Friday, October 23, 2009

Mystery Solved (and it's kinda sad)

One of my favorite things when I was little was going to the bank, because they always gave out dum-dums. You know those little suckers... YUMMY! To this day I can't see a dum-dum without feeling like a Pavlovian dog that I should go to the bank. Anyway, my favorite flavors were butterscotch and root beer, and my sister's favorite was lime-- unless there was a "MYSTERY" then we would fight over that one. You know the one that had the little question marks on the wrapper instead of a picture of fruit. The mystery flavor was the best because you never could tell quite what it was... It was like pina colada-butterscotch-grape all in one... and we would argue over what the flavor was, thinking that of course our taste buds' deciphering ability was far superior to anyone else around.
Well the other day while watching a show on the food network I discovered the secret of the mystery flavor. Spoiler alert: You are about to learn the unexciting truth, and may prefer to remain blissfully unaware and form your own opinions about the actual flavor of the mystery flavored sucker. This may ruin nostalgic childhood experiences for you-- it did for me.
As it turns out in the lovely factory where dumdums are made they have more flavors than they have vats to mix them in, and so several flavors are made in the same vat. However they do not fully clean and purge all lines before a new flavor goes through... so there is this in-between stage where coconut may be followed by blue raspberry, but they are mixed for a certain portion of suckers... It is these mixed/hybrid/mutt suckers that fall into the mystery flavor bin to receive the wrapper with the purple question marks... and THAT is the secret of the mystery flavor. It is not a flavor at all, it is a leftover. Don't believe me???
See, I told you it was a little sad.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Groovy Babies

Everyone and their dog is having babies right now. I'm not really into buying baby gifts, I just can't get excited about it. But inspired by my friend Erin, I found a way to combine baby gift-giving with one of my favorite things to do-- TIE DYE.
I purchased a package of diapers and onesies to create some unique pretty baby girl gifts. I dyed and tie-dyed and hand stitched on a few embellishments and... VIOLA! Baby gifts I can get excited about. This is a set of hand dyed burp clothes and onesies going to a baby girl who will be born next month. It took me about 2 hours from start to finish to complete this project. Not bad. I am really happy with the way it turned out. The tie-dye is soft and pretty in pink but still fun and groovy in a stylin' baby kind of way. :)

Heart Redheads

I don't know what this fixation is that I have with redheads. I just love them so much. I am pretty much devastated that I was born with pale to dishwater blonde hair and definitely do not have the coloring to ever pull off red hair.
I desperately wish I had more red-headed friends.
I am trying to figure out if there is any way I will someday have a redheaded child. I don't think I will. I may have to adopt one.
Seriously though, redheads are just so interesting to look at.
We went to this bridal show one day and I found the most stunning redheaded girl. I was seriously about to go up to a complete stranger and ask her to be in my wedding party. I told *Francesca she had been replaced, but being a good friend and understanding my quirks and love for all things red-headed she willingly made the sacrifice. In the end it didn't work out.
But I do love red-heads. So very very much.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Unfounded Assumption of Trampiness

I was having lunch with my boss and some co-workers the other day and I happened to mention that at the end of the month I would be moving into a new place. They asked what my move in day was and I made the mistake of saying "We will be moving the 23rd" immediately everyone perks up-- WE? Oh, so you are moving in with your boyfriend? You and Preacher boy living together before marriage? Apparently they can't pass over a good scandal.
"No no no no... I'm moving, he's not moving in til next may when we are married, he'll be helping me move." I tried to correct them, but the damage is already done. And I get, "So you are doing the: pay two rents to keep up appearances thing" and "Oh, everyone knows you guys are shacking up anyhow"
Wait-- what? What does everyone know and what is your source for this info? Because there is no shacking up-- none. Trust me, I think if anyone knew for sure it would be me. And they all respond with sideways looks and patronizing nods. They don't believe me, and now I am really uncomfortable for several reasons... 1) Maybe I am not really cool with discussing this with my co-workers to begin with 2) Since we are discussing it, and I can't even set the record straight... how can I win? I can't.
So what it comes down to is I have all the reputation of being a trampy whore without any of the actual benefits of trampy whore-dom. Perfect. But it gets better because they also believe I am lying about being a trampy whore. So that's cool. I'm a liar, a tramp, and I'm still not gettting any. My life is awesome.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thoughts on today

Started off the day approx a half hour earlier than usual. I pretty much just got up the first time the alarm went off, not the third. Turns out I prefer to have extra minutes in my day and not be flying out the door with just mascara and lipgloss on and a slimfast shake in me hand. The result is a more pleasant, put together, attractive Valerie who also had time to make her bed this morning. NICE. Did some research on wedding related stuff today... started the day feeling good about it, ended the day in a big pile of I don't give a crap about this wedding anymore. So thats lovely. I inquired with my groom about eloping. I was serious. He blew off my request. Later we were discussing wedding related things and he seems to think that if I decided he was going to wear pink for our wedding he could a) say no or b) bargain (i.e. okay, I'll wear pink, but you have to make it worth my while) This is my shaking my head while clicking my tongue. This man knows so little about me-- it's a tad disconcerting considering he plans to marry me in seven months, but I suppose that is his problem not so much mine. Make it worth his while. Pshh. How about option c) just do what Valerie says, Army T-shirt. Ooh, I am exceptionally snarky and bridezilla-ish today. Mmmm... it's like... vintage Valerie. Love it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Canning is sexy

I have believed for a long time that I was born in the wrong era. My love for all things house-wifey and traditional methods of food prep and preservation really have me better suited for a much earlier era. I was standing at the stove making apple butter today lamenting the fact that so few people can these days... and that most people my age would find my love for this process laughable. sigh. I love canning. It's a beautiful thing. My favorite part is when everything is in the cans and you are just waiting for it to seal and you hear pop, pop, pop which means you did it right!
I like to imagine myself in an age where people (or young men?!) find traditional home cooked foods more appealing than a 2 minute fast food run to arby's. Or a time when an hour glass figure the the ability to cook well were highly sought after attributes in a woman my age.
I have always had this fantasy that one day I would be standing at my stove doing something crazy cool like making apple butter or a pie from scratch and my husband walks in looks at me and tells me his wife cooking for him is the sexiest thing he can possibly think of (and, since you insist on knowing, I am most definitely wearing a June Cleaver-ish dress, heels, and pearls in this fantasy) and then with me glowing in the adoration of the man I love we probably eat pie and spend the rest of our day watching TV or something (you don't really need details)... but the point of my story is, I have always had this dream that cooking was sexy... SIGH.
Occasionally while cooking I try to convince myself that this is actually the case...
Okay, well, I have heard about 6 of the 8 jars pop which means they are sealing now, and my blog break from apple butter is over--I need to go wash dishes. Ugh. Not so sexy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Limited by my blog

I kind of feel like blogging was much more therapeutic for me when it was anonymous and no one actually read it. Don't get me wrong-- the idea that there is actually an audience for my thoughts and ramblings does wonderful tings for my already over-sized ego-- but there are some things that I can't really get away with anymore. In the past, every time I got really angry or annoyed or needed to vent I would blog. I used to do it all the time... it's how I deal with things... writing. And there was a certain thrill to going anonymously public with your thoughts. It was just a venue to get what was inside my head out of my head and then I felt a sense of release from it. It was cathartic. But... I have come to a point where I can't really do that anymore, because now people know the author of this blog and and people actually read this blog (which is weird for me) and now, when I need a good vent or want to put my thoughts and frustrations out there so they are out of my head--- well, it ends up sounding more like a snarky passive aggressive jab at those I am otherwise quite fond of. Which... is never really my intention.
I guess I am just feeling the limited today. Sort of. I guess.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Waste of a good haircut

We were supposed to get engagement pictures taken today but our beautiful fall weather got rained out... and no pictures were taken. I was pretty disappointed because I was looking forward to having the pictures taken, but also (and I am sure this shocks you) because I have been meticulously planning and preparing for these pictures so that everyone involved looks their best for the pictures that shall go down in infamy. Okay, so perhaps I am being dramatic, but i did manage to perfectly time haircuts and color for two people and 2 dogs. And do you know how hard it is to get fiance to cut his hair? Seriously I had to make the appointment drive him there sit there while he was having his hair cut and pay for it. All that and we arrive at the day of pictures only to be rained out... and the rain date? Um... next month. He's going to need another haircut by then! UGH! Sooooo... all that for nothing, and the waste of a perfectly good haircut. boo.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So I went to the doctor today becuase I have felt LOUSY the past couple days. As it turns out, i should have been feeling lousy, because I have an upper respiratory infection and bronchitis. Not so fun. The most frustrating symptom is just fatigue and exhaustion. I could sleep all day get up and drink a glass of water and be so exhausted I need to go back to sleep all night. It's so incredibly frustrating to know you have so much to do but don't have the energy to stand long enough to do it. even now as I am typing this I am leaning my head against the side of the couch so I don't actually have to hold it up. And I have been awake for a solid 4 hours now, so it's time for me to go back to hibernating. So it's more water and back to bed for a Valerie. I need to feel better soon... tomorrow is kinda a big deal!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Pronunciation: \ˈfȯr-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin fortitudin-, fortitudo, from fortis
Date: 12th century

1 : strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Prayer

Today is a weird day. There seems to be a heaviness about it. So many people around me are hurting and burdened and I can't help but be exceptionally aware of it. I feel as though some action should be required of me, but don't know how I can help other than prayer. And perhaps that is all the action that is required of me... though I am feeling lost and unsure how to continue to pray. All I feel the heaviness of those hurting around me and all I can think is I know this is not what God intended for his children.
Lord, hear our prayers.

Mad crafty skills

I made this really cool bracelet for my wedding. I am making other wedding jewelry as well, but only have the bracelet done right now. It took several hours to figure out, but once I got the technique down I cranked it right out. I really like the way it turned out and even though I only have kind of crappy pics of it, I am still really proud and needed to share with you the fruits of my labor. It sparkles a lot in person.
Zachary didn't even have a clue he was marrying a girl with crazy mad crafty skills. What luck! ;)

Continuing Education

So I've been feeling pretty bad about myself recently. I've been bummed and feeling uneducated and inadequate. Maybe because I feel like all my friends are in grad school and here I am (with a degree that is mostly useless to me at this point) working a lame job as a receptionist. And it's a fine job, but it's not really fulfilling. I decided I needed to do something either academic or utilizing my talents and passions in some way...
When I expressed this desire to the fiance the other day he wasn't exactly encouraging. Well, to be fair, I guess I can see where he is coming from. He is working through his last year of undergraduate work and wondering how we are going to have money to live and him go to seminary and I am supposed to be saving for our honeymoon and helping him pay for school when I say-- I think I want to go back to school. And I won't say he discouraged the idea... but he acknowledged that I probably do feel this way and that I probably should do something to utilize my talents and pursue a career I would enjoy but thats something we could look at in a few years. He was maybe a tad patronizing.
So... I... was frustrated and ignored what he said and did some research on language courses and culinary schools and settles on the latter. Went ahead and signed up-- starting in January. I couldn't be more excited. A bit impulsive-- I know, but that's the only way I get things done. When I told him about it tonight, he didn't have much response. And I guess I don't know what I really expected his response to be... but I didn't expect it to be a nothing.
So now I have this really yucky feeling of unfulfilled inadequacy mixed with disappointment and it sits in my stomach like a heavy rock. I really wanted him to be encouraging and excited for me. Maybe he is just taking time to process.
I wish he didn't process. I wish I were not so impulsive. Regardless, Culinary Arts school in January... here I come.