My family's journey down the road less traveled....

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Epiphany...

Ya'll know on most days I'm about as deep as a puddle,  so I had to pull out the serious scuba gear for this one.  Overall, it's been a shitty year.  There have been highlights, of course, but in a generalized sense, we're talking piles of crapola.

As many of you know, I lost my Dad last December.  It sent me into a massive downward spiral of depression and guilt.  Sad that I'd never hear his voice again.  Sad for all the things he'd miss.  Guilt that I didn't visit enough or tell him I loved him enough.  It's been rough going and I still get weepy when I am reminded of him but I'm managing.

As a double-whammy, I  lost my Mom this year too.  What makes this even more tragic than losing my Dad, is that she's still alive.  She made the choice to remove herself from my life and it breaks my heart.  I'll never understand the workings of her mind, nor do I wish to, but I hope one day that she does and is able to find her way back into my life.

This brings me to my epiphany.  I've been so down and stressed by life's crap that I've missed an entire year. A whole year has gone by and I've felt no joy, happiness or anything for that matter.  I've been numb and I decided I'm sick of feeling like crap.

I only have a few short years to have my kids under my roof so forging a great relationship with them is so important.  I want them to look back and have more positive than negative memories of their childhood.   I'm not delusional enough to think it's all gonna be rainbow farts and unicorn rides but it can be good.  Really good.  I want to be one of those people who make lemonade out of life's lemons.  Only mine will be spiked with vodka, of course!

Will I still get sad and stressed?  Hells yeah, but I'm done letting it rule my life.  I'm focusing on just the good baby!!  I get to watch my brother and sister-in-law's beautiful daughter grow up and I need to make sure she knows all about her crazy Grandpa Jim!!  My sister and I are getting along better than EVER!!  My kids are totally awesomesauce.  Mr. Awesome© rocks too. I'm doing well in school and will have a kick-ass new career soon.  Life is good.  I just forgot.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner...

I love to cook and I hate to cook.  I'm contrary like that.  I enjoy creating meals and having people rave about how amazing it tastes.  Despite my lack of social life, I love the thrill of planning a menu and cooking for crowds.  It's the whining I encounter round about 6pm when the Oompas as the dreaded question of, "what's for dinner" and they don't like the answer.  Ugh, that again!?!?  Yes, you impertinent little monkey, we're having that, again.  It's the again that's killing us.

I'll let you all in on a secret.  Ready??  Here goes...Mr. Awesome© is a creature of habit.  You name a restaurant in the central Ohio region and I'll tell you exactly what he would order.
Olive Garden: Chicken Alfredo (he'll then proceed to have the waiter grind 2lbs of Parmesan cheese on top)
Max & Erma's: Loaded Skins off the appetizer menu
El Campisino: Beef Taco Salad, extra cheese
Taco Bell: Burrito Supreme no red sauce, extra sour cream and a chili cheese burrito, extra cheese
Wendy's: Asiago Ranch Chicken Club, add cheese and guacamole
Frisch's: 2 plates of chili spaghetti (al a carte) and 4 dinner rolls.  He has NEVER in his life ordered anything but chili spaghetti.  No Big Boys for him!

You get the point.  If he planned our weekly menu it would read: chili, loaded skins, baked nachos, spaghetti, pizza.  Repeating over and over and over again!

I got adventurous this week and *shock and horror*, tried two new recipes I found over on One Hundred Dollars a Month.  Thanks Mavis!!  Of course, he's worked late, very late, every night this week and ended up stopping on the way home for takeout.  At least the kids liked the new dishes!

Curry Chicken

2 chicken boneless chicken breasts cut in bite sized pieces (original recipe uses precooked chicken)
1 large onion, chopped
Several cups assorted veggies (snap peas, broccoli, peppers, carrots-not included in original recipe)
3 tablespoons sesame oil (original recipe calls for olive oil)
5 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cups chicken broth
**I have had horrible experiences adding flour to recipes like this as it got all lumpy.  In this case I added a cup or so of the broth to the bowl with all my flour and spices then mixed well to make a slurry.  Make for a smooth sauce**

In a heavy pan saute chicken in sesame oil till cooked.  Add vegetables and cook on medium-high till tender. Add chicken broth, honey, and soy sauce, to the pan and stir. **Slowly whisk in flour, curry, ginger, and salt until there are no lumps.  Reduce heat, and let simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until all the flavors are combined and the sauce has reduced a bit. Serve over a bed of warm rice.

Crock Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken

2 or 3 chicken breasts
1/4 cup lime juice
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cups frozen corn
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can {1 1/2 cups} black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low or 4- 6 hours on high until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Serve over rice or with tortillas and all the fixings.

What's nice about this meal is that you can dump everything into a freezer bag for busy days. Just pull out of the freezer the night before to thaw, dump in your Crock Pot and presto...dinner!!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Coffee Talk with my Subconscious...

Mrs. Awesome: Thanks for meeting me Subconscious.  I'm a little disturbed about the off the freakin' wall dreams of late and wanted to see what's going on with you.

Subconscious: Yeah, whatever.  I don't really see the big deal.  I still get coffee, right?

Mrs. Awesome:  No big deal?!?!  Dreaming about being in rehab with Whitney Houston and having GIANT freakin' squirrels use my hands as pacifiers is totally a BIG deal!!

Subconscious:  Can't blame me entirely, the rehab part was probably because of your high levels of alcohol consumption...ever think of that??

Mrs. Awesome:  I don't drink that much.  Only enough to drown out the Oompas' whining.....okay yea,  I see your point on that one.  They just whine so damn much!!!  That still doesn't explain the awful dream where I was doing my bidness on a toilet in the middle of a living room filled with relatives!  You gotta admit that's out there.

Subconscious:  Hee, hee, hee.....(clears throat), um, I mean that must have been horrible.  I got nothing on that one though.  Maybe you're really an exhibitionist in hiding??

Mrs. Awesome: Doubtful.  Now, about last night's "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"...the Amish?  Really?

Subconscious:  Don't dis the Amish.  They're wonderfully, simple folk who really know their way around a quilt.

Mrs. Awesome: You are so frustrating!!  Get serious!! What are you trying to tell me that can be perceived by dreaming about Amish men submitting bids for my hand in marriage?  Why was the one guy trying to speak to me in German?  I don't know German, except for a few words I learned by watching  the Sound of Music.

Subconscious:  Drugs.  You must have taken drugs.

Mrs. Awesome:  I do not take drugs.  At least not the kind you buy in the ghetto from some shady character named Snake.

Subconscious: Yea, cuz' his name is Harry.

Mrs. Awesome:  It's Barry and bite me.  At least explain why my Dad was seriously considering some of the offers. Selling me off to the highest bidder?!?!

Subconscious:  Have you met you?  If I was your Dad, I'd do the same.  Now gimme my coffee!!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

What I Did Instead of Writing My English Essay...

Damn you Pinterest and your eleventy million amazing crafty projects that I want to make yet never seem to have the time!!  Until today.  I got my inspiration from Lynette over at Cleverly Simple and knew, after seeing her massive failure of a first attempt, that this was one project I could tackle.  By the way, if any of you are in the central Ohio area and are interested in learning how to save money, check out Lynette's seminars on couponing.  Fantastic!!  She breaks it all down and makes the process of using coupons a breeze. is my take on the pool noodle and yarn wreath:

Here's to successful recreations of Pinterest pins!  Guess I'll be spending tomorrow working on that essay.

Friday, September 13, 2013

63 more school days till Christmas break...

Not that I'm counting or anything because I totally, absolutely lluuurrvvee school.  Like really.  Totally.

As part of my Intro. to Management class we have to take many assessments of our personality and overall characteristics.  How productive are you?  How well do you manage your time?  How well do you interact in a group setting?  I didn't do so well on this last one.  It used the words "tyrannical" and "overbearing".   Me?  Never!!!

Well gee, let's analyze that for a minute, shall we?  For the past 12 years I've been managing a group of children.  I love them dearly but my particular Oompa-Loompas are not upper echelon.  They have the attention spans of gnats on speed.  They make a houseful of drunken frat boys seem clean.  They move like snails when we're already 10 minutes late but act like Tazmanian Devils hopped up on crack when I'm trying to relax with a box glass of wine.  Realistically, the only option I had was to be a tyrant!!
My vernacular is full of phrases like, "suck it up", "there's no crying in baseball", or my favorite for when they got a cut or scrape, "oh, rub some dirt in it."  Apparently, these comments to not translate well into the workplace.  Apparently, I need to learn to talk in a non-Drill Sargent voice and demanding my subordinates "get their heads out of their asses and get to work".  Hmmm, this should prove interesting.

On the bright side, I've answered a long standing question from almost every high school algebra student.  I've seen the practical application of algebra!!  Hallelujah!!

Portion =Base x Rate, List Price=Net Price/Complement of Trade Discount Rate, Single Equivalent Discount Rate x List Price =Trade Discount Amount!!!
Yea...I'm bad ass like that.

Smell ya later...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Where, oh where, oh where is Shadow?

The phrase, "life happens", should really be changed to, "life kicks you in the ass then drives over you in it's Buick."   I wish I was able to say that I've been vacationing on my private island and was too intoxicated on rum filled goodies and gorgeous cabana boys to blog but I'm guessing ya'll would see right through that crap!!  In my particular case that damn Buick decided to do a few burn-outs before driving off.

Let me 'splain...No, there is to much.  Let me sum up.

I spent several months working through the final stages of the grieving process after losing my Dad in early December.  Christmas sucked, New Year's sucked,  Oldest Oompas birthday sucked.  You get the gist of the sucking.  It sucked.  It still sucks, but it sucks a little less everyday.

The Oompas grew and grew and grew, despite my warning of groundings and spankings.  Oldest Oompa started high school this year.  I'm a hot mess of emotions about all this.  On one hand, I'm sad to see my little girl grow up but then she's grown into such an amazingly cool kid person that I like.  Not saying she doesn't have her moments where I'm reaching for a shot of tequila and counting to 100 so I don't lose my schmidt over some stupid thing she's said or done.  Let's face it, she's still a teenager!

Ginger Oompa is just entering that hormonal, bitchy, if you roll your eye one more time momma's gonna whup your ass stage.  Good times, good times.  She's probably just hungry.  Freak of a kid is growing so fast she's going to be sharing shoes with the Jolly Green Giant in a few months!  At least now when I yell for the assistance of a tall person she and Mr. Awesome© come running.

The biggest changes are for Boy Oompa.  He started 5th grade in public school.  Our days of home schooling are behind us now and he's struggling to make the adjustment.  Riding the bus, lockers, different teachers, school food and of course, pretty, pretty girls.  Poor kid had to beat the hootchies off ...once the new kid novelty wears off I'm sure he'll be okay but, dang...these biotches are aggressive!!

After 10 years of home schooling, I'll tell ya Fred...I was DONE!!!  Teaching, especially your own children, is very taxing.  They're like vampires, draining the very life blood from your body then leaving your rumpled form discarded on the floor like a wet bath towel.  Crap!  Now I have to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  Alrighty then, let's see: When I was five, I wanted to be a vet....hmmm, expressing a pit bull's anal glands?? No thanks.   When I was ten I wanted to be a lawyer...that's out because, well, I have a soul.  I wanted to be an English teacher...been there, done that, have the emotional scars from trying to get my 3rd grader to recite a stupid song about all the state of being verbs.  Same goes for the nursing career...treating a quadriplegic's public hair for lice and seeing a male to female "conversion" has created enough PTSD symptoms for a life time.

In the immortal words of Mr. Lloyd Dobler,"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career.  I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed.  You know, as a career, I don't want to do that." 

Oh, I know...I'll go back to school!  I signed up for the joy of thesis paper writing, microeconomics, ethics and classes titled "Supervision" where, I assume, I'll learn to supervise something...or someone.  If I make it the two years without losing my schmidt, I'll graduate with an Associates in Human Resources Management. If you run into Mr. Awesome© please ignore his bragging about "banging a college student", he's a bit of a slut.  Classes start Monday...wish me well friends.  Donations of tequila and cliff notes are equally appreciated.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

A Day for Antiseptic Cleaner....on the Cheap

If you're a mom you've no doubt had a day, or in many cases a string of days, where you do nothing except clean up nasty, stinky bodily fluids that have been expelled by small children with great force, covering some pretty impressive distances.  Today was one of those days my friends and the worst part was that two of the three exploding children weren't even mine.  Oh, the joys of babysitting *snort*.  

So thankful I've discovered a way to make disinfecting wipes (similar to Clorox but better) on the cheap.
Mix 1 cup water, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 2 TBSP ammonia and 1 TBSP Dawn dish soap; pour over wipes in container and presto.....disinfecting towels!!
 I repurposed an Oxi-Clean tub to hold my "wipes" which consist of a really old towels I cut into pieces.  Fancy huh??? 
I did a little research and every recipe called for only Dawn soap with the reasoning that other soaps had bleach in them and we all know how dangerous it is to mix ammonia and bleach.  I'll admit my first batch was made with Palmolive because I didn't have Dawn, but I read the label carefully.  No one died or passed out so I think it worked.  All original formulas I found called for 2 TBSP of dish soap which I felt was too soapy so I cut it back but that's more a personal preference than one that affects the effectiveness of the wipes. Sorry...grammar fun!!!

Happy Disinfecting Everyone....................Deborah