Monday, January 31, 2011

Life Lesson

When playing Army at recess, make sure that you are far away from metal poles.

Otherwise, when you are battling the enemy, you'll run into one of them and bust your head open.

And then you'll need stitches.

The upside: double lollipops at the doctor's office and no homework.


I'm proud of you, man.

You are a trooper.

And thank you for not knocking out teeth or gouging out an eye.

Stitches I can deal with.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Simple Suppers: Broccoli & Cheese Soup

'Tis the season of soup.

This one won't disappoint.

I was inspired by Beki. She saw this and made a pot for her family to enjoy.

Here is my version...

Broccoli & Cheese Soup

1 48oz carton of low sodium chicken broth
2 cans cream of celery soup, the healthy version
1 can evaporated milk, fat free
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste
4-5 broccoli crowns, cut into bite size pieces
1 package grated sharp cheddar cheese (I use the 2% variety.)

Combine the broth, cream of celery soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings in a large pot. Stir to combine.

Add the broccoli and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Use a hand mixer to semi-blend the soup. You still want some larger pieces of broccoli, but a creamy texture as well.

Add the cheese, a little at a time, and stir until well combined.

Ladle it up!

I served this with some chicken strips and a whole wheat quick bread.

It was yummy the night of...

...but even better the next day for lunch.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One of the coolest things I've ever seen...

This has been around a while, I know. But it never gets old.

I was trying to entertain The Offspring while waiting at the ER for my zombie eye. You Tube is a great time suck for young and old alike.

This video is at the top of my favorites.

I think it's one of the coolest things ever.

If you haven't checked out Lauren O'Connell's other stuff, you really should.

And guess who she's friends with?

That be Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose fame.

Yep. Birds of a feather.

And, oh yeah. They have a little side project.

All for your listening pleasure.

Lots of it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January's Kitchen

January hasn't been my best month in the kitchen.

But it's had its moments...

lunch: tomatoes and olives

roughly chopped


my two favorite colors, roasted

soup making


Ny-Quil coma

her new favorite

Sometimes the seemingly unremarkable shines the brightest while in the kitchen.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's For Dinner?

Well, hellooooooo again!

Thank you so much for all of your kind comments on my last post. Each and every one of them was appreciated and made me smile.

I figured the perfect place for me to catch up is with a weekly menu. This week I'm back in the kitchen full time. Slated for our dining pleasure is...

Sunday: broccoli & cheese soup, chicken strips, whole wheat bread

Monday: tilapia with artichokes, tomatoes, olives, & garlic; warm spinach and quinoa salad

Tuesday: white bean and chicken chili

Wednesday: burritos with winter squash & goat cheese; corn, avocado, & tomato salad

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: hamburgers, oven fries

Saturday: pizza

I want to make some blueberry scones or a coffee cake. But that probably won't happen until later in the week. I'm back in the kitchen, but I'm not going to go for broke.

I chose a lot of new recipes for this menu. I've been rather uninspired when it comes to food prep. I have the Everyday Food app on my phone and opted to let Martha lend me a hand. I mean, if Martha can't help, no one can.

Things have settled down quite a bit. But January has lost its favor. I am over it.

I'm over winter. I'm sick of being cold.

This is me. In my living room. Freezing.

I had to put on my big, puffy coat.

And I live in Houston! Don't ask me how I survived the harsh Minnesota winters for as long as I did. I would surely perish today.

I'm finally catching up with things around the house. My anxiety level is steadily dropping.

Laundry is almost caught caught up as it will ever be.
The kitchen has been wiped down.
There is no longer a ring around my tub.
Everyone has clean underwear in their dresser drawers.

Now I just have to kick my zombie eye.


This landed me in the ER over the weekend.

I kept thinking I had something in my eye and that it would eventually work itself out. Two days later, it was still there. The whole side of my face was sore and it felt like sand was scratching my eye. The Mr. made me put my stubbornness aside and go see a trained medical professional.

After numbing, dying, poking, and prodding, it was determined that there was nothing in my eye other than a monster eye infection.

The downside is that I am without contacts and eye make-up until things return to normal. The upside is that I get to enjoy some really good pain meds.

And it got me a day off of school.

That, I've determined, is just what the doctor ordered.

I'm back, yo. I'll be seeing you around the neighborhood.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The light at the end of the tunnel...

The light at the end of the tunnel...I'm just now seeing a glimmer in the distance.

It's been a chaotic couple of weeks.

I mentioned way back when that our old and busted school was being rebuilt.

Well, the many months of waiting and watching has come to an end. Construction is complete, at least enough for us to move-in.


Move. Mid-year.



Why, YES!


Have you ever moved? It's a gigantic stress ball, right?

Imagine moving with 22 five year old children in your charge. And having to teach them while at it.

I managed to get all of the popsicle sticks, books, crayons, pom poms, unifix cubes, glue sticks, and other kindergarten necessities packed.

This was no small feat.

But the mission was accomplished.

Everything successfully made it to my new classroom.

This, too, was no small feat.

I was given one weekend to unpack all boxes, arrange new furniture, and find places for all those popsicle sticks, books, crayons, pom poms, unifix cubes, glue sticks, and other kindergarten necessitates.

One weekend.

One weekend?

One weekend.

Have you ever seen a kindergarten classroom?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Kindergarten teachers spend at least a couple of weeks getting their rooms all decked out for the wee ones to come and wreak havoc.

I was getting a couple of days.

Thanks to loud music, Diet Dr. Pepper, and a Mr. who did an ace job of picking up the slack, the impossible became the possible.

The room was ready (enough) to greet my posse this morning.


We had a very successful day in our new building. It was like the beginning of school all over again. We had to learn a new bathroom routine, where the office and nurse were located, where our new square on the rug would be, and most important, how to get to the lunchroom.

There were a few snafus: One of my little peeps decided to bring a snow globe to school, which shattered in her back pack. Another one stepped in mud up to her ankles...literally. This was all discovered while trying to exit the building for an unexpected fire alarm.

Oh, and did I mention this excitement all took place in the first thirty minutes of our day?

Which brings me to now.

Things are calming down.

I can see us returning to our familiar routine. Last night, I folded a basket of laundry. Tonight, I cooked for the first time in over a week. Tomorrow, I plan on cleaning the bathroom.

I've had to let things slide.

It has been a real struggle. I don't do well when things aren't "in their place". I have a difficult time concentrating. Anxiety is high.

It hasn't been pretty. The Boy started referring to me as an angry elf again.

I need time to catch my breath.

I'm hitting pause.

Please know, Blog Land homies, that I am reading and enjoying all of your recent posts, whenever I get a free moment. But commenting has been an extreme challenge. If you don't get a shout-out from me in the next few days, you know why.

I still love you...I just have to put away the clean underwear and get rid of the ring around my tub.

I knew you'd understand.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Ten On Ten: January

January 10th.

Ten pictures taken over ten hours.














A handful of images captured throughout the day...

I threw in a few extras.

Because that's the kind of day it was.

A day filled to capacity. And then some.

A day full of curve balls and interruptions.

Welcome to Ten On Ten in 2011.

It's going to be quite a year.

Sunday, January 9, 2011



That's my word for 2011.

Initially I chose breathe. But over this past week, it has evolved.

Pause seems to encapsulate my intentions much better.

I need to pause more...

pause when life is hectic
pause and enjoy the laughter
pause and think it through
pause and savor completely
pause and hug tight
pause and look intently
pause and truly listen
pause and reflect
pause and rest

My plate is currently full.

It over-floweth.

Even under the best of circumstances, I have a tendency to always be thinking ahead. Planning. Wondering what comes next.

I become smothered by the minutiae of the here and now.

Or worse, I end up missing the wonderful of the here and now.

So, I'm going to pause.

Be it good or bad.

Oh, and all those thoughts for the new year? Yeah.

I'm hitting pause on most of those until February.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Look out...

Look out Neil Peart...

You got competition.

*If you aren't familiar with Neil Peart, ask your Mr. about him. Dudes were all about Rush at some point in their lives, whether they admit it or not.

**And I only know about this because I've dated more than one drummer and then married one. It goes with the territory.

***I got to watch this over the weekend. It goes with the territory.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The New Additions

The Offspring have been wanting a cat for some time now.

As good as our sweet, stinky, blind, deaf, slightly senile, obese dog is...she isn't much for doing anything beyond sleeping, eating, and farting.

The Mr. and I discussed the situation and decided that their main Christmas gift this year would be a kitty.

One kitty.

I guess we have neon heartstrings. They were seen, tugged, and we ended up with two.

What can I say? These little meow-meows are c-u-t-e.

Meet the newest additions to our little family.

Les and Ruth.

This is Les.

He belongs to The Boy.

He was named after
Les Stroud, the one and only Survivorman. I'm sure Mr. Stroud would be humbled by the honor.

Les is a stinker.

He gets into

He thinks he's a dog.

He'll lick you silly.

He's a purr machine.

He sleeps on his back.

He's a lover boy.

He also likes to watch Spurs basketball.

This cemented his place in our family.

This is Ruth.

She belongs to The Girl.

She was named after
Ruth, from Man Woman Wild.

Ruth is prim and proper.

She sleeps. A lot.

She has endless patience with Les.

If you can't find her, she's behind the television.

She's had an eye infection and keeps one eye closed most of the time.

Hence, she looks a little like a pirate. Arrrrgh.

She is a sweet pea.

What do you know?

Ruth likes basketball, too.

I am not a cat person.

But these kitties are winning me over.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Thoughts For A New Year

I don't make New Year's resolutions.

They are made to be broken, and I don't like failure.

But I have been thinking about the new year ahead.

Some thoughts for 2011...

Surely I can carve out half an hour a few times a week to fight gravity.

Mother Nature ain't kind.

I can no longer pretend that I'm 25.

I need more than four hours of sleep each night.

Maybe if I make that new quilt for our bed I'll hit the hay at a reasonable hour.

Unless there's a west coast game. Then all bets are off.

Fish is tasty. Why isn't it on the weekly menu more often? Vegetable-heavy main dishes should also find their place in the rotation.

We are trading in some turf for surf...and some of that there rabbit food.

Please don't revoke my Texas citizenship.

I am *sick* of the laundry mocking me for days on end.

Living in denial doesn't work.

Folding and putting it away is an inevitable reality.

The Boy is who he is.

He can no more be a neat freak than I can be a walking tornado.

Acceptance is good.

Drinking lots of water raises your metabolism, lessens cellulite, and reduces the signs of aging.

I'm printing this information out and posting it throughout the house.

Just in case I forget.

I might not be able to plant my dream garden this year, but I will plant something.

And then I'll learn to can it.

Starting small is OK.

I will say yes to more fingernail painting. I will let her grow her hair long.

I will make myself put on a dress...for her.

Sometimes you step outside your comfort zone for someone you love.

Who says you can have too many hobbies?

It seems like a good time to try knitting.

Yes, embroidery. I hear you, too.

My camera needs more from our relationship.

It loves to take pictures of food, yarn, and The Offspring...but we should spice things up a bit.

It's time to leave the comfort of my yard and find some different subject matter.

The sewing machine is staying out for a while.

I want to pay it more attention.

I have to. Promises have been made for new pajama pants...and my clients are persistent.

Learning is good.

Photography and photo editing classes have been popping up on my Google searches. Sometimes a pastry class sneaks in there, as well.

I promise I won't cut class this time around.

Just some thoughts.

And since they are just thoughts, they can't be broken.

Semantics, you say?


It works for me.

Here's to a new year!

Bring it, 2011.

**all images from my 365 set on flickr**