Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The most delicious Steamed Artichoke

One whole artichoke per person
1/2 stick of butter per person
1 lemon or real lemon juice 
2 large cloves of garlic
3 bay leaves
salt to taste


First put your steamer on the stove filled about half way with water turn on High.  
Cut the lemon into wedges.  Take half of the slices and squeeze them into your pot of water.  Drop the lemon slices in.
Peel and cut the garlic cloves in half.  Add them to the water along with the bay leaves.

Peal the a few of the leaves off near the stem.  They don't taste that good anyway.  I generally take off about a two layers.

Next I cut the tip of the artichoke deep enough to expose the inner layers.  My general rule is to leave three or four visible outer layers starting from the stem.

Trim the stem so that it will fit in your steamer.  Next clip the ends of the outer exposed leaves.

Place it in the steamer covered for 15 minutes on high.  When that time is up, turn the burner down to medium and steam for one hour.
Check periodically to make sure you don't run out of water.  Believe me it has happened before and it wasn't pretty.

About 5-10 minutes before the artichokes are done place half a stick of butter in an oven safe (or toaster oven safe) small dish.  Heat until it is melted through.  Add salt and lemon juice to taste.  I prefer more lemon than most people so let them make their own.

Carefully put the steamed artichoke on a plate along with the small butter dish and serve.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Biting the Bullet

My In-Laws are coming into town today.  All the cleaning is done, menu prepared and "activities" (there is nothing to do in this po'dunk little town) ready to go.  I am for the most part ok with this visit.  My in-laws will behave just fine.  We will all get along, even if I don't pass inspection :-P  My nerves come about because we have little choice but to open up to them about our infertility struggle.

We have shared with my brother in-law and sister in-law(SIL) about what is going on.  We told them when we were visiting and they have since kept it to themselves.  My Mother in-law (MIL) has been dropping hints to her and asking them if we are trying for a kid or if we have heard anything.  My SIL shared with me that she feels like she should tell her what is going on with us but she does not feel that it was her place to say something. I am thankful she didn't.  Although I feel it is only a matter of time before she does.

All this basically means that we now have to share what is going on.  I am hoping and praying that they will not share this with our extended family as we would like to keep this a relatively private matter.  (no, no family read this blog, if you were wondering why I am sharing this on here).  I am pretty sure once they see the medicine in the fridge that something will be asked.  Fingers cross that they will not ask about until after we talk to them.

I am dreading this conversation.  Its just awkward for both sides.  I feel I have to prepare myself for the million and one questions and comments that are about to come.  Some that while they think they are being helpful can come off hurtful to us.  Simple statements like "maybe you just need to relax and it will happen."  On the outside it seems harmless, however we are well past the "just relax" stage and on to the medical stage.  We have already found out 2 years in that this "just relax" thought isn't really our problem.  Its like nails on a chalkboard to me every time I hear it. Oh and side note, telling someone to just relax doesn't help them relax.

I am waiting for my Strict Catholic MIL to tell me to pray the rosary or go to church more or worse yet that "maybe God doesn't want us to have children" (Yes I have been told that by someone).  All things that I don't need to hear.  I have tried all of the above and will continue to pray for us to be blessed with a baby (or two).  I will continue to attend church as I see fit.  I will continue to wear my Saint (idk which one exactly hubby looked it up seeing as he is the Catholic and all) pendant necklace.  

my stress level is through the roof with nerves and jitters about telling them.  I am insecure about it because I am the one with the infertility issues.  Will she think her son married a broken women?  Will she look at me with that sad expression when we tell her?  Will she be asking about our sex life?  Will she confront me about when we are alone?  Will she continue to ask what is going on in every conversation we have?  Or will she act like it is no big deal?  and mostly I am wondering if she or they will be mad we didn't tell them sooner.  I could keep going with the bazillion questions going on in my head today but I will spare you.  You have already gotten my point.

The thing that gets me is that there are so many unknowns here.  We have told only a select group of those people in real life what is going on and all of them have reacted differently.  Some are encouraging and uplifting while other have thrown out a couple of nasty comments.  I try to ignore the bad and focus on the good.  Pulling those in who are understanding.  I am just not sure which side they will fall on.  I know they won't be harsh about it.  At least not intentionally.  As long as they fall somewhere in the middle I will be content.

So the plan is to discuss it all tonight after dinner while playing cards or something.  Let them ask what they will and hope it is left at that.

Here is to hoping it goes well.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My 29th Year

Today is my birthday.  My 29th birthday to be exact.  I clearly am getting old.  Today I had the first taste of what being old feels like.  The cashier at the store called me "Ma'am" and told me that my ID was unnessicary when purchasing alcohol.  I swear I do not look 40!!!

At any rate I am taking a break for the day... ok a relative break.  I still have an inspection coming up so chores still need to get done.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Not so Ready For Inspection

My house is in a huge disarray.  I recently put up the Christmas tree, decorated, sorted the boxes that flooded into the house, wrapped all the gifts and placed them under the tree.

All while this guy just sat and stared at me.  Lazy sack of bones.  Oh, Hunter helped a bit too.  Wrapping some gifts and assisting me in putting up lights.  For the most part though it's left up to me.

In just three short days my in laws will be coming into town.  I enjoy their visit because it is mostly relaxing.   They expect to sit around and play cards, eat decent food and chat.  Lets face it there is little else to do here in middle of nowhere, Louisiana.  Like I said its enjoyable, except the fact that I feel like I am under inspection when they first arrive.

I have said this before (possibly even on here) that my mother in law "Loves to clean."  Her words not mine. I clean and even deep clean my house.  I just am not a fanatic about it.  Looking around at this very moment I can see a thin layer of dust on my bookshelf because I forgot to dust it last week.  There are also dirty dishes in the sink, a muddy foot print from one of the dogs under the table and at least 7 loads of laundry that I can count piled up in my entry awaiting their turn.  This would be totally unacceptable to her.

My stress level is through the roof at this point trying to get the entire house in perfect order for inspection.  One I am positive I will fail in some fashion.  However I will do my best and be OK with that.

So why am I here and not cleaning like a mad woman?  I needed a break from the cleaner fumes.  They were starting to get to me.  right now though, I am thinking a hot cup of tea and a small snack are calling my name before I get back for cleaning.  Wish me Luck!

Barbie Hair Fixes Part 1

Let's jump right on into it.   Every doll hair fix tutorial I could find started with brushing out the dolls hair.  It may look worse...