blogging


Let me preface this post by saying I woke up in a complete funk.  Sure, there are work pressures.  Sure, those people that we refer to as our family don’t do what they’re supposed to do half the time.  Sure, everyone is worried about something.  But I woke up thinking  I have more than a usual amount of crap going on right now.   And I knew I wasn’t alone, but I still wanted to wallow in that.  Hence the funk.

What I also know is this.  I have lots of friends out there in blogland.  And they are on my mind as much as my friends that are within hugging distance.  And they have a lot of stuff going on right now.  Serious health issues.  Unemployment.  Depression.  Anxiety.  Parents having surgery.  New babies.   You name it, someone’s dealing with it.  So there you have it.  The recipe for a perfect, blue, funk.

But in steps Kate.  One of the coolest kids on the ‘net.  Smart, funny, sympathetic, empathic, compassionate – you name it.  She’s amazing.  And she has had way more than her share of funk-inducing ick (it’s a medical term – trust me) lately.  And in her usual honest and forthright manner, she has shared it with her readers.  So today, when I checked in on her blog to see how she’s doing, imagine my surprise at finding this.

And you know what? I was inspired.  I was inspired to put aside every crappy thing I have on my mind.  To put off the very nasty but necessary e-mail that I need to write to Miss Priss’ school administrators.  To do something significant.  To do something beyond the realm of my responsibilities or what people might expect as normal from me.

To pay it forward.  To take Kate’s simple yet perfect example of knowing that we are, all of us, part of something bigger, and to do something with that knowledge.

Won’t you join me?

I wanted to take a second (or two) to wish you all a very Happy New Year.  I hope that 2009 brings all that you wish for.

This year marks my 4th year of blogging.  This year will also mark a major milestone for me — one that is really hard to get my head around — the fact that I’ll be turning 50.

God, it’s hard to think of myself being that age.  I don’t feel it.  Emotionally.  Physically. Any way at all.  By age 50, my mother was already old.  She had had a couple of strokes and a host of other health issues.  But she also smoked two packs of non-filter cigarettes a day and didn’t take good care of herself.    So healthwise, I’m in much better shape.

I’ve learned in this nearly half-century (gah! there I go again with the freakout!) on earth that I don’t have to surround myself with people that I don’t care for.  Whether they are shallow, insensitive, bigoted, opinionated, whatever, I don’t have to be around them.  I can instead surround myself with people that I care about.

And that brings me to the point of this post — and yes, there is a point.  In my four years in the blogosphere, I have discovered a whole other world.  I’ve made friends – real friends.  And they are all over the world.  These are people I otherwise never would have known existed.  These people are you.

And these people — young and old — gay and straight — living anywhere from Destrehan, Louisiana to Sydney, Australia — conservative, liberal, insane — you people — are my friends.

We’ve been through it all.  We’ve been through marriages and break-ups.  Health crises and clean bills of health.  Childbirth and empty-nest.  We’ve cried.  We’ve laughed.  Laughed some more.  We’ve cooked.  We’ve watched a lot of football.  A lot.  Of. Football.

Some of you have gone through major life changes.  Some of you met right here in the blogosphere and are beginning a new life together as a result (you know who you are, and it’s your story to tell, but I’m so damn happy for you two that I could just about bust!).

I’m just so happy to have been a part of it all.  I’m happy to have shared even a part of your lives with you.  I’m happy to have cried with you and prayed for you and laughed when you did something stupid.

I’m happy to have shared my ups and downs with you, too.  From catching my nose on fire to almost breaking my wrist punching the washer.  From sharing memories of my mom and dad to complaining about being the parent of two teenagers.  You’ve all been there for me, giving me way more credit than I deserve and making me feel infinitely better about myself.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful 2009.  With all of you.

Wheee! An award! And from one of my home girls, Andie at Sweet.Southern.Spirited!

According to the rules, I need to list 6 things that make me happy!  Which is a great exercise this week, when I really need to stop – breathe – repeat.  And be thankful.

So here goes:

1. My family.  We’ve been through a lot and have come out stronger as a result.

2. My blogfriends.  You guys rock.

3. This time of year.  From now until New Years’.

4. Ending this year with no one in my extended family having to deal with unemployment.  It’s been a long time since that happened.

5. Cooking a meal and enjoying it with family and friends.  (Stole this one from Andie.  She and I are twins separated at birth.)

6. Paying bills and having money left over.

So here are the rest of the rules!

List 6 things that make you happy.  (Did that!)
Pass the award on to 6 bloggers for Kreativ.
Link to the blogger who gave you the award.
Link to the blogs receiving the award.
Notify the recipients.

If you guys don’t mind, I’m gonna have to give the remainder of the instructions some thought.  There are many folks that come to mind — indeed, the people that are in my feedreader are there because they ARE creative, and there are way more than six of them.  To make it worse, many of them don’t like being tagged.  So I am in a bit of a dilemma, and I hope that Andie forgives me for bending the rules a bit.

Hey, 3 posts in 3 days.  Never thought I’d make it!  (Yes, I measure my successes in teensy weensy baby steps, thankyouverymuch.)  It’s not so bad, especially since they made the mistake of reminding us at the NaBloPoMo site that all you have to do is post — just post something. Heh.   Right up my alley.

And you thought you’d find substance here.  You’re funny.

Anyway, I thought we could all use a little humor on this Election Eve.  You KNOW I’m up-to-here with divisive political rhetoric and really bad commercials.  And I can tell, from your comments, e-mails, tweets, etc., that most of you are as well.  So here’s something to lighten the mood.

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
GRANDPA: In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road.  Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MCCAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he  recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

SARAH PALIN: You betcha he crossed the road, but let’s not talk about that, let’s talk about energy policy, and how gosh darn hard it is for a middle-class hockey mom to manage the budget of the only state in America with a massive surplus, especially while surrounded by Countless Russian and Canadian chickens we have to keep an eye on.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure – right from Day One! – that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken…What is your definition of crossing?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am  now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain… alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can’t you people see the plain truth? That’s why they call it the ‘other side.’ Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like ‘the other side.’ That chicken should not be crossing the road. It’s as plain and as simple as that.

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

(For the record, I’m STILL snickering at the Ernest Hemingway one.)

…Some random thoughts today:

  • Shopping for a vehicle for your child is more difficult than shopping for one for yourself.  Sure, you want the best deal, a good warranty, etc.  But is there one that protects him from everything and everyone?  That gives him good judgment?  That tops out at 40 mph?
  • October is one of my favorite months here.  Except for whatever allergen is in the air that is making me one cranky, sneezy, sniffly b*tch.  (Hmmm…I almost make a full set of dwarves…)
  • Tuesday cannot get here quickly enough.  Regardless of the outcome, I am so over this election season.  Nationally and locally, it’s been one of the most divisive I’ve seen.
  • Regardless of the fact that my team is not playing like last year’s championship team, I am loving this football season.  And have fallen in love with Texas Tech.  Man, that game rocked.
  • There is WAY too much Halloween candy at my house right now.  And since I culled out the crap, there are none of those caramels with the white centers.  Who eats those things?  Blech.
  • My dog needs a bath, and that fact alone is keeping me at the computer.  Anybody wanna volunteer?
  • I really don’t think I can wait until July for the new season of Mad Men.  I really don’t think you all know how much I mean that.

I could do this all day, but since I’ll need some of those random thoughts on another day of NaBloPoMo, I’d better save them.  So, I’m off to enjoy a beautiful Sunday.

Which of you is coming to give the dog a bath?  I have candy.

Yeah, well, I’m in.  There is NO freakin’ way I’ll make it, but Jen’s comment asking for a new recipe did the trick.  I figured, well, I’ve been a cook since I was 10, so I’m sure I can fill in with recipes on days when the writer’s block sets in.

You know, when I first started blogging, I was able to post daily.  Posts entered my head at such a random pace that I found myself jotting ideas down regularly.  I don’t know what happened, but the ideas stopped.  I was soon faced with shutting it down completely or managing to come up with something on an irregular basis.  I made the decision to keep Jambalaya up for a little while longer, and here we are.  It’s almost a challenge to me to see if I’m able to keep it up.

And it’ll be a challenge to you to remain interested.

First things (and first posts) first, then.  Since Jennifer left a comment at my last post asking for a new recipe, here you go.  This is one that I’ve shared with several friends and one that I SWEAR has gotten people engaged.  It’s that freakin’ good.  Trust me.

HOT ONION SOUFFLE DIP

3 8-oz. packages cream cheese
1 bag frozen chopped onions (12-16 oz.)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

Bring cream cheese to room temperature. In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese with mayo until smooth. Add in Parmesan cheese, followed by onions. Mix well. Spoon into 9 x 13 greased baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Serve with Frito’s Scoops or Triscuit crackers.

(Note: DO NOT TRY TO MAKE THIS DIP HEALTHY. DO NOT use lo-fat cream cheese or mayo. DO NOT use nasty-ass Parmesan cheese in a can. DO NOT use fresh onions. DO trust me. This is worth the fat grams and calories. You can go back to lo-fat tomorrow.)


 

Someone please, please tell me why these are the most common search terms that bring droves* of folks to my site:

 

Pumpkin bars

 

Mmmm good

 

Turpentine + chest cold

 

Word nerd

 

Saturday night live mah

 

Prune juice toddy

 

My aunt, very well endowed

 

Obviously, a couple of them make sense. The rest of them? Well? They, um, kinda give me pause.

*Droves. Yeah. It’s relative.

 (Oh. And didja notice?  My title is one of those whose meaning changes if you place the emphasis on different words within it.  Give it a try.  I actually went through all of them before I settled on “what.”)

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