Saturday, April 25, 2009


Hope everybody has had a good couple of weeks. *wry smile* Sorry I've been such a lousy blogger lately. I really DO miss you all, but I'm finding it hard to find new things to blog about, lately. I always seem to be griping about Tay, or about work...... I get tired of doing that.

Really don't have much news of worth to pass on today, but I've got a BOATLOAD of new recipes that I've tried in the past week and a half, so I'll share them today.

Grilled Lime Chicken

8 chicken breasts
1/2 c lime juice
1/3 c olive oil
4 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (dried can be used successfully, but not sure of the "exchange rate")
1/4 tsp pepper

Pound chicken to flatten. (This really isn't necessary, but it helps the chicken to cook more evenly and more quickly.) Combine juice, oil, onions, garlic, 2 Tbsp dill and pepper in ziplock bag, or lidded container. Add chicken breasts, seal and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours (or longer!).

Drain chicken breasts of marinade and discard marinade. Grill chicken, uncovered, over med-hot coals/heat for 12 to 15 minutes, till tender and juices run clear. Turn after about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining dill before serving. (Didn't bother sprinkling with remaining dill at all, and still it tasted fabulous.) Serves 8.

This is a relatively health-conscious chicken dish. The diabetic exchanges are 3 lean meat, 1 veggie, 1 fat. The other stats are 235 cal per serving; 66 mg sodium (ok, this is a bit high); 73 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbs; 27 g protein; 12 g fat


Onion Beef Au Jus

1 boneless beef rump roast (about 4 pounds)
2 Tbsp oil
2 large sweet onions, cut into 1/4 inch slices
6 Tbsp butter, softened, divided
5 c water (would use probably 3 next time)
1/2 c soy sauce
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 garlic clove, minced/pressed (used 3 small-ish)
1 tsp browning sauce, optional (don't even know what browning sauce IS!)
1 loaf (1 pound) french bread (I used hoagie rolls)
1 c (4 oz) shredded swiss cheese

In a dutch oven, over med-high heat, brown roast on all sides in oil; drain off excess grease. In a large skillet, saute onions in 2 Tbsp butter till tender. Add the water, soy sauce, soup mix, garlic and browning sauce. Pour over roast. Cover and bake at 325 deg. F. for 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Remove roast from sauce and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Return meat to pan juices. Slice bread in half lengthwise (or, slice individual rolls lengthwise); cut into 3 sections (not if using individual rolls, of course). Spread remaining butter over bread. Place on baking sheet. Broil, 4 to 6 inches from heat, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Top with beef and onions; sprinkle with cheese. Broil, 4 to 6 inches from heat, for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with pan juices for dipping.

(All that said, I prefer my usual recipe for French Dip sandwiches that I've posted in the past. This recipe just didn't seem to have the flavor I like. HOWEVER, the hubby found this one preferable, said he finds my other recipe too strongly flavored. I may try to adjust them both to find a happy medium for us both. Kinda combine and pare down the other one, ramp up this one, to create something that meets in the middle. The meat in this one was also a little tougher than from the other recipe, didn't shred quite the way my other recipe does. This one resulted in a roast in which the meat was slice-able, but not shred-able.)


Carolina Style BBQ Sauce (ultimately a revamp of Guy Fieri's recipe from Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" show. I kinda added to it. We loved this!!!! Marinaded some chicken pieces in it, then grilled them, brushing them with more of this as we went.)

1 c cider-vinegar
1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c white sugar (brown sugar may be better)
1/4 c honey
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
3 or 4 drops liquid smoke
small dash tobasco sauce

(All those different peppers combine to make a very deep flavor, but depending on your tolerance for heat, you may want to cut even further back on some of them than I did. Ultimately it should be SPICY but not so HOT that you burn your tastebuds off.)

Simmer all together to reduce. Cool before brushing on meat. This would be fabulous on brisket, on pork, and obviously on chicken. Wouldn't probably want to try it on fish, though. Maybe a slab of shark, but anything less "meaty" than shark probably wouldn't taste quite right.


Cucumber Tuna Boats

3 medium cucumbers
1 can (6 oz) tuna, flaked and drained of liquids
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c diced celery
1/4 c mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Cut a thin slice from bottom of cucumber if necessary, so they sit flat on plate. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon into the cucumbers. Serve immediately. Serves 3. (I added some dried dill, black pepper and 1 Tbsp yellow mustard. Really enhanced the flavor!)


Cajun Potato Salad

2 pounds small red potatoes
1/2 c chopped red onion (really, use RED onion, not regular white. The red have a different flavor that is much better when raw than is a regular white onion. A sweet onion may work better than a white onion as well.)
1/2 c sliced green onions
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
6 Tbsp cider vinegar, divided (I used a total of 8 Tbsp, 4 for each step.)
1/2 pound precooked smoked kielbasa or Cajun sausage, sliced
6 Tbsp olive or veggie oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 20 to 30 minutes or until tender (may take less than 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potato); drain. Rinse with cold water; cool completely. (Would be best to do this part early in the day, then refrigerate your cooked potatoes before completing the recipe at dinner time.) Cut into 1/4 inch slices; place in a large bowl. Add onions, parsley and 3 (4!) Tbsp vinegar; toss. In a medium skillet, cook sausage in oil for 5 to 10 minutes or until it begins to brown. Rmove with slotted spoon and add to potato mixture. To drippings in skillet, add mustard, garlic, pepper, cayenne pepper and remaining vinegar; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. (Careful breathing those vinegar fumes!!!! They can be harsh!) Pour over salad; toss gently. Serve at once! Serves 6.


Lettuce with Hot Bacon Dressing (This is a "new" take on our family-favorite of swiss chard with hot bacon dressing. It makes even ice-berg lettuce taste good.)

5 bacon strips, diced
8 c torn (or shredded) salad greens
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 c sugar (I used 1/3 c, knowing we like it a LITTLE less sweet.)
1/2 c vinegar (cider works best, or rice-wine, don't use white distilled in this! It's too harsh.)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry ground mustard

In a skillet, cook bacon till crisp. Remove and drain off drippings. Return 1/4 c drippings back to skillet. In a seperate bowl, combine greens, eggs, onions and bacon. Add remaining ingredients to drippings in skillet. Bring to a boil. Drizzle over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately! Serves 8. (Or 3, in my family!)


Pork Kabobs (kinda like suvlaki (sp?) or gyros)

1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c chopped onion
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp dried marjoram (I used italian seasoning, as I don't have any plain marjoram. It worked well enough.)
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 pounds boneless pork, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes

Cucumber Yogurt sauce (also called tatziki sauce)

1 carton (8 oz) plain yogurt
1/2 c chopped cucumber
1 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

Pita bread to serve

In a resealable plastic bag or shallow covered container, combine the first eight ingredients; add pork and toss to coat. Seal or cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. (I mixed it up in the morning before work, then refrigerated the rest of the day till Scott got home to grill that evening.) Meanwhile, combine sause ingredients; cover and refrigerate for several hours. (I've tried better recipes for tatziki sauce that call for more cucumber and some olive oil. This recipe I wasn't too impressed with.)

Drain pork and discard marinade; thread pork on skewers, leaving a small space between pieces. Grill, uncovered over medium coals for 8 to 10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, turning frequently. Serve in pita bread with sauce. (I also cut some tomato into slender slices and some onion into slender slices to stuff into the pita bread with the meat. Definitely ups the health-quotient to have those fresh veggies included.) Serves 8. (Or, 3 in my family!)


South of the Border Salad

1-1/2 lb ground beef (I used one pound, worked just fine.)
1-1/4 oz pkg taco seasoning mix
1/2 to 1 c water (depending on how much the seasoning pkg calls for)
1 to 2 heads lettuce, chopped
15 oz bag corn chips (frito corn chips are preferable, but tortilla chips would be ok too)
2 tomatos, chopped
1 onion, chopped
12-oz pkg shredded cheddar (or mexican blend!) cheese
favorite salad dressing (or sour cream!)
16 oz jar salsa

Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. (I added the onions to the meat to sautee up, instead of serving them raw in the salad. As I said, white onions are just too harsh when raw, most of the time.) Add taco seasoning and water. Simmer for 10 minutes; set aside. To assemble salad, layer as follows on individual plates: lettuce, corn chips, beef mixture, tomatoes, onion and shredded cheese. Top with favorite dressing (or sour cream!) and salsa. (I also heated a can of refried beans, added enough water to make them stir-able and a bit of cumin to flavor. Then dolloped a bit over my salad, as did Scott and Tay.) Serves 4 to 6.


So, there are some new recipes for y'all. Hope you enjoy them as much as well all did. (Excepting for the tatziki sauce in the one recipe, and the beef au jus which was too weakly flavored for my taste, we loved all these new recipes. This past week was a week in which I really didn't do any of our old recipes, just new ones. Except for the night I made the lettuce salad with hot bacon dressing. I served that alongside bangers & mash, which is something we have frequently throughout the winter.)


Other than all that...... The only real matter of any importance worth sharing this week has been the weather. We had beautiful weather through Wednesday, then woke up Thursday to gray skies. It started raining by mid-afternoon, and by evening it was snowing a bit. Snowed even yesterday morning, and was pretty well windy all day long. Today the skies are still fairly over-cast, but more lightly so. The clouds aren't sitting low enough to be dumping rain or snow on us. It's a bit warmer than it was yesterday as well. The snow is mostly melted, though there are still strips and patches of it on pretty much everybody's lawn.

As for seeds and planting and such..... A couple of weeks ago now, I'd planted one pot (that held my sole pepper plant last year) with a few lettuce seeds and one pepper seed in the middle. I've put it outside during the day on nice warm days, bringing it inside during the night, and these past few days that have been cloudy and yucky. By the beginning of this week, 3 of the lettuce seeds had sprouted. Yesterday I'd noticed that the pepper seed has also sprouted, and it looks like one of the other lettuce seeds has sprouted. (Figured that at least to begin, the pepper plant doesn't need the whole pot to itself, and I just want some baby-lettuce, so I planted 3 seeds each of 2 different variety of lettuce around the outer edge of the pot, with the pepper seed in the middle. One variety, obviously, is coming up well at this point. The other variety I'm not sure is going to come up.)

Over at the FIL's house, Scott says we've got a good lot of "broccoli" sprouting, as well as some of our cabbage seeds, so far. He said nothing else has sprouted quite yet. I hope it's staying warm enough in FIL's garage this year. He doesn't tend to keep it warm, which is fine most of the year, but if he wants to be starting seed in the garage, he needs to keep it a bit warmer than he does. Anyway, we'll see I suppose.


The plan for today is to get outside and mostly uncover my strawberry patch, and pull out the dead plants from last year from the south side of the house. I need to clear my pea-patch so that I can plant beans next weekend. As soon as Scott gets home from work, we're both going to go out to the dog kennel and shovel a bunch of doggy-doo. Between the water and the winter's worth of "doggy-doo", the dogs won't even go into their kennel. Not that I can really blame them. But it means getting them out for a walk a couple of times a day to vacant areas of the neighbourhood where nobody will mind them doing their business. At least when the kennel is cleaned and dry of water, letting them out IS as simple as letting them out. REALLY don't enjoy the job of cleaning up that pen, out there. Nasty, smelly work. *sigh* Oh well, it really must be done.


Next, I seem to have fallen off the radar as far as Tay's coordinator and the special ed. teacher at the Raven program. The coordinator promised me TWICE that he would find out what is now required to get Tay into the Yess program. He hasn't called me back, and it has been a week since I last asked him. The Special Ed. teacher at the Raven program hasn't gotten back to me in over 2 weeks as to the behavioral assessement I had asked about for Tay. So, it seems everybody is intent on just dragging their feet on this matter. Monday, I need to call the School District building myself and ask about the requirements for enrollement into the Yess program. Then I need to call the Special Ed. teacher and ask if she's had a chance to review my check-list on the behavioral assessement and where we're at for having an actual evaluation for that.

Until I get both of those matters figured out, we can't do ANYTHING about enrolling Taylor ANYWHERE for next year. And for a lot of places, the enroll-by date is May 1. *sigh*


Last but not least, tomorrow is my older nephew's 7th birthday. So, just want to throw a "Happy Birthday Aaron" wish out there. *wry smile* He's really a pretty good kid, when he's got somebody keeping an eye on him and isn't being allowed to combine efforts with his little brother. (Get the two of them together, and they're pretty damn destructive.) But, I definitely see the potential in that one. He's terribly over-sensative, may well get made fun of in school if he doesn't stop crying every time somebody looks at him cross-wise. (I know, I know..... Little boys should be encouraged to be MORE sensative than they have, historically, but even then there IS a point at which it just becomes aggrivating. And that's whether the over-sensative one is a boy OR girl!) Gotta say, of the 3 on my hubby's side, this one is my favorite so far. And he's now getting to the point where he is actually pretty helpful. Gotta love it when a kid gets to that stage! *wink*

Ok..... Gotta get outside and get those dead plants pulled out and cleared away from the new growth (in the case of my rhubarb and chive plants), and get those leaves taken off my strawberry patch. (Though, where I'm going to put them in the mean-time, I don't know. I had HOPED to get them into my compost bin, but that's still surrounded by knee-deep snow as it's in a cool, dim corner of the back yard.)

Have a Blessed Week!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh Flip! I blew up the microwave!!!!

So, Scott and I got home night before last and found that the house smelled like something had been burnt, and after a thorough search, found that something had "exploded" inside the microwave. Tay said the top popped off her container of leftover spaghetti, and it got all over the inside of the microwave. Ok, well..... I made her scrub out the microwave. Of course, she didn't do a very fabulous job of it (still looked like exploded spaghetti inside), but it also still smelt considerably burnt.

Anyway, this morning, with enough time to do something about it myself, I set about scrubbing the thing out. A good while back I'd read that if you put a microwavable container of white vinegar in the microwave and set it to heat, the humidity produced by the simmering vinegar will loosen the dried on food. I've done this before. It works!

This morning, I set the bowl of vinegar in to heat up, and then scrubbed up the microwave a bit. Smelling a bit better now. Well, not all the dried on spaghetti sauce was coming out, so I closed the microwave again with the bowl of vinegar inside. Set it for just one minute to bring that vinegar back up to a simmer, producing humidity to loosen the food inside.

Almost the full minute had gone by, when there was an explosion. I had just come into the computer room for a minute...... Rushed back to the kitchen and found that the door of the microwave had blown open, the bowl of vinegar was on it's side, and the lighted display on the microwave was dark. Out.

Finished scrubbing up the microwave (it looks good now!) and closed the door. Still no lighted display. Unplugged and replugged it in..... Still no lighted display or any beeps, dings or movement (unless I'm shaking it, of course)...... We'll see if it works this evening. Sometimes just sitting and "cooling off" does the trick. But I doubt it this time.

The FIL MAY have a new microwave (new to us, slightly old to them, as the MIL goes out and buys a new one almost every year) that we can bum off him. Otherwise we're going shopping for a new microwave. *wry smile* Go figure.

Anyway...... Just had to share. *shaking head* It's ALWAYS something!

Hope y'all are doing well. I'll try to post a full post soon.

Have a Blessed rest of the week!

Monday, April 13, 2009


So, we got planting done yesterday. This is the first I've done since November, geared toward that goal, excepting the buying of more seed back in February.

I'm going to start back into the IDC updates (That is "Food Independence Day Challenge") sooner or later, but today I just wanted to post about what's going on here for weather and veggies and such.

The weather has been BEAUTIFUL! around here lately. Day-time temps were at first getting only as high as the high 30's, then over the course of the next week they got up into the 40's, yesterday I think it may even have hit 60 degrees in the sun, and the shade was about 40. Our road is more slush and water at this point than snow. (In fact, for all the "ditch-digging" a few years back, those darn ditches clog with snow & slush and we still end up with a "lake" at the end of our road every "break-up" season.)

Saturday I took my long-dead pepper plant out of my kitchen window and took it outside. I carefully loosened the root-pack up out of the planter it was in, then pulled from the stem (which I broke down considerably first) and carefully worked the mostly-dry soil from around the stem, till the whole system of roots & soil was broken up nicely back INTO the pot, and the stem I tossed over toward my compost heap. (The compost heap is STILL buried in snow, thus I haven't yet taken to tossing things in there yet. Besides, I'm rather hoping that last year's compost will finally be ready to add to my planter-beds when it all thaws & dries a bit, and therefore I don't want to toss anything new in there yet.)

Once I had that planter refilled with the now-loosened dirt, I soaked it down, even to the point of forming a couple of snow-balls and leaving them to melt into the soil. Wanted it really nice & saturated. Then, once the snow-balls melted, I let it sit overnight till yesterday morning. Before heading over to the inlaw's for Easter dinner, I planted a couple of my pepper seeds smack dab in the center of that planter, and put 6 lettuce seeds (3 each of 2 different variety) around the perimeter. I figure that if the pepper comes up, GREAT. If not, at least I'll hopefully get some leaf-lettuce growing in my kitchen window. *wink* Then I topped it off with a water-reservoir tray that I inverted over the top, terrarium-style, and left it in the sun all day.

We finally made it over to the Inlaw's at about 1 pm. Got started right away on going through the FIL's stash of seed, discussing what to plant, what needed to be started ASAP. We had a mishap with the cabbage and broccoli seed, though. Turns out that his ONLY pkg of cabbage seed, and one of his 2 pkg of broccoli seed were cut open along top. Something I was not aware of. *wry smile* When they got inverted while sorting through, one or the other (or both?) spilled all it's contents out into the tray we were using for sorting seed. I thought, initially, that it was the broccoli seed, so I got it all back INTO the pkg of broccoli. Only then to discover that the pkg of cabbage seed (the ONLY pkg of cabbage seed that the FIL had) was empty but for 4 little seeds. *rolling eyes* So, now I had either just added a lot of broccoli seed to the broccoli pkg, a lot of cabbage seed to the broccoli pkg, or they'd BOTH dumped out and gotten completely mixed anyway and had gotten added back into the broccoli pkg together. And since broccoli and cabbage seed look identical (at least, to me), there was NO way to seperate the two. *sigh*

So, what we got started yesterday was a lot of cabbage (cause we proceeded to use the seed _I_ had bought, since neither Sentry or Safeway had any cabbage seed in stock, and Hawk's Farm & Garden was closed for Easter); a lot of broccoli -or more cabbage!; a full 36 squares of green-onion; about 18 tomato; 26 cucumber (just one variety this year). I also started a couple melon, a couple watermelon, another pepper seed, a couple eggplant, a couple of MY variety of broccoli, a couple of my Stupice tomato seeds (3 that I saved from last year's one ripe stupice tomato), and about 5 Bushy cucumbers to be planted here at my place. We're starting them there at Al's house, and going to bring those back here to my place to do most of their growing, once they've gotten their start there, and once the snow melts here.

Anyway, so the seed starting is all done now, hopefully. When we got here, I walked through the snow (because yes, my front and back yards still have a lot of snow) to the side of the house where I've got my bean-patch, my rhubarb, and chive plants, as well as those 2 big half-barrel planters. The snow has melted completely in a little 2-1/2 ft wide strip alongside the entire width of the house, so within the next week or two, I'm going to make all efforts to get out there and clean out my planter bins and pull out the dead stalks of last year's plants, and get a row of beans or peas in right away. Those should be the first to go in. Shortly after, I should be able to get my first picking of rhubarb. And shortly after that, I should be able to put in some zucchini and eventually my tomato plants. I can hardly wait.


On to other subjects, I suppose.

As for the suggestions of Tay maybe simply being a rebellious teen...... I DO appreciate the thought that maybe there isn't anything going on beyond that, that maybe this is simply a "this too shall pass" stage in our lives. That'd be my thought too if it wasn't for the fact that Tay and I have been knocking heads since she was 2. She hit her "terrible 2" stage a bit early, but never outgrew it. I mean, literally. She was as ornery and strong-willed and defiant at 3 and 4 and 5 as she was at 2. Years 6 and 7 weren't much better, if anything her attitude worsened while her physical expressions of anger diminished a bit. Year 8 was ok for the most part. Then at 9 years old, she hit puberty and her attitude (and her physical expressions of anger and violence) have been sky-rocketing ever since. Just last night, she spent 30 minutes yelling and screaming at Scott and I simply over brushing her teeth. Or, more precisely, that she didn't WANT to brush her teeth and she was being directed to. Even before that, right after we got home from the Inlaw's, I directed her (nicely, mind you!) to unload the dishwasher before calling her best friend to hang out. A simple, quick chore that she KNOWS she's been assigned. She slammed the front door in my face in anger over my reminding her that she needed to do her chore before running off with her friend. (Suffice it to say, Scott went in and told her that because of her behavior, she wasn't going to get to see that friend at ALL, even once dishes had been done.)

Her attitude is that if she doesn't find it fun, then she's going to raise hell till she gets her way. And as I don't tend to give in more than 1% of the time, and Scott's quickly learning to NOT give in either, that results in slammed doors, banging her head against walls and doors, throwing things...... It's beyond simple teenage rebellion. Last night, Scott was standing outside her bathroom giving her the "evil eye", trying to stare her down over her refusal to brush her teeth, and she went to slam the door IN his face. (Literally, it would have hit him in the face.) He put his hand up, and as hard and fast as Tay was pushing that door, his hand went through the door with no effort from him. She kicks walls and doors and furniture when she's pissed. She's gotten pretty damned abusive. It's no longer acceptable in any way.

So yeah..... Again I appreciate the thought that maybe it's just a phase of teenage rebellion, but Tay's attitude and actions make her a hazard to herself and others. That's simply unacceptable and not something ANYBODY should have to live with for the sake of putting up with a rebellious teenager.

(And, before anybody says "well, if she doesn't want to brush her teeth, why don't you just let her get a cavity, maybe she'd care more about brushing?" remember that our insurance, as much as most insurance plans will cover cleanings and other preventative for minors 100%, but treatment for dental ill's, such as cavities and worse, is covered at maybe 80% AFTER the yearly deductable is paid. We simply don't have the cash to just "let her get a cavity". There are other medical needs that are a little harder to prevent, so why just give up in this case, in hopes that she'll come around to brushing after she's had to suffer a cavity. We're working on preventing what we can, to avoid the dental bills, when we know that other bills will come along for other physical needs that cannot be avoided so easily. And, as for making Tay pay for those cavity fillings, could be except we're trying to save her meager savings for college some day. AND, simply paying for the cavity filling isn't all the fight we might have. There's also the fight of dragging her butt into a dentist chair if she decides to NOT go. She's gotten too big for me to throw over my shoulder and sit on. *wry smile*)


I found this quote on a bookmark at work early last week, and I thought it was interesting and thought provoking enough to want to share.

"Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which EVERYBODY sees." -- Schopenhauer

Isn't that a neat quote? I love the thought that our job in life, as thinking individuals is not to FIND new things, but to be creative in our thinking processes about even that which has already been discovered. To challenge the limits of our imagination and belief by questioning what is commonly believed to be true.


Last but not least, today is my younger nephew, Grant's, 5th birthday. I know he doesn't see this, just thought I'd throw it out there though. Rather astonished that the little hooligan hasn't blown himself up, or gotten himself hit by a car yet. Then again, at 5 he's just finally gaining the physical ability to REALLY do himself in. (He's majorly dangerous that way. Not just in a rather physically violent way, but in a totally careless and carefree manner as well. He'd be the one to jump off the roof of the house onto a trampoline just to see how high he can jump afterwards.)


Ok, I'd better get a move on. It's warm enough outside now to move my seed-pot outside, and to move my couple of hyacinth bulbs outside for the day. Then I've got to get ready for work.

Have a Blessed Week!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Fun Video To Share.....

For anybody who's ever even remotely liked _The Sound of Music_ here's a YouTube clip you simply MUST see.

A Bit of Frauline Maria

Simply being there would probably have me smiling for weeks, whenever it was remembered.


Let's see, what's happened this week???

Tay's best friend broke her arm on Thursday. Was tripped by a fellow classmate in gym class (though the gym teacher didn't see it, and therefore the kid wasn't punished) and fell and fractured the smaller of the two main bones in her arm. Now has her arm in a sling. And today is her 12th birthday. Poor girl. *wry smile* Tay's headed over there now to help clean up for the party this afternoon.


The Psych Eval. results came back normal. As in, Tay is not/does not have ADD. *sigh* I was really hoping that this was the answer. It appears it is not. Which puts us back to having no answers as to what may be going on with her. *big sigh* That totally sucks.

In more detail, though....

Scale **************** IQ/Index ******** Percentile ************ 95% Confidence
Verbal comprehension **** 96 ************** 39 ******************** 89-103
Perceptual Reasoning **** 90 ************** 25 ******************** 83-98
Working Memory ********** 91 ************** 27 ******************** 84-99
Processing Speed ******** 80 *************** 9 ******************** 73-91
Full IQ Scale (Total combined)* 87 ********* 19 ******************** 82-92

In each of these 4 aspects, she had to have scored at a 74 or lower in the IQ/Index portion in order to qualify as having a learning disability. The only section she comes even close in is the Processing Speed. Thus, she's NOT got an actualized learning disability, and therefore does not qualify for Special Needs programs. The Special Ed. teacher DID suggest that her Processing Speed indicates that we need to take more time to explain more complex ideas such as history and science lessons. To give her MORE time and MORE instruction in these areas where she shows a definite struggle at home. *sigh* I guess.......

It just bums me out that we didn't get a definitive answer that would really help. As it is, the definite answer is that she DOESN'T have a learning disability, but then WHY is she struggling so much?

So, as I said, we're back at the beginning again, just about.

And, to be quite honest, it makes me somewhat sad for Tay to see those results. I've never thought of Tay as stupid or retarded or any such thing. But to see that she's at the low edge of the average portion of the IQ scale, to see that she's in the 19th percentile over all..... That makes me sad. AND it DOES make me wonder, AM I expecting too much of her? I want to expect a lot of her, because I DO truly believe she's a smart, inquisitive child. But, thanks to this IQ test I'm left wondering if maybe she really ISN'T capable of comprehending more than she does. Maybe there isn't a learning disability persay, but that it simply comes out to that her brain isn't built to comprehend to the level that I find normal based on my experience.

And, considering how much of himself Scott says he sees in Tay, maybe this lessened propensity for problem solving and puzzling things out is why HE has such a problem grasping the ecological and economic issues I see and worry about. Maybe their brains just aren't capable of grasping these things. Again, that makes me sad for them. Will that make me feel better that I'm not being understood or believed when I say something? Does it mean I should cut them both a lot of slack and just not bother with trying to get them to understand? I don't know. But these results definitely have me asking all these questions of myself.


This week, Stephanie came over every day to hang out with Tay for a while. Stephanie helped out with the school work, and they took the dogs out for walks, and baked cookies one day. It sounds like Stephanie will stop coming over on Fridays, though, as I've got the day off and it's obvious that Tay and I cannot be in the house together without both of us getting frustrated. But, at least Stephanie had a chance to see this on Friday, even if she only caught a glimpse of how aggrivating (and aggrivated!) Tay can get when she and I try to sit down and do schoolwork together, or anything else that requires me to tell Tay to do something. (IE: not just schoolwork, but to do dishes, or laundry, or feed the dogs..... If it requires me to give Tay instruction, it ticks her off that I must do so, and she argues with me, which ticks ME off. *wry smile*)


The newest on Scott's job is that some of the 401k "insurance" that was promised by his company has been withheld. The financial and HR promised these guys they'd protect the 401k monies that my hubby and his coworkers have been socking away for the last year, even if it required a financial hit for the company over all. In exchange, the employees were expected to take their 2-weeks-unpaid-leave without complaint. Well, the company financial "wizards" screwed the hubby and his coworkers over on their 401k and the promises that were made to them, therefore Scott and his co-workers are refusing to take that 2 weeks leave without pay. *sigh* I don't see how they're going to really manage that, though...... I mean, they could be screwed by going in for work, and working their shifts, only to have pay docked to avoid paying them for that 10 days leave they're supposed to take. I don't know. I know it all sounds screwy, though.

In the mean-time, though.... I've decided to take the first week of June off work. That'll hopefully (providing the weather cooperates) focus for a week on planting over at the inlaws and here at home. I really hope it works out that way. And my Boss was ok with me wanting to do that. I think it helps that I asked her NOW, instead of waiting till half-way through May. *wink*


Although it's not unusual in the current economic environment, my baby sis lost her job last week. (Or, was it a little longer ago now?) Anyway, she apparently went in to work one morning to find out that her employer was pulling up stakes. The office she was working in was a brand-new branch of a Canadian outfit that trains mining employees. This branch that Kori was working for was the FIRST branch on American soil. In the 3 months since they opened up and Kori started, the company had shelled out $30-grand in start-up monies and advert. and employee pay (Kori and her boss being the only 2 local employees) for this branch. With NO returns. No business had come in for this local branch at all. I'm guessing that if it weren't for the recession we're all in, maybe the office would have had more business, or maybe they could have held open for a couple months longer to try to drum up some business. As it is, the concensus apparently was that it was pointless to keep this new branch open, so it was closed down and Kori is now out of a job. *sigh* Wishing K. much luck in finding a new job, and fast!

In some good news for K. and my niece, though..... My niece is top of her class in first grade. Apparently Kiara is doing fantastically in school and is loving it! I'm glad that thus-far this is the case. I hope school continues to be something little K. enjoys throughout her school career, and that it's something she does as well at as her Aunt Shelli. (Shelli is our middle sis, 2 years younger than I am, 2 years older than Kori. Shelli's the one going for her PhD in philosophy down in Arizona.)


Mom's leaving on a cruise this coming week. Apparently she'll be flying to New Zealand where she'll have a day or so of wait-time before the cruise starts. She's hoping to get to do some touring of New Zealand while she's there. Then she'll cruise through the South Pacific back to Honolulu. I hope she has a blast with that! And I have NO doubt she'll take a TON of pictures to share. *grin* Mom's great at taking pictures. You can check out some of her pics of her life in Hawaii here.


Last he said, Dad's planning on leaving Spokane in the couple of days after Easter. Of course, he told me that BEFORE Kori lost her job. I don't know if that is STILL his plan, or if he plans to hang around and help her out until she finds a new job. Anyway, I know he's been looking forward to getting on the road again with his new trailer. Though apparently, there's been a semi-serious issue with his trailer and he's got to tow it BACK to Kansas for some repair work. It's repair work that should be covered under the warranty. Then his plan was/is? to head to Ohio to do some spring Turkey hunting with a friend he's got down there.


Weather wise, it appears that Spring IS here! The weather has been getting up in the high 30's, to low 40's during the warmest parts of the day and the snow is melting nicely off the back deck. The nights still get down to about Zero, but that's to be expected. While it's clear, this time of year, it still gets rather chilly at night. But the clear skies during the DAY mean beautiful, warm weather during daylight hours. And we're starting to get sunlight till 9 pm and later. LOVING THAT!

But, the front yard and all else (except that back deck, and patches of road-way) are still covered in snow. THICK snow. LOTS of it. *grin* So, no green, grassy Easter for us this year.

And there is still, ALWAYS the realization that we're not safe from more snow till at LEAST the second week of May.


Ok, I think that pretty well covers it all for now. I'll try to get by and visit everybody over the next couple of days.

Have a Blessed Week!