wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: June 2013

I'm ok. The withdrawls aren't that bad. R-e-a-l-l-y.

So, not to mock AA or anything like that but don't they start out with something like, "my name is ___ and it's been ___ days since my last drink"?

Hello, my name is Alicia and it's been 2 weeks since my last "normal" TV experience.

That's right.  We let go of the satellite TV.  A few weeks ago I wrote about it.  We were in the planning stages of tossing it.  Now we've done it and, agghhhhh.  I have mixed feelings. 

It's such a habit to just turn on the boob tube and use it for background noise.  It's not like there is super great programming.  There were certain shows we'd watch and we'd watch the news.  But there was nothing on that was worth $80 a month. 

So why am I going through withdrawls?  It's a bit of work trying to make this whole thing work between the internet, Hulu and Netflix.  The searching and the downloading and the uploading and the updates and the....whatever else must be done to just watch a freakin show!

And Ryan has told me that he's going over to Grammy and Dpa's every Sunday once football season starts so he can watch the games.  What do they call those guys that come in and work when the others go on strike?  Scabs?  Ryan's a scab.  I don't blame him though.  That one is gonna be tough.

In the meantime, I've been watching shows that are ... interesting.  Really liked Sherlock Holmes (NOT the movie, but the British one with a man named Cumberbatch) series and an older show called SPY.  Another British one.  And mustn't forget Pramface from the UK.  It's like a "Secret Life of the American Teenager" but smarter and more true to life I think than the cheesy program.  Not that I've watched that show...ahem.  Ok, fine, I saw it twice.  There was something on called Blue with Julia Stiles.  I like her.  The show was very odd.  Odd enough that we watched about 20 minutes and turned it off.

Mostly though, my house is getting better organized.  My books are being read.  The boys have yet to pick up on this concept.  And as the end of summer gets closer I will be creating lesson plans for this next year. 

Overall, I know this is a good thing for us.  It's just very hard to break this habit.

He's eyeballing me...

Steve is off today.  I'm a lucky girl.  I really am but in this case I think my sarcasm isn't coming through. 

A few minutes ago I wrote a post about Ryan, "Beard Boy".  The kids I watch are sleeping so, even though he's sitting right across from me, he texts me.

"You never blog about me... Why?" 

"I do too."

"No you don't...And don't ever, ever throw your hands up like that at me again..like your some Italian mom or something".

My responding text had to do with his not properly using "you're".  And it included "piss off".


"If you really want me to, I will blog about you"

"Piss off?...really?"

"She said in the nicest voice ever.  Even batted her eyes"

"Ok fine.  I'm never talking to you again...not even if there is a fire."


So he's still sitting across from me.  Eyeballing me.  If the kids weren't sleeping I'd do a flying karate kick straight to his jugular.

Actually, not that long ago I said, "here, I'm going to jump to you, you catch me, ok?" 

I trusted him. 

I jumped, bounced and landed on the floor. 


Happy reading, Steve!  :0)

Beard Boy

The following conversation really, really happened today with Ryan.  Ryan is 17.  He has a beard and is very, very proud of that beard.

Ryan:  MOM!  Oh my God!!  Come here!

I go into the bathroom where he's standing in front of the mirror.

Ryan: Look...history!  First time ever.  I have food in my beard!!!

Me: Ewww, that's disgusting! 

Ryan:  No, this is aweso...oh wait.  It's just a feather.  Damn it!

Ryan loves his beard.  Loves the fact that his started in the 8th grade.  Is proud of the fact that he is one of the few high school seniors that can grow one. 

Ryan's beard is a topic of conversation.  Mostly with himself, but it's still a topic of conversation.


Up Yours, Yoshi

The two little boys I have here are 4 and 5 and they like video games.  They have a hard time playing them because they lack the coordination but they still want to play them all the time.  When they can't do something on any of the games they turn to me.  The adult.  The one that should know how to do stuff. 

But when it comes to video games, I don't.  No matter what character I play, be it Peach, Mario or Yoshi or what course I follow, in which cup race, like the Banana Cup, or the Flower Cup, I just can't manage.  My sense of direction is way off.  Hand-eye coordination, zilch.  I run my character into every wall, every creature, every guard rail and even drive in the wrong direction.  I am constantly driving into the ocean or any nearby pool or water.  I've learned the darker water equals death for the character. 

It's not just with Mario Kart.  It's with any video game.  Iron Man...forget it.  Poor Tony Stark walks around in circles when I'm at the controls.  The 4 year old figured out how to make him fly.  The 5 year old figured out how to make him shoot.  Between the 3 of us we should have it figured out by the end of summer. 

There has never been any hope for me when it comes to any kind of entertainment games.  When my boys were younger we had Rock Band.  I could not figure out the guitar to save my life.  And they give you the color coordinated song stuff ahead of time!  Zach took mercy on me so I could be included one time and had me hold one part of the guitar while he did the colored musical (important) parts.  Finally, he got fed up with my inability to do it right and made me quit.  He was very nice and patient for an 8 year old.

Video games don't suit me but neither does any other boy game at all.  I can't make proper vehicle sounds.  My sirens sound like Patrick Star from Spongebob -weewoo weewoo weewoo- and my guns sound puny.  Pew-pew-pew.  That's what I got. 

It's ok though, my inability to play like a boy doesn't seem to really matter in the bigger picture.  My boys quickly came to understand that I would never be able to play video games with them.  Or army guys.  Or cowboys and Indians. 

These little boys here now are quick learners.  It's only taken them a week to realize I can't do those things either!

We're coming unglued!

I mean unplugged.  Sort of.  In a round about way.  Ok, not really, mostly at all. 


We're cutting the cord to our satellite.  We tried once before in our small town but it failed miserably.  This time we are better prepared mentally.  And we have a back up thingy going on. 

I won't be able to watch broadcast television at all.  Up here on the hill we don't get any stations even with an antenna.  That's really gonna suck.  I do like watching some regular stations and the news.  Now I'll just get live streaming on my phone or through the Wii.  Gotta love Hulu Plus. 

I've also been introduced to something called Crackle.  My first impression is that it's not very good but it's been an eye opener in the whole crap reality TV business.  Did you know there was (don't think there still is?) a reality show featuring a XXX mom?  And it was called Mommy XXX.  This little 5 minute gem talked about her going in for her 11th boob job.  2 kids, a boy and a girl and a gorgeous house.  And her ex husband is also in the industry.  I'm not sure why I was surprised by this series, given my strong opinions on "reality" TV.  But it is one on a long list of many that I will be avoiding. 

So, cutting the cord won't be that hard, we can watch our shows on Hulu, Amazon Prime and the internet.  The hardest part, without a doubt, will be the upcoming football season.  We LIKE watching as many games as we can.  We'll see if we can't find a way to stream them, but so far I haven't found it. 

Who knows?  Maybe this will force us to read more!  (Said no one, ever.)

Homemade Ranch Dressing

I came across this recipe on Pinterest.  I think I said before that I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest.  I love how many wonderful ideas are on there, how you can share your own ideas, make public boards, private boards for your own secret wishes if you want...

I came across a recipe for homemade ranch dressing.  I can't say I'm the genius behind the recipe because I wouldn't have a clue on where to even begin creating something so wonderful.  Here's the one I swiped, but tweaked a little so I couldn't be busted for plagiarism:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk (Greek yogurt instead???)
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh dill weed, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk together all ingredients and store in an air-tight container.  Must be refrigerated.  Mason jars are perfect for this! 

Jalapeno Poppers

In our special dealio we got this weekend on the veggies, we got a ton of jalapenos.  We have made them before but choose large ones since they are not quite as hot.  Mostly.  The ones we got this time are small to medium.  Let's just call them exactly what they are. 


Steve and Zach cut the jalapeno's in half, removed the seeds and the vein.  It was Zach's first time helping and he regretted it once the inside of his nose was burning.  Once they were done I decided to try.  The first one had some heat.  The second one made me want to die.  If you care to try, here's the recipe:

Jalapeno's , cut in half length-wise, seeds removed
Cream cheese (you can even used the pineapple flavored stuff which makes it extra groovy)

Once jalapeno's are cut and seeded, spread cream cheese in the pepper and wrap with a slice of bacon.  If the peppers are small, cut the bacon in half before wrapping.  Bake for half an hour at 375 degrees. 

Have milk handy in case you need to relieve that burning sensation!

Lettuce...it's what's for dinner! (Grilled Romaine)

A few years ago I came across a recipe in a magazine from Guy Fieri, one of the many chefs on TV, for grilled romaine.  Sounds...not appealing, right?  It's deliciously awesome!!  And it's really easy.  My 3 guys here are meat and potato kind of guys so the thought of grilled lettuce was met with "just another one of moms crazy ideas".  But it's got bacon on it.  BACON.  Everything is groovy with bacon.  I don't usually measure when I cook so here is the basic recipe, adjusted to taste:

Romaine, washed, tops trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Cooked bacon, crispy
Balsamic vinegar
Feta cheese

Brush cut side of romaine with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill over medium high heat about 3 minutes each side.  Mix olive oil and balsamic with cooked bacon, heat over medium low heat (you can add bacon drippings too if you prefer).  Remove romaine from grill, drizzle dressing over lettuce and sprinkle with feta.  So YUMMY!

And because they like meat, we served it with grilled chicken marinated in zesty herb stuff.  If you try it or have your own recipe let me know what you think!

Our family birthdays are obnoxious!

There are 5 of us kids.  4 of us have kids of our own.  In total there are 6 grandkids.  The oldest, Ryan, is seventeen although no one in my family will claim they are old enough to have a 17 year old. 

Ok, fine.

He's mine. 

So we've had a lot of birthdays over the years and I don't remember when it started, the cha-cha-cha.  I even think I've written about the cha-cha-cha before.  But I don't remember that for sure either.  It sucks getting old.  Anyway...

In our family we always get together to have a family dinner and cake and celebrate the person having a birthday.  Pretty normal.  But when it comes to singing happy birthday we get all crazy.  We get...obnoxious.  We sing the traditional birthday song but add a huge CHA-CHA-CHA to it. And we're really LOUD.  And we drag it out.  A lot.  Today is nephew Mason's birthday. 

Happy birthday to you CHA-CHA-CHA
Happy birthday to you CHA-CHA-CHA
Happy birthday dear Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssssssssssssssssoooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
Haaaaappppyyy birthdaaaaaay toooooo yoooouuuuu.

See, obnoxious for good.  Not for evil.

If someone in my family didn't get the cha-cha-cha treatment for their birthday, they would probably feel let down and disappointed and possibly unloved. Ha, I kid.  Kind of.  And this is not exclusive to the kids, either. 

It's very hard to go to a "normal" birthday and not cha-cha-cha somebody.  It's a bit awkward when you accidentally do. 

Ahh, well.  There are more obnoxious things in life! :0)

Stretching Our Food Dollars

For about a year now my family and I have been participating in a food co-op.  It's been really reasonable and beneficial for us.  It's called Bountiful Baskets and they have many locations in about 22 states.  You "contribute" $15 dollars and get a generous amount of fruits and veggies.  Saturday I got melon, onion, blueberries, plums, pineapple and papaya in my basket, among other things.

Sometimes you get things you've never heard of before or at least never thought to purchase on your own.  Yesterday in my basket, I got Swiss chard.  It looks a bit like rhubarb.  I've never cooked with Swiss chard.  Or rhubarb.  I think my chances would be better with rhubarb.  But, I've googled some recipes and we will try it.  Steve, the husband unit, is a bit more picky than our two boys.  Maybe picky isn't the right word.  Snobbishly selective.  If he is unfamiliar with a food he will pick it up, look at it, sniff it, make a face.  I tell him he has to take 2 "no thank you" bites and then he can ditch it.  Most of the time it works and he's discovered that he doesn't mind certain things now.  Sometimes I sneak the unfamiliar item in with something familiar and no one even knows.  He's caught on to me though and has busted me on several occasions and now knows to just ask,  "...and what ELSE is in it?"  The boys, on the other hand, will eat just about anything and are willing to try new things.  Unless it looks absolutely disgusting, they will try it. 

Friday, my cousin Bonnie told me about a local, non-profit organization called Market on the Move.  It's a food "rescue" organization.  The produce is still fresh, still edible, still very, very good but markets pass it by because it might have an odd shape, the color isn't bright enough, etc.  So the organization "rescues" it and offers it up to the public, otherwise it would go to waste in a landfill somewhere.  For $10 you can get up to 60 pounds of produce.  Saturday I got tons of tomatoes, 20 orange bell peppers, a huge grocery bag full of jalapenos, fresh green beans, more melon and zucchini.  They also offered egg plant but I always mess it up when I cook it so I passed.  They had also run out of cucumbers and watermelon by the time I got there.  But, $10 for 60 POUNDS OF FOOD!!  I put together a few bags to share, which is the idea behind MOM.  Check it out:

Neither MOM nor Bountiful Baskets has endorsed this post and I have not received any compensation for this post.  I'm simply passing along some great information in hopes that people can benefit from them also.

Sum..sum...summer time!

So, it's not officially summer yet.  But it sure feels like it here.  Temps are over 100 degrees and we are out of school.  Summer in Arizona doesn't go by a calendar.  We have 2 whole months off, all of June and all of July.  Since I work for the school that means I get that break, too.  It's kind of nice.  I made a list, of course I made a list, of the things I hope to accomplish this summer, a "summer bucket list" of sorts.  Some are random, some are simple, some are rather dull and are more like chores and some are, hopefully, capable of recharging my very low batteries.  I will now bore you with some of the list.

I'd like to get into a workout routine, hitting the gym 3 days a week or doing the C25K (couch to 5K) and have it stick with me so that when school starts again I will be in the habit of just doing it.

I have a kiddo starting his senior year of high school in the fall.  I really need to work on his scrapbook, for which is just bought new paper!  Just don't tell Steve I bought more scrapbook paper.  He thinks I have enough.  I also need to make a shirt in support of his senior football year.  Oh the pressure!!

I want to do at least 2 more fun projects.  Just. For. Fun.

It's my goal to post to the blog at least 45 days this summer. 

Take more pictures.

I also want to be more informed about diabetes and organize my walking team and fundraising team and really get it going.

It's also a goal to get the boys out of town, even if it's just for day trips.  Ryan has football practice but should have a day off during the week.  We'll run up to Prescott or Sedona or some little town off the highway and just explore, get out of the heat. 

The rest of the things on my to-do list are the chore things like go through our closets and get all the stuff that doesn't fit and donate it, and clean out the cupboards.  BORING.  But, I've got time!

Starting in the fall we go non-stop with work and school and boys' activities and then the holidays.  And, I will be starting college classes again in the fall I think, so I will be even busier.  These next few months will be low key and relaxed.  I can only hope :)