Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Who is Keeping Track Anyways?

If you participated in Reverb 10 during December of last year, are any of the things you wanted to manifest in 2011 revealing themselves?

So the lovely people at Reverb10 send out monthly prompts.  Usually when I get the email I make an effort to jump right in.  But this one has sat in my inbox until the LAST possible moment.  I even contemplated just not doing it.  But I loved the challenge...so why the hesitancy?  I honestly don't have an answer.  I saw the Thumber squeeze her post in here.  So I figured I would make an attempt.

I said in "A Series of Unfortunate Events" that I was tired of making hospital visits.  I guess I should have clarified that I what I really wanted was for everyone to recover and get better.  Not for the both of them to pass away.  Being consumed by everything that was going on left me no time to write let alone reflect.  So there is one possible excuse.  The other?  A massive cup of guilt.  How selfish was I that not only did I say I didn't want to visit hospitals, but I blogged about it?  Can I get that cup with cream and sugar...heavy on the sugar? 

Speaking of sugar, I really need to lay off.  Or at least scale it back.  I also need to hop back up on the elliptical and get my butt motivated.  I have lost all will over the last month to watch what I eat, let alone making sure that I workout.  Physically I need to get moving again.  I know it will make me feel better.  I am just not there mentally.  I know that I will get there but with the birthday rush coming up I don't see anything wrong with having a bit of cake.

I'm anxious to get writing again.  Writing about stuff that isn't all doom n gloom.  Yes, I want to write about cupcakes and rainbows and kittens and all that good stuff.  It beats being mopey and depressed any day!  I'm not talking about being a cheery starbucks drive thru employee smiling at you before you have had your morning coffee intake.  Just plain o happy.  

I think that for June I will participate in the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) meme.  I need a kick in the pants to jumpstart the writing.  This may be what I need.  Or it may crash and burn.  I really don't have any expectations at this time.  June is a busy month for us with two birthdays every week plus other holidays it gets a little crazy.  I will make my best effort to write every day.  Hopefully that will help pull me out of my funkalicious funk.

I took a break from writing just now to go through my posts and see what I was missing.  
Been baking...check.  
Fitness Goals...hahahahaha.  
Vacations...not really.  
Made it to Malibu to visit the M*A*S*H site...not yet :(.  

Guess I can't check everything off my list just yet.  On the positive, guess that gives me something to look forward too.  And since there is a small part of me that is still looking on the bright side I think there is hope for me yet!          

Monday, May 30, 2011


This Years Picture
Last Years Picture

Somehow I have had the great fortune of weaseling myself into another family, getting myself adopted.  Last year they so lovingly bestowed this treasure upon my family.  We love it.  It's a vintage Ice Cream maker.  And boy o boy does it get used!  Just whipped up a batch of Cake Batter Ice Cream to cap our our nice Grill Out Night.  Of course had to top it off with some sprinkles.  Unfortunately we ran out of the sprinkles that came with the Ice Cream maker and now I have to go shopping.  

See the empty container?

I hope you all had a great three day weekend!  Ours was pretty good.  Honestly, it feels great to get back to some sort of normalcy.  

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hi Guys

Happy Three Day Weekend!

So, I'm back.  Things are still a little on the weird side around here.  We have moments where we seem like we are going to be okay.  I am holding on to that feeling.

I am looking forward to not doing a whole lot.  I say that EVERY weekend but this time I mean it!  We have a birthday party on Sunday and I am down for some socializing.  But that appears to be the only thing on our calendar.  So for the sake of repeating myself...Helllloooooo Weekend!      

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where is My Helmet?

So, grief.  Not exactly the funnest thing ever.  There are so many complex layers.  So many combinations of emotions that you go through.  Some you are prepared for.  Some you are not.  

I've been stuck on this one thought.  It's dumb but I can't seem to get it out of my head.  

Life is Hard, Buy a Helmet.  

I think that as part of that kit that they give new parents in the hospital…the one with samples of formula and a pamper, they should include safety gear.  An adjustable helmet that you can wear well into adulthood, along with matching knee pads and elbow guards.  Mine would be hot pink.  

Why would you need a helmet?  Because Life is hard.  It's lumpy and bumpy and sometimes you fall.  Okay in reality, you are going to fall…a lot.  But, that's okay.  It's human nature to stumble.  All of us have moments where we fall.  It's not IF you fall.  Because you are going to (that's why you need the helmet).  It's how you handle it when you do.  Life is hard like that.  

But here is the thing…You have to get back UP.  

There are two kinds of people in the world.  The kind that fight to get back up and the kind that figure that while they are down, they will just stay down there for awhile.  

If you are lucky enough you may have a few people along the way that were nice enough to offer their hand to help you up.  As you get up, look them straight in the eyes and make sure you say THANK YOU.  Thank you for making my life just a bit easier.  If only for a moment, that tiny bit of help, even just an offer can make all the difference in the world.  I can only hope that I can offer my hand and repay the few people that have helped me up.  I have always been surprised by those who have offered a hand.  Most of the time, it's never who I expect it to be.  Life is funny like that.    

I am trying my best to remember to appreciate the people around me.  Sometimes we get so involved in what is going on around us we can't see past our own noses.   I have had my moments and have dealt and continue to deal with my fair share of these people.  These also seem to be the same people who have more than a little bit of trouble getting back up.  Even when I have offered my hand, these people refuse any help and continue to chill.  Do you think if I bought helmets and started handing them out they would get the point?  

I am at a point where I am trying to be sympathetic.  Honestly, my patience has a limit.  I'm not a psychiatrist or a psychology major so I am not sure if what I am going through is a normal part of grief.  Maybe I am just absolutely tired of people who have continually asked for things of us while we are going through this tough time.  Instead of offering sympathies they continue to peck away at my patience.  Guess what?  Now is not the time.  

In my efforts to get back UP, I find myself being pulled back down.  They can try all they want but I have always been one of those people who have fought to get back UP.  It's not ever easy.  Maybe life would be a simpler if they just told you that in the beginning when they handed you your helmet!  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's Been Quiet Around Here

When I first met her she was just a friends mom.  She was nice and was the stereotypical stay at home mom.  She had a mini van and drove her kids everywhere.  She wore her signature huge sunglasses while doing all of it.  

Later on down the line I started dating her son.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared of her.  One of my first encounters with her as the "girlfriend" was slightly scary.  Or at least scary to a fifteen year old girl.  Her son and I were getting ready to go out on a date after he got his license and we would be *gasp*  unsupervised.  

She sat in the living room with a large smile on her face.  She looked at me and yelled "I don't have to sit you down and explain the birds and the bees to the two of you, do I?"

I could feel myself turning five shades of red.  

"NO ma'am!"  I respectfully replied.

I don't think I kissed him that night.  

For the longest time I didn't think she liked me.  Then one night I was on the phone with my boyfriend and I heard her.  "That better not be any other girl you're talking too!  You have that nice girl! "  We both started laughing.  At least I knew she liked me.  

Further down the line the boy became my fiance, who got stuck being my husband.  I joke about being together forever but we really have.  :)  <--I added the smiley to keep it in context.  

For the last twelve years she has been my mother in law.  They welcomed me into the family with open arms and I was proud to share the family name.  

When my daughter was born with red hair we were surprised.  We knew instantly where she got it from.  She got it from her Nana.  We also blame the stubborn streak on Nana too.  

As stubborn as Nana was, she could only fight for so long.  We lost her last tuesday to various health issues.  It's been a hard, busy week.   I've been trying to focus on the positive around me.  It felt weird that I haven't blogged but I haven't known what to say or how to say it.  

So I will just say 

Rest In Peace Nana.  We will miss you.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Snapshot Saturday!

What a great idea!

Thumbin' My Way has a great challenge for all the writers out there.  Something for fun and not at all stressful.  You can head over there and get the low down on the challenge.  She will provide the photos and we get to take it and run.  

Saturday Snapshot Challenge at Thumbin' My Way

So here is my first entry.


From the porch you can watch 
the world go by on foot.  
One step in front of the other.
All walking down the 
well traveled path.  

From this porch you can watch
a community slowly grow
Family by family
They are all somehow connected.

From this porch you can watch
Fathers walk to work.
Mothers hang laundry on the 
cotton line.
Brothers and sisters play 

From this porch I can wait.
Peeking through the window
To see if she is any closer
to the candy counter.

Friday, May 13, 2011

If Our Story Was a Fairytale

Part One.

Once Upon a Time…

All good stories begin with Once Upon a Time.  So Once Upon a Time and long long ago, like 1995 and stuff, there lived a skater dude who was really good with computers.  He was really outgoing.  He was very kind and everyone liked him.  He had hazel eyes and bleached tipped hair and a fake nose stud.

On the other side of town there lived a shy girl who always had her nose in a book.  She liked school even though it took her an hour to get there by bus.  She was tall with blue eyes and blonde streaks in her hair.  

And what may you ask would bring these two together?

High School.

They knew a lot of the same people.  Okay, it was a really small school and we all knew all the same people.  


Fate was destined to bring them together.  Well, it was either Fate or a camping trip.  I think it was the camping trip.  We will skip most of the details of that trip and come back to that story when you are older.  

Back to the story.  The boy gave the girl his phone number and the girl called him.  Or it could have been the other way around.  It's been while and my memory might be failing me.  So they started talking…A LOT.  Then one morning he boy was late for school and the girl was worried.  But shortly she saw the boy and he was bringing her a rose and asked her to be his girlfriend.  She quickly forgot out about being worried and said yes.    
Now each fairytale story usually has a villain or a monster.  This one not so much with the witches with pointy hats or dragons.  More like teenagers with too much time not their hands.  Some of them were not happy that the boy and the girl were together.  Other's just created drama for the fun of it.  You may understand a bit when you are older but just remember, High School is a lot like Wonderland.  Not much is what it seems.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

Physical Manifestation

There has been a rain cloud over our house all day.  I can't but help think that it's a physical manifestation.  From every angle I look out the window, there it is.  Dark and gloomy.  With all the wind I keep waiting for it to move on.  Perhaps it has and another one was right behind to replace it.  All I know is when I look out the window all I see is gray.

So we wait.

Wait for the call.

Wait for the gray to move on.

Maybe once again we can see the sun.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

She Wants It All (Crafty Post)

I'm so excited!  I finished Clover's stage today.  It's a little High School Musical themed.

Clover has been doing this thing lately where she throws all the stuff off her bed and uses it as a stage.  That was giving me the heebee-jeebees because her no sock wearin feet were jumping all over her nice and clean sheets.  Ick.  So then my friend mentions that maybe we would pull our crafty brainpower and fix her up a stage.  Good idea!

So we started brainstorming and made a trip to Lowe's and meandered through the isles.  But then the paranoid Mommy brain kicked in and I started worrying about pesticides in wood and sanding and then I would have to finish it with some sort of stain.  Also, she would be on it bare foot so it would have to be smooth.  So I decided to do some more research and parked the idea in the back of my head.

Fast forward to the Ikea trip we took last weekend.  The trip in which we not only got lost WITH the nav but also took a donut detour.  Good times.  So I am in Ikea in total sensory overload.  My brain just starts moving while I am there.  I always come home with tons of things that were not on my list.  Like a stage.

It's really a Coffee Table (linked here).  Or the top of it actually.  Clover doesn't do well with steps.  She has fallen off the front one more than a few times and is hesitant.  So I needed something that wasn't too high.  I was originally going to go with some 4x4's but the height of the top of the coffee table was only like 2 inches so she can run on and off of it fairly easily.  She has actually been on it all day today.

The legs and the middle part are still in my garage.  I can figure out something else for them later.  And if this one doesn't last I have the middle part to replace it.  I'm not sure what the finish is called but it wipes off any dirt and scuff marks sooo easy.  It's the same stuff that is on our office desks and Clover has colored all over those and back and it just wipes off with a baby wipe.  It's actually really sturdy.  Daddy was dancing on it today as well.  It went in plain white yesterday.  We added some embellishments today.

It says "You want the world...nothing less, all the glam & the press"  and the bottom part says "I want it all"  Along with some stars.  The letters are two inch letters cut out of hot pink vinyl in the Mickey Font on my cricut.  I use my circut for so many crafts other than scrapbooking.

The quotes comes from High School Musical 3.  Which is one of Clover's favorite movies.  It came on one time on the Disney Channel on day while it was raining and the TV was on in the background.  She watched it and was hooked.  I know it's a weird movie for a three year old to be into but Alice n Wonderland with Depp was on her favorites of all time list too.

Anyways, Sharpay is one of her favorite characters and she loves the song "I want it all" so I went with the lyric from that.  Putting on the letters was a bit tricky only because Clover had chocolate cake after dinner and was sugared up and wanted to play horsey while Mommy added the letters to her stage.

Note to self...Don't try to do things while child is sugared up.    

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Salted Caramels In My Cup

I haven't totally went off the deep end.  I may get there eventually however.  But not today.  Today I have decided to forgo the workout and sit down with my nice cup o caramels (or carmels depending on how you pronounce it).

I get lot's of compliments on how crafty I am.  I have a hard time with compliments and it's hard for me to just smile and say thank you and mean it.  It's a personal issue that I work on.  I mention that because for everything that I do well there are four projects hiding most likely in the garage that people will never see.

My salted carmelly goodness happens to be one of those this week.

I followed this recipe.  I decided to try and pull this off before the mad dinner rush.  The instructions however say that there is only 24 minutes of cooking time.  It lies.

Good Eat's Salty Caramels by Alton Brown

I have successfully pulled this recipe off in the past.  It was very tasty and well received.  The last two batches I have attempted have ended in culinary heart break.  The first batch was full of Mommy interruptions and the syrup got burned beyond recognition.  The second batch was 45 minutes in and not reaching it's thermal destination.  I pulled it at 225*.  I figured it was my good old fashioned thermometer messing with me.  I was wrong.  I went to cut into what looked to be a perfect batch of caramels only to be greeted by oooooey gooooey caramels and not firm chewies.  Of course Hubs had to add salt to the wounds by mentioning that was a big phat 0 for 2.


Culinary Confidence took a direct hit.

After committing 45 minutes to the batch I couldn't throw it out.  It's delicious.  Just not the texture I was looking for.  I follow the directions to the letter except for I cut the soy in half and add a tsp of Vanilla.  It's at this stage where it's too thick to be a sauce and too thin to be a candy.

It is however pretty darn tasty on the edge of a spoon.

I guess it's all about perspective.