I am such an humble American doing good deeds. And yes, that is about as much of an oxymoron as this bird representing freedom who is dead, stuffed and on display in a glass box.
As I write, I’m reminded of the the time I was distracted by perty horsies…
The other day, I was leaving work. And I was frustrated, for no other reason other than I’m pretty sure I’m not getting it all done at the new job. More on the mention of that new job later. Anyways, one of the joys of transitioning from working on my chaise lounge to working in an office is traffic. It doesn’t happen often, as a matter of fact, this was my first traffic sighting, but I was miffed as clearly I have another 30 minutes until five o’clock traffic begins. Duh.
I get out on the major street and soon discover the traffic is because a car is stalled a few yards from a turn lane at an intersection. I merge to get out of that mess and then while I wait I see it’s a girl maybe in her twenties and she just doesn’t know what to do and shes talking to someone in the car. What if its a kid? I merge back into her lane that everyone’s merged out of, throw on my hazards and jump out and ask her if she’s ok. She is so pleasantly surprised and her faith in humanity has been redeemed as she has watched car after car drive by. And what I thought was a kid in the car is an able bodied adult _ a pal and co_worker who apparently is not about to lower herself to get out of the car. Instead, she’s texting all her pals about it. She’s been here a while and I m the first person to stop or even drive by and show any concern. Her car is overheated. Soon a guy comes walking up _ its her manager.
For some reason, I’m inspired by the manager walking up while hitting his last drag on his cigarette. First of all, she’d called to tell him that she was going to be late because her car stalled and the guy hung up the phone, put someone else in charge and walked into traffic to try to help her.
But also, the girl had been there a while _ long enough to stall, panic, call work, the manager to finish up what he was doing and walk about a mile to where her car was. She HAD been sitting there a while and no one had stopped. No one until me. I’m such a hero. Well, maybe not. We all stand there looking at her engine as traffic creeps by in the other lane. We all three determined _ it could have been 4 of us, but that chick never got out of the car _ was that we needed to push her car.
I know it sounds weird, but I had these ballet flats on, and I was pretty sure I did not want to push a car in them. So, I did the next best, way more comfy and probably faster thing _ I offered up my car to push them into the serenity of the Trader Joe’s parking lot. Since the girl was headed to work at Ingredient which is also in the zenlike parking lot, we all agreed it would be a great idea. I reminded her that I might scratch up her car, but she was pretty okay with that. My car is not a Lexus. It’s also paid for. And it’s also not really designated as “my car” per se. It’s Ricardo’s. But I knew it would be okay to push the car with our car because Ricardo would be impressed. I just knew it.
I pushed her with the car through the intersection. The manager guy rode with me _ nice guy by the way. Once we got through the intersection, I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. What a great day, I fought traffic. Ever sitting in traffic and wonder if you could just make all the traffic go away? Yeah, I did that. I was feeling pretty awesome of myself when a cop pulled up to save the day.
“It’s okay sir, I’ve got the day saving gig covered. Go about your business.”
Well maybe I didn’t say all that. But he offered to push the girl the rest of the way. Ahem _ all 20 feet into the parking lot, but whatevs, you go ahead officer. I think we all know I did all the work.
The sweet girl thanked me. The manager guy hopped out and told me to swing by and he’ll buy me lunch at Ingredient some time. Considering Ingredient is one of 3 restaurants I can kinda eat clean at, I almost took him up on it. But then I just replied, “Oh no kind sir, this is all in a days work of good doing.” Then I flashed him my superhero smile and tucked my cape back in so I could buckle my seat belt. And I headed forth, in search of my next good deed to fill.
Actually I figured I was good for the day. And I was so proud of myself for pushing that car with my car so successfully. I couldn’t wait to tell Ricardo all about it. He was going to be so proud. I called him to brag to him about why I was going to be a little late. “Baby! I was having a rough day, and then I helped someone and I pushed their car out of traffic. And she was so grateful and I did good, and I’m so happy I stopped to help.”
“Wait, did you say, you pushed a car with my car?”
“Uh, yeah. But it was FOR THE GOOD OF OTHERS! And you would have been so proud of how smooth and professional I did it!”
“Okay, well, hurry home, we need to get to insert one of the 57 different activities we have going on here.”
I got home and whatever activity we had to get to necessitated I jump in the minivan and we go. So we did and we got home late and all was well.
The next day, at yet ANOTHER activity, I was bragging to some friends about what a great and noble deed I did. Ricardo and I had split up carting one kid to one activity and another to the other. So, as I’m telling my noble deed story, I get this text:
“Ummmmmmmm….we are missing the license plate off the front of the grand am.”
Bahahahah, I thought it was hilarious. Because here I still did a very noble and very great deed, saving that girl from the grips of miffed but still Omaha_style polite traffic folk. I thought I’d done such a good job of pushing the car. Apparently not. Ricardo didn’t think it was as funny as I did and then he mentioned something about him driving around with no license plate and how it’s super uber illegal in the state of Nebraska. Woopsie. I resolved to get new ones as soon as I got back from a road trip I was leaving for the next day.
I went on the road trip. I came back. I recovered from the road trip. It took a few days. And on day five from my return from said roadtrip, I was on my way to work EARLY as I was going to wow them with my extra time committed to what is now seen as my noble profession of doing good for others. On the way to all that, I got pulled over by a very nice police officer. I didn’t catch it at first as I wasn’t paying attention to how fast I was going. I was taking a swig of the most delightful batch of coffee from my gigantic coffee mug. Had she seen that when drinking from this particular mug, it may or may not impair my vision? OR, was it illegal now to talk on the phone while driving, because I had my hands free headphones on but isn’t that even illegal in some states?
I’m reviewing all this in my head and resolved to watch the news more, especially to be more updated on local phone and driving laws, when I’m pulling over, it occurs to me _ it’s the damned license plate Ricardo’s been reminding me of daily. Dangit.
I explain as quickly as possible this whole story to her, and how noble I was, and now my husband wins this debate. She doesn’t think it’s all that noble or funny, but hands me what she referred to as a “fix it ticket”. Ahhh, Nebraska, The Good Life. I promised her I’d get it fixed right away and drive straight to the DMV right now as it was so very close. I’m pretty sure she didn’t believe me. But I did. And $14 later (Ricardo thought it’d be more like $60) I am legal again.
My good and noble deeds are worth $14, I think. Hey, isn’t that about the cost of a meal at Ingredient?
That’s how I roll.
Song Listen of the day: Drive Thru by Tenacious D (EAR MUFFS!!!!)
This is a total energy booster, and I’m pretty sick of salads, so I just have one of these every day _ it’s a Spinach Smoothie. Blend the following: 2c. packed fresh spinach, 1c. frozen blueberries, vanilla protein powder, 1 tbsp flaxseed, a dash of ground cinnamon, and some water (about 1-2 c.) You’ll love it. You don’t taste the spinach. However, I recommend you drink it with a straw. Think milk mustache, but instead of white, it’s a dark purple. Just do it. You’ll love it. We do!
As of current, my kids’ schedules are a wee bit embarrassing. For about the next month, we’re finishing up winter activities and yet, spring activities have begun. Monday evenings look like some kind of bizarre parental tag team chauffeuring service. When we get in bed on Monday nights, we’d high_five ourselves with congratulations, but we’re too tired. That, and then Tuesday is upon us and it’s equally crazy. By Wednesday, we are split again on the schedules of carting the kids to their activities _ but it’s only one activity each, so it’s practically a breather. Thursday is another activity, but they both go to the same place, so that’s easy. When Friday rolls around, we all don’t know what to do with ourselves. So we have Family Fun Night and make homemade pizza, also known as “Daddy’s World Famous Pizza”. Saturday mornings are filled with more activities, and then Sunday afternoons as well.
Last year, during football practices, I opted to start running while Max practiced football. This year, Max is doing spring football. So, upon our return back to the practice fields, I discovered I’d developed a reputation _ I’m that runner mom. Secretly, I find this amusing. I guess to others, I run a lot. But I really don’t like to run. (Don’t tell anyone. It’s our little secret.) And what they didn’t know was that was the ONLY time I was running. Still, I was doing it. So, I developed a rep as the runner mom (I still chuckle at that title) and great, now I have to keep up the rep and run at spring ball practices. Sigh.
One day a few hours before Lucy’s dance practice, I got a text from a fellow dance mom_friend, “Wanna walk today at that park next to dance?” Great idea. And then, a fellow football team mom_friend of mine asked if we could walk together during the boys’ practice. HECK YES.
I’m happy to walk with these ladies for several reasons. First of all, I love to visit with them. I find myself looking forward to seeing them at practices. Secondly, I like to run on my own. And also, when I do run with people, I still insist on talking, and for some reason, when running, people don’t like to hear me yapping. So, walking and talking is fine with me and probably a little more bearable.
It’s occurred to me that maybe carting the kids around isn’t the embarrassing part. It’s the part where we drop our kids off, kiss the top of their heads (if they don’t run off first) and tell them to work their hardest. Then we plop down and sit there and watch our kids give their all. When we go to swim, I usually sit in the lobby or the hot tub. When we go to dance, I sit in these awful chairs and gripe about my back and how loud the dancers are running around. When we go to track, I sit in the stands and read or yap on the phone. What the hell? What kind of example is that? My kids look up and see me sitting there.
So, I decided to take this reputation of the running mom _ which by the way, I think it should be a more descriptive term like “barely jogging mom” but anyways _ then I should do it ALL of their events.
If you’re at any of the following practices _ feel free to join me _ even the running part. But you might want to bring headphones if you don’t want to hear me talkingto you while we run. So, here’s my new schedule:
Swim Team practice: I swim in the lane right next to them. So far, they think it’s pretty cool. In practicing for Sprint Triathlons, my workout is way shorter than theirs. But they get it and I think they like having me around, but not for the ENTIRE workout. It’s win_win all the way around.
Football Practice: Walk & Talk _ and total bonus, we’re walking the dogs too.
Dance Practice: Walk & Talk OR Jog OR I have intent to get my bike out and crank out a few miles on the bike.
Tracktice (See how I combined Track and Practice for my own word there? You can use my word, no prob. You know you want to): I run in the slow lane on the inside of the track. Eventually, if I’m feeling super bold, I guess I could do some situps and pushups. It’s not like I’m jogging for the entire hour.
In between those workouts, I’ll be hitting my awesome gym. Mamma’s gotta get to the steam room and see her fellow cool gym peeps.
I know we’re all busy hustling our kids to practices and games and tutoring and rehearsals. So, I hope you consider my new plan. Can you do it? Can you find a way to workout while your kids are? Let me know how it goes!
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: 2 Legit 2 Quit by MC Hammer (c’mon, it’s fun!)
Dear Moms, here’s our basement storm preparation before and after pictorial essay. Hope you feel better. The kids have pretty much eaten it all and the storm isn’t here yet.
This is before. Take note _ we have enough to sustain for days. But that’s only because I just read the Hunger Game series. So, I’m well versed on it. Ricardo will ration the beer.
Here’s the after. You’re welcome, Moms. Your grandbabies ate it all before the storm came. That’s the only flashlight I could find. But don’t worry, it’s glow_in_the_dark. And yeah, that’s Perrier. We’re classy like that.
When my daddy was alive, he’d call me for one of two reasons _
1. To ask when my birthday was so he could get more combinations on his lottery picks when the Lottery was high.
2. To check on me when the weather was bad. He’d watch the weather and call to fill me in before I knew what was going on.
Apparently, my dad was ahead of his time. 5 years later, my mom’s calling. I really don’t blame her _ remember Hurricane Ike? Yeah, they survived it. And by survived it, I mean, they were without electricity for more than 2 weeks. I remember watching Hurricane Alicia from my garage. It was kind of like a neighborhood block party. I grew up an hour inland on the north side of Houston. So, that we got a show of a hurricane should give you some kind of indication that it was pretty bad. Hurricane Ike was badder. Way badder.
When I check my voicemail from my mom, it’s eerily warm out. The day before, it was chilly. So, I know the change in temperature is a good indication of bad weather. Still, I’m driving home, it’s sunny and so warm out, I’ve got the windows rolled down. My mom’s voicemail reports otherwise. She’s got a shaky and concerned tone but she’s trying to be cool and not overact. You know, so I won’t blog about her or something. Too late.
“Just checking on y’alls weather.” Awkward paus. “Uh, text me and let me know how it’s going.”
Now the “just checking on the weather” is normal. The “text me” gig ads a bit ofa degree of her concern for me. So, I call her. When she answers I tell her I’m okay immediately. Then I start making swish and wind tunnel sounds to tease her a little. She appreciates that I’ve told her I’m okay first. I tell her it’s sunny out and I just rolled up the windows to talk to her. So, she unclenches for a little bit.
And then she starts in about stocking our basement. Now, I don’t know if Moms is mixing up nuclear warfare with tornadoes or what. But we’d talk for a while, she’d circle back to stocking the basement, and then I’d listen, change the subject and she’d circle back again.
I have something over my mom’s house: a basement. So, we’re fine. But she REALLY wants me to stock it. I explain we have a refrigerator in our basement and it’s stocked with our overflow of groceries. We have the following in our basement refrigerator: a beer, milk, bread, onions and potatoes. She assesses it and we have a laugh. And then she comes back to more basement badgery. We apparently need to go buy camping equipment, a generator, flashlights, and a storm radio.
I understand the purpose of flashlights. I promise Moms that I’ll find a flashlight and put it in the basement. But she’s back to the food situation and she’s made a list she’d like to review with me on what I should pack. Dear God. I listen to her. I joke around. But she’s going in for the hard sell. Up to this point, I see where she’s going with it. I’m just jacking with her a bit. And then she goes in for the bizarre hard sell _ she starts talking about how we don’t have a bathroom in the basement, but do I know where the drain is just in case.
“How long do you think we’ll be down there, Moms?”
“Well you never know, Les.”
I promise her that if stuck int he basement under rubble or whatever, I promise I’ll dig out and find a real working bathroom. Or pee outside. There, I have a plan.
I finally promise her that I will stock the fridge. I will NOT however, make preparations or any kind of a plan on peeing in my floor drain. And she relents.
Mind you, there IS a storm coming, but it’s not for another 20 hours. I call JulzHOLLA to make sure she’s aware of this very epic nationally previewed storm. She says her family in Michigan already called her about it. So see, it’s not just me either. But apparently, there’s this very wicked storm coming our way and it’s going to involve “Life Threatening Storms”. I’m quoting that from a news story. Seriously. We’ll see.
We opt to go out to eat before the very predicted storm hits and on the way home we stop for some allergy medicine. While we’re there, Ricardo reminds me we are out of toilet paper. We kid about how we should stock up for this storm. Hahahaha. And then when we go to check out, the checker outter asks, “Are y’all stocking up for the storm?” Then proceeds to tell us the Big O report: Everyone’s stocking up on flashlights. Target totally ran out. OMG _ Can you believe it?
I turn to Ricardo, “Is this a bigger deal than we’re mocking it to be?”
And then we went home and told the kids we’re getting ready for a slumber party in the basement. Doesn’t that sound like fun!? They bought it. Until I started hauling food to the basement and filling up water bottles. We’ve been in the basement before for bad weather. I’ve never stocked it with food. Let the worrying commence. I promised it was just for our party. But then Lucy turned and explained to Max about how Mena called to warn us. Lawdy.
So, as I type, we wait. The basement is packed with food, clothing, blankets, and now toilet paper.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Tears in the Rain by Joe Satriani
We’ve been preaching about our budget and how we’re made of money since we don’t go out to eat and that we feel sooooo good for it. And lo, yesterday, my only meal from home was a smoothie.
Before this, I’ve slipped a little _ but since it was at home _ and my pantry is pretty cleared out of all dirty items. The food I slipped on wasn’t cuuuuhlean _ per se. It’s usually a binge on Jo_Jo’s. By binge, I mean I ate 5 of them with almond milk. Whereas before this venture, I would have eaten the box with a can of frosting. And when Ricardo reached for one, I probably would have stabbed him with the butter knife I was using citing, “Go get your own box!” Or something like that.
So, what happened first was, Ricardo took the kids to his parents for a few days during their spring break leaving me all alone at home with Maybee. Maybee is now confused as I’m talking to her for endless hours of human blabber blabberdy doo. It’s one thing to go out of town and be away from family. But it’s a very odd feeling to be at home with no one here. So, I may or may not have coped with ginger snaps. They are as clean of a cookie as you can get. Perhaps I hit the Trader Joe’s Palak Paneer and Jasmine Rice a little too hard. And then I sat alone and watched tv in my own lonely despair taking swigs of ginger beer. Yeah, I know. I’m pretty awesome. Such a foodie dare devil.
When Ricardo and the kids came home, we went to the movies. Now, I’ve been to the movies while on this clean eating endeavor. I’ve packed my snacks, and not been tempted to eat the kids’ popcorn. But this time, Ricardo was with me, and I suppose, since he was eating the popcorn, well then so be it _ it was okay for me to eat the popcorn too.
When he and Lucy ate the entire tub with, well, I got a little miffed. So, I went out and refilled it, completely validating it. What the hell just happened? I’m supposed to be preaching that a refill of the oil doused popcorn is encouraging bad behavior and eating habits. That just because they hand you a tub of salty genetically modified corn with butter, and a side of free refill, doesn’t mean I should do it. Right? But I just want a little bit. I returned to the movies and started in on the popcorn, woops, I mean plot. I was there for the movie, not the popcorn…
I figured since the clean eating rules had been broken, let the flood gates open and flood me. However, the popcorn just didn’t taste that good to me. Sigh. I’m growing up again. Dangit. So, I put the greaseball tub down and never picked it up again.
The next day, we got caught. By caught, I mean unprepared. We had our smoothie for breakfast: frozen peaches, water, flaxseed, cinnamon, protein powder. Then we headed out to volunteer for an Easter Egg hunt. I’d calculated that we’d be home in time for our morning snack, but lo, we were needed for a few other tasks. I get it, we’re awesome like that. Let’s do this. Before I knew it, my stomach was growling and it was lunch time. It’s probably a good time to tell you that we were also helping with a food pantry. So, I’m not going to suggest I was starving or whine about how I was starving because I was missing my morning snack. Poor me. Still, my stomach was audibly embarrassing, what with it being at everyone else’s ear level and all. Once we finished, since we’d done such noble deeds as feed the hungry, we should be rewarded with brunch at one of the dirtiest restaurants in town _ Wheatfields. Because it was closest. Instead of chips and dip, they bring you a giant cinnamon roll slathered with a 3″ layer of frosting. Well, it is homemade, so that makes it clean right? I just had a couple of bites.
I found some spinachy artichokey and hammy casserole and ate half. And Ricardo and I pledged that once Easter was over, we were sooooo back on the Clean Eats wagon. JulzHOLLA! and her family were having us over for Easter Dinner. We had no expectations for JulzHOLLA! to accommodate our ridiculous Clean Eats scheme. However, she had _ even researching a clean recipe for donuts. Be still my Lilith Fair attending heart. I think I’m in love. I mean, a friend who will go to those lengths _ a clean donut, y’all. THAT is a friend with benefits. Heck yes.
Karma woke us up from our Easter weekend binge. Ricardo is nursing a pretty upset stomach as I type. So, we’re back on our clean eats. I think the rules were meant to be broken so that you can see the consequences of breaking them. The consequences are breaking out on my face. I’ve taken advantage of my theory that clean eating will clear up my face. It did. And then I ruined it.
I’m a little disappointed in myself that I fell off the clean eats wagon. In retrospect, now that my mind is fully in tact as the haze of dirty food has cleared _ perhaps I should have cushioned this plan of clean eating just a little bit. To expect that I’d not possibly ingest one iota of dirty is unrealistic. My wagon falling offing in my own regard is way better than if I were dieting. I’ve learned this lesson _ clean eating is a lifestyle, not a diet. And I know that by the fact that even when I veered off course _ it was indeed a purging of better choices even if not clean.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Life by Queen Latifah
Okay, I’m feeling really super powerful because I asked y’all to help my pals, Lyndee and Molly get on the Biggest Loser ranch, and Lyndee’s there RIGHT NOW! Watch her video right here! So, thank you for all that.
In using my powers for good….click here now.
If you are a writer, ever thought of writing a book (everyone I’ve ever mentioned that I’ve been trying to write books, always say “I’ve always wanted to write a book” so, that’s just about everyone.) If you’ve written a book and don’t know what to do now. If you need an idea. If you’re just a creative kind of person, but mostly, if you have a story to tell (again _ each of you has a story to tell) you need to check into attending my very cool friend’s retreat.
I met Wade Rouse at the Erma Bombeck’s Writers Conference. I almost didn’t go to his session. I think it was called something like “The Three H’s of Writing: Humor, Humility, and Honesty.” I might be wrong, but hey, that’s what I got out of it. Anyway, I went to his writing retreat, and got a lot out of it. He does something _ I’m not sure what, because I started writing and never stopped, but he helps you tell your story _ your way.
On top of that, he does another first _ he brings together supportive groups of writers. Because, if you’re a writer, you’re paranoid about sharing your work with anyone, and others writer happiness or success makes you wanna kind of vomit in a totally validated competitive kind of way.
I’m almost finished with my first manuscript and in the middle of my second. And I look forward to sharing the highs and lows of writing and rejection with my original Wade’s Writer’s group. We all keep in touch and support each other. One of the writers in my group since knowing me (woops, I mean going to the retreat _ but coincidence? I think not.) has completed his manuscript, landed an agent, and sold his book. I am so proud of him and eager to read his book!
Unless you have only intention of telling everyone you’ve always wanted to write your book, but never actually doing it….Seriously, please consider going to Wade’s retreat.
If you have any questions, please comment or email me.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Superstar by Lupe Fiasco