Mrs. Flinger: A work in progress

UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015

Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.

So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.

Things not to say in a meeting with Microsoft: Nov 30, 2009


Oh! ExpressionEngine does that already!

You could use Google Docs for that.



I have a mac.

Participants today in the beta Writing Well Challenge Nov 30, 2009


I’m so happy to see so many people jumping in to the Beta version. It’s Beta because some people are having trouble with the linky. BUT! Hey! Look what we figured out- Wordpress.Com makes us want to hurl ourselves out a window!

No, wait, I knew that.

I’ll be posting my most embarrassing story later. For now, though, here’s what these awesome people are up to:

Where have all the good blogs gone? Nov 29, 2009


Remember back when Writing Well Was The Best Revenge? It seems that in the wake of the millions of bloggers coming online in the past five years or so, everyone forgot what we were here for: Writing. Community. Challenge.

I look through my own archives and see when I used to write. People would spur me on, challenge me to be a better communicator, to relate a story in a more dynamic way, to share a piece of our lives in a way that touched you. Then it became about money, stats, popularity. The rise of “monetizing” seemed to crush the spirit of the well-written blog. Bloggers no longer needed to write well because the goal is traffic, which comes via selfish motives seeking deals, a quick feel-good popcorn laugh at an “LOL Cat” or train-wrecks addicted to drama. It’s not as much about writing as it is about selling your site, and yourself.

Recently, I reached out to some close blog friends* who have also maintained their stance and continued to write over the years. I asked a simple question, “Will you help me to write again?” Their reply was overwhelming. The community is there, in private, aching to spur and be spurred on. The fire is beginning to flare and we’re reaching out to each other begging to be accountable for our content.

We know that our websites are often passed over by those looking for the 10 second hit. We understand, and are simultaneously conflicted, that the community values 140 characters over well-written posts. And in some ways, I not only take notice, but am also proud of the fact, that it does not take a well-written blog to reach tens of thousands of people.

Anissa is proof of that.

Anissa has written well, standing up to the test of blog-time, writing, poring out her heart in amazing essays. Her feed said 200 readers. Her stats were not off the charts. She had, in many people’s eyes, a “small” blog. A fabulous blog, but not a high trafficked one.

She wrote. She did not post deals or LOL cats or drama. She wrote.

But when her body gave in to a stroke, we realize how many people she touched (both figuratively and literally). She is a dynamic lady both capable of writing well and touching lives. Her blog may not have reflected all the thousands of people who adored her, but it did not matter. They do. They come out to support her and her family. Her stats go up, sure, but in my eyes it’s only that people realize what they have here, and what we’re all missing. We’re missing Anissa.

The lesson here? Keep writing. Ignore the stats. Write. Challenge yourself. You are touching lives, you are making a difference and if you truly are here, as so many bloggers claim, to “write for yourself,” take the pledge. Write.

A long while ago I read “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. I would sit in the coffee shop with a few friends and we would take a piece of her advice. We picked a topic and we wrote. Then we traded our essays, critiqued one-another, and wrote some more. Call it a writer’s support group. Call it batshit crazy. Either way, the accountability to be more than you were before is something you can’t explain until you have it.

Anne Lamott says to write shitty first drafts, to have people read your writing, your shitty first drafts, and give you feedback. She says you take it bird-by-bird. Take the steps, baby steps, to a better written word.

The call to action: Join us. Join our small group of passionate writers. It takes all kinds of writers, journalist, essayist, long-winded and short-spunky authors. Humor, Drama, Literal, Figurative. People who use “AND” too much at the start of the sentences and people who forget to capitalize. Take the challenge and write with us. Take our {w}rite-of-passage.


How it works: We’ll be posting two things a week:
1. A topic to write on.
2. A linky list.

If you’re planning on taking the challenge, take the week’s topic and write. Write your shitty first draft. Publish it. Take the linky list and place it in your post. As people join, the link list will grow on each and every blog who participates. People will find you, help you explore your written communication, and you will have the opportunity to prove that Writing Well Still Is The Best Revenge.

Write with us.

*Special thanks to the ladies that spurred me on to this project:
Dawn and V

Feedburner Invalid GET DATA fix Nov 28, 2009


I was recently having some issues with my feed after, what I thought, was the update to this site.

When clicking on the link to the feed, you would see the following error:

Invalid GET DATA

The URL would have come through the feed google proxy which added invalid characters to my URI:


I did some testing and noticed that my main feed from which feedburner pulls from did not add these characters (logical, right? Since it’s not going through the feedburner proxy) and so I knew it was not my feed from the update, but some change I must have made in feedburner itself.

After searching for what changed and why the proxy was in place, I remembered I turned on “Click Tracking” under Analyze.



This adds the proxy for click tracking stats and removing this option, completely fixed the problem.



I realized I don’t need to have click tracking on since I use a variety of other stat counters (and never check them).

At least my readers can finally click through if they want. Even if I’ll never know. And really, sometimes? Ignorance really is bliss.

Glazed Sweet Potato Wedges- Cooking Light Nov 28, 2009

#holiday recipes

Here’s the recipe we used for our Sweet Potatoes. I have to say, this is always one of my favorite parts of thanksgiving. But this recipe really made it so I didn’t miss the yams from a can one bit. The kids ate it up as well.


1/4 Cup unsalted butter
3/4 Cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 Cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in half length-wise, and cut into 1/2 inch wedges
Cooking Spray


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and next 5 ingredients, bring to a simmer.  Cook 5 minutes, stirring grequently. Discard cinnamon stick.  Combine sugar mixture and potato wedges in a large bowl, toss well.  Arrange on a large jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray (I used a lasagna pan since I don’t own a “jelly roll” pan.)  Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender, stirring after 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 servings. (2/3 cup servings) Or 6 if you’re a Flinger.

(From Cooking Light Complete Cookbook: A Fresh New Way to Cook (Book & CD-ROM))

Cranberry Sauce: Clean Eating Style Nov 28, 2009

#holiday recipes

Thanksgiving was a freakin’ success here at Casa-de-Flinger. Here is the cranberry recipe I used. Recommended: Use ALL the honey (I ran out) otherwise add some sugar otherwise it’ll be so tart you’ll suck your cheekbones in to the insides of your brain.

But aside from that: Delicious.


4 cups Fresh Cranberries - picked over
1 hard tart apple, peeled cored and cut in to chunks
1 cup Orange Juice
1 cup Water
1/4 cup Organic Honey
Rind of one orange, pith removed, minced

Cranberries and Apples Baking

1. Rinse cranberries under running water. Place rinsed cranberries and apple in medium saucepan with orange juice and water.

2. Cook berries over high heat until they burst.  You will her them popping.  Reduce heat to low and add honey and orange peel.  Conitnue cooking over low heat for another 15 minutes.. The liquid should stick to the back fo a spoon.

3. Remove from heat and let cool.  Trnsfer to a bowl and cover with wrap. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

(From The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook: Great-Tasting Recipes That Keep You Lean)

Wordless Wednesday Nov 25, 2009


So, I have my annual appointment today Nov 24, 2009


And if you’re still reading, bygod you’re brave.

It’s one of those stereotype things that all women experience… and curse. It totals 3 minutes of actual embarrassment and the rest is valuable information. My boobies are soft and ok! My hayhay is fine! My abs are totally broken! It’s predictable almost. It’s comfortably predictable. Unless something isn’t right and then it’s horrifying.

A week ago I found a bulge above my belly button following a difficult ab routine. It’s long recognized that my abs not only separated during my second pregnancy, they were in two different time zones.

Exibit A)

The Last Belly Shot

So it’s no surprise, then, that I struggle with floppy abs and separation to this day, two and a half years later. This “bulge” above the belly button is fairly common in women whose abs have not met again. It’s a matter of how severe this bulge is that will direct the course of action.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping they had to go in and fix it all up and maybe sorda put my abs back at the same time. And use some suction or something. Just sayin’.

In addition, anyone who has had one or more miscarriages knows what you’re looking at when you see… well.. the baby. It’s amazing how well you can know your body so you can see when something is wrong.

Something is wrong.

Or something was wrong.

I’m not wanting, nor are we needing, any more babies. We’re OK without more children. We’re happy. We’re complete. Not to say I don’t sometimes wonder what another child would bring to the family. It’s just that we’re not prepared, or trying, to expand our family. So it comes as a bit of a shock what I found today.

I plan to discuss this in depth with my doctor while my legs are in the air and my striped socks are on my feet and a sheet separates my dignity from the light of a thousand suns.

I’ll let you know what she says. And if I’m getting a free tummy-tuck ‘cause hey, one can dream, right?

My First “Outside the Box” Thanksgiving Nov 23, 2009



In high school, I went to a Thanksgiving at my Grandma’s house. She created everything from scratch, used real butter, the giblets for the gravy, and actual cream for the pie topping. At the time, I was entrenched deeply in the nutrition science and (now false) claims that fake food was actually better than real food. Food out of a box with zero fat! No saturated fat! Margarine not butter. Fat free canned gravy.

Now we know otherwise. Natural fats are better than processed fats. Real food is better than canned. Butter truly is, in fact, better than margarine.

Grandma was right.

I remember my family going home unsatisfied. We all complained that it wasn’t a “real” Thanksgiving. We wanted our stove top stuffing. We wanted our cranberry that looks like the can it came out of. We wanted our potatoes that were perfectly whipped from the instant flakes.

My mom made the best Thanksgiving out of the box ever.

I’ve followed suit, making amazing recipes off the backs of cans. Green bean casserole with four ingredients, each from a can. Everything is easy and dinner takes about an hour (aside from the bird).

Not this year.

No, this year I’m going back to my Grandmother’s kitchen. I’m making everything from scratch. We will not eat a single boxed item. In a quest to eat food, actual REAL food, I’m giving up some convenience but in the end I hope to raise children who don’t clamor for the boxed stuff. Children who one day, will make dinner for their own family the way their mother did, the way their great grandmother did: All Natural. Real. And home-cooked.

My Recipes (which I’ll try posting for the next few days) include:

Pumpkin Hummus (With Whole Peta)
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Low Fat Turkey Gravy
Baked Turkey
Chestnut Stuffing
Cinnamon Pear Compote

** Don’t forget to take the Turkey out of the freezer! Now’s the time!

A style of her own Nov 23, 2009

#Family Life


One of my favorite things about my daughter is how unique she is.

One of the things I least like about my daughter is how like me she is.

I can identify with a five year old girl. I remember thinking out some of the same things she does. I remember laying on the floor of our new house in Friendswood, TX, crying. I didn’t know why I was crying, but I was crying. I remember my dad, so tall, leaning in the room and asking, “What are you crying for NOW.”

I remember that moment like it was yesterday, not thirty years ago. It’s either a curse or a blessing that I do because I now have a five year old that I bite my tongue when all I want to say is, “What are you crying for NOW.”


So with every dramatic set of water works, with each dance, with all the arguments, I roll my eyes because I know. I know. I did those same things.

And I’m plagued with them again.

It’s true what they say, your parents will never look smarter than when you’re an adult. I’m stuck in the middle- I’m watching my history and living my mother’s past and seeing my future as my parents age. To say it’s enlightening is an under-statement.

Enlightening my ass- it’s scary.

I have clear memories at five. I have memories of my parents at five. I have quotes. I have actions. I have distinct moments that I’ve carried with me for 29 years now. Knowing this, I second guess myself too often. She’ll remember it now. From now on, she’ll remember.

I don’t want it to be that one frustrated sentence I bark at her that she carries with her to adulthood. But I understand now my Dad’s view. I understand being frustrated at a sensitive girl. I get that moment now. I see it from his view. But I’m also seeing it from hers.

In that moment, those moments, if I just make one choice different, it is to hug her before I yell. Maybe she will carry that with her to adulthood and keep her silly dances and her silly side. Maybe she’ll grow to love herself and her own unique style, even if it is a little like her Mother’s.

Just maybe.