Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

My Photo
Location: MA, United States

Find me at, and

Friday, August 28, 2009

Time for Some Change

I lost my job.

There's no better word for it. After a summer fraught with uncertainty, filled with missed opportunities to actually discuss the changes affecting the family in the autumn, and following an unresolved salary negotiation, the Bosses decided to go in a different direction. With six weeks notice.

It's a hell of a way to round out a two part, eight-years-out-of-the-last-ten stint in loco parentis.

I find myself in my early thirties with no real life experience, and a toddler who requires constant feeding and looking after. I feel like a complete failure.

To say that I am devastated and terrified is a gross understatement.

I know there are lots of people worse off than me. Way worse off. And yet, I still can't quite wrap my head around what to do next. So, I've been brainstorming. I have a few ideas, tiny germs of ideas. One of them is that I should change up the format of this here bloglet. I've said that I think it's stale, and perhaps it needs to be about something else... I still enjoy the process of putting thoughts out there, but I'm smart enough to know when to say when.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shark Cake!

Every August, I bake a cake for my godson's birthday. (Well, not last year, but that was because he was gallivanting around France. As you do.) Every year, he gives me a theme, and I run with it. Three years ago, it was dinosaurs. This year, it was sharks. Ferocious, right?

Let's start with the cake. It's a near constant thing, the search for a perfect cake recipe. One that never fails, that tastes delicious and stays moist, that pleases multiple palates. I'm thinking I've found one over at Smitten Kitchen!

This was an easy one, just a rectangular cake, decorated with a shark diving Playmobil set - a cake with decor you can keep and play with!

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Confessions of a Suburban Murderess

Weeds. Not People. Let's just get that settled straight away.

I have these weeds. They plague me. I spend hours plotting their demise. They have deep, strong, hardy roots, and grow up from underneath the old concrete of our driveway. I dig, I pull. I cannot get the roots up. I cut them back and they sprout like hydras. It's obscene.

I'm loathe to use commercial weed killers because of the kiddo and the dogs and the healthy shrubs and perennials I have on the property, so I called my old friend, the internets, to find a home remedy for the problem. After a few sites, I managed to cobble together a rudimentary understanding of the remedy.

Here's what I made*: 1 T. strong spirits (gin, preferably, though I didn't have any, so I used vodka), 1 T cider vinegar, & 1 T dish soap in a 16 oz. spray bottle. Top off with hot water. I would not use this is in a broad application. It kills indiscriminately from what I've read. Also, you would need gallons. It's not super concentrated.

I cut back the foliage of these nasty, invasive chard like weeds so that the stalks were raw, and then I sprayed the bejeezus out of them, right up in their faces, so to speak. I am optimistic that they won't come back this time.

Mwah ah ah ah....

*Hello, fine print! I am not a chemist, a horticulturist, or even an avid gardener. I cannot be held responsible for you trying what I did and deriving unacceptable results. I'm just sharing what worked for me. Then again, it hasn't worked yet. I'll get back to you on that...


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Canning is the New Knitting...

... apparently. Always one to be just behind the trend, I learned to knit in the fall of 2005. Now I find myself canning. My Mom learned from a friend of hers, years ago, and on and off over the years has produced much yumminess. I've wanted to get into it for years, but was (yes, I admit it) intimidated by the equipment. That always strikes me as funny, since I have little fear of complicated devices used for creating 2 foot tall tilted cakes... Ah, well.

She and I made blueberry jam a few weeks ago, and I was hooked!

Not one to rest on my early laurels (I prefer to rest on later laurels, or my ass, whichever), I struck out solo and jammed a gallon of frozen strawberries from earlier this summer. Canned! What next? Pickles, of course! It's string bean season here in the Northeast, so I procured 3 pounds of string beans from the farm stand, and lo! pickled green beans. Canned! While poring over my Mom's old copy of Putting Food By , I found a recipe for Lemon Honey Jelly, and threw that together the same afternoon. Canned! (and some for the fridge that didn't fit in the jars I had. It's so frickin' good!) Eagerly, I await peaches and apples, as visions of brandied peaches and apple butter dance in my head.

I think I would have made an excellent housewife in a previous era.

I think that a lot.

I can't sew, though.


Will trade pickles, preserves and scarves for garments and linens?


Monday, August 03, 2009

OK, Let's Just Say It

This. Blog. Has. Grown. Stale.

Perhaps it's me that's grown stale? I've got some ideas on freshening things up, but I'm tempted to dismantle the whole blessed thing and start over with a new concept. Or just fade into facebookland. Along those lines, things at work are less than ideal right now. The house is painfully close to completion, but seems so far, and I'm of little use to Mark at this stage (as in so many others). I'm stalled out in terms of my body, can't find a fitness regime I can enjoy or afford.

I need inspiration. I know, it's supposed to come from within and all that, but I'm not feeling it.

Anyone got anything?