Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Poetic Tuesday

A Self Portrait

There once was a girl who had a rather tragic beginning.
She was meant to be born when the leaves do their spinning.
Instead she was born on the very wrong day.
She was born in the very muggy month of May.

And some people think she was born in the wrong region,
For Asian she is not, and not Polish, nor Norwegian.
But her name is rather odd and rhymes with Asia.
And this is not where she's from, this silly girl named Kasia.

She laughs like an old lady, emphysema-like and wheezy.
And the wiggling of toes makes her very uneasy.
A collector of odd things, like owls and super sticky post-its.
She organizes other people's refrigerators and cabinets.

She likes to smile, but it usually make her cheeks hot.
The love of her friends, make her smile quite a lot.
A dreamer, procrastinator, silly, quirky, child of God, and friend,
The life she has been given, is not tragic at all, beginning, middle, or end.

Ha. Poetic Tuesday might not last long. Fun to try though.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Contemplative Monday

Or Serious Monday. Or some other similar word I haven't thought of or discovered yet. And who knows, I may change my mind and not want to be serious. Or skip a week of being serious. Or two weeks. Or a month. The beauty of writing. I get to decide or not decide. Can you handle an indecisive mind that never stops thinking Mitch? (Note: Mitch is the blog's name for anyone reading other than Mitch)

So currently Monday is serious/contemplative/introspective/pensive because Monday is the day I go to counseling. Lots of self awareness type thoughts take place on Mondays. Oh how I wish an hour of work went by as fast as an hour of counseling. Though usually the first five minutes go by at a work-like pace. But by the end of the hour my counselor is having to push me out of the door. I won't go into all the gory messed up details of my brain, that's what the counseling is for. But some things are worth saying to you, Mitch, and to friends, maybe some even to the world. Today I feel like talking about healing.

Of all the places to find wisdom, I know Grey's Anatomy wouldn't be a top choice for many, me included. But the season premier voice-overs (best part of every Grey's episode) spoke some words that I felt...

Meredith: The dictionary defines grief as keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow. 
Little Grey: Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
McSteamy: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
McDreamy: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Little Grey: Depression.
Chief: Acceptance.

You may or may not have noticed that I seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for almost a year. For all the inquisitive Nancy Drews out there, or Neds in your case Mitch, case solved. Reason for disappearance: healing and grief. Excuse? No. Not meant to be. If you care to know all the details, I'd love to sit down and have coffee with you, I have nothing to hide. Only a story God has given me and a history that makes me who I am, my present what it is, and my future what it will be, all meant to bring God glory. But I do not intend, tonight at least, to spill my guts. I'd just like to talk a little about healing and grief. A few things I've learned. And am still learning.

As written by the Grey's Anatomy writers, and others I'm certain, death isn't the only thing we grieve. Change... Life... Loss... Grief is kind enough to not show favoritism. Thank you grief. Ha. Joking aside though, yes it stinks, worse than a zoo, but it's real, it hurts, but it has purpose.

Forrest Gump says life is like a box of chocolates. I've also heard life described as an onion. If you don't like onions, bad analogy. I happen to like them, so it works for me. But like an onion, it's really of no use or no good to anyone as is. It's got all those squiggly, sprouty things on the ends, and those paper like coverings. And I guess if you're boiling crawfish, maybe after removing the paperish coverings and squigglies it could be edible to a crazy drunk guy after boiled who likes to eat onions like apples. But onions are most of use when cut. When the layers are peeled away. And what happens when you cut and peel layers? Unless you know some secret I don't... tears. And lots of them. I'd like to think the onion is grieving. But in the end, once cooked, after some painful heat, it adds flavor and tastes much sweeter.

As stated earlier, this things is huge. Enough to fill a book. I do not intend to write that book here. But I will add this. Don't fight it. Don't hide it. Don't avoid it and think you can suppress it. Feel it when it comes. Deal with it. Because even if you think you beat it by not dealing with it, it's still there. We are breakable humans. God didn't make us unbreakable super humans for a reason. We bleed, we bruise, we feel pain. Why shouldn't we let ourselves accept that our insides are the same? Beyond the organs and blood and vessels, those insides. We don't deny the fact that if you stub your toe it hurts, if you cut your finger it bleeds, if you fall up the stairs (a skillful talent) you bruise. Life hurts, it cuts, it wounds, it bruises. Healing of the insides doesn't happen if you pretend you don't need it. Unfortunately we can't just put band-aids on our hearts. It builds up and 26 years later culminates and forces you to peel the painful layers. Grief ends in acceptance. Not denial. Denial is a part of grief, but acceptance is the end. And I personally think the last stage is lifelong. Like a cool scar. A story to be told. And in the case of these life scars, a God's glory scar.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Recipe Sunday

For some reason on Sunday's I always feel like cooking. And I always prepare some meal on Sunday night to put in the crock pot on Monday morning. And today's recipe is...

Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potatoes
Amanda and her mom made a version of the pork tenderloin that was great! I didn't have the recipe so I decided to searched recipezaar.com for a similar recipe and combined things from different ones I liked to come up with this on. 


* 3 lbs pork loin
* 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (inch cubes)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
* 1 cup apple juice or chicken broth
(For Glaze:)  
* 1 cup of preserves, I'm using strawberry
* 1/4 cup apple juice
* 2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Remove any excess fat from the roast.
3. Put potatoes in bottom of 13x9 baking dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray.
4. Rub the salt and pepper into the surface of the pork then brown each side in a pan.
5. After browning, deglaze the pan afterward with the broth or 1 cup of apple juice
6. Place pork on top of potatoes.
7. Pour broth or apple juice over all.
8. In a small saucepan, heat the preserves, apple juice, rosemary and garlic over medium heat, stirring frequently.
9. When thickened, spoon 1/4 cup mixture onto pork reserving remainder.
10. Insert meat thermometer so tip is in center of thickest part of pork.
11. Bake uncovered 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until the thermometer reads 155°F.
12. Cover pork with foil and allow to stand 15 to 20 minutes or until thermometer reads 160°F.
13. Cut roast into slices.
14. Heat the reserved preserves mixture and serve with roast.

Crock Pot:
1. Put potatoes in the crock pot.
2. Remove any excess fat from the roast.
4. Rub the salt and pepper into the surface of the pork then brown each side in a pan.
5. After browning, deglaze the pan afterward with the 1 cup or less of apple juice or broth.
6. Place pork on top of potatoes.
7. Pour broth or apple juice over all.
8. In a small saucepan, heat the preserves, apple juice, rosemary and garlic over medium heat, stirring frequently.
9. When thickened, spoon 1/4 - 1/2 cup mixture onto pork reserving remainder.
10. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 on low.
11. Cut roast into slices.
12. Heat the reserved preserves mixture and serve with roast.

I also wanted to bake something so I made some mini muffins.

Oatmeal Streusel Muffins
This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook on page 126 in the breads section.


*1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 cup of rolled oats
*1/3 cup sugar
*2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 egg, beaten
*3/4 cup milk
*1/4 cup cooking oil or apple sauce
(For Streusel Topping:)
*2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
*1 tablespoon rolled oats
*3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
*1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
*2 tablespoons butter
*2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts


1. Make streusel topping and set aside. (Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl. Cut in 2 tbsp of butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Can stir in two tbsp of chopped pecans or walnuts if desired.)
2. Preheat over to 400. Grease muffin tin and set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture, set aside.
3. In another bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil (or applesauce). Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. (Note: Batter should be lumpy. Stir with a wooden spoon just until the ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix or the muffins will be peaked and have tunnels and a tough texture.)
4. Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each two-thirds full (makes 12 standard muffins, 24 minis, or 6 jumbo). Sprinkle streusel topping over muffin batter in cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes for standard muffins or 10-12 for mini muffins (30 at 350 for jumbo) until golden brown or toothpick comes out clean. Cool muffins on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

And for dinner I ate a gourmet classic, grilled ham and cheese ha.

I'm thinking if I come up with a theme for every day I will blog more. Not that I have to blog more, but I like writing. It's a good creative outlet for me. Recipe Sunday, Contemplative Monday, Poetic Tuesday, Quotable Wednesday, Question and Answer Thursday. There we go.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Crazyland at Its Best

Remember that episode of cops where that lady's way too young for her boyfriend got arrested for not paying child support so the lady went and lived with the boyfriend's baby mama and kids. Oh wait.. that's my mom. Does this game of life have a go back to start box to land on? Ok just kidding. I love many things about my life. And my family has made me who I am. And I do love them, most of them, I think. But I should know that calm never means calm, just means calm before the storm. Serious moment over.

Now to attempt to be slightly funny because the notification of the above mentioned circumstances have put a damper on my I'm in love with the concept of Jim from The Office high and I need to write and make jokes about things (and I meant to not use commas or punctuation and not take a breath til the end, as I would have said it). In light of recent circumstance I've decided I am now taking applications. Let me explain the circumstances, before I explain what I am taking applications for.

Circumstance #1: I name inanimate objects. My car, Wentworth. My GPS, Ivy Clara. The pumpkin on my desk, Pete. My blog, Mitch. My owls, Portland, Asa, Ace, Clementine, to name a few.

Circumstance #2: I sleep with a stuffed elephant named Pumpkin.

Circumstance #3: My family is crazy.

Circumstance #4: I have to eat left overs for three days in a row at the least and freeze a portion too, for later use.

Circumstance #5: I make cute little lunches for myself with folded napkins and sandwiches cut in triangles and carrots and graham crackers in ziplock snack bags.

Based on the above mentioned circumstance, I have decided, using logic and reason, that I am now taking applications for a husband and/or kids. Please send all application to The Council (which is also taking applications, though some of you have been inducted into said Council without your knowing due to your valued opinions and the level that you know me and/or how much you love me). Refer all questions to The Council as well. They will be able to inform you if an applicant is suitable or not.

[If you don't know I'm kidding (at least for the most part, though I can't say I, I mean The Council, would turn down an application he he) then you don't know me and should not be reading this blog.]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The End

One might gather from the title "The End" that there may be a beginning and a middle. Well one would be smart. In the case of this story, its far more appropriate to tell "The End" first. And if I don't some people may kill me :). Not you of course Mitch. Oh Mr. Blog has a name. His Aunt Micki named him Mitch. And let me go ahead and clarify that "The End" is only referring to the end of this story and a season, not my life. I know you are so relieved about that. Mitch would miss me.


Ok so the end is... I have a job! A real, grown up, adult job! I briefly mentioned before (see "Bodies are funny." post) how I found the job. Synopsis: Many many may job applications and resumes sent, no call backs, job posted an hour, sent resume, 2 hours later a call to interview the next day, had to bring degree, didn't know where it was, first box I opened on top, transcripts, act of God I got those too, interview was amazing, they said I'd hear by this coming Friday, which would have been a week and a day from my interview. And keep in mind, this is just a summary of the end. The middle involves lots of craziness and trials mixed with a whole lot of God provision that all lead to this end.

From the time they called me back something just felt different. Something inside me felt different. I felt different. I believed God's small voice through Himself and others that had been constantly telling me, "There is a reason, I have something for you, trust Me." The more I thought about the job before and after the interview the more I got excited and just knew it had to be it. I'd venture to say 100 people were praying. I was constantly begging God. Not just begging for the job, which I did a little of, not ashamed. But begging that He'd keep reminding me that He had a plan for my life and I hadn't messed it up.

The company is called Quality Support Coordination, Inc. It's the Covington branch, about 20 minutes or so from my house. They are a social services agency that provides "quality support" for people with disabilities enabling them to live in their communities instead of facilities. They don't provide the services but connect their clients with people who do. My degree is in Social Work. It seemed a perfect fit. Everyone at church, probably at least 20 people, told me on Sunday that I was going to get the job on Monday, they were going to call me. And..

THEY DID!! At 3:51 p.m. they called to offer me the job! My title is Case Manager/Support Coordinator. I will be in training at first, but after training will have 35 clients. Full time, Monday - Friday 8:30 - 4:30. An hour for lunch. I will be on a 3 month probation period, but I am confident this is what God has for me and that He in every way provided this job and it will work out. Every puzzle piece (which you will hear more of in the beginning and middle) lead to this. Even the parts not a part of this particular story, like my education for instance! I'm actually using the quality (and expensive) Mississippi College education that I got! I am a social worker!

We call our clients on a monthly basis, but usually it will end up being more, as there is always problems working with government and social service agencies. We visit them once a quarter. Mileage is reimbursed. Paid holidays, 60 % paid insurance, paid life insurance, 8 hours a month of paid personal time, 4 hours a month of paid sick time, annual evaluations. The dress is casual! They all had on jeans and cute shirts. I'll be making almost twice as much as I would have been making with the Nanny job that lead me to move to Slidell and fell through. I am in total and utter shock! 100 and a thousand percent of the glory goes to God (yes I know that isn't a real number). I believed, my fellow brothers and sisters believed. God knew. He mapped out every step. Every trial and tear.

So there you have it. The end. The end of a very long, painful, sometimes dark season. He didn't leave me. He wouldn't let me leave Him. And it was worth it all. And I haven't even started the job yet. But to see God provide, it is already worth it all. Thank you for your prayers.

 Stay tuned for the middle and beginning in no particular or decided order.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ghetto Granny

Ok yes. Mr. Blog. I know. Three times in one day?! You can only listen to so much right? Oh ok good, I'm glad your proverbial paper ears are always open!

I don't know if you know this about me, but my life is a melodramatic comedy. Crazy, funny, weird things happen to me, throw in God's provision, drama and tragedy and you have my life. I also don't know if you know that cars and I are not friends.

I had a car. It broke. A lot. A whole lot. Then I didn't have one. For a long time. Because she broke down on a bridge. For a long time. I had on a dress. Cars driving by fast on skinny bridges and dresses don't mix. I sat there for 2 hours. A cop pushed my car with his car to the next exit. I sat in a greasy fish restaurant for 2 more hours. The fish was good. My mom came and got me. We fought for 2 more hours. Was a great day. So goodbye red car.

My mom let me use her old car. The trunk randomly popped open when you went down the road, particularly on bumpy roads. I lived in New Orleans. Have you been on New Orleans roads? Then it started jumping. As in jerking as I drove down the road. It was broken. Again, no car.

So my dad bought me a great car. A Saturn station wagon. I named him Wentworth. He's an Ivy League car so he needed a smart name. Why Ivy League? The Yale and UPenn stickers of course! So Wentworth and I have gotten along pretty well. No problems. Until now...

Last week he wouldn't crank. His battery cable got corroded. We fixed that. Well for a little while my tail lights wouldn't work. Replaced bulbs, went out. Then no break lights. Checked fuses, not that. I got stopped by the cops three times and decided I should get them fixed. One cop strongly suggested (aka rudely demanded) I ride around with my hazard lights on. So my Dad so wonderfully said he'd pay to get it fixed! Yay! Well I went to the car fixing place. Waiting for parts so it can be fixed. Well in the checking process some other things messed up. My gear shift won't work. I have to put the key on the acc setting put in it neutral then crank it. If I put it in park at the bank or something, I have to uncrank and repeat the process. Well then tonight I realized the inside panel lights don't work. So I can't see my speed. So I'm driving down the road, hazard lights on, inside light on so I can see my speed, and the crazy gear shift. Kari Job cranked up, and with the light on I'm sure people can see me singing. So I'm driving down the road looking like a crazy ghetto granny. Oy with the poodles already!

Bodies are funny.

The human body is miraculously odd and curious. There are many reasons to back up this statement that I don't care to discuss. I don't mean in the medical terminology way, yes all of those things are cool too. But I mean little things. For instance, one thing I often think about is how cool it is that we all have taste buds, which by definition are the same. But everyone's taste buds are different. I don't like olives, but I bet you do Mr. Blog (yep, he needs a name). What brings me to this thought is stress. We know in our brains and thoughts we are stressed, well usually. But those thoughts and messages travel to our body.

In the near future I will go in to more detail about the past year of my life, but it's contained a lot of stress. Which has seemed to peak in the last month. Long story short, from March to August I lived in 7 places, moved back to the town that feels like home, into a house with a roommate, for a job. The day after I moved the people told me they decided to hire someone who already knew the kids, even though they told me they were 100 percent sure I was officially hired. So I've been quite unsuccessfully looking for a job since. As said, more details in the near future, but that brief synopsis to say, STRESS is very prominent in my life.

So after sending probably close to 60 or 70 resumes (with no call back), I finally got a call back. And let me add that I even found a list of every social services agency in St. Tammany parish and started calling and "professionally" begging for a job in addition to applying for every job that didn't have warehouse or truck driver in the title. So on Wednesday a new job was posted, within an hour of it being posted I sent my resume, 2 hours later they called and asked if I could interview the next day. I got a call back! They asked me to bring my degree and transcripts. I had no idea if I'd be able to find them. First box I opened, degree was on the top. Transcripts worked out too. The interview was great. And now I'm in the waiting place. I've done all the right things. Best interview I've ever had. I could tell they were impressed and liked me. I sent an equally impressive thank you card that they will receive on Monday. So side note, PRAY!

Now to the point, obviously I'm stressed. I can't stop thinking about it. I said I wouldn't get my hopes up but that is a silly statement for a believer. We are supposed to have hope. And I have and I've believed and still am. But the night after the interview, I tossed and turned all night. Kept having dreams I didn't get the job. Kept waking up upset. Then today, Saturday I might add, the internationally known day of sleeping in late (I like to exaggerate), by 9 am I had cooked a breakfast casserole and 3 batches of cookies to bring to our ladies gathering tonight. Oh and sweet tea and homemade lemonade and loaded the dish washer twice and washed a load of clothes. WHAT?!

Bodies are funny. Treat yours to one of these yummy treats.

French Toast Casserole or More Cinnamony Bread Pudding

Note: I used 5 eggs, wheat bread, 1 cup fat free milk and 1/2 cup english toffee liquid coffee creamer, and a shake of cinnamon and nutmeg in the liquid mixture. I also had to cook it a little longer than the recipe suggested.

Pumkin Cookies I'm bring to WOW tonight!

Note: They are cakey cookies. The batter didn't taste sweet to me so I added an extra 1/4th cup of sugar and 1/4th of brown sugar. I also put the batter in a zip lock and cut the corner, made them equal sizes and more round.

Hi (said in an awkward-not-so-sure-about-this tone)...

I've been thinking about this for a while and decided yes. I like writing (sometimes, particularly when it has nothing to do with research books or due dates). I want to like it more. I want to do it more. So.. why not? I want to feel connected, even if it's just to myself. I want to have someone to share recipes with, someone to listen to my ramblings, someone to tell a funny story to about how I tripped 5 times in one day and then ran over my own mailbox (I really did that, the mailbox part, and it is not unlikely that I'd trip 5 times in one day either). So Dear Mr. Blog, I'm glad you've decided to listen. If anyone else chooses to, fun. If not Mr. Blog and I will do just fine. I see the start of a beautiful relationship. Hmm.. he needs a name. We'll work on that. I tend to forget about using paragraphs sometimes. I also can write a whole page and only use commas. I use parenthesis a lot. I ramble. I may complain. I may cry. I may share. I may write at 4 o'clock in the morning which likely means it won't make sense. You may find stuff out about me you never knew, you may not. But I want to do something creative and productive. So here we go. Don't expect. I don't even know what to expect.