I Had NO IDEA What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up!

“What did you want to be when you grew up?” was one of the prompts at Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop this week. I thought I’d throw my two-cents’ worth in, since I’m probably one of the few children to grow up in America with no clue what they wanted to do when they grew up! I was a list-maker and a goal-setter as far back as I can remember. As soon as I could write I insisted on a constant supply of these:
notebooks
I’m not sure how old I was, since Mom dropped me off for kindergarten and I came home on the bus as a first grader. Being one of the youngest in my class was a bit of a bummer, especially the year everyone turned sixteen and got their driver’s license, so I’m grateful Mom didn’t bump me forward another year when they suggested it a few years later.

I thought school was fun, and I always loved going back to school each fall. The only exception was my one experience with bullying, but it was so carefully done I had no idea what had happened to make me lose all my friends until years later. I read constantly, sometimes finishing two books a day in the summer. My dad had his Master’s in Engineering, so he taught me Trigonometry for fun one weekend when I was a little girl. This served me well since it meant I could sleep through first period Trigonometry in high school after being out way too late the night before. I aced the class, so my teacher gave me a pillow on the last day of class – LOL!

But enjoying school isn’t a job skill. If I could have gotten paid to learn things and take tests that would have been awesome! Anyone hiring? And I am probably the clumsiest person ever. Did I mention that I met my husband when I threw open a door and knocked him into a stack of pickle buckets? Or the time I was a salad bar girl and slipped and dropped a gallon of French dressing? I can’t stand the smell of French dressing to this day. And all my activities on the all-important college scholarship application involved only sitting, standing, and speaking. Individually, not at the same time. I’d have loved to be part of the color guard (what we used to call “flag girls”) in the marching band, but I knew full well that a long metal pole was not something I could be trusted to swing around.

I enjoyed cutting animals open in Anatomy and Physiology, and I always liked writing papers in English, but I got my second B in Physics and dropped that sucker like a hot potato, ruling out majors like Pre-Med, Engineering, and Architecture. And yes, my first B was in gym. I got an 11% on the free-throw test. My mom tried to help. She insisted I take a typing class “just in case”. That was more like an acting class since I refused to wear my glasses and Mom hadn’t given in on the contact argument yet. And my fingers are too short to hit the home keys accurately. So I’d hold my glasses up long enough to memorize whatever was on the board, then type away as fast as I could with two fingers of each hand. Thankfully, my teacher had mercy on me and never came to the back row. Cross out all careers involving typing. What’s left? Cutting open animals. So I earned scholarships and checked “Nursing” on the application form at the University of Kentucky. I didn’t know it was a selective college with a waiting list. I didn’t know anyone who was a nurse. I knew for damn sure I wasn’t going to pin on some silly hat to go to work. But I was a nurse, a pretty good one, for twenty years, and I have never had a nursing cap on my head. Now I write. With four fingers.

But lest you think I was drifting through childhood with no goals let me assure you my mom had goals for me. She wanted me to be Miss Kentucky and then become a paramedic, just like Randolph Mantooth on the TV show Emergency. (Randolph was an actor on the show, but was not Miss Kentucky – just to clarify.)The one episode I remember is when they got a call that a lady was in a bubble bath and had gotten her toe stuck in the faucet. I’m not a paramedic for the same reason I was never an ER nurse. There are many situations in which my only possible response is to look a person in the eye, say, “You are a dumbass,” and walk away. That would have made for a very short episode/career.
moms-goals
One of Mom’s proudest moments was when after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a 3.5 GPA, passing my State Boards on the first attempt, and being hired by a critical care unit that hadn’t hired a new grad in a decade, I passed the ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) Exam, which was at that time the tippy-top exam paramedics could take. But the Miss Kentucky thing was simply never gonna happen. I’ve never been able to walk in heels, I have absolutely no talent, and although I don’t mind public speaking I tend to ramble and talk with my hands. No crown for me! But she’s got the cutest little step-grand-daughter with blonde curls and a “take no prisoners” attitude that I think may just pull it off!

Novenas and Senior Superlatives

7qt_lyceum_v2

— 1 —

I have completed so many more novenas since I starting getting regular emails from the Pray More Novenas site. The right ones just always seem to come at the perfect time! I just finished a novena for marriage and family with the Nativity of Mary yesterday, and saw the first pictures of my grandchild, just the size of a raspberry! I’m afraid Pinterest is going to shut me down for pinning too much per day – LOL!
little-worf-7w3d

— 2 —

My youngest told me he was filling out his nomination form for senior superlatives the other day, and that brought back some fond memories! My husband and I both pulled out our old yearbooks to see how categories have changed over the years. Surprisingly, they haven’t changed that much!! Wendy is still Most Humorous, Jennifer is still Most Friendly, and I guess I’m still an appropriate Miss Bryan Station since the entire building had to be torn down and rebuilt a few years ago!!

— 3 —

Here are the Senior Superlatives I’d like to see included:

Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse. This person would have to be clever, adaptable, and not too sentimental. The yearbook photo shoot would be awesome!

— 4 —

Most Likely to End up on a Reality TV Show. The perfect category for those attention-seeking people whose behavior and clothing choices make even their best friends cringe.

— 5 —

Will Have the Largest Family. This alone will be a reason to attend reunions! Did someone have quintuplets? Adopt an entire orphaned family? Have several of their own and then marry someone with several more? I’d love to know who has the biggest family in my graduating class, and I’d be so jealous!

— 6 —

Most Likely to Commit a Felony. This doesn’t have to be a “bad” thing. It could be a crime committed while bravely disarming a terrorist. It could be killing a fiend with a van full of children he was planning to sell into sex slavery. Then again, it could me a meth cook or a rapist. Interesting to see which way the student body and/or the nominees take it!

— 7 —

Most Likely to Age Well. My friends Wendy, Jennifer, and Kim would be in a dead heat for that one! Without a name tag I doubt anyone would even recognize me. But that’s OK. Back then I was lying out in the sun slathered in baby oil and iodine and wearing size three jeans thinking I was fat – LOL!!!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

Fast, Frugal, Family Comfort Food Any Time!

Who else feels like the first month or so of school each year is just crazy? I’d love to say, “Not my circus, not my monkeys!” and throw up a well-manicured hand. But this is my circus, and those are my monkeys! (And I haven’t had a manicure in almost eighteen years – LOL!) So, as in the wild, show no fear, no stress. Then, when the whole family is at home for supper, or possibly even awake at the same time for breakfast (gasp!) gather ’round for some comfort food.
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I tease my son about being physically attached to his phone (he sleeps with it in his hand, like his brother before him) but maybe I should keep mine closer and download a few more apps. Meijer’s mPerks app, for example.

I knew it would find me coupons, so I waited until I’d found everything before I pulled out my phone. Here are the awesome coupons I found:

  • $0.75 off 1 Hungry Jack pancake & waffle mix
  • $0.75 off 1 Jif Flavored Spread
  • $0.75 off 1 Hungry Jack syrup

v2mperksBut waiting until I was in the store and had already shopped to download the app cost me about fifteen minutes and a lot of muttered curses. Why? I downloaded the wrong coupon for pancake mic, because I was buying the Hungry Jack Complete version. “Just add water” – that’s my kind of recipe! And I couldn’t find the peanut butter aisle! The mPerks app pulls it up in a hot second. But why is it in aisle 13?
jif-spread-shopping
I consider Jif Peanut Butter to be essential to life. It should be on that endcap at the front of the store where they have eggs, milk, and bread. If the Zombie Apocalypse is coming I’m stockpiling peanut butter. If I have to go too far into the store odds are I’m going to get bitten. But perhaps the Zombie Apocalypse has already started and I didn’t notice because they don’t want people, they want peanut butter! This could be a serious problem! It’s a good thing Meijer has placed their Jif products on the end of the aisle!#thingsIworryabout But the peanut powder – it’s even better. I can add some to my morning coffee so it’s coffee with protein (8 mg for 3 TBSP).

OK, so three entire tablespoons made a sort of pudding in the bottom of the cup, but once I poured in cup number two (that’s my limit) it was all good. And I was 8 grams further toward my 60 gram goal for the day than I would normally have been on a busy morning! But on those relaxed mornings the peanut powder goes into the Hungry Jack Pancake Mix. For each tablespoon of peanut butter you add, add that much water, so the pancakes stay nice and fluffy.
mix reg and peanut butter
Now we’ve all seen the profiles of celebrities done as pancakes, but I suspect those people have way too much free time. First thing to remember: Do everything in mirror image.
mirror image J
These are all on an electric skillet set at 325 and covered with melted butter. Wait about 20-30 seconds (until fully set) to add second layer if you’re doing pancake art. When you see bubbles everywhere on the surface but the edges have not yet started to brown . . . FLIP!
ready to flip
This will only take about 30 seconds, and it’s fine to lift up an edge to check browning. Then, after you lift them off,everyone can get creative.
plated
Since I was a little girl my Dad always had his pancakes with peanut butter in between and syrup on top. That’s been my favorite way until now! If I have peanut butter in the pancakes (and one tablespoon will lightly flavor about six pancakes) then why not have something wonderful in-between them? With the help of my fellow peanut-butter-and-jelly lover, John, I selected strawberry preserves and Hungry Jack Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Flavored Syrup for our peanut butter pancakes. It was fabulous! John, being a teen, couldn’t even wait to get to the table to try his. He was a blur of pancake theft!
teen sneaking pancakes
Once our tummies were full my husband started playing around, being artistic with the batter. Here’s his version of a face:
john lennon pancake
and his favorite band’s logo:
rush pancake
Leftovers tasted wonderful whether microwaved or toasted, and it wasn’t 48 hours until we were all ready for pancakes again! This time we teamed them with my husband’s fabulous scrambled eggs (mine are always overdone). And each of us had a laugh when we first saw the happy pour-spout of the microwavable syrup. And later, when it was time for my son to go to work, I found him layering the Jif Spread generously over a pancake, rolling it up like a crepe, and running out the door.
smiley syrup lid
Truly, how much better could a day start? Or end? Now let’s do a little review: Download the mPerks app, snag some coupons, and organize your grocery list by aisle (this makes my OCD tendencies so happy!). Make sure you have included Hungry Jack pancake mix and syrup on your list, and take your time choosing. Every single one looks scrumptious!
mix and syrup
See, that view looks simple. Now try this one:
v2pancake-aisle-floorYes, just stand on the square and make your selection. Why don’t other companies do this? “Look at your feet for meal suggestions”, “Let your toes do the shopping!” OK, maybe not in the produce aisle – that would be gross.

No go make your own creation! Will you try Hungry Jack Complete Extra Light and Fluffy with Jif Cinnamon Spread and Hungry Jack Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Syrup, like we did? (Imagine a huge, moist Snickerdoodle!) What are you going to create?

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Anything worth doing can be done in jammies!