And, We’re cooking…

My Man was out of town for a few days this week. Which worked out to the benefit of all. I was fighting a nasty cold (read: coughing all night long; trying to catch up on sleep during the day) and I always feel sorry for him because under the best of circumstances, I’m a toss and turner all night long. Throw in the seal bark and things get a little tense around Smith Abbey.

A distinct benefit for My Girl and I this week is that we have been eating all of the yummy things we love, but the boys do not. I cleaned out the fridge and roasted a ton of veggies that we ate all week. Mr. Hater-of-all-things-Squash-and-Sprouts really missed out. We roasted up butternut squash, spaghetti squash, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. My Girl is actually bringing home dinner tonight and I can’t wait to see what we will be having.

Future son #3 “snuck” into the house and announced, “INTRUDER ALERT! YOU ARE ALL DEAD!”. We have dogs…they didn’t even whimper. #hesabadman

CMA Awards…haven’t watched them in years and I am loving them. It has taken me awhile, but when I hear, “JT” I no longer think of James Taylor. #70’s/80’s child. Crazy that the audience went crazy when Justin Timberlake came out on stage and started singing. It’s “country”, after all.

Have I mentioned that we are a music-inclined family? We ALWAYS have music playing. No matter what we are doing or where we are going. My Man is a phenom on the drums and also has a wicked harmony going on; all three Smith brats can sing; and a couple of us even play an instrument or two. I just cannot imagine life without tunes.

For the record: Never heard of this guy, Chris Stapleton, and he just won Album of the Year, among other awards. #interesting

Finding that I have missed writing. Thank y’all so much for hanging in there with me.

You are loved by me!

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If the workmen are here, it must be Saturday and a chocolate pudding recipe.

Y’all. We have had workmen in our house non-stop since the second week in February…TWO-THOUSAND TEN. Okay, that is a slight exaggeration but honestly, I am so tired of it. And there is still another week’s worth of work left to do in the master bath. Never mind that since we signed the contract we have added $2600 worth of extra work. *ahem*

Back when the kids were younger, I was way more OCD. I heard you snort out loud, Mrs. D. but, it is true. I would get so spun up about the house and stuff and all about me and I would yell and pout and storm out and I made everyone around me miserable. Also, I was miserable. So one day, I had a good long chat with God about it all and I let it go. I had way more important things to be stressed about, little did I know. And now…now I am picking back up the OCD mantle and wearing it proudly. My kids are older. They are capable of 1) doing what they are supposed to do like pick up after themselves, clean up as they go along, etc., and 2) deal with my OCDness. I do not plan on picking up the yelling, stressing, pouting, storming out mantles, however. Okay, realistically, some of that may happen now and then, but not if these people would just do what I tell them to do. *tongue in cheek, by the way. Sort of.*

So I don’t even get a break from the workmen on Saturday. They are here today putting up drywall. It’s not that I want to run around in my skivvies or anything but still. Which leads to this question…what are skivvies and how did that word come about? Someone google that for me, please?

I am in full-blown organizing/purging/haul-the-dumpster-to-the-door mode. I’m also not eating sugar, wheat and very little caffeine *read…very little coffee*. Surely this is an Apocalypse ready to happen? Thankfully, *I think* my fibromyalgia is also in full-blown mode so I have to take frequent breaks. It’s actually a blessing to all of us right now. Especially when bff, Mrs. D sends down homemade chocolate pudding. What? You don’t think it’s healthy? Really. Look:

Into Vitamix add:
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder (ghirdelli, etc)
1 t vanilla
Blend til smooth. Can also add a bit of cinn and/or espresso powder.

To. Die. For. You don’t like avocado? You won’t even know there is avocado in this. It is yummy and chocolaty and HEALTHY. And delicious. I promise.

I just sent Shawn to the grocery. He and I were brain-storming a meal for dinner tonight. My Man requested an “awesome and delicious feast.” Shawn is making steak au poivre, green beans and roasted veggies. I know, right? How spoiled are we?

Those of you that know us, and those of you who don’t but have been reading This Girl for awhile, probably know that Shawn and I have a love/hate relationship with each other. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there is ALWAYS love between us, but and sometimes we flat out do NOT get along. In some ways, he and I are very similar. In some ways, he and his father are very similar. I think that explains it all. We argue. A lot. He was the “mumbles a lot under his breath” kid. He would rarely be in-your-face obstinate, but always had to get the last word in as he was walking away mumbling. *must have gotten that from his father* I think he and I would make an awesome cook show combination, don’t you? There would be awesome cooking (Shawn) and baking (my specialty) and probably some *good natured* bickering and arguing. And lots of love. Of course.

Anyone out there starting up, or wanting to start up a new business creating websites/blogs…I’m your girl. I need an update and am willing to pay very little for it but will certainly promote you to the ends of the earth and back. Email me if you are interested. Really…sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Y’all are the best.

Oh! And remember this picture from my facebook page?

This is what it looks like in my living room as I write:

I know, right? My mother will be texting me as soon as she sees this picture.

More to come soon!

‘Twas Five Days Before Christmas and all Through the House…

I have a lot to talk about. I will try not to ramble.

Too much.

I want to say right up front that I have not been depressed this Christmas. I truly have not. But, I just haven’t been Christmas-y Susan. Sure, I’ve been playing music since October and I will continue to play it for a couple more weeks. And, I have loved it. By the way, my favorite Christmas CD is Casting Crowns: Peace on Earth. I’ve also been loving David Crowder Band Christmas. I know, right. DCB? It is awesome. And different. And awesome. And they play some Tran-Siberian Orchestra. Which is awesome.

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It has been a really difficult week. I will be blogging later about bullying and and its impact. The day after we lost a West Springfield High School Spartan Freshman Football player to suicide, I wrote a “knee-jerk” post about it that I still have saved, but decided not to post. I don’t have the answers. But I can tell you how it has impacted me. And us. And our community. And, more importantly, how it hasn’t. I allowed myself to mourn for this family and they continue to be on my heart and in my prayers. If you think of it, please send up a prayer for the Stevens Family.

The whole Duck Dynasty thing? I absolutely do have an opinion. And it’s just that. My own opinion. If you want to hear it then email me. There has certainly been enough about it this week without throwing my two cents in out on the Internet.

The Christmas Stockings were found today. Four days before Santa needed to fill ’em. We can have Christmas now. I have to say I was way more upset about it then I ever let on. But my people knew. Because they know me. The Stocking is the Best Part of Christmas Morning. Seriously. Reaching in and feeling around and pulling out one thing at a time from my stocking has always been my favorite part of Christmas. And our children’s also. They have been allowed, ever since they were old enough to come down the stairs by themselves on Christmas morning, to go through their stockings. I allowed them to do it because I figured they were doing it anyway. Like I always did. *I may or may not have always gone through my sister’s also. Before she came down. And then I may or may not have gone back upstairs to wake her up. Y’all just don’t know. I was a mess. It’s always been about the stuff gifts with me.*

This year we have really cut back on Christmas. Partly because I just wasn’t into it; partly as a conscious effort to cut back. Let’s be real. My People need n-o-t-h-i-n-g. Every couple of weeks, My Girl hauls a bag of clothes out of her room for ECHO and spends the next couple of weeks restocking from the stores. She is an extremely savvy shopper so I can’t give her grief. She always comes home with the cutest jeans that she picks up for a buck or two at the consignment shops. She did not learn this from me. I have never bought a single piece of clothing from a consignment or thrift shop. It’s on my Bucket List for 2014.

The puppy ate my decorative fabric garland I had hanging on the fireplace. I’m still not over it. And he knows it. Every time he sees me he gets all prancy and ears up for a second and then remembers he was a Bad Dog and the ears go down and he tries to lick me. I suppose I will have to make my own. If you have any fabric scraps, I will take them! Joycie and Lady Di…this means YOU. You bring me scraps…I will make you one, also.

Speaking of making. It is now five days out from Christmas and I haven’t even started my projects for everyone. Thankfully, it is a quick project, but still. I work so much better under pressure. Mostly because I’m a major procrastinator which means I’m always working under extreme pressure. One of my resolutions goals for 2014 is to Just Do It. Whatever it is…just get it done. We will see how that works out. Fifty-three Forty-eight years of pressure-driven performance is a hard habit to break, I’m guessing.

Yes, I do have a birthday coming up in a little over a month. Yippee.

Okay, so I’ve give you a couple of weeks to stew on the whole thing. For a recap, read my post here. I’m doing this. Who is in? Go here to order from Amazon and This Girl ears a few pence in compensation. Get your book NOW. Your first assignment (my first assignment as well) is to read the introduction prior to our start. I’m thinking, because I have so many things I’m resolving determining to do in 2014 beginning in January, that we will actually begin getting serious about reading and sharing and doing the second week in January. So, let me know if you are in.

Okay, the Peanut Blossom dough has been chillin’ long enough and now it is time to start baking. I love to bake. I keep telling Shawn that he and I need to have our own cooking show. He will cook and I will assist. And holler at him to clean up as he goes along and after himself and we can have real life knock-down drag out mom-son fights right on the air. This wouldn’t be no Paula Deen and Sons love fest, I assure you. Also, My Girl would be My Prep Girl from when I bake and Shawn assists me. She is awesome at it. My Man could wander around the set and we would tell him to go find things and he would ask where they are and we would go get them ourselves because he can’t find anything and frankly, it’s just easier to do it yourself. And The Wild Boy? Well, he would sit in a chair, texting and chatting with a ton of girls. There. You have a glimpse into the reality that is my every day. I say, let’s get paid for it!

Love you guys. Hope you are safe and comfy and loved and ready for Christmas.