Monthly Archives: August 2010

Monday Musings

We had a great weekend filled with lots of food activity that started with a post-car- dealership trip to my favorite Indian place for their Tika Masala and naan.

And since I had fallen off the wagon, I decided to eat the dust and went ahead and cooked all weekend long, but nothing I made was better than these.

Salted caramel and chipotle popcorn balls.

And they will cause you to stuff them into your mouth at a rapid pace.





I found the recipe in the September issue of Food and Wine along with four hundred and sixty-four other ones that I just had to try.  We ate the black-eyed pea salad , shrimp etouffee, biscuits, and tea-brined chicken that only four out of the five of us enjoyed and which caused Travis to declare “This chicken is nasty” and while I was grateful for the appropriate sentence structure, the judgement rendered at the dining room table? Not so much.

And I gained two pounds.

Have  a nice day.

At the car dealership. Again.

I spent five hours at the car dealership yesterday still trying to fix my car door from three weeks ago when it mysteriously malfunctioned in the middle of my girl’s night out. (I would hyperlink back to that story but I’m on my phone and besides, I’m sure the image of me trying to kick the door open in 4 inch wedges is sufficiently seared in your brain.)

My time yesterday was spent listening to the 6865436 ringtones that one of my waiting room companions scrolled through and I was tempted to suggest Theory of a Deadman’s “Make Up Your Mind” as an appropriate reflection of her personality but my mother taught me better.

And then she started to show me her singing kitten videos.

Accompanied by interpretive dance.

We were soon joined by the woman who shared with us the intimate details of her granddaughter’s love life, the man whose girlfriend left him but not before racking up $23,000 in charges to his credit card, and the guy who desperately kept trying to get the TV to work so he wouldn’t have to listen to all of the above.

This three-ring circus kept getting interrupted by the technician who tried to insist to me that it was normal for my car alarm to sound every time I inserted my key to open the door.

I kept insisting otherwise.

Reason prevailed and they finally located the problem which was a circuit that wasn’t properly grounded and, of course, the part had to be transferred from another dealership so I’m back this morning to get that part installed.

And to experience 5 more hours of blog fodder.

Hopefully without the kittens.

Have a nice day.

A look at my make-up drawer

Light and fluffy.

We are light and fluffy today because I still don’t quite know how to process my new blog design and I can’t go back to the old one because WordPress deleted it.

And please do not be wedded to the current design because I will be trying out new ones for the next few weeks until I find one I’m happy with.  I realize this can be unsettling to people and let me say “I HEAR YOU” because while I am eminently flexible, I am also intractably routine and I do not like it when people move my cheese.

Or don’t sell it anymore.

So, we’re talking about make-up today since y’all arose a hue and cry yesterday over mascara.  By the way, that mascara?  It’s fresh on my cheeks because I wore it to the dentist’s office today and he caught me off guard when he mentioned that JJ has officially lost all of his baby teeth.   My gut wrenched and my eyes welled and JJ choked back a sob or two when he realized the gravy train had left the station.

I stopped wearing mascara 5 years ago when I was spending all day in the pool teaching the boys how to swim and just never got back in the habit, but the other day I was thinking that I needed to focus attention away from my double chin my eyes needed a “pop” and I decided to get back into the habit. I have a pretty simple make-up routine and while I am deeply committed to my eyeliner and my gloss, I have no allegiance to foundation, eye shadow, powder, etc. and usually never buy the same thing twice because I only buy what Whimzie tells me to and she’s pretty fickle when it comes to product.

And I say that lovingly.

In case she’s reading today.

She and I shared make-up in college, mainly because I practically lived at her apartment even though I had a dorm room, and in the morning I’d just grab whatever she had laying out on the bathroom counter.  Funny enough, when we get together now, we always go through our recent purchases and let each other try it out.  Some habits never die.

Her latest recommendation that has been spot on is Stila’s One Step Foundation.  It has primer, foundation AND powder built into it and it’s the first foundation that I’ve liked enough to buy a second bottle.

She also talked me into this Benefit Dandelion blush, and while I have liked it for spring and summer, I think it’s going to be too pinky for fall.

This is the new mascara (Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes) I bought.  It’s not waterproof; I cried it off watching a YouTube video someone sent me about soldiers coming home from Iraq.

My gloss.  It’s Philosophy’s Reflect a Little.  Sometimes I wear it by itself or with some lip liner.  I rarely wear lipstick.

I’ve saved my Mary Kay Deep Brown eyeliner for last because it is my constant friend and faithful companion, my American Express.  I just don’t leave home without it.

I’ve used it for ten years and I hope and pray they don’t discontinue it.

Like they did my blog design.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday’s 10 on the 10th Tidbits

Thanks, Meredith, for hosting!


1.  Why did my blog design change overnight when I didn’t do anything to update it?

And how do I get the old one back?

2.  Why did JJ ask me for steel wool and a D battery?

I need to make sure our insurance is paid up.

3.  Why did Mr. CPQ roll his eyes when I said I wanted to save a box of baby books to read to our grandchildren?

4.  If the boys don’t learn how to properly shower, I may never have grandchildren.

5.  I haven’t had a french fry in three weeks.

I was reminded of this as I sat across the table from Squishy Baby at lunch today and watched her munch on a waffle fry.  It was all I could do not to snatch it out of her hands I had a delicious salad.

6.  After a five year hiatus, I bought a tube of mascara today.

I didn’t realize technology had advanced during my absence.  The saleswoman, sensing my discomfort, offered to give me an application lesson, but I politely declined because I don’t particularly care to have people that close to my pores.

7.  I stopped in at the store to pick up some vanilla protein powder  and my cashier’s name was “Rabid”.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

8.  I had to practice some conflict resolution skills yesterday.

Turning 40 has given me some much-needed backbone.

9.  Speaking of backbone, someone who has more of it than I do is now wearing the gold jacket to critical acclaim.

You can read all about it here.

10. And on a somber note, former Senator Ted Stephens (R-AK) was killed in a plane crash today.  In a small world moment, I  had the opportunity to work with him/his staff when he was Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.   Prayers are offered for his family and staff.

Have a nice day.

Happy Birthday, Daddy

There once was a boy.

Who grew up.

And met a girl.

And they got married.

And had a baby.

And another one…

And another one….

And then the cutest one of all another.

I mean, really, how could you even stand all the cuteness?

Apparently, I couldn’t stand my brother the cuteness either.

These four children loved each other very much.

And the man took his family to live in Guatemala where they did neat things like ride motorcycles (and crash them occasionally)….

And where they made questionable fashion choices.

But most of all they listened to their daddy tell people about Jesus….

And they watched him get his feet wet and his hands dirty.

Because that’s what hands and feet that are given to Jesus are supposed to do.

And the children grew up.

And moved away….

But the girl still loved her Daddy.

Very much.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  I’m so incredibly proud to be your daughter.

Have a nice day.

In which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

There are a lot of hills upon which I choose to die, but breakfast cereal just isn’t one of them.

Blame it on a knee-jerk reaction to the staples of my childhood, Grape-Nuts and Raisin Bran.

The kids each have their favorite kind.  I guess for posterity’s sake I should note that Tommy loves Fruity Pebbles, Travis lives for Frosted Flakes, and JJ always goes for the Cocoa Krispies.

Anyway, I was cleaning out the pantry this morning in preparation for a grocery run and found a quarter of a box each of Fruity Pebbles and Marshmallow Pebbles (don’t judge).  I also found half a bag of star-shaped marshmallows left over from the 4th of July, so I threw caution to the wind, melted them with a half a stick of butter, threw in both boxes of mixed cereal, and voila! dessert.

I’m sure the preceding sentence is littered with punctuational errors.

Feel free to disregard.

The red, white, and blue stars turned a lovely shade of purple after melting and being stirred together.

It added a certain, as the French say, I don’t know what to the dish.

And they were delicious and tasted exactly like Froot Loops.

Have a nice day.

P.S. Congratulations to Melanie for guessing “pickled turnips” from yesterday’s post.  Sadly, she didn’t win a thing.

Lunch Bunch

This is the perfect salad. I’m so enraptured by it that I had to blog about it WHILE eating it because I’m a sharing person and that’s what sharers do.

And also because I couldn’t get a lunch buddy at the last minute and typing on my phone while eating lunch alone in a restaurant makes me feel less conspicuous.

Have a nice day.

Three Things Thursday

1.  I’m eating leftover enchiladas for lunch and you KNOW they’re good because I’m not a big fan of things left over.  I tried something new last night and partially fried the corn tortillas before filling them and I used pepper jack instead of Monterrey jack and OH MY WORD they are delicious and I had to get another bite of them before my tribe gets home from school and devours everything edible from the fridge.

That’s the problem with teaching kids self-sufficiency.  They learn how to operate the microwave and suddenly, you’re out of food.

2.  Typically when my friend Heather calls me to go on a field trip with her clan, I jump at the opportunity because chances are there will be popsicles or cupcakes involved.

She speaks my love language.

Yesterday she pulled a switcheroo on me, though, and we ended up on a three mile stroll down the sidewalk hike through the jungle by the Art Museum and did I mention it was straight up noon and a thousand degrees?

I’ll do most anything to hang out with this little one.

We walked to the halfway point of the bridge that crosses the interstate and waved at the drivers that ignored us because they were all on their cell phones.

And then I went to Sonic for a Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper with vanilla to try and rehydrate.

3.  I won my parking ticket appeal.  Shhh.

Have a nice day.

A mouse, a cat, a victim, certain death, and a confession

1.  Tommy informed me last night that his teacher’s pet mouse accidentally got out of the cage and is running loose in the classroom.  They’ve been trying to catch him all week, leaving seeds/crumbs/the baked chips I send in that he doesn’t like in an attempt to lure him back into his plastic castle to no avail.  I suggested placing cheese on a small board with a snapping metal guillotine on the end but the look of horror on his face told me that he wouldn’t be taking that idea back to his rescue brigade.

Until they catch him, I think my schedule might be conveniently full for volunteer day.

2.  I’m changing the cat’s name to Little Bunny Foo-Foo.  His new trick is to climb on top of the garage door while it’s open and bop unsuspecting victims on the head as they walk by.  The victim is usually Mr. CPQ which tickles me more than it ought to.

3.  Speaking of victims, here’s a fashion one.

I thought she couldn’t top the swan thing, but clearly, I was mistaken.

4.   Has anyone done P90X?  My cousin stopped by for coffee the other night and he’s completed day 71 of 90 on that program.  He looks AMAZING and I’m tempted to do it but let’s be real, if I couldn’t make it past day 4 of the 30 Day Shred, it’s a pretty safe bet I won’t make it through something that’s three times as long.

It might be worth it, though, for the blog fodder.

5.  And lastly, in hopes of wading into waters less controversial than my appeal of a parking ticket, I have to confess that I love this song and know all the words.

It’s my gift to you this morning; I hope it makes you extra ecstatified.

Have the best day ever.

GladiTuesday Tidbits

1.  I’m glad that I remembered it was Picture Day.

Of course, one of my offspring has a scrape to memorialize which is par for the course because over the years we’ve also documented black eyes, questionable fashion, and an unsupervised incident with Dad’s hair trimmer.

2. I’m glad that Mr. CPQ and I have survived the first week of our new eating plan.

He has lost 10 pounds.




But I’m not bitter.

3.  I’m glad to be back in a “try a new recipe” groove.  I served beef roast for dinner last night that took 30 hours of prep and cooking time.

And it tasted like…….roast beef.

As we say in this house, it was a long run for a short slide.

4.  I’m glad for unexpected surprises.  My brother and his son invited my dad to fly from Oklahoma to Oshkosh for some big air show in his little plane (they will cringe that I don’t know the name of either the show or his plane), and while they were there they ran in to my uncle from California who also decided to go.

How weird is it that they all showed up from different parts of the country at the same place at the same time?

5.  I’m glad the city has an appeal process for the parking ticket I received on Friday after we had our little incident.

Guess who forgot all about the meter after T fell down?

6.  I’m glad that the fall TV season is almost here.

The endless loop of The Best Thing I Ever Ate is starting to get old and threatens to derail what little food discipline I have left.

7.  I’m glad for OPI nail polish.  It is all that and a bag of no chips.

Every time I look at my toes, it makes me laugh that the color is called “No, I’m not a waitress.”  And those are Kellie’s toes beside mine.  Can you tell which one of us has spent her summer by the pool?

8.  I’m glad for dead lizards in my laundry room for their presence ensures that it is regularly swept.

9.  I’m glad my neighbors haven’t called the homeowner’s association over the sword and the axe that are currently stuck in the tree stump in our front yard.

10.  I’m glad I’m at the end of this list. Thank you, Gretchen, for hosting!

Have a nice day.