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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Moment of Pre Christmas Cuteness

I am not feeling too well this morning but I'm determined that rain or shine or zombie apocalypse, which is what I'm leaning towards right now,  I will blog at least a few words no matter what.  Like I said, awhile back, building the habit is the key I think.

So for today, in honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow and the fact that I want to offer up something happy to see on your news feed instead of all the sad and fear inducing surrounding us of late, please enjoy these Christmas photos of my girls from five years ago.  Of course I am biased but I think they were and are still pretty darn cute.

A little back story.  This was the year that they both discovered "As seen on TV" items.  They each asked Santa for snuggies, wigs, pillow pets and Tori asked for the brownie pan only to later remove it from her list when she realized that it would only give her brownies with crusty edges and she nor Gabs will eat a brownie with an edge on it. We're still waiting for someone to invent the crustless brownie pan!

Anyhow without further ado I give you  your daily cuteness break.  I wish you all at least one moment of laughter,  warmth and shared kindness in a world that we seem to keep forgetting that we're all in this together and we need to start treating each other more like friends instead of enemies.  Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pancakes For One

Don't you hate it when you wake up 30 minutes before you actually have to get up? Even worse is that you had just went back to bed before that because you'd already woke up like an hour and a half before you actually had to get up.  Yeah so that happened.

So I decided to make myself pancakes and sit on the couch feeling sorry for myself.  I know that you're thinking,  "crappy mom making pancakes just for herself. " It ain't the case though.  For all their sugar consumption my family doesn't care for pancakes.  On occasion Dennis will eat a couple but the girls will look at me like I'm crazy if I offer them some.  It's just not natural in my opinion. 

So I'm taking a note from the guy who sits somewhere on the edge of a pier drinking beer and instead I'm sitting here on the edge of the couch eating chocolate chip,  bacon pancakes.  Yes,  chocolate chip and bacon. That's happening too.  My new motto seems to be becoming,  "don't judge. "

I'm planning in my head what I need to get done for Thanksgiving at least so I'm being a little productive.  There's a pile of towels sitting next to me that need folding,  clothes in the dryer that need turning back on at least twice more before I will get them hung up.  I have to make a grocery list...dang free loading chickens still aren't laying.  The older ones have hit the phase where they won't lay in the colder months and the younger birds haven't started laying yet at all. I'm hoping once they settle into their new house they'll take it up in time for Christmas.  There's baking to be done after all!

All the same I'll be buying eggs this week though.  It's pie season.  At least 3 or four this week.  Just have to figure out what kind for each place we are going. 

Then I need to dust and vacuum too. Got to get the house ready because the girls are expecting their elf on the shelf to visit right after Thanksgiving and stay through Christmas.  Can't have her reporting back to Santa that we live in a pig sty.

I need to make a to do list.  But first I'd better wake everyone up or else we're going to be late for the last day of school this week! 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Best Friend

My best friend sleeps beside me every night. He snores occasionally,  but he says I do too. He has an obsessive personality and is passionate about everything and one he finds interest in.

Our way of life doesn't seem normal to some.  He cooks dinner most nights not just because he's a good man but because he's a great person who doesn't see me as just a gender or put our relationship into the roles and restrictions that many do. He shares the blessing and trials of parenting with me equally.  He has my back in everything I do. He listens to my worries,  picks me up over and over again when I hit bottom and doesn't hesitate to tell me he loves me even when I know how hard that might be at times.

My best friend leads a crazy life with me. He has too little time for himself and too little alone time with me. He works too hard but doesn't complain.  He doesn't get to be all the person he can and wants to be because he wants to make sure he's there for me and our girls.

He and I know that we each have many layers and we love them all about each other.  We understand that we are individuals, not merely stereotypes.  We embrace and cherish that fact even when it might not seem normal to the world around us.

My best friend and I do not live a perfect life.  We live in the real world.  We get angry,  we get tired, we get sad and mad. We can get on each others nerves like nobody else can. We can expect things out of each other that nobody in their right mind would. But we each do our best by the other and when all is said and done we love each other ferociously and would never let anyone disparage the other.

The world can get me down at times and I can take for granted the wonderful person I have to share my life with.  I can say biting words and get so wrapped up in the negative that I don't tell my best friend how much I cherish each day with him.

My best friend is my husband.  My best friend is real, honest,  kind,  brave,  he is not an "ideal", he is human,  loving,  as crazy as I am, he is steady yet can have moments of doubt as do I,  he is smart, kooky,  funny,  sarcastic,  honorable,  handsome,  beautiful,  flawed and truly the most amazing person I know.  He is half of my whole.  He's my life and I don't think he'll ever know how much he means to me and how much I love him.

I'm not saying this to seem overly warm and fuzzy.  We aren't that couple.  We have cracks in our relationship and bumps in the road of our journey together but we are still here. Side by side,  good days and bad.  I just think it's important to take a moment to say that out loud every once in awhile.  Lest we forget that at the core of it all we are each human,  not just male or female,  husband or wife or parents.  We're still people with our own insecurities,  worries and fears and before we became we, we were first an I who became friends with the other.

I am blessed to have my best friend be my partner in life.  I thank him for all he is and does and for choosing every day to continue sharing his life with me. I will choose him every day,  again and again for the rest of my life.

"Spunky" Gabby Muffins

I joke a lot about our cookies for breakfast habit. I'm only half joking.  With Gabs especially it's hard to get her to eat very much at all.  She loves fruit but when I know it's going to be a few hours before lunch I don't like sending her to school on so few calories.

I can get her to eat a cookie or muffin though. While I know it isn't exactly health food she is getting some protein, some calories and a little fat to keep her from starving before her trip to the school cafeteria. 

She loves those, let's call them "Spunky", muffins particularly the chocolate, chocolate chip ones. They are like 1.50 a muffin though which I suppose isn't horrible but I can usually make 10 to 12 muffins for the same cost of one two muffin pack.  That said I've been playing with a few recipes to try and duplicate the "Spunky" recipe. This one I made last night.  It's not quite a twin, actually almost brownie like, but Gabs seems to like them.  

Spunky Gabby Muffins
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 egg
1 and 1 / 2 cups self rising flour
2 and 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 oz melted semi sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together:
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup softened butter
(I used the salted kind)
3/4 cup sour cream
When that's combined and smooth mix in
1/4 cup light corn syrup and
1 egg
till incorporated well.
Next melt 2 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips in the microwave by zapping for about 7 seconds then stirring then zap again another 7 and stir.
Repeat this process till the chocolate is smooth.
Pour melted, slightly cooled, chocolate into the wet mixture.  Mix till incorporated and mixture is light brown.

To the wet mixture add
1 and 1/2 cups self rising flour
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix till combined and add 2 teaspoons of vanilla as you're at the end of your incorporating.

Use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin tins that have been coated with baking spray. Or that are lined with muffin wrappers. This makes 10 muffins.

Optional: sprinkle the tops of the batter with milk chocolate chips.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the top springs back when you touch it. Normally I'd use parchment muffin liners but I was out. Doing it this way I got a more prominent muffin top which I think is the best part anyhow! Gabs,  as I said likes them. She of course said they'd be better with frosting...hmmm. Cupcakes for breakfast?  She might be on to something ��

Friday, November 20, 2015

Burning Skies

Weird poem to go with a story I've been writing in my head for a long time.  Funny how everyday things bring words. A little sing songy but it fits the sentiment of the character I'm working on.  Still trying to decide if it will be a happy or sad ending. I guess art really does imitate life, lol.

-Burning Skies-

"Nature's first green is gold"
yet whispers of evening hold hues
so bold.
Skies afire,
branches above,
wish I could navigate it all,
could understand love.
I stare at sunsets,
at the sunrise too,
try to juggle the world between,
against the pull of the moon.
I tap out words,
in the still of the night,
then I crawl back to bed,
try to forget my plight.
I can juggle heartache,
balance bittersweet
and pain
I just don't know how long I'll keep                  these words in refrain.                                     Tippy toe, tippy toe,                                             tight wire walk.                                                   How many more times                                            till people start to talk? 

I am not oblivious,
I can see all around,
my sky is still burning...
but I can't be seen
as the clown.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Bedtime Rituals

Brush your teeth girls. Five minutes later...I said brush your teeth! Another five... Both of you!  Yes you have to brush them EVERY DAY!

Get in bed.  Say prayers.  Pray for everyone on earth and every little thing and all our family and friends and did you know that (insert name) did this today at school and (insert name) said this.  This for another ten minutes.

Hugs and kisses.  You didn't hug me. Yes I did.  No you didn't.  Hug again.  She got two hugs. No she didn't.  More hugs.

Sing a song.  I will sing only one!

Three songs later....

Good night girls!  Love you too big!  Love you too big too!

Back in the living room, before our butt touches the couch, they have followed right behind us and are up again.

Girls!  Go to bed!

I need a drink. I have a headache.  My foot hurts.  What am I wearing tomorrow? I need something red to wear.

Back to bed. Talking.  More talking.  One then both back out of bed.


Okay,  okay you don't have to yell.
Yes I do.

Back in bed. Talking starts to dwindle.
Finally asleep.

An hour or so later.

Check the doors.  Check the lights.  Take turns in the one (sigh) bathroom. 

Check the girls.  Cover up Gabs. Unfold Tori from her contortionist sleep.

Lights out.  Groan into bed.

Brain back on for long enough to annoy Dennis and help me remember everything I need to do tomorrow,  should have done today and might possibly have done wrong in life in general. Yawning.  Kiss good night. Blink. Morning.

I Listen To Christmas Music...Before Thanksgiving!

It's not yet Thanksgiving but if you rode along with me these days you'd find that my music selection has an air of pre-holiday spirit to it.  You see I am a Closet Christmas Music Enthusiast and I....gasp....listen before Thanksgiving.

I know,  I know,  many people will think so much less of me now. I may even be unfriended or some other such social catastrophe shall befall me. 

Many of my coworkers and even husband are in the anti pre Christmas celebration camp. Their front is strong and numbers many. But I also know that I am not alone in my love of a "Dashing Through The Snow" drive to work. 

My daughters have inherited the gene and sing loud and proud as my backseat backup singers on the way to school every week day. There is even one in my office who is my secret "Silent Night" singing friend, who quietly nods her approval when I put the Big Band Christmas play list on at the front desk. Word to my sister from another mother,  stay strong girl, keep jingling all the way. Perhaps we should wear a bit of tinsel on our shirt to remind others that our struggle for cheerful holiday music is real? 

I admit I am not finicky in my festive music selection either.  I embrace all the winter holidays. On occasion you may even hear me singing along to the "Hanukkah" song. It's all good,  it's chill like my man "Frosty". 

Some argue it's rushing things, that I'm somehow cheapening the season but I see it differently.  I in no way wish to skip Thanksgiving. I in fact am merely looking to stretch out what is only supposed to be one month of Good Will towards my fellow man and light hearted sing alongs to two months of happier days despite the slate blue drizzly skies above us.  Is that so wrong?

Music makes me happy.  It's that plain and simple.  When the sun fades away after fall and my daylights savings account is running low, Christmas music is there to remind me that sun or no it ain't all bad.  If I were to be completely honest with you I'd have to admit that I have even been known to listen to it as early as summer.  You heard right, on some of those days when I shut my office door I'm not just working on paperwork and reports. I'm having a secret musical liason with "Rudolph" and his gang.  Don't judge me.  Whatever gets you through the day you know? And really who is it hurting?

So with that out in the open I will walk forward with a little extra bounce in my step and lighter heart.  I feel good knowing that I've let others who have an affinity for twinkle lights, red and green and Elfish Culture know that they are not alone.  I shall leave you with a song that I think is a holiday"ish" sort of melody and shouldn't offend too many of the Anti Holiday music crowd.  It is a Song For a Winters "Night" however and of course it's still morning...but hey, that's just how I roll.