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I have friends who have encouraged me to write a little.  When the urge strikes, it will wind up here.

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Oh, my heart!


I did something hard today.  I let my almost 18 year old daughter go on a 3 day trip. A trip that will take her some 4 hours away.  OK, it’s a school trip and there are chaperones.  She’s a member of her high school’s culinary team and I am so proud to be her mom!


Her brother has been taking trips with the marching band and indoor drum line groups since middle school.  And there have been some long ones, 16-18 hours! (Texas is a BIG place!)  But neither one of them have done anything like this!


I want them to have the courage to fly, to do things that challenge them.  I want them to be able to take trips like this and know that they can do it alone.  Without a parent there to take the lead.  I know that it’s important they learn these skills.  After all, isn’t that a big part of my job as a parent? To send my kids into the world knowing how to be an adult?


She was so excited last night.  Making sure the right clothes were packed.  That the new pants we had to buy for the awards assembly “worked with the blouse.” She made sure that she had everything ready to go; she had lists! She was packed and ready to go by 7:00 this morning; even though her ride wasn’t due for another hour.  She texted me when she left the house “We’ve left and are going to Starbucks.”  I’m glad she didn’t face time me, I was able to respond with a “Thanks!” A friend asked if she got off ok, and I responded to him with a “yes (sob).”


If letting her go for 3 days is this hard, what is it going to be like when she goes away to college in the fall?  I had been warned about so many little hurdles that I would have to deal with as my children grew.  But letting go?  I don’t think anyone ever mentioned how hard it was going to be seeing my chicks leave the nest.


I’ve been there for so many FIRST things.  First steps, first words, first day of school.  This first, this first trip away, I won’t, I can’t, be there.


How do you do this?  How do you let a piece of your heart, get in a car and leave?  For 3 days?  Almost 4 hours away? Would I feel different if she were, say, going to Grandmother’s house for a long weekend?  Most likely the answer would be “Yes.” Grandmother is, after all, family. There’s no family involved in this trip though.  There are two great teachers who are chaperoning, but they aren’t family.  Her teammates are friends, but that’s not family.  There are parts of this trip she will have to navigate on her own.  I have to trust that what she’s learned at home so far, what she’s seen in our lives, she is able to put into practice.  Without me looking over her shoulder.


She just texted again, “Thanks mom! We’re here and having so much fun!” I didn’t cry, I just asked for a picture.


Today, I took a big step in learning to let go.


Oh, my heart!


Boys are odd creatures.  Yes, they are. Don’t try to deny it.

Let me explain.


i took both my boys shopping today.  (Yes i know you know i detest shopping.  i had no choice in this.  Anyway, that’s a different blog post. ;))


Boys, make odd noises.  They were talking, and they would accent their conversation with these strange vocalizations. i can’t even begin to describe them. Is there a gene, or other chromosomal anomaly that enables the male vocal chords to do that?  i tried hard to just listen and not react.  It was fascinating.  Truly.


Boys, they smell.  They do.  i know for a fact that both these boys showered.  This morning.  But, they’d walk past me to see something on a shelf and there was a whiff of...something on the breeze. It wasn’t that it was unpleasant, but it wasn’t roses and lilacs either.  It was just “boy.”


Boys, show affection differently.  Now granted these are not boyfriends or lovers, they’re brothers, and that’s its own kind of relationship.  And these brothers are 6 ½ years apart in age.  The physicality of their affection startles me still.  Shoulder punches, high fives and fist bumps that resembled an MMA fight, shoving, headlocks.  At one point, i was concerned about the glass jars and bottles on the shelves at the store.  But these boys were aware of where they were and this tussling affection was measured and controlled.  And the name calling!  Oh good heavens!  If i didn’t know any better i would have thought they didn’t like each other.


Boys, though, still surprise their mom.  They found a movie they both wanted, neither had enough to get it.  They agreed to split the cost. In a most satisfying and adult way.  It was an affirmation that they do like each other.  Even if mom doesn’t understand them!


Yes, boys are odd.  It’s a good thing that they grow up.  Or do they?


in life, there are unintended consequences.

today was full of those for me.


getting ready to leave the house just before noon, i asked Phil if He'd like to go to the store with me, as i had to go to WalMart for this week's shopping, and i know He enjoys wandering around there. miracle of miracles, He said yes. He normally passes as the meandering, slow crowds try His patience.


unintended consequence number one, had to go to a pawn shop to look at a thing, some kind of tool. 

unintended consequence number two, He had His own agenda. a trip to Costco to take advantage of a new benefit from the city.  now, our town is too small for a Costco, so we had to go 15 miles up the highway to get there.  so, we got there, listened to the spiel, got the cards, looked around liked what we saw, and grabbed a bite at the snack bar.

unintended consequence three, we weren't done! ran back to Georgetown to pick up Number One from work, then back across town to the Costco to shop, then back to our town to get Number 2 and Daughter from the library.

unintended consequence number four, with the Christmas Stroll yesterday and today's adventures, none of the laundry got done. so while dinner is being cooked, laundry has been started.


on the positive side of this whole adventure, since Phil was there, and i was not in charge (as i usually am when shopping keeping in mind the given budget) i was able to conquer my anxiety regarding the crowds and the final total at the cash register.  i was talking to a friend who has anxiety in just shopping for two.  he said that shopping for 5 (my little army) would give him palpitations!  i admitted that oftentimes, i do get those. 


so, i made it.  i did very well, received a "Good Girl" for my efforts, and just now a thank you and a kiss.


i'm pooped, but i am a happy girl.






Many years ago, I was hit with a horrible bout of depression. During some of the sessions with my therapist, he talked about affirmations.  I keep some on my desk at work, I have several pages of them bookmarked on my laptop, and my husband will occasionally write one on the bathroom mirror.  Reading them, seeing them, is very helpful to me.

Well, last week was an absolute disaster at work, and some of that negativity carried over to my home life.  I’m still working on recovering.  In trying to get my head right for the upcoming week, I pulled together some of the quotes and affirmations I have stockpiled.  I’ve used them in my quiet time today; reading through them again and really HEARING the words.

Life is hard.  Work, home, relationships aren’t always made up of sunshine and rainbows. So, I’d like to share some of these affirmations and quotes with you.   If and when something goes wrong in your world, you might come here and find a quote  that is uplifting to you .  


Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”

– Richard Branson

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

– Winston Churchill

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”

– George Bernard Shaw

“Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.”

– Malcolm S. Forbes

“After every difficulty, ask yourself two questions: “What did I do right?” and “What would I do differently?”

– Brian Tracy

“Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”

– Leo Buscaglia


I hope your week is successful!


So I was talking to some friends about food the other day, and the subject of mac and cheese came up somehow.


Well I opened my mouth and said, “I have a good recipe for mac and cheese.”  So a few people wanted it. And then they said, you should put it on your blog. So, here it is.


It’s nothing fancy.  And it’s really not good for you.  But it is so good!  So good that people I work with like the leftovers!


I started with my mother’s recipe.  Adapted it with flavors we like.  Took out a little of the fat.

The big secret?  My kids think that it’s really hard to make.  It’s really not.  It’s all about the prep.  Once you get started with this, you really can’t stop.


We don’t bake it, there’s no time. See, I’m short, so I need a tall person to come help me drain the noodles.  When I call for help, it’s like ringing the dinner bell!  The kids drain the pasta, then line up like Pavlov’s dogs.


This is a basic recipe.  You can add to it, take away from it.  We add cubed ham and frozen peas.  I add the peas to the colander and drain the pasta over them to thaw them.  I toss the ham cubes into the cheese sauce.  It’d be great with some green chiles, or chopped bacon.


Please let me know if you try it.




½ onion finely diced

2 tablespoons margarine, or 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon bacon fat

2 tablespoons AP flour

2 cups milk

1 box low sodium chicken broth

½  pound box Velveeta, cubed, or in chunks about the same size

1 cup shredded cheddar, colby jack, or Mexican blend cheese

¼ to ½ cup parmesan


1-2 pounds macaroni elbows


This recipe is all about the prep, as once you get started, you really cannot stop.  So have all your stuff ready.


Start by filling a pot with water and putting it to boil, have the noodles ready, and once it boils, put the noodles in, adding some salt.


Heat a deep sauce pan, and melt your fat, saute your onions until fragrant and soft.

Sprinkle the flour over this, and whisk it well for 3 or 4 minutes.  This is your roux, you need to cook the flour a little but not make this dark at all.  


Now add the milk, slowly, whisking the whole time, making sure to break up any lumps of flour you find.  Once it starts to bubble it will thicken quickly. Switch to a spoon now.  Add some chicken broth, maybe a half cup at a time, you want this thick like a gravy, not like concrete.  Let it bubble and thicken for a few minutes.  You’ll need to stir almost constantly so it doesn’t stick and burn.


Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.


Now add the Velveeta a little at a time stirring to get it melted, once all that is in, add the cheddar the same way.  Then dump in the parm and stir until it’s all creamy.


Turn the heat way down, stirring regularly if the noodles aren’t done.


Drain the noodles and add to the cheese sauce.  If it’s too thick, add some chicken broth.


At this point it’s ready to eat, or you can bake it in a 350 degree oven with some buttered bread crumbs on top until golden brown.




I took a trip recently.  It was not an easy decision to do that but I did it any way.

This came out of that trip




I recently went to see family


People who birthed me

Raised me

Taught me


With whom I share genetics

Parents siblings


People who made me feel

Less than

So Wrong


From whom I distanced myself

To save myself


I recently went to see family


People who haven’t changed

Raised me

Taught me


With whom I share genetics

Parents siblings


People who still make me feel

Less than

So Wrong


From whom I distanced myself

To save myself


I am saved


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