Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shaggy Dog

I once had a Shaggy Dog.  It was back when the Wonderful World of Disney show came on Sunday evenings.  Kurt Russell starred as a boy who turned into a Shaggy Dog.  Years later the remake came out starring Tim Allen.  I never saw that one.
But back to my Shaggy Dog.  I remember a few things:  I remember sleeping in the same bed one night a year:  Christmas Eve.  I remember sometimes taking this dog along but more often tricking the dog to stay home.  Or go back home.  As I got older the dog became less of a companion and more of a nuisance and then an embarrassment.   Why was I embarrassed?  The way the dog made me feel as if I was less important.  I was not smart or beautiful or useful.  Over time our relationship was neglected.  We changed directions drastically.  Shaggy Dog would get out of the fence and the world would stop until we found her.  Meanwhile I would remain inside the safety of the fence and my obedience went unnoticed.  Shaggy Dog would bark and whine and bark some more.  She would get a lot of attention from this annoying behavior.  Yet I would remain quiet and wait patiently to be praised and nothing would come my way.

I don't remember that much about my Shaggy Dog.  I only remember the way I felt when  she was near.  A few times I tried to reconnect.  Throw the ball, play a game, include Shaggy Dog in the activity,  but she was always disinterested.  Those games were silly and stupid.  There were more important worthwhile interests to explore.

Once Shaggy Dog was locked up in a cage.  It took several days to get her out.  During that time I was in my own invisible cage.  The difference was my cage door was not locked.  I was just unequipped and lost for a solution to break free.

I tried to find Shaggy Dog once.  I searched and looked and had others help me.  I never found her.

Today I move onward.  The memories of Shaggy Dog have all but faded.  I have scars that are healing.  I'm sure I will never reconcile with her.  I have no desire and know that I am so much better off without her.  Two ships that passed years ago will never meet again.

I'm feeling wistful today.  My house has not sold.  Another summer is upon us.  So much left unaccomplished.  Tomorrow is a new day.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Oh gosh, today was an exhausting day.  It began with a sleepless night and turned into a marathon of a day.  I actually fell asleep about 4:30pm and slept for over an hour.

Work was busy.  It's always busy in preschool but today seemed exceptionally busy.  I took the class to the playground after their music lesson to RUN.  RUN RUN RUN.  As soon as I noticed the energy fading we went back inside to paint and make patterns and count and read and all that other stuff.  It was just nonstop.  I talked to Headmistress about next year and what I wanted to do.  I'm still not sure what I want to do.  But we had a nice easy talk.  I need to decide as the deadline is approaching.

And now to our house.  Oh gosh, the house.  What is up with the house?  Ironman told me he talked to the realtor who "may" have a showing this weekend.  May?  You MAY? Okay, yes you may.  On second thought, don't even call me unless you have a contract.  Thanks.  Amen.

I missed Wynonna's interview twice today.  Gosh I'm great with the eastern/central time thing.  

What do I want for mother's day?
1.  nothing really
2.  a nap after which I wake up to a sparkling, clean house and supper cooking.  Preferable salmon and sweet potatoes.
3.  extra money in the bank account

Honestly.  That's what I want.

What I'm saving up for:
1.  A Nikon DSLR
2.  A silhouette cutting machine
3.  a new house - that should be #1

Mother's day.  It's an awkward day for me.  So awkward.  But I'm too wiped out to go into all that.  I'm taking some cold medicine and hitting the sack.

House for sale:  Day 345

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Girls, Women

I've often wondered:  why can't women work together?  It seems there is always an underlying competitive angst present.  One idea, no matter how unique and creative and generously offered, is almost always met with a sarcasm that seems oddly out of place.

Like the sesame street song  "one of these things is not like the other, one of these things doesn't belong, can you guess which thing is not like the others by the time I finish this song"

And it happens across the birthdays.  It doesn't matter how young or how mature.  Women can not work together.  

Dancer Girl tells tales of a mean girl at her school.  One that even pushes and bumps into the girls she sees as below her.  When we all know it's she that is feeling low.  People want to even the playing field.  And to do that they need to either cut you down to drop you to their level, or even more annoyingly, they must boast and build themselves up to be some kind of saint hoping you'll drop down and genuflect in their presence.

Give me a break.

It happened to me today. I was in the room with 2 other women, trying my damnest to not miss the opportunity to keep my mouth shut.  I was polite but not friendly.  I've learned to shut down that part of me.  I just sit, listen, say just enough to be pleasant.   The few things I did say were met with sarcasm.

One day I am going to stand up and ask, "what in the world makes you think it's okay to say that?  it does not make me like you"

Some women are just not generous and thoughtful.  I get that.  But I also know for a fact that part of being a mature woman is finally getting it through your thick skull that at the very least you MUST to polite.  ALWAYS POLITE.  

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
 - Thumper

Such a weird weird place I was today.

And Mrs Sarcastic?  SHUT UP

Monday, April 25, 2011

Out house - an update


We have GOT to sell this house.  We just have to.  Aren't homebuyers out in droves in the spring?  There are now only 2 houses in our area with similar stats for sale.

I'm ready for a house of my own.

Ironman does not want to lower the price for the third time.  I'm not sure that would help anyway.  We've had 4 offers and they have all been insultingly low.

Day # 340.  But who's counting?

Coupons in April

My coupon binder and I went to Kroger.  I had the list from  But sales do vary by region so I always take my full binder instead of only the coupons highlighted for the weekly sales.

Why aren't there more coupons for produce?  I probably have 1 or 2 a quarter.  Crazy.  And bread?  Those are very rare.

 It's a little hard to tell.  I did get a few things that were full price.  Like the catfish.  And the roast.  Well, maybe they were on special.  I don't remember.  The canned fruits and vegetables came out to 15 cents each after coupons.  I also had $9 in Kroger money from last month so that helped a lot to cover the fresh fruits and vegetables.
 I put these to the side in the photo because they were all FREE!!!  Love free stuff.
The receipt is hard to read.  But I had $74.25 in coupons.  I was even surprised by that.
Total came to $61.43.  So that's very good.  Very, very good.  I was happy.

Also, I don't normally buy cleaning supplies at Kroger since CVS has them rock bottom cheap almost every other week.  But Kroger was having a spring cleaning special.  Buy 4 tagged products and receive $4 coupon at checkout good for your next shopping trip.  So combine those products with dollar off coupons and the bonus money at checkout........ made a worthwhile deal.  Besides, we always need cleaning stuff.

Easter Eggs and Bunnies

    Did we have spring?  It went directly from winter to summer.  Hot, humid, sticky, miserable.  Which explains why I've had a headache for a week.

Which means I've avoided going outside except to sprint to the air conditioned car.

Which also means I've been inside with nothing to do.  Except eat. Cook and eat.

Ree Drummond.  Why are your photos so delectable.  Why do I get a sudden urge to prepare your recipes?  Here's our Easter Dinner.  Step by Step.  The way Ree would do it.
                      Short Ribs with Tomato Glaze.  Oh my.  Worth the price.
              Had to hit 2 grocery stores:  Kroger and Albertson.  Salt and pepper generously
 Heat canola oil in cast iron dutch oven until very hot.  This is my Rachael Ray cast iron skillet I bought several years ago at Marshalls.  Yes, Marshalls.  I remember it was $9.00.  We cook everything in it.  It is glazed on the bottom.  Some good stuff has come out of this little dutch oven.
       Place spare ribs into the hot oil to sear.  About 1 - 1/2 minutes on each side.
 Then remove them.  Pour out most of the hot oil into a heat resistant dish so it can cool before you discard it.  Not a glass dish.  Use another pot or something.
                    Add one diced onion and 3 - 4 cloves of garlic.  Don't let them burn.
 Now, this photo is horrible.  Sometimes I lose my camera when I'm in the kitchen.  I also lose my coffee in the mornings.  I can't just leave the recipe to hunt the camera.  So I grabbed my cell phone for this photo.  One day I'll have a super nice camera.  But until now:  add one can of tomato sauce and one can of another kind of canned tomato.  I used petite diced.  Because that's what I had a coupon for.  But you can use whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, whatever.
                                                               Then it'll look like this.
   I poured in about 1/2 cup of chicken broth because IronMan MUST have a lot of liquid
       Look at this rent house oven.  UUUGGLLLYY.  But it works.  So it could be worse.
Cover and put in 250 degree oven for 4 hours.
           Started this at the end of the day since it would tie up the oven for so long.
Besides I had also prepared a big pot of gumbo.  We're having the short ribs for Easter Dinner on Sunday.
Now, for the next part I did not take a photo because it's disgusting.  At the end of cooking time, the meat will be falling off the bone.  Let it sit.  Then put it in the refrigerator to rest overnight.  Do not skip this part.  You'll be so sorry if you do.
In the morning, the fat will have hardened and risen to the top.  It's disgusting looking.  Don't let anybody see it.   I didn't take a photo of the fat.  Maybe next time.  You can imagine, though.
                 I put the defatted dish back into the oven to warm.  Made carrot souffle and
                                                   mashed potatoes and dinner rolls.
                        This is The Engineer's plate.  He had seconds.  Which says a lot.
Thank you, Ree, for the recipe with the easy to follow directions.  
Now if you could just make it lower in calories!!  :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hair Bows

Yes girls wear them.  Or Moms put them in their daughter's hair.  And they're cute, colorful and all.  But the girls do NOT CARE.  When you are 4 years old and this hair bow is pulling your hair, and the headphones at the computer won't stay on because of this GIGANTIC hairbow...... well, it's just not worth it.  What's the deal with the bows?  I had somebody ask me that today.  I did not answer.  Because I don't know what the deal is with the bows.  Of course, she was confronting me about the lack of a bow in her daughter's hair and the site of said bow in the take home tote.  I was thinking, why even put one in her hair when you KNOW she's going to pull it out.  Plus..... why spend $35 plus on a hair bow like that.  Trust me, you can learn how to do anything on youtube.  Go there.  Type in "how to make boutique hair bows" and you will see how super easy it is.  The right ribbon, the right wire and the right clasp and you can make 50 bows for the price of one boutique bow.  And nobody will know you made them.  And why should you care if they know?  You should make them!  And sell them!

Why do teachers quit the profession after only a few years?  It's not the students.  It's not the paper work.  It's not the responsibility of the job and many times it's not the small paychecks.  It's the UNGRATEFUL PARENTS.  People!  Get a grip!  We put up with your spoiled brat all day and all you can barely manage a "hello"?  COME ON.  Wears me out.

I recently heard a Fox News Guy say, as he pointed his finger at the screen "teachers earn extravagant......... extravagant (with emphasis the 2nd time) salaries.  And it's a part time job!  They only work 8 -2:30"  yep, I heard him say that.  I was SHOCKED and FURIOUS.

Then later that night I saw Jon Stewart play that same clip and other clips.... and they did a take off on MTV Cribs.  Toured a teacher's tiny house.  Funny but sad.

Oh wait, I get summers off.  I forgot.

BTW, my house is still for sale.  It could be months until it sells.  I'm tired of thinking about it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Technology Panic

See this stupid thing?  My touchscreen froze today.  I thought I was going to hyperventilate.  It would not even turn off.  It told me to "slide to power off"  well, how in the heck are you supposed to do that when the dang touchscreen is FROZEN!!  So I had to go online to hub...... whatever that website is.  Long story short, it's working.  WHEW!  I'm in the middle of an intense game of words with friends.  Not to mention the phone numbers I'd lose.  I had someone call and leave me a voice message today. And it was one of the first things I thought of when the screen froze.  I just knew I'd lose all my data. And I wouldn't have that person's phone number.  And no way to FIND that phone number.  UGH.

We're all so tired today.  Worn out.  I.T. girl and I have been going the distance.  Counting calories, getting those exercise minutes in and we are TIRED PEOPLE.
Our supper tonight was so good I should have taken a photo.  Why didn't I do that?
One flatbread.  Topped with feta cheese, red grapes, bell peppers and parmesan cheese.  I.T. girl added mushrooms to her.  It was WONDERFUL.  Only 100 calories.  Can you believe that?  Believe it, sistah.  We each had 2.  So yep, 200 calorie dinner.  DELISH.  Even I.T. girl said, "This is so good!"  yes it is.  Can't wait to have it again.   Then we had strawberries and whipped cream for dessert.

My house is still for sale.  We haven't had an interested buyer in 3 weeks?  A month?  Let's just say this........ a LONG TIME.  Way too long.  We're just sick of it.  It may not sell for another year. We may get a decent offer tomorrow.  We just don't know.

And now tomorrow I have to locate information for our taxes.  We always pay ours late.   But Ironman is thinking that maybe we can pay ours on time this year.  Well, we'll see.

Favorite New Show:  The Judds on OWN.   Love that Wynonna!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cap that tooth

I returned to my dentist in that far away land where I once lived.  He took x-rays, compared them to past x-rays, and said "do not pull it.  We'll just put a permanent cap on it and it'll be fine"  My next appointment is in 2 weeks.

Which made me wonder "why did the other dentist insist I have either a root canal or an implant?"  A lady I know said a similar thing happened to her.  And she was also hesitant to go through with it.  In her case the dentist encouraged her to have gum surgery.  She did go to the recommended specialist but then decided it was not for her.  Suspicious how those dentist and those periodontists work so closely.  They are so quick to make the appointment for you, not giving you a choice.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

So I saved $3,200 which was the estimated cost for the extraction and implant.

I guess you can call that a savings.

Our house is still for sale.  I am so tired of it.  After my dental appointment I went by the empty house.  What a strange place.  Ended up not bring out dog back with me.  Ironman said he would bring doggy when he returned the next day.

I found these cute individual deep dish pizza pans at Williams and Sonoma.  So today I was reading the blog "My Baking Addiction" and there was a recipe for a super simple pizza dough.  I've never had much success with the old yeast/warm water/sugar thing.  The recipe promises it's fail proof.   She copied it from the cookbook Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I'm going to try it.  I'll take photos.  I'll post the results.

I cleaned out closets today.  The April challenge is to get rid of 30 items in 30 days.  I think I accomplished that in one afternoon!  Wow.  Did I ever purge my closet and bedroom dresser.  It was too embarrassing to take photos.  But things are tidy and sorted now.

I.T. Girl cleaned out her closet, too.  Now if I can just get Dancer Girl to tackle the job.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Wowza.  It's been almost 3 weeks since I've added to my blog.  I didn't mean to abandon it.  Life just got busy and I never had the time.  So I'll put one big post to make up for those lost days.

My house is still for sale.  Sounds like a broken record, doesn't it?  We had an offer come in last week during Spring Break.  We did not even consider it.  We did not even counter.  We just rejected it.  These crazy people offered us $65K LESS than the asking price.  Now I understand offering a low ball bill to start the negotiating process.  But we're tired of the insulting bids.  This was offer #4 for us and we have no patience left.  They could walk away angry or they could come back with a reasonable offer.  They walked away mad.  Their loss.

So our house has now been on the market for 320 days.  THREE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS.  We never dreamed it would take this long.  Nothing is selling in our price range.  I talked to a teacher at work today who told me that nothing in that price range is selling around here either.  Houses with asking prices of $200K or less are selling.  Houses with asking prices of $1 million are selling.  But all the houses in between?  They are not moving.

That did not make me feel any better.

For entertainment (mine) let me add some photos of things I've been doing.

We went to Dallas to check on The Engineer.  And, of course, we went shopping.  I wanted to take a photo of every pair of red shoes in the store but I got a weird look from the sales lady so I just snapped these real quick.  Nope.  Didn't buy them.  I was shopping with Dancer Girl.  She must have tried on 10 pair of sandals.  Every one had something wrong with them.  Finally settled on a pair.  Got to the register.
"That will be $236.00"  Uh....... WHAT?  I don't think so.  That much?  For sandals?  For a 12 year old?  I don't have shoes that cost that much.  We did not get them.  She can get flip flops at Target.
I don't know why I didn't check the price.

We had lunch at The Twisted Root.  Now, here's the funny thing about this place.  After you order they give you a card with a celebrity's name on it.  So when your order is ready......... our name was Montel Williams.  We heard Pauly Shore, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Conan O'Brien.  Crazy.

But that wasn't the craziest thing.

This is Dallas, TX.  Home of Pres. George W. Bush.  He lives nearby.

So just in case.............

We sat at the Presidential Table.

The tables on either side?

Secret Service.  ha


Our table had a chandelier.

We didn't see George.  Or Laura.

But we did eat buffalo burgers, turkey burgers, chicken fingers and french fries.
On Saturday we visited the Dallas Arboretum.  Wow.
                                                        Flowers.  Flowers.  Flowers.
 Their Dallas In Bloom Theme was Fairy Tale Castles.  Here are a few.  This was the Beauty and the Beast Castle.
                                                     The Little Mermaid Castle.
                                                    Jack and the Beanstalk Castle.

Tomorrow I am going to the dentist.


I have a tooth that maybe needs a root canal.  Or maybe needs to be pulled.
I'd rather not do either.
So I'm returning to a dentist that has spared this tooth before.  Take another x-ray.  And get his opinion.
I wish I were on twitter so I could tweet about my day tomorrow.

And I'm also picking up my dog.