Thank you for dropping by!

I truly appreciate that you've decided to share part of your day in my world. I hope your time has been well spent and I've made you smile, laugh or think.





Saturday, November 29, 2014

$6 on the Ground

Today I had some shopping to do.  Crap I sorta needed to get but didn't need enough to risk my life shopping on Black Friday.

I went to Target, my go to place for all things random.  I have to say I am quite happy that they expanded the grocery section at my local Target.  I actually had a weird list that included replacing some of my spices and nail polish remover (not because I wear nail polish, but because my husband had a super glue incident).

So walking into Target,  I saw a roll of dollars on the ground.  I picked it up and it was $6.  A $5 bill and a $1 bill rolled up.

Six dollars. My lucky day.

I picked it up and thought "hmmm... maybe I'll get a Starbucks with it" because my local Target also has a Starbucks.  I was tired and coffee sounded pretty darn tasty.

I then flashed back to my senior year in college.  I was broke (typical) and was walking to a study group and there was $20 on the ground.

That was a LOT of money to me in 1993. 

There also were 2 girls in front of me, about 30 yards ahead.

I saw that one of the girls backpacks was open.

So I said "Excuse me, did you drop this?"

She said yes and thanked me.  I think it was a lot of money to her, too.  She also commented that it was really nice that I did that because I could have just kept it and no one would have known.

Not true.  I would have known.

Anyhow, I was feeling really proud of myself.  Yeah me.

Then I got to my study group.

I apparently had left my wallet in the room after our meeting the night before.  Fortunately one of my partners grabbed it for me because they didn't want to leave it in the room.

Talk about karma.  That happened within less than 10 minutes apart.  Karma works fast in my life.

When I saw the $6, I thought I should at least pretend to look for someone who may have dropped it.  I was trying to fool Karma.

I figured "it's $6- I'm getting the coffee."

As I was standing in line, however, Karma started to bother me.  She is such a bitch sometime.

Then I thought about the conversation I had with 2 Target workers over the weekend.  We were getting some things for the house.  I asked if they were working on Thanksgiving.  One happily said no, the other sadly said yes.

I said "Well, didn't you volunteer?  They keep saying everyone working volunteered for the extra pay."  Which I knew was complete bullshit.

It was.

She said that her mom was in from Texas and at time and a half, she would only make about $100.  She said sharing the holiday with her mom was worth more than $100 but least she didn't have to go in until 6 pm.

So in my hand I had $6.  Which is the equivalent of a frappucino.

Or an hour of work, after tax, for a Target worker.

An hour of their life.

Or to me, loose change on the ground and a ridiculously overpriced, caloric caffeine bomb.

I went over to the Customer Service counter and said "Hey I found this outside."  She looked at me like I was crazy.

After all, it was only $6.

I think she set it aside.  Or maybe she kept it.

And I don't care.

I didn't need it.

I went back to the Starbucks counter and got a black coffee- which I prefer anyhow.  I paid with it with the loose change in my purse.  $2.

I went on my way and bought the stuff on my list.  The store looked looted after Black Friday and the workers were there, working incredibly hard, restocking the shelves.

And if you didn't know, the workers at Target make the same as Wal-Mart.  And the same as most retail stores.

Which is squat.

Because somewhere we decided their hard work wasn't worth it.  Even though, as a society, we certainly shop a lot.

But an hour of someone's life was worth the equivalent of loose change on the ground.  Or a cup of coffee.

No matter your politics, that just doesn't seem right to me.

I don't really know where I'm going with this- I apologize.  I guess had one of those "Wow" moments and wanted to share it.

I wondered if one of the workers had dropped the money one their way home.  And if they had, I really wanted them to be compensated for the hour of the life that had given up so that I could buy a new pan.

I hope my $6 found its way into the right hands. 

So Karma, if you're reading this, please make sure that it does.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankfulness

Last Thanksgiving I had no idea it would be the last Thanksgiving we would celebrate in our old house.  Just like the Thanksgiving before we didn't know it would the last one we shared with my husband's grandmother.

I love to look through old pictures from the past and see how the people around the table have changed over the years.  In my 20s, it was always friends.  In my 30s, my husband's and now my family.  In my 40s, the family is changing with new people joining us, others moving on, some passing away and friends joining us back at the table.

I've always believed that's what made life so interesting- you never know.  It ebbs and flows. 

This holiday season our family has had some pretty bad news.  While we moved into our new, beautiful home. 

The yin and the yang.

I didn't know how festive we would really feel like being.  When I had some friends ask if they could join us, I said yes.  It lightened the mood and kept us focused on all the good things.

And our house- wow- it is turning into everything we dreamed it would be.  A place for our friends and family to gather.  A place to make memories.

Last night, very appropriately, our new neighbors invited us to join in their house blessing.  They are Indian and we had no idea what to expect.  It was amazing.  Their families and friends all joined as the priest blessed every part of their home.  As a Catholic, when the priests blesses your house, they sprinkle a little holy water, you say a pray and that's it.  This was about 2 hours.  We were the only non-Indians there.  One of their cousins commented that it was really fun to watch it through our eyes- we were mesmerized.  He said they attended these things so often that they forgot how special it truly was.  And it was.  Our new neighbors were starting their new life.  They celebrated it. 

And that's what we did today.  Our first holiday in our home.  Our first party.  Family & friends coming together to give thanks. 

Because while our house is great,without the people in it, it wouldn't be a home. 

So today, I am most thankful for my home- the people who fill it-- the dreams it holds- the memories it will create- the laughter it's already held.  Today I am thankful for the wonderful life I've been given.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

My Favorite Things- Just in Time for the Holiday Season!

Yes, it's that time of year!  Oprah just announced her list, the websites are starting their must-haves and I don't want to be left out.

So, as you begin your holiday spending spree, here are my Top Ten Things I Can't Live Without.

1) Bubble Baths in Candlelight with Cool Music Playing

Nothing is better than kicking back on a Friday night, lighting a few candles and chilling to some cool tunes in the tub.  I usually prefer ambient music.  My daughter calls them "peace baths" because after barging in one time I said, "Sweetie, Mommy just needs a little peace and quiet."

Cost: $1-$2

2) Sunsets

I first started "sunsetting" in college.  There is a hill called Libe Slope (by the library) that looked out over Cayuga Lake.  At sunset, a group of us would sit silently and watch the sunset.  I try to catch as many sunsets as possible.  I love the deep blue the sky turns, as the stars pop out.  The mountain range line is perfect.  I have been known to make my family stop whatever they are doing to partake in "my favorite time of day."

Cost: $0

3) Eating Dinner at a Table

Even as a single gal, I have eaten nearly every meal at a table.  For some reason people thought this was weird.  We try to have every family meal around the table together almost every night.  I can't imagine life without that little stop in the day to regroup.  I also feel that way about breakfast, but I do tend to skimp on that one and lunch is at my desk which is technically a table...

Cost: $0- assuming you have a table and were planning on eating anyhow

4) Reading

I read anything and everything.  It's the best way to spend an afternoon.

Cost: $0 at the Public Library

5) Campfires

Everything is better by the campfire.  I look better in firelight.  My family gets along better around a campfire.  It just makes life better.

Cost: $0-$25 depending on if you live somewhere that requires you to go somewhere to camp or start a fire

6) Music

I sing pretty much constantly.  I also like to dance.  I miss playing in an ensemble.  I think everyone would get along better if we sang to each other rather than spoke.  Music can change a mood.  It calms me.  It inspires me.  It can make me cry.  It can make me smile.  It can make me remember.

Cost: $0- just open your mouth and sing.

7) Making Out with My Husband

Hopefully, not everyone has access to this gift.  However, feel free to insert your own kissable person.  Kissing is highly underrated in the oversexualized world.  No one is too old to make out to some great hair band ballads.   At least that's what works for me.

Cost:  Well... that's debatable.

8)  My Children's Laughter

Listening to my kids laugh makes me smile from the inside.  There is nothing better in the world.  In fact, listening to any children laugh immediately makes me smile.

Cost: Sometimes my dignity, but if it gets a laugh, it's worth it.

9) Perfectly Cooked Eggs

I recently started having eggs fried lightly in olive oil and seasoned with rosemary, thyme, kosher salt and pepper for breakfast.  It takes 5 minutes and just starts the day in the best way ever.

Cost: $2-a high end item

10) Friends

One of the very best parts of my life is that I surround myself with great people.  I don't have a lot of tolerance for people who are negative, continually in distress, treat others poorly-- so by not including those people in my life-- even ones I'm related to-- it makes my life so much easier.  I'm there when my friends need me and I don't expect them to be happy constantly.  But the ones that drain me-- I stop calling.  Fortunately, they are usually too absorbed in themselves to notice.  Life is too short to spend on people who are energy suckers.  Do yourself a favor this year for the holidays, choose your friends wisely.  Thin the rolodex.  Spend your time with those whose time you enjoy.  Because time is not unlimited.

Cost: $0


While I can appreciate that some of these items are hard to fit under the tree or in a stocking (especially the eggs), I highly encourage you to try out a few on the list or consider giving them as gifts this holiday season.

Merry Everything!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

One of the Best Things of the Week

Sorry I've been lax all year in writing-- it's been crazy, busy, frustrating, happy-- and if I can't write something nice, why write anything at all, right?

Anyhow, something life changing happened this week that I had to share with my interwebz family.

I learned how to cook perfect bacon.

And by perfect, I mean PERFECT.

If you are a bacon person, bookmark this now (or you can search for the site where I got this amazing revelation).

If you are not a bacon person, I question your existence.

I am a fan of the website kitchn.com and America's Test Kitchen.  So when Kitchn.com posts something from America's Test Kitchen, I bite.

I am also a cooking snob- I've been cooking for a very, very long time.  It's very natural.  I make good bacon, so how much better could it be?

You have no idea.  Just do this.  Immediately.  I will wait while you go out and buy bacon.

Are you back now?

Okay.  Put the bacon in a pan.

Easy enough.

Now here's where you must trust me-- cover the bacon in water.

Yes.  Water.  The crap that if you add it to the pain will shoot out like little fireballs and burn you (that whole oil and water not mixing thing).

Just. Do. It.

Then, turn the heat to medium-medium low, place either a grease screen or a lid half on and let the water cook away.

This will render the fat.  Once the water is gone (about 15 minutes?), you will hear the delicious bacon start to sizzle.  Turn the heat up slightly, turn the bacon once.  And no worries about the grease fireballs- little to no splatter.  No joke.

Magically, it will turn into photoshopped perfection.

I kid you not.

It will be perfectly crisp, not burned.  It will be juicy, not greasy. 

My son, a lover of bacon, was blown away.  I mean, even bad bacon is good.  But this was PERFECT. 

The extra (which I hid for salad toppings), crumbled perfectly.

So there you have it.  On my new stove in my beautiful home, I learned to make the most perfect bacon.

It is a sign of all the good things to come- I'm sure of it.

Now some of you may question this method or think you have a better one-- like baking it.  I do that, too, and probably will continue to bake it for large parties (like brunches), but this... I'm telling you... try it.

Enjoy!