Monday, February 25, 2013

Change your view, change your mood?

I spent the last couple of evenings going back and reading my old posts.  Geez I'm a whiney, grumpy bitch, or at least appear so on the blog.

Realizing this I am going to make a concerted effort to write a post every now and then that doesn't focus on my frustration with Mom and my lack of being able to really do anything about it. 

With that in mind it's really hard to come up with a topic because of course the frustration of dealing with Mom is usually foremost in my mind.

So with random things in mind, here's also minor things that are going on behind all the big drama.

Hubby came home with a new Ipad from his last school adventure a week or two ago.  I've spent time hunting freebie aps to put on it for the kids, mostly learning games.  The problem is that's one more screen I have to battle them about.  It has worked well for drilling Sonny Boy's spelling words as both of us hate that chore and I can load the words on there and he'll do drills with them.  Last week he didn't miss one word on the test and while he usually does pretty well, he generally misses at least one.  The app I like best is Magic Piano.  It's a silly app that straddles the line well between being hard and simple.  I play it way too much.  I understand the aps are money making ventures but I do wish there were more quality aps for free.  I did sprint $2 for a math app for Sonny Boy.  Do you have good aps for Ipad?  Preferably ones that have some learning thing to them?

Reviewing the old blog posts made me laugh, when school started I had big plans to clean out closets, organize and do all the stuff that's hard to do with the kids underfoot.  Ha, haven't done a one.  If I've done anything in the last month it's been hibernate.  I sleep during the day - a lot.  I get up, get the kids fed and off to school (some days that takes a lot out of me) and I crawl back into bed and sleep until I have to get up for some appointment or another.  I don't know if it's the weather, my habit of staying up way too late, the drugs I take for the TMJ or what but I don't have energy to do anything beyond the bare minimum.  I suppose a good amount of depression is in there as well.  Hubby is the same way, any chance either of us can find to sneak off and crawl in bed for an hour or two is taken.

Well I must cut this short.  Sonny Boy just reported to me that a kid at school is calling him "gay".  Where do they get this stuff?  He's only in 3rd grade.  With that discussion I had to explain what "gay" in that context meant.  Lovely, now I'm off to try and word an email to his teacher that doesn't make me sound like a crazy person but takes care of the problem.  Home school is sounding better and better

Friday, February 22, 2013


I hereby officially copyright my blog.  Why?  Well I figure it's good fodder for a dramady plot line and I don't want some Hollywood big wig to stumble over it and make a zillion dollars without cutting me in.  After all, it is my crazy life which keeps getting crazier.

You'll never believe the latest episode..

Yesterday I discovered that Mom has not been taking her anti-depressants correctly in God knows how long.  I figured this out as she was trying to get refills and I knew she was supposed to take two of one of the pills and she had only been taking one.  I called the doctor got the Rx's straightened out so hopefully we will see some sort improvement there.  Like I explained to the pharmacist and the doctor's nurse "she follows what's written on the bottle, the directions must be written on the bottle".  The mix up came when she had just filled a Rx and then the shrink changed dosages on her and told her to double one since she had just had it filled and with no insurance you use what you have.

The other thrilling moment came when Mom left to go the pharmacy to pick up the Rx she slipped on a patch of ice in the driveway.  She got up, embarrassed and got into her car and drove the 6 blocks or so to Walgreens.  When she got to Walgreens she felt something on her neck, put her hand up there and it came away covered in blood.  Mom drove home and came in with blood all down her neck, shirt, a wad of napkins.  A mess.  I stuck her head in the kitchen sink to rinse some of the blood away because past experience tells me head wounds bleed a lot even if they are very minor.  We got down to the gash, found a huge goose egg and a very open wound that definitely needed some stitches.  I stuck dinner in the oven, I had just finished preparing, set the timer and told Hubby to feed it to the kids and himself.  Loaded Mom into the van and off to the ER.  We get to the ER and it's stuffed, so we wait, and wait, and wait.  Then Mom moved around and much to the waiting room's horror it was discovered she'd been dripping blood down her arm onto the floor.  I told the girl working the desk who brought me some gauze which mom quickly soaked through as I held it to the head wound.  Finally they found her a place to land in the ER hallway and a nurse came by and wrapped up her head like a war wound battle dressing, just as two ambulances pulled in with two women who had been in a car accident, one of them not a very good English speaker.  In between the vehicle accident women the doctor stopped by and ordered a CT scan and Mom was whisked away for a CT scan. 

When she returned from the CT scan she was put in a room and nice nurse cleaned at the wound and stapled her up.  15 staples in her head later and she was still oozing blood pretty good.  The doctor then ordered some sort of blood clotting bandage gauze stuff put on it and wrapped up her head and ordered us to leave it on 24 hours.  Yuck, her hair was FULL of blood and there would be no real washing it that night.  We finally get home at 9:00 pm, I put Mom in the tub and wash the hair that was hanging out of the dressing and her neck, ears and the like.  We eat and all climb into bed.

This morning I awoke with a migraine, stumbling out of bed just long enough to find my miracle drugs.  I finally crawled out at 1:00 pm.  Thankfully Hubby was working from home and got the kids off to school.  Mom's dressing had come off in the night, and the wound had bled some on her pillow but not too bad and seemed to have clotted up.  I put her in the bathtub and with the hand held shower I worked at her hair rinsing blood and blood clots out and shampooing around the wound for a good long while.  What a nasty mess.  After I gave up I combed it out and there was still tons of gunk in her hair but it will have to wait as I don't think the wound needs to get wet again for a day or two.  Her hair is reasonably clean, but not good.

This weekend is supposed to be blessedly quite.  No wrestling tournaments, no projects planned, nothing on the agenda. 

Wrestling tournaments are our weekends lately.  Last weekend Sonny Boy placed third in some pretty stiff competition and was only one point from placing second.  Next weekend is another tournament that will likely be pretty tough.  The weekend after that is regional which will likely be the end of wrestling season unless Sonny Boy pulls something out his hat and makes it to state which we figure is pretty unlikely.

Well, that's my crazy life lately.  Like I said, fodder for some dramady on TV.  I really don't make this up, it's too wild for my imagination.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

German Burgers

In my hometown school district there were certain favorites made in the cafeteria, of course there was the inevitable "mystery meat" dishes but there were some that still haunt alumni of the school district.  We had REAL cooks in our cafeterias, not the heat some stuff up that I think is fed to my kids for lunch.  Our lunch ladies knew soul food and got the best out of the commodities and mediocre ingredients they were given.  The days that certain meals were on the menu it was a given that even those of us who rarely ate in the cafeteria (an option granted when we got to the high school campus in 7th grade) would show up for lunch.  Not many people can say they crave foods that were made in their grade school / high school cafeteria but there are some from a small town in the Arkansas Delta that do.

German Burgers are the one that we all seem to miss and for some reason I seem to be the only one who holds the recipe for this.  Word seems to have gotten out that I have the recipe - I do, it was published in a community cookbook sometime around 1990 and I get request for it now and again.  I will copy it here so I can simply give a link to it.  So if I've given you the link there is a chance I know you in real life, if I do, please pretend you don't know my real name.  Please understand that the blog has become more than just a communication device, it's my place to dump the things that are driving me crazy, the place where I scream to the world (my robust following of about 6) and get things off of my chest when I can no longer keep the craziness in my head.  Yes, probably a diary in my bedside table would be more appropriate than a public blog, but this started as a way to keep folks up to date on the drama of Igor's adoption and has continued as a cathartic hobby.

Without further ado GERMAN BURGERS:
maybe some day I'll make them and take artsy fartsy photographs like a food blog, but I know a former drum major who is waiting on the recipe.

2 lb ground beef
2 c grated cabbage
2 grated onions
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 cup ketchup
salt & pepper to taste
yeast dough

brown meat; drain and season.  Saute onions in small amount of fat; add cabbage and continue cooking and turning until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain.  Combine meat, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and ketchup.  Add cabbage and onions.  Cool.  Roll yeast dough to about 4 inch square.  Put 1/4 cup meat mixture in center of square.  Bring up edges of dough; seal to form bun.  Place in greased baking pan; lightly spread butter on each bun.  Let rise 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 about 30 minutes.

My notes on the recipe:
I usually make the dough in the bread machine, though you can probably use frozen bread dough.
If you have a food processor use it for all that shredding.
Seal the buns tightly and put them seam down or else they will split open when rising and baking.
This always seems sweeter than what I remember in high school, I think it's the use of real ketchup and not the homemade stuff that was used in the cafeteria. 
I suppose it's "german" burgers because there is cabbage in it.
This makes a fair amount, and I would say will feed 5 or 6 people easily - possibly more it's been a while since I made it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

I Get It

You know the old story where a Mom runs to the store to buy a gallon of milk and three months later they find her in California waiting tables at a Denny's?  Mom will say something to the effect of I just couldn't take it anymore and people who have never been there, or who have never had kids, or parents, or crazy jobs will shake their heads and wonder "How could she leave her kids?"

I get it.  I'm this far - from going to the store for milk and not coming home for a few days.

Last week was a little wild, luckily some things from the crazy schedule got dropped, which relieved some of the stress.  Other news trickled in that dug the depression / anxiety  hole even deeper.

Mom heard from Social Security and she was denied benefits.  This despite the fact that two different shrinks concluded she is unable to effectively hold a job.  Today we went to the attorney's office to sign papers for an appeal.   The attorney was optimistic she will eventually get benefits but we may be looking at another 8 months or so, especially if the appeal fails which is statistically likely.  The attorney gave me a rather large questionnaire to fill out on mom's abilities and I am going to have her former boss write a letter that states he could see her work abilities failing.  I doubt it will hurt anything, but I wish we'd done it in the first place.  Today marked her one year anniversary of living with us.  Yay, about 6 months too long.  If I had a sibling it would be his/her turn to take care of Mom for a while.  As it is I'm considering contacting her brother and buying her a plane ticket for a nice long visit.

Last Friday was the Blue & Gold banquet for the Cub Scouts.  I made a giant cake.

This was not my best work, in fact I was all for scraping the icing off and starting over if I'd had time.  Alas I did not. and took it to the banquet.  It was very well received with many pictures snapped but I can't say I was proud to have my name associated with it.  Associated with it though it was, I got a phone call on Monday morning from a local higher end grocery store asking me to come in for an interview as cake decorator.  Now, I had applied to this store in September of '10 and never gotten so much as thank you for your application, and a few weeks later saw a write up in the local paper that the store had hired some girl with pastry chef experience. I can't compete with that and never gave it another thought.  The day before the banquet I noticed the store was looking for a cake decorator and with life so nuts I'm not about to go looking for more trouble and just breezed over the ad.  I don't know if somebody from the store was at the banquet, or if they were mining their old files and found my name or what but I was called up.  I went to the interview on Monday afternoon and go back for a second "try-out" interview to test my skill this coming Monday.  If I manage to land the job it will be part time, and might be a God send for my sanity.  In the meantime I've been practicing my buttercream piping skills and plan to bake a cake and time myself decorating it grocery store style.  I figure if I can put a decent cake out in 20-30 minutes time I might land the job.  I do worry about smoothing the buttercream as that is an art that drives me to distraction.

Beyond that, Hubby and I spent Valentine's day alternately getting along nicely or at each other's throats concerning taking a vacation.  The vacation I so much wanted to plan for RIGHT NOW he proclaims must wait on the kids to be out of school for spring break since they have missed so much school this year.  (Sonny Boy missed most of last week with bronchitis)  Now it seems it won't happen on spring break either as the only place we have to plant the kid's is at his sister's or mother's and they are either out of town or overwhelmed with sports tournaments.  Now my vacation I wanted to take RIGHT NOW is held off until at least June, which gives it whole new set of requirements because I'm not going to go south and broil on some beach like a grilled lobster.  Mom doesn't get why we just don't leave the kids with her, but the fact she couldn't remember what time the attorney's appointment was, gets items on the calendar mixed up constantly, and gave a baby aspirin to Sonny Boy the other day as he was coming down with his bug (Hubby was home working in the garage) despite the fact that the bottle says "Do not give to children or teenagers".  I just don't trust her with the kids if I can't get back to them quickly with a phone call.  Not to mention they would live on frozen pizza, video games and questionable TV the entire time we were gone.

In other news Igor got a note home for wrestling another boy in the classroom during class and the two got marker all over each other.  Sonny Boy hasn't had anymore bad reports but we have a teacher conference next week so we'll see then.  I got a "new" haircut and color, nothing drastic just shorter and with some red highlights.  Sonny Boy has a wrestling tournament on Sunday which is likely to be some tough competition.  It's 1:00 am, I'm going to sleep now.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I'm a Sucker

1974 - hopefully a date in the distant future
Devoted Daughter, Wife, and Mother
Never met a volunteer opportunity she wouldn't sign up for
That's what will be on my tombstone. I don't know why I do it.  I'm not one of those people that have a hard time saying "No".  I probably say it 100 times a day, but give me a volunteer job and well; you know, I'm there.
By the end of the day on Saturday I will have worked two 3 hour shifts at two different high school wrestling tournaments - note: my kid is not a high school wrestler.  I will have played teacher's aid in Igor's kindergarten classroom for 1 hour.  I will spend untold hours baking a LARGE cake for the scout banquet and several hours setting up and tearing down said banquet.   I will have gathered a fair amount of awards for the banquet and gotten them labeled as well.
Oh yeah, did I mention I'll now be committee chair for the cub scout troop?
I think I should get a "real job" so I don't feel so obligated to do all this stuff. 
Here is a sneak peek at the topper I made of polymer clay for the scout cake. 
So if I go missing in the next couple of weeks never fear, I'm lost in a nightmare of volunteer work, buttercream and going at it solo (yeah Hubby is on a work trip this week).  I see many nights of take-out happening in the near future.