Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bye, Bye Slippery Knob

Lil' has started throwing some pretty decent temper tantrums lately. No big deal - I can take it. Tantrums have never really bothered nor embarrassed me. Bring it. That's what I say. I usually just let the moment pass and then we go back to our lives. Tantrums were different with Big though because he wanted to throw them in front of me. Lil' has a much different approach.

When she gets mad, she crosses her arms and stomps off. It's crazy how loud a 2 1/2 year old can stomp. She pounds over to the base of the stairs and says, "Bye Bye Mom." Then she goes upstairs to her room and shuts her door and yells a little while. That's all fine and well and good. But in the end, she is getting the last say BECAUSE she has a slippery knob on the back of her door so she can't get out in the middle of the night. I'm scared she'll fall down the stairs. So that means that after every tantrum, I've got to go let her out of her room. Which becomes somewhat daunting and annoying cause she knows that in some small way, she won. I have to stop doing whatever I'm doing and acknowledge her issue.

Lil' is alot craftier than I give her credit for. She's not gonna fall down the stairs and she couldn't anyways because we keep a baby gate at the top. So today I'm taking the bull by the horns. I'm gonna stomp up to Lil's room and say, "Bye Bye slippery knob!"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thank You, I Enjoyed It

My friend Kim is the one that introduced me to the world of blogging. She's also introduced me to the subculture that is couponing and she was also the first to expose me to bookbag or diaper bag tags of which I'm a total sucker for.

Of all the things our friendship has taught me, perhaps one of the best and one of the things that I am most grateful for is teaching me how to teach my kids to say, "Thank you I enjoyed it." It was all her idea. Every night, she makes her kids take their plate to the sink and she makes them say, "Thank you I enjoyed it." This struck a major cord with me and ever since she told me about it, I've been making my kids do the same. You would be amazed at how a woman will swoon when Big says this to them.

Lil' says it too but it comes out more like, "Thank too, I joy it." She still says it though. It takes alot for me to let her carry her plate to the sink because inevitably it means that food and silverware will be dropped along the way. But sometimes, I chill out and let her do it.

Anywho, it means a great deal for a child or an adult to appreciate when they are fed. Even if they lie and say they enjoyed the broccoli and squash, its a good habit and one that I'm proud my kids have. I know they don't say it everytime, but I'd like to think they say it more often than not and after the rush of a day and the hurry of a supper, it's always nice to hear, "Thank you, I enjoyed it."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Baby Got Fatback

I've been asked to post something on field peas by my sista. This is a relative idea seeing how they are in season now and I just brought a bunch home from the farm. If you don't know what a field pea is, seek them. They are little morsels of deliciousness that carry a packful punch of comfort. They taste a little like a boiled peanut and if I've lost a few of you with that, let me offer another explanation. They could be tossed in with a family of butterbeans and bar b que and biscuits and get along perfectly.

Here are 2 things that you should know about field peas. 1 - you should have equal amounts of snaps and peas. For my northern friends, a snap is just that - when you snap the pea instead of shell it. 2- you need to always, always add fatback. Again for you northerners, fatback is the saltiest part of the pig and gives you mama jama flavor in your peas. When you add this, just a few slices, there is little more needed. Maybe just a little pepper.

Field peas are a southern delight. A must try for everyone. If you've gone down the grit and sweet tea road, please get off at the nearest field pea exit and remember: baby got fatback.

Monday, July 27, 2009

It Makes Me Laugh

I remember watching alot of Dallas episodes growing up. I can also vividly remember certain episodes of Days of Our Lives and Santa Barbara and even Another World. It was a 3 hour soap fest. My Dad loved Hee Haw. Anytime I see that old man with the banjo I smell a grill cause that's what Dad did when we watched Hee Haw. My brother and I lived for Friday nights when Miami Vice was on. He was always Tubs so I always got be Crocket. That was fine. I got to drive the Ferrari. Except for this one time when he wanted to be Crocket and I took his picture.

Anyways, what perplexes me is how this history of trash tv. has bred a love and I'm talking a deep love of food tv. I watch it all and I watch it all the time. Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, Cooking for Real, Giada at Home, Ace of Cakes, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Iron Chef. All of these are on one glorious channel - The Food Network. Lately I've been watching others though. Man vs. Food and Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on the The Travel Channel. I love Anthony Bourdain. His dry sense of humor. How drunk he gets and how he always trys to quit smoking but never can. Not that that is funny but I love that he's not a quitter. He can't quit smoking and he can't quit trying to quit smoking. There are lots of shots of him when he's just gorged himself to the brim on some crazy food and then he's swishing whiskey around in his mouth and blowing smoke out of his nose.

I don't really ever cook anything from a show I watch but for some reason, I just can't stop watching them. It's the strangest thing. Especially considering that my diet and menus consistenly consist of 4 main ingredients: cheese, bread, meat and butter.

I'd rather watch food shows over anything on tv and yes, I think that's weird but let it be known that this old housewife isn't a soap watcher. I'm obsessed with another little known pleasure. You might have loved Bo Brady and Cruz Castillo but I love Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri. With that said I still have to post this picture cause it makes me laugh.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mama Fishin'

So I as mentioned, we went on a Grandparent tour. We left last Monday and went to Long Beach to see Mabel and Clyde. On Wednesday, we left and drove over to Wagram to see Frances and the farm. I was delighted to see that all my Grandparents are doing well. My Grandparents were delighted to see us. The kids were great for the most part. I only threatened to pull over once and to give them up for adoption one other time but all in all, they were great.

We did alot of fishing last week. I taught Big to throw a cast net off of Mabel and Clyde's dock. I'm pretty sure that is the same place I learned to throw a cast net. He was not excited about holding the weight in his mouth but he did it anyways. If you don't know that you have to hold the weight in your mouth when throwing a cast net you need to. It will help you spread the circle but it also brings you luck. We caught a net load of fish and shrimp. And Big jumped for joy when he saw what Mama was dragging in. This was his first lesson in how good a fisherwoman I am. The lessons would continue.

We threw some bait in the trap and managed to bring in 3 crabs. I let Big handle this.

Lil participated by naming each critter that we brought in. She named this one Charlie.

Next we went to the farm. The farm is old. Real old. But its beautiful. There are chickens and horses and donkeys. Lots of donkeys. Kitties and dogs and ducks and geese. The pond is where I like to spend most of my time.

The kids like the "swimmin' hole" the best though. Big has come of age in farm terms because he went up the pipe to the spillway which is a big deal.

Lil' was happy just to sit on the side.

Pirate face comin' at you. Look out.

We did some fishin here too. Lil' caught her first fish on her Disney princess fishing pole. I'll man that girl up if it kills me. She named that one Bobby.

Me and Big, my cousin and my aunt caught 45 fish in about an hour and a half. They were just little ones but it was oh so fun and that's not a "Smith Story." It's true. And ole' Mama here caught the best of the day with a 4 pound catfish. Awesome. Another lesson in good Mama fishin' for my little Big.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So Good

I found this recipe years ago on and its really easy and delicious. My kids love it and so does Daddy. So do Nettie and Papa and I'm posting this at Nettie's request. It's called Lime Chicken Soft Tacos and it goes a little somethin' like this...

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cubed
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
10 (6 inch) flour tortillas
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup salsa

Saute chicken in a medium saucepan over medium high heat for about 20 minutes. Add vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, pepper, green onion, garlic and oregano. Simmer for an extra 10 minutes.

Heat an iron skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan, warm, and turn over to heat the other side. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve lime chicken mixture in warm tortillas topped with tomato, lettuce, cheese and salsa.

So good.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Weekend of Good Lessons

This past Saturday, we saw some old friends that we don't see often enough. We laughed with them about things we used to laugh about and new things that we think are funny. Some of these people Daddy and I hadn't seen in over a year. But it was as if we just saw them last weekend. Even though so much has changed for all of us, there is still something that binds us together and that is the love of an old friendship. Isn't it interesting how the most effortless relationships are the ones that are most enjoyed?

On Sunday, we joined the rest of America at our local Costco. We picked up our usual list of toilet paper, paper towels and trash bags. We grabbed 3 of those enormously long hot dogs and a slice of pizza for lunch. We sat and watched the people go by. As we were checking out I saw something that made my heart ache and stirred up a nasty gut feeling.

This lady who was well into her late 70's or early 80's was pushing not only her husband in a wheelchair but also her Costco mack truck grocery cart alone. I'm going to name them Earl and Sharon Parker. For those of you who know Edisto, you know why. Anywho, Sharon had apparently made it up and down all 42 Costco aisles, gotten her water and detergent, along with several and I mean several other things and then pulled up on an checkout aisle where the attendant helped her put her items on the thing-a-ma-giggie. She was checked out and trying to get Earl to hold the reciept when I saw her. She would hand him the reciept. He would drop it. She would pick it up and try again. He would drop it. Finally she gave up and then started pushing. I watched while Sharon pushed past 4 checkout lanes and the little desk where the blind manager stands. I'm assuming she was blind because she looked in their direction but apparently couldn't see poor Sharon's strife.

At this point, I had enough. I told Lil' that she was going to have to hold it when she asked to go the potty and we took off towards The Parker's. I looked at Daddy and Daddy looked at me. I pulled his eyes over toward them and he knew what I had to do. I walked up to Sharon and said, "M'am, can I help you? I'm walking out your way and I can help you." She said, "Oh well yes, if you are going that way. Thank you." Lil and I push Earl as Sharon pushes her cart. Big picks up the reciept that Earl drops again along the way. Daddy follows up behind us with our cart. We all went through the backdoor lady's check and then Sharon said to the backdoor lady, "May I leave my cart here while I go get him in the car? The lady says smuggly, "Yea, sure." Sharon thanks us again and walks away with Earl. I'm disgusted. What is wrong with you? Have you no heart? No compassion? Stupid backdoor Costco lady. Stupid Checkout people. Stupid shoppers too busy to help. Stupid. Shameful. Stupid. Sorry but it was gross.

I say to the backdoor lady with my 2 kids, husband and cart in tow, "You know what, I'll help her. She's got her hands full and this stuff is heavy." The bd lady says smuggly, "Ok." I follow the Parker's to their car where Sharon was trying to pick Earl out of his wheelchair. I tell Sharon to punch her trunk and I put her things in there for her. Can I please remind everyone its the end of July and its freakin hot and poor Sharon is old and she's doing all of this alone? Anyway, I'm telling this story for a couple of reasons. 1 - It disgusts me how people will turn a blind eye to someone in need. Where is the love? If you are able, you should help. And 2 - If someone ever saw my sweet Grandparents in need and didn't help them, it would kill me.

I'm going to check on my Grandparents this week because Earl and Sharon Parker reminded me that I should. I'm also going to remember how much I treasure and love my friends. Old and new. I'm also going to remember this... In this world, there are really a very few things that are actually important and you learn them in Kindergarten. Be a good friend. Be respectful. Love your neighbors and your family.

It was a weekend of good lessons.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We Were Victorious!

Big's birthday is coming up next month. It's going to be tough to beat the party we had last year when he turned 5 so I'm thinking about it early this year. Last year we had a FOOD FIGHT and it was awesome! I turned 32 last year and one of the things I realized was that I had never thrown food. Of any kind. Not when I was little. Not when I was a rebellious teen nor when I was a crazy college kid. So this was the year.

First things first. The food. I had chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding, ice cream, teeny tiny marshmallows, flour, corn meal, chocolate syrup, red, green and yellow jello and finally cool whip that I dyed with food coloring. I wanted to use only food that would dissolve into our grass or that the squirrels and birds could eat.

I split the food between 2 tables in our front yard and covered each kid with an adult sized parka that I got from the Dollar Store. I also gave each one a pair of goggles because safety never takes a vacation. Here is a picture of me (the only adult who participated by the way) giving out the rules.

The last picture of the clean little warriors.

Let the games begin!

After it was over, we hosed all the kids off and then let them jump in the pool for a final rinse off. To keep with the theme, we had a cake made in the shape of a cheeseburger which we ate and didn't throw. I made thank you notes with this picture.

It was a glorious mess. We threw food for about 30 minutes. Everyone had fun. There were no casualties and we were victorious.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ahhhhhh Dog Days....

Isn't that a great picture? This was yesterday at the beach. So sweet. So precious. So peeing in the water right there. Yep, that's right.

Here's another good summertime shot. Makes you want some too.

Ahhhhh dog days....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I PoooooPeeeed

At some point, you will want what you have already had. This will apply to a meal, a pair of jeans, a person, a food, a drink, a pet, a vision or your health. Something.

I try to keep this in mind. It helps to make me appreciate the moment even if its hard to. People, especially older people, always tell me to enjoy my children and to enjoy this time in my life because it will be gone before I know it. This is a difficult concept at times when he wants bubble gum just after ice cream and she's changed clothes for the 5th time in the same day and Daddy wants to play golf again. By the way, we're on outfit number 2 and it's 10 o'clock.

But I try. I try because one day, this house will be quiet. He will be working making a living for his own family and she will have children and a home of her own. Daddy will still be playing golf but I'll be remembering days like today. When there's a whirlwind of confusion and somebody screaming, "I PoooooPeeed."

Monday, July 13, 2009

We're Getting There

I wanted to post an update on Lil's swimming situation as we only have about 1 month left of summer.

Yesterday while she was in the pool with Daddy, she decided that it was time to give the goggles another try. We popped them on her and she yanked off her swimmies. She made big chipmunk cheeks and jumped off the step. And...She...Swam! The goggles are the trick. Once she decided it was cool to wear them, she was down with the whole swimming thing.

This is a baby step but we're getting there!

Friday, July 10, 2009

What I Did This Mornin'

I've got comp-ny coming in this weekend so I had to put my Nettie hat on and clean and change sheets and well, make a cake. I followed my girl's Strawberry Shortcake Recipe instructions and it came out like this. I think its gonna be crazy good.

The Pioneer Woman did a much better job but I think it will all taste the same.

That's what I did this mornin'.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

That's Why You Have Kids

After a very long and sad day yesterday learning about the fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning, I witnessed a beautiful reunion between my kids.

Big came home and the whole way back from Chapin, he talked about how he couldn't wait to see Lil'. When we got to Emmie's house, Lil' came bouncing around the couch and straight into her "bubba's" arms. She held him tight and he squeezed her back. They got in my car, each one strapped into their carseat, and then reached out and held hands. Lil' looked at Big and said, "You my best fend." Big said, "No, I'm your bubba. But I'll be your best friend too." I wish my rear-view mirror was a camera.

Folks, that's why you have kids.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stay 5 Forever

Big has been in Chapin for a while. He's recently started to play Cowboys and Indians alot. He's watching old Westerns on tv and is confused as to why they have no color. At first, it started with a spear that was made for him with a rock and a stick. Now it has gone a little further with a headdress made out of turkey feathers. He plays in the creek and runs through the woods and all you can hear is "Hey, ya, ya, ya - Hey, ya, ya, ya."

I want him to stay 5 forever.

Monday, July 6, 2009

You'll Thank Me Later

Here are 2 sandwiches that I don't ever want to forget how to make:

Brother's Special
Soft French Roll
Provolone Cheese
1 or 2 slices of Pepperoni
Boar's Head Sliced Turkey

No need to heat. Just put it all together for one handful of easy peesy.

The Fabulous Fauci
Boar's Head Roast Beef
Beef Broth
Provolone Cheese
Soft French Roll

Heat the roast beef in the beef broth with some pepperocini juice and 1 or 2 sliced open pepperocinis. Melt your cheese on your roll a little in the oven and then pile on the meat. Please, please, please add some of the juice from the pan to your little handful of deliciousness. Kind of like a french dip.

You'll thank me later...