Tuesday, August 29, 2006


It took a lot of convincing to get DH to let us have a dog. I was raised with dogs. But he was raised very differently than I. Anyway, after letting it be known for a long, long time that we'd welcome a dog, he finally surprised us by driving up with one out of the blue one day.

It was a big black furball. All chewy and whiney. And so cute. Our oldest (19) named him Frisky. She was 7 at the time. Our middle daughter (12) was about 7 months old. She renamed him Hi-Boo.

So he's been here a while. We watched him grow into a big bear of a dog. He terrifies people with his size. But he's always been the most gentle of dogs.

He was a thorn in our side many, many times. He was terribly hard to confine. He found ways to escape. During one of his escapes he got a poodle pregnant through a chain-link fence. THAT kind of mischief ALL the time it seemed. He even ended up on a local TV show with a bandage on his head one morning while I was getting ready to go out of town, not even realizing he was OUT yet.

Back then, I knew very little of dog training. And he has never "minded" (obeyed for you northern readers ; ) *me* well (he minds DH). But we love him dearly. Even though he's terrified of rain and has to be held like a baby when it even drizzles. Yes, the 90lb dog has to be held.

Now, he's old. He's taken to limping when we do our evening walks. So we made him a vet appointment for yesterday morning. The limping is arthritis. We've got pills for it that should make him better. But his teeth are bad, and he needed surgery. So we agreed and he was gone all day yesterday having that done. There is also some bloodwork that doesn't look great, and we'll have to follow that.

DH and I went to pick him up around 5 yesterday and he was really out of it. It was a bit of a shock to see this big, happy, playful dog unable to stand. DH carried him to the car and we got him home. It took him much longer than normal to "come around" which doesn't bode well, combined with the bloodwork, but he's doing a bit better today. And he took him meds like a good boy.

But seeing him like this is sobering. And I can't help thinking that it's a lesson in life. That we all have our times of disobedience, perhaps even running wild, and then, in the end, if we're lucky enough to make it that long, we're slowed down.

And hopefully we've nurtured our children in a way that will make them lovingly carry us back home, sit beside us, and feed us from their hands if necessary. And maybe even hold us when we're scared.


Monday, August 28, 2006

And a New Week Begins

The rolls only turned out so-so. I mean, they were *good*, but I got mixed reviews on the frosting. I was also a little disappointed because with the last rising the night before they were literally bursting out of the pan. And then after a night in the fridge, they were not nearly as fluffy as I would have liked.

I say all of this, but they were eaten. And enjoyed. : )

Today starts the second week of "school" for my baby daughter, and I've still not really written much on how it went. It was a busy week last week with everything starting up. And even more is starting up this week. Plus, we may be having an out-of town guest this weekend. After last week, I'm going to have to be more diligent in keeping up with the household chores. I've got my schedule all written out, and it looks doable on paper. But somehow it doesn't always work as I have planned.

Can you imagine that?

I do sometimes wish there were more hours in a day.

We've been walking the neighborhood as a family many nights of the week lately. Taking the dogs for walks. It's nice. We've talked to more neighbors lately than we have in years. That can only be a good thing. I love that time with my family.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

I'm Attempting Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

This could be a disaster.

The recipe said that it was ok to make them the day before and put them in the refrigerator overnight. Just to take them out the next morning for 30 minutes before baking.

So that's what I did. They were easy...but labor intensive. I can't really imagine getting up early enough in the morning to make these for breakfast. It would take 3-4 hours!

Anyway, they're in the oven now. And they smell pretty good. Hopefully the family will get to enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls for their Sunday breakfast.

Oh, and enjoy them.

; )


Saturday, August 26, 2006

About Yesterday

Because my girls are so active and do so many varied activities with the church and girlscouts, etc, they each have a cell phone on my plan.

I know some people think it's excessive. They're young. But it's for *my* convenience. They are only allowed a scant few minutes a month on it. And they've both showed incredible responsibility with both keeping up with it and with the usage.

Julia had mentioned earlier that she would really like to upgrade her cell phone to a picture phone for her birthday. Her friend got one for her birthday and thought it was cool beans. For about a day. Then the new wore off. Well, Julia changed her mind about wanting one. About a week before her birthday. Luckily, we had not gotten her a new one at that point.

She's at that hard age, where she's too old for "toys" but too young to have much interest in "grown-up" stuff.

So I was as stumped as she was at what to get her.

I talked to her younger sister and she suggested a video game. But we really couldn't think of anything else. And since both girls had elected to NOT have parties this year in order to get a bigger gift (it's the first time they've done this and I'm not sure they'll do it again) I wanted to make it something special.

When our oldest daughter turned 13, her daddy bought her a ring. A birthstone ring. With little diamonds. It was a *huge* hit. And we'd thought to do this with each girl when she turned into a teenager.

Well, DH and I decided that it might be the time to do it now, instead of 13, for a couple of reasons. Julia is much more mature at 12 than Jessica was even at 13. I suppose each subsequent child grows up a little faster due to the older influences in their lives. That's been our observation anyway. And Julia has super sensitive skin (notice the red hair) and can't wear much "fake" jewelry.

So DH and I went shopping and found *exactly* what we wanted. But the price was more than we could justify paying. We were discussing it when the sales lady said, "You know we're having a huge sale and these are both 40% off, right?" And she pointed to a huge sign that said just that.

We got them both. A birthstone ring AND earrings. I suppose we'll have to get "little bit" a ring, earrings and necklace when her time comes to get the special daddy gift?

Julia wanted a "Doody Plop" cake. Doody Plops are our name for no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies. So we made up a batch and just poured it into our cake pan. Then used colored frosting to decorate.

Birthday girl, blowing out her candle. She then got her video game. And we told her we would go out to eat as well for her birthday. She thought the gifts were over.

We rarely go out to eat. But we decided to go out to http://www.macaronigrill.com/ It's one of the girls favorite places to eat. Notice the video game at the table.

Love the face when she finds out there is another gift.

She really liked the earrings.

At the second gift, she was a little overwhelmed I think. Her face started to turn red.

She loved the ring. As a matter of fact, I don't think she's talked about *anything* else since she got it. Should I sleep in it? How did you know the size? I Love It! Etc.

And then there was cake. And it was so special. This girl came out to sing Happy Birthday to her but sang it in Italian! And her voice was absolutely beautiful. It was definitely something we'll all remember.

We came home and told a walk with the dogs through the neighborhood. Which was a great way to end the day. Julia immediately got on the phone when we got back to dish to all of her friends.

What a blessed day in so many ways.


Friday, August 25, 2006


With my second daughter, we had what's commonly called "secondary infertility". I had gotten pregnant within a few weeks of trying with my first daughter. And when she was a little over 2 we wanted to have another baby. We tried for over 2 years and I finally got pregnant.

I remember taking the test when DH was away. He was in the Navy Reserves and doing his two weeks in FL. So I was all alone when I found out I was pregnant. It was such an incredible feeling. I savored it. For all of 3 minutes and then I picked up the phone and called him. ; )

The weeks wore on and I didn't even have morning sickness! I felt a little tired, but great. Nothing at all like my first pregnancy.

And then I started spotting.

I called the Dr., went in to the hospital, and they scanned me. The little heartbeat reassured us, but I kept spotting. We went to see the Dr. the next day.

And there was no heartbeat any longer.

I was about 12 weeks pregnant.

I have no idea, to this day, why this happened. And I grieved. Oh how I grieved. I wrote letters to my baby. I saved all the little, silly things that Mommies save.

We waited a week or so and I never actually "lost" the baby, so I had to have a D&C. I was told that we could try again in 3 months.

And we did.

And I got pregnant immediately.

I was *terrified*. But I was also sick. VERY sick. Hyperemesis they call it. Was a silly little word for such a monster sickness.

So they told me that I may not be able to carry this baby. That there were sometimes that the mothers reaction to the pregnancy was so much that it was in her "best interest" to abort the child. That if this continued, I could die. I even had homehealth nurses trying to stick my dehydrated veins to give me a little fluid.

Of course I would carry this baby! How on earth could the Dr. think that I wouldn't? Where had he been during my last pregnancy? Didn't he see how badly I wanted a child?

Time eventually passed. Thanks to a *wonderful* husband that brought me the oddest food combinations and helped me (literally) to eat small bites. And at around 20 weeks, the sickness started to end.

I carried this precious baby the full 40 weeks.

There has never been a child more wanted or loved. Never been a child more viewed as a true blessing.

And today she turns 12.

We have a lot to do today, even though it's her birthday. But I pray that my attitude toward her always shows her how very special she is to us.

Today and everyday.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mid-week Already

I'm running late already today, but just wanted to quickly post that "school" Monday was incredible. I plan to post more about that, maybe later today.

Today, Julia(11) goes for her first day.

And *finally* DH slept last night. Thank God.

More later.


Monday, August 21, 2006


It's the first day of school. DD(9) starts co-op today. I'm more nervous than she is!

I was feeling all together. I've planned for this day for months. The only "snag" was that I'd gotten a call a couple of weeks ago saying that one of Jill's classes had been cancelled. It was the last class of the day (as the director told me on the phone), so no huge deal. We just get her back a little early!

But the schedule, with every 15 minutes planned throughout the day, was already done. And I didn't bother changing it. Figuring I would do that today, as the day wore on and we saw how it played out.

So late last night, too late, Jillian asked to see her schedule. I brought it out. And guess what?

The class that was cancelled was the FIRST class of the day. Not the last.

I'm glad I didn't re-do the schedule. All it really meant was that we got to sleep in on this first day. Which is super nice.

And now we're off!


Saturday, August 19, 2006


The RV show yesterday was awesome! It was in a town a little south of here and we'd not been there in years. The convention center that housed the show was HUGE and most of the displays were inside in the airconditioning! So we really got a chance to walk around and explore them without dehydration and death! Yay!

We even know almost to the letter what we want now. Now for finding it, and having the money for it. ; )

We stayed there until around 3pm and then with the drive back home, there was only time for a quick clean of the house before it was supper time. I threw together some chicken fajitas and then we settled in for (Tivo'd) hours of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

The way we "play" it is that the little girls get to answer all of the questions until they can't answer them anymore (usually $2000.00 or so) and then the rest of us duke it out. DH, our oldest, her BF, and me. Pretty fun.

I got a phone call from my great aunt (who is much closer than one might think a great aunt would be) who said that my great uncle wasn't doing so well. I've got to think of some way to help them out and I'm just drawing a blank. They're terribly stubborn people who think they're being a burden if you offer to even grocery shop for them. But they're in their late 70's and on medication and NEED some help. I can't seem to make them understand that it's an absolute privilege to do anything in the world for them that we possibly can do.

If anyone has any ideas of ways to help elderly relatives in a situation like this, without making them feel badly, I would sure appreciate it.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Yesterday - Today

Do you ever have one of those days where you're busy All. Day. Long. And when you think back on it, you can't recall a thing you've gotten done?

That was my yesterday.

I had a meeting last night for the new homeschool co-op. A couple of girlfriends and I met beforehand and drank some iced tea and compared calendars. Catching each other up on Girl Scouts, the YMCA homeschool program, the co-op, etc. I thought I was pretty on top of it all, but I was kidding myself. I need to get out all of my paperwork and schedule in the things that are important to us.

Because, uh, homeschooled kids aren't socialized.


But I'm not going to do it today. Because we're out the door in a minute to go to a RV show!

I'm pretty excited. More later.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Just Quickly

DH's friend is coming into town and over for supper tonight.

I slept in for some odd reason. The doorbell woke me. It was UPS.

DH was looking for some specific pictures of his old cars the other day and got out our boxes of pictures. It's amazing the memories these bring up and it's renewed my resolve to make more pictures again.

He found so many pictures that he just couldn't put back in the boxes.

We've had this frame for a while:

And we absolutely love it. Why on earth I've not gotten more of them is just beyond me. You load between 12 and 40 pictures in this frame. There is a little lever on the side that you pull and it scrolls through the pictures. So it takes about 1 second to change the picture in your frame. And they're all in there safe.

The one I had in the den (you can see it in the den pictures if you look closely) had many pictures that we could change all the time. At Christmas, we'd scroll to last years Christmas picture. At Easter, the Easter pics, etc.

It was time to get more.

I thought I'd bought this one on QVC years ago, but I couldn't find them there anymore. So I found them here.


I ordered them Monday. They came today. Excellent customer service. And now I can get more of my pictures where they are easily viewable.

And besides, I needed more stuff to do before school starts next week. ; )

As a side note, I made this spinach dish the other day.

It turned out *great* and it's so incredibly easy to make. Even the little girls clamored for more.

If anyone is interested in the recipe, I'll be happy to post it.

And speaking of incredibly easy to make...and tasty! I'm always looking to make mornings easier. I love the make ahead pans of breakfast food. And since I'm making bread, we frequently have some that is getting a little stale (2 days old with homemade bread). Amy has this super easy Oven French Toast recipe here:


I mashed some strawberries and softened a block of cream cheese and put it between the layers.

Needless to say, it was a huge hit.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

That Time of Year

I actually have a running list of things I want to blog about. But I was reading about homeschooling this morning, and it's more timely than my list, so I'm going to ramble a bit.

We usually take most of the summer off from homeschooling. At least several weeks.

But if you're like me, it's always at the back of your mind.

I've got to "re-up" with our umbrella group. Print out the ID cards. Laminate them. Print out all of my info from last year (to have in *my* folders here, yes I'm that freakish about it). I've got to make a list of the material we will use this year. It will take me a good couple of hours. I need to schedule that.

However, I've already done a lot toward this year.

Both girls are signed up for a co-op.

Julia (11) is taking math, science and drama there.

Jillian (9) is taking science, creative writing, and art.

It's not the easiest place to get into. It fills up pretty fast. And this is our first year there. So I'm absolutely tickled that we're "in".

I found *all* of my other curriculum at the local used curriculum fair this year. I've got many of my lesson plans done (several weeks worth).

And I'm not planning to "start back" until week after next.

The girls SAT tests came back and they are doing really good. Amazing in some areas.

So all in all, I feel pretty good.

But I can remember a time when I was so worried and stressed.

Jessica (19) I didn't homeschool from the beginning. I pulled her out of school after 3rd grade. For many reasons.

It was a really smooth transition even though I had no idea what I was doing. Because you see, she could read.

Skip forward a few years.

It wasn't nearly so easy with Julia(11). It was reading that we had trouble with. All of the current wisdom says that they should read by the time they're what? Five? Well, five came and went. She just didn't get it.

Then 6.


I started to stress.

Luckily I had a friend who absolutely told it to me straight. She told me that Julia was bright (she is) and that she would learn to read when it was right for her to learn to read. And then she told me that I had an OBLIGATION to Keep it Fun for her. Did I want her to dread reading? Of course not. Then keep it fun.

We bought this:


And some Bob books.

That's it.

We "stopped" any other form of homeschool reading/phonics. We just listened to the tapes in the car. We sang. We kept it fun.

It still took her until she was 8 until she could read. It didn't just change her overnight. But you know what?

It changed *me*.

At 8 she learned to read. She is now 11 and reading on a 10th grade level. She adores reading. She loves series (like her Mama). We just yesterday got 9 used eBay books in the mail for her (a new series that her older sister read years ago) and she was thrilled. She's already devouring them.

My Jillian (9)? She could read before her sister. At 3 we were listening to the tape and she told me that she didn't need to listen to it anymore. She knew how to read.

Yeah, right.

I handed her a Bob book and told her that if she could read it, she didn't have to listen to the tape anymore.

Imagine my surprise when the child opened the book and read it to me. Word for word. With total comprehension.

(I throw that last part in about Jillian because I want to make it totally clear that it wasn't the curriculum or "me" that caused Julia to read late. It was just that she wasn't ready at 5. Or 6. Or 7. And I cringe to think of how the school system would have labeled this bright child if she had been in their care.)


Monday, August 14, 2006


Okay, blogger is acting funny. I have no idea if this will post or not.

Church was great yesterday. We came home afterward and DH went for a bike ride. I mowed the yard and then the girls and I watched a little TV. Then I read the bible for a while.

The girls have a youth group at church on Sunday afternoons now. It's brand new and just started. This was the second week and the parents stayed with them the first week. So this was their first week alone. They seemed to love it.

And DH and I had a wonderful time. We went downtown to a little coffee shop, got a coffee, and then went for a walk downtown. There was a metal sculpture garden that was fun to walk through. Then we drooled at some condos that they're putting up almost on the river. There was a guy down there renting bikes. We looked into it, thinking if it were cheap enough we could drive down with the girls and rent bikes one day (and not have to haul ours down). It was **$40** a day! Each!

We'll haul ours down. : )

Not much got done in the house this weekend. We're totally out of bread. So I've got my first dough in the breadmaker. I'll make rolls out of this and then put on a loaf.

I'm working on my third load of laundry. And I've still got my "normal" Monday things to get done. Plus, there is a man here working on the pool pump. So I'd better run and take care of things.


Saturday, August 12, 2006


Our overnight guest ended up needing to stay a second night.

We were happy to have him. Truly. But not having a guest room made it a bit awkward. And it rained almost all day yesterday, so everyone was stuck inside. Plus, I hadn't planned any good, big meal for the second night. But it ended up working out. And he just left a few minutes ago.

As I mentioned earlier, he's going through a custody battle for his children. That, and his divorce, was all he talked about. Their plans. What they were supposed to be doing with their lives now. The trouble his children were having. The way they were put in the middle of this mess.

The hurt and anguish were tangible.

Mike and I have been through a lot over the years. Who hasn't that has been married 20 years? There have been times, many years ago, that I've wanted to throw in the towel. And times that he has wanted to do the same thing. Luckily, we've never both wanted to do so at the same time.
Seeing this hurt, up close and personal, has done nothing but reinforce my belief that marriage is sacred. It doesn't scar me or make me feel bitter when I hear his (or other) stories. It makes my heart swell with gratefulness.

Because as hard as the hard times were (and trust me, we've had some hard times), they were nothing compared to the bond that we have as a family.

I thank God that He has given us the fortitude to stick with one another through good and bad, richer and poorer, sickness and health.

Because we still have our family. And what could be sweeter?


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Home Tour

For some reason I get a kick out of seeing peoples homes. It's such a personal and private place to be allowed, and it feels nice to be invited in. Even if it is "only" online. Seems that everyone is doing it! So I suppose I'll do it too.

Our front door. Welcome.

The entry. Just inside the front door. The formal living room is to the right. The stairs to the left go up to the bedrooms, and straight ahead is the kitchen/dining room.

The formal living room.

This is the hallway just upstairs which I got incredibly crooked for some reason in the picture!

This is the master bedroom. That mirror that hangs over the bed belonged to my great-grandmother (who raised me) and is very precious to me.

This photo is taken from the bed toward the master bathroom area. The tub and toilet are through the door to the left. And I promise, my mirror isn't dirty, though it sure looks it in this picture.

Rest of the master bath.

Going back downstairs, this is the view of the kitchen.

The is a view left from the kitchen down into the den. And my poor, long suffering husband taking a nap in his chair.

A view from the den to the kitchen. Standing here, immediately to my right is the laundry room/half bath.

The laundry room.

The door that leads out of the kitchen, leads to the back porch. I think it may be the most lived in room in the house. Except when it's this hot.

This is our back deck. We put this in (the deck and above ground pool) several years back and it's been such a blessing to the family. We spend so much time outside now and just really get to enjoy it.

Another view of the back yard area.

We've lived here 12 1/2 years. There are things we need to get done. We have plans to make the room off of the kitchen (the formal dining room) a storage area, hopefully this fall. And I'm still working on the computer/school room. I'll post some pictures when I get it a bit closer to being "done". I didn't show the girls rooms, to give them some privacy. But if they decide they'd like to share, I may do that as well.


Outta Control

Our school/computer room that is...

I've mentioned it before, but trust me, it can be said again. I have such a time with paper. The mail. The flyers the girls get at this activity or the other. The catalogs that I *might* someday need to order something from. The nice cards I'd like to keep. The homeschool records. Trust me, the list could go on and on and on.

FINALLY, yesterday, I got my desk cleaned. It really was a big job. I cleaned out small cabinets that I'd not even looked inside of in probably 2 or more years. Terrible? I Know!

But it's clean *now*. And the goal is for it to *stay* clean *for good*.

I feel so organized.

Now, the rest of the room. Not so good. But it's gonna be. The desk was inspiring.

DH's friend came over last night. He usually comes into town once every couple of weeks or so and has dinner with us. It's nice. DH made him Boudain:

bou·din also Bou·dain ( P ) Pronunciation Key (b-dn, -d)n. pl. bou·dins, also Bou·dains (-dn, -dnz)
A highly seasoned link sausage of pork, pork liver, and rice that is a typical element of Louisiana Creole cuisine.

I made homemade rolls, slaw and corn. And a raw vegetable plate with some dip.

I'd forgotten that I had to drive DD(11) to youth at a neighboring church. So I was in and out for most of the visiting.

Tonight we have a friend of DH coming over that I've not seen in years. He's retired military and is in some kind of custody battle with his ex-wife. I really don't know any details of it. But he's coming into town for court in the am and asked if he could stay here. DH went out yesterday and got an AeroBed since we don't have any extra beds here. Hopefully, he'll be comfortable.

DH is going to cook steak and boudain on the grill again. I'm not sure what I'll do for my part. DD(9) has cheerleading practice so again, I'll be in and out.

Time to get the floors done.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


  1. I signed up to go on my first Girl Scout camp today. It's not until mid-Sept. I still have time to back out.
  2. I took Melatonin last night for the first time in forever. I'm pleasantly surprised.
  3. A friend of DH's is coming by for supper tonight.
  4. Another friend of DH's is coming by for supper tomorrow night. And staying the night.
  5. Better get busy.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I suppose I should get used to it. Fall is on it's way with all the related activities. It began yesterday with one activity and then another.

And have you noticed that when you go to any child function for the first time in the season, you'd better bring 2 things.

1. Your checkbook
2. Your calendar

Cause things are going to be piled on.

I've accepted this. Almost.

On an unrelated topic, you'd think, having a 19yo, that I'd be used to my childrens bd's. That they might lose some of the magic.

But they never, never do.

I never realized what my birthday might have meant to *my* mom. When I went about the day having my fun and parties and friends.

It's such a time of reflection to me. And so special. With each girl. Every year.

This is my 11yo and my (newly) 9yo making the cake that Jill wanted. A Coca-Cola Cake. Oh, and we had to make *2*. One for the family and one for the Girl Scouts. (Which it's a good thing we did, because the Girl Scouts ate an *entire* cake.)

This is the cake. We have to put pecans on only half because, while my girls love pecans, they don't want them on cake? And no, she's not 81. Or 8. But she insisted on using last years candle (which I have NO idea why we even still have) plus one more candle. We *had* 9 candles. Really. But you can't argue with 9yo logic I suppose.

Who doesn't love presents?

I *love* this picture. Jill has wanted a particular video game for over a year. Which at 8, is like dog years I suppose. The thing is, she didn't have the system to play this video game. So when I found one used, and found the game used, I thought it might be a hit. And I love that my girls don't at *all* care if their stuff is used.

Another face that I love. You can't fake this kind of enthusiasm. Well, not at 9 anyway. ; )

I think she likes it.

But maybe she likes the bubblewrap more?


Monday, August 07, 2006

Busy Day

I have a meeting in a couple of hours with the director of the local YMCA homeschool program. My girls have been going for 6 years. They require you to "volunteer"** there (along with pay a crazy amount) 1 day out of each 6 week week period. Doesn't sound like a lot huh? No. But they only GO 1 day a week. And it's only for 3 hours.

(**I don't have anything against volunteering. I just happen to think that if it's called "volunteering" it should actually be because you "volunteer". If it's mandatory work time, then just say that. I'm not sure why we have to nice everything up so much that we make it inaccurate.)

Anyway, back to "volunteering". It's the most disorganized chaos (for the volunteers, the children are very well scheduled) I've seen in such a professional environment. You basically go in and are forced to hang around the teachers (who really don't want/need you there) and fetch crayons or stickers in the occasional moment.

But sometimes you get the important job. You, and you alone, are responsible for making sure the children flush.

I kid you not.

Anyway, my friend Brooke and I were venting about this (for years) and decided to talk to the director about some real volunteering. So. We've volunteered to teach a class for a whole 6 week period. It's on environmental studys and it's for the teenage class. Brooke has a teaching degree (which seems to be key for the two of us to do it even though I'm hard pressed to think of anyone else there that had a teaching degree).

We get to go talk with the director (who, for some reason, is seeming anti-homeschool lately even though that's how she MAKES HER LIVING) about this today. We sat down yesterday and wrote up a sketch of a lesson plan to present.

We'll see how it goes.

Also, girl scouts starts for the season tonight.

Also, it's my baby's 9th birthday (with all the added chores/fun that go with that).

So I'm going to wake up my little girl and hold and hug on her at the time she was born 9 short year ago.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Story in Pictures

This is thermometer on the back porch. In the shade. With a fan blowing. At 7pm.

I'm frustrated that this picture is blurry because it was such a clear indicator of a bird eating the tomatoes. There is the hole, and scratch marks around the hole where it's little claws dug into the side. I'd heard about birds doing this when the heat is bad and there isn't a lot of rain.

But the vines overflow (even though they look a little scraggly), so I suppose I can spare a few for the birds. I just wish they wouldn't get the biggest/prettiest ones!

But obviously, we're not hurting for tomatoes.

And my sunflowers are beginning to bloom! It's our first year with them. They grew from little foot high plants to these huge stalking sticks. Quickly! And now the little flowers are there. They make me happy.


Friday, August 04, 2006

What is it About Fridays?

I love Fridays. Don't ask me why. It must be something of a kickback from my youth. Friday meant the end of the school week. There was nothing but fun. Friday nights were amazing. You knew you could sleep in the next day! And you had the whole Saturday for whatever your heart desired.

With children, that changed. Didn't my babies know it was Saturday and they should sleep in? No. They didn't. (As they get older, they seem to have figured this out.)

So now it Friday again. And don't they seem to be coming around more and more quickly as we get older? And it's the END of my 4th week of my scheduled house keeping. And it's all coming together. Slowly. Painstakingly. But coming together!


I made my first whole crockpot chicken the other day. I wish I'd have made pictures. It turned out *so* pretty. For a dead bird, I mean.

That night, we had chicken, fried green tomatoes (my first attempt and *marvelous* if I do say so myself) and the family had rolls.

Yesterday, the family had my first attempt of wheat bread (thumbs up all around) with shredded chicken and chicken gravy poured over the top.

Now, today, they profess that they are nowhere NEAR tired of this bird and are requesting homemade white bread rolls, smothered in mayo, with bbq chicken. And probably something real healthy, like chips. ; )

So who am I to refuse?

This $3 chicken will have provided my family with meat for 3 dinners. And there will probably be some left to go in the freezer.

I don't know how you can beat that.

Hmmm...I should think about putting a breakdown of meals here.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Back to Try Again

Because I know you were all waiting with bated breath. ; )

Ok, this is the inside of the machine. Notice the lovely horizontal pan??

I only had the ingredients for a white loaf. So I quickly (after scrubbing the thing out) and carefully measure them out.

Wet ingredients first (as the manual instructed, yes, this little beauty came with a manual! And again, for $5. Oh the joy. Oh the guilt.)

Then the dry.

The yeast goes into a little "well" dug into the dry ingredients.

And presto! Chango!

Out comes this lovely loaf of bread (after a mere 3 hours 40 minutes).

That same day I decided to see if I could make hamburger buns.

Of course I can!

And all because of my $5 bread machine.

And btw, the bread in this is *really* good. It's not at all like the bread in my old bread maker. I'm astounded. Amazed.

And still a bit guilt ridden.

; )


Thursday Already?

After reading here for a while about this mother and that mother making their own bread, I wanted a breadmaker. Again. Yes, I'd had one before. I tried. Oh how I tried to make good bread with it. I never...never did. But I learned to make dough and then baked it in whatever form in the oven.

Skip forward a few years and we don't eat a lot of bread anymore. My life is busy and I don't have time to make the bread. This huge machine is taking up valuable countertop space. So I give it to my mom. (It's still taking up space on her countertop. I asked about it yesterday.)

I digress. I wanted a breadmachine. I wanted one that makes horizontal loaves. (The previous one made round(??) loaves. But how could I justify spending the money when I'd *had* one and then given it away?

Ebay of course!

As a side note, do you ever feel guilty when you get a deal that's too good to be true on ebay? When you find that someone didn't list something exactly as it should have been listed to get the maximum dollar for their product? Or just for whatever reason just isn't selling?

I do.

Again, I digress. I like to "research" things. Makes me sound wild and exciting huh? So I had definite ideas of what kind of bread machine I wanted to find. But what I was finding was truly way more than I was willing to spend for a used bread machine.

And then I type in something or other and up comes a breadmachine that I wasn't considering. I opened it for some reason. Never heard of it. So what do I do? I research it of course! (Mainly because it had a starting bid of $5 and the seller was in TN also so the shipping was less than $9.)

Well, guess what? It tends to be a great machine! Can't find anything "bad" on it really. The worse thing was that the top didn't brown exactly evenly sometimes. So...I watch it.

Time goes by and NO ONE is bidding on this machine.

At the very last minute I go in and bid on it.

And I got it.

For $5 (+ shipping).

And this is what came in the mail a short week later. Yes, it huge. It's a monstrosity. It's love at first sight.

(Okay, I give. Blogger hates me. I've tried for *ever* (at least 20 mommy minutes, which is well, you know, much more than other minutes...think of it as dog years?) to upload more pics and "page can't be displayed".

Oh, it toys with me first though. It *acts* like it's going to post it. It (usually) accepts the URL and then says it's publishing it...but oh ... it ... is ... not.

So I'll try again later.

Try to think of it as a cliff-hanger?)