Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things that made me cry today

I've been feeling down in the dumps today.  I think I have the summer doldrums.  It's the first week I haven't had any plans and you'd think I would be enjoying myself but for some reason I've felt quite tenderhearted.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer.

This made me cry - in a happy way.

I love that Donny.  Remember when Don Jr was born?
Anyway, this started my week of tears.

Then there was this photo.

Photo courtesy of

This photo caught me off guard with emotion.  If you are familiar with Paula, that is her 2nd husband Michael sitting next to her holding their grandchildren.  Paula has Jamie's 2 boys (Jamie is G6, by the way)  Michael is holding his daughter's new baby.  Family.  That's what took my breath away.  I've never had family like that.  If I ever met Paula I wouldn't ask her for a recipe.  Instead I'd ask her how she did it.  How did she remarry adding stepchildren and step grandchildren to her life while at the same time maintaining such a sweet relationship with her own.   Yep.  Made me cry.

I'm not finished.

I cried right along with her.
I tell you the truth - I'm having a weepy day.

Then guess what is on TCM right now?

I have a specific childhood memory about this movie.  When I saw the title on the movie guide I wondered if somebody was trying to make me cry.

Oh goodness, days like today don't come along often, but when they do it's exhausting.  I've thought about things I haven't thought about in years.  I've had waves of nostalgia but mostly a flood of sadness.

Have you ever had a day when you felt weepy for no particular reason?

Shopping With A 13 Year Old Or Now I Feel Old

I spent the most of the day shopping with my youngest daughter.  She is 13.  I am older than that.  Here's how I know:

1.  The only young stars I "know" are Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.  I do not know R. Kelly or Josh Hutchison or One Direction.  I do know now most of the celebrity names that came out of her mouth.

2.  Do you know what "G6" means?  It means SUPER FINE.  I told her that's what we said back in the day.  SUPER FINE.  She just stared at me.  "You mean G6?"  Oh yes, that's what I mean.

3.  Looking at a menu, I look at the salad and soup section first.

4.  I watch the news off and on during the day.  Maybe some 13 year olds do that.  But I know when my daughter has the clicker she does not watch a little Wolf Blitzer.

5.  Shoes.  Let's talk shoes.  Back in the day I could wear any style, any height, any anything.  Target shoes.  9West's Shoes.  But now I have to pay a little more for comfort.  The cutesy shoes my daughter eyed brought back memories of how I used to be a carefree shoes wearer.  Not anymore.  Sad.

6.  While we were in a major department store, I told her I wanted to go upstairs and look at the bedding and housewares.  (After we had shopped in Juniors)  She didn't complain but I had to laugh at myself.  What 13 year old wants to look at sheets and towels?  On the other hand, this Mom was looking forward to it.  **by the way, sheets not on sale?  $$$$

We had a good morning.  Dancer GIrl picked out shorts (they were on sale) and the cutest dress.  We had lunch.  We talked and shopped and stayed within my budget.


I don't put photos of my children on this blog.  But today I'm going to make an exception.  Ironman and I.T. girl are on a trip together this week.  (they will be home Friday THANK GOODNESS)  They are working at a camp in Guatamala and yesterday I got this photo in my email box.

Hugs and Kisses.  Talk again tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday About Town

I have an announcement:  I left my house today.

Thank you, thank you.  It was a huge accomplishment as I've been a sloth for the last couple several days.

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  But enough of me talking, let me show you why I had no choice.

Do you see it?  The roots, the gray, the split ends, the heavy weight of hair that has grown too long?  It was a hair emergency.

E.T.  Phone Home........

Wow.  Like magic, the ugly hair is gone.  Thanks K.  You are a magician.

After my hair appointment I had a couple of errands.  First Stop:  Kroger

mmmmmm fresh cucumbers from the garden.

and tomatoes.  Nothing like a home grown tomato.  I was getting hungry for fresh vege...... hold it folks.  Did you see what I saw?



Let me get out my driver's license.  Oh yes, I DO live in Louisiana.  Do we grow anything here?  Hey Arkansas and Texas - send our vegetables back.

After Kroger I realized I was driving on fumes.  Gosh, my least favorite thing - pumping gas.  Which brings me to my Tuesday rant.  Gas Pump Etiquette.  People!  Listen!  Pull through to the last available pump.  Don't stop at the first one blocking others behind you.  Why would you do that?  KEEP GOING.  This is not a wedding.  (I once heard an etiquette expert say that when attending a wedding it is impolite to ask someone with an aisle seat to scoot down.  You should climb over them)  Well you can't climb over a car at the gas pump.  It was like the going on a Bear Hunt - Can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it............. so you gotta sit and wait.  Lady who was in front of me?  Why'd you do that?  You saw me.

Also, another bad move at the gas station done mostly by men.  They will park their car by the pump and go INSIDE thereby blocking the gas pump, taking more than allotted time to buy gum and a Dr Pepper.  Then they return the car totally oblivious to the line waiting for them to GET ON WITH IT.  Have you noticed men will do that in the grocery store, too?  They have a buggy but they'll park it at the end of the aisle as they juggle everything they need.

Don't get me started.

With my trunk full of groceries and my tank full of gas I headed home.  What did I see in the kitchen?

Home Made Cinnamon Rolls.  
Thank you youngest daughter.

I took a taste and they were soft, gooey, light and flakey, perfect.  And smelled even better.

Tomorrow my daughter and I are going shopping for her birthday.  She wants clothes, shoes and a camera.  It'll be fun.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday - Or the Day I Stayed At Home All Day

That's right, I did not leave my house today.  I walked outside, but that doesn't count.  I was a homebody and I enjoyed every second.

It's a treat to stay at home all day every once in a while.  What did I do?  I cleaned my house, completed many, many rounds of laundry and watched daytime TV.  I didn't actually sit down and watch it.  I had the television on and I would catch a few seconds here and there as I passed through the kitchen.  It is really not like me to have the television on for no reason.   For some reason I enjoyed the quiet noise.  During the school year I crave a quiet house.  I guess I'm missing the chatter.

I thought I'd give you a rundown of daytime TV.  I know you and the rest of the world were busy today while I stayed at home.  I don't want you to miss anything.

A few shows I caught today.
Or I should say, parts of shows I glanced at today.
In no particular order ....

Food Network:

Paula's Best Dishes - a spinoff of Paula Deen?  What is her other show called?  I thought maybe this was repeats of earlier shows but her son Jamie was on with her and they were talking about the new baby.  I surmised it was a recent taping.

They prepared a pork roast that I could smell.  OH MY GOSH.  I'm not eating meat, as you may remember, but I think I would have to have a small taste of this if I were in Savannah.  Jamie prepared a sweet potato casserole.  Let me tell you, is there anything more attractive than a tall, dark, handsome man peeling a sweet potato?   That Jamie is a looker.

Years ago we went to The Lady & Sons.  DELICIOUS!

Look how little my children were.  Wow.  Anyway, we had lunch and it was delicious.

But back to my day.

I also watched a few seconds of Barefoot Contessa.  Although I'm sure Ina is a very nice lady and a talented chef, she does not live in my world.  What did she prepare?  Oh yes, she was making a layered dessert.  One layer of chocolate chip cookies (bought from a bakery)topped with a layer of mocha flavored whipped cream, another layer of cookies, another layer of get the picture.  Chill in the frig.  Serve chilled.  Calories:  10 zillion

**This is aside, but did I tell you about the time I was watching Trisha Yearwood's new cooking show on Food Network?  And she made a cake....... instead of using flour, she ground up an entire box of vanilla wafers.  Yes ma'am she did.  I was shocked!  Not sure I could eat more than a bite but it makes you curious, doesn't it?

I saw several ads for Bobby Flay's new show.  Something about helping a struggling restaurant.  Like I said, I was in and out of the room.

Talk Shows:

I caught a few minutes of The View.  They were discussing Ann Curry leaving The Today Show.  I don't have an opinion one way or the other but I do think it's dirty to "fire" her and then expect her to work one more week.  How awkward she must feel.  I read Laura Bush's autobiography years ago when it was first released and she makes a point of saying that out of all the press people she met, etc. Ann Curry was always kind and thoughtful and genuine.  She is the same off camera as she is on air.  

I find 2 of the co-hosts on The View so annoying that I can not bear to watch it.  It was on while I was dusting and as soon as I located the remote control underneath the newspaper and a sofa pillow, I flipped the channel.

Regis-less and Kelly?  No
Today Show Hour #4?  No

Later in the day I looked up and saw Rachael Ray cooking with Nick Cannon.  I have no idea what they were preparing.  I changed the channel.

I stopped on CNN.  They had coverage of Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf which is always a concern for us.   I listened to a news story concerning the Bus Aide who was harassed by some middle school aged boys.  Apparently she has received $600,000+.  Wow!  By the way, what do you think about this incident?  One thing I haven't heard anyone discuss is ............ well, maybe I shouldn't say it because it will sound heartless.  But as a teacher, the authority you project is powerful.  You teach students how to treat you.  The students should suffer appropriate consequences for their behavior that should include suspension from bus riding privileges.  The school board should consider training for faculty and staff in leadership and management skills.

I'm sure I successfully proved to you that there is NOTHING on daytime television.

Tomorrow I am going to get out of my house.  I need fresh air!

Hugs and kisses.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Catch Up

Where do I begin?

This year I turned 51.  Officially, middle age.  (Yes, I plan on living until I"m 102 so I'm middle aged)

Crazy things happen OVER NIGHT when you join the 50+ crowd.

The gray hair?  Okay, who painted my roots that color.
The poor eyesight?  I could see the TV yesterday.
The forgetfulness?  What was I going to say?

The world has been swirling around me and I feel as if I'm raking leaves on a windy day.

After our "vacation" to Walt Disney World   I needed a vacation from my vacation.  But there was no time for rest.  Ironman and I.T. girl had another big trip planned and they were leaving on Friday.  FRIDAY! For some reason I thought they weren't leaving until Monday which means I would have the entire weekend to get ready.

Get our your June calendar or you'll be as confused as I.  We returned home from our vacation on Tuesday, Wednesday Ironman worked out of town, Thursday I had a doctor's appointment, and Friday part of my family was flying United.  Needed to arrive at the airport by 5:00am.

Wednesday was spend unpacking and then repacking.  Making copies of documents, errands, picking up our doggie from the veterinarian and shopping for groceries.

Thursday I had a doctor's appointment.  Is there anything worse than the anxiety you feel before your appointment with the gyno?  Let me answer that:  NO!  First, Ironman and I have new health insurance.  That always throws the ladies in the front office for a loop.  Then there are the conversations you can't help but overhear in the waiting room.  Some of them funny, some of them serious but all of them not meant for my ears.  So shhhhh.  The guessing of who they will call next begins.  Finally my name is called.  The usual routine stuff - you know what I mean.  Everything was fine.  I always tell myself, "See?  Nothing to it."

Then it was time for the mammo.  Now, I hear women on television or even in real life talk about their fear of this x-ray.  And I understand the anxiety, but being so fearful that you don't go?  It's only an x-ray.  Don't skip it.  Never.  Never, ever.  If you need me to go with you, call.

All in all the visit was routine and (now that it's over with for another year I can say this) pleasant.  Not as pleasant as a cheeseburger with fries, but I made it.

The one part of the exam that causes the most anxiety is the blood pressure measurement.  I have been hovering between "elevated" and "hypertensive" for a couple of years.  Last year it was elevated.  I went to my family doctor in February and it was "elevated".  I've been measuring it at home .   Yes it's been elevated.  I have an emotional block when it comes to this particular condition because............ should I tell?  Let's just say high blood pressure reminds me of Cruella and I've worked for so many years to separate from her.  This gives me something in common and that's where the emotional side comes into play.  At this visit, however, my blood pressure was dangerously high.  I don't remember exactly - blocked it, I guess - but something like 188/117.  I KNOW!!!  It was so high that the nurse said she would come back and take it after I saw the doctor.   Final reading:  150/110.    *That may not be exact.  Close enough.

Which brings me to the next day - Friday.  I got up at 4:30am, drove Ironman and I.T. girl to the airport.  They will be gone for a week.  By 8:30am I was in my family doctor's office.  I couldn't believe I was seeing a doctor again.  AGAIN! The nurse that checked me in was a joy.  I showed her an app I have on my phone for keeping track of cycles and she was amazed.  Then she showed me an app she has on her phone for keeping track of blood pressure.  We hit it off immediately like long time friends.    Long story short, the doctor gave me a very low dose medication and I have to go back in 6 weeks.  He did tell me if I'd lose 5 pounds it would make a difference in the bp.  Maybe a big enough difference that I wouldn't need the medicine. Hello celery and carrots!  That was good news.  The other good news is that he recommended a different kind of test for............... should I say? Well, if you're 50 you already know.  Colonoscopy.  There, I said it.  I am low risk.  I'll leave it at that.  You are welcome.

Speaking of being 50, guess what else happened?  I broke a tooth.  I am not pulling your leg.  Broke a stinkin' tooth.  I have a routine dental appointment in a week so I'm just going to wait until then.  It doesn't hurt.  I can make it.

There.  I think I'm caught up.  That wasn't too bad.  Talk to you again tomorrow.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Things that Annoy Me: SPAM

If I get one more unsolicited email I am going to explode.  I was on vacation for 8 days and did not check email.  Not even once did I glance at the screen.  I needed a break from the madness and by golly I was taking my break. Today was the first day I had time to sit down in front of the computer to check email.  I knew I would be uninterrupted for at least and hour and it was time to tackle the load.

Can you guess how many SPAM items I had?  Go ahead.  Try to guess.  I'd have a guessing contest but I'm too impatient to do that.  247.  TWO HUNDRED FORTY SEVEN unsolicited emails.    You have got to be kidding me.

I had offers for free magazine subscriptions.
I had recipes from Pillsbury and Kraft.
I had medical emails
I had many  emails wanting me to purchase crafty items.
I have emails telling me that with one click I'll never have car problems, back aches or dirty laundry ever again!

When will the madness end?

I've been sitting here for 30 minutes going one by one by one and unsubscribing.

To unsubscribe, click here.    This is always buried.  Way down at the bottom of the page.

But I've found it, and I've clicked here  over and over and over.  Now I have a headache.

I felt as if I were running on  a treadmill.  Work and work and work and never get anywhere.  And that's because when you unsubscribe............. they send you another email reminding you that you unsubscribed.

Now that's a good way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Stay tuned:  Tomorrow I'm going to tell about my trip to the gynecologist. Fun for all!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Home At Last

Waking up in your own bed:  priceless.

This is the story of our trip to the land of magical memories.  I will start at the end.

Take a look at this photo taken with my iPhone.  Sorry it's so blurry.

This is a lovely photo I took from my seat on the airplane.   We had a nice time on vacation but let's get the show on the road.  Just as we were all settled, and the flight attendants were doing their final walk through, one of the flight attendants shut the door to the cockpit and ......... get ready....... sliced her finger almost in two.  It was just one of those things.  A freak accident.  Enough to make me want to pass out and it didn't even happen to me!  Just the thought of ................
  The paramedics were called and the pilot explained the situation.  A few minutes later the pilot made another announcement that the flight attendant was being transported to the hospital and that we would have to wait for a replacement to arrive.  The new flight attendant was 45 minutes away.  So, there we sat.

Now, it wasn't the end of the world.  It wasn't because of neglect or drunk pilots or crazy passengers.  We all understood the situation and knew it just couldn't be helped.  But we were tired.  And we were ready to go on home.

So what you gonna do?  Sit.  And wait.  Make friends on the plane.  The other 2 flight attendants passed out ice water and made small talk.  The pilot said passengers could deplane but not to venture too far because he would not wait for any pokey little puppies.  Many people did deplane, including Ironman.  I just sat.

Almost an hour later the new flight attendant arrived and we were up in the air.  The flight was uneventful after that.  We landed safely, all our luggage made it, we found our car in the parking lot and we drove home.

Thank you, Cinderella and Belle, we'll see you again soon.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

People Watching

The sights you will at Walt Disney World. 

The temps are in the upper 90s yet you will see people wearing jeans and long sleeves.
Or, on the other end, you'll see people wearing next to nothing!  Last night we saw a grown woman wearing her swimsuit.  Yes, she had a linen type coverup on, but it was definitely her swimsuit under there.  Fashion Police Heaven!  It's hot, people.  And you are going to get a lot of mileage out of those flip flops.  So dress for the occasion.

Next:  Tattoos.  I confess at the start, NOT BRAVE ENOUGH.  I was thinking, so if you decide to go ahead and get a tattoo why would you pick something outlandish and crazy?  I mean if I'm going to paint my bedroom I have to choose a color that I can live with for a long time.  So I don't pick pepto pink or burger king orange.  I wondered about the naked lady tattoo that was on the arm of the man in front of me at the bakery in France.  And what's with that scary skull?  And why so many?  Can't you be satisfied with just one?  When is enough enough?

Families visiting the parks at Disneyworld often dress alike.  It does make it easier to spot each other in a crowd and I get that.  We have seen some creative and clever shirt designs.  Tour groups also tend to dress alike.  By the way, is Brazil closed?  So many tour groups with the most beautiful teenagers you will ever see! 

Everyone has been considerate and patient.  Until yesterday.  We met a couple of Disney Scrooges yesterday.  I had to just shake my head.  What do you gain by being rude and obnoxious?  We're all hot and we've all been waiting a long time. 

Ironman and I were discussing our many trips here.  I'm embarrassed to tell you the number we can up with.  You would DIE if you knew.  I almost died.  We've been more times than is legal.  Each trip we make to Mickey and Minnie's world is a little easier. 

Before:  we had to manage strollers, snacks, bottles, blankets, diapers, pacifiers, sunscreen, tickets, money, room keys, hats, sandals, bandaids, water bottles and battery operated fans.

Now:  We have room keys, tickets, sunscreen, cell phones, advil 

Before:  Fantasyland, characters, princess breakfast, parades, balloons, ice cream cones, souvenirs, autograph books

Now:  Rock n Roller Coaster, Mission Space, Soarin' and Space Mountain.

We just walk on by the characters.
We want to stay in the parks until closing which is some nights 2am.
We are not interested in all the little toys in the gift shops. 

We still eat the ice cream!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Live from Walt Disney World

Hey Ya'll!  We made it.  This morning I sent the fam on ahead so I could have 45 minutes to myself.  Is that weird?  Maybe.  I did it anyway.

I haven't had time to blog so I'm going to make time this morning.  It's my lucky day!

Here's a quick recap of our vacation:

Day 1  Travel Day
Made it to the airport in plenty of time.  So, so easy.  The flight was less than 2 hours.  Do you know how many times we have driven from Louisiana to Orlando?  Too many to count!  Leave out home at 4pm and arriving in Orlando by 6pm was, well, magic!

We rented a car.  That was easy, too.  Drove to the "first night" hotel.  That's a long story for another time.  Everything was easy and I was beginning to lose the "traveler's remorse" that I always get.  Does that happen to you?

"This is way too expensive"
"we could use this vacation money for a zillion other things"
"Wouldn't it just be easier to stay home"
"I'd rather stay home"
"I hate putting the dog in the vet for boarding"

And so on and so on and so on.

Let me tell you one little story.  We have a big dog.  He is a full blooded chesapeake bay retriever.  He is protective.  In other words, he bites.  Now, he has only bitten once.  And it was at the veterinarian's office.  (he bit the vet assistant.  She really did make a big mistake.  She reached past the dog toward my daughter who was, at the time, 5 years old.  I don't know why she did it.  And in his defense, he growled at her in that mean dog way and she ignored the warning.  So he bit her.  Scared me to death, though)  We ALWAYS say "He bites" He's much older now.  Not much mellower, so yes, "HE BITES"  I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true.

I hate dropping him off at the vet for boarding.  He seems to anticipate and enjoy it.  Otherwise why would he jump in the car like he does?  It's the only place I ever take him so he has to know where we're going.

There was a woman there in the vet's office picking up her dog.  She took one look at mine and said the following things:

"Your dog is definitely not full blooded"
"What mix is she?"
"Her hair is so wiry"
"Do you ever have her groomed"
"I think they groom here.  You should ask about it."
"She sure is fat"
"You must feed her table scraps"

I mean it went on and on and on.  I didn't engage her in conversation.  I was polite but non-committal.  Idiot.

But back to our vacation:

Day 2:

Yippee!  Walt Disney World Day!  We checked into our resort.  I"ll upload pix later.


Walked to Epcot.
Rides:  Viking Boat ride in Norway
Mission Space
Journey thru Earth

Had lunch

Went to Magic Kingdom

Rode Runaway Mine Train
Splash Mountain

Had dinner

Food Eaten today:

Steamed rice
Steamed Vegetables
Mashed potatoes
Green beans
Mac and cheese (just a few bites)
1 dinner roll
1 ice cream cone - vanilla

We were tired!

Day 2:

Traveled to Animal Kingdom
Such a fun, fun morning.  It was HOT but surprisingly not crowded

Rode expedition everest twice

Girls bought slurps

Rode kali River Rapids.  GOT SOAKED.  I mean, DRENCHED.  Felt great.

Returned to hotel to change clothes.  Eat lunch.

Girls went back to Epcot.  I took a nap.  Ironman watched Golf on TV.

Met up later at Whispering Canyon Cafe.  This is the restaurant inside the Wilderness Lodge.  Food was fine, atmosphere is hilarious.  Fun without being embarrassing.  (which is why we dislike the place in MGM - Mama Rosa's)  Okay okay, I know it's Disney's Studios now.  I'm a creature of habit.

Drove to DISNEY STUDIOS.  Ironman and I.T. girl rode Tower of Terror.  No way I was getting on that thing.  Dancer Girl and I window shopped.  It had rained earlier in the afternoon so much cooler temperatures.

Surprise:  Our kids just walk on by the characters.  Sad

This morning I'm headed to meet the family at MGM uh, Disney Studios.
We have dinner reservations in China tonight.

Pictures to come!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tomorrow is the day

We are headed to Walt Disney World tomorrow.   Am I ready?  As ready as I'm going to be.

Tickets and reservations (villa and dining) - check
cash and lots of it - check
Dog settled at the boarder - check.
Suitcases measured and weighed - check

So I guess I'm ready.

I did buy a few things today.  I had to have a swimsuit.   I went to the big department store at the mall and was immediately distracted by a huge display of shoes 75% off original price. Yes, I looked.  But I resisted the temptation.  I was on a mission to buy a swimsuit and that had to come first.

I had to wander around the store until I finally happened upon the swimsuit area.  It was more like a swimsuit department.  There must have been 10 million suits crammed into one huge area.  I wish I had snapped photos with my trusty iPhone.  There were plenty of skimpy string bikinis.  Don't worry.  I passed them up.   I also passed up anything that was over $75.  I mean, good gravy, swimwear is expensive.  I made a mental note that in September when all this is marked down to come back and buy the accessories - coverup, matching flip flops, big floppy hat, etc.  Maybe even pick up another cute swimwear ensem.  But only if it's a big mark down.

I did not want to dwell in the store.  I made my decision quickly and got out of there.
I also bought one for  Ironman.  So annoying that he wears the same exact size he's worn the entire twenty five stinkin' years I've been his wife.

Our bags are packed.  We are ready to go.  Flight leaves tomorrow afternoon.

I'm going to post one interesting photo a day while we're gone.  Yes, that's what I'm going to do.

Mickey and Minnie - we're on our way!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Recipe Sunday

I've decided to share a new recipe with you every Sunday.  I've been searching for ways to eat healthier.  I knew I needed to put myself "on the list" but had trouble figuring it all out.  One day I was watching an old Dr Phil show with overweight teens.  The guest doctor on the show told the parents that instead of removing things from the teen's diet, add more healthy things.  Instead of forbidding coke and cheetos, add watermelon and smoothies.  Something about the way he said it resonated with me.  So I began to search for ways to add more fruits and vegetables and whole grains to my eating plan. (I don't want to call it a diet)  And I've done it.  In fact, I've given up all meat!  That's a big jump.  I know. But it happened gradually. I'd already given up red meat years ago.  I never enjoyed pork so I didn't even bother with ham or pork chops.  I would eat turkey bacon but I've given up processed meats.

Seem weird?  Maybe.  But I have to tell you, I feel better now than I've felt in months.  I've lost weight.   I haven't weighed.  I just know I've lost weight because all my clothes FIT.  Every single thing in my closet FITS!  That is  a nice feeling.   I don't get those late afternoon headaches.  My blood pressure is down.  My skin is clear.  My eyesight is shot but there's nothing I can do about that!

Here is the recipe I prepared today.  I did NOT let my daughters see me making it.  I still haven't told them the ingredients.

Nacho Cheese
Recipe Courtesy of Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin

You will be amazed with the flavor.  Honestly.  I've fed it to both daughters and they loved it.   We ate it as a dip.

 Ingredients:  mayonnaise, salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, taco seasoning, hot water and.............TOFU!

Now, I had never eaten tofu.  I had never bought tofu.  I didn't even know where they hide it at Kroger.  It was by the packaged salads and refrigerated salad dressings.  Just in case you are feeling inspired.  When you open the package there is a lot of water.  So I poured the water out and then read in the cookbook how to prepare it.
 Cut the block into 8 equal parts.  Line them on a folded dishtowel topped with a folded paper towel.  Then make another layer:  folded dishtowel, folded paper towel, tofu slices.
 Final layer.  Top with a dishtowel and squeeze out the water.  I'm telling you, all the towels and all the paper towels were soaking wet.  SOAKING WET.  Afterwards the tofu squares looked flat.  And dry.
 Living Room's Clean.  (inside joke)
 Because I'm going to Disneyworld on Tuesday I used my Mickey Mouse measuring spoons.
Place tofu into blender.  Add chili powder, salt and pepper, mayonnaise, hot water, and taco seasoning packet.

Just a note here:  As I run out of staples in my kitchen, I've been trying to replace them with either vegetarian versions or at the very least organic.  I don't want to throw out a new jar of mayonnaise just because it's not vegetarian.  I'll go ahead and use it all.  Same with the salt.  All the recipes call for kosher salt, but I'm going to use the one with the little girl holding an umbrella until I've emptied the carton.

I'm not that crazy.

 Push the puree button.  I whirled it for a minute, lifted the top and gave it a stir, then whirled it again.  I did not want it to have any lumps.  I didn't know what to expect but I was dang sure lumps would be a big turnoff.

Oh my gosh!!  I was speechless.  How can that bland squishy square of whatever it is turn into something that tastes this good?

What does it taste like?

Kinda like bean dip.
Kinda like queso.

Be brave!  Try a new recipe this week.

Friday, June 8, 2012

What kind of teenager were you?

I've spent a lot of hours with my teenage daughters this week and it got me to thinking about my own teenage years.  What was I like?  I'm very sure I was the dependable type.  I'm sure I was quiet and polite and helpful. I know for a fact that I was organized to the point of being obsessive.  If that condition had been familiar in the 70's I think I would have been diagnosed. Yes, I would spend hours in my room redecorating, moving furniture around, cleaning and organizing. Control issues anyone?   My mother thought I was a nut.  I did not make stellar grades, but they were good enough.  I'm also confidant that I did nothing to stand out.  I did not want to be noticed - not even in a good way.  I guess I could have made an A in Algebra but then I would be recognized and that made me quite uncomfortable.  I was content with a B which was the average grade.  I was content with being average.

One of my daughters is painfully shy.  She rarely makes contact with a new person.  She does not take the initiative to introduce herself.  She would never in a million years join a new group of peers. I don't think she has a friend.  She has acquaintances - girls that she is in class alongside that she interacts with.  But they don't really qualify as friends.   She stays firmly embedded in the shadows.  She feels comfortable there.  Her grades in school are excellent.  She is not irresponsible or disruptive.  I have no worries about her behavior.  So what am I worried about?  I don't know if "worried" is the right word, but today I found myself almost frustrated with it.

How do you help someone with confidence?  How can I help her see her own potential?  How can I help her feel good about herself?

Like an addict, part of me feels like she has to want to  help herself.  But when I think back on my teenage years I now wish I had had some help from my mother.  (let's not get into that barrel of monkeys.  I'll never get back on the subject)  

I do not want to call attention to something that she is already painfully aware.  So I find myself secretly changing or adding to her home life .Case in point:  her weight. I'm the one who buys the food, prepares the food, presents the food.  So I quit buying sugary carbonated drinks, Little Debbie snacks, processed meats, etc.  I load the refrigerator up with fresh fruits and vegetables.  I have been preparing more and more vegetarian meals at home.

Her appearance:  I find myself buying little things for her like hair accessories, nail polish, bracelets (the fun kind, not the "real" kind), lip gloss.  I call them "treats".  She places the treats on her nightstand and there they stay.

I don't want her to be anybody but herself so please don't think I'm trying to change her.  That is not my goal.  Instead I want her to be happy, confident, assured, well adjusted, interested in something.  Will she one day look back on her teenage years and say, "Why didn't you help me?"

I remind myself that as she matures she will find her way.  I don't want to be a stumbling block.


I made a list

Attention all ye list makers:  I made a new list today.  Honestly, sometimes sitting down and putting it all on paper makes all the difference.  We are headed out on vacation in 5 days and, as I said yesterday, I've done nothing.  Now I can announce that I made a list!

Airline Tickets:  check
DVC reservations:  check
Rental Car:  check
Veterinarian Boarding for Puppy Dog - check
Park Hopper Tickets:  check

These things were done months ago and to tell you the truth - IRONMAN took care of it all.  Except for the Disney Vacation Club reservations and the tickets. I handled those two.  We have driven to Orlando before.  All 14 hours of the trip was grueling.  Okay, maybe not that bad.  There are other things worse than driving all day.  Like root canals. But I digress.  Our regional airport recently added a non stop flight to Orlando once a week.  Listen, we'll take what we can get!  So this year we are flying.
Besides, Ironman likes to drive around to the parks.  We do use Disney transportation sometimes.

Speaking of flying, I haven't flown since 9/11.  True story.
Add to list:  check security info on web.  Weigh our bags.

Back to my list:

A swimsuit (ugh)  more about this later
Walking Shoes (I want Keds.  Just plain, white, leather, comfortable KEDS)

Haven't even begun.  I'll get to it this weekend

Did you notice I have to purchase a swimsuit?  OH MY GOSH!!  It's been a couple of years since I've put one on.  The most flattering suit I've ever owned came from Lands End.  Those tank two piece suits they sell why oh why didn't I order myself one.  Do I still have time?  I need to check.  The best part is the bottom comes UP and is not bikini size.  If you know what I mean.  I need the tummy control without the restriction of a one piece.

I'm making progress.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Six days to go

In less than a week we are flying to Walt Disney World.  I've done NOTHING to prepare for vacation.  I haven't even bought sunscreen!

Many months ago we offered I.T. the opportunity to pick our family vacation destination.  We knew The Engineer would be working and this would be our first vacation without him.  I.T. girl was going to be celebrating her 18th birthday and we decided to just let her pick.  She picked Walt Disney World.  Yes, we've been.  In fact, we are Walt Disney World Vacation Club Members.   And that fortunate fact is what is keeping me from totally stressing out.

The villa does have a full kitchen.  I can go to the grocery store for snacks and water.
The villa does have a washer and a dryer.  So we don't have to pack 6 days worth of clothes into airline approved luggage. Laundry follows me wherever I go.

I have thoughts to think.  Strange, probably, but I haven't had time to think it all out in my head.  That is what's bothering me the most.  I need to get things organized inside there.  Two more days of Vacation Bible School and then this weekend the #1 thing on my list is to THINK IT THROUGH.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Today it was hot.  I realize it's summer and all but holy macaroni it was hot.  I ran to the grocery story about 2:15 and the radiant heat from the cement parking lot was sizzling.  Yes, I thought about frying an egg out there.

Have I tell you about the time I had a small magnifying glass in my science center at school?  The science area was near a large window as we had things growing there.  And sure enough, it was so warm outside and the sun so bright and the magnifying glass was tilted just so............ something was smoking!  That has never happened to me before.  The magnification of the sunshine coming through the window, through the small (and I mean small) magnifying glass was warm enough to make the wax paper under a nearby plant SMOKE!

I got off the subject.  Where was I.

Oh, the heat.  BTW, are television weather men outdated?  I mean tonight I watched as our local guy struggled to fill 8 minutes on live TV.  How many times can you say "It was hot today"?

This morning the girls and I were on time to Vacation Bible School.  It was a good day.  The little girl who gave me a run for my money yesterday was settled down today.  She seemed more interested and plugged in.

I wasn't as tired when I got home.  Which is good as I had a lot to do.

Yesterday I was still recouping from my weekend in Dallas.  Speaking of that I must tell you about the RUDE Embassy Suite check in girl.

First of all, I do not enjoy being spoken to LOUDLY.  If you are at a ballgame, go ahead and yell.  But if I am standing 12 inches from you, no need to speak loudly.  I can hear.  Thank you.  I.T. girl and I arrived at the Embassy Suites Grapevine, TX a little after 7pm  We checked in with no problems and walked into our room.  WHOA!  We opened the door and the cigarette smell from the room just about knocked us down.  There was no way we could stay in that room.  I imagined my hair smelling that way.  My clothes, my shoes, my TOOTHBRUSH.  Ugh.  No.

We walked back downstairs to the front desk and asked for a new non-smoking room. This time it was a different check in girl.  Little Miss Sunshine.  

Me:  "We'd like to be moved to a different room as we prefer nonsmoking.   Here is the room key for the room we just entered."

Miss Sunshine:  "That room is a nonsmoking room."

Me:  "I'm sure it's smoking.  The odor knocked us down!"

Miss Sunshine:  (staring at her computer screen)  "Your reservation requested a smoking room."  With this she pushed the keyboard back away from her fingers as if to indicate there was nothing she could do.  She just stared at me

Me:  "I did not request a smoking room as I do not smoke.  There may have been a mixup in the reservation - technology and all.  Either way, we'd like to move rooms."
(I'm standing my ground but still trying to be polite)

Miss Sunshine:  "Well, I don't know what I can do"

Me:  "You have nothing available for tonight?"

Miss Sunshine:  "Let me check.......okay.  But the new room will be on the 4th floor"

Me:  "That's fine"

So she begins to type and type and type.  Then she looks at my daughter and says (in that loud annoying irritating tone of voice) "What high school do you go to?"

Daughter:  "I'm not from Texas"

Now I realize that didn't answer the question asked, but I think she was caught off guard .  Maybe  she misunderstood........or didn't know exactly where this question came from and where it was going.  Either way, no need to get nasty.

And nasty she got.

"I know you're not from Texas.  I can see your home address. What high school do you go to?"

Gosh I wanted to push her.  I just didn't get the attitude.

Daughter:  "Magnet"

Now, "Magnet" is the name of I.T. girl's high school.  It has a long drawn out name, but everyone around here simply calls it "Magnet"

Miss Sunshine:  staring at us with that smugness I'd come to hate in the 3 minutes I'd been standing there.   "Magnet........ you mean Southlake?"

Daughter:  No, Magnet.  C.... P....Magnet.. High School

Miss Sunshine:  "I've never heard of it"

And with that my conversation with this woman was over.  I was D.O.N.E.

She dropped my new keys on the desk.  I picked them up.  I walked away.  As I looked down I saw that she had written her name on the little envelope they give you at check in.  Oh Marla.  I'm so glad you did that.  Now when I complain I can use your correct name.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wait for me. I'm over here!

Is it summer yet?  I just heard the local weather man say that this was the warmest hottest June 4th in the history of the world in this area.  I guess he's right.  Weather Guys don't lie.  I'll vouch for him.  Today was HOT!

Now, to recap my summer break.  It's a break from my paying job, but not from my life job.  Let's just get that straight.

The last day of school was Thursday.  That was an exciting day but I couldn't thoroughly enjoy it because I had so much to do.  Busy busy.  I.T. girl and I drove to Dallas to see The Engineer before he left for his summer internship.  He has recently moved into an off campus apartment.  You wanna see?

Transport yourself back in time to those college days.  Here goes:

 Bedroom.  Mattress and box springs on the floor.  I offered to buy him a bed frame.  He looked at me quizzically.  I guess that means "nah".   He does have a chest of drawers.  (not shown)  But really, the floor is good for sorting clothes.
 Bathroom.  One tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush.  What else do you need?
 Everyone needs a linen closet to store your super water guns.  And your tool box.
 Living area:  One desk chair left by the dumpster at the dorm.  One large skyscraper picture bought at Ikea in their half price section.  One fuzzy bean bag chair.  One parking limit sign.  I didn't ask where that came from.
Kitchen.  See that mason jar?  That is their coin savings bank.  I guess they are saving up for cable.

All in all The Engineer and his roommate are very happy. They both have internships for the summer.  They will earn enough money to be comfortable as college seniors and to pay for an off campus apartment.

While we were there a friend of The Engineer called.  Her parents had a couch and a washer and dryer they'd like to GIVE to him.  FOR FREE!!  WOW!  I was excited.  We did have to rent a UHaul truck but The Engineer had friends to help and they did it.   WOO HOO!!  Very, very generous.  A big thank you from me to them.

We returned home Sunday afternoon.  I ate lunch.  I ran up to my church to take care of some Vacation Bible School last minute plans.  WOW-WEE.  So much work!  I definitely put my preschool teacher skills and experience to the test.  I was pulling things out of my hat.

I have always enjoyed vacation bible school.  There's just something fun and exciting about the new and different things offered.  And the mornings are jam packed!  By the time I got home at noon I was really tired.  I was already tired from the end of school, and the weekend in Texas and then this.  I slept for 2 hours.

All in all it's been a fast and furious beginning of summer vacation for me.  More stories about our weekend to come. ( Including one about a VERY RUDE Embassy Suites check-in lady. )

I'm glad to be back.