Going To The Dogs…

Ahh, wedding anniversaries. Candlelight dinner, romantic music on in the background.

Can’t you just picture it? Well SNAP out of it!

As of today my husband and I have been officially married for 10 years!

What do you plan for your 10th anniversary? Before the economic meltdown we were going to either go to Vegas or go skiing in New Mexico. Since the “Steal From Us” stimulus package didn’t do much for us, we are now going to go out to dinner and go to the dog track. I actually like the dog track so I am really looking forward to it!

The best part is that my oldest daughter’s present to us is free babysitting! I didn’t have the heart to tell her she wasn’t going to get paid in the first place, I will let her think she is being very nice to us!

So here’s to making it to 10 years of marriage! Even if we are just going to the dogs!

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Video Of The Week

John Parr

Man In Motion

St. Elmo’s Fire

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: What are your three favorite board games?

 

We are board game junkies at my house! My top three favorites are:

  1. Scrabble
  2. Monopoly
  3. Yahtzee

Mardi Gras

Today is Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, which ever you prefer.

For us Catholics this is a celebration prior to the fasting season of Lent, which is the 40 days before Easter. During Lent we are supposed to give up something and we are to abstain from meat on Fridays.

This year I am giving up chocolate. Yes, you read that correctly! I am giving up chocolate! My youngest daughter is giving up candy and my oldest is giving up her after school eating binges. My husband never gives up anything. He thinks if he can abstain from meat on Fridays he has done well.

We always put in a rule that if we slip up we put a dollar in the Lent fund which we give to a charity. The charity is usually a Water Well program that my youngest daughter’s school participates in.

It looks like I will be celebrating Fat Tuesday by depleting my house of any chocolate. Wish me well!

Tales From The Sea

Last Friday, my husband and I decided to say the hell with everything and we took our boat out on the bay. Yes, it was cold and yes, it was windy! Despite the weather we managed to bring home 4 trout for dinner.

While we were fishing in one of our regular spots another boater appeared. This guy was in a boat similar to the one above except it had a small motor on it. His fishing partner for the day was his trusty dog.

This guy dropped his anchor and started fishing, no big deal. About 15 minutes later he decides to pull up his anchor to leave. Now we have a big deal, his anchor is stuck! He turns on his motor and tries to move, but remember the anchor is stuck! He turns off the motor and goes back up to the front of the boat. The dog is standing there looking down at the anchor and then looking at his owner. The guy turns to his dog and says: “You know this is all your fault!”

He struggled with the anchor for about 10 more minutes with no luck at all. He decided to untie the anchor from the boat. He tied a life vest onto the rope so it would mark the spot. He then turned to his dog and said: “I sure hope you can swim!”

Video Of The Week

Ma & Pa Kettle

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: Low 8 hours

Yield: 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil          

1 medium onion, chopped                                   

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning     

2 cans (14.5 ounces) Italian flavored tomatoes      

1 cup finely diced carrots           

1 cup finely diced celery 

1 cup finely diced zucchini         

1 can cut green beans

1 cup peeled and finely diced potatoes

1 tablespoon salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 cups water

1 can (19 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed under cold water

1 1/2 cups uncooked ditalini (small, tube-shaped pasta)

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese            

                          

1Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with vegetable oil cooking spray.

2Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.

3 Place the cooked vegetable mixture in the slow cooker. Add the string beans, cabbage, potatoes, salt, pepper, and water. Stir to combine.

4 Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Add the kidney beans and pasta 20 minutes before serving. Cook until the pasta is tender.

5 Stir in the cheese and serve immediately.

 

Per serving: Calories 297 (From Fat 27); Fat 10g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 4mg; Sodium 1770mg; Carbohydrate 42g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 12g.

*I add cooked pork chunk and kielbasa sausage to this and it came out great. Next time I make it I plan on adding some canned minced clams to it instead.

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: If you could be a kid again for just one day what would you want to do?

I would want to go to the zoo! There is just something really fun about spending the day at the zoo.

A Day To Remember

My girls have a different school schedule because my youngest goes to a Catholic school and my oldest goes to a public school. Yesterday my youngest daughter had the day off and my oldest did not.

My youngest daughter asked me what we were going to do and I told her I didn’t have any plans. She looked all sad and gloomy and gave me the “Puppy Dog Eyes.” Man, I hate it when she does that!

I told her to figure out something for us to do but there was a catch, it could not involve spending any money. She took off for about 15 minutes and came back and asked me if we could go to a park and have a picnic.

What a great idea! We are very lucky to have a ton of parks around us to choose from. She picked a park within 5 minutes of our house that has a great walking trail around a little pond.

We packed a lunch, brought her kite and took off for the park. We had the park all to ourselves! The first thing we did was eat. Then we flew her kite for a little bit. I always forget how much fun it is to fly a kite! We played a mean game of tag, and let me tell you it gets harder to play tag when they can start to out run you!

I told my daughter I needed to slow the pace down just a little bit, so we took off on a walk around the pond. Years ago we used to fish this little pond but the grass has taken it over and due to not enough rainfall it is very low on water.

There was a huge log that went from the edge of the pond to the middle. My little one dared me to walk the log! Now most intelligent moms would have said no. Apparently I am not very intelligent!

I walked the log! I did an awesome job. I made it out to the middle of the pond with no problem. It was on the return journey that I ended up with a problem! My dear, sweet, angel was at the end of the log threatening to make it move! Well it ended up not being a threat and it moved and I of course fell into the water!

There I was sitting in about 2 feet of water soaking wet! She was laughing her but off at me so I decided to ask her to come out and help me. She got to where I was, all nice and dry, so I reached out my hand to her and pulled her in! That will teach her to laugh at me!

Ah, a day to remember!

Did You Hear The One About The Priest?

My oldest daughter has found a boy she is interested in dating. She has known this boy since the 4th grade, they went to the same Catholic elementary school. They lost touch with each other after 5th grade and they are now making their church confirmation together.

My daughter got off the phone with him the other night and she was laughing so hard she was close to pissing in her pants! I of course asked her what was so funny and she said:

“I just asked out a priest on a date!”

Apparently this boy, who is a junior in a Catholic high school, has decided to be a priest. He has visited a seminary and decided that that is his calling

I told my daughter that she should ask our priest if this is something worthy of confession!

This phone call will of course result in years of family teasing for my daughter!

Happiness Is…

I found this over at JavaJunkee’s site and thought it was awesome.

Here are the rules which I found over at Little Miss Firefly’s

Simply write a post in your blog titled Happiness is…, list in bullet form what happiness means to you using you basic senses. BUT, it must be happiness felt without your sense of sight.

So here is my attempt at Happiness is…

  • The sound of the ocean crashing onto the shore
  • The smell of bacon & eggs while you are still in bed
  • The sound of my daughters singing along to the radio
  • The sound of coins dropping into a Piggy Bank
  • The feeling of a child tugging at your shirt
  • The taste of warm brownies that your kids made
  • The feeling of being hit with water from a water gun

Video Of The Week

The Brady Bunch

Sunshine Day

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: If you could take off for a day all by yourself where would you go and what would you do?

I would pack a lunch, grab a chair, plenty of sunscreen, some stuff to play in the sand with and hit the beach! I would play in the waves and build sand castles all day long!

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Warning! Warning! I have taken off my Purple Colored Glasses for this post!

I have seen enough damage from drug and alcohol abuse to last me a lifetime and then some. I grew up in an alcoholic household and somehow I managed to build one myself.

Growing up both my parents drank heavily and both were physically abusive to each other. My father stopped drinking when I was 13. He started going to A.A. meetings and he made my brother and I go to Al-Anon meetings. I hated those meetings and I hated my dad for making us go to them.

My parents divorced shortly after this time period because my mother would not get help for her own alcohol problems. I worshipped the ground my mother walked on and I never really saw that she had a problem. I always blamed my father for the divorce.

I never did drugs, I left that to my brother. I used to even rat him out and flush his stuff down the toilet.

As a teen, I would occasionally have a wine cooler or a beer but only in my house in front of my mom.  I did start drinking a little here and there in my 20’s. But it was only socially.

My mom passed away when I was in my mid 20’s and shortly after that I met my current husband and got married.

When I entered into my 30’s I began to drink a glass of wine every day after dinner and drinking beer at family get togethers. Very quickly it turned into having several glasses of wine after dinner and getting drunk at family get togethers.

My father passed away when I was 35. I had a very bad relationship with him and I had not talked to him for the past 5 years. I did manage to write him a letter before he died explaining my feelings. I dealt with his death by drinking more and more.

About a year and a half ago I drank so much that I thought I was going to die. I went to bed and the only thing that I remember was thinking if I lived through the night I would never, ever, drink again. I woke up the next morning and I have not had a single drop of alcohol since.

My kids love the fact that I no longer drink. They now know that if we go somewhere there will be at least one sober parent. They no longer have to worry about stupid parents who drink and drive. Basically, they don’t have to worry about dieing at a young age due to alcohol.

Now I find myself in the same situation that my dad must have been in. My husband refuses to see that he has a problem. He thinks I am just trying to be little miss perfect and that I think alcohol is the root of all evil.

He thinks it is normal to be on Xanax and drink 12 beers a day in just a few hours. The memory loss he has, he blames that on a cholesterol medicine. I actually overheard him tell his doctor today that he will no longer take the cholesterol medicine. I can’t wait to see what he blames next!

I just hope he can manage to wake up in the morning like I did when he finally hits rock bottom.

I find it somehow ironic that I have landed myself in my father’s shoes.

I will now put my Purple Colored Glasses back on I promise!

I Am Not A Butthead!

It has been 2 years today since I stopped being a butthead! At least physically. I am still working on the mental part!

I grew up in a house with 2 very heavy smokers. There were many times that I had to put out my mom’s cigarette after she had fallen asleep on the couch. They even had ashtrays in the bathrooms! I swore up and down as a young kid that I would never, ever smoke.

Well somehow that grand idea changed when I was 15. It was not due to peer pressure either. My friends hated me smoking and I even had one friend who would knock my cigarette out of my mouth if I smoked around her!

I started out slow. A pack of cigarettes would last me for a week. My mom didn’t find out that I smoked until I was 16.  We were living in Connecticut at the time and we were snowbound for a day. My mother was running out of cigarettes and frankly I got tired of listening to her bitch about it so I threw her a pack of my cigarettes to shut her up. Once I was out of the closet I started smoking more and more and thus began my 3 pack a day habit!

My mom had a stroke and died at 65 and my dad died of Emphysema at 66. Both death certificates state that cigarettes contributed to their deaths. It finally occurred to me almost a year after my dad passed away that I did not want my death certificate to read the same way.

I quit cold turkey! Twenty years of smoking at least a pack a day stopped in a day. I actually spent the first day sleeping. I slept for 21 hours straight! This was the easiest way not to kill anyone!

I still wake up in the morning and actually crave a cigarette and my husband still smokes so they are here if I want one. I even still like the smell of cigarette smoke! I figure we just can’t afford the $4,368 a year for me to start back up!

Man, do I wish I had the $87,360 I smoked away over the years!

 

*Dollar amounts are based on a 3 pack a day habit at a cost of $4.00 a pack. These figures do not include doctor visits, extra dental cleanings, or increased health and life insurance rates.    

I Saw The Sign

Yesterday, I told my youngest daughter that I did not feel like going to church this Friday, she gave me a pass and said it didn’t matter to her. She sings in the choir, so I usually go to mass when her school does.

 I told my husband yesterday that I was going job hunting today and I was not coming home unless I had one. I was even prepared to go back into fast-food restaurant work if I absolutely had to.

This morning I got up and changed my mind about going to church. I don’t know why I just did. I got dressed and off we went to school and to church.

After church, I drove down the same street I do everyday, twice a day. This time down driving down the road I  saw a sign for a job. I wrote down the phone number and pulled into a parking lot and gave them a call. They said come on in and fill out an application.

Not wanting to seem desperate, I went and got a cup of coffee and then headed back over to the company that I had called. I filled out an application and I got an interview right then and there.

The interview went great and I hope to hear from them this afternoon. She made the comment that she really wanted to cancel her other interviews.

It’s a good thing I decided to go to church this morning because the person I interviewed with said that they just put the sign out this morning. They must have put it out while I was at mass because it was not there when I drove passed  them this morning!

I will keep my fingers crossed and prayers going up to the big man!

Video Of The Week

Fame

I wanted to go to this school so bad when I was a kid! 🙂

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: What do you get your spouse/significant other for Valentine’s Day?

 

My husband and I are not big into celebrating Valentine’s Day. I usually get him a card and a box of chocolates and he usually buys me a card and a dozen red roses. He also buys an arrangement of flowers for both of our daughters. I buy them a box of chocolates that come with a stuffed animal.

It’s Hard Being A Blonde!

Sometimes my kids just make my head hurt! Not in a bad way, no just the opposite, in a funny way!

My 16 year old daughter, God bless her, is a blonde. She is not a dumb blonde at all. She does have her blonde moments and it is at those moments that my head just hurts!

A few weeks ago she was reading one of the Twilight books. I was sitting on the couch minding my own business when she came to me with her book and said, “I don’t get this. Can you read it and explain it to me?” I read the paragraph in question and just started to laugh my butt off! The paragraph in question had a blonde joke in it that she didn’t get at all. The joke was: How do you drown a blonde? You put a mirror at the bottom of a pool.

Yesterday we had another “moment” at the library. We both like reading about haunted places and there was a book on display called The Ghosts of the White House. I pointed it out to her and she went and picked it up and thumbed through it. She placed the book down and said: “No, I don’t want that, it’s all about dead people!” I of course had to reply with: “Well no shit, Sherlock! It’s about ghosts and last time I checked they were all dead!” At this point we had the librarian laughing!

My 9 year old daughter was born with blonde hair but by the age of 5 it turned brown like mine. She made this comment the other day in the car: “I must have gotten smarter in Pre-K because that’s when my hair turned brown!” I almost had to pull over I was laughing so hard!

Weekends Are Wonderful!

I love the weekends. We do not use the weekends for chores at my house. Chores are done during the week. Homework is also not allowed on the weekend unless it is a major assignment. Weekends at my house are for chilling out and having fun.

This weekend was awesome! Saturday we hung around the house and did absolutely nothing. My youngest daughter even stayed in her PJ’s all day long.

Sunday, we of course went to church. Afterwards, we dropped my oldest daughter off at her friends house and my husband, my youngest daughter and I headed off to a local park.

With the threat of rain we had the park all to ourselves! We brought my youngest daughter’s bike with us which she rode around all over the place. We brought a bunch of golf balls and a few clubs for us to fiddle around with. My husband plays golf, but I do not. I occasionally hit plastic balls in the backyard but that is it. I actually hit the real golf balls very well! I impressed myself and even took a tip from my youngest daughter which helped me!

We did that for about 3 hours until we got soaked. We picked up my oldest daughter and headed home. When we got home it stopped raining so we played a game of tag football in the backyard. I took my youngest daughter because I know she can run! We beat the oldest daughter and husband by 2 touchdowns!

Due to the football game we decided to eat early. We grilled some steaks and had some baked potatoes for dinner. After dinner we placed our bets on the game and hunkered down on the couches!

This is my favorite commercial from the game:

Now, it’s Monday and I can’t wait until next weekend!