Friday, April 30, 2010


I've got all kinds of things zooming around in my head. I've got some sadness, some happiness, some anxiety and some calm. So I've got this big mishmash of stuff in my head and on my heart. In no particular order, here 'tis.

  • I've begun the process of applying for grad school. The first place I applied is to my alma mater, TWU. I figure I won't have to wait as long to hear if I'm accepted or not, seeing as how they already have all my transcripts and all my academic references work there. All they have to do is pick up a phone and call Dr. X and say, "So, whaddaya think of Ms. Snarkypants?" I'm also applying to some schools that are here in (or near) San Antonio. I'm applying for a couple of different programs - Masters w/Initial Teacher Certification (MS Science, MS Technology Applications dual certification), Library Science (because I'm such a book and information nerd), and I'm even batting around the idea of the Women's Studies M.A. program. True, this would ensure me a life only able to work in academia, but I think I could handle that. They also have a Ph.D. program in Women's Studies. I REALLY enjoyed all my WS classes I took as an undergrad. I like how so many different subjects can be viewed through the WS lens.

  • I've really been struggling with self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness here lately. This has been dragging me down in lots of ways, leading my mind to race a lot - and never shut up. Which has been preventing me from sleeping. Which has led to lots of reading and TV watching at 3 a.m. Not conducive to cognitive thinking the next day at work, let me tell you. Feeling like this has also affected other things, like singing, for instance. I love to sing and I always have. One of my earliest memories is listening to my sister's Farrell & Farrell cassette tape, singing along with the song "Through Your Eyes." At the end, there's a note that's held out for a while, and it's on the higher end of the range. I held out the note so long that my sister, not realizing it was me singing and not the tape, came running into the bedroom to see what I had done to her tape to make it hold out that long. She was very musical, and knew how long the note was held out on the tape. So it freaked her out when it seemed like the note went on longer than it should. I've always, always loved to sing. I sing when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm scared, when I'm lonely. But, as much as I love to do it, and as much as I want to do it, there's this voice in my head that tells me I'm not good enough. That my voice is horrible. That no one wants to hear me sing. That I sound like a frog croaking. Then I start remembering all the times growing up I was told by teachers or students or whomever that I should just shut up and stop singing. Then I doubt. And I worry. And I fret. So then I don't sing as much, even though I really want to. And then I get sad. And so the circle begins again. This has been bothering me a lot lately, because I really really REALLY want to sing something for the offertory music at church. And just when I think, "A ha! That's the song I want to sing!", those old doubts start hitting at me again.

  • I just found out someone I had a long-term relationship with (albeit off and on) got married. We never seemed to feel the same way about each other at the same time, so there was a lot of back and forth in that relationship. When I visited home in 2006, I saw him again. I made an off-hand comment that was really stupid, and he never spoke to me again. At least, I think my stupid remark is why he never contacted me again. Seeing as how he never told me, I don't really know WHY. We had plans to go out to dinner or something one night while I was there, and he never showed up, never returned a phone call, or anything. My attempts to contact him since then were never successful, either. It always left a little hole in me. In a way, finding out he got married is sad and happy all at once. I'm sad that he didn't think enough of me to tell me outright "You said something stupid and I didn't like it." I'm sad that he didn't think enough of the fact that we were friends first to ever return any of my phone calls, e-mails, or facebook friend requests. I always wondered "what if" with him. But I'm happy for him, happy that he has someone he loves and who loves him in return. I'm hoping now I can move on for good from that chapter in my life. Though, let me tell you, the whole experience has done nothing for my confidence when it comes to dating!

  • Susan and David are leaving next weekend to go home. I'm happy for them to be able to go back to their stuff and their friends and home... but sad that they are leaving, too. Safe travels, and we love you.
So, I set up my blogger account so I can blog via text message. I'm tech savvy, right? But, how meaningful can texted posts be if they are only this long, hmmm?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Evening with (Jamie's) Strings

Not only have I been a bad blogger, leaving a morose snippet on my blog for way too long, I've been a bad mom, too, in that it took me nearly a week to upload and edit Jamie's strings concert from last week. Each spring, the school district hosts a district-wide "Evening with Strings" concert. The strings programs in the district are so plentiful they had to divide the event up into three different nights! The announcer said that Jamie's night, being the first night, was slightly smaller than the other two nights. At only 900 students that night, I can only imagine how many students played on each of the subsequent nights!

This year's theme was "A Little Rock n' Roll". Each school played an arrangement of a rock song. Jamie's school played "This Love" by Maroon 5. Now, I'm going to let my momma-pride kick in and say I think Jamie's school did the best. But, I will add that I heard several other parents from other schools who thought so, too. Good job, Krueger Orchestra!

There were 5th grade strings programs from 15 elementary schools, four middle school orchestras, and two high school orchestras represented. At the end of the night, they all joined together to play "We are the Champions" by Queen. It was, in a word, AWESOME!

Sorry it took me so long to get it up on here, and hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Here's photos of after the concert, also.

Jamie right after the concert. Looks like he's worn out, doesn't he? He confessed that during the high school orchestra's 15 minute montage of Beatles songs, he fell asleep!

Spencer, Mr. Prado, and Jamie right after the concert. I think they're all glad it's over with!

Friday, April 16, 2010

An Ocean of Sadness

There is an ocean of sadness inside of me.
It ebbs and flows, ever changing, ever moving,
waiting to catch me unawares
and drag me under,
to force me to submit to the tears I hate to shed.
They are a weakness and I must be strong.
Days, sometimes weeks, will pass
when the ocean tide stays out.
I can laugh, love and live.
I can be the mother my son deserves.

But the silliest things will bring it roaring in.
A sad commercial.
A homeless dog begging at my door.
Newspaper articles.
A sudden memory.
And it crashes over me - washes away my will
to do anything but to hide in my home.
I feel too much
and drown in my tears.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

And the Winner Is......

Remember this?

I hosted a giveaway of this luscious, preseasoned cast iron 6 qt. dutch oven. Using, I picked one person who commented on my blog to be the winner. The following lucky commenter won the prize:

#1 - Tara - My favorite cooking memories involve my dad. He would make us doughnuts out of canned biscuit dough, egg sandwiches for Sunday night dinner (after church of course!) and could make better French toast or grilled cheese than mom. Sorry, Mom!

Congratulations, Tara! E-mail me your shipping information to so I can forward the information on to, the hosts of my giveaway!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Being the Mom is Not All Sunshine and Giggles

Jamie was supposed to go to a much-coveted, highly-technical, Grant-Imahara-Would-Be-Proud underwater robot competition at the NASA training facility in Houston this coming weekend. It is rare for 6th graders to be allowed to go, much less possibly DRIVE the robots in competition. This is the year they're being allowed to do so, due to this group's above-average capabilities and a shortage of 8th graders going.

But Jamie will not be going. And he's pretty upset about it. To put it mildly. I think "downright pissed" would be a more accurate description.

See, I can't go on the trip. And it's overnight. To Houston, which is a "mink stole" (think about it) from San Antonio. And Jamie has recently proven grossly irresponsible when it comes to his medical issues. This trip would necessitate the group eating together in a restaurant. The teacher going said if I gave him a list of places Jamie could eat, he would TRY to accommodate Jamie's food allergies on the trip. Well, I don't know what Jamie can and can't eat at every hole-in-the-wall eatery in San Antonio, much less in Houston. A recent scare when Jamie shoved food in his mouth at a restaurant we'd never eaten at before, only to ask AFTER he'd done it what it was cooked in (to find out it was cooked in peanut oil) has proven to me that my boy's brain cells flee when he's hungry, so I can't count on him to remember to askwhat stuff is cooked in before he eats it. As a test, I also asked Jamie what he would do if the teacher pulled up in front of one of the many restaurants Jamie knows he cannot eat in, and he said "Oh, I just wouldn't eat any dinner/lunch/breakfast." [blaring horn] Nope! Wrong answer. The answer is supposed to be that you tell the teacher you can't eat there and you find somewhere else to eat. So that knocked out any confidence I might have had in Jamie's ability to fend for himself in the food area. Jamie then said, "Oh, well, I could just nibble a little something and hope it isn't cross contaminated." Nope! Sorry! Wrong answer again.

This is typical of Jamie's attitude here lately. He thinks that if he doesn't want something bad to happen, it won't happen at all. This attitude very nearly hospitalized him, if not something worse, last Friday at our church's Middle School Madness night.

On Thursday, Jamie knew his inhaler was empty. On Wednesday, he knew it was low. On neither day did he tell me "Hey, Mom, we need to get my inhaler refilled." Nor did he tell me at any time on Friday. On Friday night, despite knowing he had an empty asthma rescue inhaler, and knowing he's supposed to take it 20 minutes before strenuous activity, he decided to go ahead and play "capture the flag" with his friends anyway. He had an asthma attack - a very severe one. It was so severe, in fact, that had there not been a doctor who just happened to be there to pick up his daughters, who just happened to have an inhaler on him, I'd be blogging right now from the hospital - IF Jamie made it that far. Those were the doctor's words, not mine.

I've known for a month how much Jamie wanted to go to that competition. All I've heard day in and day out is how cool it would be to go to NASA and to drive an underwater robot. But because I can't trust my son to take care of himself like he knows he should, I had to tell him no. I had to tell him unequivocally, emphatically, "no" he could not go on an overnight trip when he's shown a total disregard for his own health and well-being.

I had to break his heart, and it sucks. Big time. I wanted him to go. I relish him getting such educational opportunities that most kids can only dream of. Plus, I really was looking forward to having some downtime of my own.

But better I break his heart, teach him responsibility and keep him alive for another day.

Yep, being the mom is not all sunshine and giggles.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baptism Pictures

Yesterday, April 11, 2010, Jamie got baptized. He had many friends (including my boss, his wife and their daughter), family and teachers in attendance, and his whole church family surrounded him in love on his very special day. I was standing in the choir practically right in front of him while he got baptized, so I was able to get two up-close shots on my cell phone. The mother of the other boy who got baptized was upstairs at the baptistry stairs and graciously provided several pictures of Jamie being baptized, as well. It was a wonderful day!

Jamie before the baptism
Jamie and Ethan get ready

Friday, April 09, 2010


In honor of my 485th post, my mother's 64th birthday, and just because I feel like it, I'm hosting a giveaway! This giveaway is generously being provided by CSN Stores, a company that offers a wide variety of products for sale, from entertainment centers, cookware, bakeware, and toys to shoes, purses, bed linens and all kinds of other products. If you want it, you can find it there from the comfort of your own home!

Because I lurve my readers, because I lurve to cook, and because I'm just crazy that way, today I'm giving away one of these:

This is a pre-seasoned, cast iron, Emerilware 6 qt. Dutch Oven with lid. You can make lots of yummy stuff in it. (Oh, the possibilities in this baby are just dancing in my head right now!)

To enter this contest, all you have to do is answer this question in the comments section of this post:

What is your favorite childhood memory involving cooking/food?

Was it the first time you made homemade doughnuts? Was it helping your mother use the flour sifter and getting flour all over the floor? Was it the time you blew up the family's brand new microwave oven because you forgot to remove the wire twist tie from the frozen hot dog buns? (Yes, these are all real memories of mine.)

Only one entry per person. Contest is open until 12 noon EST (11 a.m. CST) on Monday, April 12, 2010. Winner will be chosen at random (utilizing from all individual comments posted during the open contest period. Winner will be announced on Thursday, April 15, 2010. Good luck!

*Note: I received no monetary compensation for hosting this giveaway, nor am I employed by CSN Stores. Prize is provided by Thank you.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

In Which I Admit I'm a Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Mother (Or, I Didn't Fix My Kid an Easter Basket)

This is the post in which I admit that I'm a terrible, horrible, very bad mother. You see, my kid didn't get an Easter basket this year. Usually, he gets a nice basket with a chocolate bunny, a small toy or two of some sort, and some candy. This year, he got nothing. No. Thing. No basket, no chocolate bunny to chew the ears off of, no toys, nothing. I didn't even take his picture in his nice mint-green dress shirt, green/white/blue tie, and khaki pants. Tooz took one of him in front of the cross at church, but other than that - nothing. (BTW - Tooz, can you e-mail me a copy of that photo?) In my defense, I smashed the absolute heck out of my finger the day before - the day I had planned to go candy and toy shopping. Instead, after I smushed my finger all to hades and back at 7 a.m., I climbed into bed with a bottle of leftover prescription painkiller liquid. I still can't feel parts of my finger. I did manage to go to Walgreen's the other night in search of medicine to treat the mangledness that is my finger. There, I found a chocolate bunny of the kind he likes (and won't kill him to eat) on sale, and bought him one (and myself one, too). And I did manage to find one lonely little bag of pretty pastel Easter-dressed Hershey Kisses. Out of guilt, I bought him a small LEGO set at (insert big-box retailer name here) Sunday night. But none of it ever wound up in a basket. I think I'm going straight to parent Hell.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Without a Paddle (or Health Insurance)

I got a letter from Jamie's health insurance provider, the state CHIP plan. I have to verify my income for a six month review. Since I last applied for coverage, I got a raise (yay, me). Apparently, it's just enough of a raise that it may very well mean Jamie loses his health insurance coverage very very soon. I was expecting to lose it come the end of October. But I was not aware they'd be doing a review halfway through the year. I am now officially up a crap creek without a paddle. Him not having health insurance is not an option with as many special health concerns as he has. He takes about $1,000 (retail) worth of medication a month. That doesn't include the cost of doctor visits to the five different specialists he sees a month, plus any sick visits. Then there's the cost of the unplanned prescriptions - those for ear infections, sinus infections, etc. Sure, I can afford to pay for all his medications and doctor visits, if I stop paying rent, don't buy any food and stop making car payments or pay utility bills. I could get him insurance through my work - for about 20% of my monthly net income. Or I can purchase an individual health insurance plan for him at 15% of my net income and not have as much of his stuff covered, meaning I'd still pay a lot of out of pocket costs. It just seems totally unfair that I now make too much to qualify for CHIP, so I will be bankrupted by medical bills.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Misadventures in Cooking

Last night, I was craving something sweet yet spicy all at once. Then I started thinking, "How would a curry with peaches in it taste?" So I set to experimentin'. I modified another recipe for curry I found, sauteing some garlic cloves and half a sweet onion, then adding sausage links, curry powder and dried mustard powder. Then I added some chicken broth, put a lid on it and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Then I added a can of sliced peaches, recovered it and let it simmer for 8 more minutes. I didn't think it tasted too bad, but still wasn't quite what I was looking for. Also, Jamie apparently didn't like it at. all. I had forgotten one all important thing: Jamie hates peaches (unless it's my peach cobbler). If I experiment again with this, I'm going to try it with orange slices or mangoes instead of peaches and I'll add some red bell pepper strips and/or tomatoes, as well as a green vegetable of some sort (asparagus maybe?) to add some color and extra nutrients. I'm also going to use chicken instead of sausage. I'm also going to use more spices. I want my mouth to feel hot from the spices but cool from the fruit all at the same time. Any suggestions from my cooking friends on how to accomplish that?