Friday, February 27, 2009

Oh why will I never learn??

You know the whole sister thing? Well, I put a jinx on myself , by even talking about it.
I no sooner finished the post, than there were 2 more "poor pitiful me" messages from her.
(for me, bad things come in two's)

You know what I really need to do? I need to start thinking and talking about 100% positive things, because when I think or speak or share anything negative, it just makes more of it.
What we put out there, is returned to us.
Talk about little sister, and I GET little sister.

From now on, I only want to talk about winning the lottery.
And winning a date with Sam Elliot.

Either one would be good.

LG... Life's Good !

It's my weekend off... YAY!
The last of my little cookie monsters left yesterday at 4, so I just puttered around doing nothing much, until bedtime. Which was 9:30 last night... and not my usual "heading to bed at 11-ish" routine.

I woke at my usual 5am this morning, looked at the clock, realized that I'm not working this weekend and said p** on it ...and went back to sleep.
I woke again at 5:45 ... said p** on it again... and rolled right back over, pulling the covers up to my chin and started in snoring.
Again at 6:55.
Said p** on it again.
But then the thoughts of my evil sister entered my mind.
Thought p** on her, but I might as well get up. She just ruins everything... you know what I mean? Even my sleep.

(I want to assure you that I'm not usually a swearing type of person. "P** on it" is about as bad as I get, and it's usually only muttered to myself. Not that I'm a saint, and I have been known to use certain nasty "wash out your mouth with soap" type words when the situation calls for it. Usually in relation to my sister.)

So, with thoughts of my evil sister in mind, I want to up-date y'all - and then move on to other things.

I had no idea that things had changed in the US, as far as phone bills go.
See, I received another 2 emails from said sibling, claiming that she hasn't paid her long-distance bill, so she's unable to call me until Friday, when she finally gets around to paying the long-distance bill. (her Friday... which is today - my Saturday)
Is that right - or is she lying, yet again? Local and long distance are billed separately? Or is that another one of her extremely inventive excuses? I don't remember paying each portion separately, but it has been a long time.
Am I supposed to feel guilty because I haven't sent her bucket-loads of money, so that she could pay important things like the phone bill or tithe in church on Sunday? Well, let me tell you, I don't feel the least bit guilty. Her drug dealer would probably be the only one getting anything, anyway.

I had replied to her nasty email the other day, simply saying:
"Call me. my number is xxxx-xx-x-xxx-xxx"
(overseas call, ya know. So lots of confusing numbers)

Then I never heard another word, until yesterday, when I got 2 messages in a row from her... Crying that she was too poor to pay her phone bill, but she would call on Friday.
If she calls today...she does.
If she doesn't... well, my day will be much better for it.
And I can probably avoid saying lots of those nasty swear words.

But I don't want to talk about her.
Life's Good. I'm off for the next 48 hours and I don't need nuthin' hanging over my head, you know? I want to just putter in the garden, kick back and read a book or 2, blog to my heart's content and act like a lady of leisure for a couple of days.
And ladies don't swear.

I'm really itching to get out in the garden today and to start pulling up all the plants that died because of the horrible heat we went through... and get them composting. Lately, I've been trying to add native plants when ever/where ever I can, because I LOVE having the parrots and native birds and animals coming in for a visit. Enjoying my morning coffee with dozens of parrots is just the best way to start my day !!

So, I'm going to be totally ruthless when it comes to any "iffy" non-natives. Besides, the natives are much more drought tolerant, and to tell you the truth, I'm getting sick and tired of bucketing water for the garden. Oh, I know I'll have to continue with it until the rains start, but once the plants get established, I won't have to worry as much anymore.
The roses and geraniums will be keepers, as well as the agapanthus, but the rest can just go into the compost pile. It was really stupid to think that I could re-create my dads petunia and violet beds, in an area of the country where 4 minute showers are the rule.

The day's a-wastin'... so I better get out there and start acting ruthless.
Every dead or dying plant is gonna have my sisters face on it, I'm tellin' you true.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today's my Grandson's Birthday !!

Today is my oldest grandson's birthday
and I promised that I would send him a very special birthday wish...
So please join me in wishing him,

Happy Birthday, Draven !!!

There are some presents in the mail for you - and you should be getting them SOON. I know that I should have mailed them sooner, so that they would have been there before your birthday, but I'm a silly Grummie and I had to wait until I had a day off work. I'm a doofus, I know. You don't need to tell me. ;-)

But you'll be getting 5 packages in the next couple of days... so be sure to watch for them, okay?

(And I remembered the money this time too !!! )

My Sweet Birthday Boy... Draven
Nothing could be nicer
Than to make this wish for you...
Sure hope your Birthday's happy
And that all the year is, too!
All our love,
today and always...
Grummie and Grumpy

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's time to get into the game...

I came across a video this morning that Wendy over at Wendy's Wonderings had shared from another blog ... and now I want to share it with you.
When I saw it, I cried...
and then I watched it all over again, because it made me feel so good.

God, in his infinite wisdom gives us all a second chance, so isn't it right
- isn't it necessary -
that we step outside our comfort zones and do the same for others?
and I'm warning you - have your tissues handy.

~~Do unto others as you would have them do unto you ~~

Black-eyed pea salad....yummy!

Do y'all remember back at the beginning of the year, when I was whinging and whining and carrying on like a headless chicken about black-eyed peas being so hard to find here in Oz?

Well, Miz K messaged me and told me that she had found them at her local IGA for $1.99 a bag ...
So... while we were in Melbourne for the Neil Young concert last month,
the old guy and I hoofed ourselves over to Miz K's grocery store and bought 10 bags of good ol' black eyed peas.
TEN bags !!
Because, you just never know when you're going to get a craving, do you? And you never know how many years it'll be before you find more.

Then last night while doing a major shop, I came across the new "international" section of my local grocery store... and guess what they had!!
They had black eyed peas - from the US, no less!!
And they were only $1.69 a bag!
Okay, okay, I know that I already had 10 bags in the cupboard, but my momma didn't raise no fools... so I bought another 10.
Now I have 20.

And guess who had a craving this afternoon? Yep... me.
Well, maybe it had a bit to do with not having enough cupboard space for those 20 bags, but I swear.. I had a craving too.
"Black-eyed pea salad" sounded just about perfect for dinner tonight, so that's what we had.

The salad's quick and easy to make
(once the peas are cooked, or if you use canned)
and it was just the perfect light supper, served with corn muffins... Mmm mmm mmm!

This isn't my photo, but my camera batteries are flat, so this is the best I could do.
Imagine chopped cukes and extra jalapenos..Oh My!!)

Black-eyed Pea Salad.
3-4 cups cooked black eyed peas ( or 2 15oz cans)
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced (I used more)
1 small red bell pepper (capsicum), finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped ( I used much more - thank you Miz K!!)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions (spring onions)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup diced cucumber
(a little crispy fried bacon (chopped) is good too, but I didn't have any)

Toss the ingredients into a bowl a mix lightly and then set aside while you make the dressing.
Bottled Italian dressing is good too.

3-4 T balsamic vinegar
2-3 T olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a cup , mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and toss lightly.

Cover, and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight...
We ate ours as soon as it was prepared... but I also like it when the black-eyed peas are still hot, as well.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Me bad.... No, make that stupid

I don't know why, but for some inexplicable reason the other day - while in the throes of that darned 2nd-day easing-off migraine, I had the "oh so bright" idea" of clicking that little "moderate your posts" button, just to see what it did.
Why? I dunno.
Did I remember that I had clicked it? No.
I just thought no one liked me anymore.

Me and post-migraines do NOT mix. I tend to do some pretty idiotic things, just as the pain is beginning to ease off ...and that sense of "I AM WOMAN" euphoria hits, ya know?

Let me give you some examples.
(Not that I've done any of these things.
I'm just saying)

I have learned that sticking your tongue in the beaters to taste the batter - while the mixer is still turned on, is NOT a good idea.
But don't ask me how I know.

Don't ever make your own quadruple batch of Kahlua from scratch... and then feel that you need to taste test each and every bottle just to make sure the ingredients were mixed properly.
But don't ask me how I know.
And please... don't ask the guy who used to park his '66 convertible Mustang beneath my 2nd story balcony, either.

Don't ever get the urge to sing "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" at karaoke night with the church group - including the pastor, present.
Don't ask me how I know.

Don't ever turn the taps on to fill the bath and then get sidetracked by those "Hit's of the 50's and 60's" ads on TV, while attempting to dance the Boogaloo and Mashed Potato.
Don't ask me how I know.

Don't vacuum the cat hair off the sheets and try and get another day out of them before they needed to be washed. You might need to go out and buy not only a new vacuum, but new sheets as well.
But don't ask me how I know.

Standing on a chair with a box on it, to clean out the gutters in the middle of winter while it's still raining, is not an smart/ good thing to do.
Just don't ask me how I know

If I'm going to screw anything up, ruin something or do something that can considered to be hazardous or just plain idiotic, that post-migraine time is when I'm gonna do it.
I've learned not to cook anything, slice anything, dice anything, wear high heels or try and use electricity in any shape, form or fashion, while going through the P.M's.

And now I know not to click any buttons on my blog, either.

(Libby, will you forgive me? You can stop being paranoid now.)

YeeeHAW for Robynn !

I've just gotta share some good news!

Ya'll know my friend Robynn, over at Robynn's Raving's, right?
( if you answered no, you've been living under a rock and you better get right on over there and check her out - right now. That's an order)

Anyway... Robynn entered an essay contest over at Red Pine Mountain (which she won) and she managed to snare a lovely, personal comment from Ree at The Pioneer Woman. as well.
Which doesn't surprise me one little iota, because Robynn deserves the accolades!!!
But from Ree? WOW!
I can feel the "envy green" creeping upon me as I speak !!!

Now Ree is THE Godmother of Blogging. The woman who made me yearn to start my own blog - and I'm posi-lutely sure that she has inspired many others as well.
This woman has shared some recipes that has even my guy wanting to kiss her feet (Chicken Spaghetti...mmm mmm mmm) and he's not even a "feet-kissing" kind of guy... plus she's shared a whole plethora of other yummy recipes as well.
And "Black Heels"? Oh my... this had me sucked in from the moment I first discovered her blog, so I had to beg my guy for a neck massage after sitting glued to the computer for literally hours... because I just had to read the whole thing in one sitting!

This woman Ree... well, she's made me laugh, made me cry and has just plain made me just scratch my head at times.
I want to be Ree when I grow up, okay? And I want my very own Marlboro Man as well.
'Cause if a girl's gonna dream, she ought to dream big, right?

I'm just SO proud for Robynn right now... so I just wanted to share the news with y'all!
Because if anyone deserves a personal comment from Ree, it's my friend Robynn.

Now if you haven't done it before... check out all those links up above and settle in for some darn good reading!
You'll thank me - I know you will!

My plug is broken

Remember my "water tank trick" ? The one where I imagine my tank filling up with stresses...and then I swim down and pull the plug, releasing all the water - and the stress goes with it?

Well, it ain't workin'. My plug is broken. It's snapped clean off.

See, February is a hard month for me $$-wise.
Liability insurance, car insurance, police checks for work, my annual CPR and First Aid courses ( again for work ) car registration and my quarterly taxes. Not to mention the regular on-going monthly bills. Mortgage, utility bills and the like.
Add to that the mother of a migraine that I just went through and that I'm still dealing with the repercussions of.... and my tank has overfloweth.
BIG time.

It's overflowed so bad, that ducks are now taking up residence around my tank and I swear I saw the splash of a fish yesterday.

Now, normally I would just sit down and concentrate on draining that ol' tank... but then yesterday morning, I got an email that knocked my proverbial wet socks off.

From my little sister.

Now, any of you that have little sisters that you have great relationships with...
and little sisters whom you love dearly, all I can say is...
I envy you.
I really do.
See, my relationship with my baby sister has been strained since the get-go and it's only gotten worse since we've been grown. She's made some lifestyle choices that I don't agree with - mostly involving using illegal substances in lieu of paying her mortgage on a timely basis and her very "hands-off" method of raising my nephew... but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, to cut to the chase, she contacted me yesterday to inform me that one of my dad's accounts (daddy died last year) has contacted her to ask for my contact information.

Now instead of just giving them my contact information, or just telling me that Bill Bailie at "We Got Your Money Financials" wants you to contact him at 555-5555 asap, she decided that it would be in her best interest to do a little.... ermmmmm, how shall I say this?
Never mind.... there's no couching it in polite terms.
She's using extortion.

She knows the name of number of the guy that I need to contact at the bank, but why just give that information to me, when she can kind of rudely and bluntly ask for $22,000.
(throwing in a lot of "I'm your baby sister and daddy would want you to help me" guilt, while she's at it)
... just to take the edge off of some of her money worries?
Which leads me to believe that there will be further $$ dramas down the road... So that $22,000. is just the first little drop in the bucket.

Is it any wonder my tank overfloweth?

So now, on top of everything else, I've had to make appointments with a solicitor and my bank manager, plus I have a meet-up with a couple of other ex-pat Americans scheduled for tonight .
I would call the meet-up off because it isn't really high on my list of priorities right now, but since I'm the organizer... I don't feel right in letting everyone down just because I'm not "in the mood".
Besides, the company might do me good, right?

Maybe they have little sisters too, and I won't feel so lost and alone, knowing that I got the only shit one.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Goodbye Cruel World - part 2

I'm alive, I'M ALIVE!

Sort of. I managed to mostly sleep it off and now I'm just dealing with a hangover-type headache and the nausea. No chucking, and no pounding my brain with a jackhammer... so life is semi-good once again. I've got my darkest sunglasses on, an ice pack on my neck and the house is as dark as a tomb, so there might be hope for me yet.
Now all I need is a super strong espresso with lots of extra sugar and I might start to feel human again.

Treatments and cure-alls? There's no such thing I'm afraid.
At least not for this little brown duck anyway.
See, I've always used Cafergot and it almost always works.. although I can only handle the rectal suppository version of it.
Taking it orally never really works, because it always ends up being up-chucked - and unfortunately, if I'm not desperately trying to sleep off the migraine, or thinking of putting a sharpened stake through my brain, I'm doing my best to vomit up my toenails.

But rectal Cafergot suppositories ALWAYS worked for me, especially if I had someone handy to insert them. There were a couple of years when I was no longer married, that I thought about getting into a relationship with anyone ...and I mean ANYONE... I didn't care who it was.
I didn't give a rats patootie. It could have been Charles Manson for all I cared ... just so that someone would be handy to shove those waxy little miracle bullets up my bum.

So when I moved to Oz and started in getting the bad ones again, I went to doctor after doctor... and no Cafergot. Then I finally found a doctor that said "Yes indeedy, we do have Cafergot here, so I can give you a script for that. " And he did.
But it's not actually Cafergot.

They call it cafergot, but I'm here to tell you that it is NOT the same thing that I used for 30 years. It's a Cafergot wannabe.
It does not work.
Oh, it takes the edge off, a teeny tiny little bit, but it does NOT alleviate the headache at all. It does not work miracles. And when I'm in agony, I want a miracle.
And with the "good stuff" - the original stuff that I used and relied on for decades - I was willing to suffer any indignities necessary, when it came to asking someone to insert the 2nd, 3rd and 4th dose, ( I can do the first, but I'm too groggy for the next 3) because I knew that it was gonna work in just a few hours and I would soon be feeling back to normal again.

But with the Aussie version, it doesn't work well enough to even think about going through the humiliation of asking someone to stand by and insert things up my bottom. (like you really want to know that...right?)
I dunno what it is. Less of the secret ingredient... a sucky, watered down imitation-version of the key ingredient?
I just don't know. But when I say Cafergot here, what I ask for and what I actually get isn't the same thing at all.
It's like comparing The Real Thing... Coca Cola, to a cheap, store brand of cola.
Don't even go there, because you're not fooling me... one little whit.
So I'll say it again...
I can NOT get Cafergot in this country. Even though technically, I can.

I've tried it all. Hot packs, cold packs, massage, acupuncture, acupressure, HRT, beta-blockers, eliminating certain foods from my diet.... Whew, the list goes on and on.
I do have to say that acupuncture did work for about 6 months (and when we're talking about my migraines, that's like all my Christmases rolled into one) but I've never been able to find another decent acupuncturist since I moved to Oz.

Strong black coffee with 4-6 sugars helps a bit.
Coke (ya gotta drink it fast) and 2 Ibuprofen helps a bit.
Having the soles of my feet massaged really, really hard helps a bit.
Gently massaging the occipital bone of my skull helps a bit.
Soaking my feet in really hot water helps a bit.
There are a lot of things that "help a bit", but I crave something that will help a LOT - not just "a bit"... you know?
The only thing that truly, truly works, is Cafergot and sleeping it off.

I've been dealing with these suckers for 52 years.
When I was a kid, they were diagnosed as "Juvenile Migraines" and I was told that I would outgrow them. Well, I did outgrow them... but once I stopped being a juvenile, they morphed into the adult version, with nary a hiccup or a break in between.

Then they told me that they might be hormone-related ...and after having my hysterectomy, they might just disappear entirely.
That was another *guess* on their part. All I lost was my girly-guts.

One doctor even told me that only very intelligent people know ... people with high IQ's , get migraines. The smarter you are, the more intense the migraine pain.
If that's true, I certainly haven't been living up to my full potential, now have I ?
Because if that little theory is correct, Albert Einstein would have nothing us " migraine suffers", would he?

Year before last, I had a 28 day migraine. I was going to the doctor every single day for 28 days and he would give me an injection, saying "this one will work". He said that to me 28 times - which makes him a big fat liar.
I would go home, stagger to bed and sleep like a baby, but the damn thing would still be there when I woke up again.
After 28 days of injections, I woke up one morning and it was suddenly gone.
Just GONE !!!
I ended up with a week of the "hangover affect" and couldn't eat anything for the week, but the intense pain was gone! And I praised Jesus!

A week later, that sucker was back again, but it was pretty short-lived and minor...
I was hoping that after suffering intensely and agonizingly for 28 days in a row, it would mean no more migraines for a year or two... but it just didn't work out that way.

I'm feeling okay this morning, but just to err on the side of caution, I've cancelled all my kids until Tuesday and I plan on staying in my cave - with my sunglasses on, until then.

Now... I'm gonna try and catch up on what y'all have been doing. ;-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Going to my cave now... Goodbye cruel world.

It's just been one thing after another this last week and although each "thing" has been fairly minor, if you add them all up, they equal one BIG headache.
A migraine, to be exact. The mother of all headache pain.

I knew I was working up to it, with the dreaded prodromes hitting late Thursday afternoon. Which in my case is:

food cravings - particularly bread with globs and globs of butter
constipation or diarrhea (in my case,both... like you're dying to know)
mood changes — depression, irritability, etc.
(Don't LOOK at me that way... I'm warnin' you)
muscle stiffness, especially in the neck
pins and needles or partial paralysis
increased frequency of peeing
(hello toilet, my old friend)
difficulty performing mental tasks
feeling cold
( trailing blankets and toilets do not mix)
Sometimes, I can stave off an attack... with meds or even diet changes, but 80% of the time, there's not a bloody stinkin' thing I can do about it... and I just have to let it run it's course. The funny thing is, that sometimes if the prodromes are bad enough, the migraine ends up being fairly minor. (Yeah, right. Like being hit over the head with a 10 lb sledgehammer, instead of having a 20 lb jackhammer jarring my brain, can ever be termed "minor" pain)
Then again, a "light dose" of prodromes and a bad case of the auras can result in either a mild migraine or a "would somebody please just cut my head off and stop this agony - I just wanna DIE" migraine.
I know all this, because I've been getting severe migraines for 52 years and I've been keeping a migraine diary for almost 30 years now.
It makes for interesting reading, especially when I get to the aural stage. Then, you would think a 5 year old wrote it. A 5 year old mental patient. A 5 year old mental patient who's taken LSD and is hallucinating their a$$ off while learning to write at the same time.
Then last night just before 11 pm, the aura reared it's ugly head. I started in smelling a combination of dirty, dirty, smelly socks and moldy oranges... and an hour later, it was like I was living in a boxed Monet painting - with wiggly and straight lines running through everything. Colors shift, figures waver and weave like mirages in the desert and I constantly feel like I'm going to fall over.
Sometimes... if I'm very, very good , if the moon is in the right phase, the stars are all in perfect alignment, Lucy's in the Sky with Neil Diamonds and I can get the meds into me fast enough, I can sleep it off...
But at other times, I dread going to bed, knowing what the potential end result is gonna be.
So... the end result is that I woke up at 2 this morning with a bowling ball lodged behind my right eyeball, my left nostril running like someone has turned on a faucet,
( I'm sporting the "single-tusked walrus" look with a tissue up my nose as we speak - Sorry for that visual) a stiff neck and no feeling in my feet, yet euphoric at the same time... and I have approx. 3 more hours before the jackhammer from hell starts.
Keep me in your prayers, people. I'm going down for the count, but like General MacArthur said :
"I Shall Return".
The spacing on this post looks all weird and "gap-py to me, so if this is too hard to read or understand... just shoot me.
Just shoot me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wanna be Blogalicious like me?

My friend Staci, (over at Staci's Heart ) is giving some goodies away from her Blogalicious biz-ness and I want to share the joy.

Here's the scoop:
Over the next few weeks Staci and Stephanie will be giving away some things from their blogalicious business....
All you have to do is go to their Blogalicious design site, become a follower and then add them to your blog roll.
Easy Peasy!

Now Staci doesn't exactly say what they'll be giving away, but I'm sure you'll be pleased with whatever it is that you get - that is, IF you win, of course.
But no matter what, you'll have a ball, just having a look-see.

Now, I'm NOT getting anything out of this - I swear ! I've already gotten my great blog design from the girls... and I just don't need anything more.
But like I said before ...I just want to share the joy with y'all!

Oh, and tell her Tatersmama sent you.
Just so she knows that I care. ;-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I feel just like Sally Field !

You know... when she won the Academy Award in 1985 for her starring role in "Places in the Heart" ?

When she got up on stage and famously said : You like me, you really like me!
Which she really didn't say at all, but it plays better this way and I'm sticking to it, in the name of poetic license.

You see, Robynn at Robynn's Ravings just gave me a couple of awards... (which I've done a crap job of re-sizing )
and as much as I want to say "aw shucks mam, you shouldn't have", when she lists me with such wonderful, inventive and inspiring bloggers, my poor little brain just goes into meltdown and I've overcome with the fact that she "likes me, she really likes me."

I feel like some poor wanna-be, soapie actress going up against the likes of the greats... the Katherine Hepburn's, Betty Davis's or Judy Garland's of the world. You know, The BIG girls!

I just can't believe the company that I'm in and although I do feel grateful and overwhelmed with her kindness, I have to seriously wonder if Robynn has been getting into Libby's meds or something.

And do you want to know just how sweet this woman is? When she found out that Crisco, pecans, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Dr. Pepper (oh... and Ding Dong's too) are darned hard to come by in this country... and even IF you can find them, they cost the proverbial arm and leg... she,

- our dear sweet Robynn -

tried to jump on a plane and bring me the foods that I dearly love. She's dreamed of doing it... and I just recently found out (sorry, but I can't divulge my sources, since it's still under investigation) that she actually tried to board a plane with contraband foodie goodies stuffed in her knickers - just because she loves me so much.

Or rather, because "she likes me, she really likes me!"

>>>>THIS is what our dear, sweet, determined Robynn did - and she did it all for me !!!

Well, actually this is one of those really iffy re-enactments like you see on "America's Most Wanted", and it's not Robynn at all... but y'all get the drift. They say the unknown woman/acress had Robynn's mannerisms down pat - which I have to admit, scares me a little.

Finally, I want to thank Robynn, the Academy, and all the little people who have made these awards possible.

And oh.... thank you too, Pfizer.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I have learned...

That when I'm absolutely exhausted and my guy offers to do the dishes for me... to just say NO!

Now, can anyone explain to me how this man can use hot water, have dish detergent bubbles up the yahootie, plus use a sponge and the scrubbing pad.... and still end up with dried-on breakfast drink?

Never mind.
This is a man who only washes the tops of plates, since that's the only part we eat off - so the rest of the plate must be clean, right?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Market Day

Ahhhh... It was so good to have the weekend off and we even managed to get out of the house yesterday! We went to the farmers market at Talbot and man... it was just a perfect day for it.
*big smiles*
See, Colin is always attempting to get me out of the house, but I'm usually so tired and worn out from working 24 hours a day for 12 days in a row, that if I have my druthers... I'd druther stay in my jammies all day and just vegetate and read a book or two.

But yesterday was good. Real good. It was just a real relaxing, no-pressure kind of day and I guess I needed it more than I realized.

There weren't many people around, so it was rather a quiet, laid-back day. And because numbers were down, there wasn't any jostling for the free taste tests! Apples and nectarines and licorice and wines and sauces and cheeses and homemade Hungarian pastries... Oh my!

I ended up getting 2 large pepper plants from here (at the far end of the table) and since it was such a quiet day, I ended up getting both plants for the price of one! And both plants are just covered in peppers! Wooo Hooo!
( I think that if you click the pics, you can enlarge them. I'm not sure though)

Eric the Red.
and wow... was this guy good! He kept us entertained for almost half an hour and I laughed until my stomach hurt. I thought that little guy in front of the unicycle was going to poke that cane through the spokes, but he didn't... although I think that Eric was seriously regretting that he hadn't picked a taller assistant from the crowd!
Cute butt too.
Eric, I mean.
Not the kid.

Lee Lou Belle with her little dog Louie, taking a bit of a break from her Egyptian Perfume Bottle booth. (try sayin' that 3 times fast!!)
So here I am, back at work this morning... but I feel totally rested and relaxed for a change!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Won't You Be My Valentine ?

Isn't this sweet ?
Isn't this beautiful?
Isn't this what you would love to receive from your "Other Half" for Valentines Day?
A lovely thoughtful card, a bunch of flowers or even a yummy box of chocolates.....
Oh my!
How romantic!

THIS, however, is what I received from The Old Guy:
(be still, my heart)

And THIS is what he'll be receiving from me:

Remind me again, What DO I see in this man???

Post Script:

Awww... Bless his sweet little pea-pickin' heart! He just came back in the house and asked me if I had shared what he had gotten me for Valentines Day, with my "girlfriends" on my blog! The smile on his face and the look in his eyes has me re-thinking the whole pie in the face plan now. Seriously re-thinking it. He really DID put a lot of (man) effort into the gift and I do have to honestly say that it's a much nicer gift than the color-coded key tags that he got me last year. Although, they were pretty useful too.

I think I'll keep him after all. ;-)

Oh what a beautiful morning !

This is my "off" weekend and I have no kids underfoot for two lovely days! Not that I don't love my kids... because I do, but man... it was so wonderful to be able to lay in bed for 5 minutes longer in the morning and to just know that I don't have to get up and start rushing around doing stuff.

And you know what I discovered this morning? MUSIC !
See, I get up and start reading through my favorite blogs, but I always keep my speakers either turned off, or turned right down so that the sound won't disturb the children. I like getting up at 5, but I don't like the kids to do the same thing. I'm funny that way. I need the peace and quiet, a cup of coffee and a bit of down time before they wake up and the day begins.

So here I was reading through The Mosquitoes Buzz this morning and Supertramp started in with "Take the Long Way Home".
And do you know what?
At 54+ years of age, I'm still fully capable of boogieing around the living room in just my nightshirt and singing into the TV remote... and I was having a ball doing it !!
And Bz's play-list ? Wow... you would think she created it just for me!
I just kicked back, closed my eyes and drifted back in time...

Isn't it funny how music can bring back so many memories? I heard The Platters singing "Only You" and suddenly I was back standing on my daddy's feet, being danced around the living room and giggling uncontrollably when he *dipped* me. I could even see my mama sitting on the chesterfield, laughing and smiling at us, as daddy taught us how to "cut a rug".

S'cuse me ... Lynard Skynard is now taking me back to Muscle Shoals with "Sweet Home Alabama" and I need to go find my remote.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Passing along Lemonade Awards - part Deux

Now what I forgot to mention
in part one of the "Lemonade Award" post, was that you're supposed to link the award back to me, ( and preferably say all kinds of nice things about me, so that the whole wide bloggie world will see how wonderful I am and then come and check my blog...But to be honest, I just added that in for a little extra flair. You're not really required to do it, I'm just sayin' that it would be nice.)
Then you link back to the 10 people you pass it along to.

Got it?
Now... to make it even more confusing, here are my final 5 "awardees". (Is awardees a word? Or should it be award-ies?) Anyway... here are the 5 additional ladies that I'm passing the award along to.

Again, in no particular order :

Cassie at Spring Meadows is always a good read and I really liked her "Love" post today - but then again, I enjoy just about everything she does. Plus, she hasn't been feeling 100% lately, ( those pesky sinus's are a bugger) so maybe a visit from you would do her some good! Please check her out and tell her I said howdy! :-)

Nancy over at Southern Blessings is a lovely, lovely woman with a couple of cutie pie kids, (I'm a sucker for kids, as you can imagine) but be warned... This woman is a Crazy Lady with a Gun, especially where her hens are concerned. Just don't be makin' any barking noises, is all I'm sayin'. Ya might want to tiptoe. lol!

Then there's Sue at Home To The World, who is one incredible, loving, giving woman and I'm proud to call her "friend". Sue shares her home and her heart with International home-stay students and you'll be inspired with all that she does for her "kids". And she's got a heart of gold, besides!
( And Sue? I just noticed that even though I check you daily, I had forgotten to become a follower. That's been rectified now. ;-) )

The Frugal Maven over at Hip and Stingy always has great recipes, great ideas and great commentary. No matter what she's sharing, she always makes me want to try it, even if I don't really think I'll like it. Now that's a woman who knows what she's doing and she does it well. :-)
(and the chocolate recipes??? OH MY!!)

And Mandy over at The Old Dairy is always an inspiration to me. Spending my "morning coffee time" with this girl, is well... it's really one of the best ways to start my day... And starting it in such beautiful surrounds with such a gentle, caring soul, always does my heart good.

Okay, those are my final 5 "Lemonade Award" awardees, but please be sure to check out all my other followers as well. They're ALL special to me in their own unique way and you won't regret checking each and every one of them out.
I mean that. :-)

Doing some catching up and passing along an award...

Check this out.

I got this Lemonade Award from "Slacker Staci" over at Staci's Heart
who admitted to me (and the rest of the world) that she only gave it to me and 4 others, because she has no friends... so her selection process was seriously narrowed down.
And she also called me "Kathey" - which no one has done since my BFF's Christine and Laura, back in my school days... which was 4 decades ago!
I just want to know who she's been talking to, behind my back! C'mon, spill, Staci!
And FYI, Staci is now known as "Slacker Staci" because she's been so busy doing blog designs (yes she's part of Blogalicious Designs) that she hasn't been posting enough lately.

Lemonade Award

Now, the rules are that I'm supposed to share this "Lemonade" award with 10 of my bloggie friends, but like Staci, I'm shortening it to 5. Just for now, mind you. I'll add the other 5 a little later in the day. I'll do 5 now and 5 later... just because I'm running short of time this morning and I'm supposed to be getting my 2 little semi-permanent care girls up, dressed and fed... and here I sit on the computer, chatting away, while they languish in bed. Well, not really... they're still sleeping like angels, but the rest of the housework needs to be done if I don't want to run seriously behind today. And today is my Friday ! I have the next 2 days off and I can't wait for some down time! So here we go...

I would like to give this award to: (in no particular order)

Drum roll please...

Robynn over at Robynn's Ravings, who can make me LMAO in spite of what's going on in my life and besides that, she's the sweetest, kindest gal you'll ever meet. :-)

Angelena over at Little Mountain House, because she's warm , honest and sweet as pie... and I always get a dose of warmth and homeyness when I read her blog. Please check her out. You'll seriously thank me...

Bz who's at The Mosquitos Buzz, who claims to be "Just your ordinary, everyday, happily married, proud parent that loves animals and nature." But she's so much more... and I just want everyone else to know how sweet she is, too.

Do you want your spirit lifted, a place to relax and unwind and do you want to take a small journey into peacefulness? Then check out Andrea at Finding Sirius. She's a truly inspired, and inspiring woman. And besides, you'll get to meet Sophie. :-)

And last but not least...

Sassy Dog over at Becky and her Babies! You'll smile... you'll laugh... you'll wonder why... And besides that, her blog design says "Hot Lips". Now that's either a nod to *MASH* and she fancies herself as "Hot Lips Houlihan" or she's a big fan of lipstick, as well as tiny little dogs, but still... she'll make you smile. :-)

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Remember Lee Lou Belle?

The friend that means the world to me...

The one with the ummm..... interesting dress sense?
The coffee sloshing, false teeth falling out, chocoholic who cherishes me and who give the world's best "rocking back and forth, rib squeezing" hugs?
(see here )

Well, for some reason, she felt the need to come and see me today and man, am I ever glad that she did !
Lee just has a way of making my day worthwhile and putting a smile on my face - and she did it again today.

She said that she knew that I needed her today, so she dropped what she was doing ( a friend who will give up their soap-operas for you, is a friend indeed) and she came over, loaded with chocolate!
And this time she shared the good stuff!

We drank endless cups of coffee, got into her stash of chocolate - and we talked... and talked... and talked.

About important things, silly things and even the best way to cook steel-cut oats. Like she even eats oats... yeah, right.
Because I've never seen her eat anything but her beloved chocolate. Which she shared today... and she even shared the good imported stuff for a change. Today was my lucky day.
But there were times when we just sat there and never said a word, because with Lee, sometimes it just goes beyond words... And the silence can be just as soothing and healing, as talking things through can be.

I asked her if I could share her picture with y'all, and she agreed... and only asked that I not show her skinny legs. Unfortunately, her skinny legs are attached to the rest of her and I couldn't find a way of blanking them out.
She said she would forgive me though.

I love this woman to pieces and sometimes I just can't get over how very blessed I am to have her in my life.

"A friend is someone who reaches out for your hand...and touches your heart."

That's my Lee Lou-Belle...

Why I'm not coping

I'm having a whole lot of trouble dealing with this aftermath of the fires and extreme heat... and I just couldn't figure out why.

And then it hit me first thing this morning.

We went through a horrible wildfire in California back in 1992 - The Old Gulch Fire - and just prior to that point, my daughter had just moved into her own little apartment. But for days, no one could reach her on the phone, lines were down and roads were cut off. I was frantic with worry and I just didn't know where to turn.

We could see the flames cresting the top of the ridge just opposite our property and we watched the pine trees going up like roman candles. I was home alone with my boys because my husband was out working overtime, doing traffic control. After running to the store - which was in the opposite direction from the fire - I spent 30 frantic minutes being blocked from getting home to my boys... until the police officer finally relented when I told him my husband was a California Highway Patrol officer working the top of Hwy 4. Of course, in a small town like that, everyone knew who he was, but that particular officer had been brought in from out of the area, because the police and firefighters were being overwhelmed with the magnitude of what was going on.
Everyone's nerves were shot and we were all just dealing with the threat the best way we could.

I was worried beyond belief for my daughter, and I was as frantic as only a parent - a Mama - can be, but everyone assured me that she was probably just fine, since she lived in town... and the fire was nowhere near where she was living. It would have to come through us, to get to where she was ..and we weren't in any immediate danger at that point.

They finally - after what seemed like a lifetime - managed to get the fires somewhat under control and the electricity and phones had just come back on... so getting in touch with Jenny was my first priority. I just needed to hear her voice and know that she was okay, you know?

I tried calling her at work and her boss said that she hadn't been at work in 2 days and she was now fired for not letting them know that she wouldn't be in.
Of course, I was worried because Jen was a responsible young lady and not going to work, or letting anyone know, was totally out of character for her. So I made further phone calls to her friends and even friends of friends... and eventually I ended up calling her Karate instructor.

I first spoke to his wife, who was evasive as hell and who said " I don't want to seem rude, but I really don't want to talk to you - but I'll get Joel for you". By this point I was absolutely fed up and I handed the phone to my husband and said "you talk to him, because if I do, I'm going to blow my stack." He got on the phone and immediately turned as white as a sheet. Instead of turning and telling me what was going on, he simply wrote something on his notepad and handed the sheet of paper to me.
"Jenny is dead".
And with that, a part of me died.

Joel (the karate instructor) had gone to pick Jenny up for karate class, and had found her door locked, but her window was open and uncovered and when he looked in, he discovered her passed away, lying on her bed. He rang the police who then responded, but some some strange, inexplicable reason, Joel had been told to not tell anyone - including myself and her step-father.

This had all happened at approximately 10 in the morning, yet we were never informed or contacted by the police. It wasn't until I rang Joel at dinner time that I found out what had happened.
I suppose they were treating it all as a crime scene and at the time, they didn't know who the suspects were, but still... the thought that a family friend (the police sargent) could or would make the decision not to tell us, still makes my heart reel.

We eventually found out that Jenny had died in her sleep, due to Orthostatic Intolerance. (the same disease the Greg, the Yellow Wiggle has) But back then, little was known about it. She had had the symptoms, but finding a doctor who could put the clues together was just impossible. We had made the round of doctors and specialists, but no one ever told us, or even hinted to us, that it could be life-threatening. All it took was her coming down with a minor cold... and her poor overworked heart just stopped on her.

I lost my daughter Jenny... blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh, during the Old Gulch fire and I guess the two will always be tied together in my mind and heart.
She was only 17 years old... and this year, it will be 17 years since she went "home" to be with God.
On August 31st, my Jenny will been gone for as many years as I actually had her in my life... and it just seems impossible. I still to this day, can not believe that she's gone.

These fires that we're dealing with here in Victoria, well... I guess that they're bringing back memories and feelings that I thought I had dealt with a long time ago... but obviously, I haven't dealt with them at all.
With every news report, I keep expecting the phone to ring and have someone on the other end tell me something devastating and heartbreaking.

I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Regarding the devastation still going on here and how it ties in to my thoughts and feelings and memories... this was the headline that I woke up to this morning :

Thousands continue search for loved ones
"Thousands of people continue to call the Red Cross hoping to be reunited with loved ones missing in the bushfire crisis.
To date 14,000 people have called the Red Cross in a desperate search for loved ones, with 4,000 seeking information about missing family members on Wednesday alone."

Is it any wonder why my heart is breaking?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Videos, news and blogs - The Australian Fires.

It's hard to know what to do. Do I continue to watch the news reports and feel somewhat voyeuristic, or do I turn off the TV and then feel like I just don't care enough about what's happening to those poor people?
Six of one, half a dozen of the other I guess.
The death toll for the fires currently stands at over 170 and there is no end in sight. They figure it may be a further 3 weeks before they finally know just how catastrophic these fires truly were... and just how many poor souls were lost.

Here's a link for our Aussie "Today" morning show... with some incredibly inspiring, yet heartbreaking videos of what's unfolding with these devastating fires.

I also did a quick google of other blogs and thought I would share some of them with you as well.

Please keep us in your prayers... and while you're at it, say a prayer for the people in the northern part of the country who are suffering through massive flooding right now.

This truly is a country of extremes...

Victorian Fire Map

I can't get the gadget to work, but go HERE to see the current fire map.

I'm in the Ballarat region, off to the bottom left of the fires (there's a green bubble right over the name of the name "Ballarat" so we're directly below Bendigo) ... and as you can see that there is no immediate danger here at all.

Unless they don't catch those *#^%* idiots who have started all this devastation in the first place, and they just keep lighting more fires...

The map has changed, so we're now shown as directly below Creswick - and as you can see, we're in no danger at all.

I just have no words... Please pray

Please include all Victorians in your prayers.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Victoria bushfires claim 108+ lives

I grew up in California and summer wildfires were an unfortunate way of life... but I just can't get my mind wrapped around the complete devastation here in Victoria right now.
It's just incomprehensible to me.

Here's the latest news - which unfortunately isn't the end of it. They're now estimating that closer to 180-200 people will be discovered to have lost their lives in these horrific fires.

Victoria bushfires claim 108 lives

God have mercy on all their souls.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Born Again American video

My sister sent this to me this morning and I was inspired by it...
So I just wanted to share it with it y'all.

Born Again American.

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

WE must be the change...

Percy is gone !!! A very sad tail... *sob*

Oh no ! My friend Libby over at Neas Nuttiness, has had her poor little poochie Percy
dog-napped !

Libby dropped me this line and asked me to put the word out.

"Help...Help me Tatersmama...My Percy has been dognapped. It's true. Please ask your readers to come over to my place, and to see the ransome note with their very own eyes. Then they can go to the dognappers site (, and see and read about the horrible things that have happened to my poor boy and then to leave comments begging, for his safe and timely return (along with some fresh bagels and cheesecake to ease my troubled soul.)

Thank you o wise one down under...I know that you will come to my aide in my time of need."

I would do anything for you Libby.

Even if you're a few nuts short of a party mix...

Cool Change at last, but now the details are filtering in

The cool change came through last evening ... and it just kind of astounds me that it could be so stinkin' hot one minute, (we broke ALL heat records yesterday) but within a few hours, the temps had dropped 40+ degrees! Well, that's not a minute, but you know what I mean.

It's 14.1C (57.38F) right now, but yesterday, we hit an all-time high of 46.1 (114.98F) at the airport and by late afternoon, it had dropped right down to 15.5C (60F).
Let me tell ya, it was a miserable, miserable day... and with 4 special needs kids in care for the weekend, it was a battle to keep everyone quiet and at least somewhat cool.

Kids get cranky with the heat and 2 of my children ( 6 yr old with Downs and a 4yr old with Autism) well, they just did NOT want to settle. They moaned and groaned and picked and fought all day long. Tempers were high and I have to tell you, there were moments throughout the day when I could fully understand some species eating their young.

Against all Family Daycare rules and regulations, the kids were stripped right down to their underpants.. because even the air conditioner just could not keep up with the heat.
I felt that the heat had the poor little boogers stressed enough, so to keep them from being scared in addition to being heat stressed, I wore a little bit more than just my underpants. Let me tell ya, wearing a floor length caftan is not a good idea when you have 4 cranky kids all looking for something to do.

I think I spent most of the day trying to drag kids from underneath the caftan and as soon as I would get one out, another would take their place. I tried distracting them. I brought out the play-dough. I brought out the puzzles. I read books and put videos on. Nothing and I mean nothing, would distract them from wanting to play tents with my clothing.
And they thought that they were hot and cranky? Having small, smelly, sticky people crawling up your dress all day long always puts me in a bad mood too ... so it wasn't nice at all.

And do you know, only ONE parent called to see how their child was faring with the extreme heat? That mum had just given birth to another baby, and the first thing she did after getting back to her room, was have dad call and check up on their 6 yr old.
The others never made any attempt at all, which makes me wonder if it was a case of
"out of sight, out of mind", for those other parents. Which wouldn't surprise me at all.

Lord have mercy... it was a hellish day all around Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. with homes being destroyed, people dying in the fires and an uncertain/ undisclosed amount simply dying of the heat.
There was absolute devastation everywhere, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the toll is going to be much, much bigger than we can even imagine.

I checked the news first thing this morning, and within a space of about an hour, the initial reports of 14 deaths had risen to 25 and they're expecting a lot more once they can get into burned out areas.
It just boggles the mind.

And please spare a thought and a few prayers for the magnificent fire-fighter's and SES volunteers who are doing their absolute best in these horrible conditions.
God bless them all ...

Friday, February 6, 2009

He ain't heavy, he's my brother.

I read all your responses to my post about my young lad with autism and I can't believe
- or begin to tell you -
just how much your comments affected me.
I was in tears.

Partly because so many of you "get" what I'm attempting to do, but there's also a part of me that feels like I'm being praised for, or congratulated for, something that, to me anyway, is no big deal.
It isn't worthy of praise.
I guess it's just my upbringing and the way I was raised, more than anything else.

See, I was brought up in a Quaker household.
My family have been Quakers ... practicing Quakers, since the 1630's.
The Underground Railroad... the Boxer Rebellion... Those weren't just history lessons to me.
My ancestors gave their lives for causes such as these.
They felt that good works should be done, not to bring merit to those who performed them, but because our Lord - and our salvation, plainly requires it .
It was for them - as it is for me today... a way of life.

We're ALL on this earth to do the best we can and to get through life in one piece, without doing any harm to others.. and to hopefully leave the world a better place.
All I'm trying to do, is to do the best that I can do...
And hopefully, humbly help others to do the same thing.
To help them be the best that they can be.

I am NOT special in any way.

My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
~Clarence Budinton Kelland.
I'm going to post this and then walk away, before I have a chance to delete it...
Because I'm sure feeling right now that I've probably given you a little too much unnecessary information... and that I've bared my soul just a little bit more than I feel comfortable with.
But I think that y'all deserve an explanation, so that you can understand why I feel a little uncomfortable with your praise.
I appreciate it, but really... I'm not worthy of it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I want you to meet Robynn... :-)

She's over there on my blog list, ( Robynn's Ravings) but her Mondays post was so funny that I just about died laughing. I almost busted a gopher gut here.
So if they ever discover my cold, dead body sitting at the computer, with sticky coffee all over the screen or keyboard... y'all will know it's probably Robynn's fault.

OH MY GOODNESS, this girl is funny... with a capital F !

You just have to read this !

>>Go here<< But I have to warn you... have the tissues and your Depends at the ready, because you're gonna laugh your patootie off !

Talking sh** !

Most of you probably don't know this, but I care for an 11 year lad with Autism, part-time / permanently. Which means that he "lives" with me for short or extended blocks of time, in order to give his mother - who has a hard time coping - a little bit of a break.

Lad doesn't speak, per se, but there are vocalizations that I've come to learn mean certain things. Plus, he has two words that are crystal clear.... a whispered haaaaaaaaat for any head covering, and a whispered caaaaaaaaar when he wants to go somplace.

But that's it.
Two words only.

We use Pecs cards as well - you know, the cards with a picture on them that relate to words for things, but he has little interest in them at all and has never been agreeable to using them for anything.

Now, to back up a bit, this young lad has only recently been toilet trained and we still have our fair share of accidents, but we're getting there. Praise the Lord... we're getting there!

When he got up this morning, I took him straight to the toilet as usual, and left him for a bit, while I got his clothes laid out.

I no sooner got halfway down the hallway, when he started yelling out. So when I went back to check on him, he had a huge smile on his face, looked me straight in the eye and said "shhhhhhhhhhhit !" And lo and behold... there was a shhhhh...poop in the toilet! And he just kept saying shhhhhhhhit shhhhhhhhhit while pointing at the toilet!!

I don't have a clue where he's learned the word "shhhhhhhhhit", because it's certainly not a word we use around here, but man... it did my heart good to hear it this morning !

And the eye contact that he made? That's unusual too, so I've got my fingers crossed that this is a break through!

Of course, when I flushed the toilet, I got a pretty bad reaction from him, mainly because I think that he felt it was his and he wanted to save it, but man... there are times you just have to draw the line!
He's now gone off to school on the bus, and I kind of wonder what the bus driver is going to think when he hears "shhhhhhhhit shhhhhhhhit shhhhhhhhit" for the next 30 minutes!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Koala's are HOT!

I was sent this in an email last night and it was just too cute not to share with y'all !
I don't know who originally sent it or who the pics belong to, so if I'm stepping on someones toes, I'm truly sorry - but it's just too cute!
(I'm also adding the text that came with the email.)

I truly am from a remarkable country! And we have THE cutest animals (AND some of the most deadly - I know!) But I thought you would appreciate how cute this is...!
At home in Victoria the temperature has been above 44 degrees all week and they are forecasting another week of 40+ temperatures. Power is failing, trains have stopped running because tracks are buckling under the heat . It’s just scorching. and it seems that the people are not the only ones suffering.
Check out these photos of a little Koala which just walked onto a back porch looking for a bit of heat relief. The woman filled up a bucket for it and this is what happened!

My perfect weight loss trick !

I discovered last night that I can eat anything I want and never again gain an ounce!

See, it was hot again yesterday, and a friend showed up in the afternoon, with a carton on Iced Coffee flavoured milk.
Now I know that I'm "big time lactose intolerant", but it just never entered my mind that that this stuff would affect me. Besides, Iced Coffee, poured over ice on a hot and humid day sounded so goooood... ya know? I never even thought of the "milk" part - just the "iced coffee" part.
So I had 2 small glasses.
BIG mistake.

We just had a light dinner of cold shredded chicken with veggies wrapped in tortillas, but I didn't have much of an appetite - due to the heat, which was causing me to have a tummy ache.. ( or so I thought)

But man.... by 8 o'clock, the stomach cramps hit. I paced the floor. I wept a little. I spent time in the "littlest room in the house". I paced some more and moaned for my mama. I wept. I Spent more time in the littlest room.
The end result, you ask?
I lost every calorie and bite of food that I've eaten in the last 113 days - all while sitting down !!

My belly is flat. My cheeks look gaunt. I've discovered (in theory anyway) that I can eat whatever I want - cakes, bread, KFC, candy bars, Scott Baio's Ricotta Cheese Puffs, lobster dipped in the purest drawn butter... And all I have to do is wash it down with a glass or two of milk. And lose a night's sleep! Easy Peasey!!

The lactose intolerance, is the reason that I only have a teeny tiny amount of milk in my coffee - because even that, makes me bloat up... and I'm left looking like I'm 15 months pregnant.
I teaspoon of milk causes me to bloat. A glass (or 2) of milk causes me to bloat, but then I rapidly ermmmmm... "un-bloat".

How clever am I ??

I'll be looking just like Heidi Klum in no time !

Monday, February 2, 2009

Remember Scott Baio? What a Cheese Puff !

Do y'all remember Scott Baio? He used to play Chachi Arcola on "Happy Days", Chachi again in "Joannie Love Chachi" ... and then he did "Charles In Charge". But he did nothing for me emotionally...
That is, until I found out he could cook a mean ricotta cheese puff. The guy grabbed my heart the minute I found this recipe in The TV Guide.

These are so quick and easy... and my kids used to love them. I tried my darndest to find a photo, but there was nada out there. And it's too hot to cook right now and then take a pic for y'all, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
( And Sherri? If you ever want to bribe Josh, these will do the trick every time. He would even muck out the horse pasture for these.)

Scott Baio's Ricotta Cheese Puffs
1 c. all purpose white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. white granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 lb. tub low fat Ricotta cheese
2 1/2 c. vegetable oil
Powdered sugar to sprinkle

Using a cooking thermometer, (which I never do btw, because I'm lazy that way) heat vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees.
Mix all other ingredients together except for powdered sugar.
Carefully add a tablespoon of mixture at a time to hot oil.
Within a minute, (and I mean a minute or less, so keep an eye on them) balls will form puffs and turn a golden brown.
Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve warm.
Makes 2 dozen Ricotta Puffs
One word of warning:
These splatter when you cook them. So wear an apron and keep the kids back . And if the kids are out of the way, you can sneak a couple, without them knowing.

You'll thank me... really you will. But I'm afraid your hips will hate me.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness...

I had a dream last night and although I can't remember much of it at all, I do remember that I kept being told by the brother of a friend I had in the 4th grade, to "do good things".

So while I was waiting for the coffee to finish dripping this morning, I checked my inbox and one of my favorite "quotes for the day" was sitting there.
Todays quote was:

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again"
~ William Penn

And after the dream I had last night, I got all goose-bumpy, let me tell ya.

After the coffee was ready, I sat down again to check through the rest of my emails and there were several from friends of mine asking me to pray for their friends and family right now. I mean, I get these requests occasionally, but today there were far more than usual. Times are hard and a lot of people are going through things they never thought they would experience and since I love my friends, of course I'll pray for them.

But the part that really made my goose bumps get goose bumps was that I also received an invitation from a friend on Face Book to join the group,
"Karma Experiment - Pay it forward."

"You have been invited to participate in a karma experiment. As you are aware many people are going through tough times and we wanted to see if it is possible to change a person's karma.
~~Objective: Start something positive by sending good karma to every one of your friends by inviting them to this experiment.
~~Experiment: To increase a person's karma by doing a random act of kindness.
~~Outcome: The more friends that join and take action the better your karma will become."

Well, of course I joined, although I usually ignore the invitations on Face Book (*blushing*)... because to me, FB just seems so busy or cluttered. (just my personal opinion here, but if you love FB, that's great!)
Because obviously something or someone was trying to tell me something, with all the "Kindness" quotes, requests for prayers and then the Random Acts of Kindness invitation.

So I'm going to do this. I know that I can do this. I CAN make a difference in someones life.
Even a small difference is a difference that can improve someone's life in ways that we may never understand.

Would you like to join me in trying to make a small difference in the world?

If you do, could you post a comment with the act or acts of kindness that you've done for someone today ?
It could be an inspiration for someone else... and it's possible that it could snowball to other, unknown people. And if it does, wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?

"Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on; 'twas not given for thee alone, pass it on;
Let it travel down the years, let it wipe another's tears,
till in heaven the deed appears, pass it on"
~Henry Burton


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