We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mrs. E tagged me, so here goes! 

1- What’s your staple meal (ie. what meal do you cook most often when you can’t be bothered to be adventurous)?
Mexican is my fall back meal.  I usually have everything on hand and can whip it up in 30 minutes or less.  Be jealous, Rachel Ray.  Tonight I am using leftover taco meat to make taco soup.  In fact, I probably should get that started....

2- What do you want to be when you grow up? 
I want to be a librarian.  I love books.  I love sharing books.  I love reading.  I love newspapers, magazines and books.  I love talking about what I have read with others. 

3- What book are you reading at the moment (if any)?
IF ANY?  I am on book number 11, I think.  And it's a good one.  Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  I am rather agitated with the main character--good Lord, Woman if someone is trying to help you have a better life--LET THEM!!  She is too stubborn and needs to get over her contrary self already. 

4- How do you relax?
Reading and writing.  Cooking.  Bossing my husband around. Yelling at my children. 

5- What color are the interior walls of your home?
The kitchen is purple, at least for right now.  The hallway is yellow.  The bathroom is two colors of blue.  The dining room is red.  The living room is goldish tan.  The office is the color of urine.  I know--who picks the color of urine?  I swear it didn't look like that on the 1 x 1 sample I held up.  I am sure that the boy who mixed my paint screwed it up. 

6- What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Watching Chelsea Lately!    Shhh...don't tell anyone.  She's totally inappropriate, but cracks me up.  I know.  It's like car wreck--I know I shouldn't watch but I just can't help myself. 

7- What time is bedtime and getting up time?
Summer bedtime is 11ish or even 12ish.  This summer I have not been able to walk due to a foot injury, so I have slept in a little more instead of joining my summer walking group.  I have been able to get up when I awaken.  It's a nice feeling.  During the school year, I go to bed around 9ish and wake up around 5.  And I am still late for school every day. 

8- How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?
Depends on the day.  30 minutes to an hour.  I have serious ADD this summer so I have about 47 tasks occurring at once. 

Now, I get to tag a couple of people. So, I'm tagging Lisa at Bauer Banter, Ann at The Ohlde's, Erica at The Craigs, and Kate at KDKG.  Ladies, all you have to do is answer the same questions and then tag a few people.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


This is how I used to roll......We call her Whitey.  Pretty original.

I love this car.  I loved it when we bought it and I love it today.  It's a sweet ride for an old lady like me.  Leather seats and a 6 CD player.  And the stereo rocks.  Michael sounds like he's sitting right next to me.  It's a dream drive.

Then one day in March, our favorite mechanic called.  He was firm.  He meant business.  Black Betty was grounded to the city limits.  No more highway for her.  He meant it.  Dangerous.  Black Betty was my husband's ride.

Black Betty became my ride.  Black Betty and I are not friends.  I thought we could be, but we just couldn't build a relationship.  In fact, I think Black Betty is a word that begins with a b and rhymes with witch.  Who knew they made cars that don't flash a light when you are low on fuel?

I have driven Black Betty for 3 and a half months.  But no longer.  Black Betty is for sale because last week, I began rollin' with this sweet ride......

Welcome to the family.  Thanks, Honey.

And yes, we name all our cars.  Just sayin'.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Since This is NOT My Child....

I find this picture incredibly hilariously funny.....

And then I look over and see this:

After he slams the remainder of his mom's diet pepsi, he promptly helped himself to a chocolate pop tart.

He was the cutest thing goin' and he wasn't goin' home with me.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

12 tips

1.  It costs nothing to smile and say thank you.

2.  Commenting and complaining ARE the same thing.  Be wise with the words you choose.

3.  I learned a long time ago that the smartest person I know gave birth to me.  Thanks, Mom. 

4.  Be nice.  Nobody cares how smart you are if you aren't a nice person.

5.  If you make a mess (um...BP), clean it up.

6.  Doing the right thing is the hardest thing to ever do right.

7.  Honesty is the best policy.  (But see #2 and #4.)

8.  Sometimes no matter what, life simply isn't fair. 

9.  Trust your instincts.  If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. 

10.  Forgive. 

11.  Go to church. 

12.  Find your joy and live it.  Just sayin'. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

12 Things Your Mom Forgot to Mention About Men

1.  There's a wrong way to mow?

2.  Sometimes hair grows in mysterious places.

3.  Yelling at the TV during a sporting event seems to make the players play better.  Except in golf.  All must be whispered.

4. There will be burping and farting. 

5.  Will.  Do.  Anything.  For.  Homemade.  Cookies.

6. There seems to be some sort of special relationship bond with shoes--none can be gotten rid of for any reason. 

7.  His offspring will act like him at the most opportune of moments.  (See number 4)

8.  Do not schedule anything (like weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, birth of children) during major sporting events like the World Series, the Superbowl or the Final Four. 

9.  Will eat anything.  Once. 

10.  Carefully wording requests while serving his favorite cookies will get the request accomplished much more quickly. 

11.  If he's ever wrong, be careful how you point it out to him.  See number 5. 

12.  When you marry your best friend, you can overlook all of these things because he can make a list with double the number of things his mother forgot to mention about women.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

12 Books.

 Yep.  I have been MIA.  I have continued to work at the greenhouse.  I thought that I would be done at the end of May.  Not so much.  Maybe the end of June?  I have no idea. 

But I do know this:  I have a new appreciation for people who work outside all day every day.  Talk about a butt kicker.  I have been virtually worthless when I arrive home each night.  And I am only working around 6 hours or so a day. 

And one would think that with all that sweating, I would have lost vast amounts of weight.  Not so much. 

I will catch up my blogging....I will catch up my blogging....I will.  

12 books. 

I do love books.  I have always loved books.  When I was a kid, I would ride my bike to the public library to check out books.  My dream punishment was to be sent to my room.  Then I could read and read some more.

I can remember when the twins were little and College Girl was 4 years older, my dream day included a book and a bag of white donuts.  At the stage of 2 two-year-olds and a 6-year-old....that's all I was living for--books and donuts.

It's still my dream day.  Really.

I come from a long line of readers.....my mom is an avid reader, my grandma was an avid reader, and my great-grandmothers were readers.  I don't remember that my great-grandmothers read books so much as patterns, cookbooks and maybe magazines.  At family gatherings, my Aunt Genevieve, my mom and grandma always swapped recipes. And talked patterns and sewing.  I loved that kitchen talk.

The books I am going to share aren't in any order.  Truly, they are just random books that I like and maybe you will find something you can enjoy as much as I did.

1.  The Help by Kathryn Stockett--this book is a definite must read.  I am still thinking about the way we treat others and actions speak so much louder than words.  And I laugh every time I see a chocolate pie recipe. 

2.  To Kill a Mockingbird--this is my favorite book of all time.  I love the writing, the history and the characters.  Sometimes Scout is my favorite and sometimes Atticus is my favorite.  And then there's Boo Radley.  And Jem.  Harper Lee is a completely amazing author--this is the only book she ever published.  And yes, I have read it several times.  It's interesting because this was not a book I was exposed to as a student.  I actually taught this book one year when I taught middle school.  Why?  I had enough copies of this book that everybody could have their own.  I learned a lot that semester.

3.  An Untamed Land--by Lauraine Snelling.  Wonderful series--historical fiction based on a family that travels from Norway to the Dakota territory.  Amazing people.  Ingeborg is a character I can spend a lot of time getting to know. 

4.  Her Mother's Hope--by Francine Rivers.  I was recently introduced to this author and I think I will be checking her out again.  Historical fiction.  I kinda like historical fiction.  Betcha haven't noticed.

5.  The Elm Creek Quilters Series--by Jennifer Chiaverini.  I think there are 12 plus books in this series.  Plus pattern books and all kinds of quilting history.  The last one I read, The Lost Quilter, takes place in the deep south during the 1860's.  It starts in modern day at the Elm Creek Manor but goes way back and gives some interesting history on slavery.  

6.  The Geometry of Sisters--by Luanne Rice.  This is another good read.  Luanne Rice is an interesting author.  There is usually some supernatural element in her story.  This book takes place at a prep school in Rhode Island and once again, she does not disappoint.  And this is a quick read.  I think I read it in a day. 

7.  American Wife--by Curtis Sittenfield.  I wasn't real sure about this book when I started, but I was sure sad when it ended.  I enjoyed the writing and the whole 'presidential family' thing.  Plus, SUPPOSEDLY it is loosely based on Laura and George Bush.  Either way, it's a good book. 

8.  Sarah's Key--by Tatiana Rosnay.  Isn't that the coolest name?  And this is an interesting book.  Takes place in Paris, 1942.  The main character is a 10-year-old girl who is taken during the Vel d'Hiv' roundup, and locks her little brother in a cupboard thinking she will be back in a few hours.  Not so much.  Emotional story.

9.  While My Sister Sleeps--by Barbara DelinskyFastfastfast read.  It takes place in 7 days--a marathon runner has a heart attack and falls into a coma.  Her sister is left to make decisions and pick up the pieces. 

10.  Water for Elephants--by Sarah Guern.  The things I learned about the circus.  Completely amazing.  I couldn't stop reading.  But the ending?  Not at all what I expected.

11.  The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes--by Diane Chamberlin.  I picked this up at Target one day just because I was browsing the books and couldn't leave it there.  No expectations and I was drawn into the story instantly.  Completely and totally.  Anyone I have passed it on to says the same thing when they return the book. 

12.  Jeffrey Archer--OK.  So this isn't a book.  It's an author.  I couldn't choose just one....he has so many good books.  I have never read a mediocre book by Jeffrey Archer.  He is a very talented writer.  And he is good for rereads--if you do that kind of thing.   Just sayin'.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

And So It Begins.....Again

Season 14 is under way.  Who knew in 1996 when I signed College Girl up for swim team that we would still be swimming in 2010?

(This photo is from 2009)

14 years of early Saturday morning trips to swim meets.  14 years of daily trips to the pool for practice.   14 years of Friday nights spent getting ready for the swim meet.  14 years of raffle tickets, roasters of sloppy joes and lost goggles.  14 years.  Who knew?  

This year has an added dynamic because Frick is an assistant coach for the 8 and under age group. Therefore, we must be on time to the meet.  Yikes. 

Before I sent them off this morning( because I have to work at the greenhouse), I gave him this advice...

"Remember to watch your language, Coach Hays, so that you may retain this coaching position."  

The first Coach Hays did not laugh.  In fact, he told me to shut up. 

He better watch his language.  Just sayin'.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Food on Friday

It's summer and I am planning to post Food on Friday every week.  I am very excited about this week's recipe.  It's one of my favorites--pineapple, oranges, pasta and whip cream.  Several of my favorites!

Frog Eye Salad
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1-3/4 cups pineapple juice
3 quarts water 
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 package (16 oz) Acini de Pepe
3 (11 oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 (20 oz) cans of tidbit pineapple, drained
1 (20 oz) can of crushed pineapple, drained
2 cartons of whipped cream
1 cup miniature marshmallows (optional)
  1 cup coconut (optional)

This is a time consuming recipe.  In fact, I have found that it really takes two, maybe three days to make.  One day to make and chill, then mix it together the next day and serve it the following day. 

Acini de Pepe can be found on the pasta aisle.  They cost around $2.50 or so.  They are never on sale.  Both of our local stores carry them all the time.  

Open the pineapple and drain it well.  I use a small hand strainer and strain it until I have the 1-3/4 cups the recipe calls for.  I usually have too much juice.  You can save it for another recipe or freeze it to use later.  Drink it or throw it away. 

You need 2 containers for this salad.  I go ahead and mix up my fruit, 1 container of whipped cream and marshmallows.  It's a really good idea to drain off any extra juice that may have collected in the bottom of your container of fruit before you mix it all up. 

Mix it gently and then put the lid on it and set it aside.  If your people like coconut, this would be the point to add it.  My husband LOVES coconut.  Sometimes I catch him eating coconut from the bag.  I love coconut in suntan lotion.  It seems like there is a lot of chewing involved in eating coconut and I just don't always love the texture.  I have one recipe for an oatmeal cake that has coconut in the frosting, but other than that, I don't love coconut.  I certainly would never eat it from the bag.  Oh, he thinks that I don't know that he eats coconut from the bag, but he leaves a trail. 

Combine sugar, flour and 1/2 tsp of salt. 

 Mix the eggs with the pineapple juice and slowly add it to the flour sugar mixture. 

Obviously this recipe has eggs so you are going to cook it.  This is where your patience may be tested.  Relax.  Go slow.  

This will burn.  Go slowly.  I usually put my stove on medium and stir constantly.  It does take awhile.  But if you burn it, it stinks.  Just keep stirring.  I use a whisk.  My grandma probably just used a spoon. 

When it begins to boil, keep stirring until it is like pudding.  Remove it from heat and add 1 tbsp lemon juice. 

Pour it into your second container to cool.  Stir it to help it cool.  DO NOT mix it with your fruit and whip cream.  It will melt your whip cream.  Not a pretty sight.  Trust me.  There is no rushing in this recipe.

Meanwhile, use that same pan to boil the pasta.  Add the 3 quarts of water, 2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp oil and bring it to a rolling boil. Add the pasta.  I think the directions on the pasta bag say to cook it for 4-6 minutes.  We like ours firmer so I go for 4 minutes. 

Then rinse in cold water.  Rinse and rinse some more.

Stick your hands in it and rinse some more.  Rinserinserinse and then drain it good. 

Add it to the pineapple, sugar, and eggs pudding like mixture.  Stir it well.  It will set up very firm.

It looks a little like tapioca pudding. 

Put the lid on it and set it in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, it will be a solid mass.  Break it up.  Use your muscles. 

Add the pasta mixture to the fruit a little at a time.  Stir to combine.  Keep adding the pasta mixture until you have it all combined.

Add the second container of whipped cream at this point. 

Chill.  It really is best to make it one day, mix it the next day and serve it the following day.  It's my favorite salad.  I usually make it for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  Occasionally, someone will ask for it as part of their birthday meal.  My grandma used to make it for me whenever I asked.   She spoiled me.

Man, I miss Gram.  Just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No Random Dozen for the Month

She's taking a break!  I know.  I know.  Now I have to think of my own stuff on Wednesdays for June.  I thought I might return to my Way Back Wednesday posts but then I realized that the computer that has my scanner software on it is in the shop and the person who could point me in the direction of the scanner software that I could load on this computer is in Mexico.

Then I thought I might post my own 12 questions.  Yeek!  There is a reason that Lid is taking a break.  I couldn't come up with 3 interesting questions that I wanted to answer.

So here is what I came up with.  Each Wednesday in June I am going to share 12 of something.  12 blogs to visit, 12 books to read, 12 things your mom forgot to mention about men, and 12 tips.  Pretty dang clever, huh?  I can feel your excitement slash anticipation mounting.  No.  Really.

First up. 12 Blogs.

12 Blogs to Read
These aren't in any particular order.....just random blogs I read often enough to claim to be a stalker slash follower.  Admitting your addiction is the first step, right?

1.  Kim's County Line--Now, I don't know this person personally but I feel like I do.  She hails from my part of the state, used to write for my hometown newspaper (I can remember reading her when I was little younger when I lived there) and her sister and her people are some of my favorite people.

2.  My Sisters Farmhouse--Again, I don't know this gal but I feel like I do.  She's ridiculously funny and thinks deeply.  She's thought provoking and well, kind of crazy.  

3.  Big Mama--She's just funny.  And real.  I like real.

4.  An Oregon Cottage--She posts recipes, tips on saving money, gardening, home improvement, and just some really great stuff. 

5.  Cake Wrecks--Who puts this stuff on cakes?  Cracks me up.  Every.  Time.  

6.  Whatever--She takes gorgeous pictures and I do mean GORGEOUS pictures.  Bonus--she's funny.  And I can relate to her post about all the noise.  

7.  Easy Street--She ROCKS! I met her through the blog sphere and found out that we had many connections in the real world--like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.  Pretty incredible. 

8.  Life in a Small Town--I can relate to Miss Mary on many levels.  Teacher.  3 kids.  Small town.  Catholic.  It's amazing how much we have in common and yet, have never and probably won't ever meet in person.  That's what the internet can do for you.  

9.  Life as We Know It--Praise God for people who are braver than I am.  I am amazed at this young family's ability to adapt in a very foreign country.  And she's having a baby. 

10.  Tipnut--the title tells it all.  

11.  Good and Cheap Eats--recipe blog.  Usually with real food--and stuff we can get around here.  

12.  High Farming--Amazing.  And they live right here.  He's a teacher.  She's working on being a nurse.  4 kids.  4 GIRLS.  

So this wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, either.  Again, my computer with all my bookmarks is in the shop, so I really had to think outside of my box.  

Anyway, take some time to visit some or all of these blogs, leave comment love so they know you were there and have a wonderful Wednesday!  Just sayin'. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Soapbox 101

 I received an email earlier this week with the following subject:

Vending Machines are Going Away

Really?  Seriously?  Oh my.  Read on.....

"At its May 12, 2010 meeting, KSBE adopted a policy that requires all accredited K-12 schools in Kansas to implement the Advanced level of the Kansas School Wellness Policy Model Guidelines for foods and beverages sold in vending machines by August 2010.

The sale of Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value is not allowed on school property in elementary and middle schools until after the end of the school day.

It goes on to say that our vending machines will be removed by the end of the summer.   

I laughed out loud.  Are you kidding me?  

I am convinced that I am alive today because my teachers were allowed to have caffeinated beverages.  I had a couple of teachers that drank coffee all day.  In fact, anyone who spent 5th grade with me is alive today because the teacher--I may have mentioned her--she's the one with the pointiest boobs I have ever seen--drank an ice cold Pepsi in a glass bottle EVERY day after recess.  Her boobs might have been pointy but she knew what she was doing.  

This is the stuff they leave out of teacher school.  No foods of minimal nutritional value, a ream of paper a month that you must check out of the office and carry to the copy machine, and plan your trips to the bathroom accordingly.  

This cannot be good.  Our vending machines aren't available to our elementary kids.  They are available to our elementary TEACHERS.  People who occasionally need some sort of food of minimal nutritional value in order to continue the day.  I am certain that there have been days when a candy bar and a diet Coke have saved the lives of those shorter than me.  That's pretty much everybody because I am 5'11. 

I am a grown up for heaven's sake.  I can choose food of minimal nutritional value if I want to choose food of minimal nutritional value.     

Surely there is more to the story than this email belies.  Surely they do not mean to take the vending machines from the teacher's lounge that children do not have access to purchasing items from AT any time of the day.  Surely this is a bad dream.  

But I betcha it's not.  I'm getting a Snickers while I can.  And don't even get me started on the copy machine.  Just sayin'. 


Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17