Intentional Happiness: Zigzag Road

October 13, 2010

Is it just me, or is life lately up and down and crazy all over? It can’t be only me, right? Please tell me that you’re all ringmasters of your own little Freakshow Circuses; otherwise I’m going to have to actually invent and install the Everclear Drinking Fountain. Because mommies need that shit.

Still, this wacko job of mine has it’s moments of Intentional Happiness, and I’m going to share mine today. It’s been a while since I remembered to actively seek the happy, which isn’t good. I have to laugh or else I’ll blubber like the star of a Lifetime movie. So here goes. And if you want more Intentional Happiness, check out BadMommyMoments and Momalom. They’re pretty cool girls to hang out with.

!!! (The Up) This drawing, made by Miss M., which is proof that I am, by far, the most colorful person in the family.

!!! (The Down) The same drawing also, apparently, is proof that I look like a Ten Dollar Hooker. Because look at her! Seriously? What is up with that bird’s nest hair and who the Hell put on her lipstick this morning? I am also not enjoying being shaped eerily like a sausage.

!!! (The Up) Miss D. channeled her inner artist this week, too.

!!! (The Down) She also channeled it on her spelling homework, which she was supposed to be doing on this cookie sheet covered in sugar. Instead, she was rocking her inner Tinkerbell. I’m thinking her test won’t come out so well this week. Also, if you’re going to use that technique as spelling practice, I highly recommend that you buy a gi-normous container of salt and use that. Sugar is not so awesome on every nook and cranny in the kitchen, especially if someone happens to spill water.

!!! (The Up) The face of a girl who didn’t balk too badly about going to school this week. Although Fridays are still mutinous.

!!! (The Down) The tear-stained face of Miss D. as she got off the bus. Mean Girls Suck.

!!! (Lots of Up) The trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend.

!!! (The Down) Realizing that not only do my kids need haircuts like nobody’s business, but also that they’re growing way, way, too fast. Miss M. is in the middle of the growth spurt on steroids and Miss D. can fit into my shoes. Ack!

!!! (Up and Down) Saying yes this year to Miss D.’s annual plea: “Please, can we get a super-huge pumpkin this year?” Also saying yes to Miss M.’s annual plea: “Please, can we each get two pumpkins this year? So Mommy is a rock star for a day. A broke rock star, because that huge honker was almost 39 pounds. And patch pumpkins are 99 cents a pound. Total bill for pumpkins this year? 63 bucks.

!!! (The Up) Having these little goodies ready and waiting for post-patch snacking.

Chewy Caramel Popcorn and Pretzel Bars

from Everyday Food magazine

makes 12 bars

Nonstick cooking spray

12 cups plain popped popcorn (from 1/2 cup kernels or 2 microwave packages)

4 cups coarsely chopped small salted pretzels (7.5 ounces)

2 cups sugar

coarse salt

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 cups miniature marshmallows

Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss together popcorn and pretzels. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, undisturbed, until mixture is amber in color, 8-12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and slowly pour in cream (mixture will sputter). Immediately add marshmallows and stir until melted.

Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pretzels and quickly stir with a rubber spatula to coat. Transfer mixture to prepared dish and use a piece of  plastic wrap coated with cooking spray to press evenly into dish. If desired, sprinkle with a little coarse salt. Let cool completely and cut into 12 bars. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, up to 2 days.

* I was feeling racy, so I melted chocolate and drizzled it over the top of the bars. A little chocolate never hurt anyone, right?

!!! (The Down) Being so satisfied with myself that I forgot to take a picture of them before they were wreckage.

Whether up, down or all around,  I’d still love to hear what made you !!! this week.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula October 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm

What? No pictures of the bars?? :-( Oh well, the pictures of your girls make up for it. I couldn’t agree more about mean girls–especially in Jr. High.


~Laura October 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I loved your !!! this week and all of the great pictures of your girls! And by the way, in case you haven’t noticed, Miss D is one kick ass artist! That girl is going somewhere with this! And of course, I love all sausage people. Can’t leave out Miss M :)


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