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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

In light of this spooky occassion, I thought I would share a photo I captured this past weekend.
This is during the day time, about noon, and I still think this graveyard looks haunted and creepy.
The Hubs and The Monkey and I went on one of our country drives on Sunday.  The weather was gorgeous out, and the nip of fall was in the air.  The blue Texas skies made for some amazing back road driving.  The Hubs and I don't usually set out for a particular destination, we just drive until we see some beautiful  country sights, then head back.  This time, the growling in our bellies forced us back home for lunch!
Before our hunger pains forced a retreat, we happened upon this little forgotten graveyard near Dacus, TX.  This graveyard looked very eerie even at noon on a Sunday.  I can't imagine this place at midnight, yikes.  It came complete with a creeking rusty gate, rotting flowers, overgrown brush and uneven ground.
With the Monkey napping in his carseat, the Hubs and I got out to take a few photos and explore.  I went so far as to walk into the graveyard and try to read some of the grave stones.  Most of the stones were so old that I could not make out any of the letters.  There was one stone that appeared to read 1818...I believe. Wind,  rain and Texas sun had taken thier toll on these old markers of the past.
Once in the graveyard I came to realize it was protected by some pretty nasty and aggresive plants.  Sticker burr grass was thigh high through out the cemetery and I found many of the plants "weapons."  These seemed to be no ordinary sticker burrs.  They were a dark blackish-blue, and the thorns were thick and angry.  I found myself bleeding from several places on my hands and fingers after just a few attempts at pulling the stickers off my pants.  I quickly retreated from the grave yard, clearly unwelcome, and made my way to the safety of our truck. There, it took me several minutes, and two bloody hands to remove the stickers from my pants, shoes and socks. I have never had a sticker burr make me bleed.  These could not even be touched without razor sharp needles attacking you.
As of today, there are still two thorns from those plants imbedded in my fingers.
My Halloween Expert Advice: Explorers beware, some places are eerie for a reason, stay clear, and don't underestimate the power of an old over grown graveyard.  It can leave you bleeding in a matter of moments. That place clearly whispered "Visitors Not Welcome" I should have listened.
Although a small part of me REALLY wants to go back tonight, after dark, and see just how creepy that little forgotten place can be.

The Road to Nowhere...will bring you to this place that did not want to be found.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Big Balls the Pirate

I am inspired today to continue the writing vien started over at All Road's Lead to Kiki's.  Go check out her post on the things her grandchildren say, priceless.

The Little Monkey is saying something new.....inappropriate, um quite, funny to the Hubs and me, oh, hell yes.

For those of you who don't know, our Little Monkey's brain is wired a little differently than most of us.  He has autism. Now, don't go feeling all sorry for him, or us, we wouldn't change him for the world. He has taught everyone who loves him that being different is sometimes way, way cooler than being "normal." thing the Monkey struggles with is talking.  He is learning fast, and his specialized education has him climbing mountains everyday.  Two years ago, the Monkey didn't say a single word.  Now, at age 5, he is making up for lost time. Big Balls. Yep you heard me...

See, the Monkey likes to talk in a Pirate voice sometimes.  He covers one eye, and in his best raspy, gravelly impression says "Arrrgh I a Pirate." This is sometimes accompanied by him stabbing me with a hooked finger, and expecting me to "die" spectacularly from this vicious pirate attack.  As of the last two weeks he decided to "name" his pirate identity....the name...Big Balls.    "SAY WHA!!!!??"

Now....the Hubs and I do alot of interpreting for Monkey, his speech is very hard to understand sometimes, and sometimes it takes us days to figure out new words.  But his pirate name was clear as day..."Big Balls."

The first time he said it I nervously laughed...
"Um Monkey...what was that?"
 "AArgh I a Pirate..Big Balls" 
" mean Big Beard the Pirate sweet pea? Maybe Big Boss??"
"Aargh Big Balls".... 
"Um...Hubs...what is he saying....?"
 "Big Balls Honey.. he is saying he is Big Balls the Pirate...." (never looks up, keeps reading his Fox News Feed)


We tried correcting it, we tried figuring out where on earth he would get such a thing....he has no access to anything but PG movies...who knows....

So instead of feeling like a failure as a parent, we just let him say it, and laugh uncontrollably every time. Embrace the Big Balls!  Wait...what?

I worked late last night.  The Hubs triumphantly texted me that he was giving the Monkey a haircut.....ALONE.  See, it would be easier to give a farel cat a haircut than the Monkey.  It is usually a team sport.  Apparently the clippers are made of boiling acid .
I sent the Hubs a message back... "Without me are brave."

The Hubs' Response:

"I am Pirate Big Balls"

You see what I have to live with...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Only oranges were harmed....

{This is how we entertain ourselves in my house-
Note, only one orange was harmed in the making of this blog post}
So...we don't have cable, or dish, or any other form of television.  We do have Netflix online.  We do not watch alot of TV, and sometimes go for weeks without watching anything.  My mother calls us Amish.  (I apologize if any Amish people are offended by this, although, if you are reading this online...then you are not a very good Amish person..tsk tsk)
We find other ways to entertain ourselves.  We sit and talk.  We read, alot. We go for drives in the country. We play board games with the kids. We turn on music, and the Hubs and I dance around the living room. (The Hubs is a wonderful dancer, reason # 4,768 I married him.)  We go to the library and rent movies for the Little Monkey and check out books. We just find other ways to fill up the empty space of TV. One time, when a storm knocked the power out, we put different plastic toys in front of the flashlight to make colored light on the walls.  It was actually pretty freakin' cool.  I accredit this creativity to not having TV. I know this is not for everyone. But maybe just try it, even for one day.  See what other things you can find to do! TV is kind of like a drug you have to wean yourself off of, and then once you do, you really don't ever want to go back.
Now, you are probably all wondering about this poor, very ill looking orange.  Well, he eventually became part of the Little Monkey's lunch...but before that, he was our evening's entertainment.  Complete with a voice over from the Hubs, and a dramatic incident that left him looking like this.... :)
Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cheesy Bacony Ranchy Goodness

The weather is turning a bit cooler. Which in Texas means in the 80's. With that, I find myself wanting something hearty, and warm for dinner.  I have also found myself bored with my dinner creations lately.  I seem to get writer's block every time I try to come up with dinner ideas.  Meatloaf again anyone? Or how about chicken....
Yesterday I made a "concoction" (as the Hubs lovingly coined my kitchen experiments) that turned out pretty good! These cheese, bacon, ranch bisquits, turned out flavorful and fluffy.

You will need:
1 packet of Southwest Ranch Dry Powder Salad Dressing Mix
4 pieces of bacon (or Real bacon bits)
1 small brick of extra sharp cheddar cheese
Here is what I did....
Shred 2/3s of the small brick of extra sharp cheddar cheese (set aside)
Fry up 4 peices of bacon (you can cook it in the oven if you wish, or use Real Bacon Bits found in the salad dressing section at the grocery.) Once bacon is cooled, chop into small peices. (set aside)
Combine Biquick Baking Mix as directed to make "Drop Bisquits" (2 1/4 cups of Biquick  with 2/3 cup of milk.)  Once mixed, add in shredded cheese, bacon bits, and 1 tablespoon of the Southwest Ranch dry powder.

Stir until combined.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 450 degrees for 7-8 minutes)
Enjoy warm!
We enjoyed them alongside The Hubs' Homemade Chicken Fried Chicken and Cream Gravy....oh my.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Batteries Recharged

{A Very Sincere Pumpkin Patch}
I went into this weekend feeling like I needed to be recharged.  I was feeling drained and sluggish. This weekend delivered just what the doctor ordered. 
The Hubs and I went out, ALONE, on Friday night for a steak dinner. It was fantastic.  We rarely treat ourselves to an expensive meal out, and the fact that it was fairly unplanned helped it feel exciting.  I wore a dress, and drank red wine. I didn't last much longer than the drive home.  I was exhausted from the week, and passed out on the couch during the opening titles of The Avengers.  Have you ever been that tired? The minute we don't have kids to chase, or care for, or teenage drama to muck through, I sit still for more than five minutes, and instantly fall asleep. Poor Hubs, he watches so many movies by himself.
We attended a wedding on Saturday evening, and had a wonderful time. We danced (quite well, if I do say so myself) and laughed, and talked with lots of adults! The Hubs said it was nice to hang out with a bunch of grown ups.  It sure was.  I was feeling better and recharged already.  We went and picked up the Little Monkey from his "night in" with his Kiki and Pops, and finally watched the Avengers.  I could stay up this time!
Sunday morning brought a nice, rumbly, slow thunder storm.  Perfect for a Sunday morning with no plans. We slept in, (as late as you can sleep with a little Monkey) and then got up to coffee, eggs and waffles. The rain continued to pour, so we stayed in our pajamas, and watched movies.  It was just what we needed.
Like magic, just as we were feeling stir crazy, and a little guilty for being in our pajamas at noon;  The skies parted and the sun came out.  We decided it was the perfect time to take the Little Monkey to the pumpkin patch.  He has been doing his homework in preparation for this day.  He watches "It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" about 5 times a day, so he was ready.  We had a great time, we picked pumpkins, went on a hay ride, jumped in a bounce house, and slid down an inflatable slide. And by We, I mean the Little Monkey did these things, while I payed for them with little orange tickets.   We even toured the Charlie Brown Halloween village- that made his day.  I was impressed with the pumpkin prices also.  Our super large pumpkin was only 5.99!
A simple little weekend, that recharged my batteries, and made me ready for another week of this crazy life.
Happy Monday, and Happy Pumpkin Season.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Best day ever

It has kind of been one of those days. Not a particularly horrible day: (like the day I came home wreaking of burned popcorn with frostbite on my toes...that is a whole other story) But, just a day, where things have been off, and while I examined them, I found a few of them rather funny.

It all started at 06:21 this morning.  Note the time. 06:21.  We have to leave the house by 06:50....that includes the Hubs and I both showering, getting dressed,  eating, and getting the little Monkey dressed and ready to roll. We normally get up at 5am.  Damn you snooze button! You are like a bad relationship, I vow: "next time will be different, and I won't go back for more"...but I always do. Sigh...(Would a real grown up oversleep for work?) Anywho- We did it. We made it out of the house on time. I had no make up on and day old hair, but we made it to school and work on time. However, as of 10 minutes ago, I discovered a casualty of war from this morning's frantic assault on 30 minutes of spastic grooming: My underwear are inside out.   That is right, you heard me, at 2:41 in the afternon, I JUST NOW realized my underwear are on inside out. Sheesh. Is it sad that I didn't bother fixing them?

There is also a paper clip holding my pants together. Button just fell off, like it was tired of this old cruel world.  Ended it all. No super tight squeezing in for me. Heck no. This was a comfortable, not super flattering, "who really cares you aren't even wearing make-up" kind of a pants day.  But none the less, the button felt it was time to end his tenure. Paper clip it is.

Then my shoe broke. Yep. The strap just came off mid stride.  So...I went out on my lunch hour and purchased a pair of 9$ flats. I think they are cute (pictured above.) However, the fact that they are flats makes me laugh. Once upon a time, I wouldn't have worn flats to save my life.  Sky high heels were a must. I would walk 1/2 mile from parking garage to courthouse in 4 inch heels. But now... Um, flats it is. I mean really, who am I kidding today: dirty hair, no makeup, paperclip pants and lunatic underwear...why try to church it up with fancy shoes? No, no the old clearance ones will do just fine...thanks. They do make a farting kind of noise when I walk....bonus.

I also feel feverish and like I am coming down with the flu or something. Yay. Maybe it is almost time for my transformation back into a pumpkin or something, I mean, everything else is falling apart. Hmmm...

But, in case any of you were not completely jealous of my amazing husband, prepare to be seething in your computer chairs. My amazing man, knowing I wasn't feeling well, and was having a bit of a crapper of a day, offered to bring me anything I wanted. Which he did.  He brought me a Diet Sprite with Cranberry from Sonic. Swoon! Eat your hearts out girls.

Oh, and there are Carnies (you know, carnival folk) making out in the parking lot of my office. Just thought I would let you in on that gem too. Best day ever? I think so....

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Scratch and Dent

{My kitchen window view}

I recently had a conversation with my mother about scratches, and dents, and all the little imperfections that come with life.  As I get older, I am coming to realize that my mother was always right, and that many of the lessons I begrudgingly learned from her, are now perfectly clear. It is true that you never really appreciate your parents, until you become a parent yourself.
Scratches and dents, and marks and scuffs. They are the proof of life. They are the evidence that we live in our homes, and cars, and spaces. That we lead real lives, with kids, and dogs, and red Kool-aid. (Which has been banned from my house. "Don't even think of returning red Kool-aid, you are on a restraining order buddy")
I remember talking to my mother, many years ago, about her old dinette set. It had graced our eat in kitchen since I was a little girl. A little girl who was made to sit many a long evening at that table until I finished all my food. When that dinette was finally ready for retirement, my mother touched it's scratches and dents, and could tell you the story behind each one. The back of one chair was worn to the bare wood. This was from a little me, constantly leaning my chair against the back wall. Another chair held a series of scratches and scuffs all in place, at hip level. These scratches were special. My late Uncle Fred had made them, with his beeper. (If you are under the age of 25 you probably don't know what a beeper is, but hey, ask you parents, they will know). My uncle was a legend of a man, who had lived wonderfully, loved fiercely, and died young. He was a cornerstone in our family.. Although he had been gone for many years, his mark was still on the items in my mother's home. The proof of life.
I now find myself having my own scratches and dents, and my own stories. As I dusted my furniture last night, I took time to notice all the scratches on my own furniture. There are the scratches on my coffee table, made by my little Monkey, as he drives tiny cars, and pretends to hammer, and lays out a feast of plastic foods. There are the clearly written indentations of numbers on my dining room table. This is from an overzealous 14 year old, keeping score during our Uno and Yatzee tournament, that lasted well into the night.
Then there is my favorite. The spilled wax on my nearly brand new dresser. It is barely visible, but when I dust, I can feel it. It came from my wedding night. (Don't worry, this is not a racey story, get your mind out of the gutter :) ) The husband and I got married at a park near our home, and had our reception in the backyard. As our house was filled with sleeping children, and my couches filled with friends sleeping off too much celebrating, we spent our wedding night in our bedroom as always. The Scentsy wax burner going as always- me half asleep, my hubs half drunk- attempted to turn it off.  We ended up spilling it on the dresser. We laughed hysterically about it. As we soon discovered, it was extremely easy to just unplug it from the wall. Oops.  It was just one of those things, we made this huge mess, and instead of freaking out, we laughed and made fun of eachother for it.
Those messes, and scratches, and dents, and scuffs are the history of our life.  I may not know where all the scratches come from. (I am pretty sure my children have Circuses in our living room when they are left home alone...(is that blood or chocolate...on the ceiling...???) But, I know alot of the stories, and the fond memories that created them.
I guess what I am getting at is, love your homes, the way they are. We don't all need to live in show case houses straight off the pages of magazines. That is not what a real home looks like. Love your home, scratches and all. Use your stuff, don't save the good china for when George W. and Laura finally come over for dinner. (Pretty sure my husband would jump up and down girl style if that ever happened) But my guess is, they have scratches on thier tables too, and chips in thier favorite coffee cups. Those are the history books of our lives. Live your life every day, use your stuff, and cherish the proof of a good life all around you.
Happy October, and Happy Fall.