365.194-#3 tells me, “Momma, I want to see Mickey.” I say, “But honey, Mic isn’t on right now.” She says, “But, Momma he is. Mic is my buddy and he is always dere(her pronunciation), Momma!” How adorable is that? None of my girls did too much with Disney. But this one, she loves all things Mickey, Minnie, Daisey, Goofy, Pluto and Clarabelle.
I feel like I need to do a repost of this. It is my third most favorite post. As, I have said the last few days dealing with # 2 hasn’t been the easiest lately. But I do love her and all of her idiosyncrasies because they make her who she is.
The whole summer my # 2 has been obsessed with getting a pink pair of Chuck Taylor’s. She has begged, plead and asked a gazillion times for them. My mind kept flashing back to when she was 2 and I thought buying a pair of white Chuck Taylor’s for all the family would be a great idea. My guy and #1 refused to wear them and only donned them once to appease my flabbing mouth. I wore mine and tossed them out with the garage sale pile. Only to find myself wishing I had kept them. But # 2 she adored them. However, every time she wore them she ended up with skinned knees and hurt elbows. I am not sure if it was the rubbery bottom or what but she always managed to snag her feet and land face first. I went out of my way to hide…
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I am gonna do two here today. I will explain why here in a minute.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
This is another emotionally hard one to write about. The more I thought about it the more I thought it was probably better to not. So I am gonna move on…
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
I am thoroughly blessed in my life because my hopes and dreams are slowly but surely coming true. But if I look at my life and a “hope” I have always carried in my heart would be to take a international European vacation.
I have spent the better part of my life obsessed with, studying, talking about and mastering the languages, cultures, people of these amazing places. How can I perfect my craft even more? Touch them!
I have extensively studied British literature. Therefore, it would be a hope that I could see the amazing places I have read about. It would be absolutely amazing to see the Bronte’s Home in Haworth, England or Jane Austen’s in Chawton, England. And to walk along Baker Street in London, Baker street that is famous for Sir Authur Conan Doyle’s famous mystery pieces Sherlock Holmes. And John Keats home in London wouldn’t be a bad miss either. And Stratford-upon-Avon, who could not want to go there to be witness to the literary greatness of William Shakespeare? Tell me after looking at that site you would not just want to hang out there and look around!
To just explore the places that inspired such great literature and feel their presence in them surely would just inspire a person to live a good life, right? That doesn’t even touch on the touristy type of places to visit.
Top after the literary type places would be Paris, France because since high school I had a magical love affair with the idea of Paris and France the country. The food, the culture and the language just fascinate me and I think it would be so fun to walk among french and experience it all. More importantly I can get better at speaking the language. I possess the American version of french meaning it has weird accents and vowels. I think being forced to speak it when you are among it is a great way to really learn it. Learning in an American classroom with a textbook is not the same as experiencing it.
The two places in France I would love to visit are the Chateau de Versailles and of course the Eiffel Tower and as the crowning glory I would like to spend some time in the Seychelles. A french band of islands that has very diverse population with varying influences from each. My french prof visited here and shared her pictures and I just remember being so moved because it was unlike any beach, sea water, landscape I have ever seen. I also believe it is where the princess and prince William and Kate honeymooned.
This too has been a long time hope to visit since reading about Greek Mythology back in the day. I was always fascinated that pieces of that literary history and really history of that place existed and can still be seen and touched. So take me to Greece please. To be among where they believe great God and Goddess to have stood and experience the myth would be magical. But I must admit after we got to this part of the trip it would be more about the beaches and the blue green water.
I may or may not get to these places. I have an intense fear of flying. I am not rich and I am married to guy who thinks any travel outside of the US is pointless. And while I agree we have some awesome places to travel in the US for me and my passion/love seeing these things seem so important to my life’s journey as a teacher and mother. One I would take massive amounts of xanax for, save tons of money to go and find someone else to be my companion for this sort of trip.
The larger lesson here I believe would be passed onto those around me. My family (namely my girls) because I can show them great beauty exists outside of their own backyards and though it seems impossible it doesn’t have too. And to my students because I can say, “This is what that felt like or looked like” and therefore, sharing the same lesson I shared with my family as well.
We shall see if this hope comes true!
It may not be happening daily, but it will happen 30 times….My 30 Days of Truth
Oh wait, that is the sound of me getting a new roof.
365.193-The new burnt sienna shingles have arrived.
We surprisingly got our new roof today. It was supposed to be later this week but the morning wake up call from the dumpster being delivered to the roofers showing up later said something very different. I am guessing it is the next two days of possibly forecast rain that changed the date. We left for a few hours and that helped but my goodness they are LOUD! My guy had a golf match and said, “Oh it is just the nail gun.” I wish I could record it and say, “Umm you think so?” Instead it sounds more like large, loud thuds where you are sure the roof will cave in and the whole house shakes.
The good news is they are over halfway done. And my baby girls are fairing quite well.
I am getting old. My birthday is tomorrow. (Feel free to send gifts, I need all the pick-me-ups I can get.) I am fast approaching the big 40, so every birthday hurts more and more.
I try not to put too much stock into the actual number itself. “You are only as old as you feel”, ‘they’ say. Although, it is kind of like clothes sizes and the weight on the scale. I just think there is one magic number and that is what I want, even if that number is long gone.
In my family we don’t refer to them as “birthdays” when you become an adult. We call them “present days”. It takes the sting out of the day a little bit. It makes you focus on the fun parts of the day. Gifts. And cake. Chocolate cake!
For months I had planned on getting a new tattoo for my birthday, but I have had a hard time deciding on something that I absolutely love. So instead I picked out a set of golf clubs. I know, not even similar. Anyway, I love them. They are all shiny and new and just dying to get some grass stains on them.
I had never played golf before except putt-putt, but I have always pictured myself golfing as I got older. It seems like such a fun social sport. A couple months ago Mommy Rhetoric, myself and our hubbies went out together and had a great time. I have been dying to go again ever since.
So tomorrow on my big happy day I am hoping we get to head out again and tear up the fairways (literally for me). My hubby also said he is taking me out to dinner, which means no cooking! Maybe birthdays aren’t so bad after all. Maybe.
Since summer break happened I have been pin cooking as I call it. There are so many yummy recipes I wanted to try, so now is the time while I actually have time. So hang in there this post will be picture heavy and pin heavy. Hang on for the ride!
PIN27) I am really practicing using the crock pot for softball. Our season, as I have said, is crazy! So I gotta get my act together if I want to feed my family decently. For this pin, I made barbequed chicken in the crock pot from the blog Stick a Fork In It-Crock Pot Barbeque Chicken. I loved this recipe and my chicken was not dry at all like it can sometimes be with crock potting it. It was very reminiscent of ribs in the crock pot to my whole family. The girls complained a little about the heat (spice) but my guy and I loved it. We will do this one again.
First off, get your crock pot ready. For me that means spraying with PAM (I use a healthier version) or place a crock pot liner in it. Pull out 4-5 chicken breasts of decent size or 8 chicken tenders. Add in a bottle of BBQ sauce. I use Sweet Baby Rays-Honey. 1 tsp of red pepper flakes. I used 1/2 tsp of cayenne instead. 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1 tsp of garlic. I did add a little h2o because it was too pasty for my liking. The water thinned it out. You could use chicken stock for more flavor but water will work just fine. And cook on low 5-6 hours or so (maybe less if you make tenders).
I have no pictures of this one because it was a softball night which means my family is absolutely ravenous for dinner when we get home. I either feed them or they will eat ice cream till it is gone. It is dire around here then!
PIN28) Was done by #1. She saw it on pinterest and was determined to do it. She pulled the idea from Kevin & Amanda-Make a Ringlet T-shirt Scarf for Fall. She took three shirts that she had. The girl is t-shirt queen. She then precisely cut it just the way the blog instructed and then messed up my whole living room with these bits and pieces of t-shirts. I found pieces of shirt for days. But it did turn out adorable and she had a blast making it. I recommend it for kiddos that have patience to stay with a project. #2 really lacked the patience it took to stay with such a project. #1 tried to sit down with #2 and help her to do it. It ended up with both of them in tears and # 2 decided it didn’t seem so fun after all. It isn’t that it takes so long but it needs concentration and patience.
PIN29) Ha ha, I didn’t even realize my next pinned recipe came from Kevin & Amanda as well. It is Kevin & Amanda’s-Southern Skillet Corn. Homemade creamed corn is something that my family had a lot growing up. So it is a comfort staple for me. I have made a few over the years, but my reliable recipe was horribly fattening cooked in bacon fat. Since I am trying to find a leaner me I went on the look out for a leaner recipe. Now that may not mean it is super healthy. It just means it was not near as fattening as my old recipe with bacon grease as base. What I loved about this recipe is its based was from water.
You need 6 ears of corn with the kernels cut off. After you cut them off the secret to any good cream corn is to get as much starch out of the cob as possible. It helps to thicken and has such a great sweet flavor. I do this by running my sharp knife’s opposite edge alongside it. As pictured below.
Once you have all the corn cut you need to begin to mix your slurry water mixture of: 1 1/2 cups of water, 3 tbsp of flour, 2 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper and so I did not feel deprived of my bacony flavor I added 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke. You get all the flavor of smokey flavor with out the fatty contents. You need to whisk this together.
Then you add your kernels to a skillet that already has melted 3tbsp of butter in it. I ended up pouring my slurry into the bowl of the kernels, so I could get all of the starchy juice I could. Once your corn fries for a bit add in the slurry. You then let it start to boil a bit and then turn it down. It will thicken quick with the water in it so watch it that it doesn’t stick in this time or you will add a burnt flour taste to your creamed corn. Turn as low as you can put a lid on it and cook for 45 minutes. This recipe was so awesome. Now I am not claiming it is healthy, but I am claiming it is healthier than some of your higher fat versions. And it is totally worth making especially when corn is in season!
PIN30) And the last one is my absolute favorite I must admit, but save this for a treat. It is not the type meant to be cooked on a regular basis unless you like that kind of decadence. Me, I like it, but FAT GIRL me does not need this kind of temptation around. PERIOD! I made Get off your butt and…BAKE’s-Creamy Cheesy Potatoes. I was looking for Au Gratin potatoes. I had the best ones back in the day from Gray Brothers Cafeteria in Mooresville, IN. They are so yummy and nothing I have had has even compared. These don’t really either. But these are a bang up version that I will rely on again for functions and what not.
You have to peel and cut up 5-6 regular sized potatoes (I used idaho golds/not reds). When you cut them up they need to be match stick like to match cooking times. My girls confused them with our french fries we make sometimes. They aren’t french fries at all but to them they just looked like a creamy cheesy version. I tossed them into cold water then so they would not discolor. Once you are done slicing strain them and place into a towel to get off all excess water otherwise your dish will be soggy.
Once I placed them into my dish (I used smaller than she called for…for my waists sake). I seasoned with my Paula Deen’s House Seasoning (or old reliable as I should call it). Then I basically halfed her whole recipe. You add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1 cup of cheddar cheese (there is some flexibility here with flavor…go with what you like). She has you put cheese just on top but I wanted it through out that puppy so I just dug my hand in and mixed. I skipped parsley because remember I am a herbaphobe to some herbs. Parsley is usually one of them though I do like it on chicken. Cover with foil and poke holes to vent. Then you bake @ 400 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You bake on the bottom rack for the first hour. Then in the last 15 minutes move that baby upto the middle rack and take off that foil. The browner cheesier bits were so yummy by doing this. I will most certainly make this yummy dish again. It was a nice go to for au gratin. Nom, nom!
Wanna see what else I have pinned? Go here.
The start of summer break has been everything and more than I could have possibly expected. I will proclaim one thing here right now. I hate very few things in life but: I HATE TRANSITION. I don’t naturally do transition all that well anyway thanks to my beloved best friend OCD. But just when I cruise along in life good a transition comes and my #2 struggles. I mean struggles translated into makes it difficult for the rest of us that live with her. She doesn’t mean to and in the times she isn’t melting down she is so regretful and feels just awful. But man, it is hard.
She goes from zero to all out raging, mad, loud, screamy, hard to please, not really a toddler but acting toddler like in seconds. And I try and be the good mom and practice what the therapist tell us. I do. We all do. But when it is directed at you (and usually it is at me because I am her person) you just want a break.
She looks to me for ques on mood. If I am quiet and not bubbly happy she is mad she can’t fix it. It sets her off. If I am angry she gets angry because I am angry. If I am happy she seems to change that too. And while I try and keep a mediocre and mellow mood all the time to counter this. Rarely, do I ever do mediocre and mellow.
And if I could just get in her head and tell her, “Girl, take a break” and she would go take her 15-20 minute break our lives would be much more peaceful. Instead, what happens we say, “#2 you need a break. Why don’t you go play piano or write in your journal.” We get all out war. We don’t love her. We hate her. Why are we so mean to her? We love her sisters more. If we would just go away her life would be better. All of this yelled in our face with spit, high octaves and all the frustration a 7 year old can muster.
And while I can tell you I have thick skin and that stuff doesn’t get to me, IT DOES. I hate it. I know she doesn’t feel that way. But I wonder, what if she does? What if we have ruined her life? What if we aren’t handling these meltdowns right? The hardest part is teaching her consequences of saying these things. Because there are consequences in the real world. Some parents would spank their kids. We don’t. Some may even say that is why she is like this. I don’t buy it.
What happens in her world is…it changed. She can’t handle that. It is an absolute sensory overload. The warm humid air overloads her senses. A loud TV overloads her senses. A strong smell of BBQ can do it too. Can you imagine living in a world like that? I try. I would be miserable.
I just wonder if I could be a better mom by helping her to find words for what her head is telling her. To communicate I don’t like it when it is hot. I don’t like that smell seems so simple. So why can’t I figure it out?
The good news is “this too shall pass” applies. In a few weeks, the transition will have been made and life will find some peace….Until the next transition.
Yesterday at church they played TAPS (click “TAPS” to hear it) at church. Every Memorial Day they do this. And each of the current military and veterans stand and state their branch of service and they are applauded and appreciated as they should be.
I never really knew the day as much more than that or just a memorial to those that have died until I started attending this church 10 years ago. Usually in my family it was about grilling out or going to place flowers on (great) grandma and (great) grandpa’s grave. When actually it isn’t about either of those things. It has evolved to those this things.
But this year is different because of all the work I did on genealogy in the last year. When TAPS started playing yesterday immediately I teared up. I begin thinking, “Man, I am such a mush.” Then I realized it was more about the sacrifices my family made to be an American.
I said time and time again in my family literacy research that my family fled Bohemia (Czech Republic today) because of religious persecution. When they came here and struggled to find identities and who they were it was so very different than the identity I struggle to find on my blog. My sufferings, loss and hardship can’t come close to with the sufferings, loss and hardship they had to under go.
My irritation at my guys golf coaching schedule cannot even come to my grandma facing my Grandfather’s deployment to the Korean War. My ability to sit in church in that pew only finds resistance in my ten year old’s inability to get up for church or by asking myself am I in the right church? My grandfather was maintaining his catholic faith while hiding his “Bohemianess” from his neighborhood in order to fit in.
But this is not just about marginalization of a religious practice or group of people. This about my ability to be a working woman, a English teacher, the kind of mother I want to be, and a wife to whom I choose. Those freedoms came at a cost to those before me. Those freedoms are ones I place very little thought into now even though to my ancestors (even just my grandma and grandpa) were fought for.
My grandfather in the right was a veteran. He proudly served his country even though his country did not always accept him or his family. I am not sure I could have so easily been willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice given that immigrants were not so readily accepted in our country and specifically the region his family settled in.
Thankfully, by the time he served most of the prejudices were starting to get better, but I imagine my great grand parents were not so lucky. In fact, I know they weren’t. Yesterday in the pew that is who I thought of. And that is who I will remember today: Josef and Marie T. and their son, my grandpa, Joseph. Their road wasn’t easy but they always proudly took it the best they knew how.
And because of that I get to sit down to dinner with my girls and my guy and have some brats, creamed corn and cheesy potatoes. I can sometimes forget the sacrifices that were made so I can do that. And I believe they would want it that way. They lived the life they lived, so I can live the life I live. I just never want to forget.
Whenever I share this little diddy that I love this snack I always get asked if I am pregnant. Since, hopefully Dr. Wonderful took care of this back in January I am 95% positive I am not pregnant. I just love this combo. Even more so since I have been on my less of me roll.
365.192-You see pickles and peanut butter go together quite well. Think of sweet and sour. I have loved them since high school. Pickles are a very low calorie snack (you can even buy low sodium-which I do) and peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and if you are like my family we have fallen in love with Smart Balance peanut butter you are adding additional Omega-3’s and the peanut butter is much healthier for you because it is manufactured with natural sugars and not added sugars.
If you find yourself offended, worried about me or just plain horrified that I call myself Fat Girl. It really is okay; take some time to get to know me. I am a beautiful and phenomenal woman and Fat Girl was who I was when I didn’t know that. Want to read more? Less of Me Journals.
It has been awhile since I have been taking part in 30 DOT. As I said, I don’t intend to write every single day, but I do intend to complete the project. So to carry on…
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
This is a hard one and probably why I avoided it. Forgiving oneself is hard. You either don’t believe you should because what in the world could you have done that you need to forgive yourself for or it is likely the very reason why this would be important and you need to just forgive yourself but it is hard and sometimes it hurts.
Likely my hardest hang up to forgive is my OCD and how it affects others in my life. They likely don’t even realize it most of the time. But my mind is consistently registering people and places as safe and not safe. If there is even a suspicion they are going to hurt me (real or imagined) I begin shutting them out deeming them unsafe.
Sometimes it doesn’t make any sense and sometimes it does. Since I have been med-free almost 2 years now (I think) this is probably the hardest part because my meds work for this. I feel like I am almost hypersensitive to things. I could tell them it isn’t them it is my OCD. But really I am adult living in an adult world and I have to find ways to cope with it.
But it goes to that very most raw emotion of not wanting to be hurt and trying somehow to control it. As if I can control what others do to me. Or against me. The reality is I cannot. They inevitably will hurt me. Hopefully, not intentional. But it will happen and I just have to be forgiving of them.
But more importantly forgiving of myself because sometimes this safe and unsafe label unfairly penalizes those I love or they get poor treatment because of it. I don’t mean to do it. I can’t help it. I won’t make excuses for it either. But when I choose to go med free for my OCD I knew that it would not help in this situation and I fully intend to accept those consequences.
That also means sometimes I live with tons of guilt over it. Thankfully, those that love me forgive me. Now I just have to forgive myself.
It may not be happening daily, but it will happen 30 times….My 30 Days of Truth