Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Actually Made Something From Pinterest!

I know!  I was shocked, too! I've managed to dwindle down my Pinterest time to something a little less embarrassing lately. It's usually where I spend time when I've refreshed Facebook 8 times already and it seems no one is up to anything more and I'm stuck on hold with an insurance company. In my wandering the other day I found a recipe for DIY coffee creamer. We're big coffee junkies here. I like my coffee sweet and creamy; usually just *this* side of a latte. Coffee creamer is expensive since I've stopped couponing and I'm always looking for recipes to make my own anything. Not that I actually make most of it, but I still want to know that I can should a magic fairy ever come down and suddenly make my chaos something less time consuming.
I found a recipe that seemed simple enough - equal parts sweetened condensed milk and milk or milk substitute (almond milk at my house), and some flavoring (I used coffee syrup). D'uh. Even I could do that! And I actually did! I need to be careful I don't pull something with all the back patting I'm doing.
Now the original blog has all these fancy pictures and stuff. Had I thought of it as I was making it or was that fancy-pants enough I might have done something similar. But, if you've been here more than once you know something like that doesn't really happen all that often.
End result? Awesome! Love it! Total cost for 20oz was $1.85. That's all I spent on the condensed milk. I had the almond milk and  the flavor syrup already. I used the sugar-free caramel syrup and added some cinnamon. Of course I had to make myself a cup to try it out right away. Yummy!
I will say that I could taste the "milk" in the first few sips. I'm not a fan of milk and  neither is my tummy in any kind of high concentration, but this seems to be OK. After the initial taste it was gone and I don't notice it. Certainly not for the lactose intolerant or anyone with milk allergies. I just find the stuff nasty and since I don't drink it and use a rather small amount of dairy other than for cooking I noticed the taste.
This is one of those recipes for something I could just as easily buy in the store that I think I'll keep using. Making your own convenience foods isn't always worth the effort, but this definitely is!
I better head to bed so I can get up and have more coffee (and) creamer...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Over-Sensitive Much?

I'm generally pretty easy going. And by that I mean I don't offend easily. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and even if I don't agree that's OK. I'm a big girl and I can deal with it. You're obviously an idiot because you don't see it my way but we don't all have to agree all the time. Let's just agree to disagree (and I'll be Judgy McJudgerson in my head. Mostly.)
There is one point when I am not entirely rational. I call it the Mock-Single-Mom. When a happily married, healthy relationship having (usually a SAHM) woman has husband or other significant other that is for whatever reason not home for more than a few nights. Sometimes it's a week or two. And then the comments start. "So done being a single-mom" or "God I hate doing the single-mom thing".  It sends me into a rage. It's not rational. I get it. I totally understand 100% what is being said and the message that is trying to be conveyed.  I do. Doing shit on your own when you normally have a loving, helpful, understanding partner in your life that is suddenly not there to do the shit that you need them to do for days on end blows. What do you mean I have to take out the garbage? ALL THE WAY TO THE CURB?!?! But that's his job. Insert feet stomping and pouting. Explaining to a toddler why Daddy can't give kisses because he's in Cleavland on business is hard (and almost overwhelmingly heartbreaking). When there's no way to tap-out of the monumental fit that's being thrown or the referee to come in when you're trying to decide if you can lock them in the dog kennel without the neighbors noticing for like 20 minutes, life does kind of suck. It's hard. Parenting is a two person gig. It really is. That's why it takes two people to make babies. You need two people for the whole process. And having that person you've come to depend on suddenly not be there when you really need them to be sucks. Especially on those days when he walks through the door and you yell 1-2-3 NOT IT! And run to grab a glass bottle of wine. They're supposed to be there. D'uh.
But they're not. Shit.
I guess my problem is that I take this comment personally. And I don't usually take shit personally; but this gets me every time. I've been a single mom. Being a single mom sucks rancid monkey balls. Especially in the first year (I wasn't really single much longer than that so that's what I know. I'm pretty sure it goes on no matter how long you're single). There is no one else. Even if you do have awesome family (I didn't) and even more awesome friends (I did) it's still all on you. ALL OF IT. All of the time. And no matter the custody situation, when it's your turn you're on your own. All of that worrying you do late at night, whispering your fears and insecurities to your husband in the dark? That's all on you. There's no one to whisper back that you're really doing OK and you're not fucking up your kids so bad they'll never forgive you. You fall asleep most nights exhausted trying to figure out how to make it all work out. There are good an happy times, because you have to make sure that there are. But for you, these times are peppered with guilt and frustration and regret that you couldn't make it better because it's just you. Every parenting insecurity you ever had is hovering just outside your peripheral. All. The. Time. The times when you think you're going to do it are there; when you're confident and think everything might just be OK after all. And then someone has a meltdown, or throws up at school, or, or, or, or, or... and there's no back up.  You realize just what the "single" part of single-parent means on a visceral level.
I think I take this so personally is because, for me, my divorce and decision to become a single-mom was the biggest failure of my life. I don't for one moment regret my decision. I don't think that there was anything that I could have done that would have saved my first marriage. However, I know in my heart that I did not do everything in my power to try to make it better. I could have fought harder. I could have tried 100 different things, but I didn't. I see it as a personal failure. It was my marriage and it failed. Therefore, I failed.  My ex-husband was an asshole of galactic proportions. He'll admit to that. When we failed, I failed. There is no one on this earth that will ever convince me differently.
This is my personal demon and it's hard to hear someone be flip about something that caused me so much pain. I know there is no malice in the hearts of my friends when they use this. It's a simple turn-of-phrase. These women are my friends! These are the women I turn to when I need to bitch about Doug not taking out the garbage - again. Or the size of my ass, or the gray hair I pulled out of my head, or any of another million little (and big) things I love my friends for.
I said I know this isn't rational. This is my issue. This is my crazy. So ladies, if I bite your head off, or leave a snippy comment, or don't guffaw at something obviously hilarious it's OK. We all have our shit, and this is just some of mine.
When your husband comes home, love him. Hug him. Put a little extra effort into whatever may need it so that you never have to stop bitching about being a single-mom because you're too busy actually being one.
With all my love,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Getting Ambitious!

 So I'm getting a little ambitious around here. While I'm not concentrating on much that I'm should be doing and I didn't spend any more than ten whole minutes on this I'm rather proud of it anyway. I planted tomatoes. The hope is that they'll love this warm California sunshine and thrive; giving us fresh and yummy tomatoes.
I was inspired during my visit to Wisconsin to see my best friend, Michelle. She and her husband have this great garden where they're growing most of their own produce for the summer. I had some of the best tasting veggies while I was there. I'm so jealous. While I would love to have the amazing garden they have I know that's not realistic. I don't have the space or the attention span. I've tried very unsuccessfully to grow tomatoes when we lived in Washington.  I felt a little better about it because the people with the amazing gardens didn't have a whole lot of luck either. Washington just doesn't get enough heat or sun, even in the prime of summer, to produce good tomatoes. After doing a little research I found that it is possible to grow tomatoes here year-round. I feel better that I don't have to try and sneak in planting during some plant-season-window that I couldn't find with a GPS!
I think that Fiona will love to watch the plants grow and seeing that food we buy in the store actually comes from something other than the large bins we pick them from. Maybe she can help me with them. There's no way she could do any worse than I will! We'll see how excited she is when she comes home from day care today.
So here are my budding tomato plants I picked up at Walmart for $4 each. I spent $25 on the whole set-up; plants, pots, soil, and cages. Hopefully I won't be posting about my poor dead tomato plants in a month or so. Fingers crossed. There's so much garden stuff I would like to do, but this is me and while I can dream big, I don't always have great follow through. Not for lack of trying or willingness, mostly for lack of time. I'll be moving these over to the other side of the yard later so that they get hit with the sprinklers and I don't really have to even think about them. I'm going with the theory that the less I do to them, the happier they will be. Keep a look out in a month or so. We should either have great, ripe, yummy tomatoes, or dead plants in the garbage.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's All This Time?

For some reason I've managed to have extra bonus unproductive time the last few days. The girls have been keeping chores (mostly) done and the house isn't falling down around me. Yesterday there were NO DIRTY DISHES IN THE SINK! And the dishwasher wasn't full. Whuck? How the hell did that happen? No idea. You know what? Don't care. It happened. There's laundry that needs to be done but it's somehow magically confined to the hamper. Like there's dirty clothes inside the hamper! Usually there's clean clothes inside the hamper and dirty clothes, well, everywhere. Not right now. Nope. Don't care how that happened either. I could even vacuum my bedroom floor if I was so inclined (which I'm not - in case you were wondering).
The first person to mention it's only Tuesday gets punched in the face.
I've even managed to get something close to what resembles "caught up" at work. That means I have accounts I should follow up on, but I'm not getting bitched at about them and all the daily crap is done.
I have a ton of stuff that I could be doing. The garage needs to be cleaned out. The laundry could use a couple loads done. I could work more. But I'm not gonna. I'm enjoying the down time. I'm having fun playing with the babies, planning to shuttle the older girls, and hanging around on Facebook. Hell, I've even managed to get on here more than I have in the last 3 months! So I'm enjoying the time.
Next week I'll be back in full-force-chaos and getting things accomplished. But this week is mine.  This time is mine. And if I want to squander it I will. I'll be wondering where all the time went later.

Monday, July 16, 2012


So I've decided to come on back over to blogger. It's easier. For some reason having the website seems like work. And I don't like work. Especially work I don't get paid for. And while it's not really all that hard to post there, there just seems to be something different... something missing there that has kept it from being what I had here. I'll keep the website up and running and probably link the blog posts from here until I just don't anymore. When I think of it - if I think of it. This seems like extended Facebook posts, with the website I feel like if I'm not putting out something well thought out and coherent then I'm doing it wrong. Me, well thought out and coherent? Yeah, not so much.
The last year has been a whirlwind I'd rather not experience again. And while I am working slowly on getting my balance back I find that the soothing act of just writing has lost some of its flow.  Things here are in full swing of chaos-induced-normalcy. I feel like a storm chaser most days; Like I'm trying desperately to make sense of some raging act of God that is more random and harder to predict than the current power-ball numbers.
So here I am again. I can't wait to see what happens next.