Monday Morning Quarterbacking Cancer

I know it’s ridiculous, impossible, maybe even inappropriate, but when you find out a friend was whisked away by cancer, you just can’t help but look at old pictures and try to see where it was lurking. I mean, when I met him he and his wife were trying to get pregnant and now they have 5 year old triplets. Triplets. And I look at pictures from the past years and I think “where are you cancer?” “I don’t see any sign that you would be waiting to jump out and take over this big man’s brain within 10 months.” I think how can it be that you wouldn’t know something that big and awful was waiting around the corner. But you just don’t and when I think about that it really blows my mind.

What would you do if you could look at someone and just KNOW – just see some tiny little black spot (I picture cancer as a black spot and even if it’s removed and “cured” it’s still there, smudging your soul.) and see that’s it’s making evil decisions about the future? Do you say they should maybe rethink long range plans? Do you say nothing and hope you are wrong? Do you become so afraid of what unknown thing is lurking somewhere for you that you only live in the short term?

I’ve always said “everybody’s got their something”, but I’ve always said it with the hope that I know what my something is and I’m dealing with it successfully. But I know that’s false hope. Because there’s no rule that says you only get ONE something. Or that your one something is manageable.

Every Airline has Problems. Not Every Airline is Lucky Enough to Have This Guy.

When I first heard his voice softly trying to hypnotize us, I thought our flight attendant was Jim Gaffigan. Actually, his name tag said Smoaky.

“You’re getting sleepy…” Whispers a quiet voice over the comm system as he tries to soothe the savage beasts.
“Close your eyes…”
“You don’t want anything to drink…”
“Peanuts give you gas…”

Then louder:
“Check the belt on your seatie, give a hug to your sweetie, this Boeing is goin’!”

Back to quiet:
“If you fall asleep right now when we wake you in Charlotte, the flight took five minutes. Stay awake and it’s over 2 hours and 20 minutes. The choice is yours.”

I love to fly Southwest.

The Mardi Gras Post that Almost Wasn’t

Just a little quick post since I haven’t written in a while. Only the usual shenanigans going on around this redneck of the woods. But I have to tell you how humbled I am by the generosity of my friends.

I’m going to Mardi Gras this year, all of a sudden, after I had resigned myself to the idea that I was taking a year off. See, the trip really wears me down and throws me into some pretty high anxiety. It’s NOT a vacation. It’s something you need a vacation FROM. So between the exhaustion I get from just thinking about the yearly trip and paying for a ridiculously expensive Disney anniversary trip coming up in April, it just wasn’t going to happen this year. And I was sort of okay with that, but there was one event I really wanted to be at with my Mardi Gras family. My friends made it happen – they bought enough jewelry off my etsy site to get me a plane ticket and I’m going to try the supershort freaky turnaround of Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning. Yup, I’m nuts. But my friends are nuttier and love me that much. Especially the one letting me crash in her hotel room. A one day Gras this year, which will include the worlds greatest engagement party AND getting up at the butt crack of dawn to see Pete Fountain starting off on his half-fast journey. I might hate myself that morning but it’s cool that even on a trip this short I’ll be trying something new during Carnival that I hadn’t experienced before.

All because my people love me and want to see me at least once a year. We’ll be missing some of the family this year though. Among other things, one friend will be going through radiation and another just got a brand new liver, so there is a LOT of upheaval going around. We are already calling 2015 the big reunion year. But we’ve got to get through this one first.

P.S.: I’ve got the plane ticket paid for, but if you’re in the market for jewelry you should check out my etsy store. Then maybe I’ll make enough money this week for taxis and food :)

P.S.S.: if you are going to Mardi Gras this year and notice any of the @200 people wearing bright green tags, those are Street Drinking Permits. It’s kind of an inside joke, but is an indication that these are good people. You should hang around them because they are pretty wonderful and will only enhance your experience.

Hail to the V! Now pick that thong out of it.

Excuse me for bogarting Summers Eve’s tag line – they make useless products (seriously, the vag is a self cleaning organ and you shouldn’t need to mess with it), but their advertising is golden.

This morning brings you a rant on thongs. If you are an everyday thong wearer I just….I just can’t wrap my head around that. It seems so unhealthy. Why do you do this? If you can’t handle visible panty lines, wear nothing at all. I happen to take pride in my VPLs. It indicates to people that I am, in fact, wearing panties. When did this become bad form? Half the people I see wearing thongs (yes, people can see your thong lines, bitches) have visible bra straps, which I think is the greater fashion crime here.

Many women insist thongs are very comfortable. I can only imagine they were previously wearing panties crafted from Army surplus wool blankets dipped in fire ants. The worst offenders are the women who wear them during a workout. This to me is Disgusting. I know some studies have said there is no great increase in UTIs and yeasties with thong wearers, even though you have this awesome fabric bridge for bacteria running from bit to bit, but I’ve got to think otherwise for someone working out. I itch just thinking about trying to do a Pilates class in a thong.

I admit to owning thongs. Mostly they quietly decay in the back of the underwear drawer behind the bras that fit weird. More of a short term, costumey thing than something I could wear all day. I’ve fallen for the idea that they are sexy, only to look in the mirror and realize that it just looks like my ass has eaten my underpants. Sexy illusion shattered.

And with that mental image, enjoy your Sunday.

Ninja Hot Chocolate

Some things I’m kind of a freak about that you will discover in this post:
Disney (please be jealous of my new Disney kitchen Christmas presents)
Quality HoCho
My new Ninja 1100 blender
My lack of concern about pretty blog photos

Since Christmas I’ve been on a smoothie kick with the Ninja, tracking down good recipes to try, stuffing the freezer full of chopped fruits, sneaking kale and spinach into everything so I feel I’m being healthy.

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Today I wanted a Ninja drink with very few redeeming nutritional qualities. I was in a HoCho mood and more the instant variety than the making from scratch on the stovetop variety. Now, all hot chocolate mixes are NOT created equal. (By the way, there is a difference between “cocoa” and “hot chocolate”. Cocoa with water is total crap.) The best instant mix I’ve found is Land O’Lakes. Yeah, the butter people. It’s creamy and only costs 50 cents a packet – less if you buy in bulk someplace like Sam’s Club. Of course, one packet only makes a @8 ounce cup that is considered a serving which I think is preposterous. That’s a taste, not a serving!

But I digress – what follows is what I made in my little smoothie-sized blender cup that comes with the full-size blender. And it was freakin’ delicious! Double this if you want to fill the blender cup. I’m kind of an accidental cook, so all the amounts are approximate but I did try to pay attention for you.

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Ninja HoCho:
8 ounces of hot almond milk (regular milk is fine too, but never skim milk or water)
1 1/4 oz packet of Land O’Lakes Chocolate Supreme hot cocoa mix
Half a handful of chocolate chips (see- I’m sorry – I counted about 20 big chips)
Splash of vanilla
Splash of flax oil (don’t freak out – you don’t need this I was just trying to work it in today)
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cayenne

Those spices and vanilla are all OPTIONAL, I was trying to put a Mexican twist on it. You really just need almond milk, powder mix and chocolate chips if you want simplicity. Anyway, BLEND BLEND BLEND. Blend like a mofo. Blend until you see the mixture turn a lighter color or until your husband yells at you from the living room to cut that shit out. It will be worth it because your HoCho will be incredibly smooth and frothy. I may never drink it any other way now.

Only the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Ever

NOTE: All pictures are at the end of this post because the WordPress app is a ball-busting bitch. Carry on.

I wanted to write this on Christmas Day after I tasted these suckers but we had company and I was trying not to be rude and stay off the iPad except for the triumphant status update. Then I wanted to write yesterday but I was trying out smoothies in my new Ninja (that I asked for last year but I believe in better late than never) and the last smoothie of the afternoon contained Cabernet so…nap. I found the recipe on Christmas Eve and thought since I had all the ingredients I should try it out in the morning. The carb-wary migraine sufferer in me screamed not to do it, but I rarely listen to that killjoy. I’ve rewritten the recipe from what I found on Pinterest because it was kind of confusing and I like simplicity. At first glance you may not think this is simple but hang in there – if I had the patience and am willing to do it again, you can handle it.

Kick Ass Christmas Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing

Section 1: The Dough
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
3 1/4 cups flour
1 packet (.25 ounce) active yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 cup water

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, remove from heat and add butter, stirring as it melts. Let cool to lukewarm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, and sugar, mix well. And water, egg, and the milk mixture, mix well. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mix well. When the dough has pulled together, turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth – about 5 minutes. To be honest with you, I don’t know what the hell “smooth” dough really looks like compared to what I started with, so go with the 5 minutes. Cover dough with a damp cloth and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile…

Section 2: The Filling
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix in a small bowl. On floured surface, roll out dough to @12×9 rectangle and spread the filling mixture until you cover the entire surface. This takes a few minutes because it doesn’t just slather on like jam, take a little at a time and trust me when I say you will have exactly the right amount. Roll dough and sit it seam down so it stays together better when cutting. With a sharp knife, slice 12 rolls and place in buttered 12×9 casserole dish. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile…

Section 3: The Icing
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar

If you are anything like me you know that the biggest problem with cinnamon rolls is no one understands just how much icing you need. You need a LOT. This will do it. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and heat until boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in milk slowly, heat to boiling. Remove from heat and let cool @15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add powdered sugar and beat, then pour all over dish of warm rolls.

Enjoy and to quote Clark Griswold: hallelujah, holy shit, pass the Tylenol.

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