Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Blog November

Happy One Month Anniversary of the last time I blogged! I'm the worst, but let's celebrate by catching up. 

Here's what happened in November:

*I put the country in Country Club.  This will get a whole blog post of it's own.  It's a classic Prairie Princess story.

*We officially became parents of a TEENAGER when Dakota turned 13 on 11/11/12.  I'm still in denial.  I'm also jealous that she doesn't have the SUHweet, yet regrettable mall bangs that I had at that age. Kids these days, they look so much better than we, or at least I did, at their age. 
We celebrated with sushi, obviously.  So far her teenage years have been very uneventful.  She hasn't snuck out, stolen the car, gotten arrested for 3rd degree reckless throwing, etc, like *some* people I've heard of.  She's such a good, compliant kid, I think her teenage years are going to be a piece of cake, her brothers on the other hand........

*GI Joe and I celebrated our 15th anniversary on 11/15.  Here's our standard "on our anniversary" picture. 

We celebrated on that night by going out to dinner, where as we were finishing up an older couple stopped by our table, thanked GI Joe for his service and slipped him some cash.  GI Joe, always humbled by this, said "Thank you sir but you don't have to do that.  I love what I do."  But the man said it was the least he could do and insisted that GI Joe keep it.  After the couple left, GI Joe looked at the cash in his hand and as it turned out the guy had given him more than enough to cover our meal so we left our waiter a 75% tip.  Pay it forward right?  This was also the same day that the Hostess closure was announced so since we didn't have to pay for dinner, we felt justified in stopping at the grocery store on our way home and fillinga cart with Twinkies, Cupcakes, Ding Dongs, and all manner of Hostess goodness, oh and some brandy because I had a cold and needed my "medicine".  You should've seen the look on the cashier's face as he was ringing us up, "Looks like you are having SOME KIND OF PARTY!"  Yes, yes we were.  After all, 15 years is alot to celebrate!

*We shamed our dog Moose when he did this....
Someone had just sent me this website http://www.dogshaming.com/ earlier in the day.  And the FIRST thing I said after I got done laughing at the hilarity was "I AM SO DOING THIS THE NEXT TIME MOOSE GETS INTO SOMETHING."  I should've known I wouldn't have to wait long.  While we were at church that night he helped himself to a carton of eggs that was on the kitchen counter.  His shame confession says, " I knocked the carton of eggs off the counter so I could have a snack.  But LOOK I didn't break ALL of them!"  Thanks Moose for fulfilling your dog shaming destiny.  

*Attended Ryder's fall school concert and laughed hysterically when he came and got GI Joe out of the audience to do some weird song and dance with him and the rest of the 4th graders. Then I managed to snap one of the sweetest pictures ever of the two of them, that was completely unposed and in the moment, the weird song/dance moment.

*Had Thanksgiving at our house as per tradition.  This year GI Joe, inspired by a picture that was floating around Facebook, wrapped our turkey in bacon, like 1.5 POUNDS of bacon!  It was so SO good.  Well worth the high cholesterol meds we're now all on. 

*Also as per tradition, the Discount Divas went shopping on Gray Thursday/Black Friday.  The stores really threw a wrench in our usual strategy meeting/slumber planning party by opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving instead of early early early on Black Friday morning.  But it worked out for me this year because I had to be done by 7:30 a.m.  THere were only four of us this year, my sister Heidi, my mother in law Roxanne, my godmother Nita, and myself.  But that didn't stop us from having awesome shirts.  See?

Believe it or not we didn't get in any fights!  And I even parked like this....

What's the point of having 4 wheel drive if you're not going to use it?!? 
I shopped for a mere 11 hours and had to leave them to carry the torch because I had a plane to catch...

To be continued......

Here's a hint.  I was THIS happy about it!  ;)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tale As Old As Time....

Oh hey there, long time no talk.  We should catch up!  Oh I know, let's talk about THE ELECTION!  Ha ha ha ha...or not.  I had to take a brief social media break last week before I started petitioning facebook for a PUNCH IN THE FACE button on statuses. I MEAN...WOW.  People were getting so ugly about the election, on both sides of the aisle with the namecalling, the character bashing.  I was getting a little unfriend happy by Tuesday so figured I'd just wait it out and then come out of hiding when everyone started acting like reasonable adults again.  Phew, glad that's over for 4 years.  I'll probably start to like people again right about the time for the next one.  :)
You know what else I was doing besides losing respect for people and hitting the unfriend button?  I was stopping traffic...literally.
It's been well documented that I tend to live on the edge when it comes to matters of the gas tank and the low fuel light.  When I see the little orange (why is it orange?  why can't it be pink?  maybe i'd pay more attention if it were!) I think "I need to get gas sometime today".  While I realize that some most people tend to see a gas light and their next immediate stop is the gas station. that is not how I operate.  Last Wednesday was no exception.  I noticed the light on when I left for work in the morning but didn't have time to stop and I know from experience that if it just came on I could make it to work no sweat.  My plan was to get gas on my lunch but well, umm, i forgot.  Then on the way home I had to stop at the grocery store so figured I'd just get it after the grocery store except, well, i, umm, forgot again.  Until I was on a gravel road about 2 miles from a gas station.  But never fear, I remembered right then and as I was climbing the steep hill on said gravel road (a long ways from home I might add) I decided I needed to do a quick U and head back towards the gas station because it was just too risky to drive and drive the rest of the way home (15ish miles).  See how responsible and smart I am?!?  Except apparently I had already pushed the PMobile to it's fuel rationing limits and just as I was attempting a U she died....in the middle of the gravel road...sideways....blocking the entire road...oh, and right in front of someone's driveway  Yay!  Awesome!  It's my lucky day!!!  NOT.  Here I drew you a diagram.  
 Yes, in addition to being a fueling expert I am an artist.  Don't be jealous.
As you can see by my exceptional diagram, this was an unfortunate place to run out of gas.  While it's not a main road with tons of traffic, it is still pretty heavily traveled.  I thought since I was kind of at the top of the hill that if I put it in neutral and rocked back and forth really hard I could get it to roll down and could steer it over to the side a bit.  Are you envisioning this right now?  Because as ridiculous as it looks in your head right now?  That's how it looked in real life x 100.  It wasn't long before there was a line of cars stopped because there was no way to pass on one side and on the other was a very narrow passage way and a steep inclined ditch right off the road.  I called GI Joe first to find out his location, he was in his office 45 minutes away so I called AAA.  I got out of the car because I didn't want people to think I was just parked in the middle of the road hanging out and figured if I was out, standing on the road NEXT to my car talking on my phone, people would figure out that I was a damsel in distress and not yell at me too much.  I had a car full of men in hard hats that dared go around my car on the narrow side offer me a ride to the gas station to get gas and became very insistent when I politely declined because HELLO STRANGER DANGER.  I was still on the phone with AAA because while they may be lifesavers they weren't exactly Johnny on the Spot.  I had to walk down to the bottom of the hill to see the street sign so I could tell AAA the name of the road I was on and the car full of men stopped me again and asked if I wanted a ride.  I told them no, I just needed to walk down and find out the street name.  They took off at warp speed to drive down to the bottom of the hill and then reversed back up to me to tell me.  So while I didn't get in the car with them to be kidnapped and dismembered they did save me a walk down the road.  I walked back up the hill to the PMObile as an old man on a motorcycle pulled up and started kind of yelling at me, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?  YOU CAN'T PARK HERE!  THIS IS DANGEROUS!" You don't know how hard I had to bite my tongue to refrain from saying, "Whaaaat, I can't?!?  But I was tired and thought this looked like a rest area!"  I was still on the phone to AAA but was trying to explain to the grumpy old man that I had run out of gas.  By then another guy that didn't want to brave going out around me had gotten out and was standing with the old man.  I told grumpy old man that I had tried putting in neutral to roll it down the hill to the side but it hadn't worked.  Then he told me, "Well we have to get it moved you're gonna kill 100 people leaving it here."   Oh really, only 100?  I was really hoping for 200 AT LEAST.  He told me to turn the wheel to the right and apparently I didn't do it right because no lie, he YELLED AT ME, "JUST GET OUT AND I'LL DO IT!"  Oh uh uh.  First I run out of gas in the middle of the road, nearly abducted by the Village People, and now old man Turbo is YELLING AT ME.  It was almost more than I could bear but I got out and let him take over.  Truth be told I just needed to WALK AWAY.  He steered while the other guy pushed and they did manage to get it to the side of the road. 
The after picture..

I thanked them and got back in vehicle STILL ON THE PHONE WITH AAA when finally they told me they'd have someone out within 50 minutes.  OH and did I mention that I had drank approximately 96 ounces of water throughout the day so you know what that means, i needed FACILITIES.  I weighed my options which were a) walk up the driveway to the house that I believed the grumpy old man to live in b) the ditch and c) hold it.  I opted for c because even though I was stranded on the side of the road I was still trying to salvage my dignity.  I was sitting in my car patiently awaiting the AAA tow truck to bring me gas when there was a knock on my window.  It was the grumpy old man.  I moaned inwardly because I figured he'd come back to yell at me some more, you know, kick a girl while she's down.  I got out and he gruffly asked me where my AAA people were?  I told him the ETA they had given me and then he said, "Well I brought you some gas so let's try it and see if we can't get you started."  WHAAAAAAT?  Oh yeah that crow I'm having to eat is kinda tough to chew.  Wow.  I take back everything I said about grumpy old man, although between you and me, he was still kinda grumpy and definitely still old but HE BROUGHT ME GAS so all was forgiven!!!  He poured it and told me to start it up.  I turned the key and nothing...nada....zero.  NOW the battery or something was dead!  SEe how my night just kept getting better and better?!?  Grumpy old man tried it too said the battery was dead and now it definitely was a AAA problem.  I thanked him profusely for the gas and he went on his way. 
A few minutes later the tow truck showed up.  The driver's side door opened and out stepped this guy, dressed in a mechanic's shirt just like in "The Lucky One" ...

And then I kinda felt like the lucky one, I mean you all know how I love me some ZAC EFRON right?  I do.  OK so fine, it wasn't really Zac Efron but it was a nearly exact replica.  OK so fine the Zac Efron lookalike also looked all of about ummm, say 18, so it was borderline inappropriate for me to find him adorable but you know what?  I felt like I had earned a bit of goodness in my very bad, horrible, no good night.  So I "supervised" while Zac put a gallon of gas in the PMobile and I "supervised" as he also tried to start it to no avail.  Then I had to break it to him that I had told the original AAA dispatcher that based on previous, ahem, experience that it usually took at least 5 gallons to get my truck started if I had run it out of gas.  Some weird Chevy quirk I guess, but I'm pretty sure the AAA lady thought I was feeding her a line to get free gas. Zac listened patiently, nodded empathatically and put another gallon of gas in it and then hooked up some jumper cables to try and get it going.  STill nothing.  Like the true gentleman Zac was he told me I could go sit in his BIG truck to stay warm.  Isn't he so sweet?  He loaded my PMobile up on the flatbed of his truck and then got in and asked me where I wanted to go.  A movie?  Dinner?  Vegas?  HA HA JUST KIDDING GI JOE, he asked me where I wanted him to take my PMobile, whatevs, same diff. While Zac was loading up my truck on the flatbed I had called GI Joe who told me to just have him tow it home and he'd meet us there with more gas as he thought it probably just needed more to get it started again.  I reluctantly agreed even though it could've been awkward, I mean my teenage crush Zac Efron meeting the love of my life, my husband of nearly 15 years?  I just hoped it wouldn't come to blows over me but was fully prepared for the worst.  Also, I still really REALLY had to go the bathroom and Zac's truck was a big bouncy semi.  Nothing like being alone in a semi cab with a Zac Efron lookalike, trying to make small talk (I'll spare you those details but I did learn that he had graduated from high school, see I'm not a pedophile!!!, & that while his shop was directly across the street from the new Dunkin' Donuts he had not yet been there, among other things)  while simultaneously trying not to wet yourself.  Ahh good times.   
We FINALLY made it to the house and GI Joe was waiting for us, dukes raised ready for a fight to gas it up.  As soon as we came to a complete stop I jumped out of the truck to run in the house, leaving GI Joe alone to face his arch rival supervise Zac unloading my truck off of the flatbed and signing any necessary paperwork.  When I went back outside, I not only found them talking amicably I found that GI Joe was RECRUITING Zac Efron and had gotten his number to set up an appointment for them to talk more at length about joining the military.  AND THE PLOT THICKENS.  Not really but if this were a soap opera it totally would.  The good news about this is that every time GI Joe enlists someone he takes their picture to hang on the wall of fame in his office so I may get that picture after all! 
The other good news is that between the gas that the grumpy old man, Zac Efron and GI Joe put in my truck I had a third of a tank and didn't have to get gas for a day or so! 
I wish I could neatly wrap up this story with a touching paragraph about how through this trying experience I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of keeping a full fuel tank or heeding the warning light on the dashboard that alerts me when I'm low on gas but the truth is that's not how I roll.  Nope, in fact my gas light came on again this morning but never fear, I stopped on the way home from work and filled her up.  What I did learn from it was that 1) sometimes even grouchy people can be nice so even when you want to be really sassy with them because they're being grouchy and yelling at you, you should try to be sweet and 2) which tow truck company to call should I ever be in need of assistancd again because nothing turns a traumatic experience around like having Zac Efron come to your rescue and 3) that Zac's name is actually not Zac but instead Sam (how cute is that?!?)  as my loving husband keeps correcting me every time I ask him if he's enlisted Zac, I mean Sam, yet and can he email me that picture. 
So in this season of thanksgiving I'm thankful for the kindness of strangers, AAA....and Zac Efron.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Three Little Pigs

About a month ago, it was in the news that there was a bacon shortage over in Europe and that it COULD happen here.  We'd been talking for awhile about getting another "hog" for bacon purposes but this little tidbit of news gave GI Joe renewed purpose and drive in going through with it. 
So a short Craig's List search later, I had us a date with a pig farmer about 30 minutes from us.  We decided rather than risk not having bacon that we'd get at least 2, maybe 3 pigs from him since the price was right and again, BACON. 
I'm sure you're thinking, but Prairie Princess, I thought you didn't eat what you pet?  That is true and Hormel was our first foray into the world of being "real farmers".  And I gotta tell you that, when we gave Hormel to that one farmer who met GI joe and the kids at the meat locker that one day so he could take Homel home and paint her hooves pink and walk her around town on a leash and in exchange he gave us a mean ol' ugly pig that nobody loved that we butchered and got a freezer full of delicious bacon, sausage, ham, and pork chops out of*, I changed my tune a little.  *This may or may not be what happened, but it's how the story goes in MY head.  It was nice knowing we were eating something straight from the farm w/ no crazy additives or hormones or anything in it.  ANd it was also nice being kind of self reliant, we're basically pioneer people!  So I was down for being a pig farmer again. 
GI Joe and I made the trek to the pig farmer's place on a cold, rainy night.  The farmer took us to the building where the piglets were and I died.  Piglets are pretty much adorable.  Sure they stink but we all have our crosses to bear.  He told us to pick the ones we wanted and while I knew we should be picking the biggest ones, I immediately fell in love with the runt of the litter.  So I picked her up and held her like a baby.   The farmer looked at me in disbelief because apparently most of his clientele doesn't come into his barn and cuddle with the piglets.  Weird.  Usually when you pick up a piglet they squeal at ear piercing levels but when I picked up the piglet she just settled right into my arms and didn't make a sound.  The farmer looked at me, shaking his head and said, " It's not even squealing!"  Add pig whisperer to my resume.  GI Joe wasn't in the barn at this time as he was backing the truck up for ease of loading.  When he came back in he found me cuddling a piglet and the farmer staring at me with his mouth agape.  It was time to make my move.
Bats eyelashes, gives him my sweetest smile, "GI Joe, look at this piglet.  She's SOOOOO CUUUUUUTE and little and look  she's not even squealing while I'm holding her, I think it's destiny she's meant to go home with me!  What if we get her and keep her to have babies next spring?!?  Isn't that a great idea?!?  Please, pretty please?"
And to my utter disbelief he said, "OK"
Whoa, what?  I hadn't even gone through my complete list of reasons why  I needed to take her home.  That was way too easy.  But I'll take it.  The farmer just chuckled and shook his head.  And that's how I got a new pet pig.  Just your every day swine story...girl meets pig, girl falls in love with pig, pig doesn't squeal, boy tells girl she can have pig, girl loves boy AND pig.  And they all live happily ever after eating bacon. 
"Pick out the other 2 that you want...FOR EATING." 
So I picked out the 2 biggest, not nice, pigs I could and off we went. 
The whole way home I was trying to figure out the perfect name for my new pet.  It had to be something glamorous, something catchy, something girly, something sparkly.  This was a big deal and since she was going to be our bacon mama and part of the zoo for a LONG time I had to love the name. 
At first I was leaning towards Glitzy, inspired by the classic American television show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" because that show cracks me up and because she kinda looks like Glitzy, Honey Boo Boo's pig. 
When we got home and I carried her around the barnyard introducing her to the kids and the other animals, Glitzy was just not well received so I went back to the drawing board. 
And that's how I decided on........drum roll please.....Christina HOGuilera
She's quite the looker no?  I just need to get her some ultra glittery eyeshadow, a spray tan, and some cleavage baring tops and she'll be the real deal.

But that's not all.  I couldn't give her a name like Christina Hoguilera and leave the rest with ordinary names like Porker or Petunia so after an exhaustive search of the internets and some digging deep into my past and a review of my favorites as of this moment, I came up with appropriate names for the other 2, a boy and a girl. 

Introducing Snoop HOGgy Hogg and Miranda HAMbert.

  • Yeah, I went there.  I'm not sorry.  The bad part is that I love these names so much but within a year they'll be in the freezer at a new farmer's house in exchange for 2 mean, ugly hogs with boring names that he'll give us to butcher.  Again, just work with me on this story, it helps me sleep at night.  Do you see what a diva Christina Hoguilera is being in this picture? I couldn't have picked a better name.  Work it girl!
I'm doing really well at not getting attached to Snoop Hoggy Hogg and Miranda Hambert because they are skittish and run away from me when I try to pet them. 

But Christina Hoguilera and I?  We have a special bond that will withstand the test of time.  OK fine, she runs from me too but when I pick her up she only squeals for a little bit before she calms down and lets me hold her and carry her around embarrassing her in front of the other barnyard animals.  I mean, what kind of respectable hog is carried around and coddled like a baby?  What the others must think.  They're just jealous I'm sure. 
My nephew Jonah however, is still not sold on the whole pig thing.  And look at this picture, Christina is clearly annoyed that she is having to share my affections with him. 

I seriously just sat here for 5 minutes trying to think of pig puns (who does THAT?!?)  but I think it's best if I just let that go and leave you with this instead. 
And this little piggy went to the market, oh and so did this one, but this one sang "Genie In A Bottle" all the way home!"

I really should've stopped while I was ahead.  :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Food Friday

Happy Friday!

I was going to post a recipe for MeatBALLS just to keep with the recent blog theme  but then I made a recipe from Pinterest the other night that made me forget all about BALLS.  And trust me when I say that is a good thing all around. 

The thing with recipes (crafts, DIY, pretty much everything) found on Pinterest is that sometimes they don’t always turn out like the original poster promises.  For example, “BEST (WHATEVER) EVER!” rarely is the BEST EVER.  It may be good, yes but best ever?  Ehhh…debatable or if you have exceptionally low standards in life.  Oh and then there was the pepper jack soup I made from Pinterest the other night that was a complete and total disaster.  Best ever NOTHING.  If you could get past the unfortunate puke like appearance of it, the flavor was not too bad, but then when it was discovered that the chunks of pepper jack cheese had not melted but had spongified and become very tofu like in texture and flavor, that was it, pour the bowls down the garbage disposal.    Popcorn for dinner it is!  Sidenote:  Upon further review it was my error in not fully reading the instructions that said to SHRED the pepper jack cheese before adding it to the crockpot, for some reason I thought it said cut into chunks.  Duh.  I am a dork. 

So after that traumatic dinner experience, I was slightly hesitant to try another Pinterest recipe but I’m so glad I had the courage to press onward in my Pinterest related cooking goals.  Does anyone else obsess over trying every single recipe they’ve pinned?  No?  I’m crazy?  Fine. 

Here’s the link to the original recipe I stole off of my friend Heather’s (heeeey Heather!) board…so that Chef John the inventor of the recipe can be dually credited for this glorious invention.

But I’ll take it from there because his recipe presentation?  Stinks.  I don’t want to have to watch a video, no matter how simple and informative it is, to get the recipe instructions, just put it all on a handy dandy printable thankyouverymuch.

So my gift to you, minus the printable because this blog is not THAT fancy……..

The BEST Chicken Parmesan EVER (No really, it is!)
by Chef John (whoever that is)
2 T. olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves crushed or minced
Hot red pepper flakes to taste, don’t be a wimp add in a good sprinkle it really “takes it up a notch”
5-6 boneless chicken breasts
2 cups marinara sauce (Use good stuff NOT a can of Hunts spaghetti sauce.  I used a jar of Creamy Vodka sauce, can’t remember the brand but oh MY was it perfect in this.  Also any excuse I can get to sneak vodka in and still be Baptist approved?  YES.)
¼ c. chopped fresh basil or be like me and just use a healthy dose of dried Italian seasoning and/or basil instead
8 oz shredded mozzarella
4 oz Parmesan (not the green can stuff, the REAL stuff)
1 (5 oz) package of garlic croutons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the olive oil in the bottom of your 9x13 baking dish, swirl it around so it pretty much covers the bottom.  Add in the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, swirl some more so they are spread around as well.  Put your chicken breasts in.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning or fresh basil whichever you prefer and have available.  Pour sauce over the chicken.  Add a little more Italian seasoning, because there’s no such thing as too much Italian (Hello Goodfellas!!! That was for you AWH).  Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan on top of the sauce.  Add the entire bag of croutons making sure that they’re spread out to cover the entire pan.  Sprinkle on the rest of your cheeses.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is done.  The original recipe calls for 30 minutes but mine had to cook for more like 45 minutes.  And that’s it!

GI Joe who has recently declared along with our children, that we eat too much chicken, groaned a bit when I told him we were having Chicken Parmesan for dinner but then after a few bites he said it was VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY GOOD even if it was chicken.  That is basically the highest compliment he can give to a non pork or beef meat that is not wrapped in bacon so I’ll take it. 

Please  keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I try to meet the “No Chicken Challenge” my family has issued me for the upcoming week.  I’ll miss you my delectable, lean, multipurpose meat.  But not to worry we’ll meet again next week with the 7 chicken recipes I have waiting in the wings.  I’ll show you FAMILY. 

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Post That Shall Remain Unnamed.....Read On You'll Understand

Growing up in a house full of girls, all sisters no brothers, left me ill prepared for being the mother to two boys (and one girl who is a total tomboy).   I see the signs of it every day whether it be from the pile of clothes left AT THE FRONT DOOR from stripping immediately upon entering or the constant battle of the bowl in the bathroom or the spontaneous and intense wrestling matches that occur on the living room floor.  All reminders that I am in uncharted waters here.  I remember when GI Joe and I first got married, he looked at me and said in all seriousness and he was totally not saying it as a “line”, “Do you wanna wrestle?”  You can imagine my reply as I looked at him as if he’d grown a 3rd eye.  But to him this was a completely legitimate request as it was a normal occurrence in his house growing up with a brother, no sisters.  I told him I am a girl, I do not wrestle and if he’d like to wrestle he should call his brother or a friend or wait until we have a son or two.  You can imagine his elation when Blade was born and then Ryder, and they were old enough to wrestle, so you know, about 6 months. ;)  But let’s be honest, even though I tried to shelter her from it, Dakota’s gotten in on a few of those matches too because she is not your typical girl and is one tough cookie.  Her daddy is so proud.  

So, boys.  Boys are a different kind of species.  Never was this ever more evident then when I took all 3 kids to the doctor last week for their physicals.  I thought I was being super smart and efficient by scheduling all 3 at the same time.  I didn’t really think through the logistics of it since they are all 3 getting to that age where it would be weird to have them all 3 in the same room getting their physicals at the same time.  But our dr’s office is kind of smart so they put Dakota in one room and put the boys together in a room directly across the hall.  I split my time between the two rooms, which left me wondering at what age are moms not supposed to go in the exam room with their kid?  13?  15?  21?  J  The nurse gave all 3 of them gowns and told them to change into them before the doctor got in to see them.  I ran across the hall to Dakota’s room and she asked me to tie all the strings in the back so that it wasn’t gapping open, because she’s modest (and NORMAL) like that.  Then I went across the hall to check on the boys and see if they needed any help. It was like I had stepped into their college dorm room in 2021 on a Friday night.  Both boys were in their underwear, one sitting on the exam table, one sitting on the floor playing Legos, completely relaxed, with their clothes strewn all over the room.  The gowns the nurse had given them still folded nicely on the exam table.  I asked them if they needed help putting the gowns on and their response was, “We’re not putting on those dumb dresses, why can’t we just be in our underwear?”    I had nothing, no response, I’m done.  THEN Ryder had to go to the bathroom which was down the hall and around the corner.  He was halfway out the door before I stopped him and insisted that he put on a gown if he was going to go out in the hallway WHERE OTHER PEOPLE THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW COULD SEE HIM.  Seriously.  I….just….I…I…give up.

The doctor came in where he was greeted by a jello shot and a Playboy 2 mostly nekkid boys.  Now our doctor has been their pediatrician since they were born.  He’s in his 60’s and is this softspoken, little, scholarly guy.  Great guy, we love him and I love that when we see him at the grocery store he doesn’t run and hide says hi and calls us by name.  That’s impressive.  ANYWAY, he must know us pretty well by now because he was unfazed.  He went through the physicals, checked them out, chatted with us for a bit, and then said to the boys, specifically Blade, “Listen up, I’m going to tell you what may start happening to you within the next few years.”  In other words, the high level puberty talk.  I cringed because, well, have you met Blade and Ryder?  You just never know what may come out of their mouths.  The doctor started telling them about things that may start happening to them such as getting a little acne on their faces, getting more interested in girls, under arm hair growth,  the body odor, you know, the usual boy talk. 

And then he said the words that made my 2 boys sit up and pay attention.  The words that made their eyes widen in wonder.  The words that made them look forward to the next 5 years of their lives with great anticipation.

He said…

“And your BALLS will start to get bigger.”

This is when I fell off my chair and tried to hide in the cupboard under the sink. 

Because I saw Blade’s eyes widen, the smile dancing on his lips.  I was afraid, so so afraid.

The dr. went on, “It’ll be gradual so you may not notice it but throughout puberty your balls will be growing and getting bigger.”

When I was growing up,  we didn’t even say the words “fart” or “butt” in our house and those words still make me highly uncomfortable, such crass words after all.  But now I have our lil’ old nerdy doctor saying balls, in reference to a body part…..repeatedly.  Not testicles, not some fancy medical term, nope, he said balls.   Not only that he told them that they’d get BIGGER.

That’s it, I’m dead. 

Much to my surprise, my boys were stunned into silence and withheld all comments until the doctor left the room.  But as soon as the dr. left the room, the giggles and the “Did you hear that MY BALLS are going to get bigger?!?” began.  I told them to get dressed (for the love of all that is holy) and went across the hall to check on Dakota and escape the ball talk. 

The boys got dressed and came over to Dakota’s room who was also done but still waiting on her shots.  And the first words out of Blade’s mouth were, “Dakota, guess what?  My BALLS are going to get bigger!!!”   As you might suspect, Dakota was overjoyed to hear this news….not.  Sadly, having grown up with 2 brothers, not much shocks her anymore.  She just shook her head and told him she didn’t want to hear about it.  And then looked at me as if to say, “Really, you had to go and have them.  Why couldn’t I be an only child?”

We checked out and got into the car,  with the boys talking about, well, BALLS, the whole way home.  And Dakota interjecting every so often to tell them to stop because they were being inappropriate.  But that only fueled their fire.  When we finally got home, we walked in the house and before I could warn him, GI Joe asked, “So how did the doctor’s appointments go?”  We all started giggling, I’m sorry I couldn’t help it because I knew he had just asked a loaded question.
Blade was quick to answer him,   “Daddy, did you know MY BALLS are gonna get bigger?!?”

Cue Ryder actually rolling on the floor laughing. 

Cue Dakota RUNNING to her room.

Cue GI Joe shaking his head, looking at me as if I had some explaining to do.  Hello, didn’t you go through puberty?  You should know more about this boy stuff than I do!  Geesh.  Once I explained he just smiled and laughed at the boys who were reveling in this newfound fact. 

All I know is that when my measuring tape goes missing, the boys’ room is going to be the FIRST place I look. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cowgirl Up

Adding to the list of things I never thought I’d hear/have to worry about, was the text I got from a neighbor a couple Fridays that read, “I think your donkeys and horse is out.”

I can tell you with great certainty that when I was a girl growing dreaming of my future, it never once crossed my mind that this would be something that would concern me or ever enter into my realm of thinking.  I would’ve told you you were straight up crazy if you’d told me this would be something I’d hear in my future life as a country farm girl and then I would’ve drown you out by turning up the bass on my Snoop Dogg tape.

Nowadays?  It’s still crazy but it’s also  MAJOR.  Snoop Dogg should write a song about it.

Livestock on the road is never a good thing. Livestock on the road is really not a good thing when the livestock owners are not home.  Livestock on the road is really, REALLY not a good thing when GI Joe is an hour and a half away. 

Nothing like having to tell your boss you have to take your lunch early so you can go home and COWGIRL UP to get your donkeys and horses put away.   I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Off I went.  My neighbor text me again and said that Farmer Mike (the one I steal corn stalks from in the fall) had gotten them into his pasture but he wasn’t sure where they were getting out at.  I was worried that a) they wouldn’t stay in his pasture and would somehow get out again and b) what if HOLY COW had gotten out too and had wondered off never to be seen again?  Oh, I couldn’t stand the thought.  But actually knowing Holy, he’d be sitting on the front porch chewing on flowers, waiting for us to get home instead of lost in the wilderness.  Nonetheless, I was worried.

I booked it home, slightly exceeding the speed limit.   But I was fully prepared that if I got pulled over I would nicely explain to the officer, “Officer, I have to hurry, I have an emergency! MY HORSES AND DONKEYS ARE OUT AND ON THE ROAD!”  I’m sure I would’ve been excused without a ticket, right?

As it turned out, I needn’t worry as I made it home without incident.  I drove down the road to the spot of the last sighting of our livestock and didn’t see them.  I was sure they had escaped again and were probably in Omaha by now or that they had wondered further down the road, someone had hit them, totaled their car, would sue us, we’d lose everything and wind up living in a van down by the river my Princess Mobile down by the pond.  Sometimes I’m kind of a pessimist with an overactive imagination…just sometimes.  I checked the main gates and they were all closed which meant that the ONLY other gate, the one clear back in the pasture that separates our pasture from Farmer Mike’s, had to be opened.   So I got back in my Princess Mobile and drove as close as I could to it, which is really not that close considering there’s a creek and steep hill to cross before you can get to the gate that is impassable by PMobile (and sometimes 4wheelers as I’ve a friend  has found out the hard way.)  I checked the small outbuilding in the area and found two of our horses, Jasmine and Beauty, and the mini horse, Pegasus, but there was no sign of horse #3 (Joe) or the 2 (stupid) donkeys (Kanye and Beyonce, obviously).  I parked the truck and hiked up the hill across the creek to the gate and lo and behold, it was open.  Then I saw 3 white spots in the horizon on Farmer Mike’s pasture, Joe and the stupid donkeys.  I was trying to figure out my plan of attack, would I need to go get some grain in a bucket and try to lure them that way? Or should I go out to them and get behind them and drive them back thru the gate and on to our pasture?  Would I get out my lasso and lasso them in?  Uhh, n to the Negative to that last one as someone, likely me, would get hurt with me swinging a lasso around.  Also, we all know my aim .  I decided to just yell out for Joe, the horse, because I thought maybe he’d tell me what to do or at least acknowledge my presence.  You guys, I’m totally not saying this to brag but I’m basically the horse whisperer.  Because as soon as I yelled “Joe” in my special, animals only tone not quite baby talk but syrupy sweet, he came RUNNING across the pasture to me.  Oh wow, ok 1 out of 3, that’s a good start.  But the donkeys concerned me because they are not exactly social (except with each other, incest is NOT best but they think it is).  They’re basically dead to me because they don’t ever let me pet them and you know the rules of the Koons Zoo, it’s all about the petting (tee hee).  Anyway,  I stood there trying to figure out this pickle I was in, wishing I’d just been able to go to Ulta on my lunch as planned instead of this mess, when all of the sudden the donkeys looked up, saw that Joe had come back onto our side of the pasture, and came sprinting through the gate.  Wait, what just happened?  Did I just corral 1 horse and 2 donkeys back into the pasture?  Why YES I DID.  Then like the true farmgirl that I had just proven to be, I fixed the gate, got it all secured so we would not have a repeat performance of this escape, and hiked back down to my PMobile.  FIVE MINUTES FLAT, people, and I didn’t even break a sweat.  I’m kind of a BIG COWGIRL DEAL.  I felt invincible and tough after that.  Something about handling that situation like a boss,  while wearing my “I can do anything, don’t mess with me” cowgirl boots made me want to go ride a bull or chop down a tree or break something.  I  was feeling COUNTRY STRONG.  Were you aware that just simply by wearing cowgirl boots your entire outlook and attitude changes?  Truth.  Try it, they’ll put some swagger in your step and some mojo in your mind. 

I really only wore boots to work today because they looked cute with my outfit, NOT because I thought I’d be doing cowgirl stuff.   But then I corralled 2 donkeys and a horse back into the pasture, fixed a gate, and STILL had time to get a burrito from the drive thru, on my lunch hour.   I guess that’s just the cowgirl in me. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Time I Broke a DS in Half and Set the Backyard on Fire Also Known as Just Another Saturday at the Koons Zoo

No Food Friday this week because, well, I had chocolate frosting for dinner tonight (in my defense, I was making cupcakes and had to taste test the frosting to make sure it was perfect) so I don't exactly feel qualified in offering out recipe advice. 

Oh except for THIS, I did make this earlier in the week and it was EXACTLY like Olive Garden's.  And make sure when you say it you say it with your hands and an Italian accent.  Please and thank you. 

Last weekend GI Joe had drill.  You should know that when I start a sentence like that it’s probably never going to end well.  This meant I was left to my own devices for the weekend.  Nothing good ever comes from me being left to my own devices   

Ryder had a football game on Saturday morning and before I left I told Dakota to do two, oh wait, THREE ( I know, THE NERVE) things:  clean her room, take a shower, and gather eggs.  All very, VERY difficult and labor intensive chores.  NOT.

When we returned home 3 HOURS later, exactly ZERO of those things had been done.  That. Was. Awesome.  I was not happy in the least, especially when I noticed her DS sitting on the couch with a game going on it.  Which led me to believe that she had spent the entire 3 hours playing her DS which led me to LOSING MY MIND.  I picked up the DS off the couch and in a rare exhibit of bad temper, THREW the DS into the laundry basket while telling her she was grounded from said DS because she spent the time she should’ve been doing the 3 MINOR things I asked her to do, playing on her stupid DS therefore she would not be playing her DS for a few days.  Well, that was the plan anyway and yes, I use run on sentences when I’m angry.  Except I’ve never been known for my athletic skills, unless you count my awesome junior high basketball defense which led the coach to call me “Tiger” for the remainder of my short lived basketball career.  So when I meant to throw the DS into the laundry basket that was right at my feet….I missed.  Instead, when I threw it, it bounced OFF of the laundry basket and onto the hardwood floor where it broke in half. 

Uhh oops.  Dakota, Blade and Ryder all looked at me in shock.  I could see the fear in their eyes, the look like “uh oh we’ve finally pushed her too far, she’s lost it.”  It was silent for a moment and then I was all “OMG I didn’t mean to do that, I meant to just throw it in the laundry basket, oh I’m so sorry, maybe we can fix it…” and apologetic.  Then the shock wore off and my drama queen daughter dropped to the floor in a heap of sobs.  Which only served to further annoy me because “IF YOU WOULD’VE DONE YOUR MEASLY 3 CHORES INSTEAD OF PLAYING THIS DUMB THING IT WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED.  YOU ALL 3 SHOULD REMEMBER THIS NEXT TIME I TELL YOU TO DO SOMETHING AND YOU’RE PLAYING YOUR DS AND THINK YOU MIGHT WANT TO KEEP PLAYING IT INSTEAD OF DOING WHAT I ASKED YOU TO DO BECAUSE I AM UNPREDICTABLE AND CRAZY AND I JUST MIGHT DO IT AGAIN.”  Yeah, take that, she says as pays out the $200 for the new DS she has to buy from throwing it in a fit of bad temper.  Mom of the Year, hands down. 

Then I text GI Joe the following:  “I accidentally just broke dakota’s ds because I umm, threw it.”
“I meant to throw it in a laundry basket but umm well u know my aim.” 
His response “Oh boy” 
Me:  “uhh yeah sometimes I have a temper and bad aim”
Me:  “Where’s your torch?”

Which may leave you wondering what the torch has to do with the DS. Was I going to go the extra mile to shock and awe my kids into submission by burning that DS up or what?  No, the two were unrelated, but kinda not and make a perfect segway into what happened next.  And also to give you an idea of what GI Joe deals with on a regular basis...ALL OVER THE BOARD.

He text back and told me where the torch was, which I have to admit I was shocked because it’s fire and well, ‘nuff said.  But he must’ve been distracted by playing with guns and yelling at new recruits, and didn’t think too much about it. 

I, on the other hand was thrilled because I had had a BRILLIANT idea.  You see, we have this walkway in our front yard that is filled with rock and stepping stones and somehow weeds had peered their ugly heads in some places.  I had sprayed them with Round Up a week ago but hadn’t gotten all of them and the ones that I had sprayed were now just ugly, brown, dry eyesores in the walkway.  I wanted them gone, all of them.  And I didn’t want to deal with the 2 day waiting period of Round Up so I thought, BURN THEM, obviously. 

I told the kids to get changed as we were all going outside on a landscaping expedition aka Mission Walkway Weed Removal.  We successfully removed (by either pulling or burning) all the weeds from the walkway.  Who knew weeding could be so much fun?  Why hadn’t I thought of this torch idea before?!?  Why isn’t this a gardening phenomenon?   And that’s when it occurred to me, “Hey there’s the same problem on the cement patio by the pool, let’s take the torch back there!” 

But it was a bigger area with stronger weeds and the little butane torch was just not cutting it like it did on the walkway, so I went on the hunt for some lighter fluid or gas even to amp up the burn factor to contend with the weeds better.  Meanwhile,  Dakota and Blade had deserted me because I "scared" them and Ryder was sticking by but only to tell me repeatedly that it was a bad idea.

As I was searching for a firestarter, GI Joe got home.  I asked him where some lighter fluid or gas was and he quickly told me we didn’t have any and then said, “I’m going inside to change my clothes and to make sure the Hawkeye game is recording.  PLEASE do not make me have to call the fire department.”

What an odd thing to say. 

And that’s when I spotted the little one gallon gas can sitting all alone in the shed.

I went back to the backyard with my assistant aka Fire Marshall Ryder and sprayed down the perimeter of the patio with water so the fire wouldn’t get out of control and had the hose on and nearby just in case.  See?  Safety first.  Then I stepped away from the patio to open the gas can.  It had one of those weird spouts (that I now know is called a Stop Flow Spout) but I couldn’t figure out how to open it so the gas could come out so I just unscrewed and took off the whole dang cap.  And then I went back to the patio, leaned over to pour a little gas on the weeds I wanted to burn and that’s when it happened. 

It’s a wonder I still have hair on my head and a non melted face.
I mean, who knew that just a tiny spark from the weeds I’d burned with the torch earlier would catch the can on fire like that?  Oh what's that?  You learned about flammability and fumes and all that mumbo jumbo in Chemistry class?  Oh you mean the class that I repeatedly skipped in high school and eventually dropped to take "Foods" class instead?  Weird.  P.S.  I use what I learned in "Foods" class ALOT more than i use that Chemistry junk, ok fine, except for maybe this.

Me, being the rational human being I am, screamed and threw the gas can….NOT onto the cement patio, oh NO, but on the grass next to it.  The grass between the concrete patio and the WOODEN swing set. 

You guys, I’m basically Smokey the Bear.  Schedule your school visits now!

I grabbed the hose and started spraying the fire, trying to get it under control and keep it from spreading.  As long as I had the hose directly on the opening of the gas can it was ok, but if I moved even a millimeter the fire raged again.  

Ryder:  “I’m gonna go get Daddy.”
Me:  “NOOOOOO it’s fine I’ve got it under control.”

Then I told him to go get me some baking soda because as my life was flashing before me in the recesses of my brain I remembered that baking soda puts out fires (umm yeah GREASE fires..duh.  There's that Foods class knowledge again!) but then I told him NOT to go do that because then he’d have to explain to GI Joe why he was taking baking soda outside and see:  the part I was trying to not involve GI Joe. 

Then I remembered that if you put the lid on a candle and shut off air supply the fire went out so I thought if I could flip the gas can so the opening was flush against the ground the fire inside the can would go out thereby putting out the fire spewing out of the can.  I know, I know, I should’ve been scientist.  But the tricky part about flipping a gas can that’s on fire is well, FLIPPING A GAS CAN THAT’S ON FIRE.  I tried using a stick with one hand while holding the hose and not moving a millimeter in the other.  I got it to flip over but instead of putting the fire out all I got was a big WHOOSH and a bigger fire.  A bigger fire that my excellent hosing skills was not putting a damper on.  This is when I started to panic.   And when Ryder declared that he was “going to get Daddy.”

I was still adamant that I could handle this, that I’d just keep the water on the fire until eventually the fumes died out.  I mean, it was only one gallon of gas, how long could it burn?

But I think he feared for his life and his swingset so he ignored my wishes and went inside to get his father.  Apparently, he walked in the house, found GI Joe, and while LAUGHING said, “Daddy, I think you need to come outside, Mommy set the backyard on fire.”

Oh huh, what was that thump?  Oh that was just me getting thrown under the bus, thanks Ryder!

So GI Joe comes out and I’m still battling the fire but trying to act all cool and unworried about it.  And as he’s walking across the back yard shaking his head he said, “What did I say to you before I went inside?”

“But we don’t have to call the fire department.  See?  I’ve got it under control!  Just bring me some baking soda and I’ll put it out no problem”

“Baking soda is for grease fires, you have to smother a gas fire out.”

“Oh well, then get me a pillow.”

He grabbed a bucket and putting it over the gas can and then stomping out the fire on the grass around it all while repeating over and over, “Ilovemywife Ilovemywife Ilovemywife Ilovemywife....”

Isn’t that so sweet?  First he rescues me (and our yard) from a burning inferno and then he proclaims his love for me repeatedly?!? 

And then he took the butane torch AND the gas can from me and told me my landscaping with fire days were over. 


I think of all the things, I miss my eyebrows the most. 

But those weeds?  They’re gone for good.

Happy Friday and remember only you (ok fine, and me), can prevent forest yard fires.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Food Friday Returns!

Hi!  It’s been awhile since I posted a Food Friday hasn’t it?  I’ve been sick…and busy and well, my dishwasher was broken for 3 days, need I say more? #firstworldproblem

A little bit of catch up, here’s what I’ve been up to in recent weeks, besides hiding from SNAKES and such (ewwwwww) ..

*Dying.  No, I’m not exaggerating.  I felt like death basically beginning over Labor Day weekend until last Friday.  Super fun!  And then I made the mistake of going to the dr’s office on Tuesday after Labor Day.  Note to self:  NEVER go to the dr’s office/clinic the day after a long holiday weekend.  I spent 2 hours there for the dr to finally see me and tell me I was sick and old and prescribe me a plethora of pills and a knee brace.  Huh?   Apparently at 34 my knee and my immune system just aren’t what they used to be.  Somebody please get me some cheese with my wiiiiiiine.  Good news is I feel human again, GI Joe never got it, and the boys had it but bounced back quickly.  Bad news is Dakota has it and has it bad.  We’re all about the sharing.

*We had Ryder’s friends over 2 Friday nights ago for a belated birthday celebration.  Actually, it was just another ploy of his to stretch out his birthday week into a full month.  He’s one smart cookie.  Anyway, they had a blast and did the following:  watched GI Joe blow stuff up, played in a hay fort, shot and caught frogs in the pond, played in the treehouse, traipsed across the pasture with BB guns in hands like they were on a Davy Crockett expedition, ran from the llama, ate cupcakes that looked like hamburgers (Ryder’s choice), drank Butterbeer and played kickball in the yard.  Oh and they took home the following party favors;  a watermelon that they got to pick from our garden (seriously, they asked and then when I said yes they thought it was the coolest thing EVER!), a spent bullet (or is it shell? Clearly I have a lot to learn regarding ammunition still) from the gun GI Joe used to blow stuff up, really stinky/muddy shoes and socks from the pond and a smidge of hay fever.  You guys, do we know how to throw a party OR WHAT?!? They had a blast and apparently word has gotten around that the Koons Zoo is the place to PARTAY because Blade had friends at school asking when they could come over.  So we did it all again last week and already they’re requesting a return visit.  I love being the “place” where they want to hang out.  If we continue that through high school I’ll be happy and I will bake any number of cupcakes to ensure that that happens.

*I should also tell you that all this partying on Friday night landed Blade and I in the ER on Saturday afternoon.  He’s the one that built the hay fort in the barn for Ryder and his friends to play with and of course, because he’s Blade and a straight up hillbilly, he didn’t have a shirt on.  By the next day his back and shoulders looked like this!

Isn’t that pretty?!?  Not.  He didn’t itch as bad as you might think but was definitely uncomfortable.  We were worried it was chicken pox, which GI Joe cannot under any circumstances be exposed to, or a rash that would continue to get worse all weekend.  In the ER, he had to tell the dr. what he’d been doing the night before, “Well, I built a hay fort in the barn and then I got in the pond because you can catch frogs a lot easier if you’re IN it.”  The doctor looked at me and said, “Country kid huh?”  She determined it was some kind of bug that he had encountered while playing in the hay, probably hay fleas (EWWWWW) or some other such thing.  She told him, “I’d tell you not to play in the hay anymore but that’s probably useless so at least next time you play in the hay can you put on a shirt?”  A shot of Benadryl later and we were on our way. 

*Looking out my kitchen window down at the pond and discovering a NAKED Ryder toting his BB gun.  Buck naked…with a BB gun.  I took the most awesome picture of this that I will definitely be displaying at his graduation party and wedding reception wherein he is covering his goods with his gun.  It should almost be a hillbilly postcard. His reasoning for being naked at the pond?  “Little bug or fish things kept getting in my swim trunks.”   Right, so where do you think those bugs are going to target now that YOU HAVE NO CLOTHES ON?!?  Hello DIRECT ACCESS.  Honestly, I wish he had just an ounce of modesty, just an ounce.  Let’s hope he outgrows this no shame zero modesty phase before he’s in his teens.  Help us all.

*Oh and you know what else I did while I was dying?  Watched a lot of TV, which is highly unusual for me because unless there’s laundry to be folded or it’s late on a weekend night I cannot slow down enough to watch, with the exception of the Kardashians and now “Married to a Jonas” on Sunday nights, obvs.  Anyway, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I have now watched every episode to date of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo  Have you watched this?  How can this even be real?!?!?  It’s like a train wreck I just can’t turn away from.  I have to admit I am a sucker for thick southern accents but ummm, huh, just WOW.   On a more civilized note, I also spent a fair amount of time catching up with Blair, Tootie, Natalie, and Jo on the Facts of Life.  I forgot how much I LOVED that show.  And still do.   Quality television at it’s finest my friends.  Also, HOLY MULLETS.  You know what else makes you feel better when you’re miserable and sick?  HGTV, any and all shows.  The end.  I now want to move to Puerto Rico, Atlanta, GA, a lake in New Hampshire, and some weird city in Mexico that isn’t even near a beach but the houses were SO AMAZING and relatively inexpensive! 

And this drink I'm about to share with you?  This drink will cure whatever ails you.  OK, maybe not cure you but at least alleviate symptoms and give you a brief reprieve from miserableness (totally a word) and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

My mom was never a coffee drinker but she had a mug full of this tea, called “Spiced Tea” every morning.  It was her coffee. I have no idea where it originated but there was always a mason jar full of it on our counter and when we were sick, especially, she’d make us some.  And now I do the same for my kids.  They call it “Special” or “Magic” tea and trust me, I’ve been making a lot of it in the past 2 weeks.  Since it’s that time of year, I feel like you should whip up a batch to have it on the ready should you or your loved ones feel a little sniffly or if you just need a warm, fuzzy, Vitamin C pick me up in the morning (afternoon or night). I also love it in the evening before bed, as long as I make it with decaf instant tea because yes, I'm a hundred and if I have caffeine after 5pm it keeps me up all night.  Either way, I suppose it's better for you than say, I Do I Do Wedding Cake Ice Cream.  Or heck, go wild and have it with your evening snack!.  You just need it in your life.

Spiced Tea
1 (9oz) jar of Tang-it's pretty much impossible to find a 9 oz jar of Tang anymore as it normally comes in a big container that's like 24 oz or something just buy that and do a little over a cup of Tang.  Look at that I just did math...kinda.
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. instant tea (decaf or reg)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves.
Mix it all together, store in an airtight container or jar.  To make a serving, 4 T (or spoon fulls) per one mug of hot water.  We usually put 4 healthy spoonfuls in a mug, then put water over it, stir, put in microwave for 1 min-1 1/2 min, stir again, add more water if after the foam dies down the mug isn't full.  Taste.  If it's watery add a little more Tang mix.  Enjoy.

I'm telling you this stuff is magic.  And if you don't like tea don't think you'll automatically hate this because it's alot more Tang than tea. Try it, you'll see. 

Have a great weekend!