Wednesday, May 16, 2012

RIP Old Laptop... Welcome New Laptop!

After a long posting drought, because, well life had just gotten in the way, I had finally gotten moving a bit and made a few posts when my laptop crashed on me.  Sadly, there wasn't any salvaging it, so a replacement was in order.  After two weeks of computerlessness, it finally arrived today!

I am still figuring it out, but it feels soooo good to actually be back online.  I had some access to the Internet on my phone, but not nearly enough to function.  I love my little Palm Pre as a phone, but an iPhone it is not.

My new baby's keyboard is just slightly different than the old one was, so I am continually hitting caps lock and home when I try to shift or back space and such.  I'll get the hang of it soon enough, I'm sure.

I was actually in the middle of a post on my low fat gumbo recipe when the computer formerly known as mine went down.  I'll try to get that finished up and posted soon.  Right now I am just happy to be back!  <3

Thursday, April 26, 2012

RIP Old Crock Pot... Welcome New (and Improved) Crock Pot!

I love Crock Pots.  I have several of them in different sizes and it's a rare week that I don't cook at least one meal in them.  My favorite for the last several years has been this fella. 

He won my heart because he was a Smart Pot, meaning that I could set a timer, rather than just turning him on High or Low.  I had a choice of High for for either 4 or 6 hours, or Low for 8 or 10 hours.  At the end of that time he would automatically kick over to Warm, where he would stay until we turned him off.  He has spoiled me.  If I wanted to use one of my smaller pots for something, I would really debate over it, because it would require that I pay more attention.  (Such first world problems I have!)

Not one to simply be satisfied with how I am being spoiled, I often wished that I had more options.  For example, when I make baked potatoes, they need to cook for 6 hours on Low.  That was not one of the setting options, so it would require me to actually pay attention and turn it off at the 6 hour mark.  It was grueling!

Time marches on though; he served me well, but finally cooked his last meal and bit the dust last week.  Whatever was I going to do now?  Amazon to the rescue!  (Yay for free shipping with Amazon Prime!)

She's so shiny it's hard to get her picture because of the glare.

This lovely lady arrived a few days ago.  Isn't she beautiful?  So shiny!  She's full of gumbo right now, cooking her inaugural meal. 

She's not just a looker though; she has several features her dearly departed predecessor didn't have.  Most importantly, she's programmable for anything from 30 minutes to 20 hours.  Her digital timer also counts down showing how much time is left, so if I don't happen to remember what time I started the pot, no worries!

She also has this nifty locking lid, so if I want to take her somewhere, I can do so without worrying about spills.

The only thing that would make her any more perfect is if I could program her to cook for a few hours on High, then kick over to Low for a few more hours before going to Warm.  I guess we can't have everything though.  At least not for under $50.

P.S.  I have no idea why the new Crock Pot is a girl and the old one a boy.  I don't even know why I am anthropomorphizing the kitchen appliances today.  ;D

Monday, April 23, 2012

Light and Easy Crock Pot "Hot Links"

When I started this post I took lots of pretty pictures to go with it, but somewhere in the process of dumping them from my camera to my computer, one or the other ate them.  : /  Maybe I can get some pics to add next time I make it, but I won't make you wait for that, so here goes:

One of our favorite meals is barbeque "hot links."  It couldn't be any easier to make.  It has just three ingredients, turkey sausage, barbeque sauce, and water.  I like to make a bunch when I make it, so I use:

4 packages of Oscar Meyer Turkey Sausage (12 ounces each)
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Barbeque Sauce (or whatever brand you prefer)
Enough water to cover the sausage

I cut each piece of sausage in half.  Each package makes four "links," so I made a total of 16 "links."  I put them all in the Crock Pot, then pour in the entire bottle of barbeque sauce.  I also add enough water to cover the sausage.  I turn the Crock Pot on low and let it cook all day.

These are much lower fat than "real" hot links, although the Sweet Baby Ray's is certainly not the lowest cal sauce around.  We think it is the best though.  :)  If you want to cut the calories more, just pick a lighter sauce.  My mom actually makes a really good barbeque sauce just using equal parts of Diet Coke and catsup.  It's no Sweet Baby Ray's though.

When it is done, we just pop a link in a hot dog bun or wrap a piece of bread around it, then enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2012

We're still alive here...

...just in case you were wondering.  Just a few days ago my doctor even assured me he expects us to stay that way.  I have not (intentionally) abandoned blogging; I even have a few partially written posts waiting.  2012 has just been a bit of a challenge so far. 

The overriding factor in life has been the plague we have been dealing with since New Year's.  Then there was the loss of our beloved 15 year old cat.  Intermixed with all of this, my house has seemed to be on a self destruct mission lately. 

First there was the washing machine.  That was followed closely by our heater.  We had the important parts of our central air and heat replaced a few months back.  It all seemed to be working hunky dory, until about a month ago, when every time it dipped towards freezing, the heat would kick out.  After numerous attempts, they finally got the problem traced out and fixed.  (All under warranty, YAY!)  It was a bit chilly around here for awhile though. 

On the upside, I have been doing a lot of reorganizing lately.  When my daughter moved into her own place last month, I was left with a whole new room at my disposal, plus a significant amount of extra space in various part of the house, as she took all of her belongings with her.  Her former bedroom/now the den is a fairly small room, but it has an entire wall of built-in shelves.  I have been having a ball loading them up with books that have been living in boxes and such.  I have also been rather inordinately excited about having a Whole! Extra! Closet!  I put a set of shelves in it and have been moving loads of things (primarily craft stuff) (and books) out of my way too full bedroom.  I was making so much progress!  (In between all the coughing, wheezing, and medicine taking)  I was starting to really whip things into shape and organize things in a muuuuch more efficient manner.  Oh happy day!

Then - cue dramatic music - Monday night, a week ago, we noticed a wet spot on the carpet in my bedroom.  A really wet spot.  Tracing it out, it was coming from my closet.  My very full, lots of stuff stored in there, closet.  My, oh crap, there are things stored in there in cardboard boxes!!! closet.  Oh yay, the dining room on the other side of the wall is wet too.  Oh the joys of living in an almost 50 year old house!  Our plumber has a website, so I went and filled out a service request, while my son pulled stuff out of the closet, turned fans on blowing at it, and started wet vaccing. 

To make a very long story a little less long, in tracing out the problem, they found multiple issues.  They got the major leak capped off, but we ended up having to have my bathroom shower torn out.  The tile people have done the tear down and replaced some wood and the plumbers will come back on Monday to do the rest of the plumbing repairs.  Then the tile people will come retile it.  Then some sheetrock will have to be replaced.  And painted.  The insurance guy came out and checked it all out and they are covering a significant amount of it, including replacing my carpet!  (Yay!!!)

I had felt like I was making so much progress on organization and that things were looking soooo much better around my house before all of this happened.  Now there are various boxes and strange things sitting all around the house that have been moved from my closet and bedroom.  Then there is the layer of construction dust.  Lovely.  When it is all over though, I will have new carpet and a refurbished shower, so there is a net win.

So, what have you been up to lately?

Saturday, February 18, 2012


More wheezing, more coughing, more feeling like crap.  Doctor's visit, diagnosis of bronchiolitis.  More antibiotics, more steroids.  Beginning to wonder if this crud is ever going to end.  Seven weeks now.  Never heard of bronchiolitis, googled it.  Like bronchitis, but in the small tubes of the lungs, not just the big ones.  Something babies get.  Seriously?  (I had croup as a teenager too.)  My mother's comment when I said told her that, apparently I am a baby:  "Well, at least you get to whine a lot."  Oh, I got that down.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Wonderful Valentine's Day!

My washing machine went down for the count awhile back.  I have a warranty on it, so I called repair service.  They set up an appointment, but couldn't get to it for almost 3 weeks.  Today, finally, was the day!  Happiness! Hearts!  Flowers!  I have my washer back!!!  I am washing clothes - in my own house!  Thank you Washer Repair Guy, I loooooooove you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Goodbye Sweet BJ Kitty

BJ in 2006.
Today we said goodbye to our beautiful BJ.  He would have turned 15 next month.

BJ's mother was my sister Whozat's cat.  He, his sister, and two brothers were born on March 28, 1997, on Good Friday.  His sister and one of his brothers stayed with Whozat and Mama Cat.  BJ and his other brother, Joey, became our kitties. 
BJ and his litter mates, with their mama, in 1997.
Lo these many years later, there were only two of the little family left, Whozat's Ringeaux and BJ.  Last month Whozat got the bad news that Ringeaux had kidney disease and was failing fast.  He died on January 23th.  Almost simultaneously, we discovered that BJ was also suffering from kidney disease.  His blood work showed him to be in the very early stages though, so our vet thought we might have a little while longer with him, maybe even another year.  Sadly, it was not to be so.  His health declined rapidly and we said our final goodbyes today.  

Goodbye BJ; you were a sweet, sweet kitty.  We will miss you.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Adventures in Organizing: Pantry Edition

After my daughter moved out and took everything that was hers from the panty, I was left with lots of glorious room in there, so I took the opportunity to reorganize it.  Part of that was going through the whole thing and trashing anything that had expired.  We really need to be a bit more vigilent about rotating items.  As often we use cream of mushroom soup, on the bottom of the stack of cans, I found one that expired in 2010.  Oops.

Here is what I started with:

Here is the new and improved version:

Me likey.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Any Way You Dice It

Google Related keeps popping up and offering me a tutorial on how to dice a carrot.  Apparently they do not approve of my pre-diced carrots.  :D 

FYI Google, I do know how to dice a carrot.  I just like my nifty little carrot cups.

{{{Carrot Cups}}}

P.S. Ha!  Now Google wants to teach me how to make homemade cream of mushroom soup.  Like that would happen!  :D

Big Day!

Today is a big day around our house.  My daughter will be moving out and into her first place.  She signed her lease a few days ago and today is moving day!

I'm excited for her; she has been wanting to get her own place for awhile.  I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds great.  She and a roommate will be sharing a 2 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath town home. This place is going to be much more convenient for her.  It's a lot closer to both her school and church  - and most of the other places she goes and things she does.

I'm also looking forward to a bit of reorganization around here, once she gets everything moved.  I have full plans to expand into the space she is vacating.  Her bedroom is going to become a den/office/craft room.  It's a small room, but one wall consists entirely of built-in shelves that I look forward to having at my disposal.  :)  And a whole extra closet...  ahhhhh...

I plan to take lots of pictures and keep you updated on the process, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Italian Wedding Soup

I really didn't plan for this blog to turn into a food blog, but it seems that all I have done on here lately is whine about being sick and share Crock Pot recipes.  The two do go hand in hand a bit.  I haven't really felt like doing much creative recently, so about the most exciting thing I have done of late is occasionally cook something.

That said, I made something new today, Italian Wedding Soup.

Italian Wedding Soup
I've eaten it before in restaurants, but I have never made it.  In googling up recipes for it, I found out a little of its history.  It turns out that Italian Wedding Soup, doesn't actually have anything to do with weddings.  The name is a mistranslation of the Italian phrase minestra maritata referring to the "marriage" of the meat and green vegetables that are standard to this soup.  Ingredients may vary in different recipes, but there will always be some type of green vegetable, such as spinach, escarole, or kale; and meat, usually meatballs made out of beef and/or sausage and sometimes chicken.  These are cooked in a clear chicken broth.  Other vegetables may also be added, as well as lentils or small pieces of pasta.  Here is what I used. 

To start:
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used frozen.)

1 large onion, chopped
Leafy heads off 8-10 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach

3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
4 cubes Wyler's Chicken Bouillon
4 cups diced carrots
2 boxes of Swanson's Chicken Broth

I put the chicken in the Crock Pot frozen.

Boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, about half a pound.

Then I chopped up the celery, onions, and spinach.

Lots of leafy celery

Chopped up spinach

One humongous onion, chopped.

Onion, celery, and spinach, chopped and all mixed up.
I put the onion, celery, and spinach in the Crock Pot and added the garlic powder, black pepper, dried parsley flakes, 4 cubes of chicken bouillon, diced carrots, and chicken broth.  I set the temperature on Low for 8 hours, then headed to bed.  (I could have cooked it 4 hours on High instead, but I was starting it the night before.)

And this stuff.

Into the Crock Pot on Low for 8 hours.  (Overnight)

In the morning I stirred it well, breaking up the piece of chicken as I went.  (I love the boneless, skinless thighs for soups because they fall to pieces so easily.) 

Then I made the meatballs.

1 pound of extra lean ground beef
1 pound turkey Italian sausage
1 egg
1/2 "tube" of Premium Whole Wheat Crackers, crushed
1/2 cup Kraft Three Cheese Blend
1 tablespoon Black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

Extra lean ground beef and turkey Italian sausage

This stuff went in with the meat.
I added the ground beef, sausage, egg, crushed crackers, Three Cheese Blend, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil leaves, and Italian seasoning  together and mixed them up well.

Ground beef, sausage, egg, crushed crackers,
Three Cheese Blend, pepper, garlic powder,
onion powder, basil leaves, and Italian seasoning

All mixed up.
I formed the meat mixture into one inch balls, ending up with a little over 100 meatballs.  As I made them I placed them in casserole dishes that I had sprayed with Pam.


I put the pans of meatballs in the oven to brown, at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then I stirred them around and cooked them for another 5 minutes.  At this point they were nicely browned, although still a little pink inside.

Meatballs, browned and ready to go in the Crock Pot.

After I took them out of the oven, I put them on paper towels for a bit, to drain off the excess grease.  Then I added them to the Crock Pot. 

Also added:
1 more box of chicken broth

I stirred it well and reset it on Low.  I let it cook for a couple of hours, then I tasted it and added a few more spices.

2 more cubes of chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons of beef bouillon

Several shakes of garlic powder, to taste
Several shakes of ground basil, to taste
Several shakes of pepper, to taste 
Several shakes of oregano, to taste
Several shakes of Italian seasoning, to taste

At this point I added the extra chicken bouillon, and the beef bouillon, plus several shakes each of garlic powder, ground basil, pepper, oregano, and Italian seasoning, to taste.  Then I let it cook on Low for a couple more hours.

This stuff too.

Mmmmm, garlic bread.
When the soup was almost done I made a loaf of garlic bread to go with it.  (Okay, I heated up a loaf of pre-made garlic bread.)

Three Cheese Blend was
the perfect finishing touch.

When the soup was ready I ladled up a bowl and sprinkled on some
Three Cheese Blend.  All that was left to do was grab a piece of garlic bread and enjoy!

Oh yeah!

Seriously yum!

Linking up to:
Whatever Goes Wednesday
Crafty Sasse Wednesday Link Party
A Round Tuit

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This is Getting Ridiculous

Remember how I said I was feeling better?  I finished the Prednisone on Sunday and by Tuesday I was getting a little more wheezy.  I didn't think much about it at first; I assumed it was just my body adjusting to not having the Prednisone.  Wednesday it was getting worse.  Today I coughed and wheezed for the doctor and he put me back on Prednisone and added an antibiotic.  Good times.

Today's dose, 3 little Prednisone and 1 ginornous Azithromycin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Worth the Wait Chicken Stroganoff

I made something new for dinner yesterday.  It is still a work in progress, so I wasn't planning to blog it and I didn't take pictures as I went.  It came out sooooo good though, I thought I would go ahead and tell you about it. 

We are rather short on groceries around here, because no one has felt up to a real grocery shopping, so I was kinda winging it with what I had on hand.

Chicken Stroganoff
2 lbs. boneless, skinless, raw chicken (I put it in the pot frozen.)
2 boxes Swanson Chicken Broth
10 cubes of Wyler's Chicken Bouillon
1-1/2 cups on cooked diced carrots (3 of those little carrot cups I like)
1/2 cup dried minced onion (I was out of fresh)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
A few good shakes of garlic powder
A few good shakes of pepper
1 - 12 oz. package of egg noodles
2 pints Light Sour cream
1 can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
(Measurements are approximate)

I started it early in the morning, around 5:00 AM.  I put all of the ingredients except the noodles, sour cream, and mushroom soup in the Crock Pot and cooked it on high for about 6 hours.  During that time I stirred it occasionally and at about 4 hours I took the chicken out, shredded it, and returned it to the pot.  I also tasted it then and added a little more garlic and pepper, to taste.

When it was approaching the 6 hour mark, I boiled the noodles, al dente, in a separate pot, rinsing them when they were done.

I then turned the Crock Pot down from High to Warm (Warm, not Low) and added the cooked noodles, sour cream, and Cream of Mushroom soup.  I stirred it until everything was well blended, then left it on Warm the rest of the day to thicken up.

I stirred it a few times in between, but it took at least 6 hours before it really thickened to my liking.  (Which was just getting to be supper time, because I started it so early in the AM.)  Once it thickened nicely - Oh! My! Goodness!  It was luscious.  It really just got better and better the longer it sat on Warm.  We had our last servings about 11:00 PM before we turned off the pot and put the leftovers in the fridge and it was absolutely incredible at that point.

My daughter declared it the best thing I have made in a long, long time.  It made a Crock Pot full, which usually lasts for several days and/or allows for several servings to be put in the freezer.  We nibbled on it all evening and when we went to put it up, this is all that was left.

It had already been in the fridge a couple of hours when I decided to take the pic.
Just about enough for lunch for one.  The entire family has declared it a success.

There is a little tweaking I would like to do.  I would like to use fresh onion and some real celery.  My daughter tells me not to mess with it, that it is perfection as is.  I also wonder about just adding the noodles into the Crock Pot uncooked.  I see recipes that call for that, but I always worry it might get gummy. 

I think it could be thickened faster if it was on Low, rather than Warm, but I would want to babysit it fairly closely if I did that.  I would not suggest turning it back to High after the sour cream and Cream of Mushroom soup are in it.  Dairy stuff can get yucky pretty quick on High in the Crock Pot.

If I were making it when I wasn't going to be around to babysit it, I think the best way to do it might be to put the chicken, etc. on to cook the night before and let it cook all night on Low.  In the morning, I could shred the chicken, add the noodles, sour cream, and Cream of Mushroom, then leave it on Warm all day while I was gone.  It would probably be just right by supper time.

Next time I make it, I'll take pics.  :)

Note:  My daughter and I are of different opinions of what to call it.  We both agree that the name should reflect how frickin' long it took to make it.  (Of course it could be made much faster on the stove top, but that would probably require a good bit of standing over it stirring and I believe that is an activity best avoided.) 

Her suggestion is Night and Day Chicken Stroganoff, mine is Worth the Wait Chicken Stroganoff.  She says she is adding it to her recipe book as "Night and Day..." but this here is my blog, so guess what I'm calling it.  ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Getting back to normal...

We are slowly, but surely, working towards normal around here.  I would not say that I am "sick" any more, although I am still dealing with a residual cough and such.  My energy level, which is none too chipper on a good day, is starting to improve a bit.

My son is a lot better than he was last week, but he still has a wicked, wicked cough.  He will be up and perking for bit, then he just kind of crumples and heads back to bed for a couple of hours.  It's progress though.

In breaking news, Christmas is, finally, almost put away at our house.  We had planned all along to leave our decorations up until after we had our family Christmas celebration on January 7/8.  I even chose to have an artificial tree this year, so it would last that long.   That turned out to be a wise move; the tree looked almost as good when we took it down as it did when we put it up six weeks earlier.  I am impressed.

I expected to pack it all away right after the visit.  The plague hit us instead.  We simply have not been well enough to deal with it, so it has waited.  And waited.  And waited. 

Packed up!
We were finally able to tackle it this weekend.  At this point, everything is packed up in its respective boxes waiting to move to the storeroom.  We will do a little tweaking of the organization in there tomorrow, then my son will get the boxes (which are currently stacked in my dining room) packed away.  Then, at last, it will all be out of sight and out of mind for the next eleven ten months.  Ahhhhhh.

 Update, 1-25-12:  Done, gone, finished!  All. Put. Away.  Yaaaaaay!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

He Gets Some Good Drugs Too

My son has had this horrible crud too, running about 5 days behind me with it.  He was starting to perk up from it and, aside from still having the really nasty cough, was beginning to feel almost like himself.  Until he wasn't. 

A couple of days ago, he started heading downhill again.  He just came back from the doctor; the verdict is bronchitis, which earns him antibiotics.

This crud is nasty.  I recommend avoiding it, if at all possible.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meatloaf Muffins!

I have been wanting to make meatloaf and I had some unfrozen ground beef tick-tocking in the fridge, so I decided today needed to be the day.

I wanted to do something a little different and thought about making it in muffin tins.  I googled up some recipes to get an idea of how much meat would fit in a muffin pan, how long I should cook it, etc.

All of the recipes I saw called for using 1 1/2 pounds of meat and made enough for one pan of 12 muffins.  I decided to make a double batch, because, well, I have two muffin tins.  I figured the extra muffins would be great to freeze to pull out for lunches and such.

This is more or less the ingredients I used.  More, because I ended up not using the gravy mix and the onion powder.  Less, because I forgot to put the eggs in the pic.

This is what I actually used:
3 pounds of ground beef
2 eggs
1 small raw onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 cup of finely chopped raw spinach
1/2 cup of diced, cooked cooked carrots
2 cups of crushed Rice Krispies or similar cereal (or crackers, bread crumbs, etc.)
2 cans of Campbell's Tomato soup
A little salt
A little pepper
A little garlic powder

I used Rice Krispies instead of crackers or such, because I had most of a box left from making almond bark crispies a few weeks ago. 

My first thought was to pour the cereal in my big measuring cup and just crunch it up with a cup.  I thought it would be easier to measure it, but it was quickly obvious that the idea was a fail.  Instead I just dumped it in a Ziploc and squished away.


It took a couple of go rounds, but I got enough crushed to make 2 cups of crumbs.

I added the Rice Krispies crumbs, carrots, and eggs to the meat.


I also added the spices, about half the chopped spinach, about 3/4 of the chopped onion, and about 2/3 of the tomato soup to the meat.

Then I added the last of the chopped onion and spinach into the rest of the tomato soup.

 I mixed the meat up well.

I then spooned the meat into the muffin tins and topped each one with a couple of spoons of the tomato soup mixture.

I put it in the oven at 350 degrees.
Since my oven is rather small, I was concerned about having both pans cook well, so I put them in staggered like this for 20 minutes, then switched the pans and cooked them for another 20 minutes.  That seemed to be the perfect timing.

While the meat was cooking, I threw together a green bean casserole.  My recipe is here.  I rarely make green bean casserole, except on holidays, but I went in the kitchen a few days ago to find that my daughter had bought a couple of cans of onion rings and left them on the counter with this note attached.  :D  How could I say no to that?

All done and, oh my goodness, it was delicious!  I am so glad I made the double batch; I am really doubting any of it will make it to the freezer.  This dish will definitely see a repeat performance!


I ended up with a little more meat than would fit into the muffin tins.  I took that meat and baked it in a loaf pan.  It was only about an inch deep, but it made just enough to make a couple of meatloaf sandwiches.  (I looove me some meatloaf sandwiches.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Finally, a visit!

My sister, Whozat and her daughter, Peeper, have been in town visiting for a little over a week.  Unfortunately, between our illnesses and theirs, we have seen very little of them.  In fact, the only time that I have had a chance to see them was on "Christmas Eve".  They were supposed to head home last Friday, but when another round of illness hit, Whozat called the airline and postponed their return until Tuesday.

I decided that I was well enough to visit for awhile today, even though I am still pretty coughy and yucky.  They have already been exposed to it, so they came on over to spend the afternoon. 

We had a great time just visiting and catching up a bit. 

And of course, Peeper was her charming little self the whole time.  We had pulled our old set of Waffle Blocks out of the store room for her to play with, but she really preferred the cats' toys.

80s Era Waffle Blocks
Ribbon Dancing

Fun with fuzzy worms!

Peeper also looooves this game.  She's a puppy giving her Mama puppy kisses.  Mama is not quite as fond of it as Peeper is.  ;D