Friday, January 30, 2009


Your primly proper persona, Laura Ingalls inspired wardrobe, and Dorothy Hamilish hair were juxtaposed by your gift of making students feel dumb.

After I left your school, rumors escaped that your single self was with child.


Oh, good gravy. Remember how I asked for banana bread recipes? My friend Nancy sent me one that must be shared. I should mention that I tweak recipes and rarely make anything exactly as I'm told. The recipe here contains my modifications. I might cut back the white sugar by 1/2 next time.

First off it was a muffin recipe, but I doubled the batch and made it in a 9x13 pan and called it cake. We had it for dessert.

Banana Cake
3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
6 medium ripe bananas
2 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, mash the bananas; add egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased 9x11 pan. Bake at 375 degrees of 18-22 minutes or until brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


We were 2 of the few left standing around the bonfire, listening to late guitars. I was soberly expecting my third, your son was sleeping soundly.

The 3 am call to you still leaves me laughing.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Some say that blogger "someones" are just plain folk. I watched you, bored with boredom, falling back to the comfort of your crew. Not exactly cruel, but less than kind. Like plain folk.

Who wants plain?


Nancy asked if I was having fun with this budgeting thing. I am. My kids are, which I find totally weird. But I'm making things I haven't made in awhile and most of these have been big hits. Now they want a say on deciding what makes it to the calendar, which is cool. And they've been helping to cook more, also cool.


CNN just reported 70,000+ jobs cuts were announced today.


The Total Money Makeover addresses the issue of keeping up with the Joneses. I know the Joneses. I'm related to a lot of the Jonses. I'm friends with some of the Joneses.

The Joneses stink. Mostly they stink because (many of them) are completely overextended and living off their credit cards and paying finance charges while projecting an aura of complete financial harmony. They are buying new cars and taking trips and yes, even saving for college, but they are doing so while paying high interest rates and overage charges on their credit cards.

But they are projecting harmony, which will make it hard to decline invitations and live within a budget. Except that progress is tangible. And hopefully, enough.Align Left

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Menu Planning

The Organizing Junkie does a Menu Plan Monday. I'm trying to see if I can get on that train because those women are mo*ti*va*ted. Not sure if I can make it work with my weird 14 day starting on Thursday thing. Perhaps I need to adjust my schedule, which usually starts on payday. Hmmmm....

I've done my 2 week meal plan and shopping. Here's the schedule:

Thursday: Taco soup (simmering as we speak)
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Night out, pasta and veggies for the Punks
Sunday: Pulled Pork Sandwiches (new recipe)
Monday: Ham/Cheese/Veggie Frittata
Tuesday: Burritos
Wednesday: Taco Soup
Thursday: Homemade Pizza
Friday: Leftover night
Saturday: Turkey
Sunday: Veggie Frittata
Monday: Creamy Turkey and Egg noodles (new recipe... contains cream cheese :)
Tuesday: Quesadillas
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner (fruit pancakes)

I'm pretty motivated by thwe amount of money I'm saving, so I am talking about it a lot.

Care to share a favorite dinner menu?

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I stood behind the backstop with you at bat. Playing on the boys soccer team gave me confidence and I watched openly.
You were only vaguely interested, and we held clammy hands on a group date.


I'm struggling to stay on top of this. Part of it is lacking creativity. Part of it is lacking focus. Part of it is investing in an enormous personal reorganization. Part of it is thinking and planning the direction of GNMParents. Part of it is winter. Part of it is wondering who you are and why you're here. Part of it is another website I'm working on. Part of it is a fourth site I'm contemplating.

Part of it is none of the aforementioned components fitting perfectly.

I'm having fun with the budgeting thing, though. An update will be up on GNMP tomorrow morning.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Brisk Morning in Maine. At least there is no wind chill.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


There was dark drama in the hallways, time and time again. Together. Apart. Lather, rinse, repeat. The sweetest and the cruelest, as it often is with first loves.

And to think, it might've been with me.


I need a rocking banana bread (or any other fruit/veggie bread) recipe. Do you have one to share?

Monday, January 12, 2009


Tip-toe, hand wag, don't look me in the eye. Persist past the point of bother, into an unfamiliar, uncomfortable, unreal realm.

So sorry, they couldn't hear me. I hope that a teacher, leader, friend will help.


Do you have a written budget? Do you stick to it? Is it fluffy or trim? We're trim compared to many, but I'm embarking on an effort to reduce our food budget by 1/4. It's very ambitious, especially because good, creative, healthy food is a priority.

Today I looked at the flier before I made my list, and then came up with a menu plan for the next week and a half. Week and a half. Which I think is better than an hour and a half. I bought things that were needed for multiple recipes and tried to keep things interesting, delicious, and healthy. Of course I'll need to do mini trips for more bread and produce, but other than that I'm hoping to make it through with what I bought today. We'll see.

I'm also going to get in the habit of making more homemade snacks for the Punks. How domestic. Muffins and banana bread and stuff like that. High fructose corn syrup be damned. Gosh, maybe I need an apron.

So, here's the thing. I keep reading and hearing about job losses and company closings. And about people who are getting slammed by unexpected expenses. And the husband, daughter, son gets who gets sick. I know you have, too.

Building and maintaining an emergency fund becomes increasingly important now. Or perhaps I'm over-reacting. Or perhaps we're behind the ball.

According to Dave Ramsey (Total Money Makeover), 49% of Americans could cover less than one month's expenses if they lost their income. Does that surprise you?

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Twice upon a time we worked together. One job was easy; the other was hard to leave, but harder to continue.

I bought your daughter's grandmother's tasty tamales one Christmas. They were the best I've had.


I'm siiiick. Actually, I am feeling a bit better now, but it was a rough weekend. It was like the worst morning sickness I ever experienced combined with a splitting headache. Good times.

The upside was that I finally read (most of) Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. So, that's what's on the brain. And the brain is cranking. More on that to come.

Have you read it? What's your take?

Saturday, January 10, 2009


It started when you started wearing so many swatches. Rubber bracelets and pretense were your things, swatches were mine.
Later, it was complicated by a boy.
Now it reminds me of Jerry and Newman.
I'm Jerry.

You should read this sad account of a 3 year old who was shoved towards the pack. Mocked for her creativity.

It's a shame that children take to heart behavior that grown-ups don't think twice about.

Course, I have a feeling that that little girl won't be following the pack, despite the great sock mismatch debacle of 2009.

Hey S: Being creative is a gift. Meet Lucy:

dressing herself

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Your husband died first, and my memories of it are filtered through frosted glass. Then my father died but I don't remember you being there with us. Nor your children.

They were brothers, we're still family!


So, Rob and I are always facebooking and tweeting about his Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Mmmm...

Whole wheat dough (homemade or from a good local pizza shop. We use Portland Pie. Not homemade.) rolled out.
A bag of shredded cheese- Parmesan and mozzarella combo works well, mixed with about 1/3- 1/2 cup of finely crumbled Gorgonzola (even if you don't really like it), spread evenly on the dough.
Sprinkle with chunks of cooked chicken breast coated in a little bit of Frank's hot sauce (Frank's hot sauce).

Cook on a 400 degree preheated/floured pizza stone with the oven door cracked open (for a nice crispy crust), for about 15 minutes.

Drizzle with Frank's hot sauce according to your taste, and serve with celery or sprinkle with diced celery.

Do you like Buffalo Chicken? because I have a dip recipe that is like totally to die for.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


You're caring and kind and kind of out of touch.

Soon 4 of yours: son, 2 sons-in-law, and daughter will be in Iraq.

You'll be home with your pride and your smily ageless boy.

I mentioned a delicious dinner we had tonight, and got a tweet back asking for the recipe. It's a staple here in the winter and perfect for a stormy evening. We had it with a very fancy crudités which consisted of carrot sticks, celery, garbanzo beans and ranch dressing. I know, fan*cy.

diced onion and garlic and oil to saute them in
turkey kielbasa sliced thin
canned diced tomatoes (1 large or 2 small)
can canellini beans drained and rinsed
can kidney beans drained and rinsed
Tablespoon of thyme
Glug of balsamic vinegar (maybe 2 Tablespoons)
1/2 lb pasta cooked al dente according to package directions (farfalle or twists work well)

Saute onion until soft. Add garlic and add kielbasa, stir often, cook until browned. Add all remaining ingredients (except for the pasta) and simmer for a while. Add pasta, stir and serve.

Mmmm.... try it- it's good.

Monday, January 05, 2009


The smell of erasers was pervasive as I voted for class president. Head down, hand raised, determining the immediate future of our third grade classroom. You pressed the flag stick onto the victor's desks with clay.


I wrote about Aidan's 9th birthday already. But this is worth sharing, too:

Like father, like son.


Vacation is officially over. The kids are asleep and in the morning we will be traipsing down to the bus stop. It went fast, was full of laughs and the general stresses of being in a family whose members make a commitment to spend the holidays together.

Which is interesting because it's a curse wrapped up in a blessing.

Which wraps the pain in guilt.


Enough: what's the last really delicious homemade meal you ate?

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Aidan Birthday Buzzing. Far away from sleep. Knowing that you will be Nine.
So much more than eight.
But you, my boy, my eldest Punk, are so much more than more.
My pride, too, is more than more.

HaPpY 9tH bIrThDaY aIdAn!
we love you so-


You're too young for the secrets you hide. You disguise your poor choices, but the you that's presented is so clearly just the shell.

You awkwardly try to connect, but you're often insulting (bordering on mean).

Friday, January 02, 2009


Though I asked you to stop, you continued to explicitly discuss a fatal accident in front of my small children. I complained to your boss.

Now you always call me Mrs. Hatch.

You're a children's librarian.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Your stories grow taller and taller with each theatrical telling. You stand in exuberant neediness in the center of the circle. We laugh, we bend in laughter, but we aren't always sure why.

Everyone in moderation.


Happy New Year~

My only resolution is a goal extended: to be intentional. And you?