Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Chocolate Deserves to Be Devoured

I have a new favorite chocolate, thanks to my very sweet friend, Brooke. 

(Sweet - get it? 'Sweet'...yeah, I crack myself up.)

She showed up at my door Friday with a bag of these to share.  Good host that I am I totally spaced it out and did not remember to open the bag until she was about ready to leave.  

(Yeah, maybe that's why I don't have more friends come over, eh? 
That and my fantastic sense of humor.)


We cracked the bag open Saturday morning as motivation to continue our clean up efforts in our basement dungeon cave play room. 

The chocolates that she brought were Hershey's Chocolate Kiss Meltaways. And they do literally, melt-a-way in your mouth.

They say a picture is worth a thousands words, so...

Looks like chocolate...

Tastes like chocolate...

What's left of Mom's chocolate.

Oh, yeah.  It was SO worth it.

(Oh, and Brooke.  Next time I promise to share :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


'Deslobification' (de-slob-i-fi-ca-tion) is one of my new favorite words.  Add it to 'fantabulous', 'Monkish' (I'll explain this one in another post), 'gigantinormous', 'chillishcious' and 'uff-da'.

I came across 'deslobification' at one of my new favorite blogs: A Slob Comes Clean  by "Nony the Slob".  I lo-ove it!  She talks about her daily journey to rehabilitate her slob-by tendencies.  

She's funny, she's real, ...she's a lot like me. 

(OK, AFTER posting this and AFTER re-reading this, I realized how that sounded.  I meant the 'messy' part.  I'll let you judge the 'real' and 'funny' part.)

I am not a natural slob, though.  Clutter is chaos to me and totally, TOTALLY stresses me out.  My high school friends will tell you what a neat freak I was in high school.  Jane will tell you how I used to come over and immediately straighten their bathroom towels.  Robin will tell you that when she stayed over night I had to clean my room before I went to bed - even if it wasn't messy. And I organized my socks - color coded them, in fact (ok, I still do that.)

But then I grew up and acquired a husband, a dog and three kids. 
And we all live in a small (did I mention small), little house.  

(NOT my house. Photo is for demonstration purposes only. But it does vaguely remind me of our basement.)
Now, 20 years later,  I am an overwhelmed, perfectionistic slob.  
Meaning, if I can't do it ALL, clean it ALL - everything, everywhere, ALL at ONE TIME and do it PERFECTLY...I become overwhelmed and then just sit down and don't do anything at all. 

Whew...and uff-da.

But after a husband, a dog, and three kids, I am learning.  Slowly...

One of my favorite phrases comes from the "FlyLady" - she addresses the perfectionism syndrome by saying
"Just remember, it's cleaner than it was before."

Cleaner than it was before!  I have come to love, love, love those words!!! 
There is FREE-DOM in those words.
Those words mean I don't have to get out the bleach and the 10 gallon pail, wash down all the walls, wash all the curtains, purge and sort through every closet and drawer, and hide every toy...just because I know the mailman is coming to the door with a package. 

  Those words mean that if I took twenty seconds to pick up a pair of shoes, wipe off a counter, throw a load of clothes in the dryer...I have made a positive difference in my home. And I can be OK with that.

Whew...deep breath...sigh of relief. 

Yeah, I think you get the idea.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy & Mhmmm Good

OK - so Keith and I never got the HUGE garden planted this spring that we envisioned all winter.  

We got some peas planted (which have all been eaten already. Yum-Yum!)

I was really hoping for a bounty of tomatoes this year - which would have meant salsa (America's favorite condiment 'cuz everyone likes to say "SALSA!")

However, I procrastinated and didn't get any planted.  

Well, technically I planted 4 plants in some of those fancy space saving planters you see on TV.  MIne aren't 'Topsy-Turvy's' but 'Upsy-Downy's' (honestly, that's what they are called.)  

After 3 months of neglect and starvation by me - this was my reward. 

I was actually excited about this - otherwise, would I have taken the time to snap a picture?  Think not. 

We also got some cucumbers planted - which means pickles!  That is the one thing the boys really wanted us to get done this year.  So far I've only canned about 8 pints along with 2 pints of beets I purchased from our local farmer's market.  (Since I am the only one in my house that likes beets these will probably last me all winter.)  Tomorrow we should have enough cucumbers ready to do some more.  

These 10 jars of pickles/beets really make me puff my chest out in pride (Yeah, yeah - I know...Pride is bad.)  But for years I avoided canning like the plague - mostly because I doubted my skills and was afraid if I fed anyone something I had canned they would GET the plague.  But I've canned about 3 years now and no one has had so much as a stomach cramp.  I'm impressed...aren't you?

We also got a bunch of corn from the Cub Scouts/Kinship - beautiful corn at only $3/dz!  Couldn't pass it up.  We blanched and froze that corn plus some Keith got from a field at work (he works for an agronomy center) - enough for about 25 quart size bags. 

This will taste SO good in the middle of January when we are fantasizing about next summer's garden.  

That garden probably won't get planted either - but that's why its called a fantasy...uff-da.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

John Jr and other tragedies...

OK, gluttons for punishment that we are, we made a Wal-mart run last night after the Redhawks game to buy a new fish. After a little 'guidance' from Mom and Dad, Colin decided on a fat Fantail Goldfish.

So without further ado, please meet John Jr. (and no, I'm not kidding about the name.)

We have had him for almost 36 hours now and he seems to be doing just swimmingly. (Yeah, I know that was a bad one.)

I am still a little nervous about letting Colin move him up to his room. My concern is if he wakes up in the morning to see John Jr. doing the dead man's float, it may traumatize him for life.

Needless to say, each night when we say our prayers, at least for a while, John Jr. will be at the top of the list.


OK - I think blogging about fish is bad luck.  I had no sooner finished this post than the boys came running out of the house (I was out on the front deck) shouting "Mom, Colin's fish is DEAD!"  Sure enough, there was JJ floating in his bowl.  
Ugh...we are so done with fish.  

I commented to the boys that I "didn't think fish were our thing."  
Of course, with a big smile Colin immediately responded with "I think we should just go ahead and get that cat."

I just don't know.  I'm thinking maybe a hamster or gerbil.  
Or maybe a turtle - after all the money we've invested in a tank, etc I'd like to get more than 36 hours of use out of it.  

Thoughts anyone? At this point, I sure am open to suggestions...uff-da!

Friday, August 6, 2010

John's a good name for a fish, don't you think, Mom?

Since Chris left for the Marines and Isaac moved into a different bedroom, we have had a few struggles with Colin - to say the least.  The other night he had another tearful meltdown and confessed he doesn't like being in his new room 'all by himself'... and that he's lonely... and if he had a cat that would make things ALL better. Well, even though he really wants a cat, we are not sure the dog is ready for one.

So after some hugs and compromising, we agreed to take the plunge and invest in a fish - with the idea that, if he takes good care of it, we'll talk about a cat next summer.

I just pray this fish lives until then or we'll have another situation to deal with!

Oh, and yes, Colin named the fish all by himself.

"John" the fish.

Ever feel like you're living life in a fishbowl...?

AJ thinks something smells a little fishy...


"Mom, I really loved that fish..."

Update:  Not too long after I posted this we noticed something a little, well, fishy, about our new fish.  He seemed to be taking an uncomfortable looking nap along the bottom of his bowl.  A slight poking and stirring of the water confirmed our fears that, yes, John was dead...already.  At this point we are listing the cause of death as a result of Mom's driving and the very inconvenient road construction detour on Highway 210. (Long story but here's a hint: If the sign says 'Minimum Maintenance Road' what it really means is "Danger! Do Not Enter! Run The Other Way!"  Enough said.)

We made another run to the store for some more supplies and to have a chat with the 'fish man'.  He was very helpful and after making some preparations at home tonight, we will be trying another fish tomorrow.

Of course, this whole experience was not without some sorrow.  Colin tearfully informed us that in the short time he knew "John" he truly grew to love him.  We buried him in the back flower garden.  Colin lovingly placed a flower on his grave so "we wouldn't forget where we put him" and we said a short prayer. (Something like "Thank you, God, for John.  He was a great fish - while we knew him.")

Could be a long winter.  I am thinking maybe we should just go get that cat.

He was a great fish...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reason 1,001...

After picking and selling corn for 3 1/2 hours this afternoon, I dropped the boys off at VBS and headed home to put up my feet and cool off.

I walked into my messy "still-have-not-had-time-to-unpack-from-vacation" kitchen and what to my weary eyes did appear but this:

Flowers - for me! Not from my husband or one of my 3 boys but from my oldest son's girlfriend, Karli. 

Now you know the 1,001th reason I love her so much. (And yes, that beautiful girl in the picture is her.) She has been such a blessing to me and my family and I sure will miss her when she heads off to college in the fall.

Plus, while she is gone who is going to come over and help balance out the testosterone levels at our home? Oh, dear...