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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adventures in the Kitchen

I love cooking. Really. I do. The problem is that I'm not very good at it and I hate the cleanup. But I've decided to cook more often.

Tonight we have a double adventure taking place in the kitchen: spaghetti and meatballs while cooking meatloaf. Nanny was kind enough to stock me up on the staples of the meals, so I thought I'd test my skills.

As a child, I remember my mom's spaghetti sauce: it'd cook all day long on the stove top, tasted like heaven, and was way better than anything at as store. While I'm sure the majority of it came from a jar, the love that bubbled through the red sauce reminds me of home. I've attempted to duplicate the recipe countless times. Fail, each time. Nothing will ever be like moms. The meatballs are baking in the oven. I loaded them with mushrooms, cheese, garlic, and breadcrumbs. On the stove is the red sauce with mushrooms, olives, more garlic, and special seasoning.

Also baking away in the oven is a meatloaf. It too has mushrooms, parsley, and love. I think the ketchup/brown sugar mixture may be a touch too sweet.

With two hearty meals underway, I'm trying to figure out which to eat for dinner and which to freeze. I love meatloaf. But not sure I want to put the effort into supporting sides. I'll go with the spaghetti.

Cooking is an adventure that brings out a new creativity. More often than not, my creations fall short when it comes to taste. I rarely cook for others - unless you count my artichoke dip or chocolate bark. I'm far too insecure and in need of approval for others to test my creations. But maybe, just maybe if I put in the labor before hand, I can find someone to clean up. That would be marvelous! It does smell so good in the house. Yum!

15 more minutes

Happy Thursday.

Al Roker just asked a young girl if the person standing next to her was her brother ... nope, it was her sister. Poor Al. Poor little girl. Hope she doens't remember this tomorrow. Traumatic.

A beg bug invasio999999999999n is taking over the country. Can you believe this? No one wants that nasty stuff in your bed.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
- sorry about those 9s, Jake Ryan put his head on the keyboard - clearly he wanted to say hello.

989
**899*
55

More Jake ... whoops

When I got up this morning, it looked like the house was encompassed in fog. The humidity is so thick today that every window was coveredwith a layer of moisture. I absolutely love the heat and the summer. I know if a few months we'll be bundled up and even more months beyond that we'll be longing for the warmth. It's like we're always missing something we've had and looking forward to what's to come. I when it comes to weather I totally get it. But when it comes to life, well, you know how it goes...wishing and longing. It's human nature and it's not going to stop.

During my nearly five years being with Connect, I heard the MBTI debrief eight times. My Type is ISFP or INFP ... my S/N are too close for me to be a stronger preference either way. Yestday I took some time to reread the description. It's like reading an accurate assessment of my personality. It reassures me and reminds me who I am. Overly, deeply emotional; intuitive; caring - too caring; needing rassurance; etc. The list of strenghts was right on while the list of weaknesses was quite percise too. Bottom line is that the INFP is an idealist who just wants to make the world a better place. I come by it honestly. Some times it burns me. Other times it pays rewards. Here's a link to the page: www.personalitypage.com if you want to take the assessment. I think it's like $5 - or you can find it free elsewhere online. It's a great tool to help you understand yourself. But...here's the kicker. After hearing it that much, I'm well aware of all the other types. This rocks. You can gain insight into they why and how people think and act. You see they're not crazy, just different. :)

I wish I had a camera with me right now. Jake Ryan is asleep, head on the laptop ... I know the minute I move he'll get up and ruin a perfect shot.

Oh well - time to start the day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Treddy-Licious

Okay - so here's the deal. I'm committing myself to writing for at least 15 minutes a day. Now...some will just be ramblings, others will be wonderful (of course). So I'm not going to keep posting to my FB fan page - or should I? It's the fine line of overexposing yourself and reminding readers you're out there.

We'll see...I am a master planner. I suck at execution and sticking to plans.

This brings me to my first daily topic: Plans. Glorious, glorious plans. I love making plans, laying out how to accomplish a goal, spend a day, run a route. I spend countless minutes deciding exactly how I want things to happen and progress. The second the rubber (or New Balances) hit the road, the plan is out the window.

While logging my daily mileage (3), I started thinking about plans. I planned to start my day at the gym. When I got there about 8:30 a.m., I was on the phone and the lot was filled with mommy-mobiles (SUVs). I skipped and headed to my favorite Starbucks - the one near Costco, NOT GOVERNORS. Costco is not the same crowd - and I guess that is why I prefer it. As I pull in, I see Jason Dilocker's car. Yippee! I place my order and pull up a seat. We talk for a good 30 minutes before he has to head to work and me off to whatever was next. After all, the plan was already thrown to the wind. I'll come back to Jason in a minute and what I realized there.

Once home, the floors were swept, conversations were had and then it was back to the gym - no mommy cars, just a relatively empty lot welcoming me. SWEET. While spending time with my boyfriend Treddy, I continued to make plans: what program I'd do, what I wanted for dinner, what needed to get done this week. Fourteen minutes into the run, I took a deep breath and said, "Self, why do you spend so much time making plans when you know you'll never stick to it? Don't you realize that a plan (one to which people adhere) prevents emotion, spontaneity, and room for error?"

I thought back to my teen years, I'd planned to be married and have kids by now. That never happened. But what did has been better than I could have imagined. If I had stuck to my pledge, following the marriage/kids route, would have what I have? Would I have more? Less? You can't let your thoughts go there. I have what I have. I have done what I've done. I wouldn't trade either for what's behind door #3.

The the question becomes, as I become self-aware, why do I plan? I think it's a linear thing. I like to line up what needs to be done. I'll get it all done, just in my own way. I prefer on-the-spot decision making. Or perhaps it's the rebel in me, the girl who doesn't like rules and structure. Yeah, I think that is is. I like to see the obstacles and get over/through them in my own way. I love this flexibility, this unknown. After all, you're talking to a girl who has walked out of many safe/comfortable situations for the complete and total unknown.

Each time I've built my wings after the giant leap of faith. While the fall may have been unplanned, uncontrolled and brutal, the landing has always been magnificent. And that's something you can't plan.

Lesson #2: Husbands. I have about four of them; each married to others but would be here in a pinch if I needed them. They're the ones I go to lunch with, run into at Starbucks, and can just talk to.

Each of them are great husbands to their real wives and let me just put this out there right now - I have no desire to pull a Rayelle Hunter. I respect their commitments and would never ever ever ever (have I made my point???) go "there".

But what's great about these guys is that because there is that line, the friendships shift. They respect, show genuine interest, and listen. With single guys (or "those kind of married men"), there's a different feel. Singles send inappropriate texts, cross the line, and such. Married men friends never do, thus allowing more depth to the friendship.

After having coffee with Jason, I walked away with a greater respect and/or appreciation for the opposite sex. After allowing no-so-good fellas to come through my life, I see that great guys ARE out there. Maybe it's not just because they're married that they show respect, but it's because they're just great people. I'm happy to have their friendships, but even happier for their wives.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Worth Celebrating

This morning was horrible. I woke up late, missing boot camp. Once I got to the gym, it was filled with housewives, all hijacking my machines.

With the rain coming down, I headed home and settled into the office. The phone rang about 9:30 a.m. I took a deep breath while walking toward it, knowing it could be "the call."

Sure enough. It was. I'd negotiated last week and was waiting on their reply ... and it came. Exactly the price and time I was wanting.

Starting on September 1, I will start a one-year contract with BP Decatur Works creating their external and internal communications and community outreach plans. Can I get a whoop whoop! When I read the job requirements back in mid-July, it was as if every step I'd ever taken led me to the position. Television, writing, creativity, design, public speaking, working with non-profits, educational outreach, and much more. From job fairs to Decatur Chamber events, I'll get to tell the story of BP's Chemical Division. Best of all, the time frame allows me to create and implement while stepping out next August 31.

I am looking forward to so much about this contract. I've really enjoyed my time at home and beginning the foundation for Sassy Pants. This will allow me to continue to grow my contacts and enhance my skills. I've learned so much about myself, the people in my life, and grown my faith exponentially. Faith in self, God, and patience. In addition, my mom is awfully proud of me! :)

There is of course more news to tell. But that will come in due time.

Until then, Bottoms Up! Here's a toast to me.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I Do Declare

Just a few random declarations:

I have been known to double dip.

I never wanted to be a rock star, but I like to party like one.

I'd rather lift weights and push my body that way than do cardio.

I love living next door to Mr. Vickers. He always plants a garden in the spring/summer. This season it's tomatoes, some other stuff and sunflowers. I would like to have a garden, but I lack the patience and dedication. I am a "set it and forget it" kind of gal.

I enjoy watching Poncho lick grass.

I love music with words; mostly I just love words.

My list of deal breakers has diminished as I get older. Now it's mostly the major sins.

I imagine being a baby is the most frustrating time in your life, even more than being a teenage girl.

I really do hate the "Real Housewives" series.

I can dig a hole.

We never have to worry about me being addicted to anything - again, I lack dedication.

I love to cook. However, I'm not good at it. Plus anything made by anyone else tastes much better. And if I don't have to clean up, it tastes magnificent.

I wonder how many people take out life insurance on their spouses without the intention of killing them. Clearly I've watched too much Dateline Investigation stories.

I spotted a typo on a slide on Intervention and got totally giddy, but wanted to call them and tell them to correct it.

While I'm proud of my mom for her career, it just sucks that I can't call her to share news - good and bad.

I still believe there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow, that recliners are a slice of heaven, and there's nothing greater than having people who accept you even though you're slightly crazy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tales from The Front

Morning Surprise
The yard guy showed up about an hour ago ... and when I hear the telltale signs of his arrival, I rush out back to pick up the dogs' toys. Besides writing the check to pay for his services, I feel like this is the least I can do. When I went out back this morning, the dogs had taken a NEW box of 40 tampons outside and had used several as chew toys. Even though I knew no one could see this, I just laughed and hurriedly picked them up. I don't understand why they don't chew on the countless toys I've bought them.

Stop Watching That Crap
Last night I was busy working as the television was broadcasting a marathon of Dateline Investigation stories. Tales of wives done away with because of jealousy, lives torn apart by senseless murders, all shown with a menagerie of wedding pictures, couples smiling as a soundtrack doom plays in the background. Each episode ended with a jury's verdict and a family, that once seemed picture perfect, ruined. After several hours of hearing these stories, I started to wonder if my Baby Daddy mission was the best way to go.

I came to the conclusion that yes, it is. While not every marriage ends with murder, these days more end in divorce. While my method and approach is controversial, it's what's best for me. I'm not good in relationships. I've tried, really tried. I'm too scared, too hard to get to know, and way to set in my ways to try something new. Now that I'm older, I want different things than I did 10 years ago. Today I want a baby and a baby daddy to join me in the journey. I don't want to worry about him cheating or leaving. I certainly don't want him to have to run out back to pick up a box of 40 tampons that the dogs have torn apart.

But I wouldn't mind someone to come pick me up at the airport.

The Boys of Summer
With my new schedule, I often find myself at The Matrix during the 9 a.m. hour. This is my time to catch the most wonderful sight! Like clockwork, a few of the players from the Huntsville Stars come in for their workout. I need to take a moment just thinking about it.

On Thursday, about five of them occupied my line of sight. I trotted on the treadmill, listening to Big and Rich encouraging me to save a horse, as I stared at this group of guys, I am impressed with everything about their exteriors. They are simply beautiful, young, and breath-taking. Their moves put Tony from P90X to shame.

It's at this point in the story where Allison The Writer wants to tell you a life story - create some sort of lesson gained from watching these guys. There is no lesson. The view is beautiful. I am well aware of dating leagues and know we aren't in the same, but that doesn't stop me from coming back to gawk. Maybe next week I'll consider bringing a baby daddy questionnaire. Or maybe not - I'll just enjoy the view until baseball season is through.