humor

Meet My Friend Who’s Grateful to Gain Weight Easily!

Greetings Bloggy Friends!
Did I get your attention with the title of today’s post?  Well, imagine what I thought when my friend sent this post to me to share with all of you and I first read this title,  too!  Trust me, you will definitely want to read more.  
First, let me introduce you to another one of my She Speaks friends,  Brittany Williamson.  I’m having a blast getting to know Brittany through our She Speaks Online Peer Critique Group that I current lead.  I also love reading her blog over here that she writes with two of her friends, Holly and Hannah. They call themselves “twenty-somethings”.  Now I’m sure you’re wondering why this old lady would read a blog written by girls half my age!  Easy.  These girls have a lot of great things to say as well as wisdom in their young age.  But don’t take my word for it, read Brittany’s post below – then pop on over to their website, www.faithinbetween.com and check out more of Brittany’s writing!  
Enjoy, my friends!

I am grateful that I gain weight easily.

Yes. You read that correctly. Not depressed, not jealous, not sad…grateful.

But before you think I need my temperature checked or my head examined or a doctor appointment scheduled, hear me out.

I have cried over, struggled with, complained about, and hated my body for as long as I can remember. Though I knew I was made by God in His image, I still declared myself fat, disgusting, gross, ugly, and unlovable for many years. Scriptures like Psalm 134:19 didn’t give me peace; they made me cringe. How could I possibly be “wonderfully made” and overweight at the same time?

It seemed to me those girls who could eat whatever they wanted and still fit into their size two jeans were perhaps a little more “wonderfully” made than I was. I gained weight just by looking at the hamburgers and fries they could scarf down without a budge in the scale. A  few words came to mind when I thought about my body, but “wonderful” was never one of them, I can assure you.
Until last December.
Absorbing the spiritual truths discussed in Lysa Terkeurst’s book Made to Crave radically changed my perspective on my weight and every other struggle in my life. For the very first time, I began to understand what it means to be perfectly created by God, and I know now it has absolutely nothing to do with what I see in the mirror but everything to do with what He sees in my heart.
Let’s be honest, God could’ve easily given me a different body type. He is the creator of the world, after all. But I would not be perfect if He had.  I am “wonderfully made” only because I am perfectly designed to need Him. We all are, in one way or another. And when we need Him, we depend on Him, and by depending on Him, we grow closer to Him.
God knew that food would be my drug of choice, my go-to when I was sad, and my method of celebration, and He on purpose designed my body to make me aware of my habits and decisions. He wanted me to recognize every time I turned to food instead of Him, and He provided an opportunity for me to get to know Him in a totally different way than I ever would have without this struggle. Through relying on Him for strength, discipline, and guidance while I work on getting healthy, I gain a better understanding of who He is while leaving behind bad habits and unhealthy pounds. It may be a difficult process full of temptation, disappointments, and setbacks, but I finally realized that this is a journey God always intended for me to take with Him.
It is the reason I gain weight so easily, and it is the reason I am now grateful that I do.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to “rejoice always, pray continually, [and] give thanks in all circumstances” because it is God’s will. By looking at every weakness or issue as an opportunity given to us by our Father to grow closer to Him, we have the ability to experience true freedom and continual happiness. We are not designed to be slaves to anything– money, greed, bad attitudes, our pasts, or any sin. We are only designed to need God, and once we recognize that need, we are more powerful than any emotion, event, or addiction in our lives. Maybe weight isn’t your issue, but what is? Do you have a short temper? Do you love to gossip? Are you in the habit of hiding truth or lying? Do you think that’s “just the way you are?” Whatever it is, be grateful for it. Look at your struggle as something you can work on with God, and then pray, pray, and pray some more for His strength and patience while you soak up His love and mercy in a more beautiful way than you ever imagined.
The opportunity for growth is endless once we stop excusing, ignoring, and dwelling on our faults and begin to embrace the strength offered to us through Christ. The fact that we all need to change doesn’t mean we aren’t perfectly made. It means we are.

Well, didn’t I tell you this young lady has great wisdom to share?  Looks like I’d better re-read this post myself and learn from it!
…and that’s all I have to say about that!
Tammy

Fall Freeze Frame

If you live in Northeast Ohio – has this day been perfect or what?  This is my most favorite time of the year with all the color changes of the trees, the crispness in the evening air, the bright blue sky and big puffy clouds and good ‘ol Mr. Sun when he decides to come out and play.

So – I’d like to make a wish and have a dream come true.  Could we please freeze frame today and keep it until, oh, say…April?  Then in April start turning up the heat again.

The problem with the beautiful Ohio Fall is that it is usually followed by icky snow in the winter.  Well, not exactly “usually”, more like “always”!  I’m not a snow person.  I’m best sticking my toes in the sand at water’s edge and letting the sun beat down on me until I’m so hot I have to take a dip to cool off.  Then start the process over again.  Snow just makes me grumpy.  Snow does not “Tickle Me Pink” in the least.  Yet, even in those times when the sky opens and the white stuff falls and falls and falls some more, I can still find something to laugh about…

Like the time I let our little dog out to “do business” and I lost her in the snow drift….

Like the time I did a couple 360*’s during a storm on a major highway ending up the wrong direction and broke into laughter realizing the big semi had everyone blocked until I was done doing doughnuts…

Like the time we had a snow day, so we all took off for ice skating and I learned that being the end person on the crack the whip line is NOT the best spot and doesn’t make YOU go the fastest (thanks Chuck C.)…

Like the time we went tubing and rolled my cousin down the hill inside the earthmover intertube (see blogpost of January 13, 2011)…

Like the time my Mom tried to walk across to the neighbors house to have coffee while the snow and ice kept coming and she hit ice, went horizontal at about 4 foot in the air, then came down–hopped up and continued on…

Wait!  I’m thinking that Ohio Winter following Ohio Fall may not be so awful bad after all!

So, you know what, bring on the Fall!  I’ll deal with what ‘ol man Winter will bring when it gets here.  And get here it will.  For now, I’m going to love the beautiful colors of leaves that have changed, the blue skies and Mr. Sun as long as I can.  Oh yeah, and Fall brings apple season in Ohio and I’m thinking it’s time for my two Fall traditions–Apple Crisp and a batch of Caramelcorn, too!

What’s your favorite time of year?  I’d love for you to share it with all of us here.

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy

Food Friday-Spaghetti and “Friends”!

Okay, this is sort of stretching Food Fridays a bit, but it is Friday and it does involve food.  And hey, it’s my blog!

Though I do feel the need to warn those with weak stomaches!  Trust me, it will be funny, but parts are just, well, gross.  Consider yourself warned.

While hubby, Larry, and I were dating back in the late 70’s, he suggested we go to visit my dad’s parents one day as he’d never been to their house.  It was not usually a good visit for me, so I just never instigated taking him there.  On the way over, I forgot to give any warning or instructions.  Having grown up with certain “understandings” it was just second nature for the family and it escaped my mind that I had a “newbie” with me.

My grandmother offering pie or some other store bought dessert as you arrive is a usual occurrence at their house, but this is the one important aspect of the visit I forgot to give the detailed instructions on what the proper response is to Larry before we get there.

We arrive and join the grandparents in the living room.  They greet us and then it happened.  My grandmother says, “Gary, would you like a piece of pie?”

Let me interrupt here.  Two things you need to know:  1) My grandmother never called anyone by their real name so that wasn’t a typo,  and 2) if you haven’t read any other blog posts of mine, you need to know that my hubby is a real sugar head.  He will never turn down a sweet or dessert that is offered.  Back to the visit.

After my grandmother asks Larry (or Gary!) if he would like pie, I quickly answer, “No thanks, we just had lunch and are still pretty full.”  Larry’s mouth is still open as he was about to accept this piece of pie and he looks over at me very puzzled.

My grandmother says, “Well,  it’s blueberry pie and Elmer (my grandfather, whose real name is John) just brought it home.”

At this point, Larry is trying to figure out why I won’t let him have pie.  He likes pie.  He likes blueberry pie, too.  And he would really like to have a piece of this blueberry pie!  I’m trying to give him “the look” but apparently we haven’t been dating long enough at this point to have mastered this between us!  He’s not getting it, so I work hard at changing the subject.

Eventually it worked and we continued on with another subject.  Yet by the look on Larry’s face, you could tell he was totally confused.

After a bit of visiting we leave.  As we get into the car Larry said, “How come you wouldn’t let me have a piece of pie?  I like pie and blueberry pie, too!”

I replied, “you don’t eat anything here unless you brought it.”

He said, “huh? Why?”

I said, “just because.  You don’t want to know.  Just don’t eat it, if you didn’t bring it, that’s all.”

He wouldn’t leave it alone, and after a few minutes of him prying and me trying to change the subject I finally gave in and explained it.  I said, “okay, enough already.  If you want to know, I’ll tell you.  It’s gross, but you asked for it.”

(Brace yourself folks – it ain’t pretty!)

A long time ago my grandmother had us come for supper.  She made spaghetti and my dad loved spaghetti.  We’d been eating and visiting a while.  My dad was on his second large helping and noticed my mom was just moving food around her plate and not eating.

He asked, “Jeanne, why aren’t you eating your spaghetti?”

She said, “I’m full, so I’m done.”

He said, “It doesn’t even look like you’ve had any.”

Back and forth a couple times they went.  My dad digging, my mom avoiding.  She finally said, “I’m not eating any because the spaghetti on my plate is moving.  There’s maggots in the spaghetti.  There, you satisfied now?”

My dad had a weak stomach so he jumped up and bolted for the bathroom to lose his spaghetti.

At the end of this explanation to Larry he said, “well, that was just one time, why would you not eat her food anymore?”

I said, “can’t leave it alone can you?  Okay, I’ll tell you another reason you don’t eat it if you don’t bring it.  This one is worse.  Maybe then you’ll get the point without more stories.”  I continue on with another food story.

We’d all had a family Thanksgiving at my grandparents home.  It was later than normal because the turkey was still frozen early that morning, so we had to wait until late afternoon for it to be cooked enough to eat.

The following week my aunt went to the dentist.  Our whole family used the same dentist in our little ‘burb of Akron, Ohio.  My aunt has a terrible phobia of germs, cross contamination, you name it.  It’s over the top.  I tell Larry this so he can understand the reaction my aunt had at the dentist.

The dentist was working on my aunt.  Her mouth is open and the dentist said to her, “I hear you had an eventful Thanksgiving at the in-laws.”  He continues, “I heard the turkey took longer than normal to cook, it just wouldn’t cook through.”  My aunt mumbled a “yes” through her propped open mouth.  The dentist continued.  “I heard about it on Monday when she was in here.  I needed to make her a new partial.  She said she was making the stuffing for Thanksgiving and was chopping the celery and onions in a blender when her partial fell in, but she couldn’t get the machine off in time and the partial got all ground up.  Apparently, you all ate the………

At this point my aunt projectiled all over the dentist, the wall and everywhere else.  She jumped from the chair and ran outside and drove home, with the little bib still clipped around her neck.

I said, “this, Larry, is why…’if you didn’t bring it, you don’t eat it’.  There’s more stories, need I go on?”

He quietly said, “enough said.”

Today, I’m thinking this may be one of the reasons I began to love to cook!  This way I would always know what was in my food.  I can tell you for a fact, I have never had “friends” in my spaghetti and I’ve never served my dental work in my stuffing!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy

Oh No He Didn’t!

I am the kind of person who likes to plan things out.  However, I do have a side that just loves to do something on the spur of the moment, too.  Usually in search of laughter!  I’m not so rigid that life passes me by while I sort out details to the ‘nth degree, yet on the flip side I don’t throw caution to the wind on a regular basis.  Yet, through all of this, I am still quite an ornery girl to say the least.  Again, all in search of a great laugh.

Through the years I’ve have worked hard to go from an A++ personality to a somewhat comfortable B+/A- depending on the day!  This is much to my family’s urging to “lighten up a little, geez!”

On a positive side, being married to a person who was most definitely NOT a spur of the moment kind of guy, I have been able to bring some lighthearted fun into his life as well.  So when we witnessed the event I will share below, I’m not sure that my pulling him out of his  shell was necessarily a good thing.  You’ll see what I mean.

A few years back we took a vacation beginning in Florida at Universal Studios, met up with friends and shared a huge condo at Outer Banks a week,  and added a quick weekend stop in Maryland to visit my hubby’s cousins on our way back to Ohio.  Since we are three only children, we let our daughter take along her friend.

The girls were 12.  You know the age, everything a parent does or says is quite ridiculous!  Though we, as the parents, did our very best to behave ourselves and didn’t embarrass them too much.  Well, at least that’s our story!  Until we got to Maryland.  Ahem…..

The four of us were doing a little shopping at a retail store.  We had been in the store for a while and were about to leave.  Apparently, one of us had become bored.  This person either decided to get a little adventurous or lost their flippin’ mind!  Mind you, the one who decided to do this little deed, is not the spontaneous, ornery, silly one in the pair.  So to see what happened next, still brings laughter to the three of us at the very mention or sight of this particular object anywhere today.

The three of us girls in the group were making our way to the register area to exit the store.  The male in the group had been lingering in this area for way too long.  Obviously!  You’ll see.

As we approach the area, we are still sort of shopping as we pass the tables at the front filled with merchandise.  Then all at once we hear a snap, a gasp from another direction and this little statement coming from the male we are now wishing was not with us… “I think it’s broke,” as he hands her the broken chair.

Ya think?

The facial expression on the teen cashier was priceless.  Here is a grown man, trying to sit in a child’s resin chair that was sitting by the register. Her mouth is hanging down far enough she could catch flies. She just looks at us without a word.

We left the store and I look back at the two 12 year olds behind me.  Yeah, they wanted to crawl into any hole and die.  Nobody has said a word.

We get to the car, climb in and close the doors.  The male in the car starts to giggle and then says, “Hmm, I guess I’m too big for that chair.”

Genius!

We then just laugh.  What in the world was he thinking?  Why on earth would he, the logical one, even TRY to fit an adult booty into a child’s chair?  Oh. My!

To this day, when we see a child’s resin chair, the daughter or I will quickly say, “NO, don’t even think about it.”  This makes people look at us rather strange wondering why we have to tell a grown man why he cannot sit in that little, itty bitty chair!  If they only knew….

Am I trying to tell you not to be spontaneous?  No way!  I think the lesson learned here would be this:  spontaneous is great, but maybe a little assessment of the end result might be wise.  Especially when you are with your teenagers who just may die of embarrassment!

…and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy

Food Friday!

Lately our schedule around here has been rather wacky!  Anyone out there that can relate?  Yep, I see lots of raised hands, shaking heads and loud Yes’s being spoken.

Though I have been buying fruits and veggies with great intentions of actually using them, sometimes they start getting puny and I panic at the thought of throwing them away.  Never fear, I have a way of saving those sad little fruits from going to the trash can.  Back in cooking school, I learned from my fav teacher, Carla, a recipe for a rustic tart.  I’m not normally a baker-mainly because I like more salty foods than sugary foods as you’ve read about before!  However, I remembered this tart and decided that’s what I’m going to do when my fruit starts to take a dive.

Oh – side note, this fav teacher has a link posted on Facebook today to her remodeled kitchen that was posted recently on another person’s website.  You just have to check out this kitchen.  THIS would make me play in there all day!   http://www.thekitchn.com/theki
tchn/kitchen-tours/cookbook-author-carla-snyders-warm-white-kitchen-kitchen-tour-156670

Back to the rustic tart!  That could possibly be a title to a book…The Rustic Tart and Where She Lives!
Ok, way off subject.  Don’t know what got into me – I don’t usually do that!  Ha!
I’ve come up with a quick recipe to be able to save the puny fruit.  I’m not a fan of the show on TV from the “Sort of from Scratch” lady because I’m also not a fan of processed, packaged foods,  but due to hubby’s massage schedule at our office lately, I have realized that the Pillsbury Pie Dough in the dairy case is close enough to a real made-from-scratch pie dough.  And I’m thinking my fav teacher would at least be proud that I’m using up the fruits to not bust the food budget.
I’ve adapted a quick version to be able to pop this in the oven while dinner is served so you can enjoy at the end of the meal.  Though the original version isn’t that much different, except for the fresh pie crust. I hope you will give it a try.  On a day with more time, make your own crust–it’s not that hard and it really is delicious.  Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like a great recipe that always turns out.  Where do you think I got it?  Yep – from the lady who owns that beautiful kitchen on the link above!
Finished product from a couple weeks ago

What I used:
     About 2-3 cups of fruit (whatever is heading south–cleaned and cut into bite-sized bites)
     About 1 TB of flour
     About 1 TB of sugar
     1/4 cup of Apricot Jam, warmed in microwave to thin for easy brushing onto tart
     1 Pie Crust Round
            **I say about 1 TB of flour and sugar as it depends on how much fruit you actually
                have.  You are looking for just enough to cover the fruit lightly with not too much
                left over.
Flour and sugar not tossed yet, just so you see how little is needed
1.  Mix the fruit with the flour and sugar.  Toss well and set aside.

2.  On a sheet pan, lined with a Sil-pat or parchment paper, unroll your pie crust.  I brush a little of the thinned jam on the crust.  Then pour fruit mixture on top, stopping about 1″ away from edge. (Hint:  If you are not going to make your own pie crust, please use Pillsbury…this was a store brand and ripped apart really easy-ugh!)

3.   Then go around the tart and fold up the edge of the pie crust over the fruit.  It will form a frame around the fruit and the center will be exposed. (See all the tears from the cheap crust…learn from my mistake…don’t buy the store brand!!!)
4.  Brush on the warmed jam, which is like a glaze.
5.  Bake at 350* degrees for about 40 minutes.  Check after 30 minutes as you don’t want your crust to burn.  
Take out, and let cool for a couple minutes before slicing. (This never makes it at my house…remember reading posts before about the sugar-head I live with?)
Serve with homemade whipped cream or a good Vanilla ice cream.
Great to serve to guests!  They will be impressed and you don’t have to give away your secret.  What’s the secret?  They are eating a store bought crust filled with fruit heading for the trash!
Did I just say that out loud?
…and that’s all I have to say about that!
Tammy
PS:  Let me know if you try this at home!  I’m sure your family will “rise up, bless you and praise you” (adaption of Proverbs 31:28!)

What A Strange Looking Bride…..A Little Manly Actually!

Last Monday, September 12th, my hubby and I celebrated our 30th Anniversary.  Hooray for us!  With both of us being only children, many of our friends and family had doubts that two spoiled, only children would be able to make it work.  Did I ever tell you I love a challenge?  Another post…another day!

I was looking at our wedding pictures and recalling the events of the day.  Yes, I really can remember much of the day from start to finish.  I was looking at my dress, the bargain of the event, and it brought to mind a funny story about my dress.

Back in 1990, our Adult Sunday School class had a class event.  We decided to do a night of “Let’s Make a Deal.”  Do any of you reading this remember that show?   It was a show on TV where Bob Barker would ask for an item, usually weird like a white plastic fork, and then deal with the folks for hidden items on stage.  It was pretty funny.

Part of the show was to be dressed up in such a way to get Bob’s attention as well.  He may be struck by your outfit and just come up and try to wheel and deal with you just because you caught his eye.  Such was the case for our class.  We ALL had to come dressed up, toting a bag of dealing items.  We had a “Bob Barker” named Ray, and a beautiful stage assistant named Brenda!

Well, the hubster and I couldn’t decide what we were going to dress up as for the event, but we kept on thinking.  One day, I had an idea but I just knew he wouldn’t go along with it.  I pitched it anyway.  Boy was I surprised!  He not only went along with he, he elaborated on it!  We decided to go as a bride and groom.  One difference.  He was the bride and I was the groom!

We dropped our daughter off at my Mom’s who lived by the church and we decided to get dressed there.  My Mom took pictures (see below) so I have proof that my hubby can wear a bridal gown quite well!
As we were on the front porch taking pictures, people would go by and honk, then do a double take.  It wasn’t quite the Bride and Groom they thought were standing there posing!  But it gets better….

Since my hubby’s legs were quite wrapped up in the train on my dress, I drove us to the church.  On the expressway it all began.  As I’m driving, I look up in the rearview mirror and see two young girls, maybe late teens early twenties and they realized that there is a “bride” in the car so they whip around and come up on the driver’s side of the car and slow down.  They are all smiling and waving and honking the horn and I wave.  Then my hubby leans forward, turns their way, smiles and waves at them, too.  As you will notice in the photo, the hubster’s face was, well, a little fuzzier than probably most brides would have been.  Both girls’ mouths dropped.  They slowly stopped waving and put their hands down.  The driver guns it and takes off.  The two of us in our car start busting out laughing.  And there’s more…

We arrive at the church.  We attend a large church, but the old part of the church is where they do weddings, in fact where we were married 30 years ago.  That happens to also be the parking lot we were parking in to go to the area where our class was meeting.  Then it happened.

We got out of the car. I help hubby “fix” himself as he has, um, filled out the bodice part of his dress and he’s a little lopsided if you know what I mean.  As we finish adjusting everything we notice two sweet little old ladies get out of their car.  We realized that they are going to the real wedding that will be happening and it’s obvious they are not from the bride’s side of the family.  They were walking together, arm in arm and had stopped to see the precious, sweet bride.  They waved at me and smiled and were waiting for the bride to come around the car.  And he did.

The look on their faces was priceless.  Both their mouths dropped clear to the asphalt!  Their eyes nearly bugged out of their sockets.  Then as quickly as they made the faces, they closed their mouths, huddled close together and scurried quickly off to the church entrance, stopping once to look back to check it out just one more time!

I nearly wet my pants!  The hubby smiled and looked at me and said, “I guess I’m not what they thought the groom would marry?”

We were both laughing so hard as we went in to the class event.  Since we didn’t actually walk in together, many weren’t sure who the bride was and kept looking at him.  Some of the new folks in the class were wondering since he fit the dress so well, if there was something they needed to know about this guy in the wedding dress!  Ahem, cough.

I still have the dress in it’s white bag after 30 years.  The side seam on the right is split a little as the “bride” that borrowed it back in 1990 was a little broader than I was.  Yet, it would be hard to get rid of the dress that has a double day memory!

The “lovely” Bride and Groom!
Nice dress, Ma’am..er…Sir?!

Yet it goes to show you that you just can’t judge a book by it’s cover.  Or a bride!
…and that’s all I have to say about that!
Tammy

DO YOUR SHOES MATCH?

Recently a dear friend of mine moved away.  I’ve been missing her terribly and was reminiscing about some of the many fun times we’ve had over the course of 34 years while doing errands the other day.  I found myself smiling a lot reflecting on these times.  Then I remembered an event we shared, which reminded me of an event at a previous job and I began to laugh in my car.  Yes, I became one of those crazy people you pull up to in a car at a red light and they are laughing out loud with nobody else in the car.  Hmm, although this seems to happen to me a lot!

A few years ago, this friend and I attended a Women’s Speaker event at her church.  She was involved with the planning of the event to bring this popular speaker in from across the country.  Since I had brought the same speaker to my church a few years before, the committee had included me in some of their planning meetings to help them with some of the little details, which I was excited to do.  Their committee worked hard organizing all those little details and the excitement was building for the event.

The big day finally arrives.  If any of you have been involved behind the scenes in a similar event, you know the feelings of getting everything together to make the day the best you possibly can for all the attendees.  In our hurriedness, we go at things one hundred miles a minute!  Sometimes, no matter how hard you prepare, they just don’t go smoothly.  Yet, it all boils down to how you handle it.  Do you go with the flow or do you become so frazzled that it becomes the proverbial snowball down the hill becoming larger and larger.

I purposely haven’t told you the topic the speaker was speaking on because, well, it would be like telling the punch line!

I’m sitting with my friend through the morning session.  Everything is going great.  It was a great first half of the day.  We do lunch, another success.  We have our break time, book signing then back to the last session of the day.

About half way through the afternoon, my friend leans over and whispers…”Can I tell you a secret?” I shake my head yes.  She then puts her two feet together and holds them up a little bit for me to see them both.  I gasp!  At this point, both of us can hardly contain ourselves.  She had a cute little outfit in navy and navy pumps.  Her shoes matched her outfit.  One problem.  They didn’t match each other!  They were both navy and they were both pumps.  But one was smooth and one was textured.  One was rather flat and the other had about a 1-1/2″ heel.

When we finally calm down enough to just a smile.  She then leans over to me again and whispers, “I was wondering why I was limping and my hip is starting to ache!”

Yep, we were gone!  Not only were we “Tickled Pink” I believe we were going into “Deep Fuchsia” from the laughter!  We were both laughing so hard that the bench sitting with us began to snicker in our inability to contain ourselves any longer.

As soon as the speaker concluded, we started laughing out loud and the entire row,  and those in front and back of us, wanted to know what was so funny.  My friend quickly grabbed my arm and said, “Don’t tell ’em, I made it all day without anyone noticing!”

I then had to tell her about my first job after college shoe experience.  I had a boss who was, um, different.  One day, as he arrived at 8:00 he zoomed into his office and closed the door.  I noticed his telephone light went on and I wondered if he was okay.  A minute or so later, he called me.  On the telephone, seriously?  I am ten steps from his desk chair.

He said, “Tammy, my wife will be bringing me a bag in about 30 minutes.  When she arrives in the lobby, they will buzz you as I’ve asked her to deliver it to you.”

I said, “Okay, you alright?”

He quietly said, “I will be.  Just bring me the bag when it arrives.”

Weird, I think.  What in the world is going on.  Finally, the receptionist calls me to come out to the lobby to pick up a package.  I go to the lobby.  For the first time ever, I meet my boss’s wife who is grinning from ear to ear.  She smiles and says, “These are for Paul, this is the other pair of shoes he wanted!”  At this she starts laughing and says, “Did he tell you why I had to come 30 minutes to bring these?”  I shake my head no.  She laughs and says as she leaves, “Make him tell you!”  Then she turns around and leaves, cackling all the way out the door.

I take them back to the office.  I knock on his door and he sticks his hand out the door to retrieve the bag.  Okay, so any of you who know me, you know I’m not handing over the goods now without an explanation!  I put the bag behind my back and say, “NO BAG!  SPILL IT!”  While hiding behind the door, he opens it and motions for me to come in, then shuts the door.  As the door shuts I can see them.  His shoes.

Oh my goodness!

One black wingtip, tie shoe.  One brown penny loafer.  Black plaid suit.  Hmm, I’m thinking his shoes don’t quite match his outfit!  

I try to be kind.  I make it about a minute while staring down at his shoes.  And then it happens!  I absolutely lose control and break into hysterical laughter.  He smiles and grabs the bag and proceeds to switch shoes.  I start laughing harder as he pauses and looks at the mis-matched pair in his hand.  I can’t help myself and I say, “You may want to pick the black one and go with that pair since you have a black suit on, you look confused.”

He smirks and says, “Ya think, smarty pants! Actually, I’m trying to figure out how I didn’t notice that one was a tie shoe and one was a slip-on and didn’t make the connection at home when I was getting dressed.”

We were both gone at that moment.

There you have it folks.  With all the hype of whether your shoe color matches your outfit.  Whether the style of shoe matches the style of outfit you have on.  That is important probably, but you really need to remember the first and foremost rule of style.  Do the SHOES actually match themselves?

….and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy
PS:  The speaker at the above Women’s Event was my friend, Emilie Barnes and her topic for the day was organization!  Having a home put together so you’re put together.

A Rip-Roaring Time at an MRI!

Truth be told, the title of the post should be classified as an oxymoron.  At least for me back in May that is.

I was scheduled for a repeat MRI of my back.  I had one  in May, 2009 when I injured my back causing a huge herniated disk at L5/S1.  That’s at the waistline. Yes, where you bend and twist and well,  just about everything.

The first MRI in 2009 was no problem for me.  Boring, yes.  Problem, no.  If anything I became very bored at about the 20 minute mark and started the “are we there yet” thought process in my head.  The big difference between the 2009 and the 2011 MRI was apparently last August I have now developed a little anxiety issue causing some claustrophobia as well.  Special.  Add to that, I had also gained a lot of weight due to the fact that many days I was lucky to be up and dressed let alone exercise.  Many weeks of “rest the back” turned into “grow the backside”.  Wonderful.

While having a decompression treatment at a chiropractor, an intern apparently strapped me in too tight in the harness.  It didn’t feel too tight when he set it, but it became evident somewhat quickly.  As customary in this office, they would set you up on the machine and go back on the other side of the partition to work.  I hadn’t had any problems in the 60+ treatments before.  On about the third cycle of the machine, I noticed that I wasn’t able to get my breath any more.  Goofy girl that I am – I didn’t want to “bother” any of the other patients on their table, so I tried to softly call for help.  Nobody came.  After about the fourth time of doing this and adding names of the staff to no avail, the lady beside me said, “I think you’d better yell, I don’t think they can hear you.”  Well, apparently now on about my 9th or 10th decompression cycle, I had no air and started to panic as I yelled, “I need help, really bad, I can’t breath.”  That got everyone’s attention.  The intern and one of the chiropractor’s flew over.  One turned off the machine and the other ripped the harness off.  Yeah, so by this time I was sort of going into panic, though I didn’t know it, but I kept trying to sit up before I was unhooked.  I just kept saying, “I just feel like I’m going to pass out, I need to sit up a minute.”  The doctor asked if I was feeling sick before I came.  I looked at her funny and said no, I just couldn’t get my breath, the harness was too tight.  They sent me home.

Knowing the fact that I now had an anxiety issue coupled with the weight gain,  it made me very nervous about having the MRI.  I knew the machine was tight before but now with added weight, I was not so sure how comfy it was going to be.  So I worried.  And I worried.  I decided to ask my Bible Study Buddies to pray for me to get the courage to set the appointment and go.  Armed with others’ prayers, I scheduled an appointment.

The appointment day arrived and hubby took me over.  They are running behind.  Oh yay!  There is a couple waiting in the lobby and they are eating Chinese take out.  It smelled good and we hadn’t eaten yet.  Hubby said,  “if you do the MRI, we will go to lunch afterward.  You can do it, I know you can.” I was hoping that watching them eat would offer just enough distraction to help me keep my mind off of what I was stressing about.  No such luck!

Finally, the lady calls my name.  I followed her back and listened to the drill to take off all metal.  I came prepared and after taking off a certain undergarment that has hooks and putting on my loose shirt, I was ready to go.  Before I opened the curtain to signal I was ready, I did the breathing exercise hubby always says to do, “breathe deep and blow it out.”  Didn’t work – I’m totally stressing out.

I open the curtain.  At this point, we were 40 minutes late and I just wanted to get this show on the road, be done and cheer for myself that I made it.

The tech calls me into the room.  My heart beats faster.  OH DANG, the hole in the tube is waaaayyyy smaller than it was two years ago.  What in the world?  Am I in the children’s MRI room?  Crud.  I am not going to fit into THAT hole.  Oh yeah – the panic level has risen.  I started doing some kind of side step shuffle while ramping up the speed of the random rambling, off the wall stuff coming outta my mouth.  Stop laughing, it’s not funny.  Yet!

So the tech is wiser than she looks.  She smiles and says, “Are we a little nervous?”  Oh, I don’t know – YA THINK?  I smile and sweetly say as I giggle, “a little.”  AH, YEAH QUITE A LOT TO BE EXACT!  In fact, you’d better lock the door or I’m gonna bolt.

I have to say, through the next 20 minutes, this lady deserved a gold start.  She was the most compassionate, patient and kind person in the medical field I’ve personally worked with in a very long time.

The tech explains what we are going to be doing.  I tell her this is a repeat, but that I’m very anxious that I’m not going to fit and that I now have an anxiety issue I never had before.  She smiles and says, “oh, I can see that.”  Really?  She starts to make small talk to try to get me to calm down before she even lets me on the table that is way outside of the machine.  What planet is she from – I know what she’s up to.

She says, “oh, I see you were born in 1959, how funny, me too!”

I say, “and we are in good company, because Barbie was born in 1959, too!”  Seriously.  That’s all I can come up with, really?

She then says, “well, I guess I’m kinda like Barbie, I’m still looking for my Ken.”  We both laugh.

I reply, “yeah, I guess I’m sort of like Barbie, too.  I got her big boobs, but not her little butt.”  Oh for
pete’s sake, somebody put duct tape over my mouth.  “And speaking of Barbie’s and my boobs, what will I do with them while going into the machine?  I think they’ll probably end up in my armpits.”  Oh. My. Goodness.  Did I just say that out loud?  Why, I believe I did.

I finally am on the table. Then the crazy women straps my shins down to the table.  Rev up the heart again.   We try going in.  She gets up to my neck and I say, “nope, can’t do it.”  She asks me if I want a towel over my eyes that it helps some people not see how close the machine is and they calm down.  I laugh and say, “that’ll never work for me, I will keep thinking that this towel is on my eyes so I don’t know how close this machine is to my face.”  She asks me to at least try it.  So I did.  She touches the button to start moving the table and I freak and fling the towel off my face.  Didn’t work.

She tried to soothe my anxiety down.  I beg her to just take whatever she can get with leaving me out from my chin up.  She says she can’t.  I tell her I’ll try one more time, but I feel bad wasting her time, because I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it.

I cross my arms over my body and she started making the table go in very slowly about two inches at a time.   I started trying to think of ANYTHING but what I’m doing.  I made it all the way in.  I have to roll my shoulders inward making my “girls” move to the center like a uni-boob, but then they wanted to go somewhere and they ended up under my chin.  As if I’m not already breathing hard from the anxiety, now I really can’t get a breath.  Mercy, my “girls” are suffocating me. Deja Vu of my little experience from August began to come to my warped mind.  She just starts to say, “you are doing great, I am going to walk to the other room and start the……”   and I dig my heels into the table and try to push myself up and out of the machine.  She presses the button really fast and says, “It’s ok, it’s ok, I’m pulling you back out, you’re ok.”

She helps me off the table as I begin to become very embarrassed and start apologizing all over myself for wasting her time.  I could hardly get out of the door fast enough to go change.  From behind the curtain as I’m changing, I hear her say to the office,  “we weren’t able to do this, she is extremely claustrophobic.”  I hear her.  WHAT?  Now I have another “issue”.  ARGH………

As I came out, she says I could re-schedule and have someone drive me the next time and come early so the doctor could administer valium.  I abruptly say, “ok, thank you.”  Walk away and mumble, “when donkey’s fly.”  I am about in tears and I get to the lobby to find my husband…..

Eating Chinese food!

Just like 25 years ago when I gave birth extremely fast and he complained that he didn’t get the free little ginger ales, he looks up as he had his picnic spread out all over his lap and says, “oh, are you done already, I didn’t eat my snack.”  Warped goofball that I am, I say, “it’s ok, eat your lunch and just give me the keys.  I need to wait in the car.”  I was choking back a thunderstorm of tears and I believe after 30 years of marriage he must have been able to tell.  He quickly clicked open the car lock from his seat as he packed up his snack really fast.  I leave him there to do whatever he wants – I’m outta here!

On this particular day as I then proceeded to have a total melt down, I have to say I did not find anything funny.  Or for the next 10 or so days as I continued to not be able to get my breath when I would think about what happened or even when someone would ask how my MRI went.

Yet, for those of you who know me or who have been following along this year, you know I alwaystry to find humor in anything.  As I thought about this just recently, I began to play back the comments that came out of my mouth.  What makes me ramble off the wall, whacked out comments? What on earth goes through my mind when I’m stressed like this?  Is it that I just totally lose my mind when stressed!  Or maybe, just maybe,  it’s that I’ve just totally lost my mind and stress is no factor!

….and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy

FOOD FRIDAYS! – A “CORNY” POST

Growing up in Summit County, Ohio it was just a ritual that at the end of summer it was time to make the pilgrimage to Szalay’s Corn in Peninsula to get their summer bounty of Sweet Corn.  Sweet Corn it was, too.  We would make the 30 minute drive at least twice a week until the corn was gone.

Now as a Diva of my own home, it is still a tradition to do so.  However, in the last ten or so years, I decided that these delicious kernels needed to be enjoyed more than just late August and September and began to freeze them.  There is nothing like some super sweet, local-grown corn goodness long about January in cold and dreary Ohio.
Szalay’s secret is out and often when you go down to their market you stand in line as one by one the wagons filled with ears of corn come in then go back out for refill!  Thankfully, some of our local grocery stores have started to carry them.  Not as fresh as right off the wagon from the field, but still usually that day’s pickings.
Last week became “that” week where hubby and I loaded up with 4 or more dozen ears of corn to be “put up” for winter’s savoring.  First we bought some, brought it home, made it, then ate it to make sure it was good enough! Like Szalay’s is ever bad!  It was, of course, delicious.  The next morning, hubby went to the store and brought me bags and bags of corn on the cob.  I got my pots, bowls and ziplocs ready.  Put the pan of water on to boil and set to work.
I boiled the corn on the cob about 8-10 minutes, then transferred it to a big sheet pan to cool.  Once cooled just enough to be able to hold it, I sliced it off the cob into a huge bowl.  Once all the corn in done and cut off, I then started bagging into the quart freezer bags.  
Here’s a question for all of you:  are you the “naked” corn  connoisseur or are you a “butter and salt” corn connoisseur.  If you read my last post, you will automatically know which camp I’m in on this!  However, the other two who live in the abode are from that other camp!  Depending on which camp you are in for the corn would decide if you add butter to the bag for freezing.  My suggestion on this is to taste a kernel or two once cut off.  If your local corn isn’t super sweet this year, place a pat or two of butter in the bag.  Then when you warm it up in the winter, the butter is already in it.  Our corn this year went to the freezer “naked”!   Sigh……poor corn!

 Check out my Sous Chef!  She was just hoping there would be a kernel or two drop!

 Ok, since you asked–here’s a close up of Miss Toto!  All 4 pounds of her!

Yum – about 2 dozen ears of corn cut and ready for packaging!
So – what in the world to do with all the corn cobs!  Don’t have an outhouse, so need to go there!  I do have a better suggestion!  How about cooking them again in that corn water to help leach out more of the delicious corn flavor.  Ok – that’s what I did!
Once all the cobs were reboiled, I removed the cobs and threw them out.  I do believe I’ve gotten as much out of them as I can at this point!  In another small skillet, I sauted up a large onion,  one red pepper chopped and about 8 oz. white button mushrooms, chopped.  I had already cubed up 8 small red potatoes that I scrubbed, but did not peel.  I brought the corn water back up to a rolling boil and add the potatoes.  Since they are small, I let them go for about 3 minutes and add in the other veggies that have been sauteing.  I have saved back about 2 cups of corn that was cooked and cut off the cobs and add this at this time.

The only seasonings I  added is about 3 Tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley, a little salt, a pinch of cayenne, about 1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon, about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg and a couple cranks of fresh ground pepper.  
At this point, this would be considered Corn Soup as I had not added any cream to the soup to make it an actual Chowder.  I decided to freeze it in two containers of Corn Soup and two containers of Corn Chowder.
The goods!  Ready to eat on a cold winter’s day!
There you have it!  A corny – Food Friday post!  I would love to hear your “Corn” Stories.  What do any of you do with the annual corn season?  Do you have any family traditions to go get some corn at a local farmer or farmer’s market?  What is your favorite way to eat corn?  Or even other favorite fresh corn recipes!  Who knows, you share – you may end up here on my blog!
Let me hear about your “corny” stories!
….and that’s all I have to say about that!
Tammy

The Journey to Shrink My Booty!

Deciding to go on a vegan food plan was a no brainer for me.  I’m just not a huge fan of meat, never was.  Don’t believe me, read my post from August 26th then you will get it!

The first few days were great.  It’s still summer so produce in Ohio is good and plentiful.  I’ve actually had a ball bringing home nothing but fruits and veggies!  A dream come true for me.  I’ve been playing in the kitchen with new recipes I’m developing and having a blast.

The hubby is a carnivore for sure, loves any kind of meat.  However, he has decided that this would be good for him to do as well.  He’s not strictly following the plan like I am, but it’s not bothering me when he adds a little stuff here and there to his own food.

I’ve made a decision to go without any animal products (ie, nothing with a face or a mom) and no white poison (white flour, white sugar, white rice, white pasta, salt).  Wait.  WHAT?  No White Sugar?  What about my sweet tea?  No white flour/pasta – are you kidding me?  Pasta is my life! Oh, then here comes the kicker…no salt?

Oh. My. Goodness.

I never realized how much I salted food, or how much was used in my cooking.  I just never knew how MUCH I WAS ADDICTED TO SALT.

I did real well the first few days as I said above.  Then day six hit me.  Like a drug addict craving the fix, I wanted anything with salt.  Oh, who am I kidding, I just wanted to put some in my palm and lick it off slowly to savor that sodium deliciousness…slowly going into a salt high!

As sick as that may sound, I did this as a kid often!  I also loved crushed ice in a cup with salt sprinkled on it, then I would just crunch and enjoy the salted ice chunks until my cup was empty (or my Mom or Dad caught me and took it!).  But my favorite way to eat salt is with a side of green onions or radishes to dip into my little salt pile on my plate.  Yum – Yum!

Great news though.  I’ve made it to day 12.  I have not cooked with salt or added salt to anything.  The mental crave has seemingly diminished to the point of unnoticeable.  Would I like to have some salt today?  Uh, duh, I am still breathing you know, so YES!  Will I?  No!

I’m actually starting to feel the difference physically.  Also dropping 11 pounds in 12 days is certainly a little bouquet of goodness wouldn’t you think?

As I continue on this journey of better care of the “temple” God has given me, will you walk along beside me?  I would like to ask a favor…would you pray for me and hold me accountable?  I’ll keep you posted from time to time as the “Journey to Shrink My Booty” continues.

In return, are you going through a rough patch at this time?  If so, I would love the opportunity to walk along beside you as well.  I will pray for you and check in on you.  I would love to be a source of encouragement for you along your journey, whatever that may be right now.  Let me know below or you can privately e-mail me at t.karasek@yahoo.com.  I would love to be there for you.

Oh – one more thing…I haven’t totally conquered this salt/sugar thing just quite yet.  So if I come around you, you just might want to hide your salt shaker and sweet tea!   Just sayin’…

….and that’s all I have to say about that!

Tammy