Friday, October 16, 2009

Neighborhood Bully: TSA Takes Woman's Son!

I am shocked and appalled by this story. I have personally experienced the ineptitudes of the TSA at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport, but this woman's experience goes beyond ineptitude into sheer stupidity and exposes the TSA as the actual terrorists. I cannot imagine what she went through. I got shaky and cried just reading about it.

I truly hope the national media picks this up and something changes. These TSA employees clearly bullied this woman and they need to be fired.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Friends in Low Places

The last few weeks have been very challenging, filled with ups and downs and all-arounds. The one thing that I can say has consistently kept me thankful and sane and happy much of the time is knowing that I have girlfriends (and a guy friend here and there) that I can count on. The guys I don't really count on and they're not the same kind of friends as my girls. They're mostly just high school friends who pop up on Facebook with the occasional wiseacre comment here and there, but they're good for a laugh.

My girls, though... I could not live without them. From my best friend Courtney who lives in Texas and has been through...well, roughly the last 20 years or so of my life to the amazing women who live in my neighborhood and go to my church and participate in my playgroup and play Bunco together and share the same routines and rituals of my everyday life, I am blessed to know some kick-ass, hotter than Hell, sage, loving, supportive, funny, talented, crazy, amazing women.

There have been times when I feel like I don't fit in, but I think that's mostly been me, holding back. Fearing that I don't fit in and making it so. When I let go and trust that people will accept me just as I am...potty-mouth, messy house, crazy life, ambitious, slack, flaky, I am often surprised that they do. And that's when they let me see all the messy aspects of their own lives. And that's when things really get interesting.

So, all this then, is what I am thankful for on this rainy, rainy Thursday.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mixed Bag O' Blessings

We just returned from Brendan's speech therapy at Scottish Rite. He's now getting help with speech at school and through our insurance and it seems like he's improving even more rapidly than I would have hoped.

Still, no one takes me seriously when I mention that he stammers. It might be that he only does it with me. But if so, why? He should be the most comfortable talking to his mom.

I don't know. Today has been a really bad day for all sorts of reasons and if I think too hard about that one I may just burst into tears.

I am proud of Brendan for how hard he works and how far he has come since he was diagnosed with Dyspraxia last autumn. He is worlds from where he was then, yet I hate it that he does have to work so hard for what comes naturally to everyone else in the world.

He's starting to say he hates school again but won't tell me why. I fear it's getting difficult again. I just want something in life to come as a gift to my beautiful boy. Something that he is great at without trying too hard that he loves doing.

He told me today he wants to play basketball this winter. He brought home a flyer about a church league. I don't know what to do. I am so afraid he'll try it and struggle and be the worst kid out there and take another blow to his self-esteem. Yet, I don't want to deny him the opportunity. I guess I need to put my fears aside and let him struggle and see what he is capable of. He may surprise me.

And the league for five and six year olds is a "learning" league, so no real games. Just learning opportunities. Maybe it will good for him and me.

Don't get me wrong. I absolutely believe kids should be allowed to fail every now and again so that they learn from their mistakes and don't get any ideas about life being easy. That said, Brendan has already had plenty of challenges and failures as a child and it's time for him to find something he's exceptional at. I'm just not sure basketball is the ideal sport for the kid who suffers from something that was once known as clumsy child syndrome.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Blog She is A-Changing

I'd love to have your feedback on the new look of the blog. What do y'all think?

I've putzed around way too long on this to want to undo it, but I would like to hear your thoughts. It just felt like it was time for a change.

So, let's hear it....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Qu'est-ce que c'est gateaux?: Hummingbird Cake Recipe

Wednesday was my honey's birthday so I made his favorite cake. This recipe is the same one Scott's grandfather used to make when Scott was a boy. His mother gave it to me and I'm going to share it with y'all because this is the most amazing cake in the world and it deserves to be eaten and celebrated:

Hummingbird Cake


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped firm ripe banana

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon together into mixing bowl several times. Add eggs and salad oil to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until ingredients are moistened. Stir in vanilla, pineapple and 1 cup pecans. Stir in the bananas. Spoon the batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes,or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.

This cake is so rich and delicious. I love it, but I usually only make it on Scott's birthday because it is so special.

Some folks like to put chopped pecans on top of the icing, but I hate the way that interferes with the creaminess of the frosting.

Also, Paula Deen has a version of this cake that is slightly different. My recipe makes a really dense cake. Paula uses Self-Rising flour and omits the baking soda. Everything else is exactly the same, though, including the quantity of the flour.
Her version makes a slightly lighter and fluffier cake that still tastes fantastic!