Saturday, August 27, 2011

count down to the first day of school

Ok...I survived Sophie going to high school....barely!
she is so beautiful!  and still only 13!

Oh, I wish she was back in kindergarten!
But, what about our second year of kindergarten for Nash???  Almost didn't make it on Friday when I found out that they did NOT place Nash with the same teacher as last year.  I should have looked at the board like every other parent had to do.  Instead of ASSUMING that what was discussed in the end of the year meeting when I signed the paperwork to retain Nash in Kindergarten...was still the same.  And since I knew the beginning of school for the staff & teachers is more chaotic than it is for the students sometimes.

But, I am a Mom...and I cried because Nash was upset.  And didn't think with my head but....freaked with my heart.  But, in the end...after tears and much walking about to find the principal...it got taken care of.  Of course it did  :)

I freaked and worried for nothing.  But, that is what an overly reactive Mommy does.

So, we are in the class we BOTH wanted and can hardly wait for school to start!

So, Nash starts Kindergarten on Monday...again  :)
my boy loves his garbage cans!

He is so very ready for Kindergarten this year.  I wasn't sure last year if he was ready or not....and gave him a 50/50 shot.  Mainly...because I was ready for him to go to school.  And looking back...I am still glad I made that decision.  He needed 2 years of Kindergarten.

So, Monday....I send my boy off once again into the big world of education.  But, with a teacher & teacher's assistant that he loves and they love him right back.


And....his teacher moved into a new room.  She is now in the same classroom that Sophie was in for Kindergarten (Sophie's teacher retired last year).  With the house that I painted for her classroom 10 years ago.  It's worn and I offered to repaint it but we agreed it has weathered just fine.  She bought some new dolls for the house.  I am so thrilled to have this come around again.

Both my kids....one carved out the trail and the other one following in the foot steps...but, in his own way.

And what will I do with my free-time???? 

Well, I am going to school.  One class I am taking online -  I am learning the wonderful world of event & wedding planning and the other class I am taking at the local Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurship.  Yes, I have owned a business for the last 6 years.....but, now I need to really learn about business and do it right.  And now...I am a different person than the person I was when I opened it.  And I am looking at changes I can make to suit the person I am now.

So, all of us in school.

It's going to be an exciting year!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

learning, changing...growing

 I am hooking up with Mama Kat today and her writing prompts.





Today I choose writing a post that begins and ends with the same sentence.

Today...I am learning, changing....growing

But, I started a entrepreneurial class today at our chamber of commerce.  I have been really looking forward to this class as I need some answers and direction.  I love my business but, I think I have taken it as far as I can with the knowledge I have.  And after 5 years....I want to go in a different direction.

I am one of those people that falls into things.  Or....I am listening to my inner souls voice and following it.

I like that!

I am good....damned good at what I do.  I just need to refine it...and make it more accessible to the market I want to reach...not the market that keeps asking for me.

I am so good at the things that don't make me money........all of my volunteer work.

While sitting in class I was thinking...if I could just figure out how to take the stuff I love to do.  scrapbooking, teaching crafts, being co-president of the PTO, fundraising....schmoozing and socializing....I would be thrilled.  Of course I really want to pursue wedding planning and being a wedding officiant.  Maybe teaching classes on how to pull together a wedding and survive to actually get married.  Anyway...I am in a period of change.

I am not a fan of change...for my entire life.  But, now that I have left behind the reason why...change is kind of exciting.

School is exciting!

Sitting in a room full of adult that don't need a snack, or to hear about their itchy butt or the million other things I converse about with Nash.

What DOES my future hold????  Hum....looking forward to it.

Today...I am learning, changing....growing

Saturday, August 20, 2011

a light and airy list of randomness :)

  1. 9 days until Nash starts school!
  2. I am so damned excited!
  3. we are practicing making our lunch in the morning and eating it properly at lunch time.
  4. he flunked lunch last year
  5. the loudness and kids freaked him out
  6. so, we are practicing
  7. that boy!
  8. he is soooo very envious of our neighbors garbage can.
  9. he is a coveter
  10. yes, we have gone biblical!
  11. when we went on the garbage field trip...I had an employee explain why we cant have the smallest garbage can.  
  12. We have explained that our family is too big...we have to have the large one.
  13. Well, today my son started pointing and telling me that I had to go and to take Sophie.
  14. He wants a small garbage can
  15. OH, I KNEW I WAS GOING TO BE THE FIRST TO GO!
  16. So, I told him that no....I was not going, I was staying with Daddy.
  17. The great thing about all of this...is its teaching him math skills.  adding and subtracting.
  18. so, he tells me he is packing and moving across the street to Lynn's
  19. because he has the coveted garbage can.
  20. I tell him my rule!
  21. I own everything in this house....including you!
  22. If you leave my house...you must go naked because I own your clothing, toys...and the all might Harry blanket!
  23. And I remind him.....they do NOT have chicken nuggets.  They are adults and they don't eat kid food.
  24. Oh...he ponders this!
  25. Now....ne announces...I am taking Sophie.
  26. He says...she will take care of me.
  27. Oh...this is getting really good.
  28. I tell him to go get his sister.
  29. She comes...I announce.....undress.  say good bye to everything you have and march accross the street!
  30. So long!  See Ya!
  31. Nash is encouraging her...saying we don't need them...lets go.
  32. Sophie is quite confused...she is 13 and has been behind her door with an iPod in her ears.  She is clueless
  33. I get her up to speed.
  34.  Horror!
  35. She looks at Nash and says....you are on your own!  I am outta here!
  36. Nash now...tries to bond with Daddy, of whom he was just about to leave for the love of a garbage can
  37. Nope...Daddy is a little bent as well. 
  38. Nash changes tactics.
  39. Now.,....once again....I am the enemy!
  40. Nash tells Daddy...lets get outta here.  Lets go somewhere.
  41. Ahhhh....Nash has no clue!
  42. I announce......Daddy is grounded.  He did not wash my car.
  43. What are these people thinking???
  44. I jumped out of the cabbage truck yesterday???
  45. I rule this house.
  46. No one does anything unless I approve it.
  47. GAME OVER!
Mommy wins....once again!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

how to go on from here

Joining up with mama Kat today and posting this blog that I wrote 2 weeks ago. It was not my first panick attack...and will not be my last. But, I am survive them.


So, if you read my last post you know....I have a complicated mind.

I learned at a young age how to hide from my life while still being there.  I was a very good student.  But, you can't hide forever.

Over the past many years...I have learned that when life gets complicated for me...that's when my mind decides to reveal a past memory.

Why?

Hum...that's what I have been asking myself...why does my mind work like this?  Well...I don't know.

It has happened many times...you would think I would I figure this out....but I haven't yet.

When I was 19.  I lived in an apartment with a roommate and I don't know what triggered it but....I ended up in my closet, shaking, covered in blood (from my fingernails digging into myself)...my roommate found me.  That was when my mind let me see all of the molestations from my step-Dad.  This was when I was having Barry Manilow sing to me.  Damn shocker to find out what was reality going on at the time.  With the help of my friend and my Mom's best friend.  I told my Mom what had happened to me.

Major denial and blame.

I have had little reveals since then.  It's funny when they happen.  Either thru a dream or when the stars align like when Sophie went to high school.

Several years ago....hubby wanted to go to Las Vegas on vacation.  We booked it months in advance.  I tried...really I tried to go.  But, the closer it got to going...the more I knew I could not go.  Finally...2 weeks before went were to go....I told Hubby...I was not going...no way in HELL!  Hubby...I love him so....said cancel it.  We did!

But, a couple of years later.....while life was once again very complicated....I booked the trip.  I was going thru my Mom's breast cancer and had just helped my brother die from kidney cancer.  I faced a lot of stuff in Las Vegas.  I got proof of memories I had had...that I was told never happened.  I saw with my own eyes....places, homes, PROOF of things that happened.

I was in therapy at the time.  I did not have the blessing of my therapist....but, she had me prepared for the trip.  I photographed everything, every place.

And when I got home....I dealt with it.  But, it also aligned the stars in a way that is hard to understand.  But, it was the motivator to finally remove myself from my damaging family.  To finally believe what I knew to be true.  To finally take care of myself and not them.

It's been 2 years since I walked away from my family...this month.  I see them around town.  I am angry but....they have to live with themselves...I don't have to.

It's weird to not have family.  I have Hubby and my kids.  I have a ton of friends.  But, I have no one that knows me.  I have no proof of where I came.  I have no one that can verify....me.  I have had a hard time coming to terms with that.  But, with that comes freedom.  Freedom to be me.  Freedom to finally take care of me.  Not live a life for someone else.

There are times that I question my ability to parent and be a good parent.  There have been times that my Mom has come out of my mouth.  It's horrifying!  And to think...when I had a relationship with her...she always told me what a bad parent I was.  This I finally know is false.

I am not a perfect parent......but, who is?  But then...I don't have perfect children.  Who would want that?

I have many flaws but I know that I am a kind and caring person.  I always think of others before I think of myself.  I was always told that I had a black heart but I know now that that was only when I didn't do what she wanted.

Sad.

I always thought I was a horrible person.  I remember telling my Granny (who I adored!) that I must be the blacksheep of the family since I was always wrong, always fat, always stupid.  She told me I wasn't.  I was a pawn.

I never understood that.  Now I do.

I still say I am lucky.  I was told because of how I looked I would never find anyone to love me.  Men don't like fat, stupid women.  But, you know what...I am not.

I am a woman that deserves a little more room on this Earth.  I was told that a long time ago by a Dietician. I thought she was just calling me fat all over again.  But, she wasn't.  She explained that I never took enough room before...and now, I am making up for it.

And I have had 2 men love me more than many deserve to be loved.  David....was the first person that ever loved me.  He married me.  We had 2 children...Nicholas & Sophie.  He took Nicholas to Heaven and I got Sophie here.

And then I found Hubby man (you know who he is but he has asked to not go public).  But, he is my husband, we have a son and he loves me more anything in the world....even if he won't be my friend on Facebook.  LOL  I am WAY too open for him.

But, I have to be....and I understand a little...not a whole bunch but a little...that he has the right to that.  Because I have the right to fling my crap out in the world...because I never did before.

This reveal the other day was not bad.  It was NOT easy but, I think I did good with it.  I am tired.  I would like to punch my Mom....I would like to confront her but I know...it would fall on deaf ears.   I will probably never understand why she did what she did and chose to not see what she didn't want to see and deny everything that makes her look bad.

I guess if I did what she did...I would not want to admit it either.

There are no guilty people in prison  :)

I don't forgive her.  I pity her.  I am ashamed of her.  But, I still love her.

It's sad that children are kind of like dogs.  You can kick them, starve them, harm them and they will still come up and lick your face and love you.

Today....I am a very strong person.  I wish sometimes I could crawl in a hole and hide from it all but I can't.  I know it will find me wherever I go....so, I will stand up to it and face it directly.

I may falter and stumble....but, watch out.  I just get stronger!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

exploding boxes from MY high school years.

Today....my daughter went to Freshman Orientation.

I have been begging her not to go to high school.  I have cried and pleaded.  I have been looking at this with dread.....much dread.  I was so bad that the week before she graduated from 8th grade....I offered her $500 to not graduate and repeat 8th grade.

Most people laughed...I was serious.

Last night while we had Ian & Emily over for dinner...Sophie came out and asked if she could go to the yogurt shop after school with her friends.  I freaked out!  I was prepared for school...nothing else!

When I got up this morning...I was feeling like I did not want this day to happen...but, she was so cute and so nervous.  I had to be brave.  She has to go to high school  This is life.

I shut down my emotions....and let the morning happen.  I took great photos and wished her well.  Really...I was very proud of her.  This is a big step going from a K-8 school to HIGH SCHOOL!

All was well until I started watching the clock.  I knew school was out.  I was waiting for the text to say "pick me up".

Oh....did you know...I am a control freak???  Yes...yes I am.  I don't want to be but when you were raised in chaos like I was...with my Mom....you would be one too.  When I ended my relationship with my family...it was screamed at me that I am a controlling bitch from Hell.  OK...so now you know.

On with the story.....

I finally texted Sophie to see if it was time.  I had a break in activities at home and an hour downtown is I think enough time.  She texted back saying I could come and pick her up in front of the yo good shop.

Our town is small.  We don't have malls.  We have an antique downtown street with antique stores.  that's it.  As I entered downtown...I could see her several blocks ahead...in front of the shop.  When I got there...she was gone.  You can't really stop and park on the street...so I looked as best as I could while driving and could not see her.  I turn at the end of the block to go back around.  At that point I got a text. 

Thinking it was Sophie...I looked at it.  It was my daughter-in-law.  She had seen Sophie walking around downtown and comments how old she looked.  I wrote back saying I know and tried to text Sophie.  I was shaking and couldn't do anything.  OK...I have bluetooth in my car.  I speak and it comes, on I ask to call Sophie.  I get a message recording.  I start freaking out.  I try again to text...and can't.

Finally....Sophie calls back.  It comes thru my bluetooth and I hear not her but voices.  Well...it does not go well after that.  But, just to say...I did pick up Sophie.  She had a wonderful time....and loves high school.  But now....she has a crazy Mommy to deal with.

Why am I crazy???

OK...I had a bad childhood.  I learned to not be present when things happened.  And when I was....of course I always was...I learned to hide those memories in my mind so well that even I didn't know they were there.  Sometimes I have a slight hum thought....but usually......nothing. 

When I was being molested by my step-father as a child/teen, I had memories of sitting with Barry Manilow and he would sing to me and when it was done.....I would go to sleep and think of Barry  :)  Oh, as a teen...I ADORED BARRY MANILOW!

I still do but now I know what was happening to me when he was singing to me.  I was being raped by my step-father and he was doing horrible things to me.  So, the songs ...altho still loved....are NOT loved the same and sometimes are hard to listen to.

I know...this is going to be long...I am sorry but this is for me....not the reading public.

So, I went to school in Las Vegas, Nevada.  We didn't have schools like we do here in California. Elementary was K-5, then as a white student you were bused into North Las Vegas for 6th grade.  It was dangerous there.  Then 7th grade to 9th grade you were in Junior High.  And high school started in 9th grade. 

In Junior high I had been thru riots, had been raped when I was 10 and was being molested at home.  Mom was not there and when she was...was busy doing?????  I honestly now...don't care what she was doing.  Think something up.  If it was not taking care of her children and other things...yep...that was it.

In 9th grade, I went to high school.  I walked to school.  It was cool.  Then the marriage was on the rocks again and this time...step-father bought Mom a brand new home to stay with him.  But, the home would have to be built to their plans and our home sold.  So, we moved out of the school district.  I wanted to remain at Las Vegas High School.  This meant I would be driven to school in the morning and ride the bus in the afternoon.  Not the school bus...the city bus.

Have you been to Las Vegas?????  Its REALLY cleaned up now!  I went to school downtown.  Blocks from the 4 Queens, blocks from the local Mission for the homeless.  That was where I would wait for 1 1/2 hours to get a bus to get home.

I know today....I look like a gal who is put together, has it all under control....can handle anything.  As a child....I just wanted to be seen.  To have someone be nice to me.  To be loved. 

Isn't it amazing that children that need the most....have this invisible sign that only the freaks & perverts can read. 

My sign read......I am unloved.  If you pay the littlest amount of attention to me you can have anything you want.  At home I am told I am ugly & stupid.  If you can top that...I am yours.

Yep....I was highly prized by many on the cold streets of Las Vegas.  I was predictable.  I was a student who rode the bus.  I was always there and I wanted to feel....something resembling nice.  There were many there at the bus station.  Men...lots of men.

I was pretty.  I looked just like Sophie...but with blond hair and no self-esteem.

I would get talked to.  The groomers knew what to do with me.  They knew what to say to me to get my confidence.  It didn't take much I have to say.  And that my friends...is sad.

So, today...all that I hid in my mind of that time....came out.  All of the things that happened to me while waiting for the bus in downtown Las Vegas, all that happened to me on the bus and all of the things that happened to me after I got off the bus when someone offered to care for me.  I think I was pretty.  To think I was worth their time.

If you are reading this with a superiority about yourself and are planning to look down your nose at me after you read this.  Well...by all means feel free to do what you must.  I was a child.  This is not who I am now.  This is why I am now.  This is why...the family I was born with is no longer my family because no one should ever live thru this and pretend it never happened.  And a Mother of a child that survives this......knows and should never, ever pretend they don't know.  You can not look at your child and NOT know that they are hurting and turn your back.

So.....my box opened with picking up Sophie on the downtown streets of Sonora.  I am driving and the memories that have been hidden for many, many years are opening up.  They are fresh.  They are raw.  They are real.

So, what I see now...is I had lots of groomers that would pay attention to me.  They knew exactly what to do to get what they wanted.  I let them do things to me because with everything I knew...this was love.  And I was love starved.  They would do things in the back alley.  They would do things on the back of the bus.  They would offer to walk me home and do things then.

Hubby asked me earlier if I was coerced.  If I was physically forced to do anything.  No, I was not physically forced...I willingly did what they wanted.  I thought I was being loved.

Usually when it was done.  I felt dirty.  I felt guilty.  I knew something was not right.  I would go home and cry.  I would shower 4 to 5 times a day.  And I cried some more.  And then the next day...there I was.  At the bus station and it was happening again.

No one ever asked me why I cried.  I was just told to shut up and go to my room.  No one ever asked me if I was OK. 

As a Mother now.  I watch Sophie like a hawk.  If anything is wrong...I ask.  We talk about everything.

How can a Mother not care about their child?  How can a Mother see their child crying...constantly.  It's a big joke in my family that I cried for an entire year!  How come no one ever tried to figure out why I was crying.  Wasn't it odd that I showered all of the time???  How can you let a child....ride a bus in downtown Las Vegas????  How can you do that?  When I finally could not do this anymore....as a child...I didn't have many options so I had to come up with a way to get out of it.

This was 1976.  Gas wars everywhere!  I made up this elaborate story that the bus would no longer take me home but I had to ride the bus to my Mom's store on the Strip.  OK...this gave me less time at the bus stop...but the same people were there.  So, It still happened.  I just now could go to my Mom after it was done.

Why, when I walked into the casino and into her store...after having unwanted sex that was usually very rough and tearful...would a Mother never ask what was wrong?  How does that happen?  I was made fun of because I was a crier, a baby.  A wimp.

I told my Hubby this today...because it was now in my mouth and it had to come out.  And I know while I am telling him...that I now look like a teenage whore.  I have probably had sex with ....oh man...I don't want to know. 

And sadly...while this was happening....I don't have Barry Manilow singing to me.  I have emptiness.  There is no love.  There is no caring.  There is a pedophile getting what he wants and knowing that he can have it anytime he wants because I am fucked up and no one cares about me.

I never tell anyone until today.

I have talks with Sophie about the specialness of the first kiss and I never had one.  The specialness of the first time and I have NO CLUE even where I was or who I was with my first time.  And does that count as a first time??  I don't want to count it as a first time.  Why don't I get a first time and a first kiss that is special.

I care about and love Sophie so very much...I can't understand why no one ever cared about me.  Why didn't I matter to anyone.  Why didn't someone see that I was being passed around like a joint.  Why do I get to raise this amazing child...and not have a fucking clue as to what NORMAL IS??????????

I want her to have normal so badly! 

So, now I know that this "Sophie going to high school trauma" is not about Sophie.  It is about me.  I hate that.  I was raised with a Mom that everything in the world revolved around her.  I don't want that for Sophie.  I don't want to fuck her up.

Sophie is my silver lining.  She is the prize I won for survival.  I will live my life thru her.  And I will learn to back off.  And I have already called my therapist and suggested I resume sessions for a while.

With that said.....think what you want to of me.  I am a survivor.  And no matter what happens or comes my way...I face it.  I don't hide. 

I no longer keep secrets

Secrets are never a good thing...for anyone!

Some ask why.  Why do you lay open your life like this.  Aren't you embarrassed?  You want to pursue politics one day...maybe.  Why. 

Why?????  Because I know I have bags and bags of baggage.  I lived a really complicated life with out asking to be there.  NO child ever asks to be where they are.  Altho...I do believe that we get parents that will aid in our learning what we need to while we are here on Earth.


I have no fucking idea in the world what I am learning from my family.  

But, this is why you don't get a learners manual.  You get a life and people around you.  And you make the best of what you are given.  You don't get the answer to life until its over.  Then I have no clue what you get to do with it.

I believe that things happen for a reason.  In the last couple of years I have noticed that things ...like stars have aligned in such a way that boxes of memories have been opened and shown to me. 

They SUCK!

I have not gotten a memory of running thru a field singing, or anything so sweet as a best friend moment. 

Nope...I get memories of abuse, molestation, neglect and horrible parenting on my Moms behalf.

Guess we don't all get a rose garden.  But, I am one tough cookie and and this too will make me strong that I was before.

Tammy

Sunday, August 14, 2011

believe my Sophie...believe

I believe in Santa Claus.....I do!

And even tho Christmas is a hard day for me....Christmas is my favorite day of the year!  Anyone that knows me knows that my first son/child Nicholas James Eula was born and died on December 25, 1995.  It was the worst day of my life up to that point....yes, it got worse but this one.  But, you never forget a dead baby on Christmas day...never!

So, as you now....my daughter Sophie is a big, BIG girl now....she is starting high school in 2 days.  2 years ago she came to me and stated I know you are Santa.  Why have you lied to me my entire life?  She was crushed, crying...devastated!


Now, up to that point she would ask me about Santa because kids in school would tell her that Santa didn't exist...she got teased a lot because she believed.  And I would tell her...if you ever stop believing...Santa will never visit you again.  She took teasing.....terribly teasing from her best friends....and still believed.

Until.....one day she was looking thru my jewelry box for something.  And found the box of baby teeth.  She put 2 and 2 together and figured it all out.

I tried to be strong about her knowing.....but, I was crushed as well.  This means...she is growing up.  I still cry about this.

Now, at Christmas and Easter....she looks at me and says thank you.  The magic is gone.  It breaks my heart.

oh the year of High School Musical and Zach Efron

posing for the annual Christmas card
So, someone posted this letter on Facebook.  I read it and cried.  It really explains the magic, the love.....that we all need every day!  So, I took license to the letter and reworded it for my Sophie girl.

Dear Sophie…..
I found this letter online and wanted you to read it because I don’t think you truly understand who Santa is and why it’s important to believe in him, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and all of the other magical things in our lives.  I hate to think that you will always think I fooled you to make you look bad or feel bad.  I didn’t.  I believe in Santa….in the magic and mystery of Santa.  The joy and love that he and all of his magical friends bring when they visit to bring joy and love into our house.

So, am I Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?

The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her.
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won’t make you Santa, though.
yes, she actually got Starbuck's caramel
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
getting tickets to see Taylor Swift in concert
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

I hope you will still carry Santa in your heart and pass him on to my grandchildren.

I love you.....Mom

This was inspired by and kind of reworded by 
Martha Brockenbrough is a writer, teacher and a mom who lives in Seattle. Her recent writing projects include Things That Make Us [SIC] and It Could Happen To You: Diary Of A Pregnancy and Beyond. She is the founder of SPOGG, the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, and can be found at marthabee.com.

Friday, August 12, 2011

saving money & spending money

Here are my receipts from today.  Safeway...I spent $134.89 but saved $122.75...that is 48%!  CVS I had to use my calculator but I spent $25.90 and I saved $19.16!  VERY COOL!
OK...so, I started this whole extreme couponing thing and it really is working!  REALLY!

tons of cereal!  Sophie said to stop buying...and I can't I tell you!  It's either free or very cheap.
I already have a stock pile of things I got super duper cheap.
laundry detergent & softener
I will not having a problem doing laundry for a long time!

that is a ton of ketchup and olive oil and various other things
Now I am looking around and saying ok...where do I put this stuff??

soups, fruit bowls, peanut butter, mac & cheese and other packaged food.

can you see the 8 bags of gum??  and I just brought home 10 bags of Gold Fish...Nash's staple!
My cupboard are packed and last month I looked my my bills....I actually saved $300 last month in using coupons and I have way more food in my house than I ever have!

I really panicked when I lost my biggest client last month and was wondering what I was going to do.  Get a real job????  No way....I would lose everything else plus have to pay for childcare.

Of course...you do have to spend money to save money...but not as much as you would think and look what you get!

And now....my linen closet......

starting from the right - I have Glade oil candles, tampons, shaving cream, body wash, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste & air freshener (Sophie still has farts of death from the cooties! 

Here is everything for kindergarten class.....kleenex (! have more that I didn't take a picture of),  40 glue sticks, 3 hand sanitizers, 2 first aid packs, 4 boxes of markers, 10 boxes of crayons.  Plus various sharpies and ink pens & white out for home use.
Normally I spend at least $40 just to get the basics for my sons class....this year it's kindergarten again, so I know exactly what she needs.  And with coupons & careful sales match ups......I have everything I need for less than 1/3 the price!

I also did well clothing shopping for the kids.  Neither really needed a whole bunch but what they did was expensive.  Jeans!  So, I went to Kohl's where they carry the jeans my kids wear...Levi's.  I caught them on sale and got $60 on Kohl's cash back.  The jeans Sophie likes...they only had 2 pair so I used the Kohl's cash to buy the other pair online...for free!  Oh...I am impressed!

Yes, it's work.....but not really!  It's using the computer to find the sites that help you.  I really like Coupon Mom   She makes it easy to match up the sales, find the coupon or even print them!  I also like Coupon Divas  They have great match ups too and both have videos that show you how to do it.

I have only been doing this for 5 weeks....and I am hooked!  And so is my family.  In this economy....this is a BIG helper and money saver!

tammy

Monday, August 8, 2011

little boys and how to keep them busy

My son Nash is almost 6 years old....we are 1 month away.

I find it difficult to keep that boy occupied.  His sister was so easy!  She loved to draw, make things, read...she could play alone and entertain herself very easily!  That boy....not even close.

He does NOT like to play alone.  He likes to pretend to read but only if you are watching him.  He will play with the garbage cans, torture the dog and torture the pool when an eye is not closely on him.

Our yard is a playground....seriously!  We have a trampoline, a swing set...with a treehouse & slide built in, a soccer net, a T-ball stand with bases to run, a pool, wood and bricks to crawl on and many more things.  But...that boy needs a friend....and not me!

I am only a Mom.  I am boring to him.  I offer to play with him but I am #3 on his hit list.  #1 is Daddy and he is always at work.  #2 is his sister and she is almost 14 years old so not very interested in playing with him.

I will be so glad when school starts again and he can play with other kids.  We don't have kids in our neighborhood his age and the neighbors are tired of being stalked when they walk by or come home form their day.

I was looking forward to soccer season because then he would have things to occupy his thoughts.  But then I find out that his coach quit because his daughter was the only girl on the team and he didn't like it. 

Poor boy.  Now looking for alternatives. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

almost Saturday & dealing with garden foods

Just got home from a PTO meeting at the local Mexican restaurant....I did good with 2 margaritas...they were awesome!  The gals on our board are amazing!  This is our second meeting since elections and I think we are going to do great!

Brandi I love you....I am no longer the only big mouth on the board  :)

So, did my big weekly coupon shopping today instead of tomorrow......and will NOT do that again!  Taking the boy shopping when trying to save money with coupons does not work.  But, at least it's done.

And was also able to make a 2 loaves of zucchini bread....oh, they smell so good!  I even made them with half zucchini & half yellow squash.

Then the other day Hubby brought in these Italian peppers.  Last year I didn't know what to do with them...and again this I didn't.  So, I asked people on Facebook and was sent a site of recipes.  I do NOT can!  But, there was a recipe for refrigerated pickled pepperoncini's.

So, I got it put together today.
you needed water that was saturated with kosher salt.  and you literally add salt to the water until it can't take in anymore.  pretty interesting.

You clean the peppers and place a slice in them to bring in the brine

I added carrots, garlic, onions,  sugar peas and one jalapeno pepper

I added the salt water and apple cider vinegar brine
Now, this will sit in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks .  They will be stirred daily until they are ready.

This is my first experience with anything other than just freezing garden foods.  Hope they turn out good.  I have a great beef and pepper crock pot meal that this will be awesome for in the winter.

Last weekend I prepped eggplant for the freezer by blanching peeled and sliced eggplant in lemon water, then quickly cooled them in ice water, dried them out and froze them in layers of cling wrap to use later for eggplant Parmesan.

The Walla Walla onions are coming in quite fast this year.  Those I am just cleaning, chopping and freezing.  They are great during the year...just grab what you need and throw them in to whatever you are cooking.

I will do the same thing with the bell peppers when they are ready and the celery too.

So, Saturday!  It's almost here.  the great thing is....my kids only go to Daddy on weekends.  I am free!  Altho I am making 2 loaves of sour cream banana bread for the freezer...and maybe some more zucchini bread too.

I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

writing blog advice

Once again....hooking up with Mama Kat and her writing prompts.


What 10 pieces of advise I would give myself if I went back just when I am about to start my blog....or something close to that

OK...here goes

  1. You will become addicted to writing things down
  2. It is the best therapy you will ever have!
  3. Your family will think you are crazy when you refer to writing on "that topic" the other day on your blog.
  4. You will be your own fan!
  5. You got on the band wagon late with this blogging thing...but, it sure is fun!
  6. It's a great way to scrapbook your family memories.
  7. You can bitch and bitch about something and no one will tell you to stop...at least not yet  :)
  8. You have fans you don't even know!
  9. You will become addicted to looking at your stats and wish it would give you names & addresses of those people that are reading you and won't let you know.
  10. you will start thinking about vlogging....seriously!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Tammy

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    summer rambling

    • I hate humidity
    • how people in the Southern states deal with it....I applaud you!
    • Couponing is becoming an addiction!
    • I had to clean out my linen closet to empty a shelf to start storing items
    • Thanks Sophie for helping!
    • next...tackling the laundry room/storage room
    • our laundry room has a ton of shelves
    • that truly are wasted.
    • but....now, I need to get them organized and things tossed
    • to make room!
    • If Hubby had his way.....nothing would ever get stacked
    • He believes everything should stand by itself.
    • and...he saves everything!
    • even if its broken.
    • he also is addicted to kitchen appliances
    • he doesn't cook
    • so, organize!
    • he also has built an extra rod to hang his clothing....in this room
    • he does have more clothes than I do
    • he blames having to wear a uniform everyday
    • no comment here
    • except I think that is BS
    • OK...so, I do have the death box in the room.
    • I haven't gone thru it in a long time
    • its been years
    • and stuff from Sophie's childhood  :)
    • Oh...I better get it worked on before Sophie starts back to school 
    • in 14 days!
    • shopping yesterday was not bad....
    • not great either but not bad!
    • she ended up getting 2 pair of jeans and since they had no more in the brand she finally liked
    • I ordered another pair online
    • so, 3 pair
    • I love Kohls...bought the 3rd with Kohl's cash
    • it even covered the shipping!
    • YES!
    • bought some school supplies but am not really sure what she will need in high school.
    • we had a talk about high school again.
    • I am so lucky that she knows and is mature enough that most of my fear is not about her
    • its about me
    • high school was not a fun part of my life
    • I went to a different high school every year
    • and my Senior year...she moved me to an entire different state
    • step-dad used to sign me out of school
    • he worked up the street from this school.
    • they weren't even married at this time
    • He convinced Mom that I was such a mess that he needed to watch over me
    • he liked his afternoon delight
    • and there was nothing I could do
    • when I told the school
    • they didn't believe me
    • nope...high school was not a fun place
    • no where to hide and no one to trust
    • no protection at all
    • things will be different for Sophie
    • I may have to run around in circles to get to where everyone else is 
    • in knowing the basics
    • but, no one is faster figuring it all out than me  :)
    • high school.....
    • Sophie would so do better in a home school situation
    • she would be a Junior by now
    • educationally
    • but......I would never, ever let her go
    • we BOTH know that
    • so, Sophie gets to go to school
    • but we have come to an agreement about the first day
    • Freshman orientation  :)
    • I get to drive her to school!
    • I remember her telling me that I could follow her around all day
    • she claims that I am delusional
    • we will see  :)
    • I wonder if I could install spy cameras around the high school????
    • I would open them up to any parent.......
    • of girls
    • my cameras would have a dart gun attached
    • that would shoot darts at boys...that look at my daughter
    • they would NOT die
    • NEVER!
    • just have pain....and associate it that pain with looking or talking to my daughter
    • simple
    • ah....I love to dream.
    • I told Sophie if she would just let me on the campus for the one day.....
    • I would scare the crap outta every boy....
    • and if you know me......you know I can be damned scary!
    • Sophie just came in my room
    • she is scared about high school
    • me too
    • she is going to be fine
    • me too
    • because she knows......if she comes home and wants to never go back and wants to be home schooled by me
    • I will march her butt back to high school!
    • oh...the emotions that are sitting on my heart.
    • scary
    • happy
    • parenting is not for the weak!
    Thanks for stopping by.