Category Archives: Family

So Far, So Good

Except when it comes to my waistline.

Mom has been cooking lunch and dinner every day. And like a dutiful daughter, I have been rising up to the challenge and eating lunch and dinner, every day.

Of course, now my jeans are trying to rise to the challenge of containing me.

The upside of this is that I haven’t had to cook dinner since she arrived. That is awesome in my book, and the reason I don’t dwell on the downside of this. I have been attempting to cook more Puerto Rican dishes, but let’s face it: they aren’t a patch on my mom’s cooking. Still, my family likes it enough to enjoy leftovers the following day, so that’s saying something. But I can’t let my mom do all the cooking while she’s here. I want her to enjoy her time with the family. So I shall be cooking this weekend for the clan. Not all weekend, mind you. Just dinners and one breakfast, maybe. And first request? Beer braised beef.

beer braised beef

Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.

Because it’s beef, in beer. How can you go wrong???

Anyway, time for me to run. I have to go to the grocery store. Again. And to the liquor store. Again.

It’s for a good cause 😉

What a Difference a Weekend Makes

This weekend we traveled up east to visit family. It had been almost a year since we had gone for a visit, and we were chomping at the bit to get there. I have always found cousins to be the ties in families, and this was no different. All in all, my aunt- and uncle-in-law  hosted two of their kids, and their families, two of their nephews, their wives, and their seven children, along with other family friends. And I won’t lie: it was mostly my aunt-in-law! She not only did this at the last minute, but with a gracious heart and plenty of laughter. I’m sure by Sunday she was completely exhausted.

lewis lake

It doesn’t get better than that, huh? Relaxing by a lake, watching them fish and enjoying the sounds of kids playing and laughing. And that was the ONLY time we slowed down. The rest of the time was occupied with visits and cooking and eating and playing games and generally having fun. Sometimes being busy is the best way to unwind.

And I can’t wait to do it all over again 😀

The Eagle Has Landed

Today is the day my husband gets his Eagles.

colonel eagle

He has worked hard, and achieved more than most. His dedication to the U.S. Army and his department is deep, committed, and unquestioned, just as it is with his family. And his loyalty extends to all, regardless of rank or affiliation. He is a true soldier.

My heart swells with pride, knowing he has reached another milestone in his career. His peers and superiors have expressed not just their congratulations, but also the hope and desire that he continue in this path towards the next level. And that is achievement indeed.

In Sadness, Joy

Yesterday was a very long day. We buckled down and cleaned and organized the garage, which meant clearing out trash, donating the useful stuff, putting up shelving, unpacking boxes, and finding long lost memories.

Like baby shoes, and photographs, and cigar butts, and school mementos, pressed flowers, and even old love letters from Hubby-before-he-was-Hubby. There were wood blocks, and old tiaras, and some old children’s books. But among all the papers and photos, there was one item that brought me to tears: my grandmother’s last letter to me.

I stood in the kitchen, reading the once-elegant and now spidery writing, thinking of the woman who wrote it. She was a very proper woman, who never went outside without a parasol to protect her from the Sun. She taught me to read and write before I started school. She loved to have us entertain her with songs. She loved red flowers, and always had cafe au lait at 3 o’clock.


I stood in the kitchen, reading her last words to me, and thinking about how much it hurt her to lose her independence those last few months of her life. She could have been bitter, but instead chose to be thankful for the small acts of kindness shown to her, and for her correspondences with her grandchildren. Knowing how we had blossomed and how we had our own families made her very happy. She told me it would be her last letter to me, since she could no longer hold a pen. As I read that my heart broke again, knowing how much she enjoyed to write. She passed away a couple of months after that, when I was pregnant with Little One. Oddly enough, Little One has the same love of writing that my grandmother had, along with her disposition! She would have been 110 years old last April 27th.

Time to plant geraniums in the garden, and enjoy the day 🙂

I Don’t Need an Adventure, Since I Shop at Wal-Mart™

Last night after dinner, the girls asked if we could stop at Wal-Mart™ for cotton swabs. I figured it would be a quick trip since we were on that side of the highway already. The first thing I did was check my clothes. I don’t want anyone taking my pic for the “People of Walmart” site. Then I checked my teeth for the same reason.

We went in and suddenly, Eldest had to check Electronics for a CD and Little One had to get cookies for her after school practice. One heads north, the other west, and I head east to the far side of the store to get what we came to get, cotton swabs.

Only I took a slight detour and ended in the floral section, where they had burlap ribbon. In my defense, it was still on the way to the baby section. Oh, and the moss was on clearance, so I got that, too. As I was leaving the aisle, a man turns to me to ask my opinion on candle scents. He was trying to choose between a floral and a spice. I asked him where he was going to burn it, and he said (no joke) his car. I told him to go with the spice. I figured it would make the smouldering heap that will soon be his car smell better.

I spent the next five minutes wandering back to the Electronics, to find that both girls are looking at videogames. “I thought you were looking for a CD?” I inquired. Eldest replied that they didn’t have it, so they were looking for other stuff.

At that point I did exclaim, “GAH!!!”

We make our way to the baby section, and get cotton swabs, when suddenly they both exclaim, “WE NEED SHAMPOO!!!” Fine…shampoo is one aisle over. Then they proceed to look over every single brand to determine which would make their hair look like a Pantene™ commercial. We all know the answer is “none”, but still they want to pick something new. And it can’t be the same brand, either. As I wait, I overhear a lady further down the aisle telling her daughter to hurry up and pick something.

I’m glad to see it wasn’t just me.

Finally, they pick out their miracle formulas, and we head out to pay. And suddenly, AGAIN, they remember razors. Back we go, get razors, and go all the way down to the self-checkout lane, where out of fifteen lanes, only three are in operating order. Sigh…. Finally we get to a lane, and proceed to check out, taking far longer due to the fact that the bags were not co-operating and the guy manning the stations kept having to unlock me out because the scanner was insisting I had an unauthorized item in my bag, which was impossible since the bags were not co-operating.

So, what was supposed to take maybe 15 minutes turned into a 45 minute ordeal and cost $60. All because we needed cotton swabs. And guess what? I get to do it all over again, because I forgot to get Hubby’s razor blades.

It’s not a job. It’s an adventure 😉

Weekend Follies

Today is Hubby’s birthday, and we are still in the planning stages of doing…. something. Hopefully, we will have plans by the time I’m done writing this short post.

I doubt it, but it can happen.

We did surprise him with breakfast in bed, and he received Gift Number One: an assortment of his favorite teas. Sadly, Gift Number Two is still in transit.

*shakes fist at the Brown Truck of Happiness™*

But no matter. That just means he will get to celebrate his birthday all over again!

trek birthday lol

Oh, looks like we DO have plans now. I think there is a trip to the local tourist trap and the wildlife park. SQUEEE!!!!

I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!! 😀

Conversations Without Coffee Should Come With a Warning

This morning I get up with my alarm, smiling because A) it’s Monday, and 2) only a week or so before Christmas. I get to see my family and hopefully friends during the holiday. It means baking, and cooking, and a warm house. I’m so happy watching the coffee brew that I don’t notice until later that Eldest is not awake and in the shower. Turns out she isn’t feeling well and will be staying home for the day. Sigh… the day is a bit dimmer, but still I am quite happy to get rid of the rest of the kids chauffeuring kids. I return from dropping off the last one to check up on Hubby, who is also still in bed, not feeling well.

Y’all know what this means: I shall be sicker than whale poop come Christmas Day.

No matter. I lay down on the bed and he asks me what I have planned for the day. This is where things got….sticky.

Hubby: What have you got planned for today?

Me: Well, I have to finish wrapping Christmas gifts, and sending out packages, and having Eldest home won’t help.

Hubby: You have plenty of time to wrap.

Me: No, I don’t. Christmas is next week.

Hubby: Um…… oh…..

Me: Hm?

Hubby: Is that your way of letting me know how long I have left to buy your Christmas gift?

Me: No, that’s my way of informing you what the calendar says.

Hubby: Uh huh…

Me: Careful, I haven’t had coffee.

Hubby: I’m getting up now.

It can be argued that I kept my wits and did not erupt emotionally at the thought that once again, he has forgotten to go shopping. It can also be argued that the siren song of the coffee kept me from doing so. What can not be argued is that he now has fair warning.

I’m magnanimous like that 😉

What a Mesh

Seriously, decorative mesh is awesome!!

deco mesh santa

My sister Reno Queen made those for her front door, because her house is so far from the road, she wanted them to be seen. A wreath just looks like a splotch on her door. You can download the instructions for it: How to make a Santa

You can find deco mesh in any hobby store, but some florist suppliers usually carry it for far less, so shop around!!

Hm….I wonder if you can make a wreath with those bath poufs, too. Yay!! PROJECT!!! Time to drive down to the Dollar Store wait for Hubby to come home to drive me to the Dollar Store.

GAH!! I hate waiting… 😉

Outta Here!!

Today we are going out of town, so y’all will have to rely on social site games and football to tide y’all over. And from my friend roamingfirehydrant:

Well, I do speak Fwench, you know 😉

Have a wonderful Saturday!!

Reasons Why I’m in Charge of Halloween Candy

Never underestimate Hubby on Halloween.

This year, our kids dressed up and went trolling up and down the neighborhood, while Hubby and I stayed behind. In the years past, we had a block party in order to “streamline” the Trick-or-Treaters into one area to make things easier on the parents, but this year was called off due to several neighbors moving away. So, we sat outside so that the kids wouldn’t be ringing the doorbell and driving the dogs crazy.

Normally, the evening would have entailed me exclaiming over the costumes and Hubby going off with the kids. Not this time. This time he was adding to the conversations.

Hubby: You know, we can go get the other snake and place it in the candy basket and let the kids pick through.

Me: Uh, NO!

Hubby: Oh, c’mon! It would be fun!

Me: You’re insane.

And then there were the costumes…. Hubby is not one to *ahem* gloss over anything.

Me: (pointing out a woman dressed as a so-called Little Bo Peep in stockings and high heels) I would NEVER be outside dressed like that!

Hubby: What’s wrong with it?

Me: Obviously nothing from your point of view.

Hubby: She’s sure Peeping out of it.

And the kids dressed like zombies got two pieces of candy, for obvious reasons.

Zombie Kid: TRICK OR TREAT!!

Hubby: Hey! A zombie! You’re lucky I left my shotgun inside.

Zombie Kid: Huh?

Hubby: Practice for the Zombie Apocalypse, you know?


I think next year I’ll put him in charge, and videotape the whole thing. It’s the only way people will believe me 😉