Read by Email

Done and Done--Mama Needs a Cocktail





















The clouds parted.
Angels sang.

CAT exams are complete.

The kid is officially a freshman *insert nervous breakdown*

I don't take the test, but I'm exhausted. 

Here's my confession, I despise tests. I don't teach that way. The reason I do them each year is to appease the state guidelines. Logan will do quizzes and tests if he has to, but otherwise, he's not a fan either. 

I'm thrilled as glitter on a pink tutu that the CAT exam is snug as a bug in a manilla rug and waiting for the postal service to send it back to its home. I will admit, receiving the results is pretty cool and hang them up on the board in the school room. 

We are taking a week off to celebrate his accomplishments. Take a few pictures (mostly for his 14th birthday), no big middle school graduation party. I have to save up for his senior one. 

So, on to high school we go. 





  

Spaghetti Squash Bake


I love to cook. I love to find new recipes. I love taking those recipes and making them my own. 

I use veggies instead of noodles. I try to use fresh foods as much as possible. Going to the Farmers Market is a great family outing on Saturday's. 

Italian food is one of my favorites, but the carbs about kill me. My stomach throws a tantrum. A great substitute for for noodles is spaghetti squash. I've made 10 different dishes using this delish vegetable. 






















When I cook, I never measure. I taste and taste some more. Pinch of this. A dash of that. Drives my friends and family crazy when I post pictures of what I made on Instagram or Facebook and they want the recipe. Ummmmm, I threw it together, I didn't measure anything out, but it was awesome. 

Here is my way of explaining recipes...

Spaghetti Squash Bake - serves 4

1 - Good Size Spaghetti Squash
Fresh Basil Leaves
Fresh Garlic 
Sargento Havarti, Aged Wisconsin Cheddar, and Asiago
Newmans Own Organic Marinara 
Garlic salt
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven 375

On a sheet pan, layer with non-stick foil.

Cut squash in half the long way. It's easier to dig the insides out. Salt and pepper the inside. Put that aside and work on your garlic and basil.
Peel two garlic cloves. Pluck two basil leaves. Take and pair the garlic and basil, put them on the foil. Grab the spaghetti squash and flip them over so the inside is covering the garlic and basil. Why do that? As the squash cooks, the aroma from the garlic and basil infuse into it. 

Cook the squash for 35-40 minutes.

I flip them over and test the squash with a fork. If it pulls away, it's ready. I let mine cool for a few minutes before scraping the squash into 'noodles'. 

I grab a small glass dish and put the spaghetti squash inside. I pour half the Newman's Own sauce on it and stir. Shred the cheeses and sprinkle them on top. Place a few basil leaves on the cheese. I also sprinkled some garlic salt on. Broiled on high until cheese was brown and bubbly.   

The pan was devoured within minutes. 

I know it's not the most descriptive recipe, but make it your own. Change out the cheeses, make your own sauce. Whatever floats your squash boat.

Enjoy quirky peeps! 

Better Than Picking His Nose

Here at The Quirky Mustache, we embrace and accept all quirks--physical, vocal, and all of those in-between. 

















This was once Logan's sock. (RIP Hanes white ankle), now it's a new dust rag. I have piles of these. Like, piles in the laundry room. Why do you think I go to Target so much. I should purchase stock in Hanes. 

Picking at his socks in not new, he's been at it for some time, but before that he picked at his mattress and waistband of his boxers. Logan apologizes when he annalates his socks. I tell him, "Don't worry about it. We all have quirks."

We do. Every single one of us. We don't have to be on a spectrum or have a psychological disturbance to have quirks. That seems to be the viewpoint with some. I was having a discussion about this topic with a woman and she seemed to think that she didn't possess a quirk. Not even when she was stressed or nervous. 

Interesting.

I observed her picking at her cuticles. I brought it to her attention. She stopped and looked around as if the cuticle police were lurking around the corner. 

People pace, twirl their hair, bit their nails (me). We all do something to release an emotion. 

When Logan was younger, he would shake his head. I feared his brain was being swished about inside of his skull. It was his release when he was excited. When he was nervous, he bit his hand. We quickly saw that when one physical quirk stopped, another began. As he has gotten older, he has confined his sock picking to home or at his best friend's house, where he feels comfortable.

We were asked many of times, "Why does he shake his head? When will it stop? Can't he control it?"

I asked his doctors the same questions. Funny, my favorite doctor asked, "What would you like us to do? Strap a device to his head and anchor it to his shoulders?"

The visual is...well, but, no, I didn't want to do that. I just didn't want kids to make fun of him any more. This was pre-homeschool and the constant taunting was wearing us down. Sadly, when people saw his quirks they assumed he was unintelligent. I've had it said to me so I know it to be true. The mama bear in me would poke them in the shoulder (verbally, of course) of my son's genius and brilliance. Einstein didn't have anything on Logan.

There came a time when I didn't say that either. I didn't have to prove a thing to anyone. Neither did Logan. 

People are quick to judge if what they see doesn't fit into their "normal" size box. Even though inside their normal size box, is an uneven octagon. The outer shell is what matters. Neighbors, PTA moms, and grandparents only should see the perfect box, with the pretty bow on top. Not the messy, wrapped, tape all over, patchy box.

The other night, I caught myself doing one of my physical quirks in front of husband. At first, I was mortified. He looked at me puzzled. Not because of my excited quirk of rubbing the palms of my hands together and clapping 3 times. He looked at me that way because I apologized for doing it. 

Now I know where Logan's gets it from. 

Does that make me weird? 

Duh. But, if you know me and my boys, we embrace weird. 

To my quirky people...QUIRK OUT! 
Spread the quirky love. 
Don't apologize.
Don't explain.
If your friends ask, well, they don't get it. My closest, dearest friends have never, EVER, once asked, "Why does Logan do that?" "Why do you do that?"
They love us.
Quirks and all.
That's the way it should be. 

Let's be honest. I would rather have Logan pick at his socks than other...things or places.