What’s for Thanksgiving Dinner?

It is nearly upon us…

turkey dinner


This year, my parents and Walt’s mom will be joining us at our home. Want to know what we’ll be eating?

Schulz Family Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Links marked with * are my own recipes.

Baked Brie Bites in Puff Pastry with pumpkin butter and pecans, apricot preserves and almonds, and fig butter and chopped apples
Stuffed Mushrooms
Veggie Centerpiece *

Baby Greens with candied pecans, pears, pomegranate, feta, and maple vinaigrette *
Butternut Squash Soup

Brown Bag Roasted Turkey *
Mashed Potatoes, chunky, with skins on
Stuffing *
Turkey Gravy
Honeyed Carrots
Roasted Broccoli
Homemade Rolls * (using the dough from my cinnamon roll recipe)

Pumpkin Cheesecake with a gingersnap crust instead of graham cracker and a bruleed top
Salted Caramel Apple Pie 
Banana Cream Pie with a chocolate lining

And, of course, we’ll set the table with our Handprint turkey runner.

Thanksgiving Table Runner, tutorial here

Are you staying home or traveling? Having guests? Cooking, ordering takeout, or eating out? Tell me about your plans because I am nosy interested in you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Avast! Some Piratin’ Words Fer International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

pirate day

Need some piratey things to say? I’ve got you covered!

Aboveboard You didn’t know that was a pirate phrase? It is! When a pirate ship was sneaking up on a merchant vessel, the pirates would hide “below board” or below deck. If everyone was above board, all was honest and fair. I don’t mind if you eat the last ice cream bar as long as you don’t sneak it. Be honest and aboveboard and we’ll be fine. Just kidding, if you eat the last ice cream, I will gut you.

Bilge (Also: Bilge water, bilge ratThe bilge was the lowest part of a ship. It was filthy, disgusting, and filled with stagnant water and rats. The bad news: In a flat bottomed ship it was difficult to pump the stinking bilge-water out. The good news: Bilge rats were a good source of fresh meat at sea. I’d sooner drink bilge water than this rot-gut grog but go ahead and pour me another glass.

Cackle Farts Eggs. Those were eggs. Charming, no? Wakey, wakey! Cackle farts and bakey!

Galleypepper Soot, ashes, and other bits of debris that found its way from the cook’s fire into the food. These cackle farts are rather bland. If only they had a bit more galleypepper.

Holy Mackerel Another surprising term. Mackerel was caught in large quantities, but went bad quickly. Therefore, in the 17th century, it was the only fish allowed to be sold on the Sabbath. Holy Mackerel! This fish has gone bad!

Kiss the Wooden Lady A minor pirate punishment where a sailor was forced to stand, facing the mast, with his hands tied around it. Other sailors were encouraged to kick him in the hind-quarters as they passed by. If you don’t stop picking on your sister, I’ll make you kiss the wooden lady, young man!

Shiver Me Timbers I was recently asked about the meaning of this one on twitter and was happy to give a definition. Ships were made of wood. Large waves or cannon fire could cause the timbers to vibrate, shudder, pitch, or shiver. Used as an exclamation of surprise. Shiver me timbers! Did pirates really call eggs “cackle farts?” That’s…gross.

Shake a Cloth in the Wind To be just a little bit drunk. Shiver me timbers! Black-Hearted Jim shook a cloth in the the wind this afternoon. He covered all the holy mackerel and cackle farts with extra galleypepper and kissed the wooden lady–on purpose! That is not aboveboard behavior! Let’s put him in the bilge until he’s sober.

There ye have it, a few words to get you conversating like one o’ the dark brotherhood today. If you be still stuck for somethin’ t’ say, try out this English t’ pirate translator. Have fun. Celebrate. But keep yer filthy hands off me ice cream bars. I mean what I say about the gutting. Aaargh!

Note: I learned a lot of these words from The Pirate Dictionary by Terry Breverton. If you want to learn more, I recommend it.


P.S. I created a little Pinterest board for Hook’s Revenge. This seems like a good day to share. Ahoy!



On My Mind: The Musical

Sometimes I like to pretend that my life is a musical.

I often bust out into whatever song I feel is appropriate, much to the embarrassment admiration of my friends and family. Even when I’m not singing out loud, there is almost always a song running in the back of my mind. When I pay attention to it, I find that the words usually relate to whatever I am experiencing at the time.
For example: a couple of months ago, smack in the middle of my personal winter, I spent several days with The Lion King’s The Circle of Life running through my head. I had no idea why, and frankly, I was beginning to get a little annoyed by it. However, when I took the time to pay attention, I realized that the predominate lyrics I was thinking on were: There’s more to see than can ever be seen/More to do than can ever be done,
Lightbulb: I was silently belting out my feelings of anxiety and stress. Realizing that did absolutely nothing to relieve my stress, but at least I understood the soundtrack.

On a happier note (Ha! See what I did there? Song? Note? … Hello?), I’m pleased to report that for the last three days in a row, I have awakened to this song in my head:

Go ahead and listen. You can’t help but love it.

Here are a few things that are making me smile today.

The flood water is receding.
Note: It took me three tries to type w-a-t-e-r. My fingers kept wanting to type w-a-l-t-e-r. Walt is not receding. Thinning a bit, yes, but definitely not receding.
Not only is the water level going down, but we have had honest to goodness sunshine in patches over the weekend.
Me, suddenly bursting into song: I’m walkin’ on sunshine, yeah, yeah and don’t it feel good?
This is the kind of thing that people who know me well have to put up with all the time.

The slug slime came up off my couch. All I had to do was wait for it to dry, then scrape it off and then seal off and fumigate the entire area with napalm.
Now it’s gone, gone, gone, whoa-oh-oh-oh-whoa…

Things are getting done. Hurray!
Our remodeling/repair job feels like it is taking for-ev-er, but progress is being made. For example, we once again have two (count ’em: one, two!) functioning bathrooms. The hall bath has received a complete makeover, including new tile flooring, new cabinets and sink, granite counter top, and a brand new no overflow toilet.
Haaaallelujah, haaaaallelujah, hallalujah-hallalujah, hall-ayyyy-ay-lu-yah!
We’ve still got some finishing touches to do; I’ll share pictures soon.

Remember this?
We found that old window at a garage sale back in September and I had such big plans for it. On Saturday, I batted my eyelashes and sweet talked Walt into finally helping me bring those plans to fruition.
The following horror was our entry when we first moved into our house. If you have small children on your lap, you may wish to cover their eyes.
ugly spindles
We have done a fair amount of work there: replacing the front and closet doors, tiling over the ugly vinyl (not pictured) with a pretty matte black granite, replacing and painting the wood trim, and utterly demolishing those terrible prison bars spindles. Still the area didn’t look finished. Without the spindles, we had a hole in the wall that looked to me like a walk up ice-cream counter.
Enter new-old window:
Window Divider in Entry
Please note the new curtains too. Love. Them.
Here is another peek at my window:
Window Divider in Entry
This afternoon Newt told me: “Mama-
I love that she calls me that…
“Mama, if we sit right here on the couch and look at the front window and the entryway our house looks done. Let’s just not turn around briiiight eyes.”
Agreed. I’m not going to turn around and see my plywood and 70’s vinyl flooring (now with more asbestos!).
…but the view I love the most is on my front porch lookin’ iiiin!

Our church has multiple congregations that meet in the same building. Every year we trade meeting times around. Last year, we went to church at 8:30. AM. Twice a month I had early morning meetings. At 7:00. AM. As in, in-the-morning.
Aye-yi-yi, that’s early.
This year, we meet at 12:30. Sunday mornings are slow and relaxed again. We stay in our pjs for awhile, walk the dog together, make breakfast… It’s heavenly.
That’s why I’m eeeasy, easy like Sunday mornin’…

four and three-quarters
Newt made breakfast for us yesterday. I found her a recipe for pumpkin muffins and she went to work. They’re whole-wheat with no refined sugar, using honey instead, and oh-my-yum. The only modification she made (she is my daughter, after all) was adding some pumpkin seeds and walnuts to the batter.
Want some? The recipe is right here.
Why are there so many songs about muffins, and what’s on the other side?
Oh yeah, I also make up my own lyrics. Why not? It’s my show life.

What’s making you happy today? Sing it, Baby.

Linking up with: Not Just a Housewife, Create and Share, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Blue Cricket’s Show and Tell

Keep Pets Out of Your Christmas Tree

It really is Wednesday, in case you were wondering. Normally on Wednesday you’d be reading something about our homeschool in this space.
Just like on a normal Tuesday, you’d have read a recipe.
Clearly, I’m not normal right now.
With all the moving out and then moving back in and construction chaos going on around here, we haven’t gone far beyond the basics in either meals or educational pursuits.
Know what we have been doing this week though?
Christmas decorating!
We may not have baseboards.
We may not have flooring.
Heck, one of our bathrooms doesn’t even have a toilet, but we have got a tree!
Only one problem:
I did what I usually do when I encounter a problem. I asked my friend google.
There were several suggestions. None were all that helpful.

Get a tiny tree and put it on a table. I can just see it: Christmas morning we each pull up a chair and gather ’round the tiny tree.
Newt, take your elbows off the table while you open that gift!

Put your tree in a playpen. Remember, even contained in a playpen, your tree could still injure itself. It might try to climb out, fall, and break its limbs. Never leave a young tree unattended.

Forget the tree and just make a tree shaped outline on the wall with ribbon or lights. Great idea. While you’re at it, go ahead and make present shaped outlines on the floor and food shaped outlines on the table. All the fun of the real thing with no mess or hassle!

Hang your tree upside down from the ceiling. Wha-? How is that even possible?

Okay, so the internets didn’t have a great solution, but it did get me thinking. What I needed was a fence of some sort. I imagined putting a fence around my tree; what kind would I use?
Chicken wire? Too rural.
Chain link? Too urban.
Privacy fence? Too expensive. Too tall . Too, uh, private.
Picket fence? Hmmm… cute, inexpensive, easy to work with – I like it.
I bought a roll of wired picket fence in the garden center at Lowes for under $20. Walt and I circled it around the tree and zip tied the end pickets together.
Here is the result:
Tree Fence

I think it looks pretty good. Far better than a giant evergreen stalactite.
So far it seems to be working. Pepper has sniffed at it, but has not attempted any sort of breach. The tree, ornaments and presents are all safe.
I might have to get another roll of picket fence for my shoes.
Tree Fence

Thrift Store Fashions

Yesterday, I shared with you thrift store shopping tips taught to me by a true second-hand guru. Today, I’ll show you how I put those tips to good use.

Are you ready for this? Newt and I had a little photo shoot in the yard.
It’s always nice to put on a show for neighbors and random passersby.

Look #1 The “Modeling in Your Front Yard is Awkward” Pose
thrift store fashions - fall
The first pair of skinny jeans I have owned since the 8th grade
l.e.i. skinny
Cost: $6.99
Here’s a close up of the… ah… pocket details.
thrift store fashions - fall
Chocolate brown cardigan
West and Vine
Cost: $6.99
cotton blend, looks new – no pilling (not even under the arms)
The white tank, necklace and boots came from my own closet.

Look #2 – The “I’m So Casually Leaning Against My Truck” Pose
Thrift Store Fashions fall
Gray button up t-shirt
cotton-poly blend, great condition
Cost: $3.99
I love the sleeve detail. I paired this with the same jeans and boots, because I was too lazy to put something else together for my photo shoot.

Look #3 The “Yes, I Know I Needed to Pull My Shirt Down” Pose
I was just trying to keep Newt from documenting all the weeds. Looks like I failed there too.
Thrift Store Fashions fall
Black jersey knit shirt with blue embroidery detail
Cost: $6.99
Old Navy Sweetheart cut
Cost: $6.99

Look #4 The “Using This Chair to Support my Leg Pop” Pose
Thrift Store Fashions fall
Cotton skirt with ribbon detail
Cost: $4.99
Oatmeal colored sweater twin-set
Lands End
cotton blend, again looks brand new – no pilling
Cost: $9.99
This was my big ticket item, but it’s a twofer. Look at it without the cardigan in my “Just Hanging Out on My Wall and Newt is Making Me Laugh” Pose:
Thrift Store Fashions fall

I didn’t leave Newt out of the thrifty-fun.
Newt Look #1: The “Just Climbing the Fence” Pose:
Thrift Store Fashions fall
She’s wearing them right now and doesn’t want to tell me the brand
Cost: $6.99
Here they are from another angle in the “Holy Cow, Newt Has Long Legs” Pose
Thrift Store Fashions fall
The sweater came from her own floor closet.

Newt Look #2: The “Now Be a Tiger” Pose
Thrift Store Fashions fall
Purple striped sweater
Same as the jeans
cotton blend, looks new, and bonus: it’s same size I wear so there may be some borrowing potential
Cost: $4.99

Newt also got a canvas belt ($2.99) and a pair of embroidered jean capris ($6.99). They are not pictured because the photo session got boring and the model refused to cooperate.
Models! [eyeroll accompanied by exasperated sigh]

Total spent: $68.89
Average cost per item: $6.26

I think we did great. What do you think?

Edited to add: I just posted outtakes to my facebook page. Hurry over, you won’t want to miss my Sitting on the Toilet Pose.

How to Green Your Swiffer ~ Refill and Reusable pads

Mondays are for housework at my house. I find it’s a great way to get the week started fresh – and after the weekend, our home always needs a bit of a sprucing up.
This house has laminate floors (I know, I like hardwood better too, but this is what we have.) For convenience, I like to use a Swiffer wet-jet to mop, but I don’t really like the stuff that comes in the refill bottles.
It seems to leave a film on my floor.
It smells too strong.
And oh mylanta! it’s expensive.

I wanted to refill the bottle with my own solution, but those evil corporate geniuses that created it did not intend for the bottle to be refillable.
However, I’m not one to take no for an answer so I found a way to do it anyway.
First boil about a cup of water. Use the stove top or microwave. Pour water into a coffee cup. Carefully (don’t burn yourself) soak the cap end of your swiffer wet jet bottle in the hot water for a minute or two.
green your swiffer
Remove the bottle from the water and dry it off. Use a wrench or pliers and a tiny bit of elbow grease to remove the cap.
green your swiffer
Rinse it out and refill with your own solution. I added 1/4 cup of white vinegar and few drops of lavender essential oil to my empty bottle, then filled it to the top with warm water. Twist cap back on. You will see that it goes on tight and will not leak.
green your swiffer
Hmm… now to find something to keep me from having to waste my money on those disposable pads.
How about an old washcloth? Yes!
I used binder clips to attach one to my swiffer head, being careful not to cover the nozzle that the cleaner sprays from.
green your swiffer
How does it work? Better than ever!
My floors feel so much cleaner – no sticky filmy residue.
There is no cloying perfumy smell. In fact, once they have dried there’s no scent at all other than a faint hint of lavender.
I have nothing to throw away when I am done mopping, so there is no waste.
Best of all, my refill costs only a few cents.

Mondays are looking even better around here.

Contact Twitter Facebook Tumblr Pinterest Instagram Goodreads RSS Feed