First of all

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dance Moms Hayesville

Have you seen Dance Moms? It's a ' reality show' about seriously crazy moms and their kids who love to dance. Most of the show features the dance instructor and the moms yelling at each other.

Anna loves the show. She loves it so much she wanted to take dance classes. So here I am sitting outside the class, with some other moms as well as , the father of Shelly the dance instructor.

Why am I sitting out here when I could be at the grocery store or better yet at working out at the Rec Center?

Well as you may recall Anna has been having major school anxiety. I made a deal with her that I would stay here, just like the Dance Moms if she went to school all week. I figured this was a much better deal than money or treat bribery.

As for the moms here? So far everyone is getting along--haha. Kidding aside, well, they are talking about pet squirrels. Apparently, The pet squirrels are a species from Australia and make great pets.

See, it's true, you do learn something new everyday!.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#Wordless Wednesday

This is Mothra the giant moth that was stuck in a spiders web by our back door. I took the pic and then we took a broom handle and freed the moth from the spider's web. You can see a bit of the web on the bottom south quadrant of the pic.

Tastefully Tuesday? Tuesday Tidbits

As you know, I'm not good with creating catchy post titles.  I wanted to blog today, and I'm feeling kinda random, so that doesn't help much with the title creation. It's Tuesday is maybe the post title I should have used.

In any case, I'm a bit worn out mentally lately. This is due to Anna.

(Anna on the hay ride at the Crane Creek Vineyard Tomato Fest--where we didn't see any tomatoes but we, tom and I, drank some good wine.)
Okay so back to the Anna issue.  The girl has developed a major school anxiety.  She makes herself upset enough to throw up every morning. Today she cried her way into staying home.  I was at a Tri-State Business Women's meeting, so she was with The Man. When I finished my meeting I went home, and after much crying by Anna and much cajoling by me she went to school.  Albeit two and a half hours late, but she did go to school.  I imagine now you have a few questions:
1. Is she being bullied?
2. Is she sick?
3. Is she struggling with the work?
No. no bully.  I'm fairly well-versed in bullies due to Patrick and Bryce having dealt with them in previous school years.  She sits with three other kids and likes all of them. Kaitlyn is her 'best friend' and she has a crush on the little boy that sits next to her.  She likes the school lunches and when we were there last night for the Teacher Open House she ran off and played on the playground with some other girls and didn't want to go home.
Is she sick?  It's possible. However, she isn't crying and saying her stomach hurts on Saturday or Sunday mornings, only school days. That is why I've concluded that it's anxiety, not a virus. The Man still thinks a virus is a possibility.
The workload seems fine, she isn't crying about the work.  This morning she said:
1. She misses me.
2. She is afraid that I or her dad might die during the day while she is at school.
3. She is afraid that someone will break into our house and steal our dogs.
Sounds like some general anxiety, don't you agree? In any case, mornings are tough right now. I'm a bit at a loss on what to do, I thought it would have gotten better by now since it is the third week of school. Additionally, yesterday Patrick was all upset about going to school. On the bright side,  I am used to his dislike of school and his constant efforts to 'get' to stay home 'sick'.  Anna was the one who loved school. Now, not so much.
This means that next Tuesday I may have a real struggle on my hands.  Who wants to go back to their job after a 3 day weekend? No one. Most kids feel the same way about school.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

MMMmmm meal pics...

Temps have been dropping down into the 50s at night. So although,  it's still August, I went ahead and made some chili last night for Miss Anna.  Anna has been feeling pretty nervous and anxious about her new school, so if a little chili for dinner puts a smile on her face...well then.
Here is 1 pound of ground turkey with 3 tbsps of our Wahoo! Chili Mix. Yes that is my Pampered Chef mixer thingy; it's great for mashing up stuff.  Oh! I also added 1 tbsp of Garlic Garlic.

Next I added tomatoes and beans.  Anna loves beans especially butter beans, so I always add a can of butter beans to our chili.  I went with a small can of diced tomatoes but later on I found that it needed more tomato-ness, so I chopped up 2 fresh tomatoes and added them.  Why fresh tomatoes?  Because they were getting ready to go bad, so I was glad to get them used up. In a perfect world I think I would have just used the 28oz can of diced tomatoes that is sitting in my cabinet.

In addition to the tomatoes and the beans I like to add some fresh vegetables. What vegetables?  That is determined by what I have in the refrigerator.  Last night,  I went with one diced green pepper and 3 stalks of celery chopped.

Celery, my old cutting board, and the very dated kitchen cabinets in our kitchen.

Look at those pretty colors! Then I added about 1/2 cup chicken broth and let it all simmer for 20ish minutes.

And here we have Anna's Chili.  With Wahoo! Chili, it's an amazingly easy dish to make.  I should have just had Anna make dinner.  Chili is also pretty forgiving, you don't need to worry too much about the ingredient measurements.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When I really love it a book...

You know how you hear people say, "I loved XYZ book, I couldn't put it down!" I do the same thing myself. If I like a book, I'll blaze through it pretty doggone fast.

But if I love a book, it takes me ages to finish.  I put it down, I walk away for a few weeks, I resist the siren calls.  Super counter intuitive, right? 

Here's the thing, when I love a book, I don't want it to end, I don't want to say goodbye to the characters. I miss them, life get drab. Coming from me, there is no higher praise I can give a book than to say, it took me a long time to finish it.

Up Jumps The Devil took me ages to finish.  I loved it, no wait I floved it.  I hated having to say goodbye to John Scratch. Michael Poore did such a fantastic job of  giving the devil his due.  Oh sorry about that cliche, I tried not to go there, but I had no control.  The devil made me do it. Alright, I'm done.

I cannot more highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys flawed protagonists.  Michael has really created a fantastically sympathetic anti-hero.

 He takes a bit from old tales of the Devil (ie Robert Johnson, The Devil and Daniel Webster, etc) and does something amazing. The Devil has such hope for humanity and we let him down again and again. 

The book begins with Satan as the host of a Reality Show and then moves forward and backward through time in dreams and memories and current moments. I let that sit with you a moment, Satan is the host of a wildly successful reality TV show.  How perfect is that.

From the opening pages where The Devil is shot we follow him through a timeless love affair he has with an Angel and the love affair Satan has with humanity. 

Up Jumps The Devil is a love story, a history lesson, and a road trip story wrapped up in a leather duster smelling of pipe smoke.

And the ending is wonderfully satisfying. 

Curious?  Want my copy?  Too bad, you can't have it, I'm going to keep it--and I don't keep books.

It's available on amazon and other fine book selling establishments.

Click the book for the Amazon link.

Located in

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#Wordless Wednesday Dinner Time!

1 lb cut up boneless skinless chicken breast browning in a tablespoon Roasted Garlic Infused oil. Along with 2 tbsp of our new fantastic Rustic Herb Seasoning.

Add like 3 cups chopped red potatoes and 1/2 cup chix broth and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Then add in about 2 cups chopped green beans...
2 cups chopped green beans


Simmer/saute for another say 8 minutes

And Dinner is done!

FourSquare you disappoint me.

FourSquare, in case you aren't aware, is an app for your smartphone and with it you 'check-in' to places and it rewards you with points.  The points are completely meaningless, and yet still I love to see my points!  There is some benefit to using FourSquare  as some businesses have specials that are only revealed when you 'check-in' via FourSquare.

On the app, people can add a location if they want to check in somewhere that doesn't already have a location.  For example I made one called:  "The Hamel Lakehouse." 

It should come as no surprise that people try to be funny and/or creative in naming places.  My Big Comfy Bed is a place you could check into by our old house in Hickory Hills.  Out here in Western North Carolina, you don't even need to come up with funny name because long ago, the forefathers of this area went to great lengths to give  the surrounding mountains, valleys and roads funny and/or creative names. The best are funny at the 6th grade immature boy level.
You may recall a while back, I posted a picture of Peckerwood Road, which is located right by a golf course. This is a popular street sign to steal, natch.  However there is an even better area around here, and I wanted to 'check in' from it on FourSquare. Much to my dismay,  it isn't listed as a spot to check into via the app.

  FourSquare, you've let me down how could you *not* have Smackass Gap listed!

Yes that's right Smackass Gap, see it's right there.  I am sure there is some story that goes along with the name probably something about a stubborn mule, but who cares!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Baby you're a Firework!

Dear Sir or Madam:
Thanks ever so much for the fireworks show last night. When I went to bed at midnight, fireworks right outside my backyard at 1AM were certainly the last thing on my mind.

It was super thoughtful of you to wait until 1AM to have your show. What a great way to ensure everyone around you would wake up and pay attention to the noise and lights, I know I did!

Thanks again for your amazing display of thoughtfulness! Our dogs went crazy during your show!

All the best!

Ps if it happens again tonight, I will hunt you down.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

#Wordless Wednesday Wine!

Sat we went to a local Winery.  Lovely place. Lovely wine.
Here's the stream next to the grapes and a bit of Patrick.

The boys and one of the owner's dogs.

Cabernet Franc Grapes.

Eagle Forks Vineyards Chardonnay. Yum.