Sunday, October 31, 2010

We Love Halloween!

I love Halloween.  Not really gory stuff, but dressing up, and visiting neighbor's houses for the sole purpose of getting candy and showing off cute kids, and eating said candy, and pumpkins and bats and spiders and all those great living things.

Anyway, Halloween's over now, but we'll remember it with our pictures!
pumpkin owners, from left to right:
Andrea, Onyx, Sapphire, and Quartz.

In case you're wondering, I am a steampunk inventor, Wes is a wizard (squizard?), Sapphire is a monkey, Quartz is R2-D2,and Onyx is a ghost knight.  Whew!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

simple

The world has become so complicated.  Everyone has to know the latest news about everything:  who's sleeping around with whom, who's got a problem, what's the latest fad, and how quickly can all this information be acquired?


People are so busy getting their noses in everyone else's business, they don't have time for their own.  In reality, if you stopped to think about it, does it really matter what religion other people are?  As long as you are free to worship however and whomever you please, and you  aren't hurting anyone or anything, does it really matter to anyone else? Same goes for peoples' sex lives.


If everyone started paying attention to their own kids and families instead of what's going on on "Modern Family," or "Supernanny," maybe kids would be more prone to behaving, listening, being engaged as a citizen of the human race.  People care more about sports than they do their own families.


Why is it people don't think twice about spending money on cable, junk food, cell phones, etc., but balk at saving for their children's education or feeding themselves and their families a healthy, well-rounded diet?


Why does this country spend so much money trying to fix the problems of those in foreign lands when there are so many problems domestically?  It's the same problem on a smaller scale individually---people are so interested in what's going on elsewhere, things they couldn't possibly have any impact on in 'real life.'  How much of people's time and energy is wasted wondering about the problems and issues of  "Dancing with the Stars," or "The Bacherlorette?"  When they could be focusing on their kid's math homework or art project, how to save for their retirement, or a myriad of other, real-life, issues.


Things need to scale down.   People need to turn their attentions inward.  Let others live.  Stop being so invested in things that don't matter, in the big picture. Simplicity needs to make a comeback.

Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Make Divided Skirts or A Long Full Skirt

I've been working on a steampunk costume, and have found a dearth of free instructions for making divided skirts (this pattern looks interesting, but way too many buttons for a lazy seamstress like me).  For the shirt, I used these instructions for making a women's ruffled shirt out of a men's shirt (only mine has cap sleeves instead of being sleeveless).


How To Make Divided Skirts 
(or, a long full skirt)
(click Read More for the instructions)



1. You will need about three yards of 60" wide fabric for a size 12 or smaller skirt (more fabric might be needed for a larger skirt).  Twill is comfy and sturdy; knit cotton is not as durable but very comfortable.  Velvet or faux suede could also be used, depending on how fancy you want your skirts.

2. If you have a skirt that already fits you that you can use as a guide, you can fold it in eighths to get a pattern for the panels for your new skirt.  If you don't have skirt this style that fits, you can make a pattern for the panels like this:

For a size 12 long skirt, I used t=6 and l=40.

3. Now fold your fabric in fourths lengthwise, and cut four of your pattern out all at once.  Cut four more to make a total of eight panels.  If your pattern is larger than mine, you will probably need to cut these out differently (maybe fold the fabric in half, or thirds).

4. Take two panels, wrong sides together, and sew down one long end.  Put another panel, wrong sides together, on one end and sew down there.  Put the fourth panel, wrong sides together, on one end and sew down one end.  This will be one leg of the skirts.  Do the same thing with the other four panels for the other leg of the skirts.

5a. If you just want a long skirt and don't want it divided, then you can place these two large pieces together, wrong sides together, and sew up both sides.  Skip to adding on the waist and hemming in step 9 below.

5b. If you want divided skirts, then take each leg of the skirt and fold it in half, right sides together.  Cut off the triangle part of the unsewn edge to make these two panels into rectangles instead -- this will make it so you don't have so much fabric bunching up on the inside (see Diagram 2).
Diagram 2

6. Now you're going to make the inseam -- this is the part that goes from the front under your crotch to the back.  Find a pair of loose pants that fit you well, and fold them in half along the seams.  The front and back won't be the same; that's okay, just use the back (it's bigger).  It has kind of a J shape (see Diagram 3).  Overlay this onto your skirt leg that is folded in half, right sides together, and cut out the J shape.  For the other skirt leg, flip the first one over and overlay it onto the second skirt leg and cut out the same shape (but since you flipped it, it will be mirrored).
Diagram 3

7. Keeping the skirt legs folded, right sides together, sew the straight part of the inside of each skirt leg.

8.  Turn one skirt leg right side out, and put it inside the other one, matching them up so that they are right sides together, corners together, etc.  Now pin the two skirt legs together, taking special care to match them up at the bottom seam.  It should make a sort of U shape.  Sew this where you've pinned it. 

9. Try on what you have so far and see how it fits.  If you can't get it on over your hips, don't worry, there's an option to add a zipper (you will probably need this with the divided skirts).

10a. Elastic/drawstring waist option: Fold over the waist enough to make a slot for the elastic.  If the waist will be too low, you can use a separate strip of fabric and attach it to the skirt waist.  Sew almost all the way around, leaving a little space for the elastic to go through.  Cut a piece of elastic (I like 1" wide) the circumference of your waist, thread it through the open spot, and sew the ends together.  You could also use some ribbon if you want a drawstring waist.  Close up the hole.  Proceed to hemming, step 14 below.

10b. Zipper & Button option: Cut a strip of fabric for the waistband about 3" wide by (circumference of skirt waist+4") long.  Fold this in half, right sides together, to make an even skinnier band.  Cut a piece of interfacing the size of this and pin it to the fabric.  You should have 3 layers: interfacing, fabric, fabric.  Sew around the ends, but leave most of the bottom open.  Turn this right side out, so that you have fabric, interfacing, fabric.

11. Make a buttonhole near one edge of your waistband.  Most sewing machines can do this quite handily with a buttonhole stitch (test it on scrap fabric first).

12. Use a seam ripper to take out the seam where you want the zipper to be (I put it in the left side seam).  Rip out just enough to fit your zipper in.  Sew the zipper in to this seam according to the zipper package directions.

13. Pin the waistband to the skirt, starting at the non-buttonhole edge, right sides together, and sew them.  You should have some extra waistband where your buttonhole is; this is fine.  Try on the skirt and mark where you want your button to be; add a few extra for looks or for an adjustable waist if you like.

14.  Try on the skirt and mark where you want to hem it.  I like to just fold the fabric under twice about a half-inch wide, pin it, and sew that with a zig-zag stitch.  It's quick and easy. 

15. Now wear your swanky new skirt!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Supper: Breakfast- It's What's For Dinner

I put my kitchen through its paces this weekend, and I used enough butter to leave Paula Deen speechless.  It's all Ree's fault.  And Autumn.  And impending holidays.

I discovered Ree's blog when Melanie went on about making cinnamon rolls.  I was curious.  I visited The Pioneer Woman's website.  It was love at first sight.

I haven't found a recipe I didn't like, and I've made dozens of them.  If you don't have her cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, click the link and buy one for yourself NOW.  Load up, buy some for your friends too.  They will love you with a love that surpasses human understanding.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl

Well, until they put on 15 pounds and have to join Weight Watchers.

Anyway, she inspired me to try some new things, so I was thinking.  (I know, dangerous.)  What if I took her cinnamon bread and coated it in my Nana's boiled custard and made Christmas Custard French Toast?  Or, if I took that very same cinnamon bread and coated it with Egg Nog and made Christmas Egg Nog French Toast?  Or, and you're going to need to hang on to your pants here, what  if I coated it with leftover Creme Brulee and made Creme Brulee French Toast?

Heh, heh.  It would be a trifecta of truly sinful french toast recipes.  I love trifectas.

So, I made the cinnamon bread this weekend to make sure it was good french toast bread.

SCORE.  Give her six!

I also wanted to try her Chocolate Chip Cookie Sweet Rolls and her Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls.  Except I didn't put the apples or the apple brandy in the caramel, so I guess they are just Caramel Cinnamon Rolls.

So I made all of them.  I took the recipe for the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sweet Rolls and halved the dough.  The first half of the dough was used to make the Chocolate Chip Cookie rolls; the second half was used to make the Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls.  The dough is the same, the only difference is the filling and the topping.  All together, I had 5 pans of sweet rolls.

And one loaf of bread.

And a partridge in a pear tree.

So, I figured I might as well make some breakfast casserole to have for dinner tomorrow night along with sweet rolls or french toast.  We'll see which one we're in the mood for tomorrow.  And I promised a friend over a week ago that I'd send her the recipe for this casserole, and I haven't done it yet, so here you go.

Breakfast Casserole
4 pieces of white bread torn into small pieces
2 12 oz packages of 50% less fat sausage, browned
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
7 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground mustard

Spray a large casserole dish with Pam.  Tear pieces of bread and cover the bottom of the casserole dish.  Pour the browned sausage on top of the bread.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of the sausage.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add the salt and mustard.  Then add the mild and beat.  Pour over the bread, sausage, and cheese.  Let sit at least 8 hours, but 24 hours is best.  Bake at 350 until cooked through and browned.  (About 30 minutes)


And if you're wanting to try a different, but equally as delicious casserole try this one.

Good Morning Sunshine Casserole
1 Pound Pork Sausage
3 Cups Hot Cooked Grits
2 1/2 Cups Shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 1/2 Cups Milk
3 Eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350.  Brown the sausage in a skilled and drain.  Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. 

Combine the grits, cheese, and butter in a bowl and mix well.  Beat the milk and eggs in another bowl.  Add to the grits mixture and mix well.  Pour over the sausage.  Bake for 1 hour.

Ree's Recipes:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sweet Rolls
Caramel Apple Sticky Buns
Cinnamon Bread

Be sure to check in this week.  There will be giveaways, reviews, and recipes for the many french toast variations.  And my potato soup recipe.

See y'all!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Boo! (Radley)

Last night the kids and I opted to stay home rather than go to the football game.  I told you, I gave up football.  Except for tonight.  Tonight is Tennessee vs. Alabama.  It's kind of a rival.  Kind of.

Anyway.  G and AC were both in the mood for a scary movie.  G is 14 and has NEVER been a kid who was scared by ghosts, monsters, amusement park rides, etc.  AC, well, she's different.  A polar opposite really.

So, the challenge was to find a movie that didn't have sexual content, language, and was scary, but, for the love of Pete, not too scary, because the last thing I want to do is stay up with a hysterical child.

I was thinking Private Eyes...


G was thinking Friday the 13th...  (Yeah right.  You have to admire his boldness of suggestion though)


AC suggested It... (She doesn't think a movie with clowns can be to scary.)


Then I remembered Poltergeist.  It was scary, there was no sexual content, no blood, and no language.  G was less than enthused, but he went with it.



But then he brought this over...



and asked if we could watch part of it because he's working on an English project where he has to construct the neighborhood in Google SketchUp.  He was having a hard time picturing how Boo Radley's house had to sit on the street.

He's very literal minded- he needed to see a visual representation.  There was a near come-apart over something about how Boo Radley's porch juts out, but sits facing away from the street...or something. 

Anyway, we rented To Kill A Mockingbird

Then I lectured him all the way home about how different movies are from books and how he had better not be planning on watching the movie rather than reading the book and blah blah blah. 

It's my duty as an English teacher...and a mother...and an American.

He replied "I would never do that.  It would break the Honor Code.  And besides, the book is really good, but don't tell anybody I said that."

"Oh, I won't" I said.

So we made it home and put the movie in to play.

"Hey Mom, what's the deal?  Where's the color?"  G asked.

"It's black and white."

"The WHOLE THING?"  he asked.

"Yep.  It's a black and white movie.  Did you not know that."

"Ummm. NO.  No I did not.  This is going to be bor..."

And then he was hooked.  And so was she.  And I have to say, it was the best movie night we've ever had.  They were both mesmerized.

Afterwards, G went directly to his room to read more of the book.

AC was terrified that Boo Radley was living in our back yard waiting to stab her in the leg with some scissors.  Seems she may not have totally understood the movie.

And  I've never been more thankful that we didn't start the evening with Poltergeist.

See y'all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too Funny to Forget

I don't know why I'm posting these embarrassing moments.  I guess they are pretty funny, and my job here, after all, is to entertain you, dear reader.  :-D

1) "I know it sounded like my son said, 'I could beat you up', but what he actually said was, 'I could beat you up the slide.'  I think he wants to race with your son."

2) "Do you have this in a smaller size than A?" (in the Victoria's Secret dressing room)

3) Serving broccoli with caterpillars in it to guests, and not discovering it until dinner was almost over (If you, dear guest, are reading this, I am so sorry.  I hope you just hate broccoli and didn't even try it.).  I now wash and scrutinize broccoli very carefully before and after cooking it.

Duplo Fingers!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A 3 Hour Tour

Someone (me) thought that a canoe trip would be a perfect way to spend a glorious fall day in Tennessee.  Someone (still me) was right, for the most part.


BUT. 

When you throw six children ranging in age from 14 to 4 into the fray, you'd better be ready for almost anything. 

And we were.  I packed Oreos and Capri Suns- all would be well.

I need to preface this by saying I am more than thankful that this adventure did not end with a trip to the ER, but I will tell you that Coach navigated us into a tree where my ear was nearly ripped off.  He thought he was so funny when he told me not to worry, I didn't use my ears much anyway.

I told him that was an awfully brave statement for a man sitting in a canoe with an injured woman armed with a canoe paddle.

The trip started out smoothly enough, and how much can possibly happen on a 7 mile trip?  The little canoe guy told us it would take about 3 hours.


Or, six and a half, but as you can see below- AC is totally cool with the entire thing and is giving the universal thumbs up.  I, however, became quite concerned that the Oreos wouldn't satiate for much longer than 3 hours.

I was right.
 

Moments later they had managed to run their boat on the lone rock in the middle of the river.  They are a talented trio.


Obviously, V did not see the humor in the situation.  AC was tentative, and a bit irritated, G found it hilarious.  And I laughed so hard my water broke....

And I'm not pregnant.


We, and by "we" I mean Coach and my brother, got them off the rock and we continued on down the river.  You can see the enthusiasm on AC's face. 

She is occasionally moody.  And she's not really shy about letting people know how she feels.  It's a dubious characteristic at best.  It is best treated with Oreos.


G decided a good splash from the paddle would shut her up.  It looks like it might work...


I take that back.  It did NOT work.  And there weren't enough Oreos on the planet to appease her once she reached the ugly cry.


So, she ended up convalescing on the couch and having a hissy fit about nature and leaves and snakes and rivers.   


We were planning an overnight canoe/camping trip.

Now we're not.

The End.

See y'all!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Camping in Jemez


We took a final camping trip a week ago up to the Jemez National Forest.  We found some geocaches, did some watercolors, played hide and seek, and played around the campground.  We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for smore's, and played flashlight tag.  The boys enjoyed sleeping in their own tent and asking mom to tuck them in after using the bathroom in the middle of the night, and Sapphire enjoyed babbling in her sleep all night long.  It was pretty cold in the morning, so our sausages, oatmeal, and hot chocolate tasted really good!  

Then we headed up to Bandelier National Monument, where we took a short trail around to some cliff dwellings, where the kids enjoyed climbing on the ladders and poking their heads out the windows.  Sapphire lay down on every ledge saying, "I sleeping this bed."  The aspens were golden and beautiful, but it was too early for most fall colors.


 
Conclusion:  We need to go camping more, but when the weather is a little warmer!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

What Separates Us From the Yankees

Did you know that Martha Stewart has never heard of cream of mushroom soup? I guess she'd turn her nose down at green bean casserole.  Or she'd make her own cream from her grain-fed cows and gather wild mushrooms from her farm in Connecticut.

Ugh.

Now, I'm with Martha all the way on using choice ingredients and paying attention to taste, but when I talk about choice ingredients I'm simply saying y'all should use Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup and not that For Maximum Value stuff that costs $.23 per six pack.

Because frankly, sometimes there is no good substitute for Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup or Velveeta Pasteurized Cheese Product for that matter.  Some people's mommas would tell you those two ingredients are the cornerstone of the Southern diet.

I'm sorry.  I'm just trying to keep it real.

Keeping it real, incidentally, is one of many things that separate us from our geographically challenged friends to the north-  along with Velveeta Cheese, Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, and pies.  And potatoes.  And our ability to wear Lilly Pulitzer dresses and capri pants while still being taken seriously.Oh, and humidity, and SEC football, and good bourbon.   And oh my word, where would we be without Mimosas? (And I'm not talking about the kind you grow in your yard.)

And while I could go on and on about capri pants, and Lilly dresses, and bourbon, and football- tonight I figured I'd just post some recipes for pies and potatoes.

Fudge Pie  (It's famous.  My momma makes it.  Now I make it.  My kids drool over it. )
3 tablespoons of cocoa
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons of melted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pie pastry - NOT deep dish

Heat oven to 350.  Mix the dry ingredients.  Add melted butter.  Add eggs.  Add vanilla.  Pour into pie pastry and bake 20-35 minutes.  You want it gooey in the middle.  This one is life changing; I think I'd even say spiritual.

Chess Pie (from my momma)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornmeal
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, slightly beaten
Pie pastry

Combine sugar, cornmeal, butter, vinegar, and vanilla.  Stir until blended.  Stir in eggs, mix thoroughly.  Pour into pie pastry.  Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes.

"Those" Potatoes  (from Mrs. June, who goes to my momma's church)
6 medium/large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz.  cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375.  Cover potatoes with water and boil until tender.  Drain water.  Add garlic and salt and mix with a stand mixer.  Add sour cream, cream cheese, and onion powder.  Throw some pepper in there too.  Pour into a casserole dish and top with cheese.  (Honestly, I use a whole lot more cheese.  A WHOLE LOT MORE.) 

But, take heart, it's not Velveeta.

This time.

See y'all!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Do Lord

"Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do you remember me..."

And the answer to that would be yes, yes He did.

Because, today is the last day of the work week!  We begin fall break, and it doesn't end until Tuesday! Woo hoo and AMEN.

We received everyone's report card, and we are thrilled that everyone made the honor roll. I have lost two pounds this week despite a caramel cupcake frenzy, and there is no football game, so Coach will be around.

And if all that isn't enough, just listen to what G did last night. (He'd be the one on the far left that sings the solo after the girl who can put Whitney Houston to shame)



This morning he woke up tired, and grumpy, and snarky.

I decided to let it ride.

Today, we'll let our little lights shine.

See y'all!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Random and Possibly Inappropriate

Well, I've given up on football.  It's okay, I'm fine with it.  Come February when everyone is talking about what they're giving up for Lent, I'll remind you- I gave up football in October.

I'm from the South.  That's sacrifice.

And I've been trying to learn long division.  AGAIN.  Turns out- you actually do use all that math you learn in school...when your kids have to learn it.

I've also been cooking.  Tonight I made fajitas, and I bought some high fiber tortillas.  Each one of those babies had 20 grams of fiber in it.  Coach was giddy; he's a science guy.  He loves to talk about chemical reactions and soluble fiber and colons and such.

However, I'm fairly certain you don't want me to start talking about colon function or soluble fiber.
But I will tell you this-  I'm more conservative with my fiber intake than Coach; my colon is temperamental.  I ate one tortilla. 

G had four.

Now, I know I was griping about math earlier, but this is a pretty simple problem. 

20 grams of fiber x 4 tortillas = a loud and unpalatable anatomy experiment.

Not since that child was 15 months old and he projectile vomited on a complete stranger in the Denver airport have I been more repulsed and amazed at his body adventures.

At a particularly odorous point AC added that she did not eat anything with fiber in it, and therefore does not share in G's gaseous plight.

Yeah right.  AC has a habit of making outrageous nutritious claims.  It's kind of like the time my brother convinced my sister-in-law that he was allergic to rice...and Beef Stroganoff. 

SIL called Bull Malarky on that one really fast.  We did warn her though, my brother has been known to  projectile vomit when he eats foods he finds unpleasing.

Just ask my mom.

Let's just say there was an unfortunate lima bean incident in 1983 which left her sobbing and scrubbing wallpaper.  He threw down the gauntlet when he barfed on the new Waverly wallpaper.  And to everyone's surprise- she relented.

And honestly, I've never been so thankful for his culinary dramatics in all my life.  I hated those stinkin' lima beans.  You have absolutely no idea how long it takes to swallow lima beans whole...one by one.

Oh yeah- I have a brother.  He's the baby.  He looks like this...



Except he is taller and has gray hair.  I would like to state, for the record, that I still do not.  I attribute it to my healthy love of Beef Stroganoff.  Actually, the little guy above is Brother's second boy.  He reminds me of Lightning McQueen- the boy, not the brother.

Baby Brother is the cool, athletic one.  He's cat-like, always landing on his feet and always really cool. He contracted LL Bean Syndrome after college and moved to Colorado.  He camped and kayaked and had two really cool Malamutes.  He learned to ski, and he doesn't look like a dork in outdoor clothing.   

 I'm more like an Irish Setter- running into walls and barking at blades of grass. And I look like a dork in outdoor clothing.  But I digress.

The reason I don't talk about him much is because...



he has four kids.  Four kids who are five years apart.  SIL was pregnant for almost 5 straight years.  They've been changing diapers for eight years.  They are...busy.

But I could tell some stories.  Oh yes I could.

And so could he.

See y'all!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Picture Perfect

I've been preaching to my Creative Writing kids that the only way to improve is to keep on writing.  I'm trying to practice what I preach. Nothing was coming together, so you'll just have to deal with the randomness of pictures I've been staring at tonight...

1.  In March, Coach and I went to New York.  NYC was a life-long dream of mine.  I've asked on multiple occasions if we could retire there once the kids go to college.  Coach keeps saying that people don't retire to overcrowded, crime-ridden cities. 

I say nay-nay.

Anyway, we were on a death-march through the city trying to see everything in a day when Coach said "Hey Babe, look it's Vera Wang."

I've never been prouder or more in love with a man in my entire life.  And if that wasn't enough, while I was staring at the dress in my camera's view finder he also pointed out Jimmy Choo.

I didn't ask to go in either store.  Incidentally, he's never been prouder or more in love with a woman in his entire life.


2.  This picture was taken in October of 2007.  Ivy is swimming and Mack is standing on the bank watching.  I love how sweet his little 8-week old bottom looks.  I can still smell the puppy breath...


So, how odd is it that almost 3 years to the day later I have this picture...



Not only is it the same pose, the same pond, the same dogs.  He's standing almost EXACTLY where he was in 2007. 

 I miss puppy breath.

3.  Remember the disco-ball/locker story?  I told you I wasn't kidding...



4.  Do you love bacon?  I love bacon.  And cheese.  Here's an easy treat for you to flap your lips on.  Get some water crackers- put a generous pinch of parmesan cheese on each one.  Wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon.  Bake at 250 for 2 hours.  It makes men swoon. 



5.  This makes me smile.  I'm thinking that it also made quite a few Vol fans smile after Saturday's disaster.  Someday I'll have to tell you about the time my roommate from Chicago and I went deep into the mountains to Pappy's "house" to buy moonshine for her midwestern friends for Christmas.   I use the word "house" LOOSELY  here.  The last mile had to be traveled by foot.  There were booby traps...and dogs...

My mom has never heard this story.  She's going to call me and ask me if I had lost my mind.  When I tell her I also jumped on a train behind Fraternity Park with three other girls and rode it all the way to North Carolina when I was a freshman, she'll have her answer.

And my dad won't believe me when I tell him that we did all of this completely sober.

But it's the truth. 


6.  At the beginning of last week this was what the temperature read in my car on the way home from school.


Which is why she felt the need to dress like this yesterday when the temperature only made it to 63.  She also asked for hot chocolate and her flannel sheets.  We're a little thermally challenged in the South.  63 is COLD.


7.  G found this in the parking lot at Kroger.  It's Javon's preschool progress report from Friday.  Homeboy had himself a day on Friday.  G thought it was hilarious that all of his bathroom activity was recorded.  He was also impressed that Javon had a tuna melt and peas for lunch- pretty high falutin for pre-school.  He was in a good mood Friday (Javon, not G).

We don't know Javon.


But Javon made me wish I could turn back time to days full of dirty diapers and puppy breath.

See y'all!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Working for the Weekend

Well, we've been working harder than the third monkey trying to get on the ark this week.  Friday was the day that both Coach and I hit the tipping point.  Coach isn't a complainer, and he usually doesn't let on when he's feeling the pressure of life.

Usually.

Friday was not "usually", which is unfortunate because I was fully ready to pitch a fit of my own and fall right on in it for a day or two, but alas, it was Coach's turn.  He hasn't had the luxury of a melt down in a while.

I gladly obliged him.  It was a busy and stressful week.

We both teach high school freshmen.  They are darling.  Energetic, but darling.  Usually.  Again, Friday was not "usually"; Friday was Homecoming.  Friday was the first Homecoming EVER for freshmen.

Friday was a difficult day.  I'm talking trying to keep bullfrogs in a wheelbarrow kind of difficult.

So today?  Today we rested.  We stayed home.  We haven't had a Saturday at home since JUNE.  And all 5 of us have been running on tired since June.

 Monday Coach had a JV football game to coach.  Tuesday V had soccer practice.  Wednesday G ran in the cross country championship.

 

 Thursday V had soccer practice, and Coach and I had to make a video for the pep rally. Friday AC had chorus practice at 3:30. G had to attend the girls cross country championship at 4:00. Coach had to coach the football game at 7:00. AC had to perform at half-time.

 
And before I knew it I was sitting bleary eyed in front of the television at 2:00 AM waiting on Coach to get home from the game.
So today we rested.  We visited some friends.  Coach and I sat in a swing under a big old oak tree and watched the dogs swim in the pond while the kids ran around laughing. 

 

Mack swam and fetched to the point of delirium.  It's who he is.  We've learned to let it ride.


Ivy, who incidentally is nuttier than squirrel scat, rolled in horse manure and ate acorns.  

Are you wondering if acorns are safe for dogs?   Yeah, I was too. 

Lucky for us the friends we were visiting both happen to be veterinarians.  So Coach asked.  Dr. Friend said it was not a big deal, but of course anything could be toxic if the dog ingested too much.  

And then we heard about a Lab who ate 3 pair of underwear, two socks, and a bra.  Impressive isn't it?  I KNOW. 

And what's more impressive is this.  Out of three pair of underwear, two socks, and a bra- the only thing that was chewed was the bra.  And if swallowing undergarments without chewing doesn't impress you, then maybe knowing that the only item the dog passed on his own was the bra might do the trick.

Then Dr. Friend went on to tell us that the acorn "crop" an oak tree produces is know as a mast.  And apparently hunters and oak tree masts are not friends.  It didn't make sense to me; why would anyone care?


And Ivy continued to eat acorns.  Dr. Friend said, "Don't let her eat too many; they can do damage to her kidneys if she eats too many."  And then I put two and two together and figured that if acorns would make dogs sick, they'd probably make deer sick too.  And apparently hunters find it much more entertaining to hunt deer who do not suffer from the trots.

So we loaded everyone up and came home.  We ate dinner and then we built a fire.  And by "we" I mean Coach built a fire. But the collective "we" did roast marshmallows and make s'mores.


Tonight we realized there are only 4 more Octobers for us as a family of 5 before G leaves for college.  The girls reiterated that the Pumpkin Patch was for babies, and Coach threw down the gauntlet and told them we would all be going to a haunted house this year since they were so grown up.

Except me. 


I also realized that AC had done a complete wardrobe change because she wanted to match the fire.  She knew I'd be taking pictures.  She's thoughtful that way. 

Note:  She doesn't do laundry. 


V is exhausted.  She sat bleary-eyed and catatonic in a chair by the creek


until her father decided to try to scare them with his elaborate plan to sneak up the creek bed wearing a Jason mask and a wielding the ever-terrifying power drill.


And then the wild rumpus started.


See y'all!