Thursday, March 31, 2011

Momma cries.....

Ok, I admit it. I'm a music person.  I listen to music, I sing music, I hum music....all day long.  It's slowly driving my son crazy!  He's always pointing out when I'm singing when I don't even know it.  My dad hummed when I was a kid working with him.  I sing.  I sing loud. 

One day, at the grocery store around Christmas, I was shopping along and an older man began to look at me.  I smiled at him...I'm a pretty happy person. I smile at total strangers and will talk to a post...  Anyway, he began to follow me.  After a few aisles, he said, 'you have a nice singing voice'......I asked him if I had been singing out loud....he said 'yes'....I was singing Christmas songs along with the overhead speakers!  I started laughing and he said, 'you just looked so happy singing out loud, I thought I'd compliment you!'  I try to be a little more discreet now with my singing.

Well, the other day, my son and I were driving to Lowe's to get my husband a ladder for his birthday.  It is one of those cool ones that fold into four sections.  We were driving along, listening to my favorite Christian radio station, and a song by one of my favorite groups started playing.  I should also tell you that I like just about all kinds of music.  Really the only genre I don't like is rap.  I don't see the originality in rap music. 

The station I listen to is a Christian edge station.  I started listening to it when I first moved here because, like I said, I sing out loud and some of the lyrics I wasn't too keen on my kids listening to me sing out loud.I figured that the kids wouldn't like Christian music since I listened to it but they both still really like it.  Christian music is not like it was when I was a teen.  Back in the eighties, it was pretty bad....

One of my favorite groups is Skillet.  They are hard rock with a great rock singer.  My husband doesn't like to get in the minivan because you never know what song is going to be rocking out Suzy-Q!

As we were driving to Lowe's, 'Lucy' by Skillet came on.  If you haven't ever listened to the song,  I suggest you do.  Some say it's about abortion, I don't know but I know that by the time I got to Lowe's, I was a balling, ball-bag.  My son never said a word, he's used to mom sobbing as she drives while listening to a song.  After the song was over, I looked over at him and he just said, 'are you done now?' and smiled at me!  We both cracked up laughing......

I'm sure he doesn't share with his friends that his mom is one of those people who starts bawling at the drop of a hat....or note.... 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reading...Oklahoma style!

I've just discovered an Oklahoma author that I love!  Her name is Billie Letts.  We went to the library over spring break and I just grabbed a few books to read.  I don't normally have a plan, I just wander around and pull out books. I grabbed a couple of hers and then a book in the new fiction section.  It was a mystery and I started it as soon as I got home. 

I often wonder what type of woman reads those novels with the 'F' word every other line.  This book was supposed to be a light mystery read about a realtor that finds a dead body in a house she listed.  Well, I slogged through about three chapters until I couldn't read anymore.  It was just embarrassing!  I put it away to take back and picked up one of the Billie Letts books. 

It was so refreshing to read a book with no bad words and actually had a redeeming story line!  'The Honk and Holler Opening Soon' was an easy read and I enjoyed it very much.  So much, that I finished it and the other book over spring break!  After the second book, I looked at the jacket to see where the author lived and was blown away to find that she was an Okie!  No wonder I liked her so much!  Both books were set in Oklahoma but that doesn't necessarily mean that the author lives in Oklahoma. 

I went back this week to pick up a few more books for my daughter and also picked up two more of her books.  This time, I picked one up that said 'Oprah's book club' on the cover....have I been living under a rock?  We have an Oklahoma author that was a Oprah's book club author?  I kind of missed out on Oprah's book club reading because I was simply too busy raising kids and driving them all over the country or county.

Well, I'm sitting down tonight and starting my third Billie Letts book.  I've been putting it off because I know that once I start, not much will go on around here until I finish the book....

Well, Billie Letts, you have a new fan....I know, it took me a while. Thanks for writing true fiction without trying to be gross, stupid or using curse words every other line.  You're making Oklahoma look really, really good!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Menu Monday..

This is that transitional time in Oklahoma where one day it's eighty degrees, the lilacs are blooming and the next day the high is forty!  I make my menu seasonal but it's really hard during this time because I don't know if we should be having soup in the house or grilling on the patio. To make it easy on myself, I put a few cold weather meals in the menu and also a few warmer weather meals, then I just pick the temperature that fits the day.

This week has started cold so I used the honey mustard chicken and rice meal with green beans and green salad last night, tonight, we're having grilled fish and mac-n-cheese and  mixed veggies.  I have an outing at work and need something fast and easy!

Wednesday night is eat-at-church night - my favorite night of the week!  I'll tell you, I don't feel the need to eat out during the week when I can count on a night out every Wednesday for under fifteen dollars!

Thursday is going to be crab salad sandwiches with a veggie tray, Friday night, I'm grilling burgers and having baked beans and coleslaw(it's supposed to be almost eighty!).  Saturday, we'll probably grill chicken and potato packets and have a greek salad.  I'm thinking we'll be eating on the porch again by saturday night!

Here's my super easy potato packet recipe. I change it up as the summer goes on to include my garden produce. 

Super Easy Potato Packet

Spray a large sheet(about the size of a 9x13 cake pan) with no stick spray or use the no stick foil
Dice in about 1/2 inch cubes one potato per person (1/2 for kids)
Dice about 2 tablespoons onion per person
You can also add: carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, etc....
Add  teaspoon diced garlic per person
salt/pepper to taste
If you have fresh basil or a favorite herb, put it in also.  If you only have dried, use 1/2 teaspoon per person or leave it out.
1 tablespoon grated parmesan or other hard cheese per person
Drizzle of olive oil

Place all the ingredients on the foil, layering potatoes and other hard veggies first.  Place another sheet, a little larger than the first, on top of the ingredients.  Starting with the bottom foil sheet, fold up at least three times all around so moisture will not escape while cooking.

Place directly above fire on medium for about 10 minutes and then move to an area of the grill that is not going to cook directly or on low.  cook another 10 minutes.  Carefully, remove the foil packet and place on a cookie sheet.  Unroll one end of the foil and check for the potatoes to be soft.  If they are almost there, just leave them in the foil until the meat gets finished grilling, the steam will usually finish cooking them. 

You can just open the top of the foil to serve or put in a serving bowl.  For family, I just serve out of the clean-up!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Being Needed....

I have a friend who's a first time mom.  I remember that thought you knew what it was going to be like but in reality, you really didn't have a clue.  My parents had a surprise when I was thirteen, my brother was, you want a sure-fire way to ensure your teen won't have sex before they get married?  Bring home a newborn the same year your teen becomes a teen.  There was no earthly way, I was having a baby!

But even with that knowledge of how much work they really are and how much crying they really do, I still didn't know what it really would be like to have one of my own.  One that I'm responsible for.  And boy, are you responsible for them!  They depend fully on you to eat, clean them, doctor them, pretty much make every decision for them. 

I had two of my nieces overnight this weekend.  One is six and the other almost four.  We had a ball but by the time it was time for bed, I was pooped!  I had already forgotten how much work it was to fix a meal, cut all the meat, pour all the drinks, read all the books, oversee a bath, help with dressing, and on and on and on!  My own kids are so self-sufficient that I've become  a little relaxed and just have to remind them to bath and such, and they can feed themselves from dishes I set on the table!  If they need to cut their meat, they know where we keep the knives!

My kids are self-sufficient in many ways but are still infant-like in many others.  While I don't have to do all those physical things that I had to do when they were still babies, they still need their dad and I everyday.  When they were little, they required me to bath, dress, feed them but they weren't watching to see how I did those things.  Now, as teens, they are watching our every moves.  How we treat strangers and friends, what we say in traffic, how we treat that waitress at our favorite restaurant, how we shop, who we become friends with, who we invite to dinner, what we say when no one but family is around......and the list goes on and on.

They don't need me to preach to them about what's right and what's wrong, but they need to see with their own eyes how to love others and do what's right even though it might not be popular or easy.  They need to see those struggles that my husband and I have because they will soon have those struggles as young adults.  If they never saw an older person struggle, then they won't have a frame of reference on which to overcome the adversities that they will most certainly face in life.

They need me.  Not to necessarily fill their physical needs, although I truly think my son would starve if I wasn't around sometimes, but to teach them how to be adults.  This is a harder task than just making sure they take a bath and read three books every night.  I'm sure I'm like a lot of parents, I sometimes think that I'm ruining them as adults.  Am I too hard, was I too soft, should I have said this, maybe I said too much.....what a task!  It could be overwhelming if I didn't truly believe that God put them into our home for the purpose of us teaching and instructing them.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect and neither is my husband. I've been known to say that bad word more than every now and then, that gets pointed out each time I say it! That and about a million other things that I do on a daily basis that I would never want videoed and shown on Oprah! 

I don't think God thinks my husband and I are any better than anyone else, I think that He thought these two kids needed to be in this home to learn certain things that we could teach them....maybe it was that moms and dads aren't perfect but you should cut them some slack for trying so hard! he! he! 

I do know this, although my kids aren't babies anymore, they still need me everyday!  I'm honored and humbled by this knowledge and I pray everyday that I can be up to the task!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love of Reading...

I have always loved to read.  When I was a kid the highlight of the weeks during summer break was when we got to go to the little library in my hometown.  It wasn't big but I loved it.  I read almost every book in the middle school library and read a lot in the high school library.  I didn't leisure read much in college....too busy.  But once I graduated, I make a twice monthly trip to the library and checked out as many books as I could read.

When my kids were born, I began to read to them almost from birth.  It was a way to get my son to sit still for a little bit during the day. As long as my husband or I read to him, he'd sit still.  It became a tradition for my husband to read every night to my son, Goodnight Moon and many others when he was little and chapter books like The Hobbit and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe when he got older.  As soon as he was able, he began to read and hasn't stopped since.

My daughter, was a different story.  She liked me to read to her but would tire after only a few books.  I did read to her at night but she didn't seem to have a love of reading like my son did and I worried endlessly that she would miss out on the wonderful world of reading. She had a reading program in elementary school and many nights leading up to the end, when she needed a certain amount of points, I would read to her in bed so she could test on the book to get her points.  It was stressful for both her and I.  I bought all sorts of books trying to 'turn her on' to reading....nothing seemed to work. 

It wasn't that she couldn't read, she read well.  She just didn't enjoy it.  She would rather play dolls or look at the pictures in a magazine.  Then, my son and I began to read the Twilight series.  She wanted to read it so badly because all the 'cool' older kids were reading it.  I wouldn't let her read it because it had vampires in it and she'd always had this 'thing' about vampires.  She watched a 'Doug' cartoon on Halloween where he turned into a vampire or something like that and suddenly everyone, including me, were vampires!  She'd wake up in the night from a vampire dream....the whole little girl nine yards!  There was no way I was going to let her read a book about vampires! 

About a year ago, I finally gave in and let her read the first book in the series.  Well, she read it in two weeks! Then, in about a month, she finished the rest of the series!  Twilight had turned her on to reading!  Yes, I said the Twilight series....hey, whatever works!

Now, there is no stopping her, she reads constantly.  I had to go to the library today to pick up another group of books for her today while she was in school.  She started the series over spring break and needs to finish it quickly!

The love of reading has been passed on.....I'm so happy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Today is going to be quick.  I've got a ton of cooking to do!  Making dinner for my husband tonight for his birthday.  I'm crockpot cooking pork tenderloins in teriaki sauce, wild rice pilaf in my rice cooker, steamed veggies and tomato-feta salad.  I'm baking a strawberry jello cake and serving it with fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

The kids and I bought him a new ladder. It's one of those that make different shapes.  He's almost worn out our old ladder, I'm afraid one of us will fall off it.  Especially after the remodel, it's got a lot of use!

He's forty-seven!  I can't hardly believe that either of us are that old!  How can that possibly be!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pancake night!

I love pancake night! last night, I fired up the old griddle, took some ham slices and frozen blueberries out of the freezer and served up a great pancake night!  I had to make a double batch of pancakes and there were only a few left.  I'm hoping that I can eat the leftovers tomorrow for lunch if my husband doesn't find them for breakfast first!

Pancake night is a quick, economical dinner that my kids love.  I use coupons on the ham and eggs that make the pancakes.  I use an old recipe from a Better Homes cookbook that I bought when I first got married.  The fruit I serve is cheap or free because I pick blackberries in the summer and have a blueberry patch that I buy a bunch from in the summer and put up to freeze.  So for me, pancake night is an easy, inexpensive way for me to be a hit!

I'm not cooking tonight because our church has a dinner on Wednesday's and we eat there. I love Wednesday's!  It costs me twelve dollars and I don't have to cook it.  I'm already planning Thursday's meal because my husband is turning forty-seven!  Wow! He's getting old....I'm making grilled pork tenderloin, wild rice and a tomato salad.  I'm also making his favorite jello strawberry cake.  He and my daughter fought about which one would get the cake since she's having the slumber party on friday.  She finally gave in since it's really not her birthday and she'll get to eat the cake too.  Dad however, has decided that he and my son are finding somewhere else to be on friday night.  don't know why!  Seven thirteen year old girls, my two nieces I've volunteered to babysit, and me, a perimenopausel woman! Oh joy! It's so exciting I can hardly wait!

It's going to be a great week!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cherry Limeades!

I love spring and it has really sprung in Oklahoma! My daffodils are in full bloom. I have a couple of bouquets in the house.  I always put them in my cobalt blue vases.  I think the blue really sets off the different yellows in the daffodils. 

Some of the daffodils on the Ponderosa I've planted, but a lot came with the property.  I dug them up because they were overcrowded and planted too deeply because they had been there so long.  They are old fashioned double daffodils that smell heavenly.  Not like the large, pink or some other color daffodil that you can buy now.  Don't get me wrong, I like those too and have several varieties.  But I really do like the smell of those old fashioned flowers.

Spring also brings out my craving for Sonic's cherry limeades.  I love that tangy taste!  I also love taking my daughter to Sonic after school.  We roll our windows down and just talk about her day.  It's nice to hear all about her day.

Sonic cherry limeades and my daughter.....just a pretty great duo!

Monday, March 21, 2011

So Tired!

Ohhhh! I am sooo tired! It's the first day back from spring break....and I'm dragging.  I'm so glad that it's pick up pizza night tonight on the menu.  Sometimes, I really do a good job planning! sometimes, not so much! This week, I have a few tried and true menus planned so it's easy since I'm so busy!

Tonight, we're having pizza from Mazzio's, they have a pick-up special so I'm picking up.  Tomorrow, it's pancake and ham night with frozen blackberries from the garden.  I bought the ham and eggs for the pancakes with coupons on sale and will make from scratch pancakes.  So dinner is only a few bucks!  Wednesday is eat at church night! I love Wednesdays, I get to see my friends and chat, and I don't have to cook.  Bonus!  Thursday is my husbands birthday night so I'm crockpot cooking pork tenderloin, wild rice pilaf and salad with strawberry jello cake. That's his favorite. 

Friday, well friday is my daughter's slumber party! The boys are taking off to grandma's! She hasn't decided on pizza or hamburgers...but we're having veggies, dip, apples, grapes and marble cupcakes!  I don't thing anybody cares what the entree will be, they are having cupcakes with pink and black zebra cupcake liners.

Anyway, we've got the menu planned, the invites are being delivered today, the new family room will be ready for the girls, we may not have it completely done but the tv, the wii and the foosball table will be hooked up. They are all ready and really excited.....I am going to bed with ear plugs in that night.....I'm tired already!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Kozy Coat Wall-of-Water Gardening Teepees, 3-PackI'm in the process of getting the garden ready and planted this week.  I've been to Stillwater Milling to pick up some different types of compost and peat moss.  I like going to Stillwater Milling for all my garden needs.  It's not one of those fancy little garden centers, you can buy worming stuff for your cattle, electric fencing for the horses and get yourself some fancy boots and clothes along with pet food!  It's also one of those places that old retired guys who like to talk hang out and no one gets onto them! 
I'm a bit of a talker myself, so this is the place for me.  Last year, an older man told me that the best tomato for around here was Jet Star.  I bought a couple and, sure enough, that little plant did better than most.  So this year, while I was picking up the compost, I went out to the greenhouse and picked myself up a couple of those, plus some broccoli for spring planting. 
If you remember last year, I went to a raised bed system for most of my garden and added a drip irrigation system.  I was pretty proud of myself because it sure made watering easier!  In the background, you can those tall, green tubes sticking out of the ground.  Those are wall-o-waters for tomatoes.  I used them last year for the first time in a long time.  I had my tomatoes out at the end of March when most people aren't planting tomatoes around here until mid-April.  I had tomatoes about mid-June because one of the ones I put in the wall-o-waters was a cherry. 
I'm working on getting my wall-o-waters out today.  I am adding compost to my soil and will fill the wall-o-waters with water(thus the name!) and let that water sit out in the sun for about a week to warm up.  Science teacher time: water is a great insulator because it takes a lot of energy to heat up and a lot of energy loss to cool down.  That's why around large bodies of water, there is not as great of a temperature change.  Anyway, once those chambers get heated up, I'll plant my tomato starts in the ground. 
I love gardening, it is great exercise and I think it's good for my soul.  I can think to myself, sing and pray in my garden.  Kate, my big black dog, comes and guards the garden so no forest monsters get me.....she hates squirrels and thinks they are her enemies so she guards me!  My husband is always trying to get me to stop carrying the big bags of compost but I just tell him that it's a weight bearing exercise...good for blue-eyed women who are prone to osteoporosis!
Plus, with the cost of fresh veggies right now, anything I can grow for very little helps the bottom line! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Birthday and St. Patrick's Day

Thirteen years ago today, my life changed.....for the better.  Thirteen years ago about noon, my daughter entered this world!  She is such a precious gift and my husband and I love her to death!  Our precious daughter and son are adopted so we realize everyday how much we've been blessed because they are obvious gifts from not only God, but from two very loving, selfless birthmothers.

Our birthmothers and their families have always been dear to my heart.  I look at them as extended family members who love my kids too.  I feel really blessed to be part of their families too.  We were put together under circumstances that were both happy and sad but blended us forever, sharing the love of one little person. My kids have always known that there were adopted.  It's just always been part of their story, our story, of how we became a family.

Today, as I prepare the cake and wrap the presents, I think of my daughter's precious birth family.    That special family that gave my husband and I the special task to raise her to become an adult.  It's an awesome task, being a parent, no matter how the child came to you.  It's scary as they begin to grow up and away because forces beyond your four walls begin to influence your child more and more.  I hope and pray the foundation we have laid are going to stand strong during this turbulent time in our children's lives. 

Thirteen is an exciting year for my daughter, she's finally a teenager! She's having a family dinner tonight and a big slumber party next friday night with her gang or gaggle, depending on who you ask!  The boys are leaving that night for grandma's...something about too much estrogen....    Tonight, we're just keeping her for us........ 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Break Week!

Gotta love teaching....during spring break!  This week is spring break in Oklahoma. I'm so glad.  It worked out wonderfully that this was also spring forward week, I don't do so well losing an hour of sleep.  It seems to take me two weeks to recover!  I never have this problem with the fall back part of the cycle.  My body happily accepts gaining an hour but I really have a hard time springing forward.

Of course, the first part of spring break has been cold and rainy.  Oh well, I needed a chance to recover from my garden overload over the weekend!  My daughter and I cleaned out all the flower beds, remulched and raked leaves.  Most of my plants seemed to have made it through the long, cold, cold, snowy winter we had.  I don't know about blooms yet but I'll give up those if they will just live!

Gardening with someone else makes it much more fun and easier.  You can work as a team, I raked, she blowed with the leaf blower.  I picked up leaves, sticks, etc, she wheeled the wheel-barrow down to the compost pile.  We laughed and took drink breaks, something I never do when I'm working alone.  I am still a little sore but nothing like when I work by myself.  I also hope I'm giving her my love of gardening and some basic knowledge of plants.  She isn't so excited about it now.....maybe when she buys her first place, some of that knowledge will come in handy.

Vegetable gardening is starting for me in earnest this week also.  By the end of the week, it's supposed to be back in the seventy's so I'm starting my lettuce, spinach and potatoes.  I'm planning to put up my wall-o-waters so maybe I'll get my tomatoes in next week.

Since it's still Oklahoma, I'm waiting patiently for that last snowfall we always seem to get sometime in late March or early April.  I can stand it, spring is really starting to take hold so winter has to be on it's way out!  It's time to put away the snow shovel and get out the garden tools!

So I won't be spending my spring break out on a beach somewhere, I'll just spend it on my little Ponderosa readying it for spring.  We're so close to finishing the new building project that I'm getting antsy anyway and next friday night is the big '13' slumber party, we've still got to get everything ready to go.  I just don't have time to lay on a beach!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Facebook fatigue.....

I'm tired of the facebook drama....I'm serious!  I started using facebook about a year ago to keep up with people I went to school with.  It didn't take long for former students to start friending me and I found it was a great way to keep up with church friends and activities for my teenagers through the youth group site. 

I also seemed to be a magnet for people I never knew!  I got a bunch of those requests at the beginning...not so much anymore.  I guess the decided I was a grumpy, middle-aged woman who didn't need friends she didn't know. 

Speaking of friends I don't know, I'm pretty picky about who I friend and I don't mind de-friending people that I find weird or just weary.  I have de-friended former students because I found their posts weird....I don't care who they slept with or what their new sexual orientation is today....that's just too much information for an old lady!  I also don't like those 'I'm drunk facebook rants' or feel sorry for me, I've made some really bad choices rants....get over it and grow up already!

I also cull out the 'I'm a gay liberal so don't say anything that reveals your feelings about those topics' rants.  Alright, if you know me in anyway, you know that I'm a conservative, middle-aged woman, who leans green on environmental issues.  I'm also married to a man! surprise!  I will occasionally say things on facebook (and here) that reveal my feelings on issues.....I don't need you to chastise me or lash out at me because I dare to post my feelings!  Remember, you friended me!  I love a good debate, but taking me to task and tongue lashing me because my particular take on something doesn't mesh with your beliefs will find you one less friend.  I won't rake you over the coals for your weird beliefs, you leave me alone for mine! 

I don't know why some people feel they can be rude, condescending or just plain annoying in the printed word.  Most of the people who act like jerks on facebook don't have the guts to speak those words to someone face to face! 

I deleted a few people over the weekend again.  I'm sorry if it hurts your feelings.  I just don't want to know you anymore and just like in real life, if you become non-friendly, I will begin to distance myself from you until we break off contact, I am making a facebook break from you in facebook's not you, it's, it's you, I don't want to be your facebook friend or any friend're just not friend material. 

Don't bother trying to re-friend me, it's like I used to tell old boyfriends.  You get one shot with me, you mess up, you're gone..... Life's too short to try to go backwards.....I'm moving on....I does amaze me that people know exactly how many friends they have so when someone de-friends them, they hunt down the person and begin badgering them to become friends again!  Really, really, do you think I defriended you by accident?  Really? 

I'm beginning to not enjoy facebook....too much high school drama...and I'm too old for high school.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Green Onions

We've been eating fresh green onions from the garden! It's so exciting to make that little walk down to the garden and cut a fresh onion for my salad.  I also have chives up and have been cutting them as well.  I don't buy green onions during the winter because they are usually so expensive that I can't justify spending money on something I  know we'll have ten months of the year. 

I grow something called 'walking' onions.  I've seen it in garden catalogs as egyptian walking onions.  I don't know if they came from egypt but around here, we call them walking onions.  My mom gave me a start several years ago and she was given a start from someone at church.  That's sometimes the best plant, a pass-along plant.  When she passed these along, the directions were like this....'plant them like a regular onion but don't ever pull the entire onion.  Just cut them down to the ground and they will resprout over and over.'  Just like that, they do!  Mid-summer, they send up a very thick flower stalk and bloom like a chive.  Once the bloom is over, the little flower becomes many little onions that will drop off and replant themselves. 

They were so proficient at my house that last year I dug up a bucket full and sent them with my husband to work.  They were eager to try them.  I really like them because once you put in a place, they stay and you  never have to replant!  The perfect recycling plant! Each spring, very early I might add, you can go out and start cutting.  It seems those onions like to be cut, the more cutting the faster they seem to grow.  I throw out a little vegetable food every spring just to help them out a bit, but they pretty much are plants that don't require anything. 

I love those kind of plants!  I take my grandma's mantra concerning plants.  I asked her one time how all her plants always looked so good,.....she said, 'I only grow the ones that will grow!'  Pretty profound really, she didn't believe in wasting time here in Oklahoma trying to coax plants that didn't do well to grow.  She knew what grew well and she grew a lot of each.  That's why her garden did so well!  My mom and both my grandma's had green thumbs and they all pretty much do that...grow what grows well.  Plus, they take a bit of a hand's off approach.  They didn't hover either lived or died. 

I like that garden mantra, I have too many other things to worry about than green onions.  I need them to grow well on their own.  I like my 'walking' onions!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Getting away....

My husband and I took off a little early last weekend and flew to San Francisco.  He was speaking at a conference so he flew out early and I took a couple days off work and flew out to vacation.  We are blessed to have grandparents that live in town so we can do that every now and then.  Every now and then has been exactly three or four times in the eleven years we've lived here!  We get so busy and we both hate leaving the kids, but as they've gotten older, it's gotten easier to sneak off for a few days.

It's odd when we travel without the kids.  We both miss them, we really do but it takes me back to a time before kids(I call it bk) when we did things together all the time, just us.  See, we're one of those couples that were a couple for a long time before we became a quartet.  We really enjoyed each others company then and we still do now.  I'm Lucy to his Ricky.  No, really, I am Lucy.  I tend to get over-excited and bite off much more than I can chew.  He's more laid back and is the worker.  I'm the dreamer, he's the finisher. 

They say couples get more alike the longer they stay together, I don't see that.  I think we have become more polar opposite, so we balance each other out.  I think of marriage as a teeter-totter.  Since I'm so off-center, he's had to adapt to more off-center in the other direction; more organized, more stable, less fly by the seat of his pants.  I find I get more absent minded professor each day. 

I think a lot of it is the everyday stress of having two very busy active teenagers.  One a given day, my cell phone may have three to five alarms set so I can just know where I am supposed to be!  It was nice to be free for a few days from that, although my mother-in-law may hate me when I get back! She gets to do the running for a few days!  I love that woman! 

It's nice to be free from the hustle-bustle for a few days, but by the time we headed to the airport yesterday, we were ready to be parents of our kids again.  Got the souvenirs for the kids.  Promised them that next time, they could come with us.  We'll probably bring them to the Pacific Northwest this summer.  There's a redwood forest calling my name, and a temperate rain forest, and some awesome waterfalls and hiking trails.  I couldn't imagine having those experiences without them in tow.....San Francisco, nay, that's just for my man and me!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Got to get out of this rut!

I'm in a food rut, I can tell it's time to switch seasons! I'm growing so tired of the food I was so excited to be eating last November.  I'm tired of soups, stews, casseroles and all those winter meals I've been making over the past few months.  I'm ready for grilling, fresh veggies and fruits, salads and sandwiches. 

My family is also, I can tell by their responses to nightly meals.  We're all ready to clean off this back patio and set it up for those leisure meals outside as the sun sets.  Don't get me wrong, we almost always eat our evening meal together. When we don't, the kids usually comment on it.  It's just out of sorts when someone is missing.  The dynamics are different when one of us is not around to give our two cents!

Yesterday was so wonderful, it was about sixty degrees and I really wanted to go out and fly a kite.  Didn't have time, too busy dropping off and picking up people...I remember when my kids were so excited for that first day we could go out and fly kites!  My how time flies....but when I mentioned it, both kids were eager to do it sometime next week when we had time!  Even though they are so busy doing their own things, they still find it special to stand out in our front yard and fly kites together. 

I'm beginning to plan this months menu.  This month is a transitional month, from winter meals to spring meals.  I'm ready, I've already asked everyone what they want one last time until next fall.  Chicken and dumplings, chicken enchiladas, and Mc deli soup were things mentioned.  I'll be making them the first two weeks of March...after that, we're going to spring foods...grilled chicken, salads, and sandwiches will start filling the days.

I'm so ready!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Seeing Green!

I was wondering around out in my yard yesterday seeing what I could see and seeing all the garden work that needed to be done.  I spent most of the day Sunday crawling around in the new rooms taping down paper so the workmen wouldn't make such a mess on the new floor.  When they did our garage, we had to powerwash the floor and scrape the windows with a razor blade to get all the gunk off.  I tell you, if those men pee like they spray walls, their mama's should be taken out back and horse-whipped! 

Long story short, I can't hardly move now because I squatted for hours and my legs are so sore I can't hardly wear pants! It's too cold for shorts but I'm really glad that I sit a lot for work!  As I was wondering around, I began to see more and more green poking up.  The wild garlic and onion is about four inches tall.  The daffodils and crocus are up and some are even beginning to bloom!  The buds are beginning to show color on my lilacs.

It was a great reminder of all the work that still needs to be done.  I need to clear out all the old dead stuff that didn't get taken away last fall.  I need to rake the leaves that have now covered the front flowerbeds.  I need to get the last of last years veggie garden taken to the compost pile. 

I've got my little tomato plants growing happily in pots.  They actually got to visit the outside today and sit in the sun! I find that they do better with real sunshine and wind than fake sunshine and my hand swiping over them to make them strong. I"ll probably be putting them outside in my wall-o-waters in a few weeks. 

I looked in on my little spinach plants, they are doing pretty well under my old windows in the garden.  Another week or so and I'll harvest my first little batch.  I haven't decided on a spinach salad with hot bacon dressing or sauteed spinach with garlic, onion and a little soy sauce.  Either way, it will be good to have garden greens again!

Spring is coming, it's so close!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Somewhere I Don't Want To Be......

I had to go yesterday to the sheriff's department to get fingerprinted.  I had to be fingerprinted because even though I'm a high school teacher, in the state of Oklahoma, I am not able to give state tests because I work for K12 corporation instead of a school district.  They finally did give us clearance, a week before testing, but all the teachers must be fingerprinted.  So....down to the Roger's county sheriff's department I went.

I've only been in the sheriff's department one time before, when I was getting fingerprinted for the last teaching job I had.....did I mention that the state department of education requires new fingerprinting each for each school you work for?  If I was a substitute for four different school systems, I'd have to pay(or the school would have to pay) fifty-eight dollars for each fingerprint check.  Seems to be a bit of a deal for the state!

Anyway, as I walked into the office, I noticed several other people in the lobby.  Some looked like they didn't want to be there and some looked like they knew what they were doing and were totally at-home in the sheriff's department.  I told the lady at the counter that I was there for fingerprinting, she pointed to the man sitting in the waiting room and said 'he'll go in first and then you're next'.  I quickly took a seat opposite him.  He looked up and smiled at me as if we knew that we didn't belong in the sheriff's office!

I began to people watch as I immersed myself in a game of mobile phone uno.  First, there were the two women and little girl.  They approached the counter and gave the woman money behind the plexiglass for phone cards for some inmate.  They seemed to know what was going on....then they went to a box and poked a bunch of buttons....don't know what that was.  The second person was an older man.  He brought some phone cards and also offered a couple of books to the lady behind the counter....books the inmates grandmother sent him to read.  The last lady was carrying a small little boy, she also knew the ropes for phone cards....she bought one hundred forty dollars worth. Apparently, she buys that many every few weeks! 

It struck me as sad that these people, who haven't broken the law, are so tied to that lobby.  They are because someone they love did break the law and are now waiting for judgement or serving time for the bad choices.  These were wives, girlfriends, children, parents and grandparents.  It would easy to say that the boys (most of the inmates there today were boys under twenty-five), had bad parents.  It would be easy to blame family or society....but as I get older, I realize that families don't put you in jail. 

Bad choices get you put in jail.  Many of those people probably did have less-than-perfect homes growing up...but so did many people who shop at the grocery store I shop at, or go to the church I worship at, or live across the street.  You can't blame your raising on why you're in jail.  It basically boils down to making some bad choices, mostly lazy choices.  It's easier to sit around and do drugs than to go out and get a job and go to work everyday.  It's easier to rob someone's home than to work hard everyday to earn the money you need to buy stuff. 

I'm not blaming the families of those young men sitting in jail, I'm blaming the young men who were too lazy to learn in school, that were too lazy to learn a trade, that were too lazy to so no to friends that introduced them to drugs, that were too lazy to do what they  needed to do to stay out of jail.  Sure, some have mental problems, learning disabilities, poor families, and things I haven't even thought of....

As I followed the young sheriff back to get fingerprinted, I began to think how sad I would be in my own son made a bad choice and ended up in that place.  How would I feel each week coming into the counter and buying phone cards so I could talk to we walked back through the maze, I began to pray to myself.  I prayed for the boys behind bars, I prayed for the families that were effected, I prayed for the people working there.  I did run into a former student...she works there, thank goodness!  I prayed for my own kids, that they would never make the kind of choices that put them in a place like that!

As I drove away to go pick my daughter from track practice, my son called to check up on seems I had been gone from home too long and he was getting worried! I said a prayer of thanks!