Tuesday, December 29, 2015
We'll start out nice and slow, with a little Tuesday 5 to let you know I am, in fact, still here. No in memoriam for me, at least, not yet.
I'm still a dullard, but I'm YOUR dullard on duty, got that? *snicker* Duty.
Anyway, here we go!
1) So, I finally watched Trainwreck last week and I have to say, I had probably one of the most improbable reactions to it. I cried. A lot. Like really, a lot, to the point where my husband asked me if I was crying in a voice that sounded like he was really weirded out by it. I was weirded out by it. I'm still not fully sure why I was crying, but I think it may have had something to do with a conversation Amy had with the good doctor toward the end when she was admitting her vulnerability. Full on tears flowing. I'd like to say that was out of character for me, but well, it's not.
2) I am not a touchy feely, super emotionally in touch person. I close myself off a lot and try to project a slightly intimidating exterior, if only to save myself from questions. However, I cry at a lot of things. I cry at commercials, I cry at Youtube videos of dogs being reunited with their military service family, I cry at that scene in Anne of Avonlea when Anne Shirley turns down the rich dude. I cry at a lot of important things too, though. I don't know that I've cried harder at a movie than I did while watching Hotel Rwanda. It's a true story, people! TRUE. STORY. Full on sobbing for half an hour after it was over. Watch with caution. Someone at work asked me why I baked so many damn Christmas goodies this year and I told them it was to fill a small void in my cold, cold heart. I guess what I'm saying is that I feel big emotions in GIGANTIC ways and even though I am a hardass sometimes, it's not without some deep thinking and some compassion that I make certain decisions.
3) I received an adult coloring book in my stocking this year. I am excited, because I haven't just sat and colored in years. My daughter is going to lend me her gel pens for use and I cannot wait to try it out! I was the OCD kid that outlined the picture, inside each separately lined area before coloring in the middle. I actually won a contest at Easter when I was 6 through a local Wal-Mart because my picture was the one they chose as the best colored. I won a plastic wheelbarrow that was chock full of Easter candy and a huge fluffy pink bunny. We broke the wheelbarrow that same night, pushing each other full speed around the dining room. Whoops.
4) Currently reading a book called The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown and cultivating a lot of deep thinking during it as well. The sisters are all named after Shakespearean heroines and all come back to their parents' home when they find out their mother is ill. I am engrossed. That is what I will be doing as soon I post this sucker up. The book is outstanding so far and the sisters all read constantly. It makes me want to gather up a thousand books and get lost in the words. Reading is the bees' knees y'all. Bee's knees? Eh, one or all of the bees may be thrilled.
5) My husband and I are two big nerds who saw Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens on opening night Friday (not to be confused with premiere night Thursday). We really, really enjoyed it and I have a lot of questions now. Love the new characters and I am excited with the way it's headed. Our priest gave a homily that included Star Wars that gave us some insight into our viewing. He said that George Lucas is Buddhist or admires the tenets of Buddhism and that one of the central beliefs is that everything is cyclical. That helped me absorb a bit more of the story. I do have several nits to pick over the movie, but overall was satisfied.
How about all of you? How have you been since I took my mini-break? I hope everyone has had a spectacular holiday season and are ready to be mentally refreshed in the New Year. I know 2016 will keep me on my toes. Thanks for reading and I appreciate any time you share this page with friends.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
1. I was up way too early this morning, planning restaurant dishes in my head. Do I own a restaurant? No. Am I a trained chef? No. But, if you need a sandwich called "The Homeland" that features Vienna sausage, homemade sauerkraut and a condiment that features mustard with some kick, you know where you can't get it! My imaginary restaurant that serves international cuisine. (Including entremets for dessert. Different ones weekly!)
2. We got a pretty good deal on a new TV for the office this week. Previously, we had an old CRT TV. In honor of the occasion, I dedicated myself to playing on the old PS2. Vice City, Gauntlet, and Ratchet and Clank are my favorites. Good times.
3. I got my hair updated with some fall highlights. One of the colors is a deep brown with a red tone. In certain lighting, it looks kinda purpley. It makes me wanna dye my whole head that color. What do you think?
4. I love fall food, but I am trying to stay away from a lot of it, because it usually has a lot of starchy stuff featured. What are your favorite fall recipes that are also good for you? I need some ideas that are tasty and everyone will enjoy.
5. I cannot be the only one who has 0 interest in reality TV these days, am I? I saw a promo for Little Women: LA on the Lifetime network and it skeeved me out. I know these women are apparently okay with exploiting themselves, but it's just so icky. If you want something worth reading and following, I recommend Humans of New York. He is currently featuring a series on refugees and it is heartbreaking and breathtaking and will help you to refocus on real humanity. HONY is on Facebook and Instagram. Look at the world, and your fellow human beings, differently and with love and dignity, my friends.
Have a great week!
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Sunday, September 27, 2015
My husband and I are the nonresidential parents of his son and daughter. We get his son every other weekend and Tuesday evenings. We get his daughter usually every weekend.
This weekend, as I mentioned in my Tuesday 5 last week, my husband had to work and my step kiddos stayed with their respective mothers.
I had the house all to myself! What to do with all my free time?
Well, I did get some good garage saling action in and got all my laundry nearly finished. However, I found myself thinking about them all weekend, too.
On Friday night, we talked about the kids and how they were doing in school and sports. On Saturday, I found myself thinking about a song that Ashley likes and singing it while I was picking up a garage sale item I found for her. Today, I was thinking about how they both do such great jobs around the house and while going through the week's mail, found Daden's scorecard from last week's league bowling match. I proceeded to post it above the dry erase board on his room's door and then writing him a note of inspiration. I couldn't leave Ashley out, so I left her an encouraging note about her volleyball skills on her dry erase board.
As a stepmother, especially as the household that neither kid resides in, it's tough to go as long as we do without seeing them. I know there are people who can't stand the family they gained through marriage, but I will never know those feelings. My husband and I cherish the time we get and we try to be there for them as much as we are able, but we still miss the, every day they aren't here.
I think about them a lot in all I do. I always wonder what they are up to, if they are having fun, if they are acting as the calm and responsible teens we see on the weekends, if they know how much we care for them and pray for them.
Do not try to tell me I don't have the right to be concerned for them. Do not try to tell me that I shouldn't be involved because it may step on toes or hurt some feelings. Thankfully, we have very amicable relationships with both of their mothers. But, I would be involved no matter what, because they are my children, too...step or not. When you get random hugs from your sweet teen daughter, that step part vanishes. When you fully understand your son's anxiety and ADD, because you have it, too...that step part disintegrates.
You do the best for your kids no matter the situation, because they ARE that important. Step doesn't need to lead or follow. No equivocation. I think about them and I miss them and I love them, with or without those four extra letters.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Today I beat my anxiety. I felt that coil in the bottom of my stomach, that very beginning of a churn, the first click on the roller coaster, and I shoved it down deep inside of me again.
Yesterday, the clicks whirred several times before I was able to stop it. Tuesday, I stared down the first hill of that coaster track and as it does, the coaster tipped, slowly, every slowly, over the edge of the hill, and came racing down. You can't control it once it gets too far over that ledge. It speeds up and keeps going, hill after hill, turn after twisty turn. Sometimes it even flips me upside down.
The worst part is that sometimes it's so unpredictable, I don't even know what I'm responding to. Tuesday I was looking at Mapquest at work and seeing how far down Highway 1 goes in California. I followed it down further and further, 'til it hit the tip of the Baja peninsula in Mexico, surrounded by water. My mind started retracting back and my head started spinning, thinking about looking at the Earth from that far away.
I knew looking at pictures or videos of space or views from a great height was a trigger, but I didn't think just looking at a flat, non-3D map would do it.
I can't even think about getting on a plane some days. That triggers it. If I get a dizzy spell, it sometimes triggers it. Intense dramas trigger it.
A lot of things trigger it and it's amazing how quickly the downward spiral progresses. It's overwhelming sometimes to feel that churning and try to swing myself out of it.
Sometimes I just need to take a deep breath, get up, and move around. Tuesday wasn't quite that easy. I, of course, had to click off what I was looking at. I took some breaths. I desperately tried to keep my mind out of that black hole of anxiety.
It's been nearly two years since my anxiety began. Six months after it happened, my husband and stepdaughter were baptized and made full communion in the Catholic church. It was warm in the church and the incense was cloying, per usual. I started feeling stuffy and slightly overheated and the anxiety attack got into full swing. I was trying hard to breathe, but all my mind could think about was what would happen if a gunman came into the church and started shooting. My stepdaughter and Mom are across the aisle, my Dad and Rick are several pews in front of me, and two siblings and their families were sitting clear up at the front. I couldn't get to all of them. How could I get to them before the gunman did?
This is what anxiety does. It tricks your mind into thinking about the worst case scenarios of everything and questioning how you will make it through. Sometimes, when it's extra bad, you are paralyzed with fear, you can't breathe, your stomach churns, and in those moments, you truly believe that you are going to die. You just know it. Your teeth clench and your fingers lock, just waiting for oblivion.
At its worst, I sat in our tub full of the hottest water I could stand, with the hottest water pelting down on me. I would beg my husband to go to bed at the same time as me because I didn't want to try to fall asleep without him there. The boogeyman in my head would lie to me and fill it with the scariest thoughts.
My anxiety desperately tries to control me. It wages a war in my body and my mind every. single. day.
But today, I beat it. I'll take today.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Anyhoo, here's the synopsis from imdb.com.
"Town Sheriff and regular patron, fights to keep a historical whorehouse open when a TV preacher targets it as the Devils playhouse."
You know, it's quite interesting how society nearly 35 years later keeps trying to ban things that people deem immoral. I'm not saying that we should have courtesans giving handies during debate on CSPAN or anything, but as far as immoral acts go, I think consensual paid sex is lower on my list of priorities to go after, ya' know?
What was I saying again? Oh yeah, my home is a cat house, too, but instead of hookers and blow, I get indifferent animals and puked up hairballs everywhere. I have two cats. I would say own, but any cat "owner" knows who really owns whom. Amirite? And yes, according to the Googles, it is "who owns whom".
|Gonzo is the lover boy. He's a total mama's boy!|
The greatest thing about them being down in the basement was that we could shut the door so they wouldn't come upstairs at night. My female calico (Princess) likes to be nosy and she gets into everything. She also hides things. At our old house, we were cleaning before the move, and moved a large console radio/record player. We found Barbie clothes, hair ties, milk jug rings, twist ties, used Q-tips fished out of the trash, and socks. She's pretty much half a ferret. So, now the door gets closed and dishes don't end up on the kitchen floor in the middle of the night.
I do miss having Gonzo (our male black cat, officially named Tony Gonzalez, Jr.) snuggle up on the bed during the night, but I know my husband doesn't miss him. Instead, we now get wake up meows from the cats sitting on the stairs demanding food. Gonzo is my diabetic cat and so we had to switch from dry food to wet food a while back to help him keep his carbs down. He seems to be doing better. He used to weigh 21 pounds and is now down to 14 or so. Princess has slimmed down as well, from 12 pounds to 9 pounds. (I wish I could lose weight so easily.)
|When I'm sick, Princess knows the cure.|
Princess, my quirky girl, she likes to climb. In our basement, we have a large shelving unit in the laundry room. It holds all of the holiday decorations and tubs full of photos and memories which probably won't see the light of day until I die. We also have the drop down ceilings and we don't have the plastic covers over the fluorescent lights that hang down there. Do you see where I'm going with this? Yeah, my husband was sitting downstairs watching TV one evening when he looked up to see Princess staring back down at him. She had climbed up into the ceiling and was wandering around like it was her little loft space!
My cat house is crazy and very much like the little whore house in Texas, it has its own unique smell. Since my cats now eat wet food, Gonzo can clear a room with his farts. I set up the empty boxes from Amazon for Princess, because she loves to play in them. They are 8 years old and I hope they will be around for at least another 10. I love my kitties and if you have animals, you know the special place they hold in your hearts. Being owned by a cat can be rewarding in its own way, even if they seem to condescend to put up with you.
|My Bear, with his puppy cut last year.|
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
In fact, I would be willing to venture a guess that most people who end up as stepparents get along very well with their stepchildren. For some reason though, we only ever hear the angry ones, perhaps because they are the loudest.
However, that doesn't mean that I don't have valid frustrations in regards to this relationship. I do. I have a lot of frustrations, but they don't have anything to do with the children. It's more like what rends my heart with concern and heartache for my children.
Without further ado, my list of the top 5 frustrations stepparents face with their stepchildren. (Okay, my perceived top 5.
|Getting our geek on at the Houston Space Center, 2013|
|Catching snowflakes at Grandma and Grandpa's|
3. One of my biggest frustrations is the assumption that I'm not a 'real parent'. I know many stepparents feel this way. The first time I showed up with my husband to his son's parent-teacher conference, my stepson's mother was livid. She proceeded to tell my husband later that I wasn't a 'real' parent, so what was I doing there? Thankfully, my husband nipped that s*%$ in the bud and told her that I would be there, no matter what, whether she liked it or not. When she still argued, he suggested setting up separate appointments. Suddenly, she was totally willing to allow me there. BUT, I better keep my mouth shut. Even though I work in the state's social services, I was not allowed to voice an opinion on my stepson's welfare. (If you know me, you know that didn't stop me!) Stepparents are just as real as those who helped create those children. And really, is it so BAD to want extra support for your children? Why would you WANT your child's stepparent to have nothing to do with them? Can you imagine the damage THAT would cause?
|I bet several of my friends recognize this fountain!|
2. A frustrating thing for many parents and stepparents, is when the children express their desire to live with the other parent. We went through this a few years ago with my stepdaughter. She confided in me that she would love to live with her Dad and I, but she didn't want to leave her mother all alone. Her mother was having a tough time, because my stepdaughter's grandmother was threatening to take her mother's eldest child away from her if she kept living with her then-boyfriend. The grandmother had guardianship, because her mother had him when she was 16 and she gave her guardianship back then. My stepdaughter was so afraid that her mother would be all alone. Rick and I had several very deep conversations about this. We desperately wanted her in our home. Our home is not run down, she has her own room here, we have better schools near us, and well, we love her and would have loved to have her. I told him though, that I thought it best if we allow her to guide us to a decision. I knew how much it weighed on her heart to give voice to her fears. I couldn't allow her to feel like she was abandoning her mother, so she stayed. She still lives there, but our door is always open. If you have loved a child, any child, you know how gut-wrenching of a decision that was.
1. The number one frustration I have as a stepparent is wondering about the future for my children. Unfortunately, the child support system in this country is severely broken. They penalize the non-custodial parents to the point that they can't even save for their children. My husband pays so much in child support that if it wasn't for my paycheck, he'd probably be living in his old dinky 900-square foot, 2-bedroom home. The calculations they use are fairly ridiculous. I worry often about whether the mothers are saving for their children's college. We can't. We can't even pay into my husband's retirement account. I often think about how these children will afford college and beyond. We have savings accounts for them, but the only thing that goes into it is a part of their allowances right now. I also worry about the negative influences they may be around in the other homes. Nothing inherently bad, but sometimes the bad habits are recognizable. My stepchildren both have mothers that weren't very involved in their school at all. Neither one of them graduated from a traditional 4-year college and neither of them really played sports or were in band, or any of that. My stepdaughter has already quit softball, volleyball, and band. All done surreptitiously, because she knew we would be upset. Her mother was totally fine with it. Just this past Sunday, I put her on blast for her choices. I'm so worried that with no motivation or drive to do extracurricular activities, she will fail to get any decent scholarships.
|South Carolina, 2014|
Mainly, I worry about how our relationship will change as they grow, get into high school, graduate, and go on to their own families. Have we done enough to show them we love them unconditionally? Have we left enough of an impact that they will come back to visit us? It's scary. I used to joke that I was just waiting for them to say, "I hate you! You're not my mother!" Now that they are 13, that day seems to be inching ever closer. I only hope that they know we've only had their best interests at heart. I love those kids so much and am so proud of them. I hope they realize that.
Until we know for sure, we'll just keep loving them and spoiling them with our time, because if I've learned one thing through all these frustrating moments of being a stepparent, it's that you can never spoil a child with love and time.
Monday, August 17, 2015
This year was a bit different. Instead of participating in a CSA, we planted our own garden. We grew zucchini and yellow squash, green onions, bush beans, sugar snap peas, green bell peppers, pickling cucumbers, and 3 kinds of tomatoes. The tomatoes were romas, a varietal called mortgage lifters, and cherry tomatoes. We also did not get a meat bundle from the locker ahead of time, as we already had some left in our deep freeze from a while ago and I wanted to try to use up as much stuff as possible. Finally, as I stated 2 years ago, we have kids, but they are my stepkids, whose primary residency is with their mothers, so we don't have to directly pay for school or clothes or whatnot, because of the child support my husband pays monthly.
Okay, so once again I premade a bunch of bierocks. This year I made up 3 batches of them, which WOULD be 36 overall. I say would, because my husband is the one who fills and crimps the bierocks and well, he likes them to be stuffed. So, instead of 36 bierocks, we got 26 bierocks and 10 homemade hot pockets, made with pepperoni slices and mozzarella. My husband has already pretty much demolished them.
This year I also went to the store and stocked up on necessities, as well as planning a bit of stuff for meals because what we had in our freezer would probably not have been enough for the entire month. I got paid on July 31st, so I used my normal food budget for two weeks ($350) and bought cat litter, dog food, and toilet paper at Target. I ordered my cat food from Amazon as well as coffee, because I have a Senseo pod coffee maker and you can only get those online. I have a diabetic cat, so I researched the lowest carb food for cats and crossmatched that with least expensive and came up with the 9 Lives Seafood and Poultry Favorites. I haven't been able to find it at any store I normally shop at, so I order it off of Amazon.
Then, I hit the grocery store. I wrote down everything I remember, so here it is:
pork loin chops (pack of 4)
9 lbs. of ground beef
a package of chicken tenderloins (much less expensive than chicken breasts)
2 packages of bratwursts
2 1-lb. packages of breakfast sausage
3 1-lb. packages of sweet Italian sausage (for bulk pasta sauce)
2 packages of unsalted butter
2 packages of cream cheese
1 small carton of whipping cream
2 cartons of unsweetened almond milk (you can't even taste the difference in cereal, gravy, or pretty much anything and BONUS, it lasts over a month!)
1 16-oz. carton of sour cream
1 large package of unbleached white flour
1 large package of whole wheat flour
1 medium package of sugar
butter spray (my husband uses this on the grill a lot)
large container of white vinegar
2 cans of evaporated milk
1 loaf of wheat bread
1 package of tortillas
4 6-packs of Dr. Pepper (my husband's lunch drink)
1 4-cup bag EACH of mozzarella, quesadilla mix, and cheddar cheese
2 rolls of biscuits (for homemade donuts, as a treat)
4 4-packs of fruit cups (peaches and pears, for my work lunches)
mustard (we were out)
a bag of medium-grain white rice
2 bags of pretzels (for lunches)
2 bags of potato chips
4 15-oz. cans of tomato sauce (for bulk pasta sauce)
4 6-oz. cans of tomato paste (for bulk pasta sauce)
2 6-oz. cans of mushrooms (we use them in everything from quiche to sloppy joes)
3 28-oz. cans of crushed tomatoes (for bulk pasta sauce, but our tomatoes were so abundant, we didn't use them)
a package of penne, a package of spaghetti, and a package of lasagna noodles
The purpose of the fiscal fast is to save money quickly, by not spending what you would normally spend on food, gas, entertainment, clothing, etc. However, you still budget your normal monthly bills, such as your mortgage, phone, gas, etc. We were able to get by on the extra gas money we hadn't used from previous paychecks. This is because we use a modified envelope system, much like Dave Ramsey's money system.
So, at the midway point, we are doing well. My parents came in for a visit this last Saturday, so we actually got to eat at a restaurant for the first time in 2 weeks, because they are very generous people. We ran out of bread last week, so on Sunday, I made up the bulk pasta sauce (it made almost 2 gallons!), a loaf of wheat bread (my last fiscal fast I linked to the recipe, called Whole Wheat wonderfulness), 2 loaves of zucchini bread (for breakfasts this week), and a large batch of cucumbers and onions in vinegar and sugar.
We have relied on the bierocks to get us through on those days we want a quick meal without much hassle. I have also found some great recipes tailored to what I have in my pantry and freezer. I made a pasta dish with white sauce last week. It only included the sauce, so I added in all kinds of veggies from our garden.
We have plenty of entertainment, too. Usually we end up playing board games (we have a multitude) or watching TV. Occasionally, we go to the park or hang out at friends' houses. We have books coming out our ears (mainly due to the collection we keep on hand for our Little Free Library) and oftentimes will hang out and do some gardening or writing or, as in the case of my husband, listening to podcasts.
|This could be you, but perhaps without the lame business attire.|
We have made it more than halfway through the fiscal fast, but I know the more difficult time is ahead of us. The great thing is the real life positive of this fast. We have already saved $1200. I anticipate saving at least $800 more!
So, if any of you have ideas for some hodgepodge casseroles for me, I am willing to give them a try. I also hope this has encouraged some of you to try a fiscal fast of your own. Finally, if you have ever done anything similar, please let me know. I'd love to hear variations on this idea. It's a great time to save lots of money, which is always handy when Christmas is just a few months away.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
As many of you may know, I am a middle child. I have 6 brothers and sisters and I am actually number 4 in the birth order, making me smack dab in the middle of the middles. I think that I am pretty classically middle child, though some may argue that since I was the baby for 5 years before my first younger brother came along, that it may somehow skew the results.
I have a theory about middle children. I believe they are typically the hardest, most trying of the bunch, but they also can be the most faithful and loving as well. Time and time again, I have heard from friends who talk about how they have this one child that infuriates them on a daily basis. The child doesn't want to listen, they act out, they may throw temper tantrums, but they are also silly, quirky even. They are typically the avant garde dressers, the ones who throw their passion into a source of creativity, and the ones who work very hard to be good at something! Nearly every single friend who describes that child, when asked which child it is, will tell me it's their middle child.
It's often thought that middle children act out because they don't get enough attention. The eldest is typically the straight A, always-do-right kid. The baby is the oh-isn't-(s)he-cute, can-do-no-wrong child. The middle child, or middle children, usually have to fight to be acknowledged. There are even studies that show that middle children are typically NEVER the 'favorite' child in a household.
However, what middle children may lack in attention from their parents, they more than make up for in EXCESS EMOTION and perhaps a wee bit of MELODRAMA. 'Tis true. Middle children are a bit more hypersensitive than most, I would wager. I certainly was and sometimes am. I am not a drama llama anymore, mind you, but I may have sobbed over missing a church meeting last week when it slipped my mind. (I did.) I also may tear up over sappy commercials. (I do.)
First borns may have the brains and babies may have the unrestrained limits, but we middle kids don't have it so bad...we have a national holiday! Middle children unite!
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
1) It is actually very liberating to unfriend people on Facebook. I try not to do it much, because I try not to add individuals that I don't know fairly well, but eventually I find that I'm not getting much out of our connection and I have to cut those ties. I also HATE advertising that I'm doing it, because it seems like such a "Look at me!" sort of statement. I know, I know, I'm blogging about it now. *sigh* It's only because I want to mention how great it is to finally let go of baggage that was hurting your heart. True friendship is more than just meaningless platitudes. Don't friend me on Facebook or accept my friendship on Facebook if you don't want to be friends with me in real life. Also, friendship is actions AND words. I don't care if we haven't seen each other for years, I can still feel loved and cared for by people in the way they treat me when they do get to see me and talk with me. I hope those people feel the same. However, there are some individuals that love to say they have all these friends, but never put those supposed feelings into action. I guess what really made me unfriend people this time was talking with a good guy friend in February. I was telling him what I felt about how a group of people was treating my husband and I. Specifically me, because well, EVERYONE loves my husband and I'm a lot tougher to like. I know this. I have accepted this. It doesn't always make it less painful, but it is something I've come to terms with about myself. Anyhow, I was telling him about all of the things that they had done, outwardly and covertly, whether it was intentional or not and he pretty much asked me why I was still friends with them. I couldn't answer that coherently. It stuck in my mind and my heart and I ruminated over it for weeks and months. After a recent conversation with one of the individuals I thought was a friend and subsequent actions after that conversation, I realized I really didn't know why I was still hanging on to something they didn't care about one way or the other. So, I let go. You know what's really funny, too. I unfriended this bunch a week ago and haven't heard a peep from them since. You will know your friends by their actions and well, now I know. It still hurts, don't get me wrong, but when it's time to let go and you finally find that courage, it is truly liberating.
|Pluto? Nope, the delicious dough!|
|Finished product! Yum!|
4) As some of you know, Rick's Dad passed away last May of 2014. His stepmother had to move into town from the farm, as she didn't care to live on her own in the middle of nowhere. When we helped move some of her things, Rick ended up inheriting an old game from the 70s & 80s called "The Farming Game". It's set up very similarly to Monopoly, but instead of buying properties, you purchase acreage for grain, hay, and orchards, as well as livestock, pasture land, and equipment. As you get to certain areas of the board, you enter harvest season for the different types of acreage. You then roll a die to determine how much income you netted off that harvest and what operating expenses you have to purchase are determined by drawing a card. It is a lot of fun. I had never heard of it before, but we played it the very next weekend with the kids. It entertained us for FOUR hours. Yep. 4! I've been itching to play it again. What are your favorite board games?
5) Finally to the end, sorry it took so long. I guess since I haven't posted in two months, I finally had a few interesting things to say! So, for number 5, I'm gonna do you a solid. Try this recipe soon. It's for zucchini brownies and it is GOOD. No milk. No eggs. Delicious! The batter can be dry, but the zucchini adds moisture. I have eaten several of them already! Mmmmm. Fudgy Zucchini Brownies (Egg, Nut & Lactose-Free) ENJOY!
Have a great week everyone!
Monday, July 20, 2015
Anyhoo, they had a week-long camp each summer that you could attend at a ranch that had a bunch of dormitory style buildings and opportunities to swim, walk trails, canoe, ride horses, etc. They also had a lot of different speakers and demonstrations, nightly bonfires, and of course, THE DANCE.
|This is me in the 80s. Well, not me, it's Jennifer Capriati, |
but I think we've all learned a lesson here.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
1. Lasagna and garlic bread for supper with homemade meat sauce. I let it cook for an hour, not an hour and a half like the recipe said, because otherwise, we wouldn't be eating until after 7! OMG on the sauce, though. New recipe and it is ridiculous! So yummy! The secret? Sweet Italian sausage and ground beef!
2. Due to the sauce and complexity of the recipe, I did not make real garlic bread. Womp. Womp. The Texas Toast 5 cheese stuff is a decent substitute though.
3. I made polenta for the first time last week. It was super easy! It was also really good and has a texture similar to grits, which I love! I will definitely make it more often now.
4. I just checked on the lasagna and bread. (They are still in the oven.) I snuck another spoonful of leftover sauce. That's some life-changing sauce!
5. I think it's a perfect night for lasagna. It is gray and rainy here. What's your favorite meal to make on a rainy Spring night?
Have a great week everyone!
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
1. I planted a butterfly garden tonight...all by myself. Meaning that I dug the hole, 4 ft. long by 1 1/2 ft. wide, placed all the individual plants and backfilled and watered it. We are doing what we can to help save the monarchs. They apparently only lay their larvae on milkweed, so we have some red milkweed. I paired it with ornamental grass on either side and some gaura in the middle. It looks great, but my back is sooooore.
2. Things are blooming! My mandevilla is going strong and my Kansas peonies are blooming. They are a beautiful dark fuchsia and smell great.
3. If you have a dog, you probably already know this, but BEWARE the land mines! Ugh. They are everywhere and stink so badly. I love my dog, but his poop is a different story.
4. Buying from an actual nursery is expensive, but usually well worth the time and money! Our local nursery was great about recommending plants to pair together in containers and had so much variety of everything. You can't find quite the same stuff at Home Depot or Lowe's garden centers. You also have a hard time finding help at those places...at least I do! Bonus: My nursery loaded pretty much everything for me!
5. One of the best feelings in the world is wiping off your brow, leaning on the shovel handle, popping the tab on a fresh beer, and surveying your handiwork. It's a delight to know that I can help things grow through some hard work and great plant choices.
Now that I'm done with the butterfly garden, I have my sight set on some cascading plants to fill the trough my husband built and hung on the inside of the fence next to our new patio. Any gardeners out there with colorful and low maintenance selections?
Have a great week everyone!
Saturday, May 9, 2015
|My Mom, sister, and I. I'm in front, sis is in the back.|
Mom's a hottie, yo.