Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Gray Hair

Why is it that gray/silver/white hair on a man makes them look distinguished, but on most women it ages them?? My first gray hair made it's appearance when I was 17 and they have steadily multiplied throughout the past 31 years.  I'm not even sure my hair could be considered to be gray anymore, it's current color is white as snow.  I went a really long time before I started coloring it myself.  I only started about eight years ago.  Since I wash my hair every day, the color starts fading quickly, so I have to do it every two weeks. When I first met my husband his hair was very dark brown.  Over the 21 years that I have known him, his hair color has changed.  It's now what you would call, "salt and pepper."  On him it looks great!!  I pay about $2.50 a box for my hair color and I do a reasonably good job of applying it myself.  I'm too frugal to go to the hair salon and let them do it.  I did ask the last time I got my hair cut how much it would cost for them to color my hair, it was over $50 and I go to a cheap place!!  If you think about the ladies in Hollywood that were at the Oscars a few days ago, how many had gray hair? Could any of us picture Angelina Jolie with gray hair? I know I can't! In Hollywood, everyone wants to look A LOT younger than they actually are. I'm not trying to look younger than I am by coloring my hair, I just don't want to look a lot older than I am, plus the hubby likes that I color my hair, even though he says that I do it too much!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

How You Know When to Clean Out the Car

A few days ago as my son and I were waiting in the car for my daughter to come out of a sports practice, I was reading a magazine.  I didn't bring any snacks for him, so when I heard him eating something, I knew I better check that one out!!  When I asked him what he was eating, he said, "pretzel!!"  He had reached under the seat and found a part of a pretzel to nibble on. Yuck!  I don't think it was too old, maybe about a week, because I remember taking some pretzels in a baggie in the car about a week or so ago.  I guess the one he found must have fell out of the bag!  Growing up my dad had a rule that you couldn't eat or drink in the car.  If I took a poll of ten of my friends of when the last time they or someone in their car ate or drank something in the past day, I bet all ten of them would say yes! Times have really changed.  Families are so busy these days going from one activity to another that in the car  is sometimes the only time they can grab a quick bite. Cars have become a multipurpose vehicle. Our van has moved furniture, been slept in, eaten in, drank in, and barfed in (I know, disgusting, but it's happened).  A couple years ago while on a long car ride, my little guy reached under the seat and found a long, lost library book.  The fine for the book had been paid at least a year prior to that.  The hubby was like, "maybe you should clean out the car once in a while!"  I do try and keep our van clean, but it definitely is a constant battle.  He drives around a two-door car and 95% of the time he is the only occupant.  On this blog a handful of months ago, I wrote about my huge purse and how when I clean it out I find things I forgot were in there.  I think I probably need to start doing that with our van.  Who knows what I'll find??  I would be curious to hear from other moms how often you clean out your car after hauling your kids around.  Is it daily, weekly, monthly???

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Treasure Your Friends

I consider my friends to be special "gems."  I treasure each and every one of them.  To have friends you have to be a friend.  Simple, but true!! Some of my friends I have had for a long time, others a relatively short time. According to dictionary.com a friend is "a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard."  With me, what you see is what you get.  I am 100% trustworthy and very loyal.  I don't try to be someone that I'm not.  That is definitely a really good way to lose a friend.  That or go around spreading that person's business all over the place.  I have told other moms stuff that I thought was in confidence, only to find out it had been spread around.  I consider my friendships like my marriage, it's built on trust.  I have friends that have seen me at my absolute worst. I have friends that have passed on, but I still keep them in my thoughts and prayers.  Unfortunately, I have had more than one friend that turned out not to be who I thought they were and we have chosen to part ways. You have to keep friends around you that will support you no matter what and pump you up, not tear you or your family down.  Childhood  friends that I thought I would never hear from again, I've reconnected with on Facebook. I get a kick out of "chatting" with them.  It's like no time has gone by at all.   My philosophy is to be good to your friends and they will be good to you!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Anyone Out There Still Watching Soap Operas???

In the past six months, two popular soap operas went off the air permanently, All My Children and One Life to Live. Currently, there are only four daytime soap operas remaining on the air. The highest number on at one time was 19 (that was in 1969-1970).  I originally started watching daytime soap operas back in the late 1970's.  I started out watching General Hospital and then moved over to CBS and started watching the "soaps" over on that station.  I have been watching Young and the Restless off and on since the mid-1980's.  As more moms went back to work, the viewership of daytime soap operas went down. One thing about "soaps" is that you can miss several months and within about a day or two you're all caught up!  I can remember watching a show called, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.  I am really dating myself here, it was on in the mid-1970's.  It only lasted two seasons, but it was considered to be a nighttime "soap."  Who can forget the nighttime soap opera Dallas??  The "who shot J.R.?" storyline was big, big news back in the day!!  I loved Dynasty too - watching Joan Collins and Linda Evans go at it all the time was definitely some good television. Both Dallas and Dynasty were on when I was graduating from high school and started working.   Knots Landing was another good one, though I started watching that one and then it went off the air. I have found the different "soaps" I have watched in the past and the one I follow now as a form of  an "escape" from the real world.  Isn't that what television kind of is?  You can retreat to a different place for a little bit and relax.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed my favorite "soap" doesn't go off the air anytime soon!!  What soap operas past or present were/are your favorite??

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Read A Story



Three words, "read a story."  I have waited since my son was 3 and just learning to talk to hear those words.  Just in the past couple of weeks he has been requesting a story be read to him.  Our house is full of books.  All of us love to read here, we have overflowing bookshelves. From the time my son was 3 -5 years old if we even attempted to read him a book, his response was to grab it out of our hands and throw it on the floor.   He would also flip through the book not even attempting to look at the words or pictures and then slam it shut. It wasn't just his books he would toss around.  He would throw my daughter's books across the room.  Once he took a hardback book that I had taken out from the library and threw it up in the air before I could catch him.  The book fell on the floor and right out of the binding.  I paid close to $40.00 to the library. An expensive lesson was learned from that experience.  Parents of typically developing children take it for granted that their child will learn to read.  When you are a parent of a child with special needs, whether it's Autism or any other disability, that may not always happen.  I can honestly say at times I had my doubts as to whether my son would ever be interested in books, much less learn to read.  From the time he was 5 years old to 7 years old if I said, "hey, how about I read you a book?", his response was "how about NO please!" Very frustrating to say the least. One of the best investments I ever made was a set of magnetic letters that you can attach to the fridge.  I bought them probably when my son was about 2.  My son is a visual learner.  He likes to take the letters and spell things. Recently, he took every single letter off the fridge, put them A-Z on the floor and then told me "alphabet." I love that he can tell me what he has done. Believe me, it hasn't always been like that.  He is learning that words have meanings attached to them.   Having a story read to him has become part of his bedtime routine.  The hubby used to read our daughter a book every night before bedtime and he would read to my stepson when he was younger too. I'm so glad that the love for reading has now made it's way to my son.  I am confident that his interest for reading will only get stronger as time goes on!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Reality Television

I was in my local dollar store a few weeks ago and ended up in the aisle with the books.  I started fishing around and found a book written by Kate Gosselin of the now defunct, "Jon and Kate Plus Eight"  fame.  The original price of the book was $14.99.  Did she fall so far that her book can now be bought for a buck???  My daughter and I watched  "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" all the time when it first came on television.  At first, we really liked that show. It was fascinating to me to watch how a family dealt with twins and a set of sextuplets.  As the show went on I stopped liking it.  Kate would treat her husband like he was one of the kids.  Jon and Kate's marriage kind of started unraveling before my eyes.  Marriage can have its challenging moments, but when you start putting all your private stuff out there for millions of people to watch, I think it made it really hard for them to work on the issues they were having. Reality shows are everywhere. The hubby likes "Jersey Shore."  For the life of me I can't really figure that one out.  I make him turn it off if I'm in the room. Many of the shows on the TLC Network remind me of a carnival sideshow. I admit it, I watched part of "My 600-lb. Life" the other night just to see what it was all about.  After about 10 minutes, I changed the channel, because it really wasn't entertaining, it was kind of sad.  I sometimes find it really hard to find a television show that doesn't have cuss words or talks about inappropriate topics every five minutes.  I have gone back to watching the old shows again like "I Love Lucy",  "The Waltons" and the "Brady Bunch."  I know it sounds kind of corny, but I like the wholesome shows of my youth!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Grandmother

My grandmother was born on this day in 1903.  She had a great marriage to my grandfather until he passed in 1969. She was a wonderful mother to my mom and my uncle.  I don't remember ever seeing her upset or in a foul mood.  She had the most upbeat personality and I could talk to her about ANYTHING and she would just sit there and listen for however long I wanted to talk (and with my big mouth that could sometimes be a LONG time)! When we cleaned out her apartment to get ready to move her into assisted living I was lucky enough to get some of her possessions.  I got her yellow couch that she kept in her spare bedroom in her apartment.  I also got some metal mixing bowls that I use frequently. When I went through my many years of college she was one of my biggest supporters.  I remember when I was debating whether to take a typing class in high school she said, "Cathy, you can ALWAYS get a job if you learn to type!"  How very true that was.  All of my jobs I have had have involved some amount of typing.  My daughter, my husband and my stepson were lucky enough to meet my grandmother.  She passed away when I was pregnant with my son at 101 years old, so unfortunately he never got a chance to meet her.  My grandmother traveled to many foreign countries.  She would bring back dolls from the different countries she visited.  My grandmother and I played endless card games of  "Canasta" and boy, did she have a poker face!  One of the times I spent the night at her apartment she invited me to play cards with her lady friends. What a cool group of  women!  One thing my grandmother never did was learn to drive.  The story goes that when she tried to get lessons the instructor told her she would never be a good driver, so she never learned.  She relied on the bus or others to help her get around.  She would tell me how growing up in Missouri there would be tornadoes.  She lived through the Great Depression and the Titanic sinking.  My grandmother was truly a remarkable woman and a wonderful storyteller. I'm thinking about you today Grandma - Happy Birthday!!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Baking + Breads = Happiness


I love to bake and it truly is a passion of mine.  I guess you can say it's in the "genes." My great-grandfather on my mom's side was a baker in Missouri.  I like to think he would have loved that I find so much happiness in my baking! My favorite things to bake are any kind of quick breads, such as muffins, biscuits and scones. I actually found a copy of my great-grandfather's biscuit recipe from 1959 that I will be putting on my blog in the near future! One baking item I have never used in my entire life are cinnamon chips.  I didn't even know that the grocery stores sold them. One of the first recipes that I sent to MomsEveryday.com was my cinnamon scone recipe.  I tinkered with the recipe a little (reducing the cinnamon and eliminating the nutmeg). I added 3/4 cup of cinnamon chips and the end result turned out pretty well. Scones sound like something really fancy and make you think they are hard to make.  It is quite the opposite.


Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups white flour
2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (slightly softened)
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cinnamon chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Mix all ingredients together except the butter, milk and cinnamon chips in a large bowl.  With two knives, "cut" in the butter until mixed together or use a spoon to mix in the butter until it's kind of crumbly. Next, add the milk.  The batter will be kind of stiff. If it's really stiff, add milk a teaspoon at a time until it's easier to work with. Once it's well mixed, take it out of the bowl and place on a slightly floured surface (I usually put a little flour on my hands too). Knead it about 25 times and flatten out with a rolling pin or your hands (I have used both) until it's about the size of a large dinner plate and about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (depending on how thick you like your scones) - I have a personal preference of liking them more on the thicker side. Once you've got the circle the desired size, cut them into eight equal triangles.  Place them on the the cookie sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let them cool on a rack about 10 minutes.