Saturday, January 12, 2013

School of Rock and Pothole Parties.

Yup..that is how this year is starting out. School of Rock and Pot Parties. Oops. My bad. That is Pot Hole Parties!

 Big B informed me today that he and one of his neighborhood assoc. partners in crime, have made signs and everything to advertise this  pot-hole filling adventure of theirs. They posted a sign for this party on the entrance to the sub-division. It sort-of reminds me of Tom Huck painting a fence. A few  neighbors have joined them...base has been poured, spread..and more is on the way.

While Big B plays in the dirt? I have continued to hang at the Teen Center. It has been interesting..lot of strange twists and turns with work politics. And while there were a few times last summer where I felt like Arnold Schwarzenegger in kindergarten cop. There were a few weeks during the holiday season when I felt like I was reliving THIS SCENE. In WAY over my head! Only, you know, the teenage version of this scenario.

Better than you

 I finally, spent an afternoon by a lake near the Center.  A little over a year ago, the Center's long-time director passed away at this lake.  I spend a lot of time just sitting still looking at the water, praying..and then I whisper to the  Lake. I wonder if the old director can hear. I ask for guidance.

And then? I pull myself together and get back to work. I focus a lot of energy with our Odyssey of the Mind teams. It is 5 weeks before the regional tournament, so I really can't tell you much. What I can tell you is that we have 14 teens involved in the creation or demolition of toasters, armored cars, trash monsters, dancing penguins and magnetic marble mazes complete with elevators.

And then we have our School of Rock. A month ago we decided to set aside some time on Saturday afternoons to play some rock..just play. Introduce any teens that wanted, some basic chord theory, learn songs they wanted to learn..and just mess around with music. Then one of our maintenance guys informed me he could play some B.B. King..and some Santana. We practiced together a few times during a lunch break. He invited his son and his son's wife to join us. So today? We had fun! 8 teens in one room working on some vocal recordings..a mix of Christina Aguillar and some rap music. We had guitars and keyboards in another room working on La Bamba..and lots of teens planning to bring more instruments next week. Our school of taking on a life of it's own..and musicians are jumping on board and mentoring/volunteering our kids.

I stood back at one point during the day and watch the teens..some were playing video games, others were dancing (they are ALWAYS dancing), the Odyssey teams had taken over the art room,  a recording session going on in the kitchen and guitars, drums and keyboards in the learning center.

Ultimate coolness.

At home, things are returning to "normal". Cody is back from his mini-vacation with his girlfriend's family. As I type, he and Justin are working on a car in the garage. Austen is back at work at the restaurant, Big B is asleep in front of the t.v., and Levi is organizing his toy cars. Brian and Angee are back in Austin.

So that is my year so husband is talking neighbors into filling potholes, I'm whispering to a Lake for guidance, Odyssey madness has begun, I'm surrounded by a whole unexpected slew of amazing musicians..and my family is home...or nearby.

I am lucky.

weekly menu:
tomorrow (Sunday): make your own omelets
Monday: spaghetti, green beans, bread-sticks
Tuesday: Irish stew, grilled cheese with olive and tomato sandwiches
Wednesday: make your own quesadillas , pot of beans
Thursday: swiss steak mozarella with baked potatoes and salad
Friday: left-overs
Saturday: dinner at Pap's Italian Grill (Big B and I  usually order eggplant parmigiana, and grilled veggies..the big boys? raviolis or huge sandwiches Levi- he likes the eggplant and noodles...lots of dinner rolls for the table)

Monday, January 07, 2013


Geez..who said it could be 2013 already?

Hope everyone is well. I, not sick, well. It seems a lot of people are starting the year off with the flu..or strep.

Gotta admit. I was no exception. So to the New Year's Eve guests I abandoned in the middle of the evening.

Apologies. I really did feel like I had Freddy Krueger in my throat. I understand you got along fine without know...blowing things up and drinking Hot Damn shots. For what it's worth, I have started out the year with a mini-hibernation.

3 days in bed. It was wonderful! I think this should be a new tradition...only without the throbbing throat and head.

So now I reflect on the year past, and look forward to the one ahead. This past year was an emotional doozie for many reasons..and if I look at what I thought I would be doing last January..and the way life has played out? I wasn't even in the ball park.

So, I am not even trying to guess what this year will hold. I am coming out of hibernation and entering  a few months of a self-imposed cocoon of work, prison and family. I hope to stay in this cocoon for at least a few months...and maybe come out of the cocoon to meet some college friends for The Dirty Girls Mud Run in Austin this Spring.

I was the lucky recipient of Rosetta Stone Spanish (the whole set!) for x-mas. Since my Spanish is becoming more and more necessary at work, that is my goal for this year. Starting with volume one and working my way through.

Other than that? My only other goal, wish..don't want to call it a resolution, because, quite frankly..I suck at resolutions. Is to feed this family better!

There was a while when i was like a food nazi..that time has long past.

 We have been scrounging or eating junk food for the past several months (sheez..years?!). It is taking it's toll on all of us. But here's the thing..we are a family trying to meet the dietary needs of people affected by Chron's/Colitis, thalesemia-minor, Bickerstaff Syndrome , one vegetarian and a slew of food allergies. It can lead to pure insanity.

 So to keep everyone healthy we need to stay away from processed foods...fix occasional vegetarian meals with options for those who can't eat veggies..and occasional carnivorous meals with some vegetarian options. And this? Takes some planning.

 When I didn't work, we could stick to the Mediterranean diet..and it fit everyone's needs..and tastebuds!  But Mediterranean diet? Takes time. And something we don't seem to have a lot of.

I am not good at planning.

But here we are..and this week? We have a plan! So I thought I would try to post for awhile our know..just in case there is another family in this universe who are trying to meet the dietary needs of..Chron's/Colitis, thalesemia-minor, Bickerstaff Syndrome, a few vegetarians and a slew of food allergies.

 Then you add your actual cooks. You know, a mom who is more a "get the job done" cook..than a good cook. A dad who is a really good cook...but is sporadic in his cooking. And two young men who make lots of breakfast foods. One toddler who just sprinkles ingredients around the house. Yes, the little man decorated our floor with garlic pepper yesterday and used red-hots as marbles for his train set (don't ask) today.

So here it is. What's for dinner? So glad you asked (just humor me here)

Monday (tonight): baked chicken, green beans cooked in veggie broth and sliced potatoes with onions and mushrooms.
Tuesday: cheese lasagna, spinach salad, french bread
Wednesday: baked fish, wild rice, cooked asparagus and sliced peaches
Thursday: Big B's toasted sandwiches with sliced turkey or roast beef (or not), swiss and or pepperjack cheese, cucumber and olives, (tomato and lettuce optional) with tomato soup.
Friday: left-overs
Saturday: family pasta night..dinner at Pap's Italian restaurant.
Sunday: make your own omelets

Okay..back to my cocoon..where i am watching too many lifetime movies while Big B piddles in the garage, Levi lines cars around the living room..and Austen sleeps! Cody? Still at Ellie's for the holidays.