What's On Your Plate This Week?

Just so ya’ll don’t start to think that I haven’t been cooking since I'm a world traveler lately….here’s my food update:


Sunday: (yes, the day after we got back from vacation!) we had this chicken casserole, which I’m sure everyone here has made before. It’s the easiest dish to throw together and you have a lot of leeway on what you put in it.

I used: White rice, Cream of Mushroom soup (with garlic), carrots, peas (andrew picked out every single one and made discouraging remarks about each one he found), asparagus, green beans, and chicken breasts (boneless and skinless of course – cause that makes it less cannabilistic for me). Just throw it all in a pan – add water for the rice, and cover and throw in the hot oven for a bit. I think I typically cook most things at 350, I’m not sure why. I know my oven has other temperatures it can get to, but for some reason, 90% of the time the oven is used, it is heated to 350.
Monday: Pizza snacks. Fast and easy, love them. Used fresh onions, I like them!

Tuesday: Andrew had to work – so he had pizza snacks, I had mussamun curry, which I bought on the way home (YES, I know it is really easy to make).

Wednesday: Sloppy joes and fries for Andrew. I just had a few fries and a bowl of cereal. It was my work from home day and I snacked much too much to need to eat dinner!

Thursday: Chicken stir fry – with the extra veggies from Sunday: asparagus, carrots, peas (andrew begged me not to use, but then he was being a brat so I added some anyway cause if he’s making me miserable, why should I not add peas to make me happy?? I like peas!), green beans. I added mushrooms per request, but I’m not sure they did anything for it.

Friday: Is usually serve yourself night. Andrew is going out….with a girl….ugh.


I need new dishes to try....I'm going to look into this. Exciting, I know!!!

Oh---and I have a contest coming up....anyone want to go to the movies - FREE??? Sunday a contest starts for four free movie tickets!!!

OMG - Yaya Gave Me a Shout-Out

For those of you in the blogger world, you probably know about blog awards and you probably know who Yaya is....and if you don't, you should.

Yaya is one of the most popular non-d.ooce-level bloggers I know. Though I use the word "know" loosely.

These are some really great things about my homegirl Yaya:
She has orange hair, orange Ugh Boots, a special orange blanket, wears orange clothing quite frequently, and another gazillion things I could say that mostly involve the word Orange. She blogs a ton, she's very busy trying to get her uterus occupied or find a baby/child/teen to adopt, she's a wife, and everyone loves her. They really do. She's not writing for fame and she's not writing to get stuff (though who doesn't love free stuff!!). She just writes. And writes. And writes. A lot. She's funny! Really!!

What I really adore about Yaya though, other than the fact that she dances on camera uninhibited (and posts them as vlogs), but the coolest thing about my gal Yaya: she gets like 160 comments a day, maybe more...but she acknowledges your comments!

Sometimes I comment on a blog and the blogger only has like 3 comments...and I never hear a peep from them. They don't reply to my comment and they don't visit my blog. Which is fine...I'm not commenting to earn your friendship people....I comment cause I like to hear myself talk.
But Yaya, even as busy as she is----actually replies to your comments AND visits your blog. Go try it and see. Hmm....I hope she does this. I think she does!! Really....but um, dear Yaya - if you didn't' before, could you do it now so I don't make others feel bad? Thanks!

Annnnnnnnnnyway.....back to me - so Yaya posts one of her famously long blog posts and MY name is on it!!! And she gave me THIS:

Thanks Yaya. I heart you in all your orangeness.

And with this lovely award, I am obligated to complete this:

10 Honest Things About Me:

  1. I often feel like I should be doing more good in the world...and I often feel like others should at least care that they are not doing enough good in the world. (aka I'm a snob)
  2. I went through the check-out lane today and left the 20-lb container of kitty litter in my cart as I always do (it's heeeeeeeeeeavy!) and the rude lady didn't use her little wand thing to ring it up and I didn't really notice until I had already swiped my card and was loading my cart and I didn't double-check until after I left the store (did I mention she was rude??) and so essentially, I am a thief.
  3. I only paint my toenails if I know that they will be exposed to other humans.
  4. Someday I suspect I will be a crazy cat lady, cause I just love love my little furry friends!!!
  5. I often break out in song and dance while cleaning/cooking/driving.
  6. I have thoughts about writing a book someday.
  7. I didn't pressure-wash my deck and it badly needs it and now it's going to rain the next 5 months and I will probably have to replace half the boards in my deck next year because of my procrastination this summer.
  8. I swear a LOT at other drivers when I am driving alone.
  9. I usually drift off to sleep listening to the BBC and sometimes I dream in a british accent.
  10. I have not had bacon for at least 9 years and I have no recollection of what it tastes like.

And with that.....I'm now passing on the beloved Honest Scrap Award to.......

KYOOTY

Kyooty was the latest person on my blog to become a follower!
She's a mommy blogger who writes a lot of randomness and a lot of mommyness. She's a Canuk - they are gentle people. AND she's a fan of Diana Gabaldon, who I love! Go check her out.

Robin Williams - Please Call Me

Robin Williams
I love Robin Williams. I really do.

He's hilarious and I want to have him over for a bbq and games night. I know that he and I will make a great team.


So, dear sweet Robin, please call me. Let's set up a time that works.


Here's my schedule:


Weekdays aren't that great for me...I come straight home from work, make dinner, clean up from dinner, beat my teenager and spend some time screaming at him about picking up his trash or doing the one 10-minute chore that night. Sometimes I have to work at night, just an hour or two, but even if I don't, I always have to do something. I'm trying to spend a minimum of 30 minutes on the treadmill too, and I have at least 52 blogs to read.

Weekends are usually pretty good, though sometimes I get suckered into a football game or bingo night. This Saturday I have a volunteer event. In two weeks it's my sons birthday party...but really, that might be a great time for you to come by! Andrew is having about 5 or 6 friends over for the night and they are fairly enjoyable and you might really enjoy joining in their antics.


November is a good month - I have two volunteer events, but one is during the week. Oh, maybe you'd like to join us for Thanksgiving dinner!! You like turkey, right? I make the best mashed potatoes! And you won't have to bring a thing! A free meal, Robin!!! You don't really want to pass that up, do you?? It should be just about six of us. Should be a good time.


December is out - I have four volunteer events, work will be super-busy, and at some point I will have to finish shopping for Presents Day. You could probably join us for that - I think my entire family would welcome you. They are pretty open about me bringing friends home for the holidays.


I really think we should make this happen soon, Robin. It's been much too long and I have wanted to hang out for ages. You're welcome to stay at my house. I can beat the teen extra hard and have him clean his room and you can sleep on his futon. Usually the cat sleeps in there at night, but I think you might be a dog person so we'll lock Mr. Whiskers out that night.

Anyway, just drop me a line or pick up the phone - I'm ready to plan!!

Come Walk With Me...Through Our Trip to Puerto Vallarta!

I don't even know where to start...we had a busy, but not-so-busy week in Nuevo Vallarta....it was wonderful, it was slow-paced, it was quiet, it was peaceful.

Here's a wrap-up, cause I know some of you are tracking my every exciting step in life. I'm making it really easy for you to stalk me. You're welcome.
These are just some highlights. I'll post more details on a few specific things with pics later.

Sunday:
  • Woke up at 4am. Realized I am old and need more than 4 hours sleep to function at an appropriate level.

  • Journeyed to Puerto Vallarta, arriving at 3:45pm - realized there is a 2-hr time difference. Why didn't I know this?? I have seen a map before-I know Mexico is not due south of me!

  • Sweated out about two buckets through my travel clothes within 30 minutes of arrival.


  • Ate dinner, walked beach, relaxed in room, blahblah, fell asleep early.

Monday:
  • Sat through the stupid "we are not a time-share program(though they really are)" tour in order to get free tickets to the canopy adventure zipline tours - though I had planned on never strapping my only child to a metal wire and watching him jump off a high ledge in a forest.

  • Went to the bus stop to take a city bus to downtown Puerto Vallarta, but had a persistent taxi driver haggle with us until we got a half-price ride in his comfy car. Yay.

  • Walked the waterfront, shopped, took photos.
  • Sweated four more buckets. Started to question whether I brought enough shorts to last a week.

  • Dinner, walk on the beach, hotel show (traditional mexican dances-boring, but slightly interesting), shower, sleep a restless night filled with thunder, rain, more sweating.
Tuesday:

  • Canopy zipline tour - oh my god oh my god oh my god (is what I said as I flew on each of the 13 ziplines). Is this fun? Is this logical?? Yes, wait, this is fun! Wait, ohmygod-this is horrifying!! Should we be doing this??? Oh....wait, that was really fun! BEAUTIFUL location, right in the middle of Nowhere Mexico, way outside of normal civilization.

  • Regretted asking the safety guy to make my harness tighter about 35 minutes in....apparently a little wiggle room is important. Harnesses are not really comfortable. They should note this is in their brochure.

  • Sweated 18 buckets.

  • Best workout I've had all year - climbing hills, ladders, careening towards your death. I think I lost 5lbs...but nope, the harness is still tight.

  • Saw the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life. His web was like twine, like Kite Runner kite twine, coated in wax type....it was like an alien life form was walking amongst us. And they were ALL around us-all about this size.


  • Headed back to the hotel, showered, walked the beach, shared a margarita with my teenager (it's only a little illegal down there).

  • The nightly hotel show was really good! We were really impressed with it - it was like a cirque du'soleil show without 96% of the gymnastics and flying and such. It was like a play, but not a really-high class one, but a really well-put together one just the same. We really enjoyed this one.

  • Great sunset tonight! Yeah, we were inside during it....but it was still beautiful and well-appreciated!



Wednesday:
  • City Tour (it was free with the not-a-timeshare-program tour)- I would highly recommend you not do this tour. It might have been different due to the tropical storm (formerly known as Hurricane Rick-the-Vacation-Killer-Dick), but the tour was really sad. I'm really glad we didn't pay for this!
  • It rained about 7 million gallons of water today, but I still somehow managed to sweat an extra 17 buckets. How is this possible?? Who lives like this???
  • The vegetation here is AWESOME. I took about 50 photos of the greenery around us. If I lived somewhere with plants like this, my house would be overrun by plants and trees. The fauna is GORGEOUS!!
  • Spent a small amount of time lounging by the pool before dinner when the sun finally made an appearance.
Thursday:
  • This was our self-proclaimed beach day. No plans, nothing to do.
  • Except strap my only child to a parachute and let him be flown 900 feet in the air.

  • And we walked and walked on the beach. Collected rocks and shells and followed a beach bird for a bit.

  • And got sunburned. The Mexican sun rays laughed at our SPF 30.
Friday:

  • Dolphin day!!!!! We did the Trainer for A Day program at the dolphin center, and as expensive as it was---it was TOTALLY worth it. It was about twice as much as the dolphin swim program, but we were there with our own personal escort, one of the trainers, for five hours! More info on this later, but it was well worth every peso! And educational to boot - which means I can't lose parental points for taking my son out of school for three days. It was a perfect ending to the week.

  • Ate at our resorts reservation-only restaurant -an Italian meal- and was quite happy with it! Shared four desserts between the two of us. Fat, spoiled Americans, indeed.

  • One last walk on the beach. One last sunset. One last time combing the beach for shells.

Saturday:

  • Ick - travelled almost all day. Not fun.
  • Great to be home again!!!!

Put The Stereo Down and BACK AWAY!!!!

By the time you read this, I will be getting ready to head back from my glorious trip to Mexico.

Well, unless you read this after the weekend, in which case I will be busy sorting through photos, doing laundry, snuggling my kitties, shopping for groceries, and being sad that I have to go back to work/the real world.

Anyway, if you were planning on burglarizing or in some way harming my beloved new house---STEP BACK. I don't have anything that grand to steal anyway, so haha, sucker.


I know you all have missed me terribly. I hope you were able to focus on your real life while I was gone.

And stay tuned for the next 48 posts to be about Puerto Vallarta and (hopefully) how wonderful our vacation was (though I am taking a teenager with me and they are very unpredictable).

Just... Can't........ Look........... Away..........

This post could also be titled: Uninspired But Feeling The Need to Blog.

Shows that I have record on my DVR regularly:

1. House - best show in the universe or something (I heard this on tv so it must be true)

2. Survivor - yes, I watch every season, every episode. I don't care that much about the drama involved, but I do love the challenges (usually two an episode). And I really love looking at Jeff Probst. There's nothing bad about Jeff Probst. I just love him. I love his dimples and his smartass comments and his sense of humor (he has hosted on Regis and Kelly Lee Rippa a number of times) and his casual wardrobe and everything.

3. The Ellen DeGeneres Show - I know a lot of people don't like her---but she truly is a kind-spirit and she's a great dancer and she's a real person, I think that what you see is her true personality. And she's of an older generation---how many 50 yr olds act like her? She's just so laid-back and wonderful. Not wonderful in a Jeff Probst way, but wonderful in a lot of ways.

4. Dog The Bounty Hunter - no comment.

5. The Office - funniest show EVER. My son and I often debate who is the funniest: Jim, Dwight, or Michael. We laugh at/with them all. They are hilarious.

6. Heroes - It was better in the beginning, but it still is one of the best shows!

7. Amazing Race - EVERY season it just delivers.

8. Inside American Jail - interesting docu-show about the behind the scenes of the jail intake center at a few different locations around the U.S.

9. Shark Tank - I didn't think I would like this but I really do!! People with money to invest sit on a panel and listen to presentations by entrepreneurs who need investors for their product.

10. Daily Show with Jon Stewart - it's really a great way to get your news. Jon is my secret lifemate. I want to be with him forever and ever. I don't like some of the clips they show with their fake newsreporters, but his commentary an the guest interviews are great fun!

There are some other really quality shows, like Real World/Road Rule Challenge and New Adventures of Old Christine, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family that randomly record, but a lot of times we end up recording a bunch that just get deleted with no viewer love from our house.

What's on your DVR? (please tell me that you at least have a dvr....and that if you have Comcast you got that DVR free for at least 6 months, if not a full year)

Not Another Post About Balloon Boy

I believe it was a hoax....that's all I'm saying.
If I was going to talk about it, I would say something about how they didn't call the police first. But I'm not saying anything....because there has been enough said.

And just as a side note of this post that doesn't talk about the Balloon Boy - are we really the biggest embarrassment everywhere?? People in Australia and Kenya and Thailand and Madrid and all the other cool cities around the world never have crazy parents who make big Mylar balloons in their backyard and then shut down air traffic because they failed to keep track of their children and one might possibly be flying in their Mylar balloon (which magically is not affected by the weight of a child inside it).

Yep....there is nothing to be said about this Balloon Boy Incident.

Moving on.....

I'm Not a Thief...I Just Like to Borrow

Ira Glass
I found a website that hosts podcasts of This American Life!!!!

I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy!!! Really - look at all those O's!!!

AND why would I use up my maximum allowed number of exclamation points for the day if I really wasn't THAT happy??!!

If you like This American Life and my radio lovah, Ira Glass, you can load up on podcasts here.

Or you can find them on their website, but only that one weeks' episodes.
If you've not heard of him (where have you been???), he does this amazing hour long show where he interviews people or tells stories that just make you really think. His voice is the most soothing voice in all of the world, maybe the universe. If ever there is a natural disaster and the world is about to end, I would like Ira Glass to be the one to announce it. And the people he interviews tell their story, sometimes in just 7-12 minutes spurts with him talking in-between, in such an interesting way that you can't help be captivated. I have rarely ever stopped listening to a broadcast of This American Life in the middle, because once you start, it's like a can of Pringles...you can't stop. Really. You can't. And you shouldn't. Because Ira is wonderful.

Don't tell anyone about the podcasts though---cause if word gets around, they will be taken off the world wide web and I'll be mad at every one of you. ALL of you!!!

I love you Ira!!! (please call me!)

Girl You Know It's True.....

ooohh...ooooooooh....ooooooooooooooh....I love you!

Remember how great Milli Vanilli was? I know you do. It's okay to admit it now because it was so long ago. It's like admitting to a high school boy that you had a crush on him when you see him at the 20th high school reunion.

I love the music - you know you do too. With quality lyrics, who wouldn't love this song:


It lightens up my day, and that's oh so true.
Together we're one separated we're two.
To make you all mine, all mine is my desire.
'Cause you contain a quality, you that I admire

These feelings I get I often wonder why,
so I thought I might discuss this, girl, just you and I.
Now what you're wearing I don't care, as I've said before,
no reason that I like you, girl, just for what you are.

And the superior dance skills of the actors who portrayed Milli Vanilli were just out of this world.
milli vanilli
milli vanilli


You just don't see men in tall socks and long dress shorts dance like this. It's a dying art.








Push play...sing along. (feel free to dance as well)


I miss good music like this.

And just like how wonderful Milli Vanilli was, my young friend Alison is having a b-day today!! Please click on over to her blog and leave her some wonderful birthday wishes. Seriously - she's a new(ish) blogger and would love some comment love and IT'S HER BIRTHDAY!! (again already?) Girl, you know it's true..I love you (but not in a Milli Vanilli way..just a friendship way).

Random Thoughts Tuesday - Like a Trivia Game, But With Harder Questions

randomtuesday

If you aren't aware about The Unmom (aka Keely), click the button above and go check her out. She's funny. But be forewarned, her blog has about 7million dots, don't look directly at them or you will see them all week.
  1. I bought some a palm tree potted plant type thing. It came with something that looks like black duct tape on the top of the tree stem type thing. I don't know if I'm supposed to take this off. Really people - should I take this off???
  2. I don't understand why Otin's blog takes me to the very bottom of the blog when I hit the spacebar to go down a little bit....It's frustrating me. I like to utilize all keys on the keyboard. The spacebar is one of my favorites!! I don't really know him that well to confront him - can someone else do so? Thanks!
  3. Can someone tell me why teeth have to suck so bad?? I hate everything about teeth!!! I have a sensitive spot on one -and I am NOT going back to the dentist before Mexico!!! I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it!!
  4. I don't know why Yaya isn't pregnant - I have thought really long and hard positive thoughts for her and her unoccupied uterus. I just heard that an old friend of mine had trouble conceiving as well, and a cousin of ours had the same issue. And yet, a young 18 year old who looks just like me (or maybe is me) was able to get pregnant without ever entertaining the idea that having a baby was a good idea.
  5. Why is it almost the end of the year already?
  6. I guess I'm supposed to do something to "winterize" my yard. I thought that meant to prepare to build snowmen, which means you should rake. There's nothing worse than trying to build a snowman and having your big ball of snow roll through leaves and get all dirty. Feel free to let me know something I am supposed to do beyond this. I don't really want to have to google it myself.
  7. Should it really take 90 minutes for an electric blanket to get hot?
  8. I am afraid of sharing with everyone that I am going to Mexico VERY SOON because I think someone will track me down and do something malicious while I'm gone. But a gazillion bloggers I know do share this type of information and I have not yet heard of anyone having their house burglared or their patio furniture molested due to blogging about their vacation. Am I the only one concerned about this??

Weekend Wrap-Up.....Mexico is Fast Approaching!!

Busy weekend!!!

I went out with a friend on Thursday night and had a great time!! I don't drink much, but now and again, it is fun to throw back a few. **The key is to only throw back a FEW, or I will most likely throw up a few.**

I left my 16 yr old home alone, for really the first time. I am pretty sure he didn't have any raging party while I was gone. I am not going to say it would be payback for certain things I may or may not have done when I was his age. He's a good kid in most ways, so I don't really doubt that he did nothing illegal and/or immoral over the course of the night (though I could be wrong).

Friday I did not have to work (yay!) and came home to lounge about, then I got a bag ready and left my 16 yr old home alone AGAIN (great parenting, yeah?) to drive three hours north to the city where I went to high school and met up with two of my close friends from high school: Cherry and Loda. I have not seen them for about 14 years. We stayed up until 3am chatting and talking and reliving the last decade and a half of our lives. How is it so easy to lose touch with people?? Oh, because we didn't always have email. Life was rough back in the old days. I adore these girls and they have made so much of themselves. I hope it will not be 14 years before we see each other again.

We wandered about and parked next to this van that someone had written "Danni was here", but then someone else had crossed off Danni and wrote in their name Eagan I think it was. So we crossed off Eagan and wrote in our names: "Kaylen, Cherry and Loda" Fun!
writing on carsWe went to a little bakery where I found some yummy cookies. You know how sometimes you really want a sugar cookie, and they are in the shape of a smiley face, but you don't FEEL as happy as a big yellow sugar cookie? Luckily, they make sad faces for those days.
happy face cookies
I stopped by my parents house for a very brief time, during which my mom tried to show me 100 years of family history. We made it through a fair amount, but I would love to spend more time browsing her papers. It's amazing how much stuff she has from the past - I don't think I have anything that can compare that I will be able to pass on to my son. Here's a couple things she has - original versions!! Very cool!

Western Union message 1946


A Western Union from 1946!! This is an unfortunate way to hear that your dad has died!!!


memorial card 1928


This is the little memorial card that they handed out for a funeral (I think) - from 1928. I have no idea who this man is - but how very cool!!! I guess he was born in 1851, if I'm doing my math right (which doesn't always happen). And this is the original paper from 1928! That's so old!!!

And then it was home to my teen, who I suspect did not have a party for another night (as far as I can tell).

Remember those days when your parents left town while you were in high school?

Did anyone out there NOT have a party, or open Christmas presents early and then rewrap them, or just stay out too late doing certain things you would not want your mom to know?

Click the comment button below to share how responsible and mature you were and help assure me that my son was as wonderful as I want to believe he was. Best comment wins a great prize of being recognized as The Best Story in a Comment for October!! Who doesn't want that prize??

Yoplait Giveaway Winners!

Thanks for playing along - we have our winners!

Winner #1:
(um, yeah, I'll throw it out there that this is my friend Ali - and I SWEAR I did not rig this contest, she really just won on her own luck!!!)



It's a new reader!
Congrats to you both!!! I've sent you an email, but MyBlogSpark will contact you to get your mailing address. Enjoy!

Book Review: Show of Hands by Anthony McCarten

Show of Hands is a pretty good book. It's not at the top of my scale...well, I don't have a scale, but if I did, this one would be in the mid-range.

It's a quick and easy read, I finished it in just a few hours. It's 240 pages, but it's just a little paperback so the pages turn fast.

I was walking through the library and it happened to catch my eye. The cover pages mean a lot to me, if I don't have any interest in the cover, I don't pick it up unless I had a reason to do so. You know how some people say you can't judge a book by its cover? That doesn't hold true for me in the library. I judge them all by their cover and I expect that cover to rope me in and make me reach out and grab that book. And this one did for some reason. What's ironic about this is that the book is about people who try to win a vehicle at a car dealership by keeping their hand on it the longest. The morning show I listen to (Rick Emerson - great show!) just happened to be having a similar contest that started the day after I picked this up from the library! I know - crazy, right? That's real irony, not Alanis Morrissette irony.

Anyway, this book is based on an interesting concept - who are these people who actually participate in contests where they have to suffer sleep deprivation and compete in a mundane contest that involves very little skill. It follows a number of characters who participate, though the main focuses are two of the contestants, both of whom I liked, but overall, I didn't feel like I really knew well enough. The charcters were just .... blah. I didn't really get to know any of them well. I knew a lot of them a little bit, but I kept hoping to feel more connected to one of them. At least one of them.

There were a lot of side dynamics going on throughout the book - the young widow with the handicapped child (who was barely mentioned), the auto dealer hosting the contest who introduced us to his mistress for just about 9 lines spread throughout the book, the ex-soldier who was a big-talker and maybe not so honest....I've almost told you every detail you are given in the book about these people. They just don't rope you in and make a connection with you, but you want them to! You really do!!

One of the parts of the story that came up multiple times was that one of the contestants woudl sprint to a fast-food place down the road on their 7-minute break (maybe it was 5). EVERY time this came up, I could ONLY think: why would he even have to do this?? There was supposedly a crowd watching, and family members cheering them on---wouldn't one of THEM go get them food/drinks/coffee?? It just seemed like it didn't fit and it was mentioned multiple times. It irritated me. It just didn't make sense.

Overall, I would say you would enjoy this book if:
  1. You want a light read that you don't have to pay much attention to.
  2. You don't like books that give you very in-depth information about the characters early-on in the story.
  3. You are given this book and have a couple hours to spare.
  4. You were ever a contestant in a contest where you have to keep your hand on a car.

Last Chance to Enter the Giveaway

Today is the very last chance to enter the Yoplait Giveaway!
Go here and enter before midnight! I'll post the winners on Friday.
HURRY!!!

Babies are Not for Sale....Unless you are Famous

This is a really interesting/sad/disturbing news story about a family who adopted a baby from Africa. They already had three children and adopted a baby boy because they always wanted a big family and felt they could really help a child from Africa.
Lovely story thus far.

But after 18 months of living with this child, they decided that it just wasn't going to work out, and they gave the baby up for adoption to another family.

Whoa, what????
Huh?
Does this really happen????

I am FULLY condensing the story of what was most likely a very hard decision for a family who was probably going through some very serious issues and life trauma of unimaginable kinds (I assume), and they had to make this heart-wrenching decision to give up the new baby who was just NOT bonding with the family.

I don't want to make light of whatever situation the family went through, as I really have very little information beyond the report, however - in what situation is it ever okay to do this??? I'm just appalled.

I don't even know what else to say on this....it just makes me sad.
I try to see it from the family's point of view....what if it was a good friend of mine....and I really think that I would not support the decision to give up the child. What if you have a biological child and it doesn't bond? What if it isn't born healthy? What if it just doesn't get along with your other children after two years of trying? What if your first born doesn't bond with your new baby? Do you give up that child?

I just Do Not Get THIS!!

I'm sad for the family. But I'm more sad for the child.

Random Thoughts Tuesday - Put Down the Twinkie and Pick up the Cupcake

randomtuesday
Random Thoughts Tuesday is hosted by Keely. You can read other random thoughts by clicking above.

Diana Gabaldon Outlander bookI went to a book store last night to meet one of the greatest authors, Diana Gabaldon.
She told some wonderfully funny stories and explained how she came to be an author and the history of her books. And I just LOVE her.

If you don't know of her, it is time to come out from under the rock and go to your local library and pick up the first in her Outlander series, aptly titled Outlander. It's from 1991, so the library will have it. There will probably be 20 copies actually, because the library probably has 40 of them because it is a GREAT book! I'm not kidding.





I don't understand the Jay Leno Show - how is this different from the Tonight Show??? I just don't get it. It's the SAME show!! I'm not a big Leno fan.



My cat likes to lick plastic. I think this is fairly normal for some cats. The other day there was a small plastic candy wrapper in her poop. It was a kind of candy neither my son or I think has been in our new house. That would mean that this particular piece of plastic took about 4.5 months to make it through Ginger's body. This was not an intended experiment, but it does have very interesting results. And who knows what else will come out of her....



I busted out the electric blanket this week. It has been COLD. I don't want to turn the heat on in the house. I think the blanket is much cheaper.



I want a 2nd job, just part-time, to bring in some money to pay for my lavish lifestyle. I'd like it to be something I can do online, something I can do while I watch mindless television, something I can do in my pajamas, and something that pays big money. If you hear of anything, please email me directly. Thanks!

Recipe of the Week: It's a 7-Layer Dip Kind of Day

This is one of our family favorites.

It's cheap, it's easy to make, and the leftovers are great for days. This is something I like to make if I know that I am going to be away for dinner the next day and want something easy the kid can make for himself.

It doesn't have to be a super fatty dish, here, let me help you...

You'll need:

Cheese. I buy the pre-shredded low-fat 4-blend kind.

Salsa.
Whatever kind you like. I suppose a total foodie would make their own. This is not me.

Refried beans.
I buy the no-fat traditional or the no-fat zesty salsa.




Beef: Ugh. This is definitely not necessary (ever). My son loves this with beef, so I humor him. I tried it with ground turkey one time for a healthier option, but he rejected it. I suspect he rejected it mostly because he saw it and knew about it...I should have just hidden the change from him.

For our house, I always make two separate pans of this - one with beef, one without. Because I'm enlightened about the wrongness of eating red meat. I don't force this particular enlightenment on others.


Sour cream. I buy a light container and a fat-free container and combine them so there's still flavor, but not as much fat. I can't really tell the difference from the full on yummy goodness of sour cream if I mix the two.



Guacamole. This is something I don't go light on. Do they even make a low-fat guacamole? Probably not. And if so, it probably isn't good. Guacamole is a gift from the heavens, we shouldn't reject it! I did try to use just avocado, thinly sliced - I thought it would make it a little healthier than the guacamole and it would also help my 7-layer dip be thicker. Mission failed - don't try that at home.


Green onions are a must have. Fat-free right? And this counts as a vegetable I think. Veggies=healthy!





This is easy to throw together and takes about five minutes once you have all the supplies ready.
It's just a matter of layering the ingredients, hence the name "7 LAYERS."
The only part we do slightly special is to mix the salsa and the sour cream together, like this:

This is also a yummy alternative to serving just salsa at a party.

The layers go down this way:
Refried beans on the bottom, beef (if you must), green onions, guacamole:
Then the sour cream/salsa mixture, I added diced tomatoes on mine, and then cover with a layer of cheese.




Heat in the oven at 350 (cause I cook almost everything at 350) just until the cheese melts.
DONE!!!

Eat with the (mega-expensive) baked tortilla chips and call it good.

I also want to try this with a layer of lettuce. I think I should actually just serve it over lettuce and get rid of the tortilla chips altogether.
You could also add olives, if you haven't been enlightened that they are not tasty.

Anyone else make this?

Anyone have anything else I should be adding?

Weekend Wrap Up - Bulleted Edition

  • I went to my first high school football game since maybe 1991 on Friday night. It was actually my first time going to a football game of any kind since 1999. That's a full decade with no live football games! I went because my friend had to go (dedicated moms unite!) - and it wasn't horrible. It was fun just hanging out, but without the right company, it would be miserable. Football does not interest me.
  • Saturday was games night with friends at my house. We had a good group of people - played some of my favorite games: Cranium and Catch Phase (the little handheld electronic one).
  • Between six of us, we said the word Anus 3 times (this would NEVER ever be a word you need in either game) and Slut at least 110 times (again, would NEVER be needed in either game). You might say that there some drinks consumed in the course of the evening.
  • We could NOT stop playing Catch Phrase and there were four of us that played deep into the night, nearly falling asleep before finally calling it quits at 3:30am. FUN!!!!
  • Today was lazy and wonderful. I slept in, I read the paper, I watched some tv, I did lots of laundry and now I'm going to do a couple hours of work to help ease the stress of my workload for the week.

Our Mexico trip is fast approaching!!!!!!!!

Book Review: Mercy Papers by Robin Romm

Two book reviews in one week??
Yes - because I was sick and spent a lot of time laying down with my eyes half-closed.

The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks (Robin Romm) was sad--but it wasn't a shocking sad, because you know right from the start that it is about a woman's life during the time when her mom was dying. Nothing upbeat about that...

Robin was really close with her mom, who had been sick for many years. Cancer. I hate cancer.

So Robin lived most of her adult life with her mom as a sick mom, fighting off lumps and trying different extreme treatments.

This was really sweet and so well-written. Robin is just laying it out there in this book - recounting her thoughts of trying to bargain with god-offering up her left leg if her mom could live, or willing to give up 3 yrs of her own life for just a few more months with her mom.

It's not an overly religious book (or I probably would not have enjoyed it), but it is about facing death and people tend to turn towards a higher power, don't they? I think so.


The author talks about her family and friends are handling the grief and how she feels like none of them understand, because it is not THEIR mom--it is a friend, or a relative--but not their MOM, and you will never have another mom.

She also talked about Hospice and I found that interesting - lesson from this: You really need to take charge of your own medical care, or in this case-take charge of your family's medical care. The hospice nurse encouraged them to give more and more medicine, which was causing problems that nearly killed the author's mom, and the nurse just made it clear that there's no need to suffer. While that is true, there is also no reason to end things faster than they need be.

I don't usually quote books, but when reading, I noted this one section where she talks about how the outside world is foreign to them and people talk about stuff that doesn't matter:

If we are going to use our tiny reserve of energy to strike up a
conversation with a stranger, well, it might as well be with God. No one else is
useful. Not that God is being very useful - up there punching buttons on his
death remote, smirking away.
There's another part where her boyfriend's birthday is approaching and she is hoping that her mom doesn't die too close to, or even on, his birthday, for then every year after, she would never be able to show happiness and joy for him during his birthday celebrations and it wouldn't be fair to him. It's true....you would always think of the two together.

This was a touching book. I wouldn't recommend reading it if you are close to someone who is dying, but maybe if you are already in mourning it would be helpful. I am not the most empathetic person in the world, but this book made me shed a few tears, so don't read it in a coffee shop.

This is a good read if:
  1. You're in need of a good cry.
  2. Want a short book to make you think about life in general.
  3. If you have a friend who is suffering a loss---it will help you relate to them.
  4. If you hate cancer and want more ammunition for your hatred.

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