Monday, November 10, 2014

Thanksgiving is Alright for Fighting

I haven't spent a lot of time posting to this blog.  Mostly, I've been filling my time trying to figure out what it was I did to entertain myself before I met Jason.  I've been binge watching a lot of TV, which doesn't feel right-- but hell, I only have three more months before he comes home from Korea.  Who knew another human being could occupy so much of your time?  I was blissfully unaware, until the bastard got on a plane and flew halfway across the world to get away from me for a year.

When I'm not trying to remember what I did when I was single--  I'm on the phone listening to the ever-unfolding family saga.  Fuck!  I'd rather sit in dead silence... which actually isn't true, because despite the fact that the news frustrates me, or makes me cry, or makes me want to drive 12 hours, bang on some doors, and shake some sense into people-- it's the kind of thing I'll look back on and laugh about.

Anyway...  Let's get to the drama.

Earlier this fall, my grandmother decided that at the ripe old age of 86-- she wanted to move into a retirement center. (To the relief of many of us, who felt it was about time).  She's been living alone since February 2007-- when my grandfather past away.  She's battled cancer and survived-- because she's a stubborn, bad-ass old lady.  But despite that awesome fact, the harsh Portland winters have become too much for her to bear on her own, and she wants to move somewhere with people her own age and make some friends.  I applaud her.  Most people her age are already in a home, or being forced into one by their offspring.

I had the unique opportunity to live with my grandmother for several weeks before I made the move to Sacramento.  It was an eye-opening experience, and it's one that has helped me accept the fact that it is time for her to move to the next place.  Not everyone in the family has had this opportunity-- and I think some are having a more difficult time than others dealing with it.

Because we all deal with stressful life changes in our own way-- there's a little bit of drama in the family.  It happens more often to a group of stubborn, proud, Polish women who tend to hold grudges, and bad mouth each other instead of having the difficult discussions.  Mind you, these women are in their late 50's, early 60's.  (If you're rolling your eyes right now, that's ok.  You can join my cousins and I-- we've all been doing that since birth).

Here's the gist of the drama...

Grandma's moving out of the house she's owned for 50+, and into a retirement center the week after Thanksgiving.  So lovely that all this change could happen around the holidays, right?  People are emotional because it's a big, life change-- and the home we all grew up in will soon be sold off to someone else.

Throw on top of that the fact that the old woman needs to get rid of most of her stuff.  Now, some of the stuff no one cares about-- like the pile of about 50 Christmas towels dating back to 1975 that have been sitting in the back of the linen closet since, well 1975.  But there are other things we ALL care about, like these stupid brown and orange plastic bowls that probably cost 50-cents for a set of 100.  But we (the cousins) used them to eat Goldfish Crackers and Chex Mix anytime we went to Grandma & Grandpa's house.  And then, there are things that some of us care about, but others don't... and that will lead you to some bickering and name calling and overreacting.  Sounds reasonable, right?

Now, sprinkle in some old grudges, hurt feelings, and he said, she said-- and you've got yourself a nice steaming pot of Family Drama.  It doesn't help that there are 5 sisters, 9 cousins, and their offspring that all have memories, feelings, and different ways of dealing with life changes.  It would be quite laughable if we could all see the humor in it and find a different way to cope.  But that's not how we do things.

I can't speak for anyone but myself here-- and while I've spent a good deal laughing about how ridiculous this all sounds from afar--  I've also done a good deal of  crying and venting to my poor boyfriend who flew halfway around the world to get away from this shit.  For me, it's not really about the stuff-- what I get or don't get.  It's about the fact that after six decades on this planet together-- my dear, sweet aunties can't find a way to get along and work together.  And it's about the fact that I've seen this before, and I really don't want to watch another fallout.

Let me say something to my older generation now-- I've grown up watching you, learning from you, and admiring you.  You're all amazing women who hold a special place in my heart.  But having watched you all from the sidelines during these life changes over the years-- I've got to say, you all suck at communication.  I've often wondered why you can't get over yourselves, be respectful to each other, and communicate.  I'll be honest with you, that's really the only way to get out of these messy situations and still want to look at each other the next day.

Sure, it's tough.  But as Grandpa would say, "Life's tough.  Get over it."  I'll be the first one to tell you how much I hated hearing that-- but the man had a point.

If you think all this infighting is just between the four of you-- it's not.  It's affecting your spouses, your children, their spouses, and your grandchildren.  I'm mean, for fuck sake-- Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Is this really how we want to spend our time? I know I don't.  In fact, I honestly just want to come home, put on my fat pants, eat a lot of food and enjoy my family.  To hell with the rest of it.

I know this is a stressful time for all of us-- but get over yourselves.  This is a time for being thankful.  So can we put the hurt feelings aside and remember we have a great, big, loud, overbearing, opinionated, loving family who drives us crazy sometimes?  Can we remember that we are all dealing with the same thing in our own unique ways, that it's hard on all of us, and that instead of tearing each other down we should be building each other up?  And finally, can we all remember that I inherited Grandpa's height, and bluntness-- and if you can't get along I'm going to bust out the boxing gloves and make you fight it out in the backyard while the rest of us eat turkey and watch?  I'm not opposed to smashing some pies in your faces either...

Family, right?  No wonder I need therapy.  Now, who wants to come home with me for Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yum Pow Chicken Tacos

Prepare to have your world rocked!!  This is my all-time favorite recipe, and it's incredibly simple and fast.  I like to pull it out when I have guests coming over-- because they're always so impressed I made it all by myself!

So delicious!  That's plate above contains Kung Pao Chicken Tacos and Coconut chicken tacos.  They're so delicious.  The right hint of spice, and cooling coconut.  Plus, you make anything into a taco and it's delicious!

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Guide to Vitamins

I've heard mixed reviews on vitamin taking.  Some people swear by it, others say it makes them throw up.  I've been experimenting with it for the past few months now-- and I've got to say I like it.

It all started when I still lived in Portland, and my OBGYN suggested that I start taking a daily Vitamin D supplement, because Oregon doesn't see much sunshine in the winter.  I added it along with a good multivitamin to my routine, and started noticing that I had more energy.

Friday, September 5, 2014

What I've Been Reading

Now that life has calmed down a bit, and the house is mostly unpacked-- I've finally managed to do some reading.  In fact, for the past 2 months I've dived right in and read some really great works of fiction.  So great, that I wanted to share them with you.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pressed Penny Magnets

I have a confession my friends, I'm a total nerd when I travel.  I collect smashed pennies!  Wherever I go, if there's a penny machine I have to have one.  Some people collect pens or shot glasses-- I collect pennies.

I've been doing this since I was a kid, which means I have TONS of pennies!  Jason and I broke down and bought a penny passport to store all of our pennies at one point.  But at one point we had so many we had to triple up on slots.  And I wanted to do something different with them.  So I emptied out the passport, and did some thinking...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Lost at Horsetail Falls

My first adventure in California after Jason left for South Korea was one giant mess.  It was a big reminder for me of just how out of touch with singledom I had become.

I decided I wanted to go for a hike.  I didn't really know many people at my new job that well, so I went online and started researching nearby hiking trails.  Having lived in three different cities, all with hiking trails within city limits-- and all that I was pretty familiar with, I was a bit rusty at searching for quality hiking trails.

That was mistake one.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Banana Smoothie Muffins

I love to start my day with a delicious smoothie!  Those of you who have been following this blog for a while an attest to that.

I've shared some of my favorites with you right here:  The Monster Smoothie, The Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie, and The Apple-Kale Smoothie.  It's the perfect way to get protein, veggies, and fruit in your breakfast.  Plus, I can drink them during the car ride to work.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Shift in Focus

Forgive me readers, I've committed the ultimate blogging sin-- it's been about four months since my last blog post.  I won't bother you with excuses... because I don't have any.  I've been doing a lot of thinking over the last few months about me, my life, and my blog.

Last year, I put a lot of emphasis on weight loss as Jason and I embarked on a journey to lose weight and get him to Korea.  At the end of last year, and for the first half of this year-- I've struggled with stress and gained some of my weight back.  I've had a hard time finding the motivation to get back into my healthy living style and have stayed away from this blog, since that was the main focus of my posts.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Food Slut

It's time for me to come clean about something I'm not proud of.  Despite my wanting to get my act together and finally get back into a routine of healthy eating and being active-- it's all just words.  Once I log off my computer, I plop my much bigger booty in front of the TV, and start whoring around with the junk food in my house.  Yes, I said whoring around with junk food.  Chips, cookies, ice cream, candy-- you name it, I've taken it up as a lover.... sometimes putting entire packages into my body all at once.

At first, it was just once in a while.  A little backslide into old habits to deal with the fact that I'm lonely and missing Jason.  Then, it became once a week...

I'm up to multiple days a week now.  People, yesterday I ate an ENTIRE tube of Pillsbury-Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast... they were cooked.  Don't worry,  I had enough restraint to wait until they were fully cooked....

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Good Morning & Good Night Yoga

One of the habits I've picked up over the last month takes up a total of 45 minutes of my day.  I had just started getting back into my fitness routine, when I noticed my body getting really tight.  So, I decided to start doing a short Yoga routine every morning.

I love this routine-- it's short and the instructors voice is very calming.  After searching through several different routines, I found this one.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken

Another round of double recipes from this Amazon Woman in Pink Heels.  I've been having a lot of fun testing out my Pintrest recipes.  The two I want to share today are fast and easy-- and perfect for spring.  I have a lemon theme this month for my recipes.

Let's get started:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

UHG.... Crazy Neighbors

I really wanted to write an update last night-- because as you may have noticed, toward the end of the week I dropped the ball.  I owe you guys a craft, an update and a fitness tip.  All of that is forthcoming-- and I had every intention of writing something...

And then, the neighborhood troll appeared at my door for a yelling match.  Long story short, she claims my dog is trying to attack her grandson through our fence.  I told her she's only outside when I'm home-- and while I admit I don't watch her 24/7, the doors and windows are open and I can hear when she's getting too rambunctious.... that only happens when there's a squirrel involved.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Best & Easiest Bead

This is by far my favorite bread recipe ever!  It's so easy, and quick to make-- and you can alter it to have a million different kinds of bread.  No joke!  It is dairy free-- and can be made to be gluten-free if you know the right substitutes (I don't, so I'm sorry my gluten-free friends I don't have a gluten free variation for you)

I originally found this recipe on the blog "Making Things is Awesome", and tried it out and loved it.  I've since passed it along to several of the women in my family-- and now I'm going to pass it along to you, with several variations I've been trying.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Love at a Long Distance: An Introduction

It's been about two months since Jason left for his South Korean adventure... and I've got to tell you it's been a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.  Our schedules are completely different, now that I'm on a new one... and I forgot how important just spending time sitting in the same room and holding hands is to a relationship.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Productive Weekend!

Happy Sunday lovely people.  It's been quite the weekend! I spent all day Friday off of work, sleeping in bed and watching hours of movies.    It was exactly what I needed after work, work, working super hard on different shifts.  I was feeling so beat and worn down, I just needed some time to sleep...

I woke up on Saturday feeling refreshed and ready to do some much needed work in the yard.  The grass was so overgrown--after the lawn mower broke.  The new one showed up on Friday-- Thank God!  It took me two hours for me to slice through the long-ass grass in the front and backyard.

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