Friday, November 25, 2011
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Gravy
Melt 2 tbsp butter in a sauce pan. When it is completely melted, add 2 tbsp flour. Cook till browned and thick. Add 1 1/2 cups veggie broth. As it starts to thicken add 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter, about 1/2 tsp soy sauce and a couple dashes of cayenne pepper. Taste for flavor and add more cayenne, or PB as needed. Since I am the only veggie in the family, I have enough for about 4 meals plus lots of tastes as it cooks. ENJOY!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
The text said "please help. I have strep throat and 102 degree temp. I can't get out of bed to get water". I went over there, got him water, medicine, a cold washcloth and sat holding his hand until he fell asleep. Somehow, during our on again, off again relationship, I had become his "in case of emergency" person. The person he contacted when he really needed help. This feels good. Our relationship did not work, and we agreed after this last round that we would not try again. But we will be friends. We still are important to each other. And I feel honored to hold the "in case of emergency" spot in his crazy life.
You ever have a week that causes you to have to muster up every bit of strength and courage, strength you did not even know you possessed? I had one of those weeks. The worst possible thing that can happen to a teacher happened to me this week. Allegations. Child abuse allegations against me. Fuck.
On Monday a grandparent that was already feeling unsettled about her grandchild's education, (in reality I think the child being removed from her custody and back into custody of parent that had lost custody originally due to abuse was probably more of the issue) showed up in my classroom unannounced. Her grandson was belted into a wooden chair when she showed up. This sounds bad. Let me explain. Rifton Compass chairs are wooden chairs with a contoured seat and curved arms and are incredibly comfortable. I have 2 in my classroom. One has a seatbelt on it and sometimes the kids like to sit in it. This particular child has clearly sat in this kind of chair in his preschool setting because he buckles himself in. Sometimes he can unbuckle it, sometimes he needs help. We always help him if he wants out.
In her mind, her grandson was being restrained. Thursday, which was also the day of our big Thanksgiving feast that we put on every year for the kids, I had an emergency meeting to discuss this. At 10:30. The other teacher that had planned the feast, AND invited all the parents of her class, conveniently took the week off, leaving it all to fall on my narrow shoulders. We expected to feed over 50 people at noon.
At the meeting, my principal, assistant superintendent, occupational therapist, and I tried to explain the chair to this woman, whom, it became very clear at that point, was more than a little nuts. She bashed me, my program, my teaching style, everything that I pride myself at being good at. Inside I felt beaten, emotionally raw, and ready to crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head, and never return to the classroom again. On the outside, however, I triumphed. I remained calm and professional. I did not argue. I listened. I expressed to her that I honored her opinion. I told her what would change. I never admitted doing anything wrong. I fucking smiled, for God's sake. The meeting lasted up until 5 minutes before my feast. By that time, she was stating what a great teacher I was and we had agreed to try this again, minus the seatbelt.
When I arrived, late to my classroom, the amazing women that work as teachers aides in my classroom, and the classroom next door, plus my speech therapist, secretary and school psychologist had the feast in full swing. The kids were excited, and all ran to me, telling me how much they missed me, hugging me, and I felt incredibly blessed to have this job. And the first time I cried about this horrific experience is now, as I write this. All I can say is that a lot of people had my back that day. At the risk of sounding like I am prostalyzing, God works in mysterious ways.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I want to write a book. About relationships. I have, literally, boxes of 20 or more journals I have kept since I was 7. They vary in topic, but the one constant theme is my relationships with men. I've had a lot. And I'm not intending that in a trampy, I get around kinda way...although in all honesty that does come with the territory a bit. I just feel that something should come of this ridiculous 30 year quest to find the right man. Even if I never actually do find the right man.
P.S. Things are still going great with Jason. Scary great. Scary.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Moms that are constantly talking about how hard it is to be a mom....YES. It is. I am a teacher and so I know how difficult young children can be, how exhausted they make you, the constant demands for attention....I do get it. But here's the thing: I had one dream my whole life. It was not to be a lawyer, or a doctor or a movie star. I wanted to be a mom. Because of fate, or whatever you want to call it, I am not a mom. I tried for 5 years with my ex-husband, and it was not going to happen. Now I am 36. I know some very brave women who are doing it on their own, but with my 10-12 hour days and low teacher salary, honestly, it does not seem like the responsible choice to do that. I may at some point change my mind. I feel like you who are constantly talking about how hard it is are taking for granted something that never was an option for some of us, although we wanted it terribly. I kinda want to tell you where to go.
That's all. Thanks for listening.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
So I finally made almond milk. I don't actually like almond milk, or so I thought...it always tasted perfumey (is that a word) to me. Homemade almond milk tastes like heavenly creamy vanilla chai without the tea. Give it a shot. For real!
Soak 1 cup almonds overnight. Buy raw organic ones. It's so worth it. Blend in blender: almonds, 4 cups water, half a vanilla bean and 3 medjool dates. Pour through cheesecloth into your container. Voile! Delish!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I was meeting my ex-husband in order to drop off our (non-existant) child for his half of the week. I was happy to see him and completely comfortable giving him the baby. I also gave him a huge hug and told him to have a great week, and felt at ease with the whole interaction.
I woke up right away. The sun was just starting to come up and it was cold in my bedroom. What was that about? We do not even have a child. And I would never give him a hug these days.....then it hit me.
It was about the role of forgiveness in moving on. It's been 3 years...or is it 4? I don't even think of him anymore, really. But what is it that is making it so difficult to make something work with someone else? I have not yet really forgiven him.
He was a crappy husband, for a lot of reasons and I will not disrespect him by going into detail about that now. But, honestly, I think he did try. He and I were a volatile and damaged couple and we destroyed each other by trying to make the relationship last when it really should not have. But he did love me, that I am sure of, and he did the best with what he had to make it work. He worked hard at his job, worked hard on our house, tried to accept me for who I was, and had a very open mind, always willing to try something new. So here I go, forgiving him. It was not his fault that I allowed myself to wallow in a bad marriage for so long. I think I will let go of feeling like I wasted all that time...
Forgiveness is a process. I think it comes and goes. But I think I will dwell here for a bit. It feels good. Then I will go meditate on it for awhile.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
2. Biomega shampoo. Yeah, I do spend way too much on shampoo to make my hair smell like flowers. Fortunately, my hairdresser is also my friend, and I get it at cost.
3. Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap. Makes my shower heaven. HEAVEN. No joke.
4. Alba Botanica Cocoa Butter hand and body lotion. Hi Summer.
5. Watts Beauty Argan Gold pure Argan oil. Bye bye wrinkles. I think.
6. Toms of Maine Long Lasting aluminum-free deoderant in fresh apricot. Because who doesnt want to smell like fresh apricots?
7. Schiff Melatonin Ultra. We all need sleep. Right??
8. Paul Mitchell extra body firm finishing spray. Because my dumb hair just wont do what I ask on its own.
9. Clean sheets. I change them every 3 days....because clean sheets are just yummy! (Someone that may or may not read this blog is probably laughing right now)!
10. Piping hot stronger than hell coffee. Trader Joes can rock this. So can Starbucks.
11. Parmesan cheese. What isnt better if you add this? Really?
12. One certain baby, that makes me want to kiss her over and over and over.
13. A brand new roll of really good toilet paper (above mentioned person who may or may not read this blog is probably dying of laughter right now)
14. An amazing gel manicure that lasts for days.
15. A good book that can monopolize my life for hours.
16. A great podcast. "Joy the Baker"...check her out
17. Levis. Why do any other jeans exist?
18. Amy's frozen meals. Because convenience should still be yummy.
19. Yoga in any shape or form. Stretch your body, girls!
20. Good friends. I am sooooo blessed to have them everywhere!
Tell me your favorite things! Please! I really really want to add to my list!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
This is scary! When you know someone this well, and feel a connection in so many ways, there is no casual dating! Its all or nothing. And now I am scared. Not sure I can do it. Not ready to ruin the friendship, not ready to give him up, not ready to take the next step.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Now for the wrapping...
Fill a large pot with about 1 inch or so of water, put in a steamer pot and stack your tamales in. Steam for about an hour, constantly adding more water as needed. Presto. Enjoy!
P.S. This is my mom demonstrating here. Her tamale wrapping skills are far superior to mine. Hi Mom!
Saturday, September 3, 2011
The absolute worst quality you could possibly have when dating. When you are needy, you wear it like a perfume, and everyone can smell it. I believe it is the single biggest reason that relationships in the intial stages don't work out.
Exhibit A: A man that I used to date, about 2 years ago. Relationship lasted about 3 months, and honestly, it should have ended way before that. Anyway, I would have been friends with him....except that he would text, email and facebook message me constantly. Like 10 texts to my 1. Finally I told him that if we were to be friends he needed to back way off...and he did. I would hear from him every couple of months and that was cool. Then out of nowhere (I guess when I actually responded to him 2 times in a row), he called me. I talked to him for about 20 minutes, and he made some vaguely innapropriate sexual comments, told me I was beautiful about 10 times, and had information on me that I did not tell him about...obviously he was snooping around somehow. Needless to say, I have gone back to ignoring his attempts to contact me. Yes, this is an extreme case, and this guy is actually a bit of a stalker, but in all honesty, I know he's harmless. Just needy as hell.
Exhibit B: This just happened the other night. I went out for a first date with a new man I had met online. We had drinks, and spent about 2 hours having a really great conversation. He paid. I have learned that this is a HUGE indication of someone's interest in me, btw. If a guy can't even pick up the tab for a cup of coffee...he's just NOT that into you. Remember this. Anyway, we exchanged numbers, agreed to go out again...it was all good. Then...before I even got home, I had received two texts from him. In all honesty, it was a turn-off. Will probably see him again, but bumped my interest level down a notch.
I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, and I have done it wrong so many times myself, but when you first meet someone, no matter how much you like them, you really have to back off. If you appear even a little needy when you first meet someone, they will look to the future (at least I do!) and see having to shake off a completely annoying, emotionally attached person. And most of us REALLY don't want to do this.
And here's the other thing about neediness. You just can't fake your way through it. No matter how many games you play, how much time you let elapse before returning a phone call, no matter how many times you are "busy" when someone wants to hang out, its obvious when you are faking.
So here's the solution:
Live your life, and make it a good one. Don't depend on anyone else, ever, to make your life what you want it to be. Cultivate hobbies. Make good friends. Try something new. Read more. Get more exercise. Learn how to cook. Take your kids more places. Travel. Becoming interesting and independent. This is the real way to not be needy. Because when you really truly aren't needy....well that's obvious too.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I made these yummy tofu tamales today....they have tofu and olives and onions and chipotle, and Mexican cheese! What more could a girl want in a tamale, right?!
Mix up the innards first: melt 2 tbls butter and throw in a chopped onion. Cool until caramelized, then add 4 tbls chipotle in adobo, chopped. Give it a min, then throw in a tub of crumbled tofu, a small can of sliced lives, and salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 mins longer.
Mix 2 cups masa with 1 tsp salt and 1 1/2 tsps baking powder. Add 1 cup canola oil, 2 cups veggie broth.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Caprese Salad ala Cari
The ripest tomatoes in the world...two biggies
Mozerella balls marinated in oil and herbs (cut about 6 in half)
Basil (A fist full cut into strips)
Truffle oil- a dash
Balsamic Vinegar- a dash
Smoked Sea Salt- a pinch
Fresh Ground Pepper- a grind or two
Toss it all together, and use a yummy sourdough to mop up the juices!
Tomorrow...an incredibly easy and very impressive meringue with peaches...perfect for bookclub!
Wait for it....totes wait for it!!!!!!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
I have come a very long way since then. It took me 6 months to find a place that would take me and my three dogs, and the landlord was willing to let me make payments on the deposit. I did not have cable, or internet. At that point, I had bought a new car and needed to make sacrifices in other areas. I went through phases of choosing what bill to pay and what bill I could put off till next month. I had to let a couple of credit cards that I had used during the last part of graduate school to go to collections. I even used a few of those awful payday loan places, before I figured it all out. And here's the deal now. My bills are all paid monthly. I have a credit card used specifically for gas. I have very cheap, slow, internet and am still debating whether to get cable again. I do everything I possibly can to keep my PG and E bill down (side note: Kevin was very inconsiderate about this....cranking up the heat instead of just putting some pants or a sweatshirt on, leaving the television on for the dogs! I mean, come on.) I have a budget book, which includes all my incoming and outgoing expenses and how much I have each week to spend on things that are extra. There are a few things however, that are priorities and I just won't skimp on...getting my hair cut and colored, fresh organic veggies, and all natural (albiet more expensive) cleaning products and toiletries.
And the thing is, at the end of the month (another sidenote: teachers only get paid once a month)....I am pretty much always still left feeling completely broke and totally embarrassed about it. I am not sure how to change this. I don't like the anxiety I feel at the end of the month, wondering if I can make it on the small amount of food left, and if I can ride my bike wherever I need to go, as to avoid buying gas for my empty car. I am well aware, that according to the laws of attraction, my anxiety and fear around money only serve to perpetuate the problem...but honestly, I just can't seem to let it go and relax about it. As many times as I tell myself it will all work out, which it always does, there is still the voice in the back of my head saying "Loser! You are broke AGAIN!".
There is something to be said for the wonderful house I now find myself living in, and the fact that I have another beautiful new car...but not having really any spending money, now that sucks.
Traveling alone takes bravery. When I say I am visiting here, completely by myself, people either look at me with envy or pity. Seriously. There is no other expression. I may have mentioned this before, but I honestly believe that people who have been married or living with someone for a long time, think that the rest of us are just perpetually lonely. Which really isnt true. Sure we have moments of loneliness, but I honestly believe that not many more of us single people are lonely then people who have paired off. Someone once told me that its much lonelier to be with someone and feel alone, then actually be truly alone. Interesting thought, huh?
And really, when I am home, the only time I really feel lonely is when there is some sort of major catastrophe, and I wish I wasnt dealing with it alone. Or in the evenings, after I have done all I want to do, and there is no one to talk to about how bad the tv is tonight, or how interesting my book has become. No one to say "hey I think I am going to bed", to. So I think I will just take my tea out to the beach and watch the sunset. By myself. And it won't be any less spectacular.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Its been awhile. I had an amazing yoga retreat in Grass Valley, got Strep Throat immediately upon returning home, then went to science camp for a week. Now I am basking in the joy of relaxing at the beach in Pismo Beach. Its freaking beautiful here and boy do I need the vacation from, well, my vacation.
I have been on two dates since we last spoke. Coffee. Jason and Tom. Complete opposite men with very similiar details. 38. Single. No kids. College student. Scorpio. Need I say more? Both of them are very nice and really, they seem to both have stories to tell. Jason was married, and his wife died of breast cancer about 3 years ago. Tom is in AA and has been sober since 2004, and is a Buddhist, btw. When you get to be 38, I honestly hope that you have a story to tell. If not, what have you been doing for 38 years??
I feel fascinated by both of them, really. I don't think that one really has to worry about commitment-phobia with a man that literally helped his wife die. That's some pretty rockin commitment, isnt it? Or what about someone who actually has come to terms with his own limitations (alcoholism) and has done something to fix it? And maintained that particular thing for 7 years! I feel admiration for both of these men. But...
Coming into someone's life who has had things really happen, you are always taking a chance. Jason still spends time with his deceased wife's family. Sounds lovely, really, in theory. In reality....hmmmmm. What if he and I were married, say, 5 years and this was still the case. That does not sound lovely anymore. And Tom, sober for 7 years....what if one day he just wasnt sober anymore? Who knows what life as HIS wife might be like then.
But the thing is, once you reach 35, you are dealing with the select few men in your age group who happen to also be single. Its not the same as dating at 22, when everyone is somewhat of a clean slate. It is now really survival of the fittest and there are not many of us out there making the cut. We don't have 18 year old bodies, and we might be getting a little grey ( I know I am!). We have scars from pasts, and some of us handle it well, some of us don't.
But this is what keeps me truckin along...both these men have some pretty serious strikes against them, that may make women look in the other direction, and these guys know that. But they still put themselves out there. And that shows character. And I like character. So here we go.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
October 16, 2001
I cant stand laying in bed at night with my stomach growling and feeling like I am starving. I am going to have to find a way around that in my quest to lose weight. Today I have to wash the dogs and clean the floors. I also want to try and get some estimates on getting the floor fixed. I should spend some time studying as well. I've gotten a little behind. For breakfast this morning I will have instant oatmeal with dried cranberries. For lunch, a Lean Cuisin and then for dinner I will have a veggie taco salad. I think I have to find a way to break my meals into small ones so that I can eat more often and not feel like I am starving to death. Maybe my stomach is shrinking. That's a possibility! I hope it happens quickly because I hate feeling hungry all the time. It gives me a headache. I actually dreamed about food last night. All night. Quesadillas and cheez-its and chocolate and everything else that is not good for me. Next Sunday will be my day to eat whatever I want. Every week I will have one of those days. Just to keep myself from freaking out. Is 2 lbs. a week an unreasonable goal? That I will have to see. Should I buy a scale? I talked to Holly last night for the first time in months. We talked for an hour! Its always so good to talk to her, its like we never miss a beat! She's talking about coming up here sometime in November. I hope it actually happens! Anyway, I have been having such weird dreams lately! Last night I dreamt that I was smoking pot in my backyrard even though I knew I shouldnt because of my police officer neighbor...I've decided to mention to Seth that I think he may smoke too much pot and that it worries me that he parties too much. I dont like that he drinks beers and takes pills together. Its just not good for you. Your body has a hard time handling all that stuff and your liver and kidneys and immune system get damaged. Anyway, I think I will bring it up when I call him today.I don't want to get on his case too bad, but I want to let him know I feel a little worried.
September 15, 1995
Catch my drift
Ride my wavelength
Follow my train
Seach my soul
Push my heart
Grasp my pain
Watch my eyes
Just dont touch my body.
September 20, 1995
...Is it my hair?
Its gotta be my hair
Or am I too fat?
My breasts too small?
My breath stinks?
Am I bad in bed?
Or too smart? Too dumb?
Am I too mean? Too nice?
I dont like your friends?
Or your friends dont like me?
Then what is it?
Is is my hair?
Its gotta be my hair...
September 24, 1995
Is it better...
to be constantly trying to be you and figure out who you are?
Or is that thinking too much?
Is it better...
to not think about it and, do what feels right, and not regret it?
I am stuck...
Halfway between being me and wondering if I am really being me.
Are we at our best when we stop thinking about it, or are we really just kidding ourselves??
January 26, 1989
I broke up with Yugala today, before I knew what I was really doing. He is major pissed. I still like him. What can I do?
January 29, 1989
I've decided that even though he doesnt like me anymore, I am still majorly in like with Yugala. I dont really even like Ryan. I just wanted someone to like. Even if Ryan does like me, he had his chance and now I would say "no"!
February 7, 2000
I love this new journal. I dont have anything to say or write, I just wanted to use my new journal. I am tired and I dont know where Derek is. Its not that I think Derek treats me badly, because he doesnt. And for someone else, maybe the way he treats me would be okay. I dont know if I am overreacting, or if I am being reasonable. I guess I feel like he takes me for granted quite a lot. He always expects me to inconvenience myself to see him. I dont know if I have a right to be pissed off, or hurt, or just tired of this. I mean, its not like this is the first time I've felt this way. I feel like this a little too often. I dont feel like it is neccessarily him that is the problem, maybe we are just a bad combination. Like he's not neccessarily doing anything wrong, he's just not doing what I need. I dont know if I should tell him this or not. If I do, I feel like I am playing games, threatening him. Which is too much like what someone else would do. What do I do? Just avoid him and pretend like it does not bother me? That is playing games as well. So do I just be honest? I feel like eventually he is going to stop feeling like he fucks up all of the time and start thinking that I am just a bitch all of the time. He makes me feel like I am oversensitive and bitch all the time. I know you have to pick your battles, and I try not to let stupid things bother me, but it seems like there are a lot of big things that I just cant let go of. Maybe he should just no longer be in my life. He and I are not likely going to be a longterm thing, maybe it would be easier to break it off now. Do I just let the answering machine pick up? Do I just not talk to him for awhile? I honestly think he cares about me, maybe loves me, but is just not very good at being a boyfriend. He doesnt know how to. He just forgets.
So in these books, it says a lot of really great things about having self-confidence, not being needy, but there also are some plugs for pretending to be less intelligent, less opinionated, make less money, and making the man think that you NEED him. Think of "The Rules" books, and realize how many people have taken this premise and run with it. "He's Just Not That Into You", "Why Men love Bitches", and even "Why Men Marry Bitches". Seriously. I have read them.
So today, while perusing Barnes and Noble, this little book caught my eye. "The Case for Falling in Love". Now I am always looking for things to read, things to write about, and this looked a little different than my current "research". Bought it, even though hardback prices completely annoy me. (That's why Bossypants, by Tina Fey, has not been purchased at this point).
And it said this to me...Yes. Yes, you may score a man by letting him take care of you, pretending not to know how to screw in a lightbulb by yourself, not having strong opinions, playing hard to get, making him pay for everything...but who the fuck wants THAT GUY? Really. I mean, if I play that role for awhile, don't I have to play it forever, if I score this dude? Or worse, what if I actually become that woman?
I have a graduate degree. I own a new car. I have a great house. I eat well. I go on vacation. I exercise. I am educated and have opinions on current affairs. I have a lot of great friends and a wonderful family. If my success is too much for you, Mister Rules Man, honestly, you can suck it. I'd much rather be alone.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
I am not having the best of luck with men lately. I just decided to take that plunge and go back on okcupid.com, just in case there is a fabulous man out there who is looking for me. Met one, who seems nice, but also seems a wee bit flakey. Reconnected with an old friend, who at this point, suddenly has made himself a little scarce, and met a really nerdy but very nice lawyer the other night, whom I seemed to hit it off with, but have yet to actually hear from him at all. What gives? I know I am not a woman who tends to be needy or pushy, I have a good job and I am nice and funny. I have pretty brown eyes and a nice smile. Far from perfect, but far from awful as well.
I have gotten several emails from men that are, well, married....so of course I have not responded. But the single, good quality men are either non-existant, passing me by, or just not looking right now. I am going to hope that they are just busy enjoying their summer, and will come around sooner or later. But at this point, who knows. I think I will go get a pedicure.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Autism. I have a crazy fascination with trying to understand autism. One of my summer school students, whom I don't know all that well, hit me the other day. I mean like, smacked me. Hard. Across the face. Why? I think it was probably too loud in the classroom, too loud in his life, and me singing the clean-up song was the last straw. Right afterwards, he looked at me with these beautiful, soulful eyes, like "I feel bad, but not that bad, because really teacher, couldnt you just have been quiet?" And he got in trouble, of course, because the bottomline he has to learn is...we don't hit people. Behavior like this in public could get him, well, arrested, so I emphasize these points very strongly. But really, I should have seen the signs. The pacing, biting his hand, and the fact that his dog had puppies early that morning, and there is a new baby in his home as well....I know these kids. And they can't hide things that the rest of us shove away.
The number of children being born with autism, not only in this country, but in the world as a whole, is astounding. I will not quote most recent statistics, because by the time I finish this post, they will have changed again. But at the rate we are going, I suspect that those of us without autism, or at least somewhere on the spectrum, will be the minority. I suspect that "special ed" will become "general ed" and the few kids that don't fit will get moved into a gifted classroom. Computers will replace most jobs, and the Asperger adults that run them will work from home, where they don't have to deal with other people.
Hmmmm. I am probably exaggerating. But there are still astounding numbers of children, most of whom will become part of the staggering numbers of adults, with communcation and social disorders. How can we begin to create a society, outside of the special education classroom, to accomodate these people? And if we dont...what will happen to them? I carry this thought around with me, like a huge backpack filled with too many hardback books that I never feel like I can take out. Or maybe that's just me, showing a little of the Obssessive Compulsive Disorder I can't quite ever shake.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Yesterday I went to go see Alexis and Hugh and the new baby. I expected to see the struggling new parents, trying to figure out how to live their lives, while everything has changed. Instead, I saw two people who had slipped so graciously into parenthood that it was hard to believe. Hugh, he has always taken everything in stride, so it wasnt SO surprising to see him embracing this huge new piece of his life easily and with the same mellow attitude that he does everything else. Alexis, on the other hand, she's more like me. She worries and stresses and controls and gets antsy...etc, etc,.....but here she is, relaxed and slowing down her life and being this amazing parent. I can't say I know its been easy, because she has had the issues every new mom encounters with breastfeeding, and not sleeping enough, and un-solicited advice....but something in her has managed to enjoy the process and is very naturally taking to being a parent.
Being a teacher of children with pretty severe disabilities has done this to me a little. There is a level of patience that I have truly had to aquire, otherwise I would not have ever made it in this career. But there is still a piece of me in my home life that really needs to come home to the exact same house I left, whether I left my dishes out or not. I need what I put in the cupboard to stay in the cupboard until I remove it. I need my eating habits to be top priority and I need to control when I go to bed. I know that I am not the only woman out there like this, and I am sure there are plenty who have children who feel this way too. But, how do you manage to be a great parent, and not be a martyr? I have seen many women, and men, do it, but I feel like there HAS to be a cost....right??
I may not ever know this for myself. But I can say this....I just saw yesterday, two brand new parents doing it, and doing it well. For now, thats enough.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
After his grandfather passed away, she began to spend more time with her friends, volunteered at the local hospital, and got a new puppy. She used to dress up for Halloween, even though there were never any trick-or-treaters on her large piece of property, and take pictures of herself to email to the rest of the family. I could never figure out how she got all the Xmas decorations, which included outside lights along the roof, up by herself. She made us all something special every year for Xmas, and the last thing we got before Derek and I divorced was a lavishly made wooden board game. It was probably one of the best gifts I have ever received. She was an amazing woman. Anyway, on to croquet.
So Derek was still healing from surgery and taking large amounts of pain pills, and today he had decided he wanted to have a real drink. Vodka cranberry. Ok, just one. The combination scared me a bit, but he was an adult. I could tell his grandmother was not exactly comfortable with it either. But Derek always had a rebellious nature, and honestly, I think I liked that about him. So we were playing croquet and we were laughing, and he was pretty goofy from the med/alcohol combo, and I think that may have been one of the last times we were happy. Then Derek went in to make another drink, and this irritated me, and the moment, along with the croquet game, were over.
Friday, June 10, 2011
But this morning, I leisurely woke at 6:30 without my alarm, made some coffee, showered, threw on a sundress and some sandals and hopped on my bike to make it to school by 8:00. When I got home I took a little nap, went to visit my friend and her new baby, then came home and have been puttering around, drinking a glass of wine, taking a shower, waiting for another friend to show up for dinner.
I literally feel like a completely different person. And now for the funny part. You do not want to be my boyfriend in the summer. Because baby I need space. I will see you once, maybe twice a week if the mood hits me, but the last thing you want to do is try to pin me down. I stop making lists, I stop requiring myself to do anything other than exactly what I want, and dont even try and stop me. This year I planned several solo trips, invited girlfriends to show up at a few, wanted to keep the rest to myself and my relaxed mind. I never get bored. I luxuriously drink a glass of wine and read a book for hours. I stay in one room and sew all day. I volunteer at the local nursery, or this year, CSA, and then I bring home lots of awesome veggies and cook and can amazing things. My dogs are part of my entourage, so unless I fly there, expect to see them.
I ride my bike everywhere possible, and dont be surprised to see me in the garden of Red Tavern with Danielle having a free slice of pizza with our wine, or at Bidwell Perk or the T Bar just killing time with my mom. So, if you are a man to make it through summer with me, which has yet to happen outside my marriage, plan to have a life, way outside of our relationship. Then plan to be lazy and sit in my beautiful yard, at the firepit, with a glass of wine till late...then plan to walk or ride to farmers market in the morning and maybe stop for coffee on the way home. Then entertain yourself for an afternoon while I do my thing and you will probably get an amazing, fresh dinner, if thats your kind of thing. But if you want to hang out all day, watching tv, and drinking beer, or hit the malls, or the bars, and if you want me to attend all your kids' sporting events and help with providing capri sun and cheez-its, I ain't your girl. I do that shit during the year.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I hate to sound preachy, and I know that there are many people out there who are really trying to make a relationship work, because of vows, and sometimes just out of love, and I very much honor that commitment. I did it in my marriage, and I would do it again. But there is a difference between paying attention, knowing what you are getting yourself into, and blindly looking past warning signs.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I had to confront someone at work today and I chickened out. Well, let me clarify that. Not sure if I chickened out or if I was so afraid that my temper would take over the situation that I politely handed it off to my boss. Confrontation is such a weird thing to us as women. Or maybe its everyone. I used to be pretty ok at it. But then at some point, I started feeling like I wasnt really sure that my opinion mattered. My view of the world is so grey at times that often I am not really all that sure I am right. I mean, who am I? I'm certainly not God and I certainly do not pretend to have all the answers.
But.....one thing I do know....is that at times, I am right, even if only for me in my present circumstances. And sometimes I really am fucking right. And at those times, I deserve to be heard. Even if my boss is the one that has to say it.
Yes, I am still working on it. LOL
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
But here is the clincher. I have two dogs. They are 16 and 8, and they eat shitty pedigree food from a can. I throw in lots of veggie scraps, which they like, so they eat healthier than most, but still. This plagues me. I used to feed them higher quality dry food, still not vegetarian, but Ty my 16 year old cant stomach the dry stuff anymore so now we have resorted to crap food. But between his 60 dollar a month arthiritis medicine, and the 50 bucks a month the cheap crap food costs me, I literally cant afford to do any better.
So again, I am back to thinking about parenting. Most of us desire to have our children be as healthy as humanly possible, right? But most of us also are not rolling in dough, so to speak. Why is it that the crap food is so much less expensive and why is it that children like it so much more? Is it because of the cafeteria from a can lunch? Or something else? Is it because parents just get so tired of the fight to eat healthy that they finally settle for just eating?? This happens in my class too. Sometimes its either let them eat the stinking dessert or they will eat nothing, and their skinny little bodies just need some damn calories.
This isnt what I really wanted to talk about, but now I wonder. Where exactly does the problem with healthy eating in our society begin? Are healthy things too expensive? Are we teaching kids the wrong things? Are we poor models ourselves? Hmmmmm
Anyway, I am going to write a very brief last entry regarding my break-up because it is truly a done deal and time to move on. We will not be friends. Not my choice, but I will admit there are some things about the guy that are just too tough to deal with in everyday life. I was apologizing way too much, and often when I had no clue as to what I did wrong. Next.
Weirdly enough, although I abhor the idea of dating again, all the nervousness and all the NO guys that you have to go through in order to find one you actually like, I am fairly comfortable with the idea of having a partner in my life. I just know I havent yet picked the right one. I also know it might take awhile because I am one picky bitch. But truthfully, for the first time in my life, I actually feel like an adult, who has the capability to make good choices, and will trust myself to pick someone, no matter how long it takes.
And in the meantime, my life is pretty wonderful. I have great friends, great family, a fabulous job, and a fabulous house, with 2 fabulous dogs. I don't neccessarily have 2 gorgeous children, a great wardrobe, or an amazing body, but eh, we take what we are given and we appreciate it. Plus I am working on the wardrobe. LOL.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
I should probably try and be more social...but truth is, I am an introvert. I happen to have pretty decent social skills (most of the time), so I do have a lot of friends, but my friends nowadays are all attached. Except me. Most of them have kids. Except me. Ahem.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Resolving to be happy and single, I have done that. I did for years between my horrid divorce and Kevin. But then when you do have that person around, get used to them, its nice. I guess I got used to it again and now I see once again that yes, I am missing out, at some level, by resolving to stay alone.
But I am still too much a real woman to stay with the wrong person, for the wrong reasons. Sometimes being smart and not willing to settle sucks!
Why am I writing this now? Because I got some very odd vibes from K regarding this dinner these past few days. I got called "sunshine" again twice (my old nickname) and "sweetheart". He wanted to keep my pillowcases because they "smelled good", and well, was caught openly gaping at my leg while I was wearing a skirt. He also has said he didnt want to be my friend if I had a boyfriend, and has made several comments about how much he liked this side of me. The freedom loving, happy single side, I guess he means.
It would be very easy to fall back into this relationship for me. Doesnt mean its right. Damn smart bitch on my shoulder will probably win against the cupid on my other shoulder. Yep. Pretty sure. Shit.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Its one of those weird things, but even though I absolutely adore the guy, and he really had become my best friend, I also know, dammit...that he's not good for me. I question myself often about me in relationships in general, because truthfully, I am not sure I am ever really at my best in a relationship. I tend to be great at being alone, I have lots of friends and hobbies and enjoy all of them and as soon as I am in a relationship, its all gone. In this particular case, I was especially off because of some of the issues particular to him.
I am happy to say though, that for the first time ever, it seems that I will remain friends with my ex. He and I are really trying to make that happen. As for me, being single feels great. Yoga several times a week, sewing, spending time with my family and friends again, and generally just looking after me, feels good.
Friday, April 22, 2011
The reason I am writing this is because maybe he is right. Maybe I shouldnt be doing a blog if I wont really let anyone read it. LOL. To be continued...
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Then I was like "my best friend is having a baby".... Oh my God! I went through the roof with joy! I thought about every moment my friend would have with this baby/child and felt so much gratittude that I actually started to cry. Happy tears. And then I thought about all the moments that I would have with this baby/child and cried even more. My best friend is having a baby! Hallelujah!
And somewhere I realized that just because it wasnt my baby....did not mean that I couldnt love it and be the best auntie in the world! And that didnt mean because I wasnt a "mommy" per se, didnt mean that I didnt have something, some little bundle of joy, to give love to. It was just going to be different, and that is really okay. My best friend is having a baby. And I could not be more excited.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Roasted Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme:
Cut the fennel (2 bulbs) into slices and throw it into boiling water for about 10 minutes
Drain it and toss it with about 2 tablespoons butter, salt, pepper and about a tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme.
Spread it out on a baking sheet, and sprinkle it with about 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, then check. Pull it out when it is golden brown.
Potato and Celery Root Gratin:
Peel and cut celery root into slices.
Slice about 4 medium sized red potatoes.
Throw these into boiling water till tender.
Start about 1 1/2 cups milk in a pan on the stove. When it starts to simmer, whisk in about 2 cups cheese (we used cheddar and parmesan, but you could use whatever. Except maybe pepper jack.:)
Make a roux by melting one half cup butter and whisking in same amount of flour.
Whisk this into the now boiling milk/cheese.
Pile your potato and celery root mixture into an 8x8 pan, and pour a generous amount of the cheese sauce on top. (It will melt down into the dish).
Put foil over the top, cook at 350 for 35-45 minutes, then add breadcrumbs and drizzle a little olive oil on top.
Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper and cook another 15-20 minutes, till golden brown.
I didnt really plan on putting recipes in this blog, but yeah, we are loving this CSA box thing, and these were so good and unusual I really just couldnt help myself. So, thinking about how this applies to my "situation"...ie: Double income, no kids...I was going to write about how someone feeding kiddos could not really make these dishes because they are not the kind of stuff kids like....blah blah blah. Then it hit me. I really could feed my kids any fucking way I want. Picky kids who only eat things like chicken nuggets and Lunchables are not born that way. They are created. And just as easily could I create a child who eats things like fennel and celery root gratin. I COULD take my kids to sushi and thai and teach them to enjoy it instead of forcing myself to spend my entire life eating at places like Applebees and McDonalds!
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Sometimes I think that this sort of behavior is actually not all that healthy. It puts me in that same role I play everyday at school with the kiddos, and that my mommy friends play (not really play, is it?) everyday as THEIR LIFE! This sort of needing to always be caring for someone else sure makes it easy to forget to care for, ahem, myself. Yes, I have a headache today. And yeah my stiff back could really use a good yoga session. Plus I have this ginormous box of veggies from the CSA that could really make me a nice healthy dinner. And my own laundry is sitting in 6 divided piles, patiently waiting for my attention. And....I could go on. I often set my weekends up filled with chores, because ok, I will admit I am a neat freak,,, but also because I honestly dont really know what else to do with myself. I am better at working then playing, I guess. Hmph.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
We did go out and have a lovely sushi dinner to celebrate my "positive attitude"...I swear thats what he said, and I know, it really doesnt make me look so great on a regular basis, but whatever. Tomorrow I pick up our "box o veggies" from the CSA and try to figure out what to make with what is available this time of year...yeah there are not a ton of options for celery root and kohlrabi. But we like this life. It feels a little quiet, especially after losing my 11 year old golden retriever a few weeks back. And its kinda sucky having mass quantities of leftovers everytime we cook, which is often. It feels too easy, which is something that this drama queen has a difficult time with. I like being busy. I like running errands and pushing myself to see if I can get everything done on my list...
Kevin on the other hand...takes a week to wash the pot in the sink from the amazing soup he made last weekend (K is a bombin chef, BTW, lucky me!)...talks about doing laundry and mowing the lawn, but....well maybe my time frame is a little impatient, but usually I end up doing it before he does.
God I sound just like a wife and mom, minus the husband and kids. Crap.