A Ridiculous Rant

I’m sorry.  I just don’t “get” cilantro.  Sure it has it’s place.  But not on my plate or in my salsa or in my kitchen.  Well, maybe in my kitchen as a cleaning agent.  I only say this because, to me, it tastes like dish soap.  Maybe I should add water to some to see if it foams up. 

Now when I dine out, I feel the need to ask, “Does it have cilantro in it?” It seems to be ON EVERYTHING and IN RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS.   “No, ma’am, our pecan pie does not have cilantro.” 

One night, I didn’t ask.  I was tired.  I should have know.  I mean, it was NACHOS for crying out loud.  There it was.  All over the melted cheese.  Finely chopped.  Impossible to scrape off.  Gag.

My dear friend Kelly is a cooking wiz.  She can throw all sorts of strange things together and come out with a gourmet meal.  She was super excited when cilantro became available in dried cube form.  She knows my hatred of cilantro.  Sometimes I feel like she’s made it her mission to get me to like it.  NEVER!

Our church has a monthly potluck.  Kelly brought her latest concoction.  Some brown rice salad thing.  I raved about it.  Yeah, you know what’s coming.  She triumphantly told me her “secret ingredient.”  I didn’t even taste the cilantro.  “That’s because people use too much, Jennifer.  See you can handle it in the proper amounts.”  I hate it when she’s right.

So if anyone is reading this, please don’t overdo the cilantro or chop it too finely.  Oh, I’ll still ask when I’m out.  I hate when my pecan pie tastes foamy.



Ugh.  I have eaten more this week than I have in the last three put together.  It’s OK because I was probably malnourished before.  At least according to my former trainer I was.  Yeah, tell that to the scale.  Now in an effort to stay alive, I’ve been making sure I remember to eat.  Not a problem since discovering Dinner My Way.  Leftover dinner become tomorrow’s lunch.  Plus with Mom on vacation, my anniversary, dinner out with friends, I’ve managed to eat out a total of five times in the last three days.  To go boxes taken home each time.  Those jeans that were super loose no longer require a belt.  Plus I washed them.  Even getting supine in order to zip them doesn’t help.  When will it end?  Tomorrow’s noon meal will take place at the Buerer family reunion and dinner at the Grace Auction.  Bring on the stretchy pants!


For many years, my husband has dreamed of moving to Port Angeles, Washington.  It was something he mentioned in passing here and there.  Recently, I said that we should come up with some sort of timeline rather than just talking about it.  I’ve only ever lived in Modesto.  “I was born here and I’ll probably die here,” was always my response when people ask me how long I’ve lived here.  Yesterday at our “state of the union” lunch, among our usual general topics we discussed upcoming trips we’d like to take.  After lunch, I added “Timeline for Port Angeles.”  Hey, I’ve only been there once in 8th grade to board a ferry to Canada, and I can’t say it made a lasting impression as I only remembered after I noticed it mentioned in my scrapbook.  I figured we should probably plan a trip to look at our future stomping grounds. 

 Meanwhile, I spent some time researching homes, schools, and IT positions for Philip.  My business has no territories, so I can easily move anywhere.  Just checking out the various websites has gotten me excited.  My mother always said she’d move wherever we go, so she and I even checked out some properties with her in mind.  I love Modesto.  I enjoy local theatre productions, the dining, and the small town feel.  I hate the hot weather.  When I read that our “new town” rarely gets above 70 degrees and is a college town, I got even more enthusiastic.

Anyway, tonight I asked Philip if he’d had a chance to check out some of the job descriptions I emailed him.  He’d only looked at one and dismissed it as they required him to bring his resume in person.  (We have a lot of work to do before we go, so it will be some time before we actually get there, Lord willing, of course.)  A short time later, Philip told me he isn’t interested in IT jobs.  Huh?  That’s what he’s been doing, so naturally, I assumed . . . 

Surprise!  He said he wants to work on a fishing boat!  I’ve never even known him to fish.  We’ve talked about taking Keith to the Bass Pro Shop but have yet to do so.  I went online to research fishing jobs.  One search engine only returned “surgeon.”  (“Sturgeon?”  I rubbed my eyes.  No, it actually said “surgeon.”  Well, I guess fish need medical help, too.  I wonder if Philip has time to get his MD before we move.)  I love that we’re possibly moving into a new phase of life.  It will be very interesting to see how it all pans out.

State of the Union

Today is my 9th anniversary.  My husband and I are planning to lunch at our favorite BBQ joint and discuss the “state of our union.”  This is something we have just begun doing in an effort to be proactive about our life rather than constantly knee-jerking our way through it.  We talk about everything from finances to our goals and dreams for our family.  Taking the time to discuss these things has really helped me connect with Philip in a way similar to when we first began courtin’.  Our dreams were different then.  We have fulfilled many of them and some we’ve tweaked a bit.  It’s been somewhat surprising to find out what things we each would like to accomplish and what experiences we’d like to have.  And, yes, the color-coding fool I am, I bring my sharpies to add the goals to our calendar.  Once it’s in permanent ink on the calendar, we can begin taking steps to be on purpose about making those things happen. 

Happy 9th Anniversary, Daddy-O!  The modern 10-year anniversary gift is diamonds, so start plannin’ now!

Adventures in Accupuncture

How does a wuss like me end up voluntarily participating in something involving needles and the word “puncture?” This is what I am thinking as I fill out my medical history in the incense-filled waiting room. No, I’m not scared. The back pain has gotten so severe that I don’t care what they do to me. Putty in their hands.

The questionnaire is the usual. What “western medications” are you taking, how many times have you been pregnant, etc. OK, where does it hurt? Apparently each area of your body is connected to an internal organ. You mean I can blame my bad breath on my spleen? Cool. I’m liking this so far. A middle-aged woman with a walker shuffles out of the back office toward the receptionist. I secretly hope that she arrived in a wheelchair and this is an improvement.

After turning in my paperwork, I’m escorted to the exam? room. I take a seat across from a massage table covered in that same paper roll they have at the doctor’s office. Three posters on the wall show the various pressure points. I am particularly interested in the one that shows the full male body, half front, half back. These posters better be for my information and not serve as a cheat sheet for the acupunturist. I wonder what I’m supposed to call this guy. He’s not a doctor. Mr. So? Calvin? “Hey, Cal, baby!”

Just then he comes in the room. We shake hands. Mr. So sits on a chair on the other side of the room, the massage table between us. We spend some time going over my history and my present. He takes my right wrist from across the table to, he says, take my pulse. He quickly takes my left wrist. Am I dead? Cal then tells me to stick out my tongue. He writes down the color. Gross. We talk about my knees. He explains that my cartilage is wearing down and asks me to remind him to show me a massage that will help. He decides that most of my problems are stress related and come from a war going on between spleen and my heart, which have a mother-son relationship. Great. Life imitating health.

I am then instructed to take off my shoes and my glasses. I’m relieved I don’t have to undress. Probably not as relieved as he is. I lie on my stomach and put my face in the hole. He moves a folding chair under the opening in case I want to hold on to it. The only comfortable position for my hand and arms is the “Thriller” claws attached to the end of the table. I feel ridiculous. Looking through the hole, I see an eyelash. Must have been left by the previous occupant. Grody. I close my eyes.

Mr. So tells me he’s going to start inserting the needles and will say where as he goes. “Right shoulder.” A little poke. Then twisting. Ew, the needle is actually being screwed into my flesh. Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt. He continues down my back and is able to cover up the needles with my shirt after they’re inserted.

My eye begins to itch. I so want to scratch, but can’t decide if I should lift my head and rub my eye or try to get my claw through the hole. Is this how the last patient lost his eyelash? I ignore the itch as there are stranger things going on.

He pulls down my skirt to get to my hips and bottom. “Right butt.” “Left butt.” Now he starts the “stimulation” and asks me to tell him when I feel each area, so he can control the amount. All’s well until the last needle on my hip. Ouch! Too much, too much. He turns it down.

Heat lamps and strange gonging music are turned on. Lights out. Cal, baby, leaves the room. I start to relax. Well, I am as relaxed as one can be with perpetual gonging in the background. I imagine how crazy I must look. I hope there isn’t a fire. How will I get out? Will all these needles still be attached both to me and the source of the stimulation? Can I get my hands out of the “Thriller” claw position? It’s five days before Halloween. Would anyone think my appearance odd?

Fifteen minutes after he left, Mr. So returns. Bye bye, heat lamp and gonging. Hello, bright light. The needles are removed. Am I supposed to get up? I tentatively lift my head. A warm blanket is placed on me. Head down. Calvin starts rubbing back, shoulders, knees, everywhere I was pierced. This is nice.

And now, it’s all over. Mr. So helps me up. I finally get to rub my eye. I find my glasses and my shoes. “How do you feel?” I tell him I feel great. He asks me if I’m opposed to herbs. I say as long as they aren’t dangerous for my soon-to-be pregnancy. He urges me to work on the stress before getting pregnant.

I’m given a small bottle of BB-shaped pills and am instructed to take seven three times a day after meals and to see how I do on the herbs before having another treatment. I thank him and we say our goodbyes.

Will I go back? Absolutely. I felt amazing afterward. Besides, how else will I find out what to call him?


Ever since Keith was very small, Philip and I have tried to instill the importance of family.  Whether it was working together to tidy the house  or waiting until daddy came home to watch a video, I took every opportunity to explain what our family is about.  Our home belongs to “the family” so “the family” needs to care for it together.  Those cupcakes belong to “the family” so we’ll wait until daddy comes home to eat them.  I was very pleased when one day I overheard Keith explaining to his friend Andriy that our cat, Foofy Girl, was named that because “our family named her that.”  (Not true because she first belonged to my MIL, but still, he gets it!) 

I absolutely love when Keith asks, “Does it belong to the whole family?”  I have to keep myself from strutting around while giving myself a big ole pat on the back. 

But then came the maraschino cherries.  They simply appeared one day on my husband’s desk.  Not my favorite brand, but still, maraschino cherries.  (And if you think it’s a totally random thing to have in Philip’s office, then you haven’t seen Philip’s office.)

It had been a couple of days.  The cherries hadn’t been mentioned.  I was home alone. 

“I’ll just have a couple.” 

“I wish I had some 7up.”  (Back when kids could be in bars, I walked up to the bartender and said, “Shirley Temple please!”  Hmm.  Why was I in a bar?)

“This brand isn’t that bad.  I’ll have a couple more.”

Surely you’ve figured out what’s coming.

I ate all the cherries. 

Leaving the spoon in the nearly empty jar (hey, it was still 1/3 full of grenadine), I rushed off to pick up my son from school. 

Upon seeing the cherry-free jar, Keith asked, “Who ate the cherries?”

I melted as I sheepishly replied, “I did.”

“Did you think they belonged to you?”

I didn’t know what to say.  If I say yes, I’m a liar.  If I say no, I’m a thief.  Either way, I’m a pig. 

“Who did they belong to?”  Maybe he’ll tell me they were a surprise for me!  I’ll be off the hook!

Keith, looking much older than his 5-1/2 years, matter of factly said, “They belong to the family.”

The cherries in my belly turn to the pits.

He gets it.  I apparently do not.

Somewhat Diluted

Accept an apology, babysit, eat, groom, study, work, rearrange schedule, sick kid, arrive late.  Nearly run out of gas on the freeway.  Again.   All before noon. 

Get lost because surely “Emma” the GPS lady knows where the branch of my bank is in a different town.  After all, she has a British accent.    Give up and head back to town. 

Get lost.  Again.  In the only town I’ve ever lived.  Oh, there’s my bank.  Oops, meant to drop off that bag of laundry.

Ah, flowers arrived from my little boy for mother’s day.  There’s a story there . . .

Boy’s better.  Dead phone.  Oops.  Now the charger is broken.  1:30 p.m.

Work.  Cat nap on a loveseat.  4 p.m.

Pick up 3 dinners.  Redeem See’s certificate.  Sad that the See’s ladies look so unhappy.

Pick up the boy. More schedule rearranging.  Sure, I can go with you to get the charger, get Keith signed up for Jr. Giants, and grab a bite within the next hour.  5:40 p.m.

Yes, I came in to buy a $20 charger.  Oh, you have a really good deal on UVerse?  OK!  Oh, but my husband wants to think about it. 

Overcommittment dilutes your effectiveness.  Many have said this.  I wonder what they’re talking about?

Jr. Giants sign ups.  No parking.  Line encircles the outside of the Senior Center.  Yeah, drop us off.  Go get some food.  6 p.m.

Text I’m going to be late.  Sign ups complete.  Sure, I’ll be a Team Parent.  What is it? 

Nothing like trekking down an alley to get to another street to make you really ready for that now-tepid fast food. 6:45 p.m.

Drop off guys.  Arrive late to meeting.  Hey, at least I showed up.  Sure, I’ll have two pieces of cake.  Well, maybe I’ll just eat this one and take the other home.  8:30 p.m.

Oh, you’re not in bed yet?  Let’s get you in the tub.  Come on, you need to get ready for bed.  If you take a bath, I will give you a piece of candy.  8:50 p.m.

Oops, I completely forgot I signed up for the online global prayer meeting.  Come on, get out of the tub.  Yes,  now.  Daddy’s got his game and you need to be in bed.  9:02 p.m.

Prayer concludes. 10 p.m.

What!  You’re still awake!  Oh, you’ve been “reading.”  Let’s go.  I have a date with a butterscotch square.