When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left

For the last few years, my favorite quote has been this:

Source: google.com via Leah on Pinterest

Let’s face it, I’ve been “handling” Plan B most of my life.  Hell, Plan C and D even.  Sometimes, Plan Z.

And why?  Why does plan A never work?  Maybe plan A sucks.  Sometimes, I KNOW it does.

But I’m getting old (er).  And frankly, rather tired.

It’s time for Plan A to work for a change.

So for the new year, I’m adopting a new mantra.

Source: lolhome.com via Leah on Pinterest

In 2012, I plan to go left.  I’m going to go left so often you can start calling me Jeff Gordon.  Or whatever Nascar racer happens to be relevant right now.

Not that 2011 sucked.  I would classify it as “okay.”  Some bad, a fair amount of good.  But the bad?  Same. Old. Crap.  Maybe “going left”  will help straighten that shit out.  Maybe not.  But I think it’s worth a shot.

So say it with me ya’ll:  When nothing goes right…….

Go left.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Hey there ya’ll! I know, I know, where have I been?  I’ve been here.  Just haven’t felt like writing, honestly. Things have been interesting around here, to say the least.  But really, aren’t they always?  Also, interesting doesn’t always equal good.  

I’ve got some changes in the works, but they’ll probably be moving a little slower than I wanted, so I’m going to keep writing here for the time being.  But hopefully sooner rather than later, I’m planning to move to a shiny new site.  Hooray!

Back to Christmas.  Here’s the story of ours.

Since my divorce, we generally do some variation of the same thing at Christmas.  Girls are always with me on Christmas Eve.  Even though this means I’m always responsible for the “big” gifts for the girls, I’m good with this.  I love Christmas Eve, it’s my favorite.  This Christmas Eve was a little different, since my brother went to visit his fiance in Canada, it was just me, my mom, the bf, and the girls.  We had a good time. Ate pizza, played games, watched A Christmas Story, drank nog.  Same stuff we normally do, just on a smaller scale.  

On Christmas morning, the plan was the the ex’s sister would pick up the girls on her way to her parents’ house.  The girls would spend Christmas day with their dad and their other grandparents.  The Mama and I always go to a movie on Christmas day, which we had planned to do this year as well.  We were going to pick up the girls after the movie and dinner.  

Girls wake up super early, which was good, I didn’t want to have to rush for them to get ready to go.  We open gifts, eat breakfast, I send M to the shower.  I was wondering why I had not heard from their aunt, so I called her to see if they had left.  She had.  But she had news.

News that really didn’t come as a shock to anyone.  The ex was in jail.  For a DUI on Christmas eve.  Now I had a decision to make.  Do I tell the kids or make something up?

Already on V’s birthday, I had made up a story of why her dad never called.  I can’t even remember what I said.  He wasn’t getting a signal or something like that.  Truth?  No one new where he was.  He was supposed to show up after school to take the girls for ice cream.  Never showed.  So I lied. To spare V’s feelings.  

But this time?  I didn’t feel like lying.  Yes, I knew this had the potential to ruin Christmas.  But you know what?  He doesn’t deserve for me to lie for him anymore.  And the girls deserve to know the truth.

So, on Christmas morning, I sat my beautiful daughters down and told them they would not be seeing their father today.  Because he was in jail.  For driving after he had been drinking.  

Neither girl cried.  They didn’t really ask any questions.  Only one comment from M.  “Dad spends all his money on drinking, that’s why he doesn’t help take care of us.”  Not a question. A statement.  A fact. The truth.

I managed to salvage visits with the grandparents.  The mama and I went to the movie.  I highly recommend The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo if you haven’t seen it.  We picked the girls up.  Went to dinner.  Came home.  Everyone seemed happy.

I’m still not sure how affected they are by all of this.  Neither one has asked about him (he’s still in jail by the way).  Kudos to his mom for leaving him there.  

I don’t think Christmas was ruined.  At least I hope not.  I don’t want their ghost of Christmas past to be, “that one where Dad went to jail.” 

Here’s hoping there are no ghosts of Christmas future.  

Kiss My Cheese Grits

A few weeks ago I promised I would post my recipe for cheese grits so you could make them for your Christmas feast.  I made them at Thanksgiving.  I even took pictures.  I ate the grits.  ALL OF THEM.  They were delicious.  But I have not been motivated to write about them.

Probably because of shopping, homework, class parties, teacher gifts, and all of the other eleventy billion things there are to do.  And when I sit down to write I’m inspired to write goofy stuff like holiday letters and rants about people who say stuff that hurts my feelings.  But this morning I was all, “Leah, you are totally depriving these people of your grits making expertise.  Maybe some people don’t know how to make grits and then throw some cheese in.  Gah.”  I know. I’m super selfish that way.

So without further ado, my grits recipe.  And yes, I am hungry just thinking about them.  I love my carbs.

Cheesy Grits

Here’s whatcha need:

Quick grits, shredded cheddar cheese, velveeta, two eggs, and garlic.  (You’ll also need some milk and salt and pepper but I forgot to put those in the picture because I suck as a food blogger).

Cook the grits according to the package directions on how many servings you want.  One of my dishes was about six servings.  

These are the cooked grits BEFORE the glorious cheese hits them.

Add half a block of cubed velveeta and about 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese.  Then add a tablespoon of garlic and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir until cheese is slightly melted.

Then add the two eggs and ABOUT half a cup of milk.  (Another reason I suck as a food blogger, I NEVER use exact measurements. Also the same reason I hate to bake.)  I say ABOUT because you want it to be a little soupy but not too soupy.

Transfer to baking dish, or dishes as the case may be, sprayed well with cooking spray.

Top with more shredded cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 to 40 minutes.

Enjoy the cheesy deliciousness.

The best thing?  You can have them for any meal.  Or snack.  In fact, I want some now.  

Have a great weekend friends!

It’s Holiday Letter Time!

Last year at Christmas, I wrote this post about how I hate those holiday letters that people put with their Christmas cards. I’m gonna modify a bit and say that I don’t hate, hate them, I just wish they were more REAL.  C’mon people, give us the bad stuff too.  That’s life.   

I like to put my sarcastic, (but real), version of the letter I would write if I actually sent out cards up here on mah blawg.  Sadly, my letters don’t change much.  But THIS year, there’s a little more happiness than in the past.  So *cheers* to that. 

Here we go:   (also, you should consider this your card.  you’re welcome.)

Dear Friends,

What can I say about this past year?  If I were to give this past year a theme it would be this.  Hormones.  Lots and lots of mother freaking hormones.  That caused lots of crying.  And yelling.  And binge eating.  And wine drinking.  And new to the hormone party? Hot flashes.  (those last two are mine.  obviously.)

My children are still insane.  Related:  I’m still looking for that extra cash to buy stock in a vineyard.  I’m sure the 8k I’m owed in back child support would put a nice dent in that.  Yep, nothing has changed THERE.

But we’re healthy.  And happy.  My girls are wicked smart and talented.  And they make me proud every single day.  Well, except those days with, you know, ALL THE HORMONES.

And thanks to The Mama, we even got to go on a vacation.  

Could we BE any blonder?

Anyhoo, all in all 2011 didn’t suck.  I made some new (forever) friends, went back to school, and was for the most part, happy.

Sure, we struggle.  Who doesn’t?  But I don’t think I cried as much this year.  I’ll consider that a win.  

Have a great 2012 friends.  

Peace, Love & Santa,


It’s My Party

I am very non confrontational.  Very.  Since I’ve had kids, I’ve gotten over this a bit.  I’ll stick up for them before I’ll stick up for myself.  And in relationships, I’ll admit to being very passive aggressive. I say things like, “whatever,”  “it’s fine,”  “I’m not mad.”  When I most certainly AM mad and it is NOT fine.  Probably why I stayed in a horrible, terrible, marriage for fourteen years.  Moving on.

When it comes to the interwebs and my bloggity blog though, I TRY not to be this way. If I’m mad about something, I say it.  Mad about something that happened at school with my kids?  I say it.  Mad about something that happened with the asshole ex?  SAY it.  This is my space not to hold things in.  

But I rant about things that apply to me.  Just me.  Or my kids, or my job or something relating to ME. I do not use my blog, or my Facebook page, or the Twitter to cut people down about their choices.  Unless you are trying to force your opinions down my throat, at that point I probably will.  But again, it applies directly to ME.  

So now that I’ve had a moment to talk about me, me, me, I’ll get to the point of this post.  And I do have one.  I promise.  Over the weekend, I was perusing The Twitter, and I read something that really struck me the wrong way.  It wasn’t aimed at me specifically (at least I don’t think so), but it applied to me. And it really hurt my feelings.  It wasn’t mean specifically.  Just rude. And better than.  Like the author of the comment thought they were better than the people who did that specific thing he/she was commenting on.  

I’m not going to say what it was. There’s no reason to call out this person specifically.  And if you know what I’m talking about PLEASE don’t call the person out in my comments or publicly on The Twitter.  I’ll talk to you about it, just email me or send me a DM.  I’m not sure WHY I’ve let that one little comment get to me the way that I have.  But the fact is, I have.  

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my blog and my twitter following, etc.  Thinking about what I want it to be. What I’m doing with my spaces, if you will.  What I’m not doing is making money.  I don’t think I’m ambitious enough, honestly.  I’m not going to tell stories and say that I don’t care about numbers and comments.  I do.  But I don’t think I care about them in the way of, I want a lot of them.  I care about them in the way that I care about people coming to a party.  If I’m having a party, of course I want people to come.  But I want my friends to come.  And I want them to tell me how cute my house is and how delicious my food is.  I don’t want to invite someone just because I want a lot of people there.  Especially if those people I invited “just for the numbers” are going to make bitchy comments that hurt my real friend’s feelings.  

That’s how I’m going to start thinking about my blog and my social media accounts.  It’s my party. I’m going to invite who I want.  Sure, others may show up.  They may mingle and be perfectly nice.  Awesome. I LOVE those nice people who show up that I didn’t expect.  I may meet my new best friend that way.  But please don’t show up, make a bitchy comment about my house, or houses like mine,  and then leave.  You won’t be welcome the next time.  

It’s the main message in life I teach my girls.  You don’t have to like everyone.  It’s damn near impossible to like everyone. Stand up for yourself, but at the same time, don’t cut others down.  There’s no reason for it.  

I may be trimming my guest list a bit. I’m a bit tired of those “friends of friends” that are always bringing down the mood, by saying they don’t like my friend’s clothes or the kind of beer I bought sucks.

But I AM still looking for the occasional crasher.  New party friends are the best.  

SOC Sunday – Boyfriends

It’s my favorite thing about Sunday, linking up with  Fadra for SOC.  

I tweeted and Facebooked over the weekend about how both girls now have boyfriends.  They are 10 and 12 (almost 13).  Guess it’s time to start a whole new ball of worry.  Because, you know, I need one more thing to worry about.

Friday night, Miss M had a dance to go to.  There were major, MAJOR tears before the dance.  I’m talking full on meltdown.  About clothes.  About shoes.  About make up.  And the biggest meltdown?  She didn’t have a date.  A DATE.  In seventh grade. Apparently she was the only one without a date.  Which I don’t believe, but whatever.

We finally managed to get it together, and even though she told me she thought her hair looked like she had recently been to a bar in the eighties, I managed to successfully get her to the dance.  

This is normal before dances. She normally has these meltdowns.  She’s ALWAYS over it before she gets home.  Friday night was no exception.  Except when she got in the car something was different.  She was downright giddy.  The difference this time?  She went into the dance boyfriend-less and came out having acquired herself one.

Now to the worry part.  I’m not worried about what they would do or anything like that.  She doesn’t go anywhere for them to be alone at all.  I diligently check her Facebook and chat logs.  In fact, I did this morning.  It was totally harmless.  The only conversation I saw between them was if she was going to the parade.  Which we didn’t because I had to work last night and I took her with me.  He was bummed she wasn’t going. It was cute.  Harmless.

But here’s what I’m worried about.  I do NOT want her self worth to be tied up in if a boy likes her or not.  *I* can only tell her she’s beautiful,smart, talented, etc. so many times before she doesn’t even hear me anymore.  

So for now, I’m not going to worry about it too much.  I’ll just let her enjoy her happiness for a bit.  And hope and pray that SHE will be the one to end the relationship.  Because I am NOT ready to deal with broken hearts yet.  

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.
1. Grab the button
(it’s over sidebar at Fadra’s Place)
2. Write your post.
3. Link up here.

The Best Project (And Teacher) Ever!

Hey.  Yeah, I know, I know.  I haven’t posted anything since Sunday.  I can pretty much count the one person who is upset about this (Hey Tiff!).  This week has been kind of crazy for us.  For some standards, a normal week.  But for us, crazy.  I finished one class (another A, go me!), started another, worked, two choir concerts, homework, lessons, etc.  

And Miss M had a time consuming math project that was due this week in the midst of all that.  Which is what I want to talk about.  It seems like every time I mention school here I’m always bitching about it.  Nothing gets me fired up as much as when I feel like an injustice has been done to one of my children.  Nothing.  So, I tend to go off about it, as most do.

But, for once, I’d like to talk about something good. This math project.  And specifically M’s math teacher.  First of all, even though M is in Pre Ap Math, she struggles.  If she’s going to have a B somewhere, this is the class.  We are right brained as a whole.  We like music.  And art.  And singing.  And writing.  And both girls (even the fourth grader), know better than to ask me for help with math.  I’m sure tutors are in our future and will probably have to start looking for one as early as next year.  And sorry M, I’m not finding you “a hot one,” as you requested.  Geez.

Back to the teacher and project.  I am in love with M’s math teacher.  She asked for email addresses at the beginning of the year.  She emails us about everything.  Upcoming tests.  Homework.  Projects.  Just to say thanks for helping our kids.  Now, if your kids are younger and you’re thinking this sounds annoying, let me assure you, it’s not.  Your children will stop talking to you.  About anything important.  Sure, they’ll recite the whole Super Mac 18 video they just watched.  But anything important like, do you have a test?  or, is all your homework done? , and you might get a grunt if you’re lucky.  Since this teacher is so wonderfully awesome, and keeps us informed, I can now ask specific questions. Did you study for your test on measurements?  Is your math vocabulary done?  I may still get a grunt for an answer.  But at least I get some kind of head shake along with it.  Communication from teachers rocks.

Now to the project.  I’m not going to get into the specific, because, MATH, duh.  But what I know, is they had to find a recipe for a baked good and make it.  Or, help their mom make it, because we all know how these things go.  And they had to figure out how much the recipe would make, and then break it down into fractions and measurements or something.  Who knows.  I handled the baking part. Obviously.  Trusted the kid that she knew what she was doing math wise.  So they make their recipe, do the paperwork, then we were to individually package all the goods and the kids were going to have a bake sale at school.  

Guess what they are doing with the money.

Do it.  Guess.

Having a party?  Nope.

Going on a field trip?  Nope.

Buying fancy math learnin supplies?  Nope.

They are adopting an Angel for Christmas.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

Between two classes of Pre Ap math they raised $628!

The bake sale was supposed to last three days.  They sold out in two.  In the five years of doing this, the teacher said the most they had ever made was $450.  

In addition to all of this, she gave the kids another recipe that they have to figure something out about.  I have no idea what, because AGAIN, MATH.  But she is opening her home on Sunday afternoon for the kids to come over and help with the recipe and find out the answer.  Then having a party for the kids on Monday (with her money I’m guessing) to celebrate the great job they did on the project.

I know not every teacher can be like this.  I’m not delusional.  I know there are some that are only there to get their paycheck, and have their summers off.  But every once in a while, you get a really, really, good one.  

And it restores your faith a bit.

Until the next stupid thing happens.

SOC Sunday – Routine

It’s my favorite thing about Sunday, linking up with  Fadra for SOC.  

I started school in August working on my degree in e-marketing.  I’ve fallen into a bit of a routine with my schoolwork and this morning it was totally messed up.  It’s freaking me out a bit. And I’m not sure why……

As of late, this has been my Sunday morning routine:  Wake up, make coffee, grab computer, take weekly quiz, answer discussion questions, write my SOC post, finish up any other school work.
I am at my BEST right when I wake up.  Always have been.  And I’m talking minutes within waking up.  It’s why I’m hoping to eventually land a job working from home.  I can get some serious work done before 8 a.m.
This morning, my routine was all thrown off.  M spent the day with friends yesterday and they didn’t get home until almost midnight.  I fell asleep for a bit on the couch, but woke up on and off waiting for them to get back.  After they got home I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I watched an entire movie before finally falling asleep.  Between that and the rain, I didn’t wake up until about 7:30.  I normally wake up before 6:00, so I already felt like I was behind on my day.
Then, I try to log onto my school portal and it’s not working.  Not sure what the deal is, but I’m guessing I’m going to have to make a call to tech support.  So, my quiz is not taken, I haven’t answered any discussion questions, and now I’m doing number three on my Sunday morning to do list.  
Not sure why it’s freaking me out so badly, but I feel like I’m going to be fighting an uphill battle today.  And did I mention I have a seven page paper to write?  I do.
That was really just a bit of rambling about my morning, but I’m feeling all discombobulated today.  Like I’m gonna fail my quiz and never get my paper written.  Because a few little things were out of sync.
How about you?  Do you let it throw you when your routine is messed up?  
I normally don’t.  Not sure why I’m stressing so much about it today.  Sigh.

This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…
  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.
1. Grab the button
(it’s over sidebar at Fadra’s Place)
2. Write your post.
3. Link up here.