Sunday, October 28, 2007


I love pumpkin. I simply cannot get enough during the fall. If you love pumpkin (or even just like it), you must try this recipe. Serve with whipped cream and maple syrup and you have one tasty meal.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter,Melted
Vegetable oil, or PAM, for waffle iron.

Heat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.
Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended, then whisk in milk, buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until smooth.
Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.

Patch and Mini-me even thought it was good. I don't know if Flower will like them. I somehow doubt she would. She doesn't love pumpkin as much as I do.


Something quite embarrassing happened this week. I got invited to join Shelfari by a friend of mine, and by my mom. I logged on, filled everything out, clicked who I wanted to invite, and clicked send. Then, I went to my email inbox and noticed some strange things. People that I had not invited were responding. I got several "thanks for the email" messages. Or "I haven't heard from you in forever!" messages. As careful as I was, I still sent the invite to my ENTIRE ADDRESS BOOK. I sent it to my Bishop. I sent it to a cross stitch designer I met several years ago and had a question for, again, several years ago. I had a few people email back that they would not be participating. I thought you weren't supposed to be embarrassed once you turned 30...So, anyone who is reading this who got an invite from me and is thinking "Wow, I don't know her that well. Why would she invite me to do this?" I am so sorry!

Friday, October 26, 2007

To Market, to Market

I read a lot of blogs. Maybe not as many as Camille, but a lot. Because I am on this quilting kick (that I hope never leaves me because it's fun), I have found lots of quilting blogs that I like. Nearly every one of them has stopped posting for a few days to go to the quilt market in Texas. The quilt market is for vendors (people who design stuff) and for shop owners (people who buy the stuff and then sell it to me). I am neither a vendor nor a shop owner, so I can't go. But I wish I could. It sounds like a lot of fun. For the next few days, I am without my favorite blogs. Maybe I can get some housework done.

Curly has taken the girls tonight to our neighborhood Halloween party. It's at the elementary school that's within walking distance, but because of the deluge of rain, they drove. I was given detailed instruction on how to properly dress Flower so she looked like a Mexican princess/flamenco dancer. I think I did okay. Mini-me is a princess. I let them both wear make-up, and they walked out of here like they were hot stuff. We took pictures, which I will post later. Patch was too tired to go. I hope he's not too tired on Halloween night -- we have a lot of houses to hit!

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to REBECCAH!!!! She's old and frail and I don't know what I'd do without her.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

And the Winner Is....

The Highlight Addict was the first to comment, so she is the first winner. Hooray!

The second winner is DanceNPlay. I will not ship to you, because you live a block away. I'll give them to you at the Trunk or Treat on Saturday (now you have to go!).

Thanks to all those who left comments, either on the blog or by email. I know sometimes it's hard to leave comments, because you can get caught in a security loop asking if you want to display insecure information, so I applaud those who broke through.

Tonight I have been working on place mats. I had several people ask if The Molly Patch did quilted place mats. Indeed, we do. I'll have photos soon.

Also, to clarify -- I am the "Best Step-mom. Ever." because Flower said so as I put her to bed last night. It's not a title I have given myself, although I would gladly do that. I have never been afraid of tooting my own horn, if you get what I mean.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Best Step-Mom. EVER.

Sorry to all you other smoms out there, I am the best one. Ever. For some of you, that news might be hard to accept. Get over it. Here's what I did to earn that distinction:

1. I made pizza. From scratch. And cookie suckers (oreos covered in chocolate on a stick).
2. I made Flower take a bath, but I let her choose the temperature and made it very short.
3. I made funny faces and gave them "relaxing" face massages while we flossed.
4. I tickled the girls.
5. I read not 1, but 2 stories tonight.

You see, I truly am the best. Ever.

It's not to late to leave a comment on my 300th post and be entered to win some coasters. If you are having trouble leaving a comment, email me a janakigin at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This morning at the gym, I was next to one of "those people" on the elliptical machines. He was someone who obviously does not watch sports, but prefers Sports Center. Every clip he watched was met with an "Oh, no!" Or, "Oh, man!" He was not as vocal as a guy I watched a few years ago, who actually yelled at the refs and kept saying "Did you see that?" to people. It took all I had not to shout back "Yes! I saw it! LAST NIGHT!!!" The guy today was also a sweater. I have observed him before, and would not have chosen to be next to him, but he came up when I was halfway through my time.

There are bullies at the gym. If you are on a machine a bully wants, they stand uncomfortably close until you finish. In the locker room, the bullies are old ladies who walk around naked. They make sure they tell you when your towel is on the wrong hook. They hog the benches. They hang with their gangs in the sauna room. They get what they want because, frankly, talking with a naked old woman is less than pleasant.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thanks, S. Baldwin

I ordered new checks online on Oct 11. On the 12th, I got a notice they had been shipped. Today, I called my bank to find out what had happened. The woman said, "There is a note from UPS saying they were signed for by S. Baldwin, the receptionist." I swear, I am going to fire that receptionist...Oh wait. I don't have one because this isn't a business it's a house!!! 40 minutes later, I have a new account and new checks on the way. Again. Hopefully S. Baldwin won't botch this one. If so, she's outta here. I don't care if it is almost the holidays.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Colin and Brad

Last night we went to the Colin and Brad show. They were on Who's Line is it Anyway? for those who couldn't place the names. The whole show is improv and was very funny. I laughed so hard I have a sore throat today. The funniest sketch they did was with mousetraps. They set 100 live mousetraps on the stage, put goggles on so they couldn't see, then walked barefoot through the mousetraps while playing the alphabet game (everything they say has to start with the next letter of the alphabet). We had such a good time.

Flower learned to ride her bike without training wheels. She has been resisting for quite some time. She does very well and now rides up and down the alley like she's been doing it forever. Mini-me wanted a piece of the action, so now has her own little bike with training wheels. The best part about her bike is that it's a Spider-man bike. Somehow, Curly managed to talk her out of a princess bike and into a Spider-man bike, thinking that it was okay for her to ride a boy bike, but Unacceptable for Patch to ride a girls bike. Mini-me doesn't care too much what it looks like, she just cares that she can go really fast. She was riding behind me yesterday, calling out, "Watch out, Mommy!" Lucky for, she never caught up.

Last night I had a very strange dream involving Troy from High School Musical, my aunt, and a Talbots store. Very, very strange.

Don't forget to keep leaving comments on my 300th post! Anyone can win, even mothers-in-law.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Here it is -- the much anticipated 300th post. What to blog about, what to blog about....I could blog about the kids, my weight, my husband, my house, my dog, my city, or my crafting. Or, I could just give something away. I think I'll just do that.

I am giving away a set of four quilted coasters made my The Molly Patch. The picture here is of one set, but if you win, I will email you photos of the other choices. I love choices. They are 4 inches square and come in lots of styles. If you don't win and would like to buy some, let me know!

So here's how to win. Be the first to write a comment. That's an automatic win. The next winner will be chosen from at random from those who leave a comment. You can comment about anything, but please, try to keep the love-fest of me to a minimum. I know I'm awesome, we don't all have to gush. You have until the 305th post to comment on this post before I chose a winner. (For those who don't want to count posts, that will happen on Monday or Tuesday.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday

I am down another 2 pounds, which makes a total of 10. I am sure my counselor would be proud of me, but she is still south of the border. I am sure she's having a marvelous time. I spent about 2 hours at the gym today and feel completely wiped out. I love the Rep-Reebok class, but I am so sore. I find myself stretching my arms and back throughout the day. Already I feel a little more toned, which is awesome. When the time comes to take our Christmas card photo, I hope to be a size smaller and a lot leaner. Wish me luck.

My next post will be my 300th. I will be having a fabulous give-away, so tell all your friends. You won't want to miss it! (I know, I know. It will never live up to the hype. Oh well.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Plan of Attack

There is much to do this week. I was all set to blog about the things we have going on, but got thrown a bit of a curve ball. The Ex's grandma is not doing well out in Cali. We will have Flower a few extra days this next week. That part is great. The extra trips out to her school are not so hot, especially since I just got our American Express bill. The gas portion was not pretty. We have the usual clean the bathrooms, kitchen, vacuum and dust, do the laundry type of chores. We have the bake a cake for a meeting and make a pot of chili for a chili cook-off type of cooking. And, we have some fun crafting coming up. It's almost my 300th post. In a couple of days, I will be having a 300th Post Celebratory Give-Away. Come back and check it out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Holiday Gift Giving

I like to have my holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving. I like to know what projects I am doing as gifts and have supplies purchased by Thanksgiving. This doesn't always happen. For one, we pay for Christmas using Curly's dinner theater tips. Good tips don't start until after Thanksgiving. For another, my handmade gift list is usually too ambitious. I've compiled a list of my favorite online sites for special gifts. Here they are, in no particular order:
  • Omaha Steaks. These steaks come perfectly portioned (the size of a deck of cards), are easy to freeze, and delicious to eat. Plus, they have lots of extras, like twice baked potatoes and molten lava chocolate cake.
  • Brownies. My sister in law showed me this site just recently, when we realized we both forgot our favorite older brothers birthday. Whoops! The only way to adequately grovel is to send decadent brownies.
  • Lobster Gram. For the ultimate foodie, this is the ultimate gift. For a reasonable price, they will send everything your recipient needs to have a great lobster meal, including the pot.
  • 1-800-Flowers. Does it bother anyone else that the website name is a phone number? That aside, I love to get and give flowers. There is something so nice and thoughtful about a bouquet of flowers.
  • Carsons Ribs. This one is solely for nostalgia. This is the restaurant we used to go to the night after Thanksgiving. The ribs are delicious and travel very well.
  • Cookies. Whether you go with the fun Cookies by Design or the mall favorite of Mrs. Fields, everyone loves a cookie. Cookies by Design even has same day delivery, so send a bouquet of cookies to yourself when you're having a bad day at work. You can sign the card "From your secret admirer." I won't tell...
  • Sausage and Cheese. Last, but not least, who can forget the great summer sausage by mail? A holiday gathering just cries out for a beef stick and a crock of cheese. Order yours today.

These are just a tip of the iceberg of what's out there. What specialty items do you like to send by mail?

Saturday, October 13, 2007


As we were waiting in line to get tickets to see Bourne Ultimatum at the Ghetto Mall, I couldn't help but overhear what the people behind us were saying.

Mom: We're gonna see _________.
Son: But I want to see ________.
M: No, it's rated R.
S: So's your movie.
M: It's a different kind of R.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Family Fun

Today we went to the best corn maze in Frederick (and therefore, anywhere). It's out in Creagarstown, MD, which is about 15 minutes from our house. Every year, the maze is a different theme. This year it was Pirates. We love Pirates. Curly's sister Beanie and her flight attendant friend Thaun came with us (I think that's how you spell his name -- not so sure). Mini-me held the map and found the checkpoints and helped us conquer the octopus maze. We are going to go back, taking Flower, so that we can go through the other two parts of the maze. Join us, if you like.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


At my quilting group this week, I started on my "Turning Twenty...Again!" quilt. No, it has nothing to do with my denial that I am 30. I wish. It's a pattern that takes 20 fat quarters of fabric and makes a quilt out of them. I got some great fabric from the store I love in Hagerstown. If anyone wants to take a trip out there with me, let me know. We can hit them and then the ribbon store, and maybe the Ann Taylor outlet. I digress...

Here are my two favorite fabrics out of the 20:

I wish the picture had been clearer. Our good digital camera was dropped (I don't like to place blame), and our okay camera has only 4 megapixels. It's stoneage. The ones out now have 10 megapixels for less than this one.

Anyway, it's a very random quilt, and I hope the ending effect is as cool as I hope it will be. Right now, I have 20 blocks that are 16 1/2" square. It's going to be a big quilt. I like big quilts. You can share a big quilt. I hope to finish the top tonight after the kids go to bed, but that's only if I can get it done before The Office at 9.

The other fun thing from this week was this great cake I made for Curly's meeting.

Again, blurry. It's a chocolate pumpkin cake with a cinnamon cream cheese whipped cream frosting and chocolate glaze. The pumpkin makes it good for you, because pumpkin is a "super food." It was a hit at the meeting and will probably be served at our Spooktacular Halloween Party. People are dying for an invitation. Missing it would be scary. Only the bootiful people will be there.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday

Today I did something I haven't done before: I turned my computer off. I went to the gym, came home and checked email, and then turned the laptop off. It was nice not to be compulsive about email and blogs all day. Instead, I was compulsive about quilting, but that's a story for another day.

It was not a stellar week with losing weight, but that's okay. I know what I did wrong (ate too much) and know how to correct it (eat less). My counselor is livin' la vida loca in South America this week. Maybe she'll bring me back a Brazilian string bikini as motivation. (Just kidding, Mom. Please do not get me a Brazilian string bikini.)

I had a disappointing first half of my workout today. The teacher was not very motivating. First of all, she was my size. I don't want an instructor who is my size. I want an instructor who is a toothpick and has more energy than my 3 year old. She also wasn't very good at calling the steps, and I got confused. I don't like being confused in front of other aerobickers. Before anyone rushes to her aide and says "Maybe she was new." No, she was not new. I remember her as an instructor before I got pregnant with Patch. The second part of my workout was fabulous. I did a Rep-Reebok class after the aerobics class. It's a toning class, where reps are counted with the beat of the music. I can really feel my triceps right now as I type. Tomorrow will not be pretty. When I went to pick up Patch from the playroom, he was laying on the mat, just looking up. One of the workers told me that sometimes he just takes a break like that. I thought it was funny and wished I had had my camera.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I have been thinking about one General Conference talk a lot since this weekend. It was "the talk" by Sister Julie Beck. She started at the Relief Society meeting, and ended in a general session of conference (which text is not yet available online, but will be by Thursday). Her talks centered around being the best in every way being a woman allows you to be. I loved her talks. They made me feel like I haven't been doing enough, especially when she talked about "mothers who know" having clean houses. I do not have a clean, organized house. I do have a renewed commitment to clean and organize. In fact, all my laundry is now folded and ready to be placed into drawers and closets. That doesn't happen very often. My floor is vacuumed, and my surfaces have been dusted. Becoming the best housekeeper is going to take some time for me, but I am up for the challenge.

There has been some major negative talk in blogland about Sister Beck's talks. I found them to be depressing and spiritually debilitating. One commentary I read, however, was wonderful. Head over to Daring Young Mom's blog to read it. She is a great writer and has good, positive things to say.

There are a lot of things that I need to work on in order to be "the best." I am excited to try.

Monday, October 08, 2007

One Week Into October...

Halloween is fast approaching. Do you have your costume yet? I just got an email saying that Patch's costume is on its way. He's going to be a spider. So spooky. We are planning a party for our family who live close. I'm trying to think of clever names for everyday kid-friendly food. I know about making hot dogs into octopuses, but I want to go beyond that. Any suggestions?

Curly is going to be home tonight, which I think is so great. We are trying to be better with our Family Home Evening. I don't know who will give the lesson, maybe Mini-me. She's a very good story teller.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I Love a Parade!

I love a good parade, especially the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Another great one is the parade that just passed my house this morning: the Frederick In the Street Parade. It starts at 10 and is done by 10:30. The Frederick High marching band kicked it off. Following them were about a dozen cub scouts. Miss Frederick participated. Politicians rode in convertibles (and got yelled at by the lesbians across the street). Chick-Fil-a gave out stuffed cows. The Musical Theater Factory performed "Thriller" as it walked. My favorite was the Frederick Pipe and Drum band, made up of bagpipes and men in kilts. Rounding out the parade was the Thomas Johnson High School marching band. Our kids loved it, especially the part where we didn't have to drive to it or fight for a spot. It's a win for everyone.

On the docket for the rest of the day is the In the Street celebration. Curly and I are singing with the Towne Singers at 2:30. The weather isn't too bad, yet, so it will probably be packed downtown. The city closes Market Street between South and 7th Streets until for the entire day. Brewer's Alley has built a brick oven on the street in front of their restaurant to make some delicious brick oven pizzas. Isabella's usually has their top sellers of asparagus fries and goat cheese fritters ready to eat. The theater groups can perform on one outdoor stage, and local bands are on several other stages around the city. It's one of my favorite festivals the city puts on, second only in my heart to the Kris Kringle Processional.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Scary Moment

Last night, we had our Towne Singers rehearsal here at our house. Mini-me was already asleep, and Patch was ready for bed, just not in it yet. He was following the cat around and followed her into the kitchen. We could hear him touching stuff, and all of a sudden it was quiet. I went in and realized he was gone. I had a slight moment of panic, thinking maybe he fell down the basement stairs. But as the basement stairs are wooden and noisy and we heard no sound, I figured that wasn't it. I looked down the stairs, and there was Patch, about 5 steps down, carefully navigating his way down. I had been working with him on down earlier in the day. The kid is a fast learner.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday

Week Two was fantastic. I am down another 2 pounds. Woo-hoo! The advice this week was "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." Being thin feels awfully good. I haven't been there in a long time.

The YMCA has been updating their machines lately. They have these great new machines that have TV screens on them. You plug your headphones in and then watch whatever you want. It makes the time go much faster when you've got Martha or Matt Lauer right in front of you.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Heart Martha

Oh, Martha. How I love thee. Let me count the ways.

1. I love the impossible desserts and time consuming dinners that you demonstrate on your show. No one I know cooks like that, but it's fun to pretend that someday, I could serve up Moroccan Lamb Tagine followed by a delicious Pear Charlotte to my family and not have them all cry.

2. I love the crafts that in order to complete, you must by the supplies from your line at Michael's. You are an expert at everything. You try to get all your guests to make stuff, even Chris Matthews had to make his own button.

3. I love that you are an expert on all things home-keeping, when we all know you're a career girl at heart.

4. I love the image of you pruning your own gardens and tending your own flock of chickens. I just don't think it happens, but you want me to think it does.

Oh, Martha. What would I do without the impossible standard of perfection you give us all? Without you, I wouldn't want to replace my dowdy old ceiling fan with a wonderful chandelier made from mini pumpkins and cranberries. Without you, I wouldn't want to make my own "Vote 2008" tee-shirt. Without you, I wouldn't want to make unique gifts out of stamps and office supplies. Without you, I never would have attempted to make my own marshmallows (but I wholeheartedly agree that store bought ones taste like cardboard).

Thank you, Martha. I really do love you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Irving

This baby quilt was made with Robert Kaufman's Every Iota line and measures 40 inches square. If you are interested in ordering this quilt, please contact me by email at jana at mollypatch dot com. Other fabrics and sizes are available.