Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bacon in the morning, bacon in the evening, bacon at suppertime...

I must confess, it's been going on for so many years and it's finally time for me to come clean....I've been having a love affair...shhhh... don't tell Roger, this is just between you and me. He's probably had a clue on more than one occasion, the scent of my love lingering in the air, the smile on my lips after a quick secret rendezvous in the kitchen, my refusal as I shake my head and push away his offerings trying to disguise the satiated glow on my face...I can no longer hide this secret passion of lusting after bacon is finally out in the open...and the sad, sad truth of the matter, the thing I feared most is going to happen...I have to share my bacon with him now, there's just no getting around it :(

Since I am all about the confessions today, I may as well own up to one of my other HUGE faults...I don't share my favorite foods very well...and I never have. Yes, I will pull the normal adult-humans-trying-to-justify-their-faults card, and say it's a result of being one of six kids in a large family whose special food treats in life were far and few between. At least that's how this little kid perceived the situation and I'm really not exaggerating all that much when I say we had very little bacon in our house as we were growing up.

Along with being deprived of some of my other favorite foods like fried chicken, chocolate, nuts and hard cheese...bacon did not become my secret lover until I was an adult and found my own way through the grocery store and began to pay for the food that I ate. Not only was bacon a bit on the expensive side for the quantity that I chose to eat, it was pretty darn messy to cook and I've never been very fond of cleaning up greasy pans in the kitchen. Then came the invention of the microwave that allowed you to cook bacon with no fuss and no muss on a paper plate with paper towels to soak up the grease. Guess what, I went right out and bought me one of those new fangled $780 bacon cooking machines and quickly became addicted to the crunchy, salty flavor of my favorite form of pig...and so the affair began. You may be thinking, holy crap...who in their right mind pays that much money for a microwave (it was 1979 and that thing weighed 75lbs and was a huge monstrosity at 30x20), however, we had no choice of models at the PX in Germany, so we put one on lay-a-way, and paid it off just about the same time we took Stacey home from the hospital.

This paid for itself many times over and still worked when we moved on to a smaller more powerful model many years later--I loved my first microwave!

What new mom doesn't need a time saving appliance to help around the kitchen? My daughter-in-law Taryn's favorite coffee maker crapped out the day she brought Hopper home, and has since been making due with daily runs to the Starbucks around the corner.

So where was I.....oh yeah, me and bacon...I LOVED IT, I ATE IT....and then I found out all that fat was not good for me....HUH????? Now that's just not fair :(. I did indulge throughout our child-rearing years, but kept my lusting ways under wraps for the most part. And being someone who was always conscious of eating healthy, I denied myself the pleasure of delicious bacon for years. Flash forward to 2000 when we moved to Florida and reintroduced ourselves to the world of cruising and the much-loved idea of breakfast buffets. Although I almost always abstained at home, I allowed myself the treat while on vacation and was in heaven every single morning of each cruise, as I gazed longingly at those huge piles of crispy all-you-can-eat bacon....and I DID, at every opportunity. Just imagine how much fun I had on our transatlantic cruises with 12 mornings in a row of heaping plates of my favorite breakfast food. I'd run up to the buffet early, just as the sun was peaking over the horizon, to fill up a plate and take it back to the cabin to enjoy out on the balcony, while I watched the miles of Atlantic Ocean disappear behind the ship.

Just me and my bacon making memories to last a case you are wondering, the subterfuge began many years ago on that very first cruise ship when I would leave a sleeping husband behind in the cabin as I'd make my way through the buffet line. He was never the wiser and often times I'd join him later in the morning for a second breakfast with yet another serving guessed it....bacon :)

Interestingly enough, even with such an abnormally large consumption of bacon over the course of each of our cruises, all that extra fat didn't seem to be causing me to gain weight. Could the nutritional researchers and the government have been wrong all along...was bacon and animal fat good for you???? Here I had been denying myself all these years and come to find out, I really didn't have to skimp on the bacon servings. As the honor bound consumer that I am, I've made up for lost years of eating my beloved bacon and cook it now at every opportunity.

Some mornings I eat traditional bacon and eggs with my own personal twist by adding greens

Apparently I've passed my love of bacon to our children, in particular my son and I share our passion for finding organic, humanly raised pigs to source our bacon. I love bacon at any time of day, and have been known to wrap it up with some avocado in a lettuce leaf for a quick snack. In most instances for Brian, it's a breakfast choice, and the bacon fat left over in the pan is a prized possession set aside for cooking later in the day. Yes, he is a good cook and appears to enjoy preparing food and taking a turn in the kitchen to feed his family. Stacey loves to cook and is also extremely comfortable and competent in the kitchen, but that's a story for another day.

Now that I have finally opened up the door to introduce you to my "hidden" secret, I thought you might be interested in seeing first hand, my morning ritual of "loving/cooking and eating the pork"

Whole Foods in a pinch when I'm out of Amos' good farm fresh pork--thank goodness on Monday we fill up the freezer again!

Brian introduced me to this thick variety

I like to chop it, cooks easier in the pan

A seasoned cast iron frying pan...nothing better

Spatter shield...always important!

My favorite green to cook up with gets just as crispy as the bacon if you find the right variety

Chopped up into bite size pieces

The bacon is almost done...

Snap crackle and pop--the water in the Kale reacts to the hot grease

And it's quickly fried up and ready to eat

Time for breakfast!!!

So when you are thinking about cooking up a yummy meal any time of the day...just remember...bacon in the morning...bacon in the evening...bacon at's all good!

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Everything's betta with butta! Episode 1

So back in March, when I took an obvious but unexpected hiatus from writing this blog, a very simple decision I made one day, resulted in me taking a good hard look at something I had always taken for love-hate relationship with the f-word....FAT!!!! Not body fat...but instead food fat....which many believe are one in the same...but are they really??? For as long as I can remember, we've been conditioned to turn and run the other way, when we were faced with full-fat food I choose healthy (low-fat) or unhealthy (full-fat)??? Well, even though I don't have any complicated weight issues, I'm still very conscious about what I eat and unbeknownst to me.....I've recently come to find out, we've been doing it ALL wrong for a very long time.

After months of research, an almost 180 degree reversal of how I previously viewed food, and a radical change in our shopping and eating habits, I've finally decided to begin writing about this new addition to our culinary life. We've reintroduced ourselves to the wonderfully delicious world of whole fat organic foods. I had actually considered starting an entirely different blog related just to food, (entitled what I instead chose for today's title and future episodes) and then I realized that eating isn't actually a separate part of my life. Try cutting the idea of the consumption of food from the rest of what happens to us on a daily basis...and you are missing a large portion of who we are as human beings. Not only does food sustain me 24 hours a day, it is my lifeblood and allows me to to sit here forming ideas in my head as I write. What made me think that this subject needed and/or warranted it's own individual "stream of consciousness" forum. I've written about food before during my daily ramblings...and even dedicated an entire travel blog to the food I consumed on a European cruise...quite frankly that's more than enough in my book. If the food lover in me can't quietly (yikes, did I just use the word quiet to describe something about me????) continue to co-exist with the writer/blogger in me, then "Houston, we have a problem"

So, putting all that potential psychoanalysis aside, I'm gonna keep on writing about all the "stuff" going on in my life as I have in the it or not...please try to follow along regardless of the subject matter. I promise you nothing much out of the ordinary, except it might seem like I am focusing on our recent return to natural eating till the cows come home....and speaking of cows...have I mentioned the organic farm where we now get 50% of our food?

You will realize in a very short period of time, that my passion for this eating lifestyle takes up not only a very large space in my head, but also a very large space on the page. There is more information out there than even I thought possible, and I've been studying food, and our body's relationship to it, for as long as I can remember. My rekindled love of all things fat-related has opened up a nutritional world completely unknown to me in the past, and one that I have willingly entered into...I mean really, who doesn't love the taste of fat??? Let me just tell you if you haven't already figured it out for yourselves, fat tastes good for a very important reason....we need it to exist and not in the very small portions that we were led to believe. Mother nature isn't stupid (in the famous words of Tom Naughton-I'll formally introduce you to him later), foods rich in healthy fat appeal to our taste buds because the human body will not function properly without it...plain and simply, that's a FACT!!! So stick that in your low-fat vegetarian smoothie and drink it....sorry to be so harsh, but I was one (a vegetarian) and it's the worst thing we can do to ourselves.

It's going to be very difficult for me to disseminate all the nutritional information that I've found over the last 4 months in this one blog post. So, in Episode 1, I'll start you off in the same way I stumbled upon the subject matter back in March...I found and watched the movie "Fat Head" which lead me to where I am today. Tom Naughton, a comedian and writer originally made a simple disclaimer movie regarding his views on what Morgan Spurlock purported to be the truth about fast food. This little idea Tom had, in a miraculous turn of events, has become the catalyst for movie watchers across the country to become more conscious of their unhealthy eating habits. I don't believe he originally set out to uncover all the unbelievable truths regarding just how important nutritious natural fats are for us. Who knew that eating fat could lead us to become so much more healthier than alternatively, although blindly, following the misinformation that the government and the medical industry has been "feeding" us for the last 20 years.

If you are a member of Netflix, you can stream the movie live, or order it to watch the DVD at home. If you have access to a computer, Hulu offers a free viewing of the movie online. Or as a last result, pay the $20 and order a copy. I've watched it so many times, I've lost track and although I initially viewed it through Netflix, I also own two copies and regularly loan them out to friends. It's information you will want to share with every person you encounter because it's that important! So, do yourself a favor and WATCH it now! I can promise you will never look at food in the same way again :). Here is the link to the website for further reading.
As I mentioned, there is too much info for one post, so stop back in again soon and I'll fill you in on how Amos and Annie help us to eat all manner of yummy foods...and don't forget...everything tastes betta with butta!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 11, 2011

Communication...put one word in front of the other...

At a very young age, before we are even able to move our lips in a way to make ourselves understood...we hear words. We are not quite sure what they mean, they fly through the air around our little ears, and yet they seem to be repeated over and over from the moment we are born until we take our last breath. We begin at a very slow pace to recognize those words, then we slowly begin to understand those words, then eventually we are able to say those words, and lastly, we are able to communicate what we mean to others with those words. Here's a question that has been baffling me for more years than I care to remember....why don't we actually use our words more often to communicate????

I'm sure you are familiar with the phrase...."out of the mouths of babes" and there was also a tv show years ago hosted by Art Linkletter in 1959 and then resurrected by Bill Cosby in 1995 called "Kids Say the Darndest Things". I know I enjoyed the pure innocence and loved to sit and watch these young children freely, honestly and with very little concern, say the first thing that popped into their heads when asked any manner of questions. We were entertained simply because those kids were able to say things we would never dream of repeating as adults. Most of us were taught as we grew up to either be quiet or to censor almost everything that came out of our mouths for fear of saying the wrong thing and never mind the truth or what is actually on our mind.

Interestingly enough, as we age and find ourselves in the last years of our life, we somehow revert back to our childhood habit of blurting out what ever is on our mind and we find the honesty in our words once again. Except by this time in our life, we are considered doddering old fools who just don't care what anyone thinks about us anymore. It's almost as if we have one last chance to tell the world how we really feel after a lifetime of pussy footing around the truth.

Human beings are the only living species that have been given the gift of speech and we muck it up during almost all of our entire adult lives. We don't say what we mean, and therefore we don't really ever know what the truth is and we never truly learn to actually communicate in the true sense of the word. We know in our hearts how we feel, and a good portion of us have continuous one sided conversations with ourselves and keep 95% of how we feel under wraps. Why.....because that is what we are taught and we think badly of others that speak their mind. Or perhaps we are jealous of how honestly and freely they state how they feel and/or we think less of them for not holding their tongues.

As adults, we judge people everyday by the words that come out of their mouths, and yet we wait with baited breath for those first few spoken syllables uttered by our children. And then sadly, once they've mastered the human language, we teach them to watch what they say and slowly swallow the honest words that come to their lips. What is wrong with this picture and can't we plainly see that we have become a society of polite people who are frustrated by holding back how we truly feel for fear of upsetting those around us.

I once saw a movie written and directed by Ricky Gervais called "The Invention of Lying" which affected me more than I could imagine. By using his comedic genius, he brought to light how as a society, we choose false statements over truth during more of our life than we care to admit. Or, as in most cases, we just don't say anything at all....because that is exactly what we were taught..."if you don't have anything nice to say....don't say anything at all" sound familiar???? Sadly, it's how I've actually lived my entire adult life, and I still do to this day. We are so concerned about hurting other folks feelings, and putting everyone else's concerns before our own, that we get lost in who we are or what is best for us. They say honesty is the best policy, however, no one really wants to hear the truth if it has the potential to be hurtful to others, regardless of how it makes us feel. So in essence, we are unable to be honest with ourselves, which keeps us in a vicious circle of a life without truth. How sad...and yet true.

How did we go from small children encouraged to use our words to adults that don't know how to complete a sentence that is 100% truthful. We avoid subjects, skirt the issue, play mind games and leave most of what we are thinking unsaid. In an effort to avoid being labeled "outspoken" or someone who has diarrhea of the mouth, we clam up and suck in our words before they are able to slip through our lips. We make statements under our breath, or chastise ourselves for thinking such unkind thoughts all the while knowing full well that we are being honest, if only in our minds. We learn to "keep it to ourselves" or share our thoughts with a few trusted like-minded people in our inner circle.

Is it possible to find a happy medium in our lives and speak the truth more and lose the urge to cover up or suppress it. Is honesty really the way we want to live our lives, or is it truly beyond our reach as humans trying to cope with the decisions that we've made. We joke and make light of things in an effort to show a glimmer of the truth lying just below the surface. I believe this is a common defense mechanism that all of us defer to when overloaded during certain types of situations. Could we possibly live and prosper in a world where truth was the only option and our communication skills were never questioned or lacking.

If there is one lesson I take away from all of this, it's to be more honest with myself and others, and to continually be able to convey those thoughts in a way that is beneficial to everyone. I can only hope that my children will teach their children that it is key to communicate and be honest with others, if you are first true to yourself. It's as simple as putting one word in front of the other....

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Life as we know it...

So many of my friends have been trying to describe to me just what being a grandparent feels like...and it's true what they say on so many levels, as I recently experienced and finally found out for myself. Well, actually...let me back up here a minute...I'm pretty sure I've known all along that it would be incredible to share the love of having grandchildren.

First of all, they start out as babies and I've always been in love with babies, no matter who they belong most of the human population of the world, I'm a sucker for those sweet little faces. Although, I have to say, it goes a bit deeper than that, I'm very comfortable around babies and have no fear about my ability to care for them. Even with my own infants, there were rarely doubts in my mind that I would not have what it takes to raise them in the manner that would ultimately lead to their individual wellbeing as they grew up. I was confident that I could make sound decisions and had the necessary parenting skills to assist my children in the first 18 years of their lives before sending them on out into the world. Did I stumble along the way....of course I did, nothing else teaches us how to improve on our technique like a big bump in the road...and I had my fair share of those. However, the proof is in the pudding as they say, and now as we finally welcome the next generation of our family, I watch my adult children beginning the cycle once again.

Brian, Taryn and Hopper live in Chicago...and no one in the immediate family lives nearby, which at times is a hard pill for all of us to swallow. Ironically, it's a situation that we are dealing with, in pretty much the same way our parents did when we lived overseas and had our first child. We raised our children to be independent, make rational decisions about where they want to live and always hoped they would find a way of life that suits them, and each of us...parents, grandparents and great grandparents, have found ourselves doing exactly that. Across the miles....from Massachusetts, to Illinois, to Connecticut, to New Hampshire and Florida...each of us a pinpoint on the map and adding up the frequent flyer miles as we travel from one home to another. The reality that none of us will live in close proximity to the other, is one we have grown to accept, but not entirely without regret. The independence that we nurtured in our children, similar to the guidance we received from our parents, can at times, be a double edged sword.

In retrospect, I also see the benefits of a couple standing on their own two feet as they form a new family unit, without the constant intervention of the preceding generations. I myself know that I matured greatly in my growth as a new mom by not always having my own mother close at hand. I've witnessed grandparents over the years, of close knit families who live physically near each other, struggle to step back from influencing and assisting their grown children in raising grandchildren. In some instances, I have found the situations to be unhealthy for all parties concerned. There is a fine line and/or gray area in all family relationships that can be difficult to maneuver through, especially with addition of new members, whether it be children or extended family. As we continue to add branches to the family tree, the connections can be tenuous at best and new growth takes time to strengthen over the years.

Only three years ago, the first hint of things to come began to give us a glimpse of what is now our reality. First in the summer of 2008, with Brian and Taryn's engagement and then their fall wedding in 2009....followed in 2010 by Stacey & Scott's engagement and the news that our son would soon be a father in the spring of 2011. We are planning another fall wedding this year and recently welcomed our first grandchild, Hopper Higgins LaFlamme to the family on June 20, 2011.

As we encounter each change in our family dynamics, we continue to grow ourselves...taking on new roles and finding our way through the never ending challenges of life as we know it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How far do you stretch your neck???

Have you ever wondered what causes us, as human beings, to have such an intense curiosity as to almost cause a car accident in order to slow down and view someone else's unfortunate circumstances?

Let's see what Wiki has to say...

"Rubbernecking describes the act of gawking at something of interest. It is often used to refer to drivers trying to view the carnage resulting from a traffic accident. The term refers to the craning of a person's neck in order to get a better view. Rubbernecking has also been described as a human trait that is associated with morbid curiosity. It can be the cause of traffic jams (sometimes referred to as "Gaper's blocks"), as drivers slow down to see what happened in a crash. It is also a cause of accidents as drivers become distracted and change their rate of travel while other drivers are also distracted. Rubbernecking has also come to be used more generally to describe voyeuristic interest in someone else's "business" or difficulties."

We should all face facts, it's not just when we are our driving along the highway that people feel the need to's really in all aspects of our life. Case in point, how many folks found themselves tuning in to CNN or the weather channel to watch the most recent season of winter storms and the results of all the natural disasters that have occurred recently? No matter what the source of the information happens to be, we all seem to be great big sponges soaking up all these random facts that very often never affect our individual lives.

I will be the first one to admit that for many years, I was completely fascinated with every intriguing detail of a well written true crime novel. For me it was always the whole package, not just the carnage that resulted from the actions of the convicted felons. I found myself following the footsteps of investigators, family members, witnesses and in some instances, depending on the author's chosen style of writing, even the criminals themselves. Most all of it was so far outside of my own personal realm of possibility, that I considered myself a voyeur of sorts, peeking into this world of the unknown. It would not be until years later that the horrifying and often times gruesome reality began to affect me. And, as with everything else that interests me at one time or another in my life, at some point I just grew bored with this type of novel and moved on to other subject matter reading material.

As I've mentioned several times, I don't watch the news...nor do I read the newspaper, other than glancing at the headlines of the Palm Beach Post each day as I walk into the mail room at work. Its such a time consuming effort to either sit with the tv on and/or pick up a paper to catch a glimpse of what is going on in the rest of the world. I find that very little of the information is ever good news, and 99.9% of it never contributes in any way, shape or form to my own life. There are only a few times that anything I read will even bring a smile to my face, and most stories just simply make me sad...and that is not how I want to spend any portion of my day. Believe me, I am aware of plenty of things that occur on this earth, (because nothing ever changes), I manage to not spend my precious time dwelling or focusing on them. Unless of course, I am forced to...ah, yes....that would include the day I spent in court this week on jury duty.

In one word....PAINFUL....but then again, when have I ever been known to describe any situation in only one word...not an easy task for me. Well, here's a few more.....boring.....intrusive....insulting...intimidating...inquisition....uncomfortable...inconvenienced...misleading....exhausting....I could go one, but I will spare you.

Now before you go all "civic duty" on me (as one of my coworkers did-and I almost wanted to knock her upside the head....oops, I mean tell her how I really felt-but instead I held my tongue-why do I do that????), I did sit on a jury for a medical malpractice case, for 10 looooong days. I was the jury foreman (NOT by choice), and unfortunately, due to one of the male members of the jury, it ended in a mistrial. While some (translation=very little) of it was interesting, a good portion of it was extremely repetitive, and looking back, I would have preferred to skip the entire experience. However, I've been thrilled that for the last 10 years, since we moved to Florida, up until last month, I had never received a summons. Well, after this past Monday, I will NEVER respond in person to a jury duty summons EVER again.

I knew that the 30 of us were pulled from the few hundred people in the jury pool for a criminal trial, when I saw police officers in the hallway outside the courtroom. That not only made me very uncomfortable, I was also unsettled after recalling what had occurred 10 years ago. My first clue that the case could get ugly was before I even entered the courtroom and we all witnessed a teenage boy come flying through the doors running in the opposite direction from the sheriff.

We all spent a good portion of the remainder of that day inside the courtroom and needless to say, it was not a very pleasant experience. At the end of the process, I was very happy to not be chosen (I might have pissed off the judge when I made a few statements about my intense dislike of firearms) to sit on the jury for this trial. Although after being interrogated by the eloquent prosecutor, humble defense attorney, the obnoxious and somewhat bored judge, I felt like I had just been on trial myself. As the convicted felon (repeat offender--surprise, surprise) sat in front of us, we were each questioned individually for hours on end. Let me remind you, I spend 40 hours a week in the circuit civil world, and there is a very definite reason I have never had any desire to be involved in the criminal justice system.

Please do not misunderstand me, I took my previous jury duty very seriously and was saddened for the plaintiff when the mistrial occurred. However, that does not change my opinion regarding the aspects of being personally involved as a juror in a criminal trial. In the same way that I choose to ignore the local news, not any part of me wanted to know what this person had done in his past or what had occurred to bring him before a judge once again. I was fully prepared to allow any of the other potential jurors to take a spot before me, and answered every question honestly and "to the best of my ability" which obviously resulted in the favorable outcome I was hoping spend any additional time or days at the courthouse was certainly not my goal.

It is obvious when being involved in these types of situations, which folks are only too happy to be privy to the details of a plaintiff or defendant's life and would like nothing more than to be picked for a jury, whether criminal in nature or not. I've assisted with selecting a jury on several of our cases and it's really never a pleasant experience for any of the parities involved. To be perfectly honest, I'm not all that fond of the time I'm required to spend in the presence of any judge....which can only mean I must be in the wrong profession!!!!

It is human nature to be curious, however, I consider the options a bit more carefully before putting myself in the uncomfortable position of deciding to look a little closer at the details of the lives of those around me. With plenty in my life still ahead of me to enjoy and experience, there's really no reason, nor do I want to spend any additional time, focusing on much more than that. Since I had two bones in my neck fused together in 2007, I just don't feel the need to stretch it as far as I did in the past...perhaps my rubbernecking days are just about over.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's all relative...

At the end of my normally crazy work week, in addition to getting 48 hours off for good behavior, I had a very nice personal reward waiting for me. We had planned on spending Friday evening enjoying a meal at a local restaurant with some overnight guests. My cousin Frank and his wife Kathy were on their way through town and stopped for a very brief visit before jumping on a plane early this morning. Because neither my nor Roger's work schedule allowed for time off during the day, we only had a short 12 hours to spend with them, and we intended to make the most of it. We met as soon as both of us returned home from work, and chatted while getting ready to head out for a great dinner along the shoreline.

The usual catch-up conversation of relatives of our age revolved around the adult children of each family, weddings past as well as future and then of course the upcoming birth of our grandson. We all readily agreed how wonderful this time in our 50's can be as we watch the family begin to grow again, and how much we look forward to seeing everyone married and starting families of their own.

I sometimes stumble over describing our recent we've grown from 4 to 6 and how we will very soon be a family of 7. It's not just a simple issue of addition, although I have been known to experience problems with basic's more than that for me, we were 4 for so much longer than we have been 6 and although the transition was a gradual one, I still sometimes forget, even while viewing photographs of our six smiling faces.

Change, even a gradual one, can sometimes take a bit of time to become accustomed to and the subtle differences we will eventually be required to come to accept....please understand I am no longer in any way, shape or form, referring to our growing family...I'm only discussing me at this point.

In my quest to simplify my morning routine as I prepare for work, I like grabbing the easiest outfit from my closet and just running out the door. For me, that had always been a suit, either jacket and slacks or jacket and skirt. In years gone by, it was the standard dress code for most law firms, and I had a closet full of them. They especially came in handy for court appearances, which have become less of an occurrence during my time with this particular company, until January when we spent 2 days before the judge. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed throwing on a suit and giving little thought to what I would wear to work. Even though during the last month, while being assigned to this off-site project, I've been wearing mostly jeans and comfortable casual clothes, I still held the thought in the back of my mind that I wanted to add more suits to my wardrobe.

I had assessed my clothing budget and decided what would work and how I would go about transitioning back to this old routine of dressing each day. And then came the fun part, going shopping and actually searching for my suits. I had purchased two new ones in January, and was on the look out for 2 more today. I prefer simple designs with clean lines, and a comfortable fit and tend to always gravitate towards Jones New York, Nine West and Calvin Klein. Easy enough...I grabbed 4 suits and headed to the dressing room.

Have I mentioned my issue with over-eating, chocolate, cruise food and sitting for extended periods of guessed evil ways have finally caught up with me, as well they should have!!! I've been eating like a bored teenager and indulging in one too many loaves of olive bread and I really don't care....WOW....this feeling is just not right (I'm listening to a boat go by on the river and the radio is blasting those lyrics...just thought I'd use them here since they seemed to fit)

My normal size actually DIDN'T fit, and for pretty much the first time in my life, I didn't think twice and just went back to the rack and got the next size. Now before you all breath a sigh of relief, and/or slap me upside the head and try to explain that it is normal as we age to add a few pounds now and then, STOP, because I finally agree that it's OK and I'm gonna go with the flow for once. I'm not going to get on the scale, I'm not going to change my eating habits, I'm not going to search for a new way to drop 5 or 10 lbs...I'm just gonna accept the extra "junk in my trunk" and enjoy the fact that it looks good on me--at least that's what my husband says.

I mean in all honesty, why does it really matter what size I am, the rest of the world doesn't seem to care one way or why do I spend any amount of time contemplating my own girth???? You may even be wondering why you are wasting your time reading my never ending drivel today...and you will probably just want to line me up against the wall and shoot me for even broaching this subject....and I wouldn't even blame you, not one little bit. Have I mentioned I really shouldn't be writing in the state I've been in the last 4 weeks????

Oh what the heck...I'll continue on at the risk of alienating all those who thought they once loved me...because most women of my age don't discuss the size they wear or even their weight for fear of shame and the judgement of others. It must be just about time to load those bullets into the gun you will want to shoot me see....I grew from a 4 to a 6....HORRORS of all HORRORS...stop the presses....the world will now come to an end...I now have jiggly bits, as the Brits are so famous for saying, and I am equally famous for NOT liking such things when I look in the mirror!!! I guess it must be time to get rid of that nasty mirror :)

The good news of the day (other than everyone cheering out there that Joanne is finally becoming "normal"--is that really even possible???), I saved a ton of money on what I like to refer to as WAY over-priced designer labels. Who in their right mind pays full price for anything??? I know I NEVER have. No kidding, these suits have a sticker MSRP of $280 and $240 and I paid (yes, I know--another faux pax--talking about the price of things--people just need to get over that and share news of the great buys they find) $48.99 & $49.99...hey it's my budget folks, take it or leave it.

So after all is said and size is all relative....the size of my bottom is all relative and spending any amount of time with relatives is priceless....that's my story and I'm sticking to it....did I mention that during the acceptance process and to celebrate my "gradual change" I pulled into the drive-thru at Arbys for a Angus Beef sandwich on the way home...another first for in my small little world, as 4 transitions to 6 yet's all relative...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

And the award goes to....

At this time of the year when all the flashy award shows are being broadcast from LA, I'm reminded of a few superlatives that I encounter during the course of my day....oh, crap...I almost forgot to mention, in case you might miss the innuendo..... this is going to be a rant with a capital "R" capital "A" capital "N" and capital "T"

Continue at your own've been forewarned.

There is a very specific reason that I've chosen to be absent from this blog...I have not been very good company lately and did not want to spread the "love" too much among family and friends. The old saying "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" is one I highly recommend, and I feel a very reasonable standard to live by...sometimes. There are occasions, however, when even I can't hold my tongue...I bet you are not even a little bit surprised by that statement!?!?

As a few of you already know, I am still deeply involved in this big "project" at work, which keeps my mind numbed for 8 hours at a stretch. I am never more happy than when lunch time rolls around and we are let out of the "box" (for lack of a better term) for a brief reprieve before returning to complete our shift after feasting on whatever libations have been set before us. Yes, I've been responsible for feeding my crew lunch on most days, gotta keep the troops happy :) In addition to the cases of water I can be found schlepping to our remote location, others have provided all manner of snacks to include pretzels and chocolate, which I use a strange combination thereof to get myself through the last hour of my day. I wonder if an ever expanding waistline would qualify as a worker's comp issue??? Think I could charge the company on my expense report when I buy the next size of pants??? What....these are valid questions...or maybe not :(

So, we are coming to the end of the 4th week of operation "Boxed In" and yes, I did just make up that title...can't tell you much more because then I'd be out of a job for sure....hmmmm not such a bad'm really spiraling down the old rabbit hole today. I am frequently asked several questions by my fellow worker bees (the folks that have been "volunteered" by their supervisors to assist our group with this project) are just a few:

How long will all of this take?
How many of the **** are there?
What are you going to do with the **** when we are done here?
Why are we ***** all of these?
How long has this been going on?
Are the **** still ***** ?

Please understand these are all very valid questions, and I do my best to answer them to a certain point and with a fair bit of vagueness (is that even a word???), because quite frankly, some of them, I am not in any way, shape of form, in a position to answer at this time.

As much as I would love to be a bit more specific, I'm unable to say much more and I have no idea when I will finally be able to say adieu to this lovely little cement building and return to my comfy little cubicle full time. I do know, I'll be there for a full 8 hours tomorrow and have been allowed a reprieve for Monday because I was the lucky recipient of a Summons for jury sweet is that...I could get picked to sit on a jury....WOO HOO I know I'm excited. I don't see enough legal mumbo jumbo during my own daily 9-5 each day, so let's just add more on top of the toppling work pile I already wade through.

I digress...I was making a comparison between the awards doled out for best actor, supporting actor and film each the silliest, most unique and least difficult question I am asked each day. Today, not unlike many days of the week, I was asked what I like to refer to as the SQOTD, better known as the Stupidest Question of The Day....and the award goes to....yeah, well I'm not actually going to tell you who asked it...I'm walking a fine line here folks....but I will say....this "someone" is higher up on the food chain than me, and has a habit of also sharing these silly questions with other staff members, not just me!!!!

The reality is, I am not just one of the many worker bees, I'm also in charge of staffing this project and updating the constantly changing schedule of every person who has assisted us during the last month. Filling those daily time slots has caused my knees to scab over, bleed and scab once again, as I beg my co-workers each week to provide us with much needed hours at our off-site location. I thank them all repeatedly and profusely for every single minute they contribute to the effort.

Interestingly enough, how ironic is our timing...this week happens to be yearly incentive award week, when annual salary increases and bonuses are disclosed to employees. Of course, these are completely confidential, and again, I could be dismissed for discussing any details. I will say, my history of compensation from this company has always been a favorable one, although like everything else in this economy, it moves at a snails pace.

So on a day like today, when the foolish questions are flying around at the speed of light, I'm still not sure if I wouldn't be better suited to spend my senior years on a nice quiet island in the Caribbean, with a couple of fishing lessons under my belt, a 500 pound bag of rice and a manageable pup tent pitched under the stars.

I would be remiss if I did not state for clarification purposes, that on most days I am very pleased to be working for a Fortune 500 company that itself has been awarded accolades year after year for many superlatives in the industry. This company, together with 15,000 employees all working together towards a common goal, also continues to contribute to a national solution for protecting the environment for future generations.

Oh, did I forget to mention that today is my 6 year anniversary with the company....not sure if I have over stayed my welcome....or not....and the award for holding on to one's sanity goes to....