White Trash Party!

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From Wikipedia:

White trash is a derogatory American English racial slur referring to poor white people, especially in the rural South of the United States, suggesting lower social class and degraded standards of living. The term suggests outcasts from respectable society living on the fringes of the social order, who are seen as dangerous because they may be criminal, unpredictable, and without respect for authority whether it be political, legal, or moral. The term is usually a racial slur, but may also be used self-referentially by working-class whites to jokingly describe their origins or lifestyle.

It always tickles me when people call me white trash. Clearly the official definition doesn’t apply to me in any way whatsoever, but the slang definition (redneck, hillbilly, etc.) also couldn’t be further from the truth. I wonder, then, what makes them think that calling me white trash would be insulting? Let’s explore this phenomenon.

  • Am I white trash because I am overweight? Surely there are no fat rich people. But I can lose weight – you’re ugly on the inside and that will never change.
  • Am I white trash because I receive government assistance? Well, here’s the thing – I never did before Poke fucked up our entire life. I never needed it, I never wanted it. I still don’t want it, but I don’t have a choice.
  • Maybe I’m white trash because I am a SAHM who runs her own home-based business? Or could it be that I’m white trash because I have a college degree, like everyone else in my families?
  • I might be white trash because I don’t spend thousands of dollars on clothing for myself or my children. Because I prefer inexpensive or second-hand clothing, that means I am trashy. It has nothing to do with my disgust at the sheer amount of materials being discarded and piling up in landfills, leaving a mess for future generations.
  • Oh, I know! I’m white trash because I come from a middle class family, my parents (both bio and adoptive) all own their own homes, my father makes over $90K per year, and I went to private school my entire life.
  • Am I white trash because I occasionally feed my family fast food and/or food from a box, like mac’n’cheese or Hamburger Helper? Well, not so much Helper now that Poke is gone – that shit is gross.
  • Perhaps I’m white trash because I have four rescue cats as pets. Everyone knows that white trash have lots and lots of animals roaming around.
  • Maybe I am white trash because I live in a trailer in a trailer park? Oh… wait. I live in a house with a fenced in yard in a nice suburban neighborhood. Weird.
  • I know! I am definitely white trash because I believe in equality for all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., and I am liberal leaning socialist, and I enjoy having Obama as president, support gun control, love the ACA, and yet I’m still Catholic and pro-life.
  • I must be white trash because both my children are physically and mentally/academically ahead of their peers.
  • Am I white trash because I drink my wine from a box? Yeah, okay, you’ve got me on that one. That is kinda trashy… but I also like to save money, so I’ll take it.

Overall, I think it’s pretty clear that I am most definitely not white trash. To me, when someone stoops to calling me that, it’s obvious they have absolutely zero fodder for the fight. They say to themselves, “Damnit! That bitch says nothing but the truth! I can’t prove her wrong! What can I do… hmmm… I know! I will call her names. That’ll show her!” It’s all quite amusing. Call me names, insult me, I don’t care. You can say what you want, but I know the truth, and all my friends and family know the truth as well. The only person who is coming off as trashy – and ignorant – is you.

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Oreo Coal for Christmas

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This is the easiest thing ever!


Oreo Coal

  • 1 box Oreos
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 stick butter

Send the Oreos through the food processor until fine. Melt butter + marshmallows in microwave 1 min + 1 min (2 min in a row will make them puff up over the edge!), then fold the Oreo crumbs into the marshmallows/butter. You can flatten out like a bar, roll into balls, or make into coal shapes!

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Halloween Happy Box

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I know that Halloween is all about Candy CANDY CANDY, but I like for the kids to get something else too, something that will enhance their minds rather than just rot their teeth. Something educationally healthy! I know, I’m a nerd. Either way, I gave Squeaks a bib and two Halloween outfits, and JI got a decorated box full of Halloween books.

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Backyard Waterpark!

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Potential trigger: childhood drowning

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So, I didn’t just make up that 72 item list, I’m actually going to try and check off all those summer fun ideas! I’ve already made ice cream, popsicles, drawn a road on the driveway, had a yard sale, gone to the zoo three times (we go about once a week!), and hit up the Ohio Historical Society. It’s been super hot here lately, therefore I’ve also had JI in the pool just about every day. In fact, we’ve been using the pool way more than last year, and in order to save a little money on water, I went and bought chlorine and a test kit. This way we don’t have to dump out 500+ gallons every single day!

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JI likes to have the slide in  the pool, and it’s always very hot to the touch, so I rigged up the hose and sprayer to shower water down on the slide and cool it off, as well as make it nice and slippery to fly into the pool. When he’s not in the pool, JI is flying off the slide and down the slip’n’slide. The only downside to all this outdoor waterplay is that I can’t leave him alone. It would be great if I could safely leave him out there to play while I did chores or tended to Squeaks! I’ve heard way too many tragic stories about kids drowning in backyard pools, and even though the water isn’t deep and I know CPR, I don’t want to take that chance.

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72 Fun Ideas for Summer!

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Outdoor Water Fun

  1. Backyard Waterpark – Set up a slide into the kiddie pool and turn on the sprinkler, hang a sprinkler from a tree and drive cars through it, your imagination is the limit!
  2. Driveway water darts – Draw a bullseye on your driveway with chalk and use wet sponges as the darts
  3. Waterballoon or water gun fight – Once you get hit, you’re out! Team with the last man standing wins!
  4. Ice block – Fill a container (I use a plastic shoebox sized one from the dollar store) with water, food coloring, and trinkets like dinosaurs or cars or whatever tiny things you have lying around. Freeze and let the kids go at it until all the tiny things are free!
  5. Amp up the slip’n’slide – Dish soap, shaving cream, no oil!
  6. Car wash – Do a real car wash with your neighborhood, or set up a kids’ car wash with sprinklers/hoses and dish soap.

Outdoor Fun

  1. Plant seeds – You can get a packet of seeds for less than $1 in some places; plant in a clear cup to see how the roots grow!
  2. Play ice cream – Empty a can of shaving cream into a container and freeze until hard. It melts quickly and has a weird texture. You can add colored rice to be the sprinkles! Give the kids scoops, bowls, etc. Not for consumption!
  3. Salt sculptures – Combine 3c salt + 3T water, mix until every grain of salt has gotten damp (add more water if necessary), dry for at least 18 hours. Use sand castle molds, deep bowls, etc. to build shapes.
  4. Find a new playground – Pick a random park from the map, or stop at one that you always drive by but have never visited.
  5. Picnic – Pack sandwiches, tea, and cookies. Find a cozy spot away from the ants.
  6. Bonfire – Roast hot dogs, make s’mores, tell stories, and enjoy the evening.
  7. Yard sale – Gather up all the stuff you haven’t touched in the past year (or longer!) and sell it at low-low prices. Buy something for the family with the proceeds! Donate everything that doesn’t sell – once it’s outta the house, don’t let it back in!
  8. Lemonade stand – Make homemade lemonade and give the proceeds to a children’s charity.
  9. Feed the ducksBut don’t feed them bread! Get some duck food from your local pet store, or opt for veggie trimmings, cracked corn, rice, oats, or thawed frozen peas.
  10. Go camping in the backyard – Build a tent from branches and a sheet, or just rough it under the stars.
  11. Backyard obstacle course – Jump over the rock! Go through the sprinkler! Hop on one foot down the path! The possibilities are endless.
  12. Draw roads on the driveway with chalk – Make a huge street for bikes and trikes, or make tiny streets for toy cars.
  13. Flashlight tag – My version: Everyone has a flashlight. One person is IT, and has their light on – everyone else has theirs off. IT counts to 50 or 100. Everyone else hides. IT has to find each person and shine the light on them. Once you have been found, you join the IT team and turn your light on, and you find the rest of the people. Last person to be found is the next IT.
  14. ABC treasure hunt – Make an alphabetical list of things to find in nature or in the house or backyard.
  15. Texture/nature rubbings (please, no gravestones) – All you need is paper and a few old crayons!
  16. See the fireworks – Lots of towns have them near the 4th of July, and you could easily see fireworks every day for a week!
  17. See a concert in the park – Many places offer free or very cheap concerts in the evening or on weekend afternoons.
  18. DIY projector for outside movie night – Add popcorn, a blanket, and some wine for the parents!

In the Kitchen

  1. Bake cookies and make ice cream sandwiches – Homemade chocolate chip + vanilla ice cream.
  2. Learn a new recipe – Let the kids go through your cookbooks and pick something fun.
  3. Make popsicles – You can simply put juice in a popsicle mold, or get a little funkier with fresh fruit combos!
  4. Homemade pizza – Buy a premade shell or dough to cook, or make your own. Top with anything you can think of.
  5. Homemade Ice Cream – It’s way easier than you think, and healthier than the store bought stuff (even if you make it with candies and chocolate and all that stuff!)
  6. Visit an ethnic grocery store – Make dinner from the interesting things you find there.
  7. Make smoothies – Take all your fruit, mix it up with milk and yogurt, and bam! Smoothies.
  8. Root beer floats – A classic summer treat! Invite your grandparents over and have them tell you stories about their childhood while you sip on a brown cow.

Places to Go

  1. Summer reading club – Most local libraries have a program for school-age kids and grown-ups too.
  2. Museum – Art, History, Science, etc.
  3. Visit farmer’s market – Usually on weekend mornings, Google “your town name + farmer’s markets”
  4. State Fair – The Ohio State Fair is HUGE and super family friendly! Check out a county fair if the state one is too far away.
  5. Zoo – If you have a large family and no membership, it can be pricey. Try to make it less expensive by packing snacks and drinks for everyone, and make sure you wear good shoes!
  6. Mini golf – Winner gets an ice cream sundae! Losers get ice cream cones! Hehehe 🙂
  7. Amusement park – The cheaper, the better! We have a few tiny parks here in Ohio, and in some places those carnivals in parking lots still show up from time to time.
  8. Waterpark – This can be an investment, just like the zoo. Once again, bring everything you need (towels, snacks, etc.) and try to resist all the souvenirs and extras!
  9. Local pool – Our parks & rec has a system of pools that only costs $1/person admission. Check your local community boards to see if there’s anything similar in your area! Sometimes the local pool is only $3-6/person, which isn’t too bad anyway.
  10. State park – There are so many parks to visit in our country. Try to see all the ones close to you!
  11. 200 mile road trip – For us, this would be Columbus to Cleveland or Columbus to Cincinnati, or Columbus to Pittsburgh. Go for a day or overnight, and check out how the other half lives!
  12. Camping in nature – As in real nature, not the backyard 😉 Get a cabin, rent an RV, pitch a tent at a campground.
  13. Do a kids’ workshop or class – Lowe’s, Home Depot, and local rec centers always have interesting things happening for people of all ages.
  14. Go to a baseball game – Minor League, Major League, Little League, Geezer League… tons of baseball in the summer!
  15. Go to the dollar theater – See that movie you wanted to see back in January!
  16. Go bowling – Especially good for a rainy day.

Bring Your Friends

  1. Talent show – Everyone can showcase their special or hidden talents.
  2. Visit residents at a nursing home – Put on a show with karaoke, play the piano or another instrument if you know how, or just sit and visit and let them enjoy your company.
  3. Wii Sports Challenge – Who in the family is best at Wii bowling? Which one of your friends can kick butt at Wii Tennis?
  4. Scary story scare-off (or silly stories for little ones!) – Tell the scariest or silliest story you can think of! Or, one person can start the story and each person adds two lines. Go around the circle until someone says “BOO!”
  5. Ice Cream Social – Invite your friends and have everyone bring one ingredient to make sundaes. Syrups, berries, sprinkles, jimmies, nuts (if you can), cones, waffles, anything you can think that might be good with ice cream!
  6. Volunteer – At an animal shelter, soup kitchen, YMCA/YWCA, food pantry, etc.
  7. Friends parade – Get everyone together and decorate your bikes, trikes, and other ride-on toys. Go through the neighborhood playing music on your mp3 player (back in my day, I had an FM radio on blast!)

Indoor Fun

  1. Funny dice – Make two large dice out of styrofoam blocks (get them at a craft or hobby store). On one die write verb phrases such as “play like”, “dance like”, “jump like”, etc. and on the other die write silly nouns like “a dog”, “an alien”, “a purple people eater”, etc.
  2. Streets on the carpet – Use painter’s tape to map out a city on the rug for your toy cars.
  3. Fingerpainting in the tub – Buy soap paint, or make your own with liquid food coloring and white liquid soap (add a few drops of coloring, stir up, enjoy!)
  4. Learn a skill – Bike riding, rollerskating, tying shoes, etc.
  5. Learn sign language – It is easier than you think! There are tons of videos on YouTube, or check out some books from the library.
  6. Build a bird house – Out of scrap wood, or popsicle sticks, or half a 2-litre, or any crazy thing you can find online!
  7. Sock puppets – Make them the kind that eat dust! Use old socks and draw on faces – if you want to get fancy you can add yarn hair and googly eyes.
  8. Write a book (or comic strip!) – Make your family the stars of your book.
  9. Castle/playhouse/fort out of cardboard boxes – The sky is the limit on this one. Give the kids all the art supplies and let their imaginations run wild.
  10. Pirate Day – Talk, dress, eat, and otherwise act just like a pirate all day. Rum for the parents after your little mateys hit the hay.
  11. Make bird feeders – Use pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Hang them near the windows so you can watch your new feathered friends feast!
  12. Establish family game night – Pick a night and time that everyone can come together. Make a special snack, and get those old board games out of the closet!
  13. Yarn lasers – String yarn between four chairs or down the hallway in a laser pattern. Touch the yarn and you have to go back to the starting line!
  14. Giant board game (could also be an outdoor activity!) – Make letter tiles out of cut up boxes and play Scrabble, spray paint Twister on your lawn, make a huge hopscotch with painter’s tape, etc.
  15. Dance party – Kids are sitting are BORED, turn on the music and start busting out those moves!
  16. Life size paper dolls – Have the kids lie on large sheets of newsprint or butcher paper and trace around them. They get to color in their faces, clothing, hair, etc.
  17. Pet rocks – Collect the craziest looking rocks from outside. Paint them and decorate them, then name them!

Mom… I’m Bored!

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Kids are always looking for things to do, and we do not always have the desire, time, or patience to entertain them. This summer, I will be utilizing a popular trend, The Bored Jar. I am going to fill our Bored Jar with the following 50 activities that JI can complete with little to no assistance from Poke or me. As I stated in a previous post, this summer is going to be the summer of growing, and I plan on helping JI mature by giving him more responsibility and more trust. I want him to learn to be his own “man”, so to speak! Also, when it gets hot, I get suuuuuuuuuuper lazy. Not gonna lie.

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  1. Clean the bathroom floor
  2. Pull weeds
  3. Work in workbook (or other skills activity, such as tracing letters)
  4. Play on slip’n’slide
  5. Wipe down all inside doors with magic eraser
  6. Play in the sprinkler
  7. Draw with chalk outside
  8. Draw with chalk inside (if you have a chalkboard!)
  9. Do 20 jumping jacks
  10. Draw a picture for a friend
  11. Put away laundry
  12. Clean the toilet
  13. Wipe down counters/tables
  14. Read for at least 10 minutes
  15. Go on a treasure hunt (make up lists in advance!)
  16. Tell me a story
  17. Play with bubbles
  18. Go swimming
  19. Run from A to B 10 times (ours would be deck to fence)
  20. Build a fort
  21. Make an alphabet list (candies A-Z, characters, boys/girls names, etc.)
  22. Vacuum living room
  23. Vacuum bedrooms
  24. Play with sibling(s)
  25. Ride your bike
  26. Swiffer the kitchen
  27. Jump on the trampoline for 10 minutes
  28. 10 minute dance party
  29. Do a puzzle
  30. Play a board game
  31. Paint
  32. Play in the basement (or another room they rarely utilize)
  33. Clean all the mirrors in the house
  34. Dust house
  35. Have a picnic
  36. Wash dishes
  37. Pick up all the trash/toys/miscellaneous stuff around the house
  38. Wash the car
  39. Feed the pets
  40. Clean the bathtub
  41. Draw a picture of your family
  42. Watch a movie
  43. Pick a new recipe for dinner from a kids’ cookbook
  44. Play hide and seek
  45. Learn a new kid-friendly recipe (no bake pie, PBJ, etc.)
  46. Play dress up
  47. Do a “photoshoot” – give your kid a disposable camera or clear out your digital cam and let them go crazy!
  48. Spin in a circle until you fall over
  49. Play basketball/soccer/baseball
  50. Set up croquet or mini golf (or badminton or volleyball – use what you have!)

Cool and Creamy Treat

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Homemade ice cream is one of the easiest treats to make in the summer, especially if you have an ice cream maker. This recipe can be made without an ice cream maker, but JI loves to watch the mix go round and round and sneak bites of the half frozen ice cream. I like to make my mix a day ahead of time so that it can get super cold in the fridge, which helps it freeze faster in the ice cream machine.

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  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 cups milk (1%)

Combine blueberries, 1/2 c milk,   1/2 c water, and sugar in a saucepan.

Heat on high, stirring constantly, until berries start to pop and sugar has dissolved.

Bring to just boiling, remove from heat, add remaining 3 c milk, stir. I use a whisk for all the stirring because it ensures that the sugar is incorporated and doesn’t become lumpy or stuck to any berries.

Chill overnight. (Note: If you are not using an ice cream machine, at this point you can just pour the mix into a freezer safe container and let it harden and enjoy once frozen, and you are done!)

Pour your chilled mix into the ice cream machine (or follow the machine’s directions) and let it go. I usually toss mine in the freezer for about 30 minutes prior to serving, to make sure it is completely frozen.

Enjoy!

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