Super Simple Sangria

I've made some really freakin' complicated sangria in my time. Chop up enough fruit to prevent the scurvy from breaking out on board a very large ship, soak it in rum, cook up some simple syrup, mix it together, let it all soak a certain amount of time, add the wine, let THAT all mingle for a certain amount of time, blah, blah, blah. It was 'okay'. But what a hassle for a few glasses of a lovely beverage? Last week I needed a little something special and couldn't take one more trip to the store in the 45 minutes left before the evening was to begin. At the risk of tooting my own horn....

It rocked.

So, here 'tis...

Bubble Girl's Super Simple Sangria

One 750 ml bottle red wine (I used pinot noir 'cause that's what I had handy)
One liter of Italian soda (I used cranberry flavor but I bet Blood Orange, Pomegranate, Tangerine, etc...would all be great)
One cara cara orange, thinly sliced
1/2 pineapple, cored and thinly sliced

Pour the wine and Italian soda together in a large pitcher. Add the fruit and stir, slightly crushing the fruit. Let the mixture chill in the fridge or serve with ice if you have absolutely NO TIME and people are knocking on your door as you pull the spoon out of the pitcher.

This doesn't have that much alcohol in it, so if you really, REALLY wanted to kick up the 'kick', a splash or two of vodka or rum wouldn't come amiss.

I feel like a whole new world has been opened before me.


I'm so making these next year

from deliciousdays.com

I half expect a little chick to poke it's little head up and peep at me!



That was the first thing I thought when I saw this photo from Bubble Boy's pictorial account of our Easter camping adventure. If only Little A and KC had their hands on their hips. Imagine the choreographed singing possibilities.

Our Weekend Without Electricity went just FINE. How can I complain when I had a cappuccino to rival any that I've had at The Coffee Shop That Shall Not Be Named hand-delivered to my tent on Saturday morning? Cappuccino is a beautiful thing and a treat any day of the week but then you throw in a homemade marshmallow that's been tossed with cocoa and know what you've got? A steaming hot Cup O'Heaven, that's what. I think I could start selling these off my front porch and give a certain little coffee shop a run for their money. Too bad SJ has sworn off coffee for the time being...we'll have to celebrate her return to The Dark-Roasted Side with a Marshmallow Cap when she decides she's ready to head down that road again. I think I might even take a stab at making the marshmallows.

Weekend highlights include (but are not limited to): Bike riding through the tall pines (one forgets that trees can get tall), the downhill on Sunday was like a ride at Six Flags; geo-cache hunts; some leading to treasure, some elusive; Phase 10 under the full moon and stars; a Sunday morning Easter egg hunt (Little A found the golden egg!); using food products like cabbage, grape juice, beets, turmeric, and onions to colorize our eggs; I already mentioned the decadent coffee beverages; discovering that Little A likes bacon and Big E likes deviled eggs; and Bubble Boy doesn't enjoy melted marshmallow stuck in his leg hair (who would?); and how could I forget the perfect, creamiest, yummiest mashed potatoes to top the shepherd pie cooked in the Dutch oven. We ALL need a Dutch oven.

Less than great things about the weekend were the 8 loads of laundry that were generated. Oh! and here's a tip...you really shouldn't wash pillows. They tend to fall apart and get all wadded up in the machine. Not pretty. Also, Little A has developed some mysterious hive thing. It pops up and itches like hell then goes away only to pop up elsewhere in a little while.

We're already in discussions about the next camping trip so it MUST have been some kind of good.

(Edited to add that blogger did some funky moving things around and I realized upon re-reading that a couple of the sentence made no sense WHATSOEVER. Hopefully they have now been rendered senseworthy.)


Holy Camping!

Even though it's been a long time since anyone could describe me as Religious I am busy fending off some deep seated guilt about spending our Easter weekend camping. I'm sure this is a remnant of years of sitting in a Southern Baptist church which can bury guilt far down deep in your soul where the Devil lays around eating chips and salsa and makes you eat all those cookies even though you KNOW you shouldn't or convinces you that braiding your hair and putting on that mascara was a good idea and now you've gone and put bad thoughts into the heads of males with your tempting self so you must REPENT! or risk the fiery depths of Hell!!!

Hell be damned, we're camping anyway and I'm sure it's going to be a bang up good time. Beautiful weather has been ordered and appears to have even rolled in a day early. This will be our first Electricity-Free camping trip, so we'll be officially Roughing It according to "Bubble Girl's State Park Survival Guide For All Camping Wusses" which includes handy crockpot recipes and how to get the perfect mani/pedi while living off the land. I breathed an audible sigh of relief when I remembered we could always hook into the car's Juice of Life when it comes time to inflate the kids' air mattress or if we really needed to plug in my portable heater which follows me everywhere. Yes. Everywhere.

The kids are all atwitter with the prospect of spending two and a half days straight with their friends eating marshmallows and chocolate and busily grinding filth and dirt into their hair, ears and feet. If they don't come back looking like Oliver Twist it just wasn't a good time. It will be great to get out in the beautiful weather, do some geo-caching and just get away from the b!tch of a week I've had here.

BTW, today was Bubble Boy's last day of "work". He wore a robe and slippers to work. I'm not kidding. I'm sure I'll be seeing MUCH more of that particular ensemble. Happy Retirement! No. Not really. What I really mean to say is that I'm completely FREAKING OUT and wondering what the Evil Someone did with the real me when the words "Of course I'll support your decision to leave" were escaping from my mouth. Because now, the real me is BACK and feeling a wee bit panicky. Really, I'm sure it will all be great. It really will. Deep breaths.


Cosmic Imbalance

It all started on Monday with a call to the dentist. Long story, short is Bubble Boy is leaving his official job to work on his unofficial job which is going to far more fulfilling and lucrative in the long run (right??) Anyhoodles, this means an end to Insurance As We Know It. In weighing the benefits of dental insurance vs. the costs I thought an arrangement with the dentist to continue paying the negotiated rates our insurance company has been paying for the last 8 years would allow us to skip dental insurance and let us stay with the same dentist (being averse to change of any kind like I am). No Can Do, says the office manager. No insurance = Financial Windfall. Insurance = Charity Case.

Later that day an attempt to exchange a shirt that had been accidentally purchased in the wrong size for Big E by her mamaw. Admittedly, I picked up the wrong size. It was in no way Mamaw's fault but it WAS her credit card and it is now residing 375 miles away. No receipt. No exchange. No budging. At all. Temptation to commit a small act of civil disobedience threatened to take over but I managed to hold it at bay.

Tuesday I dropped two bottles of recently purchased wine on the garage floor. I can't say I am complaining about the new eau de fancy wine bar smell vs. the previous paint, oil, and mildewy birdseed aroma, but still. No fun to watch $20 worth of wine spreading across the concrete. Yep. It was cheap wine. So?

Also Tuesday I forgot to bring my hairdryer to the gym. CCC was a gem and let me borrow hers.

And ALSO on Tuesday, a letter from the IRS. That's all I'm saying on that because we all KNOW that never ends well.

Wednesday, I remembered my hairdryer but suddenly it only works on the lowest, coolest setting. WTF???!! Also, I forgot my shoes so I had to wear my bright green/turquoise shower flip-flops all day long. No, they didn't match. Not even in an I'm Trying To Look Ecclectic kind of way. They were definitely I'm a Dork and Forgot to Pack My Day Shoes in My Gym Bag.

One or even two of these things in one week wouldn't seem all that eventful. But come ON! All this since Monday!?? I'm hopeful that by laying out my misfortunes for the week in an open forum I will be rendering my Karma happy again and bringing Cosmic Balance back to my life.


Breaking the breaking news

Spring break is generally spent in a virtual bubble (much like my normal existence only MORE, if that's possible). That's what spring break is about...getting away from the normal boil and toil of the life of a Stay At Home Mom. Only with the kids still in tow and now they're demanding that I entertain them 24/7. What a break.

But even so, I was sequestered from my normal news outlets and was shocked and bewildered when I came home to the Big News. You probably already knew since the media has been all over it and covered the absolute death out of it in their normal, in-depth, thorough fashion. I mean, you'd think there wasn't anything else in the world going on...like a war (Happy 5th Anniversary!!! (is that the Kevlar Anniversary?) Just look how far we've come...), an uprising in Tibet, an economy that's slipping and don't you know Eliot Spitzer is just peeing his pants in giddy joy that a New Distraction du jour has gobbled up the attention of the masses. I guess the scandal was unearthed last week sometime and the pundits and talking heads are absolutely bubbling with the juiciness of it all. Personally, I can't believe we all went this long without the truth coming out sooner.

Brace yourselves.

Barack Obama is a black man.

He has officially 'come out' and acknowledged this publicly. And here's more proof. See for yourselves.

I feel so used and manipulated. I can only hope that the Bill O'Reillys, Ann Coulters, and Mr. Limbaughs of the world will give this revelation the attention it deserves.

Which is to say, None.

One can dream.


Spring Break Overload Syndrome (SBOS)

Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Excessive crying brought on by too many nights of staying up WAY past bedtime. Excessive crying would be defined as CONSTANT, PERSISTENT crying that prevents neighbors from sleeping and drives parents to the brink of madness....or worse.
  • No desire to eat healthy food (i.e. anything that isn't served through the car window in a paper bag with a prize in it) brought on by too many meals of Chick-fil-a and pizza followed by birthday cake or ice cream.
  • A slack-jawed, wide-eyed blank stare resulting from consuming huge quantities of Disney and Nickelodeon-laced TV/movie programming.
  • Feelings of entitlement and bossiness from spending 5 days with grandparents who believe firmly that the sun rises and sets out of your ass and would not tell you NO even if you were asking for a hot-air balloon ride with your new pet monkey followed by an all-you-can-eat ice cream buffet.
  • Bruises and bumps and scrapes from playing as hard as you possibly can with your cousins for 12 straight hours, for five straight days with barely a break to eat, drink or take care of other bodily functions. Also, resistance to bathing which results in caked on filth in the ankle area.
Moms: If you are experiencing a jazzed-up, jittery, buzzing-yet-somehow-still-drained feeling from drinking enough coffee to drown a horse trying to get home and get your mentally and physically exhausted children to their own beds before they melt down into a puddle of blubbering flesh, they may be suffering from SBOS. Examine the symptoms above, make yourself a huge, steaming hot cup of tea in your favorite mug, get into your comfiest jammies and catch up on The Daily Show. SBOS will run its course and the kids should show signs of recovery within 24 hours of rest.

Let's hope.


In the nick of time

Just when I thought I could not possibly take one more day of Little A's bad attitude, his emotional outbursts, his angry frustration at EVERYTHING I DO including how I breathe - we had a GOOD day. Dare I say it? A great day.

Fridays are "our" day since he goes to his little nature school Monday - Thursday. I admit I haven't made these days as special as I'd envisioned them back in September when I was coming off the glorious high of a relaxing and refreshing summer vacation. I pictured us skipping along the shore of some local waterfront with ice cream slowly melting and the leaves gently falling all around us. We'd be laughing uncontrollably at something witty and clever Little A had said that I'd have to quickly write down lest I forget his brilliant hilarity. He'd throw his arms around me and tell me how much fun he was having - just the two of us and how he wished kindergarten would never come so he could hang out with me ALL the time because I'm the best mom ever and can we have another ice cream? And I'd say Yes....of course.


This isn't quite how it's worked out. Mostly Fridays have turned into yet another day to clean, run errands, or any other manner of droll activity. It's my fault. I haven't been proactive in setting up any kind of playdate or spectacular, educational activities and field trips. In my defense, the friends Little A has from his class have other things going on most Fridays and all our neighborhood friends are already in kindergarten. Poor us. Damn The Excuses!

But today...today was different. I managed a visit to the gym where he was off to a rockin' start with Tarzan. I've vowed to rent the old live action version of this movie so he can get the real deal, but for now he's content with the Disney cartoon. Then a haircut! Oh boy!! You'd think we were heading to Disneyworld. Can I have a sucker?? Can I? What flavors do you think they'll have? I want a red one...oh no! no I think I want a yellow one. Are those lemon? What about a watermelon? Aren't those red?

Long wait at the barber so we mosey to the Coffee-Shop-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named for a cinnamon roll and chocolate milk and actual conversation. Not just him asking questions faster than a human being can answer or me talking to myself and telling him to please eat, please stop climbing on the stair rail, please don't jump off that chair again, please eat your cinnamon roll, STOP JUMPING ON THAT LADY'S PURSE! It was nice. We talked about summer camps, summer vacation, swimming, kindergarten, Zelda and many other nice things.

We came home and he vacuumed. Seriously. Begged me to vacuum. Then he put Easter decorations on the fake tree in the entryway. And he's been playing with the little tchochke baby chicks that came with the Easter decorations for hours. Drawers and bins full of action heroes, transformers, legos, etc...and the pom-pom chicks with googly eyes are what he wants to play with.

So, it's been a great day. No big throw-downs, no lashing out. Actual affection people! And laughter. Delightful, luscious laughter. He was a pleasant person. And so was I.


Changing directions

I was going to use this time to share the Woo's and Woe's of the Weekend of Camping with the third graders. But I got distracted by......

......the Limbaugh Call to Arms for die hard conservatives to crossover and vote for Hillary Clinton. I WAS going to talk about how pathetic and desperate this unethical directive is. But we all know that already, right?

Then I was going to make mention of the Caucus Chaos we endured last night. This Texas Two-Step is a little ridiculous and I can't quite imagine what the hell whoever designed this system was smoking when they set it up this way. Bubble Boy was the last of approximately 8,200 people present (or maybe it just seemed like that many) to sign in. There was much applause.

Then I thought I could dish about 3:10 to Yuma, which was really, really, REALLY good. Much better than No Country for Old Men, which was fine and dandy but damn...violent as all get out and left me saying "Wha?????" at the end. I'm finding that I am becoming quite the Christian Bale fan. But that's not really enough to make a whole post about since I'm not going to get into the details of each one.

Then there's the weird, horrible moods both the Bubble Kids were in this afternoon that must have been the result of strange astrological happenings. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, could make these kids happy this afternoon. I know because I tried all the tricks I could conjure to no avail until I locked them outside. That seemed to help for a few minutes. But just a few and they weren't consecutive.

Perhaps tomorrow Saturn will be in it's 7th house and the kids will be their normal, only semi-cranky selves and I will have more focus.