Faux Pants

April 5, 2010

I find the newest trend of leggings that look like pants VERY odd.

What’s next, just painting clothes on our bodies? I guess that would at least cut back on laundry.

Purse Irony

March 17, 2010

My purse currently contains 2 healthy eating cookbooks and 4 boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

When I got her 12 years ago, I had high hopes my dog Ginger would be not only a great family companion animal, but also a protector. As a rescue, she had some “issues”. The list of things she is afraid of seems to still grow daily.  Candles, matches, cell phones, answering machines, the dryer, the vacuum, dustbuster, broom, fly swatter, fireplace, fireworks, any loud noises, any semi-quiet noises…..the list is endless. Still, I always thought she had the animal instinct in her somewhere in her 50lbs of Irish Setter.

My parents are preparing their house for moving and needed to have some workmen come look at some water damage. Ginger was laying in her usual spot on the couch when the doorbell rang and my dad went to answer it. A man entered the house and Ginger barked from her perch. He looked at her, but kept moving farther in the house, so she STOOD UP on the couch and barked. He looked at her and laughed.

Never in her “protector” state did she ever get down from the couch.  So much for her surviving in the wild.

Unless the “wild” now comes furnished.

Pain

February 24, 2010

I never knew true pain until I got a staph infection in my thigh.  I am on day 2 of antibiotics, but every single step is still excruciating pain. I’m no wimp when it comes to dealing with pain, but this has had me near tears.  It came on so suddenly, within just a few days it had spread throughout my leg and was causing a fever.

Listen to your mothers! Wash those cuts out with hydrogen peroxide and keep them clean!

Happy Appreciation Day

February 14, 2010

I think the dreaded Valentines Day holiday should be modernized and re-named Appreciation Day.  Valentines Day tends to have an exclusionary aspect to it, whereas Appreciation Day is a day everyone can participate in. So share your appreciation today with those in your life who brighten your day, have made you smile or who you love.

I appreciate YOU guys, my family, Ginger and anyone who brings me Godiva chocolate covered strawberries. 😉

That is SO not you

January 29, 2010

I was shopping online at work (um..during my lunch break of course….) and a coworker walked by and saw one of my purchases, commented that the shirt was “so not you” and remarked that I shouldn’t buy it.

Not me.

I’m not sure I have my own definition of what that is for myself, and the thought that someone else had one for me was jarring. I have my likes and dislikes certainly, especially when it comes to clothing, but I’m not sure I have ever looked at something and rejected it because it “wasn’t me”.

Who is this “me” she thinks exists? I’ve always thought most people perceived me simply as the “quiet girl in the corner who should be left alone until sufficiently caffeinated”. The label, albeit an eliminatory one, got me thinking. I’m ok with not having a clear definition of self, but am I ok with other people having a definition for me. I suppose you can only control how you are presented, not percieved.

Unless, of course, I’m wearing that shirt apparently.

What I’m Making v8

January 24, 2010

Sometimes you just need a little comfort food….when I stumbled across this baked mac & cheese recipe at Work It Mom, I hit the comfort food jackpot.  Make this. Make this RIGHT NOW.

INGREDIENTS:

1 box elbow macaroni
6T unsalted butter
6T flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cream
(*Chris says you can use 3 cups half-n-half instead…which made me feel REALLY STUPID that I’ve always bought both milk and cream for recipes that call for both when I could have just been buying half-n-half)
3/4 tsp salt
ground pepper
3 cups shredded cheddar
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cook and drain the macaroni according to the package directions

Melt the butter in a large pot, large enough to fit all of the macaroni

Add the flour, salt and pepper and whisk until it is well blended.

Gradually pour in the milk and cream. Stirring constantly. CONSTANTLY. As in do not stop stirring. Bring to boil and allow it to boil for 2 minutes.

Reduce heat and stir for another 5 minutes or so. Then slowly add the cheese. SLOWLY. And keep on stirring. You could consider this your upper arm workout for the day.

Once all the cheese has melted in the pot, allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.

Turn off the stove and pour the macaroni into the pot.

Toss well so all the macaroni is coated.

Pour into a well buttered baking dish. (At this point you can set the baking dish aside until it is 30 minutes before dinner time. I love meals like this because I can pop it into the oven when we get home from practice and kids are showering.)

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the surface.

Bake for 20 minutes.

If you need me, I’ll be working out on my Wii for the next 10 years working off the butter and cheese.

Not that I’m complaining. It was SO WORTH IT.

At year end American Express sends me a chart graphing my spending for the year. Here is how it broke down.

42% of my expenses were travel related

30% was spent at bookstores

17% were spent on my business

6% was spent on entertainment

3% was on restaurants/grocery

and 2% on other/misc.

Yep…that sounds about right.

Like most people, I am visually drawn to action. I see the repeated images on CNN of post-earthquake/hurricane/tsunami hell that for my comfy urban existence seems unimaginable and my feelings of helplessness and privilege are stirred. Suddenly it seems the entire world starts moving and giving and you wonder if that money went to buying milk for the little boy you saw crying on CNN or if it paid for lunch at Masa for the CEO of whatever relief organization’s marketing tugged your heartstrings enough to cause you to break out your wallet.

I have long used Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org/) as a starting tool for researching reputable places to donate money. This site tells you what percentage of donations go towards relief, administrative costs, fundraising, as well as the salaries of the organization’s executives.
There are many things to note when donating in the wake of a major disaster. This post at Good Intentions are Not Enough lists them much better than I ever could.

I will single out one very important of the article. When donating in the wake of a particular disaster, it is ideal if you do NOT specifically earmark the funds for that region. Often those funds get tied up in red tape, or the mass of donations received outweighs the immediate need and your money that could be used for assistance in another area is stuck. The Red Cross, 5 years later, has half a BILLION dollars in their Tsunami fund that has yet to be spent.

I am in the midst of organizing a donation program at work, with half the funds going to unearmarked organizations that are providing relief in Haiti and half going towards relief in other areas of the world that unrelated to any specific natural disaster need other types of assistance.  For some places and people in the world, daily life is a disaster in and of itself.


Anyone who knows me knows that I have been plagued with sleep issues for over half of my life. I have issues falling asleep, staying asleep, sleep extremely lightly, toss and turn frequently, tend to sleep only in 2 hour increments, have wacky dreams and tend to hold my breath when I sleep. For awhile my sleeping pattern was that I only slept every OTHER day, then it was I slept 2 hours after work from 7-9pm, then again from 3-8am, and these days pretty much anything goes. I sleep, but not restfully or deeply.

Lately on the rare occasions I do sleep, I have been experiencing extremely vivid and strange dreams. I’ll dream about people I haven’t seen or heard from in years, have dreams where my coworkers are “extras” and flow in and out of the background and have “panic” dreams where I am in upsetting situations. My REM state is much like flipping through the TV channels with a remote whose batteries are nearly drained.

But hey, at least I don’t snore.