The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Lakewood Police Department Tragedy

I think I’m still in shock.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about here’s a link.  In a nutshell, four Lakewood, Washington police officers were ambushed in a coffee shop this morning.  All four were shot and killed.  They were in full uniform, working on their laptops getting ready to start their shift.  Lakewood is about 2 hours north of where we live.

You think officers are safe on a Sunday morning.  At least I do.  That’s the shift my husband works two Sundays a month.  Day shift is supposed to be the “safe shift.”  At least that’s what I think.

I’ve been breathing a sigh of relief the last three years that Tyler has worked days.  And he’s starting his fourth in January.  But I guess life isn’t a guarantee and anything can happen at anytime.

Now I’m going to get controversial and I don’t really care.  I love the military. LOVE them!  I am 100% proud of them, 100% support them.  I don’t think they’re paid nearly enough for the priceless duty they willingly offer our country.  Our country owes our military so much more than they get.  We would not be the nation we are without the sacrifice so many have made since the start of this great nation.

So please don’t get me wrong with what I’m about to say.  I get so sick of the fanfare that the miliatry gets while law enforcement seems to only be tolerated in our society.  Law enforcement – city police, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, and the law enforcement arm of countless federal agencies – put their life on the line every. single. day.  Period!  My husband has put on a bullet proof vest every day he’s gone to work for the last 12 1/2 years. 

I get sick of women whining that their husbands are deployed.  I have probably missed more holidays, birthdays, and major events with my husband than the average military wife.  Including THIS Thanksgiving and THIS Christmas.  And in all honesty, I cannot remember the last time I complained about it or even felt sorry for myself.  It’s part of the job and I accept that. 

Law enforcement are the ones who catch the rapist before he gets to your daughter. Law enforcement puts the drug dealer in jail so he can’t have access to your vulnerable niece. Law enforcement catches the arsonist before he has time to burn down your house. Law enforcement gets the drunk driver before she can plow through your family on a dark night. I’m not saying bad things don’t happen, that criminals always get caught but just think of what life would be like if everyone in jail was out on the street.

I’m also not saying there aren’t bad cops.  Two officers from the department my husband used to work for (thank you, God, we left that cesspool) are both in jail for: Officer #1) possessing child p*rn and child m*lestation; and Officer #2) raping women while he was on duty.  But there are bad people everywhere, in every walk of life and in every profession.  But by in large, most law enforcement officers, as well as military, are an honest and decent group of people.

So that’s my rant.  I don’t have any answers.  Just prayers for God to keep our country’s first responders – military, law enforcement, fire fighters, EMT’s – safe and appreciated for the services they offer.

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I’m sitting here in stunned silence

It’s late. I just checked my e-mail and I may never be able to speak again. And my husband may never be able to walk again (due to the severe karate kicks he’s going to receive from me).

A little background . . . . . our church is huge and has eleventy-seven Christmas Eve services at four different locations. You have to have a free ticket to get in. It’s to keep the Fire Marshall happy and to keep the crowds under some sort of control. You can reserve the tickets online and pick them up later as long as you give them your name.

I was too sick to go to church this weekend so Tyler and I decided which service to go to just this afternoon. He reserved the tickets and I thought I heard something strange come out of his mouth along with insidious giggling. Now I know why.

Upon receiving my e-mail confirmation that my tickets will be waiting for me I see the name they will be held under. The name that will be written on the envelope. I can see the look on all the faces that I will have to ashamedly tell my name to. Especially KV’s and I just want to hide in a corner. What’s the name?

Cheriffic C________

Let the karate kicks begin.

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My favorite blog about my mom

Today I’m doing a lot of baking and preparing for Thanksgiving. And using a few of the recipes my mom did. It gets me sentimental in a good way, even though this will be our first Thanksgiving without her. So I decided to republish my most favorite blog that I ever wrote about my mom. It was originally posted March 10, 2008 – just six weeks before our lives would change forever with her diagnosis.

Tupper-Love

I love Tupperware. If they had a Tupperware store that was bigger than the kiosks at the mall I might go in and never come out. I don’t know what it is about the stuff. And I’m talking real Tupperware here, the brand name. I don’t know if it’s the colors that always seem so perfect. Maybe it’s the thought that I really could have an organized pantry if I just let one of their consultants come into my kitchen and show me what I need to buy. Perhaps it’s because I love cooking and Tupperware is pretty much synonymous with the kitchen. I just can’t quite put my finger on it. I even told Tyler once that if he wanted to make me happy, just stop by the kiosk at the mall and pick me up a piece of Tupperware. Anything. I love it all.

How much Tupperware do I own? Honestly, not much. The biggest problem with Tupperware is the fact that I’m cheap and that stuff ain’t. The last party I went to I managed to skate out with measuring cups, a container for olive oil, aaaaaaaaand that’s about it. 99% of the few pieces I have came from either Ebay or garage sales.

So I decided to take a walk down memory lane on Ebay. My mom had tons upon tons of Tupperware when I was growing up. Some of the pieces she still has. And I’m convinced some of them are older than I am. I got so excited looking at the things she had that I actually gasped out loud. It was also funny how so many of them sparked a very specific memory. So I thought I’d share . . . . . . . .

Ah yes, the picnic set. We had this identical set just like it is in the picture. I think we went on a grand total of 3 picnics with it. My mom and I are a lot alike – we see something we must have and we have a million good reasons why we need it and promise ourselves we’ll use it to justify the outrageous price. Then we meet a thing called reality. Long after you can take the overpriced object of your desire back. Isn’t the orange a riot?

I think this was used to store lettuce or other veggies. The water would drain through the grid on the bottom and your vegetables wouldn’t be sitting in water. My mom still has this and uses it. It is now what they keep their stash of candy in. Just what my diabetic father needs . . . . . don’t get me started.

We had this in the same fetching yellow color. I think it was called “Harvest Gold” if I’m not mistaken. This must’ve been for condiments. I don’t remember what we used it for. We didn’t have the spoon thing. As you can see it is far too vibrant of a yellow to be associated with the 70’s color scheme. Must be from the 80’s – lol!

Then there’s what every hostess from 1978 needs, a Jello mold with changeable designs on top. I think my mom tried this 3 or 4 times, never with good results. We just couldn’t get that perfect Jello mold promised to us in the Tupperware catalog. Something in the molecular structure of plastic and gelatin, when combined, turned to super glue.

I’m pretty sure my parents still have this one as well. Even if it was horribly overpriced, the Blanton clan got their money’s worth, and more, out of this beauty. If you pushed the tab on the lid hard enough it would come apart. That used to drive my mom crazy if my brother or I did it. I think I hear the faint echoes of “paybacks” in the distance . . . .


This, this lovely lunch box set. Oh it still pains a small part of my heart every time I see one. I wanted one SO BAD but I never got it. At this point in my life, I can’t remember if I never got it because a.) I didn’t ask for it (very high likelihood) or b.) my mom said she could get a lunchbox cheaper at the store (also just as likely). Hmmm, now that I think about it, she could have gotten any ol’ crappy “Harvest Gold” pitcher at the store, too!

The super tall plastic tumblers. I was in 4th or 5th grade when she got these. She also bought the plastic tops that you could sip out of – a pre-cursor to sippy cups. For some reason, Mom thought my 8 year old brother and my 10 year old self needed sippy cups. One of her selling points was that it wouldn’t leak. Yeah, right. It was basically a spout coming out of a lid. They leaked. When she brought them home my dad looked at her like she’d lost her mind. Either my brother or I ended up putting straws down the spouts because we were to embarrassed to drink out of them. But Mom wanted the lids kept on. I have a feeling we were messy kids. Poor Mom.

Yeppers, these reek of a time long ago. We had the bottom one. My mom used hers so much that the inside bottom was all gouged up from stirring the pancake batter with a fork. I actually have a red one, too (Ebay purchase). Only my top is yellow and says “Bisquick” on it.

We had these for-ever. Our “P” and “S” were rubbed clean off. The only recollection I have of the letters are the faint outline left behind in the plastic from the pressure the stamp put on the containers. These were used very long and very well. These were replaced with . . . . . .

. . . . . these attractive brown shakers comin’ straight out of 1975. My parents still have these and use them. Me, being the smart mouthed kid that I still am, informed my mom not too long ago that she needed to wash them more. The tops were so gunky. Again I hear the “paybacks” refrain becoming ever more not so faint.

There was only one way to put powdered sugar on your waffles and this was it. It had the little handle you turned at the top and it would magically snow down on your breakfast. My brother and I used to routinely get syrup on the grid at the bottom and it would make the sugar stick together and not come out. I can’t believe my mom didn’t just throw the thing out. Would’a learned us a lesson!

The scoop. I probably scooped out hundreds of scoopfuls of sugar and flour with these. I think I even used one for the dog food once and nearly lost a limb when Mom found it. I can’t imagine these were cheap, either. Weren’t they great? I think I’m going to go back and bid on these . . . . .

The stacking spice rack. I don’t remember what all Mom put in these but each one had a little top with holes in it so you could sprinkle things out. There was only one solid lid – and as you can see that’s all you need. Unless you were us. The solid lid got broken pretty early on after purchase so and we were always dropping the whole thing and sprinkles would go everywhere. I think I need to get my mom a gift certificate to a day spa. For a week.

This was to be used to marinate meat or whatever in. My dad marinated some of the best steaks known to man in this bad boy. He was the chef of the family and I know I got my love of cooking and sense of adventure in the kitchen from him. I guess I now know where I got my love of Tupperware from!

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Confessions of a Chronic Over-reactor

It’s hard to admit, but I’ll do it. I overreact. I know it. I’ve sometimes dismissed it as a by-product of how sanguine I am. I am sanguine to the CORE! I am expressive . . . . I am dramatic . . . . . I have more facial expressions to express more emotions than just about anyone I know. (I even have special voices to express these wide range of emotions.) C’mon, look at my Facebook badge to the left. Who in the world posts pictures like that of themselves?? I do!

Tyler has gotten used to it. He knows that when I roll my entire head with mouth agape eyes and say, “AAAAAAAAGH,” that I’m really just being me. I don’t mean anything by it. But I figured something out over the weekend that wasn’t fun to realize.

My over-reacting is driving my daughter nuts. Which is causing her to not share things in which she thinks I’ll have an emotional reaction to.

Ouch.

My daughter is a classic phlegmatic. And if you know anything about the four temperaments, she’s the polar opposite of her sanguine mother. Sometimes I don’t know how the poor girl stands me. We had a talk this weekend and we agreed that she’ll say what she wants to say in one sentence and I’ll quit over-reacting.

That night Tyler and I attended our parents of adolescents class at church. And as God would have it, the night was all about communication and inappropriate emotional, limbic responses. Great. I decided that my over-reacting WAS really over and wouldn’t everyone in my house be so happy now that Mom is actively working on changing? Because couldn’t they just SEE the difference? Wouldn’t they look back on this time and remember how Mom suddenly got her act together and be so happy, encouraged and thankful?

The only problem with this is that if I don’t talk to anyone about the changes I’m going to make, there’s no one to keep me accountable. There’s no openness with my kids, no vulnerability and no needing to admit that I was wrong. And I’m firmly convinced that if we try to make our kids believe we are perfect and always right, that all it does is screw them up in the end.

OUCH! (Where do these stinking thoughts come from, anyway?)

So I talked with each of them separately, admitted I had been wrong, asked for forgiveness and vowed to actively work (not try, I *hate* that lousy excuse) on being more even keeled. So, if you have a chance to send up a prayer for me, I’d appreciate it. I know my over-reacting is just a learned behavior and not an unchangeable part of who I am.

And hopefully we’ll all be happier in the end.

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My First Guest Blogger: Meg Wilson

This is an exciting day for me!! I have my very first guest blogger. Her name is Meg Wilson and allow me to introduce you to her . . . . .

Meg is a dear friend of mine and a published author. You know you run a 75% greater chance of getting something published if you know me, right? I know so many authors it’s not funny. Anyway, Meg’s first book, Hope After Betrayal, is a book of healing and help for women who have faced, or are now facing, the darkness of betrayal by someone they love caught in the web of sexual addiction. But Meg is far from a one-trick pony. She also speaks on many issues including marriage communication, connecting with God, and many other topics. And I am very, very privileged to call her my friend.

She and her husband of 27 years in December live in the Pacific northwest. They have two daughters and one son-in-law. Meg also has a heart for young mothers as you will see in this blog post . . . . enjoy and be encouraged!

Confessions of an Out of Work Stay at Home Mom


No one told me the job would end, I mean aren’t they your kids forever?


I never thought they would ever stop making messes, interrupting or needing my care, but they did.


No one told me the job would go unnoticed, I mean when will they say, “thanks, Mom?”


I never thought they would stop to say I did a good job or take a moment to see how I was doing, but they did.


No one told me the job would cause so much pain, do they have to be so much like me?


I thought for sure I could keep them from being hurt, teach them to be better, smarter and tougher than I was, but I couldn’t.


No one told me being a parent would bring so much joy, I mean how can you put into words the gift of giving life and love to a child?


I never thought I would pray for, dream for, love, or miss my kids so deeply, but I do!!!


Enjoy every moment!

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SW Daybook – November 9, 2009

FOR TODAY…

Outside my window… raining, what’s new??

I am thinking… about starting a support group called, “The Miserable Wretches Who Own and Love Their OCD Beagles.”

I am thankful for… a warm, cozy house

I am wearing… jeans, long sleeved shirt – my shopping and take the dogs to the vet for their annual shots uniform.

I am remembering… to keep checking the chihuahua to see if she has a reaction to her shots this morning. Her face tends to puff up like a cocker spaniel.

I am going… to Sisters In Law tonight! We’re having a wonderful speaker, Kathy Sawyer.

I am reading… Nothing; waiting for my next Jen Lancaster book from the library. Still doing the “Stepping Up” Beth Moore Bible study.

I am hoping… get a shower before noon – not looking good.

On my mind… my mom, as usual.

From the learning rooms… giving the kids Wednesday off for Veteran’s Day. Don’t know who will enjoy it more, me or them!

Noticing that… I should have gone to bed earlier last night.

Plans for the week… hubby going goose hunting and other than that, it’s a pretty typical week around here, which is a good thing.

From the kitchen… crock pot sloppy joes for dinner tonight with baked acorn squash. One of my favorites.

Around the house… as usual, need to vacuum. The beagle destroys any stuffed animal she can get her paws on. I have remnants of fluff and fabric all over the living room.

One of my favorite things… white chocolate mochas from Dutch Brothers.

From my picture journal…

Fall foliage at Portland’s Japanese Gardens – taken by me.

Join the SW Daybook fun HERE.


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WFMW: Make ahead recipes

So this week’s theme for WFMW is about what works for us during the holidays.

Last year was the first year I was in charge of Thanksgiving and I decided I didn’t want to kill myself on the day and be too exhausted to enjoy the meal. As I was searching for recipes on the best recipe site in the world, Recipezaar, I found a couple of make ahead recipes.

The first is for make ahead mashed potatoes. Nothing saps my will to live like dealing with piles of potatoes!! I made these ahead of time and just baked them on Thanksgiving. And thanks to this video, peeling them will be easier than ever this year!

AND it’s possible to make real gravy ahead of time, too. I am horrible at making gravy – just plain awful. And gravy from a jar? C’mon, let’s get serious. Anyway, I found this recipe and it was hands down the best gravy I’ve ever made. Okay, it was the second time in my life I had made gravy from scratch that was edible. It was a good day for me.

You do end up with excess food hanging around for a couple of days before, but I broke out the cooler and set it on the back porch. Everything stayed nice and cool.

This certainly works for me! Check out more WFMW fun at Kristen’s site.

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