Saturday, March 31, 2012

Busy Saturday

Today has been a busy one.  One of those Saturdays for getting chores done and things accomplished.  It didn't exactly start out that way.  I was pretty lazy for most of the morning.  Enjoying some coffee, some time with the grandkid, some doing nothing.  Then I got to work.

I laundered the sheets and remade the bed.

I have done several loads of laundry - hung on the line to dry out in the fresh air and sunshine.

I have cleaned up the kitchen.

I have rinsed down the chicken house and helped The Man of the House move it to a new location.  Also cleaned out their water and food dispensers, and refilled them.

I weeded out the flower bed.

I considered transplanting the Irises growing next to the garage to somewhere they will be more visible.

I have straightened and reorganized the pantry and storage closet. 

I have cleaned the main bathroom.

Yep, it's been a good day so far.  Now I am headed to fold some of that laundry. (Which is the worst part of any laundry day in my opinion), consider our veggie planting options, start a list of things  I want to get done around here this spring/summer, and hopefully still have some time left in the day to do some crochet and read a little. 

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Somedays Just Need Sweatpants

Don't look at me like that.  You know just what I'm talking about. 

Even if you won't admit it.  You still know.

Some days are just lazy days.  Bloaty days.  Nothing else feels like it fits right days.  Blah days.  Just want to be comfy days.  Sit on the couch and crochet or read days.

You know... sweatpants days.

Today, my friends, is one of those days. 

Don't get me wrong.  I got up, fixed hair and makeup, and even put on proper clothing and made my way out this morning to Bible study and a quick run into the craft store.  But the second I got home the sweatpants went on.  And I have been completely content ever since that moment. 

It's just one of those days...

Monday, March 26, 2012

So Much For Multi-tasking

I can't believe it's been an entire week since I last posted!  I haven't had one creative blogging idea in my head for the past week.  Nope, not a single one.  When it comes to blog post concepts, my mind has been like a dry pool.

Just so no one thinks I have been a complete slug for the past 7 days - I have been coming up with crafty crochet ideas for my new Etsy shop.  Queen B's Busy Work is up and running, and will have new inventory on display soon.  My fingers have been furiously at work getting some start up merchandise ready.

But, apparently I have reached an age where I am only capable of being creative doing one thing at a time.  And this past week it was crocheting and the store.  Not blogging.  So much for multi-tasking!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Stop Calling Us Nazis!!

I cringe every time I hear the phrase.  It makes my skin crawl.  And yet, as a breastfeeding counselor and advocate - I hear it being tossed around all the time by those who do not support breastfeeding or believe "Breast is Best" as well as by those who do.  The term "breastfeeding nazi".  (aka: boob nazi or nipple nazi)

Nazi?  Really?  Are we really comparing the (sometimes over-eager) efforts to increase breastfeeding rates and provide information and support to a group that slaughtered thousands millions of innocents and continues to spread hatred and intolerance of  any differing ethnicity?  I don't care how "mean" a breastfeeding advocate has been to someone, I seriously doubt it compares in any way to the absolute and complete horror the Nazis carried out.

The only thing I can think of more offensive than being called a breastfeeding nazi is when true breastfeeding advocates refer to themselves as nazis.  You may be quite proud of everything you do as a Lactivist.  You may speak openly about breastfeeding health statistics, promote breastfeeding rights, and work tirelessly to support breastfeeding moms and babies.  But do you REALLY want to be mentally compared with a group which ran concentration camps and a vast death machine?  Think about it.

Whether you believe "Breast is Best" or not - it is my opinion that calling someone a nazi crosses a line. Not only is it offensive, but I feel that in someway it minimizes the horror and suffering of the victims of the true Nazis. 

So, call us breastfeeding enthusiasts. Call us breastfeeding zealots.  Call us boob fanatics or breastfeeding radicals.  Call us breastfeeding extremists.  You can even call us breast dogmatists, freaks, or radicals. 

But, please - STOP calling us Nazis!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

For The Love of Peppermint Patty

I love a peppermint patty as much as anyone.  Maybe even a little more.  So, it seemed only fitting to create a cupcake in their honor. 

We began with a simple devil's food cake batter.  Filled each cupcake paper 2/3 full.  Baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

While they cooled we created a cream cheese frosting, replacing the vanilla for peppermint extract.  Frosted the cupcakes with the peppermint cream cheese frosting and topping each one with a few pieces of chopped peppermint patty candies. 


Please Sir.. May I Have S'more?

It all started with a dream.  A delicious dream.  A dream of cupcakes.  This evening, the dream took shape.

S'more Cupcakes 

It began with turning graham crackers into crumbs in the food processor.  Measuring out 2 cups and setting the rest aside for later.

The measured 2 cups were mixed with 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 stick melted butter.  1 teaspoon of mixture was pressed gently into the bottom of each cupcake cup to make a crust of sorts and baked on 350 degrees for 4 minutes. 

In the meantime we made a chocolate cake batter.  Once the graham cracker crusts had slightly cooled, each cupcake cup was filled 2/3 full with the cake batter.   We sprinkled a bit of the leftover crust mixture on top of each one and then the cupcakes then went back in the oven for 18 minutes at 350 degrees.  After baking the cupcakes,  we allowed them to cool for 10 minutes.

Then, while still slightly warm, we frosted each one with marshmallow cream (slightly warm so the marshmallow cream would melt a bit, giving it the right ooey, gooey feel).  The finishing touch was sprinkling each with the graham cracker crumbs previously set aside and grating a Hershey bar over top. 

Creativity and Cupcakes - Part 2

The decision is made and provision are in.  The winners are:

S'more cupcakes and Peppermint Patty cupcakes. 

Stay tuned!!

Same Beck time...  Same Beck channel.

Creativity and Cupcakes

As you read this, there is a trip to the grocery store in my very very near future.

For baking supplies.

Because for whatever reason, the Princess and I are in a creative mood today. 

Perhaps it's the sun shining, the breeze blowing the warm wind through the open windows, the sound of the birds chirping, and the sense of spring in the air that has our creative spirits soaring.  Maybe it's that we have watched one too many episodes of Cupcake Wars or Cake Boss recently.  Maybe it's hormones.  Maybe it's a driving need to use up some of the almost 5 dozen eggs sitting in the fridge; complements of The Girls.  Whatever the reason, we have been talking cupcakes all morning and are now ready to get down to baking.

The timing is perfect.  The Man of the House and the Little Man have "man plans" this evening.  (A navy seal-shoot 'em up- testosteroney movie they have been wanting to see)  .  And we have company coming into town this weekend to sample the goods and assure they all get eaten. 

So, we give in to the urge.  We make our plans.   We make our list.  And - we wait for the Little Guy to finish eating so we can go to the store.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One Minute Wednesday: Sunrise/Sunset

Written in response to a prompt at The One-Minute Writer: Which is better to observe--a sunrise or a sunset? Why?

While I enjoy a beautiful sunset as much as the next gal; I have to say I prefer a sunrise. Because after the sunrise you have the whole entire day ahead of you to look forward to and enjoy. Of course there are two problems with this:

1) A nice, colorful sunrise means bad weather for that day ahead. (you know... red sky by morning, sailor take warning...)

2) Sunrise comes waaaaay too early!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Washed Away

It sits there silently on the bathroom counter.  A simple little blue pot.  Deceptively looking like a tiny teapot for one.  As I begin to mix the solution to fill it, the children's song starts up in the back of my head : "I'm a little teapot, short and stout.  Here is my handle, here is my spout."  But I adjust the words to fit this particular situation.  For this is no cup of tea I am preparing here. 

"I'm a little neti pot, short and stout.
Here is my handle.  Here is my spout.
Pour me in one nostril,
the other one goes out.
Tip me over,  I'll clean you out"

For those not familiar - a neti pot is a small pot or bowl with a long spout.  The pot is filled with a saline solution.  Leaning over a bowl or sink, the user tips their head to one side and the end of the spout is placed in the upper nostril.  The solution is then poured through the spout, into the nostril and into the sinus passages.  Now, if that alone hasn't made you gag - the next step is the kicker. Once the saline solution has flushed through the sinus passages; it then pours out the lower nostril.  Yes... ew....

The idea is that rinsing (or irrigating, or flushing - whatever you want to call it) out the sinus passages helps to thin the mucous secretions, as well as cleaning debris and excess mucous from the cilia - all those tiny hair-like things in your sinuses.  This leaves the cilia clean and fresh to do their job of pushing mucous and other stuff either to the nose to be blown away or to the back of the throat for swallowing. 

Neti pots can be found in most drug stores, or online.  Pre-packaged solutions are also available, but can get expensive over time.  I use a recipe I found online for my solution.  Two cups sterilized water (either bottled, or boiled and cooled) warmed in the microwave for 45 seconds, 1 teaspoon non-iodized salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Be sure to use distilled or sterile water, or water which has been boiled and cooled. 

The one allergy season I used the neti pot on a daily basis; I did have less frequent and less severe allergy attacks.  So, I personally am a believer.  And this morning when I got up feeling someone less congested from my cold, but feeling the congestion that was there was thicker and settling into certain areas of my sinuses making the pressure there unbearable - I knew it was time to pull out the pot and give it a rinse.

Many people can never get past the "ICK" factor to give the neti a chance.  But for someone who has struggled with allergies and sinus problems for as long as I can remember; I am willing to try almost anything.  Especially if it's not just one more medication to make me feel drowsy or jittery.  And with pollen already filling the air with early spring like weather - I think the little blue pot will be sitting out and getting a lot of use for the next few months

Safety Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV).  You should probably consult your real physician such as an Allergist or Ear,Nose,and Throat specialist before using a neti pot.

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's (s)Not Possible

It makes no logical sense how one can have so much grossness come out of one's head - what with the constant dripping and all the sneezing - and yet STILL have so much pressure and congestion.  At some point it seems the sinus passages would just run out of yuck.  Or at the very least not be able to keep up with refilling the outflow, causing the pressure and congestion to lessen.

One would think this.  But one would be wrong.

So very, very wrong.

One might also think that taking a medication which states it is made for the relief of sinus congestion and pressure, and headaches would in fact help give some relief to those things.  Again - one would be wrong.  Unless one considers the very slightest lessening of these symptoms "relief".

I do not.

All I ask is for the headache to go away, and to be able to breathe through my nose.  Those two very simple things.  I don't really think that's a lot. 

But maybe I am wrong about that also.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The First Robin

There are many signs of spring I look for:

the daffodils and forsythia blooming.

the peach trees in my yard starting to bud.

the grass turning greener.

the weeping willows being the first to show new green leaves.

One of my favorites is always when I spot the first robin of the season bobbing around pecking for worms or other goodies.  They always seems to show up right after a rainy day, when the ground is wet and all those creepy crawlies have come up to the surface.  And there is never just one; always at least two of them appear together.

Today as I was driving up the road toward the house when I spotted them.  There in the small grassy meadow across the street from our home - probaby 10 to 12 robins.  Happily enjoying the bounty that the early spring rain which fell last night had brought for them. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tell Me What I Want To Hear, Not What You Really Think

I had come up with the name for my crafty dive into entrepreneurship. I was pleased with myself. I thought it was clever. Catchy. I couldn't wait to share my excitement. So, of course I grabbed my phone and shot out a quick text to one of my sisters.

"Honestly, I don't care for it", was her reply. Followed by a parade of name suggestions she thought more appropriate.

I was crushed. My spirit was broken. The spark I had felt fizzled out. I had wanted (and expected) her response to be the same as mine to my idea. I had wanted her excited approval. And when that wasn't what I got. I was hurt. I was disappointed. And yes - I was a little angry.

At 40+ years into my life, I still want the approval and admiration of my sisters. Yes, I know I'm a grown woman. But just because I shouldn't need their admiration and approval, doesn't mean I don't still want it. Or maybe it would be more correct to say that I DON'T need it, but I DO want it. I admit it. Even at my age, I still want my little sisters to look up to me like when we were kids. Call it what you will, but it's just a fact.

Of course she had no idea how she had hurt my feelings. She was trying to be helpful. She was just sharing her opinion. I had left myself open for that. But knowing it wasn't intended to be hurtful didn't take the sting away. Or heal the bruised place inside.

Fortunately, realizing she hadn't meant anything harmful in her words made it possible for me to fight back my knee-jerk reaction to respond in anger with bitter words. I bit my tongue.  I let the initial sting wear off. She is probably going to be completely shocked when she reads this (and she may even be angry with me for a short while for sharing this so publicly).

And in the end, if I'm being honest. I didn't need her approval. I'm still going with the name I had picked out and been so excited about (probably).

Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago - the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider.... It doesn't seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we've traveled. ~Jane Mersky Leder

Happy Birthday Granna!

Oops!!  Yesterday was my mother's birthday and it completely slipped my mind when I was sitting in front of the computer; all ready to blog!  Yep, I'm a bad, bad daughter.

Mom is known as "Granna" to the youngest generations of our family. And I'm not going to tell how old she is because I want her to still be speaking to me the next time I see her.  (on second thought... nah... just kidding!!) 

Sorry Mom!!  Better a late than never, right? Hope you had a fantastic birthday!

One Minute Wednesday: Decisions

I've made the decision to explore my creativity.  I've made the decision to try and make a go of selling some of my crochet items.  Now I am faced with the challenge of trying to find time to work on some start up inventory in order to get things rolling.  How do I fit that into my already busy schedule; when I already can't seem to find enough time to keep my house in order and give The Man of the House and the offspring the time and attention they deserve.  Which might mean more big decisions.

written in response to a prompt on The One-Minute Writer

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Favorite Addiction

It's that time of year again.  Spring is about to, well... spring.  Easter is right around the corner.  And that old craving is back.  I try to be strong.  To resist.  But how can I?  Every time I enter a store they are right there in front of me.  Tempting me.  Taunting me.  Silently whispering sweet nothings to me from across the aisle.

Darn jellybeans...

Yeh, you heard me.  Jellybeans. AKA jelly eggs. Those chewy little morsels of tastiness.  Yes, I know they are pure sugar.  And oh so very bad for me and my waistline.  But dog-gone it... I can't resist them!  

What the attraction is, I can't exactly say.  Is it that cute little sized bean shape?  The chewiness?  The bright colors?  The sweet, spicy, or tart flavors?  I can't pin point it to anyone thing.  I just love them.

Of course the classic jellybeans are plenty good enough.  Which is inexplicable in and of itself.  They all seem to taste the same no matter the flavor color.  They are pretty much nothing but chewy sugar.  But oh... what wonderful chewy sugar they are.

And it just gets better from there!  There are the "spice" beans.  The multitude of flavors offered by that reigning ruler of the jellybean world: Jelly Belly.   And all the others that have hopped on the jelly bean bandwagon. Most recent varieties include the Starburst jellybean, and the SweetTart jellybean.  (ooooh... the SweetTart jellybean... mmmmmm...) 

I feel I must at this time take the opportunity to confess that not a year goes by when I don't pre-purchase several bags of jellybeans well before Easter Sunday to have for that little bunny fellow to put in Easter baskets - only to have to replace all bags before the big day rolls around.  I also must confess to have eaten many of those bags all by myself.  I admit it.  I have a self control problem when it comes to the jellybeans. 

Fortunately for me, there is not a 12 step program related to Easter confection addictions.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Breaking Radio Silence

Perhaps you've been wondering where I am.  Missing my blog posts.  Checking every day to see if there is anything new posted.  Holding your breath, eagerly hoping that the silence has broken.  Crossing your fingers that there will be a new little gem to delight you. 

Or maybe not...

Whether you notice my absence or not, I wish I had some fantastical story to share with you which would explain my silence.  But the truth of the matter is that every day I either:
a) haven't had time to get to the computer
b) haven't had a decent thought in my head to put into writing

And so...  one missed day of blogging somehow becomes two missed days.  Quickly turning into a week.  And next thing you know it's a whole new month and you haven't written anything in who-knows-how-long.

It's frightening how quickly time gets away from you.  Especially once you hit 40.  (Trust me, if you aren't there yet - it's going to take you completely by surprise.  You think time flies now - just wait)


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