Time to curl up on the couch with Lonesome Dove

Which translates to I’m not feeling too hot today.  It was only a matter of time before I was going to contract a version of the plague from my children.  But for bonus points, husband and I are both on the sickly side.  When I’m sick and don’t feel well I usually curl up on the couch, pop “Lonesome Dove” into the VCR and snooze my sickness away.  Dear husband took pity on me and my worn out VHS tape and bought it on Blu-Ray for me.  But I haven’t been sick enough to use it until today.  While I’m not on death’s door, I do feel crappy enough to disregard my writing obligations today and lie around.

The Super Bowl was last night.  I picked the Ravens because I didn’t think Kaepernick had the nerves to stay in it.  Kaepernick managed to bring the team back to make it a game though.  I wasn’t a fan of either team so it didn’t really matter to me one way or another.  I do think though that the electrical authority in New Orleans got the last laugh with Roger Goodell-“Ha, suspend our coach and players and see what happens.”

And staying with football for a while longer, an interesting article from Bill Simmons on why we, as fans, continue to tolerate the obvious cheaters in professional sports.  I’m often stunned that we all just turned a blind eye to the obvious difference between Oakland A’s Mark McGwire and St. Louis Cardinals Mark McGwire.  I’m just as guilty but I really enjoyed Simmons bluntness about the cheaters.

Ads-pretty bland and mundane this year.  The exception would be Budweiser and the Clydesdale ad, Jeep and the troops, and Dodge and Paul Harvey.  I really should go back and watch the Dodge ad again, I missed the first part.  Truthfully, I miss Paul Harvey, we need more common sense in today’s world.

My son played his first baseball game Saturday with his new travel baseball team.  He didn’t set the world on fire but he also didn’t screw up, which I guess was a bonus. Double header in Orange Park staring into the sun for 5 hours-yeah! But after nine years of recreational baseball this will be my first year not having to be at the ballpark in town. I’ll miss my adult friends and hanging out in the outfield but I won’t miss the bullshit.

I submitted a test piece for a group of magazines the other day, a book review on remaking furniture.  Everything was moving right along until I got to the end where the author showed off some of her work.  This person took a piece of furniture that had a definite tiger wood pattern, with a “backbone” type of appearance that the original furniture maker took pains to preserve, and painted over it.  No stain-solid blue paint.  I was all psyched to write that review up until I saw that.  But still, I hope it works out and will lead to mo’ better writing opportunities.

I’m off now to the comfy confines of my couch and to commune with my long, lost friends Gus and Woodrow.

Big Ag-saving us from ourselves!

So I watched an interesting movie the other night called “Farmegeddon” or however you spell it.  It was a documentary about the raw milk movement.  Stimulating I know, but bear with me here, I think I have a solution for all sorts of different things.

Apparently, the federal government has a serious problem with those who produce raw milk for human consumption.  So much so that these peace-loving, hippy, organic farmers are raided by SWAT teams, federal marshalls, sheriff’s deputies and state police.  All of this in the name of public protection-because you know, we all have to show up at the town square to be shackled to the board and force-fed pasteurized, grade a homogenized industrial milk each week.  As a faithful subject of the imperial federal government, I know they would never allow me to consume something that was unhealthy for me.  Here’s the other disturbing portion of all this-all of these people in the raw milk movement were educated scientist-types who probably don’t undertake this type of endeavor on a whim.

With the New Year comes new resolutions.  My contempt for the government continues grow by leaps and bounds each day with new resolutions, taxes and encroachment in to my life.  The government controls our food, our schools and our health care.  If you think because you have private insurance you’re not subject to federal healthcare mandates, think again.  Hospitals and providers are motivated by none other than money and whoever gives them the most money, gets to exert their will.  Hospitals and providers derive the vast majority of their money from Medicare/Medicaid.  Therefore, they get to make the rules.

This article from Shape magazine highlights more of the terrible things propagated on us in the name of food safety.  The number of Big Ag executives in federal government is stunning, to say the least.  So do you think they’re in it for the money or are they doing it in the name of food longevity and creating a better product?

My solution to the raw milk issue is this-let the right wing, conservative/libertarian gun nuts protect the peace-loving, hippy, organic farmers.  When the gestapo shows up they can decide if they want to kill all these citizens over milk.  Yeah, seems legit.

I’ve known about issues in our food supply for years. I’ve never been one to eat instant mashed potatoes or cook processed food in the name of convenience.  My early years were spent eating canned green beans from my grandparents garden, peeling potatoes and learning how to cook from scratch.  But when I became a nurse and start practicing in home health, I began to see a bigger correlation between our health and the substance they call food that comes in a box.  I felt like a broken record for telling several Mr. Smith’s that they needed to cook whole foods from scratch and stop eating Hungry Man dinners and Kraft macaroni and cheese, very high in salt.  But more and more, its not the salt that I’m worried about-its these unpronouncable hydronated soybean derivatives.  For example, and to show you I’m just as susceptable as the next person, my coffee creamer from Carnation, Vanilla Flavor, has dipotassium phosphate.  My basic excuse is-I’m afraid to ask what the he** this is.  Like the rest of America I’m going to stick my head in the sand for a little while longer before I commit to breaking my coffee creamer addiction.

I guess the point of all of this is we all need to start paying closer attention to what we’re putting into our mouths. For those that haven’t learned to cook yet, its time to start.  To those that live and die by the convenience factor, start planning ahead.  Otherwise, they might as well brand you as a health liability from birth in this country.  I’ll let you know if the jack-boots show up to check me for raw milk.

I wanted a game, not a blow out!

‘Bama rolls 42-14 and this constitutes a national championship game?  I just finished rambling on in another blog post that just wasn’t coming together so I’m starting again. Last night’s game highlights why college football needs to get on with their playoff system and make it work.

I just sat through 35 bowl games, admittedly I only watched a few.  But 68 teams just spent lots of money to play what amounts to pointless games.  “But the SEC didn’t dominate their bowls.”  Who cares, in SEC play, unless you’re playing for the National Championship, bowling season is just a party for most of them.

But I feel let down this morning because all the talking heads were saying this Notre Dame team was going to make life difficult for Alabama.  Yawn!  While the NCAA and the BCS definitely didn’t want a repeat of last year’s National Championship, at least it was entertaining.  Who cares if it was two teams from the same division of the same conference.  At least it was the two best teams in the country beating the hell out of each other not college football’s brown nosing teacher’s pet saying we deserve to be in the National Championship even though we don’t play in a conference and don’t have to play a conference championship.  But in Notre Dame’s defense, they did go undefeated and beat high caliber teams in Oklahoma, Stanford and Michigan.  But I can’t help wondering how other SEC teams would have fared against Notre Dame.

I think Georgia, South Carolina and LSU could have beaten the Notre Dame team that showed up last night. Florida could probably beat them as well if their quarterback had one more year of experience under his belt.  Not to keep proclaiming the greatness of the SEC but FSU and Clemson both would probably have beaten Notre Dame as well.

I look forward to next years college football season for no other reason than we have the opportunity to get closer to having the two best teams play each other.  Consider this, in the NFL in the last twelve years, there have only been 5 Super Bowls where the end result was greater than touchdown score.  Meaning, those five games would have required two scores to tie or win.  In the same last twelve years of BCS National Championships, ten of twelve games would require two scores to tie or win, including last year’s BCS, where Alabama beat the same LSU team that beat them a month earlier.  My friend Andrew put it best, “The National Championship was played December 2 in Atlanta.”

Now we move on to pro football and finish out football season.  Congratulations to Alabama, and thank you for another year of misery in my house.

“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living!”

I lost a friend yesterday.  Not in “we had a fight I’m taking my boiled peanuts and going home” way, my friend passed away unexpectedly.  I received a text Sunday as I stood in the campground where so many memories were made, Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, making more memories with more friends.  After the news, I proceeded to go off on my Linda Myrick Memorial golf cart ride, through off limits areas and to the bra tree.

I met Linda through my membership in the Ocala Jeep Club.  It’s hard to remember the year but the best photographic evidence has it in the summer of 2006.  What I do recall is it was so hot that Tom had to break out the blue blower to move the stagnant, moist air around to just have some relief.  Ray had invited Tom and Linda to the campout at Doe Lake in the summer and they easily fell in with the snarky, smart ass people who populated the group.  Tom had enough mechanical knowledge to pass his entry exam with the men and Linda brought boiled peanuts and a margarita recipe-the women accepted with open arms.

Within months of the Doe Lake Campout we were again camping at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, only this time Tom and Linda brought more people with them, Tom’s sister and her husband, Gina and Harris Mulkey.  The only prerequisite of being a member of the Jeep club was you had to own a Jeep.  Harris had a Jeep so they were welcomed as well.  But Suwannee would be where everyone’s friendship was forged.  As the story goes, we were ill advised by the campground folks that our Jeeps would be fine on their trails.  Well when the Jeep Club rolled in with 36” boggers, cut up bodies and winches the campground management quickly recanted and pointed fingers at invisible people and we were suddenly grounded to the campsite.  But as luck would have it, Tom and Harris pointed some in the right direction and we replaced our Jeeps with rental golf carts.  Banned Jeepers with golf carts and a place to use them usually ends badly……for the golf cart.

Linda’s immersion into the Jeep club became more significant when she was “volunteered” to be the club secretary, with the promise of glory and riches beyond her dreams.  Not really, but she was promised a cool jacket with her name on it and that seemed to calm the ruffled feathers.  She performed admirably and was justly rewarded with her jacket at the end of her term. Over the course of her secretarial reign, we were introduced to another member of her clan that became a club member, her sister Susan.

Susan, Roy, Tom Susan liked to cut up and laugh the same as the rest of us.  During one of our many campouts to Suwannee, Susan was left as a single paddler on our annual canoe trip and I was asked to join her with specific instructions from Linda, “Jenn, Susan likes to be in charge so just agree with everything she says, do what she tells you to do and this will all work out great.”  With my directions I proceeded to make quick friends with Susan.


It should be noted here that the canoe trip itself was a rather mundane ordeal, we just paddled our way down the Suwannee, dodging monster sturgeons and enjoying the scenery-oh look, more trees.  The real excitement, and what us off road junkies really paid for, was the shuttle ride to the put in.  Our first year the moms were none too happy to find the vans had their rear seats removed (along with the seat belts) to be replaced by plywood benches along each side.  Space was at a premium so I handed my son off to Jesse Thompson and asked him to hold on to him that I was going to the front seat.  I proceeded to close the rear doors and secure them with the bailing wire so graciously provided by the outpost people.  The front seat did have a seat belt but I was feeling guilty about living while so many others would perish therefore I chose not to wear it.  As we moved along to the put in, we queried our driver as to why the front of the van had a smashed windshield and a buckled fender.  “Oh I side swiped a tractor trailer on the way to the put in while I was texting.  He just came out of nowhere.”  I said a quiet prayer that we could get there in one piece and sucked that seat up with my butt, for there was no turning back now.  We arrived somewhat unscathed to our put in, only after our driver clipped a four inch sapling on the passenger side.   The following year would also have its excitement as two of the vans side swiped each other on a dirt road near the put in.  I simply couldn’t understand why Ginger Gibson was so indignant, I mean you had seat belts this time at least.  But as I said earlier, as hearty, rock tested members of the Ocala Jeep Club, we were unphased, just more memories to cherish.

In my attempt to memorialize Linda, I asked the club members to share with me their memories of Linda.  Because we are sarcastic, off-the-cuff types, it couldn’t be the usual gushing of “oh Linda was so sweet, I’ll always remember her witty banter.”  She wouldn’t have wanted it that way.  I imagine Linda would have wanted her great misdeeds immortalized in story for all to share and laugh about.  Millie and I tortured our brains to come up with something but were drawing complete blanks.  But thanks to Sandi Ronca, I now give you The Great Moose Hunt.

Darryls popupWhile most of our Jeep club memories center around our Jeeps of course, the more humorous stories come when we were not in our Jeeps, more than likely camping.  OJC is really a Jeep club with a camping problem. And for the record, we are not a hiking club either. From tents and houses of cards to fifth wheels and glorious Class A motor homes, we try to travel in style as much as possible.  Some of our more memorable camping trips throughout central Florida include the naked runners at the Florida Jeepers campout to the puking Gator 4×4 guys who picked up a road kill deer on the way to Oklawaha.  Linda herself was nearly pitched off the dock at Parramore’s. But Linda will be forever remembered as the lead investigator in the recovery of her cherished, tagged moose.


The moose in question, a carved, wooden piece, was purchased and was to serve as a door stop for Tom and Linda’s new motor home.  For a reason, known only to Linda, the tag remained on the moose.  During one of our campouts at Doe Lake, Sandi’s daughter Talia attempted to remove the tag and was promptly chastised by Linda and her mother for messing with other people’s things.  Bear in mind, Talia is a grown woman with two children of her own.  Fast forward to the end of the year campout and Talia would exact her revenge.  She deftly slipped up to the camper and swiped Linda’s prized moose and hid it in her Jeep.  When Linda realized her moose was gone she immediately recruited a posse consisting of Sandi and….well, Sandi and they began searching Silver River State Park for the moose.  Who says you can’t hunt moose in Florida? In her investigation and water boarding interrogation of possible accomplices, she was able to recover the moose as someone had removed it from Talia’s Jeep and placed it in the middle of camp.  With her moose recovered, Linda’s treasured door stop would be seated in a place of honor-on the lap of Sandi in the golf cart as they resumed their trail riding antics.  But Sandi would soon prove to be as deft as any CIA operative as she passed off the moose while Linda wasn’t looking to her young, teenage apprentice, Ashley Hartigan, as she slipped through the woods.  Once Linda realized her moose was gone again and it was her friend that allowed it, the quest was on again.  Ashley outsmarted her though and put the moose right back in its rightful place-against the door of Linda’s RV.  And so ends the great moose hunt.

We’ve been out of the club now for three years or so but the friendships forged will last a lifetime.  The common denominator amongst the OJC faithful was if you weren’t laughing at your own misfortune or someone else’s, you weren’t doing it right and no one was immune.  If I witnessed it and thought I could make a funny story of it, forget it, you were toast. Spontaneity ruled the day.

My heart has been aching all week, not just for the loss of my friend, but for the friend my daughter also lost.  Delaney would not share any of her stories about her experiences with Linda which leads me to believe that there were nefarious activities involving red and blue Solo cups.  But as long as Delaney was safe and had an adult confidant to guide her through her teenage years I guess I could learn to live with it.  Once OJC kids reached a certain age, their only requirement was they had to check in periodically and be in bed by midnight during our camp outs.  Otherwise they were on their own, learning how to make friends with adults and taking in whatever wisdom was afforded them.  Like a big dysfunctional Indian tribe.  We cared for them as our own, probably better than our own, and each one learned to get beyond their comfort zone and try new things which make them well rounded in the end. JanaReaganOJC kids

In closing, today is Linda’s memorial service in the thriving metropolis of Hawthorne.  I shall point my Jeep south down U.S. 301 and join with my club friends as we celebrate the life of someone who lived it. It is my earnest prayer that I spend more time laughing than I do crying, because that is the way Linda would have wanted it.  I can hear Linda now in my head, “what are you crying for, put on your big girl panties and deal with it.” Challenge accepted.

Linda Delaney

So how goes it?

With the exception of New Year’s next week, the holidays have come and gone and I have survived.  I hope all of you had a very pleasant holiday and have enjoyed family and friends.

I have a new nephew born a few days before Christmas, Taylor Austin to my brother in San Diego.  Luckily, I didn’t have to go to San Diego to relieve my mother as my sister-in-law is recovery well and they’ve got a pretty good handle on the whole parenthood thing.  Through the wonders of modern technology, we were able to video chat on Christmas Eve and my grandmother was able to meet her newest great grandchild.

On the parenthood front, we’ve had to clip dear princess’s wings for a period of time to remind her that we are in charge, not the other way around. She’s not doing anything that I may or may not have done at 17, but she is making questionable decisions and basically being a lazy, dumb ass teenager and hopefully this will be her wake up call.  If any of you fair readers would like a step by step guide to hacking a Twitter account, feel free to comment.  I’ll send you the instructions or if there’s enough interest, I’ll post it as a blog here. I’ve wavered on whether to post it or not, because for the most part they behave, but there are some that are downright STUPID, mine included. (Attention teenage idiots who have bothered to read this far, if you know me and I know you and your parents, you should either pray now or start deleting tweets, however, chances are you were unable to get past the first 100 words until you got bored so I guess there’s nothing to worry about). There’s a whole other world of teenage misbehavior that exists out there and you might be as shocked as I was to learn what constitutes teen conversation nowadays.  I guess these are the trials and tribulations of parenting in the 21st century.

Christmas was uneventful as my mother was in San Diego, there was no running hither and yon, one Christmas Eve dinner for us and my stepfather and a low key Christmas Day.  Princess is disappointed because she didn’t get exactly what she wanted and will surely make us pay until spring.  Eh, she should be grateful that she didn’t get a lump of coal and a bag of switches since she’s been such a pain in the ass.

The writing continues to progress forward, I’ve kept myself mostly occupied and pressing forward without incident.  My hope and goal for the new year is of course to make a little more money than I have the last two months, to have a more sustainable income rather than just extra cash.

I will be going to Live Oak on Sunday to see what trouble I can get in to with my skinny friend.  She camps rarely, never in a tent and is woefully unprepared for the bored fun that is camping.  So I shall go for the day and dispense with all of my camping wisdom.  Maybe we’ll even have a conversation or two while trail riding in the golf carts.  If I were smart I would drink to relieve the holiday tension and forget my worries but alas, I’m not that smart.

December in Florida, how I hate thee!

As I sit here, staring out the window of my home I am reminded of why Florida weather is so frustrating.  Here it is, December 10, 2012, and when I complete this blog post, I will trek over to where the Christmas tree stands, reach my hand back to the wall, and flip the hvac controller from heat to cool.  Yes, such is live in this schizophrenic, retarded weather state.   

And in other news….

Princess got her Jeep back after daddy’s backyard, ghetto-fied, rattle can body work.  It is what it is and considering it would have technically totaled vehicle because of the pillar damage, its not too terrible.  Off to work she goes now.

Johnny Manziel won the Heisman.  Good for him, it would have been a travesty had someone else won it considering he broke the SEC records of Cam Newton in his Heisman year and Tim Tebow in his Heisman year.  The high point however, was the Nissan Heisman House commercials….”Who’s been messing with my Heisman?”  Here’s your link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F778IKIe9eg I was just amazed that a Freshman quarterback beat Alabama.

Fantasy football is winding down for me.  It looks like I may have won my first playoff game, that is unless Tom Brady hangs 62 fantasy points on me.  In this world of fantasy football anything is possible.  What I hate about fantasy football is I out smart myself.  I screw up and put the wrong defense in against weak offensive teams then the other team has 3 interceptions for touchdowns-FML.

On the new career/freelance writing front, eh, its moving forward.  One of my goto content mills is really challenging me today with requests articles about inventory management, bulk auction sites, Cisco networking, etc.  I just can’t get my brain wrapped around it so I’ve moved on to the other article site to pick up a scorcher article called “premature menopause symptoms”.  I know you’re all dripping with envy.

Christmas is in full swing around here and shopping is coming to a close.  I still have to pick up some items for the husband, I have no idea what, but I’ll get it figured out.  I mean really, I have 14 days left right?



Summing up the week

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us without much bloodshed, time to move on towards Christmas and the insane procurement of more crap we don’t need.  But first, let’s have Jennifer’s week in review shall we.

Last Saturday started with dear husband and the children trekking to Daytona in the Chevelle.  It was popular site on the road and at the speedway, but alas, no big money offers to sell it.  Upon their return, dear daughter had to go hang out with her friends so off she went.

Except, I received a phone call from her friend a few hours later declaring that we needed to come get dear daughter because she was freaking out.  She allowed one of the boys to drive her beloved Jeep and he proceeded to lose control and slide it into a tree, shearing off the centering pin on the axle, bashing in the C pillar around the rear door and basically jacking it all up.  Her friend called me because dear daughter sometimes has a problem with crisis management and can’t control her emotions.  I don’t know why I’m saying this but the poor kid that did it was so distraught.  He cried because he knew he’s screwed up, among other things.  I’m reminded of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, “My brother’s gonna kill me!”  “Don’t worry man, my dad’s a plumber and he’s got an awesome set of tools.  I can fix it.”  Its taken dear daughter several days to break out of her funk, but her father has been working steady at it.  With his plumber tools (and other assorted leftover tools from the Jeep days), he thinks it will be back on the street soon, with a spare set of XJ rear quarter panels that we made years ago.  For all you Jeepers out there reading, we might need a D35 rear if this one ended up bent.  Maybe free to a good home.

Dear son, who I rarely talk about, hid his progress report from me and rightfully so.  Extremely poor grades, but he’s hell on that XBox and Call of Duty.  I should say was because his father removed all of it including his door.  How hard is it to do the homework?  He’s been working hard all week and thankfully the teacher let him turn in all those missing assignments, so he’s slowly digging his way out of the cellar.

The writing endeavor is going slow.  I’ve been crippled the last two days with a serious case of daydreamitis and have been completely unable to focus my thoughts on the tasks before me.  So much so I downloaded a planner app for my phone and tablet and spent this morning planning out Monday hour by hour in the hopes I can pull myself together.

But before Monday gets here, we have some serious redneck landscaping to do.  Once I hit the “publish” button over there I’ll be going to shower and head out back to start a fire and get some of that crap up that’s just dying to be burned off.  Hopefully I can get all my tasks accomplished by 4:00 because the SEC Championship Game comes on and as a mostly lifelong Bulldog fan, I can’t miss it.  We are a house divided since dear husband and dear daughter pull for the Tide.   My husband has a plan in place to text “Roll Tide” to a rabid Bulldog fan that he works with.  This could end ugly though.  Oddsmakers have ‘Bama by 7.5 as of last night.   If the Georgia defense shows up and Mike Bobo doesn’t turn into some blithering offensive idiot (that happens from time to time) I think Georgia has a sporting chance.  I’ll take the Dawgs and the points, but I think Bama maybe rolling to another championship.

In high school news, Derrick Henry finished out his stellar high school career last night as Yulee dropped to Bolles in the regional final football playoffs.  According to dear daughter, the boys left it all on the field, gave it all they had and then some.  There were reports of broken noses, bleeding gashes across foreheads and total exhaustion.  While dear daughter (who’s been keeping stats for football this year) has never been real chummy with Henry their entire school careers , dear daughter does understand that she had a front row seat to high school football greatness and she got to be a part of it.

An exciting week to say the least.  Here’s to having a better week coming up.  Go Dawgs, Sic ’em!!

Thanksgiving Week

Let’s share recipes shall we.  Please keep your comments to yourself, not everything in my world is sarcasm and witty banter.  Some of you know I actually can cook and those of you that know my mother know that I have only two more days to perfect everything;).

My portion of the dinner menu is two smoked turkey breasts, cornbread dressing, carrots, acorn squash, deviled eggs and sweet potatoes.

Cornbread Dressing

On Tuesday, that’s tomorrow for those that lost track of time, cook the cornbread.  Using Martha White self-rising cornmeal, follow the instructions on the back.  Substitute cooking oil/vegetable oil with bacon drippings.  If need be, cook a package of regular pork bacon, not maple bacon, not turkey bacon, just straight up pork bacon.  Save the drippings.  Also, when making the cornbread for the dressing I use buttermilk instead of regular (sweet) milk.  It gives the cornbread a slightly dryer consistency.  I suppose it doesn’t matter but I cook my cornbread in a cast iron skillet.  Before all of you panic, my cast iron is cleaned with soap and water after every use.  When the cornbread is done, allow to cool and wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil..

On Wednesday (because in my family, we’re big believers in pacing ourselves when cooking for 30 and feeding 6), in frying pan (insert snarky comment here) fry a package of sage sausage with a cup of chopped celery and a whole medium onion, diced (if your family couldn’t stand the thought of having onions in anything, onions must be chopped into tiny, microscopic pieces).  While sausage, onion and celery mixture is cooking….in the cast iron skillet…..take the cornbread dressing and start breaking it into small pieces, in the largest bowl you can find.  Because you are about to make one helluva mess.  When you’re breaking the cornbread up imagine you’re grinding it back into a meal consistency.  By this time, your sausage mixture should be done and your spouse should be claiming, in hushed undertones, that you are making a massive mess.  Drain the excess grease off your sausage mixture and pour into cornbread. Add a pinch of additional sage seasoning. Add about half a can of chicken broth and mix it all together, I find easier to use my hands.  Continue adding chicken broth until you have a paste like mixture.  The wetter the better since you’ll be placing it in a casserole dish and baking it.  Most of the moisture evaporates off and nothing ruins  that Thanksgiving meal like dry dressing.

Sweet potatoes

If you’re looking for a recipe for yams, please find the new yankee recipe blog and hook up with her.  Down here we only cook sweet potatoes with lots of brown sugar.

On Wednesday, cook your sweet potatoes.  After they’ve cooled (because 2nd degree burns on Thanksgiving Eve just ruins this Southern Living Thanksgiving), peel the skin away.  Combine them in a bowl that your husband dutifully cleaned while the potatoes were baking and after you destroyed the kitchen making the dressing.  Add one egg, a quarter cup of sugar, half a cup of brown sugar.  So much for the health benefits of the sweet potato.  Mix with an electric beater and place in a casserole dish.  For the topping, some like the marshmellows, but I have an alternative.  Combine a large handful of pecan, crush them to a coarse consistency.  Combine them in a bowl with soften butter, brown sugar and a little flour.  Spread it over the top of the sweet potatoes.

Deviled Egg

Boil half a dozen eggs.  If you don’t know how to boil eggs, lets work on this here for a moment.  Bring those eggs to a roiling boil for about 7-10 minutes, turn the burner off and leave them there to cook for a while.  When you can easily reach in without scalding yourself, the eggs should be done.  Peel the eggs, cut them length wise, put the whites aside from the yolks.  Combine the yolks together with a little mayonnaise, mustard, relish.  Use the mayo sparingly until you get the consistency you want.  The mustard is for color, the relish adds a bit of sweetness.  Sprinkle some paprika over the top for garnish (or the colorful seasoning of your choice-proceed at your own risk).

Yes, I know, I’ll be up for a Pulitzer with this blog post, at the very least a nod from Southern Living for next year’s  holiday edition.  Because you know, we’re cloaked in Southern redneck style around here.  Since the fun begins tomorrow, I might just video all this fun and post it here for your entertainment.


As the mind wanders…..

I was reminded, ever so subtly, that I had not updated my blog in nearly a month, and that I needed to get on the ball because I had people checking daily for pithy, snarky commentary on the events of the day.  So let’s rehash what has happened in the last month.

In a word….nothing.  Oh yeah, there was that election nonsense and all where Democrat friends yelled “na na boo boo” and what not, but I just as soon leave political commentary alone.  It makes for a lonely bedfellow, and I like my friends just the way they are, not red, not blue, just there.  

I did finally leave my nursing job so I could embark on this writing quest in peace, without the ten phone calls a day asking for one thing or another.  Its only been a week and a half so far, but I’m steadily increasing my output. I’m writing a few blog posts here and there and grinding through my content mill work for pay (that was a hint that if anyone needs some writing done, I’m here, waving my arms, drawing attention to myself).

Each Friday night for the last few weeks I meet my friend and her family underneath the big oak tree at the ball park to discuss one thing or another, cheer on her son, then cheer on my son in the merciless boredom that is 14 and under baseball.  Oh my gosh, as much as I love my son and love watching him play baseball, it is so damn boring that the conversations (see earlier blog posts) deteriorate much faster.  Last Friday night we were reminded, yet again, that its 10 degrees colder at the ballpark.  The temperature was only slightly below 60 degrees but the humidity sank in to our bones feeling more like 40 degrees.

My daughter played her first non high school golf match in Ponte Vedra at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club.  Those rich people make our rich people up here look poor.  Not that I have any problem with that.  Despite her dreadful scores, developing a case of strep throat like symptoms, and generally typical behavior of a 17 year old, I saw a great deal of promise.  

My husband finally finished the classic car he’s been working on for years.  The Chevelle is now finished and will be headed to the Turkey Rod Run in Daytona.  We’ll just leave it at that.  Maybe a later blog post will reveal why I’m being sly.

My mother forgot the time change last week.  She asked if I would like to go to Jacksonville with her, went to the office at the discussed time.  I asked my stepfather where she was, she had left an hour earlier to go to her doctors appointment.  She called later, I answered her call with “Alzheimer’s hotline, how may we help you remember”.  Just a little humor added to my day.

I still haven’t cleaned off the desk.  In this paperless society, we have more paper and crap floating around than before the digital age…..fml.  I’ll get to it eventually.

So I just don’t have much to say.  My apologies to my loyal followers.  I promise I’ll get with the program and offer up more interesting drivel in the next few days.  But oh wait, Thanksgiving is coming and that always offers some humor and insanity courtesy of my mother.  I’ll be stuffing that turkey with some Prozac that’s for sure!

Fighting in school-oh the shame!

There was a first yesterday in the household….my 13 year old son was involved in his first school fight.  As a result, he was suspended from school for three days and I am now left with creative projects for him to do around the house as punishment for his evil-doing.

The initial results of all of this teenage drama are that a) he is suspended for three days, b) he must appear in “teen court” to be tried by a jury of his peers c) carry out his mandatory community service hours.  If he does all this-correction, if his father and I make sure he does all this, all will be forgiven when he turns 18.

But I am frustrated, only mildly of course, but this is another example of the pussification of America.  Yes, there I said it.  I could be more politically correct but have I ever tried to be an example of correctness.

Why is it such a terrible thing to allow kids to determine their own hierarchy among their peer groups?What is so terribly wrong with dishing out the occasional ass whooping to keep others in line?  The impetus of the fight was this-son worn skinny jeans to school, you’re jeans are gay.  Well your mom is gay.  Don’t talk about my mom.  Your mom is so gay….and the melee ensued.  Did my son breach the unspoken rule of insulting someone’s mother?  Yes.  Was he provoked?  Yes, see skinny jean comment.  Did my son learn a valuable lesson regarding insulting a friend’s mother?  Yes.  What bothers me is that the school views this as such a significant event that two kids get suspended for 3 days, the school resource officer has to file a report, blah, blah, blah.  Zero tolerance for fighting.

We have taught our children to not be a victim.  Don’t go looking for fights but if you’re pressed into a situation, stand, defend and fight.  Some of you hand wringers out there are saying “but little Billy should tell another adult and let the adults handle it, violence should never be a solution….”  Yet another example of letting the bigger entity protect you instead of protecting yourself.  In my experience, when you establish yourself as someone who doesn’t take any crap from anyone, people, as a general rule, won’t mess with you.  And yes, this sometimes takes a physical smack down to set those boundaries. I see this establishment of boundaries a lot in the middle school when kids are maturing and emotional control is nonexistent.

I’m done, this has been harder to write than I figured it would and not my best effort. Maybe I’m trying too hard to not say what’s really on my mind so I will stop now.  But one last thing, when you stand up for yourself, you don’t have to rely on anyone else.