Friday, December 13, 2013

Urges and Other Strange Things

Nobody's perfect, right? Daddy always reminds mouse that nobody's perfect but it doesn't stop mouse from trying to be. There's far too much that's been ignored -- dust bunnies hiding. Bright sunny days with plenty of sunshine filtering through the windows means highlighting where the dust bunnies live.

Also, the fact everyone in this house, mouse included, has been sneezing and coughing all over it. So, mouse brought the baby to a relative's home to visit, quickly ran a few errands and hurried home to clean. The urge was overwhelming and it's so rare, it just needed to be acted on. Probably prompted by reading this book. It's the anal retentive guide to cleaning and Daddy approved. Seriously, the author doesn't believe in washing your hands in the kitchen sink!

So mouse driven by need to nest, scrubbed the whole house, shampooed carpets and disinfected the whole thing. Moved furniture and got into corners. Yes, there was some washing of cabinets and other woodwork. Far easier to do without being nude, chained with Daddy watching over her every movement. Lot quicker too since they weren't nearly as filthy as they were before.

We even had a mobile groomer come to the house to bathe the dogs!

Daddy was well aware what mouse was up to all day since mouse was texting about it all (it constituted a change of routine). Daddy surprised mouse by saying if mouse would get the baby early -- he'd been keeping an eye on the weather and felt it best, and said he would bring home dinner.

Really mouse was releaved a bit, although early in the afternoon flurries had been flying but not sticking.. As luck would have it, they did begin to stick after she returned with Babygirl. When Daddy got home, the snow was a bit heavier. He carried wine and pizza.

After all of mouse's hard work, Daddy let mouse watch any movie she wanted...

We settled down and watched a movie that wouldn't torture him too much, White Christmas. Sure mouse could have tortured him with any number of movies, but he probably would clawed his eyes out before they were finished. In bed after the movie was over, he said mouse could watch another movie the next night. Anything she wanted. He said he had work to do so he'd be missing out.

What a shame!


Monday, November 25, 2013


We all have our little traditions.  The day after Thanksgiving generally speaking mouse would wake up hideously early, go shopping with her girlfriends, then go home, wrap her gifts and call it a day.  

Why bother with a tree when no one sees it?  Why decorate when there's not a huge reason to do it?  It sounds lonely, doesn't it?  The one thing she always did was unpack her holiday dishes and display them on this little corner hutch. 

When Omega moved into her life, he brought with him a huge china cabinet and dining table that belonged to his grandmother.  He brought other stuff with him...But those two items specifically were wonderful for mouse.  Now she had a proper place to display her china.  When our first holiday season rolled around, just before Thanksgiving mouse swapped out the regular china for the holiday dishes she's cherished for all these years.  Didn't give much thought to Chanukah or Christmas.  

Our second is probably a better example.  Daddy had no issue with a tree, but asked mouse not to display the nativity that had been in her family for years.    Now, it needs to be said mouse only displayed it because it was pretty and it's very sentimental to mouse.  It's not displayed for any other reason.   It's not a religious issue for her at all, which is probably why he felt very comfortable making the request.  

By our third holiday, the nativity was packed away and forgotten and a new tradition emerged.  Thanksgiving we'd host and in the early morning hours following mouse would again go shopping with her girlfriends.  Back at home she'd stash the gifts, cook a huge breakfast and then the best part for mouse was decorating the house.  Daddy would get the boxes of holiday decorations mouse has spent years acquiring...what's that?  Forgot to mention that...

It must be said that her whole life, even when she lived alone and didn't bother decorating, mouse couldn't resist buying anything red and green that spanked of Christmas.  Holiday bazaars, charity events any chance she had to add to an ever growing collection no one would really see.  Pathetic really when you stop and think about it.  Hundreds of ornaments some collected by mouse, others given to mouse as gifts.  For the first time having a reason to decorate and taking everything out,  whole house looked like Santa threw up.  
When we moved here into this home, last year Daddy remarked that it didn't feel so crowded with holiday "junk" and he said with as much love as he could muster.   The holiday's are more of a combination of Chanukah and Christmas.  Now the baby is the older tho and mouse is wondering if we shouldn't make a choice -- one or the other.  

Normally in early November it begins, with mouse swapping the regular china for the holiday dishes she cherishes so.  This year was a little different.  As though she were mentally deciding a clear path, she waited.  How will our daughter be raised?  Without question Jewish so would celebrating or combining the holidays cause confusion?  Daddy solved the issue when he asked if mouse was going to do the china cabinet.  

After spending a few moments blinking mouse asked if it would be ok.  Of course, he said, he expected that we'd be doing both.   This year Chanukah begins the day before Thanksgiving and the day after mouse will be going shopping with her girlfriends, then come home, cook a huge breakfast and then spend the rest of the day listening to holiday music and decorating the house. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Way He Likes Things

So much of what mouse does is done is because he likes it that way and it's never worth arguing about.  

He couldn't wait to come home and that warmed mouse's heart.  When he quipped that he missed his scotch and cigars...and his chair...the one mouse can't stand because it only thing in the whole house it goes with is him -- well, we let it slide.   It's true at times mouse can imagine getting rid of that chair...Calling Goodwill to come get it.  

It's been a running joke between us for a long time now.  With him always reminding mouse to take care of his chair while he's away.  We cordon it off with museum rope to protect from kids and dogs climbing into it.  

A monument of sorts to him.  We've tried replacing that chair but he'll complain the whole time.  When the house is quiet and he just settles back all is right with his world.  Of course, he would replace it, if he felt it needed replacing and he wouldn't give a second thought to mouse's color scheme for the room either.    

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

For When Daddy Comes Home

It's true autumn is upon us and the days are certainly growing shorter and there's a chill to the air.  It's odd because during the spring and summer months, aside from Shabbat, mouse rarely lights candles, sometimes outdoors during the summer she'll toss out a few candles if we're entertaining.   It's odd also, although a few candles don't give off any substantial heat, it the room instantly feels warmer.   For parties it creates a relaxed environment and let's be honest, it hides the cleaning flaws.  

When Daddy goes away, we have a candle that sits in the entryway atop a high desk that we light each evening.  It's flame extinguished at bedtime but it's become a ritual of sorts that the candle's lit for him.  Does Daddy care that we do it?  Probably not to be honest.   Recently, we added a few more candles to it, so it illuminates the whole entryway.   Those candles were joined by others in adjacent rooms we frequent.  We never light candles in rooms we don't go into.  

When Daddy comes home, depending on the time his plane touches ground greatly determines the routine for his homecoming.  Early flight and mouse will be sure to have coffee and breakfast or brunch like things set up for his arrival.  An afternoon flight he'll find lunch waiting with a tall glass of iced tea fixed exactly how he likes it -- with a touch of mint.   Early evening flights find mouse planning a normal day, with dinner on the table and our home bursting with activity.  

Late evening arrivals, although the most taxing on him, are the best for mouse -- especially if the children are in bed and mouse is reasonably certain he's already eaten dinner.   The baby is fast asleep, the dogs are groggy from their day of play (seriously mouse wears them out hours beforehand).  He can step through the door and just feel the tension leave him.  Many candles are lit for his arrival and mouse puts together a tray with some snack of cheese or wine and a hot bath.  After long flights there's nothing he likes better than to peel off his clothing and soak in a tub or take a long hot shower.   It is very much a mental signal that  he's home and life can again return to normal.  

He enjoys traveling and seeing new things or revisiting places he's already been, but he grown to hate -- like most people today -- airports. 

From the first text saying he's at the airport and through security mouse begins the mental countdown to his eventual return home.  He'll continue to send random text messages updating his flight or telling mouse when boarding begins and again when he's on the plane.  Then the long silence as mouse busies herself with routine of life.  Depending on the time of day determines what she'll be doing.  Generally speaking there's lots of cleaning and maybe a chance to watch one more romantic movie that will certainly make mouse's eyes damp.  

Then the text comes and mouse's heart begins to race a little, saying he's landed.  The next text will be that he's in a cab and on his way home...that's when the real countdown begins for mouse.  Knowing how long it takes from the airport to our home, mouse plans out everything so the wine or champagne is chilled.  Cheese is placed on the tray so it can warm to room temperature.  Depending on the hour, the fireplace might be stoked, lit or another log thrown on.  His mood is hard to glean from text messages but mouse can assume if he's had a long wait, he's not happy.  Once he (and of course everyone)  had to wait 10 hours for his connecting flight to bring him back home because of mechanical issues or something.  

One thing regardless of the time of day of his return the first thing he'll do is kiss mouse and then he'll sink into his chair for  a few minutes, while mouse removes his shoes for him and rubs his feet.   Upstairs she will undress him, and let him slip into the tub.   It's the act of pampering him a little, fussing over him a lot that maybe is more for mouse than for him.  He appreciates the effort but he'd be just as happy with a cool towel and maybe a cocktail.  This is all for mouse....

Friday, November 1, 2013


Have you seen them? They're back! For years you couldn't find one even to give to a Grandmother or Great aunt. But now, it seems they've made a comeback of sorts. Admittedly, mouse doesn't read a lot of fashion magazines so can you imagine her excitement when she began seeing them in stores. Like Target!

Daddy likes for mouse to head-cover when she leaves the house. Now, mouse hasn't exactly asked why this was, but in the beginning did it for him. However, it became very clear very fast that mouse hadn't a clue what she was doing with the scarf and mostly it stayed inside her purse.

For some reason when mouse dons a scarf, no matter how pretty or expensive it is or what it's made from, she doesn't become like Grace Kelly or Jackie Kennedy Onassis, oh no...mouse becomes Yente from Fiddler on the Roof. It's as though mouse hasn't a clue what to do with it once it's on, so it just lays there...All boring like.

Let's be honest here, mouse is totally fashion-challenged and it if wasn't for Daddy having amazing taste in clothing or just sending mouse to the right stores or having the right seamstress make her clothing, this is surely what mouse would look like. Left to her own devices mouse is a blue jean girl and everything goes with denim. It can be dressed up or down. Well, Daddy is of the mindset that denim can only be dressed up so far and he's probably right.

The other day, while doing the grocery shopping with the baby mouse came across a woman, smartly dressed, a gorgeous handbag, and rather resembled the Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn look on the far right. There's nothing fancy about that look, right?

.Lucy suggested that mouse's hair simply isn't "poofy" enough to carry the look and mouse was inclined for a moment to consider that. Maybe it's true, but then she came across this image of Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Her hair is clearly not poofy, perhaps a bit unkept but it's not a like a beehive of poof. So, clearly mouse is need of help, so she began trolling the web and there are several websites showing you the in's and out's of wearing a scarf and mouse can't reproduce a single one.

Each look, was worst than the last and mouse grew more and more disgruntled with idea.

Then why does she buy them? Because, it seems, she just likes the idea of them. Someday she might figure out how to pull the look off right, probably completely on accident.

For today, they remain neatly rolled in a drawer.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Personal Reflections

This is a small departure from the normal style of this blog. Really spent a long time internally debating if this should be posted here or on The Power Exchange. Still not at all certain where it belongs, but since it has more to do with me as a person and not the slave, this place seemed to be a better fit.

I can't watch movies or tv shows about September 11, 2001. I can't bring myself to relive in anyway the pain of that day or the weeks that followed.

It's interesting, to me because on December 8, 1941, then president Franklin D Roosevelt addressed congress calling the attacks on Pearl Harbor, "A day that will live in infamy." To me, it's a note in a history book or something my grandfather refused to speak about. I asked him once, while planning an exciting -- at least to me -- trip to Europe, if he'd ever want to return, he answered no. He'd seen enough of Europe on D-Day.

In November of 1963, the young president John F Kennedy was assisinated, and for the longest time, you could ask anyone older than myself, where you were when Kennedy was shot. It was that generation's memory and probably loss of innocence. In that odd way, both December 7, 1941 and November 22, 1963 were both a loss of simplicity. Yes better days in the 1950s were certainly ahead, but in retrospect it wss fleeting and never meant to last. That generation, already hardened by the great depression was asked to give more during the war, followed by an new era of hope, squandered in Dallas. The world became more and more complex.

Still, I can watch movies or documentaries about those times without feeling a connection to them, as will always be the case, newer generations lose that -- or perhaps it's just an American thing? Grandchildren of residents of the Normandy region of France still welcome servicemen who fought for their freedom. Although those numbers are fast dwindling.

September 11 is different, at least for me. I wss born the year construction on the twin towers began. When I realized it, they had been built and destroyed in my lifetime it hurt me. It hurt all of us. There was a strong sense of disbelief that shook off whatever semblance of Arcadian upbringing that was left over from Watergate, Patty Hearst, Jonestown, Columbine, and Oklahoma City. It wss like there wasn't anything left.

A strong loss of national confidence -- not confidence in the government, but in the collective consciousness of its people. We don't trust anymore. It's like we wont allow ourselves to be led down an uncertain path. Maybe this is the reason we seem to have so many troubles in our country today? We have forgotten how to trust. We can only see the shadows of people we meet along way, and rarely the layers that lay beneath them. In order to trust, we need to connect with them, but the wires are frayed and exposed to the elements. Outwardly, we smile, make the polite small talk but under those now protective layers, we are naked, scared and oh so very bitter.

I'm not bookish, but there are several lines from a book I once read years ago that resonated with me and haunt me today. I read the book not as an assignment in school, but by choice. I wanted, no I needed to understand why John Lennon was shot. How could a simple work of fiction inspire people to kill, or attempt to. I admit, I didn't care much for the book save for probably one insignificant paragraph. Maybe this is the lesson we must try to remember.

“Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.”

― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Maybe we need to tell our stories, even if they're painful. The visceral reaction to tragedy, even when we know it hurts we need to share. Even when we leave a little a poison of our pain behind, we need to tell about it, so maybe others won't forget it.


Monday, September 30, 2013


Forgetting to smile.

He asked mouse if she were happy early last week in bed, he was rather awkwardly snaked around mouse holding her close. As rhough she were a pillow, with parts of his body resting on her at the same time holding her still. Its not uncommon for us to engage in a little pillow talk, before dropping off to sleep, although we already discussed so much and mouse was feeling content. Quickly mouse replied that of course she was happy. Seemed silly for him to ask that; was mouse not acting happy?. He's always been a bit on the quiet side himself, observant and tends to notice things about himself and others. People,he said, rarely smile, anywhere. Even mouse, he's noticed and probably in himself. Smiles are rare but genuine.

The baby, hopefully like most little kids, since her first smiles appeared has always smiled most of the time. It's enchanting. Sometimes we smile just because of's kinda infectious.

The next day, mouse more aware she supposes, watched people and Daddy's right people rarely smile. Our butcher smiles, all the time and not just his lips, his whole face, and his eyes twinkle. Most others are just so focused on their lives, task (like mouse who was shopping), or job, they don't. Even mouse had to remind herself to smile once she left the butcher. Trying to think happy thoughts, so the smile is actually real. That's the other thing she noticed, people who do smile sometimes seem to fake it.

Like the checker at the supermarket. The one who blandly asks, "did you find everything ok?" and if you happen to reply, "no" says nothing else, because that part wasn't included in their training. They don't smile. Sure their lips curl upwards, it's not real though. Conscious of this, mouse put in effort to smile, but soon found herself in a bit of conundrum, in order to effectively smile, mouse had to think about happy things. Disneyland. People are always smiling those super-charged, they-put-something-in-the-water smiles. However if mouse walks around with happy thoughts of Disneyland, she's not practicing her mindfulness Master expects. Walking around with a fake plastic smile won't do, because the eyes betray you.

Is the butcher just so thrilled with his shop and life, he just naturally looks happy. Like he loves life. How rare is that?

During a bit of downtime, mouse looked through some old photo albums his mom put together. Studying smiles, just an idle curiosity. There were a few years Daddy seemed like the life was sucked out of him. His eyes were completely empty. Even his smiles looked forced. Then a few pages later mouse saw Daddy holding our Babygirl and looked truly happy. The way he looks when he looks at the people he loves.

Maybe instead of thinking about Disneyland, she'll just think of him (maybe in Disneyland). Don't know if it'll work, or if mouse will just become lost in thoughts and forget where she's going,

It's hard though, even writing this, a whole post on smiling and mouse hasn't smiled while writing the whole time. Honestly mouse might feel frustrated if she didn't find it so ridiculous. Really shouldn't smiling be natural -- it's not like mouse doesn't love her life -- is she just that out or practice? Or is it when she concentrates, she doesn't think to smile?

The whole smiling issue is really mouse's personal segue, when she began thinking about outward signs of happiness. How do we identify happy people?


Friday, September 27, 2013

Being Particular

As most who have read our main blog The Power Exchange are aware, Omega enjoys a tidy home -- not really immaculate, but clutter free. Most Fridays mouse cleans for Shabbat. Certain things must be done before sundown. When the days become shorter, the cleaning chores are spread out over two days. Omega now prepares the daily list of what's to be accomplished each day, so when he handed Friday's list over to mouse, there was an error.

It's ok you can gasp.

Omega likes his things neatly arranged, just so. Socks for example are arranged by style, then by color, light to dark. Gym and weekend socks are stored in a completely different drawer. Clothing is arranged the same way. Style and color. It's an easy system, once mouse became used to it.

For Shabbat, clothes must laundered, errands run, towels washed, table cloth changed and washed, bedding, sheets, pillow cases must be changed and laundered. That's just bedrooms. Bathrooms, kitchen must be cleaned, the home dusted....

Yes, mouse becomes exhausted thinking about it.


It's also nice to have a clean home for the weekend.

Omega understands all too well, how difficult it can be to get everything accomplished with limited sunlight on Fridays. Candlelighting is in about an hour (don't worry mouse is finished). This all brings mouse to today's list and specifically what was missing from it.

Omega left no time for ironing!

See, while he's particular, so is mouse and hates wrinkled sheet cuffs.

Actually wrote a little about ironing here before.

It's the sheets that take a while for mouse to get just right, then they're folded and put away for the next week. Why didn't he know? How could he not know?

Well, it seems mouse didn't tell him.

We have two comforters for the bed. One is a Spring/Summer ensemble, with coordinating sheets and towels and the other is more for Fall/Winter. Here comes the quirkiness. When mouse pulled out the comforter in the Spring and packed away the Winter one, she noticed how shabby it had become. It was stained in one area (fruit juice thanks to the kids) and torn a little. The sheets too were looking faded and tired. It should be noted each bedding ensemble has two sets of sheets.

The intent wss to replace it. Just mouse never got around io it, as Springtime faded into Summer, the priory shifted. We went to the lake and mouse really forgot all about it. Since mouse usually makes the switch when the weather becomes cooler, in early October, Omega just said to forget it for now and we'll worry about next spring. The sheets were ironed in the beginning, but then mouse just didn't see the point. Omega didn't bother the housekeeper he hired to clean once a week while mouse was away to do it.

Next week, mouse will be switching the bedding, so this week became more about prep. The sheets that were on the bed weren't laundered, just switched with the clean spring set, and tossed out. But the other sheets that have been put away for half a year, must be cleaned, folded and ironed.

So what did leave off the list?

The ironing of the other sheets.

He had to fiddle and juggle mouse's schedule a little, because it takes time. But it's done and they look and smell great! Yes, today mouse is very tired but next week will be better! Having that part done also helps mouse to find the joy in next week!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Zero Hour

And now we embark on the happiest day of the year! Summer is over and school begins today! Around the neighborhood a collective sigh is heard. No more having to back out slowly (ok we do that anyway), but less concern about kids running around creating mischief and bored. No more listening to the endless baseball hoops and balls hitting the side of houses or becoming lost in our backyard. No more kids running barefooted and hunting for garden snakes (they're probably relieved too). No more bicycles left sideways on the driveway.

You can hear the excitement from parents everywhere. All the supplies happily purchased while the kids lagged behind. In dressing rooms children lamenting -- no more -- please...and the favorite, "can't we just go?!" in just a coupe hours, kiddo will be walking down the road to the bus stop to wait with the other kids -- gosh, mouse cannot wait! Yay! Of course, kiddo's all sullen and even asked why mouse was soooooo happy. Giggling and humming....

How can they understand it's like Christmas for us...a wonderful gift. All the boring stuff we've been putting off all summer can finally be accomplished! There isn't someone calling the moment mouse settles for a moment of peace asking where something is, or asking as they stare into the fridge and lament there's nothing to eat....or ask what's for dinner before mouse is finished loading the dishwasher. lovely!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lake life

We bought the Lake House completely furnished. We did bring, in addition to clothing, towels, bed linens, things like that. The dishes were all white, which is something mouse was never a fan of, but has honestly grown to love.


Found this image while surfing the web, we have a blue table cloth, but who could resist the gorgeous yellow? This is more the coffee mug crowd but there is something a bit more elegant about a cup and saucer, added bonus to that it seems if you use a smaller cup, people tend to drink less coffee! While mouse hadn't mastered making a croissant (really not interested except for the technique), she does make some nice scones.


They're easy, or fairly so to make. Just remember like making buiscuts -- don't over work the dough. You can anything to them and honestly they're nearly impossible to screw up.


2 3/4 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup cold butter

1 cup to 2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate or other flavored chips, nuts, or a combination, optional

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the flavoring of your choice

1/2 cup to 2/3 cup half and half or milk


1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

2) Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

3) Stir in the fruit, chips, and/or nuts, if you're using them.

4) In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla or other flavor, and half and half or milk.

5) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.

6) Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don't have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.

7) Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5" circle (if you haven't incorporated any add-ins); or a 6" circle (if you've added fruit, nuts, etc.). The circles should be about 3/4" thick.

8) Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.

9) Using a knife or bench knife that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.

10) Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.

11) For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Or chill in refrigerator overnight. You can also defrost them in the fridge.

12) Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the say through; the edge shouldn't look wet or unbaked.

13) Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they're completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Shabbat Shalom

Today is Friday the week is nearly over. Today it's all about Shabbat and preparing.

Now, mouse isn't Jewish, nor does she pretend to be, but she does try very hard to keep Shabbat and kosher, not because she believes but out of respect for Daddy's traditions. There are no extra 5 Things for Daddy because this whole day is really done for him. It's out of love and respect for his beliefs. If mouse had to pick a religion, it would probably be Judaism. Daddy doesn't mind that mouse fakes the prayers, or outrightly doesn't believe. What he sees is only the deference she offers.

It also cannot be over-stated that mouse loves this time of the year, because we light candles at 8:05PM. It gives mouse plenty of daylight to complete this seemingly exhaustive list.

The list for today is about renewing promises and fresh starts:

  • Change all bedding, air mattresses
  • Wash, fold, iron and put away sheets
  • Run to bakery for Challah, candles and pie
  • Pick-up dry cleaning
  • Buy fresh flowers
  • Keep certain lights on
  • Light candles (all night candles) in fireplace
  • Cut up meat, veggies for stew
  • Prep chicken for meal
  • Hard boil eggs
  • Unplug washer/dryer, leave door open to air
  • Turn off heater
  • Tape light in refrigerator.
  • Vacuum as needed
  • Put stew in oven
  • Cook chicken, side dishes, keep warm
  • Fill thermos of hot water
  • Fill kettle
  • Empty pockets of money, tidy purse
  • Polish Silver (if not done on Thursday)
  • Replace toys with Shabbat toys
  • Feed kids a snack
  • Set Shabbat table
  • Open 3 bottles of wine
  • Save ice, turn off ice-maker
  • Store water in refrigerator
  • Make some appetizers
  • Double check list!
  • Breathe -- Enjoy Shabbat


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Keeping to the Theme of Breathe the plan is to remember you can only accomplish one thing at a time, by giving that thing your full attention, life will be easier.


The plan for May 16, 2013 is long. Mid-week cleaning, shopping and everything else.


It can be done, remember to just breathe

Wednesday, May 16, 2013

  • Clean bathrooms: Showers/tubs, Toilets, Sinks, Countertops, Floors
  • Change and wash towels
  • Fold clothes and stow properly (Iron as needed)
  • Vacuum hallway
  • Dust Bedrooms and vacuum
  • Empty waste baskets
  • Wash/scrub kitchen floor
  • Vacuum downstairs
  • Clean kitchen
  • Clean inside of refrigerator.
  • Clean appliances (stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, washer dryer)
  • Marketing for rest of the week (have list on phone)
  • Blog for later in the week
  • 5 Things for Daddy

Thursday May 17, 2013

  • Gym
  • Tidy bathrooms and living areas
  • Tidy Daddy's desk; arrange bills to be paid
  • Make shopping list for next week
  • Check that roast is defrosted enough
  • At least one load of clothes



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Journey

Moments will often usurp or invade mouse's thoughts and her energy divides. Remembering for mouse to take a moment to breathe is a small way of reclaiming these thoughts end placing them in an order that for her makes sense.

Today is Monday, May 13, 2013 and it's around 10am. Nothing so far has been accomplished, save for getting kiddo off to school and Daddy off to work and a little blogging. The year is nearly half over-with! Breathe

Today, the plan is to accomplish:

  • Tidy the bathrooms and living spaces.
  • Vacuum living spaces
  • At least one load of laundry
  • Plan meals for the week
  • Grocery Shop
  • Spend 15 extra minutes tidying up the kitchen
  • 5 Things for Daddy

Tomorrow's Plan for May 14, 2013


  • Go to gym
  • Tidy bathrooms/living spaces
  • Vacuum traffic areas
  • At least one load of laundry
  • Spend 15 minutes tidying up kitchen drawers
  • 5 Things for Daddy

Breathe -- it's all possible


Monday, April 22, 2013

More than Roses

There are few things in life that make mouse smile than fresh flowers.  A good friend of mouse's brought her some Peonies  and mouse simply drooled.  To mouse they're prettier than roses and they don't have thorns.   The problem is the scent.  

Some are pretty strong in the scent department.  The ones gifted to mouse were no exception.  Within an hour of bringing them inside, our older dog was sneezing.  He even made the sneezing face...

Strangely, mouse didn't consider the flowers were the culprit.  Honestly, mouse just figured the dog had gotten a snout full of something...He's always sticking his nose into something.  

It really wasn't until Daddy came home and asked what the smell was and heard the dog sneezing that he instantly recognized the issue was maybe the flowers.  The scent he said was strong enough for him to take notice of.   So rather begrudgingly Daddy gave the dog a benadryl and mouse took the flowers into the garage.  

Within a short amount of time, the dog again settled, the sneezing stopped -- too quickly for the benadryl to really have an effect.   The next day, mouse (because she's totally stubborn) brought the flowers back into the house.  The dog again began to sneeze not just a little -- but a whole lot, just like before.  So again mouse took them into the garage.

Lesson learned while gorgeous Peonies are not welcomed.

People have asked what we do with our dogs while we host dinner parties.  The old man dog prefers to stay away from all the activity provided that he doesn't miss out on food or seeing who is entering the house.  We tend to keep corralled upstairs, then he's free to go into the kids rooms, up the other set of stairs to our master bedroom -- where he'll sleep on the bed!  Its his doggy way of saying, "screw you guys."

When we have casual get-togethers the dogs are free to roam about.  Our newer dog generally goes and lays on his bed -- he's watchful but never interferes with anyone.   While the older one lays....well...he'll lay where ever he can be close to people.  He weighs nearly 65 pounds and is convinced he's just a little itty-bitty lap dog -- who has the uncanny ability to squeeze himself into smallest of spots.    Our friends actually adore him.  So do children of all ages.

Our newer dog, is more aloof with people.  He only cares if they're safe to be around his family -- he loves children too and has much more energy (poor old man dog tries vainly to keep up).  When its time to eat, he will sometimes look at our other dog's watchfulness for dropped anything as sign of poor manners.  Dunno if he feels jealousy or if he just feels it's not his job...He's been very well trained.   Young one is more of a guard dog type, well disciplined and clear ideas of right and wrong.  While the Old man dog is more a happy dippy dog.

Perhaps our newer dog is more a reflection of Daddy's personality and our older one is more like mouse?

Really hadn't thought of it that way -- but it's totally possible. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cocktail Parties and other things

There is something about this Image that mouse just giggled when she first saw it.  There was a great internal struggle that went through mouse if she should publish this here or over on our main blog The Power Exchange.  Still there was something about the message that said to mouse keep here on Mostly mouse.

We all know that mouse loves sucking dick...that part isn't a surprise.  But she does whip up an incredible sandwich from time to time too.  It wasn't until BabyGirl came bursting into our lives that sandwiches took on a whole new appeal for mouse.

Sandwiches are such easy things, bread some sort of cheese or meat sliced up.  It used to be years ago they were a staple at cocktail parties.  Why?  Because they're a bit filling (sure you can put away a lot of them due to their size) and soak up the alcohol.  And let's face it they're endless!

You can do watercress and cream cheese.  A hearty, grainy wheat bread with smoked turkey or gouda.  The possibilities are endless!  Anything can go between two slices of bread!

Way back in the 1970s another popular appetizer was simply cream cheese and bologna!  Cut of course into shapes and pierced with a toothpick.   There's got to be a way to update that about a nice herbed goat cheese and mortadella?  Or a nice salami from Molinari?   For our next cocktail party, coming up in a few weeks mouse will be test-driving these ideas and more with of course the help of friends and family.  With the Hors d'oeuvres straight from the 1960s all presented with a hopefully slight more modern twist.

While there will not be room though for JELL-O and the party will not specifically be themed either. Instead mouse hopes it will just give a rather informal nod to those days gone by.   Cocktails will be another topic....Of course we'll be serving classic martini's and a host of non-alcholic beverages for those who don't wish to imbibe.

Wine, of course and maybe beer.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Old Mother Hubbard...

While Daddy was away, mouse decided it was time to really go through the cabinets.  It was a nice, distracting process and kiddo assisted by standing on a chair and grabbing things mouse couldn't reach.  

Now, this was a process started before Passover, when it was necessary to rid out our home of any Chametz for the holiday.  Looking at the cupboards tho, mouse noticed there were other things, not forbidden that really needed to be gone through.  Unopened bottles of hot sauces, jars of something, canned goods no one eats...

So mouse began the process of removing the stuff, all the stuff, and checking "Best By" dates.  Shamefully 90% of the cabinet was junk.  Too old to even go to a food bank.  Deplorable!   The lower (snack) cabinets the kids have were no better in fact they were a good deal worse because mouse won't even begin to try to describe what she found lurking there.  

Now, our dietary needs have changed also since we've been together.  Daddy hates anything pretty much that comes in a package, so those packaged or convenience rice packages and couscous just languished on the shelves.   Rice, breads, starches and other grains have long since vanished from our diets because of the havoc they cause Daddy and his blood sugars.  He's really not afraid of a protein salad.  

When he returned home he found (shockingly) several cabinets completely empty of food.  He actually didn't like that but when mouse explained it to him, he said he understood.  No baby food either girl has been off that for a while, and she hates the other stuff like it for toddlers...she wants our food or nothing. 

Our refrigerator is full of food, we have a fruit bowl filled with fruit.  Lots of vegetables too..and cheese because Daddy can't live without cheese.   

There is one cabinet, that does contain bread, peanut butter, chips and crackers...But those are mostly for the kids to munch on.  Baby girl's favorite lunch is PB&J with half a banana and raisins.  We used to keep the dog treats in there...but we had move them -- sure you can guess why.  

Sunday, March 31, 2013


It's not something people like to do, and truthfully it's not something mouse ever enjoyed. Yet now, it's a metaphors for life, the act of smoothing the wrinkles. Making something look crisp or pretty. Now, before anyone emails Daddy suggesting mouse needs a serious intervention...Irs really not a Stepford Wife thing or why mouse finds enjoyable. It's more about clean corners and crisp lines that appeal so to mouse. And just so you know, not everything is ironed. Most things are hung up as soon as the dryer is finished or folded and put away. But there are some things that routinely no matter how quickly she pulls from the dryer they're already wrinkled. Sheets come to mind -- for some reason they always wrinkle at the cuffed part at the top. The sides and corners do as well, but mouse doesn't care much about that.

So mouse irons them. Not the whole sheet, just the cuff parts and pillowcases. Yes, it's cheating. But it requires mouse to remain mindful of her task. Maybe that's what's so appealing? The act of focus is practiced and observed in the task.

Regardless of why it's something mouse actually enjoys.

Laundry, overall, just isn't. Need to figure out a way to feel joyful while doing steps, steps.

Monday, March 25, 2013


In the post about being weird, mouse explained that even a picture can inspire mouse to clean. It sounds whacky -- and totally mouse. Recently this image caught mouse's eye on Facebook.

Well, inside the sun room, we have some built in shelves...wouldn't it be so much brighter painted white? Daddy was nonplussed at the idea when we moved in, "Mouse do you realize those shelves are mahogany?" he replied somewhat annoyed. 

The very idea of painting over that wood was unthinkable to him. But also, let's just say the idea of painting over any of the wood trim was an impossible idea. Which is why we ended up with a very dark dining room (think hunting lodge). While it's contents are clearly a mixture of us both, the room overall just isn't. So little by little, mouse has been making very subtle changes. More sconces, more opportunities for brightness.

Back to the sunroom and the mahogany shelving. Daddy's pretty insistent not to allow mouse to paint it. Possibly due to a recurring nightmare of mouse one day changing her mind and saying that she wants to restore the wood to its origional state.  

So for now, this image is being filed away under: Dreams. At least until mouse sees another image to replace it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

After Party-Party

It was really stressful. Really, super stressful. But it went really well! Seriously mouse was having nightmares all Wednesday night. By Thursday morning mouse was all a bundle of nerves. Tuesday morning we nearly cancelled it all together. But also knew we were fully committed. Had we taken on more than we could handle? Good friends assured mouse we hadn't. Thanks so much to all who encouraged mouse! Daddy's faith never wavered. Not once!

Thursday morning mouse woke, exhausted. The day ahead seemed completely daunting. By the time she dropped the baby off at Lucy's, mouse too was ready to drop! No rest tho, ran home to start dinner and get everything ready. But when she came through the door, mouse looked at the pretty table she set...dunno suddenly the pressure felt lifted.

The meringue came out just lovely! The prime rib roast was very nearly perfect. The ends were a tad past well...but overall most excellent.

Conversation, making rounds ok that part was exhausting for mouse. Daddy seemed tho to enjoy it and beamed proudly at mouse.

After we both collapsed on a sofa and drank a glass of wine, toasting a successful first formal gathering.

The first of many Daddy reminded mouse.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cat's out of the Bag

Really don't know what exactly compelled mouse to share the link to this blog.  It's nothing exciting.  

The final push to the big formal party...the nerves are starting to make mouse unable to sleep.  

You want everything done today...but if everything is done too far in advance...well you'l freak out when you have to redo everything.   And ya we're still having a small gathering tonight.  Oh well, there's nothing that can be done about it all now.  

This week's plan: 

Monday is tine to give the house a thorough walk through and making note of things that need to be cleaned like baseboards (which actually aren't too bad) doors, light switches, check silver and polish if needed.  Wipe down kitchen cabinets and appliances.  Check the long lighter making sure it works/purchase new one.  Set up canopy outside in case of rain/snowfall -- check weather for outdoor heater or light firepit?  Might as well look around for chametz too while mouse is at it all.  Cleaning the inside of cabinets with damp cloth -- getting rid of all crumbs.  Put down new clean shelf paper

Tuesday is the running around shopping day.  Making sure we have everything we need for all the food, and ya mouse will be picking up the prime rib roast at the butcher shop.  Make place cards to avoid confusion.  Take Dogs to groomer. 

Wednesday is cleaning and prep day.  All the foods that can be prepped in advance (yes Daddy knows he'll be eating soup and salad for dinner).  

Cooking Prep
  • Onions, carrots, celery pre chopped and ready to be dumped into the vessel.  
  • Romaine for salad washed, bagged up for easy dumping
  • Dressing made
  • Croutons made
  • Pie made and ready for meringue on Thursday morning. 
  • Make up a few appetizers to serve with cocktails
Cleaning Prep
  • Dust/polish dining room table, bring in extra chairs
  • Check the flow around the rooms, moving furniture as needed
  • Dust in corners, under and behind sofa...Using a fork to remove or lighten divits in the carpeting
  • Set out the silver trays, tea/coffee etc arranging the after dinner table with cups, saucers, plates forks etc.  
  • Iron all the linens
  • Scrub, scrub scrub all the kitchen countertop surfaces and relocate the toaster 
  • Place the linens on the table 
  • Set the table
  • Dust the TV
  • Check the ipod for play list marked party (a smooth jazz mix with 5 hours of music) double check speakers
  • Arrange Candles
  • Sit in various chairs to make sure views aren't impeded by anything
  • Make sure there are a couple ashtrays outside, for smokers/cigar smokers 
  • Set up bar area, making certain glasses are cleaned 
Thursday is the big day
  • Make Meringue
  • Pick up bread, take butter out to soften 
  • Drop off baby!!! Ya...
  • Rib Roast must be in the oven no later than 3pm. 
  • Arrange small trays with appetizer bites 
  • Peel, wash potatoes, shred horseradish
  • Take shower, fix hair and makeup
  • Dress for party
  • Open red wine and decant at appropriate time 
  • Take out white wine to warm a tiny bit before guests arrive (never serve white wine too cold)
  • Last minute tidy of the kitchen and floor areas 
  • Last second tidy of the house
  • Study mouse's mantra for the evening:  Enjoy the party and know you've planned as much as you could.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Please don't misunderstand in anyway by reading these pages that mouse is in anyway an accomplished chef or even cook (sometimes being a mother does feel rather like being a short order cook) but there's lots she hasn't a clue how to attempt.  For gatherings, formal or informal mouse tends to stick to things she knows and it's incredibly rare that she screws those up.  Even if she does it's easy for her to hide an error.   A bit more sauce or extra icing or whipped cream can cover most errors.  

Weeknight meals are extremely simple and rarely lavish, unless mouse is experimenting with flavors.  Occasionally she'll try something different.  But it's best with the baby around to keep the meals easier because it's so easy to loose her place in a long complicated recipe.  

There is a skill she's never quite mastered, while most desserts turn out just fine for mouse there is one group that's just eluded her.  The Pie.  

Pies -- honestly mouse would rather do a crumble or just about anything other than a full on pie.  Now she has done a rustic pie, where you take the pie dough set it on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and just fill the center with fruit and pull the sides up.  It's appeal is that it's not supposed to look perfect.  

The second, albeit larger issue for mouse is the pie crust itself.  A funny aside, it seems to run in the family because when her grandmother passed away mouse found no fewer than 35 different pie crust recipes.  It's a very hit and miss process with mouse.  Sometimes it come off lovely and other times, gah wouldn't feed it to the dog.  

For our big formal shindig mouse wants the dessert to not only be kosher but kinda impressive too (after losing a whole weekend of possible research due to unfortunate events) and mouse was feeling the crush.  Most of her tried and true recipes aren't kosher and it wouldn't do for guests to have to wait several hours before dessert.  

Then Daddy mentioned he's fond of pie.  And yes he is.  He loves a good key lime or lemon meringue pie.  

So yesterday, mouse began experimenting just with the dough.   Unfortunately you can't make a small amount of dough (mouse has  a freezer full of dough balls with giant Xs on them).  One website recommended that all the ingredients be very cold when you begin including the flour.  Unfortunately that didn't work out too well.  The flour must have picked up moisture from the fridge after just a tablespoon of ice water it seemed to come together well enough, but it fell apart in the cooking process.  

There's also another issue, the rolling out process.  To watch people on those cooking shows you'd think it looks so simple.  Yet when mouse rolls out her dough, it just doesn't look like that at all.  It looks just terrible.  The times it did look lovely, the taste (overall) was horrible and it wasn't flakey at all. 

This must be why there are million different pie crust recipes.  Some insist if you want a flakey crust you must use lard.  Other's say vegetable shortening and still more say butter.  Honestly mouse must have been doing something wrong with each because NONE would come out right or the way mouse wanted.  

What makes a tough pie dough?  Apparently it's not just one thing, but could be several.  Over  mixing,  is common.  Over rolling.  Adding too much flour during rolling.  It's mind boggling.  Then exasperated, mouse sat down and thought about it.  

How did on earth did her Nona make pie crust without a food processor.  Truth was she didn't.  

So mouse began anew.  This time with a bowl and pastry cutter.  And learned what the dough should feel like.  The texture between her fingers.  And it worked.  Emboldened mouse did several more batches (yes we're using a lot of flour (nearly 10 pounds in this learning phase and let's not think about the other stuff).  It rolled out fine.  

So, mouse decided to further the experiment the following day.  Could she do it again?  Would her fingers remember the process?  Really she couldn't wait to get started.  After a trip to the market for more flour, shortening and the other pie ingredients like lemons -- eggs, etc.  mouse set to work again.  

The filling was easy  and came together quickly.  It was tasty.  But the meringue was an issue.  It wasn't tall didn't brown nicely....after just a short amount of time it seemed to weep and fall.  It took 4 tries (and yes mouse made four complete pies during that time) to get the meringue just right.  

At this point, honestly, mouse was rather mentally lost, the baby had been coloring and playing with her toys, running around but without mischief (yes mouse is counts her blessings on that).  But now it was nearly dinnertime and the baby was becoming very cranky.  

Pie for dinner?  No.  Daddy or mouse wouldn't approve of that.  Tentatively mouse picked up her cell and sent Daddy a text asking if he wouldn't mind picking up dinner.  He replied with a question...that depends will there be pie for dessert?  Really mouse laughed....and replied yes.  

True to his word he came home with food, a very nice spread in fact.  Think he must have gone to Whole Foods but really mouse was grateful because she couldn't stand the sight of another pie.  

The final pie, wasn't cut.  The meringue peaks were nearly perfect.  It was a pretty pie mouse would be proud to serve.  The other pies revealed a good crust, the pie filling was incredibly tasty those meringues tho did leave a bit to be desired and the reason mouse made so many.  The final one remained uncut because mouse was curious to know how long it could last in the fridge.  24 hours is optimum.  It was rather nerve wracking for mouse.  

Really must have looked at the thing in the fridge a hundred times, half expecting it to be completely deflated.  

By morning a pretty sight at all.  It was quite soft looking.  

Back to the drawing board.  

This time, mouse remade the pie without the meringue topping and left that to sit in the fridge over night.  Then in morning,  right after breakfast, mouse made the meringue.  It came out nice...looked good...Actually a bit better than before.  Nicely browned.  

After dinner mouse cut it and finally we had a taste.  Daddy approved very much.  He said it was the best pie mouse has ever made.   Still very nervous but plan on making another pie this coming weekend...

Really don't know if lemon meringue pie will still be Daddy's favorite by the time the dinner party arrives.

Just so you know the pie pictured above is not the one mouse baked.  Very similar tho. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brunch adventures

As mouse has mentioned in a post on planning (here), it's really important to try a recipe a few times before you do it for friends, family or more important people. For years now mouse has been completely obsessed with poached eggs. Many times she's tried...even using one of those little inserting things in a pan (they got stuck) so mouse decided to teach herself to poach eggs in a pan of simmering water.

So mouse watched several YouTube videos on the subject. The water was simmering vinegar was added...the water swirled...egg gently added...

And mouse watched in complete horror as it dissolved in the water! Around a dozen eggs later mouse has four perfectly cooked poached eggs. Daddy, well aware of mouse's experimenting arrived home at the appointed time, and mouse served him two of the eggs over a hash made from left-over corned beef snd potatoes.

Suspiciously Daddy eyed the plate, complimenting mouse on its appearance then broke the was truly a thing of beauty seeing it. The whites were fluffy, the yoke not terribly runny...we'll say runny in a good way.

Daddy smiled at mouse, asking if she followed a recipe for the hash...yep she had...and the eggs too she beamed proudly..

"Tell me mouse are the eggs supposed to be cold?" Daddy asked, with a cockeyed grin.

Not missing a beat, mouse replied, "As a matter of fact they are."

Later after a little more reasearch, mouse learned to keep the poached eggs warmed in a water bath.
The brunch went well tho, when mouse tried it out for friends a few weeks later.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Random Weirdness

When mouse watches a movie, or television show that shows someone cleaning it inspires mouse to clean or dig into corners and organize things. Now, it must show the right type of cleaning. Hoarder shows just don't count, nor do those "my home is a disaster please clean it for me and get rid of my crap" shows don't count. Some decorating shows can inspire mouse to clean or move things. Even reading a book can inspire mouse to clean.

After being still with all this, mouse has arrived at the conclusion that the more the home shown resembles in some ways her own home, the deeper the need or desire! Recently, after watching the film The Long Walk Home, mouse went on a complete cleaning spree -- which had nothig to do with rhe plot really at all. It's something when mouse remarked about to Daddy, he in turn gave mouse a quizzical look.

For some reason the exchange made mouse feel a bit defensive, which possibly has much more to do about her childhood than anything else. Rambling and rehashing the reasons to him, and waiting for the little light of recognition to wash over him. When he failed to see the connection, which was evident to mouse, again she relayed it to him. Mystified Daddy patiently listened, then curtly replied that he heard her the first two times. It seemed meaningless to him.

As if to really make Daddy understsnd, mouse tried something different using a cooking show as inspiration to try a new dish. Nothing.

Watching hockey or football doesn't make him want to run out and play or spend money on cleats or ice skates. So mouse supposes that it would seem off beat to him. The only thing watching golf on tv inspires him to do is run to the pro shop.

Yet it's times like these, mouse feels very simple.

Bit by Bite

Working on a menu is tedious at least it can be. Trying new recipes is well, trying but needed and our family becomes weary when they see mouse approach holding a spoon. Daddy once grabbed the kids and ran. Another time, he exclaimed to a table full of family in a wry tone that he used to love tiramisu, that was until mouse spent three weeks perfecting her recipe.

It's exasperating and frustrating because after so many tastings and samplings, your appetite and your taste buds are just ruined. This is why mouse has learned to love our neighbors. To them she can bring all the samples she wants. They're painfully honest too.

So when mouse began experimenting with mashed potatoes for our dinner -- now it should be explained mouse makes quite wonderful mashed potatoes. Lots of cream, butter sometimes goat cheese or roasted garlic. Except for the roasted garlic, completely non-kosher. Of course mouse also didn't understand it and Daddy was too polite to say much, in the beginning.

Later he examined and his mom was very polite and helpful too. Really think they were both very pleased that mouse was willing to go to such lengths.

Food is a great equalizer -- it's something we all have in common. It can be comforting when we feel horrible about something. It can evoke a memory or feeling when you smell something cooking or cathartic like kneading bread. Everyone gathers and eats, they share stories and mouse likes that idea.
So mouse now brings food to neighbors (never on a whim), but let's them know in advance. So, mouse will be bringing a side dish of mashed potatoes.

First mouse boiled the potatoes, to the first batch she added roasted garlic, soy milk and fresh herbs plus a little water.

The second contained the garlic, soy milk and chicken stock.

The third used beef stock, soy milk, horseradish, and herbs.

We'll see which people preferred.

Number three was the big winner, so long as mouse went light on soy milk :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Planning is Paramount

Once early on in our relationship, we had a few friends over to dinner. It was truly a disaster for mouse. First, she discovered at the last minute a few key ingredients were missing from the pantry. We'd planned on eating at a certain time, but due to a cooking snafu dinner was delayed by hours!

As mouse recalls she was roasting a chicken, the recipe clearly stated how long it should take to cook -- not sure if the oven or the recipe was off, but according to the thermometer it wasn't half done at the appointed time! We ran out of wine and mouse was running around to find snacks so that our guests didn't waste away. When the chicken was finally done, it was incredibly dry -- and much too small for our guests!

Friends, thankfully were quite forgiving. Important dinner guests, clients or bosses do not need to be -- they don't have a huge vested interest in you and with clients well, it's very precarious. Business deals can be won or lost over a meal -- even shoddy service in a restaurant can effect it.

The problem was in part because mouse had little experience cooking for groups. That chicken in the store looked huge (compared to the others). Now mouse knows if she were to attempt it, she would roast at least two chickens (depending on the number of guests and allow plenty of time -- remember poultry can stay out one hour or a bit longer before carving.

Another time, fewer guests and a larger chicken (yea mouse seemed determined to get the chicken right) mouse pulled it out the fridge after the recipe and several websites assured mouse it would only take 24-30 hours to defrost, and found it was frozen solid! Solid!

We had chicken twice that week. The first, served to again friends was dry -- after purchasing a replacement chicken. But the one cooked later in week was perfect!

That's the other point, only make things for special occasions that you're completely certain and confident about. If you want to try something new, try it at least three or four times before subjecting unsuspecting important guests to it. If its something you've made infrequently, try it out a week or two before the big day. Just to work out the kinks and that includes side dishes, dessert or appetizers. Even if you're trying a new cocktail -- make a batch and see how it tastes. Sometimes also, it's important to remember quantities differ when making one drink and say a pitcher. Sometimes you find you want to hold back a little of the alcohol or add a shot or two more...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Working on Details

The invites are out and accepted (a small part of mouse wished they'd refuse) now it's time to settle on a menu.  Order the rib roast and figure out how big it needs to be.

For practical reasons, we shortened the guest list.  Honestly, we simply cannot fit 16 people around our's just impossible.  It would be uncomfortably tight -- elbows and knees.  Family and friends might not mind being so cramped but we simply cannot expect others to.   We will simply have to host two parties.  One a sit down dinner for the most important (gosh that sounds horrible) and a cocktail type party for everyone that doesn't make the cut....HA!

Wow that really sounds pretentious!

This means two unique menus.

We'll be hosting a dinner for 12 (including us).  The cocktail party another evening for around 20 or so people.  All the foods offered should be relatively kosher in nature (Jewish guests are well aware what they should and shouldn't be eating).

The formal dinner will be March 21, a spring gathering and yes mouse considered preparing lamb in honor of the change in season, but two guests dislike it.  Everyone loved the idea of beef (since many shun red meats it becomes a treat -- like bacon...mmm bacon...totally miss that).

More to it develops.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


This is a companion place to The Power Exchange blog we maintain. It's a place for mouse to freely discuss party ideas and other obligations of her slavery, mothering, and being a wife.

It's a way for mouse to address her fears...of people. It's weirdly convoluted. But mouse is afraid deeply so of being an embarrassment to Daddy. It should be noted for the official record that he hasn't any such fears. He dislikes entertaining because he finds it rather taxing on his nerves. He prefers to stay aloof than to be at the center of anything. However, it's a requirement more or less for his job.

It's an obligation he's graciously been shirking for sometime and it just cannot be ignored any longer. For some reason, while people seem to not mind the occasional restaurant gathering, it's not acceptable really to invite people out. It's awkward when the check comes (even if the server is prewarned NOT to deliver it to the table). It seems most people prefer to be entertained at someone's home,

We're invited out each month it seems twice, but only recently did we actually begin accepting the invites. Well, Daddy began accepting them -- truthfully it was something mouse was in the dark about. Little bit of peer pressure -- colleagues wondering why he refuses.

He enjoys very much his coworkers, and they do understand how intensely guarded and private he is.
Not very concerned about the cooking's more about being scared about everything else one must do. And this will be happening much more frequently. At least once per month Daddy explained. These dinners could actually affect his career! No pressure there!

So, we're hosting our first really important meal next month! 8 couples and none of them "friends" but people Daddy is quite aquatinted with. Perhaps they will become friends? Really mouse can only hope. Two couples have been to our before...they seem very nice...but the others...just no clue.

Let the countdown begin....