Sunday, February 28, 2010

What's for dinner, you ask?

Summer has just barely finished here in Oz... and I'm tellin' you, baby it's cold out there this morning!
I like lots and lots of fresh air, so I always have a window or two open somewhere in the house, no matter what the weather.
But right now it's just barely hitting on 9C (46F), and I just couldn't stand the cold anymore...
So those windows are now shut!
And I even have a jacket on - indoors!
Hood and all.

No socks though.
Or even shoes for that matter.
Because there's enough Okie in me, that I purely refuse to wear shoes unless the snow is knee-deep.
It's just a family trait, I guess.
And I refuse to turn the heater on, just on general principles. (which actually means I'm a tightwad, but I'm not admitting to that. The admitting to being part Okie is enough for now.)

So my thoughts turned to something warming, and filling, and tasty for dinner tonight.
Something that would warm the cockles of my heart, and hopefully stave off frostbite on my nekkid tootsies.

Something like.... oh, I don't know.
Chili maybe.

So here's my recipe for one of the best darn chili's you'll ever find in the grocery store.

Open one of these:

Then simply heat, and eat.

How easy is that, eh? I'll betcha that The Pioneer Woman would be gosh-darn proud of me!

Now, on to the rest of the meal... The Old Guy has been begging and begging for some Green Onion Cakes lately and I promised to make him some with tonight's dinner.
But Chinese-style green onion cakes with homemade canned chili?
Hmmm... I don't know about that.
But maybe that's just me. I don't like mixing my metaphors, and I don't like mixing cuisines.

So, what I'm gonna do, is add some chopped green chili's and maybe some red pepper flakes along with the green onions when I make these babies... to give it more of a Southwestern flavor.

That's the plan, anyway.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A small request...

Can I ask all of you to desist from making or sharing any recipe or food-related posts until, oh... let's say, mid-April?
Because I'm trying to lose weight before April 10th, so that I can fit into at least one size smaller.
And none of you are helping at all.


Well, it was worth a try anyway.

Not me, by the way... My hair is much shorter.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm thinking out loud here...

I've been feeling like a kid at Christmas, because I'm really starting to "count the sleeps" until we head home!

I've been makin' dozens of lists (and checking 'em twice) stocking up on extra cat food and litter, running off copies of paperwork, counting pennies and putting them aside... and just basically working myself into a state.

I've made notes for the friend who'll be staying here at the house to keep an eye on things for me - as well as feed, and 'love on' the cats.

I've made lists for food shopping while we're over there, as well as lists for new clothes to buy.
And I've got lists for things to see and do..especially since we're taking an Aussie friend over with us, and I want her to have a good time.
I'm gettin' antsy... let me tell ya!

But now... (drum roll please)
On to the thinking out loud part.

There are friends and family I want to catch up with, while we're home in Murphys, and I've gotten definite confirmations from several of them.
But what I also want to do, as far as my bloggy friends are concerned... is issue an "sort-of-semi-open-invitation" to a bit of a barbeque/ picnic/ party thang to be held near home on the 24th of April.

See, what I'm thinking is... Since I'm already gonna be meeting up with, and sharing eats with a few folks on the 24th anyway, I would just looove to meet some of you too, if you can be/will be in the neighborhood.

It won't be fancy, (because let's face it, I'm just about the least fancy person you'll ever meet) but it will be fun.
Just a simple "burgers, potato chips and soda" type of thing, with lots of laughter and yakking... you know what I mean?

But rather than just issue a straight out 'open invitation', and risk gate crashers, ax-murderers or the like, or having complete and total weirdos showing up to eat hamburgers, I'm going to ask you to invite yourselves.
That way, hopefully no one will end up on youtube, or the National news.

See, in order to keep all of us safe, what you'll need to do is send me a comment or an email, saying that you would like to meet up with us on the 24th.
And when you do, I'll contact you back... (that means I'll need your contact details) and I'll then give you the location and stuff.
(Oh... and just to put your mind at rest, it will be in a public place. Never fear. I would never ask any of you to put yourselves in a situation that I wouldn't put myself or my family in.)
How does that sound?

That way, if I know exactly who's coming, we won't have to shoot any weirdos.
My son Josh is a dead shot, and he's never missed a target yet.
The problem is, he won't shoot anything but cans.
But if you show up unannounced or univited, and you're wearing a tin-can costume, you better be prepared for some nasty-a** consequences.
That's all I'm sayin'.

Of course, this "semi-open-you-have-to-contact-me-first-and-get-approval-invitation", is only for those of you blog-world friends who have actually made the effort to make occasional or semi-regular comments on my blog... or for those of you who I actually know in person or through regular contact.
Is that fair enough?

(How the Pioneer Woman invites 8 total strangers around to spend the whole weekend, I'll never know. I would be peein' my pants, I'm telling you!
I guess that Ree's just braver than I am... or maybe some of those drop-dead gorgeous cowboys that keep dropping in, are packin' heat or something... ya think?)

So, let's get this party started!

(Well DUH.. it helps to tell you where we're actually located, doesn't it?)

"Murphys is located in the central Sierra Nevada foothills between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, in Calaveras County, California (see location map). Rich in goldrush history, Murphys today is a vibrant, thriving community of approximately 2,000 residents, alive with art galleries and live theatre, eclectic shops, fine restaurants, charming hotels and B&B's, and a multitude of outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities all just a short drive away."

MAP --- >

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I was planning on lasagna for dinner last night, but I ended up with emergency care at about noon. And because of the state that the poor child came in, I was more involved with washing and scrubbing and combing, than I was with cooking a meal.
I was dog tired by the time I got the child somewhat presentable, ( I changed the bathwater 4 times, for goodness sakes!) so I thought I would just check online for a quick recipe that involved the stuff I had on hand... and then I realized that they all made it too complicated.

But kids (and men) have to eat... so I just threw together a fritatta.

I just chopped an onion and a bell pepper, (capsicum) cooked it a bit in the skillet,
added about a cup of grated zucchini,
a chopped up leftover baked potato,
some chopped fresh tomatoes
added a bit of salsa to the mix...
and then poured 8 beaten eggs (with a handful of grated cheese) over it, slighting stirring to get the eggs mixed in.
Then I baked it for about 35 minutes at 350F.

How easy is that?

I served it with warmed, buttered flour tortillas... and it was a hit with everyone.
There weren't any leftovers, either.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Paint? Phooey on paint!

You all know about my Old Guy... right?
The one who could talk the hind leg off a donkey, and that's when he's sleeping?
When he's awake and rarin' to go, it get's even worse and Lawdy, I'm here to tell you that it does get worse.
Or worser.

It gets bad anyway.

See, for the last 59 days, (yes, folks, I said 59 days) he's been painting his lounge room. Well, not just painting, but patching plaster, sanding, re-patching and re-sanding, then putting on a coat of paint that doesn't look quite right, so he sands it some more and paints again.
And again.
And again.

Because he has OCD.

Well he says he doesn't, but when you mention that he just might have OCD, he can spend the next 18 hours explaining to you why he doesn't have it.
Which just proves my point, right?

Anyway, I'm pleased to say that he's gotten kind of burned out on painting his lounge room, and I thought that this might mean that the never-ending recitations of his sanding and painting techniques might be coming to an end.

No such luck.

Now he's moved on to the bathroom.

Little did I know (or care) but it seems that painting bathrooms requires a different type of sanding technique, and a totally different type of paint...
So the monologue continues - just in a different vein.

Now it's paint brush vs rollers and why paint brushes give you a much nicer finish, and how hard it is to paint with a paint brush behind the water heater.
From the sounds of it, he should win an award for the most time spent on his knees, getting just the perfect cover on a wall...
A wall that no one ever sees anyway!

Which all has me scratching my head, because he has an installer coming to hook up an instant water heater like mine... at the end of May.
Which means that the old water heater will be removed, and that the wall will have to be painted again.
As will the wall where the tub currently stands... because he's having a shower receptacle installed at the same time as the water heater.
Which means more painting, and I'm sure, more blow-by-blow descriptions of the newest and best sanding and painting techniques.

Arrrgggghhhh !
I can't take it anymore!!!
That old saying "You always hurt the one you love", is about to be tested!

Unless I can find me some earplugs, that is.

Just FYI...
I love my Old Guy to bits, and he's the best thing that's ever happened to me.
Except for my kids, of course.
He's loving, kind, thoughtful, decent, funny as hell at times... and he's all mine.
I'm just glad he has his house, and I have mine.
That's all I'm sayin'.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Toilets - and a change of pace...

The sourdough starter is going good, but I decided to take a bit of a break from incessantly taking about organisms taking over my life... and take this opportunity to get you up and moving.

Or laughing your heads off at my miserable plight.
Only I won't be laughing with you.
Oh Lordy, I won't be laughing at all!

Now bear with me for a minute, and play along, okay?

What you need to do is stand up.
Put your hands on your hips, with your elbows sticking out.
Now pull those elbows forwards just a teensy bit.
Even more.
Point those elbows as far forward as they'll go...
See what it feels like?
Do you feel the burn?

Okay, now sit back down.

Sit upright, and stretch your legs out in front of you.
Lift them a titch more, and make sure that you're pointing your toes.
Straight ahead.
That's it.
Now put your hands back on your hips, making sure to pull those elbows forward until you feel the burn.

Now what is this all in aid of, you ask?

THAT my dear friends, is the size of my toilet.
Not my bathroom... the toilet room.
Elbow to elbow, and to the tip of my toes.

The room that is so damned small that there's barely enough room to store a small pack of toilet paper in, and when you do, it just has to sit there on the floor, taking up valuable foot space.
Or doubling as a foot rest.

What made me realize just how small the room is, is when I trusted a 2 and a half year old to "do it himself" when he had to go to the toilet and do a ermm. know.
I learned not to trust, okay?
I learned the hard way.
That's all I'm sayin'.

Now what gets me, is that when this house was built in the early 1960's, it was probably a modern, new fangled idea to put the outhouse actually in the house... so you wouldn't have to traipse all the way down the yard, braving spiders and snakes, just to do your "business" anymore.
Oh, and you might as well throw in one of those new-fangled terlets as well, to keep my Ethel happy.
And those little half-moon cut outs they used to have in the door?
Placed there for air circulation?
Nah... we don't need one of them.

Whoever had the bright idea to place the dunny actually in the house, has a lot to answer for.

Because damn... you try cleaning it, while standing in one spot!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Blob(s) is (are?) taking over my kitchen!

Yes it's true... the starters are both thriving, and I didn't kill the first one after all !!

What I have now, are two containers of infant starters... and those babies are healthy, happy, and growing like the proverbial weeds... and they're threatening to take over the kitchen!
Which wouldn't be half bad, if they would do the dishes or even whip up a simple meal now and then.
I wouldn't complain anyway.

I even had to move the first one into a much larger container last night, because it was beginning to lift the lid on the tiny little container I started out with.
Which is now why I'm so glad that I bought those 2 large tubs of yummy berry and mango yogurt at Costco last week!
The containers are the perfect size, and not only do I not regret buying them, I don't regret eating them either!!
Anything for the cause...

I know that yesterday, I said they smelled like baby sick... but when I smelled them an hour or so later, they had a very distinctive sweet beer-y smell to them.
First thing this morning, I could have sworn that they smelled like a tin of paint, so I'm sure it's just because my nose hadn't woken up yet.
Because when I smelled them later, they just smelled rich and yeasty.
Which is right... right?
Yeasty is what we're going for?

Now... can anyone tell me something?
Are they supposed to be all stringy and gooey when I stir them?

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's alive, It's alive !!!

Well, here I was thinking that I had killed my poor little sourdough starter, by mixing it with a metal spoon once or twice... and I don't know if I'm right here or not, but it seems to still be alive!

I had given up on it, and started a new one... but I hadn't thrown the old one away yet.
(Yes, I know... I have some serious attachment issues goin' on.)
But when I went to check on the new one this morning, I decided to have one last look at the old one, before giving it a decent burial.
And I don't know if this means anything or not, but it was all bubbly, frothy, and gluggy looking... and it smelled like baby sick.

Is it supposed to smell like baby sick?
Or has "fermenting" just morphed into "rotting"?

I dunno either.
So I just fed both the babies as usual, and will leave the first one a while longer, before giving up on it.

This isn't a photo of mine... mainly because I got so excited at it seeming to still be alive, that I immediately fed it again - doing away with all the bubbles and froth.
But this is what mine looked like.
Well, mine had a slightly more tan-ish color/ dried out look, right around the edges, but I fed it anyway.

The fresh starter that was started yesterday is still a creamy color, but we'll see how it looks tommorrow, eh?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Uh Oh... I think I killed it.

You remember yesterday, when I said that I had started my very own sourdough starter?
Well of course you do, because you don't have the memory issues that I have.
Or maybe that should just be classed as having "little attention to detail", rather than memory issues.
Because that sounds better, and less ermmm... "age-related".
But just to reassure you, I do remember yesterdays post and all that it involved, so I haven't lost all my marbles yet.
Some maybe.... but not all.

See...I was meticulous with that dear little sourdough starter.
I thoroughly sterilized the container, and the plastic measuring spoon before mixing the flour and water together, and I checked it faithfully every 8 hours or so.
Adding more flour and water... stirring it in... and talking and crooning to it... because I had a little live thing growing in my kitchen.
Not that I talk or croon to the sometimes "off" or moldy contents of my refrigerator, because that would be just weird.
The dregs of stuff that sometimes ends up living in the vegetable crisper and the back of the fridge... well, that stuff could kill ya... although I guess it might be a memorable death.

But, I had high hopes that little live fermenting thing on my kitchen counter would eventually turn into all kinds of wondrous, tempting, and tasty treats... and help me recreate some wonderful memories.
Or even just allow me to eat a decent piece of toast for a change

But now on to the sad part of my tale.
(Go grab your tissues, if you're prone to tears)

Last night, just before going to bed... I did a final check and feed of my starter.
I got out the flour, got out a spoon, and proceeded to give my baby a nighttime feed.

And then this morning, I woke up to several emails and comments in my in-box, telling me NOT - under any circumstances, to use a metal spoon to stir the starter.
Because the metal reacts - badly - with the live cultures.
It kills 'em.
Which is what I did twice yesterday.
Twice! (smacks head and says *Duh Doodley!*)

Now I remember reading the "no metal" tip somewhere, and several times, in all the research I had done, but it had just never sunk in for some reason.
I guess I was off like a bull at the gate, and never really "took-in" the finer details of what I was doing.
And just because I wanted my very own starter to make sourdough bread with, I didn't pay attention to the details and ended up killing a sweet little organism that was to make my life happier and better in so many ways...

So I went to check out Michaela's blog
Life in Small Town Wyoming. ... and particularly her "Sourdough Series". (which I should have done in the first place. I know that now)
Because Michaela knows what she's doing, when it comes to sourdough.
At least I hope so, anyway.

And yep... according to her "sourdough series" it looks like I killed my starter.

Ahhh... pi** on it.
If this one fails, I'll just start another one.

And I won't get so emtionally attached next time.
I swear.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Starting a starter

I'm hungry for some good ol' Boudins style sourdough bread, and it seems that the only sourdoughs I can find, use some type of commercial yeast in them. And although that's okay I guess, and I'm no complete "purist" - by a long shot - I think the best and strongest flavor comes from 100% sourdough starter, with nothing else added.

I used to make sourdough bread from homemade "starter" all the time, but somehow I've forgotten how to do it... and for the life of me, I couldn't remember the exact instructions for starting my own starter.

So, I went looking for recipes.

And I got a headache.
Man, did I get a headache.

Because everything I've come across seems to talk at cross-purposes, has different flour to water ratios, (well, the same ratios, but in far different quantities) they tell you to keep the lid on loosely, or put it on tight. punch a hole in the lid, don't punch a hole in the lid, let it breathe, don't let it breathe too much...and on and on and on.

So anyway, I settled on this one... Sourdough Baking, The Basics, by S John Ross

Anyhow, I figure, what have I got to lose ? A little flour and a little water? And if it doesn't turn out, I'll keep on searchin'.
But... contrary to S John Ross's recipe, I'm just just going to start out with a tablespoon of flour to a tablespoon of water, and then I'll add another T of each for the next several days.

This is what it looks like, a mere 10 minutes after mixing it. By this evening, I'll add another T each of flour and water, then another T once or twice tommorrow... and so on, for the next 3 days.

And then? Then I'll be making my own sourdough bread, baby! And it's got to be better than the pretend artisian stuff, eh?

I can almost taste it now...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My hopes were toasted

See this bread?

The Old Guy found it somewhere the other day, and bought it especially for me, because he knows that I absolutely adore sourdough or authentic rye bread.
What a sweetheart my man is, eh?

The wrapper said that it was:

"A locally produced Artisian Bread.
A delightful and intriguing blend of authentic Sourdough and Rye"

Let's just say that I was less than intrigued, and far from delighted...
mainly because it had the texture and taste of just regular fluffy white bread.
And once it was toasted, it became even blander... if that's even possible.
If you closed your eyes while eating it, you would have sworn you were eating just plain ol' white Wonder Bread...
There was no hint of rye or sourdough in the flavor at all.

But it did make a pretty darn nice-looking, peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Right back at it...

Working, that is.

This past weekend was supposed to be my weekend off, but with the upcoming trip home, I figured the extra $$'s would come in handy... so I worked both Friday night and then Saturday night as well.

Friday night I had two gorgeous school aged girls... who are an absolute blessing and a joy to have around, and then they left at around 11-ish on Saturday.
An hour later, I got a family of 3 young girls for an overnight stay, and although they're sweethearts most of the time, this time there were constant and never-ending battles, tears, tantrums and little else... until they left 24 hours later.
Plus, the oldest had one of those nasty-arse barky coughs, which cough medicine did nothing for, so I spent the entire night, up and down with her... just so the younger ones could sleep. Which meant that I got no sleep either... so I was glad to see their backsides heading out the door, let me tell you!

As soon as they left, we then headed off for a quick trip to Costco - and a visit with Miz K - which went a looong way to helping to restore my sanity. But then again, spending time with K always does that to me. We're hoping that now that her Mister is back in town (he travels for his work and can be gone for months at a time) we can make plans for a fishing trip together, so fingers crossed that we can work out something. Because quite frankly, I need the break!

When we got home Sunday afternoon, I started the meatballs for the Albondigas, but I didn't really plan on finishing it until yesterday - when I had more time. And since Monday was my one and only 'actual' day off, it was spent finishing the soup, (I have vague recollections of actually eating the soup, but to tell you the truth, it may have just been a dream... I'll have to check the shirt I was wearing yesterday for dribbles of proof) as well as running around hither and yon, trying to make arrangments for our trip home in April, so there wasn't much time to rest then either.

Finalizing tickets, paying for the hotel reservations, insurance, checking money exchange rates and loading the cash passport card (I only did a portion of what I actually want to take, because I'm hoping that the Aussie dollar will go up a bit further, but I kinda wanted to hedge my bets, in case it drops between now and April.) as well as searching for the perfect backpack, so we won't have to worry about luggage.

It will be a fairly quiet day today with only 3 little ones (or is it 2? I have vague recollections about someone cancelling for today, but I guess time will tell)... so cross your fingers that they'll all go down for a nap at the same time... and that I can get some rest.

Lord knows, I need it...

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Bounty... and Albondigas soup

No, not the ship "The Bounty" ... but rather, my veggie garden.
Well, if the plants are in little pots, and big pots, and any "available, empty, and will hold a plant" sized pots, and they're scattered everywhere... to get the best light, least wind and all that... can it still be technically called a "garden"?

Too bad.

I've got dozens of tomatoes still coming on, (note to self: 12 plants are too many for just 2 of us, unless you want to continue to alienate your friends, so never go this crazy again) enough apple cukes to choke a whole herd of horses, and the grapes. (okay, well they're actually the neighbors grapes, but since they're hanging over my side of the fence, I'm going with the "possesion is 9/10's of the law thing here)... Plus I've got peppers, (little ones, big ones, mild ones and the
"I wish someone would stick a fire extinguisher down my throat, and put the damn fire out", ones.

As well as a couple of big bowls of mixed lettuces and pots and pots of herbs like cilantro and parsley, chives, basil and the like.
So yeah baby... I've got bounty.

And with all that wonderful, amazing bounty growing just just mere feet from my back door, I decided to make something that requires.... well hell... mostly none of that stuff.
Well it does... but only to a point.
Which is mostly tomatoes and fresh herbs... and some ground pork that's taking up room in my freezer right now.

I'm making Sopa de Albondigas... (Mexican meat ball soup) from a recipe a girlfriend sent me a year or so back, which is a close approximation of what her mother used to make for us when we were just kids. It's not the same, but it's the closest thing we've found yet.

I've used the same basic recipe about a dozen times, adding, subtracting, and doctoring it up to my hearts content, and we love it around here, no matter what I put in it.

But, because I never remember to write down my experimental variations, I'll be stickin' with the standard recipe tonight.
Except... I'm using a mixture of ground pork and ground beef (mince) instead of just the plain beef.
The original Albondigas recipe is just about as perfect as it gets, but I've got a heap of ground pork to use up... because I'm trying to clear out the freezer in hopes of buying a new frost-free freezer this week.
Because I hate defrosting the freezer.

Anyway, this is the basic recipe, but I usually divide the listed ingredients in half - which pretty much makes 4 servings, which is just enough for the Old Guy and I... and some left over for the next day.
It's very adaptable, so just have fun with it!
Feel free to add any veggies you may want, because with the basic spicy broth and the seasoned meatballs, just about anything works great.

Sopa de Albondigas
(Serves eight.)

2 quarts beef broth
6 corn tortillas, cut in strips and fried
1 - 1 lb 12 ounce can pureed tomatoes (or fresh - it's your choice.. Just mash 'em a bit first)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
2 bay leaves
1/2 to 1 cup salsa fresca
1 lb ground beef
1 cup cooked white rice
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a Dutch oven, place beef broth, pureed tomatoes, spices and salsa, and half the onion and garlic.
Heat to boiling on high, then cover and reduce heat to low.
In a large bowl, mix ground beef with cooked rice, the remaining onion and garlic, salt and pepper.
Form into meatballs and fry in a skillet until done. Drain.
Add meatballs to broth and simmer for two to three hours. (maybe less, depending on your pot)
Just before serving, add the fried tortilla chip strips and maybe a sprinkling of cilantro.

The soup can be kept in the fridge for several days, or any leftovers can be frozen.
And it's great served with quesadillas, or even just hot, buttered, flour tortillas.

EDIT: Just decided I won't be making the Albondigas today after all.... We're going to COSTCO, baby! * doin' some happy dancin'!*

It's clearance day around here...

Okay... today's a new day, and yesterday was ummm... yesterday.
Now how's that for an insightful observation, eh? It seems that deep introspection is worth doing occasionally, and it pays some pretty cool dividends. Like realizing that yesterday was yesterday... which I may or may not have realized otherwise.

I've got to move on and put the past behind me, so I'm patting myself on the back for a job extremely well done... and I'm moving forward.
Maybe they're just baby-steps at this point, but I figure that if I'm headed in the right general direction, maybe the momentum will start to build.

So... today's going to be "cleaning out day". I'm gonna pack up all the young lads clothes, toys, nappies and assorted detrius, and pass them along to someone else who can use them. I have to tell you, that whoever benefits by some of this stuff is going to think that all their Christmas's have been rolled into one.

Because I'm here to tell you that toys and educational aids for children on the autism spectrum aren't cheap - either cost-wise or quality-wise. They can't afford to be, because these kids can be extremely rough on their stuff.
And the nappies (diapers, which I have several cases of) are expensive as hell - if you can manage to source them - usually running $2-3 each. And the young lad could easily go through 2+ a night.
Those will probably go to another mother with 2 children with severe disabilities, but unfortunately, the toys and educational aids aren't appropriate for either of her children.

But the clothes? Those are going to be heartbreaking to give away, because there are things that we just recently bought together... and his pride and excitment in putting together several outfits was literally palpable.
The Old Guy and I would sit and laugh with him, when he would stand in his new clothes in front of the mirror, put his hands on his hips, turn in a circle and then do a little wiggle... while grinning and crooning to himself with happiness.

See... mum has always been of the opinion that you buy sizes according to the age of the child - whether they fit or not. So when it came to the clothes that she provided, he was squeezed like a sausage into a childs size 12 ... underpants and all. He constantly chaffed and pulled on those clothes - and he hated wearing them.

But when I bought clothes for him to wear here, we always bought size 16's at least, or even men's "small" t-shirts and Hawaiian shirts and men's sz S jocks.
The kid is Hawaiian shirt mad, and has a baseball cap to go with every outfit ... and Lord help us if he had hats that matched several colors in those shirts! He would carry the spare 2 or 3 in his hand, and constantly change them, depending on where we were. Safeway was the yellow hat, and the post office was always blue - to match the carpet in there, I think. The garden shop or nursery was always red, because they had a red feature wall behind the cash register. At least that's what I['ve always figured... but with young lad, who really knows what his reasoning was? He certainly couldn't verbalize what was going through his head, so it was a matter of close observation, intuition, and sometimes a stab or two in the dark.
But we got there.
We always did, because he was worth the effort.

Sh*t... listen to me. I said I was going to let it go, but here I am carrying on about him, aren't I?
Well, this will be the last day, anyway.
I promise.

So, I better get a move on and get the two girls (I had them overnight) up and dressed, so that they can be ready when their mum arrives.
And then I can get straight to work sorting, cleaning and rearranging.
It'll be a load off, and a new start... and to tell you the truth, I'm ready for both.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's been a long, bumpy ride...

There's been a lot going on here lately - some good, some bad - and that's my excuse for being missing in action.
There hasn't been a single solitary day that I haven't sat down here at the computer and had every intention of posting, and catching up on what y'all are doing... but then life seems to get in the way.

And for the last week, I've been in a hell of a mood because of a culmination of circumstances with the 'bad stuff'... and then I realized that not talking about it, is even worse than dumping my troubles on you.
Well for me anyway. You have the option of not reading, but for the sake of my sanity, I don't have the option of not talking about it.

See... I got fired.
Well, not fired, exactly, but the outcome is the same, and the repercussions as well as the heartache are the same as having the proverbial rug pulled out from under me.

Remember the young lad with autism that I've mentioned in the past? The one who has lived with me part-time/permanently for the last 2 years or so? The one who grabbed my heart, made me laugh, made me smile and occasionally made me pull my hair out?

Well, his mother is a real piece of work, and after me standing my ground with her last week, she had me summarily fired.
Fortunately, the service we were working through, doesn't agree with her actions or her take on things... so I'm still employed by the service and they're anxious to place another child with me asap.

Only I'm no ready yet.

I honestly feel that I've been in an abusive relationship for the last several years, and like a lot of women out there, I've chosen to stay in the relationship for the sake of the child.

This isn't of his making, and to be quite frank about it all, he needed the stability, consistency, and affection that I offered him - all things that he wasn't getting at home.
He was mine... and I couldn't have loved him any more if I had given birth to him.
I wasn't in it for the money like his mother is, (ha... money? What money?
This was a labor of love for me) and I apologize about seeming so critical about her, but IMO, this woman doesn't deserve one iota of pity or understanding.

Ah.. never mind.
It's still too hard to talk about, because my hearts' breaking... but I just thought you deserved some explanation for my "missing-in-action"-ness


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