Thursday, May 27, 2010


Not that I'm one to wish evil against somebody, but if you follow my blog (or look thru my older blogs for the subject) you'll get why I'm pumped about this article...turns out the karma has bit Gary Coleman in the butt!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My New Favorite Thing...

I'm not much of an ice cream person...or should I say my STOMACH is not much of an ice cream person? For that reason, I've always steered clear of the dairy treat & headed straight for popsicles and fruit bars...great compromise and plus, I could live off of popsicles, so it's an easy choice!
BUT THEN, I saw these little bites of heaven on sale at Dillon's! I've had other soy ice creams before and have been well satisfied with the product...but not to the point of craving them. I'm pretty sure I could eat an entire box of these mini sandwiches in one sitting! They have to be completely loaded with crack or something...with the warmer weather, they're all I want to eat. On that note, I think it's time for a bedtime snack :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Pet Peeve...

I have a laundry list of pet peeves...such as cupboard doors getting left open or drawers that aren't shut all the way, people who pull up to the drive-thru speaker and take 5 minutes to figure out what to order, checking voicemail just to find that the person hung up AFTER the beep without saying anything, making a trip to the store for one particular item and then finding that they're all out... And let's add my newest pet peeve to the list--pulling up to our house and having some random car parked right in front...and the rest of the street is completely empty! When you live downtown (or anywhere in town that is not a suburb), your driveway is usually fairly compact and often times it's in the alley. This type of arrangement doesn't allow for multiple cars to be parked in your driveway, so someone usually ends up in the street. And in our house, that someone is me. I have no problem parking on the car hasn't been hit yet and personally, I enjoy walking up our front porch to get to the door. It's just so much more welcoming than our old place! With all the rain we've had lately, I've also found that parking out front is super convenient. The porch shields me from the sprinkles, then the big tree out front also acts as a canopy while I get in my need for an umbrella until I get to work! Come sun or rain, though, it drives me up the wall when I pull up to our house and there's a car parked right in front...if you didn't know any better, you would think we actually had company at our house. And this doesn't happen every blue moon, but at least a couple times each week. When I lived in Aggieville, people parked anywhere they could because spaces are so limited. But not in our neighborhood! The only time I see cars parked near the house are on Saturday mornings during the Farmer's Market. Even then, the cars are still a good 1/2 block away...if not almost an entire block away. So why the heck are people parking in front of our house?! At first, I assumed they were guests of a neighbor...but wouldn't you park in front of the person's house you were going to? For whatever reason, there was a Suburban & truck + boat parked in front of our house one Saturday morning but they were staying with the people across the alley...where there was plenty of parking. Another time, I came home to find a car with out-of-county tags parked in front of our house, on a deserted street. And it stayed there for a day and a half... And in the meantime, we've just had a wide variety of cars parked in front of our house at all hours of the day and all days of the week. For a while, I wondered if the police weren't staking out the neighbors across the street and were switching up cars to be sneaky. But as often as the police are there for domestics, I'm sure there is no need for a stake out From the very beginning, I've written notes and left them on the car asking that they park where they're going. Because frankly--it's annoying when I'm moving stuff into the house, carrying groceries in, etc and I have to park down the street because some stranger has taken "my spot." During the first few weeks of doing this, Justin would just shake his head and remind me that the street is public property and people can park wherever they want. Then, just the other day Justin ran some errands with me and low-and-behold and there was a car in front of the house when we got back. All of a sudden, his attitude changed and he was ranting about how it's so rude of people to park in front of someone's house! And before I could do it, he told me to write a note to put on their car ;-) I'm sure that we'll eventually become known as the Note Nazis by our neighborhood...but I think it boils down to manners. If the street is empty and you're going to someone's house, then why not park there??? After 2 months of notewriting, I've decided that people are doing it for 1 of 2 reasons. One--(here's the conspiracy theorist in me coming out) they're part of an affair and are parking down the street so that no one gets caught or...Two--they're doing it just to annoy me! I'm thinking Number 2 is most from now on, I think I'll take Mitzy outside to empty her intestines right by their driver door--that'll teach them!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trying to Make My Brother Happy

After hearing some of my brother's memories of Grandpa, I think he might have enjoyed yesterday's blog! But I'm not 100 % I decided to change things up a bit. Instead of my usual ranting, I've decided to go with a list of random questions! 1. Do you own a box of crayons? Nope. But we have a ton down at my visitation office! 2. Have you ever seen a dead body? Yup 3. Do you always wear a seatbelt? Usually...I'm bad about it when I get into other peoples' car but I always have it on while I'm driving. 4. When do you shower most often? In the evenings...great way to rinse away the day, relax and plus--my hair is funky if I wash it in the morning. It just doesn't have as much "ooomph" 5. Do you own any diamonds? Yup--my engagement ring. I didn't want any many stores advertise having "conflict-free" diamonds but only the person who dug up the carbon deposits actually know if they're conflict-free or not. They're sold to a local person who then sells it to a buyer (usually out of Europe) who then sells them to the stores. Pretty sure the gal at Zales is clueless about the diamond's origin and if the truth has been told along the way! But to answer the question, I have a diamond engagement ring with 55 diamonds in it...guess Justin wanted to make sure I had some diamonds! 6. What songs do you sing in the shower? I'm not in there to sing! And you don't want to hear me sing... 7. What was the last thing you purchased? clamp things for my closet 8. What makes you feel warm and safe? my dog--sounds odd but on a really bad day, she's the best thing ever! 9. How often do you remember your dreams? Ummmm, like never. Considering I really didn't sleep long enough at night for 4.5 years to even enter a dream cycle...and now I'm catching up on all that lost sleep! 10. Did you go to public or private school? Public K-12, private university for my first two years and 3 years of public unversity. All I can say--private rocks! 11. Have you ever prank-called someone? all the time in grade school! 12. How do you vent your anger? i prefer going to the gym for an endorphine rush...but if that's not an option--i like blaming justin for something completely not putting the sponge in the dishwasher. after a few minutes, he figures out what's going on and calls me out on it--then i start laughing because he so busted me!! completely immature of me, but he's a good sport about it and then all my anger is gone bc i'm too busy laughing! 13. What is your heritage? German with a touch of Irish 14. What kind of watch do you wear? I have a capiz-shell looking one that I wear occassionally 15. Did you ever go to camp? 4-H camp when I was little 16. Where were you on September 11, 2001? Oh feels like just yesterday. I was walking into my English class at Creighton when I saw the second plane hit. We were a tight-knit group, especially for only being together for 3 weeks at this point and we just embraced the moment. One of my dearest Creighton friends was in the class with me and he survived Columbine--in fact he was the Student Pres of the schoool, missed being shot in the library by just a few seconds, had gone into the school with the FBI to observe the aftermath and did all the talk show circuits. I truly think that knowing what Mike had gone through was what kept our class balanced that's all about perspective. I'm not going to freak out about something in NYC when my friend sitting next to me has survived one of the worst attacks in US history 17. Are you registered to vote? Yup 18. What is your ringtone? I have some random default ringer but most people have a personalized ringtone 19. What kind of milk do you drink? I hate grosses me out! 20. Are you touchy-feely? In one word: NO. And I like it that way :-)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Man Named Boob

I was on the phone with my little brother a few weeks ago and he told me that my blogs are either A) pointless or B) depressing. Wow, glad to hear he enjoys them! Lol...I'm not sure what he wants me to write about, but here's another depressing entry for the books.

Last spring sucked--I'm not going to lie. Grandma died in April at the ripe old age of 90 and it was absolutely horrible watching Grandpa mourn her passing. It was beyond gut-wrenching. We're not a family to show emotions AT ALL...I was speechless when Grandpa held Grandma's cold hand for hours after she died and all he said was, "She went in peace," while he calmly sat by her bed. Then the funeral came and he just wailed during the entire service...a few days later, I went to visit him and he broke down in tears while I was making small talk with him. This was not the strong German man I knew but heck, he lost his wife one day before their 63rd wedding anniversary and all his other friends had passed. He was all alone now and living in a nursing home, surrounded by human bodies that resembled vegetables. Who wouldn't cry if they were in his shoes?

Almost three weeks after Grandma died, Grandpa went to his morning dr's appointment and left with a clean bill of health. He went back to his room and died just a few hours later in his chair.

I was leaving a meeting in Topeka when I finally received the news. I called Justin to let him know what happened and he thought I was kidding--I wish I was but instead I drove the hour back to Manhattan in a complete daze.

The family was still coming to terms with Grandma's loss when we were hit with the compounded trauma of Grandpa's death. At his funeral, it appeared as if my dad and his siblings had aged about 10 years in just those twenty days. Because the family is scattered all around the tri-state area, there was an unspoken announcement that this would be the last time we'd all be in one place, at the same time, for a VERY long time. All those silly excuses over the years for getting the family together didn't seem so silly after all.

The one-year mark of Grandpa's passing is this week. After I posted my blog about memories with Grandma, it was interesting to see what memories stuck out in my brother and sister's mind. For the record, here are my top 10 memories with Grandpa:

# 10. Grandpa Boob was a notoriously SLOW driver, even in his younger days. When we had the Christmas shopping trip that involved a sudden onset of diarrhea, Grandpa was behind the wheel and we were almost 30 minutes from the closest bathroom...I remember he "floored it" and got us home just in time. The three of us were so excited about him speeding, but really--I think he MAYBE went as fast as the speed limit allowed ;-) But it was fast for him!
#9. One summer, Grandma had just gotten out of the hospital and been cleared to go back to her coffee group at the famed Tasty Pastry. Granted, she wasn't able to drive yet so this meant Grandpa was responsible for taking her there & back (thank god). We're at home when we get a call from a family friend saying Grandpa had parked his truck in the middle of the street and went in to get Grandma! Turns out, all the traffic in downtown Clay Center had gotten backed up because of it!
#8. After the grandparents retired from the farm and moved to town, Grandpa still made his daily commute back to their old farmhouse. A lot of times we would stop in to see him and almost always, he'd be sitting at the kitchen table reading his western novel while wearing his one-sided glasses that had to be at least 20 years old. The man could most certainly afford a new pair of glasses, but I guess he liked them and they always made us laugh!
#7. Grandpa was an amazing farmer but he was a cattleman at heart. One day when we were real little, Grandpa was feeding cattle at the old farm and turned around to find one of the cows standing in the bed of his Chevy truck! He was able to get a picture of it and to this day, the photograph still gets passed around
#6. Speaking of cows--one year I decided to get a bucket calf for 4-H and who better to get a calf from? I picked out a red and white cow from Grandpa's stock and named her Rosy the Cow. I made sure I took the cow on daily walks and I would even tie her up to a post and read books to her in the afternoon (you get bored in the country). That summer, I won 2nd place with her at the County Fair and at the time I thought it was because of all the reading I did with her. Looking back, I'm sure it was really because Grandpa had great cattle to pick from!
#5. Grandpa pretty much had two outfits--his Key brand overalls for the farm and his grey pants with a blue button-down for going places. When I was in grade school, we were at Orschlen's to pick up some stuff and they had kid sized Key overalls...I begged and begged and finally got a pair! I'm not sure if I admitted it at the time, but I really only wanted them so that I could be like Grandpa :-)
# 4. When Grandpa would go out to their farmhouse, he always took his Swanson tv dinners with him for lunch. He would save up a whole bunch of the barcodes for us and give them to us every few months--I can't remember what they were for, but they had a deal similar to the Box Tops going. When I moved up to Omaha after high school, I remember seeing the "Swanson" tower down in the industrial district and it always reminded me of Grandpa and his tv dinners!
#3. As I mentioned earlier, we're not an emotional family and Grandpa was one to save any money he could. Growing up, Grandma always talked about how she wanted a pair of diamond earrings but Grandpa would never buy them for her as they weren't a necessity. It was at their 55th Anniversary party that Grandpa FINALLY presented her with her long-awaited diamond studs--AND a kiss on the cheek! That would be the first--and last--time we would see any physical affection from either of them
#2. In high school English, we had to interview a family member and I chose Grandpa. He was the quiet type and I felt like I just didn't know as much about him as I did my other family members. I remember asking him about his Tour of Duty during World War II and he spoke about it briefly and then I could tell it was time to change the subject. I had asked about it because it was something he never talked about while we were growing up. Just a few years ago, Grandpa sat down at a type-writer and wrote a book detailing his experience and the personal losses he encountered while fighting the war. Around this time we also found his Purple Heart badge that none of the family, not even his children, knew he had been awarded. For him, the book was his process of disclosure and this would help me undertand all the individuals I eventually came to work with in my crisis services.
#1. My main memory of Grandpa Boob was his devotion and kindness. I never once heard Grandpa say a foul word about anybody or anything. He took to heart the motto of keeping things to yourself if you have nothing good to say...and this is something I wish I could be better about. You also knew that if he gave someone his word, he would keep his promise until the very end. I think this is what made it so hard to watch him lose Grandma after a lifetime of marriage--but at the same time, it taught me more about nurturing life's relationships than anything else ever could.
The picture I chose shows my Grandpa on the front left and his "Brother Bill" on the front right; my brother is the back left, then my dad is in the blue & red plaid, followed by Bill's son Scott and my cousin Russ...there's definately some shared traits in our family!
I would like to wrap things up by saying Grandpa's real name was not was John Wilbur...but as a little guy, he would always wear his hat to school and at the time there was a comic strip of a boy name Boob who wore multiple hats at one time. Grandpa's teacher teased him with the name one day and it stuck!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meat??? Or Fake Meat???

I've been getting a kick out of this whole meat-substitute thing. The other night, I made an AWESOME beef stroganoff using meat substitute crumbles and you could not tell the difference...I've always been a fan of ground beef as it's so versatile and quick to cook up --we're talking tacos, Mexican lasagna, spaghetti, manicotti, jumbalaya etc as weeknight favorites.
When I made the stroganoff, Justin found the wrapper before the food was even ready and threw a FIT. He actually went to the store and picked himself up a steak just to be 180 degrees opposite of the stroganoff. If only he knew what he was missing!
Funny part is--he has eaten the crumbles MANY more times than he would even care to realize. I'm telling ya, you cannot tell the difference. Granted, I wouldn't make a hamburger out of the stuff (my texture taste buds aren't that brave yet) but it's a great alternative for ground beef. However, I will admit--there's times I've used ground beef because I was too lazy to walk all the way back to the organic section to get my crumbles. I tried telling him that we've been eating about 50% crumbles and him eating about 50% real meat but now he doesn't trust anything I tell him!
So tell me--by looking at this picture, would you say MEAT or FAKE MEAT? When I look at the picture, it reminds me to add the onions in the very beginning so that they brown up with everything else...ooops!