Thursday, June 28, 2012

Check Marks Speak Louder Than Words

Okay.....so I am going to take a moment, and spout out my thoughts about politics.....not that it really matters.  But here she goes!

I hate them.

I knew a man once, that was heavily involved in sharing his political opinion, in a progressive southern city.  He grew very respected, by readers from one particular publication, that he wrote into often.  I asked his wife one day, if he ever considered running for office.  She replied that he couldn't because he wasn't an American citizen.  "Has he tried to become an American citizen?"  I asked.  "Oh.  He has gone through everything, he just hasn't completed some paper work, or registered to vote."  She replied.  "Why?"  I continued.  "Because he won't take the time to do it," she answered.

I was flabbergasted!  I lost all respect for this man's opinion, because he was lazy.  It made me want to write into the publication and ask their readers, if they knew that this gentleman, whose opinion they so highly upheld......was not a citizen of the United States of America, based on the sheer fact, that he wouldn't take the time to finish paperwork, and register to vote.

For the record.....I didn't disagree with his views.

I am not a debater.  The views that I hold politically, I usually hold quietly to myself.  The bantering, even from the party that I support, is repelling to me.  It is sooo confusing, stressful, and just plain nasty.  I choose not to listen to it.....and I know,  probably to the detriment of me being well informed, and educated on campaigns, administrations, and policies.   I have a hard time intelligently articulating my thoughts and opinions on politics, which is why I usually keep quiet.....and listen to learn, from the sources that I trust, and am most comfortable with.

Then, I take my quietly held thoughts, convictions and opinions......and quietly speak out, as loudly as I can.....with a check-mark.....at the polls.

With all due respect to your freedom of speech.....your voice, opinion, thoughts, and convictions are going to be heard.....most loud and clear.....with your vote in November.  Irregardless of your position.

If you are going to talk the talk.....then you better walk the walk.....to your neighborhood poll.....

.....because, right now in our country.....check marks are going to speak louder than words.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mac Daddy's Favorite ~ Sausage and Gravy

One thing that Mac Daddy and I share together, is a love for foods that....."your not supposed to eat."  Like a good ole' hot dog and mustard....ice cream.....donuts.....a whole host of other things, but especially a good country breakfast.

Now R2D2 always cooked healthy, but yummy meals.....and not a lot of country cooking.  I didn't grow up observing, or knowing how to make certain things, that would be associated with a traditional country spread.....like gravy.

I am a okay cook.....but not like R2D2.  When I would pull together a meal that called for gravy, like at the holidays, it would be from a jar or can.  Guilty.  The thought of making gravy intimidated me for some reason.  It seemed complicated.....people are picky about their gravy.  I didn't want the stress.

But, into my 12th year of marriage....I got a hankerin' to overcome my fears, and learn how to make gravy.  R2D2 taught me what she knew, about making sauce for beef and noodles.....I took it from there.

I was liberated.  I couldn't believe how easy it was.....and that I could make it, successfully.

I have become a gravy making fool.  Scout loves it.....Biker Man does too, but prefers R2D2's healthy options.  Once I became comfortable with the basic beef or chicken gravy, then I decided to branch out....

....sausage gravy!  I'm goin' big time.....

I didn't even know where to start on this.  So I called up my trusty faithful.....my southern Sweet Biscuit.....who has thrown down many a biscuit, with sausage gravy in her young day.  I knew she would help me learn how to make the goods.

Boy did she ever!  The first time I made it.....I couldn't believe I did it!  I can't remember the occasion that I wanted to make it for Mac Daddy.....but when I did.....he turned into Bill Murphy, in the movie "What About Bob."  Oh.....he behaved.....but it was hard for him.  He was almost giggling.....

He made it very clear "not to change a thing!"  Of course all the credit went to Sweet Biscuit....but I was so pleased, that I could make something for my Dad, that he loved so much.

So this Father's Day.....we are savoring a rare Sunday morning together, with Mac Daddy and R2D2.  I am making a country breakfast.....

.....I can't wait to finish this post.....so I can go to bed.....so the morning will come faster.....so I can cook.....and giggle along with my Dad, as we enjoy sausage gravy.

Here's the recipe.....

Sweet Biscuit's Sausage Gravy

THE STUFF:

~About 1 lb. of sausage of choice.....I use a roll of Bob Evan's.  He is king in our parts.....

~2T-ish of flour

~Heavy cream.....or whole milk.  I am using heavy cream.  If you ain't gonna do it rite people.....don't do it.

~Salt n' Peppa'

WHIPPIN' IT UP:

~Brown the sausage.

~Don't drain the grease.....(I had to work on overcoming this.....but I only make it about twice a year.....once you add the flour.....you will be okay.)

~Add about 2T of flour.....depending on the amount of grease.  Combine well.

~Add heavy cream.....combine well.

~Let simmer.

~Add more cream or milk as needed, till you reach the consistency desired.

~Add salt and pepper to taste.

~Add over biscuit.  I use Grands.  They are grand.  I know.....I'm a fake....but that is my next task.  Learning how to make biscuits from scratch.  I am intimidated by the butter.....pastry blending thing.....

Don't be like me.....

Happy Father's Day Mac Daddy!!!  Your Daisy loves you!!!!!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Dinner Bell ~ Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs.....Biker Pig, Daisy Pig and Scout Pig.  In the summertime, Daisy Pig made a delicious dish......that they ate all up.....just the three of them.....in one setting.....even though it serves eight or more.

Thought the pigs at your house might like it.....

Avocado Salsa

THE STUFF:

2 ~ Avocados.....diced.
4 ~ Roma Tomato's......diced.
2 ~ Garlic cloves.....minced.  (Fresh is best, but I typically use the jarred stuff.  Faster and easier.)
2T ~ Olive Oil
3T ~ Vinegar
4oz. ~ Feta Cheese
1/2 c ~ Red Onion.....diced.  (My Pampered Chef Food Chopper, that magically arrived at my door three weeks ago.....is my new best friend.  Don't worry your buns, Sweet Biscuit.....I am not really cheating on you.)

WHIPPIN' IT UP:

~Put all the stuff in a bowl, and mix well.....but don't mix to the point that the avocado is mushed.....leave a little chunk consistency to it.

~Serve with Pita Chips.....recipe below.....or just grab a bag at the Piggly~ Wiggly.

Homemade Pita Chips

THE STUFF:

~Whole package of pita pockets.....(I get the whole wheat kind).
~Pam spray.
~Bit of Kosher salt, or salt seasoning of choice

WHIPPIN' IT UP:

~Cut the pita's into wedges.....like a pizza.

~Separate the wedges, so there are two pieces.

~Lay out on a cookie sheet.

~Spray with Pam.

~Sprinkle with salt stuff.

~Broil until brown-ish.

~Use to dip Avocado Salsa.

You might want to make the chips FIRST.....because if you make the salsa first, you will have to taste it.....and keep checking that it's okay for everyone.  Then you'll look down, and there is no more.....so you won't need to make the pita chips.

Don't be like me.....I'm on Weight Watchers....and gained a pound back this week.  It's the avocado salsa's fault.....and the stupid ice cream maker we got.

Ho hum.....

.....but the pigs lived happily ever after.

The end.








Monday, June 11, 2012

Biker Babe on ~ The Stars and the Swans - Part I

Well.....I guess it's time to tell you this story.....thought it would be appropriate to share, as we approach our 15th wedding anniversary.  Fair warning!  This is a romantic tale, not meant for the cynic, or faint of heart.  So, if you have been grossed out thus far, about my infatuation with Biker Man's six pack and my swoonin' heart for him.....might as well go read another blog.

This will be in a couple parts.....so hang with me.....I know, I know.....I haven't finished my first series of "What Not to Say.....," I'll get to it. 

Biker Man and I, met in 1994 in college......yep, 18 years ago.  I was a fitness instructor (I know.....you woulda' NEVER guessed that) in the university gym.....and he was just a guy that came, and worked out there.  When I first saw him,  he was looking down over the 2nd floor railing at me.....smiling.  Of course my heart skipped a beat.....okay......I almost went into cardiac arrest.  I smiled back, and tried to pretend I was ignoring his visual glances.

A few days passed......and when arriving for work one day, I saw him working out with girl that I knew.  She lived in my hall, and was in a couple of my classes.  She was the All-American bubbly type.....4.0 GPA.....homecoming queen.....marathon runner.....the university's scholar-athlete of the year......nice-to-everyone-good-girl.  "Great!"  I thought.....he has a girlfriend.....and my recent hopes, of being asked on a date.....were shot down the toilet.  At least he was with someone decent.....I couldn't not like her, and it only reinforced his character to me.....that he would be dating someone of such high quality.

As I did my rounds of the facility.....checking equipment, and making sure that the anorexics were not exceeding their time limits on any of the machines.....I passed by "girl-that-I-knew" and Biker Man.  She piped up quickly with a howdy.....and said,
"Have you met Biker Man?"
I looked over at him, and then her with a reserved smile.....and said....."Not formally, no."
He smiled at me in a way, that pierced through my eyeballs, and shot down to my toes.....which were tingling.  She continued her introductions.....
"This is my brother....."

I didn't hear the rest of whatever.....and all I could think of was the 1976 song "Dream Weaver".....and that scene from the movie "Wayne's World".....(which by the way.....I just looked up on YouTube, to add a link for your entertainment.....and the scene started where they're talking in some Star Wars dialect.....do you remember that?  I didn't either....turns out I accidentally clicked on the German version of the movie......sorry, no link today).....anyway.....

Classy.....I know.

So I am sure.....within seconds.....I went from reserved, to the batting of the eyes, and flipping of the hair routine.  I am also sure.....that I double checked, and triple checked, that I did in fact hear her correctly....."THIS-IS-MY-BROTHER!"  I am again also very sure, that I quadrupled checked that she didn't mean fraternity brother.....you know, like she was in a sister sorority.....which still meant that they could be dating.  My paranoia was relieved, when I heard Biker Man's "Sissy" say....."You know Mom....." something, something, something......

I could breathe.....it was true.  They weren't dating.

I guess I escaped from making a complete fool of myself.  A couple of days later, when Biker Man was back in, and I was doing my rounds.....I conveniently passed by him, and he stopped me in my tracks with that smile again, and a question:
"Have you ever worked for Disney?"
Blushing....I replied "No.  Why?"
"You're so cheerful.  I thought you might have gone through their customer service training."

Of course I giggled, and got all girl-goofy.....I was 22 years old, and was acting like a middle schooler.....geezzz.  I look back now, and think he was smooth for sure.....but what a cheesy pick-up-line!  I can't throw him under the bus for that though.....cause it worked on me.  We chatted for a moment, and then he asked if I had plans for Friday night.

I couldn't think for the life of me, what plans I had Friday night.....but whatever was on my calendar wasn't going to happen.  Then in a second of clarity.....I remembered that I had to work.
"What time do you get off?" He asked hopeful.
"11:00pm." I answered, with a slight disappointment.

It was a Tuesday or Wednesday, if I recall correctly.  I was in the process of ending a long distance relationship that I was in.....so it was probably good that there wouldn't be a literal overlap.....of relationships.  As Biker Man finished his workout, and was walking out the door, he looked back and called out....."See ya later."  I was so bummed.....there would be no Friday night date.  But I knew I had to break it off with Mr. Secret Service.....and fast.

Friday came.....I went to class, and then dragged myself to work.  Having to work on a Friday night, as a college student, was brutal.  Though at 11:00pm.....the night is still young on campus.  But, I wasn't much of a party girl.....I had friends, but I didn't hang out to ungodly hours of the night, nor at the bars.  Work dragged on.....not many in to workout.....everyone is getting ready to go out......but 11:00 eventually came and I started closing down the place.  As I was walking out the door, I noticed someone coming towards me.....without looking closely, I was getting ready to announce that the building was closed.  The person got closer, and I noticed.....

it was Biker Man.....and he was coming straight at me.  He was wearing a black leather jacket.....and holding his motorcycle helmet.

Oh laude!  My knees were gonna buckle.....I had a body building-biker-bad boy on my hands.

At that moment.....I knew my life was about to change.....forever.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

No Peeing and Fleeing.....

So.....I went to have a dinner meeting with some friends, at their home.  I am assisting them, in leading our local Cub Scout Pack.  Biker Man stayed home, so he didn't have to sit through hours of talk about projections, planning, and budgets for the upcoming year.  Scout enjoyed playing with their children all evening......we left at 11:00 pm.

When I got in my car, I noticed right away that I only had 9 miles of gas left.....and the "seriously, you are gonna run out of gas, RIGHT NOW!" light was on.  I asked my friend, Den Mama, how far it was into town (which is technically a "village".....it's so tiny).  She told me 5 miles.  Okay.  Relief.  We're good.....I thought.

Sooo.....I am driving down this country road.....and 5 miles turned into 6......then 7......then 8......then 9.....and my gas reader clicked to 0 miles left of gas.......just as I pulled into the gas station.  Whew!!!

But.....the gas station was closed.

I am in my car.....that has no gas......at 11:00 pm......with my baby in the backseat.....at a gas station that is closed......in a tiny village......that is in the middle of, what Mac Daddy calls, "God's Country."  The nearest, "possible" open gas station would be about 20 miles away.  So.....I get out my cell phone and call my knight and shining armor.

It rings.....the voice mail picks up.....I hang up.....and call again.
It rings.....the voice mail picks up.....I hang up.....and call again.

This time I push the buttons a little harder.....praying my cell battery doesn't die.

It rings.....the voice mail picks up.....I hang up.....and call again.
It rings.....the voice mail picks up.....I hang up.....and call again.

This time I push the buttons even harder......and use mental imagery, that Biker Man will wake up, out of his Darth Vader-heavy-breathing-sleep-funk.....and answer the @%&! phone!

Hey!  I am human......and stranded during the Jay Leno hour.....in my car.....with no gas.....with my baby in the backseat.....at a gas station that is CLOSED.....in a village.....that is in the middle of God's Country.

Even the drive-thru at McDonald's across the street was closed.  Lights were off.....no late night Big Mac's.

This would have never happened in the city......or in a TOWN.

Just to clarify.....
A city is considered a population of more than 10,000.
A town is less than that.
A village is considered a population of less than 5,000.

Well......take 5,000 and divide that by 5.....
THAT number is closer to the reality, of the village that I am referring too.

Yep.

So after the tenth attempt or so, to wake up Biker Man, out of his deep sleep.....(I guess Siri won't shout out on his iPhone for me.....maybe that comes in the next model).....I called AAA.

Now.....we have the bells and whistles AAA plan, to cover Biker Man's motorcycle (I just considered shortening Biker Man's name to BM.....but thought that may not be such a good idea.....was afraid it would make you think of something else)......

.....anyway......I was half expecting a Gas Fairy to show up instantly.  There are many service businesses of the sort, that could bring me gas, in these parts.  So I believed that I could get service, fairly quickly.

Of course not.

A dear soul named Dennis.....with Charlie's Towing, took the call, and.....was an hour away.  He got out of his warm bed, which he was probably snuggled in, next to his Tow-Truck Girl.....and was on his way, to help me and my baby, get home.

So the wait began.

Scout fell asleep in the back seat.....thankfully.  At least I didn't have to wait patiently with a thousand questions of when Dennis was going to be there.  He played so hard at Den Mama's house.  He was doing a Little Darth Vader-heavy-breathing thing......the windows were getting fogged up, like the cars you see parked with teenagers in them.....

.....and speaking of needing gas.....Scout didn't need any.  He had plenty.  We had Mexican for dinner......and if I had been more fore-thinking.....he may have been able to get us home.

I hunkered down.....and got cozy for the hour, or more wait.

Couldn't even get a Diet Coke at McDonald's.

As the time ticked away quietly.....all of a sudden, Scout woke up in the back seat.....looked around frantically, and said:
"Guys! Guys!"
"Scout.....it's just Mommy here."
He continued like we had a car load of people....."Guys!  I gotta go pee!!!"

All I can say.....is that I didn't care how many people he thought were in that car.....I had to get him out to go, or he would pee right there.  He has been known to sleep walk and pee......like the night we moved into our new house......he was sleep walking, and tried to pee in my china cabinet.

I got him out quick.....and tried to angle him into some privacy.....to help him go pee.  As he was going.....I looked up, and in the next parking lot......there were two police cars, in perfect view of us..... with officers in them.

"Scout!  Hurry up!  There are two police cars nearby, and it's illegal to pee like this in public."
He woke up, right away.....and looked around.  "Mom!  We have to get in our car and go!"
"We don't have any gas buddy," I responded.

There was no peeing and fleeing on this night.

Dennis finally arrived during the 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" hour.  He hopped out of his shiny white rig, all jolly with smiles.....ready to serve......

"Just ain't right, that there McDonald's is closed.....you stranded out here like this.  Can't even gitcha' sumthen to eat!"

For a brief moment in time.....he was my knight and shining armor.....and had arrived on his white horse.....ready to protect and defend.....women and children.

As he filled my tank, we chatted......I told him I was surprised that there was no one closer, to respond.  He told me there were......and that none of them answered their phones, or were willing to come and help me. 

I couldn't even buy the man a cup of coffee.  I had to be content, to give him a simple thank you.

As he finished up.....I told him about Scout having to pee, and me worried that we would get arrested for breaking the Ohio Code 2907.09 for Public Indecency.....he laughed, and laughed.  As he climbed back into his rig.....he looked back and said.....
"Naawww....."  And he drove off.

There are advantages of city life......and disadvantages.  At that moment.....life in a village seemed inconvenient......but it was the first time that I felt that way, after living here for over 3 years.  If I were to get stranded, I couldn't have been in a better, or safer place. 

I wasn't afraid at any point.....and felt the peace, and love of God the whole time.....especially when Dennis came......

Scout and I, took away an adventure, another story to be told.......

This story is true.  Every bit of it.....even Dennis' name is Dennis.....and it's true too, that the next morning.....Scout didn't remember a thing.