Bedtime Sweets

My two youngest children who stay with me every other week and make it glorious, have begun a new night time ritual. I am sure it won’t last for obvious reasons, but I think it can easily transition.

We share a fresh mango every night before bed. We have been eating dried mangos for years and everyone loves them, so when I saw a box of very lovely looking mangos at Costco one week I brought them home and thus it began. I’m not actually very good at cutting them, but I don’t think that hurts them. I dream about the mangos I’ve read about in books the size of footballs fresh off the trees.

We stand around the counter and share more thoughts about the day or whats going on in our lives. We laugh and eat sweet slices of heaven right before disappearing into our rooms.

I am so grateful. I will need to find a new fruit perhaps? When is mango season over?

I found a lovely recipe I want to try when I can’t get fresh mango

Dairy Free Mango Lassis

3 Heaping cups frozen mango

Juice of 1 large lemon

3 cups coconut milk

1/4 cup honey

Combine in a high power blender or food processor and process until smooth and blended. Serve immediately. 

Or this recipe  and add mango. I actually helped film all the shots on this page from February on. 🙂 fun fact

 

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Fresh Scones

Tonight while I was watching one son compete in the state championship for gymnastics my other son called and informed me that he and his girlfriend were craving scones.

I love making scones, I love eating them with honey butter, or nutella or dredged in sugar and cinnamon… so yummy! When I was growing up my mom would make taco meat and we would fill the hot scones with meat, cheese and lettuce and it was heaven!

Now however I can’t have the gluten and that would be torture! But I wanted so badly to go home and make them scones. I want to be there making memories with him before he leaves for college in a few short months. However I was already at one event and the kids were at their dads house for the weekend.

So I told them where the recipe was and let them know I would help however I could. They called several times;

“What is yeast and where is it.”

‘How do you know yeast is rising, we’ve been watching it of awhile.”

“What is the sugar to cinnamon ratio.”

I loved it.  No, I didn’t get to be there making memories with them. What would have happened if I had been? They would have watched a movie while I made scones. So since I wasn’t there, what happened?

They learned. My son learned a new skill! He knows how to make scones, he learned that he can go find a recipe and make food! I’m filled with pride and excitement when I see the writing on the wall.

He’s going to leave me and the nest soon.

He’s going to be ok.

And that is my job as a mom. To teach them how to leave me and survive it, no to thrive!!

 

Mothering boys

Frequently as a mom I soar up into the stratosphere of knowing all and then I plummet into knowing nothing at all about parenting boys.

I was telling a friend about my oldest son who is 20 and has gone off and made many decisions over the past year or two that I didn’t see coming. Now my 18 year old is experimenting with sapphire blue hair. Meanwhile the 16 year old is doing his darndest to be the best version of himself he can be. I explained to my friend that some of the choices the older boys were making were not how I raised them to be. Her response was “didn’t you?’

“Umm no. I raised them to make other choices, more straight laced looking choices.”

She still disagrees. She explained that I have raised my boys to be who they want to be, I’ve raised them with courage to be different. With artistic gifts that I praised that allows them to branch out and explore their creativity.

It’s my feeling that hair is just hair. Mostly I have always cut my boys hair in a classic boy cut, a style that looks good on them. Ok except for the year or two I thought I could cut hair and those weren’t very classic, and contrary to my oldest sons memory I did not knick his ear with hair scissors once. But once when my oldest was in the last week of 7th grade he really wanted a faux hawk and I let him. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was the last week of school and it’s hair. It grows back. My other son loves his long blue hair. I personally think it looks a little like a My Little Pony mane and I want to braid it.  I know eventually it will fade, turn green and we can have it changed back to blonde.

My 3rd son is a level 10 gymnast at the age of 16. Some boys on his team quit a few years ago because they were teased for being gymnast. This has never bothered my son, I don’t know why. But he is strong and talented and has his own level of courage to be himself.

Isn’t this one of the most important things we can teach our boys? To be true to themselves. In a world that wants to change the way they act with drugs, shaming and fear. Hug your boys and let them spread their wings. There isn’t a one mold fits all in life. We need the doctors, soldiers, artists, dentists, garbage men, we need all of them. So love them, I wish I could go back and love mine more, to be less afraid of what teachers thought or strangers in grocery stores. I don’t remember teaching them to express themselves with tattoos, earnings or blue hair. And I hope some of that is temporary expressions of self, but I love them. Just as they are.

Salt Water in My Veins

I grew up in Northern California about 30 mins from the beach. As soon as I had a drivers license I spent every extra moment at the beach. My senior year was almost entirely at the beach. I loved the packed beaches with herds of people to watch and the private beaches where I never saw another person.

I could spend hours floating in the water, buoyed by the salt water. I love body boarding, surfing anything really. As kids we loved to spend time being pounded by the waves until we were exhausted then laying on the hot sand until we thawed out and could go back for more.

A few years ago before the divorce my ex and I went to St Johns for an anniversary since it had long been a dream of mine. It was like living in a post card. I loved the mountains, jungles, beaches. There wasn’t a ugly spot anywhere on the Island. I snorkeled for hours and floated the rest. I was up before the sun and on the beach by myself so I could watch the sun rise, unwilling to miss a single moment. A highlight was swimming with the turtles in Turtle Bay. This picture of me following a turtle is the last time I wore my favorite bracelet. It’s now somewhere on that ocean floor, a part of the reef. On the far side of the island is a lovely walking path up to the top of the cliffs, it made for some very dramatic pictures. You cross a beach that is covered with white mounds of dead coral.

I feel so landlocked in Georgia. Now I know I’m not as far inland as I could be. Half a days drive and I will end up at in a beach somewhere and thats doable for me. But I know my happy peaceful place will be to one day live where I can see it out my kitchen window, maybe if I’m lucky even hear the surf when my window is open. IMG_5291

Upcyled

Upcyle is one of my new favorite words to follow on hashtags. I love seeing what people do with their trash and used items. I’m so impressed with the ideas I find.

Several years ago when my kids were young it seemed like I was buying new glassware on a regular basis. They were either broken or lost so constantly I felt like the glasses were a disposable item. I stopped buying nice glasses and bought IKEA glassware.

I began to notice how cute the jars were in my fridge. The artichoke heart jar, the jalapeño jar and my new set of glasses came to life. I admit it has become a bit of a problem. I have such a hard time throwing away jars now. I really don’t need another Paul Newman spaghetti jar but it seems such a waste to recycle it in the regular recycle  bins. I have even bought some food items just for the jars, Whole Foods sells the cutest little yogurt in a tiny glass jar that is adorable for juice or when I need to drink my shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning! The Bonne Maman preserves costs a bit more then the Smuckers but the jar opening is larger making a much better cup! Plus it’s almost my name on the glass which is another bonus lol.

Another upside of my jar addiction are the adorable vases they make!! My daughter has taken a few that she loved and painted the inside of them for makeup brush holders and it warms my heart to see the upcyling continuing on.

Positive F*%#ing Talk

I have a secret love of inspirational and funny memes on social media. I try to not post them because thats not the look I am going for, and I admit I have banned friends because they post too many memes of rainbows and kittens with happy sayings. But really sometimes they do say exactly what I need to hear with the perfect picture. I’ve tried to create my own using quotes I like, with my own pictures but it doesn’t work out quite as nice.

I will also admit that I have a collection of inspirational memes that all contain the F-bomb. For some reason there are days when they just work so much better then other ones. I don’t usually use that word when I’m speaking so maybe the forbidden nature of it tickles my funny bone when I’m feeling down. I have one brother who enjoys trading these gems with me in texts whenever we find a good one.

My natural tendency isn’t to talk very nice to myself. I tend to have a lot of negative talk in my head actually. I have put up nice pictures with inspirational saying where I can see them and I started an anonymous  Instagram account to post all those memes I can’t post on my regular account lol. I read one today that had a quote from the book, “The Secret.” It says;

This is your life, and it’s been waiting for you to discover it. Up until now you may have been thinking that life is hard and a struggle, and so by the law of attraction you will have experienced life as hard and a struggle. Begin right now to shout to the universe, “Life is so good! All good things come to me!”

I’ve been trying it for a day now, I’m not saying I’m prepared to go buy the book and learn all the secrets but it was a well timed reminder. After all my very good friend likes to remind me I have a great life. Yes I’m going through hard things but it’s life great!

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Late Night Snacks and Giggles

This is the last night of the 2nd successful week of my kids staying with me full time during the school year. I was very nervous about it and I’m not sure they wanted to try it, but their dad was ready for it which made it happen like it or not. And I’ve loved it. So wonderful to have so much time with them again. I love cuddling my daughter and giggling under the blankets, for a few minutes she forgets she is a teenager and too cool for it.

Tonight she had her makeup off, in bed and comfy, when she realized she was hungry. This is great news, she has been so sick all week and not eating enough. So we had a lovely time warming up tomato soup which she loves with some blue cheese crumbles on top and I pan toasted some gluten free bread since I don’t have a toaster or bread with gluten in it lol. Its the small moments that are so wonderful and I hug them close to my heart.

I’ve tried several tomato soup recipes and this one I really enjoyed. It has a bunch of chopped carrots and whole tomatoes which makes me really feel like we are getting all our veggies in the soup and not just a can of V8. I got this off the Pioneer Woman blog and I love her pictures and casual explanations.

Parenting Blues

One of my sons is 18 and a senior in high school. He actually turned 18 about 7 weeks into senior year because the cut off in the state we live is Sept 1. Its both hard and nice to be one of the oldest in school. I think it was wonderful when he was in kindergarten and first grade when it was tough to sit still for so long, especially for boys.

Now that he is 18 and just dying to be graduated it’s harder. At 18 you are technically a man, and yet you live at home as a student.

So imagine my 18 man/child calls me with his girlfriend to say he’s going to dye his hair blue. This is my handsome tall, blonde son. I’m not a fan of blue hair, especially on boys. Honestly it makes me sing the “My Little Pony” song in my head, and I want to put pretty bows in it. But he’s 18 and it’s his hair. I told him; I didn’t think it was a good idea, its a tough color to really fix after, he’s about to have senior prom and all sorts of important things and lastly his dad will have a fit, along with his paternal  grandparents who live in the area. But ultimately it’s his hair, I just didn’t think it was a great idea.

So they did it. Bright, BRIGHT blue.

His dad, my ex, had a major fit. He called me quite angry that I didn’t tell our son no. I explained that I had said it wasn’t good idea and I didn’t want him to do it, but for all the reasons above I didn’t just say no. Because I don’t feel it would do any good, and at his age he can make decisions. I was given long lecture by the ex who is an attorney and can be very long winded. He picked apart all my wording just like I was on the witness stand.  And I ended it by saying when I told our 20 year old son no tattoos, did it stop him? No. When that same son wanted his nose pierced and I said no, did it stop him? No.

When I talk about this it sounds like I’ve raised some interesting kids, blue hair, tattoos, nose rings… lol and it wasn’t the way I raised them. We taught them to be pretty straight laced. I’m not sure whats going on. Other then they are strong boys with creative ideas and a desire to standout. Hopefully they will find even better ways as they grow and mature.

I don’t think I was wrong. I don’t think putting my foot down and forbidding him to dye his hair was the right thing. And it is just hair. And in 4 months he leaves for a service mission for our church where he will be very clean cut. I think he wants to get it out of his system now and I completely get it. Maybe I should remind his father about what he did to his hair and ears when he was a senior in high school… But would that do any good? No.

Post note, I saw a wonderful article on Huffington Post this morning about a  woman dying her hair blue. And I’m sure it was the universe talking back to me after I wrote this article! Wonderful read!

Green Enchiladas

I love when a good menu week works out! I made a crockpot pork roast on Monday, I cook it on high with 20 oz of coke, chili powder,  9 oz taco sauce some garlic and other spices all day. Then I shred it with more spices and tomatillo sauce and serve it with what my kids call green rice and make it into tacos or burrito bowls.

I buy the pork roast from Costco so it makes quite a bit of meat. Last night I made some of the leftovers into green enchiladas. I looked at the cans of enchilada sauce on the shelf, but I thought I could probably make my own and I am so glad I did!

One of ingredients I couldn’t find was a yellow pepper so I substituted 2 habanero peppers which made it pretty spicy. Luckily my family loves a little kick in everything we eat! The kids loved these so much the last one even went in my daughters lunch box today!

Try this recipe I found online. It calls for only 6 tortillas in a 9×13 pan, I used more like 12. I’m not sure if that was me putting too little pork in each corn tortilla or a mistake on the website. But I think 12 was about right to fill the pan.

I like to make a Salsa Verde Sauce when I make the pork tacos, and we had some leftover to put on top of the enchiladas after they were done baking. It’s also good on salads and pretty much any vegetable.

1/2 cup salsa verde

1/2 Tbsp lime or 1/2 fresh squeezed lime

1/2 milk

1/2 mayo

1/2 cup sour cream

1 pkg ranch mix

1 cup cilantro, fresh loosely packed leaves

5 stalks green onions

garlic to taste

1/2 tsp salt

blend and chill

Bedtime in Fort Worth

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I have a love of sleeping and sunshine. Anytime I can put the two together I am in a happy place! After not sleeping for around 48 hours, seeing my hotel bed bathed in streams of sunset I was out for the count. I managed to mumble an apology to my son for going to sleep before 8pm and invited  him to rent a movie if he got bored and I remember nothing more.