Reverb Broads 15 of 31 – Beets and Meats

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Today’s prompt: Did you taste any new flavors this year? Did you love them or hate them or in between? Will you incorporate these new flavors into your life?

This year was filled with many new flavors, both food and life, but the one that surprised me the most was beets (food). I was recently at a lunch event where they were serving a goat cheese and beet salad. At the first go-round I pushed the beets aside and went for the salad part – the green, trustworthy stuff. It was delicious. On my second helping of salad, after listening to everyone rant and rave how delicious it was, and noticing the salad bowl had a plethora of beets compared to the salad that was left, I decided to give in to the peer pressure and go for it. And to my surprise the beets weren’t awful. They tasted a little dirt-ish to me, but I didn’t hate them. I doubt they’ll become a regular in my diet, but I won’t turn up my nose at them anymore, either.

Another thing I did this year, or at least really tried to do, was to explore more vegetarian options. While I’m still not eating as many meatless meals as I would hope (mostly because my family is not super thrilled about the veggie idea), I continue to explore and try new things. And that is definitely something I’ll carry with me into 2012.

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Reverb Broads 14 of 31 – The Unconventional Volunteer Experience

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Today’s prompt: Is volunteering something you do regularly? If yes where do you volunteer? If not, why not?

As an individual citizen, I don’t really do volunteer work. However, I am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to be part of many community service projects throughout the year. While that doesn’t strictly count as volunteer work, it doesn’t diminish the warm fuzzy feeling I get when one of our projects is complete.

I work in the Office of Student Activities at a community college in South Jersey. Within the office, we oversee the Student Government, as well as all the student clubs and organizations, who all participate in community service. Also, as I’m sure other student activities folks have experienced, we get the pleasure of taking the lead on many of the college’s large-scale community service projects, like Lee Denim Day, National Make A Difference Day, our annual County Animal Shelter Drive and the Holiday Food and Toy Drives, among others.

I will admit that sometimes, in the throws of planning fundraisers, asking (read: begging) staff and students to donate, and constantly worrying if we’ll end up with “enough,” I get stressed and wish the planning responsibility would fall somewhere else. But when each one of the projects is over, I look back and feel good about the part I played no matter how terrible I thought it was going during the execution.

Now that Zack is getting to an age where he is capable of understanding the impact of volunteering, I am looking for opportunities he and I can take advantage of together, not only to give back to our community, but also so he can see just how lucky of a kid he is, and how much he really has in this world. And let’s be honest here, I can use that reminder sometimes, too!

Reverb Broads 13 of 31 – My BSing Therapist Friend.

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Today’s prompt: What are three things that you are better at than most people?

1. BSing. In college, I could bust out a paper in no time, at the last minute, and with so much efficiency I didn’t even have to pull an all-nighter. I also impressed the pants off my senior thesis professor with my 45 page research paper on, essentially, my roommates – zero trips to the library necessary with all the research right in my own apartment. That was awesome. I don’t have so many opportunities to pump out a really quality BS project these days, but working with college students definitely has its perks, in that I have a captive audience to share my talents with and am able to pass them on to a lucky few.

2. Playing therapist. Sometimes I find myself in over my head, but far more often, my conversations end with others telling me how smart and intuitive I am. Really, I’m not all that smart, but I do have a knack for reading people, which allows me to know exactly what to say, whether it’s what they want to hear, or what they need to hear.

3. Being a friend. My friends are everything to me and I will do anything for them. In the past, I’ve been known to drop everything, at literally all hours of the day and night, on my husband’s birthday even, to help my friends through good times and bad. No matter what, when someone needs me, I’m there. At times, I think I should maybe say no more often, but then I remember how good it feels to know I’m someone everyone else can count on and I’m pumped and ready for the next round of yes’s!

Reverb Broads 12 of 31 – Guilty Pleasures. SO Many!

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Today’s prompt: Name and explain the one guilty pleasure you can’t live without. (ie: that cupcake shop you visit weekly, a book you repeatedly read to find solace in, etc).  Then explore the idea of how you would feel if you gave that thing up for a year.

There are SO many guilty pleasures in this world that I can’t imagine I’d be all too thrilled to live without. I love any and all foods that are bad for me. The more unhealthy qualities it has, the more I want to eat it ALL. THE. TIME. I also live for the weekends when I can lay on the couch and do nothing but watch all the DVR’d shows from the week. And then there’s the DVR’d shows – let’s just say they’re not aired by PBS, or even Discovery.

But the two things that makes me happy above all else, stress relievers,  my go-to self-celebrations, my distractions, are shoes and nail polish. If I’ve got a great pair of shoes on and a fresh manicure, almost nothing can bring me down. There is no possible way I need all the shoes and polishes that I have, and there are FAR better things I could be spending the money on, and despite those facts running through my head as I’m picking out my next pair of lovelies or the next color for my at-home manicure, I can’t stop myself from buying more shoes and more bottles of nail polish.

In the last 6 months or so, I have cut back dramatically on my shoe habits, and God knows I could certainly live for a year without purchasing a new pair, but without knowing what I’d replace shoes with, I’m afraid to even think about what would happen if I gave up new shoes for a whole year. And as for the nail polish, I surely have enough in my current collection to last a year at least. Probably 2.

I don’t know that I have the will power to not buy a new pair of shoes for a whole 365 days. I could probably not buy any new nail colors, but that definitely wouldn’t stop me from painting my nails a couple times a week.

Reverb Broads 11 of 31 – Kindergarten’s Got Nothing On My Mom

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Today’s prompt: How are you like your mother? And if you’re a mother, how is/are your kid(s) like you?

This is a super easy prompt for me. I am my mother. So much so, that “the talk” for me, in high school, was her sitting me down and simply saying, “You are me, 30 years later. I know what you’re going to do before you do, because I did it 30 years before you will. I know you will do stupid things. Just be smart about it.” And that was it. And she was right.

I may be a little taller, and my hair may be redder, but whether it’s my looks, my wit, my courage, my temper, my insanity, my love/hate relationship with grammar, or anything else you want to attribute to me, I got it all from her.

Reverb Broads 10 of 31 – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

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December 10th prompt (a day late): What is the best and/or worst thing about your life right now?

There are a lot of good things going on for me right now. At the same time, I always seem to find plenty to complain about, too.

The Good:

  1. My family. Despite our ups and downs, my family is supportive and loves me. They accept me even though they think I’m nuts, and even when they don’t have a problem telling me how crazy they think I am, they never judge or look at me differently for it.
  2. My friends. They make me laugh, we have fun together, and I can count on them to be my shoulder to cry on, or to be my accomplice in bad decisions, whatever mood strikes at the time.
  3. My job. I love my job. I have the opportunity to make a difference in student’s lives. I got a manicure and facial as part of my job last week. I also got to go toy shopping on the same day. Despite having to work some weekends, the last Saturday I worked, I danced the Cha-Cha slide with 50 kids under 10. My job is awesome, which makes the lows in my life more bearable, and I am thankful to wake up and go to my office each and every morning.
  4. My home. I have a roof over my head and it is a gift in so many ways I can’t even begin to describe it here and now.
  5. Myself. I like myself, truly. I think I am a good person, and despite my eccentricities, I am happy with who I am.

With all the things I am blessed with, and all I have to be thankful for, I’d feel like a tantrum-throwing-child if I sat here and listed out everything I think is wrong with my life. However, if I had to pick one thing, I would say my relationships, and the effort I put into them could always use work. I know in my heart that I could call my friends, or stop by for a visit, and we would pick up like we never left, no matter the time that’s passed. However, I know that I could always do a better job of making sure that time is not so long, or quiet. And above all else, I never tell the people I love that I do often enough.

Thank you to those that make my life to rich every single day – my family, my students, my friends. And to those of you that I don’t talk to or see on a regular basis, please know I never stop thinking of you or missing you.

Reverb Broads 9 of 31 – Women’s Suffrage be Damned!

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Today’s prompt: What was your favorite children’s book?

My first reaction to this prompt was “WTF!? I don’t remember what I read as a kid!” But that was a lie, because after thinking for about 10 seconds, I remember very clearly the one book I read over and over and OVER again, and loved it so much I bought Zack his own copy, too.

Tibor Gergley's Great Big Book of Bedtime Stories

The collection is a union of 32 Golden Book stories, packaged in one cozy bedtime book. And being Golden Book stories, none of them are bad, but there are two that clearly stand out above the rest, for me anyway.

The first story was “The Golden Year.” The story is one of the shorter ones in the book, but it goes through the whole year, month by month, in the lives of a bear family. Over the course of the year, they go skiing, plant a garden, add a new bear cub to their family, go on summer vacation, they fatten up for a hibernation they will never take, start a new school year, and they gather and feast for the holiday season. In reading this story to Zack, I now realize how sexist and ancient the ideals are, like when the father bear is the one responsible for taking the family on vacation or how the mother bear is the only parent who interacts with the cubs, but in the name of childhood memories, and an understanding that the stories in the book were written in the late 60’s and early 70’s, I overlook those things and it continues to be one of my favorites in the book.

The second story, and by far my favorite, is “The Happy Little Whale.”

The Happy Little Whale is a tale of a whale that is caught from the ocean and brought to a SeaWorld-type place to perform for happy little children and their happy little families. As happens in captivity, the Happy Little Whale becomes not so happy and she misses her friends and family from the ocean, plus she doesn’t like jumping thru hoops. Clearly, when you have an unhappy little whale in your tank, the solution is to capture another perfectly happy whale from the ocean and throw him in the tank, too, so he can become equally unhappy. But you would be wrong in your thinking, because obviously, two little whales from the ocean sharing a tank will fall in love and complete each other, all Jerry McGuire style and suddenly be thrilled to jump thru hoops for happy little families happily ever after. It’s heartwarming, really.

Other notable tales in the Great Big Book of Bedtime Stories include, but are not limited to the following:

Scuffy the Tugboat

Tootle

Little Yip-Yip and his Bark

Rupert the Rhinoceros

Wheel on the Chimney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book, and the stories within, are really not modern or in any way politically correct by today’s standards, but they’re classics, and I love ’em today as much as I did when I was a kid!