“C’mon, get happy!”

I was all prepared to do another whiny, poor-me, my-life-sucks post, but then I remembered that once I felt well enough to sit up Monday evening & was surfing blogs on my couch, Dan, author of the very awesome IslandEAT blog, had bestowed upon me a Versatile Blogger Award.


I have to say, it came at just the perfect time. I’ve already been elminated from Project Food Blog, I started off my vacation with a cold that Monday afternoon, knocked me on my butt. I’d planned on spending this week doing stuff for me (with the exception of Thursday, when I head to Sioux Falls for an IRA seminar), so I scheduled a pedicure for the afternoon. The end result was nice:


And I now own my first pair of flip-flops since I was about 8 or 9. However, the pedicure chairs are not made for short folk like myself–I wasn’t thinking about it until I started to feel faint, my vision got blurry & fuzzy, and I started hearing air roaring in my ears. I’d spent about 15-20 minutes with my knees locked, and I knew that it can cause you to pass out. Luckily I didn’t lose consciousness, and was able to enjoy the rest of my pedicure (my first ever, as I hate feet, even though this isn’t the first foot photo I’ve posted on here…Which will most likely result in a few more perverts looking for trampling pictures!). But after I got back home, I felt steadily worse, to the point that I ended up telling Jay that if he didn’t go get himself & the bambino a pizza, they weren’t eating dinner. Gods love him, he brought me back some grape juice too, as he was afraid I’d get dehydrated. I ended up having a cup of hot tea & half a sleeve of saltines for dinner. After that, I felt well enough to surf the net for awhile, and I came upon Dan’s kind words about me & my blog.

I decided to copy follow what Dan did on his blog and highlight 10 things I like (I’ve already done my list of gripes!), in no particular order:

1. My son, AKA the Bambino.


I know it goes without saying that I love & adore my little boy. I fell in love with him the moment I finally saw his tiny face, and every day, my heart grows bigger with the love I feel for him. It amazes me that such a tiny little person holds such a large piece of my heart. He’s funny, sensitive and sweet, and I can’t imagine my life without him.

2. The Internet. Without it, I wouldn’t have met my best friend and husband. I got my first email account when I was a freshman in college–15 years ago. It was shortly after that I “met” Jay in a chatroom. We emailed, snail mailed, etc., although we didn’t meet face-to-face until 2004, when I made my first visit to South Dakota. I’ve also “met” a lot of great friends online, kept up my blog (in many different forms), and wasted more hours than I can fathom!

3. Writing. According to my mom, I wrote my first story around age 3 or 4. I started keeping a journal at 8, and I still remember the day I got my first journal–It was the My Annie Diary (from the movie, of course), and I’d seen it in some book order form thing my mom had. I asked for it, but my mom said no. A couple weeks later, my mom got a box of books in the mail, and the diary was inside. I remember being so excited that I ran outside with it to show it off, and promptly dropped it on the ground! The last time I counted the number of volumes, I had something like 22 or 23. I have no idea how many I have now.

4. Baking. I said in my failed PFB entry that I prefer baking to cooking. There’s something about the routine and consistency that I like about baking, as opposed to the improvisation that comes with cooking. I like routine. I like precision. I don’t like having to come up with things on my own–It’s a little bit of laziness on my part.

5. Potatoes. Talk about versatile. They can be fried, baked, boiled, made into bread. Heck, potato chips can even be dipped in chocolate for a dessert! And I’m a carb-junkie anyway…Potatoes are the best.

6. Road trips. I know there are plenty of people who loathe long-distance driving, and while I appreciate the convenience and speed of flying, there’s something to be said for getting into your car, rolling down your windows, cranking the radio, and taking to the open road. There’s so much more to discover, and you get to do things according to your schedule. While I love my family dearly, I almost prefer making road trips solo.

7. Ska. I know I’ve said it before on here, but one of the reasons I love Ska so much is that it’s uplifting, fun, happy music. For me, it’s the musical equivalent of sunflowers. I can’t help but smile when I see them, and I can’t help but smile & dance whenever I listen to Ska.

8. Grocery Shopping. This is a semi-weird obsession with me. I like grocery stores. I like the process of grocery shopping. I think a lot of it was cemented when Kendra & I would get up at the crack of our asses to go Krogering together, so we’d be done before the rest of the masses descended on the store. I like going to different grocery stores, especially ones I’ve either never been to or in places I’ve only visited. When we’d visit my grandparents in Florida, we’d always go grocery shopping soon after we arrived. I remember my grandma shopped at Publix and Winn-Dixie, and I thought they were so much nicer than the Krogers or Thriftways back home. And even now, I find any excuse in the book to visit various grocery stores when I’m traveling. I almost always find a reason to pop into Kroger or Giant Eagle when I go home to visit. I’m going to find a reason to visit Whole Foods the next time I’m home too!

9. Photography. I love pictures. I love looking at pictures, and I love taking pictures. I like cameras. I prefer film photos to digital copies, but especially with blogging, I appreciate the convenience of digital so much more. I like capturing a moment in time, and revisiting it later.

10. Sunday Breakfast. Each Sunday, I try and do a big country breakfast. I don’t really know why I call it a country breakfast, but I usually fix eggs, bacon or sausage, hash browns, and a bread item of some sort (biscuits, French toast, or pancakes). My dad used to fix breakfast on Sundays for Kendra & I before he’d take us back to our mom’s for the week. When I was in college, on weekends when I either had nothing to do or just felt like getting off campus, I’d pack up my laundry, my grandpa would come pick me up, and I’d sometimes spend the night with him & my grandma. Occasionally, it was just the 3 of us for breakfast, sometimes a couple of my aunts or cousins would come over, or sometimes my mom & sister would be there too. Once my grandma got sick, we kept it going both as a way to help her out, and to keep some semblance of normalcy for my grandfather. Nowadays, I do it because while I like baking better than I like cooking, I think I do a pretty decent breakfast. And it’s something small that I hope the bambino remembers about his childhood with some fondness.

Now to pay it forward: I also have to pass this award on to bloggers I deem worthy. I think technically I’m supposed to do 10, but I’m just going to highlight a few. Dan already selected one I’d’ve chosen, so I won’t steal his thunder (but I feel an Ohio kinship with Jenny from Vintage Sugarcube, so I would’ve given her an award if Dan hadn’t). That being said, here are the other bloggers to whom I pass the torch:

1. My Kid is Perfect–And Other Lies. Written by my friend Erin (whom I’ve known since I was 12), and is a perfect example of versatility. She’s a stay-at-home-mom to 2 adorable kids, and I know from personal experience, you wear many hats as a parent. Plus, her stories about her kids are absolutely hysterical.

2. DMCGirl. She’s pretty new to blogging, but she too is a mom, and does a lot of meal plans with her $60/week budget. Sometimes you have to get pretty creative with your grocery list, and I like seeing what she comes up with each week.

3. My Day to Day Scene. My shout-out to SoDak, Tracy is in the Sioux Falls area (I think), and yes, she’s another mom (sensing a theme here? It’s not on purpose!), but I like her take on living out here on yonder prairie.

4. Milk and Cake. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon Amanda’s blog, but I like the fact that she has a dark, snarky sense of humor, and she seems like she’d be a lot of fun to go shopping or drinking with.

5. Alchemy–Simple Ingredients, Magical Food. I’m a fairly new reader of Hester’s, but you might recognize her from the recipe I used for my recent loaf of soda bread. She gives detailed recipes on her site, and she was very helpful in assisting me with the conversions to American measurements when I made the bread. Plus, she’s Irish, and that’s just really cool in and of itself! I went through a slight phase in my early teens where I was obsessed with all things Irish & Scottish, so much so, that Jay was shocked when I told him that in all my extensive genealogical research on my family, I have yet to discover any Irish or Scottish roots. I have been able to find out, though, that one branch on my mom’s side has been here since around the time of the Pilgrims & we had family in the Salem, Mass. area around the time of the Witch Trials. That branch was mostly English & some French. And my sister discovered our original last name (before my dad’s family left France). Nothing Irish or Scottish, though.

I think I’m going to leave it there for now. I spent a good chunk of time down in Sioux Falls yesterday, getting Junior (my car) worked on, and as such, was unable to do the shopping I’d wanted. And since I don’t have much to do today, I figured I’d head back down there and actually get my stuff taken care of…Plus, it’s a nice drive, almost like a mini road trip!