Breakin’ the Habit

Facebook is a giant time warp.  You log in just to check out what your buddies are doing and an hour disappears!  You become “friends” with people you haven’t seen in decades and barely remember anyway.  You find yourself hauling out the high school yearbook to try to remember who in the heck that person is that just “friended” you. 

Soon it’s an hour here and an hour there.  Then it is suddenly bedtime or time to get the kids from school and you complain that you just couldn’t get anything done today.  You were to “busy.”

By the way, the “you” in the previous two paragraphs was code for “me” and “I.” 

I don’t even play the Farmville, or AquariumWorld, or MobCity or whatever game is all the rage these days!

So I said a temporary adios to my “friends” in mid-February and gave up Facebook for Lent.

The first week was hard.  I had to delete the Facebook app from my iPhone and replace it with a rosary app.  I needed the reminder of why I was doing this.  I needed to re-align my priorities.  I wondered what everyone was posting about.  I met new people and wanted to look them up on Facebook, but that just couldn’t happen.

It got easier as time passed.  I thought less and less about it.  Then I began to figure out that I was out of the loop!  People got married and others got divorced.  Babies were born and young people died.  Life happened! 

Things happened in my life, too, and I couldn’t share them with my “friends.”  The people who are in my face-to-face life knew, of course, but those with whom I chat only online were unaware. 

There were also little moments when I’d think “man, I’d love to facebook that!”  especially the funny moments in my family.

Wilson and I were pretending to argue about what to watch on television one night during the olympics.  He jokingly said he didn’t care what I watched so, just to pick on him, I said that we were going to watch figure skating – the antithesis of masculinity.  Without hesitation, he asked “Long Program or Short?” 

Things were bearable until the last week of Lent.  The Devil, I mean Facebook, sent me an e-mail to let me know that I had four new friend requests waiting on me!  That was just mean.

Now that I’m back, I’m trying to maintain a hold on the amount of time that gets sucked into the black hole of Facebook.  A little here, a little there, but no more marathon sessions!

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A Farmer’s Nightmare, a true story

Wilson has been babying his tomato seedlings since January.  They are on heating pads under grow lights in our shed (his makeshift greenhouse). 

Last week he had a nightmare:  that a grasshopper got into the shed and ate all the leaves off of his babies.  He was beside himself.

I’m still laughing.  Only a farmer…

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Doin’ Time in the Big House

On Sunday, we went to prison.  We took the three boys to the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.  “Why in the hell…” I can hear you ask.

For the rodeo, of course!  Every Sunday in October, the prison hosts a rodeo and craft show.  They have a good share of typical rodeo events plus some unique contests:

  • The Angola Bust Out:  6 chutes open at the same time, each with an angry bull carrying an inmate.  The last man on his bull wins.
  • Convict Poker: Four inmates sit at a table in the middle of the arena, where a wild bull is released.  The last man sitting at the table wins.
  • Pinball:  10 inmates stand in hula hoops on the ground in the arena.  An angry bull is let go to charge at them at will.  The last man in his circle wins.
  • Guts & Glory: A poker chip (worth $500) is attached to the forehead of the meanest bull available.  Whichever inmate gets it wins!

The craft show was completely run by the inmates, with all of the items hand-made on-site.  There were hundreds of swings and rockers and thousands of belts and purses.  There were gorgeous paintings from very talented men.  The carvings were amazingly intricate, done by folks with lots of free time to kill.

Ok, enough singing the praises of the prison.  (Speaking of singing, the prison bands performed all day.)  Let’s talk about a sensitive subject:  “The Tacky.”  No cameras or cell phones were allowed, so I’ll paint the picture for you.

Exhibit One: Master of Keys.  He turned an old seat belt into a key chain.  We saw this before we even made it to the prison!  The Nerd in me thought it was cool, but tacky nonetheless.

Exhibit Two: Wooden Roses.  Forgive me if I offend, but they were everywhere!  And very intricately carved!

Exhibit Three: Wooden sign that read “Ask me about my Loved One in Angola.”  Really? Ask me about my dog’s constipation, that funky rash, my illegitimate grandchild, the “not so fresh feeling,” ANYTHING but my Loved One in Angola!

Exhibit Four: Prison Medical Services.  Apparently their optometrist stocks only black plastic frames and their dentist caps all teeth in gold.

Exhibit Five:  Let me set the scene:  picture a woman who has been – as the rodeo people say – Rode Hard and Put Up Wet, with her unwashed hair pulled up in a scrunchie, her too-tight jeans rolled up to keep the ends out of the mud, her flip flops muddy.  She has found the man of her dreams.  He’s innocent, of course, and will get out in just 12 more years.  She’ll buy him a funnel cake.  He’ll buy her a wooden rose.

Exhibit Six: The prison version of a perpetual Going Out of Business Sale.  The sign at one booth read “Getting Out Clearance Sale – Everything Must Go!” I wonder if he’s really getting out or if he posts that every weekend.

Enough being mean.  There was one thing that touched my heart, the numbers of  families visiting their loved ones.  One, in particular, really sticks with me.  There was a gentleman sitting in a swing (that he probably made) with two toddler girls on his lap.  He was grinning like a jackass eating briars, but the lady standing with them had obviously been crying.  This was an intimate moment for this family, a rare one that we take for granted on the outside. 

The most intimidating moments were negotiating purchases through a chain-link fence with the inmates not trusted to mingle with the public.

Although most of the men were well-behaved, only a handful looked me in the eyes.  For the rest, I was a set of walking boobs.  To be expected, I guess.

On the way home, it took over 2 hours to drive the 20 miles to St. Francisville.  No one wanted to stick around – imagine that!

*If I have offended you with this absolutely true recap of our day, I know where you can find a sign!

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Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 7-ounce boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp Egg Beaters Egg Whites
  • 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Hot Wing Sauce (I used Jim Beam’s, but only because it was in my pantry for some reason)
  • 2 leaves romaine lettuce
  • 2 light whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 2 Tbsp dip (made from light sour cream mixed with Ranch Powdered Dip Package)

Directions

  1. Cut breast into 2 pieces.  Place between two layers of wax paper and pound flat.  (I use the bottom of a heavy 2-quart saucepan, and all of my aggression.)
  2. Dip meat into egg whites and dredge in flour.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.
  4. Pan-fry chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked.
  5. Remove chicken from pan and pour hot wing sauce into the pan, to mix with the rest of the oil.
  6. Put the chicken back into the pan and flip, coating chicken with sauce.
  7. Place each chicken piece on a bun and top with lettuce.
  8. Spread 1 Tbsp Ranch sour cream dip on each bun top.

Serve with cut-up raw vegetables, dip, and a baked sweet potato.

Buffalo Chicken Burgers:  6 Points per serving, 2 servings per recipe.

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Menu Planning

It’s been a long time since I’ve written here.  I’ve kept up with Landon’s blog fairly well – sometimes with prodding – but let this one go.  I finally finished up our California Trip Blog.  But now is time to get back to this place, back to me.

Let’s start out with something I’ve been doing off-line all summer long:  Menu Planning.  Wilson and I are back on Weight Watchers, with me attending meetings faithfully every Thursday morning.  It’s been 5 weeks now and we are still “on track.”

Friday (today):  Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches, Baked Sweet Potatoes

Saturday:  Out to eat with Wilson’s family after Mass.

Sunday:  Osso Bucco, Garlic Couscous, Carrots

Monday:  Subway (all day at the hospital with Landon followed by Open House at their school)

Tuesday:  Taco Soup (crockpot)

Wednesday: Faux Fried Fish, Mock Maque Choux

Thursday: Girls’ Night Out for me / leftovers, soup, sandwiches for the boys & baby girl

Friday:  Pork Tenderloin & Purple Hull Peas (crockpot)

Saturday:  Out to eat with Wilson’s family after Mass.

Sunday: Spicy Thai Chicken

I’ll try to post recipes as I go.  Sounds good, right?  Like a good way for me to ease myself back into sharing myself again.

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Filed under Dieting, Family, Random Household Crap

California Posts

All of the posts from our California trip were moved to a new blog:

www.WilsonAndDana.wordpress.com

I don’t know what plans I have for that blog after the trip, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

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Summertime

Summertime and the livin is easy
Fish are jumpin and the cotton is fine
Oh your daddys rich and your ma is good lookin
So hush little baby, dont you cry
One of these mornings
Youre goin to rise up singing
Then youll spread your wings
And youll take the sky
But till that morning
Theres a nothin can harm you
With daddy and mammy standin by
-George & Ira Gershwin

Today is the first day of my boys’ summer break from school. 

That’s about all I have to say about that.

Nah, really.  I had big plans for this summer.  In some fit of obvious insanity, I wrote out a daily schedule.  It included all of us getting up at 8 each morning, dressed and with beds made by 9.  We would then go outside to play until lunchtime. 

After lunch, we would all nap or read for an hour and a half.

Funny, right?  I’m not done! 

After nap time, we would play again until suppertime.  Then we would straighten the house, take baths, eat dessert, and go to bed by 9.

I must have been off my rocker that day.  Heaven help me!

Today, the first day of “summer” (I know!  It doesn’t officially start until the end of June, but you know what I mean!), started on a good note.  We were all up by 8, even though we were exhausted from staying up too late last night.  We had Lost Bread (like French Toast) for breakfast and made beds.  We got dressed and ready to go by 10:30. 

Yes, a full 90 minutes longer than I expected.  In our defense, we didn’t have to leave until 10:30 so we weren’t really rushing.

We went to the grand opening of our little town’s new library.  It was a good way to start the summer, with a trip to the library.  Except, um, that my kids were a little antsy during the ceremony.  They weren’t *that* bad, though.  Just active. 

The boys all got library cards and signed up for the summer reading program.  Everyone picked out a book and we were off to Granny’s house for lunch.  We had some serious Not-Listening behavior and ended up coming home with at least two kids in tears, with me fighting them back.

Seriously, how long until August 14?

Right now, they are supposed to be either reading or napping.  Bennett is loving the first book in the Series of Unfortunate Events line.  Cody isn’t a big reader, but got an interactive detective book and is at least browsing it.  I read a couple of books to Landon, who was so tired and desprately needed a nap more than any of us.  Mattie is, thankfully, asleep.

OK, everyone is up.  I guess naptime is over!

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