Friday, April 30, 2010

Breakfast of Insanity

Chocolate Cheerios are driving me CRAZY!

Have you seen the new Chocolate Cheerios?

I made the mistake of buying a box of them recently, and I have regretted that decision from the get-go. All they've done is create more work for me - when I'm already crazy-busy as it is.

"Oh, Drama Queen....You're being can a box of cereal ruin your life?" you ask.

Well, take a look at the actual cheerios:

And now take a look at my hardwood floors in my kitchen:

If you mix chocolate-colored cereal, with chocolate-colored floors, and then add hungry, in-a-hurry-before-school kids wolfing down breakfast, who somehow manage to always spill 12% of the cereal they eat on the floor, you get lots and lots of little brown cheerios on said floor that are virtually "invisible" to the naked eye...where I find them later when I step on them.

Yesterday, I kid you not - at least five times I would take a step in the kitchen and hear the dreaded, "CRUNCH." I'd look down - and see a smashed-to-smithereens dead cheerio on my floor. ARGH!

Get the broom and sweep it up. Only to kill another one a few minutes later. CRUNCH. ARGH! Get the broom and sweep it up.

The kids finished the box today...and needless to say, for my sanity, I will NOT be buying any more Chocolate Cheerios. I'm going to stick with Fruit Loops, because they, at least, have some color.



Thursday, April 29, 2010

A 4:06 a.m. Soccer Game

I did everything right last night.

I quit drinking caffeine around 3:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon - drinking only water the rest of the evening.

I turned off the television around 9:00 p.m. so I could begin to unwind and relax.

I took a hot shower at 9:30 p.m. so I could feel the warmth of the water enveloping my body and my soul, wrapping me in a cocoon of warmth and relaxation.

I climbed into bed at 10:00 p.m. and read a little of my newest book so I could drift off into fantasy land.

I turned the light off at 10:30 p.m. and prayed and prayed that my chronic insomnia would disappear for just one freakin' night so I could get a decent night's sleep (something that has been elusive now for awhile).

And it WORKED! I actually fell asleep by midnight - which is two hours earlier than I HAVE been falling asleep! Oh, blessed slumber!

And then...the unthinkable....

At 4:06 a.m., my beloved husband dreamt he was playing soccer, and WHACKED me in my his sleep.

With his soccer-ball-kicking-foot. WHAM. Direct shot.

"Whah????" I woke up with a start - confused, in pain, disoriented...

"OH MY GOD, I'm so sorry!" Hubby apologized like, 50 times...and then promptly fell right back asleep.

Me? Not so much. By 6:00 a.m., I was still wide awake. Dammit.

Tonight, I will repeat the above process - only this time, I'm wearing knee pads to bed.



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Shoes Snooze No More!

Many, many months ago, I had a post about my boring shoes...I had basically two pairs that I lived in - my Keds and my gold sandals. If you missed that post, it is here.

Sadly, both pairs recently met their demise. It was only a matter of time, actually. The gold sandals were the first to go...I wore them on my most recent trip to Jamaica, where it rained every single freakin' day - and the sandals just couldn't handle the puddles up to my ankles. Pretty? Yes. Waterproof? No. They basically pulled a "Wicked Witch of the West" on me and melted. No more gold sandals. I cried.

The last photo ever taken of my gold sandals...before their untimely demise....

The Keds bit the dust in Belize. I wore them while painting a school classroom. While in "school" that week, I learned a very basic equation: white shoes + yellow paint + sloppy painter (me) = disaster. No more Keds. I cried, again.

The last photo taken of my Keds, in Belize...R.I.P.

After a sufficient period of mourning, I decided it was time to buy some new shoes. But I hated shopping for shoes - we really didn't have a cool shoe store anywhere nearby. Sigh.

And then...a new DSW Shoe Store opened last week, just five miles from my house.

I stopped by yesterday, and I swear to God, I heard heavenly choirs of angels singing as I walked in the door. I had never seen such beauty in my life - dress, casual, sandals, athletic - glorious, shiny shoes. And the smell? I LOVE the smell of new aphrodisiac!

I did what any woman would do after being deprived of something so wonderful, so amazing, for so long. I gorged. I walked out of there with not one, not two, not three - but FOUR pairs of new shoes! Yikes!

Three of the pairs are just basic, summery sandals - pretty, but functional.

But check out the 4th pair:

I have NO idea what I'm going to wear with these...but I knew I just had to have them.

I think I'm in love.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Spider

I now understand why I keep hubby around.

I am sound asleep this morning, all cuddled up in my nice, warm, snuggly bed...when I feel a presence...close by...staring at me.

I wake up and see Dear Daughter standing by the side of my bed, willing me to awaken and give voice to her presence. I glance at the clock and see that it is 5:30 a.m. ARGH!

"What?" I ask, in a plaintive whine...I am most definitely not a morning person.

"There's a spider in my shower," she says shakily. My daughter is most definitely not a creepy-crawly person.

I reach over to awaken Hubby so he can go deal with our illegal 8-legged resident who has taken up homesteading in Daughter's shower....only to find...Hubby's not there.

Damn. Hubby is out of town on a business trip. Forgot about that. Which means - it is up to ME to deal with the spider in the shower. And deal with it, I do.

"Use MY shower."

There. Problem solved. Everyone's happy. Daughter. Me. And most definitely, the spider.



Monday, April 26, 2010

My Claim to Fame

My daughter has entered that awkward stage of adolescence where she pretty much is embarrassed by everything that I do. Yes, I am very "uncool" in her eyes - but that's to be expected as the parent of a tween.

However, there is ONE thing that I do that absolutely amazes her every time that she sees it...she will watch me in awe, her eyes round, and she'll say, "How do you DO that?!"

Yes...I have an amazing talent that I am very proud one claim to fame, if you will, that is my one thread of "coolness" in my daughter's eyes.

What is this awesome talent, you ask?

I can...without fail...every single time...always, always, always...catch the "flying shrimp" in my mouth at a Japanese steakhouse.

My friends and family will tell you it's because I have a big mouth, but that's neither here nor there. All I know is, my daughter is always, always, always amazed.

Hey - I'll take whatever I can get at this point. I'm desperate.



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cream Puff Dessert

As promised, the recipe for Cream Puff Dessert....

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups cold milk
2 pkgs (3.9 oz each) instant chocolate pudding mix

1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup chocolate ice cream topping
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup chopped almonds

Assemble crust ingredients.

In a large saucepan, bring the water and butter to a boil. Add flour all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Spread into a greased 13x9" baking dish.

Bake at 400-degrees for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Assemble filling ingredients.

Beat the cream cheese, milk and pudding mix in a large bowl until smooth. Spread over the puff. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Assemble topping ingredients.

Spread the pudding mixture with whipped topping; refrigerate until serving.

Drizzle with chocolate and caramel toppings; sprinkle with the almonds.

Then, finish off with a drink of your my case, a lovely Raspberry Smirnoff's...toast yourself to a job well done. :)


Ducklings vs Chocolate Syrup

Our rainy weather here the last few days in Kansas City has seriously been for the ducks...and you KNOW it's bad when you walk out your front door and seriously see ducks in your front yard:

Photo taken Thursday, 4/22/10 in my front yard....

Yes, we seem to have some fine-feathered friends that have decided to move in to the neighborhood, and the neighborhood gossips are saying that Mama Duck may soon be having baby ducks...won't that be fun?!

With all of this rain, I've been going a little I got inspired and headed to the kitchen the other day and started baking. I've made Chocolate Cherry Cobbler and then turned around and made Cream Puff Dessert...although the Cream Puff Dessert went to a party Friday night and now my children are upset that they didn't get to sample it.

"But you have DUCKS in your front yard!!" I pointed out to my own ducklings. "I mean, how cool is THAT?! Wouldn't you rather have ducks in your front yard than a Cream Puff Dessert?"

"But...the cream puff dessert had chocolate syrup!" they protested.

I countered right back with, "Yeah...but the ducks may soon have little yellow BABY ducklings!!!!"

The kids chewed on that for a minute...and then decided that I was right. Ducklings trump chocolate syrup any day.

Now - if I can just get those ducks to produce. Or reproduce. Or whatever it's called.


P.S. The recipes for both Cream Puff Dessert and Chocolate Cherry Cobbler will follow in subsequent posts....Check them out!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Lost in Translation

With all of my travels to Guatemala, it's inevitable that I would have friends there...and through the magic of Facebook, I try to keep in touch with said friends. Spanish is basic - to say the least. Very, very basic. To engage in conversation in Spanish is stretching it...and so, I do what any red-blooded American would do when trying to master something they don't know much of. I cheat.

Yup. I cheat. I go to to type in what I want to say - and then copy and paste on Facebook. I sound so smart and impressive when I do this, and it's FREE! Why would I pay for translator services when you can do it for free??!!

Ahem. As of today, I now know why people pay. You know that old expression, "You get what you pay for"???

This morning, while on Facebook, I get a pop-up from a friend...and he asks me something in Spanish that I didn't really understand, so I popped over to Free and typed in his words...and then got the translation.

This is what he asked: "Que bien como una buena mama en que esta vive?"

And this is what I got in translation: "That well as a good breast in which this lives".

click on the image to make it larger...too freakin' funny....


It makes me wonder what in the heck I've been saying to people on Facebook over these past few months when I've used this site. Oh well. No wonder people find me interesting.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More On the Time-Consuming Shoes

Remember a week or so ago when I posted about my daughter...and her drama...with regards to how it was going to take "forever" to put on her shoes? Which were flip-flops? If you don't rmember, click here and you can refresh your memory.

I guess I shouldn't have made fun of her, because today I came across a video where a guy put on his flip-flops.

It is seriously funny...and reminded me of my daughter. Of course, my daughter wasn't wasted. Unlike the guy in the video.

But enjoy this very short, funny video of a guy vs flip-flops:

Dang those dreaded flip-flops.


I've Been Diagnosed With ROEBBFWDK Disease


What the heck is THAT, you ask?

Well, that's the official diagnosis on my terrible, troublesome tummy that has been bothering me for two years. I have received some emails from readers asking how I'm doing, and so I thought I would share the news with you....and so there you go. This particular diagnosis is sooooooo long, it's just easier to use the letters....

For those of you who are new to this blog, and you're going, "Huh?" at this point, let me just briefly say that my tummy began giving me much trouble about two years ago. Lots of pain...and about 20-25 pounds of rapid weight loss. Which would normally be something to celebrate - woot! - but in this case, it was too much, too fast. And it left me feeling "like a fool with my pants on the ground" all of the time, because I would forget to wear a belt.

So, after being poked and prodded, shaked and baked, and practically turned inside-out by many specialists at several hospitals, the official diagnosis came down. And it's R.O.E.B.B.F.W.D.K.

Which is short for, we've "Ruled Out Everything Bad, But Frankly, We Don't Know." Yup - that's it in a nutshell.

We've had guesses - Crohn's Disease, Celiac Disease, IBS....but although I show symptoms of each - I don't show enough to officially be put into any particular category. One doctor suggested that I have picked up a foreign "jungle bug" from my travels to 3rd-world countries that has decided to take up permanent residence in my gut. You can imagine the peace of mind on hearing THAT - that I'm possibly harboring an illegal alien in my tummy. The good news, though, was that all of the major internal organ cancers were ruled out.

However - I am on some fabulous medication for the pain. And, through much trial and error (mainly error), I've been able to manage the pain - somewhat - through my diet. I'm learning that there are some foods that act as triggers for the pain - and I'm learning to avoid those foods. Sometimes. Because sometimes I forget, and then that is when the fabulous pain pills come into play.

So - there you go. This will be a lifestyle change - not a temporary one - and I'm still in the learning process of what I can eat and what I can't.

I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had the same thing, though....

...the dreaded R.O.E.B.B.F.W.D.K. disease.

It can be a pain. Literally.



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Feathered Friends


...I am surrounded by them...I can hear them, see them, and almost touch them...hawks, blue jays, wrens, and sparrows...the sparrows are serenading me now as I type this...

...yesterday morning, a blue heron flew in and landed in our yard. I tried to creep closer to take his photo, but this is as close as I could get. If you look closely, you'll see him standing there - surveying his watery kingdom...

...and the ducks and the geese float by, honking at me, as if asking, "Hey, lady! Welcome to the lake! Take OUR picture!"

...and the silly hard-headed robin that keeps bonking into my window every day at 10:24 a.m. visits me once again. It's been a week now, and this stubborn bird has not given up on his determination to join me inside my living room....

As always, I am humbled by the beauty that surrounds me...the creatures that God has created and put into my life.

Peace. It really IS a peaceful day.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Camp Out = Cold

So, daughter goes off to a Girl Scout camp-out Friday and Saturday night...

...and today, I take her to the doctor to be tested for strep throat.


Actually, it's probably just a bad cold...but there's nothing MORE lovely than being home with a sick child on a beautiful Monday afternoon. Do you detect a note of sarcasm there?



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Craving the Creme

Cadbury Orange Creme Eggs.

That's what the Easter Bunny brought (was it really 2 weeks ago already?!) and left in the kiddos' baskets. And that sly Easter Bunny - he/she left a few for me to sample, as well...because, after all, as a parent - it's our God-given duty to make sure that ALL and ANY candy given to our children by virtual strangers must be sampled and ahem...approved. Taste-testing is a parental responsibility that I take very seriously.

So - imagine my delight upon taste-testing the Cadbury Orange Creme Egg and finding it absolutely...sinful.

These? Are to die for. And dang it..if I had only known this BEFORE Easter, I would have stocked up requested dozens of these from the Easter Bunny. Now, I fear I must wait an entire year before getting to nibble on these tasty treats again.



Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hope vs Hurt

Hurts. Habits. Hang-ups. Hope.

This is the new sermon series at our church - and it's actually very interesting.

During the course of the pastor's talk tonight, I was thinking back on the hurts in my life. When I've been hurt - whether by family, friends, relationships, and yes, even the church...And then I reflected on when I've inflicted the hurt - which I'm not proud of, but it has definitely happened. And sometimes -even worse - I've hurt on purpose - which I'm really not proud of. But I admit it. I've done it.

Hurt is a funny thing. I can be hurt physically - and be left with a scar - but I don't really think about the "hurt" until I'm faced with the scar and I am reminded of what caused it to begin with. I've forgotten, for the most part, the hurt.

But emotional hurt? That seems to cut deeper...and sometimes it's just as fresh and painful as when the hurt first happened, even tho it may have been years ago.

There's been some hurts that I've moved on and forgotten about...and others that still hurt to this day....

But through all of this, there is hope. And hope is such a gift. I do hope...I hope for healing and forgiveness and for happiness. For myself - for my friends - for my family.

So - here's to hope. May it live forever.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Fragments: The Rain Edition

A rainy day on Friday...

...somewhat happy for this, as the rain means it will wash away all of the pollen that is currently driving me insane.

...tonight, Daughter heads off for a Girl Scout campout....and although I'm the leader, I am NOT the camper...and I am blessed to have other mothers in the troop who LOVE camping, and will thus take the girls for the next 2 days...I hope they don't get too wet or too cold.

...which means Hubby and I will have a date night - not sure what we're going to do, but we'll figure it out...probably dinner and a movie.

...will be spending the weekend working at the old house, getting it that much closer to putting on the market. Today, new carpet and granite countertops are being installed. Hubby said the old house is getting such a makeover that I may regret moving out of it to the lake house. We'll see.

...continuing my intense exercise regime lately - and I'm seeing results...I've been trying to do some major arm work on the weights - and running on the treadmill every night. I'm up to 2 miles each night, but would love to be doing a 5K every night. Gotta ways to go, legs get sore when I push it up to the 5K. I'm also doing crunches and push-ups...only up to 25 right now, but working my way up to 50. Very hard.

...the bird who crashed into my window earlier this week is at again today....every few minutes, BAM! Into my window. Silly bird - you'd think he would know better by now.

...have spent the last two days doing major work for the Red Cross, in preparation for spring storms, floods and summer hurricanes. I'm exhausted.

That's it for now...hope everyone else has a great Friday!



Thursday, April 15, 2010

On My Soapbox Again: Serial Marriage

Seven wives?

Seven divorces?


I'm speaking of Larry King - who is making all of the tabloids and talk shows - because of the recent news that he is divorcing his 7th wife.

Are you freakin' kidding me? Who the hell marries for eight times? And who - in their right mind - would MARRY this guy to begin with???

Am I nuts for thinking this is nuts???!!

I think Larry King is certifiably insane for marrying this many times...and I think his estranged wife is certifiably crazy for marrying him in the first place.

The true victims in this case are his children. Geesh.

What a FINE example you're setting there, Larry, for your sons.

Stepping down off my soapbox now. Sorry - just had to vent today. Ay yi yi.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Spring in My Backyard

Spring has come to Kansas City...and what a glorious spring it is...I couldn't help but take some photos of the trees and lake in my backyard to share:

Yes, it's days like these that make me glad to be alive and so appreciate of God's beauty around us on this earth. It makes up for all of the cold, bitter, snowy days of last winter...and it leaves me feeling energized for the days to come.