Saturday, March 28, 2009

It is Party Time!

My parents made many sacrifices so my sisters and I could go to college where ever we wanted and graduate with only medium debt as opposed to soul crushing debt. My baby sis graduates this spring so my parents are officially rollin' in the dough. Well not so much, but at least their children are done mooching off of them, and they can start losing their money in a 401k like everyone else. My dad did joke that they didn't lose their retirement savings because it is stored safely in our heads. Good luck making a withdraw on that when it is time to pay the State Home. I kid, I kid they are totally going to live in Bear's pool house; she is very patient. So as a gesture of our appreciation we are throwing them a party Sunday. What do you have at a thank you for putting your life on hold party, why the guests of honor favorite foods of course. So at this party we will be having:

Almond Shrimp via Kalofagos
(subbed sorghum for wheat and added a bit more milk)
Southwestern Egg rolls (with wrapper courtesy of Gluten Free Gobsmacked)
Little Smokies with Bacon and Brown Sugar (Bear's contribution)
Hot Spinach Dip (Bear's contribution)
Cheese Ball (neufchatel cheese, Old English, Worcestershire, garlic and onion powders, so unrefined yet so delicious)
Onion Rings (soak rings in buttermilk and then toss in equal parts sorghum, tapioca, and white rice)
Chips and Santa Barbara Salsa (gotta support companies with clear gluten free labeling, Kroger's carries many of the varieties and all that I have tried have been tasty for jarred salsa)

Gluten Free Mommy's Sesame Chicken with Jasmine Rice and Broccoli
Snow Peas with Toasted Almonds

Red Velvet Cupcakes from Gluten Free Cooking School
(made 1/2 batch into 12 cupcakes)
Gluten Free Mommy's Angel Food Cake (subbed in 1/2 cup of Splenda)

Bear also made a pinata shaped like a piggy bank. Tottie is bringing Little Puppy Maia. If the weather prevents me from driving up to the Quad Cities anyone local is invited over for a Sesame Chicken lunch. I cook allergy and special needs friendly.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I feel pretty, oh so pretty?

A few weeks ago a Macy's sale flier arrive with some perfume/cologne samples included. I love sniffing those things. Really, it could be described as huffing. Smells are a big part of my sensory issues and when they are pleasing smells I love to take it all in. Usually after a few deep inhales I toss the inserts, however this time was different. Pretty by Elizabeth Arden smelled really nice, really really nice. But I feel it might have a tinge of old lady, so I can't decide if I really want to wear it. I have been sniffing it daily for three weeks now. The paper is just about out of juice, and I am no closer to a decision.

I know this seems silly, but what I wear now, Envy by Gucci, I have worn for close to ten years. It is the only perfume I have ever worn, well aside from every woman my age's 5th grade fascination with "Malibu Musk". Back in college I would get complimented on the Envy a lot. As a real grownup there aren't a lot of places that people can tell you that you smell nice without it being creepy. Believe me, I don't want to hear I smell nice now, but I do kind of wonder if Pretty would elicit that kind of response. The smell of Envy is me, and like I said, scent is a huge part of my sensory deal. I can't imagine not smelling like it. I have actually spent time worrying about how I would react if I found out they weren't going to make it anymore. I still love how it smells, but is it possible I love Pretty more? Is it time for a change, do I not want to give up Envy because I am stuck in the past? Now a normal person would just wear both; clearly I am not normal. I like consistency and routine and I like smelling like me. So I need to make a decision, if the two people who read this blog could go get a whiff of Pretty and Envy and let me know what I should do, that would be great.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Welcome Wagon

Last Thursday Brother in Law Bear, Yosh, who has been attending medical school in Springfield was matched with a residency program. The plan was for them to move to the Quad Cities to be near my parents. I have been looking for a job up there and would join the party as soon as the economy allowed. Yosh was matched in Peoria. They will have to live here for 3 years.

Yosh is excited because he preferred the Peoria program. Bear is not excited because she is not a Peoria fan. She is not a Peoria fan because I am not a Peoria fan. I have tainted her views. I have lived in Peoria for 5 years. I am over Peoria. When I moved here, I was wowed by the absolutely lovely older housing stock. I don't think Peorians realize how unique a lot of their housing is, and I am not talking about just The Uplands and the historic districts. The number of brick bungalows and cottages is amazing. Older brick homes are rare in the Quad Cities. I believed in the Heart of Peoria plan. I wanted to be a part of the Heart of Peoria.

5 years later, I still have not purchased a home. The first reality check was the "shot fired map". That adorable home on W Arcadia I was lusting after had way too many markers for my living alone single woman comfort. So I shifted my search north. South of War Memorial, closer to Forrest Hill, west of Knoxville. The fringes of the Heart of Peoria, but just up the street from the proposed Sheridan Triangle upgrade. The houses were more expensive, but were in a much more stable neighborhood, not so many rentals, no shots fired.

Then for 5 years the Heart Plan has been ignored, or in the most egregious cases, plainly violated and with the exception of Council Member Gary Sandberg no one with any authority in this town cares. The Sheridan triangle has gone no where. The school district is spiraling down. More money, more problems. Oh sure there are citizens who care. They devote countless hours and dollars trying to make Peoria a better place. I don't know how they keep on keeping on. This city says one thing and does the complete opposite. I am not even that invested and it frustrates me to no end. To continually do the same thing and expect different results is the definition of insanity; Peoria is insane.

I can't take it anymore. This museum nonsense has been the last straw. 40-60million dollars to move a museum we already have down to prime urban real estate is obscene. Urban renewal does not involve zero density. What a waste on so many levels. The city's schools and infrastructure crumble but we keep financing multi million dollar projects designed to attract people to the area. You know what attracts people, jobs and good schools. Beginning, middle, and end of story. Now it is the beginning, middle, and end of Bear and Yosh's story for the next three years and I have ruined the beginning. I am sorry, but at least they won't spend three years watching every one step forward result in 2 steps back.

Welcome to the neighborhood Bear and Yosh, don't buy the into the hype. Just rent, across the river.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Step Away From The GF Pizza Crust

Dear Family with two adorable girls in Naturally Yours last Saturday morning,

I got the feeling you're new to this whole gluten free thing. What with the excited exclamation of "Oh there's more stuff over here," while circling around to aisle 2 of gluten free goodness. You came to the right store, Naturally Yours has a great selection of GF products and the certified gluten free oats in Dad's hands were a good start. However, the 14.99 for two pizza crusts Mom was carrying are going to seriously disappoint. You will get much better results with making your own. Trust me I know. My gluten free pizza crust recipe will rock your face off. If you are avoiding casein substitute bean flour for the whey protein isolate and use your choice of dairy free "milk". I am sorry my mother conditioned me not to talk to strangers otherwise I could have saved you that 15 bucks and told you about gluten free mommy and gluten free gobsmacked (check the achieves, they are both awaiting babies and are posting less frequently), and if you are casein free too gluten free goddess and book of yum have got you covered. These woman are my go to gluten free authorities. Living the life will suck at first, depending on what you're used to (if you are white bread and Twinkie people, it will suck especially hard), but it will be worth it. There is a lot of tasty food out there that doesn't involved the evil gluten.

Best Wishes,
The woman with the GF tarmari, spilling tapioca starch over by the bulk bins

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Rant: As requested by Xena in Singapore

Who decided that all spring clothes this season should be peasant tops or tunics? You know some of us would like options with waists, and empire does not count as a waist. Also, when did starting prices get so freakin' high on dress clothes. I think with sales, coupons and waiting you can end up paying about the same, but seriously everything I touched was 89 or 79 dollars and I had no coupons. Which brings me to...

Bergners I only signed up for your credit card to get the freakin' coupons and I still don't get them. Do you know how annoying that is? To show up at the store and see everyone and their brother with coupons and I got zilch. I signed up for a Macy's card to get the coupons and they actually send coupons. But you know what, most of of the time your Macy's card is the coupon. You don't even really need the coupons they send. Bergners, you won't send coupons and your card gives me nothing. If it wasn't for Yellow Dot you would be dead to me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Why I hate humanity.

I shit you not, on the way home today, an SUV with the license plate "CURTESY" threw a cigarette butt out the window. I think there is a special place in Hell for that kind of hypocrisy and/or lack of self awareness.