Wednesday, September 10, 2014

School lunch update

My anxiety over school lunch has not waned too much. I've had some success and some failure.
She's eaten her veggies every morning except one. She ate her sandwich one day, but not the other.

When she rejected the sandwich I moved to a stick of cheese and crackers.  The breakfast bars are a huge hit. See Nigella Lawson recipe.
For the most part, she doesn't eat as much as I expected. For example, today she didn't eat her pear and she loves pears.
I'm pretty proud of the fact that her lunches are very healthy and she's eating them. The first two days of this week I gave her half of a Fibre One bar. That was a big treat.
I've got a recipe for a different kind of bar that is mostly made up of dates, dried blueberries and almonds. I hope Chloe likes it because it will be much lower calorie than the Nigella breakfast bars.  

While I'm figuring out the food, Chloe can't seem to keep track of her things.
She lost her Tupperware and her pear last week when she dropped it on the floor in the cafeteriua. I can understand losing the pear, but why not pick up the Tupperware????
She lost her water bottle twice in three days. On Friday she lost her Tupperware, water bottle and a plastic bracelet.
I admit I flipped and put down some rules. Food only goes in baggies. No more water bottles. Rely on the school drinking fountain. No more taking jewelery to school.
I feel like a mean mommy but jeez, she wouldn't remember her head if it wasn't attached to her body.,

Friday, September 5, 2014

Nosy rude strangers

So, I was just reading about my friend's experience on Facebook when she joined a Yoga class.

A woman approaches her and says the class is really hard and it's really hot and she should probably do another class.

One of the comments on her post is from another friend who said she was in a yoga class once when the instructor came up to her and told her she was doing the pose incorrectly and should leave the class because she was upsetting the energy in the room.

How horrible. Now for my experience:

I was at Meijer a few months ago and my daughter was tired and cranky. She was whining and crying and throwing fits all over the store so finally I just headed to cash out.

I'm standing in line while my daughter was sitting on the floor, somewhat making a scene and this white-haired woman in the line next to mine says this:
"Are you abusing your child?"
Stunned I think I said:
"Are you serious?"
She then went on to complain that she could hear my daughter screaming all over the store.
My response:
"She's having a meltdown. It's what four year olds do."
I think I went on to say something about, if I was abusing my child I'd be hitting her.
An older woman in a wheelchair also in the line next to mine said:
"I think she's just tired."
"Yes. Thank you. She's very tired."
This exchange just ruined my weekend. As you can see, months later, I'm still not over it. In fact, I stayed away from Meijer for a while because I didn't want to run into that horrid woman again.

 I thought back to it after reading an op-ed in the New York Times this week by a man who has two teenage daughters. He was taking their picture on a ferry to an island he goes to annually. These pictures are a tradition he does every year.  I think he was implying he was an amateur photographer and took a long time to get the right picture.
Near the end of the photo shoot some man approached the girls in front of the dad and said something about the girls being exploited and they didn't have to put up with it.
The op-ed writer told the man he was the girls' father and the guy left.
It turns out the girls are adopted from China and the intrusive man, who turned out to work for Homeland Security, thought the dad was taking pictures of the girls to be sold or used for some illegal jail bait use.
The dad was very offended and when he told the girls why the homeland security guy was concerned, they were grossed out by the implications.

The purpose of the piece was about intrusive strangers somehow feeling comfortable making accusations against people, especially in public. I mean really. What happened to manners?
To me, it's pretty easy to spot someone abusing their child. I've heard many parents slapping their kids in stores, although not necessarily seen it.
I hate to say this, but spanking isn't illegal.
I remember this one trip, California 2004, me, Julius, Dad, Mom, Michelle and Nick in a mini van. Nick was really acting up and my mother said:
"I think someone needs a spanking."

spanking photo: Fresh Coffee Spanking Freshercoffeespanking.jpg

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

School lunches

I've been pretty anxious about what to pack for lunch for my five-year-old at school now that she's in kindergarten.
My father made my lunches growing up and while I ate them readily when I was little, I stopped when I got older.
Firstly my father used wax paper instead of plastic baggies to wrap the food so cheese in particular would get hard and in kid terms, gross.
By junior high school I had developed very bad eating habits by mostly not eating breakfast and lunch and gorging once I got home from school around 4:30 p.m.
For my daughter's first day I packed a jam sandwich on whole wheat bread, no crusts, cantaloupe, apple sauce, a small baggie of flavored water and a small blueberry muffin. There were also cucumber slices and grape tomatoes for her morning snack.
Since I was able to clarify this morning that I can give my daughter nuts to be eaten in the cafeteria, tomorrow she'll get a small baggie of almonds instead of the muffin or apple sauce.
The lunch bag isn't that big and everything except for the sandwich was in a container. I'll have to see how hungry she is when she gets home. My plan is to give her yogurt smoothies or a cheese stick for protein, but didn't get around to making the smoothie last night.
I'm also going to make breakfast bars, which are essentially oats, nuts and dried fruit, for her lunch because 1. She likes them. 2. She eats them. 3. They are filling.
I'm baking another batch today so I'll post photos then.

It took about 8 hours to upload that photo. Not sure what's happening with blogger and photos and videos but I  can't upload them half the time.

That is a big pan of the Nigella Lawson recipe for breakfast bar containing nuts, oats, dried fruit and held together with sweetened condensed milk. They are very high calorie, but the bar sizes are small.

Anyway, lunch update: My daughter came home with her lunch bag and -- shocker here -- she hardly ate anything. She still had the full sandwich, the apple sauce and most of the cantaloupe. I wasn't surprised by the sandwich and apple sauce, but sport candy cantaloupe? She ate the small muffin, a bite of cantaloupe and drank water for lunch.
She then proceeded to eat half of a cantaloupe, half a big round cantaloupe, for dinner along with her portion of chicken pot pie and veggies.
I hope she isn't inheriting my childhood eating habits.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Writing update

For some reason I have not published Evolution yet.
I'm not sure why. I can't say. I have a cover. The book is done.
I want to do some final edits but I just haven't dived in.
I think I'm worried that it took me six years to write it and it might take me another six years to write the sequel.
I don't exactly have George RR Martin's following, so I can hardly take so long.
My other concern is something Hugh Howey wrote about on his blog recently. It was about marketing books and how authors are best served by putting up an entire series all at once instead of waiting time in between books. If someone likes the book, they'll go on to read others by the author.
I'm much more likely to finish the Tysseland Chronicles than Evolution.
So I decided to published book two and three of the Tysseland Chronicles later this year. I'm not sure if I should wait to publish Evolution once book two is written, but it's something to consider.
So that's the plan. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Follow the blog by email

To get the latest progress report on Tysseland Chronicles sign up to get my blog via email. Follow me by email and you don't even have to visit the site to see what I've written.
I think it's a wonderful efficient service that I hope readers enjoy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Unemployed get no respect

When you aren't working, people ask what do you do all day?
It's not hard to fill up seven hours. Let's take yesterday. I got up at 5:30 a.m. and drove five hours from Toronto, got home just in time to meet the noon to 2 p.m. Comcast arrival window.
I got food out of the freezer for dinner. I haven't been cooking much lately because frankly I don't have the time!!
Of course the technician actually showed up at 1:59 p.m. and stayed until 5 p.m.
I tidied up the house. Ate lunch. Went through my email, pulled out jobs to apply, wrote an email. Poof. There was two hours and the technician shows up.
Fold laundry. Put away laundry. Unpack my travel bag.
Tidy kitchen. Lead technician around the house. Call WOW to cancel services. Pick some tomatoes and strawberries. Got mail.
Try out Xfinity package to make sure I got the services I ordered. Found that On demand didn't work. Called Comcast to discuss the issue.
At this point it's 5 p.m., husband says he's coming home and we can pick up the goat and Chloe together. I text friends to come see the goat Peanut.
Unfortunately Blogger is not working well today. I have been unable to upload a pic and video.
Pick up goat and Chloe. We were supposed to take Champ, the lamb, but he was sick.
Make dinner while crowd gathers in our back alley to see goat. Feed goat bottle. Cut up carrots for goat.
Come outside with food just in time for Chloe to dump the goat on me so that she can go off and use her new scooter that she scammed Daddy into buying her.
Friends arrive to see goat.

Pick up goat poop. He refused to "do his business" as my grandmother would say on the grass so we had poop in the garage, on the driveway, on the patio, in the alley.

Another friend arrives with son, husband and muffins. Sky goes dark with storm clouds and gets cold so we put goat in his cage and go in house. Kids (ours not the goat's) too afraid to feed goat his bottle. He gets another before children go to bed. Me and hubby feed goat bottle. Try to give goat a walk.
Friends leave. Put goat back in cage with food and water. Close garage for night.
Get Chloe in pjs, read her a story.
It's now 9 p.m. My husband and I watch an episode of Major Crimes but he's too tired to watch all of it and goes to bet. I follow shortly after him.

Stop being greedy

I find it very annoying that television producers have adopted this trend of splitting up seasons of very short run series.
The Walking Dead does this. The Closer did it and now Mad Men have followed suit.These are series that have about 10 to 13 new episodes a year -- half the number that major networks make for other shows like CSI or NCIS, garbage shows I never watch.
 Has no one told the show heads how annoying fans find this ploy?
It's the same as splitting up what should have been one movie into two. Breaking Dawn, part 1 and 2, now Mocking Jay, part one and two. I understand the concept behind the movies, greed.
How does this strategy bring more money to television? The only reason I can think they do this is to stretch out the viewing. Instead of losing a show in its final season in 2014 - as Mad Men was supposed to do - the remaining episodes will air in 2015, extending the season into a another year. Does this strategy bring in more money? Does it bring in more viewers?
This grumpy watcher says no.