Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cincinnati and a real bathroom . Ah! Now on to Cleveland.

Whoa! What a tiny airplane . I hope I fit in it!


Baby proofing the house of 3 teenaged Oompas and 3 adults has proven to be a bigger task than we thought.  Our intentions were good, but it can't be done.  We just have way too much junk and stuff and ran out of hiding places for them a long time ago.  We shall no doubt be on our toes constantly while the Grand-Oompas are here with us.

I leave for Ohio in a couple of hours.  A few hours after that I shall be hugging and squeezing Grand babies!  I cannot adequately express the excitement I am feeling right now.

Or the fear.

What if they don't like me?  What if I scare them with my big eyes and fluffy, squishy hugs?

I can't believe it.  I've been waiting for this moment for almost 3 years and now that it is nearly upon me I am nervous.  Not of the flight or traveling alone.  Not of the family (I've met the older sister and adored her).  I am nervous of meeting the little guys.  Unbelievable!  And its not because two of them are mini-oompas, although that fact is more than enough reason to be nervous of them.  No, its more like jumping into the middle of the game and being afraid of not fitting in and screwing up the team.

Ahhhh well, I'll just cross that bridge if and when I get to it.  In the mean time I have to get ready.  I have some Grand-Oompas to hug and squeeze!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I spent the morning and early afternoon planning on what I wasn't going to do today. 

Mission accomplished.

What I did get done was to straighten up my recipe bookshelf.  Once upon a time my cookbooks all fit on the bottom shelf of a cupboard in the kitchen.  Now they take up the two bottom shelves of my bookshelf in the dining room.  I suppose I should sort through them and get rid of the books and magazines that I don't use.  You can tell them from the ones I use frequently because they will be clean.  My favorite books and recipe magazines are covered with old dried on splatters and drips.  That's how I find the pages I'm looking for, I just grab the book I think its in and turn to the dirty pages, and poof, there it is!  Anyhow, the bookcase is nicely organized... for now.  Chances are that once I start digging for recipes tomorrow it will pretty much look like it did earlier.  But for now, its beautiful!

I hope everyone can find many good reasons to be thankful tomorrow.  I know I have.   I am thankful for my family and their good health.  I am thankful for the opportunity to finally meet my grand babies and be a solid part of their lives.  I am thankful for the support the country continues to send my son and the Armed Forces in harms way.  I am thankful for the One who watches over them and keeps them safe.

I am also very thankful that farts have sound so I can leave the room before the smell hits.  I shall be serving up hominy with smoked turkey for our more traditional Harvest Feast on Friday and for some reason it gets Dickidoo and the Oompas rootin' and tootin'.  Farts... in stereo, with surround smell.  Believe me folks, that's not something you'll ever want to experience in this house and you'll soon find yourself appreciating our Maker's considerate fore sight in adding a warning signal.

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours.  May your house smell of roasted turkey and pumpkin pie fresh from the oven, and not of smoked turkey and hominy the day after.


Monday, November 19, 2007


You can 'chose'  not to grow up, but you have no choice in growing old.  It just happens, whether you like it or not.  I'm not ashamed of my age and quite honestly don't give it much thought unless someone makes that tacky old age comment "Wow, you look good for your age!"

What exactly does a 47 year old woman look like?  White haired?  Been there.  Missing teeth?  Done that!  Wrinkles?  Bingo!  Over weight?  Heck, I aced that one ahead of time!

I have come to the conclusion that the comment really isn't a compliment at all.  Its just what people say when they are trying to cover up what they are really thinking...

"Damn, so THAT'S what 47 looks like!"

(I love telling the Oompas that they will all look like either Dickidoo or me when they grow up, its soooo fun to watch their sassy little faces turn positively sick with worry.)

And, just in case a glance in my mirror each morning, or the steady rising temperature in the room when the birthday candles are lit on a cake that grows larger each year to accommodate the increasing number of candles, doesn't give me a clue that I just might be on the downward slide towards the half century mark... now even my junk mail and online spam has adjusted to reflect my maturity.

I no longer receive offers for penile enlargers or sexual enhancers.  Now I get offers for free samples of cialis and hot flash relief.  Victoria's Secret has been replaced by Lane Bryant and I think the Gerber Life Insurance company may have sold my address to that new company that offers Alzheimer's Insurance... I kid you not, I got a brochure today!

'You are as old as you feel.'  That's a goofy saying.  Right now I feel stiff and creaky, a little achy, a little worn out.  I guess this is what 47 feels like. 

But I'm a HAPPY stiff, creaky, achy, worn out 47 year old!  (I hear grand babies will do that to you.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Got my e-ticket to Ohio for the 28th.  Got my Grand-Oompa's e-ticket to Colorado on the 29th, as well as his mother and two big brothers.  And hopefully I'll get to hug and kiss my older Grand-Oompa Zachary before I leave Ohio.   Yes, my grand babies are cousins/brothers... long story short:  Gabe met his ex's sister while visiting his son and they fell in love.  We tease him about it, but he and Kimmie are really trying to work this out and I am so proud of them.  Kimmie has two other children so I'm flying out to help out on the flight over.  More grand babies to love, WOO HOO!

Big Zack won't be returning to Florida.  Yay!  I mean... awwwww, that's too bad! The crew moved on to Philadelphia while he was here and there isn't enough work to warrant him flying over so looks like he'll be staying around here.  Its a good thing he didn't cut his hair yet.

If you had asked me a week ago I would have said that while I held no regrets, that my life in general sucked.  I'm a born again virgin, my husband keeps coming up with 'get out of debt quick' schemes that ironically take him far away and makes me a 47 year old single parent of among others two daughters who are going through teenage menopause and while I was a grandmother to two adorable grandsons, I have yet to hold them.  Today, however, nothing can keep me down.  I'd be walking on air if I wasn't so darn fluffy.  Today my smile is genuine.  Today is a good day.  Tomorrow is one day closer to even better.

Grandbabies... I get to hold my grandbabies!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Don't laugh, but I was sooooo desperate to remove that onion smell from my hands that I tried several remedies all at once.

Salt, lemon juice and a metal spoon. 

I poured about 2 tablespoons of sea salt into my hand, soaked it with pure lemon juice concentrate, and massaged the mixture into my hand with a large metal spoon.  All I needed was a glass with vodka and I'd be a human cocktail.  But guess what?  It worked.  I'm not really sure what did the trick, all I know is that the onion smell is gone.  So a big thanks to everyone who wrote in with suggestions.

Now... any suggestions on how to get a salty, slightly metallic lemon smell off of my hands?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

ONIONS HAVE LAYERS... lots of stinky, stinky layers!

Hey, do you remember me mentioning my wonderful elderly neighbor who occasionally gives me boxes of chocolates and other such goodies?  Well, he also gives me boxes of onions!  The other day he gave me one that held close to 60 potent bulbs. 

You'd think I had struck gold or something!

I love cooking with onions and put them in just about every recipe that doesn't include sugar or some kind of sweetener, so when I see a box full of onions I'm thinking stir fry, stew, soups, chili, omelets... blooming onions!

The problem with getting a box full of onions is that despite the fact that I use onions almost every day in one recipe or another, there is no way possible that I could use 60 onions before they began to spoil.  But they're like gold to me, remember?  I couldn't let them go to waste.

So I chopped them up, all at once.

Well, maybe not all of them... and certainly not all at the same time.  More like about 30 of them, one at a time.  My eyes ran out of tears after about the 4th onion.

And now two days later I still smell like the condiment tray of a weenie wagon. 

I've tried every thing... soap, water, soap and water... lemon juice, a wash cloth, a scrubbie, shampoo, shower gel, lotion, even bleach.

Now my hands are squeaky clean, silky smooth and they smell like spring flowers... sauteed in onions.

Any suggestions?  I'm willing to try just about anything short of amputation.

p.s.:  We're baby proofing the house... Little Ryott, his mom and brothers are coming to stay with us in a couple of weeks.  Yipee!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


How can you screw up on a recipe that only has 6 ingredients?  Simple... just give the recipe to ME!  It was a basic bread recipe, flour, sugar, salt, shortening, water and yeast.  I was doing okay until I got to the yeast part.  I'm not a baker.  I think the last time anyone baked anything in my house was when my sister Lisa was here in March.  I seem to recall her saying something about my jar of yeast being a little old.

That little jar of yeast is now 8 months older.  For some reason I thought that a little pinch more would help just in case the yeast was too old and tired to rise.  Okay, maybe it was a little more than a little pinch, but the yeast was expired by over a year!

The dough was real slow to rise and I waited over 3 hours for it to double in bulk.  The soft dough was giving off a nice, strong yeasty aroma and I dug in to make my manapua.  The dough was real elasticky and when I stretched it out, it almost immediately shrank back to its original shape.  No biggie, I just had to work faster.

I stuffed and shaped them, then steamed them for 20 minutes.  Everyone's mouth was drooling by the time the kitchen timer buzzed.  The bare minimum time allotted for cool down and we dug in.

And then we spit it all out.

The filling was delicious, but the steamed bun tasted like 101 proof Everclear.  Confused I grabbed the ball of unused dough.  Even before I got it close to my face I could smell the fermentation and my eyes began to water from the fumes.

Is that normal?  Is that even possible?

Drunk bread.  I'm sure there's something I can exploit there, maybe a new  taste sensation.  But not for manapua

The Oompas went to bed hungry last night.

Tonight = Tobasco Steak.

Well, I've already screwed that one up too. I didn't have enough Tobasco sauce to marinade the meat in so I substituted Franks Hot Sauce.  Hopefully it won't matter too much.

Other wise the Oompas will go to bed hungry again.

(I felt so guilty that I actually got up early this morning on my day off and made them breakfast.)

Incidentally, as I sit here blogging and sipping on a glass of cheap boxed Zinfandel I can't help but notice the similarity in smell and taste of the wine and last night's bread... very interesting!  I'm going to have to try it again, maybe with a garlic topping and a little extra virgin olive oil for dipping.

Monday, November 5, 2007


For me a good day is a day without a call from a teacher.  I'd have the operator screen my calls at work, but I think the teachers have figured that one out and now make the Oompas call me themselves to give the bad news.

ISS = In School Suspension.

I may be mistaken but I don't think any of my teachers ever had to call my parents... Well, except for that honey bee incident, and that wasn't entirely my fault because I specifically told that stupid boy NOT to squeeze his hands together once he cupped them over the bee on the flower...

And that sprained wrist never would have happened if that other boy hadn't tried to run away like a sissy when I twisted his hand ever so gently behind his back and up to his shoulder...

All in all I think my folks got off easy as far as I was concerned.  But not me.  I've had the food fight call, the 'kicking the kid in the face' call, the unauthorized making of foil Star Wars fighting vehicles in Math class, the 'hasn't turned in any homework all year' call, you name it, my kids have done it and you can be sure the school/s have called me about it.

So yeah, does that old 'till death do us part'  bit in our wedding vows apply to the kids as well?

Okay, not really, I'm just kidding... but it would kind of be nice to know... just in case, cos you never know when the option might come in handy, one day, some day, after the millionth call from the school.

Only one call so far this week.  Of course this is only Monday.  And that was only one Oompa.  I still have two others in school, and each Oompa has 7 teachers.  That still leaves 20 phone call opportunities. 

I can hardly wait.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


According to sources (and the date of my last posting) I haven't posted here since October 17th.  Wow!  Has it really been that long?  Well, while things may have slowed down on the Dust Bunny blog, its been the exact opposite in the House of Oompa.

First of all, the Mesa Ridge Marching Band made it to the State Marching Band Finals and competed in Fort Collins where after 3 days of competitions they placed 6th in their division.  That's one place up from last year.  Yay Pride Of Mesa Ridge!  Way to go Becca and Art!

Zack is now a licensed driver... ohhhhhhhhhh, scary!  We're still waiting to hear if and when they want him to return to Florida.  The job now comes with conditions.  He will have to cut his long flowing locks due to the nature of the job.  (heavy machinery + long hair = safety hazard).  I'm trying to act disappointed for him, but truth be known I really don't mind him being home a little longer.

Rocky dressed up as a 'J-Rocker' for Halloween.  For those of you who aren't familiar with 'J-Rock', its short for 'Japanese Rock'.  Hello Rocky, you're Okinawan!  Okinawans don't pretend to be Japanese, they just don't!

So now Rocky is an 'O-Rocker', that would be short for 'Okinawan Rocker', of course!

I guess O-Rockers have purple hair.

Gabe says 'Hey' from Baghdad.  And his maybe not so ex wrote me an email saying that she was trying to move back to Colorado with the children... and my Grandbaby.  Yay Kimmie!  I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but its hard not to be excited by the prospect of having one of my Grandoompas living near by.  And he has brothers.... more Little Oompas!  Hehehehe.  Allthat would be missing is Little Zack and Gabe.  (heavy sigh).  Who knows, maybe one day... some day...