Boudicca's Voice

Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Monday, January 31, 2005

No Carnies For Me...

I got home from the first day of the school Mardi Gras/Carnival at 11:30 PM Saturday thoroughly beat to hell, HAD to jump in the shower and wash the grime off the bod, so I didn’t climb into bed until just about midnight. I woke up at 7:30 to get ready to go back… shower again, see the kids, get things in order and pick up doughnuts and bagels for my workers. As treasurer of the school, I appear to be Queen of the Money Room/Prison. It has been reiterated to me a number of times… Blech.

So I roll out of bed, I’m fighting a cold, I’m tired, I’m over it, it’s only Saturday morning and I have 2 days to go, and I sit down at my desk to check my e-mail. My husband is lying in bed watching me and he says, “So… Babe, I think as of now, it is safe to say, that you will never leave me to run away and join the Circus. I feel very secure in the fact you’ll never leave me for the carnies.”

I had to laugh. I looked over my shoulder and said, “Yup. That’s a sure bet.”

They'll Never be Post it Notes to Me

Friday morning I had to go to the bank and get the money for the ticket booths, a money counter, and make some deposits. The school told me exactly what branch to go to this time, as they’d arranged all the equipment. I’ve just been going to random branches. This branch, however, I will stay with. What a great group of people. First, one of them is a Mom at the school. Second, they KNEW everyone who walked in the door. “Hi, Mr. Smith. Where’s Mrs. Smith this morning?” or “Good Morning, Mrs. White, we haven’t seen you in awhile, how have you been?”

It was friendly banter amongst the customers and the tellers… they knew each other. The elderly men kind of flirted with them, there was a lot of joking, and it was just a great bank to be in. So I’m sticking there. And I told them so.

Anyway, so the Mom/teller says to me, “D., we have a lot of money to give you. Do you have something you want to put it in?”

I looked at her strangely and said, ‘Why?’

And onto the counter she hoists this big canvas bag, the kind like you see the big money trucks with armed guards guarding or carrying. My eyes got big and she said, “Because this canvas bag is screaming, “I’M CARRYING A LOT OF MONEY!!!!””.

Holy crap, Lions Tours.

So I went to my car to see if I had a beach bag or a backpack. Nothing. All I had was a suit jacket I had to wear to a meeting later in the day. So I came inside, they had me walk into a damn vault to pick it up (and it was heavy as it had $250 in quarters), and covered it with a jacket. It just felt… creepy. They walked me to my car and I had a 1 mile drive to the school to drop it off.

I walk in a little on edge. The women in the back that are on my money crew are laughing at me saying, “By the end of the day, the money won’t bother you. It’ll be like handling post it notes.”

Wrong. All three days… it bothered me. Ick.

A Giant in my Own Mind No More!!!

I had a chairman’s meeting Friday for this other not-for-profit organization I’m helping out. I’m chairing their annual cocktail party. I know, I know, I took on too much. I can hear Grau now yelling at me through his computer screen! No more. I learned my lesson. Too little sleep, too little food, too much stress… even my superior immune system could not fight off the bad germs and I sit here now typing this with some sort of nasty respiratory infection.

I digress. Stick with me here, because this is funny.

The photographer shows up to take our picture for the local paper. He looks around the room of the 20 or so women and 3 of them are 5’6” or over and the rest are very small women. He says, “OK, tall people at the top of the stairs” and he looks at me and tells me to join them. Wait. Did I tell y’all I’m 5’2”? Did I tell you that all these ladies are over the age of 65? Most are probably in their 70s and 80s. And I, ME, “Miss, I’m going to need a booster chair to sit at 6’1” blog sister Tammi’s table at our Bad Example reunion”, I AM TALL!

One of the past chairmen says, “No, she has to be in front. She’s our chairman.” This caused a problem with the photographer who had to move people around since I was blocking people with my great height.

So this makes me wonder. Were all these women once much taller and they all shrunk? And if so, does this mean I’m destined to be 4’8”? Just please don’t let me weigh what I weigh now if I become 4’8”. I’ll look like a tiny Stay Puff Marshmallow woman. Blech.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Out on Temporary Leave

I’m on temporary hiatus from blogging. You know that fine line they talk about between genius and insanity? Well, that’s where I’m hovering, except there is no genius involved. I expect to be back as early as Sunday, but it could be Monday. You may find me lurking in comments on various blogs as I de-stress at the end of the night, but the probability of my putting words to blog is relatively remote.

To end this, some brief random thoughts and observations from my week.

While watching my best friend from high school with her first born, who has been visiting this week, I remember the euphoria that your first child brings. The love, the amazement at how they are growing and how wonderfully cute and cuddly they are… but I do not want another child. As a matter of fact, I’d rather poke my eye out with a pencil than have another child. Three is enough.

Working a carnival was not on my list of 'The Top 100 Things I Want to do Before I Die". It wouldn't make my top 1000 list either... if I had one.

The bank tellers develop a nervous twitch when they think you might want to deposit $10,000 cash… something about government forms and money laundering.

Some bank tellers get really really annoyed when you walk in with 19 deposits… no matter how polite and organized you are and even if all the cash is in the right order facing the same direction.

I can’t think of anything much more hellish right now than the next 72 hours I will be spending with loud carnival music, greasy carnival food, and massive throngs of people I do not know.

My kids are so excited the kindergarten teacher has told me she may need a valium to get through tomorrow. Considering I actually have to work the damn thing for the next three days my reply to her was, “If you find that in drip form, bring it by my locked cash room where I’ll be holed up. I’m sure I can find someone to hook me up. Hell, I’ll hook myself up.”

I look pretty bad right now. I’m getting concerned looks from other parents. I walked in the main office today and it was like the parting of the red sea. I said not a word, just walked in and people parted to let me pass and then inquired about my mental health. I stayed silent. That probably didn’t help my cause.

I don’t like the fact I am going to have a uniformed police officer with me for a lot of the time this weekend. I know how I joked that if I went to visit Little Joe and Grau, how they are so big compared to me, that they would LOOK like my personal bodyguards… but I really never wanted one. Seriously.

On the list that went home today showing all the parents in the 4th grade class what times they are working their class carnival booth (to which I am thankfully exempt), up in the tippy top one of the Moms wrote, “Mrs. L, Treasurer, 24/7”. Funny lady. Wonder who it was.

The people who run the national philanthropic organization that I am running their fundraiser for in mid-March are a bunch of pin heads.

Nobody in the Bad Example family and annoying neighbors is looking forward to that weekend more than I.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Saved... By the USDA...

When you live in Florida and you have a citrus tree in your yard, you get used to having the Department of Agriculture come to your home. Tree inspections. For Canker.

Canker is a bad bad disease that our citrus crops get and it damages the trees resulting in no fruit production. It spreads. For the longest time, Canker had never been north of Boca Raton, but after the hurricane… all that wind spread that bad disease north. Now if you happen to live in a home that has a tree in the yard and it has been diagnosed with Canker, that bad boy has to be removed as well as any tree within something like 1900 feet which means, it could be your in your neighbor’s yard. Yeah, there are lawsuits and the works. Canker is a hot topic down here and it can get very ‘cantankerous’.

Anyway, I have an orange tree and I promise you, it puts out the most sour and foul tasting fruit you have ever tasted. It could be used by poison control to induce vomiting. Sour. Bitter. Awful. The first time we tried it, I thought it was an age thing. My thinking was, perhaps a more mature tree had better fruit. Wrong. This is just a bad tree. I threaten to chop it down, but here is my problem. I have issues with cutting down trees in my yard. We don’t have many of them and I think they’re too pretty. So the tree has stayed.

Flash forward to September, two hurricanes that piece of crap orange tree survived. My neighbor came by with the chain saw to chop up our other trees and my spouse looked at me and said, “OK, here’s your chance. Let’s get rid of it once and for all.” But. I. Could. Not. GRRR. That stupid crappy tree had endured two hurricanes and then we were going to take a chain saw to it? So it stayed.

October came and the Department of Agriculture showed up to inspect it. I walked over and said, “Look, that tree produces the worst fruit. If it has canker, take it away, I don’t care. As a matter of fact, feel free to say it has canker even if it DOESN’T!” Alas, it was canker free. Again. I have no issues with it dying a natural death… canker, hurricane, 40 day flood, but it can’t come at my hands. They laughed, gave me suggestions on who to call to see if it is missing nutrients and they were on their way.

So today, I get a letter from the Department of Agriculture saying they want to use my tree as a sentinel. My best friend from high school is visiting and happened to answer the door, so she passed me this info via phone (I was at work). The whole way home I was thinking, “What in the hell is a sentinel tree?” I called my Mom. I’m laughing saying, “Surely they are not so desperate that they are looking to use my POS orange tree to help create new crops?!!” She’s been here when we’ve pulled an orange off that tree; she KNOWS how bad they taste. She’s saying, “No way!” and she’s doing a search for me on the computer trying to help me decipher what in the hell a sentinel tree is. We knew it was guarding... but how does a tree guard? It is bringing visions of The Wizard of Oz and those mean apple trees.

Well, I read my letter when I got home. You may all breathe a sigh of relief. They aren’t using my POS orange tree to spawn any other foul fruit producing trees. My tree is going to be monitored every 60 days… it is being used as part of their ‘early warning system’.

“Should Citrus Canker ever be introduced into your area, the Sentinel program would aid in identifying the infection in its earliest states and steps could be taken to eliminate or prevent further spread.”

Of course I’m going to say yes. (There’s this little permission slip thingy you have to fill out to be part of the program.) Citrus is vital to our economy. If this is what it takes to help, I’m all for it.

But all I keep thinking now is, “Damn. Now I REALLY can’t cut it down. It is serving a purpose.” In the spring I’ll be off to find out how to make it produce better fruit.

1 Week and Counting...

I was over at LeeAnn's of The Cheese Stands Alone and I found this Quiz, 20 Questions to a Better Personality. Whether it is true or not, who knows, but I think the last sentence might be...

Wackiness: 34/100
Rationality: 70/100
Constructiveness: 36/100
Leadership: 40/100

You are a SRDF--Sober Rational Destructive Follower. This makes you a Fountain of Knowledge.
You are cool, analytical, intelligent and completely unfunny.
Sometimes you slice through conversation with a cutting observation that causes silence and sidelong glances. You make a strong and lasting impression on everyone you meet, the quality of which depends more on their personality than yours.
You may feel persecuted, as you can become a target for fun. Still, you are focused enough on your work and secure enough in your abilities not to worry overly.
You are productive and invaluable to those you work for. You are loyal, steadfast, and conscientious. Your grooming is impeccable. You are in good shape.
You are kind of a tool, but you get things done. You are probably a week away from snapping.

Monday, January 24, 2005

You Learn Something New Every Day...

Wow. We don't know a lot about Harvey. We know he works in a bank. He lives in Wisconsin. He was in the Navy having gone through Nuke Power School. He has a horse dog named Jake. Actually, he has a regular menagerie. And... most importantly, he is married to a smart and beautiful woman named 'Beloved Wife'.

In today's Birthday Post to Beloved Wife, we find out what she does for a living! He says she has kept her girlish figure all these 37 years.... via all the "trapeze work". Geez! Who woulda thunkit, she works for a circus or something. She's a trapeze artist. That is what he means... right???

Happy Birthday to Harvey's Beloved Wife. If you haven't had a chance to wish her a belated, please do. Go HERE for the post and for good wishes!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Boxer Boy

We were at dinner last night and my 5 year old leaned over and put his head in my lap. We were in a booth and he was tired. I did what I always do. My hand goes down to his bottom and pats it, then up to his back where I rub his back. It’s a habit from when he was a baby. This time, as I’m rubbing his back he lifts his head and says, “Mom, I’m going commando.”

Heh. Nice. So what do I do? Stupid me. I ask… why. He replies, “Because my undies make my weenie feel squished.” Lovely. This is definitely something I DO NOT identify with.

So I said, “Well, we can fix that. We have some boxers you can try. You might like those better.” Today was his first day of wearing boxers and I do believe we have claimed a victory in the squishy weenie battle. I will be going to K-Mart to shop for new underwear for him tomorrow… and out will go the 30 pairs of Sponge Bob, Spiderman, Hulk, Race Car, Mickey, and Elmo underwear. Well, maybe not the Hulk underwear. Those are still his fave. And the Elmo underwear got relegated to the back of the drawer after THIS incident.

Fun to One is Hell to Another

Our big school fundraiser is next weekend. We call it Mardi Gras. It’s a carnival complete with rides, games and carnies. I hate it. It’s dirty, crowded, and loud. It is run 100% by pure parental volunteer hours, every class being assigned a game booth or food court. This is my 5th year. This is my 5th year hating it. It has no redeeming qualities. Not one.

I worry about the rides. I spend all my time looking at the Ferris Wheels and the rides that spin fast as hell, the big kid rides that my three children want to ride, and I think, “how well have these rides been maintained?” or “how much stress has been put on these rides and are there any stress fractures?”. Other parents don’t think that way… unless they work for engineering companies. You know us when you see us… we’re typically huddled under the Ferris Wheel talking about physics and structures and maintainability and then we typically say something like, “These rides make me nuts” and we walk away.

I worry about the people. These are strangers, people we do not know coming to our school. The carnies… oh my Lord, if they aren’t the dirtiest people I have ever seen. Just writing about them makes my skin crawl. Missing teeth, dirty to the point of slovenly, and looking like they’re stoned out of their minds half the time, although I’m sure there are some rules that stipulate they can’t drink and run the rides. Some of them are super nice. Some of them are not. By the 3rd day, fewer of them are nice than there were on the 1st day. I watch my kids like a hawk. My stomach is in a knot the entire time I am there. I hate it.

And to make it worse… now that I’m Treasurer of the school, I have to work it… the.entire.time. From the minute it opens, until the minute it closes plus some, I have to be there. I’m in charge of the money. I’ll be working in a back room on the computers, inputting and counting, under lock and key. Yes, that is right, I have security. And I’ll have security when I go to the ticket booths to change out drawers. For three days, this will be my personal hell. I suspect I will be on a first name basis with half the police department when this is finished.

OH! But this is not bad enough! Because also School Treasurer, my job has been to find the parents to WORK the ticket booths. I got lucky. Last year’s treasurer was nice enough to take half the list and help me out. That left me with 56 2 hour shifts to fill, which means, I have been on the phone, calling people, to help. I am frickin’ miserable. Did I tell you I’m NOT really that extroverted? This is soooooo far out of my comfort zone it’s not even funny. And for me to have to listen to all the damn excuses people have as to why they cannot help, knowing I HAVE TO BE THERE for THREE FRICKIN’ DAYS, just completely galls me.

So. Needless to say. I’m not so cheery. To my male readers… be very very happy you’re not married to me right now. Bitch isn’t even the half of it.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Yum! Yum!

Carnival of the Recipes is UP and Caltechgirl did a GREAT job… the A-Z’s of recipes… literally. Take a look. Good stuff.

Thoughts from the Kindergarten

From Son#3 today in my car he asked, “Mom, in our car, what makes the gas go away? What is the car doing that it burns up this gas?”

I answered, but geez, I'm sleepy still at 7:00 AM. I'm not up for my 5 year old asking me to describe how a car engine works.

From Son#3’s classroom, going to a small private Catholic school, they were praying and when the teacher asked if there was anyone else they should pray for, one of the kids piped up, “We need to pray for all the families that had people die in the Salami”.



I saw THIS in our paper the other day and I know y’all did to. I just have to ask… how in the hell do you shoot a nail through the roof of your mouth and not feel it?

How is that possible?

I get a pizza burn and it hurts not only immediately, but for days. So how is it someone can drive a nail into their skull and.not.know.

If you have a clue… feel free to explain ‘cause quite frankly, I’m at a total loss…

More 'Fiction' from my 1st Son

There appears to be a fine line between reality and fiction in my 1st son’s head. Remember the paper he wrote on his hero (HERE), and how it was true that my father in law’s ship got hit by a kamikaze that bounced off and exploded next to the DE, and the ship then took on water, everyone abandoned ship and was saved, but how Son#1 had the ship sinking, people getting eaten by sharks and my father in law floating unconscious up to a beach where he was rescued? Yeah, well reality stitched with fiction struck again.

This paper was supposed to be on their favorite holiday. Now a little background… my brother, who is 2 years younger than I, lives in Los ANGELES, and loves to play with my kids. When we all get together, when they are sleeping, he is known to do things like fill their beds with egg noodles,toilet paper the room, or pester them while thye're trying to sleep with the hidden Fart Machine. He works funky hours so he sleeps late and keeps late hours, so he’ll sometimes draw and leave them little cartoons on the kitchen table for them to find at breakfast. Now there is this running joke that he is going to give them a swirly… which is stick their head in a toilet and flush. But he has NEVER done it, he only teases them.

So now for this month’s essay, which is exactly as he wrote it, and when you’ll read it you’ll understand why he got a 51% on his standardized testing for capitalization, although he scored in the 98% overall… he and I are working on this capitalization thing.

Aunt! Uncle! Grampa! Grandma! BEACH!!!! Fun!!!! It’s almost here…. Christmass, My favorite holiday.

Christmass in pensacola is always fun. I can’t wait to see my aunt and uncle. My aunt is alot of fun. My uncle is like an owl he sleeps till lunch and is from vegas. He also stays up past 3:00 am. If I'm lucky He’ll do stuff to us while we’re sleeping. One time he put my head in the trash, He gave my brother a swirly, and the other he put in the closet. He’s decorated our room with toilet paper. I can go much farther but I have a limit amount of paper. I can understand toilet paper but he gave out swirleys. You pretty much just imagine getting swirleys. Still you gotta admit, he is alot of fun.

I also want to go to The beach. Its so much fun. I bring gogles, a shuvle, and sandwich. I’ll ocassionally bring plastic bags to catch fish. I like places to stand that go down like a pool and go up on all sides. I go down and choose wich fish I like most.

Well 23 more days and its here.

OK, so we have some spelling issues too. He and I are going over all of it. But here’s the deal, his teacher who was slated to leave on maternity leave TODAY, now in her head has this enormous story that sounds like something out of a Robert Ludlum novel about my father in law and she thinks my brother sticks my kid’s heads in toilets. While I was in school today paying the bills, I saw his teacher from last year and told her, “PLEASE when you see Mrs. D tell her, that none of this is true…” and I explained the stories.

The really funny part however, is we are very accustomed to the reality of my father in law’s WWII story and as I started to tell the REAL story, which is amazing, the teacher I was talking to stopped me and said, “Wait. Are you telling me the real story now or the fictional story?”, to which I replied, “No, this part is the REAL story and if you think it’s incredible, wait until you hear the one Son#1 gave his teacher!”

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Reminiscing and A Love Note About My 2nd Son

Today is the day we celebrate the birth of my 2nd son, who turned 8 today. I find it so utterly amazing as it feels like I can reach into my memory and touch it all as if it were yesterday.

Calling my Mom in a panic… I wasn’t ready for a 2nd child, I loved my 1st one so much, how in the world could I love another? Her answer being, “D., love does not divide, it multiplies.” And she was right.

I was made for breeding. Flat out, my body takes to it well. My pregnancies are easy, I never gain too much weight, and I feel good. (Well, other than becoming mildly gestationally diabetic, but that was no big deal for me.) I look good too when I’m pregnant. I’m happy, people want to be around me, and I have a glow according to TGOO.

My first labor had been a bad labor and I felt I made some mistakes, one of which was going to the hospital too early. I was determined that this one, I would stick it out as long as possible. I realized I was in the early stages of labor while I was at work, so I quietly folded up my work, told everyone I was tired, hugged them all and said I didn’t think I would be coming back, and I left. It was 10:00. I picked up my eldest and came home. I called my Mom and told her I thought it would be the next day, but they got in the car and started their 9 hour drive immediately. I called my in-laws and told them not to worry, but that I thought I might be in labor and I would be calling. They showed up 30 minutes later. Geez. I was calm. All these people seemed so freaky, but they weren't... I was in denial, they were steeped in reality. I think it was Noon by then.

I called my doctor. We had a big argument. I was calling to inform him that I felt certain my baby and I would be ruining his dinner plans. He wanted me in the hospital and I said no. So we compromised. He had me come to the office, but was very short with me and told me I BETTER have my bags in the car. So my husband came home as I was vacuuming the entire house and off we went.

I have to admit. I felt kinda crappy.

We got to the office, they hooked me up to a baby monitor, and I was in full labor and within an hour of delivering. We were told not to pass go and not to collect $200, but to go DIRECTLY to the hospital. We got there at 2. My son was born at 3. The doctor got there just in time, doing a Kramer type entrance. Piece of cake birth.

And then there he was, eight pounds of wonderfully sweet baby boy. He has a wonderful name… fitting for a Knight at King Arthur’s Round Table.

He is my white boy. Whereas my eldest looks like he should be playing stick ball in the streets of Italy, my middle boy is my wee lad; he is my Celt. Blonde haired, blue eyed, and skin so white we called him Casper for the longest time, he has settled into a light brown hair, with the most amazing blue eyes.

He is sweet. Teachers and girls love him and boys want to be his friend. Affectionate doesn’t begin to describe him. At 8, he is the boy who will still crawl in the nook of my arm and snuggle or who will quietly creep into my bed at 4AM, thinking I don’t hear him, so he can sleep between his Dad and me.

A smart boy, he is very analytical and quick with numbers. He has amazing fine and gross motor skills. He’s my soccer player and the kid who loves arts and crafts. Reading has not come as easy since we struggled early with a speech apraxia, but he caught up and is now doing very well.

But he is my boy with the tender heart. My boy who I worry for the most. My boy who is sometimes filled with more sorrow than I think of for most children his age. A death of someone close very early on in his childhood, and the events surrounding that death, have made him very in tune with his mortality, definitely more so than the average 8 year old. I am angry at myself that I did not protect him more from what he witnessed, but I was unaware and dealing with my own grief. So I am very protective of him, although I cannot right a wrong. I worry a girl will break his heart... and he won’t move on. I am worried for his teenage years, the sullen years and how he will deal. I worry for him constantly, more so than for my other two, although I am good at not showing it.

I take some comfort, however, that I made it through all those tough times, teenage years and the opposite sex, for of my 3… he may be the most like me.

I do not post pictures of my children… but today, I could not resist. Every year I create a collage of each child commemorating the previous year. This is my 2nd son, age 6.

Free Image Hosting at
Thanks to ImageShack for [URL=]Free Image Hosting[/URL]

So to my middle son, I tell the blogosphere, “I love you, my son, more than you will ever know.”

Carnival of the Recipes, Chicken Pot Pie.

In keeping with the theme of the night, my son's birthday, I give you my family's secret recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. (OK, it's not exactly secret, but I thought maybe it sounded even better that way... plus I know my folks are reading saying "Secret?!!! What's she talkin' about?") This is a favorite of ANYONE who has ever had it at my home. When my nephew's come visit, they request it. It is tradition in my home that the birthday boy gets to pick dinner and every year, all of them pick this dish. Obviously, this is what we had for dinner tonight.

(Side note: I used blog daughter VW's chocolate icing recipe for tonight's birthday cake and it was FABULOUS. In google if you put Chocolate Icing Carnival of the Recipes, you get that Carnival entry with her link.)

This week's hostess is Caltech Girl of Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 lbs. chicken breasts (This is good for turkey leftovers too)
4 (14 oz or 396 grams) cans chicken broth (I use canned Fat Free)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 stalk celery cut into 2" pieces
1 medium onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 (16oz) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables
2 lg. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk (I use skim)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2 boiled eggs, sliced
2 9" refrigerated pie crusts (Pillsbury, comes in the red box in the refrigerator section of Publix)

Combine first 7 ingredients in large Dutch oven; bring to a boil and cook until chicken is tender. If chicken has already been cooked, just allow it to simmer a few minutes for the chicken to pick up some of the flavor and get really tender. Remove chicken. Throw out vegetables and bay leaf. Keep the broth. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.

Bring broth to a boil again and add frozen vegetables and potatoes. Bring to a boil again and simmer eight minutes or until tender. Remove these veggies from the broth and set aside, then measure out three cups of broth and set it aside too.

Melt butter in Dutch oven over low heat, add flour, stirring constantly. Gradually add three cups of broth and milk, cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in 1/2 tsp salt and 1 1/4 tsp pepper, and thyme. Add vegetables, chicken and boiled eggs; stir gently. (NOTE: The extra pepper can make this dish spicy, so if you are serving to children or those who do not like spice, leave out the last 1 1/4 tsp pepper. I never include it and it tastes fine.)

Unfold the piecrusts: cut and paste one of them so it fits the bottom of the a 13X9" baking dish and brown it in the oven (about 10 minutes at 400deg.). Spoon the chicken & vegetable mixture on top of the crust and cut and paste the other crust so it covers the top. Cut slits in the top and bake at 400 deg for 20 minutes.
6-8 servings.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I Hate it When This Happens

I haven’t made any secrets about the fact I curse. And I do so in front of my children when frustrated although I have tried to curb it. Really. I have.

So today I took Son#3 to his tutor’s house. I hired her after I was afraid he was not doing well and needed him evaluated. (He is fine, he just LOVES to see her now, so I still take him.) Anyway, she is a friend of mine and lives down the street from me, is about 50 years old, has two kids, one is a senior in college and the other is 24 year old man/boy I talk about sometimes.

They are the nicest family. REEEEALLLY nice people from Wisconsin. When I came to pick him up today she told me this mortifying story.

Evidently Son#3 and she were going over some words and the word ‘as’ came up. Son#3 looks at her and says, “You know there is another word that is bad. A-s-s.” (Yeah, I’m frickin’ LOVIN’ the fact, LOVING IT, that my 5 year old can spell ass, but barely write his name. That’s what happens when you have older brothers.)

She says, “Why yes, you are right.”
Son#3 says emphatically, “It is a cuss word.”
She replies, “Yes it is.”
Son#3, “Do you cuss?”
She, “No, I don’t.”
Son#3, “My Mom cusses. And so does my Dad.”

Lovely. She said to me later, ‘I can’t curse. I teach little kids. Can you imagine if I slipped up?’ and then she laughed.

But little kids or not, she never cursed. But I do. And now she knows if she didn’t before…

January 20th... it is Signifcant to Me

Big mushy post tomorrow with a special surprise. *grin*

Blog Families...

I have to tell you, whenever I think my life is stressful, I think of THIS girl. Her version of her day is HERE. Good Lord. I know I cause my own problems. She does not. This stuff just happens to her, yet her attitude is so... good. I was on the way for my karate class and got on the phone with her today, and the conversation went something like this… not exact quotes:

Tammi: Hunh. Something is wrong with my car. My RPMs are going crazy.
Me: Where are you?
Tammi: On I-4. Stuck in rush hour traffic. It would suck to break down here. (Conversation continues to some other topic.)
Tammi: Uh oh. Wait. It may be oil. My car is shaking.
Me: (quietly freaking on the other end… it is not as if I can help, I’m THREE hours away) Oil? You know, Machelle will know the answer to what is wrong with your car. (Thinking this is not imminent, but rather something she will deal with tomorrow.)
Tammi: Oh shit. My car is breaking down. Right now. I have to go now. I have to quietly freak out.

I called her back a couple seconds later with a suggestion on who to call, and it didn’t pan out, but she had good friends who got her and one of those Road Rangers blocked off the interstate since her car being broken down in the middle of I-4 is a BAD THING, and got her off to the side.

I called our blog bro _Jon right after I got off the phone with her (I had a Bad Example weekend question for him), so he called her after. It just made me feel better that someone was on her cell with her while she was stranded.

Funny thing, isn’t it. Tammi breaks down while on the phone with a girl she met through her blog. It is suggested she call another girl for car advice, a girl she met through blogs. Then she waits in her car while a guy she met through her blog, keeps her company on the phone.

And it’s really all because of Harvey. Is it any wonder we're all trying so hard to make this weekend happen?

Karate a Week in Review

I thought I was crashing and burning for sure in Karate tonight. The first hour, I was counting the minutes in my head. I’m not getting enough sleep and I’ve been wrapped a bit too tight lately. The second hour went much better, thankfully.

There is a big tournament coming up that I have been asked to compete in, which is no big deal since I was going to be there with my eldest anyway. There is a chance he could make Nationals and in the event that I make them too, I’ll compete at Nationals also. I’m not doing any extra training than I already was, but am working on more things… trying to perfect my kata more… the subtle nuances. I told my husband tonight that when my Sensei was working with me tonight, going over my competition kata, I felt very good that I was finally past the ‘your stances are too high, your foot movements are wrong, your hips should be square’ and have moved more into ‘when you turn your head, take it an extra 5 degrees and on that attack, push a little harder’. We are fine tuning and even though it is even more difficult to fine tune than work on the BIG problems, it is a good feeling.

I will not be sparring in competition. I don’t fight. I don’t like watching women’s boxing. I don’t want to be part of anything that resembles that. I like my face, I like my teeth, and I like my hands. I don’t need anything broken, although I do think it is an inevitability that I will break a rib in training. I just hope it isn’t before mid-March.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Eenie Meenie Minie Mo

Due to contract issues, I hadn’t been to work since right before Christmas. On my day back today, I saw my buddy, father of two, who hired me. He was walking with a strange gait. Almost limping. Knowing he is somewhat athletic and plays games similar to soccer, as I’m walking behind him I said, “What’s up? Tear your Achilles?” He looks at me kind of sheepishly and I am unsure how to interpret. I gather the answer is no. “Pull your calf?” Same look, although now his face is a bit pink, so this time I guess he did something really stupid.

Now I’m not saying anything, but standing there giving him the “What gives look, confess to your stupid mistake” when he says in a low murmur, “It is the after effect of a ‘procedure’ I had done last week.” OH! And because he was slightly embarrassed, I was too.

I’ve known him for 17 years, so it didn’t take long for me to not be so embarrassed about it for him, although the fact the guys in the office were giving him holy hell helped immensely. Things like… I was sitting at his desk going over some tasks and our boss came up with a handful of peanuts, walked over to him smirking and said, “Want some NUTS?” Heh.

My buddy and I had talked about this procedure before Christmas and I made mention of the name of my husband’s urologist. I know doctors in the area. I don’t know why he didn’t listen. INSTEAD, he went to the yellow pages and picked one.

Now color me odd, but when it comes to things like my reproductive/sex/’whatever you want to call it’ parts, I am p-r-e-t-t-y picky about what doctor takes care of them. Well, I’m that way about all body parts, but I just do not see myself picking a guy out of a phone book and I sure as hell wouldn’t let my husband pick a urologist out of a phone book. Heh, I have too much at stake there too. So, I was a bit horrified. And it appears that this guy may have done something wrong, especially since my buddy FELT the ENTIRE procedure. Damn, it makes my stomach tie up in a knot just thinking about that. Blech.

I'll Never be a Limo Driver in England

Harvey had a post today on bad drivers and he professes to being somewhat driving impaired. Actually the quote was, "I drive like crap." I will tell you, I am not a bad driver. I learned from The Great Omnipotent One, a Naval Aviator, and while I am not as aggressive as he (not possible really), I took his lessons to heart and am a defensive driver, paying attention to my gauges, my mirrors, my surroundings. Yes, I have made errors in judgment, but for the most part, I am a safe driver, paying attention to speed, weather conditions and what not.

But I have a confession to make. I cannot parallel park. I.can.not. It is somewhat of a family joke. I’m not great at parking in general. A pull in spot, I’m slightly too close to one of the lines. I can be at a cock-eyed angle. It is what it is and I find it just as annoying. I won’t leave my car in a poorly parked position, however, I will actually correct it. I have been known to jump out, keys in hand, be halfway down the lot, look at my car and be horrified at the job I’ve done at parking, walk BACK to my car and fix it.

About 5 years ago, I was at home visiting my folks. I was driving TGOO and I to the grocery story. We pulled in, TGOO opened the door, looked out, then looked back at me and said, “GD, D., how long have you been driving and you still can’t park worth a damn.” It was so damn funny it stuck in my brain.

But parallel parking… it is the bane of my existence. If there is one thing keeping me from traveling to Europe, besides money, it is the parallel parking.

Yes, I know all the tricks. I know you’re supposed to cut it here, straighten there, cut it there. I know it. But I forget and I am evidently not good under parking stress as I can tell you exactly what I have to do whilst driving, but once I have the car in position to start, I freeze and cannot do it. Call it a strange case of performance anxiety.

During my driver’s test when I was 16, I took it in my folk’s big ass 1970 LeMans Pontiac. (I loved that car… it was fast as hell.) I somehow got the car parked for the parallel section, but I was in and out, in and out, in and out, inching it in there, hitting the curb over and over, that when I finally got it in, the tester said something like, “I don’t even have to look. I know you’re close enough to the curb.”

One year while in she was in college, my sister came to visit me. I decided to take her down to Palm Beach to look around. It’s a fun place to stroll on a leisurely afternoon. I can’t afford to buy even one shoe there, but it’s fun. All over Palm Beach is parallel parking. I’m driving down Worth Avenue and I’m freaking. Finally my sister says, “Look! Just park RIGHT HERE!” I stopped the car, looked at the two cars that I would be parking between and said, “NO! I AM NOT PARKING between TWO Rolls Royces!” And I drove around the block numerous times until I found a pull in spot off some obscure street.

It is what it is. I had to parallel park this weekend. I nearly stroked out from the stress. OK, I exaggerate, but not much. My husband had to talk me through it as he was in the passenger side. I think he was stunned it was so difficult for me.

It just isn’t going to happen. If I make it to Europe, I better have the big damn bucks for a limo.

The Difference of Three

I cannot believe how incredibly different all my boys are from each other. I view most of my world as black and white, yes or no… binary. So when I had three, stupid me, thought “Oh, he’ll be like one of the other two… or perhaps a combination thereof.”


All of them. Completely different. Night and Day and Something Else. And I now know, if I had twelve, they would all be different… although I would not be around to see it as I would have probably hung myself in the shower.

When people ask me about my three kids and what types of people they are, I put it in aircraft terms. So here you have it, my description of my three boys in terms of jets.

Son#1 would come up with the conceptual design for the latest and greatest fighter/attack aircraft.

Son#2 would engineer it and make it happen.

Son#3… would fly it.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Gators and I Don't Mean Football

My loyal reader, George, pointed an article out to me the other day about an 8 foot gator living in a yard not far from me. (George and I live in the same county and read the same newspaper.)

So this chicky girl, who hails from New York, comes home and finds an 8 foot gator living in the pond in her backyard... and she freaks out and calls Fish and Wildlife or whatever they're called to come get it, but they won't do anything unless it's in her yard or up close to her home.

Yup. That about sums it up. We live in swampland down here, reclaimed Everglades. There are gators all over. I had a neighbor with a 5 foot gator in her yard a couple years back and if you don't think a 5 foot gator is big, I beg to differ. I'd just as soon not tangle with one of those. It's only 2 inches shorter than I, and far stronger and faster. It took a day for them to come out and it was IN HER YARD CLOSE TO HER HOUSE!

I've had a gator in my back yard, but it was only a 3 footer. When I worked at my last place of work, we'd get them in the parking lot all the time. Sometimes someone would hit one with their car or there would be a near miss.

It's really bad when we've had heavy rain... the canals and lakes merge into the streets and then the gators don't really know where home is... it all looks the same!

We have rules in our house. No kids by the lake. Our lake is a couple hundred yards from the house and kids by the lake is serious trouble. Big Big Serious Trouble and I have put the fear of God into them. But that's a whole other blog story about how that happened... my kids, a lake and a gator.

Can't Get it Out of my Head

This song has been in my head and has been making me laugh.

It started with a conversation with VW at breakfast one morning. We were talking about someone we knew that liked women that dressed kinda trashy. I told her there was a song about that, but all I could remember was “Prom Date and Dolly Parton Wig”. She didn’t remember.

Then today, I was talking to TGOO about some folks we know and he says to me, “Didn’t he marry a stripper?” and then that dang song came back into my head. I replied, “Do you know that song about that kid who loves Trashy Women?” and he said nope, he didn’t recall. Which made me google.

Sure enough, I found my favorite paragraph:

Shoulda seen the looks on the faces of my Dad and Mom,When I showed up at the door with a date for the senior prom.They said: "Well, pardon us son, she ain't no kid."That's a cocktail waitress in a Dolly Parton wig.I said: "I know it dad, ain't she cool, that's the kind I dig."

You gotta hear him say “Ain’t she cool” heh. Funny stuff. Country Western, I don’t listen to much of it, but sometimes they come up with some lyrics I just cannot get out of my head.

So now, in case you’re wondering… the song is “Trashy Women”, by Confederate Railroad and you can see all the lyrics HERE. Sorry, I couldn't find an MP3 I didn't have to pay for.

I know quite a few guys that fell in this category...

It Starts Oh So Early...

My 2nd son was with my husband running errands yesterday and they stopped at a Mom and Pop burger shop for lunch. The waitress comes over and she is thin and has long brown hair. She leaves and my soon to be 8 year old son, looks at my husband and says, “I think she is really really pretty.” And based on what he has said about other women, he is just like his Dad. Has a hankering for brunettes… it starts so young...

Forecasting Intermittent Silence

It’s been one of those weekends. I have nobody to blame the predicament I am in, other than myself. I am the one who said yes to way too many people, so now I spend every waking moment sorting through tasks in my head, trying to work as efficiently as possible, working out in my spare time to quell the anxiety, and pushing forward to mid-March. I just have to make it to mid-March.

I didn’t know I would get a job. Last year, all I knew is I would have three kids in school. How ever will I occupy my time, I thought. So as people would ask me to help them with their organizations, I said, “sure!”

On my plate now I have the following, and I am blogging it as it is easier to purge from my brain:

Treasurer of our Home and School Board which was a big job before, but with two hurricanes has turned into a bigger job.

The big School fundraiser, which is a carnival, complete with carnies and rides… which means I will be at the school running the money for 3 full days the last weekend in January. It is big preparation too… it is running me ragged.

2nd grade 1st Holy Communion: every year the 2nd grade makes a quilt and since I quilt, I signed up in August to help put it together. I am prepping the fabric and the letter to the parents now and I have someone helping me on Tuesday with some last minute things… the Quilt is due by 2nd week in March.

I’m in a group that does a lot of work for Veterans and every year they have a big Fashion show. As I’ve been president of this group as well as run the big fashion show (where we get between 175 and 225 women in attendance), I am considered a wealth of knowledge and I volunteered to help obtain models, music, and do the seating… oh… and by the way, I am modeling too. Every year I do the seating as I’m one of the few computer literate people, so this is something I always do. Every year I get the music as I think music is essential. (I’m getting us a violinist this year!) The fashion show is 1st week in March. So I’m taking reservations, dealing with money, calling models, and musicians.

I was asked last year to take the Treasury job for a small group of women I’m involved with and said yes. It isn’t a big job, but they decided to hold a meeting in mid-Feb, with big national speakers, which means everyone is sending money to me for their reservations. And God forbid should they all make their checks out to the proper organization… which means more phone calls.

And the big thing stressing me out, is 2 years ago I was asked to chair a cocktail party for a local/national philanthropy and since I knew my kids would be in school, I said yes. It is the 2nd weekend of March and I’m having to deal with a f---ed up invitation list… it has been messed up for years, seriously hurting their membership, and I’ve spent literally hours computerizing their files and getting their invite lists accurate. I’ve been having to deal with printers, caterers, valets, as well as the big organization we fall under… and trust me, I am not impressed with their organization skills or competency. It makes my job more difficult.

If I had known I was going to be working, I would not have said yes to half of this. My thought was I would stay busy with them in school and when they were home, it would be a non-event, but that is NOT what has happened, so I need to make it to Mid-March where I can then jettison a lot of this stuff…

So… that is what I’ve been doing all weekend. Organizing. Creating databases. Printing labels. Making phone calls. Pressing fabric and cutting quilt stencils. Calling for names of musicians. Calling for models. Running like crazy and trying to stay sane.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Carnival of the Recipes is UP!

Blog Daughter VW of One Happy Dog speaks did an AMAZING job with this weeks Carnival of the Recipes! She received an enormous number of entries and she really really did a smashing job. Computer Engineer, Sleepless Mom, and Recipe Blogger Extraordinaire. Take a look at all she received from all the fabulous blogging cooks!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Weighing It all Out

I don't like doing business in what I consider the cusp of the ghetto if not flat out in it. Sometimes good neighborhoods go bad and the good businesses stay. Maybe they own the building, maybe they can't think of another place to move, who knows.

I don't like being some place where people get shot. I definitely don't go there at night and I do my best to stay away during the day. Yeah, I have some limited Martial Arts training, but I'm not bullet proof. I don't like feeling the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I don't like feeling afraid. Afraid I could get carjacked or anything else.

I am doing work for a major charity group here in town. In March I'm putting on a small fundraiser for them. It has been frustrating working with these people on a good day, don't get me started on the bad. Finally they cough up the name of the printer I'm supposed to use. I call them this morning and some chicky girl gives me directions.

As good fortune would have it, I am but 10 minutes away, as I just dropped my kids off at school. But unfortunately, when she told me where she was located I had to actually say to myself, "It's OK. It's 9 AM. All the druggies are sleeping off last night's party. All the prostitutues and gang bangers will be doing the same."

So let me tell you what is WORSE than doing business with a business located on the cusp of the ghetto. Doing business with a business who gives you shitty directions while on the cusp of the ghetto.

Love that.

So I drive to the intersection that oblivious chicky girl told me they were located on and I don't see this two story building she told me would be so obvious. I swing around, drive the opposite way and still don't see it. Now I'm really not happy. I'm not having a good time with this organization, I'm in a neighborhood I DON'T want to be in, and this building is NOT where she said it would be.

I pull into a parking lot, pull out my cell phone and low IQ chicky girl answers again. "Did you tell me you are on the corner of such and such and such and such?" "Yup." she answers, I can almost hear gum snapping in her mouth.

"Really," I reply, "because I am in a parking lot, looking at all four corners and I DO NOT see you. Are you sure you aren't behind something? A gas station another building?"

"Nope," she says, 'We're on the corner."

I can feel panic setting in. I have to get this stuff dropped off, she is swearing there is a building where there is not, and I really really don't feel like driving around this neighborhood. Finally, I happen to look up and I see this building... and it is NOT at that intersection. It's behind a frickin' gas station. Way in the back.

I was going to jump all over her when I got in, but when I saw her I realized the quality person she was and I left it alone. It wasn't worth spoiling everyone's day. It was afterall, only 9AM.

Today’s questions regarding MLK

From my 5 year old, “Was Martin Luther King killed by a drunk or by a bad guy?”

No clue where that question came from. Killed by a drunk? Hunh.

From my 7 year old, the MLK expert who is also studying for his 1st Holy Communion, “Mom, do you know why Martin Luther King is not a Saint?”

I’m in Publix, I’m tired of playing 20 questions, it's 5:30 and I'm beat, and the two I have with me are perpetually touching/grabbing/hitting each other, making me nuts, so I said, “No. Why? Because he’s not Catholic?”

“No, Mom.”, he replied, “Because he DID NOT peform a miracle. He was only a good person. Not a saint.”

Well, now I can sleep tonight since this was all clarified.

It Didn't Come with the Tiny Newspaper

I just finished cleaning the hamster cage and it reminded me of this. For Christmas, my Mom had a gift on the tree for our hamster, Fiona. Yes, it is true, not even the furry creatures get left out at Mom’s house. There were gifts for both my sister’s cat and my children’s hamster.

Fiona received a hamster potty. That’s right. A toilet for a rodent. We all laughed at first. Teasing my Mom. That’s what kids do. She said, “Look, it says it works!” and we’re rolling our eyes saying, “Sure Mom.” The packaging had a picture of a cartoon hamster sitting on the potty reading a newspaper. No kidding.

So I put the cages together and we put in this little hamster potty with the hamster litter and it comes with a little hamster pooper scooper. The kids are thrilled. What the hell.

I’ll be damned if she doesn’t use it. The last laugh is on us. My Mom was right. And boy, the cage doesn’t smell near as bad as it has in the past… that animal urine smell. Blech. The kids like to laugh and say, “Mom! Sometimes she goes in there and falls asleep while she’s pooping!” I think it’s more like she goes in there and pretends. They’ll leave her alone when she’s in her hamster potty.

The Farting Saga Continues

Leave it to Anita at Fighting Inertia. (Frickin' hysterical post.) She has two boys. Bou’s house seems to be in a battle with the Pomerantz house for Fart Machines. A new twist on Keeping Up with the Jones’s.


She found a site called the Fartmart and not only do they have fart machines like the one I own, they have come out with a new handy dandy super deluxe fart machine which has 15 different noises, can be transmitted up to 100 feet and get this… it can be transmitted through walls.

My boys are currently unaware. I hope to keep it that way. But I have this suspicion that this secret will not remain and once my husband or my boys get wind (no pun intended) that there is a Fartmachine 2, we will own one too. The Fart Machine 1 of my previous post will now not suffice.

Let me tell you, this current one we have is a hit with every person in my life owning a Y-Chromosome. My children took it with them to my folk’s house for Christmas. Allow me to paint a family picture for you: I have 1 husband, 3 sons, 1 father, and 1 brother. That leaves me with six, count ‘em SIX! fart machine utilizers. Holy crap, Lions tours. I thought I hated that thing BEFORE, I am past loathing at this point.

Near the end of our vacation, my brother confiscated it and hid it in the boy's bunk room. It would get nice and quiet as the three of them were trying to sleep and he would gently press the remote. A kid would come yelling down the hall about farts and my brother would have them blaming it on each other. “But no, Uncle! We know it’s not one of us farting! We know the sound of the fart machine and it was the fart machine!” "Are you sure," he would reply, "Because I really think it could have been Son#3."

One morning my brother was sleeping and he could hear them stirring in the next room. Lucky for him, he had that transmitter in the bed with him, just waiting for the right moment. Sure enough, he set it off. They were at a loss.

Then we were in the dining room one evening eating dinner, thankfully it was NOT Christmas dinner, and he had strategically hidden it so they couldn’t find it as he randomly made the fart machine do it’s thing during dinner. Oh that was a real highlight.

But the biggest highlight of all was probably the last night, the kids were trying to sleep and the fart machine kept going off. Finally Son#3 comes out, with his slight speech impediment and says, “We are twying to sleep, but we can’t because the faht machine keeps going off!!!”

Ahhh. Good times.

And Harvey… I finally found something I am #1 in on Google Searches. Nope, not fart machines. I am #1 for the search on Boudicca Fart Log. Leave it to the blog of a mother of three boys to be the number one google for something dealing with passing gas.

There is a Holiday in our Midst

It appears the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday is Monday in which all school children will have off and all banks will be closed. I know this holiday is coming because of two things... which are pathetic really... one is I seem to have some sort of 6th sense on when we get to sleep in. Sleeping 'in' to me is anything after 7:30 and I am NOT a morning person. If I could sleep until 8:30 every morning I would be a very happy girl. The other reason I know this holiday is coming is my 2nd grader is learning about MLK in school and I'm hearing about it... realizing his birthday must be upon us.

Son#2 gets in the car on Monday and says, "Mom. Do you remember when Dr. Martin Luther King was shot? Where were you? How old were you?"

Heh. The great historian I am, I couldn't remember what year it transpired. So finally knowing his teacher is a year older than I, and his happening to know his teacher was 3, I was able to tell him I felt certain I was 2 and 'No, I do not remember the event or anything surrounding it.'

He, however, is quite the plethora of information from race riots to segration.

Every Tuesday, my eldest has band practice and so while waiting, I grab the younger two and we go to a French Patisserie down the street and they get a snack. Son#3 had to use the restroom and I pointed to the back of the store. This is when Son#2, the newest expert on all that Dr. King stood for, says to his younger brother, while LOOKING at me and NOT in a quiet voice, but in somewhat of a bravado, "There is ONE bathroom in the back of this restaurant and BOTH black people and white people can use it."

Heh. I wasn't sure what to say accept to tell him he was correct.

Now I have heard over the years people poo pooing this holiday. I worked with people who did not like Dr. King for whatever reason. I'm sure y'all have heard it all too. I ignore it. Here is my take.

I don't think our country needs to forget our history and the fact of the matter is, minorities did not have the same rights as white people and that was just flat out wrong. It was a tough time in our history and those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. If it takes the celebration of someone's birthday to make our schools teach them about the civil rights struggles, then so be it. It is a part of our history, a history that must not be forgotten.

So where we aren't getting a birthday cake for Dr. King and more than likely the only person who will speak of him on Monday will be my resident expert, Son#2, I think it is a good thing. And for more than just the fact I get to sleep in. Every generation needs to be educated... and this is as good a time as any.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Enchiladas Suisse- Carnival Entry

And just to show you how much I support my one and only Blog Daughter, here is MY entry. One is the regular recipe and the other is how I have modified it to make it more low fat.

You may substitute Monterey Jack for Swiss. Also, if you have kids, you may want to leave out the green chilies. I love it with them in, but it does add a kick that my kids do not enjoy. Also I do cut this recipe in half since it serves 8-10.

Enchiladas Suisse
1 onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 cups of tomato puree
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies, drained
2-3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
Salt to taste
3 cups of whipping cream (My modification uses skim milk)
6 chicken bouillon cubes
8-10 6-inch flour or corn tortillas (I only use flour)
¾ lb swiss cheese grated

Saute onion in oil until soft. Add garlic, tomato puree, chilies and chicken. Season with salt and simmer 10 minutes.

Heat 3 cups of cream and dissolve bouillon cubes in cream.

Fry tortillas in a small amount of oil until soft; not crisp. Dip each tortilla in cream mixture; fill each with about ¼ cup chicken mixture. Roll up tortillas and place seam-side down in a 13x9x2 inch pan. Pour remaining cream mixture over tortillas and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Makes 8-10 servings.

For less fat method: I don’t bother to fry the tortillas. I nuke them like I do for fajitas, just enough to get them soft and then proceed using skim milk instead of cream.

Carnival of the Recipes!

Blog Daughter VW of One Happy Dog Speaks, is the hostess this week, so get your recipes to her by Thursday, midnight EST. This is her first time hostessing, so support for her would grant you gratefulness from me… which means absolutely nothing in the big scheme…, except that I will be... Grateful! *Grin*

Remember, you don’t have to be a Blogger. Just send a recipe to her if you’re a reader and she will type it in and give you credit. Either way, Blogger or not, send your recipes to recipe.carnival (at) gmail (dot) com. Be there. I will be.

Not for the Faint Hearted

Well, I have to post this. I just feel compelled. Call it an impulse problem. It started really with blog daughter VW posting THIS on male lactation. Then Blog Father Grau posted THIS on the fact he thinks he is an A cup, rather than a B cup, and it’s a funny post, but then it went into the reason he thought he was an A is because he can’t lick his nipples (in the comment section). Then I commented I’m a B cup and know I can’t, so he could still be a B cup and then Ktreva pointed out she was horrified he knew he couldn’t lick his nipples and on it went from there, like HERE… which led me to post, “Why I know I cannot lick my nipples.”

And I know, right now, it is a given that my sister is reading this and saying, “NO! She IS NOT posting this! It cannot be. Has she no shame?!” And my Mom is reading this and thinking “Gasp!” and TGOO is probably kind of clueless and two girlfriends, DK and PFB that are reading this are probably shaking their heads.., actually DK is laughing and PFB is gasping and laughing with my Mom.

Things like this are why I gotta stay anonymous.

My youngest was 9 months old. I was in a craft shop with him wearing my typical attire, jeans, t-shirt, and sandals, hair probably up in a pony tail and ball cap. I remember what t-shirt I was wearing… a green khaki Marine Corps color t-shirt. Solid. Why do I remember this? Because I was so horrified by the events that occurred next that I will never forget the color of my t-shirt.

So I’m walking through the store, baby on hip and he decides he is hungry. I keep stalling him, but he is impatient. Now keep in mind, he is my 3rd child and I nursed all three of them… so my body has been stretched from here to Kingdom Come. I’m trying to distract him, kissing his neck while I look for that one item, talking to him absent mindedly as I really focus on what I’m looking for when I feel… a hand… go down… my shirt. I look down and before I can stop, that little chubby hand is down my t-shirt (a regular round necked t-shirt, mind you) and has made it under my bra directly to my left breast. The next thing I know… he has pulled my left nipple out my bra and up through the neck of my t-shirt. To my complete and utter horror, I am now standing in an aisle of a craft store, looking at the top of my left nipple poking out from the top of my t-shirt, being grasped by two little chubby baby fingers. I cannot believe how far he could stretch it, but being only a B cup (thank God) he was only able to get it to the top of my t-shirt, as I see his mouth making its way down to greet it.

Needless to say, I immediately put everything back to where it belonged and made a quick exit, to great wails of my 9 month old who felt totally cheated out of a quick snack, and the entire way I fervently prayed they did not have in store cameras. Ack.

So that is how I know my B cups cannot be licked by me. I saw how close they can come and they don’t come close enough.

Now, I don’t want to know why Grau knows his A cups won’t… but it cracks me up that he posted on it. And Grau… I think there is officially NO NEED for me to sign up for an interview at Jen’s. I think my readers probably now know MORE about me than they wanted...

The Bad Mom

I’m the bad Mom and there doesn’t seem to be a way around it. Seriously.

When my children were old enough to eat sandwiches, I fed them only whole wheat, my philosophy being they would never have to adapt to wheat when they were old enough and really needed to watch their health. Same goes for milk, from the minute they no longer needed the fat of Whole D, I gave them skim. They know no different. Or didn’t.

Then school started or they were exposed to eating lunch at other kid’s homes and suddenly I started getting, ‘Mom, why don’t you ever buy us this GREAT meat called bologna. Why do we only get ham or turkey?’ or “Mom, why don’t you EVER buy us WHITE bread like ALL the other Moms?” or “Mom, I really like the red milk better, can’t you get that for us instead of the blue?” (Red and blue refer to the color of the lid. Red is Whole, light blue is Skim.)

At first I was kind of snippy and said things like, “Because I love you more than their Moms love them.” Seriously. I did say that. But knowing what a sarcastic person I can be, they didn’t take me seriously and have continued to press the issue.

Flash forward to last week. They won the battle. I know tactically they could not have planned it this way, but it is what happened and they won. I just got tired of the flak and I caved.

We are standing at the vegetable department; I’m picking up salad stuff because we eat a lot of salad. My youngest, the pain in the neck he is, the child that I told blog sister Sally that if her daughter dialed 666 on the telephone she may actually get my youngest, said to me, “MOM! Why don’t you ever pack carrots for our snack? All the other kids Moms do!” Ack! Trust me, it is not like I pack them crap for snack. I pack them nutri-grain bars or goldfish or trail mix with M&Ms. I tried to actually think of something they like to eat at home and put it in their lunches. But now, this is being hollered at me in public!

Calmly I said, “Wait, EVERYONE in your class gets carrots?” and the answer is of course yes, because he is the Drama King, but then, THEN, Son#2 chimes in, “Yeah. Mom. We want carrots. All the other kids have them. Seriously.” (I love when their speech patterns mimic mine.)

I feel kind of bad then. Of course my kids don’t want the carrots in a bag; they want the plastic packaging of the Bugs Bunny carrots with the ranch dressing for ‘dipping’. $2.20 for 3 packages of carrots. I caved. It was the beginning of the avalanche. It just seemed morally wrong to tell my kids, “NO! I am NOT buying these carrots for you for your snack!” (I did tell them we are on the last leg of the prepackaged carrots and they’ll have to go to my packing them… the marketing ploy by this carrot company has gotten under my skin.)

But it went from there. They saw I caved and I was over them and their abundance of flak throwing and as we made it into the bread section, I got a whole new ration from them about bread. Same with milk. And I gave in and my kids are with all the other kids now eating white bread that might as well just be ‘shaped sugar’, and whole milk.

The whole milk thing I am rationalizing. They are growing, they may need the fat, although I assure you, we have enough of it in our diets. I am no health freak. My only issue with the whole milk now is, you should see my refrigerator. I could open my own damn dairy section. I have my non-fat creamer for when I do drink coffee, MY skim milk, THEIR whole milk, and Son#2s lactaid as he is lactose intolerant… and we are now switching him to whole milk lactaid.

So that’s my story of the week. I’m only looking out for the long term health of my kids and I’m the bad guy. I have a feeling they think they won the war. They only won ONE battle. I’m not through with this…

Monday, January 10, 2005

If the Name Fits...

When I was young, my siblings and I used to ask The Great Omnipotent One all sorts of questions. I can’t even remember them all, but if they were relevant, he would answer, but if they were stupid, then he would look at us and say, “What do I look like to you, the answer man?”

Now as a parent, I am inundated with questions from my boys. Inundated. Sometimes I feel like I’m dodging bullets from a machine gun. The questions can come so quickly that I have been known to put both hands over my ears, stamp a foot and say, ‘Just Stop!’ They can truly throw me into sensory overload.

Most of the questions, I can give a pretty good answer to. I know a fair amount about science and math (damn, hopefully since I majored in it), and I’m fairly well read, and I am analytical so I can usually deduce a reasonable answer, but MY favorite thing to say now when they ask me a question that is completely ridiculous and there is NO way of my knowing the answer, is “AND WHY would I know that?” (It’s obscure stuff like, ‘Why wasn’t my teacher in class today?’ to which my reply would be “I have no clue. Why would I know that?”)

However, I NEVER use that response to questions that should have concrete answers, but just require a little research. Herein is the problem. My eldest reads so much, he comes up with things I truly cannot even begin to answer. Last year, the question was related to some deep science that I am sure I studied, but the information refused to meld to my brain, so since we were in my car, I said, “Wait, let me call Big Daddy” (that’s what they call TGOO) and sure enough TGOO knew the answer. So, now, my boys think that TGOO knows the answers to everything. Heh.

Tonight we’re in the car, my son is reading this encyclopedia he got from Santa on North American Reptiles and Mammals (Santa’s big mistake is buying him crap like that) and I get, “hey Mom, what’s oviparous?”

I get to a stop light and break out a pen, having him spell it thinking, “Who in the hell drives around having a 9 year old ask about words like oviparous?” Between having him read me the passage and seeing the ‘ovi’ part of the word, I gather it has something to do with reproduction and snakes, and I tell him that, but then explain we’ll have to wait until we get home to look it up.

His response to me was, “Why don’t you just call Big Daddy instead?”

Heh. I did. I left a message. Something along the lines of “Your grandson wanted me to call you to ask you for the definition of the word oviparous, and since you know everything, you can just leave a message on my voice mail.”

You know what the scary thing is? He probably frickin’ knows the definition without looking it up.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Mars Vs. Venus at Age 5

We were emptying out the backpacks getting ready to go back to school tomorrow, when Son#3 pulls out a card.

“Hey Mom. Look at this”, he says.

I open it up and it’s a Shrek Christmas card. “Oh”, I replied, “It’s from Lisa who you kissed at the Lite Brite.” (This would be the same little girl whose skirt he lifted up to see if she was wearing Hello Kitty underwear to match her Hello Kitty lunchbox, hair bows, and other accessories.)

He looked at it, raised an eyebrow (he got that from me) and said, “Wow. It is.”

He turned his back to me, shaking his head and I hear him mumble, “Hunh. And I thought she hated my guts.”

Heh heh heh. I could not quit laughing. The dance has started. At age 5. Of course her Mama probably made her give a card to every kid in the class... but still, I cannot quit laughing.

24 Hours of My Life

I have one television show I like to watch. 24. I got my sister hooked on it during it’s 2nd season and the twisted people we are, we would call each other at every commercial and talk about it. Or once or twice we watched the entire show together while on the phone. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll understand why we were screaming at each other that we hoped that Kim would get eaten by the Puma. What an annoying character.

Anyway, it is my vice. And it starts tonight. 8PM, EST, 2 hour season premier. And the guy from our newspaper said that this year was going to be a good year. So I’m blogging early tonight so I can start this year’s 24 hour addiction, which brings me to…

My sister is always harping on me about this show. “I CANNOT believe I am wasting 24 hours of my life on this.” I always reply along the lines of, “These are only 24 hours you’re aware of because of the name of the show! Just think of how many other hours you’re wasting away, completely unaware.”

They kinda needed to name the show something else. Because now when the new season begins, I always think, “There goes 24 hours of my life…”

Of Wine and Chocolate

I was making THIS dish from Carnival of the Recipes last night for dinner, it was superb, and it calls for red wine. Now I don’t drink wine, but all of my family and most of my friends do. The taste is completely lost on me… I evidently have an immature palette. Everyone tells me what a great wine something is, I have a glass and I taste bitter. However, I LOVE to cook with alcohol. I think it adds a wonderful flavor.

That said, most of my friends when cooking, whether with or without wine, will have a glass while doing so. I know my husband’s older sister has a glass every single night she cooks. For the longest time, I thought it was an Italian thing… glass of red wine while cooking, but I am realizing the more I speak to people that it is not, it is in fact very common. I personally think it is a good thing. Red wine is good for the heart and having a glass at the end of the day can really take the edge off things. It’s just unfortunate I think it tastes so God awful.

So I was thinking (I know, scary thing) and I saw that a glass of wine has about 110 calories. I think that is the equivalent of 4 or 5 Hershey’s kisses. I think that for now on, I’m going to eat a handful of Hershey’s kisses while I cook. It might take the edge off, I am hearing great things about chocolate and how it’s really not bad for you in moderation, but the key will just keeping it to 4 or 5…

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Yeah, I’m going to post this. I can’t help it. Over at Prochein Amy’s she had a link to THIS post that talks about… public pooping. No, not like on the sidewalk, but as in ‘in a public restroom’. Good stuff, funny article, I cannot expand on that topic, but it was GREAT for a laugh.

But it reminded me of this story, and I don’t think I blogged it before, but this was a riot. I had this boss at my old job that was a hysterical. I loved working for him just for the whole kept me laughing sense, plus, the man really did me right a few times, which allowed me to overlook the fact he used to enjoy using me as his weapon. If there was a meeting not going well, he used to love to come to my desk, tell me what was going on, get me all nice and pissed off, then push me into the room, and close the door behind him as he left, leaving me to kick ass and take names. He said it was like throwing a fire cracker in the room and then ducking.

Anyway, before he became my boss, he had this special stint with an organization I am hesitant to name, but let me say he was our company rep there. He was on the fast track and this was a good ticket for him to get punched.

Now all these folks he worked with were fairly young, mainly men, none of them had children. From my recollection there were 3 women and the rest men, one single woman, one woman who had just had a baby, and another woman that had children but older.

Every few hours, the woman who had a baby would go into the restroom, in particular at lunchtime. Every day. The men used to look at each other and wonder what was going on as she never went empty handed; she always took something with her.

Finally one day, one of the guys said to the single woman, “What does she do in there?” and the single woman said, “I have no clue, but I tell you what, there is a mechanical HUMMING sound coming from the stall she’s in.”

Well, according to my boss, this brought silence and wide open eyes from the men at the office, who immediately assumed that this woman was going into the bathroom, into a stall, every few hours to ‘get off’. I have no idea how long this thought and these conversations occurred, but finally one day, the other woman in the office overheard them and looking at them incredulously said, “Are you kidding me?! That is what you think!!! Good God, she is pumping! She is a nursing Mom. She is pumping milk for her baby!”

Ahhh. I could not quit laughing when I heard this story. Here is a Mom, who probably didn’t even want to go back to work, taking a break every 3 hours to pump breast milk for her baby, probably even feeling a bit self conscious about it (been there, done that) and here these men were all thinking she was going in the bathroom to ‘get off’. If she only knew… Heh.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

I Do Not Know of What You Speak

I have to admit something... I don't think I've ever seen a snow blower up front and personal. Seriously. I'm trying to think if TGOO owned one when he did his Ann Arbor stint and I don't think so.

I know we didn't when we lived in DC. I'm not sure they were invented back then.

I've never heard one. I've never touched one. I get the feeling they look like the leaf blowers we have down here so chances are if I saw one I'd think "Oh. Leaf Blower". Perhaps they sound the same too?

And the jokes that are told on various blogs with regard to snow blowers and either what a pain in the butt they are or how they 'blow snow back at you' are completely lost on me. Completely.

Damage is Done... I'm Certain

Blog Daughter VW was talking about the kind of music she listens to and what kind of influence it will have on her kids. The jury is out on that one for me.

I listen to Alternative and 80s. I love Peter Gabriel, James Taylor, The Cars, INXS, The Police (and some 60s stuff like Simon and Garfunkel) and the list goes on with my alternative music both old and new (U2, The Smiths)... and a lot of it Angry Chick Music. Not that I'm really THAT angry, but I relate to a lot they sing about and it makes for good running music. I can get a lot further with something fast banging in my ears. I try to curb the Angry Chick Music with them in the car, however. For some reason, I feel like it will damage them. Who knows.

Anyway, the local alternative station is here is called The Buzz. If you have ever listened to an altnerative station... they can be very risque and the language can be foul. It's not mainstream. I've been listening to it since it started, probably about 9 or 10 years ago. So I'm in this Mommy and Me class called Gymoboree. All these Moms take their babies and the babies have a lot of tactile stimulation as well as visual as everything is colorful. There are steps and slides and barrels and a big colorful parachute. It really is a lot of fun.

The class opened every session with all the Moms (and some Dads) sitting in a circle, babies in laps and there would be a topic everyone would share their thoughts on. One day, the topic was music. Here are all these sweet Moms, who probably have never cussed a day in their damn lives, sitting there with their little sweet babies, and one by one, they went around the circle saying what type of music they listened to for their babies.

I was at the end. And I was stunned. Every frickin' Mom is saying, "Oh, I listen only to lullabies" or "I got this excellent baby soundtrack to such and such" or "The latest Sesame Street Elmo CD is awesome". I was sitting there thinking, "You have GOT to be frickin' KIDDING me. You changed your music in YOUR frickin' car FOR your baby?" I wanted to shake them and scream, "NOOO!!!! If you're changing this now, what in the hell are you going to change for them later?!"
Now before I make myself sound like a complete bitch, which... we kinda know already that I am one...I did have some child music in my car... eventually. My kids did like certain stuff and I would get some of it they could SING along with. Catch that. SING ALONG. It was not a case of "Ho Hum... I'm driving in my car... I think I'll turn on this sweet music for my sweet perfect baby". Bah. No way.

So it comes to me. And I'm kind of horrified. Then I thought, "I bet all those women lied. I bet I'm NOT the only Mom who listens to something other than sweet baby music. Peer Pressure. That's what it is!" So I said, 'Oh. I listen to The Buzz."

Silence. Complete Silence and Stares. I was wrong. All those Moms really DID listen to that crap.
The teacher looks at me and says, "Oh. The Buzz?" and I replied, "Yeah. That's what I like to listen to."

And from there, it was dropped, and we went directly on to playtime. Needless to say, I was never really the Mom everyone gravitated towards to get to know and have play dates with.

Whoo Hooo!!! Partyyyy!

Tammi left for a convention in Las Vegas and... well... she left her home open for a party. So yes, folks, come one, come all, there is a comment party at sistah Tammi's! Twister, handcuffs, body paint... Redi Whip. It's got it all.

And speaking of Tammi, we have a lot in common, one of which neihter of us has any desire to ever go to Las Vegas. If I were going to pick any city in the world... Las Vegas would probably come dead last... well, maybe not dead last. But damn close. She feels similarly. I can't imagine being forced on a business trip to Vegas. Blech.

However, something we DO NOT have in common is coffee consumption. I think there is a coffee grower in South America whose sole purpose in life is to grow coffee beans for my blog sister. Wow. She can do the coffee thing. She blogged on once how much coffee she drank and I told her I thought I might have a heart attack just reading her post!

Me, I'm the opposite extreme. I have it once a week when I go to breakfast with Blog Daughter VW, and other than that, I don't consume caffeine.... unless of course I have guest. Herein lies my problem. I forget sometimes I've made coffee. For weeks. We had a family over for dinner right before Christmas and I made a big pot of coffee to go with dessert. I was cleaning the kitchen tonight and I glanced at my coffee pot and it hit me, "Oh crap. Did I clean that after we had dinner 3 weeks ago?" Heh. That answer was NO. Blech.

Needless to say I spent the next 15 minutes doing the scorching hot water/soap thing. I wish this was the first time it had happened to me. It isn't. At least this time it was 3 weeks. Once it was 3 months.

A Banana a Day

I went oiut today and bought bananas because THIS guy reminded me of a comfort food from my childhood... I suddenly got a hankering for one. Difference is, we never fried ours. I'll pass on frying it and just putting it on fresh bread...

Friday, January 07, 2005

Physics Geek is THE MAN!

Thank you to Physics Geek for this weeks Carnival of the Recipes! Good stuff!

So I'm doing my weekly perusing, when I see a quick meal put up by Triticale, the Wheat/Rye Guy and I think, "Hmm. He says it is a slow cooker recipe. That is important." So I click and KNOW it is going to be good... but I have to admit something... I've never eaten lamb. I don' t think. I know my Mom and TGOO served rabbit one Easter when I was small, they didn't tell me until I was older... it was their own little private joke that we all laugh at now, but I don't think I've ever had lamb.

Sooooooo, it appears I will be trying this dish, while trying a new meat. Nothing tried, nothing gained. I'm game.

Coming Around the Bend

It was a good night in Karate tonight. I had a few realizations.

One is my cross training is already starting to make a difference. I notice now that other than my Sensei, I am the most fit in my class, perhaps in the dojo. I am starting to feel punchy, like I can run circles around the men, which WILL work to my advantage.

The other is that the fact I don't tire easily is going to make it better for me in sparring. If I can just keep out of the men's way, just keep blocking and moving, I can tire them out so I can get my punches in. I probably will never really 'win', but I may not get my ass handed to me quite as much.

But the big thing... today, I saw improvement. It turns out that guy we had train us on Wednesday from Britain was a 7th degree. He was awesome and while he picked apart my kata and I completely stressed, I did absorb. We did the same kata tonight for our Sensei. At the end of class, when we were bowing out, a brown belt who is of lower rank to me muttered quickly under his breath to me, "Holy crap you looked good tonight." I was unable to respond as we were bowing out, but as we were grabbing our keys, he grabbed my arm and said, "You looked damn good tonight. The best."

Little things like that make me want to train harder. Not to impress. That does nothing for me, but to achieve my goals... I want to look be as good as I can be if I am going to partake in this journey. I just need to see improvement occassionally.

The Twisted Thoughts of a Seemingly Confident Woman

I am a confident woman. I am confident in the workplace. I am confident in my thought processes. I am confident in the brain I have and my ability to use it.

I am confident that I can communicate what needs to be communicated. I am confident that I can lead when it needs to occur and I am confident in my ability to raise a family and maintain a household.

But somewhere… something went wrong. I would say, almost terribly wrong, for somewhere along the lines my confidence in my outward appearance, my body image, took a big shot and is so skewed and inaccurate that I must wonder… what is really wrong with me?

It is not my upbringing. My parents never compared me to anyone. It was never a case of ‘Oh so and so is soooo thin’. Never that at all. My parents have always told me they thought I was beautiful and blessed with proportion and they have been just as puzzled with my issues as I am. They must know that when they say something positive to me, my gut thoughts are, “They feel that way because they are my parents. They love me.” And how is that two people, whose opinions matter most to me in this world, two people that I call all the time for advice, even at 39, when they tell me they think I look great, I suddenly close of my ears and don’t hear it. What is WRONG with that picture?

It is something I have always struggled with, this misperception of what I really look like vs. what I THINK I look like. I remember my senior year in college, my last semester I had to take some touchy feely course and while walking through the building, there was this picture, a cartoon, and it showed three women… the first was a skinny skinny woman and it said, “What she WANTS to look like”, the next was a heavy, very heavy woman and it was labeled, “What she THINKS she looks like” and the last was a normal characterization of a woman, nice waist and hips, nothing out of proportion and it said, “What she really looks like”. I remember laughing thinking, “hunh. Who got in my head?” Even then I knew I had issues.

So I have struggled with it, watching what I eat, exercising, stressing over clothes that no longer fit after the births of three children, coming to grips with the fact I have a woman’s body now, not a girl’s. I have hips, my waist is not so much, and I do have body fat… as I’m supposed to. That is what gives us women our curve.

Have I ever been anorexic or bulimic? No. I have not. Because as bad as I’ve wanted to be tall and thin, I’ve been grounded enough to know the long term effects of those illnesses and besides, I really hate the feeling of being hungry and I really do hate vomiting.

This year, this year I want it to end. This year I want to only be very fit. I want good cholesterol, good blood pressure, good blood sugar, and a low pulse. (I have this pulse game… “How low can she gooooo???” I just don’t want to be dead to win.) Other than that, forget it. I MUST get to the point where I am not beating myself up because I’m not looking like the covers of those magazines, magazines I do not buy, but stare at me nonetheless every time I go to Publix.

And it doesn’t help that I live in the land of tummy tucks and breast implants, where every woman over 35 has been surgically enhanced or altered. Those of us committed to aging gracefully are looked upon like ‘what is wrong? Dr. So and So can fix that right up!’ Lipo, tucks, implants… you name it and I can give you a list as long as my leg on women I know that have had it done.

Yeah, I am going to partially blame the media, but only in the fact that it is feeding this seed of self doubt I already planted. This whole ‘thin is in’ thing is not helping my situation. And folks, if you think it is new, this media skinny hype, you are wrong. I was BORN in the years of Twiggy. For you young folks, it was the 60’s and uber thin was in. This is not something new. I grew up watching Cher. Karen Carpenter killed herself with the long term effects of an eating disorder. Don’t lay claims this is a modern phenomena, it is not. And so, it is up to me to correct my misperceptions and it is truly something I have done to myself, but I am going to point 1 finger at the media and society, while I have 3 pointing back at myself.

When was the big wake up call? Last week. I came home from Christmas feeling like a sloth. I felt fat and gross and could not believe how much weight I had probably gained in addition to the 10 I have gained this year. Ugh. (Turns out I gained exactly… 0.) I went to the gym, realizing I needed to make a lifestyle change (see yesterday’s post as to why… it has nothing to do with New Years, it deals totally with fitness), and while on the elliptical machine, I caught a glimpse of myself in a piece of plate glass. On either side of me, the women looked so big, and I looked so small. Women would come and go and I would look in the glass, and I would look so much smaller… After awhile, I did realize there was a bit of concavity to my part of the glass, it was making me slightly disproportionately smaller while they slighter larger, but I decided to do some sifting… research, personal research. And… I found THIS:

Free Image Hosting at

(Thanks to ImageShack for [URL=]Free Image Hosting[/URL] )

This is a picture of me taken 18 months ago. Sorry for the headless shot, but believe it or not, I am kind of a private person. (I do prefer to be an anonymous Blogger for myriad reasons.) For my Karate (I was NOT exercising myself for starvation, I was training for black belt), I was training 10 hours a week, pushing into a size 2, a strong size 4, I weighed 117 lbs of muscle and had a body fat % hovering from 19-22%. (I have some debate as to what was accurate.) Guess what. It was not good enough. I would look at myself in the mirror and think… “I believe 5 more pounds will do it”. My sister would yell at me and say, “Something is wrong. When will you be happy?” and I would reply, “I just want to see it. I just want to see… if I get down to 110 or 112, what will I look like? Will I be happy? If I get there and I’m not happy, I’ll get help.”

Here’s an extra piece of info… I lift weights, so I have a GOOD 5 lbs of muscle across my body. I have more of a small athletes build. So at 117, I really was as 112. But still, every time I got out of the shower I thought, ‘I still don’t have much waist. I still have too much fat on my abs.’ Every time. I would pick myself apart, constantly looking for what I needed to tweak or improve upon. 200 sit ups a day, varied kinds. Cardio. Salads, protein. (I did not go no-carbs. I need carbs, I was just careful in what I ate.) Eating small bits every 2 hours. This was my life.

It’s not a bad life, I was very healthy. I actually felt GREAT. My blood sugar was level, I had high energy and I got my resting pulse down to 55. But my issue is… I still didn’t like how I looked.

So here I am, 10 pounds heavier than that. I’m in a size 6. I’m not thrilled with where I am only because I’m not as cardiovascularly fit as I was. I truly like being fit, I like how I feel. It is time for me to quit thinking about this body vision made of unobtainium and start thinking about what is right for me. It is time for me to get this warped skewed version of what I think I look like… get it out of my head and be happy with where I am… because… I’m not in bad place.

Interview Questions for Bloggers

(This post is remaining at the top until COB Friday. Please look below this post for the latest posts. -Bou)

Jen Lars over at Jennifer's History and Stuff, does interviews with various bloggers. Jack of Random Fate is 2nd on her list. She is currently accepting questions to ask Jack. Questions are kept anonymous, so feel free to ask ANYTHING.

You can see her list of interviews coming up HERE. Off to the side you can see past interviews.

So if you are a reader of Jack's and have questions, of any kind, submit them to Jen at jenlarson (at) gmail (dot) com. (You know the drill, replace the stuff in the parens.) Hell, even if you AREN'T a reader of Jack's, submit questions!

And for those of you who do not know Jack and have not been to his blog, he is our resident American blogger in Grenoble, France, a physicist working for a company doing semi-conductor work. If you own a PC or an Apple, I believe you are somehow using his company's product. (I feel certain Jack will correct me if I'm wrong here... so the above paragraph may change!) Anyway, he is also our resident moderate, posting much on politics from the center. He is also an enormous history buff, so to go to his blog gives you an insight as to where we have been as well as his insights as to where he thinks we are going.

So take a look, ask questions. He's game! DEADLINE for questions is NOON 7 January CST, which means I completely dropped the ball in getting this post out. My apologies. And because of that, this post will stay at the top for today... all new posts until the deadline passes, will be under this post.