Archive for the ‘ Random ’ Category

Being Thankful: My 2010 Gratitude List

I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of Thanksgiving. It’s not that I’m ungrateful. I just don’t like the meal around Thanksgiving. I’m not a fan of turkey, candied yams, cranberry sauce or pie.

I really hate pie.

I do love watching football and being lazy with my closest family members and friends. I’ll give Thanksgiving that.

It’s also a time to sit back and really think about what I’m thankful for as the year comes to a close. So, here’s my gratitude list for the year.

This year (2010), I am grateful for:

  • My husband. There aren’t enough words to explain why.
  • My two boys, who continue to grow into amazing human beings right before my eyes.
  • Friends and family. I have an amazing support system and don’t know what I’d do without them.
  • The ability to meet G at the bus stop each day after school.
  • A pretty darn good work / family life balance. Even when it gets a bit overwhelming.
  • The overall good health of said friends and family.
  • New opportunities and old standbys.
  • Two stubborn Siberian Huskies who are getting older but still manage to act like puppies when they get the chance.
  • Accidents that didn’t turn into tragedies.
  • Music and art that moves me.
  • The words that flow through my brain.
  • My voice.
  • Bacon.

What are you thankful for?

You can’t get there from here.

So, I’m going to a retreat for work tomorrow. It’s at a board member’s house on Little Sebago Lake. Should be nice, though I hate going anywhere west in Maine due to the lack of an east-west highway in the state.

I mapped out the route from Brunswick. Here’s what it looks like:

It’s true what they say here in Maine. You just can’t get there from here.

Ugh.

The New Normal

I went to a Leadership Series discussion the other day with about 70 other women. It was hosted by a local nonprofit women’s organization, and the topic was “The New Normal.” Since I also work for a nonprofit organization that specializes in services for women, I thought it would be a good event to go to.

The subject of the discussion seemed a bit odd to me, mainly because of the word “normal.” It’s one of those words that makes me uncomfortable.

I mean, who determines what normal is anyway? And if there’s a new one, what happened to the old one?

Dictionary.com defines the word normal as “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.” However, if you go by this definition, it’s completely subjective. In my world, for example, being gay is normal, though there are many (too many) people out there who would disagree.

The discussion was interesting. There was talk about the state of the economy, the influence that technology has had on our lives, even terrorism.

In a world where we broadcast our lives on blogs and Facebook, people are struggling to keep or find jobs, and we can’t travel without worrying about bed bugs or terrorist attacks, here’s what I think the “new normal” is:

  • Being true to yourself, no matter what
  • Being self-aware (and aware, in general)
  • Saying no (or yes), even if it feels scary or others look at you differently
  • Figuring out what is important in your life and going with it
  • Simplifying
  • Looking at the glass as being full, even if others tell you it’s running on empty
  • Leading by example
  • Giving back
  • Teaching our kids tolerance and empowering them to make a positive social impact in the future

What’s your normal?

When a song has meaning

I’ve been listening to the Paper Tongues on my iPod lately. (My boys had me play “Ride to California” at full volume three times tonight so they could dance around the living room before going to bed.) I really like their sound.

While I’ve listened to the song “Trinity” quite a few times, I felt like I really heard it today.

Have you ever had a song really speak to you?

Maybe it’s because I’ve worked in social services for the past 6 years. Maybe I’ve got a lot of fight in me. Maybe I just have a lot to say. Here’s what I connected with in the song:

I’m the kind of person whose strong and wants to react
So feel me when I fight for the cause of bringing hope back
Don’t ask me where I’m going cuz I could never prove that
But I do have something to say

If you haven’t heard of Paper Tongues, check them out now.

Just add bacon

One of the many reasons I am not a vegetarian is because of my intense love for bacon. I can’t get enough of that yummy, salty flavor that is bacon. So in honor of International Bacon Day (Yes, it’s real. It’s on Wikipedia.), I thought I would share a couple bacon recipes I found.

Bacon Crisp (By: Paula Deen from FoodNetwork.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 sleeve buttery rectangular crackers (recommended: Waverly Wafers)
  • 1 pound sliced bacon cut in 1/2

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Place 1 teaspoon of the cheese on each cracker and wrap tightly with a strip of bacon. Place the wrapped crackers on a broiler rack on a baking sheet and put the baking sheets on the oven rack. Bake for 2 hours, or until the bacon is done. Do not turn. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature

Cook’s note: You can also bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes if you’re in a hurry!

Bacon Broccoli Salad (By: Alan Alspaugh from AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Directions : In a medium bowl, combine bacon, broccoli, raisins and sunflower seeds; set aside. Mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar; pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Stir before serving.

And if you’re in the Brunswick, ME area, stop by Back Street Bistro and order the Ale Brine Bacon Wrapped Rib Chop of Pork. It’s too good for words.

When in doubt, just add bacon. Better yet, wrap it in bacon.

Have a good bacon recipe to share? Add it to the Comments section to the left.

What to do if you drop food on the floor, a flow chart

Ever drop food on the floor and wonder if you should pick it up and eat it? Do you go by the 5 second rule? Do you factor in the last time you actually mopped the floor? Are you more picky if it’s your child eating said food (be honest)? Here’s a flow chart that all of us can use. I found it via a link in a newsletter from NTEN. Note that all bets are off when bacon is involved.
food on the floor