Conversation at Chic-fil-A between myself, my girl, and my hubby:
M: "You need to sit down and eat, sweets."
G: "But Moooommmmmmmmmmm! Can I have ice cream after I eat my shhhicken?"
M: "If you eat all your chicken and stay seated, you can have ice cream."
She jumps off the bench as she says: "Okay mama."
M: "You need to sit down. Don't make me tell you again."
H: "Love bug, you need to sit down and eat. Listen to your mommy."
G: "Okay, Daddy" As she smiles sweetly towards me, and gets back in her seat.
2 seconds later:
She's out of her seat.
H: "What did I tell you? No ice cream if you don't stay seated and finish your food."
G: "Can I just take my fries home and have ice cream now?"
M & H: "No! Eat your dinner!"
Commence the whining:
G: "Mommmmmmmm! I want ice cream! I am done eating. I am sitting down! Doesn't my knees count? But my baby needs me (seated in it's own damn highchair). I don't want anymore chicken! I'm tired. I want to hold you! I'm hungry! I need ice cream."
M: Getting ready to sigh, staring down my husband, gritting my teeth, and about to get nasty.
G: "Mommy, don't be upset with me. But can I have ice cream?"
Before I even answer:
H: "When you turn 16, I am buying you the ugliest car ever to make up for driving us crazy. It will be a Plymouth. It will be a boat. It will be green. The windows will not roll down. The radio won't work. And Mommy and I will laugh."
G: "That's not very nice."
5 seconds later:
G: "Mommy, I need to go potty."
The joys of an almost 4 year old. Sigh.
Conversation at Chic-fil-A between myself, my girl, and my hubby:
This video is adorable. I've read several stories, seen numerous videos, of different species be-friending each other. I knew a dog who mothered two baby raccoons, and later mothered a fawn whose mother had been killed on a county road. It's amazing to me. Gives me a bit of hope.
Written by Danielle-lee at 1:00 PM
All my life, I have been sensitive. I have cried when I've been physically hurt. I have crumbled inside when I have been emotionally run over. I have ached for others' bad or sad situations. I have reached my arms out to many people over the years, trying to help. That's just what I do; I help.
When I worked at CPS (Child Protective Services, for those of you not in Texas; each state calls it something different), I gave and gave and gave. AND GAVE. Of myself, my love, my attention, my hope. I was determined to build something positive out of the train wreck of these people's lives. And I did, sometimes. Not always in the ways I wanted, or as often as I would have liked, but I know I planted the seed.
I left CPS for many reasons, but the big one was this: I could no longer carry the weight of despair. Not only did it sit heavy on my shoulders, but it was like lead in my heart. I found that even the largest positive ending to a case did not ease the load. I had spent too many years making others' pain my own, others' problems my own. I had to get out from under all of it before it destroyed me.
I thought leaving CPS would be the key. And to an extent, it has been. But, I find that I still empathize to an alarming degree, to the point of caregiver fatigue. I still swallow others' disasters. They lay claim to a tiny piece of my soul. I know all the ways, the techniques, to avoid this, yet I still do it. It's automatic. It's just me.
That being said, I found two blogs last summer that have really been heart wrenching for me: Bring the Rain and matt, liz, & madeline . Both deal with death, and the loss of someone you love with every fiber of your being. I cannot make it through one of matt's posts without tearing up, and subsequently sitting in held-breath silence, staring off into space. His pain is palpable.
I started from the beginning on Angie's blog, and I can't make it through without becoming a basket case. Sometimes, when I see new posts on Matt's blog pop up on my google reader, I just avoid them. I.just.can't.
I spend a substantial amount of time mulling over these people after reading the posts. I try to imagine being in their shoes-the anguish, anger, fear, rage, the unyielding feeling of being alone. I just cannot imagine that I would be as strong as they are.
However, I strongly suggest reading these blogs. First, it helps me to know that others swallow these stories whole. But also, the strength, hope, and faith they both possess is to be admired. While they do hurt me, they also remind me just how lucky I am, how blessed I have been in my life. How you can build a new life out of wreckage.
I have a dear bloggy friend who is going through something serious, something so indescribably painful and heartbreaking that I cannot even explain it, even if it was my story to tell. But. It is not my story to tell. All I can say is that I am thinking of her, and wishing that we were IRL friends, so I could hold her, cry with her, rage for her, and somehow make it better. I lie up at night, praying for the miracle that is meant to happen for her and her family. I ask Why, Why, WHY? over and over, knowing that no one can give me an answer that will satisfy. I am swallowing her pain whole, and I am trying to avoid it.
Check out the badge on the rightside of my blog. It's a wonderful foundation set up in memory of matt's wife, Liz. I am so glad someone came up with the idea!
I promised I would post pictures of my backyard landscaping, which was my Christmas present this year. I'm pretty sure this will bore more than half of you, so feel free to just cruise on through this post and tell me what a bore I am in the comments section.
Am loving this path! I can't wait till the spring when I can plant sweet potato vine and other lovely things that bloom.
This is the back corner of my backyard. See those two bush-like trees by the fence? Those things are hell raisers. My lovely neighbors (who have never talked to me) complained to the landscaper that those trees were too close to the fence, and would be taking over their backyard 'in no time at all'. Are you kidding me? These are also the same neighbors that left a note in my mailbox along the lines of 'We know that your house flooded, you are in a temporary house, and your dogs had to stay behind. BUT, they barked a lot last night and we didn't sleep well. Please make arrangements.' They are a fucking joy, let me tell you.
This is the 'dog run', which doesn't look like much of a run, actually. Unless your dog likes to run in circles, which surprisingly, mine does, so, it works out great. Also? It has four corners, which my dogs like to dig up, so it works out well in the regard. See that fuzzy bush type thing in the middle of the picture? My Kooter dog was standing in the middle of it a week or so ago. I have no idea what he was thinking.
I'm stealing this from The Coconut Diaries. It's greatness, I tell you!
List Five T.V. shows that I will never watch – no, never.
1. The View (annoys the shit out of me)
2. Jerry Springer (trash!)
3. The Hills (stupid, spoiled drama)
4. The Wiggles (been there, done that)
5. The Doodlebops (AAAAAAAAAAAArg, my brain is bubbling just thinking about it)
Five foods I HATE and refuse to eat.
2. Veal (actually, I love it, but can't bring myself to eat it after having cattle)
3. Squid salad
4. Smelt eggs (Ever watch Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel??)
Five places I don’t have any interest in visiting.
1. Crystal Meth Lab
3. A prison (they make me sad)
4. A crack house
5. The place where the prostitutes hang out near downtown (been there....makes me incredibly sad)
Five things people at work/in my family do to annoy me.
1. (family) Always making snotty comments that I am 'loaded' or 'rich', when I'm not.
2. (work) A co-worker who smokes like a chimney, and walks in smelling like an ashtray. It lingers ALL DAY.
3. (family) When people CRUNCH THEIR CANDY. Drives...me...f-ing...batshit....crazy. I am a sucker in a family of crunchers.
4. (family) Never saying please or thank you.
5. (family) Asking me what my husband is going to buy next, since he 'is a spending person'.
Five worst gifts you received.
1. A Christmas sweatshirt that was like 10 times too big for me, and UGLY.
2. A 5lb. bag of pistachios. I mean, I love them, but not THAT much.
3. A slightly used make-up compact.
4. A set of 1960's daisy teacups and teapot. In puke green & fluorescent yellow. Used.
5. A set of candlesticks with shamrocks on them.
Awhile back, Just A Girl decided to throw a swap party. I of course, signed up, and Jannie Funster was the person I would be swapping with. I spent too much time figuring out what I would get the lovely Jannie after I got the email of random questions that would give me ideas. Eventually, I sent the package off, and I hope she enjoyed it.
I've already brewed a cup of the throat coat tea. It's yummy! And the lavender soap smells heavenly, but sad news: My husband is allergic, so I can't use it. Booooo!
There was an adorable butterfly calender, but my little sister jacked it. And the little bag with the peppers on it? My mother-in-law jacked that. Luckily, I have already started putting pictures in the teeny photo book, so no one can steal that from me!
While today is a noteworthy, insanely historical day in our country, I am not as elated as I wanted to be. I am sidetracked and things are a bit out of focus for me.
Yesterday Kristie's tweet about missing her blogiversary got me thinking:
Didn't I start this blog about a year ago?
Yes, yes I did.
December 28, 2007.
Mother f-er. I missed my blogiversary too!
So, since I am once again in the midst of moving and unpacking, I will have to come back to wax on (and off) about how much I have enjoyed blogging for the past year, meeting all you wonderful people, and maybe even do a teeny tiny contest? Although, whatever would I give away this time? An empty wardrobe box? A random book from my gift closet? Heck, I don't know!
Moving right along:
So, if you had the choice between an IPod Touch or an IPod Classic, which would you choose? You aren't paying for it, and you used to have the Classic, but it wasn't 120GB, it was like 30GB. Yes, the Touch is oh-so cool, but the Classic has much more storage. Not that you plan on downloading 30,000 songs, but shouldn't you get the most for your (see: your brother's) money? Okay, wait: If you want the most for your money, do you want the most storage, or the most cool? And guess what? The Touch is actually cheaper than the Classic right now! WTF? Okay, I totally don't know what to do here. Help me out, people! And not like when I asked for your help on mascara (bought the Colassal stuff in the bright yellow tube this past weekend, and then I see this girl's post about 'OH how I love this mascara!' and I totally want to scream) and a gift for my mother-in-law (didn't end up buying her a thing because I haven't seen her since Christmas), because seriously? You guys dropped the ball on that one! Way to help a fellow blogger out! Sheesh.
Just tell me!: 30GB Touch or 120GB Classic???
If you know me at all, you know that my life revolves around food. Yes, of course, it revolves around my daughter, and social work, and helping others, and world peace, and hugging trees, and....but oh.my.god. Food.
Taken from Lil Foot's Mommy, my faraway friend who will talk about food with me any time!
1. Favorite milk? 2% Or Shepp's Chocolate milk
2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook this season? Roman-Style Chicken, Italian stew, & chocolate cake
3. Topping of choice for popcorn? Plain, old, fatty butter
4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? Some cornbread out of a box. It was the Target brand, and I put in too much oil and it was AWFUL. My husband won't let me live it down, even though I now make some awesome cornbread.
5. Favorite pickled item? Pickled tomatoes! So good!
6. How do you organize your recipes? Uh, they are all over the place, but contained in one cabinet.
7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? garbage disposal. If I didn't have two dogs, I would totally do compost (tree hugger).
8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)? pasta!, chocolate cake, tacos!
9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? Making some of my grandma's old recipes with her before she passed away
10. Favorite ice cream? Aw hell-just ONE?. Um, dulce de leche.
11. Most loved kitchen appliance? My pot filler!!! I rolled my eyes when my hubby wanted to put one in, but I LOVE it.
12. Spice/herb you would die without? garlic
13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time? A kids one that has recipes from A-Z
14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? Kiwi jam from Australia! My friend brought it back for me.
15. Favorite recipe to serve to a friend? Tortilla soup
16. Do you eat tofu? Sometimes, but usually just in miso soup
17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)? DESSERT!
18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator? nothing. there is a built in cabinet that sits about a 1/4 inch above the top of my refrigerator (That's full of my china)
19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. tortellini, toaster strudel's, Chili
20. What’s on your grocery list? ice cream
21. Favorite grocery store? Market Street, but it's expensive!
22. Name a recipe you’d love to try, but haven’t yet. Roasted chicken with balsamic vinaigarette
23. Food blog you read the most. None, really.
24. Favorite chocolate? Raspberry truffles from godiva
25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately? prosciutto for the Roman Chicken recipe
26. What vegetables do you enjoy most? Broccoli, grilled eggplant & zucchini, fried zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers
Did I ever tell you about the time I was attacked by a bird? No? Really? Wellllll, this is a good one.
In spite of all the drama with my cows, there were some bright sides to living in the country.
It's been awhile, so I decided to give you another installment of my time in Springtown. You can go here, here, here, or here to read previous stories about my time as a cow person. Also related, go here to read about my nutty neighbors that I called the ASPCA on.
So after Round 2 of the Calves, we sold all the mamas and their babies. We decided we were done for a bit. That lasted all of 2 seconds. Our rancher friend asked if he could put some of his cattle on our land, as he had a ton, and not a ton of hay. So, of course, we said yes.
These 15 ladies were skinny. And I mean S.K.I.N.N.Y. Ribs, hipbones, shoulder blades showing. Apparently, our rancher friend had bought them this way, and they weren't fattening up fast enough. It was really sad. We had several bales of hay out there for them, as well as salt blocks and bags of feed. They were very slowly getting some weight on.
One day I get a letter in my mailbox. It is in a blank envelope. I swear to you, I wish I had saved that damn letter, just so I could post it here.
This was a 'concerned neighbor' who said that they drove by my property every day, and my cows were getting skinnier and skinnier, and if I didn't stop starving my cattle, this person was going to 'Call the local news stations' because 'I am sure they would like to see how cruel you are to animals'. This fuckface called me cruel, mean, and 'not-deserving' of animals.
I was livid. I couldn't see straight, and I stomped into my house to call my husband at work. I am sure the phone conversation was a delight for him, what with me ranting and raving, screaming and crying "How could someone actually think that I would starve an animal?????". I was not happy, to say the least. Especially considering the fact that I had called the ASPCA on my stupid neighbors across the street.
My husband called our rancher friend, who was a bit too slow for my liking, but he did bring out more hay. But this wasn't good enough for me. I couldn't stand the thought that some neighbor actually thought I would let animals starve on my property. And I was so angry that they didn't just stop and ask about the damn cows. I was so mad that I thought of posting a big huge sign on my gate telling this fuckface that 'These ARE NOT the same PREGNANT COWS that I had a couple of months ago. These are cows that WERE STARVING BEFORE THEY GOT HERE.' Every person that drove by my house (and the county road was a busy one), I gave dirty looks to. I was just pissy.
Eventually, our rancher friend came and got them, once he had sold some of his other cattle. The ASPCA never showed up, but I never felt truly comfortable there again.
6. A faraway friend who makes me feel sane, just by being herself.
7. My daughter telling me that I am her favorite, even when I'm 'crabby'.