Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"What the Hell is That on the Floor and Why are You Scratching Your Head?" A Mommy Experience

So I felt the need to write this quick blog post for many of you out there.
The groups that may be interested in this post are:
1. Those of you that are thinking of having kids at some point in the future
2.  Those of you with basically new kids that haven't done much but cry, eat, and poop so far.
3. Those of you that have not-so-new kids that can sympathize and laugh at the mishaps within.
4. Those of you with kids that are grown that have been there done that already.
5. Those of you with grandkids who are up to these types of shenanigans.
6.  Those of you that did not have kids of your own, to make you enjoy your peace and quiet a little more.

OH WAIT!  I have described every human on the planet, basically.
And of course, I love my girls and can't imagine life without them.
It is nights like these that I hit the pillow and wonder what the hell I am going to do when they are grown and gone out of the house... oh wait, then I will slowly become group 5 eventually....

SO, quick synopsis of the night last night in the Blammit household...

7:30am-4:30pm:  Work.  5th grade field trip at school.  Not too crazy, but sprinkled with chaos, as always

4:30pm:  Drove home.  Got home, checked on crock pot supper (Thanks husband for stirring during the day.)  Decided to go for a run on treadmill before supper.
---Todd at orthodontist with DD #3---

5:00- 30 minute run on treadmill (much rather be on the road outside, but got it done.)  Who knew I would need the power in the Pearl Jam, Godsmack, Incubus, and Disturbed that played during this time to get through the rest of the night?

5:30ish:  Suppertime  (Damn good chicken nachoes.. I could eat some more right now.)

Around this time as well:  Todd realized that Autumn had fixed herself a root beer float while I was on the treadmill, so there was something sticky covering half of the kitchen floor.  Decided to mop the kitchen-my absolute unfavorite chore in the whole house.. well besides plunging toilets...
(in retrospect, at least I didn't have to do THAT last night!)

6:00-7:00:  Fold 4 loads of laundry while watching TV with the fam.  Try to get Autumn to think about supper (chicken nachoes are not her thing and she wasn't hungry when I ate).

**Around the same time:  I decided that I would try to get the white beans for tomorrow's supper cooked.  Yes, when you read all of this, you will realize this was a bad idea, because yes, I forgot about the beans, and the one time I sat down for 10 minutes, I smelled something burning, and yes it was the beans, and yes they were stuck to the bottom of the pot... this will come into play later...**

7:00ish:  While picking up kitchen towels, almost stepped in a line of cat poop from the kitchen to the living room... even though the dog door was open as was the garage door to outside for them to get out.  The guilty cat in question was no where to be found to put outside, of course.  Took it out on the cat that was there and put him outside.  Not sure what that solved.

--Todd getting Autie to eat supper--

7:30ish:  After Autumn finally decided to eat, getting her to take a bath and needing one myself, thought I saw something in her hair, decided to check her long straight lice-loving hair.. needed more light so went in garage.  She is crying the whole time because NO, her head doesn't itch but YES, she is scared to miss school tomorrow.  At which point I told her she won't miss school because I can't miss, and we are going to take care of this.  So did I see something?  I am not sure but decide to treat her head anyway, which is another crying fit.  Then decide to treat my own head, just in case.  Which means then I have to throw her blankets and sheets and 5,000 stuffed animals in the dryer for at least 20 minutes on high to kill whatever might be lurking in there.  She gets out of tub, we douse her combed hair with rosemary and tea tree oil solution, cursing the very existence of lice.  (Someone please tell me why these bastards exist???)

***Side story:  This is the third time we go through this lice bit this school year.  Her hair is going to be in a bun from now until the end of the year, I swear.***

--Todd cleaning kitchen and checking on laundry at same time as me fighting the possible existence of weapons of mass destruction on Autumn's scalp--

8:00-8:30ish:  Autumn in bed finally, after getting her sheets and blankets from the dryer.  I come into the kitchen to make my bedtime tea and finally lay down, and I remember the pot of white beans.  I figure that they almost burned and they have been soaking in water for almost an hour, so they would be good to go down the garbage disposal, right??????
I shove them down in there, the sink gets stopped up and the garbage disposal stops.
I remember my days of this happening before... I remember something about a broomstick in the garbage disposal.  I remember a reset button on the bottom of the disposal.  I do all of that... the plunger is needed (didn't have to plunge a toilet, but I did plunge the kitchen sink).  After about 10 minutes messing with it, it was a success (at least)... I didn't have to wake up to a kitchen sink stopped up this morning.

It was a culminating feeling of exuberance, for sure.

SO, yes, this is where the story ends, as I head to bed with my tea, I lay down, and I think I read one page of my book before my eyes gave in.  And I slept like a freaking rock.. and did not wake up until my alarm went off at 5:30.

I can think of a million other things that could have happened that didn't last night.
And I am awake and the coffee is hot this morning...
And that's all I've got to say about that....

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Those 7 Words

So, in between not getting smashed on a Warrior Dash obstacle this weekend, overcoming sore muscles, and just living the momma life... my brain cells have been subconsciously pondering the latest Trump debacle.  Oh yes... grabbing women/life/America by the p***y.

And so seeing David Duke at a family event near my house today for the first time in my life made me come to terms with my brain cells.
I will not get into the David Duke hatred... that's truly not part of my argument tonight.

But I finally got to a cycle in my thought patterns to explain why Trump's idiocy truly makes my stomach crawl.
No it's not the words he used.  Any human at any time could use any words in my presence, and they will be that.. just words.. just letters put together to form utterances that some people find offensive.
George Carlin took care of that explanation in his bit about those 7 Words We Can't Say On TV.

So it's not the effing words.. ok?  I can read any one of those words in any slutty romance novel or even slightly graphic dystopian fiction, where the object of desire could be a human, a robot, or a 5 inch blue, stuffed bear (Thanks, Margaret Atwood, for that forever emblazoned image).

I am a mother, first.  Of all girls.. and yes I could step on my soapbox about how these words and images and mannerisms will affect them and their lives through having to deal with douchebags who think that "Oh, the President (or candidate for) talks like that and grabs women where he wants.. why can't I??"  (Enter the story of Stanford standout Turner)  "That dude talks like that, treats women like crap, does whatever he wants, and becomes PRESIDENT!"  and so, enter a world where my daughters have to deal with super, monster-sized assholes such as this.  Not just your traditional hormonal teenager or 20-something butthead, but THIS... one that has been brought up on TRUMPism.  That scares the shit out of me and makes me want to scoop them up and raise them among the fishes and coral on a deserted island.. if there was one I could go to.

So that's first.. but is that it?? of course not...

Of course I am a wife.. but I'm a big girl.. I can take this shit and any words anyone throws at me.  My husband is a good guy and not a douche, so... all good there.
Not everyone is that lucky, I realize....

To continue... my main concern?? really and truly????

I am an educator.  Of middle school age children.  I believe to be one of the most impressionable ages of childhood.  These kids are just starting to learn who they are, as a person, apart from who their parents are.  Most of them truly just identify with everything that their parents and family members are.  However, in 3 years (going on 4) of being a middle school teacher, I have seen kids mature from being that follower of what their family believes to starting to question and make their own decisions of life, within the 10 short months of the school year.  It only continues once they leave me, and so many come back and pull up a chair in my room and just want to talk....

So I see this, day in and day out....

And THIS, those of you that have continued to read this far, is the reason I am writing this.. on a Sunday night, 9 minutes before the debate starts...

Do you REALLY.. REALLY.. want to portray the American Presidency.. with the likes of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy,... with this "Pussy-grabbing" man?  Who has denounced other races and sexes as being fat, stupid, ignorant???? How can I, as an educator, turn a blind eye to someone who is shitting on everything I do as a teacher to help my students become empathetic, kind, respectful, helpful, honest, loving human beings?? When he is demeaning toward everyone but white males, wanting to blame everyone else for everything wrong with this country instead of truly attempting to change things, in the way that LEADERS CHANGE THINGS...

Has he ever read about change theory???  I highly doubt it..
Blaming people and pointing fingers is NOT how LEADERS get shit done!!!

It just makes me sick, honestly, to think that this person.. who yes, looks to be "successful" but is as shallow as a puddle of cat piss...
could possibly be leader of our country.

I am not telling you WHO to vote for..
but geez...
don't vote for him.

UPDATE!  10/11/16:  As I have gone to work the last two days, this thought has come to mind:
How are educators and adults that deal with children going to stop them from using phrases and words thrown out there that our own PRESIDENT uses?  How are you going to stop boys from calling girls fat?  How are you going to stop boys from saying "Aw she's bleeding out of her whatever??"  Anyone??? How?? How?? If our president does it.. HOW do we as teachers have a leg to stand on.. "Well the President says it, why can't I??"  Has any Republican voting person thought of THAT???????  Please let me know what your plan is.. when you children start doing it, because well, my parents voted for Trump so they must think it is ok.  Honestly...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Cures What Ails Yah" Chicken Soup

Ahhhhh... When cold season, or allergy season, or flu season,
or any of the "stuffy nose, achy joints, feel like crap" seasons hit...
This is my go-to soup.
Also, after long runs where I know I will be sore, due to the anti-inflammatory properties.

NOW.. If I could only get one of my dear daughters to make it for me..
ah, with time.. let's hope.

NOTE:  The broth of this soup is from this recipe:  Chicken and Corn Soup

"Cures What Ails Yah" Chicken Soup


1 whole chicken, cleaned of innards and rinsed
3 medium onions, 2 quartered and 1 diced
6 stalks celery, 3-cut into 1-2" pieces  3-diced
5 medium carrots, scraped and cut into 1-2" pieces
10 cloves garlic, diced (I like a lot of garlic!)
Fresh herbs of choice (if available)- rosemary, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, etc.
3- 32 Oz. containers of organic chicken broth or low sodium chicken broth
32 oz. water
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium crookneck squash, diced
1 cup chopped carrots or matchstick carrots, chopped
1 14.5 oz can mild rotel (or diced toms or fire roasted toms)
3-4 ears fresh corn, roasted in oven and kernels cut from cob OR 1 cup frozen corn
2-3 tablespoons garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 bag egg noodles or other pasta of choice


1. Place rinsed chicken in large stock pot.  Pour chicken broth into the pot, and add the 32 oz. of water.  (You want to make sure and cover the chicken with liquid.)  

2. Add quarted onions, 3 celery stalks in 1-2" pieces, carrots in 1-2" pieces, some of the fresh herbs, 5 cloves of garlic.  Place on medium-high heat and simmer until white meat is just cooked through (not too much!  Don't dry out!  Maybe 15-20 minutes once the liquid comes to a boil).  

3. Remove chicken from pot.  Cut apart breasts and wings.  Place thighs and legs back in pot and cook 15 minutes more.  When cool enough to touch, remove white meat from bones.  When dark meat is cooked, remove from pot and cool and remove dark meat from bones.  Discard bones.
4.  Strain broth through a colander into another pot.  (I save the carrots and garlic from the stock and put them back into the broth.)  Strain the broth a second time through a fine mesh strainer.  Pour back into the large stock pot.

5.  Add diced chicken, additional diced onions and celery, zucchini and squash, additional chopped carrots, can of tomatoes, corn, garlic powder, other seasonings.  You could also add mushrooms, green beans, etc.

6.  While the soup is simmering to cook the added vegetables, cook your chosen pasta.  This soup is also good over cooked brown rice.

7.  Serve in deep bowls with toasted french bread or crackers.  Get Well Soon!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

G-daddy's Infamous Oatmeal Cookies

Oh how I love these cookies!  Touch of sweet, nuts and fruit, and perfect at any time of the day.  I make a huge batch almost weekly for a healthy quick breakfast for my 16 year old who gets on the bus at 6:35 AM everyday.  I also bring them for snack at work, and we eat them for dessert.
They also make the best hiking and camping snack ever.  Here is a picture of this famous cookie on the top of Mt. Pisgah in North Carolina.


3 cups old fashioned oats (NOT quick oats)
3/4 cup all purpose flour (I use unbleached flour.  I have never tried whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use light brown.  Dark brown works as well)
1/4 cup honey
1 medium orange-ZEST ONLY  (optional)
1 cup dried fruit (I have used cherries, blueberries, cranberries, raisins, and a mix of all)
1 cup unsalted chopped nuts (I use pecans, mostly, but walnuts or almonds would work as well)


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2. Soften butter, either by leaving out at room temp. or microwaving in medium bowl for 30 seconds.  Test and see if soft.  If not, microwave at 15 second increments until soft but not melted.

3.  Cream butter with brown sugar and honey until blended well and mixture is pale yellow and creamy.

4.  Add 2 eggs.  Blend well.

5.  Add vanilla extract and orange zest.  Mix well.  Set bowl aside.

6.  Dry ingredients:  mix 3 cups of oats with flour.  Mix in baking powder, baking soda, and spices.  Blend well with a fork.  (I like to measure my spices with my palm.  This is about a tablespoon.)

7.  Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Mix until just blended.

8.  Pour dried fruit and nuts into bowl.  Fold nuts and fruit into cookie mixture.

9.  Spoon into approximately 2 inch-across mounds on parchment paper.  I usually leave a 1/2 inch space between cookies.  They do not spread when they cook.

10.  Bake on middle rack of oven at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.  Take out of oven when edges are browning and cookies are "set"= not too squishy in the middle.

11.  Cool completely and enjoy!  These keep for about a week in an airtight container.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Patty's Chili Recipe

After many requests for this recipe, which is a mash-up of this recipe and a Rachel Ray recipe I cannot find, I have decided to commit it to type from my brain cells.

This will make one large pot of chili.  This is enough for at least 2 meals in our 6-person house.
(I am horrible determining servings, etc.)


1 lb. lean stew meat OR some type of beef, such as leftover grilled steak, trimmed roast, etc.
(I have also used leftover pulled pork, which was dang good.)

1 lb. ground sirloin OR ground turkey (85%/15%)- I now use ground turkey, but it's your choice.
12 oz. of beer or beef broth
olive oil or cooking oil of choice
1 medium yellow onion
1 small red bell pepper (no red?  use whatever color you have)
3-4 cloves of garlic, diced or minced
5-6 Tablespoons chili powder
2-3 teaspoons of cumin
2-3 teaspoons paprika
2-3 Tablespoons garlic powder (I never measure.  This is a guess.)
salt to taste
crushed red pepper, if you want more heat
Tabasco, if you want more heat
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1-2 cans of dark red kidney beans, drained
1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced (depends on how spicy you want it!  but at least put 1!)
about a 1/2 cup of Maseca (flour used to make tortillas)



1.  Rub diced uncooked meat (if using stew meat or roast) in 2 tablespoons of the chili powder, a teaspoon or so of the garlic powder, a teaspoon or so of the paprika.  Brown meat in a pot or skillet with a lid in olive oil.  Add another tablespoon of the chili powder to the meat after it is browned.  Pour the beer or beef broth on top of the meat.  Turn fire down to low, and simmer, covered, about an hour, or while you continue cooking the chili.

**Note:  I have done this step the day before to speed things up the day of cooking.  Simmer the meat, cool, and refrigerate  until ready to use.  SAVE ALL OF THE LIQUID!

2.  In a large pot, heat olive oil to saute vegetables.  (Again, this is something I never measure.  2 turns of the pan- as Rachel Ray would say)  Add diced onion to oil, cooking until clear and starting to brown.  Add the diced bell pepper and garlic.  Cook until soft.

3.  While these veggies are cooking, in another skillet or pot, brown ground turkey in olive oil, seasoning with the rest of the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder.  Usually, there is no fat to drain from the turkey.

3.  Add crushed tomatoes, diced toms with green chilies, chipotle peppers, and browned turkey to the pot.  Turn off the simmering beef and add to the pot with ALL LIQUID.  Add drained kidney beans.  Stir well.  Simmer on low-med (don't boil, just simmer) for 30 minutes-an hour.  The longer the better.

**NOTE:  if using leftover steak or pulled pork or the like, add it here.

***SLOW COOKER VERSION:  Take everything at this point and put in a slow cooker.  I usually put it on low for 6-8 hours.  I never cook the chili on high, because really and truly, it is all cooked already.  Maybe 2-3 hours on high, if you are in a hurry?? But if you are in a hurry, why are you using a SLOW cooker??? anyway...

4.  Right before you are ready to serve, mix the half cup of Maseca in a coffee mug with room temp. water.  It is about equal amounts of water to flour.  You want a paste that is about the consistency of cake batter.  Thick, consistent texture, but not too thick.  You will spoon a bit of this into the hot, cooking chili, and stir until blended.  Then take a little more, do the same.  This thickens the chili.

**Again, #4 is a step that does not have to occur.  I have made several chilis and forgotten to buy Maseca.  But to me, the chili is so much better with it.**

THAT's IT!  My favorite serving suggestions is with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, tortilla chips, and Tabasco, and the cold beverage of your choice!


Friday, November 27, 2015

Blanchards in 2015: A Year of Our Lives in as Few Words as Possible

Welcome to the synopsis of the Blanchards in 2015! January 2015: Taylor got a new car and headed back for her 5th semester at LSU! Todd, Lauryn, Camryn, Patty, Autumn.. all back to work and school as usual. **Note: I am going back to my timeline on Facebook to get some ideas of what to write here, and honestly, January has a lot of "I wish it was summer or still Christmas vacation" posts or "Time to go run" posts, plus some pictures of normal daily events. A regular ol' month, really... Except for the Odell Beckham world record. :)

February 2015: MARDI GRAS SEASON! once again! This time with a freshman in the Fontainebleau's High School Band! Camryn played cymbals, and marched in 4 parades in Mandeville, New Orleans, and Metarie. This was our FIRST uptown parade, and boy was it fun! Looking forward to Krewe of Tucks next year!

March 2015:  A busy month!  Patty ran the Shamrockin' Run 8K in NOLA.  Taylor and Patty ran the Rock N Fly Half Marathon in Pensacola.  The whole family plus the Cadles and the Gillmans went to Austin for Katie and David's wedding at the end of the month.  OH and Patty turned the big 4-0!!!

April 2015:  Taylor and Patty ran the Crescent City Classic.  We had a peaceful, fun Easter here at home, with swimming on Spring Break.  Taylor was inducted into Psi Chi, the Psychology honor society.  We bought a camper!  Ready for some outdoor fun in the Sun Lite!

May 2015:  Taylor and Patty ran the Huey P. Long Bridge Run.  The big girls went to a Paramore concert for Taylor's birthday.  Taylor and Autumn had their 20/5 birthday parties.  Autumn graduated from Pre-K and registered from Kindergarten.  The school year ended for all... AMEN! says all of the teachers! Let the summer BEGIN!!!!

June 2015:  We headed to the beach for an extended weekend of fun in the sun.  The Bodies moved to Mandeville at the beginning of the month.  The Blanchard daughters went to Florida for Girlapalooza, and the Blanchard Mr. and Mrs. and Guinny Boy headed to North Carolina with the camper for a week in the mountains.  (We hiked and hiked and hiked some more.)  Then we came back home for some relaxing pool time and summer goodness in Mandeville.

July 2015:  We enjoyed 4th of July fireworks near the house.  (The first time Autumn watched fireworks and actually enjoyed them.)  We visited in Houma for Paw Robbie's birthday.  Then the whole Blanchard clan headed out for a week+ of camping in Georgia and North Carolina.  We enjoyed some of our old NC stomping grounds.  We loved the majestic views, the cool rivers, and had a few encounters with snakes.. but no bears!

August 2015:  Ah, back to school.  Lauryn started junior high (7th grade), Camryn started 10th grade, and Taylor moved on to her Junior year at LSU.  Autumn started Kindergarten as well.  Camryn joined ROTC; she would soon be moving up in the ranks!

September 2015:  A very busy month getting adjusted to new routines, classrooms, work loads, etc.  Patty became a Girls on the Run coach at Lake Harbor.  Autie truly loves Kindergarten and her teacher.  Autumn was named the Kiwanis Club's Terrific Kid of her Class in September, and she started violin lessons at her school weekly. Patty ran the Saints Kickoff 5K in September.  (and after the season we have had, I may never run across the field again.. was I bad luck?)

October 2015:  Lauryn turned the big 1-3!  We watched the Saints and LSU games every week... ah, the trials and tribulations of being a Louisiana football fan!  We visited Bourg to celebrate Mrs. Bonnie's birthday.  Lauryn started weekly guitar lessons.  Dash and Euen Bodie were born on October 27th!  They stayed in the hospital for a little over a week.  Halloween was a super rainy one- we trick or treated the night before in a nearby neighborhood!  Camryn and Taylor went to Voodoo fest for the first time on Halloween.

November 2015:  LSU's hopes and football dreams took a downturn with the game vs. Alabama.  There was some time freed up on the weekends that was not spent watching football!  :)  Camryn turned 16 on Nov. 22.  We had a great Thanksgiving week off, and decorated for Chrismas in the days before and after Thanksgiving.

December 2015:  And so this brings us to December again.  Our trees are up (one small in the foyer, a bigger one in the living room), we have some lights outside, stockings are hung.  Autumn is anxiously awaiting what her elf, Lucia, will do next.  She wakes up at 5:30 almost every morning to see where Lucia has hidden or caused mischief the night before!  Autumn had her violin concert on Tuesday, and Lauryn had her Christmas concert at FJHS on Tuesday as well.  We are eagerly awaiting Christmas vacation from school!

We hope you have enjoyed this synopsis of our year.  We are never bored in this house, that is for sure!  We wish you all the best of luck and love in 2016!