Friday, February 27, 2009

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

On this day back in 2003, Fred Rogers died of cancer at age 74. That was a sad day. I love Mr. Rogers. My boys have outgrown King Friday, Lady Elaine, and Daniel Tiger and moved on to Spongebob, Spongebob, and more Spongebob. But I always loved watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood with them when they were toddlers. Picture-picture was my favorite while the boys liked storytime and the trolley.

But I have to admit that whenever Robert Troll was on, I cringed everytime he spoke (he was the double-talking troll), much like my reaction to Patrick Star, who gives a bad name to starfish everywhere.

The Academic Sigh by Russell Edson

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paglia E Fieno Alla Papalina

First, let me start by apologizing to the late Pope Pius XII and to Italians everywhere. This is not really Straw and Hay for the Pope. This is only hay (egg fettuccini) because there is a certain small town in Arkansas where you can not find straw (spinach fettuccini). I know. It's a shame, isn't it? I think I'll write my congressman. But first, here's a great recipe for those Friday dinners during Lent.

Straw and Hay for the Pope (original recipe from Nancy Berzinac's gift book, Pasta Favorites)

1 (9 oz) package fresh spinach fettuccine
1 (9 oz) package fresh egg fettuccine
1/2 butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup (about 1/4 lb) sliced mushrooms
1 (10 oz) package frozen baby peas, thawed
1 cup julienned prosciutto or ham (opt out if your abstaining from meat)
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium sauce pan, bring cream, 1/4 cup butter and pepper to a simmer (I add a little garlic powder).
Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter over low heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Increase heat to medium, add mushrooms and saute until tender. Add peas and proscuitto and saute another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and add to fettuccini. Add cream sauce to fettuccini, as well, and toss to combine.

P.S. Word is that before Eugenio Pacelli became pope, he requested a dish similar to carbonara but a little lighter, and this is what he got. With all that butter and cream, I'm not sure if I would call it "light" but it is good!

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ain't Skeered. Well, Maybe A Little.

I mentioned last Friday how, lately, my boys have become very interested in cemeteries. After visiting our 4th cemetery this past weekend, I have found one tombstone in particular that I like and several that I don't.

For example...
Windchimes! Personally, I like windchimes, but look how crowded that cemetery is! I just don't think I could subject my neighbors to that for all of eternity.

Nope. I don't think I could subject my neighbors to this flag either.

"At Rest" is a very popular headstone tagline but really, back me up here moms, if you tell your kids that you are going to go rest for just a minute, do you get any peace or privacy at all? No. You don't. I'm thinking that "I Want Everyone To Be Quiet Or Else I'm Counting To Three!" would be more appropriate.

And then there's this one that WD took with the camera on his phone (sorry for the poor quality).

It says, "You think you are safe but someone is watching." Ummm....guys? Maybe we should head home now?

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Monday, February 23, 2009

My Apologies To The American Medical Association

Me: There's these tubes in your ear, it's kind of like a pipe, th--

Big pup: Pipes?

Me: Well, yeah, like a straw, you know? And it's in your ear and called the eustacian tube and it leads to your nose. When you get a cold it gets full of fluid and liquid and snot so when your nose starts to run be sure to blow your nose real good to get all the snot out 'cause the fluid will just sit in that tube and bacteria--germs--will grow and that's what is making your ear hurt so bad.

Big pup: If I blow my nose I'll get better?

Me: Yep.

And with that bit of misguided wisdom plus pink pills (chewable bubblegum tylenol), a warm washcloth, a blankie, a toboggan (cap), tears, moans and groans, Puffs tissue, and a nap--we weathered our first ear ache yesterday--hopefully, it will be our last.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

My Kind Of Tombstone

My boys have become very interested in the cycle of life lately and since I've been known to feed my kids Doritos for breakfast, it's no surprise that I've indulged them in their latest whim: cemetery hopping. We've been to 3 in the past couple of weeks, staying half an hour or so, walking through all the graves, answering their questions:

"He was 77 when he died."

"They're married and the woman isn't dead yet."

"That one is small because it's a baby."

"Sometimes the doctors can't fix them."

"Get down from there!"

"Stop climbing on that!"

"Don't touch that!"

"Put that back!"

Most of the headstones were pretty conventional but I came across one that referenced Emily Dickinson. Did you know that when I was in college, I kept a print of her in a frame on my desk? Yep. I did. We were BFF's--until I discovered Auden--but I still love those Dickinsonian dashes.

Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity –

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

French Dip Sandwiches

My husband, WD, has been working the night shift this past month and usually leaves the house around 5 p.m. That means I don't have very much time after I pick Big pup up from school to get dinner on the table. I'm always looking for something fast and easy to prepare. Cue the sandwiches, please! You can't get more easy than sandwiches.

These French Dip sandwiches are really good too. After WD had gone to work that evening, I was getting the boys ready for bed and I got a text message from him. He wanted to let me know that he was still thinking about me the sandwiches we had for dinner and was wondering if there were any leftovers. Isn't that romantic? The way to a man's heart is definitely through his stomach.

French Dip Sandwiches (original recipe from Recipezaar)

1 lb thinly sliced roast beef
1 can (10 1/2 oz) beef consomme
1 can (10 1/2 oz) french onion soup
1 onion
2 bell peppers
sliced provolone cheese
1 pkg hard rolls

Slice onion and peppers and saute over medium heat until soft.
Simmer roast beef slices, consomme, and soup until heated through.
Slice rolls in half and put cheese on the top half--put under the broiler to toast and melt the cheese (does that make sense? You want the bottom half on the roll toasted and the top half with the cheese to be melted).
Take the toasty bottom half of the roll and dip it into the au jus, top with roast beef, add peppers and onion, then top it with the cheesy half of the roll.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nope. Not Nostrils.

While driving back from my Grandma's house with my parents last Sunday, Big pup (age 6) and I (age...24, ahem) had a strange but necessary conversation.

Big pup: What are those things called? Nostrils?

Me: (Pointing to my nose) Yep. Those are nostrils.

Big pup: No. Those round things under my pee pee.

Me: Oh! Those are testicles.

Big pup: Teh..tes...What is it again?

Me: Testicles.

Big pup: Oh, yeah. I can never get that right.
Big pup: But wh--
Me: Hey, look out the window! Are those cows?

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Friday, February 13, 2009

The Breath, Smiles, And Tears Of All My Life

It's Poetry Friday and I'm kickin' it old school today! Did I say that right? Forgive me, I'm 35 and I collect butter containers. Today's poem is the famous How Do I Love Thee? poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. People smarter than me call it Sonnet from the Portuguese 43.

Elizabeth's father forbade his children to marry so she secretly wrote a collection of poems for Robert Browning during their courtship. After they were married, her father disinherited her and that collection of poems, Sonnets from the Portuguese, was eventually published. However, she was a little apprehensive about it. She thought the poems were way too personal to be published. Thankfully, her husband talked her into it. Husbands can be very persuasive sometimes.

Here's Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reason #45

I have a series on my blog where I list reasons why I'm a bad mother. I haven't updated it in awhile which is a good sign, right? Just in case you missed it, here's a quick rundown of the many things I'm giving them to discuss with their future therapists.

Reason #114 This is where I played a horrible April Fool's joke on Big pup--I told him we were going to the drs. so he could get a shot--that left him in tears.

Reason #92 This is where I left Little pup asleep in his car seat while we all went in the house because I did not want to deal with a cranky 4 year old.

Reason #23 And this is evidence that I let my kids watch way too much TV.

Reason #87 And finally, here is what I served Little pup for breakfast the day after Halloween. Please don't look at this one.

And now I present to you Reason #45:

I let my kids sleep in cardboard boxes.

The End.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Can I Get An Awwwwwww?

A conversation with Little pup, age 4, on January 13, 2009.

Me: You're going to be such a good person when you grow up! Do you know how I know?

Little pup: Because I'm gonna be a cop.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

No, You Are Awesome!

If you are a blogger that has a policy of not accepting awards then you are missing out! I'm awful about passing them on but I LOVE getting them!

First off, I want to than Janel at Dandelion Dayz for this wonderful friendship award. And if you have a minute, you must read what Janel's husband did to their daughter's door after she had slammed it one too many times!

I also want to thank the fabulous Michelle for this fabulous award! I think Michelle has one of the best blog names in the blogosphere: There Must Be More To Life Than Dishes And Laundry. Isn't that great?!

Next I want to thank Jamey at Walking By Faith for these 3 awards. Jamey holds a very special place in my little bloggy heart because she is a NASCAR fan like me and even got to drive one of the driver intro trucks around a lap at Sonoma!

This isn't an award but I want to mention it anyway because today it IS all about me! Jay and Deb have put together a thing where bloggers write a tribute to something or somebody every Tuesday. And Catherine from Evolving Mommy wrote a tribute to me! And then I blubbered like a baby to my husband and he mentioned how it was a lovely post but he's only cried one time in his entire adult life when his grandpa died and I asked him how many times did he think that I've cried. Well, seeing as how I get weepy at Onstar commercials, he didn't even want to do the math for fear that his brain would explode. What I'm trying to say is that I'm so grateful for that tribute that I'm going to stumble every single recipe that Catherine posts on her blog. It's the least I can do! Thank you Catherine!

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Goodbye John Updike

My boys are 6 and 4--they are growing up too fast. On one hand, it's a joy to see them grow and learn and experience new things but on the other hand, the older they get, the closer they get to learning the hard stuff in life. The world can be cold and kids can be cruel. Big pup refuses to take chocolate pudding to school for his lunch now because somebody said he has a chocolate mustache. When he told me that I instantly started asking questions: "Who said that? Did it make you sad? What did you say?" Turns out, he's not really bothered by it, he just doesn't want to take it to school anymore. No big deal. At least for him. And I guess I'm overreacting but I can't help it, like any mother, I want to protect them as much as possible. Because, unfortunately, they can't stay innocent forever.

Check out Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children by John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize winning American author, who died last week at age 76.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Triple Chocolate Trifle

Look what I made for the Super Bowl festivities this past Sunday. It's a Triple Chocolate Trifle! And I will be making it for Valentines Day, and for the Daytona 500 coming up, and again for my birthday in March, and let's see, what else? I need more excuses to make this trifle! And I promise that next time I'll share more of it with my 4 year old. Earlier this week he kept asking, "Where's that thing we ate at the Super Bowl party?" And he wasn't talking about the spinach cheese dip either. So now I feel guilty and the only way to assuage my guilt is to make more. Yeah. That's it.

Triple Chocolate Trifle

1 pkg oreo cookies
3 TBS butter
1 large box of instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk
1 box brownie mix (plus ingredients needed for mix)
16 oz whipped topping
trifle bowl--see what I used? It's actually a big candle holder that I bought to put Sangria in:)

Scrape the filling off of the cookies and put into a food processor to make crumbs. Mix half the crumbs with the melted butter and press down into trifle bowl.

Stir the pudding mix into the milk and after it's whisked together, stir in 8 ounces of the whipped topping. Add half of this mixture to the oreo crust.

Then add half of the brownies, broken into bite size pieces.

Then add a layer of 4 ounces of whipped topping, then the rest of the oreo crumbs, followed by the rest of the pudding, then brownies, then the rest of the whipped topping. Garnish with cherries.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brought To You By The Letter A

You know, I've stopped twittering because I just wasn't sure if anyone out there really wanted to know all of the minute details of my life. Like this little detail right here:

I was hoping to get caught up on Arrested Dev today. I mowed the backyard instead.
from web

Isn't that interesting? I chose to mow the yard instead of watching TV. Fascinating.

Well, I've decided to subject you all to even more useless information about myself. More specifically, stuff I like that starts with the letter A. Many thanks to LeAnn for assigning me this awesome letter. You can check out her D-list here (she's a Pepper too!)

1. Actually--Big pup has picked this word up and has been saying it a lot lately. It's such a big word, it sounds so cute coming from him.

2. Alligators--sniff, sniff, I smell a post about alligators coming up soon! I like 'em.

3. Arkansas--Go Hogs!

4. Amy Tan--When is she coming out with a new novel? I need something to erase Saving Fish from Drowning from my memory.

5. ATV--I like to go four-wheeling through the trails in national forests. I do not like to rock-crawl.

6. Apples with cheddar cheese--Mmmmm.

7. Autumn--I love the cooler temps and the beginning of the holiday season, starting with Halloween.

8. Ave Maria--We had this sung at our wedding. I wish I had a cd of everyone's version of this song. I like Celine Dion's while WD likes Aaron Neville's rendition.

9. Awards--I know that some bloggers aren't into awards but I always love it when you guys give me one. It means a lot to me!

10.'nuff said.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Generic Super Bowl Recap

Did you see Bruce Springsteen do the windmill arm move playing the guitar? Did you see him swing his guitar up over his head several times? Did you see how the pyrotechnics were in sync with the music? Did you see their little skit where a ref throws a flag at them for not leaving the field? Did you see how he was specifically playing just for little ol' me? How cool was that?

When WD and I go on trips I have to wait until he falls asleep until I can put my Springsteen cd in the cd player. He doesn't appreciate the Boss like I do.

So anyway...the, when it started it was anyone's game to win. It was clear that the winner would be the team that stepped up and made the right plays. The team trailing at the half needed to make some big halftime adjustments and play the way that got them there. Really, it was their game to lose. But the other team gave 110 percent and God was on their side. Congratulations Super Bowl Champions!

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