Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thanksgiving or Grocery Derby??

 It’s Thanksgiving time … or is it more like grocery store roller-derby?


You know what I mean, that special time before a major holiday when the masses become possessed.  When there is no greater accomplishment than to out-maneuver that little old lady with the cane to fling yourself on that 24-pound butterball.  In fact, you suspect the cane is fake, brought along to increase her chances of hedging you out of the way of the canned cranberries.

I don’t know about you but I find shopping during this pre-holiday mania kind of fun.


What’s curious about this is that at any other time, if someone so much as pauses in front of the diced tomatoes I’m muttering, “Don’t you know what you want? Have a plan woman … let’s keep movin’!” And Holy-Heavens-to-Betsy on the person with bags and bags of frozen peas-n-carrots and they’re rummaging for more, their cart blocking my way to the brussel sprouts.  I just want to tell him, “Dude, I’m sure they’ll restock by spring and you have enough to last you at least that long.”

So you’d think that the aisles jammed with people and their holiday meal lists would annoy me.  Nope.  I get swept up in the fun of it.  I check out peoples’ carts.  When I see cans of sweet potatoes and bags of marshmallows, I know what they’re bringing.  A cart loaded with bags of breadcrumbs and cans of chicken stock – she’s bringing the stuffing!  And oh my goodness, the excitement over that prize turkey!


My grocery store (HEB) rocks! They hand out samples all over the place … even gourmet cheese and wine. (I KNOW! Awesome right?)

Funny thing is, I’ve never made a turkey.  Thanksgiving has never been at my house.  It’s always been at my mom’s, or my mother-in-law’s, my grandma’s and now my sister’s.  I don’t host Thanksgiving, so I’ve never baked the turkey.  But like most families, we all bring stuff.  I’m always in charge of the mashed potatoes.  I tried to get out of it this year but my husband said my brother-in-law, Bill, would have a heart attack if I didn’t do the mashed taters.  So, fine, 10lbs of potatoes and a pound of butter went into my cart.  (Yeah, they’re that good!) I’m also in charge of the veggie tray because I always want fresh vegetables to nosh on.


My sister-in-law is bringing the canned cranberry because that’s what she likes, still in the shape of the can so she can see the ridges.  My husband’s uncle bakes pies so there are always at least two of those. My mom always brings the ‘party potatoes’ and the booze. (Yay Mom!!) My mother-in-law makes the most amazing chicken tamale stuffing.  I’ve heard that she’s not bringing it this year but is instead bringing potato salad (because Lord knows we don’t have enough potatoes coming!) and chopped liver.  (Um, not sure what short of madness this is but I’m trying to have a Thankful heart and I will not pout over the missing tamale dressing, not too much.)


We are doing something really fun this year. But I’m not going to tell you … yet!  I will save it for my post-Thanksgiving blog post and will promise lots of pictures!

So dish! Are you in charge of a specific recipe every year? Do you host the meal at your home?  Share what YOU’RE bringing to the Thanksgiving Feast!

Also I’d like to wish for all of you the most Blessed Thanksgiving!  I have met so many new people lately on the net that I want you all to know that I have such a full and grateful heart! I wish for abundant joy and laughter for all of you!

{Group Hug}



One of THOSE days!

Don’t we all have those days where we’re just looking for a fight?  You know what I mean. You’re irritable, cranky and you feel the only fair thing would be to send out a warning to tell people to give you a wide berth or suffer the consequences.  I’m having one of those days.  It started before I even opened my eyes. I knew I’d be on a hair-trigger and I was right. Even the cadence of the dog’s breathing annoyed me.

My mood made me think of this video I ran across years ago.

In a mood like this I suggest:

–unleashing a path of destructive word-lashing to any unsuspecting soul who phones, emails or texts you or anyone you run across on the net.  (Or you could save yourself regrets and back away from any human contact!)

–Immediately find a bar of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt and don’t share with anyone, no matter how much they beg or how needy their expression.  It’s an ACT to get your treat. Don’t give in!

–Start drinking. Somewhere in the world, like in Egypt or someplace, it’s bound to be 5pm.  Heck, who cares if it’s 5 anyway? Who’s in charge here?

Anyone have any other helpful and friendly tips to add to my own?  You know, in case some or all of mine don’t work, which is absurd, because I know they work. But some of us may need a back up plan in case we run out of wine and chocolate and someone breaks the internet.

Have a GREAT day! 🙂

Remember your first car?

Do you remember your first car? I know I do and I’d be willing to bet that most of you all do as well. Before I get to what my first car looked like, let me ask you something else, did you get your first car at 16, right when you got your license?  The reason I ask is that we are approaching a big milestone in our family. Our oldest child is approaching his 16th birthday and you can imagine what his single, zeroed-in, focus is on.

 His First Car!


An example of a typical conversation with #1 as I shuttle him to his engagements:

Son:  Did you see that?

Mom: What? Where?

Son: That car you just passed.

Mom: Was the driver texting and driving? Can you read the license plate?

Son: No.

Mom: Did they have a toddler not properly restrained in a car seat? Man, that makes me so mad.

Son: Mom, no, did you see the car?  That car is legit.

*note: Legit does not refer to its legal road status, although we can hope.

Even though many of his friends who have turned 16 did in fact get their own car for their birthday, some of them NEW cars (what the what???), we have explained that doesn’t always happen. He may have to use his dad’s car, or perhaps mine. Oh, the horror in his eyes when faced with the idea of driving a ‘Mom-Car’!  I might have uttered something about beggars can’t be choosers and his feet can get him places.

But this got me thinking back to my first car.  I did share my mom’s car for a while.  I had to drive my sister around too and run errands, but I didn’t care.  I was driving!  But soon, it was time for me to get my own set of wheels. One day we saw an old Volvo parked in our neighborhood with a For Sale sign. It was a 1977 Volvo. It had mustard yellow paint and dark brown interior and I loved it! It was $1500 and my mom, dad and I all split it.  I named it The Pineapple.


That car drove great and it was safe.  It did develop one idiosyncrasy. The driver’s door handle stopped opening from the outside.  This meant that I had to unlock the passenger side, lean through and push the door open and run back around.  OR—what usually happened is that I got in the passenger side and climbed over the center consol in my mini-skirt that matched my big 80’s hair and tassle boots.  (I know you’re all glad I couldn’t find a picture!)

I had a friend who had a bright orange Thing! Man, that car was ‘legit’, let me tell you!


I think the best first car ever was my best friend Kimberly’s.  She had an old tan Karmann Ghia.  Sure, it sounds all cool, and trust me, it was.  But it had a few idiosyncrasies of its own. First, it stalled ALL the time. Our high school was up on a huge hill and you had to inch your way up with all your classmates. When your car stalled on the way up that hill, everyone knew and they are all watching you get going again. To this day I swear that was the best practice on learning to drive a standard anyone could get.

But the really unique feature of her car was that the driver’s door wouldn’t stay closed.  A hard right turn and the door would fly open.  We felt the safest solution to this was to bungee cord the door handle to the emergency break.  Sure, if she turned REALLY sharp, the door would still fly open but it slammed back pretty fast. Safety first, people!

Our cars were part of who we were.  We drove them loaded down with our friends to our off-campus lunch.  We took them to the beach. Yes, we drove them more than a few times down to the border of Mexico for a night of well-behaved frivolity in Tijuana.  Ah, the memories!

I think your first car needs to have some bumps and bruises. It should be safe, without a doubt, but a showcase car it should not be! First cars are the makings of stories and memories. It’s a right of passage and the more character and quirkiness the better!

So, as I negotiate this first car milestone with my son, I want to hear about YOUR first cars. I know there are some great stories out there.  Take a trip back to your teenage years and the feeling of getting behind your own set of wheels, freedom calling your name … and tell us all about it!

A chance encounter with an inspiring phenomena

After seeing this video shared on Facebook, I couldn’t help but share it.  It’s a reminder that there are phenomenal moments in life that occur to take your breath away, make you feel a part of the universe and help you believe that if we all work together, small beings part of a huge world, we can be beautiful, majestic and inspiring.

Who has chills?  I can’t be the only one with shivers of goosebumps.  The animal kingdom and forces of nature have a way of spontaneously touching us because they are unpredictable and beyond our control.

Have you ever been a part of something this awesome?  I’d love to hear about your experience.

You in 10 words!

I’ve been taking part in an amazing online workshop about branding, building a platform and blogging which is being taught by Kristen Lamb, who wrote We Are Not Alone and Are You There Blog, It’s Me Writer.

One of the first exercises was to make a list of 100 words that can be used to define us.  Some people really struggled, some didn’t. Eventually, I think we all got the hang of it.

The exercise fascinated me.  As I read through my classmates’ lists I saw so many similar words and I saw words I wished I’d thought of (and I did add them to my master list — I’m not above sharing notes!)  What was so great is that you can really get an overall feel for a person in the mass of words they used to describe themselves.  I even thought it would work fabulously as a dating service technique, but I digress and I’d like to assure my darling husband that I won’t ever be needing a dating service … he’s totally stuck with me!

I’ve already connected with a lot of my classmates.  I have great new friends.  When I read their 100-list I thought, ‘well, no wonder we get along’!

I thought it would be fun to really narrow the scope and give myself 10 words, only 10 to define me.  Oh, and let’s leave off the obvious ones (mother, wife, friend, sister, etc.) I’ll give you my 10 if you give you yours.  It’s fun, I promise.


You only have 10 words to tell someone ‘who you are’!

Ginger’s Ten:  Writer – Fitness – Strength – Loyal – flip-flops – competitive – Wine – Smartass – Cooking – Christian

Ok, that was actually hard, 10 not enough words!!  But now it’s your turn. Tell me in the comments what your 10 words are!

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