Thursday, June 30, 2011

music linkup week 19: Pumped up Kicks

history was made this week. it's never happened before, and might never happen again. JARHEAD (aka hubby) and BONEHEAD (aka the teenager) both found a new song they liked, AND IT WAS THE SAME SONG!!!!  I know, I'm picking my jaw up off the floor right now.

here's the history-making song:

in case you missed the info, that was "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People. I guess I've been hiding under a rock or something since I have not heard of this band before this week, but they've got a good sound. reminds me a little bit of The Killers, maybe?

if you have not already linked up with the always-awesome AMBER, head on over to goodnight moon and do it now!  if you're here because of the linkup, WELCOME! have a look around, make yourself at home.

(and don't be afraid to leave me a little comment love while you're here)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book review - The Hunger Games

I am not being paid for this review, nor did I receive the books for free (though the Kindle editions were cheap - YAY!)

Last week I finally caved in and bought the e-book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It came very highly recommended, and overall it did not disappoint.  The only thing I did not like about the book was the very abrupt ending, which basically FORCED me to buy book 2, Catching Fire, and book 3, Mockingjay. The first book was a quick read, as was the second.  The third took me several days to get through, and I don't know if this was because I just didn't have as much TIME for reading at that point, or maybe because I was a little pissed off at the main character.  I'm not sure.

The story is set in the distant future (or maybe NOT so distant, depending on who you ask) where much of humanity has been destroyed, and where the U.S. used to be, now lies a nation called "Panem". Panem consists of a Capitol city, with several outlying districts, each with its own product/purpose.  The title of the first book refers to an annual event where the Capitol forces each district to send 'tributes', one boy and one girl, to fight in The Hunger the death. 

There is a lot of very realistic portrayal of extreme poverty, and several characters struggle with morality, relationships, etc.  One thing that struck me as odd was that there is no mention of religion or faith anywhere in these books.  It made me wonder what today's society/culture would be like if NO ONE, I mean literally not a single person, believed in God, or in any sort of higher power.

Of course there are a lot of political issues in the story, but it does not come across as trying to preach or teach any one style of government. 

I definitely recommend reading the entire trilogy if you can.  You don't even have to go out and buy them! Check your local library, or email me and I can lend you my copy (Kindle lending lasts for seven days, so please make sure you request it when you will actually have time to READ it within a week).  You don't even have to own a Kindle for the lending system to work: you just need the Kindle app installed on whatever device you're going to read on (your phone, iPad, computer, etc).

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I'm still a bit bummed about having to kill off the weekly video linkup, but I have another idea that I want to run by you all - what about a recipe swap linkup?

I've shared several recipes here before, and when I can I like to include photographs.  Here's the "grilled burrito" recipe I made for my family last night:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cooked pinto beans
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
8 small flour tortillas
2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix
1 cup water
chopped onion
BUTTER (not margarine)

1. chop and cook chicken breasts in a covered nonstick pan, using a few tablespoons of water if needed.  Add onions and taco seasoning, with remaining water, cover and simmer on low heat.

2. while chicken seasons, assemble the other ingredients & open the can of beans.  I like to arrange the ingredients in bowls in the order they will go into each burrito - sour cream, then beans, then cheese.  In this case, the chicken will go in between the sour cream and the beans.

3. uncover chicken and stir, cooking until the water is mostly gone.

4. heat tortillas on low heat on a griddle/skillet (this allows them to roll easier)

5. spread a spoonful of sour cream onto a warmed tortilla, then add chicken, beans, and cheese. Fold top and bottom ends of tortilla in first, then roll the sides, keeping it tight enough to hold itself together through the final grilling step.  Repeat this process for each of the remaining burritos, and stack them all on a large plate.

6. spread butter along the tops of the burritos.  You can use a little, or a lot - play with it to get the effect you want.

7. pre-heat your griddle or skillet to HIGH (the same one you used to warm the tortillas should be fine) and place the burritos on it, butter side down.  If you don't hear an immediate 'sizzle' when the first burrito makes contact, then your pan is not hot enough. 

8. Butter the second side of the burritos (now facing up) and then flip them all.  The cooking time for each side should not exceed one minute, so the burritos will be a crispy GOLDEN brown.

9. Once the second side is against the pan, you can turn off the burner and let the burritos cook with the heat left in the pan.  If you've used A LOT of butter, like I did last night, then you may want to place a paper towel on the serving platter before moving the burritos.

10. Serve with chips and salsa, or a side of spanish rice.

**variations: try using ground turkey or ground beef for the meat; try different types of beans - refried, or black beans, etc.

I am not including an official linkup on this post, but if you have a recipe post (even if it's an old post somewhere in your archives) that you'd like to share, please paste the URL into a comment below.  

If I do a weekly recipe linkup, will you participate?  If so, which day of the week are you MOST LIKELY to participate?

THANKS EVERYONE, for reading, commenting, and especially those of you who share your links! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

music linkup week 18 :Everybody Hurts

The last couple of days here have absolutely SUCKED, so I'm in a funk. Yesterday was about as crappy as it gets (or so I thought!).....My day started with my toilet seat breaking while I was sitting on it.  Yay.  Go fat girls!  When I came downstairs I found the the last of our three new goldfish had died overnight - we have no idea why.  Then I took Bobblehead to his 9 month well-baby checkup, and the doctor has a couple of concerns - first his weight is way below what it should be. The doctor literally told me to start adding BUTTER to his food.  Seriously.  And then he told me he wants x-rays of the baby's hips, he suspects possible hip displaysia.  We already ruled that out when Bobblehead was a month old, using ultrasound, but the doc says there is another kind of hip displaysia that is developmental - meaning it shows up a little later, and he just doesn't like the way the baby's joints feel.  The left hip in particular feels "loose" to him.  GREAT.  If he does have this condition, he'll have to wear a brace for like 6 months or a year. SAD FACE.

On my way home from that appointment, Bonehead called me from the house to tell me he had finally gotten the call we were waiting for, from Sunburst Youth Academy.  Only it wasn't quite the call we were waiting for - see, we wanted them to call with an ACCEPTANCE, not a rejection.  For the second time, Bonehead was NOT accepted into the NG Youth Challenge Academy.  WTF?!?!  I am literally distraught over this, because our 'truce' has been fragile at best lately, and was based solely on the idea that we only have to last a few more weeks til he goes to the academy.  I fully expected to be dropping him off at Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base on July 11, and not see him again until his home-pass weekend in September. Then he would go back to the base until the second home pass at Thanksgiving, and graduate in December - and theoretically come back showing at least a little respect.  This kid literally yelled at me for 20 minutes the other day, calling me a "FUCKING CUNT" (sorry, editing that bit really makes it seem less awful, so you get the unedited version).  There's not a whole lot left that *I* can do to bring about his much-needed Attitude Adjustment, and I was counting on Sunburst to do that.  Now I have to go through another 519 days until this kid turns 18, and PRAY that I don't kill him, or myself.  Or that he doesn't kill me, or himself.

Which brings me to today's extra special version of hell:

A social worker showed up at my door today, asking to interview both Bonehead and me.  When she found out that Knucklehead lives here too, she insisted on interviewing him, too.  It turns out that SOMEONE (I have a few ideas about who) called child protective services because they think we're being too harsh on Bonehead.  Seriously?????? I mean, I have felt like my hands are really tied in terms of discipline already, especially because I am now physically AFRAID of my own son.  He stands 6' 2" and I am only 5' 6", for starters.  And his violent outbursts are incredibly frightening.  Thankfully they've mostly been VERBAL lately, not physical, but seriously, I was standing in the kids' playroom while this woman interviewed my kids one by one in my living room (I was not allowed to be there for their interviews) and thinking of the irony, that this social worker is here to protect Bonehead from ME....when *I* am the one who needs protection from HIM!

In the end, she saw what was really going on here, and gave Bonehead a stern warning that he can NOT treat his mother (or anyone else) the way he has been, or she will have him removed from the home for the safety of the rest of the family.  I don't think he took her threat very seriously, but at least there was some shock on his face at the maybe, just MAYBE, he actually is starting to appreciate a little bit of what he has here?


So, the allegations will be officially listed as 'unfounded' in the final report, but she has to interview my husband over the phone before she can close the case.  (He is out of town for work this week) When I called him and told him this, he FLIPPED OUT, yelled at me for half an hour, then told me that if HE is going to take any crap for this (like if it will effect his job, etc) then he's just not coming home. Like, EVER.

Thanks so much, Babe, for being there by my side when I need you most. NOT.

So, I'm having a little pity party for myself right now (with WINE, of course) and what better pity party song is there than R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts"?

In the end the song actually has a message of hope, but it's just a good self-pity crying song for me. 
Like, giving myself permission to cry instead of being strong, because EVERYBODY hurts. 
Even SuperMoms. 
Even not-so-SuperMoms.

If you have not already linked up, go visit Amber at Goodnight Moon and link up!  I promise, most of the songs won't be this depressing, and they will ALL rock - they always do!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

video linkup, week 12

I have decided to make a FEW changes to this linkup, in hopes of getting more of you to actually LINK UP each week.  I know you're WATCHING the videos, and sometimes you're even nice enough to COMMENT on them, but the whole point is to get YOU to share one back, right? 

OK so beginning next week, I will post a 'theme' for the video linkup, such as Birthdays, Babies, Spoof Songs, Animals, etc.  Normally I will post something on FRIDAY to let you know what the theme will be, and the linkup will now open every MONDAY MORNING, and stay open until TUESDAY NIGHT. 

If these changes don't work to increase participation in the linkup, I will throw in the towel and close the linkup forever. (sad face).

For THIS WEEK, I am sharing a cool video that's neither funny nor sad. It's just cool. We just went to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, and I FINALLY got to see the new show, "World of Color".  We did a last-minute predeployment trip there last year, and the show was set to open just a couple weeks later - I was so bummed to miss it! Anyway, it proved worth the one year wait for me, and I highly recommend seeing it in person if you have a chance.

This video does not do it justice, but you get the general idea here.  Enjoy!

Now go post YOUR favorite video of the week - last chance to do one with NO theme! You can do something funny, sad, crazy, cool, just ANYTHING you want to share! As soon as you post it, copy the URL of YOUR POST, come back here and click the little blue "add link" button so you can paste YOUR link in the box, and follow the simple instructions.  Don't forget to link back to me in your post, so your readers can also join in if they choose.

Let's keep this linkup alive!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June picture post - DISNEYLAND!

I've been looking forward to writing this post all week, because that would mean we got to go to DISNEYLAND!  Now that I'm back from our trip, I am actually TOO TIRED to blog!  (who would've thought there WAS such a thing as TOO tired?!?) So, if this comes out incoherent, I apologize. Oh, and this might get kinda long, because we rarely ever actually go on vacations - and when we do, we cram A LOT of stuff in there!

The trip was AMAZING.  We all really needed it, and we squeezed every drop of fun out of it that we possibly could.  We got park-hopper passes on base that are good for three days - and you don't have to use all three days at once, so we're saving our third day for later (maybe around Christmas?) Oh, and if you're not a local, "park hopper" means the ticket is good for BOTH amusement parks, Disneyland & Disney's California Adventure. The two parks sit side-by-side, along with three Disney Resort hotels.  We stayed at the 'nice' hotel this time, Disney's Grand Californian, and spent WAY too much for it.  But our 'Premium Room' had a BUNK BED for the boys,

plus a nice balcony overlooking this really cool pool area. 

And the pool was not very crowded, even in the afternoon when it got hot out.

We got there early the first day, so we could pre-check in at the hotel and drop off our luggage.  Of course check-in time is not until 3 PM, but they let us leave our bags with bell services, and they even gave us our personalized room keys, promising to send us a text message as soon as our room was ready.  Awesome, right?  Then it was off to Disneyland - er, I mean, DisneyLINE, as Knucklehead calls it now.  We stood in line for 5 minutes to go through security where they pretend to check your backpacks for anything 'bad' and then waited in another line for 20 minutes just to get in the gate (at park OPENING, 8 AM!  It's totally not supposed to be that crowded so early in the morning!) Once inside the park, the boys ran ahead with hubby to get to Tomorrowland, where two of the most popular rides are: Space Mountain, and Star Tours. The Star Tours ride was recently re-done in 3-D, just opened last week, I that line was already ridiculous!   That's where we figured out the BEST way to use the parent 'Switch Passes'. 

The guys went on Space Mountain first, which only had like a 10 minute wait at that point, while I went over to the employee at the line for Star Tours and asked for a Switch Pass.  These are for parents who have to wait with a child who is too small to ride, while the other parent takes older children on the ride.  The parent who waits gets a special pass (you have to ASK for it) and then gets to jump to the front of the line as soon as the other parent comes out of the ride to switch places.  The theory is that Mom already waited once, while Dad was on the ride (or the other way around) so she shouldn't have to wait AGAIN.  So, on several of the rides that I wasn't really that interested in going on, I went up to ask for the Switch Pass, as if my family was already waiting in the LOOOOONG line.....instead, they were waiting nearby, so I could hand them a switch pass and they could go to the front of the line, as if they had just waited with Bobblehead while I rode.  I guess the park employees have figured out that people pull a fast one like that, because on several rides, they hand 'parent A' a lanyard to wear through the line.  When he/she gets to the front of the line and gets ON the ride, then they give them a switch pass to go give to parent B. In other words, no faking the line-wait part. *sigh*  Still, those switch passes really saved us, as the lines for most attractions were more than an hour long by noon.  The Star Tours line was already 90 minutes long first thing in the morning!  Crazy.

Anyway, thanks to the switch passes, I actually got to go on a few rides, too.  The new Star Tours is AWESOME!  It's still the same basic ride, but now there are like four different versions of the 'movie' you watch on the ride.  They all start with a droid trying to stop the craft you're on, saying "We are trying to locate this REBEL SPY" while displaying a random picture of someone who is on the ride with you.  When I went with the boys, Knucklehead (my 11 year old) was the random photo they showed!  HA HA HA!  It was so much fun.

We did all the 'major' rides at Disneyland before 2 PM, and several of the small rides.  I really wanted to take Bobblehead on the "Small World" ride, but the line was LOOOONG, and in the sun.  We decided to let that one wait for Day 2.  We got over to the second park, California Adventure, and the guys went on some of the 'good rides'.  The hang-glider simulation ride had a pretty long wait, but is always worth it.

A Bug's Land is also fun - for the LITTLE ones, anyway.  :)

Our hotel had a separate entrance that opens up into Ca. Adventure, so as soon as our room was ready we went up, changed, and went SWIMMING!  They had several pools, and a cool waterslide that Bonehead and Knucklehead each went on dozens of times. 

Bobblehead had only been in a pool once before, and the water was too cold then, so he didn't like it.  At the hotel, however, the water was PERFECT, so he turned into a little fish and absolutely did NOT want to get out of the water.

A few showers later, we were dressed and back on the rides, and ready for the new water/light/music show "World of Color".  I can't possibly do that show justice within this post, so I'll have to do a separate post later with pictures AND video.  But it was AWESOME!  I wish I had put the baby in his jammies before the show though, because he fell asleep in his stroller (it was WELL past his bedtime, after all) and didn't like it when I woke him to change back at the hotel later.  Oh well, live and learn.

Day 2 was our 'Magic Morning' with early entry into the parks - an hour ahead of the general public.  Since Disneyland opened at 8 AM, we got in at 7 AM...which meant we had to be up by 6, and thank goodness I had brought food to stock our little refrigerator!  We had a little 'continental breakfast' in our room for a fraction of what we would have paid in any of the restaurants there. The boys got to do the big coasters again, and we had NO wait at all for Small World when it opened at 8. (only selected rides are open for the Magic Morning thing at 7, and Small World was not one of those).

Bobblehead decided that Disneyland was a great place to take LOTS of naps.  They were short ones, but at least he got them in!  I'm so happy that I brought that baby carrier with us, so I could strap him to me for some of the 'family' rides.

By 10 AM on day 2, we literally had done everything we needed to at Disneyland, except for see the new Soundsational Parade (I have video that I can't upload right now, so maybe I will add that with the World of Color post later on).  Since the parade wasn't coming through til 4 PM, we went back across to California Adeventure.  One of the new rides over there is called "Ariel's Undersea Adventure" and it basically tells the story of The Little Mermaid.  We skipped it on day 1 because the line was more than an hour long, and, well, none of us is a four-year-old-girl.  But on day 2, we found the line was only about 20 minutes long, so we went.  And I CRIED like a baby, missing my little girl!  "Airhead" is 21 now, and still not speaking to me.  But when she was little, we watched The Little Mermaid together literally hundreds of times (maybe thousands?) This was before DVD, and we actually WORE OUT a VHS copy of the movie and had to get a new one.  I still have the whole thing memorized, and could probably recite it for you, beginning to end.  Verbatim.  So, yeah, the mermaid ride REALLY made me long for those days again. *sigh* I got over my mommy mood swing by the time the ride ended, though. 

We went on more rides, including a few more turns on California Screamin, the best roller coaster there. We had lunch at my favorite "Downtown Disney" restaurant, Tortilla Joe's, then made it back to Disneyland in time to see a couple more shows AND the parade I was waiting for.  If we didn't have that hotel room, we might have just headed home after that, because we really had done everything we really wanted to in both parks!  AMAZING.  It seems like we always rush around like crazy, trying to fit everything into one day, and still always feel like we missed something.  But this time, two days almost seemed like TOO LONG (?)  okay, well, maybe it was just right.  Anyway, since we DID have that nice hotel room, we went back up and changed into our swim stuff and went back out to the pool. After swimming, we planned to go outside to watch the fireworks display that Disneyland puts on every night, but we were so tired, we gave up.  I did see PART of the fireworks show from the hotel, but it's not the same as being there on the ground, with the music, etc.

Overall, it was an incredible trip.  I didn't get to spend much time with hubby, as we were kind of taking turns taking the older boys on rides, since one of us had to wait with the baby for the bigger rides.  But a couple of times, when we all went on rides as a family, hubby actually HELD MY HAND in line, or even kissed me on the cheek!  He has never been one for PDA, especially with this huge wall that sprung up between us after this last deployment.  (or was it DURING?  yeah, probably)  I don't want to get my hopes up (again) about things getting better between us, but is was so nice to at least PRETEND we were a real family for a little while.  And, no matter what else happens from here on out, my children will all have the fantastic memories of this trip.  :)

Every time we go, we take a picture in front of this airplane - so fun to see how everyone has grown!

Here's one from last year:

And from 2004 (ish):

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

music linkup week 17: DISNEYLAND

This week's song is auto-posting because I am at DISNEYLAND!  WOO HOO!  I'll definitely be doing a picture post soon....hopefully I can get some good shots of our ridiculously expensive room/suite at the Grand Californian Hotel (the one that's INSIDE the California Adventure park).  And yeah, we got the really great deal on the 3-day park hopper passes on base :)

I'm super excited because this is Bobblehead's first time ever at Disneyland, and will probably be Knucklehead's LAST family trip to Disneyland with us.  It's also our first time staying at this particular Disney hotel, though we have enjoyed both of the other ones - especially the 'Magic Mornings' where hotel guests get into the amusement parks a full hour ahead of the general public, so we can go on all the 'big' rides before the lines get crazy.

So, pictures SOON, and for today you can enjoy the song "Disneyland" by Five For Fighting.  They pretty much rock, and not just for their "hundred years" song that you probably heard a lot on the radio a few years ago.

PS Don't forget to go link up with Amber at Goodnight Moon if you have not already done so!  She also pretty much rocks, wouldn't you agree?

Monday, June 13, 2011


Three little words, and I felt the walls falling in all around me AGAIN.

I think it is my own fault that I keep feeling so LET DOWN, because I am just dumb enough to get my hopes up that things will finally get better.  Back to 'normal'.  Whatever that is.

So, what are the three words that broke my heart this past weekend?  "I'm not interested."

And he wasn't even talking about SEX, although he might as well have been....we've only been 'intimate' three times in the past six weeks!  Enough to make me scream in frustration, and cry those bitter tears of self-pity because he just doesn't WANT me.  But I don't scream or cry, I just stay calm(ish) and I keep fighting for US.  I keep hoping.  Stupid hope.

The three hated words were actually used when I told hubby about an e-mail I got from the FRO about this AWESOME opportunity for hubs and I to attend a weekend "RWW" program....Returning Warrior Workshop, which is "an interactive weekend where the Marines will not only benefit from numerous resources on-site, but also have the opportunity to speak with mental health professionals, chaplains, and unit leadership"  The email said it was specifically targeted to married Marines and their spouses who experienced high stressors during deployment, either in theater or on the homefront.  Um, HELLO, that's US!  And it's a FREE "Yellow Ribbon" weekend.  They will even reimburse us for travel expenses!  Not a be-all, end-all perfect solution, but it sounds like a pretty good start.  Stupid of me to hope that hubby will actually WANT to do anything about this ridiculous divide between us.  I think the keyword he heard was "mental health professionals" and he literally cut me off with the horrid "I'm not interested".  Verbal knife-hand.

And I can't think of anything to DO about this, except cry another river.  And, well, that hasn't exactly been working well for me in the six months since he returned from deployment.

This just freaking SUCKS!

I mean, overall, life really isn't all that bad here.....we've settled down some, and Bonehead's drama is minimal (for now).  We don't really fight or yell as much....maybe once every two weeks or so?  Ha - about as often as we have sex, I guess.  If I thought more fighting would equal more sex, I would go wake up my snoring husband RIGHT NOW and pick a fight.  A BIG ONE.  If I thought that would work.  Even if it would work, it would be the disappointing version of sex that somehow passes for him these days.....not so much for me. *AHEM*  But anyway, we're barely existing right now.  I want to LIVE!  I want to MOVE FORWARD, instead of just barely treading water.

I honestly try so hard to see some light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm normally pretty good at that stuff - a FATAL OPTIMIST.  But right now, thanks to those three little words, I seriously don't even see how we have a FUTURE to look forward to!  I mean, here we are, desperately in need of something to help us with this incredibly difficult transition, and instead of grabbing on with both hands, he just SLAPS IT AWAY. "Im not interested"  WTF?!?!  Well I am, damn it. 

But as usual, I can't do this by myself.

BY MYSELF.  Those two words are the only ones I hate more than his three little words.


* if you want to cheer me up, come join in my weekly viral video linkup!  It goes up every Sunday and stays open until Monday night, midnight (Pacific time).  It's really been struggling lately, and I'm considering pulling the plug, but if YOU participate, maybe I can keep it going.  Keep SOMETHING going.*

Sunday, June 12, 2011

video linkup, week 11!

WOW, I can't believe this linkup has now been running for 11 weeks!  Even more than that, I can't believe that out of over 150 followers, only 2 or 3 are participating regularly.....what's up with the rest of y'all?

Well, for those of you who are just here to watch - I am including TWO videos this week.  I kinda have to, because they're related.  Well, sorta.

The first one *might* be real (shudder).  I hope it's not!  The second one is obviously a spoof commercial for a non-existent dating service.  I wish I could have found the SNL one, for "MeHarmony"....freaking HILARIOUS!

Anyway, enjoy:

HA HA HA awesome, right?

So, for those of you who have been THINKING about doing this linkup....this is the week to do it!  Post a viral video on your blog, then link back to THIS POST in your blog (copy and paste the url above)  and then, the last step, come back here, click the little blue "add your link" down on the bottom of this post, and past YOUR blog post URL in there.  All done!  Wasn't that easy? 

I'm trying to get TEN people to add their link to this, so I can justify doing the paid subscription from inlinks instead of the free one.  Paid subscription will allow THUMBNAIL collections, so instead of just seeing a text link for the person who linked up, you'll see a THUMBNAIL - the blog button or profile pic, for instance.  It's pretty cool.  It doesn't even cost very much money, but in my head I just can't justify PAYING for a service if I don't think anyone will really USE it.  So come on, show me that you'll use it!  It doesn'y cost YOU anything!  And, you might just meet some other cool bloggers along the way.  I certainly have.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

music linkup WEEK 16: KEANE cover songs

My song this week is from may know their hit single "Somewhere Only We Know" but I just found some AWESOME covers they've done of songs by some of my favorite bands!  For instance, they did a pretty amazing cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy The Silence", and they did one of the best covers I have ever heard of U2's "With or Without You".  Tell me what you think:

Isn't that just AWESOME?

My linkup for next week will be a special one, in celebration of my family's'll understand when it auto-posts! (I hope I have internet while there, so I can actually LINK UP with Amber next week!)

Now its your turn - go post a song that you're feeling right now, and then link your post up over at Goodnight Moon so we can all enjoy it with you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

pardon me, but your CRAZY is showing!

OK, before I get into this one, this will be a LONG post (but I promise it will be worth it if you read to the end!)

I've always known that everyone has SOME degree of 'crazy' that's just, well, ingrained in us. I recently observed a woman at my work who seems to have some level of OCD (DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed medical practitioner of any kind, and am not trained to make any kind of diagnosis!  I just know crazy when I see it.) So, "OCD Lady" has this routine every morning when she arrives at work.  When she parks (far away from any other cars) she sits in her Prius until precisely 8:55 (maybe listening to a radio program?) then she gets out of her car, takes out her efficient little tote that fits perfectly on her shoulder, then walks around her car (apparently checking for scratches or dings?) and takes out her CAR COVER.  It's always perfectly rolled up from her previous afternoon's routine, so she can easily - but CAREFULLY - place it over the top of her little car, and roll it out from back to front, then roll down the fabric over the driver's side, and then walk around to roll down the passenger side fabric.  She then circles the car one more time to make sure all is IN ORDER before she walks inside the school.

That's right, I said SCHOOL.  As in, elementary school.  In super-safe suburbia. Where NOTHING is going to happen to her car, even if she *gasp* parks near other cars, or leaves the car cover off.

Now, the first time I saw this routine, I thought 'what a paranoid bitch!'  Then I began to sympathize a little, and wondered what horrible thing must have happened to her to make her so paranoid. 

Then I began to see my own OCD husband just a little in her crazy routine.  He has this NEED to check, and double check, all the car door handles after he locks it with the little remote. Even though we all hear the 'click' of the lock, and the little beep of the car horn to confirm that the remote has done its job...he is just never satisfied with that.  Everywhere we go, the kids and I have to stand there (sometimes with our hands full, and even in the RAIN) while he walks all around the car and pulls each handle up two or three times to make sure each door is really locked. To me, this is excruciating!  I try so hard to just smile and know that he needs this, but it is just freaking PAINFUL to watch.

And its painful to watch OCD lady sometimes, too.  I mean, PAINFUL.  I felt so sorry for her, for whatever has trapped her in this time-consuming routine. 

But one day last month, it hit me:
she finds COMFORT in this routine. 

I have my own specific routines, things I HAVE to do a certain way, and these routines can calm and comfort me when my life is in chaos.  At first I compared my own routines to OCD Lady's car habit, and thought, 'yeah, but my routines are all about things that MATTER.'  (to me)  Like, I have this thing about my towels not fitting in the linen closet if they're not folded "RIGHT".  It comes from this teeny tiny linen closet that we had in our last house, and now, after 5 years in this house with THREE linen closets, I still have this need to fold the stupid towels 'my way'.  My mother in law folded a load of towels here while I was in the hospital giving birth 9 months ago, and I actually took them OUT of the closet and re-folded them 'the right way'.

Anyway, here's the major epiphany that I wanted to write about:
What matters to me, does not necessarily matter to other people.  And what matters to my husband RARELY matters to me.

I think, when we were dating, and even early in our marriage, we cared about each other's causes simply because we cared about each other.  But now, I find it harder and harder to give a damn about the things he is 'crazy' over, and he rolls his eyes at my obsessions.  We barely ever even watch TV together any more, because our taste in entertainment is so vastly different.  I think this last deployment really highlighted a lot of our differences, because we each had nearly eight months of each being able to do things our own way - and struggling to come back together this time, with all of our OTHER issues (his PTSD, my PPD, and all of our idiosyncrasies, old and new) has just seemed like more trouble than it was worth.

But when it comes down to it, HE matters to me.  And I know I matter to him.  So, we have to find ways to focus (once again) on the things we have in common.  The things we BOTH believe in.  Our kids.  Our faith.  Our home.  OUR FUTURE.

We need to develop some of our own crazy routines TOGETHER, don't you think?  Something comforting, something that's always the same, no matter what.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

video linkup FUNNNNNNY

This week's viral video linkup features one of my favorite YouTube sensations: Retarded Policeman!  Yes, I actually do realize how offensive this is (on soooooo many levels) but I just can't help but laugh.

My own husband is a law enforcement officer - and so is my best friend's hubby.  In fact, Bestie is the one who first introduced me to this, bac when the "Boobies" episode first aired.

This episode is an ode to Star Wars, bicyclists, cops, and retards everywhere.  (again, YES I know this is offensive.  If you can't laugh along, feel free to click that little X in your top right corner....buh-bye!)

This linkup is once again in danger of dying - if you want to save it, PARTICIPATE!  Go post a viral video over on your blog, then come back here to link up! (the little blue button below)  Don't forget to link back to my post in your own post, so your readers can join in on the fun, too. If I can get TEN participants I will upgrade my inlinkz subscription to allow thumbnail links instead of just text - so you can post a picture (or your blog button) when you link up!

Friday, June 3, 2011

shepherd's pie

I got a lot of blog hits on my last SIMPLE recipe post, so I thought I'd post another.

Sherpherd's Pie is basically a leftovers you can be pretty creative with the ingredients.  You generally layer meat, then veggies, then potatoes in a pie pan or casserole dish.  I didn't have any leftovers to work with this time, so I made everything specifically FOR shepherd's pie.  The cool thing about that is I got to take PICTURES to share! Here's my step-by-step:

I started by browning ground turkey in a skillet.  I added chopped onions and a little garlic powder for flavor.

I layered the meat in the bottom of a pie plate (for easy cleanup, spray the pie plate with cooking spray first!)

I added grated cheese this time, because, well, we LIKE cheese.  And it helps hold the meat layer together for serving, too.

I added some corn & peas

The best way to do this dish is with home-made mashed potatoes, but for this batch, I CHEATED:

That's pretty much it!

You can bake or microwave the whole pie before serving.  You can use ANY meat, ANY vegggies, and if you're not a fan of potatoes you can even use pasta or stove top stuffing for the top layer!  What could be simpler?

The best part, my boys LOVE this dish.  There's rarely any leftover.  Take it to a potluck, and as soon as people see what's in it, it will DISAPPEAR.  Seriously.
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