Saturday, April 30, 2011


What did you eat for dinner last night?
I made home made taco pizza.  Crust from scratch, fresh veggies, fat free re-fried beans, and turkey burger.
Then after dinner, we watched tv and I made home made from scratch cocoa with home made whipped cream.  I spoiled us last night!

Friday, April 29, 2011


*Clock* You've gotta love the internet.  You can find anything!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The best part of being a mom.
These little moments are my favorite.  You're watching tv, and look over to see why the hubby hasn't laughed at the show in a bit, and there it is.  The cutest thing ever. In that moment, you aren't thinking about chores that need to get done, bills that have to get paid, or the homework that still needs checked.  All that goes through your mind is how much you love those two beautiful people who look so much alike, and how that tiny little smile on your husbands face so completely expresses how your heart just skipped a little beat.
When I look at it, I am shocked that the two of them are so still.  I should do a series of the shots I've taken of them in recent months.  Neither of them ever hold still long enough for me to get a good picture.  Especially when I'm trying to take one while they aren't paying attention.
I'd give anything to be able to keep these moments, and scrap the cleaning stuff.  Why is it that motherhood is so full of chasing, driving, cleaning, homework, lunch money and crazy outfits, and not so much of the Ah-ha, full circle, oh-so-cute, or "they really hear me" moments?  Is this really too much to ask?  ...I think it may be...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Idle Wednesday

Pickled Veggies!
Jay says that these don't qualify for Idle Wednesday, but seeing as I MADE them, I say they do.
The recipe is pretty simple. Just vinegar, spices, the okra and asparagus we bought at the open market,  and time. I used jars that I saved for just such an occasion, which is why they are different sizes and one is labeled "french onion".
The girls could only wait about twelve hours to crack one open, and that okra is so good!
I feel extra (modern) hippie today.  Pickling, reusing old jars, and blogging about it.  lol


Minnesota, American Red Cross, The Hilton, -30 degree weather, first Airplane trip alone.
I was supposed to have a companion on the trip to Mn, both of us going for volunteer training, and things of the like.  Instead my companion decided she couldn't go, so I was alone in a place I'd never been, surrounded by people I'd never met, and completely freaked out.  I decided to suck it up and make it work for me.  I got my camera out and took pictures of everything, including things that you wouldn't necessarily take a photo of while on a trip.  I love the reflection in the desk, the shadows cast by the sun, and the feeling of calm I feel when I look at it. Had I had my roommate there I wouldn't have been so freaked out about being in such a huge crowed of people, but I'm glad she flaked.  I wouldn't have learned anything, nor would I have been able to go ahead and freak out about being on a plane if she'd been there.  I now know I can figure out the huge airport, navigate that insanely pretentious  hotel, and survive the plane ride.  This means that when the idea of Alaska came up, I didn't hesitate.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I didn't have to go far to find Jay's next theme.  Just to the creek in our back yard.  Instead of burying the sewer line under the creek, they made a "bridge"  with cement pillars and the pipe.  Ew.   Sometimes kids walk through, and sometime before we moved here, they left their mark.  Not the most interesting graffiti I've ever seen though.  I'm just not going to the part of town where it is.  At least, not with this camera strapped to my neck, or my wedding ring still on my finger!! 

Monday, April 25, 2011


An old hurt
I wonder what it was that made these cuts so far up the tree?  They are well healed and eight feet or so up the trunk so I'd say maybe 6 years old? Miah's wild imagination said it was Wolverine.  Leave it to her.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


This is our old house at Fort Campbell.
Do you see the paper chain that's draped around the walls twice?  The tail end of it goes down the hall, and almost all the way around to the kitchen.  Each one of those paper rings represents not only a single day, one for each day that Jay was deployed, but they also each represent the intense and incredible anticipation the four of us felt the entire deployment.
When I look at this picture that represents the beginning of a 15 month deployment, it seems so far away.  It was almost three years ago?  Did we actually DO that three times?  Are we going to have to do it again in the near future?  The feeling of panic creeps in a little bit, and I remember how impossible it seemed.  I feel so grateful to have had the past couple of years here with our little unit intact.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


One of these things is not like the others.
I got these last year at the Farmer's Market.  I drove past it the other day, and I saw that it is already open this season.  When Jay goes to get his High n Tight from Kathy, I'm headed over to get some green tomatoes.  I can't wait!

Friday, April 22, 2011

School Picture Time!

Obviously, Miah's pic was taken at school. I had no clue when picture day was, so Miah went rogue and did it all herself.  Laurel's I did. I hate paying for school pictures.  They are horribly expensive, and don't have any personality.  But what can you do? Here they print the photos out and send them all home for you to choose from and buy.  Then you have to give the rest back to them.  Ridiculous!  Also, not very "Green" of them.  What are they going to do with pictures of my kid?  This doesn't seem like a smart plan.

Speaking of green, Happy Earth Day!!!  What have you done for our planet today?   We've stopped using the dishwasher (Except this ONE time, because mom was here and it was more time effective.) I have a whole week of posts I did a couple of years ago, so feel free to peruse them if you are feeling especially earth friendly today.

Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six


    What's in your fridge? -Kathy Jeffries Smith's idea!
    1. Shrimp tempura (guilty pleasure, lots of points, but yummy)
    2. Boca Burgers.  (They taste just like the burgers and Gene's Freeze back home. :)
    3. Feta Cheese (My favorite kind of cheese, except Havarti)
    4. Grape leaves (for making Dolmas)
    5. Tahini (for making Hummus)
    6. Chicken broth (just for Scotty!)
    7. Hot pickle ( because I've been addicted since I was a baby)
    8. Fresh Ginger (in a tube.  Trying out a new product.  Usually it would be the whole fresh root)
    9. Parsnips (these are awesome in potato soup, or mashed potatoes)
    10. Okra (The kids are going to pickle them)
    11. Kiwi
    12. Asparagus  (Laurel's favorite)
    I grabbed all the things out of my fridge that I knew my BF Sheila would make fun of me for having.  Especially the chicken broth.  I made Sheila and Scotty mashed potatoes using chicken broth rather than butter and milk, and they HATED them!  I still get made fun of. 
    So, are my items unusual?  What's in your fridge??

    Thursday, April 21, 2011


    An Accomplishment.
    Jay is always saying that he is who he is, because of me.  So, now I'm going to officially take credit for the guy who:
    1. Buys flowers for no reason.
    2. Has NEVER left the toilet seat up.
    3. Runs to the grocery store at the drop of a hat if I need him to.
    4. Does chores on weekends to help me out.
    5. Makes coffee every morning.
    6. Makes pancakes every Sunday.
    7. Can sometimes hear me calling him in my head. He used to call randomly from Iraq just after I thought to myself how much I needed to hear his voice.  He still does it now, but I just need it to happen less, now that he's home. The other day I was watching "Army Wives" (don't give me grief!) and I was thinking about when a soldier died like on the show, I just wanted to be able to see Jay's face, and talk to him...and maybe five minutes later he called to tell me how long he was going to work out, so he'd be home in time to get the kids with me.  He hasn't called home in the middle of the work day in a million years.  Interesting.  And awesome.
    8. Is constantly trying to improve himself by taking college classes, so that one day he can be a teacher.
    9. Is completely and totally loyal to the purpose of his job.  He doesn't play the "games" he just puts his head down and does his work, because he loves it.  I can't really take credit for this one though, but it still makes him awesome.
    10. Has completely overcome his childhood, and is who he is despite it all.  I think I can take credit for a little bit of this, because I expect him to be better, and therefore he is.  ;)

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    No Excuses!

    I have been very good today.  I signed up for the eTools on and got the ap on my phone.  I ate a good breakfast, not too many points, and it kept me going all afternoon.  I ate some Progresso soup for lunch, and an apple, also pretty decent. The problem is that every day around 3 I get hungry.  That's about an hour away now, and I have been sucking on this water bottle for a while trying to stave off the snack craving I know is coming. 
    I've run into a couple of glitches.  Did you know that Diet Pepsi has 75mg of sodium per bottle?  Not cool! Also, the cruelest twist of fate.  Tea has sodium in it.  I drink about a gallon of unsweetened iced tea a day.  The water here tastes funny to me, so I don't drink it, and I refuse to buy bottled water.  Tea is my life.  I have no clue how I'm going to keep track!  It's a small amount, but as much as I drink it will add up fast.  
    As I was grocery shopping this morning, I was playing a little guessing game.  How much sodium will there be??  I quickly got disgusted with the answers.  I like to make my own pasta sauce, but there are NO low sodium tomato choices. I may have to start canning my own tomatoes, because the ready made sauce has tons of sodium per 1/2 cup.  Surprisingly pasta, which I would have guessed had tons of salt, has none.  Really?  Barred for life now are pickles, kalamata olives, pickled peppers, ANY processed stuff, almost ALL soups, lunch meat, and on and on. Even the "heart healthy" low sodium choices are FULL of sodium. I don't know what the hell people eat!  I need some guidance.  We usually eat good, home made food...but this is crazy. Is being healthy worth eating nothing but steamed broccoli and baked chicken?  Do I really want to live that long anyway? 
    I have been craving crunchy salty greasy potato chips and Publix's organic salsa all day.  Instead, I'll have another swig of tea and get ready to get the kids.  After school we are all 6 going for a mile walk.  Dobby and Harley almost peed their pants when I got the harnesses out. Wish me luck, and willpower!

    Idle Wednesday


    What did you have for breakfast?
    Laurel and Miah made pannekoeken for breakfast.  I made the whipped cream.  Yum! (Thanks Sara, for sharing the idea!) This is mostly fruit, and while it doesn't look diet friendly, I can fit it in because of my 49 weekly flex points.  No salt added!

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Not again! Well...ya, again.

    I hate to confess, but I feel like I have to.  I stopped going to Weight Watchers.  I had sort of a melt down.  While trying to learn and get used to the new system, I also had to try to pay attention to my salt intake and cholesterol levels, and I got overwhelmed.  Oprah says that when you need to learn a lesson, the Universe whispers to you.  If you don't listen, it starts yelling.  I got yelled at this morning in the form of GMA's health contributor, talking about salt intake and what too much will do to your body.  My doctor had told me pretty much the same thing.  My body has been telling me too.  I was so swollen this morning from the Chinese food we ate in honor of Jay's birthday, that I had gained seven pounds.  Some of that I'm sure are more fat cells, but I know for sure some was water.  My fingers hurt, and my ankles are swollen from too much yard work and excessive salt.  Damn General Taos. 
    So today I went back to see my friends at WW.  Anita noticed, and said she missed me.  A couple of others mentioned that I was back...including one fellow army wife (ret.).  They make me feel good.  I get the feeling that they actually notice when I'm gone, and they let me know it's great that I'm back.
    I am fully committed to this.  I AM going to loose some weight, but more importantly I will NOT die of a salt induced heart attack. 
    I've done it before, and dammit I will do it again!  Do me a favor, AND HOLD ME TO IT, OKAY?


    It's wonderfully warm outside, and  nature is emerging full force.  As I was sitting in my chair on the back porch, this fuzzy little guy ambled by.  I was staring at him, wondering what he was going to grow into, where he was off to before I picked him up, and what he thought was going on when I picked him up.  His life is probably fairly carefree, I thought.  What would it be like to be him for a day? 

    I found out what species he is, just for fun.

    Monday, April 18, 2011


    Jay's Birthday (Last year)
    This year we went to the zoo...last year the museum to see dinosaurs, and the year before we went to the aquarium.  Where to next year babe?
    I got Jay his own Kindle this year, but it had to get returned b/c it didn't have the whispernet/get a book anywhere you are in the world feature. Who knew that the cheaper one would have the wifi instead?  It made me mad.  I hate returning stuff, and so now instead of being able to read on his kindle today, he has to wait for another week.  Bah!!!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011


    Dobby was absolutely the most expensive thing we had ever bought.  Up until then, anyway.  I'd never paid for a dog before, and it seems nuts, but I wanted a cuddly little pup, and Jay was all for it.  I was sure I wanted to when we went to see her.  Jay carried her home and there she sat, in his arms, for hours.  Chet was curious, and then he fell in love.  They were perfect together.  She's a little bit of a punk every once in a while, but she was worth it.  Jay still swears that he hates little dogs, but you should hear him baby talk to her....

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    New Header

    Laurel used the Photoshop to retouch the header photo.  Isn't it cool?  I love how the colors pop.

    I almost forgot to check the blog to see if my 365 pictures posted today. I accidentally hit save instead of post, so I almost skipped a day! yikes!  I hope you like the photos.
    Night all!!


    "Something Jay has never done."
    This post has multiple pictures simply because I couldn't sum the trip up with one.  I took over 400 pictures that day, and these made the cut.  I really wanted more, but I figured I'd loose your interest before then.  
    Mom, Jay, the kids and I drove to the Zoo in S.C. for Jay's birthday.  We were going to go last year, but the schedule he had didn't lend itself to weekend trips, or making actual long term plans.  It all worked out though, because mom got to go with us this way.
    We watched the bears play fight for a long while.  They looked just like Miah and Harley playing in the front room.  So cute.

    You can't see it, but Jay is so excited right then.


    The only thing separating he and I was an inch of glass.  He kept giving me this look, and it made me feel like springing him from his prison.  At one point some small kids were smacking the glass and giving him a hard time, so he unfurled his impossibly long, hairy arm and smacked the glass with a thump.  The kids all screamed and jumped back..but I doubt they learned anything.

    He sat there in the corner forever. It was scary to see him in comparison to the girls, because it occurred to me that he was powerful enough to crush them, and they seemed way too close to him at that moment.  Even with the glass.

    When we walked up to him, Mom said "Ron!"  and then he looked at me.  Spooky.

    Stretch Jay!

    He was right in our faces!  He smells like hay and warm fur.

    Miah seemed to have some sort of hold on the animals. Nearly all of them walked up to her.

    This one really wanted to say hello.

    An acrobatic show off, this one is!

    I loved being in their building.  It was humid, and smelled heavily of eucalyptus.  It had an over all calming effect on me. 

    Some kids started making roaring sounds, and so he started talking back.  Miah roared at him and had a conversation.

    Miah got to feed the coy.  They were the biggest I'd ever seen.

    See his number?

    When we walked up, he was the one right in the front.  What are the odds?

    We stayed the longest with the penguins.  One of them fell in love with Miah.

    I have six or seven pictures of him coming back to her to say hello.

    Waiting for Miah to be done with the penguins.

    He didn't like me.  I may have shot one of his cousins once.

    This was Jay's favorite bird.  He's still talking about it a week later.