#MicroblogMondays: The Oven

Sunday night, we were doing a million things since Monday marked our household’s return to work and school. We were prepping ingredients for beef stew, a hearty multi-day meal that would relieve us from cooking and be perfect for the polar vortex due later this week.

I slipped the beef into the oven and was surprised and aghast to smell something charred and smoky coming from the oven an hour into the stew’s first cook. All the liquid had evaporated and was charring on the bottom of the pan. Baffled, I separated the meat, scrubbed the pan and added triple the liquid I normally did. The beef and its veggies seemed to perform as expected the next hour.

An hour later, I put a pan of 4 burritos into the oven for 20 minutes at 350. Twenty minutes later I start to smell the charred, smoky smell again. When I took out the burritos, I saw some of the cheese had blackened. Technically the dish still had another 10 minutes, but there was no way I was risking that.

I was confused. Neither recipe was a new recipe. I make beef stew every few months and hadn’t deviated. Same thing for the burritos. Plus, I’m a good cook. I’m no Food Network Star, but I can follow & tweak a recipe into something pretty good. I take pride in my cooking, so the oven trouble inexperienced was disconcerting. I chalked it up to chance and the weather. It had been an odd winter day with temperatures in the 70s and rain & severe storms. Maybe cooking on this day was like making fudge, in which the temperature and humidity mattered?

Tonight I turned on the oven to bake mini pizzas for Daniel’s lunch and the oven flashed “Failure!” That was odd. Jimmy reset it and we were able to finish the pizzas. A pan of rolls did not fare as well and soon, the oven had that familiar charred, smoky smell. And it was beeping “failure” messages again. Clearly, something was wrong with the oven. I felt vindicated because I now knew that it wasn’t my fault we had the cooking issues the night before. The bad news was that our oven was obviously on the fritz.

We bought that oven over Thanksgiving weekend in 2008. I remember it because we were just out of the first trimester with Daniel and had blood drawn a few days earlier for the quad screen. I was a panicky mess. Our microwave had broken that week, so we needed to get a new one. Thanks to Thanksgiving sales, Jimmy wanted to get a new, matching stove too. I vividly remember sitting in the rocking chairs outside of Lowes as we debated the pros and cons. I was at the point of our pregnancy in which I wanted to bury my head in the sand until someone told me everything would be OK. Maybe I thought I would hate the stove if bad things came to pass; it would be the Stove of Doom (I wasn’t very rational at that time). I agreed to buy the microwave and stove. I also decided to resume my anti-anxiety medication.

There isn’t any real point to that story except I have vivid memories of buying it thanks to the time in our life it was. But I need a stove/oven that works. And I’m glad my cooking doesn’t suck suddenly. Damn it.


I’m the Monday Snapshot!

Hi. I’m here. Insane, but here.  We have under 2 weeks to go until our Listen to Your Mother show and much like a wedding, there are many last minute details to finish up.  I find myself humming, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” at odd moments, but you know? It feels GOOD to be back in this theatrical environment. Also? Tickets are still available!

And work has responded by crowding my calendar with meetings, meetings and more meetings.  Today I was in Greensboro for our strategic plan refresh session. I was in meetings pretty much every day last week and will be in meetings every day this week. Even Friday, and that’s just wrong!

Months ago, I signed up to be part of PAIL’s Monday Snapshot. They told me it would likely be April before mine went up, and I promptly forgot.  Last week, they emailed me that Monday was my day, and I promptly forgot again. Then this morning, I woke up to an email asking if I had gotten the earlier email and if I could still participate. Yikes.

I was looking so forward to participating and had screwed up royally. I hurriedly found a picture, wrote a few paragraphs and sent it out. The PAIL ladies were very sweet to work with me despite my tardiness, and my profile went up later today.

I’m not usually so disorganized, and I hope to be in better form soon. In the meantime, check out my Snapshot if you have a moment.

We survived Monday, right?

Week in My Life 2012: Thursday

OK.  Here I am posting about Thursday and I finally find myself able to do a morning routine post.  Yikes.  Y’all, it’s been that kind of week.

So, Thursday was the day I washed my hair again.  In case you are keeping score at home,  I washed my hair on Monday and then again on Thursday.  In my defense, I meant to wash my hair on Wednesday, but we overslept.  Also, maybe it is my lone superpower, but I can go a few days between hair washings before my hair completely collapses.

Anyway, I present for your amusement the 5 stages of my hair, analogous to the 5 stages of grief.

Stage 1:  I washed my hair.  I had to or my hair was going to walk off my head

Stage 2: Moment of truth.  Do I attempt to dry it or let it dry naturally?  If I use the dryer, do I beat my hair into submission with the round brush?  See, the issue is that the older I get, the wavier my hair becomes.  That’s not a humble brag.  I had stick-straight hair growing up, but now it’s wavy.  And when my hair is short, it’s curly.  Sort of.  The curls look good the first day but less so the next day because my hair is oddly curly. Even though I prefer to be as low-maintenance as possible, I’ve discovered that when it comes to my hair, a few minutes with the hair dryer helps me have manageable waves without looking like, well, I let my hair dry naturally.

Wet hair!

Stage 3: Half of my hair is wet, the other half dry.  Am I really leaving the house this way?  Yes.

I have no shame

Stage 4: OK, my hair has dried a bit and looks semi-decent

Dressed to impress obviously

In between Stages 3 and 4, Daniel wakes up.  Mornings are not his best lately because he does not want to get dressed and go to school, so much cajoling is involved.  He also wants to undress and dress himself except when he doesn’t.  Finally, he is dressed and eating his granola bar. The shirt he is wearing wasn’t my original choice and is too short, but he demanded a Thomas shirt and frankly, I capitulated in order to get us out of the house without me pulling out my semi-dry hair.

I win, Mommy!

Oh look!  The kitty cats want to eat too.

I dunno…they look pretty well-fed to me

Daniel insists on doing everything for himself!  Like putting on his shoes.

Like putting on his jacket.

Like getting in the car by himself which is rather impressive considering I have a Honda Pilot that is a little higher than a normal sedan.

I really am proud of him. It’s just frustrating during the morning rush.

Finally, we’re on our way, and he is eating part 2 of his breakfast, his waffle.


This Thursday, after dropping off Daniel at daycare, I had to take my car to the dealership for an oil change.  I sat there for almost an hour before the shuttle came to take me to work.  I was intrigued to see free masseuse services while I was there.  Um no.  But I can show you how my hair dried.

So very attractive

And then I went to work and had more meetings and wanted to bang my head against a wall.  Happy Thursday!

Diving Into Type A

We recently interviewed for an open position on my team at work. One of the questions we asked was on misperceptions people have about you. I offered an example about myself that people tend to think I’m aloof when they meet me. My coworkers agreed almost immediately.

Tomorrow I leave freaking early to drive to Charlotte for Type A Parent Conference, my first bloggy conference. I’m not nervous about the conference per se; after all, I’m no stranger to conferences this year (especially those in Orlando).

I’m really excited about the conference because it will be the first conference on bloggy & social media topics I’ve attended as well as not being a work conference. I’m also really excited to meet some awesome bloggers who I know only online as well as hang out and get to know better those I’ve met already.

I’m a little nervous about all the women that will be there. I’m not immediately a joiner, so my introverted self will be forced to step up and meet people. Be outgoing for heaven’s sake. Thankfully several local bloggers I have met will be attending, but I can’t depend on them. I need to be sociable.

I also bought business cards for the conference. I feel ridiculous about it, but I concede a card with your pertinent info makes sense. I debated whether I needed them but concluded that it made sense. However, I feel like a silly fraud: I have a wordpress blog & can’t commit to a domain. Why in the world do i need cards? It’s laughable surely. Yeah… I’m having some existential crises over the blog and what my goals are. I’ve decided I’m going to think of the cards as calling cards.

I’m also anxious about my clothes. I know that this conference is casual, and I’ve been advised to put comfort over fashion. I appreciate that. I do. The problem is that I have no clothes. Thanks to my clothes being in storage, I have very few outfits & very, very few casual outfits (a look I’ve never done well).

So. If you are attending Type A and see a tall redhead wearing Kohls’ entire summer collection, please don’t judge. Also, I am a little snarky when first meeting people. It’s a defense mechanism. Please don’t unfollow because you think i’m a bitter, cynical shrew! And yeah, I know the healing blister on my right palm looks like a stigmata, but it’s not.

Type A, here I come!