My occasionally snarky thoughts on everything from motherhood, politics, life and current events. Cocktails are sometimes mandatory. Bottoms up!

Monday, October 31, 2005

When the embrace of multiculturalism goes too far.....

Police told to respect traditions

POLICE [in Australia] are being advised to treat Muslim domestic violence cases differently out of respect for Islamic traditions and habits.

Officers are also being urged to work with Muslim leaders, who will try to keep the families together. Women's groups are concerned the politically correct policing could give comfort to wife bashers and keep their victims in a cycle of violence.
[Gee.... ya think?]

The instructions come in a religious diversity handbook given to Victorian police officers that also recommends special treatment for suspects of Aboriginal, Hindu and Buddhist background.

You have got to be effin' kidding me! Soon they will try to tell me that so called "honor killings" aren't really murder because in *their* culture she had it coming. Good grief! I'm all for being respectful of another persons beliefs, right up until their beliefs include beating (or mutilating, or murdering) other people. I don't care if it *is* a part of their culture. I guess I'm just intolerant that way.....

Happy Halloween

Free Image Hosting at Happy Halloween! For a couple of great Halloween funnies, go here.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Falling Back

I once heard someone compare the daylight saved by ascribing to "Daylight Savings Time" to trying to become taller by cutting off your own head and standing on it. The practice of daylight savings seems pointless anymore but nobody asked me. And I will admit -- I prefer "falling back" to "springing forward" every year.

Maybe we could make "Daylight Savings" (since it is no longer useful) at least amusing -- there could be a national contest, and some sort of prize awarded to "who screwed up the worst because they forgot to change their clocks...." or something. We could get Arizona to judge since they don't play anyway. Or maybe I just haven't had enough caffeine yet..... Hard to tell at this point.

Anyway, as we are all well rested today with our extra hour, be sure to visit the Carnival of the Recipes over at Everything and Nothing. Shawn has done a wonderful job putting a Tricks, Treats, and Eats carnival together. Lot's of yummy stuff to be found over at her place!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

On Motherhood and Balance

Oddybobo wrote this week about the difficulty balancing motherhood and career. It seems when you have a family and a career there is a constant worry that you are not doing the right things for either. As she wrote:

Now, though, with the days growing shorter, so too is my time with my family. The hours I work are so incredibly long, I might as well take up residence in another city until the weekend. I see my son off to bed only to hear him sob that he doesn't want me to go to work the next day, and even the bribes with Halloween candy don't get him to calm down.

So, I have found myself at a bit of a crossroads, albeit of brilliant foliaged trees. I have been here before. Do I sell my soul to the $, the one I need desperately to support my family, make the house payment, bills and other sundry needs.

Or do I chuck it all? Sell the house, the cars, the dog, live in a box but have time for my kid? There is no middle ground.

It's a conundrum, at worst it leaves you wracked with a sickening guilt that you might be failing. Failing your family, failing your career, or failing yourself. Eric (at SWG) wrote a post this week about this feeling of "am I doing the right thing here or am I simply doing what is expected" and he had this to say:

... see, we've all come that point she [AWTM] describes... that point where we look at ourselves and the people around us and wonder.. am I doing the right thing?... is this where I am supposed to be?... am I doing what is expected of me?... those moments of weakness that we have in our lives... they define us..

Brilliant, that. There is great strength to be found in walking your own path. When it comes to navigating the guilt strewn road that is motherhood, all I can say is that there are no easy answers. [Ohhh -- now there's a cop-out for ya! --ed.]

What I mean is, every Mother has to come to their own way of finding the balance. Many women have spent a great deal of time, education, money and energy to have a successful career. That's nothing to toss away lightly. Each of us comes to that crossroads where we have to decide -- do I choose $$$ and a more comfortable lifestyle? Or do I choose to be available for my child 24/7? It's trying to balance the two that gets tricky. Especially since (as mothers) most of us have the "guilt button" built right in....

For me the adventure started with the surprise that I was pregnant to begin with. We were not expecting to go down that road. Then finding out that I was pregnant again 7 months after K was born -- well, that was it. I chose to stay home with my girls.

It wasn't out of a lofty aspiration to be some sort of "perfect" mother or anything, (though I really wanted to not screw up too much...) it was just the most logical choice. For one, the loss of income did not seem to be so insurmountable -- Hubby and I were young and just starting out, so in my mind going from basically "zero" (with both of us working) to "zero" (with just one of us working) wasn't such a big jump. (And after looking at the costs for day care -- holy crap!)

We were poor, poor, poor, poor, poor for a very long time. Only buying cars with cash, never going out to eat, no vacations, coupon clipping to the nth degree... things were sometimes so tight we squeaked. But we made it work.

I hadn't finished my degree (hubby had his BS in meteorology) and I had most of my experience working in the food and beverage industry and bartending (though at the time I was selling furniture and doing some interior design). Neither was a passion for me -- it wasn't difficult to decide to give up the crap hours dealing with crap (or drunk) customers or sales. Let's face it, it's not like I was a brilliant brain surgeon or lawyer and my talents were going to go to waste if I decided to stay home with my kids and become a homemaker. Couple that with a very type 'A' personality where I couldn't imagine anyone else taking care of my babies -- the die was cast.

Hubby chose to hang up his dream of being a TV meteorologist and went to work for a corporation -- he felt the time had come to start climbing a ladder and drawing a steady paycheck (one with bennies and job security). And my being "without ties to employment" made it possible for him to advance with his career whenever an opportunity presented itself. (We have lived all over the lower 48 states, as a result.... but I digress.)

I have friends who are better moms because they have careers. And I know stay-at-home moms who suck at it. Full time motherhood isn't for everybody and it isn't easy. Kids will still try to manipulate you and make you feel guilty even when they have you 24/7. That part doesn't change. Deciding to "chuck it all" will not make the guilt trips suddenly vanish. (Kids are programmed to simultaneously make us feel huge amounts of love and guilt -- it's in the handbook.)

I have the utmost admiration for moms with jobs. I think we all work awfully hard. And I think the only thing we may "fail" to do, is recognize the resilience of our children. I have found that as long as they know they are loved, they can grow and achieve (and no serious damage is done--whatever guilty thoughts we have). If we are honest with ourselves, as much as we would like to be there to save them from every bump and hurt and fall in the world, it is impossible to do. They will grow up. And optimist that I am, I think they will be okay.

We Mothers *all* feel pulled in a hundred directions sometimes -- though it can only take two to kick start the guilt. ('Course I might just be looking for a reason behind all of the stretch marks that come with the job..... ) Today, my wish is for all mothers to find their balance -- in whatever form it takes....

Boomer Sooner!

It's a perfect day for football whether watching or playing. Around here we will be watching, of course...

The Sooners will have their work cut out for them in Lincoln, today. I remain the eternal optimist that we will see them in a Bowl game this season.

Today also marks the Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party -- I have to wonder how all of those Florida and Georgia fans will feel when they find out that the party at Eric's was much more fun...... Talk about stealing thunder!

Update: Whoohoo! Now that's what I'm talking about. Yay OU! 31/24 Sooners. :)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Chilly Today...

....Enchiladas tomorrow!

One of my favorite things about fall is being able to revisit all of my favorite cold weather recipes. And this one is a goodie.

This recipe for Chicken Enchiladas is one of my favorite things to make when I am in the mood for some serious "comfort" in my comfort food. It is easy to put together waaaaay ahead of time and is one of my favorite things to make when we have company coming to town.

Chicken Enchiladas

4# boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans green chili sauce 10 oz. each (divided)
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup (10 ¾ oz)
2 cans diced green chilies
16 oz light sour cream
3#mozzarella cheese (grated and divided)
24-36 corn tortillas
*cooking spray
*Cumin, Salt and Pepper

Season chicken liberally with cumin, salt and pepper and pan fry or grill until done. Cube when cool.

In a large bowl mix 1 can green chili sauce, 2 cans of cream of chicken soup (light, reg. or free), 2 cans of green chilies, 16 oz. light (or regular) sour cream*, and 2# grated mozzarella cheese. Add cooled cubed chicken and mix well.

In a skillet, spray corn tortillas with cooking spray (3 to 4 at a time) and warm over medium low heat until pliable (turning at least once). Once all of your tortillas are warmed and ready, spray the enchilada pans you are using. (This recipe makes either one large 9x13 pan plus 1 small pan of enchiladas, or 3 medium sized pans...) fill each tortilla with about 1/2 cup of enchilada mixture and place the rolled tortillas side by side into a baking dish. Mix the remaining enchilada filling with the other can of green chili sauce -- and top the rolled enchiladas with the mixture. Then sprinkle each pan with the remaining 1# of grated mozzarella cheese.

(* I have found that going totally " fat free" doesn't work very well -- especially with the sour cream -- YMMV*)

At this point you can either cover tightly with foil and freeze (for up to 3 months) or bake the Enchiladas at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour (until brown and bubbly). Let the Enchiladas sit 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

If baking frozen -- bake at 350 covered for 1 hour and uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour until browned and bubbly. Let the Enchiladas sit for at least 20 minutes after baking and enjoy!


Friday Already?

Really? Jeez -- that went fast. And I still feel like I am behind.

The weather promises to be crisp and chilly today and I am going to be up to my eyeballs with household chores. Did a quick surf around some blogs this morning and found that Bou had some choice words for those who refuse to prepare for a hurricane...

So this is my question... who in the hell were those people bitching that the FEMA people didn't react to give them ice and water in a timely manner? It was only TWENTY-FOUR HOURS after the storm. HELLO?!!!

And I saw a picture of a woman on day two, waiting in line for diapers for her baby. What?!!!! WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?!!!

And before anyone says they were the indigent, you're wrong. I am sure some of them were. There are poor people in S. Fl, but most in that line were not. I saw the people waiting in the lines. They could surely have afforded water and dry goods for a few days. I don't want to hear it. Some of them came from GATED COMMUNITIES! YES! It is true!!! There was NO EXCUSE for the LONG ASS lines of people waiting in their cars WASTING GASOLINE, only 24 hours after the storm.

I mean, if I was annoyed listening to the people complaining about the lack of FEMA response 24 whole hours after the hurricane goes through I can only imagine the frustration felt by those who actually *do* prepare. Good Grief! Bou has way more patience with the situation than I would have -- stupid/lazy people tick me off.....

We were in Chicago yesterday having some fun. (I hope to have some pics to post later.) There are some happy happy White Sox fans running around the Windy City this week. Nothing like a World Series win to put folks in a good mood.... But, as always, you can't please everyone -- we saw lots of happy faces and one kind of skulky guy who was wearing a "White Sox Suck" tee shirt. I'm not quite sure what he was trying to accomplish -- maybe he just felt the need to get his ass kicked or something....

Anyway, we had a fine day inspite of some rainy weather.

Okay, enough procrastinating. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I can't imagine a Mother alive who hasn't had this moment......

Well, it's *almost* Halloween, I guess....

For some reason, school will be out for the next week or so (something about parent teacher conferences combined with teacher workshops & meetings, blah,blah,blah.....) I don't pretend to understand the reasoning behind the scheduling....

So the kids are having all of their fall parties and annual costume parade today. A tad early, but what the hey -- nobody asked me..... I am hoping to get some cutie pics of the parade later and I have my cupcakes decorated and ready to roll for the parties.

I just love seeing all of the kids in costume -- even the ones who dress in something that has fake blood dripping from a horrific wound. (There was a kid last year who's whole mask would look like it was gushing blood at any given moment. It was a big hit with the 10 and under crowd....)

K and A are going as a Witch and a Ninja (respectively). An excellent costume choice given the potential for cold weather here. (I am always thankful when they choose a costume idea that can be layered for warmth if necessary.)

There's nothing like spending the afternoon with a bunch of sugared up costumed 5 to 10 year olds to get into the Halloween spirit......

Monday, October 24, 2005

It's Monday

.....and I got nothin'.

Nothing big is happening around here -- we did have to finally break down and turn on the furnace last night which was a bummer. I was hoping to hold out for a while longer yet. I swear, just three weeks ago we were still running the AC for cryin' out loud!

Hubby has been watching what can only be described as "Storm P0rn" all morning. Does it make me a bad person to kinda wish that these idiot reporters would actually get hit with some debris just for being stupid enough to be out in the hurricane?? Good grief!

So, not much happening here -- I should probably be thankful considering what other folks are going to be doing today and in the coming weeks, huh?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday Fun

Well, it's going to be a busy day. We have Grandma L. here and pumpkins to carve -- not to mention 50 cupcakes to bake and decorate for class parties next week.... I have plenty to keep me busy....

If you need something to keep busy -- these are fun...

You are Kermit the Frog.
You are reliable, responsible and caring. And you
have a habit of waving your arms about
maniacally. (**I really do have an arm flappin' habit... lol)

"Hi ho!" "Yaaay!" and
"How Green Was My Mother"

"Surfin' the Webfoot: A Frog's Guide to the

Sitting in the swamp playing banjo.

"Hmm, my banjo is wet."

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

H/T Alli


result 1
Your a Verbal Linguistic. Your probably pretty good
at expressing yourself. You love to read and
write and sometimes wish you could become one
with your books or peices of writing. Your
strong point in school is probably english. You
should become a Writer of somekind maybe a
novelist or a news paper writer.

What Type of Intelligence do you have? 8 different results. -*-*-cool anime pictures-*-*-
brought to you by

H/T ALa at Blond Sagacity


And just for the record, while I am goofing around today, I feel fortunate that I am not having to put up hurricane shutters (like Bou) and get ready (like VW) for a bitchy woman named Wilma (like GuyK). Very fortunate. My thoughts are with all of those folks in Florida.....

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Well, we're off to O'Hare to pick up Hubby's Mother -- she is flying in from Arizona to enjoy some Fall fun with us. I've got the Fall part covered for sure! It's 48 and drizzly as I type.

We hope to be home in time to catch the game. I hope the Sooners show up today.....


Wow. I wouldn't want to be this guy...



**Pick Up**


"Hi honey, this is Daddy, Is Mommy near the phone?"

"No Daddy, She's upstairs in the bedroom with Uncle Paul "

After a brief pause, Daddy says, "But honey, you haven't got an uncle Paul..."

"Oh yes I do, and he's upstairs in the room with Mommy, right now!"

Brief Pause "Uh, okay then, this is what I want you to do.
Put the phone down on the table, run upstairs and knock on the bedroom door, and shout to Mommy that Daddy's car just pulled into the driveway."

"Okay Daddy, just a minute..."

A few minutes later the little girl comes back to the phone.
"I did it Daddy."

"And what happened honey?" he asked

"Well, Mommy got all scared, jumped out of bed with no clothes on and ran around screaming. Then she tripped over the rug, hit her head on the dresser and now she isn't moving at all!"

"Oh my God!!! What about your Uncle Paul ?"

"He jumped out of the bed with no clothes on too. He was all scared and he jumped out of the back window and into the swimming pool. But I guess he didn't know that you took out the water last week to clean it.
He hit the bottom of the pool and I think he's dead"

***Long Pause***

***Longer Pause***

Then Daddy says, "Swimming pool??"... Is this 486-5731 ??

Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm Procrastinating....

....sing it with me now!

Lots to do and no desire to do it. (And let's face it, I am the only one who gives a crap if it gets done anyway....) So let's dink around and look for funny stuff to link!

Mens Room Monologue This is awesome! A flash cartoon that Hubby says is spot on -- he hates "crowders" too! I learn something new everyday.... like what a "crowder" is...

Laid Off -- Help Wanted Who knew unemployment could be so funny? (Another flash cartoon)

And just the thing to get us ready for some Football tomorrow: the camera angle counts, folks... big time. At least he looks happy though, right?

You never know what you're going to run accross...

Check out these two guys lip synching a 98DegreeN'BackstreetSynchBoys** song -- sooo funny!
BTB -- I want it that way

I wonder if making the video will help them get lucky anytime soon and their oblivious roommate cracks me up!

H/T Blackfive
**Maybe it's my age, but they are all like one band to me.........

Frightening stuff

As I clicked around the blogosphere this morning I noticed that there is a lot of scary stuff happening out there!

First, That 1 Guy at Drunken Wisdom described a trip down into his cellar/ basement to retrieve storm windows. Yikes! He can cope okay with spiders, but I feel pretty certain that you could hold a gun to my head and I wouldn't be making that trip -- I *hate* spiders. ::shudder::

Then Eric of Straight White Guy fame has an interesting tale (ummm okay, fetish description) where stinky = sexy. Ohhhkaaay. Scary to think about -- but to each their own.... (and once again I am thankful not to be French).

And then Bou at Boudicca's Voice has put together a map (actually 2) of Florida bloggers getting ready to deal with that b*tch Wilma. Yikes! Gonna be thinking about those folks all weekend.

So I think I am going to cross my fingers for the Florida folks and go bake some cookies or something -- I need good smells and happy imagery now....

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Santa?? Is that you???

............filed under Good Grief!

Fall has officially arrived here. And what that means (along with beautiful foliage and skies that are so blue that they look fake and crisp fall weather) is that all of the humidity is knocked out of the air. You can actually *feel* your skin tightening throughout the day. Not a good feeling. Not good at all....

So yesterday, I noticed that I was woefully low on my favorite, favorite lotion. (Body creme, actually...) And that's bad. That means that I was going to have to make a trip to the mall. (Aacckk phtbbttt.....)

You see, I am not a "girly girl." I don't spend a lot of time on makeup or futzing with my hair and it took some time (and a bit of age) before I was ready to admit to myself that I really needed a good moisturizer (or any kind of moisturizer). I simply wasn't interested in adding another "step" to my routine.

I have since discovered that I actually need a couple.... and I know where I can get them! It's just that I really do not like to go to the MALL -- blech. Even though that's where my favorites reside.

A little history: I am lucky in that I have one of those girlfriends that knows everything that-there-is-to-know about excellent skin care products. She has a revolving stable of favorites that she is constantly adding to. And because she knows that I will NEVER do the research (or the shopping), myself -- she periodically sends me stuff that the thinks I would like. Niiiice.

She was also the person that took me to Bath and Body Works for the first time.... And they had the bestest, nicest smelling lotions, sprays, soaps and gels around...

I'll admit it. I LOVED it! Or at least, I loved what I found there. Fresh clean scents that were not too overpowering and that came in an array of products (in matching containers....) Heaven.... Products that would make your skin smooth and moisturized and make you smell good. Whoohoo!

Now, over the past 5 years, Bath and Body Works has continually discontinued my favorite products, much to my dismay. But there is *still* one scent left that I truly enjoy -- Juniper Breeze.

(Now, of course, they will probably discontinue that one too -- HELLO... Bath and Body Works: I DO NOT want to smell like a fruit salad or marinade. I will not buy something named or smelling like coconut lime verbena..... Quit taking my scents away!!!! Mmmmkay?)
Anyhoo, back to the topic at hand. We went to the Mall yesterday so I could pick up some more of my lovely lotion. (Ahem, I mean body creme...) And when we walked into the store it was CHRISTMAS!!!

Now, I'm not talking a little bit of Christmas waiting in the wings here, people. I am talking full fleged decorations, cinnamon scented candles, twinkle lights, evergreens, gift packs, ornaments, and music!!! Holy crap! Are they kidding??? We are 11 days away from Halloween for cryin' out loud! I do not need to start thinking about Christmas before I have even carved a frickin' pumpkin! That's all I'm saying..........

And this is a loooong post to just get to the question -- what is up with that??? Did I miss the memo where we have to start all things Christmas by mid October?? Good grief....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's Been A Good Day

After some nasty news we got nearly 3 weeks ago, Hubby is once again gainfully employed!!

And he is going to be able to postpone his start date meaning he will be available while our company (flying in Saturday) is here! Whoohoo!

And as an added bonus I am pretty sure that I will not have to go work graveyards at UPS (though I would if I needed too...)

Yes. It has been a really good day............

FYI: I am once again using a "stunt pet" -- one of these days I will do a post picturing one (or both) of my dogs...


Yesterday, we saw this tree on our way home from school.

It was so pretty I just had to get a picture before the cold front and wind came through taking all of the leaves....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Playing in the Pumpkin Patch

How much fun is this?

The goal was to try and hit a target in the lake....

Winner gets a free pumpkin, of course!

Saturday we made our way north (near Lodi) to a terrific farm/pumpkin patch to have some fall fun accompanied (okay, so that should read lead) by our neighbors. It was a perfect day -- sunny, warm and gorgeous. Boy Scouts selling brats, chickens vying for stray bits of popcorn, goats to pet (when they weren't trying to eat the garbage), a corn maze, and a gajillion pumpkins to choose from.

We had a great time.

It was one of those days that I wish I could bottle -- just so that when we are having a crap day, I could pop the cork and savor the essence.

(You know, actually, it would be nice to have a whole shelf full of bottles like that, just to get us through, oh say February..... But I digress.....)

There were all manner of squash and gourds to choose from as well. I bought an array so that maybe I can plant the seeds an grow a few of my own! I haven't decided if I am going to plant the seeds from this guy, though....

I mean, how many alien pods can one girl need in a lifetime? Unless I can figure out a way to make them glow and look like they are pulsating -- then it would be kinda cool......

I picked this one because it looks a bit like yoda.... Don't you think?

Would a "yoda head on a platter" be too traumatic for Halloween? I don't want to earn more tricks than treats after all....

Monday, October 17, 2005

Even accidental good news..... good news none the less.

We just found out that Hubby's student loans are paid off.

Not because we have been paying close attention and counting down how many payments we had left. Oh no. The only reason we found out is because Sallie Mae sent us a check and asked us to please stop sending them money.

Now that was nice of them, wasn't it?

Quiz Fun

Well, because it's Monday and I have a TON of catching up to do after a very busy weekend (our trip to the pumpkin patch was AWESOME) some fun quizzes will have to pretend to be "blog content" for right now....

You Are A....Witch!



What's Your Halloween Costume? .:with pics:.
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmmmm 'kay. But I am *not* wearing that outfit. I don't care what they say......
fly dude
You are followed by the Demon of Confusion. This
demon will make you confused about what you
want to do next. You can be quiet often and a
little on the dark side, but not depressed. You
can sometimes make poor decisions because the
Demon won't let you find which one is right,
but you remain calm which is good in many
situations. This is probably the hardest Demon
to get rid of. Hopefully you will grow out of
it or you can try accepting more things they
way they are.

What Demon Follows you? ..:Interesting Pics:..
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Quit it!

You know that you have been living with someone for a while when they look at you and say:
"Quit acting like me!!!"
And it makes you laugh.... I'm just sayin'.....

Saturday, October 15, 2005

You know you live in Wisconsin when....

.....the lady sitting in front of you at the soccer game has The Chicken Dance as her cell phone ringer......

Hickory Ham Sandwiches

I developed this recipe after having a Hickory Ham Sandwich at a restaurant in Guthrie, Oklahoma that was just to die for. They served it with a giant pile of fried onions and enough sauce that you practically had to eat it with a fork.

Since this weeks Carnival of the Recipes is an *all pork carnival* I thought that this would be the perfect recipe to share.

Hickory Ham Sandwiches:

1C. Ketchup
1C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. BBQ Sauce
juice from 1 lemon

1-2 Pounds Deli Ham

To prepare: Whisk together sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a light simmer then reduce heat. In another pan, warm up the deli ham until lightly browned and excess liquid is released. Toss ham with hickory sauce and warm through. Serve on toasted buns.

It is even better served with lightly fried onions, if you feel so inclined:

Thinly slice onions into strips, liberally season with salt and pepper. Toss with flour (approx 1C. per medium onion) and fry in 375 degree oil until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve warm. Enjoy!

ALa at Blond Sagacity has done a wonderful job hosting this weeks Carnival -- lots of yummy pork recipes (and others) can be found here. Thanks ALa! Well done!

Friday, October 14, 2005

All's Quiet

Well, Hubby is off to Madison for job interviews, and I am realizing how much I have come to enjoy my little bits of quiet and autonomy that exist hand in hand with school days.

It's nice to have the house to myself today -- even with all of the normal housework stuff to be done and the phone ringing every few minutes (mostly with Hubby needing my "personal assistant" skills). What would he do without me?? I mean, besides his own laundry and the other obvious things....

Fall has arrived en force here -- leaves are changing so rapidly it's practically like time lapse photography (without the time lapse). This weekend, in a joint exercise with the neighbors, we are going to take the girls to a pumpkin patch for some fun. It's supposed to be 65 and sunny and Halloween is right around the corner so it's definitely time to go bag our limit of large orange gourds. Gotta have pumpkins, right?

Halloween is a favorite of mine. Of course, every holiday has it's high points, but I like that there is no "formula" to Halloween. No real structure is imposed or required to enjoy it. It's one of the few holidays where you can just fly by the seat of your pants. No special/traditional meal to prepare. No need to attend a service of any kind. No need to put up elaborate decorations (but you can if you want to). Just a costume and some candy combined with running around in the dark with your friends. Ta-da!! Holiday!

Now I just have to get the girls to decide what they want to be this year. And really, how cool is that for a kid? Getting to decide for yourself once a year just what or who you want to be. Just for a day -- sky's the limit.
Go for it , kid. Knock yourself out.
And at their ages (7 1/2 and 9) their choices are tinged with just enough actual belief you can almost see the magic. Just a glimpse of it, mind you, out of the corner of your eye. But you can see it none the less.

And yes, for the record. I dress up too.... I have my cloak and my hat and my wand thankyouverymuch. Halloween is for big kids too, you know. And I need to catch a glimpse of my own magic once in a while. If for no other reason, just to remember what it feels like.

And the cloak? Crushed purple velvet, of course. Very fashion forward they tell me.....

What? It's Friday? Oh.....

Well, I got this via email. Looks like I shouldn't sweat the typos so much....

Take a minute (If you have one)and read this.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I clud aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.
The phaomneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in teh rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter byistlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed"Typoglycemia".Amzanig, eh?

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Not much and too much going on today all at once.

Hubby is off on another interview -- we are hopeful that something will be happening for us on the job front soon. He has had several promising interviews this week (thank heavens).

I am busy doing all of the things that no one notices are done -- unless they aren't done.

Had a yummy lunch today inspired by the upcoming carnival of the recipes -- an all pork carnival this week in honor of Piglet being banned in West Midlands (UK).
Politicians banned the display of toy pigs and other pig-related items in municipal offices as a result of a single complaint from a Muslim.
So I will be posting my recipe for Hickory Ham Sandwiches in the not too distant future.

Otherwise, not much going on. Well, at least here.... in other parts of the country it's my Dad's Birthday! Happy Birthday, Pop -- I hope you have a wonderful day! LU

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Nice Things About Kids Getting Older

....because I want to focus on something nice right now. And I like to write lists.....

As your kids get older:

They become increasingly easier to hug -- and you can hug them without having to also pick them up. (Though I kind of like the pick up and hug option...)

They stop saying "Mommy... Mommy... Mommy... Mommy... Mommy... Mommy." like it's a whole sentence.

They can wash their own hair.

They can remember what they need in their backpack for school.

They bring you appropriately picked flowers (ie. not stolen from the neighbors garden).

They know when they are going to throw up (trust me, that's nice).

They can play together outside without you being 2 feet away at all times (and they still invite you to play sometimes).

They know how to cross the street safely without you having to say anything -- and they do.

You can logically explain why some things are the way they are and they understand you. (The "yeah, but WHY??" goes away....)

Screams usually have a legitimate reason behind them -- they are not just a way to punctuate a sentence.

When they "help" with household chores it actually helps.

You actually look forward to seeing some of the movies that they want to see.

An "I love you" combined with a hug still makes them feel better -- and sometimes they can return the favor.

Okay, that's a good start. Feel free to add your own if you feel so inclined.... :)


3:10 am and I am (once again) up -- man, will I ever be glad when this little stress side affect goes away.......

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I've been promoted!

Well.... no, not really promoted per se, but my role as Chief Cook and Bottle Washer will be temporarily exchanged for the role of Executive Secretary to the new CEO of Alta Vista Promotions. Whoohoo!

Gee, I hope I don't get fired or busted down to Laundress..... at least not until after lunch.....

Quiz fun....

Dominant Personality: Understanding

Good Traits: You gravitate towards people,
and are a shoulder to lean on. You give advice
at any given time.

Bad Traits: You aren't close with any one
person. You immerse yourself in other people's
problems and forget your own.

People see you as: Friendly, secretive, and
popular. People envy you, and may try and use
you as a tool

You're most like: Grace. You both have
positive relationships with people. Neither of
you have close friends, but unlike graceful
people, you try to help people out and aren't
as arrogant.

You need more: Solitude. You hardly get the
chance to breathe when you take on the world's
problems. You can't take other's
responsibilities or put them before your own.
Be selfish once in a while and discover who you
really are.

What's your dominant trait? (10 unique results)
brought to you by Quizilla

Yep -- this sounds about right.....

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cleaning out gutters today...

...makes you think about all the meanings of the word: Fall.

Confirmation Preview

In case you were wondering what Harriet Miers confirmation hearing was going to be like, Hubris has a great preview......


Filed under what????'re joking, right?

No, they're not joking. As seen on the Today show this morning (following this story in the New York Times) there are women advocating the potty training of infants. Seriously -- no diapers for their kids.

Is it just me or does that just seem a tad over the top? Not to mention more than a little unsanitary......

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Random Quote

...heard today. And for some reason it struck me funny.
"Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley."
Extra points if you know the source.....

Well, there weren't any ponys....

.....but we did see balloons!!

There weren't too many people in attendance probably because of the chill in the air. But the girls had a blast.

We came upon this mini Balloon Festival purely by chance.

Hubby and A. went on their usual weekend afternoon bike ride and discovered the balloonists just getting started at the fall festival. Via the magic of cell phones -- K. and I were able to gather up and join them for the fun.

The very nice female pilot of the balloon pictured at right let the girls and many of the other folks in attendance help prepare her balloon named Inspiration for the glow. I think that K and A would have given just about anything to go up in on of those beautiful balloons last night. She described in detail what it takes to pilot and care for a hot air balloon. And she gave them better than a front row seat to the glow -- the girls actually got to be in the basket while the balloons lit up the sky.

We got home just about frozen but still basking in a bit of the residual glow.

As Kathy Lester-Ross (the pilot of the Inspiration) put it,
"A balloon is good for nothing but having fun."
And fun we had.

Pretty, huh?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes #60 up! And fabulously hosted by Dave at The Glittering Eye.....

It looks like I will get no solace from football today so I will have to soothe my senses reading through all of the yummy posted. Everything looks sooooo good. Thank heavens for comfort food..... And I can't wait to try this!

Go Sooners!!!!

Oh for the love of......well all the stuff. I want some longhorn steak for dinner!


Update 3:35pm: :( No steak for me tonight. Boo. Now I am extra glad that I
made enchiladas yesterday....

And We're Off!

...........'Cuz it's Saturday, of course.

Youngest has soccer this morning (the early game -- Brrrrrr...) and then we off to the Fall Festival for a while. I am slated to pony up a pint at the blood drive there and the girls are just hoping for a pony ride, period.

Then home for the game (oh please, oh please, oh please, {{GO OU!}}) and some yummy Fall-weather lunch -- I'm thinkin' enchiladas.

Not bad for a Saturday, huh?

Poor Dopey....

....via email -- this made me laugh HARD....

The seven dwarfs go to the Vatican, and because they are THE seven dwarfs,they are ushered in to see the Pope.

Dopey Leads the pack. "Dopey, my son," says the Pope, "what can I do for you?"

Dopey asks, "Excuse me your Excellency, but are there any dwarf nuns in Rome?"

The Pope wrinkles his brow at the odd question, thinks for a moment and answers,"No, Dopey, there are no dwarf nuns in Rome."

In the background a few of the dwarfs start giggling. Dopey turns around and gives them a glare, silencing them.

Dopey turns back, "Your Worship, are there any dwarf nuns in all of Europe?"

The Pope, puzzled now, again thinks for a moment and then answers, "No, Dopey, there are no dwarf nuns in Europe."

This time, all of the other dwarfs burst into laughter. Once again, Dopey turns around and silences them, with an angry glare.

Dopey turns back and says, "Mr. Pope! Are there ANY dwarf nuns anywhere in the world?"

"I'm sorry, my son, there are no dwarf nuns anywhere in the world."

The other dwarfs collapse into a heap, rolling and laughing, pounding the floor, tears rolling down their cheeks, as they begin chanting......

"Dopey screwed a penguin!"...... "Dopey screwed a penguin!"......

H/T Dal

Friday, October 07, 2005


The news is doing nothing for me today...
(blah blah blah Miers, blah blah blah Katie Holmes and Jessica Simpson [who cares?] blah blah blah terrorist threat [well, duh...], blah blah blah high gas prices [again, duh...] blah blah blah.....)
...and it is a brisk forty something degrees out and cloudy so I am going to cook today.

A big pot of homemade Chicken Soup, Chicken Enchiladas, and I think I will do some baking -- I want to make this Herbed bread that has been sounding good. If nothing else I will be happily distracted, while filling my house with good smells (while I fill the freezer too). Always a good thing.

It's Homecoming here today and hubby had promised the girls that he would take them to the game -- what could be better than a nice bowl of chicken soup before (and possibly after) that?

So that's what I will be doing. What's on your agenda for today?


I can attest as a Yankee married to an Okie Indigo Insights has it right....
there is a difference -- Southern Football vs. Northern Football. A teaser.....
Getting Football Tickets:
NORTH: One hour before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus and purchase tickets.
SOUTH: Five months before the game you walk into the ticket office on campus and put your name on waiting list for tickets.

Friday Classes After a Thursday Night Game:
NORTH: Students and teachers not sure they're going to the game, because they have classes on Friday.
SOUTH: Teachers cancel Friday classes because they don't want to see the few hung over students that might actually make it to class.
Indigo has lots more -- some of those differences I learned the hard way.... It's a funny worth reading....

Thursday, October 06, 2005

5 Things Meme

ArmyWifeToddlerMom posted a 5 things meme today and said that she wasn't going to tag people -- she wanted everybody to answer.

(It's something she's doing while being pissed so I figure I can play since I'm freaked out, right?)

So anyhoo, here goes...

5 things I plan to do before I die:
1. Visit New York City.
2. Take a cruise.
3. See the girls grown up and happy.
4. Write a novel.
5. Tour Europe.

5 things I can do:
1. Cook.
2. Work hard and play hard.
3. Plan and cater an event/party.
4. Be a true and loyal friend.
5. Stand up for myself and others.

5 things I cannot do:
1. Play golf.
2. Run fast.
3. Tolerate whineyness or meanness.
4. Eat raw fish.
5. Stand by while someone is being hurt.

5 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. Wit.
2. Arms.
3. A sense of humor.
4. Smile.
5. Masculinity balanced by kindness. (no metrosexuals or girly men)

5 Things I say most often:
1. Get OFF of your sister!
2. Wash your hands.
3. Please? Thank you.
4. Could you please put _______ away? or hang _______ up?
5. Love ya.

So, what are your 5 things? Hmmmm?

Reason Number 2,178....

....why I will never be skinny.

Because I know how to make this.

This is Grandma's recipe for Baked Macaroni and Cheese. And believe me, it tastes and smells even better than it looks. Comfort food at it's most basic and a dinner requested by Grandma while she was here visiting.

Now before you get the image of G.G. sitting back and dictating what I make for dinner, let me tell you that she is VERY subtle...

"Boy," says G.G. "On a gray and rainy day like today a big pan of macaroni and cheese sure sounds good...."

Yep. It sure does.

Grandma's Macaroni and Cheese

16 oz. Elbow macaroni
2# Grated cheddar cheese**
3/4 C. Milk
Soft margarine
Salt and Pepper

Cook the macaroni using plenty of salted water past "al-dente" but not until they are falling apart. You want them a tad soft.

Grease a 9x13 inch pyrex baking dish with margarine. Begin the layering process with a layer of cheese, top with macaroni and season with salt and pepper** then repeat the layering process making sure to season each layer of macaroni with salt and pepper. Top of the pan with a final layer of cheese.

To bake: Heat the oven to 350. Drizzle 3/4C. of milk over the macaroni and cheese just before you put the pan in the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the cheese on top is starting to brown and looks bubbly. Let it sit 10-15 minutes before serving. Yum!

**There is no such thing as too much cheese. IMO, 2# is the minimum you should use for this recipe. I always need a couple of extra handfuls to get it topped the way I want it.

**I do not use pepper when I am making this for my girls -- they seem to be under the impression that they don't like pepper. YMMV.

**Update: 11/18/08 I now use a three cheese blend - Monterrey Jack, colby and cheddar. It's the yum.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Okay, I've been told

That it's time to RELAX..... I'm going to chant the mantra --

Everything is going to be fine....
Everything is going to be fine....
Everything is going to be fine....

And picture this:

Hubby has spent the morning talking me down out of my tree. I know I tend to get a little ramped up when I am stressed. [Gee, ya think? -- e.d.] Yeah, yeah, I know. So okay. Deep breathing. It's time to be the cat........

(Note -- the above cat is *not* my cat. I figured a using a stunt cat for imaging purposes would be okay....)

Ahhh Sleep.....

I don't know if it was because I finally made a plan.

Or if it was the three fingers of Glenmorangie I enjoyed out on the patio last night listening to the crickets.

Or if I was just finally so tired the inevitable happened. But last night I slept -- 'till 6:00am. And it was great....

Oh! And thanks to Eric at SWG for the scotch recommendations -- the Glenmorangie was delicious and shall be enjoyed again.... Amber nectar indeed....

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Let the search begin!

Time to start making things happen before I "what if" myself right into the looney bin.

So what if I haven't been a member of the work force in any meaningful way in about a decade? I'm not broken. I've just been a Mom full time -- and even now I'm not quite willing to re-assign the girls another primary care giver. So, what do I do? Well, the way I see it, I am going to have to get a little more flexible and/or a LOT more creative.

Here's the thing, stress for me equals no sleep. I crash at 10 pm only to find myself wide awake at either 1:10 am or 3:10 am (always 10 after -- weird, I know). And that sucks -- but I'm thinking, why not go with it?? I am already sick of waking up in the middle of the night with a big long list of worries and nothing to do about them so I have decided that it must be a sign to start looking for a 3rd shift kind of job.

Think about it -- a traditional 9-5 deal would be a big hassle if the girls are sick or on Christmas vacation, right? Not to mention summer.... jeez, that would never work.....

A evening gig would mean a caregiver in the afternoons (provided hubby gets a "normal" type of day job). And he has been working 60-70 hours per week for years. I don't see that changing. The Caregiver overlap combined with the fact that would never get to see members of my family makes evenings a poor choice.

That leaves working nights (or an early morning 2am- 8am kinda "make the doughnuts" deal). That way I could technically be available during the day if one of the kids are sick, hubby would obviously be home at night so we wouldn't have to worry about an extra caregiver for evenings, holidays or summer. I'm thinking that finding a 3rd shift gig might just be the best short term (or possibly long term) solution.

Now don't think that I have all of these pollyanna ideas about what it is to work nights. I worked a graveyard shift for a while in college -- I already know that being a Vampire sucks.
(hee hee -- get it? Vampire -- sucks? Oh nevermind... see what being overtired and stressed is doing to me?)
I think though that given the parameters I am dealing with I may have come up with a fairly viable solution. Hmmmm? Any suggestions?

Monday, October 03, 2005


So Hubby just now strolls through the kitchen the phone pressed to one ear (on hold with who knows) while he uses his handy dandy ear and nose hair trimmer on the other.
"Multi-tasking, Honey." he says.
Oh my -- he needs to get a job soon........


.........I don't have to have my game face on today -- and trust me, that's a good thing.

We got G.G. off to the plane yesterday and went to IKEA anyway, circumstances be damned. I do so love that store and one day I look forward to really getting my IKEA groove on. We did buy a great floor lamp ($7.99 people!) and picked up a couple of bowls that I really liked. Then we came home.

Hubby continues to be over the moon about having the opportunity to make a career change. He has ideas coming so hard and fast he is practically tripping himself with glee. I can't imagine what it would be like if he were depressed or despondent, but glee? Good thing I trust him -- otherwise I might think he was crazy.

I am trying to catch ahold of his enthusiasm, I really am. It's hard for me -- I do not like change and I do not like feeling like I have been completely screwed over. I. Just. Don't. And I hate the uncertainty most of all.

Probably the worst of it, is that these people had been to my home. It's not like we were a nameless, faceless entity to them. They knew us. I had offered them good food and drink and fellowship -- the best of my hospitality -- and they f*cked us anyway. That pisses me off. That, and the call we got from the business manager (who held the knife in place just to ensure the backstabbing went off without a hitch) with a plaintive,
"Can't we still be friends???"
Are you frickin' kidding me?!?!? No. No, we can't. And don't come anywhere near me - thanks. You and people like you make me sick. Oh, and she is getting a promotion out of this deal -- isn't that just charming?

So, I admit to having some very vindictive thoughts -- and I am trying to let them go. I really am. Because vindictiveness is not attractive or necessarily helpful, I know.

Still, there are a few folks I would like to see fall down a muddy rock strewn slope today -- I really would. I would give a little push, smile, and walk away.
Just. Like. That.
And never give it another thought.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Fun on Sunday

You Are A: Pony!

ponyWho doesn't love a pony? You are one of these miniature horses, renown for your beauty and desired by many. Full of grace, you are a beautiful and very special animal, with a long, flowing mane that blows in the breeze.

You were almost a: Bear Cub or a Duck
You are least like a: Groundhog or a ChipmunkThe Cute Animals Quiz

.....hmmmm. I almost think I might have rather been a bear cub. Oh well, a pony is pretty good too!

h/t SarakK

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Well, at least we have some good news today.... The Sooners actually showed up and decided to play some football! 43/21 (thank Heavens). Boomer Sooner!

Update 10/2 -- Didn't hear about this last night but it sounds kinda scary...

NORMAN, Okla. - One person was killed in an explosion near a packed football stadium at the University of Oklahoma on Saturday night in what authorities said appeared to be a suicide.

“We are apparently dealing with an individual suicide, which is under full investigation,” Boren said in a statement. There was no information about the person who was killed, and no reports of any other injuries.


Re-enacted by bunnies (in 30 seconds).

There can only be one!