A MAJOR rant and a happy ending :-)

What a CRAZY weekend and week, for that matter!  I’m getting TOO freaking old for this, really.  lol  Today, I talked to somebody about my brother, who is a Leo.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the personality traits of a Leo, they’re just a tad self centered.  They’re STRONG and funny, but yes, the world as they see it, should ALWAYS revolve around them.  My brother came from the womb this way and he received many an a$$ kicking from me when he was little.  I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

This weekend, my brother suggested we have a birthday dinner for me.  He planned this with my husband.  I have to give little brother credit for even caring at all because I can’t remember a single birthday where he actually did anything for me.  Not that I mind… my birthday’s were something I’d like to forget, mostly because the brother that I shared every birthday with is gone.  I just wish they would come and go quietly, really.  Anyway, little brother planned a dinner.  You’d think it would be at HIS house right?  Nope.  He wanted to have the dinner at MY house so that my hubby can grill.  Little brother was going to provide the meat to be grilled but we had to do the sides.  He DID offer to HELP Hubby grill.

First of all, you know what having company means, right?  I have to clean.  The burden of cleaning and getting the house ready for company fell on me and my daughter.  I’m sure Hubby would have done it if I’d asked but he’s not good about details.  SO, I cleaned AND I made part of the dinner.  Once little brother arrived, he was “too sick” to help with anything. Hubby did it all while Little Brother went and laid down in my bed.  He had a headache and he was SURE that nobody in the world ever suffered from a headache such as he had.  Seriously.  I told him I understand headaches because I suffer from migraines but he told me that he knew I wouldn’t be able to LIVE with the kind of pain he suffered from.  Hmmm… how quickly he forgets that I have MANY a scar since I’ve been cut from my neck down to my belly button.  THAT’S nowhere near the pain Little Brother was having though.  So, I left Little Pumpkin to sleep in my bed while we got the food ready.

You might be interested to know what my birthday present was?  Okay, I’ll tell you.  My brother allowed me to take care of his baby daughters overnight and all the next day.  Thank GOD Hubby, Daughter and her friend helped me with this because I, myself, felt like complete crap.  Although, I’m sure my pain couldn’t compare to Little Brother’s.  I love my nieces, you all know I do.  I love them like they’re my own kids and why shouldn’t I?  They spend more than 2/3 of their life with me!  lol  It’s just that I’m tired.  And one of my nieces is possessed by the devil.  No joke.  I love her but she’s got some serious problems!  Far be it from ME to mention that to Little Brother because his progeny are perfect, just like him.  Oh and he really feels that if he tells me enough how I’m privileged to be able to watch them (because he won’t allow anyone else to take care of the little angels), I’ll look at it as my most honored privilege.  Only it’s my BIRTHDAY… so can’t I get a pass at least for this week?  Nope, I can not.

Little brother and his wife wanted/needed some time alone Saturday night so my family took care of my nieces.  3 of them.  Granted, the oldest one is a PLEASURE and no trouble at all.  The baby is also an angel, but you know how much time babies take, right?  Even the BEST baby is a handful!  lol  I could have said no, but I recognized that they don’t have time together (brother and wife).  They’re in their 40’s, like me and they get tired too.  So, just like he knew I would, I felt sorry for them and tried to FIX things.  So how did Little Brother and his wife spend their night together?  Little Brother was too sick to pay attention to his wife so he moaned and groaned and complained while she quietly read a book.  Wow.  What a waste.  Can’t he just fake it and TRY to act like he wasn’t the center of the universe?  It took SO much for my sister in law to rearrange her schedule just to be ABLE to spend an evening with her husband.  This was an evening he said he desperately needed with her.  I guess it was all good for him because she got the opportunity to dote on him and be concerned with his sicknesses.  She must be a saint.  I’d have killed him.

Yesterday, Sunday, the little angels were supposed to go home by noon.  They did NOT.  After noon, little brother called to tell me that his wife would be tied up at their oldest daughter’s tournaments until 5:00 p.m.  Did I want him to come and pick the kids up?  HELL YES, I wanted him to come right then!  Did he?  Nope.  He called his wife and asked her to leave the tournament, over an hour away, and come pick her kids up.  She couldn’t leave so the kids stayed here until after 5:00.  Little Brother had to go to the dump to empty trash and he actually said that he was going to be “stuck” with his kids for this entire week so he couldn’t come get them.  He’s a SAHD.  He doesn’t much like his role as Mr. Mom.  REALLY?  His poor wife works over 12 hours a day and still has to take care of the house and her kids when she gets home.  She NEVER has a break but my precious little brother needs a break.  Seriously, the kids are with me more than half the week, most weeks.  I guess I just thought that I would be exempt from having to watch the little darlings on my birthday.

Done with rant… kind of.  We made the best of the weekend, still.  I DO enjoy my nieces (when I’m feeling good).  I do NOT enjoy the devil that resides inside my 4 year old niece.  Luckily, Hubby was at home to restrain her from hurting herself this weekend.  She went into a RAGE, growling at us and slobbering because Hubby made her put a shirt on to go outside.  She feels like she should be naked all the time.  That would be fine with me if not for the fact that at 4, she’s getting a little too old and I don’t want some pervert driving by to look at her “business”.  lol  Hubby doesn’t “lose” it often, he’s got the patience of a saint.  However, even though he doesn’t believe in spankings, he had to administer one yesterday.  AND hold her so that she didn’t bang her head (on purpose) on the furniture.  I really can’t even describe her tantrums because I’ve never seen anything like them before.

Things DID settle down after the restraining incident and Precious Jr. became my Hubby’s best friend!  lol  Here they are cleaning up the playhouse.

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(this old playhouse was one we built for my 28 year old daughter when she was 4!  My youngest daughter and her friend ghettofied it with paint a few years ago.  Ignore the paint. Besides Hubby and Esme’ are going to paint it white and also make a sign that says “Esme’s Playhouse 🙂 )

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Here’s my teenage munchkin and her bff helping to keep the baby occupied so that I could do my birthday dishes.  lol  These kids were a LIFE saver!  Eventually, my daughter’s bff took off because she couldn’t take it anymore.  lmao

Once the babies left, we all got the heck out of Dodge and went to Dairy Queen!  There’s not much that ice cream doesn’t fix, right?  We ended the day with lots of laughs and fun and yumminess 🙂  All is good again at my house!

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(Hubby contemplating the Oreo Blizzard that will be coming his way soon)

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Hannah the bff, enjoying her ice cream, maybe a little TOO much!  lmao  BTW… she’d KILL me if she knew I posted this pic 😉  You can see that my daughter didn’t have much time this weekend to take care of her own very special hair needs?  hehehe

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Life is good again and everything’s fixed, all because of a little ice cream 🙂

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Hmmm…. maybe I should pay attention to my OWN hair and grooming needs?  Naw.  I didn’t give two $hi*$ about who was looking at me.  Sometimes, you just have to NOT care and enjoy your ice cream 🙂

Hope you all had a spectacular weekend?

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Drama, Drama, Drama and the Zoo!

A few of you have noticed that I’ve been gone for a little while and have asked me what happened.  One of my blog buddies (Shaun) even thought my laptop must be broken! lol  I guess that’s a fair worry because I’m usually around every day.  It’s nice to be missed!

The reality is that my laptop is just fine.  My family, however is NOT fine.  Dad was in the hospital last week with a heart attack and the day after he was released, his wife, my step mother of 33 years was admitted with pneumonia.  During her stay, many tests were run and we were told that they believe she has pancreatic cancer.  They’re also checking into her kidney’s and liver.  I guess maybe they think it’s spread.  I don’t know.  I have NO idea what Dad will do if anything ever happens to her.  He completely depends on her for his complete existence.  We’re all VERY worried so prayer, or happy thoughts PLEASE and thank you.

Once my stepmother was released from the hospital, my brother, who is 4 years younger than me had a heart attack!  We’re falling apart!  Geeze.  The scary thing is that his wife is out of town on business and he’s home alone with the babies.  Hubby and I rushed to go get the babies and we’ve been busy, busy BUSY taking care of my precious little nieces.  The GOOD news is that my brother will be fine and that his health can be controlled with medication.  The bad news is that his wife is still not home.  I think we’ll be getting 3 of the girls again this weekend.

Soooo… to make good out of a very stressful and bad situation, we decided to have some fun with the kiddos.  Sunday was a PERFECT day for the St. Louis Zoo!  You guys HAVE to check our zoo out if you’re ever in my neck of the woods.  It’s pretty awesome and it’s totally free!  That’s the best part, right?  lol

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After driving for an hour, in search of a parking space, we’re on our way to see the lions, tigers and bears!  lol

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4 year old niece trying to decide if she should give the seal a kiss like I told her to.  She’s not much of a cooperator!  lol

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Even my oldest daughter came!  Here they are playing in the bamboo jungle 🙂

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Teenage Munchkin and her bff at one of the HUGE aquariums.  This one is called “The River’s Edge”.

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Esme’ wanted to see the “Elf-an-nents” first.  So by ALL means, we’re going to see the elephants 🙂  The only thing was that we saw more elephant poop than we saw elephants.  They all seemed to be hiding!  I think his name is Raj.

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Here’s me and my precious little Ireland.  She was SO tired but didn’t make a peep.  What a terrific baby girl.

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Esme’ didn’t want to miss out on the family love!  lol  Nothing like a big ole group hug!

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The lion sleeps tonight!  lol  ALL the animals were lazy!

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The zebras weren’t very exciting either 😦

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And the giraffes were even trying to hide.

Thanks to the hubby for putting up with an SUV load of loud little kids, teenagers and hormonal women!  lol  Whew.  I’d hate to be HIM some days… but he performs well under stress and painted a smile on his face all day 🙂

Oven Baked Parmesan Meatballs with ALL the Fixen’s! (plus a little brag thrown in for good measure)

Today marks the end of my lil teenaged Munchkin’s self imposed “fast”!  I can’t TELL you how excited she’s been to eat real people food!  lol  For those of you who don’t know, she made a commitment to sacrifice or “fast” for 2 weeks.  It was something she felt she needed to do to show Jesus how much she appreciates his dying on the cross so that we can go to heaven.  She’s also been praying for His grace and guidance.  Fasting for Julia means that she eats only healthy food and mostly just raw vegetables, boiled eggs and lot’s of fish.  The best thing she’s had in the past few weeks was on Sunday, when I made chicken and rice soup!  Poor baby.

So today, she wants meat!  Lots and lots of meat!  hahaha  I let her choose what she wanted me to make. She chose meatballs and french fries.  NOT the most gourmet of meals but something I can do quickly, before she and her friend Hannah go to church tonight.  I need to stop here and tell you how EXTREMELY proud that she still looks at church as a fun, social activity.  ESPECIALLY when I’m just learning that another one of her bff’s (also 14) might be PREGNANT!  Once again, reminding me that it can ALWAYS be worse!  Wow.

Oven Baked Parmesan and Herb Meatballs

(revised by me from Pinterest)

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk or half and half

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (fresh is ALWAYS better)

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or regular but Panko is better)

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together using your hands.  Form into golf ball sized meatballs .  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.  Bake in preheated oven, 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

*  I’m eating these right now and they’re SO freaking tasty!  I wish you could smell my house 🙂  Smells like home!  lol

Okay, next I made my easy oven baked asparagus.  This is pretty much the ONLY way we ever cook asparagus anymore.

Oven Baked Parmesan Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 bunch of medium to small stemmed asparagus (with woody ends cut on the diagonal)

About 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

About 1/4 to 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (eyeball it)

2 tsp salt

About 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Toss asparagus with all other ingredients.  Make sure each piece of asparagus is covered with oil and seasoning.  Place asparagus onto a foil lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until bright green and cheese is melted.

Easy as THAT and I have 2 very happy munchkins and a husband that can’t wait to get home and eat it all up!  I’d tell you about the Ore Ida frozen french fries…. but I’m pretty sure you won’t be impressed with how I threw those babies in the oven for 30 minutes with season salt!  lmbo

Happy Eating to you 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Lunchtime

“It’s nice to just be a kid and hang out with your friends at lunch.”
Karlie Kloss

Liza (our oldest granddaughter) eating her lunch in her sleep! lol What a sign of the times, eh? The busy American life… too busy to slow down, stop and eat. We were on our way to visit Jamestown in Virginia and we had to stop and get some chicken nuggets from Wendy’s. Liza was SO hungry but just as sleepy as she as hungry. Here she is with a nugget hanging out of her little mouth.

Oz The Great and Powerful, Movie Review and trailer

This story is based on L. Frank Baum’s Oz novels. It’s the prequel to the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and is set 20 years BEFORE the story that we all know and love.

What’s the story? (according to: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/oz-the-great-and-powerful)

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL opens in the familiar black-and-white landscape of early 1900s Kansas. Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a charming magician nicknamed Oz, charms a pretty country girl with an obviously fake story about his grandma’s music box. During his show, a young girl in a wheelchair (Joey King) asks him to make her walk, but he demurs and has to stop the show in relative disgrace — until he sees the one local girl he cares about, Annie (Michelle Williams). When a fellow carnie comes after Oz for flirting with his girl, Oz escapes in a hot air balloon that flies directly into a twister and then crash lands in … somewhere that’s definitely not Kansas. Confused by his colorful surroundings, Oz meets the beautiful Theodora (Mila Kunis), a young witch who explains that he must be the prophesied Wizard of Oz sent to deliver the kingdom from the evil witch. Theodora’s older sister, the powerful Evanora (Rachel Weisz), promises Oz the throne if he kills Glinda and destroys her wand, but once he meets Glinda (Williams), it’s clear that someone’s story isn’t quite right. With an adorable monkey Finley (voiced by Zach Braff) and a brave little China Girl (King) by his side, Oz must decide whether he’s just a con man magician or if he can truly be the Wizard of Oz.

Is it a good movie for kids? I personally think so. My husband and I sat in a movie theater that was 90% children, mostly 7 years old and up. There are very dark images and sometimes a little scary but I watched the kids surrounding us and they seemed non phased or afraid. Maybe it speaks to the society we live in? IDK. I WOULD bring my small children. I didn’t find it any more scary that the original Wizard of Oz.

Did we like it? I’d give it a two thumbs up for sure. I was prepared to hate it. I’d heard good and bad but I wasn’t prepared for how MUCH I’d love it. I completely got lost in the beauty and the story. I didn’t want to leave when the movie was over. I don’t usually see movies (especially in the theater) twice, but I’ll be bringing my daughter to this one.

Oh I HIGHLY recommend seeing this in IMAX or 3D! In fact, I can’t imagine NOT seeing it this way. It reminded me of the beauty of Avatar. You just have to experience it in 3D.

My favorite characters were Glinda, played by Michelle Williams. She’s PERFECT and I can’t imagine anyone else playing Glinda. I fell in LOVE with the little China Doll, voice of Joey King and Finley, the monkey, voice of Zach Braff, had me in stitches!

What struck me most is how I was transported back in time, back to a day when I was able to laugh and be amazed, freely. Back to when I was a child. I was in complete AWE, just like the other children sitting around me.

PLEASE go see this!

On being a strong woman…

Happy March the 8th! International Women’s Day!.

I became aware of International Women’s Day only this morning, on Evelina’s blog.

I’ve got to admit, at least at MY house, every day is Women’s day!  lol  We’ve always joked that my husband is a “king” in our “Queendom”.  Of COURSE I’m the Queen and we’ve had 4 little princesses.  Most of them grew up to be queens in their own “dom’s” .  Seriously, can you imagine 1 man floating in a sea of estrogen?  As women, we understand that when females live in close confines with other females, we all start “cycling” together.  NOT fun at all.  Lots of tears, lots of rage, lots of EMOTION.  I’m really not sure how any of us are still living!  lol  You’d think at least ONE of us should be dead.  I was probably the worst but not by much.  My girls were BAD little bags of hormones too.  You know the saying, right?  “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”.  Nope.  It sure does not.  lol

Evelina’s blog got me thinking.  I’ve always been sort of a feminist.  I was born the only girl with 2 brothers and an EXTREMELY Chauvinistic father.  My mother despised feminists.  She believed a woman’s place was in the home and behind her man.  Even as a small girl, I walked around my house angry that I didn’t have the rights that my brothers or my dad did.

I remember one time, when my brother broke his leg, my dad AND mom told me that I had to wash his feet.  You know how your toes hang out of the cast?  They get really nasty and grimy.  My brother was EXACTLY, to the day and hour, 1 year younger than me and was perfectly capable of figuring out how to wash his own nasty feet.  Of course I protested but I was told that I’m a girl and I needed to learn to take care of a man!  Okay, I’m fuming even now, as I type this.  I loved my brother.  He was my best friend.  BUT….  because I was forced to do this for him, and because he laughed all the way through me trying to wash his nasty feet, AND because he was kind of immobile, I took one of his toes and bent it backwards until he begged mom and dad not to ever make me do it again.  lmbo  GOOD times, good times!  Okay, now I’m showing my twisted and warped mind.  If that was the ONLY incident, it wouldn’t have been so bad but every day was a day my mother and I would serve the men in our house.  My dad’s meals had to be put on the table when he walked through the door (and he NEVER walked through the door at the same time ANY day).  My dad’s meals were steak dinners while my mother and I ate economical meals.  My brothers also ate steak because they were “growing boys” and needed to develop muscle.  My dad tells me now that it was my mother’s idea to feed us differently and that he felt we should ALL eat steak.  If my dad was thirsty and his glass was out of reach, he’d call me or my mom in from another room to bring him his glass because he was too lazy to get out of his recliner.  When he’d get home from work, many times I’d have to rub his feet or scratch his back.  I’d also have to rub my brothers feet (both brothers) and make their beds and do their laundry.  I was taught to do all the chores around the house (mop the floors NOT with a mop but on my knees, do the dishes and we didn’t have a dish washer, empty the trash, rake the yard, vacuum, dust all rooms and clean all 3 bathrooms) but my brothers were not because they would one day grow up to marry women who would be responsible for those chores.  My dad had been a military man and he learned to expect his clothes pressed, even his underwear and handkerchiefs.  I had to do this.  He demanded that when he got out of bed, his bed would be made and it wasn’t done right unless he could “bounce a dime”  off the bed covering.  He learned this in the navy and he expected the women to do this for him.  Ummm….  I’m pretty sure the military doesn’t have women coming in to do these things for their male soldiers???  Anyway, you get the picture.  I was a bitter, bitter child.  You see, I was my father’s daughter.  VERY strong and as opinionated as he was about the role of a woman, I was JUST as opinionated about the role I would NOT play once I got out of that house.

I did what I could do to protest my family’s twisted beliefs about women.  I absolutely knew that I’d grow up and change the way I allowed men to treat me.  As a child of the 80’s, I believed women could have it all.  I could have children and I didn’t need a man.  I didn’t believe marriage was important and neither were father’s.  I had my girls and I believed that as long as they had ME, that was all they needed.  I’ve always been tough and demanded that I be respected by a man, but didn’t necessarily GIVE respect.  Okay, almost never did I give respect.  In other words, I took it to the extreme in my attempt to right the wrong of the way I was raised.

What I have learned in the nearly half century that I’ve walked on this earth?  I’ve learned that I was just as wrong as my parents were.  My daughters DID need their fathers.  As good as I was, I would never be able to play BOTH roles, mother and father.  I learned that women CAN’T really have it all and if I have to work all the time to support my daughter’s, who would be actually RAISING and guiding them?  I’ve learned that women who choose to stay home and raise their children are the one’s who deserve respect.  I worked out of necessity because SOMEONE had to support my children and their fathers were NOT.  Back then, I felt like I deserved kudos because I was able to do that.  As a result of me working all the time, my oldest daughter was forced to take care of her younger sisters after school and during the summer months when there was no school.  She was 9 years older than my middle daughter and 14 years older than my youngest so I felt she was old enough.  Other babysitters raised my children as well.  When I talked to my girls, I always told them “you are NOT statistics”.  I felt I needed to drill this into their heads because 2 of them were illegitimate the one who WASN’T illegitimate, was a child of divorce.  They ALL have different fathers.  Most kids born the way they were born are children who are welfare recipients.  WE were not.  As long as I was able to work and provide, we would NEVER be on government assistance.  My girls had material possessions, nice clothes, a TV in their rooms, music, nice bikes, etc…  They had nicer things than many children did who HAD fathers.  I thought this was important.

What was important, in reality, was that they had a family.  A mother AND father.  If I had to go back and do it over again, I would have stayed married.  I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to have those kids out of wedlock just to prove something to society.  I always told my girls that they weren’t accidents.  They really weren’t.  Aside from my oldest daughter, who really wasn’t planned, I took NO precautions to prevent any of them and neither did their fathers.  I always told them that God had a reason for each and every one of them to be on this earth.  I still believe that, however, NOW I know that God will make good out of our bad decisions and he never intended us to be irresponsible with another little life.

I’m not so much of a feminist now.  I know that respect goes both ways and women play MANY roles.  Men should too and I’ll never change my views on that.  I believe that women have HAD to play many roles because so much of the time, men don’t step up to the plate and do what THEY’RE supposed to do.  Thankfully though, my girls haven’t taken things to the extreme the way I did and they try to treat the men in their lives with respect.  I guess they learned from my mistakes and they were able to recognize that what I did wasn’t what THEY should do.  NONE of them have had illegitimate children and equally important, none of them have felt the need to be married at a young age.  They’re independent women who know that there’s a time and a place for marriage and children.  They’re not in a hurry to start a family.  For THAT, I’m so thankful.  My stepdaughter is married and she’s only 21.  She’s lived with me full time since she was 9 years old.  I believe her ideals were formed before she came to me.  Ahhh well…  so far, and I hope forever, she and her husband are happy.

What are your thoughts on feminism and the role that you feel a woman should play?  Just curious.  There are really no right and wrong opinions and answers 🙂

On using what you’ve got … (Smoky Pasta Carbonara)

Always, on Tuesday’s, it’s busy at our house.  I have piano lessons at 4:25 pm, right in the middle of when I’d usually do dinner.  Last night was no exception.  I’ve been kind of good, lately, about trying to have dinner ready to go before I leave so that the teenage munchkin can just take it out of the oven.  It may sound silly to most of you organized people, like a no brainer, but to me?  Yeah, not so silly.  I’m the LEAST organized person I know.  ADD makes my brain scattered so I have to practice being organized enough to have ANYTHING done on time.

Yesterday was a GOOD day.  I was able to do a whole lot of chores which is kind of a huge deal to me.  I don’t want to sound like a broken record but in the case that anyone reading this hasn’t seen, I’m battling an illness (bleeding ulcers) that has me pretty incapacitated.  It’s hard for me to have enough energy to do chores so a lot of the time a lot of the work falls on my daughter’s shoulders.  The house is clean, because I can’t stand a dirty house but still not up to my usual standards.  Anyway, it’s difficult for me to live with the guilt of dumping so much work on my kids shoulders.  I pay her well, but I feel like childhood shouldn’t be all about work.  Although, she doesn’t complain.  She has an Iphone that we pay for PLUS she’s saving her allowance to buy her first car and go overseas next year for a mission trip with church.  In other words, she needs the money.  lol  I keep telling myself that she’s building character because we’re teaching her responsibility.  That’s what I HAVE to tell myself.  

Yesterday was different.  Julia had SOME chores but most everything was already done when she walked through the door.  Yay me!  I love to see her smile 🙂

We also have some extra mouths to feed this week.  A friend of mine and her son are staying with us,  They’re in between houses.  They just need a place to lay their heads while they’re waiting for the perfect home.  It’s actually been fun!  During the day, I laugh because her 20 year old son keeps me laughing.  He’s here with me for a while before he goes to work.  It’s company and I didn’t realize that I was even lonely before they started staying here.  I must have been though because I’ve noticed that my moods have been better now that they’re here.  Note to self:  Don’t get too used to it!  lol  This is not a permanent situation.  I can enjoy it while it lasts thought, right?

With so many more mouths to feed, the grocery supply is running VERY low.  I usually have enough food in the house to feed 10 families, because I’m a food hoarder.  lol  I’ve come to grips with that fact.  Actually, even now, I have enough food to feed at least 5 families for a week but it’s food that you have to put together and actually THINK and PLAN what you’re going to do with it.  Definitely not convenience food.

There’s a lot of pasta.  So what do I do with pasta and hardly any meat?  I asked the great Paula Deen!  Remember the post where I told you about my awesome new Southern Cooking Bible?  You wouldn’t think, normally, you’d find a good pasta recipe in a Southern cookbook would you?  I’ve got MANY cookbooks and recipes, even some from Italy.  The reason I didn’t use them was because Bryar, the 20 year old who’s staying with us doesn’t like chunky tomatoes or onions.  I’m very limited in what I can get him to eat.  Paula solved my problem.

Here’s what I came up with and it was delicious!  It doesn’t call for it in Paula’s recipe but I sauteed 4 cloves of garlic ( because I doubled the recipe – only use 2 clovs if you’re going to make 1 batch) in the bacon grease so that Bryar wasn’t able to see it. I think ALL pasta should have some garlic.  That’s just me though.

Smoky Southern Spaghetti Carbonara

Ingredients:

1/2 lb bacon, chopped

1 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 cup to make it creamier)

2 large eggs

salt

Tobasco or other hot sauce 

black pepper

1 lb spaghetti (I used bucatini – the spaghetti that’s hollow like a straw because that’s what we had)

1 medium onion, finely chopped (I didn’t use onion.  I used 2 cloves of garlic, minced and sauteed)

 

Directions:

1.  In a large deep skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Take excess grease off bacon with a paper towel.  Don’t discard the grease in the pan.

2.  In a bowl, whisk together the Parmesan cheese, cream, eggs, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp hot sauce, and black pepper to taste.

3.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to directions on package.  Drain well.

4.  While the pasta cooks, return the skillet to medium high heat.  Add the onion (or garlic) and cook until softened, but not browned.  Remove the skillet from heat.

5.  Immediately add the hot pasta, the bacon and egg mixture to the skillet.  Toss everything together to combine.  The heat from the pasta and skillet will thicken the eggs into a creamy sauce.  Taste and add more salt, hot sauce or pepper if it needs it.  Serve hot.

Serves 4    (of COURSE I always double every recipe)

I served with garlic cheese toast.  Another win!  I love when a recipe calls for ingredients that we all usually have in our pantry.