empty

My dad passed away tuesday morning.  almost everything major that happens in my life happens on a tuesday.  Ok, that's probably a real exaggeration.  But at least a few major things have happened on various tuesdays.

So- as seen above- I am tired and empty...

I've had to fight with family members that I shouldn't have.

I've been pressed to justify things that need no justification from me.

I've lost the support of a few people that I never expected.

Seen the true colors of a few people that turned out to be not so pretty.  Pretty fucking nasty, in fact.  God, it makes me sick.

Made the toughest decision of my life, or rather followed through with another's decision...but it was fucking intense.  And righteous.  And the right thing to do.  And so sad.

On more than one occasion I know I was at 85% or more of my max heart rate from just sheer anxiety and a mass of other emotions I cannot describe.  I just don't have the words.

Realized that I am at peace with the decision I made.  That I didn't question.  It wasn't my decision- I was just the vessel.

I am thankful that I had the grit to do what needed to be done.

I am thankful for the members of my family who offered me support and love.

I am thankful for kind words.

I am thankful for rest.

I am thankful for a husband that is strong enough I can show my weakness.

I am thankful for the wondrous sound that is my children's laughter.

I am thankful for the time I had with my dad.

I am thankful that I knew him well.

I am thankful that I know my decisions in all this would have made him proud.

I am thankful for the last week I had with my dad.

I am grateful that I had the honor of making his last few days a little better.


I have nothing witty to say.  Nothing of substance or humor to relay.  No tacos, even though it's Tuesday.  Damn.  It's fucking Wednesday.  Ha!

Also.  It is cloudy here.  The leaves are a gorgeous multitude of fall colors.  The wind is whipping.  This is classic Pooh Bear style blustery-ness.

My dad isn't feeling well.  Understatement.  I'm worried about my kiddo for reasons that are none of your damn business.  (I'm polite, right?)  My dog is sick.

I'm not in a poor mood or at a loss for hope.  It springs eternal.  My insides feel like the outside.  My mind is a bit windy today.

Is a storm going to come thru?  Is it all going to blow past.  I don't know.  It looks like rain outside.  Let's hope the internal forecast changes.

How could it not, really, when my kids are chanting "hips!  boobs!  hips!  boobs!" at the dinner table for whatever reason kids do thing.  Awesomeness, I suppose.

See?  Told you "windy mind."

House Smouse

So, I really want a house.  Well, a house we own.  I want to buy a house!  We have an appointment to look at some this weekend and I am really excited.  However, I don't think saying "we should buy it!" every time I look at the online pictures of houses is having quite the effect on my husband I want it too.

Obviously, he is supposed to say "yes of course we should!" as some point.  However, I think it is having the opposite effect.  He keeps saying things like "I think we should look at them first." or "We can't just buy the first one we see."

Why would he do that?  Of course we can choose based off flattering pictures on the internet.  Nothing on the internet lies.  It is ALL true.

Ok.  It's probably a really good thing that I have him.

That IS what IS up.

So this weekend (and yes, I do start all my sentences with "so") I'm outside painting, which is what I do these days, and Bella tells me that she is hungry.  She wants chicken noodle soup, she says.  I say, 'ok, cool.  I'll make you some in a bit.'  "Oh no," she says, "I want the real stuff.  You know, with flat noodles?"  So, I made chicken and rice soup instead.   She didn't really like that idea until 1- she realized she had no choice in the matter as she can't work a can opener or reach the microwave.  2- I explained that Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup has special healing powers and must be saved for sick days.

That's really all I have.  I started this a few days ago and I was going to turn it into a list, sort of, of all the funny things that have been going on here.  BUT, I feel weak and tired and not up to funny.  However, I am compelled to post something since it has been age, afterall.  (I don't care what spell check says "afterall" should be one word.)

So, that's it.  Sorry about that.  I'm going to go lay down now and think about all the carbs in chicken noodle soup and decide if that weighs out it's magical healing powers.  I wish I had some ice cream...
Today my lovelies, I shall introduce you to a few of my favorite things!  I'm all Juli Andrews like that, and shit.

Bluebell Ice Cream.  Bluebell Ice Cream.  Bluebell Ice Cream.
Have you had it?  It's made in texas, so by default it's wonderful, of course.


www.bluebell.com

My all time favorite flavor is pecan, pralines and cream, but milk chocolate is amazing.  So is The Great Divide and Mexican Praline and Cherry anything.  Oh God.  I love it with a love that is fiery and passionate.  Don't get between me and my Bluebell.  It's so fucking good.  God, I love it.  



I got this picture from their facebook.
I would have taken a picture myself, but I don't have any here.  Poor me.
Dripping Springs Vodka is one of the best grain based vodka I have ever had.  It's incredibly smooth.  It extremely high quality and very reasonably priced considering its badassness.  If you ever get the chance to try some, do so.


Pat Green- good ol' Texas boy.



















http://www.recycledbooks.com 
best used book store ever!  Denton, Tx- on the square.  In the old opera house.





Also, I love the Dallas Cowboys.  They are on right now and blowing it against the Bears.  It's breaking my heart.  Tony and I need to have a chat.  He just gets rattled and loses his composure.  I know he's taking heat in the pocket, but I think he forgets to breathe.  


That wraps up monday night introductions.  Welcome to Texas.  Ok, not really.  But I hope your live gets better by just experiencing these treats.

Now I have to cry.  The bears just scored, again.  Can you hear my heart breaking?  Can you?  It's loud and painful.  

Our oldest daughter, Bella decided, with our help, that she wanted to play soccer last spring.  We signed her up and off she went!  The first couple of practices she was really into it.  She made contact with the ball every time she tried to kick it, she ran with the other kids, she put effort into being goalie and we were pretty excited about the future soccer scholarship she would surely secure.

Then came the second game.... We're going to have to figure our another way to pay for college.

Bella started kindergarten this fall.  She loves it.  Everyday is the best day ever.  Expect for gym day.  It's fun when she gets to play scoop the ball, but it sucks major balls (my interpretation, not her words) when she has to "run or do those pushy up thingies."

I don't know where she gets it...

On a totally unrelated note, I remember this one time when I was in gym class and got out of running laps for a very real injury.  I wrapped my ankle up in toilet paper and told my teacher that the doctor had said that I couldn't run.  I don't remember if I had to run or not, but I do remember that I pulled a bit of my "cast" off to blow my nose.  It was a twofer.

It's so awesome that there are two generations of awesome super-athletes in one house.

Taco Tuesday

Ugh!  My stomach hurts... probably should not have eaten 87 pounds of cheese on my pizza.  Did you know it was possible to get too much cheese on a pizza?  Well, you can.

We eat a lot of tacos at my house because I love them because they are delicious.  But, that's not necessarily what Taco Tuesday will be about.  Oh, sure.  I might post an occasional recipe for some bomb ass tacos, but mostly, it's going to be different than that.  However, not today.  Today I took a benadryl and my stomach hurts.  So, I am probably going to eat some ice cream and go to sleep.

What?  Ice cream helps.
Introduction Mondays- Round Uno Today, I am going to introduce you to our wedding song!  My husband picked it out...  you can tell, I hope.  This will probably introduce you to a lot more than just our wedding song...




I can promise you that convict movies do not make me horny.



I am also going to introduce you to my favorite music artist., Ray LaMontagne. I love his work and he is amazing, but  my husband is the best thing.  I walked down the isle to this song:



Happy Listening on this fabulous Monday!  Is there anything you would like to introduce me to?  

Also, I hope that you love Ray and John.  If you enjoy these songs, I encourage you to explore a little.  They have some truly great stuff.  

Enjoy!


I haven't posted a lot lately because
     1) I haven't been feeling very comical which is odd because a lot of funny things happen to/around me and I have an uncanny ability to make fun of just about anything and
     2) I have been busy!  I haven't had a single cookie since the batch that involved the blowdryer and I've cut back significantly on carbs and quantity of food while increasing my activity level.  I take classes at the gym now.  (Crazy, I know!) And, I like them. (Even crazier!)  Losing 9 pounds (so far this month!!! even if most of it is water weight, it still counts and I am pumped!) will keep you really busy.

I kind of want to have a do-over wedding in a few months when I am back to my regular size minus 5 pounds.  Or at least do-over the pictures.  It really sucks that I am at my all time (except for DURING pregnancy) high weight in my wedding pictures.  EXACTLY what you want, right?  Not so much...

     3)  I am (sorry, we- my loving man keeps reminding me to talk about he helps, too) have been redoing some of our furniture.  I realized in a conversation with my cousin that we do not own a single piece of new furniture, except for a few baby things, but those don't count here.  I posted about a shelf (which I sold yesterday! and am not making another one to replace it because I wanted the shelf and the money.  Now I have both.  Well, home depot has the money...) that we completed before and a plant stand.  Now we are doing another shelf, exactly the same, a larger one and making a craft table for the girls.  To do that we are using two of those small cheap shelves from walmart and adding a top... not a good description...  Well, I found the idea on Pinterest and I am super excited.  It's going to be fantastic and hopefully it will get lots and lots of their shit off the floor.


   I have also completed the refurb of 2 (out of 6) chairs.  These two are special!  They were my great grandmother Marian's.  I originally had 5 or 6 chairs from her, but over the years they broke or just fell apart.  I saved the pieces for years and years to fix up when I finally go to this (this as in now) point in my life, but as they are no longer with us, I guess they were an unfortunate causality of our move from Texas.  (I am keeping our current location shrouded in a cloud of mystery as I plan to be ultra famous one day, duh, and I want to avoid stalkers as much as possible.  You have to take the preemptive precautions when you are as badass as I am.  If you don't believe me, just ask.)  The other 6 chairs came from a used furniture store here in town and I'll post before and after pictures when I finally have the after.   I'm pretty excited about these chairs, tho!  I like the colors even more than I thought.  Blue and green are my favorite colors, but Granny Marian also had the seats re-done at one point in blue and green stripe.  So, you know, it worked out.



With all this furniture fancying up, I made two trips to home depot this weekend, sanded for 6 hours...excuse my while I blow 87 pounds of saw dust out of my nose and even got some painting out of My Loving Man.  I am excited, but also very dirty.  I bathed, of course, but I still feel so so so dirty.  I feel like I need to get back in and scrub myself until my skin peel off.  My oh so big pores are fully clogged with saw dust.  Maybe I should have sanded my face....

So, that my friends is why I haven't written much lately.  But, I can't disappoint my imaginary readers and my one fabulous, albeit lonely follower (not lonely in her personal life, but lonely as she is alone of my "followers" list).  Therefore, I must write!  Now, to do that, I have decided to motivate myself with a few themes! Oh yeah!  It's going to be great, here's my idea-

Introduction Mondays
Taco Tuesdays
Throwback Thursday
Fascinating Friday

Don't ask me what the hell that means because I haven't gotten that part figured out just yet, but as plans go, this is really good for me.  And let tomorrow's secrets be what they may until the sun breaks above the dawn... (I totally just make that up.  I know, it sounds like Homer or some shit.  I'm good like that.)

Also, GO COWBOYS!  We won!  Have you seen this commercial?  This is what it's like at my house.  I swear we inspired this.  Now I am just waiting on the Eagles to lose so we can be tied for first in our division ABOVE the Giants.


This will be one of the reasons our kids need therapy...

Until we meet Monday....

(Get it?  introduction Monday....  )

After all, half your make up IS NOT better than no make up at all I have pink eye.  Not make up painted pink eyes that sparkle and shine like the break of day, but like cooties-style pink eye.  Damnit.  I got it about 2 weeks ago when my gym was changing out some stuff and working in some new protocol for cleaning the machines.  For some reason there were no spray bottles to clean with that day, that's a frustration for another day.  The gross sweat everywhere still haunts me.  As does this damn itchy eye.

Luckily, I have some left over eye drops from when the kids have been infected thusly so.  I used it for about 2 days or so and thought I had my eye all fancied back up, but no.  I was so wrong.  So I used it for, well, the past 4-5 days. The results?  I have single handily created an expired-antibotic resistant mutated strand of conjunctivitis.  Go figure.  Yay me.

I had to go to "work" today.  Being the reasonable genius that I am, I note the troubles that will ensue if I use my good wedding make up (yea, I like leftovers.) to paint my fucked up eye on.  CHOAS!  That's what!

Well, I would at least have to throw half of it away. Hahaha get it?  half- for one eye.  But really I would have to throw it ALL away.  NO DEAL.  Do you hear me?  NO DEAL!

So, logically, I only put make up on my face and semi-close to the bad eye, and make up on the one good one.  All because I don't have a goddamn eye patch.  I always wanted to be a pirate and turns out I'm already shitty at it.  New goal....

Well, as fantastic as it sounds like I *might* have looked, you would be surprisingly mistaken.  I did not look fancy at all.  I looked like a pirate-less eyepatch (True story as my high school mascot was a pirate.) or, more maybe* an eyepatch-less pirate.

So.  Tomorrow.  I get to be split personality with my make up or a fucked up pirate.  Which would you go with?

Happenings: The Making of

Happenings: The Making of So, I've been a busy girl!  (Yay for me!  and Yay for you too!)

Before
My cousin had that plant stand listed on craigslist and, naturally, I drove to her house to confiscate it.  I fancied it up just a bit this weekend.

After
I used some aqua spray paint for the base and "almost aqua" Giddon can paint (as in not spray...) for the round arm things.  I also "antiqued" it using a faux finish mixed with brown paint.  I think I had a little too much of the brown paint with the faux finish stuff for the lighter almost aqua.  But, luck be a lady, it turned out ok because I got the round things dirty the first time I put a plant on them and the antique look helped me not to cry about it getting dirty after 4 coats of paint.

(Also, that yellow chair in the background is another in-progress project...)



My next project was to turn a shelf like that one up here into something not ugly.  Well, that one is a lot better than the one I have but I didn't take a before picture.  Anyway, it was black like that and that's the point (one of the $10 ones from Walmart).  Luck be a lady again (craps references?  why not, it's gambling Monday.  Can that be a thing?  If so, I called it!), and also about $15 and a husband who is in a good mood because His Giants already won and My Cowboys were losing ... ok, I lost my self in that sentence.  Anyway, he helped and it had to do with the football gods shining on him and pissing on me.

So about $15 bucks- paint, bead board and a little time

After- without shelves


After- with shelves and Dagny (she helped, see the sandpaper?)


The color was "sea glass green" or something like that.  It's beautiful and I love it.  I am going, oh, I'm supposed to say that my husband helped so, WE are going to do a big book shelf this weekend.

I have very little space compared to all the enormous amounts of crap I have in my kitchen, so I use these for additional storage.  My heart is MUCH happier that I no longer have BLACK everywhere.  Well, it was just the two shelves, but that is A LOT in a small space.  Yay for green and COLOR!

Excited!  May your creations be lovely!
Candace

The Art of Laughter

The Art of Laughter







I enjoy laughing- myself and I love the sound of another's genuine laughter.  Especially that of children.  A child's laugh is music to my ears, joy to my heart and serotonin for the rest of me.

Laughter wasn't necessarily something I grew up with, tho.  When I was very young, as young as I remember, being 3-5 or so at best, my mom worked a lot and had the typical struggles of a single mother trying to raise a kid and have a social life while working two jobs.  Good luck, right?

After that she had an unhappy marriage and I had a home life that was devoid of laughter.  I was challenged a lot by her husband and learned to debate and stand up for my beliefs, right, wrong or otherwise.  That was probably also the beginning of my love of reason and argument and principle.  All things I am grateful for and glad to have as a part of myself.  They are inherently who I am- who I have become as a person.

While the constant demand to rationalize any and ALL of my opinions from the ages of 6-14 begrudgingly made me into a better person, laughter wasn't a skill we practiced regularly.  Happy debates and jostling these "discussions" were not.

Reason and logic are perhaps most probably what make the world literally go round, but the music that spin makes must truly be the sound of an innocent laugh.  The music of the world, the sound of the universe, is what I wish to be the sound track of my children's lives.

Laughter isn't first nature to me, which poses a problem in my ideal setting, you see.  I've learned gratitude and thankfulness, at least to some degree.  I'm working on many other things, included, most importantly, is the art of laughter.

I don't know what my previous restraint was- did something deserve my laughter?  was it worthy?  is "exhibit A" something I should laugh at?  was that really funny?  I think tho, that so long as you aren't rejoicing at another's misfortune / pain, and IT IS possible to laugh or giggle or at very least grin fully (with eye contact when possible) then that is, of course, most reasonably the best course of action.

 So, I consciously try to laugh.  In our home.  I want my kids to remember having laughter and jokes and joy in a vocal, verbal and giggly sense in their own home.  It's easy to laugh among strangers but to bring true, easy joy into one's home is a gift of the highest nature.
Diverticulitis and why I am not a hypochondriac The other day I am talking to my neighbor as she is hanging out her clothes and I am picking some of our tomatoes because we do not have a privacy fence.  I really like those.  So she is telling me that blah blah blah they like Roma tomatoes because the seeds are probably not good for her and Gary, her husband, can't have them.

So, of course, despite allll the interesting things I have going on, I tell my husband this story with the addition of my conclusion- that Gary must have Diverticulitis.  My loving man say, oh yeah, probably.   I say, do you even know what diverticulitius is?  I'm not sure, actually.  What the hell is it?  He says, I have not idea.  I've only heard of it when you came home and told me you had it.  

I had it?  Oh.

Well, still, that doesn't answer what it is.  But it does beg a lot of other questions.  And, the observation that I must have been seriously ill to diagnose my self with a disease that I don't know what is or remember now having.

I am pretty sure, (which is not very at all) that I was diverticulited (that's medical language, I am sure) when I ate popcorn everyday for two months.

The good news is I am healed.

Also, we have had a nice, but late tomato crop.  Albeit seedy.

Carry on good soldiers.
Peace and love to you.
Non-diverticulitusited Candace


In the beginning....

Carb crazy and other longings ... and other happenings.
So, I am trying to drop a few pounds.  Twenty, specifically, at least.  25 would put me back at my "normal" weight.  I go to the gym 5 times a week so, I'm good there, but I LOVE carbs, so I'm not good there.  Shit!  

I'm going on a low carb diet.  By that I mean, I am doing my best to not eat so much bread!  :)

I'm in mourning for chocolate chip cookies.  Let us all take a moment of silence....

My real problem is- if I don't want to drink martinis every night (and I don't because I generally don't buy high enough quality vodka for a decent martini) (but I DO LOVE martinis, just so you know) What was my question?  Oh yeah, what in the sam hell am I supposed to mix my vodka with if I everything has carbs?  The answer is Soda Water.  Damn.  I guess it make more sense to learn to like it than it does to quit drinking.  

*     *     *

Today at the gym there was a nicely groomed gentleman with a pretty white beard sitting by the door. Dagny went up to him and says, "Look mom!  Santa Claus!"

*     *     *

I cooked potatoes to go with dinner tonight and I didn't have a single one.  NOT EVEN A BITE!  This is big.  HUGE.  I love potatoes.  I can't talk about this anymore without running the risk of ransacking my kitchen and going into a carbo-coma.  

Good news is that I am really digging the classes that my gym offers.  I took a ballet infused pilates class today for the second time.  I love it!  I feel long and stretched and open and just good!  It's a great feeling.  

Also, the weather here has been fantastic today!  Drizzly rain and less than 60.  Heaven!  I love it!  

I hope that you have also had a good day and you can sit and just be thankful for at least a moment.  

Life is good.  
C

Normalcy and Awesomeness

Normalcy and Awesomeness

Alternately titled:

Reasons I am Totally and Completely Normal

I know my awesomeness is, well, intense.  It is probably intimidating.  I'm scary awesome!  So, with that in mind, Imma going to let you in on a secret- I'm normal!  Just like you!  I'm awesome- relatable awesome.  Ah, damn.  Back to that intimidation.  Do not fear the Candace!

Let the reasoning commence!

1 (one).  If my husband, that beautiful man, does not get out of the shower soon i'm going to have to go pee in the yard.  again.
     He totally locks the door every time he goes in the bathroom.  That would be fine if we had 82 bathrooms, but we only have the one.  How am I supposed to bust in and take a leak or have a chit chat (with him) if the door is locked?  See, we rent so I can't exactly bust up in that bitch like I own the place.  Because I don't.  Also, this whole "locking the door" hoopla is a foreign concept to me as I do not even close the door.  Unless I'm doing the doo-do.  And then I semi-close it.  Talk about a spoiler alert!

Two (dos).  I read some freaky article on MSN... maybe... about all the nasty shit that is in your, my, food that you, we, don't know about.  One of them said that a preservative in breads was made from human hair in china.  What the Fuck?!  (wtf?!)  Eww!  I mean, come one!  So, now, I have decided to make all our bread. Duh.  What other rational option would here be?   Give up carbs?  Research the claims in that article?  NEVER!!

Three.  I use accurate punctuation.  Always.  My sentences are also grammatically correct.  Always.

4.  (Four)  I am Italian.  Now.  It's one of those awesome things about marriage.  I wasn't italian and I married one so now I am.  That is all it takes.  And an insistence upon it.  To my naysayers i say, "Suck it, fuckers, I'm Italian!!  ahahaha" Also, I have made lemoncello and drank tons and tons of it in the past years.  Also, I grow basil; I don't really like it too much, but I grow it and I use it.  Also, I married an Italian(-American).  Also, I want to go to Italy.  Also, can eat pizza like a champ.  I'm super sensual and sexy (there are no pictures in this post so you don't know).  I read Eat, Pray, Love By Gilbert, Elizabeth (Google Affiliate Ad) and A Venetian Affair by Andrea Di Robilant.  I liked it and ate a bowl of spaghetti.  Come on!  I'm so Italian!

5.  My pinkies don't match.  Don't judge, everybody has a rouge finger.

Well, three is reason enough (you pick).  It is clear.  I am awesome.  I am imtinmidating.  Sorry about that.  And I am italian.

Sincerely,
Candaceimo
it's like a maxi pad, but for a chicken's ass Let me just start out by saying I might be cheap but I'm not free.  Also, as clearly indicated in previous post (and will be demonstrated in later ones as well) I am not in the least tacky.  Mostly, I'm classy, bitches.  Recognize.

Now that we have established our groundwork for the day I can move on...

I consider myself a thrifty woman.  I like to use the great powers of my mind to look for a bargain and comparison shop!  I'm one of those people who pulls out the calculator on her phone to calculate the cheapest price by ounce of a product before choosing which to buy.

I know what you are thinking.  You want to be just like me because I am so cool.  And you can!  For 3 easy payments of $29.95 I'll show you how!

As I am so thrifty, I have taken to buying whole chickens rather than pieces, naturally.  It's cheaper (I only purchase  them when I can buy one for under $5) and I have a few ways to cook whole chickens either in the over or crock-pot.  I freeze the left overs in serving sizes and add them to recipes as needed. It's a win/win, right?  Well, yes, but I but I don't always care for the texture when it is cooked in the crock-pot.  It's a little soft- stringy, or "shredded" tasting.  That perfect for soup and great in fajitas, and chicken pot pie, but that's about it.  (That seems like a good list, but it's still warm out here so that's not as great a list of foods as it will be in about 2 months.)

The other day I was folding up some laundry and watching the cooking channel when I, of course, became very inspired.  Let me just say that the dinner dishes from cooking channel days are a bitch.  I start thinking I went to culinary school or something and have about a 50% success rate in turing out eatable meals.  The dude on the cooking show, whatever the hell it happened to be, was slicing and dicing up a whole chicken talking about how it's less wasteful and basically Candace-tastic.  So I say to myself Hey!  Duh!  Slice that bitch up next time you buy a chicken!  So, I bought a couple chickens and that's what I did.

However, if it was a simple as that, there would be no point in interwebbing it.

Here is how it actually went.  I get this chicken (well, chicken carcass) and get it out of the plastic packaging it is in.  I've done that lots before so I have my trash sack close by to catch the trash and i'm next to the sink to catch the splatter and drips.  This time, tho there was this maxi pad thing by the chickens ass.  I guess it was jus a regular meat drip absorbency pad thing, but the position it was in was a little uninspired.

By the way, did I mention that this post is alternately titled:
My Case for Vegetarianism

Once I have this chicken in front of my and my very best dull knife in hand, I say what would be the easiest way to get this meet away from the rest of this thing?  And the answer comes to me like a voice from a television show, because it was, saying it is so easy to cut these chickens up!  Just remember to cut along the joints and it's easy peazy.  That is totally a quote because it is definitely true that more people than me talk like that.  

In my head this translates to: cut this thing in half first!

Well, that did not work.

So then I started hacking away and finally managed to get a leg off.  I spent another couple of minutes taking the thigh away from the leg.  Those two were really attached!

That's how it went with the first one.  Little son of a bitch!

So, I get it all done and take on the second bastard.  This time, I see my scissors and there is this light on them like a glow from heaven and angles started singing when I picked them up.  It was divine!  (OMG- do you notice how funny I am today?!!  Wholly Hell!  This is good shit!)  I use my handy dandy scissors to undress this chicken from its skin.  The act of was actually a lot less creepy than I made it sound right there.

I found out two things, at least, today about chickens.

1.  (this is about my knife but it's my blog so I can do whatever I want)  My knife is handy and since its so dull the back is almost as sharp as the front.  I want a double sided knife.  A kitchen sword!  ...i'm on to something here...

2.  Chickens are easier to cut up once they are undressed from their skin.

3.  If you chop up a chicken and then ask your husband to grill it, he will.

4.  Those chicken chopping people on TV have some mad skills and/or a very sharp knife and editing equipment.  All things I lack.

5.  I managed to get a full casserole dish of chicken (once it was all dismembered and grilled) for around $9.

6.  I am surprisingly good about at chicken humor.

7.  If meat wasn't so delicious I would not eat it because it is actually kind of gross.  Or at least chickens are.

That is all, for now, good folks.












The BAD GUY Family!

The BAD GUY Family!>

This post is alternately titled:
 We're Basically Badass, Duh.



Ok, so a few months back my husband convinced our daughter, Bella, in what I am sure is a Pinky and the Brain inspired move, that we are a family of bad guys.  I may or may not have added the bit about taking over the world.  Either way, she really grasped onto that idea.  

Practically every day she would ask what bad guy families did and HOW ARE WE GOING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD?

She's a crafty devil and advances quickly, so the "how" soon became taken for granted.  The question has evolved to WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WHEN WE TAKE OVER THE WORLD???

My loving man had not made it home yet so I decided to go ahead and slop the pigs... er, feed the girls when the subject of bad guys, our all consuming power and the rise of was once again broached over pasta.  




Bella- So what do you think bad guys eat for dinner...?

Me- Oh definitely probably maggots and dog brains.  

Bella- Dog brains?!  That sounds really gross!  

Me- Well, bad guys only eat bad things so it would have to be really gross.  

Bella- Oh.  Well.  I guess they eat fly guts too, then.  

She begins to eye her plate of spaghetti suspiciously...

Me- Trying to avert a crisis, aka an alternate dinner We're good guys, but we're still going to take over the world.  Or at least run shit our way.

Bella- Thinking.... Thinking....Thinking...  She's trying to figure out how to ask me what the hell I mean with out using "shit."  Finally!...Well, how about you be Queen and dad bes King.  

Me- No.  That won't work.  I want to be king.  (Really, I do.)

Bella- looking at me like I am completely fucked in the head and ultimately ridiculous says, with gentle correction: You can't be KING, you are a girl.  (real slow)    Girls   can't     be    king.  

Me- But the king is the one with all the power.  That's what I want.

Bella-  ....Well, this way you won't have to do anything...you can just cheer dad on.





Sunshine and Daisies and All Things Good



I was feeling pretty glum and not myself this morning.  My drive to class was riddled with angst, nervousness, "Ahhhh!" and tinged with anxiety, fear and apprehension.

There was also some excitement, hope and possibility.

It was kind of confusing.

Today was my first day of solo "lecture" at the university where I am adjuncting.  I was nervous about being in front of a 6 groups of approximately 45 students and the criticisms of their judgmental eyes.  I was fearful of all kinds of unspecific things, the most specific of which was, basically, just that I'd fuck it all up.

Also my dad had an appointment today to get the bottom line on this cancer business.  That put the situation in perspective a bit, for me, and I began to relax.  Odd, right?  But, if the judgy eyes of mostly freshman and having to wing a few minutes of lecture were my biggest worries, my problems are a bit minuscule, aren't they now?   That helped with the classroom angst, but not the other shit mess of emotions and anxiety about me paps.

So, on the verge of tears because the clarity of today could turn all the what ifs into whens I took a deep breath and sucked it up.  Compartmentalize, I told myself.  Deal with what I can control now and then the emotional bit later when it doesn't matter whether or not my eye make up is all fucked up and I have a clown nose from crying.  After all, I wont hear anything until later in the day anyhow...

Obviously, I had gotten myself all worked up, in a tizzy if you will, and tonights post was going to be called Black Sun of Hades with Dissipating Clouds of Hope I told myself.  Ha.  That sounded good.

Fast forward about 45 minutes...

I get to the classroom and eventually, with the help of the lead professor, get all the technical shit tech-nilized (you know, hooked up).  So, there I went... right on into it.  As it turns out, the criticisms were a lot quieter than I had imagined and the judgmental eyes reflected a whole spectrum of emotions and thoughts, but judgement turned out to not be the even close to the most prominent of them.  (I think the heads with those eyes were in the back of the room where I couldn't actually see into them anyway so those don't count.)

But, it was ok, you know?  It went alright.  I got some sighs and had some points where I fell flat and got a lot of crickets.  But I also got a few laughs and some really great responses and some genuine interactions.  All in all, I feel really good about it.  That is especially encouraging since being a professor is what I want to do!  (grown up or not)  Almost so much so that it's what I want to be and that's a lot.  (So, see, this was like a try out for my dream.  A test for myself.  No pressure.)

So, then I talked to me pops.  Me pops said that the Doc reported things were good.  Things were hopeful.  Things were good.  Things were hopeful.  There is a medication specifically targeted for this specific type of cancer in this specific stage that has shown to be successful and "take care of" things.  The doctor said "not to worry."  Things will be ok.

That's all the detail I feel comfortable going into here, after all, it's his story not mine.  However, know that my chest is not so heavy as it was.  Hope springs eternal and have chased away that black sun of hades.

Suffice it to say that there are sunshine and daises back in my world and flowers blooming out of my ass.

Chocolate and Fiber: An Underrated Combination
This post is alternately titled:


Bringing Back Duh

Those heavenly chocolate chip cookies I made the other day are, wait for it, yes, heavenly.  I love them.  I love them with a fiery passion.  I have loved all 75-82 of them I have eaten.  I loved and appreciated each one in it's own unique way for it's own special gifts and qualities.  Of course I did.  Jesus, I'm not a barbarian.

However, I am a bit disappointed at the effect they are having on my body.  (But that does not diminish my love.  That is unconditional.)  I've read that you can combat fat with fiber.  Heeded not did I.  Heeded not.  Damn!  I should have sacked them full (yeah, you can sack things full.  Try it.  Duh.)   I don't often find use for the word distended.  However, no other word quite describes what is going on with my former stomach, now a gut, quite like distended.   It is.  Distended.  Shit!  ...wish I could....

I would load up on fiber (i.e. sack myself full of it) like I was going for the gold in constipation olympics, but tomorrow is my first day of lecture and that would be... awkward.  Memorable, but awkward.  "Hello scholar-lovelies.  I have consumed 87 servings of fiber to combat my distended gut due to a love of glorious chocolate chip cookies and a disregard for moderation.  Now, you must excuse my while I cherry bomb the toilet with the innards of my bowels.  Feel free to read ahead."

Don't I paint a lovely picture?  Don't you want to be my friend?  I am not at all gross.

Also, I have decided that I like to use "duh"when I am on the interweb.  That is the most appropriate place for it, after all, where the whole world can have access to its witty essence.  Also, just so we are clear, I only use it as a 12 year old smart ass with braces, bad hair and attitude-eyes would use it.  That is, after all, the only appropriate use for such a word.  Duh.

And, if we know anything about anything, it is that I am the epitome of appropriate.  Duh.

Until we meet again,
Me
Duh, who did you think it was?







This post is alternately titled
The delicious cookies born of DOOM and DISASTER!

Once upon a time in a village far far away lived a girl (used very loosely here) who desperately wanted to be skinny.  So much so that she even got a gym membership and used it regularly.  However, one fateful day in early september, her ever present craving for chocolate chip cookies became so powerful that she said, 'Imma make me some of those!'

This cookie making session began like any other, by locating the chocolate chips, of course.  Alas, upon reading the recipe on the package, our heroine was unsatisfied  decided to look up the toll house recipe on line (this one).  Our heroine, lady that she was, said "Ah hell nah!  I can't be having all that mess! Imma substitute regular flour for whole wheat and half the butter for organic low-fat-vanilla yogurt and all those sugars for raw sugar."  Secretly, she knew that she would be eating at least 75 of the cookies so this only made sense.

Our lusty heroine (why not, right?  There aren't any pictures here...) put the stick of butter in the microwave and heated it for 10 seconds as she dumped the sugar in <strike>my</strike> her mixing bowl.  With the help of her fine skills of observation, she realized that the butter wasn't quite softened enough so another 10 seconds was thought to fix that.  Into the bowl the butter went.

After mixing for a moment, she realized that her amazing powers of observation might not have been quite so amazing and the butter might not be quite softened after all.  Of course, the only logical thing to do in order to dislodge the too-hard butter from the mixer mixing thingy was to get her blow dryer.  Duh.  BOOM!  Worked like a charm!

Once the butter was actually softened and all fluffed into the sugar and vanilla, enter the eggs!  Now, our heroine being the master of efficiency she truly was saw no need to stop the mixer and raise the head to crack the eggs.  Rather, she cracked one on the side, but in a stroke of bad luck, most likely the result of some sort of curse, half the egg shell fell into the mixing bowl!  Forsooth!  (that fits here, right?)

Our lovely heroine tried to pull out as much of the egg shells as possible, but again, her powerful urge for cookies kicked in and she said, "fuck it" and went on with the business of making her own personal ambrosia.

The cookies, born of doom and disaster, with the help of a multi-purpose kitchen tool, aka a blow dryer, turned out delicious and delightful, albeit crunchy.  As a result, everyone lived happily every after and there was piece on earth.

The end.



PS- As for mixers, that'a the one I have and I LOVE it!!

Our youngest daughter Dagny is a very... interesting person.

She is also the funniest person she knows and has been since day one.   </div>

I quite enjoy her.

The other day I had my keys and sunglasses on the coffee table.  (Fair game, I guess?)  She puts the glasses on in her trademark style: upside down.  That's how she rolls.  My children are very stylish, something I'm sure they must have gotten from...  well, it could have been from either of us as we are both really just fashion icons.  I'll save that for another day...  I'll put up a fashion show post.  You'll love it.  Vogue ain't got shit on the Fortino's!  Lookout!

Oh... got a bit off track there...  that's what happens in my head all the time...

Back to Dagny....  If you could read her mind, I think it would go something like this...

I know I am out of focus in that picture mom is talking, but I am just so damn happy to have these things I shouldn't that I don't even care about being blurry!  Also, I am super cute and SO funny! I am also awesome and just a genuine badass.  Note it!



Wow!  I got really distracted by my awesomeness for a second.  It happens...  Oh wait, look at this...keys!  I could run off and lose them... that is always super fun!  .... but if I examine them, while looking very thoughtful, perhaps I can find something else to do with them...  



What is their purpose?
OH!!  I've got it figured out!!  



Oh glasses!  You are in the way.  But I will not be deterred.  Nor will I remove my glasses. 



Hell yeah!  Imma get this thing up in my eye!  It's on!!!  
Seriously, I really think this is a good idea!  I'm not giving up!  I have found the purpose of keys and I will not rest until it is fulfilled!!!

*Alternate Dagny thought* 
 Fuck all the hype, I'm done with the fun and games.  I only need one eye.  Lets do this!



(Get it?  It's all fun and games 'til someone loses an eye..? Get it?!)
No Dagny's were harmed in the taking of these pictures.  Really, she is quite sturdy. 

Also, I would not let her actually put a key in her eye.


My husband is one lucky son of a bitch!

My mother in law is in no way a bitch.  She is actually quite delightful and I'm rather fond of her.  I just like to be as inappropriate as possible at any given time.  (I don't really need to go further to illustrate, do I?)

Well. As I was saying... He is super fly, you must know, to land a catch such as I.  He is also quite delicious.  Sex on a stick, really.
   
(Wholly Shit!!  We could feature the above lines on one of our random rap sessions.  We do that.  Really.  We do.  Imma write those down... wait...!)

[(and yes, I like wholly vs. holy because if its a holy one, isn't is just loose stool as opposed to wholly heaven angel crap raining down on you? (assuming your conception of the whole includes heaven crap))  That's one sound argument.  Not holy at all....  shit.]

I decided one day that Italians were simply where it was at (after reading some book- maybe Eat Pray Love?  Probably.  (read it!)) and went out and found myself one.   Ok, that may not be <i>exactly</i> how it happened, but it's probably... maybe... close. <br />

Back to how sexy he is... Very.  He is so delicious with his man hands and boots and jeans and sexy sexiness....  ...breathe....  breathe....  wow....


Oh Dolly!  You know my heart.  (even if yours are covered by gigantic, huge, hemotorkin boobs!)  Oh, except for the parts that aren't about looking sexy in boots and jeans.  Those are the only parts of this song that actually apply.  Mostly the gunny sack bit.

Back to the lucky bastard.... not only was he my ticket to italian-dom, but he also happens to be quite fabulous and we make a fairly decent pair (being modest here.  We're totally badass.)

Honestly, I really like the guy.  :)

Again, I am so happy that I get to convert to Italian-ism, but I also get to be Italian (same thing?) and I get to be married to him!

(Did I mention that I like parentheses... and 'dot dot dots'?  (No?  Well, I do.))

Damn!  I keep getting distracted by his good looking-ness and my Italian-ness.  In conclusion:  he is lucky to be so damn sexy and also to get someone such as I because I am Italian and amazing and awesome.  (ref. other blogs I posted.)



So!  As the title hints, I am now Italian now.   I've always, (ALWAYS) wanted to be Italian and now, I am, so it's a dream come true.  (que the Cinderella music...taa dadeda..)

I've heard you cannot become Italian, but to those who hold that belief I say,"HA!"  'Cause if you look at me you will clearly see, you suckas are wrong!  WRONG!!!

I am so eye-talian!

I made Lemoncello last fall.

I'm growing basil.

I made tomato basil sauce a few times now.

I am eating tomato based sauces more than cream (this makes me a bit sad, but hopefully some of my clothes will fit again.)

I eat tons of bread.  TONS.

My hair is dark.  I died my hair dark, but it is dark.

My last name is (now) Fortino! BOOM!

I am completely glamorous and oh so sensual.  (sure I am!)

Yep.  I'm Italian and I love it!!!


A bit of change
So, in the past less-than-two-months, my life has undergone a few changes.  Some of them wonderful, amazing, eternalizing (that's is so a word!), another gut wrenching, heart-breaking, soul crushing, and still others (other) exciting, challenging and full of pride.



The wonderful, amazing, eternalizing part was when I married my husband.  (Well, it's been almost 2 months, so technically I did!)  He is amazing.  He is fun.  He is perfect- for me.  We are a mess.  We are absolutely fabulous together.  Our wedding was the funnest (another real word) wedding I've ever been too.  That may not be saying a lot since I haven't been to a shit ton of weddings and I don't generally like them and this was my own, but... it was FUN!  It was a tit bit stressful... just a tit bit.



My father has recently been diagnosed with clear cell renal cell carcinoma- advanced kidney cancer.  My dad is not only awesome, an awesome dad AND one of my most favorite relatives, but one of my most favourite (think favor-right) people.  Ever.  Gut wrenching.  Heart-breaking.  Soul crushing.  But hope remains.




My big baby, our five year old, started kindergarten.  She is so big.  She is OLD!!!  FIVE whole years old!!!!!!!  Well, that is how she looks at it.  Except when she is super pissed that she isn't six yet... or a grown up.  She really wants to be a grown up.  I am challenged by that.  I want her to enjoy being young.  Enjoy the joys of five.  She makes my heart swell with pride.  and joy.  She is good shit.

So, that's what's up.  Ha.  I went there.


But, the thing is, life is about changing.  nothing ever stays the same, or so says Patty Loveless



I would say that this "is just a stressful time," but I think that this is just life.  It's for the living and living is about experience.  Nobody said that "experience" was exclusive to travels and hindsight.  Experience is about... expereince-ing.  Love.  Pain.  Hurt.  Loss.  Fear.  Triumph.  Tragedy.   Pride.  Joy.  Thankfulness. Hope.

My new manta (and even having a "mantra" is new... as in this very moment new) is:<br />
Hope springs eternal.  
Because it does.