driving time

loser teen driver

This isn’t my girl driving. Thank god.

My oldest is 15 and a reluctant driving student. I coerce her to take me a few blocks every few days, but it ain’t easy. Actually, I think it’s less about fear and more about “why bother?”. She’s got her phone and computer to keep in touch with her friends, along with a family network who will drive her to social engagements, school and athletic practices.

Back in my day, old lady Lisa had to figure out some of those things herself. There was certainly no internet for communication with friends, and the only people who had phones were millionaires who carried them in 10-lb bags. I was responsible for driving myself to athletic practices and games, and had driving duty for taking my little sister to school.

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The sexualization of teenage girls

I'm a barbie girl, in a barbie world

So many curves! So much hair! All that leg!

It’s been happening for decades, and it starts really young. Girls have been playing with va-va-voom Barbies since before I was a little girl. Then came Bratz. Tinkerbell makeup. Hannah Montana….and MILEY (that one’s NSFW, friends).

As the mom of a teenage girl myself, I’ve got this heavy on my mind. My young teen is just entering high school. My imagination is running wild…hence this post.

The sexualization of our girls is starting so early, they don’t know what to do with it, and parents aren’t prepared to teach them. Furthermore, when a young girl displays “sexy” behavior, they become bait for, well, perverts. Perverts who don’t know how (or don’t want to) draw the line between a grown woman and a little girl. They’d rather take advantage of an opportunity.

I’ve been the girl who was taken advantage of, though it hasn’t happened often & was pretty minor when compared to the experiences of others. A restaurant manager at my place of employment would kiss my neck and stroke my torso while my skin crawled. A boss at my first “grown-up” job told me that my skirts were too short, adding “I mean, I would think you looked really hot at the clubs.” As I blushed ashamedly.

Here’s the thing. I was poorly equipped to deal with this kind of gross attention as a young woman (late teens/early 20s). How are we equipping our teenagers and even preteens for that same attention?

Babies

Toddler in the airport this morning randomly squawked while her mom wrestled with an inordinate amount of travel/baby gear. (I swear, they had enough gear for 13 babies.)

Mom says:

What’s wrong?

Baby:

My bottom hurts

Mom:

Did you poop?

Baby (quickly looks back at her booty):

Nope! (then squawks again loudly)

Mom:

OK. I will fix it. First let me fold this stroller.

Sometimes I miss having a baby in the house, others I don’t. This scenario made me feel both all at once. Babies are like having a little drunk man in the house 24/7. Both the good and the bad parts.

Fall

I’m craving fall right now, just as I do every

Fall country road

Look at this beautiful country road. I don’t know where this is, but I want to go there. Today would be nice, since our high temp will be 97 fahrenheit

year. It’s my favorite season. Football, sweaters, boots, chili.

Here’s hoping for a better week

Last week was no walk in the park. My little girl is having some stomach issues, which I believe to be brought on by anxiety. Her little issues culminated in a perfect storm last week. Her teacher was absent for nearly two weeks, there are some kids in her class who are making fun of her, and the class is running a little wild due to the lack of a trained professional in the room. She hasn’t eaten dinner in over a month. It started as a power struggle, but John and I are trying to stop that.

Meanwhile, I’m well into month two of my own new job and am being expected to become a contributing member of the team. This stresses me out, as I just don’t feel ready. So I’m not helping my girl and she’s not helping me. We almost literally came to blows last Wednesday because she refused to wear her school uniform (understandable that she’d want to push the envelope since the sub is probably not monitoring uniform compliance. But I am.)

We’ve had a good weekend. Here’s hoping for a better week.

A relaxing Sunday afternoon blowing bubbles.

The calm before the Monday morning storm. Here’s hoping for a better week.

Where the hell are the pimentos?

Image courtesy of Whitney's World, though this is what my pimento cheese looks like too

Image courtesy of Whitney’s World, though this is what my pimento cheese looks like too

Yesterday, I took a biweekly trek to Walmart to stock up on lunchbox food, cereal, and other necessities. I have changed my food shopping habits in the past few months. In an effort to find the perfect mix of good pricing, quality and local or near-local when possible, I moved away from Kroger, which, in conjunction with Walmart, runs a monopoly in our city. I now buy non-perishables at walmart (they have the best pricing and, in spite of being the largest retailer in the world, are local to Arkansas). I buy my meat and stuff I need in a hurry at the local Edward’s Food Giant, along with some produce, since they have a good selection of local fruits and veggies. Then I fill in with more produce from one of the great farmer’s markets in our city. Yeah, that’s a lot of stores, but I don’t visit them all on the same day, usually not even on the same week.

So, like I said, I’m there at walmart for my biweekly trek. I wanted to make homemade pimento cheese for lunch this week. I spent a good 5 minutes on the aisle where the pickles, olives and roasted red peppers live. No pimentos!! I ended up buying roasted red peppers and they’re certainly tasty, but require the extra step of mincing the peppers. And there are little bits of blackened pepper skin attached to the peppers, which mildly effect the appearance of the delicious pimento cheese.

For lunch today, I just finished a healthy portion on Dr. Kracker crispbreads with a big handful of blueberries on the side. Here’s how I make it.

1 lb grated sharp cheddar cheese (I grate my own, using the food processor, to avoid that powdery coating that comes on the pre-grated cheese)

1/3 cup pimentos (or roasted red peppers, if your walmart is incompetent)

a big pinch of sugar

1/2 tsp of dried mustard

1/4 tsp of garlic powder

Several shots of louisiana hot sauce *

Enough Duke’s mayo to bind the mixture together and make it spreadable

Dump all these items in a big bowl and stir it up. Taste & correct seasonings. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors blend. So good.

*I think I’ll try Sriracha next time.