Tag Archives: friends

To Grill or Not to Grill

22 Feb

My spoiling days are over.  Great big SIGH.  I am now thinking of dinner prep, actually grocery shopping and cooking and…arg…cleaning.  We were spoiled for over four weeks.  Wow, that part of Peg Leg-dom sure flew by.  It was very, very relaxing.  I had almost forgotten how much time and energy us mamas (and some papas) spend each day planning meals, prepping meals, buying food, cooking food, cleaning up after cooking food… and then all the snacks and desserts.  I don’t mind it, honestly.  I am just really out of practice and I thoroughly enjoyed having others do the work for me (Thank you, dear friends!!!)

Tonight I made chicken kebobs (recipe thanks to one of those dear friends who brought dinner), roasted red potatoes and salad.  I was kind of excited to do a full dinner for my sweet brood. Princelightningbolt arrives home starving around 530 after running practice, Princessenpointe is home for only 45 minutes between dance classes at 615 and Sirskatesalot wanders in sometime after that.  I have to coordinate creatively to make sure everyone has some sort of warm or ready to be heated up meal.

Last spring, Sirskatesalot got rid of our outdoor gas grill and decided he was going old school and bought a charcoal grill.  I don’t understand this at all.  What is cool about having to wait 20 minutes for the heat to be ready and then watching as half your dinner burns and half is undercooked?  This vintagey grilling idea is lost on me.

Once I marinate the meat and slice the veggies I start to think that firing up the coals is a bad, time consuming idea.  I google how to cook kebobs in the oven, but that seems lame.  How do you enjoy a kebob without the grill marks?

And this is where I come to my confession.  Yes, this is embarrassing.  I dug out my George Foreman Grill. I swear I have only used it three times.  Even more embarrassing …I bought it with a Groupon.  I know, you now think my kitchen is stocked with Spaghettios, canned soup and green containers of parmesan cheese.  These assumptions are far from the truth.  But that George Foreman Grill is now going to be a staple instead of a dust collector in the back of the pan cupboard.

George is onto something.  Our kebobs looked like they were grilled out of doors by The Marlboro Man…The Marlboro Man with a microbrew not a cigarette.  Gorgeous, delicious and I was in the warmth of my kitchen the entire time.  I won’t complain about how tiny it is, nor how long the ordeal took because I made a gazillion kebobs.  Beggars can’t be choosers and when you buy a George Foreman Grill with a Groupon, you definitely qualify as a beggar…or at least a cheapskate.

Settle the Unsettled

21 Feb

What is going on?  There was an asteroid close to earth, a meteor buzzed by Russia and made such a racket that people were injured and glass was shattered, there have been two deadly shooting rampages down here in So Cal and an Olympic athlete is accused of murder.  The world and my area of that world feel quite unsettled.  I don’t like that feeling.

Feeling settled is comfortable.  It takes effort to get to that feeling of calm, collected, “I know where things are, who is going to be there and where I fit in.”  The obvious example of this sensation settles into your bones a few months after a big move.  Your home starts to feel like a home and your routine starts to seem normal and comfortable.

I have been unsettled since my routine has changed with my surgery.  Not only has my running completely dissipated, but my relationships that come with running have changed.  My relationships in my house have changed..for the better?  The teens are much  more willing to help, Sirskatesalot is more protective and more helpful (Remember “Bubbles”?), my friends are caretakers of me.  Unsettled.

The randomness of the recent events in the atmosphere and down here in So Cal call into question that feeling of comfort and the need for vigilance.  But, I don’t think anything can prepare you for the random.  It’s too scary for me to think of all the ways to be more ready for things I have no control over.  So, whether it be a psycho running amok, a meteor boom or the concept that I may never run like I used to, I am not preparing, I am living this life now, for today, in whatever muddled state I can, enjoying those friends and family and the physical activities I can do (I am actually able to enjoy some of my swim time now…mind over matter).

These unsettled times seem ripe for some wisdom from Dr. Suess,  “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

Mix Tape

15 Feb

Remember making mix tapes for your friends?  Spending hours over the double cassette player, trying to hit the pause button at just the right time?  Getting soooo flustered when one of the tapes would get caught, unravel and you’d lose all your hard work?  I would sit on my bedroom floor with piles of tapes trying to make just the perfect mix for a friend who had a birthday, did something special or had broken up with a boyfriend.

And then, there is the boyfriend mix tape.  Remember those?  A sign that things had moved closer to serious, but not serious enough to discuss this movement.  You had enough memories together to compile about a dozen songs, but not enough to fill up an entire 90 minute tape. Making sure to alternate the slow songs with the fast songs and always beginning and ending with the best, you cranked out a beautiful mix tap.  If you felt like this was going somewhere, you also decorated the tape (remember the white sticky label you adhered to each side?) and the case.  The best compliment a teenage girl could here was, “I really liked the tape you made me.”  Ahhhh.

This Valentine’s Day I made a mix CD for my sweetheart.  Sirskatesalot has everything he could possibly want, so I was at a loss for gift ideas.  Pressured by Mscooksalot to come up with something (because she is a romantic. She decorates the house for Valentine’s Day AND spoils the whole family with presents and lobster dinner…Why am I friends with her again?), I decided to spend all my sitting minutes…yes, ALL my sitting minutes…it takes a long time to download all the CDs and to decorate a CD case… yesterday making a love themed CD.  There are some good memories, some poignant ones and lots of smiles in the songs I chose.  We will have been together for a whopping 24 years next month.  We have tons of memories together now.  By the time I make the next mix CD, I will need two CDs to fit all the fun and memories.  I’m looking forward to another 24 years (Yes, we were teens when we met; We are still young).  Check it out:

Need You Tonight   INXS

Somebody to Love  Queen

Beast of Burden  The Rolling Stones

Let Me Put My Love Into You  AC DC

Don’t You (Forget About Me)  Simple Minds

Light My Fire  The Doors

Modern Love  David Bowie

You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You  Dean Martin

Let’s Pretend We’re Married  Prince

Tears of a Clown  The English Beat

At My Most Beautiful  R.E.M.

Lover’s Rock   The Clash

Take On Me  a-ha

Prince Charming  Adam & the Ants

Hold On  Tom Waits

Do You Love Me Now?  The Breeders

Swimming is Not Running

9 Feb

Swimming may be just what the doctor ordered, but this land-lubbing Peg Leg sure wishes the doctor had ordered some muddy, mountainous trails.  Swimming is not the torture I thought it would be, but I am not efficient enough to get an amazing workout and my Peg Leg feels really strange flapping around free of das boot for an hour.

Swimming is clean (you can’t even feel that you are sweating), safe (no coyotes, mountain lions, big rocks, snakes or cliffs)…and oh, so, repetitive.  I am definitely a dirty girl.  This Peg Leg likes a dripping sweat, dirt crusted up my shins, an empty water bottle, a gut-wrenching grind up a big hill, a coyote spotting, a few deer or even a big snake.  I’ll take the swimming if that’s all I get, but my heart and soul are not in it.

Worse yet, swimming is a solitary endeavor.  I don’t have little ducky friends who want to swim with me and I doubt there would be much socializing between laps.  I miss my 2-5 hour runs with buddies.  You learn a lot about a friend when you are tromping along together, undistracted for hours at a time.  You become very close and you count on those hours together.  My running buddies are some of my closest confidants.  I share more with them, and know more about them, than some of my friends I see on a daily basis.  The motion, the exertion, the commitment loosens the legs and frees the mind and heart, and we share.  I miss these times.  When we have hours upon hours together, undistracted, we have time to come full-circle…to finish conversations, to follow-up on the unfinished ones, to just listen.

I am now three weeks post-op and I am feeling so far removed from my daily hours on the trails that when I think about running it feels almost dream like. I used to feel like I never saw anyone running around town, and certainly not on the trails.  Now, I feel like everywhere das boot and I go, there are people running.  Is this just a bad dream or is the lack of endorphins getting to me?  I will come full circle, I will get out of the pool and I will hit the trails.  Until then,

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.

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Pegging Those Teens

7 Feb

Peg Leg here has two teens.  And, even amongst friends, sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable admitting that I really like my teens.  If you listen to the news, most teens are pregnant, drug addicts, drop-outs or gangsters.  If you listen to most of my friends, they are snotty, spoiled, selfish, oblivious, absentminded and irresponsible.  I confess that I can easily jump in and participate with my mom-friends in an hour long conversation about the negative character traits of teens.  You should see how we feed off of each other’s stories…we are like 5th grade girls with girlfriend drama.

In general, though, my kids are pretty awesome.  I am frequently surprised by how much I like them.  When they were sweet babies, toddlers and dirty-faced, school age critters, I never imagined it could be just as good, and, sometimes, better with teenagers.  Yes, they are big, demanding, loud, messy and stinky, but they are also clever, witty, smart and down right hysterical.   Sirskatesalot and I stare at each other wide-eyed when one of our offspring uses an epithet while telling a story at the dinner table, searching the other’s face for how to respond.  But then the punch line is so funny we break into laughter and forget to reprimand the storyteller.  It reminds me of when they were first graders telling jokes they had made up that were so NOT funny, but made us bust out in fits of laughter.  Only now, they are older, wiser, funnier and the jokes and stories are spot on.

While sometimes their decisions or attitudes are maddening, watching my teens grow into themselves is fascinating.  The path from teen to adult is a curvy, windy one filled with hills and valleys, but I think it it is important to let the teens do the driving.  I am enjoying these last, fleeting years with my kiddos.  I’m trying to give them credit, to back off, to let them do the driving, to let them set the pace and to let them choose the destination.

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Nuisance

30 Jan

“A friend in need is a fucking nuisance!”  I stumbled upon this quote today and realized I am a fucking nuisance.  Clarity is painful.  My friends are amazing.  They call, they come hang out with me while I sit on the couch, they bring my entire family delicious meals, grocery shop for me (even big Costco trips!).  One friend’s daughter is even walking our pooches (one of whom weighs in at 110 pounds).

When my friends are in need, I try to help.  I want to help.  I think life can be very trying and difficult at times and no girlfriend should have to deal with it all by herself.  That being said, I was quite reluctant to allow all this love and care for me while I am Peg Leg Jenn.  It feels kind of uncomfortable at first to have people going out of their way and fussing over me.

However, now that we are nearing week two of dinners, dog walking and spoiling with treats, I think I am kind of settling into my roll as a fucking nuisance.  I am not feeling quite as guilty about all the attention and the hard work my friends are putting into making extra meals and delivering them.  My kids have started asking not, “What’s for dinner?” but, “Who is bringing dinner?”  We have been spoiled with homemade soups, calzones, chili and even “Knock You Naked” brownies.  I did not make up the name, but they really are that good.  You should see my naked family…

I am one lucky fucking nuisance to have such caring friends and I am surprised by how easy it has been for me to settle into the role of taker.  Getting lazier by the day and caring less about lots of busy, trivial stuff too.  A silver lining?  Ask my exhausted friends.

Couch potato training

25 Jan

For starters, foot surgery sucks.  Like as in big, giant, fat sucks.  It doesn’t hurt too badly, it just sucks.  The fact that I am a trail runner, by day and night, makes this big suck even harder (pun intended).  No exercise for me.  Friends cheer, “Yeah, you will finally be a couch potato.”  One brought over all the seasons of Sex in the City to entertain and educate me.  I hardly watch TV, so many are excited I might finally watch their favorite show and be able to banter with them about it.  We’ll see.  Many have brought chocolate.  It may even be a conspiracy to get me fat because a group of them are also doing a “Biggest Loser” challenge this month for which I was not invited to compete.  Hmm.

 

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