Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 14 What would you do with a million dollars. Why?

Eat expensive cheese.
Hire a house cleaner.
Pay for college for my kids.  (Hah!  That would about use the whole million.)

Ok.  Wait.  First.  I'd invest the million and do things with the interest.  I am my grandfather's daughter. 

A long time ago I wanted to set up an endowment to give Class C kids in the state $500 towards college text books.  But now I think I'd rather give them a tablet computer so they can get their books online and have access.  Knowledge is power and isolation is pain.  And maybe I'd make it all Class C high school freshmen. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 13 . . . A post about people . . . .

Name a minimum of 10 pivotal people in your life.  Use these as starters and give a why.

A person whom you admire:
A person that inspires you to be more:
A modern day superhero:
Someone you'd like to be like:
Someone that scares you:
A quality that you admire and the person who embodies it:

1.  My Grandma:  Stylish but down-to-earth.  She loved to go places and watch The Young & The Restless.  She taught me how to drive (a grain truck, an a stick-shift Celica), how to wear jewelry and how to cook for a field crew.
2.  My Grandma:  Organized and self-confident.  She loved to travel and watch baseball.  She taught me how to pack for a trip, how to order a drink and to always keep a giveaway bag in the closet.
3.  More and More... My Grandpa:  He built me a doll house.  He takes me fishing.  He always has snack snickers bars for my kids.
4.  My Mom:  She is classic Scandinavian.  In looks, attitude and style.
5.  My Dad:  He shows that scary-looking, hairy rednecks can be addressed as "Doctor." 
6.  My Sister:  She seems to be doing it all.... gracefully. 
7.  My Brother:  My favorite dirt farming technology wizard.
8.  My Husband:  No matter what.... always my number one.
9.  My Kids:  They make me laugh at least once a day.  Everyone needs that.
10.  My Dog:  When all else fails....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More Freakin' Laundry Room Stuff

Upon further consideration.... .and a trip to Lowe's....

I might need a cabinet 28" deep by 70+" tall by 12" wide..... AND THEN a rolling cart 52" tall by 28" deep by 12" wide......
Hot and I had a date last night.  Burgers and a beer and then a trip to Lowe's.  We wandered around Lowe's in the garage storage section trying to think what would work in the laundry room.  Hot has great ideas when he's willing to focus on a project. 


Do a rolling cart/shelf thing for the:  dog food, cat food, recycling bucket & tool box right next to the washer (where the white plastic shelf is now). Then put the carpet cleaner(s) and some cleaning stuff in the cabinet (where the carpet cleaner is now).  I need about 8" of clearance from the hot water heater.  In a perfect world include the vacuum in the pantry cabinet to clear space in the upstairs hall closet... if I can get it empty I'm turning it into game storage and a reading nook.... but don't hold your breath.

Hot also thinks a more robust book shelf would work where the little one is by the breaker box..... that would be cool.  If it is very tall it has to roll to get the breaker box free so it has to be short and not stick out very far. 

Hot was also open to my idea about changing up the little desk in the dining room to make built-in storage. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The search is on.....

I need a cabinet. 

52 inches tall.

26 inches wide.

28 inches deep.

I'm planning to put it between the washer and the water heater.  I'd like closed doors and more of an open inside (not lots of little shelves) so I could maybe put the carpet cleaner and pet food in there.  It doesn't have to be fancy.

Oh, and in a perfect world it would have casters.... I have to be able to move it to get to the whole-house filter and water valves.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 12 . . . Photographic challenge. Photos of 10 random things and a less than 10-word explanation for each.

Day 12 . . .  Photographic challenge.  Photos of 10 random things and a less than 10-word explanation for each.

 1.  Redneck.  Party.

 2. My First Truck.

 3.  Happy Fun.

 4.  A boy and his dog.

 5.  Spring.

 6.  Things to come.

 7.  True Love

 8.  Farm Girl.

9.  Skipping Stones.

10.  Work or Play.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Where the Alligators Roam.....

"Mom.  Alligators are in Georgia."


"Mom.  They not in the bathroom. (Shaking head and making a very funny face) No.  Not in the bathroom."

Monday, March 12, 2012


Ok.  Really.  We are working our way through the house.  Group effort.  Starting with the bathroom.

I ask this question of Elle every, oh, 6 months or so...  I think it is the time change... I'm tired and my mind is on repeat....


But her answer is based on having 4 kids & 4 bathrooms. 

We have:

3 towels on hooks (me, Hot, Tuff)
2 hoodie towels on hooks (Sweet, Bugsy... the princess and the frog)
1 hair towel (those twisty things)
3 towels on the shelf
1 hoodie towel on the shelf (why?  I don't know... it is a duck.  It is cute.  Bug likes to use it for the sprinkler)
5 beach towels
2 hand towels... one on the hook and one on the shelf
5-6 washrags
And Hot has a gym-bag towel that rotates into the wash every once in a while. 
And a stack of beachy towels in the garage that are good enough for running through the sprinkler or washing the dog but not house-worthy and probably not even pool worthy.

I think I've finally even culled all the "someday I will need these when we have a second bathroom" towels from the shed.  Sigh.  That was a hard dream to let go.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Day 11: A photo of the last single-item thing that you spent more than $50 for . . .

The only thing I've spent more than $50 on in the last 60 days...


I'm not kidding.  One fill up.  $56 and change.

That's all I have.  I looked at receipts even.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 10: Your celebrity crush.

Day 10:  Your celebrity crush.

Didn't we do this here?

Ok.  Only one?  Based purely on looks?  Not on "oh he's such a good guy?"  Because I adore Adam Sandler.  But....

Go here to see.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Day 9: photo of your last kitchen creation.

Day 9:  photo of your last kitchen creation.

I have two.  First up.  The STROMBOLI.

Ok.  Yes.  Not a great picture.  But it was really cool in real life.  I did a braided top and fresh parmesan with an egg wash.  Gorgeous.  Delicious.

This comes our latest project.... Bento Lunch.  More on how this works out later....

Quick and Dirty Thoughts on Being Organized

I am living a parallel life with M&Co.  I've been getting us out the door on time for almost 8 years now.... it CAN be done.

Feeding the Hoard:  Make a list of your favorite foods.  Plug those foods into a two-week spreadsheet.  (I make mine seasonally... more grill in the summer, more crock pot in the winter.)  Plan to shop every two weeks.  (I do Costco and, yes, the veggies will last two weeks.)  Plan to spend less than an hour on the shopping trip and reward yourself if you are successful.  You just made grocery shopping a 2 hour/month chore.  Who-hoo.  Ok, yes, I do stop at the regular store about every 10 days but it is between work and kid pickup so I do it solo and it takes 15 minutes max.  Be prepared to fall off the "meal plan" wagon on a regular basis.  Just get back on.  I actually enjoy cooking so I try to put in a "new recipe" once in a while.... usually on weekends.  But I'm not afraid to serve canned soup and grilled cheese on a regular basis.  Get friendly with giant bags of frozen veggies.  Yes, sometimes this means we eat green beans as a side four times a week.  Oh well.  I'm working to embrace the crockpot during the week.  I use it on weekends but ours cooks SO HOT I'm afraid to leave it alone during the week for fear of it cooking dry.  I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to try in it.

Laundry:  We have one big lidded wicker hamper in the bathroom.  Get your stuff in there or your mother will give it to Goodwill.  Even the 2-year-old has mastered this concept.  Give yourself permission to a do a wild-card load every once in a while... loads that aren't sorted.  Also... I confess to only washing the kid bedding every 3 weeks.  Ew.  And the delay setting on my washer is seriously awesome.  I set a load to wash in the late afternoon and can walk in the door and switch it to the dryer and it is ready to fold by the time Big Bang Theory is on.  And at least one day a week should be "dress from the clean laundry basket" day.  I never fold towels... they go through the wash and right back on the hooks.  I'm going to add some jammie hooks in the bathroom so kid jammies can be worn more than once before they get washed. 

The Morning Exit:  I am NOT a morning person.  I only survive it by getting up first.  I need 20 minutes to exercise (or recline, moaning, on the couch) and 15 to shower and do my routine and have a cup of coffee.. then I can deal with other humans.  I've streamlined the HELL out of my wardrobe, makeup, hair & routine.  And I use a timer.  Kids will get dressed in 5 minutes if it is a beat-the-clock thing but I can yell at them 10 times and get no results.  And I have a little note (neatly printed, of course) by the front door telling kids what to remember.  It looks kinda like this:

Backpack, Water Bottle, Lunch, Snack,
Homework, Hat, Mittens, Sweatshirt

Monday:  Sweet Show-n-Tell
Monday:  Sweet PE Shoes
Tuesday:  Library Books
Tuesday:  Tuff PE Shoes
Thursday:  Sweet PE Shoes
Thursday:  Tuff PE Shoes
Friday:  Tuff Show-n-Tell

After School
Empty Backpack, Hang up Coat,
Put away Shoes, Snack, Homework

Hooks by the door for coats & backpacks, primary shoes on black plastic mat and a hanging basket on the closet doorknob for the most used pairs of hats & gloves.  A hook inside the coat closet for my purse and bag.  I seem to require carrying an additional bag for lunch stuff, take-to-work stuff, library books, etc.  Breakfast is required but can be creative.  What's the difference between a hotdog with a bun and sausage with toast?  Althought I do draw the line when comparing rice crispy bars with rice crispy cereal... call me a hypocrite.

Day 8: What kind of phone are you using? What apps do you love? List them and rate them.

Day 8:  What kind of phone are you using?  What apps do you love?  List them and rate them.

Motorola Barage.  The playskool phone.  It doesn't break.  A good thing.

I'd love a "smart" phone but it isn't in the budget right now.

I do enjoy the apps I have on my ipod touch.  And several Dr Seuss things are free at iTunes right now.  Scurry over and get them.....

Aussie Bites

M & Co.  asked about Aussie Bites.

They are little cookie-like things you buy at Costco.  My aunt apparently got some for my grandpa.  My dad ate them at his house.  While I was in Costco I called my mom to see if she needed anything for this weekend and my dad was also on the phone raving about Aussie Bites. 

I thought they were, possibly, dog treats.

He said they were little "muffin things" so I headed to the bakery.  No luck.  Then the regular bread section.  He was describing them as granola bar alternatives so I went to the granola bar section.  Finally, I was tired, so I asked for help.  Turns out they are (today anyway) in the center isle thingy near the frozen food section.  Right next to the brownie bites. 

I know what brownie bites are....

Here are the stats:

Ingredients:  Rolled Oats, Whole Grain Flour, Unsalted Butter, Sugar, Honey, Raisins, Dried Apricots, Sunflower Kernals, Flax Seeds, Shredded Coconut, Non-Hydrogenated Canola Oil, Baking Soda, Salt.

130 calories, 7 g of fat (3 saturated), 10 mg of cholesterol, 35 mg of sodium, 15 g of carb, 2 g of dietary fiber, 7 g of sugars, 2 g of protein.

They are very sweet and cookie-like. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Lunch It

So Tuff has been having a bit of a lunch time struggle.  She loves to pack her lunch but things have been BORING lately.  She may or may not have eaten a LUNCHABLE this weekend..... So we decided to GO BENTO.

I remembered the cheap-o biscuit cutter I bought was a 3-pack so I already had the perfect circle cutter (above top left).  So we did some turkey circles (Tuff immediately named them turcles) in the blue cupcake cup.  And a "cowbell" next to it.  Some delightful fancy crackers and an orange pepper in the red cupcake cup.  A clemintine and an Aussie Bite.  A hershey's kiss for dessert.

And a Happy Day printable from here.

I'll let you know how it goes.

The cost breakdown?  Well... I think I happily managed to spend about $100 on things to make a LUNCHABLE instead of spending a couple of bucks on an actual lunchable....

Costco shopping....
Mini babybels are $9.99 for 28.
Aussie bites are $8.59 for 32.
Mini peppers are $5.49 for 1.5 pounds.
Crackers are $7.99 for about 5 boxes (8.8 oz or so each).
Kirkland honey smoked turkey is $6.79/pound.
Clemintine oranges are $6.99 for 5 pounds.

So any thoughts on adorable packaging, cute containers and fantastic tiny foods for lunch?

I know matchstick-cut carrots & "pickle dollars" will be a hit.  I'm also planning some "pinwheels" with chopped turkey, cream cheese, tiny diced peppers & carrots in a tortilla.  She loves nuts so we will do some little cups of almonds.  (I wish I had an adorable tiny container.... must think on that... surely there is a tutorial on pinterest to make one out of scrapbook paper or something....)  And I got her some of her favorite jalapeno-artichoke dip... so we will create a lunch around that.  I have a box of mini food picks (from the dollar store) that are handy for making cute lunches.  This morning I sent her with a cloth napkin to put everything on when lunchtime comes because my mom remembers a student who had a mom who took lunch making to an artform and that was one of her tricks.

She wants a pizza lunchable.  As near as I can tell that means making a mini pizza crust and adding a side of sauce and a container of shredded mozzarella... it isn't even cooked.  Here's an example of a homemade one.  Anyone have thoughts on that?

And a good old can of Campbell's chicken noodle in a thermos is an easy option.  Especially if I've got some delicious breadsticks to put on the side.  We've also done noodles with parmesan in the thermos.  Seems to work ok.... a bit of carb-loading.

Day 7: A Video That Makes You Happy.

I like Hoodwinked 2.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Day 6: Five things that the younger generation is missing. What will you do to teach them and bridge the gap?

1.  The ability to dance with a partner.

2.  The joys of imagination and creative play.  Yes, we once took a chalkboard apart to make weapons and we were destructive... it is part of being creative.  Kids should be able to play for hours without a toy.

3.  Handwriting.

4.  Relaxation, being unplugged and just hanging out.  Everything is technology, schedules and attaining goals.  And we think watching tv is relaxation... it isn't.

5.  Doing dangerous things.  I'm a big fan of helmets.  I don't like tiny high-powered magnets, sucker sticks or dangerous chemicals under the sink.  But I was riding a 3-wheeler, hooky-bobbing behind a horse, building a sled from an old formica counter and I could drive a "big rig" by the time I was 12. 


Here's an interesting article that associates bedwetting and constipation.  The most interesting part is about how the colon can get stretched out and a kid can have regular bowel movements and still be constipated.