Friday, June 25, 2010

Desperation Taco

Maybe I should be ashamed, but I'm not. I'm learning, little by little, to accept my strengths and work on my weaknesses when I can. As a mom, I know I should do better, but sometimes things just don't work that way. And I have a feeling that the story I'm about to share happens more often than people care to admit.

I HATE grocery shopping. I rarely have time, I hate lugging all that stuff to the car, and I have a five year old who wants me to buy everything in the store. So it's not uncommon for our cupboards to be bare, especially during the few days leading up to my bi-monthly trek to wherever has the best sale.

Last night, Hubby was kind enough to defrost a package of ground turkey with no plans on what to do with it. There was a half package of taco shells on the kitchen counter. The decision was made.

I looked for a pack of taco seasoning as I fried the meat. No go. I made due with cumin, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. I then checked the fridge for salsa and sour cream. All I found was a lime with a day of usable life left. I squeezed it into a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.

We had some lettuce, thank goodness. But when I opened our cheese drawer (Yes, we have a drawer for cheese. We love it that much.), I found we were out.

Game over. I could live without sour cream just this once, but no shredded cheese?!?!? I was about to call for an emergency run to Save-A-Lot when I saw a pack of Cheddar & Swiss string cheese.

Game on. I pulled it apart and stuffed it into to taco shells.

And what about a side dish? Then other day, I mistakenly opened a can of kidney beans when I was looking for chickpeas. Those made a respectable helping of refried beans.

This was by far not my best culinary showing, but I'm pretty sure it was the most incentive.

I went to the grocery store this morning. Cheese and sour cream were at the top of the list.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Like Grandmother, Like Granddaughter

There are things that skip generations, I suppose. As much as I think I'm becoming more like my mom everyday, it is my daughter who is truly her mirror image.

Take Sunday for example. We were headed to our church's 100th anniversary banquet. Elyse was wearing a black dress with a hot pink sash. After I zipped it up, she did a quick twirl and sped out of the room. She came back loaded down with multicolored Mardi Gras beads and a fuzzy pink purse with silver ribbon wrapped around the strap.

"Sweetie," I said. "I think you have on a little too much jewelry."

"Ohhhh..." She frowned and stretched out her arm, revealing six plastic bangles and two Princess Tiana rings. "I want to look like a foxy mama!"

I choked back laughter and explained that sometimes less is more. We agreed on two hot pink strands of beads and a a purse with fewer ribbons. Just then the phone rang; it was my mom's friend Aunt P.

"There's something I need to tell you."

I was instantly concerned. "Is everything o.k.?"

"Your mother has been going through her costume jewelry all week. I'm afraid she's going to come out of the house looking like... well, I don't know what, but I need you to get over there and make sure her outfit is together."

Since the stroke, Mom has been a teeny bit challenged with coordination. I try to make it to her house before any important occasion. "I'm almost ready, then I'm heading over. I told her I'd be there by 3."

"Please. I'm counting on you. I have a feeling she's going to be covered in rhinestones."

Mom had on mismatched sparkly earrings when I got to the house. "Which ones look better?"

"The big ones," I reply.

She smiles and nods her approval. "See, I knew it. Help me with my dress." Her dress was black with a large rhinestone brooch at the cleavage. I zipped it up, and she did a twirl I had seen about 30 minutes before.

"What about a necklace?" She asked. I looked at her hands; she had on two diamond rings and a tennis bracelet.

I repeated my less is more speech. Mom sighed. "You are really stifling my creativity."

I laughed. "That's the second time I've heard that today."

Everyone at the banquet told Mom how great she looked. I heard her tell a few people she would have looked better if I'd let her wear a necklace.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Saying No

For some reason, I stayed up late last night to watch 27 Dresses. It was a typical romantic comedy. Cute quirky girl meets cute guy in a meet-cute situation. Then some not-so-cute things occur that lead to self-realization and a cute ending.

It was supposed to be downtime for me, but I found myself being self reflective. The main character was virtually incapable of saying no, and it reminded me that I'm sometimes guilty of the very same thing.

So today, I looked for a situation in which I could say no. My father called today to see if he could pick my daughter up and take her to dinner. "Yes!" I cried. Turning down a couple of hours of free babysitting is foolhardy, not an expression of empowerment.

When dinner was over, Dad asked if I was picking her up from his house. I was in the middle of grading papers. "Didn't you say you would bring her home?"

"Yeah, but if you're out..."

"Nope, I'm at home."

"Okay, we'll be leaving soon."

Was it a small victory? Sure, but every journey begins with a single step. By the time Lil' Ma came home, I was done with grading. It was a good feeling.

I will have to give this no thing a shot more often.

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Letting Go

I've written about this before. There are times when I feel as if my world is a breath away from disintegration. Like Atlas, I'm balancing it all on my shoulders.

I wonder if that's really true. What would happen if I said no once in a while? Or even better, if I asked for help?

I'm about to find out. I'm going to honor my instincts and my sanity. If something doesn't feel right or if I don't have time, I'm going to say so. Here's the tricky part - I'm not going to feel guillty. I'm letting all that go.

Stay tuned!

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