Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It Runs In the Family

To continue from last post...

I taught her everything I know.

Compliments of my Mother--Thanks, Mom for capturing these precious moments. I'm so proud.

Friday, February 19, 2010

For the Love of Peanut Butter

Sweet. Jeebus.

Have you ever had something that brings you joy unlike anything you've ever known?

Have you ever had something that can bring more comfort to your little soul in a way that is inconceivable?

Have you ever had a love for something that reaches far beyond normalcy?

No, I'm not talking about a pet or loved one or even a passion for a hobby--I'm talking Peanut Butter, folks. The single most delicious food item to ever be created. Ask me who my hero is. Go ahead. Ask away.

George Washington Carver. Why? He INVENTED Peanut Butter. Well, not really invented it so much as he furthered the use of peanuts which eventually led to the production of Peanut Butter (even though it had been invented long before then.). So I googled peanut butter history--Sue me for being a nerd.

When did this obsession actually start? I guess I could pinpoint the moment to being at Broadway Theater Project, summer 2005. I'd been having a bit a time adjusting, having horrible nightmares and being completely overwhelmed by the talent pool I was drowning in. Did a lot of journaling those three weeks. Learned a lot, too. Anyway, my roommate was a peanut butter fiend. She taught me sinful ways to eat the creamy goodness. Some of the better ones included dipping graham cracker sticks straight into the jar--I thought I was such a rebel--and smearing a thick layer on vanilla creme cookies.

Oh. My. Stars.

From that moment on I was hooked. Flash forward a couple months where I meet Karley, my college roommate, who only added to this obsession. I fell head over heels for a large red and green jar filled with none other than Reduced Fat Jiff Peanut Butter. No brand is a match for the deliciousness that waits in that plastic container. *SIGH*

Seriously, one of my favorite things to do is to twist off the red cap, peel back the foil seal, and inhale deeply. Then I delicately scoop out the first spoonful (try not to drool with me) and savor the first bite of fresh, soft, sweet, salty Peanut Butter. It ranks right up there with giving Piper belly rubs.

There are multiple ways to enjoy PB--celery, with jelly, on a spoon, bananas, TOAST, honey, crackers, on your finger, apples, spoons, in cookie form, covered in chocolate, spoon. Made myself clear?

I guess what really makes this particular condiment so heavenly to me is the amount of comfort it brings during stressful times. If ever my love for this nutty treat has wavered, my faith was restored in its healing powers this week. There were several "PB Moments," as I call. Taking a moment to scoop one large wad onto a spoon, closing the eyes and savoring the mass of creamy goodness relaxes the mind, body and soul--if only for a few mere minutes. Magic happens to block out whatever happenings are occurring and I am one with the spoon and jar in that moment in time. Scoff at the notion, but I kid you not, it's a Peanut Butter Zen experience, if you will.

There have been times where I've picked a jar, blacked out and woken up to a stomach ache, an empty jar, clutching a spoon in my hand. Who knows what really happens to end up that way...But needless to say there have been times where I've had to boycott purchasing my PB, but don't you doubt for a second I don't push my basket down the PB aisle and stare longingly at the rows of awaiting jars.

Happily, I would shove my face in a trough full of Peanut Butter some days just to make me feel that much better, but I know that joy lasts for a few minutes before my innards feel all gummed up, the scale breaks, and my guilt meter shoots off the chart. Still in all, I love it. I'm relearning to live with a jar in my apartment again--it's true. Some mornings it's just nice to peek in the cabinet I've hidden my Jiff in, say hello and close it up until I can safely enjoy a good swipe on a cracker.

In fact, I think now is as good a time as any. If you need me I'll be silently enjoying my snack, cradling the jar, being the happiest girl this side of Oklahoma.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day Dream

This morning I went through my usual routine. Got up at 6:30, put on a pot of strong coffee, and began the day.

Made it to school in time for my first class where I tried to to focus on the lecture and lesson at hand. Scribbling through my to-do list, I began to feel this growing anxious feeling of a time crunch coming on. Before I knew it I suddenly was looking at three more full days or work, late nights of writing and cutting music, catching up and trying to get ahead. With a reeling mind I raced to tap to try and slam out what sorts of frustration clouded my already distracted mind. Still no help.

As I made my way work, I don't know what happened, but my feet carried me to my car. As if I no longer had control over my body, my hands clicked open the car, my body slide into the drivers seat, and turned over the engine. I grabbed the wheel, took a deep breath and began driving. Hitting the highway, headed south, I threw my purple legal pad of paper full of to-do's and project notes out the car window. Then my calendar. Then my cell phone.

Plugging in some of my favorite music, I cranked up the tunes and didn't even glance back. The thrill, the exhilaration of separation from everything began to grab hold of my heart--no, I felt no regret. I felt freedom. Honest to goodness freedom. My body began to relax and I let my grip ease on the wheel as I kept cruising down I-35. I didn't even know where I was going next, didn't even check the gas tank. I just took off.

Passing truck drivers and company cars, I begin taking my hair down, releasing the curls that have been knotted by hair rubber bands long enough. Wished I'd shirked the tights before I left, but hey, this was spontaneous. Feeling the sunshine beat down on my face and arms, it warmed my body like the drive warmed my soul. I could hear the rush of wind passing over my gleaming Iris-colored Camry. See the tall grass whipping around the edge of the highway, promising to push up the bluebonnets in a few months time. Passing clouds moved along the spring blue sky with birds streaking across every now and again. Budding trees signified that a change was on the way, one that would be welcomed by the whole world. Driving over what hills Oklahoma provides, my car rolled easily down the pavement adding mile after mile to my meter.

One deep inhale to take it all in. One long exhale to savor the moment. Pushing aside any and all thoughts, I kept driving down the road. Didn't know where I was going to end, didn't want to. Didn't think what people would say, didn't want to. For once, didn't think of consequences or how irrational this runaway was. I didn't want to. I just wanted to drive, to escape, to run like the wind and leave if only for a day.

Then the office phone rang.

Sometimes my day dreams are so real I believe I'm really there inside of staring at a blank wall with piles of work around me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Airport Adventures

Oh yes, it's that special time where I write about yet another ridiculous happening just to brighten your day--and because I enjoy writing these little stories down. It's always fun to go back and remember these moments in a more comical light.

This past weekend I decided to take a little trip to see my honey in Abilene, Texas. BACK STORY: I was supposed to drive but my parents are incredible nice and thought it would be easier for me to fly. Thank you, sweet Parents! Thank you for giving my purple car a weekend off, for saving me 8 hours of driving and giving me more time to spend with my beau!

OK--so I'm flying, right? After a full day of school, make-up classes, staff meetings and last minute packing I finally make it to the airport in enough time to sit and wait for my delayed flight. As I'm waiting, I notice there's a guitarist sitting in a corner playing the most beautiful music. Quietly, peacefully eating my chicken sandwich and making necessary calls, I sat and absorbed the musician's notes as he played for free. Thought it might be nice to compliment him when I went to throw away my trash--such a bad idea.

Bad idea because then as my plane was called I suddenly had a new found friend attached to me like a starving puppy. I was nice and chatted with him as he made friendly conversation. Politely ignored his comments about how when you travel and meet new people you only really get a chance to see whether you like that new person or not--then he blushed and chuckled like he'd given a way a gigantic hint.

Oh Lord, love a duck...

Finally he asks me where I'm headed and who I'm going to see--"Oh, I'm going to spend the weekend with my boyfriend." Beaming the biggest smile, because, well, I can't seem to talk about the boy without shining like a light bulb. The guy's face fell instantaneously. And then he proceeded to walk about 50 ft away from me. No goodbye, no "have a good time!" Nothing.

Dang. You would have thought I had leprosy or something. I WASN'T COMING ON TO YOU WHEN I COMPLIMENTED YOUR PLAYING! I was just being nice, for crying out loud.

Flash forward to landing the plane at 8:30--By the by, my connecting flight took off at 8:55. We drive around the airport after landing for about 15 min giving me 10 min to get my bag, get off the plane, take a sky link and race onto the next flight all before it takes off.

So, I beg some older gentleman to get my bag out of the shelf in front of him because I'm caught in my chair and I need to get off the plane. He does and then proceeds to chastise me about the size of my suitcase! HELLO! Hurried lady here! And if anyone knows me you will understand I have issues with time.

Maybe it's from the haunting memory of being late to my own tea party birthday as a child or something. Either way, I get extremely anxious when I'm not early anywhere. Karley and Esther would repeatedly make fun of me for being ready 15 minutes ahead of when I was supposed to be leaving making me actually ready about a half hour before I had to be anywhere. Weird, right?

So I'm a wreck trying to get to the next flight--I've told everyone and their dog that I have a connecting flight, will I make it? "Of course. Of course." LIES! All of it! BECAUSE I get to my gate and I don't see a plane.

I frantically run to the first person I see sitting down and in a panic begin hurriedly asking, "WHERE IS THE PLANE?!"

Young man: "What?"

Me: "THE PLANE? The plane! 3447! Where did that plane go? Is it gone? Did they board and leave yet? TELL ME TELL ME TELL ME!

Young Man: *Nevously sweating* "I, uh, well, I think--hey look! Someone who works here!"

Clearly he was a little scared by the wild, crazy woman in front of him and wanted me as far away as possible. I run up to the first airport worker I find and ask him the same thing, this time fighting a lump in my throat and calmly trying to keep the tears at bay. I was about to miss my last flight out to a weekend I'd been looking forward, too, and no, that may not seem like something to cry about but at that exact moment it felt like a my whole bubble of happy I'd been floating on was about to burst.

Maybe it had to do with my tearing up (Yes, I've been gifted with the doe, glistening eye look that strikes fear in most every male heart--ask my Dad. He hates to see me cry). Or maybe not, but he went to check on the plane and started to tell me I had missed the flight. My heat stopped and I could feel the flood of salty tears just waiting to overflow when all of sudden, he whipped around and went running back down the tunnel. Could it be? Were they going to squeeze me on anyway?!

YES! They had to reopen the plane, extend the jet landing, argue with a not-so-nice flight attendant, and shove my luggage in between extra seats, but by golly I was on that dang plane!! Yahoo--that much closer to a much needed hug.

And then we sat on the runway for 30 minutes...

I gave in and ate one of the chocolate cookies I'd baked for my man and his family. Doggone it if that didn't at least make me feel better until take off.

It was a crazy, but it could have been worse. I'd never been so happy to be off a plane and finally done with traveling (at least for the day). Weekend turned out wonderfully and full necessary quality time, fabulous food, lots of Olympics, watching of the fishing channel, napping, and just having a relaxing weekend. Can't even wait for the next :)

And if you didn't get a kick out that, I ended the weekend by running face first into a glass door at a friends house. Oh, Life--how you treat this lady sometimes.
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