Sunday, June 26, 2011

Obsessed with Decorating

So...for the past few years I have been telling myself to lay low on decorating. "Wait til we move". "Wait til the kids are bigger"....there really are so many reasons to wait that I decided to knock it off. Why should I wait? Do we wait because we will be moving from this home? I have to tell you, as eager as I am to settle in our "forever home", I really have no idea where that final destination will be, and I will likely be 40 by then. Do I wait til kids are gone? That puts me at age 54 (I didn't do the math, but that has got to be close).
For years I have been keeping a "look book" of ideas in a binder. things I tear from magazines and such. I am now currently obsessed with, which is basically a web based look book.
I just decided the other day that I am no longer waiting. I don't want to be in my late 40's or 50's before I have my house the way I like it. I am doing it. I will just make sure that all of my favorite items are able to be moved along with us to the next house...and toted along until we do find our "forever home".

In the spirit of "getting on with it"...I made 4 purchases.
... and also made a big painting decision in the past week and a half. Here is a photo of the first purchase:

I haven't fully devised a plan for this...right now we have it under the TV. BUT, I love this trunk. Every time I look at it I smile.
Any brilliant ideas are more than welcomed.

The next purchase was this:

This was a kind of funny purchase. I found it on craigslist for $50, and I got beside myself. I think my words were "This is a steal". I was soooo excited until I actually saw it. Imagine my disappointment to see that my antique grandfather clock was really a "looks antique" 5 ft clock! Not such a steal. However, I am not good at saying I bought it. The kids actually LOVE it and hide things in its I am sure I will come up with something clever for it. Again, any ideas are welcomed.

Then I found a HUGE gold frame at Hobby Lobby for $15 (80% off because of a chip on the side I had to look for. My plan is something like this:

But I haven't decided where I want it or what photos I want in it. So far, I am between putting it in my dining area with lots of photos I have taken of various flowers and plants. The other idea is to put it in our "re-purposed" dining area which is now an office/play area, and fill it with Daddy photos. I have a great black and white of him wining a race when he weighed about 60 lbs. I also thought this would be a "fancy way" to display some of his medals and such. Let me know your thoughts and any other suggestions you may have.

And, this arrives next weekend:

I DID get a steal on a 80 year old piano in good condition...but moving it is more complicated than I had at first considered. So, it is currently still at its previous owners home. I actually have a plan to add molding and paint this piano. Most likely a turquoise color, but maybe baby blue or mustard color.

This is the inspiration behind my insanity:

AND, Next weekend I also finally plan to paint my china cabinet. Most of you know that I received my great grandmother's china cabinet in middle school. It was in my bedroom as a girl and has traveled with me to college and each other little place along the way. It is old. It is damaged. I have known I should do something to it for some time, but have been reluctant until I found the right idea. I finally did. I plan to paint it this color:

this is NOT my cabinet, just a "look" idea for the color. I also want to do a fabric floral backing like this:

pretty and feminine, right? As a china cabinet should be. I think this is a beautiful way to do this true antique justice. I like the English cottage feel to it. I am very excited about my idea since my mother agrees this is a perfect solution (we don't usually agree on matters of decorating, haha). I spent this weekend getting the wood into shape for its rehab. I will make sure to post photos as things come together.

Still looking for a wing back chair and a REAL grandfather clock, if anyone knows of any available.

Here, take my nose....

Buttercup is getting more mobile. She is resourceful too...she grabs the couch, your shirt tail, the dog, the table....not sure how I feel about her reaching up and grabbing my nose to help her pull up. I guess she sees it as a ledge or something. Great.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Mom, get off the phone!"

Do everyone's children get wild each time they try to have a telephone conversation???

I really am a "talker", but not so much on the phone (except my morning phone call to my best friend J and my calls to my Mom and my sis----)....but I try to get off the phone when I get home, because it really isn't worth it. However, I am a nurse practitioner. That means I am on call every few weeks. I have to call patients and assess them and ask them questions to help them through whatever medical emergency they are having, which is usually constipation, but occasionally quite serious....and always serious enough to them that they need to call me at 8am Sunday morning to talk about it.
Anyway, my children can be playing quietly...and if I pick up the phone, they go absolutely CRAZY!!!! They need a drink, they need a snack, they need a band-aid, they need to go outside, they are wet, they are dirty, they need to go poo-poo, they need to be held, they need a kiss, they need a hug....this is when they choose to hit, and yell, and break things and color on things and push and shove and pour their toys out of the bins, and what they really need is a TIME-OUT....but they KNOW that I have a very difficult time enforcing any rules when I am knee deep in a conversation about what a person has been using to loosen their bowels all week.

It seems to me, that the only way you can truly have a handle on so many kids is if you are 100% on task with mothering while at really can't get distracted because they will walk all over you. It makes me feel like I have lost control and that all the good discipline I did all day is shot out the window with these minutes of no control.

Do any other parents have this problem? Does anyone have any suggestions for how to handle it?

Give into Me

I have a new obsession with this song. I just want to listen to it all the time. It reminds me of younger days. Plus, the singer has that deep Eddie Vedder voice that just melts me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Grandpa Pete

Grandpa Pete is truly a diamond in the rough. He is a farmer and a trucker in Oregon. He works hard and says little. When he does say something, you listen. The first personal words he said to me were on our wedding day. We were taking photos and he leaned in and said "you look beautiful". Lots of people said that to me, but I knew it was true when he said it. He is a kind and gentle man who is so tender with us and our children.


Pappy is my Dad's Dad. Wow. Pappy is a preacher and retired district superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church. I grew up listening to him preach. I grew up in the shadow of his spotless image. He is someone everyone in our area looked up to. He truly lives what he preaches. I can always count on him to point me towards the cross. He also loves gadgets and would always be the first to introduce us to the newest thing. He is a back door masseuse and chiropractor. He raised 8 children (7 boys and 1 daughter), and he now has 16 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren (I think, I counted quite fast). He wed me and he dedicated my children. He will be 90 next spring and in all his 90 years, has been a honest and true man. In all my 34 he has been a dedicated granddad. He truly has always made each of us feel as if we were individually loved.


My sweet Pa-pa. A mason. A railroad, train and history enthusiast. He had an entire little house out back filled with trains and villages. He would turn them all on and you would feel 2 inches tall and in a whole new world. He farmed and had chickens. He was always building something. Up at the break of dawn, to go to town and eat with the other men in town. I loved those early morning breakfasts. Everyone knew I was Bob's granddaughter. He could read Braille. He made a little bench in the back of his truck and we would sit there and eat candy he would buy us at the country store. He later taught me to drive that old truck. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of playing under the big oak, on the swing he had hanging from it. Or driving his go-cart that he would drive in parades with his tall mason hat. A true "lodge guy". He always had on dickies and his sleeves were always rolled tight above his strong tanned arms. He had one blue eye and one "rainbow" eye. He was truly the strongest man I have ever met.

My Dad AKA Crazy Pa

I had the best dad on earth. He was a great example for helping me find a great daddy to marry. My Dad is handsome and everyone loves him. I can walk in a grocery store and the cashiers will say "oooh, Michael's daughter, we love your Dad". They love him because he is good. A Christian man who is kind and makes people feel special. A man who would bring doughnuts to his staff. He was a marine in Nam, and that tells you how brave (and a little crazy) he is. When I was young we lived out west. He was a hang glider and the coolest dad. He is so funny and silly. He always made us laugh. At bedtime he would sing us "The old black magic" as our bedtime song. He would run and tickle us silly. He was playful and had fun with us. He was also stern and we didn't cross him. We had a healthy fear of him and a great respect. He has principles and will always choose what is right. We could always count on him to make yummy treats and to have candy in his pockets. As a grandpa, he was coined lovingly with "Crazy pa", because he is a "wild and crazy guy". The kids know that bedtimes and healthy diets won't be adhered to and that they can ride their scooters through his hallways and camp out on couch pillows on the living room floors. I truly love this man so much. I feel like the luckiest little girl alive.

My Dad with us as children

My Dad as Crazy Pa

And then there is the Daddy I married. I knew he'd be a good Daddy by the way he was with George, our kitty. Daddy bottle fed that cat, and was always so sweet with him. I made a good choice. He is truly a #1 Daddy to our children. He is tender, he is fun, and he truly takes an equal role in caring for their every need. I want to say that he "mothers" them, but he has given the true meaning of Fathering...He 100% nurtures our children like only a Father can!!!!

Happy Father's Day Daddy!!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dinner Dialogues

If any of you know my sister's mother-in-law Gabby, you know she makes the best Spanish food in the South.....because she is not from the South. She was born and raised in Colorado, by two Spanish parents (her mother's last name is Martinez-Martinez, haha). Anyone who has been to Colorado knows that there is nothing like their food!
I often ask for her recipes. I make her chicken tacos all the time, every time with raves of praise. I also love her chicken casserole. The picture doesn't do it justice. It is divine! It also goes good with coconut water (but don't tell her, or she might think I committed heresy).
I am not going to steal her recipe, and will actually copy it in her words for your enjoyment. Here goes:

First , you can either cook (boil) two whole chickens OR buy rotis. chickens in deli. Bone them. two cans of, cream of celery, and one of cream of chicken . One can of ortega green jalapeno HOT chilies...OR (you won't find that) so get one fresh one , dice it up pretty fine . THAT is IF you want to it to be really Mexican , and you and your family like HOT spicey food. You will also need chicken broth. ONLY if you get the Rotis. ones. If you cook fresh ones the you will already have fresh broth...the chicken WATER ! Okayyyyy, Mix the two soups with the jalapeno and broth until it is NOT RUNNY, but creamy...not thick creamy...NOT RUNNY creamy . (GOOD LUCK) NOW, YOU will need TWO BLoCKS of mild....NOT Colby...I don't think it's chedder.....(IT'S late can't think of it !!!) I'll check it out in the morn. Cheese ! It's yellow ! Moving right along....YOU will need a whole bag of any kind of TACo CHIPS.
Alright, When you bone the chicken...sort of shred the meat into smallish pieces...NOT BIG HUNK pieces ....NOT tiny pieces , hahaha,
sorry. ( i know this is stupido) :))..... NOW ! you are going to build your masterpiece. LAYERS !!! Start with taco chips on the bottom of a rectangle glass baking dish. Next a layer of chicken,soupy stuff on top of chicken, taco chips on top of that and then a layer of cheese that Mickey shredded for you on a shredder...(DO not use already store bought shredded cheese, it is NOT thick enough and NOT enough cheese !) Then start over, on top of cheese, chicken, soup, chips, then cheese . keep doing that until you are sort of brimming at the top of dish. BE SURE AND END WITH LOTS OF CHEESE ON THE TOP OF CASSAROLE. Bake for an hour 350. IF your soup mixture is toooooo soupy it MIGHT run over on your beautiful and clean oven. But , it shouldn't. When it is done the top should look COOKED...sort of crusty....NOT like soft melted cheese! THIS DISH WAS BORN TO BE JALAPENO HOT. It is still ok,sorta good without them. Some people would rather it NOT be hot...those people are called gringos.....hahahahaha....THAT is a JOKE ! (kind OF)
I LOVE YOU ALL ....Best of luck...I usually serve this with SPANISH you know how to make THAT?????????????????
IT is soooo easy....but I am exhausted at 1:00 AM...let me know if you want the Rice. OHHhhh you need COLD COLD COKES or Dr..Pepper...with THIS !!! NONE of that mamby pamby TEA STUFF! THIS is serious business we are talking here ! GNIGHT ! P.S. DO NOT CHEAT AND USE THAT FLIMSEY , PUNY ALREADY SHREDDED STORE BOUGHT CHEESE !!! Not with MY RECIPE !
P.S.S. !!!!!! Dice up a medium size "spanish" ONION..."SPANISH" onion....NOT WHITE or any thing else ! Sprinkle it through out the layers ! ( I almost forgot it) WHEW. Are you sure?????? you are up to this ??????? It's NOT hard...I just make things hard....I absolutely "H" cooking . :))) WEAR AN APRON you will need IT.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Piggy Bank

Bluebird found a dime today, she came and showed me her treasure and said "I need to put in my bank-a-pig".


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coconut Water

I love coconut. I love a coconut cake, coconut shrimp, coconut flavored drinks, almond joys...recently I started drinking coconut water. I find that a cold can of coconut water (with pulp) is the most refreshing after thing to drink after a long run. I have also found that I eat less after drinking a can. It fills me up a bit, for a while. This brand has 150 calories, and is only 59 cents a can. It can be found in the Hispanic section of your grocery store:

If you love coconut, want something refreshing, AND are trying to lose weight...well, try it. Maybe you will get addicted too.
If you don't love coconut, you might be like everyone else in my household who thinks this sounds disgusting.
Either way, I thought I would share my new vice.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Ever miss a squash in your garden and by the time you find it, it is a 9 inches long and seeds are too big to eat? Here's an idea, stuff it. This was delicious. I suppose it would make a nice side dish, but we ate it as our meal. All the veggies and herbs right from the garden. That is the way to eat. Recipe below:

Stuffed squash

1 over sized squash, cut in half and seeded
1 small squash, diced
1/2 green or black pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 apple, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, with leaves, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
chili powder
1 cup brown jasmine rice
bread crumbs
shredded Parmesan cheese

Dice the veggies nice and small and cook in olive oil until broken down. Then mix with the rice and a bit of bread crumbs

press down into your squash and top with cheese, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350 for 1/2 hour.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Tee Ball

so....our Boy is a shy one. He needs lots of time to "warm up" to strange people and strange an effort to make this easier for him, I try to offer him opportunities to try new things, be around new people and go to new places. Thus, tee Ball.
It isn't only that I knew he would look adorable in his saggy baseball pants, with cleats on his over sized feet and an over sized hat on his little head...but TeeBall is also an opportunity for him to run and play and have something to look forward during this long hot summer.
Little can be more adorable (or maddening) about trying to organize a bunch of 4 year olds. I can't tell you how many times I had to tell him to go back on the field, only to hear him tell me "I'm tired". (which is untrue and something he denies even at his most delirious sleepless moments).
So practices are LOOOONNNG. I keep hoping they will get better, and I will let you know if they do. In the meantime...check out this cutie.

the answer is Yes, totally worth it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


What happened to writing letter? I love the internet and emails and texting as much as the next guy. It allows you to have quick and easy contact with lots of old friends, new friends and acquaintences....
I think we can all agree that we would not sit and write a letter to just anyone. To write a letter, you have to want to be personal. What happened to being personal with each other.
I have a chest full of old letters. Some to me. Others, written in the 70's, before I was born. I put them in my chest for safe keeping. Love letters. Love letters to a lover, love letters to a son, to a brother, to a friend. The paper is yellowing and the handwriting fading. They are imperfect, with smudges and scribbles and stamps and tears. To me, handwritten letters and journals are the most beautiful treasures. I think when you are holding a piece of paper with the handwritten word, its as if you are transported, and you and can smell the person writing it and you can feel their presence.
The handwritten word keeps us alive long after our deaths.

So my challenge to you today...write a letter. Maybe make an effort to write and send a letter each month. To your grandmother. To your father. To your husband. To your son. Mail them from your house and back to your house if you need to.
Let someone check the mail and see your handwriting and feel your presence. Imagine the excitement they will feel when they see a letter addressed to them.

Live forever. Write a letter.