Monday, July 28, 2008

The Bug Hunters

Just a quick check in with everyone. We are having a blast. I am sooooooo happy to have The Girl home. I want to share a story with you.

I live in a 40 - 50 year old house in the Deep South. That means bugs. You cannot get away from them. And I have kids. Which means crumbs. Crumbs = Bugs. Deep South = Bugs x 100. So. I have bugs. My middle child is scared of bugs. When he sees a bug he screams. It could be a roach, a gnat, a housefly, a spider.... it doesn't matter. He screams "A Bug, A Bug!" and I go running with the fly swatter to kill it. (This can be really amusing when we are outside.) I have a heavy duty bug swatter. I swear, this thing is like an inch thick and is attached to a tire iron.

Anyway. This evening (as I type this) my son is leading his sister and his grandmother on a merry chase through the house in search of bugs. When he finds one he jumps up and down and points while hollering "a bug, a bug!" at the top of his lungs. His sister then screams and his grandmother attacks the bug with the swatter. It is highly amusing. He then says Thank You to his grandmother. What can I say.... he is polite! LOL LOL LOL

So, the bug hunters are on the loose. They may have to move outside soon as I think they are running out of bugs in the house.

Maybe I should rent them out......

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tomorrow.... Tomorrow....

Tomorrow is the day that my darling daughter comes home to me! SHe, my mother and my MIL will be driving up here from Florida. I canNOT wait to see her. It has been a long summer without her.

I may not be posting again after tomorrow until the following week. It depends upon how busy we are and what we are doing.

Think of me wrapping my arms around The Girl and getting picked up in a big hug! I can't wait.....

While youa re here.... go read this post from Lotus. I think she just wrote the story of my life....

Sorrow

Can I see another's woe, and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another's grief, and not seek for kind relief?

-William Blake

My tears today are for you, Claudia. I hope that, somehow, you are able to find a lessening of the grief that you are feeling. You have my love and my hugs. You have my thoughts and my tears. Nothing else can be said.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Today...

I have hours, days, weeks, even months where I feel powerful. I feel loved and loving, sexy and beautiful. Times where I am confident and strong and where my insides match my outsides. Where I am the Mother/ Wife/ Woman that I want to be. And I know it. And that self-confidence and self-love just oozes out of me to surround me in an aura of bright sparkling yellows and blues and greens. Happy, content, peaceful.

And then there are those times.

When deep down inside my heart and mind that little bitty corner of my soul is opened. And there is a tiny little girl there with big eyes and ratty hair. That girl is absolutely positive that enough is never enough. That no one could possibly love her. She whispers in my ear over and over. Chanting. "Not good enough. Not good enough."

That little girl is someone that I am terrified of. She makes me run fast and hard.

But how do you escape what is inside of you?

I confront her and comfort her. And eventually she fades away. And I am back to being who I am.

But those times leave me feeling vulnerable. When any little harsh word or lack of words can make me crack and tremble and leak my sorrow all over my household.

I hate that.

I hate not feeling in control of myself. My emotions. My life.

Even in the midst of facing down these doubts, I still, intellectually, KNOW who and what I am. I live my life and drive and change diapers and laugh and live. But still, at night, I crawl in bed and huddle with tears behind my eyes. And I try to wrap my arms around that tiny figure in my soul. And remind her that love is what you make of it. Accept it and be happy. Doubt it and be sad. Life is what you make of it. Struggle and feel trapped. Or relax and feel at peace.

Today I am at peace. Today I am happy.

Today I am Mom. Today I am Honey. Today I am Tracy. Today I am a beautiful, sexy woman. Today I am strong and confident. Today I am me.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Etc

Thanks to everyone for the recipes and for the recipe sites. Big help! I now have to go shopping......

I am working on a couple of posts. The Boy went to see a Childrens Counselor this past week and I want to write about that but am working my way through it.

I will post later today with details.

The Baby is eating crayons. Must go rescue the crayons.....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Help Me Out?

I have not been feeling well, physically or emotionally, for the past few days. Just down in the dumps and yucky. Nothing too worry about, Mom, just blah, meh and so forth.

One of the decisions I have recently made is that I need to start cooking and eating healthier. My family could all use the benefits of healthier eating. However, I am a down-home, southern cook. I cook meat and potatoes meals. That is all I really know how to cook. So, I am looking for help. I want all of you to send me your tried and true recipes for low carb and non-meat meals. Things that you have eaten and loved that are actually healthy and taste good! I am not averse to tofu or meat substitutes and we are adventurous eaters... I just don't usually cook that way!

I am feeding two toddlers, a teen and hubby and I. The teen will probably try anything once. The toddlers are happy with pb&j as needed. Hubby and I love eating different things. I am not just interested in a change for health reasons. I also am very very bored with the same damn meals showing up on my menu every week. I need a change!

So, help me out?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sharing the Wealth

nah nah nah nah-nah-nah-nah... nah-nah-nah-nah.... Hey Jude. I figure if it is stuck in my head then i will just share with all of you. Watch the whole video. It is worth it! Did you know that when you get a song stuck in your head and cannot get rid of it it is called an earworm? Yep. I have earworms. It sounds almost as bad as having chiggers or something. Definately as annoying.

This morning I woke up to my son having decided that the living room table needed a coating of shaving cream. It was fun. Really.

It's OK, you can laugh at me. I only wish that I had been awake enough to take pictures. Maybe next time. I'm sure there will be something else just as amusing sometime fairly soon.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

One of the things that has kept me from spending a lot on my groceries lately is that I keep a well stocked pantry. This means that I have every day essentials and rarely have to "run to the store" for something I need for a recipe. As we all know, those "quick" trips can cost you major money! I ran across this article about keeping a well stocked pantry in a group that I am part of. I thought that I would share with any of you who stop by! I don't have every single thing this list has... but I have some things that are not on here. My pantry is something I try to keep stocked. On those weeks when we have NO money for grocery shopping... I can still feed my family well. It also helps with menu planning!

This is just a general guideline to help you get started stocking both your pantry with baking and refrigerated items, then replace them as you run out. You can change the list to meet your families needs. Every household has basic staple items depending on what you cook more, for us, we use a lot of pastas and soups to go into casseroles and such.

Baking & Spices
baking soda
baking powder
cornstarch
yeast
flour
salt
pepper
peppercorns
sugar
confectioner’s sugar
brown sugar
light corn syrup
vanilla extract
ground cinnamon
nutmeg
ground cloves
powdered ginger
basil
oregano
chili powder
dry mustard
paprika
thyme
tarragon
dill
bay leaves
poultry seasoning
beef, chicken & vegetable bouillon cubes
cream of tartar
unseasoned bread crumbs
Bisquick or pancake mix
powdered milk
unsweetened cocoa powder
unsweetened baking chocolate
chocolate chips

General & Condiments
rice
pasta
dried onion soup mix
tomato paste
tomato sauce
canned tomatoes
peanut butter
jelly
canned tuna
raisins
chocolate syrup
cereals
chicken or beef stock
canned soups
canned beans
olives
canned pears
canned peaches
applesauce
vegetable oil
olive oil
red wine vinegar
white wine vinegar
vegetable shortening
nonstick cooking spray
mayonnaise
ketchup
mustard
salad dressings
soy sauce
hot pepper sauce
Worcestershire sauce
barbecue sauce
salsa
honey
maple syrup
white wine
red wine

Refrigerator
milk
eggs
butter
cheese
yogurt
cottage cheese
cream cheese
sour cream
meats/fish
deli meats
bacon
juices
carrots
celery
lemon
mushroom
lettuce
peppers

Freezer
orange juice concentrate
corn
green beans
spinach
peas
mixed vegetables
ground beef
chicken breasts
shrimp
dinner rolls or bread
ice cream
pie crust
nuts

Fresh
oranges
apples
bananas
tomatoes
potatoes
garlic
onions
bread

Things You’ll Need:
* A Variety Of Pasta And Grains
* Canned Foods
* Canola Oil
* Capers
* Cheeses
* Condiments
* Eggs And Butter
* Garlic And Onions
* Nuts And Seeds
* Olive (not Virgin) Oil
* Olives
* Vinegar
* Wines
* Herbs
* Baking Supplies

Tips For Creating A Pantry
Step1
Create an herb rack or make cupboard space for spices and herbs. Get started with: salt and pepper, chili powder, basil, oregano, rosemary,thyme, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, curry powder, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Some shops sell ready-made herb racks with a selection of jarred seasonings.
Step2
Keep baking supplies handy, such as flour, brown and white sugar,baking powder or soda, cornstarch and vanilla extract. In addition to baking, you'll use these for creating and thickening sauces and sweetening beverages.
Step3
Stock your refrigerator and cupboards with condiments. You can always find uses for mayonnaise, ketchup, mustards, jams and other spreads. Good black olives, pickles, capers and other salty, tangy bites can jazz up your meals as well.
Step4
Refrigerate eggs and freeze butter.
Step5
Keep nuts and seeds around. They're great in cookies and cakes, pastas and salads and for snacking and guests.
Step6
Buy a few kinds of good cheese - at least one grating cheese, like parmesan - for instant tasty protein.
Step7
Store dried pastas, rice, cereals, potatoes and other durable grains. Their value is limitless and you'll never go hungry.
Step8
Always, always, always have garlic and onions available. Almost every type of known cuisine calls for these two items.
Step9
Keep oils for frying (canola and olive, at minimum) and salad dressings; store vinegars (red wine, white wine, balsamic, or all three, plus plain) for vinaigrettes and whenever a little acidity is needed.
Step10
Lay in one bottle of dry white wine and one bottle of red wine, for both cooking and drinking.
Step11
Buy canned and jarred staples for when you're in a pinch. Tuna, canned beans and sauces can start off any kitchen creation. Canned tomatoes are indispensable for quick pasta sauces.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wingmen of Mayhem Unite!

Actually, the title of this post might be misleading. While any post about my WOMs is usually filled with stories of, well, mayhem, this post is more about what my middlest did RIGHT today! LOL Sort of.

The middlest child, as you may remember, is the one who makes me cringe, go gray and scream to the heavens "Why me, oh lord?". After two days of, relatively, normal 3 year old behavior I am starting to wonder what is going on. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop one might say. Waiting for the WOMs to break out of their rut and truly get some mayhem going on!

The Boy has had two days of very few tantrums, sweet love and trying to be independent. Tonight he made himself a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich. Cut the bread with a pair of scissors. Tried to brush his teeth using the "toothpaste" that he got from the bathroom which was actually body wash. Learned how to wash his hands all by himself. Tried to wipe down the coffee table using spray Pam. Then used a spray bottle of water and a towel to clean it off correctly. He then proceeded to climb onto a bar stool, onto the bar and open the cabinets above the bar. He stood there and put his little hand on his chin and said "hmmm" while he tried to find a snack.

I have recently installed refrigerator locks.

Last night he made dinner with his daddy. Pictures will be posted once I get a chance.

Who is this strange child who looks like my son? Who is this masked toddler?

Could it be that he is growing up? Oh, no!

Perhaps he heard talk of family counseling, psychological testing and the possibility of hell.

Or maybe he is just waiting for me to let my guard down. Then he might just pull out all of the stops and... learn to use the potty! Gasp! (Either that or he has taught his little brother all of his tricks and is just waiting for him to get in trouble.)

Wish me luck... for tomorrow is a new day.

All About Me

For anyone just visiting for the first time or those of you who might have missed them in the past, here are some of the posts that tell you a little bit about me.

My Life Part 1
My Life Part 2
My song - Video 1
Video 2
Answers Once Again
Many Answers
Dreaming and Doing
More Answers
Answers About Me


Nothing too earth shaking, folks. Most of my regular visitors have already seen this. But, I am trying to clean up the old template and get things a little better organized.

Happy Day

HaPpY FaiRy WiLL BeAt YoU!!

I think that having a totally happy day at least once a month should be mandatory. I mean.... REALLY happy. Where everything goes right and there are no worries. Children behave and parents actually enjoy them! Food tastes wonderful, friends enjoy visits and everything is right with the world!

Yesterday was that way for me. The only thing missing was my daughter and at least I know she is happy where she is right now.

I hope you all have truly HAPPY days ahead for you as well! If not, the Happy Faerie may just beat the shit out of you....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Night Falls

forest


Fresh, crisp, green-growing scents of Summer...

Rain-dampened ground, cool beneath my feet....

Voices chirping, croaking, calling to me.....

Pulling elastic from my hair,

freeing strands to float in nightime breezes...

Floating softly, silently, sensously

through darkened air towards fields of fey...

Physical ties to a life that binds

melt unknowingly underneath...

Inclinations to wildness, wandering and flight

overcome hesitations...

A silent breath of stardust sends my heart soaring...

Monday, July 7, 2008

After The Weekend

Long weekend of no blogging is ended. I actually meant to post sometime this weekend but got distracted... Steven was home! He was off of work for THREE DAYS! And NIGHTS! We actually got to spend some time together and also get some things accomplished around the house. We did not do anything for the fourth... just relaxed. And we had friends over for dinner on Saturday which was nice. So... boring in some ways, maybe... but nice and relaxing to us.

As far as writing goes, I have done nothing! LOL I have taken a break from everything this weekend. So, now I can start trying to use some of those words y'all left for me! We will see how it goes. Sometimes I can write on demand and others I need to just let it come. I am out of practice so it may take some time.

Jenna (The Girl) is back at my moms house and has posted some camp stories over at her blog. The rest of this month cannot go fast enough for me! I miss my girl....

The Boys have been full of the business all weekend. Wrestling, jumping off of things, running around like crazy and basically getting into trouble! Typical boys... fun but tiring! LOL

I have nothing else. I am just going to try to catch up with everyone now since I barely read any blogs at all this weekend.... I will post again soon!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Embracing the Darkness

faerie

The night is where I am most comfortable. The time and the place where I feel most at home. With darkness a velvet wrapper around my body, the starlight and moonlight are a shining guide to comfort. Whether I am dancing and laughing or just sitting and thinking, that darkness is welcoming and welcomed.

The darkness is not a place to hide. It is a place to discover. The changes in vision that accompany darkness gives one a different outlook. Things are softer and sweeter in the dark. Sometimes darkness makes things even brighter and more vibrant than when the harsher daylight shines upon it. And sometimes more mysterious and malevolent. Either way, it seems more there to me.

Other than, you know, the obvious (lol), what do you enjoy about the darkness? What are some of your favorite memories that involve the night? What do you like to do when you find yourself alone in the night? Do you turn on all of the lights and the TV? Do you go outside and breathe in the sweet air? What? Share with me.....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Camp Fun


Jenna at camp again. Isn't she cuuuuuutttteee???? LOL She goes home to my moms on Friday, is home for a week and then goes to High Adventure camp! I won't get to see her until the last week in July! Boohoo.....


Frugal Tips For Cooks

This list came from a frugal group that I am part of on Yahoo. I thought that it was worth posting. Several of these ideas made me go hmmmmmm and think I will be trying them!

17 Tips for the Frugal Cook

1. When you make mashed potatoes, make an extra big batch and freeze leftovers in muffin cups. Once they are frozen transfer to a zipper bag. Just get out as many as you need and heat up in the microwave.

2. Use leftover beef stew to make beef potpie. Just put it into a shallow baking dish and place a pastry crust on top.

3. If you use applesauce to replace oil in baking, you can buy the large size jar. Pour leftover applesauce into a freezer container and freeze until the next baking day.

4. If your recipe says use an 11 x 7 x 2 inch pan and you don't have one, you can use your 9-inch square baking pan instead and you won't even have to adjust the baking time.

5. When you find chicken on sale, before you put it in the freezer,go ahead and coat it with seasoning mix. Then it's so easy to just remove as many pieces as you need to thaw and bake.

6. Check the prices at your grocery store: it may be cheaper to use squares of semi-sweet baking chocolate than chocolate chips, when your recipe calls for melted chips.

7. An easy way to drain browned ground beef is to brown it in the microwave oven in a microwave-safe colander, so the fat drains into another bowl underneath.

8. When making carrot cake or muffins, try using baby food carrots instead of regular grated carrots, to save time.

9. For a thrifty dip for fresh fruit, add a little brown sugar and some cinnamon to vanilla yogurt.

10. Write your grocery list on the back of a used envelope. Your coupons go inside the envelope and everything is handy!

11. Save your bacon grease to make a treat for your feathered friends this winter. Mix some birdseed in and put it in a shallow dish, maybe a leftover plastic meat tray, and place it in a handy place (for the birds) outside.

12. Adding a few grains of rice to your salt shaker will absorb moisture and reduce those clumps.

13. If you have school-age children, keep cupcakes in your freezer.When your child needs a treat for the next day, take them out and frost. You can even frost them while they're still frozen.

14. If your chocolate chip cookies spread out when you bake them,chill the dough for an hour or so before baking.

15. Buy your fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season and they will be cheaper.

16. Use frozen bread to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunches. Spread peanut butter on one slice and jelly on the other.The sandwich will be thawed by lunchtime and the jelly won't soak in.

17. Do you need chunks of pineapple for a recipe and all you have is a can of pineapple slices? An easy way to make chunks is: take the top off the can and use a sharp knife to just cut through all the slices at once at several intervals.

"Do they have to be form fitting?"

Directly quoted ( with permission) from an email to me from one of my good friends. This made me laugh so hard I almost peed. I needed a giggle. Now I share with you....



Ok, so now I will take my leave from the advisory council and tell you a funny as shit, Top 10 most embarrassing moments in life story. I'm at the Walgreens pharmacy counter on Friday to pick up two prescriptions on (hopefully) active insurance. I'm already feeling kind of uncomfortable since I'd just come from an afternoon of painting the exterior of my shop in sweltering, sweat-gland-flushing heat, but ended in a frenzied and very soggy cleanup due to a torrential downpour. Let's just say I'm not looking too chic at the moment, shall we? Well, the authorization phone line isn't working properly and is taking forever...so the pharm tech asks to serve the young woman behind me while we're waiting. No prob, I sidestep and busy myself with marvelling over the marketing ploys and packaging of the impulse-buy rack of medicines they have on the register counter.



I'm not an eavesdropper in general but I hear the woman asking if they carry non-latex gloves. The pharm tech says no, they have only what's on the shelves. So, trying to be helpful and friendly, I turn and ask the woman if she's looked into the foodservice-grade ones they have at Sams. I say, "they come in boxes of, like, 500 or so. But, oh!, do they have to be form-fitting? (Because sams gloves must have been patterned after a giant).

She looks at me like I've got a third nostril or something and then says something unintelligible that I, for a moment, wonder if she's speaking another language. The pharm tech makes a similarly unintelligible noise. I'm baffled. What part of me describing a box of gloves wasn't pretty easy to follow? I must have looked like a cocked head puppy hearing a funny sound at that point. Then, the girl says (very very nervously), "they're not gloves. " The pharm tech echos that sentiment with the same hint of anxiety in his voice.



Silence. (Processing....processing....processing...).



And then like a slap of reality it dawns upon my minuscule, half-listening, butting in busybody of a brain that she is shopping for latex-free CONDOMS, not gloves. Oh cruel gods of mortification!



"Oh" is all that escapes my now numb lips. And then the head goes down, the hand goes up to shield the face, and I'm the same shade red as the Walgreens brand knockoff Icy-Hot cream box I suddenly find myself staring at again....but with the paradigm shift insight from hell. The awkward silence is more than I can bear. But its long enough for me to replay the short conversation in my head, trying desperately to find where I went so disastrously wrong....and, of course, I recall my ironically phrased "do they have to be FORM FITTING" question.



I give up. This is too damned embarrassing to be gracefully dealt with anything but humor. I discard my hand shield and in the most chipper voice I can manage say,"Well, alrighty then! I'm absolutely mortified now. Whoops!!!! " My third nostril must have been flaring because the girl nervously states "I guess I'll... uh... just go have a... uh... look around" and abruptly walks away. I turn with a sheepish grin to the pharm tech who I plan on commiserating my embarrassment with only to have him begin to say something, think better of it, and then he also makes an abrupt departure from my presence.



Wow! I think, can this get ANY worse? The whole scenario at that very moment sinks in with full clarity and, yes, it gets worse...I'm standing there, completely alone at the counter, and I get a case of the giggles- the kind which gets exponentially worse in relation to how hard you're trying to stifle it. So, NOW I'm the crazy lady laughing uncontrollably-all...alone. The tech comes back over and, with a valiant effort at neutrality, informs me my insurance is "pending" and that will be $113.89 please,ma'am. I pay, and as I meet the techs eyes in a gesture of what I hope looks like calm self-assurance, offer up the parting comment, "I think I'll use the drive thru next time. " My eyes travel behind him to the pharmacist himself sitting at his computer. His eyes are closed, his lips tightly pressed together as he stifles his own giggle, obviously having heard the entire exchange. He also happens to be one of my regular customers.



Gee, I can't wait for Monday.

Monday, Fabulous Monday

Yes, yes, I know. It is not Monday. But, in my crazy world.... It could be. Anyway, here are my (late) menu plans!

Monday - BBQ Chicken, grilled potatoes and grilled yellow squash with red onions
Tuesday - Mini Meat loafs, Cheesy rice with broccoli and carrots
Wednesday - Cowboy Beans
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - London Broil, Mashed potatoes, corn
Saturday - Grilled Chicken, Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans
Sunday - ?? Leftovers or go out to eat.

I did make it to CVS this week and will be posting about that on Friday. Have a great 4th of July! Don't forget to check out the other Menus at Menu Planning Monday over at Organizing Junkie. (How's that for a run on sentence?) Wait! This week it is being hosted by Heavenly Homemakers! Confused yet?

Haha


Thought you could do with a giggle.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rambling

Thanks for the words of inspiration guys! Keep em comin... I will post as I write anything. Today has been a fairly low creativity day. I did LOTS of laundry and dishes and colored with The Boy and lots of other pretty boring stuff for the most part!



Friends of ours just moved back to town yesterday and I went by to visit and make sure they were settling in OK. It was weird to see them again. It has been..... 19 months or so since we saw either one of them. Their kids are HUGE now and they have another little one who is cute as a button. (I snuggled with her for a while. My Baby hated it! Jealous) It was weird for me as I think I had gotten my expectations up. I was excited to have them back as I have missed having someone around who "gets" me. I have met very few people in this area who I could envision myself being real friends with. So... here I am hoping that with A moving back I can have a good buddy again.



Well. I don't know what I expected, the poor girl is trying to unpack, supervise three kids and get set to start her job this week. I guess I just wanted to know that she missed me? Or that she was excited to see me? Who knows. I am just feeling a little let down and I know it is silly. It is not her, just that I tend to build my expectations and want things to be a certain way and when they don't turn out the way I expect... then I feel let down. I have always been that way. You would think I would know better.



Hopefully, when things calm down, I will be able to be friends with this girl again. I hope so... our husbands are in a band together! LOL



I am feeling better physically than I have in a while. My doctor started me on a new medication for the HBP. It seems to be working OK so far. I feel better anyway! Maybe I will try to start working out again. I know I would feel better about myself if I could lose some weight. I hate not feeling comfortable in my own body. And I hate not feeling as sexy as I know I am/ can be. It is hard to look at myself and see what I look like now. In my mind, I still see myself the way I was at 18 - 19. How crazy.... I reread Stranger in a Strange Land last night with the intent to remind myself that all of us are beautiful. I just need to remind myself of that daily, lately.



The Wingmen Of Mayhem have been fairly calm the last few days. Except for at bedtime for the middlest child. He is still giving me fits. Deep breaths.... I love my child...... But, I have instituted "play time with Mommy" every day when The Baby is napping. And we have been coloring and playing and it has been nice. He really seems to dig having a specific time just for us. I think that we will paint a picture tomorrow. I promise to take pics of him covered in paint if we do.



Oh. Also? My "A" key is sticking. So is my "R" key. I blame Hallie. Her post yesterday made me spew soda all over my keyboard. Ewwwwww......



That's it. I got nothin' else. I'm done. For now. Maybe.