In some ways, it seems like just yesterday and in others it seems like I’ve never known life without Michael. He’s my soul mate and my best friend. Today marks 15 years of being married to him. Best decision I ever made. Go read his post and see lots of fun pictures of us through the years.
First, obtain a mutant sweet potato
It should be larger than your sister’s head
Be sure and take poorly lit photos and post them to Facebook where your family will inform you that it appears you just gave birth to the mutant tuber.
Slice some and throw it on the grill. Enjoy.
Shred some and add an egg to make some delicious hash-browns. Enjoy
Make clam chowder* using some mutant potato in place of the russet potato. Enjoy
Wonder what they hell you are going to do with the rest of the mutant potato in the kitchen.
Get lost on Pinterest.
Disregard every recipe you found there and just make it up as you go along. Or, you can attempt to recreate my concoction.
2/3s of a mutant sweet potato dug out of the gardens of your competition. (You can probably substitute 5-7 regular sized store bought sweet potatoes.)
1lb Pork Chorizo from the hippy grocery store
1/2 a yellow onion
Whatever garlic is sitting on top of the microwave (8ish cloves?)
A couple of slices of ginger root
The last of the jalapenos from the garden
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Dice the onion and brown with the chorizo. Say chorizo a dozen or more times.
While that is browning, cut the mutant sweet potato into cubes. Notice how it looks an awful lot like cheese. Saute with chorizo and onions once the onions are clear.
Stir it around enough to coat the potatoes with the juices and lightly toast the cubes. Dice the ginger and stir that in.
Dump into crock-pot. Along with the leftover shredded potatoes from the other night.
Remember you have garlic. Peel it and whack each clove with the side of your kitchen knife (Santoku works great). Saute it in the grease from the chorizo n’ stuff until it is mushy. Throw it into the crock-pot.
Wash but do not slice the jalapenos from the garden because tomorrow’s dinner guest doesn’t like spicy food. Throw them into the crock-pot.
Pour in a cup of milk and a couple of cups of water and cook on low heat overnight.
Turn temp up in the morning and stir every time you walk through the kitchen.
Salt, pepper, etc to taste and serve
This soup comes out quite savory and really more like a chili (but most certainly not chili). Honestly, while it was cooking you would have sworn there were tomatoes stewing. You could easily spice it up if desired. It’s tasty, simple, and decidedly orange. This recipe is certified Jennifer Injury Free as well.
*Evyl’s culinary adventure. You’ll have to pester him for the recipe. It’s totally worth it. He’s the real chef in the house. I just make a mess of his kitchen.
Maybe bring something tropical into the dreary cold?
Several months ago, Aloha Island Lei emailed and asked if they could send me a lei. They assured me that such a thing was possible even though I live in the dead center of the continental US. I was intrigued.
I was completely unprepared for what came in the mail a few weeks later. Packed carefully with a couple of reusable ice packs, were two strands of exotic flowers and a couple of chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Beautiful as they were, it was the smell that really knocked me out. Suddenly, my little house in the middle of Oklahoma smelled like the islands. It was intoxicating.
I wish I could somehow share that, but they don’t have scratch and sniff for the internet. But I can show you the construction.
Each orchid is individually tied into the lei.
As is each Tuberose. (It’s the tuberose that smells so incredible)
It just so happened that someone had spilled water on their cubicle wall in the office. These cubicle walls have the very interesting ability to smell like rotting fish when they’ve gotten wet. But not at my desk. Oh no, it smelled like tropical flowers there.
Or at least make faces.
As per the instructions, I hung them up to dry back in July
Here they are today at the end of November
The smell lingered for months and the orchids are still beautiful today. The tuberose didn’t dry quite so beautifully, but it’s aroma was remarkable.
If you are looking for something for the person that has everything, check out Aloha Island Lei. I mean really, who doesn’t want to get lei’d for Christmas? Or really, for any occasion?
FTC: Yep, they sent them to me in hopes that I would review them. Didn’t you see where I mentioned that up there?
The cries are all over social media. Everyone lamenting the plight of the put-upon retail employees being robbed of their time with their families. Consumerism run rampant. And indeed, it reeks of greed and conspicuous consumption without care for ones fellow man. It is bad enough that so many abandon their families to camp out for that deal at 12:01 on Friday morning, but shouldn’t the employees have chance to take their time in thanks for all they have before being shuffled away to facilitate their greed?
Black Friday has long been an ugly spectacle. Why then should we allow the injustice of its growing incursion on Thanksgiving Day?
Why should we be even be surprised? Retailers don’t even wait for Halloween’s ghouls to be pulled from the shelves anymore before launching into their Christmas campaigns. What profit is there in reminding people to be thankful for what they have? Let’s start the countdown to when the magnitude of your love is measured in trinkets that you might just be able to procure on sale!
The retailer is not the problem here. It’s the consumer. The market is only responding to market forces. The retailer need only be available to receive them.
Are you sickened by the commercialization and consumerism? Don’t play the game. If there were no profit in it, the retailers wouldn’t do it. It’s not a moral play by the retailer, it’s a cold hard economic one. Don’t be disgusted by them, be disgusted by your fellow man that has enabled it. Your fellow man that makes it profitable.
You know what, back when it was an option, I volunteered to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was a waitress and our tables were always full. You had to make your reservations a month in advance if you hoped to get a table without waiting more than an hour. I worked those days because I’m a greedy capitalist and knew that I would make serious money off the tips. Maybe I should call the restaurant up this year and see if they need an extra hand…
If the plight of the employees truly moves you, do something for them. Take them a plate so they don’t miss out on the meal. Make them cookies or pie. At the very least, be kind. Tell them ‘thank you.’ They don’t hear it much particularly this time of the year.
And while you are preparing those meals for the put-upon cashiers and bag boys, think about the emergency personnel that have to work the holiday too. Police, ambulance, and fire departments are still there to respond while you are enjoying the game. Or those families with an empty chair because their loved one is deployed, their prayers being that next Thanksgiving they can be thankful for a safe return.
The world keeps spinning no matter what the date on the calendar. Don’t be swept up, and don’t let it pass you by.
I mean, it was just here. I swear. Maybe I misplaced it or left it in my other pants.
Wait. I’m not wearing pants. I’m wearing a skirt with no pockets.
Did I leave it in the bathroom? Surely I haven’t already used all the weekend. I was just getting started…
That dreadful machine. It perplexes me. Running? On purpose? Away from… the free weights?
I know I’ve got a double standard here. I have learned to appreciate the rowing machine, after all. I have forgiven it’s lack of water and destination. And the elliptical? That’s not even pretending to do anything other than firm up your butt and make you sweat. Theoretically, my time on the rowing machine is developing some kind of skill that might be useful here in this landlocked state. There are rivers. I’m told zombies don’t swim well. What if I happened upon a conveniently placed rowboat on the Red River while trying to escape the infected hordes? (Yeah, I’d still be outta luck. Don’t know if you’ve seen the Red River, but it’s a whole lot of red and not a lot of river.) There is a rowing team at work not that I’ve even considered joining it.
But what good are the smooth low-impact leg movements of the elliptical going to do for me? Don’t eat me! Surely toned thighs would be stringy and unpalatable. Right? And I’m pretty sure there are no elliptical teams out there.
Okay, so I don’t go to the gym to develop any useful skills. I go to the gym because I really like food. Liking food+a family history of diabetes+a desire to fit into my clothing+a certain amount of vanity=time in the gym. I even wear sensible shoes for the occasion. Also, I’m with Jennifer Lawrence on the whole ‘diet’ thing.
If anybody even tries to whisper the word ‘diet’, I’m like, ‘You can go f*ck yourself.’”
Maybe I’m too hard on the old treadmill. But I can’t very well start running now. My Twitter blurb tells the internet that I’m the one that shoots, not the one that runs. (a Google search on my name used to return results for a Dutch marathon runner.) Twitter blurbs are forever and must absolutely be true. Who am I to go against what I said about myself on the Twitter? You already know what happened last time I tried running. I “won” a medal.
Even now it waits for me. Standing quietly upstairs. Or maybe it’s whirring along entertaining the thump thump of another’s feet.
Maybe I should give it another shot. It always looks so lonely. It wasn’t the treadmill that betrayed me on the corporate challenge field. Besides, ammo is finite and if the zombies chase me to the Red River, running would be a better option than rowing.
No, really. You shouldn’t have. It’s the thought that counts. I’ll remember this one for years to come. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Jen, make with the story already
It was a dark and stormy night… No, it was nothing like that.
It all started with a much beloved friend coming to visit. She’s in a fairly nomadic phase of existence (work requires more travel than not and it makes no sense to maintain an actual residence currently). Really, she’s more family than friend. She was on vacation from the traveling job and staying with a friend. We sat on the patio and traded stories over bourbon and coke.
At which point she told us of the plight of her belongings. You see, while in storage, they were exposed to the scourge of travelers everywhere, bed bugs. She assured us that she, herself, was not subject to said infestation.
Psychosomatic itching begins.
As a precaution, I begin to do all the laundry and wash the bedding and…
I’m a terrible housekeeper. The backlog of needed housework could break the internet.
I am still itching. There is no reason I should be itching. Aha! A canine culprit! Yes, Heidi had somehow picked up fleas. Dog goes into the tub and bedding goes in the wash. Checked the calendar and I discovered that I had indeed skipped the flea treatment for the month. Fixed that and rested easy in our parasite free home.
Friend comes for another visit and crashes on our couch for the night. Tells us the next morning that she’s ‘almost certain’ that she did not bring us bed bugs on her luggage.
I twitch at the word ‘almost.’ We place her luggage outside hoping that our lack of any carpeting has prevented any potential passengers from deciding that our living room is an appropriate destination.
I have now changed the sheets more in the last week than I had in the full year prior. Google has flagged my home as ground zero for infestation due to my recent searches. I find no sign and yet, I still wake up itchy. Probably still the flea bites. They itch for a couple of weeks…
I find a tiny brown bug on the top of my ear. My worst fears are becoming reality. It looks kinda-sorta-maybe-if-you-squint like a bed bug. Okay, the lint from my sheets looks like a bed bug when you are looking through the lens of paranoia. The neighbor’s yipping dog has started to look suspicious.
Later in the day, I find another in my scalp. I douse the house in gasoline, but Michael stops me before I light the match.
“Um Jen, before you do anything drastic, have you google’d head lice?”
Typey Typey Typey
You’ve got to be kidding me. I grew up in daycare. I went to public school*.
I got my first ever case of head lice at thirty-five?!?!?
At least it’s not bed bugs. Suppose in this month of gratitude, I should be thankful for head lice.
New things learned:
1. That shampoo crap smells like cheap imitation licorice.
2. When they tell you to leave it on for 10 minutes and no longer, you shouldn’t be surprised that it burns at the 20 minute mark.
3. It’s a real bitch to get that stupid little comb through curly hair
3a. Conditioner is your friend and makes bugs slide right on out. It is not enough to prevent curly hair from turning into a poof surrounding your head for which the only solution is to get back into the shower and apply more conditioner.
4. Even after being warned, a teenage boy will still just use mom’s towel rather then get a clean one off the shelf.
5. Teenage boy looks better with a shaved head anyway
Yes, I held off on telling this one until there was no more sign of creepy crawlies inhabiting my noggin. You may now commence scratching.
Did my friend bring me parasites just not the parasites she thought she might have brought me but was ‘almost’ certain she hadn’t? I don’t know. I’m just glad they are gone.
*Where on more than one occasion I was pulled aside for a lice check because I had a terrible dandruff problem that I wasn’t already self conscious enough about.
You know, because I’m not involved in enough things around the office I just volunteered to head up the training for my department for ALL THE THINGS.
Because absolutely all the things are changing dramatically in the next few months. So sure, why not take on making sure the rest of my department knows what to do with all the new things once they actually, you know, exist. And they better know, because the old things are all going away.
I think my slogan will be:
I don’t care whether or not you like it, you can’t keep it.
At least I’m honest.
That computer system you’ve been using, you know, the green and black one? Can’t keep it.
Transaction processor? Gone
Reporting system? Nope, legacy system.
Desk? Chair? Nope, that’s going too.
Commute? Still up in the air, but probably changing.
So, yeah. Busy. But you know what, it’s going to work on launch date, and I’m going to make sure everyone is ready.
Wish me luck.