Oh I know, people groan about the weekend being over and back to the grind and all that…but I love a Monday. It’s a fresh start and the week is full of possibilities. Monday is the day I do laundry, clean the floors and make the lists for the rest of the week. Oh sure, by Thursday I am quite ready for the weekend and late evenings and convivial cojugation (wot?) but Mondays…all promise and hope for me, on a small scale, of course. But then I live a small scale life. No major brain surgeries scheduled, no Live Aid concerts destined to feed small nations, not even a seminar to teach other housewives how to fold towels. Just…life. Laundry, meals, running #4 back and forth to school. Who knows what those small tasks will eventually accomplish? All I really want to do is provide a sense of security and continuity for my family and maybe a few others. Nothing grand, but maybe that feeling of security will enable someone else to do something big and important, and I am ok…happy even…with that.
Tonight I’m cooking a light meal of sesame noodles with chicken. Scrounging through the pantry unearthed a package of Chinese Noodle…those eggy things kind of like ramen only not. I’d forgotten about them, and they make Most Ecellent Noodle Dish. Cook them. Toss them with sesmae seeds, sliced green onion and a splash of sesame oil, cook up some chicken and shred it, then cook it again to make it crispy, toss with the noodle and there you are. Easy peasy, cheap and…something that rhymes with easy. Not cheesy. No cheese involved. But tasty. Plus it takes like 2 chicken breasts to feed 4 people with leftovers. Which makes it really cheap.
Anyway, it’s Monday, a day of starting fresh for the week, PLUS! Oh! I’ts 68 outside! Feeling like Fall and I actually HAVE THE DOORS OPEN! Fresh air! Awesomeness! It’s only supposed to get up to 90 today! And be (relatively) dry! Woopwoop!
And, because it’s Monday and it’s My Blog and I can call the shots…some happy yet unrelated pictures:
Filed under: *eep!, Anger management, Good grief, He'p meh He'p meh Oh Lawzy He'p meh
All that’s missing is a brick of .22 longs.
Do you have it? I do, that tendency to bypass the brain-mouth filter and just say something, without considering consequence or how the other person might react.
When I was growing up, my parents called me tactless. I was just emulating them, they weren’t exactly diplomatic, either.
My kids call me sarcastic. Which I admit to, and I am also not very good about being on the receiving end of it…tho I try. Really, I do.
Terry is the very essence of diplomacy and tact. It’s what makes him a superior manager, and why his people love him. He can take an individual who’s performing poorly, and make a demotion feel like a lateral arabesque and allow them to save face with the other employees. I wouldn’t do that, not because I think he’s wrong for doing it, but because I lack the empathy and courtesy to think that far into it.
I’m learning,tho. Terry has taught me over the past 25 years that yes, Virginia, other people have feelings too. Only unlike him, I cannot surmise such things. I have to learn them through long and arduous experience. It’s why we have to move so much. I piss off the entire town with my mouth, then we move. I am thankful the USA is big enough that we can live in a new town every 5 years and my reputation for…erm…”directness” won’t precede me. Of course, since we’ve been in the Deep South so long, it may be time to move to the Midwest. I figure by the time I’m 65 we’ll be somewhere in Idaho, people in the South will have forgotten about me, and we can retire back here.
So, to anyone whom I said what I thought without first running it past my brain or Terry, please forgive my lack of tact. Chances are I meant exactly what I said, but I probably could have said it more gently. Maybe in the same way JerseyChick is a closet Southern Belle, I am a closet DamnYankee.
Yesterday when I went to pick Eli up from school, the teachers met me and said “we need to talk.”
It seems Eli still has the Public School Work Ethic. That is, he is accustomed to getting by on his charm and large vocabulary. Which works in public school. But not, apparently, in a heavy-duty Presbyterian private one. They both said “oh he’s got the sweetest spirit. He’s kind and thoughtful and quite smart! But…he doesn’t get the work done. He must get the work done. He’s distracted sometimes, and misses the directions.” etc.
I was concerned that he’d have these issues. His public school teachers were so impressed with the depth and range of his knowledge they had a tendency to let him slide. Their attitude was “he knows the stuff, I’m not going to fool with homework because there’s 25 other kids who’s work I have to look at” so he was never made to do it. Oh sure, I’d have him do the assigned homework but half the time it wouldn’t make it into the classroom and the teachers, they weren’t concerned.
However now, the teachers? They are concerned. He may have been in the top of his class before, but now he’s right smack in the average middle. He’s competing with very high achievers now. Tho I try not to look at it as a competition, and he’s not exactly competitive, but still. It’s a different environment now, and he’s got to step up his game.
So, in the interest of stepping up, last night he Worked. I made sure his stuff got in his notebook. He worked on homework for 2 solid hours. We talked about it, how he could use the free time at school to do some of it, that way he’d have more down time at home. We talked about it some more this morning, about paying attention, listening closely, writing things down..whatever it took for him to get the information he needed to do the work properly.
He likes it there. As CJ said, “the boys are all goobers. He fits right in” He likes being in a place where he’s not picked on for being slightly goofy, where he can wear the clothes he likes without being called a dork, and sit at the picnic table during recess and read, without someone stealing his book or thumping his ears.
I told him if he wants to stay there he has to step up and perform. They can invite him to leave if he doesn’t, even if we are members of the church. He was kind of shocked by that. I hope he’ll think about it and do what he must.
Filed under: food
At Rootie’s Kitchen. Ok not a new recipe, I’ve put it up here before, but it’s a tasty summer recipe and deserves a repost.
Filed under: Dewicate feewings
I dont know why. It’s not as if I spend all my time outside this time of year. Outside around here involves however long it takes to get to the car or the mailbox, or maybe (if I’m feeling industrious) a little time in the garden early in the day. But honestly, it’s usually too hot to do anything outside.
But this morning? It’s raining. No Guilt Inside Time. I can sit at the dining table with the computer, making lists for the upcoming week, and feel no guilt at all about not being outside pulling a weed or rearranging the wisteria. I know I’ll be able to iron the shirts while watching TV, an go up to the room I glorify by calling a studio (that makes it seem like a huge and productive sort of place, all artsy, but really it’s just a tiny bedroom with no bed) and mess around with the clay, making something.
Rain is inspirational. It invites a body to sit still for a while. To read, or listen to something edifying, or do that inside thing like ironing or making menus. I looked at the weather map, hoping for a massive system that would imply an all-day rain, but instead it was a teeny little cloud, right over the south side of the county, about the size of a golf ball, that instead of promising low light and soothing patter, only offered up humidity guarenteed to approach Biblical levels by noon. I know that God didn’t throw down a plague of humidity on Pharoah, but I think He could have. By this evening algae will be forming in the low part of the front yard. It’s happened before.
Anyway, maybe I’ll close the curtains and pretend it’s darkish because of clouds, instead of draperies.
Sometimes it feels like a broken record. In the mornings:
“#4! Time to get up! Up and at ‘em! Shake a leg! Get a move on! Time to get dressed! Breakfast is ready! Do your chores! Stop talking and finish (insert chore. He has 3- empty the dishwasher, take out the trash, feed the dogs) Have you finished (chore X,Y,Z)? Stop talking until you’re done.
Are you done yet? Stop talking until you’re done. You haven’t finished. Hush. Finish up. Eat your breakfast. No you can’t get on the computer. Put your shoes on. Stop talking until you’re finished getting dressed. Shoes. Have you brushed your teeth? Go brush your teeth. Don’t talk while you’re brushing your teeth. We’ll talk in the car. Don’t forget your lunch. Do you have your homework? Time to go! Did you brush your teeth? Ok…let’s go!”
In the afternoons:
“Do you want a snack? you have 30 minutes before you need to get started on your homework. Time for homework! Don’t talk while you’re doing your homework. Get back to work. Don’t talk while you’re doing you homework. Do you have all your assignments? You can get on the computer when you’re finished. Don’t talk while you’re doing your homework. We’ll talk about that when you’re finished. Did you do your math? Don’t talk while you’re doing your homework. I see that you did well on your test, but you still need to not talk while you’re doing your homework.”
Now, lest you think I am purely of the “children should be seen and not heard” school, I am not. We talk all the time. But I kind of insist on the work getting done, and he kind of stops whatever he’s doing to talk. We have a 15 minute ride to and from school every day, and that is a free-zone conversation wise.
Right now he’s working on math, and asking me “I wonder why fire is hot” and “how to you spell ‘mechanical’” and “supper smells good, what are we having?” and whenever he is talking, he is not doing math.
It’s not a thing I am disturbed about. David was precisely the same way, mind flitting in 100 directions, always thinking and wondering, and wholly unable to concentrate on the not-the-most-pleasant-task at hand. He got better, eventually, able to stick to the job until it was done. But at 11, like #4 is now, he needed constant supervision, continual reminders to focus, and a reward when it was all done. Like supper.
School started Monday, Sunday School resumes today, Rev. Barnes starts a new sermon series today, it’s a potluck Sunday… all that good Fall stuff is settling into place. Oh sure the weather still acts like Summer but I’m ok with that.
#4 loves his new school. The other boys in his class (there’s 5 of them) have kind of absorbed him right into the mix, and he remarked on how cool they all are…cool like him. There’s no beefy popular jock types, they’ve all moved on to the public schools where there’s extracurricular sports. He said there’s only one girl with an attitude (you know, that 6th grade “boys are scum” thing, all rolling eyes and derision), but she’s like that with everyone so he’s not bothered by it. He wants to have a pizza/gaming party (just boys) later in the Fall. Maybe now the game room will get used for the purpose it was intended. There’s been a couple of boys-only parties already, and even before school started he was invited…whatdayaknow!
We’ve not been attending Sunday School during the Summer. Either #4 was gone wih grandparents, or Terry was working an I hate going alone, or I was out of town…whatever. Maintaining continuity was too difficult. However, now it’s tme to get back into the swing of it. Of getting ready and going at 9:30, having the Bibles in a stack on the table, crockpot filled with White Trash Chicken for the potluck, all the ducks in a row…I love that feeling of being ready.
At the beginning of Summer, the Good Reverend wrapped up his 93 (Wot!?) part series on the book of Numbers…yeah, 93 part. That means for the past 93 weeks+/- (that works out to 2 years, people) he’d been preaching on Numbers which sometimes he had to really stretch to find a sermon in there and sometimes he’d kinda skip over some of the verses…y’know…the Zelophaseth begat Zerubabeth, Jehorsephor and Bilbo, who begat..blah de blah until he came to something he could expound on. Anyway Numbers is over. The last sermon he preached from there, he started it by saying “Y’know, you’re going to hear me read the verses, then when I start preaching you’re going to say ‘duh…I could tell you that’ so if I see you doodling on paper I am going to assume you’re deeply engaged in what I am saying and taking notes. It’s better for my self esteem that way.” But now it’s a new day and he’s going to spend the next (however long) series on a book of the New Testament. I don’t know which one. It might be Titus, and take a month, or it might be John, and take a year or more. Whichever, it will be interesting because if a man can take Numbers and make it interesting he can surely do it with Titus (or whatever).
AND it’s 4th Sunday! Which means Potluck Dinner! The church congregation is divided into 4 groups, with one meeting each sunday for a potluck dinner. It’s called CFM (Christian Fellowship Ministries) but everyone just calls it (whatever) Sunday. Now that the students are back in town, we have to cook a little more, because students are invited without the expectation that they’ll bring food. I’m making crockpot White Trash Chicken and #4 made a Dump Cake. Through the summer I just brought deviled eggs but now it’s time to step up to the plate and make some effort. I love the potluck dinners, because there’s something about eating with people that is *more* something. I don’t know what, but when you eat with someone there’s a step up in the relationship. Anyway, it’s a good thing.
Crockpot White Trash Chicken
4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups rice (I like brown rice, but white is fine, too)
3 pounds chicken thighs, skinned, de-boned and cut into bite sized chunks
1 tablespoon dried tarragon (or oregano, or Italian Herb Blend…or whatever herbs you like)
The Night Before:
Mix together the chicken broth and cream of X soup in a big crock pot. Stir in the rice. Put the chicken on top (the liquid will cover it) and sprinkle the tarragon and black pepper on top of that. Set the crockpot on low, and let it cook through the night. The next morning, turn it down to ‘warm’ and then serve it after church…OR
you could make it in the morning, and have it for supper that night.
#4′s Dump Cake
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple in juice
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped nuts
Grease a 9×13 pan
Dump the fruit into the pan and mix it together. Top with the cake mix, spread so it’s even. Cut the butter into bits and sprinkle evenly over the cake mix. Sprinkle the nuts on top of the butter/cake. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly.
#4 says it’s better to make it the night before, because it actually tastes better if it sits for a while before serving it.
messing around with various avatar generators.