Archive | December, 2014

The Promise of a New Year

31 Dec

How was your 2014?  Hopefully, you all had a wonderful twelve months and will be celebrating the end of a great year and the beginning of a new one.  My evening will be thanking Father Time that this year is finally coming to an end and praying 2015 will be better.

The first half of 2014 was good, the second half sucked.  In July, I was laid off from my corporate job.  It was a total shock and a slap in the face.  I worked in a tight-knit group, with three of us starting on the same day.  They are all still there and I was given the boot.

At first, it was nice to have time off in the summer.  As a single parent, it was bonus time to be home with my daughter.  I thought it would be a piece of cake to land another job.  It wasn’t.  After a couple of months, the joy of summer vacation turned to worry, sadness, and pressure to find something.

I was fortunate enough in September to land a position with a local school district. Unfortunately, the pay was a third of what I was making, which hurt.  The job is great and I really enjoy working with the staff, teachers, and students.  However, any happiness experienced there is negated when I get home and can’t pay my bills.

It’s been challenging going from being able to live comfortably, not worrying about bills and being able to go on vacation to scrambling to make ends meet.  I’ve had to resort to borrowing money and asking for help, which is painful for me to do.  The last thing I want to be is a burden on someone else.

I’m continuing to interview and search for a new opportunity, hoping to somehow manage to get back to where I was a year ago.  It will be tough, but I’m crossing my fingers 2015 will be my year, since 2014 royally kicked my ass.

This new year will also be exciting, since I am publishing my first book based on this blog.  I’m really looking forward to sharing it with all of you!

Here’s to hoping each and every one of you have a safe, enjoyable New Year’s Eve and an amazing 2015.

Happy Holidays!

23 Dec

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, or whatever wonderful holiday you celebrate.  May you all have special time together with family and friends, and be grateful for what you have.

The next 24 hours, I will be frantically wrapping, hiding, prepping, and basically getting my “ish” together before gathering with my family tomorrow evening.  My daughter is beyond excited, having written Santa a letter and having him be kind enough to respond.

She’s eager for his arrival and has told me in no uncertain terms, “Mom, you will NOT put out healthy snacks for Santa.  He will be tired and need energy so we’re putting out cookies and milk.”

Enough said…Enjoy!!!  🙂

The Prune Juice Squirt Diet

17 Dec

I know this sounds strange, but bear with me.  A few weeks ago, I heard about a diet “strategy” that celebrities use to keep uber-skinny.  I’m sure this would normally involve eating nothing but grass, carrot sticks, and cotton balls.  Exercising would consist of walking in stilettos from one store to another on Rodeo Drive.

However, this new “method” sounds much more sensible?  These people will go to the trendiest, most expensive restaurant in LA, and order a very delicious meal.  They will indulge by having a few bites, but then kill their appetite by spraying something nasty on their food.

Window cleaner, bug spray, grapefruit juice, whatever they decide to tuck into their designer purse, will ruin their appetite, and allow them to stay thin.  Since I’ve had zero luck in losing weight with my halfway intelligent diet plans, I’ve decided to change my ways.

I introduce, the “Prune Juice Squirt Diet”.  It does sound gross, however, this plan could be very effective…and cheap.  All you need to do is go to the local grocery store and buy a bottle of prune juice.  Load up a squirt bottle with the juice, pack it in your handbag, and hit the local dining hot spot.

You start drooling over the menu, while consuming your favorite alcoholic beverage (or two).  The plate of yumminess arrives and you are beyond ecstatic.  Consumption begins and soon you realize half of your plate has been ingested.

It’s time for action…and the Prune Juice Squirt.  You yank the bottle out of your purse and go to town…while tears are streaming down your face.  It’s the right thing to do, but you’re still heartbroken the rest of your burger and fries is covered in this disgusting liquid.

How effective will it be?  Well, time will tell, but the idea is there and I will soon put it into action…after the holidays, of course.

It’s Turntable Time, Baby!

11 Dec

I was SO excited.  The Sunday Target ad had turntables on sale (record players for us more “mature” folks).  My box of albums and singles might finally see the light of day! Hooray!

I have a collection that’s been packed away in my closet since I went off to college. They go way back to my kiddie days (Sesame Street, Disco Duck) to my high school days (Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”, and Band Aid’s “Do They Know it’s Christmas”).

I played these records continuously and am shocked they’re not worn out or scratched to death.  The memories of being in my room and listening to them over and over, memorizing every word, is priceless.

I’m looking forward to pulling them out of the box for my seven year-old daughter to see.  She will probably think they’re plates with a hole in the middle, but that’s okay.  They will not sound as clear and crisp as the songs on my iTunes but I don’t care.

I want her to know that back in the day, albums were cool.  The covers were flashy, the lyrics were usually inside, and sometimes you’d get a bonus poster.  There wasn’t a skip or fast-forward, so you actually listened to all the songs on the album and sometimes, find better songs than the ones that were released.

Those were also the days when MTV played music videos ALL THE TIME.  They didn’t have all the lame reality shows about teens getting knocked up or people punching each other while plastered.  It was all about music, and it was awesome.

So this weekend, I will be taking a trip down memory lane.  My daughter will be entertained for about ten minutes, but I will be appreciating the simpler times and the artist’s material besides their Top 10 hits.

Turkey Tubby Time

4 Dec

Ugh.  I love Thanksgiving but seriously…why does the holiday have to involve expansion of the waistline and a bottle of Tums?  I always think I’m going to play it smart, take a little of this and that and be comfortably full.  Yeah, right.

You’re starving and smelling the food cooking so of course, the salivation factor is rising. The growling stomach doesn’t help and only adds fuel to the hunger fire. Hovering begins as the food is being plated and served.  Not that you don’t want to pray and give thanks, but the food is there and calling your name.  You beg for the condensed version but denied by the death stare of your grandparents.

The sampling of each dish soon becomes, “Can I have just a smidgen more?  Oh, maybe another little scoop.”  Before you know it, your plate is completely covered and food is stacked inches high.  Oops.

You don’t want to put any back because, first it’s gross, and second, you don’t want to offend Grandma.  Back in the day, we had to finish our plates if we wanted dessert. Nowadays, the kids aren’t tortured with that pressure….that is, until Thanksgiving.

Forcing yourself to finish is not good.  You can only cough the food into your napkin so many times before Grandma wonders why you have a soggy pile of them next to your plate.  This is the time you wish there was a dog under the table you could toss scraps to.

In the end, I’m swollen and miserable.  Everything tasted great, but once again, I have overindulged.  There was zero room for the pumpkin pie.  Dessert would have to wait for another day.  Next year, I swear I won’t do this again….yep.