Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ribless McRib

My BFF, Amber...

Hey Amber!

Is quiet possibly the biggest McRib lover in the world.   Seriously, she talks about it a lot.  Like a lot a lot.

She knew exactly when her seasonal delight would be back and had extra napkins waiting.  

She has people around the state updating her daily about when they were going to go get one.  

She even claimed she WAS the McRib for a couple days.  See below picture taken straight from her facebook profile picture.  

Yes, she does have a problem no drug can solve, however, I love her dearly!  

 Her addict presents a small problem.  You see, for nearly 14 years now I've been a vegetarian.   I will save the story of how that came to be for another day.  And even though McDonald's uses some foreign substance that likely has never oinked a McRib just doesn't fit into my lifestyle.  

I really felt this created a wall between Amber and I.   She taking on the identity of the McRib and really left little for us to talk about.  Her biggest topic of debate was yea or nay on getting onions on her beloved sandwich left me scratching my head saying, "What in the heck is she talking about?"

So, I decided I wanted in on the sacred delight.   I was going to do the unthinkable...  

No, not eat the McRib!   I have ethics here people!  I was going to get a Ribless McRib.  

Amber had her hesitations.   I think the thought of me messing with her perfect sandwich was a little unsettling to her.   However, I really felt like it was necessary to close this gap between us.  

So last week I go to my favorite McDonalds.  Pull in and they say "Oh, LeeAnn it is so good to see you!  You want a half and half tea?"  Haha, just kidding... though I think it could really happen.  

I ask for my Ribless McRib.   They ask me to repeat myself.  

Now, being a vegetarian who goes to fast food places for 14 years now, I've learned a thing or two.  One is, that if you order a hamburger hold the hamburger meat or chicken sandwich with no chicken, things are going to get screwed up.   Which, I really cannot fault anyone for.  I am a weirdo who loves a good bun with mustard and ketchup.   I can't expect everyone to get that. 

So, it is no surprise my Ribless McRib was causing some heading scratching.   As the horns start honking behind me, I say "Nevermind, just give me a McRib and half & half tea."  

I pay for my sandwich and pull out heading towards my night class.  

After pulling the big daddy out, I give it a good look over realized that as honed as my driving while eating skills are, there was no way I was going to be able to handle deconstructing this saucy mess and driving at the same time.   So, I put the McRib back in the bag and drive on to school. 

After getting to UT, I pull the thing back out and take a good look at it.   For those who are McRib novice like myself, it is basically a piece of rib meat (or something like that) SLATHERED in barbecue sauce with onions and pickles on a toasted bun.  

I throw the rib piece along with the onions back into the bag.  I begin making myself a napkin bib and wave at some ladies from my class.  

Then I take my first bite.   Sauce squirts out the sides all over my hands and face.   I take another bite to really get the experience of it all.  

And I have to admit, the barbecue sauce bun has to be right up there with my ketchup and mustard bun.   Probably doesn't touch my cheese only sandwich, but still pretty tasty.  

Two things...  First, I spent the entire class paranoid that I had sticky barbecue sauce all over my face.  And second, unfortunately I think that Amber does not see this as truly "getting" it.   I still am lacking in my knowledge of this culinary giant because I didn't "really" eat a McRib.

But, the good news is that the McRib will be gone another soon and things will be back to normal.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Dog...

Once upon a time there was a wonderful dog.  
His name was Simon.   He had his own theme song I sang frequently.  It went a little something like this: 

Simon, Simon
Fabulous Simon
Simon's so swell
You're so outrageous!

He loved it.   Others did, too.  

Simon came to us shortly after the Rooster and I were married.   Actually we got him two weeks before we found out we were going to have Bub.   That is probably why I spent my time singing songs to him.
Simon, to put it delicately, was not your classic beauty.   At 11 years-old we didn't know much about the story of his life before coming into our family, but he obviously had one to tell. 

Simon's most distinctive feature was his single, prominent tooth from which his lower lip gaped open.   Upon meeting Simon, people would often ask something along the lines of, "Now, is something wrong with his mouth?" 

I liked to act shocked and say, "No?!?  What did you do to him?"  as I scooped him up in my arms pretending it was the first time I had seen it.  It got them every time.  Then I'd usually sing him his song to make him feel better about himself.  

One of the most amazings things about Simon, though, is one that I don't think many people believe.   Simon had magical powers.  Yes!  I promise!  In the first month of having him he:
  1. Moved a baby gate that we still have no idea how he did it and escaped to the living room. 
  2. He completely seperated a plastic pet taxi and escaped to the living room.  
  3. He bent the metal on a cage and escaped to the living room.   
  4. He chewed the frame off of a door and tried to escape to the living room.  
  5. He jumped out of an open window 7 feet to the ground.  He was waiting at the living room front door to be let in.
  6. He chewed his way through a paneled door to escape to the living. 
By that point we finally got it in our heads that he liked the living room.  So, that is where we left him and he happily stayed from then on out. 

After Bub and then Goose came along life changed for Simon a bit.   He didn't get sang to as frequently and his multiple naps a day were often interrupted. 
However, I think that he felt that it was more than made up for in all the hugs and extra snacks (mostly in the form of Goldfish and Cheerios)  he received.  
Very sadly, 4 and a half years after coming into our lives it was time for Simon to leave.   He got sick and we had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to our fabulous friend.  

Our hearts were all broken.   Nearly a year later we still talk about how much we love him.  

He really was a wonderful dog. 
We decided that we are just dog people.  That for our home to fill full and hearts happiest we needed a dog in our life.  

We then got another wonderful dog.  His name is Scooby.  

As any mother with more than one child can tell you, no two children are ever the same.  

Well, knowing that I don't know why in the world I expected Simon Part II when we got Scooby.  Simon was an 11 year-old,  16 lbs mixed breed, docile dog.  Scooby was a 6 week old, growing to be 60ish lbs, wild man Labradoodle . 
The differences don't stop there though.  

Simon was frequently a house guest at my parents', aunt's, friends', and in-laws' homes.   Scooby stayed once with my parents and I think word got out.   He has not been invited anywhere since.  

Simon never chewed on anything (well, short of the 2x4's of the door frame.. but that has long since been forgiven, so it doesn't really count).   So far Scooby  has passed Silly Bandz, pacifiers, crayons, hair bows, Barbie's hand, and many other small unidentified plastic things.  

Simon's energy level was slightly above that of a grizzly bear in the height of hibernation.   Scooby requires walking several miles a day in order to be functional.  

Every time we picked up Simon from the groomer they went on and on about what a good boy he was while visiting.  When I picked up Scooby for the first time last week they told me, "He sure is happy to see you!"   I think they left out that they were happy to see me, too.  
However, one similarly both Simon and Scooby share is that they are both very loved and will firmly always be important parts of our family.  It is funny how dogs can do that to you. 

Now, if I could only figure out a theme song for Scooby.  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Bub and Goose going to the big slide.

Our family made our annual pilgrimage 5 miles up the road to the Corn Maze.  It is hands down one of my favorite activities we do and is gingerly anticipated each year.  

A hayride down an old dusty trail, finding your own perfect pumpkin, a child sized corn maze, and all the other surprises we get to rediscover each year.  

Add on a gorgeous fall day.   Life really cannot get better.  


The only down this year was when we were entering the farm.   Much to our surprise they have changed their pricing structure this year.   Previously they had an ala carte pricing structure where you could choose what items you wanted your family to participate in at the Maze.  Having young children we do not do the large Maze (which, as a pre-children person I loved and look forward to doing again when Goose and Bub get a little older), but this year's pricing structure includes admission to it in our ticket price.  

Basically, our admission price was double what it was last year for the same thing.   

You may be asking, can you really put a price tag on memories?   Well folks, I can tell you if you could it would be $52.90. 

Bub coming out of the GIANT slide. 

After that blip, we were on our way!   First stop on the agenda was going down the giant slide made to look like an old mine shaft.   Goose and Bub bravely began walking to the top of the hill.

Then, Bub being the 4 year-old boy he is went barrelling up the steps leaving Goose to fend for herself at the bottom. 

Goose, for lack of a better word, tends to be a little on the nervous side.  

Meeting a new person?   No, thanks.   I prefer my mom.

Going into a dark room?  No way!  There may be a new person in there!

Being abandoned by my brother to go down a giant slide that I do not know where it will take me?  You can imagine how that one would go.  

So thank goodness  Unfortunately, we do not have a photograph to document what happened next, but let's just say the result went a little something like this... 
  1. Goose and I going up the steps with each step closer to the top resulting in a little whimper from her.  
  2. Once to the top, Goose screaming at the assistant trying to help us.  
  3. After making it clear the assistant should not touch or speak to her, Goose and I going at the speed of light to the bottom of the slide (have I made it clear it was a GIANT slide?) as both of us screaming at the top of our voices.  
  4. Once arriving at the bottom of the GIANT slide we both go rolling around in the dust a little bit.
  5. After regaining our composure pulling ourselves up off the ground. 
  6. Then one of us asking the Rooster if we have dust on our bottom.
  7. The other asking to ride the GIANT slide again.  
  8. The one with the dusty bottom vetoing riding the slide again.
On second thought, considering the looky-lous who were watching this all play out there may be photographs to document what happened.  


Assuring us he can see everything!

We then went and found some old tractor tires to climb on.  Dusty Bottom did not climb, but Bub was very proud to make it to the top.  

Assuring us she doesn't need to see everything.

After some coaxing from the Rooster, Goose made it to the top, too.  

We will being washing this out of her hair for days.

We then went and played in the what I have discovered to be the bane of my mothering. 

Sand.   I hate sand.   But, we had paid for it so sure as the devil we were going to use it!  

Not very confident. 

Then it was time for my very favorite part of the day!   A tractor ride that would take us to find our pumpkins!  

Goose was not very confident in the tractor, wagon, or kind man who were driving us.   Though Daddy made it a little bit better.  

Resting after a full day.

Once arriving at the pumpkin patch Bub quickly found his pumpkin.  He quickly determined it to be the perfect seat after all the exploring we had been doing.  

Too heb-ee.
Goose was a little more selective.   I believe it would be completely accurate to say that she touched every pumpkin in the patch just to report back "Too heb-ee." (Too heavy).  

The perfect one!
By this time I would have been happy to drop another $52.90 just to find her one that was not "too heb-ee" to get home.  

But she finally found the perfect one. 

And life was good (except having to face that scary hayride back to the car). 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cluck, cluck!

So, I decided to fulfill my dream of becoming a professional blogger that it would be helpful to have a blog.

Very insightful, indeed.

So, here it is.  My tentative first steps towards becoming a
professional blogger.  I am certain the book deals and calls from the
Today Show will begin immediately.   


Maybe not.  

Don't give me that look.

Okay, no cooking frittatas with Ann Curry.  Which is really okay because
I don't even know what a frittata is in all honesty.

But, forgein cooking aside, you can learn a little bit about my family
as the Rooster and I raise our babies, chickens, and a few other things
in East Tennessee.