Friday, November 30, 2012

Thankful, part 3, the final installment

Day 22:  I'm thankful for the bounty of food before me and the friends and family at my side with whom I share it.

Day 23:  I'm thankful for pie for breakfast.

Day 24: I'm thankful that I am able to surprise my friend for her birthday with many of her friends, providing her with lots of laughter and good cheer.

Day 25: I'm thankful that I have enough leftovers in the house that I can put off grocery shopping at least one more day

Day 26: I'm thankful for the individuals who donate their bodies to science. Today, they provided me with a unique experience to view and understand the human body.

Day 27: I'm thankful for the wonderful potlucks we have at school, where everyone gets to relax a bit and enjoy themselves before diving back into their studies.

Day 28:  I'm thankful that I'm done paying for orthodontia for at least a little while.

Day 29: I'm thankful to have the opportunity to attend educational conferences that enlighten me and inspire me to pursue my education.

Day 30: That I have a wonderful puppy to keep me entertained and exercised.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful, part 2

Day 12 - I'm thankful for the volunteers who give of their time to make my son's boy scout troop a success. Watching them tonight made my heart swell.

Day 13 - I'm thankful that the truck battery died at home and not on the camping trip this weekend.

Day 14 - While I'm thinking of vehicles, I'm thankful I have a reliable means of transportation that is completely paid for.

Day 15 - For my classmates, who are quickly becoming my second family. They are generally supportive and kind

Day 16 - For my sister's accomplishment of earning her doctorate. She worked so hard for it, I am thankful that she completed the program, as I know there were many a day that she contemplated her sanity in finishing.

Day 17 - After waking up too early, the joy of being able to go back to bed because I have nothing planned for the morning.

Day 18 - The hugs my son is freely giving me after a weekend away. They are like precious gems, sought after but not often found. I treasure each one of them.

Day 19 - That my son wants share our heritage with his classmates through the classic Italian way - food.

Day 20 - The relative easiness of my last tests before my mini-vacation. It was with a light heart that I skipped out of my classroom this morning.

Day 21 - I'm thankful for the small break from studying I have over the holiday.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving - take a moment to appreciate all that you have.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful, part 1

It seems many of my friends have been publishing what they are thankful for on Facebook, one item for each day in November. I've been reflecting on it as well, but have chosen to condense it so as to make it a little more interesting to read, as you will notice that different days bring different attitudes from me, some days I'm more spiritual, others I'm more grounded.

Day 1: The grade school friendships that have lasted all these years and still brighten my days 35 years later. I have not always been able to count on the current people in my life, but the Graniteville group always has my back.

Day 2: Having Fridays off so that I am able to run errands relatively crowd free. Shopping and bank errands are not something I enjoy; but since I have to do them, at least I can do them when most other folks are at work.

Day 3: Sharing in volunteering activities with my son. I don't know if he appreciates it as much as I do; however, I always walk away with a happy heart and full spirit.

Day 4: My sister. She gets me and is always there to support me, no matter how down or frustrated I may be. Plus, I get her, and (hopefully) can do the same for her.

Day 5:  My soul mate, my hubby. He's not always able to be here physically, but he is always here in my heart.

Day 6: That I can vote, that I can express my opinion freely without fear of persecution (although there may be some snarkiness on facebook).

Day 7: For the drive to school, because I get to sing at the top of my lungs for over an hour with absolutely no one there to criticize my somewhat off-key singing.

Day 8: Hubby's support in my endeavor to become a PTA. He may not know how to pronounce all the terms, but he'll at least try.

Day 9: Naps

Day 10: A car that works and gets me from place to place relatively worry free.

Day 11: For every soldier who has made sacrifices to protect this country. Sacrifices that includes family time, material goods, physical health and their lives.

(to be continued...)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shouldn't have said a thing

     I've noticed a disturbing trend about my child  - as soon as I brag about him, he tends to go and prove me wrong. Case in point, my last post I was bragging how my son had stepped up to be more mature and responsible while his dad has been gone. Well, come to find out, that is not exactly true. Seems my dear child decided that he did not need to do the reading for his AP human geography class or his English lit. class. Since both classes test on material found only in the books, this was a bad plan. What was a worse plan was when directly asked if he had done the reading, he lead me to believe that he had done it. Not acceptable. So, there go his after school activities. Which is sad, since he is Senior Patrol Leader in his troop (essentially the head scout). However, the rules are simple in our home: homework/schoolwork first, then fun.
    Overall, his attitude has also started to take a downturn. This is due in part to my attitude, which has been miserable, I admit it. My allergies have come on strong this fall, which means I get no sleep from all my sniffling and coughing or I sleep all the time from the allergy medicine, which means getting nothing done. Either situation makes me cranky. I've a lot of homework and studying to do, which means I do not appreciate having to follow-up to see if someone else has done his homework. Sigh.
    Yes, there are worse things that could be going on right now and people are going through worse.  My MiL starts chemo on Monday, with her stem cell transplant scheduled for Thursday. It is a very aggressive round of chemo; hopefully the side effects will not be too severe for her, especially not so severe that they have to forgo the transplant.  (odd coincidence, in the background  a commercial just played supporting the ACS fight against blood cancers). Another friend who loves in Korea just had emergency surgery for cancer of the appendix (I didn't even know it existed). They did a hemicolonectomy. She's only 40. A classmate's fiance was killed in a car accident. She's been overwhelmed with all the planning (he was a semi-famous BMX rider) and worry of what will happen to his daughter, the little girl who she has considered her own, but the law probably won't see it that way.
     So yes, life could certainly be worse and I do appreciate that...but I'm still tired.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall's groove

It's hard for me to believe it is October already, as it seems as though it was just October yesterday, and by October yesterday I mean October 2008. Time seems to go by so quickly and I've lost my grasp upon it. Normally I would complain about this, as I feel like I've not had time to enjoy what is around me for as soon as I blink, another month has gone by.
However, I'm actually glad time is going by quickly since Hubby has been away. The time has been passing by in an expedient manner, which is good because that means he'll be home soon. Well, not until November (we hope), but that's just around the corner.
I had worried with this TDY that my son and I would clash constantly, since our buffer, hubby would not be here. Luckily, we both recognized early on that either one of us might just might have a bad attitude/ be in a bad mood that had nothing to do with the other person but that would still be directed to the other innocent party. We've both apologized to each other a few times over the past month, we've recognized the need for space and sometimes the need for closeness as well.
It is interesting to see how much maturity my 14 can display when he's called to action. There have some days where he has been more mature than me (I'm still getting used to full-time school and all the studying that goes with it).
What is also interesting to note is that our laundry loads have decreased 3 fold and our grocery bill has been cut in half, which does not really make since since only  1/3 of the family is missing. Our leftovers are not being eaten at a quick enough pace, which means we throw-out a lot more food too, much to both my and J's chagrin. I do enjoy the reduction in laundry quite a bit - I can get it done in one day vs. a load every other day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Candy Corn Oreos

Oreo's made a smart marketing move with their limited edition Candy Corn Oreos (henceforth referred to as CCO) - they are being sold only at Target, creating a sense of exclusivity and reduced ability of the product. Then, a few Internet mentions and Pinterest posts and they become the next "hot" item to get. 

Luckily, after searching for a few days and at a few Targets, I was able to locate a package  so I can share the experience with those who are fortunate/not fortunate enough to have them available to you. They are not the traditional chocolate Oreo cookie sandwich, they are made of the vanilla cookies with a candy corn creme filling. They look very festive. Plus when you open the back for the first time, you get that sweet candy corn scent, reminiscent of cotton candy and caramel. 

I normally eat my Oreos by prying off the top cookie and eating it, then eating the filling and 2nd cookie together. This is not a good plan for these. The cookie alone is bland with a slight bitter strychnine after taste. The creme center is overly sweet, chemically laced concoction that I would not wish on my worst enemy. It's horrible.
I decide to be fair, and I tried the CCO in its complete form - maybe it needed all the elements together to balance flavors. It is better, as the blandness of the cookie cuts the sweetness of the creme, making it almost palatable. Still, you end up with a flavor that is reminiscent of all the bad qualities of candy corn, the taste in your mouth that you get from eating a whole bag in one sitting. Don't even try dunking them in milk - it just makes it worse.

The only positive of this is that you pretty much guarantee that you will eat no more than one serving (2 cookies) in a sitting.  Heck, you probably won't even eat a serving.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jungle weather

It's August, which means heat and humidity is bearing down on most of the country. In some parts, there is more heat than humidity, and they are suffering from severe drought. Lucky for us, we are not having a repeat of last year's 100 year drought. We've had a lot of moisture come through this summer, so much so that I have not had to worry about watering my lawn much. In fact, some members of my family have equated it to living in the rain forest since we seem to have an afternoon shower every day and the humidity feels like a wet blanket. 

We've each adapted in our own way, and the newest member of our family has taken to hiding in the palm tree, looking like a fierce jungle animal waiting to pounce.

O.K., maybe not that fierce.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

TDY in the near future

We've been a bit overwhelmed with family and friend's health issues and it is starting to take a toll on our family. My poor hubby comes home from work more exhausted than normal from his 12 hour days. He's up much later than usual worrying about his mom. She's had some complications that have led to a delay and treatment and several emergency visits to the hospital (latest one was yesterday). It breaks his heart to not be  there for her.
With that thought in mind, he's come up with a temporary solution - a Temporary Duty Assignment (TDY) to her neck of the woods. This would give him the opportunity to visit her on a regular basis while not having to take time off from work. Of course, the downside is that he'll be away from us. This will be J's first year of high school and I'll be back in school as well (I've been officially accepted into my PTA program- yay me). It'll be stressful, but worth it if he can be there by his mom's side. Plus, it'll help alleviate some of the stress from my sister-in-law's shoulders, as she has been the one handling the day to day care of appointments and "cheerleader" for my m-i-l.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Another Cancer Diagnosis

Some of the recent hospitalizations have involved my mother-in-law (MIL). She had had a very sore hip for awhile and thought that she had either over used it on a hike in N.H. woods or that she might be developing arthritis in it like her mom. Unfortunately, x-rays, then MRI's, then a biopsy confirmed that neither was the case. What they did confirm is that she has multiple myeloma and that her hip and thigh bones had disintegrated so much from the disease that she would need to immediately use a walker, as any pressure on the bones from simple things like walking could cause them to collapse. She was scheduled for surgery to insert a titanium rod into her leg last Friday and is scheduled to begin several month long treatments for the cancer once the leg heals a bit.

As hubby has barely ever had to deal with illness with any of his family members, and especially not his mom, he has been shaken-up with this news. With us being a thousand miles away, it is also difficult, as we get news second hand and we can't be there in person to support our loved ones in this trying time. My husband is like most men and wants to "fix everything" and this is something he can not fix and does not even know how he should approach it.

I've already had to remind him that it is OK if his mom is not happy, if she is upset, angry, sad or all three together during this process. He started to say that he thought she should keep a positive attitude the entire time, but then realized that the would be unreasonable. Her whole life has now changed, everything she had planned for work, retirement, etc. and it can be overwhelming. She's trying to stay positive for her daughters, who are falling apart with the news of her turn in health, and she needs someone to turn to that will "allow" her to cry and be miserable if that is all the energy she has to be for that day. In fact, I called her and told her that I could be that person for her, as my family has dealt with cancer many times over, with both positive and negative outcomes, so I understand the reality of treatment and the stress that it entails.

Our summer vacation plans have changed with this news; we're trying to organize a trip back home to visit with her. We've not told J the whole story as of yet, since we don't have all the facts and can't answer his possible questions. Plus, he went away to summer camp this week and we did not want him to be thinking about his Grandma the entire time he was there. So, he knows that she had surgery for her leg, but he does not know the reason behind it. Just telling him about the surgery was rough, as he felt quite a bit of sympathy for his grandma and couldn't believe that she had to go through that. He is very close with her, and we don't know how to break the news of the cancer diagnosis to him, as he will worry incessantly about her, but we also don't want to lie to him, since he can tell that we are both a little more frazzled these past two weeks than normal.

Friday, June 08, 2012

When it rains it pours

It has been a rough couple of weeks at our house. Within the last two weeks we've had many family/close friends become ill. I counted 7 hospital stays, two surgeries, two life changing diagnosis, and one severe case of plantar fasciaitis. There is another surgey scheduled for today, and I have to admit that the stress of worrying is really taking a toll on our family. Being thousands of miles away from those you love in their times of need is tough. We're trying to be supportive, but when you have many questions about the medical care it can be draining for those sharing the news. Hopeful, things will turn around and family/friends will heal.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Last week of school

J just finished his last week of middle school, and what an eventful week it was for him. J got into a fist fight, asked out a girl for the very first time, had in school detention on the next to last day of school, and went to apply for a job. The fight was one that had been building all year. A boy in his science class had been picking on him for awhile, this day he was throwing balls of paper at Jo's head. J asked him to stop, bully boy said "What are you going to do to stop me?", J got up and punched him. I cannot say I blame him, as this same child stole J's pencil bag earlier in the year, which contained his glasses and computer jump drive. It was only with the teacher's help that he got it back after a week of trying on his own. No, I don't blame him at all - in fact, his father and I agreed not to punish him because we both probably would have done the same thing if we were in his shoes. The girl he asked out said "no", which did not surprise me as she comes from a strict family who do not believe in letting their 14 year old daughter date. I was just glad that J had the courage to ask. I did not even know that J was applying for a job. He had asked to go to the local ice cream shop by himself, which was fine by me as long as he had a phone on him so he could call me once he got there and once he left. He called to tell me he was leaving and it was taking a very long time for him to get home. I was beginning to get worried and this mama bear was contemplating calling the police when J walked into the house. Come to find out, it took him so long because he was inquiring about job opportunities. Seeing that J is only 13, he was turned down, but you have to admire his grit.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just another day at work

I work in new home sales, at a model home (a model home is a new home which is an example of a builder's work, it is fully furnished and people come through it to see what they can have if they decided to use my builder). I'm used to rude people, people who treat the model as their own home (it is a place of business, not a hangout house) and odd people in general. What I'm not used to is the family that visited on Saturday.

The family was composed of a set of grandparents, a mom and dad, and two boys - 4 years old and 20 months, approximately. This family allowed their children to wander the home without supervision, which meant they were pulling at decorations, banging the Foosball table, etc - but I'm used to that. They let the boys go into the fenced in backyard with no supervision - again, normal. The older little boy went up to the back fence and decided to relieve himself while he was out there. Both his mother and grandmother were watching him from inside. Grandma laughed, saying "at least he didn't pee in front of everyone in the model", mom seemed a little embarrassed, but not enough to say anything to him about it. Still, this does not shock me, as this is something little boys do, although it is not something I would personally encourage.

Dad and Grandpa leave the model to go to the next home on the street. Mom and Grandma are about 5 minutes behind them. They have the older boy with them, but not the younger one. Grandma asks where the younger one is, Mom comments that "I'm sure he went with his father". Hmm, as a parent, I would double check before leaving a building without my child.  In fact, this mother should have, since her youngest had not left and was in fact hiding in the Foosball table upstairs. I know, because I found him after they left. Yes, you heard me - they left their child behind.

So I take the boys hand and lead him over to the next model home, hoping that his parents are still there. I walk in, mention to the hostess there that I believe a have a child someone left behind at our house. She looks aghast, as if how could that be? I find the family, who are all together - well, except they are missing a 20 mth old. None of them seemed to notice he was gone. When I mentioned,  "I think you forgot someone", they laughed. They didn't appear worried or concerned.

I feel badly for this child. Our model home was full of people and anyone could have taken him. He went with me very willingly and was wanting to get into a car when I told him we were going to find his mom. He could have easily been stolen. Plus, he is much too young to be left wandering around by himself. One of those 4 adults should have had his/her eyes on him the whole time.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Another Mother's Day has come and gone and I must say it was one of the nicest ones I've had in awhile. The boys started Mother's Day early, since I had to work on both Saturday and Sunday. Hubby was working Sat. evening and I came home from work with the thought that I would be the one preparing dinner. Instead, I came home to my dear boy already cooking a white fish, green bean and artichoke paella. Hubby had already chopped up all the ingredients for J so that the meal would be ready before 11pm (when J has to do a lot of prep work he tends to take hours instead of minutes to get the meal completed).

Sunday morning we woke up early (7 am) to go get breakfast before I had to work. The boys gave me my bike back, completely refurbished and serviced. I'd been saying for years that I needed my bike to have a major tune-up, as it is close to 20 years old. After my Avon walk, I realized that I needed to cross train more, and that my bike would be ideal for it, however it had two flat tires and brakes that were not all that reliable. My bike is now ready to roll.
They also pulled all the weeds and resanded the patio pavers, something I would normally have to nag about for weeks to get it done; this time it was done with no nagging from me. I tell you, doing normal maintenance work around the house is truly one best gifts for me. Since I'm home more, it falls on my shoulders most days; it is nice when it gets completed by someone else.

J wanted to get me something special, so he went to Target and bought me a top for work. Hubby gave him no help, as he thought it would be good for him to learn how to shop for a woman, better now than later. Hubby was questioning J's choice, but I must say, my son has good tastes. I would not have picked out the top for myself from appearances alone, but it did look nice on.

Of course, I still had to work, hubby had to work and J had to go over a friend's house to work on a school project, so all of us were out of the house for most of the day. I was able to go to work, feeling appreciated and loved and when I came home I was still in a good mood. The boy and I went out for a nice dinner at Cheddar's, then to Baskin' Robbins for desert. We sat down and watched Monty Python's "Meaning of Life" (well, until the VCR broke - yes, we were watching it on VHS). I love spending time with my son - I know Mother's Day is a time to show appreciation for your mother, but it makes me realize how much my son means to me and what he added to my life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Houston Avon Walk

I believe I mentioned a while back that I was planning on participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer (AWBC) this April. It is a 39.3 mile walk - 26.2 miles the first day, 13.1 miles the second day. There is also the fundraising component, where each participant is required to raise at least $1800 in order to be allowed to participate.

Well, this past weekend was the big weekend. I left the house bright and early on Saturday at 5 am so I could make it to the start of the walk on time. The night before we had had torrential downpours and gale force winds, but the morning was dry, albeit a bit cool with temps in the 40's, although they were expected to get up in the 70's by mid-day.

Even though the organizers had pumps running to drain out the water, the gathering area was a bit muddy. It was a challenge to use the port-a-potties they had set up - they were in a low spot in the field and there was no light. There were approximately 1000 folks ready and waiting to walk for this good cause.

Lucky for me, I belonged to a team, so I had someone to walk with right off the bat. Of course, as you walk you talk to whomever is by your side, teammate or not. The walk led us throughout downtown Houston, through some of the more scenic neighborhoods - the rich ones and the ones that just had charm. We walked through the center of the city, with the volunteer crew stopping traffic so that we might continue on in safety. There were multiple themed rest stops along the way, with plenty of gatorade, water, and snacks to go around. There was even the legendary peanut butter and jelly graham cracker snacks that everyone seemed to know about from previous walks. The port-a-potties were spotless (thank goodness) as one of my team mates mistook the urinal in the port-a-potty as a shelf for her fanny pack. We had quite a laugh over that, with her convincing herself that since we were near the front of the pack no male had used it yet.

The first day went by quickly and I was able to finish the 26.2 miles with ease. Well, it was more like 27 miles, as I took a wrong turn at one point, going straight instead of turning at a light. Luckily, the route was so well marked that I realized within a quarter mile that I had gone the wrong way and simply turned around. I did have some nasty blisters on the heels of my foot, but I knew I would get them as I had every long training walk I took. I had the medical tent dress them for me at mile 13 and I had no trouble with them after that. It was only after I passed the finish line for the first day that I noticed my right knee was a bit sore from over use. I went one more time to a medical tent, iced it and had them wrap it for me. Even with that soreness, I was ready for the next day.

The next day started a half hour later, and the start line was the finish line from the day before. There was a hot breakfast available, along with coffee and jelly beans if you so desired. It was not quite as cold in the morning as the day before, but there was still a nip to the air. I decided to take advantage of the massage therapist they had on hand for the walkers, to see if he could loosen up my knee a bit, since it was not feeling so great this morning. By doing that, I did not start the walk with the majority of the walkers or my team. However, it was not a race, we had many many hours to complete the walk and would have to wait at the end for closing ceremonies anyway, so I was OK with that.
After my massage, I got up and started walking. Within less than 0.1 miles, my knee told rather emphatically that it did not wish to go on with this walk today, as it had already done its fair share of walking the day before. I was sitting on a stone bench trying to talk myself into walking. I had already raised the money, I did not have to complete the walk, I had already done the important part of this fundraiser. However, I could not help but think of all the people who had supported me, who said that they knew I would be able to finish this walk, that I had trained for so long for this, and then I thought of my aunt. My aunt who underwent chemo for breast cancer a few years back, who had so much energy all the time during treatment that it absolutely amazed me. She wasn't given the choice of stopping, she had to go on with the treatment.
So, with those thoughts in mind, I pushed on. The next 13.1 miles were tough. I walked many of them alone, as I had to walk a certain pace to prevent my knee from freezing up, and it was a pace quicker than most of the back on the line folks were maintaining. The sidewalks in Houston are not always smooth, especially in the older areas of the city, and having to lift my foot up and over those frost-heaved, tree root overturned sidewalks was tough. Then, whomever planned this walk threw in a nasty trick - there were hills at mile 9. Hills in Houston? Where did those come from? I was not happy, I wanted to stop, but I kept pushing. Luckily, around that mile, I caught up with another woman who had fallen the first day (tripped on a broken sidewalk) and broken three hand bones. She and I chatted a bit, and that motivated me to keep going. They had lunch break at mile 10, at which point I sat, put my feet up and rested for a moment. With only three miles left, I knew I could do it, that I could dig down deep for that last bit of reserve and get there.
So I continued on, walking, walking, walking. I tried to speak encouraging words to anyone I passed, telling them that we were almost done, that we could do it.
At mile 39, I nearly wept - only .3 miles to go. Unfortunately, it was once again over horribly broken up sidewalk. I was having to hold onto saplings to use them for support as I went up and down on the cement. I came to the last crosswalk, I could see the finish., all I had to do was step off a very large curb and go down  a small hill. I was in tears, from what I am not exactly sure. I had reached the end of my reserve, but I had made it.

Monday, April 02, 2012

The other state bird

Do you know what happens to mosquitoes during a drought? Their eggs do not hatch and they stay dormant until more favorable conditions occur. Favorable conditions like our very rainy Jan-Mar.
Why do I bring this up? Well, J-man went camping with the scouts this weekend. Unfortunately, his tent zipper tore half-way into the trip. The mosquitoes treated him like a buffet.

That's his hand, all those red dots are mosquito bites. Both hands have swollen to twice their size. By J is scratching, scratching, scratching. We've tried hydrocortizone cream, aloe vera, ice water, allergy medicine - nothing is working to stop the itch. Poor kid.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring in TX

It is tradition around here to take spring pictures of the family in the bluebonnets. As you drive the highway our towards the country, you are sure to see cars pulled over to the side of the road with whole families piled out and sitting in the flowers for their pictures. It can almost be comical because you will see one family after the other posing, next to each other but not acknowledging each other. Even when driving by at 70 mph, you can still pick out the sullen teen who has no desire to be there, but it is tradition so s/he has to be there.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

You know spring is here when...

the smell of skunk wafts in the evening air like the scent of roses on Valentine's Day.

Friday, March 02, 2012

In like a lion our like a lamb

This March has started out very wild, as far as weather goes. Back East, my family is shoveling out from under a foot of snow - more than they had all season. Deadly tornadoes have hit early this season in Missouri and Illinois, with more predicted for central U.S. Here in Texas, we're facing 80+ degree weather (average is 62).
Weather this strange this early in the season makes me worry about the rest of the year. We've just started to climb out of the driest year on record here in TX, our ranchers and farmers can not handle another year like that. Beef prices are already on the rise, I can't imagine what food costs would be like with another drought.
Is anyone else worried about this weather?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Jack-in-the-Box Bacon Shake review

If there is a novelty shake out there, it’s got my name on it. Pumpkin pie shake by Sonic, done. The classic Shamrock shake from McDonalds, a yearly nostalgic purchase. Wasabi shake featured on the food network – done, although not willingly and my stomach did not appreciate it for several hours later. So when I heard that Jack-in-the-Box had a new bacon shake, I knew it was only a matter of time before I tried it. I love bacon, I love shakes; therefore, I should love the bacon shake.
I must admit, I did have some fears coming into this experiment. After all, I do not love the taste of cold, congealed bacon and wouldn’t that be what I would be drinking? Also, the texture was a concern – who wants to suck up globs of greasy bacon fat? Never mind the calorie count on a shake like that.
I overcame those fears and ordered a small shake, sans whipped cream and cherry. First, let it be noted that this shake is not made with real bacon. It is made with bacon flavoring, similar to the flavorings used at you favorite coffee shop to spice your morning latte. That alleviated the other worry excess calories due to real bacon usage.
You would think that it would also eliminate texture problems, but this was not so and I will get to that in a moment. Let’s discus the experience. The first sip of the luxurious shake brought a strong taste of hickory bacon, which was almost too much to handle. The second sip was not as intense, as my taste buds knew what to expect now. The sweet of the vanilla ice cream plays well with the bacon flavoring, like maple syrup and bacon play well together. However, the texture of the ice cream was a bit gritty, the way one would imagine pureed bacon fat would feel against your tongue. Even though I knew there was no real bacon, it still felt like there were pureed bits in the shake.
Since the flavoring was so intense, I took a break. The bacon taste lingers on the soft palate, like a grease film on a poorly washed drinking glass. My tongue kept trying to rub off the flavor, to get out of my mouth.
I did take another sip (I admit it, I actually finished the shake), and the flavor was just as unexpected the second time around. There is no getting used to that flavor combination. Now if you excuse me, I think I need to take some Tums for my upset stomach.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

February already?

I remember as a girl, my mother used to tell me that as you got older time seemed to go by quicker. I didn't believe her back then, but now I totally understand what she meant. I swear I just blink and a week has gone by. I could swear it was just New Year's Eve, but it is already February. My little boy will be in high school next year - how is that possible?
I remember as a child nothing could get here fast enough, now I'm trying to put on the brakes to slow everything down.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm going to walk 40miles in 2days

I think I'm crazy. I've signed up to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Houston on April 20-21, 2012. This walk is 26.2 miles the first day and 13.1 miles the second day. When you count the walking from the hotel/tents to the starting line and back it'll be closer to 40 miles.

Why did I do this? It is something I have always wanted to do, but did not feel that I had enough time to commit to it. This semester my classes are online, so I have control over my schedule. Plus, Josh was going to walk it with me, since it would complete some of the requirements for his hiking merit badge (it would knock out one of the 10 mile hikes and the 20 mile hike). Unfortunately, he is not old enough to participate (have to be 16). He may come along as an "unofficial" walker. If nothing else, he said he would train with me, although I am on day 4 of training and he has only participated in one day of the training and that was the first day.

Part of the requirements is to raise $1800 dollars, which is a lot of money. I've spammed all my email contacts (sorry Envoyette :p)and now am looking for other ideas. I'm asking friends, family, even strangers to post my link on their web page or facebook page. You never know who might donate.
Feel free to share my link.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Texas Weather

I love Texas weather. I say this just a week after freezing cold temps. hit the Gulf Coast along with torrential rainfall (7 inches in just a few hours) and random tornadoes. I say this after last summers 30+ days of 100+ degree weather, after suffering through over a year long drought that we still have not recovered from, even after that 7 inches of rain the other day.
Why do I say this? Because is is 74 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze and it is the middle of January. How can you not love this weather?

Friday, January 06, 2012

Unpleasant morning surprise

This morning started off with a bang and not in a good way. We walked downstairs to be greeted by a trail of diarrhea leading to the door. It seems my sweet dog was not feeling well last night, and instead of barking to let us know this he ran to the door instead. Unfortunately, all of us were asleep and he had no escape. So I had the distinct pleasure of cleaning diarrhea off of my tile floor this morning, before I even had my morning coffee. J was disgusted by it all, especially after he stepped in to the one spot that had landed on the carpet (ewww).
Looks like I'll be spending the day at home with the pup. I'm hoping that it is just a bad stomach and not due to any more serious conditions. Poor dog is so miserable, he barely ate the plain rice I made for him and is curled up in his bed.
On the positive side, I did manage to have all my floors cleaned before 7:30am, so that is one chore out of the way for the day.