Saturday, December 21, 2013

MamaKat's Losin' It Writing Prompt: 1.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: pajamas

Wow. That was the easiest writing prompt that ever came to mind... at least to this family's mind. If you haven't seen this viral video, you really do need to take a minute and do just that. It will definitely bring the fun back into this hectic time of year.

I am completely awed by the creativity this family has shown. They are all over YouTube, all over the national news, all over Facebook, and... just ALL OVER THE PLACE. And I never tire of it. In fact... I find myself singing that song over and over. And then... I go put on my own... Christmas Jammies! That's right... uh, huh... you got it now... get it on...

When I saw that writing prompt, I just knew I had to share. I've been so overwhelmed and pre-occupied Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Words With Friends, Blogger have all taken a ton of time from me... oh! And don't forget Instagram and texting, the majority of my cards are going out... um... when I get to them. But. I did check out Mama Kat's Losin' It (Writers' Worskshop...) and you can too! Please leave a comment and pass the love on to other's blogs, as well.

Have a Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Happy New Year hopefully I'll get on here before then... , and any other holiday you may celebrate religiously, or not religiously. For anyone that may not celebrate anything... Have a great day, every day! But whoever you are and whatever you do... PEACE!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This Christmas, So Far...

First off... Wow. Do not leave a bottle of wine in the freezer. I mean... um... wine-slush sounds wonderful, but not when it's all over your precious frozen foods. Ick. It is rather sticky and definitely messy. (I didn't know someone had even put it in there. Wonder who that could be???? Hmmm???

So... the morning I found the popped bottle of wine... I drove to the Los Angeles area (City of Commerce) to work a swim meet. I am a swim official/referee (in addition to many other things). This wonderfully packaged building was my view from outside the swim center.

To many of you fabulous architectural history buffs out there, this building used to be the Good Year Tire Factory... way back when. It was left empty for YEARS. I used to go to the area surrounding it to get reduced-price fabric from the textile manufacturers. Then I didn't go for a while... After a couple of years, I went back. Um... Where did they go? And what the heck? This gorgeous building (it had lots of almost Egyptian-looking detailing) was now foaming at the entrances. Alright, so they took away my beloved great-pricing, but they creating a mecca of an outlet center. The Citadel now stands proud (and is always busy!) and is "present"-ed every Christmas season. Isn't it a grand sight to behold?

Christmas is here... Spread the CHEER! Open a Coca-Cola. Anyone who knows me super duper well, knows I love Coke. The Real Thing. Not diet. Not cherry-flavored. And I love the Coca-Cola merchandise, too! Not the neon-colored stuff. Just the classic. The Real Thing... similar to the beverage itself. Santa and Polar Bear Coca-Cola stuff comes out in my house at Christmastime, though... And my friend had me open a gift early. She wanted me to enjoy it for the full season. Now... if only our weather would get out of the 80's and go back to December! Ugh...
I made some Christmas cards. Like you couldn't tell, right? They are the same angel from Cricut Christmas that I made the ornaments with, only I left all the scrolling, and didn't block any out. I also made them a little bigger, spread embossing ink, and sprinkled Ranger's Queens Gold all over before heating. I love it.
Inside, I stamped with a brilliant green...
And I just had to show off the "cloud" Corner Chomper, which I inked the edges of...
Wow. This picture's sure blurry... Oh shoot! Almost all of them are... Ugh! I embossed the "Peace on Earth" (what else should an angel be saying?) with the same Queen's Gold, just in the corner.
Then the following weekend... I went to Palm Springs. for another? What? You guessed it. Swim meet. This is my shaky view on the way at 6am and I wasn't even the one driving. Go figure! But the colors were phenomenal, so I kept the pic anyway. Deal.
In Palm Springs, when we have this HUGE meet (swimmers come from ALL over!), they feed us like a 5-Star restaurant. (Yes... that IS lobster...) Thank you, Piranhas Swim Team for always treating us the best!
Funny story... I got a parka (after almost 8 years of freezing and getting drenched in the rain and the cold and the hail and the... you get it...) for a combo of my birthday and Christmas (shout out to my Mom and John... THANK YOU!!!). This was the first meet I wore it. (Yes... it can get cold in Palm Springs. There is snow on the mountain just above, and when the sun goes over that mountain... BRRRRR!!!!) The arms are a tad long. I was cold. And so, I tucked my hands inside the sleeves. Now the joke is... can I flap and fly? So... someone brought a Foghorn Leghorn (Looney Tunes, ya'll... REMEMBER?) hat, put it on me and asked me to flap. Meh... I'm a good sport.
Me and one of my buddies. I am so proud of him. Cancer did not do him in. His spirit is exceptional and shines through in everything he does. Last round of chemo is done. I heart him!
And this is only part of our crew. We are very much like a family. Hugs to all of them. They come from everywhere for this meet. And for those that think we just "time". No. We are all over the deck, ensuring the kids will learn from their errors and advance further in swimming (a nice way of saying, "we disqualify kids").

I haven't had much time for crafting and shopping. I did get a whole bunch of cards done (just haven't gotten them out yet... or even addressed... And thank goodness for the internet and local shops, otherwise, nothing would be done just yet. Christmas is almost here, and the days are packed until then, too. Hugs to you all! Ho, ho, ho! No matter what... Be Merry. It's all in how you look at it.

** small note ** Blogger isn't letting me adjust sizes of pics or locations, so please bear with it. Hopefully it's just a minor bug and will get fixed soon.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Imagine/Tsukineko Ornament Exchange!

Just a little while ago, someone posted something on Facebook. As you probably know... people do that all. the. time. But, th is time, I really really REALLY liked it. And I wanted to do it. And... um... it was the deadline date to sign up to do it. And... apparently, I was past the deadline time (curse those wickedly different time zones...), but I applied to "do it" anyway.

I got a response the week before Thanksgiving. "What?" you might ask... I signed up to create an ornament through Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko and exchange it with someone else! I worked hard on this ornament. I had a total of four (count them... 1... 2... 3... 4...!) failures. And in the end, I was VERY happy with my success... so much so that my "other" ornament (that was to be sent to Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko) ended up being a duplicate. Loved it!

So... I'll take you on my journey through my flaws and my perfections, well... as perfect as handmade can be...

Failure #1:  Using VersaColor and VersaFine (both by Imagine Crafts) and Walnut Stain (by Tsukineko), this die-cut angel (done using the ol' Cricut Expression... "Christmas" cartridge, with the laces "hidden", except for the bottom edge) was loaded with color... bronze, green, gold... And then... I added Diamond Glaze. It worked really well. Felt dry and all... I flipped it. It was still good. And so... I Diamond-Glazed the back side (which was also inked up). Let it dry... or so I thought. When I went to peel it up. EEk! It peeled, alrighty!

Failure #2:  Same beginning scenario as Failure #1, only I let it dry longer.  A lot longer. Then, it decided to peel and crack on me. Ugh!

Failure #3: Changed to Glossy Accents. Went through pretty much the same thing as Failure #1, only without quite as much sticking and peeling. (Trust me... this stuff really did feel dry. No "tacky" feeling when I touched it!)

Failure #4: Is really Failure #2, revisited, just in the Glossy Accents version. I assumed since the Glossy Accents in Failure #3 didn't stick or peel quite as much, that if I gave it more "drying" time, it would be perfectly wonderful. Wrong. The moisture in the air does a drying/curing job wonders. It sort of reverses it... almost.

And so... I gave up on the glazes. I chose instead to use Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko Embossing Ink and clear embossing powder. I also created two angels, instead of one... inked them (on one side each this time [kind of thinking the excessive moisture from inking both sides just may have been a contributing factor in Failures #1-4]), clear-embossed them on
the inked side, heating the underside up again, to "bend" them back flat, as they seemed to be curling up from the embossing, then "glued" them together with my favorite of favorites... (drumroll please!)

Clear Silicone Gel from Home Depot. (Yes! I really do love that stuff!) This gave it a dimensional texture and still made it light enough after it dried to not weigh down a tree limb. I used a Q-Tip to take off the excess Gel and let her dry.

Taking the absolute smallest Fiskars hole punch I had, I punched between the shoulder and the wing, to avoid looking like this beautiful angel had a hole in her head. And HELLO Fishing Line... right through, with a large enough length that she now floats from a branch.

I was so thrilled with her, that my second one is almost exactly the same, because... I did it again!!!! (I know... I already told you that up above, but... I really did love her!)

Now... I received an ornament from someone else in the program...
And it's proudly displayed on my tree. A big shout out to Candy in Grants Pass in Oregon. Hope you're staying warm...

Thank you for my wonderful ornament!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Creepy Cricut Creations Blog Hop!

Hi Everybody!

Welcome to the Creepy Cricut Creations Blog Hop!  If you're here from Angela at 3 Crazy Monkeys, then you're in the right place.  If not, then you may want to start at the very beginning HERE.

We're celebrating our Cricut machines, and Halloween in this amazing hop!  Here's my creepy Cricut creation:

I usually completely decorate my door for Halloween... I intended to "mummy up" my door with these great big google-y eyes I got from Michael's (saw something similar on Pinterest...), and just didn't get around to it. So... I was doing something else and Jenny (@ Crazy About Cricut) happened to post openings for a blog hop. I love Halloween... and thought I needed THIS to kick my mojo back in gear. And make a banner for my front door, I did! Whoop, whoop!

Before you look any further... Let me apologize for the bad, BAD photos. I took them with my phone. I know... not a great excuse. I could've done better, but I was already frustrated from not being able to find my regular camera (um... I "hid" it so a kid wouldn't mess up my favorite settings again... and can't seem to remember where my hiding spot is. Hopefully... it'll turn up soon...)

Moving on...

The little ghosts are cut from Paper Doll Dress Up (Cricut, of course!). They were slightly distressed with Black Soot (Tim Holtz), glittered eyes with fairy dust and Stickles.

The letters B-O-O are from Blackletter (Cricut). The "blackout" is done in white and the actual letters in a cute black candy-ish print (got it from a swap... all these items were from my stash!), all done at 5.76" height. Fairy dust glitter is again used in the white openings.

I did add another ghost down at the bottom... Couldn't leave the first one alone (he might've been scared!)...

This wonderful roll of burlap-type orange-y and green-y distressed stuff cost a whole $.40 at Michael's on clearance some time ago.  I finally quite hoarding it and put it to a good use! Hahaha!
If you notice all the cuts are slightly raised, I used silicone gel. The stuff from Home Depot. Love it!
Now... Jenny only asked for ONE project, but when I saw what one of the blog candy prizes was... I couldn't resist making this cute little card:

He's one of the pumpkin cards from Mini Monsters. I absolutely love this cartridge. It's so versatile... Plus, It's the closest thing I have to any of the Halloween-y carts. I use it all. the. time.

I gave him some google-y eyes (different sizes to add to his quirkiness) and Black Diamond Stickle-d his zig-zag mouth (I didn't want to follow the original mouth line...). His leaf is done in green, then distressed in Tea Dye (Tim Holtz). His cute edges of his polka dot face are distressed (can you tell I absolutely LOVE Tim Holtz Distress Inks?) with Peeled Paint.

Then, you open him up... and BOO! (in Christmas Red Stickles...) a Mini Monsters ghost jumps out at you, floating on an ACTION WOBBLE!!!! He's a little glittered and glammed from the pumpkin mess within, but he's all mine. Gotta love him.

I tried to post the video of him wobbling, but... I'm not that tech-y. Bummer.

At this posting, I am the end of the line... But, if you'd like to hop around and look some more, here is the lineup. Remember... I'm already the end of it...
  1. Jenny -
  2. Lori -
  3. Cheryl -
  4. Wandy -
  5. Sarah -
  6. Tracy -
  7. Carol -
  8. Elizabeth -
  9. Amanda-
  10. Angela -
  11. Me! You're already HeRe!
There are some amazing and fun things to see... so PLEASE visit everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you had a "Hoppin' Halloween!!!"

Blog Hop Prizes:

Please be a Blog Follower and Comment on all thru the blogs for a chance to win.

The more blogs you comment on the more chances you have to win!



Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Little Bit of Birthday

Today (Friday), I turned 43. The day is almost gone, but I've started a whole bunch of new beginnings. 

I went to work at the high school and enjoyed my last day as a substitute with my afternoon teacher. His regular aide will return on Monday, after a leave of absence, and I've grown and met so many people, thanks to this opportunity. Don't fret... I still have my day job. I will miss the kids and the teacher. I hope I made them all feel as confident and loved as they made me feel. And I'll REALLY miss English. I'll only have math left... Ugh. 

Since I had broken my toe last week, I noticed the coloring had finally subdued itself. It definitely was a lighter shade of purple... But the "fracture blister" is still there. (Avoid the pic if you don't want to see!)

Blech! And yes... Don't hate on the Flinstones toes!

I got my kid to get close to a lobster

And I got my hubs to finally update our stove/oven/range:

Isn't she a beaut? Btw... Three years ago, I got him to finally update our washer/dryer. He called it my birthday gift. Household... Ya know? He "gets it" now. He informed me the range isn't my birthday gift! Yay! Old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

I signed up for something I'm thrilled to try and launch into a new adventure (I'll share more later...)

And I'm doing my first whole blog post from my phone! Um... It's sure to be less wordy, as my fingers are rapidly tiring. It's much easier on a computer keyboard. 

I sure hope all of your birthdays can be as good as mine was. Love, family, friends, food, and new beginnings make every year different and life-changing. Change IS good...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hurting... In More Than One Way...

Life gives us difficulties. Sometimes they are physical, sometimes mental... and sometimes, you get them all rolled up into one.

And we roll with it.


I try my hardest to do everything I can do, no matter how I'm feeling. I try my hardest to be strong and let no one see my weaknesses.

The past week, my weaknesses have been showing...

A bit ago, I "hurt" my shoulder/arm... the whole shebang.  I was doing something completely normal. I was telling my husband what to do. You know... SHOWING him what I meant, because... well... Husbands aren't always the best at listening.  But I was going off to work, and well... he asked. So... reaching up (and walking, mind you...) to open a cabinet (to show him the bowing shelf), I slipped on water (the dog had dropped it off her beard when taking a drink...), heard the tear [totally hoping my mind emphasized it more than it really is], fell to my *ss and was immediately in pain.

The searing shot through my shoulder and the top portion of my arm. I swear, I felt it all the way to the bone. But... guess what? I had to leave in less than 15 minutes and still wasn't dressed!

So... I enlisted the help of my 19yo daughter.  I couldn't take my shirt off. She gingerly helped me. Couldn't fasten my bra... and she did that, too. (I hate getting help. It kills me.) And I needed my hair in a ponytail. Thank goodness she was there, and hadn't gone out yet, because... Yes... you guessed it. She did that, too.

The drive kinda killed me. I am right-handed. An auto is pretty much right-handed (the shift is above the steering column on the right side; the ignition is on the right side...). So, ice pack in hand... I got there.

My job for that day/weekend was pretty stationary. (I'm a swim official [referee... whatever you wanna call it] that watches swim strokes, finishes, etc. and disqualifies based on infractions. There's really much more to it than that, but I really don't wanna go bore you. I love it.) The pool was short-course (25 yards, as opposed to long-course of 50 meters), and one side couldn't be "walked", so each of the officials on the corners stayed on the corner(s). I was good for the weekend, work-wise. My issues were going to be at home.

I have a lot of responsibilities. I do hand out "chores", but only I feel what is fair and what they each have time for with work, school, etc.

My daughter made sure she was there both Saturday and Sunday mornings to help me get ready. Each day, I was able to do just a little bit more. A couple pain-killers here, some ice packs there, with a touch of Icy-Hot in between, and I believed I was doing better.

But... the dishes were piling up. The floor wasn't getting done. Amongst other things. (by the way... as I sit here typing this, I have to lower the laptop down farther than normal for it to be comfortable...)

I did make a couple of requests and comments, asking for help with the dishes. To no avail. My husband simply won't do it, and doesn't understand (call it an ego trip... I do...) My 8yo doesn't do them as well as I'd like... and I'm kinda picky (rightfully so, right? we eat off this stuff...). And my 19yo? She simply did ONLY the dishes she used (which is ACTUALLY a normal thing each of them are supposed to do... but I usually have to tell each of them anyway, which irritates the crap out of me!), which were about 2 or 3 in a whole pile. I gave up... and did the dishes.

So painful and so taxing was that small-ish normal-type chore, that I slept off and on most of the day. I was still exhausted the next day. And in massive pain. My range-of-motion (rom) was getting better... but...

I let the dishes go again. Only doing them when they had to be done. And paying for it later. I also did the laundry this week. (That took WAY longer than normal!) When it was trash day... between me and the kids, we each have a share. The 8yo empties my bathroom and room, and her own room. I take out the laundry, recycles in the kitchen, and the garage trash. The 19yo takes out the other bathroom and kitchen trash. We all help with the "big" cans to the street. I sent a text to the 19yo, asking her to do mine and take out the big cans. There was no way I could lift stuff that high. My rom wasn't that high yet (and still isn't). No problem there... it was done.

But... I had asked for more help. And I keep getting brushed off on the rest of it.

What did me in was a combo of yesterday and today (this morning). It has brought me to tears.

Yesterday, I got the 8yo and myself a pedicure. The 19yo wanted a gel manicure. Okay. We deserve it. They've been sort of helping me... The 19yo was supposed to cut up a pineapple and watermelon for me, as I can't do that just yet, either.

I reminded her as she got in the car that she was still needed to do this. "I won't have time now." uh... WHAT? I let her know she could do at least one. She did. But... left the dishes for ME and had extra time but blew me off again.

Then, this morning... The 19yo is leaving (and hasn't done her regular weekly chore of cleaning the bathroom and putting away her clothes...). She says she's going to her boyfriend's house before work (he lives with his parents, too). That's no biggie but... She tells me, "I'm going to help him clean. He has relatives coming and can't do it himself." SERIOUSLY?

I reminded her that I've been asking for help, that I'm in a lot of pain... and she walked away from me with an immature, "Whatever..."

Ouch. That hurts almost as much as my right arm/shoulder.

Moral of the story? Since no one really wants to help, don't get hurt. Then you can still do everything yourself and get no attitude for it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mama Kat's Losin' It: Writing Prompt 1.) A bad habit you'd like to break.

The writing prompt for this Thursday (probably the DAY you're reading this, as it is the day it's actually posted...) is 1.) A bad habit you'd like to break.

Please note: The prompt read, "A". That means ONE. Not two, or ten, or thirty... I'm sure I can think of so many more than ONE. Wow. Holy cow. Only one. And so... even though I read this on Monday, it took me until today (Wednesday! - night...). But hey... it's one step towards the topic.

Because, you see... My ONE bad habit that I would like to break more than any habit I have is...

Drum roll...

"... such a hard habit to break..." (Can you hear Chicago singing it in your head? Yeah... You know it'll be stuck there all day... a-yup...)

Um... I'm sure so many other people picked the same thing...

Can I hold it off any longer?



Here we go...


So... How do you think I did? I think I got past it... at least for this week...

But seriously. I procrastinate (dunno why... and I know it's a bad habit... I've written about it before... at least 9 times that I labeled in the past) and miss out on those rebate offers that are supposed to save me so much money. Not all, mind you. but lots. and lots. Ugh! I also miss out on lots of contests and such because... well... I put it off until "tomorrow". And "tomorrow" never came, and then... I missed it. It was "yesterday" or "the other day" or "last week". No matter what it was, it was too late.

I have good intentions, as I'm sure most post people do, but... When it comes down to it, I just don't want to do it. Sure... "something" always comes up, too. But... I didn't really need to do that something. Apparently. But my mind and my heart just aren't in the thing I am/was procrastinating. And that's a bummer.

I'm okay, in the long run. I just could be better. Then again, I'll get to that... tomorrow...

If you'd like to share in the writing prompts, please head on over to see Mama Kat (click on the badge below...)! Please be sure to comment and give a holler to everyone else (at least 3, please...) while you're there. We'd all love it! Thanks again for visiting here...
Mama’s Losin’ It

MINIONS!!! Another Pinterest Success

First off... Whew! Summer's been busy, busy, busy... and I reall do promise that I'll get to that Sea World post sometime (hopefully soon...). But for now...

Let's commence to something a little creative!

How many of you are on Pinterest? Well, if you're not already... you really should be! There are so many great ideas and links to other blogs out there. I just love it. But... it is a Time-Sucker. Yes. You will be on it for many many minutes that turn into hours, then days... You will lose sleep. But... you will have learned something, as well. And if you're like me, you'll get TONS of exercise, too! (I really pin that stuff, and feel like I read so much, that I really did do it!)
Moving on to the Minions! Wow. I don't usually do my nails... If you know me, I almost NEVER paint the nails on my hands. And if I do... I almost NEVER do anything special or crazy or very creative with them. But since Despicable Me 2 came out, I just really do love those little guys (Minions). They're so cute. Loved them in the first movie (haven't seen the 2nd, yet...), and was reacquainted with my love for them when the whole franchise just boomed out commercially again. Because... that's what our society does. We turn something wonderful and special into a mass-production commercialized industry. But... since they're so cute, I won't go on and on about that commercial-ly topic again.

Oh yeah... back on topic... MINIONS... and so... on Pinterest I found someone that gave a tutorial on Minion nails. How cute they were. I've waited over a month, but had my older daughter paint them today. I just love them so much.

And yes... some of the pictures are sucky... but I took the shots with one hand, and I'm really not ambidexterous, so get over it. Plus, it was taken with my phone, and I was trying REALLY hard not to mess up my newly-painted digits. (The 2-handed shots were obviously taken by someone else and are WAY better...)

Anyway... here they are and here are my chubby hands and deformed (from writing with a pen/pencil) fingers... Don't judge. Hope you are one day adventurous, too! And try something new!!!

and if you're interested, here's the Pinterest post and here's the direct link to Jamegackie, a Nail Blog by Jackie Post (it's really quite awesome!). And thank you, Jackie!!!! Mwah!

Hoping you enjoy Minions, as much as I do!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Raving, Ranting, and Waving My Hands

It's time to... RANT! Yes, it's been a while, but I should be able to get it all out, right? Uh, huh...

And here I go!

Remember those "friends" I mentioned before? Well, ayuh. Drama ensued last week, shortly after I'd posted about it. Go figure. Whatever.

It's odd to me that people remember only what is convenient for them and rationalize it all.

Like I said before... moving on. So not worth it.

Next up? I've been trying to catch up on some blog reading and commenting (everyone needs to feel the love once in a while, right?). And it is so BUGGERSOME that some bloggers have all kinds of protection tools on them. I'm generally ok with that, however, some of the things Blogger is putting up lately are so distorted, it may take several tries. It literally makes me want to stop commenting. (Understand though, my rant is at Blogger, itself, not the writers.) But, because I'm me, and I'd want someone to comment, not just lurk... I go ahead and retry, until the comment is either published or off to moderation.

Personally, I keep the pop-ups and word-verification off.  The only moderation I use is for 14 days old or more posts. I generally like to encourage rather than discourage people from commenting. Although... I still don't get much. There are always the lurkers.

Then, there are the stalkers... lol! If someone has nothing better to do than to read a blog to get information on someone that you know and Facebook, as well... then I laugh at you. Pick up the phone and call or text them. Open up your laptop and send an email or message them on some social network. Don't "do" things that affect your relationship based on what you read. If you are guilty of miscommunication, then communicate!

In today's technological times, communication has become horrible. People misconstrue so much and completely jump to conclusions. Then, they act out harshly and immaturely.  Grow up, people! Life is not Facebook. Life is not rumors and texting or forwarded emails. They have no clue unless you talk specifically to the person they are angry at or acting out at.

I wrote a post yesterday about my daughter and how she acts... Why I wouldn't necessarily be her "friend"... I wondered where she learned these behaviors from. I sort of knew they were learned from other kids.

Parents! Behave in front of your children. Teach your children the way YOU want to be treated. When you constantly show your children your own childish and impetuous tantrums, how do you expect them to act? They mimic you. YOU are their idols! They look up to you. And they should. So please... Do society a favor by teaching your children respect, kindness, compassion, courtesy (I believe that's a long-forgotten trait), honesty, and above all... support.

We all need to support each other to make society grow in a good way. By showing our children bad mannerisms and many destroyed friendships/relationships, we are teaching them how to have a completely dysfunctional life. And THIS contributes to a damaged society.

And just so you know... simple words can make any one's day. "Thank you," or other words of appreciation are always welcomed by others. Please don't forget that.

Now as for the RAVE...

I'm going to RAVE about all the people who ARE supportive and really try to do their best. You are unselfish and AWESOME! Great job. Even those of you who don't have kids, you still are out there setting a great example. We need a great many more role models like you.

Rave again... for all the people who visited and commented last week. I appreciate you. It is always fabulous to know I am not writing to myself... Yes, I'm crazy, but not that crazy!!! I hope you all continue to come back as I continue on and keep trying... THANK YOU! Peace out!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mama Kat's Losin' It! Writing Prompt 5... It's a Doozy!

This week, up at Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, there's a whole bunch of prompts to choose from.

I could... write about summer where I'm at. Um... it would be too simple... and boring. It's hot. I run the kid around most of the day and cater to my husband. Oh. And do normal household chores. Not much to tell...

I could... write about what I've done on Pinterest (one of my FAVORITE time-sucking sites!). I've done so much and (unlike Mama Kat) don't have a board of "What I've Tried", although... NOW I'm going to start one. It's such a fabulous idea. And so... I'd have to search through literally THOUSANDS of pins to find them, so I won't... today. Another day... maybe. It's a new goal. 

As a writer that needs some push sometimes, I felt the need to go with something that I might not want to do. It might hurt. Heck, it will hurt me. So... here we go. 

5.) When you were your youngest child’s age, what were you like? Would you have been friends with your child? Why or why not?

My youth has a lot of memories. Memories that I remember and cherish, and memories I'd really really like to forget. Pinpointing an age brings those harsh memories flooding back.

I was 8. I was in third grade. I wasn't perfect, but I was compassionate. I read a lot. My friends and I were all "smart". School smart. We all got straight A's and we read. We used big words that a lot of 8-year-olds don't even know, but we did... and we knew what they meant. And we sang LOTS of folk-type songs (music was a big thing in my school... you know before the horrible budget stuff all happened).  We respected all adults.  I had a few really close friends. We'd go stay the night at each other's houses, brush each other's hair. We shared our hopes, our dreams... everything... almost. But... I didn't share my secrets. My secrets would make me different. My secrets would make my friends think I was weird... or so I thought...

My secrets, even as an 8-year-old, were very dark. Things were going on in my life that I wasn't supposed to tell anyone. I'll simplify it to say like many many children, all over the world, I was  abused as a child. I was told not to tell anybody. I loved the person who abused me and didn't want that person to be in trouble or "go away forever". And so... I didn't.  I'm sure because of this secret, I appeared "weird" anyway. I'd always think that everybody knew. And they just were my friends out of pity, that they felt sorry for me. (and just so ya know... I've had "the talk" with all my kids. They know that if anybody touches them in an inappropriate place or manner or says anything to that affect, to tell me or someone else with authority. It's not their fault.)

Another secret was that I was "adopted". Not in the "full" sense, but by my step-father. Why nobody was supposed to know... I'll never understand. It's really not that big of a deal. But when you are the only blond person in a brunette family, and you say they're your parents... people, especially kids, just kinda don't believe you.

So, in a nutshell, I hid a lot of things. I still do. But... I was a great friend, as were my friends. We supported each other, very rarely had any type of argument, and agreed on so many things.

My daughter on the other hand...

My youngest child is 8. She's beautiful, she's fabulous, she's very outgoing. But... she's a brat. So are her friends.

In today's world, kids are a bit different. 

They are so much more competitive. "I call that!" OMGosh! It gets on my nerves. Things they can't even touch, things on the tv. Apparently, only one kid at a time can "like" something. Because... someone already "called it". So weird. They are always all trying to compete with each other for who did what the most or who knew who longer. Like it even EVER matters...

When times were different...
I still love the crap out of this little girl!
Then there are the parents that pretty much let their children do everything. My kid is NOT perfect, by any means. But... I had a parent and child come over once. The child decided to bounce and throw a ball in my house. The ball hit a glass globe (and that's how I found out... by the "clink"). I quickly came out of the kitchen and said, "There's no ball-throwing or bouncing in the house. You guys can go in the back yard and do that." I am not kidding, the child wrapped her arms around the ball, turned to the mom and said, "Mom..." (Total lack of respect here, huh?) And the mom replied, "It's one of her rules. I guess her house isn't child-proof." Umm... Wow. As far as I know and knew (at the time), it's a staple rule in most homes. It's just not something you DO! Anyway... getting to my point...

My daughter is surrounded by this type of disrespectful attitude and often has to be reminded to respect adults, opinions, and people, in general. (At least when I'm around. I sure hope she acts better when I'm not.)

All these kids argue a lot. They pick little things about each other and "not like" each other anymore. All. The. Time. There is more drama in an 8-year-old's life today than I ever remember. Someone will start a "group" and have all those kids "not like" someone because they are wearing ugly shoes that day. My kid gets her feelings hurt easily and a lot. I try to toughen her up, but it still happens. No... I'm not saying she gets bullied, by any means. I just see that she can't take it very well. But I know that she does it too. She gets the "talk to" all the time from me. About how to treat people. About how to be a good friend. About how not to spread rumors and start them, too. (I volunteer a lot at the school and am amazed by the gossip these kids generate. It is craziness, I tell ya!)
There are times, though, when my daughter is very caring... very loving... very compassionate... a very good kid. But it's all the times that she's not which makes me say...

In another nutshell.  No.  I would not be my child's friend. Then again, I wouldn't be friends with MOST of these kids today. I wouldn't "not like" them, I just wouldn't be friends with them. It blows me away. I'll continue to counsel and teach my daughter about friendship and other replationships. I hope it's within her to be the person I'd like her to be, instead of the majority of the time being a little Diva-ous Brat. And make no questions about it. I love my daughter. It's just the journey to her becoming a grown-up that is frustrating.

Thanks for visiting and getting the inside scoop of my head. I said this post would hurt. It hurts in more ways than one. Re-living my childhood and admitting I wouldn't be my daughter's friend. One day, I hope things will change on the latter. 

Getting off that topic, please go visit Mama Kat and visit all the other wonderful writers who inspire me all the time and help me to want to keep writing, as well.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Going BANANAS!!!!

Omgosh! The heat, the heat... is making me bananas! At least MY bananas are ripening so fast... well... that was before I found that handy little tip on Pinterest to separate them from the bunch to slow ripening...

Anyways, that's a whole 'nother story.

I hate to waste food. Yes, hate is a strong word, and I mean it here. I believe we should all use our resources wisely. But whey you have, literally, a bunch of bananas going soft fast, what's a person to do? Um... stop... think... FREEZE! No, I don't mean in position! I mean PUT THEM IN THE FREEZER!!!!

And since it's summertime, or anytime around here, it's the best way to have things pre-prepped for smoothies, cakes, muffins, breads, ice cream, etc.  Sometimes you may have to thaw them, but this way... they're a quickie thaw. Let's go!

First, you're going to have to shed the skin PEEL the bananas. Just peel off that skin (and throw it in your compost pile...), and put all the bananas into a nice big, flat-bottomed bowl. Trust me... It's the best way.  Now, take a POTATO MASHER, not a blender, a mixer, or a food processor, but an old-fashioned yes, mine's plastic POTATO MASHER. (If you don't have one... a fork will suffice, but it will take longer, and depending on the amount of bananas you have, make your arm more sore. Need a workout? Then by all means... USE A FORK!) And mash the bananas. See? I told you flat-bottomed would be best. We're not using the machines and stuff, because we still want them semi-chunky and not pulverized into it's liquid form which happens when we process it and process it and process it.

 Next, spoon the mashed bananas into an... ICE CUBE TRAY! (Don't have any? They're at your local Dollar-Type Store! and come in very handy for other things, too!)
Just so you know... in an average-size tray, 8 (eight) cubes equals one cup (8 cubes = 1c).

Cover the trays with plastic wrap, so the bottoms don't get all ooey-gooey, stack them up, and... FREEZE! (No... we're not done yet!)

When they're frozen, they should pretty much look like this, and be hard to the touch. They won't firm up as much as water (like you're used to) but will retain a slightly softer, spongier, feel.
 At this point, go ahead and pop them into your morning smoothie... no need to add ICE CUBES which add WATER to your drink and make it taste less than it should be. Simply put these in, blend it up (with whatever fruit and other things you're planning) and drink up!
But... if you're NOT going to use them right away... Run the UNDERSIDE of each tray under hot water (one tray at a time...), and twist them out into a bowl.
Label a bag for freezer use... (I generally put directions on the bags, to prevent my family from asking me questions, when I'm not there...)
And empty the bowl into the bag! Squeeze out the air, seal the bag, and slide back into your freezer for your convenience!

And that's a wrap unwrap, folks. Have a super happy SATURDAY!!!!