Friday, March 28, 2008

Since We're on the Subject of Confessions.

Today - and yesterday too I had a play date. Yes, *I* had a playdate with my friend Rachael. We ran errands, had lunch, chit chatted and then played board games.

It was good to go and play. However, the "what did you do today" questions - not so much of an answer. So I had to run home. Throw dinner together and then corral the kids into helping with the chores.

The downside- well I have clothes in the washer that will need to be dried before morning. Here I sit. waiting for the washer to buzz and for the dryer to finish spinning.

Analyzing Lent

Happy Easter!

Lent is now OVER OVER with all capital letters O-V-E-R!!!!!!

As a family - well yeah we flunked. We made it three weeks before we gave up giving up TV.

So if we were the grading kind of people which I am - we got 50%. we all know 50% is a big fat F - grade wise.

Visions of family bonding over board games - well yeah those were hallucinations.

After about 25 games of cars Uno with an 8 year old and a four year old who is just learning to read and write - well yeah - I am not that patient.

We did miss all the Obamamessiah and Her Thighness commercials. That was a blessing.

so we try try try again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Trails

This Spring Break, we had planned on heading south to San Antonio. Gas went up and my mom had to work so we decided to do Spring Break here. Even though we’ve lived in the local area for seven years, we hadn’t done a lot of touristy things. We decided to visit the Ft. Worth stockyards. The Ft. Worth Stockyards was a main cattle holding area in the 1800’s – before the days of the train. Cowboys would drive their herds to Ft. Worth for distribution throughout the country. After the advent of the railroad – Ft. Worth was still a big town in the cattle industry. The Stockyards are now a tourist destination and night spot. Ft Worth is still known as Cow Town.

Every day – rain or shine, the cowboys simulate a cattle drive through the middle of the stockyards twice a day.


Here are the boys waiting for the “cattle drive” to start Instead of “Cheese” Charles had them all say “Beef”

Waiting for the drive to start

Here’s the start of the cattle drive.

Start of the Cattle Drive

There were cowboys!

the cowboy in the front

This man is the drive boss. He leads the drive

Riding Tall in the Saddle

This guy was the leader of the pack. Later on we learned that the leader usually wore a cowbells. Stragglers could hear the bell and follow along.

The Leader of the Pack

As the “drive” progressed we didn’t hear a lot of mooing. In fact, most of them were not real happy to be walking down the street while people gawked and took pictures. I think some of them were teenaged cows. I swear I even heard one of them sigh. All in all they had a BTDT air about them.

Moovin along

The Middle of the Pack

Brown Cow and White Cow

This man is called the drag. Charles and Tommy thinks that the side riders were called drags because they dragged slow cattle.

Get along little doggies

These guys appear to be sulking. I guess I would too if all I had to do was walk along the road twice a day

head of cattle

This is the end of the drive

end of the drive

We ate lunch at Risky's BBQ. The ribs were YUMMY and the beans and fixins were DIVINE. On the wall they had neon signs and Texas memorabilia. One of the signs was for Lone Star Beer. Lone Star Beer and it's neighbor - Pearl - are a college studen't dream - cheap - and well yeah cheap. Both are really bad beers.

Lone star was founded the Adolphus Busch. in the 1880's and made san Antonio a leader in brewing. Today Lone star is owned by Pabst ands brewed in Ft Worth.

Lone Star Beer - Texan for BAD Beer

The Stockyards have a lot of replica stores – little specialty shops and an old timey General store that sells Texas things. They had rocks. Because we don’t have enough rocks, the kids thought we needed some

Box of Rocks

they also had spice rubs

Spice Rubs

and salsa

Jars of Salsa

They also sold Dublin Dr. Pepper – Dr. Pepper made with pure cane sugar not corn syrp and blue bell ice cream – can’t get much more Texas than that. Seriously, Dublin Dr. Pepper made the ORIGIONAL way is a taste treat.

This “Indian” guy cracked me up. You could take his picture for tips. He wasn’t a real Indian and didn’t know anything about the stuff he was displaying – a bad combination for a smart aleck 7th grader who delighted in pointing out inaccuracies in the man’s costumes. Joey want to get on the horse so I gave the guy a couple of bucks (Eric almost belted him when the guy made a comment about the $5 tip we gave him because we had an expensive camera) - any ay I took the picture of Joey on the horse and when I uploaded it died laughing at the “stoic Indian warrior” pose the guy gave. I call thise one “Cheesy Like Velveeta”

Cheesy Like Velveeta

Friday, March 14, 2008

Beefy Bison Chili


Because it was so cold, last week I had to make chili – kind of a thermodynamics thing – create heat from the inside out - so here is my sort of recipe for Beef and Bison Chili. I have a new “thing” for bison meat. I buy mine at Central Market. It’s similar in tatse and cost to beef but lower in fat. It does not make great meat loaf because it is so lean – unless you add some oil.

Beefy Bison Chili in a Bowl

Take various spices ( use cumin, oregeno chili powders – this time San Antonio, New Mexico and Chipotle – chipotle adds some smokiness) and some other things.

Medley of Spices

Chop up an onion – or two

Chopped onions

and some garlic


Heat this in some olive oil Then add the bison and ground beef once the garlic gets fragrant. Add half of your chili seasoning.

Once the meat is bround and crumbled add water, the rest of the seasoning and some chopped tomatoes – I add fresh jalepenoes here as well when I use em because I don’t like icky black char on my peppers. I also usede yellow tomatoes this time because I thought they were prettier than the red ones at Kroger.

Yellow Tomatoes

THEN add some canned tomatoes in green chilis. Let the whole thing simmer until it’s done – I go about two hours at least. We like our chili with fritos and cheese.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Is it THAt time already?

Joey was watching his kid shows this morning. As I looked up from scrubbing the kitchen counter I noticed that PBS si having another pledge break.

I mean really? Do they need to do this every three months? Just how much does it cost to air the same six episodes of cailou? I have seen these episodes since Tommy was 2.

I donated in November but they manage to make me feel guilty now -especially when the indian woman with the high class British accent says "inculcates" Any one who uses that kind of word to get money from people watching kid TV makes me want to run for my wallet and grab my VISA.

Then I remember I still hadn't gotten my mystery box for my "last donation of $50 or more"

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Snow Play

I find it funny – that even though we rarely get measurable snow, the kids know exactly what to do when we do

Joey Makes a Snowball

You notice he and his brothers are not wearing gloves. I apparently have no clue when I told them that they needed them to play in the snow because it was colder than a well diggers behind.

Scrunch it up

While he’s looking for a target – he didn’t know his big brother had a snow ball aimed at his head

Snow Ball Joe

Seconds later he got hit in the head by his oldest brother.

Target acquired

Tossing a Snowball

Poor Daddy.

Charles took the more is better additude when it came to making snowballs (Joey liked his round and Tommy liked his packed and hard)

Chunking Snow

Socks as mittens? Why not – Tommy grew enough since last wintere that his old gloves wouldn’t fit so he pulled some garden socks out of the garage and put them on

Tommy Scoops it Up

Bunch It Up

Tommy was the only one brave wnough to lay in the snow and make a snow angel

Snow Angel

snow angel again

and in grey

What would winter be without an epic Snowball fight (notice everyone has finally relized mom is right and they did need gloves in the snow – but Joey took of his hat because it was making his head hot)

Snowball Fight

Please Send Back Global warming

Winter Storm

On March6, a late winter storm blew through North Texas. Light snow started falling around 11 AM. It stopped just leaving a light dusting of snow over the ground.
First Bit of Snow

That was followed by sleet and freezing rain then more snow then more sleet. Around 1 PM the snow started really sticking

Early View

Here it is on the sidewalk

Snow and Ice Mix

The snow started falling harder

falling snow

Normally, we can see the town water tower clearly from our back door. The snow was coming down so hard we could barely make it out.

The Town Tower

We got about 5 inches total.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Yummy Late Winter Dinner

Roasted Lemon Chicken with Green Beans and Potatoes

You need:
Chicken (I used natural free range legs)
Green beans
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

I added
Italian Seasoning.

Cut up two or three lemons - because it couldn’t be lemon chicken with out them.


Layer them in the bottom of your baking dish. Drizzle the Lemons with olive oil. Here at my house I am lucky to have a talented sous chef who takes care of the laying in a pan

Lemons in a Pan

While you have the EVOO out – pour some in a bowl and add the juice of a lemon – at this point my sous chef is done rearranging the lemons in the dish so I let him whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together – we also added sea salt and some cracked pepper and smashed up garlic

Trim the icky edges of the green beans. At this point all of the children and the cat were in the kitchen.

The Green Green Beans of Home

The children needed to sample the green beans – because you know I’ve never fed them a green vegetable – at least today any way.

Green Bean Thief

Charles in particular found that dipping the green beans in the olive oil and lemon juice was tasty.

(The cat for the record, decided green beans were not his particular favorite and once he realized I wouldn’t be dropping the chicken, he stalked off to the living room where he napped – to rest up for his dinner time nap.)

Okay now we have de-ended green beans. Toss those in your bowl of EVOO and stuff. Then dice your potatoes.

Cut Potatoes

Add those to the bowl on top of the green benas – you’ll notice onions – yes we sliced and diced those too but they made me cry so I didn’t take their picture. Toss all the stuff together in the bowl and get a nice lemony oily coating on everything.

Mixed Up in A Bowl

Toss it in the pan on top of the lemons.

If you use bone in chicken place this on top of the veggies and bake at 350 ° F for an hour. If you are using boneless skinless bake the potatoes and stuff for 30 minutes THEN add your boneless, skinless chicken.

This recipe came from

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


It snowed Monday and now more snow today.