I hope you enjoy my blog...if you do, please "follow" me! XOXOXO...BettyShmetty

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Props to the hubby!

Part of the reason I have been a little uptight lately about returning to work has been my concern about how I am going to be able to keep up with everything I already do and adding a full-time job to that list.

Yesterday was my first day back to work.  While I was gone, Kurt did the grocery shopping (I didn't even have to ask him to do it!)  He did a load of laundry.  He cooked dinner.  The kids did the dishes.  Kurt helped Lee with his homework while I helped Jack. 

A successful first day all around.  Clearly, it has to be a team effort to make this work and I am pleasantly surprised to find that I am on a team that is working together.

So, in case you see this, thanks Babe!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm getting paid to do this???

So today was my first day at my new job. It was so great! I got to shoot...I learned a new technique for speed and accuracy. I was placing a bullet right between the target's eyes at 7 feet away, from a brand new security holster that I wasn't familiar with, in one second! I still got it!

The Chief came in and spoke to us about our jobs in the schools prior to swearing us in. It felt good to know, once again, what an impact I can have on a kid's life with this job.

I had a great time seeing some old friends and getting to know some new ones. Four other officers were hired with me. As cops will do when placed in a room together, we immediately started making jokes about each other and having fun at each others' expense. We got a little rowdy with our laughter. It really was great! (I know I keep saying the word great, but it really was.) I can't believe I got paid to have so much fun today. And I get to do it all over again tomorrow :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

What do burritos, special sauce and puberty have in common?

Monday night's dinner conversation, of course!  We were talking about Jack's performance at yesterday's baseball games.  He was the catcher for the second game of the double header and he did a great job.  He even threw the team's first out at second while a runner was trying to steal second from first.  He had 4 singles and a double with a total of 4 RBI's...like I said, he did a great job.  I was saying how good he looked behind the plate.  (We have been getting Jack extra coaching with a former pro-ball catcher in order to improve his game.)  I said he looked very athletic and had a lot of endurance.  I just told him he needs to improve his upper body strength a little more to catch up with his lower body.  He said he needed to work out more.  Lee informed him that he wouldn't really see much more improvement in the upper body strength until he reached puberty (because Lee is clearly an expert in the matter, being there himself.)  As Jack was jumping in to say he IS in puberty, Lee corrected himself to say that he meant Jack would improve when he got further along in the whole puberty thing.

As I was sitting there listening (having been working on a very stiff rum and diet soda) I stupidly asked, "How do you know when you are in puberty?"


Lee:  "Pimples, voice cracking and stuff."

Jack's response was to grin and say, "Well, I'd rather not say during dinner."

To which I relplied, "Well, why not?"

Jack: "Because I'd rather talk to dad about it since he has the same thing as me."

And I said (it was the alcohol talking, I'm telling you) "I'm very familiar with the equipment, you know.  How do you think you came along?  I birthed you from my loins and I'm very familiar with the equipment that helped you get there in the first place.  Right?"  (Looking at Kurt who, to his credit only shook his head and started to chuckle.)

Kurt: "Maybe we should wait till after dinner.  I 'm not sure I want to hear this right now."

Jack: "But we're talking about burritos...and special sauce!"

Me:  "I know all about burritos and special sauce."

Jack:  "Is that true dad?"

Kurt:  "She knows more about the special sauce than I do."

Jack:  "Would you like some chicken with that?"

Lee (in a deep Southern accent):  "Chiggin nuggets!"

Which cause my boys to crack up and me to pause and say, "You know, I was wondering what I was going to blog about tonight.  Now I know."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I received the Versatile Blogger Award!

Ok, I know I am a complete dork, but I'm pretty excited to tell you that a fellow blogger, Shar from Life Reinvented in Phoenix gave me the Versatile Blogger Award!  I'm not really sure exactly what it means, but I think "The Prize Patrol" is on their way over to give me a million dollars, so I have to straighten up the house real quick.  Before I do that though, I'm supposed to tell you guys 7 things about myself and then choose another blog (or two) to pass along the award to.  Here goes:

1.  My favorite snack growing up was a peanut butter and ketchup sandwich.  Don't ask.

2.  I kissed a girl when I was 8 years old.  She was a neighbor in Homestead, FL and she and her sister thought it would be a great idea to practice kissing with my sister and I.  We practiced french kissing.  I don't remember her name.  Anna, do you remember their names???  By the way, I think she is the reason I am a pretty good kisser now ;)

3.  I drink my coffee black with a little sugar.

4.  I love watching NFL football games on Sundays.  I have about 8 teams on my radar that I enjoy keeping up with.

5.  I have a small collection of roosters and hens.  I only collect really special ones.

6.  The gypsy in my blood (I don't think I have real gypsy, just the urge to travel and wear old, odd or questionably mixed patterns from time to time) makes me want to go.  We are pretty stable here.  Same house for the last 8 years and before that, same house for 9 years.  I want stability for my kids because I didn't have it, but I am craving instability for myself right now.  I am feeling the urge to mix it up, take a trip, run away, get lost for  a little while.

7.  This is not the first award I ever won.  I once received "Officer of the Month" for tracking down a man who had kidnapped a woman in Palm Beach.  I worked day and night for 2 weeks on that case and eventually found the man and arrested him.  True story.

Well, there you have it.  7 things that (I hope) you didn't know about me until today.  Please go visit Shar at her blog Life Reinvented in Phoenix.  She is doing a fantastic job of helping her family settle in to their new home in Phoenix after her husband lost his job in California and they had to give up their home.  Her story is a scary sign of the times and.  Instead of being defeated about their situation, they are reinventing themselves, career, home and all in Phoenix and are doing a great job so far.  Go see for yourself!

I am passing this award along to Natalie at My Blog Is Boring because she is anything but.  She writes about all kinds of things and because I am schizophrenic like that...well, I like that!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The morning after

Last nigt, in a fit of bad judgement, I published a blog entry.  The content in and of itself wasn't so terrible (maybe questionable is the right word here), it was the state I was in...I wasn't fit to properly judge good blog material last night.

I was tired last night.  Bones-aching, eye-blinding tired.  Kurt had gone to bed and the kids wanted to play a video game on the living room television.  I wanted to watch a movie and veg.  I told them I would choose a movie on Netflix.  They moaned and rolled their eyes because I always choose "stupid movies." 

I scrolled through and saw Wierd Science on the list and that was it.  I told them we would watch a movie from when I was 21.  They moaned louder and said they didn't want to watch an "old movie."  I won the battle and turned the movie on.  In my ultra-worn-out brain, it was the funniest thing I had EVER seen.  Seriously, I was laughing out loud with tears rolling down my cheeks.  At one point, I had to excuse myself to go pee or have an accident on the couch.  The kids were laughing too and I felt like a complete success! 

Truly, when I saw the bar scene I published on my blog last night, I almost peed my pants from laughing.  My kids were in stitches.  I had the laptop in front of me and was staring at a blank "new post" page and thought, "I'll do a post on the funniest movie ever, because this is the funniest movie EVER!"

There you have it.  I woke up this morning, freshly rested and remembered my post from last night.  I come before you now with my tail tucked between my legs and ask for your forgiveness.  My judgement was impaired.  And forgive me, but even in my current state of having more brain cells at my disposal, I have to say, that movie was funny.  In fact, it was damn funny.  I just probably shouldn't have posted it on my blog...not one of my more stellar writing accomplishments. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wierd Science...funniest movie ever!

Tonight, I convinced my boys to watch "Wierd Science" on Netflix.  Oh my gosh!  It's just as funny as when I saw it in 1985!  This is one of the funniest scenes...the bar scene where Gary is talking about "this crazy 8th grade bitch" he had a crush on:

Damn funny!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I have a start date for my new job!!!

Okay everyone...I have a start date for the new police position!  I will be starting October 17th.  I had orientation today to go over the benefits and boring stuff and am now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel...in about another month, I am not going to lose sleep over paying the bills every month!

I am fully aware of how fortunate I am to have found a job in this economy.  I have never, in the 24 years since I started working in law enforcement, seen the lack of jobs and layoffs that I have seen in the last year.  It truly is shocking when you think about it.  When the economy is down, crime usually goes up to a certain extent.  That has always meant plenty of job security for police officers.  That is just not the case now.  Since property values have dropped, municipalities and county governments don't have the budgets they used to have and they are cutting police positions.  Meanwhile, police academies are still cranking out newly trained officers who don't have jobs waiting for them.

So I am thankful. I am thankful to have the chance to add to my family.  I am thankful I am still so able.  I am thankful to have found a job doing something I am good at.  I am thankful I found a job that will work for my family.  I am just thankful.  That's all.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's nothing dignified about peeing in a cup.

Today, as part of my pre-employment physical for the school police, I had to submit to a drug test.  It's not the first one I have ever done, but it certainly was the most memorable.

I know that there are people out there who have to take drug tests who are also regular users of drugs they shouldn't be taking.  Said people probably use lots of methods to try to pull one over on these testing folks.  They (testers) are probably trained to be suspicious of everyone.  Did I ever tell you that when I first started in law enforcement back in 1983 I was a corrections officer in the Orange County Jail booking office?  Well I was.  I know all about suspicious peeing.  I had to watch people pee all the time...not a pretty sight.  Prisoners have no privacy when it comes to bodily functions, especially if they just got arrested.  Corrections officers are supposed to make sure that the newly arrested dirt bag citizen is not trying to smuggle something in or flush contraband down the commode.  I'm sure these pee testers probably feel just as suspicious of those of us taking a drug test.  It's just not a nice procedure.

Apparently, one of the methods reluctant pee-ers use is to scoop toilet water from the commode into the cup.  Another must be to just use plain old tap water.  Still another might be to smuggle clean contraband pee into the restroom and empty it into the cup.  Hence my experience today...

First, the nurse had me lock my handbag into a little locker so that I wouldn't have anything in my hands (nor be able to sneak in contraband pee.)  I then followed her to the bathroom, where she told me to wash my hands.  As I was doing so, she dropped a blue dye tablet into the toilet and handed me the cup to pee in.  She told me to fill it to the black line and then open the door and hand it to her.  She told me I had 4 minutes to complete the task.

"Wow" I thought, "Four minutes is a lot."  I mean, do people really need 4 minutes for this?  I can't imagine!  If you find you can't pee after a few seconds, how is it going to get any easier?  I then proceeded to place strips of TP onto the seat so I wouldn't have to hover while trying to hit the cup.  (I really am not comfortable hovering under the best of circumstances...throw in the pressure of performing and forget about it.) 

After a little miss and dribbling onto the edges of the cup, I filled it to the line and sat it on the sink and then finished.  After standing up, I wanted to clean the outside of the cup because it was wet.  I went to turn on the water and there was none.  I was a little thrown by this.  I tried again...WTF??  Then it hit me that she must have turned off the water.  Suddenly, I couldn't remember if I was supposed to pee then hand off or pee then wash then hand off?  I wondered what the nurse who was standing outside was thinking...was I taking too long?  Were the sounds I was making suspicious?  Damn!  I was glad I had already peed because I was getting stressed out and might not have been able to relax enough to let it out if I had really thought about it! 

Back to the hands...since I had already put soap on my hands in order to wash them, I had to get a paper towel and wipe off the soap and then just try to dry the container before opening the door and finding the nurse standing by the door.  I sheepishly handed her the cup and apologized for the fact that it was damp.

I then saw her flip a switch outside of the door and she said, "You can wash your hands and flush the toilet now."

I felt really gross...like a criminal.  I washed my hands and then used a paper towel to open the door to walk out.  I didn't want to touch the handle again since I knew that other people with urine on their hands had done the same thing.  I couldn't figure out how to flush the toilet so she had to flush it for me.

It was a very UNdignified experience for me, but at least it's over.  Have any of you had a drug test lately?  Did you find it as unnerving or embarrassing?  I swear the last time I had to do it, which was only 2 years ago, it wasn't like this!  The nurse just gave me the cup and sent me into the bathroom without my purse and asked me to bring her the urine sample when I was done.  No water shut off and no blue dye.  Is this the new thing???

Monday, October 3, 2011

My tiny house fantasy...

Sometimes, in my imagination, I live in a tiny little house.  My tiny house is tucked near a stream on a little piece of country heaven not too far from a little town where everyone knows everyone else.

Here's a picture of my little dream house:

Tumbleweed Tiny House - Bodega
My little slice of heaven is about 350 square feet and has only the things that I need and love...nothing else.  It is decorated with well-loved and worn vintage furniture. 

My tiny house is surrounded by a garden of wild flowers.  Sometimes I pick them and put them in a pretty vase on the little desk where I am writing my book.

Music is always playing in my tiny house...G Love, Jason Mraz and Led Zeppelin to name a few of my favorites.  Sometimes I play the music really loud and dance around.  I don't own a TV, but I have a hundred books.  Sometimes I read my favorite books over and over.  If I wait at least a year, I can't even remember the story, so it works out nicely.

I live in my little house alone.  My husband and kids live in town and I visit them when I want to.  Sometimes, I invite them to my little house, but when they start to annoy me, I ask them kindly to go home and they do.  We all get along great!

You know what I love most about my little house?  I love the freedom I feel when I am there. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In The Kitchen With BettyShmetty Sunday Brunch Edition...Light and Fluffy Belgian Waffles

This recipe is one that my sister-in-law Cindy gave me while we were in Georgia.  Because I am trying to eat healthier and add more protein to my and my boys' diets, I add protein powder and ground flax seeds to the original recipe.  Cindy uses a mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour for her version.  I would have done that too, but I didn't have whole wheat flour on hand today.  I also use water or rice milk in place of the milk the recipe calls for.  When I made the waffles today, I used water and my boys could not taste the difference...everyone wins!  Here's the recipe:


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 scoops protein powder
2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil (or light olive oil)
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 cup wheat germ (or ground flax seeds)

In a large bowl, stir four, baking powder, wheat germ/ground flax seeds, pinch of salt, protein powder.  Separate eggs.  In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with a fork.  Beat in the milk and oil.  Add this to the flour mixture all at once and stir until blended but still lumpy.  In another small bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer until they are stiff and then fold them gently into the batter.  Don't try to completely incorporate them, some egg whites will still be visible after you are done folding them in.

While you are mixing the batter, heat the waffle iron.  Spray with a non-stick spray.  I use a 1 cup measuring cup to add the batter to the waffle iron.  An almost full cup is about the perfect amount to make the waffles and not have it spill out the sides of the iron.  When the indicator light says ready, remove the waffle and place it on a cooling rack.  I use the same type of rack that bakers use for cooling cakes.  This way the waffles won't get soggy while you continue cooking.

Ingredients assembled prior to mixing

I use whey protein powder because it doesn't bother my stomach like soy mixes.  You can use whatever you like.

Dry ingredients added to bowl prior to mixing

Stir them together

Separate the eggs

Add the other wet ingredients to the yolks and mix together

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir

Fold in the beaten egg whites gently

Scoop out the mix by the cupful onto a hot waffle iron

Cool the waffles on a rack so they don't get soggy

Enjoy!  I like to add sliced bananas and pecans or sometimes just some natural peanut butter.

I set a pretty table for the boys.  It was a special occasion...I hadn't cooked breakfast for them in a week because I have been so busy.

Since I set such a fancy table with vintage cloth napkins and all, Jack decided he should dab, not wipe!

I think they liked them ;)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dear BettyShmetty Readers,

I know I have been remiss in staying in touch.  No, I did not drop off the side of a cliff.  I, like so many of you out there, have been feeling like I have been spread a little too thin lately.  It's the same old story, too many things to do and not enough hours in a day.  I have been sacrificing sleep and time with the family to get things done.  My blog has been on my mind, but it's low on the priority list lately, because it really is a luxury for me to write.

I have been trying to wrap up a couple of projects (decorating) and get things in order so that when I go back to work full time, we won't fall apart.  I'm not sure how it's all going to work out yet, but I think we'll figure it out.  I have many friends who do it and manage just fine.  I almost took the time to blog while I was doing a lamp makeover for a client the other day, but by the time the though crossed my mind, I realized I hadn't taken any photos of the project, so what fun would that be?  A project without photos?  No way!  The lamp turned out beautiful...I bought two lamps at Salvation Army for $10 each and then took them apart, re-wired, painted and put new shades on them.

I feel very blessed indeed!  I have 2 police departments that want to hire me.  With the extreme lack of law enforcement jobs out there (at least in this area) I am lucky to have an opportunity at all.  I just heard the other day that there are 90 applicants for 10 auxiliary police officer positions here in Jupiter.  All of the applicants are fresh out of the police academy.  These applicants are applying for a non-paying police position in the hopes of one day being hired full time.  Ninety!  There just aren't any jobs because departments all over this area are cutting back on positions and not filling openings when people leave or retire.

I am pretty confident I'll be starting the school police officer position near the middle of October.  What a relief it will be to start collecting a regular pay check.  With the expenses involved with sports and the bills piling up, it will be nice to actually contribute to the family income.  Having that steady income will definitely change things for us.  We won't be upgrading our standard of living, just maintaining it without the stress of worrying about the bills every month.  In fact, the plan is that every single dollar I make will go to pay off the mortgage.  We hope to have that accomplished in under 5 years. 

Some people don't think it's smart to pay off the mortgage on your primary residence, but I just don't understand that kind of logic.  Doesn't it just FEEL better not to owe the bank $220,000?  Maybe it's just me, but I am thinking debt free is the way to go.  So what if I won't have a tax deduction on my income taxes?  I'm still living better without debt.  We are not people who own new cars or wear expensive clothes.  We're pretty simple.  In fact, I'd say we are somewhat frugal (well, maybe just compared to our neighbors, but still...)  I don't mind driving my 7 year old car (or Kurt's 10 year old truck for that matter) because it's paid off.  I love not having a car payment.  I can't wait to not have a house payment.

By the way, if you are so inclined, please say some prayers for a couple of important people in my life.  My step-brother Brad has a bad infection in his foot and ankle.  The doctors are pretty sure they are going to have to amputate it and are trying to be able to save his leg.  He is only in his 30's and is a hard worker and a good guy, husband, son and brother.  Please pray for healing.  Shoot, just go ahead and pray for a miracle that his foot and ankle are completely healed!  Also, my good friend (who also happens to be my most amazing seamstress) got some bad news this morning.  Her 19 year old niece was killed in a car crash late last night.  She was a passenger in a car where the driver had been drinking and turned in front of another car.  Other people were injured in that crash as well.  Keep her family in your prayers and the other injured folks as well.  Finally, pray for my sister Anna who has some stuff going on with her health and personal life as well.  I'm hoping she makes it back home to Florida soon, cause I really miss her.

Thank you for checking in.  I hope to get better at keeping up with this blog and my new life as a full time working mom with two busy boys. 

Oh, and by the way, I am still managing to squeeze in the workouts and am still doing well with the eating plan.  I haven't weighed myself, but I feel better and my clothes are fitting better too.  Just thought you should know.

Love, BettyShmetty