Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

I'm feeling a lot of emotions today. I know what some of you (men) are thinking, "Of course you are, you're a woman." Well, you're not wrong. I am having one of those days. So instead of writing normal paragraphs, I'm just going to tell you some things on my mind today. And because I have a lot of feelings, I'll be doubling up on those.

I'm eating... delicious warm maple syrupy pancakes

I'm feeling...tired. So tired.

I'm wanting... to be napping and to feel totally healthy. I have been under the weather for a couple months now. I got a sinus infection awhile ago and apparently it fell in love with me because it won't leave! I must have some really attractive sinuses or something. There's no way of knowing.

I'm thinking... that Lisa is the least funny Simpsons character. (Most funny: Mr. Burns. Second funniest: Ned.)

I'm wondering... if "kookie" is a compliment. Someone on Twitter called me kookie. Hm.

I should be...doing so many things! Working on crafts for a craft show I'm participation in, exercising, doing laundry, etc...

I'm feeling.... like this is true:

I'm wondering... if I should make plans to go somewhere for New Year's or if I should just keep expectations low since New Year's is inevitably disappointing.

I'm feeling... excited about Christmas. Christmas is an emotional time too though. And a tiring time. Whether you're a parent and you're trying to juggle a million things, or a single person trying really hard to not feel lonely, it requires a lot of mini-pep talks and extra large doses of chocolate.

I am realizing... that winter is coming. It's so cold already. And dark. So dark. I got a full spectrum light for my desk at work and I'm hoping that helps me get through the winter. That combined with a little vitamin D and some self delusion should do the trick.

My "sunshine" corner

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Preserving Memories

Sometimes at night when I'm lying in bed and can't sleep, I, like most of you lonely souls, turn to my iPhone to pass the time. Once I've exhausted Facebook and Twitter, I usually turn to one of my favorite aps: instaframes.

Instaframes is an ap that lets you make collages or just dress up your pictures. Here's an example of a masterpiece I made using this ap.

Often I use the ap to make collages to send to my sister, Katherine. Her responses to almost all of my masterpieces is "ridiculous." I can't see her face when she receives these gems but I assume they're met with an eye roll and a reluctant chuckle. But maybe I flatter myself with that last bit. A couple nights ago, I sent her this piece with the caption "some of my favorite people."

Clockwise from left: Danny Tanner, my sister Katherine, Mayor Goldie Wilson from Back to the Future ("Honesty, Decency, Integrity"), and a lady with awesome hair who I saw at a restaurant.

Katherine said she was flattered at first, but then had her doubts about the crowd she was in. I think the lady with the hair was the source of her doubts. Cause I KNOW it couldn't have been Mayor Goldie Wilson or Danny Tanner. So I made her another collage of favorites:

Clockwise from left: Comet, the Tanner's dog from Full House, a lady who was accused of trying to kill the president (I don't love what she tried to do - in fact, I hate it - but I do like her mugshot), some soup I made a couple months ago, and the original collage. 

Katherine preferred this one. Kind of. 

Since I was on such a roll with these works of art, I decided to make one for my Eastern Market excursion on Saturday: 

Clockwise from left: my friend Doug approaching my camera, unknowingly (and my smile), my amazing sandwich, and my giant carrots.

Do you think my grandchildren will treasure these digital scrapbook pages? What will theses pictures say about me in the future? What do they say about what I think is important?

These are rhetorical questions. I beg of you not to answer them.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Weekend highlights

I love Thanksgiving weekend. I always take Friday off to make it a nice long weekend. Usually I do the whole Black Friday thing but this year we didn't feel like it. I'm really turned off by the stores opening on Thanksgiving day. I did buy a griddle Friday afternoon though, on a Black Friday sale, and I was way too excited about that!

I also saw three movies in the theater this weekend: Skyfall (again), Life of Pi, and Lincoln. Skyfall is really fun. Life of Pi is terrifying but beautifully done. I'd read the book so I should have known how scary it would be. But I was caught off guard and had many nightmares that night! Still, it was stunningly beautiful and well acted. Lincoln was amazing. Have we had a better president than President Lincoln? I don't think so. The acting was amazing, and the sets were great. I'd highly recommend it.

Here are some pictures from my weekend:

On Thanksgiving morning, I did a turkey trot with a friend. It was a great way to start the day! It was my first ever turkey trot. I think I'll make this a tradition.

Later that day, after over indulging on Thanksgiving dinner, I went for a walk with my sister and some friends around my aunt and uncle's house. My friend Doug noticed a tree that was completely hollow and decided to climb in it! Why? I have no idea!


Oreo Delight

After that, we went inside and had our annual candy house making competition. I lost, but I feel pretty good about my creation. There was really no way I could compete with the winners (Doug and Dave) who made a two part candy house. It was truly impressive.

My candy house

The winning candy house

On Saturday I went to the Eastern Market - a farmers market in Detroit - with my sister Katherine, and my friend, Doug. We got some amazing deals. Check out these carrots I bought for a dollar! I asked the guy how he got them so big, and he said Viagra! Awkward!

There were some amazing musicians playing at the market too, including this real life Fred (Mary Poppins reference):

After the market, we went to the Russell Street Deli for lunch. It was my first time ever eating there because there is always a long line outside to get in. Let me just say: it was worth the wait. The food was amazing!! I got a BLT sandwich with pesto mayonnaise and avocado. I know it's very hipster of me to take a picture of my food, but wow. It was so good.

All in all, it was a good weekend. There were some negative aspects too, but I won't burden or bore you with those. There were many good things, and I will focus on those. I have a lot to be grateful for. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving as well!

And now it's officially the Christmas season - the happiest time of the year!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

Thanksgiving prep day! They let us leave work two hours early today, and it has been a glorious afternoon. I made an apple pie (which is in the oven baking right now), and some delicious chocolate and peppermint cookies (click on the names for the recipes). And in between that, I worked on some hair clips I'm making for my nieces for Christmas. I'm in full on holiday mode, which is my favorite mode. 

Today I thought I'd give you all a special gift: the recipe for my family's favorite reserved-for-holidays dessert. It's called Oreo Delight but we often refer to it as just "Delight." As in, "is it time for Delight yet?" "Have they cut the Delight?" "Hurry and get me a piece of the Delight before it's all gone!"

Oreo Delight


1 bag of Oreo's (or Oreo like cookie)
3/4 cups melted butter
(2) 8 oz containers of Cool Whip
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
1 large package of instant chocolate pudding

Step 1: Crush the Oreo's in whatever manner you prefer. Combine with melted butter. Pat into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Let set for 20 mins in refrigerator or freezer.

Step 2: While that is cooling, combine one container of Cool Whip with cream cheese. Spread onto cookie crust.

Step 3: Make chocolate pudding. Spread onto cream cheese and Cool Whip layer.

Step 4: Top with second container of Cool Whip. 

Step 5: Serve as is or sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles or some crushed Oreo's.

Step 6: Watch your family love you SO much more than they did before. 

You now have the recipe for the most popular dessert in my family!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Must-Haves

Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy. Those are my top four favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving. After that, it goes: green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, rolls, and everything else. And for dessert: my mom's Oreo delight (a family favorite), and maybe some pumpkin pie.

The one food I don't need: cranberries. I don't even really understand what these go with.

Last night, I mentioned to one of my sisters that when it comes to turkey, I loooove the dark meat. She immediately said, "no! White meat!" Um.... who is she? I mean, the white meat is edible, don't get me wrong, but the dark meat is where it's at. Am I right?

This week I'm making a few dishes (a couple casseroles and an apple pie [here's a link to the recipe - it is SO good]). What is the dish you must have at Thanksgiving? Like, you would be devastated if it wasn't part of the menu.

Also,  please check the VERY IMPORTANT poll on the top left!

Gobble gobble!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November vs October

Grrrrrrrrrrr..... It's November. November is a rough reality after October. October is so colorful and fun. The leaves are changing, there are corn mazes, haunted houses, Halloween parties, candy, bonfires, and scary movies. But on November 1st, all the leaves miraculously fall to the ground, the sky darkens, the grass turns brown, it's time to get serious about politics, and the fun is over.



Last night I was feeling a lot of November rage. And to make it worse, I had "November Rain" in my head, which is one of the most heinous curses of November. So I decided to do a little art therapy. I got out my paints, some cardboard, and I painted the months of October and November, as I see them. (Keep in mind, I am not a painter.)


As you can see, they are quite different in my mind. One is awesome the other is capital Blah.

I'm sorry if November is your favorite month.

I'm sorry if your birthday is in November.

I'm sorry if November Rain is your favorite Guns 'N Roses song. 

I'm sorry if you're that girl I knew in high school named November.

November's just no October.

But we still have half the month left, and I'm going to try not to spend it grousing. So I'm dedicating the rest of this post to looking at the good things in November.

1. Movember - November is the month of the mustaches, which is pretty cool. Especially for a Magnum PI lover like myself.

2. Thanksgiving - I do love Thanksgiving, so I shouldn't discount its presence in November.

3. Christmas music - I sincerely hope no one ever hides a camera in my car and sees the way I sing along with the Christmas classics - especially The Grinch song. That's my favorite one to sing along with. I pretty much nail it every time.

4. That Friday off work after Thanksgiving. LOVE this. I love the Thanksgiving break - watching movies, shopping, eating, getting excited for Christmas.

Ok, I'm somewhat perked up. If there's anything else you like about November, please share!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

Last night, I was driving home from an appointment and I got a major ice cream craving. It was the kind of craving you just can't fight. So I decided to stop at Dairy Queen and get a small sundae. It was amazing. Have you guys tried their whipped cream? It tastes like marshmallow fluff! Anyway, after the sundae, I realized I was exhausted. It was still really early in the evening, so I figured I'd just "lay down" for an hour or so and rest. That's when I fell into an ice cream induced coma.

Suffice it to say, I slept for 11 hours last night. And it was awesome.

I did wake up for a one hour window somewhere in there, in which I was able to take care of some business. Business like brushing my teeth, taking my makeup off, and telling my friend something important that I almost forgot to tell him about.

In case you're wondering what it's like to be close friends with me, this is it. I am the one in the green:

Do I really think a ghost touched my back? No... probably not. It was just one of those dreams that feels like reality. Which means it could have been reality. There's no way of knowing. Don't worry though, I played it cool. Just to be safe.

Ok... other Wednesday Thoughts:

Every time I hear about the Patreaeus affair, I think "I can't believe he had an affair with Paula Poundstone - the comedian from "Wait wait... Don't tell me!" Then I have to remind myself that it's not her, it's some woman with really strong looking arms. It's just that they both have the first name Paula, and a last name with two syllables. Which I guess makes them the same in my mind.

Are you guys as excited about Thanksgiving as I am? I am super excited. I love that holiday. I usually do the Black Friday shopping on the day after, but I'm pretty irked with so many stores opening on Thanksgiving day, so I haven't decided what to do this year. What do you guys think? Do you shop on Black Friday?

Ok, last thought: with the new James Bond movie out, I realized last weekend that I'm pretty sure I've never seen any James Bond movies. Am I alone in that? I'm not sure I've seen the early Star Wars movies either (though I may have as a kid?). Have you missed out on any series of movies?

This guy alone is reason to get caught up. Amiright?
Happy Wednesday!

PS - This is my 1111th post! Make a wish!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Over 20

A few weeks ago, my sisters and I were driving to our cousin's house for a family function. I sat in the back of the mini-van with my nieces and nephews. At one point, we drove by a church which someone in the family had been married in this summer. My nephew, who is six, looked at me and said, "you're going to be next. I just know it."

I asked him what kind of man I should marry. We've had similar conversations before, but this one had some great points I have to share. The other kids piped in a little too.

E (nephew, 6): "He's going to have big muscles and laser eyes. And he's going to be able to fly."
P (niece, 8): "He's going to be handsome."
S (niece, 4): "And he's going to be a vampire."
P: "You're gonna kiiiiiiissssssss."
E: He's going to have  hair like this (makes his hair into a fauw-hawk).

That was was a few weeks ago. Today, we all got together for a family birthday party. My nephew and I were chatting and we had this conversation (keep in mind, he's six):

E: "So have you found him yet?"
Me: "Found who?"
E, looking at me knowingly, "You know.... muscles!"
Me: "Oh, you mean my husband? No. But I'm trying."
E: "If you don't get married, no kids."
Me: "I know, that's why I want to get married."
E: "How old are you?"
Me: (I tell him)
E, looking nervous, "Oh no! You're supposed to get married when you're 20!!!"

So, I guess I'm doomed. No vampire with a faux hawk for me.

And now I'm about to show you an amazing gem one of my sisters found while looking through an old box of photos. I won't say who I know in this picture, because they might kill me. BUT, I will say this: I don't know either of the kids in black face. And that's what really matters here.

This was probably taken in about 1990 or so, which makes it truly astonishing! I thought we knew better by then!

I have been laughing (a shocked, horrified laugh) every time I've seen this. It had to be shared.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

Today's only Wednesday? Seriously? Election day should count as two days. It sure felt like it.We survived it. The winners are trying not to look too smug today, and the losers are eating junk food and being straight up ticked off. It's an awkward day.

Obvious exceptions: those who are gloating, and those who are being poor losers. I've certainly seen both of those. But that's part of the process, I suppose.

Here's a picture of me right after I voted for Roseanne Barr* yesterday.

I think we've all had enough election talk, right? So how about I change the subject. Let's talk about something we can all agree on. This puppy is adorable:


Guys, I've realized lately that I'm getting a little older. It's crept up on me. Here are some of the clues I found to back this up:

  • I find myself absent-mindedly listening to classical music in the car sometimes lately. How did a classical station even get in my pre-sets?! Did I do that!? It scares me.
  • When I go to the vending machine at work I've started choosing a Hershey's with almonds instead of the more youthful choice of a Snickers or or Doritos. Ugh! Hershey's is an old person candy choice! What is happening!?!?!
  • When talking about what to get for my nephew for his 14th birthday, I heard myself say, "Who even knows what teenagers want!?" I'm so out of touch.
  • I don't know any of the names of the singers in One Direction. Is one of them Harry? Or maybe I'm thinking that because they're British and so is Harry Potter. They are British, right? 

Those closest to me would laugh at the idea that I'm getting mature and stodgy, so I won't try to convince you that is the case. In fact, the other day a good friend called me a "grown up little girl" after seeing my imitation of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz after he gets his joints oiled. But the changes are happening, and they're subtle. Not cool, aging. Not cool.

Moving on. It's still Wednesday? Whew! What a week.

Happy Wednesday.

*.... it's obvious that was a joke, right?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Today's the Day!

You guys... can you feel the energy in the air? It's buzzing with election excitement and nerves. I, for one, am super excited. I love this process. I hope my guy wins, but either way, the whole thing is awesome and life will go on.

To encourage you to get out there today, here is a picture my friend Jesse made:

Bacon is delish but broccoli is better for you. I'm speaking of food here of course... not politics...

Here's one more picture for you today:

If you haven't voted today, get out there and do it! If you don't vote, you can't complain!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Political Civility

This week isn't going to be easy. Yes, the election will be here and by that I mean OVER. But no matter who wins, a bunch of people are going to mad. And based on the past four years (it feels like) of the campaign, I can pretty much guarantee that neither the winners nor the losers are going to be civil. I don't know what it is, but civility seems to be a thing of the past in American politics.

Politics have always been nasty - I'm  not trying to say that's a new thing. In fact, in 1836 Davy Crocket (a congressman and known coon-skin hat wearer) accused Martin Van Buren of wearing women's clothing. He said, "He's laced up in corsets!" (source) In 1828, a Republican (actually "Whig") pamphlet against Andrew Jackson accused him of being, "a gambler, a cock fighter, a slave trader, and the husband of a really fat wife." (source) Rude. 

But among friends, the rule has generally been to not talk about politics or religion in social settings. My mom tells me that when she was growing up, that was the agreed upon rule. A friend told me the other day that she'd rather NOT know who people are voting for! She'd be fine with it all being more civil and quiet. But that's just not how it is anymore. 

I blame social media. You post a picture that says "My guy is smart, yours is dumb" or "my guy is good, yours is evil" or "my views are correct, yours are wrong" or "I'm smart, you're dumb nah nah nah nah nah nah." And when you click on "post" you don't really think about who specifically is going to be reading that, or how they might feel. Or maybe you feel justified. Or maybe (if it's a particularly mean post), you're just a bully. I don't know. But I do know that when you are not looking in the face of the person reading what you're posting, it is much easier to post hurtful, mean spirited, un-researched, political opinions. 

Not that all posts are like that. In fact, I am friends with a woman on Facebook whose views are very different than mine. She posts quite often about her views. But she is very civil, and very sincere. She never offends me, though our opinions are vastly different. She, however, is one of the few I've seen who can manage this civil social media discourse. 

In fact, I made a graphic showing what politics (not just in social media, but in general) looks like to me this political season:

So, how can we be more civil? I've been listening to (and partaking in) a lot of discussions this past week on this topic and I'll share some thoughts I have on the subject:

1. Before you click "post" on Twitter or Facebook, picture your friends and family who are you going to read it. Would you show it to them if they were at your house? Do you think it would offend them? Do you want to offend them? Do you believe it will start a civil conversation or one with anger and hurt feelings?

2. If someone posts something you disagree with, think about it before you react. Are they trying to anger the people reading it? Or are they trying to start a civil conversation? Will responding with anger make you feel better or worse? If it will make you feel worse, simply walk away from it.

3. Do you want to change people's minds? Do you truly believe that is possible? Or is it more important to understand where people are coming from? We all come from such different backgrounds. Could it be possible that your friend or family member who has different political beliefs could have arrived at those beliefs because of his or her background/education/experiences  and not by ignorance? And is it possible that they are not dumb or wrong, but are simply approaching the situation from a different place?

4. Do you truly care what your friend's political leanings are? Does if affect how you see them? If so, why? 

5. My last thought is this: most people are sincerely trying to do what they think is right. Name calling and shouting will never bring us closer together. And we won't be able to change most people's minds. But that's ok because that's the way it's meant to be. It's more fun to have diversity of thought. So instead of trying to change people, what about listening instead? What about trying to understand where they are coming from? Or if worse comes to worse, maybe just change the subject. ;)

What are your thoughts? How can we encourage more civility? 

Good luck this week, fellow Americans. Oh, and please vote! It's a privilege and something we shouldn't take lightly!