Cornball Corn Dog Lover

Yes, we recycle gray water. Yes, we are mindful of our utility usage. Yes, I buy only grass fed beef. Yes, we eat veggies from our garden. Still, a boy’s gotta love what a boy’s gotta love, and my boy loves corn dogs. He loves corn dogs so much that when one of his teachers assigned a project on architecture, he constructed a museum for the documentation of the storied past of the corn dog. When another teacher assigned a five paragraph, three point essay for his writing journal, he found a way to honor his obsession. Oddly, he never once mentions mustard.

Favorite Food — by 10 YO Boy

I love corn dogs becuase they taste awsome. They also never get boring. Last of all they are finger goods but your finger never touches theme.

Corn dogs never get boring becuase you can eat all week and never tier the taste out. I know becuase I eat corn dog almost every time I eat out.

Corn dogs are my favorit food becuase they are a cleaner finger food because they have a stick.

That why corn dogs are my favorit food becuase they taste awsome. They also don’t tier. And therd of all they are a clean finger food.

Class Dismissed

I channeled Miss Emily Litela today as a parent chaperone on a field trip to the subversive produce mecca of the 17th Street Market, though I didn’t realize it at the time. For those of you not fortunate enough to be reared by parents who worked late into the night, thus allowing you unfettered access to comedians like the brilliant Gilda Radner, take a gander:

Oh, Big Brother and I spent hours dotting and crossing on Mom’s chalkboard! Perhaps this goes some distance explaining why I’m such a teacher groupie, or why I adore the cardigan, or why I can’t pee in the ocean. I think this skit was probably the inspiration behind my brother and I silently, or loudly, saying, “Vacuum!” to one another, though we did occasionally say, “Olive juice,” as well. There was no sport in letting our parents presume we liked each other. Our alliance was forged in secret. Such subversiveness allowed us far more nefarious activity than we otherwise would have enjoyed. When Big Brother is watching over you, you get to hang out at Expresso Royale. Oh, yes. And it went without saying there was nary a snitch about our willfully impious cherry vanilla Italian sodas or peppermint tea brewed in a French press. OUI!

That must have been when all went wrong. Espresso Royale, secret codes, and Miss Emily Litela. “Vacuum? I just did it yesterday. F*** you? Oh. That’s different! Nevermind.” But today was about olive juice with the kid I can actually claim to love in public without Olympic eye gymnastics. Hawt Mz invited us to name our favorite part of the market. Just because I played rugby doesn’t make me a fish fan, but I gotta say the fish monger was my favorite. Brett must have known because he took a picture. And looky who’s there with me!

Yes! I looked deep into the eyes of Emily Litela and hadn’t a clue as she and I mirrored each other’s every move and gesture and indoctrinating comment to future voters of America. At the same time, I think I’m an adequate foil to Hawt Mz, who made fun of me for taking my group to the frozen food isle to admire the ice cream and define decadent for first and second grade students. That’s right! They can’t hear POTUS tell them to stay in school, but it’s totally cool for Emily Litela to define decadent. And that my friends, is nefarious.

Wheat and Chaff

Todd-o and I separated the wheat from the chaff last night. Before you go casting me as a crunchy wheat berry hippie, also know that I just polished off a package of Zingers with Suzy Q’s set aside for tomorrow. Diabetes update to follow.

Threshing wheat works nicely, whether by hand or machine. Threshing schools is not such a lovely task. (Winnowing sounds more poetic and does involve a gentle breeze, but it’s not expedient for this transition.) Guess what about charter schools in Arizona! Yeah, that’s what. Needs threshing. Unfortunately, where politicians talk about “government schools” one would expect to see various programs like open enrollment, magnet schools*, and vouchers pop up. In effect, these options overwhelm parents leaving us second-guessing every decision we make with regard to our children’s education. At the same time, these programs suck resources from neighborhood schools and skim the perceived cream. Icky chaff!

How do we find top-notch students to segregate whisk away to bastions of learning? We could always test them, but when the best indicator of test performance is zip code (Google “Volvo effect”), then why bother with the tests at all? Just check out the vehicles in the pick-up lane. Put those kids with their parents’ money in one preci$ely located school easily identified by realtors and watch them soar. Of course those left in the time/talent/treasure void may not perform as well as a group and therefore we should punish those kids by closing down their schools and refusing to educate the former enrollees unless their parents manage to secure digs where property taxes are higher, swing their own college education, and give up on any service sector/civil servant jobs in favor of something tastefully white collar. Of course, a few children will slip past our ivy gated communities and we will laud them as an example of why the rest are truly undeserving.

* I’m not a hypocrite as my kids are special. They attend magnet schools where everything is perfect in accordance with the needs of my gifted and talented (and gorgeous) children. Magnet status, btw, didn’t prevent 1/3 of the faculty getting riffed and the total absence of a librarian at the 9 YO’s school. On the other hand, they have a part time attendance clerk because someone should watch after Adequate Yearly Progress.

Oklahomie Eats

I packed two cut-up melons from Tucson Community Supported Agriculture, along with French bread rolls, turkey, yogurt, sun tea, water with ice, chocolate milk, grapes, pineapple, and of course yellow mustard. Plus, the backseat barfers get to pick a big bag of chips all for themselves as is our tradition.

We ate here (I’m calling this “White Sandwiches, NM”)…
and here (Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX, without any appropriate puns).
Of course in Oklahoma, you get food from the backyard including berries
and tomatoes.
That was just one tomato variety of the at least four growing at my mother-in-law’s house. Anything we didn’t find in the yard, we could have purchased at the Farmer’s Market. We only walked away with a watermelon, which was all it took to turn this frown upside down.
I can’t think of my hometown without thinking of The Diner. Handsome Hubster had an eggurrito (Eggarrito? We don’t ever actually read at the menu.) just like he did the day the 9 YO boy was born.
And squeezing it in on the last day, The Greek House.
That plant is more than a little freaky. You know what else is freaky? After you order, pay, and find a seat in the SRO dining room, they FIND YOU without ever asking for a name, assigning a number, or even questioning if it was you who requested the extra yogurt. I didn’t take a photo of the food because I was too busy eating.

I pretty much plan my visits home around food. Winter break we’ll hit Victoria’s*, where the marinara has tarragon and red pepper but tastes cinnamon-y and Misal of India, even if moving by the interstate put the kibosh on the atmosphere. Unfortunately, if the rumors are correct we’ve sadly seen our last meal at Pepe Delgado’s*, who catered both my wedding and the christening of my first born.

We had some good eats outside Oklahoma. Hideaway was consumed in Texas.

Does it count as outside Oklahoma if the food was leftover from dinner in Oklahoma? We definitely ate in Santa Rosa, NM.

The service at Lake City Diner was, uh, er, well, let’s just say relaxed, though I knew that from the reviews. Apparently, not all the diners were familiar with Google. We had already seen The Big Blue Hole, so we weren’t in any hurry to go anywhere. Also, slow service doesn’t automatically mean bad service. Besides, the architecture was interesting and the green chili everything was worth the wait.
Best of all, on this entire trip, not one single person or animal barfed.

* Sorry Denveater, I think Victoria’s Pasta Shop and Pepe Delgado’s are both possessively named restaurants.

Mother Earth Day

About mid-way between Earth Day and Mother’s Day, Caddo Artist sent me this:

Caddo Care Carton Contents:

Sandy Springs Buffalo Meat Jerky, Hinton, OK
Pepper Creek Farms Dip Mix, Lawton, OK
EEMB Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix & Peanut Butter Brownie, Lexington, OK
Lasley Roasted Peanuts, Eakly, OK
Scott Farms Tortilla Soup Mix & Reds, Rice, & Spice, Altus, OK
Sooners Salsa, Amigo’s Salsa, Ardmore, OK
Native Roots Market Bumper Sticker, Norman, OK

That there first item was done et straight’way. The brownie soon follered and the salsa wern’t long for this world. I’m not saying that Caddo is fattening me up for reunion slaughter; I am saying I haven’t exhibited much self-control.

Caddo included a card with the quotation, “There is nothing more honorable than motherhood.” I have plans in the coming days to disprove this, but for now, I am embracing the honorific. A separate note read, in part, “I wanted to send the apple pie, it was a party in your mouth with every bite!” The tease! I guess there is honor in motherhood, but cruelty in friendship.

Okay, while she did everything as I have written, the expanded contents of the note were personal, touching, inspiring, and directed straight my way. Perhaps there is nothing more honorable than motherhood, but for sure there’s nothing more humbling than reflective generosity. This mother of three who takes care of her family and friends so well is certainly most honorable.

That’s Right, Kale Chips

The most insanely fantastical librarian gave Hawt Mz. Molly a tip on kale chips, which she then passed on to me in lieu of getting emotionally involved in my daily drama. Now all ya’ll will benefit from a resourceful woman-to-woman, educator-to-educator network.

Right prior to the kids’ spring break, the perfect storm of crazy busy, interpersonal frustration, and a visit from Aunt Flo hit like police brutality. I met my teacher guru in a dim corner of the breezeway where she gave me excellent advice, which was to get as ugly as I needed to get in private, then use that to inform a more calm voice.

Hawt Mz. spied me purging my soul and afterward brought me from the dark into the garden’s light with a gift of beets and kale. The produce was about to go to the chickens because it was time to harvest, but our farm stand wouldn’t be open until after spring break, or so she claimed. Then she passed on the kale chip recipe.

Washed & dried kale
Oil to cover
Salt to taste

I translated this to 1 Tbs Kosher salt, 1 Tbs oil, kale.

The sheet on the left is straight up. The sheet on the right uses 1 Tbs of apple cider vinegar. The photo doesn’t do it justice, but the vinegar kale took on a deeper green.

Here they are, crunchy, over-salted chips. That’s right, “salt-to-taste” is way less than 1 Tbs of Kosher salt. FYI, the vinegar chips were mo’ betta’. Generally speaking, kale chips taste like paper thin, ultra crisp Veggie Booty.
You could totally replace the salt with Lowery’s or BBQ seasoning or popcorn seasoning or powdered cheddar or qual quiere.

The kale chips were a fun diversion from my bad attitude, but keeping me emotionally afloat is a community where people recklessly embrace each other with new ideas, thoughtful advice, and perceptive support.


Not the real sort of housekeeping where I wash dishes or any of that. As the hubster will attest, I detest such frivolity and won’t entertain even the thought it. For example, here is my drawing room:

And my library:

Okay, these are photos of the Collyer Brother’s home, but only because we don’t have a drawing room or a library. Instead we have a landfill and a Goodwill drop-off station, and unlike these photos, my clutter is in color. I’m ignoring the real cleaning for now. The housekeeping to which I refer is the mental, electronic sort. Therefore, today I’m presenting a listy sort of thing.

1. I’ve delivered another phenomenal guest post to Denveater. Seriously, I am so erudite, sophisticated, amazing … where was I? Oh, yes, I am well edited. That’s what I mean. She makes me smart. Big hearts to the glamorous, hilarious, and freakishly intelligent Ruth for whom I’d write anything.

2. While driving around in the minivan listening to the oldies station and not paying attention, the 6 YO girl says, “Mom, if it is a bad case, then he probably should go to the doctor, but I think he’s talking to his girlfriend.”

3. I’ve been crazy stand-on-my-head while running in circles busy. This is the afternoon of my dreams:

Thems are beets from Hawt Mz. Molly who identified and lifted one of my many recent foul moods, veggie fried rice fortified by backyard chicken eggs, and a Mexican Coke made with real sugar and not the post-New Coke crap.

4. I’m proud of my for pay job. It’s fun, interesting, and challenging. I actually get to use my college degree. Yup. I got one or two or three. I know, I know. You are shocked, but it’s true. I don’t do anything without my computer guru, Ultimate. Except this, I did this all by myself (with the help of a zillion other people). You can see me in the background trying to convince people how cool my job is. Get out your tissue. Two asides: A) don’t get me in trouble and B) we are in a capital campaign and if you have a check for a million or so, your gift will be fully tax deductible.

And just like that, I’m exhausted and can’t sweep up one more item for you. Those dusty corners aren’t going anywhere. I’m totally going to do a Scarlet O’Hara on them.

Round 2 with Happy Hour Car Hop

I’m not wrathfull any longer, just perplexed by a world in which I can no longer communicate with today’s car hoppers. An update:

“Hi, yes. I would like an unsweetened iced tea with sugar on the side [and some other stuff].”

“Okay, so you want unsweet iced tea with sugar on the side [and some other stuff].”


“We’ll have that right out to you.”

“Great. Thanks.”

Tea is delivered, you guessed it, sans sugar by the same bitchette whose face spreads a slow smile as she recognizes the minivan mom who can’t come to terms with her sweet tooth. “Oh, that’s right. You need sugar. How many packets?” Clearly, what she wanted to ask was, “Why don’t you just order sweet tea?”

“Three will do.” Apparently, ordering it correctly doesn’t guarantee a correct delivery. That’s where I rolled my eyes at her (secretly, inside my head where she couldn’t see). After delivering half our order she heads back inside for the sugar and returning moments later with no less than a fist full of packets. Great thanks.

I drove away and the 9 YO boy digs into the fried mozzarella sticks. Of course the gooey fried goodness came without condiment. Rooster plucking mother trucker!

Of course, I still haven’t done a darn thing for Lent.

These are the days, my friends…

I should start at the top of the morning. The 9 YO boy debuted his mad skillz as a photojournalist. He’s got reporting in his blood from Gramp-A-Long and a fair amount of language ability from both Gigi and Grammanina. Also, as he reported to KOLD, his mom is always at school and I guess his boredom with that or my insistence that he entertain himself inspired him. The story was written one morning after a Borton Community Garden meeting and during the time I take the girl’s class into the garden. Use the link since my scanned copy, well you can see the problem with it.

Then the Friday routine hit with the BELL coffee cart (donations welcome), frequent readers help (the 6 YO made a book mark and earned two books to reward her, er, frequent reading), work for pay, then help the newly single mechanic watch himself and his kid on television (Did you hear that girls? I have a single male friend who can fix stuff AND be daddy about school). Around lunch, I came home to find gently used shorts for the boy and these freshly picked goodies.

These oranges are HUGEMONGOUS! That’s one of the largest bowls we have and you can see the oranges dwarf it. I need a new descriptor for my friends because they are beyond “awesome” and “generous” to the degree of “intergalactic” and “magnanimous” or something like that. OH! I needn’t neglect reporting the glorious package from the artiste in Oklahoma with 50 YO heirloom 4 o’clock and lemon basil seeds, pet rocks, a pep talk, a totem for the chicks, and an indication that my pal also loves credit unions.

Oh, but that’s not the end of the day. The librarian sent to the planet to make my life wonderful set up a little RR viewing on the big screen. Robyn, point out to your mother that one of her hand sewn dresses made it onto national television. If you look carefully, I’m person in the crowd 1, person in the crowd 2, person in the crowd 3 ….

Hawt Mz Molly was mas bella tan siempre (I’m trying to learn Spanish again), if a bit touchy at being the center of the universe for all of 3 minutes. Molly, I know you love math, so how about this equation? 15-3= 12 more minutes of fame to account for. What’s next?

I hope it never ends.