Brain Dump Friday

I really don’t know what to say. I get to learn how to make a pie (the “perfect apple pie”) on Saturday. The funny thing is…I don’t much care for pie, and I don’t like apples. But Barry is very, very excited about me learning how to do this. I don’t even know where my rolling pin is. I had one. In all of our moves over the years, I fear it has gotten lost or been given away because I never thought I’d need it. Hmmm…maybe there are some things you should just keep. I’ve become one of those people who doesn’t snack. I have worked really hard to not mindlessly eat. Today, however, I’m on a time crunch, and I’ve been nibbling on caramel puff corn for an hour or so. This is not good. The caramel puff corn is very good, but the habit is not good. The habit is clearly not as broken as I thought it was. I’m still thinking about pie. I have a brand new Pampered Chef Stoneware Pie Plate for learning how to make a pie. And our new Pastry Blender. I finally get to use them tomorrow. I’m irritated that the Post Office won’t be open Monday. I have to mail something today (the time crunch) and if I don’t do it today, it won’t be delivered in time. I’m debating on whether or not to just wait. I may just mail out the few that I have, and wait on the rest. I am literally in the middle of four different things right now, and I stopped them all to write this. And I can’t think of anything to say. QUESTION: Is it “all of the sudden” or “all of a sudden”? I have not always wondered this. I saw it one way, and I think it’s the other way, but I’m not sure. Well, I’m sure I’m right in my own head, but I’m not sure that I’m right publicly. With that in mind, I’m not going to tell you which I think it is, I’m just going to throw that question out there. I always think it’s funny when people use words that aren’t words to talk. I wonder if it makes them feel smarter, seem more important, or if they actually think that’s a word. It’s a struggle for me not to giggle when they do it in front of me, so I’m thrilled when they do it on the internet…that way I can laugh and it’s not mean. It’s not mean. It’s not. Shut up. How much do people talk about work? I’m wondering if I do it an abnormal amount. I feel like I’m always saying something about it, and I’m not trying to, it’s just the main focus of my day. Isn’t it the main focus of other people’s days? Do other people talk about work a lot and I just don’t notice? Maybe people don’t notice when I talk about work. I feel like they do. I worry about weird things. I was going to try that writing thing for November…the NaNoWriMo. Then I looked into it. 50,000 words in 30 days means approximately 1,666.66667 words per day. That right there spooked me. I don’t like all those 6’s. Especially when they’re together like that. So I got over that and realized the today is the 9th. That means I only have 22 days, including today, for a total of 2,272.72727 words per day. I also read in the rules (yes, I’m a rule reader-that should not shock you) that you can’t use work you’ve already written. Here’s where I get whiney… But I already have over 6,000 words…waaaaaah…that means that I could just write 1,993.90909 words per day (Seriously…does nothing go into 50,000 evenly???) and I’d be done in time…waaaaaaaah. Two more bits of fun…I don’t have another idea for a book, and I don’t have that much time. Also, once I get started writing, it’s really hard for me to stop. There’s a reason why some writers go to a secluded cabin to write and have no human contact. Getting myself to a cabin would be challenging. I don’t have one of my own (it would be SO cool of I did), and even if I could borrow one or rent one, I can’t because I have a strange fear of being murdered in the woods, and I spook easily. Did you not notice that with my thing about 6’s? If I can hardly look at the number six in my office, how on earth would I go to a cabin alone? But, if I could get over my fear, once I got there, I could totally do it. If I only had a computer, and no internet. If I had internet, I’d be in big trouble. Because there’s Facebook. And Pinterest. And other things I can’t think of right now. Like a phone. I’d need one to call 911 when someone tries to murder me in the woods. What if 911 doesn’t work out there? What if there’s no internet? I mean there couldn’t be for my computer, but what about my phone? How long could I live without Draw Something? Words with Friends? SongPop? That logo game I recently downloaded that I’m determined not to cheat on, but am stuck with logos I don’t know?  Anyway, I’m still undecided. It’s a little late to be undecided, but I still am. I really don’t see how I could do it, unless I used what I already have. Sorry this was boring. More sorry that I started another sentence with “but”. Two of them. And one or two with “and”. Plus that one. I do know better. I promise. Oh well. That is all.

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Brain Dump Friday

Today is Red Green Day at both the high school and middle school here in town. No, NOT the guy on PBS (I made that mistake, too-not really). Today is the day on which everyone is supposed to wear red and green. Is it because Christmas is coming? NO. Is it because of Boone Iowa’s rich, Spanish heritage? NO. (shocking) It’s because, at some point in our history, someone decided that those two colors should be the school colors. It really serves a dual-purpose…You can have lots of school spirit, and you can wear your school stuff to Christmas parties and you fit right in! Also…we are the Toreadors. Again…not sure why. Though I am leaning closer to the rich, Spanish heritage thing… I wonder what the official school dance is? Salsa? Maybe that’s the official condiment. Tango? Speaking of tango…the Pampered Chef “hot” color for the season is called Tangerine Tango, and it’s really pretty. I would have called it Coral – something – but I’m not a marketing genius… I can’t think of a dance that starts with “C”. I go to my acting gig job again next week. I’m so excited! I love that job. I had three cups of coffee at the bakery this morning and I’m actually shaking. That’s probably not a good thing. I hope it stops before…well, there’s not really a time today when I can’t be a little shaky, but I hope it stops soon. My fingers are going too fast, and I keep having to correct errors in this post. There’s a person for everyone – sometimes that person is five cats. I wish I could take pictures with my eyeballs. I see so many wonderful and beautiful things, and I can’t seem to capture them just like I see them. Of course, that would make me some sort of cyborg, but that would be one of my suggestions if I could ask God to change something about me. Camera in my eyeballs. Awesome. I would probably need a USB port. That would be a weird thing to have to explain. And then there’s the whole “I can’t get up from my computer right now because I’m charging” thing. Weird. What’s wrong with my brain? My office smells like bacon. I ate bacon flavored popcorn yesterday, and while it was not as impressive as I had hoped it would be (including a weird “filmy” feeling in my mouth), it was edible, and I ate it. Now the empty bag is in my office garbage and so my office smells like bacon. I wonder how long that will last? How long is too long to leave it in there? hmmm… I want to find a shirt that reads “I’m not responsible for grammatical errors before 8am”. Of course, then I would want there to be some gross grammatical error on the shirt, but I can’t think of one that would be funny. Maybe I should try designing the shirt before 8am. OH! Cha-Cha! That’s a dance that starts with “C”. Coral Cha-Cha doesn’t roll off your tongue like Tangerine Tango. Again…NOT a marketing genius. Would it hurt to walk around with bare feet if you lived in a house made of legos? I was just wondering… I think it would be kind of like the whole “bed of nails” thing. It hurts to sit on one nail. but I’ve sat on a chair made of nails before, and that didn’t hurt. Something about science and distribution. Have you ever had one of those moments that you just want to grab hold of and never let go? Someone says something or does something that just melts your heart, and you wish you had it on video and could replay it over and over again? I had one of those moments with Ainsley last Tuesday night. My daughter is just the sweetest girl, and she makes me grateful to be alive more often that I can say. My relationship with her is so, SO different than my relationship was with my mom, and I’m so thankful and blessed. Both of my kids are just the greatest gifts from God. If I were a cyborg, I probably wouldn’t have kids. That would be a devastation beyond what I can bear. I don’t want to be a cyborg. That is all.

Brain Dump Friday – Starbucks Edition

I wish I had my headphones. I don’t like the songs playing here at Starbucks. That’s right folks, I’ve taken this show on the road. I have some time to kill between my super awesome temporary non-job and my next thing, so I’m at Starbucks. I usually like their music. Today’s selections are from the 50-70’s and I’m just not feeling it. It’s too much work to find another place with wi-fi and move my stuff. I’ve also made friends with the persistent fly that keeps bothering my stuff. At least he’s not drinking my coffee. Then I would have to kill him. By the way, if you’re a fan of the tiramasu cake pop, you should get them while you can. They are not going to have them anymore. I just ate the last one for today…maybe forever. We’ll never know. Well, we could find out tomorrow, I suppose. There’s a man here writing in a book. A regular book. A novel actually. He should be hanged for his crimes. He also moves his head back and forth like he’s at a tennis match when he reads. I’m definitely going to have to move to another table where I cannot see him. The guy who made my coffee was really slow, but it’s the best coffee I’ve had for a long time, so I forgive him. The fly just made a move for my coffee. I’m going to call him Frank. Why do they put a cake pop on a plate? I nearly dropped it several times because it was rolling around so much. I finally pushed it down a little so it was flat on one side. But then it was flat on one side. ugh. I want a green apron, but I don’t want to work here. hmmm. Frank is about to die. Three attempts at my coffee. My table is too small. Does your hair actually turn gray, or does it only grow in that way? I found a really long gray hair today and when I was done crying about it I plucked it out. I’m sure I would have noticed it by now. Maybe it just TURNED gray. I’m sure that’s it. I have no plans on dying my hair, but what if I wake up one day and they’ve all turned against me? The guy next to me is really friendly. He asked me what I am writing (probably thinking it’s some kind of genius novel, and he’s going to have met me “back when”) and when I told him it was nonsense for my blog, he looked right at me and then said, “I wish I could just right nonsense. I always think everything I write has to have a purpose. What a gift you have!” I’m going to call the ambulance…I’m sure there’s something very wrong with this man to think I’m doing anything important. I just told him what I wrote about him, and he said, “Now I’m famous”. His name is Joe. Now Joe is famous! (to the 4 people who read this) Frank is now dead. I warned him. It is MY coffee. I’m now babysitting a subway sandwich for someone who went into the bathroom. I must not look very hungry. Book Writer just smiled at me. I didn’t move to a new table. Jessup says I should do a brain dump before bed each night. He says it might help me sleep to get all the “stuff” out and then go lay down. (Don’t tell him I said/wrote this, but I think he might be a genius) I’ve only been getting about three hours of sleep a night and it’s not been great sleep at that. Book Writer is wearing socks (argyle-with a hole in the toe) and sandals. Why do people make it so hard to try not to judge them? Well, this is longer than I though it would be. I didn’t realize I would think so much at Starbucks. I don’t actually cry over gray hairs. It’s a part of life, and I don’t care about them being gray. I do like the brown though…I will miss it. Joe wanted my number. I gave him Barry’s business card. Goodbye Joe. R.I.P. Frank. That is all.

Brain Dump Friday

THIS is the blog post that people read. The nonsense. The one that has no purpose, except that every time I think about stopping, someone says how much they love it, and I am compelled to keep it going.

Once again I neglected to jot down the little things I think about throughout the week for this. I have recipe card sitting on my desk for a PC Show at the end of this month and I’m dying to try the recipe. My son has a date to the Homecoming Dance, and I’m so excited for him. I adore the girl he’s asked. I’ve known her since they were in the third grade. She’s a smart, beautiful, strong young woman. McDonald’s has really yummy iced tea. I forgot about that. I have a gnome sitting on my desk. And two owls. (They aren’t speaking to each other right now. Apparently there was an issue with a pointy hat.) My desk has too much paperwork. I tried to get it organized, and I feel like I did very little tossing/shredding, and a lot of shuffling. I don’t like the glossy page protectors because they have such a bad glare, but I can’t use the matte page protectors because they stick together. I need them to slide and have little/no glare. I think, once again, I want the impossible. C’mon Staples…fix my problem! There’s so much thunder outside right now that it sounds like they are bowling in heaven. I used to over-think things when I was a kid, too. I would think the weirdest things. Someday I will have to write a blog post about the things I thought when I was younger. You will probably feel bad for my parents. I am trying out Scentsy for the first time. I can’t wait to get my warmer and my Mochadoodle scent. I want my whole office to smell like a bakery. I love trees. I love to draw them, and look at them, but I hate climbing them. Weird. I think it’s because I also hate falling out of them. Everyone should have a Smash* book. I worked in mine today. If you don’t know what it is, ask me. I will tell you all about how I will never scrapbook again. I am a perfectionist, and this Smash* book is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me…except for 80’s GLAM Sharpies. Who doesn’t love Leg-warmer Orange, Banana Clip Yellow, and Valley Girl Violet? Am I right? I now have a small notebook for notes and lists. And yet, no list for BDF…hmm. #BDFfail??? I think so. I have a script to memorize for a job I’m doing sporadically throughout the Fall. It’s the closest thing I’ll ever get to a paid acting gig. (I should call it that) I love pretending. I have to pretend to like (even love) dogs. I’ve been told I’m very convincing. The instructor even said I did a really good job. The scentsy warmer has a tree on it…that’s how I went from bakery to trees. If you were wondering… You probably weren’t. I cannot wait for Parenthood to come back on the TV. That is my hour. My snuggle on the couch and do nothing else but be with Barry time. I have really missed it. Someone told me I should write a column of some sort with this nonsense in it. I’ll tell you what…If you can find some newspaper, local magazine, or someone who’d even give me the time of day and a chance, I’d write whatever they wanted. As long as it is this. This is light and fun. This involves only my over-active brain. No feelings or emotions here, and I’m good with that. So, if someone wants it, I will write. Until then, it’s all for you. And you. And that guy over there in the corner who will swear later that he was never here. I saw you. ;) That is all. #BrainDumpFriday (Thumbs up to everyone who likes this on Facebook after they’ve read it here. I’m really curious how many of you there are. I think there are about five to seven of you. Prove me wrong…or right.)

Brain Dump Friday

I hope I’m never famous for being dorky. I mean, I am dorky, I just hope I’m never famous for it. It would be awesome to be famous…for about a week. Then I think I’d be done with it completely. Part of the reason I started my own business with The Pampered Chef is because they appreciate the polka dot. It is a thing, and if you’re not on the bandwagon, you’re out of luck. (OK, I didn’t really sign up because of that, but they do have several things that are polka dot, and I love them all. In fact, there is FREE thing on it way to me right now…and it’s polka dot! I love that I have to do so little to be recognized and appreciated!) Last night Jessup and I were sitting in the car for a few moments after I pulled into the garage, and suddenly someone came up behind the car, slammed into it, and yelled, “BLLLLAAAAAAAHHHHHH!” I jumped and screamed, and Jessup did something that shocked me. He threw open the door, leaped from the passenger seat, and threw his cup of Pepsi (which I consumed most of while he was watching a movie at the high school) directly at the perpetrator Barry. Jessup hit him right in the face and the lid to the cup blew off and ice and Pepsi covered him. Then I started to cry, and I was shaking so bad. I did not appreciate being scared. It seems as though I take the brunt of the scaring. I scare Barry (only once when we were dating), and his Navy and self-defense training kick in, and before I know it I’m flat on the floor. He scares me, I almost pee my pants and then cry. I don’t think I can win this one. Barry’s punishment was not only to be sticky, but to carry in my gigantic bag of products and supplies, and then help me wash them. I couldn’t believe Jessup’s bravery and accuracy in the face of what could’ve been actual danger! I’m really overwhelmed. He jumped up and tried to save me. Look out attackers! (I think he thinks I’m going to keep giving him icy sodas…just in case he has to defend himself. Or me. That’s not going to happen. We are a nearly soda-free family.) FYI: if you get mugged, you’ll want Jessup and a soda nearby. If you have me, you better hope for an OCD, germ-a-phobe, who can’t stand pee…or a crying girl. I miss my first job. Just one part of it, really. This guy and I paired up early on to “perform” for the kids who would come in really early. (I worked at Discovery Zone) His name was Ali, which the kids loved because of Aladdin. Anyway, we would put a soundtrack into the system first thing in the morning and do a “show” near (sometimes in) the ball pits. Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast. We would sing and dance along with the music. There weren’t very many kids in the place yet, and it was still pretty quiet. We’d recite the words and sing the lyrics word for word, and we just had the best time. One day I sang all the boy parts and he sang all the girl parts. It was a fun job. I don’t think I’d like it now, but I remember loving it back then. I’ve only been hired “on the spot” for two jobs, and that was the first. Both of those jobs were awesome and fun experiences. Both jobs taught me a lot. Neither job gave me polka dot things for free. :( I just realized that I was sort-of famous for my “shows” at DZ…and those were dorky. It doesn’t count though. Pre-school famous, isn’t really famous. Unless you’re Thomas, the Teletubbies, or Barney. And all of those are too dorky for me. That is all. #BrainDumpFriday

Brain Dump Friday

I’m starting to like colorful things. Normally I go for dark colors, browns, grays, and black. I have a cup full of highlighters and Sharpies (fine tip, because the wider ones are too hard for me to manage without making a mess…because while I’m an adult, I usually have the hands of a 3-year old), and it makes me smile just to see all the pretty colors. I got a little eager when planning my availability for shows in September, and forgot about a 3-day conference, and youth group. oops. I’m tired of being under a boil order. A water main broke here in town on Wednesday morning, and we’ve been restricted ever since. I’m very tempted to drive 15 miles just to get some stupid ice. There is no ice. It’s like we suddenly live in a third-world town. If I can’t handle a few days without ice, I’ll never survive the apocalypse. You’ll have to put me out of my misery right away. It’s ok. Don’t feel guilty. You’ll want to kill me off about three hours in anyway, because I’ll be complaining a lot when there’s no ice/internet/cell phones/electricity. My husband just sent a sweet text and made my day :). I like it when he does that. I need a new game for my iPhone. Something challenging, slightly (not totally) addictive (I do have a life-sort of), and fun. I play “Flow” and I have all the updates and additions, and I’m almost done with it. Once I master all the boards, I’ll be bored with it. I’m having a calendar dilemma…not the one mentioned above, but I like monthly calendars, and I need to learn to live from a weekly calendar. I don’t want to. I want to cross my arms and stomp my feet, but no one is around to see/hear me, and the cats don’t care one way or the other as long as we feed them. I’m the only human in my house all day now. I wonder if anyone else stays home anymore? I feel like I’m the only one. My kitchen is super clean. (That’s how bored/lonely/pitiful I am) I think I will go make a snack for tonight’s Bible study. I need to blog more. I have lots to say. I miss my kids. It’s only the second day of the school year. I threaten them every summer that I will pull them out of school and homeschool them, just so I can spend more time with them. I enjoyed homeschooling for the years that we did it. Now the only result would be that they would learn, sooner rather than later, that they are both smarter than their mother. I cannot lose that advantage. It’s going to be a long year. Oh My Gosh!!! I forgot to add the school events to my calendar! I’m going to need a new one…this one is about to become too messy! I can’t look at a messy calendar…I get all kerfuzzled.  That is all.

I Hate Spaghetti: My Pampered Chef “Testimony”

I had this idea to write up what I would like to say at shows when I’m talking about my business, why I love Pampered Chef, and why I am so proud to wear the apron. I wrote something that was OK, but I couldn’t quite get it right. Then I realized that I don’t need to find the words, I already have them. They may not be as eloquent as something I could write, but they are mine. (And there’s no memorization involved)

I’ve been married for 17 years. Over that time I have cooked…a lot. At first, it was fun. You know, it was kind-of like playing house. Sort of this dreamy world where the apartment was clean, and the kid was clean, and (hopefully) I was clean, and dinner was on the table.

Over the years, we had two kids (making a total of four), and at times we’ve had up to five jobs between us. Oh, and we’ve moved. A LOT. We currently live in our 15th house. We bought this one, so we are here to stay!

I stayed home with our kids before they went to school, and I found myself bored in the kitchen. Making macaroni and cheese, PB&J, spaghetti, and munching on graham crackers and cheerios gets old…awfully fast. I was to the point that I would have eaten my own shoes before I ate another bowl of spaghetti.

Then a friend invited me to a Pampered Chef show. I fought it at first, saying that I hated to cook, and I wasn’t interested, but I finally agreed when she said I could eat something other than spaghetti. I found a sitter, grudgingly left a number where I could be reached if someone were bleeding or on fire, and I ran out of the house.

I had SO much fun!

I ordered a few things, including the cookbook containing the recipe from that night, and was on pins and needles waiting for my new tools to arrive. (BTW…I still have that cookbook, and the Fiesta Nachos are still my favorite recipe. If you’d like a copy of it, please write your email address on the paper I handed out, and I will email it to you.) I made everything in that cookbook. TWICE. Even the recipes with the mushrooms in them. (make face)

I had so much fun at that party, that I agreed to host my own. It was great! I earned a few free items, and got a discount on a few more.

Eventually we (I) fell into the same rut. We were back to the same old thing. I would pull my PC cookbook out once in a while, but most days we were back to the standard fare. I was to the point where, once again, I hated to cook.

Fast Forward SEVEN YEARS. The kids are now 12 and 9, and their tastes have expanded greatly. My daughter was no longer a self-proclaimed vegetarian as she’d been from birth (even before that, if you want to know the truth), and while our menu was increasing, I was still finding myself miserable in the kitchen.

A friend of mine invited me to a Pampered Chef show. After the show was over, she confessed to me that I was the last person she thought would EVER come to the show. She confessed that she had only one invitation left, and she didn’t want to throw it away, so she gave it to me. You know that thing that Hollywood does in movies where the happy memories are kind-of glossy, and very colorful, and everyone is smiling too much while harps play in the background? Well, THAT was my Pampered Chef memory from all those years before. I was the first one to show up that night.

Fast Forward another FOUR YEARS. We are back in the rut. Once again, the kid’s tastes continue to change and grow, and in turn the menu has grown, but I’m still bored. So bored, in fact, that I almost NEVER cook. My husband does probably 90% of the cooking, my son does about 5%, and I…well, I know all the take-out numbers by heart. They’re even in my list of favorite contacts in my phone :(. They are listed above family. Needless to say, it’s bad.

Then one day my friend Michelle contacts me. She’s a Pampered Chef. She’s happy. She likes to cook. I think something is wrong with her.

Cue glossy memories and harps.

I agree to host a show. After the show (where I got MORE free stuff, and these AMAZING knives at HALF off!), she sent me an invitation to go to a meeting where I could learn more about starting my own business. I am now convinced she’s out of her mind, but I go. I couldn’t believe she saw something in me. Even more, I couldn’t imagine what it was. At the meeting I was overcome. Not “saxophone and frantic weeping” overcome, just that “I can’t remember parts of that night because I was so deep in thought” overcome. That might seem like a strong word, but I was. Really.

EPIPHANY!

I don’t hate cooking. I hate the same thing. I hate the mundane routine. And…I still REALLY hate spaghetti.

I was bored. I’d given up on the things that made cooking enjoyable for me. I stopped using my helpful tools. I was back to chopping and cutting and mixing the hard way.

For me, when I stopped using the tools that made it easy to cook, the tools that made making meals fun again, my Pampered Chef tools, I stopped loving it.

Cutting an onion with a dull knife on a cutting board that slides around half-hazardly on a counter top is hard. Not only do you cry because of the onion, but you also cry when the board slips and you cut off your thumb. ER bills will make you cry. That’s THREE times. Nobody wants to cry three times.

All this pain and aggravation is spared when you have something as simple as a Food Chopper. You cut the onion in half, slap it into the Food Chopper, and before you know it…chop-chop-chop…you’re done. Your onion is chopped, and you have your thumbs.

It sounds silly, but you know what I mean.

Pampered Chef makes it easier, faster, and more fun to cook. We make it easy to teach your kids how to cook. We make clean up a breeze so you can get out of the kitchen and back in the family room where you really want to be. We make the “living” part of life a little more livable.

You may love to cook. You may not. Maybe you’ve never boiled water. Maybe you started to boil water once, and when you got back to the pan, all the water magically went away. It doesn’t matter how far along you are in the culinary world. EVERYONE can be a Pampered Chef. Trust me, YOU CAN DO THIS. We can do it together. Give me a half hour of your time, meet me in a coffee shop, and then you decide. The coffee’s on me.

Oh…and I still hate spaghetti.