Just Because There's No Smoke...

Monday, September 29, 2008

My son almost set our house on fire two weeks ago. I light candles all the time. I love the glow and the smell. Drama Kid has never shown an interest in fire, not even as an infant, so having lit candles all over the house has never been a concern for me.

He was in the powder room supposedly washing his feet. He hates shoes and always plays outside barefoot. I was in the kitchen making dinner and heard him make a strange noise. I ask "what are you doing?" and of course I get no response.

My Spidey Sense went on alert and when I walked into the bathroom, I saw the sword from one of his Ninja Turtles on the counter. Melted. I figure he'd been holding it over the flame and nothing more. I yelled and he got a spanking (he didn't cry, I must be losing my touch) and I sent him to his room.

Something made me go back into the bathroom and that's when I saw the trashcan start to flame. I call him back upstairs and ask again, "what were you doing?" He was lighting the toilet paper on fire! One of the pieces caught and he dropped it in the trash when it singed his fingertip.

I stood over the flaming trashcan yelling at him about how dangerous and stupid that was and how could have burned not just our house but our two neighbors' as well. In hindsight I guess I should have put the flames out first but hopefully they added to the drama and he's learned his lesson.

I almost went to get my camera so I could post a picture but changed my mind. My husband says all boys get into trouble playing with fire. How about your kids? Any near misses?

Easy Weekend Recipe #2 - Vegetarian

Friday, September 26, 2008

I sampled this at Trader Joe's and was surprised that I liked it. To me, it's not chili without meat. The recipe is so easy it's a good one for older kids to do by themselves.

Vegetarian Tamale Pie

2 cans Vegetarian chili (8 oz I think)

1/2 bag of frozen fire roasted corn

1 chub of polenta (found in the aisles not the dairy case)

Shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix the chili and corn in an 8 x 8 baking dish. Slice polenta and cover the chili. Top with the
cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese browns slightly.

I wasn't going to tell Drama Dad it was vegetarian until I'd served it, but I did anyway. He really liked the flavor though he's not a huge fan of polenta. He suggested crushing tortilla chips on top instead which I might try. I also won't slice the polenta but mash it to form more of a crust. The slices were a little thick. Let me know if you try it.

Have a great weekend!

On My Mind

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I was walking on the beach yesterday (don't be a hater) and ran into a former co-worker. She was a temp while another person was on maternity leave and she was able to find a good job when the woman came back.

I hesitated to ask what SHE was doing at the beach at 9:30 on a Wednesday because I kinda had an idea what her answer would be. Sure enough, she was laid off three months ago.

She is younger than me, not married, no kids, no mortgage and she has more experience than I do. And she's been out of work for THREE months because in her words, "there's nothing out there."

Bush's speech last night didn't reassure me one bit. Husband just laid a financial bombshell on me. Our economy is in the toilet. I have officially moved from worried to scared shitless.
I'm not going anywhere with this, it's just what's floating around my head today.

Wordless Wednesday #16 - I Looked in the Rearview Mirror and Saw

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Must See TV

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I love TV. I know what people say about it being a time waster and rotting your brain. Whatever. There's some great stuff on TV! I'm stoked all the fall shows are back. Here's what I'd be watching every day if my family decided they didn't need to eat or wear clean laundry (click on the picture to view larger):

What about you? What will you be watching at night?

This Kid is Going to Go Places

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Take a look at this inspiring young man, Dalton, from Dallas. I can only hope my son has this much confidence in himself.

Updated Reading List

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My mom and I have the same taste in books. Whenever we're together, whether it's at Costco, the mall or Target, we generally end up cruising through the book isle. If we both see something we'd like one of us will buy it and pass it on to the other.

We can often be heard saying something along the lines of, "I don't need to bring another book into the house right now!" but invariably the deals will be too good to pass up and we'll each leave the store with an armload. The last time she was here, I took her to my library's used book store. She was in heaven. We rarely go anywhere without a book.

We're both pretty picky about who we lend our books to. We're "good" readers and treat our books very well and expect others to do the same. I have rules when I lend out a book:

1. No dog-eared pages
2. Don't crack the spine

3. No leaving the book open, turned upside down to hold your place

I know. I have issues.

Anyway, when I first started this blog I created a thread with some of my recent reads. At the time, I wished it could have been a more complete
list, but I had given my mom a giant stack of books and couldn't remember all the titles.

You know where this is going, right?

Click over to my reading list. I've added all these titles starting with The Alphabet Sisters (scroll down, it's in red). I've also linked to the reviews on Amazon. I'm thinking of selling all these on Amazon or posting them on Craigslist. Anyone have good luck with Amazon? Is it worth the hassle?

Wordless Wednesday #15 - Momma on Skates

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update on 50 State Postcard Drive

Monday, September 15, 2008

***Read the original post here.***
Thank you SO much to everyone who has offered to send a postcard! I really appreciate it. I've gotten a great response but still need more participation.

One of the reason's I decided to do this is because of something Sgt. said to me. I asked him what a typical day is like and many other questions in an effort to get to know him better. This is part of an email that went back and forth:

Me: Is there more we can be doing as citizens to show our support?

Sgt: There is always more, but it's not in the deeds being done it's the amount of people doing them. Hope that makes sense.

Me: No, elaborate, please

Sgt: Like I stated, what you are doing is awesome [adopting a soldier], and let's us know at least some of America cares that we chose to do what we do. So I guess what I'm saying is keep the care packages coming, but get more people involved.

To me some of America isn't good enough. I'd like to see most of America getting involved. And I also know that a lot of people don't support the war here, and that's fine, but at least support the troops. We didn't choose to come here, but we are here, so at least acknowledge that we; the American military; have sacrificed so much for a country we love and support us for that if nothing else.

Well, after reading that I decided care packages weren't enough. If you have friends or family in any of these states please consider passing this along. These are the "taken" states (but the more the merrier, international would be great too!)

The states I still need:

New Mexico
New York
North Dakota

South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

**Update 12/10** Only need 28 more!

***Update 10/9*** I now have 20 cards not including duplicates. Keep 'em coming!

***Update 9/23*** I have received 10 postcards so far. People have asked whether they can send a card even though their state is "taken" and the answer is most definitely yes!

Suzanne gave me this address to HippoPost.com where you can upload a photo onto a postcard and THEY will pay the postage. Thanks Suzanne!

Yet Another Thing Making Me Feel Old

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I am blown away that it's been 10 years since the first book in the Harry Potter series came out. It took me awhile to jump on that bandwagon but I'm so glad I did. I absolutely loved the books and have been impressed with the way the movies have followed them so closely.

Head over to MomDot and enter their anniversary contest from Scholastic. The books are being re-released as a boxed collectors set with new artwork. Good luck!

Easy Weekend Recipe: Poppin Fresh Barbecue Cups

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm trying to an attempt to do more cooking in the kitchen than heating things up. Trader Joe's makes it so easy to be lazy! But, I do like to cook and now that I don't have the excuse of a job, I've been looking for recipes on other blogs.

I found these Poppin' Fresh Barbecups on Food Gawker (LOVE it!) then went to the host site Taste and Tell and promptly added Deborah to my reader.

Poppin' Fresh Barbecups
from Pillsbury Dough Magic

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 cup chopped onion (I used onion powder and onion salt on the beef while browning)

1-2 T brown sugar

1 can Pillsbury Golden Layers Refrigerated Buttermilk or Flaky Biscuits
Shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400°F. Grease 10 medium muffin cups. In large skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in barbecue sauce, onion and brown sugar. Cook 1 minute to blend flavors, stirring constantly.

Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Place 1 biscuit in each greased muffin cup. Firmly press in bottom and up sides, forming 1/4-inch rim over edge of cup. Spoon about 1/4 cup beef mixture into each biscuit-lined cup. Sprinkle each with cheese.

Bake at 400°F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges of biscuits are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from muffin cups.

This recipe was really easy. I mean really. I ended up with leftover meat which I meant to eat Sloppy Joe style and forgot. I think I could have made 3-5 more cups with it but would have needed an extra tube of dough which would have left me with extra biscuits.

Next time I'll buy 2 cans of biscuits and make the leftover dough and have the biscuits for breakfast.
I also might omit or reduce the brown sugar. They were a little on the sweet side. I'm sure it depends on the barbecue sauce you use. I used Sweet Baby Ray's and the taste wasn't nearly as tangy as we would have liked. We had a few leftover and they are definitely better reheated in the oven than microwave. I think this is going to become a staple in the recipe box. They were fast and filling.

With martial arts, my book club, the blogging group I joined and the holidays approaching (only 113 days, 11 and 46 minutes until Christmas!) I know we're going to keep getting busier. Let me know if you try it!

An Excellent Question

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tonight at dinner:

Drama Kid: Mommy, some days I feel just so happy to be alive.

Me: You should feel like that every day.

Drama Kid: Because it's just so amazing that God made us, right?

Me: Exactly.

Drama Kid: But who made God?

Me: That's a very good question, I have no idea.

Edited to add this morning (9/12) at breakfast:

Drama Kid: What would happen if the world split into two pieces?

Me: I don't think that can happen, but if it did, it wouldn't be good.

Remembering 9/11

Just for being Americans... By Dave Barry of the Miami Herald

Published Thursday, September 13, 2001

No humor column today. I don't want to write it, and you don't want to read it.

No words of wisdom, either. I wish I were wise enough to say something that would help make sense of this horror, something that would help ease the unimaginable pain of the victims' loved ones, but I'm not that wise. I'm barely capable of thinking. Like many others, I've spent the hours since Tuesday morning staring at the television screen, sometimes crying, sometimes furious, but mostly just stunned.

What I can't get out of my mind is the fact that they used our own planes. I grew up in the Cold War, when we always pictured the threat as coming in the form of missiles - sleek, efficient death machines, unmanned, hurtling over the North Pole from far away.

But what came, instead, were our own commercial airliners, big friendly flying buses coming from Newark and Boston with innocent people on board. Red, white and blue planes, with "United" and "American" written on the side. The planes you've flown in and I've flown in. That's what they used to attack us.

They were able to do it in part because our airport security is pathetic. But mainly they were able to do it because we are an open and trusting society that simply is not set up to cope with evil men, right here among us, who want to kill as many Americans as they can.

That's what's so hard to comprehend. They want us to die just for being Americans. They don't care which Americans die: military civilian Americans, young Americans, old Americans. Baby Americans. They don't care. To them, we're all mortal enemies.

The truth is that most Americans, until Tuesday, were only dimly aware of their existence, and posed no threat to them. But that doesn't matter to them; all that matters is that we're Americans. And so they used our own planes to kill us. And then their supporters celebrated in the streets.

I'm not naive about my country. My country is definitely not always right; my country has at times been terribly wrong. But I know this about Americans: We don't set out to kill innocent people. We don't cheer when innocent people die.

A DECENT PEOPLE The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse. They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people.

And now we are a traumatized people. The TV commentators keep saying that the attacks have awakened a "sleeping giant." And I guess we do look like a giant, to the rest of the world. But when I look around, I don't see a giant: I see millions of individuals - the resilient and caring citizens of New York and Washington; the incredibly brave firefighters, police officers and rescue workers risking their lives in the dust and flames; the politicians standing on the steps of the Capitol and singing an off-key rendition of God Bless America that, corny as it was, had me weeping; the reporters and photographers who have not slept, and will not sleep, as long as there is news to report; the people in my community, and communities across America, lining up to give blood, wishing they could do more.

A GOOD COUNTRY No, I don't see a giant. What I see is Americans. We may have the power of a giant, but we also have the heart of a good and generous people, and we will get through this. We will grieve for our dead, and tend to our wounded, and repair the damage, and tighten our security, and put our planes back in the air.

Eventually most of us, the ones lucky enough not to have lost somebody, will resume our lives. Some day, our country will track down the rest of the monsters behind this, and make them pay, and I suppose that will make most of us feel a little better. But revenge and hatred won't be why we'll go on. We'll go on because we know this is a good country, a country worth keeping.

(Pentagon Memorial)

Those who would destroy it only make us see more clearly how precious it is.

(all photos pulled from Google Images, clink on photo for source)

Wordless Wednesday #14 - The View at Happy Hour

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Need Your Help!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Last month I signed up with the Adopt A Soldier program. I've been emailing my soldier and sent my first care package a few weeks ago (and forgot to take pictures!)

I've enjoyed getting to know Sgt. R and look forward to building our friendship while he is deployed. I've committed to sending one care package a month. It's not required, just something I feel strongly about.

And here's where you come in (it will only cost a stamp): I'm pretty competitive and want my care packages to be the best. I want Sgt. R to be envied. I think it would be nice to include notes from other people since he and I email pretty regularly.

I'd like to be able to include a few postcards in each of his care packages and hope to get one from each of the 50 states.
It can be a joke, a funny website or just a quick hello. If you find a funny/interesting newspaper or
magazine article that would be goo too.

They have limited access to TV and Sgt. and his group (squad?) are separated from their main unit and they are BORED.

If you would like to send a postcard to Sgt. R please email me at ADramaticMommy [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll give you my address. I don't know too many people in other states so please pass this around.

This isn't about supporting the war. This is about the men and women who miss their families. Anything from "home" goes a long way in making them feel a little less lon
ely. Thank you!

PS- Sgt. is originally from Ohio and is a HUGE Buckeye's fan. I hope someone from Ohio represents! (postcard photos from here)

***Read the update here***

Dipping My Toes In

My uncle emailed this to me:

A white man asked his black friend, "Are you voting for Barack Obama just because he's black?”

The black man responded by saying, "Why not? Hell, in this country men are pulled over everyday just cause they're black; passed over for
promotions just cause they're black; considered to be criminals just
cause they're black; and there are going to be thousands of you who
won't be voting for him just because he's black!

However, you do not seem to have a problem with that! This country was built with the sweat and whip off the black slaves' back, and now a descendant of those same slaves has a chance to lead the same country, where we weren't even considered to be people, where we weren't allowed to be educated, drink from the same water fountains, eat in the same restaurants, or even vote.

So yes! I'm going to vote for him! But it's not just because he's black, but because he is hope, he is change, and he now allows me to understand when my grandson says that he wants to be president when he grows up, it is not a fairy tale but a short term goal.

He now sees, understands and knows that he can achieve, withstand and do ANYTHING just because he's black!"

(photo from BarackObama.com)

A Wedding Story

Monday, September 8, 2008

He came home on leave and she asked, "So, um, do you still want to marry me?" and he said, "Hell yes! " and they exchanged vows one week later in a civil ceremony. There were no flowers, no rings, no photographers. The wedding colors were denim and denim.
After the ceremony they went home to their apartment by the beach, he carried her over the threshold and they ate macaroni and cheese. She went to work, he got ready to head back to his ship the next day.

They kept their marriage secret from all but a few close friends and family intending to "get engaged" when they saved up for the rings and then "get married" six months later because who needs a long engagement and they had been together since they were 17 (except for the time he was stationed in Italy) and they got married two days after his sister and didn't want to steal her thunder.

Except there was a flaw in their plan. If they "married" so soon after his sister, his out of town relatives would not be able to fly out to California again so soon, so they "got engaged" but changed their plans and set a date one year in the future on the day of their original anniversary in high school.

She put a deposit on a place and she and her mother shopped for dresses and she would take off her wedding band when any of the family were around and they continued to live happily together at their apartment by the beach.


Except their was another flaw in their plan. After almost eight months, her father, who worked in law enforcement, started to get suspicious so he wrote to the county recorder's office and requested a copy of their marriage license which he produced one day with a "do you have something you want to tell us?"

And she fessed up and explained the reasons why they didn't tell and stopped looking for dresses and canceled the place and was secretly a little relieved because the "wedding" was getting bigger than she wanted it to anyway.

Her mother threw them a party and a few close friends and family ate, drank and got merry to celebrate the couple's soon to be one year anniversary and she thought, "we'll just renew our vows on our ten year anniversary," and they continued to live happily in their apartment by the beach.

Fast forward 10 years, two more apartments, at least five jobs, several cars, a post 9/11 activation, one baby, typical marriage ups and downs, a house purchased, a kitchen remodeled and job lost and that's where you will find them today.

And she would like him to know how very lucky she is and how much she loves him and how thankful she is for the life they have built together and she would marry him in secret all over again but this time in a dress and they continue to live happily together in their house
by near pretty close to the beach.

Happy Anniversary Honey! 

(That was the really really condensed version)

Friday Funky

Friday, September 5, 2008

The kids are back in school, back on a routine and it's Friday! I don't know about you but that makes me want to do a happy dance! Have a good weekend!

SeeqPod - Playable Search

If Men Wore Bras...

They'd be cheaper and not vary so much by brand. I spent the better part of yesterday going back and forth from the racks (hee hee) to the dressing rooms.

Apparently the girls have gotten bigger. Did you hear that? Yeah, that was my husband.

I finally got fed up, grabbed a whole bunch and will be sorting through the candy colored pile this weekend. (Big sale at Kohl's if you're in need of new boulder holders too).

Wordless Wednesday #13 - When Dad Makes Dinner

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Coming Attractions

For the past few weeks. I've been in a blogging funk. (Here's the part where you say, Really? I hadn't noticed!).

I've sat in front of the computer with nothing original coming to mind and said ah, screw it.

Hopefully having some quiet time will help and if nothing else I can use a distraction from missing my baby.

Here are a few things I've written in my notebook that I hope to get to soon:

1. The fall TV and movie schedules and how I'd love to be a couch potato.
2. Cascade vs. Electrasol
3. Adding to my reading list and the books I've purchased recently (I think it's becoming an addiction. I just can't stop!).

4. My adopted soldier and how I'll need your help (it will only cost you a stamp).

5. The 10 Things About Me meme Steph tagged me for.

Very ambitious, I know.

To My Son on His First Day of School

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

When I woke you this morning with kisses and a "wake up First Grader!," I was fine.

When I made your breakfast I was fine.

When we took our first day pictures and set out walking to school, I was fine.
When we got to your new classroom and introduced ourselves to your new teacher, I was fine.

When you ran off to play tether ball without a backward glance, even then I was fine.

But when the bell rang, and it was time for me to say goodbye, that's when I stopped being fine.

Seeing you there, at your own little desk with the cubby built in, I was overwhelmed with pride and love and longing for the baby I used to have.

As I write this there are tears on the keyboard. But they are happy tears.

Know that Daddy and I are so proud of you. You are the best kid any parents could have.

We're so blessed and grateful you chose us to be your Mom and Dad.

You will always be my favorite, my precious cargo.

And when I pick you up from school later today with a "how'd it go First Grader?", I will be fine.
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