Thursday, November 30, 2006


Being a stay-at-home-mom, or SAHM, I get to listen and watch the news more than ever. I'm kind of a news junkie, I guess. I don't get into a lot of international happenings, but I'm REALLY into weather. And I'm not the only one. I just know that the news teams across North Texas allot "x" number of hours to cover weather.

North Texas is an interesting place to talk about weather. It is said, in these parts, that if you are not happy with the weather, you only have to wait a few hours...because it WILL change. Now I know that weather changes, so people could arguably say the same about their own weather wherever they may be. But ours is CRAZY. This is a TRUE look at our weather forecast starting Tuesday, the 28th. First, it was windy, then we were to expect highs in the 80s. After that, the forecast included: rain, wind, possible tornadoes, hail, thunderstorms, freezing rain, sleet, snow, highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s.

Twenty degrees and a little precipitation is nothing for a lot of Americans. Consider, for a moment, that our Thanksgiving saw us in the high 70s. THAT IS INSANE! Winter, for us, is a few days each year in the 30s, a few days every 2 years or so of serious ice issues and a few hours, every 10 years, of any type of snow accumulation.

The fact that an "Arctic Blast" was headed for us became headline news starting on Sunday. The dropping temps and "quickly changing" forecast took at least half of every news broadcast. Tons of salt and sand mixture were loaded into dump trucks and ready to spread the instant temperatures dropped below freezing. This morning, when the front had actually brought the cold air, even Rachel Ray herself, could not penetrate the news anchors' bombardment of the dangerous and intense driving conditions.

Schools closed all over the area...except ours. We didn't close because we were just getting rain. The windchill was in the teens, but education must continue. However, at 11:30, we got a call from the school saying they would dismiss 2 1/2 hours early. WOOHOO!

I can accept the fact that we, North Texans, don't really know how to handle such weather. We don't get it often. We don't shovel our walkways EVER. We don't have an engine warmer. We don't have chains for our tires. Most of us don't even own scarves and gloves. And that is OK. What we do is completely shut down and "pity the fool" who insists on going out and acting like a bozo.

With that in mind, I have beans in a pot, fire in the fireplace, and all my kids are home. It's a great way to say goodbye to November!

Happy Holidays, Y'all!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Good Housekeeping

Quick....what was your first thought when you read the title of this entry? If I were to stumble across something entitled "Good Housekeeping," I'm sure I would plunk down in my seat and commence reading...I love hints on organization making things run smoothly. It is no secret that I adore Martha Stewart. I want to BE her. There is one MAJOR problem, though. I SUCK at housekeeping.

OK. I apologize for my somewhat harsh statement using a semi-ugly word. But, it's true. You could ask DH. He knows. He will never say. He is so good to me and is always an encouragement. The sad fact is what I know and what he knows. I do suck at housekeeping.

It's quite sad when you've given yourself enough airs to think you are good at something. Really....what, in your life, do people comment or compliment about? What is something you do that others can't seem to get a handle on? When deep down, you are laughing....ok, maybe crying..."ARE YOU KIDDING ME? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU ARE SAYING?"

I have, in the past, convinced myself that I'm a good housewife. I have 4 gorgeous boys who are relatively clean. (They don't stink...I don't think...I mean, I don't smell them.) My hubby is gone a lot. I make it to church WITH all my kids...and everyone is dressed. I cook when I'm supposed to. I LOVE to cook for others. And I'm kind of good at it. I've even done a lecture on couponing (which I'm good at when I work at it) and I have lectured on the Proverbs 31 woman and striving for an organized and well-kept home. THAT, my friends, is where the sick joke lies.

When I first told DH that I was going to lecture on the housekeeping stuff, he chuckled and asked, "Why you?" It's a fair question...though I feigned shock and contempt for his lack of enthusiasm and faith in my abilities. My talk had a literal "do as I say, not as I do" approach.

I just can't seem to get it together. I think it's the onset of adult ADD. (please note the sarcastic tone) I don't want to do housework when kids are home...I want to play. And if my dear hubby is in town, I want to hang out with him the whole time. Because of my desire for family time, the quality of the household has dwindled to an embarrassing low. We have an unmapped mountain range in our bedroom....seriously. My babysitters could attest to the fact...but we pay them good money, so hopefully, they won't.

So with this admission comes the goal of getting things in control this week. The holidays are just around the corner. I'll have company. I can't stand to spend another 10 minutes per day looking for clean undies and socks. I don't want to have to keep the doors shut and hope that the wrong person doesn't happen to open the wrong door.

I pray everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Good food, good fellowship, good fun and clean toilets.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I have, in the past, referred to my beloved FTU. Before I go into what I want to get into...well, let's just talk about the old girl.

The FTU is an acronym for Family Transport Unit. I know it sounds a bit corny to the normal driver out there, but it is a very necessary and fitting title for, what is also known by my kids as, The Purple Van. Now Purple Van sounds a bit juvenile, doesn't it? What we needed was a much more mature title. I always knew I'd have 4 kids. I always knew I'd live in Texas. I also knew that I would NOT....let me repeat NOT drive a mini-van. I cringe even as I type the words.

February 2003 found us diligently and very purposefully looking for something larger than a Hyundai Elantra. Two carseats barely fit in the back, yet I was pregnant with my 3rd child. The search for a bigger vehicle ensued. Yes, I was gainfully employed, as was my husband. However, I defer to my man on such big decisions. He researched. He watched vehicles on the highway. He asked around. He compared prices. He pulled our credit. All of that led us to a few possibilities. The decision was made by a very wise and concerned man....he made the final decision on safety.

How excited I was to be in something bigger. Would it be an Explorer? No...we had discussed that and it would not be what we needed for the family we would eventually have. Would it be a station wagon? Do they even make those anymore? LOL...THAT, my friend, was a joke. Would it be a Suburban? Really? OOOOOH, this is getting good! husband knows me so well and he will do anything for me. I secretly rubbed my palms together then patted my swollen belly in excited anticipation as I was about to see our new (new to us, anyway) bigger vehicle...appropriate for the soccer mom that I was called to be. It was......a purple van! A Plymouth Voyager. Hmmmmm....not exactly what I had in my head.

In my own rebellious way, I decided to dub the vehicle something else. I refuse REFUSE to drive a mini-van....I drive a FAMILY TRANSPORT UNIT! Or, FTU for short.

So this FTU has been with us for a bit over 3 years. It has been to the "van doctor" more times than we can count. But you know what? It is paid for, it runs, and it holds ALL my kids. We just have 1 major problem. THE SMELL!!!!!

Now, I will admit that it is mostly my fault. We grab fast food quite a bit. I know some dedicated moms who refuse to let their kids eat in their vehicles. WHATEVER! Are you kidding me? To listen to them beg for their chicken and fries for the 4 miles home? "BE QUIET!!!! EAT A FRENCH FRY! HAVE SOME SODA!!! JUST LET ME HEAR THIS SONG!"

I am painfully aware that my lack of housekeeping abilities has crept into FTU upkeep. I can only hope that I'm not harboring any has been known to happen to a friend of mine. EWWWW! WAIT! That could be the ticket! Perhaps the discovery of mouse leftovers could be just the thing to convince that wonderful man of mine to get me that long awaited Suburban!

I'm really not that know that, right? RIGHT?

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Ultimate Chopper

I admit, I find infomercials fascinating. And if I'm not careful, I could easily be tempted to succumb to their seductive claims to tone, slim, melt, seal, burn, last, or in this case, chop my way to a better, more efficient, beautiful existence.

The Ultimate Chopper is a particular favorite of mine. The host is a mustached Chef-Boy-R-D look-alike convincing Jenni Lee and an auditorium full of naive, or perhaps, intellectually dead observers with the spiel that the Ultimate Chopper REALLY CAN replace a food processor, blender and coffee grinder.....all for the low price of $39.99

Now this is a really great price. You see, the Chef showed us a line-up of department store food processors that weren't even up to the 750 watts of the Ultimate Chopper. These ranged in price from $60 - $350. WOW! Can you beat that? Not with a stick!

I found out that junior could eat fresh, pureed peaches with "no lumps, no bumps."

I learned that I could grind coffee so fine that it would taste like "liquid velvet."

And, DID YOU KNOW that you can turn the everyday, run-of-the-mill, granulated sugar into powdered sugar? I was told that any baker NEEDED this product for just such an occasion. This will save the serious baker time and trouble when he or she realizes that the supply of confectioner's sugar has been depleted.

Chef made guacamole. (He added bleu cheese and yogurt, which gave me pause.) He was able to do this in seconds while Jenni Lee gained hands-on practice making "sowl-suh." {Please note that this native Texan has serious issue with these two any true Texan would.}

Chef "D" warned me not to blink as he chopped eggs for that perfect egg-salad.

Through "TV magic" the chef turned a handful of ingredients into a 5-star restaurant offering of the Denver omelet.

Jenni Lee, whose lips appear to have been attached upside down, REALLY enjoyed a pinkie full of homemade peanut butter. I was impressed that in a few short bursts of whirling energy, I could have nuts for cakes and desserts or have it blended smooth for a wonderfully fresh spread.

The three pieces are sturdy and guaranteed for life. In fact, they are so easy to clean that one simply has to submerge, swish and swirl in hot, sudsy water. Miraculously, the parts immerge as if new.

The testimonials regarding this remarkable product are really worth their weight in gold. One lady informed me that the machine was "quick, quiet and beautiful" as it is offered with 5 brilliant color choices to match any decor.

Another dedicated product user emphatically stated that she loved to cook, needed to cook and DOES cook. "NOTHING," said she, "compares," to the Ultimate Chopper.

Thankfully, there is so much more to this product...I can't even tell you. I will say this though; if you EVER need bits of concrete pulverised into powder, the Ultimate Chopper is the tool for you.