Monthly Archives: August 2014

Best Way to Reheat Pizza in the Microwave

 

The best way to reheat pizza is in the oven or in a non-stick pan on the stove.  However, it takes a lot less time in the microwave and lots of just go that route.  So, if you reheat your pizza in the microwave, make sure you put a glass of water in there with it!  The water will prevent the crust from getting all rubbery and impossible to eat.  Also, microwaves tend to heat the bottom of your pizza slices really well, but not so much on the top.  I want my cheese to be, if not melted again, at least soft and warm!  So flip your pizza slice over (cheese side down) for the last ⅓ of your reheating time (I reheat 1 minute/slice).  It’s not long enough to melt the cheese so the cheese is not going to stick to your plate.  But at least your cheese won’t be cold.  You can always reheat longer to get the state of pizza that you want.

If you give it a try, let me know in the comments how it turned out!

The Story of You & Me: In The Beginning, Part I

Before We Met

Pictures of the hubs and I before we met. Mine was take in 1994, his was taken between 1990 – 1994. He’s using The Club as a pretend gun. Do y’all remember the steering wheel lock, The Club?! I’m at work in a bank. BTW, that bug was NOT on me. I don’t know if it was on the camera lens or in the developing machine at the drug store, but I am rocking the shoulder pads!

It was March 29, 1995 and my 3rd day at a new job – a teller at a credit union.  The 1st two days were spent in Human Resources-led orientation with all the other new hires.  I spent that 3rd morning being introduced to the other tellers, going over things with my head teller and reading from my manual.  After lunch, I was taken out to the line to get to know my way around their teller stations.

As I looked out at the branch lobby from behind the line, a man caught my eye.  He had a big presence.  He wore an olive-colored suit that set off his completion beautifully.  I’d never seen a man look sexier in a double-breasted suit!  Everything was suddenly happening in slow motion and Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” was playing in my head.  He walked, no strutted, across the lobby with confidence, saying “Hi” or pointing with his hand in the shape of a gun and winking at everyone in the lobby.  I’m pretty sure my mouth was hanging open.  After making the rounds in the lobby, he went down the entire teller line, saying hello to all the ladies.  I was in the last station with my trainer and when she introduced him to me, I don’t think I even said a word; just stared.  As he walked away, there was only one thing on my mind: “I.  MUST.  HAVE.  THAT.”

Yup, it was lust at first sight!  Which was a good thing.  I’d falling in love and gotten my heart broken twice in the previous 3 years and I was definitely not looking to fall in love a 3rd time.  For the next two months, I threw myself at this man.  I’d never chased a man before and I did it shamelessly at work.  He was nice and friendly to me, but he was like that with everyone.  I dropped all kinds of hints that I was interested and then stopped hinting and went full on obvious, but he never asked me out!  So I decided I was going to ask him out.  I needed to know if he was interested in me because if he was, let’s get it on and if he wasn’t, I was movin’ on!

One May Saturday morning, I was the 1st teller to get my drawer and head out to the line to get ready for the branch to open.  Here comes Mr. Double-Breasted Suit walking down the teller line like he does at the beginning of every shift to say hello to all the tellers, but I was the only one out.  I thought, “This is my chance!”  He came to my station and started to open his mouth to say something but I cut him off.  “Would you be interested in going out with me,” I asked.  He was taken aback.  “As a matter of fact, I was coming over here to ask you out,” he said.  I literally rolled my eyes, crossed my arms and made the duck face at him.  “Yeah, right,” I said, laced with sarcasm.  “No, seriously!  I was!  You can ask the guys!  I just told them I was coming over here to ask you out.”  I went back to counting bills and said, “Whatever.  If you’re not interested, just say so.  It was a simple yes or no question.  I don’t need to be lied to to spare my feelings.  I’m a big girl.”  Just then, the door to the back opened and 2 other tellers came out to the line.  He hissed at me, “This isn’t over,” said good morning to the other ladies and went back to his office in the lobby.

My face flamed.  I was angry, but at him or myself, I wasn’t quite sure.  I was not going to cry at work so I held tight to that anger.  I kept going back and forth: kicking myself for being such a bitch to him and then telling myself he’s a liar and not worth it.  That was the longest shift of my life!  Like every weekend, it was busy in the branch, so I concentrated on serving my members and not scanning the lobby for him.  About an hour into my shift, I rang my bell to let the next member know I was available and they were slow to walk down to my end.  So I chose to sweep the lobby.  Big mistake!  He was out there, already looking at me, and our eyes locked.  The emotions that quickly flashed over our faces reminds me of the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Jeanie almost hits Ferris with the car and their eyes lock – surprise –> eye’s squinting in anger –> wicked smile –> game on.

I’d never had so much electricity, so much sexual tension going through my body before.  My members kept looking at me funny, probably wondering if I was tipsy or psycho.  The rest of that shift, our eye kept meeting across the branch and my face would get hot just looking at that sexy specimen of a man.  His smile spoke volumes to me and I kept singing in my head, “I’m going to get LUUUUU-CKYYYYY!”

Our first date was in the afternoon.  He took me to J. Paul’s in Georgetown for a late lunch.  I’m a shy person (I know, asking him out even surprised me!) and have a hard time making conversation with people that I don’t know very well.  Add in the sexual tension and I just knew I was going to blow this!  But he was one of those people who could and would talk to everyone, so I didn’t have to feel pressure.  He was interested in learning about me, he talked about himself and he was comfortable with silence.  That made me comfortable, as well.  He was a perfect gentleman: held doors, pulled out my chair, helped me on with my sweater when I got chilly.  He was actually too much of a gentleman.

When he drove me home, he immediately got out of the car, walked around to open my door and helped me out.  We walked towards the walkway to my front door and I was all giddy inside, anticipating our first kiss.  I was concentrating on it so much that I didn’t realize he was no longer with me until I got to the front door!  I turned around, confused, and found him at the bottom of the walkway.  He had stayed there, choosing not to walk me to the front door.  He smiled at me, thanked me for going out with him, told me he’d had a great time and that he’d see me at work.  I just stared at him with a confused look on my face.  He didn’t get in his car, though, so I had hope.

“Don’t you want to come up here and tell me goodbye,” I asked.  “I just want to make sure you get inside safely and then I’ll go.  I have some things to take care of,” he replied.  I walked inside and closed the door behind me, crushed.  Everyone knows what happens at the front door and if he didn’t want to walk me up to the door than he didn’t want to kiss me.  Either he wasn’t interested in me or he was interested in a relationship.  I shuddered and hoped it was the former and not the latter.  I did not want a relationship; I just wanted to get naked with this man!

My attitude towards him changed immediately; my walls went up.  I wasn’t going to invest my time in someone who wasn’t interested nor in someone who wanted a relationship.  I’d experienced serious hurt in my life and I wasn’t going to let anyone in again.  If he wasn’t interested in a casual, sexual relationship, then I wasn’t interested in him.  However, he asked me out again, for an evening date, and I said yes.  What the heck was wrong with me?!  What was it about him that made me throw my backbone out the window and say “yes”?  Well, I’ll go, but I won’t enjoy myself, I thought.

He was the perfect gentleman again and kept the conversation going, ignoring or being amused at, my barbs, short answers and “Mm-hmm”s.  I was grudgingly impressed that he didn’t give back all that I was dishing out to him, and the fact that he didn’t cut the evening short.  Maybe he was interested in me but didn’t want to appear too eager and kiss me on the first date?  I wanted to hope but squashed that idea.  We got to the end of the walkway and I proceeded up, alone.  *SIGH*  He thanked me for the evening, said he had a good time, yada, yada, yada…whatever; I just went inside.

I was done with him.  I tried to just be cordial with him at work and succeeded in being cold most of the time, but that man was so damn good at disarming me!   Sometimes he’d make me smile and feel good and then when he walked away I’d get so mad at myself.  Regardless of the fact thta I just kept getting meaner to him, he was calm, attentive and charming. I figured I was challenge to him.  He wasn’t interested when I was but now that I wasn’t interested in him, he saw me as a conquest.  Fat chance!

Then I found out the real reason he hadn’t kissed me, and I didn’t even hear it from him.  I had to hear it from a co-worker.

To be continued…

Moms

I went to a memorial service today. The mother of a school friend of mine died last week – suddenly, unexpectedly and too early. At the end of the service my friend got up and read a letter she’d written to her mom this week. It was funny, it was reminiscent, it was sweet, loving and it was sad with regrets: the biggest one was that she didn’t get to say goodbye.

She also said something in that letter that really stuck with me. I’ve been thinking about it all day. It was one of those sentences that gets deeper every time I go over it in my head. Every time I think about it, I get more and more meaning from it, see more examples in my own life. She said:

Moms are our first loves, our first friends and our first enemies.

It’s made me think about the stages of my relationship with my mom and the one with my son. She was my first love, my first friend, my first enemy and I have been his. It’s a wonderful, burdensome blessing and cross to bear, motherhood. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!

The perspective and understanding I’ve gained from being the child and then the mom can bring me to my knees at times! It quite humbling and overwhelming.

After the service, I went to my parents’ house and hugged my mom and hugged my son. I told them both that I loved them. I told my mom what my friend had said and thanked her being all three to me. And when it was time to go home, I held her close and told her goodbye.

Haters Gonna Hate; Potatoes Gonna Potate!

Have y’all seen this furniture commercial about the wife who gets a new chaise lounge?  I love her!  She so belongs on that chaise and she rocks the turban.  She is the happiest person on Earth, reveling in that chaise!  However, her husband is most definitely not.  I don’t know if he’s jealous because he didn’t get the recliner he wanted or he’s just been listening to her say, “SHAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZE” all day long and can’t take it anymore.  Oh, dear!  I literally cannot stop laughing, even now, over her saying that word over and over again!  Her joy fills me with joy.  But her husband’s being a hater!  I’d think he’d be tickled pink for her and proud that he bought her the “SHAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZE” (LOL) she wanted.  But, NOPE!  Not him!

Even people who are close to us, friends, loved ones, spouses can be “haters”: not happy for you, chose not to share in your joy, annoyed by all your positivity or jealous of your joy and success.  And that’s alright; that’s all on them.  This husband not only wants to argue about how to pronounce the word, he’s not even right.  Instead of pretending to read the paper and being annoyed with his wife, he could be on it with her!  She could be stroking him instead of the furniture.

We can’t control the reactions of others and we certainly should not allow them to control ours.  My advice is, when faced with a hater (or a potater), put on your turban and say, “SHAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZE” as you walk away.  I guarantee you’ll be filled with joy!

Stories of You and Me

My hearing has been coming back and going away sporadically over the Summer. Yesterday, I said to the hubs, “Babe? My voice, in my head, sounds really loud all of a sudden.” He replied, a little scared, “What is it telling you do?”

This morning we were standing in the kitchen, hugging, and I said, “Thank you for providing so much love, laughter, peace and security for the last nineteen and a half years.” He replied, “You’re welcome, but I’m taking today off!”

Worthiness

Very few people read my blog and the comments I receive are even fewer. I lamented over that for years. Do they like what I write? Do they not like what I write? Do they want more of one topic, less of it? Give me some feedback people so I may provide to you!

So I read the advice of successful bloggers: select one things and blog about that; you have to find your niche; determine who your target audience is and write to them; who are you going to be – a chef? a homeschooler? a thrifty shopper? Art Linkletter (Kids Say the Darndest Things)? You have to pick one!

But I realized after seeing Glennon Melton talk this Spring, that I was focused on the wrong person – you. I should be writing for me. This is my sanity keeper, to get what is out of my head so I can move on. This is my record of what goes on in this house because I will forget if I don’t write it down. This is my recipe book to refer back to when I don’t know what’s for dinner. So I’ve written more for me the last few months.

A friend told me a couple of years ago that I help people. She said, “You write about things that no one else will share, but they’re things we’re all thinking. We tell ourselves that since no one else is saying them, no one else must be going through this; it’s just me. I can’t talk to anyone about it this because they’ll think I’m crazy or a bad mom.  Then you go break the code of silence and write out the same feelings I have inside.  It matters to us.  You may not know it, because we’re not as brave as you, we won’t publicly say ‘THANK YOU’ but we are thankful.”

That meant the world to me at the time.  I need to keep that in the forefront of my mind.  Y’all are out there!  I may have made a difference to someone.  And I no longer care if you raise your hand.  It’s OK, hon.  You’re not alone.  I’m here.  Me and my big mouth and my big keyboard (It’s really a small keyboard.  Doesn’t even have the number key pad on the side and I get so irritated that I have to type numbers in from the row at the top.  I was speaking figuratively about the keyboard.  But not about my mouth.  That really is big.)  And I will picture you, dear friend who need not feel all alone, giving me a mental high-five.

 

My Night As a Hooker

You read that right; I was a hooker for one night.  Not by choice, mind you, but a hooker nonetheless.  It was a harsh lesson for me in human behavior, what one would do when they needed money.  Some background for you…

I grew up white, Catholic and middle class, surrounded by mostly white, middle class people, in a suburb of Washington, DC.  I didn’t smoke, drink, party, sneak out, lie to my folks nor have pre-marital sex.  And none of my friends did, either.  That was my world.  The first college I went to was just like my high school only twice as many students and no  Catholic school uniforms.

But shortly after arriving, I felt the need for a change and transferred to a culinary arts school in another state.  Holy, moly was that place different!  There were 8 males to every 1 female.  The majority of the students were African-American and the average age of freshmen students was 27.  I don’t know about now but, at the time, drug and alcohol use was prevalent in the food service industry and most of my fellow students had been working in the field for years already.  I didn’t know what a drunk person looked like and it was confusing to have a nice, friendly conversation with someone at night and they not remember who I was the next day.  My fellow students came from all different financial backgrounds, states and countries.

Oh my goodness, I just remembered the day, freshman year, that one of my roommates threatened to kill me!  Good times, good times, that cookin’ school!  Sorry; getting off track! Will save that story for another post.  Back to the prostitution thing…

It was the Fall semester of sophomore year and I was rooming with one of the 3 roommates who had not threaten to kill me the previous year.  We were renting a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment and I brought my white daybed from home.  I set the trundle up all the time, so it was like sleeping on a king-size bed!  Later, I would regret having so much room in that bed.  My roommate, we’ll call her Maria, did not come from a middle-class family and she approached me one evening with a proposition: she wanted to pimp for me.

Yes.  That reaction right there?  The one you are having with your eyes bugged and your jaw on the ground and the, “Wait, WHAT?!”  That’s the same reaction I had.  But she was serious.  She was a business major and explained her whole business plan to me.  You remember the stats I gave y’all up above about the students with whom I went to college?  She pointed out that the supply of young, white girls at our school was quite low but the demand was high.  She wanted to find and screen clients for me and would make sure they all provided proof from the local health department that they did not have any STDs nor tested positive for HIV.  After passing her “rigorous” background check, I would still have final say on whether or not I would have sex with them.  I thought that was a very considerate clause to add to our contract, don’t you?  And for all her hard work, she would only take a 25% cut of my fees.

I was amused, then shocked, then horrified!  “No!  Abso-LUTE-ly not,” I screamed.  But she wouldn’t let it go.  She kept trying all evening.  I finally went to bed to get away from her, but she crawled in bed with me and kept trying to change my mind.  She even tried to play on my sympathy and make me feel guilty, by saying I didn’t know what it was like to be poor and could I please just do this for her?  The next day, neither one of spoke to the other.  By the end of the week, tensions had subsided some between us and I was sure she’d let the idea go.  I was so naive.

Maria and I were hanging in the living room Saturday night, talking, laughing, listening to the radio as usual.  Then we said goodnight, went to our respective rooms and I closed my bedroom door.  Hours later, something caused me to awaken.  My eyes popped open.  Something was definitely not right in my dark bedroom, but I couldn’t figure it out.  Then something touched me on my right side, followed by something touching me on my left side.  I screamed bloody murder, jumped up and leapt off the bed towards my bedroom door.  I didn’t stop to turn on the bedroom light nor look back at my bed, I just ran, screaming, hoping to wake Maria.

But there was no need.  She was already awake and entertaining some “gentlemen” in our living room.  I stood there, blinking fast in the lamp light, confused by the guys on the couch as well as the slurred voices coming from my bedroom.  Two guys finally extricated themselves from my blankets and stumbled into the living room.  I recognized them; they were roommates and took classes with Maria.  I didn’t know what I was more – scared or angry – as I stared into her calm face.  I took a deep breath so I could start yelling but she quickly dragged me back into my room and shut the door.

Her explanation?  The two who had climbed in bed with me were clients, as were the others waiting their turn in the living room.  Being the meek, pleasing girl that I was back then, she thought I would be too polite to make them leave once they were already in my bed.  I told her they all needed to go and that this better not happen again.  “But they’ve already paid,” she whined.  “Couldn’t you just do these two?  For me?  What’s the big deal?  It’s not like your cherry hasn’t already been popped.”  That last sentence was declared coldly.  I realized I wasn’t her friend; I was merely someone to exploit.

That was low.  That really hurt.  That opened my eyes to a side of humanity that, in my “little white bread world” as she called it, I didn’t even know existed.  I didn’t know how to fight like she did, but I got in her face and told her she had 1 minute to return their money and clear everyone out of my apartment or I was calling the police.  I didn’t sleep at all that night.  The next day, I told her she needed to find a new place to live.  The lease was in my daddy’s name, only, so she couldn’t argue.  The following weekend her family drove in from out of state to move her out, but her older sister asked me to please let her stay.  I didn’t tell her family why I wanted Maria out; I just let them know that this was not going to work and she had to go.

I do have to thank Maria for one thing – picking the right guys to be my first clients.  They were nice boys and harmless drunks.  Even though it was two against one and one was on either side of me in my bed, they didn’t try to stop me from leaving.  It could have been much worse and I don’t know if Maria would have helped me or not .  After all, she’d already gotten paid.

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