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Cadillac Ranch

24 Feb

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If you know me, or read my posts, you know I’m kinda weird.  I LOVE weird stuff.  I’m also pretty country.  So if combining the two, what better place than Cadillac Ranch!?  Have you heard the song?  It’s by Chris LeDoux.

Now we call it the Cadillac Ranch
They’re parking cars in the old bean patch

Well…..I don’t know how historically accurate the song is, because there is no barn and certainly no bar.  (sad face)  There is, however, an intoxicating aroma of spray paint that one may be able to catch a buzz from on a busy day.  But it’s okay, vandalism is allowed and encouraged.

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Cadillac Ranch came to be in 1974 by an art group known as Ant Farm, and is a bunch of classic Cadillacs buried rear end up in the ground.  The angle at which they’re buried is supposed to be the same angle as the Pyramid of Giza.

Although the Cadillac Ranch isn’t in it’s original birthplace, it doesn’t make it any less of a hot spot.  It’s located off on I-40 in Amarillo, TX on private land.  But visitors are encouraged, spray paint cans included.  There’s been several limes the cars have been totally repainted for movies, or restoration projects, etc.  I don’t think that there’s much holding these old cars together besides the spray paint.

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My family and I hit up Home Depot on our way to be able to leave our mark, however long it may stay.

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Here’s some extra pics of our family adventure

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I was pretty excited to see the gift shop there.  I am a bit of a gift-shop junkie!  But after sitting there for an hour and a half, we decided they may not be coming back from lunch.  Bummer

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Holiday Inn Express: Good, Bad, and Ugly

22 Feb

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Holiday Inns are usually the best, most well-maintained chain hotels that are available EVERYWHERE.  On our way to Amarillo, TX, we stopped at a Holiday Inn Express near Dallas, TX for the night.  It was fine until 2am when their fire alarm malfunctioned and woke us up to blaring sirens at 2am.  The breakfast in the morning was normal….cereal options, eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, etc.  Then as we were packed and leaving, the fire alarm malfunctioned again.  As you, I am sure are aware….once the alarm goes off, the elevators stop working.  So we got to lug our luggage down 5 flights of stairs to get back on the road.  Happy I was not.  And i think the firefighters who had to keep showing up shared my sentiments.

Fast forward to Borger, TX Holiday Inn Express, where we had a reservation.  The hotel got our reservation check in wrong and gave away our room because we didn’t show up on the day they had it set for.  There was apparently NOTHING they, or IHG rewards could do to help us, regardless of the fact that it was THEIR mistake, so we drove an hour to the Holiday Inn in Amarillo.

This hotel is pretty nice.  The decor is very classy-texan, and they have an indoor, heated pool with a slide.  Oh! and a fitness center which I actually did utilize (once).  The staff is very friendly and was more than willing to accommodate any request I threw at them, including extra shampoo or conditioner, a wine glass, a new room key, quarters for laundry, or directions to a nearby tourist spot.  My only negative for this hotel is the cleaning staff.  Not they they don’t do a thorough job, but that they come so late.  Maybe 3pm.  Once, the cleaning lady left her all-access room key in our room, and another, they left their rag and spray.  Not a big deal, but worth mentioning.  The front desk lady also gave me permission to go behind the bar and retrieve my own wine glasses if i want, which means she is either uncomfortable behind the bar, or I have been here entirely too long and earned way too much trust with the staff.  Their breakfast here is essentially a continental breakfast with a server that occasionally fills your coffee. I would stay here again any day of the week and would recommend this location to anyone coming this way.  Right next to the movies, and close to museums and the Cadillac Ranch!

Reese’s Spread

16 Jan

I was sent a container of Reese’s spread to review from Influenster and Reese’s.

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My first intentions were to try out-of-the-box ideas that I normally would use a sweet spread on.  Like a dip for crackers or pretzels.  However, when I decided to start my review, both my pretzel box and my cracker box were put away empty.  Such is the life of a mother of chronic snackers.

So I rummaged around to see what I could use.  Peanut butter cookie dough…..okay.

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Bacon.  Perfect.

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First I baked the cookies and let them cool.  (I may or may not have tried an amazeballs combination of raw cookie dough and Reese’s spread, there is no proof)

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Then I added a drop of Reese’s on top of each cookie.

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I tried a little spread on a piece of bacon, which was actually pretty good.  Even the 4 year old liked it.

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Then, genius struck, and I put the bacon on TOP of the Reese’s spread on TOP of the peanut butter cookie.

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My first experience pairing bacon with sweet was a maple bacon doughnut that I liked more than I should have, and this reminded me a lot of that.  It was good.  Both boys liked it too, which says something, because the 9 year old is very picky.

I give Reese’s spread a big two thumbs up.  How would you use it creatively?

I received the Reese’s spread free from Influenster and Reese’svoxbox-blogimage-popup2

Depressing

9 Dec

The holidays for me…..are depressing.  At least right now.  During the day, I am able to put on my reindeer antlers and jingle bell necklace and smile about the Elf moving at night.  I make hot cocoa in the mornings and sometimes at night, and we watch Christmas movies while surrounded by our gleeful decorations.  But I am so sour.  I’m not the Grinch, I don’t hate happiness.  In fact, I love and long to see the happiness of others, especially my kids, to prove that my faking it is worth something.  That I am accomplishing even the smallest of feats in not diminishing the Christmas magic that fills the heart of so many.  Especially my kids.  The fact is that the main family I grew up celebrating Christmas with according to my memories was as follows: My Mom, my Dad, my Nana, My little brother Jake, most times my Aunt Linda, Uncle Stu, cousin Jacki, and sometimes my Aunt Juli, Uncle Butch, and cousins Dawn, Jeff, Heather and Todd.

So back to my basic Christmas.  All I have left is my Dad, and he lives far away.  Even out of my extended family, my Uncle Stu is gone, and my cousins Jeff and Todd are lost in time, never to speak of again.  At least, neither appear to care to have anything to do with me.

I have nothing left from my childhood.

My youngest asked me while we were hanging ornaments, “Mommy, what ornaments are from when you were little?” I just replied “none”  Because with the exception of a stuffed animal and a couple dolls, there truly is nothing left from my childhood.

My husband thinks I am a hoarder.  I refuse to throw away any craft or home-made ornament made by my kids And i think a big part of that is having little to nothing from my family, or even from myself when i was small.  I think about what I could show my grand children about their heritage.  I have almost nothing.  I realize my past doesn’t determine who I am, but it’s still nice to have something to belong to, to know where you came from.

The song “where Are You Christmas” by Faith Hill has always resonated with me.  But no year as much as this.

Where are you Christmas?  I’m looking, but….life is such a crowded path to get to you.

Mom-bashing

24 Oct

I’ve had a topic come across my mind and my social media newsfeed quite a bit lately, and I can’t stop stewing about it.

Mom-bashing

Whether intentional or not, I would like to reach out to all my fellow moms, and non-moms, to knock it the hell off.  Talking badly about another woman and her parenting choices, does not make you appear any wiser, any cooler, or any more liked.  In fact, it kinda makes you look like a bitch and nobody wants to be around you.

I have friends that make their own babyfood, breastfeed, use cloth diapers, vow to never use a babysitter that isn’t family, do not ever eat fast food, do not vaccinate, only eat organic, deny their children all types of sugar, homeschool, had a natural birth, had c-sections, had tummy-tucks, don’t eat dairy, don’t watch TV, etc. etc.

I can guarantee you that nobody uses cloth diapers (a feat I would personally NEVER undertake) because they enjoy washing poop out of cloth several times a day.  They do it because they feel it’s better for their kids and they are trying to be the best parent they can be.

I can also guarantee you that my friend who is fortunate enough to have family-only babysitters will never speak ill of me for using non-family sitters.  Despite the fact that I have very little family to begin with, my husband was in the Marines and unfortunately, was not paid well enough for me to be a stay-at-home mom, so while moving around the gulf/east coast, I was not blessed with that choice.

I should’ve tried harder to breastfeed.  Well, I’m happy that your breasts are glorious milk-fountains that would be the envy of every wet-nurse this side of the 18th century, but, after hooking my breasts up to a machine for an hour at a time to get maaaaaaybe an ounce, I gave up.  There were better ways to spend my hours caring for my children than to sit around like an unsuccessful dairy cow.  Plus, I enjoy adult beverages, and that’s not conducive with breast feeding, or so I’ve been told.

I have had (many)others say hateful things about some of my different parenting choices.  But they can go bark up another tree.

My point- every parent is different, every one of us is trying to do our best.  There is a difference in having a discussion with another mom and sharing your information, and “bashing”.   So stop.  Unless there is some sort of imminent danger to the child, please, feel free to share your views, your information, your opinion (as long as it’s not shitty) and discuss.  But you are not better than me and I am not better than you.  Kthanks. 🙂

Fundraising Rudeness

30 Sep

As a parent of a school-age child who is involved in extra-curricular activities, I am almost always inundated with fundraisers.  And chances are, I’m chairing at least one of them.  Not even taking into account all the fundraisers not remotely related to my child.  I’m constantly posting on social media and bothering my family, friends, friends of family, family of friends…..strangers.  o_O

Would you like to buy some popcorn?  Would you like to buy some chocolate? Would you like to donate to this amazing cause? Would you like to buy some cookie dough?  Would you like to buy some wrapping paper? Would you like to donate to our silent auction? Would you like to buy a Saints/LSU shirt? How about now, would you like some chocolate now?  Would you like to buy a raffle ticket?  Would you like to sponsor this jump rope thing?  How about now, same chocolate, but shaped like a bunny! Interested?

(If the answer to any of this is yes, please let me know.)

But before you pretend you aren’t home when my son and I walk up to your door, or don’t even acknowledge his existence when he speaks to you, please be assured that I don’t find this process any more exhilarating than you do.  And I swear, planning it is even less thrilling, and way more time-consuming.  But I do it for my child and for good causes.  It’s generally thankless, and the only reward moms(and dads) like me get for this is a smaller balance in our bank account, and an extra thing on our plate.  And it is very frustrating to see someone ignore a child.

So big thank you to everyone who doesn’t ignore the children when they are asking for your support.  Believe me, they know what “No, Thank you” means.  No need to be rude.

Whatcha doin for Memorial Day?

14 May

My son recently was able to witness a flag retirement ceremony with his cub scout pack.  It’s a very moving ceremony, and I wish all young men and women could see it at least once. 

ImageToo often I stand in a classroom and young adults won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, or they’ll stand and not recite it.  It’s their right, as an American, to do so, and I don’t truly believe they mean any disrespect in their heart, and I cannot legally make them stand or say anything.  However, I wish they had an idea of the sacrifices our men and women have made to protect that freedom, and the hardship and heartaches our citizens have endured to keep our country free.  They don’t call us “home of the brave” for nothing. 

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Memorial Day and Independence Day are coming up, so in honor of our flag, I’m sharing some printables that other bloggers have so graciously created. 

 

Remember Me?

Some people call me Old Glory, others call me the Star Spangled Banner, but what ever they call me I am your Flag, the Flag of the United States of America.

Something has been bothering me, so I thought I might talk it over with you, because it is about you and me.

I remember some time ago people lined on both sides of the street to watch the parade and naturally, I was leading every parade, proudly waving in the breeze.

When your daddy saw me coming he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so that his hand was directly over his heart. Remember?

And you, I remember you, standing there straight as a soldier. You didn’t have a hat, but you were giving the right salute.

Remember little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you with her right hand over her heart. Remember?

What happened? I am still the same old flag.

Oh, I have a few more stars since the old days.

A lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago.

But now I don’t feel as proud as I used to.

When I come down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets and I may get a small glance and then you look away.

Then I see the children running around and shouting, they didn’t seem to know who I am.

I saw one man take his hat off, then looked around. He didn’t see anybody else with their hats off so he quickly put his hat back on.

Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore?

Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I’ve been? Anzio, Guadalcanal, Korea, Viet Nam, Okinawa.

Take a look at the memorial honor rolls sometime of those who
never came back to keep this Republic Free.

One Nation Under God.

When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Well, it wont be long until I’ll be coming down your street again.

So, when you see me, stand straight, place your right hand over your heart, and I’ll salute you by waving back, and I’ll know that …
YOU REMEMBER!

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And there’s some fun easy Kid’s activities here.

 

Special Thanks to
http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com for the kid's activities
http://www.nobiggie.net for the Flag printable
Wendy Dew for taking great photographs of the ceremony and allowing me to use them
and to all the Cub Scout leaders and firemen for putting the ceremony together.

What about my Mommy?

11 May

I heard a radio show interview kids about their mom.  So I decided I wanted to know my own kids’ answers to these questions: (big one in Red, little man in Blue)

What is your favorite thing that your mom cooks?

Steak, macaroni and cheese, broccoli, asparagus, corn, potatoes, hot dogs

Macaroni, noodles, ramen noodles, steak, and um I don’t know

What is a song that your mom sings ALL the time?

Country music.  I don’t know country music, but I know she sings it all the time

Let It Go

What is one thing that your mom does that drives you crazy!?

Punishes me and makes me get off of my games

makes me in trouble

What does your mom like to do on the weekend?

Play with (her kids), go tanning, and other fun stuff

Drink Wine

The way it smells

10 May

Working at a middle school right after it rains is something that brings me back to my childhood.  Not that I liked middle school.  At. All.  But middle schoolers have a weird smell about them and when that mixes with wet dirt, it’s a pretty universal smell, that I am certain will trigger the olfactory memory of anyone that smells it.  It’s a mixed smell of childhood and adulthood.  Boys and girls that have yet to discover the proper usage and application of antiperspirant, lotions, hairsprays, perfumes, and cologne.  Mixed with #2 sawdust.  And stinky feet.  And attitude.  Some of them are bigger than I am and some of them are smaller than my eight-year-old.  They are all insane, and pretty much all unsure of themselves.  And a lot of them, when it rains, kinda smell like wet dogs.

Teacher Appreciation

7 May

I’m telling you, nobody appreciates full-time teachers like a part-time substitute!  I try to be creative with my teacher appreciation gifts, and give them something they’ll use, and not just another ceramic apple or hand-made crayon picture.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they adore every child’s hand-made gift, but I’m sure they’re also pretty excited for that Michael’s gift card, or restaurant gift-card, or even a case of their favorite drink (green tea/pepsi/red-bull).  So Here’s a few of the things I put together, and, although I’d Looooooooove to claim these ideas as my own, they are not, so I am including the websites of the wonderful blog I found these from. 

For Every Teacher he has, including Speech Therapist and Bus driver, I made these:

The printable can be found here:  http://www.livinglocurto.com/2009/05/thanks-printable/#sthash.zj2CoWc3.ItRQ7RSy.dpbs

For his all day teacher, I put this together:

IMG_0046[1]The printable for the Straw flag can be found here: http://www.livinglocurto.com/2014/05/teacher-diy-free-printables/#sthash.vyZDuqHj.dpbs

And for the teacher Lounge, I made these:

(because the MudBug is their mascot)

IMG_0061[1]Instructions on those bad boys can be found here:

http://www.livinglocurto.com/2013/04/crawfish-cakes/#sthash.0YkUMMLg.35gKtYP2.dpbs

Or, my step by step recreation can be found here:

https://methemommy.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/crawfish-cookies/?fb_action_ids=10203772209810433&fb_action_types=news.publishes&fb_ref=pub-standard&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582