Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I don't often talk politics or religion on my blog. They are two subjects with a high likelihood of pissing someone off, so I shy away. Tonight though, I'm inspired.

*and yet, this post sat in my drafts for over a week while I contemplated publishing it or not.

Here's the deal. I have faith, but not religion. My mom moved around a lot when she was growing up and every new town they lived in, she and her siblings got baptized at whatever local church there was. So since she was a Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, she decided to go the absolute opposite way raising me. I was never baptised anything and left to make my own decisions regarding what I wanted to believe and which church I wanted to join. I attended just about every kind of church as a child with my friends, and I came to some conclusions of my own. I decided that it didn't matter which religion it was, the end message was the same. Be good to your fellow person, treat others in a way you would like to be treated, don't lie, cheat, steal or murder. They might take a different road to get to that conclusion, or have differing claims about what the punishments would be for failing to abide by those values, but the in the end, I really felt that they were all saying the same thing. I have spent countless hours studying all kinds of different religions. I'm fascinated by all the rituals, customs, and beliefs that each one holds, but I can't pick one that I can honestly say I believe in completely. Even though I can't say I fit into any of the major world religions, I can say that I have faith.

I know G-d exists. I see it in my children's faces, in the sunsets and the stars, and I feel it deep in my heart. Even when things in my life seem to not be going right, I have faith that there is a reason even if it isn't apparent to me right then. For that reason, I also don't have regrets. By this I mean I don't regret any of the choices I have made in my life. I try to live my life in a way that I should never need to regret my actions towards others. Every single time I have ever thought back on various turning points in my life and wondered what if I had done ________ differently, I'm faced with the realization that I would have missed out on meeting some of the most amazing and influential people in my life as well as learning from those experiences to become the person I am today.

I also have faith that I will always have everything I need. Now I'm not talking about having everything I want. I want a flat screen TV and a hot tub, but I need food, clothes, and shelter for myself and my children. The last few months have been difficult with my husband being out of work. At times it seemed that those basic needs might not get met. Every time I would start to despair, I would close my eyes find peace in knowing that although I might not be able to see the way, my needs would be met. I may not be able to see how the electric bill is going to get paid next month, but I know it will. It's amazing how when you stop expecting the answers to come from a certain place, and just have faith, that different paths open up for you that you couldn't see before. Over these past few months our needs have been met in some very unexpected ways. For that I am forever grateful, and my faith is renewed once again.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Totally Awesome

I've worked at a restaurant for over a year. After conquering my fear of dropping things, I finally moved up to serving food. I've been doing it for a few weeks now, and I'm pleased to report that there haven't been too many mishaps.

I've put a couple orders in under the wrong tables again, but luckily realized my mistakes before the food came out and was able to intervene and fix it. I've been working really hard on trying to not make those silly kinds of mistakes. Then last night I dropped a burger. It wasn't in front of the whole restaurant, but the sad thing is, it wasn't even my burger. I was trying to be helpful and run the food out for one of the other servers and didn't realize that the one burger wasn't on the tray very well. He said it was ok, but I still apologized profusely.

My first full week went super fabulous. Each day got progressively busier, and by Friday I was amazed at the number of tables I could juggle at one time. I've managed to take a couple of large parties, but none as large as that 18 I almost got my first night, and I'm not afraid of the 18 anymore. I'm really getting the hang of it.

Last week I worked a lot. That would explain why I haven't been blogging much the last few days. I kept picking up shifts and ended up working 40 hours. Several days I worked the lunch and dinner shifts. It was crazy, but so much fun. I came home each night with very tired tootsies, and one night even passed out at 9:30. Yesterday I had to be at work at 8 am for a meeting, then I worked the lunch shift, and after a short break, I worked the dinner shift too. I didn't get home until 9:30. Amazingly my feet did not hurt as much. I think they just needed to get accustomed to getting so much use.

When I got home last night and calculated how much money I made (tips plus hourly) I discovered that this job now qualifies as my second highest paying job EVER. Back in 2000-2001 I made a dollar more an hour at a 40 hour a week job that was an hour and a half commute, one way, wearing business suits and heels, and dealing with high stress and drama every day. So considering that this is 15 minutes from my house, I can wear jeans and comfy shoes, and even though there is some drama, I can easily avoid it, this job is WAY better. Add to that the fact that at that other job I couldn't just call someone else to cover for me at work if I was sick, or something fun came up that I wanted to do. In fact they preferred if I took my 2 week vacation in 1 and 2 day increments since nobody else could perform my job.

That is what makes this totally awesome. Times like this that my hubby is not working, I can work everyday and bring home decent money for my time. When he goes back to work, I can go back to working just a few mornings a week. In the summer when the kids are out of school, I can work a few nights a week so we can spend our days by the pool. If I want to go visit my hubby out of town, I can take a week off. If I fall in love with something at the store, I can work a couple extra shifts to make the money to buy it. How cool is that?

I think I may have found the perfect job for me. With all the self reflection I was doing several weeks ago, I think I've found my answer. Making this one change at work has made everything fall into place for me. I don't have to tie myself down to a set 9-5 Monday through Friday job in order to earn decent money and I can have a job that not only pays well, but that I enjoy too. I was always jealous of the fact that my husband had found a good paying career that he LOVED. One where he could get up every day and be excited to go to work. I've always said that the right job should be like that, not a chore you HAVE to do just because you NEED to pay your bills. It's taken me 19 years of working to find it, but I think I finally did.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How to ruin St. Patrick's Day

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a year or more know that St. Patrick's Day is one of my most favorite holidays (after my birthday and Christmas because those involve presents). I am Irish after all. What a wonderful holiday to celebrate my heritage, eat one of my favorite foods (after lobster and cheesecake) corned beef and cabbage, and maybe ingest a green beverage or ten.

So you want to know how this St. Patrick's Day got ruined? My mom. My mom who's universe revolves around me, who lacks any friends of her own to invite over to her St. Patrick's Day dinner, tells me that I AM to come over for dinner tonight. Not an invite. Not, "hey would you like to have St. Patrick's Day dinner at my house?". Nope. These were her exact words. "Don't buy a corned beef brisket because I already got one". Oh. So with that I was EXPECTED for dinner at her house tonight. I've been dreading it since she dropped that little bomb a week ago.

SHE isn't even Irish. I got all my Irish from my DAD who was BORN.IN.IRELAND. I want to cook my own corned beef damn it!!! I want to have my own family tradition with MY kids. She already has laid claim to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Can't I have freaking St. Patrick's Day??? Crap.

Then to make matters worse. She has to go and try to make some fancy corned beef recipe. Put a bunch of extra garbage in there like cloves and G-d knows what else and you know what it tasted like?? Brine. It was so freaking salty all I could taste was SALT and more SALT. Irish cooking is simple. You boil everything. And corned beef is one of those few things that isn't ruined when you boil it. The flavor from just peppercorns, the cabbage, and some onions is all it needs.

So next year, I'm buying my corned beef brisket in January and inviting all my friends over well in advance so if my mom tries this stunt again, I'll be ready with. "Oh sorry mom, you should have asked me first. I ALREADY have plans OF.MY.OWN."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Name Game

I am asked frequently what the difference is between ADD and ADHD. The short answer is nothing.

The long answer is:

The disorder currently labeled by the psychiatric community as ADHD has been called many things over the years.
1902 Defects in moral character
1934 Organically driven
1940 Minimal Brain Syndrome
1957 Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder
1960 Minimal Brain Dysfunction (MBD)
1968 Hyperkinetic Reaction of Childhood (DSM II)
1980 Attention Deficit Disorder - ADD (DSM III) with-hyperactivity without-hyperactivity residual type
1987 Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Undifferentiated Attention Deficit Disorder (DSM III-R)
1994 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (DSM IV)
Broken down into 3 categories ADHD, Combined Type ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive type ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive Type

Many people like me grew up in the 80's and learned to call someone with these symptoms ADD. It's like if you have a friend named Bertha who decides she wants to be known as Brittney. Even though you know she wants to be called Brittney, she's always going to be Bertha to you. Now some of these changes are good. I'm sure glad they don't call it Minimal Brain Dysfunction anymore, but personally I think it went all down hill after the 1980 name.

I don't like the term ADHD mostly because I feel that it implies hyperactivity. My daughter and I are both technically ADHD predominantly inattentive type. We are not hyperactive. If I tell people that we are ADHD, the usual response is "but you aren't hyper at all". Just saying ADD is easier for the lay person to understand. It's also a lot shorter for me to say ADD and not ADHD predominantly inattentive type. I mean come on, I have ADD, I don't have the patience for wasted syllables.

I expect in another few years the psychological community will probably change the name again to further confuse people.

Monday, March 16, 2009


My friend Beth and I talked a couple of times today on the phone trying to brainstorm ways to help her with her son after she posted this. She's in the middle of trying to get a correct diagnosis for him and figure out how to manage his behavior. Different doctors have told her that he's a little ADHD, mildly Asperger's, and now ODD. Of course figuring out which one, or combination thereof will help considerably. Since so many of the symptoms overlap between them though, there were some strategies I was able to share with her, things that work for my daughter.

We got to talking about how punishments don't work with these kids. They just don't respond to taking their toys, tv's, video games, trading cards, privileges or allowance away. They definitely don't respond to spankings. The only thing that I have found that works with my daughter is rewards. Whether it is simply thanking her for doing what she was asked, acknowledging the fact that she controlled her behavior instead of melting down, or giving her a treat for her good behavior, she thrives on success.

I think these kids have so many situations in which they feel like failures, that punishing them just reinforces their feelings of not being good enough, and I think that's why they don't work. If you already feel like you are worthless, having your things taken away must just reinforce that belief. Can you imagine what this must feel like to the child? That they aren't worthy of having their toys, etc? On the other hand, they light up with the slightest success. They like to help. They love to be appreciated. They need to be told that they did something right.

S0metimes it's hard to notice the good that your child is doing when you are so frustrated with their misbehavior. It's hard to rearrange your own attitude to focus on the good instead of the bad. There are times where you have to focus on the bad. When your child is doing something destructive or hurtful to someone else, you have to step in to stop it. Other than that though, you need to look for the smallest of their successes.

With my daughter, we have rewards instead of punishments. Instead of "If you don't clean your room, I'm taking away your toys" it's "When you get your room clean, we can go to the park". I also choose words very carefully to try to foster that success. You notice I said "When you get your room clean" not "If you get your room clean". This gives her the subtle message that I know she can and will do it. In school she gets a sticker for every assignment she completes without goofing off. When she gets 10 stickers she gets to pick a candy from a jar. I reward her for good behavior with extra time to play on the computer or Wii, or getting to do something with just me (without her sisters). It doesn't have to be something expensive, she loves to bake cookies or watch a tv show alone with mom.

There were a couple of things that came up in our conversation about rewards. She and I both have tried elaborate reward/sticker chart systems in the past. Often they are hard to keep up and be consistent with, and if the parent doesn't keep up with it, the child gives up on it too. Also, Beth's son is 13 and my daughter is only 10. The little candy rewards my daughter loves may not entice her son to strive for good behavior. Baking cookies with mom might not be his idea of a good time. So my question is this, for those of you with older kids and especially boys, what kinds of rewards work for them? Has anyone developed a good reward system that isn't too difficult to keep up with?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finally a swap I can participate in

I am always seeing this swaps on other's blogs. I always want to join, but most of the time they are for crafty or sewing things. Not that I'm not crafty, but there are certain things I'm good at, and some of these, well... I would just be afraid of disappointing my partner. I saw a really cool apron swap a while back and even though I really wanted to join in the fun, I didn't think my partner would appreciate something made with my mediocre hand sewing skills since my machine is still broken. So imagine my excitement today when I found a swap on one of the new blogs I'm following since the SITS spring fling the other day.

Mommy Holly is hosting a bright and happy swap. You can check out all the details about it here mommy holly: bright and happy swap!!. This looks like so much fun. I'm so excited to find out who my partner will be and start finding stuff to send. I've really been needing something bright and happy in my life right now and it will be just as much fun to send something bright and happy too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Glass Half Full

There are times (trust me, there are a LOT of times) that I and start feeling sorry for myself and situations I am in. However, I think that it really doesn't make matters any better. I actually think that it's bad karma to sit around wallowing when there are others who are way less fortunate than I. Whether it's the state of my finances, situations at work, or the behavior of my children, I try my darnedest to always look on the bright side of things.

At work today, my first table was 4 young men. They were super polite and had these adorable almost Southern accents. When it came time to pay their bill, they wanted individual checks. This is a lot more work as I had to try and remember exactly which meal went with which drink. I managed to figure it out and gave them their checks. After they were gone and I went back to collect my tips, I found that they had each left me a dollar. Their total bill was over $56 and they left me $4. That's just about 7%, about half of what is considered a minimum tip. If I had screwed up something or somehow given them bad service I could have understood, but that wasn't the case. For a few hours it really bugged me. Then after work I was telling a friend about them, and she said that she had served them before too, and that was just how they tipped. Then she said, "but you almost don't mind because they are so polite, not like some of the jerks we have to deal with". And you know what? She's absolutely right. I think I would rather wait on guys like that all day long for $4 a pop, then deal with jerks for twice as much. Suddenly I was glad I had the pleasure of serving those guys today, and hope they come back with their sweet little accents and good manners.

Then there are things like this that my children do. Remember in the movie Meet the Fockers when they go to the Focker family residence and Dustin Hoffman says "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down."? I don't know why, but that line has stuck with me. It might have something to do with the fact that every day I come across things both brown and yellow that the kids have forgotten to flush. Sure it's gross, but every time they do it they probably save me a gallon of water. And then, when I go to do laundry and find something at the bottom of the hamper that I know they haven't worn or just wore for an hour, I don't have to be mad because I'm using the water that should have already been flushed.

See how it works?

So if you are having a bad day, remember, there is always SOMETHING to be grateful for, even if it is just someone's good manners or something your kids forgot to flush.

Room Clean Up Game

When you have ADD sometimes you have to trick yourself into doing things you don't want to do. We have an overdeveloped sense of procrastination, so by the time we HAVE to do something, like clean our rooms, it's one step away from being condemned.

When I was a kid my mom would send me to my room and tell me that I couldn't come out until it was clean. Wow, thanks for the life sentence there mom.

Here is a little game I made up as a child to help trick myself into cleaning my room.

Write the numbers 1-10 in descending order on the left side of a sheet of paper.
You get the point right?

Then you play.
Start by picking up 10 things. It helps if you make this the 10 BIGGEST things also. Picking up 10 pieces of lint isn't going to make a big dent in it. When you are done put a big check mark next to the number.
Then pick up 9 things. You just got through picking up 10, so 9 is less work. You've done the worst of it. When you are done, put a big check mark next to the number.
Pick up 8 things....

By the time you get down to the bottom of the list, you have actually picked up 55 things. 55 is a big number. 10 is a little number.

If you have a child that struggles with cleaning their room (or if you struggle with cleaning/organizing) try this game to make it a little more fun.

Who says cats don't make great companions?

You might remember a while back I posted about my cats here. Sadly my cat Gargamel passed away about a month ago. I had no idea when I wrote that post that I would only have a couple more months with the most amazing kitty ever. He was fine one day and the next day, not so good. I think he had a seizure and then it was all downhill from there. Within a week he had lost a significant amount of weight and when we took him to the vet, the vet said that he had a large mass in his belly. We brought him home for a few days so the kids could say goodbye, and then it was time to put him to sleep so he wouldn't suffer.

We got Gargamel when my oldest was three. He was so good about letting her carry him around. When my daughter or I got sick, he would stay on the bed with us until we were well again. At bedtime he would hop up in the bed wanting to be loved on. He would nudge my hand if I wasn't petting him enough. He had a knack for getting right between my head and the TV. I can't tell you how many times I told him he didn't make a very good window.
When he passed I was worried that I would be missing this nightly kitty love. Kasey has always been the loner kitty. Sure she'd let you pick her up and love on her and wouldn't run away, but she's never really initiated contact. And Mystery, well we see her every once and awhile, but she pretty much lives under my youngest daughter's bed. She used to come hop up on my bed and push Gargamel out of the way to get all the lovin, but since he got sick, I haven't seen her.
Imagine my surprise when Kasey started coming in at bedtime and getting in the way of me watching TV, nudging my hand, or my nose, if I didn't pet her. It always amazes me how intuitive cats really are, and how even though they may seem to be aloof and not care about their owners at all, they really do.

Custom Binder Winner

Wow, what a fun day. All the contests and excitement. I hope I win some.

But now it's time to announce the winner of my giveaway!!

I'd like to congratulate Terry from Cherished Treasures for winning my Custom Binder Giveaway.

Email me with your mailing address and what you would like your binder to say on the front.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Giveaways Giveaways Giveaways

Oh my goodness. What wonderful things are being given away over at
The Secret Is In The Sauce today. You must go check them out.

I've entered so many contests I'm having a hard time keeping them all straight. There's Cheesecake Factory, Outback, Target, Macy's... Too many to count.

Here are some of my faves:
Tattooed Minivan Mom is giving away a Starbucks Card
Susie's Homemade is giving away cookie dough balls that look yummy
2 under 2 is giving away Cheesecake
All In a Mom;s Life is giving away a Starbucks or Target gift card
Carma Sez is giving away a McDonalds gift card
Theres Always Room For One More is giving away a Chili's Gift Card
Janana Bee is giving away a Cheesecake Factory card
Aubsfamfive is giving away a COACH wristlet
Melanie is giving away the cutest cupcake magnets ever
7 clown circus is giving away a $10 Target gift card
I'm not your average soccer mom is giving away a $20 Target gift card
It really is all about me is giving away an Outback gift card
A Trucker Wife is giving away a Target gift card
Sweet Home Amy is giving away a Nantucket Tote
Jam Jar Boogie is giving away a beautiful apron
One Crazy Kat Lady is giving away a $50 Target Card
It's a Wonderful Life is giving away a $50 Macy's card
Snarky Much is giving away an AMC gift card
Stilettos and Diapers is giving away a Snuggie

And that is just a fraction of the giveaways. Go check out the full list here. And don't forget to enter my contest for an awesome recipe binder HERE.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Fling

The girls over at SITS are hosting a Spring Filing Tuesday. Everyone is encouraged to give something away on their blog, and SITS is hosting lots of awesome giveaways on their blog every hour as well. I wanted to participate in this, but until yesterday was at a loss about what to give away. The rules state that it can be anything new or used and doesn't have to be elaborate at all. Anything from a purse you don't use anymore to a batch of chocolate chip cookies. This doesn't help me much. Anything is just too many things to consider for someone with ADD. So for the last couple of weeks it's been on my mind.

What should I give away??

True to my ADD fashion, I had an epiphany at the 11th hour. Well technically I guess I had about 12 hours to spare since I figured it out around noon, but you get my point. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to come up with something.

So here is what I came up with.

Now I'm not giving you my recipe book, but what I am going to give away is a binder, with a custom cover, a few of my favorite recipes, and a lot of empty sheet protectors.

What is this good for you ask?

Well let me tell you a little bit about my binder.

I'm a bit of a pack rat. I hold onto all kinds of things because I never know when I might need them.

Craft supplies for umpteen billion different craft projects - Check
Enough scrapbook supplies for an entire lifetime - Check
A tote box full of socks in case I decide to start crocheting beads on them again - Check
A tote full of patterned socks, buttons, and embroidery floss to make sock monkeys waiting for my sewing machine to be fixed - Check

One thing I don't hang onto, or have cluttering my house anymore, is magazines waiting for recipes to be pulled out of, or loose papers on which I have printed out recipes from the internet.

I keep lots of extra sheet protectors in my binder just waiting to be filled with that loose paper. Now if there is a recipe I want in a magazine, I don't have to hang onto the whole magazine waiting for that someday that never comes to tear it out and do something with it. I save myself the time and energy of writing them all on recipe cards, and can chuck the rest of the magazine into the recycling bin without a second thought. The recipes from the internet go right in there too. The sheet protectors also mean that my recipe for pie crust isn't covered with actual pie crust from Thanksgiving pie 1994.

I also used to be a Tupperware lady, which means that all my pantry items, flour, pancake mix, instant mashed potatoes, sugar, pasta, beans, etc. are neatly stored in Modular Mates. What does this have to do with the binder, you ask? Well for years I dealt with the issue of while the pancake mix was all fresh in my Modular Mates, I no longer had the instructions on what to do with it. Even though I'd cut them out, somebody would always see that cut out piece of cardboard as garbage. Or I'd fold it and put it into the container, which would mean spilling some of the contents onto the counter when I removed it. So now, thanks to the greatest home printer/scanner/copier ever made , I copy the instructions and put them in the binder.

My binder has made my life so much simpler and allowed me to get rid of a little bit of my pack rat tendencies. Now if I could only figure out how to make everything else fit in the binder.

So my gift to you (assuming you are the lucky winner) today, is your very own binder. No having to make a trip to Office Max to get a binder and sheet protectors. Just a couple of days for it to come in the mail, since I haven't figured out that teleportation thing yet. The Modular Mates and the copier you are on your own to get, but I would highly reccomend them.

How do I get to be the lucky winner, you ask?

Leave a comment telling me why you want to win my binder for one entry.
Follow my blog for a second entry, leave a second comment telling me you are following.

The lucky winner will be picked at random (using, I have a feeling that site is going to get a lot of traffic today) Tuesday March 10th at 9 pm, Arizona time (which is MST all the time, no daylight savings bull puckey here).

Good luck everyone, and don't forget to check out all the awesome stuff over at SITS today!

Daylight Savings

I never really got the point of Daylight Savings Time. I mean, i get the line they feed you about giving you more daylight to bring in the harvest, but come on REALLY??? How many of us are actually harvesting anything nowadays? Then there is the whole thing with stretching it out an extra couple of months to help save electricity. So what's next? Pretty soon they'll tell you that Daylight Savings Time is the new TIME, and then will they create a Daylight Daylight Savings Time.

All daylight savings time is, is a government sanctioned way to f*#k with people's heads.
"Oooh, let's give them an extra hour so their kids will stay up way past bedtime and be all jacked up because they can't fall asleep because the sun is still out."
Insert sound of people who make black out shades cheering.
"Then a few months later we will take that extra hour back so they can spend a week trying to get the kids all adjusted to normal time again.

It's all a complete waste of TIME. You wanna know how I know this? It's because I've been off the Daylight Savings treadmill for the last 5 years. If Arizona has one redeeming quality, something so awesome it makes up for dealing with 120 days in the summer, it is the lack of Daylight Savings Time. We just don't do it. Maybe it doesn't stay light here extra long in the summer, but it still stays hot (100 degrees at midnight kinda hot), so I really don't miss that extra hour of sun at all. So the only effect Daylight Savings Time has on me is having to remember what time everyone else is now. When it's DST, California is the same time as us and it's now 2 hours later in Texas where my best friend lives. Other than that, life goes on like normal, no clocks to change, no trying to get the kids adjusted to the new time, no being late for church Sunday morning (not that I go, but there are a LOT of people in Arizona that do), no having to remember what day you are supposed to switch the clocks and which way you are supposed to switch them.

So yesterday and today when I read everyone's blogs and facebook posts about f*#king Daylight Savings Time, I consider myself very lucky to live in Arizona.

Cornflakes taste like corn, duh

A few weeks ago I had this conversation with my oldest daughter.

Aimee "Mom, don't we have any cereal?"
Me "Didn't your dad just buy some cornflakes?"
Aimee "Yeah, but they're gross"
Me "Why are they gross?"
Aimee "Because they taste like corn"
Me (after spitting coffee out my nose) "Um, yeah genius, that might be why they call them CORN flakes"

In other words, they weren't Frosted Flakes and therefore tasted like cereal and not sugar.
So for weeks they have been in the pantry and have become a joke around here. "Where is the lemonade mix?" "Behind the cornflakes that taste like corn". I've been trying to figure out what to do with them since it's painfully obvious that none of my kids, or my husband are going to eat the cornflakes that taste like corn.

Yesterday I remembered having a couple of recipes that called for cornflakes as an ingredient that I had learned to make back in either junior high or high school foods class. Amazingly they are a couple that I have already typed up and put into my recipe binder. One of them is for Christmas Holly Wreath Cookies, and since it's a little past Christmas, I didn't want to make those. The other one was for peanut butter bars. They came out just as yummy as I remembered. Here's the recipe.

1 1/2 cups of sugar
3/4 cups of corn syrup
2 cups of smooth peanut butter
7 cups of cornflakes

Melt the sugar and corn syrup. Add the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Add cornflakes and mix it all up. Pour into a wax paper lined 13x9 baking pan. Smoosh them down (I wrap my oven mitt with the Glad cling wrap and then smoosh). Cool. Once they are cool, you can cut them into squares.

Let me just take this moment to mention that it's a really good idea to measure out all your ingredients BEFORE you start the sugar and corn syrup melting. When you are ready to throw in the peanut butter is not really a good time to discover you are about a quarter cup short. I went ahead and made them anyway, but in retrospect probably should have reduced the amount of cornflakes a tad. They came out a bit crumbly. Either that or I didn't smoosh them down enough.

Of course I also forgot that Tiffany is the weirdo kid that doesn't like peanut butter so she was a little disappointed come snack time, but the other two liked them, and I used up most of the cornflakes that taste like corn.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spell Check

I am completely paranoid that someone will think I'm stupid if I misspell things. Like this whole part of my self image is caught up in correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Not that I always use correct grammar and punctuation here in my blog, but here I try to write as I would speak to you, and that is not always in proper grammar. I sometimes worry that I use commas a little too liberally, but I want to be clear that wherever you find a comma in my writing is where I think the pause should be in the sentence. On occasion I leave commas out too, usually when I'm passionate about something and if I was speaking to you I wouldn't have stopped to breathe.

Which reminds me of a time, I think in junior high, when a friend (who will remain nameless) made a sign for her bedroom door that said "Stupid people shouldn't breath". I'm sure I made fun of her about at the time, which was mean, but it was kinda funny, and it kinda still is. Isn't it She who will remain nameless? It does prove my point though. One little letter can make the difference between you making a statement or making a funny.

Now that I'm done giggling, there's the whole topic whether or not to place a comma before the final item in a list. I was taught that it is necessary so that you can distinguish whether the items before and after the "and" go together. Otherwise you end up with "The restaurant serves several sandwiches including tuna salad, turkey, liverwurst and peanut butter". Is that three kinds of sandwiches or four? Now if you punctuate it this way "The restaurant serves several sandwiches including tuna salad, turkey, liverwurst, and peanut butter", it's clear that the liverwurst is not going to be sharing the cozy confines of two slices of bread with the peanut butter. Whew! Now I know there are many people who will still disagree with me, but I insist it makes way more sense my way.

I'm usually pretty accepting of other people's grammatical and spelling errors. One of my best friends was dyslexic and everything he wrote was phonetic with a dash of transposition mixed in. I didn't think he was stupid at all, in fact I knew that he was probably the most brilliant ever person I had ever met. Let's just say he WAS a rocket scientist. I learned how to read his writing and could always understand what he was trying to say. That taught me not to make assumptions based on people's writing.

There are a few things that still bug the crap out of me no matter how hard I try to just overlook them. The biggest one is the There, Their, and They're mix ups. I have a friend that ALWAYS mixes them up. It makes me absolutely nutty. I just want to fix them for her. The thing is, she's really smart too. I think it bugs me so much because I worry about how people reading it might think she's uneducated because of it, but yet I struggle with how to tell her that she's doing it wrong. People don't always respond to that kind of criticism well.

When we were first married, my husband really didn't like me correcting him when he was writing letters, but I did it anyway. You see, this is different than the situation with my friend because if people thought my husband was stupid (which he isn't) it had a direct impact on me. It took some explaining, but I was finally able to convince him that it wasn't a bad thing that I was correcting his mistakes. I just felt that as a married couple we should support each other in areas that we are weaker so that together we are stronger. There are things that he is way better than I will ever be, building things, fixing things, driving really big trucks, and there are things that I am better at, mainly the written word. He finally got over feeling like I was trying to prove I was smarter than him and now asks me to proofread almost everything he writes.

So I struggle with telling my friend about her There, Their, and They're mix ups. I don't want her to think that I feel that I am somehow superior because I know how to use them correctly.

And LOOK a Kitty!!!

I sometimes also get off topic and end up writing about something completely different than I had planned. ADD can be fun like that. It's a fun game of follow the train of thought.

You know what inspired this post?

Why I hit the little button that says create new post?

I forgot to spell check the last one.

I do this a lot.

And there is usually an error or two.

The most common ones are because I type really fast and my fingers don't always end up on the keys that they should. Occasionally it's because I don't remember, or care to waste brain power, figuring out if a word has a double letter. Sometimes I really don't have a clue how to spell something obscure and figure if I can get close the spell checker will be able to give me the proper suggestion. The spell checker has become a crutch, and yet I hobble around without it and hit publish post without using it more than fifty percent of the time. I found this ironic and decided it was worthy of a post. I now realize that post would have been really short, and you would have missed out on the amazing mental picture (or would it be mental taste) that is liverwurst and peanut butter. Not to mention the lesson in how to convince your husband that your criticism is really a good thing. Informative stuff tonight folks! I hope you enjoyed it.

Now it's time to spell check.

I spelled punctuation puncutation
Proper accidentally got two p's
Liberally ended up with only one l
and I really did think that liverwurst was liverswurst
(but I don't eat the stuff, so how should I know?)
but they are all fixed now.

Crazy Week

Wow. Since my last post things have been kinda nutty over here. I intended to make the Taco Soup on Wednesday, but I realized later that I was short one can of pinto beans and the can of diced tomatoes with green chiles. The tomatoes with green chiles really shocked me too, because I use those all the time to make salsa. I usually have several cans on hand, but with the hubby being out of work, the pantry is not as full as usual. Since I really like green chiles, I didn't want to make the soup without them. Therefore a trip to the store was needed.

Wednesday morning was my first official shift as a server. It went pretty well. Then the manager asked me if I could cover a shift that night. Being the helpful person I am, I said yes. In retrospect I should have said no way in hell no. I had barely two hours from the time I got off until I had to be back. I was in no mood to go to the store during this precious reprieve from work, so I came home and sat down instead. Of course then I didn't want to get back up, but I did. The evening shift did not go as well as the morning. Some really big parties came in and where did they decide to seat them? In my section of course. My first real day as a server and they put a party of 10 in my section. I do not even want to attempt this and ask another server to take them. He just got sat a party of 6 and doesn't want both, so I offer to take the 6 and he agrees. Just when I'm thinking that things are under control, they seat a party of 16 people in my section. Of course I flip out and tell the manager on duty that there is NO way I am ready for that. Mercifully she gets another server to take the 16, but I have to take 2 of her tables in trade. That's cool. I can handle that. Or not. So now I have her two, plus the other guy's one, plus a couple in my own section and that's when things went downhill rapidly. I was so frazzled that I put the wrong table number down on one party's order, so of course their food got delivered to the wrong table. There went that tip. By the time it was over I was so mentally and physically exhausted I just wanted to pass out. Thursday morning I worked again. I came in and found that they had created me a special little 3 table section where no big parties could possibly be seated. Yippee!! The manager that was on Thursday morning was the same one that had been on the night before. She told me that she wanted me to succeed and wanted me to have a section I could handle. Thursday was a good day.

After work Thursday, I finally had time to go to the store and get the missing Taco Soup ingredients. By the time I got home at 4:15 after picking the kids up from school, I didn't exactly have time to start the Taco Soup and have it ready for dinner. And I had to leave at 5 to go pick up my oldest from cheer practice and then go to a PTA meeting at 6. I decided I didn't want to waste gas driving her home and then going right back to the school, so I whipped up some red beans and rice, packed some for us to eat and was out the door again.

Today I finally got everything for Taco Soup in the crock pot. Actually I got everything in but the meat. I left the browning of the meat and depositing it into the crock pot up to the hubby since I was running out of time to take the kids to school. Lately he's been taking them to school most days, but I needed to make fliers for a PTA fundraiser that is next week, so I took them. He did the meat and got it into the crock pot.

I have to say it turned out pretty good. I did add some water since some of the comments on the recipe stated that it wasn't very soup like. I didn't put a packet of ranch in there because it sounded slightly odd and to be honest, I forgot it when I was at the store. Today my mom emailed me a link to this online cookbook because of it's crock pot recipes. Taco Soup was in there too but theirs called for just one can of everything and the one packet each of taco and ranch seasoning so I wondered if it would be under seasoned. I finally decided to try some of the soup even though nobody else seemed to be hungry yet and did think that it could use a little more taco flavor. I just added some more taco seasoning, so we will see if that kicks it up a bit. I also added a drop of ranch dressing to my bowl to see what the ranch would do to the flavor after I had several bites. I was totally cool with dumping half a bowl if I didn't like it, but not so adventurous with the whole batch. I have to say, I liked the flavor that it added and I will certainly put the ranch seasoning in next time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Friends

Between yesterday and today I've read a whole bunch of blogs. Going to my favorite blogs and then checking out their faves or people that have commented on theirs, and then checking out their faves and comments. Does that make sense? So I've ended up on some that I'd have a hard time tracking my way back from, but I've found some real gems. Check out my blog list on the right to see the new friends. I removed a few from there too, because even though I'm still following them, they don't post that often. I didn't want the list to get too long that nobody would look at it. So check it out. I totally found a blog all about crock pot recipes. This lady is using her crock pot EVERY DAY for a year. Now you know how I LOVE my crock pot, but every day is a little too much crock potty goodness for me. But that only means that 365 crock pot recipes could last me like 3 years!!! I'm so excited. I found a recipe for Taco Soup on there that I'm totally trying tomorrow. Great thing is I have EVERYTHING already in my pantry. Including the pinto beans even though I don't recall where they came from. I'm quite sure that I didn't buy them, because I've been wondering what to do with them for awhile. Now I know. I just wish I had found it this morning because right now I need to go make something for my family to eat tonight.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thank you

A big thanks to Melanie for popping back over and fixing my hiding linky problem. You can see them now. See. They are orange. YAY! Why didn't I just email her a week ago when I first noticed this instead of staring at the code for hours trying to find what was doing it. It seriously took her 3 minutes.

What's for dinner?

Almost every afternoon my Facebook status is set to wondering what to make for dinner. Today was no exception. Since nothing exciting was happening on Facebook, I decided to hop over here to see if any of my bloggy buddies had posted since I was here this morning. To my delight, Alexis had posted, and not just posted, but posted a recipe for Creamy Beef Fold Over Pie, which looks uber yummy and I'm totally trying tonight.

Unlike Redneck Mommy who posted this. I will not be trying that, anytime in this lifetime.

By the way, since my nifty blog re-design, all my links are showing up the same color as the regular text, so you have to mouse over them to find them. I don't like this so much, because if I've linked to someone, I want it to be kinda obvious for everyone's ease of use. I've tried to change it, but there seems to be some kind of font color override in the code because no matter what color I try to change the links to, they remain brown. So until I'm able to figure out this latest bit of html mystery, if ever you think that I should be linking to something, mouse around and I'm sure you will find it. For instance there are two links above.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Gotta Love Him

All day today I've been mostly lounging and goofing around on the internet. A little Facebook, a lot of blogs. I've been here for hours reading my faves and finding new faves. So it isn't surprising that my hubby would like some attention. I'm in the bedroom with my trusty laptop. He's in the living room on the couch. He invites me to come watch a movie with him. It goes a little like this.

Him: Honey, want to come watch Descent with me?
Me: What's that?
Him: Some movie about girls that go underground and get chased by some creature.
Me: Um.... I think I'll take a big passeroo on that one good buddy
Him: Ok fine (in that it's most definitely not fine and you are going to hear about your blogger addiction from me later voice)
Me: Well sorry, but I'm not big into the whole creature chasing girls in rat tunnels genre of movies
Him: But the chicks are supposed to be hot

When I grow up Part 2

Ok, wow. What a spirited comment from my good friend Beth in regards to my last post. Out of everything she knows about me (and she knows EVERYTHING) this post shocked her. SHOCKED with capital letters even. And trust me when I tell you, there are a few other things that she knows about me that I would have thought she would find slightly more shocking.

So in light of that, yes, let me clarify. In Junior High, when asked, I wanted to be a stay at home mom. In High School I hated all those personality test things that were supposed to tell us our perfect career, because I wanted to be a mom. When I went to College, I took child development courses because they would help me to be a better mom. In freshman English I got a D on an essay I wrote on gender issues because the feminist teacher didn't like my stance on stay at home parents.

Basically I wrote a paper stating that I felt the decline of our society was caused by the lack of parental supervision at home. That I felt that in most cases most families could get by on just one income so that one parent (I didn't specify which one, because I don't think it has to be the mom) could stay home, but it would mean not having matching Beemers in the driveway of their McMansion. Seriously, how many hours a week do you think parents are working a week to afford that kind of shit? And meanwhile their neglected kids were building bombs in the garage or wreak other havoc in their neighborhoods. So I feel that if you are willing to forgo the Beemer and the big house to stay home with your kids, our world will be a better place. I sure as shit know that if my kids built so much as a pup tent in my garage I would know about it. And if they were having trouble making friends and acting odd, I'd take them to a freaking therapist, every day if necessary, until they were well adjusted.

But I guess I'm drifting a little off topic. By now you get Beth's point. You understand why her world got turned on it's head when I said that I feel that something is missing.

Here's the thing. Being a stay at home mom is still looked down upon. Even though there are websites like this momsalarywizard that tells me that the work I do for my family is worth $124, 628 a year (that's more than my husband makes, hehe). Like I said in the last post, my husband gets it. He didn't always. When I was pregnant with our first and said I wanted to stay home with her he said "Until she goes to preschool right?" Of course by the time she went to preschool I had another baby at home and the same with my third. Over the years I have had a chance to impress upon him the fact that it isn't just when they are small that they need parental supervision and guidance. I think all it really took was asking him if he really wanted our kids to be doing the things he was doing as a teenager while his parents were at work. So when our youngest went off to Kindergarten, he was in no big hurry for me to re-join the workforce. Although he humors me when I talk about a career, he's just as happy if I stay home. He really thinks that the part time arrangement I have right now is perfect. I work only while the kids are in school, and even though I don't make a lot of money, it gives me a little spending cash and lets me get out of the house and talk to some grown ups. He realizes now the importance of me being home when the kids get home from school. The fact that he has a pathological fear of school busses helps too.

I think it boils down to how you define success. I look at some of the people I went to high school with and they have become doctors and lawyers. No doubt people would say that they are successful. People look up to them for the fortitude they had to endure all those years of schooling to earn those degrees. I feel that my status as a stay at home mom isn't as prestigious. For some reason I'm embarrassed to say that I'm JUST a mom, and I feel the need to find some kind of career that will earn me the respect that the doctors and lawyers are getting, but at the same time I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice the time I have with my kids to have a career like that. Not for all the money in the world. Certainly not for a Beemer and a McMansion. So maybe what I should be looking for is not which career I should choose, but how to be proud of the career I CHOSE. Maybe I should stop worrying about what everyone else thinks, and listen to my good friends who know how successful I am. Thanks Beth.