This week, the coolest thing happened to me. I was in line at Starbucks drive-thru. Ordered by Meisto. Waited. Busted out some baby wipes and cleaned the console. Waited. Filed my nail. Waited. Sent a text message. Waited.
Finally got up to the window, got out my Starbucks gift card (I'm working hard to use it up!). AND . . . the Star-dude opens the window & says, "the lady in front of you bought your drink."
Guys, it was complete stranger. The funkiest, happiest, crooked little smile crept onto my face. I blinked in disbelief. How can the simple act of a stranger buying my coffee make such peace & harmony? Maybe we AREN'T going to hell in a handbasket.
The Star-dude said, "she was just having a really good day & was in the giving spirit."
So, in the spirit of Paying it Forward . . . I paid for the drink that belonged to the lady BEHIND me. I hope it made her as thoughtfully cheered and completely happy as it made me :)
Two days later, I happened back at Starbucks with the same Star-dude. He said it went on for EIGHT cars. How cool is that??
For those of you too lazy to click the link . . . . it's making "rainbow discs", which are essentially crayons that are shaped like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups out of broken crayons.
Good project. Little sat at the table & meticulously peeled paper off of broken crayons for nearly an hour. We had a good talk about Santa and night-lights, chimney trouble and making lists. In the end, the rainbow discs are pretty cool. My kids like them. They like the ones all jumbled up and all different colors. We added glitter to some of them. Glitter was a hit.
My children have, what I would call, a clinical addition to arts & crafts. The end of glitter glue would be a horrible tragedy in our home. There's never enough stickers, seldom enough paper, scissors are alwasy missing and someone is always holding my tape dispenser hostage. I have a self-admitted addiction (maybe clinical) to office supplies. I wonder if this is how it started??? Does this fascination with glitter glue, felt, noodles, wood pieces & paint only advance to binder clips and labelers? I held in a gasp of excitement with the new Sharpie products. Ooh-wee. I think I'll be needing those. Both my girls have 'smelly markers' on their Santa lists.
I totally agree. I hope I get new smelly markers, too!
I bit off a big chunk this week. A really big chunk. I set out to make a DVD. Just a little sampler . . trial thing. Thought I'd transfer a few 2008 pictures over into this new program and see how easy it was/is to navigate. So I did . . . and it worked. And it was great. I made a DVD of my favorite 2008 pictures. Set it to music. Fun.
And then, as the kids were watching it for the 90th time . . I thought, "oh, it would be fun to have one of those for each year . . . we could watch them . . and I could easily burn another one, which I could keep in the fire safe box . . . so that if the house goes up in smoke . . I'll still have something to cling to."
So I did one for 2007.
And then . . in 2006, I had to organize events and photos.
So I did. Ditto that for 2005 and 2004 . . and part of 2003. And then, apparently is where my digital era began . . because I began running into negatives. EEK and GAD! Negatives. I'm not that old!
So, now, I've sorted and archived all these pictures from midway through 2003 until now . . . . And I'm off to find a place to convert negatives to CD, so that I can catch up and protect my pre-digital days.
The up-side. It was kind of fun. Dang, I had cute kids . . . we oohed and aaahed at Easters and holidays past. We remembered when the cat fell in the toilet and when Little whizzed off of Homestead's porch in the summer of 2005. We talked about vacations in Arizona, hot springs, ski trips, births, birthdays, deaths, reunions and "the time she got mad." We had a great weekend of "look at my bangs!" and "I remember that swimsuit" . . . we figured out who Bailey Troy (aka Tinky) looks like and we compared "you were bigger" . . ."did we all wear that dress" . . .
It was fun. And I'm spent. Done for the week with this one. All that's left is negative conversion . . . and I'll have conquered a HUGE task :) Hooray.
Okay, so everyone knows I've been on a quest for recipes lately. Easy ones, cause I'm no Emeril. Fast ones, cause I can only stand at the stove stirring for so long when I'm holding 22 pounds of kid on my hip, burning my hand, doing multiplication flash cards & yelling at someone else to "quick, get on your leotard . .find your shoes!!"
And that's the trouble with most (I do mean MOST) cookbooks. Seriously. I'm sucked in to the "Fix it and Forget it" idea. I'm actually kind of afraid I WOULD forget it. I can imagine running a kitchen find-it mission sparked by "what's the smell?" only to find a tiny briquette in the bottom of a crockpot, covered by what used to be five ingredients and something resembling cream of mushroom soup. Anyhoo, I often pick these cookbooks up . . . . and the first recipe I turn to is some sort of "hunter's stew" or "kitchen surprise" with curried candy pork and mustard crusted raisins. And, I have to ask . . . . who's kids eat that crap? I'm not sure I'd eat that.
Um, er . . I'll take a glass of water.
So, back to my quest. I bought a cookbook. Rationale: I'll see what's in there . . . and keep it if I find more that 4 things that I (the microwave mom) can make and present to my brood.
Strike out. So I tried to return the book. And, the store wouldn't take it back. Yep, you have to return books within 48 hours. People, make note of this. If you'd like to purchase a cookbook, bring it home, scan all the shitty recipes for funky piles of curried crap that your kids will NEVER eat, you need to stay up late and return the stupid book within 48 hours.
Jerks. I'm not going back there. At least for this month. I'm mad at them.
I have an international reader . . . I'm so flattered . . . . THANKS!!
I think I'll call you Swiss Miss . . . and if you feel like you know me . . . I think I know some things about you too. Maybe not as much . . . or with any ability for direct quotes, but I know you have really cool window coverings & super-well behaved kids that are intuitive eaters (as are you, per report . . so I already admire the hell out of you!!) I've seen pictures of your kids (they are beauties) . . . I've heard a few stories . . and when you FINALLY visit, we can compare notes on your "sexually advanced" youngster with mine. These things are un-bloggable, so we'll have to do it over coffee, Bailey's, margaritas or whatever you are intuitively eating. I know you are a recycler . . . . and I seriously can't wait to meet you. Visit your sister, why don't you.
I was thinking about the things I FAILED to get done this week. Then, realized that I did get tons of things done this week. I'm one of those organizing thinkers. Back in my college days, I didn't pre-write or do bubble maps. No outlines or rough drafts. But, man, my closet was in good shape. I'd scrub baseboards and organize in my mind. The refrigerator is never more sparkly than when I have a major task at hand.
And this week, I had a major task on hand.
So, I worked on menus. What? Menus. Meal planning for my family. I'm certain I'm not the only one with this issue. . . . . 2 hours until I need to feed the swarming mass of angry butterflies who are growing crankier by the milli-second and I have NO plan. And, worse, no provisions for execution.
Here's what I did this week. Menus. I've been working with a menu system for quite a while. It's a chart of meals . . . I rotate 4 or 5 and have a "plan for the week". So, this week, I took my meals & all that planning and made them into labels. Big labels. And I put them on big note cards. One side is the meal. For example: Broccoli Cheddar Soup & Breadbowls. The other side is the shopping list. It has all the things I need to MAKE the meal. I lamenated them. And put them on a ring. I took them to the grocery store with me. There were wildly successful in keeping my on task in aisle 6 when the kids started to meltdown. They were easy and fun for Little, who, under most circumstances is death with a dry erase marker . . but in this situation, was actually kind of helpful. They were good reading practice for Middle, who worked hard to make sure all the "long sides" were marked off. And, toward the end, that ring was a damn fine teething ring.
So, along with massive menu overhaul this week, and a plan for 4 weeks . . . I have a new system. Yes, this required me re-organizing and doing inventory in the panty. I did this with passion & vigor. Everything I do, seems to revolve around that new recycle container . .. . so it was fun to make "non-trash". I did this with this month's goal in mind. I'm cleaning the pantry and freezer by means of "use it up". I'm making meals to use. (Well, this and donating to the Student Council's Care & Share food drive.) I ride that fine line of having things "on-hand" because I MIGHT need them and being frustrated that I have so much crap, and never using and/or needing it. I also ride the fine line between buying when prices are good (yea, don't really NEED that many cans of beans) and feeling an overwhelming sense of "won't that be a huge waste if the house burns down."
Anyway, this time next month, I'll be looking at a bare cabinet, if my design works. I'll have used my surplus of pantry and freezer supply and will be on to more exciting menu items.
So, anyone have a great recipe to share? Dinner would be nice . . but I like dessert, too. This week, one of my friends came to a PTA meeting with this tiny piece of taste bud orgasm called a "pumpkin whoopie cookie." I'm here to tell you . . . I've since had guilty dreams about the whoopie cookie.
Of all holidays, Halloween continues to be my LEAST favorite. I hate spending money on costumes. And even for the home-made variety (like mine) I hate spending money on candy to hand out to other kids. There's lots of other things I borderline-despise about Halloween (not to be listed here . . . I DO want readers, afterall.)
Here is something. Like a train wreck. So bad, I can hardly take my eyes off of it. This is against the very fiber of my being on so many levels, I can barely think of where to start.
a. Dogs are not accessories. It's hard for them to piss when they are dressed up. Stop the maddness. I'm so embarrassed for your dog.
b. Your husband looks like a complete panty-waste. I'm so embarrased for your husband.
c. You and the kiddo . . . . I can dig . . . passable, at least.
Let me preface this by saying that I had lots of extra time in airports this week. I bought a smut-filled, gossip magazine & read it from cover to cover. Featured was a piece on Jenny McCarthy's new book -- Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds.
On the term, "mother warriors", Jenny says . . . "A mother warrior is a mom who never gives up and will break down walls if it means saving her child. Those are the women that I walk with now."
And I say . .
Dear Jenny, You don't have to have an autistic child to care about your child. I'm proud of your media attention for autism, but please stop spreading fear about immunizations and autism. It's crap. I'm glad you have good friends now, and I'm sorry you didn't have any warriors in your address book before. I'm inclined to think that moms are busy -- the busiest professionals on earth, and if you don't have an army of fellow warriors in your company, the rest aren't worth keeping.