Renee Weatherbee

Renee's Ramblings


INTRODUCTION:  This section is dedicated to my personal ramblings – it can be about anything, from a favorite product or service, to an opinion I feel strongly about, to a personal essay, to an attempt at adding humor to my otherwise boring day.  Whatever posted here will be highly personal and is my feeble attempt at exposing myself to the world as a writer, something that doesn't come easy for me.  I welcome any comments from anyone who takes the time to read my ramblings and will respond back to you (unless you are being overly offensive, in which case, I’ll just ignore you.)  I don’t know if you’d consider this a blog – blogs are written by people who have a particular expertise in some subject – I have no expertise in anything.  Thus, my ramblings…

Any products or services mentioned here are my own personal opinion.  I am not currently being reimbursed or endorsed by any company for mention of their product or service (however, it’s not out of the question for this starving artist writer – oh, that’s right – I’m not starving, I’m living off my husband’s income).  Any personal essays or opinions on this site are my own and I am fortunate to live in a country where I have the right to write about anything I so choose.  You have a right to read it, or not.  Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back often!


Posted:  April 22, 2013


“Say Mmm…Not Hmm”

A few months ago, my husband, Al, was driving me crazy moping around for about a week.  He was going to be doing a shift change at work, switching from 7:00pm-7:00am to the 7:00am-7:00pm shift.  After some prodding, it came out that his concern was that there would be no supper waiting for him when he got home at 7:00pm.  (Oh, geez, I thought…does he really think I’m going to sit around and wait for him to get off work so he can do the cooking…yes, that’s what he was worried about…)  With the graveyard schedule, he had always made supper before he went to work and had it ready for us when I got home from work at 5:30pm. 

It’s no secret he’s done the majority of the cooking since we got married about five years ago.  It’s no secret that I hate to cook.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  I don’t hate to cook.  I can do the basics.  I kept my three daughters alive and healthy while they were growing up.  What I really hate is the shopping for groceries and trying to decide what to cook.  I also hate routine, so since cooking is something you pretty much do on a daily basis, I dislike it. 

I made up my mind that I would not only make sure supper was cooked by the time he got home, but that I would make stuff that would blow his mind, because it was so good and so surprising, because I did it.  I knew he was expecting me to fail, so my stubborn pride kicked in and I decided to wow him. 

Thus began my search on the internet for new recipes and ideas.  I came across this website that I find very helpful called  I haven’t completely explored all it can do, but what I do use has been a timesaver and a wonderful tool.  I use the weekly meal planning calendar.  I find that if I plan out the meals for a week at a time, it doesn’t seem like such a daunting task and it doesn’t seem like it’s breaking the bank when we buy the groceries.  This sight has links to many recipes and I’ve tried quite a few and had no disappointments.  Along with the menu planning, it helps you start a list of the groceries you will need.  After you do the list and go to print it, it will automatically print off a list with the items categorized by the section where you’ll most likely find it in the grocery store.  That ends up being a very handy tool, as when I write out one of my own lists, I am always backtracking all over the store, because I miss something from a particular section.  There is also a coupon option you can explore.  I haven’t used it much, but I probably should check it out. 

The weekly meal calendar gets posted on the refridgerator, so the night before one of us looks at it and sees what might need to be taken out of freezer for the next day.  Before this, I was forever forgetting to take anything out of the freezer, so having this calendar has been a big reminder. 

Say MMM and our meal planning has saved us money from eating out  frequently, as well.  And truly, the homecooked meals we've been having are so much nicer than eating out.   

The meal planning has become an activity that Al and I can sit down by the computer and do together and enjoy.  The good thing is, once I print off the list, he’s more than happy to go to the grocery store and purchase the items we need (so most of the time, I get out of that dreaded chore!)  I have started a recipe notebook to store all the successful recipes we’ve tried – and so far they’ve all turned out. 

Have I wowed him?  I believe I have.  There’s been lots of variety and nothing’s come out of the oven burnt.  He loves the leftovers to take to work for his lunch the next day. 

Tonight it’s going to be Grandma’s Creaming Chicken and Dumplings, perfect for a snow day like today.  (Yes, it’s April 22 and there’s over 10” on the ground.)



Posted:  April 9, 2013


Safety First or Obsessive Grandma? 

I had the great pleasure of spending the weekend with six of my grandchildren, two of my daughters and two of my son-in-laws.  My son-in-laws often make fun of me, because I’m so “hyper safety” conscious when it comes to the grandkids.      

My only defense is that I’m a grandma.  Grandmas have been on this earth a lot longer than their adult children and grandchildren.  What we haven’t personally experienced in the way of accidental injuries to our own children we’ve watched or heard about through others’ experiences.  Is it so hard to believe that with age comes wisdom?  Do I need to be mocked for trying to watch out and prevent any accidents with my own grandchildren?

I’m quite sure my son-in-laws don’t want their own children to get hurt, if it can be prevented.  So why do they laugh at me when I start quoting safety rules? 

Okay, maybe even I realize that I do get a little carried away and worry too much.  In fact, by the end of the weekend, after speaking up for the hundredth time about a possible situation that “could” happen, I realized just how silly I sounded…actually just plain ridiculous and I don’t mean that in a good way. 

Here are some of the things I worried about all weekend:  (Gunner and Emry are 20 months old…)

I worried that Gunner might fall down while standing on a chair looking out the window.

I worried that Gunner and Emry might fall down the steep stairs to the basement, even though they both have been navigating the stairs for months.

 I worried that they might fall and hit their head on the dog kennel at the end of the stairs (the kennel was moved from that spot a long time ago…)

I worried that they might fall down while eating ice cream bars jamming the wooden sticks through the back of their throats (I actually saw a video once of a child who jammed a toothbrush through the back of his throat). 

I worried that they might get their heads in between the wooden slats on the deck, which is built over the garage and is 12 feet off the ground and fall to their death below.  I witnessed both of them trying to get their head through, but fortunately the slats are to code.

I worried that they might get slivers in their little feet while running around on the deck without socks.

I worried that they might catch pneumonia while running around the deck with bare feet while it was not quite 60 degrees outside. 

I worried that Gunner might find what cupboard or drawer where his mother keeps the big chopping knife and cut his little fingers off and bleed to death. 

I worried that they might get the front or back door open and end up outside on the busy street that goes by the house and get run over before we even discovered they got out (this is so ridiculous, because we were all sitting within sight of both the front and back door all weekend.)

I worried that because Gunner can now open the refrigerator on his own that he might get out and open one of his Dad’s beers (which he calls “Dad’s pop” and drink it and die of alcohol poisoning before anyone could stop him.)

I worried that the grandkids (even the older ones from age 11 on down) might fall in Capitol Lake and drown when we walked down there to feed the ducks/geese or at the very least be so heavily covered in goose poop that we’d never get them clean again. 

Can you see my obsessive thought process and how it kept escalating throughout the weekend getting worse by the minute? 

The good news is, no one got hurt. 

The other good news is that Grandma finally realizes that these kids are going to get hurt – it’s a fact of life.  In spite of my warnings and spewing out safety rules, they are going to get injured here and there.  Will that stop me from worrying?  Will that stop me from praying for their safety?  Will that help me relax next time. 

Oh, hell no! 

Can you say, “Grandma, where’s your Prozac?”


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