Monday, August 30, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours...

Three days into the start of the school year, and I awoke with a sore throat.

Not the kind of sore throat one gets from talking all day to five year olds. No. This was *that* kind of sore throat. The "I'm about to go down for the count" sore throat.

I made it through Friday. Barely.

As soon as we walked in the door I told The Offspring that they could eat what they wanted, watch what they wanted, and play what they long as they were quiet and didn't disturb me.

Unless they were dead, dying, or bleeding, of course.

I took a hot bath, put on my pajamas, and got into bed.

I think this is a new record.

I usually make it at least a month before falling prey to the kindergarten germfest.

Whatever this is, it's kicking my arse. Hard.

The entire weekend was spent on the couch in a NyQuil induced stupor.

It's all a little fuzzy.

A House marathon was on. Not the best thing to watch when ill.

I got sucked into Man, Woman, Wild.

The Offspring were equally enthralled. The Boy is a survivalist in the making. The Girl would surely perish.

All my weekend chores were put on hold.

Laundry continues to sit in the basket. Dust is evident on all surfaces. The bathtub still has a ring.

Maybe I'll get to it later this week.


I made it through today.

Despite feeling spent, I came home and decided to make a pot of chicken soup. The kind with loads of vitamin-rich vegetables, flavorful broth, and a hint of lemon.

My body was calling for such a meal.

Let's forget that it's 90-something degrees outside with oppressive humidity to boot. Sometimes you crank down the a/c and go for it.

And since I was going for it, I baked some muffins to accompany our soup.

I love these muffins.

Whole wheat oat muffins: They have a subtle sweetness, but are still neutral enough to stand-in for a dinner roll or slice of bread with dinner.

I always make a large batch. Plenty of leftovers for breakfasts, snacks, and such.

Simple Oat Muffins

2 2/3 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c oats
2/3 c sugar
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c oil

Preheat oven to 400*.

Mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Mix the eggs, milk, and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.

Spoon into baking cups that have been lined or greased.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.


School is upon us. Make sure you give your hands an extra wash and double up on the vitamin C.

Weekends should only be spent on the couch by choice, yo.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In The Weeds

It's the start of another school year.

This will be my thirteenth "beginning". I've had a few third grade beginnings, many second grade beginnings, and I'm now on my fifth kindergarten beginning.

Nothing compares to a kindergarten beginning. Nothing.

It. Is. Exhausting.

I need a word stronger than exhausting. Whatever that word is...that's the beginning of kindergarten.

You are starting from scratch. It's your job to teach them how school works: walking in line, bathroom routines, getting from point A to point B, not to mention making new friends, being away from Mommy, and staying focused on lessons and school work.

I have 24 babies this year.

It's just me and them. And so far, things have gone pretty well.

The first day was stellar. None of my kindergartners peed their pants or got lost. In my world, that makes for a great start.

Only one child was lost on Day Two. We all made it out to the dismissal area. But when I turned around, I was short one five year old.

The search: after-school care, bathrooms, office, hallways, lunchroom, playground, classroom. Recheck bathrooms, hallways, and dismissal area.

A bit of panic starts to emerge.

I recheck the room...and there is my missing tot. She got bored and decided to go back to the room and play. Behind the toy kitchen.

Of course.

So, here we are. Three days in.

The hours spent have been long.

School routines are being reestablished.

Waking up (insanely) early is torturous.

Fitting it all in seems impossible.

To Do lists shrink and then expand just as quick.

Even though it's all getting done, I have the constant feeling of being in the weeds.

It all passes.

Soon, my feet will adjust to wearing something besides flip flops and the blisters will fade. My bladder will again expand to mind numbing proportions. I'll lose my voice by the end of next week, but it will return, stronger. I won't feel as if a truck hit me, backed up, and ran over me again by 4:00pm, and I won't fall asleep two words into my book.


But for right now, I'm over-loaded.

If things are a little hit or miss around here, you know why.

That's kindergarten, baby. It's hardcoooore.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I'd been wanting to get some new ink for a while.

I've told the tale of the drunken flower and my inspiration for redemption. Lord knows it was time to get that thing covered once and for all.

I also wanted to get a couple of designs that represented The Offspring.

I would never...
evah...get anything that had anything to do with The Mr. permanently marked on my body. It says nothing of our love and devotion to each other. In fact, just the opposite. I don't want our relationship to go into the crapper. And as soon as you start decorating your body for someone else, I'm convinced it's jinxed.

But that's just me. I'm superstitious like that.

The rules are different for The Offspring. There is nothing that can change the fact that they will always have a hold on my heart.

I decided to get their astrological signs.

The Boy is a Taurus.

The Girl is a Cancer.

I called our friend Anthony to see if he could come up with something.

I adore his work. He did some pieces for The Boy's nursery and I knew whatever he came up with would be perfect.

I love how he made a crab, which isn't the most attractive of creatures, look somewhat abstract and so feminine. And the Taurus was exactly as I had it pictured in my mind, but better.

I was worried that it would be difficult to cover that damn flower.

I shouldn't have.

I spent about two hours listening to the hum of the needle.

And now....

The drunken flower is no more.

I ♥ that owl.

All of the feathers and shading were done free-hand. Or free-needle, you might say. You can't see that old flower at all!

But I know it's there. Underneath. The owl is hiding it in his feathers.

Good owl.

The Taurus.

The Boy digs the fact that he is tattooed on my body.


The Cancer.

See that little starfish? The Girl decided that it's Teddy.

Of course.

About a year ago, The Offspring and I were putting on temporary tattoos and I placed one on my inner forearm. I loved the way it looked.

I was apprehensive, at first, about getting any work done on my arms. It's so visible and "in your face", at least for a girl. But in the end, I opted to do what I wanted and not play it safe.

Rarely have I taken the safe route.

I also went with classic black and white. I considered color, but after talking with the artist, he strongly recommended against it. My skin gets pretty dark in the summer and he felt that they would age better and I'd be happier long term if I steered clear of the color.

It was a good call.

I did have a few moments of panic. I knew about the healing process and that tats go through a really ugly phase. But the work I've had done thus far has had minimal fill-in and shading.

About a week after getting them done, they started peeling and the owl looked like he was molting.

After some harried messages to my friends with more substantial work, my nerves were calmed. All would be fine.

So there they are. The ink. Revealed.

I'm very pleased with the end results. Very.

Which is good, because if I wasn't that would really, really suck.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's Easy, Tasty, and Healthy...

What more could you ask for?



A pesto cream sauce.


A side of this.


A ridiculously easy dinner that tastes amazing and can be prepared in about 20 minutes.

Go here for details.

And then add the ingredients to your grocery list.

You now have one evening's meal all planned.

You're welcome.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Following my lead.

I don't see how I can say "no". That would be hypocritical, right?

I'll reveal mine later in the week. Promise.


I like the taste. I like saying it even more.

It takes so little to amuse me.

11:15pm. Still wet.

Don't you hate forgetting to put the sheets in the dryer? I seem to do it often. And then I say naughty words.

I need to set a timer or something.

Doing her best Lady Gaga.

She decided to open a club: Fancy Make-Up.

We have started praying. In earnest.

Just when the eyebrow grows back...

However, if she keeps giving herself new 'dos like this, we might get off easy.

That is, unless she opens another club: Janky Haircut.

It lives.

This is the only succulent I haven't killed since getting married. I used to grow mad aloe vera. Scads of it.

I've yet to determine why my mojo disappeared.

Until then, I'll keep blaming the light.


I am always looking for culinary inspiration.

I also like to look at the pictures. Food photography is the ultimate.

In another life I have a killer camera, bomb lighting, and can make a fig look like fine art.

Old lady.

She is in her twilight years. I'm more aware of this now.

But just when I think she's on her last leg, she darts out the door and chases a squirrel.

I've started calling her Timex.

Less funky.

As in, less smelly.

Like I said, she's an old lady. But thanks to my boys, she's not quite as odorous.

Summer ain't over 'til it's over.

I'll be eating fresh, green lovliness until the weather dictates a stew.

5 years; Worth the wait.

Our cupids got back together and returned to Houston.

We were there. Front and center.

Don't ask me when twenty-something frat boys hijacked Slobberbone's fan base.

Some unknowing fan must have stumbled upon a kegger, been offered some free beer, decided to put on quality drinking music, and unintentionally opened Pandora's Box.

It's so very wrong. They are *my* band. *Our* band. Not some tool who's greatest achievement is slapping a high five while inebriated.

Don't get me wrong. It was a classic Slobberbone show: a fight almost broke out, we met cool folk (amongst the chino-wearers), shots were bought for the band by more than one fan, and a good time was had by all.

As it should be.


I'm slipping veggies into more and more baked goods.


Mommy wins.

New obsession.

Have you heard of Magic Fabric?

The Girl is coo-coo for the stuff.

She's mainly into cranking it out. That's the last step. Guess who has to put all the pieces together? And guess who has OCD and takes it waaaaay too seriously?


That's OK. I'll just make more muffins with covert-zucchini.


Sometimes you are having fun and a perfect picture isn't that important.

Sometimes the imperfections are what make it perfect.

What captions would your day-to-day have?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Easy is key this week.

Twenty-four new little ones arrive at my door a week from Monday. Until then, I'll be making last minute preparations as well as languishing in daily meetings and trainings.

With ease in mind, we will be having:

Sunday: tacos, pico de gallo, guacamole

Monday: spaghetti, sautéed squash and zucchini

Tuesday: fish, macaroni & cheese, peas, carrots

Wednesday: southwestern cobb salad with flank steak

Thursday: stir fry, brown rice, spicy cabbage

Friday: hamburgers, oven fries

Saturday: BBQ chicken thighs, grilled vegetables with feta, tomato salad

I baked some blueberry muffins tonight. They taste really good, but didn't rise. At all. Probably because I chose the lazy route and didn't process the oats. I guess the batter was just too heavy. Oh well. Don't think they won't be gobbled up.

I said it last week...and now I'll repeat myself: Enjoy the remaining days of summer. Eat fresh vegetables (picked from your garden, if you are so lucky). Cook dinner on the grill. Indulge in an ice cream cone. Watch the sun set.

I'm already making plans for next summer...for reals.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Snapping Beans

A couple weeks ago, I gained a helper in the kitchen.

The Girl decided that she would lend a hand.

This is unusual. Cooking detail isn't her forte.

I just so happened to have a large bag of green beans that needed snapping.

I showed her how to choose a good one.

Bend it back.

And let it snap.

She sat and intently snapped each and every bean.

Sometimes snapping the same bean more than once.

It reminded me of my own childhood.

I would sit with my Mema and snap beans and shell black eyed peas from her garden while watching As The World Turns and Guiding Light.

It's an important life skill, in my opinion.

I'm not sure if The Girl agrees.

She hasn't asked to help in the kitchen since.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ten On Ten: August

August 10th.

Ten pictures taken over ten hours.







Filling in the blanks.



...really fast.


A handful of images captured throughout the day...

You wouldn't know it from the date on the calendar or the weather report, but summer is over. School is just around the corner and that means teachers are busy setting up their rooms, going to meetings and trainings, and trying to get used to that blasted alarm clock again.

Or that describes our here-and-now.

I can't say that I know of one person or animal in this little family that is pleased about these current events.

I spent the day setting up my classroom for a new bunch of kindergartners.

My back hurts. Bad.

I'm most thankful for Tylenol, Shiner, and the back rub I'll soon be receiving.

Lord bless you if your Ten On Ten was filled with heavy lifting, unpacking boxes, moving furniture, and thoughts of another school year.

I tip my hat to all you fellow teachers out there...

May your weeks pass quickly and your weekends be savored.