Sunday, December 25, 2011

In the last 2 years

I have met a lot of people from many different walks of life and in many different stages of their lives. Many that I have come in contact with have been visitors from other continents of this glorious place I like to call earth.

Tonight I spent about 2 hours (or more) with two of the most amazing teenagers I have ever met in my lifetime. One 14, the other 16. They are both fluent in English and Spanish, (Italian being the primary language) very aware of the what is going on in the world (politics both here and abroad) and two of the MOST well mannered children I have EVER met! The same can be said for the young lady my husband and I met while on vacation to Portugal, my old school friend Jan from German, the ever so kind African women who would braid my hair so tight I could sleep! All who spoke an average of 2-3 different languages and were super intelligent. (I can go on but I wanted this to be quick and short)

I have decided that from this day forward a few things have to change in my household. My children need to be more aware of their surroundings, their futures outside this comfortable little bubble I like to call "Western Branch". I think it is important that they know something more than JUST the American language/lifestyle.... way...

Math and science needs to go from "do as well as you can" to "if we need a tutor to help you pass, we will figure out what we need to give up (sacrifice) to make them succeed in these areas"

We are pretty darn arrogant when it comes to who WE are here.. in the good old USA (no??) don't get me wrong, I enjoy where I live, but I am starting to question the success of our future leaders. We have this "YOU-OWE-ME" generation standing in line to make decision for the future of our country, many who feel that everyone should speak English... Even when they are visitors in SOMEONE ELSE'S COUNTRY!!! Trust me~ I have seen it & it is pretty darn embarrassing~

I don't know.. I'm feeling as if we are setting ourselves up for failure by restricting ourselves to only the American way- I don't know... I can't speak for everyone but every time I hear a discussion about cutting the budget for education- its like someone is saying

"you don't want to be smart!!!
Math? Science? Foreign languages???
You aren't going to need all of that when you graduate!!"

News flash!

20 years in the military-

Guess what!!

I had to use math DAILY!
I was thankful for science & biology (it too was part of my daily job!).
That French I learned in high school-
Needed when I was lost on the streets of Paris!!
The small bit of Spanish my friend knew...
came in handy while on liberty in Spain with no way to get back to the ship due to heavy seas!!! No matter how broken~ her efforts got us a nice hotel to stay in for the night until the sea were calm enough for us to make it back aboard.

If my sweet US wont make the necessary change to make us better...

I guess I'll have to start it myself no matter how small~
with me and my family...
Right here...
In this comfortable little bubble I like to call "Western Branch"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving day

was a good one. My family, my dog, & I packed into the car and headed here (Kentucky) Tuesday afternoon.  The drive was a dreary one, lots of rain, fog, and drizzle but we made it to Kentucky at a decent time.  although the GPS said we would make it to my town at 1:30am, we decided about 11pm to stop for the night (6 y.o pretty much made the decision for us, he was 'OVER' this car ride)

We woke the next morning had breakfast and started the last leg of our drive, we decided to stop by Buffalo Trace (one of the many bourbon distilleries in Kentucky) for a tour of the facilities~ if you are ever in KY for any reason try to go there, great tour!

Wednesday is spent with my mom, dad, sister,  brother, neices, nephews, dousins, aunts, uncles, the works!  everyone is preparing dinner for the gathering we will all have at the lodge the next day.  It is a great evening but super tiring for me.  Me, the family, & my dog call it a night and head back to our hotel.  We wake at 6am, and head back to my moms house.  Hubby has been volunteerd to fry two turkeys and I have to make bacon wrapped green beans (which everyone continues to believe are made by my mom...)  We do out part and then head back to our hotel to shower and dress for the 2pm supper.

We arrive at 1 to set up the lodge but can not get in because cousin Pam has the key to the lodge and she is late!  we have to place the tables, cover the tables, bring out chairs, plates, silverware (you get it where I'm going..)  After a bit of rushing and putting EVERY ONE in view to work we are set and ready for supper to begin, but wait~ we can't begin until Uncle (Paster) Lewis makes it here to bless the family and the food, which turns out to be okay because we still have a few family members who have yet to arrive~  Once everything (and everybody) gets into place, Uncle Lewis blesses us all and we younger of the ladies serve all, & then we all sit down to eat.



It is a great Thanksgiving surrounded by family with such a beautiful back drop to enjoy our late afternoon meal...

together...

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and stay blessed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

It is the eve of thanksgiving and I am walking the isles of Walmart in awesome Kentucky, the place is packed to the gills and there are powdery condiments all over the floor!

My lovely sister is not shy to let people know that they need to get the hell out of the way and I am silently walking behind her getting a giggle...

This is going to be one of the best visits yet~ I am awed by the woman at in the pie area as she digs, and digs, and digs for the gold that we know will never be found.. I love the Mexican guys who smile kindly and say hello.., in Spanish~ I think they are awed when I ask them how they are doing... in Spanish :-) I think they appreciate that, they respond back with a smile- I keep walking and enjoy people watching... Did Mention I have already had a half a of a bottle of Chardonnay?? (good thing I'm not driving!). I've been away from KY for over 20 years but over the last year i have found a live for small town life, shops, and the feeling of family~ close family~ all in the same place. It's always great to stop in for a qui k visit :-)

I took a trip

to the middle of nowhere~ literally! 

So, My small town in Kentucky voted on October 11 2011 to start sales of alcohol.   My county has been dry for as long as I can remember (I was born in the 70's!)  So when I read about the vote to starts sales there I was happy, because now I didn't have to bring a case of my favorite beer/wine home WITH me... 

NOT SO FAST... the law to sell alcohol came back with a YES vote, but sales are NOT to start until mid January (lol) oh well, I guess I will not have wine with my Thanksgiving dinner~  I could drive the army base which is about 20 minutes away but I'll pass.  I have several bottles of wine I can enjoy when I return to VA.

BUT WAIT!...  I am in a room with several of my cousins, and the question that is asked is "who is going to make the drive?"  Drive to where I ask, to the picnic store I am told for spirits and wine.  I volunteer but let it be known I have no clue where I am going.  Me and one other jump into my car and directions are given as I pull away from my mothers house.

This drive is long, we go from seeing city lights to seeing darkness, as the street lights dwindle down to nothing the road becomes darker and the curves on this two lane road are some that I am not accustomed to driving~ especially at night!  we drive what seems like eternity then she yells,

 "right there! right there!" 
"right where?" I ask,

there is nothing but darkness in front of me, behind me, and AROUND
 me! 
Then as if to appear out of 'nowhere', there to the right of me is the "picnic store"...  seriously, "PICNIC STORE" is what is written on the sign,  and the parking lot is FULL!  I pull into the wrong entrance (because when I braked- I passed the entrance) I park, she runs in and not even 2 minutes later she is loading the trunk of my car up with items~  how the heck did she get all of this stuff so quick... AND PAY? this parking lot is full, the drive through window has about 4 cars in line, and she is out of there a quick as lightening! 

This place seems mystical to me, full of customers who walk in and right out as if there are a gang of elves lined up behind rows of counters to ring up and bagging items that customers need... and it seemed to have popped out of thin air.... located in the middle of NOWHERE, KY... 


a bit scary AND weird...
(this is the actual photo I took of the picnic store!)

"continue on your current trajectory"

yep, that is what my GPS just said...
in Darth Vadar's voice...

about 10 miles into my drive it starts to breath (as Vadar does behind his giant mask of doom)  Not sure why it is doing that, just 4 slow, heavy, breaths...

"why??"  I  ask

"because it's awesome" my husband responds.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

these shoes are awesome...



and I want another pair.. I purchased my first pair from a mall in Portugal about 2 years ago.. probably paid about 30 bucks or so for them.  Got online to buy a new pair today

price...

$130+.....

It's hard to justify buying a pair of shoes at that price when you do NOT have a job~ so, I will be patient, and hope for a sale...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"HEY BLACK GIRL!"

.....is the phrase I hear across the not-so-very-crowded-bar.

My initial response was going to be "who the f- are you talking to but instead responded~

"who me???"

I know the 40-50 something y/o woman is talking to me, I am the ONLY afro wearing black girl in this awesome establishment called Redbones...

As Anna looks on with an astonished "did she just say that?" and Steve giggles with "yes she did" I turn to the lady and start by saying "it would have been more polite to just say 'excuse me.....'~ if you yell that phrase to a different "black girl" she may not respond as politely as I am responding to you right now.."

She is a bit inebriated so I chuck it up as the obvious "slip of the tongue"

thank God for preparing me for the many not-so-diverse people i would encounter on this journey i like to call 'life'

growing up in semi racist Kentucky and working in a somewhat racist job field while I was in the navy has assisted in the formation of my tough "ignorant" repellant shell.... Being one of the few BLACK, FEMALE, certified high pressure welders is not an easy thing for many young country boys from the deep south to digest- especially when they are not certified, throw in a little 'meet your new supervisor' in there and all hell tends to break loose... So~ I have definitely heard (& been called) worse!

Needless to say, certain phrases i haven't heard in awhile spin me for a little loop but i bounce right back, smile it off, and politely correct the person who had the slip-of-the-tounge incident.. That goes for EVERY one I encounter, my counterparts included.

But any who~

"hey black girl" screaming lady claims she wants my opinion on how to get this guy half her age to stop asking for her number because she's married. I tell her I can not answer that question mainly because anytime I go to a bar of ANY sort I go with my husband and I also inform her that dancing provocatively on every man in the bar is not helping her "I'm married" cause either....

She ends with please don't take what I said wrong- I'm a white girl!!!

Ummmm yea.

When hubby returns from the bathroom, Steve gives him a rundown on what happened to which my husband responds "you should have punched her in the face"

I love my hubby~

but, I have to remind him that I am 40 not 15, and that mature adults don't respond with bad words or fighting (although a few choice words came to the tip of my tongue when she yelled in my direction) hubby hugged me super tight put his half finished drink on the bar- said his goodbyes and turned to me and said "babe... Let's go home"

No resistance from me....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ANTM all Stars

so... Im like this undercover top model junkie~  I never discuss the episodes I watch, I DVR them and as everyone sleeps in on Saturdays I wake and watch the Wednesday night episode while making coffee.

Since I didn't have class today I decided I'd watch it while clipping coupons and preparing my grocery list.  The models made music videos today instead of the usual picture taking session.  I think they all did pretty good (well... except for Alexandra, even though her song was super catchy *I'm singing it now* her video was pretty darn boring but hey~ who am I to talk?  my kids ask me to stop singing and dancing daily..)

any who~ the video I liked the most was Allison Harvard's "Underwater".  She reminds me of Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas~ 

Odd, yet beautiful in her own quirky way...



At the judges table, Tyra and the gang including guest just The Game (rapper/video producer) evaluated each girls video to see who would stay and who would go home.  Because I couldn't find the words to describe feedback from the judges table, I had to post the video so you could see Allison's video followed by the reaction of the judges immediately after watching it.  I loved it 100%


"WHOA!"
(lol)

Tyra pokes fun at the game with a teasing "do you like her?"
to which he outright says "I'm attracted to her"

Go Allison... you are on your way to being a star without even trying!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It is now 1:45 p.m.

and I am just getting out of bed~ what we thought would be an early night turned into a 2 in the morning outing!

We had dinner with a couple we haven't seen in over 6 years at the Norfolk Chop House. After a 3 hour dinner full of conversation, great food, and wine- we made what I thought would be a quick stop at Bardo for a drink~ SEVERAL hours later the awesome bar lady informs us that last call is in 10 minutes... Really??? That is what I call good time in a place where the atmosphere is calming, the music is at a volume loud enough to catch the ear and soft enough for conversation that doesn't require you to say "huh?", "what did you say?"...

Bottom line~ I had a great night and got to sleep super late today. That NEVER happens in this household!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I need to do a little cleaning

Starting with all the extra (unused) email accounts I have for reason unknown~ I downloaded an app for my flickr account and guess what- I have NO idea which email address i used to open the account!! I have an email for school, a business email, several junk mail email accounts, and the email account I use to have when I was in the military (which is attached to accounts I hope I never forget passwords for!)

time to clean Internet house...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Please believe the kids are watching...

Why do I say that? A comment that came from 6 y/o during breakfast this morning. His dad walked into the kitchen, i went in for a hug, he gave me the "half hug" you give those you don't know very well- I teased hubby about the hug, poked him in the belly, and continued to make coffee.

When hubby walked out of the room 6 y/o whispers " maybe daddy doesn't love you any more... But I still love you mommy"

???

he made this assessment from observation ALONE!

Parents~ be mindful of the things you do in front of your children- they are not easily fooled, they are picking up our habits, they are fully aware of the things happening around them even if YOU are not aware that they are watching...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The guys with the bibles

I'm sitting in the common area waiting for my next class to start. There are these guys handing out bibles. 1 out of every 10 (or so) students stops, talks, asks for a bible, and keeps moving towards class. The others walk a super large "this area is contaminated" circle around the guys even though they are NOT forcing bibles in their hands, they are giving the students the choice to come to them~

For some reason I find this interesting.. How we are given a choice to choose... And sometimes we choose to walk around instead of making a choice to... Stop~ why is that?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My son's schedule is crazy!

Partially my fault because i felt he needed something active to do (baseball) but I did not know he would practice at least two nights a week and play another two days/nights a week! The Hubby asked why he was not taking golf lessons... Really? Four days of the week are already spoken for! When is there time for golf??? Tuesday is the time for golf (so his lessons are every Tuesday..) I understand I am the SAHM, but also know that I am a full time student, I still have daily task to tend to (unless someone else wants to step up and clean house & cook dinner) every day is filled with school, kids, kids schedules, kids homework, MY homework Saturday games and Sunday dinners and I have to throw in a basket making session somewhere between the constant moving and running. 2 years later and I still haven't gotten a firm grip of the SAHMs schedule! So once again I applaud all of you SAHMs out there who make this job LOOK so super easy- may I one day be as efficient, reliable, and schedule savvy as you! If anyone ever asks what I think the hardest job in the world is, hands down~ the SAHMs have it!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

this black and white woman thing

is kind of making me want to kick some one... There was a discussion  on interracial marriages and the effects it has on the families and children... One person expressed they did not want mixed kids and only want white kids~ i felt i should corrected him by saying "your preference is to stay within your race"  he said exactly (understood) unfortunately, it was blown way out of context and a debate started that I decided to just 'stay out of' until one person said...

"I understand what he is saying, but for me it’s more of not wanting to marry someone of a different culture because I can’t identify with them. Sami you say “white people aren’t all that great to look at”, if that is true, than why are all of the other races marrying and having children with them.  Why are so many colored women bleaching their skin and dying their hair to look like white women?"

I left the conversation and wrote the following:


 lol... you said "colored" I know my comment comes late but....
NO "colored" women I have ever known or met bleach their skin to be white, they MAY dye their hair a different color (as white women do) but NOT to be "white" ~although, I have ran into many white women who claim they are trying to get "as dark as ____", they  enhance body parts and inject poison into their lips in an effort to look... I don't know... white???  lol.  You being a white woman- maybe you can explain it to me because I have no idea who is trying to be who!
As a "COLORED" woman, I prefer my hair "NAPPY" and natural, I love my full lips, my brown skin, and my healthy body parts~ I have found that many blue, green, and gray eyed faired skinned men find me "beautiful, pretty, exotic" (the names go on), I find it amusing, especially when I read comments such as yours.  All women are beautiful in their own way regardless of SKIN COLOR, you may not have noticed but~ men are too busy checking out T & A to really think about skin color these days. 
As for M. Worth and his choice of a beautiful white skinned baby~ that's his preference, does it make him racist? I'm going to say no~ he's not the only person in the world who prefers to "stay home" as I like to call it.  Should the truth be told, I want my kid to have the color of dark roasted coffee.... it's a preference. It's a shame his comment was taken this far out of context... maybe he should have worded it different.
But seriously Alyssa, don't be the person who "has black a friend" (that no one has ever seen)  Take the time to actually find out something about these "colored" girls you are referring to.  If you hang in the right places you will meet more like me, educated, well mannered, well spoken, prefers to be call black instead of "colored".  If you ever want to chat so you can actually know a black woman, and maybe find out a thing or two about us while we are chatting~ I'm the girl to talk to.  Raised in the ghetto, moved out of the ghetto, educated (paid for with hard work- leaving aid for those who REALLY need it), had a career, owns home,  happily married,  retired, and now owns and runs a small business.  Not your average "colored" girl and guess what~ there are many more just like me who don't want to be or care to be..... white...  Enjoy your day.

am I wrong for venting... as late as I have???  If I have offended anyone, I'm sorry, it just gets under my skin when white women say things like this... please know more than one black woman, or better yet~ stop watching TV to find out about black women.  One or two black women do not represent the masses!  you know what... I've written what I'm feeling now it's time for me to.... let it go...

it's...
gone...
new day starts tomorrow~ good night~

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

new shoes...

little girl + new shoes:


admire shoes, ask "are they pretty?"
wear them out of the store
jump over the puddle of water
walk around the lot of mud
yell yuck and run from the dog poop on the ground

little boy + new shoes:


admire shoes asks "will they make me fast?"
run with them on... right out of the store (while you are still paying)
jump IN the puddle of water
run THROUGH the lot of mud
see dog poop, stab it with a stick, yell "it stinks" and try to kick it out the way

and the shoes were purchased not even 30 minutes ago... ughh

Saturday, July 30, 2011

pencil vs pen



you know I am watching you...
scribbling and crossing out your mistakes...

i know you see me shaking my head...

did you see my lips mouth the word "dumbass"???
i know you did because you flipped me off...

what the heck were you thinking?  i asked you before you started the test did you need a pencil and an eraser to which you replied, "no~ i can use this pen"

i don't know about you but, i'm still mixing up formulas and making mistakes that require an eraser and pencil...
i bet you'll listen to me next time when i say "don't forget your pencil and eraser" as i've done many times before.

or...

you will continue to sit across from me as i shake my head, and giggle at you while you cuss and scratch all over your test trying to correct your mistakes in math...

when you are ready~  i have a few extra pencils and erasers for you to borrow...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the headboard

as you all know, sometimes I do things a little out of the ordinary like; take pictures of random findings, move things that don't have to be moved, start projects that never seem to find a finishing point, let my mind wonder about things that have absolutely nothing to do with life, start blogs that I don't actually visit until I have more important things I should be doing (like studying for tests....)

today is one of those random days.  I started painting 16 y/o's room a shade of gray he requested and once I finished, I felt it was missing an important element... a headboard.  I started my search online for a decent looking headboard that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg (because I'm learning to budget...) During my search I learned something about myself~  I have expensive taste!  every headboard that I liked cost somewhere between $600 and $3000! (reality check!) 

all of a sudden i got this super great idea, i'll make my own headboard, how hard (& expensive) can it be???  to my surprise, it wasn't expensive at all.. here is a list of items I used to build my head board along with cost:

(2) bi-fold closet doors $0.00 (they were tucked inside of my shed)
(5) 4x8x1 boards $0.00 (they were in the shed too...)
wood screws $0.00 (once again, items just sitting around the garage purchased who knows when...)
faux leather material $10.00 (Garden Ridge sells 2 yards of cut fabric for $5 in every style/pattern)
Poly-fil $8.59 from Michaels (used my 40% off one item coupon- yea!)

I started by supporting the bi-fold closet doors with the 4x8 board, this also keeps the doors from folding up on who ever decides to sleep in 16 y/o's bed!  Then I covered the doors with poly-fil, and finally wrapped the doors with my awesome "faux" leather.  I wasn't to happy with the flatness of the extreamly large headboard so I laid some of the poly-fil on two of the 4x8 boards and covered each board with more "faux" leather and then attached them to the lower half of the head board (this gives a bit of back support should 16 y/o decide he wants to sit up and read in bed.... HA! THAT was a joke (ahahaha, 16 y/o reading a book~ riiiggght...) I finished off the look with a small throw pillow that was made from the left over poly-fil and "faux" leather.

The end result~ an awesome headboard that cost me exactly $18.59!  well at least I thought it was awesome, hubby looked at it and frowned... maybe I'll add the poly-filled covered 4x8 boards the whole length up the headboard... although that would probably bring my cost up~  you know what, I like it the way it is... 









What do you think???

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The freakin' scale at the gym...

HAS to be broken... there is no other explanation for 2 straight months of working out and eating smaller portions have I gained 15lbs.... 15!!  according to the gym scale this 5'2" frame carries 150lbs~ really?  a few weeks ago I weighed 137 and was happy that I had actually lost 4lbs... see, this is why people get discouraged. it's like you do all this work and the stupid scale turns around and makes you want to kick something (arrrggghhhh) maybe this is why many people have been telling me not to use the scale and just measure myself with a tape what ever the resoning behind scale vs tape is beyond me but for now, I need a twinkie, that should make me feel better...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

mashed potatoes...


There is a restaraunt down the street we like to have breakfast at on lazy days.  After my "intense" work out at the gym, I meet hubs and a few of his friends over there to eat.  They sell these yummy homestyle potatoes that are cut in small chunks, seasoned and deep fried.  I love them enough to eat them (cold!)  This morning I decided that I would try to make some for breakfast. 
I started my search online to see what I could find and came across Potatoe Croquettes (hmmmm) I have everything I need for these WITHOUT the extra work... even the mash potatoes~ that were suppose to be used for potatoe salad but somewhere between boiling and making the potatoe salad I managed to over cook my potatoes therefore making MASHED potatoes...  instead of tossing them I sealed them in a bowl to use for later... Well guess what today is.... LATER!  As you can see in the pic above there are two different shapes.  I started with the circle shapes (because my ice cream scoop seems to have grown legs and walked...) but after the 2nd one I decided to just roll them into logs, this shape actually made it easier for me roll the bread crumbs on the potatoes too, the result:
hubs said they tasted really good, 5 y/o yelled "NO I DON'T WANT IT!!" as he sprinted from the room and 16 y/o was still in bed sleeping but later woke, took a big bite and responded "these are horrible, what is it..."  If you guys want to try for yourself here is the recipe (you know... cause I ALWAYS like to share!

Potatoe Croquettes
-2 tbsp milk
-salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp chopped green onion
-2 egg yolks, beaten
-3 tbsp all purpose flour
-4 cups masked potatoes
-1 egg, beaten
-sifted dried bread crumb
-peanut oil, enough to fill pan 1/2"

Add milk, salt, pepper, chopped onion, beaten egg yolks and flour to mashed potatoes.  Chill and then shape using an ice cream scoop.   Dip in the beaten egg, then roll though bread crumbs.  Fry each croquette in shallow oil until brown on all side.

As with many of the recipes that I try, I added extras like pepper, garlic powder, thyme, I also added more than the recommended amount of green onions (because they are so good) Once they were done I added sour cream and fresh cilantro to mine~ hubs used ketchup.. overall~ yum!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I suck...

at keeping up with my blog....

but I have lost 4 lbs in the process of not stopping by to show love...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

storage finds...

today we decided to clean out our storage shed.  It's taken almost 9+ years to do it (don't judge me...) but today, the weather was nice and we woke up early enough to make it happen. 

After 9+ years living in this house (that came with everything the last owners left in the shed) we got out to remove everything that has lived in there (only to store MORE of our personal items in its place) I have to admit, it felt great to get out of the house on such a nice day doing something that made an improvement on our space AND cost us zero dollars to make it look good!  I'm glad we pulled everything out because I found an aluminum juicer, two old gas cans, and some stoneware that was stored on the back of a shelf so, of course I had to share~ mainly because I thought it was super nifty!

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kids, especially 16 y/olds....


As I sit in Starbucks with my tall pike place and the perfect oatmeal (which really is almost perfect!) I can't stop thinking about 16 y/o. Are all kids of this age inconsiderate and disrespectful to authority??? I know you are thinking "it depends on how you raise them" but, I think I can honestly say I raised mine to have a deep respect for those around them, especially parents and other adults. I spent the last few teenage years of my life living with my aunt Eva and her 3 daughters and 1 son, one thing I learned was to appreciate everything I received while in her care. My cousins treated me like I was their sister, my aunt and uncle treated me like I was their daughter. I feel many choices I have made in life are a direct contribution from them, they taught me a lot about properly caring for my self, financial responsibility (although that lesson went directly out the door when I got out on my own... Can you say credit card?..) I learned a lot about family and life to say the least. I never intended to have children myself but as we know, not all plans go as smooth as we would like.


As I eat my perfect oatmeal, I can't help but to wonder how perfect my parenting skills are (not)! Just yesterday, my 5 y/o cried giant tears with words of "I can't tie my shoe,,, you do it,,," whine, cry, whine... After he tied his shoe we head out to the truck for a quick run to the store, as I hug him I say "mommy is not trying to hurt your feelings, I'm trying to teach you the joyso f doing things for yourself" then I say " I guess I baby you to much" to which he responds "that's why I can't do anything for myself..." and then he stares out of the truck window. Humph, he has heard this somewhere, do I treat him like a baby still? I guess I coddle both of my kids to a certain degree.. The difference between the two is my 5 y/o expresses himself vocally where 16 y/o gets angry and hates his parents (cause we love making him miserable) and he seeks refuge at the homes of his friends. I have been home now for over a year, not being in the navy has given me a full time life with my family, I now have had the opportunity to observe the day to day routine of my family. It mainly consist of me doing everything for them (but that's okay for me, especially while I am with out 'job'). But, I have noticed for 16 y/o a major change in attitude. Something that continues to confuse me is his lack of acceptance when he has made a mistake or does wrong~ it's a blame game for him and of course hubby and I are the two main culprits who he blames for his short comings... IS it our fault?
I think we carry some pretty laid back rules - good grades are rewarded with an endless amount of entertainment ie; laptop, cell phone, game systems,television, friends... All that is required from 16 yo to keep his privileges is that he maintains AT LEAST a D-average in all FOUR of his classes.. Yes you read right, D-average. even though HE knows he struggles in school HE completely expects the teachers, tutors, learning programs to do the work FOR him...) and when he finds his grades below a 50 he says he doesn't know why the TEACHERS are not inputting grades on assignments.... really??? His bed time on a school night is 9:30 and weekends gets him and extra 3 or so hours more of stay up time (pending yard/house work the next day.  He is assigned small task like cleaning his room daily, laundry weekly, yard work (depending on the season and how quick the grass grow or how fast the leaves fall from the tree). He has been given a number of TOYS that many kids wish for, but it is never enough.  Sometimes I think to myself "i can not wait until graduation" and then I feel bad because I'm afraid that he is not going to truly be ready or know how to deal with the real world.  So my new task is finding a mentor, boys and girls clubs, volunteer work.  Getting him more involved with the community to help get his head out of this bubble I call "Western Branch" and into the real world... we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Healthy feb1



So, to update you guys on the "healthy" lifestyle I have decided to live.... It's hard, really hard! I have found that I do not like working out at all and it's getting worse!rumba is my favorite way to exercise unfortunately the classes are always full to capacity, if I don't arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the class starting I'm out of luck, and I hate using the machines. I have started walking Vladimir more, it does two things for me 1. Calms down vlad's energy level and 2. Gets me a good workout outside. I know I started my "healthy" on 10 january, and for some reason I thought I would have slimmed down by now, my "think-myself-thin" plan is not working as I hoped it would but I did manage to drop 2lbs so I guess the small workouts I have done are working, slowly, but working.

Today I took a big step and signed myself up for Fit Quest at my gym, the appointment take about an hour, during this time they find out where you stand on physical strength and endurance and together you map out an exercise plan to help you achieve your fitness goal, my goal.. Burn fat and tone... I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully better than my current routine, we'll see~

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Yes, um, I'd like an order of Chicken Lo Mein,

orange chicken with steamed rice, and spicy garlic chicken with pork fried rice please"
      ~"Okay ma'am, your order will be ready in 15 minutes"

the restaraunt is about 3 minutes away, I'll give them 20....

20 minutes laster I step inside of No 1 Chinese to pick up my order.  The guy behind the counter (GBTC) ask what I want, I tell him I'm there to pick up my order, he ask what it was, I repeat what's listed above.  He offers me pork lo mein.... ummm, that is NOT what I ordered.... then he ask what my order was again with an explanation of "were running behind.  I tell him my order (again) and have a seat.  The place is large... cold completely, the florecent lights are dull, and empty of customers with the exception of the laid back teenager (LBT) who immediately goes into a dialogue of how his parents are out celebrating their 20 year anniversary and left him to fend for self on dinner... As I sit in No 1 Chinese food place I feel like I am in the scene of Clerks... , okay... More like Clerks II ~it's more geared towards odd restaraunt occurances....

The spot is empty (with the exception of LBT) I wish I had my phone so I could take a pic of this place.  While we wait a well dressed man enters and request to buy noodles, not cooked, just 4 packages of dry noodles- $2.00.  A few minutes later a guy in crocs and pajama pants (I swear they have the word "pink" written on the butt...) GBTC yells "heeey buddy! got your order right here!" while they say their hellos and joke around with one another a mean looking lady (MLL) walks in~ she isn't happy at all! GBTC says "may I help you?" she answers "I called about the burned beef" he takes the burned meat on skewers and gives her another bag, she looks in and says "this is chicken" (??? how does she know this???) GBTC sa;ys "chicken is good" MLL looks at GBTC like he is crazy, LBT jokingly says "but you don't want beef~ you want chicken" and giggles.. MLL gives LBT the evil eye to which he responds "eesh, bad joke... i guess"  I giggle.
"Pink" Pants walks back in  and yells "how is it you only have 3 customers and you got my whole order wrong?" GBTC looks confused, apologizes, and says "we are super busy with phone orders" and gets the right order to "Pink" pants, as he looks through the bags a skinny goth girl (SGG) walks in as asks "any deliveries?" GBTC gives her the bag "Pink" pants just bought in.  SGG leaves and "Pink" pants tells GBTC "don't make me come back!"  they both laugh, "Pink" pants walks out the door and jumps into his pretty white Lexus that is parked at the front door and drives off as a cute guy on his cell walkes in, mid sentence he says "C-23 please" and continues his conversation on his cell.  My toes are super numb by now, I am considering going out to sit in my truck it's warmer out there, as I fold my piece of paper up GBTC says "hey lady, your order is ready" I look at LBT and ask "didn't you get here before me?" he says "about 5 minutes before" we have been here almost 30!  LBT yells to the back of the kitchen to GBTC "HEY! where is my order? I was here first!!!" GBTC looks confused.... again.... I check my bag to make sure I have the right order, grab duck sauce, duck sauce, and say "sorry dude" (frowny face) to LBT who responds "at least I had someone to talk to.. that doesn't happen very often between strangers anymore..." I agree with a smile, LBT shrugs, smiles, and starts giving GBTC crap about not having his order ready.  As I walk in the door to hubby, kids, and buddy Steve the phone starts ringing.  I answer it to here "Hi, this is The Great Wall of China, I wanted to give you a call to let you know your order has been ready for over 30 minutes now"

Really???

(Oh... sorry about the video clips~ one has to see the movies to truly understand the experience I had last night at the No 1 Chinese spot...)

Friday, January 21, 2011

BLaCk cHAmomilE

so, I decided I should procrastinate no longer and do a gift basket for my cousin (that I promised over a year ago... I know... I suck).  I was thinking of a punch of color with a bold black and white design.  The first thing I had to do was get the design I had in mind together...

black, white, and pink.. I know different but... beautiful together non the less. 

(I just need to figure out which b & w I like best...)

I starting thinking about what type of frangrance I wanted to choose to go with colors.  As I washed my hands and looked in the cabinet for hand soap I saw one of my favorite frangrances.  BLaCk cHAmomilE, I purchased the fragrance collection from bath and body works (sale) a few months ago for $25 (body lotion, shower gel, body spritz)   Because shopping online has become one of my favorite things to do (only shopping in store during the work day/week)  I went to their web site to make my purchase, unfortunately the items are no longer sold through them.  Next best place... Google, you can find pretty much anything there~  I found my BLaCk cHAmomilE
Body Lotion $49.95
Shower Gel
(could not locate item)



Bath Milk $34.95

????? Did I miss something?  Why on earth are these items this expensive? Looks like I have to either
1. change the frangrance I want to use

or

2. Get my bid going on Ebay for something much lower in price (maybe...)

ughhh... who knew that a fragrance as awesome as this would go for these crazy prices?  If anyone out there can help me locate these items at a decent price~ let me know!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

for the love of magazines...

because I have become this crazy magazine junkie I have noticed that the magazines have begun to stack up once more... the ones that I have read i finally dropped off at the daycare center 5 y/o use to attend (they use them for the many cut and glue projects the do...) and to this day, Mrs. Shantae is always happy to see them come in.  They use to live in the corner of my dining room stacking up until I took the time to read them, now they rest patiently in some nifty magazine files i made using the boxes from packages received during the holiday  and some fabric I had in a box waiting to be delivered to the thrift store.  so, next to working out my "plan" of lb maintenance, kids, family, the ever going job search, i will read my stack of mags so that they may be donated to daycare or the local library... time to get my reading glasses out!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

decided to watch the lbs..

as i pulled the laundry out of the dryer this morning i noticed the scale sitting in the corner of the garage, being me, i pulled it to the middle of the room, made sure it was on "0", and stepped on... hmmph, 147... that's 7lbs heavier than the last time i stepped on. in the last year it appears that i have gained a total of 37lbs since i got out of the military.  now that i'm sitting in front of the television watching will & grace i'm seeing the "special k" challenge every 10 minutes so... i decided, i'm going to take the challenge so... i logged on, choose the chocolate lovers plan, set my start date for the 10th, and then a menu popped up on the next screen.  hmmm, lets see, by the looks of it, i'll have to do some shopping, buying mainly "special k" items like:

chocolaty delight cereal
chocolate peanut butter protein meal bars
vanilla crisp cereal bars
red berries cereal
milk chocolate protein shakes
chocolaty pretzle cereal bars
low fat granola bars
special k parfait
honey nut cereal bars

and then it gives a yummy list of meals for dinner, items I actually keep on hand at all times like jamaican chicken breast with mashed sweet potatoes, shrimp with tomatoes and feta, grilled chicken salad, pork chops with pomegranate glaze (although i will have to make a trip down the road for the pomegranate) and an open faced roast beef sandwhich... I see breakfast and dinner... cereal bars for lunch? can i at least have a salad for lunch??? sooo...

new plan...

i think i'm going to just do it the old fashion way... excercise and cook dinner always, it seems i'll save more money this way AND cook dinners that i know my family will continue to eat and enjoy, i think i'm going to have to share my venture into healthy with you guys as i go... i mean if i can remember to get online to share~
oh well, gotta walk the dog.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cheesy pork chops...

any time i am lucky enough to ride on the passenger side of the car, one of the things I like to do is scroll through the many recipe apps on my phone. in my quest to find really good meals to cook for the family (that I will only cook once.... at least that's what my hubby says) i found cheesy pork chops with spicy apples~ the recipe was submitted on all recipes dot com from DRANDYP. i thought it tasted super yummy and had to share so, give it a try and let me know what you think, I will definately cook it for my next dinner gathering!

*1 tbsp butter
*1 onion, sliced
*1 pinch red pepper flakes (I used more)
*1 apple, cored and sliced
*2 tbsp white sugar (I used 4)
*2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (once again... I used 4!)
*4 pork chops
*salt and pepper to taste (I seasoned with garlic powder, pepper, thyme & Tony Chachere)
*4 slices extra sharp cheddar cheese

* prepare a grill for hight heat

*While the grill heats, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until soft. Season with red pepper flakes then add the sliced apples. Stir in the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and simmer for 5 inutes, or until apples are soft and golden I added a pic of mine below (◠‿◠)


*Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes per side (depending on the the thickness). Spoon the onions and apples on top of the chops...


*Top with a slice of cheddar cheese. Cover the grill, and cook for about 3 minutes (or until cheese is melted and bubbling.)


the recipe says this cheesy pork would go perfect with braised cabbage, i decided fresh broccoli and mash potatoes would work best for my crowd... They enjoyed it!!! (it's going in my favorites file...)


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Vlad.....

big scary racoon....


big scary racoon

as I took Vlad out for his walk we both stopped mid step when we heard something coming from the big tree on the corner of our lot.... he stood still listening, i stood still looking.  and there it was, peeping around the tree at us with it's big white face slowly slithering up the tree.  about the size of a toddler and fat as can be I wasn't sure what it was but it scared the crap out of me.  I ran to the door and yelled for hubby to come look as it slowly went higher into the tree.  Hubby came out but couldnt see anything.  I ran into the garage to get the flashlight, ran back out and turned it on~ there it was, a super big scary looking racoon.  He stopped on the branch and watched us as intently as we did him... Vlad made the first move....

back in the house we went, if that thing gets ahold of my dog i will be super sad! This must be what Vlad has been sniffing around the shed for over the last few days, every night for the last week he goes over by the shed and growls non stop.  I should be a bit more careful over there myself as well as my 5 y/o~ his play set is located over there.... hmmm

big scary racoon...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1st morning of the new year

When 5 y/o rolled over this morning the first thing he said was "mommy, lets walk down to the beach"
hubby and I got up, got coffee, ate oatmeal and fruit, and started our walk to the beach followed by 5 y/o, a bright young girl who seems years beyond her age, and a set of twins...

the weather is unusually warm considering just hours before we were all sitting around a big fire covered in blankets.  now it's super bright skies and warmth all around us.  we walk across the street and behind a big house into the clearing for the beach.  the tide has just lowed and the sand if free of foot prints or any indication that morning joggers/walkers have been here.

the twins instantly say "can we take off our shoes?" i don't want their mom to get upset so i say no, just as i am saying no my 5 y/o runs by me.... barefooted  I look at hubby with an expression of "really???" he shrugs, sips his coffee, and pulls out his phone.

It is a gorgeous day fill with the sounds of rushing water, kids, me & hubby.  If the new year is based off of the first thing you do once coming into the 'new' year then i can say that.... 
 

THIS is going to be a great year!

New Year 2011

place: setting: etc....

kill devil hills (NC)
6 bedroom beach house
5 couples
10 kids
live music
Iphon music game
wine
veggie pizza
roaring fire
sky full of stars
count down from the lovely H
screams of HAPPY NEW YEAR while raising glasses filled with wine, champagne, or orange juice
followed with "5 Years Time" by Noah and the Whale

who could ask for anything more than a quiet relaxing new year spent with new/old friends, kids galore, a starlite sky, next to a roaring warm fire~

Well, it is another new year, last year I said that I would visit my blog more often and write daily.... didn't happen.  I submitted job applications daily~ actually even went in for some interviews but wasn't hired... maybe due to my refusal to work nights and weekends.  I need to find a place to work where the hours are from about 8 to about 5 monday through friday (any leads???)

This year I don't plan to make any resolutions or "I will do-s" simply because I suck at follow through when it comes to myself.  I'll just live each day to the fullest and figure it out as I go.  Enjoy the new year everybody!