Archive | January, 2011

Where did that come from?

31 Jan

Whispered conversation between me and my 11 year old son at 10:30pm Sunday night….

“Mom?”

“What?”

“Are me and Maggie twins?”

“What!?”

“Are me and Maggie twins?”

“No.”

“Then why do we look alike?”

“Because you have the same parents.”

“Ok.  Night.”

“Goodnight.”

What’s for Dinner?

26 Jan

For about the last 6 months I have attempted to be very diligent at meal planning.  For the most part it goes quite well.  Around twice a month I will sit down and come up with an assortment of meals then put them on the calendar according to what activities we may or may not have each evening.

The planning is still going ok (well, except for one week of nothing but pork!), but my cooking game is off.  I can’t figure why I am having such a hard time making meals come out tasting like they should.  Things I have made many, many times are flopping.  Even chili!  Come on, how hard is it to make that? 

I told my husband that I think I am bored with food.  His idea was to have the kids meal plan for a week or so.  Maybe making the “oldies but goodies” will help me get back in the game.  So I did just that.  Here is what my 16 year old “I only want American food”, 14 year old “not a picky eater”, and 11 year old “will try anything once”  kids came up with:

  • Cheeseburger Pie (but made with sausage – isn’t that the same as breakfast casserole?)
  • General Tso’s Chicken (you can buy this as a meal kit, Tyson I think)
  • Beanie Weenies (Really?  This was my 14 year old daughter’s pick!)
  • Chicken ‘n Dumplins
  • Fried Pork Chops
  • Chicken Nuggets with Fries
  • Tacos
  • Chicken Alfredo
  • Cheesey Chicken & Rice (this is one of my own recipe creations!)
  • One night will be pizza delivery

Cheesey and fried seem to be the theme.  

I am hoping that when the “kid’s choice” week is up I will be back in the saddle.  In the meantime I will be surfing through all my favorite food blogs for a bit of inspiration.

What Lazy Looks Like

18 Jan

I don’t think there could be any dog lazier than a Bassett Hound!  And stubborn?  Forget it!

At bedtime it takes every bit of energy she has just to get up and walk to the back door to go out one last time.  She must be coaxed the entire way.  Just last night she refused to walk to the door.  So what does my husband do?  He picks her up and carries her!  Duchess weighs 60+ pounds.  All dead weight too.  It wasn’t the first time he carried her either.

To housebreak our Bassett we would give her a treat everytime she came in from doing her “business”.  Now she tries to work the system.  If she decides she wants a little snack she will ask to go out then just turn around and stand there looking back in.  Of course when she comes back in she wants her treat.  Well, no business, no treat.  She has sat in her spot waiting for a treat for almost half an hour before.  Here she is waiting…..look at her licking her chops just thinking about that treat!

Bassett love is a special kind of love, that’s for sure.  Not everyone can welcome a stinky, stubborn, lazy dog into their home.  But those who do, reap the rewards of unconditional love and a sweetness that no other dog can compare to (of course this is just my own personal opinion).

Don’t Talk to Strangers

11 Jan

Remeber when we were kids and we were told by the adults in our family “You should never talk to strangers”?  Admittedly I have raised my children the same way.  For the most part this is a good piece of advice but there really are times when it’s okay.  So often we rush through our day with our head down just hoping to complete the task at hand with no interruptions.  I am guilty of this myself.  What’s wrong with saying a simple “hello” to the person in front of you in line at the market?  Nothing!

With the threat of more snow I had to make a run to Wal-Mart yesterday for a few things.  Apparently so did everyone else in town!  The store was crowded, I have been feeling crummy the past few days and I just wanted to get my groceries and get home.

The shortest line was the tobacco and alcohol check-out.  The lady in front of me had an enormous amount of groceries in her cart so I knew I was going to be stuck there a few minutes.  In no time an elderly man walked up behind me and immediately started chatting.  He started by joking about how all the smokers had to go to the end line.  I smiled and agreed while turning back to my cart and watching the clerk scan groceries.  The man kept talking.  Not wanting to be rude, I turned back and listened to all he had to say, offering a comment here and there when I could get a word in.  

Here is what I learned:

  • He used to live in California but moved to Indiana because it is more affordable
  • He has been trying to convince his brother to move to Indiana but he won’t because of the cold weather
  • He doesn’t really like the snow but he and his wife recently moved into a condo and the snow gets shoveled for him
  • His condo is behind the High School
  • He is retired
  • He has a new phone
  • Recently he went to Las Vegas because his cousin’s best friend was a finalist in the World Series of Poker and he was invited to come out and watch
  • When he left for his Vegas trip he mistakenly took his Wife’s phone with him (it is identical to his) and the two of them had to keep calling each other to get numbers from their phones
  • 10 days was too long without his phone and he felt lost
  • It’s good to stock up on snacks when you have kids and have snow days (he was looking at my groceries!)
  • His kids are grown and he now has grandkids
  • He and his wife are getting ready to start painting their condo and are going to use “real colors” instead of white or beige
  • He picked up a small colorful rug that goes in front of the sink, it had apples on which he really doesn’t care for he picked it up because of the colors and he had already called his wife to tell her she is going to love it
  • His slippers at home can be smelled across the room so he picked up some new ones
  • He has a cat and originally thought the cat was the source of the smell which turned out to be his slippers

As I was leaving he told me to take care, to which I replied “good luck with your painting”.  Then off I went.

With all of the information he shared with me you would think we stood and talked for half an hour but it was only about 5 minutes or so.  As I walked to my car I found myself amused thinking about how much he talked.  We were total strangers yet he did not hesitate to share a bit of his life with me.  And you know what?  That’s ok.

These days the kids just text, tweet, e-mail or comment on Facebook.  You see folks walking around the stores talking on their Blue-Tooth or sending a text message seemingly not really aware of the people around them.  Like I said before, I am guilty of this too.  But having  that chat with this particular stranger while standing in line at the grocery actually gave me a little smile.

For Their Own Good

5 Jan

My kids love me and tell me this on a daily basis, but today I find myself thinking about this whole “Mom” thing.  My Mother passed away when I was a small child and I did not grow up with a close mother/daughter relationship so now I worry and wonder if I am doing it right.  Not to say that I did not have a Mother.  My Dad remarried and my Step-Mother raised me as her own but there was never a closeness.  I’m not complaining, I respect and love my Step-Mom, we just don’t have the kind of relationship where I can pick up the phone and call her to chat.  Growing up I was (really I still am) jealous of my friends and the close relationships they had with their Mom’s.  The lack of experience with the mother/daughter dynamic often has me wondering; Am I doing this right?  Will my kids grow up to be normal and happy?  Will they have ambition and be contributing members of society? These are all valid questions aren’t they?

Questioning my parent ability is not what I want to share.  So where is this going you ask?

My kids are good kids, but there are times that consequences are required for their actions.  Unfortunately for them, they are at an age that sending them to their room is no longer enough.  Today I am going to have to hand down a consequence that is going to last for a couple of weeks.  None of them has done anything “bad”.  It’s just that attitude and performance in school has become somewhat lackadaisical.  I find (from personal experience) that some distractions are going to have to be removed.  By distractions I mean electronics. 

To teenagers this is like removing an appendage!  I will not be liked for a bit, but that is ok.  I only hope that I will be respected for my decision.  I remember locking myself up in my room for long periods of time just sulking when I was in trouble (I was not a bad kid, I just hated school and did not apply myself like I should).  Nothing could get me out of my room. 

I remember when I was a teenager and disliking my parents when I needed discipline.  Now, as an adult, I respect my parents for their decisions.

I am very thankful that the need to discipline does not happen too often, I just want it to be effective.  Maybe, if I am lucky, more quality time can be spent together and focus can be gently guided back into the right direction.

You are not hearing me complain, I really do have great kids.  There are children out there that do much worse than have a poor attitude or don’t make an effort in school.  I just wanted to put my thoughts down and in a few weeks when the electronics are turned back on, the kids might read them and know how much they are loved and that discipline is really for their own good.

Happy New Year!

3 Jan

Our New Year’s celebration was a quiet one.  We stayed home with the kids, well one of them anyway, and watched the countdown on television.  I had my nose stuck in a book the whole time.  I have never been one to make a resolution for the year but I have decided to do so this year.  I have decided that on the first day of each month I am going to set a small goal.  Am I setting myself up for twelve chances to fail?  Maybe.  But I figured one small goal each month should be easy enough to accomplish.  With that being said, January will be spent organizing my piles of paperwork.  My desk is stacked to the ceiling with all sorts of things that need to either be disposed of or filed away.  Now that the kids are back in school I shouldn’t have any interruptions to my progress.

The holidays just flew by.  Even though I never really felt prepared for Christmas it came and went without a hitch.  The kids were all pleased with their gifts even though we got them things they actually needed.  Boring things like clothes, socks, and toiletries with a few goodies thrown in.  The girls are too old for toys.  My son, on the other hand, still likes to get toys.  I’m sure there won’t be too many years left for that.

Here are a few pic of our celebration……

We now have a boatload of “nerf ammo” flying around.

Here are all the girls modeling our annual matching gifts.

See?  They really do like each other!

I know she blinked, but this was just too cute, I had to share!

Already finished.

Love the pink!  Used it Christmas day to make buckeyes.

John also got me a FABULOUS new camera.  That would be the reason I had so many pictures to put in this post.  I love it!

The kids are in school, the decorations are all put away and now my cluttered desk is calling me.

For those of you who did make resolutions for 2011 I wish you nothing but determination to stick with it.

I’m Posting Weekly in 2011

3 Jan

A challenge has been put out to bloggers to sign up for “post per day” or “post per week” in 2011.  Since I am new to the blogging world I’ve decided to join the “post per week” challenge.  Starting today I will be posting on this blog at least once a week for all of 2011.  Who knows, this might be fun.

I know it won’t be easy, after all, I haven’t blogged since before Christmas even though I have had a post idea bouncing around in my head for about a week now. 

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and goodwill along the way. 

This weeks’ post coming soon……..

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