Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cuts and scrapes

     I think, I just may be a magnet for interesting people and situations. How else can you explain such strange things happening to me so often? Last week I took my daughter to the Doctor. An ordinary day, doing ordinary things. Right? Well, to start with, at the surprisingly short line to check in, a woman came up behind us with the energy level of an espresso addict. She asked us what was in our cups, and after telling her, she went on and on about how she would like to try them, and told us how she was sensitive to caffeine and for that reason she had iced tea each morning. As she said this she swirled around her drink so we could hear the ice cubes clinking together and hitting the walls of the cup. She was so interested in what we were drinking, that I almost handed her my cup. She was a sweet heart, very kind and very, very chatty and I am thankful to her because her company made the time in line even shorter. After our appointment we waited for the elevator and an adorable elderly lady walked up. She had a golfers cap and a coordinating outfit. She asked us which elevator we were waiting for and we told her we were waiting for the one going down. She happened to be waiting for the same one. So we waited together. It was about that time that I noticed she was holding something bright yellow in a bag. I didn't think much of it until we reached the lower floor and she asked directions to the pharmacy. I told her we were headed there and would be happy to take her there with us. She seemed happy and continued to follow us with her yellow-something-in-hand. When we reached the pharmacy I told her to stand here in this line and that she could go ahead of us. When she got to the drop off counter she placed her bottle of yellow on the counter and asked the technician if he knew what it was. He answered, "Betadine." "How do you know?!!" She angrily asked him. "Well, he answered, "I work in a pharmacy..."She seemed curious, but satisfied with that explanation and asked him, "What is it used for?" He answered, "Wounds." "Rooms?" She asked him. "No, not rooms, WOUNDS." "My WOMB?" She yelled, clearly shocked. "NO! WOUNDS! Cuts and scratches!" He yelled back, at this point nervously. "CUTS and SCRATCHES?" She asked. "Yes, YES! Cuts and scratches!" He yelled back. She left the counter and we approached. The technician was at this point spraying the counter with cleaner and wiping it down. Distractedly, he mentioned that her bag was leaking. We asked him why she had the bag and he said he had no idea and began to run his fingers through his hair. After giving our prescription to be filled, we turned around and looked for her, hoping to sit next to her while we waited but she was gone. Wherever she went, she took off quickly and we never saw her, or her bottle of Betadine again...But at least we know what to put on our cuts and scrapes now.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

     I was having coffee with my Mama the other day and the subject of love came up. It occurred to me that we spend so much time being disappointed by people because they don't love us the way we love them. All along they have been loving us they way they need to be loved...maybe your sister didn't tell you she loved you, but showed her love with her actions. Maybe your father didn't hug you but he spent hours at work providing for you. Maybe I don't listen, hug, give gifts, fill in the blank when that is what is needed from me. And maybe, just maybe, we all need to recognize that what we need, we give...So this year, don't waste time hoping that someone will love you the way you love them, recognize what they are doing to express their love for you. That's what Christmas is for me, recognizing the sacrifice of others on my behalf. Tonight, I thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus. I hope you share my thoughts. Merry Christmas from my heart to yours. I hope you are surrounded by those you love this Christmas, and if you are not, I hope you savor some sweet memories of them.
     Miss Jodi

Monday, December 23, 2013

Adventure in texting

     Last summer we made the mistake of going to PetSmart on adoption day...I'm sure you know the drill...but should you happen to be one of those annoying people who can resist a rescued puppy, it goes a little something like this: we see a cute little puppy and go up to it. Brilliant sales person honed in her skills, rushes up to us and tells us one of several heart wrenching stories about how the puppy was found wandering around the Mojave Desert being chased by a group of mange covered coyotes, about how she was then nursed back to health from starving and dehydrated, and of course, close to death. The puppy was rescued just in time. Of course, if they cannot find a "Forever Home" for her, TONIGHT by 6pm, she will be put down. What a tragedy, what a waste...but if you sign here and pay $89. not only you can take her home, but you get a free 1/4 lb bag of puppy chow, and a coupon for 5% off your total purchase of $20. or less of qualifying purchases, only at a participating PetSmart, and only within the first hour of owning her. No sooner did we get her home did said puppy develop a case of diarrhea. Having just spent $89. on the adoption fee, $25. on a dog bed and $63. on a dog crate, we were a bit short on cash. So, we did what any concerned (cheap) person would do, we called my niece who happens to be a Veterinary technician, and explained the situation to her. Being the gem that she is, we were given instructions that I shall not mention here, and told to keep her informed. So, we did as she suggested and began our vigilant watch over the puppies poop's. The next morning I sent my niece a text with an update on the puppy, it went something like this: "Hi Nichole, the puppy seems to be doing good. She still has soupy poops but is acting fine and eating and drinking normally." That afternoon I sent her another: "Hi Nikki, All is good. She still has diarrhea though. Other than that she seems to be happy and is playful. Love you!" And that evening another, "Hi Love, she still has diarrhea. No other changes."  I'm sure you can imagine my surprise and utter horror, when a few minutes later I received a text that read: "Hey, I'm really sorry about your dog, but you have the wrong number. Please stop texting me..." Needless to say, I am now very careful when I send texts. Especially when they contain updates on my dogs stool.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gift Bags

     Gift bags. I'm not quite sure when they first came into existence, but along with the rest of America, I am exceedingly grateful to the genius who thought them up. Gone are the days of trying to wrap a fire poker or a kitten. No more trying to find a square box big enough so you can wrap up a bonus pack of tighty whites or a hockey stick. And the best thing about gift bags is that as long as someone didn't break a gift bag rule, you can re-use them. I am pretty sure I got one from the 90's for my birthday last year...With the holidays just around the corner, I thought I would do us all a favor and write out the Gift Bag rules. It's just my way of making gift giving a little easier, or at least a little less awkward. So go ahead and re-use the gift bag you were given, that along with making gift wrapping simple, is really the whole point, just make sure to follow these guidelines:
     (1.  Keep the bag decor appropriate for the gift you are giving. For instance, don't use a bag decorated with Elmo to give a graduation gift (FYI grads like mullah more than gifts anyway), or a wedding bag to give a birthday gift (especially to an unmarried relative, because they may think you are trying to tell them something).
     (2.   Avoid at all costs re-using a popular theme on a bag. No Tickle from "Moonshiners, Uncle Si from "Duck-Dynasty," or 6 year old "Mylie Cyrus" bags. EVER. And no matter how tempting it may be to buy 6 for a dollar at the local K-Mart, don't. Just DON'T. Pass on that Blue Light special.
     (3.   Never write a name directly on a gift bag. This ruins the re-using possibilities for the next person, and a tree will have to be cut down so a new bag can be made. You don't want to live with that guilt now do you? And along these lines, when you re-use a bag, check carefully to make sure that there isn't a name hidden somewhere on the bag. You don't want the recipient of your gift to loudly exclaim, "Who is Hunny Bear?" That's just awkward.
     So there you have it folks. From my home to yours. Feel free to pass this information on. Knowledge is power.
     Till next time,
     If it can't fit in a bag, don't give it.
     Miss Jodi

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Ghetto Fabulous tree

     Real or faux? That is the question for many a person at this time of year. But not for us. We are a faux Christmas tree kinda family. Oh, it's not that I have anything against cutting down a beautiful earth friendly, oxygen producing, air purifying live tree. I wouldn't exactly call myself a Greenie, a Mother earth type, or a "Save-the-butter-cup" freak, however, it's just seems so, Oh, I don't know...selfish? Kill a tree just so you can have the scent of pine in your house and needles on your floor? I also feel I have to mention that real increases your risk of a house fire at the same time. Um, no thanks. I'll go faux. thank you very much.
      Well, today my husband bravely faced the dust and dark and all around general creepiness of the garage to go where he goes only twice a year. Both of those times involve our lovely faux Christmas tree. Once to bring it out and the other to put it back. Today as he carefully began to unpack the tree, he calmly and matter of factly proclaimed, "A rat lived here." And just as calmly and matter of factly, he also proclaimed, "And it still does." I happened to be holding a baby goat on my lap (4 babies were delivered yesterday but that's another story for another day.) and so I quickly set it down in the bathroom so I could help him. I looked over in time to see the mouse (not a rat mind you) jump up into the air. Why do they do that? Aren't they creepy enough already? Do also have to jump? (Guess what my nightmares are going to be about tonight?) I opened the front door and got our Rat Terrier Pixie to go after it. She did, but she is an old girl so she ended up chasing, not killing the beast...
     After we had brought out all the pieces from the house and threw them into the trash can, we stood there looking at the empty Christmas tree box as it lay on our front lawn. It was a sad sight. Logically, I asked Jeff to go to the store and pick up another faux. I was very specific as I'm sure most women are when it comes to something they will have to look at for years to come. I actually wanted to go myself but the goats needed milking, the chickens needed feeding, and I still had dinner to make. A faux tree is a commitment. I'm sure you understand. So I said, "You can get a nice one for around $115. Make sure it looks real and is nice and full. I don't want you to bring some skinny thing up in here that I can see right through. Full and realistic. Height does not matter, fullness does. Got it?" and again, I said, "$115. full and realistic." just to make sure we were clear on what I wanted. This is not a time for creativity. Two hours later he came home with a large boxed faux tree. "Guess what I paid for it?" he asked me. "I don't know, $115.? I asked." He proudly proclaimed, "Nope, ONLY $35.!"  "THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS?" I yelled? He must have thought I was giddy with excitement at his thrifty treasure. I was not. "I told you I don't want some ghetto tree! I can't believe you paid $35.!!!"  He went on to explain with a look upon his face that can only be described as crushed, that the original price was $70. but because of the black Friday sale, he got it for 50% off. I then said some things I rather regret, such as how the tree had better be full and realistic or else I would return it fully assembled to the store he purchased it from, just drive up with a big old tree and walk to the customer service desk as bold as you please, Oh yes I would. He looked at me rather sadly, and then quietly began to put it together. Now, I have to admit now that is all assembled, it does look rather nice. And yes, it IS full and somewhat realistic looking, and with the lights on and the wire used to secure it in case a kitten or two should happen to climb into its aluminum branches, it looks rather cozy and Christmasey and lovely.  Even if it was only $35. Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Day

     Whether you are scrambling to make dinner, or scrambling so you won't be late for dinner, I wish you a heartfelt and happy Thanksgiving day. I am thankful for each and every one of you. God bless you!

Psalm 100
"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his

     Giving thanks,
     Miss Jodi

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pearls of wisdom part two

      I have seen my share of tantrums and fits. And just because my youngest is at the golden and glorious age of 15 doesn't mean we are through with them either. BELIEVE me you! My head is not full of silver hair because my life as a parent has been easy. Each silver strand, I am convinced, belongs to a particular fit from a particular child...I have no scientific evidence to back this theory up, but to be honest, I don't need it.
      I want to be very clear, I am not an expert on child rearing. I have no degree in early childhood development that I can frame and nail to my wall. But what I do have is just as valuable, if not more. I have experience Jack. You can read all the books on parenting that you want, but let me tell you a secret: someone, somewhere had to gain the experience before they could teach it. Someone had to school the scholars. Which brings me to Part Two of Pearls of Wisdom:
     From the minute your child breathes his first breath, he will be out for number one. I am not saying that your child is self centered, arrogant, and selfish...wait, YES. Yes I am. He is all of those and more. Now that does not make your child wicked, or any worse than the next child that comes along, it just make them human. Our role as parents is to help our child become compassionate and kind and one day be a benefit to society and to man kind. Those are all things that do not come naturally.
     One thing I see far too often in our society right now is the mistake of trying to be your child's friend. Let me make it clear here peeps, you cannot be your child's friend. Until that is, they are out of the house. Trying to be a friend instead of being an authoritative role as a parent sets your child up for failure. Don't do it. It's not only OK to tell your child "No," it is imperative to your child's development. I know it's hard and everything in you wants to make your child happy, but being happy isn't the most important thing in life, I don't care what Cinderella says...
     Saying "No" sets boundaries, and helps your child learn to respect authority by helping them to understand that you know better than they do. Let your child have a good fit when you tell them they cannot have brownies for dinner. But here is the key: ignore the fit. When they are good and tired, tell them that you understand how frustrated they were, but that kind of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Eating brownies for dinner is not OK for a child. For a mommy, yes. But not for Junior.
     I speak for all of society when I tell you that we are sick of your bratty child getting everything they want, exactly when they want it. It sets them up for failure when they enter school, and if it continues long enough, you end up with an entitled young adult who refuses to do what their employer asks them to do and doesn't understand why they were not promoted to Vice President after working for an entire 3 weeks, which leads to your young adult living with you FOREVER, which NO sane person wants. And now that we are talking about children getting what they want, here is a tip that will make your life a heck of a lot easier: tell your children that if they see a toy on television, they cannot have it. Ever. This helped us a great deal when our kids were younger and Christmas time rolled around. Here is another tip, (I'm on a roll here folks!) don't buy your children anything until they are 5 years old. Until then, everything is a huge waste of money and really only serves your ego to give it to them. First off, they won't remember, and secondly, they will be just as happy with an empty box as they will  with the toy that came in it. So what's the point in it? Don't take them to Disneyland before the age of 5 either. WASTE-OF-TIME-AND-MULAH. Sorry Mickey. It is the truth. Give your child chores and the satisfaction they get from a job well done will help build their character much better that the latest Tonka truck or Barbi doll. Well, there you have it. I'm ready to get off of my soap box. Till next time anyway...
     I'll be back with part three soon,
     Miss Jodi

Monday, November 11, 2013

Yummy, Pearls of Wisdom part one

     I'm no parenting expert, but I have learned a thing or two in the past 22 years. (22? How the heck did THAT happen?) Anyway, here are a few of the precious pearls of wisdom I've gleaned along the way. First off, go ahead and think your baby has a superior palate because you feed him steamed and pureed butternut squash and organic yogurt sweetened with agave nectar. I'm here to tell you that somewhere in the second year of life, your child will develop a taste for minced, processed, chicken, breaded and deep fried, potted meat of questionable origins shaped into a tube, and a certain brand of macaroni that comes in a blue box and has a nutritional value so bad it's in the negative. That's right my friends, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. The stuff Martha Stewart's nightmares are made of. Not only will Junior LOVE them, he will also refuse any and all healthy foods. Oh, and might I mention, become hysterical to the point of passing out if he cannot eat his favorite three? Nothing will convince your sweet child to eat a healthy bite. No trickery. No bribe. No amount of calling it "Yummy." You can call it yummy till the cows come home, Junior isn't going to hear of it. Welcome to parenthood my friends. I think this is a good time to slip in a little nugget (no, not chicken!) to help make society a bit more pleasant: between the ages of infancy and four years, unless it is a restaurant designed specifically with place mats that include a set of three crayons, or happens to have a playground (think Chuck E Cheese or McDonald's), do all of humanity a favor and keep the kid at home. Anything else is a complete waste of time. Unless you can park the car, order, sit down AND eat in exactly 3.5 seconds or less, you are wasting your money and  putting yourself and those around you in a torturous situation similar to the removal of fingernails. I'll say it again just in case you didn't understand it or happen to be slow, LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME! There you go folks, part one of three.
     Till next time,
     Give in to the Mac and Cheese,
     Miss Jodi

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jack o Lantern


     Happy Halloween Y'all! Nothing says American quite like handing a sharp weapon over to a 6 year old and having them go at a 3" thick pumpkin skin, right?. And if carving a smile wasn't difficult enough, we insist on a smile with missing teeth. Because we don't believe in Pumpkin Diversity. ALL pumpkins must have smiles with missing teeth. That's just the way it is. Well, I don't know about you, but I can barely cut out a coupon from the Sunday paper with straight lines, that means that any pumpkin that comes across my path isn't going to win a beauty contest...and since we are on the subject, I wonder what the statistics are for accidental stabbings and digit removal on Halloween each year... I'm going to make an educated guess here and say it's pretty high. I fondly remember carving pumpkins with my family when I was a child, however when I became a parent I quickly realized how stressful it was to have a toddler running around while I was trying to cut triangle eyes into a 20 pound orange gourd. Good grief! If you can somehow manage to get the knife all the way in, you still have to pull it back out! NO fond memories for my kids I'm afraid...I'm pretty sure we stopped carving when my son was 2 years old. My daughters have never even seen a pumpkin being carved, they have only heard about it and seen pictures. I don't care. I am not worried that they have missed out on an important holiday tradition, we like to focus on the important things, like at least Mommy and Daddy still have all 10 of their fingers. So what if our Halloween tradition included a beautiful big pumpkin and a Sharpie permanent black marker? It got the job done AND we avoided a trip to the Emergency Room. They still got to go Trick or Treating despite the pressure from churches across the country insisting that to do so was participating in Satanic worship. I can guarantee there were no animal sacrifices going down at the Cabeza-Blanca house hold. It was all about the free candy. Yes we Trick or Treated, and yes we love Jesus. You can do both. I'm just glad my children are grown and I don't have to worry about all that junk any more. The best part? I get to keep the candy. Here is a wonderful little tip for a happy Halloween: get a large bowl from the Dollar Store and buy some of your favorite candy. Don't mess around with the "Mini" or the "Snack" sized crap. Go ahead and get some full sized candy bars Jack. If you want to go all out, get a "King" size. Then, eat them, That's right. No Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig tonight baby. Eat those mothers up! But make sure you save the wrappers. Then get out a piece of paper and use that Sharpie marker to make a sign that says: "Take One." Then, put the sign, and the bowl next to your front door. The last thing for you to do is drop the candy wrappers around your front yard. Go inside, put on your jammies, pop some corn, and turn on the television in the back room so it cannot be seen from the front door. Turn off all the other lights, sit down and relax. This is going to be the best Halloween EVER!!!! No annoying princesses or scary teenagers tonight my friends! The neighborhood kids are all going to think that you were so generous that you were giving out FULL SIZED candy bars but that some selfish beast came along and ate it all. The kids think you are awesome, and no tricks on you, win-win situation! I know you will appreciate this so you are welcome to send your thanks in the form of King sized Reese's Peanut Butter cups or full sized Twix.
     Be Safe, be smart, and eat your own candy for goodness sake!
     Miss Jodi

Monday, October 21, 2013

Parking lot Tamales

      I may have mentioned that I live in Southern California. If you were to ask me for a recommendation for authentic Mexican food, you may be surprised when I direct you down Bear Valley Boulevard to the Dollar Store parking lot and tell you to walk up to the light brown van parked there and ask for Fernando. His family makes the best tamales in town. Parking lots and tamales may not sound like a good combination, you may even think it sounds dangerous, however, I have found them to be amazing. It is not at all uncommon to be walking toward a store and have someone call out to you, "Tamales?" My friend Tamala once thought someone knew her because this happened. The man asked her, "Tamales?" And she thought he somehow knew her and was calling her name with an accent, so she answered, "Yes?" and her then told her "One Dollar." She quickly figured out that she had just agreed to a tamale purchase. I don't know if she went home with dinner or not, but she certainly should have. I swear on my beagles life, this is a true story. Now before you go out there in hopes of scoring some dinner, there are some guidelines you need to know about. And since I am such a sweetie pie, I'm going to help you out with a few of the basics. First, never follow someone into a back alley with hopes of getting a tamale bargain, it's just not going to end well. Second, get the pork. (My husband was offered a mozzarella tamale once, I'm not too sure what that was all about, but being the smart man that he is, he quickly refused the offer.) Thirdly, never approach someone who you think is selling tamales, let them approach you, unless it is Fernando at the Dollar Store parking lot, (otherwise you can get into a whole heap load of trouble, take my word for it.)  Never buy tamales from a gas station parking lot. I don't have a good reason for this, it just seems nasty to me. And lastly, don't buy from a Gringo. They just can't pull off an authentic tamale, as hard as they may try. The only exception to this rule is if it is a Texan Gringo. They know a thing or two about Mexican food. Well, I hope I have helped to ease the fear of parking lot tamales for you, if I have, then I know in my heart that I have served society well. You just can't beat a homemade batch of steamed parking lot tamales. But don't just take my word for it, find out for yourself.
     Till next time,
     Tamales for dinner tonight,
     Miss Jodi

Monday, October 14, 2013

Instagram and The Squirrel hunter

     I'll be the 3rd to tell you technology is not my strong point. First would be my husband and second would be any one of my children. I can maneuver around Facebook fairly well, have about 5% of my Smart phone down pat, and am quite the email expert. However, I am fairly new to Instagram. Here are the basics according to my understanding: you can follow your friends, your friends can follow you, you can follow your favorite business and they can follow you. You share pictures, they share pictures. Everyone can make comments on each others posts.That's pretty much it. So, imagine my surprise this morning, when I am scrolling down my Instagram page, reading comments and looking at pictures of the obligatory adorable grandchild of my friends, pictures of someone's Machaca breakfast at Molly Browns Country Cafe, and the daily selfie from a young adult who for some reason wants to record herself each and every day without fail for all to see, when suddenly, I see a disturbing picture of a dehydrated squirrel posted by someone calling themselves "The Squirrel Hunter." Further down the page it got ever stranger. They had a picture of a couple dozen meat grinders. Now the strange thing about all this is the fact that I do not know who "The Squirrel Hunter" is and I do NOT remember ever following them..... So either someone is punking me, or I am going through moments of unconsciousness while operating my Instagram account. I suppose either could be the case. I do have insomnia and there is always the possibility that I could turn on my computer in a state of semi-consciousness. I think however, that this more than likely be a joke. I'll keep you posted....Until then, if you happen to be an Instagram follower and are particularly fond of deceased squirrels, you might enjoy following "The Squirrel Hunter."
     Miss Jodi

Me and Dr. Zasio

     Have you ever seen someone meet a celebrity and they instantly change from a normal human being into a hot blubbering mess? They start saying lame things like, "I'm you biggest fan!" or "I love your work!" or "You are the greatest!"  Maybe you are one of those people, perhaps you have met someone you look up to and have said those very things. Here is where I once again humble myself and admit to you that although I find this behavior utterly and completely pathetic, I did the exact same thing. A couple of years ago, I was working at what was considered to be the nicest hotel in the High Desert, the Hilton Garden Inn. (Don't laugh, I am serious)  Any time a production crew came through town, they always stayed at the Hilton. Hoarders (Perhaps my favorite show ever, because compared to people who have multiple flat cats in their house, I am Martha Stewart. Make sense?) was filming up here so of course they stayed with us. I was working at the front desk, checking people in, checking them out, and making reservations just like any other day. It was particularly busy that day and we were sold out which was not uncommon for a weekday. There I was minding my own business and doing my share to keep Paris Hilton the spoiled-rotten, filthy-rich person she is, when who should suddenly appear before me, but the one and only Dr. Zasio, one of the Dr.'s from the Hoarders show. I instantly became that hot, blubbering, mess that so many other people before me have. I mumbled something idiotic like, "O, wow! Dr. Zasio! I love your show!"  She was gracious and thanked me, then politely asked for her room key. I felt so stupid. I was such a dork. Just another geeky fan. I may have even asked her for her identification....I refuse to ever let this happen again. If I ever do meet another celebrity I have a plan. I am going to pretend not to know who they are. I will not tell them how great I think they are, I will not ask for an autograph (and now that we're talking about it, what is up with autographs? I just don't get it. Unless it's at the bottom of a check written out to me, I don't care about your signature. I just do not.). I will remain calm, cool and collected. Oh who am I kidding?
     Till next time,
     Dr. Zasios' biggest fan,
     Miss Jodi

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Knowledge is power

     Perhaps I have been watching too much television. Mystery and crime solving shows in particular. It seems to me though, that lock picking would be a very useful skill to have. I am thinking of taking it up, I could use a new hobby after all... As I did some research for this exciting new hobby, I found numerous helpful websites with everything from videos to pictures (see above), all  of which had this sentence somewhere in their advertisement: "Have you ever been locked out of your house?" I certainly have! I can also think of a couple other reasons knowing how to pick a lock would come in useful. Lets say you need to borrow your neighbors punch bowl and they happen to be at work...or you have a craving at midnight for one of those amazing deep fried hot apple pies from KFC, or do you remember the time when you saw the dental assistant mistakenly scribble "Difficult" across the top of you chart in all caps, when all you asked for was a  wee little cocktail before your cleaning? See? Now that I think of it, knowing how to hot wire a car could come in handy too... Ah, the power of knowledge. And Google.
     Because you never know....
     Miss Jodi

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Jesus is watching...

     I saw this in a little thrift store today called High Desert Pickers and just had to share with you.

Disneyland math

     Want to know why Mickey is always so happy? Because he is a greedy, filthy- rich, RAT who takes advantage of Californian's. And we let him!!!!
     I live in Southern California. Anytime someone visits from out of state, guess where they expect to go? Yep, Disneyland. Now when I was growing up in the 70's, Disney was not that expensive. At one point it was actually FREE (You read correctly). The park was open to anyone. If you wanted to go on the rides you purchased tickets. We went often. At least once or twice a year. And in the 80's Disney even gave a California discount when you went.You simply showed them your ID and they would knock off a significant portion of the entrance fee. Now, it's over a ninety bucks for a day pass and that doesn't even include Disney Adventure. A parking pass alone costs $15.  Lets do the math people, $92. for a ticket, $15. to park, $25. for gasoline, $6. for a lukewarm churro, $7.50 for a flat Coca-cola, 3 hours of driving to get there, and 2 plus hours to get on a ride that is over in 1 minute.... (which makes NO sense at all!!!!) We are getting ripped of here folks! I say lets boycott Disney! If you think about it, they should make it worth a California residents while by letting them in for FREE when they bring a friend or relative. Am I right here? And we should get free parking, free lukewarm churro's and they should kick in a set of Micky ears with our name embroidered on them. I am not against them making a profit. But I am against being taken advantage of. Which is why our family has not been to Disney for close to 10 years. So here is an idea for you Mickey. Make it affordable for your average Jodi to go to your park with her family. We make it worth your while. In the mean time, you can keep your cute little hat ears and your pathetic luke warm churros. I don't even like Coke. We have plenty of the obligatory childhood photos with mouse ears. Keep it. Keep all Mr. Mouse.
     Till next time,
     Fed up with rats,
     Miss Jodi

     OK, upon reading this post, my dear friend Rose invited our family to go to Disneyland with her. We went last Friday and I have to admit that we had a very nice time. They had decorated for Christmas and all the employees were cheerful and friendly. Even the security guard who had to deny entrance to someone who insisted on bringing their Swiss Army knife into the park was smiling. (Who brings a Swiss Army knife to Disneyland? I mean if you need to go into survival mode you should probably exit the park...) I did not see Mickey. He may have heard I was there and tried successfully to avoid me. And we did not have a lukewarm churro. FYI we ate lunch at the Thunder Ranch and although it was expensive, it was delicious and all you can eat and family style. I would recommend it. Rose was a wonderful hostess, we truly did enjoy our time with her at Disney. So thank you once again Rose!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The secret appetite suppresant


     I know all of us (except for maybe you SHANA!) are all trying to keep our weight under control. There is always some new appetite suppressant floating around the Internet, Raspberry Ketones, Hydroxy cut, drink olive oil, drink water, eat lettuce, swallow fiber pills, and the list goes on. But I'm going to share with you a secret I learned a while back. It works every time. I guarantee. I swear on my beagle's life. This is what you do if you want to eat less at dinner: get yourself a box of fine chocolates (none of that dollar store junk, think Sees or Lindt). Prepare your dinner as you normally would. Now open the box of chocolates and eat several. After this, eat your dinner. You will find that you do not have any desire for second helpings. Heck, you might not even want to finish what is on your plate. This works amazingly well. Natural, and delicious! A great way to control you appetite! I know you will want to thank me for this, so feel free to leave me a comment. You are welcome ahead of time.
     Miss Jodi

more blah blah

Monday, September 30, 2013

Natalia Anna Maria and the salad bar

     Do other countries have salad bars or is the idea of "All you can eat" exclusive to America? I don't know about you, but our family loves the idea of rows and rows of luke warm broccoli, spinach, beets, jello cubes, and imitation crab salad. Let's not forget the containers of salad dressings that some ding dong switched the serving ladle for so now the Blue cheese is contaminating the Thousand Island. I'm not sure what the attraction is, but it's there, and we fall for it every time. (Seriously, there should be rules posted somewhere that everyone can see. Better yet? You should have to sign a contract before you fill up that plate!) As of now, the only safeguard we have in place is the sneeze guard. (Gag) At the Sizzer the other day, I just happen to get behind some man who loved to say his daughters name so much that he used it in each and every sentence. "Natalia Anna Maria, would you like some olives on your salad? Natalia Anna Maria, how about some croutons? Natalia Anna Maria, look at the peaches! You love peaches! Would you like some in a bowl or on the salad plate? Natalia Anna Maria if you eat your salad you can have some ice cream for dessert!" Good grief! Let the kid serve herself! Spare me and the rest of civilization our sanity and stop saying her name! And if anyone ever simply calls her by her first name only, the poor kid won't know who they are talking to! I can only take so much!  For goodness sake people! Do us all a favor and don't give your kids a name with more than 2 syllables! And don't use their middle name in public! Middle names are for birth certificates, wedding announcements, for mamas to use when you are in serious trouble, and obituaries. That's it!  How do you not know this? Ask anyone! Look around you! Stop being so self indulgent. Yes its a pretty name, but I don't want to hear it more than once. NOBODY does! I guarantee you! We can take a poll right here and now and I bet 99% of the people would agree that no one cares what your kids middle name is.
     Honestly, middle names are superfluous!
     Miss Jodi (Kay for the record, or obituary, which ever comes first)


     But seriously, keep shaving those arm pits. Because unless you are Julia Roberts, you aren't gonna get away with it. And even with her it's do yourself a favor and shave the pits ladies, but the legs can wait till April.
     Till next time,
     Hairy legs, but smooth pits,
     Miss Jodi

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's complicated

       I'd like to think I am of average intelligence. I am certainly more creative than intellectual. No complaints though, I'm pretty content with the way I am. There are times (usually when math is involved) when I think it might be nice to be gifted in that area, but hey, that's why God gave us the calculator. To even the playing field you know? We can't all be Einstein and we can't all be Monet. But there are some things in this big world that are completely mind boggling to me. I am certain that everyone has something they just don't understand. I simply try not to think too much about them. It just isn't fruitful. Things like: how exactly does "Copy-paste" work? (magic me thinks) and  how do cups that are exactly the same size, fit into each other? And why do opposites attract? And perhaps the strangest of all, how can a two pound box of nuts and chews add ten pounds to my back side? I just don't get it.... but that's OK. I'll just think about something else.
     Till next time,
     Lost in thought,
     Miss Jodi

Till next time,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mama bear


     One of the most difficult parts about being a parent is having to decide what battles your child must face on their own and when it is necessary to step in. After months of waiting, and praying, and letting her face it on her own, I stepped in on my teenagers behalf today. I hope I made the right decision.... I am praying that I did and that I handled it correctly. Wouldn't the world be a much nicer place if we all just followed those rules we learned in Kindergarten? You know: Share, Play Nicely, and Don't eat the paste? Sigh....
     I believe that in our society today, there are far too many Helicopter Moms out there. (Helicopter parent is a colloquial, early 21st-century term for a parent who pays extremely close attention to his or her child's or children's experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. The term was originally coined by Foster W. Cline, M.D. ) We.hold our children on a pedestal, where they don't belong, and anyone who offers the slightest criticism is torn to shreds. What happens then, is our children are unable to take any criticism, good or bad, true or false. They begin to actually believe that they can do no wrong. Their respect for authority begins to fade, until it gets to the point that if anyone offers any advice they are mocked and belittled. A police officer handing out a ticket is accused of singling them out. A teacher who gives a poor grade on a test is questioned. An employer who suggests that an employee be thorough in their work, then has their employee walk in the middle of their shift in frustration. I don't want that for my children! I want to have them respect those in authority over them. The difficulty however, lies in not letting things get to the point where your child is bullied.
     There is a scene in the movie "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" that is running through my mind right now. In it, Peyton the nanny who is played by Rebecca De Mornay, confidently walks up to the schoolyard bully and grabs him by the arm. She then twists it until it almost breaks and tells him that she has a message from Emma (the girl she takes care of). "Leave Emma alone or I'm gonna rip your --- head off."
     I know exactly how she feels. I admit to fantasizing about doing something similar to this. And hey, if I'm going to be honest here, quite often. The good thing? I don't follow through. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Perfectly put, and so true. The fury that boils inside of you when you see your loved one being treated unfairly or cruelly can often be unbearable. I believe that when God says in the Good Book, "Justice is mine," He is, as always speaking truth. But I find it hard to resist helping Him out sometimes...There are often times, when resisting such satisfying behavior is unbearable.
     A couple of years ago, I was working with a woman who was horrible. I am not exaggerating. She was a Triple Horned Beast in a power suit. I could do nothing right. She seemed to have her radar set directly onto me. I did my best and worked with great integrity but to no avail. One particularly grueling day, I was weary and emotionally drained from the stress. I couldn't take it a minute longer. I was so tired of this woman cutting corners when it came to her work and arriving late and leaving early and then turning around and criticizing and punishing my hard work. When she left that day, I continued praying just as I had been. But this time instead of prayers to be able to continue and to bear it, my prayers were, "Lord, I cannot. Not another day, not another minute. Father take me out of this workplace or take her." I admit, I was greatly tempted to ask Him to take her life....(I am not proud of this.) I didn't ask Him to, but yes, it was that bad, and yes,the thought did cross my mind 2 or perhaps even 2,010 times (give or take). However, I refrained from suggesting that she meet Jesus that night, and I am so glad I did! The next day when I got to work, everything was going along as normal. Until about 11. Suddenly a locksmith showed up. Co-workers began whispering. Then the manager came up to me and told me that the Triple Horned Beast in a power suit was no longer employed by the company, and was not welcome on the premises. Furthermore, I was to call security if she came for her belongings. She had been fired. THANK GOD I didn't ask for her life! O thank you LORD! I had such guilt over asking that she be taken out of the work place and it actually happening!!! Let me tell you, we need to be careful what we ask God for. I should have been asking Him to soften her heart and to weigh heavy upon her conscience to work with integrity. Instead, I selfishly prayed for her to be removed.
     I am a wicked person. I readily admit to this. The good news is, I don't follow up on my horrible thoughts. Sometimes I even do the right thing. Not always. I would like to think that I do the right thing more and more often as I get older.  I sure hope that as I get closer to heaven, my heart gets more and more ready to be there. In the mean time, keep me in your prayers would ya? And you can also pray that I find that happy medium. You know, that place of discretion found somewhere between the Helicopter Mom and the Mom who looks away in the name of teaching responsibility? Thanks all.
     Till next time,
     I'm not doing what I want to do....
     Miss Jodi

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ruffles have ridges

     Remember the Ruffles commercial? "Ruffles have ridges?" Why call them Ruffles? That sounds like something you would call a Tutu, NOT a potato chip. If it has ridges, just call it Ridges potato chips. Not Ruffles, that's just stupid. Now speaking of Ruffles, I know we all have our vices, and mine could easily be (and has in the past been) worse. But I will admit to you with my head hung in shame, that mine is Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream potato chips. Something ugly happens when I pull a bag of those babies open. It's not pretty. I start out nicely and with the best of intentions of course . A single cheesy chip, delicately placed into my salivating mouth. I savor the cheesy-sour-cream flavor and gently bite down, one slow thoughtful crunch followed by another, this time a little quicker, and another, and another, each time a little faster than the last. I stick my hand into the bag and pull out the second chip and place it into my mouth and immediately grab two more. It's about this moment when I become a wild rabid beast. I probably look like one of those lions on a National Geographic special that hasn't eaten anything for a week and jumps on some poor unsuspecting Water Buffalo that happens to be minding its own business eating prairie grass and gets turned into flying pieces of flesh....Probably. OK, more than likely. I don't know what it is. Maybe it' the crunch, maybe the cheesiness, maybe the sour cream. I don't know. I don't care. It's just...amazing. I never buy a big bag, only the single serving size. Which really isn't a single serving if you look at the nutritional information on the back. Talk about depressing. They kinda ruin the whole moment by putting the facts right there on the back of the bag...It's almost as bad as a menu at a restaurant that has the caloric value RIGHT next to the description of the dish. I think it would be classier to have that on the receipt. You don't want to know when you order, right? Let me know the damage AFTER it's been done. The price and the calories all at once. Good grief Charlie Brown. So if you happen to see me with a glazed look in my eyes and a strange orange powder around my mouth and on my fingers and a crumpled bag of Ruffles at my feet, please... look the other way. Just. Look. Away.            

Coffee breath


     This morning as I headed out to church, I realized that I had some extra time on my hands. What's a sleep deprived girl to do with an extra 15 minutes? That's right. Coffee. I helped myself to a Pumpkin Spiced small cuppa with a touch of cream and  headed off to church.
     Now at my church, Calvary Chapel of the High Desert, we have 3 services. I am not a morning person and I don't want to scare anyone, so logically, I go to the second service. Second service is supposed to start at 9:45, however we are on what is affectionately referred to as, "Calvary time," which means anywhere within half an hour of the time stated. When I rolled up at 9:40 I found to my great shock that the first service had not only ended on time, but a little early. I saw a group of friends and decided to stop over and say hello.
     I approached my friends and greeted them with a hug and a hello. Strangely, each one took a step back from me after I said hello...I did a mental check list: Did I use deodorant? Yes. Did I shower? Yes I did. Did I brush my teeth? Yes I did.... but I also had that cuppa. Oh. Coffee breath.
     "Sorry girls!" I said cheerfully. I had a cup of coffee on the way over. From now on I'll refrain from using any word that starts with an "H." After I said this, my friend Renee sweetly pulled out her purse and said,"Let me get you a breath mint, because we are going to sing "Hosanna." And we did. Thank God for honest friends who happen to carry breath mints in their purse.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

We'll bring dessert

     Sunday evening we had some friends and family over for dinner. Although they live in the same state, we don't get to see them very often. One of our guests, my dear old friend Kole (a career-bachelor-clearly-not-given- the-gift-of-hospitality) volunteered to bring the dessert. I should have known better.
     We worked all day preparing and cooking and planning the dinner. Everything was ready, the house looked great, food was in the oven and steaks on the grill. Our company arrived and as we greeted them I was ceremoniously handed a jar of brownie mix by said career-bachelor-clearly-not-given-the-gift-of-hospitality. "Here's dessert. I thought we could make this." He said with a charming smile. "Oh" I replied, "Thanks." I turned the jar in my hands and stared at it in disbelief. "You shouldn't have. REALLY. You shouldn't have." In an attempt to hide my suprise, I set the jar aside and told my guest that we would just play it by ear. Maybe we wouldn't even want dessert.... (I certainly didn't feel like cooking something else and dirtying more dishes.) I had expected a cake, some cookies, maybe even a plate of brownies, but certainly not brownie ingredients in a sad little glass canning jar.
      We enjoyed a wonderful meal and great conversation. Then, someone said something about wanting a little something sweet."Here are some grapes," I suggested hopefully."No, I was thinking something cakey. We could make the brownies!" Piped up the career-bachelor-clearly-not-given-the-gift-of-hospitality. "Um, yeah, I don't really want to bake that." I replied truthfully. Someone asked, "Where did it come from anyway?" The career-bachelor-clearly-not-given-the-gift-of-hospitality answered, "Oh, I got it for Christmas once." Someone somewhere asked if it was still good, suggesting that maybe the ingredients had since expired. We looked at the jar and decided that you can't really tell, and chose not to bake it. Happy me. Instead, my dear friend Howard and I volunteered to drive to the store and find something else.
     We ended up at a little restaurant that offered two choices for dessert, Banana cream or Chocolate cream pie. We ordered one of each and drove toward home. On the way back Howard confided in me ,"Jo, I hate that jar! I just hate it! I can't believe he brought that!"  I asked how long his brother, (the career-bachelor-clearly-not-given-the-gift-of-hospitality) had been bringing the jar to dinner parties and Howard said he was not sure. By his calculations it was at least 2 years though. We arrived home, the pie was devoured. Soon after everyone started to leave. As he was leaving, I handed the career-bachelor-clearly-not-given-the-gift-of-hospitality the jar of brownie mix. "Here," I told him, take it with you. You can try to give it to your next hostess." As you read this post, there is at this very moment, somewhere in or near Riverside California, a cold little jar of brownie mix just waiting to make its' way to another dinner party given by another unsuspecting hostess....
      I want to make very clear that bringing a gift for your hostess is truly not necessary, nothing is expected in return. But for all of you who may want to bring a gift but do not know the proper etiquette of what to give your hostess, I have compiled a list to help you along:
     1) A nice bottle of extra virgin olive oil (I couldn't tell you the difference between virgin and extra virgin, in my book you either are, or are not virgin, but what ever)
     2) A scented bar of luxury hand soap (NOT Irish Springs, Lava soap, or Ivory by any means)
     3) A new or antique book on a subject they are interested in (perhaps "Taxidermy for beginers "
     4) A bouquet of flowers, unless of course your hostess suffers from hay fever
     5) A bottle of white wine for cooking (but NEVER under any circumstances should you bring a box of wine. That my friends is tacky to the umph degree. Just trust me here.)

     I have also compiled a short list of things NOT to bring:
     1) A jar of brownie mix gifted to you at Christmas 2 years ago
     2) A jar of ANYTHING gifted to you at Christmas 2 years ago
     3) A set of hubcaps
     4) Fruitcake
     5) The litter of ferrel kittens that has been living under your floorboards for the past week and a half
     I guarantee that if you stick to these guidelines, you will have a happy hostess. A happy hostess will invite you over again. Another invite means another free meal and a lovely evening with friends. You are welcome.
     Miss Jodi

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Peter Pan years

     Today we celebrate the 22nd birthday of Dakota, my first born child and only son. I thought I would take the time to embarrass him in honor of this special occasion as any good momma would. From the moment I met him my life changed for the better. Legos, toy trucks, tiny tools and many  books. This little genius taught himself how to read at the age of 3 and has been unstoppable every since. His love of learning never slowed down. He has a deep sense of loyalty and a heart of gold. There have been ups and downs and plenty of in between. Heartbreak and happiness, laughter and tears. He was our guinea pig in the parenting department, may I just apologize right now? I'm sorry kid. I truly am. We didn't know what we were doing.... A great and ongoing parenting experiment. Because of him we are better parents and have many happy memories. Because of him, our girls can't get away with much. A great source of happiness and a never ending supply of wit, sarcasm, banter, and laughter. I thank God for you Son. Tonight, a toast to you: To your future, to endless possibilities,  and to the Peter Pan years.
     Love, Momma

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back to school

     Today we celebrate my first born childs' 22nd birthday. I won't bore you with those nauseating phrases like: "Where does the time go?" or "How time flies" or "Enjoy them when they are little, it goes by so fast!" which are always said with a wistful look upon ones face. Yes they are true. Yes I think them too. But can we just come up with something new to say? I mean you can't do anything about it right? Let's move forward here shall we? I have a friend who is about 6 years younger than me who just had a baby. As I look at that sweet little bundle of luscious baby-ness I find myself thinking things like, "Oh look at those cute little bitty fingers! Isn't he just darling? What sweet little clothes! And those  thoughts quickly turn into: I am sooo over potty training and tantrums, Thank God it's not me having to get up through the night!" And of course, "What WAS she thinking?" God bless all the mommies out there who clean and do laundry and cook and wash and bathe and discipline and raise-up-a-child-in-the-way-they-should-go, and fall exhausted into bed only to be awakened several times during the night just to do it all over again the very next day, and the next, and the day after that. I love having teenagers and young adults, enjoying conversations that usually make sense and being able to eat in a restaurant that doesn't include a scary clown in a yellow zip up jumpsuit with a red Afro, or a giant rat named Chucky. I love that my kids have their own personalities and opinions and interests. Although I enjoyed my children when they were little, let's be honest here, it was exhausting. I was tired. I needed a nap. And parenthood is 24/7 y'all. Mommies don't get vacations. Unless you have a nanny you pay to raise your child, and what is the point of having children if you are going to do that? Why not just get a tea-cup poodle that you can drop off at the kennel for your vacations? I saw a mommy today at a restaurant who was brave enough to take all of her five children who ranged in age from an infant to an 8 year old. Her crew was all very well behaved and I only saw a total of 3 punches between the brothers and 2 straws flying through the air the entire time we were there. Nothing spilled, no one left the table except for a restroom break and they said their please and thank yous'. The older 3 were boys who wore matching clothes and they were all clean with nails scrubbed and hair combed. I know this because they were so adorable that I could barely keep my eyes off them. As a matter of fact I noticed the Mommy watching me closely several times as I was looking at her children. She probably thought I was a pervert or a kidnapper....But seriously they were all just the cutest little things. As they were getting ready to leave, the waitress came up and was asking the children  if they had started school yet and the Mommy interrupted by answering in a single breath and perhaps a little too loud and with too much enthusiasm: "They start Monday, thank you JESUS! I'm so excited I hardly know what to do!" and then she continued, "This one's starting 3rd grade, this one's starting 1st, this one's going into kindergarten, and this one's in day care, Oh, thank you JESUS!" And I couldn't help but laugh. Now I have a best friend who is a Kinder teacher and she is not looking forward to school starting nearly as much as parents around the world, so I have to honestly say that I THANK GOD ABOVE for all the teachers and day care providers who selflessly and kindly take care of our children from September to June each and every year. Thank you and I am praying for you. I know how difficult it is to keep an entire class under control for five minutes, let alone an entire school day AND to actually teach them something. If I could give each and everyone of you a paid vacation to the Bahamas I most certainly would. But since I cannot, this sincere and heartfelt thank you will have to suffice. And to all the mommies out there I say this... school starts Thursday for us so, PARTAAAAY!!!!!!

Words with friends

     I had a family member invite me to play Words with friend with him last night. All day long I have been trying to figure out how it works. After about 8 hours, I finally admitted defeat and handed my phone over to my son to figure it out so he could translate it for me. He did and this is the conversation that followed:
  Me:     "Why does it say Jodiwhit?"
  Husband:  "That's your user name."
  Me:     "Why couldn't you make it something cute? Like Jodi Witty? Or J-Wit? Or...I don't know, Sexy woman?"
  Husband:   "Don't worry about that. Just play."
  Me:     "But Jodiwhit?!? That's so boring! Whatever."
  Son;     "So you're already playing a game with Howard. It looks like you spelled H-E-L-L.  Now  it's his turn."
  Me:     "Yes, I spelled H-E-L-L last night when we started the game."
  Son:     "Now you need to wait until he is online and playing the game and he will spell a word from that. It's basically Scrabble."
  Me:      "I get it. So I can have different games going at the same time with other people?"
  Son:     "Yes. And you are playing now with Howard."
  Me:      "What is this? It says I lost the game with Zyngawf..."
  Husband:   "Give me that! It says you lost a game with Zyngawf because you left it open and you timed out. So you automatically lost."
  Me:    "I was playing a game with Zyngawf? I didn't know that. How can I be unaware of playing a game? That doesn't make sense!"
  Husband:    "If you play without picking your opponent the game will randomly select someone to play with you."
  Me:    "O, I see. And it picked Zyngawf..."
  Husband:    "Yes."
I pick up the phone and press a button that says "New game with Zyngawf."
  Husband:     "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!!!!"
  Me:     "I'm starting a new game."
  Husband:    "But that's ZYNGAWF!!!"
  Me:     "Yes?"
  Husband:    "You don't want to play with ZYNGAWF! You're already playing with Howard!"
  Me:        "I can't play two games at the same time?"
  Husband:    "Yes but you are already playing with Howard!"
  Me:      "Why can't I play with Zyngawf?"
  Husband:    "Because you are already playing with Howard!!!!"
  Me:      "Why can't I play a game with Howard and a game with Zyngawf at the same time? Is there a law against this? Is Zyngawf a serial killer who plays Words with friends as a hobby? Does he get double word score if he spells MURDER?"
  Husband:    "FINE! Go ahead and play with Zyngawf!"
  Me:    "OK OK! I won't play with Zyngawf! Sheesh!"
  Husband:    Play with Zyngawf! It doesn't matter to me."
  Me:      sigh.
And FYI, I am playing with Zyngawf as you read this.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pick the apple already!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     I don't know if it was because he was not used to shopping for produce, or if he felt it was his life's purpose to find the one perfect, flawless, apple in this world... whatever the reason, I found myself behind the most serious apple inspector I've ever come across at the grocery store today. He would gingerly pick up an apple, carefully turn it over several times, checking for bruises and imperfections before putting it back and beginning the process yet again. Did I mention he seemed to be moving in slow motion? I admit I had a sudden unreasonable and unjustified fury come over me. Kind of like "Road Rage", but at the grocery store. I wanted to push him aside and yell, "It's not that big of a deal!!! Pick an apple already! Make a decision! Fuji or Granny Smith! Red, yellow or green!!! It's not your future spouse for goodness sake! You don't have to pray about it!!! JUST PICK THE FRIGGIN' APPLE ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  But I didn't. I behaved myself. I exercised self control. Well, OK, maybe I was afraid of being kicked out of the Piggly Wiggly. I am pretty sure that the security cameras above the honey and Agave nectar dispensers were running the day I tried to pour some into a container. After pouring a small amount into the little tubs they provide, I gently (or maybe NOT so gently) turned the handle the opposite direction and was surprised to hear a strange cracking noise. Imagine my surprise when Agave nectar CONTINUED to pour out. And imagine if you will, how desperate I must have seemed when I grabbed every available container and filled it up with Agave nectar as it CONTINUED to pour out. After all the containers were filled and the Agave nectar continued to pour and spill out over the counter and began to make a very large puddle, I tried calling out for an employee to help but no one answered me. I looked around and found NO ONE! Like some Twilight Zone episode, I found myself completely alone in a sticky, growing Agave nectar lake....I decided to leave the scene and search for help and finally found an employee over in the deli section who was engrossed in arranging the 8% total fat content ground beef into a brick and told her that "Someone" had broken the handle on the dispenser and would she please call someone over to help. She seemed very disinterested but finally made eye contact with me and indulged my request. About five minutes later I heard someone in that general direction screaming, "Oh no! Oh no! HELP!!" which was followed very shortly after over the loud speaker with, "ALL AVAILABLE EMPLOYEES PLEASE GO TO THE AGAVE NECTAR DISPENSARY FOR A CLEAN UP! ALL AVAILABLE EMPLOYEES IMMEDIATELY RESPOND!!!!" Might I also add that my eyes were bulging out of my head at this point, and I may have been uttering something along the lines of, "I am so sorry! SO, SO VERY SORRY!!!!" over and over again? I should also tell you that as I checked out and paid for my groceries I looked the cashier in the eyes and told her, "I really didn't mean to...."  All this to say, I didn't strangle the apple groper. I was afraid that security was already comparing me to the video surveillance from the last episode and that my shopping days at that store were numbered already. Needless to say, I didn't want to cause a scene, so I left the man alone with his apples and his decision making. But between me and you may I suggest that you not make too big of a deal when you pick out your produce? Look for bruises and soft spots, put it in the bag and leave. This shouldn't take more than 30 seconds flat. If it does, you need to get a life. Or a job as a fruit inspector....
     Till next time,
     Please make a quick apple decision and be on your way,
     Miss Jodi

Friday, July 26, 2013

maternity shoots


     I don't know why, but I just don't like maternity photo shoots. Forgive me please my fellow photographers and mommies who have done one or plan on doing one. It is what it is. They never seem natural. The woman isalways either looking at her gigantuan bump with a wistful look that always comes across as, "What IS THIS? HOW did this happen to me?" Or she is carefully holding her tummy, as if it may fall down if she were to let go. And in those pictures she is looking away into the distance, perhaps mapping out an escape route... I suppose it captures a magical time. A time of hope and promise, of cherubic sleeping babies, and sweet smelling tiny onesies...I feel I must insert here the disclaimer that I love each of my three children more that life itself, however pregnancy with its heartburn, weight gain, and discomfort (and shall I mention the hideous clothes?) was never pleasant for me. I loved the end result of course and am grateful for a healthy body that was able to carry life. Oh, maybe Demi ruined it for me...I mean who could ever top that picture? I think she started this whole maternity photo shoot thing anyway. We all hope to look as hot as her during pregnancy, but can I let you in on a little secret? She is a freak of nature. It's true. NO one can get that big and not have a single friggin' stretch mark. It just does not happen. So, if I may suggest, lets save the photo shoots for the sweet little newborn. THAT is magical and beautiful, not some basketball sized lump.
     Miss Against-Maternity-Shoots

Monday, July 22, 2013

Best invention since the light bulb?

     As many of you know, I have suffered from insomnia for years. After trying everything from Melatonin to prescriptions, I begged my doctor for help that did not include a pill. Thank God he finally listened (I wonder if twisting his arm forcefully behind his back until I heard a sickening cracking noise and he screamed out in pain, "Help me! O help me somebody!" had anything to do with it? Hmmmm...) and approved a class for me. Last Friday I went to an "Insomnia-Workshop" which I admit to thinking would be lame but since my desperation level was at an all time high, I went. I envisioned dim lights and blankies, maybe a lullaby and a teddy... Yes, there were adults of all kinds holding coffee cups of varying sizes and yes, they all looked like they had been to hell and back (myself included). Hey, sleep deprivation ain't pretty folks...but the lights were brightly lit, there were no teddies in sight, and no lullabies being sung (which is a very good thing because I can drop kick you into next Tuesday before you see it coming). As I sat there with my smug attitude, arms crossed, expecting to hear stupid suggestions such as: think happy thoughts, don't worry, inhale lavender, take a warm bath, or smoke a doobie, I have to admit to you that I was blown away by the level of research and education completed by the woman giving the class. She was highly intelligent and compassionate, as well as being a bit saucy. I like that. She gave us REAL information like, you must turn off all technology 3 hours before bed because the blue light in things such as a computer or television sends your brain a signal that the sun is still shining and therefore, it's not time for bed, and do not exercise for 4 hours before bed, and the most mind blowing to me was, your bedroom must be between 60 and 65 degrees in order for you to sleep properly. Apparently, your core body temperature needs needs to lower in order for your body to function in sleep mode. Well no wonder I can't sleep! I live in the Mojave Desert for goodness sake. (I have a theory that NO ONE but coyotes and scorpions and maybe John the Baptist was ever meant to live here) It only gets to about 80 at bedtime. Do the math people, it's too dang hot to sleep! Anyway this woman gave us some truly helpful suggestions. One was Blue blocking glasses (which I couldn't find anywhere) and the second was a Chillow. The glasses are dark orange and send the signal to your brain that it is time to start preparing for sleep. The Chillow  simply helps you to be cooler when you sleep. I found the Chillow at Walgreens for $12.99 and brought it home. I had the hubs read the instructions because I am too impatient and then tell me what to do. We filled that baby up with the right amount of water, let it sit till the next evening and I slipped it into my pillow case. Did I sleep? Oooo! O yes I did! O happy day! I slept better than I have in a long time! So if anyone of you are also suffering from insomnia may I suggest the Chillow? FYI, I have not been paid to review this product (not that I would refuse a check in the mail mind you). But it got me thinking about how many other wonderful uses I could find for this product....Chillow socks, Chillow Mattress, (hello hot-flashing-menopausal-women? hello!!!) Chillow brassiere, (Hollah!) Chillow jammies, Chillow jump suit, a Chillow HOUSE!!!!....I could go on. THINK of the possibilities! THIS COULD CHANGE THE WORLD! Every where that I go, everything that I see, becomes a big Chillow to me....Really! I think I may be obsessed. If Chillow was a person I would stalk him on FaceBook. I don't know what it is, I don't care. I don't know how it works, I don't care. All I know is that it DOES in deed work, and work well. Extraordinarily well. So well in fact that I am writing a product review on a humor blog. Go to Walgreens right now. Run if you must. It's THAT wonderful.
     Miss Happy with my Chillow-Jodi

Monday, July 15, 2013

How does your garden grow?

     I am on the cusp of a mind-blowing-revolutionary and might I add, genius idea....Weed gardening. Yes, I know. You can stop the applause. Out here where I live, about three things grow really well. First is the line at the Dollar store when Velveeta 5lb cheese bricks are on sale, the second is marijuana grown by licensed medicinal dispensary owners, and the third is tumbleweeds. That's about it.
     Tonight, as I was watering the dry patch of earth where my front lawn is supposed to be, it occurred to me that resistance is futile. I repeatedly water said parched earth and it receives the moisture, only to thank me with the occasional pathetic succulent of unknown origin or...a tumble weed. So I again begin the vicious cycle of removing the weeds, refreshing the soil with rich dark mulch, reseeding, and watering it, perhaps even saying a little word of prayer over the sleeping seeds with the hope that THIS TIME something other than weeds will sprout....and nothing else ever does.
     I am not ready to give up ALL hope and as so many of my neighbors have done, resort to decorative rock. But I started to think of Mary Mary, you know the one? I think her last name is something like Contrary, and how her garden grows with silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row....which is kind of a strange little garden if you ask me. But I like the fact that she didn't have tidy little rows of Gerbera Daisy's and Dinner plate dahlias. No, not Mary Mary. She was an "Outta-the-box" kinda gal. A path maker if you will. A trail blazer. And I was inspired.  I am now going to try my hand at "Indigenous to the area" weed gardening. Martha Stewart be damned. I am going to encourage those little succulent whatever they are's and the Tumble weeds (God bless them!) and like Mary Mary, have an ORIGINAL garden. Hey, I might just start something. And you my friends can say you were witness to the creation of it. I am going to harvest some seeds from those many many tumble weeds that roll around on a windy desert day, plant them in a tidy little row and maybe fill up a few pots and see what happens. I'll keep you posted.
     Till next time,
     Miss Wanna-Be-Mary-Mary-gardener

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tell me the truth, but not the WHOLE truth, so help me God...

     Sometimes, when I ask your opinion...I don't really want the truth. Sometimes I just want you to be polite. Now I know that this is confusing, especially to men. Women (most women) understand what I mean when I say this. As a matter of fact, the very reason I am writing this is because of a conversation I had tonight with a man who happened  to tell me the truth when in fact, I just wanted him to be polite. I have been on a journey to increase my family's health since October 31. On this journey I have been trying alternative recipes with different ingredients. Almond flour instead of wheat flour for instance. Maybe an avocado instead of oil. Honey instead of refined sugar. You get the picture right? Well tonight I made some healthy brownies. They tasted pretty good. Not over the top, but I must say they were yummy. I asked each family member if they liked them and they all told me they did. All except my man-child. When I asked him, his answer was a brutal and dismissive, "Not really." And as if that wasn't hurtful enough, he continued to explain, "I like my brownies to be sweet, and cakey, and chewy. THAT tasted like a piece of bread that happened to have chocolate flavor in it." (All of a sudden he is a brownie connoisseur. Gordon Ramsey. Abraham Friggin Lincoln!!!!) How dare he be so rude as to tell me the truth? He may as well have been raised by wolves! Where did I go wrong? HOW will he succeed in life? (Marriage? I'm praying already!)Sheesh! OK I admit I may have told him that lying is wrong. I guess he learned THAT lesson pretty well, (why he didn't learn that you wash whites with whites is beyond me, all his whites are a gnarly shade of grey) but I obviously neglected to teach him to read more into a question than the question itself. (From a woman anyway. Man to man talk is different, so is  Woman to woman talk, and Man to Woman talk and so forth.) That when a woman has lovingly prepared something for you and when asked if you liked it, instead of comparing it to a piece of bread, perhaps, if you are going to tell the truth, say something like, I like your old recipe better. And stop there...
     Miss-I'm-praying-that-his-future-wife-never-asks-"Does this make me look fat?"

For ladies ONLY

     We are all grown up here right? Can we talk about a grown up topic? A female undergarment? If not, (and really in our society with Sex education, and Breast Cancer awareness, and Victorias Secret and those stupid "I heart Boobies" bracelets which in my opinion are just a way for immature preteen boys to openly say the word "Boobies" without being reprimanded. And for your information you either have a set yourself or were more than likely fed by a pair as an infant, so let's not be immature here OK?) please exit this blog immediately. Go no further. Read no more. Otherwise you may be offended and I already warned you so you have no right to complain. NONE!) But, if you can handle it, I'd like to ask a question. How can we be in July of the year 2013, with Smart phones, and polio vaccines, organ transplants, and facial recognition software and yet, we cannot come up with a better idea than a stretchy training bra that turns a set of breasts into a gigantic, swaying, sweaty, uniboob? Am I right? Is it really too much to ask to be able to exercise with a certain level of dignity and, oh, not exactly "Comfort", but not DISCOMFORT?  We can create a drone, (A DRONE people!!!!) but we cannot come up with a way for a woman to exercise without hurting herself or some innocent bystander who happens to be in the wrong place during the swing of the pendulum? I am not asking for much. I just want to walk a good pace or do a little cardio, perhaps even some Zumba on occasion...  I'm not asking for unreasonable things like for every pet owner in America to suddenly be responsible and spay and neuter their animals, or world peace, or zero-carb bread, but simply a way to decently exercise in public. It's not too much. Is it? IS IT?!??!!?