Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Thoughts - and a recipe!

So, if these are the opposite of deep thoughts -- does that make them shallow? Hmmmmm... hope not, just they're not anything to really chew on...know what I mean?

  • I am probably the only person on the planet who is capable of cutting her thumb with celery. Yes, CELERY. (And by cut - I mean, blood was drawn.) I was trying to scrape a yucky part off with my thumbnail and the rib went under my nail and cut it open! ...Welcome to my world, friends. Welcome to my world.
  • Okay, so check out the poll. Those of you that selected "Other" -- what is it that you like? Is it pumpkin bread? I just realized I didn't put it on there. I'm dying to know what else is left? Pumpkin ice cream? Pumpkin mousse? Help me out "other" people!
  • I bought some Weight Watchers English Toffee ice cream bars yesterday. Uhh, YUM! Ice cream is ice cream, let's face it -- but when I have enough bread and fat exchanges left at the end of the day for TWO of them (they're like popsicle size) -- that makes for a Happy Tara. Have I mentioned that I love ice cream?
  • So, I have still been thinking (ouch!) about the whole control issue. It is SO good to know that I'm not alone, and it seems to be a general theme in a lot of people's lives. Alana mentioned in her comment that a lot of us bloggy friends seem to have the same problem. It made me think about that a bit. Is it that most bloggy people are control people? Or am I in the middle of a freakish little subset of control addicts? Or are we just able to say "Yep, I struggle with that?" Or does EVERY person struggle with control? Are there some people who struggle to actually get a tighter grip on things instead of trying to let go more often? Can you imagine that one??? I can't, but I'm sure it exists. (Don't ask me why my mind does stuff like this. I should be exercising it with Sudoku puzzles or something, but no -- I ponder things like this.)
  • Speaking of wanting more control -- I actually did take control of something that I've been wanting to for awhile now. Well, Tuesday I sat down and started making a Menu Plan for the whole month! I think that I have been talking (to myself) about doing this for at least a year now. Yesterday was the day that I finished it up and I feel so good about that! I know I am a total nerd here, but it was so much fun (seriously, it was!) that when I thought about what to make for dinner yesterday at about 4:00...I went to the fridge, checked the calendar and saw that the decision was already made for me. I even wrote on there when to pull stuff out of the freezer to defrost for upcoming meals. Seriously. It was awesome!
  • In conjunction with that, I'm trying my hardest to save us some money so that when we eventually move, we have more money to spend on the new house for decorating, etc. See, I'm going to add up how much I've spent in the last 6 months at the grocery store every month and get an average. Then, I'm going to see how much I have SAVED based on that number this month with my big effort and put the difference into our savings and keep track of how much is in the "decorating fund." I am a SERIOUS spender at the store, girls. Big, big spender. I know I can tone it down and I think that's why my little monthly menu thing feels so good!
  • Speaking of possibly moving! (Do you like how this is pretty much one big "and", "and", "and"...) I had two friends come over for a walk yesterday morning after we all dropped our kiddos off at preschool. One of them asked how the house selling thing was going. I told her that we'd had about one showing a week usually, but not for almost 2 weeks now. I added that if we had a showing call today that I would really be up a creek because I had been feeling sort of apathetic that morning. Uhhhh, YEAH. We got about 1/4 mile away from home and the cell phone starts ringing. I just KNEW it would be the realtor and it was. It was 9:30 and they wanted to show the house between 9:45 and 11:45. Uhhh, not so much. I said I could pull it off by 10:00 so we walked home at the speed of light. Can I just tell you -- I love my friends. I seriously have some GREAT friends, and these are two of them. They didn't ask if they could help, they just asked where stuff was. One ran the vaccum, the other one swept/swiffered while I cleaned up the kitchen sink/counters, made the beds, wiped off the bathroom sinks, etc. Georgia and her little same-aged friend just looked at us like we were nuts. I'm not kidding. Those girls saved my hopefully-shrinking-bootie. And the best part? We laughed through the whole thing and still got our walk in! Thank you, Lord, for my amazing girlfriends.
  • We are having a TV-free week over here. Mitchell was quite full of sass and vinegar (that's my version of the old catchphrase) last week so we decided to just axe the ol' boob tube for a week. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about this because it almost felt like more of a punishment for me than for him, and I know that many of you know what I'm talking about. Mr. Boob Tube helps Mommy check her email in the morning and make dinner in the evenings.'s actually been great and I know that we will now have at least one TV free day every week. I think he would watch it in a heartbeat if I let him, but he's actually been great about it. As far as thinking about his behavior more -- Monday was the same -- a horrible day. Tuesday was marginally better. Yesterday was a truly awesome day. He was SO good. (He's 4, so of course he had his moments -- we all do -- but for the most part he was just a delight.) I am sure that I am a more attentive Mommy this week, and that is probably the biggest reason for the change. I'm hoping it lasts for more than one day! Thank you, Lord, for my sweet, sweet boy.
  • I am so, so, SO proud of my husband. I can't really get into details on here, but can I just tell you that he is seriously kicking some lawyer bootie at work!!!! He recently won an appeal that he'd worked on for over a year and won it in a huge way. It was a pretty remarkable case, so much so that yesterday he was contacted by a law publication and they will be publishing the case because it is such a rare situation. I am bursting with pride at his efforts and success. In addition, a judge that he appeared before for three years recently announced his retirement from the bench due to health reasons. My husband hadn't appeared before him for seven years but sent him a letter expressing his admiration, thanks, and respect for the man. He indicated that this man had truly mentored my husband and that he is the reason he is where he is today. Well, this week he received a reply from the judge. He let me read it -- and it brought me to tears. Apparently, my husband's letter had a much bigger impact on this man that Chris could ever have anticipated. The judge's eyesight is failing him -- that is the reason for his retirement. Chris sent the letter in large (24 point) font and double spaced...the judge indicated that not even his clerks that he works with every day think to do that. The day that he received the letter, he'd been at a conference all day and he was unable to read even one more word that day so he had his wife read it to him. He stated that she put it down in the middle of reading it and they both began to sob and hug each other, for it meant so much to them to read the words that Chris had written. He was so touched and so grateful for Chris' thoughts and efforts -- he was actually brought to tears, and brought together with his wife. Can you imagine??? This man does not want to retire, I'm sure he feels like somewhat of a failure, and is devastated to have to end his career so much earlier than he ever dreamed of doing. It sounds as if he was feeling hurt, lost, and very regretful. And then Chris' letter arrives and turns the tide of emotions. Absolutely breathtaking. I told Chris that this whole situation was definitely a God Moment. It was a case of "Holy Attraction" if I'd ever heard of one. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. I could not be more proud of my man, even if I wanted to be. I love him so much -- and I can assure you -- this is so very typical of him. I'm so blessed to call him my husband. Thank you, Lord, for my amazing husband.

Okay -- is that a long enough ramble of random thoughts for you? As a reward, and in the spirit of Mari's Slow Cooking Thursday, here is the recipe that I'm using for tonight's dinner. Happy Thursday, friends!

Tangy Pulled Pork Sandwiches
From Light & Tasty

1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 kaiser rolls, split

PREP 10 min.
COOK 240 min.
TOTAL 250 min.

Cut the tenderloin in half; place in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper; pour over pork.
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat; shred with two forks. Return to the slow cooker; heat through. Serve on rolls. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 sandwich equals 402 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 63 mg cholesterol, 1,181 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 29 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3-1/2 starch, 3 very lean meat, 1/2 fat.


Anonymous said...

Thaks for the crockpot recipe! Any friend of Mari's......LOL!


BethAnne said...

Wow, Tara, that was a lot of typing (and a lot of thoughts)! Neat what happened with your husband - we just never know the impact we might have on people when we take the time to write a note or make a phone call.

You are a better mom than I am to cut the TV off for a whole week. I grounded my son from the TV for three days one time and I thought I would pull my hair out. I hate to watch TV, but the only way I can actually get anything done is to turn it on for the boys - sad but true. Before I had kids I always said I would never let the TV babysit my kids - oh how I have eaten my own words - maybe that is why I keep gaining weight!!!!

Short Stop said...

That recipe looks so good! Yum!!

As for the poll, my favorite is pumpkin's like a jelly roll pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing in the middle. I love it, and eat it all year round. I'll have to make it and post the recipe sometime!

Janelle said...

That looks like a wonderful recipe. Very good for busy Fall nights.

I am with Short Stop. Pumpkin with cream cheese icing is my FAVE!

Love your rambling post.

Earen said...

Fun, fun, fun to read!! I love reading all your thoughts Tara & you write them down so well. I was very touched by the story about your husband's letter. What an awesome thing he did for that man! You never know how God is going to use us! Oh, I'm with you on being nervous about cutting the TV completely off sometimes because it's a helper to me at times with the boys. Good for you though..we really should do that because it does rob us of some additional family time! As far as the pumpkin survey, I actually put Pumpkin choc.chip cookies because they are close to the Chocolate pumpkin loaf I make every year because everything else pumpkin to me is yucky...I know, that's my thanksgiving day dessert! Love ya girl! PS - I want to come walk sometime too!

Mari said...

Where do I begin - you have so much to answer to! I think you are surrounded by people with control issues here because we gravitate to people that are somewhat like us - that's why I like you and your blog! I also like your husband more every time you write about him. I am so impressed with what he did. He is a sweetie. Kudo's on the tv thing. I don't think I could do it. And - thanks for the recipe - it looks great.

Anonymous said...

Are we a freaky subset of control addicts? Hm. Mebbe.

My husband is also an attorney. I feel like we're related or something.

Love the way your husband DID something about what he was THINKING. Most of us don't do that, for such silly excuses. Good for him. Very inspiring.

I'm very hungry at the moment, and now I'm craving pumpkin desserts. Great.

Renee said...

I love the way your mind works, girl!! You can make even random thoughts sound so important (which they are), and inspiring. That's a gift, to be sure!!

That is WONDERFUL about Chris. For so many reasons. That he thought about it. That he DID it. That he touched someone's life. That he let God use him for His purpose. He's quite a man, your hubby. I'm so happy for both of you that God brought your paths back together. :)

I thought your comment about Sudoku was funny. I know it's supposed to be stimulating brain exercise, but I do it when my brain needs a break. Thinking and worrying about 100 different things ALL the time can wear it out. :)

I LOVE that your friends helped you out so much with your showing. What a blessing that you have friends like that in your life. Yay, friends! (I'm still praying about your house!)

How's the no TV week finishing up? Kudos to you for doing it, and sticking to it!!

Love ya tons!

Alana said...

Let's see...

- Cutting your finger with celery...VERY IMPRESSIVE!
- I have a recipe for this pumpkin pie dump cake type thing. It's my favorite. It is also one of Janelle's favorites, so I'm surprised she didn't mention it!
- Will try English Toffee Bars soon!
- Control, probably an issue most people deal with in some way or another.
- Loved the story about your friends helping you clean. Friends like that are a gift from God!
- TV Free week? I definitely see a difference in my kids behavior when they are watching too much TV. Good call!
- Great story about your husband and his mentor.

That's all I have to say for now!!

Rebekah said...

I am going to fix the pulled pork Monday. It sounds delicious.
One of my favorite pumpkin desserts.... Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen... slurp