Jill's Place
7 days worth of rants & raves

Yeah, I suck at this blogging thing

Sunday, August 28, 2005
Everything's ok, just busy and tired. I get home from work, we fix supper, play with the kiddo, get her in bed, and then I go to sleep. Often before she does! However, Sam starts kicking the crap out of me when I lay down quietly, and then again starting at around 4 in the morning. So I'm up early these days. Hence the early bed times. Hopefully things will improve, but I'm not placing any large bets on that. You shouldn't either. Posting will likely continue to be sporadic and rare. Just add the feed to your RSS reader, and you'll know when I've had the energy to post. Here's a funny to hold you over. I've been resting my back today - I overdid it yesterday trying to get stuff ready for Sam's room. Mark took L to the lake this morning, and I've just been vegging all day, really. But before they left, L wanted Mark to take a picture of me so she "wouldn't forget what I look like". He let her take the picture with his phone, and after she saw it, she said:
"Mommy, you look so beautiful!!!" "Except for your nose."
Now I ask you, would it be possible to have an ego with an almost-five-year-old in the house? I think not. Oh, and I'm sure you've heard about Katrina. My sis-in-law lives in New Orleans, and has evacuated to the other side of Lake Pontchartrain. However, the parish she's in is also under a mandatory evacuation order. I think it's too late for her to leave now, and we're very worried about her. So cross your fingers, keep a good thought, send karma/mojo/good vibes, say a prayer, whatever works for you. But be thinking about her, would you please?

8/28/2005 05:33:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink

Recipe time!

Monday, August 15, 2005
So LL wanted to know more about the butterfinger candy recipe. It's from a terrific candy recipe book that Mark got me for Xmas a few years back. It's called Peanut Butter Finger Candy, and here 'tis: 1 C smooth peanut butter (or crunchy, if you prefer) 1 t vanilla 1 C sugar 1/3 C light corn syrup 1/2 C water Butter or margarine for greasing the pan
  1. Butter a 9 inch square pan and set it aside.
  2. Combine the peanut butter and vanilla in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. If you don't have a double boiler, place the peanut butter and vanilla in a medium metal bowl that fits snugly over a pot of simmering water. Stir until the mixture is warm and well-combined. Remove the top of the double boiler or the bowl from the simmering water. Cover the peanut butter to keep it warm and set it aside.
  3. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a heavy medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves completely and the syrup comes to a boil.
  4. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan. Raise the heat to high and continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 290 degrees F (just short of hard crack).
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and remove the thermometer. Working quickly, stir in the warmed peanut butter. The mixture will thicken almost immediately. Quickly spread the mixture into the prepared 9-inch pan with a buttered spatula. Let the candy cool completely on a rack.
  6. Turn the pan over and remove the candy in one piece (or crack it into pieces using knives while in the pan. I've never had much luck taking the whole thing out, because the pieces shatter all over my counters!). Use your hands to break it into irregular, bite sized pieces. Store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Now, you can either dip the pieces into melted chocolate, or be like me, and spread 1/2 C or so of semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top as soon as you get it in the 9 inch pan. As they melt, use a pastry brush to spread the chocolate evenly. You can use white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, whatever you prefer. But I like the classic combo of chocolate and peanut butter. It doesn't take very long at all. My "hour or two" comment in the previous post was a bit of artistic license. Maybe 45 minutes, max, and that includes keeping a wee one occupied while she tries to "help". She helps me cook a lot, but small children and the high temps and boiling syrups associated with candy-making don't mix in my kitchen. It takes some time to find tasks that she can help me with that aren't too dangerous. And whatever you do, don't leave it around 4 year olds without supervision. ;-)

8/15/2005 06:56:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink

Lessons in reality

Sunday, August 14, 2005
When you spend an hour or two making a treat to take in to work, like, oh, say butterfinger candy, don't leave a 4 year old unattended in the kitchen while it cools. Guaranteed, there will be germy finger marks all over the chocolate on the top. I'm disappointed in her, because she knows better, but it's really my fault for leaving warm melted chocolate - such temptation - in her general vicinity. Sigh. I guess it stays home.

8/14/2005 08:50:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink

Soooooooooooo tired

Friday, August 12, 2005
How can I be this tired when all I do is sit on my butt all day? Existential question, I guess. Or rhetorical question, whatever works for you. My new job is going well, I think. I like it, anyway, and I think I'm getting enough knowledge to be useful. Or dangerous. For sure it's one of those two. But how's this for a truly frightening moment. One of the women in the office who is working on the same type of reports that I am came in, sat down, and looked at me. She seems to be extremely knowledgable, and very nice. So she looked at me and then said she wanted to ask a question of the expert. I just looked at her for several seconds, and finally came up with: "I know you're not talking to me. I've only been here two weeks." She was only half-joking, but did have a question on her first report. I had completed 8 or so by then. Frighteningly, I was able to help her. That's some scary stuff right there. I like it, though, mostly the people. I'm still not entirely clear on what I'll be doing long-term, but I'm glad to be busy now. All things look positive. My office roomie (that'd be Mr. R. here on the blog. I'm working my way up to calling him Jay, and he makes fun of me for that. Has a mean streak, that one, but funny as all hell.) - he's endlessly patient with all of my questions and pestering, and a font of knowledge. Some things just haven't changed at all in 18 years. Now, at the end of the day, I'm literally exhausted. No energy, zero, zip, nada. I'm pooped. I'd love to go to sleep right now, but the ball and chain is still at work, and the kid (the already born one, that is) wants some watermelon. So enough time at the computer; I'm going to go fix my kid some watermelon. Once Mark gets home, I'm destined to go to bed early. Again. I'll be glad when Sam is born and we're on some sort of schedule, because this exhaustion is killing me.

8/12/2005 07:16:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink

What he said

Sunday, August 07, 2005
Kung Fu Monkey, on the President's support of intelligent design. Especially this:
That sound you hear is the "pop" of several billion Chinese and Indian economic planners getting simultaneous erections at this: blah blah blah, excerpted from here Seriously. Here you are, Tsui or Sanjay, looking at a new century. A century in which the exponential curve of technology's rise becomes a sheer cliff. In which only the most intellectually nimble countries, best able to master new information technologies and couple them with manufacturing bases with high levels of technical training, will survive. And you're looking at that big bastard across the ocean, the US of A. First to build the Bomb. First to master the secrets of the atom. First to build the semiconductor. First and only tribe of humans who actually put men on the GODDAM MOON, to have stepped on another rock in space. Decoders of the human genome, the VERY BOOK OF LIFE !!! How will we ever stop -- Wow, they forfeit. Cool.
And this:
Again, our motto at Kung Fu Monkey: "Everybody who wants to live in the 21st century over here. Everybody who wants to live in the 1800's over there. Good. Thanks. Good luck with that."

8/07/2005 10:57:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink

Hah, funny

Nice to see that MSN is trying to copy Firefox . . . I don't care, I'll still stick with Firefox whenever possible, thankyouverymuch. Have you switched yet?

8/07/2005 10:40:00 AM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink

Not dead

Wednesday, August 03, 2005
To make up for my appalling lack of posts lately, I'm stealing from LL and posting a bunch of answers to questions you probably didn't even know you had. See below. In other news, the job is going well. I have a lot to learn, but I'm catching on. I still don't know what exactly I'm going to be doing, but it will all work out, I'm sure. Guess who my office roomie is? That's right, it's Mr. R!! I still must learn to call him Jay, but you know, I was raised properly in the South, so that's a challenge. Can't blog during the day, though, so posting may be lighter than you've become accustomed. That, plus being busy until the kid goes to bed, and utterly exhausted after that. I'm glad I'm there, though. The people are all terribly nice and it's very team-oriented - even now during one of the busiest times. People are working like dogs, but still laughing and joking. Having been alone so much in the last couple of years and having a workplace in utter chaos/every man or woman for themselves, that's a nice change of pace. I just wish that I knew enough to actually do something useful to help out. That will come, I know, but I do wish I could do something, anything that would help ease the load for everyone. I did take in a lemon blackberry cake yesterday, food always helps during times of stress. So now, on to answers to questions you didn't ask: What is your favorite color? Purple, or most any color actually. I like most of them. What is your favorite scent? Vanilla, probably. How incredibly boring! Where is your favorite place to vacation? A beach, or the lake. Do you collect anything? Nope. I used to collect ceramic cats, but I don't collect anything now. Unless you count my yarn stash! Do you have a favorite tv show? The Daily Show. Just wish I could stay up late enough to see it, lately. Oh yeah, in the third trimester, the exhaustion comes back. Plus I'm pretty anemic right now, they've got me taking iron twice a day. Little parasite takes whatever he needs, leaving me in the hole in a big way. Are you crafty? If so, how? Yes, I knit, do faux finishing, a tiny bit of sewing, pretty much anything crafty is good by me. Do you have kids? Yes, one almost-five-year-old (ACK! She's starting kindergarten!!!!), and one boy due in October. Do you have pets? Three cats - Jet, Tiger, and Jazz. What kind of movies do you like? Not many. I can't think of the last movie I actually wanted to bother with in a theater. What kind of music do you listen to? Everything. Folk, jazz, blues, rap, top 40, rock, but not that loud screaming crap my husband likes. Oh, and no country or bluegrass. Yuck. What kind of books do you like to read? I used to read constantly, but I lack the time to do so now. When I have a chance, I like mysteries. Well, I do read a lot of children's books, but I don't think that counts! Do you have a favorite magazine? Oooh, toss up. Chow or Saveur. What is your favorite weekend activity? Farmer's Market and yard sales. Time to myself, and bargain hunting! What kind of work do you do? Still figuring that out. Computer stuff. What do you do for fun? Web surf and bake. Oooh, a total copy of LL. First name? Jill Were you named after anyone? No. Despite the fact that my dad goes by Jack, it wasn't truly planned that way. Do you wish on stars? Nope. When did you last cry? From emotion? Can't remember at all. It's been a long, long time. From pain? The other night when my sciatica was literally crippling me. Who's your favorite cartoon/comic strip character? Oh, gotta be Dilbert. What is your favorite lunch meat? Eww, none of them. What is your birth date? April 23, 1969. What is your most embarrassing CD? Oh, there are so many. Another total steal from LL. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? Yes, eventually. I'm . . . ahem . . . reserved. It takes a while to become my friend. So don't you all feel just so honored? Do you have a journal? I have three blogs. Many of you have seen all three. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Yes. What are your nicknames? JT, Jillus. Would you bungee jump? Hell, no. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Hah, as if I can wear shoes that have to be tied at this point! But come to think of it, no, not most of the time. Do you think that you are strong? Yes. Shoe Size? 10 or 11, depending on the shoe type. Jaysus, did you know that LL has little tiny feet???? Red or pink? Pink. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? Too reserved, probably. People sometimes get the impression that I'm stuck-up, when I'm not in the least. Who do you miss most? Pat. Do you want everyone you send this to, to send it back? (Breakin the rules by blogging it.) Ditto, LL. What color pants and shoes are you wearing right now? Jean shorts and slip on white tennies. What are you listening to right now? It's quiet in here. I can vaguely hear Lauren's video running, but it's mostly just peaceful right now. Last thing you ate? Whole wheat pasta with marinara, baked squash and zucchini with cheese, and watermelon for dessert. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Hell if I know. Magenta. What is the weather like right now? Miserable, and I run about 10 degrees hotter than everyone else. I just had to pick the hottest fricking summer on record to be hugely pregnant. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Well, I stole it from LL's blog, and I adore her, so yes, I think that counts.

8/03/2005 07:45:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Jill :: permalink