Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Blanket of [Sliced] Cheese

“Mom, will you slice some cheese for my lunch?” she said to me. 

I retrieved the block of cheese from the refrigerator, grabbed a cutting board with one hand and a knife with the other. Painstakingly, I dragged the knife through the once pristine, smooth block of Tillamook. 

Suddenly, struck by inspiration and pluck, I said to myself, “Why am I slicing this cheese by hand like a chump? I have the greatest slicer sitting dormant on my counter (because I haven’t made room in a cabinet yet) just begging to be used!”

The movements that followed were as if they were within me since the day I was born. A large block of cheese was freed from its original form, lid and bowl were put into place, cord was connected to power and the pulse button was selected. 

Nothing happened. 

I remembered that I was new to this way of life. This luxurious device had to be coaxed and gently encouraged to function. Plus, the safety switch had to be in place. And after my hands massaged all the pieces into place, the motor sprung to life and the cheese dropped into the bowl below. 

Sliced perfection. 

I held the bowl of beautiful slices over my head and declared “Sliced! Cheese!”

“Thanks Mom. Bye!” She was gone. 

Abandoned in my kitchen, I did not feel alone. I felt victorious. Sliced cheese was wrapped up and placed in the refrigerator next to the sturdy block from whence it came. It didn’t need to be said out loud, we all knew: the block, the cheese slices and me shared a long look at our hero who sat on the counter covered in the curled cheese ball remnants of its duty. And we all whispered, “Thank you, Food Processor. Thank you.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

If You're Here....

....you clicked on a link.
Probably on my FB page.

Maybe Twitter. 

And I hope that when you look at the dates of the entries on this blog you can know that I don't feel this blog is dead.

It is alive, only dormant.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Joss Whedon is Looking for Scriptwiters....

It appears that I have caught the cold all 4 kids were working on last week. Except, instead of catching just their cold, the germs have banded together to form some sort of a SUPER COLD and all I want to do is die.

Perhaps if I fashion a little cape for my NyQuil bottle and write a superhero song that I sing whenever I take it? 

Maybe I should turn the plain flowered box of tissues into NyQuil's HealthyMobile and it can drive all over my house wiping noses and administering medicine! With its trusty sidekick, Vicks Vapor Rub. 

Working together, this team can take on this SUPER COLD and drive it far far away, never to return. It may be a messy battle but the cleanup crew of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes is standing by, prepared for the challenge. 

On second thought, maybe I should just go back to bed and check for a fever. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

It's Your Turn

I have been part of a book club for a little over 3 years now. The first time we met, Charlotte was 10 days old and she tagged right along much to the delight of the roomful of strangers surrounding me. We meet monthly, actually talk about the books we read and can have anywhere from 2-20 ladies on a Friday meeting night. I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I do. We take turns picking books and it is my turn to pick!! The pressure is getting to me. I have read some REALLY good books lately that I would love to reread and get to discuss with my book loving friends! So, I'm making a list....maybe writing a little bit about these books will help me decide??

This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The prose is lovely and feels like it was carefully woven together to tell an amazingly deep story. I purchased it so I could lend it to other people. I wanted to make sure everyone I knew who loved books read it.

We read some Liane Moriarty for book club and then I read everything else she wrote. And What Alice Forgot was my absolute favorite. Take a moment, what if you woke up and you had forgotten the last 10 years of your life? How would you catch up? What would have happened? Great book for discussion!

Oh man. This one I read in about 3 days and then got my non reading hubby to read it and it was SO funny. Better than the movie, as always. But I will say that the movie did a wonderful job capturing the spirit of the book!

This was another interesting premise: While staying for a few days in her old bedroom, Georgie discovers that her old landline connects her to her husband in his childhood home back when they were dating. Since she and her husband are currently floundering in the marriage a bit, this chance to fall in love all over again is one she wants to take.


Both set in a post apocalypse world. One world wiped out by a virus and another in decay while a free virtual world has taken over. In Station Eleven we follow the path of the virus and see how society is attempting to rebuild. Gas, electricity and modern resources are gone. Ready Player One follows a young man who is in a race to win a contest but the race is in a virtual world. the pace is quick and exciting and coming to a theatre near you in 2018.

Kind of a twisted "Throw Momma From the Train" but with much less Billy Crystal and many more twists and turns. It was fascinating and a great ride.

Do you see how hard it is going to be to choose?! And these are only a few of the books I have tackled in the last 6 months. Sigh. Help me, Internets.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Let Us Not Grow Weary....

There is always someone around you in need of help. 

A friend had a hard day, a neighbor with a parent who is ill, a family at school who lost a job. 

But what do you do when all of these people not only need help but need YOUR help? How do you respond? 

There is the logical answer of "Boundaries" and "You can only do so much, God will do the rest."

The other side of that is to throw every bit of yourself into helping and hope that someone will pour help back into you or the family you may be sacrificing will understand.

I have gone both ways before. I have scrolled quickly past requests for help on Facebook or bookmarked a Meal Train website but never returned to sign up to bring a meal. I have decided a family probably doesn't need help and they can manage themselves. I have offered to bring a meal  only when what was really needed was one on one time. 

And I have cooked a full meal for a family and driven it across town while my family ate leftovers and frozen taquitos. I have brought on extra kids and made it so my children didn't get the help with homework they needed 

No matter which path I choose, I find myself weary. Burnt out. Feeling put upon. 

So, what's the solution? 

My experience has shown me that it's only when I am helping where God has led me that I am able to give without becoming weary. Running away from helping or setting up false fences around myself isn't being obedient to what God is calling me to do. Likewise, over committing and neglecting to minister to my family before helping others is also a disobedience of God's calling-especially as a mother. 

Our acts of kindness lose their full effectiveness and depth of meaning when they are not offered at God's urging

Therefore, the next time you see a place to step in and help someone, take a beat. Examine your heart. Is your hesitation or eagerness to help a directive from God? Or is He leading you to action that will not only show His Love but also put you in a position to reap that goodness back into your life?

Go forth with confidence, Dear Friends. God is ready to accomplish His work through you and will not leave you weary. 

Sunday, November 01, 2015


Because I love you, the faithful reader of my unfaithful blog, I have decided to start off this NaBloPoMo with a Public Service Announcement.....

Whilst cooking and turning on the oven, be careful to avoid bumping the crock pot that is sitting on the stove. For bumping that crock pot might mean you have bumped a stove top burner into an "on" position. 

And then the smoke may begin. 
Which would then be followed by a smoke detector making a most unfriendly sound. 

Upon investigation, you might then discover that the burner that was bumped on has melted the foot of the crock pot completely off. And you may be forced to right the crock pot tilt with a metal tulip cookie cutter. 

Just, don't. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

And I Still Have Them....

Throwback to that one photo that sums up the relationship my sister Kristy and David and I have. 

Sisters: Shenaniganry 
Husband: Reads his paper. Nothing to see here.

Also? Those aren't just overalls. They are overalls with Eeyore embroidered on them. And that shirt is not your average 1998 shirt but a bodysuit. A mock turtleneck bodysuit.

Nothing will ever be more awesome than this.
You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

For Lips are the Only Things That Touch

Nathan walks in as I'm watching an episode of Gilmore Girls....

"What's going on?"
"They are having a dance contest to see who can stay dancing the longest."

Young teenage couple walks into frame, sits down and begins making out.
"Oh, I bet they are doing that to make people throw up and stop dancing."

Yep. That's what kissing is for.

In other news: Gilmore Girls! Hooked!!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Clothing Optional

There is a mountain of laundry taking up a lot of space on one of my new couches.
It's a new pile of laundry so I guess it kind of deserves to be there. 

Friday, November 07, 2014

This Week's Post Script

 .......... streaming .......... 
Gilmore Girls, Pocoyo and The Hungry Caterpillar

 .......... pandora-ing .......... 
Brooke Frasier Station, Yo Yo Ma Station and Oh Hello's Station

 .......... googling .......... 
Shortbread Cookie Recipes

 .......... youtube-ing .......... 

and a bunch of poetry including this and this and this. 

 .......... reading .......... 

 .......... eating .......... 
Well, there's been a lot of shortbread in the house this week.

 .......... thinking about .......... 
sleeping, babies, Sunday Morning music line ups

 .......... anticipating .......... 
Irish Dance competitions, more photos shoots this weekend, a good night's sleep

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Am I Blue?

If blue fingernail polish were currency, all of you would be invited to my giant house for the biggest and most amazing party with iPads and a daily change of socks for the rest of your life as party favors.

You can see by this rational statement that when all paper currency is converted to shades of blue nail polish, it shall behoove you to remain my friend.

I will accept bribes in the form of Starbucks.
Green Tea Latte
No Classic.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Something Under the Blog is Drooling

I graduated high school the same year Bill Watterson stopped drawing "Calvin & Hobbes." It was a big deal in my house when the last comic strip appeared. My sister and I were die hard comic strip readers and my dad just fell hard for the comic timing, simple and complicated drawings and the deeper meanings and life lessons Watterson brought to the world (often with a tear or two, Baby Raccoon, anyone??)

I was on the Yearbook Staff the year before the final strip and I wanted desperately to fill some empty space on one of my pages with a section of Calvin and Hobbes dancing. My yearbook advisor helped me find where to write and ask permission. I was delighted to receive the "Okay" from the magical grown ups at the other end of my letter! I remember not being surprised. It felt like "Bill will think it's cool. He knows me!" (He doesn't. And I am sure he never even saw the letter.)

My dad "owned" all of the Calvin and Hobbes books that existed in our house. They often weren't on a shelf but instead open to a page near someone's bed or on the couch. You could always count on at least one copy in the bathroom magazine rack next to my mom's Good Housekeeping. (The Shumates are Bathroom Readers.) However, when I got married, I managed to bring quite a few of the books along with me. One of my favorites being the 10th Anniversary Edition where Bill Watterson picked out his favorite or most notable comic strips and talked about their inspiration, origins or arguments they brought about with his editors. I learned so much about the Art that Watterson felt he was creating with something as "throw away-able" as a newspaper.

The books I pilfered from my own dad were added to as I would find deals on the C&H books I had left behind. A nice collection accumulated and I often kept one or two in my own bathroom just as when I was growing up. Nate the Great came along and began reading and discovered a Calvin and Hobbes book one day. He was in: hook, line and sinker. He has read every book we own and every comic strip at least 3 times and he still reads the funny ones out loud to me which drives me crazy because I am not a fan of listening to people read out loud AND duh, I know. I have read them 3 times more than he has. One of my favorite memories of Nathan's 1st grade year in school was how he got busted by his teacher for retelling a punch line from C&H during class. She felt the joke was inappropriate. I thought it was hilarious. We had a hard time seeing eye to eye after that.

As I added to my household, more hands clamored for the books. I have lost a few books to overuse and I figure if a book is going to die, it's better to go that way than the way of the bird cage liner. I remember finding a page out of my beloved 10th Anniversary Edition that had become separated from the binding. I was upset-more than I should have been-and all Calvin was removed from the Zablets hands for a spell but not for too long. As soon as they would see a book left out when I had been reading, they were all back in trying to read while putting their shoes on in the morning or sneaking a book into bed with them along with a flashlight.

I am happy to sum up this little stroll with the news that I have repaid my dad for the swiped comic books when a two volume hardback edition of the Complete Collection was released and my sister and I went in on the purchase together. I may have made her promise that I get it when he dies. He may have said he's taking it with him.

But when we are over at his house, where will you find my kids? Dragging those big books off the shelf to read until we make them come to the dinner table. And even then no one wants to make them stop. We'd rather pull up a piece of carpet and join them.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Fully-ish Functional

Since all of the hullabaloo and chatter from me about my hearing loss, surgery and inability to use my hearing device, Bone Anchored Hearing Aid or BAHA, I feel like a little update is in order.

After some minor surgery at the end of May and a visit to audiology, we confirmed that I am still "half deaf" and that my BAHA was not working properly. It would be a hefty amount to fix but after having a hole drilled in my skull 4 years ago, it seemed silly to not give it a try. 

Charlotte and I drove out to the doctor's office today and picked up the freshly repaired BAHA and I have been back to Bionic since this afternoon. 

The results always amaze me every time I hook it up. I drove home with my finger in the good ear and told Charlotte to talk to me. I could hear her! Of course, later  I also was reminded of my frustration with the device when I suddenly started experiencing the clicking and ringing of feedback that sometimes occurs. 

I will wear the device for a few weeks and then follow up with audiology who can make some tweaks with the programming of the device. I will have to live within the confines of this technology. Nothing will ever replace God's creation as perfect as He created it. I will have to remind myself that the ability to hear on my left side is a special gift despite its limitations. 

And with a cheering section this cute, it's hard to stay down for long!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Leaves are Falling, Right?

It's Fall in Southern California....

Children head off for school in long sleeved shirts and flip flops. 

Housekeeping is done with all the windows open in the morning to let in the crisp, fresh air and closed up in the afternoon before the heat comes rolling in. 

Pumpkin, Ginger Spice and Apple Cider Candles are lit and their cozy aromas fill the home in place of baking because it's just too hot to turn the oven on. 

You can shop for a coat and a swimsuit in the same store, usually on racks next to one another. 

Facebook posts from friends complaining about the wind and falling leaves are "liked" with just a little bit of jealousy...but it's okay because orange, red and yellow maple leaves can be purchased at the grocery store: two bundles for six dollars. 

It rains for two days and it's called a Storm. News logos are created. Stories are exchanged of BBQ's being rained out. 

Red Starbuks Cups with steaming and delicious drinks are enjoyed with the air conditioning in the car at full blast. 

I have decided to assemble an "At Least It's Fall on My Playlist" Playlist and it includes selections from Eva Cassidy ("Autumn Leaves") and Kate Davis ("September in the Rain.")
What else should I include?

Sunday, November 02, 2014

What So Amazing?

David and I have been watching The Amazing Race for many years. Easily one of our favorites. We discuss how we would approach each Roadblock and challenge. We laugh how David would eat anything and I would starve and lose it for us because I don't even like to eat a different brand of peanut butter. We were overwhelmed with jealousy when a friend ran into Phil Keoghan in the airport and took a pictures with him AND got the Phil Eyebrow arch!

In reality, I would be a terrible partner for David to race with. And he don't have sort of personality that makes good TV. But since us being on the show isn't a reality, we still talk through the race and how we would approach it. IT's fun for us and anyone who happens to be over on Sunday nights. Because that's when it is on: Sunday nights.

But it isn't Sunday nights this season! It is on FRIDAY nights. And so, thanks wholly to the DVR and the stubborn nature of two long time viewers, we get to see The Amazing Race and Phil on Sundays. Right where it should be.

*Daylight Savings Bonus Fact: Because of a way too late bedtime last night, DST change and a full afternoon of photo shoots, this blogger is very tired and actually fell asleep while composing this blog. When she awoke, the letter "b" had been typed over 100 times. It was not a ghost, it was sleep blogging. And that, dear readers, is when the blogger realized how today's blog was incredibly boring. Full refunds will be issued in the morning.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Train Up a Child

I really hope you exit this time of Daylight Savings with the peace and knowledge that you have raised children who know how to turn on the TV, get their own breakfast, get their baby sister out of bed, help solve each other's problems and generally LET MOMMY SLEEP IN. 

(I have. And this is one of my crowning achievements of parenthood.)

Friday, November 08, 2013

God Bless the USA

David was given the chance to shoot a homecoming today....... what a gift it was! And what beautiful shots he got! Here are just a couple of the 300+ photos he took!

Thursday, November 07, 2013


.... sometimes, you have your Mom over for dinner and go out for dessert with your best friend instead of blog.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


Dear Family,

I know you want banana bread.
I know that when the weather gets cold, banana bread always hits the spot.
I also know that you (aka Nathan) were disappointed when I made pound cake last night instead of banana bread.

However, choosing to not eat ANY of the 10lbs of bananas that I purchased is NOT the way to get what you want.

I will, if I have to, win this battle of wills by eating every single banana in the house which will not only provide me with a victory but also fill me with a ton of potassium that your own bodies will be lacking. That, dear family, is called a Win-Win.

(Some of you forget that I am raising you and that I always win the Battle of the Will.)

So it is up to you. The ball is in your court. Either start grabbing those bananas in the morning on your way out the door or see your mother/wife have the ability to keep a normal water balance between the cells and body fluids (according to Yahoo Answers) before your very eyes!!

Love all of you,


Monday, November 04, 2013

I Like Nate

Tonight I am a Campaign Manager and poster designer for Nate the Great!!