Friday, February 27, 2009

Dye Hard

I gave in. I always said I would go gray gracefully and just accept my new wiry silver hairs as a new milestone in my journey to the grave. Happy, right? Well, shit, you try and be happy about gray hair and tell me how that works out for ya.

Ok, anyway, so I was going gray gracefully, all was well, as long as my hair was short. When my hair was little more than short spikes the gray was fine. There were a few little salts in my pepper but because my hair was so short they didn’t really show up that much and they rarely bothered me. Now, however, I am growing that very short hair cut out to something a little longer and the gray is really, really bothering me. Like it’s not enough that my hair is going through all these hideously awkward stages as it grows out, now I have to have gray pipe cleaners poking out of my head too. I am making good use of lots of headbands, trying to contain the funk going on up there these days. A headband, apparently, shows off all the gray hiding underneath all the gray on top. It’s not cute.

So, off to the store today to bite the bullet and wash that gray right outta my hair. The gray is gone, a coppery brown is in and I can finally stop daydreaming about shaving every last hair, gray or otherwise, off my head.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Check Her Out

My real life friend Katie has a gorgeous food blog that is like foodie porn. Everything sounds and looks so delicious I want to lick my computer screen. I recently made her orange chocolate muffins and they were so good I had to make a second batch just a few days later.

Katie is hosting her first blog giveaway and the lucky winner will win their choice of two bags of Al Dente brand pasta and a jar of sauce. Go check her out and throw your hat in the giveaway ring! I bet she becomes one of your favorite bloggers for recipes and new dinner ideas.
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Forget-Me-Not



I have a memory like an elephant and there is not much that I forget. This is both a blessing and a curse. I remember things like the birthdays of many friends from high school that I haven’t seen in years and I almost never forget a name. However, I also remember just about every embarrassing, stupid or terrible thing I have done. And, those memories aren’t dulled by time, oh no, they are still just as vivid as the day they happened and still have the ability to make my face burn. There are a even few foot in mouth moments that I am still beating myself up over, 10 years later!

The one that does make me laugh after all these years though is probably the most embarrassing. Growing up we lived in a house on the main street of our town. The street was the busiest street in town as it was lined with schools and businesses and was the route that most school buses and commuters took through town. My sophomore year of high school I walked to school down this main street, then through a side street to get to school. I would walk around to the side of the building and wait for my best friend’s bus to drop her off each morning.

One warm spring morning, dressed in a skirt and no coat, I made my way down the main drag to school. Suddenly a car zoomed by and some kids hung out the window whistling at me! Next a car drove by and honked it’s horn. On and on it went during my 10 minute walk through the middle of town. Horns were honking, people were whistling and cat calling. I guessed I must have looked pretty darn hot in that outfit, or else people were just being really strange that morning. I made my way to school and around the side of the building to wait.

A female janitor was outside the building cleaning up some litter and said to me, “Oh honey, the back of your skirt is a little ruffled.” I felt where the back of my skirt should have been and felt…only underwear! I had walked all the way to school, by dozens of passing buses and cars with my the back of my skirt COMPLETELY tucked into my underwear. Not a corner, not a smidge, the entire back crammed into my underwear.
Now, as bad as it was (and it was bad, I floated through the day feeling very dizzy) it could have been worse. I didn’t see any other students on campus that morning, and the janitor caught my error before any of the buses offloaded. I could have been standing there with my ass hanging out for all of the school to see if she hadn’t been there to help. God bless that janitor wherever she is!

Now when I wear a skirt I check and double check the back of it before I leave the house or bathroom. One good thing about being embarrassed, you rarely make the same embarrassing mistake twice. I can only hope that the people who saw me in all my glory that day don't have a memory as good as mine!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

I See Nice People

I am a northerner. I was born and raised in Massachusetts, and for the last nine years I lived in Michigan. I am used to being crotchety, snarky, bitter, curmudgeonly, uptight and sometimes down right bitchy. So, imagine my surprise upon moving to New Mexico that everyone here is sweetness and light. You would be hard pressed to find one nasty old soul here. It is disturbing.

I was in the grocery store shortly after we moved here and another shopper looked at me and smiled. WTF?? Then she says, "Hi, how are you today?" Well, it took me a few minutes to choke back my, "What are you looking at?", rearrange my sneer into a smile and politely respond, "Fine thanks, and you?".

These New Mexico folks seem down right chipper. It creeps me out. I have not heard a single horn honk, and believe me, I was driving like an idiot for a bit there until I got to know my way around. The people just sat politely and waited for me to do a 12-point u-turn across three lanes of traffic, like they don't have a care in the world. If I pulled that same crap in Boston people would be driving up on the sidewalk and mowing down pedestrians to get around me, all the while laying on the horn, screaming out the window and having their kids give me the finger. I kinda miss that.

red sox finger kid Pictures, Images and Photos

I guess it is going to take some getting used to. I just hope this sunshine, lollipops and rainbows attitude doesn't rub off on my impressionable young. They wouldn't want to break their rude old mama's heart, now would they?

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Mmmmmmmm Monday: Chocolate Chip Cookies



As a chocolate lover and avid baker I am always searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Chocolate chip cookies are one of those things that everyone has an opinion about. Some like them thin and crispy with little chip hills in them, other like them cakey, like a muffin top and others, like me, are looking for a super soft and chewy cookie. I tried this recipe and I have to say, right out of the oven they were the MOST delicious chocolate chip cookie I had ever had. Soft, chewy and very gooey. As they cooled they retained their chewiness, but they were quite firm and didn't stay as soft as I would have liked them. A few seconds in the microwave, however, transformed them back into fresh from the oven drool inducing goodness. One tip though, take them out before they seem done and before the bottom browns for the ultimate in soft baked loveliness.

What you need:

* 1 1/4 cups sugar
* 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
* 1 1/4 cups margarine or butter, softened
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 3 eggs or egg replacer
* 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 (12-24 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

What you do:

- Heat oven to 375*F.

- In large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar and margarine until light and fluffy.

- Add vanilla and eggs; blend well.

- Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.

- Stir in chocolate chips.

- Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

- Bake at 375*F for 5 to 7 minutes or until light golden brown.

I made mini cookies, little bite size goodies. Stored in a pink depression glass cookie jar they were the perfect little retro treat. Enjoy!
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Living in the Moment



Did you ever read something, or hear about something that made you really take stock of what you have and be thankful, oh so very thankful? This was one of those weeks. It seemed it was a week of sad stories, and it made me realize just how much I have and that I should really quit my bitching, because you know what, life is good!

Things that made me happy with my life this week:

- My MOMS Club friends. We got out to a few events last week and I have to say, those ladies really make me smile and laugh. Sometimes I need to be in a room full of fun women, and they are just that.

- My Jooch and his willingness to kiss me square on the lips at least ten times a day. I also appreciate the way he greets me like a hero every time I come home from even the smallest errand. His little legs pumping as he runs to the door yelling, "Ohhhh, Mommy!" and hurls himself at my legs.

- Honeybee and Dani's love for one another kills me. They have to do everything together, and nothing is enjoyed quite as well when done solo. Every Saturday they beg for a sleepover together and Honeybee reads bedtime stories, they wish on stars they see out the windows over his bed, then fall asleep face to face, arms and legs entwined. I dare you to witness it and not get choked up. We can't.

- My husband. Oh my husband. Dammit if he isn't the most wonderful and lovely man around. I sometimes forget just how much he does and how much he loves us. He has been home for almost two weeks straight and it has made me not want to leave the house because I just love being in the same vicinity as him. To know he is in the next room is so safe and comforting, and...sexy. I still love him like we are newlyweds instead of 14 years in. Oh, and he has done all the dishes, laundry and trips to the park the two weeks he was unexpectedly home. I, on the other hand, barely lifted a finger.

- Susie, who loves me grumpy, happy, silly, or sad. I know I can call her any time (well, anytime before 8:30pm!) and she will talk me down off whatever ledge I am currently perched on.

- My mother, who sent me HUGE Fiestaware mugs this week. She knows just what a retro girl needs.

- That all of my family is happy, healthy, no matter how far away they live, or how many messes they make. I'm glad they can make messes without a care in the world. Long live the mess makers.

- Pikes Place coffee from Starbucks.

I think I need to sit and do a post like this every time I get a little cabin fever because one can never be too grateful or have too many good things come their way, can they?
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Friday, February 6, 2009

If I Only Knew Then What I NO Now


Have you ever had a problem just saying NO? I try to be a people pleaser (I know, you may not have gotten that vibe from my previous posts!), but I think sometimes in my efforts to please I turn into a doormat.

I think that if I say yes to everything and am a giver it will make people like me and want to be my friend because I am a good and kind person. In reality, it makes people see me as vulnerable and it makes it easy for them to take advantage of me. Really, it isn’t winning me any popularity contests and I am getting gray hair and ulcers in the meantime from wrestling with my conscience so damn often. I like helping people, I like saying yes, I like to be generous, but there comes a point in some relationships when the give far surpasses the take and you have to have the courage to create some boundaries.

So, I am trying on some big girl panties and practicing saying no with a smile in the mirror. I figure I have no problem telling my kids no, or my husband no, so telling others no shouldn’t be that much of a biggie right? And, if someone only wants to be my friend because of what I can give them instead of what I have to offer, well that’s not really a friendship I want to have, is it?

Hell NO!
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Dream Date


Since February is all about Valentine’s Day a friend recently asked us to describe our perfect Valentine’s date. Mine wouldn’t be a date so much as a long weekend. A long weekend spent with just my husband; no kids, phones, televisions, computers or technology of any kind (other than electricity and running water of course) allowed. We would spend time talking, reading, walking, napping and just reconnecting and rediscovering who we were before we had kids. I dream about this long weekend so often I can practically taste it.

But, along with the dream of the perfect romantic get away weekend comes the nightmare of having to leave my kids in someone else’s care. I have never been good with that for even a night at the movies with my husband, never mind an entire three-day weekend! I know that in reality I would have a very difficult time enjoying myself while my kids were somewhere else without me. I would be a nervous wreck, and most likely beg my husband to bring me home early.

So, okay, romance may not be as easy to come by now with three young children at home. But, I have learned over the years that it also doesn’t need to be a day designated once a year for me to want to celebrate my sweetheart. I try to remember every day what I love about my husband and what it is that made me marry him. We try and set aside time once a week to have an in-house date. Even if it spent just watching silly reality shows on the couch together, it is our time and children are not welcome for those few moments we get to spend together.

Whatever your dream date, I hope you find the time to reconnect with your partner and take a break, for a few minutes, from being mom. We all deserve the opportunity to forget for just a moment who we have become and remember who we used to be.
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