Category Archives: How We Roll

Hey! My Jeans Don’t Fit. All Over Again.

With all the yoga, herbal supplements, meditation and mostly gluten free eating I’ve been trying lately to manage this silly panic/anxiety affliction I’ve acquired, I have some good news.

I’ve lost some weight.

And not just some weight. I’ve lost about 17 pounds. So far. (I’m optimistically counting on more. Trust me. I could stand a few more.) 

Whoo-hoo! Go Me!

That’s the good news.

The bad news? My clothes don’t fit. Again.

“But this is one of my favorite pairs,” I cry. “I can’t get rid of these.”

“Fine,” my husband says, “Look like a homeboy hangin’ out in the prison yard.”

He has a point.

jeansdiet

You’d think losing a little weight would be a good thing, right? An excuse to go shopping. Update the old wardrobe. But no. It’s not.

First of all, I’m cheap. In a good way. But cheap, all the same. I’m on a roll, without eating the rolls.  I’m planning on going down at least another size. I can’t afford to re-do my entire wardrobe. But until then, I need some clothes that don’t slide down past my hips, revealing my Calvin Kleins. I enter the dressing room, armed with a half dozen pairs of jeans.

One pair is too tight.

One pair is too loose.

One pair is dragging on the ground or cutting me in the crotch or too loose around the thighs but fine everywhere else.

There is only one common denominator. Wait. Make that two common denominators.

1.) They are all the same size.

And…

2.) None of them are just right.

So I walked out of the store with nothing. Just my baggy ol’ pants that look like I borrowed them from my husband. Or my cellmate.

How could all the same size of the same style of clothing give such different results on the new, thinner me?

We are bombarded with print ads showing us how we should look. We compare ourselves to the other moms at the neighborhood pool. We criticize what we see in the mirror, no matter what size.

I was convinced if I went down a size (which I have) I’d be happier. I’d look so much better and I’d feel fantastic.

I am happy. I do look better. But I don’t feel fantastic.

I don’t know about you, but I need to feel good in my clothes. I want them to be comfortable and I’d like to think they are flattering. But those outfits are too far and few between. I may have lost the weight, but I haven’t lost my critical self. And it’s depressing to think that no matter what the size, I may never feel satisfied.

But all the criticizing in the world doesn’t make up for the fact that much of what is out there is just plain unpredictable and uncomfortable. I admit. I’m not much of a shopper. But is it too much to ask that a size X be a size X and fit like all the other size X’s out there?

Is it?

Apparently, it is.

Ah well. Just another excuse to go shopping again.

Anyone want to come with?

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Filed under How We Roll, Observations

It’s Official. Jane Is A Twit.

Hell must have frozen over.

I’ve joined the Twitter bandwagon.

And too late, according to my daughter. Because now, all the rage is Instragram and Snapchat and Pingram.me.

Nonetheless, I’m officially a Twit. (Give me a few minutes to catch my breath.)

Watching the Colbert Report the other night, I am reminded that even the Pope is on Twitter. The Pope!  Oh sure, I knew about Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy announcing their separation via Twitter or the Chris Brown/Jenny Johnson Twitter battle. Some of my Facebook friends have Twitter accounts. And of course, the younger set is all about the tweet.

But the Pope?

I had to see what’s it all about. (Cue Beastie Boys – Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!)

So, here I sit, 2 hours later. An account has been created. I scrolled though the suggestions and followed a few people. I muddled through the WordPress instructions to add a scroll to my sidebar. I’d love to just have a tweet button but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. I’m not sure ALL of you should be subjected to my errant tweets. But it is what it is. A work in progress. Kinda like me.

What You Will Learn About Me Should You Choose To Follow

1. My name is not really Jane. It’s Maureen. And my grandmother called me Reenie. So, my handle (does that make me sound like a trucker?) is @reeniejane. Because the combinations of Maureen and Jane were all taken.

2. I’m not very prolific. With witty comments, anyway.  That I’ll remember. And think to Tweet. Oh, a gem may escape my lips a couple times a day but heck if I’ll be able to remember it long enough to unlock my phone, click on Twitter and type it all in with my fat, chubby phalanges. But fingers (you say phalanges, I say fingers) crossed. We all need goals in life.

3. I’m a follower. I hear or read something that someone else has said and I’ll crack up or nod vigorously and then say, “Wish I had thought of that first.” It’s a curse.

4. I’m about two steps above a luddite. I didn’t used to be. During my teaching days I led a statewide seminar on how to use laptops in the classroom. But that was over 10 years ago. My, the times they are a-changin’. I’m so far behind I fear I’ll never catch up.

So, I’m a late-Tweeter. I own my title of Twit proudly. It’s the only title that fits after waiting this long.

Gonna try this thing out and see where it takes me.

<snort>

Like I need something else on my plate now.

What was I thinking?

And why does anyone else care what I think?

Sigh.

Who knew the responsibilities of being a Twit would be such a burden.

And this Twit is only 3 hours old.

(All advice, tips, tricks and suggestions are welcome.) 

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Filed under How We Roll

One Hundred And Eighteen Shades of Grey

Do you own one of those handy dandy color wheels? You know, the ones decorators use?

We do.

Don’t ask me why. Neither my husband or I can claim any talent in the decorating department. Although, we do watch a lot of HGTV together.

colorwheel

Have you ever noticed the crazy color names? Forceful Orange. Hyper Blue. Gusto Gold. Heartthrob. Lime Rickey. (Sure, set me up, barkeep!)

Well, after watching a lot of HGTV over the past year or so, my husband has decided to jump on the grey wagon. It seems everyone out there is painting their rooms shades of gray. And no, I don’t think it has anything to do with the popularity of that racy novel, although, I wonder if that racy novelist has been watching as much HGTV as we have.

We grabbed the color wheel and starting ticking through the colors.

Charcoal. Nope. Too dark.

Nuance. Too light.

Solitude. Too lonely.

There were the smart greys: Analytical Gray, Intuitive, Worldly Grey, Imagine, Balanced Gray. Even Intellectual Grey.

There were the dull grays: Mild Grey, Polite Gray, Reticence, Useful Grey, Proper Gray, Essential. And Modest Grey.

“What about Passive Gray?” my husband asked, holding the color swatch to the wall.

“Hmmmm. I don’t know. What do you think?” I replied.

“Aloof?”

“Eh,” I shrugged.

“What about Ponder?”

“I’ll have to think about that one,” I said.

“Agreeable Gray?”

“Of course!” I chimed.

Finally, he gets it and we’re in a fit of giggles.

After one hundred and eighteen shades of grey, which color did we finally go with?

Hinting Blue.

Guess we’re not as trendy as we thought we were.

(To accommodate my outside America readers, I’ve evenly distributed equal spellings of grey and gray. Interesting note: “In the U.K., grey appears about twenty times for every instance of gray. In the U.S. the ratio is reversed.” I have to admit. After writing this post, both spellings look wrong to me now.)

 

 

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Filed under funny, How We Roll, Marriage, Observations

Cheers To Simplicity This Holiday Season!

I am choosing simplicity this holiday season.

art-santa1-420x0

No elaborate Christmas light display this year for us. – Which means we didn’t spend the $1000 (?!?) to have our home professionally lit by off-season landscapers. Who does that? (Sadly, quite a few in our neighborhood.) Except for our two tasteful mini-lit trees flanking our door and the traditional candles in each window, I’ve convinced my husband to skip his traditional fling-up-to-see-what-branches-the-Christmas-lights-hit approach to decorating our yard. Seriously. One thousand dollars? You could feed a small village for that amount.

No lugging every single Christmas decoration box up from the basement. After a day of decorating, I called it quits. The tree is up. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. I have my favorite advent calendar, a homemade advent wreath, a creche, a few favorite Santas and snowmen. But that’s about it. I looked around and thought, this looks festive enough. Key word = enough. Less clutter. More time for baking. Sounds good to me. And to my kids.

No guests to entertain for the first time………well, ever. The Jane household will be empty-ish. Just us. Me. Husband. Three adorable children. It will be quiet. It will be sane. It will be easy. Compared to years past, when we’ve entertained 3-4 weeks straight, of various out-of-town relatives and friends, this holiday season will be a breeze!

No laundry list of gifts to purchase. After working two food drives and our typical Salvation Army bell ringing stint the boys have decided they have too many toys! Well, that and the fact that they would love a pricey handheld gadget this year and knew they’d have a better chance of receiving it if it was the only thing on their list. I don’t care. Less shopping for me, less wrapping for my husband. Win-win-win.

No menus to create. I’m gonna stick with the standbys. Honeybaked ham, scalloped potatoes and bacon brussel spouts for Christmas Eve. Turkey, turkey fixin’s, green beans and lemon cranberry jello salad for Christmas Day. My famous-I-can-make-it-in-my-sleep-cranberry-relish will grace both meals. Come to think of it, all the above recipes I can make in my sleep. Holiday cooking this year will be a piece of pie! Probably apple. I haven’t decided yet.

No jam packed weekends for the month of December. My husband and I sat down and actually said no to a few invitations this year. It felt naughty but now our weekends look nice. Relaxing even. We’re actually looking forward to the few things we have penciled in. What a concept.

No blogging schedule to follow. For a few weeks, anyway. I’m taking a break to enjoy the season, enjoy my family and enjoy the peace and quiet we are actually going to be able to enjoy during this frightfully busy time of the year. I haven’t left. I promise not to disappear. But I’m taking a bit of a long winter’s nap to recharge.

Wishing you all a very Merry, Happy, Joyful, Restful, Relaxing, Healthy, Peaceful, Simple Holiday Season and New Year!

(And provided the doomsday prophets aren’t right and we find the Mayan’s new calendar, I’ll see you next year!)

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Filed under Holiday, How We Roll

My Daughter Calls It Barf. But In A Good Way.

We all have go-to recipes we can make in our sleep. Even if it’s just to pop our favorite Stouffer’s meal in the microwave.

I came across this Creamy Tomato Sausage pasta recipe years and years ago. My daughter loves it. She requested it weekly. Now that she’s in college, it’s the first thing she asks for when she comes home.

It’s easy. It’s yummy. And it looks like this:

(Not my picture. This photo is all over the internet so I figured it was safe to use. Although, not accurate. I don’t put fancy garnishes on my home-cooked meals. I can’t make a fresh loaf of bread to save my life. And I serve straight out of the pot off the stove. A little imagination is always necessary when reading my posts.)

I have no name for my creamy, tomato pasta creation that happens to have sausage in it. For years it was just called “That Creamy Pasta Dish.” That is, until my daughter got sick on an outing with her father.

“Hey, Mom! I frew up! And it looked just like that dinner you make!” said my 6-year-old with glee.

I knew exactly what she was talking about and my stomach turned.

But time passed and I had forgotten about her not so flattering reference to my go-to dish.

Until I made it again.

“See Mom?” she said, holding up her plate, “It looks just like BARF!” And she put her plate down and dug in with gusto as only a 6-year-old can.

I was mortified. My husband, amused.

But as I looked over my plate and saw the pinkish sauce with chunks of tomato and little blobs of gray matter I realized, she was right.

I pushed my plate away.

Yet, despite the disgusting observation, it’s still a family favorite. I’m over my squeamishness now, and it’s back on the menu.

And it’s been re-named, “Barf.”

Privately.

And in a good way.

(I am not a foodie or a food blogger. So please take that information with a grain of salt as I try to share the recipe with you now. Try it. If you dare.

Brown a tube of breakfast sausage or ground Italian sausage squeezed out of the casings. Drain a bit of the fat. Add two 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes with oregano and garlic. Heat through. Add a bit of dried basil and more oregano if you’re an oregano fan. If you’re on a diet stop here and throw the mixture over some pasta. (But if you do this you haven’t made the recipe right and frankly, it’s just not worth eating. You have been warned.) Add heavy cream until it becomes a pale pink color. Taste. Season. And if it’s summer and your basil is going wild, do a rough chop and add some fresh basil now. Pour sauce over wagon wheels or rotini or any other bumpy pasta that will catch all the delicious sauce. Top with freshly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Dig in!)

(This post was gratefully inspired by a writing prompt at Mama Kat’s. Please visit and check out more inspired posts!)

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Filed under family, How We Roll

The Greatest Lie Ever Told (And I’m 99.9% Sure You Are Guilty)

“I have read the terms and conditions…..”

Check. Or click.

Whatever.

That’s about as far as I get. I read those first seven words and I click away. Without ever reading said terms and conditions. I just cross my fingers and hope for the best.

Every once in a great while it won’t let you click the handy terms and conditions box unless you at least scroll through said terms and conditions.

So I do.

“The legal agreements set out below….blah, blah, blah,……Neither issuer nor BlahCorp. is responsible for….blah, blah, blah,……Your use of the Services includes the ability to….blah, blah, blah….”

But does anyone really ever get that far? Don’t you just scroll as quickly as you can and then click?

I admit it. I do.

Don’t they all say basically the same thing?

“We (BlahBlah Corp.) own your finger clicking if you use our service. And you (the user) are responsible for all the clicks you click on our site. We (BlahBlah Corp.) have our butts covered and you (the user) are on your own.”

(Oh. I feel so used.)

They spell it all out. Everything they will and will not provide. There is nothing left to chance or good faith or sound moral character.

And we blindly click. Annoyed with the legal jargon and irrelevant circumstances and idiot proofing.

Why can’t there be an easy to read, concise and precise terms and conditions agreement?

Something like this:

“We, BlahBlah Corp., own every finger click on this site. If you don’t trust our site, don’t click here.”

End of story.

Simple. Concise. And true.

In our litigious society, putting blind faith and trust into a company or website is dangerous. And unfortunately, the companies can’t trust us, either. So we are stuck with a silly step where we click a box saying we’ve read something when we haven’t.

Admit it.

When was the last time you read, completely and fully, a terms and conditions document?

I know.

Me either.

At least we are all lying together.

But not in bed.

Because I’m married.

And that bed would get pretty crowded.

 

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Filed under All In A Day's Work, How We Roll, Observations

What Will You Do To Spread Some Magic Today?

I saw this story awhile ago.

It warmed my heart then.

It warms my heart now.

Freddie Wieczorek works part-time at Walt Disney World, checking the bags of the guests who flock to Magic Kingdom. Encouraged to spread the magic, as all Disney employees are encouraged to do, he bought an autograph book and began asking the children who came through the gates dressed in costume for their autograph.

In his 4+ years at Disney he’s collected over 1,400 signatures (sometimes scribbles, depending on the age.) To see their faces light up when they’ve been “mistaken for the real thing” brings him such joy. And he is spreading joy to the child, the parents and those who witness the scene.

It’s no secret I love Walt Disney and the empire he began. I love the magic. I love the joy. I love the many, many employees like Mr. Wieczorek who embrace the Disney philosophy and take it that extra step.

Seeing this photo again reminded me that I don’t have to wait to go to Disney World to experience the magic. I can make my own right here, right now.

What will you do to spread some magic today?

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Filed under How We Roll, Lessons Learned