Monday, September 12, 2016

Take a Break!

Gooooood Morning Blogland!

Do you guys know that I just love you? Because I do. I don't know why anyone comes to see what kind of nonsense I'm writing at any given moment, but you do and I appreciate you so much.

Having said that, I'm going to be taking a break from this blog.

The Fella and I are starting a new endeavor. If you're friends with either of us on Facebook, you probably already know about www.afterwords.io, our site where we have begun discussing all things books and reading. I am VERY excited about this because it gives us both a site where we can dork out like Whoa, but like every new project, it is taking up time and energy and resources. I imagine that there will be a time when I can do both, but right now? I can't.

So please join us over at Afterwords, won't you? You can subscribe, and interact with us on Facebook (because we have a FB page, obvs) and hang out and talk books and reading and awesomeness.

Eventually, I'll be back here. I'll keep y'all posted.

All the hugs,

Yellie

Friday, September 2, 2016

Rewind: Love. Story.

This originally posted on 7/25/14, and it's one of my favorite things of everything I've ever written. I just love that Fella. 


The first time I fell in love, I was fifteen. There was a boy -- a lovely, amazing boy -- that I went to high school with who stole my heart.

He had no idea this was the case. He thought we were friends.

We were friends, but I loved him. I loved him in a way that I had never loved anyone before or since; it was wholly unselfish. I just wanted him to be happy. If I had learned that in order for him to be happy I would have to step in front of a moving vehicle, I would have done it. I simply loved him.

To this day, if you said this boy's name to my mom, she'd say, "Oh Yellie. You loved him," and everyone in the room would nod as if to say, it was so sweet and so ... not happening.

Because as it turns out? Life is not a love story.

Except, of course, for when it is.

*****

The good thing about being fifteen (and anyone who's dealt with fifteen year olds on a regular basis will probably agree with me here) is that it's temporary. You grow out of it and move on to other, moderately obnoxious ages like eighteen and twenty-one and thirty.

The better thing about being fifteen -- and every age before or after -- is  that you carry pieces of that self with you. Sometimes those pieces are large and become major portions of your character. Sometimes they're little slivers and mementos that you take out of your pocket and run your thumb over. Either way, you have them.

As we all do, I outgrew being fifteen, but my sliver -- my lovely memento -- was the memory of loving that boy. I went on, of course, to fall in love with other people because that's what you do. Relationships. Breakups. Love, with all of its different faces. It's a thing.

If I occasionally took the time to remember that boy and my fifteen year old self, it was with a sense of amazement, that I had ever thought that love could be that simple, and the wish that maybe somehow? It
could be that simple.

And then? I'd throw myself into the next thing.

*****

That lovely boy and I became friends as adults. Twenty years had passed. Things had happened -- marriages, children, relocations, careers. Twenty years is a long time. He was actually more delightful than I had remembered him being -- funnier, more thoughtful.

This annoyed me a bit, to be honest, because it seemed that my fifteen year old self had more discernment than my adult self when it came to people.

Well, I thought, he's changed some. So have you.

So. Friends. Friends from afar, mostly, via the internet because -- you know, all of the life stuff and busy-ness that comes with it. We saw each other now and again, the way you do, but not often.

The thing was, though, that when I did see him, fifteen year old Yellie would tap me on my no-longer fifteen year old shoulder. "You totally love him," she'd say, flipping back her overly permed hair.

"Of course I love him, stupid. He's my friend."

"Yeah right," she'd smirk.

I'd think, I really can't do this again. Who does this?

Until the day that he told me that he was sorry, this might screw up our friendship, but he was in love with me.

Which, to be honest, made me want to punch him. That only lasted about three seconds, before I confessed to the same, but still.

*****

The last time I fell in love, I was thirty-eight. In an unlikely chain of events, the first person I loved turned out to be the best, most amazing person I've ever loved.

Of course -- and don't think that I don't point this out regularly -- I figured it out when I was fifteen. It just took him some time to catch up.

Life is a story.

Sometimes, it's a love story.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rewind: Home. Work.


This piece originally posted on 10/17/12 when I (obviously) worked from home. Y'all, if you know someone who works from home? Don't say any of the below things. PLEASE. 


There are very few things that send me over the edge faster than the following:

“Oh my GAWD, you work from home? You must get sooooo much done around the house!”

Or

“THAT IS SO AWESOME. YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO SHOWER.”

Or

“So you work like, what, three or four hours a day?”

Or

“That would be awesome if you had kids. You wouldn’t even need daycare.”

Can we just discuss this for a minute?

Yes, I do get things done around the house. AFTER or BEFORE work. Because during work hours? I’m WORKING. If you worked in an office building, would you be able to stop what you were doing to clean your kitchen? No? Me either, even though technically the kitchen is only a few rooms over.

Yes, I shower. I get dressed too. One, because I like to be clean and fresh-smelling. Two, because working from home doesn’t mean becoming a slovenly lump of humanity. Thanks though.

No, I don’t work three or four hours a day. I work more like eleven to twelve hours a day, because it’s right there. I am also on call during evenings, on weekends, and on vacations. I can’t walk away from my office. I don’t have a commute during which to unwind.  I just have a room, a computer, and a smart phone. They’re always there. I work more hours working at home than I would if I worked off site. 

I wouldn’t need daycare? Are you crazy? Would you bring your children to your office and try to have meetings and conference calls with clients every day? I don’t have children, but if I did? I would ABSOLUTELY need daycare. In fact, for my employees who have children at home? Daycare is pretty much required. 

I don’t know why people think that working from home isn’t work, or is less work, or is not important work. I don’t know why people think that because I don’t get into a car every day and drive someplace I must have a cushy job where I just kind of cruise along, eating ice cream and watching tv in my pjs. 

BUT IT DRIVES ME INSANE.

And the next person who makes me get on this soapbox? Is probably going to wish they hadn’t.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Rewind: Turkey Day Part Four -- The Reckoning

I am going on vacation in a week and I am BUSY, y'all, so I'm going to be reposting some of my more popular pieces. This piece originally posted on 11/28/13 (and had some companion pieces: Part OnePart Two, and Part Three). Enjoy! I'll be back in a few weeks!

Turkey Day Part Four: the Reckoning

I

After all of the advice and instruction, I went with... Well, I still don't know for sure. I have roasting bags (in case I go for that) and tinfoil (for tenting, in case I don't) and a baster (which I do or don't need depending on who you ask). I have lemons and onions and rosemary to put in the cavity. I have herbed butter to put under the skin (the idea of which makes me whisper "it puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again").

I have four cookbooks, two magazines, and a printout from the Butterball website on my counter.

I woke up at 6:30 thinking about stock. Two recipes (and a friend) said I need it. But I don't have any. 

I've also realized I don't have any dessert-type noms and if you think my brain can cope with the notion of making anything else right now, you are crazy. But then, so am I, because apparently I  am going to the grocery store.

II

Everything seems more doable when the wine rack is fully stocked. Everytime I walk past it, I swear it winks at me. "Relaxxxx. I can toooootaaallly help you with this." (It sounds like the surfer dude turtles in Finding Nemo.)

Anyway.

I don't feel good about my trip to the grocery store. I mean, the nice people shouldn't have to be at work. That's crappy. But then again, they looked bored, so ... I don't know.

Maybe after I finish my coffee I'll start tackling this beast.

III

Or I could just order Chinese food.

IV 

No, I'm going to cook it. 

V

Everyone who told me that turkey is easy is a lying asshole.

Here's what happened: I took the turkey out of its shrink wrap and discovered this mystifying bit of hard plastic holding the feet together.

No one had mentioned this, ever. In all of my turkey talk, not one person ever said, "oh and it will be wearing plastic shoes. Like Barbie. Only, you know, not."

However. Everyone and some of their uncles was all "get the neck and gizzards out! That's yucky! Can't cook with those in!" so I thought -- rationally -- that Barbie needed to lose her footwear and got out the scissors. 

Yeaaaaah that didn't work. I don't know how that's attached but, even though the feet were released, the plastic was firmly anchored in.

So -- cursing to myself -- I filled the sink with cold water thinking, I'll thaw it out.

Nope.

Oh, and everyone who was all "the gizzards and such are in a bag?" YOU LIE. There was no bag. There was what looked like the leavings of a serial killer stuffed into my turkey. I didn't know if I should keep wrestling with that plastic bit or call in CSI. It was nightmareish.

So I did what any rational Yellie would do: I called my mom.

"This? Is a fucking nightmare!" I said, not at all dramatically.

"What?"

I explained the shoes and the icky. She said, "oh. You just ... Leave the shoes on."

I looked at my turkey. "What? I needed to take the Ickers out because they were in a bag but plastic shoe tie things are okay? I don't understand this and, fuck it, I'm not doing it."

"Yes you are."

"Might as well. Can't suck less."

So I cut off what I could see of the plastic, grimly reached in and yanked out the Ick, and went to work. Quartered lemons, stuffed 'em in the cavity. Chopped up an onion and stuffed that in too. Rosemary sprigs -- in you go. Pulled the skin away from the breasts and slid my hand in. I thought, "It's like a glove!" And then thought "I am going to be in therapy forever."

Under the skin: butter. More lemon. On the skin: olive oil. Rosemary. Salt and pepper.

Poured stock in the roasting pan, added lemon and onion and rosemary to THAT, and picked it up to put in the (preheated) oven.

And that was when my roasting pan broke.

"Fuuuuuuuuuucccckkkkk!" I said to the cat, who was keeping a curious but safely distant eye on the whole thing. And then I just got MAD. "Cook a turkey, they said! It's easy they said!" 

The handle on the roasting pan listed uselessly to the side. Mocking me.

"I was in O.M., pan. Screw you." I got a cookie sheet out and put it underneath. It barely fit but no matter.

TurkeyZilla is in the oven.

And I need a drink.

VI

Note: if you're gonna baste, even though your mom told you not to bother, try not to melt one of your silicone potholders when sliding the oven rack out. 

But if you DO happen to do that? It would be a good time to open that wine.

VII

Second basting. Managed not to fill the house with the acrid smell of melted silicone. Have no idea if the meat thermometer is touching the thigh bone or not (it's not supposed to. I don't think) so I'm hoping the pop up timer is a thing that works? Or something?

I'm also hoping I can get that thing out of the oven without spilling molten lava cooking liquids over myself, what with the "broken roasting pan" issue. That will NOT make for a festive holiday, and I don't want to have to explain my folly in the ER. Next year? I'll buy a real roasting pan.

Maybe.

More wine, anyone?

VII

After four hours in the oven, the juices in the pan seemed like they needed to be siphoned off a bit. Which wouldn't be a problem because I have a baster, but which was a problem due to clumsiness.

That's okay. My entire kitchen needed to be scrubbed down anyway. Probably.

On the other hand? The pan juices smell so amazing that I'm almost sorry that I'm not making gravy. ALMOST.

VII

Is it done?

VIII

I think it's done. Maybe?

IX

I'm taking it out.

X

I hope it's done. 

I hope it's not TOO done.

XI

Holy shit. It's delicious.

I have no idea how this happened, and I have no idea what I'm doing with all of this turkey. 

But.

I do have a notion that I need to thank some people for their advice. So, in no particular order, thanks and big hugs to:

Charlene Hayes, Jodie Coward, Jessica Brodeur, Julie Rowe, Linda Campbell, Kristen Flink, Tricia Finch, Dot Winchell, Helene Harriman, Kelly Tipping, Neha Vanscoy, Shilo Fiel, John Perham, Matt Bemis and anyone and everyone else who offered advice and encouragement along the way (or invited me to eat with them and avoid the horror). 

You guys are awesome. 

And Martha Stewart can kiss my ass.

Omnomnom.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Randoms

I

"The word 'engaged' has GAG in the middle of it."

"..."

"What? It's TRUE!"

II

"Why haven't I heard from her yet?"

"Well. She might still be at the doctor. OR... She might be eating a delicious hamburger!"

"..."

"I'm just saying. She has options."

III

"Awww, Townhouse is so funny. Serving size, three crackers. HAHAHAHAHA."

"That's like Ben and Jerry saying there are four servings in a pint. No, there is ONE. Come on boys, get serious. Plus, would I even be spooning this into my face if I was concerned about serving sizes?"

IV

"Ugh. Facebook post: Life isnt about how many breathes you take but about the moments that take your breathe away."

"..."

"Apparently, life is NOT about punctuation. Or spelling."

V

"I would like that guy? Except that he's a terrible person who triggers a reflex in me that makes me want to punch him directly in the junk."

"But except for that?"

"Except for that I would totally enjoy him."


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Temporary

I was feeling super anxious about a thing (because, as y'all know, this is what I do) and working myself into a full-fledged, panic riddled, unable to breathe mess when I suddenly thought:

This is temporary.

It was like flipping a switch.

Since that moment, I have felt something that I can only describe as peace. It's like I have suddenly discovered a giant pool of zen and am just gently back floating in it.

I wish I had figured this out years ago. I mean, I had obviously heard the saying "this too shall pass" but it has never resonated with me like "this is temporary" is.

Because when you start to think about it? Life is temporary. In the grand scheme of things, our time is short. It has a finite stretch. Within that teeny span come and go so many moments. Some will be of great joy. Some will be filled with stress. Some will be so funny that you will laugh until you are crying. Some will be filled with pain. Some will be easy. Some will be incredibly hard.

But they all come ... and then they go.

So if you are sad? Know that it is temporary. It is not forever.

If you are angry? This is temporary. You will move through and past it.

If you are scared? It's just in this moment. Your fear will subside.

If you are anxious? It will go away.

It's temporary.

And it's going to be okay. I promise.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Adulting, Part 8973463746

I'm finally, at forty, starting to get some of this being a grown-up stiff down. For example, I now recognize that Diet Coke is NOT actually the same thing as drinking water. * Also, I totally understand that putting vegetables on pizza does not make it a salad, and that wine is NOT just liquid fruit. I also have gotten better about making a list before I go to the grocery store** and then actually buying the things on the list so that I have things to make meals and not just a random assortment of unrelated foodstuffs and six bottles of wine.

I know! ADULTING!

There are, of course, the things I am still terrible at, like throwing away magazines after I read them. What am I keeping them for? I HAVE NO IDEA. But they're still in a big stack in our book room. I'm still afraid of the dentist and bad about going to the doctor; I'm getting better about this, but I'm not super good at it.

Anyway.

Yesterday was grocery day, so I planned out meals and then we went shopping. I was making pasta for dinner (yay gluten free pasta).

OR SO I THOUGHT.

Because in the afternoon, The Fella said, "Do you want to get Chinese for dinner? I know that's not the plan, but ..."

Let's see ... did I want delicious Chinese food? Do little birdies chirp in trees? Damn straight I wanted Chinese food!

Oh, but the pasta. It was kind of a complicated thing to make on a weeknight. Humph, what to do.

And that's when the adult-y part of my brain kicked in. "You could make it today," it whispered. "You could make it today and then tomorrow it will be all ready! You'll just have to heat it."

Okay, so here's the deal: I KNOW that this is a thing people do, this cooking things in advance. I believe there are entire television shows devoted to the concept. It's just not a thing I do, because I am organized, but I'm not THAT organized. That's, like, Martha Stewart organized, and I'm only at Yellie-level.

But I did it. I made today's dinner yesterday. It's kind of exciting, like the dinner fairy came, only I'M the dinner fairy. IT'S ME! WOOHOO!

Now if only I could take care of that pile of magazines ...


*What? Weight Watchers used to count it as being the same thing.)

**Well, USUALLY