Friday, July 29, 2011

Lasagna saves the day.... or the lack thereof.

Allow me to share my lasagna story with you. Monday morning I got up ready.. fresh tomatoes from the garden, all peeled and diced. (not my garden). All the ingredients were ready to go. Everything was set. Lasagna! I have been wanting to make my homemade lasagna for weeks.

There are three meals I love to make: lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, and spinach and ricotta stuffed shells with meatballs. Yes, I love Italian food, and I'm a recipe junkie. (I need to blog more about food.)

Back to the house fire... oh, I mean lasagna.

So, I take my recipe book out of my office and opened it to the page that has seen much love to take out the note card filled with information that would transform diced tomatoes into a little bit of heaven. Wait... what? The lasagna card was missing. Come on!

I remembered that not long ago I had typed the recipe for a few friends. It had to be on my desk. (Fail.) Well, those messages had long since been deleted along with the recipes. However, having such fabulous friends I sent messages asking if any of them could email me the recipe because mine was misplaced. Me... misplace something? (Epidemic.) I waited. I told my mom I was waiting on a response. She suggested calling. (We really wanted lasagna.) No word from anyone. Lasagna was a lost cause and I had 6 cups of diced tomatoes waiting in the refrigerator.

I decided to go with spaghetti and meatballs.... and yes, mine is fabulous. I had to add a little here and there.... I had lasagna ingredients... the same... but different. Into the lasagna pot and on the stove to simmer forever.  (I DO call it my lasagna pot and I ONLY stir the sauce with my spaghetti spoon.) There were several trips to my mom's to get a few things I needed to complete the sauce, but we managed. (I love cooking for my mom.)

Here's the exciting part of the story, so get ready. Mom STILL has clean-up in her yard from the tornado of 4/27, as do most people in this area, so she is usually quite tired by dinner time. Lasagna would have been taken to her house, but spaghetti and meatballs is not exactly the meal that travels. She came here when I called to say it was finished. We ate. A LOT. A thunderstorm was rolling in as we were finishing. The kitchen was such a mess and now we couldn't wash the dishes. Lightning popped all around.

Thunder boomed and lightning struck the side of my house. I saw it. I saw the flash of light and sparks flew out in all directions. I ran outside in the rain to check the house and saw the flames. I ran back in and told mom and the kids to get out, the house was on fire. Mom went to the side and was using the water hose on the fire. I took the hose from her and asked her to go be with the kids while I gave my address to the emergency dispatch. Poor woman... the lightning struck close again and I hit the ground with a fantastic scream right in the phone. (I did apologize there.)

Fire trucks filled my front lawn. I dropped the hose. Soaked with no shoes (who had time for shoes.) I went to stand with the fabulous four and hugged them all.

After a thorough check by the firefighters we were safe to stay in the house. Half the power is gone for now, and my phone was toast, but our house is fine. (A special thanks to the men and women of our local fire departments.)

So there you have it. If anyone had returned that email with my lasagna recipe I would have taken dinner to my mom's and my house just might be gone. Even if it had burned to the ground, all would not be lost. No, everything in my life that matters would still be held in a hug.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Funny Side of Life.... Part 2

Do you ever notice the ads on the right side of your facebook page? I started paying closer attention to the ads and the pictures, and I'm completely entertained. I borrowed these to share because if even one of you can smile...then the ads have worked. For those that missed my first post of ads click here. The collection continues. Enjoy.

Mom's $10,000 grant trick
(Am I suppose to scare them into giving me money?)

(I couldn't remember the title but this is just funny.)
(Ever had to do this in public?)

Have fun with foam.
(Not that much fun.)

(I can't remember the title on this either.)
(Wouldn't you make that *GASP* sound if this was your camera.)

Search results can hurt.
(Well, sure if this is what you like to wear.)

Want to take a trip on Southwestern Airlines?
(Voluntary motion sickness... no.)

Sign up to train your dragon.
(This should read - Sign up for free nightmares. I am no longer a fan of all things creepy.)

Build your dream park full of puppies and kittens.
(Sound like a lot of clean up to me.)

Mr. Clean, Man of Mystery: Who is he? Superhero, Pirate, Hot Dude Next Door?
(I just need him to come clean.)

Become a social worker in 1YR.
(Yes, we need social workers to round up  all the electric children.)

(Again, no idea what this said.)
(But wouldn't you include it... stop looking... I know, I couldn't stop either.)

Be a dietitian in 1YR
(..... then  perhaps you can help rescue this man.)

Dinner Dash Facebook Ap.
(If you have never played.... oh it's time.)

No more waxing!
(That's right ladies, they'll take all the unwanted hair and make it grow from your eyelashes.)

Wishbone Salad Dressing.
(Tyler Florence. Cute gets included.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Retro Summer Blogfest

Summer has always been a time for hanging out with friends, new adventures, fabulous vacations, movie marathons.... and the music we love graces each situation. I happened across the Retro Summer Blogfest and knew I had to participate.

The rules for the blogfest stated you had to find a mixed audio cd that you haven't listened to in a while, write down all the tracks; artist and song title, write down what the songs means to you and why you like it.

I have a box of old cassette tapes in my garage that I dug through. I found a stack numbered 1-10, but I had no idea what songs were on there. That's right.... I said cassette tapes.

So here are the treasures I found on cassette tape #10:
Tape rewound... push play.... and the sound of what... what is that sound? Wait, I know that sound!  I eject the tape.

The Bic pen is my favorite pen to write with. I don't know why, but I won't write with any other. It's my one silly writerly thing that I do. However, today it saved my #10.

Proceed with the treasure hunt.

Side A
Two out of Three Ain't Bad - Meatloaf
Paradise by the Dashboard Light - Meatloaf
For Crying out Loud - Meatloaf

Evidently I was partial to side two of my sister's Bat out of Hell album.
Next... empty space. What? That's it! A 90 minute cassette tape with three songs on one side. Side B needs to step it up or I'm going to have the worst blog in the blogfest. Meatloaf is good, but not that good. 

Side B:
I'll Still Be Lovin' You - Restless Heart 
(Wait, what tape is this... is this just sappy love songs... too funny!)
Only To Be With You - U2
(U2 slightly redemptive from sappy, but we are only on song #2.)
Lost In Emotion - Lisa Lisa Cult Jam
(You know that dance that's only cool in the 80s.... it's that type of song.)
Didn't We Almost Have It All - Whitney Houston
(I was pining away there, huh?)
One Heartbeat at a Time - Smokey Robinson
(Evidently my radio being taken away should have been my punishment, not the keys to my car.)
Wipe Out - The Fat Boys and The Beach Boys
(Our cheerleading squad did a dance routine for the halftime of the basketball game to this one.)
It's Not Over 'Til It's Over - Starship
(Remember "riding around".... the aimless driving, but oh so fun. This song was played a lot.)
Honestly - Stryper
(Big hair bands were just the best. I think I liked them because they opened for Bon Jovi. Am I right?)
Can't We Try - Dan Hill and Vonda Shepard
(The sappiness continues.)
Always - Atlantic Starr
(Oh, they played this at my junior prom.)
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square - Anita O'Day
(The song from the wonderful movie Every Time We Say Goodbye. I stayed up and recorded this from the television.)
Commercials from the radio...... one of those times you walk off while you're recording and forget, and then you try to tape over it with other songs, but it's still there at the end. Whatever was on sale that day, it was 2 for $4.

That's it. Thanks, for walking with me down memory lane. The 80s were fabulous and music was fun. If this tape could tell you ALL the stories that went with each song... well, I'd have to smash it with a hammer. 

While digging in that box of treasures, I did come across a few jewels.
Happy blogfest everyone. Cut FOOTLOOSE!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life - Defined by Disney

We have grown up with the characters of these movies and enjoy every new addition to the Disney family. Life lessons can always be found in a Disney movie.

Poof! Whad'ya needPoof! Whad'ya need? - Genie
(I'm a single mom of four. I should just wear this on a t-shirt.)

Oo ooh ooh, I wanna be like you ooh ooh. - King Louie
(You might think the grass is greener but it still has to be mowed.)

I'm not worthless -- and I don't have fleas. - Aladdin.  
(Keep a healthy self perception.)

Hmm! Teenagers. They think they know everything. You give them an inch and they swim all over you! - Sebastian 
(Never lose eye contact with anyone who can look you in the eye.)

All it takes is Faith and Trust - Peter Pan
(Yep, that's all it takes.)

HAKUNA MATATA means no worries - The Lion King
(This should be recited daily... perhaps spoken out loud hourly.)

The past can hurt. You can either run from it or learn from it. - The Lion King
(How many knocks in the head do you need?)

Reach for the sky! - Woody 
(Dreaming should have no limits.)

Even miracles take a little time. - The Fairy Godmother
(Waiting... waiting.... waiting.)

What do you do when things go wrong? Oh! You sing a song!  - Snow White
(Sing in the grocery store. It makes people smile.)

The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. - from Mulan
(Rain, sun, rain, sun, rain, sun. Growth happens... allow it.)

Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten. - from Lilo and Stitch
(Love your family. They love deeply.)

In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. - Marry Poppins
(I try daily to convince my children of this.)

Wow, I wish I could speak whale. - Dory 
(There is greatness in us all if we only remember the words, I CAN.)

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. - Dory
(Self motivation. Just don't talk to yourself out loud.)

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Zip-A-Dee-A!! My oh my what a wonderful day!!! - from Song of the South
(Happiness is saying fun words. Oh, this one will stick with you, so sing... or whistle.)

To infinity, and beyond! - Buzz Lightyear
(Always have a destination.)

If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true. - from Cinderella
(What's holding you back?)

Genie[grows to a gigantic size] PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS! [shrinks down inside the lamp]   

Itty-bitty living space!
(Make the most of your situation.)

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.  - Pinocchio

(Red Ferrari, red ferrari, red ferrari, red ferrari.)

Aladdin before the magic carpet ride to Jasmine, "Do you trust me?"
(Find a man with a magic carpet and I'll trust him.)

No matter what happens. I'll always be with you. Forever. - from Pocahontas
(We will always carry those we love in our hearts.)

Andy: [taking a last look at his toys before he heads off to college] "Thanks, guys. " 
(This one added just because I heard all the adults in the theater "sniff" and this post made possible by fabulous facebook friends.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fear or Freedom

I watched in awe yesterday as my youngest daughter braved the diving board. Her courage was adorable. She ran, she jumped, she sprang into the air and the words...."CANNON BALL!"....... were heard for miles around. Of course she couldn't swim well so she wore the little swimmers.... known by some as water wings... those fabulous arm floats that help moms rest at ease knowing the child will stay afloat. 

This particular day the swimmers just didn't do their job. One split and floated away when she came back to the surface. Fear took place of fun instantly. Panic filled her face. Then.... something happened. She just started swimming with the one swimmer. It took longer to get to the shallow end but she made it. 

With that experience behind her she wondered since she swam well with only one, could she swim with none. The other swimmer was tossed to the side. Off she went, across the pool.... never stopping. Never fearing. Never looking to see who was watching. Just swimming...... with freedom.

With great pride in her accomplishment she swam from side to side over and over and called out to anyone who would watch. Tiring, she donned the extra swimmers that were at the pool. The diving board still hasn't been conquered without them, but there are many more days of summer just waiting for fun!

I thought about her experience all day. My sweet little girl. 

Life takes risks. Life takes courage. Don't you think it's time to take off your own water wings and see what freedom you can find? I know I'm ready.  Fear....... freedom..... make your choice. 

(These were simply added with today's post... well, just because it's summer and you need more fun!)

For more chocolate fun visit the FamilyFun page