October 31, 2010

It's Not Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin... I Hope

Yesterday we bought the pumpkin, The Great Pumpkin. HUGE.

There was much dickering as to what would get carved into The Great Pumpkin, but finally it was settled... I believe by my husband. The ideas had been floated by my offspring, but were agreed to... by the head of the household.

Folks, behold what happens when the XX chromosome chooses to step out to run errands. When left to their own devices, the Italian males in this house...

chose...

To Whack The Great Pumpkin

pumkin whacked.JPG

And yet another view...

pumpkin 2.JPG

Nice.

A plethora of kids showed up at my door with Dads and I heard one of the Dads say, "Look! They whacked the pumpkin!"

It goes with Bones' theme...

Bones Mafia.JPG

Mr. T is with his buddies in a neighboring area. Ringo is with his friends. It's just my husband and Bones and Bones' buddies in the neighborhood.

Ringo. With his friends. Of all the boys, they picked the one that lived in a neighborhood FILLED with kids, including teens, so they could go house to house. I was not thrilled.

I drove him to his buddy's house, the starting point and the following conversation ensued:

Me: What are you?

Ringo: I'm a guitar playing wizard. (*he had on his old bass guitar and a wizard hat)

Me: Ok then. Look, you know how I feel about you big boys all dressed in black going door to door...

Ringo: MOM! Look at me! They can see my face! I did it on purpose. And the three other guys are going as Catholic school girls.

Me: No. Wait. How in the hell did they find uniforms that FIT them. There isn't a girl alive in HS that is big as Paul... (Paul is a defensive linesman on a local HS power house football team)

Ringo: I KNOW! Is that a riot or what? They all have... skorts. I mean, Mom, there is NOTHING scary about that...

Me: Shoot. You should have told me. I'd have dressed you as a priest...

Ringo: *blink*

Me: bwhahahahahaha, that would have been a riot.

Ringo: *big grin* You could do that?

Me: Oh yeah. Shoot. Well, I'd probably go to hell for it. Its not sending the right message, you dressed as a priest with a bunch of boys dressed as Catholic school girls. Heh. Dang. Never mind. You're better off as the guitar playing wizard...

Good times. Good times...

Posted by Boudicca at 07:15 PM | Comments (12)

October 30, 2010

Randomness: Of Cookies, Skinny Jeans and Halloween

Amidst my 6 hours and 5 minutes of driving the other day, I also had to bake cookies for our Boy Scout Court of Honor. It was a crazy time, too much going on, and I knew I had to bake A LOT of cookies, so I used all my baking stones as well as a regular baking sheet... which I NEVER use.

The cookies on the baking sheet burned.

I put them to the side and said to the boys that we'd be taking the non-burned cookies to Scouts. The burned ones stayed home. (I ended up eating cookies for dinner, not able to stay at COH long enough to eat pizza since I had to get down to get Ringo from his band practice.)

Imagine my surprise and absolute horror when my husband said the next morning, "So, we'll throw away these burned cookies..."

What? Throw away cookies? Chocolate chip cookies? YOU DO.NOT THROW AWAY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, NO MATTER THEIR STATE.

No.

I let out a *gasp*, he looked shocked, the boys all said, "No, Dad!" and we let him know the error of his ways.

Good Grief.

------------------

At Bones' school, with all the flakey arty kids, they wear 'skinny jeans' and not just any skinny jeans, but jeans the color of aqua or... orange. Funky colors.

My older boys have been aghast at his request for a few pairs of these. "Mom. He's not going to wear those around my friends." Or "Mom, don't let him wear those in public when we're all together, OK?"

Skinny jeans at the older boys' school are for weird kids. Skinny jeans at the art school are perfect because... they're all a bunch of weird little kids.

My husband found some on sale today and bought a couple pairs for Bones, aqua marine and burnt sienna, to be exact.

He came out to model them for me and two things struck me:

1) Bones is really really skinny, which is why we call him Bones. The kid has no body, no hips, no thighs, no... nuthin'.

2) He looks like an elf.

He walked out in his aqua marine pair and I stifled the urge to laugh out loud. Shirtless, strutting, skinny jeans, feeling cool, my mouth was agape. I looked out the corner of my eyes at Ringo and he had the SAME expression I did.

There was a twinkle in his eye of absolute amusement, and he closed his mouth to try to give an impassive blank expression, but the corners of his mouth kept twitching.

Finally I said, "Wow. Those are really... blue!" and he bounced out of the room to get the second pair.

I looked at Ringo, who completely gets it all at this point, and he shook his head while I whispered, "Dude, he looks like an Elf! He needs little elf shoes and a hat!"

I looked past Ringo at T and my husband and T had been rendered speechless, although looking back I'm not sure if it was shock or if my better half had given him the ultimate warning look of "This is NOT the time to tease your brother", T's favorite past time.

My husband was beside himself trying to keep himself from laughing.

Bones came strutting out in his burnt sienna pair and my husband said, 'I know. He's swimming in them. They're a size 10, but its the best I could do... He just has to wear a belt and untucked shirt..."

As Bones went back to get a shirt on, my husband and T were falling all over each other quietly laughing. He kept mouthing to me, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" and I kept saying in a loud whisper, "He looks like an ELF!"

Good grief. I need to get him dressed for Christmas. Pictures. I'll take pictures.

--------------------

Halloween is tomorrow. My kids are older. They still want to decorate the house. So busy we have been that we're decorating tomorrow.

There are few Halloweens left where I will have trick-or-treaters residing here. My first son is debating what to do. I've told him he can invite all his friends here, they can watch scary movies and I'll make caramel apples and corn balls.

He asked if they can dress and go around the neighborhood. It was a last shot to live as a little kid.

"No!" I said. "Let me tell you, it is scary to open a door as a lone woman in the house, and to find grown sized people in scary black masks."

He grinned.

I continued, "Son, Alex is 6 foot 2. Paul is 5 foot 8. All of you are man sized. If I see Alex on my doorstep draped in back with a scream mask on, I might just stroke out. I know it's a kid, but deep inside you start to wonder, "Is is a nice kid? Is it a man pretending to be a kid? Am I safe?" And Paul? He's HUGE. No."

He laughed, grinned and said, "I get it..."

T is going to a friend's house and my husband is taking Bones, who has decided to go as... a Gangster, complete with pinstriped suit, fedora, and tommy gun.

Let us go through the progression of costumes through the years, shall we?

At age 1 he was a pumpkin. (Mom was in control)

2: A lion. (Mom was still in control)

3: Five different things. He swapped costumes in the car. "I'm a bee! No, I'm a ladybug! No, I'm a lion! No I'm not... I'm Stitch." He was tearing off costumes like a world class stripper. (Mom had lost control... this should have been recognized as an omen, but yet, it was not. Who knew?)

4: Down to one costume, we settled into a muscle bound hulk, that he then proceeded to wear once a week to preschool. People still talk about it.

5: Ninja, like his brothers. I remember weapons... like a mace. A mace wielding ninja.

6: Something skeleton like and bloody. We were into spooky.

7: Ninja and lots of weapons. A think maybe a scythe...

8: Either skeletor or ninja, but there were lots of weapons involved. (surprise. See a trend?)

9: A pimp. I loved that. I love that he LOOKED Like a pimp with the hat, leopard skin print jacket, the cane, the bling... and yet he had NO IDEA what a pimp really was, but if a door opened to give him candy and the sweet woman of the house said, "Oh, how cute you are! What are you?" In turn my sweet floppy haired boy would sing, "I'm a PIMP!" You really can't buy classic parenting moments like that. LOVE THAT. /sarcasm.

10: A bottle of mustard. We were into humor. I think... he was a darn cute bottle of mustard.

11: Gangster, Mafia Style. You know how they talk about the Black Irish? Well he's going as the White Italian. He'll have to tell the sweet women opening the door that he is Northern Italian mafia.

Let's try to keep it real...

Posted by Boudicca at 06:06 PM | Comments (3)

October 28, 2010

Rolling Rolling Rolling

Today I spent most of the day in the car, driving time only. Let's calculate, shall we?

30 min: Drive son#1 to school
30 min: Drive home (had stuff to do)
20 min: Drive to work
20 min: Pick up son#1 from school
20 min: Pick up son#2 from school
15 min: Pick up son #3 from school
20 min: Drive home
45 min: Drive son#1 to Patriotic Concert practice
45 min: Drive home
30 min: Drive sons 2 & 3 to Court of Honor for Scouts (opposite side of PB County)
45 min: Pick up son#1 from Patriotic Concert practice
45 min: Drive home

That is a total of... 6 hours and 5 minutes.

Driving.

I'm not kidding. This does not include when I had to wait for Bones for 30 minutes from his voice lesson or Ringo for 10 to get out of school.

Lest anyone think my husband was no help... you are wrong. He was at work most of the day, but he went to an Open House for my eldest son and spoke to all his teachers while I did the drop offs and he took my youngest boys home from Scouts while I went back to pick up my eldest from band practice.

I was home last weekend and my Mom said, "We love that you came home. I wish it wasn't such a long long drive for you..."

I realized then, if I had just driven for 2.5 hours more than my worst days, I would have been home with my parents. That's how much I live in my dang car.

My eldest said to me today, "Mom, if it helps, we don't want to go..."

Me: No. That doesn't help.

Ringo, laughing: I mean, school. Let us stay home and it will take most of the driving away.

Me: Nice try...

Ringo: Can you imagine how much less stressful your life is going to be when there isn't all this driving? Your life will be "20 minutes. At work. 20 minutes. Home". Can you imagine?

Me: *blink* *blink* *blink* ARE YOU FRICKIN' KIDDING ME? Really? "Can I imagine?" Son. Really? Why in the hell do you think I know that in 6 years and 9 months... you will be GONE. ALL OF YOU. OUT.OF.MY.HOUSE. Holy crap...

Ringo: No, Mom, I get that. I'm just saying, when I get my license, it'll make your life a lot easier.

He's not factoring in the mental stress of my knowing he's driving on the road... with all the frickin' lunatics of S. FL. *sheesh*

Posted by Boudicca at 09:54 PM | Comments (3)

October 27, 2010

You Can Find the Darndest Things on the 'Net

It was demanded suggested by my sister that I post this picture that she seemed to have been able to swipe from someone's FB account!

This would be me, my senior year. I didn't appreciate my hair enough... or my very thin body. I weighed... 30-35 lb less then. Of course I still shopped in the kids' department... size 14, but still.

Senior band picture.JPG

Then if you are REALLY lucky, and you play around on Youtube, looking for old band videos, you find that someone posted a 10 second clip and you happen to be in it with the person they were taping...

Nice. Made me laugh...

Funnier still, I do a motion in the vid that is a motion my grandmother used to make. She used to sometimes play with her watch or bracelet... exactly as I did at the end. The way my hands moved even reminded me of hers. Odd.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:36 PM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2010

When Truth is Funnier than Fiction

In 1979, a rival high school we shall call Escumbia High School, let a pig out during our Halftime show for Homecoming... let that pig out just as the Homecoming Queen was being crowned, they did.

The pig ran crazy through the band, quite a scene it did make. The talk of the town it still is... to this day.

Just some of us are better at remembering the details than others.

And so on Friday night, my girlfriend and I were all rowdy and laughing with the folks around us, when our crazy unmedicated ADHD buddy, "Derrick", turns around and says to those of us sitting around him, "OH! I forgot to tell you!!"

It would seem, that in 1993, our other best buddy, "Kevin", showed up at his doorstep and said, 'Derrick, it is time to exact revenge for the pig incident during Homecoming...'.

This would be some... 14 years later?

And so "Kevin" broke out his plans, a schematic of the football field with guard shacks and dogs marked off, entry ways and escape plans. Black was to be worn from head to toe. Ninja would be the plan of the night.

Ninjas with red paint. One of our school colors.

Meanwhile, 'Derrick's' wife, a voice of reason said, "You're married now! You have a baby! I'm not bailing you out of jail!" to which they replied, "We won't get caught!"

Undeterred... and all that.

So it went... the night before Homecoming the two snuck onto the field and painted a BIG red T in the middle of the field. Big. Red. T.

A guard saw them and away they ran as fast as their long Ninja legs would carry them.

We sat listening to this story, laughing our fool heads off, and 'Derrick' finished with, 'And so the next night we went to their Homecoming, and unable to get rid of that big red T, they painted it green. Right smack in the middle of the Woodlawn High School field was a Big GREEN T, since football fields are more of a brown and light grassy green. They had to use green paint to cover it... and it really stood out..."

Laughing, laughing, laughing... until I said, "Wait. Derrick. Did you say Woodlawn? Dude. It was Escumbia that let the pig out..."

Laughing stopped... for a moment... and Derrick said, 'Are you sure?" to which one of our buddy's wives, who went to Escumbia said, "Yup! I was a freshman!" and a guy down the row from us said, "Hell yeah, it was Escumbia, because they carted that pig on the field in a tuba case and left it behind. Our band director had me and Davey give them back their tuba case, so we filled it up with cow manure, sealed it up, and drove it back to their band...dropping it off and running..."

And THAT would be about the time we were hugging all over each other laughing and crying as not only was the cow poop funny in itself, but 'Derrick' and 'Kevin' had exacted revenge on the WRONG high school... 14 years later... and finding out 17 years even... after that.

Good times. You can't make this stuff up...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:56 PM | Comments (12)

October 24, 2010

Band Blogging

I've been at a reunion the past few days, hooking back up with my best girlfriend of 30 years from high school, and attending and becoming 16 again.

Much has changed in the last 30 years and not just gray hair and body shapes.

Much has changed with our society. Some of it makes me sad...

Hundreds of us gathered to celebrate our youth and what we accomplished... being something much larger than ourselves. From the early 70s until late 80s, our band was a power house to contend with... Nationally. We won the National Championships in 1980 and placed every year after that that we participated.

The first band in Florida... to win.

We marched 220 strong, practicing three hours every afternoon, four days a week, performing on the 5th. Summers were spent drilling and at camp, shows memorized; music practiced so often we heard it in our sleep.

We marched in behind the current band on Friday night before the game; a section had been taped off for the 'band alumni'. There were hundreds of us including family and we filled more than our section. My friends and I sat on the 50 yard line, one row below the announcing box.

We were 16 again, screaming, laughing, and joking. It was as if we had never left. We were older, but that was all.

Perhaps we were a tad bit more uninhibited, but not much. I assure you.

It will go down as one of the best weekends I have ever had.

I don't remember the last time I spent so much time laughing, I nearly cried.

And so until I can get my blogging stuff together to come up with some real posts, I give you our 1981 show at Nationals. I'm on that field somewhere. This would be my Junior year in high school.

There is one story in particular that I'm trying to figure out how to post. Anyone from Pensacola will think it a riot, I'm just trying to figure out how to hide identities to protect the seriously guilty...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (27)

October 20, 2010

Conversations, Future and Present

I strongly suspect that my foray into the world of organic vegetables, bought by share, is going to be the thing of stories to come. I can hear it now, 20 years down the road, sitting at the table at Thanksgiving, surrounded by my boys, their wives and their children.

Ringo: And remember that time that Mom decided we weren't eating enough variety of vegetables and that we were getting too much pesticides and that she'd join that communist vegetable group and buy organic shares of fruits and vegetables every two weeks?

T: Yeah, I remember that. She brought home some weird stuff.

Bones: Oh like the time you opened the refrigerator and said, 'Hey, Mom. What are those pointy things in the refrigerator?" and she said, "Artichokes."?

T: I'd never seen one before, then suddenly we had FOUR.

Ringo: And that HUGE squash. That made the best bread ever.

Bones: I know! You wanted every squash turned into bread after that...

T: But no. Mom had to try to fill them with something called Kale, thinking that if she mixed it with enough cheese we'd eat it. Yuck. I hated it.

Bones: It was the onion. OH and remember that chard! We hated chard! Mom turned it into bread...

Ringo: ... and Dad wasn't home, so Mom saved it for him with the turkey breast for when he came home, but T quietly threw it away after dinner so he didn't have to eat it?

T: He didn't deserve to have to eat that bread. He'd been on a trip. That was nasty.

And so that's what I envision as to how this will all be remembered.

Successes and Failures from this week:

Kale and Cheese Quiche: Two Thumbs up.

Yam chips: One thumb up (me), one thumb down (T), Ringo managed to slink away without eating one, thinking I'd not notice. Right. Husband and Bones, non-committal on the thumbs.

Squash stuffed with Kale: The boys' vote: Two thumbs down. My vote: Two thumbs WAY UP.

Seriously, what is their problem? I went on the 'net and looked for recipes and found this one by this chick Paula Dean who is evidently a famous TV chef. This conversation happened at work:

Em: How's it going with the kale?

Me: Quiche, GREAT. And I found this recipe for stuffed squash by some chick named Paula Dean.

Tif: OH! That should be GREAT!

Me: I know! Did you see a picture of her? She looks like she really loves to eat and that she LOVES southern cooking and she's famous and all... is she part of that Jimmy Dean clan?

Tif and Em: *blink*

Me: Besides, how can you go wrong with anything when you have to add sour cream and a cup of cheese?

Em: If there's butter involved, it'll be GREAT.

And it was. Except the boys hated it and so I'm eating it at lunch.

I still have four artichokes to cook and I'll do that next week when I get back. I'm going to a reunion with my best girlfriend from high school this weekend. I'm all stressed out about the fruits and vegetables, for fear they might go bad before I get back.

I need to step away from the edge...

It'll be interesting to see what Komrad Marie has for me in two weeks. I'm giving away any chard I get to coworkers. They've informed me... they don't want it.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:57 PM | Comments (13)

October 17, 2010

I Yam What I Yam

So tomorrow I pick up my next batch of organic vegetables and fruit. On a sidenote, I don't google this stuff ahead of time. I wait to see what it looks like, when its in my hands, and then I start googling...

I ran through the preliminary list that they gave me, looking for fruits and vegetables that we may have to turn into bread, either because I feel certain we will hate it (we are not a chard family) or because we have no stinkin' clue what to do with it (butternut squash bread is fantastic).

The following foods raised an eyebrow:

Broccolini. What? Really? Broccolini? Is this what happens when you cross pollinate broccoli and zucchini? (What's with the double c's in these foods? Meat isn't spelled weird. Meat is meat. Chicken, beef, fish, pork... easy words.)

Artichokes. I know what they are. I think I'll be looking to cook them the way my mother in law did. Stay tuned for that one...

Lacinato Kale. Kale. Kale is something like spinach, I think. When I think of kale, I think of something that grows in the ocean, that fish hide in or bottom dwellers eat.

And it's coming to my house.

I strongly suspect that kale is going to be the chard equivalent in this batch of food. I think it is safe to say we are not a kale family either. Not sure what 'Lacinato' is either, but either way, this will all probably become... bread. Or I'll add a grunch of cheese to it and stuff something with it like... a delicata squash.

Delicata squash. Delicata? Is that Italian for delicate? Does this mean 'delicate squash'? And what is delicate about squash? I see this being sauteed up with garlic and olive oil one night. Or stuffed with sauteed kale and four cheeses.

Everything is good with cheese... it is the corollary to "Everything tastes good if it's made into bread".

Lastly, they are giving us 'sweet potato garnet yams'. OMG. OMG. I'm looking for yam bread recipes. Or I have to turn them into a pie. Yams. Blech. It's like sweet potatoes. Gah!

The rest will be eaten within four days. I'm just always stumped by the weird stuff...

Broccolini? Really?

Posted by Boudicca at 07:42 PM | Comments (26)

Gator Nation

A most miserable game, if there ever was one, if you're a Florida fan.

The biggest problem? Florida forgot to show up to the game.

The 2nd biggest problem? The concession stands were too far from my seat, too many people to crawl over to get there, so I couldn't eat my stress away.

I told everyone, "This is 80s football all over again minus the NCAA violations..."

Blech.

Other than the crappy game, we had a good time. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we ate outside whenever we had the opportunity. We stayed downtown and it gave us a nice small towny feel away from campus and the clatter of all the people. Quaint little shops and restaurants all within walking distance gave a nice ambiance.

UF was not a good fit for me as a student. Although I didn't do poorly, I didn't do well either. So Gainesville doesn't hold a lot of good memories for me. I couldn't hit full stride there; it took a smaller school for that.

I cringe when any of my children make mention of possibly wanting to go there.

But... it is their choice and if they can get in, they can see for themselves. I prefer they get their graduate degrees there, saving their undergrad for some place else.

The downtown Hampton Inn in which we stayed was was very fun, in particular with the transportation they provided. It was electric cars.... not like prius stuff, but like ginormous golf carts that could go up to 30 MPH.

Said I to my husband, "Hunh. They have seatbelts. Like this will save us if we get hit? We are essentially riding in a recycled Coors can...."

But fun it was, with the outside air blowing in, the young college kids paid to drive us were friendly and funny and sharp, tips only, otherwise it was free. There were no long waits for transportation from the game or Gator Growl. We just walked to the designated spot and the 'beer can' showed up and took us back.

I don't think Urban Meyer looks good. Actually, I think he looks like crap, and I don't think it's just the stress of having lost so many games. I didn't think he looked good at the beginning of the season, now he just looks worse.

I actually like all I know of Urban. I think he's a good guy and he seems to have a good family. I think all the coaches have problems with their recruits becoming felons. I'd not point fingers too quickly at UF... I see it everywhere. It doesn't make it right, but it is a sad state of affairs in our country.

And no matter his win/loss season, I'd hate to see him go. I don't think a coach should be replaced just because he can't 'win the SEC championship' or the National Championship.

That said... if Urban's problems are health related, he needs to step down for HIM. If he was 0-8 next season, I'd wonder what was going on, but never call that they need a new coach. There would need to be some sort of reassessment.

His health is another issue. If he really is struggling with his health... its time for him to get his priorities in order. Gator Football shouldn't be at the top.

Just sayin'...

Funniest quote of the night during the game, of which there was only dark humor, from the guy sitting next to me, moaning... "Tim Tebooooowwww.... come back and get your masters degreeeeeeee...."

Maybe they should ask for Percy Harvin too...


Posted by Boudicca at 05:41 PM | Comments (4)

October 15, 2010

Gators

I'm off with the family to Gator Homecoming.

I don't want to go. Not really. I don't like attending sports events much... mainly because I hate to lose. I hate to lose more watching it happen.

Last homecoming, I think I consumed 3000 calories in stress eating. I lived at Concessions to get away from the game... snow caps, a hot dog, popcorn, cracker jacks, part of one of my kid's coke (I don't do soft drinks as a rule of thumb), and more... I'm sure.

The kids and my husband are excited, however, with Gator paraphernalia having been broken out... shirts, hats, seat cushions, sweat shirts. It's going to be chilly.

It will be a good time. We'll have a blast. My nephew is a sophomore up there, a 4-0 student, great kid. We'll see him as well as other families we know. My husband will see all his old classmates... we'll also see the senior class, the upcoming doctoral graduates and we'll all feel old as crap because we're old enough to be their parents... well at least my HUSBAND is. Heh.

I'd just prefer to stay home and vege. I'm just... beat.

BTW, the current adage amongst the kids in Florida high schools is, "If you want to go to UF, you need a 4.5. If you want to go to 'Bama, you need a 3.5. If you want to go to Ole Miss, you need a 2.5." Evidently, its all about getting to a big SEC school so you can watch SEC football.

I'm hoping my kids shoot higher than football...

Back on Sunday. Ciao.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:47 AM | Comments (5)

October 13, 2010

Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!

I am glued to the live cast, absolutely glued. I crawled into bed at way too late of an hour last night, my husband already asleep. Through the dark I heard, "So? How many?"

"One. It's late. I saw them drop two rescuers and bring up one...," I replied.

I awaken too early to stay up much later.

By 6AM, I was back on the live feed waiting and watching.

Much to the annoyance of my family, I keep walking through the house chanting "Chi! chi! chi! le! le! le!..." I just need to learn the rest of the cheer. Mr. T said dryly, "Mom, why don't you learn their National Anthem as well... you can sing along..."

Nice.

Meanwhile, over dinner, my husband informed me that he said to someone in his office today, "What about those miners?" and someone said, "What miners?"

I was aghast. I replied, "Keep the uneducated masses away from me. Please tell me that idiot doesn't vote..."

My heart is big for Chile. I am watching until the last miner is removed.

At work, since the incident occurred, this incident has been the great topic of conversation. As their rescue came closer, it is nearly all of which we spoke.

One of the funniest conversations occurred with another female engineer who works down the hall. (We don't work on the same project, but for the same company. I have over time kind of sought out the other women and gotten to know them.)

This particular engineer has a son that is currently in Navy SEAL training, just having finished Hell week. This was on Monday:

Me: I hear they're sending down a Navy special forces paramedic... I am guessing that the Chileans have Navy SEAL types?

Her: You know, I don't know, but they must.

Me: Yup, he's going down to assess.

Her: That sounds like a SEAL's job. "Hell yeah! Shoot me down to the center of the Earth and then pull me back!"

CHI CHI CHI! LE LE LE! Los mineros de CHILE! WOOT!

Now I just need to learn their National Anthem...

Posted by Boudicca at 04:32 PM | Comments (9)

October 12, 2010

Busy

Can't blog. Too busy watching the rescue of the miners live. Crazy stuff.

--------------

I'm watching it on BBC, HERE, at a link provided by TGOO. I suspect that how it is at my workplace is how it is elsewhere... this is pretty much all we talk about.

Fascinating...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:57 PM | Comments (6)

October 10, 2010

Strategy, SEC Football and WWII

To those who didn't watch football yesterday, it was classic SEC beating the ever living snot out of each other. You can have the number one team in the nation be an SEC team and come time to play the lowest ranked SEC team, that lowest rank team will play like it's THE National Championship, that their entire reputation depends upon it, their very livelihood, and they'll rip throats out, disembowel the opposition, QBs will nail receivers like they never have before, and leave the higher ranked team wondering wtf hit them, although every SEC team knows... any SEC team can beat any other SEC team on any given day... regardless of rankings.

Meanwhile, LSU and UF duked it out in my family room while I sequestered myself in the back computer room. With 2 minutes left to the game, UF ahead, Bones came in, clutching his chest, panting (drama!), "Mom! Mom! Mom! You'd have hated watching this game! You'd have thrown up 8 times!"

To which I replied, "And THAT is why... I'm in HERE and NOT watching it!"

UF lost, Mr. T, a huge fan, was horrified and went to bed. Mr. T is a huge Gator fan, but doesn't want to go there. As Bones likes to say, "T wants to be a bumble bee..." (GaTech is the yellow jackets...)
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I'm still reading Band of Brothers and I've just fallen in love with these men. I go from page to page scared which one I'm going to lose, so afraid for their families, more so because I know it's true.

I have a friend who rode up front with Patton as a tank commander in his 3rd Army. He so believes that MarketGarden was a mistake that is haunts him to this day. It absolutely haunts him. He and I have talked about it extensively.

I never doubted him. If he says it was a mistake, and given the facts he spoke of, and I was there during the writing of his book, what I think at times was a catharsis, then it must've been.

The loss of life still sickens him, this many years later. A mind like a steel trap, he remembers every face, every name, everyone lost. They haven't been forgotten, because my friend cannot and will not.

Reading Stephen Ambrose's accounting from Easy Company's experience with those who did get the gas, reaffirms in my mind my friend's assertions.

--------------------------

My husband is on travel so it's been the boys and me for the last few days. They're bigger now and so much more self sufficient. There is still the endless arguing and threats of beating each other down (they are brothers afterall, not saints), but overall, its just much easier in the 'getting things done' sense.

My husband works full time plus, I work nearly full time, and with three kids and all the places they need to be, trying to have a family dinner every night with a homecooked meal, its a struggle at best to keep our house clean.

We push for 'tidy' or 'picked up'.

The weather is beautiful here in S. FL and we slept late and relaxed through the morning, with my turning off the a/c, flinging the windows open, and declaring we had to clean the house.

Immediately, Ringo picked up a broom, Mr. T started folding laundry and Bones ran through the house screaming, "I get to clean the baaaaathroooommmms!!!", leaving Ringo and T and I to stare at each other and saying simultaneously, "OK! They're yours!"

We've yet to figure out why he likes scrubbing bathrooms, but if that's his gig, we're all more than welcome to let him have at it.

The house is on the edge of smelling clean. A bit more bleach and scrubbing and we should be there. The windows are closed up again as the humidity was too much, making the house feel sticky.

I don't know how everyone else does it, working, kids, clean house.

We just flat can't keep up...
-----------------------

I made the chard bread today to go with the turkey breast I cooked.

Chard is the Alice in Wonderland of Vegetables. You can have it overflowing out of a 5 quart stock pot, sautee it and it shrinks down to a frickin' cup of green wilty stuff.

I sauteed it up with onions and mushrooms, added cheese (anything is good with cheese) rolled it into some pizza dough and baked.

After eating it, Ringo said to me, "Mom, let's face it. We are not a chard family..."

So chard is off the list of things I will cook. We just don't like them Sam I Am.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:36 AM | Comments (4)

October 09, 2010

When Life Gives You Chard... Make... BREAD!

Bones and I can't stop laughing at this video. The last 11 seconds made me laugh until I had tears. I keep singing, "Betty White... Betttty Whiiiite... Betty White..."

I hope he meets her.

Today was the day I decided to turn our butternut squash into bread. Much resistance was given by my two younger boys who thought 'squash bread' seemed perfectly awful, they concentrating on the word 'squash', the adjective.

However, my oldest boy, who loves to bake bread, knew better and he concentrated on the noun instead, believing if it is bread, it must be good.

Like mother like son.

So I set out today to boil up the squash so I could readily take out the inside, puree it, and add cinnamon, sugar, ginger, and all spice to create our loaf of deliciousness.

Two thumbs up and the loaf was nearly devoured in less than an hour. Said Bones after, "I think if you add cinnamon, ginger, all spice and lots of sugar, anything tastes good..."

I still have chard in my refrigerator and although I was going to sautee it up today and see how it went, I decided instead... to turn it into... BREAD!!! I found a chard bread recipe.

Tomorrow... my chard becomes bread.

These organic vegetables are going to make me fat...

Posted by Boudicca at 08:29 PM | Comments (4)

October 08, 2010

Trivia

Have I ever posted that Mr. T has a Simian Crease?

He has it on one hand only, it is as if someone folded his hand in half. He doesn't have any branches from it... his hand is completely smooth except for this one single crease. This is something that can be passed down within families, this single crease on one hand, yet I've found nobody yet within either family that has it. (4% of the male population has it.)

I'm still searching.

Interestingly enough, I'll have to tell him that Tony Blair has it on both hands. John Steinbeck had it as well.

Fun stuff.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

A week in review

Tomorrow our library opens from 18 months of renovations.

I'm a geek. I'm going to the grand opening. I'm going to the ribbon cutting. I'm so dang excited I'm beside myself!

--------------

I love our IT guys.... LOVE.THEM. I think they're the best and they've gotten me out of some real jams with a great sense of humor. I laugh a lot with our IT guys.

So imagine my surprise when last week I saw they were shutting us down for maintenance from Noon on Friday until 7AM on Monday. This is the email exchange that transpired

Me: Dude. Really? Do you have your flak jacket because you're going to take A LOT of it shutting down at Noon on Friday.

IT guy: I can handle anything. Bring it on.

Me: OK. Just wanted to volunteer my services to help ward off the angry mob.

IT guy: Nope. I can handle it.

Me: Right. Good luck with that...

*end of email string*

Flash forward four days, I get an email with big bold letters saying they changed the time from NOON on Friday to 3PM on Friday. It was a global email. Notices were posted in the break room.

I busted out laughing.

Me: Looks like some of the big guys upstairs started to reverberate, eh?

IT guy: If you can't say nothing nice, don't say anything at all. I'm remaining silent.

Me: Bwhahahahahaha.

*end of email string*

Seriously, I'm not sure what they were thinking. They were about to have over 500 contract charging engineers down without computers as of NOON. No way in hell did I see that flying...

Evidently it didn't.

But it also means, I'm not working this weekend. Nice.

-----------------------------

It has been very stressful in this house as Bones is struggling in his classes, in particular his Math class. It is to be Bones.

As I said to the guys at work today, numbers are heiroglyphics to him. To say 5 x 3 is the equivalent of saying multiply a pyramid with a sphinx. Neither make sense.

He had a math test today and it was just one fiasco after another this morning. I got to work frazzled, convinced he is going to fail.

I don't know if he did or not, but I do know he made a 90 on his last Science test, a 94 on his Vocab test and 100's on TWO math pop quizzes.

I have hope again... it comes and goes, but today I have hope.

As for his language arts teacher, we're not impressed. I'll never say a word to her, but he had to write a sentence using the word 'durable' and as Mr. T read it he said, 'Mom, she corrected his sentence, but she corrected it WRONG! Listen to this...'

He wrote, "I buy durable products for me and my family"

She corrected it this way, "I buy durable products for me and my family my family and I".

Mr T was AGHAST. "Mom, I buy durable products for I doesn't make sense. What was she thinking?"

I'm not saying anything because 1) he got the full two points since he used the word correctly and 2) I need her on our side. You never know when things are going to go sideways with Bones. It can happen at any time, so I'm sure as hell not going to call her on the carpet.

But, really? REALLY? In BIG RED she corrected it wrong. We're going to have to watch her like a hawk...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:41 PM | Comments (8)

October 07, 2010

Cookie Crumbs from my Brain

Too tired for anything but random...

Red chard tastes like crap on a salad. Ok, maybe not REALLY crap, crap, but... ick. I think I may never be able to eat another salad.

Or maybe it was the stickie broccoli things that someone at work convinced me would be a great thing to top on my salads. I hate them.

I asked them at work, "Is my nose twitching?" Between the chard and the broccoli sticks... I'm craving raw meat. I need to be the anti-bunny.

---------------------------

Four days and the Gheck goes home. I think.

His write up will be interesting...

--------------------------

I'm excited about the miners in Chile getting out early. I've been a crazy freak keeping up with those guys.

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I had my tires rotated and oil changed the other day. My tire/oil guy said to me, "Girl, you put 29,000 miles on your car since last NOVEMBER!"

Not shocking, in particular as today I spent FIVE HOURS in it.

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Mr. T is playing flag football and having a great time. They just started the play offs on Tuesday. It is a Catholic School league, comprised of eight middle schools.

Today's game... the opposing team brought their priest with them.

I got there and said to one of the Dads, "Wait. Where's OUR priest? That's not right..."

But it was good he was there. Their kids got beat pretty bad and so the moral support was, I'm sure, good.

If we play this team again (double elimination), I may swing by the Parish and see if I can get Father to go. Make it even...

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It was Mr. T's turn to bring dessert for his Yearbook meeting today. I baked a few dozen snickerdoodle cookies, a household fave.

I put a ziploc bag of a few in the car for after the game today. We were driving home when I got stopped at the light and there was a homeless man sitting there, with a sign that he just wanted food.

How many times have I passed a homeless person with a sign and thought, 'I wish I had food...'?

I looked at Mr. T and I said, "I'm thinking I should give him our cookies..." Mr. T had eaten two and I'd had one.

He looked at me and said, "Yes. It's the right thing to do." So I handed him my cookies, told him they were homemade, and we made our way back home.

Now... in the event this sounds oh so altruistic, I've come to realize that subconsiously I was probably doing some sort of pennance. I had JUST gotten off the phone with my husband and told him about the team that brought their priest. I was kind of joking about it.

I joked about a losing team bringing a priest. Not nice.

I think deep inside my soul was screaming, "Give the homeless guy the cookies! Karma for joking about a priest is BAD!!!!"

I am going to start carrying more food. We have a lot of homeless vets... its bothering me. A lot.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:09 PM | Comments (7)

October 05, 2010

I Still Shave My Legs

A few weeks ago, I heard about this 'organic buying club' where you could buy your fruits and vegetables with others, have them split up and divide the cost.

We went organic for chicken seven years ago, eggs about five years, milk about three. We moved away from ground beef and went to buffalo (mostly) about 6 months ago. I buy organic when I can, but mostly, like from Whole Foods, its too far away and cost prohibitive.

But when this came my way, I thought, 'I could try this...' and so I signed up for 'my share' to be picked up today, paid, with no obligation to do it again

Yesterday I received an email as to where to pick up 'my share' and what exactly it would contain. I perused the list and said to a woman who works with me, "Listen to this... *reading off the list*... wait. What in the hell is red chard?"

Eva: I don't know... look it up!

I googled it.

Me: Hunh. I've eaten this. It looks like bunches of red lettuce. And look at this list... I'm getting FAIR TRADE bananas. What are those?

And so I googled it and she and I read through it all, banana wars, saving the rainforests, etc.

Said I, "Hunh. So I'm going all organic and saving rainforests? Sheesh. Who am I turning into?"

This morning I went to pick up "My Share". For $45 I got two sacks full of various fruits and vegetables, some things I'd never tried while others... I'd flat never heard of.

As I drove home, I called TGOO and said, 'I don't know whether I feel like a hippy or a communist. I picked up 'my share'." I now refer to the girl, whose house I drove to pick it up, as 'Komrad Marie'. (But not to her face...)

One of my girlfriends, laughing over this, has taken to calling me Fraulein.

So... let's get some things straight here... mkay?

Red Chard is the biggest dang lettuce I've ever seen. Red Chard are the leaves that the slaves used to wave over kings as they were fed grapes.

Big.

The stalk is a foot long and the dang leaf is as big as an elephant ear. All I kept thinking was, "Where in the hell am I going to put this and can I eat all this Red Chard in TWO WEEKS?"

A share is for two weeks.

Butternut Squash. I think I have a Vegie Tale on my counter. I told VW and TGOO that I had to resist the urge to grab a marker and draw a face on it. It's as big as my dang head.

Big.

But I have a new rule of Vegetable Thumb, when all else fails, turn it into bread, so we'll be having butternut squash bread for dessert tomorrow night.

Kiwi berries. Am I the ONLY person who had never heard of these? They are VERY yummy! Bones said they are like tiny kiwis shoved in a grape. Very good.

I find I am planning my meals around the vegetables I bought. The carrots are mostly gone. As Bones said, "Mom, these are Bugs Bunny carrots. They are HUGE!"

Akin to 'if you build it they will come' is the corollary "If you buy it, clean it, make it available, they will eat it."

I suspect we'll be out of most of the fruit within the next two days. Berries, nectarines, peaches, Washington State apples, all fresh and yummy... it's all being eaten and enjoyed.

So expect some organic food blogging as... new and unusual foods enter this home and I try to figure out what in the hell to do with it.

There's always bread.

TGOO said to me today, "Bou, everyone else eats these foods. They're only new to YOU"

True. I used to look at butternut squash in the grocery store and think, "Gourd" or "If I can't find a pumpkin for Halloween, I can always use this huge a$$ed squash".

Now I think... "Bread". Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:46 PM | Comments (15)

October 03, 2010

Reflections of a Teen Mom

I'm about ready to get rid of this ghecko. And we've gone and named him too, Gordon, and I'm ready to turn him loose.

It comes down to the fact I hate crickets and its just one more live thing to be worried about.

I've been giving this parenting thing some thought as of late. I'm not a very good teenager parent. Sure, rational thought is great, but the younger kids are more fun and easier. The stresses are different. The delights are easy to come by.

Disney is magical as is Christmas.
Making cookies and decorating them will make a day.
Buying tennis shoes that light up when they walk... make them want to stomp everywhere to show everyone.
Buying a hulk costume at Halloween becomes a favorite outfit... and is worn once a week... just because... until its outgrown.
Promising a doughnut after a doctor's visit makes life better.
Nothing starts the day off better than a sippy cup of chocolate milk.
Each day is exciting and new... and wonderful.
School is hand paintings and the Letter M written in Marshmallows.
School pictures show various stages of missing teeth as well as maybe, the favorite shirt of the year... a Finding Nemo shirt.
A hug and a kiss dries up nearly all tears.
The future is no bigger than waiting for when that tooth comes in or if the next pair of shoes could have the light up fire trucks instead of the light up police cars.

Life is not so simple now. Its a struggle for me. There are days I can hardly stand it, the pressure of teenagers. I'm lucky that they're good kids... they really are.

I wonder however, if I have risen to my highest level of incompetence.

I miss them being 6.

I really do.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (11)

October 02, 2010

All's Quiet on the Cricket Front...

Except I think Bones is damaged. With great flair and facial expressions of revulsion, I heard this today:

"Mom. OMG. Mom. You wouldn't believe what I just saw. I saw this cricket. Mom, it was just lying on his side. So I bent down... and... there were these little things poking out of its body and... then... *twisted face and slow talking* these little things... came...popped out... and... *wide eyed* all these little babies came out. Mom. It had BABIES! It was soooo GROSS!"

So, we have now seem them eaten, trampled, drowned and now we've seen them birth.

It don't get much better than that...

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On the football front, take note I am blogging and not watching UF getting their a$$es handed to them.

Right.

I'll pass. I told my husband, "I don't watch massacres" and I walked out as kick off occurred.

However, on the high school football front, something odd has happened. I'm TOTALLY INTO my son's high school now. Last year? I attended a couple games out of obligation.

This year? I LOVE going. I bought a Tshirt for his hs and will probably get myself a fleece with the logo. I log onto the news online to check their score if it's an away game. I read about the play by plays.

It's like I was in high school again... without the drama.

It's kind of fun... and even more so since our little team is 5-0 and now ranked #5 in the State for their division. Last year and all previous years they were like 1-8. Pathetic.

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Conversation with Mo (to the best of my recollection):

Mo: I went shopping last weekend. I'd not been shopping in a couple years because of the baby. The 80s are back.

Me: NO! Really?! I loved the 80s! Their clothes are coming back!

Mo: Yes. But NOT your Forenza sweater. That is NEVER coming back. EVER.

Me: Dang.

Heh. In all honesty, that sweater would probably be gone, but I wear it to needle her. "Mo, it's cold out. Guess what I'm wearing..." "NOOOOOOO!!!!!"

heh heh heh

Posted by Boudicca at 09:03 PM | Comments (8)