Friday, February 27, 2009

When I grow up...

I am now qualified to serve people food. Today I passed the test that the restaurant gives to make sure you can sling food according to their standards. I'm still not graceful with the trays, but I didn't drop anything this week while I was training. We will see how it goes. I'm still not sure that this is the career path I really want to be on. I mean sure, if I keep doing it eventually I could become the manager, but is that really what I want to do?

I just turned 35 this week and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

When I get on this kick, my husband tells me one of two things,

One, he tells me I don't have to work, and that being a mom to his kids and making sure they grow up to be productive members of society is a hard enough job. I know, he really is a prince, right? And for those of you who know him, and know that he can be an ASS sometimes, THIS is why I love him. Because when it comes to the really important stuff, he's good, he's really good.

Or two, he tells me to just pick something already, because you see in the 16 years that I have known him I have wanted to be :
A. The owner of my very own pool hall
B. High school math teacher
C. Bartender
D. Nail technician
E. Hairstylist
F. Graphic Designer
G. Coffee shop owner
H. Scapbooking store owner
I. Preschool teacher
J. Pharmacist
K. Interior designer
L. Artist

And in those years the jobs I have held are:
A. Daycare worker
B. Parking lot attendant
C. Car Salesperson
D. Car Service Cashier
E. Customer Service Rep
F. Accounts payable clerk
G. Human resources administrator
H. Tupperware lady
I. Automotive billing clerk
J. Starbucks Barista
K. Major chain bookstore department lead
L. Restaurant hostess

You would think that maybe, just maybe, out of all these things I would find the one that I was really good at, the one that I could see myself getting up to go do every day for the rest of my life, but no. It's not like I didn't like any of them, I just got bored. I think it's because of my ADD, but I've rarely spent more than a year at any job I've ever had. I just wake up one day and feel like the job is sucking the life out of me and if I stay there any longer I will curl up and die, and then I formulate and exit strategy.

So here I am at 35, still wondering what to do with my life. Maybe I am just meant to be a mom. Not that I don't agree that being a mom is a job in and of itself. Not that I don't think that raising productive members of the next generation isn't just about the most important job out there. But I still feel like something is missing, that I cannot spend the rest of my life being defined as someone's mom.

My latest kick has been the pharmacist thing. The years of schooling are something that I just can't get my head around though. Not to mention the money. One of my friends suggested that I look into becoming a Pharmacy Technician. The school isn't as long or as expensive, and it would give me a chance to work in a Pharmacy and see if I even really liked it enough to want to go spend years learning how to do. And if I got lucky, the pharmacy might help pay for some of the tuition to actually become a Pharmacist. So I looked into Pharmacy Technician programs and gave up because they still cost a lot of money and the schools were not exactly close to my house. Last week I found out that the local community college has a program and it only costs $915. The catch, the next class doesn't start until May. So come May, if my ADD hasn't sent me off in a completely different direction by then, I'll go. I actually did put a reminder on my calendar for April to remind myself to sign up, just in case.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I was just reading this post at Because I Said So about chores. I left a comment, but when it started to feel like I was leaving a small novel on her comment form, I decided that I should come back here to write out all my thoughts in their entirety.

The question she asked was "those of you with more than one child, how do you distribute chores among your children? Do your older children have more responsibilities or not? Do you make the older kids help out with younger ones? Do you feel that with age, come more responsibilities and more privileges or do you strive to treat all children exactly the same?"

My answer is a little of both. Whatever the chore, whether it's laundry, setting the table for dinner, doing dishes, or caring for the pets, each child has an age appropriate job to do.

At laundry time, my littlest one helps sort the clothes. As soon as your child knows their colors, they can help make piles of the colors. My oldest helps me with actually putting the soap in the washer and folding the clothes. My middle child helps put them away into the right closets.

At dinner time, the oldest pours milk for everyone. The middle one is responsible for laying napkins at everyone's place and helping take the plates to the table, the little one gets the silverware. When they were younger the little one did napkins, but now she's a little older and wanted to do a bigger job. We gave napkins back to the middle one and added the plates.

After dinner everyone is responsible for rinsing their dishes and loading them into the dishwasher, I put away the leftovers, the oldest washes up anything that doesn't go into the dishwasher, the little one wipes down the table, and the middle on unloads the dishwasher after it has been run.

When it comes to the pets, the oldest is in charge of making sure they all have food and water. Even though these are jobs the little ones could do, I can't count on them to do it on a regular enough basis to ensure the pets don't starve, so the oldest gets it. The younger two are responsible for picking up the dog poop in the back yard. I give them some latex gloves and a grocery bag. Lucky for them we have little dogs with little poops. We also have cats and I change the litter box.

You notice that on most of these lists, I include myself. I try to teach them that it is a team effort to make the house run smoothly and that includes me. It also cuts down on the amount of complaining they do about their chores. It's hard to complain about how hard you are being made to work when every time you are asked to do something everyone else is working too. I also don't pay the kids for doing these chores. I explain to them that nobody pays me to pick up my room, do the laundry, cook dinner... some things are just a part of life and you have to do them.

Now there are times that the younger ones are dragging butt about getting their rooms done and I don't have time to pick them up because I'm busy mopping, cleaning toilets, etc. and yet I really need them picked up so I can get in there with the vaccum. At those time I will ask my oldest to pick them up and I pay her $5 for each room for the favor. This keeps me from asking her too often.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why I love my crockpot

I know this isn't surprising to you, I've talked before about how great the crockpot is, but I've just learned to make yet another thing in it!! Refried beans. A frend of mine gave me a bag of pinto beans when she moved. I guess I should clarify, she didn't just give me a bag of beans as a going away present, she gave me most everything that was in her fridge and pantry because they would be too much of a hassle to move. Included in those items was a bag of beans. So I've been looking at this bag of beans wondering what the hell to do with them. I usually buy my refried beans in a can. Finally I decided that I had these beans, I should figure out what to do with them. A short internet search later and I had a recipe for vegetarian refried beans made in the crockpot. That one little bag made as much refried beans as comes in two of the big cans, AND they were way yummy. Oh, and cheap since the bag and all the ingredients cost less than one regular sized can. Since there was very little work either, I can't even complain that my time is worth money. I don't think I'll ever buy refried beans in a can again.

Crockpot Refried Beans


3 cups dry pinto beans
9 cups water
1 onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and minced (I didn't have jalapenos sitting around, so I used a teaspoon of a chipotle seasoning I have)
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the pre-minced garlic in a jar)
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


Some of the recipes I found said to soak the beans overnight, dump the water, and cook them in fresh water, others didn't. Since I'm lazy, I opted to skip that step. Both ways the cooking time was the same, so I didn't see the point. If you feel that you have to soak them, go right ahead.

Combine all ingredients in the crockpot, cover, and cook on high for 8 to 10 hours. If your beans are old, they are going to take longer. I ended up cooking mine on high for 7 hours and then on low for another 7 overnight while I slept since they weren't done before bedtime.

When they are done you will be able to mush them easily with a fork. Drain and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher. Add in as much of the reserved liquid as necessary to achive the desired consistency.

Some recipes suggested putting small quantities in the blender and using that to mash them. Since this would have created more dishes to wash, I opted against it. The beans were soft enough that it didn't take me long with the potato masher. But if you don't have a potato masher, or have a broken arm or something that would prevent you from using one, a blender will work too.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day

Like Christmas, Valentine's Day is one of those days that my hubby and I mostly ignore. It falls at a time of the year that we are usually broke, and I'm not so into chocolates, flowers, cards, and especially lingerie.

Chocolate is not my favorite candy. I guess this makes me very un-girl like since chocolate is supposed to be like the best shit on earth for women. The problem with boxes of chocolate is this, I don't like any with creamy centers, or other odd stuff I can't identify. If they are filled with caramel they are good, all the others are nasty. When I was a kid I used to bite into them and if they were filled with yucky stuff, I would spit them out and put the other half, bite marks included, back in the box. My mom convinced me this was nasty and encouraged me to use a knife to cut them open to see what was inside. I would eat the caramel ones and leave the others, all cut in half, in the box. So it's just a giant waste to buy me a box of chocolates unless you like all the yucky ones and don't mind them all being cut in half. But then it's really a gift for you and not me then isn't it?

Flowers are also a giant waste. Sure they are pretty, but if you are going to spend fifty to a hundred bucks on me, well, I'd rather have something that won't be dead in a week. It just seems like an enormous waste of money to me. I would much prefer to have some new clothes or something for the house I can look at every day for years and remember that it was a gift.

Now cards are the ultimate waste of money three to five bucks for a piece of cardboard with some words and a picture. I NEVER buy cards. If I'm going to give someone a gift I'd much rather spend that extra few bucks on a nicer gift. I'm always the person shouting out "That's from me/us" at the party. Either that or the kids make a card. They make better cards than the stores anyway. If I'm getting a gift, I'd rather have a gift that I can enjoy, not a piece of cardboard that is going to end up in the trash with the flowers.

So that leaves lingerie. Lingerie sucks. It's uncomfortable and itchy, ridiculously expensive for what little there is of it, and well, you know I'm not going to be wearing it that long anyway, so really what is the point. I'm not going to enjoy one second of it, so it's really not a gift for me now is it?

The only thing I really like about Valentine's Day is the boxes of candy hearts. I heart those things. So do you think that my hubby thought that even though we are broke, he could maybe spend $1 to buy me a box? If he had, I would have been really surprised, but he didn't. So yesterday I hit up Target and got some for myself 50% off. For a dollar I got 8 packs. I'm happy. I also got some little stuffed animals for the girls. 50% off. They didn't mind getting them a day late. I think from now on, I'm going to celebrate all holidays a day late. Think of how much money I could save.

Clumsy girl learns to be a waitress

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was going to start serving food at the restaurant where I work. How I was scared shitless about dropping trays of food all over the customers. Yeah. So the manager has apparently decided that I need the short bus training and scheduled me to learn to take to go orders before doing the regular training. I spent Friday and Saturday night learning how to input orders into the computer and practicing my new found skills on the customers who called ahead orders. Everything was going fine until they decided, in all their infinite wisdom, that I should take food to tables too. Now I realize that when I start serving I'm going to have to take food to tables, but I also know that I'm not going to start off working Friday nights either. This particular Friday night they were super busy and not only was the restaurant filled to capacity, there were three times as many people working as I am used to during the day. There were bodies everywhere and it was impossible to walk anywhere without bumping into someone. It was like trying to do brain surgery in a clown car. So someone decides it will be a good idea to send me out to a table with a GIANT tray, filled not just with baskets of burgers, but plates of entrees, something that is served on a cast iron plate, and SOUP. SOUP!!! What were they thinking??? I managed to carry the tray to the table, but there were no empty tables nearby for me to set this monstrosity on. As I was trying to maneuver my way around the table so I wouldn't have to pass food over their BABY, I got my right foot stuck on a high chair at the next table over. I feel myself about to not only drop the tray, but fall on top of it myself. NOT GOOD. So I put my left foot in front of me to try to avoid falling. I am now standing frozen with my left foot crossed in front of my right, knees bent, but miraculously still holding the tray. It was like a game of twister gone horribly, horribly wrong. The lady with the baby says "Good save". At this point I'm feeling pretty proud that I managed to not drop the tray, and I'm pretty confident I can stand up and get my feet untwisted without dropping the tray, but I still have no clue how I'm going to get any of the food off of it. Just then the manager saw me posing awkwardly with the tray and came over to help. I held the tray and she took the food off. All I can say is this is going to be an interesting experience.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Facebook might be evil

Remember my friend Facebook? Well Facebook is taking over my life. My hubby is calling me a Facebook whore. Between all the lame gifts and drinks everyone is sending me, I spend a lot of time on there just sending stuff back to everyone. The other day one of my friends sent me the never ending interview. Think of it as a meme that goes on literally FOR EVER. This is a problem for me. Although my ADD sometimes causes me to have the attention span of a gnat, I can also hyper focus. One of the ways I have learned to deal with the short attention span is to not stop anything before I'm finished, because I rarely will come back and finish. Now I get all anxious if I can't finish something. Consequently I spent ALL day on Sunday answering over 400 stupid questions and still never finished. On the plus side, in the last week I have reunited with lots of people from high school and even some from elementary school. Even though I could have gone the rest of my life without ever talking to some of these people again, it's kinda nice (in a creepy voyeuristic way) to see how their lives turned out.

I won!!!

Thanks to those who commented on my new pretty blog. I've been so busy moving I totally forgot to announce that I won a contest at sassychicdesigns. She designed everything. Isn't it cute? Oh wait, you guys already told me it was. Thanks!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

So Far.... Not So Good

So it's been almost a month since my last post. Good thing I didn't wish to be a better blogger, because then I'd be definitely failing. Here is an update on how I'm doing on my wishes.

1. My next house will have a place for my crafting - FAIL

We have officially moved. My new house not only doesn't have room for my crafting, it doesn't have room for me. Or my big ass bed, pool table, most of my pots and pans, linnens, or anything else. The only good thing about it, is it's only month to month, so we are still looking for the house that will have room for my crafting. It's a good thing, because if I had to stay in this house too long, I think I would lose my mind. I seriously think some motels have bigger kitchens than this place. I spent this morning rearranging the kitchen because when we unpacked, we put all the cups in a cupboard that you can't get to when the dishwasher is open.

2. I will get my Etsy shop set up and start selling my crafts - C

I did get the Etsy shop set up, but since I can't find the craft supplies, let alone craft anything in this crackerjack box, the actual selling of stuff is on hold until we move again.

3. I will make enough money to buy the things I want (mainly new furniture) without pulling from the regular budget - A+

Although I don't have room to buy any furniture for this house, I am making progress towards increasing my income. I have decided to try a different project on that work at home thing that I did for a whole 3 days last year, hoping that people ordering flowers will be slightly more intelligent than pre-paid cellular customers. No offense intended to anyone reading this that actually has a pre-paid cell phone, if you are able to read this blog you are obviously not one of the 20 or so people I helped (or attempted to) in those three days. In addition to that I'm actually going to start serving food at the restaurant where I work, instead of just parking people in booths. I'm kinda clumsy, ok I'm really clumsy, and I've been scared shitless of dropping trays of food and everyone laughing at me, but it's time to play with the big kids. It's been a year, and because of my ADD a year is about the longest I stay at any job. Since the economy sucks and there aren't too many jobs to be had, I figure that rather than look for something that isn't out there, I'll just do something else where I am. I'm still scared shitless that I will drop trays of food, but oh well.

4. I will take better care of my health - B

I did actually find a doctor, make an appointment, and see that doctor. Of course she referred me to an ENT and I haven't made that appointment yet. Why? Because I need to have my tonsils out and I don't have time for that right now.

I also finally made an appointment to see the denitist to deal with the tooth that has been bothering me for months. Of course since I had ignored it for so long, it required a root canal, and $300 that I didn't have.

5. I will do a better job of keeping in touch with friends who are spread all over the country - B+

Wow, Facebook, you are my friend. So if my friends are on Facebook, I'm now in touch. For the people not on Facebook, well, I haven't quite figured out what to do about them yet.

6. I will put money away so we can take a nice family vacation this year - C

Since the hubby is still not working, right now we can't afford our bills, let alone save for vacation, but hopefully my different job endeavors will make this one a reality.

7. Lose the pesky last 5 pounds - FAIL

I was all excited this morning. I found my scale. It's been lost for 2 weeks since we moved. I have been able to get into some pants that I have not been able to for a few years, so even without the scale, I thought I was doing well on this one. So I found the scale and put it in the bathroom, in front of the toilet, on the rug, since the bathroom is so small, it was either there or in front of the sink. I weighed myself and it said I had lost 8 pounds since I wrote that last month. I was all kinds of excited. Until the hubby came to me and said "I think the scale might be broken". Apparently putting it on the bathroom rug was making it weigh about 10 pounds less than reality. So instead of being down 8 pounds, I'm really up 2. I think I'll put it back on the rug.

So that's pretty much the update. I'm going to be super busy the next couple weeks learning to not drop trays of food, and ordering people flowers for Valentine's day, I'll try to drop by and write, but I'm not promising anything.