March 29, 2013
Unbreaking The Egg

(No good would come of leaving this post up. But, at the very moment I needed to hear something ... nice ... Thank You :)

I Think Its Reasonable

If someone says your idea is obviously "dumb" and your project is "stupid" and calmly implies (as if its a simple staement of truth) that you're a bad wife, and a bad mother, and a bad housekeeper (and even giving the the benefit of the doubt about that food comment), and then says "I love you" ...

I think its reasonable to wonder "Why?"

July 27, 2012
Scotch Shortbread

BEST recipe ever! I've been carrying it around in my purse since last November and I just know I'm going to lose it. Here it is. By the way, I got the recipe from King-of-Fools and his wife. I hope this recipe turns out well. its possible it turns out better for them because they're such "sweet" people. (My grandmothers apple pie was like that. Her's always tasted a little different/better, and I spent years watching/analyzing. Not that I'd be neurotic enough to even try using the same soap and hand-lotion she did ;) But the point is that this is TRULY an amazing cookie.

1 pound butter (if you are the kind of person that wants to substitute margarine, I can't help you)
1 cup granulated sugar
5 cups flour (1/2 cup less for soft cookies)

Cream butter and sugar, add flour
Spread evenly on cookie sheet, prick with a fork
Bake at 275 for 40 minutes (watch not too brown)

Cut while hot, about 10 minutes out of the oven.

These are amazing. Supposedly they are better the second day, although for the life of me its unbelieveable that they'd last that long. Maybe if I made them while the kids were at school,or secretly locked them in the trunk of my husbands car so he took them to the office with him.

Slaw Recipe (before I forget)

This is the one I got from Marsh at the PEO meeting. It doesn't have mayo but still tastes like slaw!

2 lbs cabbage shredded
1 large cucumber (seeded and chopped fine)
1/2 medium onion
2 shredded carrots
1 green bell pepper (chopped)

3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 safflower oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 t salt

March 05, 2012
Not The Easy Thing

Yesterday I had a brilliant parenting moment! Totally by accident. And I just know that I'll forget it, AND its definitely worth repeating for every child I have.

I was driving home from grocery shopping with Cassie (my oldest girl -- age 10) and she mentioned the boy she has a crush on. As it turns out, i've known for awhile. His brother and one of my boys are friends, they live near us, so they're around sometimes. Perfectly pleasent children! An absolute joy to be around. Charming, smart, handsome. They are always welcome in our house. I can't stress how NICE they are!

But, a few weeks ago, I started taking notice that while this particular boy is great about not doing "wrong" things, he has some real challenges doing "right" things when they involve conflict of any kind. It goes beyond not liking conflict. I know a few things at school have REALLY bothered him, but he said nothing. He did nothing.

I feel bad for him. He must have a LOT of stress. And he has a good heart, which is a rare and precious thing. But, that flaw ...

How big is "too big" for a character flaw? How early is "too early" to look for one?

I mentioned to her "what if ... what if ... you were in trouble, would he say anything?" She looked at me a little odd, making me wonder if I had hit a nerve. And she agreed with me! He wasn't someone you could count on if things got bad, although he's lots of fun when things are good.

Children heed repitition. I've got to remember: "Look for the person who does the right thing, not the easy thing!"

(Next time: Don't date what you won't marry.)

January 04, 2012
Unintended Consequences

Maybe I'm the last person on earth to get a webcam. MAYBE I'm the last person to foresee what would happen when I did. It gets me every time.

My husband got me the cutest little webcam for Christmas so I can Skype with my nephews. Its a super-cute little robot-dog with movable legs. There's just no good way to say this ...

Every time I pass my desk someone has positioned the little dog so it has a leg hiked on my mouse! Or my monitor ... or my keyboard ... or ...

October 27, 2011
Best Mommy Moment EVER!

So I'm driving along with just Katherine-age-5 in the car, sitting right behind me. I'm not really paying attention to the radio, just background noise for planning the list of things to get done this week. I realized that we were listening to Toby Keith's American Soldier ...

... Everything to everyone.
Up and at 'em bright and early,
I'm all business in my suit,
Yeah, I'm dressed up for success from my head down to my boots,
I don't do it for the money, there's bills that I can't pay,
I don't do it for the glory, I just do it anyway,
Providing for our futures, my responsibility,
Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be,
And I can't call in sick on Mondays when the weekend's been too strong,
I just work straight through the holidays,
And sometimes all night long.
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door,
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core,
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dying's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with honor,
'Cause freedom don't come free ...

And that was the moment Katherine was yelling out in surprise "HEY! Thats a song about MOMMIES!"

... I'm an American Soldier. An American ..

"Oh. And about soldiers :) "

July 14, 2011
One Of The Best Things Ever Said To Me, About Me

Lucy: I would SO be a fabulous "Evil Genius". I just need that t-shirt.

Boy: Never.

Lucy: Ok, maybe I'd need that t-shirt AND some minions. If only I had minions! Bwahahahaha!

Boy: (snort) Not a chance. You'd make them cupcakes. (pause ...) With sprinkles.

September 13, 2010
Today, My Hair Is Black

Saturday morning it was medium brown. Average brown. Just the right brown for me. Then, Saturday afternoon I went in to get a few grays covered. Now, today, my hair is black. Dark black. Very black. BLACK. I'm still not sure what exactly happened, or why. I do know that she was wrong when she suggested it only looked darker under their lights and everything would be better at home.

Did I mention my hair is black? Cause thats consuming my thoughts. Enough that I stopped by the salon this morning to point out that My Hair Is Black. I listened to Christmas carols and thought about Jesus on the way over there. Trying to be a good example of love and mercy. Clinging to the hope they could fix my hair. It started well enough, calmly explaing that something had gone wrong. Obviously wrong. And then ... the person said that I had ASKED for my hair to be medium brown and thats what she had done.

The floodgates that my husband probably hoped he had welded shut burst open and all those shrill hysterical amazed words poured out ... "My Hair Is Black. My HAIR is black. It matches my bathrobe because its BLACK. Does this look normal to you!?!?!?!?!" The grown-man (manager) behind the counter looked frantically around for someone to save him, doubtless thinking that tears were close. He didn't know that I don't cry in public because it makes me look splotchy, which would be extra-unattractive with BLACK hair.

"Just tell me what to do. Please. I am so sorry you're unhappy. What would you like me to do?" We agreed after some discussion that this is not the worst thing that could happen to me. For example, I could be totally bald. Or look like a skunk if they gave me high-lights. Or hair so damaged it looked like hay. So.

I have a refund. I have a story. I have BLACK hair.

July 24, 2010
Important Fashion Tips

Yes, its totally trivial. But I know that someday my children will eventually read this blog archives. And I hope they will find this useful. And I bet this helps the girls weed out the passive-agressive insecure underachievers.

Boys: If you need to know how to dress, watch Barefoot In The Park. Pay attention to Robert Redford. Enough said. (And "blue-jeans, white button-down, dark blazer, great dress shoes".)

Girls: The only thing you may not know by now is how to dress like a boy. I can help you. Even Sam couldn't pull off the "boyfriend" look. I could. There's a trick. NEVER dress like a boy. No boy that you want to date wants to date another "boy". Just wear one piece of clothing that OBVIOUSLY is for a guy, and a whole bunch of clothing that OBVIOUSLY is for a girl. No unisex stuff for this "look".

For example, the most hit on I've ever been was when I would wear my boyfriend's/husband's jacket to class in college. It was a sweatshirt-hoody that was clearly emblazoned "ARMY". I LUUVVVVVED that jacket. I would have lived in it if he didn't keep taking it back (while rolling his eyes and giving me stern warnings). It reminded me of that secret "bad-ass" part of him that most people should thank God that they never had to see. (Military Police are really scary people. Just saying.) Jacket, cute shirt, cute ear-rings, pink lipstick = guy magnet. (It wasn't until later that I realized how it worked. I just liked the jacket.)

Other example: That navy sweater I got from Beth when she broke up with her boyfiend. His sweater could have stopped traffic. Fabulous. SOOOOO totally a guy sweater. Never wear it on a first date, only to GET a first date. And yes, I still have it 30 years later. Its the wool navy one with a burgendy stripe woven into it. Probably on the top shelf of my closet. Maybe in the cedar chest. I don't wear it anymore. Size L.

Still another example: John's white button down, forest green riding skirt with cinched waist, saddle-colored Cole-Haan belt and shoes. Gold hoop ear-rings. I was wearing that when I met your father. (Its my favorite outfit of all time)

After MANY years, here's how I think it works: They like the chase, the challenge. Wearing a single piece of guy-clothing is like waving a red-flag. Its sort of like saying "See? I'm probably already dating a guy, and you probably can't change my mind, but MAYBE ..."

And, remember, if your brothers refuse to share their clothes you can always buy your own.

Yay me!

No more nightmares! Talk (or "write") therapy worked! Who knew?!?

July 13, 2010
Sam Is Dead

For all intents and purposes, Samantha is dead. Realistically she'll only be "dead" about fifteen years. This is going to be a long dark rambling post and I feel like throwing up but maybe if I get it all out of my head the nightmares will stop. Ironically, the only person who would really get it is Sam.

April 28, 2010
The Fat Ninja Strikes Again

For ten weeks early this year, I coached a cheerleading squad for Upward!Basketball (which is a Christian league, and yes thats different than "regular" leagues) One night a week it was me locked in a small room with eight EIGHT squealy kindergarteners. And on Saturdays it was me loose in the gym trying to herd eight EIGHT squealy kindergarteners.

Fortunately, a few years ago I was an assistant coach to the BEST coach in the entire world. Stacy is brilliant. She's all about fun with boundries. She's absolutely sparklely, literally. If you can put glitter glue on it, she's there! But the thing I learned from her that changed my life was ... to just let things be. (Thats even more important than ordering extra hairbows and pom-poms). Really? Will it kill me if they're not all totally in sync? Seriously, will I actually die if they don't wear the matching socks? She reminded me, and everyone else, that there is no point if the girls feel bad about themselves or the situation. Just smile and relax and things will work out (or not), and the sun will still rise tomorrow. *happy sigh* I just love Stacy.

And I REALLY tried to make the whole experience as stress-free as possible. Late? No stress. Forgot pom-poms, hairbows, waterbottles, snacks, etc? No stress (I had extras). Broke your ankle? No stress. In fact, our tag-line became "WE don't have stress." I didn't realize how successful I was in getting that message across until a few weeks into the season.

Officially, I started with four girls, but then others drifted into my group for assorted reasons. Once a "new" mother flipped out because they dashed in late to practice. One of the other mothers sort of waved her off and said "We don't have stress here" and the other parents kind of laughed and nodded. The late-mother looked like someone had thrown cold water in her face! She couldn't have been more shocked if she tried! Then it sank in that they weren't kidding and she spent the rest of the season rather ... gigglely. Apparently, we weren't the militant over-the-top squads like some of the others. (But at the end of the season, we knew twice as many cheers and had twice the stamina of any other squad.) And another little girl who transferred from another squad, was overheard announcing to her dad as they left their first night "THIS group is fun!" I felt pretty good about it. So I bought face-paint. (FYI, Elmers acrylic paint pens are not officially face-paint, but they are absolutely the best thing EVER for doing face-paint. They dry super-fast, they have a fine-ish point for detail work, they fit in your pocket so you can do the late-comers as they take the court!)

It sounds like it was a ton of fun, which it was. It sounds like I was happy and relaxed, which I was. EXCEPT for the incident with the shirt ...

I (Heart) Lists

None of you should be remotely surprised that I enjoy a good list. I also enjoy good stationary, with lines, because that leads to good lists :)

So, I have put on my list that I will blog every day from 9-10am. Then I can check it off my list!

April 15, 2010
I Know I'm On A Diet When ...

I know I'm on a diet when I find myself staring out the window at the front flower-bed that needs weeding, and wondering if those green-weed-leafy-things are edible. If so, how would they taste with KeyLime-Dijon Vinagrette?