Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Random Tuesday Thought!

It's Tuesday!  Whew.  I'm going to random up and see if I can keep the comeback streak going.
->  Three missing girls in Cleveland have been found!  That's great news for a city that's just become used to bad news all the time.  The man that helped rescue them?  Priceless.
Go watch.  And remember the dead giveaway.  If you see a young white girl run into a black man's arms, call 911.  She's either homeless or something is wrong.  ;)  As usual, C-town represents.
->  LG has learned to ride his two wheeler without training wheels.  I'll get a picture soon, but when it happened I wasn't expecting it, so I didn't catch the moment.  It was a Hallmark moment, though.  We were out front on the sidewalk practicing, and I didn't notice that all the neighbors were slyly watching from behind their yard work.  As soon as he went down the block, they all broke out in cheers and whistles.  It was awesome.  Now we have to get the little boy across the street on just two wheels and they'll have a gang.
->  We have a new adopted member of our household.  I've named him Figlet.
He was just a just a little leaf as of last Wednesday, but now he's up to 3 whole mini leaves!  A friend has moved from her long time home, and is spreading around cuttings from her old Italian fig tree in hopes that if she loses it in the move, one of us will carry on the tradition.  We've been trying to take good care of for her.  I'll keep you up on his progress.  We'll probably keep him potted for a while, and only when he's big enough to defend himself from the deer will we move him to the yard. 
->  It's teacher appreciation week.  I'm just going to point out that I get one day, PB gets one day, but the teachers get a whole week.  I also don't get paid to take care of my children, and they do.  I don't get a present at the end of the year, and they do.  I'm not bitter, though, I promise.
Ok, I'm randomed out for now.  Go see Stacey.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Second Blooming

In my enthusiasm to blog, I didn't even think about doing my spin today.  Not my finest.

Gretchen threw "bucket list" up there.  Hmmm.

I don't have a bucket list.  Not kidding.  I'm not saying I live in the moment or anything.  I'm a planner.  I just don't have this magical list of stuff I want to get done before I meet my maker.  No trips to Europe, or mountain climbing.  I don't care if I meet someone famous, or finish War and Peace.  If that stuff were to come along, I would do it willingly (most likely), but I'm not setting out to do it. 

Which kind of brings up something I've been up to lately (for those that lost me for this past year).  I took up running.  It started as a random occurrence.  I ran a charity 5K for my niece and thoroughly embarrassed myself.  Yes, thoroughly.  Finished one before last, and the last guy was almost a million years old.  I had to run to redeem myself, to prove that I was not going to be one of those people who was an athlete who let middle age and the rest of life get the best of them.  I got an app (of course there's an app for that, silly me).  PB bought me new running shoes (because if anything besides shame was going to get me to run it was throwing money away on shoes I didn't use.  I now HAD to use them.)  It began.  A co-worker heard about it and invited me to a race at Halloween.  It was fun to have that little bit of time outside of work together.  We didn't run the race together, we just showed up together and she was waiting at the finish line to cheer me through.  This time I finished middle of the pack.

People began encouraging me by telling me how excited they were for me.  Who gets excited to hear about someone else exercising?  Who knows...  I kept going.  I ran the Cleveland Turkey Trot (with all the half drunk college kids home for the weekend).  It was a beautiful day and I had FUN.  PB and the boys cheered me on and I didn't feel like I was going to die. 

My old college roommate and I decided to do the Princess half marathon at Disney together next year.  So I keep going.  Three times a week I put on my running shoes and hit the pavement.  I'm enjoying it, mostly.  Not all the time.  It sucked to run in 35 degree weather.  It sucked to run through pelting hail, but I have to run when I have time.  Am I proud when someone sees me on the road on a miserable day and tells me I'm crazy?  A little.  Being honest, during most runs I'm not enjoying myself.  But when I get home and I look at the miles I logged, it get that little "squee" moment. When I run right past a place that I used to turn around huffing and puffing last fall and know that I'm not even half through my run?  That makes me happy. 

Bring it all back around.  I can't tell you how many people have asked me if I'm doing this because a marathon is on my bucket list.  They're shocked when I tell them no.  I have a lot of reasons for running now (be a good example to my kids, stay healthy, get outside more, I could keep going).  A bucket list is not one of them.  When I'm staring at the end, I don't want to think of some list I didn't accomplish, and all the "what ifs".  I don't want to go screaming to the end trying to cram it all in.  What I do want is to be able to sit down and look at everything I did get to do, to try to learn and appreciate the opportunities I took when I had the chance.  Just a different perspective, I guess.

But now, put Gretchen on your to do and go read the other spinners. 

If only I were the princess type.

Conversation on the way to swim class last night:

PB:  Look, Mama, your cherry tree is blooming!
LG:  Does is grow poison cherries?
MB:  Really, Disney?  I'm not the princess, so clearly I must be the wicked step mother trying to ruin everything beautiful in the world.
PB:  Well-
MB:  Watch it, your options are handsome prince or doddering old fool.
PB:  Doddering old fool it is.
MB:  Or I guess washed up hero.  A few fathers were washed up heroes.
PB:  Doddering old fool it is.  Washed up hero implies that at one time I was a strapping young hero rescuing princesses. 
MB:  Yeah.  But at least you're my old fool, right?

Conversation after PB proceed to chase a collie down the street from the ice cream stand last night (long story, collie slipped leash, causing owner to stumble and fall- and on and on)

PB:  I learned something tonight.
MB:  What's that?
PB:  I'm faster than a middle aged man trying to chase his collie down the street, but not quite as fast as a collie trying to run away from his middle aged owner.
MB:  Well, at least there's the ice cream, right?

And, to my credit, I only took maintenance licks of his cone while he was gone.  It was still mostly waiting for him upon his return.

Have a good weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Shhh, you don't see me.

But I'm here for a second.  Like a ninja.  To give you some love.  A little taste of what the Badgers have been up to:

A little brewing.
A little time in the sun.
And exploring some "new" hobbies.
Yeah, it's been a good time out here.  I'm not calling it a comeback yet.  But I'm warming up to the idea.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy St. Joseph's Day

Ma and Pop at the Bronx Zoo 1988

Ma and Pop in Ocean City Maryland 1985

Ma and Pops Christmas 1976
Happy St. Joseph's Day, Pops.  You'd laugh your tush off to hear your grandson explain that St. Joseph was kind of Jesus "step dad" since God is his real father...  And you'd be very proud to hear him tell EVERYONE that he's named after BOTH his Grandpa's.

In memory of Nancy Mary Picone Cecatiello July 4, 1935 - March 19, 1992

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hello. Is this thing on???

Ahhh, don't get excited.  I'm back.  I actually waited for today to blog again because it's Leap Day.  In my mind, it's a gimme.  An extra day.  So, I though it would be a good day to jump back into things.  Because this blog post doesn't count.  Shhhh, you don't really see me.  I took February off.  From everything.

But, Mama, where have you been?  Did aliens kidnap you?  Did you find Elvis?  Or Jesus?  Are you on the road with Newt?

No, no.  Nothing like that.  What I found was a new job.  Because my old job and I weren't getting along.  Long story, but let's just say it was a bad relationship and they finally said, "It's not us, it's you".  So I brushed off the interview suit and got my resume out.  Took two and a half weeks, but I found me some new digs (ok, if you're unemployed you have every right to hate me right now.  I completely understand.  I had an in at my new job.  It wasn't magic fairy dust, and I can't share.  Sorry).  Needless to say, I think I'll be happier.  We'll see. 

But, Mama, what did you do with your last 4 weeks off?  How did you use this paid vacation?  Uhm, job searching, numb skull.  Ok. Only for the first two weeks.  For the last two I've been catching up on my reading and doing all those stupid house projects that we put off around the house because we're just too tired to take on anything that horrible.  For instance, I finally put together the memory book of little o's first year.  What?  He's only two.  Then I got the gutters cleaned.  They were thrilled for the work in February.  Teeth cleaned?  Yup.  Driveway with a new ton of gravel?  Yup.  Side note- a ton of gravel really is as much as it sounds.  And I really do only weight a hundred pounds.  I'll tell the story later, but let's leave it at "my neighbors got a huge kick out of seeing me unload a ton of gravel from the bed of PB's pick 'em up truck last week." Lots of laundry, and cleaning of closets that hadn't seen light in years.  Nothing exciting, I promise.

What didn't you do, Mama?  Uhm, take the boys out of school.  PB and I made a deal.  If I was unemployed on April 1 (when the severence pay runs out), the boys go part time.  Then out for the summer, then just pre-school for the fall.  Because the fall back was stay at home Mom.  Which sounded good for about 5 minutes.  I'm just not that Mom.  After a day with my kids I'm exhausted, and the only thing they've learned is new swear words.  I have been taking them each out alone an afternoon here and there to have some Mama adventures.  And a few Fridays we've all gone out with friends.  Which we all love.  But I'm really glad that April 1 will come and go with no changes (as are my daycare providers and PB).

What have I learned?  A few things:

->  When a "promotion" makes you want to cry in the bathroom, don't take it.  If that's not an option, start looking for somewhere else to be.

->  When you know you're in a bad situation, don't let the other party be the ones to have to end it.  Take action and do it yourself. 

->  Not everything that hurts is a bad thing.  Sometimes a little pain leads to a great victory.

->  Don't hide a problem from your friends.  Their honesty might not be what you want to hear, but they'll support you and push you in the right direction.  Listen to them.

I'm sure there were other lessons to learn here, but I'm not done learning.  And some things were learned that I will only admit to myself in the dark of the night (it's hard to acknowledge your faults in the light of day, alright?)  I know I'm not perfect, but neither were they.  Or better stated, we just weren't right for each other.  It happens.

Now, I'm not going to promise I'll be back with a vengence (I'll leave that to Bruce Willis) but I'm back.  I'll probably stick to prompts for a little while, but I'll get you a picture of the boys up soon.

Until then, have  a good Leap Day! (ps- spell check isn't working, so please ignore my poor spelling for today...)

Monday, January 23, 2012

National Pie Day- a recipe

Pie is a very important food at our house.  We even have a badger who's favorite food is pie.  So, in honor of National Pie Day, and Jan's Make Ahead Monday, I stole a recipe to share with you.  Yup, stole it just for you.  And we're eating it tonight.  No, you may not stop over.

Chocolate Pye (stolen from Two Fat Ladies)


6 ounces ground almonds
1 egg white
2 ounces superfine sugar
8 ounces plain chocolate, grated
1 pint plus 4 ounces (2 1/2 cups) double cream (or heavy cream)
Sliced almonds to top


Work the ground almonds, egg white, and sugar into a paste and knead into a ball. On a sugared surface, roll out to a round large enough to line an 8-inch nonstick flan tin, 1/4-inch thick and leave to dry for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the rested pastry in the tin and decorate the edges with the finger and thumb technique. Line with foil (but no baking beans) and bake blind for 20 to 25 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid scorching. Leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, then mix in the cream, stirring all the time to prevent splitting. Remove from the heat and, as the chocolate starts to set, beat the mixture to a light foam. Allow to cool for 1 to 2 minutes before pouring into the cooled crackling crust. Leave to set. Serve decorated with toasted almonds and yellow rose petals.
-> I was going to make mine last night after my showdown with LG (which PB proceeded to ruin by laughing hysterically).  LG and I have a similar stubborn streak.  When we get on a roll, we apparently give each other the same glare.  Last night LG lost his rights to stories and songs.  But after I finished reading and singing to little o, I heard a melody coming out of his room.  PB had caved.  I went in arms crossed, glaring, "Why is he getting songs?  YOU'RE the one who took them away from him!"  LG glared back at me, for ruining the guilt trip he was working hard to take PB on.  I glared back.  Apparently, a mirror glare, since PB started giggling, then outright laughing, then he had to put LG down because he laughed so hard at us (ok, me).  Harumph.  When I make the pye tonight, we'll see who gets any...  Maybe you can come over, I'll have enough to share.