Saturday, January 31, 2009

Must have been a math major.

You grammar snobs out there will love this article about the apostrophe catastrophe.

My favorite quote:

"They are such sweet-looking things that play a crucial role in the English language..."

Friday, January 30, 2009

Through snow and sleet but not on Saturday.

Times. They are hard.

Just when I was waiting for the postage stamp to go up again, the Postmaster General has "threatened" to stop Saturday delivery.

And I was saving all those three-cents!

This may be the breaking point for me in this economy. I can cut coupons. I can reuse and recycle. I can even stretch my highlighting appointments to 8 weeks. (I know. Scary.) Now the Postmaster is "threatening" to stop my Saturday mail which means all of the junk mail will just double up for Monday.

Mr. Postmaster, go ahead and do whatever it is you have to do. I wasn't even aware that my mailman worked every Saturday anyway. Plus, they could use a real weekend.

While you're at it, give them Flag Day, too.

(Honestly, we won't notice.)

Now, what am I going to do with all those three-cents...

Newman!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

People are wondering why she is yelling at her house.

I actually sat down to write something, but I couldn't come up with anything better than this.

Linda, you are one reason I get up and check my computer every morning.

Well, that and all the Spam in my Inbox.

Head over and enjoy the video.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thermo-Cat

My toes have been cold since yesterday morning. Something is awry with my temperature regulations. I'm pretty sure it's glandular.

At one point I waved Maggie over to lay on my feet to keep them warm. She obliged by purring and pawing and then snoring. Sometimes you have to suffer for warmth.

This morning I opened my Inbox and read an email from my sweet friend back in The Sunshine State offering her sympathy to me for the freezing temps and then mentioning that it was unusually warm at her house.

I can picture her riding down the highway with her sunroof open, wind in her hair and beads of sweat beginning to form on her brow.

Thanks for the mental image, dear friend. I warmed up half a degree imagining your toasty environment, complete with All You Can Eat Shrimp.

;>)

At least she's keepin' it real.

This morning it is much nicer here. No snow. No ice. No harsh winds. It's quite balmy at 23 degrees.

I'm getting my hair done later today. Cut and color. The works. A new hairdo always lifts my spirits and the cape is an extra layer of clothing.

Do you think my stylist would let Maggie come along?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Climate Change

We woke up this morning to a cozy 15 degrees.

Fahrenheit.

Everything is covered in ice. No snow for us. (sigh) Other mothers were making snowmen with their children who got to stay home. I was outside in the arctic melting the ice from my windshield while trying to maintain my body temperature.

We bundled up and headed for school. We passed several cows with ice crystals on their backs. I am not a farmer, but I think that could be borderline cruelty. But, what do I know.

Oh, sure. Cows have fur and they can keep warm. But this is America, people. Cows have dreams. Cows have hopes. Cows have...

Sorry. I lost it for a minute there.

The cold temperatures are affecting my mental faculties.

This freezing weather is really helping me make my case that the polar bear welcomes global warming and that maybe we should just leave well enough alone.

Polar bears have dreams too, ya know.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Never order the enchiladas verdes in cotton country.

If you read Big Mama's blog, you know that she had some less than delicious Mexican food while visiting in Georgia.

For the record, on behalf of my home state, I would like to sincerely apologize.

From the comments on her blog, it appeared that many of us who are from east of the Mississippi agree that ordering any Mexican food (especially with the expert palette of a Texan) east of Old Man River is, to say it lightly, SCARY.

Folks from Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama may be proud of many things, but our tacos are not among them. Though good ethnic food in these regions is not impossible, like Beth Moore having a bad hair day, it is highly improbable.

So I thought I'd share a few more culinary warnings about ethnic and regional foods in the South so that, hopefully, none of you will suffer like Big Mama. At the very least, you can lower your expectations.

1. Mexican food served in Georgia is just like the Falcons' record. A gamble. Unless there is a large bell on top of the restaurant, be sure that you may or may not leave the establishment with disappointment, and quite possibly, some kind of intestinal distress.

2. If you enter an Italian restaurant and someone inside mispronounces the fine heritage as EYE-talian, you can bet that the house dressing is ranch. (As in Hidden Valley)

3. Chinese food in the South is really just a buffet of sweet and sour pork, snow crab legs, fried rice and won tons.

The finer establishments will give you a fortune cookie on a little plastic tray, along with your bill.

4. Don't even look in the phone book for any other kind of Asian cuisine unless it is hibachi. The hibachi restaurant's only measurement of excellence is whether or not the chef does the onion choo-choo.

Chooooo Choooo!

5. The certificate on the wall that declares "Voted The Best German Restaurant In Plains" is really misleading. What it should read is "The Only German Restaurant for Fifty Miles."

So, what's a girl to do? You can stick with the good ole' Southern standbys like BBQ and fish camps or go to the local MaMaw's Kitchen. Either way, you will never walk away hungry and you can (at least) recognize the eggs.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In Parentheses

Daughter and I were headed out the door to school. I had thrown on my favorite comfy shirt with some raggedy, worn-out yoga pants.


Just as a reminder, here is the shirt:





I''ll leave out the yoga pants to spare the small children in the room.

We walked to the car and my daughter commented on the shirt, "It pretty much means don't do anything stupid."

"Yep. That's what it means."

The funny thing is that I am usually the one who does something stupid! In fact, I am the primary source for material here. Sigh...

;>)

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Advice Part 2: On A Serious Note- The State of The Union

I will never forget the faces. People were weeping and waving flags. The weather in Washington was cold and dreary, but the spirit of that day warmed the crowd like the sun.

It was a historical moment for my country. Though my head was skeptical of policies and innuendo, my heart embraced the emotions of so many, the victories over oppression and the excitement of a new start.

Many of my fellow citizens had found hope in the man that stood before them. All the while, many of my conservative friends felt quite differently. The man they'd found hope in was headed home to Texas. The political party they believed was in their corner had lost the fight and hung up the gloves.

All of these images have played over in my mind and one thing has left an impression.

We all need hope.

We all need a reason to believe. We all need something or someone to believe in, to keep us going in these hard times.

It is honorable to look towards the future through the eyes of our leaders, but our hope can't rest on that leader's shoulders. Believe me, my friend, that load is too heavy for any person to carry.

Real hope isn't from Texas, Chicago, New York or Arkansas.

Real hope comes from God because God, unlike man, never disappoints us.

Just when I think I've come upon a remarkable, spiritual growth, Ah-Ha! moment in my life, God breaks my heart with one question.

Are you sharing my hope?

Ouch, God. That one stung.

People are hurting, in need of hope, for so many reasons.

Some of them are fearful of the future. Some of them can't pay their mortgage. Some have lost nearly every dime of their retirement fund. Some of them are praying that their grocery budget will stretch to the end of the month.

They need hope. They need God. And if they have God, maybe they could use a reminder of His love and provision . Or better, maybe they could use a bag of groceries.

I am a part of the Body of Christ, His arms, His hands, His feet, parts of the body that are supposed to be united, working together. What can I do?

I can start by living it. No one is going to ask me about my hope in Christ when they don't even see it, when all I do is mope around, live in fear, complain or shake my fist in the air.

I can put bumper stickers on my car and forward cute emails declaring God's Love for people, but until I get up off my comfortable couch and actually love them, they will never believe me.

I don't know who you voted for or if you even voted at all.

It doesn't matter to me what side of the aisle your team is on. What matters is that we stand together as believers and start believing. Start remembering and declaring Real Hope through our actions, our words, and our faith.

I am thankful that God is faithful to forgive me when I've failed Him. I am thankful that He is still molding and shaping my life, even when it is a mess. (Only a loving God could want to work on this!)

More than anything in this world, I am so grateful for Jesus Christ, my Savior, the only source of real hope.

Praise God! He doesn't have any term limits.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15: 13



Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Advice To The Republican Party: Have Your Credit Card Ready

Now that we're all dusting our televisions with our McCain/Palin t-shirts, it's time to get our tails in gear for the next four years. Our little Republican pity party is over.

So, what do we do now? Lean to the left, lean to the right, do the hokey pokey?

I am here to do my civic duty, to offer some real advice (wink wink) for the Republican Party. So listen up Sean Hannity. We've got some serious work to do.

We have four years to teach all those old folks how to dance at our next convention. Really, dancing skills are under-rated on the public official resume. It's starting to get embarrassing. Year after year the overbite dance gets worse. We need dance instructors or orthodontists.

How about we jazz up the flag lapel pin? Maybe add a few rhinestones or other kind of bling. Bling is in man, or dude, or whatever. (Just goes to show that we should work on our vocabulary, too.)

McCain's campaign strategy left me a little numb. I don't know about you, Sean. I think we need a new man running the 2012 campaign. I know just the man for the job.

Billy Mays.

The man can sell anything. He has single-handedly convinced every woman in America that OxiClean will get out anything, even blood stains and pet odors. He is the most clean-shaven person I've ever seen who has a beard.

Our other option is the ShamWow Guy. After watching his demonstration, I came very close to ordering the over sized towels and I suddenly wanted to wash my boat. Sean, I don't even own a boat.

I hope you'll take this advice to heart, Mr. Hannity. We've got to do something.

But, we'd better act now 'cause I can't do this all day.

Tomorrow- Part 2 of My Advice: On A Serious Note

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Works For Me: Cleaning Sea Shells

I have the beach on the brain. (I realize it is January and freezing cold.)

I always have the beach on the brain, but a friend of mine is at the beach right now and we talked on the phone last night. She had collected shells and didn't think she had anything in her hotel room to clean them and get rid of the smell.

Ha! Oh, yes you do!

Most hotels offer a small bottle of mouthwash along with the shampoo and lotion. The mouthwash kills germs in your mouth, right? It will work for sea shells, too!

Brush off the sand in the trash first. The hotel handyman will appreciate that.

Rinse the shells well in the bathroom sink.

Fill the sink with enough water to cover the shells, pour the bottle of mouthwash in. Let it set. Rinse again.

This will help clean the shells enough to get them home.

Be careful and considerate. Please do not stop up the sink with sand or tiny shells. I don't want the folks at Holiday Inn to suddenly start reading my blog.

For more great tips, see Shannon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dreams

Today a man's dream is fulfilled.

So many have marched and fought for this day; it is a remarkable and moving moment in my nation's history. When I think of where we've been, I can't help but look forward to where we're going.

My hope is that there is one small child out there today, girl or boy, black or white, watching the inauguration whose eyes will be filled with hope and whose heart will be filled with courage.

Somewhere in those tiny eyes will be a little glimmer, a spark, a dream of their own and the will to make that dream come true.

A dream that all children are protected, nurtured and valued.

A dream that all veterans be welcomed home.

A dream that all people are treated equally with the dignity given to them by their Creator.

A dream that America stand tall for liberty, democracy, and decency.

I hope that small child will know that America is and, I pray will forever be, a place where anyone, girl or boy, black or white can do anything, be anything.

It all begins with a dream.


"If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream."
~Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, 1968




Monday, January 19, 2009

Cat Myth Busters

Shannon has a rodent problem. Actually, the rodent problem has gone away (as in The Godfather gone away) but the rodent itself has not gone away.

Confused? See Shannon's post.

So now she is hesitantly considering a cat and asked for comments about cats. I'm a cat person and I'm long winded, so I decided to just post it.

Shannon, you are right. Cats are arrogant and stuck-up, on their high horse and all of those things. There is a reason they call them "little old ladies in fur coats." Just think of the lady at church who notices when you wear white after Labor Day. That's a cat, but without the bundt cake.

Dogs are pretty much loyal to anyone. Cats are choosy. They love people who love them back. If they choose a family and that family is mean to them, cats will pack up their little fur coats and high tail it out of town.

Don't let those mad scientists lie to you. No cat is hypo-allergenic. None that I've heard of. The hairless one- get this- require a weekly bath.

BWAAA- HA-HA-HA-HA!

I saw it on Animal Planet.

Plus, from what I've heard, all cats have some dander, no matter how much hair they have or if they are indeed bald and creepy. The dander is the issue.

It is possible to manage a cat allergy with medication. We have a family member who is mildly allergic. The cat cannot sleep in the room with the person who is allergic or sneak naps in there during the day either.

If you are still reading at this point, I should remind you of one more cat fact. They live forever.

Maggie is nearly twelve (which means she's in her sixties in human years) and she still plays like she's eighteen with a fake ID. This may have more to do with the fact that she is waited on hand and paw.

Nonetheless, cats (especially indoor ones) live a very long time compared to dogs. And I'm not even figuring in the nine lives.

As for the rodent problem and the cat dilemma, you might want to consider getting a rat terrier.

Or just moving.

If I'm curt, then I apologize.

We were at the Big W yesterday browsing the frozen food section.

That's when I found these.




Yep. Top Of The Muffin To You! (Really, they should add the exclamation point.)

I couldn't believe my eyes.

No, Hubs, I didn't buy them. Besides, I'm still wondering. What did they do with all the stumps?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Excitement and notsomuch at the Big W.

I would like to announce that the Wal-mart cashier in Aisle 14 has been awarded The Least Enthusiastic Worker award. Go ahead and make her plaque and hang it in customer service. She went above and beyond to look bored, work slowly and restrain herself from any friendly greetings.

I would also like to announce that after living in Small Town for nearly 6 months, I finally found my Mr. Clean with Febreze. WOO to the HOO! I have searched and searched and was forced at one time to purchase lemon scented Lysol. (It was painful.)

Now my bathroom will smell like Mr. Clean Lavender Vanilla and the fragrance of clean will linger for hours. HOURS!

As you can see, I would not have won the cashier award.

Have a fresh and enthusiastic evening.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

How Is Your Firewall Protection?

I'm posting over at the Internet Cafe today.

Join me over there for some virtual coffee!

Please continue to pray for Kelly and her family.

You can
go here for updates and prayer requests.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Sentiments. Exactly.

I can be madder than a wet hen and cry my eyes out over tragedy. All in the scan of a minute. I'm a woman. I'm Southern. It comes honest.

Sometimes I get a little flack for it. When I express disappointment about something in the company of my peers (mostly women), I get the eye roll. When I express sadness with deep empathy, I get the eyebrow raise.

But, it's OK with me. Really. If it wasn't, well, there wouldn't be much I could do about it. When the frustration builds, the words fly. When the sadness overwhelms, the floodgates open.

I'm a woman. I'm Southern. It's just who I am.

So, tonight when I listened to the very last speech of President Bush, all the above emotions ran over me. Like water from the rain.

I listened as he reverently spoke of the tragedies of 9-11. Of evil and good. Of people who hate my country. And it makes me angry.

I heard him thank his staff, his wife, his family and the American people. He spoke of bravery and courage. Of defeat and victory.

As he closed his speech tonight, I realized these were his last words to the nation as President of The United States and I was overcome with sadness, nostalgia and gratitude. A gratitude that fills my heart and rises up in my throat.

Thank you, Mr. President.

My daughter rests quietly down the hall because of you. All because you chose to do what you felt was right in spite of opinion polls, in the face of adversity.

You took us to war (two of them) and, last time I checked, we were winning. (I don't pay attention to opinion polls either.)

People have died in the name of democracy and people are living free because of it.

You stood watch many nights while the nation slept peacefully, completely unaware of the possible threats to our freedom. Catastrophe was prevented. Evil was defeated.

We may never know how many times we could have been victims again. This is the benefit of liberty.

They say that history may paint a better portrait of you than the one that hangs in the halls today. I hope that is true.

But I have a feeling it won't really matter to you at all. You can rest quietly tonight because you did what you felt was right in spite of opinion polls, in the face of adversity.

For that, I am forever grateful.

God bless you. God Bless America.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Works for Me: Remembering Birthdays

Have a hard time remembering all those birthdays? Me, too.

You can sign up for email reminders from Birthday Alarm. After you have organized your list, you will receive reminders of those special birthdays. These have helped me tremendously because a lot of the time I have to mail birthday gifts. The reminders help me to get the gifts or cards in the mail on time.

To sign up, create an account and start your list. You'll be all set for those birthdays this year!

Visit Shannon for more great tips!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pardon me while I go repair the edge of my seat.

Two words.

Jack Bauer.

I watched the opening 4 hours of intense action and suspense and OHMYWORD, I am glad to finally have some good television viewing again.

Since Agents Mulder, Scully, and Bristow left, I've been feeling a bit lost and unprotected.

But Jack Bauer is back. So forgive me if I start to say, "Copy that!" I just can't help myself. The 4th grade Charlie's Angel in me is showing her spunky side, without the bikini and wings.

Must. Go. Now.

Catch. My. Breath.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

She totally rocks more than her dryer.

This little blog of mine has had a major face lift thanks to Shannon (Rocks In My Dryer,) one of the most talented and gracious women in the blogosphere.

I LOVE (all caps kind of love) the new design and I hope you do, too.

I've been wanting a change here at This Ain't New York for a long while and just couldn't figure out exactly what I wanted. (Never mind that I am completely html incompetent.) Shannon is so creative and talented; she knew exactly what would work.

I hope to meet her in "real life" one of these days and consider it an honor to know her, at least in cyberspace.

Until we can sit and chat over some sweet tea or a large Diet Coke from Sonic, extra ice...

Thank you, Shannon!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Stuff I've Never Done

Just as I sat down at the keyboard to write about the boring stuff I have done AKA stare into space and sip coffee, my brilliant blog friend Linda asks us to share what we haven't done that most people have done.

Is she smart or what?

Make sure you read Linda's list today. Linda, I wish I could join you and say I had never been skiing. We all know how that story turned out.

And, really. This list should inspire me to make resolutions to do all these things, but I'm too cynical for that. Plus, I'm proud of a few of them. (See #4)

1. I have never watched an entire Star Wars movie all the way through. I hear you gasping through cyberspace. I've seen clips here and there and I know all the characters, a little of the plots, but that's it. Please do not banish me from your blogrolls. My husband has recently taken pity on me and vowed to rent all the movies (see I can't even say if they are a trilogy or set or whatever) so that I can be a little more normal and less of a geek.

He's a good man.

2. I have never been water skiing. I lived in Florida for years, near Lake Blackshear in Georgia over half my life. And I'm a pretty good swimmer. Can't figure that one out.

3. I still have never had a real pedicure. I'm working on this one. Baby steps, baby steps. (Get it?) I bought the Ped Egg to use at home so that I don't send any pedicure people away screaming when I take off my mules.

4. I have never, ever used a porta-potty. No, not ever. One time Hubs and I were driving across Texas and I called him on the CB to ask for a pit stop. (Yes, the CB!)

We pulled over at the next rest area and all the bathrooms were closed. Porta-potties lined the parking lot. I picked up my CB and said, "Breaker 1-9, Keep driving."

I have a bladder that astronauts would envy.

5. I've never been to Mexico. This may seem like no big deal, but considering that I lived in Tucson, one would wonder.

I have, however, eaten some really good Mexican food.

And I know a little Spanish.

Por Favor.

6. I've never stolen anything. Not even a pack of gum as a kid.

7. I've never been on a cruise. This one will probably remain on this list, as I have no desire whatsoever to go on one. Neither does Hubs.

8. I have never broken a bone. This may come as no surprise since it appears I do not do anything that may cause me to break a bone, like water skiing or using a Porta-Potty.

Not sure if you could break a bone using a porta-potty, but I bet it's possible.

What about you? What haven't you done that most people have?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Vote for your favorite bachelorette.

Everyone is all excited about the new Bachelor season, but I think we should take a moment to vote for our favorite girl over here.

I can't decide between Alicia or Kirsten.

Pure creative genius.

Moo.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Works For Me: Cure for The Winter Blues

Okay. Christmas has arrived and left. We've packed away all the decorations, returned all the gifts that didn't work, and now what?

The months of January and February are always tough for me. The days are shorter, colder and the ending of the happy Christmas season can leave me feeling blah. It is a long time before Spring, so I've found a few ways to boost my spirits until that first bloom appears.

(I was going to repost an old post about this, but alas, I can't find it.)

1. I start my Spring Cleaning now. Moving furniture for tree decorations and boxing things up is a great opportunity to start cleaning. It just makes me feel better. I clean windows and baseboards, but I don't go crazy with it. The idea is to feel better, not overwhelmed.

2. Light or bright colored linens like white, cream or yellow. Pick a color that you think is cheerful. Change the throw pillows. Put out different place mats. Whatever works for you.

3. Shells. Who cares if you don't live at the beach? You can find shells at most craft stores. Put them in a pretty glass dish or whatever you love. Something about sea shells makes you think of summer.

4. Scented candles and fragrance for the home. I like linen, cotton, or beach scents. They smell fresh. Floral candles are a bit too much for the winter months.

5. Fresh flowers. Pick up some fresh cut flowers at the grocery store. Look for an inexpensive bouquet that has a variety of flowers. Put them all in one vase, or use them in smaller vases all over the house. A small container in the bathroom makes for a cheery morning. Use old jars or any other favorite container. No need to spend lots of money.

6. Change your curtains. Unless you need heavy curtains for warmth in your house, change them now for a lighter, brighter feel. Use light colored, lightweight panels. They will brighten up a dark room.

7. Soaps. Put some nice soaps in the bathroom scented with your favorite scents. Lavender and vanilla are always nice. Whatever works for you.

8. Your front door. Find ways to add brightness to your front door. Use a simple grapevine wreath with a pretty bow or a natural wreath of any kind. (Just make sure it doesn't scream Spring just yet.)

Find a new doormat. You'll be surprised the difference it will make.

If you have any ideas of how to cheer up your home and mood in the winter months, please leave them in the comments.

For more tips, see Shannon at her blog Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Toothbrush 1 Out Of 5 Dentists Prefer

My husband is a letter writer.

If ever there is poor customer service, substandard product, or general injustices in the world, he writes a letter. It's the principle of the thing. If a company stands on 100% customer satisfaction and we are only 70% satisfied, my husband will contact them.

His letters are always well written, logical, and devoid of hysterical emotion. Much different from any letter I would write.

Which is why his letters get results.

Truly, he believes that if you will take the time to let a business know about a problem, they may in fact attempt to fix it. And your letter might just help them repair a problem they otherwise did not know existed.

Again. Principle.

Desperate for a transitional phrase here.

Every year we put new toothbrushes in each other's stockings. It's tradition. Along with an orange in the toe.

Well, the second time Hubs used his new toothbrush, it nearly broke in half. That's some serious brushing.

So he sat down at the computer a few days ago to send a nice email to a certain toothbrush company about his toothbrush. We can go out a buy another one, and believe me, we did. It's not a car or an expensive appliance.

But, again. Principle. Plus, this is how recalls begin.

Hubs found a certain toothbrush company's website and began to write an email. I sat beside him, looking over his shoulder like a good, respectful wife should.

He began to write:

"I received a (fill in the blank) toothbrush for Christmas and it broke..."

I interrupted like a good, respectful wife should.

"Whoa, you can't write that! It sounds pathetic. You got a toothbrush for Christmas and then it broke? They will either think you're making it up or you are pitiful and have no friends or family and all you got for Christmas is a toothbrush! They'll send you a whole case of toothbrushes!"

And then we started joking about an alternative email which would go like this...

"My wife gave me a toothbrush for Christmas and then it broke. Now, I can't do my wuuurk (in Fred Willard's voice) and my wife has put me on the couch because my breath is bad since I can't brush my teeth... and I've missed two job interviews."

Much laughter ensues.

Backspace. Delete.

"I recently purchased a (fill in the blank) toothbrush. Add more boring and logical writing."

More laughter and Fred Willard jokes.

Really. We should get out more.

And, we would if he would just brush his teeth.

;>)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Napkins trump ski masks every time.

Over the weekend, I bought a bag of Donettes powdered doughnuts. My daughter had asked me on several shopping trips if I'd buy some and finally, I caved.

I can remember going to the grocery store on Saturday mornings and my own mama buying us a bag of powdered doughnuts. They were not Donettes, but another brand that I can't remember. Powdered sugar can make you forget if you're eating Dunkin or Krispy Kreme. It literally covers a multitude of sins. And carbs.

Every morning my daughter asks for one doughnut for breakfast. Then one more. Then another. We try to balance the doughnuts with a good bowl of cereal or pancakes or some other source of carbs that doesn't sprinkle on the parenting guilt.

My weakness is a night. The little guys just call my name, waiting to be eaten with a glass of milk while I watch O'Reilly or Seinfeld reruns.

This morning, we danced the doughnut dance once again. My daughter asked for a doughnut, looked in the bag, counted, then asked if I wanted one. I declined, but later looked in the bag to find one doughnut. The little lonely guy just asked for me to rescue him from his solitude, so I popped him in my mouth with a sip of coffee.

I walked in the living room and found Hubs and our daughter snuggled on the couch watching cartoons. Leaning over, I covered their laps with a soft blanket. How sweet. The two of them creating a special moment.

When I reached over, my daughter said,"Did you eat the last doughnut?"

Hubs laughed and said,"Mommy is busted."

Apparently, if you are going to eat the last powdered doughnut, it is a good idea to wipe the powdered sugar from your mouth.

If OJ had stopped by Krispy Kreme on his way home, he would be doing hard time right now.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Blackeyed Peas

My Canadian friend, Susanne and my Hoosier friend, Linda asked for my blackeyed pea recipe. I really don't have a recipe, but I'll try my best to share how I make them.

You will need:

One 16 oz. bag of dried blackeyed peas (unless it is New Year's Eve and you have no other choice, always, always use dried blackeyed peas) You may want to use half a bag. A whole bag is a mess of peas. But, they're good, so they won't go to waste. I promise!

Chicken bouillon cubes

Ham pieces for flavor (ham hocks are best, but you can go with any kind of smoked ham)

Salt and pepper to taste


First, wash the dried peas, remove any debris or rocks. Yes, I have found small rocks before in a bag of peas. I didn't know rocks grew in the garden. Did you?

Wash and drain the peas with a colander 2-3 times.

Next, place the dried peas in a medium saucepan, cover well with water. Bring the water to a boil. Boil for one minute. Turn off the heat, cover and let them soak for several hours or overnight. This will shorten the actual cooking time. (Soaking the peas allows them to expand.)

Drain the peas once again in a colander.

Fill a saucepan with about 4-6 cups of water. (The key is to make sure you have enough water for the peas to simmer and not burn.) Add bite size ham pieces, 2 chicken bouillon cubes. Add about a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the peas. Return to a boil, cover, then cook on medium heat until peas are tender.

You will have to season the peas as they cook. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed. I'm sorry that my recipe isn't an exact science. Just taste and season as you like. A lot depends on how salty your ham is.

Important- WATCH THE WATER LEVEL! The odor of scorched peas will remain in your house for a least a year. Well, maybe not. But, you don't want this smell in your house. Plus, you just ruined a perfectly good pot of peas!

If using ham hocks for seasoning, I remove them before serving. Otherwise, I just leave the ham pieces in the peas to serve. YUM!

Never drain the cooked peas before serving. The yummy broth that is formed is perfect for sopping with a good piece of cornbread!

Tip: Sometimes, for whatever reason, dried peas or beans can have an "earthy" or "dirt" taste. To solve this problem, I add a pinch of sugar. Works every time.

I love my peas over rice. Some people call this Hoppin' John. My people just call it good.

Let me know if you try the recipe!

Our fun always seems to involve a humidifier.

New Year's Eve was typical for us. Hubs stayed up until it was midnight somewhere, but not here. I stayed up until it was midnight everywhere.

On New Year's Day, we had our blackeyed peas. I convinced our daughter to eat them because it was tradition. She ended up having seconds. And that's saying something because I had to cook frozen blackeyed peas, not the coveted dried ones that I love.

The only place I've found dried ones here is Wal-mart. Because I didn't plan ahead, I was out New Year's Eve at 5:00 PM purchasing peas. There was no way I was going to Wal-mart on New Year's Eve. It wasn't even dark yet and it was scary.

So I went to Albertson's along with the other 500 people there. When you walk in and nearly all the carts are gone, you know it's going to be fun in the check-out line.

Back to the peas.

There are many sins in southern cooking for my family. One of them is eating frozen or canned blackeyed peas. Blech. But I was determined to make them edible and I doctored them up better than Paula could have done herself. I could tell they were not of the dried variety, but they were, as much as they could be, tasty.

Homemade hot pepper sauce also helps.

Yesterday, Hubs was starting to get sick again. The Sinus stuff just won't let go. Today he is on the couch with the humidifier on the coffee table.

I was going to ask him to help take down the tree, but I think heavy lifting just might do him in.

I could blame his sudden illness on the frozen blackeyes but they are supposed to bring you good luck. Maybe he should have had seconds, too.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Fondly

Today we'll be eating blackeyed peas and cornbread. It's a family tradition, along with avoiding washing clothes and sweeping floors.

As I start the new year with my sweet husband and daughter, I look back on 2008 with laughter, tears and a lot of learning.


1. I learned that I can handle much more than I thought. And sometimes God blesses us abundantly because He expects us to do something with those blessings.

2. I came to terms with my Starbucks addiction. Acceptance truly is the first step towards healing.

3. I found that if this blogging thing doesn't turn out that I could very well live a life of crime. Or at the very least, avoid dusting.

4. I was pretty much fed up with images directed at my daughter.

5. I finally told y'all about my warped aversion to the library.

6. I bonded with the Bug Man.

7. Our family said a few difficult good-byes.

8. I let my heart pull me in and found that giving is so much more than writing a check.

9. I voted in an election that nearly drove me batty.

10. I was horribly embarrassed by my fellow American consumers, but at the end of the day, I know in my heart that there is still hope in this fallen world.

I pray that you will find that Hope.

Have a Blessed New Year!