip preferences.  Some really like the flavored variety; some the ridged; some the kettle cooked.  Me, I’m a Lays ™ girl – just the regular ones; nothing fancy, if you please.  And no, I can’t eat just one (so I generally don’t keep them in the house).

Anyhoo, to mark this august occasion, I thought I’d share one of my favorite things to make – Potato Chip Cookies (that’s right, cookies).  Don’t be put off because they sound weird. The potato chips add an interesting texture and flavor contract to what is essentially a shortbread-type cookie.  Try them before you pass judgment.

Before we proceed any further, we need to discuss the issue of the potato chip itself.  Think of it this way, the chip is the featured player in these cookies, so don’t use this recipe as an alternative to throwing out either stale chips or the greasy remains in the bottom of the bag.  Don’t use kettle chips or ridged chips (the texture is just too weird).  Don’t (for the love of Pete) use flavored chips – I actually shouldn’t have to mention that, but just in case, DON’T.  Don’t use lightly salted or “sea salted” or any other oddly salted chip.  Just open a fresh bag of regular chips (just like the ones I prefer) and whip up some magic.

Here we go – Potato Chip Cookies (slightly adapted from Paula Deen)

2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened (I used salted)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ cups coarsely crushed potato chips.

Heat the oven to 300˚F.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Slowly blend in the vanilla, then the flour.  Add the crushed potato chips and mix well (I do this part with a wooden spoon or heavy-duty spatula because I think the beaters crush the chips too much).

Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto an ungreased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten them slightly with a fork (if you dip the fork in some water, it won’t stick to the cookie).  Bake for 18-20 minutes (you know your oven best, so adjust accordingly) or until there’s just a hint of brown around the edges.

Remove to a wire rack to cook.

At this point, the original recipe calls for you to sift some confectioner’s sugar over the tops of the cookies.  I don’t.  They’re plenty sweet and salty at the same time.  I have, however, toyed with the idea of drizzling them with some melted chocolate.  Hmmmm…maybe when Lent is over I’ll bake up a batch.

Bon Apetit Y’all

(My daughters can’t decide if they like these or not.  I find them disturbingly addictive.  You’ve been warned)

Note – the June/July 2012 issue of Cook’s Country also featured a Potato Chip recipe, but it included nuts and eggs, and reminded me more of a pecan sandy with some chips throw in and the recipe was a lot more involved.

 Now that I’m looking at that issue, I see some possibilities for next week’s menu – Grilled Asian Short Ribs with Cucumber Salad; Shrimp and Lemon Skewers with Jalapeno Dressing; Nebraska Beef Buns – on second thought, they all look delish and will take entirely too long for a weeknight meal.  But they hold some promise for the weekend.


The Best Steak Sandwich Ever (And how to cook the steak perfectly)

Seriously EVER EVER EVER!   This fabulous Theater Steak with Mushrooms, Onions, and Grilled Bread is beyond sublime.  It’s also expensive and should not be wasted on children.

I made it for Mack as a huge Thank You (I’ve already discussed the importance of the personalized thank-you).  And what, exactly, did Mack do to warrant this sandwich?  He came over and fished a D.E.A.D. R.A.T. out of the pool skimmer basket.  This is all I’m going to say on the matter.

Stroll on over to The Kitchn  and check out this recipe.  Bookmark it.  Print it out.  Frame it.  Gild it.  Open a safe deposit box for it.  Someday you may need to say Thank You for acts of heroism.  Trust  me, this will do the job, particularly if you’re thanking someone with carnivoristic tendencies.  (I know that’s not a word, but it sounds right).

(Also, this recipe finally helped me learn to cook steak perfectly on the stovetop).