Let me tell you about my baking fiasco over the weekend. I can bake, you know. And not too badly, I’ll even say. But….
It all began with a desire for lemon squares. I’ve never baked lemon squares. So, I figured great. I will use this box kind I found during my mad Easter Bunny dash to Wal-Mart on Friday. I can cheat on lemon squares, right? I make pancake batter from scratch. My chocolate chip cookies really are better than my mom’s! (ssssh, but, it is true). So, cheating on lemon squares should be fine. WRONG. I’ve never been more food wrong. Well, that isn’t entirely true, but isn’t been a long time since I have been so wrong.
We followed the directions (I followed; no one else will claim this debacle). We followed those directions to a T! They looked fine, smell fine. We dusted them with powdered sugar. We should have realized the bad omen when the top of the powdered sugar thing-y fell off and dumped the contents onto the squares. But, no, we continued blindly on our way to lunch!
Until, we wanted to try some. I asked Anna to cut a slice for me. She tried and tried and tried… and asked for a chisel. Seriously, these babies were stuck in the pan, which I HAD sprayed. We couldn’t get the first square. We soaked the pan overnight and still it was stuck. It is my only 8 x 8 pan. It was my GRANDMOTHER’s pan. Anna pulled out a screwdriver and a hammer to chisel it off – UM, NO, missy!
So, what in the world…. I made tea. I thought perhaps, I’d have to call my mom to help me figure out how to get these nasty things out of my pan. But, this boiling water seemed a good idea. I poured it on top of the square. One spot in the pan began to bubble. It looked like it was breathing. Ew! The glop began to peel away in a nasty sticky looking sheet. So, of course, we mess with the glop for a bit, but the trauma of the lemon squares has propelled us to determine to find the perfect recipe. We have a few to try already. Wish us luck.
It is never ok for a child to be picked up by a stranger. A complete stranger and even someone they kind of know! There are rules. There are safety procedures. Secret passwords or handshakes help and protect a child. Set one up. Let them pick one out. The kids need to know that they can ask, “What’s the secret word?” If the person doesn’t know it then the children do NOT go. PERIOD, no question. They need to walk or RUN away from the person and seek help from a safe adult. Strangers can simply be people the child doesn’t know well. Kids don't remember everyone.
You may know the person picking the kids up, but do they? If they have met the person once or twice that may not even be enough. Set up a safe security word or secret handshake or whatever communicative method you are comfortable.
Set it for your peace of mind. Set it for their safety.
For my kids, we will set up a new word tonight. This will help ease their minds every time something different happens.
There is no reason to scare the kids, but have them realize that even people they know may not have their best interests at heart.
My kids and I haven’t practiced this enough. They are not little anymore, but that is no reason NOT to protect them.
It is not ok to pick up an unknown child without a password. Ask for it if you are asked to pick up a child.
http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/documents/nismart2_overview.pdf p 7 (stats are older but.... scary!)
Mmmm. Pi Day! The nerd holiday! Math Geeks Celebration! Gather around and celebrate the amazing little, er long number, pi. A mathematical constant ratio of any Euclidean circle's circumference to its diameter..
Written for someone who needs to know it is ok to not be perfect.
Written in the first person so that person can see.....
I try and not care but occasionally it bugs me when people don't like me or are mean. I listen to my doubts. No particular individuals here, just a general comment.
I know I am not the best person. I am not perfect. Humanity was designed to have issues and foibles. I don't necessarily relish in mine, but I know I have them. I know I have faults, but I don't need them pointed out constantly. I remind myself daily. That mirror, I see myself harsher than you or anyone can imagine. No, I can't change all the issues you might see, and on some level the fact people point them out makes me too stubborn to do so. But, I work diligently, I slip, I fall back and then I push forward. I may snark and sarcasm to protect my heart. I laugh and I cry. I appreciate you find yourself above reproach but to constantly belittle and bemoan all the problems I have caused or so-and-such has caused but this does not help me aspire to be better, at least not for you.
You know what pushes me to improve:
support, not the backhanded kind; love, not the only-if-you-do-this-or-that kind laughter, with me and not at me or my challenges touch, a hug goes a long way and not a threatening posture and holding my hand always wins silence can be the best support; knowing someone is JUST there; words aren't required smiles from a stranger hellos from an unknown cheering with the crowd at a game that pleasure notes written on my bathroom mirror
Funny thing support, it needn't be constant to provide the best groundwork. The best support I get can be the smile across a room or that surprise letter in the mail. It isn't always even human. Clouds, stars, moons, flowers, beautiful sunsets, the crash of waves and rainbows remind me of greater strengths being offered. these things are reminding me that my issues are small.
Don't allow yourself the doldrums of ingratitude, but relish in the joys of each dandelion seed being blown by a toddler and remember we should all blow those seeds. The smell of sunshine on the kitty in the window can turn a day around in a snap. Know that you are loved and even more so when you doubt you are.
Friends are always next you you but you may not see. Reach to the heart when you are in need. Know from where the strength of support comes. It might surprise you where support is found. It will disappoint when it isn't where you wanted. But, the flowers will bloom and the music will play. Someone is there, look and see, reach and find, ask and you can receive.
Above all, believe you are deserved because you always were and you will always be important.
Neighborhood: I had an old neighborhood by my little towns standards. It's not quite done and I hope we keep our wooded area in the back. A few old trees still grace us and it is lovely when we get our rare snows.
Skies at dusk are the best in Louisiana anytime of year.
Bedside: I am only reading 5 books at the same time. Not my highest tandem reading experience but it is more difficult as time is more constrained with other duties. I think I've had the Burger King Crown for at least 10 years. You can't quite see the kiddo's Mockingjay pin next to the clock.
I love numbers. Not always math but there are times when numbers are important.
Today, my favorite number is 844.
844 days means this to me:
Exactly 2 years, 3 months, and 22 days.
It means 20,256 hours.
This is equivalent to 1,215,360 minutes.
You can also convert 844 days to 72,921,600 seconds.
This is a personal number today. My usual favorite is 14. I like 4's, obviously. Silly how little things like numbers are your day, your bank account, contact information, your identifiers with almost everyone and for everything. Today my number is 844 and I feel a sense of relief.
My favorite fruits are summer and fall fruits - watermelon, blueberries and blackberries. Winter fruits are fun, but tend to get boring after a time. Strawberry season is coming in and I so LOVE strawberries.
Love clementines or Cuties. They are perfect alone and for quick snacks and even with a nice beer.
Who can say no to a fruit that can be a candle, juice or kid snack. They last a long time and are so easy to peal. Be careful if your kids eat them... they will not eat just one. I have to watch, since Anna will eat 5 at a time.
The fruits I picked today were apples. I know more winter in most places. I miss the visits to the North Georgia hills and the apple orchards, but they all look so lovely in their rank and file way. I love the crisp apples, not the mealy ones. So, gala and fuji and a new favorite- Honey Crisp. The Honey Crisp is HUGE, but crisp and sweet and perfect for sharing.
Sam: snack better (more fruits and veggies) and teach mom chess Anna: treat Sam more humanely and see Hunger Games Me: frown less and laugh more (and, I smile and laugh lots), start couch-to-5k and work on those boxes in the garage. all of us: walk dogs more, exercise more, enjoy each others presence
Pauses in time to rest and enjoy the quiet moments. Greatness in the beauty a calm soul can see.
Rest is not simply for the wicked.
The ‘Rest of the Story’ is every day, every hour and every moment. What is the rest of your thoughts, your dreams, and you desires?
I seek and search and scrape to find a few moments of utter peace, daily. This is a new determination, perhaps a goal for the rest of my time on this earth. Seek that moment or two or four to rest and grasp the lovely. I have found so much in those moments. I will continue to look in there as I rest my mind from all the hubbub and wackiness.
(image from Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah taken October 2009)
(what starts out sad ends in a twist of hope and joy)
Dear old Valentine,
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for releasing me from your grasp. This is a day to remember those sweet times. There were many more than a few. But, it also a day to celebrate the future good times and happinesses we will all enjoy now and in the future. We can and will prevail. We are strong and determined.
We don’t need tempestuous behavior and spoiled adults to placate. We need maturity and co-parenting. We all have our own stories and woes. We support and love each and every one of our friends. We celebrate today the absence of your drama, even if we are in the midst of some of that drama. Realize it may not in our home with us any longer.
We celebrate the martyrs today. And that we are not among them. We appreciate Geoffrey Chaucer and his courtly love that has tainted the hearts of women waiting for that white knight and of men searching for their princess.
We don’t need candy, flowers, dinners, and jewels. We need love and in its simplicity with the honor and commitments, respect, adoration and generosity of spirit that should accompany love.
With all the anger, drama, bitternesses we feel or have felt, we all want the same things: happiness and security for ourselves and our children today and every day hereafter.
We are not sad today. We are jubilant with the what-ifs and the gorgeous day that is today. We are pleasantly surprised by the gentle touches from our friends and families.
Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, Everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together, Brighter than a lucky penny, When you're near The rain goes and I know, that it’s Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows for me. (mostly by Gore Lesley)
Mostly, we breathe a sigh of relief that we can breathe and smiles and laugh and cry and that these actions are our own. We love what love stands for and that it is good. We relish those moments of pleasant peace and gentle moods.
Thank you, my friends for supporting me when I want to bash heads, kick shins or simply vent and shriek. You are my TRUE VALENTINES, I love you.
**** this began as a letter to help a friend on Valentine's and ended up being more reminders of why the day was important and how we continue to travel down our paths***
I have struggled getting organized. I am not there. I have fits and spurts. My goal is to finish unpacking this year. I mean I've lived here for a long time. I may make it I may not, but I will try.
I am currently working with a plan: 1) mail... 1 stop. I had recently spent hours organizing mail and files. I am not quite done with old medical flies but the rest is pretty complete. I vowed never to do it again (this probably isn't true, but I can hope, right).. But, this week, I have brought the mail in and handled it. When I let the dogs out after getting home, I deal with the mail. Why haven't I done this before?
2) have a cleaning plan in the house (now I don't have Ellen's house)so I can vacuum or sweep the house on Mondays (I actually do it daily... have you met my dogs). But, I do dust on Tuesdays now.
3) Using the 2012 Declutter and Organizing - this has been working, so far. Today, I have to declutter a bedroom shelf, I can handle it.
4) Don't leave a room empty handed. This isn't as bad as you'd think. I always am moving stuff around. And sometimes, I pick something up to put in the donate box.
5) yes, that donate box. I have one. I have it hidden in the spare shower right now, because I can't decide where to put it, but it has stuff in it. That is a start.
Seriously, who was the genius making sliding pants white?! These are kids -- BOYS at that. They can't stay in a 'clean' room and stay clean. My child can get dirt on him and never move off the seat.
I know the decision maker on these pants WASN'T a mom or the guy who washes the heck out of those pants after games. My kid has ground in mud, grass, and other unknown icks into his new sliding pants. I use spray-n-wash, oxy-clean, bleach, and even dawn. Most of the yuck does get removed with a hot wash. HOWEVER, there is always SOME left over. I know, I know, it shows he plays and enjoys and has fun. I know, I don't want them sparkling white, but black or dirt colored pants aren't an option!?
Sigh, I am not the best laundress, but boy, he likes dirt. So, we will have dirty pants, yell, scream, cheer for both sides when a play is good, encourage, burn in the sun, sweat to death, get eaten by mosquitoes, eat popcorn, sip an Icee, laugh and love the day.
Of course, if we are ever in the majors this is the goal, isn't it?
Dirty pants show your efforts and that you have your eye on the goal! We may never make the majors, but we will play with all the heart and love of the game every practice, very game, and every time we just have a catch. We love the game. GEAUX!
s: Mom, you posted it! Ugh, how am I supposed to be all tough when you show that. a: the soft and squishy side? me: Hush! a: he is squishy! s: mom, it's ok for me to have a squishy side? me: yes, love, please never lose it.
How can he not be a sweetheart? He's got many moms dibbing him for their daughters.
What I deal with: My kids are such sibs: they fight ALL the time, 'hate' each other, wish they were only chidlren (well, that is the older more than the younger), and would bet up anyone who said or did the same things against their brother/sister. I think that this may be true sign of love for pre-teen angst-ed kids, love to hate and never admit to love.
I make them hug each other. Best punishment ever. And privileges are ALL revoked until hugs are completed, WITH FEELING!
Best 4 words! Sam held my hands during the funeral, whispered those 4 over his shoulder and then leaned back and added 'always.'
These words were uttered to me yesterday at the funeral of my infant cousin, Slayed Hayes Cole. My children attended their first funeral. I wasn't sure how'd they do, and they impressed me. It was not an easy day. 5 hours of driving with a funeral, 2 cemeteries (we visited the graveside for Slayed, Papa and Grandma's graves are at the same cemetery. On our way out we stopped at the kids paternal grandfather's grave and maternal great-grandparent's graves, as well).
I posted it on facebook and some responses are the words I wanted:
Joanne C: All the money in the world couldn't buy you a gift as good as that.
Adam R: It's a fine young man that can tell his mama that he loves her.
Melinda G: Has any momma put "dibs" on Sam for their daughter? If not, put my name at the top if the list for Becca!
Kimberly W: He's a sweety Shannon. You're so blessed!