Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Saying NO to YES!

In my year of saying YES, I think I may have forgotten something.

In my rush and eagerness to embrace all of life's new challenges, I think I may have forgotten to say YES to myself and all that has made me ME for the last 36 years.  Normally, I find an obsession and spend lots of time exploring and researching that ONE topic - from fudge to pies to heel care.  However, I feel that right now I have my finger in lots of little pinch pots with very little room to explore or grow.  With so many new things happening, I have not really allowed myself to indulge in what I have loved all along.

We are always discussing the topic of "the real me" and I know that these things make up the ME that has been here and will be here when all my new hobbies and adventures are long gone.  These are not the deep and meaningful things like FAMILY or VALUES or MOTHERHOOD.  Those are givens.  I am talking about the tidbits and nuggets that make the quirk in all of us...and for this blog's purpose that bring out the quirk in ME.

Cable Television - I love it so much.  I am pinning for Mad Men and VEEP right now.  The commercials are such a tease.  Then, I mourn the ending of Girls.

Coffee - I hope I am not one of those people who have to cut back because they are getting old.  I like to tell myself that coffee is natural compared to all the other beverages I could be ingesting in large quantities.

Book Hopping - I am not one of those people who reads one book, cover to cover.  At any given time, I will have three or more books in a pile next to my bed.  The books vary in content and style, yet are of interest to me.  Right now, because of some additional responsibilities in my life (SAYING YES), I am finding less time to book hop.  I have a lot of HAVE to READ books.  I have never liked that.  Even as a junior high student, I would skim the HAVE to READS in order to read the books that I wanted to read.

Long Conversations with my Friends - This is the one that really gets me down.  In my pursuit of new adventures, I have had less time to foster my friendships.  This is unacceptable to me and cannot be a casualty of saying YES.  This deserves a NO.  I have a few months left of the responsibilities and then, life is back to normal.

itune ADD - I love to spend - at a minimum - an hour cruising down the itunes rabbit hole, never knowing who I will be listening to and later, be obsessing about.  I love that itunes.  I have not been able to fill up my iphone with fantastic new ear candy in a long time and that must come to an end.  Instead of saying YES to new things, I am going to say YES to old things!  Where is my trusty 2004 mini green ipod when you want it.

Recipes - I used to spend too many hours (an embarressing number of hours) researching a special recipe.  If it was ribs or apple pie, there were long hours put into the creation of a delicious meal at my house.  Now, I rely on old standards.  There is no fantasizing about the process.  No hemming and hawing over grocery stores.  Food is not joyful like it once was.  YES is getting in the way!

So, if saying YES means that I have to say NO to all that are the pieces of me, forget it.  Or at least, I don't HAVE to say YES if I am asked.  See, saying YES has taught me that much so far.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Year of YES - Wine

I gave up wine eight years ago.  Tim and I were invited to a new colleague's home for a delicious gourmet meal.  The food was amazing so why wouldn't the wine be fantastic?  I drank a glass of something that was red and that is all I can recall because the worst migraine of my life set in shortly thereafter.  I recall telling Tim to drive fast because I thought I was going to die on the ride home.  I could not get into bed fast enough.  I could not be where there was any light.  I wanted to cry.

The only cure from this red wine was passing out in my bed until I could endure light again.  When I woke up I swore that I would never, NEVER drink wine again.

But wine is so darn classy, right?  It seems to put people off if you are at a party and you say 'no, thank you' when you are offered that classy glass of wine.  I have been told that I will learn to drink wine when I drink expensive enough wine.  I have been told that I am just not drinking the right wine.  And the be honest, I don't think I actually like the taste of red wine.

However, I decided that I was going to give it a go with white wine after being on the wagon for eight years ago.  Shockingly, I like it.  I also do not want to die after I drank it.  I started with a very, very small glass of Riesling.

So, I am embracing wine (white) in the year of YES.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

40 Days

I have been thinking about creativity lately.  I have been reflecting on the moments in my life when I felt that I was creating and making and doing and considering the most.  Now, aside from making a baby, I have not engaged in my thoughtful considerations in the creative arts or otherwise.  Even books, I have been limited at best.

I think I need to streamline my time so that it is spent doing the things that feel the most fulfilling to me, not just the most distracting for me.  I could spend loads of time online with a ho-hum attitude.  I can dive down the rabbit hole of the internet only to find myself on Wikipedia exploring the Popes or the characters on Downton Abbey.  Neither of these activities are creative or time well spent.

So, back to the blog it is.  I am newly part-time Catholic since I teach at a Catholic school now.  All the talk has been focused on what we will be giving up for Lent.  However, I am going to take something up.  I am going to give blogging my whole-hearted try for forty days.  I am going to see if it is still in me to share my thoughts, interests, creative endeavors, and more.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


I realize that my blog has become a bit of feast or famine for my few readers that I have left.  I either feel like I have something to share or I do not have something to share.  But what I do know for sure is that I like to blog.  I always have.  So, let's try it again.

Blogging for me is a lot like weight loss.  I know I can do it.  I know how to do it.  I see other people do it and it looks relatively easy, but I just get so darn tired or cranky and don't WANT to do it.  I know it is good for me and I will enjoy the outcome, but sometimes I am just too tired or bored.

As of tonight, these are the things that I am into...
EMBROIDERY - I just can't help myself with this craft.  You don't have to have any talent and you can hardly mess it up.  It's just dishtowels and it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I have not gotten for a long time with a craft.  I am not finished with this owl, but I have done a squirrel, but he's in the wash.

I am searching for a Dala Horse pattern right now.  I would also like to find some Arrested Development embroidery or Mad Men embroidery.  I am pretty sure it has to be out there.  Wouldn't you like to dry your dishes with Don Draper?

SOUPS - Without knowing it, I have collected several delicious soup recipes and I am kind of obsessed with adding to the recipe box of soups.  My lastest favorite comes from Jamie, chicken gnocchi soup!  So good and hearty.  

Someone said to me recently that I was "old-timey".  I was not sure what to make of this comment since I consider myself to be savvy with my smart phone and computer and such.  After some consideration, I agree.  I am old timey.  I think my current interests proves it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Another Walmart Moment

A new super Walmart opened in October.  I am not one of those people who hate Walmart.  Sure, I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes, but who doesn't like super low prices on staples and produce.  So, it was no surprise when I witnessed a "Walmart Moment"....really, there should be a commercial and I should get a cut.

A couple and their baby are strolling through the aisles.  I am following them around every corner because we must have similar lists.  Their Walmart Moment happens every time they pick up something for the baby.

"Goldfish crackers!  Their only $1.00!"

"Fluoride water!  Only a $1.00!"

"Turkey Sausage!  Only $3.50!"

It goes on and on and their happiness for low prices made my shopping experience that much better.  They remind me of the joy that I experience at all grocery stores that I enter.  I have a thing for grocery stores of all kind.  I love to discover new foods at specialty stores and I love to find standards at the regular box store.  I judge grocery stores when I think their prices are too high, but I usually buy something anyway.
At each grocery store, I find some treasure that I can only get at that store.  At Whole Foods, the delicious turkey meatballs and marinaded goat cheese.  At Trader Joe's, the super low prices on nuts and dried fruit.  At Walmart, almost everything else.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Old New Foods

I am going to try new old things.

I have tried tomatoes in the past, but I didn't like them.  I think I was doing it wrong.  Just like when I tried sushi.  I went all in.  I ordered the super duper raw stuff and had no idea what I was doing.  Because my anxiety keeps me wanting to be one step ahead of the unknown, I have decided to research even the most basic of things like sushi.  So, the second time I tried sushi, I was determined to find out why everyone else seems to love it, but I didn't.

After a quick tour of the menu at Sushiland, I was better prepared to try an old new thing.  After a 'fake it til I make it moment' with the chopsticks, I discovered that I DO like sushi...or at least the Americanized version of it.

With a success in old new cuisine, I reflected upon what else was I missing out on that I might actually love?  Tomatoes is my next food project.  I will do my research and consider how can I make this a success.  I am only interested in trying new foods that also fit under the category of healthy foods.

I bought a tomato today.  I am going to cut that bad boy up and serve it with fresh mozzarella, greens and balsamic vinegar on whole wheat bread.  I like all of the other things on that sandwich.  I remain hopeful that the tomato is not going to screw it all up.

What other new old foods can I try?

Greek yogurt
Tofu...To be continued!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hold It Together, People

The other day while I was driving, I witnessed the most obscene and extravagant display of road rage that I have ever seen.

Thankfully, I did not have to listen to it.  I just had to endure the hand gestures and numerous sexiest slurs that the man could hurl at me through the window of his black Bentley.

Yes, I was the victim for one whole minute, but it seemed like at least two minutes.  I had the poor judgement to think that I had enough room and enough time to make a risky maneuver, but trust me, I did not have the time or space.  The man in the black Bentley made that shockingly clear.

His hands were waving.  His eyes were bulging.  The veins in his neck were at full flow capacity.  His fingers and hands made movements that should really be reserved for the most heinous of events, yet he spent those obscene gestures on a woman who just stared back at him.  I felt that I was earning my staring behavior.  Usually, I have the good manners to NOT stare, but he wanted me to endure his rage so I just soaked it in.  Part of me loved it because the less I responded, the more he reacted.

I wonder if he wished for a similar reaction from me?  I wonder if he would have sewed expletives with such grace if Tim would have been driving and made the same error?  We all know the answer.

Someone gave me the advice that I should look at the man and think about what brought him to this moment.  Maybe he had a terrible fight with his wife.  Maybe he is suffering from an illness.  Maybe he is in a bad place in his life.  I can't take that advice.  I can't let give people a pass because they have it bad and feel the need to behave badly.  Just hold it together, people.

The next time I am in the Bentley's shoes...well, okay, it'll be Honda...I am going to give the person a pass.  That is when I will use the pass card with ease.  I am saving it for people who show real humanity and make mistakes without spewing disgusting melodrama all over my day.