Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thirteen Things I Did Today

...that I don't usually do.

Thirteen Things about Jamie

1. Toured a newspaper.
2. Met with MY EDITOR!
3. Had my photo taken for THE PAPER!
4. Drove downtown BY MYSELF.
5. Had lunch with my husband.
6. At a restaurant called McCoy's
7. Went shopping BY MYSELF
8. Bought a "skinny" undergarment.
9. Resisted buying something just because it was a good deal. (okay, I do that some, but today I resisted even trying the good deal on)
10. Walked in the rain
11. Put on mascara. Actually I put on quite a few things besides eyeliner.
12. Watched a movie.
13. Picked up a tux for my little son. Can you believe those puppies run $91.00!? And that is with the $20 "discount."

You can tell my kids are with Grandma, can't you?

Go visit: Tess

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Cupcake Fiasco

Since Camy asked, drum roll please....


I got up Thursday morning with much to do. Ice Skating Lessons. Dinner preparations for friends. Most importantly, to buy or make the cake of my child's choice for his birthday. Wednesday I'd asked him what kind of cake he wanted. Since the kids change their minds on a whim, I never plan ahead for this celebration. They can be certain that they want Mom's home made red velvet cake made into a rocket, be walking past the clearance cakes at Wal-mart, see day old Jimmy Neutron cupcakes and never look back.

So Wednesday evening (before my trip to the store for supplies) I asked him what he wanted.

"Chicken Little Cupcakes."

okay....not even a blip on the screen until this moment. I ran out to the store to see if they had anything Chicken Little to make into Chicken Little cupcakes. They did not. No problem, I think, ice skating lessons are near a Party City. If anyone has Chicken Little cupcake toppers, they will. They didn't. And while at Party City, son-of-mine changes his mind thirty-seven times about what kind of birthday theme he wants. He settled on Over the Hedge decor and "Cars" cupcakes (with the little sugar toppers). Financial out-go $12 something.

Back to Wal-mart to buy cake mix for cupcakes. I, silly me, decided to make Angel Food cupcakes. I've had them, I know it can be done, and I prefer angel food. On our way out, I notice that they do a Chicken Little cupcake/cake thing. I notice it is $17. I decide not to point this out to little son.

Home to make angel food cupcakes. The person who served them to me insists at my call that she's never made them despite my insistent memory that she told me "that's the way I always do it." Apparently I'm wrong. I butcher one whole pan. Not sure if it is the fact that the cupcake pan is not pampered chef stoneware, though the PC cupcakes look pretty decent. There is no way I'm serving my mother-in-law messed up cupcakes so on my trip to the store for potatoes, I give up and buy "cheap" 2 for $5 half dozen packs of frosted cupcakes.

Son is thrilled to put his "cars" sugar toppers on bought cupcakes with puffy frosting and sprinkles, mom wishes she's gone to Wal-Mart first thing Wednesday night and ordered the really cool Chicken Little cupcake/cake thing. But no, I wanted to obey the unwritten stay-at-home mom code of ethics and bake my son his birthday cake.

Pretty sure I would have saved money. I know I would have saved sanity.

I read this in less than a day! Time well spent.

Monday, May 29, 2006

My Son Thinks He's Black Part 2

In our continued saga of race at our house I feel inclined to give account of the birthday presents. A few weeks ago I found a garage sale that was so full of GI Joes (after my lament that you can't find them in stores around here) that I bought a bunch of stuff. Two Joes and enough gear for many more. One Joe is red-headed with a goatee, the other is very brown. Not that I bought one for one boy and the other for the other, but I had a hunch that they'd split them that way.

So, my little guy opens his gift (the box contained both Joes and their gear), pulls out the red-head and tells his brother, "This one for you!" He pulls out the brown one and says, "And this one for me!"

And while we are on the subject of color, my daughter was trying to describe one of our friends, but she couldn't remember his name. "The one who tries to eat my thumb." She is trying to overcome that nasty thumb-sucking habit. "You know Mom, the one that we see at church." I guessed, wrong. "The one that has curly hair." Wrong guess again. "He comes over because he needs his hair cut sometimes."


What an adult would have said: That African-American fellow. You know, that gives announcements at church every Sunday and eats dinner with you?

At which point did we start shortcutting our way to discriptions by using color? I mean it seems logical. The Black-White ratio at our church is balanced heavily towards white. We'd skip to the obvious differences first. Kids? They don't even see it. Or they see it, but it doesn't occur to them to place any emphasis on it.

Unless, say, they are requesting a brown baby to come live with them. Then, don't try any sneaky "brown hair and eyes, but pink skin" on them. They aren't stupid, ya know.

Just finished and it was incredible (but definately secular so be prepared for that):

Friday, May 26, 2006

My Baby's 3 and the Robins Flew

My baby turned three today. Three years ago I was in transition. Today, as I stood in line for rollercoasters, I decided it could definitely be worse. :D

After the cupcake fiasco (which I won't even go in to tonight, but yesterday's vanity thing included a cupcake fiasco) we didn't even eat them. What kind of birthday doesn't include cake? The kind that includes ice cream, strawberry soda and cotton candy. I guess we'll have cupcakes tomorrow.

My robins flew today. Such a short, sweet time we get them. A nice reminder as my baby celebrates another year.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Vanity, Thy Name Ain't Mom

Yes, it was one of "those" days. I didn't get into the shower for hours. When I finally did, and got dressed, I promptly dumped coffee all over my clothes. Not having the time or energy to change clothes before I rushed off to my daughter's ice skating class, I blotted it off.

Hee-hee, I chortled to myself, I have to wear a jacket in the rink anyway, no one will know.

Except I forgot how much two year olds, without an external source of entertainment, really enjoy playing with zippers. Oh, and he got me on the up-zip. Read: large red welt on my neck.

I looked down during the class and there is a blob (not the dark coffee stain) of something on my jeans. I went to two, count them two, stores after ice skating class. Later, I changed into shorts that are much too big. I should be thankful, but big isn't always flattering. Sometimes it just says I'm too much of a slob to buy clothes that fit.

And then the pinnacle of my day. Not quite. I haven't mentioned that my hair air-dried and hasn't been combed since. Nor that I didn't get much on in the way of makeup. But no, I'm not done. When I began supper, not just for my family, but for another one as well (and they knew it was coming and at a certain time) I discovered my potatoes were rotten. When I should have been peeling potatoes I was strapping on my children's shoes and mine and boogying all of us to the van to get to the store. I slide into one black flip flop and look for the other. The only other flip flop in the room is navy. I was late and couldn't find another, in the room or in my closet. I wore the mis-matched shoes to the store. And to take my friends dinner. And around the house later.

But the insistent question in my mind is not why I did that tonight. Oh, no. It is for how many days have I been doing this without knowing? And where is the other mis-matched pair?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Thirteen Things I Love to Eat

....without mentioning ice cream novelties. Because how many times can you say Dove Unconditional Chocolate Ice Cream without looking like a whack-o?

1. Espinaca at Jose Peppers.
2. My mother's fried chicken
3. Colby-Jack cheese
4. Does Pepsi count?
4 again. Steak fajita quesidillas at El Toro
5. Oh, my, those truffles at Le Fou Frog
6. Fudge bars. Oh yeah, no ice cream novelties
6 again. Roasted turkey
7. Chilled soups. The sweet ones, not the spicy ones.
8. Crab legs
9. General Tso's Chicken
10. A perfectly ripe nectarine
11. Mezzaluna at Carabbas
12. Double chocolate shakes at Jimmy's diner (ahem)
12 AGAIN. Fajitas
13. Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Man I'm hungry.

Other T13ers:

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


You know how you can struggle, wondering whether you are worth anything at anything? Particularly a "gift" like writing. I never wanted to write. Writing a novel was never a dream of mine. My husband's yes. Which is a bummer for me. It is like I get to live his dream.


People told me I was a good writer. That it was something I should do. And I found myself thinking things, word crafting, finding the way I would say it, and eventually I started writing those things down. They were usually one liners. Then I would think of them as titles. Then articles. Finally I even got a book idea or two. And I began to write.

I made the mistake of telling some people what I was up to. They would give me pieces of information about contests. And then I finaled in a contest that had a thousand entries. Oh, and the comments were a bloody massacre. One day I think I'm hot stuff. "I Finaled!" Next, I'm blubbering on the floor because they just don't get it.

I was saying....

So I wrote an article. Got picked up right away. I'm thinking the odds are in my favor and I really must be "good." And then, dry spell. Favorite author calls me talented, agents like my voice, editors call my ideas "whacky, zany, and so apropos." But no one is buying. I began to question what on earth I was doing. Why would a sane person do this to themselves? Don't we have enough rejection in our everyday lives?

Don't even bother pointing out all the tense shifts that happened in that paragraph. I know.

But I tried out, or applied, or something for a columnists position for the local paper a couple weeks ago and the editor (I guess) called and offered the position (shared with five others, I believe). It makes me think...I must not totally stink.

I don't even know at this point if I get paid or if this is a vanity thing. Scary that I'm not even sure I care. Someone thinks I'm okay. Either that or no one else applied. Or they think my theology is just screwey enough that I will make Christianity look bad. Who knows? But for now, I'm going to believe that I just might have a little of that something that makes a writer good.

Monday, May 22, 2006

My Son Thinks He's Black--UPDATED

No, not the brown one, the pink one.

Last night I was reading How To Photograph Your Familywhen my littlest guy pointed to a photo and said, "That me!"

"No, son, it isn't you."

"Yeah, that me!"

After another round or two of that I gave up and said something like it-isn't-anyone-in-our-family-it-is-just-some-kid.

He never said "That brudder!" which would have been a logical conclusion. The child in the photo looked about the same age as his brother, with a similar hair cut and similar melanin in his skin. It looked nothing like my Aryan almost three year old. He held to his beliefs and I quit trying to convince him otherwise.

Just goes to show. My black son never thought he was white. He's picked "himself" out of Clifford books and other picture books since he could talk. But my white son thinks he looks just like his big brother.

And why shouldn't he?

**I feel like I should explain the Aryan reference. My very blond, very blue-eyed husband used to live with a very stereotypical looking Jew. Once, his roomate was on the phone with his long-distance girlfriend (also Jewish) and she asked what my husband looked like. Jason grinned at my husband and told the girl on the phone, "As Aryan as they come. Think I should be worried?"

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Over the Hedge

Yesterday morning, my hubs and I took the kids to see Over the Hedge. We were trying the "combat the da Vinci debacle by going to another movie" approach. I was pleasantly surprised with how funny and clean Over the Hedge was. There was a lot of adult humor in it, but none that I feared the kids repeating in their ignorance. There were slightly scary scenes, but not nightmare inducing. The biggest problem was when I was laughing so hard and the kids kept stage whispering, "What are you laughing at Mom?" We all walked away from the movie feeling like it was time well spent. It didn't hurt that all movies were $4 and three and under were free.

I hope there wasn't some glaring indecency in it that I'm going to get pounded for....

Currently reading and currently rivited:

Cyber Cinderella

It has been a while since I've read secular chick-lit. What a different world! I finished Cyber Cinderella last night, and it was a fun read but the sex life of these girls is so far from my experience, ya know? Besides that, it was British, i.e. there are all these words that although are technically English, are so not American. I had fun learning new slang words. I told my husband that we can be insulting people and they wouldn't even know it.

Story value, I give it 4 stars. Family friendly rating gets more like 1.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Grinding my Teeth

Several weeks ago I sent a query to my first adoption attorney, with whom my agency set me up because we were out of state, to see if he would just keep us on file. You know, in case something came up. Six years ago he was still a freelancer. He told us that he kept profiles for families who wanted to adopt Caucasian babies, but that he referred all minority babies to our large, national agency. I, hoping to avoid the ridiculous agency fees, asked if he would reconsider. He sent my email straight to the agency.

I could spit nails.

So they send me an email with a "situation." I said sure providing we could find the fees, what were they?

TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. Hello? I could fly to Ethiopia/Sudan/Haiti and get a starving child for that.

So, six years ago there was an adoption tax credit. I think it was 2K. Because our son was considered "special needs" we got 5K. A couple years later President Bush raised the tax credit for ANY adoption to 10K. I'm thinking, "Great! This will be so awesome! This will really help people to adopt." Not so. The agencies all just systematically raised their fees by 10K. Let me make more of an impact: $10,000.00. And, by the way, you have to actually owe the government that much to get it back. It isn't like a check just arrives in the mail.

I know I shouldn't put a price on a child's head, but come on, they've already done it.

Further, our "insurance" (also known as a share program) used to cover adoption as if it was maternity, so I could count on at least 4K in help from them. Nope, now they've dropped that. They still put "adoption friendly" on their propaganda, ahem, guidelines, but as far as I can tell, they do very little for adoption. Grrrr.

Yes, I do believe that God is telling me to back off. When/if this baby shows up I will know it was only Him.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You Know You're Urban When...UPDATED

1: You name your restaurant "Le Fou Frog"
2. And people actually show up there
3. Even though your squatty brick building is painted peach
4. and your windows are dingy
5. and your sign is faded
6. and you have hazardous waste signs on your door
7. and you decorate with frogs
8. and you are in the middle of what appears to be an industrial park
9. and you charge between 27 and 74 dollars a plate
10. because your food is fabulous
11. and the menu is in French
12. except for the part about the frog
13. but you have Creme Brule Vanille (visualize all the oomlots etc.)
14. and you give amuse buche while they wait for their soup
15. which is chilled and awesome
16. and truffles with the tab
17. which makes the patron choke
18. if, say, they are from the suburbs
19. and didn't even order the $250 bottle of wine "a favorite of newly famous people."

But hey, you only have one 10th anniversary, God willing.

Pardon my French, I'm a Spanish girl.

**My wonderful husband looked up oomlots for me. Of course I wasn't even close. The correct spelling is umlauts, and they are the double dot over a vowel usually in German. So all you French speakers out there, visualize whatever accent you think would be appropriate and go easy on the poor American English speaker. I still have no idea how far off I am on the amuse busche, except that I remember the old, was it "Friends(?)" episode where they went on and one about being "amused?" I want to say Seinfeld, but I don't think they are responsible for that one.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

My Honey

Ten years ago tonight, I was kicking butt and taking names at the local bowling alley. Ten years ago tomorrow, I said my vows. Ten years from now? Who knows? Hopefully I'll be on my way to Hawaii. This one's for you, Hon.

Thirteen things I love about my man:

1. He always puts the toilet seat down.
2. He taught my sons to do it, too.
3. No matter how much weight I gain when I'm pregnant (and I gain a lot) he always weighs more than me.
4. I still love the smell of him.
5. His infectious smile.
6. His un-dying support of me.
7. His willingness to support me and the kids.
8. He eats whatever I cook.
9. And when I don't, he asks where we are going.
10. His broad shoulders.
11. His never-give-up spirit.
12. He is a reader. (Hey, if you are one and he isn't, it is like being unequally yoked!)
13. He never asks where the money has gone.
13. He makes me laugh at the most bizarre times (like when we are having a "discussion").
13. His computer skills.
13. His other skills. (devilish grin)
13. That he makes my list go far beyond thirteen.
13. That he loves brown babies as much as I do.
13. But he still helps make pink babies that are pretty cute.
13. And, what they hey, that he knows famous people and introduces me as if they are just the guy next door and I'm the most fabulous person he has ever met.

When I took you, B, as my husband, I promised in the strength of my commitment to God, to love you, to respect all that you are as an individual and to encourage you to become all that you can be.

As you wife, I promise to submit to you as the head of the house, to create a home for you which is a place of peace and contentment, and to remain faithful to you in all circumstances of life as long as we both shall live.

With these promises, I received you as my husband, trusting the love of God to sustain our union.

I said it then and I still mean it now. I love you Babe.

Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner

This Works for Me Wednesday I'm going to take the wimpy route. I'm sure that we at-home moms are supposed to share the ingenious ideas we've created ourselves, but sometimes there is a product out there that just makes our lives easier and we should tell all the other mothers.

I HATE cleaning the shower. I don't know why, but give me a toilet anyday. Actually, I think I do know. It stems back to my college days when I cleaned homes for a living and women would tell me, "There is mold growing in my shower [because I haven't cleaned it since we moved in], do something about that, won't you?" And I'd get out my products and toothbrush and scrub away and bleach out their counters (which of course I was expected to replace at my cost) but couldn't make a dent on the mold/mildew.

Anyway, now it is my shower growing mold and I still hate to clean it. Enter, The Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner. I heard the ad last week on my way to Sam's and I thought I'd just check, for giggles sake, if they had one. They did and it was !!!!!$25!!!!! I thought, sheesh, that's a bit high, doncha think? And then I thought of my wonderful husband whose mother is an immaculate housekeeper and I know how the shower drives him crazy because he's never seen a dirty shower. And I thought, well if it works, it'll be well worth every penny.


My shower was filthy. I admit it. And it isn't sparkling clean yet, but I can tell a definite improvement in just four or five days.

I don't know what they cost at the regular store. At Sam's it came with four refill tanks and the cleaner. But if you follow the link they will send you a coupon for $5 off. Of course you can't use coupons at Sam's, but maybe the $5 makes it almost free other places?


See and link to other works for me's over at Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Having Words With God

God and I had words this morning at 4:30. Actually, I had words with God. I did the talking. Ranting. Whatever. And then I climbed back in bed and had to eat my words. Not because He gave me the Job rundown of "consider Leviathan" either. I know who is bigger and better which is the primary reason I was so peeved with Him.

But, for inexplicable reasons, He cared about a little tiny thing, and only because I cared.

And my reason for ranting--disappeared.

Tap-Tap-Tap....Just in case you aren't paying attention, Jamie, I AM.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Flee the Night

First, just let me reiterate how much I LOVE Dove Unconditional Chocolate Ice cream. I don't like chunky ice cream. I don't like ice cream with chocolate chips/chunks/or otherwise in it. Typically, chocolate ice cream grosses me out by about the 5th spoonful. This ice cream defies all logic, and yet, I want to inhale the whole pint. RIGHT NOW.

And it only has a little to do with my day.

Having said that, let me also say that I know most people don't read fiction to find profound spiritual truths. I know I don't. I like Christian Fiction because it is clean and not because I want to be led to the Lord or even fed spiritually. Just entertained. But again, read this from Susan May Warren's Flee the Night:

"I've discovered that it's not the big sins that dig at your soul, but the thousands of tiny, seemingly inconsequential ones that slowly gnaw away at any sense of hope."

How about this one?

"You keep going. You don't look back. If you second guess every move, you become paralyzed. Sometimes it's simply taking one breath after another. You look to that breath, then the next, and you live on the hope that maybe your mission means something in the great scheme of things."

And it is a page turning, can't put it down story too.

You can read my full review over at Armchair in a couple days.

Two Places to Visit

First, go here. Now. And get laughed up. Trust me, it's worth it. Don't forget to come back.

Okay, ready? Now go here for some words of wisdom. As I approach my 10th anniversary this week, she is talking directly to me. But I imagine I'm not the only one who could use these words of wisdom.

Need A Lift? How 'Bout A Cry?

This video made me bawl. Maybe it is all the beautiful, colorful children. But I think more than that it is the beautiful, colorful children praying. And in a world that seems intent to rip them apart.

We need to turn our eyes to Jesus and teach our children to do the same.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My Mom

To the woman who declared, "You aren't sick if you don't have a fever. Get up and go to school!"

To the woman who had a song, no matter the subject: RAINBOW. Caught you didn't I? (Actually, she is humming "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," right now.)

To the woman who insisted I try on 20 wedding dresses because you can't know until you've had on twenty, even if you just know this is the one.

To the woman who makes incomparable pot roast and fried chicken.

I say THANK YOU and I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. May I remember your wise words always.

Dibbs, Again

I bought and tried caramel Dibbs this week as my peanut butter 39 grams of fat ran out.

Hush, they were still on sale.

Okay, caramel dibbs, not so much. Sure, they have less fat (not by terrible much, but hey) but if you combine less fat with less taste, why bother? (Says the girl who drinks skim milk dubbed white water by some cream loving relatives/roomates of mine).

No, really, peanut butter Dibbs, regardless of the fat content are worth it, every stinking 2 grams per nickel sized piece.

My husband likes caramel. I guess that is a good thing because I won't waste calories on them. Well, maybe a few.

Friday, May 12, 2006

In Sheep's Clothing

Listen to this. Think about it. Really think about it.

Had she truly let herself be satisfied with God? Or had she been spending all her time feeding herself on what she thought might taste good to her impoverished soul? Had she truly let God satisfy her?

Probably not. She'd spent a lot of time trying to satisfy God, instead.

Can you believe that came out of fiction? Oh, is still makes me tremble hours after I discovered it. This is my life. I spend my days wondering how to satisfy God when He wants to satisfy me. Unbelievable. And confirmation after Tuesday's study of the romance chapter in Captivating.

Susan May Warren does it again. I don't know how she does it, but man....

Okay, In Sheep's Clothing is totally different from her Deep Haven series. For one it is set in Siberia, and darned it I understand that culture. Though I have a much better understanding of it now. But wowza! In a world where I think I don't know who my friends are I know that I have it much better than poor Gracie. Can you imagine your friends being picked off one by one and you may be next? What about when fingers start pointing to the remaining friends? Sheesh.

Go Susan, Go! I've already started Flee the Night, and if the first three pages are any indication, go ahead and buy both at once. I'm sure Amazon will offer them that way. (wink)

Happy Weekend folks!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Swallowing my Pride


Double Ugh.

I'd give you a triple, but I think you get my point. Ever have to go against your better judgment because your judgment has become questionable?

Let me preface this with the fact that I'm a Summa Cum Laude, top of my class graduate in Microbiology. I am not an idiot. I am not a child abuser. I am a mom with an opinion and I'm not about to let it get trounced. I don't vaccinate. I have my reasons. Top of the list is that I sat in my Pathogenic Microbiology class and listened to my distinguished professor tell me that the vaccines that work are likely to give the disease to your child, those that don't give the disease to the child don't work. So why bother? Side note: Everyone should get vaccinated because 70% prevention rate is pretty good if you vaccinate the masses. That's what he said anyway, it works if everyone does it. Not because it works all that well, but because it dwindles the susceptible population down to manageable numbers.

And let's not forget the "side effects."

Mercury poisoning anyone? Yes, yes, I know, they've taken the mercury out. But did you know that they still have doses in mercury and if you don't specifically ask for it, you may get them until they run out?

MMR and autism. Don't tell me you can't prove it. They haven't proven that it doesn't, either, have they?Although I think the risk goes way down if you demand mercury free. (Or so I am praying).

My doctor supported my decision, I might add. He doesn't vaccinate his infants either. That should tell you something.


Two years ago we had Chicken Pox. I kicked myself for six solid weeks as we were stranded home and miserable. I had a friend whose child was vaccinated. She is the one who gave it to us.

Last year we had Pertussis/Whooping Cough. I kicked myself every night as my babies gasped for breath. And durn if the people who should form a support network when you are going through something like that didn't just point their fingers and say lovely, supportive things like, "gosh, you're stupid" in not so many words. By the way...vaccinated families got it. The whole stinking county got it.

This year, what is going around, but Mumps. I drew the line at Mumps. I will not have my children have mumps. I played roulette twice and got burned twice. I'm not ready to go three for three.

But, where does this leave me? Do you have any idea what vaccinations cost at the supportive doctors office? Can you say house payment?

Public Health. That's where that left me. At the mercy of people whose job it is to educate the uneducated "if they knew better they would risk their child having the side effects for the greater good." To quote Mrs. Frozone: GREATER GOOD?

Deep breath, Jamie.

They were rather nice. And when we refused a couple of the immunizations, they just let it go. (insert deep sigh of relief) And I cried much more than my kiddos. Two of three were very brave...and the third I expected.

Now don't email me and expound on my stupidity. I have remedied the problem in my house-hold and, Lord-willing we will be part of the 70% that doesn't get the mumps. And if we aren't? Someone is sleeping in the doghouse.

But it won't be me. I'll be the one with the bags under my eyes, stringy hair and the "stupid" sign around my neck.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Works for me Wednesday

I picked this up over at Rocks in my Drier and even though I post in the evening I decided I'd do Works for me Wednesday instead of Thursday Thirteen tonight. Here goes:

I buy my meat in the mega packs when it is on day old markdown. I'm cheap and well, remember when hamburger was 99 cents a pound. It wasn't that long ago. It might have had something to do with Oprah and Mad Cow, but I won't go there. Anyway, my equally cheap sister and I began buying lean hamburger by the case at Sam's. That's 80 pounds of hamburger. (That's 20 for me, 60 for her.) But it is 90% lean and less than two bucks a pound. And we both have deep freezes. So, although that is a good enough works for me for me, you probably don't find this remotely feasible so think family pack, okay?

I thaw a tube of burger (10 pounds) and brown it five pounds a time in my stock pot. I crumble it as it browns with an old fashioned potato masher. I add onion, garlic, salt and pepper, but you season it like you would. To drain, I have a huge mixing bowl and an equally huge colander. Colander goes in bowl, burger goes in colander. It cools while I do the second five pound browning. Bag it in pound containers and dinner is started for me for ten meals. Later I refridgerate the bowl of fat for an hour. Lift off the huge chunk of solidified fat--goes in trash--and bottle the very rich and tasty beef broth for soup stock.

Works for me!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Decisions, Decisions

Ever have one of those days when there are so many emotion laced decisions before you and you feel like you have to make all of them tonight oryoujustmightgocrazy?????

Yeah, having one of those. And if it isn't bad enough, I'm talking about more impacted lives than my own. And to make matters worse, everyone has an opinion and won't listen.


Having said that...I could use a little prayer. For clarity, sanity, emotional stability, health, wellness, well being, money....

And that's about all I have to say about that.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Back to Life...

So after a quiet weekend where I did what I wanted, ate when I wanted, and cleaned like a maniac, my life has returned to normal. By ten this morning every room in the house was messy. They cannot leave a clear space unoccupied.

But, for some unknown reason, Hubby has left with the eldest two to shoot off an air rocket at the church down the street and I am home with the sleeping "baby" aka 3 year old. Yes I could tackle the mess, but quite frankly, I didn't make it and they promised, promised, promised that they would clean up even if they were tired, stomach hurt, legs hurt, had a growing pain, headache and even if the other siblings weren't cleaning and it wasn't fair (yeah, right).

This being Monday we ordered pizza. Pizza Hut got us last year with the whole Monday night is pizza night/family night/some such aka cheap pizza and we have it often. I knew they had pizza this weekend, but my 5 YO didn't think that should matter one iota. (He has a point, if we don't do it tonight, it won't happen until next Monday). But it wasn't enough to order pizza, no we had to order the side sampler because (thanks Grandma) he needed "those yummy breadsticks with cinnamon on them that you dip in this really yummy sauce stuff." And since the sampler comes with 5 wings I ordered it.

I'm nutso for Pizza Hut wings. Ahem, Wing Street Wings. But we know whose they are, don't we? And why? You can't get better "Chinese" food than their Spicy Asian bone out wings. I know Camy Tang would breathe her last and then roll over in her grave to read that, but I think it is true. With an amendment. In Kansas. I have gone to Chinese restaurant after Chinese restaurant in pursuit of the awesome Chinese and Thai (they sell them at the same places around here--sad, I know) that I've eaten in different parts of the country. Can't find it. But the Spicy Asian bone out wings are a pretty good second. After I ate my half of the five I proceeded to dip my pizza in the sauce. I practically licked the metallic wrapper clean.

Next time I may skip the pizza and just order the "wings."

A Gross Underestimation

This weekend I did succeed in staying behind while my family went to visit Grandma. I rubbed my hands together and made plans. So much to do, so little time.

Friday evening it was off to NBC to try on swimming suits, just in case, by some miracle I would find one that looked halfway decent. HA! This is the store where I sometimes get Calvin Klein for about a quarter of the price. Oh Calvin was there alright, but did he look good on me? Nope. Last year the CK had thick spandex, this year the CK showed my mushroom top...and I was wearing a one piece. Sick, I tell ya.

Saturday it was off to the garage sales and boy was I excited. I hightailed it to the best sale...that wasn't open. I knew in my mind that they only open every other year, but I hoped that this year would be the exception. I drove on by, lamenting that my daughter only has one obnoxiously full closet (from this sale last year) instead of two, off to another sale that promised 100+ new clothing items Saturday. She didn't mention that they would be sized 12 months.

And then....

I began to hit some "good ones." Clothes galore. Cute clothes. My size. And I spent too much. Probably 20 dollars, maybe more. I got home so excited to try on my new duds and NONE OF THEM FIT! Well, none of the excessively cute name brand ones anyway.

I am so disgusted. Must exercise.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Spunky is giving away a Benz Microscope and Apologia Biology Set this week. Click Here to get the details.

Who can't pass up an easy contest? And those of you who know me know how much I love the microscopic world!

Four Things

I've been tagged. Not that I think the person who tagged me has any idea who I am, but after a great, unpretentious evening with an old friend, I haven't the energy to go deep tonight.

Four Movies I'd see again (and again and again)
Pride and Prejudice (the new one)
The Incredibles
Notting Hill
A Knight's Tale

Four Places I've Lived
Liberal Kansas
Hillsboro Kansas
Lawrence Kansas
San Antonio Texas

Four TV shows I Enjoy
The Apprentice
Amazing Race

Four Favorite Vacation Spots
St. John USVI
Secluded cabin in the mountains
Secluded cabin by a lake
Practically anywhere tropical as long as there is a beach umbrella and ice

Four websites/blogs I frequent
Beach Writer
Rocks in my Drier
Girls Write Out

Four foods I like (It would be easier to identify those I don't like)
Chips and salsa
ice cream of the expensive fattening variety
Dove dark chocolate

Four places I'd rather be
beach reading
secluded cabin reading
picking up newborn brown baby girl and necessary court documents

Consider yourself tagged. And if you participate, let me know and I'll link to you.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

It Takes So Little

There is a book by Florence Littauer titled It Takes So Little To Be Above Average. I have a new take. It takes so little of anything to do something.

Having an average day? Drive on the highway and wait for a guy to cut you off. Not having an average day anymore are you?

Having a below average day? I had one today. Migraine. No Pepsi. Excedrin Migraine wasn't working. I actually held it together pretty well. Whispered to my kids to whisper. Stayed out of sunlight. Didn't lose my temper. Then WHAMO. I did a really stupid thing. I congratulated a friend on a 400+ person writer's email loop on a contest entry that finaled by title. Titles are supposed to remain a mystery. Judges may have read the email. I feel like I blew it for her. I feel like a heel. I sat paralyzed, staring at the screen, blank, where the message that I'd just hit send should have been. And then all three kids began talking. Not fighting. Not demanding. Asking. Rather quietly. I blew up. THAT'S IT! THAT'S IT! GO TO YOUR ROOMS! AND STAY THERE! I WARNED YOU MOMMY WAS TIRED AND YOU JUST HAD TO KEEP PUSHING DIDN'T YOU? And then I burst into tears. A sobbing mess on the floor. The camel's back snapped.

Oddly, no one even gave me a "why?" They dutifully marched to their rooms and entertained themselves on their beds for a few minutes while I pulled myself together. Sent my apology. In duplicate. Gave my apologies in triplicate, then took them to the library where we had some quiet time.

And on my return? I have an email from Andrea at Armchair. Apparently an author has sent me a copy of her book to review, did I know anything about it? No clue. But the author's name sounded familiar(Thank you Jim Trelease for teaching me to read author names) and on a hunch I looked it up on Amazon. I'd reviewed a different book of her's recently. And she wanted me to have another go on another book. Now, maybe she just wanted a reviewer that she knew wasn't hostile to ABC books, especially ones out of the norm. Maybe she figured someone who'd reviewed her before was a better bet than someone new.

But it takes so little. I am so excited that I was singled out by an author to do a review I am positively giddy. When I read the five love languages, I wouldn't have estimated how very near the top words of affirmation is, but d-ANG.

So if I have any authors lurking out there and you want me to feel important, you know where to send the books.


I have a headache and I'm pretty sure it is because I know there is no more Pepsi in the house.

Even though I wouldn't have had one yet if there had been.

My name is Jamie, and I have a problem.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I don't get it.

So I finally get a photo up on my profile and it still doesn't come up on my main blog. What am I missing?

Do I Save It For The Book?

Today is one of those days when I have no idea what to rant about. And it isn't for lack of issue in my life. The problem is, my life is fodder for my fiction, which is more true than I'd ever let on. So when I sit down to write on any given day I click through my happenings and try to save out the best or most rant-able for my book and use those things that date the book for my blog.

Selfish, I know.

But there you have it.

Anyway, the guilt is setting in at extremes because the book I've been "writing in my head" read: putting off, is now finding its way onto paper and I find myself thinking about how to twist my daily happenings into a fictional masterpiece. So here are some daily happenings, in random order without extrapolation, just in case.

Today I fell into a pond at the local petting zoo. I did it with an audience. And the audience burst out laughing. Call me crazy, but I'd rather she laugh than pretend she didn't see it. I walked around for four more hours in wet pants with mud on the butt.

The baby girl is haunting my dreams again. Just when my husband had me convinced that I just liked the "idea" of another baby and hadn't really thought it all through. He can talk until he is blue in the face, I don't think this is my "idea" at all.

I changed coffee brands. I've been using "Great value" french roast and I bought "Hy-Vee" french roast this weekend. I know most people would gag at either of them, but seriously, Wal-Mart french roast is very good and Hy-Vee? Not so much.

I have eight Dibs left.

I'm trying to decide if I can get away with sending my family away for the weekend so that I can enjoy the "single best weekend to garage sale of the entire year."

Contrary to popular belief (Yeah, I'm talking to you Melanie!) I am NOT a size three. When I went to Beverly Hills last December with my husband, I shopped Beverly Center while he worked at Kenneth Cole (yeah, name dropping). I went into a store advertising 70% off everything and I figured that even I could afford that (almost true). I saw a pair of jeans that I wanted to try and asked the clerk if they were junior sizes or missy sizes. She stared blankly at me. I tried again. "In Missy's I wear a 6 or 8, in juniors I can almost squeeze into an eleven." She looked me up and down, snorted, and said, "Junior."

Yes, I am from "America's Fattest City" but I didn't think I looked that bad. Oh, and she was right.

I bought the elevens.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dibs, Durn 'Em


It is a conspiracy of the ice cream manufacturers, particularly Edy's. You take ice cream, wrap it around a luscious filling, cover the whole thing in chocolate and make it bite sized. Charge three dollars for a teeny container. Make sure there are 39 grams of fat per serving. You read that right. Thirty-nine. But here's the thing: you can just pop one when you need an ice cream hit. Overall it saves on calories, right?


Sure, you don't eat a whole serving of ice cream, you only pop one. But the things are like potato chips. No one can eat just one. So instead of popping one in the evening when I really want a bowl of ice cream I pop one every time I walk through the kitchen. There is jut something wrong with consuming 96 grams of fat in one day. In theory a person with self-control could pay more for these wonderful creatures and eat less ice cream. But I never claimed to have self-control.

Once those Dibs are gone....they are out. You hear me? Out. Until I get back to the freezer section.

After all, I have seven more flavors to try.