Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Smelling like yesterday, grooming and and you're mother doesn't work here! My Pet Peeve!

I try to live and let live, but sometimes I see things that just irk me! I usually just let it go because again..I live and let live. But at times I sure would like to smack some people upside the head for being irritating!

I've posted before about all the weird things that go on in the women’s restroom in the building where I work. I can’t believe that these women think their mother works here so it’s ok to just throw paper and towels and junk on the floor expecting someone to clean up after them. C’mon! We’re grown women!!!

Then there are the women that like to chat on the phone… in the stall… while they are doing their business! Do they really not care that the person on the other side of the line can hear them urinating…or worse? And do they really not care that the other person can hear complete strangers urinating …or worse?? Not to mention how inconsiderate they are to only allow me to hear one side of the conversation!

But I think my biggest pet peeve are the women that use their employer’s time to groom at work.

Now we all check our hair and our teeth and at times apply another coat of lipstick. I’m talking about the women that on a daily basis bring a miniature suitcase to work and then go into the bathroom and pluck their eyebrows, curl their hair, apply deodorant, apply makeup, brush their teeth and believe it or not…clip and polish their toenails. This is in the public women’s bathroom! During working hours! Do these women just roll out of bed, smelling like yesterday, putting on whatever clothes they find on the floor and take off to work and clock in then proceed to the ladies restroom to groom themselves and prepare themselves for the day?

I would love an extra hour of sleep, but I can’t see coming to work sans makeup and without showering and brushing my hair and then using the time my employer is paying me for to prepare myself to be presentable to get to work! Don't they realize that on top of being lazy they are stealing? Stealing the time their employer is paying them to work?

I realize that a lot of people think that is worry about using work hours to groom or do personal stuff, but I was brought up old school and I've always tried to live by my favorite motto, "Integrity is what you do when no one is watching". Well ladies...there are quite a few of you that work in this building that definitely lack integrity!

So that's it for my rant, what's your pet peeve?


Friday, April 25, 2014

I Am My Mother and Proud of it!

I've seen the quote above posted on facebook several time by different women and I realize it's true and I'm proud of it. My mom has the wisdom of the ages and if I can be like her in any small way it's ok with me!

It's funny how much we become what our mothers are/were. I was reading a blog post from Arlee at Wrote by Rote, he's doing a great A thru Z Challenge using Music. His letter today was "V" and he chose the song Volare by Dean Martin. I'm listening to the youtube video he posted while I write this and I remember Dean from his movies with Jerry Lewis...what a voice!

Arlee tells of his mother's love of music and how he remembers her stacking a pile of albums on their hi-fi and doing her housework to the sound of music. What a wonderful memory for him. He then asks:

What songs do you associate most with your childhood? Did you have a stay-at-home mom and did she listen to music in the daytime? How old were you when you first began to appreciate music?

My comment to his post has actually turn into a post. I find that happens ALOT and that is why I love reading other bloggers, because they inspire me.

I commented, "Your mom loved music and played it often. My mom wasn't a big fan of music. I rarely remember it being played in our home so I never became a fan of music and even now only listen to it on the radio in the car. I don't have an iPod, I don't download music, I don't buy CD's. But mom loved books and I grew up with a love of reading. Mom loved games so I have every game imaginable. Mom loved puzzles, so I in turn love puzzles, even though now I do them online."

To this day I read all the time. Everyone in my family is a great fan of reading in the bathroom and believe it or not there have been times I've been in other people's bathrooms where there is no reading material and I've read the back of cans of Comet and Ajax, shampoo bottles, Mr Clean and Formula 409! I know my brothers and sister would probably 'fess up to the same thing! Mom taught us that! Well not reading Ajax bottles, but she gave us our love of reading.

Mom loved games, we played Yahtzee, Scrabble, Monopoly, Cards, Pick Up Sticks, Jenga, Cootie, Sorry and so many more! Mom always won, always! Now we look back and think maybe she was a bit of a cheater? We can't prove it, but we still suspect it. Dad would sleep in his recliner and every once in a while when we got too loud and woke him up he would look at us like we were nuts and go right back to sleep, knowing his little family was safe and sound and having fun!

Two things were always on our dining room table growing up. One one side was my mom's sewing machine. She was and is a Master Seamstress! She would make matching dresses for me, my sister and one for her! She would make doll clothes. She even sewed the Cheerleader Outfits for me and my fellow Cheerleaders in high school one year. We looked like dolls in our very unique Blue and Gold Cheerleader outfits!

The thing on the other side of the dining room table growing up was a big piece of plywood with a jigsaw puzzle on it. Mom always had a puzzle going. She would buy most of them at yard sales. We loved to spend quiet time in the evening just sitting there eating a little snack and working on the puzzle with mom. My favorite time was when we would start a new puzzle and she would divide up the pieces in the top and bottom of the box and then give one to me to pick out the edge pieces as we always built the frame first, then divided up the remaining pieces by color.

I shocked a friend recently when I told him that I wasn't a big fan of music and that growing up we never listened to music. He was stunned and said, "I can't imagine a house with no music. Music is the life of a house!" I told him, "Well I can't imagine a house without books, that was what brought life and other worlds and culture and opened up the world to us!" And that is what my mother taught me.

What's your favorite memory as a child with your mother? or your Father? Was music a big part of your world growing up? Or were you more bookish like me? I'd love to know!


Monday, April 21, 2014

All Dad's Should Write a Book about their Kids!

I recently read a book for my online book club, From Left to Write, written by a dad, Jim Gaffigan.

Jim is a wonderful comedian and I've listened to him many times on my drive to work while tuned in to The Bob and Tom Show. He is hilarious! He does this bit about bacon bits being “the fairy dust of the food community”! He mentions how you offer someone a salad and they are ho-hum about it, but sprinkle some bacon bits on it and BOOM! Instant deliciousness! Cracks me up every time because it is so true!

Here's a youtube video I found where he does some of his bacon jokes!

Jim’s book, Dad is Fat reminded me that a year ago during this time was when my dad took the fall that fractured his pelvis. That was in April of last year and he never quite recovered, passing away on July 31st.

I miss him so much! It would have been so wonderful to read a book written by my dad about the crazy antics his kids pulled. We used to love to listen to his stories about us when we were little kids. How he felt the first time he saw us when we were born.

I remember dad telling me that when my mom was pregnant with me he wanted a boy! Of course! I was the first born and he wanted a boy, makes sense. He told my mom as they were wheeling her into the delivery room to make sure that it was a boy because he didn't want a girl. Guess what? It was a girl…it was me! So of course when he told me this story I always said, “And what happened dad, when you heard it was a girl?” He always said, “I saw you and I fell in love with you in that very second and I never regretted that you were not a boy! Your leg was only as big as my finger!” (And he would point his index finger to show me how big my leg was!) I loved this story and never tired of him telling it.

My dad, my mom and me

And he had stories like that for each of us, me, my sister and my two brothers. It would have been so great if he had put them into a book, like Jim Gaffigan did. But regardless, we will never forget those stories!

This post was inspired by the novel Dad is Fat by comedian Jim Gaffigan who riffs on his adventures in co-parenting 5 kids in a two bedroom Manhattan apartment. Join From Left to Write on April 22 when we discuss Dad is Fat. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Haunted Room in Calipat that reminded me of a Ship and Barbies and GI Joe

In the mid 1970's we lived on a ranch on the outskirts of a small town named Calipatria aka Calipat. When we first moved to this ranch we lived in a house that had a haunted room. The reason I know it was haunted was because my parents said it was haunted. My mom had feelings of unrest when she stepped into that room.

I really wanted my mom and dad to let me have that room as my bedroom, but they wouldn't. They just told me no because it was haunted and my mom didn't feel right letting me sleep there.

My sister and I would play in that room all the time. It was filled with boxes full of stuff that my mom had no room for and we would go in there often to play with our Barbies.

Only I didn't have a Barbie. For some reason my mom bought me the doll from the character Samantha on the TV show Bewitched.

Remember Samantha? She would wiggle her nose to make magic happen?

I loved Samantha and I'm sure that the doll my mom bought me was probably worth a pretty penny then and would be worth even more now...if I still had it.

I wish I did because I loved that doll and when my daughter April was little I used to lament that I hadn't saved it so my little girl could play with it!

This is the doll. Mine had the red sparkly dress just like this one. It was made out of some type of velvet material as was the hat and she had the beautiful red shoes. How I wish I still had this doll! I loved brushing her long blond hair, especially since mine was dark brown! My doll also had a little broom so she could a proper witch!

I don't remember exactly what doll my sister had, whether it was a regular Barbie or another TV character, I only remember mine. When we played we used to use washcloths as evening gowns. We would fold down one corner and wrap it around the dolls and secure it in the back by stabbing a straight pin into the dolls back. My poor Samantha's back must have been full of little holes!

My mom has always loved sewing so there were tons of straight pins around our house and we learned early on not to stab ourselves, as houses weren't baby proofed then, we just knew better!

We didn't have a Ken doll, but for some reason we had a GI Joe and we would have GI Joe take turns dating our Barbies. Sometimes they were sisters and sometimes they were just friends, but they never seemed to mind sharing GI Joe. GI Joe didn't mind much either!

I don't remember what we clothed GI Joe in, but I sure remember those black boots. Sometimes Samantha would wear them. 

A friend, whose mother became best friends with my mother, because we all lived on the same ranch and they lived just a few houses down from us; recently posted a photo of a house that he wants to fix up and flip. He shared the photo to see if anyone could give him ideas on how to make the room better. When I saw that photo it instantly brought me back memories of my childhood.

This is exactly what the walls in that room were like. For some reason when I was in that room I felt like I was on board a ship on the ocean. Maybe the spirit in that room that my mom felt had at one time been at sea? Or maybe the walls had been part of a ship and someone had moved them to the John Elmore Ranch in Calipatria to make one room in the house special? If there was something in that room, it wasn't bad, because I loved that room and always felt safe there.

When my friend posted this picture, it brought back memories of the smell of the walls of that room, the wood smell. The smell of the boxes filled with stuff that my mom stored there.  

I was filled with the memory of playing with my sister, of being the bossy big sister and telling my very obedient and loving little sister what our Barbies would be wearing that day and where they would be going and who GI Joe would go with. 

It's funny how something as simple as a picture of a room with knotty pine walls can stir up so many memories that have been buried for so many years and right now it feels like just yesterday that my sister and I played Barbies with GI Joe in a haunted room! If this were my house, I would not change a thing in this room!

Thanks mom and dad for such a wonderful childhood!

What was your favorite toy or doll? Have you ever experienced a haunted room or had weird feelings in a room like my mom probably did? 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'll never eat canned green beans again and The Kiss of Death!

Do you eat canned green beans?

I have to admit that I've eaten canned green beans my whole life.

I didn't know any better.

I remember once going to Panda Express and having an order of their Chicken Green Beans and the green beans were what caught my fancy. They were so good and crispy.

Recently my co-worker has at times brought some green beans she makes to work and I've loved them. Today I finally had to ask her how she makes them and she was very gracious and told me exactly how.

So I made them and they were divine! As God is my witness I will never eat canned green beans again!

It's so amazingly easy that I just don't understand why I've never just cooked my own green beans before! Just buy fresh green beans, trim the ends and wash them off well. Then take about two tablespoons of bacon grease and warm it up in the pan, add the green beans, a bit of salt and pepper (next time I'm going to add fresh grated garlic). Saute them in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat, then cover them and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, then turn off the heat and let them sit covered in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes.

That's it!

Here's what you end up with. Don't you love the color?

Made for a delicious low-carb dinner when I set them right next to some rotisserie chicken. Yum!

So I am trying...trying so hard to stick to a low-carb WOE (way of eating). And really it's very simple and easy and I'm never hungry...but then my mom brings home the KISS OF DEATH!

Fudge Marshmallow Cookies!!! My absolute favorite kind of cookie ever! I didn't even know they still made these! I can remember eating these as a kid and I loved the marshmallowy center and the crisp cookie underneath all wrapped with chocolate! But I will not gone ye evil cookie! (Made mom take them to her room!)

What's your favorite way of cooking green beans? Now that I'm hooked on them I'd like to see what ya'll are doing with them!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My April Fools Baby - April

Today is the birthday of my first born.
My daughter, April.

I remember coming home from the doctors office after having been told that I was pregnant.
I walked into our apartment and was suddenly starving.
I made myself a fried egg sandwich and devoured it without breathing.
Then I immediately threw up and so it continued for the first three months.

I remember her dad calling me as he was out of town for work and was unable to go with me to the doctor.
There were no cell phones then so her dad called my from a pizza parlor he stopped to have lunch at.
He was excited to hear and when I told him yes...I'm pregnant. He let out a joyous yell that everyone in the restaurant heard. Everyone congratulated him and he gave me the biggest hug ever when he got home, then released me in a panic he might have hurt the baby.

I remember being pregnant and feeling April move inside me.
She liked for me to lay on my back and sometimes I would turn on my side and she would kick like crazy.
When I wanted water in the middle of the night I would turn on my side and place my belly against her dad's back and she would kick him awake and he would go get us water.

I remember the day I knew she was going to be born.
I woke up feeling it.
I woke her dad who called my mom.
My mom immediately got ready to come over and spend the day with me as he had to go to court to testify for an arrest he had made.
I remember feeling really great, serene almost.
When the pains got closer and I knew that I had to go I paged my husband, again no cell phones. He called me and told the judge he had to leave as his wife was going to give birth.
He told me the judge told everyone in the court and they all clapped and congratulated him as he left.

I remember being in the hospital and hoping I would have my baby before midnight so she wouldn't be born on April Fools Day.
I remember yelling at her dad because he was watching tv while I was having contractions.
I remember going into the delivery room and the pushing. I don't remember the pain.
Then I remember my baby girl coming into the world...on April Fools Day.
I remember her little head coming out of my body and that she had so much black, black hair.
I remember them cleaning her up and I couldn't let her out of my sight.
I wanted her in my arms NOW!
I remember when they put her in my arms and I saw those big black eyes looking at me like she knew me already, like she had no fear and it was normal to be in my arms.
I remember looking up at her dad who was in tears and I remember saying, "I want another one".

Then we took her home and life has never been the same again.
I love you April, my daughter, my first born.