Dishwater Salad Dressing

I’m starting this post with the punchline because there’s no way around it. You’re going to know what it is before we get there anyway. But it’s still a story worth telling.

Friday was the HERA climb for life. The climb that you guys helped me raise money for with your very generous donations.  In fact, I raised more than my goal amount which makes you about the best readers anywhere and I think you should know it.  You’re awesome!

But that’s actually not the point, the point is that I spent the day climbing and freezing (the cliff we were climbing left us in the shade at the top of a mountain) and then I locked my keys in the car so by the time I got home I was pretty tired. And starving.

It was time for dinner but there was nothing ready so Sean started heating up leftovers and I made a green salad.  Then I went to the fridge to get the dressing.  Now, around here we eat the make it yourself salad dressing (you know, you buy the packet of seasonings and fill the cruet with vinegar up to the line with the v and then add water up to the line with the w and then oil up to the o line and then you shake whole thing up) but the cruet was almost empty.  I poured what little was left over the salad and took the cruet to the sink to wash it out.  I don’t always wash it out between uses, I’m just making more of the same stuff in there after all, but it had been a while since I had washed it out so I did this time.

I put some water in the cruet and set it on the counter with the dish scrub brush thing (the kind with the soap in the handle) sticking out of the top while I got the lid cleaned, which takes a little doing given all the cracks and crevices, and was just turning my attention to the cruet, when the Infantile Delinquent came in to let me know that the (not so) Baby had gotten into my swag bag from the climb, which I had (stupidly) said that he could play with, and made a mess.  I left the kitchen to go to the entryway to assess the damage.  It wasn’t as bad as it could have been but the (not so) Baby had gotten into the one thing in the bag that one could possibly make a mess, the chalk (used on the hands to increase traction).  He had broken up the block of chalk and sprinkled it around the entryway and front room.

Did I mention that Sean had cleaned my house while I was climbing? Well he had.  (He really is the very best.)  And now the (not so) Baby was sprinkling chalk all over the place, and then the Pea and the InfaDel started running through the chalked up area and…. You know how it goes.  So I forgot about dinner, and turned my attention to preventing the spread of the chalk.  It didn’t take long but by the time I got back to the kitchen Sean was pouring the oil into the dressing and shaking it up.

I should mention here that Sean and I make the dressing differently.  I make it with cider vinegar and he uses white.  It’s a small difference, resulting in a slight difference in taste but it’s not a big deal.

We sat down to the table.

I wasn’t really that interested in any of the leftovers so I served myself a huge helping of salad, sprinkled some tuna, and some salt and pepper, over it and poured on the dressing.  I had a few bites but found that I couldn’t really taste the dressing.  I poured on some more.  My salad still wasn’t very good but I was really hungry so I ate it.

We had a slightly harder time than usual getting the kids to eat their salads but well, they’re kids and it was salad so we didn’t think too much of it.  The kids ran off to play and I sat at the table for a few more minutes trying to decide if I wanted to eat more.  I decided I was still hungry.  I served up the rest of the salad, doctored it up, poured on the dressing and took a bite.  It tasted almost sweet.

I dipped a finger into a drop of dressing n my plate and licked it off.  Nothing, it tasted like nothing.  I looked up at Sean, “what kind of vinegar did you use in this?”

He looked at me like I was crazy, “I didn’t put the vinegar in it, you did. I just put the oil in.”

After spending just a minute digesting that (and trying not to throw up my dinner) I said, “no wonder the dressing wasn’t good tonight, you used the soapy dishwater that I was cleaning the cruet out with as the vinegar.”

I spent the rest of the night with a greasy dishwater taste in the back of my mouth.

In his defense, apparently the dishwater had filled exactly up to the v line of the cruet and he had known that I was working on making dressing and… Well, these things happen.

So what’s your favorite kind of salad dressing?

Step Away From the Mouse

I won again.

This time it’s a good thing.  The Baby has learned to climb out of his crib and the resultant lack of sleep is doing bad things to all of us (not to mention that that kid has to be watched every second and now I can’t even relax at nights and naptimes) so I bid on, and won, a tent for the crib that should keep him in.  So that’s a positive.

But while I was on eBay’s site I figured I might as well look at belay devices.  You know, not that I’m going to buy one or anything, just to look right?

Will you look at that that some guy is selling two of them and the bidding’s only to $10.50.  $10.50! FOR TWO?!?  That’s a sensational price!  They’re $20 easy on their own.  How can I pass that up?

Apparently I can’t.  I bid on that one too (the auction closes at 11:00 tonight so here’s hoping).

And then maybe I’ll look at ropes.  I didn’t buy any but… well, it’s pretty tempting.  And then there’s the shoes (I have an email in to a girl selling on craig’s list) and carabiners and the quickdraws and SERIOUSLY WILL SOMEONE PLEASE GET ME AWAY FROM THE FREAKING COMPUTER!!!!!

On a related note I did send a note to the harness seller asking if she would could down on the price.  She said that she couldn’t, that it really would cost her about that much and she’d only make $1 or $2 on the deal.  (She also said something about the postmaster at her post office having made her husband open a package once to prove that it was media so that he could send it media mail.  Is that even legal?)  Anyway, the thing about postage is that the receiver always knows what the sender spent.  And in this case, with the $15 that I paid her to send my harness she spent $6.45.  So she really only made $1 or $2 or $8.50 on the shipping (and that’s considerable when you take into account the fact that I only paid $24.99 for the thing).  Whatever.  Maybe it’ll teach me to pay closer attention in the future.

Speaking of, I wonder what the belay devices are going to cost to ship???

And the Winner is….

Crap!  It’s me.  I won.  Dangit!

I won something on eBay and I really wish I hadn’t.  I bid on the item, that really had quite a good price, but I made the fatal, well, ok not fatal but certainly costly mistake of not checking the price for shipping first.   Upon checking the shipping cost I realized why the item was still so reasonably priced, why I was the first and ultimately only bidder.  The seller was trying to make their money not from the item itself but from charging at least five times what it will actually cost them to send it.

See, the item is a rock climbing harness (something that I probably shouldn’t be buying anyway.  I have been climbing quite a bit lately anything to get me out of the house and away from the kids and I intend to continue to do so, it’s a great full body workout and well, really fun, but you can’t climb alone and the gal I go with has a spare harness so I don’t really need my own what I really need are climbing shoes but they’re considerably more expensive.)  and the weight, or lack thereof, of a harness is an important feature, a feature that is easy to ascertain for the most part and even if one can’t find the exact specs for the harness that they were looking at on, say eBay, they could certainly find comparable harness and see that they weighed under a pound and it doesn’t take a postal employee to tell you that it doesn’t cost $15 to mail a small 15 oz item from Washington state to Utah.  Hypothetically speaking of course.

I hate it when people do this!  I think it’s immoral, they list an item for a low low price just counting on some idiot (in this case that would be me) coming along and bidding without reading the fine print.  I understand that it’s a great way to get your stuff sold and to make a little cash but at what expense really?  It’s not theft technically, but it is slight of hand (which I like as well as the next girl when it comes to magic tricks) it’s sneaky and underhanded and … wrong.  (Yes, I get that it’s my responsibility to read all the fine print before I bid, I get my responsibility in all this but … well, if you can’t see it then there’s no explaining it to you.)

As soon as I realized that the shipping cost was what it was I began hoping that I would be outbid, I thought that the chances of that were pretty good, I only bid 1 cent over the asking price after all, and people don’t win $90+ climbing harnesses for $25 right?  You already know the answer to that so we’ll move on. (The answer is no they don’t, they win $90+ climbing harnesses for $40.)  Obviously I was not outbid.

Upon winning I did send an email to the seller asking if they’d be willing to come down on the shipping but I’m not holding out a lot of hope and as I told them, if they won’t come down I’ll go ahead and pay in full since I did bid and not paying what I promised to pay is also not exactly right (I might have mentioned this before here or here or anyway) but either way I am the owner of two new climbing harnesses.

Did I forget to mention that just after I bid on the harness on eBay I found a brand new harness at for $30 with free shipping and (either thinking that I would surely be outbid or forgetting altogether about the harness I was in the process of buying on eBay (it was 2 in the morning, my thought processes were not exactly linear) or some kind of combination of the two) I bought it?  Whoops.

Hey, anyone want to go climbing with me?  I’ll supply the harness.


I’m not blogging mostly because I don’t feel like it, but also because I’m too busy taking 19 kids hiking (I did have the help of two other women) and volunteering for bike races.  And doing this:

School starts next week, I gotta get all this “doing stuff” stuff out of my system.

What are you up to?

The End is Near

I hope you have your food storage in order because you’re going to need it.  Soon. 

How soon? You ask.

Well, no one knows the day or the hour but I’ve been watching the signs and I’d say you’d better make sure you have enough Morning Moo for the family within the next few days, a week at the most.

How do I know? Well, let me tell you.

I went hiking today. And if that’s not a sign of the end of days I don’t know what is.

For those of you who don’t know me very well or who haven’t known me for more than a year, let me ‘splain.  I’m not really what you would call the outdoorsy type.  I was raised with the belief that mankind had been through thousands of years of technological advances so that I wouldn’t have to sleep on the ground, or share my meals with the flies or *ahem* cook over an open flame (my father was resistant even to grilling) and so that I could have things like indoor plumbing and computers.  And that’s a belief that I proudly held for years.

Until this year when I made a resolution to take my family, my kids specifically, on some kind of vacation this year.  To begin with I was thinking Disney and then I looked up prices for Disney.  So then I was thinking … I don’t know, something else but well, frankly I couldn’t afford that either.  You know what I could afford?  Camping.  So I took a deep breath; got off my high horse (figuratively as I’ve never actually ridden a horse) and took the kids camping.  We’ve been twice and with the notable exception of the lantern attack it’s gone really well.  Well enough that we were planning on going again this weekend, to a campground that’s far(ish) away, for two nights.  This is serious commitment people!

Unfortunately, the Infantile Delinquent choose Wednesday night to spend puking and Thursday to be feverish and snuggly (which is semi-delightful for a mom but mostly really sad.) Not to be outdone, The Baby spent the majority of Thursday night screaming and  when Sean broke down and took him in to the ER (at about 2:30 this morning) we discovered that he had two enormous ulcers running down his throat (apparently this is somewhat common and not a sign of anything other than a lot of pain for the next few days).  We got him some meds and his pain seems to be fairly well managed but there wass no way I was taking him camping, especially not someplace far(ish) from home, with something like that going on.

So camping’s out at least for tonight, but my kids have just been sitting around the house for three weeks.  And while that’s really short for a summer break (as previously discussed) it’s plenty of time for the intake of Suite Life on Deck to reach critical levels.  I had to get them out of the house.  I had to get out of the house.  And because Sean hasn’t been paid in about a month (and because I’m cheap and we had already paid for a campsite that we’re not using) it had to be something free.

Walking’s free.

So I took my two oldest kids and we hiked.  We did the Silver Lake loop and just like the reviews I read, it was steep (and that sucked) but actually, it wasn’t too bad.  The kids whined a fair amount and they were each reduced to tears at least once, but I figure that’s about par for the course.  It’s four(ish) miles and we did it in a little under three hours and no one died or even ended up very seriously maimed.  So altogether I’m calling it a win.

But seriously, if I were you I’d make sure I had my affairs in order.  Just in case.


Since you asked:

102_1171 If you look close you can see the cut from the lantern-> 102_1170102_1168 Poor sick Baby 102_1177

Outdoorsy Hijinks (As Promised)

Saturday, just after noon Sean and I loaded up the kids and the gear, as an aside can I just ask why SO MUCH gear is necessary?  Honestly, we were planning on one night and we had the back of the van full and then more stuff on the floor in front of the little kids and then more stuff packed in next to the bigger kids and then, MORE stuff on the floor in front of me and then… Anyway, it’s ridiculous.  So we loaded up the kids and the gear and headed up big cottonwood canyon to spruces campground.  By the time we got there, at 1:00ish on a Saturday afternoon I was afraid that there wouldn’t be any good sites left.  But there were and we got an amazing site right in the middle of the campground but weirdly all alone.  We had a ton of space and there were little trails and creeks (pronounced cricks, of course) and it was great.

So we got everything all set up and had some lunch and the kids ran around on the trails and “accidentally” stepped and then fell into the creeks (cricks)  and by about 3:45 I was sleepy (The fact that I had stayed up until 1:30 the night before my have contributed to my fatigue but I doubt it).  So I asked Sean if he minded keeping an eye on the kidlets while I had a little lie down.  He did mind (I know I would have) but he told me to go anyway (isn’t he great?) so I went to the tent to have my little lie down.  roughly half an hour later I was awoken by a crash.  For a moment I was stunned first because I didn’t know that I had fallen asleep and then because my face really hurt.  I sat up to feel blood streaming down my face and more pain.

The lantern that I had hung in the center of the tent when setting up our little home away from home had fallen from its hook, landing, and near as I can tell, right between my eyes.

I had a cut, a pretty good deep one, just above my right eye, another on the right side of my nose and for a little while there I thought my nose was broken.

We got me cleaned up and looked at the cut trying to decide if it needed stitches, or maybe just a butterfly only there were no butterflies in the stupid first aid kit that we had. We looked around to make sure that we hadn’t missed any injuries and then I decided to drive down to my hospital (it was only about 20 minutes away after all) and at least get some more, better supplies, at best get someone to sew me up.

Well, I didn’t get anyone to sew me up but I did get some glue and a steri-strip and some ibuprofen.  I decided that my nose wasn’t broken despite the audible crunching of cartilage (it was only the septum and there’s nothing they can do about that anyway) and headed back up to the campsite.

Where we had dinner and s’mores and went to bed and got up and look at that, I’m fine.  (Although sadly, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get the blood out of my Death Cab for Cutie t-shirt.  And the lantern is broken and probably not salvageable.)

But given the fact that I now have this head lac and a nose lac and a swollen nose and my left eye is black (well, ok, not black but blueish) and I walked around all week last week with a goose egg and then a bruise and then a yellow and green fading bruise (that’s when they really look the best, I think ) on my forehead (I walked into my front door, I swear it)  I’m waiting for someone to sit me down and tell me that I don’t have to stay with an abuser.

Oh and the kids had a great time.

Welcome to My Home, Licking or Non?

Remember back before we shot our kids up with all kinds of immunizations for diseases that aren’t really all that dangerous and people used to have chickenpox parties. You know, little Timmy down the block would come down with the pox and all the other mothers would bring their kidlets over to play with Timmy because chicken pox are so much easier to deal with and so much less dangerous in little kids than in adults. So all these mothers would intentionally infect their kids with this disease so that they could get it over with.

Well, we went camping this weekend, something that my sister thought that I should have posted about because nobody even died or fell in the river or died or anything. And I’m happy to report that that was true, no one did die or fall in the river (which was especially amazing because we camped right by the river). But see, while it’s amazing that no one died or fell in the river there’s not really much to tell there. In fact, that’s about all there is to tell you, no one died or fell in the river. Someone dying or falling in the river actually makes a much better story. So it’s unlucky for the blog, but lucky for me and mine, that it didn’t happen.

Apparently I got distracted, where was I? Oh yes.

So we went camping and we came home a day early because it was cold up there. Really freaking cold up there. And the kids were coughing, the Infantile Delinquent especially. So we came home and he was just lying on me. And coughing.  And crying. And lying on me. And coughing. And I started to get a little worried.

So I gave him a little ibuprofen and then I took him to the instacare.

When will I learn not to do that?!!! Here’s this kid who’s been lying around, hardly able to lift his head, all day and a teaspoon of the magical elixir later he’s bouncing off the walls.  So I look like the freak mother who’s worried because her child is “sick” only he doesn’t look sick and he doesn’t act sick.

At least he was still coughing.

The doctor was very nice, she said his lungs sounded fine and that there was a good chance that what he had was the “new” flu which is what we’re calling the swine flu now because calling it swine flu is injurious to the swine and calling it H1N1 just sounds stupid.  So we have the “new” flu now but what were’ going to do when there’s a newer flu I just don’t know.  Because calling something the “newer” flu sounds even stupider than calling something H1N1.  In fact, I think there ought to be someone in charge of naming diseases.  Wouldn’t that be a great job? I would like that job.  Just think of the revenge you could exact on old boyfriends, the high school government teacher who almost failed you, that guy who cut you off on the freeway (except that I don’t really have his name.  Maybe I could cultivate a friendship with someone at the DMV…)

And now to get back to the point.

Apparently, they’re seeing a lot of people with the flu. “Flu season-like numbers” in fact. And 85% of the flu patients they’re seeing have the “new” flu. (Although how they’re getting those numbers I’m not sure since they’re not testing for it anymore, and my understanding is that they stopped testing for it because the numbers were so high. Which doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me but there it is.) My brother’s even (probably) got it and he didn’t even get it from my kids (although he’s got 8 of his own so he doesn’t really need mine to infect him with anything.) But the doctor told me that it’s mostly staying upper-respiratory and lingering for a while and then going away.  And the best way to deal with it is just to get lots of rest and drink lots of fluids.

But then she made a good point, she said that she’d rather get the flu now when it’s relatively mild and then when it goes around this winter and it’s killing people off she’ll be immune.

So I say come on over and I’ll have the InfaDel give you a lick (as if I could stop him). Let’s have a good old fashioned flu party.