Friday, September 24, 2010

Reality Check, In the Hardest Form

I’m the first person to admit that I complain, whine, bitch, moan, hiss and on special occasions, have a tendency to claw.  My bite is worse than my bark and I have no problem expressing my disgust for stupidity, selfishness, condescending behavior and overall assholeness (yeah I think I just made that word up). 

I’m about as wound up as they come.  I let miniscule things bother me; I tend to become stressed out over stuff that I cannot control.  I get worked up over sports commentators that trash-talk our local college football team.  I panic when my starting line-up for my Fantasy Football team doesn’t perform well.  I spew green foam when parents get into pissing matches on my son’s football field.  I worked myself up so much the other day that I actually forgot what I pissed off about. 

It all seems so trivial today. 

Lindsey I’m-a-Druggy-Pathetic-Role-Model-For-Young-Girls Lohan and her “issues”; Paris and her issues, NFL players and their inability to drink responsibly and catch a cab home, the bitch that lives next door to me that mows her lawn at 9 o’clock at night when my kid is sleeping, the punk kids who drive at mach 10 down my street when there are little kids playing.  It all seems really ridiculous and insignificant given what I now know.  

God, Buddha, Allah, whoever you want to believe in, The Higher Power that is out there tests us daily.  Maybe not financially, or spiritually, or even physically, sometimes it’s mental.  Sometimes it’s our integrity, honesty or trust.  Our fears could be tested or our faith.  For whatever reason we are tested, for whatever circumstance, I’m a firm believer (or at least have always been) in, there is a reason this is happening. 

A little girl.  A vibrant, energetic little girl, with loving and compassionate parents.  Both very involved in their church, community, and the lives of their kids.  A little girl with two other brothers and one sister.  A little girl, that I have never met, but I have seen run like the wind and twirl around unabashedly in the practice fields where my son meets 5 times a week to play football.  The little girl I’ve seen shrieks with excitement, smiles bigger than sun, moon and stars and giggles with a strong animated tone that becomes contagious if you’re around it. 

A little girl was diagnosed two days ago with Neuroblastoma and is already in Stage IV of this horrifying disease.

Her father is my son’s football coach.  Her older brother is my son’s friend and classmate.  Her Mother, I have only spoken to in passing and have used a polite smile and nod as I did so. 

Two days ago, life became more than dreading 6 o’clock in the morning.  It became more than feeling ‘put out’ because I got stuck at a red light.  It became more than being frustrated because I am obligated to make my son’s lunch.  The small kiddy pool in my backyard that my pup has dug, the $60 in hoses I have purchased, just to have them destroyed, the exasperation in my voice because I have to drive into town – again – for the 4th time in one day, all seems so childish and selfish now. 

Shame on me.  Shame on me for being so self-centered and spoiled.  Shame on me for thinking that this is some kind of karma payback for using the F-word too many times.  Shame on me for thinking that I’m so important that I can’t possibly take time out of my pathetic day to grab my kid and say, “Let’s go play catch.”  Shame on me for thinking I have it rough because I was laid off.   Who the hell am I? 

I see this girl’s family and friends rally around this child and I am consumed by the love and support that they are receiving.  My heart is aching for this baby and there is nothing I can do; besides tell this family that they are in my thoughts and prayers. 

I have this inconceivable amount of sorrow lingering in my gut.  I’ve been carrying around a golf-ball sized knot in my throat and I have no way to release.  I am hoping and praying that this family will see positive results and this child is spared the pain that this cancer brings.  I pray that this family will receive the ‘good news’ they desperately need and undoubtedly deserve. 

Today, trivial things don’t matter.  

Today, I grabbed my son before he left for school and I wrapped my arms around him and just embraced his presence. 

Today, I laughed when my puppy chewed up his brand new toy – so much so you can’t even recognize what it was to begin with.

Today, waking up didn’t bother me.  Spilling my coffee made me giggle.  Watching uptight drivers rev their engines and gun their little 4-cylinders off the line made me chuckle.

Today I embraced the headache I got.

Today, I prayed for this family, more than I’ve ever prayed for anything.

Today, I am taking nothing for granted.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bunions and Lemons, Getting Off On The Right Foot

Whew!  Sorry about going A.W.O.L.  I was in a much-needed time-out.  I have thought about my actions and I have learned a valuable lesson.  I need to drink more.  Then maybe people who jack my shit won’t bother me so much.  

In other news, I hosted a sort-of mini family reunion (by surprise), sent my kid off to 5th grade, took a road trip with the ‘Mom Person’ and am currently trying to force-feed my skinny bitch sister a cupcake when she’s not looking.  I’m thinking if I tell her it’s the “new diet fad” she might eat it.  We’ve been separated for a couple of years and now that she’s back in town she weighs about a buck o-five-soaking-wet and I really dislike her for that.  I’m not being ugly; I’m just stating a fact. 

She’s getting a muffin and a Big-Gulp for Christmas. 

Oh all right, I’ll get over it.

Here’s my real topic: Cooking with Spanky. 

I’m not a Culinary Artist (unless taking the peel off an onion counts as art).  My chopping technique is hazardous, not only to myself, but also to anyone within a 15-foot radius of me and one time I forgot FLOUR when baking a loaf of banana bread.  That would be my awesomeness shining through.  However, when given proper instructions and assuming there is no time limit on how prompt something has to be prepared, I can be quite the Suzie Homemaker when I want to be. 

This last weekend I had company staying with me, and by company I mean my amorous sister who is a temporary paying guest and her youngest son.  I promised the boys (my nephew and my free-loader) that I would make a big breakfast on Sunday morning.  By “big” I mean the works; hash browns, eggs, sausage and pancakes – you know, your typical carb overload.  I later came to my senses and decided that pancakes and sausage would be sufficient enough to please the troops and opted to focus my exceptional cookery skills on my beloved pancakes.

I love lemon. 

No, my focus didn’t shift just now it’s simply just a testimony to my fondness towards citrus.  Especially when used in batter.

I purchased two perfectly proportionate lemons the day previous knowing that I was going to outdo Bisquick®.  I’m one of those “more is more” people when it comes to spices.  I’m a nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla girl and during one of my pancake extravaganza’s, I was completely out of dry spices.  So in a pinch, I thought, maybe some lemon zest and frozen blueberries would do the trick?  It was a hit.  The freeloader loved it and Mr. Fricken Awesome was pleased at my flapjack abilities. 

Between you and me and this ridiculous blog? I was just throwing shit in and hoping it turned out ok.  But now that I’m educated in the art of pancakes and fruit, I decided that lemon zest is definitely the way to go. 

I got my griddle out, whipped up my batter, pulled my lemons out of the fridge and threw the sausage at my sister and insisted that she manage the links as my assignment was much more complex and required my full attention. 

My utensil drawer.  It’s more like a ‘catch-all’ for hand-me-down kitchen utensils that either doesn’t fit in my silverware drawer or on my limited counter space in a cutesy little container.  My kid just randomly throws shit in there as he pleases and I am forever wasting time digging through this drawer frantically looking for gadgets.  Last Sunday was no exception.  My griddle was hot, my batter was prepped and all I needed was to add the lemon zest.  I ripped open my drawer and did a quick scan of my inventory.  I saw a zester in there that I didn’t recognize.  Now, I thought back to the house full of people I had just two-weeks previous and decided, hmm some dumbass left their zester here – how convenient for me!

I snatched it out and started zesting.  Scrub, scrub, scrub … nothing.  Zest, zest, zest … nothing.  What the?  This zester sucks.  Maybe it’s one of those fancy-schmancy ones that trap all the goodies in like a pencil sharpener and you have to open it once it’s full.  Obviously.  I take the zester over to my sink and start trying to open it.  I inspect one side – no lemon.  I turn it over and inspect the other side, still no lemon.  I turn it upside down – surely there is an opening somewhere on this!


On the front of my new (Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers) zester there was a logo.

I looked back at my batter, back to the FOOT FILE, back to my batter and GAGGED!  I ran over to my batter and started inspecting it.  Nothing.  Nothing?  Really?  Then I panicked.  I then asked my sister, “What does this say?”

Sis: What?
Me (showing her the file): THIS!
Sis:  Where?
Me (pointing to the logo):  Right THERE!
Sis: (Hysterics)
Me:  It’s not fucking funny!! I just tried zesting a lemon with a fucking foot file! What the fuck is a foot file doing in my utensil drawer!!
Sis: (Still laughing)
Sis: (Still laughing)
Me: Are you kidding me?  Did I really just do that?  Oh my god.
Sis (on the floor peeing herself): What were you trying to do?
Me: Shut up

At this point I tossed the foot file (still gagging) up onto the counter and revisited my utensil drawer for MY zester.  I zested my lemon and went onto make my now famous Lemon-Bunion Pancakes - smooth and tasty!

I’m off to Wal-Mart to get some toenail polish remover as we are having waffles tomorrow!

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