Monday, August 30, 2010

Hey - I PAID for that!!

Recently, one of my favorite blog friends had an article written about her frugal living blog. And the article was fantastic. I was excited for her because I thought it set a great tone and described her writing and lifestyle very well.

Yet, when it hit her town, she got blasted.


Not because she really doesn't live what she writes. No that is not it.

It's because even with all her fantastic frugal and organizational advice, she's accepted help in the form of some government programs.

OH GASP!!!!!

Because that cancels all the helpful things she's shared, right????

(switching gears)

Ever notice how some of the people you know get massively embarrassed if they are accepting help from government/state programs???

And I am NOT talking about our welfare leeches. Yes I said leeches. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that have never worked. The ones that are third generation welfare. The ones that are third generation high school drop-outs. With three kids. By three different men. (What I'm not talking about is those that worked and lost jobs and are finding it impossible to find a replacement, etc.) I will just be blunt and say I have nothing nice to say about people that live off of the system that they have never paid into. And yet they sure can afford those nice data phones with the $150 a month service plan. Or tricked out cars. Or jewelry to die for.
(Moving on before a true rant begins.)

No - I'm talking about households with jobs. People that are contributing members of our towns and societies. People who's taxes are paid. (And currently those laid off and out of work due to our wonderful economy.)

And sometimes things happen and they need a hand for awhile.

Why, why, why would you judge them?

Why would you think less of them?

They are just using the services they have actually PAID for.

If not this year, then last. Or maybe next year. Because its not like they quit working and producing and being productive members of society. They just need a temporary hand.

I know many many mothers that have used WIC. Including myself. Twice.

And so many of them are embarrassed to tell you so or get caught with the coupons.


Their husbands are working. Their taxes are taken out of their checks. They don't owe back taxes. They are PAYING for the WIC whether they use it or not. So if they qualify....why would this be shameful????

And yes I realize most of the above people get their tax money back. But that is this year. Next year might be a different story. Or the year after. My point is they don't live off of assistance. Someone in the household is actually working and supporting the family to the best of their ability - and it will remain this way for as long as they are able to work.

In my case I wasn't going to go as a 20 year old with a working husband, living on next to nothing. But my daddy looked me in the eye and told me to GO do it. HE was paying for it. He wanted to see his money spent on someone who was not just career welfare. We might be getting all our tax money back -- but he wasn't. And it made more sense to him to see his tax dollars at work for his grandchild than for someone that had never and would never be a productive member of our society.

Recently I had a discussion with my son on something similar. And I told him to go apply for help. He gasps and told me he would never do that.

I asked him why. We don't support (or even help) him. He was living on $400- $700 a month and had to pay for everything - including housing - out of it. While going to school full time.

And....We've already paid for it. Mommy and daddy already covered the help kid. We don't need it, and would be delighted to see him benefit from what's taken from us.

So friends.....STOP being embarrassed.

Stop worrying about what others will say.

And do not be ashamed to look someone in the eye and claim...

"Hey! I paid for this!"

(Note to my readers - I am specifically talking to people in working households that are accepting help. I am very well aware that there are people on welfare that actually belong there and deserve the help of society. I'm not talking to those individuals. I'm talking to the working class that are embarrassed to accept the help they are already paying for. They not only deserve these programs as much as those that can't pay for them....they might even deserve them more in my opinion. Without embarrassment.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

What's this that came in the mail last night around dinner? A big box full of holes??

Hatch Chile!!!!!!!!!!!
And where am I spending my entire Saturday? Right. In the kitchen. With the stove that only has a tiny broiler that can only roast this many chilis at a time.

Now that just wrong.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mighty Mouse-isms

applecado = adam's apple

Steak-a-loaf = Quaker Steak and Lube

Sa-pon = Mah Jong

draumatics = gymnastics

the mac n cheese that nobody makes = buffet style (you know, you walk in and get it - no wait involved because nobody has to make it)

Dib-a-daubs - Dippin-Dots

Being able to understand your child should make mother's eligible for "bi-lingual" status.

Just sayin.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When Paying More Is Better (Part 3)

And then there is food.

Specifically, veggies and fruits and eggs, etc.

Of course we all know that organic is healthier. How can it not be without the poison cocktail the grocery stores serve up in their produce sections. Passed on to them by the farmers under contract to the big owners. Passed on to them in the poison seed they now use to grow everything.

But truly..... I buy very few organic vegetables or fruit.

But I do like to buy from my local farmers market. Oh, and in case you are under the impression that the fruits and veggies at the farmers market are all organic. Ummm. Not so in all cases. Hopefully there is that option, but many of the local farms just do the regular pesticide thing.

And I'd still rather buy from them.

First, you are supporting your community.

Second, the transportation costs involved are much less. This equals less petro products burned.

Third, the produce comes to you fresh picked instead of picked early and gassed.

So I'll pay those farmers for the extra time the food is ripening in the fields.

It's worth it.

Same with farm fresh eggs, local milk and local meat. And the best? Local honey. That actually helps with allergies.

So when is paying more for food frugal for me?

When it pollutes less and ripens more. When it supports your own community. And when it builds relationships with the growers. Thats when.

So now its your turn. When is paying more better for your family? I'd love to hear. Because I just might learn something new!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

When Paying More Is Better (Part 2)

Another twist on when paying more is better.....

I love thrift stores.

Good ones are the coolest find ever. And every time I have to move to another town/state, I have to find the new ones. Hate that!

In our new location I haven't been able to find one I really, really like. There are 3 that are okay...but its less hit and more miss. I think that is partly because more people are shopping at thrift stores lately. Or maybe its just this particular area where that is true.

One of these stores is owned by a church. It is clean and well organized. Its in a rather large building. And its also the most expensive. Yet, I also know this church does a community feed once a week. They are also in partnership with 3 other churches in town running a local food pantry. They are very involved in their community. And I support that. So much so that I'll pay 4.99 for a large bulletin board that would be a dollar cheaper at Goodwill.

Because even though GW is a good company - I'm all about feeding the families RIGHT HERE, where I live. I will pay extra for that. That is my frugal choice as the money does not leave our town.

Same can be said about your locally owned hardware store. Or the local ice cream shop/dairy. Home Depot or bargain brand franchise ice cream might be cheaper. But the owners kids don't sit next to mine in school (owners, not managers).

And I want to support the small businesses in my town. I want to help the owner pay his mortgage. I want to see them out there coaching our kids sports team. (Not that employees of the large franchises don't do this - that's not what I'm saying.) I want to see people from my town have a dream and pursue it. Then succeed.

So frugal in my life actually has me paying a little more at the local shops than I would pay at Wally World. And I'm happy with that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

When Paying More Is Better (Part 1)

I love a bargain. Wait, I love a bargain on something I'm already looking for. I don't really buy something that is a good bargain just because its a good bargain. I don't consider that frugal.

But frugal is different to everybody. And I support that. Because how we spend our money is personal. And we are all different. So what is frugal to me and my money, might be just the opposite to someone else.

And then there is the fine line between being frugal and being cheap.

And then there is how your being frugal affects others. Like when you never contribute to the office "pool" or office birthdays. Or you never join anyone for lunch because its cheaper to bring your lunch. You just might be missing out on deepening a friendship or lending a listening ear to someone who needs you.

For us, frugal is telling our money where to go. But that includes a fund for the little things that come up that aren't frugal but are good for relationship with others. Because to me, relationship is a higher priority than money.

Maybe you have a friend going through a rough time in their marriage. They want you to join them for lunch. Guess what? I stuff the lunch bag under my desk and join them.

Office birthdays are a hard one - especially in a large office setting. But sometimes its more about being a team than it is about paying that $10 extra toward the mortgage or the house buying fund.

Now that is not to say you have to do everything. For instance, one of our families does a name draw for Christmas. It is a LARGE family and we were relieved to see them put this into practice. But we had already dropped out of the gift giving. We let everyone know that we buy for the kids only. And after the new name drawing started, we still opted out. Because we only buy for the kids. And an adult that can't get past that? Whatever. It's not like they will get more gifts if we joined -- it really wouldn't change anything...except we'd have to buy another gift for people we don't live close to and don't have extremely close relationships with -- so the gifts would be a big hit-and-miss experience anyways. I'd rather they spend their money on my kids. Which 97% of them don't even do that. So the whole thing just makes me roll my eyes. LOL.

Lately we have had to spend money on several things that were all about relationship. And its really hurt. I was saving to go on a cruise with my fab sister-in-law for her 30th birthday. And I finally had to just give it up. Because other things that were about relationship kept happening. And it would have been so easy to just not spend that money. And trust me, I'd be happier going on a cruise since I've never been on one. But being happy and feeling peace are two different things. And I have peace over the decisions we have made.

So when is paying more better?

For me, its when its all about the relationships.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sweet Corn Fest

Where we ate no corn (at $2 an ear!!!)
played no games
rode no ponies
and ate gut-bomb food....
while mourning the fact that the Korean food both was not there this year.
Farewell Sweet Corn Fest!
You have outlived your usefulness!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Autumn's Yearly School Supply Rant

I'm happy to say at least for 1st grade, the school supply list wasn't two sheets long. (Yes China Spring Tx Jr. High, I still think you were the most abusive school supply list EVER. EVER.)

Haven't seen the high school needs yet -- but have seen the bill I'm getting for the teen's classes.


Not kidding.

Most of it is legit and I have to problem with. The money for choir is for the uniform. No problem. Chemistry has a lab fee. No problem. Spanish has a workbook fee. That's kind of iffy to me. But since its a consumable workbook and not the text book, I guess I get that.

Now the $20 you have to pay for the privilege of attending school? It will get paid if they give me an itemized statement and show me what I'm being billed for. I pay my taxes buddy. And public school is a right and a requirement..which means I don't have to pay for my children to walk into the building. Oh..and that whole "if you don't pay, you don't get your child's report card"? Keep it. I could actually care less. I don't need a copy on file. It just makes that folder fatter. It serves no true purpose in my life. Any school my kid moves to won't accept the info from me anyways...they are going to request it from you and you are going to give it to them.

But here's this years elementary rant..

1. Community supplies. I'm sorry, I have no problem buying my child her supplies for school. I do have a problem supplying someone elses. And that is completely due to current finances. When we aren't strapped I don't have problem helping with a fund for those that have no money. But to tell me they are taking away everything I pay for? Because not everyone can pay?

What???? Sounds like old school communism to me.

Total disagree on that one.

And the multiples we are to provide? Its not because my child will use that much stuff. It's because of those that don't provide anything. theory its really nice, but in actuality I should not be carrying someone elses child without choice. I pay my taxes which means I'm ALREADY paying for those that don't/can't contribute.

2. Specific brands.

Not only will they take everything away from my daughter to give it to others -- they demand specific brands. And if its not that brand they will not accept it.

No problem.

Because here's how I handle that.

We are asked for a specific brand (and color array) of say...dry erase markers (tell me my child will be using those!!!!!) . Now I would not buy myself this brand they require as they are over priced, in my opinion, and there are several more economical choices for me to choose from. So, if I wouldn't buy it for myself -- I won't buy it for the school. And since they won't accept what I would buy for myself, they get NOTHING. Yep. They get no dry erase markers from me.

And no, I don't feel the least bad or guilty about this. They don't get to tell me how I spend my budget....I DO. I'm responsible for getting all the bills paid and budgeting our money to make it last until next paycheck. When they give me the money for school supplies, I will happily buy their favorite brand. Until then -accept what I would buy myself, do without or buy it yourself.

Now, if we are talking about a brand that is literally .02 more than what I normally buy...I'll spend and extra 2 cents. I'm not totally inflexible. But it has to be within reason. And my money means I decide what within reason is.

12 glue sticks???? Really? My child will use MORE THAN one a month in your class??? Not buying it (although I am providing it).

And the 20 pencils -- no problem. But that sharpened part????? Hahahahahahahah! I'm supplying your supplies so YOU supply the labor baby. No, I don't feel bad about you sharpening 400 pencils. You know you are asking for too many anyways - so deal.

3. The crazy list of non-traditional stuff!!!

Some of this I totally get. The boxes of Kleenex....we need to provide those for the teacher. Someone always has a runny nose.....and that equals spreading germs. I'd rather see it handled and contained than passed on. I'm even happy to send in more boxes half way through the year -- my brand choice. And the whole keep them home if they are sick thing -- get real. Most people are not in a position to actually do that. Their bosses will accept a call from the school -- but not a call in.

And if we get asked to send in toilet paper (not kidding this is happening in some schools), I'm sending my kids with little pocket Kleenex's they can carry on their person. I am not wiping someone else's butt. Nope. Not happening. I can't even seem to keep up with the supply just form my own family!! LOL!!

Various sizes of zip lock type bags? Seriously? I am very confident my child can get a full education without ever using a baggie. Very confident. And they aren't even good for the environment! This should not be on my list. They have backpacks. Put whatever it is you need to send home in the backpack.

Paper towels? Ummm....we MIGHT use 2 rolls a year in my household of 4. They are wasteful. And they are something that would be considered an office supply -- for the school system. This should not be on my list.

Wet Wipes????? Soap and water baby. Its worked for generations. Hand Sanitizer? That should be optional. Send it in if you want but it should not be required. Its even debatable whether these are actually safe for our kids.

And finally -

I buy about 99% of my supplies from 2 different stores. If you have a list of supplies that is so crazy I'd have to go to more than are out of luck. I'm not burning my gas and adding mileage to my car to hunt down elusive supplies. Not happening.

And when they run out of the requested colors of folders and get what you get. I'm not running all over town to hunt down that yellow plastic pocket folder. I did that once and it will NEVER happen again. Get out one of those great markers I had to send in and color it to suit yourself.

So how about you guys? What is the craziest thing on your list? And what is the most expensive?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do You Remember When?

Do you remember when.....

...your high school schedule was the end-all-be-all topic of your world? went to do laundry and never wondered if there was soap available, or how much the electricity and water costs to do said laundry?

...your day could be ruined by being asked to pick something up that you didn't mess up?

...clothes shopping was the highlight of your week (and you never once worried about the cost)?

...your only responsibilities included your room, the dishes, one bathroom and your own laundry? didn't have to pay for car insurance or car repairs?

...your friends were more important than your own family? obsessed over what you were going to wear, and how it looked....every day? were afraid to leave the house without make-up?

...having your phone taken away was punishment instead of a reward!? and movies were more important than most other forms of entertainment. weighed 90 pounds soaking wet and could eat whatever you wanted...or not eat...its all the same?

Anybody who has a teen, probably never dreams or thinks about what it would be like to go back to that time in their life.

My word.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

He Loves Me This Much

For my Chile head friends....

You know its Hatch Chile time.

And I've been in mourning since hearing my Texas friends are able to get their hands on my favorite food in the world.

But wait!

Hubs was in Waco this week.

And he saw it!
And came home with THIS in his luggage.

Oh yes he did.

Now THAT is love people.

And because 10lbs is just not enough.

I've done my ordering on the internet for another 20.

Which makes it the most expensive food in my home at any given almost $4 per pound when you include insane shipping costs.

Priorities, y'all.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Little Boy Blue

I finally finished all my summer quilt projects! That is a party worthy phrase my friends!

I had 4 time sensitive projects to get through this summer. One wedding gift and 3 baby gifts. Last week I finished the last baby quilt and put it in the mail.

I used the same Urban Farm material as I used in Kelly's quilt...but in boy colors instead of the girl colors. Totally different pattern. Actually I took a pattern for a panel and just tweaked it to suit myself.
I have never worked with two inch squares before so I picked a baby quilt to try it on.
I also did a crosshatch thru the small squares. Need a lot more practice on staying straight.
In the center I did a graduating square. The dead center I left unquilted. It turned out really cool. Again...I sure need the practice on the machine quilting!!
The back is mostly a solid piece with some extra piecing at the top and bottom to help use up scraps.
I ordered the signature block for the back again. I really like the added touch.
Hopefully by the time this posts Little Boy Blue will have reached its new home. Much love and luck to Drew and Darlene and the new baby!

Monday, August 16, 2010

If I Had It All To Do Over Again...

Would I?

You know, sometimes life isn't that great.

And its so easy to look back and say how you wish you had done something different.

And I can look back, and see many areas where I could have done better.

But I don't think I'd change a thing.

Was it crazy to get married at 19? You bet. Stupid insane. But I did it. And he hasn't killed me, stuffed me in the trunk and tried to hide my body in a lake, yet. (Note to hubs....I wouldn't use this method now that I've put it out in blogland. Too easy to trace.)

And what did I miss? Dating other guys? Or marrying someone else? (Hmm...maybe someone rich???)

Funny, I don't feel like I've missed anything. Sure, maybe I could have ended up with a wealthier husband or one that stayed in one place instead of dragging me all over the world.

Pffff. Not impressive.

Or, if I could do over - I should have gone to college.

Considering I STILL don't know what I want to be when I grow up.....not sure how that would have turned out. But lets just suppose I got that great degree and went to work and became a high-powered whatever.

So what did I miss? Long hours? Prestige? Power? Glory?

Right. And when you leave a job the company goes under right?

Nope. They hire someone to take your place. Cause you are just a body. (Even if you are a great body!) You can and will be replaced when needed.

Instead I've worked in several different fields. Hate foods. Merchandising required a more outgoing personality. Auto repair shops are frustrating. Burned out in medical office. Loved major malpractice law.

But my dream job? Would be working in a cool little bookstore that sells new and old books and is very cozy. You know, with little reading nooks and maybe a little coffee/tea station in the back. (I do believe this is part of the reason I adore the Karen Marie Moning Fever series books.) Or I could do internet research for law offices, etc. No degree required.

I could have waited until my 30's to start having children...rather than being unable to drink when I turned 21 as I was pregnant with my first. I'm sure I would have been more patient and less strict. But then maybe not on the strict.....military upbringing and being surrounded by children that were not parented. Hmmm. Probably wouldn't have made a difference to wait.

I could have had only 1 child (and I did try to get away with that for awhile), or only two.

Instead we had 2 and then adopted. Boy I wouldn't change any of that. My kids are awesome!

I could have been saved earlier than my 30's. But then all my examples of Christians were such a I couldn't have. It's a miracle I was ever saved. And, its so much easier to understand forgiveness and Jesus said LOVE....since I am a recipient of those things. (Excluding the years in a certain fundamental church. Still can't go there.)

Maybe I could have done something to be healthier. But allergies and in intolerances are what they are. And the toxic loads I carry are probably the result of all the different places I've lived in the states and overseas. I wouldn't want to change that for anything. Not a single place I've lived. Even the worst places brought some of the best friends.

So, maybe I am a big fat nobody. Just a housewife and mom. An uneducated housewife...the worst kind!

And yet I'm happy just being me. Always have been.

Even with a high-powered, ubber intelligent sister to give me what for. And a dad always pushing me to do more, go to college, be more. Even living in a society where its all about the house you live in and the car you drive. Make-up and fancy clothes.

Even without all of this, I can't think of anything I'd change.

Man I'm a loser.

A fat, dumb and happy one.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Autumn Asks Why

One word definition of goings on the last two weeks in my world: HUH??

1. Why am I a racist if I disagree with policy? Not liking national health care makes me a racist? Not liking the banking bail out makes me a racist? Not liking the gun control plays going on in Washington right now makes me a racist? Hmmmmm. So since I've disagreed with policies of every president we've had since I was old enough to vote and pay attention.....
What exactly does that make me??? It must be something extra awful.

2. Why do so many women snub the beautiful women? Why do you refuse to sit next to them? Why do you invite them to things...and then leave them standing there with no one to talk to? Are you judging them by their looks or by their hearts? Why? Do you have any idea the hurt and confusion you leave these women in? Some of them are the best friends and with biggest hearts you'll ever meet. You have no idea what you are missing just because you assume they have it better than you or have it all or whatever it is that makes you move chairs to avoid sitting next to them. (If you've never met me let me inform you that I am not one of the beautiful people -- I just play one on tv.)

3. How do you handle feeling like the biggest parenting fail on the face of the earth? And how do you get through to a child you have actively taught...... and watch them reject that teaching and embarrass you to no end in company? You know they know better. You had a special talk with them to ensure they had the skill set necessary. They are a teen, not a child.

4. How do you handle a child that refuses to take responsibility for their own actions? Without killing them.

5. Why do some people get hit with tragedy after tragedy? Not tragedy caused by their own actions - random things that could not be avoided. How does God know who is that strong? I understand the need for growth in our lives.... but some people don't even get a chance to catch their breath! Why?

6. Why is my family so blessed? I know so many people that are such better Christians or just better people than we are that have it so much harder. Why has 90% of our lives as married adults been so easy?

7. How do you show support and heartfelt empathy to a friend so far away? How can you help when you are thousands of miles away?


8. Where the heck did the summer go????

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hocking Hills Camping Trip

Yes. Yes I did go on yet another camping trip with the Girl Scouts. I think I'm making up for the 2 1/2 years in Texas without camping.

This trip saw 13 girls and 3 adults driving out to the Hocking Hills area. I understand its like the beginning of the Appalachian mountains in our area. I loved it so much I can't wait to go back on a family trip. (And the teen animal is actually going there for the rest of the week with a friend. Lucky dog.)

We had the girls split up by age group in the tents. That means Songbird got her own tent...which she loved. We had 5 Juniors in our tent, 3 Cadettes in their own tent, and 5 Brownies/Daisies in the other half of the adult tent. It worked out really well. (Although my tent now has a destroyed zipper and the mister is furious with me for letting the Juniors use it.)

Our first activity was "Stream Stomping". There is nothing better than letting kids get wet. We had them wear shoes that they could walk in the water in. And yet. Every one of them STILL asked if it was okay to get in the water. Even though that is what we were there for.
The kids got to collect wildlife from the stream, which was then put in an aquarium. The Park Naturalist then explained to everyone what everything was and whether that meant it was a healthy or unhealthy creek. The kids loved it. I think chasing crayfish was the favorite.

After this it was back to camp and a trip to the park swimming pool. That pretty much ended our day. Dinner was hamburgers over the fire. Songbird did an excellent job on those burgers. We ran out even! I can't believe how much these little girls can eat when we are camping.

Saturday was our big hiking day. We missed out first hike scheduled with the ranger. Some girls just don't want to get up and get moving. Luckily our breakfast makers were not among them...but the clean up crew sure was.

So our first hike was up to Old Man's Cave. I guess back in the 1800's sometime a person actually lived up there.
Of course I forgot my camera so I am relying on shots from Songbirds camera and the Hocking Hill website. None of these are mine.

Later in the day we went out to Rock House. This is another hike out to a cave like area. It was awesome. And it was cool up in there as we could even hear the bats...even though we couldn't see them. We could easily have spent another hour down there, but of course we had 3 girls that didn't go to the bathroom before heading out on the trail and since it was after eating...well, you know how that goes.
Of course there was more swimming, and pizza sandwiches made in pie irons (a new skill I acquired this trip.) The girls ate about 3 each...which meant about 2 hours of cooking in the fire for me. Maybe I need goggles. I know that sounds rather stupid, but contacts and campfire smoke are just not a good combo!

Sunday was pack-up and gift shop stops and then off home.

It was a great trip. We only had one home-sick child at night. No sleepwalking this time. No injures(!!!!!).

And the best part was that the Juniors got to ride with me there and back so I am getting to know my girls some. And these girls?? They are SO FUNNY!!!!! I was in stitches most of the time. There is even a new legend about flying worms....and my windshield was covered in them after stopping for lunch (gummy that is)...which has everyone talking and trying to figure out just WHO did it.

Fun times.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


The Columbus Center Of Science & Industry was today's destination.

The girls and I love this place.

Butterfly is fascinated with the Titanic...and it just so happens that the Titanic exhibit is at COSI this summer. She was talking about a report she wants to do, and it dawned on me that we could help! So off to COSI we went!

And the Titanic exhibit is really neat. Overpriced in my opinion...but I guess if you are having to bring the stuff up from 2 miles under the sea, what they collect on the exhibit probably doesn't even scratch the surface of what they spend on the dives.

We aren't allowed to take pictures of the exhibits or recreations so all I've got is a picture of the girls in front of a Titanic built out of Lego's. Pretty cool.

I think the most fun part of the exhibit is the ticket they give you as you enter. It has your name and history (you get to be a real live person from the roster). At the end of the exhibit you get to find out whether you lived or drowned.

Songbird was a 17 year old Spanish woman on a two year honeymoon trip (yep, a ripe old 15 at the time she got married). She was in First class of course. And Butterfly was a 38 year old woman with TB that was moving to Idaho in hopes of getting better. She was a 2nd class passenger traveling with her husband. Of course I was lucky enough to be the 48 year old woman with 5 kids that had been abandoned by her husband (after the birth of that 5th child) and was immigrating to the states in search of a better life. 3rd class of course.

And in the end, I died. The girls lived. Both lost their husbands. At least Songbird was a wealthy 17 year old widow. Huh. Some people have all the luck.
We also visited Songbirds favorite area....the kingdom of King Triton. Wish I had a flash on my phone camera.
And we finished up in the tv room...where the girls got to be the stars they (think) they are!
Hubs and Mouse were home when we got back.

It was nice and quiet while they were gone...but now its back to the three ringed circus I call life!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Want To Shoot It! And A Despicable Movie

What could make Autumn mad enough to want to pick up a gun???

Some critter ate a bucket load of my tomatoes last night. And it couldn't just get into the red ones, oh no. It had to get into the yellow ones. Yes. It must die. And I don't care if its the most adorable little Thumper or must die. And if its a cute little family of critters....they all must die.

Not the way to start my day.

But it got better. Because I have two of the world's coolest teens to hang out with. And we haven't even had Mighty Mouse hanging around since she went off to Illinois with daddy to a funeral. So its been all big girl fun so far.

We had planned on going swimming after Songbirds dental appointment. And then it stormed. And the thunder and lightening was bad enough to scare the dog even. Not that that is a big feat or anything.

Instead we went to see a movie. Songbird has been bugging me to see Despicable Me. I had heard enough grumblings that I thought I had better check it out prior to letting Mouse see it. So glad I did. They really did a bad job on the orphans/adoption front. Not something I really want to take her to. Any movie that has the adopted kids given back...and with nothing more than a phone call -- well, anyone with half a brain could see how scary or confusing that could be to a young adopted child.

So - movie was funny and we laughed and laughed. But I wouldn't take Mouse to see it.
We finished up our outing with dinner at Skyline Chili.

Because I find that an experience.

I'm a Texas/New Mexico/Arizona kind of girl. I have a definite opinion on what chili should taste like. And it should be hot....or at least spicy. If it has green chili in it, it is even better.

So our first visit to try Cincinnati style chili was an experience. First, there is no spicy. At all.

Second, there is cinnamon and cloves in it!!!!

In Texas, those are pie spices. NOT chili spices!

But it is good - hence the visit. It is also served on spaghetti noodles...which is rather good. So we shared the experience with Butterfly. (Plus its super cheap...and hey, we'd just paid regular movie prices...something we NEVER do.)
And of course there was more sewing today.

But that about covers it.

Hopefully we will make a trip to Columbus tomorrow for some big fun!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This Much Work Deserves Some Ice Cream

Songbird has been bugging me to take her to the fabric store as she wants to make a new satchel for herself and a couple of friends. Since we have Butterfly here, who needs downtime, I thought this might be the perfect indoor activity as I know she has some sewing experience also. So yesterday we made a trip to the local fabric place and the girls picked out their materials. Today they actually spent the morning working on them. You know, the hard part - the pattern and material cutting.

All that hard work deserved a reward afterwords. So, they picked the usual teenage past time of walking around the mall. This almost turned tragic when Songbirds fingers got slammed into the van door...but it turned out to me a mash, not a break, and it wasn't enough to stop her still wanting to cruise the mall. So glad.

When they had their fill of mall madness, we headed out to Yellow Springs and Youngs Jersey Dairy. They have a restaurant we wanted to try...and then the ice cream. Oh the ice cream. So we had a nice little dinner and then ice cream (and I had a butterscotch shake that was heavenly) and walked around the dairy. We watched a video on how they make their cheese that was really cool. Did you know that after they press out all the whey they put the cheese in a salt water bath? I didn't know that.

So we came home with fat, full bellies and chilled. I even snuck off to bed early since I still hadn't caught up from my two sleepless nights of camping with the scouts.

What adventures will Wednesday bring?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Free Pools Rock!

We have an extra all this week at our house. I'd call her company but that would be incorrect. Family isn't company, right?

So beautiful Butterfly is joining us this week, and I'm doing mini posts for her mom and sister that are in Detroit at a national competition. Good luck Fig Newton!!! And to my lovely friends that read still, these posts might not be all that exciting for you.

Today we took advantage of the beautiful pool on base. The best part is that it is free. And the kids were begging to go. That is a great combo in my book!
And they DON'T have a snack bar! We are allowed to bring our own snacks and drinks, which keeps the cost down even more!

I just wish I had figured all this out prior to the last month of summer!