Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's an Oompy!

There is a new Oompa in town, or should I say... an Oompy. Meet Jubilee, a 9 week old pedigree basset hound who came into our lives when Dickidoo was suffering from a moment of weakness and gave in to the begging and pleading of his youngest daughter. I had already told Rocky 'no', but when her father asked me what I thought about the whole idea, I realized that for him to even want to know what I thought was a sign of weakness.

Of course I thought it was a good idea!

So now we have a short legged, floppy eared, droopy eyed, cat shit eating pooch who has the entire household wrapped around her big fat paws. We rush around the house doing our thing but one sight of her little cuteness and we drop to our knees, baby talking like blubbering idiots.

My only complaint so far is that she is in fact a cat shit eating pooch. Being as up until Sunday we were one of the few houses in the neighborhood that did not have a dog residing in the back yard, all the neighborhood felines saw our yard as the community litter box and made regular deposits throughout the premises. For Little Jubilee the back yard has become a huge smorgasbord and she uses her natural tracking abilities to sniff out the little treasures like a gourmet might search out a morel. And then she eats the crunchy tidbit.

And I for one am NOT going to fish the turd out of her mouth with my bare fingers!

Needless to say the puppy is NOT allowed to lick me... especially NOT on my face!

That's just 'ewwwwwww'!

Friday, January 23, 2009


Oreo Truffles (these are positively scrumptious and so easy to make!)

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.
DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator. (left overs? Ha! There are never any left overs!)


Ragu De Dirty Sock (my favorite spaghetti sauce)

Unlike my mom who used to spend hours in the kitchen making spaghetti sauce from scratch, I start with a pre-made base and enhance it... then take all the credit. The measurements are approximates since I just kind of toss things in the pot.

1 lb. Italian Sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced

1 jar Ragu Robusto Pasta Sauce (any flavor but I use Sauteed Onion and Garlic)
1 can petite diced tomatoes (use a large can if you really like tomatoes!)
1 can sliced mushrooms (or 1 lb. fresh)
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar - it's stinky, but don't skip this part. (emergency substitution: broth from dirty socks boiled for 24 hours)
2 tablespoons Basil Pesto (I use Classico Traditional Basil Pesto, found in the pasta aisle)

1 teaspoon oregano

salt and pepper to taste. (I use a little sea salt and a lot of fresh ground black pepper)

Optional: chopped black olives and diced fresh zucchini (we like sauce we can sink our teeth into!)

Brown the sausage. Add onion and garlic. Simmer until tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 1 hour. Serve over hot pasta. Add a sprinkle of Parmesean or Romana cheese.

Warning: My family can never wait to dig into it and snitch the sauce straight out of the pot before the pasta is ready.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Payday, come and gone...

I did my grocery shopping last night after work. I dragged Art along. I hate shopping alone. When I shop alone I have to carry the grocery bags into the house alone. Yep, company is nice and Art doesn't mind. He's an aspiring chef and I've been teaching him everything I know.

Things like how to shop for vinegar.
Have you ever noticed that when people smell vinegar they say 'ewwwwwww!' and draw back in distaste. And yet we buy vinegar and even worse still, we put it in our food.
I have no idea how to shop for vinegar. There's white vinegar and red vinegar. There's apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, malt and balsamic vinegar. I have a simple method, I pick the prettiest bottle. Balsamic vinegar smells like dirty socks. Balsamic vinegar is one of my secret ingredients in my spaghetti sauce. People love it too, dirty socks and all.
I always shop at my store. Last night I spent almost $200, and still have more shopping to do. I see it as 'recycling my paycheck'. It's a vicious cycle, kind of like a Picasso rendition of 'The Circle Of Life', skewed and bizarre and yet the meaning is clear. I work so I can buy food to feed my family so they can fill up the toilet, making more room in their bellies which I must work to feed again, and again, and again. I literally work for crap!
Talk about bursting the American Dream bubble, how's that for a reality check!
Yet I love my job, I love my family and I love my 'Ragu de Dirty Socks' sauce . Actually a couple tablespoons of basil pesto improves the over all aroma and flavor... it really is quite delicious. Anyhow, perhaps in reality, my reality, the American Dream is working for crap!


Miss Rogers, my high school Positive Thinking teacher, would positively beat the snot out of me for suggesting that. This one's for you Miss Rogers, American Dreamin', revised:

I have a job that I love. I have a wonderful family with a healthy appetite and an appreciation for my culinary efforts. I am living my American Dream!

Oh please, I can't do it, that's just way too foofy for me! Truth be told, no matter how you look at it, I'm still working for crap, literally and figuratively speaking. The main thing is, I am working, I love my job, and my family eats well! What more could I dream about?
Hehehehe~ Never mind!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm A Pepper!

I popped open a can of Dr. Pepper the other night and was instantly transported to another time, another place.

It was 1980, I was standing on the hot sands of Haleiwa Beach, the hot breeze blowing against my salted skin, my hair streaked by the sun in ways many have tried to imitate in fancy salons but few have succeeded. In my hand; a 16 oz. paper cup sporting the Coca Cola logo but within its wax coated sides was pure, icy, liquid Heaven. Dr. Pepper.

Nothing could quench a thirst like DP and no trip to the beach was complete without a guzzled down cup of it's fizzy goodness. I didn't even bother with a straw, I just tore the plastic cover off and drank straight from the cup.

What exactly was Dr. Pepper, and what made it so special? To this day I don't know. It was the spam of soda pops, a mystery of miscellaneous ingredients that were blended together just perfectly. Nobody knew what it was, nobody really cared. All we cared about was that it was good and readily available at the local Beach Burger Wagon.
I shook the can above my outstretched tongue as I tried to hold on to the vision, but it was empty. Just as suddenly as it appeared, the scene blurred and flickered out. The scent of salt in the air became elusive and I took one last deep breath before opening my eyes.
I was in the dark interior of the Impala, the stark lights from the parking lot glaring down at me through the cold night air. Cheap 'new car' air freshener filled my nostrils. In my hands, where once was a cool, glistening paper cup now lay a smooth burgundy aluminum can, empty and slightly crumpled. I shook off the lingering threads of nostalgia and got out of my car, walking back to the store to finish my shift. I tossed the can into the aluminum recycling container as I walked through the door. I tried to jump up and click my heels but the truth held me down. I may still be a Pepper at heart, but 25 years of evolution had taken the spring out of my step. I settled for clicking my heels together on the floor.
There's no place like home. There's no place like home.... There's no place like home on the beach with an icy cup of Dr. Pepper!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today marks the first day of 'change' in America, or so they say. Change. I don't recall anyone clearly defining whether it was good change or bad change. I do know that many gun owners are stocking up on ammunition in anticipation of stricter control laws. And I have had 'wait until Obama is in the White House' thrown in my face more than once. Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Actually I know what it means. There are those who are ecstatic that an African American is president, and then there are those who are angry for the same reason. (yes, I went there) I have no idea what Bush's ethnic back ground is. It didn't matter. What about Reagan, Carter, Nixon... Lincoln, Taft? George Washington? Who cares? We elect people, not races. Obama is 'African American'. So what? That doesn't bother me at all. The fact that he is a democrat, however, is a little troubling (hehehehe).
I am actually hopeful about what the new Presidency can bring. He's young, he's idealistic. He's not really experienced but he has shown a willingness to listen and learn. So long as he keeps what's best for America as a whole in focus I think we will actually do quite well under his leadership. He's not a Republican, but he's not a bad guy.
My only request would be that now, as president, he show his patriotism at all times, not just when he feels like it. Right hand over the heart Mr. President, every time. What are we as Americans to think if our president doesn't raise his hand with the rest of us in respect for our flag? And what are our Armed Forces to think if their Commander in Chief can't show his patriotism in public while they are fighting our battles in distant lands?
Just a small gesture, but it means a lot to any true blooded American. From this day forward Mr. President, right hand over the heart, Okay?
All Hail the Chief.
Welcome to the White House President Obama.

Friday, January 16, 2009


So the big news in the news is 'Orgasmic Childbirth'. Huh? Is that some new fad, like Lamaze? Where was I when they invented that because I've had 5 natural deliveries and believe me when I say there was nothing orgasmic about them. I was too busy convincing the sadistic mid-wife that an enema really wasn't necessary and trying to strangle Dickidoo between contractions to even consider the possibility that my current 'open your legs and smile' position could possibly come with some kind of sexual gratification.

Nope, instead of blissful waves of pleasure I was rewarded with hemorrhoids and a slimy, howling creature of questionable inter-galactic descent... each and every time. No orgasms, just babies... 5 of them. I have to admit though, if I had experienced such a thing during delivery there just might have been a few more Oompas around here... which, now that I think about it might not be a good thing...

Still, it would have been nice if I had been given the option along with all of the other questions they had me answer before they would let me give that final push.

Delivery Options: (check one)
  • Natural
  • Epidural
  • Cesarean
  • Orgasmic

What will they come up with next?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Talk about 'un-be-FRICKEN-lievable...

I actually held a jelly filled doughnut in my hand... and didn't eat it. I gave it to one of the Oompas. Can you believe that? I still can't believe it myself. It was as if after waiting all that time to satisfy my jelly filled craving, once it was within my grasp I suddenly didn't want it any more. I chose, instead, my habitual favorite glazed doughnut.

So what did my sudden loss of interest save me? Well, the jelly filled doughnut which until recently haunted my dreams and waking thoughts, serves up a whopping 250 calories while my empty holed doughnut weighs in at a leaner 180 calories. But who's counting?

Certainly not me. With the nation's budget in a major deficit you'd think that my average daily surplus in calories would be celebrated but Jenny Craig is less than impressed. I've tried diets but with no success. Have you ever noticed that the word 'diet' begins with the word 'die'. There's a reason for that. I even have a lifetime membership for the gym. I got it 26 years ago. I haven't used it in 25 years. Is it really 'exercise' or 'exorcise'? I'm thinking the latter.

What I am counting is the number of old jeans I can now squeeze my shrinking tush into. All those size 11's that once mocked me from the 'Mountain of Shame' with all the other clothes that have shrunk in the wash over the years (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) have now been recommissioned to my current wardrobe. 11's! I have a size 11 butt! I haven't had a size 11 butt since I got pregnant with Rocky 15 years ago! (yes, some of those jeans are 15 years old!)

So what am I doing differently now? I'm walking. I walk 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. While my delightfully dishonest scale still reads between 140 and 145 pounds, I can feel the inches melting away.

Okay, not really. But I am losing inches. And while I haven't lost any weight, I haven't gained any either. All this without even trying. It makes me wonder how much I could lose if I really put some effort into it.

Nah! I wouldn't want to be too sexy! Poor Dickidoo wouldn't know what to do with me. Yeah, a size 11 butt is fine alright for me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Paying the price for the Gift Of Gab.

I got served a subpoena at work yesterday. I was being asked to testify on behalf of the city, but just the thought of 'being served' made me feel so... criminal, and naughty.

I almost like it!

I pulled up my phone bill online. It was like the opening scene from The Matrix with all of the numbers streaming down the screen. 15,000 text messages (thank goodness I signed up for unlimited messaging), 3000 peak talk minutes (only 1600 are included in my family plan) plus close to the same amount in night and weekend minutes. With super human Mad Mom Math Skilz I was able to add all the cascading rows and columns of digits and decimals in a split second.



I need to get these Oompas all married up and out of the house. Between toilet paper and phone bills I just can't afford them any more.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I didn’t exactly come up with a New Year’s Resolution this year. I’m not particularly committed to anything so I’ve decided to settle for setting boundaries instead - or 'guidelines' as my favorite zombie pirate Captain Barbossa would say. For instance, rather than trying to lose weight, which is a losing battle (pun intended), I’ve decided to fore go on second helpings. Instead of filling in the blanks with 4 letter words I shall instead use 3 letter words. My potty mouth was costing me a small fortune in quarters! And while I am not prepared to pass on the alcohol yet, I will no longer directly invest in my local liquor store’s stock of Bacardi Gold and Corona, diverting my funds to items higher up on my list of priorities such as toilet paper and Hazelnut creamer. That’s not to say that I would not appreciate a gift of said refreshment from other parties who don't suffer from a perpetual shortage of Charmin.

Everything I know worth knowing, I learned either as a child or from a child.

Lessons in Life, Part 1: Don't give up on your dreams. Set them aside and try again later. If you can't skip a rock on a pond in the summer, try in the winter when the pond is frozen over.

Rocky has always been 'out skipped' by her siblings, but the other day we actually lost count of the number of times her rock skipped (bounced) on the icy pond. It had to have been some kind of record!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Only 352 days until Christmas!

Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho!


And so it begins again...

One week into the new year and The House of Oompa on Loompa Lane is already in a toilet paper shortage. I bought a 12 pack on the 28th. We still had two rolls in the previous pack. Last night the Oompas were demanding my stash from my bathroom. Are they fricken kidding? 14 double rolls of toilet paper in 9 days?
I blame the TP companies. No where on the outer wrapper are there directions for use. There is no recommended serving size, no preset length, no diagram for techniques or suggestions for conservation.
I have issued an ultimatum. Go easy on the TP or I will install a hillbilly bidet... a water hose!
Grrrrrrrr! Nobody's getting my stash of Charmin!