Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Bloom

The local sunflower field is blooming. How could I resist?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Palermo's Pizza

I had the most delicious pizza for lunch this week. It was Palermo's Primo Thin Roasted Vegetable with Goat Cheese pizza, found in the freezer section at my grocery store. Here's the description so you, too, can drool.
This gourmet creation offers a robust tomato sauce complimented by Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, Romano and goat cheese - all topped with roasted red and yellow peppers and roasted red onion, atop our all-natural, ultra-thin crispy crust.
Why has no one told me about this pizza before? You call yourselves friends?! I think you've been keeping quiet so that there will be more of it at your local grocer for you! Well, the secret's out.

Palermo's was featured in Men's Health in their "Eat This, Not That" section for frozen pizza. Ladies, don't worry - you can eat it too.

If you don't already have your freezer stocked with Palermo's, here's a coupon so you can try it too. If you're lucky, as soon as you say "Goat cheese", your children will run away, leaving more yummy pizza for you! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Move Your Body

Yours truly from Fight Class last night. We are practicing parrying a jab and cross, then bobbing and weaving under the hook.


When You Wish Upon A Falling Star, Your Dreams Can Come True.
Unless It's Really A Meteor Hurtling To The Earth Which Will Destroy All Life.
Then You're Pretty Much Hosed No Matter What You Wish For.
Unless It's Death by Meteorite.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Random Ramblings

This green site has some interesting items. I love some of the colorful, reusable grocery bags. Our grocery store gives you 5 cents credit for every bag you bring. And I think I'm going to invest in some Klean Kanteens this year for the kids to take to school; we've been going through plastic water bottles like crazy lately!

Last night's Martial Arts class was fun. We did an exercise where 4 people stood in the middle and the rest circled around them. The ones on the outside would "attack" someone in the middle, choosing a method that we've worked on in class, and the one in the middle would defend and counter. What made it fun was that instructor turned off some of the lights and cranked up rock music. The intent was to create some "stress" and distraction for those being attacked - to recreate a possible real-life scenario. We worked on hair grabs, chokes, wrist grabs and bear hugs. So a person in the middle sort of knew what was coming, but didn't know when or from what direction it was coming from.

Fight Class tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Art Museum
Modern Art Museum by

Our local field of sunflowers is just starting to bloom. I can't wait to get out there with my camera! This was taken last year.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yes Sir

One of my favorite aspects of Jane Austin's world is the uber-polite way with which people greet each other. A deliberate curtsy or bow accompanied by a formal verbal acknowledgment and general deference to each other. Calling each other "Sir" or "Miss".

By now, you may have figured out the answer to my previous question:
What does Jane Austin society and martial arts class have in common?
Our martial art's school is a bit less formal than others, but still we bow to our teachers when greeting them and give a polite verbal acknowledgment. We address the black belts as "Sir" or "Ma'am". There is a deliberate courteous respect. I love that!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
Helen Keller

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Muffin Meal

Muffin tin meal 02, originally uploaded by jengrantmorris.

My Flickr friend, Jen, put this together as a fun, easy meal for her child. What a great idea!

For more inspiration, check out the Muffin Meal group on Flickr.

Friday, August 22, 2008

She's a Lover, Not A Fighter

Just a quick update on Fight Class. First of all, my nose is still straight and oh so lovely (although it was making a strange clicking noise just a minute ago).

Class went well. In addition to jabs and crosses, we worked on hooks and uppercuts. As usual, I did OK as long as I knew what was coming. One of my favorite moments was when I landed a sweet jab on my partner's helmet, right in front of the teacher, who called out to the class, "We have contact over here". I took about 3 seconds to mentally pat myself on the back and was replaying the whole beautiful scenario in my mind, basking in the praise, when - POW - my partner caught me right in the kisser sniffer! Of course, this was still also in front of the teacher. Um, yeah. Keeps you humble. :)

Here's a question: what does Jane Austin society and martial arts class have in common? Seriously, there really is something. And I love it. Can anyone figure it out?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thursday Thought

I like alliteration. I could blog a "Friday Photo", a "Thursday Thought", a Wednesday .... a Wednesday .... whatever. OK, I'm done. Never mind.

Fight class is tonight. I'm both excited and a bit worried. I've discovered that my helmet doesn't exactly fit right and that my nose really is quite unprotected. Normally the cheek pads stick out enough to deflect a blow square on, but mine don't. I hope I do OK and that, at the end of the night, everything ends up nice and straightish. In the meantime, I'm going helmet shopping :P

Reese's PB Chocolate Cookies

My dear friend Laura is coming to visit today. In her honor, I am posting one of her recipes. These cookies are incredible.

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

1 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding
2 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 12 oz bag of Reese's PB chips

Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in pudding. Mix in dry ingredients, add chips. Chill 4 hours. Shape into small balls. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

Now, don't go and try making these healthy by substituting margarine for butter, etc. You need to try them "as written". Laura uses a good quality cocoa, like Droste's - you can really taste the difference. And don't think about skipping the chilling process - it's important. Sorry, I know 4 hours is a long time to wait when you're faced with chocolate and peanut butter, but you'll thank me in the end.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Best Left Unsaid

Have you ever opened a bottle of pop or lifted the lid of a yogurt only to see:

"Sorry, try again." or "You are not a winner at this time". I guess they think that sounds better than, "LOSER!" or "Why do you even try?"

And I think names of fancy drinks are hilarious. So, if you order a Skinny Vanilla Latte at Starbucks, will it make you skinny? I notice they don't have the proper alternatives listed on the menu:

"I'll have the Chunky Mocha Expresso" or "One Fatty Frappuccino, please." :P

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fight Class Update

I had my first Kickboxing Fight Class last week. I haven't posted about it before because I've been too traumatized it's taken me awhile to process the experience.

A few more guys signed up at the last minute so there were about 10 men and 2 women. We warmed up with my favorite exercise, running Ladders. Then we played Shoulder Tag. If you got tagged without tagging your partner back, you had to sprawl and do a push up. Afterwards, we partnered up and practiced deflecting punches with our backs up against the wall. We started out slow so it wasn't too hard.

Then we moved onto floor work. We took turns throwing jabs and crosses at our partner, while they parried our punches. I did OK as long as I knew, in advance, which hand my partner would be using. When it was random, I just couldn't see them coming! You are susposed to watch their collarbone for hints. Yeah, right. That was very frustrating.

So I left feeling rather discouraged and a bit overwhelmed. I thought that I should have done better. But after a pep talk from my husband and some wise words from my coach, I felt better. My coach said, "Oh, you're going to get hit. It's just that you learn how to take it." And my husband reminded me that even professionals get hit. And sometimes knocked out.

Thanks Honey.

1 week down, 7 to go.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Peek into Class

Here I am doing a jump-roundhouse kick. Notice I can't don't jump very high off of the ground. I think it has something to do with gravity. And age.

Miss Munchkin and I are practicing our double-leg takedowns. Notice how neat her hair looks, even when being slammed to the mat. And is that a smile on her face? Now that's one cool kid!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Here's a short, fun quiz for readers of All Astonishment:

How Well Do You Know MrsMama?

Feel free to post your score in the comments. :)

O Happy Day!

Today is April and Clay's 16th Wedding Anniversary. They are such a neat couple! If you haven't visited Coal Creek Farm yet, you're in for a treat. Pop on over and wish them the best!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sense & Sensibility

A Wordle from a scene from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


., originally uploaded by MrsMama.

To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.

Anatole France

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Betwixt the Twilight

There is a magical moment, where morning catches night. I witnessed it this morning on an early walk in our neighborhood. One minute, bats are darting black against the sky, the next they are mingling with the morning sparrows, sharing a breakfast of bugs. But just for a moment. It really is magical.

Speaking of Twilight, I've been reading Stephanie Meyer's series. It's a intriguing set of young adult books about a high school girl and the love of her life, who happens to be a vampire. I'm about 1/2 way through the last book, so don't tell me what happens!

Monday, August 11, 2008


My kickboxing fight class starts this week. To inspire you (well, mostly me), here is the title trailer from the new season of The Condender. I love the music; I think it'll be my Theme song.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pop Quiz

Just to see if you're paying attention...

What three things "come not back"?

(The answer was posted within the last 2 weeks on my blog.)

1. The ______ sent
2. The ______ _____
3. The ____ ___________

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Still Determined

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.
Martha Washington
US wife of George Washington 1759 (1732 - 1802)
This is something with which I often struggle. Especially, I think, as a woman, it's easy to get caught up in feelings and emotions and to ignore what we know to be true. I also think that certain circumstances are just miserable, no matter what your disposition. Like pain. If you need some hope, check out The stories and insights there are uplifting and inspiring.

Friday, August 08, 2008

PC Ramblings

Here, PC means pre-coffee. Mostly - I've only had 1/2 cup. That's obviously not enough to function properly so read at your own risk. :P

I am sore. Between Kickboxing and Martial Arts classes, I work out 4 nights in a row. Right now, I'm hobbling around a bit like our old, arthritic dog. I over-extended my right knee sometime during the week so that hurts. Did I mention that I feel old? Oh, by the way, everyone in the Advanced Class can run ladders faster than I. Even the 67 year old grandfather. Even Mr. B, who had knee surgery a few months ago! Ladders are that stupid lovely exercise where you all line up at one end of the gym, run part way down, touch the ground and run back. Run a bit further down, touch and run back. Repeat until you are running the whole length of the gym. The part I hate most is when everyone is done and are all standing there with ample time to watch me finish. Alone. How embarrassing is that?!

(pause grumpy, whiny rant and sip coffee)

OK. I feel a bit better. On the upside, I learned how to do an armbar from a side choke last night. Basically, you are laying on your back and someone is kneeling beside you, "choking" you with both hands. You trap their arm, do a little scoot, hook your leg around their neck and flip them over (holding onto that arm the whole time). If everything is went well, their arm will be stretched out and sort of bending backwards at the elbow. Raise your hips a bit and they will be tapping out and making cute screaming noises. :) If you can't visualize it, feel free to stop by and I'll demonstrate.

(pause semi-manic gush filled with dry humor and sip more coffee)

Ah. Feeling more human every minute. This weekend is my 17th wedding anniversary. My wonderful MIL took the Munchkins for a long weekend roadtrip, leaving me and my husband some time and space to celebrate.

I love my Mother-In-Law.


A lot.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Count Up Past Mercies

Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.
Charles Jefferson

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Oprah Stinker

Since this blog has a Jane Austen flavor, I've tried hard not to dwell on topics such as body noises. However, Jane did not have a 7 year-old boy. So consider yourselves warned, Gentle Readers!

This morning Master Munchkin told me about an "Oprah stinker".

"Oprah?" I asked.
"Where did you hear that word?"
"It's a French word that means huge and over-normal, " he informed me.
"Oh, really?" I tried not to smile. "Are you sure?"
"Yes! Dad told me."
"You might want to ask him about that."

He trotted off for a quick conference. It didn't take him long to return.

"Uber," he amended. "It's German."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Something of the Marvelous

Something of the Marvelous, originally uploaded by MrsMama.

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Football Soup

We recently had this for dinner. I like it because it is low carb (for husband), high protein (for me), Gluten Free (for Miss Munchkin), and yummy (for the Master). It is also called White Chili, but "Football Soup" goes over better with the Munchkins.

Heat a few teaspoons of Olive Oil in a pot on the stove. Add a chopped onion and cook until mostly soft. Add a tablespoon of minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add chicken broth, a few cans of white kidney beans (I used cannellini), cooked chicken meat, and one can of diced mild green chili peppers. Season to taste with cumin and oregano. Simmer as long as you can - the flavors will mix delightfully. Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Maybe I DO Have a Green Thumb

I admit, in the past I have been known to kill houseplants and entire vegetable gardens, but I think my luck has started to change. I discovered a lovely patch of green plants growing in our front flower bed, right under Master Munchkin's window. They just appeared amongst the Lamb's Ear. Aren't they pretty? So green and fresh...

Here's one close up. These guys really seem to be thriving, despite the scorching summer heat and my gardening skills.

I may just have to pick a batch to set on the dining room table. There's nothing like plants fresh from the garden to satisfy that certain "itch" to bring the outdoors in.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fight Class

I recently signed up for a Kickboxing Fight Class. I've been learning the basic moves for awhile now but, in our "normal" kickboxing class, we punch on pads that are held up by our partner. These pads represent our partner's face. In the Fight Class, there won't be any pads.

There will be padding, however. Students will wear a helmet, boxing gloves, shin guards and a mouthpiece. Here's my helmet:

Hey! I noticed that there is not a lot of padding around the nose area. Hmmm...that's a, concerning.

I signed up for the class because sometimes I'm a bit slow when it comes to picking up things and I've found that I learn a lot faster when I'm about to get hit in the face. :) Sometimes it takes a few knocks, but then I finally stop worrying about feeling self-conscious and start focusing on technique.

Right now, there are 4 guys and 2 girls signed up for the Fight Class.
The man on the right is one of those guys:

Here Mr. B is quickly and efficiently taking down an armed "mugger". He is a very nice man but I would NOT recommend getting into a fight with him. Which, um, is apparently what I will be doing. Gulp.

Please don't hit me in the nose, Mr. B. Just not the nose.