Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Son

Son turns 16 today. His Christmas money is going towards his driver's ed class. We pay half like we did for his siblings before him. He will find a job and pay for his own insurance and gas if he wants to drive.
Right now he is at the movies with hubby. Hubby took the kids to see Tron while I went grocery shopping.
Son couldn't decide what his birthday meal should be but dessert would definitely be double chocolate mocha trifle. I'm making big beefy burgers, french fries and corn. That works he says. I think once he is out of the house I will never eat corn again.
Happy Birthday son, you are quit the young man.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What happened?

When I was little my brother and I were the only kids in the family. My dad insisted that we stay home and if everyone wanted to see us the could come over. Christmas Eve my Dad's parents came to visit and bring presents. Yeah! Grandpa would bring Grandma home (she didn't like crowds) and come back. My mom's parents and brother would arrive to spend the night. They would all play cards until the wee hours of the morning. We would set out a highball and cookies for Santa and try and sleep. And at the break of dawn we would wake the newly sleeping relatives up. In the afternoon we might walk across the street to the neighbors and there were lots of naps. It was a day filled with wonder and joy and was my favorite holiday for years to come.

When I was older I would search for the perfect presents, wrap everything all pretty, bake tons of cookies and have fun.

Then I grew up. I long for the days of family coming together, playing and laughing. I can't tell you a single present I received but I can tell you who was there. OK, I do remember the easy bake oven. That's because I thought it was such a girlie thing and my macho uncle helped me bake my first cake.

Now, my parents (bless them for causing no stress) let me pick a time we can celebrate (as long as it's before they migrate South on the 26th). We had Christmas Eve breakfast. It was yummy and relaxed. I spent the afternoon making a vegetarian lasagna for SIL1 and scalloped sweet potatoes for my girlfriends open house. The Christmas Eve open house is casual, a buffet of luscious simple food and no pressure. Christmas day I was given special privilege to show up at my brother's before noon so I could see my niece and nephew and deliver presents before going to my in-laws. My brother took Christmas as his holiday (I have Thanksgiving and Mom has Easter) yet, he wants it to be a quiet family day without extended family. My parents sit at home waiting until the appointed time.

Then it's off to my in-laws. I feel bad for MIL and FIL - they want that warm fuzzy holiday with all of their kids and it's just not warm and fuzzy. My hubby has hardly any relationship with his siblings. It's not that they fight or anything - they're just not close. BIL's kids are constantly text messaging or on their lap top (even through dinner). Then BIL and his family took off into the other room to watch the Celtics game. We saw them briefly when they gave out presents. Several years ago we decided that we would not exchange presents - the cousins just wanted to get together. This has worked beautifully. We were just shuffling gift cards around that none of us could really afford to buy. For what ever reason SIL1 decided she was buying gift cards this year. BIL gave us the heads up. I said I could not afford it and I would not be doing the same. SIL2 said she could not afford it either, And I knew this would happen SIL2 felt bad that SIL1 was buying her kids gift cards so she gave each of the kids presents(cash). So here I sat as all the cousins (our kids) received presents and I had nothing to hand out. And I didn't care. I hope that SIL1 and SIL2 explain that we decided not to exchange gifts and that we don't have the money but then again who cares. MIL was on my side in this one. FIL was beside him self with the electronics not being turned off and their dog making it impossible for his cat to use the litter box. Or maybe it was how he was informed that basketball would be watched at his house on Christmas whether he liked it or not (OK, not in so blunt of terms but you get the idea).

And the joy of the holidays that I remember as a kid are a beautiful memory that will never be recaptured. And maybe they shouldn't.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There is hope

My girlfriend called the other day to say she had something to cheer my bah hum bug. Her 7 y/o son gave her a letter to mail to Santa but said she couldn't read it. This is what it said:

Dear Santa,
When I was helping mommy put out the decorations the box was really heavy and landed hard. When I tried to play mommy's music box it was broken and mommy was sad. Could you bring my mommy a new music box so she will be happy.
Thanks, T

I tear up every time I think about it. That is the true meaning of the holiday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Question

As the counselor sits and listens to the kids complain that I'm a bitch - I make them do chores and they get in trouble for lying. And they are mad at Hubby because they haven't seen their mom. Hey, bio is the one that moved and has come back to visit or ask for the kids to visit.
The counselor says, "how come no one is mad at mom?"

No one could answer that for a second week in a row.


My guess - because we can be mad at Kim and Daddy and they will still love us. If we're mad at mom I'm not sure she will.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bagger

I hate that the grocery store I frequent has baggers. I ran a grocery store front end for 17 years and maybe they should go back to training people how to bag. I really would rather bag my own - much more efficient and way faster. But most of all I wouldn't get this....

Dear Mr, Bagger,

I completely loaded the belt with my groceries so I could give you the carriage and my bag full of bags to put my groceries in. I have a bazillion bags. No, I do not want you to put the items you think might spill into one of your plastic bags. Put them all in one of my bags. And no, I don't mind washing one of my bags if something spills. Actually I prefer to do that than have one more bag added to the landfill. And by the way I do wash my bags (not every time) to keep them clean even if something doesn't spill.
Thanks,
Trying to Do my part to Save Mama Earth
P.S. Do you know how much your plastic bags cost the store? If everyone stopped using them my grocery bill might go down.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Strong Women

I read this quote from Doris Roberts this morning and had to share.

On praise for strong women

"What's the alternative? Being a weak women? What do you get from that? Nothing. I'm strong because I beleive in what I do. When I put my head on the pillow at night, I know I have not hurt anybody. That's my message to people: Don't hurt anybody. Know what you're about. Keep learning. Don't shut down. Don't give in. Don't give up. Don't settle. Find what you like to do and do it."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving

It was the best Thanksgiving I've had in a few years. I don't know how the rest of my household feels but....

Hubby was working (midnight shift) so he slept all day and I planned dinner for 5 PM. My brother dealt with the change in time (it has been 1 PM since the dawn of time) .

Hubby's family couldn't make it. I didn't really invite them (after last years fiasco). MIL assumed that we would come to her while hubby slept. I said I'd like to have dinner with my hubby when he woke up. OK, maybe we (MIL & FIL) will come for dessert. Sounds good. She called this past week end to say that dessert was out because her guests would probably stay late and that SIL was coming to her house when she was done with her in-laws. I wish I could say I was disappointed.

With fewer people (only 13) I had less prep work to do. And with dinner later in the day it was a breeze. I went to bed early Wednesday night (OK, so it was my normal early time) and woke up early Thursday. By the time the kids came down stairs I had three pies baked and the dressing prepped. All the prep work was done by 10 and I relaxed with the girls.

When asked a few weeks ago what foods the kids would like for Thanksgiving the answers were:
Oldest - butternut squash
Son - pickled garlic
Youngest - pumpkin pie

So all of that was on the menu along with turkey, sausage dressing, cornbread and wild mushroom dressing, mashed potatoes, creamed onions (not boiled - yuk), brussels sprouts, cranberry horseradish sauce, pecan pie and apple pie. My mom brought wine and turnip (I refuse to make it even though people like it) , My SIL brought sweet potatoes and green bean casserole (my brother's must have) and my Aunt brought a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

The pickled garlic is served on the tray with the green and black olives. It has become a family tradition. When I was a kid my mom made pickled green beans. They always had a clove or two of garlic on the bottom of the jar. I would always dig for the garlic. One year my mom made me a few jars of pickled garlic. Yeah!!! I used the last of my jars last year. So, I tried my hand at pickling it myself. Really, pretty easy, Son was thrilled and so was my brother. The recipe made 5 pint jars so I sent brother home with one. People think I'm strange when I mention it but, I've since learned that pickled garlic is common in Greece and other countries.

And in spite of the stress going on lately - the drama that is too painful or annoying to even blog about yet - I am very thankful.

I have an amazing husband. My kids are all healthy. Work is good. My friends are the best. I have a comfortable home and food on the table. My family though a little crazy (like I'm not - LOL) is very supportive. And my in-laws although they drive me crazy sometimes are really good people. And I got hugs and kisses from the two cutest kids who call me Auntie Kim.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rats

One of the girl's at work told another that she can't say she doesn't give a rats ass if she doesn't own a rat. I said I didn't give a fiddler's fart but I didn't have a fiddler. This was my source of amusement for the day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yeah for Friends (and Mom)


I got my oil changed yesterday morning. While sitting reading (Tolstoy for those wondering) waiting for George to finish up and guess who walks in..... T. We were best friends in high school, dated on and off through our mid 20's and we last saw each other for lunch before we each got married - the first time - some 15 years ago. We keep in touch via e-mail, facebook and holiday cards. What a breath of fresh air.

Then I was off to visit a girlfriend. She's in nursing school and I haven't seen her since the semester began kicking her arse. After catching up we headed to the ice skating rink where she teaches. I haven't skated in a decade but was excited to go. I loved to ice skate growing up. I didn't fall and by the end I had my skate legs back on. I don't do anything fancy and certainly no jumps but, forwards, backwards and stuff. Another breath.

Mom came for dinner at night. Dad's away at the races and she's living it up. I made salmon for us and steak for the rest of the family. Dad won't let her cook salmon at home. He says it smells. And I must say it came out really freakin' good. I grilled it with a little salt and pepper and topped it with a mustard dill sauce that I winged.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A day off

Thursday oldest headed out with boyfriend to hang out. I don't think they really do much. Son went hiking with girlfriend. So, I took youngest out. No sense sitting home and to heck with cleaning. The black fur tumbleweeds will be there (and larger) when I return.

We had gone to a large mall to walk around a few months back. Youngest asked to go back and look in the t-shirt shops. The kind of shops that play music really, really loud and with rather bad language. So, I suggested we try a different mall. We entered through the book store so we could end our adventure there.

She wandered in and out of shops - looking at t-shirts, video games and comic books. We ate lunch in the food court. She had her grande nachos. And they had a huge carousel (my favorite ride). It not only had horses of various sizes but lions, tigers, lions and bears (oh my). She wanted to ride a tiger. So, off we went. The attendant was on break so the line was rather long when we got on. Youngest didn't get a tiger and picked the lion. It didn't go up and down. She was rather disappointed. I offered to get her another token to ride the tiger. She was thrilled. She even got the white tiger that she wanted. I love that she is still young enough to be thrilled by the carousel and I got to go too. That was a real moment of connection. Note to self - need to have more child like fun in my life.

So, we ended at the book store. The first book she picked out was $45.00. A complete illustration of the looney tunes. Great book but not today. So, we both wandered and read and looked. I found a new book (go figure) and a couple for son for Christmas - one about a marine and one about the zombie war. Youngest settled on a Japanese style comic book. She devoured it and made a point the next day to get up early and ask if I could go back and buy the second one in the series. Uh, no. First, I'm working and second, you can put it on your wish list.

Then headed home for dinner. I made some big juicy burgers and youngest picked broccoli as a side.

What a great day.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Wontons

These were a huge hit last night. They're easy to make - just take a little time. I took the recipe I found and changed it up a little to make it easier.

1 12oz. can chicken
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/3 cup hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot)
handful of shredded cheddar
two handfuls shredded mozzarella
salt & pepper
60 wonton wrappers
Oil for frying

Flake chicken with a fork. Add garlic, hot sauce, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well. Put a teaspoon of filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Dip your finger in water and wet the four borders of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over to make a triangle shape. Squeeze out the air as you press the edges together. Heat oil in a large dutch oven to 365 degrees. Slip wontons in a few at a time. Do not crowd the pan. As soon as they turn brown flip them over and brown the other side. It takes about a minute on each side. I served this with ranch dressing (for hubby) and homemade blue cheese dipping sauce.

Hubby liked them and he's not a fan of buffalo wings. Because you can't put too much filling in or they will burst they just had a hint of heat. I'd probably add more hot sauce to mine next time.

According to the recipe once they are cooked you can freeze them and reheat on cookie sheets in the oven at 350 degrees until they are heated through and crisp. I made my earlier in the day and reheated them in the oven and it worked out great.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Disconnected

I gathered with friends last night. It was good. Really good, fantastic actually. The laughter that bubbles up from this group is good for the soul. We also share our sorrows and encourage one another. Someone mentioned that they needed to remember how to have fun. That is something I can relate to.

I get so caught up in the day to day, the schedules, the housework (hubby does way more than his fair share thank all that is holy), the kids and dinner and...... I'm in my head way too much. I get that from my Daddy. When it comes to letting go and being in the moment I often feel disconnected. To busy holding back the tears.

Last week we went hiking. Hiking is good. I've missed that. And hubby seems to have caught the bug. If weather permits we will be hiking again tomorrow. Yeah! It's hard to feel disconnected in the midst of mother nature's embrace.

This afternoon I will be in my zone cooking for guests. So, a morning at the spa, an afternoon of cooking, an evening with friends and hiking with my honey tomorrow. Just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dona nobis pacem

Peace to you!

Last year I took part in my first blogblast for peace. This year I continue to blog for peace. I try though I am not always successful to provide a peaceful environment for friends, family, pets and nature. I strive for peace within myself so that I may spread the seeds of peace around me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The TV is Off

The kids had no school yesterday and are off again today for teacher in-service. I came home from work yesterday and youngest was plunked in front of the box of mind numbing crap or MNC as I commonly refer to the TV. She's not even watching anything in particular as the remote gets a workout in her hands. She looked like a blob - eyes droopy and all. After supper I sent her to work out with hubby and she spent some time on the treadmill.

Today I'm home and she is NOT spending 8 hours watching MNC. The other kids seem to be able to occupy themselves. Youngest and I spent over an hour playing on the wii. I suck at skateboarding and juggling in case you were wondering.

Tonight we get to sell Girl Scout cookies. Other than cookie order time which starts in January Girl Scouts can sell cookies on election day. Their rules are rather bizarre (they even limit the dollar amount of donations a troop can receive). I'll vote at the same time - no sense making two trips.

Friday night EC is coming for dinner with his girlfriend. I've been trying to decide what to make. I think I've settled on baked shrimp scampi, twice baked potatoes and a pumpkin cheesecake. EC's bringing a salad. And as an appetizer I think I'm trying a new recipe - buffalo chicken won tons. I'll let you know how they turn out. Tonight son is making dinner - a free form pork pie.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Birthday




Yesterday was hubby's birthday. We are now the same age (again). Those 27 days makes a real difference.
It was a very early morning in our house. Hubby had a agreed to let boyfriend and girlfriend spend the night. Youngest had a friend over as well. The boys were to sleep downstairs and the girls upstairs. Girlfriend's Dad called and asked us about it. Her parents went up many points in my book for being concerned parents. I made hubby sleep with the door open and the sound machine off. You said they could stay now we can monitor them. Hubby told boyfriend that he could move when I was awake and that no one would be going upstairs before 7. They could use the bathroom downstairs. The dog woke me up at 5:30. I fed her in the dark and let her out. Now the boys were already awake. Next thing I know they have both gone upstairs and crawled in bed with their girlfriends. This woke up the two younger kids and my dragging them back downstairs made sure the rest of the house was awake. But, your husband said.... I highly doubt my husband said for you to crawl in bed with his daughter under our roof.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not naive. If they are going to have sex they already are. But, I'm not going to encourage it or sit by and watch.
So, instead of a relaxing cup of decaf in the quiet of the early hours I was starting breakfast. I made sausage gravy with cheddar cheese biscuits, baked oatmeal with cranberries and eggs. Once everyone cycled through the showers we headed to the hiking trails. It was a beautiful fall day and a lovely hike. No one got hurt in spite of trying to show off by jumping and sliding on wet leaves. And plans were made to hike some more (at least for hubby and me).

Naps were had by most in the afternoon while I cooked supper and baked a cake. The birthday person gets to choose the meal and dessert in our house. Youngest's friend said she wants to come here for her birthday and have tacos.
So, the meal of choice was spaghetti with meat sauce. I prefer tomato sauce with meatballs so meat sauce is a rare occurrence in our house. I made garlic bread with a loaf of french bread and a garlic compound butter. And the dessert was a white layer cake with white frosting. Even the chocolate lover's enjoyed it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Week End Away


This past week end hubby and I went to the Cape with no kids. We left Friday morning after the kids left for school and came home Sunday. The kids and the dog stayed with MIL.

We went to the Kennedy museum, visited all the cute shops, walked along the wharf, saw a few light houses, ate really good and sipped a few cocktails.

What we didn't do was discuss the kids. It was our week end. It was wonderful!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Bad Mom

First read the previous post so you know what a good mom is...

A bad mom takes in four children she didn't birth, she changes her work schedule to spend more time with them, she attends every parent teacher conference, school, function and sports game, she takes them on vacation and buys season tickets to the theatre, she provides them with their own bedroom painted in their favorite colors, she makes sure that they have clothes that fit and are washed, she makes sure they have nutritious food to eat, she volunteers to help with all of the organizations her kids belong to, she loves and supports their dad, she teaches them to cook and be responsible, she misses days from work to care for them, she takes them to all of their doctors appointments, she puts them in one of the best school systems in the country and helps them achieve their goals, she always tells them the truth, she sets rules and wants to know where her kids are, she is concerned for their safety and well being, she loves them even when she doesn't like them

A Good Mom

Just in case you were wondering what a good mom is let me tell you.

A good mom smokes through her entire pregnancy, she gets pregnant on purpose to snag a husband, she lies about everything, she teaches her children to lie and keep secrets, she poisons their minds against their father, she is her child's best friend and tells them exactly what they want to her, she never tells them the truth, she laughs when her infant son is found playing in the highway, she sleeps or plays on the computer rather than watches her children, she doesn't teach them to cook, she provides plenty of ramen noodles for them to eat as long as they heat themselves, she locks them in a closet for a week end if they do not cry when she disciplines them, she promises the world and delivers nothing, she puts them in front of the TV for days on end, she lets them watch R rated horror flicks starting as infancy, she refuses to take them to the beach in the summer because it is too hot out, she is annoyed that the school no longer sells soda, she does not value school or education, she blames the court for not having custody, you encourage your teen age daughter to live with her boyfriend, beds are optional, clothes that fit are optional, paying for anything for your child is unheard of, being annoyed that your kids had the opportunity to go to Disney you bleach their hair (age 6 and 11), you force your daughter to dye her hair neon orange (so you look more like mom than step mom), you are fired from every job you get, you are evicted from apartment after apartment, you move across country and keep promising your kids they will come visit (for years), you shack up with whatever guy will support you, you are a low class whore, your idea of a healthy meal is Doritos, popcorn and mountain dew, you sleep with your daughters and put the boys on the floor because the beds were reposed along with your car, you wear the same clothes for days on end because washing them is too expensive, you are on your son's checkbook so that you can spend the money he earns working part time to support yourself

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm back

The computer has been a little ( a lot really) slow lately. She's an antique as far as computers go nearing her 7th birthday. Then hubby downloaded something that the anti virus couldn't fight. Dominic my hero cleaned the computer this week end and replaced the dead parts of my hard drive. He also added memory. Yeah!

The kids have been good - on the surface. Who knows what evil bubbles beneath.

Youngest has outgrown all of her school clothes. I took her shopping Saturday. She picked some really neat things. They so reflect her personality. She has a boyfriend. Ah, yes in the seventh grade. They meet every morning in the library before classes start. They read the same comic book series.

I visited the newest member of the family Friday. Eyecandy's sister had a little girl September 21. I did a needlepoint for her. Damned if I forgot to take a picture. I couldn't find a pattern I liked so I finally went through my tub of old projects. I thought I could recycle a pattern. But, instead I found this adorable unopened pattern. I realized it was the pattern I bought when I got married the first time. It was supposed to be for my babies. Well, this little girl has struck a chord with me. And she now has that beautiful pattern hanging on her wall.

We had a great visit. I held the baby and played with her big sister. I even got a hug and a kiss when I left. ;o) And sister and I agreed we need to visit more often. She's on maternity leave until December so I must make a point of it.

This week end hubby and I go away. Alone! No kids! And we are not visiting any one. This has never happened. One reason for that is when bio lived here she had the kids every other week end so we had some alone time. If we did go away it was with the kids or to visit friends. Not this time. Alone!!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nice does matter

Annie wrote the other day about how nice does matter. I thought maybe I should read the paper more. I remember now why I don't read the newspaper. This Sunday there was an article about a mother and her daughters who go to funerals of fallen soldiers and protest. They carry signs that read "the only good soldier is a dead soldier" and "you will rot in hell." The women's father started his own church and preaches that war is sinful. Now, I don't agree with the war or any war but these soldiers are doing their job. They are fighting for what they believe in and our elected officials have agreed for us that we believe in. One lawsuit has been filed against the protesters and they lost in court. It is appeal. It comes down to the right to free speech versus purposely causing undo emotional pain. I agree with free speech but this, really?! And they are protesting in the name of God.

I can say that their God is not one of mine. If you disagree with this war show it in the voting booth, take your protests to your congress representatives, take it to Washington and the state capitals. But, to protest at someones funeral is just wrong on so many levels.

And to add to that I watched the senate debate last night for CT. Could the candidates just answer the question so that I know where they stand and not spend half the debate zinging the other candidate? Maybe it was more than half. Don't tell me what the other person does or does not stand for. Tell me what you stand for. Tell me what you have done and what you will do for me and the people of this state. I hope the gubernatorial debate tonight is better.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Birthday Dinner

I sipped coffee while the cake baked and everyone slept in. When hubby came home from work the kids started to wake up. Son couldn't remember it was my birthday even after I told him the flavor of the cake was birthday. Youngest on the other hand didn't wish me well but made me breakfast. She is now a really good at making eggs. Oldest wished me well and had a card for me that the other kids signed as well. I put dinner in the crock pot and headed to the Coventry Farmer's Market. It was my first time and definitely won't be my last. So many vendors with fresh produce, meats, cheeses and baked goods. There were also artist showing their crafts and lots of food tents. I walked out with two big bags of delicious goodness and a bouquet of flowers. Oldest tagged along and I treated her to lunch on the way back. Our adopted nephew will be here for supper along with son's girlfriend and another bachelor friend of hubby's.

So the menu for tonight ( the birthday girl or boy decides the menu on their day)

Pulled pork sandwiches with mango BBQ sauce (new recipe)
Cole slaw
potato salad
Bread and Butter pickles
Creamed Spinach (my favorite veggie)
And filled chocolate cake

The cake recipe was handed over by my neighbor when I was a kid. It is originally a cup cake recipe that my mom reworked into a bundt cake. This has been my birthday cake since. It's a chocolate cake and the center is cheesecake. No frosting just the way I like it. I might add some chocolate ganache just for fun though.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Accommodate no one

My aunt sent me a card this week and the inside said accommodate no one. I love it! It's in the air. She has been doing that lately and feeling better than she has in a long time. I've been on that path with my strike. I have no plans to settle by the way. And it has worked wonders.

I had a discussion with hubby about the truck. It was a non event really. He claimed I should have gone to work because I had it half the day visiting my aunt any way. And he did miss a fire call. Sucks to be him!

I had a good visit with my parents and my aunt. My sister-in-love and my niece came as well.

I have no real plans and yet.... I plan to make cookies and visit my uncle. That is what I want to do.

I'm dropping youngest off to go to Quassy Amusement park with the girl scouts. Yes, she has decided to stay a girl scout. No, I'm not going today. Yes, I am the assistant leader still. Her new assistant backed out. The good news is that we went from 10 girls to 4 and the girls that stayed are the more quiet well mannered ones. We can now fit in one car and we have less activities. OK, so I'm psyching myself up for another year. Though it really should be more fun this year with the changes.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Confused and Restless

Yes, my blog background keeps changing. I can't seem to find one I like. I like the deeper colors and nothing to busy but most of the templates are all pastels. I like my old format that read what's cooking in the side line but I can no longer get it to format correctly. So it may morph some more.

I went for my mammogram and ultra sound yesterday. Breasts are fine. I knew they were. I debate back and forth with myself about going at all. I'm going to discuss this with my doctor because it really is not going to be an annual thing in my life.

I stopped at the auto body shop after that to see if they can fix my car for the amount the adjusters sent. Miner damage from someone backing into my bumper but hey, I don't like blemishes on my baby. {I turn into my dad on this stuff} They said they could do that and if I wanted a ride home they could fix it right away. I could pick it up the next day. OK They're also going to fix the little scratch I put in it myself.

So, I figured I could just use hubby's truck for a day. He has a company vehicle after all. OMG, you would have thought I asked to cut off his left arm. Gee, wasn't it a few weeks ago I was driving him back and forth to get his truck fixed. And, hello was he not driving my car when it was hit. And isn't he going to be sleeping all day any way. Trust me there will be a discussion when he is fully awake. The problem is that his fire gear is in the truck and he might miss a call. Life would cease to exist as we know it if he didn't roll out of bed go to a minor call and be cranky with us the rest of the day because he didn't get enough sleep.

So, to avoid the hassle I decided to take the day off from work. Twist my arm. My desk is really clear and this will give me a chance to have things pile up. That is a good thing. And in case their was any doubt my mom called to say my aunt from FL is in town and could I make it for lunch.

Books have fell by the wayside lately. I'm working on a needlepoint project. Hubby's cousin (eye candy's sister) had a baby girl. I'm making something for her. I looked all summer for a pattern that spoke to me. Then she was born. I pulled out my tote box and thought maybe I would use a pattern from the past. I would make one for each of my girlfriends when they had kids. I found a beautiful kit unopened. It was the pattern I bought the first time I was married. We were going to have kids and I thought this would be perfect hanging in our nursery. I feel some pull to this little one and this pattern said it is time. It really is a beautiful pattern and I'm hoping to finish it this week so I can frame it and deliver it while mom is still on maternity leave.

I did take hubby's truck last night. He didn't argue and I ignored the faces. Annie gave a writing workshop at Passiflora, the local tea room. Most of the people there are writers of the book type. I just write my blog. I'm thinking of and putting together a cookbook. She explained ways to make characters come to life. She had us do an exercise with tarot cards. Once I got past the "real" characters I work with a story just poured onto the paper. I have some edits to do and then I'll post it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bio Update

OK, so a bio update. If she wasn't a part of my kids life this would be really funny. Hell, even then it is really funny. Better since she lives to far away to see them plus that whole restraining order thing.

So, bio is engaged to be married to Leroy Hesnotblack (that is what she calls him). Leroy Hesnotblack is friends with bio's #2 brother. Last year for Christmas bio sent a picture to the kids of a group of women in old time western garb. This is so they won't forget what she looks like. (Youngest has any way) One of the women was Leroy Hesnotblack's wife. It was taken sometime last year. Since that time she has passed from cancer. Goddess rest her soul. So bio is now living with her fiance. This is why she can't call the kids that often. She calls monthly when she visits her mom to do her laundry. They are not getting married until the kids come to visit - sometime after hell freezes over or youngest turns eighteen.

#2 brother married #1 brother's daughter (is that even legal). My oldest son said this is so niece could get a way from her mother. How bad is she? But, he doesn't think it will last because niece is cheating on uncle. But, this means that #2 brother and his two kids moved out of grandma's house. Oldest son is excited because now instead of the air mattress on the floor he gets the couch.

This is all great news because bio moved out there to take care of an ailing mother. I guess the fact that #1 and #2 brother both lived with her was not enough. Apparently she didn't move there because she had been fired from numerous jobs and had a difficult time finding work or that she was being evicted again.

Oh, and bio plans to have more kids - two to be exact. At 45 y/o she is going to have her tubal ligation reversed and have two more kids. Youngest is happy because then she won't be the youngest.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What I'm Reading

I'm one of those people who reads multiple books at once. If I pick up a book and read it straight through then it hits the favorite list. Very few things can hold my attention that long. So besides the 5 or so magazines I subscribe to - mostly cooking and Whole Living I'm reading:

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
Younger Next Year for Women (read the men's version)
Omnivore's Dilemma
The Yellow Wallpaper
The South Beach Diet

Read any good books lately?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back on track

Less than three weeks into school and I've lost 5 lbs. Dates with the treadmill and wii fit are doing it. I'm really watching what foods I eat when. Trying for a lot more lean protein throughout the day to stay full and energized. Seems to be working.

My annual (though it's been 3 years) doctor visit was on Monday. She was thrilled with my blood work. Triglycerides were down 35 points; from being to high to right where they should be. Good cholesterol has gone up. She's a little concerned about my sugar levels - they went up. Really!? Of course I didn't think to ask if stress could cause that. My nutritionist assures me it can. Doctors recommendation is the South Beach Diet. I picked up the book at the library and put it in the pile I'm reading. The basic idea is to eat lean protein and good carbs (those lower on the glycemic index).

So the idea really is to be healthy. If I make healthy choices like eating right and exercise the weight should come off. I'm not going to do any specific diet but incorporate what I learn in to my daily routine.

I booked my massage for next month and am going to fit it into the budget no matter what. I'm continuing with my strike. In other words the nagging has stopped. If you must go to school naked because you can't walk your clothes 10 feet to the laundry room so be it. If you don't like what I have in the house for food or what I cook for dinner go hungry or put it on the grocery list.

What have you done for yourself lately dear reader?

My Son, my son, my son

So, not even a month into school and we get a phone call. Never one of those cheery phone calls. Son has a three day internal suspension. It should be a three day external suspension but the other parent didn't want your son to miss school. Thanks Mrs. C.

Seems son (who claims he didn't know at 15 y/o to keep his hand to himself) tapped C on the shoulder. Probably pushed his shoulder really hard as he is unaware of his own strength. C turned around and tried to hit him with his binder. Son grabbed his hand so hard he broke C's finger.

Then he tries to tell us it was self defense. C was hitting him with his notebook. HELLO, you started it! He was defending himself against you.

Son was at girlfriend's when we got the call. Hubby picked him up immediately. He didn't punish him in the car. He wanted to calm down and think about the options. The lil' b says, "why did you bother picking me up if this is all you are going to do." And you wonder why some species eat their young.

So, as son just takes whatever we through at him like its nothing we decided on the following:
1) a letter of apology to C and his parents along with a thank you for keeping him in school
2) three days with no electronics including the phone to call girlfriend (he's read a lot)
3) 18 hours of community service ( we have a phone call out to the fire chief of the rival station)

And the rewards for having children are?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Strike Working and Red Flags

After I left for the grocery store Son asked hubby why I didn't ask anyone what they wanted. Hubby explained that they were old enough to let me know and that I was tired of going down the list each week.

Yesterday morning oldest asked when we were going dress shopping. I replied I hadn't planned on it because no one had asked me to take them. I was asked. Later I found out this was not prompted by hubby. Wow! Maybe the grocery store snub did it. Boyfriend wanted to go with us. As youngest said, "Awkward."

So, the three of us head out to the store. I drive. Boyfriend seems to think I was going to let him drive. So, we get to the store and look at the dresses. They have maybe ten different ones. Oldest starts looking and getting really picky. I state that they may look totally different on than they do on the rack. So, I pulled one of each dress in her size and we headed to the dressing room. She goes in a room and I stand outside the door in the dressing room. Boyfriend we think is waiting outside the dressing room. I'm not sure oldest plans to show him each dress or what (I suspect that is what he wants). She doesn't. The dress she thought she would like wasn't it. She did find one that looked awesome. She was so excited. We go out of the dressing room to show boyfriend and he's not there.

We look around, check the men's department and then we call him. He's outside waiting on a bench. We pay and leave. I hear him behind me say to her, "you didn't seem to need my help." in the snottiest of tones. We get back to the house and he gets out of the car and into his and takes off. Oldest has a bewildered look on her face.

Is he mad you didn't let him pick the dress? I think so.

I thought maybe he wanted to go so he could match his outfit (not really)? So did I.

If he's mad it's his problem and not yours. yeah

She then went for a walk to calm down. Lil bastard ruined her excited I got a new dress I look awesome in moment.

He calls ten minutes later. Is she home? No, she went for a walk. I knew he would go find her and give her some lame excuse. He did.

This morning (because I didn't want to get into it with him at dinner) I asked what his excuse for acting so badly was. He wanted some say in the dress choice.

I quietly explained that this along with past behavior sends up some red flags. First guys for the most part don't go dress shopping. Second it starts small. First they pick out your clothes, then its your friends, your classes. Next thing you know he is calling all the shots and your self esteem is in the toilet. Please keep this in the back of your mind. (I'll keep it in the front.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I'm on stike

Or having my own little sit in or tuning out whatever you want to call it. I'm the schedule keeper in the house. I'm the list maker and the provider of meals, clothes, vacations, luxuries and such. Hubby may foot the bill or part of it but it all takes place because of me. I'm not being arrogant here, hubby would agree. He likes it that way. No need to clutter his mind with all this stuff. Each time I go grocery shopping I put it out to the family at the dinner table. I go down the list what do you need for breakfast, lunch, fruit.... their toiletries I have to name specifically or they forget they are out of them. So in my raging PMS rant I declared I was done with that. To the point where I declared that if the girls run out of pads they can put their hand under their crotch to catch it until I go grocery shopping again. Maybe next time they will put it on the list. This list has been a constant in their life for 8 years. Time for them to step up to the plate and take some responsibility. I grocery shop today. I told them I would grocery shop today. That is all I said. Don't like what kind of sandwich meat I buy, what cereal, what fruit, guess you're SOL until next time.

Homecoming is the 25th. Normally I would take oldest shopping and buy her a dress, shoes, jewelry etc. Guess what? Not happening. Want me to take you shopping ask me. If not you can wear the same thing you did last year. Hell, boyfriend didn't see it anyway. Or, here's a novel idea do what I did in high school buy it yourself.

I'm tired. Physically and emotionally tired. By the time I arrived for my massage, the first one since May(which used to be a monthly occurrence but due to my funds going to the kids...) I was wound so tight. I asked for a relaxing massage. I drank gallons of water and herbal tea the rest of the day and was still in bed by 7. The toxins released flooded my system. I was in bed at 7 again last night. At least hubby knew I was exhausted and ordered pizza for dinner. Oh, and I booked another one for next month.

The dog was just fed a second time. Son thought I was still in bed. Did you ever think to look in my office? Where am I each morning?

So, today if I make it to the picnic with the rest of the family fine. If not, oh well. I will make it to my girlfriends birthday party though. And boy do I have some fun stuff planned for the kids this week. I have some weeding, some planting and some mulch that needs to be spread. Oh and complain. Go ahead I just dare you!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Peggy"s Progress

Nora L Jamieson wrote a wonderful novella called Peggy's Progress. I bought it Sunday morning and read it Sunday afternoon. It was a pure delight. It is about a sixteen year old girl who runs away. It is a coming of age story filled with magic and wisdom. It was a story that touched a familiar part of me.

It was self published so you may have to go through Nora's website to purchase a copy. Mine is not for sale it will hold a treasured spot on my bookcase.

Senior yearbook

Oldest is a senior this year and they are asked for all kinds of blurbs for the yearbook - class will, blurb of special memories, a dedication and where they plan to be in 20 years. Oldest typed it out and needed to download it to a disc. She wasn't sure how to do it and asked me. When it wouldn't work at home I e-mailed it to work and downloaded it. I read it at work and this is what I read (only the proper names have changed):

Dedication:
I would like to thank my mom for trying her best to be there for me even though she is currently living in Arizona, my family for helping me to pursue my dreams, to Seth, Son, and Youngest for helping me with everything, and making the best dinner conversations, and to Boyfriend for being the best friend and boy friend ever and helping me through the good times and the bad. Love ya!

In 20 years:
In 20 years, I Oldest, will be a successful nurse working with children, living out west with the amazing love of my life and with 4 children.

I was a little tweaked. Here I am the schmuck copying it to disc. No mention of me or her Dad. And I only got a thank you for copying the disc the day after I brought it home because hubby said something after I tweaked on him for a whole list of PMS pet peeves. The only thing that kept me from totally loosing it was talking to my MIL. This is how she read it (I e-mailed it to her).


Dedication:
I would like to thank my mom for trying her best(and not doing very well) to be there for me even though she is currently living in Arizona, my family{Kim & Dad} for helping me to pursue my dreams, to Seth, son, and youngest for helping me with everything, and making the best dinner conversations, and to boyfriend for being the best friend and boy friend ever and helping me through the good times and the bad. Love ya!

She believes oldest still feels mom will kill her for appearing in any way shape or form as siding with us. She says oldest chose her words very carefully. She says oldest used trying with mom
and that her family is helping. Part of me believes that. She is deathly afraid of bio. The other part of me wonders if she is that smart. So, I'll do what my in-loves do - bury my head in the sand and pretend everything is OK. Because I really wonder why I do anything for the ungrateful, thoughtless, hurtful little ..... Other than I tell myself she is still a child on some level and I need to be the adult and love her no matter what. That someday that will be what makes a difference. And I hope she succeeds where her grandmother (bio's mom) and bio failed with their four children.

So, all that said I am headed to the spa for a massage and pedicure.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

questions

Hubby approached me this morning. Oldest is taking child development at school. Her assignment this week end is to find out what her parents believe are two challanges to raising children and two rewards. I'd love to know what others think.

I said I'd have to take a minute to articulate my thoughts.

The biggest reward is watching them grow into themselves. I believe my role as a parent is to as Annie puts it "put myself out of a job." My parents taught me that a parents job is to raise productive independent individuals who can thrive alone in society (not in so many words). They made it clear they did not want to be hands on parents for the rest of their lives. They had lives separate from ours and embraced an empty nest. I agree.

The other reward (or the thing that keeps me from killing them) are the little things. The sweet smile, the rare appreciation, a hug, a flower picked from the yard......

Challenges - doing what is best for your child and not necessarily what they would like. This comes easier for me than hubby. I figure if the kids are always happy with me I must not be parenting. Finding what works for each child is another challenge. How do you reward and discipline each child?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

occupy my mind

I commented to a friend that I can not maintain a theme through one blog post never mind an entire blog. She said maybe I needed to take something to help me concentrate - her daughter does. She's a little high strung like me. We decided that my mind just spins way to fast and I get bored way to easily. Self diagnosis here I come.

So, I love going to school. I'm not enrolled in a degree program at the moment (may be once the kids are out) but I still take classes when time and budget afford. I can now take online courses through my work discount for $79.00. They have health related classes and anatomy and physiology. I really need to look the list over again and sign up. Work will pay for anything job related. I guess I'll be paying for my own classes. I'm not sure how I can convince them that A&P relates to accounting. Except, I am on the health and wellness committee...... So the point to this is that I keep racking up degrees because I love school. I think because it keeps my mind occupied. My degrees are in English literature and psychology, business administration and accounting and Biblical studies. I'm working on completing a course/certificate in herbalism. Up until I went part time at work a few years ago I kept saying I was trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grow up. Since, no one will pay me to go to school. When I went part time I continued working as an accountant, started substitute teaching at the elementary school and took care of house and kids as well as volunteer with the fire department. Then it struck me. I don't want a traditional career. I don't want one singular job. I need the variety. Before I was married work was OK because I was also going to school and volunteering on countless committees from church, fire department and town. I had enough variety.

And this year I have been eliminating what no longer works for me. Girl Scouts finally came to an end. I resigned from the fire department after ten years. I told them I could no longer substitute teach. My two jobs are actually paying enough to cover my bills. I'm feeling more rich than I have since before owning a home. I'm making an effort to live healthy. I'm spending more time in the kitchen. I'm try to connect or reconnect with friends. And I'm thinking of writing a cookbook.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Elin

The Tiger saga has garnered way to much press. And really who cares how his golf game is doing besides his sponsors of course? But, I just read that the newly divorced Elin took the divorce settlement money and is donating it to a mental health clinic for children. She believes children are the biggest victims of divorce and wants to put the money to good use. Three cheers to her. She has handled herself with grace and dignity through this whole sordid mess and she has truly come out on top. I wish her and her children the best.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Taco Night

Yesterday was grocery shopping day. Hubby was working evening overtime and would not be home for supper. Two kids wanted tacos and one pizza. Since I really have to be in the right mood for pizza tacos won out. We had tacos, Spanish rice, "refried" beans and loaded nachos.

I experimented with the beans and was really happy with the results and so were the kids.

In a little bit of olive oil I sauteed some minced shallot and garlic. I added a can of black beans that I had rinsed well. I poured enough chicken broth just to cover the beans. I put the lid on and cooked them low and slow until the broth was absorbed. The beans started to burst and were oh so creamy.


The spanish rice I made with a brown rice blend, onion, garlic, chicken broth and salsa. At the end I stirred in a can of pigeon peas.

Today I'm making spicy fried chicken and baked potato salad. Both I can prep ahead of time.
At 4 we meet at the reservoir for family photos. People laugh because I always buy matching shirts. It's the Libra in me. I like things to match - my socks, my underwear, my dishes and our shirts. And as much as people laugh they comment on how cohesive our photos look. Oldest will bring a change of clothes for her senior pictures. OMG she's a senior already.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blueberry Cake

Someone brought zucchini bread to work the other day. The running joke in the office is that it must be good for you because it's a vegetable. Just like cheesecake is good for you because it's a dairy product. Miss Naturally Skinny says "you {all of you} have such horrible diets." Good thing we have partitions and she can't see my facial expressions or hand gestures. I didn't eat any of her bread and either did the girls around me out of principle. Half a loaf still sits on the counter. The guys all had a piece. Maybe because she talks to men much differently. I asked my row mate and second mother if I wore a strap on do you think the conversation would change.

So, on my day off it was rainy and cool and a perfect day to spend puttering in the kitchen. I made lamb chops for supper, prepped supper for the next two nights and made coconut ice cream to compliment the blueberry cake I baked. My mom used to make blueberry buckle. Hubby's never heard of buckle. According to one of the food shows I watch a buckle is just a cake with fruit. So as I was looking through my mom's recipe boxes (she gave them all to me) I found a recipe for blueberry cake. I never found her buckle recipe. That I found in my Grandma's copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1962) under quick breads.
A little aside - I always thought my mom was just really supportive of my love for cooking. I started around 12 y/o. I would cook, she would clean. I was in heaven. Then I realized a few years ago (and she confirmed it) she hates to cook.
The cake recipe was not in my mom's hand writing so it must be one of my old neighbors. So, I took the recipe added my own twists and topped it with the cinnamon crumble from the buckle recipe. It's a lovely moist dessert, a fantastic coffee cake and heck if you want to call it a fruit eat it for lunch.
Blueberry Cake
1 Cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
4 cups blueberries

Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients and add alternating with the buttermilk. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter. Spoon half the batter into a 9x13 pan. Wash and dry blueberries. Pour over batter. Sprinkle with a dusting of flour. Spoon remaining batter on top and spread as evenly as you can. The batter is thick and sticky - don't worry if all the blueberries are not covered. Top with cinnamon crumble. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 min.

Cinnamon Crumble
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter till crumbly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

WHC 2010

I'm back.

The women's herbal conference was as awesome as ever. The new tent worked perfectly. The rains held off until Sunday. The girls had a great time. Both want to go back again. Oldest hooked up with friends from years past. Youngest who thought kids camp sounded babyish and boring made friends and had a great time.

I took some serious herbal classes (ones you could receiving nursing credits for), some fun classes and a wonderful hike to the heron rookery.

The caterer was new as the camp was sold last year. The food was yummy and I have a few things I plan to duplicate in the kitchen.

The music was wonderful with Katrin & Allison, Kellianna and Mz Imani. I added some new CD's to my collection.

I have a signed copy of the newest addition of Margi Flint's book. She was there with her daughter and new grandson. I have never seen such a picture of love as the three of them. They just radiated.

This is the last year at Sargeant Camp. We said our good bye's and look forward to a new camp and making some new magic.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ready to Go

The bags are packed. The car is packed. I just need to make our lunch in the morning pack up the toiletries and we are off to the women's herbal conference.

Hubby had a meeting tonight. He was worried I might be asleep when he gets home. I am far to excited. This makes my fifth WHC. It will be oldest's 4th and youngests 1st.

The energy there is unbelievable. The high (and I'm not talking chemically induced) from the event lasts for days if not weeks.

And I'm finally caught up at work. I never recovered after April vacation before taking July. I finally have my new client on maintenance mode instead of set up. Whew! Big sigh of relief. And with four months left in the year I'm looking at how I'm going to use my PTO (paid time off) that I've saved all year.

And hubby mentioned taking just me to the Cape. He arranged for the kids and Sammy to spend the week end at Grandma's. So I need to book the hotel. We'll be going in October when the tourists are gone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Son, boyfriend and.....

My son doesn't like boyfriend - not even a little bit and he doesn't try and hide it. Boyfriend wants to cook for us one night. I said to just let me know what ingredients he needs. Son is worried he will try and poison him (hide the drain cleaner has been his mantra).

I don't care for boyfriend but he is not a bad kid and I don't fear for our safety.

Oldest was back to job hunting today. She hasn't been having any luck yet. Just keep looking.

Two weeks until school starts.

Two days until the women's herbal conference. Yeah!!!!!!!!!

Hubby actually took the week end off from work to spend time with son all on his own. They have plans to hit the army navy store and Hooters. Hubby plans to take him to the Springfield Armory and the Smith & Wesson Museum. And Saturday a group of state police are having a paintball war that they are invited to.

And even though school supplies are ready and new clothes have been bought I'm not in a rush to send them back yet. We've been busy having fun.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Boyfriend

Since we went to the Cape and told oldest to step away from the phone boyfriend has not hung out here. He broke up with oldest when we got back and said he was stressed about handling school and her. He hasn't started classes yet. I'm not buying the whole story. I think the parent pleaser sensed (finally) that he wasn't pleasing the parents. Hey, if I wanted you on my vacation I would have invited you.

Boyfriend unfriended me on facebook. I'm heartbroken. No more instant messages as 5 AM. I'm a morning person - a solitary enjoy the quiet wee hours morning person. I don't feel the need to converse with any one at that hour least of all my daughter's boyfriend.

So when she asked if she could hang out with him Monday, Wednesday and Friday I said, "sure he can come for dinner." I'm learning - answer the question you want to hear and not the one that is actually asked. My hubby and kids are great for that. Which means they are not really listening to you in the first place. I, on the other hand was listening and altering the situation - evil manipulator that I am. So, tonight boyfriend is coming for dinner.

Yahoo! Do I really want to spend time with him - NOT!!! I do it because she needs to spend some time with her family. And since I just saw the videos of his family BBQ I'm not sure his parents are what I would call adult supervision.

One video was of boyfriend, boyfriends dad and BillXP jumping over the bonfire. I'm not talking a small campfire either. Now, I'm not a total party pooper - an 18 y/o not realizing this is unsafe is one thing but dad joining in. First thought - was he drunk? Next thought - is he just stupid. Third thought - thank the goddess I didn't let my daughter go to Canada with this family. This went along with the can I stuff my buddy into the trunk of my car video.

Any thoughts my blog friends.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

BBQ

It was grocery shopping day and son's girlfriend came for dinner. She told him she missed my cooking and that they would hang here this week end. Son loves ribs and my baked potato salad so that's what I made along with cole slaw, baked beans and a flour less chocolate cake. The cake was a new recipe and a hit with chocolate lovers. The ribs I rubbed with Neely's dry rub mix and let sit in the fridge for the afternoon. I cooked them on the grill low and slow and then basted them with BBQ sauce. I was asked for the sauce recipe (it changes a little each time but here goes).

BBQ Sauce

drizzle of olive oil
1 onion chopped fine
3 - 4 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups homemade marinara {loaded with chunks of peppers, onions, eggplant and squash}
you can use ketchup instead
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 small can diced chilies
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 cup strong coffee

Drizzle oil in pot. Cook onions until soft. Add garlic cook one minute more. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until sauce is thickened 15 - 30 minutes. It was really chunky this time because of the marinara so I put it in the food processor.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

lockers

I don't remember my locker combination being a big deal. It has caused major anxiety in my kids. Oldest and son not as much. Seth just refused to use his locker. And youngest has been having sleepless nights. Hubby took her to school today to practice. Piece of cake. Now she can sleep and so can I. I will take her again before school starts.

I'm actually almost caught up at work. I have a small list of financials that need to go out but... I'm waiting on information from my clients. I'm more in a hurry to issue their financials than they are to receive them.

I'm off until Tuesday. Tomorrow is hair cuts with the girls. Grocery shopping at some point. Son's girlfriend is coming for dinner Saturday. She misses my cooking and eating as a family. I really, REALLY like her. Sunday is my family picnic at my parents house. And hopefully Monday will be beach weather.

And in 8 days I'll be headed to the WHC. I'm a little excited - can you tell.

And I'm not sure what bio has told the kids but obviously they are not going to see her for the month of August. Lying sack of poo! How do you do that to your kids? Thank the Goddess she's there and they are here - loved and safe.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Camping Out

After the heavy, heavy rains last year at herb fest I came home and bought a new tent. The one I had been using was from high school and I couldn't stand up in it. The new one I can stand in, has more room and a porch on the front. It also said it was water proof in several different ways.

Youngest and I set it up in the yard this week end so I could see how it worked. I also wanted to test out the new air mattresses.

Youngest slept out in the tent alone last fall (in the front yard). This year she would only sleep out if I did. So, Sunday night the two of us camped out. We read by lantern light (gotta love LED's).

She's been climbing in with me at night again. It comes in spurts. I can't tell if it is because bio lied once again about visiting or if she is nervous about school starting. I know opening her locker is really worrying her. We're going to take her up before school starts and let her practice opening the locker.

And in less than two weeks I'll be at the Women's Herbal Conference with both my girls. I am so excited!!!!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What's new?

That question goes right along with what are you doing now?
How do you answer that? And does the person really want to know or care. They talked me into crashing my class reunion last night. It was interesting. I went with friends that I see fairly regularly and enjoy talking to so that was fun.

But, people who never talked to me in high school, people I haven't seen since are giving me hugs and telling me how great it is to see me. Really? Why? I find it rather surreal.

Then sitting back and watching the interactions - I felt like I do selling tickets at the beer garden. I'm watching all these strange drunk people. Only this time I know most of their names.

I did catch up with a few people that I have connected with via facebook and that was nice.

My ex husband actually came over and talked to me with out turning white or stuttering. Finally he's past that. About damn time.

And then I wonder if it's me. I see all of these people hugging, laughing, dancing and making small talk. They appear to be having a great time and so thrilled to capture something from this reunion or a little bit of their youth and I just feel disconnected from all of it. Or is it that even though I enjoyed high school I've moved on. I'm not unhappy with my life or my age and don't feel a need to relive or go back to that place in time.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

some things you just don't do

If you get separated from your spouse do NOT continue to live in the same house. My hubby goes on more domestic calls that involve separated spouses still living together.

Enter my cousin - sweet dumb sap. He deals with depression and alcoholism. He has been unemployed for the past year and the drinking has escalated. His wife of 24 years can't take it anymore and has filed for divorce. Cousin is drinking to the point of blacking out and he is extremely paranoid.

First his son had to call the cops because he started to get physical. Arrest one.

Then wife had to call for the same reason. Arrest two.

Restraining order put in place. He returns home four days later (on his birthday) drunk and tries to get in. He breaks a window in the process. Now it as arrest number three and moves into the felony stage (violating a protective order and burglary 3rd degree). He spent almost a week in the hospital before moving him to the jail. Bond is set high enough so that no one will bail him out. And right now he's getting sober so we agree this may be the best place at the moment. His lawyer is trying to get him into a rehab facility that will count for jail time. That is really what he needs.

The good news. His parents who haven't talked to him in five years (another long story) finally reached out. They talked to the wife and the lawyer and are planning a trip up as soon as he can have visitors. Yeah!!!! I can't tell you how much of a tole this strained relationship has put on his psyche.


**** On another note - Sammy is completely back to herself. She perked last night when my Dad came. He always brings fireballs for the kids and dog biscuits for Sammy. She hopped right up and ran to my Dad. This morning the dog tags were once again jangling and she ate, drank and went outside with no help on the stairs. ;o)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time a way

We spent three days at the Cape. Lots of food and family time. The first morning I had to tell oldest that the phone goes off. I didn't invite boyfriend on the trip because it is a family trip. I'm not one of those modern mom's who has no problem with texting non stop and talking on the phone while you are supposed to be with us. He'll have to wait. The rest of the trip went really well.

So, we get back and boyfriend breaks up with her. He's stressed and not sure how he can date and go to school. Maybe not need to spend 24/7 with oldest for starters.

Today they talked and are back together. Gee, and I was getting excited that I didn't have to go to the bonfire/picnic and meet his family. Son's response was, "that's bad news." I didn't say anything about the break up or getting back together other than it is her decision.

On another note I'm watching our dog Sammy really close. Sammy stayed at Grandma's while we were away and ate something she shouldn't have. She didn't want to eat this morning and could barely stand. Tonight she drank, ate and is walking a little. Son carried her down the stairs to do her business. She's improving slowly. Poor thing. She's 15 and this took a lot out of her.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

want a teenager?

I'm giving two away free. OK, maybe just one. Son seems to get it - a little any way. I need to know where you're going, when, how are you getting there and back (am I driving) and will you be home for supper. Pretty basic stuff. Since oldest has a boyfriend her glowing head has been up her arse.
There is a big difference in making food for three or six - would it be too much to ask if I knew how many for dinner?
Yesterday hubby and I laid it for oldest and son. A little common courtesy. And while we are at it - while you are under our roof your priorities will be school, work and then boyfriend. And frankly he is getting to be a little much. I can't live without you. I have to see you every waking moment, I canceled going on vacation with my parents to be with you.
Yuk, can I puke now.
I though maybe I was just getting old - son assures me that in this case I am right on target. Boyfriend really annoys him as well. And when my parents came to visit out of the blue my mom said I never acted like that (the glowing hang on every word boyfriend says).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Books

My name is Kim and I bought three books this week, four if you want to count the one I bought for youngest. I'm waiting for my amazon delivery. I returned my books to the library and picked up more. I've been on a reading binge lately - more so than normal. It's summer and summer is vacation, relaxing and reading at the beach.

After reading Angela's Ashes I enjoyed it so much I picked up Frank McCourt's next book, 'Tis. I love his writing and his stories but now that he is older I want to slap him. I have little patience with such low self esteem. I purchased his Teacher Man and one by his brother Malachy. His brother Alphie has a book as well. I'm interested in the different perspectives. My brother and I are 20 months apart and did a lot together growing up. But, to listen to his stories you would think we had different parents and grew up in different houses.

I read Not Becoming my Mother borrowed from the library. Such a true commentary on mother's of a certain era. They were smart and talented and forced to stay home bored out of their minds. Now I'm reading Kitchen Wars - more about her family than food - I'll let you know when I finish.

I'm also waiting for the newest book by Sarah Addison Allan to arrive. I've read her first two books; Garden Spells and Sugar Queen. I really enjoyed both of them. A little magic in both.

Check out my bookshelf for more info.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Youngest update and more

Youngest woke up Sunday with clear eyes and feeling good. Last night she was up with an earache. I think allergies are playing havoc with her.

So, this doesn't seem to phase hubby but it kinda pisses me off. We went to nephew's Eagle Scout award ceremony. BIL and family came from VT so the whole family was there. Oldest would love to get together with her cousin and though I have offered many times she has yet been able to make it to our house. I had asked if she could come home with us after the ceremony and stay a few days. Monday she had plans to go to 6 flags amusement park so that was out.

SIL and her family planned to go with BIL and his family to the park on Monday. This is the second year in a row we were not invited. Hubby could care less about going so he doesn't mind. I probably wouldn't mind so much but when we got together Sunday all both families talked about in front of my kids were their plans for Monday. When youngest pulled this kind of behavior with her friends regarding her birthday she was grounded. I find it rude to discuss a party, trip etc. in front of people you have not invited.

It just reinforces that Thanksgiving will be just my family.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A night with Youngest

Youngest woke up Thursday night with a headache that kept her awake. When I tucked her back in she seemed warm. She throws a lot of heat when she sleeps so I couldn't decide if she had a fever. Friday her temp was up over a 100. She slept most of the day and couldn't keep food down. I made her noodle soup for supper while the rest of us enjoyed chicken fajitas. That stayed down. I put her back to bed after dinner.

Soup for breakfast and she was ready to go. Her eyes look red and puffy though.

So after her ideas of go cart riding and bowling - both of which I find expensive and take up very little time. I suggested a movie instead. So we went to see Toy Story 3. And with just the two of us I splurged on popcorn and a soda. Both small (really small) - $9.50. WTF Now I remember why I don't buy food at the movies. Anyway, she was thrilled. Afterwards we went to Bob's shopping. She found a shirt she liked and with my coupon it was free. Now, that is in my price range. We then headed to Chili's for dinner.

After dinner she wanted to wander the book store. I could live in a bookstore. She of course wanted me to buy books. This one is only $17.00 plus tax. How about this one. I just paid for dinner and a movie and you haven't finished reading the last pile of books I bought. Then she pouts. I imitate her pouting. The more she gets, the more she wants.

You don't appreciate anything I complain. I do, I do it's just I really wanted those books. Well, I'm not paying full price for books especially when you have books at home (more like a mini library). Plus we just went to the library as well. In the car and off we go - and the books are forgotten.

A mini spa treatment when we get home, a cup of tea and she's off to bed.

And I'm worried about her red puffy eyes. She says her throat hurts as well. When I looked to see if it was red and inflamed I could see the thick white coating on her tongue. I don't remember exactly what that means but I know she's still sick.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bits of my life

Oldest and boyfriend are celebrating their two month anniversary. Son and hubby are off to paintball wars with a group of hubby's co-workers. Son is very excited - he gets to shoot cops. I said he should be careful - the police can shoot him and take out their work frustration. Youngest and I are home alone. I'm going to take her out for dinner - maybe a movie.

MIL came with my niece and nephew Thursday. We had lunch and went to the beach. The cousins had a great time.

We all chuckle over bio having more kids. I think Leroy doesn't know about the tubal ligation 12 years ago. And why would you ask your kids if they mind you having more kids when you can't? It's some sick game to her. How much do my kids love me? Little does she realize they just play lip service to her. What is she going to do from AZ?

Cousin asked MIL what she thought about the up coming wedding. MIL asked if oldest mentioned how she feels. Indifferent seemed to be the word. I'm happy she's getting married - she'll have a new last name.

Tomorrow hubby's whole family converges at his nephew's Eagle scout award ceremony. It will be nice to see everyone.

Monday my family gathers for a picnic to see my cousins who are visiting from Colorado.

Tuesday I went to New Jersey to meet with a client. The meeting went well. I hit very little traffic. Now, I have a lot of work to catch up on. It's amazing how far behind one day out of the office puts you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Really

So, bio tells the kids that she's just waiting to hear back from a lawyer. She plans to have them for at least two weeks this August. The girls should plan not go to New Hampshire with me. That she's not coming out here but she will give her lawyer power of attorney. It's already the 18th of July and she has not made contact with a lawyer yet - does she really think they will set a court date in time?

So, when they come out that is when her and Leroy will get married. And you kids don't mind - I would never do anything to hurt you (who are you kidding) - Leroy wants to have kids with me so, I'm going to have another baby. She'll be 45 in February and she would have to have the surgery reversed. Not that it can't be done but.....

The kids didn't sound like they were planning on any of this really happening. Wonder why?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What's Cooking

I got the basic idea from my girlfriend. She used to have her son cook once a week when he was growing up. With my family I took the idea and tweaked it a bit. The kids rotate cooking a meal. At first it was one a week but now it works out that one child cooks sometime in a two week period. They must pick a recipe, make sure we have all of the ingredients or put them on the grocery list, cook the meal and clean up. And no repeats ( I have a spreadsheet - go figure). Once they make a recipe they can not count that as one of their meals a second time. The keepers I do throw into our regular mix. I have a cookbook collection that is out of control and I do help and suggest as needed. They have learned cooking skills, math skills, planning and that not everyone likes the same thing. They have also learned that preparing meals every night is not as easy as I make it look. They have picked recipes that I would have never tried. It has expanded all of our horizons. They appreciate good food. My youngest has made comments about processed cheese and cheap hot dogs of late. Not what she gets at home. On vacation she ordered alligator - everyone tried it and liked it. Son has admitted that my homemade cookies are way better than store bought (for him this is huge).

When on vacation we try and eat at the local restaurants and try the food in that area. We had some really good BBQ and lots of sweet tea while in Tennessee, seafood in Maine, Portuguese food in Fall River, MA, crab in the Chesapeake Bay area, and fried okra and hush puppies in the South.

Son is cooking next. He is making a chili pasta dish. It's not a soup - more of a casserole with pasta and chili ingredients. Today I am making spaghetti sauce. I need it for pizza on the grill tonight and son needs some for his recipe.

What's your specialty?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Out of the mouth of babes

As youngest and I were headed to the beach for an after dinner swim this is what she says. In school today they were talking about Iraqi's that strap bombs to themselves and blow up children. This war needs to end. We should try and stop polluting and global warming and forget about war.

Blessed Be!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bad, Bad Leroy

OK, so his name is not Brown but it is Leroy. Bio is getting married. That's right the man bashing, marriage bashing psycho is getting married again. Leroy is a friend of her brothers - the same brother sleeping with his niece. They went on their first date 6 weeks ago maybe 8. The next week end she was shacking up on the week ends and now.... The last beau she claimed she would never marry even though they were living together. Men suck, etc. I think the real thing was that he wouldn't ask her. Of course a man with 6 kids by 6 women I wouldn't expect a marriage proposal. And if she gets married she gets to move out of mama's trailer. She'll only have to share the bed with one person instead of three.

All I can say is congratulations to the happy couple!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vacation

So, the mystery destination was Gatlinburg, TN. We were right in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. We had a great time. A day in Virginia to see the NRA museum and then on to our final destination. The museum was mostly for hubby and son but it was really interesting. The history and development and all. And did you know that all of the gun manufacturers were in the North during the time of the civil war.

We spent a day and a half at Dollywood. The kids were more interested in the rides than the shows. Youngest rode her first wooden roller coaster. I did make them see the raptor show. The eagle rehabilitation center is linked to Dollywood. So far they have released 101 eagles back into the wild.

The day of record breaking temperatures we spent touring the Smoky Mountains. We drove the Newfound Gap road and stopped at all the pull offs to look and take pictures. We hiked one short trail and the paved trail to the observation tower at Clingmans Dome. It is a half mile trail practically straight up. This is the highest point in the Smokies at 6,643 feet. Being in the mountains we were much cooler than staying in town and the views and scents were amazing.

We did some shopping, took the kids to a wax museum, a car museum and for lots of great food. We went to the Dixie stampede one night. The kids wanted to sit on the side of the South. We won. The horse show was really good, the comic routines funny and the food delicious.

And I read. Before we left I hit the book store. I bought a hubby a few books as an anniversary present and I bought myself a couple of books. I read Annie's review of The Elegance of a Hedgehog and decided to try it out. I'll let you read her review because she can say it so much better than I ever could. While looking for the book I discovered that the author wrote another book Gourmet Rhapsody. It was about a dying food critic going back over his life - the stories and the food. How could I resist. I thoroughly enjoyed them both. I started Angela's Ashes while I was away as well. And when I hit my favorite clothing shop at the outlets (Coldwater Creek) they had two books of poetry by Mary Oliver. I just had to buy them. I love her poetry and already own a few of her books. If you love poetry and nature you really need to check out her work.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

catch up

Our anniversary we spent going to dinner at Abigail's, going to see Knight and Day at the movies and ice cream before heading home. I mentioned to my boss how much I liked the escargot at Mill on the River. She said I should try Abigail's as it is owned by the same people. The escargot was the best I've had. I followed that with roast duck. Hubby had the mixed grill - fillet, baked stuffed shrimp and grilled chicken. Knight and Day stars Tom Cruise. He is not my favorite actor but the movie sounded the best of what was showing. We really liked it. And even though Cold Stone Creamery suddenly closed we managed ice cream and Ben & Jerry's. We spent the night talking and didn't mention the kids or bio the entire evening. It was such a great night.

This week I am crunching numbers and bank reconciliations at work in preparation of vacation. I have one more day. Thursday will be errands at home - oil change, drop off birthday present to my nephew, pack, clean out the fridge dinner with my parents, etc. Then in the wee hours of Friday morning we hit the road. Yeah!!!!!

Son managed to fail math. The straight A's the last month of school was not enough to pull him through. Summer school - 12 days - 30 hours or repeat the entire class. He's in summer school. And he is paying the tuition. Maybe, just maybe he's learned his lesson.

Oldest and boyfriend celebrated their one month anniversary. He bought her a necklace and matching diamond earrings. A little much I think.

Oldest and son's girlfriend were going to drag their men along with youngest to see Eclipse (the new Twilight movie). The boys want to see it as much as I do. Yuk - never! Youngest has been saving her birthday gift card for the movies since her birthday in April for this big event. We explained to oldest that this is a sister date. They can drag the guys to another movie. With the 5 year age gap - the sisters have little in common at this point. Let them share Eclipse. Oldest went down and bought the tickets tonight. Tomorrow afternoon that's where they'll be. Boyfriend thanked me for getting him out of it. Added bonus.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Six years ago today hubby and I were married. Eloping was my choice but I thought we should include the kids. So we had a potluck picnic celebration. I rented a bounce house for the kids and had bubbles, crayons and coloring books in case of rain. My Dad thought I was nuts and that we wouldn't have enough food. Later he told me how smart I was and that it worked out great. Two friends asked if they could copy me and I attended two more potluck picnic weddings.

I arrived with full coffee urns to set up. Friends tried to hide me from hubby as I mingled before the ceremony. Why? He's the only one who has seen the dress - he's the only one who would tell me if it looked good. So it rained a little bit and we were married in the corner of the fire department hall. Seth was the best man and son was a groomsman. Oldest was my maid of honor and youngest the flower girl.

We said our vows to each other - a mixture of vows we liked beautifully woven together by our friend and JP. Then I turned to the kids, looked them each in the eye and said vows to them. Friends told me later they were OK until I turned to the kids and then they cried.

Pictures were taken quickly so we could change into shorts and enjoy. The sun came out and parents sat on the lawn while the kids played together in the bounce house.

Two weeks later we flew to Vegas with 9 friends for our honeymoon.

Yesterday MIL took the kids for the week end. Hubby took a FU day (the classification for a furlough day) today. Last night I went to full moon Dakini group while he napped before work. This morning he is at a live burn for the fire department. Once the house is burned to the ground we can have the rest of the day (and the night) alone to celebrate.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's just wrong

So, the latest news on the bio front. Her niece, her oldest brothers daughter has graduated college and moved back to town. She is now living with bio's younger brother. Living with in every sense of the word. So he's more than 20 years older than her. He's her uncle. And this is perfectly OK. And you wonder why I don't want my children living out there.

Let me say it now, if my brother even laid a hand on my daughter never mind moving in with her you would never NEVER find his body.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Letter from Deena Metzger

An Open Letter from Deena Metzger to Tony Hayward and President Obama:If We Pursue Remorse and Collaboration in Lieu of Blame, We Might Still Heal the Gulf
Let us stand before the bleeding Gulf, bear witness to the great wound we have all imposed, speak grief, mourn, take responsibility, atone, make amends, commit ourselves to restoration, to entirely different lives, all of us, now. We have no choice but finally to act consistently on behalf of all life, all our relations, the future generations of all beings, all the future little ones. Once in a conversation, Reb Zalman Schacter, visionary Father of Jewish Renewal, advised that much would be accomplished if every government negotiation began with mutual grief speaking. Several small events in my own life precede this essay: 1. Last week I unwittingly hurt a beloved student/colleague and publicly apologized.2. I have received apologies and witnessed amends from several people who have completed a twelve-step program. 3. Recently, my husband and I were in a volcanic disagreement. Later, I apologized for being emotionally volatile and he admitted his provocations. We apologized, sought means to avoid future conflagrations, repairing the damage through honesty, laughter, cooperation and genuine love.4. We, and our Daré community, will be hosting an ex-rebel general and an ex-refugee who were once enemies. Now they are co-directors of the everyday gandhis peace-building team in Liberia. 5. Our community has been hosting Fire Circles to Heal War where all war-traumatized peoples, ex-combatants and civilians alike, can speak of the great wound of war, expressing their agony, grief and sorrow. But there can't be healing until amends are made. What are right amends, we ask? Giving more than we can, offering restoration, in kind, to the harm we have done, opening our hearts wide and wider, living with the heartbreak, not denying, not turning away.
* * *The Gulf. A hemorrhage. A heart vein or an artery punctured. The birds, animals, sea creatures dying. Human and non-human lives, communities, cultures devastated. The photos of the oil on water, dark red rising to the surface of the blue. The on-going blood spilling in the Gulf. Our hands are covered in blood, in oil. How can we honorably prepare ourselves so that, by our own prior moral reflections, we call BP, the US Government, Tony Hayward, Dick Cheney, President Obama, and all those directly responsible, to privately and publicly soul search, express unfathomable heartbreak, face the horror of what has been done and the real threat to all sea life? Admitting culpability, those in power will be more able to assume full responsibility and begin the daily, on-going, real and impossible task of making amends and finding ways of restoration. Who is to judge the adequacy of all of our responses? Let the oil soaked pelican, the turtle seeking sanctuary to lay her eggs, the dying dolphin judge.
* * * This is a call for all of us, as we are all indirectly or directly responsible parties, to bear true witness and admit that we have entirely betrayed the future - the pelican, turtle, shrimp, fish, dolphin, whale, the fisher people and citizens of the Gulf, the entire human community, the children, life itself. We are, for the first time in global history, in a situation of absolute common jeopardy. We cannot set up barriers between one sea and another. There is only one ocean. The oil is gushing forth in plumes that are real, large and deep. Far more than the coasts and shores are affected. The entire pelagic ecosystem is imperiled and, consequently, we are facing questions of planetary survival. Carrying this consciousness ourselves, we will be able to listen and hear those in power admit that no one knows how to save or restore the oceans. Yes, let's admit it: No one knows what to do and no president or world leader can acknowledge it without our willingness to hear it. Recognizing this together allows anyone and everyone who might know something to sit down together to meet this crisis. Together. In Council. We have gone far beyond ourselves and acted against our knowledge and wisdom. In Greek philosophy, hubris had tragic consequences for the individual; today it is a global tragedy: perhaps an entire planet mortally wounded. The counterparts of hubris are bluster and blame. Bluster is a lie: "It is not as bad as we think. We will recover. Our lives will continue as usual. The future is safe." Bluster is designed to save face and prevent panic. But it does not change the reality we are all secretly facing.Blame is the antithesis of rigorous analysis, discernment, scrutiny and self-scrutiny. Blame is self-righteous. Blaming distracts us from our own culpability, from the gravity of the crisis and so blaming has become an intoxication, an aphrodisiac, an international feeding frenzy. The catastrophe must be someone's fault. Surely it is BP's fault. Yes. And the government's fault. Yes. But it is also the fault of everyone in between. Yes. Everyone's fault. Yes. My fault. And yours. We allowed a reckless life style to be imposed on us. It was offered to us and we grabbed it. We live by consuming whatever is made available, all our resources. We don't know how to change our individual dependencies, let alone national dependencies. We are still preoccupied with money. Blood money. And Tony Hayward of BP wants his life back.But, alas, finding fault doesn't stop the hemorrhage. We are at a stalemate, feuding and fighting There is no evidence that the spill will cease and no evidence that it can be cleaned up. There is not enough money in the universe to restore the Gulf, to compensate our losses. The sea, the one I know as the EarthSeaMother, and her creatures are dying. I have always wondered how I would live and act, if I thought my life and all life might be threatened. But... if we all face and speak our grief, examine our individual relationships to oil and the innumerable petroleum products and toxins embedded in our daily lives, admit that we have all participated in creating this disaster ... then - chastened - we may be able to imagine and hold the enormous pain, shame and fear that BP officials, petroleum companies, investors, government leaders might not be able to admit, even to themselves: they have created a disaster that could mean the beginning of the end of all life on the planet. Admitting this, we become partners on a planet united in its grief and common jeopardy and authorized to refuse any actions that might cause further harm to the natural world and to pursue all possible safe solutions, should there be any. Such unprecedented alliances, inspired to offer everything, withholding nothing, and relieved of concerns with profit, damage control, liability, power, nationalism, might find ways to save it all for the common good.Who knows but such community grief speaking and unprecedented alliances might, in the realms where miracles happen, find us sufficiently trustworthy to rouse the EarthSeaMother and awaken her own healing potential alongside our united efforts. Let us enter into national and international Days of Atonement, into moral accounting, while giving everything, so that future beings may still be written into the Book of Life. *** Deena Metzger's recent books include Entering the Ghost River: Meditations on the Theory and Practice of Healing and Grief into Vision: A Council, from Hand to Hand Press and Ruin and Beauty, New and Selected Poems; Doors: A Fiction for Jazz Horn; The Other Hand, from Red Hen Press. www.deenametzger.com. deenametzger@verizon.net
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