Monday, April 30, 2007

Favorite Sayings of an Overwhelmed Mom

Since I became a mom, my vocabulary and expressions have changed quite a bit. How else can you express yourself about the ups and downs of being a mom? Your former life is gone and the insanity is here to stay. No more "let's snuggle up and watch movies all afternoon" or "how about we try that new restaurant". It's now a whole different ballgame.....and here are a few samples:
1. I'm soooo tired!

2. How in the world did (fill in any bodily injury/accident here) happen?

3. What the heck?

4. Do Not Hit Your Brother/Sister!!! (repeat 9 times)

5. How many times have I told you...........?!

6. All right, that is IT!!

7. How long 'til you turn 18?

8. I will not serve pizza every night for dinner/breakfast/lunch!

9. Just give me a minute to think straight!!

10. Can we discuss this when I am not going to the bathroom?

11. Go ask your father.

12. Clean this room!

13. I love you....please stay my baby just a little longer.

"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings"
-Hodding Carter

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Wilderness of Sweets

Sweets are the perfect answer to life's little stresses and problems (at least it's always my answer!). Mrs. Brown's Victorian Sweet Shop is a little discovery I made last year when looking for a place to buy English liquorice for my husband. Looking around on line can't compare, I'm sure, to being there in person, but it's the next best thing. It gives me a little tickle to order sweets from an old fashioned Victorian sweet shop in England. As you can tell, I don't get out much :)

The wonderful confections pictured above are Marzipan teacakes. Do they look good or what? I can't wait to try them. Mrs. Brown's also has coconut mushrooms, toasted teacakes, and coconut ice and even more coconut treats.

These little beauties are Pontefract Cakes. My husband loves these. He remembers eating really good liquorice when he was little. It's hard to find anymore with all the commerically made stuff out there. But once these arrived and he started eating them, he couldn't stop. Apparently, it's the real stuff...

Sweet Baccy, ahhhhhh. You gotta try it. It's soft, chewy and very sweet. It's coconut covered in a sweet cocoa. I actually made myself a little sick eating it last time I bought it :) It's also called Spanish Gold and of course, Sweet Tobacco.

What the heck??? If I hadn't seen these before, I would have never guessed. They are liquorice wood sticks. The way people used to eat them was to suck on a piece to get out the liquorice flavor. The only other place I have ever seen these was in Williamsburg, VA in the Historical area shoppes. I have had a set sitting on my mantle for years. I don't usually go for these, though, cause they make for a good stool softener...if you get my drift.

Have fun!!

"Time for a little something...."
-A. A. Milne Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Child's View

I never thought I would be writing about someone else's blog but when I checked Blogs of Note today, I saw this:

What a wonderfully creative idea to give the children a blog so they can talk about their experiences. It opens your eyes to what different lives children can have and how they react to the circumstances. I intend on showing my kids so they can realize that not all children are as privileged, but can still be happy.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Adventures in the Dirt

Well......maybe adventure is too strong a word, but getting my hands back in the soil again after a long winter is a lot of fun. It was finally warm enough to plant something. So in went the Bloomsdale spinach, arugula, Southern mustard greens, collards and a variety of lettuces, including butter crunch which sounded too good to pass up.

This is the third year I've had a garden and I think I might be finally catching on to how this works. I know to rotate the crops every year, and which ones come up better than others. All the hay you see in the garden is from burying my strawberry and mint plants from last year. I learned from The Organic Gardeners that each year you can take the pots of strawberry and mint plants and bury them into the dirt up to the rims and cover them with hay. This protects them until you can dig them out in Spring. Apparently it works cause I got mine out yesterday and I see growth on them already. Yeah!

I really enjoy growing everything organically too. Just knowing all the things we eat aren't covered in chemicals makes it worth all the work. There is tons of information out there for people like me who are lost on a regular basis when it comes to growing a garden, especially organically. Thank goodness :)

Now I just have to be stop being lazy and get the other vegetables into their starter pots. I think I'll wait until my legs and back stop hurting from today to attempt that chore....ouch!

"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden
Than anywhere on earth."

-Dorothy Frances Gurney

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Day of Mourning

To the students, staff and families of VA Tech....We are all Hokies today.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Brain, Brain, What is Brain?!

My brain has left this week. I have no idea where it went, hence the title of this blog (and a little chuckle for my fellow Trekkers out there). Ever have one of those weeks where you just can't get your mind around the most simplest concepts? Can't remember even the smallest things? Dream of staying in bed all day? Usually it lasts a day or two at most but not this week. Ugh! Maybe I could eat more chocolate and see if that helps :) At any rate, I hope my brain returns soon. I kinda need it......

"Brain cells create ideas. Stress kills brain cells. Stress is not a good idea."
- Frederick Saunders

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sorrow and Tragedy at Virginia Tech

May God comfort all who were touched by this senseless act.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Chocolate- What more is there to say?

One of the ideas I had when contemplating starting a blog was to focus on chocolate. Not a hard thing to do, eh? Not a day goes by that I do not crave some sort of chocolate, mostly in the dark or semi sweet variety. Good thing they say it's healthy for you. But only in small amounts :(

Finding your favorite chocolate is a very personal journey, I think. A lot of people love milk chocolate (ugh! But if I'm desperate....) but the dark chocolates, especially ones with the spices and different flavors added are the best, in my humble opinion. Nothing is better than getting a variety box of exotic chocolates for a gift. There are so many great chocolate makers that testing all of them is a must to find your favorite!

Some chocolate makers to start with:

Baking has long been one of my favorite things to do to relax. How can you argue with the results? Yummm! The above photo is a family favorite I make often. It's called a Southern Chocolate Cream pie. It's so easy you'd think it wouldn't taste all that good. But it does. You can even make it lighter in calories by using skim milk in the pudding. But don't skimp on the whipped cream. Only heavy cream works the best.

Southern Chocolate Cream Pie
2 small pkgs. (3.4 oz) chocolate pudding (I use chocolate fudge pudding)
1 1/2 cup milk, skim or regular
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 chocolate wafer crust shell (Keebler makes a good one)

Whip the pudding and milk together until lumps are gone and mixture is very thick. In separate bowl using a mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff, adding sugar to taste during mixing. Fold half of the whipped heavy cream into the pudding mixture, folding until blended. Fill pie shell with pudding mixture, then added remaining whipped topping (you can use a pastry bag to pipe mixture onto pie for added decoration). Shave chocolate on top, if desired. Keep recipe a secret so no one knows how simple it is!!

"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate."
-Charles Dickens

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Traveling South

Welcome to Roanoke, Va! This is a photo of downtown. We visited over the Easter weekend, partly to explore the town as possible place to live and also for a getaway. Downtown Roanoke contains a lot for a small place. The smells wafting from all the restaurants is enough to make you drool. The fresh food market place has numerous venders with fresh vegetables and fruit. A new art museum was being built when we visited. The Hotel Roanoke, built in the late 1800's is located there and has a beautiful fountain near the front.
Roanoke from the top near Mill Mountain Zoo. One neat thing about Roanoke was the mountain views all around the town. No matter where you looked, you could see views like this.

The Transportation Museum is just on the edge of town and has a miniature town and a running train inside in a glass case inside the building. Several real trains are located in the back that you can climb up in and go inside to see how they run. The also have old cars and buses. A cute little playground located on the side is great for restless kids!

The Mill Mountain Zoo is at the top near the Roanoke Star and just down the way from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The zoo is small and takes about an hour to stroll through. Perfect size for families with little ones.
All in all, the town has lots of things to do for it's size. I was really surprised how much there was and the diversity of the activites. They have two large malls, Tanglewood and Valley View, but not much shopping that we could find beyond that. Once you left the city, you were in the country and there didn't seem to be much beyond for shopping, etc. The food in every restaurant was great, even the chain restaurants. And everyone we met was friendly and helpful, from the director of the transportation museum to the hotel staff.
Visit if you get the chance!
"It has long been my belief that in times of great stress, such as a 4-day vacation, the thin veneer of family wears off almost at once, and we are revealed in our true personalities”
-Shirley Jackson

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Spring was here...

It lasted about a day or two, but it's gone already. Just enough to let all the flowers start blooming. Not that I am all that upset; spring and summer are not my favorite times of the year. Actually, I love fall and winter. Snuggling up next to a fire with a good book and a cup of tea is one of my favorite things! But it is nice to see things grow, and since I love to grow a garden every year, sun and heat are a necessity :) This blast of cold that came through today won't last long, so I am staying in the gardening frame of mind.

I'm a bit more brain dead than usual today. My youngest was up last night with croup. Anyone who has done that route knows how much fun you can have with a kid that sounds like a barking dog all night. Not that I am taking this lightly, since I did have my son at the doctor's first thing this morning, just to be sure all was ok. But if you can't have humor about being sleep deprived, what can ya do? If you don't laugh, you'll collapse and start begging anyone within earshot to take your kid so you can shut your eyes "just for a minute". Ahhh, sleep.....

"Never under any circumstances take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night”

-Dave Barry

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Invasion of Privacy

A lot of people don't understand what it is like to have another person get too close or too interested in them. By that I mean, someone who copies or stalks you. From personal experience, I learned that most people see intense interest or stalking as something reserved for the famous. Otherwise, it's seen as someone trying to get attention or even flattering themselves. Very strange perspective if you've ever been a victim.

My experience started like most do, from a relationship gone bad. It wasn't my relationship, but my then boyfriend's. His ex was not happy with the ending of their relationship so, for reasons known only to her, she became quite focused on me. After the initial threats and posturing for attention, she apparently began copying everything I did. She did this by using her brother's friendship with us as a way to stay informed. A sort of "long distance stalking" I suppose. It wasn't until many years later that I learned her children have birthdays only a few months after mine. She even had another child after she learned my husband and I had our last, making sure we have an equal number of children. She modeled her clothing, interests, and even her wedding after mine. She continued up until recently to use my information on line as a way to "cyber stalk" me.

It's quite a shock knowing someone is out there doing these things and you don't know it. For a while, I was baffled as to why anyone would even want to do something so strange. I kept thinking I was making a mountain out of a molehill but then when the simularities between us became more than I could ignore, I felt invaded.

I cut off contact as much as possible and except for her knowing some of my business online, I am pretty sure she has no more access to my personal information. Living in the same town is not easy, but I have just learned to become watchful when I go near any common areas. All this for someone I do not even feel physically threatened by. I could never imagine being one of the one out of ten people who are stalked by someone who really threatens them. You'd never feel safe again.

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.

Ralph Waldo Emerson