Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Civic Duty Fun (Fail)

Despite the fact that I tried to fill out my jury questionnaire last November in such a way that no attorney should want me, I got that darn summons anyway.

Hubby agreed to be on Mr. Mom stand-by and, sure enough, Monday night when I checked the voicemail message from the clerk's office, I actually had to show up.


This is the second time I've gotten a summons in the six years we've lived in our house. Last time, that same message said no trial. Technically, the courts reporter at work told me the defendant was going to plead out first, but I checked just in case.

So I actually got up when my alarm went off and fended off children until Mr. Mom got out of the shower.

For the record, I had to leave him a note on what he needed to do - cat to the vet, laundry and thaw dinner. He got 2 out of 3. In one morning. I'll take that.

I drove the 17 miles to the courthouse, circled around a bit until I understood where I could park without being towed (signage would be GREAT, folks).  I eventually followed the small wave of people heading in the same general direction. I had left my weaponry at home, so the metal detector was easy (I am always afraid I'm gonna set them off. How lame am I?). Then I was off to sit in a room with 20-plus other people trying to look as boring and un-juror-worthy as possible.

After 30 minutes of waiting for everyone to show, the Bailiff started explaining a few things, fielded questions and then popped in a instructional DVD. While I got a refresher on high school civics, I was pretty well at ease. I could be a good juror, right? I listen, process information reasonably well and I'm never short on opinions. And my kids and Hubby would be no worse for the wear after a few days in Mr. Mommyland.

I was becoming intrigued by the whole process, I admit. I was looking forward to doing something that *might* require more brain cells than the SAHM gig.

When the video was over, the Bailiff came back and said there was something going on, that we might not be needed after all. There were a few murmurs as some tried to figure out what she meant.

Sure enough, she came back in followed by the judge and the prosecutor. The defendant had decided to plead guilty literally minutes before we were going to be numbered and herded led into the courtroom for questioning.

So I got $17 plus mileage for my time. I still had to come home, feed two howler monkeys lunch, fold laundry, entertain said monkeys inside lest we burst into flame out in the crazy heat, and prep dinner. And that does NOT count as my jury service for 2011.

I'm pretty sure I'll be getting another summons in the mail yet this year.That's how my luck goes.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The doorbell just rang. It's 9 p.m. I was ready to chew out the unsuspecting, inconsiderate solicitor who came *this close* to waking my sleeping children.

I was mentally preparing my worst Momma Bear pissed off attitude when I opened the door and realized there were two teenage girls on my front porch. Before I could utter a sound, one girl looked at me with sudden realization and said, "I taught your daughter Leah in swim class."

Of course she remembers The Screamer. Doh.

I totally bought the coupon card she was selling. It was for a mission trip. For her volleyball team. Can we get a little more wholesome, please? Geez.

I don't think I really had a choice. My daughter screamed and kicked at her for 15 minutes straight three days a week for two weeks. I'm pretty sure that's not what she signed up for.

Leah has a different teacher this time around. The girl claimed she had a youth camp and couldn't teach this last session. Mmhmm...

Fear the Screamer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am Freezer Mama, hear me roar

Y'all remember our adventure in freezer cooking last month? Despite confusing directions, inaccurate recipe amounts and general late-startedness, Hubby and I survived. Most of the meals were edible. A few needed more cook time. A few that I thought would be great were the exact opposite. Who would have thought that my kids would turn their noses up at mac n cheese made with ranch dressing and lil smokies? Not me.

Over the last month, I enjoyed having those meals to rely on when we had busy days, and made the task of creating a weekly menu that much easier.

But I wasn't sold on an exact repeat. Once Once A Month Mom came out with their July menu and nothing on their list knocked my socks off, I had a thought. I had a few recipes from last month I really wanted to do again and I found another healthy eating blog (80/20) with a lot of things that I wanted to try that were decidedly NOT freezer friendly.

And since I was intimidated by the 4 million-step process OAMM laid out, I decided to make my own rules.

I know, walking on the wild side. It's what I do.

We did breakfast/snack stuff: Breakfast burritos; Oatmeal bars; Honey-Yogurt Waffles and Zucchini cakes.

And main meals: Beef Chimichangas; Mexican Verde Casserole; Squash Mac n Cheese and shredded chicken for 2 meals we're going to do later this month.

The burritos and oatmeal bars were carry-overs from last month. The mac n cheese I have made several times. The others are new and it was fun to make the Salsa Verde for the casserole. I never knew what to do with tomatillos before. Now I know I can make salsa. So even if the cassrole is "eh," I still got something out of it.

I am not completely sold on the chimis. They smelled very vinegar-ey, which we hope will bake out. Our vinegar may have been a "smidge" past its sell-by date but it smelled like, well, vinegar. No harm, right? Well, we'll find out in a few weeks when it comes up in rotation. If not, there's always pizza delivery.

We lined up our ingredients on the dining room table again to allow for more workspace in the kitchen. Hubby did the cooking and assembly-line work and I did the baking, mac n cheese and the bulk of the dishes (not by choice. Grr). I put the chicken into the crock pot with water earlier in the afternoon to cook, but the rest we started at 8 p.m. Sunday and were done by 11.

I am totally hooked. Hubby likes being in the kitchen but doesn't often get the chance and I don't always enjoy cooking unless I have company. Now this is something we can do together that is a project, but isn't nearly as stressful as home improvement. Like our bathroom/laundry room project the week before Leah's first birthday... Ugh. Not gonna go there.

So now I'm telling you to scan through your cookbooks or browse online and find things you can make ahead and freeze. It's fun, I swear!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


And what the heck did YOU do while you were in college... geez...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Eye on the prize

After a busy and exhausting July 4th weekend, it's official. Summer is half over.


Okay, I'm better now.

I am what you'd call restless. If it were 2 degrees outside, I would blame cabin fever and trudge on. But it was 80-something today and gorgeous. Kiddos splashed in the baby pool for 2 hours this afternoon while I read and had half an ear in my iPod. Ahh, summer... right?

Well, kinda.

I'm hearing about people who are going here on vacation, or going there. There are people I know and friends of friends who have pools, boats, lake cabins or some of all of the above. We have The Other Woman. Not quite the same thing. And Mother Nature hasn't been supplying much wind on Hubby's free days, so she's been pretty dry. Not that you would catch me on her EVER.

I admit it. I'm green with jealousy.

But we don't have any kind of grand summer vacay planned this year for a good reason. We went to Colorado and skied for Hubby's 30th birthday (and visited amazing friends for THEIR birthdays) and we need to save some days until this winter.

You see, when we went to the home show in the Big City, I randomly filled out whatever drawing cards I could find. Hubby asked why.

"One of these days we're actually going to win something," I told him.

And gosh darn it, we did. A trip to Orlando and Daytona Beach. Seven whole days in Florida sunshine that we are squirrelling away for when the mercury drops and the snow flies.

That's what I keep telling myself. It'll all be worth it...

It's no cruise, but I'll take it.