Archive for September, 2007

Blog Muse, Where Art Thou? (oh, and some news)

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Maybe it’s because I’m tired.

Maybe because it was a strange week.

Or maybe…

You, see, I’m thinking about going less active on the blogging front.

I’m torn by the classic blogger’s dilemma of how to (1) maintain a journal-type site with any actual authenticity at all while (2) maintaining some sense of personal, professional and family privacy.

I find myself more and more often now plagued by fears the either a co-worker might find this, or – even worse – a crazy stalker type.

Plus, “lurkers” (a.k.a. people who read the thing all the time but never post a comment) make me nervous.  (You know who you are in Pennsylvania.  Yes, you.)

Oh, yeah.  And there’s one other thing…

I’ve told my family.  I’ve told my boss.  So I guess it would be OK to finally mention it here.

The Koog Family is “expecting” again.  It’s still a little early.  Probably early enough that I shouldn’t be making announcements. 

But we are very happy that, if all goes well, we’ll be welcoming another family member into the world next spring.

I once thought that the ideal blog name would be “Five Mammals In Milwaukee.”  This was based on my sense of delight in observing the fact that of the five mammals in our house (Mommy, Daddy, and Little Koog, plus the two cats), you can almost always bet that a majority of them will be in any given room of the house at the same time.  We like to congregate, we mammals.

Well, anyway, “Six Mammals in Milwaukee” just doesn’t have the same blog-name ring to it, although I expect that the reality (as opposed to only the blog-title-quotient score) of having six resident mammals will be perfectly pleasant.

So – now that I’ve announced that, I’m officially nervous that one of those crazed baby-stealing-murderer-women will show up at my door in a few months to kill me, then cut out and run off with my young.  (Because there were actually two cases of that in recent years – what is WRONG with this country?). 

The comfort there, though, is that we’ll be moving house before long.  So good luck finding me where we are now, you crazy killer-ladies…..

Hmmmm.  I’m sounding and feeling paranoid.

And I suppose that’s not an unreasonable thing to be in my ‘condition.’  I’m being forced by hormones to be more protective of the family nest right now, and all. 

And I’ve already probably unwisely overexposed our little family to the public Internet.  I do worry about that. 

The terrible murder of a friend of a friend last week, apparently at the hands of a known stalker (as best as one can speculate this early on – there has not yet been an arrest) has not done anything to make me less concerned on that front.

And another important impetus for less blogging, if that’s what I start to do, is that I simply won’t have the time.

First, chasing after, caring for, and playing with a spirited toddler while growing increasingly large with child, AND moving to a new place, AND getting ready for the new arrival, is going to be enough of an energy challenge after a full day of work.

And once the new little one is here, as I know well from experience, everything else in the world beyond sleeping, eating, hygeine, and family bonding will all kind of fade out of view for a while.

So that’s the latest from Milwaukee, folks.

(Oh yeah – that, and a local group is trying to raise money to commission and erect a bronze statue downtown of The FonzHappy Days was set in Milwaukee, you know.  And the purported inspiration for ‘Al’s’ place is here, and still in operation, too).

And now, a little Art Interlude…

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Art with new markers

Originally uploaded by Koog Family

I brought home some new markers for little miss the other day.

She made this picture (on two consecutive pieces of paper in the construction paper pad). She methodically opened each of the 16 colors and made at least one mark with each color.

What a lovely rainbow.

(Although the intended subjects, as she told me, were: Mommy, Daddy, Eyes, and Ears).

Cooking with the Koogs – Spaghetti Pie

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

I tried another recipe out of the “Beyond Macaroni and Cheese” cookbook this weekend.  It’s pretty good!

Here’s how to make Spaghetti Pie (I doubled this when I made it):


4 oz spaghetti

1 T. butter (or margerine)

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 lb. lean ground beef

1/2 c. chopped onion

1/2 c. green pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 t. fennel seed

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 c. lowfat cottage cheese

1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Cook pasta; drain.  Return to pan; stir butter into pasta until melted.

3.  Stir egg and parmesan cheese into pasta.

4. Press spaghetti onto bottom and sides of 9″ pie plate, forming a “crust” Making Spaghetti Pie - the Spaghetti Crust layer.

5. Cook beef, onion, green pepper, garlic, and fennel seed in pan until onion is tender and meat is no longer pink; drain fat. (I used my Mandolin Slicer to chop the veggies; it saves time Dicing an Onion with the Mandolin Slicer.


6.  Stir in tomato sauce and oregano; heat through.

7. Spread cottage cheese on bottom and up side of spaghetti “crust” Making Spaghetti Pie - the Cottage Cheese layer.  Spread meat mixture over cottage cheese; sprinkle mozzarella cheese over meat mixture.  Bake uncovered 20 – 25 minutes Spaghetti Pie in the oven. Let stand 5 minutes Spaghetti Pie - Side View and cut into wedges to serve. Serves 6.

And Voila!

Cooked Spaghetti Pie

Monday Random Flickr Blogging: #2582

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

IMG_2582.JPG, originally uploaded by ghostbarista.

Awwww. It’s Monday. I want to be doing this (taking a nap in the workplace) too.

Way to go Stanley the Possum, wherever you are.

(Random Flickr Blogging explained here).

My Groundhog Neighbor

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Neighborhood Groundhog

I have written previously about my sightings of the neighborhood groundhog.

Well, this weekend, I saw him/her again, and happened to have my camera in my purse!  I stopped my car, got out, and got a couple of shots.  This is the best one (and it is also blown up a bit, below).

So here’s my little groundhog ‘buddy.’ (I realize that our ‘friendship’ is one-sided; he/she ran away into the woods after I took this picture and started talking to it in what must have seemed a patronizing – but for my part, purely affectionate – tone).

I think that one of the reasons I may have been seeing him/her out eating so often is that it will soon be time for hibernation. Apparently, these little guys pack on the weight at this time of year, just before going into a deep deep sleep, and then waking up much thinner in about February.

So I’m glad I got this picture of my groundhog buddy before he or she disappears into the burrow for the upcoming cold months.

(Judging by the waddle I saw as the little guy/gal ran away into the woods, I’d say the weight gaining program has been successful.  Way to go, little buddy!)
Groundhog - cropped