Vegas Baby, Vegas

by Ginger on April 27, 2016

in Random

This past weekend, I headed off to Vegas for my 4th Blathering, that fabulous gathering of internet lovelies that I look forward to every year. It was…questionable, for a while, whether or not I was going to be able to go, but we found a way to make it happen, for which I am eternally grateful. I needed this past weekend more than I think I could possibly put into words, both mentally and emotionally (but maybe not physically. DAYUM do I hate casino smoke).

I took hardly any pictures, like the lazy blogger I am (hashtag shitty camera), but it’s ok. I don’t need a camera to remind me of laughing at 1 am in the food court, or chair dancing to the 80’s cover band, or lounging poolside in the sahhhhweeet VIP cabana that we scored thanks to terrible service the day before. I don’t need pictures to remind me of how full my heart was after every hug, after every “I’m so glad you’re here,” after every sweet smile and kind word and “CHEERS.” (Also, just in general, I *highly* recommend a Vegas trip with a bunch of crazy ladies who giggle and laugh and snort at all the same crap you giggle and laugh and snort at. A+ work, would Vegas again. )

The best part, honestly, was seeing all these wonderful women, women who have no shit held me up in the darkest parts of the past year, women who have seen my ugliest and my lowest and keep coming back and offering me their hands and their hearts over and over. On more than one occasion I looked around and got choked up seeing so many people who care for me, and who I care for. I don’t always know that I have done my share when they need me, or that I’ve earned their support, but hot damn am I thankful for it, and hot damn am I thankful to have been able to hug them in person this past weekend.

 

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Sunday Snippets

by Ginger on April 17, 2016

in Random

So this week clearly didn’t make the “blog 4-5 times a week in April” challenge. In my defense…well, no. I could have made time, but I just focused on a lot of other things instead. On to the next week!

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A friend of ours from college died unexpectedly last week. We hadn’t spoken with her in a few years beyond the usual Facebook chatter, but she was one of those people who was just a light in any room she was in, and it’s been hard to think of her being gone. N.C. is going to her funeral this week & it just feels so wrong for someone from college to be needing a funeral already. She wasn’t even 40.  Just…it’s just shit, you know?

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Because I love my kid, and he wanted us to do it, I played in the mother/son kickball event at his school on Friday. We had a lot of fun–there was very little adherence to any kind of rules, we all ran all over the place like loons, and everyone laughed and laughed and laughed. My foot and ankle maybe didn’t have as good a time, but held up, & even though that’s not my kind of thing, I’m really glad we did it together.

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We went to a friend’s 40th birthday party last night, and it was such a lovely, low key affair–we all had a great time. They had a margarita machine as the big extravagance of the party, and DAMN that’s a good idea for a grown up party. Or a terrible one, it may depend on how you indulge. 😉

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I’ve been doing a fair amount of socializing and interacting, and it’s been good. It’s nice to feel like we’re starting to have an actual village and community, and friends, and people we can call on, and who call on us. It’s just a nice part of life right now.

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It’s a gorgeous sunny day, and it’s my turn to make mojitos, so I’ll close it out here. Have fun & be good to each other!

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Kid-isms

by Ginger on April 11, 2016

in Random

Some recent kid-isms & funny moments:

“Mommy! Guess what? I tried chard today at school, and I LOVE IT! Can we get some chard?”

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Setup: kid has picked out about 6 stuffed animals to sleep with. 4 of them are “kids,” 2 of them are “mommy & daddy.” All stuffed animals have to be put in a particular order before going to sleep. Usually, it’s by size–on this night, it was the daddy, then the mommy, then all the kids. The kids sort of ended up piled up on top of the mommy.

Jackson: Here’s the daddy, here’s the mommy, here’s all the kids.

Me: Room for everyone!

Jackson: Well, the kids all kind of pile all over the mommy. That’s sort of what happens, right mom? The kids all hang all over the mommy. It’s just like it’s real!

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“Mommy, that snack is TOTES what I need.”

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“Mommy can I have another plate of chard?”

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“Mommy, I really liked Star Wars, but the sound of the lightsabers is too scary.”

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“No guys, it’s pronounced KA-RA-TE.” (insert eyeroll)

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“Good job mommy! You’re normally way worse at this video game!”

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“Bunny (he got a small stuffed bunny in his Easter basket) makes my day so much happier. I just like to squeeze bunny when I need to feel happy.”

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Wailing “I’m not trying to be mean! I’m just so…so…HANGRY.”

(he comes by it honestly)

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“Mommy, I just love you and daddy so much. You make me happy, and love me, and I love you.”

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Optimistic and hopeful

by Ginger on April 8, 2016

in Random

I said this on Twitter, but it bears repeating for posterity on the ole blog: I’m unusually and happily optimistic right now. I have this vague sense that something good is RIGHT around the corner for me–what, I don’t know, but I feel like it’s there, just waiting–and I am fairly rolling around in the niceness of that feeling.

I have no idea how long the feeling will stick around, but I’m running with it for as long as it does. It’s made things so much easier this week: I bombed (like, hysterically so) a phone screen, but was able to laugh it off; I got a couple of rejections that just made me shrug my shoulders; I applied for a couple of things that feel like a stretch without breaking into a swirling mess of self-doubt. It’s been easier to pick myself up and go, “ok, this didn’t work, but what’s next?” I like it. It’s a welcome, WELCOME feeling.

It’s such a nice change, this lightness, this hopefulness, this OPTIMISM. I’ve spent a lot of the past few months feeling very heavy, and weighed down. It is hard being unemployed, to go from breadwinner to not that, and all the associated stresses, worries, and fears. And I don’t kid myself that I won’t feel that way again, or that this is magically the end of stress and worry. But *right now* I feel good. And light. I really do feel, for the first time in a long time, that there’s something good heading my way, and I’m holding on to those feelings with everything I have.

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Cilantro Lime Rice

by Ginger on April 6, 2016

in Random

A few weeks ago, we had 6 *pounds* of carnitas thanks to a rockin deal at the store. I love carnitas, (obviously), but I actually found myself tired of tacos, burritos, carnitas nachos, and eggs with carnitas after about a week. So, I decided to try and replicate a Chipotle burrito bowl. And, as anyone knows, the key there is the cilantro lime rice.

I found a few recipes that I sort of combined and adapted for what we had on hand, since that day the idea of another trip to the grocery store made me want to cry. The biggest thing I had to figure out from most of the recipes was how to adapt for minute rice (all we had) when almost every recipe called for basmati rice. Time to wing it. It worked, really well. (I maaaaay have upped the butter component. So there’s that too). It went so well in fact that we went through the rice in about 2 days and then made more. And then made some more.  And then we made some more yesterday. This stuff? Is delicious.

So here’s my cheater, minute rice recipe:

Cilantro Lime Rice

3 cups minute rice
2 & 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
Onion powder (I probably use about 1/2 – 1 tsp, but to taste)–you can use onions instead, but my kid won’t eat them. If you do that, I would saute them until soft before adding the rice.
Garlic powder (I probably use about 1/2 – 1 tsp, but to taste)–you can use fresh garlic instead, I was just out & I’m lazy. If you do that, I would saute a little bit before adding the rice.
Zest of 2 limes*
Juice of 2 limes*
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Salt, to taste

Directions:

Heat butter in pan over medium high heat until melted. Add rice, onion powder, garlic powder and saute until rice just starts to turn golden, usually a 2-3 minutes (similar to when you’re making risotto). Add water & bring to a boil, then cover & remove from heat. Let stand according to cooking time on package (for mine, for 3 cups, it’s 10 minutes), or until all liquid is absorbed–I usually check it around 8 minutes.

Remove lid, fluff rice, then add salt to taste, stirring well.

Add cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, mix well. Let stand for a minute or two, then serve. Try not to fight for it.

*Note: we like things REALLY limey around here. If you are not similarly inclined for SUPER LIME ALL THE TIME, you can cut this down to 1 lime, and it’ll still be good, just not as limey.

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