Saturday, December 25, 2010

Turkey Juice Explosion - How Was Your Christmas?

I'm cured of turkey!  Never to infinity do I ever want to feel the urge to cook turkey again.  Don't think I even want anything made of turkey, at least for a long while.

Sitting here thinking of the event, I still can't wrap my head around it.  Even during, it was surreal; like slowmo.

I've been without a conventional stove for several years now, at least, the oven part.  You have to learn to adapt in situations like this.  So far, a toaster oven and a crockpot have sufficed.

Thought I was doing so good for this Christmas even planning to fix turkey and trimmings. Once several years ago, my hubby and younger son actually had the nerve to gripe about a Christmas meal after I had slaved for two days cooking.  For about the next three years, they got hot dogs for all holiday meals.

The huge food fixing frenzy at holidays has always been a big tradition in our family, as probably it is with most families.  I may not be a five star, own TV show chef type, but I am by no means an amaetur at the game.  I think mom put a paring knife in my hand as soon as she trusted me with one.  And even before that, I helped with little kid stuff like peeling eggs or mixing stuff.

So I had bought a turkey roaster last week for the 13 pound turkey I had bought at Thanksgiving and couldn't cook cause it wouldn't fit in any of my alternative cooking appliances.  Man was that a bummer!  Thaw turkey, get up early to start cooking, wash and baste it, mess up everything in the kitchen trying to find something it'll fit in, end up wrapping it with plastic wrap, throwing it back in the freezer and going back to bed.  Don't remember what we had, but it sure wasn't turkey.

Yesterday I roasted this wonderful turkey.  The roaster oven cooked it up so well and fast, even browned the skin.  Was so pleased.  Planning to cook ahead a little, I wrapped my turkey up good after cooling, so it wouldn't dry out and strained the juice in a stainless boiler ready to heat up to mix dressing.

This mornings finishing touches were to be so simple.  Make the dressing.  That was the only really time consuming part left to do.  Oh, but my turkey broth was already strained and in a boiler all ready to heat and add to the cornbread cooking.

So I put this golden liquid on the stovetop to heat.  I turn my back for two seconds and it boils over.  Ok, caught it.  Not too much damage.  Weird though.  The stuff isn't even hot.  Maybe it boiled over because I had the lid on.

I turn the eye back on, tilt the lid and turn to work on the celery.  In the mist of all this, I've called Caleb in to retrieve a bottle of sage that I couldn't find.

That's when it happened!  I am so glad I had a witness cause I still can't believe it myself and I was there.  Just as we were turning from the pantry, that lid exploded off the top of that boiler and turkey juice was fueling it's climb!  The only thing the juice didn't cover was the space behind my body!  How it missed my hair I can't figure out, but everything else was dripping with greasy turkey juice!

It got the ceiling, the walls, the window by the stove, all my canisters, counters and the floor was so covered, I was scared to move for fear of sliding down.  It even got the toaster and the toaster oven that were plugged in.  It would have kept going if it hadn't blown out the gas burner under it.  And I didn't even think until now, it could have caught fire!

Of course, with Caleb being a teenager, he laughed so hard I thought he was gonna pass out.  Me?  I was thinking: cry, throw-up, or leave.  But instead I had to play grownup.  Rats!  I really would have liked to have chosen the latter.

I think I hate turkey!  Still can't figure out why.  I mean, the stuff still had not gotten hot.  I'm sure someone smarter than me could come up with some scientific explanation, but here's a real scientific fact from actual experimentation; luke warm turkey grease can be used as a cleaning agent.

Yeah, you heard that right!  When I got to wiping up all that mess, that burnt on gook around the burner eyes came off with just soapy water.  And you should see the bottom of that copper clad Revere Ware boiler the juice was in.  So shiny!  If only I had thought soon enough and set my entire set of copper cookware on the floor before we mopped up the grease!  Duh!

Maybe next time.  Oh, but there's not gonna be a next time cause I hate turkey!

You should have heard my hubby later when I finally finished cooking.  He complimented the meal so many times it became comical.  Like if he didn't, I might never cook again.  Now there's a thought!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Every 20 Years or So - Part 3

The incident about the teacher finally made it to a local newspaper.  Probably only because someone had recorded it and posted it to You Tube. Still just unreal to me.

There have been times in my life that I was pretty much satisfied with myself and times when I was pretty much disgusted.  Been thinking lately about where I am right now, where I've been and where I'm headed.  Most of this type of thinking brings me back to my first son, Ben.

I was twenty when he was born and it was kinda like we grew up together.  I was married to his father at the time, but we divoriced two or three years later.  Because of our closeness, I always trusted him completely.  Looking back, that was my greatest mistake.

Only fair to say he doesn't see things as I do.  Our relationship now is strained to nonexistent.  Sometimes it feels like we never knew each other at all.  Or like it was another life.

When I'm in this mind set, I look back and try to figure out where it went wrong.  Like I have to pinpoint a certain location in our history and label it, but life isn't like that.  Instead it's little bunches of this and that until they just pile up and spill over.

One flashback I had this morning happened when he was about seventeen.  I had bought him a car that was nothing but trouble from day one.  It was a classic Camero; too much work, too powerful.

This particular a.m. I woke from a dead sleep knowing Ben was in trouble.  Checked to see if he was home, but already knew he wasn't, got up and dressed and started cruising town to find him.  It didn't take long.  He was on the road talking to a policeman, his car was down a six plus foot imbankment and a wrecker was on the scence trying to pull the car up.  He looked up and saw me and the first thing out of his mouth was, "momma, how did you know?"

That was probably gonna be one of those secrets he kept from me.  Yet even then I trusted him; I wanted to trust him.  Is it wrong to want to trust your child?  No, but it's wrong to believe you can.  Sure there's a time when you as a parent have no more say or influence; when children are almost grown and they are sure they know everything.  Believe it or not, even I was once a teenager.

But still I pick at all this stuff and try to figure out what happened.  I hope it ends up being a good thing, but my son now, Caleb, hears way too many horror stories about those days with Ben.  It's like this, I'm not going through that crap again and now I know what to watch out for, so Caleb doesn't have a chance.        

Monday, November 8, 2010

Every 20 Years or So - Part 2

So last week my teen son mentioned that one of his last year's teachers had finally come back to school.  So naturally I asked why she had been out.  He said she had been beat up by a student.  A female student had hit her several times in the face, got her down on the floor and started kicking her.  The teacher had been out for about a week.

What has this got to do with my story?  It shows the attitude of much of this generations lack of care for anything or anyone but themselves.  I suppose every generation is the worst in the previous generations eyes.  And I suppose this has been so since the beginning of time.  Sorry, don't really want to go back that far.  My concern is that things of this nature seem be considered normal, even routine.

Ok, I'm going to say it.  Back in my day, if I had even got close to an incident of violence involving anyone, especially a teacher, I would have gotten my butt kicked at home.  NO!  Worse than that.  I'd a got a whoopin'!  There seems to be no shame for certain behavior.  And there seems to be an effort on the school system's part to keep things like this a secret.

Even with my first son, things were not like this.  Most kids still showed respect for adults and certain situations.  In other words, I wasn't afraid to go to my first son's school and walk down the hall without an escort.

I have to say that I am a critic of this public school system and the school system in general.  My dislike for this system and the way it is run contributed to the decision for us to home school for nine years.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever done to allow my son now to return, at his request, to this school system which I truly hate.

While I believe with all my heart, teaching is a calling, a very noble proffession, it is also infested with teachers who do not teach.  It's not my intention to bash teachers.  Even in this school system, there are some very good teachers.  And how do I define a good teacher?  As one that stands before her or his class and talks about the subject in a way that gets the student to think and get involved.  So how do I define a teacher who doesn't teach?  As one whose class instruction is handouts, with reading straight from the book, with playing video games instead of being involved in class time, one who won't take questions & belittles any who try to ask one.

As the saying goes, if the shoe fits...  Why this even matters here is because even an unruly, rebellious, undisciplined child might reconize dedication and passion and care shown toward them.  As on the other hand, that child might reconize having a teacher with less as a sign that they the student are seen as a hopeless case so may as well not bother.

And I understand, one huge complaint all teachers have is that they spend most of their class time discipling.  Well if that's the case, all those college grads ought to be able to think of a better way.  I've always thought that parent involvement would be a key factor in gaining better control of the classroom.  But years ago I had an administrative position person actually say to me that some parents you wouldn't want around your child.  Hello!  Job Screening!  It's like what all employers do.

Like it's been said a million times before, it all starts at home; teaching that is, whether good or bad.  And to pharaphase the Bible, "Teach a child the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it".  When a child is taught right from wrong, whether or not he chooses to do the right thing, the teaching doesn't leave his mind.   

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life as Cookie Dough

This is only like my 4th blog post.  Got one from September not published yet and will continue Every 20 Years or So.  Still just a newbie.  And when am I suppose to post when there's just way too much info out there to consume.  I been reading some really good blogs.  Lots of interesting & smart people.

One thing I kinda noticed though when checking out other sites, whatever that blogger writes about is ususally the type of blogs they follow.  I found that interesting.  Surely people have more than one interest, one focus?  Surely I'm not in the minority of deversification?  But yet I see this over & over.  If it's a quilting blog, then most of the links are to other quilting sites.  If about horses, then most of the links are to other bloggers with an interest in horses.  Huuuummm....

Ok, so I got to thinking hard about this.  I've recently admitted to the fact that I'm a starter and not a finisher.  There, see I even put it in writing.  I enjoy doing handwork, sewing, whatever, but right now I'm calling myself a quilter.  Now is that because I have done many quilts or have started many quilts.

Carry this idea over to other areas of my life and I see the same pattern.  I start, but I don't necessarily finish.  I did finish the two courses I took in college though, but that was after quitting high school & doing basicly nothing for ten years, then deciding to go back to school.

As you can see from some of the blogs I follow, they have nothing to do with each other.  No common thread.  Where it seems these people have specialized focus, I am scattered.

Now whether or not one way or another is good or bad could be a question.  Maybe not.  Maybe more of an observation.  I quess I'm using this blog to sort of look at myself and the way I see things.  And hoping to make myself what I think to be a better person.

My life feels like it's been a big batch of cookie dough with chocolate chips and a drop is here and a drop is there and the chips are totally random.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Every 20 Years or So - Part 1

I follow Beta Dad's blog.  He and his wife are raising twin girls. In commenting on one of his posts I had mentioned I had two sons 20 years apart.  He gave me new inspiration to ponder.  The idea was about the differences in the generations of teenagers.

When I was a teen it was the late 60's and early 70's.  The generation known as the baby boomers, but then we were called the generation of sex, drugs & rock n roll.  It's so strange to think of my life back then.  I was really into rock music; Stones, Doors, Joplin, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane.  Wow, this is really weird.

No, I didn't go to Woodstock.  I can remember being at my sister's house in Florida and watching clips of it on the news.  I think that was the summer of 69 and I was 16.  I lived through so much of what is now considered history, probably ancient to some.

THIS WASN'T SUPPOSE TO POST NOW!!!  Computer blinked & went crazy when it came back on, so this post is still in progress.

I really hated high school.  There was this one boy who tormented me all the time.  He made my life miserable.  He just doesn't know how fortunate he is that I was a different person then.  I was so timid I wouldn't take up for myself.  Now I realize he helped make me who I am today. I may be a Christian, but I wouldn't have put up with his crap now for one second.

I think the older I get, the meaner I get and I'm really not a mean person.  It's just that I've been through so much in my life that I've decided not to put up with anything I don't want to.  For example, back this spring I was at the gas station.  I was pumping gas minding my own business and this bunch of young boys started a shouting match across the parking lot.  Seemed like two groups that were mad at each other and they were being vividly vocal and more so.

I kept thinking this is a public place, I have the right to be here & not listen to this & they're gonna stop any minute now.  Well, I had had enough!  Let me say here, when I scream, people shut up!  I told them exactly what I thought about their display and I don't think I used any nasty words except for CRAP (which seems to be my motto lately).  And I demanded an answer.  I remember screaming "Do you think this is any way to act in public?"  And I kept screaming questions like that until I started hearing some "no mams & yes mams & sorry mams".

And to top it off, there was a man sitting in a car at the next pump and he said to me, "I'm glad you told them that, they don't need to be talking that way in public."  I thought to myself, "why in the CRAP didn't YOU call them down then?"  By then I was too mad and too hoarse to say anything so I shut up.

I don't suppose this would have had the same end results, say if I had been in New York City, Miami, LA or other large city.  But this is the south, in a sparsely populated county, in a rural area where most people here have lived all there lives.  Most everybody knows everybody except us.  We're the newcomers, the outsiders, the city (LOL) folks that moved here 17 years ago!  Yeah, no you can't know what I mean.  Back when I was going regular to church, there was a family there that had moved here 20 years ago and the husband made a statement about that they were just beginning to be accepted. 

OK!THIS MAY TAKE AWHILE!!!  I had more to say than I thought I did, but I really got to go wash dishes.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Forever Young

I can remember when I was very young, I would wonder how other people felt.  How it was to be them. Looking back, that was a pretty deep thought for a child.  Problem is I still wonder.  Not to the deep extent that I did back then though.  Now my wonderment is clouded with real life, real experiences, real dreams, real disappointments.

What is interesting to me is that I've never cared what someone thought of me.  And I think most people do care what others think.  Most people put so much into making a good impression, being cool, fitting in with the crowd, etc. that they don't even know who they are.  I can't remember a time when I cared one way or another what someone thought of me.  It's always been a take it or leave it package.

I love music and right now I'm listening mostly to Contemporary Christian.  Mercy Me has a song 'Beautiful' on their new CD Mr. Lovewell.  I saw a You Tube video with Bart Millard (lead singer, husband, father) talking about what inspired him to write this song.  He talked about his children and the influences of this day and age that caused little girls especially to feel that they could never measure up to what the world expected of them, but that in God's eyes we all are beautiful; splinters & all (this is my take on his statement, but it's a 'need to see it for yourself' thing).

Though I've never given much consideration for other people's opinion about me personally, I can understand that this is an important message for all of us.  It's a reminder that even though we generally put labels on each other, God sees us all the same.  And He loves us all the same and He is ready to forgive us all the same.

I am thankful for groups like Mercy Me that are not ashamed to stand before the world and our youth to sing the message that God has given them.

It Would Be So Easy

When I mentioned to my family that I was going to start a blog, they asked what did I have to write about.  Then, almost in the same breath, my husband announced he didn't want me writing about him.  Oh but it would be so easy to write about him.  He's the reason my life borders between insanity & halarity.

Take the other week for instance.  I needed to run to town and pay a bill.  I've got to set this up though.  I'm southern so 'run' doesn't necessarily mean in the literal sense.  In this case it means 'to drive'.  The bill I needed to pay is only two blocks away so I always pay in person. 

Our driveway is on a slight incline and on a corner intersection, so when backing out you need to proceed with caution but quickly.  I don't like to change into drive until I've come to a complete stop so of course there's the brake action put into play here.  Then I have to almost immediately stop again for a stop sign.  Then there's a wide left turn, slow down for another intersection, pot hole, stop sign, turn right on major highway, then pull over & park.  Sounds a bit complicated for two blocks, but really quite simple.

OK done and I'm there getting out to pay my bill.  Only by accident do I walk around to the back of my truck and I find a surprise sitting on the bumper.  Our mail from yesterday!  And sure I know who put it there and it wasn't the postman.

Ok maybe the postman is a little to blame since he's started running later.  Caleb usually gets the mail when he comes in from school.  But since now the postman hasn't run, he comes on in the house and we get busy with stuff and forget about it.  Hence yesterday's mail, but important none the less.

I could probably write a book, but instead I turn the truck around and retrace my path and hope that if something fell off no one else got it and I see it.  Yeah it would be so easy to write about him, but I'll try real hard maybe to refrain.  Hey, I don't think he's gonna read this anyway.

I just love family.  Don't you?

Monday, September 27, 2010

A God Wink? *

Riding down the road the other day.......I was listening to the radio, which is unusual for me and that's another story, and heard an old Eagles' song (I think?).  The line that caught my attention was kinda "so often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key".  Of course, the song had absolutely nothing to do with the Christian lifestyle or journey, but my thought was how it perfectly states our journey.
Think about we let the world, life, fears, obligations, money, possessions, you name it come into our thoughts and wrap chains around us.  And sometimes we go along for awhile thinking "we can fix this", yet the chains get longer and heavier until we are bound.  And then when all seems most hopeless, where do we look?
It amazes me.......that even people that claim to not believe in God or Jesus will call on Him in times of total hopelessness.  That alone is proof that He is the key.  The key that breaks our chains that we wrap around ourselves.  Sure there are some who would not even call on Him then and scripture gives them a very appropriate name; 'LOST'.  What a sad name.  What a sad word.
How amazing God is.......that He could choose to speak to me through a what maybe 20+ year old rock song.  Only He can use something so extremely out there for a typical believer, yet He knew me.  I don't believe in coincidence.  Long, long ago I heard that song over and over and over again, but this day I heard it with a new message.  One that God had planned for me long ago.
Watch and pray.......because God has something He wants to tell you, but you've got to be ready to hear it.  Even if it takes years.
Galatians 5:1 nkjv.......Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
2 Timothy 2:19 nkjv.......Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:  "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
And this is one of my favorite verses;
John 8:36 nkjv......."Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
*References the book "When God Winks at You" by Squire Rushnell