One of my favorite treats was candied spiced apple rings. WAS.
I made the mistake of loading up on the stuff at a salad bar when I was little, only to be fooled that canned beets looked exactly the same as my beloved candied apple rings. So, there I sat with a plate full of beets and a mother advising that since ‘I just HAD to have it, then I just HAVE to eat it’
It may be a little dramatic to say this was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life.
On that day I decided my darling candied spiced apple rings were nothing but traitors and I vowed never to be fooled by their beauty again.
I learned this same lesson when someone was serving rumaki. How was I supposed to know the traditional ingredients included chicken livers and dates?
What the what? Who does that?
I can’t believe it was only 4 years ago. It had to have been 5. A sweet dear friend of mine did something incredibly kind and I was having quite an evening of insomnia trying to figure out some way to reciprocate the kindness. Boy oh boy do I enjoy being extravagant with thank yous. It fills my heart. Being able to oooh and ahhh over someone and let them know how stinkin’ amazing they are, it’s my jam. Dude, I should just carry confetti in my pocket and just throw it in the air whenever I want to say thank you to you. Ohhhh, and a band, I can have a band follow you….and churros. Brilliant, I’ll get a guy with his churro cart to follow you for the day. Oh yeah, this is like the best idea in the history of ever. I’m totally calling my churro guy.
The tricky part of this particular situation is that I was on a beans and rice budget and was struggling to make ends meet. There was no way Darren was going to be cool with me going all sorts of exorbitant the way I would like. He’s Lame. Yup, capital L. Churro guy and I BOTH roll our eyes at him.
It was the summer of 1984. I was teeny with an even teenier brother and sister. Dad was driving us home from something when he stopped the car suddenly. The three of us, who probably didn’t even know what a seat belt was, went sliding around the back of the station wagon – like three adorable little bumper cars. I peeped up and noticed we were in the middle of the neighborhood, right next to the park and the elementary school. Dad hopped out of the car, picked something up out of the middle of the road and jumped back in with his new treasure. The 3 of us monkeys climbed over all the seats like ravaged animals to see what he was holding. It was a turtle, a beautiful, shiny green box turtle – roaming the suburban streets of Colorado.
When I think back to that moment, I often wonder if I would be able to notice a box turtle in the street. I’d like to say that I can, but I’m sure Darren is more of the box turtle in the middle of the street noticing type.
I was curious about frozen pizza. Well, I’m curious about a bazillion things, but for this teeny moment in time, it was just frozen pizza. I wondered why we always got the same brand. Was it because it really was the best, or was it the cheapest? Or was it just tradition? Was there something better out there? How much had the frozen pizza world changed since I was a wee little one drooling over a Totino’s Party Pizza?
Going out for pizza was always so much better than a frozen pizza when I was growing up. Frozen was a last resort, a very desperate second choice to going to. Heck, even desperate second to that creamed spinach hiding in the freezer. I crossed my fingers that there had been some improvements in the frozen pizza world in the last 10 years. Ok fine, 20 years.
I’ve been having the darndest time trying to think of a recipe to post. I’ve been trying to do one a week and I let 2 weeks slide by without one mention of food. Me? Not mention food? Cray.
We haven’t been camping in what, 12 years? Wow, that seems so long. Well….. not really since I’m not really a fan of camping. It’s just not my thing. I may have wept tears of joy when the trip got cancelled due to there still being snow on the ground up there at 9,000 feet above sea level.
What was the first thing I did when I received the
excellent horrible news? I started looking at Newport Beach vacays. But alas, 2 days notice over a holiday weekend does not leave me many choices and as much as I would LOVE to spend 8 thousand dollars on airfare, I decided the camping gods were just giving me a long weekend to play catch up. I’ll take it.
The camping peeps then sent out an invite for a BBQ for today. We happily accepted and said we would bring some potato salad.
I’ve never made potato salad. I just HAD to say potato salad didn’t I? I couldn’t say margaritas or a Strawberry Rhubarb pie? What the heck Schroeder?
We sure do talk about my brilliant choices quite a bit. With my daughter’s 13th birthday right around the corner, I’m constantly reminded of one of my brilliant choices I made when I was 13. Well, that AND it is literally tattooed to my person.
That’s right. I gave myself a tattoo when I was 13.
See, I told you it was a brilliant choice.
I stumbled across a choices circle on Pinterest a while back during one of my many 2am insomnia sessions. I was once again smacking myself upside the head that I hadn’t thought of the idea myself. The idea is that when you are faced with a difficult situation, it helps you figure out an appropriate and constructive solution. I don’t think there is a Schroeder on this planet where this wouldn’t be a useful tool. Present company included.
Let’s say, the problem is that Sally keeps taking my red crayon. Although some might thing the appropriate response would be to go for the jugular and scream ‘No’. I’ve learned from experience that this is socially unacceptable and quite frowned upon and maybe a little on the illegal side. Maybe this ‘wheel-o-choices’ can help us brush up on a social skill or two? Is that ever really a bad idea?
One of the first things I noticed after we moved into this house was realize I had a love/hate relationship with dark flooring. They are so Gosh Darn beautiful, when they are clean. But the second there is a crumb or a blade of grass on the floor, I see it. Well, not only do I see it, I feel it. Is that cookie crumb tensing up my shoulders and mocking me? Is it yelling ‘Here Mr. Ant, bring your family, I’m over here!’ Yes, yes I think it is.
I found myself vacuuming these floors twice a day… in-between unpacking, working and mom-ing. Yes, there would be an instance or two when I could trick someone else to do it for me, but they were all starting to catch on to my trickery and I could see the revolt in their eyes. We were about to have a mutiny and I needed to do something.
I found myself searching the internet for a solution and time after time my research was bringing me to the world of robot vacuums. I decided to give one a try.
The heavens sang the day my robot vacuum arrived.
I was picking Jack-Jack up from pre-school last year, having a lovely conversation with the pre-school teacher and another mom. I don’t remember exactly what the sweet pre-school teacher said, but it was something along the lines of…’I’m having a bad hair day’.
The next 37 seconds felt like an eternity…
I open my mouth and say ‘you’re right, your hair has looked better’.
Did those words come out of my mouth?!? OMG, I can fix this…say something better Sar “what I meant to say was, when your bangs are longer you can’t see the wrinkles in your forehead and you look years younger.” Wait what? Am I drunk? What’s happening? Make this moment stop. Sarah, stop talking, I beg of you. STOP SAYING WORDS. Think she’ll notice how much emphasis I put on the word ‘years’? Yeah Sar, that’s what she’s noticing. Idiot.
I was first introduced to the world of Goose Eggs when Maddie was 2. She was running on the couch and tripped. Her forehead met the corner of the windowsill, like hard. Dude. Her forehead just popped right out. I proceeded to freak out. I was yelling at Darren to call 911, my poor baby had cracked her scull open and this is obviously what a brain bleed looks like. More screaming at Darren ‘This is not a drill, call 911’.
I’m sure in Darren’s version of this story I was calling him all the sweet terms of endearment in my vocabulary, but I will deny it.
Darren casually walked over and snorted.
Fuming people, I.AM.FUMING. Why the frickin’ frick isn’t Flight for Life already here?!?!
‘Sarah, it’s just a Goose Egg’
A what? I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing. Shut it Schroeder, I’ll call 911 myself.
We don’t eat much fish and I’m sure the fish sticks we do eat totally don’t count as fish. But when my dad would come into town, or we would go visit him we would have at least one fish meal. I remember the first time I made him this dish he yelled his joyous ‘Hot Damn’ when he sat down and then proceeded to add salt to everything. I always asked why he salted his meal before he tasted it and he always responded with him being old and didn’t have any taste buds left. Ever since I was a kid, he always responded with the same thing. It’s funny that I kept asking. Maybe even funnier that he always had the same response.
Every time I make this dish I can hear my dad saying ‘hot damn’. I wish you could hear it, the world shined a bit brighter when dad said ‘hot damn’. Or maybe that was just me.
When I crossed the finish line of my first triathlon I was pretty darn proud of myself. I had two goals. One, to not be last and two, to not seek medical attention.
I use this same kind of gauge towards parenting. One, did anyone need medical attention today? Two, did anyone catch on fire? If both of those answers are no then I am putting the day in the win column.
Do I still get frustrated when I ask my kiddos if they have brushed their teeth and the answer is ‘I forgot’. Jiminy Christmas. Are you kidding me? Every day. Twice a day. I’ll let the flossing slide, but dude…Every day for the last 12 years.
I hear you. I shouldn’t be getting frustrated; this is my job as a mom – right? I know. I would say it’s a fifty-fifty split. Half the time I’m totally cool and all angelic ‘My Sweet Lovie, don’t forget to brush your teeth’. And the other half I’m a grumpy old troll who just can’t say it one more time. Seriously, let’s do the math…I’ll give you a free pass for the first 3 years of your life…leaving the past 9 years at twice a day, every day. Yup, over SIX THOUSAND times. I have said brush your teeth six thousand times. And you forgot. So great.
Ok, no more complaining, it’s time to find a solution.
I just love love love the history behind family china. Heck, I think I love the history behind all china. Please don’t tell anyone that if I had to pick between laundry & a documentary about presidential china patterns, I would totally pick the latter.
I enjoy setting a beautiful table and my heart skips a beat when it gets to be pretty and sentimental to boot.
My grandfather shipped me my grandmothers set about a year after Darren and I were married. Man, it’s beautiful. It is this perfectly creamy gold with gold stars everywhere, it’s unlike any china pattern I have ever seen & I adore it. We kept it in the crawl space since we didn’t have any other storage options and every holiday Darren would schlep downstairs and grab ‘the china box’. We then inherited Darren’s grandmothers’ sets, 3 generations of china and I am so honored to be able to showcase these sets every holiday.
Every holiday it became a little trickier to find everything. Darren would laugh every time I would say ‘I’m missing a box’. Laugh, curse, grimace…tomato/potato.
This was one of my favorite projects. I wanted these to be housed at the middle landing of the stairs but since there weren’t any power outlets there I had to scrap that idea and move them somewhere else. I’m still not completely comfortable with the idea of electronics being housed upstairs. I feel their home should be more downstairs, in the living areas. Maybe when I figure out how to program Circle I will be a little more at ease. I’ll say it again, the cyber detective lady that gave the lecture about internet safety and the kiddos scared the bejezus out of me. That’s right, my bejezus.
Let’s go back to talking about cute furniture that is also crazy functional, shall we?
We had a problem. Our electronics storage solution in the old house was no longer an option here and we were currently using a cabinet in the built-ins. Although it kept everything out of sight, the phrases ‘I can’t find a charger’ or ‘the chrome book isn’t charged’ were becoming all too common and were driving me up the wall. I needed a Technology Command Center. TCC. A small Data Center if you will…OMG, like a Barbie Data Center….Hold on, I need to tell Mattel my million dollar idea. All the creepy blue lights will be pink…Oh yeah, we’re doing this, people.
Growing up there were 2 ways I knew it was summer. One, mom would paint her toes red… and two, there would be dip. Yummy 1980’s dip. You could just see the calories oooozing out of it.
My parents loved to entertain and with friends over, that meant food….lots and lots of yummy food. I’d like to tell you that I didn’t plant my patootski in front of the dip for a good duration, but I’m pretty sure that would be a lie.
After mom passed away it took me a while to get back into reading. I couldn’t sit, or focus for any length of time. When I was handed the book The Happiness Project, I knew I had my reading bug back. My next book was by Jenny Lawson. It was exactly what I needed. Maybe SHE was exactly what I needed.
*spoiler alert* she has a new book and I am excited to get my hands on it as soon as I can.
A few years back while I was in the middle of making dinner for my three sweet musketeers, somehow the dog got out. I remember hearing my oldest, who was 8 at the time, yell “Momma! I win! The puppy is free’. Mark my words, that kid is going to be an animal activist.
I grab my shoes, some puppy treats and outside I go….
I could see the dog on the other side of the cul-de-sac, just frolicking around, enjoying his freedom. As I started calling out to him, my sweet entourage is following me. So as I jog to try to get the dog it starts to sound something more like…..
“Puppy, here puppy. Jack-Jack, can you go put on pants please. Puppy! Maddie Dinky Doo, can you put on some shoes, Sweetheart? Puppy! Em, Sweetie, I know you’re cold Angel, why don’t you go put on a jacket? Puppy! Here Puppy!”
The neighbor lady appeared in her front lawn and seems to be just watching with a smile on her face, like she’s been here and is living vicariously through me and my moment of chaos that I am parading around the cul-de-sac. (In my head she grabbed a drink and pulled up a lawn chair, but I don’t think that REALLY happened, did it?)
Every once in a while we do a food ‘challenge’. One of my favorites was trying to find the best cornbread. See, I worked at a restaurant back in High School and they had this amazing cornbread that I ate probably every day. You could (and still can) buy cans of the mix to make at home. It was never the same.
We love cornbread around here. It goes perfectly with soups, beans, chili, roasted chicken, bbq…heck, we couldn’t have our Thanksgiving stuffing without cornbread.
Ok, I’m going to tell you a little secret….I am always forgetting which recipe I like. Was it the one on the back of the box of cornmeal; was it the one in this cookbook, in this cookbook, the one I Pinned? Where did I stand on the one I picked up pre-made at the grocery store? Seriously, I’m a mess.
Ok, its decided. I’m going to figure out which one we like best.
Here we are My Friends, my favorite time of the week. I’ve snuck out of bed and tiptoed downstairs as quietly as possible. I like this time to myself & I try to savor it as long as I can.
The morning coffee is brewing and wishing me a good morning in its sweet aromatic way. And a fine morning to you too….did I just tip my invisible hat to my coffee maker? Aw yeah, this is going to be a beautiful day.
I grab everything and head on over to my favorite spot at the kitchen table. I need my calendar, my laptop, my stickies, my coffee, my favorite pen and my beautiful daily log.
I’m working on finding an electronic calendar that fits our needs & I’m still pretty frightened by them. I’ve just started defining what I’m looking for and researching online calendars that fit the bill, so for now the paper version stays. But I do see the possibility of this being the last year.
What I really want to talk to you about is my log. This bad boy has saved me on many occasions and I don’t know where I would be without it.
I always wear the same jewelry….One pair of earrings that I never like to forget as I think they pull the attention away from my huge nose. One ring in the top of my left ear (I guess it is called a Helix). I tried to do a Tragus piercing but I looked like an idiot – I totally can’t pull that look off. (we’ll talk more about that beautiful experience later)
I wear one necklace. Usually it is this one a dear sweet friend made for me. I love it. Two weeks before one of the kids’ birthdays I start wearing a necklace with their names on it. Right now I am wearing Jack-Jacks. Makes him smile – which in turn makes me smile – which in turn makes Darren smile…its one big smile-fest over here.