Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An Awesome Meal

In case you missed my post about how my job kind of sucks and my husbands job is both awful and awesome, you can click here to read all about my woes.

To sum up, Jerry gets to go on weekend trips to all of these fun places, all on the government dollar, while I get to stay home and maybe have some wild fun and go to Wal-Mart.

To drive home my slightly whiny and definitely spoiled point, here is a visual demonstration of how awesome his weekends away are, and how not awesome are my weekends home alone.

Exhibit A - Jerry's meal at Reef, Downtown Houston

Fried macaroni and cheese, sauteed spinach, and lemon-encrusted redfish with some kind of fancy sauce.

Exhibit B - Dinner at home with three kids

An assortment of sugar-infused, carb-heavy breakfast cereals topped with non-organic, steroid-free 2% cows milk.


I rest my case. My husbands job is way awesomer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Banana Waffles

I am not a chef. I'm kind of awful in the kitchen. I can heat stuff up pretty well, but when it comes to being creative, I am a big fat culinary loser.

But this one experiment turned out pretty well.

I have an awesome recipe for banana muffins that I got from Giada on the Food Network. When I tried to pour the batter into bread molds, I found that I have no bread pans, and so I decided to get creative.

Jerry got a waffle maker for Father's Day one year, you know, the kind where you pour the batter in and flip it upside down and two minutes later out comes a perfect waffle?

Don't have one? $30 at Target. Get one.

So instead of loaves of banana bread, I made banana bread waffles.

Mm, mmm, good! (I will say however, that syrup was too rich with these waffles. They needed some butter and powdered sugar, which I didn't have.)

Here's the recipe:

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4-1/2 c. nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325∘

Combine dry ingredients. In another bowl combine wet ingredients. Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Add nuts.

Pour into lined or buttered muffin/bread pans (or waffle maker). Bake 25-28 minutes for muffins, 30-35 minutes for bread loaves, until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Party at the Med Clinic!

A few weeks ago, the base medical clinic held a family event for all base personnel to enjoy. Inside the clinic there were 40 or so booths with information about germs, drugs, fingerprints, dental health, etc, etc. Each booth offered freebies to the kids like cups, lollipops, notebooks, and stickers.

It was like a kind of weird, yet healthy, Christmas in August!

Outside, there were a lot of other physical activities to enjoy.

Here are a few of them:

1. Tossing games, like this weird game that has been popping up all over the place. Who came up with this? PVC pipes and golf balls glued onto rope? Strange and kind of not fun.

2. A dunking booth. The dudes that volunteered for this activity were the smart ones. It was 105∘ that day, and while we walked around sweating, they fell repeatedly into nice, cool water.

Unless Paige was trying to knock them in. She's good at many things, but aiming where she's throwing isn't one of them.

Go ahead, honey! Keep trying! You've missed 44848 times, but the 44849th time is the charm!

Eventually she did manage to get the guy in the water. But I can neither confirm nor deny that someone sneaked around behind the curtain and pushed the button.

I will go to my grave with the truth.

Josh had a turn at the dunking booth, too. Or more likely 73647 turns. Here he is having just dunked the poor schmuck for the 73654 time. He never missed the target.


(Hello baseball scholarship!)

3. Food. Obviously this is not a sport, unless you call power eating a sport. Which I guess it is. So yes, this is power eating. Turkey dogs, whole wheat buns, 100% juice, and raisins. Oh, so healthy!

4. Then there was this human bumper car game. I had a bad feeling about this.....

...that somehow this was not going to turn out well......

....ah, yes. Josh 0. Phoebe 0. Paige 2. Paige might not be able to aim a ball, but she's got legs like a linebacker and can smash her way through a brick wall.

Phoebe and Josh never stood a chance.

5. There were some pop-up tents and crawling tubes. Josh liked these. But where is Phoebe? Oh, yes. Playing with the weird golf-balls-on-a-string game. That poor guy back there. He babysat Phoebe for an hour for free helping her with that game. I think she liked him! (Or his balls.) (Eww. Sorry.)

6. There was also a train ride featuring painted 50 gallon drums hooked to a "party train" lawn mower.

Paige insisted on riding with Phoebe though there were five empty drums.

And Josh insisted on riding in the very back all by himself. He's a bit of a loner.

And a dreamer.

And me? I'm wrinkly. Go ahead. Zoom in for a nice shot of my crows feet. Hello, Botox!

Overall we had a really unexpectedly fun time. We learned a bit about stranger danger and pills are not candy, we ate some seriously decent hot dogs, and we played some fun and strange games.

Thank you base clinic! We'll make sure and come see you for all of our medical needs! (Oh, yeah, we have to come see you for all of our medical needs as we are bound by the tight ropes of Tricare that dictate our every medical move.) In that case, thanks for the free stuff you didn't have to provide as we will come see you anyway!

We had a blast! (Like a furnace blast, and we all almost died of hyperthermia at a medical clinic, but whatever!)

See you next appointment! (If we can get an appointment! And then wait for an hour!)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lionfish for Dinner

If there is one type of picture on facebook that is SOOO overdone, it's the one of some dude holding up a big fish for all the world to see.

Granted, I don't have a lot of male friends on facebook, but I'm nosy and often read Jerry's facebook posts over his shoulder.

Don't judge me. You do it, too! (Don't you?)

From my nosy interloping, I can tell you that there are a bunch of men out there highly impressed with their fishing skills. Sometimes rightly so. I've seen some seriously big whoppers out there dangling from a fishing pole posted by one of Jerry's friends.

Jerry himself is not a fisherman. I mean sure, he'll cast a line a few times when he's out at his parents farm, but that isn't fishing, that's cheating. You cast, you catch a fish. You cast, you catch a fish. Over and over. The kids are gonna be in for a surprise if they ever fish anywhere else.

Jerry may not fish with a fishing pole very often, but give the man a spear and a snorkel and watch him go! We ate like kings the last time we were at the Bahamas. Crabs, more crabs, then a few more crabs, all caught by Jerry on the business end of a spear.

He also speared a few of those pesky lionfish that are taking over the Caribbean. Look at the size of those puppies! He should put that on facebook to brag over his huge catch!

Oh. Wait. Let's get another perspective of these grandiose fish. Sorry, honey. You're going to have to post a different big fish photo onto facebook. These are just kinda sad. I'm afraid your big-fish friends will all just laugh at you.

But you're right, you did catch these while you were underwater. You did catch these with a Hawaiian Sling spear. And these fish are highly poisonous and will make you pray for death if you get stung by one.

So go ahead, Mr. Macho Man! Own those tiny fish! You are my fishing hero!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Stupid Air Force Sign #2

Danger! Look out! Warning! Beware! Achtung! Careful! Keep Away!

There's an explosive dog! Watch out! The dog may explode at any moment!

I wonder what they are training the exploding dog to do? Act as a roadside bomb?

Yes, I understand what the sign means, but really, the syntax is all wrong!

It should say "Explosives Dog - Training in Progress - Keep Out!"

And what's with the " parentheses around the words "keep out"? I mean, in an oral conversation where you were warning someone to keep out, would you ever use "air" parentheses? What are you quoting? Who are you quoting?

But whatever the case, I'll make sure and "keep out" in case the explosive dog comes around. I don't think I want to see that.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Lizard's Story

We had a teeny tiny visitor the other day. It's some kind of lizard thing. We call them "pinkies" because they are pink. We're very creative, I know.

We often see them hanging onto the window screens at night. They are pink and clear and spotty all at the same time.

And this guy was pink and clear and spotty and LOST all at the same time.

"Hey, lady! Yeah, you! I'll give ya five bucks to let me out! No? How about 10?"

"I ain't gettin' any younger in here, lady. If you don't let me out I'm gonna cut off my tail and make the rugrats scream. I'll do it! I promise!"

"Nah. I won't. My tails my best thing! Look at my stripes! I'm a two-inch long lizard of love! See how much the kids love me? Please let me out. Please?"

Carefully I scooped him up and put him back outside. But I'm not sad. I know I'll see him again soon, hanging upside down from my window screen. He and his 5o best friends.

I ❤ Lizards!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On the Flip Side

We have a stack of flashcards on our counter that reaches a mile high. Multiplication, addition, latin/greek root words, the 50 States, ABC's for Phoebe, subtraction, animals, insects (yuk!), space, and Spanish.

Every once in a while we'll do a flashcard session where I will pile them up all around me and quiz the kids for as long as they last.

About the time they start doing flips off of the couch and laying backwards off of things, I know our flashcard session is almost over. There's Paige struggling to add 7 +5 when ten minutes ago she was rattling off 8x5=40 and the capital of Georgia is Atlanta.

There is a type of learning style called "kinesthetic" learning in which the person learns better while they are engaged in other typically physical activities.

My children are hyper, wild, and often unruly, but when they are moving about they learn about as well as a sea slug.

See Josh struggling? I think he was trying to add 0+6 or something equally mundane. If he had been sitting still somewhere he would have rolled his eyes and answered, "6, Mom! That's so easy! Jeez."

On a slightly related note, can you see how I'm holding the cards upside down for the kids? No, you can't because both photos feature numbers that are interchangeable vertically. But trust me, they were upside down.

It turns out the kids really couldn't do upside down flashcards. It seems that their brains could not do math when the problem was upside down, even though their eyes were also upside down. I wonder if there are any studies about that.........

....and when I find out I'll let you know. It will be about as exciting as this post.

Sorry. Can't be on the ball all of the time. But ɐʇ lǝɐsʇ ıʇ ʍou,ʇ qǝ ndsıpǝ poʍu¡

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Something simple for today:


These are two of my favorite perspective images:

This was taken inside an old lighthouse located conveniently at Lighthouse Beach in Eleuthera. It's a painting waiting for a canvas.

And this was taken on Harbour Island, Eleuthera, The Bahamas.

Not a painting waiting for a canvas, but a tushy waiting for a bath.

Sometimes the best views are up high or down low. You just have to give it a try and see what you get!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And Old Girl Gets An Overhaul

There was something weird going on here the other day. For some reason, my side walk was being invaded by light tan Suburban captains chairs.

What is going on? What did the car do to you Jerry that you would gut her like this? I know she's almost 10 years old and often smells like feet, but she's been a good car, a faithful servant despite years of baby puke, doggie diarrhea, and spilled milk!

What's that? She's getting a face life?


Sometimes a girl just needs a good make-over. A sloughing off of the old and dirty to reveal the young and wonderful beneath!

Here today........gone tomorrow! Honey, you're looking a bit bare in the back. All the junk in your trunk is hanging out.

Have you ever seen under the carpets of a 10 year old Suburban that smells like feet? I'll tell ya, it ain't pretty. I'll spare you some of the photos I took of the detritus under those seats. But just to name a few there were coins, french fries from 2003, pounds of dog hair, and mix-matched pieces of dead bugs. Yummy!

But after it was all shed and replaced, the Suburban was looking good with her new do. Now she has a fresh, clean set of carpets that do not yet smell like feet.

She must be so happy.

She's gonna look super fresh after she gets her black and white hibiscus headliner!

When we're ready to move to The Bahamas she'll be good to go.....

...with only three years worth of dried french fries, bug carcasses, coins, and feet smell.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

How to Improve Your Marriage

I'll start by saying I never thought I'd blog about my bed. I mean, really. There are some things that should just be left off of the public blog-o-sphere.

But there is a story here, something that changed my life completely that I must, must, MUST share with you my 24 daily readers.

Don't be gross. It's not anything like that!

Do you have a blanket thief in your bed? Is it you? Your spouse? Do you find yourself frozen half to death with zero covers while your mate is all warm and snug in double-covers heaven? Do you find your mate beating you with pillows because once again you stole all of their covers in the middle of the night?

We had that problem, too. For 13 years Jerry stole the covers at night. Every time he rolled toward the outside of the bed, he took the covers with him. And every time he took the covers with him he took them from me. And every time he took the covers from me, he woke me up.

It was getting old.

Then one morning, oh, about 2 am, while I was laying there trying to fall back to sleep while planning his demise, I came up with a brilliant solution. Long story short:

If you have a bedcovers stealer, get two twin flat sheets and two twin blankets. Overlap them slightly, and VIOLA! No more covers to steal!

Now when he rolls over and takes all of the covers, I'm still all warm and cozy in my blanket while his bottom gets frozen. When he tosses and turns, I can lay quietly and snug.

When he gets up and goes to work he can leave his half of the bed in shambles. When I get up I can make mine look all pretty.

It's like twin beds but together! (Oh, and get a foam mattress so you can't feel your mate toss and turn and roll around. So, awesome!)

Happy sleeping!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Otis the Dog of Love

Just a few hours ago our house became decidedly more lonely. And less hairy. A few hours ago, Otis went home.

This is Otis. Say hello! (Watch out! He may try and lick you through the internet!)

Otis is my friends dog. He is one-half of a doggie sitting co-op. We get Otis, they take Belly. We get Otis, they take Belly. They take Belly, they take Belly, they take Belly. I'm afraid they get used more in this deal than we do.

Otis is a lab. A retriever. I have Great Danes. Labs sniff and chase things. Danes sleep. Labs shed and lick. Danes lay there. Labs follow you around the house endlessly showering you with love, devotion, spit, and fur. Some Danes also follow you around the house sharing some of those same things. I miss Moo Moo.

He's the kind of dog that hops up in excitement if you so much as lean forward in your chair. "Hey! Where ya going? Gettin' up? Can I come? Will you scratch my butt? Can I have some food? Can we go for a walk? No? OK. Maybe next time."

There is ZERO alone time when you have a lab in the house.

Yep, you found me Otis! Good hunting! Now shut the door! Can't a girl get some privacy?

Here I am again! Too tired to stare at me right now? I'll let you know when I'm on the move.

Hi, Otis. Yes I see you. You are beautiful. I like you. You may stay at my house anytime.

Where is Belly? Here she is in her preferred spot baking herself to death in our hot, hot weather. She doesn't follow me around. She hardly notices anyone even shares a house with her. I like her too, though. She can stay in my house anytime.

Carl? What in the world are you doing here? You're a dufus. But you can come over, too. A house full of dogs is a house full of love.

And hair.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Nature Names Painting

This is a new offering I have for you nature name fans. In the past I have offered names with more realistic animal depictions and block lettering. For a friend's baby shower, I decided to paint for her new baby an updated version of the nature names thing I have done in the past.

I found some stock images from the internet and some cool script for new baby Ryan and drew and painted them in watercolors. He got googly eyed "R" for rhino, "Y" for yak, "A" for armadillo, and "N" for newt. I will add that "n" and "y" are pretty hard to find "cool" animals for. Luckily I found things that somehow looked cute even though they are a yak and newt.

Whatcha think? You can go to my art site,, and click on the "Nature Names" link at the top to see some of my previous work. I happen to like this stylized version better.

I am now officially taking orders for this type of nature name. $15 for each letter, with a discount for over 6 letters. Let me know if you're interested.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Under the Sea

As much as I like to complain about my photography, and yes there is a LOT to take issue with, for some reason I still love to take pictures. True I'm still using a basic point and shoot as I'm boycotting those huge, hulking cameras and huge, hulking camera bags.

But they do take nice photographs, don't they?

There is another type of camera I am NOT boycotting. An underwater camera, to be exact. There is 2/3rds of a whole world down below and I want to blog it!

These photos were taken by my sister-in-law or me using one of those disposable deals you have to take in to be developed. Remember those? When you had to take your film rolls to the store? Ah, those were the days. (The pain in the butt, use too many rolls, waste your money days!)

I love these photos. I love the perspective, the angle of life you get. It's not another "Say Honey!" photo of which I have 798326.

Josh, floating by in his tube. I wonder why he wasn't wearing his Speedo?

Paige trying to get a head start on her cousin. No running underwater!

There's her cousin bringing up the rear, eating her sand. No hand running in the water!

That's a sea cucumber down there in the sand. To be precise, a donkey dung sea cucumber. Nice name, huh? (It's better than the other name the kids heard me use once (which stuck in their minds like glue): Sea penis. Well! I'm sorry, but it's shaped like one, kind of, um, you know, shaped like one, it has a hole on the end that will even pee on you if you aren't careful!

I am SO sorry.)

(But it's so TRUE!!!)

There I am holding a sea urchin. We sat and watched a sea urchin grab small rocks, one after the other, and move them over itself until it was completely covered and camouflaged.

Oh, man! There I am making that silly super-girl pose again?!! What in the world should I do with my arms, anyway?

I love this shot. I love the texture of the sand, the angle of the starfish, the faint hint of colors, the light and shadows.

It's a "whole new world" "under the sea". Come, let's explore!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Beaches in Ruin

First of all, let me apologize in advance to my mother who is and will always be my number one fan. Here goes, "Mom, I am sorry if anything written in this post offends you or makes you think I am not appreciative of your generosity." Thanks.

Moving on.....

This summer the kids and I spend 10 very fun days at my parents condo in North Myrtle Beach. I spent many summer days during my teen years playing on the beaches of Myrtle Beach, and many more days as a college student sleeping away my days on the beaches of Myrtle Beach.

But now I'm all grown up, and despite my advancing age, my level of spoiled-ness has not dropped at all. In fact, I am even more spoiled now than I was when I was younger. Ask my sister. She'll tell you.

We'll use these photos as a reference point to illustrate one way in which I am particularly spoiled. When we first arrived at Myrtle Beach this summer after not having been there in a few years, we were shocked at the quality of the beach. You see, we have a new, super-ůber-spoiled reference point.

Let us compare:

Myrtle Beach, 2011

Harbour Island, Eleuthera, The Bahamas- 2011

Myrtle Beach - 2011

Harbour Island, Eleuthera, The Bahamas - 2011

Myrtle Beach - 2011

Lighthouse Beach, Eleuthera, The Bahamas - 2011

You see? If we move to The Bahamas in a few years as we plan on doing, will we ever be able to go to another beach again without feeling a tad let down? Will we ever be able to go to a better, more dreamy vacation spot? Will we ever be able to leave The Bahamas?

That is a risk I am VERY willing to take.