Merry Merry Quite Contrary how does the story go?




the other day, while on a walk with the wonderful Allison, she brought up an interesting question: what should she do for her Birthday Commitment.  hm.  Birthday Commitment?  i dunno what that is, but it sounds interesting.

each year, for her birthday, Allison finds something that she wants to do for herself.  be it a challenge, or learning something new, or doing something that she’s always wanted to do.

this sounds really interesting indeed.

so this got me to thinking…with July 27th just around the corner, what would i do for my Birthday Commitment?  what is something that i’ve wanted to do for myself that i’ve never made the time for?  after about 5 minutes of thinking, i knew the answer:

Hot Yoga.

i used to go a couple of times a week years & years ago.  and i loved it.  it was such a good workout, detox, & mental health break.  this would be perfect!  on soooo many levels!  i logged some time on the interwebs & found a place that does hot yoga…added bonus, it was right down the street from my house!  yes!  this is the PERFECT idea!!

my plan was to check the place out on my day off, and if i liked it then i would get one of the packages that they offer.  i borrowed a yoga mat  & hand towel.  and at 8am, i pealed myself out of bed & threw on some clothes to head up to the studio.  i pulled into the parking lot & surveyed my surroundings.

and i froze.  standing outside the door chatting were 3 girls.  i say girls, because they were clearly younger than me (and since when did i start noticing people’s age?)  they were tall.  they were slender.  they had awesome yoga outfits paired with elaborate bags specifically designed for their yoga mats.  they probably have been going to 5 classes a week for the past 3 years.

i looked down at myself.

i am short.  i am not slender.  my outfit was clearly not made specifically for yoga.  there wasn’t an “om” logo anywhere in sight and the material was far from organic.  i had an assortment of borrowed items.  and i haven’t taken a class in 7 years.  panic.  pure panic.

see? i don’t have a yoga bag…i have everything just thrown down on my passenger floorboard.

i whipped my car out of the parking lot.  what the hell was i thinking?  how could i pretend that i have enough gusto to just waltz into the great yoga unknown all by myself & find inner peace and a rewarding workout?  seriously?? 

i was instantly transported back to the 5th grade, when i started a new school.  i remember showing up to the 1st day of class in my knee-length, hand-me-down plaid skirt and my all-white sneakers, all excited to meet new people.  i walked into the hallway and there was a group of girls gathered together by the lockers.  they had doc martens.  their skirts were rolled up to show off the bottoms of their colorful boxer shorts.  while my mom said i looked “cute” before i went to school, their older sisters said that they looked “bitchin”.   i was mortified.  the second i got back from school i cried & begged my mom to take me shoe shopping.

compared to them, i looked like the egg carton dinosaur i made in 3rd grade art class. 

and here i was, almost 29 years old.  and i felt like an egg carton dinosaur next to these yoga goddesses.  ugh.

about halfway back to my house, once i got my heart rate to slow down & my face wasn’t quite the shade of a tomato, i realized: i am being so dumb.  who gives a crap about what i’m wearing or how skilled i am at yoga?  i’m going there to learn.  i’m going there to improve myself.  i’m going there to do something for me…and i have to start somewhere.  i couldn’t make this class (it had already started, & i couldn’t walk in late).  but there’s a class on sunday afternoon and i would be there.  motley yoga gear and all.

sunday i will ignore all of my dumb insecurities and remember that it’s not about having the coolest outfit or perfectly mastering the different poses.  i have to have a beginning point, even if it’s as an egg carton dinosaur doing Downward Facing Dog.


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i’m only 3 days into this mini challenge…and lemme tell ya, it is awesome.


here’s the thing.  all day long, i’m searching for my “what am i grateful for” moment as opposed to the “what the hell were they thinking” moment.  is it an attitude booster?  you betcha.  almost to the point of absurdity.  i swear to you, when i was driving home today i think i saw some Disney cartoon birds (like from Cinderella, or Snow White).  they were chirping alongside my car while i rocked out to Sledgehammer.  one even offered to braid my hair and tie it with a ribbon, but i thought that was a bit much.


i’m that absurdly upbeat.


after filtering through the twenty or so things that i mentally tagged as gratitude worthy, i narrowed it down to just one.  i know i’m bordering obnoxious with my sunny rays of positivity & pink fluffy clouds of optimism, so i won’t list them all.  you’re gonna have 27 more days of this & i don’t want anyone sending me death threats…that would surely be a bummer.


so for day 3 of gratefulness, may i present to you a picture of my window…


do you see that?  there’s 6, count ’em, SIX LIVE PLANTS!


i have kept 6 plants alive for exactly 1 month!  this is a freaking miracle!!!  a christmas in March miracle!!!!!!  our lavender, our rosemary, our sweet basil, our little pot of succulents, our name-unknown flowers, our snake plant…all alive and not withering away!

you might think that this is somewhat of a trivial thing to be thankful for.  i assure you, it is most definitely not.  normally i take one look at a plant, proclaim “hey!  i’m going to buy this and take it home and it will be beeeeeeeautiful!” that’s the moment that the targeted plant shrieks (if plants could shriek) and dies.  i have the opposite of a green thumb.  i am Meredith Black Thumb.

but not anymore!  the times, they are a changin!


i am grateful that these little buddies have decided to stick around.  and i am grateful for my roommate extraordinaire for remembering to water them when it miiiiight have slipped my mind.  finally, i am grateful because tonight i used fresh sweet basil & fresh rosemary to season my homemade chicken salad.

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holy snowstorm, batman!  after weeks and weeks of balmy winter weather, good ole mother nature decided to flex her muscles & send her pal jack frost our way.  with a freakin vengeance.

he looks so nice! too bad he's really not.


now, oklahomans are good at a lot of things.  like football.  and supporting football.  and being polite to strangers.  and knowing what to do during a tornado. 

however, you send a snowstorm our way & shit gets real…real bad. 

first, our snow plows aren’t the best.  nor are they the sharpest.  i saw several plows/sand trucks on the road weds when i had to work, and only 1/3 of them were performing their job.  the others were just moseying down the street like it was any other sunny day in the neighborhood.

second, there is always a frenzy at the grocery store the day before.  people are literally losing their damn minds trying to buy bread, milk, water, and (according to my friend the Pied Piper) ground beef & tomato paste.  i went to go buy a few things (all i had in my fridge was ketchup & 3.2 beer), took one look at the line to get a shopping cart, and bolted back to my car.  seriously?  a line for the shopping carts?!  insanity.

and finally, we suck at driving in the snow.  we do.  it’s horrible.  and you’re either a member of 2 groups.

group 1: big trucks going WAY to fast.  hey buddy, there’s ice under that snow…and your ford F1million doesn’t mean jack shit on ice.

group 2: your car is just completely unequiped to handle this.

me?  i’m a member of group 2.  after 4 yrs living in colorado, i know how to drive in snow.  heck, i can parallel park uphill in the snow in one try.  however, my dear dear car kenny is a complete failure in this weather.  bless his buttons.  he was made for long stretches of clear highway… not a blizzard.

so here is my story.

i went over to my mom’s house to pick up Mr Bix.  i had made it there a-ok & thought that it was going to be smooth sailing.

boy was i wrong.

i was almost home…aaaaalllllmost home.  and then, BAM!, stuck.  i did the appropriate “get unstuck” procedure.  but poor lil kenny is just crap on snow.  i got out, kicked some of the snow from the tire area, tried again, cursed, yelled, tried again.  nothing.  stuck city.  i got back out, kicked the snow again, cursed, yelled, tried again.  rinse & repeat 3 times. 

well, hell. how am i supposed to get out of this?!

a nice guy in a volvo suv got out & helped.  he was able to move it.  3 feet.  before stuck city again.  at which time he said “sorry, gotta go” and left the unhelpable kenny.

so i got out, kicked some snow, yelled, cursed, and tried again.

then a nice guy in a truck stopped.  he tried to tow kenny.  we moved 3 feet.  then stuck city again.  at which time he said “sorry, gotta go” and left the double unhelpable kenny.

so i got out, kicked some snow, yelled, cursed, and tried again.

then my mom & a nice guy in an altima got out & helped me push kenny.  we moved 3 feet.  stuck city.  at which time a neighbor came out of his house to help my mom, me, & nice altima guy push kenny.  we moved 3 feet.  quadruple stuck city.  then a nice guy in a bigger truck got out & helped my mom, me, nice altima guy, & nice neighbor guy push. 

all together now

finally.  Finally.  FINALLY, my mom zoomed off in kenny (she was steering…of course i wouldn’t make my mom push the car).  as i watched her zoom off, i realized that i wasn’t actually in the car.  and i needed to be.  crap on toast.  after being stuck, and unstuck 4 different times in 9 feet of space (and twisting my knee, btw), i finally get the car zooming & i’m not in it.

lucky for me, my mom is a smart cookie & pulled into the cleared parking lot of the gas station 2 blocks up.  so i helped push nice altima guy’s car because he was now stuck, and then trekked up to claim my car.

i prayed very very hard to sweet baby jesus on the ride home that if he helped me make it safe & sound the rest of the way home, then i would not tell any rude baby jesus jokes for a very long time.  so now i owe that to sweet baby jesus.

i’ve also vowed that next time i buy a car, i will not buy a sports car.  nope, i will not be lured by sleek lines and a fast engine.  i will buy a big car.  a big, eff off truck.  maybe i’ll buy an F1million. 

screw you horrible road conditions!

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i don’t know if you’ve heard, but i’m kind of a genius.

a soup genius that is.

somehow, after all these years of being culinarily challenged, i have found one…just one…tiny genre of food that i can make and have it not turn out tasting like poison.  yes, ladies and gentlemen, i can make the best freakin soup ever.  i’m like the martha freakin stewart of soups. 

yep, that’s me…bein an all around soup b’dass

ok, so maybe i’m not really martha freakin stewart.  and maybe i’ve only really made 3 soups.  but hey, 3 for 3 soups being not only edible but also quite tasty ain’t bad!  in fact, i think that’s the most success i’ve had in the kitchen ever.  ask me to make anything else, and i can pretty much guarantee that we’ll be ordering take-out in 5 minutes.

but soup, ah soup…you wonderful wonderfulness.  i love how easy you are to make (except for roux…that did take me a few attempts to master that one).  i love that i can take a chopping board full of delish veggies like this…


throw it in a pot with chicken stock, add some seasonings, simmer and turn it into this…

chicken, bacon, veggie goodness

and then, with a few different ingredients i can take the same process and alter it into a fantastic stew…

beef and sweet potato stew


special thanks to Annie Bee for the stew recipe and special thanks for KK in assisting me with roux part 2 (even when she’s lounging in hawaii).  blog high five to Emsy for being awesome company on our Soup Lunch Dates…and for making delish soups as well (her homemade chicken noodle is divine!)  and last, but certainly not least, a shout out to Hogie for being my soup tasting guinea pig extraordinaire.