Thursday, January 22, 2009

Supermom

Clint started his new job schedule today. It's supposed to be 14/14, but they are short one person (long story) so for now it is 14/7. I won't lie ~ I'm pretty bummed. Clint had no control over when this change was going into effect. If a 4th person isn't added, Clint will be working for every.single.thing. we had planned for the next two + months!! I had a meeting tonight. Can't go. Next week is Mom's Night Out, which is one of the best outings of the year! Can't go. He's also working for a dinner we planned to attend, on Valentine's/Anniversary, Mardi Gras, Veronica's birthday, and the day I wanted to have her party. I know, it's not his fault, but I am bothered that with this schedule, I will be able to do even less than I do now!! I look forward to my nights out to keep me sane. Much of what little 'freedom' I had is now gone. Also I'm not overjoyed about being on my own with the kids for 14 days straight. Clint will be home at night, but after working 12 hours and driving 3 hours, he will be much too tired to help. So, I'm less than thrilled about the change. Of course the time he is home will be great!! I guess I need to find a Supermom hat to wear during the weeks he is working.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Here and there...

I'm intrigued with the idea of once-a-month cooking. That sounds lovely to me! I'm not quite up for the challenge of cooking 30 meals at once though, so for now I'm trying to stash away some extras in the freezer. I kept busy last week and made 2-3 meals per day. Sometimes I made extra. The results? I have 9 main dishes put away in the freezer! How nice it will be to just defrost and heat up a side veggie. I'm hoping it will help cut down our grocery bill as well. We shall see!

Not much else has been going on. Clint went to Alabama to go deer hunting over the weekend. (yuck!) He hadn't been hunting in YEARS and YEARS. He had the chance to go, so he did. He didn't kill a deer, but someone gave him theirs. Clint spent about three hours last night cutting, bagging, and labeling deer meat. Naasssty. It's the funniest thing though... Valerie calls it Rudolph meat. She came up with that all on her own.

I sort of fell off the diet wagon over the weekend. Being alone with the kiddos and bored led to some baking. Then today we went to a playdate with lots of yummy snacks. Back on track tomorrow...

Veronica is being awfully clingy. All day it's 'mamma! mamma! mamma!' Even at night she is fighting her sleep calling out for me. We all know Roni is Miss Fusspot, but she's never been quite this attached. Guess it's another one of her phases....

Hmm. Not in a posting mood lately. Just kinda.. blah.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blocked!

Yes, I know full and well there are ways around an IP block. The point was I could, so I did. Why visit here 3-5 times a day when obviously there is some sort of issue? I just haven't a clue what it is. Why we're getting the cold shoulder and all communications have been severed is beyond me. I'm just curious as how long we will get the silent treatment. Yes, it did bother us at first and yes we discussed it at length trying to figure out what could possibly have caused a tiff. Yes, we were disappointed and hurt - mostly for the kids' sake. Clueless... and I guess clueless we will be. Moving on....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

dot dot dot

Not much going on.

Nothing interesting to say.
Although I do find it interesting that I suddenly have one less Myspace friend. Ha!


We're having nice winter weather. Nice and cold! How cold? Cold enough for the feuding cats to cuddle up and squeeze themselves in one cat bed.


Yin and Yang perhaps? Not quite, but nice try kitties.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Funny things kids say....

I was doing some sit ups in the living room a few nights ago. Valerie wanted to know why I was doing them. She asks WHY about everything these days...

I told her I wanted to get rid of my fat belly.

Val got upset! "No! I don't want you to do that!"

Me, "Why not?"

Val, "I might see your bones and blood if you get rid of your belly! I want you to keep your fat belly!!!"

Hahahaha!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Changes are a comin'

Being a new year, I decided it was time for a fresh start. New layout. New blog title. Time for change. There's one more big change I'm contemplating. Hmm. Gonna sleep on it.
I don't know if it's my new thyroid medicine or just relief that the holidays are over, but I've been in a decent mood the past few days. This spring weather is lovely. The kids and I spent hours outside playing in the yard. It's been nice and I'm so glad to be home with them. Maybe I have a touch of seasonal affective disorder, and being out in the sun is helping. I also have had no junk or bad carbs in a week. (Well, almost none.)



Monday, January 05, 2009

Now back to our regularly scheduled program

Well, today marks the end of Holidailes. I think I did fairly well for my first time doing it. It went by really fast. I enjoyed participating and it motivated me to write. Although, many of my posts were just typical day to day drivel. Surprisingly, two of my more thoughtful entries were picked for the "Best of Holidailies." I used to enjoy writing, and being recognized makes me think that maybe I CAN still write if I try. I hope everyone from Holidailies enjoyed reading along and feel free to stick around!

I'll be getting back to my sporadic posting now.

Thank you to Kitty for telling me about Holidailies! It was a lot of fun.

The Best Navy Bean Soup Recipe

Many thanks to Melanie over at http://junkmel1.wordpress.com/!! She owns the John Folse cookbook, Something old & Something New, with my Mom's soup recipe in it. She so kindly typed it up and emailed it to me. How awesome is that?! From one Mel to another, you rock!

I actually dug through a box at my Dad's yesterday and found my Mom's copy of the cookbook. In it she also had a copy of her original submission and a newspaper article about the book.

Here's the recipe ~ enjoy!

***ETA March 30, 2009*** This is the most popular posting on my blog receiving 10-20 hits via searches per day! If you do make my Mom's recipe, please come back and share the results! I'd love hear how much you liked it or didn't like it. ~ Melanie


Navy Bean Soup
Ingredients:
1 pound dried navy beans
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup diced potatoes
1 cup chopped cabbage
1/2 cup elbow macaroni
2 cups diced ham
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt
black pepper
hot sauce (optional)

Method: Rinse the beans under cold running water. You may wish to soak the beans in cold water overnight to cut the cooking time by one-third. Place beans in a large cast iron dutch oven and cover by two inches with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook approximately one hour or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Add onions, celery, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, macaroni and ham. Blend well into the bean mixture and cook 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add water to retain desired consistency. Add green onions and parsley. Season to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Note: When stirring beans during the cooking process, mash approximately 50% of the beans, pressing with the cooking spoon against the inside of the pot. This will give the navy bean soup a creamy consistency.

My Mom's (embellished!) story behind the recipe:

"Since my grandmother and mother were unable to read or write, recipes would have been of little use to them. So they cooked the way people before them had cooked, back to the dawn of time, I suppose. They cooked from memory. When you think about it, that's really quite a skill. You have to remember every ingredient of a recipe and how the end product tastes. It also means keeping a mental catalog of herbs and spices and their effects on flavors so accurate that you can add the proper amount without resorting to measuring spoons or cups. Of course, after a while everyone learns to cook their favorite dishes from memory - as I do this one. But imagine having to do it every time! This, by the way, is the 'special' version of mom's soup - the one she fixed as a treat when we had leftover ham. In the everyday version, she used salt meat."

Joyce B. Russell
Morgan City, Louisiana

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Mall, Movie, and Houston

Yesterday Clint stayed home with the girls so I could go out and about all by myself. No kids, no husband, no diaper bag, no stroller! Just me and my tiny purse! It rare, but every so often when Clint has a day to stay home, he'll watch the girls so I can get a break from the routine.

I walked around the mall for a couple of hours. I bought myself 4 shirts from JC Penny. I could have gotten more if I had more time to shop. What's with all the 80s styles? Especially the skinny leg jeans? I even saw some pink acid washed jeans at Sears. Worst of all, I saw a rack labeled 'high waisted jeans.' OMG! Not that again!! This short waisted momma is just going to be un-stylish in her low rise jeans!! But you know what they say... chances are when a style comes back around, you are TOO OLD to wear it the second time!!


After the mall, I went to the movies. I miss seeing movies in the theatre. I don't remember the last time Clint and I went to the movies together. It's been a few years. No sitter for us to go together... But anyway, I saw "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." I think it's one of those movies I have to see more than once to decide how much I like it. I knew it was sad, and I was prepared for that. It was long and some of it seemed irrelevant. Brad Pitt was excellent as always. I didn't care for Cate Blanchette's character much. The love story seemed to be lacking. Don't get me wrong - it was a good movie. It makes you think what would you do if you lived your life backwards?? I just wouldn't say it was the best movie ever.


Clint left for Houston today, so it will be me and the kids this week. I hate it when he's gone. Next week it looks like he may be going to Scotland again. I get to be a 'single mom' for two whole weeks. Ugh.

Navy Bean Soup

March 2009 ~ If you're looking for the recipe, find it here!!

One of the things my Mom made often in the winter was bean soup. It was always after Christmas or Easter, the only two holidays we baked a ham. I think on a rare occasion my Mom baked a ham for Sunday dinner just so she could have it to make the soup afterwards! Clint baked a ham at Christmas and put the bone and leftovers in the freezer. He got it out today and decided to make bean soup. I haven't tasted it, so who knows if it's as good as Mom's.

(shhh -- but probably not!)

Anyway, it reminded me of a story to share:


Does everybody know who Chef John Folse is? http://www.jfolse.com/ I'm sure all my cooking friends do!!

Well, many years ago John Folse visited Morgan City for a cooking demonstration. Everyone was asked to bring a family recipe and the story behind it to enter into a drawing. My Mom loved John Folse and watched his show faithfully. Of course she went. I don't remember where I was. I must have aerobics or some other plans... I didn't go with her. My Mom wrote down her Navy Bean Soup recipe. It was something my Grandma made often and passed down. There was no real "recipe", since it was something they just threw together.


Anyway, the recipes were all put into a box and at some point, John Folse reached in the box and pulled out a recipe. Right away, my mom recognized her piece of paper!! Yes, he pulled her recipe. She couldn't believe it. I don't remember the details if she got to go up and meet him or what. I think she got a gift basket.


But, since her recipe was picked, it was going to be published in John Folse's next cookbook. And my Mom was going to get a free copy when it became available. Months later, sure enough, she got her cookbook in the mail. And sure enough, there was her recipe. Of course they embellished her story a bit so it sounded more 'cajun' (haha!) but her name and recipe are published. We were so excited.

Then... years later.... she got a call from John Folse's cooking show. They wanted her to prepare her soup ON his show! They would tape an episode in her kitchen, with John Folse himself. And my Mom, being who she was, turned them down!! I think they called at least twice. She said there was no way she'd let anyone show her rinky dink junky kitchen on TV!! Can you believe it... she said no!! I wish she would have done it.

But anyway, the cookbook is somewhere at my Dad's house. It's a nice piece of family history. If I can get my hands on it, I will scan and post the pages with my Mom's recipe. I was able to find the index page on Amazon:




Friday, January 02, 2009

Five

It doesn't seem like it could be 5 months already. I just keep thinking that in another short month, it will be 6 months. She's been gone nearly half a year. Everyone assures me it gets better. I hope now that the big holidays are past me, maybe I will feel better. The next really hard holiday I think will be Mother's Day. I am still meeting people around town who don't know, and when I tell them my Mom died, it all comes flooding back. Of course they all want to know what happened to her. And everyone says the same thing - " I know how close y'all were."


It doesn't seem like it's been that long since I stood by her bedside as she took her last breath. Five months. It didn't seem real then and at times it doesn't seem real now. Even after all this time I have the impulse to click on her yahoo ID and type a message. I still have the urge to type,"Hey Mom, the girls did this and that today." Or I think of something I need to ask her........... And then I think she's really dead. Did that really happen? Where is she now?? She's really gone and not ever coming back. It's hard to comprehend that kind of forever.

Six days before she died, I sat with my Mom as she lay in her bed. We talked almost like normal for the first time in weeks. She was herself and coherent. She responded and talked TO me. I knew.... as I left that day... I knew that one day I would be thankful for that afternoon. Thankful that she was herself and talking about normal things. Somehow I knew it was the last conversation. I had just gone to two Mom's Night Outs, and I told her all about them. How I won money at Bunco .... and we had gone to the movies .... and my Mom was happy to hear that. She told me she would buy Val a TV for Christmas. I said nothing because I knew she wouldn't be here. When I told her I was getting ready to leave, sadness crept over me. My Mom told me to go home, take the Girls and go because they were crying and probably tired and I needed to get them home for dinner. I didn't say anything. I didn't have the kids with me that day. My Mom didn't even notice they weren't there.


I keep thinking about the funeral how the priest said in his homily that the first Christmas is always the hardest. And he asked everyone to please keep that in mind and remember us at Christmas time. One friend called on Christmas Eve to wish us Merry Christmas. My Dad got two Christmas cards, and one was from us. Other than that, we heard from no one. Yet I'm amazed at all the thoughts sent via online. Strangers, since most of you I have never met, yet you show more genuine concern than most IRL. So to all my dear online friends - I thank all of you for being there over the holidays.


R.I.P. Momma.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello 2009

We had a nice family day yesterday. We got to the zoo just before it opened. There's lots of free stuff and at 12 noon they do a countdown and a toast for the kids. Valerie wasn't too interested in the party this year though. The music was too loud according to her. We walked around the zoo for a couple hours and headed home about 1:30 so we could rest up for the evening.


NYE was quiet. We went to our friends' house for a few hours. Ate WAY too much food! We mostly sat around and visited while the kids played. Valerie only wanted to watch the fireworks from inside, which was fine with me since it was so cold to be outside! About 9pm Roni started having a meltdown (surprise,) so we called it a night. Poor Val sobbed ALL the way home because she wanted to pop fireworks too. Yet she is terrified of the loud POP... go figure. She was exhausted after a long day too.


Today was another good day. Our friend, Susan, invited us to her house for New Year's dinner. Another day of too much yummy food! The kids were even well behaved. Roni amazingly took a nap with out *too* much fuss. We played Trivia Pursuit, which I hadn't played in years and years. It was pretty silly. Even my Dad played for a while. What a fun first day of 2009.


One thing I'm definitely doing for the new year is getting back on track with eating healthy and going to the gym. I've only been to the gym 10 times or so in the past 2 months!! I was going 3-4 times a week. I need to find my motivation again. We've been eating lots of crap too, and I can feel it. I definitely feel better when we eat well and exercise. Not to mention I need to drop these 5 lbs or so I've gained over the last few months.