When Life Gives You Lemons…

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“You freeze them and use them as weapons.”
– A favorite quote I got from a book that a friend started to write.

“Shut up and eat your damn lemons.”

“You make lemonade.”

So that’s what I did. Well…not the weapons part or the shutting up and eating my damn lemons part. Shutting up isn’t fun. I did the part where you make lemonade! And I made the hell out of that lemonade, let me tell you! You see, over the past few weeks I’ve been mixing lemonade powder and iced tea powder together to make juice in my version of half lemonade/half iced tea. Then I squeeze some lemon into it, add ice and lemon slices and serve. And it’s been quite good.

I’ve loved the hell out of it anyway.

Except today I had this intense craving for lemonade. But the powder we get is really sweet and I wanted proper lemonade…so I looked up a recipe over here at Simply Recipes and I went for it.

Except I don’t own a juicer and I have a kitten who scratches my hands up so that both my hands look like I was attacked by..well, by a psychotic kitten I call Iron. And I squeezed lemons. I’ll pause here to let y’all wince in pain for me.

So after I made the sugar syrup (head 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar until sugar dissolves), I started sqeezing the lemons, quickly got sick of that since well…my hands are scratched up and I was putting citrus in the scratches. Not only does it hurt, but that’s just not sanitary. Even if it’s just me and my family drinking the stuff. I’ll pause and let you wince again either in pain or disgust, that’s your choice. Howevs, I’m a smart girl so I just peeled some lemons, tossed them in a blender and voila! I had lemon juice ready for the using.

Then it was a matter of mixing it all together, tossing in some ice and sipping away.

Not gonna lie, this would be a great recipe to add some vodka too and turn into an alcoholic slush…but instead I tossed in some frozen strawberries because I like how they taste as they thaw out in the lemonade. Also I don’t have any vodka. But mostly I like how the strawberries taste once they thaw in the juice.

I’m wondering if I can make a strawberry syrup and add that to my lemonade in the future?

Do you have any lemonade makin’ tricks?

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An Every Day Hero

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I can remember when I was a kid – I must have been four or five around this time – and the playground below our house would be just one giant mud field. The snow would just be melting and my sister and I would be transitioning from our winter snow pants into our spring splash pants. We’d exchange our winter boots for our gum boots and mom and dad would tell us to stay out of the mud down at the playground. We could play on the actual playground itself, but the giant mud puddle was forbidden.

We never listened.

We would start off splashing in the puddles, getting absolutely soaked and work our way further into the mud field until…

“DADDY!”

We would scream bloody murder for dad to come and save us because our boots would get sucked into the mud, trapping us in place and leaving us stranded in the middle of what I thought was the worlds biggest puddle. We’d be up to our shins and higher, screaming at the top of our lungs and our giant of a father would come and rescue us. Every. Single. Time.

And without fail for the past 25 years, my dad has been there. Always. Every. Single. Time.

Today he turned 50. He’s carried me through the tough stuff in life until I could learn to walk it on my own. He took me bra shopping and fearlessly buys tampons when they’re needed. He takes care of his family. He’s taught me how to have fun…even at 5am on game days or when grocery shopping is so mundane and boring that it hurts.

So here’s to the father who’s another year older

And cheers to my dad who is as strong as a boulder

Happy birthday to the man who is…

Ever there,

Losing his hair

And is always disgustingly right.

Seriously, I don’t remember my dad ever being wrong! It’s just downright freaky that someone could be right all the time for 25 years! I’ve even tried to catch him being wrong and it just never happens. Either way though, happy 50th birthday to my dad!

 

Mowing the Lawn

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An example of my handiwork…

Sunday my dad asked me if I wanted to learn how to ride our ride ’em lawn mower. And Hells to the yeah I did! Nothing seems more fun in my opinion than riding around on my lawn and cutting me some grass. It all would have been great! I would have drove that thing round and circles and mowed me some lawn like a champ…except for the fact that my hard is mostly hill. Steep-ish hill.

So my mom had me mow our side yard which is all weird incline and all kinds of lopsided. Raise your hands if you’ve ever ridden a ride ’em mower while it’s tilted so sideways that if you didn’t lean against the tilt you would have fallen off!

I’m totally raising my hand right now.

Not lying! Being on that side hill was a core workout as I tipped, leaned and held on for my dear life as I drove in lopsided circle-squares on our side lawn. It was all to the tune of my mom yelling “GIVE IT SOME GAS!” and me singing “She’ thinks my tractor’s sexy! It’ really turns her oooonnnnnn! She’s always staring at meeeee! While I’m chuggin’ alllllong!” Eventually she gave up on me mowing the side lawn and told me to pull it over to our front lawn…despite the fact there was this little tuft of grass that I’d missed child I was chuggin’ along.

You have to praise my mom’s patience at this point in my life. Raising a daughter who is perpetually dumb and fucking crazy can’t be easy. Especially since I have no common sense. So I rolled up on my front lawn and started to drive in crazy circle shapes while trying to mow the little side hill on the other side of my house. I was still singing about my sexy tractor and…

I don’t even know what to say except for the fact that by the time I was down mowing my lawn – Read: By the time mom made me stop mowing the lawn- my yard kind of looked like a blind monkey hopped up on meth and pixie sticks had attacked it with a dull hatchet.

Course practice makes perfect, so I’m waiting for the grass to grow again so I can hop back on my mower, sing about my sexy tractor and see if I can do it right…or slightly less horrific next time.

The Diaper

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Proof that I did it and proof that I’m probably celibate for a while.

So there I was. The three year old was on the ground and she was smiling and giggling because I was asking her how this was supposed to go. I was kneeling and wondering what I was supposed to do. I knew what was waiting for me. I’d seen it. It had seen me. It had judged me and deemed me lacking and had threatened my manhood. It thought it was better’n me. I knew it was there. It knew I knew it was there. I knew it knew that I knew it was there. This moment was on like Donkey Kong.

All drama aside, when I opened that kids diaper and saw that what I’d seen a few minuets early when I checked her diaper wasn’t an exaggeration I gagged. I gagged, stood up and ran into the bathroom. Not to puke but to shove some tissue up my nose. Then I went back and looked at it again.

I had no idea what the fudge I was doing.

So I just sat there and tried not to make direct eye contact with it.

Besides what I’d seen on TV and in movies I really hadn’t seen anyone change a diaper before. I mean I’d seen a friend do it, but that was a disposable diaper and the kid hadn’t shat a brown baby in his pants. So this was different and I was clueless.

So I looked at it and I gagged again.

Then I started talking to myself.

I was doing this for my sister. She was my very first best friend. She’s my Wingman of Mayhem. She feels my pain. I can make eye contact with her and have an entire conversation with just one look. I would take a bullet for my sister and volunteer myself for the Hunger Games to protect her and all sorts of other cliches…so I should be able to change a diaper for her right? Right.

I gagged a few more times wiping up the huge mess that had sort of…squished everywhere while we were playing and I was denying that the stink I smelled was coming from the kid and I learned my lesson. As soon as it stinks, diapers must be changed me thinks. When I was done wiping I kind of looked at this now bare and clean bottomed child and asked her if she knew how to put her own diaper on. She said no and I knew she was lying because she was laughing at me.

The poop was still judging me even though it was wrapped up in a diaper and smeared on wipes.

When I picked up the diaper I’d set aside I kind of just looked at it. Inspected it for a moment and got confused about how it worked. After a few minuets of fumbling around, I eventually got the kid secure in her diaper and I felt almost triumphant. Just to prove that I was better than it, I took a picture of it. Because I had won that battle. Me – 1, Dirty Diaper – 0.

On our way back down stairs I decided to be celibate for a little while. As cool as winning is, it was still traumatizing and gross.

The Kitten

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First of all: I’m a horrible blogger when it comes to writing every day. However, this month I’m participating in Camp National Novel Writing Month…so I am writing pretty much every day. I just don’t happen to be writing here.

You can’t tell, but he’s totally peeing in this picture. Whatever. He’s sitting still and being cute either way.

Second of all: I got a kitten! Our dog, Betsy had him trapped under the porch last weekend so I went out and nabbed him. You see, and I’ve said this before, all of the cats in our backyard are feral and would rather hiss at you than pee on you if you were on fire. They have serious attitude issues given the fact that we occasionally feed them and make sure they have nice places to sleep. And for years now, I have been trying to catch a kitten to keep as my very own, except for the fact that once the kittens are old enough to run they, well…they run. And they’re wily. So I haven’t caught one ever.

Until the other weekend when the dog had one trapped and I managed to toss a towel over him. Then I immediately ran into the house with him and tamed him. Sort of. I think the poor kitten more or less resigned himself to the fact that he was caught and liked to be pet, so he stopped acting like a wild creature and snuggled into his life with me.

His name is Iron. He lives in my room with me because our dog, Moose owns the rest of the house. He gets bitey when he’s hungry, but that’s ok because when I’m hungry I feel stabby. Also, because I still suck my thumb, my arm is always bent when I sleep, so that’s where he sleeps every night. He crawls in, lays belly up and passes the frack out with me.

I’m not going to lie…I almost tossed him across the room the other morning because I’m not used to waking up with something fuzzy sleeping on me so when he moved I had a minor freak out, woke up and he more or less tumbled to the bed as I stood up ready to stomp whatever it was that was crawling on me into oblivion.

Until I realized that I’d just dropped my kitten and said kitten was really pissy with me for waking him up. He’s bitey when he doesn’t get his beauty sleep. Actually, he’s bitey all the time. But that’s ok, because I feel stabby most of the time so he and I get along just fine.

 

To My Friends Who Are Mommies –

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I just read an amazing post over at TRYING TO BE GOOD. It’s an open letter to all parents from a non-parent. And it’s one of those post that I wholeheartedly agree with and wish I’d thought of it first. Since I didn’t though, I’m going to write what it inspired me to write…

You’re in labour now, even as I type this

So I’m going to make you this promise:

When your son uses my favorite shirt as a spit up blanky

I promise to try and pretend I didn’t see.

When you are frazzled and at your wits end

I promise I won’t be the straw that made the camels back bend.

Just to make your smile

I promise to take care of your laundry pile.

Whenever your child is screaming like a nuclear alarm

I’ll pretend the ear plugs are just there to keep my ears warm.

Even though I’m terrified of poop in my hair

After he’s potty trained I promise to baby-sit every time you need me there.

This I promise you to the end

because you are my friend:

To never whine

when together we rarely ever dine.

To be as happy drinking tea

as we were taking Captain Morgan out to sea.

In advance I’m sorry for all the times

that my impatience climbs.

You’re a new mommy

and that makes you a super hero to me.

Why?

Because you are my friend, my confident and when I’ve been naughty…

I know that you’ll still help me hide the body.

I don’t understand what you’re going through

but I promise to still be there for you.

And when we go on trips to the barnyard

I promise not to act like a bastard.

Why?

Because when all is said and done

You and I?

We’re still gonna have fun.

Note: Even though this post is written directly to my friend who started labour today, this is still for all of my awesome mommy friends. You are all much better people than I.

 

 

They’re Calling Cellphones Now!!!

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So I’m old enough that I remember what being on a party line was like. Seriously, I remember always sneakily picking up the phone as a child and seeing if there were any good conversations that I could eavesdrop on. There never was, but man being on a party line sucked. Imagine being like 6 and wanting to make a phone call and having to WAIT YOUR TURN. I don’t know if I was 6, but I do know that I was young and that the first Mighty Ducks movie had just come out on VHS. Either way, being around that age and having to wait turns for anything sucks, especially so since you never know when the other damn person is going to hang up the damn phone. I actually remember picking up the phone once and screaming into the phone to make the people hang up.

That’s all besides my point though. That’s just a tangent before I say I also remember back when *69 was useful because there was no such thing as “caller ID”. I also remember answering machines being kind of rare in the fact that we didn’t have one until I was 12 or so and the only person I knew who had one was my Aunty D. So you never knew who was going to be on the other end of the phone whether it was your Aunty JoJo, doctor’s office or a clue calling to help you guess where in the world Carmen San Diego was. And that was all cool, but what I thought was the best was when the phone survey people would call to ask all kinds of annoying questions and I would get to pick up.

Ok. That’s second best. I lied. The best thing about this old school set up of no caller ID and ghetto answering machine with a tape in it was when one of my elementary teachers would call home to tell on me for some infraction or another and I would get home first, listen to the message and then promptly delete it. It was even better the day he threatened to call my parents and I told him good luck because they were at work and I’d just go home and delete the message. He seriously went 6 shades of red and I thought he was going to either stand on his head or bang his forehead off a wall…because yeah, he did that. And he still teaches. Somewhere out there is a teacher teaching this current generation and he slams his head off of walls and blackboards when his class frustrates him.

Back the the point, I used to love picking up the phone not knowing who it was. I loved it more if it was a phone solicitor soliciting something. Like free Mexicans if I took a 10 minuet survey. I would sit down and force them through 5-10 minuet conversations just for funsies because they would stay on the phone with me in the hopes of actually getting their survey done or getting one of my parents on the phone to do the survey or buy whatever it was that they were selling.

Naturally as I got older my shenanigans progressed from simple conversations to downright silliness. They’d ask me to take a 10 minuet survey, I’d ask them to tell me a story first. Or I would start asking really stupid questions: “How tall are you?”, “What’s your favorite flavor of gum?”, “How big are your feet?”, “You know what they say about big feet right?”, “Is your refrigerator running?” and “How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?” Or sometimes I would pick up the phone, figure out it was a phone person and then start whispering and talking about how the aliens could hear us so we needed to talk in code.

These days though, I know when it’s them. Somehow my cellphone is on a list somewhere and all sorts of people call me telling me that I’ve won a trip to Mexico and can travel there for free to pick up my free sample of uncut cocaine as long as I’m over the age of 24 and answer a few questions for them. Sometimes people want to survey me on my household item usage. Four times out of ten I actually let these people do their jobs, but the rest of the time they get something like this:

Operator (it’s a man): Hello, may I speak to Rachael [My Last Name] please?
Me: That’s me.
Operator: Ok. Would you mind answering a few questions about your cell phone use?
Me: Sure, but we’ll play question for questions ok?
Operator: Umm…*Pause* How often would you say you used your cell phone? Often, sometimes, emergencies only or not at all?
Me: Often, I would say. What are are you wearing over there, smexy?
Operator: *CLICK*

I giggled to myself before I went and threw another load of laundry in the wash and then wondered if other people get these sorts of calls on their cellphones. Do you? And if you do, how do you handle it?