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Thursday, July 28, 2011

This has been a fun summer so far.
First, the garden.

I had a ground hog. It ate all of my cucumber buds. It dug up my radishes and my turnips. It nibbled on the cabbages and the collards.
The creature covered up the strawberry patch with its digging and dirt relocation  to create a home under my house. It is much to hot to bother with all of this.
Much, much to hot.
I had to protect my garden.
I used the bird netting from the strawberry patch to cover my turnip greens and radishes.
The netting protected the cabbages and the collards. I figured that lazy ground hog would not want to bother with the netting to nibble on my plants.
For the cucumber I took a more creative approach.
I purchased fence poles and more netting. The ground hog will have to dig his way under the netting in order to eat my cucumbers. The nerve of this animal to take advantage of my plants. I have not been able to grow an adequate cucumber in two years. I will not permit this hungry pest to take away my cucumbers.
I am protecting the okra plants with the remaining tomato cages.
I planted more marigolds.
My roommate laughed at me. She thought the ground hog would just dig under the fencing and knock over the tomato cages.

Now, two weeks later, I have seen no sign of the ground hog. Indeed, I have seen evidence of cat poo. Meaning that the ground hog is gone and the cat has returned to poo in my yard. I am both delighted and disgusted. I hate finding cat poo in my garden.
I swear if it isn't the slugs, it is the ground hog, if not the ground hog then the cats.
I think that the groundhog met its maker. There are a lot of dogs in my neighborhood.
Summer also means  wildlife.
Every summer we have families of ducks in and around the river that runs through campus.They are hard to ignore waddling around on campus all week.
They don't seem to be bothered by the heat.
They are not even bothered by wading in the creek-like river bed. The lack of rainfall has dried the Ottawa river almost completely to muddy bottom.

Finally, summer means I can count on the neighbors to entertain us all.
My eastside neighbors tried to show us how to beat the  summer heat last week. (click the tag for eastsideneighbors for listings of their previous shenanigans)
The electricity failed us for about 4 hours on one of the hottest days of the summer. I traveled home to pick up my roommate. The garage door would not open without electricity and I had stacked crap in front of the access door. She was going no where but on the porch along with most of the neighbors.
Which is why on my way home I receive a text from the VanDammes.

Omg. Wish you were here... Eastsiders put tarp in bed of truck and r filling it w water
So when I got home, I called the Leza and we took pictures like real paparazzi from our porches.

As you can see, the tarp idea did not work. I commend them for trying to stay cool and laugh at them for thinking this would work.

Just a few more weeks of summer to go.

Realize Results with Desire2Learn Learning Suite

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So I guess I will add "Planking has roots in slavery" to my list of Black Urban Myths along with
2) Black voting rights will expire,
3) SSN indicates race to employers,
4)the CIA leaked crack into the Black community,
5) Snapple was owned by the KKK,
6)the word picnic refers to family gatherings to watch outdoor lynchings,
7)consuming Tropical Fantasy or Church's chicken will lead to infertility,
8)TROOP means "To Rule Over Oppressed People, and
9) watching male actors portray matriarchs is always entertaining.

Stop drinking the Kool Aid, that really is bad for you.
 I am still not sure about the twins named Oranjello and Melonjello. I swear one of my former co-workers told me she worked for a high school program in which they were involved. I tried to contact her for confirmation but the trail ran cold.

I"m going to tell my top secret! You will be delighted!

Monday, July 18, 2011

At work today we discussed creating new training sessions for our student employees.
It became a giggle fest as we presented topics to cover.
I will share them with you as I wrote them down with our commentary.

Not what the designer intended

Clothes should fit the current weight of the wearer.That Freshman 15 does a number on some of our workers and their understanding of garment sizing.

Name badges should be worn so we know that you are actually working and not hanging out. It keeps us from bothering unceasingly.

No shirts with vulgar slogans, however clever.

Pants must be fitted along the waist. Do not flash us. I might go blind - again.

Find your natural waist

Furthermore, tights are not pants unless you are into Cosplay and it is Dress Up Day as Robin Hood at work. Seriously, leave something to the imagination and keep the jeggings at home.

Cell phone conversations should remain private and not shared with everyone around you. No one cares and don't make us.

There are no such things as breaks when you work less than 5 hours a day. Take care of your errands before you arrive for work.
Stop goofing off.

No one needs you to pick up lunch

Speaking of errands, do not call staff members to do special favors for them on your way into the office- if you are going to be late just call and admit it. You are not fooling anyone.

No hanging out in staff members offices while on the clock. Get busy or clock out. We have earned the right to "meditate" in our cubicles for a few minutes a day. You have not earned the right to join us.

Don't plan appointments while on the clock without permission. This is your job and you have no office.
Only if you are a lifeguard

No shower shoes (seriously). If it has a tab in the bottom of it for the thong, then they belong in the locker room or the pool not in the office.

Don't make us find you, you will not like it when we do - Use the in and out board and follow your schedule.

Maybe you over did it.
Keep perfume/cologne below the obnoxious threshold.No one should refer to you as Stinkie behind your back. Only lots of water will remove evidence of last night's bender or lack of a shower. Also, no one should guess that you just rolled out of bed. It is never a good look. If you can't be bothered to dress and groom yourself properly then don't expect us to be bothered with turning in your timecard.

I don't know what these demands (policies) will look like after we develop the training sessions. It was just good to get it all out without resorting to attacking this Fall's employees without warning. The things I saw last year made me go blind.

Life Readiness Wake Up for Youth

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Bakery

Sometimes I remember attending a party. I remember a yellow and green table. Or maybe it was a table with yellow flowers and green petals. It could have been the table cloth. I remember matching yellow chairs. They were vinyl. I remember people being there. My mother, my father. I remember this was a festive occasion. I remember cake.
I think it was a birthday party. I think it was mine. And it was before I had a little sister so I didn't have to share it.
I think I smashed the cake all over my face.
My mother probably baked it herself.
My mother worked in the bakery at one of the major grocery chains when I was a kid. More importantly our galley kitchen was her private bakery. Our holidays were full of cakes, cookies, breads, cobblers, pies, tortes, chocolate, and more yummy than you can imagine. My grandmother told me that Mom did all the baking as a teenager, too. She attended vocational courses in high school to manage her own kitchen and then went to work for the grocery store. I saw the pictures in her old year book. She looked great in an apron at seventeen.

Mom cooked for us every night. On Sunday she would cook a baked good. I loved Sundays. But her habit of only cooking Sunday dessert  gave me a bad "greedy" habit. Meaning that because I had a little sister, we would try to eat as much of the dessert before the other as quickly as we could. This has proven to be a difficult habit to break even though now I am only competing with myself.

When I went to college I actually lost weight. Cafeteria food did not compare to my mother's cooking. I rarely ate the desserts offered on campus. I did eat the vegetables. I grew up on fresh baked goods, I would rather wait for holiday breaks and eat Mom's goods. I could wait it out and I did for years.

After I graduated college and found a job two hours from home, I knew that I would either have to start baking for myself or find an alternative.
I remember my friends touting the freshness and tastiness of Entenmann and Hostess bakeries. I disagreed but I would visit the bakery or outlet shops (never buying from a grocer) to find the freshest cakes. It was never as good as my mother's foods. Despite this, the items would hold me over until my vacation days from work.Even the baked goods from the bakery sections of the grocery stores would not interest me. I knew my mother's would be better and if she hadn't cooked I could trot over to my aunt's home and eat her baked items.

I started my collection of cupcake tins, cake pans, pie pans, and casserole dishes. I started collecting cookbooks. I knew that I would have to learn to bake for myself. During visits home,  I would watch my mother in the kitchen while she baked her dozens and dozens of holiday cookies and cakes. From her I learned many secrets. For example, most brown sugar is just sugar with molasses mixed into it. Buying brown sugar separately is just silly. She said that every kitchen should have molasses, real vanilla, a metal mixing bowl, and cornmeal in it. She warned to always bake with the freshest eggs.

I also started observing my aunt's bakery skills. She had been holding out on me. She makes the meanest cheesecakes I have ever gobbled down. I picked up a knack for making Amish Friendship Bread from my aunt. Her red velvet cake has amazing moisture. She taught me that one should only bake with Dominos sugar.It is the only sugar where "Sugar Cane" is listed as the ingredient. I still don't know why that is true. She explained the difference between lard, butter and margarine in recipes. Vital information for a baker.
I love Friendship Bread, I still bake it for the winter holidays. I receive requests each Christmas. My aunt promises to teach me to make a perfect red velvet cake. I am excited.

Mom bakes cakes for the grandkids birthdays, she continues to make dozens of cookies for Christmas, and she still has not been able to duplicate her grandmother's sweet potato pie recipe.  We finally convinced her to start shipping cookies for Christmas to us since she now lives in the South.

Mom always baked for us with ingredients from scratch. She taught my sister to make her favorite dessert, lemon meringue pie when she was still in high school. That was cool. She learned the recipe while I was studying in college baking cream cheese brownies for my friends. When they were very young, Mom learned that my sister used pre-packaged cookie dough with her children. She went on a rampage. She said pre-packaged dough was lazy. I guess when you are the daughter of a woman who bakes for a living, you are expected to always bake from scratch for your children. Funny.

Mom retired from the grocery store years ago. She has started her own bakery selling to her friends and neighbors. I am jealous. As the daughter of a baker, I don't want to share my mother's cooking.

I want that special feeling I had when I sat at the yellow and green table and smashed cake into my hair.

Thanks Mom for everything. Especially for carrying me during most of the Summer.

Secret of Male Strength

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Fourth of July Weekend spent with other people's kids.
we headed to the park around 10:30. They drank koolaid and I drank water. I let them play on their scooters and the swings for a few hours before we packed up and headed to a friend's house.

Me crocheting in public at the park

OPK rolling out to the bike trail

Trey and Lil'T
The most awesome picnic basket ever
I found this picnic basket at JC Penney
Told you...
 The bottom drawer is for the hot food. It has a telescoping handle, too. The kids didn't want to drink their Kool Aid bottles favoring water from the "wine" glasses.

Wild rollers in action
The backyard volleyball game

We had overcast until 1 pm. That was when I decided that it would be best to pack up and head over to someone's house with A/C. Unfortunately, the kids wanted to continue playing outside in the high heat and risk heat stroke on my watch. We reached a compromise. They could play as long as they did it with each other and I would stay outside and watch everyone's kids as long as I had a margarita and emergency water bottles.
I don't know why it took so long (I was drinking afterall) but eventually one of the mother's joined me on the patio while we regulated the kid's body heat.

Lil'T and Trey had the pinkest cheeks. I would make them sit and drink water with me a few times each hour.
At the end of the day, they went right to bed. What more could I ask?

Mystery shoppers new months bonus.its fun

Friday, July 8, 2011

My purse is really heavy when I have my camera, a paperback book, and my makeup in it. Wait....

My camera was not in it when ....

it set off my passenger seat alarm and I took the picture with it....

I need a new purse.
For the season.
You probably are thinking that I need to take stuff out of my purse.
That would be silly. Don't you think everything in it is important to me?
What could I choose to remove?
The wallet? The tissue case? Change purse? The book? The cellphone not pictured?
2 year calendar?
The pink organizer containing: all these things
A psychologist once claimed that a woman's choice of handbag and what she chooses to carry in it could reveal her character. 

Must have been a male psychologist. I am sure my purse means that I am Frizzy seeing as there is no comb or brush in it EVER.

 I want this for my birthday next week
The Knitter's Satchel™ [K4P5] - $89.00 : Knitting Bags and Knitting Patterns by Jordana Paige
Yummy..... You can paypal me your donations

You only have:


Until my birthday
It is finally summer. I am doing yard work despite my best efforts to find a boyfriend who would do it for me.

Here I am cleaning the gutters.
I believe that they should have been installed at an angle. Water seems to stand in it.
I am pushing it along with one of my gardening tools.

Look. I have no butt. My little sister was right. God walked right past me when she was handing out butts.
Damn her!

I have a groundhog. It has eaten everything. I have no budding eggplants, peppers, or okra.
Look at what it did to the cucumber plant.
It is digging under the house. I have a bit of a overhang where I have a book shelf and my desk alcove in the house.

To the right are the remains of the covered strawberry patch. Darn groundhog. Destroyed.
Strawberries after the groundhog
I finally rid myself of my slug infestation and enjoyed strawberries for the first time in two years only to have a groundhog take up residence under my house and eat my other vegetables.
The strawberries before the groundhog
Will I ever win?

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