Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Kind of Rose?

My sweet friend Whimsy put out this quiz on her LJ blog ... "What type of rose are you?".

Yeah ... cause with a name like mine I'm going to totally not take THAT one!

Figured I would share the results. :-)

Neskaya Quiz: What Type of Rose are You? [Red]
You are passionate and romantic. Your have such passion when it comes to love that you find it to be one of life's sweetest things. You believe in love at first sight and wish that there were more love in the world. You are a caring sweetheart.

Neskaya.Net Quiz: What Type of Rose are You?

Neskaya.Net Quizzes: The Rose Quiz

Needless to say ... I'm feeling very good about myself at the moment. (I'm also wondering how this would have gone if I were feeling a bit cynical tonight. Hmmmm.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Life As I Know It Is Over

Did you feel the shift in the balance today?

I certainly did.

Life changed today.

It will never be the same.

Today two girlies turned thirteen.

Today I officially have three teenagers in my life.

Today, The Bickersons have joined their older sister in that transition period of life from child to young adult.

Today, instead of one package of raging adolescent hormones, I have three.

Three girlies that stand tall and beautiful, with intelligence and talent, that will - with the flip of an inner switch that no one can see, no one can control - without warning, mutate before my very eyes into a raging, weeping, screeching, foot stomping, chest heaving creature of warped defiance.

Then, just as suddenly, the mutation resolves and the transformation back into the sweet and lovely girlies that have been the light of my life and delight of my soul.

Yep ... It's happened. Life has marched on and now I am living in the danger zone. I have increased my whiplash insurance and purchased stock in my favorite haircolor . I have purchased mass quantities of migraine relief and stocked up the first aid kit with antiseptic and gauze, not to mention bandaids. I have also stocked up on various assortments of chocolates, including various types of brownies and ice cream, and made the aquaintace of a friendly bail bondsman.

Other than continual praying for an increase in my patience level, I don't know of anything else I can actually add to my survival kit.

I'd like to believe that weathering the coming years will be a breeze, however I have this fear that niggles in the back of my mind.

I keep hearing my mother's voice.

"I hope you have a teenage girl JUST LIKE YOU!"

The voice vibrates in triplicate.

Could someone please pass the paper bag? I feel the need to hyperventilate.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Condiment Craziness

Sometimes you simply have to shake your head and move on.
Sometimes you have to give in to the desire and rant.

Today I will be ranting. I've shaken my head, I've moved on time and again, but this morning I couldn't do it any longer.

Today I will be writing another of my sternly worded letters. Once again, I state up front that I realize I am a "lone voice in the wilderness". Perhaps some things get to me a bit more than they do others. That's okay. Sometimes I just have to speak my mind and this is the forum that I choose to do it in - my writing.

Because after you do something insane and drastic (and make people look at you like you've lost your everlovin' mind) ... it's nice to share it with friends ... right?

See ... once a week I treat myself to a fast food breakfast. I'm counting pennies alot lately and eating out is expensive when, for the cost of one dinner at my favorite little restaurant I can buy groceries that will fix atleast three, if not four meals. However, buying a couple of breakfast sandwiches or taquitos is relatively inexpensive and so I indulge myself.

Myself likes it. :-)

This morning's treat was two sausage, egg, and cheese taquitos from one of my favorite local fast food chains - Whataburger. These taquitos always come with a cheerful memory of living in Austin and being a Nanny. My girl and I would have them every other Friday morning. She loved them. So did I.

Now, I'm not a regular, but I have been doing this for the last few months and the same girl has been there running the window each time. She recognizes me, my car, and my order. Each time I place my order over the lovely box, I am asked if I want picante sauce with my order. Each time I reply "no thank you". I pull to the window and pass the girl my money along with my "Good morning". She replied, we smiled and she asked me again ... did I want picante sauce. Now, I would just like to say for the record that over the last few months I have replied to the negative each and every time. Nothing has changed. So, once again I shake my head to the negative and replied "No, thank you." She closed the window and I waited. She comes back to the window and asks AGAIN ... would I like picante sauce. I really tried to keep the look of total disbelief out of my face but I'm thinking I failed as the words "NO! THANK YOU." came from my lips. She hands me my bag and I proceed to pull out of the lane and towards the street. I set the bag to the side and something rattled. Now ... taquitos? They're fairly soft. Not so much with the rattling. So I opened the bag and looked and there sat two taquitos ... topped with four containers of picante sauce!

I could have just gone on.

I probably should have just gone on.

But I didn't.

I turned around and got back in the order lane. When the girl's voice came over the box I replied that I wasn't ordering, I was returning. Yeah ... that got her attention. I pulled up to the window and found, not just the order girl, but - surprise! - also her manager. I opened my bag. I pulled out the four containers. I handed them to the girl and told her that I would be really grateful if she would actually LISTEN to her customers. The I told the manager that his profit margin might increase if he would take a bit of time in training his people to first listen and then follow through. Over the last couple months I could have filled two jars of picante sauce from the packages I have refused and yet they still give me.

I'd like to point out here that I wasn't snippy and nasty, just frustrated at the waste because it just gets thrown away.

That was my morning and that is what has prompted my need to write a sternly worded letter ... in case anyone actually reads this blog, but more to just get it off my chest.


To the Presidents and CEOs of Drive Thru Food America -

Dear Sirs,

As one of the millions of people who have frequented your various establishments over the years I would simply like to say "Thank You".

Originally, I was only able to stock my refrigerator by filling my bottles of ketchup and mustard and mayonaise from the handfuls of condiments my bags would contain, whether I asked for them or not.

Over the years, I've been able to scratch butter and sour cream, picante sauce and cocktail sauce off of my grocery list, not to mention the barbeque sauce and the ranch dressing. Now, with the advent of offerings of items such as honey mustard, croutons, garlic butter, various hot sauces, etc. I am able to bypass the condiment aisle of my grocery store altogether! Awesome.

Plus, I cannot forget to give thanks to the pizza chains. Not only do I have an endless supply of grated parmesan cheese, but I also have more than enough red pepper flakes to give flaming heartburn to each pot of chili I prepare for the next 10 years.

Let us not forget the salt and pepper, those basic of condiments. I now have enough salt to protect my house from the most evil host of demons. (My apologies if you are not current on your demon lore. Might I suggest you turn to the CW show Supernatural on Thursday nights and find out how salt is more than just a seasoning?) As for pepper, well, let's just say that sneezing is never a problem around my household.

I would simply like to end this letter by saying thank you. Thank you for hiring people who do not listen. Thank you for training your employees that the customer gets it, whether they want it or not.

Oh! And thank you for raising the price of your menu items to cover your overhead losses caused by the handfuls of ketchup, of picante sauce, of ranch dressing, etc. over the years.

Sincerely yours,
A Condiment Customer

Now ... if you'll excuse me ... I'm heading out to get a hot dog for lunch. My relish jar was looking a bit low this morning.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Making Everything Better

On the way to work the other morning, I passed a semi-truck that was pulling out of the parking lot of the local Braums. For those that don't know, Braums is a chain of small ice cream and dairy stores that began in Oklahoma and now have locations in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas. According to my mom, it's one of the best ice creams ever. I tend to agree. Anyhow, as I passed this truck that had obviously been making a product delivery, I was caught by the slogan on the side panel.

"Braums Ice Cream Makes Everything Better"

Now, for those who aren't familiar with Braums, you aren't hearing the jingle in your head, but trust me ... it's one of those catchy, once it's there it's never leaving your head type of jingles. To simply read the slogan sets the jingle singing in my mind ... over and over and over and over.

So it was, after passing the truck and having the jingle solidly planted in my head, that I began to try and distract myself with other thoughts in order to push it out. No such luck ... not even the radio helped - it was time for the news. Unwillingly, at first, I gave into the thoughts and let my mind wander. Does Braums make everything better? Is it really Braums, or is it the ice cream that is creating the feelings of everything being better? Cause, over the years, I've eaten alot of different ice creams, in alot of different places.

There was the ice cream at our birthday parties growing up. Usually the Krogers store brand that was always kept handy in the gallon buckets in our deep freezer when we were young. Sweet and creamy, it would melt into the cake and make it soggy but it was always so good - especially with chocolate syrup and candy sprinkles and frosting from a birthday cake. The sugar high was a blast and probably the reason why cake and ice cream was the last thing on the agenda, so that friends were sent home with their parents before the frenzy truly began.

There was the ice cream at Swensons in Minnesota where my church youth group would congregate after church on Sunday nights. Amidst laughter and fun, shakes and mountains of flavored ice creams were shared as the weekend fun was rehashed and the coming week was anticpated. The garish red wall paper and the gleaming wood and brass of the tables and fixtures remain firmly in my mind, along with the gigantic bowl of flavors that was sat in front of me the last time I was there ... the night of my 17th birthday ... the night before I left Minnesota to move to Texas. Although the night of laughter and fun was bittersweet, the sharing of ice cream and memories was sweet and lasting.

When I was living in Austin, the nanny of a precocious infant/toddler/preschooler, of all the places one could go for ice cream, it was the Dairy Queen that was the best. During those years, nothing fancy was necessary. Simply a sunny afternoon, a child next to me in her car seat, (this was over twenty years ago folks), a trip to the park and a swirled cone of soft serve creamy goodness. Or a gloomy rainy day brightened by a child's laughter when the soft serve swirl was dipped in chocolate to give it a crunchy sweet crust. Who needed fancy dishes and gourmet toppings when they had moments like that to cherish?

Through the years ice cream seems to be a common thread for me, which is kinda funny considering when asked what I want especially for a dessert, it is usually the last thing I think of eating. Yet it fills those moments ... those memories ...

... the pink divinity ice cream that was from Byerlys in Minnesota only at Christmas time ...

... the mini ice cream sandwiches that are passed out at Broken Arrow's Rooster Days parade byt the employees of our local Blue Bell creamery ...

... the Ben & Jerry's that keeps me company during new episodes of Supernatural on Thursday nights (Season Four premieres September 18th on the CW - Woot!) ...

... the rich and creamy dish of Schwann's ice cream as I enjoy a quiet evening at my parents house, watching television and talkng ...

... and tells me that it doesn't really matter what brand of ice cream is being eaten. It's the company, the memory, the moment that is really the most important, the most wonderful part.

The ice cream just makes everything better.