Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Un-Picky Punky

      Back in July, I asked you all to ask me anything you wanted to know about me in order to get the blog juices flowing, and you responded with some really excellent questions that I was very excited to dig into.  And I promptly didn't answer a single one of them.

      Well, that is getting rectified, at least a little, today. 

Lourie asked, "How do you get your kids to eat so healthy? My kids are very picky plus they are very texture sensitive. If it feels funny they won't eat it. Do your kids get along really well? Do they fight? Is it a happy medium of both? How are you keeping them busy when you aren't barfing or going to water parks?"

Karen wanted to know, "I have been wondering about your relationship with Punky. At what point did you start to feel like her mom, and what are things like between the two of you when she gets back from her annual visit with BioB?"

      Obviously, that covers a whole lot, and this post won't answer all of it, but it will touch on two important points, getting my kids to eat healthy, and my early relationship with Punky.

      Punky was 4 years old when she, MacGyver, and I moved in together.  She hadn't had a descent mother in her life since she was 6 months old (or ever, depending on how you look at it . . .).  MacGyver was a freaking amazing father.  For as much as that little girl had been through, she was amazingly well adjusted, polite, sweet, and smart.

      But she was not a particularly adventurous eater.  MacGyver regularly prepared home cooked meals, but he tended to stick to a few favorite recipes that were not quite in line with my typical cooking habits.  This was one of the sticking points in Punky and my early relationship.

      For the most part, Punky and I got along amazingly well.  But there were definitely bumps in the road.  She took a little time to get used to the idea of sharing MacGvyer with me, and I had a Hell of a time going from being a single student to acting as a wife and mother literally over night.  Actually, the majority of the problems were with me and my complete lack of understanding of how to interact with a 4 year old.  For the first couple weeks, I was completely frustrated.  She seemed spoiled and totally unable to entertain herself.  As it turned out, neither of those things were true.  She was just being 4.  She's actually one of the least spoiled kids you'd ever meet and with just a little guidance she became quite adept at entertaining herself.

      But this post is about food.  "How do you get your kids to eat so healthy?"  Well, with Flintstone it's easy because he really doesn't have a choice.  I eat healthy and did all through my pregnancy.  My breastmilk even tastes sort of like broccoli or kale (yummy thought, I know).  He's been exposed to tons of veggies on a daily basis, and has had very, very few processed foods or junk foods.  He hadn't tried cake or frosting until his first birthday.  And by exposing him to all sorts of veggies, I'm shaping his taste buds to enjoy them more.

      Punky was a bit more of a challenge.  She was totally open to trying new things if I broached it right.  There was a lot of "Hey, look at this awesome new food.  See how it looks like a mini tree?" or "this is neat because it's a kind of leaf that you can eat!"  So long as there was adequate excitement and novelty, she was in.  And if I could incorporate her into the preparation and make her feel like she had some of the decision making power ("Look at all the veggies we can have tonight, which two do you think we should make?" - obviously her choices were limited to veggies I presented to her), I rarely had any problem getting her to try things.

       And, most of the time, she liked what I made.  Sometimes she ate a couple veggies then tried to pick around them, but she had to try at least two whole mouthfuls of every vegetable we put on the table.  If she wanted dessert or seconds on anything, the whole portion of veggies had to be finished.  That rule still applies today.

      And it worked like a charm.  These days, the kid loves veggies.  The dinner she requests most often is a big spinach salad.  She loves brussels sprouts, raw veggies with hummus, even seaweed.  One of her very favorite veggies, she told me just the other day, is peppers.  She loves peppers.  Which is hilarious because in those early days, peppers was the one veggie she claimed she just couldn't stand.

       I'm really not sure what it was about peppers.  Maybe it was the taste.  Maybe it was just too unfamiliar because MacGyver barely ever used peppers in anything (and I put them in damn near everything).  Maybe it was the texture - though she disliked them in every stage of raw - cookedness.  Probably, it was just a little way for her to claim a little bit of power while her whole world was being turned upside down by this new mommy, home, state, school, life.

      But I was determined.  The child was going to eat peppers, and she was going to like them because I love them and I sure as heck wasn't about to stop cooking with them.

      This is the story of the magic recipe that ultimately converted Punky into a lover of peppers.  It remains one of her (and MacGvyer's) favorite recipes to this day.

      I will have more in the future about my relationship with Punky and about tips for getting your kids to eat healthy and to eat veggies, but for now, please read the Sloppy Joe Story.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's On Your Plate?

      Last weekend, Punky and I watched an excellent documentary together that we both want to recommend to everyone.

      It's called What's On Your Plate? and it follows two 11 year olds on their journey to find out where the food they eat comes from.   Punky and I both decided to review the movie right here on Cheap Wine and Cookies.  First, a little overview and my take:  

       The film starts when these city kids visit Ohio and discover just how much better a fresh tomato tastes.  READ MORE>>

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fresh Out of the Oven

Humane, Local, Pasture-Raised, Organic turkey seasoned with rosemary, oregano, and marjoram from the garden and stuffed with Farmer's Market carrots.  Sooo Yummy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Other Side of Giving Thanks

      One day is not nearly enough time for me to take stock of all the things for which I am thankful.  My life is nothing if not blessed.  Even a year would not be enough time.  From the moment I wake up (in a warm bed I am thankful for, next to an amazing husband and perfect child I am eternally thankful for, under a roof I am thankful to have, to get ready for a job I am thankful for, . . .) until the long, full day is done, every moment overflows with people, things, and circumstances that I can not adequately express my gratitude for, given any amount of time.

      Thanksgiving is a day of pure joy for the fact that I am so very blessed that I can never truly to justice to the purpose of the day.  I try to find some time to spend in quiet meditation and prayer for my gratitude.  Granted, sometimes this time is short, what with the chaos of cooking food I am thankful for and spending time with family I am thankful for.  But I try.  And this year, we are doing a Thankful Tree (pictures to come after the holiday - probably ;-)).  At every possible moment, I work to keep the Thanks in Thanksgiving.  In the same way that many Christians despise the term X-mas, I get annoyed when Thanksgiving is called Turkey Day.

      But the day is not only about Thanks to me.  Or, more appropriately, Thanks to me is about more than simply taking stock of what I have.  For me, Thanksgiving is also very much about awareness of, and compassion for, those who have less.

      There is no such thing as "Turkey Day" for those who cannot afford to eat.

      The sermon on Sunday at our UU Church was about Thanksgiving Prayers.  There were a number of prayers discussed, but the two that spoke to me most truly captured what Thanksgiving means in our family.

      The first is by Samuel F. Pugh:
O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.

      The second is from the book Bless This Food: Ancient and Contemporary Graces from Around the World, an outstanding book for families of all religions.  It is this book's take on a UU prayer:

Eternal Spirit of Justice and Love,
At this time we would be aware
of our dependance upon the Earth
and on the sustaining presence of other human beings
both living and gone before us.
As we partake of bread and wine,
may we remember that there are many for whom
sufficient bread is a luxury,
or for whom wine, when attainable,
is only an escape.
Let our thanksgiving for life's bounty
include a committment to changing the world
that those who are now hungry may be filled
and those without hope may be given courage.
- Credited to the Congregation of Abraxis

      This year, as you sit down before a pletiful meal, or as you find yourself filled with joy in all life has given you, take a moment to remember those who may be thankful merely to have a drink of water or see their children fed.  But do not then sink into sadness at the state of things.  Instead, rejoice in your ability to make a difference.  And on this day of thanks, make a resolution that this year, you will give others something to be Thankful for.

      Teach your children Compassion, Empathy, and Charity.  And also, teach yourself.  And remember that in every thing you have to be thankful for, there is something worth sharing.

       May you all have a wonderful, blessed, and safe Thanksgiving!  And if you are reading this, know that you are one of the many things I am Thankful for this year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Talk To Us!

      I have been wanting to join Talk To Us Tuesday for quite a while.  It's my kind of blog hop in that there are absolutely no rules at all!  That said, I've usually already put up my Tuesday post before I realize I could stick the Talk To Us Tuesday button op and the top.

      But today I remembered!  Awesome.  Plus, I needed a little somethin' for this post since I don't have anything in particular in mind.  Sure, I could finish the two already started posts I have.  OR I could pick up one of the 30 someodd post ideas and seeds still floating around in a word doc on my desktop, but really, it's just not that sort of day.

      I am still (and constantly) going like crazy at work.  I love my new job.  I get to truely help people every day.  Sure, it makes for crazy, killer scheduling and a never ending go-go-go pace, but I love it.  Not the divorces, so much, because that's always rather sad.  But at least I can be there for these people in these hard times and direct them toward other resources to help them through.

      And then when I get the consumer law cases - where someone gets screwed over and I get to go to bat for them - them I'm really happy.  I love those cases and I love doing something.  The differences I'm making are small, but they are real, and I love it.

      Though it does have a price.  The schedule, if I haven't yet mentioned it, it nuts.  Things are getting completely out of hand and I'm going to have to rein it in a little.  I hate to have to limit the number of clients I'll see in a week, but if I don't, I'll never have time to do the actual work.

      Yesterday, I had the longest child support negotiation ever.  I was new to the case, taking it over for a colleague who had a scheduling comment and I was told that it should be about 30 minutes, but that it was important to get the agreement hammered out because the whole thing was about to fall through and we did not want this to go to court (for the sakes of both parties).

      It took over 3 hours.  It was nuts.  I can't comment on any of the negotiation itself, but I will say that it was LONG, conveluted, and a little bit ridiculous.  And I will also say that attorney's have to possess somethign called "client control."  In simplest terms this means keeping your client from saying something freaking stupid in court or during a negotiation and helping your client separate out their strong feelings from their legal best interests.  Because, let me tell you, especially in family law, your feelings are rarely in line with your legal best interests.

      I found out yesterday just how HARD it is to work with an attorney who has NO client control whatsoever.

      The fact that X said some mean stuff to you when you two were splitting up doesn't mean a mother freaking thing when it comes to determining child custody and support.  SO STOP SAYING IT.  Over and over and over.  I don't care!  I was thisclose to directly asking the other attorney to get control of her client.  Erg.  Ridiculous.

      BUT, I still helped my client.  I kept the negotiations going when the other party (stupidly) kept wanting to try to let it fall through.  We succeeded.  And I literally ran out of the already dark, empty building when it was done to go get Flintstone.  Picking up our humane turkey had to be put off till today.

      All in all, though, yesterday was a pretty good day.  I got in good mommy time, good wife time, good lawyer time, and good Marine time.  And I can still feel the Marine time. 

      We have to run a CFT (Combat Fitness Test) on the 30th (5 days after Thanksgiving, effing brilliant), and so I've been working hard to make sure I get a good score.  I've always maxed it out in the past, which is a score of 300, but I'm not so sure this time.  We'll see. 

      Yesterday, I did 100 squats, 400 meters of lunges, 4 100 meter sprints, and 2 400 meter sprints (ok, by that point they were more like jelly leg shuffles, but still).  All in boots.  Heavy boots.  If you have never ran - really ran - hard - in boots, do not underestimate just how much more painful it makes it.  I am NOT a fan of running in boots.

      And today, I hurt.  Half the Law Center is waddling around like penguins with frost bite.  My butt and my thighs are killing me.  But it's good.  Even if I do look silly every time I walk.

      I've been doing some social network purging.  Trying to cleanse my mind of people who are negative or cause drama, that sort of thing.  I'm liking how far I've gotten so far, but I'm thinking I still have a long way to go.

      I just remembered that I was going to write a Thanksgiving post today.  Yeah, no chance of that happening now. 

       If you haven't been to my MacGyver Gift Idea Pinboard yet, please go now.  I need help picking him a gift, and I need to order one ASAP!!!

      I want to get another post up tomorrow, but just in case I don't:


Saturday, November 19, 2011


      I'm not a big proponent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I generally support their cause, but, quite frankly, I don't have time for a new cause right now and I sure as heck don't have time to sleep in a park.

      But today, my interests are completely overlapping with those of Occupy.  And if you don't really "get" what the Occupy movement is all about, this is a perfect demonstration.

      The USDA recently published new guidelines requiring school lunches to include more fresh vegetables and fruits and fewer processed foods.  Sounds great, right?  Who WOULDN'T want that? 

      The makers of the processed crap foods that had been going into school lunches before.  Namely, ConAgra and Schwan.  These companies turn a big profit off stuffing our children with their cheap processed crap, and they're not about to give that up.  They don't really need to worry about that, though, because they have the one thing that truly matters. Money.

      Sadly, these days in the US, he who controls the money controls pretty much everything.  See, a politician can't get arrested without money and support from lobbyists.  And the division of wealth in out country has fractured so badly that the vast, vast majority of the money and power is controlled by very, very few. And if politicians want to get elected and stay in office, they have to toe the line of what the big bucks say.

      Don't believe me?

       Immediately following the publishing of the USDA's new guidelines, ConAgra and Schwan - two of the largest producers of processed crap for school lunches -  started leaning on Congress. Hard.  Then, a day or two ago, Congress did one of the most effing ridiculous things they've done in a while: They actually stated that processed, frozen pizza IS A VEGETABLE. 

      That's right, folks.  No need to worry about nutrition any longer!   Forget biology, nutritional science, and reality itself.  As it turns out, turning processed junk into health food is simply a matter of a vote.  And who the heck cares about diabetic school kids?  So long as the big corps get their greenbacks and the politicians in their pockets stay seated comfortably in Congress, everything will be ooook.

       I'm so freaking annoyed about this. The USDA guidelines were finally a much needed step in the right direction, only to be thrown right the heck back by something so effing ridiculous I can hardly believe it happened.  I am ashamed in the eyes of the world today and very saddened for our children.

      The old phrase goes, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." 


      But I've always felt the need to add something along the lines of, "If you're outraged but not acting, you're a hypocrite."

      I will be looking up exactly which members of Congress voted on this idiocy.

      I am almost at a complete loss. This is just so nonsensical and stupid I could scream. Think I'm overreacting? Think pizza has enough veggies in it to meet nutritional requirements? Sure, maybe a homemade veggie pizza. But NOT the crap Congress was talking about. Just look at the list of ingredients. I'm not sure that even qualifies as food, let alone a vegetable. Pizza is a vegetable. And arguing over who got the bigger slice is math.

      So there's my little vent for the day.


Read the Daily Mail article on this topic.

Finally, I'm thinking maybe this should have been posted under one of my subheadings.  What do you think?  Should this have gone under Ethical Eating or Recipes and Nutritional Information?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Uncontemplated Age

      A while back, almost two weeks ago now, I got a package in the mail from my mom.  It had this sticker on it:

      So, of course I couldn't wait to open it.  Inside, I found this:

      Yes, it's that time of year again.  Time to take stock of just how stone age old I am getting.  Time for MacGvyer to make fun of me and Punky to ask me if we had X or Y when I was a kid (2 years ago, she asked me if there were cars when a was a kid, sheesh!).  It's birthday season in the Cheap Wine and Cookies household.

      September - Flintstone and my dad
      October - Punky
      Novemeber - Me
      December - MacGyver *** Check out my MacGyver Gifts Pinterest board to help me pick a gift for him!!***
      January - MacGvyer's mom
      February - Boo
      March - My mom

      Yeah, Birthday Season.  Oh, and you know, with all those other holidays thrown in there for good measure. 

      Still, I had all but forgotten my birthday this year.  In the midst of all the craziness for Punky's party (which was huge), then Halloween and Samhain, switching jobs, going TAD, and just generally having 465 plates spinning, my birthday didn't even register.  And it was on a Saturday this year, too!

     MacGyver, not at all surprisingly, was already well prepared and had big plans up his sleeve.  Sadly, that didn't come to fruition because the illness that Flintstone had recently had turns out to be the sickness that won't go away.  99% of the time, it doesn't bother him at all.  After he got over the couple days of projectile bodily fluids, he was fine.  He just had this little cough that didn't bother him and only showed up once in a while.  Well, as it turned out that tiny nothing cough was slowly brewing into pneumonia.  Erg.  So I spent half my birthday in the Dr.'s office with him.  He was one very sad little monkey for a couple of days, but he's fine now.  Except he still has the cough.  Erg.  What ticks me off more than anything about all this is that we barely ever get sick.  We eat super healthy.  We don't smoke.  We're active.  We're clean but not antisceptic.  And thanks to all that and good genes, we don't get sick often at all.  And yet my baby has been sick-ish for weeks.  I hate it.

      And so we didn't do much of anything on my birthday, which was fine since I had forgotten it was my birthday anyway.

      MacGyver special ordered me a case of Crazy Richard's peanut butter (which contains peanuts and NOTHING else) because it is impossible to get peanut butter that doesn't have salt, sugar, or oil in it down here, and he got me three new pairs of jeans that I desperately needed (and LOVE - they fit perfectly - they are super hot).

      But that was it.  Well, I got 80 some odd birthday wishes on Facebook, which always makes me smile, but really, my birthday this year was a non-event. 

      Normally, I would insist on celebrating my birthday.  Any excuse to celebrate, right?  But there was just something different about it this year.  At first, I just shrugged it off to the whirlwind of other things going on in my life right now.  But over the course of the day, as it became clear that apparently everyone in my life (and I mean everyone) thought I was turning 28, it sort of dawned on me:  I never, ever pictured myself being 29.  I never had that moment a week or two, or even a day, before my birthday when I thought, "Wow, I'm going to be 29."  I don't think I have ever once in my life pictured myself being 29.

      Twenty-eight was easy.  I always figured I wanted to have kids around the time I was 28 (check!).  Heck, I even thought I was 28 half the time when I was 27 (something MacGvyer thought was hilarious and totally played along with until I was completely confused).  Twenty-eight was a great age.  It was easy to see myself at 28.

      And the problem isn't that I can't see myself older.  I can.  I can see myself when Punky is a teenager.  I can see myself more senior in my career.  And I can totally see myself as an old crone in a big house covered in ivy who acts like Sophia Patrillo and all the local kids think is a witch.

      But 29 never crossed my mind.  I never saw myself as 29.

      What does one do at 29?  The last year of my 20's.  Holy cow.  That seems big.  Except, really, who considers 29 "in your 20's" really?  Twenty-eight, sure, but not twenty-nine.  Twenty-nine is really the beginning of your 30's.  (Watch out for me to take that back vehemently here in the near future!).

       But I'm NOT 30.  I'm not "in my 30's."  Are you kidding me?  I am an adult with a house, a mortgage, a solid, respectable career, a husband, and 2 kids.  I regularly say things like, "when I was your age - " and "kids these days" (or words to that effect), and yet it all still feels completely surreal.  There are times - a lot of times - when I can't believe that I am a grown-up.  I look around myself and none of it seems real.  People coming to me for legal advice?  I have the power to tell people what to do with their lives?  Happily married with my own house?  Me?  No freaking way.  Putting on my uniform or slipping into a suit for court feels like playing dress up.  (The mom thing is different, and it gets it's own post).

       Some days, I don't feel grown up at all.  And because of those days, I can say confidently that there is no WAY I'm 30.  And, of course, I'm not.  I'm 29.  Or so I'm told.  But really, what is 29?  I suppose I'm about to find out . . .

Monday, November 14, 2011

In the Works

      I've been absentee lately, I know.  I have so much to post about, but no time at all!  I have barely touched a computer in days.  I really miss you all.  I have a couple posts in the works and about 6 billion others stewing in my head.  I promise one of these days I'll find the time to make bloggy amends.

      But for now, there is just too much else I need to devote my attention to.  I'm really digging in at work and starting a whole bunch of new initiatives and projects to enhance our office's ability to render legal support to the Marines.  I have big plans and I really need to devote my energies to that right now.

      On the home front, I'm still in massive cleansing mode.  With the Frost Moon (also known as the Beaver Moon) 4 days ago, I started a massive sweeping purge.  Cleaning out storage areas, getting rid of bad habits, and even doing some social network purging.  Because no one needs 500 Facebook friends.  Seriously.  I've been meaning to pare it down for a while now, and I've finally started.  I'm trying to trim my life down to only positive people and things.  No more wasting my limited energy on pointless matters (*much*).

      And, I suspect, once I've surmounted the initial hill in my big cut and clear, I may even be a better blogger for it.  More time for blogging if I'm wasting less time on other things.

      I miss you all, and I'm sorry I haven't been stopping by and commenting.  I still love you, and I WILL be back as soon as I possibly can.

      In the meantime, I can usually find time to throw up recipes around dinner time, so the recipe site is getting more regular updates than anything else.  If you're really missing your daily doses of me, please follow the Recipes site!

      For instance, the other night I made the most amazing Squash Soup.  Seriously.  I was completely blown away by how delicious it turned out, and it really only had a few ingredients.  Please check it out and give it a try, it is SOOOO worth it.  I haven't been this proud of a recipe in quite a while!

ALSO, I can't comment on your blog if the comment form is embeded below the post.  I don't know why, but it's pissing me off.  Last time this happened, all I had to do was delete all my cookies, however that isn't working this time.  I have actually read a bunch of your blogs then been thwarted in my efforts to comment.  If anyone knows the answer, let me know!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

WWTK Wednesdays: My Style

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Hosted by Mamarazzi, Queso and Crazymama.
This week Mamarazzi is asking the questions and she is asking about your fave, must have make-up items, personal style and your beauty routine.
{1} What is your "can't go without it" beauty product/cosmetic?
{2} Do you apply make-up before or after doing your hair?
{3} How would you describe your personal style?
{4} How long does it take you to get ready each day?
{5} What is your one pamper, just for you, beauty splurge?
{1} What is your "can't go without it" beauty product/cosmetic?
This is a tough question only because I use next to no beauty products/cosmetics most of the time. Since I rarely wear make-up, I don't even use a facial cleanser; I wash my face with plain water. I exfoliate with coffee grounds. I always try to remember to moisturize, and I do almost always carry my lip gloss on me, even if I don't wear it. Cover Girl Wine Shine. And I couldn't do my hair for work without gel and hairspray.
{2} Do you apply make-up before or after doing your hair?
Like I said, I rarely wear make-up. I'm a natural kinda girl, and MacGyver has a pre-existing dislike for high maintnance eye liner addicts. However, if on occassions when I do wear make-up - clubbing, fancy dates, that sort of thing - I put my make-up on last - usually in the car on the way to wherever we're going (while MacGyver drives).
{3} How would you describe your personal style?
 I have more than one; I always have. When I younger, I looked at getting dressed more like costuming (my Halloween obsession being no surprise). It's not to quite that extent these days, but given the fact that the Marine Corps dictates what I will wear 5 or more days a week, I try to make the most of my personal style when I get the chance.
I wear a lot of bohemian style outfits - browns, greens, deep reds, and paisley; flowey dressed and tops, etc. I also like a lot of current styles, sweater dresses, boots, scarves, etc. I still enjoy my college style - jeans, little tees that amuse me, and my Heelys, sometimes a little punk, rarely a bit country.
And, of course I have my professional style. I really like fitted suits/ suit dresses with splashes of color, like a red blouse underneath. I'd have to say that my professional style is closer to "cute" and "flattering" than professional.
{4} How long does it take you to get ready each day?
In the morning, I get up an hour before I leave the house, but I'd say that only a max of 20 minutes of that is actually me getting myself ready.
When I get home, if I'm able to disentangle myself from Flintstone, it takes me 5 - 10 minutes to go from work to home (change, take my hair down, etc.).
{5} What is your one pamper, just for you, beauty splurge?
They are few and far between. I love pedicures, but only get one or two a year. Hell, at this point even a bath is a big splurge, esp if it's by myself (because the tub in our room is a big two person jacuzzi, it's almost a waste to take a bath alone). Hmmmm. . . Now I really want to just take a bath and read. . .

Quick Dinners

      Any working mom will tell you that an absolutely essential tool to always have in your belt is a good list of quick and easy dinners for "those nights," running in from work, trying to change clothes on the way to the bedroom, shouting directives, and tripping over dogs to get to this or that extracurricular activity or parent teacher conferences amidst distressed choruses of "but what about dinner?"

      Spaghetti is a great go-to quick and easy dinner.  We pretty much always have whole wheat noodles and a couple jars of organic spaghetti sauce in the cupboard.  And if we really are dealt just a SUPER busy night with nothing prepped ahead of time, there's no harm in just throwing the two together and calling it good. But I'm pretty sure we all know READ MORE>>

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Wrap Up

      Halloween this year was awesome as ever.  On the evening of the 30th, we attended a Samhain ritual at church.  Technically, I was a leader of the ritual, but in reality I was gone all week and my pagan cohort actually put the whole thing together.  He is the entire lifeblood of our group.

      The ritual was a powerful rememberance of those who have passed on to whatever comes after this life.  I represented the Mother aspect in the ritual.  Punky represented the Maiden aspect, and she did an outstanding job.  Flintstone fussed a little during the ritual, nursed, and eventually fell asleep.

      I took Monday (Halloween) off work, and found out that morning that Punky also didn't have school all week (MacGyver and I are getting seriously effing sick of how much time off this school takes; I can't believe the number of random school breaks she has).

We carved pumpkins and baked up the seeds - three different flavors!
She looks all grossed out, but really this kid LOVES gross things.
MacGyver's Nightmare Before Christmas JACK-o-lantern - this picture doesn't nearly do it justice.
Punky's Punkin!
And my work of art.
Flintstone's pumpkin went with his costume:
Is that the cutest Batman villain you have ever seen in your LIFE or what?

Seriously!  Cutest Riddler EVER!
Punky was Cat Woman
And we topped it off with Joker and Poison Ivy
We were a huge hit.  People were super excited by our costumes and we got more than a couple photo ops.  I just wish we had had time to have a bigger Halloween party this year.  Though Punky's party was pretty awesome.  Even though we were such a big hit, I was still a little sad.  I didn't really get to finish my constume.  There was a bit more to it.  But we got enough done to get the point across.

MacGyver made an awesome Joker!
Run, Riddler, Run!
Trick or Treating!

Riddler gotz the candies!
There are very few pictures of me, and not a single one where I don't look like my mouth is full of marbles because I had a cut on the inside of my upper lip.  Erg.  BUT I'm still posting the pictures and I'm not editing the hell out of myself.
 After Trick or Treating, we hung out with some friends and had an impromptu drumming circle.

By the end of the evening, we were thoroughly exhausted, happy, and one of us was completely laden down with candy the likes of which she rarely ever sees at home.  She has already gambled away 10 peices to me.  I should probably be concerned that my 9 year old has a gambling problem, but I'm currently getting chocolate out of the deal, sooo . . .  yeah . . .

 Happy Halloween Memories All!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

      We've already thoroughly discussed the fact that I am completely in love with Fall. One of my favorite parts of Fall is Fall flavored things - like the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks!

       Now, I have a deep love for Starbucks. Their coffee is all Fair Trade/Equal Exchange and they treat their employees very well. But I do have a problem with READ MORE>>


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