Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Quick Post So That You Don't Forget About Me

And, if that title does not cause your brain to conjure up the song, "doooo'nt yooouu forget about me. don't, don't , don't for-get about me..." Then you are too young , I don't like you anymore, and you are so NOT invited to any of my Breakfast Club parties.

So, my hormones are so out of whack that I, in the absence of salt and vinegar potato chips, am considering heading to the closest ranch and fighting the cattle for a turn at the salt lick. Is this part of getting older? this salt craving? Why am I not craving CHOCOLATE?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I am keeping up with all of your posts. I just can't seem to get any of my own written. I am mired in remodeling and, mostly, PTO back-to-school crazy. I knew it was going to be A LOT of work, but it is even more than I feared. Can't even catch my breath. This could seriously be a paid position. They say it gets a little easier once school actually starts. For now, though, I'm just trying to keep my ahead of above water with all the PTO crap so that I can yell at the electricians.

It feels like I am stuck in my room, gazing through my window, seeing all my friends playing outside without me.

I'll be back. I'll let you know how I survive my first foray back into public speaking in 10 years.

Go visit Tracy and check out her advice, as well as ideas from her commenters, on how you can VERY EASILY help out less fortunate students start the new school year with pride and promise! Go. Now!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tick Tock

It looks like a harmless roll-aboard. It is not. It is a time-bomb's ever ticking timer. It sits in the corner of the bedroom because there is no sense in putting it away. It arrives home to its corner and immediately begins ticking - ticking off the moments until it leaves again. Every moment that it gets to sit in the corner is measured and pre-determined. There it sits, giving me the finger, letting me know who is in charge. Its ticking is obnoxious and sometimes deafening. Yet, I am not sure which bothers me most - the persistent ticking or the silence when its corner is empty. Maybe the absence of the ticking is what makes it possible for me to hear EVERY single noise that occurs inside or outside of the house all night long and never really fall asleep.
I am strong and independent. I can live through both the ticking and the silence, but sometimes I'd just rather not.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It Is a SAD State of Affairs

When the brightest part of your day occurs while you are driving home from Las Colinas via 183 AT RUSH HOUR ON A FRIDAY!!! And then, all is well and happy in the world because suddenly I am singing along with Young MC to Bust a Move. Oh, dear Lord, I REALLY am old.

Also, a shout out to you road warriors who put up with that traffic every damn day. You have nerves of steel. My stomach was in knots. If you are not aggressive enough, you'll miss your merge or exit, but if you are too aggressive...well, this IS never know when some cowboy is gonna shoot you, literally, like with a bullet.

(There is no one on the internet who can butcher sentence structure as well as I can. I am so proud.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Seeing Light At the End of the Tunnel. Also, if you hate it, just lie to me!

This first picture will only matter if you are my mom or someone else who has been to my house multiple times...look, mom, no more useless desk...That new wall to the left of the laundry is the side of the new pantry.

This picture is attempting to show all of you who have suffered my endless obsessing about shades of white, almond, cream, vanilla, and a myriad other shades of "not quite white, like old white!" Can you see how the cabinets are different than the white trim? In all of the other pictures they just look white due tot he stupid flash andmy inability to take decent photographs...this is the best I can do.

The following pictures are general pictures of the progress. Al..Most...There!

Oh, looky! Can you see my new vacuum in the one above?? I llluurrrv it!!!! Upright vacuums are forever banished from this house!

Still not the granite or backsplash that I would have chosen, but I like them much better now than I did before. (I promise I WILL find some before pictures and post them.)

Wall color is a little lighter than I had envisioned, but I still like it. And, it does look a little deeper in person than it does in these pictures. ( I think the flash is once again the culprit)

Tomorrow, electricians are coming to put in fans and lighting. Painters will be her to finish up some final touches. Next, need to get the travertine repaired, buffed, and sealed. THEN, time to get the recessed built-in office designed and installed. Finally, at some point, it will be time to put in floors everywhere else in the house! Oh, and one more thing, I now HATE the paint in my front living room when seen from the new kitchen, so I guess I'm going to be painting it now too! Boy oh boy! These things really do take 10X longer than you plan, even when you are planning realistically! until we are done you will have to put up with my pictures, because at least my mom likes them and they upload faster here than they do through email!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yeah, That Helps! Thanks a Freakin Lot!

Remember that "feeling like a loser" funk I mentioned yesterday?

Well, can I just say that logging onto Twitter and discovering that I now have ZERO followers compounded that problem. Yeah, Yeah, I know it is a technical problem, but hey, I was already in a funk. My fragile psyche/ego doesn't need any bruising!

UGH - going to bed. "After all, Tomorrow is another day."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Like Your Mom Used To Tell You

I have nothing nice to say. Blame it on PMSing, paint and lacquer fumes, or just a "feeling like a loser" funk. Getting the PTO up and running for the new school year probably isn't helping either. The PTO gig should come with a complimentary prescription for anti-anxiety meds. (AND A FLIPPIN BREAK ON TUITION!)

Well, not only do I have nothing nice to say, but most of the mean crap I have to say is not entertaining, and the mean stuff that is entertaining I can't blog about. (SO wish I could - I'd need a REAL big soap box!)

Maybe tomorrow I'll get a picture of the bulldozer driver working on our street who wears a red cowboy hat that is longer front to back than the man is tall. The boys named him "Swagger" at some point last week due to the way he saunters around the work site. It cracks me up EVERY single morning when I hear one of the boys say, "Work must be startin'; here comes Swagger."

One bright note - progress!!! It is only primer, but I FINALLY found a color that really does look like white buttercream after you add the vanilla (sherwin williams creamy) and it is going on tomorrow morning!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pie is DELICOUS, People!

Maye it is because of my southern roots. Maybe it is because I am just a wee bit opinionated and really like to be right! This pie debate is killing me. I feel it is my duty to convert you all to pie. Swistle mentions that maybe it is just the fruit type pies she doesn't like. I can see her point. some people do not like hot fruit. Well, I have some answers. First of all, store bought pie is a no, no, no!!!!! The ONLY store-bought or frozen pie I will allow is Mrs. Smiths Deep-dish apple pie. And, even then, making your own is better. But, Mrs. Smith is pretty good especially if you top it with a praline crust at the end of baking. OR, instead of ice cream on your apple pie, I recommend fresh whipped cream sweetened with real maple syrup. Cherry pie? Bake sugared, sliced almonds on the top of your crust and serve with amaretto ice cream or amaretto whipped cream.

Now, if you are STILL opposed to the cooked fruit, I suggest this peach pie. It is only good in the summer when you can get great peaches. My husband looks forward to at least two of these during the height of peach season...

Fresh Peach Pie

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (sometimes i like to use half salted, half unsalted)

2 cups powdered sugar

3-5 tablespoons brandy (to taste) (can use peach brandy if you prefer - I like unflavored)

1 fresh-baked pastry for 9 inch pie (cooled, not warm from oven!)

6-8 large fresh peaches, peeled and sliced

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4-1/3 cup sugar (depending on natural sweeteness of your peaches)

Freshly whipped cream sweetened with sugar and vanilla

*Beat butter at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy; gradually add powdered sugar and brandy beating well. spread in bottom of pastry shell. Chill in fridge for a bit.

*Combine peaches, lemon juice, and granulated sugar; cover and chill.

*Whip your cream with sugar and vanilla to taste.

*Drain peaches. Arrange over butter mixture in pastry shell. Top with whipped cream.

*Try not to assemble too far in advance. 2 or 3 hours should be okay. Try to serve as soon as as possible for the very best results!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I want to rename my blog so so so so so so so so badly!!!!! Was at Barnes and Noble today when the clouds parted and rays of glorious, ethereal sunlight highlighted this cover...

look through the archives and KNOW my new name should be Are You There Vodka? It's Me, MaryB

I have a feeling that Ms. Handler's lawyers might have a few unpleasant meetings with me regarding copyright infringement or IP issues though. Oh well, in your heads, you can all now pretend that that is the new name of this blog. Or, **SUDDEN BRAINSTORM** it COULD BE my new tagline! HA! Yes. AND THEN you can all go to Blogstle and I will mix up fabulous vodka concoctions for everyone!!!

You're all putting this on your reading lists right now, right?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Guess I Shouldn't Be All THAT Surpsised Now That I Think About It

I signed up for Swistle's fast of solidarity for Erica. And, let me just digress for a moment to say that in my email to Swistle wherein I signed up for this craziness I mentioned how it just warms my heart to NO END how the internet/blogosphere is CHOCK FULL of women supporting other women. (And, I suppose that we would support some menfolk too if need be) WHY WHY WHY do I not see more of this in my real brick-and-mortar life? Is it that I'm not looking for it yet it is happening right under my nose? I'm sure there is goodwill that goes on around me that I do not notice, but I would freaking notice if any of my "social circles" had ANYTHING like what I see on the net 'hood every day. While I know there are many influential women out there amongst you all, I feel a need to give a shout out to Swistle as the Champion of the Women supporting Women movement on the corner of the blogosphere I tend to hang out on. I'm not quite sure how to round out this rambling digression except to say that if the world had more Swistles, and more of all of you really, the evening news would look a lot different!

Back to the fast...I shouldn't be so surprised to discover that while I do miss the food, what i REALLY, REALLY, REALLY miss is the DIET COKE!!!!!! Sweet baby Jeebus! I may perish from the lack of my constant companion! On the bright side I have discovered that Peach Fresca and Black Cherry Fresca are rather DELISH! The only glitch with these tasty beverages (clear, no sugar liquids!) is that, especially with the peach variety, I keep thinking, "You know what be good? If I put some vodka in here!" But, for Erika, I resist! Cuz she has some steely willpower and I can't let 'er down!

Okay, they are about to turn off all my electricity AGAIN so, This is it. The per usual poorly written, disjointed, not edited thoughts that i throw up on the screen!

Tomorrow we can talk about some trashy crap whereby girls who slept with your boyfriend (for an AUDIENCE!) in high school want to "friend"you on facebook!!! WTH???

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Twitter Update

Thanks for all the suggestions. I can't believe how many names are already taken! ANYTHING with MaryB anywhere in it was taken. YankeeMaryB was taken, can you believe THAT? Thankfully though, YankeeMB was available. So, you can all follow me @yankeemb.

Too Tired to Actually Write Anything...Change of Command Festivities

We took the boys out to the squadron to see some of the cool planes that had flown in for the Change of Command on the Friday before the ceremony.

Do I not look preggers in this picture? Must burn that shirt immediately. Such a shame - I thought I loved that top!

Rich will hate that I included this picture, but I HAD to beecaauuse, look at Connor's face! Me thinks someone was annoyed! (If you can't see his face - I think if you click on the picture it will go to full size. Same goes for all of my pics on this blog far as I can tell.)

What is so funny? ME! That's what! And they were laughing AT me, not WITH me! To avoid this situation I recommend not mistaking the word "ecstasy" (the drug) with the "exit seat."

When I was downloading the pictures off the camera, I was like, "Holy Crap! There's a ghost behind Rich!" I always knew Jason was creepy!

Believe it or not, this picture is a total candid, not posed AT ALL...The most quintessential picture of Patton ever!

All I can hear in my head is Reese Witherspoon, "You have your baby!......In. a. bar."

This is what Rich and MaryB look like with headaches after along day. Somehow, whenever the white uniforms get worn, headaches ensue.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Foiled by a Common Name

There are too many people who share my name. Which is funny because I do not know one single other person named MaryBeth or any other combination of my real name! And, apparently they are all yankees and belles. NEED HELP -NEED FUN TWITTER NAME!!! I've tried every version of my name, intitials, things related to yankees, Texas, and belles, ala the blog title.

Help a girl out, would ya?

At the moment the only thing I've tried that is still available is
Textastic. You guys are creative, funny and all me out!

i had a big, serious post planned about how I am once again bemoaning my place in life because of a conversation i had with a doctor while getting pedicure yesterday....Who needs THAT kind of crap on a FRIDAY?? And, well, obviously, a cool Twitter name is MUCH more important!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's Like I'm Twittering - Only On Blogger and With Visuals

Because you know, there just wasn't enough going on INSIDE my house...

Yes, half of my driveway is GONE - very convenient for all those crews working on my house, um, OR NOT! Although they probably LOVE it - seeing as how they get paid per hour of labor and they spend 25% of their time moving their trucks at the City of Fort Worth's whim...

You know that deep down inside you wish you had one of these parked in your front yard, too!
Did I mention that all of this insanity of making the street look like a war zone is to result in our street being narrower??? Because some brainiac at City Hall decided that every single street in Fort Worth should be exactly the same width. Our circa 1950 streets are too wide. "They" say that this will save the city millions in the long run when it comes time to resurface streets. Yes, after you pay to extend every single homeowner's sprinkler system, sod the new portions of "yard," and create new curbs....yes, I can see how that will save you TONS of money. And, NO, they are NOT putting in sidewalks with the reclaimed space - dumb. dumb, dumb...

I need some more pie. Pass a fork, please.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Food Is Love - Especially When It Is Chocolate.

It has been a rather sucky week thus far in internet land. Katie feels like crap and has had no sleep. Slynnro's yuppie world has been assaulted by crime yet again. Tessie revealed her shitty deal. Mandy is having a spell of self-doubt and general hand-wringing. And, then, there is the Queen of the Icebergs, who has more to deal with than can be asked of one human being (I'll link to her if I get her permission - she could really use as much good karma and as many warm thoughts as you could muster to send her way!)

If you have ever read about how this blog's title came to be, then you know I am, proudly, a southern girl. Well, in the south, we believe that anything can be fixed with food. Unfortunately I can't feasibly bake and deliver goodies to all of you. (Because I SO WOULD if I could!!) Instead, I'm just going to share my favorite easy chocolate pie recipe and you can all whip one up. We can have a virtual coffee-and-pie girlfriend pick-me-up date! This pie is not as rich and sinful as a French Silk (Rich's fav!), but it is a very rich and decadent result considering very minimal effort! I far prefer it in a blind-baked, traditional pie crust (Pillsbury roll n' bake will do!), but my kids prefer an Oreo or chocolate graham crust (which you can, of course, purchase pre-made at the store!).

Chocolicious Pie
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 - 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (do not use milk chocolate!)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 generous tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 11/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, cut into a few pieces
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream whipped with 1/4 cup sugar (OR, if in a hurry pick up a can of the Extra Creamy Reddi-Whip!)
  • Possible decorative and tasty toppings - finely chopped toffee bars, toasted and chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, use your imagination or use nothing at all - that's fine too!

Heat milk (NOT the condensed milk!) in a a medium-large saucepan until it just begins to bubble around the edges (DO NOT LET IT COME TO A BOIL!) Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate chips until melted.

While that cools a bit, stir the condensed milk and vanilla into the beaten eggs. Stir together the cold water and cornstarch until it is not lumpy. Add cornstarch mixture to the egg mixture.

Add the egg mixture to the chocolate in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat whisking constantly. Boil for about 1 minute. the filling will thicken and smooth out very quickly once you reach this point. remove from heat and stir in the chilled butter.

Spoon mixture into your crust of choice. Chill several hours. Top with your sweetened, whipped cream. Add toppings if you choose!

I Am A Big Fat Liar

Dear Tracy,

I am very sorry to have told you a lie. I told you that my life had not been all that interrupted by the remodeling. Well, I can no longer stand by that statement. First of all, I was awakened this morning by a cal from my contractor (good neighbor friend a few houses down) at 6:54am to tell me that the worker bees were at my back door and couldn't get in. Duh!!! Every other work crew has shown up between 8 and 8:15am. My whole family was still sound asleep at 6:54am!!!! And then, this happened... (I hear it will be worse for the next week as the bed and texture, and paint crews start sanding and spraying)

What? You don't make breakfast in your bathroom?

BUT, BUT, BUT, Hey Mom!!! I have a PANTRY!!! FINALLY! Its not as big as we would've liked, but it is light years better than nothing which, as you know, is what we had before today! AND it has a door switch for the light - I LOVE those! they are ingenious! (Yes, indeed, I AM easily amused!)

Damn You Leader Types!!!

Apparently it is National "Join Twitter Day." And, as usual, I was late to the party. So, now, if I join Twitter I am just a pitiful follower! I have spent my life avoiding this persona. I wouldn't even read The DaVinci Code just because everyone else was reading it...I avoid all the "of the moment" things just because it makes me feel like a pitiful follower...Oprah book choices? No way! Not until at least a year later when everyone is over them already. I don't want to be the 17th copy of Pillars of the Earth next the the pool.

BTW, this is not me asking you to tell me I'm not a pathetic loser follower and to join Twitter like all the other cool kids. It is more of a vent about my bizarre personality flaws. Ever wish you had been born with a different personality?

Monday, July 7, 2008

And on the 6th day God said, "Let there be drywall!"

Now, if somebody could just help me make a final decision about CABINET PAINT!!!! AAARRGGHHH!!!! I know WHAT I WANT. I just am not sure how to MAKE IT HAPPEN! I want a "white' that is not white, but I don't want it to bee to creamy either. In my head I dream of a color I call "vanilla." And, don't give me any crap about painting the cabinets - I hate oak, okay? HATE HATE HATE.
Tomorrow - tape, bed, texture and trim work. Is it possible that we could be completely done with everything except the floors by Friday??????

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Self and Home Improvement

I have tried and tried to acquire a taste for beer. It hasn't worked. In fact, I may have come to find it more and more revolting the more I tried to like it. However, this weekend while picking up some tummy yummies at Central Market, Rich got me to try the beers that the local brewery was tasting/promoting. One of them didn't make me puke. It was even interesting. (Can't bring myself to call it tasty yet - a girl can't change overnight ya know!) Then I discover that the brewery is open every Saturday with free beer and live music. Uuummm, HOW could I NOT already know about this????

If you are a fellow beer hater (or am I the only one?) come on down the the Rahr Brewery with me next Saturday and try some Ugly Pug. Doesn't it just figure that the beer I learn to like is called Ugly Pug? I couldn't have liked something a little more refined like Stella Artois or something? Of course not.

In other news, I might be needing some extra beer, wine, or cocktails in order to cope with the state of things around here...

Progress, but a pain in the butt nonetheless. Also, I can't blog or generally waste any time on the net during the day since they keep turning off the electricity! They seem to think that their not getting electrocuted supersedes my needing to know about Tessie's "deal!"

There Really Is No End To My Naivety

It just NEVER occurred to me that anyone would PRETEND to be married to someone. Until, that is, Facebook had to send an email to my husband to "verify" that I was "in a relationship" with him. I laughed and laughed. I am such a dork. Oh, just occurred to me that, knowing him, he'll hit "ignore" instead of "confirm" just to bust my chops! He can be a shit like that. He thinks he's funny :)

In general, I find that Facebook scares the crap out of me. Having to "invite" people to be friends with me? Are you kidding? Like I haven't suffered enough of "I'm not quite cool enough for anyone to want to be friends with me" in real life?? #%$&*!?! Like I now want to drag that insane insecurity to the virtual junior high that is the internet???? I find blogging to be much safer for my fragile psyche/ego. Read, don't read. I don't know you. I don't care. It didn't even bother me when Sylnnro's stalker-troll left me a comment letting me know how boring I am. DUH!! Tell me something I don't know, Buddy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Foot In Mouth Syndrome

Do you ever leave comments and then, when it is too late, realize it didn't come across quite the way you intended? Or that it was just STOOPID?

You know the most stupid aspect of my affliction??? It is that when you are commenting on a blog you can type, edit, and choose your words carefully. But me? Hell no. I give more thought to what I say, out loud, in person than to what I jet off in a comment. Heck, I don't even spell check comments.

At what age or milestone can I look forward to not making an ass out of myself anymore?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

And a Good Time was Had By All

I am having a hard time readjusting to normal life. Especially since normal life really is not normal life. I came home to a house torn down to the studs in my kitchen/family room. There are workmen of some sort or another here all the time. It is progress, exciting progress, but it is definitely not normal life. Vacation was WONDERFUL! There were some more pics I wanted to include but someone's hubs forbid me to post pictures of him without his written consent. I think he was kidding, but in the end, he wins because the adorable pictures of him and the adorable AJ left with Rich on the laptop. These will have to do for now. (Please keep in mind that I am NOT a photographer like Tracy or Paige!) It just figures that the only picture of me was taken the day I wore the bathing suit that I hate the most due to its unflattering nature! Grant turned 5 while at the beach! He loved his Kung Fu Panda cake, but was utterly TRAUMATIZED by the sombrero, singing, and smearing of whipped cream on his face at the Mexican restaurant. Seriously, it was bad. He was inconsolably sad. Thank God for my brilliant idea to let him open his presents to pull him out of his funk! And thank Ya-Ya Ma for getting him the Speed Racer that was just the thing that pulled him back into HappyLand!

So sweet, it will rot your teeth right the heck out!

There are no words for my happiness at seeing my and el-e-e's friendship pass down to the next generation!

WHAT kind of face is that you ask??? The face of a kid who REALLY doesn't want his picture taken, yet has been bribed for his compliance.

Summer Bliss!

Hey! My kid is UNDER the water!

Um, mom, if you keep calling my name to take my picture I'm going to get tagged and have to be Marco!

Yep, we built this, uh-huh, SUUURRE we did!

WHY WHY WHY was I wearing THIS damn suit and NOT one of the two I had like 8 million compliments on??? Also, could it not have been taken the day after I recovered from the salmonella poisoning and had the flattest stomach ever? So flat in fact, that my bathing suits would fall down!

No, Grant, we can't see you AT ALL! Nope, not a bit!

Taking a break from the sun and sand. I swear these cousins have a blast doing ANYTHING at all together!

I love that all the cousins love each other SO MUCH! But, WHEN did they get so damned old?

The requested, but oh-so-elusive, Kung-Fu Panda cake!

The incident that shall not be named. Aren't we great parents? His bottom lip is ACTUALLY quivering in this picure, and what are we DOING? Are we trying to console him? No, we are taking pictures to document his humiliation and misery.

See, Tebow was happy BEFORE they smeared whipped cream all over his face and laughed at him! Take note, future bride of Grant, there will be no cake smearing!
Edited to add...Grant just walked by as Connor and I were looking at the messy face picture. He became angry and indignantly declared, "Top lookee at dat!! It is NOT funny!"