Sunday, February 22, 2015

Being sick and my personal rant about stupid irresponsible parents

The Flu - not what I remember it being like last time. This time stuffy nose, hacking up nasty stuff. Fever on and off, headaches on and off... temp was 100.3 when I went to the walk-in. They swabbed my nose, eww... it tickled more than anything but then I sneezed like 10 time and had to blow my nose what seemed like a million. Picked up my prescriptions, got a bunch of tissues and a saline nasal mist and planning on taking a nap on the couch here soon.

My main reason for coming over is stupid parenting. It's everywhere!

"Mom accused of leaving child out in the cold while she smoked pot" - Yahoo
"Mother charged after 1 year old weighing only 10lbs admitted to hospital" - Yahoo

What the hell is wrong with these people!?!

I could NEVER do anything like that to my kids, why do these people even have kids if they don't have that instinct to care for them and provide the best they can for them? How stupid can you be really? I think people like that should be treated the way they treated their kids... lets put that woman out in the cold... lets start that mother who did that to her child.

Ok, rant done, ready for some rest...

Keep on keepin' him

So, hi, long time no see.  A little personal note before I rant and rave about how much I love this song.  My family is going through an extremely personal but extremely traumatic tragedy right now. My boys are both safe, now, and my ex-husband and I are on a long road to friendship.  There are other people involved in this who will not ever be named on a public form like this (at least not by me).  But we are under the extraordinary weight of a criminal trial and meetings with county attorneys and all that icky stuff two really good parents like my ex-husband and I shouldn't have to deal with.  But we're holding on, drawing tight and gettin' through.  To that end, my family and my little boys, especially, need every prayer, healing vibe, positive energy, every single positive thing you can send their way, I would appreciate it.  They're in a shrouded, sheltered place right now being basically smothered in love but oi, mama's worry, y'know?

Additionally, I have been dealing with some major health issues (I know you're LOL'ing right now, right? WTF Eri, when AREN'T you?  Believe me, yo, I feel you).  They're not sure if it's my gall bladder or an ulcer but it's likely one of those two.  So we schedule lots of appointments and we wait.  Right now we wait.  The only reason I would ever ask anyone to pray for me is so I can be here and be strong for my boys.  So if y'all could....I promise to return the favor (email me or leave your prayer requests in the comment box).

Now, all the serious stuff is over, how fahking fantastic is this song?  I mean really...If you take out all that b.s. about looking for another girl, you have a perfect image of what it's like to be in a long-distance-love (including the stuff about heartbreak, it's heartbreaking not to have Boston near me).  I see him everywhere.  I see him in my home, standing at the stove boiling hot dogs (which prompted me to have a cow), sitting next to me and Stomp on the couch watching tv, his arm always around me, pulling me so close to him.  I see him playing "high feet" with Joshie.  I smell him still sometimes in just the right twist of a scent on my sheets or my towels.  I see him waiting for me in our bed, our conspiracy theory talk radio all queued up for us to listen to before we fall asleep, almost always with my cheek pressed to the cool skin between his shoulder blades. I see him getting up and bringing me a cup of tea every morning, sometimes feeding me chocolate cake.  I wonder if perhaps it would be easier if he hadn't spent so many days living this life with me?  Probably not.  Long distance love is just a beast.  It requires the utmost faith in another human being.  It requires a connection and a commitment no one else can understand.  He calls when he says he will and if something has held him up, he always texts to let me know he'll be late.  But still, I see him, everywhere I go, I see him.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Savory Saturday- Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

If you like Indian food or if you like food with a lot of flavor, this dish is for you. You can adjust the amount of spice by adjusting the amount of garam masala to your tastes. You will probably have to get this spice blend at an Indian grocery store or you can order it from Amazon like I did. I was having a surgical procedure and it got here faster than I would have been able to make it to the Indian Grocery. Plus, it probably saved me money there too because I LOVE exploring Indian food, at least the not HOT side of things.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves 4 to 6

1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece whole ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
Fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups cooked rice, to serve

Cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces and transfer them to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, paprika, and kosher salt until the chicken is evenly covered with spices. Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juices.

→ If you have the time: Marinate the chicken in 1/2 cup yogurt for up to 6 hours. Shake to remove excess yogurt before transferring to the slow cooker.

→ If you have the time: Sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet until softened, then stir in the ginger, tomato paste, and spices until fragrant. Transfer to the slow cooker with the chicken and diced tomatoes. This will give your tikka masala more depth of flavor.

Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the heavy cream. If you prefer a thicker sauce, leave the slow cooker uncovered for the last 15 minutes. Taste and add more garam masala or salt to taste.

Serve over rice with fresh cilantro sprinkled over the top of each serving. The tikka masala can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen for 3 to 4 months.

Recipe Notes
•Chicken breasts can be substituted for the thighs, though I find thighs hold up better over the long cooking and breasts tend to fall into shreds. Still delicious, though!
•For a little of that smoky, tandoori flavor, try using smoked paprika and roasted tomatoes.

And we will enjoy it on Basmati rice with some Garlic Naan!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Savory Saturday on Monday. Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup


3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup onion, diced

1/2 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

coarse salt and fresh black pepper

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken broth

1 + 1/2 cups half & half

2 cups cooked white meat chicken, shredded or cut into small bites

1 pound potato gnocchi

3 cups fresh baby spinach, stems removed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

fresh grated Parmesan and/or Romano, for serving


In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat the butter and oil together over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, stirring often.Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir into the vegetables, cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the chicken broth 1 cup at a time, followed by the half & half.Add the cooked chicken. Bring up to a simmer and maintain for 20 minutes stirring often. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Cook the gnocchi separately according to package directions. Add them to the soup along with the spinach. Simmer until spinach is wilted. Stir in basil. Serve with grated cheese.


Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - A night in the life

I know some of you have been wondering what a night in the life of a single mom college student looks like.  Taking into consideration I only have one exam tomorrow night and no homework due in my writing class, this is still pretty standard.

First things first, the pretty college girl:

Then the pretty girl's pretty new Chucks...because PRIORITIES, YO.

Then the necessities...tea.  In this case acai/dragonfruit/melon green tea.  YUM.

Then Comprehensive Medical Terminology homework

Then the pretty girl post-homework

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hello, we wiped this shit out DECADES Ago!!!!

Ok, seriously people. Vaccinate your kids. Vaccines DO NOT cause Autism any more than wearing shoes does! Did you know that 100% of children diagnosed with autism were wearing shoes? Yet, no one has blamed shoes for autism. But almost all of the children in the nation were vaccinated, and they chose to blame vaccines. Let's see, I believe doctors and peer reviewed journals over a fraud quack doc who lost his medical license and a ditzy Playboy Playmate. Science or fame??? Hmmm. What gets me is that people are still refusing to vaccinate and now things that we eradicated forever ago are coming back to get us! This is not Oregon Trail, people! And it is not the 1800s. Scientists made vaccines for the greater good of humanity. Use them! Even the Autism Speaks group is telling you there is NO CORRELATION! The government is not conspiring with drug companies, and neither are out to get us with vaccines. Do you realize that by not vaccinating your child, you are also putting others at risk??? When I have kids, I'm going to vaccinate them against everything I possibly can. Measles is a bitch! A bitch that is killing innocent kids. Mumps are horrible. Rubella is awful. Whooping cough sucks. Need I continue? If you don't want to vaccinate, then fine. But go live on a prairie somewhere away from the rest of the innocent world and keep your kids at home.

Rant over. Thank you and goodnight.

Savory Saturday- Crock pot Chicken Paprikash

Crock pot Chicken Paprikash

• 1-½ whole Large Onion, Thinly Sliced
• 6 whole Chicken Thighs
• Salt And Pepper, to taste
• 3 tablespoons Paprika, Or More To Taste
• ¾ cups Water
• Tapioca Starch, Cornstarch, Or Flour (optional)
• 1-⅛ cups Sour Cream
• ¾ pounds Egg Noodles, Cooked Per Package Directions (preferably Wide, Dumplin' Style)


1. Place thinly sliced onions in the bottom of your slow cooker.

2. Season both sides of each chicken thigh with salt, pepper, and paprika (in that order). It’s virtually impossible to over season this dish, as excess seasonings will fall off the thighs, but be aware of your salt nonetheless.

You can use chicken breasts if you prefer, but I don’t find the flavor as deep. If you DO decide to use chicken breasts, make sure you get the bone-in kind (again, for deeper flavor).

3. Place your chicken thighs in your slow cooker on top of the onions. Pour the water over the chicken and cover. Cook on low approximately 8 hours, or on high for at least 4 hours. The lower and longer the better. (You can add some tapioca starch at this point to ensure a nice thick gravy at the end – I’ve never done it, but that’s the best starch to use given the low temperatures. Do NOT add cornstarch or flour at this time).

4. Once the chicken has had time to get delicious and tender, take the chicken pieces from the pot, and remove the bones. This is another benefit to thighs – very few bones! Set the meat aside. Do NOT strain out the liquid!!

5. Mix the sour cream into the liquid left in the slow cooker. If you desire a thicker sauce, make a slurry out of 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, and whisk into the gravy. Bring to a boil in a pot until thickened.

6. Stir the gravy and the chicken together.

Serve over cooked egg noodles.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday Five- Five things I have been doing instead of blogging


School has started and I am continuing in the Practice section of my Social Work requirements. This semester is practice with groups and families. So, I have been awful about posting and I apologize profusely!

1) I have been hanging with my sisters a lot. Eri and the boys have needed safe people around to remind them that they are safe from child abusing asshats. Jen P has been going through her own stuff and has needed a shoulder as well. Me, well it has been stressful and very hard a lot. We need each other. We found each other and we are not letting go.

2) School started back up at the end(ish) of January so I spend a lot of time one that. So I spend 3 days a week on campus working 4 classes and countless hours doing homework and essays.

3) Getting my boy ready for his trip to Washington D.C.

4) Dealing with some health issues along the way. Before Christmas I had steroid injections in the facet joints on the right side of my back. Next week we will do the left side to see if there is any total relief and then we decide if we need to continue them. They keep me down and out from more than 24 hours so during the semester that is kind of a pain.

5) The health issues bring with them a depression. Some days it is a huge battle to even get out of bed but most days I push on. I think that having a family helps because my kids keep me focused on reasons why I should not let the hopelessness overcome me. Two of my very dear friends have almost died this past month or so and the concern and loss of sleep is killer. Insomnia just makes the depression that much closer to being intolerable. I have been doing a lot of soul searching and praying lately.

So I guess some days I really am Fucked-up Insecure Neurotic and Emotional but I generally get along with a little help from my sistahs!

Love and hugs!!

Next Friday we will try to do something Valentine's related!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

This word nerd is rocking math class

So one of the reasons it's been so hard for me to be here is that I have been working my ass-feathers hiney off studying for school.  I have a Literature course I took for fun, a medical terminology course that is actually putting my Latin studies to work, and a medical calculations class.  Yes, medical calculations translates to OMFG MATH.  Now, anyone who has known me longer than 37 seconds knows I hate math.  Because: "Hi, my name is Eri and I'm a full-blown word nerd.  And no, putting words into my math problem is not goin to fahking help me."  

Anyway, it requires a lot of practice on my part.  But Boston's been cheering me on after being a total chicken shit tapping out of tutoring me.  We concluded one of us would end up in the hospital and it would be him.  So no tutoring from Boston.  Just lots of praise.  Lots of  "you've totally got this, Buttahcup".  And wouldn't you know it, I've got a muthafahking "A"  in that class.  Isn't it amazing how much you can learn and how much you can do, even the shit that's really scary, when you have some support?  Someone to tell you, "you were never stupid about math, Buttahcup, you just didn't have anyone to tell you you weren't stupid in math"?

So yes, my name is Eri and I'm a full-blown word nerd.  But I can do math if I believe in myself.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Can't help it, I'm in love with the boy

A teensy bit of housekeeping I guess.  I mean to be here, I truly do.  But the family and I are dealing with a pretty major and intense issue.  It requires every space cell of energy I ever have.  Except for quiet mornings like this where the baby isn't having a nightmare and the big kid is okay at school and no one's calling me to ask for a meeting or to ask me to come somewhere with information or a kid or anything like that.  So to that end: If you've stuck with us this far, THANKS! We're lucky that our readers always come around for our sometimes-intermittent posts!  God bless all y'all, I mean that.

So then.  This is on my mind this morning.  A few days ago, I was surfing FB and I came across one of those articles for women.  You know the kind: "10 things your man is doing all wrong!" "11 ways to change your man into the one!" "389 signs you should dump him STAT!".  I growled a little but I clicked anyway.  Here's what I learned (and this is super important y'all):  I should've dumped Boston ages ago.  Apparently I'm not allowed to be okay with him going out with the boys and telling me he'll talk to me later (which he doesn't do often, but still, evidently it's OMG NEVER OKAY).  I should never ever ever EVER be okay with a message that says "Hey".  Or "Ok".  Or "LOL".  Here's where I started to lose my temper.  See, Boston works hard.  Like insanely fahking hard. And sometimes he literally has time to tell me "hey" or to read what I've sent him and respond with "Ok".

For instance, this morning:  It's been a whackadoodle time at work.  Boston's been covered in snow.  MBTA is saying not to take the Red line and BPS has been closed.  To say he's a "little busy" as one of the only people who made it into work is like saying that I like Chucks a "little bit".  Nonetheless, I texted him this morning that we should try to check out John Wick on our next movie night.  His response?  "Ok". Now, I didn't fly off the handle.  I didn't delete him from my phone or my life.  I smiled that he had taken time to read what I'd said and respond, even in the middle of one of the busiest weeks at work.  So come on girls, let's be a little more understanding of our men.  "Ok" does not mean he's blowing you off.  It might just mean he's too busy to compose a 37 word reply but he still wants you to know he's heard you.  Let's remember why we fell in love with the boys in the first place, instead of finding 389 signs to dump them, ok?