Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweet Treat: Starfall

Today’s Sweet Treat is a children’s website.  If you have small children (my son is preschool age), you’ll love  Completely educational, while at the same time providing annoying music and exaggerated colors to keep your little monster’s attention.  Thank or curse me later!

Friday, January 27, 2012

DIY: My Backyard

I have some DIY projects coming up around the house.  In order: Second bathroom remodel, organize guest bedroom, backyard, my bedroom.  The one I'm most excited about is my backyard.  I can't wait to fix it up so I can have summer cookouts.  I have a fairly large yard, almost half an acre, and I have lawn chairs and a grill that are begging to come out.  I have tiki citronella torches for the mosquitoes that plague us here in the Southeastern United States.  I have nice green grass and bushes and trees and flowers.  

My preparation included fertilizing the grass before it got too cold.  The last time I cut the grass before winter, I spread fertilizer and weed killer on the freshly cut grass.  It rained a couple of days later so that was good.  I have a truckload of mulch (anyone want some?  Seriously, you can have it.) to spread on the very back of my yard.  Grass doesn't grow well there because of all the trees back there.  They are old trees and the combination of their shade and the fact that they take pretty much all nutrients from the soil mean that grass just doesn't stand a chance.  

My next step is going to be to buy some sort of vegetation killer.  I have lots of vine/ivy/kudzu-type foliage growing wild in the very back, which makes things look very messy.  I'll follow up with some pictures later this week.  After that, I have to remove the remainder of an old and rusty chain link fence since my next-door neighbors put up a wooden fence.  I need new stepping stones because one is now cracked in half.

I also need a solution for this piss-poor grading job.  They graded my land so that a moat has formed around my house.  It's so stupid and it makes me mad every time I have to jump across it to reach my house in order to not get my feet wet!  My dad suggested pouring sand in a little bit at a time because he says the grass can grow up around it and that it will level the land.  Do you have any suggestions for me?

Finally, I want a vegetable garden.  I don't care what's in it.  Just something that will grow successfully.  I think I have the opposite of a green thumb so something very hardy would be in order.  I learned last year that I had two fig trees.  I don't like figs, but I am excited about having fruit trees so I will definitely pick them this year.  Who knows, I might take them up to the farmer's market and sell them!  Haha :)  I'm going to buy another fruit tree this spring, haven't decided exactly what, though.  

If you have any landscaping tips for me, or if you know of any plants that grow well in the South, let me know!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Let's Eat

I’m a single mother and I receive no child support. I “help people” for a living which means I don’t make a lot of money.  I am now an expert grocery shopper.  I’m not crazy and obsessed like those people on the extreme couponing shows, but I know my way around a bargain.  Inexpensive recipes can keep meal time interesting for picky eaters, which is important.  From time to time, I’ll share a few cheap-to-make recipes that I’ve had and some that I’ve come up with myself.  Here’s the first one (thought up by me, when I had to rely on what was in the pantry and freezer).  It doesn’t have a title; I’ll have to think of what to call it.  Anyhoo, here it is:

1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey
Some egg noodles—I’m not good at measurements so just decide how much you need.  I used one half of a bag
Shredded cheese

Season and brown the meat and drain the fat.  While you are doing this, cook the egg noodles and strain them when they are done.  After you drain the fat from the meat, add the tomatoes, corn, and okra (with the liquid).  Then, add the cook egg noodles to the pan and mix it all together!  Add the seasonings of your choice.  (I hate unseasoned, bland food). Stir in some shredded cheese and heat it on low for a minute to melt the cheese.  Yum!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


A couple of months ago, I watched a documentary called "Shame."  It's the story of Mukhtaran Mai, her public rape, and what occurred in the few years following the incident.  "Shame" is a very powerful piece.  After I watched it, I started thinking about how fortunate I really am.  Not saying everything about America is perfect, but how blessed are we just to have a sense of safety and security?  I mean, the worst part of my day was this morning when I had to throw out a pack of chicken that was thawing on the counter because I forgot to put it in the fridge before I went to bed last night.  So easy to take things for granted.

I vaguely remembered her story from an old Glamour magazine, but a 2-page article could never explain the depth of what she went through and how courageous she was, and still is, in the aftermath.  But that's all I'm going to say.  I don't want to tell the story because you have to see it! Go watch it!  She's definitely an inspiration.  She has achieved a lot of great things with a lot less support than a lot of us have.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pro-life v. Pro-choice

This evening on Twitter I saw quite a few tweets about the age-old abortion argument.  Pro-life versus pro-choice.  I am, without a doubt, and unashamed to say it, pro-choice.  Let me tell you a story.  July 2006, I was fresh out of college.  And newly pregnant.  I had a lot going on.  I had gotten my first REAL job and it was my dream job.  I was about to move into a new apartment closer to the town I'd be working in.  This would also be my first place with no roommates.  I was really growing up.  I was also moving somewhere where I'd be alone and I was in a bad relationship.  None of this amounted to an ideal situation in which to bring a child.  My now-ex was the opposite of supportive.  He said he wasn't ready for a child, but that if I had an abortion, he'd never speak to me again.  (We'll discuss the mind-control issue of abusive relationships in another post).  Anyway, I decided to make an appointment at the abortion clinic.  I had a couple of good friends that were willing to help me with the cost, and my best friend was going to be my ride to the appointment.  I never made the appointment.  I just couldn't do it.  The next week I called to re-schedule.  There was no way I could have a baby right now.  Again, I was a no-show.  My next call was to Athens Ob-Gyn.  I decided that I was going to have this baby.  And he'll be 5 this weekend. 

I had a full-time job, a home, a car, supportive friends and family.  My now-ex's family and friends were also supportive and very close to me.  I had a degree and health insurance.  I had a lot of things that many people aren't fortunate enough to have.  Hell, even if a woman does have all these things, if she doesn't want a child, she shouldn't be made to have one.  Some people that are parents don't need to be parents and I wouldn't trust them with my houseplants. 

It's so much more complicated than anyone who has never been in that situation to have to make that decision can ever understand.  Nothing is more overwhelming than to realize that the fate of another human being is up to you.  Please don't judge other women for their decisions.  People are so quick to pass judgment, but how many of them would be quick to say, "Ya know what? Come move in with me and I will help you take care of your baby and be your support."  Yeah...

I remember a conversation I had with a former co-worker one time.  I was talking about my decision to become a parent and how I just could never have an abortion because I knew I'd always regret it, and that the "what-if" would play in my mind forever.  She said something to the effect of being glad that someone else knew that abortion was wrong.  I said, "Oh no.  I'm totally pro-choice."  She said, "You said you'd never have an abortion.  That means you're pro-life."  She really didn't understand.  Having my son WAS my choice.  And I can only imagine how the fear I felt when I found out I was pregnant would have been magnified if I knew I didn't have choices. 

Monday's Sweet Treat--thank me later.

Mondays are blah.  I can't even hardly enjoy Sunday because the anticipation of returning to the workweek is the worst buzzkill.  (High on life, not drugs).  I want to make your Mondays something to look forward to.  Every Monday, I'm going to share a special treat with you.  Today it's a website.  Who likes cupcakes?  Better question, who doesn't?  I personally love cupcakes.  Cake is the best thing in the world and a cupcake is a little cake, just for you.  Doesn't get any better than that.  So go here:

Best. Cupcakes. Ever. (My personal favorite is the Yummy Yammy).

Order some.  Order several.

You won't be sorry.  And, you can thank me later.

P.S. She bakes and decorates cakes, too.

Typing out my current thoughts

I believe it is completely possible to be addicted to another person.  To eat, sleep, and go through the motions of your daily life thinking of nothing but that person.  Just as substance abusers will often say the things they did under the influence of drugs, or in order to get their drugs, are not things they’d normally do.  The same applies to an unhealthy attachment to another human being.  What do you guys think causes this?  I have my own ideas.  Often you hear that it’s an easily influenced person.  Someone with low self-esteem.  Someone that didn’t have the opposite-sex parent in their life.  All that may be true in some cases.  But not all.  I’ve seen plenty of “seemingly” “together” people fall victim to this addiction.  Myself included.  I’m going to start writing about some of my views and my personal experiences, so wish me luck.  In the past, I’ve tried to write about some of this and got writer’s block like a motherfucker.  Not quite sure why.  Guess we’ll see what happens.