Saturday, February 16, 2013

How my husband tries to cheer me up.

After the Thursday meeting bit, Hubs apparently decided to cheer me up and used my cereal as his means of doing that.  I found this sitting on the washing machine.  (Our pantry shelves are in the basement, near the laundry.)

My Kashi Good Friends cereal has now been altered to say:
"Sticks and twigs cereal.  Forest floor in every spoonful."
"Enlarged to show ants."
"2046% of your daily fiber-- Colon blast formula."

FYI, Hubs is 41.

Friday, February 15, 2013

When my husband found me in the hall armed with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser at midnight he asked, "What are you doing?"

"I'm angry and I'm cleaning."

"Okay then."  He turned around and went back to bed.

When I'm deeply angry about an unfairness or very disturbed, I clean.  Mom says that I get it from her.  I don't just clean, I deep clean.  It's not a bad thing.  Really, it isn't destructive.  It is productive and I burned a lot of calories during my 5 1/2 cleaning frenzy from 8 PM - 1:30 AM.

What sent me into my lengthy cleaning binge was the PTA meeting last night.  The meeting as a whole wasn't bad, just a certain run of it.

The Bylaws and Standing Rules of our PTA were last updated in March of 2002.  They are to be updated every three years.  To be considered as a PTA in good standing, you must have your Bylaws and Standing Rules current.  We are in good standing other than that.  I stated that if I only accomplish one thing in my presidency of the PTA, it was to update the Bylaws and Standing Rules.

Long, sorted story short came when the previous administration of the PTA decided to group together, elect a speaker who would then rake me over the coals in front of the general membership in attendance.

Good times, especially since there was staff present.

The raking lasted for 20 minutes.  Little did they know that I had gone to art school for 7 years and spent those 7 years defending my work in more critiques than I can count.  I was calm.  I spoke effectively.  I had my mind and details about me.

I appreciate people bringing forth inconsistencies that they see.  They aren't intentional gaffs.  The one bringing forth the barrage of complaints has been the president of a PTA for 7 years.  She stated that to the general membership and all I could think was that instead of accusing me of not allowing people to vote (I handled voting in the way that was modeled to me by previous administration in the years prior to my presidency), why couldn't she offer mentoring of the position if she is so experienced?

PTA is a wonderful organization that does great and wonderful things for the children.  We are fortunate to have a very active PTA.  I don't mind being called out on things that people perceive as being wrong.  I told the general membership last night that we are not a dictatorship, but a group of people to meet to discuss the things that they find are wrong and we come up with solutions.  What I have a problem with is the way that it was handled, with the collective of women behind her bobbing their heads in all knowing attitude, hands raised in agreement and falsehoods that spewed from their mouths.

The worst part of that was that the biggest player in this was the past president, someone who has given me great guidance and I've confided in during times of major frustration.  If that allows her to sleep at night, God bless.  The knife is still deeply lodged in my back.  The relationship is permanently altered.  I'm sure that the wound will start to heal around the knife, but that will continue to remain until the previous administration vacates to a building of higher learning.  She was a mentor and she did do her best to guide me in the ways that she knew.  I was just stunned that the one who guided me and encouraged me was one of the ring leaders.  Ouch.

I volunteered at the school today.  I saw this member and in my same happy tone, I told her hello when I passed her in the hall and wished her a happy day as she left.

I'm not letting them win.  I think that just might irritate the crud out of them.  ;)

The principal met with me.  He gave me his evaluation of the situation and did inform me that there are a few members that have made appointments to meet with him next week about this drama.  He asked how I was and told me that he felt that I handled the "personal attack" professionally and that one staff member in attendance commented in a similar way.

I think that may have made the previous administration mad, too.  The fact that I acted like a human and didn't jump up and down and scream may have thrown them.  See what great powers you have when you have God on your side?

In the end, if they want to kick me out for voting on PTA items in the very same fashion as they did, have at it.  If they want to smear me all over God's green (or white, depending on the day here) creation, have at it.  I told the principal that I rest in knowing that I regret nothing that I have done for our PTA.  I've worked hard and I feel good about it.

Until then, my house hasn't been this clean in a long time.  I scrubbed walls and floors.  I washed down doors and interior windows.  I cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom.  I wiped woodwork, dusted, laundered the back door curtain.  I laundered several loads of laundry.  I removed the build up residue from hair spray that was on the bathroom floor that wouldn't clean off by conventional methods.  I cleaned and scrubbed the landing and all of the basement steps.  I even cleaned the hand rail that leads down to the basement.  I killed two Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

Take that previous administration people who make me angry!  I take that anger and do constructive things with it.

HA!  Anger cleans my house.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

My people at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA.  
16 years ago.  It was snowy.  Your foot was burned from an accident at work and you thought you wouldn't be able to wear a pair of shoes.

But you did.

We honeymooned on Hilton Head Island and it was wondrously warm and perfect.

It wasn't the week before and started pouring as left.

I finished college.

You've changed jobs a few times, part of that thanks to seasonal employment.

I've changed jobs a few times.  Part of that due to a beloved gallery going out of business.

We bought a house.

We bought two new cars.

We've birthed and buried a child.

We've fostered and adopted a child.

You've battled your health issues for 10 years.

We've done it.  We haven't done it all.  There's still plenty of lots of everything for us.

16 years and counting.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The cough. It's still here.

I made another appointment with my doctor today. I saw him about a month ago because my ear was paining something horrible (the Q-Tip incident) and I had a cough that wouldn't go away.  It's a month later and while the cough is better, it is still lingering.

Dr. W came in, asked what he could do for me and my response was that, "My cough won't go away and I'm starting to have a reputation. My husband tells me in the store that he'd 'know that cough anywhere,' my coworker wants me to have a second opinion and one of my best friends has said, 'oh you and your cough.'  They all have me a bit freaked out."

I told him that what had been most concerning was the fact that I wouldn't say that I've been short of breath, but just that occasionally I would run out of air while talking.  He asked me if I cough while laying down.  No.  He asked me when it is that I do cough.  Basically, when I'm in and out of outside.

We talked about my habit of reading and that no, it wasn't lung cancer or Lipitor.  I told him that though I read a lot, I don't self diagnose because that is what he is there for.  He did do a check all the way around twice.  He offered a chest x-ray and a steroid shot, but he wasn't encouraging it.  I told him that, "I can tell by the smirk on your face that I'm okay."  "If it was me, I'd say that the cough is a bummer, but I'd rock it out."

I was getting concerned.  My lungs are "clear as a bell" so I'm good.  What is it?  Reactive airways and it is getting better, but it will take time.  It doesn't hurt, it's just more annoying than anything.  When I told him that if I get a cough, it hangs on for a beloved forever.  "Some people are like that."  Lovely.  I'm a long cough holder person.  I've been in church services where people have passed candies and bottles of water to me.  I've conducted PTA meetings where members starting sending cough drops up to the front.  When I get a cough people, I truly get a cough.

For Fat Tuesday, I bought Bavarian cream Packzi and knew we didn't need all four.  The boys across the street observe Lent, so I figured that they might enjoy them.  G, a nurse, has been battling respiratory issues since Thanksgiving.  He was finally diagnosed with Bronchitis, Upper and Lower Respiratory infections all at once.  (YIKES!)  He said that he experienced the same breathing issues that I did and it freaked him out, too.  It turns out that G was offered the chest x-ray and the steroid shot and he declined, too.  He said that a girl where he works got the shot and it did nothing for her.  Frankly, my doctor was happy with how I was and I seriously didn't want to add another x-ray to my person unless I really needed it.  If he thought I really needed it, he would have sent me for it and not just have offered it.

So there we have it.  I can leave this bout of hypochondria and continue leading a life.  My life has laundry to fold that I've deposited on my side of the bed.  No rest for the coughing, eh?

Breathe deeply and have a great day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Pinterest Recipe strikes back.

I decided to make the Cinnamon Quinoa Bake.  K was home sick with strep and I had the ingredients on hand.  I read over the recipe, measured out my 2 1/2 cups of quinoa, toasted it then cooked it up.  It was cold and snowing, so I put a TV tray up outside the back door, plunked a trivet down and cooled the quinoa outside.  I mean, why not take advantage of God's cooler?  After we got back from the pediatrician, I went ahead and got to mixing.  It looked like more than would fit in an 8 x 8 pan, so I bumped it up to an 11 x 7 pan.  I even texted Rachael and said about how it barely fit in that.  It still didn't kick in what could be wrong.  I can tell you that I texted that I doubled the spices because it just didn't smell like enough.

I can now tell you why.

While the Cinnamon Quinoa Bake was baking, I went back to re-read the recipe and the comments.  Crud.  Other people did it, too.  It called for 2 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled.  I read it as 2 1/2 cups of quinoa, cooked and cooled.  What I should have gathered was 2 1/2 cups of cooked and cooled quinoa.  In other words, I and others out there didn't realize that it was 2 1/2 cups total to be used since there was no dry ingredient measurement to convert from.

Y'all, I had pounds-- and I mean pounds-- of quinoa.  The sad thing is that given the sheer quantity involved, it didn't taste good.  This is where I try not to waste, but in this case, I couldn't help it.  I tried to eat it.  I really did.  Do you remember the scene from the movie, Better Off Dead?  Mom, who was a dreadful cook, had some gelatinized goo that kind of slithered off the plate on its own.  Not that the quinoa looked like that, but there was so much, it was like it was trying to have a conversation with me.  I kept it for a few days, chiseled at it a little and gave up.  :(

I was tired when I attempted this very easy recipe.  It was my fault for not reading more closely and for not reading the comments that came with.

Attack of the Cinnamon Quinoa Bake!  Yup.  All of you know this, but be warned and read the recipes carefully or you might end up with a growing vat full of something, too.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Miscellaneous post ahead! This week's menu is a no show. There's a good reason and other fun things you might want to read.

My husband does this.  He decides to go on whacked out, crazy diets.  This one is potatoes and egg whites.  He'll be eating those and I don't have to worry about making him dinner.  This would probably seem pretty sweet so some, but it throws me into weirdness in cooking.

Tonight, while having the strep throat study session with K, I dusted off the pressure cooker and cooked up the frozen chicken breast tenders that I bought from an Amish grocery yesterday.  I threw some carrots in there, got some whole grain noodles rolling and kept everything going while checking math problems.  K and I decided that it would be pasta with pesto night with a side of broccoli slaw salad.  I mixed everything up with the pesto and set it in the oven to bake for just a little while.  I'll be having it for lunch and we'll be having it for Monday night dinner, too.

Meanwhile, Hubs made his potatoes and eggs.  As he was eating, he found that he forgot to wash his potatoes.  He's a little picky about how he likes his eggs cooked, which is why he cooked them himself.

He ran into some dirty tasting bits, though.  Yuck.  Poor guy.

You see, he has resolved to "eat healthier" and to lose some weight.  Admittedly, he and I have put on a few extra pounds since the start of the new year.  Unlike some, we haven't lost it.  It's kind of stressing both of us out, so this new diet of his is more of his Lenten sacrifice.  It's not a bad thing.

We have Ash Wednesday coming up and we have all decided on our Lenten sacrifices.

Hubs-  He'll be giving up evening eating "like a pig" to quote him.  He said he is a stress eater.

K-  She has decided to give up gum.  I admit that she wanted to give candy up altogether, but I did encourage her to give up something that would be sacrificial, but realistic.  She loves chewing gum and though the child gets very little candy, I just didn't see success with that one.

Me-  I won't be eating anything after 7 PM.  It doesn't sound like a big deal, but I haven't had anything since 5:30 PM.  I missed my snack window and decided that I'd start rolling with my sacrifice early.  There is a big grumbly in my tumbly.  I did this last year and it was a good discipline that I continued even after Lent was over.  Obviously, I fell off the wagon with this discipline at some point, though.

Since Smudge is no longer around, we can leave the treadmill up.  Hubs has a TV, DVD player and stereo down in the work out area of our basement.  I have enough to entertain me.  I now need to get on the treadmill and get walking.  The funny thing is that I tried it before and the bounce of the belt made my foot hurt.  I'm going to try in the new Merrell trail running shoes I bought.  If my foot hurts with those (the bounce, not the shoes-- they are great), then I'll switch over to my barefoot Wonder Gloves.  I'll try to resolve that and if my foot hurts, it may on the treadmill regardless and I might just have to deal with it.

Back to the meal thing.  I made Morningstar Chick'n Grillers (I think that is what they are called) and honestly, K hated them.  She even pulled out the, "They taste nasty, Mom," card and she doesn't do that.  I made her help me to finish them and swore that I wouldn't buy them again.

We have a weird week.  Tuesday and Wednesday K goes to the in-law's after school.  Thursday is Valentine's Day (and our 16th anniversary), so I was thinking to crock-pot us a lovely turkey tenderloin.  I have to check that out with Hubs because he may just want a romantic meal of egg whites.  I also have PTA meetings that afternoon that K must attend and studying for tests that night.  Romantic!

We did go to Amish Country on Saturday to celebrate our anniversary early.  Because we're in the midst of trying to tuck some extra money away, we skipped the overnight that we usually try to do at our favorite little inn.  We did have a great time, though.  Here is lovely, but probably not all inclusive list:
1.  K and Hubs checked out the horses as I went into one of the stores.  They came in and told me about the one horse looking like he was talking because he was moving his lips.  Hubs felt the need to fill the lip movement in with a bit of Mr. Ed talk.  They both thought it was the greatest thing.  Of course, the horse was gone when I came out.  No Ed lips for me.  :(
2.  We drove the Yaris and it took 1/2 of the gas of the RAV.  Hubs said that confirms that the Yaris will be our new trippin' vehicle.  Well, except for camping.  Though we pitch a tent and camp without electricity, we don't pack light.  The Yaris would never make it.  We did camp that way in the Tercel once.  That was prior to K.  We also had to sleep in our car one night when a storm rolled through and we had no place to go.  I took the side with the steering wheel and the back seat full of stuff.  I didn't sleep well. Hubs, however, slept better than he had all week!
3.  The breakfast buffet was still up when we got there.  We were all reasonable about the offerings that we took.  It was delicious.
4.  We enjoyed walking through the antique store and seeing that Kool Aid pitcher and cup set that my family saved Kool Aid points for forever to get.  They also still had my old lunch box for sale, but it is all really scratched and banged up.
5.  I bought my dad all kinds of nifty mustard relishes for his birthday.  I realize that this sounds weird, but that's what the man loves.  He needs nothing, so multiple jars of mustard relish he shall get.
6.  We went to an Amish grocery surplus store.  The goal was to see who could find the oldest expiration date.  You see, most of the things in this store are past date.  I have a big issue with dates and admit that most things that hit expiration (with the exception of a few), hit the garbage can.  I did find a pumpkin bread kit, a bag of Ghiradelli chocolates and some Mederma scar cream for that dratted branding incident on my birthday.  (Me vs. my sister's toaster oven door.  The toaster oven won and it was the top of my hand.)  All of my items were in date and cheap!
7.  We drove to visit our favorite antique store, but found that they had closed up shop.  Apparently, they closed October 14th due to the economy.  I found almost all of my Holly Hobbie glasses there. So sad!
8.  As a consolation to the closing, we tried Goodwill.  They had nothing.  We tried the dollar store.  Nothing.   We tried Big Lots.  We hit the mother load.  They had Kashi cereals close to date (some in March) for 75 cents - 1.40 a box.  They also had Quaker Chewy 90 calorie granola bars for 50 cents a box.  (They were close to date, too.)  We came home with 7 boxes of cereal, 4 boxes of granola bars, Veggie Straws, Wasa multi grain crisps and a 5 pound bag of grits (another new thing with Hubs) for $20.00.  Hooray for us!

So there you go.  Tangential.  Miscellaneous.  It's where my brain is at right now.  And laundry.  And a weird story on the news about a horse, false accusations and a car wreck.  :shaking head:

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I can wear my daughter's shoes.

We went down to ye ole Amish country yesterday and made a few stops.  We stopped by the boot store looking for some sweet shoes for me.

They didn't have what I was looking for.  :(

K, however, has been wearing the same LL Bean "nature girl" shoes since the beginning of school when the dreaded Skechers gave out a few weeks in.  (Never again.)  They have served her well, but her feet have grown.  She was having some foot problems as of late.  She twisted her left foot and made it angry.  In checking out the fit of her shoes, I realized that there wasn't a whole lot of room left.  

Guess who scored a new pair of shoes when Mom was the one supposed to be getting some?  She measured at a 4 1/2, but those aren't the easiest to find.  We bumped her up to a 5.  Though I wear a 6-6 1/2, I can comfortably wear these shoes.  I told K that now when she grows out of her shoes, she can pass them on to me.  

The third grade.  Who knew?  Sharing shoes with the kid.