Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chili, more chili, and cake, oh my!

A couple of nights ago we had a very hastily planned birthday party for The Engineer. (When your birthday is five days after Christmas, parties tend to be "hastily planned.")

I made chili. LOTS and LOTS of chili--two large pots of turkey chili, plus a small pot of vegan chili (no meat, extra beans.) Here it all is, simmering on the stove--with a small, improvised double boiler in the back, melting chocolate for cake frosting. My stove was happy being so well-utilized!

turkey chili with vegetables

I love this chili recipe, which I got from SnoWhite's blog Finding Joy in my Kitchen. She got it from another blogger, Lucy, who got it from somewhere else.... You know how it goes! I altered it to fit our tastes, and the recipe is at the end of this post. It's chock full of veggies, and uses lean ground turkey instead of beef. It's healthy and absolutely delicious. Here is a photo of the chopped veggies I used--three recipes' worth.

turkey chili with vegetables

And the finished product...

turkey chili with vegetables

I also made Oreo Cookie Balls, with Candy Cane Oreos. These are so easy! And somehow people find them impressive, even though the ingredients are anything but fancy.

Oreo Balls

The cake...mmm. This is my go-to easy chocolate cake recipe now: Too Much Chocolate Cake. I made one recipe as directed, as a bundt cake, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

chocolate bundt cake with powdered sugar

I made the other as a two-layer round cake, with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting

And as much as I like frosting, I preferred the simple bundt cake. It was rich and delicious. (The Engineer, however, who is not generally a frosting guy, really liked the frosted cake. This frosting is not terribly sweet.)

For recipes, just click on the names of the dishes above. The chili recipe is below. Enjoy!

Turkey Veggie Chili
(Or Vegan Veggie Chili)
Modified from SnoWhite

  • 1 pound ground turkey (omit if making vegan chili)
  • Minced garlic (2-3 cloves or 1-1 1/2 teaspoons from jar)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (preferably of different colors)
  • Carrots, chopped (2 large or 10 baby-cut)
  • 1 zucchini, chopped (unpeeled)
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped (unpeeled)
  • Diced tomatoes with juices (2 regular cans or 1 large can)
  • 2 cans beans (any variety), drained and rinsed (4 cans if making vegan chili)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (use more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Grated cheese (such as cheddar or monterey jack), optional (omit if making vegan chili)
  • Corn chips (such as Fritos), optional
1. Brown ground turkey with garlic in large stockpot. Drain if necessary. (Skip this step if making vegan chili, but put garlic in with the rest of the ingredients in the next step.)
2. Add remaining ingredients. Stir.
3. Cook on medium low until vegetables are soft. (Higher temperature is okay if you're in a hurry.) Simmer on low a few hours if you have the time. Stir occasionally.
4. Serve topped (if desired) with corn chips and/or cheese.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Trophy wife

When I started dating The Engineer, I was 21. I was surprised to find out he was 29. An older man! We got married a year later, and we both jokingly said I was his "trophy wife." I'd say, "When you're 40 and I'm 32, you're going to look so cool."

Well, somehow that day came a lot quicker than I realized it would. Today The Engineer is turning 40 years old. Of course, now the eight year age difference seems much smaller than it did then. I don't feel like a trophy wife--instead, I feel like an equal partner. The mother of his children. The love of his life. Glad to be married to the love of my life.

Happy Birthday, my Engineer. When you're 80 and I'm 72, you're going to look so cool.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yep, that's funny

I'm at the end of a very busy day, as I write this on Monday night. So instead of trying to convince my brain to come up with something brilliant, I'm linking you to an absolutely hilarious article:

Yahoo Answers' Dumbest Questions

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Micro: Chickie's Ratings

Chickie's rating system for movies and TV shows:

Animated: 5 stars
Live-action: 1 star

Ah, the simplicity of an (almost) four-year-old.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas collage

In an effort to share Christmas photos with you...without overwhelming you by their sheer it is! A Christmas collage. Click it if you'd like to see a larger version.

Hope you're enjoying the weekend! We sure are.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

We Elved Ourselves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

And my six words for Six Word Saturday:

Hope you loved Christmas. We did!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas wish

May your heart be full of joy,
Your home be full of smiles,
And your stomach be full of goodies.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I love running. (HOW did THAT happen?!)

I'm on Week 8 of the 9-week Couch-to-5K running program. I blog about my running at C. Beth Run.

I've always been someone who said, "Ugh, I hate running. I hate that feeling where my lungs are burning. I admire people who run, but I don't want to do it!" So how in the world have I gotten to this point that I'm actually enjoying it?

By "enjoying it," I don't mean I love every minute of it. The last few minutes of the run are distinctly un-fun. In fact, during the whole run, I look forward to it being over! But there are several reasons I've ended up loving running:
  1. It's so simple. No special gear is absolutely necessary except shoes. I can quickly get ready and get out of the house.
  2. It's fast. No trip to the gym, no one-hour training sessions. In under 35 minutes, I get a great workout. (And I only run three times a week.)
  3. I have a very, very active dog, and when he runs with me it gets out a lot of his energy. (As I write this on Wednesday, several hours after our morning run, Hammer is sleeping in the back yard.)
  4. It's something I can do without the kids--a type of "me time."
  5. Afterward I feel great--energized, with my blood pumping. I love looking in the mirror and seeing my flushed cheeks. I feel so healthy after a run.
  6. As a beginning runner, my stamina and speed have quickly increased. I know I won't always see such rapid improvement, but right now it's exciting.
  7. It gets me outside. I can sometimes be a hermit, and enjoying the morning sun (or clouds) starts off my day on a good note.
So here I am, nearly done with my Couch-to-5K program, but wanting very much to keep running. It's crazy...and wonderful, too.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's worse than a two-year-old's tantrum?

Answer: An almost-four-year-old's tantrum. That girl sure can scream! And those extra years have given her more stamina too....

Too bad she has such a mean mommy who drives her into such fits!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas...or Happy Holidays? (My opinion may surprise you.)

Every Christmas I get emails bemoaning the sad state of affairs we're in. Stores have banners proclaiming not "Merry Christmas!" but "Happy Holidays!" Schools have a "winter break," not "Christmas break." And occasionally a decorated evergreen is called a "holiday tree."

Now, I'll admit the "holiday tree" thing is almost as ridiculous as calling a menorah a "holiday candlestick." But I'm also going public with this belief:

I'm okay with "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings." You don't have to tell me "Merry Christmas" for me to enjoy shopping at your store or greeting you in the street.

I'm a devout Christian. I believe that the Bible is true, that Jesus really was born to a virgin, and that these things are worth celebrating and sharing.

But, really, is a huge "MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!" above the Barbie and Lego pictures in a Target ad going to convince someone to believe in Christianity? And as a Christian, does "HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!" really threaten the beliefs of my heart and mind? If it does, I think I've got a problem.

I think a lot of this is tied to a sense of dismay held by many Christians--dismay that America is "no longer a Christian nation." Well...we aren't. And we weren't ever meant to be. Sure, a lot of Founding Fathers were Christians. Plenty of others weren't. They very specifically did not create the USA as a theocracy.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." That's straight from the First Amendment. In order to be truly free to practice whatever religion we want (or not to practice at all), we've got to be in a country whose government doesn't recognize any particular religion as more true than any other.

If that means public schools want to call it "winter break" instead of "Christmas vacation," I'm fine with that. Just as I don't need Target ads to validate my belief in Christ, I'm not going to depend on public schools to give my children religious education. It's a break from school, and it's in the winter. Winter break. Works for me.

And that whole "free exercise" thing means that Target, Sears, & Wal-Mart can celebrate Christmas if they want (or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or none of the above, or all of the above.) I'll wholeheartedly defend their right to make those decisions. I'd expect to be defended in my right to act according to my beliefs, too.

This December my family is celebrating the Christian version of Christmas, including sending out a Scripture-quoting card. And when I say "Merry Christmas," you can respond with "Happy Holidays," "Season's Greetings," "Happy Hanukkah," "Happy Kwanzaa," or "Yippeekiyay, it's Winter Solstice and the days are going to get longer again!"

I may not agree with your beliefs, and you may not care for mine...but I think most of us can concur that religious freedom is a beautiful thing, any season of the year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Micro: He may need a lesson in anatomy

Zoodle has been weaned for almost three months, but he still remembers his mommy milk, which he called "Mao." (I think this is a simple toddler mispronunciation, not an indication of any interest in Chinese communism.)

The other day he picked up a toy dinosaur, lifted his shirt, placed the dinosaur's mouth on his belly button, and said, "Mao."

I'm glad he never tried to latch onto my belly button. (And I'm glad he didn't have T-Rex teeth.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Smart Santa

Zoodle had no problem getting on Santa's lap, once he had a candy cane to hold.


Chickie, however, had told me beforehand, "Mommy, when I see Santa, I'm going to hide behind your leg." That was her plan, and she carried it out to the best of her ability.

So Santa got off his chair and said, "Mom, why don't you and your daughter sit here for a minute. I have something I need to look at behind the chair."

We complied, and The Engineer had the camera ready.


So we got Chickie's first picture with Santa. (She just doesn't know it yet.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Repeating tile blog backgrounds (free!)

I've really enjoyed making repeating tile blog backgrounds in the last few months. With a repeating tile background, you can have a fun graphic on your sidebars, one that repeats seamlessly without visible edges. They're fun to make!

I decided that once I've "retired" a repeating tile background, I'll make it available here so that anyone who wants to, can use it. And when I'm feeling creative, I may make tiles just for giving away, without using them myself. (I made a few last night; see below.) I'll update this post periodically, and I'll keep a link to it in my blog sidebar so you can easily find it. do you use these backgrounds? Blogger Buster has a fantastic, free tutorial that should really help you, if your blog is on the Blogger platform. Just click here. If you use Wordpress or another platform, you're on your own!

These backgrounds are free for the taking, for personal or commercial use. But do not sell any of these backgrounds or claim that you designed any of them yourself. If you'd like to put a link on your blog sidebar to this post, that would be fantastic, but it's not required. And if you'd like to leave me a comment letting me know where you used one of these, that would make me happy.

Click on the graphic you like to see it in Photobucket, where you can copy its Direct Link (URL.)

Flower repeating tile, dark:

Flower repeating tile blog background graphic spring summer free

Flower repeating tile, light:

Flower repeating tile blog background graphic spring summer free

Christmas gingerbread tile, white:

Christmas gingerbread repeating tile blog background graphic

Christmas gingerbread tile, light green:

Christmas gingerbread repeating tile blog background graphic

Christmas gingerbread tile, dark green:

Christmas gingerbread repeating tile blog background graphic

Christmas gingerbread tile, red:

Christmas gingerbread repeating tile blog background graphic

Stars tile:

Black stars repeating tile blog background graphic

Coffee tile:

Coffee repeating tile blog background graphic

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas lights...a holiday memory

Tomorrow it will be the third anniversary of one of the most bizarre days of my life, when I took The Engineer to the ER and we found out he had "something" bad on his brain. Thankfully, that "something" (an abscess) was successfully removed on January 2, 2007, and today he has no lingering aftereffects. We are so thankful!

The Engineer was admitted to the hospital that day, December 19th. I took Chickie with me to spend most of the day there each day, until he was released on the 23rd.

One of those nights I drove home in the dark. I was weary. It had only been a couple of days, but I was feeling the physical and emotional fatigue that overwhelms someone who has been suddenly knocked over by the sledgehammer of family illness.

I drove through our neighborhood, seeing the lights people had put on their houses. We hadn't put lights on the outside of our house, but I liked seeing our neighbors' decorations. I turned the corner onto our street.

And there, on our lawn, were two decorative deer, brightly shining with white lights, welcoming me home. I immediately burst into tears. I had no idea who had put them there, but they were just the lift my heavy spirit needed.

Several days later I found out which neighbor had put the deer on the lawn. He nervously asked me if that was okay. I don't think I managed to adequately convey to him how much the gesture had meant to me. Hopefully he was more convinced when, after New Year's, I repeatedly turned down his offers to take the deer off the lawn. By then The Engineer was recovering from surgery, and some days I was still coming home late at night from visiting him. The shining deer sat there, longer than Christmas decorations really "should" be out, bringing light not only to the neighborhood, but also to my heart.

Thanks, Marc and Melanie. Three years later, your gesture of kindness remains as one of my most treasured holiday memories.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Yesterday was a day of firsts...

Chickie's first hot cocoa with marshmallows. (She managed to eat the marshmallows before spilling most of the cocoa.)


Zoodle's first time painting...


...and first masterpiece.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teach your children well...

...and they'll break things.

It's part of letting kids "help." Our most recent victim was the dryer.

Now, I should point out that this might have been my fault. The kids were helping me with laundry, and somehow the lint trap wasn't put in place for one dryer load. I'm choosing to blame it on the kids, since I don't remember ever forgetting to put that lint trap back. But I guess it could have been me.

Anyway, whoever's fault it was, we ended up with a dryer that wouldn't work. The Engineer thoroughly cleaned the lint/exhaust pipe, and found a couple of socks that had been sucked into the hole where the lint trap goes, but the dryer still refused to function. I contemplated calling a repair company. I wondered if we'd have to buy a new dryer. I avoided asking The Engineer the truly important, truly horrifying question:

"If I get a new dryer for Christmas, does that mean I'm
not getting my new mixer?!"

And then I started asking for advice from folks in a local online chat group. More than one person strongly encouraged us to try to fix it ourselves, giving us ideas of what might be wrong and of where to find information online. I started Googling phrases like "How to disassemble Amana dryer." Eventually I came across the official service manual, free for the taking. I downloaded it, printed it, and presented it to The Engineer.

And Monday night, he dragged the dryer into our open entryway and, using the service manual (which was surprisingly well-written), he took apart the front of it. He found one more sock, stuck in the blower. When the offending item was removed and the dryer was reassembled and reinstalled, I nervously listened from the other room.

My face broke into a huge smile when I heard that familiar sound of a beautifully-functioning dryer. I led the kids in a round of applause for our handy Engineer.

They're learning to help around the house. And they're learning that when something goes wrong, sometimes you can put a little elbow grease into it, and fix it yourself. Not a bad situation, after all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All I want for Christmas... a good night's sleep.

Well, that's not totally accurate. I usually do sleep well. I just had a very rough time Sunday night, and as I write this on Monday I'm suffering from brain fog. And I'd better sleep well before Christmas rolls around--Monday night would be a good start.

Whew, good thing I normally don't have too many sleep issues. My blog would really suffer.

I hope my brain will be turned back on by Tuesday so I can have a decent post up for you on Wednesday.

Edited, Tuesday morning: Slept pretty well last night. I've got an ear infection, which is why my sleep has been interrupted, but it's much better now. Tomorrow's post should be bearable...though I won't promise brilliance!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Micro: A girl after my own sweet tooth

Friday I made sugar cookies with the kids. They both love putting sprinkles on cookies, and they are generous with those little bits of colored, sugary goodness.


Chickie was able to help not only with the sprinkles, but also with mixing the dough and cutting out the shapes.

Later in the day, I reflected on the somewhat complicated process of cutting, mixing, and decorating, and I asked Chickie, "What was your favorite part of making cookies today?"

She took a moment to think about it, then responded,

"Eating them."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Six Word Saturday

It's that time again...Six Word Saturday! To find out more about 6WS and to participate, check out Call Me Cate's neato blog by clicking the button below.

My words:

I feel pretty, oh so pretty....

I was singing that song from West Side Story last night before The Engineer and I left for his work Christmas party. Really, every full-time mom should be required to attend one event in a pretty new dress, each year--without kids.

Christmas party dress

Chickie couldn't stop rubbing my hosiery-clad legs before we left. She wasn't sure what that smooth stuff on my legs was....

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Christmas card, from our family to yours


(By the way, I got a fantastic deal on the printed versions of these. I got 5x7 cards--including envelopes--for 39 cents each at Winkflash. Use the coupon code "HOLIDAY09" for 40% off all cards. Shipping is extra; for me it came to about 10 cents extra per card.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

These cups are nifty

You know how you go to a party and they've got a marker right next to the cups so you can label them? Well, at our party Tuesday, someone brought the coolest little cups. They're called etch-it cups. They've got a black space that can be "etched" with your name, just using a fingernail. (It's a lot like a scratch-off lottery ticket but the black part is nice and thin--not a lot of black dust under your nails.) So neat!


Over and over, guests raved over them. What a great invention! (I think we had 100% drink-labeling compliance!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas decorating...with help

Monday I was thinking about what I needed to do before the party we were hosting Tuesday night. Cooking, cleaning, kid-wrangling...and suddenly it hit me. I can't have a Christmas party at my house with no Christmas tree!

We're decorating procrastinators. But with a fire lit under me, I decorated the house yesterday.

Thankfully I have two kids who are old enough to participate this year.

It was Chickie's job to decorate the tree...


...and Zoodle's job to undecorate it.


We'll be putting ornaments back on the tree all season long. I guess it's a way to extend the merriment of decorating...right?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's that time again...

Christmas is coming! That means...


Mmm. Last year I wrote about the tamales Little Sis' grandma makes. Well, it's that time of year again, and Sunday I bought two dozen tamales from her again. One dozen went in the freezer; the other dozen in the fridge. Last night, we feasted on tamales. Mmm, mmm, mmm. (And did I mention, mmm?)

Our church is handing out baskets of Christmas goodies to the other businesses around us. (We are located in a business park.) So I volunteered to make bread and cookies. Little Sis was here to help over the weekend. (Thank goodness she was here!) We made 32 loaves of braided challah bread and 400 bite-sized peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

I also helped with a baby shower Saturday baking two green chili egg casseroles and a bunch of mini cinnamon rolls.

And tonight, our Bible study group from church is having our Christmas party. I volunteered to have it at our house and to make a ham and rolls.

Somehow when I volunteered for all these things I didn't realize that all three events--the shower, basket goodie deadline, and party--were all within four days of each other. I was busy in the kitchen over the weekend, and today I'll be busy again.

Which is why last night, those tamales tasted even better. I love my kitchen, but boy is it a treat to eat an amazing meal...cooked by someone else!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday Micro: Fashion confession

I got this new shirt the other day.


Now it's confession time.

I got it at Wal-Mart.

But wait, there's more--the brand is Miley Cyrus (by Max Azria.)

So not only did I buy clothing at a place not known to be at the peak of fashion, but...Miley Cyrus? Apparently I think I'm 15 years old.

Why do I suddenly have an urge to buy some glitter makeup and skinny jeans?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Running running running!

I'm still running.

That statement has two meanings. I'm continuing my Couch-to-5K training. And I'm running, running, running, with all sorts of busy responsibilities this weekend (well,really, this month). My weekend activity mostly seems to be cooking-related, so at least I enjoy it!

Instead of coughing up a whole new post for today, I'm sending you to my running blog, C. Beth Run, today, to read about a big milestone I hit yesterday. I was pretty darn excited about it. Click here to check it out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Six Word Saturday

It's that time again...Six Word Saturday! To find out more about 6WS and to participate, check out Call Me Cate's great blog by clicking the button below.

My words:

Zoodle's first snowfall was pretty anticlimactic.



Friday, December 4, 2009

Advent calendar

I remember having chocolate advent calendars--with one piece of chocolate for every day of December until Christmas--one or two years as a kid. I can still remember the taste and smell of the chocolate. It wasn't even good chocolate, but I loved it.

So when I saw these little chocolate advent calendars in the World Market ad for $1.79 each, I knew I had to get some for Chickie and Zoodle.


But there was one problem--when I got out the calendars for the kids Tuesday, I realized I'd made a cruel mistake--I hadn't gotten one for myself.

So instead of just watching them eat their chocolate Wednesday, I grabbed a goodie for myself too. I don't get the fun of opening a window every day...but Dove dark chocolate probably tastes a lot better than the candies in the calendars.

Photobucket really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Engineering an omelet

Last week I saw The Engineer holding a plate of delicious-looking breakfast--eggs with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and cheese. It looked fantastic, and I commented on it.

"Yeah," he said, "I was going to make an omelet. But I put the eggs on the griddle (which is totally flat with no edges) and it started going everywhere, so I turned it into a scramble instead."

I looked at my highly-intelligent husband, my Engineer who does design work for water and wastewater treatment plants, who is an expert at water flow (but apparently not egg flow), and started to giggle.

"Why in the world," I asked, "did you use a griddle for an omelet?"

Thankfully he laughed too. "I don't know," he admitted.

We got a good laugh out of his plate of scrambled eggs (that tasted just as good as an omelet would have.) And I decided that while I'd be happy to trust my drinking water to him, maybe food engineering is best left to me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A merry mess

For the first couple of days of our vacation last week, we stayed with The Engineer's nephew (only a year younger than him) and his family. They are a busy family! His nephew, J, is a teacher, and he works at a family jewelry store. J's wife, P, works as a nurse and teaches nursing at a college. Add in a six-year-old daughter and a five-month-old son, and I'm not sure how they do it all!

Yep, they're busy. And when I went into their house, I could tell. It was cluttered, with toys all over the place. When the kids made messes, P encouraged me not to worry about it.

Before we left, I said to P, "I'm going to tell you something, and I hope you don't take it wrong." That's probably not the greatest way to start a conversation, but I quickly continued. "I'm glad your house isn't perfectly clean. I feel like I can relax, without worrying that my kids are going to mess anything up."

P expressed relief and said she'd been concerned we'd think they were slobs. I'm actually glad they didn't stay up until all hours of the night trying to get the house "ready" for us.

In less than 20 years, their kids and ours will be grown, and we can give our homes the white glove treatment if we really want to. But until then, I appreciate J & P reminding me that a welcoming atmosphere has a lot more to do with how you treat your guests than with how organized your home is.

I haven't spent a lot of time with J & P, but I thoroughly enjoyed it last week. I'm looking forward to the next time our families can get together--whether it's at their messy house, or mine.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Funny name, serious game

When we got home Sunday night from our Thanksgiving trip, I was tired. Monday I had to take a nap.

Why? Because of a card game called Pinochle.

Pinochle can be played in any number of ways. Of course, the only right way to play is the way I learned from my parents and my Mamma and Papa (maternal grandparents.) The right type of pinochle is played with four people (two teams.) Beyond that, it gets too complicated to explain in a blog post...though I will tell you that pinochle decks are made up of 9s, 10s, jacks, queens, kings, and aces (two of each card in each suit), and if you're playing the right way, you'll use two decks, with the 9s removed. I guess the 9s are only there for people who play in one of the wrong ways. (I know this sounds terribly closed-minded, but this is pinochle--I can't be open-minded about something so important!)

As you can tell, I'm passionate about pinochle. It's a game that requires a lot of strategy, but there's also a whole lot of luck involved. That's one reason I enjoy it. I've been playing for about 20 years, and I feel like I'm finally getting better at the strategy part of it...but the game has always been fun, because being dealt a great hand is thrilling whether or not you're good at strategy. And having a partner makes winning more fun...and losing more bearable.

I don't get to play pinochle very often. Our way (the right way, remember?) requires four people, and because most people don't know how to play, so I usually play when I'm spending time with my mom's side of the family. We were staying at my great-aunt's house Friday through Sunday, and my grandparents were there too. So both nights, my aunt, grandparents, and I stayed up until after midnight both nights, playing this game. I got home tired...but oh, it was worth it!

I think it's time for me to find some friends here in town who want to learn the right way to play pinochle. I found myself quickly addicted again this weekend, and I don't want to go into recovery! I'd prefer to share the addiction with others. (Local readers...let me know if you're intereste