Friday, October 30, 2009

could you send a little prayer may way?

My Grandma Marg is in the hospital. It's not too serious, but enough things have happened recently, that Sasha and I are headed out in the morning. My sister will be there, too. To hopefully ease the burden on my Aunt and Uncle that have been shouldering this load, and to push for some changes that would make life easier for my Grandma and her siblings that live next door. It's going to be an intense week.

Unless things turn out to be really bad, I'm staying for less than a week. We've done this before, Andy stays home, I drop everything to go to a sick relative. I'm so glad I am able to do it, but I feel like there is a hole in my chest right now. Last time we did this was before I got pregnant with Lauren. Aubrey and I got one-way tickets to Albuquerque because we didn't know how long we'd need to be there. 6 weeks was the magic number. And it was awful for me, being away from Andy for so long. Worse for him, being away from me and his daughter. Coming home everyday to an empty house. At least this time Aubrey and Lauren are staying with him. And, too, at least this time I know we'll be returning soon. But still, there's an aching hole in my chest, where my heart is.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

high school football

So cool... the two high schools closest to us are playing tonight. On ESPN! Turns out, the Temple RB is the top in the nation, while the Belton QB is #3 in the state. The Big Guy (I think that's what I'm going to call Andy's boss from now on) is hosting a party at his house tonight to watch the game. Fun!

In other news, Lauren's preschool had their Fall Festival today. She came home with way way way too much junk food, a handful of little party favor toys, and a lei. A lei that smells like it was doused in perfume. It's not a bad perfume, but sheesh, it smells!

check out this bed head!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tree Huggin' Tuesday

April gave me the idea to talk more about what I do to be 'green,' so here you go...
Produce Bags

I have cloth produce bags. These, along with some random little cotton bags that I've ended up with. (but did you see these? or these? or this? aw crap, I need more bags!) I love my produce bags, but I could definitely be green without them... the plastic produce bags from the store can be used again and again (if you use twist-ties or don't tie the bag at all). Also, if I'm buying 3 or fewer of something, I rarely use a bag.

I also try to avoid buying produce already packaged in plastic. This is very hard to do with strawberries and grapes, but very easy to do with potatoes, tomatoes, onoins, apples, oranges... you get the idea.

Baby steps... if you only have one produce bag, that's okay. Use it, along with whatever else. You'll acquire more, bit by bit. Don't wait to start. And, don't worry about what others might think. You just might inspire someone else to give it a try!

My littlest tree hugger appreciates your efforts!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I'm a chicken.

Yesterday was our church picnic. As we were packing our sandwiches and the side we were taking to share, I almost grabbed plates. Real, wash-and-use-again plates. But I decided not to. I didn't want to stand out. So we used the disposble plates that were there. And I was ignoring my guilt (I am way too good at ignoring my guilt, btw) until I saw my cool new friend Charlotte pull 3 real plates out of her bag - one for each of her family members. Argh. No more ignoring the guilt.

But, talking with her about her efforts that day led to talking about what the church could be doing for the environment, and I hope that she and I will be able to help our church grow greener.


In other green news, Sasha fusses like crazy when I put her in cloth diapers. WTH??? Cloth is notoriously much bulkier than disposable, so I'm hoping that as she grows more, and the bulk is comparably less, she'll be cool with cloth. In the meantime, the disposables that claim to be better for the environment wrap her bum, and the cloth diapers adorn her shelf.

Friday, October 23, 2009

a little of this, a little of that

In an attempt to make up for my lack of blogging....

Andy's encountered some odd sexism lately. Nearly every time he leaves Wal-Mart with our cloth bags, he's asked to show his receipt. Only one time have I been asked, and I had a 'big ticket item' in the cart. Now that he's been shopping there a few months, it doesn't happen every time, but there is still one greeter (an older gentleman) that doesn't seem to be sure of a man using cloth bags without his hippie wife by his side.


Organic king size sheet sets on clearance for $19.99. woohoo. That made my day yesterday. They are dreamy-soft. And, because it is the little things that make me so happy, the sheets came packaged in a fabric bag that can be added to my collection of cloth produce bags. :-)


Spinach is my favorite food. Wilted down with onions and bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Or covered in the best dressing in the world*, and tossed with a handful of pecans for lunch. Mmm. I'm eating it every day these days.


Aubrey's home sick today. The severity of her sickness is questionable, seeing as she's wanting to be all over the place, very chatty and non-sick-like. But, she began sobbing in the middle of the night with stomach pains. She doesn't remember, but I do, so even if she's feeling better now, to have been in that much pain not that long ago, she'll stay home today. thankyouverymuch. At the moment she is reading Garfield to Oscar. Very appropriate.


I love, love, LOVE the Twilight books. Read them all about a month ago, then re-read Breaking Dawn, and am now starting over again at Twilight. Took me long enough to get to them, because I thought they sounded ridiculous. Really? A book about high schoolers AND vampires??? I'm almost 30. I'm too mature for that. Ha. Turns out I'm not too mature. Not too surprising, actually, seeing as I've been known to leave inappropriate comments on my friends' blogs (completely unrelated to vampires, but incredibly high school-ish!). ;-) And, anyway, they aren't nearly as immature as I imagined them to be.


The deer thought that my soon-to-be-a-jack-o-lantern pumpkin would be better as a mid-October dinner. I have pictures of the before and after. But my camera cord has gone missing. Again. So picture this: A big, pretty, bright orange pumpkin standing tall and proud by my front step. Now picture a sad orange pumpkin laying on it's side, half eaten. Note to self: keep the pumpkins in the house until October 31st, unless your plan is to feed the deer all month long.


Speaking of pumpkins, I think the stem is almost as important as the pumpkin. A crooked stem adds so much character.

And, Andy has a recipe for the tastiest pumpkin pie. The secret is that the pumpkin is not pre-baked at all. Just ground up raw (which is quite a job - pumpkins are tough, and not every blender or food processor is up for the job) and then mixed with the appropriate ingredients and THEN baked in the crust. Mmmm. I want pie.


Lately we've been cooking bone-in chicken in the pressure cooker. It's ugly as can be, but fall-off-the-bone tender. And EASY.


I'm trying to figure out what to do for my nieces (13 and 15) and nephew (13) for Christmas. I have no clue. Besided money. It'll probably just be money. Not creative enough for me, but oh well.


I'm so enjoying the church we've found here. It's significantly smaller then our WI congregation, and is 'in transition' - we've got an interim pastor and there are lots of changes afoot. Changes that aren't apparent to me, as a newbie. But apparently big changes. Oh, and as far as big changes and the 'big' church go - the ELCA assembly opens ministry to partnered gay and lesbian lutherans. This makes me happy. Very happy. I think God's church should be welcoming to all. After all, we are all sinners and we all need saving. Rev. Lee M. Miller, II: "I am not saved because I'm a heterosexual. I am saved because of what God has done." Indeed.


Since I can't seem to stop talking about food-related things, I'll add that Andy thinks our pantry smells liked chocolate cake. (Aubrey and I think it sometimes smells like dog food, but that's not the point of this story.) Andy gets mad every time he opens the door. Then I laugh at him. Then he cusses at me and demands I make a chocolate cake. "Make me a chocolate cake, Woman!" Then he closes the door and walks away. Then he gets me a snack while Sasha is nursing, and the entire cycle starts over again. I bought him a lava cake yesterday to satisfy his chocolate cake craving, because I am not going to make one (if I do, then he will enjoy a piece and go to work, leaving me with a pan full of cake just screaming at me to enjoy. I'm too much of a softie to ignore things that need me, and when a chocolate cake is begging to be eaten, how can I disregard it's wishes???).


Sweet Garlic Vinegarette (aka the best dressing in the world)

3/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C maple syrup
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/8 t dried, crushed oregano

Put all ingredients together in cruet (old salsa jar, tupperware... anything with a lid that you will then store the dressing in). Shake well to mix. Store in fridge.

Variations: I've swapped honey for the maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar for the balsamic, while omitting the garlic. It makes it much milder, and is Andy's favorite version.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

just a bit

At times the language in our house is kinda colorful. Some of the adults let loose with the profanity more than others (though none of us are completely innocent). As a result, the girls have heard things that they know not to repeat.

Anyway, apparently Lauren has heard Daddy mutter the 'F' word a few too many times, and she doesn't like it. So, whenever she hears him say if, she turns to him and says, "You F-er."

Suffice it to say, the language is improving around here. And I nearly bust a gut when he slips and she catches him.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

define it

I've been following the Nester with her October Challenge this month - "31 Days to a Better Dressed Nest" - and one of the challenges is to define our space with words. What we want our home to be. Instead of grabbing a pen and paper, I'll share it here:

~welcoming to all
~the place my girls' friends want to hang out

And, for the record, I am not doing every challenge, and obviously, I am not doing them each on the day they are 'assigned.' I'm doing what fits with our family, as it fits. Because, really, I am not going to paint anything today (or next week or next month). Though I could paint the dog's nails, because she does like that, but I don't think that's quite in the spirit of the challenge, anyway. :-)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October, so far

Phew, October's been busy. Okay, okay, 2009 has been busy, but really, lots has happened in 10 short days.
In the past 10 days:

~our cat L.B. went outside and didn't come back. She's 14. We're pretty sure she wandered off to die. I'm really sad, I miss her an awful lot. Especially at night, when she would normally cuddle up on my pillow. She managed to fit her entire body on the pillow next to my head without touching me at all. Oscar, her brother (from the same litter) misses her, too. They've never been apart. L.B. (short for Little Bit) is the calico one - Oscar doesn't share my pillow the way I share my pillow, as you can see.

~Sasha embraced that she is a Texan. Also, she started smiling and giggling.

~Sasha's went on her first picnic, and she slept right through it.

~my mom came to town. Her first visit to our home in Texas. She's the first grandparent to meet Sasha. We were all thoroughly spoiled. :-)

~we went to the pumpkin patch. Really, though, there's not a patch where you pick your pumpkins, but lots of fall activities, and loads of pumpkins in the barn to buy. Our favorite activity: painting pumpkins. The girls painted and painted and painted (and the paint took days to dry!).
~I made several trips to several animal shelters, and scoured craigslist. Still no L.B. (we're hopeful that she will come back, but realistic in that her nine lives are most likely up.) Visits to the shelter will resume again on Monday, though.

~after months of talking about it, and weeks of periodic searches, we found Daisy Mae and promptly fell in love. She is the best tempered dog I've ever met. Her family could no longer afford her, and after just over 24 hours with her, I know they must be in a really desperate situation, to give up an animal as awesome as Daisy Mae.
~I found the farmer's market. It's pretty small, but the variety was good considering there were only 4 vendors. As is my luck, next week is the last week of the market until spring, but one of the farmers lives maybe 15 minutes from me and grows all year long... I got his card and plan on making his farm part of my weekly shopping!
~Aubrey went to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's. Not such a big deal, except this is the first b-day party since we've been in Texas, and I know none of her classmates and their parents. So, my mom, Sasha and I hung out at CEC's while Aubrey partied. I really liked the b-day girl's parents, and also the other mom from Aubrey's class that was there. And I hope that I don't need to go to too many parties at CEC's. Great for the kids, but sheesh, it's so loud in there. I could never work there.