Archive | August, 2010

The Surprise Blessings.

Karma is an amazing equalizer.

Today was not a hard day.  It was not a particularly long day.  It was not one of those days that questioned my stamina, my strength, or my resolve.  It was not even extraordinary in the weather.  Today was a completely mediocre, nondescript, nonevent of a day if there ever was one.

And yet.

When I arrived home, I noticed a package on my doorstep, and my mailbox was bulging.

The bag on my front porch was clearly marked from The Gap, making me guffaw with surprise.  Someone, it seems, thought I deserved those pants, coupon be damned.  Someone sent me a bag full of happy, including those size 12 curvy pants that I loved so much a week ago.

I’ve often called her my own personal Mondo Beyondo, but frankly, she’s better.  Her photography just makes you realize how she can find beauty in the everyday, a skill I wish I had.  Thank you, Cass.

My mailbox held a bag with loopy cursive.  Scrawling, pretty handwriting that I don’t have and often envy.  Inside, were a pair of olive Toms shoes and a gift card to Kroger.  Someone had won the shoes, but had sent them to me instead.  Someone is a firm believer in karma.

When she won an all-expenses paid cruise last year, I told her that no one deserved it more.. and I meant it.  Samantha Jo is one of those people you want in your corner, with her sunny optimism and unfailing humor.  Thanks, Samantha Jo.

And really, although these are AMAZINGLY thoughtful, I run with an online crowd that this is not out of the ordinary for.  They believe in support from afar, proving to all of the naysayers that online relationships .. friendships.. are, in fact, real.  I know that when I have a question, complaint, or snark, I can email this bunch of women and will be safe.  I will be loved, I will be supported, and I will not be alone.

Thank you so much for being you.

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Whole Bunch of Nothing.

I do so love the bullets.

  • Today is 5 years post-Katrina. I think a lot of this goes unnoticed, but I remember my 25th birthday so vividly because it was during the absolute worst of it.  Today is the day Katrina hit ground; the levees broke not long thereafter.  A week long vigil of tears and suffering and children and dying and .. jesus, I’ve never seen anything like it on our home soil.  And here’s hoping we never will again.
  • I placed our first order with a local co-op of farmers.  On Tuesday, I go pick out our loot.  We’ve got grass-fed, organic beef coming our way; we’ve got sugar-baby watermelons to look forward to; and I ordered some goat’s milk soap.  Just cause.  I’m a little crazy excited at this.  Especially since I spent way less there for the “staples” than I would’ve at a grocery store.
  • We have truly entered the season of Jack’s football league.  I can tell because I lose half of our household for about six hours every Saturday.
  • I had the first music rehearsal I’d been to in .. ages.  Since before Tony could walk, at the very least.  Tony went with me, asking several times if there was a stage he could dance on, and was an absolute BLESSING the entire time.  He charmed everyone, making me wonder what was up.  Nothing was up .. no onset of ear infection, no bubonic plague .. he just really, really loves being in that element.
  • I finished Mockingjay early last week.  I loved reading it, but I was less than happy with the ending.  I’ll leave it at that, since I know some people are still reading.  I just think there were a lot of low blows for emotional triggers in there.
  • I’m pretty much addicted to this site: it’s called Rent the Runway, and I can easily lose entire hours browsing and building my own red carpet look.  It’s pretty cost-effective, too.  I’m a fan.
  • Time Out for DaDa
  • Sometimes we earn timeouts around here and get a pretty stern talking-to from our two year old.
  • If you’re in the Huntsville area and you’d like to join a team for the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run, Huntsville Adventure Bootcamp has started Team Bosom Buddies, and we’d love to have you.  This is a pretty great first 5K to start with if you’ve never run one before, and there’s also a LARGE subset of walkers for the non-running crowd out there.
  • I turn 30 in four days.
  • I’m TOTALLY okay with that.
  • Life is pretty great.
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Learning About Your Food Sources

I know I often get up on my high and mighty here when it comes to food.  I’m not going to do this today.

BUT, we were watching Dual Survival on .. whatever channel it comes on.. and it’s basically Man vs. Wild except there’s TWO men.  One is a hippie and the other is an ex-sniper, military trained kind of dude.  So their wealth of knowledge is polar opposite of each other, as is their survival morals.. if there is such a thing.

So last night, we were watching this show and they were dropped in the Peruvian desert, which was formed by a volcano a LONG time ago and it’s where the Incans lived.  Or something.

(It should be noted here that I’m the genius who proclaims at 8:45 that IT’S ONLY FIFTEEN MINUTES UNTIL NEW JERSEY EMBARRASSES ITSELF AS A CITY!)(Yes, quite a few people pointed out my mistake.)(I’m just saying: geology ain’t my strong suit.)

So after two days of no protein (and the hippie having a stomach virus), they finally catch sight of these jackalope looking animals.  The hippie doesn’t believe in taking lives if it can be helped, but the sniper is tired of eating fruit that the locals refer to as “devil’s cock”, and he sets out to catch him a varmint.  They manage to smoke the thing out of a cave, and the sniper .. I shit you not .. KARATE CHOPS the animal’s neck.  One GI JOE action swipe, and the animal’s neck is severed.

.. typically, I cannot stand to watch things like that.  I am a weak stomach and a sensitive soul.

But .. the sniper went out to skin/gut/etc that animal so cleanly, and with so little remorse or emotion that I was mesmerized.  I even rewound it (rewound?  TiVo backed upped?) to watch it again.  The hippie sat there in awe too, noting, “More people would be vegetarians if they had to butcher their own meat.” (The sniper was not fazed.)

In light of the major recalls of eggs (and this morning of deli meats), it does go to show that knowing where your food comes from may pay off in the long run.

Our city doesn’t do farmers’ markets, per se, but we have some shops that stock local goods.  We also have an EarthFare which is good to stock (and mark!) local products. (The prices at EarthFare, though, are INCREDIBLY off-putting.) Part of what I’m pushing for in our local Downtown Development Initiative is a weekly farmers market; until then, what can an average citizen do?

PickYourOwn.org has local listings of farmers that invite you to come and pick your own produce.  I love these as family outtings; don’t EVEN get me started on the education process of teaching our children about good food.

LocallyGrown.net provides you with local CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).  We’ve never done a CSA because we couldn’t find one that was cost-effective for our family. (Remember, I’m the only veggie eater in the house.) BUT I’ve always been super envious of those who have, and this search engine actually took me to one local to us that might make sense to take part in.  Hooray!

Although our local division of LocallyGrown.net provides meats/eggs/etc, if yours doesn’t, you can always check the Eat Well Guide.  Featuring local, organic, and sustainable farmers, this should get you a taste of what your neighborhood food produces.

And even though it’s not QUITE the same, I have a thing about eating at local restaurants when we eat out.  I’ll pick a local diner or restaurant over a chain ANY day of the week.  While you’re probably not eating local or organic produce when you eat there, you’re helping your local area with cash flow.  And if you eat there often enough, you get to know the staff and the owners.. and you can always ask where their food comes from!

When we pledged in January to stop feeding the diet machine, I never realized what an education was going to take place regarding food.  And I have to tell you .. eating REAL, WHOLE-FAT food has been an amazing journey.  Neither one of us have gained weight (in fact, the only time we’ve gained weight is when we go off of the rails), and we’ve been FAR less sick this year than in years past.

Also, for anyone who cares, if Bryan and I were dropped in the Peruvian desert, I would be the hippie and he’d have to do all of the karate chopping of jackalopes.

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I Was Pretty Woman-ed at the Gap.

And not even in a GOOD way. (Which, hey! Still available, emotionally-aloof millionaires!)

I’ve mentioned how we’re poor, right?  Like, eleventy hundred times or something.

So I was slightly APESHIT when I got a free coupon in an email for a FREE PAIR OF PANTS FROM GAP.  Dude, that’s like the lottery around these parts!  When you have days where you’re seriously balancing food and/or utilities .. and I know MANY of y’all get this .. getting a coupon for a FREE pair of PANTS from a store like THE GAP was seriously a pick-me-up I needed.

It was part of their promotion for their new “fits” of pants .. the Modern Boot, the Curvy, the Perfect Trouser, and the Really Skinny.  Try on a black pair and whichever fits you best .. take home!  (Good August 16-22.)

Our only Gap in town is now 20 minutes away, which is not a big deal in most cities, I know, but .. that’s GAS.  And have I mentioned that we’re poor?  So I planned for Tony to go down for a nap, and I’d abscond to our outdoor shopping extravaganza.

It was approximately A MILLION DEGREES outside.  I wasn’t dressed to the nines; I was wearing denim capris and an Alabama tshirt. Roll Tide.  And flip flops.  I did not give the appearance that I had any money.  Cause .. I don’t.

I couldn’t get ANY employee to give me the time of day to ask about the coupon .. I’m a stickler for expiration dates, “certain exclusions may apply”, all that jazz.  And I hate spending time shopping.  That’s just me.  So no one would talk to me, and that’s cool, so I grabbed a black pair of each fit and let myself into the dressing area.

Well — SURPRISE — the Curvy worked best for me.  I was pretty stoked because 1) FREE PANTS and 2) I really DID like the way they fit.  The material had a touch of stretch, the cut left no gap in my waistband when I bent over, and I could see myself wearing these pants with heels and/or flats.

When I approached the counter, the tall gentleman asked if I was ready to check out.

“Well,” I said, mentally preparing myself for anything, “I just need to make sure that this coupon is still good.  And applies to these pants.”

He looked it over and declared it good.  And on these pants, no less.

He started typing .. look, I worked in retail, and I know what A BITCH coupons can be .. and then he paused.  “Let me try this again,” he said and typed.  He paused and then looked at me.

“This coupon is used,” he said.

“I’m sorry?” I asked.  Of all the things I was prepared for, I wasn’t prepared for this.

“This coupon has already been used,” he said.  And he RIPPED IT UP IN FRONT OF ME.

I just sat there.  Dumbfounded is a good word.  Jaw open.  And a little bit EMBARRASSED.

Granted, there were MAYBE two other people in the store.  We’re not talking about massive public humiliation, but still.

I felt that super hot feeling behind your eyes when you know you’re about to lose it, so I thanked him (I THANKED HIM) and left the store.

Sarah of three months ago would’ve soothed herself by buying something else.  But Today Sarah has NO MONEY.  So instead I went into a beauty store and put on the most expensive perfume I could find.  I could at least SMELL wealthy, I thought.

I came home and tried to tell Bryan the story of why I hadn’t come home with any pants (seriously, I had been acting like these free pants were friggin’ magic pants delivered by Santa Claus himself), but I started to tear up and couldn’t get through it.

I .. I worked in retail.  And, frankly, I worked in a higher end retail store than THE FREAKIN’ GAP.  And if a customer came in, presented an EMAIL coupon, and we had an issue with the coupon?  We’d make it work.  Because that’s what customer service IS.  I’m not even demanding free stuff that is uncalled for .. THE COUPON WAS EMAILED TO ME DIRECTLY FOR A FREE PAIR OF PANTS.

But whatever.  I’m more than pleased to not shop there in the foreseeable future.  It helps that I don’t have any money to shop there anyway, but this..?  Will not be soon forgotten.

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Two Weeks from a Decade

When I turned 25, I had some ridiculously stupid list that I wanted to fulfill.  Obviously, I didn’t find it stupid at the time, but looking back, things like “Ride bareback” and “Get Kissed in the Rain” were not really important. (Although the latter? Very cool and snared me a husband.)

In two weeks, I leave my 20s behind and start a new chapter.

Somehow, at 25, this is not quite where I thought I’d be at 30.

BUT!  Hey!  It happens!  Exclamation point!

We had planned to go to New Orleans for my birthday weekend (there are luxuries afforded to being born on a three day weekend), but um, DING DONG HALLO, we have no money.  So instead, my in-laws are coming in to visit.

I’ll let that sink in.

No, really, I love my in-laws, I do.  And it will be nice to have extra hands around.  And it’s been since Christmas that they’ve seen the boys, and they need to know what they’re in for with the whole grown-up-grandchildren thing.

In other, sort of unrelated but maybe entirely (passive aggressively) related: would you ever tell a child .. who you’ve proclaimed as a worrier .. that a teacher “has it out for” them?  During the second week of school?  WOULD YOU DO THAT?  No you wouldn’t.  Because you’re sane.

So, back to my birthday, I am thinking that 30 has got to be stellar compared to 29.  I’m kind of hoping for a less eventful year .. decade, even .. and what will contribute to that, in large part, will be my ability to drink through the entire duration of this coming decade.

And with that, I leave you with my newest obsession: This Thing the Kids Call YouTube.






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