Lunch Time

This post by Jennifer Flaten

Summer is here, which means the kids are home for lunch, most days. During the school year I send them off to school with a bag lunch and it is much the same every day, sandwich, drink, fruit snacks, and a granola bar.


They don’t complain much about the sameness.  I think that they like the familiarity, plus given how short a student’s lunch hour is these days (only about 20 min) I think they like the simplicity of what I pack (or at least that is what I tell myself).

During the summer, tho’ they can make whatever they want for lunch. They can also eat lunch more in line with when they are hungry instead of when the official lunch hour is, although I do have to keep them from eating lunch at 10am.

I’ve noticed that one food tends to be the “it” food of the summer. One year it was chicken patties on a bun. Sure, one kid at it with pickles, while one kid ate it with mayo, and don’t even get me started on the kid who insisted on eating it plain. For days upon days, it was chicken patties.

The next year it was Ramen noodles. Yes, those salt laden cup o noodles and yes, I know they aren’t terribly healthy, but they are easy for three kids to make and inexpensive.

This year, no clear favorite has emerged. Of course, it is only the first week.

Do you find yourself eating the same thing for lunch? I do, mostly because I am eating at my desk and need something that one end up squished between computer keys. On the days, I am home for lunch I will think, “Today is the day I eat something different for lunch” and then end up with a salad or that old stand by cereal.

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Lazy Dog

Jennifer FlatenThis blog post by Jennifer Flaten

I don’t care how old you are, it will always feel wonderful, and a little naughty to turn the alarm off, rollover and go back to sleep.

Since, today is the start of the kids’ thanksgiving break, I got do just that, the alarm went off, but I turned it off and went back to sleep since the kids are finally old enough to enjoy the joys of sleeping in too.

The cats, on the other hand, were not amused. They believe breakfast is late if it hits their dish at 3 minutes past 6a, so breakfast at 7 is completely unacceptable.

To make this point, Noodles, our youngest cat, positioned himself on the pillow next to me and stared at me. Pfff, that’s easy enough to ignore, I just rolled over.

Our senior cat, Pimento, really knows how to get stuff done. He plopped himself right on my chest and meowed pathetically until I got up.

I got up to feed the cats, but Ginger the dog did not. Ginger simply slithered from her spot on the bed to mine.

Ginger is a lazy, lazy dog. If two people are in bed and one gets up, she will stay in bed until the other person gets up. This is nice when my husband leaves early for work, not so nice when I get up to feed the cats, get the kids up and fed, and discover the lazy dog is still in bed.

On most days, Ginger staggers from the warm cozy bed into the living room then hops up on the couch with one of the kids and promptly falls back asleep.007

I am not used to such a lazy dog. Pepper, our first dog, was a charming mix of black lab and Brittany spaniel. He took his job as timekeeper very seriously. He made sure we got up at exactly 6a every day. If we tried to sleep in, he would stand at the foot of bed shifting his weight from paw to paw. Such a subtle sound but one guaranteed to drive you up and out of your bed.

When the girls were babies, if I got up in the middle of the night to tend to the babies, Pepper would get up with me and keep me company. He would also follow me out to the couch on the nights I battled insomnia.

The only thing guaranteed to drive Ginger from the bed is the sound of a cat bowl falling to the floor, especially in the morning when Ginger knows it is filled with canned cat food. She can be sound asleep, snoring even, but if a bowl hit’s the floor she snaps awake and zips into the kitchen to do clean up duty.

Still lazy or not I love that silly dog.

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The Same Old Routine

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

Routine is a big part of my life, and I am guessing many other writers and people who work from home. After taking the kids to school, I walk the dog-which is a very important step if I don’t want the dog to turn into demon hound and terrorize me for the rest of the day.

When I return home from the walk I send the dog off with her after walk treat and I settle down to start my day “officially”. This means I read the paper-okay, maybe I read the funnies and scan the rest of the news, drink my two caffeinated Diet Pepsi (the only caffeine I have all day) and do all the puzzles.

Finally, I turn on my computer and do my work, whatever it might be for the day.

If I don’t do these things or have to skip a part of it, I feel off kilter. What can I say I am a creature of habit? This goes a long way to explain, why I am typing this from my now “old” laptop when I got a new laptop for Christmas.

MSI laptop computer
MSI laptop computer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new laptop was very thoughtful gift from my husband who was worried that the kids, who are now using the computer a lot more would wreck the old laptop (our only computer) leaving me without a way to do my work (and of course, check Facebook).

So, he surprised me with a new laptop. I love it. It’s new and sleek. So, why is it slumbering in the drawer right now?

Well, mainly because it is new. The keyboard feels different. I see all you writers nodding your heads; you know exactly what I mean. The new laptop is just ever so slightly different from the old one. Not to mention all my stuff is on the old computer and I haven’t had the time to transfer everything over.

Plus, the new computer runs Windows 8. Now, I won’t turn this into a Windows 8 review, except to say…yes, it would run much better on a touch screen alas, I have it on a non-touch screen laptop. It’s not bad; it’s just different which of course throws off my routine.

I guess I need to set some time to get my new computer all tricked out to my specifications so it can become part of my new routine.

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