Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chicken Little or chicken a lot??

I recently lost one of my part time jobs.  Not a big deal except that it means three hundred less dollars a month for our family of five.  So time to get creative.  I'm always looking for a way to survive in this life.  I always have a plan up my sleeve.  Ask me how many of them have worked out.......regardless I'm now back in planning mode.  My new plan includes revising the budget and cutting out the fat.  After purchasing some incredible financial software at the Dollar Tree I have decided that one way I can cut out the fat, literally, is by eating less.  I have revised my grocery budget and have a goal of eating for less than $50.00 a week. 

I've decided to ditch the idea that everything has to be "whole" food in order to be good for you cause here's the thing... there are nutrients in all foods.  It is cheaper to make homemade breads, soups, stews and goodies they're not filled with chemicals and preservatives.  They are made with oatmeal, butter, real sugar and real fruits and veggies and  they taste good!  My family is not too sure about this new plan.  We have been eating on the same two roast chickens for a week.  Day 1 roast chicken, potato salad, beans and bread.  Day 2 creamed chicken on homemade biscuits with green beans.  Day 3 chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes and green salad.  Day 4 chicken and veggie soup with homemade bread.  Day 5 chicken pot pie using leftover soup and leftover creamed chicken.  Man vs Wild guy you've got nothing on me!  I have figured out how to feed a family of five including two teenage boys for a week on two chickens! HA!

I fear that as life goes on these mad survival skills I am honing will be put to the test.  I truly believe that all of us who have been living in excess will have to learn to live without and be thankful for whatever it is the Lord is providing.  I hope my children are learning the survival lessons I am trying to teach.  I'm compiling a "How To" book for them, I am sure it will be very useful, if nothing else it will make good fire starters!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Love is Patient, Love is Kind.....

Love is a choice.  It is based on facts and not feelings.  It is not the culmination of candlelit dinners and champagne.  Anyone with children knows that it is a commitment.  One that is sometimes hard to keep.  We parents get disappointed when our children do not live up to our "expectations".  As a parent I always want my kids to do the right thing 100% of the time but in reality I myself am usually able to only pull that off about 10% of the time.  There are often some hard truths that have to be faced as a mom, about your children and yourself.  I think that is why we often choose to look the other way. 

I am a child myself, I have my earthly parents and I have my Father in Heaven.  He calls me on my crap...a lot.  Sometimes he shows me a picture of myself that I think I cannot stand to look at.  Sometimes he shows me a family portrait of he and I through my children that I think I won't be able to bear.  I stare at the picture and my heart breaks because I see things that I don't want to see, pride, rebellion, anger, pain, frustration, greed...sometimes I want to throw that portrait away. 

In that picture God is always present, always near, always holding onto me and no matter what ugly thing I see in me, what I see in him is his love for me.  Everlasting love that will never leave me or forsake me.  That is the kind of love I feel for you my dear children.  There will be trials, yes.  There will be consequences, yes.  There will be brokenness, yes.  I will call you on your crap....a lot.  But I will always love you because NOTHING will separate you from my love I am c-h-o-o-s-i-n-g to love you.  I am not always feelin' it but I am choosing it and I will chose it again tomorrow if I have to!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Missouri Day Memories

We have a yearly celebration in our community called Missouri Day.  Seems kind of funny for a small Colorado town but apparently a lot of our founding fathers were from Missouri.  It started out as a picnic for families to get together and have some fun.  Now we have a carnival and a parade vendors in the park and bingo and a ropin' and livestock show out at our arena.  When I was a child it was the pinnacle of summer to me.  My cousins would come from Arkansas and Ft. Collins and Denver and my grandpa's "other" family would come too.  My step aunties.  I loved them.  They were so talented and clever and sometimes they would bring their mom.. my grandpa's ex-wife.

I never really thought of my grandma as being gracious.  She would cuss the truckers like a sailor.  She was a tough old broad.  My uncle used to tell people she was a flory dory girl but I think its more likely she was a bouncer.  She would threaten to put you in a half nelson if you didn't behave yourself and I'm sure she could have done it.  She used to threaten to kill the dog when he barked too much.  But she was so much fun.  We'd play cards while she washed her laundry at the laundry mat, she took us swimming at the pool, let us stay up to watch "dirty" movies (we were never allowed to watch anything over G) and buy us soda pop!  When things were not to my liking at home I would ride my bike to granny's to "help" her with something.  She was my refuge!  And every year on Missouri Day she would go with us Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Step Aunts and Cousins and grandpa's ex-wife to play bingo.  She was a master and would sit in the bingo tent all day with my grandpa's ex-wife and smoke and cuss and laugh.  I thought that was weird.  Now that I'm married I think it is phenomenal.  I can't imagine being so kind and gracious.  My grandpa had two families but my grandma made us one. 

My grandma and grandpa are long since gone.  My little step aunties are very, very old and my cousins don't make it down much any more. However, on Missouri Day any of us that still make it, including the great grandchildren, gather at the bingo tent and play a few cards in memory of a wonderful, gracious, kind, full of life old granny, and if by some miracle we win a pot we know that granny had a hand in it. Sometimes when you smell the cigarette smoke mixed with the sweet smell of her spearmint gum you almost feel like she is there telling you "pay attention, they called b-52 already!".  Love you granny!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Snake Charmer

We live in rattlesnake country.  Rattlesnakes have been known to try to sneak into the dollar store downtown to do a little shoppin'.  My sister has a den living under her house...they have names.  She hired a snake wrangler to try to evict them.  They chose to stay... so she is eliminating them by force one by one.  As you may know rattlesnakes are dangerous and aggressive.  They strike first and ask questions later.   In our county we are all fierce rattlesnake fighters but bull snake lovers.  We try hard not to get the two confused but sometimes it can't be helped.  This was the case for me this morning.

I usually try to get my exercise in in the a.m. before my energy runs out.  This morning I took a walk and then discovered one of our wonderful pooches had once again strung trash all over the sheep pasture so I went down to do clean up duty.  I was bent over picking up trash and too focused on cussing the dogs to notice I had come eye level to a snake.  He was coiled and curling head erect staring his beady little eyes at me and I was not happy to see him either!  I backed away and weighed my options.  He had to go!  My kids take the trash out and this is an unwelcome pest.  Normally my husband or my oldest...the gunslinger....would handle a situation like this but neither of them were there.  I thought about running to get the boy but as he is a senior this year I decided I may as well learn how to kill the dang things myself...picked up a cinder block..yup I'll chuck that at it and smash it...no that will just piss it off, I'm not a very accurate pitcher....ran to the house looking for the shovel...nowhere to be found....oh ya there it is in gunslingers pick-up...telltale signs he's been out in the county with his pals killing rattlers elsewhere...ok ready...aim chop!!!  What the head is still chomping....when will this thing ever stop wiggling....oh no ....oops....its a bull snake!  Oh well, good for me!  I win the bravery award for today.  Realizing of course I didn't go it alone completely...nope my motto is pray first....and then do whatever God is leading you to do.  That is the only way to make it through scary, or uncertain, or emergency situations.

"God is my refuge, and God is my rock, a very present help in times of trouble..."  Have a great day and remember sometimes a bull snake is a rattlesnake in disguise!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bucket List

There are a lot of emotions involved with dealing with death.  It is difficult to see someone else's life flash before your eyes and it makes you think a lot about your own.  Mines been good.  I would say I'm relatively happy.  I had a good upbringing, oh sure, we are crazy and everyone has their own level of dysfunction but mine was functional.  As good as my life has been however, there are things I wish I'd done.

My sister was a daredevil.  She learned to ride a two wheeled bike by running it down the hill and smashing into our barn.  She wasn't afraid of anything.  I was afraid of my own shadow and all the bumps in the night.  I slept with the covers over my head thinking that would protect me.  Needless to say the fear of things kept me from taking chances.  Now I am forty years old and wishing I had had a little more Faith and a little less fear so I am taking a leap of Faith and living a little.  Therefore my "Bucket" list. 

A list of things I choose to spend my time doing before I "kick the bucket".  I've always been a "good" girl and done what I was supposed to do.  The first thing on my list is a tattoo.  Inconspicuously placed  on my upper right hip, lips with a few choice words in Italian....yes that's right!  I don't often say it but I am thinking it a lot.  Imagine when they are changing my diaper at the "home" the nursing assistants are going to think "man I wish I knew this lady earlier, I'll bet she was sooo much fun"! And they are right!  There are other things on the list but this will be my first act of bravery.

 I challenge each of you to live today like there won't be a tomorrow.  I don't mean hard and fast but I do mean free.  Live like you know where you are going and can't wait to get there.  Believe that life is good and it is a gift and every moment should be lived to the fullest.  "Live well, love much and laugh often" and start today this very minute.  I am!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Amazing Fat Girl

So here I am again for those of you who don't know me I am big mama blue!  A forty year old fabulous fat girl!  Just got home from vacationing at Branson, MO.  Hillbilly heaven!  I was totally in my element.  We took our kids to Silver Dollar City and had a fantastic time but my oldest said to me "Mom you could make a million dollars here...that crap your always trying to feed us is about $10.00 a plate here!" 

I was born and raised a Colorado girl but I am sure I am Ozark mountain people at heart.  I cried when we had to come home.  In my defense, home has been a little rough lately.  My dad has t-cell lymphoma and they are removing pieces of him constantly, mom has diabetes and osteoarthritis and is in pain and cranky a lot (tends to threaten people with her cane).  And the bills are piled higher than the Empire State building.  I told you mountain people for sure!

I am on a constant quest for a happy place.  I am a Christian and love the Lord but I realize that loving Christ doesn't mean that everything is coming up roses.  You know how it is girls you see the skinny, tanned, rich girls and think to yourself ...if only.  My weight has been a constant thorn in my side.  I was always a chubby kid and come from a large family and I don't mean there was a lot of us.  At forty my main concern is diabetes and heart disease so I exercise daily for at least 30 minutes try to get my five servings of veggies, limit my sugar and caffeine intake and TRY to avoid alcohol (doesn't work). Still I tip the scales at about 200 lbs give or take either way.  I have hypothyroidism which makes it hard to lose and if I get stressed even worse.  So I remain "obese".  My friend is a nutritional counselor and has developed a formula to 'increase your metabolism" so I'm his Guinea pig so far nothing!

So I journey onward.  With the love and support of my dear "smokin' hot" husband who hasn't gained an ounce since we met 25 years ago!  The knowledge that my Lord loves me even if I have to walk through the fire.  The joy of everyday livin' and a little help from my friends.  For all of you struggling with me God Bless You!  and I'll see you on the other side.  I've got a home in Glory Land that outshines the sun!