Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Classic Am I?

I love classic country. I adore it. I would listen to it 24/7 except I also love the White Stripes, Toby Keith and Brad Paisley, and Eminem. Got to mix it up.

But the cable company's classic country music lineup has shaken me to the core.

Those awesome hits being played are NOT my definition of classic country.

They are the songs of my childhood! From the 80's! That's not too long ago!


That was like 30 years ago?


I am officially classic.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That Bag Of Pasta Is Calling My Name

I have a bag of pasta, leftover spaghetti noodles actually, in my fridge.

I mean, come on, who doesn't?

I was going to use them and the last of the spaghetti sauce in a little leftover dish called "baked spaghetti" but in a terrible twist of fate I thought I was adding a can of plain diced tomatoes to the sauce to build it back up but in fact I dumped in a can of tomatoes and chilies.

Chilies do not go in my spaghetti sauce. And I am not a good enough chef to figure out how to save that lovely sauce turned really odd into something good.

So now I have a bag of pasta in my fridge. And it is loudly calling my name. Every time I open the fridge I hear it.

Take a bite.
You know you love cold noodles.
Don't think about the carbs.
Take a bite!

So far I've resisted. The problem being, the bag is clear, I can see all those lovely noodles stuck in a cold clump and instead of being repulsed, I want.

It's the same part of me that only wants to eat cream of wheat when it is cold and congealed.

I am very picky about meat (don't dare try to give me a piece of chicken with a suspect stringy thing in it) and I don't like onions, tomatoes, or brussel sprouts. But give me cold pasta (or actually any grain) and I am in heaven. To each his own!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soups & Stews & Spaghetti

The changing of the summer into the fall is not my most treasured time. I love fall. I love summer. I love winter. I love spring. But the ending of summer, that I hate.

I've been trying to find reasons to rejoice, as I force myself to tie on tennis shoes instead of slipping on flip flops, as I fold my capri's and find the dreaded jeans, as I close my bedroom window at night because it actually got too chilly for me.

It was the chilly night that got me thinking about soup. Soup is not a summer food. Neither are stews. And lets not talk about how my beloved home made spaghetti sauce is brutal to make in the heat of summer. (I've done it before as a requested birthday meal and can attest to the brutality of it!)

But it's not the white hot sun of summer, is it? It's the softer, warm sun of fall. It's a crisp evening walk and the smell of colder things to come. It's the perfect time to pull out my recipes and put aside all the salad ones I didn't make and dig through the soups and stews that I want to make. Spaghetti doesn't need a recipe. I've been making it for 17 years. I've mostly got it memorized!

Last night I made chicken and dumplings. I'm not sure if this is a soup or a stew, but it doesn't matter. I'm eating it for the dumplings.

And it was good.

Welcome fall! You've got a lot of good things going for you.

I'm still refusing to pull out tights until the first of October.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's A Spider Morning

It's 7:30 in the morning, the kids are gone to school, exercise is over and I was sitting down to enjoy my coffee when I heard Olive and Sarah making weird upset barks. Yips. Not their usual frenzied barking.

I open the front door and start to step out to see if they are okay, when a big something falls straight down in front of my eyes. I jump back in the house and it is a big spider (not the biggies that roam our house emerging from under the couch to casually stroll across the living room, but those regular big ones that live outside). It almost touched me! Like it was right, RIGHT, in front of my eye.

So, it's slowing dropping to the ground and I think it's coming in on this side of the door, I've got to get it out. I grab a book and decide to just whack it. I'll kill it and feel slightly bad, but whatevs. It's just a spider. I whack it, smashing it between the book and the door jam, and it disappears. No spider guts on book or jam.

I look down, there it is, just laying on the porch. I stomp my foot by it, nothing. It's dead. I walk out, the dogs are super upset about the squirrel (I think it's been eating nuts in our yard again) and as I walk back in I think, that spider does not look smashed. I hope I didn't injure it but leave it alive.

I get the book and nudge it.

Oh yes. Hurt bad, but not dead. It does a broken leg dragging scrabble thing and I feel terrible. I have to kill it, put it out of it's misery.

That second smashing was so awful.

I don't even like spiders. What is wrong with me, that the older I get, the less I am inclined to smash things?

Monday, September 20, 2010

It Was The Spider's Fault


A spider made me drive so crazy, almost onto the sidewalk.

See, I was driving home from work, minding my own business. I had no idea that while I was working, a spider decided that the perfect place for a web was between the antenna and the windshield. I did not notice until after I'd rolled down all my windows and was zipping along, singing with the radio.

It wasn't the spider, exactly, that got my attention. It was his shadow bobbing up and down on the passenger seat that alerted me to my uninvited passenger. I started looking for the cause of it, and I may have been swerving onto the shoulder before I saw the spider outside of the car.

A frantic rolling up of the window almost saved me but for a gust of wind that knocked the web down, flinging the spider into the open window, which may have resulted in eeps of squeaks from me before I safely secured a spider free car.

Upon which I realized I was moving from the shoulder, and the sidewalk was looming.

I was lucky to have a clear roadway to correct myself with no witnesses.

But I just want to have it be known. It was the spider. I don't usually drive like that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crane Flies Are Pure Evil

I hate crane flies. They have those creepy dangling legs and they bob around the room, weaving in and out of eyesight. They have no concept of personal space and all too often are way too close to me.

Last night, after some girly screams, my husband tiredly killed three.

Tonight, just as the last few minutes of a dinner I grudgingly cooked were coming together, I found a crane fly in my dinner.

It was floating in all it's disgusting glory, ruining dinner.

I said it.

Ruining dinner.

I am not starving enough to eat bugs.

Luckily, it was just a sauce that goes over the chicken. So it was just pennies worth of ingredients that I tossed out.

And luckily, my husband took pity on me and ordered pizza. The rest of dinner can easily go in the fridge. Tonight I don't have to keep cooking, amidst the threat of a crane fly invasion.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

10 Things I Like About Me

Everyone is quick to judge themselves. We could all toss off a list of 10 things we hate about ourselves in the blink of an eye.

It's so much harder to make a list of what we LIKE about ourselves! I think like list should be mandatory. Everyone should make a list and tape it to their mirror so they see it, every day, every time they gaze upon their reflection.

I'm not trying to promote big headedness (the serious problem of thinking you are super fantastic until your head is too big to fit under a hat, let alone a bushel). I am well aware of my faults and flaws. Some days I just need to have a reminder from myself to be less critical....

It's usually a day filled with hormone crazies, but isn't that the day I need it the most?

So here goes.

10 Things I Like About Me, in no particular order:

1. my hair
2. my freckles
3. my toes
4. my calves
5. my shoulders.
Golly, this is harder than I thought....
6. my nose
7. my lips
8. my girls
9. my tattoos (I'm counting it because I love to see them on my skin!)
10. my curves

Whew. Double Whew. Whew times 10.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Toodles To The Summer That Wasn't

Summer of 2010, I miss you. I miss the way it should have been. There were not enough hot days, river days, spritzing water days. There were not enough BBQ nights, drinking beer nights, tiki torch nights. There were not enough slow sunny mornings, porch sitting mornings, coffee and a doughnut mornings.

Although, not having a doughnut was probably good for my body, it was bad for my soul!

I've barely turned around to look at the time, and Summer of 2010, you are slipping away. You are almost out the door! I'm not ready for fall!

I'm only accepting fall because I have no choice. Inside, I'm kicking and screaming, holding onto the last of summer with all ten fingers.

I think we will throw some logs in the fire pit and roast hot dogs for dinner. Cook up ten ears of fresh corn. Smother everything in ketchup or butter and eat ice cream for dessert. Bid Summer of 2010 a bon voyage, with lots of well wishes and thanks for the camping trips we took, the birthdays we celebrated, the good times we enjoyed the heck out of.

Even if it's raining.

Even if it's 55 degrees out.

That's why we have jackets with hoods! Isn't? For our Pacific Northwest Summers!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Blackberries I DO Want

By my previous post, one might think I want those big, hulking, common blackberries that one can find growing on every side road in America.

Not so, my friends. I am a blackberry snob.

I want the little wild mountain blackberries, the ones worth their weight in gold...times 100.

They are that good!

And that hard to find.

Those precious tiny drops of heaven are what I really want. I will settle for the other when the little ones are scarce.

I have searched hither and yon, lagging behind my Mom, searching for the distinctive trailing vine of the Rubus Ursinus. It's back breaking work, with treacherous footing, and the threat of bears is actually pretty real, and I'd go right this minute if someone called to say they'd found a patch.

Some people are aware of what poison ivy looks like. For me, it's the little wild mountain blackberry. I'd know that prickly vine anywhere.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Blackberries I Don't Want

The blackberries I don't want are the suicidal ones. The kamikaze berries that leap off the vine and fall into my hand or onto the ground. The ones that can not bear to be attached to that prickly harness one more second.

Those berries are suspect to me. I don't like how eager they are to be trod upon or eaten.

I like the ones that take a little bit of a tug to free. The ones that have a bit of a tartness to them.

I am going to drown them in sugar anyway, so tart is okay.

The soft jumpers are no good. They feel bad in my hand, I can only imagine how awful their texture will be in my mouth.

No thanks. I'll stick to the berries that want to live. Having to fight a little to get them makes them taste all that much better!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering Nine Years Ago Today

It is so funny how time does make things easier to bear....the images we saw nine years ago were so devastating, I never thought I could think about it without crying.

And I must admit during a SNL tribute show to the 2000's (I know, right, that was just last year, why a tribute?) but they talked about 9/11 and I was moved to tears. Who doesn't remember Mayor Giuliani and Lorne Michaels on stage, surrounded by dusty fire fighters and paramedics and police, and making a joke that we all chuckled at. It really felt like we had been waiting for permission to laugh, and now it was okay to start finding things in life to enjoy again.

It's easier to bear, but I have not forgotten.

Especially when I was looking through old photographs with my husband and we found a picture of us, with the New York skyline silhouetted behind us, the Twin Towers standing tall and proud.

No, I will not forget.

I am raising children who will not forget.

The lives lost on 9/11 and in all the battles since then will be remembered by me and mine.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Have Been French Kissed By Olive 100 Times Too Many

I love dogs. I know that on occasion, in their excitement, I might get a lick to my face that comes dangerously close to my mouth. I don't love dogs that much.

But Olive has got some kind of super bionic tongue that no matter how I tried to avoid it, I end up with it darting into my mouth.

It is as horrible as it sounds.

And yet, when she looks at me with her lovely brown eyes, and her big foxy tail starts to wag, I can't resist picking her up for a cuddle.

Which will usually involve her tongue.

So it's my fault really.

But she's so fluffy and cute!

It's a catch 22.

One that I will continue to fall onto the side of "ewww" because she is so darling and has some sort of super cuteness powers that make me love her even when she's chewed up my hairbrush and flip flops and licks a bit too much!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's The First Day Of School

And I feel sick to my stomach as always. I thought once I was done with schooling for myself, I would never feel that way again. I hadn't counted on empathy pains on my children's first days of school.

As I was laying on the couch this morning, queasy as all get out, nervous as a Beagle getting her nails trimmed, my daughter started our school year off with a bang.

Where's her ASB card? The one she needs to have on her person every day at school? Five crazed minutes later, I find it in a pair of discarded jeans on her bedroom floor. Whew. Well, at least I don't feel so queasy any more. Getting up and doing something energized me.

She leaves and I decide the best thing for a mostly unqueasy stomach is, you got it, buttered toast. And just as I was sitting down to enjoy my treat, my daughter texts me.

Um, she left her summer homework at home. Could I bring it up to the school? Like, before first period? Like, now?

Like, I was trying to get my breakfast! Like, I'll totally scarf it down and speed walk up to the school with unbrushed hair and teeth. It wasn't as embarrassing as I thought it would be.

Plus, by the time I got home, the adrenaline rushing through my system after that don't be late to school walk has got me feeling pretty fine.

The worst part of all of this is tomorrow is my sons first day of school. Hello queasy stomach. I knew you couldn't be gone for good.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Is It Possible To Walk 3 Dogs And Not Look Crazy?

And the answer is, nope. The three dogs to one person ratio makes you look totally nutso.

Doesn't help at all that the dogs are pulling your arms every which way, and when they appear to be walking nicely, they are really weaving a cats cradle with their leashes, hoping to catch your legs up....

I am speaking from experience, so I can say it's crazy.

Let's not even go into how many doggy clean up bags I have swinging heavily as I try to hold the leashes and the bags and figure out how many blocks it is until the next garbage can.....

Even crazier, I'd walk my dogs right now if I could, baggies, tangles, super dog powers, and all!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Have Yet To Grow A Sunflower

I have tried for years to grow sunflowers. I love seeing their tall stalks, their yellow sun faces, nodding in the breeze.

I want one.

Or a whole package of seeds planted in my flowerbeds.

And yet, not one has grown. Years of planting the seeds and not seeing anything sprout has led me to believe that I will never grow sunflowers. At first I thought it was me. I tend to just tear open a seed packet and sprinkle them over dirt, give it a slight raking over, and soak with water. Not exactly according to most directions.

So this year I carefully read the packets. I planted everything by the rules. My veggie garden is going gangbusters, so I obviously can plant seeds that grow.

Just not sunflowers.

Now I have moved beyond tossing out seeds, beyond following instructions and have started researching why my seeds aren't sprouting....

Ah Ha! I thought the squirrels in our yard look particularly fat and sassy!