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Time to Weed

The weeds are pretty  high right now.  So high, you probably thought I’d disappeared, right? After all, it’s been 18 months since my last post.

18 months. Hard to believe it’s been that long since my whole world was turned on it head. In a good way. In a good, but extraordinarily challenging, sorry-but-there’s-no-time-for-blogging way.

On August 26, 2013, the Guy was awarded emergency custody of the Kiddo, and I went from being a part-time stepmom to a full-time one. Since the change in custody was completely unexpected, we were both thrilled and overwhelmed at the same time–especially since it happened on the first day of school and two weeks before moving to a new home. Clearly, there were a lot of adjustments to be made, and I now have a new appreciation for working moms everywhere–especially those with more than one child. I really don’t know how they manage it.

The Kiddo is 12 at this point, so he’s fairly self-sufficient in many respects, but he’s also had a lot of emotional needs that the Guy and I have been trying to help him work through (with professional assistance, of course). And then there’s getting him to baseball, karate, football–whatever the sport of the week is. Luckily he tends to stick to one activity at a time.

Our little family has gone through a lot of transition in the past year and half, and not just because of the Kiddo coming to live with us full-time. There is no way you’d read this entire post if I bored you with all the details, but I will say that since that day in August, we moved a second time (last August, after buying our first home), added a dog and a cat to our household (we already had one dog), suffered some personal losses and pushed through some personal challenges.

I’m almost afraid to say it, but it seems as if, for the moment, things have settled down. At least as much as they can settle down, with this new life we have. So I’m trying to bring this blog back to life. I’m starting out by weeding, of course–going through old comments, trying to update some of the technical things that need addressed on the back end and working to find a better look.

I’m not a professional web designer/techie in way. I have just enough understanding of this kind of stuff to be dangerous, and that’s about all, so it takes me awhile to experiment with WordPress templates, plugins, etc., to get this site looking in a way I’m okay with, and functioning in a way that’s useful to both me and my readers.

Right before I disappeared amid all the weeds, I discovered a plugin that will simplify how any recipes I share are presented, and will make it easier for you to print and save those recipes that interest you. Over the next month or two, I’ll be working to re-publish some of my old recipes in this new format, so forgive me if you see some repeats. I’ll try to throw some new material in there from time to time.

I’ll be honest that I’m not sure what direction this blog will go from here. I started it with somewhat of a vague premise to start with–finding balance in this messy life, and sharing some of things I enjoy along the way–mainly cooking and photography. It will still be that, but as my family has grown and changed, I’m sure there will be other things of interest to me that I’ll choose to share–perhaps items related to emotional health, parenting, etc. I’ll just keep meandering my way along life’s path, seeing what it brings me, and trying to keep the weeds in check enough that I can always find some zen.

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Balance!!! Where’s my $^@*% balance?!?1?

Yep, there are definitely some weeds growing in the zen garden. Which is why I’ve been negligent about posting. Here’s the quick synopsis:

  • I’ve been working slowly to eliminate as many highly-processed foods from our diet as possible (ya know, balancing the desire not to have chemicals I can’t pronounce going through my digestive system with the fact that I live in a small town with no Whole Foods and the fact that the Kiddo is a bit of a picky eater with an affection for boxed macaroni and cheese). That whole effort got fast-forwarded pretty quickly, though, when the Guy finally went to see a headache specialist for his migraines, and was ordered on a diet that restricts pretty much all processed foods. So, we’ve been adjusting, so to speak.
  • While I’d love for this blog to be my full-time job, it’s not. I have an actual, real, 40-hour-a-week (or more) job to pay the bills. And, for family reasons, the Guy and I are looking to move about two hours from our current home, so I’m job hunting. Which is like a full-time job in and of itself. A really depressing full-time job, in this economy. And I actually had an interview a couple weeks ago. An all-freakin’-day-long interview, which took lots of prep. And got me exactly zero job offers (woo-hoo for the internal candidate who did get it–please insert sarcasm).
  • A few days after my interview, the Guy, Kiddo and I took off for a week-long vacation to visit family. And we all know vacations are anything but restful. So we got back five days ago and I just now have the energy to do anything productive. Ok, not true–I did quite a bit of job hunting the past two days, after learning I didn’t get the other job.

Oh, and mixed in to all of that were several other chaotic incidents that I won’t bore you with by sharing the details. Ok, so I’m a little grumpy. I’m a little off my zen. And I’m a very slack blogger. But I’m getting back to the center. I promise. I went running this morning for the first time in months, and it felt great. I am pledging to go at least two more times this week. And, I promise, I will be posting again. Because I have lots of stuff I want to share! Believe it or not, I even have several draft of posts that are half or nearly complete that I just need to wrap up and hit the magical “publish” button, and then, sha-zam! New post!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a quick recipe I whipped up for a Fourth of July potluck while we were on vacay. It was a spur of the moment thing, so I didn’t think to take photos, but here you go. This makes for a great dessert, and it’s low in fat and sugar.

Star-Spangled Fruit Tart
(makes 2)

  • 2 graham cracker pie crusts (here’s a recipe if you’d like to make your own)
  • 2 cups fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut into small pieces, or 1 cup red raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries

Blend yogurt, cream cheese, honey, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Arrange banana slices in a single layer along bottom of pie crust. Pour half of yogurt/cream cheese mixture into each crust. Use a spatula to smooth out the yogurt mixture. Arrange blueberries and strawberries or red raspberries in single layer on top of yogurt mixture. If you want to get extra fancy/patriotic, lay out blueberries in the shape of a star and fill in the remaining space with strawberries.