Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Child Support Update & a Rant

The shocking news: no child support payment since the beginning of May... LMMFAO Who am I kidding, that's not shocking news! The shocking news would be that he actually paid he was supposed to, including the back support!

I really wouldn't care a great deal if it wasn't for the fact that it's $200 a month that really does go a long way. I usually use it to pay for new clothes for one or both the kids and pay one of the smaller bills due that month. I don't use the money to get a pedicure, manicure, or anything else non-essential. It really annoys the piss out of me when I hear folks whine about their child support payment being *only* $1000 a month and their ex actually pays it every month. Now, my ex does have a job, he makes nearly $1500 a WEEK but because he claims he's unemployed he's only required to make minimum wage payments every month. So of course you could argue that they'd just base it off his income taxes...that'd be beneficial if he actually filed his taxes. So in addition to owing me over $10,000 he owes the IRS almost as much, from BEFORE he quit filing, in 2002. In 2002 he was making $60,000+ a year.

Since then he's bounced in and out of prisons, yes unemployed during a portion of that time...since then he's held a few different jobs, then subsequently quit them as soon as child support enforcement would catch up with him. Well, he recently moved from Tulsa to Ironton, MO...that in itself tells me that he's currently working for his former employer, Kevin Burbank, of Front Door Promotions. Kevin employs trashy folks like my ex, Bryan Gilliam, to supervise children, ages 11-15 to do door to door sales. Of course if the trash makes you money then why care?

Friday, July 16, 2010


I shouldn't jinx myself by listing this, but I must.

In the last two weeks I have been a "victim" of obvious "Good Karma", if I do say so myself.

Monday I went to pick up my prescriptions. Found out after waiting a few hours for them that one of them was not covered by my insurance, to the sum total of $16. No big deal, really, except I didn't have any cash on me due to not expecting to have to pay for it. So we attempted the card over the phone method since Brian was at home with the kids, finishing up dinner. No go, their computer system will no longer allow cards over the phone because of cases of fraud. No big deal to me, I'll just have Brian pick it up the next day when he's in town for work. Instead the pharmacist pulls $16 out of his pocket and pays for it. Says to "not worry about it" if we pay him back, we pay him back, he's not worried about it. Brian was up there the next day with the $16 cash.

After months of stressing over the removal of my Mirena IUD it was successfully, easily removed after seeing a competent midwife, on Wednesday. No surgery required, no drastic side effects, so far.

Yesterday Brian's promotion was confirmed, after only 92 days at his new job, where as with his last employer he was with them for over 3 years, hearing about how they were going to give him a promotion and it never happened.

Today I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few grocery items and noticed that school supplies were out and on sale, so went to grab up a few that I knew Mikeal would need and others that we just need/want at the house. I screwed up and didn't keep close tabs on how much I was spending and ended up going over my cash budget by about $7. No big deal really, I hadn't planned on buying school supplies, I still have about two weeks before school starts, so I put a few items back. As I'm working on "sending back" $8 of merchandise the lady behind me puts $25 on the tray in front of me and tells me to keep it and not worry about it. I tried relentlessly to give it back to her, trying to explain to her that the school supplies were really just an impulse buy and that I had grabbed QUITE a few extras just for around the house and was going to be buying the rest of the supplies at another date, as I'd planned originally. She wouldn't budge on it and she insisted I keep the change.

THEN, as we're leaving out of the store to put the groceries and school supplies in the van it started sprinkling. I no sooner get the kids, etc loaded into the van, the buggy into the cart corral, and myself into the van than the skies just open up and just dumps buckets of water. We're driving down the road, headed towards home and pass under the railroad bridge. A bridge that has sheets and sheets of 4'x8'x3/4" plywood leaned up against the rails for whatever reason. As we're passing under the bridge a gust of wind causes one of these sheets to come cascading down towards my windshield. At the very last second, between 5 o'clock traffic and a complete rainout the sheet of plywood slightly changes direction, landing safely in the center turn lane.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Four Seasons Pizza

  • 1 - 13.8oz tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 - 6oz can pizza sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 thin slices prosciutto, torn in strips (ask persons in the deli area to slice it or point it out to you, if they even have it)
  • 3 marinated artichoke heart halves, cut in half
  • 3 thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 3 thinly sliced basil leaves
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread the dough out on a pizza pan and coat with pizza sauce, to 1-inch of the edge.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Top with prosciutto, artichokes, mushrooms, and basil.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 8 minutes. Do not over bake.


OR Cool, then cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil, label, and freeze. To serve remove the pizza from the freezer. Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake the pizza for 5 minutes.

Macaroni & Cheese with Ham Bake

  • 1 8oz package of elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups (8oz) shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups (16oz) small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/3 lb diced ham
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (8oz) sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2T butter, melted
Cook the macaroni according to package directions until al dente. Drain well and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients expect the breadcrumbs, paprika, and butter.

To serve: Melt 2T butter. Toss the breadcrumbs with the paprika and mix with the butter. Pour the macaroni into an 11x7x2-inch baking dish treated with non-stick spray, and spread breadcrumb mixture on the top. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350°F oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the topping is golden.

Garnish with sliced cherry tomatoes & chopped fresh parsley.

To freeze: Pour the macaroni into a labeled 1-gallon freezer bag. Thaw when ready to use.

Serves: 6-10

Banana Bread


  • 1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 ripe large bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position. Butter and flour(or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.

Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (The important thing is not to over mix the batter. You do not want it smooth. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.)

Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.

Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This bread can be frozen.

Makes 1 - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.

Upside Down Fettucine Bake

  • 1/2lb Italian sausage
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 8oz fettucini
  • 1 - 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup (2oz) shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 slightly beaten eggs
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 2 T parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
Brown the sausage in a medium skillet. Add the onion during the last few minutes. Drain off excess fat.

Meanwhile cook the fettucini according to package directions.

Add tomatoes and their liquid to the sausage mixture. Add the oregano, bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese over the tomato mixture.

Mix the eggs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, butter, parsley and garlic together in a medium bowl. Toss the noodles with the mixture.

Spread the noodle mixture in a 10-in quiche dish or cake pan. Pour the sausage mixture on top.

To serve:

Bake uncovered in a preheated 350°F over for about 25 minutes or until bubbly. Cut and serve.

To freeze:

Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil, label, and freeze.

Serves: 6

Beef Pot Roast

  • 3lbs beef chuck roast
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp chopped Garlic
  • 3 T Balsamic Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
Poke holes in the roast and rub it with salt, pepper, and garlic.

In a small bowl stir together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard.

To freeze:
Place the roast in a labeled 1-gallon freezer bag, pour the marinade over it, and freeze.

To Serve:
Thaw the roast, if frozen, or allow to marinate overnight if not frozen. Place the roast and marinade in a slow cooker. Cook on high 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.

Serves 6-8

Texas Styled Lasagna

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 cups (16oz) small-curd cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1-oz packet taco seasoning mix
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 4oz can chopped green chilies
  • 5 flour tortillas cut into 1 inch strips
  • 4 cups (16oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
In a large skillet, brown the meat.

Combine the cottage cheese & eggs in a small bowl.

Drain the browned meat of excess fat & add taco seasoning, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chilies; mix well. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

In a 13x9x2-in baking dish treated with non-stick cooking spray, layer half of the meat sauce, half the tortillas, half of the cottage cheese mixture, and half of the Monterey Jack cheese, in that order.

Repeat the layers with remaining portions.

To Serve:
Bake uncovered, in preheated 350°F oven for 40 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

To Freeze:
Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil, label, and freeze. I like to use my pans that have lids so that after putting the aluminum foil I just place the lid and then can stack other dishes on top of it, in the freezer.

Easy Chicken & Dumplings

  • 1 roasted (rotisserie) chicken, deboned and shredded
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 1½ cups chopped carrots
  • 1½ cups chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 32-oz carton chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 12-oz jar turkey gravy
  • ¼ cup frozen peas
  • 1 12-oz tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
To Freeze:
Mix all the ingredients, except the biscuits, in a large bowl. Pour into a 1-gallon labeled freezer bag & freeze. Store biscuits in the fridge.

To Serve:
Place all of the ingredients, except the biscuits, into a large sauce or stew pan, with a lid.

Warm over medium heat until hot and bubbling.

While the chicken mixture is heating, unroll the biscuits and cut each biscuit into four pieces.

Push the biscuit pieces into the hot bubbling liquid with a wooden spoon, a few at a time, until they are all in.

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serves 6 - 10

Taffy Apples

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Rosy Red apples, free from blemishes
  • Thick Skewers
(not terribly sure how many apples this recipe will coat)

Stick each apple with a stick or skewer

Make the taffy syrup by boiling together the sugars, water, and vinegar.

Cook the mixture until a small amount, dropped in cold water, will crack when pushed together between your fingers.

Dip the apples in the syrup, making sure they are completely coated.

Lay them on wax paper to dry or prop them on their stick to dry.

((Taken from my great-grandmother's cook book from the 30s))

Spinach Salmon Bake

  • 1 cup instant brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 - 14.75oz can Pink Alaskan Salmon, finely smashed
  • 1 bag frozen spinach, thawed & torn to small pieces
  • 1/4 block of Velveeta cheese, cut into 1/4in cubes
  • 1 T chopped garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1 tsp salt
In a 1.5 quart baking dish add all ingredients, mix thoroughly.

Bake for roughly 45minutes to 1 hr, until bubbly.

Serve while hot!

I just threw this all together the other night. It wasn't bad, but I'm sure it still has room for improvement, so if you have any suggestions, or any variations, please do leave me a comment with your ideas!