Thursday, April 29, 2010

it's late

well, it has not been a very interesting day. spent some time this morning looking for strawberry plants and found some. i think... they are a dried up bundle of what looks like it should be in the compost pile instead of being planted! but my mom says that they come like that sometimes. so i'll plant them and see.

this afternoon, mom, t.w. and i went and did some shopping. t.w. was a very naughty boy! whining and carrying on and having tantrums like a two year old! but he did fall asleep on the way home and slept for an hour and a half, so all was not lost!

we had really good tacos for supper and then we had another campfire (brush pile fire!). it was a gorgeous day and now i am pooped.

so....good night, ya'll........

1. for a good night's rest (thanks to ambien CR!)
2. the chance to let buster roam unchained in the backyard
3. t.willie's sweetness after taking his nap

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

this, two, shall pass

two year olds- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em!! it seems like, as soon as t.willie hit the 2 1/2 year mark, he became a "terrible two"! OMG!! he is moody and whiny and demanding.

this morning, as i was pouring his milk into his cup, he said "i want chocolate milk!" so i began to spoon out a small bit of chocolate, and he says "i don't want da chocolate." and i ask, "you don't want chocolate milk?" "yeah", he says. so i try to confirm that, indeed, he DOES NOT want chocolate milk. "you don't want chocolate milk, right?" he answers, "yeah, want da special (chocolate) milk."

at this point, i am already ready to scream and i've only been up for 20 minutes! so i start to add the powder to his cup and he starts screeching loudly, "no chocolate, no chocolate!" i drop the spoon and whip the lid on his cup and just about throw it at him! "here!", i say, "drink yer ding dang milk!" yeah, i know, i know, i stooped to his level! but, it's hard to be rational when it is a dark, chilly day and you are still half asleep.

so, i shakily grab my cup of coffee and sip it like it's liquid life-support. meanwhile, t.w is whining and crying and carrying on about not having chocolate milk, and how life is unfair and he's hungry and in pain, etc., etc. at least, i think that's what he was saying. it was kinda hard to tell.

and the thing is, he never used to have chocolate milk in the morning- or ever-i started giving him that back when the weather was so cold in the mornings. i figured he needed a warm drink to start the day, just like us! what a damn mistake that was! now, of course, he wants it every morning.

so, i was thinking about how i created this mayhem for myself and i thought, "okay, from now on, he only gets plain milk in the morning." but then i thought, "well, when he has the chocolate, he chugs the milk down. at least i know he'll drink it." so then i am having this mental argument with myself, listing the pros and cons of the milk debate!

"okay, on the one hand, the chocolate adds sugar and calories."

"yeah, but the amount i add is so small, it's only about 15 calories and 3 grams of sugar. he's so little, he could use 15 extra calories."

"yeah, but if he doesn't have a choice, he'll drink it and you won't have to go through this agony."

"i know, i know. but he really likes the chocolate milk."

"get over it!"

so, there ya go, i've made up my mind! the nestle quick is getting tucked back into the recesses of the cabinet. no more whiny tirades in the mornings!

until he decides to get ornery about which cereal he wants...or doesn't want...yeah, he wants, not that one, the other one...aaaaagh!!!

will it ever end???????

grateful that:
1. coffee exists
2. rainy days grow grass and flowers and things
3. t.w's cuteness saves him from strangling (kidding! i'm kidding!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

smoothie operator

so, raise your hand if you now have that old sade song goin' through your head! hahaha

a few weeks ago, we replaced our old blender. it had been given to us 27 years ago for a wedding present. yeah, ya get an appliance, and you expect it to last, but after just 27 years, it breaks down! what is this world coming to??!

anyhoo, we went to wal-mart (of course!) and bought a new one. it's an oster, i think it was the second cheapest one wally world had (under $40)... and it came with a food processor attachment!

now, i have been concerned with adding more fruits and veggies to our diets, so i decided to experiment with smoothies. the very first one i made was a bit dull, not sweet enough for me and a bit thin. the second one i made was delicious. i had added about two teaspoons of honey and i used some frozen mixed fruit. it was thick and so good!
so then i started reading up on smoothies on the ole internet. i have read about a hundred recipes and have gained many tips and insights. such as:

1. the difference between a smoothie and a shake is that a shake is made with ice cream, a smoothie-not
2. use 1 part liquid to about 3 parts fruit
3. the more frozen fruit you use, the thicker the smoothie
4. buy fresh fruit, cut it up and freeze it in ziplock bags.
5. add veggies as well as fruit for healthier smoothies

so, i have been utilizing these tips and it has made a big difference in the quality of the drink. when i added a handful of baby spinach leaves to a strawberry smoothie, i was wondering if my blender would be powerful enough to pulverize the spinach but it did a great job! no visible green and more importantly, no spinach taste! (i love spinach but just didn't think i would love to taste it in my fruit smoothie!) i gave some to t.willie and he devoured it.

the spinach success got me thinking about other veggies i could add. i was doubting that my blender could do as good a job with, say, carrots or beets, etc. but then i thought about pureed baby food. it's already liquid and has no added bad stuff- what a genius idea! in all the many recipes i had read, no one mentioned baby food. so i bought some and decided to try it.

i put about 3/4 a cup of skim milk into the blender, added a 6 oz. container of low fat peach yogurt, a jar of chilled baby food carrots, a frozen cut-up banana, a VERY ripe mango and its juice and a tablespoon of wheat germ. it made the most beautiful yellow-orange smoothie! i wish i had taken a picture but it looked so good, i couldn't wait to try it! i poured it into two glasses and shared it with bilbo. we both moaned as we sipped the BEST smoothie i have made yet! it was amazing! now i know that adding the pureed baby food veggies works and the sky's the limit, as they say!! i can't wait to try other weird and wonderful combinations, i'll keep ya posted...

a. that it will soon be fresh fruit and veggie season
b. that so much enjoyment can be had for under $40.00!
c. that t.w is napping today!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

renewing the flame

we had a little campfire out back this evening. well, ok, it was not so much a campfire, as a burn pile but, still, it was warm and cozy. it was bilbo and i, and t.willie until he was put to bed. then we were alone and it was nice to have no phone, no tv-NO distractions!

we actually TALKED! about real stuff, every day stuff, but deeper. nice. real. we're thinking we should make this a regular thing, now since the weather is getting milder.

so if you're looking for me and the hubs, we'll be out the burn pile!

grateful, very grateful for that guy, who lights my fire! (wink wink)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

these boots were made for walking

just a reminder:

to tread lightly on the earth, she's fragile!

happy earth day!

grateful for:
1. the color GREEN
2. meatloaf's ability to "hide" things (like veggies)
3. those skinny legs in those big blue boots

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

my love affair with the internet...shh, don't tell!

you may not know this, but i am an information junkie. yes, i like to know things. i have been known to actually sit and read an encyclopedia or a dictionary, just to see what i could learn or find out. at the library, i will bring home more non-fiction books than best sellers. and, i am usually reading more than one book(or even two) books at a time.

i just wanna KNOW!

so, way back in 1996, when our household first got a computer, i knew it would be a cool gadget, but i didn't know i would fall in love!!

and fall, i did! when we were home schooling, the computer was really helpful with information pertaining to our studies, and, of course, it took over for the old typewriter. we used it to find printables and craft ideas, to learn the lyrics to songs and much more.

now that we have graduated from homeschooling, my usage of the internet has changed. just in the past week, i have printed out recipes, printed off coloring pages for t.w., found and printed off coupons, etc. come to think of it, i LOVE my printer too!

oh, i also use the internet for any kind of information i require. the most recent searches have been: clipart and images for this blog, recipe for spinach and feta triangles, health benefits of rooibos tea (of which, there are many!), how to keep cats out of a newly planted garden, lowe's home page, craigslist cookeville, the year cher was born (1946-she's 64!), green drinks, etc., etc.

my favorite sites to check out are about decorating and crafting, foodie and recipe blogs, internet movie database, etsy,,, youtube and many more too numerous to mention!

whenever we are having a discussion about something and someone wonders about some detail, i will look it up on the computer. anything you want to know, is at your fingertips! i don't know how we ever lived without computers!

i am grateful that:
1. you CAN recover from a computer crash!
2. it IS legal to copy someone else's decorating ideas!
3. there are MANY great sites for toddlers to watch videos and movies

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

oh sandy ba-aby.....

last week, we had some gorgeous weather. the temperatures were in the 80's, it was quite warm. t.willie made the most of it by spending as much time outside as i could stand! he has a great, red crabby sandbox that his great grandma (g.g.) gave him. i also gave him a tub with some water in it and he really liked that.

here is a photo story, see if you can read it....

the end

1. for smoothies in my new blender
2. for printable coupons
3. for playing outside

Monday, April 19, 2010

this rant sucks

okay, let me set the record straight, i am ALL for progress and improvements. but sometimes, what seems like an improvement, is actually NOT!! to be specific, the bagless vacuum. oh, i know, we thought that taking that dirt and yuck filled bag off was "too messy" for our delicate sensibilities. so, then came the invention of the bagless vacuum...what a wonder! what a clever marvel of man's ingenuity! NOT!!!

what sadistic, mean-spirited man invented this contraption??!! and it HAS to have been a man, probably one who had never actually used a vacuum or ever emptied one! so they took this idea of removing one single part that collected dirt and debris and created a vacuum that has SEVERAL parts that collect dirt and debris. and they made it so that there is NO way to empty all these parts without creating another mess that you will, then, have to vacuum up after you are done!!!!!


my own personal vac is a bissell powerforce, 12 amp bagless, with an "easy empty" dirt container. oh yeah, it may be easy, but it is also messy!!

half the time, when i have to empty the dirt cup; the filter cup, which is attached on the bottom, falls off knocking the dirt and hair that has collected on it onto the floor! this sets off a chain-reaction of expletives, then violent banging of the said cup and filter, more expletives and finally the need to get out the wisk broom and dust pan to sweep up the after effects of the cup emptying process. (because, i'll be dipped if i'm going to plug the damn thing in again and re-vacuum!)

okay, now let's get to the part where i have to clean the yucky, cruddy parts and various filters. on this particular model, the bissell powerforce, 12 amp bagless, with an easy empty dirt container, there are no less than eight (yes, 8) removable parts that need to be washed off and cleaned on a regular basis. (nine, if you count the vacuum, itself!) and i DO count the vacuum, because after i remove the eight (yes, 8) parts, i have to take the wisk broom and then, sweep out the dirt cup area thoroughly. i do all this taking apart out on my porch, as it is messy work that creates a large mushroom cloud of dust all around me.

now, i don't think i am an unreasonable person, but this does seem like an awful lot of fuss just to vacuum! am i wrong?

i just long for the good ole days, when there was just one yucky bag to remove and toss in the trash. you can bet, that when this bissell powerforce, 12 amp bagless, with an easy empty dirt container takes it's last breaths, i will be RUNNING to the store to purchase a new, old bagged vacuum!!

and that's the dirt on that!

grateful for:
1. the invention of blogs so i could rant and get that outta my system!
2. the redbud tree out my window
2. the invention of pull-ups for toilet-training toddlers (bet it was a woman that invented them!)

Friday, April 16, 2010

i think dandelions are dandy!

i know, i know, most folks think of dandelions as pesky weeds they wish would stay out of their lawns. i know they can seem to take over a lawn like crazy. but i like them...a lot!

i can't help it! they're so bright and sunny and they just get all up in yer face as if to say
"hi, it's me, gotta love me!"

yeah, and i even like them when they turn all gray and fuzzy. in fact, that's when they are the most fun! i really enjoy walking across the lawn kicking at 'em to release the seed heads and let 'em fly!!

now, maybe it would be different if i had one of those nice lush, green lawns that are actually grass! our lawn, here at the hellhole, is 1% grass and 99% clover (and dandelions)! and i even like the clover too, but only when it's kept short so the flowers don't bloom and cause the bees to hang out! because it's not fun if you happen to step on one.

here is a picture of our gardener busily mowing; boy, does he look hard at work!

he picked a dandelion flower and brought it to me saying, "here gammie, this dan-dee-lion for you!" (i know, it melts yer heart!)

hey, what's that over there?

oh, it's just buster!

he likes dandelions, too!!

i'm grateful tonight:
1. for all the little things that mean a lot
2. for time to sit in the sun
3. for sweet bouquets of weeds

Thursday, April 15, 2010

the boy in the box...

...and his cat!
i don't have the energy to put much into this post tonight, just thought i'd share these pics of t.willie and his cat...enjoy!

1. to reconnect with old friends today
2. for bacon
3. t.w's blonde head!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

itchin' to get dirty

it's april already and i am just dying to get into the dirt and start a garden! i love fresh veggies and herbs and flowers to pick for my table, but i am overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to get things going.

i have tried in the past, to garden with the old-fashioned method of plowing a plot and planting. it's just too much work for one person and i DO NOT get gardening help from anyone else in the hellhole! they are not interested. as soon as the plants start to get some veggies, the weeds take over and the heat gets too intense. i harvest those first few goodies and then it's too much for me, i hide inside in the air-conditioning and the garden turns into a wild jungle!

i have, also, in the past, done a garden with the "lasagna method".

basically, you don't plow or dig at all, ya just layer a bunch of organic material to create a perfect bed for your seeds or plants. i LOVED this method, it worked really well, and made for a neat, tidy, practically weed free garden. (incidentally, this is a great book, you should check it out!)

but, it is already late in the season and this method does take some preparation time.

soooooooooo, now i'm considering planting in pots and containers. which also takes a little prep time, but not as much. it also means, i have to get those pots and containers! and the potting mix...and the plants...and, oh, who am i kidding, what i really want is for some garden angel (not to be confused with a guardian angel) to come and do it all for me!!!

seriously, i received my weekly e-mail from today and it had a few tips for container gardening, such as:

a) soil mix for containers- 1 part peat moss, 1 part rich garden soil or potting soil, 1 part sand
- with a trowel, mix the ingredients in a bucket or wheelbarrow until well blended. use for outdoor potted vegetables or flowers.
b) veggies need at least five hours of full sun
c) you must give attention to selecting the proper varieties and choosing the proper container
d) container gardening with flowers is a great way to instantly introduce color, fragrance and beauty into the landscape.
e) great annuals for pots include: begonia, browallia, dusty miller, fuchsia, lobelia, marigold, morning glory, portulaca, snapdragon, statice, sweet alyssum and sweet pea.
f) great perennials for pots include: astilbe, bee balm, bleeding heart, coneflower, evening primrose, hosta, hybrid daylily, speedwell and tansy.

there ya go, give it a try. and now that i've written this, i am even MORE ready get out there and get dirty!!!

grateful today:
1. for the mockingbird noisily singing out my window
2. for my hairdresser who has been cutting mine and my girls' hair since forever!
3. for the good health that t.willie is blessed with

Monday, April 12, 2010

highs and lowe's

hahaha good title, huh? i crack me up!!

this is the way i like to start my sunday mornings...with a big ole lowe's truck backing into my driveway! yes, the new washing machine has come home, and not a minute too soon, as the laundry has been piling up quickly!!

we had a great weekend, just working in the yard, playing with t.willie in his sandbox and eating at cracker barrel (thanks elle!) saturday night. nothing too exciting but i like it that way.

happy monday!

1. for less allergy symptoms
2. for SPRING, glorious spring!!
3. for that little half-naked boy in the other room who cracks me up over and over all day long!

Friday, April 9, 2010


WARNING- grossness alert!
if you have a weak stomach or are not used to small children, STOP reading now!!

t.willie and i were on our way to cookeville this morning. it takes about 25 minutes through rural hills and curves and is not a bad ride at all. well, as i like to keep an eye on what the lad is doing during a drive, i have my rear view mirror aimed at him. so, he is reading his books and chatting away, but then he gets kinda quiet.

i look up to see him pulling a juicy booger-snot out of his nose, and as usual, i reached back to hand him a tissue. now, he is a bright boy and usually neatly wipes the results of his nose-mining into the tissue. not this time. he held the tissue in the one hand but was fixated on the slimey thing on his finger in the other hand. and, as i watched, he put his finger and thumb together and watched as the booger-snot stretched as he pulled the fingers apart!

i chuckled a little as i told him to put it in his tissue, but he ignored me. open, close, open, close- he couldn't get enough of the stretching snot! no matter how many times i pleaded for him to wipe it in his tissue, he ignored was just TOO FASCINATING!! oy! two year olds!!!

you forget after your children are grown, about all the disgusting or embarrassing things they do. now, as a grandma, i get to relive all the fun!!

have a great weekend......

i'm grateful today:
1. that the above incident happened in the privacy of my car
2. that we got to have lunch with bilbo
3. that t.w. reminds me to not sweat the small (or gross) stuff