Sunday, April 26, 2015

A woman's place is in the kitchen

This post originally featured on Mrs MuffinTop

I started dating my husband 16 years ago (holy crap is that right?!?!) And I spent the last 7 1/2  years married to him. The most important lesson that I have learned is that, indeed, my place is in the kitchen

Now before you go all “women’s lib” on me let me start by saying that I am all for equality. I am a successful career woman and am the primary breadwinner for my ever growing family of five. This is not an issue of gender roles. This is an issue of self-preservation.

This man, who is wonderful at so many things, once screwed up making Easy Mac. Yes, you read that correctly. Easy Mac. You know the product that is marketed to and designed for 8 year olds to be able to make their own snack without any supervision. My husband, a [mostly] grown man was unable to follow the four simple steps to produce a bowl of chemically enhanced red dye #40 noodles.

Recently he has taken an interest in cooking. Most women would welcome this with open arms. I, however, can not handle it. Can. Not. Handle. It. For one thing we are southerners. What’s the problem you ask? Well, my husband loves to cook southern “soul food” which as we all know [Paula Deen] is less than healthy. I am still trying to lose the last five pounds of baby weight and do not enjoy partaking in said soul food. So this has led to the hubs smuggling in pounds of sausage and cinnamon rolls like a Mexican drug lord and squirreling them away in the back of the fridge so that I can’t find them. But this isn’t the worst of it. 

He has taken to making biscuits and gravy at least once a week for the last month. Now I love biscuits and gravy as much as the next southern fried chick but this is just too much. Despite my protests that “We may as well be eating glue!” He continues to whip up batches- weekly. He is also trying out different recipes. The last recipe (made this past Sunday) had a base of vegetable oil. VEGETABLE OIL!!! Holy disgusting!! It was this weird brownish color that looked like peanut butter had been swirled together with sour milk. And speaking of sour milk a few weeks ago he made a batch of gravy using milk that was clearly more than a few days beyond it’s life cycle. *BLECH*

As if the constantly flowing river of red-eye gravy isn’t enough in my kitchen he has also concocted a recipe for potato soup. What’s wrong with potato soup you ask? Well, let’s start with his ingredients. His base is several cans of cream of mushroom soup. He adds to that about 5 pounds of potatoes and about a dozen sliced hardboiled eggs. To top it off? You guessed it….sausage. It’s not even the good kind of sausage. He literally buys frozen sausage patties, thaws them out, and (using kitchen shears) cuts them into fourths. The finished product look like something that would’ve been served to Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web. It. Is. Revolting.

He has even begun to twist my poor, innocent children’s minds into thinking this is real actual food. Once he served the kids steaming hot bowls of pig slop potato soup for breakfast. FOR BREAKFAST!!! I very nearly changed the locks when he went to work that day.

We have finally come to an agreement about the potato soup. He is no longer allowed to cook it while I am in the house. Even just the mere mention of “potato soup” makes my stomach turn- not to mention the pungent aroma that sticks around for days. Thank God I travel for work. He can have his potato soup and eat it too- just so long as the leftovers make it into the fridge at his work before I return home.

So you see it is in my best interest (and the best interest of my children) that the kitchen remains MY domain. He can stay in the damn garage.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

I'm having a moment...

So bear with me while I have this moment.  This has been a really really stressful week professionally for me.  I've been under a lot of stress.  But at the current moment, the only way to sum up how I'm feeling is this.....
It happened...the baby finally weaned herself from nursing.  I know, I know-many people will be shocked that I still nursed my 21 month old.  But before anyone gets out of sorts-I did what seemed like the best thing for my child.  She's got severe food allergies and honestly I couldn't bring myself to totally stop.  We were down to once a day, but she literally woke up this morning and was done.  FINISHED.

I'm actually a little relieved because I have that extra 20 minutes back into my morning routine.  No more having to wake her up to feed her, only to run out the door and try and be at work on time.  But overall,
I'm sad.  I'm sad because it feels like we are ending a huge phase of our life.  Barring any divine intervention, we are most likely done having babies.  That's seems so painful and final to say.  I feel like you spend most of your life planning on getting married and having children.  It becomes something that defines you and becomes part of who you are.  So when you have to finally admit that you might in fact be done, it feels like someone just put a nail in your coffin.  I feel like I'm mourning this season of our life.  We have slowly been getting rid of all of the large baby gear, but I felt like as long as she was still nursing, we still had a little baby.  I'm now forced to admit that she is actually a toddler and she is less dependent on me.  And I'm forced to face the fact that we might really be done with the baby phase of our life.   It seems so sad and definitive.  So while I can celebrate my new found freedom from nursing, if you need to find me I'll be drowning my sorrows in a giant milkshake-especially since I haven't had one in 21 months because she is allergic to milk and soy.   



Thursday, April 9, 2015

Top 10 Reasons to Live in Chapin

When I was growing up in a small town in South Carolina I hated it. As many teenagers tend to do. I yearned for the big city, the lights, the action. However, after 10 years of moving from coast to coast I ended up right here in sleepy little Chapin, SC. A whopping 14 miles down the road from where I grew up. And you know what? Those big cities can't hold a candle to what I get from living in a small town. Here's my top 10 reasons why Chapin, SC is absolutely the best place to call home.

1. Breakfast at Hardees
Because everybody who’s anybody is at Hardee’s for breakfast. It’s hard to get a parking space, the drive thru line is 15 cars deep, and it’s even though it’s still Hardee’s it feels more like Cheers because “Everybody knows your name.”

2. Local Law Enforcement
Because last November the Chapin Police Department actually started a “Pay It Forward” campaign. Throughout the holiday season instead of writing tickets for minor offenses they actually gave you a “Pass It On” coupon. How freaking cool is that?

3. Local Politics
Because we actually held a protest of our local Post Office because there were complaints that our post master was “too rude.” Now in most cities this would be preposterous. But in Chapin? The post master actually issued an apology and promised to try and be nicer. I freaking love this!!! LOVE IT!!! You can read more about the No Hugs for Huggins campaign by clicking on the link.

4. Gas station fried chicken
Because if you’re buying fried chicken anywhere else you’re doing it wrong. I kid you not the Kwik Way hands down has the best fried chicken in the South. HANDS DOWN. And if you thought Hardee’s was like the set of Cheers you need to stop by the Kwik Way at ANY meal time.

5. Christmas with the fire station
Because every year at Christmas our local fire department dresses someone up like Santa and puts him on the top of a fire truck. Then they drive around the neighborhood blasting Christmas music and throwing candy out to all the neighborhood kids. I mean can you name something cooler than Santa on a firetruck throwing out candy? I certainly can’t. 

6. Directions
Because in giving my parents directions to my kids’ school I literally said “Take the back road. Not the back back road, just the back road. And then take a right across from the field where they hold the tractor show every year. If you miss that one go on down to the house with the Clemson Tiger Paw in christmas lights on the roof and hang a right there. You know right in front of the old AT&T store.” Sadly, they had no idea what I was talking about. However, any of you reading this who live here know EXACTLY where this is. Clear. As. Mud.

7. We might not be Mayberry but...
        In discussing with several friends what exactly are the best reasons to live in Chapin the mention of Mayberry kept coming up over and over and over. It was about this time that I headed over to the local PD Facebook page to grab the image of their "Pass It On" campaign. And sure enough, this unexpected gem was laid in my lap.
        Because (see #2) our police department has had Barney Fife set as their profile picture for at least the last 4 months. Well, that is until this week when they changed it to a picture of Roscoe P Coltrane. 

8. The Lake
         Do I seriously need to make an argument for why Lake Murray is one of the BEST parts of living in Chapin? With over 500 miles of shoreline and covering a vast 50,000 acres Lake Murray is an integral part of our community. Just stop by the gas station around 2pm on a sunny Friday afternoon and you'll notice that everyone is heading out. There is nothing to compare to lake living.

9. Location, location, location
        We are 30 minutes from "the big city" of Columbia. We have all the amenities that you could ask for just a quick gander down the road. As I mentioned we are on the lake so there's no travel involved for you fresh water fish. If you're more of a salty dog we are only about 2-3 hours from the Atlantic (think Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Savannah). Or if you prefer the mountains that's a 2 hour drive to the North. Not to mention we are only 1 1/2 hours from Charlotte and 3 from Atlanta. So you can really get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time and you don't have to give up the smallness.

10. The community
Because when a local high school student was involved in a freak, tragic lacrosse accident the local support and outpouring has been astonishing. Even driving down the street several of the local businesses have changed their marquis to “Pray for Jack”. #prayforjack
Because when a local family suffered a house fire troves of people responded getting together donations of clothing. People that don’t even know this family gathering items and delivering donations. Just because it’s what you do.
Because at least twice a week I’m getting emails to sign up to take a family in need a meal. Because when we welcomed our third child we had families bring us meals for 30 days straight. I kid you not. We had more food than a Sam’s Club distribution center. 
The love and mindfulness and caring housed in this sleepy little town is awe-inspiring.

So there you have it. Just don't everyone move in here at once....we'd like to keep it small and sleepy just a little while longer.