Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thanks for posting this @Pat! I needed it today.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and s...weat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Monday, June 20, 2011

Total Blonde Moment

This is how crazy I am on a normal day.  So...I'm at work, reviewing loan files.  The files all look like the one in the picture (except they have a real loan note as the outside of the packet instead of a scribbled fake one I made to take this picture (don't want to be giving out confidential info)).

OK so to make sure we are clear:  lots of paperwork folded up, placed inside ONE sheet of paper which is folded in half and stapled with one staple at the top to make a sort of packet for each loan.  Follow? 

So as I'm picking up the 6th loan in my stack it dawns on me....that I can just SLIDE ALL THE PAPERWORK OUT OF THE PACKET (which is, after all, only one sheet of paper, folded in half, with one staple at the top. 

Yep.  That little stack of staples beside the loan is from the 5 loans I looked at first, from which I carefully removed the staple, unfolded the outside paper, reviewed the paperwork, replaced the paperwork in the outside paper, folded, and restapled the paper back together into the neat little packet. 

I know.  Scary that they let me out of my cage, right??

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My # 1 main squeeze (and own personal nerd)

I'm in Jackson working this week.  BAD weather this afternoon - including hail.  Wanting to share my world with my husband, I texted him:

ME:  Hhhhaaaaaiiiillllllllll!!!!!!!
HIM: Are you a ninja?
ME: um. no?
ME: That said hail. 
ME: Not haiiiiiiii-ya!
HIM: oh.  I read the lower case l as a capital I. 
HIM: oh and you mean hail like the small domestic meteors of death lobbed from the parapet of a thunderhead, not hail like the convention going, braces wearing geek might use as a salutation to his fellow middle earthians.  my bad. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I should leave the cooking to Jason...

Generally when I actually have a day off when I'm not behind on work, not trying to run 100 errands, and not feeling guilty about not cleaning my house, I tend to wake up thinking I'm Martha Stewart.  OCCASIONALLY these days are great and I end up accomplishing something.  More often, I end up at least learning lessons, if nothing else.  Today was one of those lesson-learning days. 

I don't cook.  Well, VERY rarely.  Today I was determined to make fried okra from the pods God and I grew in my garden.  I braved the sweltering sauna outside, grabbed by trusty Felco nippers, and picked every available pod.  Also grabbed a couple of banana peppers and some super-sweet cherry tomatoes, two of which didn't make it inside because I had to perform a quality control taste check. 

I was feeling very earth-hippy-gardeny in my (very unflattering but awesome) hippy-dippy long flowy cotton dress, so I gathered my harvest in the skirt of the dress ala little house on the prarie. Thus, my first challenge once I got inside was to pick off all the schnauzer hair that stuck to the okra from the fabric of the dress. (me and my "non-shedding" schnauzers...Oy-Vey!)

But I got through that challenge, washed the okra, chopped the okra, learned that I need to cut it from the bush earlier so it doesn't get so tough.  Luckily it's spineless, whatever that means, so I didn't have to deal with that.  And glory be!  I actually had cornmeal in the pantry!  Who knew!  And look at that!  CRISCO! Why do I even have that?  Oh well, it's like the pantry fairy was with me when I read those instructions on the interwebs last night and made sure I had the ingredients. 

And then I does one actually make the cornmeal stick to the okra?  Milk?  No - that's for chicken in flour I think.  I could go look it up on the computer, but that would involve walking ALL THE WAY from the kitchen to my office (about 30 feet).  So, I just rewet the okra with water, put the cornmeal on it, and stirred it up. 

Melted the crisco in the cast-iron skillet, put the okra in there and.....wait.  Where'd the crisco go?  It completely disappeared.  Interesting.  So I put a little more.  After awhile, it began to actually LOOK sort-of like fried okra is supposed to look:

And so I made sure one of the little pieces was super crispy and brown to taste. I'm having visions, at this point, of sitting at my mamaw's farmhouse table (which is currently in my dining room) as a little girl, not being able to get enough of her fried okra (which I'm sure was fried in bacon grease) and little biscuits with fig preserves.  I'm feeling homey and productive and then I take a taste....


I then I fell over dead.  Something was very, very wrong.  Maybe the crisco?  Can crisco go bad?  It's not animal fat, so surely not, right?  Well....

huh! How about that!  Who knew?  That must be what it was, because SURELY corn meal can't go bad, right?  I's corn meal. It's like...corny styrofoam.  Well....

Yeah that's right.  It says BEST BY 13 MAY 05.  That' PRE-KATRINA.  I told y'all I didn't cook very often. On that note, I'm going to make tacos.  I hope I can do that without poisoning anybody... 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Overheard at Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, MS

Scene:  Me, sitting on a sofa in the Local Book section at Lemuria, surrounded by stacks of old and new books about the South.  A lady and her Southern-Belle-dolled-up-80ish-year-old Mother enter. 

The Mother picks up "The Help" from a tall stack. 

Daughter: Just put it down, Mother, you won't like it.  It dares to imply that there were racial issues in Jackson in the 60s...

The Mother purses her lips, glares at the daughter over her bi-focals, pretends to finish reading the blurb on the back of the book, replaces it on top of the stack, and moves on to something that allows her view of life in the South to remain intact. 

I'm not saying it's right.  I'm just saying I get it.  There are a lot of things in I life I prefer to pretend I don't know about.  Like chicken farms.