Not bad for a fat girl

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Cleaning Up 2019

The last day of the year seems like a good time to do a little housekeeping, both literally and figuratively.

Literally speaking, I’m still slowing putting my master bedroom and bathroom back together (and don’t even ask me about my closet). Having a full on renovation really took a toll on this house. Sure, the result is incredible, but the aftermath is not much fun. Still, as I soak in my six-foot tub or indulge in a shower that’s more lovely than any other I’ve ever used, I don’t mind the mess as much.

At least I finally feel like I have some time to tame the mess. Being a teacher is really a gift at this time of year. There’s time to catch up on appointments and chores, and there’s also time to relax, recharge, and reinvent myself and my practice. Teaching is an art, and like any art it requires reflection and refinement. This time off allows me to focus on those things. Nothing like being alone in a quiet house (well, with the dog) to force you to face what’s going on around you.

What’s going on around me (or maybe inside me) is a desire to bring my life back into balance. That means more focus on home and family, more focus on long-range goals, and more focus on what success means to me. This is where paying off my credit card bill (which I had always done in the past, but somehow lost track of), cleaning up my house (it’s getting there), and working on becoming a National Board Certified Teacher (this is kind of overwhelming) come into play. Add in a few interesting life twists (all good) and you’ve got a 2019 that I’m ready to pack away in favor of a bright, shiny, new 2020. It’s going to be a busy one, but a good one, I can just tell. I wish you a bright, shiny 2020 as well.


19 Foods You Bet Your @$$ I’ll Be Eating This Holiday Season


Do you get them too? The articles like “834 Steps to a Simpler Life,” and “93 Items to Keep in Your Sock Drawer?” Well the other day my sweetheart forwarded me one called “50 Foods to Avoid This Holiday Season,” or something equally preachy. His attached note said, “guess we’ll be having toast.” Oh HELL no. Not on my watch.

First, let me address some of the items that were actually on their list. These are items that WILL pass my lips this holiday season, in varying amounts and at various times. Does it make me a glutton? According to the folks who assembled that excuse for an article it might, but really, I don’t care.

  1. mashed potatoes – with butter
  2. gravy – on the mashed potatoes and turkey
  3. turkey (dark meat with skin) – I prefer white meat, but there will be some skin
  4. stuffing – yeah, like I’m going to skip that
  5. cranberry sauce – what ARE we supposed to have for Thanksgiving?
  6. pecan pie – my favorite
  7. pumpkin pie – yum
  8. apple pie – yep, I’m going to have that one too, so suck it, list writers
  9. chocolate orange – only the kind made by Terry’s
  10. candy cane – wouldn’t be Christmas without it
  11. Starbucks fancy drinks – yeah, I’m pretty much an addict
  12. Christmas cookies – really?
  13. eggnog – I can’t help it, it’s just good (in small doses)
  14. cinnamon rolls – what else would you have Christmas morning?
  15. pot roast – this isn’t really even a holiday thing, is it? But now I want it.

These additional items may or may not be on their list. I got a little lightheaded while I was reading it. They are, however, on my “Gonna have it” list.

16. champagne – hello? New Year’s?

17. potato latkes – Happy Chanukah!

18. lasagna – it’s a tradition

19. garlic bread – goes with the lasagna

So now you have a real list from a real person about a real holiday season. Well, except for maybe the pot roast, but a pot roast is good any time of year. Happy celebrating.




Daily Prompt: These Boots Were Made for Walking

Today’s daily prompt has challenged me to think about my favorite pair of shoes and where they have taken me.  I mentally scanned my inventory of memorable shoes smiling at several before moving on to another pair. The bright orange Chuck Taylor’s from my college years, the insanely high dominatrix pumps that never made it out of my closet, the embroidered leather Keds that I wore at my wedding reception, they all bring a warm feeling to my heart. Still, none of these compare to the most versatile and incredible pair of shoes I’ve ever owned, the black suede Esprit t-strap rubber soled workhorses.


These aren’t the exact shoes, but a pretty good likeness. Too bad this is a child’s shoe!

I don’t recall buying these shoes, but of course I must have. My earliest recollection of them is as an undergraduate. Those shoes had the comfort of a tennis shoe but with a lot more style. I wore them with just about everything; leggings, dresses, mini skirts, genie pants, my dad’s old army pants, and of course jeans. It wasn’t until I studied abroad, though, that they really came into their own.

You see in those days, the eighties, it was very easy to spot Americans in Europe by their shoes alone. Our obsession with comfort for our feet wasn’t shared by our European counterparts in those days, I guess. Either that, or their solution was foreign to American feet. Either way, I didn’t want to be the obvious American in my travels, so those black shoes covered a lot of miles (or kilometers, depending on the country). They took me across the English channel and through Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. They hopped a plane with me for a jaunt to Portugal. They spent Christmas with me at the home of a remarkable Swiss family, and they were on my feet as I dined on Indian food alone on New Year’s Eve in Manchester, England. They walked all over London, and day and night through York. They carried me home from the pub at night and off to class in the morning.

Eventually my time in Europe drew to a close, and my shoes and I went home. I graduated college and got my first job, supervising an after school program. Casual dress was the order of the day, so on many days the t-straps were on my feet. They moved on with me to graduate school, and spent more time in the closet as professional dress became the order of the day. When I landed a preschool position I was overjoyed to be reunited with them. Two year olds didn’t care that I wore stretchy pants and t-strap shoes!

Those shoes came along as I moved out west and became a married woman. They were on my feet as a drone office worker, and even as a young mother. Eventually one day I took a good hard look at them. They were a wreck. Those wonderful shoes that had logged millions of miles were tired. They could no longer comfort my feet, and they were smelly and falling apart. After a more than a decade of heavy use, I conceded that it was time to let them go. I will never forget those shoes and how they walked me through some of the best years of my life.