Blerghity

This is a test. It is only a test. Because the chirpy “Hello, World!” WordPress sample post was driving me mad. I don’t need you setting my tone for me, WordPress. I can do that just fine.

On Thankfulness and Pecans

Good gawd. You have no idea what it is like to be in internet Siberia, until you actually are. We recently changed internet/TV providers because instead of paying four-point-eleventy billion dollars a month, I actually shopped around (Quelle horreur!) and found we could cut our monthly bill by 1/3. (ONE THIRD, Y’ALL! HOLY FECK.) But because I am a gleeful idiot, I cancelled our old service too soon and found out that our new internets would take a full two weeks to install. Oopsie.

So yeah, that whole Month of October Fallishness? Not going to happen this year. But! I’ve been busy in my lonely internet-less life. (To be *perfectly* honest, I did still have internet on my iPhone and Mackie had it on hers, so it’s not like we were total cave people knocking on rocks and painting with animal innards.) I managed to come up with a lovely binder full of bloggy ideas and recipes to try and recipes to blawrgh about, as well as some gift guides for those lovely people in our lives. (Even some for the not-so-lovely people.) Because I’m not sure if you’re aware? But it is now November? And hark! I hear those damn Christmas carols already.

(Random diatribe for the day: There is a radio station in Buffalo that starts playing Christmas music the SECOND Halloween is over. Is this necessary? I mean, really? Today was almost 67 degrees. Far from holly, jolly Christmas-y weather, no? I mean my pumpkins haven’t even gotten moldy yet. Sheesh.)

I know November is supposed to be all about the Thankfullness, and I really am for so very many things, but after these past few weeks, I am most(ly) thankful right now to be able to use the Dear Internets once again without squinting.

The girls have been asking me to bake desserts for the past few weeks, because I think they are plotting against me because they are way more into the holiday spirit than I am. I’ve obliged them and have made homemade granola bars, chewy peanut butter cookies (Divine!), buttermilk cornbread and today, three loaves of pumpkin pecan bread with cream cheese icing. I started out with one loaf this afternoon and then the girls came home from school, the husband walked in and blammo! fifteen minutes later, only crumbs remained. I then made a double batch. Because, clearly, I was on to something.

This is the fastest bowl(s) to pan recipe for quick bread. I can’t even make banana bread this fast. The hardest part is the waiting for it to bake because the smells emanating from your oven?

Scrumptious.

pumpkinpecan

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:1]

As It Goes…

* this post was written April 29, 2012. It has been sitting in my drafts folder ever since. I’ve thought many times about deleting it, because who needs to read about depressing, whiny stuff. But I decided I needed to write it, because this is my life and I have to get over this hurdle myself or grow into the person that I want to be. I did delete some of the really tripey stuff, because I just sounded too much like big, fat baby for my own liking.

Hi, my name is Kimber Schmahl and I’m an ex-Southern girl (although not a Belle, because that would imply that I was beautiful or even pretty.) No, I am just a cornbread bakin’, ocean swimmin’, pecan roll lover.
Anyway, now I reside in Canada. (You know that place that makes ginger ale? I live across the street from that factory. Oh, no, I do not.) How did I get here? Well, that’s a funny story…Not really, I just married a Canadian and moved to lovely Ontario. Where the land is fertile and there are honeymooners,Falls and beavers.
Some of you may remember me from such educational films and self-help videos like “Designated Drivers: The Lifesaving Nerds” and “Get Confident, Stupid!” Oops, I mean “Too Fabulous for Words” which was located at kimberleyschmahl.com (bookmark now!) which was my personal blog for many, many an eon (10 years, y’all!), until I was either too busy or possibly drunk to write in it for longer than two seconds.
What really happened was I had been ill for quite some time (as in years, if you’re desperate may I suggest the Archives, baby?) and after seeing many a doctor, they all shrugged and said, “Meh,” which I think is doctor-speak for “Next!” Then, last April after my big 40th birthday-palooza, I got really, really ill and suddenly started gaining fluid in my abdomen, ankles, hands and numerous other body parts. It got so horrible that at one point, I looked as if I was carrying triplets that were 12 weeks PAST due and that was when I didn’t leave the house for months. (So horrible to go out.) Then and only then did my doctors take notice and ordered another MRI, a CT scan, multiple gallons of blood for blood-work.They then discovered two arteries to my right ovary (ooh, lady parts!) and liver were constricted and my body was shutting down.

After being told that I was either going to a) die or b) expire or c) cease living, they decided to put me on a plethora of nature’s goodness (i.e. drugs) and then it was up to me to live. Which, when you have four kids, two cats and a husband is not what you want to hear.

So I took my mountain of meds, changed my diet radically (Low sodium, no grains, no sugar) and then I started to lose weight. Like scary, jaw-dropping amounts of weight. When you are 5’9″ and your weight starts to plummet, a sick little part of your brain says, “Oh, yay.” But once I hit 115 lbs, that shit wasn’t funny anymore. I think my lowest, that I actually recorded, was 103. Skelotor meet Kimber.

Amazingly, both of my doctors, gastroenterologist and endocrinologist thought I looked just fine. I was healthy AS A HORSE. But when your husband starts calling you Thinberley, you know there is a slight problem. My biggest issue was I just WAS NOT HUNGRY. But little by little, I started cooking more, getting out, walking, then eventually running, and my appetite returned. I was weaned off of all of the pharmaceuticals and I put on a bit of weight.

So live I did. I showed them.

Probably the worst thing about this the blow to my self-esteem. I didn’t want to be seen by anyone, at all while I was so sick. I didn’t get dressed. I didn’t go to the school for functions. I gave up on *me*. And it sucked. I am so thankful for my family and friends. They made me leave the house. Picked me up and drove me to their own homes to feed me and watch Netflix, when I had zero ambition to do so for myself. It was a Very Bad Place and frankly, that place can change you. It can change your outlook and your desires.

Say hi to the New (Improved! Now with more butter and glitter!) Kimber.

It’s a year later and I’m restarting my blog. Like fo’ reals, now. Because I miss kvetching about TV and annoying old ladies driving in the fast lane, as well as what’s new and exciting in the beauty and fashion industry. Not to mention my kids and husband who drive me up the wall, I mean who are the light of my life. (No, really they are. They were WORTH living for, that’s how special they are.)
There are many blogs out there that are about beauty, fashion, cooking, health, mommy-ing, parenting and general whininess, but I like to think I cover all those bases, because I’m a multitasker. I’m also loyal and loving and kind. Which, now that I think about it, sort of makes me sound like a Golden Retriever. Which I’m obviously not. Because last I checked, dogs can’t type.
So, welcome, dear Internet. It’s nice to be back.
If you would like to reach me and say positive things about this blog or my hair, please email me: kimber at kimberleyschmahl dot com.
If you have negative things to say, please write me a letter. Just address it to the US Government, c/o me. I’m sure I’ll get it lickety split.

It's a Beautiful Dayyyyy…

Love this book!

Love this book!

Do you all make to-do lists? Or do you do everything digitally? I love me some Apple-y techieness, but I still am an old fashioned notebook and planner kind of girl. I love writing it all down with my fave pens and the satisfaction of scratching that stuff off everyday. I always have one in my purse, one by my bed, one in my office, plus my planner which I drag all over hell’s half-acre.

I had planned on finishing off the changing of my warm weather clothes to my Lumpy Space Princess clothes today, as well as a fafillion other things, but I was totally distracted by the sunshiney weather and ended up farting around outside today. ( I pretended I was working-HA!) Tomorrow is another day!

Mackie asked me to start running with her, as she’s joined the swim team this year (Can I just say how happy I am that she’s not rowing this year? Those 6 am practices las year were KILLER.) so, despite not running for ages due to stupid Unicorn Death Germ Pneumonia and that my doctor said I shouldn’t run for 5 more days, I went out with her tonight.

We managed to do 2.5 miles and damn, kids, IT WAS GOOD. So happy to be out again. It was just cool enough to be comfortable, the leaves were gently falling onto the streets and we both had our own tunage, so I could listen to my Mumford &  Son and Pink and she could list to KANYE or whatever. I’ve got to work on getting my mileage back up. It’s been so hard to sit at home with the hacking and the hacking.

Tomorrow, I’m going to share a recipe for some delicious banana goodness, because I’ve got ripe bananas giving me a baleful eye every time I walk by the kitchen.

If you’re on Pinterest, go follow this board. You won’t believe all the awesome autumn goodness.

 

 

 

Oh, Hey, It's October!

Ever feel like time is just NOT on your side? Seriously, this past summer just whooshed by and then blammo! Kids are back to school, lunches are being begrudgingly made and I’m ruing the daily alarm clock bleepity bleeping.

But alas, it is fall and for that I am happy. I love, love, love me some fall. Halloween, cozy sweaters, pumpkin cake and Thanksgiving, y’all. (And turkey vultures, apparently!)

So for the next 30 days, I will be getting mah sexy blawhg groove thing BACK on and posting about Fall and maybe autumn. From the awesome foodstuffs we will stuff in our faceholes, to the latest in brisk weather wear, I will determinedly put my “I am ever so clever” writing hat back on and entertain teh interwebs. I’ve signed up for the 31 days blogapalooza from the Nester, along with many, many more prolific bloggers.

Until tomorrow, I leave you with this:

Turkey Dub-Step

Because I gotta practice my turkey twerking. Am ever so talented, kids.)

Hello, Mah Fabulous World!

It’s the new Jan Brady.

No, it’s mah new blawgh, y’all!

Giddy-up.

Scenes from a Bedroom, Part 26

I walk into our bedroom after having a shower. The husband is lying on the (newly made, I might add) bed.

Him: Look at you! You look exactly like you did when we got married!

Me: (looking in mirror at hair in towel and ripped jean shorts) Uhm, I do?

Him: Yes, Come over here…

Me: Mmmkay. (jumping on the bed with both feet and knocking my head and towel into the ceiling fan) OUCH!

Him: See? Times have not changed.

Me: OH, SHUT UP.

Honestly.

Will I ever be graceful?

I don't think so.

In other news, HAPPY CANADA DAY, Y'ALL.

Oops, I meant, YOU HOSERS.

 

Bring on the Summer, Baybee!

Today is the first day of summer vacation here in Canada-land. And, well, I'm not a meteorologist, but I believe it isn't acting like summer.

Emmersen has been moping about, as the older kids are all out, and the SUN? IS NOT SUNNY. In fact, it's down-right hideous out. Drizzly. Soggy. Humid.

So, in an effort to entertain the offspring, I let Em go outside and tromp through the garden. I then dug out my camera and let her pretend she was having a photoshoot.

AND THEN SHE BROUGHT IT, LIKE A BOSS.

Em-Rain

After both of us getting soaked in the process, I managed to get a few good shots. Then we came in and ate some some crap and there was coloring (her) and sneaky chocolate consumption (me).

Here's hoping the other kids come home and entertain her if this rain keeps up. One day in and I'm tired, y'all.

Ha.

 

 

BLEEEEEEP

Testing, testing…1…2…3. Is this thing on?

Do not be alarmed. This is only a test.

A test to let you know that I'M HUNGRY.

Oh, and this blog will be back up and running with ever so many inane posts and hilarious frivolity.

In the meantime, check out this cuteness:

IMG_1906
Yes, she's holding a plastic tulip and wearing some really loud daisy earrings (clip-ons!), and no, I don't know where she gets the tackiness from. I'm going to blame the husband on this one.

Peace, love and nannyberries, kids.

The Years Long Hiatus is Ovah

Well, I've finally gotten over my bloggy blog block and decided I need revitalize this place. I mean there is only so many blog posts composed in my head at 3 am that one girl can take. Much better to write it all out and let the internets have at it.

I did write a three page summer re-cap this past August and bleepy, bleepy, bleep bleep Typepad ate it.

SO MUCH FOR THE AUTO SAVE FEATURE.
 
BAH.

Anyway, time has rolled on.

This year, Emmie is in Junior Kindergarten. She absolutely loves it. Mackie-pants in in the 7th grade and is totally into horseback riding and has lessons and such. Keats is a sophmore and he claims school is gay. Whatever. Alejandro is at Brock University and I think he really likes it. (We don't get a lot of info out of him.)

We are STILL dealing with insurance from last year's fire. It has been a complete nightmare and I wouldn't wish any type of fire on my worst enemy. But we are carrying on! Can't dwell on what complete cheap bastards our insurance company is!

*cough*

Other than THAT, things are really great. My one of my best friends just came up from Florida for a visit and other than sit on the couch and drink wine, all we did is laugh. It was awesome. It is nice to know that 21 years later, we still laugh about the same stuff. Am now making plans for me to get-away down South because clearly we both need that.

I've had Emmersen home for the last two days because she woke up with ear infections in both ears and a very wheezy chest. Poor baby. Five (FIVE!!) medications later, she's feeling a bit better and so today I thought I'd throw a pot of chicken and dumplings on, because it just makes you feel better. FULLER. But still better.

KFK is coming on Saturday and I emailed her this morning to tell her to prepare herself to haul some home because I made a triple batch. I sent her home with some last month and SHE ATE ALL OF IT HERSELF. Which is awesome. Because she's the size of Tinkerbell. I told her that I am trying to make her fat so that I look better standing next to her. I think she's on to me.

Before boring you with the best recipe EVER, it's Picture Time!

  100_0757 First day of school! Whee!

100_0870 Yes, she's still a circus performer. Next stop carnie-town.

100_0791 That's right. She is also a part-time whale trainer.
100_0510 No, honey, I promise not to put embarrassing pics of you on the internet.

100_0783 No, I know. Mothers who do that are SO annoying.

Photo on 2010-06-19 at 18.02 #3 But you are quite the beauty baby.

100_0461 Although your brother? He's a bit…weird.

(At the cottage this summer.)

100_0386 But for the most part, life in Schmahl-land is good.

And here's tonight's dinner:

Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings

For the broth:

1 roasted chicken, with breast meat removed and reserved (and thigh meat if you are into that sorta thing)

3 stalks celery snapped in half

1 bag of baby carrots

3 cloves of garlic smashed

2 tsp. salt

5 black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

4 stalks of parsley

i sprig of thyme

1/2 lemon, thoroughly washed

I large onion, quartered

Dump into pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for an hour and a half. Lower heat and strain all solids from broth. Reserve carrots and celery if your family likes it. Return broth to heat and season with salt to taste. Add a generous helping of freshly cracked pepper.

For the dumplings:

4 cups of flour

4 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. salt

2/3 cup shortening

1 cup milk (may vary with humidity)

Combine the dry ingredients and cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Once crumbly and bread crumby, slowly stir in the milk with a fork. Dump on counter and gently knead 5-7 times until it stays together when you squeeze it. You don't want it sticky, nor too dry. Think biscuit dough. Hide under bowl and let rest for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, slice baby carrots into rounds and add to broth. Bump up heat on burner to bring the broth to a bubbly simmer.

In batches, roll out the dough to about pie crust thiness. (I am a bad measurer.) Slice into strips and then into 1" squares. Drop individually into broth until all dough has been rolled out. Simmer gently while stirring every ten minutes or so. Don't stir roughly as you may break up the dumplings. Slowly the dumplings will expand and rise to the surface and then shrink and sink. After about 45 minutes, the broth will take on a creamy and delicious texture. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

100_0896
 Photography maybe crap, but this is something you're going to want to bathe in.

Just sayin'.