Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cowboys and Rodeos

Hellooooooo! I'm here. I'm here. Don't hang up. Has it been awhile or what? I hijacked Big Sis's computer. I'll give it back, but it's mine for now. I'm in Texas!! I love Texas. Any good Texan is a proud Texan and I am a PROUD Texan. I so love this great country that I am from. And yes, I said country. Here's what we've been doing to fill our time.

We are mainly staying with Mermie. She lives in a little podunk town. It used to have four stop signs, all at the same intersection. Now they have 6! Times they are a changing. I think they call that growth. To get to Mermie's, you have to travel down several dust filled, gravel-if-you're-lucky roads. You should see the minivan. I'm going to get a pic today before we take it to get it washed. I can barely see out the back window and I've done the washer fluid/wiper thing about a hundred times. It just clings to everything. But what a great place to live. Except for the fracking and the gas wells. They weren't there when she first moved out there, though. That is a different blog for another time. My kids absolutely adore their Mermie and are loving spending time with her.

We even went to a rodeo a couple of Friday nights ago. It was the first time my kids have ever seen a rodeo. It was small, and we should have gone Saturday night. That was the big night, but my nieces wouldn't have been able to go. I wanted my nieces to be there sice it was their first rodeo, too. Living four states away, I don't get many opportunities like that. The rodeo was part of a weekend long celebration of Jim Bowie. You know, the Alamo and the Bowie knife Jim Bowie. Yeah, that guy. We gathered the troops and headed to town.

A local rodeo club was having a fund raising dinner of hamburgers with all the fixings, french fries, and a drink. When Mermie called, the nice woman she spoke to said she thought it would $3.50 each. I have three kids. I can afford that. Except for the fact that when we got there, it was $7 a plate. I only got three and I split one with the baby. That worked well until a big gust of hot air (not me, it really was the wind) blew the plate over and promptly dumped the baby's half all over the picnic table we were eating at. All this should have been a sign. I don't do subtle. You need to come right out and tell me. Once food hits the table, we don't eat it. Specially tables that are outside. Ugh! The big girl had only eaten half of her burger, so she shared the other half with her sister.

I was distracted from the time we got to the complex where the dinner was, across from the rodeo area. Wanna know why? Cowboys. I don't mean the ones that play in that nice new stadium and can't win a Super Bowl with their ineffective quarterback. I mean the real deal. I mean, real cowboys. Well worn Wranglers, real cowboy boots not just crap kickers, bushy mustaches, hats, and looking better than the Marlboro man on a horse. Men that own and ride horses and work the land and the ranch from horseback. I am a very PROUD Texan, and we make 'em really, really nice here. So much to see, so little time. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

It was time for the rodeo. The opening ceremonies seemed to take forever. The horses were so beautiful to see, but they had to introduce every rodeo group, every horseback rider, every beauty queen. The last girl out was late. So late in fact that the other beauty queens were already riding their horses out of the arena. She almost collided with another girl, her horse freaked out and almost ran into a fence, and then she fell. She had to be carted out on a stretcher. It was only a leg injury, but still. There was yet another cue. But again, I was distracted. Cowboys as far as the eye could see!

At one point, I went down to get a couple of waters for me and the kiddos. Want to know what the snack bar had? Hamburger and french fries for $5. The clues at this point are just racking up, and I am clueless. Next time, we know. They also had homemade ice cream. Ice cream makes everything better. That and peanut m&m's. Back up to the bleachers I go. 

It was the first rodeo I had ever seen where the announcer is actually in the arena on horseback. See what I mean about real cowboys? We got to see some kids ride mini bulls. Some of those weren't that mini. The boy's eyes lit up like fireworks on the 4th of July. I said no. He pouted for about half a second. I think he's plotting. He was way too compliant when I told him to stop pouting. It was all well and good until the bucking broncs.

The chutes are supposed to be small to keep the animals from getting too crazy. The first couple of riders did ok. One horse was havng none of it, though. He just sat down in the chute and refused to participate. He ended up turning himself upside down and they had to open the gate to get him out. That was kinda funny to see. They moved the rider to another horse. When that horse came out of the chute, which I think was too small anyway, he stumbled. Then he fell on his head. And then he went into death seizures and died. Holy catfish, are you serious?!? My kids' first rodeo and they have to see this? The announcer played it well, but we adults knew what was really happening. He was carted out on a stretcher, too. The baby cried and the boy held her. See, they can get along. The rest of the rodeo was a little blah for me after that.

We stayed for the calf roping. I like to watch that. One young man had a great time of 8.72 seconds. Another young man beat that time, but because he broke the line too early, he was penalized 10 seconds. We stayed until that was over, then it was break time, and we left.

The kids talk about the excitement of seeing the animals and all the people on horses. They talk about the rodeo clown. He was ok, but some of his jokes were a little too adult for my taste. He was wearing a headset microphone and would banter with the announcer. We cheered for the contestants. We hooted and hollered and screamed. We even sang some songs that were playing in the background. We were with family. And my kids got to see their first rodeo. In TEXAS!!

Have a great day.    

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Be Back in 10 Minutes

Not really. I am still here, but I'm on vacation. As soon as I get a chance, I'll find a computer and get a blog done. Don't give up on me!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Eyes of Texas

The eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The eyes of Texas are upon you,
you can not get away.

Do not think you can escape them,
At night or early in the morn.
The eyes of Texas are upon you,
'Til Gabriel blows his horn.

My eyes are misty. See you soon. Texas bound, baby!!

Have a great day.

In the Dark

If you have time to watch the video I posted, please do. It's about an hour and a half long, so get comfy. Hubby and I have been looking into health and nutrition for a couple of years now. There is so much information out there. It seems like whatever issue you are looking up, there is a pro and a con study. This is good, but wait, here's a study that says it isn't. It can be confusing, but I always look first at who funded the study. That tells you more about the study than the outcome does. One thing that cannot be denied is that fresh, organic fruits and veggies are better for you than anything that comes processed in a box.

We have eaten organic produce exclusively for the last three years. It really has made a difference in our health. While many of our friends and family have battled flu and colds and mystery illnesses, we have been blessed enough, and healthy enough, to skip that. I know that some of you are concerned thinking I am anti-doctor. Let me set the record straight here and now. I am anti-STUPID. Stupid people make me angry. Yeah. I'm angry alot. Wellness is not found in a pill created from who knows what. Nutrition is most definitely tied into how our bodies deal with stress, illness, and even stupidity. Nutrition is very much tied into healing our bodies.

Hubby and I decided that we need to focus more on those fruits and veggies and less on the junk. We have decided that at least three meals a week will be vegetarian. I remember when I was a kid, Mermie made beans and cornbread for dinner. I asked where the meat was. Here I am now taking that out of my diet as often as I can. That's just weird.

For dinner last night we had portabello burgers. I don't mean burgers with portabellos. I mean the portabello was the burger. I had seen them before, but had never cooked them. I like mushrooms, and these in particular, but I was a little nervous about trying them as a main dish. Shame on me. They were simple, easy, and super yummy. Hubby said I could make them again. Tomorrow was good for him. Yeah, no. Tomorrow is my birthday dinner and I ain't cooking it. Here's the recipe. I got it from, which is one of my favorite sites. I think out of the many, many recipes I've gotten from that site, there was only one or two that didn't make the cut.

Portabello Burgers:

4 portabello caps (save the stems if you like to use for something else)
1 cucumber, sliced thinly
1 tomato, sliced thin
4 hamburger buns
3 Tbls butter
1/2 head lettuce

Gently rub mushroom caps with a damp paper towel. Do not wash. The mushrooms will absorb all the water and be tough and chewy when you cook them. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Place mushrooms in pan, stem side down. Cook 5 minutes. Flip mushrooms. If your pan looks dry, add a little more butter. When the caps are tender or soft to the touch, they are ready. Set on paper towel covered plate to drain a little. Top burger with cucumber and tomato.

I already changed the recipe. It originally called for margarine. We don't use margarine. It's one step away from plastic and when heated has no redeeming health benefits at all. We use organic butter. I don't know why you would use 1/2 a head of lettuce. We just used what we needed. I didn't use the cucumbers on the burgers, because we ate them on the side. I think these would be really good wrapped in a lettuce leaf and with out the bun. We also didn't add cheese, but they didn't need any. If you didn't know they were mushrooms, you wouldn't know they weren't meat.

Read that last sentence until it makes sense. Took me a minute, but I got there. Easy, quick, and simple. That's my kind of recipe. I served it with a plate of grapes, apples, and strawberries. We also had squash from the tower and onions sauteed in organic butter and coconut oil. My plate was clean, hubby's plate was clean, and our friend T, who joined us for dinner, cleaned his plate, too. I call that a success!

Have a great day.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


This is not for the faint of heart. Watch, listen, learn.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Round Up

I'm tired!! We had our end of the school year party for our youth group yesterday. The parents of a brother and sister in our group offered to open their home (I think 'cause their crazy, and they look so sane!) to us. They rented a water slide, we swam in the pool, we had a fantastic time. If the water hadn't been so low in the lake, they would have let us boat and ski. See, I told you they were crazy. They are also the sweetest people. It was a beautiful day for a party. I even grabbed a nap on the way home. I'm glad hubby was driving or that could have been bad. Lots of laughing, very little mischief (see, I can be good), and a fantastic day with fantastic people. Since I'm so tired, this is gonna be a quick one.

The big girl, at the request of a friend, downloaded Hanging with Friends onto her iPod. It's like Words with Friends, only it's Hang Man instead of Scrabble. I adore word games. I got an app store card for my birthday, so heck, yeah we downloaded it. I am such a nerd. Studies show that games like that are great for keeping your brain agile and young. That's one part of my body, I guess. I like it when someone loses, not me, and their character hits the lava. Hehehe. I'm waiting on a word now.

We aren't moving. Hubby and I decided that it was time to give it up. If it were meant to be, God would have opened the doors. Instead, it felt like we were kicking them down. The kids and I are going to go visit for a while. We'll be there until the end of July, so yea!! We get to spend some time with Mermie and Big Sis. I'm hoping to get together with friends while I'm there as well. We aren't going to get to spend as much time as I would like, but I will take what I can get at this point. I am going to take the kids to Six Flags while we're there. I haven't been since I was in my early twenties. You know, last year. I might try to take them to the zoo as well. I think the last time the baby was at the zoo, she was really a baby. I'm also going to try to get the baby in swim lessons while we're there. She still needs a refresher course, and that will give us something to do.

We had four graduating seniors in our youth group. They are all such great kids. I love them like my own, but I'm glad I don't have to feed them. Specially AK. Have you seen a teenage boy eat? He eats twice that! My advice to them is to be amazing. The world is vast and wide and there is so much available. Don't get bogged down in the gunk and the junk. People are people and they are going to show their butts every chance they get. Don't be that way. You are not the person today that you will be next year or 10 years from now. Surround yourself with people that love you for you and you love for who they are. Every day is truly a gift. Know that God has a plan for you whether it's your plan or not. Listen to Him, follow your heart, always keep your head. Like I told one of my other kids that is moving: Be "real people" good, not my good. Being my good will just get you in trouble. 

I gotta go. I need to start laundry, clean the house, go to the library, and pick up some Chinese food. I have a craving and birthday money burning a hole in my pocket.

Have a great day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Going Veggie

I'm tired. It was veggie co-op today and I worked my hiney off. But I did promise several people I would post a recipe. This is the mango quinoa salad we had for dinner the other night. It was alright. I have a better use for mangos. Like peeling them and eating them. Go figure that. I wasn't that impressed but I think it's because the dressing didn't have as much flavor as I thought it would. Here we go, short and sweet. Like the mangos. I got this from Check her out for great ideas.

Mango Quinoa Salad:


1 cup quinoa
2 cups cold water
1/4 tsp salt
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup blanched slivered or sliced almonds
2 Tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced


2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste

Wash quinoa and boil in water 10 minutes. Cover and let quinoa sit until all water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool to room temperature. Combine mango, cucumber, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. Heat 1 tsp oil in small pan and fry turmeric for 30 seconds and cool. Add lime juice. Mix in olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper with a whisk or fork. Add mango mix to cooled quinoa. Add dressing. Serve immediately or cover and chill.   

I added two mangos. I probably should have just added the one. Hubby and the big girl are not huge fans of mango. I was hoping the dressing would add more flavor, but it didn't. Maybe I didn't fry it long enough. I just don't know. I have never used turmeric before, but it has great medicinal properties. I also have several recipes that I haven't tried because I haven't had it. I'm going to try one of those. I DO NOT like cilantro. It tastes nasty, smells nasty, and blech! Instead, I picked some basil from the tower. That was really good with this. I cooked my quinoa in my rice pot instead of on the stove top. It came out beautifully. Still getting used to the texture. Just a little different than what I'm used to. I also didn't have the almonds or pumpkin seeds. Maybe that would have helped. If you try this and like it, let me know what you did. I might try it again. One day.

Have a great day.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Birthday and Other Stuff

My birthday was last Thursday. You can go read that post if you want. I should have linked it, but I didn't. I may go back and do that. You never know with me. Anyway, here's the rundown. Ooh, a list and bullet points. It's like it's still my birthday!

  • I got an App Store card and Wii Points for my birthday. Wanna know what I got? Huh, huh? I downloaded three new songs for Just Dance 2. I got Mambo No 5 by Lou Bega, Pump up the Volume by M/A/R/R/S, and I got Here Comes the Hotstepper. The last one is done by the "Wii" band, but I liked it when it came out a million years ago. It's kinda weird, too. There's this farmer and a rabbit trying to get into the barn. I downloaded the first two and of course I had to dance to them. The boy said "We haven't had it but a couple of hours and you already have the high score? And you got over 10,000." That's the way I roll, big boy. With my App Store card I got Tetris and a ton of music. I like Tetris. It's kinda frustrating because I keep swiping. Yeah, don't do that until you're ready. I got some Sick Puppies, Korn, LL Cool J (Ladies Love Cool James), and a bunch of 69 cent songs. My iPod is much happier now and so am I.
  • We had to get the baby a new eye patch. Apparently, when we started packing, I either packed it (why I would do that I have no idea, but you never know with me), or threw it away (again, why I would do that I have no idea). My friend G had given me some patches, but I can't find those either. Her eye has been specially floaty lately. She hates wearing the patch, but she does so much better when she does. Back to using a patch we go. She has to do 15 minutes a day covering one eye at a time. I do like that she's older now and will actually wear the patch instead of ripping it off her face. That was a pain. Now she can set the timer herself, switch eyes, and reset the timer for the other eye. Like that little bit of independence.
  • Hubby and I went back to a menu. When we had to stop our extras, I didn't see the point. We were home. It's not like I had to plan around anything. Then I got in a rut. And hubby and I have started eating more vegetarian for the summer. I'm hoping it's something we can keep up after the summer. We had to make a menu so I know what the heck I'm cooking. Tomorrow for dinner, we're having mango quinoa salad. I have three mangos just waiting...
  • We have started planning the fall crops for our tower. We are going to grow broccoli and purple hull peas so far. We are going to try a couple of different things to see what we can come up with. I want some squash, but we haven't decided what kind yet. We need to try germinating the pumpkins again. So far they haven't done anything. We did replant lettuce since ours wilted. I can't blame the lettuce, though. I wilt in the heat, too. Cucumbers are growing like crazy. We still only have one watermelon. Go little melon, go. I just hope we get to eat this one. 
  • VBS's start soon. In the homeschool group I belong to, we call it summer camp. We have a rotation of about 4-5 churches that the kids will go to. We either know people that go to the churches, or we know the people that are volunteering. The big girl goes to camp the first week in August. If I had been smart I would have sent her to camp the first week. That way I would know she could go. But when we planned it, I wasn't sure we'd be here this long, so really. The two younger kids get to go to the VBSs. The big girl is too big. When did that happen? I can't stand it. This is probably the last year for the boy, too. Next summer, he'll be middle school. Eeeeekkk!! I gotta move on before I freak myself out.
And by moving on, I'm just gonna call it good here. You know I'm working on a new list.

Have a great day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Bubble

Today is my birthday!! I absolutely adore my birthday! I may not like the age that goes along with it, but I love having one anyway. I dance when Happy Birthday is sung to me. Love everything about it from the cake to dinner to doing anything I want. If I could have a birthday a few times a year, I would be ecstatic. It was another banner day.

The kids and I went to see Kung Fu Panda 2. I may not like Jack Black, but I like Po. We were four out of maybe 20 people in the whole theater. Morning movies during the week are rarely crowded. When we pulled into the parking lot there was a school bus there. We all kind of looked at each other thinking about the crowd and the chaos. But it's my birthday and I wasn't sweating it. And I didn't have to because they went to see a different movie. 

Hubby asked what I wanted for my birthday dinner. I said nothing yet. We still haven't really celebrated hubby's birthday since he was sick. We needed to celebrate his first. We're doing that this weekend. I said I wanted to go to book club. He came home early so he could take me. Then the stinker took the kids to the mall and got decorations and decorated for my birthday as a surprise.

You may notice that the cake says Happy 20th Anniversary. I have always joked that when I turned 21, I was legal to do whatever I wanted, so I didn't need to get any older. Instead of having birthdays, I was going to have anniversarys for turning 21. Today was my 20th anniversary and I wanted that on my cake. Hubby is a good man. Not only did he get me the cake I wanted, he got me candles.

Book club was wonderful. There are so many good books out there. This book club has expanded my reading horizons and gotten me out of my reading rut. And the ladies are fabulous to be around. My friend M got me a cake and they sang Happy Birthday to me. I danced. And my friend N made me Nutella cookies. There should be a law against them, but I'm glad there's not. I shared because it was the right thing to do. It hurt, but I did it anyway. Then we actually talked about the book. I like to make a list of all the books they recommend and request them from the library when I get home.

Now, I'm doing one of my favorite things: blogging. I feel like I've been in a happy bubble all day. My face hurts from smiling. My Facebook page is full of well wishes. I love my birthday.

Have a great My Birthday.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Out with the Old

School year is finally done as of today. In our state, the kids have to have an evaluation done. I could go through all the nuts and bolts of it, or you can look it up here if you're really that desperate. I have a friend that is a retired teacher that does our evals. Well, did ours. Her certificate expires this year and that makes me sad. The kids swim in the pool, she looks over their portfolio, and she and I talk. I mailed the evals today, they should be delivered tomorrow or the next day and school year 2010-2011 is in the books as complete and done.

I can't leave well enough alone, though, 'cause I'm a freak. Next year we are throwing most of the curriculum to the winds. So what have I been doing? Going through my USB drive and listing, by category, everything I have on it. You would be shocked at all the free stuff I have and I get more and more every day. So far I have only done language arts and bible. I still have history, science, and math to do. That could take me days. Who am I kidding? It'll take me a couple of hours. I love curriculum. It doesn't matter to me whether it's on a hard drive, ebook, or good ol' paper books. And as I catalogue, a plan comes together. 

The kids went to the dentist today. They really like their dentist. Good thing because I do not like dentists. I don't like sitting in a chair while they poke and prod my teeth with sharp instruments. So not my idea of a good time. And for those of you who like the dentist, y'all are even weirder than I am, so there. No cavities for the kiddos. They do, however, have very crowded mouths. They got that from me. When I got my braces I had eight teeth pulled. The orthodontist told Mermie I have a small mouth. She said, and I quote, "Ha! You should live with her." The dentist is talking about pulling some teeth from the boy to make room for all his other teeth. The big girl heard a discussion about our not using flouride. It wasn't bad. She said if she didn't have a mouth full of water she would have told them it's because it's poison. That's my girl.

Hubby is working like a fiend. Now if we can actually pay some bills off before we go to Texas, wouldn't that make our lives easier? We sure miss him when he's gone. Thankful at this point that he has a job and the overtime is plentiful. It would be nice to see him in the daylight, though. He's gone early and home late. Maybe Sunday when he's off. Hubby wants to make alot of money this year and try to get us as debt free as possible. Go on with your bad self.

Still no further word on Texas. We are just going to do what we do and wait to hear. Some time. Whenever that may be. Jaded at this point. Again. About something else.

We are now harvesting squash and cucumbers like crazy. We have figured out that the squash and cukes and watermelons are taking the majority of the water as well as the heat. We had been filling it up every four or five days, but with the heat it hasn't been enough. Every three days is better. Our lettuce wilted good and proper and we lost the bibb. The cucumbers more than make up for it, though. Hubby started some purple hulled peas that are almost ready to add to the tower. And, because he loves me, we got pumpkin seeds. My favorite holiday to decorate for is Halloween and I always have a pumpkin patch. Hopefully, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we'll have our own homegrown patch this year. That would be awesome!

And that's the update. A little bit of this, a little bit of something else. Boring as usual. Loving that.

Have a great day.