Not My Circus

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I'm listening to Rob Lowe's new book right now.  In one section relating to drug and alcohol use (he is a recovering alcoholic, sober for many years) he states "I do not judge".  He then proceeds to gets really judgey, regarding those who do enjoy their cocktails too frequently or use drugs.  The book is read by Lowe himself, so the extent of his nonjudgmental-judging comes across quite plainly.

I was amused at first, until I realized that he sounded just like me.  Lately I have been struggling so much with judgment.  If someone doesn't do something the way I would- well, bless their heart!  They must be just upside down in their thinking!  I mask it to myself in the guise of concern and wanting to help some misguided soul do things the proper way.

 In reality?  It's me being critical.  Critical of how much money someone spends, or how they spend their free time, or whether they are a picky eater, or whether someone reads. . . why in the world do I give a shit?  I don't worry or fret about things much.  I don't tend to struggle with a longing for expensive things (um, anymore.  Not sure how I beat that one.)  So why do I create negative energy worrying about other's choices?

And when it comes down to it, I don't actually care.  My friends and loved ones make decisions I disagree with constantly, and I don't bat a eye or change my estimation of them.  However, I will get fixated on an issue that I disagree with and brainstorm ways to subtly guide someone to a path that I think is best.  It's ridiculous! (And there is absolutely no subtle way to tell someone they need to volunteer or expand their worldview without sounding self-righteous.  Perhaps because it's an incredibly self-righteous thing to suggest.)

Lord knows I'm not perfect.  People are likely judging me for the stack of unsent thank you notes waiting to be addressed on my desk (tonight!  I am going to get it done tonight!), my inability to remember birthdays or other dates of importance in others' lives, the long-standing unpedicured state of my feet, my tendency to be a hermit and not reach out to friends often enough, the amount of time I spend in yoga pants, that all my clothes come from Target or the toys scattered on my front walkway and the length of my grass. I'm just letting it all hang out in this post, huh?  It's pretty terrifying to admit to the world at large to your most annoying characteristic.

I tend to think pinning quotes on Pinterest is rather silly (here I go, judging again- this time strangers on social media), but this one really spoke to me-

So, every time I get worked up about a choice that is not mine, I will remind myself "Not my monkeys".  Or, in the language I converse in most, toddlerese-

Worry bout yourself!  You said it, honey.  Now I just have to do it.

Conversations with Dell Harper (Part 1)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On the way to school yesterday Miss Priss and I were having our normal morning chit-chat about current events ("Look, Mama!  Birdy go by!"), relationships ("I see Jack at school, Mommy.  Jack my friend." and arts and entertainment ("Mommy, I watch Frozen movie.  It my favorite. Elsa my friend.  Anna my friend. Olaf my friend.  They come play at my house?").

We passed a little church on the way and she said, "Look! A cross!" Impressed, I asked her if she learned about the cross in Sunday school.  She replied in the affirmative, and I then asked what else she learned about there.  She said "I learn about Jesus."  Even more impressed, I think back to her weekend baptism of Buddy and start envisioning her as a religious leader- providing faith and comfort to many, and changing the world.

Then she continues.

"Jesus say 'HO, HO, HO, Mommy.  Ho, ho, ho.  Ho, ho, ho."

Hmmm.  I guess Billy Graham  or Mother Theresa she ain't.    

Holly's Chicken Meatloaf

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our baby dinners have finally come to an end. I'm depressed. Morgan also mentioned that it is now time to remove the blue bow from the mailbox.  This is a capital BOO HOO!  I just love that damn bow (it also hides the disintegration of my mailbox.  Thanks, carpenter bees).

One of our last dinners was this great meatloaf that my friend Holly (her daughter's outgrown clothes comprise the majority of DH's wardrobe- she is my one-stop shop) brought over.  She described it as meatloaf you will love even if you don't like meatloaf.  I love meatloaf, and loved this.  Please excuse the iPhone pics of the leftovers consumed the next day.

I gobbled this up- it is simply delicious and very different from your typical meatloaf which is doused in ketchup and bread crumbs.

Holly's Best Meatloaf EVER

  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 good sized cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-1.5 t of salt
  • 1 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 t (or more to taste) cayenne pepper
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 pounds lean ground chicken
  • 1 lb of sausage meat (without fennel- Holly used bulk sausage and it was fab)
  • 3/4 cups panko crumbs
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and add the vegetables.  Cook stirring often, until he moisture has evaporated, about ten minutes.  Try not to brown them..  Set aside to cool briefly, then refrigerate for one hour.

Combine all of the spices with the eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat well.  Add the ketchup and half and half and blend well.

Preheat the oven to 375.  Let the meat "warm up" a bit at room temp before mixing with the panko and egg mixture.  Add the chilled veggies and knead everything with your hands for about five minutes.
Pout the mixture into a large baking dish and form a loaf the size of a large loaf of Italian bread (about 17"L x 5"W x 1.5"H.

Place the baking dish into a larger pan that can hold water halfway up the sides of the baking dish.  Pour boiling water into the larger baking dish.  Place the layered pans in the oven and cook the meatloaf uncovered for 35-40 minutes.  Let the meatloaf rest for 15  minutes after removing it from the oven.  Invariably, the fat comes out of this dish while baking.  I usually take the meatloaf out of the baking dish and blot with several paper towels before putting it on the serving dish.  This makes great cold leftover sandwiches and freezes well.

In other news- doesn't Deeds look adorable in his new clothes?  These are from Little Hoot Designs, which my dear friend Colleen owns.  I have loved their dresses and tees for DH, and now Deeds is finally getting some clothes other than pjs.
So serious here.  Probably pissed off that he is sitting in a bouncy seat in my flower beds while I work in the yard and Miss Priss plays with the hose.

I know Easter is over, but this family of bunnies has decided to permanently move to my kitchen table.  The extra bunny child has a revolving identity of Gigi, Jordan (my niece who was just visiting) or Ellie (DH's best friend), depending on Dell Harper's mood.  As always, we have some fascinating condos round these parts.