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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!

Why we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

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Okay, so we don’t not celebrate it at all….we sometimes exchange cards, I sometimes decorate the house, and I always buy my kids candy or something red and involving a heart. My husband might buy a heart-shaped cookie cake, or heart shaped doughnuts for us to eat. This year I bought chocolate covered strawberries for us. But I see way too many couples (unfortunately, most of them are women) who put entirely too much stock into Valentine’s day. Did you know St Valentine is the Patron Saint of the Bubonic Plague? *ahem* anyways, like I was saying….Too many individuals allow this day to define their relationship and their happiness. I hope they outgrow this.

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One thing that working pretty much my entire adult life in restaurants has taught me, is that a day is only a day on the calendar. I had to work every Valentine’s Day.  (And Mardi Gras Day, And Mother’s Day……) So we never celebrated it.

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I would get flowers at work with a card “Happy Mike Loves you Day!” That meant so much more to me than dinner, roses and jewelry on a day that gets lost in the hustle and bustle of my job (Or now, the hustle and bustle of being a mother). Mike bought me a box of chocolates on January 31st for no reason. He brings me home my favorite ice cream and 6 bottles of wine for no reason, or orders my favorite pizza even though he finds it repulsive.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I continue to be madly in love with him. Well, one reason.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day every day, every moment you think of your significant other. Leave a note in his briefcase. Instead of sneaking onto his phone and snooping, sneak and take a provocative picture for him to find. Send her flowers on a Wednesday that say “Happy Hump Day” for no reason. Those are the best valentines….Because there is no reason Valentines has to be celebrated one day of the year, when restaurants are on a 4 hour wait. (Trust me on this one)

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

Dorothy Must Die-Book Review

15 Dec

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I was given a sample of this book by a friend who picked it up at a library event.  It’s no secret that I love all things even remotely related to The Wizard of Oz (It’s a slight obsession)  So I was excited to find yet another viewpoint on the classic story that I could dive into and explore.  (The book is meant for young adults.  I admit I was slightly embarrassed to have to seek my selection out in the teen section, but oh well.)

The sample got me hooked and I had to read the book.  Looking back, I am very thankful that I checked it out from our local library and didn’t purchase it.

I think I initially connected with the main character, Amy Gumm, because of her tumultuous relationship with her mother that was largely due to her mother’s issues with substance abuse.  As I read on, I was able to visualize myself in place of the main character as she traveled to Oz and found it in a quite different form than what you or I would ever picture.  Dorothy and Glnda are bad and the witches are good.  But Good, even though it’s bad, is still called good, and wicked, even though it’s good, is still called wicked.  It’s a little confusing, but not to hard to weed through.  The Tin man, Lion, and scarecrow have all become monsters, and so the story goes that Amy joins the Order of the Wicked to stop them, etc etc.

The story progresses as Amy prepares for her mission, which, I’m sure you can guess, is to kill Dorothy.  There is so much buildup to the moment that she has the opportunity, with unnecessary side stories that take away from the main plot, and random moments that are left unanswered, leaving the reader to try and figure out the purpose of it.  At the very end, there are so many things that take place, it leaves you with a feeling of “Huh?”  Cryptic words from the wizard and SURPRISE! Here’s Ozma! and then BAM Amy kills the tin man, then BAM Glinda wants the heart (Huh?  This made NO sense) Then The end.

So I read this 464 page book building up to Dorthy being killed….and it doesn’t happen.  I can tell that the reader intends on writing a second book in the story, which has been announced to come out in 2015.  titled The Wicked Will Rise.  It’s like it was time for dinner so the author had to hurry up and finish the book.  Very disappointing.

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.

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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. 🙂

My Continued Advocare regime

2 Oct

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The products that I have and use might not be beneficial for your health and fitness goals, but I want to share what I use.  

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~SPARK

  • Available in Watermelon, Mango Strawberry, Pink Lemonade, Mandarin Orange, Fruit Punch, Grape, Citrus and Cherry
  • Offered in pouches and canisters
  • Sharpens mental focus*
  • Fast acting and long-lasting energy*
  • Contains 21 vitamins, minerals and nutrients designed to synergistically provide a healthy, balanced source of energy*
  • Just 45 calories per serving

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Garden your life

30 Sep

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If you go outside and look into your garden, you will see a variety of things, and all can be compared to the way we live our life.

To become a beautiful flower, and to have beautiful flowers, you have to pull the weeds.  Not all flowers are strong enough to survive being choked out by weeds, especially if they get big enough roots.  So get rid of anything that isn’t bringing beauty to your garden, and try not to let it get too rooted in there.

Flowers need water.  So water yourself with things that bring you joy in life.  Sometimes the water comes from the rain, and that’s okay, too.

Gardens are full of dirt, but the flowers grow out of it.  Just put some mulch on top of it.  All gardens have dirt, but it’s not what makes them attractive, and what your dirt looks like is nobody’s business but your own 🙂

Sometimes you’ll get a snake in your garden, too.  But unlike weeds, snakes have no roots and will leave your garden just as fast as they came into it.  Just watch out and don’t let them nest.

Some flowers…like my rose bush…..can grow very tall.  But without the garden stake to support it, it’d bend and break.  It doesn’t make my roses less beautiful just because some of the blossoms need help to stand tall.

 

So there’s my garden wisdom.  Hope you enjoy 🙂

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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.