We ALL Deserve A Break Today Sunday, Sep 25 2011 


Yesterday while walking through the park and around the lake, I had another one of those episodes where somehow just putting in my ear buds and grooving to my raunchy yet oddly motivating booty music seemed to put me in my own little world. It’s really a bizarre character flaw and not nearly as cool as when the Potter kids throw on their invisibility cloak, though it works in a similar fashion. The loud thumping in my ears somehow hinders proper brain function and makes me think I’m invisible to the lowly peons around me. It happens at the gym all the time. Well, not that I’m actually AT the gym all the time. I just mean that when I AM there, it’s likely to happen and thoughts fly out of my mouth aloud. I know this happens because I’ve gotten weird looks from people right after they’ve gotten in my way and I’ve thought to “myself” how annoying they are. Barring the possibility that they are actual mind readers, it’s highly likely that irritated sighs and sounds escape from my mouth. My sister thinks I’m crazy. I think it’s funny. I need the music to keep me going anyway so there isn’t much of a choice and alone with my private thoughts (hell, maybe not so private if my thoughts become vocalized) I sometimes make sense of things in today’s hectic life.

As on any beautiful weekend day, the park was packed. There were hippies playing frisbee, couples sitting in the shade and on park benches, old men sitting along the seawall in their folding chairs with their fishing poles, boats launching, family reunions under the pavilions, and birthday parties. This Saturday night in addition to the flock of seagulls, there was a wedding party and groups of high school kids each with its own set of paparazzi taking pictures in front of the fountain all dolled up in their fancy gowns. So I ran. I ran so far away. I ran all night and day. I couldn’t get away. (Well, maybe I walked, but if I said that then you wouldn’t get the whole Flock of Seagulls song reference would you??) I didn’t want my picture snapped sans makeup in my funky sweat gear and ball cap photobombing all the beautiful people and becoming immortalized in family albums for years to come. I remember thinking when I saw the children’s birthday parties how I often wish my social set here would occasionally take things back to a simpler time when kiddie parties were simply cake and ice cream with pin the tail on the donkey.

Nowadays, things seem to be so much more complicated often resulting in unnecessary stress and expense. There are petting zoos and princess themes with teams of divas that show up at your house like Extreme Home Makeover to transform your daily “drab” inferior interior into a party fit for a queen but most importantly… the other parents. Look, I love those parties and the truth is, many people ENJOY throwing those kinds of parties so I don’t want to sound like one of the bitter people who simply can’t keep up and feels they must. I do think though that for the parents out there who feel discouraged and max out the credit cards trying to be the ultimate hosts and hostesses, maybe they should take a step back and think about what really matters and what it is their own children would really be comfortable with having. True, my own little ones attend these parties and want the equivalent, but perhaps they just haven’t been to enough of the simple ones where all they need is a bathing suit and sprinkler. Here’s what’s gone through MY mind when considering these options when money’s been tight:

  • Maybe my kid will feel like he’s the poor kid on the block – like the one who’s mama actually MAKES him where a homemade superhero costume on Halloween while Flash Gordon over there has real working light up stuff that shoots lasers or something at the big kids who get in his way of the candy. (GREAT! Now I’ve got Halloween anxiety which is quickly approaching after talking about my birthday party anxiety. 😦 )
  • Maybe if I don’t provide enough food for all the little children AND their parents, people will starve and kids will start asking their parents, “Where’s the pizza, Mama?” right in front of me so that I have to run and call Papa John like that was really the plan all along and give him my credit card so nobody passes out or worse… TALKS ABOUT ME!
  • Maybe if I go the cheap route and do it at home none of the kids will come. See, maybe their parents are kinda shy – or even bitchy – and feel uncomfortable having to sit on my couch with a bunch of other parents until all the cake has been eaten and the presents have been opened. That’s just awkward for some people and I TOTALLY get it. Maybe for them, sitting around on the backyard patio with all the properly coiffed mamas feels like high school all over again wondering which lunch table to sit at.
  • Maybe I need to casually walk my kid to and from class every morning and every afternoon instead of carpool line and chit-chat with the parents so that the new ones get to know me and think I’m friendly and won’t avoid the party because they don’t know any of the other parents.
  • Maybe some of these people can’t afford the barrage of parties every weekend and the presents that accompany them. I don’t want to make them feel like they HAVE to go, but I really WANT them to go just so my own kid doesn’t get disappointed that so-and-so from class isn’t there. (Don’t even get me STARTED now on the expense of birthday party presents every weekend when you’re trying to mask the fact that you’re flat broke at this particular stage in your life but are trying to please your own kids by allowing them to attend and the birthday kids by not disappointing them)

I remember last year when a friend of mine went through a similar dilemma. She was on a strict budget with three little ones and was pregnant with her fourth while her husband was serving overseas. These moms get my applause on a daily basis but ESPECIALLY when trying to throw together a birthday party all by themselves. I couldn’t remember all of the details this morning so I asked her about it. She actually had to ask WHICH party “disaster” I was referring to from this year. Was it the one where she stopped to pick up pizza and ice cream making her late for the party and arrived home with the only key to find the guests waiting in the front yard in the middle of January in COLORADO? Or was it the other one that she posted about on Facebook where hardly any kids showed? Damn! I felt bad for her, but I remember TONS of people commenting on her status and fessing up to trying to keep up with other PARENTS when what really mattered was the CHILDREN. She did a great job and her little man was happy which was really all that mattered. This is what she posted when she felt discouraged and all of  the festivities were complete:

Threw the world’s lamest birthday party this afternoon. But the guest of honor was happy so it wasn’t a total flop. My house was a mess. I took a nap instead of making cupcakes. (Luckily there were enough gluten-free ones that my friend brought for her son with Celiac to go around for all the kids.) We sang him happy birthday but there were no candles to blow out. He probably set the world record for speed-opening of gifts – all 6 in under 75(?) seconds. Then he played his new Wii games while ignoring all his guests.

I woke this morning to another old friend’s pictures from her son’s birthday party on Facebook. SHUT UP!!! I had no idea they still have birthday parties at McDonald’s. Are you KIDDING ME?!?! It looked like she had a few close friends for her son’s 5th birthday party and all those sweet little booboos wear wearing party hats and big ‘ol smiles. Not a grimace was to be found (and I DID look for that big purple blob. What IS he anyway??) I had a couple of birthday parties at Mickey D’s myself and lots of my friends did too. I have memories of the that chocolate cake with Ronald on top and the whipped icing with sprinkles. I still remember hand clapping to the all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun song. Who did NOT climb to the top of that big hamburger jail that used to be on all of the playgrounds and bounce on those spring-loaded Fry Guy things on Mayor McCheese’s turf? That was before Chuck E Cheese came into the picture and when the only THEME your party had to have was for the plates and napkins. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite because I LOVE a good theme party, but I’ve caught myself sinking enough money into these themes to where I’d have sworn Hamburglar came along and wiped out my checking account. This year we simply couldn’t swing the super fancy party favors that are a gift themselves to every tiny party goer so I took the kids down to Party City with instructions to get some little things to fill the plastic goody bags. After roaming the aisles and perusing the party picks, we finally found the Cars 2 display and the sales clerk asked me if we needed any help. Leave it to my kid to smile and say, “No thanks! We’re buying a bunch of cheap stuff made in China to put in the goody bags!” CRAP!! I was mortified but crap is what we bought and none of the kids OR parents seemed to mind when we handed them out. In fact, I think I’m super lucky. We got strong armed into having the festivities at the roller rink but I seriously doubt any of those other parents would have said a word if we’d blown up balloons and thrown streamers around at the park. My own anxiety about these kinds of things gets to me, but I’m thinking that I’m not alone. Retro is in, and if any of the other sometimes-anxious-overly-eager-to-please-their-child-and-live-up-to-the-standards-set-by-today’s-world folks wanna give it a try, cop a squat at the local park and don’t feel inferior to the folks with the back-yard carnivals at their McMansions. I promise you’ll see others doing the same, and don’t we ALL deserve a break today?

(For anyone interested: Check out this article from retrojunk.com I found when I started looking for picture. THIS will take you back!!) http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/4432/

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The Tales of Mother (and the) Goose Wednesday, Sep 21 2011 


I often think, speak, and write in analogies. It’s just the way I am, and it helps me to make sense of things around me especially when life gets a little chaotic. The other morning while sipping coffee on the balcony, a tiny little hummingbird flew up to me, hovered about five feet in front of me for about 15 seconds and then flew away. We looked at each other and for once I did not attempt to take a picture for fear of scaring off the little creature. I was Quick Draw McGraw on the symbolism according to Google however and posted my discovery on Facebook to share:

A hummingbird just flew up to me on the balcony & stared at me for about 15 seconds so I googled symbolism: timeless joy and the Nectar of Life. It’s a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances. Right On!! Today is MY day, suckas!!

I’ve never seen hummingbirds near my new little castle, and it’s not like I was wearing a big red hummingbird feeder costume to entice some new little creature into my blogging realm. As I continued my research and delved into all things hummingbird related, I also discovered that the sprite little creatures also represent perseverance. Have you ever realized that unlike other birds who can just glide and coast through the air, the hummingbird must constantly beat its little wings to stay aloft? That’s like people too, isn’t it? For some people, at certain times, things just seem to come easy to them allowing them to coast through life while others must swiftly and continuously flutter their wings to keep from falling. Somewhere in my reading, I found some theories that spoke to me that morning and talked about savoring the Nectar of Life. These tiny birds are constantly beating their wings, but they are also capable of hovering in place in order to take their time and savor their nectar. Their ability to fly backwards can show us how we may all be able to look back on our past in order to learn from it yet not hover and dwell on it forever. I’ve never seen a hummingbird ONLY fly backwards! I want to be like a hummingbird!! And if I were ever to get a tattoo, it would be a hummingbird. (But I won’t. Because I don’t like needles. Or permanent body art that could sag and morph with an aging body. And because I’d be embarrassed if 30 years from now someone looked at my sweet little misshapen bird and mistook it for a vulture once everything stretched out and spread.) That hummingbird was a MESSENGER bird and my Google app said so!!

I carried on with my day and headed into The Shop with an extra spring in my step despite the dreary weather and Monday blahs that float about and seem to hover over so many people. I call our store, “The Shop” because that’s simply what we’ve called the beauty and cosmetic business for 50 years now, but I like to think of it as The Family Dynasty and since I run a lot of the daily business that makes me The Empress. All the women on Mama’s side of the family have worked there at one time or another – my grandmother, mother, aunt, cousins, sisters – and drama is the norm as in the televsion version of Dynasty. As I was covering some of the menial duties that should really fall onto servants and perhaps some day will, Mama scurried into the store with her OWN bird tale from that morning. She was visibly shaken and her feathers were all in a ruffle as she recounted what had happened to her while walking along the seawall that morning.

It seems somewhere along her route, Mama encountered a flock of geese. Assuming they were harmless and that she herself appeared friendly and non-threatening to all of God’s creatures, she continued along the walking path and approached their ground. THAT’S when all hell broke loose. According to Mama, the birds began squawking and the flock of furious feathered fowl chased her! Mama got flustered and sped up to no avail. Apparently there was a ringleader in the bunch and as it closed the gap between the group and Mama, she quickly responded like any modern-day woman would and threatened it with the pepper spray attached to her key chain. By threaten, I mean she screamed because it was doubtful that the goose would have been worldly enough to simply catch a glimpse of her unsnapping the spray and been all like, “WHOA!!! We picked the WRONG mama to screw with! This wild-eyed crazy bitch is armed with SPRAY! And that’ll burn my eyes and throat sumpin’ FIERCE! This goose is COOKED!” No. Uh-uh. Holding out the menacing mace in a threatening manner and screaming at it to move did NOT work on the flock, and unfortunately Mama couldn’t get the little twisty nozzle to twist open. God help her because the curious fisherman watching the spectacle most certainly did NOT. She did her best to racewalk like an Olympian with full on hip swinging and arm pumping and managed to escape the menacing bunch and seek shelter in her car with the doors LOCKED I’m sure for added protection. This is the point in the story that Mama came to the conclusion that the foul ringleader was RABID. She watched it fly out onto the lake after the group retreated and feels pretty confident that its feathers were all astray like a MAD goose’s feathers would be. “Oh. Dear. God,” thought Mama when she next realized what was happening; the other geese had TURNED on the ringleader and were trying to peck it to death. There is no way Mama could be wrong about this either because she saw it happen with her own two eyes and surmised that the other geese had realized the rabid nature of their leader and turned on it. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” thought Mama and smugly watched its evil demise as she rounded the corner to retreat to her own side of the lake.

I relayed the account of the attack to my friends on Facebook and even posted a couple of pictures of Mama telling her bird tale as a follow-up post to MY morning encounter with MY bird. The whole bit was ridiculous really and had turned into a farce of sorts as people made their suggestions as to what they thought was the significance of our separate encounters. One friend pondered that perhaps my messenger bird had been sent to warn me of Mom’s impending attack. Maybe. Could be. Who knows. I didn’t throw out all the crumbs of information to my own flock of Facebook followers at the time though.

What many people don’t know is that my mother is an amputee. Just a few years after my father died suddenly, Mama was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. In layman’s terms, a cancer of the sweat gland in the heel of her foot caused her to lose a portion of her leg below the knee. She rarely limps, never opted for any handicapped type parking permit, and people who meet her or even see her walk have no idea that she has this disability. She wears pants and long skirts and boasts a collection of cute little Mary Jane shoes that work for her and keep her in step with the fashion forward set for the most part. What she cannot do – and really has no desire to do – is run… EXCEPT when she’s been chased by a rabid goose. When she was telling us about her real life re-enactment of The Birds, she said that when her pepper spray failed to flip open, she quickly had to think of another option should she not be able to out pace the flock. Never one to just simply sit back and take things as they come, Mama devised a plan whereby if 1 or more geese were to get within brain or eye pecking distance, she would use what the good Lord had given her…. and beat hell out of the birds using her artificial leg as a club. Better not mess with THIS Mother, Goose!!!! I wonder what the by standing fisherman would have done if THAT scenario had actually played out?!

Mama left the store shortly after her tale and returned with a brand new purple can of mace. She was a little disheartened to learn from the clerk at the police supply store that the spray may not turn a goose into a quivering heap like it would for a HUMAN attacker since geese are not capable of inhaling the fumes in quite the same way that a boogeyman would. That’s OK. Mom is up to the challenge. She will aim directly at the offenders eyes taking especially careful aim if a predator is of the non-human variety. I will not be surprised if I pull around to the back of the house and find her practicing her shot in the wood pile while properly choreographing her ninja-like moves and KAY-YA noises in preparation for her next encounter. She will NOT stop walking the seawall because of geese nor will she let the mockingbird types keep her down.

I warned the kids that night to stay away from Mimi’s new purple can and that it will burn their eyes like fire if they even get anywhere near it which means that I have also relayed the two vastly different bird encounters of that day to them as well. Sometimes, kids say things that really help you to see things in a whole new light and shock you with their simplistic wisdom. As we talked about what I had Googled relating to hummingbirds and Mama’s big adventure, my daughter made a pretty insightful analogy. She recently auditioned for the lead roles in The Little Mermaid and drew a couple of parallels. She won’t be playing her dream role of Ariel, but she WILL get to play a mermaid and isn’t that like the “miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances” as I had copied to my Facebook status that morning?? And HEY!! What about how the three of us installed our very own wireless modem and wireless printer ALL BY OURSELVES without calling anyone to help us?!! That is a HUGE accomplishment and people would never have thought we’d be able to do THAT if they’d seen the two-hour long drama that preceded it.

Really, it wasn’t until late that night while sitting on the balcony and listening to the frogs that I was able to recall the events of the day and put them into perspective. Tons of analogies flew straight into my brain while I pondered what I’d observed and learned from the day. I think I’m fortunate. In fact, I think I’m incredibly fortunate, and I’m also very grateful. I think life’s circumstances can vary so much from year to year but your outlook on life is what can make or break you. Sometimes that outlook is learned from the families we were born into or the people we choose to fly with. I think we can even learn valuable lessons from people with whom we choose NOT to associate. The geese in Mama’s story were the aggressors, and I know plenty of those types, but I also remember what my dad used to tell me about geese that relates to how we are as a family. Daddy taught me that geese fly in V formation. The lead bird at the point of the formation has a tough position. His job is tiring while the geese that follow benefit from the upwash of his position allowing them to reduce air resistance and better glide. The birds take turns leading the formation to reduce fatigue, and I guess that’s also how the birds in this family flock fly as well. We stick together, keep each other in our sights, and take over the tough exhausting positions when it’s our turn. We’ll squawk and honk at you too if you hang back and try to coast on our efforts for too long though so everyone has to toe the line.

Birds of a feather flock together.

There’s always more to every story, and there’s more to mine that not everyone knows as well. Just as Mama had a very rare type of cancer, I too was diagnosed and overcame cancer. Mine was an extremely rare cancer of the eye that was diagnosed when I was 6 and resulted in me losing my left eye. Not all mother-daughter-duos battle the odds and get brand-spankin’-new body parts custom-made for them either do they? It’s another way that we are unique. Mom’s cancer and recovery occurred while she was an adult so she had to adjust to new ways of doing every-day things and living while mine is just something that I grew up adjusting to so I can’t tell you that I’ve ever known anything different. I suppose people could look at both situations and make their own determination about which situation would be worse, but again I think it’s all about perspective. I sat through a law class one time in college when the professor used an example to illustrate personal damages in a way that stunned me. He was a wonderful teacher who had NO CLUE about my personal circumstances and neither did the rest of the class. He proposed a scenario whereby we had just gotten into a class fight and someone lost an eye from a hurled piece of chalk and the class was challenged to discuss all the damages and reparations that could possibly result from being left with a life long disability. Assumptions were thrown out and even tasteless jokes only because they had NO idea that I lived with the “disability” they were describing. At nineteen, with my whole life ahead of me, I silently sat and listened to people describe what my life SHOULD have been like; freakish looking, would never be found attractive therefore limited ability to date, marry and have kids. One guy actually suggested that he would rather die and no amount of damages could be awarded to appease him. Certainly anyone without any depth perception could never compete in sports and some of these kids did and would have a limited set of skills that would hinder future jobs and earning potential. It was pretty grim and the jokes weren’t really funny, but after Dad did his best to console me that afternoon my perception changed and more depth was added to my character. I decided that I was pretty lucky to have the positive outlook and family support with which I had been blessed. Those poor little shits must not have come from a family that teaches you that when rabid geese attack, don’t lay down and die just because you can’t run!! Pull off your custom-made state-of-the-art artificial leg and BEAT THE FIRE OUT OF ‘EM!!!

I think that hummingbird WAS a messenger. It’s appearance set the tone for that Monday – a day that is sometimes easy to just coast mindlessly through while wishing for the far off weekend. I started my day actively looking for what it was that God must have meant for me to see. I have no way of knowing what I was supposed to have learned, but maybe I didn’t even HAVE to learn anything. Maybe the point was just to recognize the joy in the little things in my life right now. They are everywhere and most anything can bring on an appreciative grin or even belly busting laugh if I look at it right. I know that philosophy isn’t always easily maintained, so I’m going to do my best to be like the hummingbird and persevere while savoring the nectar. There’s ALWAYS some there and I just have to remember to look for it.

Alphabet Soup Thursday, Jul 7 2011 


My Soup That Stirred The Pot

So after yesterday’s post, all kinds of comments were generated on Facebook regarding proper food safety, storage & heating methods. Clearly too many of you were not fortunate enough to have a mama like mine and have already killed incalculable brain cells with your NOT SO best practices and methods, bless your stupid hearts! I’m going to spell it out for you so that you don’t throw those mutated brain cells down to the bottom of the bowl to be scooped up and carried along by another generation, and I will consider it my public service announcement AND blog for the day. Here are a few rules from my mama that you should follow to the letter:

A – Never ever store things in plastic baggies and then reheat & eat them! That’s dangerous because those thin little plastic things leach into your food and come out of your mouth later. Haven’t you ever seen those people that sit in corners and just drool?? That drool is actually the melted plastic coming out of their mouths! We decided this only after Mom bought that Seal A Meal thing to vacuum seal all those little bags of spaghetti. It makes total sense, and we count our blessings that we discovered the correlation in time. How is this not common knowledge? I’m sure you’re all going to think about that the next time you see a drooling hobo on the corner, huh?! I bet THAT GUY grew up on Seal A Meals! You are only supposed to use those things to store dry food snacks one time only and they are never to be washed and reused.

B – Only morons cover their food in the microwave with a thin layer of plastic wrap to keep it from splattering chunks all over the microwave. That’s a fact. If the sturdier baggies leach chemicals, then can you IMAGINE what that little film can let go of? That is not steam coming off your food while you eat, Honey. It’s your brain cells evaporating. Use a paper towel next time.

C – ALWAYS pop out your healthy frozen dinner onto a microwave safe plate before heating it in its self-contained cancer-causing receptacle. You just turn the tray upside down and twist it out like an ice-cube tray. Sometimes it breaks up a little bit and the tray falls apart, but you just throw the little black shards away before you heat so that they don’t sink into your delicious sauce or vegetables or whatever and make you choke. I wonder if it’s a big conspiracy by Big Frozen Foods to make us sick which in turn causes us to look for Healthier Choices and Leaner Cuisines in the freezer section to boost our immune systems. Big Frozen Foods = B.F.F. which does NOT mean the same as giggly little preteen BFFs.

D – Do NOT pop styrofoam into the microwave. It WILL pop! I thought everyone knew this?!?! Apparently not. If you choose to risk it, then you’d better be sure you have on your good panties because when the fire department shows up to rescue you after too much smoke inhalation and toxic FUMES from the melted styrofoam they will bring you to the emergency room for resuscitation. Now all of those people are going to have to cut off your clothes to revive you and if you have holes in your underwear then you’ll embarrass your mama by making her look like she never taught you any better. We learned this when Mama used to watch George Clooney play a doctor on E.R. You know what? It’s really just best to cover your ass by not even attempting the styrofoam-heating-cause-you’re-too-lazy-to-get-out-a-real-plate method to begin with.

E – Metal never goes into the nuker. This is a serious matter with heavy consequences. I mean, do they even make metal plates anymore? This topic is probably moot because I think the only people that use metal serving dishes are prisoners who have those nice little divided metal trays for their bland food, but I’m going to include my heavy metal advice just in case I have some secret admirer inmates still following me since college when I was too stupid to refuse their collect calls just in case it was a friend that got busted at a bar with a fake I.D. and needed bail or something. (Mama would DIE if she knew that!) (more…)

Married… With Children & Miss um…Erica?!?! Wednesday, Jul 6 2011 


OK. Let me tell you what I did. I sat down to blog about my outing to The Walmarts this morning and how I felt like Al Bundy parading around through the store with nothing but a toilet plunger and a box of coffee. I even tweeted about it like a total twit because I’m just now trying to figure out the whole twitter thing and its codes and weird symbols since I think that ALL famous bloggers must tweet. So I planned out my little diddy and then got distracted making a big pot of soup for lunch and had to take the kids to the pool. (And I mean literally TAKE THE KIDS TO THE POOL. That’s not a Bundyism for potty humor.) So I brought my little notebook and pen to the pool and wrote out what I wanted to say and even giggled a little to myself. When I came back to the computer this afternoon to put it all together and find a picture of Ol’ Al in the internet, I flat out deflated like the brand-new-piece-of-crap-nearly-made-my-kids-pass-out-from-blowing-up-because-I-don’t-have-an-air-pump-like-a-GOOD-mom “sun lounger” I bought just YESTERDAY at the The Walmarts. Who would’ve thought there would be such a treasure trove of websites, pictures, videos, Facebook pages and OTHER BLOGS dedicated to the iconic ’90s character. Nuh-uh. No way. I cannot do some tired old thing that has been done before if I expect people to read what I have to say. So I’ll just tell you about my soup, OK? I’m still keeping my original title though because I still think it is clever and looks really nice and symmetrical with all the dots in it.

I have this super awesome really great recipe for Spicy Vegetable Soup. Like every other soup, I make it in a big pot. And it is delicious, and there is A LOT in THE POT. In typical fashion, I failed to plan ahead and prepare for what I would do with the leftovers. See, I have a new kitchen now with about half of what I had back at the old house. I took a big POT, yet a leftover container I did NOT. So when I went to save the leftovers, I swear to God, I heard my mom’s voice in my head warning me of all the dangers of putting metal into the refrigerator. Unlike my mom though, I have the internet at my fingertips and decided to Google her old wives tale. (Nobody tell her I said anything about her on the internet especially that I used the words OLD and TALE/TAIL when referring to her, OK? She’ll just get all flustered.)

Here’s what I found on answers.yahoo.com:

Does storing food in pots and pans in the refrigerator poison the food?

My mom used to always tell me to put left overs in a tupperware and place in the fridge. She said the if you put the pot or pan in the fridge to store the left overs, it would poison the food. My boyfriend does this all the time and I’ve always refused to eat the food. Well, now I’m sick and he made some chicken soup. He put the soup in the fridge, in the pot and gave me some for work today. I’m scared to eat it because of what Mom used to always say but I can’t seem to find anything on the net about it. Has anyone heard of this? Is it true that refrigerated food in pots poisons you? The soup was made Monday night and has been in the pot, in the fridge, since about 3am Tuesday morning. How do I know if the pot is aluminum?

ANSWERS:

  • No. But do not cook acid foods like apples or tomatoes in aluminum pots. The aluminum leaches out into the food and aluminum is found in the plaques in the brains of alzheimer’s patients. I don’t want to take any chances.
  • Only if it’s stored in aluminum. Stainless steel or enamel is ok
  • i do not like to store food which is cooked always make it fresh……….or make in small quantities
  • I always store my food in the pots and pans I cook it in because I always lose my Tupperware tops! haha
    Eat your soup!

So OBVIOUSLY I am not the only person that has heard this and the questioner sounds like a really smart girl who used proper spelling and punctuation and all. The answer givers just talked about bad things that happen to people’s brains and I’m all like, “There are TOMATOES in that soup!” And what about the ones who said not to worry? They don’t have any vested interest in the health and well-being of this girl! Who’s to say they are not some crazy sadists that surf the net looking for people to poison?? So I went to Facebook. Where else?!

Here’s how the thread went (I’m going to block out their names so they won’t be embarrassed to be friends with me) : (more…)

My Steel Magnolias Thursday, Jun 23 2011 


It’s been raining for a few days straight here, and as I sat on the balcony drinking coffee this morning I got to thinking about friends. And the term “fair weather” friends. This morning’s coffee comes courtesy of a Frosty mug. (Not like it’s spiked or anything since people usually think of beer being served in frosty mugs. Totally sober here. For real.) I won this mug at a bunko game back when we actually PLAYED bunko. Looking at Frosty, as I have now named him since he is a snowman and I am  clever, gives me a toasty, warm and fuzzy feeling because he makes me think about My Girls. Now we just get together at a restaurant. And rest. And rant. Usually we talk about what’s going on with who and laugh over cocktails. Bunko has kind of become like the game Marco Polo because there isn’t really any rhyme or reason to when it gets called. Sometimes I call bunko when I can’t really “see” things right and want to reach out to my girls. Don’t look for a picture of the Bunko Girls yet. I doubt I’d get that many women to agree on one picture where everyone’s hair looks nice and nobody thinks they look fat. Check out Frosty below mugging for the camera though. He’s sitting there for me, with the dark clouds behind him and the communication tower of some kind just off in the distance. Don’t correct me if I’m wrong about that big thing either. Because then I’ll look stupid and the rest of this won’t make sense so just go with me here.

Even on rainy days when the sun isn’t so bright, I can send out a signal to some girlfriends and see who’s up for a game. I don’t always hear back from all of them, but that doesn’t mean I should assume they are fair weather friends. They just may not be able to communicate what they’re thinking when the clouds are blocking the signals. Some people may actually be those fair weather friends, I guess, and don’t want to get out in the storm lest their hair frizz. I get that too. I know I don’t always want to walk around with frizzy hair either. Occasionally, most of us do put on our hats and stylish rain boots though and just prepare for a bad hair day. Donning that rubbery soled footwear and choosing to brave the storms to help out a friend can be good for the soul. I’m speaking in metaphors here, but sometimes girlfriends can just appreciate a really great pair of shoes too, and it’s as simple as that!

“I promise that my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair.”

– Steel Magnolias

I could go on and on and onandonandonandon with the Steel Magnolia quotes since it’s one of my total faves, but Annelle says that to Truvy in the beauty shop when she’s trying to explain some of the gossip around town regarding her past. It’s really none of their business. The girl wants a job and wants to prove she can be professional. I love it!  I think I may be looking for a job myself with this writing gig, but I also see it as a shout out to my girls to let them know that I’ll be there for them even if I have other things going on myself.  And all of us will always have good hair! You know, I went to high school in the same town that Steel Magnolias was filmed. From what I’ve heard, that scene from the beauty shop was filmed at the home of a school employee. I went to a school for the “gifted and talented.” Some girls, that SOMEHOW I never managed to talk to at that high school, have become GREAT friends now and encouraged me to share my “gift” and “talent.” They’ve been a gift for ME for sure. Perhaps they saw my knack for writing and forecasted the rainy days to come in the present. We connected through Facebook, and I have gotten to know some of them really well. Lovely ladies – all of them gifted. You don’t have to attend a school like that however to discover your own gifts. We all have them. My writing didn’t start until one week ago. That gift sat in a box I guess, like moving boxes often do, and I just now dusted it off and unpacked it. Maybe I didn’t see it because this particular box wasn’t wrapped up in the sparkly kind of paper I love. There wasn’t even a ribbon. (more…)

My Cinderella Story Saturday, Jun 18 2011 


The symbolism lately has been all around me. Maybe my eyes are just open to it now, or maybe people, places and things are put into your life at a certain time and place for a reason. In my case, right now, I think it’s a little of both. I moved out on my own, flew the coop so to speak, and discovered a little neighbor named Miracle next door and a little yard full of frogs, turtles, rabbits and birds. I often jokingly refer to myself as a princess, but for real ya’ll!! I’m getting dangerously close to becoming the real life Snow White or Cinderella with all my weird little creature friends. They aren’t actually talking to me though or sewing my dresses, YET. And I’m SMACK DAB in the middle of the city here – NOT on some country retreat. I TOTALLY have my own castle here!

The morning my movers were set to arrive, I came by the apartment to turn on the A/C for the guys. Well, maybe I came by to turn it on for me… less sweaty guys = less odiferous guys. When I arrived, a little brown rabbit was sitting on the walkway below the stairs to my apartment. For those who know me, you will NOT be surprised to hear that my first reaction was OOOH!! Photo Opp for facebook!! The rabbit let me walk right up to it and snap its picture while it simply looked at me. By the time I got upstairs it HIT me, and I Googled it to be certain… Rabbits symbolize rebirth, new life & new beginnings. And here was mine. Validation through a bunny.

As the week went on, I sat on my balcony drinking coffee every morning and would just watch my bunny. Sometimes he was inside the fence. Other times he was out just beyond it. But he was always there. The kids got to know & watch him at dusk a few times and named him Thumper. I would’ve preferred Roger and tried to entice them with a demonstration of the dance, but the moves I busted failed to win them over. Thumper it is then. One morning with my coffee, I saw a group of birds swooping at Thumper and tormenting him. He simply paid no mind to their annoyance and carried on with his business. “Bob & weave, little bunny… There ya go!!!” That’s when it dawned on me; some people are like the birds. And those annoying birds are just doing what mockingbirds naturally do – mock and tease. I consciously made the decision to be like the bunny. But I’m going to be like Roger and carry on with my own Hip Hop dance when the birds start to swoop in on ME. Maybe I’ll even vamp it up from time to time and throw a little Jessica Rabbit in there as well. A girl’s gotta live and all.

As luck would have it, and to my friends’ amusement, this is the point in the story where The Birds gathered, re-grouped and focused their attention on me. YES, ME. Who would’ve thought that my new peaceful morning ritual could take such a treacherous turn. Much to my amazement the ring leader bird swooped down onto my balcony railing and squeezed his oily looking feathered self into a little cubby of bars and simply GLARED while his brother Daryl and his other brother Daryl took backup positions from the gutter. Swear to God his eyes were red. Maybe. Or blood shot like he and his band of brothers were still shaking off the effects of a wild bender from the night before. I don’t know, but that’s how I’m picturing him now with his feathers all a ruffle. My first instinct was to close my eyes. After all, perhaps I simply had not had enough caffeine to shock my system into gear yet, and I was simply hallucinating, right?? WRONG. So I did what any other normal person would do. First I snapped a quick picture for facebook, THEN I attempted to shoo him away. My exit was compromised as it was THEN that the foul fowl decided to take up perch between me and the door… on my sweet little thumbprint stamped flower pots that my children made for me!! What was left to do? Nothing I could think of but to document and video the assault as I made a mad dash to the door eventually shutting and LOCKING it behind me for good measure should the bird have THUMBS and be able to actually turn a knob. I escaped, but the bird got the last laugh when he CRAPPED on my railing as my kids watched me cower and run for cover. I then became the BUTT of jokes for the day as I had posted about my escapades on facebook for everyone to see. That’s OK. It was funny, and I’m left with video clips as evidence of the assault.

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My Hail Mary Thursday, Jun 16 2011 


So tonight after softball, drive thru dinner, hurried bath & bed time routines, it came to me. And not just in any ordinary way… It came while I was singing the same song/prayer that I sing to my son every night of his life. All 5 years of it. Hail Mary. Even the name, Hail Mary, conjures up images for me of a last chance touch down. Throws into the end zone hoping for a pass that gets you somewhere. Is that the right terminology?? Maybe this is it for me.

As the prayer goes, Hail Mary, full of grace, the Looooord is with YOU, Blessed art thou among WOMEN, HONEY!! Did you put your deoderant on?!?, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. WAIT… is THAT how it goes?? Was I so distracted that I actually screamed that across the house mid-prayer/song??? YES!!! Maybe that means I’m going to Hell. With a capital H. Because I’m supposed to be focused and the perfect mom, right? Who knows, really. What I do know is this: I’m doing the best I can. I’m juggling the balls and I’m doing what I always thought was expected of me. But the big blue CONFUSED looking eyes laying in the bed in front of me are expecting something. Something BIG after THAT. Alas, all I can do is put one foot – word – in front of the other and continue. So I finished it. The song that is. And then I carried on as normal until I couldn’t toss or turn in bed anymore. Then I sat down to write MY Hail Mary. The big throw. My hopes at a touchdown in life. And here it is.

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