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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Spaghetti Tuesday on a Wednesday!

I'm sure you guys are getting used to me failing to write up my Tuesday 5s, right?  I know, I know, I'm falling behind.  I actually had a really good reason for it being late THIS time.  I was gone all day for work, then I took my stepdaughter to a concert.  The One Direction concert, to be exact.  How was it?  Well, that's the topic of this week's random 5, so read on...

1.  It was hot as balls last night and the concert was at an outdoor stadium.  Yeah, sitting in the sun for an hour before the opening act, then an additional hour after the opening act, only served to make us sweaty messes by the end of the evening.  Added to that, my legs and feet swell in the heat.  My toes looked like Vienna sausages and I had cankles even Hillary Clinton could make fun of!  

2.  I guess it's a thing that at every 1D (we're that close now, obvs) concert, they read the signs that people bring.  Well, all I can say is this:  Some parents didn't do a very good job at screening the things their children were writing on the signs.  LOTS of inappropriate signs that my 13-year old shook her head in disgust at were there last night, making pretty blatant references to sex and genitalia.  Thankfully, the guys looked right over those and only commented on the ones that were funny or sincere.  My SD also said that she heard Louis and Liam on their mikes during that part and even they were appalled at the crassness of some of the fans.

3.  Flip side was some great FUNNY signs, including one that said she loved the band more than Netflix.  In this day and age, that's devotion!  There were also a lot of "MARRY ME" signs.  Harry was the main one working the crowd whenever the band took a little break.  He was actually very funny, working the crowd and commenting on the signs.  

4.  The concert was actually very well done, once the band got started and I actually had heard several of the songs.  However, the shrieking...oh my, the shrieking!  I forgot my earplugs, so I endured quite a bit of it assaulting my ears.  There were girls a couple rows in front of us who were screaming and crying.  I got to live a little bit of my teenage years in that moment, because I never got to see any of my favorite bands in concert as a teen. Next time I will remember earplugs though.  Those girls can hit some high pitches.

5.  The best part?  My stepdaughter's face whenever they first walked out on stage and each subsequent time they featured Niall.  He's her favorite.  She was grinning ear to ear practically the entire concert.  Sweat and heat didn't faze her and neither did waiting so long for them to come on stage.  All that mattered was the moment she giddily clutched her new 1D tour shirt, grinned, and thanked me.  This was her first concert and as much as she enjoyed it, I'm sure it won't be her last.  As a fan of all kinds of music and especially loving going to concerts, I can't wait!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday Random 5: Bierocks, Board Games, and Brownies, oh my!

It has been a multitude of weeks since I last posted a Tuesday 5 list.  I have been overwhelmed with summer time activities.  We have hosted a 4th of July BBQ, been gardening, cleaning house, prepping for August's fiscal fast (you'll read more about that in another post soon), reading, etc.  So, I finally decided to prioritize my blog again.  Today's Tuesday 5 is a hodgepodge of thoughts and happenings.  What have you been up to this summer?

1)  It is actually very liberating to unfriend people on Facebook.  I try not to do it much, because I try not to add individuals that I don't know fairly well, but eventually I find that I'm not getting much out of our connection and I have to cut those ties.  I also HATE advertising that I'm doing it, because it seems like such a "Look at me!" sort of statement.  I know, I know, I'm blogging about it now.  *sigh*  It's only because I want to mention how great it is to finally let go of baggage that was hurting your heart.  True friendship is more than just meaningless platitudes.  Don't friend me on Facebook or accept my friendship on Facebook if you don't want to be friends with me in real life.  Also, friendship is actions AND words.  I don't care if we haven't seen each other for years, I can still feel loved and cared for by people in the way they treat me when they do get to see me and talk with me.  I hope those people feel the same.  However, there are some individuals that love to say they have all these friends, but never put those supposed feelings into action.  I guess what really made me unfriend people this time was talking with a good guy friend in February.  I was telling him what I felt about how a group of people was treating my husband and I.  Specifically me, because well, EVERYONE loves my husband and I'm a lot tougher to like.  I know this.  I have accepted this.  It doesn't always make it less painful, but it is something I've come to terms with about myself.  Anyhow, I was telling him about all of the things that they had done, outwardly and covertly, whether it was intentional or not and he pretty much asked me why I was still friends with them.  I couldn't answer that coherently.  It stuck in my mind and my heart and I ruminated over it for weeks and months.  After a recent conversation with one of the individuals I thought was a friend and subsequent actions after that conversation, I realized I really didn't know why I was still hanging on to something they didn't care about one way or the other.  So, I let go.  You know what's really funny, too.  I unfriended this bunch a week ago and haven't heard a peep from them since.  You will know your friends by their actions and well, now I know.  It still hurts, don't get me wrong, but when it's time to let go and you finally find that courage, it is truly liberating.

Pluto?  Nope, the delicious dough!
2)  I made a bunch of frozen bierocks this past Saturday.  My intention is to prep for August and have quick and easy meals if we didn't feel like cooking.  So, I made up enough dough for 3 dozen bierocks and what I thought was enough filling for 3 dozen bierocks.  My husband and I do this in tandem.  I get the dough flattened into a circle and he does the filling and crimping.  Needless to say, the filling only made about 26 bierocks.  What to do with the other 10 lumps of dough?  Well, Rick ran to the store and picked up mozzarella and pepperoni and we made 10 "hot pockets" out of those.  I'm excited to thaw them and try them in August!  I baked half of the bierocks and all the hot pockets fully and half the bierocks I only baked halfway.  I hope this means that the ones we'll have time to bake the rest of the way will be tastier.  We'll microwave the others, more than likely, with a slightly damp paper towel around them.  The dough does turn a bit chewier, but it's still pretty tasty for a quick homemade meal.

Finished product!  Yum!
3)  I have a Little Free Library in my yard.  You can find more information about that at Little Free  So, I keep a pen in there with a notebook for people to write questions and comments.  The first one was removed about a month or so into us having it.  I finally replaced it a couple weeks ago and it was gone again in a matter of a day or two.  I had it affixed by twine to the notebook and put a little tape around it just to keep it from sliding around.  Sure enough, they took off the tape and took the pen.  I do not understand this behavior.  Why does anyone want to take a generic 39 cent pen?  I'll put another one out there eventually.  I don't care if they need a pen, but why take it from a community resource like that?  Just come up to our door and ask for pens.  Heck, I'll go buy you several packs of them!  *smh*  Kids these days.

4)  As some of you know, Rick's Dad passed away last May of 2014.  His stepmother had to move into town from the farm, as she didn't care to live on her own in the middle of nowhere.  When we helped move some of her things, Rick ended up inheriting an old game from the 70s & 80s called "The Farming Game".  It's set up very similarly to Monopoly, but instead of buying properties, you purchase acreage for grain, hay, and orchards, as well as livestock, pasture land, and equipment.  As you get to certain areas of the board, you enter harvest season for the different types of acreage.  You then roll a die to determine how much income you netted off that harvest and what operating expenses you have to purchase are determined by drawing a card.  It is a lot of fun.  I had never heard of it before, but we played it the very next weekend with the kids.  It entertained us for FOUR hours.  Yep.  4!  I've been itching to play it again.  What are your favorite board games?

5)  Finally to the end, sorry it took so long.  I guess since I haven't posted in two months, I finally had a few interesting things to say!  So, for number 5, I'm gonna do you a solid.  Try this recipe soon.  It's for zucchini brownies and it is GOOD.  No milk.  No eggs.  Delicious!  The batter can be dry, but the zucchini adds moisture.  I have eaten several of them already!  Mmmmm.   Fudgy Zucchini Brownies (Egg, Nut & Lactose-Free)  ENJOY!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hot Summer Nights

The title of this post may embellish upon the story I am about to tell.  However, I believe that we can all relive some memories here, both based upon the title and the story I set forth today.

No, it's not about a Grease marathon, or a little Jack & Diane running off behind the shade trees.  It is more similar to "This one time, at band camp..." but with a LOT more naivete and awkwardness and a LOT less graphic nudity and vulgarity.  I present to you, the story of my first kiss.

This one time, at 4-H camp (hey, I told you it was similar, but this is where those similarities END), when I was 12 or 13 years old (I really don't remember how old I was, so for the purposes of this tale, I am 13), I met a boy.  Actually, more like a boy showed interest in me.  

Okay, for those of you unfamiliar with 4-H, it's an organization that is dedicated to helping teach children hobbies and life skills, that features a lot of agriculture and arts and crafts.  Most counties have at least one 4-H club in my state, if not several, and there's always a county fair and state fair where people enter their homemade arts, crafts, photography, clothing, cows, goats, and pigs they've raised, even chicken, geese, and bunnies.  I myself, being a small town girl, and not a farm girl, usually entered stuff in baking, cross stitch, photography, and ceramics.

Anyhoo, they had a week-long camp each summer that you could attend at a ranch that had a bunch of dormitory style buildings and opportunities to swim, walk trails, canoe, ride horses, etc.  They also had a lot of different speakers and demonstrations, nightly bonfires, and of course, THE DANCE.  

The dance was always one of the last nights that we were at camp and it was kind of a big deal if you actually went with someone.  Of course, I never did, because at the age of 13, I was taller than pretty much every boy, loud, and probably more than a little obnoxious.  I of course had crushes on boys, but I never actually had any of them show interest in me.  (You know, due to the height, weight, loudness and obnoxiousness heretofore mentioned.)  

Back to the summer camp.  So, I'm not sure when I first met this boy at camp, but I know that he had talked with me before and kind of made it known that he maybe sorta liked me, I guess.  Anyhow, the day before the dance, I was at an activity making ice cream and he told one of my friends that he wanted to talk with me.  Oooooooh, interesting!  So, we of course had a little chat in which he asked me to the dance.  OooOOOOooooOOOooooh.  (That's supposed to be the girly noises in the live studio audiences when Zack and Kelly kiss.)  I remember being so EXCITED.  OMGeeeee, a guy actually LIKED me?!  That was unheard of.

The dance came and Keith (last name started with an 'H' I think) walked me to the dance.  We danced a few times, we chatted and then, he asked me to go on a walk.  I was nervous and my palms were sweating.  I was practically mute (for once), but nodded my head.  

He took my hand.  (13 year old me was kvelling.  Not Jewish, but kvelling nonetheless.)  We walked through the moonlight and he ushered me to a little overlook where we sat down on a bench.  (Imagine like moonlit Paris, but slightly muddy, LOTS of trees, and probably owls, too.  Since I'm already imagining, let me just say I do not recall the EXACT spot where the kiss took place, but I'm sure it was quiet and I know that no one else was around.)

This is me in the 80s.  Well, not me, it's Jennifer Capriati,
but I think we've all learned a lesson here.
We chatted and my stomach churned.  My good Christian upbringing was rearing its head and I was confused as to what I should do if he tried to kiss me.  It's probably not good to kiss a boy I'm never going to see again, right?  But wow, I've never been kissed before.  Oh goodness, my stomach just kept churning and the already pale moonlight probably struck my 13-year old chalk white face and fem-mullet (thanks Mom!) and made it even paler.  

Then, it happened!  He leaned in for the kiss.  Instead of recoiling, I leaned forward too, very awkwardly trying to figure out how this worked.  I mean, I had seen Dirty Dancing by that point, but you know, he was no Johnny Castle, and I sure as hell wasn't Frances Houseman!  Closer, ever closer, until our lips locked.  My 13-year old mind exploded in fireworks and I was euphoric.  (Not really, but I'm sure I was not thinking clearly.) Wait, wait a second here, hold up!  Ew!  Gross, he slipped his tongue in my mouth?!  Well, I guess I should go with the flow.  

We slobbered on each other for a few more seconds, before we stopped and I, shaking, got up and practically ran away, back to my dorm. building.  I was equal parts euphoric and sick to my stomach.  I couldn't believe that my first kiss was a French kiss.  I couldn't look at the poor boy at breakfast the next morning, because I was so horrified at myself.  I remember telling my friends about it and actually crying, because I was so upset.  I was mad that I had done it. embarrassed that I apparently didn't know how to do it properly and I regretted it because it was not what it was cracked up to be.  After camp was over, I was also kinda happy because I'd finally been kissed, but I still didn't feel great about it.

I think I was really upset, because I just kissed him, even though I barely knew him and then was disappointed that the kiss wasn't actually pleasant, in any regard.  But really, what could I have expected, at that age?  I also had a lot of Catholic guilt, because I thought I was being a little hussy. Ah, the naivete of youth!

Needless to say, my friends didn't let me live it down for several years.  At softball, after we got home from camp, my whole team started calling me Frenchy.  (So, I guess it is kinda similar to Grease, too.)  

My kissing has shown marked improvement in the interim 24 years.  At least, I think so.  However, I do have to say that I'm still not super fond of "Frenching".  I think I may be scarred for life!  Ha.