Wait for it!

I’m on the phone with a colleague talking about my new job and how we can collaborate moving forward when she says, “Don’t you feel so free?”

I didn’t even pause before I laughed and said, “Yes. It’s amazing.” And, I meant it. The past couple of weeks, I’ve felt forty pounds lighter (and yes, that was how much I gained with Rosie).

After we hung up, it hit me that the taste of freedom that I’ve had the past couple of weeks, is just an appetizer. The main course will come this Wednesday when the door slams shut forever on my current career and opens into my new one (which really isn’t new, it really is my old one from before this one. Did you follow that?). And, I’m DYING for it to get here.

I’m not a very patient person. As a kid, I was the one that snooped incessantly before the holiday and wrecked all the surprises. And, as an adult, I’m even worse. If you ask my kid, she’ll tell you I rock as a mom because I give her almost all of her presents before the holidays as I can’t keep a darn secret (for the record, I do the same thing with my hubby as well). It’s a terrible quality to have but it can be positive. I’m quite popular around the holidays.

However, this year, not so much. I was desperate to find the perfect job (which I do have to say may have been the only time in my life I’ve ever been patient as I wasn’t willing to sell a copier or sell my soul to the devil and stay in my current industry). Sometime around Thanksgiving I saw an ad and knew I found my dream job and I also knew I’d do anything that was legal, moral and ethical to get said job. It was mine.

So I did. I cyberstalked a recruiter (okay, I confess I tracked her down via phone as well). I went to a half dozen women in my network and begged for their help and recommendations. I put together solid materials for my interviews and then I did what every great salesperson should- I sold myself. Over and over. And, after six weeks, it worked. The job was mine. Almost four weeks later, I’d start.

And, now it’s here (And, I can’t FREAKING wait and I just got the email with my new company email and I almost fell off my chair with joy)! I get to go to San Francisco to train this week and then I’ll come back and get started (and because I’m not patient I’ve already kind of cheated and started setting appointments for when I get back). I am absolutely filled with glee!

So stay tuned people! I’ve never had the chance to write about what I do for a living (and I probably have some pithy yet scathing things to say about the industry I’m leaving and quite possibly a book) and I look forward to the chance. I also can’t wait to say whatever the hell I want. But most of all, I can’t wait to do something that gives me passion and makes me smile all the the time. Worth waiting for, huh?

 

 

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It’s a present! Maybe or maybe not…

In the mail was a large manila envelope. It sparked my interest as we never get anything good in the mail anymore- just bills. This looked exciting. Especially since it felt like there was a present inside. I flipped it over to see who it was from and was shocked when I saw who it was from. Immediately I screamed for my dad.

“Dad! Get down here! There’s a package from our vet!” And then I started to sweat.

“What is it,” he said as he opened the envelope.

Inside was a square something or other that felt kinda cushy and was wrapped in animal print fabric and tied with a bow. Since we had just put Rosie’s rat to sleep, I had an instant idea what was inside the wrap. And, I didn’t feel good about it at all.

“Do you think it’s Remmie?” I asked my Dad.

“Oh, My GOD!” he said as he felt the “present.”

I thought back to that day and was quite certain that as I was sobbing behind my very Jackie-O glasses that I specifically told the vet we DID NOT want Remmie’s cremains back. I began to wonder if they ignored my request. I felt kind-of sick and a little horrified.

Tentatively, I opened the package. Inside, carefully protected by bubble wrap (which gave it the ash-like feel through the fabric) was an ornament with Remmie’s paw prints. They had taken the time to press one of his tiny hands and feet into the clay.

What a lovely momento. (And what a loser I am.)

Get off Paula Deen’s back!

I LOVE Paula Deen. Some of my favorite recipes in the world have come from her cookbooks. And, yes, she is a Southern Belle and some of her recipes are a little bit on the heavy side, but when you think of the South what comes to mind?

Fried Chicken, grits, hush puppies and cobbler, right (if you doubt me click here, I’ve even checked with my Wiki friends that are back online, thank the Lord)? Ham, fried green tomatoes, mint juleps and pie are also big. And, who can forget sweet potatoes, corn bread and biscuits? Anyone ever been to a pig pickin’?

Paula Deen is a Savannah restaurateur who  has built her fortune (and reputation) by being a Southern chef. Southern cuisine is not known for being light on the calories. Just look at the list above! We’ve got lots of carbs, fat, butter and sugar and guess what? The stuff tastes amazing. It’s the kind of food that people like me crave when they want to be BAD and cheat on their diets.

This week Paula revealed that she has Type 2 Diabetes and she has kept it a secret for three years. Immediately, the press started to skewer her for promoting high fat, high sugar food during that time. Some called her a hypocrite. But, I’m a little confused. Isn’t that Paula’s job? She’s built a dynasty promoting everything delectable that you’d find in the South. Doesn’t she have the right to make a living?

Yes, I know that indulging in high calorie foods can lead to obesity. And, that lifestyle choices are the #1 reason why people become diabetic. But to accuse Paula Deen of trying to make the rest of the world diabetic is ridiculous. The only person’s health she affected is her own.

That she’s admitted. And, yes, it took her a couple of years. But, don’t you think she may have wanted some privacy while she attempted to get used to the diagnosis and adjust her lifestyle. Give her a break people!

Now, I still plan to cook from her cookbooks because I am intelligent enough to know that everything in moderation is good. And, everything from her cookbooks IS good. Enjoy one of my favorite recipes.

Yummo!

Cottage potatoes. PERFECT for dinner with just about anything. Easy to make, kid’s love them and they are creamy and delicious (and, yes, they do have butter in them)

3 large Idaho potatoes

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2   onion, diced
Salt and pepper
Paprika

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Scrub the potatoes, slice them, and put in a pot with water to cover. Boil the potatoes until tender, then drain and mash them with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the cottage cheese, onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir the mixture gently, and then put in a greased casserole. Dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

 

 

 

Going, Going, Gone!

Today I have my first ever Guest Blogger, my eleven year-old daughter Rosie. 

When you lose someone, you don’t lose them but what’s inside them-the hope, the grief and even the sorrow. The connection is lost, never there again. The hope of them coming back is forgotten, lost somewhere in time and space.

I lost my pet rat Remmie. He was more than a pet. He was a part of the family and even more-my friend. He was someone you could talk to and listen. Well sort of, he was a rat.

The day we put down the fur ball, the friend and the family member it was not easy. It never is and never will be.

That morning was great full of hope that he would come home from the vet healthy and happy. But that afternoon my mom picked me up from school I realized that every moment is to treasure and to hold onto. Once you lose someone they’re lost. Gone for good. But that doesn’t mean you lost them in your heart and soul.

I never thought that half a second was so important. Not in math, science, social studies, reading or even writing but in life it is. Sometimes it is life threatening like for Remmie with no coming back or 2nd chances. He’s gone forever. And I didn’t ever say goodbye. But the last thing I said was never give up hope when it seems impossible.

 

It’s Swinter!

Today I started sweating profusely while driving to the mall. Once I was certain it wasn’t a hot flash (in my defense my dad was turning a shade of crimson and my daughter had a dewy glow), I cranked the AC. At a stoplight I flipped out my phone to see that it was 60 degrees. Insane! In Kansas City in January?

Last year at this time, it was below zero and over twenty inches of snow had fallen (before you get images of us having to create tunnels in the snow to get out of our homes it snowed and then it melted a couple of times so it wasn’t really that tall). It was bitterly cold. Rosie didn’t want to go outside to sled and our poor dog Macallan only went out if he could no longer hold his bladder and he went on the deck. Smart guy.

This year, we’ve had under half an inch. Since I grew up in Illinois and would wait for the bus in four foot high drifts, I don’t even think that a quarter of an inch counts as real snow. It’s more of a dusting. However, after last year’s winter and the one before where we had a full blown blizzard on Christmas, I really could care less if we have any snow at all. And, since this part of the country is notorious for ice storms, I’ll pass on one of those too. I am perfectly content to hover anywhere above freezing.

However, my child is not.

Rosie came home from school the other day with big plans. She was going to make sure that there was plenty of snow. She had a plan.

“Be sure to put spoon under my pillow tonight,” she said. ‘That way it will snow.”

So we tried. And, we got under an inch. Maybe we should have used a big slotted spoon instead of a teaspoon.

The next day bigger flakes started to fall as we drove to school.

‘This is it!” she screamed. “If it keeps up, we’ll have a snow day tomorrow!”

The moment I pulled out of the parking lot it ceased. I knew she’d be heartbroken but quite frankly, I was overjoyed. I’ve had plenty of snow in my life, thank you. I’m content with the weather.

However, I am stunned by it. I keep waiting for the forecast to turn and the Big Blizzard of 2011 to roll in. We’ll have a week of snow days, spend outrageous amounts of money on our gas bill and have chapped cheeks.

I keep thinking maybe tomorrow is the day as the temperature will drop 30 degrees. But, alas, the weekend looks like it will be back in the 60’s. So I think we may be stuck with the mild weather.

If so, we’ll only have one choice.

Parents, remember the Phineas and Ferb episode where they made winter in the middle of Summer and called it Swinter (or Wummer)? If you live here in KC, we may have only one chance to save winter for our kids. Go buy a snowcone machine and let’s make a pact. If we still have no snow by Valentine’s, let’s make Swinter. You in?

 

Call me names all you want. I can’t hear you!

They are staring at me. Giving me the evil eye every time I walk by. I’ve tried to ignore them, walk faster and of course, look away but they constantly taunt me.

“What a loser!” they say to each other. “She’s so embarrassed, she can’t even look at us.”

And, in a way they are right.

I do have a little egg on my face. And, they’re right to call me on it. I just wish they wouldn’t be so harsh.

“Procrastinator!” I heard one shout when I was in the kitchen.

“Slacker!” yelled another as I tried to run out the front door.

They’re becoming mean little bastards and I think I know why. They’re feeling neglected and a little worried. Especially since I’m choosing to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist (I’m actually getting pretty good at putting my hands over my ears and doing that loud “La, la, la” thing as I walk by and act like I can’ t hear them.)

I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep it up. I know they think I’ll cave, but now it’s like a game for me. A challenge.

Go ahead. Keep calling me names. I can’t hear you.

Mean little things. Should I break down and send them?

Call my kid a baby? Well, yours is a tramp

Dear Lackadaisical Parent,

I know it must be hard by the time you get your fourth of fifth kid to the tween years to parent. First, I’m sure you’re a little worn out. That’s a lot of potential discipline over the course of a couple of decades. But, I want to remind you that you still have a responsibility as a parent to attempt to raise a child that can get along with others and eventually become a contributing member of society.

I’m sure right now you’re asking yourself, “why is this crazy Mom writing me?” Well, I’ll tell you. Your daughter has made my child cry non-stop for the past week from her venomous comments on the playground and while I have to coach my child to ignore her, hold her head high and walk away, I don’t have to.

So, what did your kid say? Among other things, she told my Rosie that “she looked like a baby.” And, then she went on to mock her in front of an entire group of friends. This caused a plethora of problems this weekend as my child attempted to find anything “grown-up” in her closet to wear and a number of crying jags that were more than a little disconcerting making my job as a parent quite painful.

As I stood with my child staring at her clothes, I did find a couple of outfits that needed to be retired, however we had a long discussion about how ten and eleven year-old girls are supposed to dress. And, we came to the conclusion that it’s still okay to wear pink every once in a while and that Rosie’s clothes were just fine. And, that maybe your child dressed completely inappropriate and was just a little bit jealous that she didn’t have great clothes to wear.

You see, I’ve been to school. Lots. And, I’ve seen the way your child dresses.

Little girls are not supposed to wear all black or jeans with strategically placed holes. Their underwear should not peek out under their shorts. Their outfits should not look like something that a teen-aged sister wore to high school the day before. They should never be rumpled or soiled either.

Tween-aged girls should still be instructed to bathe and brush their hair (just an FYI, I’ve told my child on numerous occasions to be kind and not discuss your child’s terrible dandruff problem as it’s rude and inappropriate). They shouldn’t wear fingerless gloves that go to their elbows or headbands that look like they borrowed them straight from Madonna’s closet in the 80’s. And the torn tights? Shame on you for letting her leave your home that way.

In fifth grade, we should never see cleavage. Despite the fact that they are developing, they are still little girls. We shouldn’t be inviting every pedophile in the world to get a free peek.

I realize that while I’ve been ranting and raving, you probably don’t care and won’t even discuss the real issue. Your child shouldn’t be so nasty and bully on the playground. So, I’ve carefully instructed mine to walk away. The good news is they won’t be in middle school together so we only have five more months of putting up with your kids crap which is really cool.

That means I won’t have to explain to Rosie why your kid sneaks cigarettes out back during recess. Or, why she constantly winds up at the principal’s office and in detention. And I certainly won’t have to tell her why all the boys have taken an unusual interest in her as she dresses to attract the wrong kind of attention. We all know what happens to girls like that.

Signed,

An involved parent that is proud to have a kid that wears pink

 

 

 

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