Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pumpkin Patch Princess' Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Today since Staci was awesomely smart and aced her monthly phone call test with her official teacher, we decided to celebrate by going to the Isle of Faith Pumpkin Patch.  It is such a cute set up, and the cost is based on donations.
            They have a simple maze to get lost in, and an obstacle course to test your skills, as well as fun little things to do all over the patch.  OK all activities are easy to do, even for little toddlers, but Staci still had a good time.  They have tiny all the way to huge pumpkins, in both white and orange, as well as funny shaped gourds in all sorts of colors.
            There is a Pumpkin carriage to whisk you off to an imaginary ball, as well as rocking horses to give chase. There is even a rickety wooden bridge to test your daring spirit.  Everything there is kid friendly, nothing spooky, and we enjoy it every year.
            We came home with a large orange pumpkin for carving, a small white pumpkin, and two small orange pumpkins, as well as a gourd that looks like a black swan.  All of which Staci has declared I am not allowed to carve LOL No homemade pumpkin pie for me, but here is a recipe for all of you

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Recipe
PREP 30mins
COOK 1hr
TOTAL 1hr 30mins
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
Chilled pie dough for a single crust 9-inch pie
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 can pure pumpkin puree or 2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Roll out the dough so that it’s two inches larger than your pie dish. Gently press dough into the dish so that it lines the bottom and sides. Trim dough to within 1/2-inch of the dish edge.
Fold edges of dough underneath itself, creating a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Crimp edges into whatever pattern you like. Refrigerate while you make the pie filling.
Whisk the eggs and both of the sugars together until smooth. Then add the pumpkin puree, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and the salt. Stir until well blended.
Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the pie shell to a baking sheet. Pour pumpkin filling into the pie shell. Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick or thin knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Rotate the pie once or twice during baking. To prevent the crust from burning, cover with thin strips of aluminum foil.
Now for the big FINISH

Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours or until room temperature. Cut into 8 wedges and serve alone or topped with whipped cream.
To store, cover the cooled pie and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I Will Not Be Teaching Birds and Bees Any Time Soon.

Last night I got hit with a question I was dreading, and it came when I was sleep deprived which made it so much worse LOL my son came out after talking to his dad on the phone, I innocently asked how his dad was, and behind me I hear my sweet little girl’s voice ask “is your dad my dad too?” well crap!  I say no he isn’t and then “who is my dad? Do I have a dad?” inside I cringed, and was at a total loss.  Anyway with my sleep deprived and addled brain I tried to explain and it sounded so bad in my mind LOL trying to explain that he was anonymous donor, and everything was done in a doctor’s office was next too impossible.  I tried to emphasize that I did not want to share her with a dad, that she was all mine, that I had to fight to keep her brother for so long, that I did not want to risk ever losing her.  I also distracted her with the information that she was a big sister, and she had lots of younger brothers and sisters.  I showed her pictures, and she declared they were all super cute.
             The conversation about the donor was hindered by me not knowing how to explain a procedure that involved using donor sperm and my eggs, to a seven-year-old.  This lead to a debate with a friend over me telling my little girl about the birds and bees now.  I am strongly opposed to that.  She is way too young to be learning about sex. I want her to stay a little girl as long as possible.  She still plays with cuddly stuffed animals, Shopkins, My Little Pony, and Pok√©mon.   I am old-fashioned in my views on parenting.  I feel like she should be allowed to enjoy being a little girl for as long as possible. 
This means I do not dress her like a miniature adult.  Have you seen the clothes for girls??? They look like outfits a college girl would wear to a club. I also do not let her go places that I, her brother, or her grandmother, are not there to chaperone.  I want to know that she is safe.  I don’t even let her go alone to another kid’s home, because I do not know what goes on there.  Yes, I am paranoid, but unfortunately society has made me that way.  Just turn on any media and you will see children being harmed one way or another.  My friend tried to tell me that all kids her age are already talking about sex.  To me that does not make it right, it just means their parents are making very questionable choices.
            It’s becoming normal for a twelve-year-old girl to date. NOPE NOPE NOPE, not my little girl.  That is way too young.  She is not emotionally ready to date at that age, and definitely not ready to make decisions regarding sex. What happened to sweet sixteen and never been kissed??? Media is definitely sexualizing little girls, making them look older than they are.  Fashion models are often very young; they are just made up to look like they are legal age.  By the time they are the legal age, they are considered too old. 

            OK babbled a bit, but it’s because I feel strongly about this. A seven-year-old girl does not need to learn about sex.  When she hits puberty then we will have a chat, and she will still learn that she is too young for a boyfriend, sex, and all sorts of other stuff.  Adulthood comes soon enough, and with it all sorts of stress.  Children need to enjoy the eighteen years they have, before they are considered adults. They have another seventy years to deal with adult issues.  We need to protect our children, and discourage them growing up too fast.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hurricane Matthew 2016

          So we are in evacuation zone, but nowhere to go to.  Mayor ordered zones A and B to evacuate early so all hotels and shelters were taken up by them.  By time Mayor said zone C needed to evacuate nothing was left. So we stocked up on water and batteries, have covered the windows in the bedrooms, and are staying put inside.  We are on second floor, so no real worry about flooding up here.  I was a bit disappointed by attitude at my work. As a single mom I am not about to leave my kids in a hurricane alone while I go to work. Plus with 2 cats there is no way I am taking the menagerie to work with me. No place for all of them to stay.  So home I am with my two kids, two cats, and my mom who is having abdominal pain.  I have told her no appendicitis during a hurricane. That is last thing we need.  
          Woke up at 6:30 to my iPhone and iPad blaring a warning from the Emergency Broadcast System saying hurricane is on way, seek shelter now. That woke me up.  Quickly got dressed and looked outside to nothing special.  It is windy here and raining, but I've seen this before.  I am hoping that officials are erring on side of caution with the warnings.  I took a video from my balcony of weather I woke up to.  I will take more as the day goes on.  Reports say that storm really going to get going at around 1pm.
          At least we have weather channel back on TV.. The ironic thing was both weather channels were out yesterday so no real idea what forecast was.  I had to contact my brother in Reno, Nevada to look for me LOL the meteorologists are having a field day on TV right now.  Winds are currently 24 mph and weather man going "your winds will go up and your winds will go up and your winds will go up" like a motivational speaker LOL it just sounded funny.  I know storm not funny, and a lot of people have died already and the destruction is awful, but I'm a wee bit scared so looking for humor to lighten the mood wherever I can.  I'm going to try to get more videos from my balcony today and post them to my Instagram.  I am leeandstacismom there if you want to see what I get.  This is the video I took this morning. I am hoping it works here, never tried video before.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Character Strengths

          So for this class I am currently taking, Positive Psychology, I had to take a character assessment that would show me my character strengths.  I must say I am a bit disappointed in my results.  It said my top quality was judgment, followed by prudence, then honesty, and forth perseverance.  How boring am I???  I guess it is a result of being old LOL I have learned to not jump to conclusions, and avoid unnecessary risks.  I made HUGE mistakes when I was in my early twenties, a lot of them I would love to change, but if I did change them I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I have imagined what would have happened if I just did one thing different, and the results would have had a domino effect on my life.  As much as I had to go through horrible times (won’t bore you with details) I could not change anything for fear of losing my kids. I can pinpoint the one event that if altered would have changed my whole life.  No idea if it would have been better, but it would not have my kids in it.  Maybe other kids, but not the ones I have now, and I would never in any life not want them.  Being a mom has forced me to use good judgment and avoid risks if possible.  My kids rely on me to take care of them, and they expect me to be there for them.  I love them, so I am there.  It does lead to me being sad that my hope is the very last thing on my results analysis.  Also way down on the bottom are love and a zest for life.  I wanted to type that I regret the loss of my youth, and wish I had found love, but like I said it would have altered my life in ways that would have cost me Staci.  So she is stuck with being my companion when I am old LOL This was not the post I thought I was going to write.  It changed on me LOL So for all you who peeped at this the take-away is life choices define who you are, so choose wisely.  If any others want to take the assessment it can be found here:  VIA Institute on Character.  My full list of strengths is below if curious.


Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one's mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly.


Being careful about one's choices; not taking undue risks; not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.


Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one's feelings and actions.


Finishing what one starts; persevering in a course of action in spite of obstacles; “getting it out the door”; taking pleasure in completing tasks.


Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort.


Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself/others.


Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting others’ shortcomings; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful.


Letting one's accomplishments speak for themselves; not regarding oneself as more special than one is.


Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.

10 Creativity

Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it.

11 Social intelligence

Being aware of the motives/feelings of others and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.

12 Leadership

Encouraging a group of which one is a member to get things done and at the same time maintain good relations within the group; organizing group activities and seeing that they happen.

13 Teamwork

Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one's share.

14 Love of learning

Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one's own or formally; related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows.

15 Self-Regulation

Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; controlling one's appetites and emotions.

16 Humor

Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.

17 Kindness

Doing favors and good deeds for others; helping them; taking care of them.

18 Gratitude

Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.

19 Appreciation of Beauty & Excellence

Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

20 Bravery

Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what’s right even if there’s opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but is not limited to it.

21 Love

Valuing close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing & caring are reciprocated; being close to people.

22 Zest

Approaching life with excitement and energy; not doing things halfway or halfheartedly; living life as an adventure; feeling alive and activated.

23 Curiosity

Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering.

24 Hope

Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it; believing that a good future is something that can be brought about.