Thursday, June 28, 2012

On My Way

     I'm so excited today. I am going on my writer's retreat until Sunday. I hope to get A LOT of writing done, with a little bit of socializing thrown in on the side. You've heard it takes a village to raise a child, well it takes other writer's to raise a writer. I have had the privilege of knowing some wonderful and supportive writers in my life so here's a shout out to them with a big thanks for all the encouragement, support, friendship, and advice you all have given over the years. You know who you are.
     And thanks to my family for helping me and trying to understand my desire to write. Believe it or not some people don't understand a writer's need to create. Go figure.
     I'll catch you on the other side of the weekend. Bye for now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thinking About the Hubby Today

     My hubby is coming home today after being gone for a week and a half. I really miss him. I'm used to having him around. The old saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," is true. After all he's been around since I was sixteen. You kind of get used to a person when you have known them that long. You still see their annoying little habits, but you ignore them, or learn to live with them just as they do with yours.
     I feel sorry for people who quit on their marriages too soon. They never reach that point where it just isn't worth the energy to fight over all the little things that don't matter. I can't remember the last time we had a real fight. It's been years.
     Sometimes I wonder if that is because we have come to know each other so well that we know how the other will react to things and we just avoid what will irritate them? It's not worth the stress to bicker.
     Either way I'm grateful for all the years we've been together. I'm grateful for all the kids we've had. I'm grateful for all the beautiful and perfect grandkids we share. And I am grateful for all the years ahead.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do You Believe in Miracles?

     Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe that sometimes things happen against all odds just because they are supposed to happen? Do you believe it's fate, or divine intervention?
     There have been times when I have witnessed small miracles in my life. I suspect they happen more often than I realize. I also suspect that we, in our day to day rush that is life, miss these miracles.
     I for one am going to make an effort to be more aware of what is happening around me and to take the time to appreciate it.  That's is for today. Over and out. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Where is Everyone?

     I have discovered through the years that no matter how many kids you have if one of them is gone, it changes the whole dynamics of your household. It seems since summer began we have had at least one kid missing for one reason or another and it feels weird. Last week both my hubby, and son number three, were in Cali. My little boys have been having and going to various sleepovers. Number five daughter has been working at Lagoon. This morning, at the crack of dawn, my baby had to be at church at 7:00am for scout day camp.
      It has been a whirlwind summer so far, and yet, if feels strange with people missing. The hubby is due home on Wednesday, but we have family coming in for a wedding. They will be here until Monday, I think. So this weekend will not feel normal.
     I'm beginning to feel like our normal is gone forever. At least until school starts again. I guess I need to embrace the changes. Go with the flow and enjoy the fact that we get to sleep in at least a couple of days a week and there's no homework to worry about. Is your house like this? Do you notice the difference when one of your kids is gone?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Give Me a Hammer I Need to Make a Dent

     I have been trying to work on the sequel to Into the Darkness, so far, I'm not having much luck. I see the scenes in my head and I hear the characters talking to me. (this in normal for writers, so don't call the men in white coats) Oh, I know how the story is going to go, I just can't seem to find the time and peace and quiet to get it down on paper, ie the computer.
     I don't know why I always think that the next season will be easier to work in. For instance, when school got out I thought I would have all this time to write, but now the kids are home all the time with friends coming and going, sleepovers, the fighting and all the rest. Now, I am thinking when school starts up again and the kids are back in school I will have all this time to write. In reality, it's not much better than it is now. I have things I have to get done and limited time to do them. When you are a mom your life really isn't your own.
     I still have high hopes though. My goal is to make a huge dent in the new book before summer is over. Wish me luck. I'm going to need it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Me!

     Here it is, the day I've been waiting for, well, one of them anyway. Today is my anniversary. We've been married for 32 years. Yes, 32. How can that be, you ask, when I only look 32? I was married shortly after birth and started having a family right away. So, I'm really only a little older than my kids. In some parts of the world it happens.
     What am I going to do today to celebrate the big day you ask? I'm going to clean the bathrooms. I know, how lucky can a girl get to be able to clean, not one, but two bathrooms on her anniversary. I'm just lucky that way. What? You think I should go out to dinner with the hubster for our big day. Yes, I know most people do that, but we like to spend our anniversary in unique ways. Like with him in California working sixteen hour days in the heat for an extended period of time and me here in Utah cleaning bathrooms. We're just funny that way.
     Happy anniversary to my hubby I hope you get to come back soon. Until then, just keep putting money in the bank.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The New Me?

     I'm late posting today because I had a hair appointment early this morning. What is it about getting your hair done that makes you feel like a new woman. Is it that I wait until I want to shave my head in frustration to make an appointment? Could be. Is it that it just plain makes you feel like you have done something for you. Let's face it, as mom's sometimes we put ourselves at the bottom of the list. Everyone's else's needs come before our own, especially if it is something like getting your hair done, where you have to not only spend the money, but you also have to be out of the house, as in by yourself, all alone, with no kids. Heaven forbid a mom has a few moments to herself, enjoying adult conversation.
     Whatever the reason, I now feel better about myself and I can face the next week and whatever lies ahead. If your having a bad week or feeling down, do something for you. Go get your nails done or maybe a pedicure, treat yourself to something special. I give you permission. And if the family has a problem with it send them my way. Me and my new hair will set them straight. Love you all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Call Me Back I Dare You!!!

     I was in the middle of making dinner last night when the phone rang. I picked it up and said hello and on the other end a woman immediately went into her spiel about donating to her charity. I politely was declining when I realized she had hung up on me. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?! First you call and interrupt my day and then you hang up on me without so much as a, "Thanks anyway, or maybe next time."
     Call me back lady, I dare you. I would like to tell you just what I think of your organization and the people who work for it. It would be a short conversation and you will know when I hang up on you.
     I happen to notice on my caller ID that this same organization has called three times in the last couple of weeks so maybe the computer will dial my number again. I hope I am the one who answers the phone. It will be the highlight of my disappointing week.
     I don't like rudeness. I don't feel like there should be a place for it in our society. And I try to be kind and polite to everyone despite my road rage at people who drive ten miles under the speed limit. You know who you are. Yet, I don't roll down my window and yell at you, or display any unladylike gestures. I keep my road rage to myself. Is it too much to expect others to do the same, especially when they call and beg for money we work hard to earn.
     The next person who is rude to me better watch it.  The pressure is building and you may be near when I go off.
     Please disregard today's post. The hormones are talking.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Love My Linx

     Every now and then a product comes along that changes your life. This one changed mine and I had to share it with all of you. It's the Hoover Linx Vacuum. My daughters friend had one and loved it, so my daughter bought one and loved it. Then I bought one and love it.
     This is why. 1. I hated sweeping my kitchen floor because no matter how hard I tried I missed stuff. 2. The broom and dust pan are a pain in the heiny. 3. Even if I could get my floor clean, the kids would spill cereal on it in a matter of seconds. 4. If I sweep my floors, I still need to vacuum the kitchen rugs, which meant hauling out the big vacuum. What a hassle. This little baby is cordless. I grab it from it's secret hideaway, ie the utility closet and I can vacuum the floors and rugs in a fraction of the time and I can do it ten times a day. Another huge plus is the kids, young and old like to vacuum the kitchen now. It has a small re-chargeable battery. I keep the charger plugged in at all times in the laundry room and if I have used the vacuum a lot that day I just pop out the battery and charge it over night. In the morning it's ready to go to work for the day. I have actually gone three or four days without charging it, but I don't like it to poop out on me, so I try to stay on top of it. If you have small kids and are constantly dragging out your broom you might want to consider it. I bought mine from Amazon, but my daughter got hers online from Walmart.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

You Have To Make Yourself Happy Too

     I've had an epiphany! All my life I have been a peacemaker, a don't rock the boat kind of person. I have taken it on the chin and rearranged my life to make other people happy forever. Sometimes it paid off, but sometimes it didn't. I have now made the decision that I am not going to be the one to hold my tongue any more. If you tick me off I'm going to let you know.
     Now, don't get the wrong idea. I'm not going to go looking for a fight and it takes a lot to get me really mad, but something happened recently that has made me see that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you give, it's never going to be enough for some people and you can suddenly find yourself very unhappy for spending so much time pleasing everyone but you.
     I'm not going to do this anymore. I have things I want to do in my life and things I want to accomplish and I'm not going to set aside those goals anymore. If it interferes with your plans, change them, or do it yourself.
     If I am available, and if I want to do it, and if I'm in a good mood I might help you out. If not you are on your own. I'm not a martyr and never planned to be, so consider yourselves forewarned.
     I pinned a pin on Pinterest that says. "Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you will be criticized anyway" Eleanor Roosevelt. I pinned that forever ago and it has new meaning to me now.
     Thanks for your time, over and out.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where Will It End???

     There is a reason that greed is considered one of the seven deadly sins. There are repercussions all around like the ripples in a pond when a stone is tossed in. Our country is experiencing a huge problem with greed and it starts at the top and works its way down to the average man.
     We have long been manipulated by the big companies into thinking we have to have their products and services and it doesn't matter how much we have to pay. They use any excuse, or no excuse at all to raise prices and we pay unquestioningly, or when someone does question it, they get a bunch of lame excuses. Remember how the cost of gas went up a couple of years ago and everything went crazy. The food in grocery stores shot up, airplane flights soared, the cost of goods went crazy. When the gas prices went down, guess what? Food still went up airplane flights stayed high and the cost of everything just keep going up. And it continues to this day.
     We live in scary times when our generation is the first to see a decrease in the standard of living since WWII. Our children may never have the opportunity to live the lifestyle that we have or should I say had.
     We don't have to look far to see greed in action (Washington DC.) Corporations are making billions of dollars a year and apparently it's not enough, because prices just keep going up.
     I makes me wonder if it will only end with the collapse of our way of life. How much money does one person or one company need to make before they say we are doing fine lets not raise prices? The world may never know.
     Do you see the cost of living going up everyday like I do. Are you as nervous as me about where it will all end. It makes me fearful for my children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Clone Me Please

     Do you ever wish there were more than twenty-four hours in a day? Or that your body didn't need sleep. I do. I have so many things I would love to do and it feels like I have so little time. I can't expand the hours on the clock and I still need to sleep so I am eagerly waiting for science to perfect the whole cloning thing. If there were four or five of me I could get every thing done that I want and need to do.
     I would have one of me that did nothing but clean the house all day long. I would have another to watch over the kids and make sure they are brushing their teeth and doing their summer reading plan. I would have number three do nothing but reading and learning all the things I have ever wanted to learn. I would have another specifically assigned to make sure we never run out of stuff around here like paper towels, re-fried beans and Cocoa Puffs. It would be her job to go back and forth to Walmart ten times a day. And then there would be me. I would do...whatever the heck I wanted to do. I could nap, go hiking, watch a movie, read or write, or play on my computer. It would be a very different life than the one I have now where almost everything is scheduled around other family members needs.
     I can just hear my mother saying, "You should have thought about all that before you had ten kids." And it's true, when you have a family your life is no longer your own, but the rewards out weigh the obligations, for the most part.
     Still, if science would get it's heiny in gear, I sure could cross a lot of stuff off of my to do list.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pasta Fagioli Soup for a Summer Night

     So last week I asked for some new recipes which no one had so I thought I would share a new one of mine with you. Here it is. It's Pasta Fagioli soup. I love the Pasta Fagioli soup at Olive Garden and I have tried several times to make something similar and this comes the closest. I found this recipe and totally changed it to make my family like it. First it was meatless... meatless rarely flies around here. We are carnivores of the highest order. So, I added meat. Here is the recipe and I hope you like it. It is really pretty quick and easy and it doesn't heat up your house too much on a summer night. I made toasted garlic bread with it and that heated up the house, but it was delish. This was the amount I made for my family and we had plenty leftover. I would cut the beans to one can, use smaller cans of tomatoes and less water if I was doing this for a small family. I would still use both meats, perhaps only a 1/2 pound of each. Let me know what you think
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. ground beef
In a large pot brown these together. There was very little grease so I didn't drain.
2 carrots skinned and chopped up
1 rib celery chopped up
Add to meat when meat in done. Cook for a few minutes.
Then add
1 large can tomato sauce 29 oz
1 small can diced tomatoes 14 oz
3 cans great northern beans
3 cans pinto beans
3 cans kidney beans
3 Tb spoons of dried parsley flakes
1 Tb spoon dried basil
1 Tb spoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 bay leaves
10 cups of water
Heat until almost boiling then add your pasta of choice. I used small shells.
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top. Eat and enjoy.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Deals to Meals

     I went to Walmart yesterday and saved about sixty dollars with price matching. I love that! I want to share with you how I did it. I don't usually plug products or services, but I love this one. It's called Deals to Meals. It's run by a woman here in Utah, who started it as a way to increase her food storage without breaking the bank.  She compares all the grocery store prices and tells you what's a good deal. I take this info and price match. I know your thinking you can do this yourself. And that's true, but she also takes the sales and turns them into meals so you can feed your family for less. And on the web site you can make a grocery list and print it out, even adding some of your own items.
     It costs me $4.95 a month, but it is so worth it to me for several reasons: I hate having to take all the ads and search through them at the store because I can't remember which ad had the item I'm looking for. And I get confused with so many of them anyway. I have used many of her recipes and they usually are pretty good. I don't do the Asian ones though. My family has specific tastes. I save at least what I pay a month every time I go to Walmart which is four to five times a week, so for me it's a no-brainer. I spend a little to save a lot in time and money. She also lets you know if there are some really good coupons floating around out there. I don't do a lot of couponing because saving a dime on one item when I need to buy ten of said item isn't worth the time to cut it out. Now, if I'm saving a dollar on something that's different and it has to be something I'd buy anyway. I'm not going to use a coupon for something that will sit in my pantry for ever.
     I'm always looking for ways to save, but time is money. And for the money this saves both. Just passing it along.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Steak Marinate is Coming Up Soon

   I found this recipe on Pinterest and I think I'm going to give it a go. Even though I'm not a huge fan of basil, with it being dried it may be okay. Have any of you tried this one yet? With summer just starting, I would love to find several good grilling recipes so we don't heat up the house at dinner time. I'm going to get a couple of thick London Broils for this one I think. I'll let you know how it turns out.
     Best Steak marinade in existence. 1/3 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup olive oil 1/3 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder 3 Tbsp dried basil 1 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes 1 tsp ground white pepper 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp minced garlic Combine all ingredients. Pour marinade over meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.

    If this rings a bell with you and you have another marinate you could share send it my way. There's at least 30 days in each summer month and, darn it all, my family expects to be fed on every one of them. What's up with that?! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Write, Write, and Write

     I've been working on the editing for Into the Darkness. And, I started on its sequel, Out of the Darkness. What a roller coaster ride. One day I think it's good and the next I think its garbage. Now, you can chalk that up to hormones, or the wacky brains that most people that pursue something creative have. I think, in my case it could be both.
      Either way, its hard work and I remember someone saying, "I hate having to write, but I love having written." How profound is that? I know just what she meant. When it's all said and done I hope to write something that entertains and maybe makes you think about life, or relationships or whatever. I hope it's positive.
     Earnest Hemingway said, "Writing is easy, you just stare at the page until you start to bleed." That may not be an exact quote, but you get the meaning.
     Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive of Into the Darkness and I hope you like Out of the Darkness just as much.Now back to work. Over and out.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Seize the Day!

      It's the first day of summer vacation and I haven't stopped running yet. I hope we can get into a groove and things will slow down a bit, but somehow I doubt it.
     Last night I got one of those phone calls that every mother dreads. "Mom, I need you to come pick me up because I've been in a car accident."
     It's enough to make your heart skip a beat. Granted, he was calling and not the police, that was a good sign, but, still, when you hear those words, you panic. I have had police phone calls too, and let me tell you at five a.m. that's not who you want on the other end of the line. 
     This has gotten me to thinking about how precious life is and how quickly it can change. I don't want to be an old woman lying on my death bed thinking, I wish I would have told them more often that I love them. Or, I wish I had tried harder to have more fun and not take things, that don't matter, so seriously.
     Life is beautiful, precious and quick. If you blink you may miss the best parts. I don't want that.
     I pinned a pin on Pinterest that starts out in french and then there's the English translation and it goes:

                                        She said she used to cry at least once each
                                        day not because she was sad, but because
                                        the world is so beautiful and life was so short.

       These words touch my heart and make me appreciate each day. Before you know it, your kids are grown and you no longer have the opportunity to hug, kiss and snuggle with them, like you did when they were small. Don't take these precious moments for granted. Embrace life and seize the day before they are gone.