Friday, March 30, 2012

Sand Comas and Other Fun

I am looking out the window right now just praying for rain.  The clouds are grey and the potential is there, it just needs a little nudge.  I really, really, really want it to rain.  It is one of those days where the kids have sports tonight, but I am tired and sick, I need to pack myself and organize all the supplies for our Spring Break trip tomorrow, I need to finish my work-work, I need to run a few more errands .... having it rain right now would give me a such a big "whew."  But, if wishes were fishes we'd all be in the sea, so it will probably rain right after the game.  Oh well.

It is going be like a marathon to get to this vacation.  I feel like we will be literally limping onto the island. The kids were sick earlier this week, I'm running on fumes, and "things" just aren't done. But the pressure is on because I have put alot of eggs in this beach blanket.  I need this time to rejuvenate, get in better shape, to create memories with the kids, to connect with my spouse, help my dog Sadie overcome her fear of water, to try to successfully bake something - anything, and to learn to french braid.

That is the problem with me and vacations.  I set goals for my trips, which is the opposite of fun.  I need them to be pivotal, turn-the-corner moments in my life, when probably what I really need to is lapse into a sand coma for 7 days. 

So, as I write this, I have decided this trip will be about fun and not failures.  And that the best moments are the ones that are unexpected. This gives me some excellent, and slightly devilish, ideas ... stay tuned!

Until next time, keep on crowin'!

Monday, March 26, 2012

There's No Me in Baking

For my daughter's 12th birthday, she had a cake-decorating contest with her friends. And it was my job to make the cakes. My sister told me to go to Publix and buy pre-made cakes, but I wouldn't listen. I thought, how hard is it to get a Betty Crocker Vanilla Cake box and mix it up in a pan?

Here's the story in pictures.

One box of Betty Crocker mix DOES NOT equal one 9 inch round pan.  The mix is supposed to be split into TWO PANS.  If you do not do this, you get a pudding mushroom.
If you attempt to remove the pudding mushroom from the pan, it will NOT miraculously become a round cake.  It will actually collapse upon itself and expire quietly.
It is very likely that while trying to resuscitate the pudding mushroom, you will forget it just came out of the oven. If this occurs, don't be alarmed if you sustain 3rd degree burns, scream obscenities in front of your dogs, lose control of the pan -- and your bowels -- and sacrifice one of your discontinued everyday plates to the kitchen floor.
But fear not, dear chickies.  I didn't get a Master's in Humanities for nothing. You CAN teach this old dog new tricks, and the second batch of cakes came out like this. 
And this is the final result.  Seven 12-year-old girls flexed their creative, crazy imaginations and put together some wonderful, albeit mostly inedible, works of art. 
So what does it all mean?  Well, for starters, I can't bake worth a crap.  But that's OK, because everything looks better with icing.  And makeup.  And red wine.  So, until next time, own your truth and keep on crowin' ........

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Prayer from Tina

Today is my daughter's 12th birthday ... as I reflect on all of her unique and special gifts, I offer up some musings from the inimitable Tina Fey

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Someone hit my car today in the grocery store parking lot. They had pulled in to the space in front of me, so that we were nose to nose. Not only did they hit the front of my car, but they didn't even back up to hide it.

It was Wednesday at Kroger, so really, it was my own fault. I HATE Senior Citizen Discount day, and every time I pull in to the parking lot on a Wednesday, I curse myself. The car had a big Boca Grande front license tag, so I knew what age bracket I was dealing with.

But still. I hadn't taken my pills this morning so I was looking for a rumble. Their casual disregard for my vehicle rubbed me the wrong way, so I left a scathing note: "Thank you for hitting my car!! No note?!!"

That'll teach 'em. I felt vindicated.

And then I got to thinking. How many shortcuts do we take in our lives? How many times do we hit the car next to us with our car door and slink away, or leave our bagels on the shelf with the peas because we've changed our minds? There ought to be inventions to prevent our character from shattering, such as:
  • Shopping carts that follow you home if you leave them in the parking lot.
  • Cigarrette butts that bounce back into your car if you flick them out the window.
  • Parking spaces that shoot up spikes to deflate your tires if you go over the line.
  • A gargoyle with a horn that comes out of the back of your car to scare off tailgaters.
  • Tranquilizing dart guns that fit on a key chain, for store cashiers that talk too much, or people who are on your TMI list.
  • Shirts outfitted with an electric shock field for close talkers or people who try to hug you.
  • Fines for whining, compliment-fishing, or posting too many new profile pictures of yourself on Facebook.
  • Alarms that go off if someone silently farts in a store and tries to walk away.
These are just a few.  I'm sure I can come up with more, but you get the point.  So, after today, I resolve to be more careful with my character in the future, and to help other people do the same. 

Until next time, keep crowin'.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jesus is a Biscuit

Since I missed church last week, I was pleasantly surprised to still receive a message via Latrice Royale from Ru Paul's Drag Race, Season 4.  Latrice brought the other ladies "to church" during a tense costuming moment, by singing about how Jesus is a biscuit, and you should let Him sop you up.  It was a high-steppin-leg-slappin' hootenanny, and I felt the spirit rumbling within.

Jesus is a biscuit - it's an interesting turn of phrase which I find delightful.  There are so many things I wish Jesus would sop up for me.  Here are a few examples:

1. Penis on the company website - This week, I uploaded a company video to our site via YouTube.  At the end, one of the screenshots of recommended shows to watch next was about the proper application of a condom.  Now granted, we are a teen pregnancy-prevention group, but we like to keep the penises on the down-low.  Bad news, my boss saw it first.  Good news, it wasn't the worst thing she'd seen that week, and Jesus knows that's true.

2.  Reborn babies - I have my sister to thank for this one.  She sent me an informational link about dolls that have been made to look and feel like actual babies, with veins and matted, sweaty hair.  Old women collect them and diaper them and stroll them around town.  I can't erase it from my mind, so I am hoping Jesus can.

3.  Leftover sweet potato slop in my fridge - The problem with Pinterest is that it makes you think you can do things that you truly cannot do.  For me, this is cooking.  My attempt at the Veggie Sweet Potato Burger was disastrous.  Thou shalt not substitute eggplant for avocado nor field peas for white beans.  Thou shalt not use grits instead of flour, nor skip ingredients that you don't have.  For this, I am asking Jesus to just send me the Biscuits and put my family out of their misery.

Jesus IS a biscuit, and I keep giving him lots of gravy.

Until next time, keep crowin' .....

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Born Free

So I went on a run today.  It had been awhile, and I actually thought I had retired from running.  Little twinges in the back, dull pains in the knee on rainy days.  But, there is a growing trend in my town for all the almost 40-somethings to run a half marathon. I have encountered the most unlikely people with 13.1 on the back of their cars - it's getting embarrassing. So, I think, well, if they can do it, I better do it too.  Then I can have a smiling Facebook profile picture with me and three other gorgeous, athletic women, glistening with golden sweat, holding up our medals, proving that we are best friends and are better than you.

I took a few hesitant steps and then something incredible happened ... I entered the zone.  That place where you can run for days because your body is light and lithe and your mind is in complete euphoria.  I ran at a pace that I haven't run in ages.  No cramps, no breathlessness, just me and the pavement and DJ Khaled.  Oh, the glory of it!  I was on fire, with the wind in my hair, the little plastic thingies from my hoodie slapping me in the face, my right shoe not tied quite tight enough ---- but who cares?  I hit my stride and realized that this was the moment that I dedicated myself to sport, to Athletica --- I WOULD run that half marathon --- I WOULD lose 15 pounds and turn into a pure, muscular, sexy beast  ---- I WOULD become the woman I always wanted to be ---- Halleluuuuuu .... oooch ....

Around minute six, I was hit with the reminder that I had very recently eaten quesadillas for lunch.  Go away, I thought, I can run through you!  But no, the quesadillas reminded me that I had loaded sour cream and peanut sauce on their backs, and for this, I would have to pay.  I slowed my pace, but to no avail.  An ache started to crawl in under my rib cage, and I began to accept defeat, that I would never, EVER, be featured on the cover of the AroundTown newspaper insert .... until .... a miracle ....

To me, running and music go hand-in-hand.  You really can't have one without the other.  If you aren't blasting hip-hop in your ears, then you are forced to listen to your own thoughts, and that's when the devil creeps in.  But at this moment, like the soft rustle of angel wings, came "Feel Me Flow" by Naughty by Nature.  It pulled me back into my soul, and for the next 3 minutes I regained the hope that yes, maybe, yes, I could do this. 

I passed another runner and gave him a knowing nod, and then be-bopped my head to the music only I could hear.  I checked my pedometer app, which has never worked, and realized that I had run for 20 minutes.  Excellent, good start, you're about to die so stop, I told myself.  And then, I reached my car, kneeled down to pray (I really do this every time I run - it feels a little Chariots of Fire-ish) and collapsed into my seat, panting and drooling just a bit.

I suppose I will run again this week.  And maybe I'll sign up for that half marathon.  But I'm not going to tell anyone in case I chicken out.  However, if I do do it (not poop it --- that's not what I meant by do do ---  but actually run it), you can be damn sure everyone on Facebook will know about it - after I have spent some time with Photoshop.

Until next time, keep crowin' ........

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Welcome to The Cluck and Strut!

It's gonna be good.  Tomorrow.  Because I spent all day today creating the logo.