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Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

Being on call this weekend has given me some well needed extra time around the house. I’ve kicked my “domestic god” into high and can say with great triumph that right now the hamper, washer and dryer are all empty. That gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling

I also took the opportunity to get back into baking mode. There’s something about the fall winds that sing “cheesecake! pies! cookies!” to me so naturally I had to indulge myself. In a way, it was Earl’s fault. He made a delicious homemade chicken soup in the crockpot this morning so I felt compelled to follow up with dessert. Hence, chocolate chip cookies.

Whenever I bake I’m reminded of my paternal grandmother. She was a good ol’ “farm wife” in that she baked her own bread, cookies and pies, made her own stews, soups and sauces and lots of other stuff as well, canned vegetables every fall, sewed her own dresses and held down a part-time job with the family business all at the same time. My grandmother was a fabulous cook. As a kid I used to go next door to her house after school to enjoy some milk and cookies. She would take time out of her schedule to watch ‘Bewitched’ and ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ reruns with me, sometimes doing the ironing or folding laundry while doing so. Looking back, it seemed like she baked every day. We continued to eat her cookies from the freezer for several months after her death. Earl never met my grandmother, but he did have the opportunity to have some of her cookies. After she passed away I found some of her recipes, pulled them out, copied them all down and the put them back where I found them. Using her recipes while baking is keeping her legacy alive.

As adults, my sister and I have said that we were lucky in that we have diverse grandmothers. While my aforementioned grandma could bake with the best of them, our maternal grandmother wasn’t big in baking, but she could grow plants and vegetables and she could knit, sew and crochet with the best of them. Need a doily to cover Arkansas? Need an afghan to cover up your car? Not a problem, she could whip both up in a week.

I made 4 1/2 dozen cookies today. But unlike my grandmother’s cookies, these won’t be around long enough to freeze. Bon appetit!


Handwriting Analysis.

Jumping in with the cool kids today, I’m following fellow blogger Terry’s lead and posting a sample of my handwriting. I don’t think my penmanship is terribly bad, but its not as good as it would have been had I continued my pursuit of a career in education.

I tried to follow Terry’s lead and write something dirty, but I kept blushing.

My Teeth Are Not Sunkist.

I want to know who had the grand idea of making everything citrus flavored these days. Oh my toothpaste is orange flavored, my mouthwash is orange flavored, the bathroom spritzer that masks awful smells is citrus scented; it seems like it’s all about the orange grove.

Of course, it’s my own fault. I fall for the stuff, hook, line and sinker.

Let me start off by saying the orange is my favorite color. Orange is my favorite scent. I love orange juice. If it wasn’t for that mean Anita Bryant, I’d embrace orange in every way possible. I thought that it might be nifty to have toothpaste with a little orange kick. But no, it just doesn’t seem right. My breath needs to be minty fresh, not citrus fresh.

Have you tried that citrus flavored Scope? Now that is terrible. I don’t know what chemical equation they used to come up with that flavor, but I think in about five years it’s going to prove to be toxic. Better living through chemistry, indeed.

I’m not surprised I jumped on the citrus bandwagon. Back in the 1990s I was one of the eight people that actually enjoyed Crystal Pepsi. I bought everything “clear” then, clear deoderant, clear laundry detergent, clear milk. We all know how long Crystal Pepsi lasted. It can be found on ebay today for a pretty penny.

Just think, in ten years you’ll probably be able to buy “Colgate Citrus Splash!” toothpaste for $50.00 on ebay! Save up your pennies.

Bad Habit.

I have this bad habit of spewing things when I’m in a bad mood. It’s not like my head is exploding or puke is shooting out of mouth or something equally horrendous but I tend to say things that I don’t really mean. I drop f-bombs. I get very demonstrative. For example, a customer was not very nice to me on the phone today. She wanted her problem resolved RIGHT NOW and wanted to know if I was going to do something about it, when in fact, I had already sent someone out to resolve the problem she was having and her assistant couldn’t find the key to the telephone equipment room. She was a bitch and I wasn’t in the mood for it, trying to dress me down on the phone like I don’t deserve respect or something because after all, I am a “service worker” at the telephone company. So after getting off the phone (which I surprisingly didn’t slam down) I told my co-worker that there are some women that just don’t deserve to be working or in positions of power.

Now I don’t know why I said that. It was very rude of me. I don’t really feel that way about women per se; I believe that there are many people, regardless of their sex, in positions of power that don’t deserve to be there. There’s all sorts of idiots, men and women, in high places around the world. In low places too and in every place in between.

Every single person on this planet has their place in the world; good people, bad people, those that contribute to society and those that take from society, every single person has a contribution to the this thing we call the human equation. I truly believe that. I believe that we can learn something from every person that we have contact with, and I believe that today, this woman showed me that I can say things in the heat of the moment that I don’t really mean. Then I write about it, think about it, share it on my blog and chalk it up to experience.

Now don’t cross me.

Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear.

This morning at work has been a whirlwind of activity. Telephone lines are going down, customers that plan on taking their business elsewhere are clucking like old hens, fax machines are refusing to answer that one ringy dingy, it’s all quite ridiculous. To add to the fun, were running short staffed today which I don’t really mind but it does add to the challenge quite a bit.

So I’m sitting here at home taking a quick lunch break, gobbling down the absolutely fabulous sandwich Earl made for me this morning thinking about the mayhem back at the office when I suddenly hear a sweet little song. A little chickadee, looking for shelter from the drizzly rain we’re having today, perched itself on the window sill and started singing it’s little tune.

Coincidence? I think not. It was just the universe reminding me that in the big picture you don’t really have to sweat a little speck of dirt.

Bare Feet.

Starting late last week I’ve fallen into the habit of having to take my shoes off during my lunch break. For some reason I just can not relax unless I am barefoot and feeling the freedom of prancing around the house as nature intended. I’ve always loved to be barefoot, but felt that the lunch hour is too short to enjoy the luxury. Last week I decided the heck with it and threw my shoes aside while I typed in my blog and enjoyed my lunch hour.

My blog friend Thom seems to have a concern for clean, presentable feet and I can confidently say that my feet are winners in that department. As long as you don’t look on the bottom. Running around barefoot all the time can result in some dirty feet. However, as I discovered when I was still in my single digits, that’s why Mother Nature gave us dew on the grass; so that we could run around and clean our feet.

I’m such a kid at heart.

Except for commuting to work I tend to drive barefoot. I’ve been told by people that I’m going to be stopped for driving barefoot but I don’t really see how that can happen since my feet are inside the car and the cops tend to be outside the car. It’s not like I have a neon light over the Acura yelling “bare feet!”.

There is also something very relaxing about having your feet rubbed. Even if it’s just your loved one rubbing your feet gently, I find it very soothing. Little lotions and whatnot are a wonderful thing too, but I’m content with just getting the knots in the bottom of my feet rubbed out.

When I was a kid, I paid the price one time for running around barefoot. We were at the baby sitter’s one summer afternoon running around in the yard. I was seven or so years old, running around chasing someone somewhere when all of a sudden it felt like my feet were on fire. I looked at the bottom of my feet and they were all gray and puffy. Turns out the sitter had dumped the coals out of her barbecue grill the night before and didn’t bother to pour water on them to cool them off, and they were still hot. I had burned the bottoms of both my feet. My mother is probably tearing up as she reads this. But nevertheless it didn’t slow my desire to be barefoot down, once my feet healed I was off running through the cow pastures and corn fields, meadow muffins and all, barefoot and loving every minute of it.

If you want to see a picture of my feet, look no further than the introduction page to our web site. Earl and I had our portraits taken a couple of years ago. Barefoot, of course.

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In the past I have sort of secretly enjoyed Earl’s business trips because it meant that I had the whole bed to myself and could get a good night’s sleep. There was no tossing and turning nor triple-digit decibel snoring coming from the other side of the bed, just myself curled up enjoying the quiet of the night as I slept peacefully.

After over 9 years of living together, I’m finding I miss the big lug when he’s out of town. I can’t get a good night’s sleep when he’s gone. My dreams, which I usually remember quite vividly, are just a hazy bunch of mismatched images. The room is exceedingly quiet, to the extent that I leave the radio on with NPR whispering BBC news and commentary into my slumber.

When Earl is home, he can be restless and have difficulty sleeping, so he usually retires to another part of the house; checking out what’s on television, messing around on his computer, whatever. I sleep through all of this activity because I subconsciously know that he’s nearby.

I don’t know who had the idea that married/partnered/shacked up/whatever couples need to sleep in the same bed all night long. In the past I’ve believed that you go to bed, get all wild by doing everything short of swinging from the chandeliers (though that could be fun too) and then roll over to your extreme sides of the bed so that you could get a good night’s sleep. As I get older, I’m finding that I’d rather follow up the wild part with just snuggling and settling in for the night, like two bears getting ready for their long winter’s nap.

Earl is in Asheville, North Carolina as I type. He’s taking a flight late this afternoon to Charlotte and then hopping a plane to home. I’m hoping that Hurricane Ophelia holds off long enough so that his flights will bring him home safely.

I don’t think I can sleep again tonight in an empty cave.

I Love The Nightlife.

I Love The Nightlife.

Originally uploaded by macwarriorny.

I covered on call tonight for a couple of hours to help out one of my co-workers. It was quiet with absolutely no calls, which is a little frustrating (yet peaceful) when the weather is this nice.

After he called and said he was taking back the on-call duties, I jumped in my car and decided to go for a little drive. I had the windows down, the sunroof open and Mix 102.5 cranked. I had planned on running to the corner convenience store and picking up lottery tickets. Forty-five minutes later, I was pulling back into the driveway.

If I had hair it would have been messy.

I find little more thrilling than driving the roads at night. Except perhaps having your partner by your side while you’re out on the road, but alas, he’s out of town on business tonight.

Change Of Pace.

It’s amazing what a change of pace can do for one’s psyche. There are those that have to have everything a certain way; they follow a set daily schedule, they eat certain foods and they do specific things. Try as I might, I just can’t subscribe to that philosophy when it comes to living my life.

For example, today I had the opportunity to go to our Syracuse office for work. I had never been there before and though I interact with just about everyone in that office on a regular basis, there were many that I hadn’t met face to face. After getting my little project done, I wandered through the cubicles introducing myself to put a face to a voice. It was a nice diversion and it gave my workday the little kick that it needed. When I returned to my cubicle at my home office, I found myself more focused and ready to take on the rest of the day. Here it is 3/4 of the way through the day and I’m finding the positive feelings lingering. It’s all good.

It’s amazing what a change in the routine can do.

For example, I think I worry about sleep too much. “Oh my God I need to get to bed at 10 so I can get up at 6 in the morning.” Maybe I should just go to bed when I’m tired and then deal with it the next day. Perhaps forcing myself to sleep when I’m really not tired is making me more tired the next day.

I tried to set a weekly cleaning schedule so that the house remained inhabitable. It never works out the way I want it to. Sometimes I feel like a Domestic God and run around cleaning and washing and polishing and shining. Sometimes I feel like a lazy slob. If I notice Earl putting a saddle on a dust bunny or Tom using the plants as a litter box, then of course I need to do something, but if I’m not in the mood, I’m not in the mood.

Perhaps I need to drop the anal retentive routine and engage in more of a controlled chaos.

And So It Begins.

Big Screen Television. Check.
DirecTV. Check.
Pizza and Wings. Check.
Constant Flow of Pop or Beer. Check.
Lover making himself busy elsewhere in the house. Check.

Football season has officially begun in our merry little household with the Eagles at Atlanta on Monday Night Football. Earl has installed himself in front of the television, I’ve heard few profanities and a couple of rousing cheers.

It’s good to see him so happy.