The Golden Heart

I mentioned that I took a trip home this previous August.  I was home for nearly three weeks, and the main reason I was home was because there was a big family reunion for my father’s side of the family.

My father’s side of the family rarely gets together, especially like this.  We’re not a huge family, unless you go out to third and fourth cousins, then there’s close to a thousand of us, but for my late grandfather and his brother, if you include their children and grandchildren, there’s approximately 30 of us.

We’re a strange bunch, to say the least.  While my father and I have a very strange relationship where we have a lot of unspoken agreements on how we talk to one another, I can say that I’m definitely much closer to my father’s side of the family.

My grandfather had a PhD, as well as tons of other degrees.  He went to college for thirty years straight, and he stopped college when he retired.  He had an IQ that was easily around 180, and absolutely no common sense.  However, as my uncle explained, he had the family’s Golden Heart.

I’m twenty four now, and I always knew that my grandfather had a golden heart.  Heck, it was the reason that I was so crushed when he passed nine years ago.  My grandfather was a person who had very strange ideas about everything around him.  He was a college professor, an engineer, and a member of the NRA.  He never wore socks, he would have my grandmother make his pants with deep pockets in case someone tried to pick pocket him.  He would bathe in laundry detergent.  For as long as I knew him, I never knew him to comb his thick, white hair.

He was a very, very strange man.  But my memories of him are never malicious.

When I was young, I mentioned that I really wanted to learn piano, but my parents couldn’t afford it.  My father filled vending machines and when he was home, he would scrap metal in the garage, my brother and I helping him.  He easily worked 80 hours a week.  My mother was a type setter and typed textbooks in the living room while raising my brother and I.  I give my father a lot of crap about how we were raised, especially after the divorce, but one thing I can never neglect is that my parents worked hard for the little they got, and they never let on just how hard it was to take care of us with the little they had.

My grandfather, a week later, found an old organ at a flea market and bought it for me.  He told me to just play around on it and maybe I could teach myself someday.

When I was an older, around 13, I had decided that I wanted to be a writer.  I would spend hours writing fan fictions and short stories.  By the time I was sixteen, I had written two novels, both of which I have in an old notebook in my closet.  I read all of the harry potter books several times.  I read every Janet Evanovich book that had been released at that time.  In school, I wouldn’t do my homework or really participate in class because I was always reading.  My head was always in the clouds, thinking about how I was going to be a famous writer someday.

My mother was supportive in a strange way, telling me that I’ll never make a living being a writer, and that I should shoot for something else.  My father laughed at me, many of my other relatives (I have 15 cousins and it’s rapidly growing, as well as several aunts and uncles), and they all rolled their eyes at me.  I felt, at the time, that nobody quite understood me.

But my grandfather always did.

When my grandma was in California for a week vising my uncle, I spent the week with my grandpa in Eastern Minnesota.  I mentioned to him shyly that I wanted to be a writer, and instead of giving me grief, he spent the entire weekend we had together talking about the different types of writing there is.  He was pushing for technical writer or grant writer, which makes a lot of money.  He told me I can do romance writing, and if that’s what I wanted to do, he would support me, but he said that he knew I was intelligent, and if I took after him, technical writing would be the route I would be best suited for.

Every time I saw him after that, he would ask about my writing.  He would then try to persuade me to pursue technical writing, but he understood me in a way that nobody else ever did.

Probably my fondest memory of my grandfather is when he and I were at the flea market.  When he retired he became a blacksmith, because he found it fun.  He would sell bronze knives and plant stands that he made himself, as well as other blacksmith goods.  He was quite good at it, considering.  I would go with him to the flea market and we would sit on the back end of his truck, persuading people to buy the plant stands or the makeshift grill he made, but this afternoon it was slow.  We shared lemonade, and we talked about everything.  Old family stories, his childhood in Pennington, MN, his time in the Air Force, everything you could imagine.

We both fell asleep sitting in the sun, enjoying the suns warmth.  On the drive back to his house, he held my hand and told me that he was proud of me no matter what I did.

My grandmother is like that even now.  She is quirky, like my grandfather was, but she has the golden heart.  If I ever needed anything, she would be there to help me.  If I’m having a rough day, I call her and she makes me feel better.  There was one day, where I just needed comfort, and I called her almost in tears.  It was shortly after I got married, and when she asked me what I was doing, I told her I was making a cup of tea.

The best words of wisdom expelled from her mouth.

“If you can enjoy a cup of tea, it’s really not that bad.  As long as you can enjoy the taste of the tea, everything will get better.”

When I’m having a bad day, where I feel like I want to give up, I make myself a cup of tea, and my grandmother’s words echo in my ears.  No matter how bad things get, I can always enjoy a cup of tea.  And I realize that bad things are only relative, and things can always be worse, but they’ll always get better.

As I get older, I feel myself feeling less bitter to those who have wronged me.  Sometimes I kind of had it coming, other times it was misplaced affection (which sounds really strange as I type it).  I remind myself that every person in my family, my father included, has a golden heart.

If I were in trouble, no matter how estranged I was to anyone in my family, they would do anything to help me.  If I needed clothing, they would give me the shirt off their back.  If I was alone and scared, even if we were fighting, they would wrap their arms around me and give me comforting words.  There is one thing I know about my parents: my father loves me, and my mother loves me, and no matter what happens, if I need them, they’ll be here.

Sure, my family is strange and quirky and all together weird, but they have one thing that I’ve found a lot of families don’t have.

We have the golden heart, that no matter what happens, we strive to help those around us in any way humanly possible. We don’t discriminate against each other, we don’t hold grudges, and we most definitely ensure that nobody is treated with animosity.

And I’m happy to say that I’m part of a family that treats each other like that.

What is your fondest memory of your childhood?  I believe each family has it’s own uniqueness as to why their family has a golden heart, what is your family’s “golden heart?”  Tell me in the comments, I would love to know.

 

One Year Transplant: The Pros and Cons of Louisiana

I have officially been in Louisiana for one year. And this blog is one year old now. Huzzah!
Alex told me that I can’t judge a new place until I’ve lived there one year. Well, it’s been one year.

The Pros

The People
The people in Louisiana are actually not overly friendly. However, I’m very obviously a yankee. The reason I have this in the pros is because whenever I go to Arkansas, we meet really nice people. I don’t think I’ve ever paid for coffee in a gas station in Arkansas because they see my Alaska license plates and they talk to be about how awesome the military is. Overall though, I’ve met some really nice people in Louisiana and they’re very good about trying to keep in contact. Unfortunately, I’m such a homebody that I never see any of these people.

The Food
The food in Louisiana is awesome. From Jambalaya to Cajun seasoning, I have to say that the food here is just all around good. The veggies are just so fresh and flavorful, the food in restaurants, even chain restaurants, are just so much better than the chains that are up north. Olive Garden in Louisiana is actually good. I have no idea why.

Gas Prices
Gas at Sam’s club by my house is $3.04. That’s way cheaper than I’ve paid since before I moved away from Minnesota.

Sin Tax
I don’t smoke, but my friend who does told me that $3.50 a pack is dirt cheap. And when I visited Minnesota recently, I realized that alcohol is dirt cheap here too. A bottle of whiskey here is ten bucks, in Minnesota the same bottle of whiskey was $19. Also, junk food is really cheap. A bag of chips is $2. Minnesota it’s closer to $8. The lack of sin tax is nice.

Surprisingly, it helps me deal with the bible belt

Surprisingly, it helps me deal with the bible belt

The Cons

The People
Yes, the people make and break this place. It’s one thing to have friendly people, but it’s another to have people who are incredibly racist. I will be totally and completely honest: I don’t understand racism. Who cares if you’re white or black? Gay or straight? I honestly, truly don’t care about what you look like, I just care about the sweat on your brow and how kind you are to others. I’m coming to hate people who are upper class. They say that the lower class is lazy, but after working a crappy low paying job, I can say that I’ve never worked so hard for so little. It’s ridiculous.

The Weather
On Christmas day last year, it hit 80 degrees. That was the first time that I was able to wear flip flops on Christmas. Additionally, it is impossible for me to get into the Christmas or any holiday spirit here. I think this is because I’m used to a very temperate zone. Thanksgiving and Christmas, and also Easter, always had snow. Well, Easter usually had a blizzard or the lilacs were just starting to bloom. The fact that winter didn’t start until January and it was spring by February freaks me out and I hate it.

Cockroaches
I’ve mentioned my love for cockroaches several times. And I can tell you that I’m a much better housekeeper now than I ever was. However, I’m a better housekeeper because we have those wonderful cockroaches mooching on everything. The fact that I clean my kitchen and a three inch long cockroach hisses at me and crawls behind the stove went from being terrifying to just irritating. I’m getting tempted to burn my house down.

Not that big here, but if they were, I would never leave the north pole

Not that big here, but if they were, I would never leave the north pole

The Critters
This is to address the opossums in my garbage, the 30+ pound swamp rats that hang out in my yard, the armadillos littering the road dead, the raccoons that chase kids down the street, the scorpions that are in my yard, and the snakes that appear in my yard if I don’t mow it regularly.
I moved to Alaska to get away from snakes. There are no snakes in Alaska. There were only garter snakes in Minnesota. We have snakes that can kill you here. Not cool, Louisiana.

DAMN SWAMP RATS!  THEY'RE NOT EVEN CUTE!

DAMN SWAMP RATS! THEY’RE NOT EVEN CUTE!

Sales Tax
Until I was living in Alaska, I had no idea that food and clothing was taxed in other states. Minnesota is a wonderful place where food, excluding junk food, and clothing is tax free. The rest of the tax in the state is 6%. In Louisiana, everything is 9% sales tax. Including groceries. Which is ridiculous.

Overall: I would sacrifice a baby goat to the corn gods of Iowa to take me from this place. Alas, the military says I have to stay. So I’m going to continually try to find the good in this place, be it eating tons of delicious food, or going to the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier to check out the outlet stores.

What are some of the pros and cons of where you live? Would you want to live somewhere else? Tell me in the comments!

He Cheated With An Asian Hooker: Tales of A Crazy Biatch Pt 4

If you have not read about Marjorie yet, go read these first

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

In the first two weeks that I had known Marjorie, she had been punched out and given a black eye at the very friendly Laundromat in North Pole, she had her body builder four year old (who I’m fairly sure is imaginary) lift a dresser and break her foot, she had gotten married, gotten drunk while pregnant, had a miscarriage and C-section from said miscarriage, and gotten married.

That’s a lot of shit to happen to a person over the course of two weeks.  Oh, she started working the day that she flew in.  So from the day she stepped foot in Alaska, all of that stuff happened.

Of course, she had to top each story with the last.  At least, I think that’s what was running through her pretty little head.

She came to work one day, her boot on, her black eye on the wrong side of the day before, huffing and stating that she’s divorcing her husband that she’s been married to for almost two weeks.  He flew to Korea for a yearlong deployment, or so she told us, and he blamed her for the miscarriage.

Well, apparently, she was very torn up about the miscarriage.  He was excited to be a daddy, and when she told him that she lost the baby, he blamed her.  He said that it was her fault and she was trying to sabotage any chance he had to be a father.  She told us that the argument lasted a while, and the next day when she called to try to makeup with him, he confessed that he cheated on her.

By going to a massage parlor off base.

And getting a “special massage” from one of the Asian masseuses.

I have to reiterate though, this is the version that she told me.

Each person she told this to was a different variation.  She told one person he just cheated and did it before they were married and confessed after they were married, she told someone else that he cheated with a friend in Korea.

The bottom line was though, was that she was leaving his lying, cheating sorry ass.

But she said that she wanted to stay in Alaska, because why not?

Fresh Starts and Lots of Men

Fresh Starts and Lots of Men

So she decided to stay in Alaska, working with us at the bowling alley, and there was one evening… the evening where she went from just crazy, to crazy biatch.

It was a single airmen bowling event.  All of the airmen on base were allowed one free meal and three games of free bowling to get them out of the dorms, for Senior Airmen and lower, so we were fully packed.  We had two cashiers and two cooks working.  Me and the cook that were working had close to 30 tickets backed up at one point, and most of the orders included beer.

When we would get really busy like that, we would put one beer pitcher in front of the register that said “tips.”  How tips worked for us is that we would split them down the middle for everyone.  So if there were four of us and there were only ten dollars in tips, we each got $2.50.

Fair, right?  The cooks did more than just cook, a lot of times it would be a little slow in back and the cashier in the front would be backed up calling out orders, so the cooks would come around and call out orders, get any other little things needed like ranch, bbq, and so on.  We prided ourselves in being a good team, which is why we were voted the best customer service on base, in the top five in the Air Force.

This particular evening was no exception.  For over two hours we were slammed, there was no talking between employees.  Marjorie, however, would not let the second cashier do anything.  She would shove her over to get the beer, she’d shove her over to get the orders called out, so our little cashier was very frustrated and helped us in the kitchen since our orders were so backed up.

At around 8 pm, when Marjorie’s shift was up, she counted up the tips.

They equaled up to nearly $75.  All of us were fairly excited.  That’s a decent amount for all of us to take home.  Not impressive, but decent.

Marjorie thought so too.  So much so, that as she was leaving that night, she took all of the tips and left when there was another round of people coming in.  Technically, yes, her shift was over, but we had an agreement that if it was really busy like that, we stay to help out.  There had been times where I worked 10 hours instead of 8 hours to help out, we had all done it before.  Marjorie would not stay, and she took all of the tips.

Marjorie, but add some crazy

Marjorie, but add some crazy

We were furious.

I told my manager about it, who then talked to Marjorie, to which Marjorie stated that she didn’t know we were supposed to share, and that we weren’t helping her and the guys who tipped her said that they were for her and her alone.

Nobody liked Marjorie after that.  Nobody talked to her.  I don’t know what other crazy stories she had, because I didn’t want anything to do with her.  While I personally didn’t need the tips, the other cashier had a newborn at home and could have really used the extra few dollars.  The other cook didn’t work a lot and he even admitted that a few extra dollars in his pocket would have been nice.

And it was an honor system.  I always shared my tips.  My coworkers could sometimes say that I was a crappy employee, and I had moments where I was not a good employee.  There were times where I was a shady coworker.  There were times where I would sit on my ass and do nothing.  I wasn’t a perfect employee, getting into yelling matches with my manager about politics, but at the end of the day, I was honorable.  I never stole, or if I forgot to pay for my food, I would go back and pay for that and a second item.   I was fair with my tips, and I eventually learned what it meant to be a fair coworker by pulling my weight.  It took a lot of fights, it took a lot of being crapped on by people like Marjorie, but in the end, I learned a lesson.

Marjorie never did learn a lesson.  Marjorie had no honor.  Marjorie defended her theft and hated the rest of us for telling on her.

A few weeks later we had our first cold spurt of -20 and snowfall.  In mid-October.   Marjorie thought that it would only be cold like that for a few months, when we told her it didn’t warm up until close to May, she turned in her two week notice and booked the first flight back home.  She had been renting her furniture and had returned it, sold everything else that she didn’t want to ship back.

She was gone as quickly as she had come, much to everyone’s relief.

I recently did some stalking on her, she’s been married and divorced again since that happened, as well as been in a few “serious” relationships.  There is still no sign that she has a child.  She’s back home and waiting for Mr. Right, because the first five husbands weren’t Mr. Right.

A long while after Marjorie was gone, I was joking about her to my manager, a woman who is the same age as my mother and treated me better than any manager I have ever had, period.  Honestly, if more managers were like the manager I had at the bowling alley, there wouldn’t be so many issues in businesses.  She would help cook if we were backed up, she would do dishes, she would mop floors, and if my pay was screwed up, she would have it fixed by the end of the day.

Sorry, getting ahead of myself.  To say the least, my manager was the bomb.

But when talking about Marjorie, she said she’d hire Marjorie back in a heartbeat.  When she told me this, I gave her a ghastly look.  Her reason?

“That girl was so crazy, it never got boring here.  I was half tempted to get some popcorn when she’d tell her batshit crazy stories because they were just so damn insane.”

We would then laugh at the boob strings, and when we noticed our coworkers with perky boobs, we’d ask them where they had their boob strings put in.  If someone hurt their foot, we would ask if a four year old did it, and Marjorie became a running joke.

I guess I should say though, that I learned a lot about myself working with Marjorie.

I should never settle for less.  I should never believe in love at first sight, and that lying does nothing but cause problems.  I also learned what it meant to be a good employee.  I learned what it meant to have someone’s back, and most importantly, I learned why it’s important to work hard in life, especially in school.

I never want to work with someone as crazy as Marjorie again for as long as I live.  I started going back to college not too long after I worked with her.

So that, my loyal readers, is how I survived working with a woman who was likely mentally insane.

Have you ever worked with someone that made you want to be a better employee?  Have you ever had a shady coworker steal and try to justify it?  Let me know in the comments!

The Broken Foot: Tales of a Crazy Biatch Pt 3

If you have not read the adventures of Marjorie yet, read this and this first.

Marjorie came in to work one day wearing a foot boot cast thingy ma bobber.  I have no idea what they’re called, it’s this thing.

DAS BOOT!

DAS BOOT!

This happened a couple days after her miscarriage, and she stated that she was just in so much pain.  Her son broke her foot.

Her four year old son.

Lifted up a dresser.

And dropped it on her foot.

Okay, to be fair, she said she was getting after him, with her foot under the dresser, telling him to put it down.

And he dropped it on her foot and shattered her foot.

Pretty sure her kid was more muscular than this

Pretty sure her kid was more muscular than this

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m a 24 year old who considers herself fairly strong.  I can lift heavy things by myself, but Marjorie had some nice furniture.  Like, furniture I could only afford on a salary of cleaning out men from being married several times in four years.  If I were rich, I could afford a marble top table. Maybe.

Nice furniture is also usually close to a thousand fucking pounds.

I’m fairly strong, I lift weights, and there is no way in hell I can lift a dresser that is filled to the brim with clothing.

And her four year old was somehow able to lift this dresser high enough that when it fell down on her toe, it shattered her toe.

I want to know if this kid dropped this dresser five feet from the ground.

Either way, she wore the boot for at least a week.  I don’t quite remember…

The point being, either her kid was a body builder four year old, or he was imaginary and she dropped it on her own foot, if her foot was even broken.

But fear not… There’s more…  Later on this week.

 

Do any of you have any ridiculous stories as to how you broke a bone?  Has the coworker you worked with just been crazy and possibly a pathological liar?  Tell me in the comments!

The Ruffest Day: Saying Goodbye

I’ve mentioned that I had a foster dog named Patch in a previous post.  I have been trying to find him a home for the better part of a month now, as well as rehabilitate him because he gets aggressive with food.

Other than the food aggression, he’s been a very loving, and caring dog.  He would sit on my lap, he would nudge me when doing homework to play.  He was always by my side.

Unfortunately, last night, when Alex was feeding him, he attacked Alex, ripping open his hand.

Ouch.

Ouch.

With the bite gushing blood, we decide that we need to go to the ER.  We put Patch in his crate, and rushed to the ER.  They wrapped up his hand, informed us that you can’t stitch dog bites (They can become pockets of puss) and we waited close to three hours to be seen.

During this three hours, we were socializing with other ER patrons, making jokes, and trying to keep the mood light.

After the first two hours of waiting, Alex told me to go home and wait for him to call me to pick him up so I could let the dogs out.

So I took Luna, Sahara and Patch outside to do their business.  Lo and behold, Patch is being overly affectionate.  He doesn’t leave my side outside, he nudges my hand to pet him, and even rests his head on my shoulder when I knelt down like he was hugging me.

It broke me a little bit, not going to lie.  I hugged him and cried and told him he was a good boy and that heaven was just a big farm with unlimited food and lots of squirrels to chase.  He wagged his tail when I told him this, and I choose to believe he understood what I was saying.

I went back to the hospital to see Alex still in the waiting room.  He was surprised to see me back at the hospital, but when I told him that whenever I look at Patch, I start crying, he understood.  So we continued to make jokes.

He gets called back, and they put him on a hospital bed in the hallway that’s far too small for him.

He's just too big for most beds

He’s just too big for most beds

We decided to avoid the topic of Alex’s hand gushing insane amounts of blood and talk about Alex’s need for Kanel Bullar, a Swedish cinnamon roll that I make whenever my Swedish sister in law visits us from Central Louisiana.  They’ve turned into one of Alex’s favorite foods and I rarely make them because they’re incredibly time consuming and we usually end up eating all two dozen of them in one sitting.

Comfort food of choice

Comfort food of choice

I teased Alex that if we ever divorced, he would have to convince his second wife to get the recipe from my cold, hateful fingers.

Alex responded with a snort, “Oh no, we’re ending on good terms so you’ll cook me Kanel Bullars for the rest of my life.  I’ll make you think the divorce was your idea so you’ll feel eternally guilty for it and make sure that you’re making up for it for the rest of your life via kanel bullar.”

I put my hands on my hips, “Oh, so you’ve thought about divorcing me?”

He laughs, “Every time you leave a mess in the kitchen.”

To which he kisses my hand and we laugh.  We always make jokes like this in times of turmoil.

Oh crap, this is every morning

Oh crap, this is every morning

Shortly after, the nurse informs us that he has contacted Animal Control and I had to talk to the woman about the entire situation.  I told her exactly what happened, we found out that we have to have him quarantined for ten days, then after that I can choose to surrender him, to which he will be humanely euthanized, or I can take him home and try to find him a home.

While I wish I could take him home, let him run in my yard, feed him lots of treats, and hold him close for the rest of his life, he’s not my dog.

He was never my dog.

He’s nothing more than a scraggly stray that I tried to help that I can’t afford to keep anymore.

And it’s killing me.

Alex had his wound cleaned and we were sent home.  We ate a bunch of cake to make ourselves feel better after being at the hospital for nearly five hours, while Patch lays curled up on the floor, next to my feet.

I slept separately from Alex that night because I wanted to cuddle Patch one last time, but Patch decided to sleep on the floor next to me, while I pet him while falling asleep.

I woke up to all three dogs standing over me, Luna licking my face and Alex crawling in next to me, giving me a hearty squeeze.

I made us a big breakfast, making a full package of bacon to divvy out to the dogs.

My stomach was uneasy, as we waited for Animal Control to come to our house.  About an hour before Animal Control showed up, Patch went to Alex and licked his face.  The first time he had licked either of us.  Even Alex was shocked at the display of affection.

When the woman from Animal Control showed up, Patch had his tail wagging and seemed excited.  He happily let her put the leash on him and ran out the door to the van.  He seemed almost happy to go.

I choked back a sob, and watched him leave.  He seemed happy to go.

Maybe he knows that it’s for the best as well.  I think that heaven will be a better place for him.

Luna has been sulking in her kennel ever since patch left.  I think she knows that he’s not coming back.

Poor Luna.  Her buddy is gone

Poor Luna. Her buddy is gone

For anyone in the Louisiana area, Patch is being quarantined for the next ten days at the Bossier City Animal Control.  If you think you could rehabilitate him and get hi the care he needs, I think you can adopt him with my permission.  If not, I completely understand.  There’s nothing more I can do for him.

Have you ever had to make a decision that broke your heart?  Have you ever been in a situation where it ended far differently than you anticipated?  Let me know in the comments.

Elvis Hates My Vagina

I’m finding more time to blog since I threw out my back a few days ago, enjoying the plethora of pain killers given to me by the doctor, so I figured I’d write a blog post for y’all.

 

This is the story of how I met an ancient Elvis and how he decided that my Vagina was not good enough for him.

When I was working one day, I was doing my usual wonder woman thing, when I heard on the intercom, “Someone from donations is needed for a carry out.”

Since I work in donations, I figure I can go up to the front and help them carry out whatever object they need.  Before grabbing the dolly, I decide to see just how big the object is.  Usually it’s something small like a chair that’s around ten pounds, so I don’t worry about it too much.

I walk out and the girl who paged me pointed to this old man by the TVs.  He was tall, about 90 years old, but had Elvis hair.

Except way older

Except way older

The man looks at me, and says one sentence that makes me want to lose my temper.

“Oh geez, why the hell did they send a woman to lift up this old tv?  Women can’t lift for shit.”

I felt my eye twitch and I say to him, “Sir, I’m Midwestern.  I can lift the tv you need.”

He then begins to argue with me.  “No you can’t you’re a woman.  Women can’t lift. I’ll just do it myself if they can only send a woman.”

To which he reaches over to lift up a 6” screen tv, that weighed maybe ten pounds, and he carries it to the front of the store with no effort.

I stood there, unamused and confused.

Did Ancient Elvis just tell me that I can’t lift something because I have a uterus?

Thanks Elvis.  Thanks for thinking my vagina is not suitable for lifting.

Ever been discriminated against because of your dirty bits?  Ever been told you can’t do something because of something you can’t help?  Let me know in the comments!

 

Like what you read?  Follow me on facebook!  I’ll be posting strange news stories and updates!

Questions, comments or concerns?  I have an email now!  Transplantedtothesouth@gmail.com is my official email for this blog.  Feel free to email me anytime about anything in regards to my blog, as well as any requests, questions, comments or concerns.  If you have suggestions, please feel free to email me and tell me.  I try to check it once a day in the evening 🙂

I Pity The Skinny Girls: UPDATE

UPDATE!  I think there has been a misunderstanding on this post.  When I say “skinny girl,” I guess I should clarify that I mean girls who stand in the mirror, wanting to fix every flaw in their body and hate themselves for it.  I mean girls who only value themselves based on what others say or think about them.  I don’t mean the skinny girls who love going to the gym and eating healthy and love themselves, no matter what anyone else says.  If you are a skinny girl who loves herself, you are not a “skinny girl,” you are a fit girl.  If you’re skinny and fit and happy and you do not judge yourself or others based on their appearance, you are not a “skinny girl,” you are a beautiful woman.  There is no need to get bent out of shape and send me hate mail and write inappropriate comments.  If you are loved for the person that is inside of you instead of what you look like, then you are a healthy, beautiful person.  

This post is not about how I hate girls who look better than me, this post is about how I was able to love myself after twenty four years of hating what I saw in the mirror.  This is a post about every girl who thought her self worth was tied to a number on a scale, when a persons self worth is through their actions and through the beauty of their heart, not the beauty in the mirror.  If I have offended anyone in any way, I apologize, I never meant to cause any ill harm to anyone.

Ever since I was a little girl, for as long as I could remember, I knew I was different.

I grew up in a Minneapolis suburb, where most of the little girls were Scandinavian or German descent, like myself, or they were Hmong or Middle Eastern.  The latter two were very scarce until I was in high school though, and looking back, I could tell by just how I looked that I was different.

I had very pale skin.  My mother had read that a child who gets sun burn badly has a much higher chance of skin cancer so she was very cautious to ensure that we never got sun burn, and it resulted in us not really getting any type of tan either since my brother and I would burn just looking out the window.  I was the tallest girl in my class, ending up being around 5’8” once I finished high school.  My hair is almost black and very thick, my eyes are a very dark brown, and I had monsterous hips at age 10.  My body decided at age ten that I needed to fill out so my hips got wide, I got mosquito bites on my chest (those never really grew much), and I shot up, but one thing about myself never really changed.

I was always the fat kid in class.

When I was in fifth grade, at the ripe age of 11, I weighed nearly 200 pounds.  When I was in sixth grade, I was a size 16.  When I graduated high school, I was nearly 300 pounds and a size 24.  When I got married, I was even heavier and a size 26.  I’ve lost a decent amount of weight since getting married and I’m the same size I was in high school, but how I view myself has changed drastically.

I used to be horribly embarrassed of my weight.  I would apologize to my friends that they had a fat friend like me, and they never understood why I would apologize for that.  I would look in the mirror and think I was ugly because I was heavy.  I would stare in the mirror and find every single flaw with my body, and wonder why I was heavy. When I was first married, I banned all full length mirrors in the house, as well as a scale, because I knew that I would obsess over them.  Why are all of those other girls who are skinny so lucky to be like that?

Like any kid, I was teased relentlessly because of my weight.  In my sophomore year of high school, I was playing dodge ball and one of the kids in my class hit me with the ball and yelled “Out of the way, lard-ass!”  I remember sitting in the locker room nearly in tears, so embarrassed.  Not really mad at him for calling me that, but mad at myself for thinking it was true.

I tried every diet, I tried starving myself, I tried making myself throw up sometimes.  But, alas, I just love food and I hated to be wasteful so I ate.  Everything bothered me.

Once I moved to Alaska, I saw that most of the people I knew were heavy, and they were happy.  I still got some grief from people, once even from my manager at a deli I worked at.  She bought me some weight loss pills and handed them to me with a wink, telling me that customers would like me better if I looked more like my modelesque coworker.

But when I hit around the age of 19, when I got into the dating scene finally, I realized something.

Being fat is awesome.

I went on a date with a decorated soldier once.  He was gorgeous, far out of my league when it came to looks.  We went out for lunch and I ordered a greasy hamburger and devoured it.  Because I was hungry.  He commented on that, and not the way I expected.

“This is why I like dating heavy girls.  They don’t eat those shitty salads.  I’m not afraid to order good food.  You’ll order good food too and we can talk about how awesome the food is!”

I had never thought of it like that, so every time I went on a date, I would order what I wanted to order: delicious, greasy food.

Surprisingly, most men I met loved this.  One time, I had someone ask me why I didn’t order a salad and I gave him a look and said, “Seriously?  Do I look like someone who would ever eat a salad?”

He laughed and we gorged ourselves on ice cream.

Other times, I would have some of my guy friends tell me that they secretly preferred heavier women just based on the fact that “I can always be myself around women who have a few extra pounds.”

My eyes opened to the possibilities.  I realized that everyone is self conscious about the way they look, but there’s no reason to be.

I met my husband a couple of years after moving to Alaska, and he was a gorgeous man who is basically the perfect husband.  He’s six feet and seven inches of awkward, gorgeous hilarity.  And what makes him even better?  He doesn’t care about how heavy I am.  He seems to like it, actually.  He’s never asked me to lose weight, he’s never told me I needed to lose weight, and he always tells me that he thinks I’m beautiful.

And I can out eat him at a buffet and he doesn’t even care.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I pity the skinny girls.

The reason is simple:  those bitches won’t be skinny forever.

Being married to the military, I’ve met many spouses who were skinny and would pretty much live at the gym because their husbands told them that if they gained weight, they would leave them.  And I’ve even met men who have filed for separation or divorces because their wives gained weight.

I’ve been to parties with military spouses whose husbands would tell their wives not to eat something because their dress won’t fit after eating it.  I’ve met men who made sure that their wives went on a diet directly after giving birth because they needed to get that baby weight off now.

The only reason I’m working to drop some weight is for health reasons.  I’m trying to work for the state, and the position I want requires me to be able to do a lot of running and shoot a gun with accuracy, and in order to do that I need to be a little lighter and a lot stronger. I’ve been dieting lately, I’ve been seeing a personal trainer, and I’ve dropped over 20 pounds and my body feels stronger every day.

I’m not doing it for Alex.  I’m not doing it for the world.  I’m losing weight because I want to lose it for my health.

To the skinny girls: If your boyfriend or husband wants to leave you because you might be heavy some day, then guess what, you need to drop him like a bad habit.

Your looks will fade anyway and before you know it, your nipples will be knee high.  Salads are not delicious, no matter what you say.  Unless it’s drowning in dressing, cheese and meat.

I know my husband will love me no matter what because he fell in love with me when I had several hour glasses on my figure.

And I know one thing for certain: No matter what, my mom will always love me.  Who else’s approval do I need in order to be happy?

No ones.  Just my moms.

Have you ever thought you needed someone elses approval, only to realize that it was for a stupid reason?  Have you ever hated yourself, only to realize that it was for no reason at all?  I want to hear about your experiences, your struggles, and your triumph to love yourself.

 

Anyone Craving Tacos?

So recently I’ve been on this super healthy diet which has caused me to lose 20 pounds in 7 weeks and go down a pant size, a shirt size, and my belly skin to be super elastic and cottage cheesy.  It’s kind of weird and awesome all at once.  I have the absolute sexiest muffin top around.

Add about 100 pounds and more cellulite and SEXY MAMA IS HERE TO PARTY!

Add about 100 pounds and more cellulite and SEXY MAMA IS HERE TO PARTY!

But a few weeks ago, I was just craving hard shell tacos.

I know, weird craving right?

No, I’m not pregnant.  I just wanted Tacos more than anything else in the universe.

But I had to keep it healthy.  Corn tortillas are healthier than flour tortillas, especially since I was trying to be low carb and low gluten for my diet.  So I made this slow cooker pork taco meat with lots of black beans, and I was trying to find a way to bake these corn tortillas.  Since I was struggling so horrifically, I decided to go everywhere in Shreveport to find a taco shell baker.

I thought that this would be super easy to find, considering Shreveport has just about every type of store imaginable.  I tried World Market, Target, Wal Mart, even a few local businesses, but to no avail.  I was getting frustrated.  Finally, I asked some random people where they thought I could find a magical device that could bake corn tortillas into perfect taco shells.

The guy at World Market told me there were four Mexican groceries in Shreveport.  So I went on a search for one of these magical Mexican groceries.

TWO HOURS LATER I finally found one.  Less than two miles from my house.  I was in the entirely wrong part of town.  Apparently I live right next to little Mexico.  I never even noticed.  Seriously.

I was nervous walking in there, so I stood outside and saw that it was a hole in the wall Mexican store.  The sign said “Fresh Tacos” and a bunch of stuff in Spanish that I couldn’t understand.

I walked in and everyone in the store was middle aged and Mexican.  From what I heard, they also didn’t speak English.  I heard no English spoken.  All five people in the store stared at me like I was a leprechaun or something.

What... The... Fuck...

What… The… Fuck…

So I start to peruse around the store, finding tortilla presses, tortilla salad bowl makers, tortillas, a bunch of different spicy candies… You know, lots of stuff that I would have no idea how to use.  The people in the store watched me very carefully.

Finally, after a few minutes, I walk up to the counter and the man behind the counter, who is very obviously from the homeland, says in a perfect, southern accent, “Hello Ma’am, how can I help you?”

I stared at him in total disbelief for a few seconds.  I almost got pissed from how surprised I was.  “Uh, yeah, I need a tortilla baker or warmer.”

Then he started speaking Spanish to me.  “Ah, si, ma’am we have tortilla warmer.  We have tortilla maker.  You no know how make tortilla though.  Here, this one is sombrero tortilla warmer.”  To which he handed me this weird Sombrero warmer.

I don’t remember exactly everything he said because every other word was Spanish, but I remember chasing him across the store trying to keep up with his frantic running.  I had to give him credit, he was trying to be very helpful. I ended up buying 100 corn tortillas for four dollars, because I felt bad not buying anything.  Then it wasn’t enough for my debit card so I bought a bottle of carbonated water to make it five.

Got home, used my muffin tin and made super weird shaped tortillas.

[              I then called my friend Val, who was raised by parents who were Mexican and she was raised with English as a second language.  I told her next time I’m calling her to translate for me, and she said no.

So that’s how I ended up with far too many tortillas and making tacos every night for a week.

And I’m still eating those damn tortillas.

Tacos, anyone?

 

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I’ve Discovered The Meaning Of Life

I have discovered the meaning of life. And no, it is not 42. It is not chocolate (Shocker, right?). It is Buttermilk.

That’s right, Buttermilk.

Butter to the Milk.

Om nom nom.

Let me back up and explain how I discovered this wickedly awesome fact.

Earlier this week I was craving chicken strips like they have at Popeyes and restaurants. I love super crispy chicken strips and I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to make them. I have tried everything.

I’ve double and triple battered them, I’ve used tons of egg, I’ve used no egg. I’ve baked, I’ve fried, I have tried everything. I was feeling hopeless about this entire endeavor and I decided that I would look at the Pioneer Woman’s website, with high hopes she would have a good chicken strip recipe.

She did. And it never occurred to me to use buttermilk.

I’m horrifically Midwestern, almost to a fault (We Midwesterners are perfect, I swear), and I hadn’t really discovered buttermilk until I came to the south, where it’s only sold in half gallon containers. And while Milk is rarely sold in gallons. Which confuses the hell out of me.

I had some buttermilk in the fridge that was about to go bad so I decided to take from her recipe. I soaked the chicken in buttermilk and hot sauce, and made a breading of just flour, tony’s seasoning, and a little bit of buttermilk. The batter ended up being really clumpy, which is supposed to happen. I threw the chicken in the batter and threw those bitches in the fryer.

Mother fucking chicken strips.

Mother fucking chicken strips.

 

Way better than a restaurants. Alex and I ate over five pounds of those bad boys.

Thank you Pioneer Woman. Thank you for being the Goddess of Cooking.

So, tell me internet.  What do you think is the meaning of life?

 

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Apparently Girl Scouts are Communists

So I found this article today.

http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/01/wendy-davis-abortion-girl-scout-cookies

This article talks about how we should be protesting Girl Scouts and their cookies because they nominated a woman who struck down an anti-abortion law in Texas.  Conservatives are having a huge hype about how this is teaching girls in Girl Scouts about being pro-abortion and teaching them immoral values.

This is a very touchy topic, but I feel it needs to be addressed.

I was in girl scouts for almost five years growing up, and I never learned about abortions.  I never learned about domestic violence.  I never learned about the horrors of life.  I learned about plants, I learned about wildlife, I learned new hobbies.  I have over thirty patches on my Junior Girl Scout vest.  I learned honesty and being fair.  These conservatives are being ridiculous.

One of my best friends, Marissa, who was raised as an Enlisted Military brat (She’s not a brat, but it’s the only term that comes to mind), gave me an absolutely excellent response for this article. Not only is she a journalist and dancer, she is someone who was raised in several different countries and saw the highs and the lows of every aspect of life, I feel her opinion is the most valid opinion I could share.

“Let’s start with a few things: 1.) My Mom earned my patches. I just showed up and was awkward. 2.) Thin Mints are freaking amazing. 

My response: I have a lot of problems with this to begin with: the sexualization and politicizing of our girls. You want to get up in arms about cookies? Ok, more Thin Mints for me. You want to get up in arms about cookies?! Lets start with some facts: 1.) Cookie sales DO NOT go to Planned Parenthood. They go to the girls so they can do things with the Troop. Instead of telling some 8 year old Brownie that because of Wendy “Abortion Barbie” Davis, you won’t be buying cookies, how about you look at some stats. 

This stat from Safe Horizon.com “One in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime” Think about it. You have a group of Brownies or Daisies say 16 little girls, 4 of those girls will endure sexual harassment. Some will have an abortion. Those sweet girls asking for money via cookies so they can go learn how to tie ropes and make memories at Girl Scout Camp will be beaten, raped and left for dead by people they thought loved them. Think about that. Get mad about that. Get upset about the fact that we are politicizing our daughters at a young age by making them think they are “paying” for abortions. 

2.) Want to get pissed off over abortions? Let’s talk about the lack of reproductive care that is given to poor women. Women in general. Because we happen to have a vagina, uterus, means we are lacking. Our health insurance costs more because our plumbing happens to be inside of us. Wanna to get pissed off. Lets talk about how if there were more access to birth control then abortions wouldn’t be as common. Will they happen yes. Want to talk about access to birth control? Birth Control for me has controlled my period so its manageable. Making access harder makes more welfare claims, more back alley abortions. Think abortions are horrid now? Watch Dirty Dancing, Johnny’s dance partner got one. She nearly died from it. Coat hanger abortions aren’t just make believe. Want more evidence, read: Call the Midwife, there were plenty of back alley abortions using knitting needles. Not even sterilized. Knitting needles and coat hangers, perforated uterus’s… How many women must die before we are allowed to rule our own bodies. Those Girl Scouts grow up. Those sweet girls in their adorable uniforms. They become these women that get killed by a partner. They get raped. Before you get pissy about cookies, get some righteous anger about what world these girls are growing up into. 

They get raped, it’s their fault. Shouldn’t look like a girl. Get hit and beaten by a partner? Well shouldn’t have pissed him off, huh. Think of what happens to Indian girls daily. Think about what all girls go through. Not supporting abortion is your choice, personal choice, but taking it out on those girls is not the answer. The Girl Scout Law is– 

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

That means you help everyone no matter their circumstance. If a woman is a prostitute you give her shelter. If she is a saint you give her shelter. You respect everyone. Before anyone gets on a religious high horse I’d like to remind everyone that Jesus hung out closely with a prostitute. He treated her with respect. He treated her like a human being. No one is ever beneath you. Let us research and look things up before we shoot our mouths off. Humanity doesn’t prosper from ignorance.”

 

Very well said, Marissa.  I don’t think I could have said it better myself.