Tag Archives: friends

Happy New Year!


Damn it is 2009! and I am ever so grateful….

Although it started out awful, I spend New Years Eve puking my brains out and it was not even alcohol induced, what fun is that!  I had the damn flu!  Just now getting back to my normal self, if there is such a thing.  

But things since the ring in of 2009 thing have already climaxed….. Leave it to me to get a new job in this horrible economy without even looking!  A promotion even, with a fantastic agency, less costly benefits, a raise, and managing a group of people I know (for the most part) and already have established relationships, not to mention the impact that the program has on our community!  I am so excited and terrified at the same time.  (Being terrified only means that I am anxious to do a good job.)  I am ever so grateful for having friends & acquaintances who believe that I am a capable, compassionate  and confident leader; over the years I have been fortunate to experience many growth opportunities thanks to this network of individuals.     

And Woody, the ever so adorable being below now resides with us.  We adopted him just before Christmas from the Community Cat Connection, the shelter where I volunteer and sit on the board.  

Woody has brought much love and odor into our lives, yes I said odor.  He is assaultive with his affections, demanding and persistent.  He loves to sit on my lap and knead, he usually goes for the boobs, I am after all his new mumma, but damn he has the biggest paws and claws of any cat I have ever owned.  He also has some problems with gas, stinky, smelly, offensive toots.  Have you ever met a cat that farts?  We we now are owned by one.  We are researching the cause and how we might be able to resolve the gas.  Probably a food issue.  It is on the checklist for his first vet visit with us.  Oh and he doesn’t meow, he quacks like a duck, is 15lbs (huge) and drools when he gets excited.

Hence all his Nicknames:  Duckman, Sirdroolsalot, stinky boy, the Tunaeater (say it like Arnold Schwarzenegger), Quackman,  Sweaterman (he looks like he is wearing a sweater), the boobymonster….. and the list goes on and on and on….

Woody’s transition into our home is very slow, with the ever so dominant female Boo who rules the roost not yet accepting his presence.  So for now he is set up in the finished basement with his own pad, toys, scratching post, beds and bathroom.  We call it his bachelor pad.  From all the reading I have done, slow transitions are the most successful transitions with hostile territorial first pets in the home.   Woody comes upstairs and watches TV with us, snuggles in bed and wanders the house under our watchful eyes, but does not yet have full access to the house when we are not present and engaged in his supervision.  Someday though, time, it will take time. 

Anyway, Happy New Year to you and yours; 2009 the year of CHANGE, for me, for you, and hopefully for the whole country.  It is going to be a good year for us all, I can feel it, can you?




40 things every woman should know by 40


I have been thinking a lot about this year….  A friend of mine, (considerably older than me), upon wishing me a Happy Birthday said (paraphrased), —The year after my 39th birthday was very significant.  I got a lot of loose ends tied up – moved forward into a more secure, self assured, relaxed life.  I really learned a lot, it was one of my most memorable years.—

I so started making a list of sorts of things that I feel every woman (you & me) should know/do by the time they reach their 40th year.  Not necessarily in order of importance, just in the order that my brain spit them out….. 

  1. How to laugh at yourself 
  2. How to say “NO” and mean it
  3. How to change a flat tire 
  4. How to check the fluids in your car
  5. How to switch out an outlet or light switch
  6. How to sever unhealthy relationships, whether it be spouse, friend, job, etc… 
  7. How to survive entirely on her own 
  8. How to save for up for retirement
  9. How to travel alone (safely)
  10. How to ride public transportation
  11. How to find and keep a great hairdresser
  12. How to set up / connect a TV-DVD – cable – stereo & speakers in any combination
  13. How to use basic tools: a drill, hammer, screwdriver, etc…
  14. How to do a self breast examine and do them regularly 
  15. Have a place you can go anytime to renew & refresh you body-mind-heart -and soul, even if it is just the library reading a juicy book, a bubble bath or having a cup of tea on a bench in the park, have an escape.   
  16. How to drive a standard -stick shift 
  17. How to jump start a car
  18. How to trouble shoot a computer
  19. Have a hobby, creative outlet or some sort of interest outside your family. 
  20. How to look in the mirror at yourself in all your naked glory and accept what you see.  
  21. How to love yourself despite your flaws (see number 13)
  22. And the discipline to do something about it if you don’t (see numbers 13 &14)
  23. How much is too much….. drinking, eating, caffeine, smoking, etc…
  24. How to reach something on the back of the top shelf of a grocery store
  25. Your patience limit, especially with children, and when to walk away
Ugh…. I have been writing this post for days now!  I wanted to reach 40  before posting (without entirely ripping off other lists out there on the web), and I am only  a little over half way there…. I need your help!  Post a comment with the things you feel are important for women (you & me) to know by your 40th year and I will add them to my list!  I know you sisters out there are full of wisdom…share it with us!
(Oh and let’s keep it clean, my parents read this, wink-wink)
Thanks Ladies! 
26.“Eat with chopsticks” on the lighter side – Roxanne
27. “Forgive” on the more serious side – Roxanne
28. “How to ask for help” -NK
29. “Have a set of clearly defined morals” -NK
30. “Know how to speak for yourself or anyone that can not” – NK
31. My mom always told me, “Self education is very important”. So, I develop the habit of observing and reflect on my acts, words, thoughts and results. -firenzegold
32. How to be succulent and sexy- anonymous

Moving from Attachment…….Relinquishment


Summoning Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles

In my process of taking inventory and purging I have found many lost memories….

  • Art Portfolios from High School and College.
  • Books and Books of poetry written between 1982 &1986 (ages 13 to 17)
  • Diaries also corresponding to the years above.
  • Love letters from the same time period.
  • Photos from my entire life (but lots & lots of them with 80’s BIG HAIR).
  • My kelley green shiny satin High School Band Jacket (circa 1985).
  • BIG trash bag full of stuffed animals
  • Blankets and baby clothes that are 39+years old 

…. Fortunate for me the time has come to reminisce on these items one last time and then say goodbye (with exception of the photos, only the ones that I actually remember the names of the people)……

So, yesterday during the rain (how apropos) I took a trip down memory lane…..

  •  I attended my Surprise Sweet 16 Birthday Party, thrown for me by a friend. Oh the controversy that caused in my life…. It was the day after I attended my Boyfriend’s Senior Prom, he was from a different school.  I ditched out on him and his friends who were going “down the shore” to go to this party that ended up being for me.   
  • Read an obscene amount of really bad, heart wrenching, sappy, forced poetry (if you want to call it that). Depicting how my daily life was a combination of Shakespeare tragedy, The “Breakfast Club”, Cinderella, “Heathers”,  and an Air Supply or Peter Gabriel song.
  • Ditto for the diaries.  Oh, I would never want to relive those days of newly acquired hormones and falling in and out of love (most of the time the other person never even know it), fighting with my best friend (again without them even knowing it), and loathing my parents (oh, but they knew it, didn’t they?).
  • Hugging stuffed toys (that were stained and smelled really horrible). 
  • I read love letters from a friend/boyfriend who graduated school a year early to  go off to college.  He was an artistic musical genius of sorts.  During that time we struggled with the emotions of whether we were going to try to endure a long distance relationship (at age 16/17).  Funny thing is now, I hear, he is no longer a man, but a woman, really.  I smiled as I read the letters, how we pined for one another, thinking about how different life is now twenty some odd years later.  If we only knew.  
  • Attended a few proms….. Oh, the BIG 80’s hair, I would have never survived without my Aqua Net and a curling iron. 
  • And again reading love letters from a boyfriend who sadly passed away a year or so back at the age young age of 35.
  • And so on, and so on and so on…..I am sure you all have had your moments of going down memory lane.

Most of the stuff was in one box, crammed together with a handful of beach sand, yes loose beach sand. Not quite sure what the sand was about, but it must have had some sort of sentimental attachment to it at some point in my life many many years ago.  I can only assume that the sand was contained when I originally placed it in the box, but one never knows.  Needless to say, everything was covered with grains of the stuff.

Despite the sand it was nice to relive these memories, seems like I do it once every decade, or when I move. I can look back on most of it now fondly, laugh at myself, and thank the powers that be that we, well at least most of us, mature.

As I have previously expressed I am at the point in my life, finally, that I need (and thankfully am emotionally able) to let go of most of this sentimental stuff.  As a good friend put it, I mean really, how many things do you really need to remember a person or certain times in our lives?  Do I need the diaries, the stuffed toys, the horribly ugly & smelly band jacket to have those memories remain in my head?  I think pictures alone would serve as the perfect activities director for time travel to memories of times past.  (And thankfully they are precise, compact and easy to store!)    

So off all it goes (except pictures) into the garbage heap in large hefty bags.  

To be honest, some of it hurts a little to let go of, but it only hurts because the memories are in the forefront of my mind, I have held the “it” again, and watch “it” go into the bag with all the other “its”. Attachment creates suffering.  Honestly, if I were to keep the stuff it would get packed away, AGAIN, and forgotten about for another ten years.  I have to remember that it is only “stuff” that I am letting go of.   It is not the memories attached to the “stuff”.  I have kept plenty of pictures to keep the memories alive when I feel nostalgic.   

Thanks be to Ganesha remover of obstacles.  No regrets.  It actually feels great to not be weighed down anymore.   Besides, I have to make room for today’s and tomorrow’s memories.



Break out the streamers and champagne.  Call the New York Times and CNN.  Declare a Public Federal Holiday.  Call the Guinness Book of World Records…..

I did not expect this to happen until the weekend, but…….

Not quite what was going on today in BlogLand, but my blog got a lot of hits today (like over 20), pushing my all time number of hits to date over 1000! 1007 at this moment in time to be precise.  I thought I might celebrate by thanking you all for your curiosity, support and goofing off at work by toasting to you with a icey cold Harpoon Summer Brew, complete with a large wedge of lemon, yummy and refreshing on a hot day like today.

I watch my blog stats almost compulsively.  I think it is really cool to keep track of what pages get the most hits, and especially how people find me thru the search engines.  Sometimes I think I go a little crazy with the “tags”, but let me tell you people hit them by doing searches on some pretty strange things.  I think the “one eyed one horned flying purple people eater” tag gets the most hits, second to that is the “chick flicks” (speaking of which I promise I will get back to my tissues reviews some time very soon).   

So heres’ to you, my friends, family, fans and strangers for helping me break the first thousand hits mark and making my little blog a success (at least in my feeble little world)!

P.S. (Shameless Plug)

– If you have not figured it out yet, you can now go to my “About” page and read the ever so interesting and captivating “Some odd number of things about me”.  It is a work in progress, haven’t quite hit the 100 mark yet (hence the “some odd”), but I am adding to it regularly.  You should try it some day, try writing 100 or more ‘interesting’ facts about yourself (that you are willing to make public – wink-wink), it’s pretty damn hard.

This one is for Sue, Jamie, Kate & Cam



I feel better today, and when I feel good I cook!

Jenn’s Famous Kitchen Sink Veggie Chili

I used to make this same chili with meat and left over scraps from roasts, prime rib, chicken, pork-chops, sausage…. (hence the kitchen sink name) I would horde the meat in the freezer until I had enough to make a pot of brew.  Now it is the veggie version, healthier, guilt free and full of yummy goodness.   



Large Onion (sweet kind is best)

Large Green or Red Pepper

6-8 very very very ripe plum tomatoes (nearly rotten) you can add even more tomatoes, it’s better  or you can cheat by using a Large Can of whole peeled tomatoes (fresh, nearly rotten is always better)

2-4 cloves of garlic (to taste)

4 stalks of celery

any other “left over” veggies in your fridge (carrots, zucchini, potatoes, ….. the batch pictured above has fresh baby spinach in it that I had to use or throw away)

(All of the above are chopped roughly, keep tomatoes separate from all other veggies)

1 beer or 12 oz of H2O

1 package of favorite chili seasoning mix (any one they are all pretty much the same)

In addition I add my own additional spices, 

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Chili-Powder

up to 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

1/2 tsp Oregano

Parsley flakes or fresh (handful)

Salt to taste

Black Pepper to taste

Good pinch of sugar (balances acids)

8 oz can of tomato sauce/Goya (unless you cheated and used canned tomatoes) you can also substitute any tomato sauce that you have left over in the fridge

1 cup+/- of frozen corn

2-3 cans of favorite beans (they can be  all different types) Drained and rinsed well

Tofu/Soy Crumbles (enough equal to a 1/2 to a pound of ground beef)

Small can tomato paste


In a VERY LARGE POT sauté in olive oil all the hard veggies: onion, garlic, pepper, celery and other not cooked veggies.  Hold tomatoes & cooked veggies.  

Sweat them for a few minutes until they begin to lose some liquid and soften.  

Add tomatoes and other cooked veggies.  

Cook  on medium for three to five minutes , stir occasionally.  

Add package of store bought chili seasoning and the beer or H2O, stir.   

Next measure out  and add the additional spices….. To be honest I never measure these out, but did for the sake of documenting this recipe.  I usually just shake the bottle enough to cover the top of the brew good.  In my experience you can really only add too much salt pepper and hot stuff like red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.  You can go a little heavy handed on the cumin and chili powder and no one would know the wiser.

At this point throw in a good pinch of white sugar. (tablespoon maybe)

Now add the tomato sauce.  Again you can add more if you have some left over.

Here is the part where you add the volume.

If you want a lot of chili add 3 cans of beans and a whole package/box of crumbles. 

If you want less chili add 2 cans of beans and less crumbles.  

Add frozen corn, again you can add more  or less according to how much chili you want

Bring the chili to a slow boil/simmer, keep mixing every few minutes as to not burn.

Once it starts to bubble lower the temp to LOW  and let the brew simmer on low for at least  20 minutes to 1/2 an hour.  

Slowly mix in the tomato paste to thicken, it is a bugger to get it mixed in so take your time,

For thicker chili simmer the brew a little longer with the lid off the pot to lose some excess liquid.   

If you prefer  a more soupy chili turn it off now, and/or you may choose to add a bit more water at this point.  

Serve over crushed corn chips with cheese, sour cream, olives and chopped avocado.  Add you favorite hot sauce for an extra kick. 

You can use the thicker style chili to make nachos, burritos or tacos too.

It makes a boat load of chili!   I mean many- many- many meals.  It freezes quite well and makes a really good pot luck meal.   I have shared it with friends 🙂 and it is for that reason that I documented this recipe.  Here you go Sue.

Best of luck, be creative  and enjoy it with people you love.  


It’s Alive


Three Eyed Three Horned Flying Hot Pink Hot Tamale Eater…..

Unlike my post the other day these pics do the hot pink “watermelon” color justice!  Quite vivid!

This guy has a lot more butt than the OEOHFPPE, it can stand up on it’s own!

I am in the process of designing wings, and hope to have it’s three eyes, a tail and hair on it by the end of the day.  I am thinking green hair and purple wings.  As well I plan on making legs/feet, well, maybe, we’ll see.

I think I overstuffed it a bit, it seems to be bursting at the seams.  I hope that over time and usage it will relax a little.  My stitches are getting better, more uniform, but I can still see many imperfections that I’ll have to work on (I tried to hide them all in the pics).

Maybe after a few more trial runs for friends & family I can perfect my stitching.  It keeps getting suggested to me that I sell my creatures/monsters.  It is a good idea, but stitching them well enough to sell seems like a lot of pressure.     

Stay posted for more news on the metamorphosis of the TETHFHPHTE.       



5 Tissues* Chick Flick Nite – “Things we Lost in the Fire”



 Hope comes with letting go.…..A recent widow invites her husband’s troubled best friend to live with her and her two children. As he gradually turns his life around, he helps the family cope and confront their loss.   

I am going to start my own rating system for the movies that I rent.  Instead of 5 stars I will use a scale of tissues, 1-5.   You see, I get all my emotional and hormonal blockages cleared out on Monday night, “Chick Flick Nite”.   I indulge in take out, something sweet, get in my jammies early and watch a girly movie that my other half has no interest in (or tolerance for).  I am a sucker for the real tragic ones involving you know, the terminally ill, death, abuse….. hardcore.  But they are usually the films in which I find good lessons and they always help put life in perspective.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a sucker for a Meg Ryan or John Cusack movie with a happy ending.  Just that sometimes us chicks need a good cry, and if you are past due for a good cry just let me know and I will set you up with the perfect movie to purge all that stored up ick.    


“Things we Lost in the Fire” is a five tissue movie, quite literally maybe six or seven.  Raw, powerful, tragic, yet beautiful and full of lots of hope.  The tragedy  is in your face right from the beginning – death – addiction – very slow and deliberate it does not ever seem to cease. But through all the challenges these characters go through we see beautiful moments, moments of hope, moments of tenderness, of charity, of love…. it is a movie about being human and surviving thanks to the help of others (whose lives are equally as fucked up as your own).     


Accept the Good