Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh my poor husband!

He had no idea when I started blogging to fulfill my own need for written expression and stress relief that he would be subjected to full public disclosure of the antics that go on in this home. I do just want to preface this post with the fact that HE was the one who asked me if I was going to blog about it when it happened....and I did get his permission to proceed. :-)

Troy is NOT a handyman and would much rather live in an apartment where the maintenance is someone else's responsibility and just a phone call away. My friends often tell me I should just threaten him that I am going to hire someone to complete the pending work and projects around the house and that this should "scare him" into finishing whatever it is. Not my husband. He would be ecstatic if I would just go hire someone and he would go merrily about his own business. Every once in a great while though, he surprises me and gets the bug to complete some long-ago started project without my constant whining and begging and pleading and groveling and bartering catch my drift.

Friday was one of those days. Our guest bathroom has been in a state of "we're remodeling" for over a year now. It took me forever and a day to pick out the new mirror for this project and then to "Infinity and beyond" (to quote Buzz) to pick the new light fixture. So, much of the delay was in fact my issue....but the normal procrastination by Mr. Troy was also in play. We have had all of the new supplies eagerly lined up awaiting their new positions in the soon-to-be greatest guest bath ever (haha) for quite some time. Our housekeeper doesn't even bother to go in there any more- she is quite used to our remodeling antics that remain in a perpetual state of incompleteness and knows that I really just want her to dust and vacuum anyway. I am worried she might go into cardiac arrest when we leave that door open and there is actually a working light in there next week!

I work from home on Fridays and Troy's hours bring him to the house by 3 PM. So, that leaves about 1 or 2 hours that I have to keep working and keep reminding him that just because I am home doesn't mean I can party with him when he gets off work. This Friday, he barely stopped to kiss me on the forehead after his traditional "Lucy, I'm home!" greeting and disappeared into the darkness of the guest bathroom-land. Since we haven't had a working light fixture in that bathroom since Lassie was a pup, there is a big floor lamp plugged in to give us some light in case someone actually needs to use that restroom for the purpose it was intended in an emergency.

I am typing away, fielding calls from workers, and thinking in the back of my mind how surprised I am that Troy is not talking my ear off when I hear some very not nice words coming from the other side of the house. My husband is NOT a curser (I know this is shocking for some of you who are very close to me and don't know Troy all that well) so when he is cussing up a storm, I know something has gone awry. Ugh, what am I going to find in the guest bathroom that is going to set us back another 2 years? Before I can even make the journey around the hall, here comes my husband, sprinting across the bedroom into the bathroom that has an actual working light fixture in it and he is hiking up his leg in the mirror trying to catch a glimpse of something. "What the heck is going on in there Troy?! I am trying to WORK!"

"I burned my ass!"



I am so confused at this point I am not sure what in the world is going on. I put aside the pink laptop, sigh loudly (so he will be sure to know how inconvenienced I am at this point), and venture into our bathroom. There is Troy, dressed in a T-shirt and underwear, looking at his rear-end in the mirror. My eyebrows are all scrunched up trying to figure out exactly what has happened.

"Do you see it?!" He is not a happy camper I take it.

"See what?"

"My burned ass!"

Hmmmm, I do see something, what the heck is that? He points to a huge silver dollar sized red burn right on the bottom of his bum. It certainly looks like a burn. He does not appear to appreciate my slowness in accepting that he has burned his ass. "What were you doing," I inquire. "Trying to finish patching the hole in the wall!" I am still not understanding how this led to a burned rear-end. And why isn't he wearing any pants?! "I didn't want to get texture on my shorts!" He is really not getting any happier with me at this point. His bootie really looks kind of painful! That puppy is turning redder by the second!

"Exactly how did you burn your ass?"

"On the light bulb dangit!"

"Why was the cover off the lamp?"

"So I could see better!"

"How did that work out for you?"

"I burned my ass!"

Apparently, when he was stepping down off of the vanity top, he didn't realize the lamp was right behind him and set his bottom straight on top of the bare, exposed light bulb. I laughed so hard, I nearly cried. My worker actually thought I WAS crying when I had to pause from the riveting investigation into the burned rear-end to take a work phone call. I had to breathe deeply to be able to calm down enough to talk to her intelligently. Then came the all important question from my burned hubby...."Are you going to BLOG about this?!" Well........of course I am. You just can't make this stuff up.

Lord, I just want to say thank you for bringing this man into my life. Without him, I would have never known the joy of true love, the blessing of marriage, and the gift of great fun and laughter.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A good deal

I LOVE good deals. I don't shop often (I know, I am weird like that) but when I do, I am practically obsessed with getting the best deal. I don't buy ANYTHING if it is not on sale. This applies to food, clothes, memberships, everything. I could practically open my own Bath and Body Works store out of my spare bedroom because of the good deals I have gotten there. I am the master of coupons, special offers, coupons combined with sales and specials, you name it. One time, I bought a $65 shirt for $3 at Petite Sophisticate (my used to be FAV store before they closed). I have gotten so many items for free or $2 or less, it is ridiculous. I love it. It is like a high for me. It is so addicting! We are like a trained army on Black Friday and the day after Christmas. We both have our marching orders and we divide and conquer then meet back in the middle where I scour the receipts to see how much we saved and squeal with glee over each increasingly good find. We are serious about our good deals! Well, I am anyway, I think Troy just plays along....but he has been known to venture out on his own and gloat about some of his better conquests in this I think he MIGHT be on board, at least a little bit. I do know he doesn't think we need any more I hope they don't go on sale again any time soon.

My dear friend and I were in our once-a-month Leadership session at work yesterday when our trainer dismissed us for lunch. We have been known to connive her into letting us go straight through lunch, only take 30 minutes, or to go and pick stuff up and then eat as a group back in the class, all in order to get out of there early. My friend and I immediately started our typical wheeling and dealing but were quickly shut down by our facilitator. "I have lunch plans," she announced and quickly followed up with, "And they are not negotiable." UMPH! We pouted but to no avail. An hour and a half lunch then back for one hour? Ugh. Annoying! We always go to Chick-fil-A on these dates and couldn't figure out how we might draw that out any longer than possibly 30 minutes- tops. My suggestion- we can go shopping! She quickly agrees and we are off. This could definitely spell trouble...

Kirkland's is one of my absolute favorite stores. I literally think it is possible I have spent an entire year's salary in this place up to this point in my life. We go in and see they are having a huge sale (BONUS!) and that many things are marked off 50% or more. YES! We each find something relatively quickly and the drug starts coursing through our veins....ahhhhhh, the adrenaline is pumping. The store manager comes over and informs us that in the back room of the store (a top secret back room? I am in heaven!) there is an entire stockpile of stuff that is not only 50% is another 25% off the lowest marked sale prices. I believe I have won the lotto at this point and am in absolute shopping Utopia. We both managed to load up with so much stuff we had to start a stash behind the counter. I was amazed that each of us got out of there for only $100. Even better! I triple love when I get a ton of items and then figure out the per-item-cost for my haul. When it is $5 to $10 a pop or less, I feel absolutely exhilarated and totally successful. With the fabulous stuff I got...I was even more thrilled. Two items alone that I purchased would have cost $100 regular price and I got 14 items. Victory!

We went back again today and brought along our 3rd musketeer (yeah, this is how it STOPS being so cost-effective in Troy's eyes). We loaded up again and this time got out of there for only $50 each (well, not the 3rd musketeer, but she had to catch up from yesterday! PLUS- she bought stuff NOT on sale! I nearly fell over!). I have done everything possible to convince Troy this was a good thing and that when he takes me back again tomorrow, by mathematical should be FREE! For some reason....I don't think HE is buying what I'm selling. :-)


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

For Tina

I am broken hearted tonight for my husband's aunt and her family. Not only is her father-in-law in the end stages of terminal cancer, they had to make a final decision today for their Schnauzer, who they have had for many, many years.

So instead of blogging...I will post what is said better than I ever could and hope that I can find the strength to do what she is doing for her beloved Roscoe when I can no longer bear the pain of our own loyal and faithful companion, Buster's, suffering. I am praying tonight for Roscoe to finally be at peace and restored to full health when he is in the kingdom of heaven in the face of our Lord, for my aunt to find solace amidst her sorrow, and for God to give them the strength to survive what this week has yet to come and they will feel His love as He works to heal their broken hearts.

Much love,

Dear Abby,

Will you please reprint a request from a dog to its' owner, beseeching the owner to put him to sleep when life ceases to be a happy experience?It has been several years since I read it in your column, but I hope you will print it again, as it will be a great help to a member of my family who is having a hard time accepting the inevitable end to a 15 year relationship between himself and his best friend.

Eva A. Michaud
Bangor, Maine

Dear Eva: With pleasure, here it is.

A Dog's Prayer
by Beth Norman Harris
Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear. When it is cold and wet, please take e inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to the bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would father follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life. should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest.....and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

Monday, May 18, 2009


We all knew there would be tests. Trials. Tribulations. Difficult days where I would be forced to push through and remember my new found dedication to me. To my sanity, my faith, my mental health and my overall well-being. To my peaceful outlook on life, my refreshed and relaxed state of mind. We all knew that day was eventually going to come.

I don't think that I was anticipating that the test would involve quite so MANY things going wrong in one day. But really....isn't that how it usually goes? Feast or famine. When it rains it pours. You catch my drift.

Today, the madness started early. About 8:37 to be exact (and yes, that is early to me). There were crazy emails. Then there were crazier emails. A lack of professionalism by people who I am going to choose to believe were just having a bad day....for lack of a better operational theory. Maybe they are even having a bad life. Not sure...but I am thinking it must be one or the other. I hope so is just sad to be that mean. It kind of is anyway but I digress.

Shortly thereafter, there was the hysterical call from my employee that I couldn't even understand.....two minutes before my unit got assigned a case that she had just closed and about 8 minutes after telling my only other worker she wasn't getting any cases today...I did understand enough from the first worker's frantic call to catch the bottom line....she ain't coming in today or anytime soon. Really? I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised at all.

Move on to realizing I had missed a deadline and my new laissez faire attitude was catching up with me in that department. Whoops! It's about balance folks...this is all new, still gotta work on that part. Then....I forgot to eat lunch! Really? (You might ask yourselves.) Yes. Really. There went my perfect streak. Troy has never understood that do people forget to eat lunch...I tell him to just hang out with me for one solid work day and he will understand. He has yet to take me up on it...but he still isn't buying it and has no sympathy when it occurs...he describes it as "ridiculous". Umph. Really.

Continue on to realize I was a tad close to missing another deadline (the OLD Rebecca would never have stood for this nonsense!)... but it was just CLOSE and not quite missed. This is a good thing! Hooray for me! My day is turning around. Really? That would be the logical assumption. I tried to hurry up and whiz through that task only to realize the provided instructions were not working. Ugh. So I had to go ahead and confess I hadn't even started yet (noting on the instruction email dated 5/1 where it said "this will only take you 1o minutes and it is IMPERATIVE you start now"....UGH). I sent my confession only to realize three minutes later that the instructions WERE working. And of course I figured it out before I even got a response back from my confession (but not before getting a read receipt for my email)...I just wasn't using the correct login ID. I told on myself for nothing! REALLY?! Oh well, my new found outlook on life kept me smiling and trucking along. So what if I told on myself? I was taking care of it now and that's what was important. Really? Hmmmm.

I set up the email request for this task and put myself on the "To" line so that I could put the people I wanted to be the "non-disclosed recipients" on the BCC line. Or so I thought. Really? Nope. I send the email out and get about 11 read receipts right off the bat. This is great! People will finish in no time. Imperative, schmerative! Piece of cake getting this done, no need to start on the 1st when you can wait till the 18th and get this type of response time! Really? Not so much. For some reason, I went back to check the email I had just sent and that BCC line was missing one big letter. And it was the B (as in BLIND). UGH. Really? Yep. Really. Now my supposedly anonymous survey had just gone out where everyone could see exactly who was invited to take it and who wasn't. Guessing that message recall option was out too...remember, 11 read receipts from my super speedy peeps? Yep. Really.

Oh well. Live and learn. It'll all come out in the wash as they say. Anyway, now the work day is over and we are free to enjoy our evening and put this horrific day behind me. Right? Or should I say....really?

I planned a DELISH dinner for our newly appointed "Grill Night" set to occur every Monday starting at 5 PM sharp. For those who might be curious (and just because it sounds so awesome, I want to write about it again here), we were having BBQ lime grilled chicken breast, Cajun grilled corn on the cob, garlic broccoli and watermelon. Sounds FAB doesn't it? Really! It really does! Everything was right on schedule and I was putting my BEAR of a day behind me. The smell wafting in from outside was UN-Be-LIEV-ABLE. Really. Uh-huh. Troy comes in from outside shaking his head. "I guess we know how long the propane will last," he is muttering. Yes, we had been wondering about that. What does that have to do with anything tonight? And, keep in mind- I didn't have lunch, remember?

"Did we just run out of propane?!"



"Why would I make this up?"


REALLY. That's about how my day went. But really (is that getting old yet? Oh yeah? It is? Really?! Oh, okay, I'll stop now.)...all in all, it was a beautiful day. I went for a 2.6 mile walk in the sunshine and great weather and was blessed to do it with minimal pain and to have my mom for company. I got to gab with my best friend and crack jokes (when I should have been eating lunch but still) and we laughed so hard we nearly cried (that's the best kind). I had a wonderful dinner (eventually) with a wonderful guy. Today I got to talk to my mom, my sister, my mother-in-law, and my dear SR. I got to spend another day with my dog whose remaining days are few...but while he's here is happy to be and is as loyal and grateful as the day is long. My washing machine started working again (praise GOD for that- have you priced those things lately?!). Our check finally came in that we are using to pay off a major credit card.

So.....actually, it was a great day and all of those tests, trials and tribulations were just there to make me appreciate it all the more. I think I posted about this not too long ago....isn't it funny how the same set of circumstances are perceived so differently simply based on your own perspective and frame of mind? Two months ago, I would have considered this a yucky bad day and I would have let it consume my evening and my ME-time. But, it wasn't a bad day. Not really. ;-) Sorry, I couldn't resist...just one more time.

*****Dedicated to one of my favorite SNL segments....can you guess what it's called? REALLY. (No, really. That's what it's called!)*****

Live, laugh, love...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Good thing I don't live alone....

Well, I guess it is a good thing. The bad part is there is a witness. The good part is that if I ever get too wild and crazy- there is someone there to protect me. To slap me awake if needed. Mr. Dix decided to spend the better part of the morning today filling me in on this month's antics to date. And when I say antics- I mean my bizarre activities after I have allegedly gone to sleep for the night. When I was a kid, I used to sleep walk all of the much so that my step-dad had to install a special lock on the top of the front door after I went out in the middle of the night in my PJ's trying to get into his big orange truck. I still remember that night and I was on a MISSION! I have also gotten into the laundry detergent, started the washing machine while it was empty, left the freezer and refrigerator doors wide open, and started running water in the bathroom. I did many other entertaining things as a child in my sleep, including impersonating an alien with my index fingers flicking up and down on each side of my head while turning from left to right....and people (and by people I mean my MOM) love to bring them up at inopportune times in my adult life.

Fast-forward to 2009 and for some reason...the antics have begun again. Not sure if they ever stopped completely, but for whatever reason, I have kicked it into high gear in the last 6 months. Two weeks ago, I allegedly was asleep on my stomach and all of a sudden pushed myself up with my arms, craned my neck around the room, grinning like a fool, started stroking Troy's arm and then reached over and licked his arm. LICKED HIM. This is his story. Sad part is, I kind of semi-remember it. But the way I was living it, we were having a nice romantic conversation and I reached over to give him a sweet, soft kiss. Apparently, that ain't how it actually went down.

Earlier this month, I again sat up straight in bed and began demanding to know where Josh Hamilton was and what had Troy done with him. (Josh Hamilton plays for the Texas Rangers for those who may not know. Never met him. Not my favorite player. The only thing I do know is that he is on a TV commercial right now and perhaps I saw it before going to sleep.) Whenever Troy refused to disclose his location, I proceeded to start throwing the pillows off the bed and pulling our two mattresses apart to look in between them and under the bed. Troy was laughing so hard telling me this part he nearly had tears in his eyes. He had to physically restrain me to keep me from tearing the house apart to find the elusive Mr. Hamilton.

Troy says whenever these episodes happen, I sit straight up in bed like I am possessed. Then I get this super goofy look on my face and start grinning from ear to ear. Of course, there is no photographic evidence of this (YET) so I only have his word to take for it. He is so amused when reliving the details that I find it hard to believe it isn't accurate. And his impersonation has me rolling too and it is pretty much the same goofy look every time.

So, apparently, last night, I again woke up with the goofy look. Grinning like a fool again, I demanded to know, "Where did that guy go?" Troy tried to ignore me but I was insistent. "He was right here," I demanded. "Standing right over there," pointing next to the bed. Troy is laughing so hard at this point in his re-telling, he has ME crying. Troy informed me there was nobody there, and if he was there, he didn't see him, and he isn't here now. He said after he finally convinced me he had gone, I got a smug look of satisfaction on my face and drifted back off to dream. Lord knows about what. I have no recollection of this event AT ALL- a little scary if you ask me.

So far, my antics at night have not gotten me into any trouble or led to me or anyone else being injured...but I just pray that the day doesn't come where I start calling other people, dialing 911 about the crazy man standing next to our bed, escaping from my house and looking for my dad's old orange truck, or start talking about crazy stuff that I would be better off NOT bringing up to my husband (like my candle addiction). Troy pointed out today that this is yet another reason we do NOT need a gun in the house. He doesn't want me waking up shooting at imaginary people who have crawled underneath our bed to find out where Josh Hamilton ran off to.

I think I could use a nice, long, Saturday nap. While Troy is I can sleep in peace.



Monday, May 11, 2009

Peace at Last

I really don't have the right words to do justice to the the way I am feeling now. I am more relaxed, more refreshed....more peaceful than I remember being in a very, very, very long time. I feel HUMAN again. I am not sure if I can attribute all of this new found peace, love, and happiness to my recent 3 week vacation...but it did not hurt.

I made a huge commitment to myself when I was off. It took help from just about every single person I know- and some people I don't know- to figure out what exactly I have been doing wrong- and what I needed to do to make it right (I think that second part is always the most difficult!). I am the most dependable person when it comes to work- I needed to find that same trust-worthiness when it came to depending on me for ME.

To be honest, although I owe so much to so many friends and family members, the best words of wisdom came from none other than the incredibly handsome and talented, Tim McGraw. I had heard this song at least a dozen times but never stopped to listen to the words. "That ain't nothing to die for." Truer words were never spoken (or sung as the case may be) to reflect what I was doing with my life.

"And the inbox outbox locks you in and the money you make ain't worth the time you spend to make your pay. The doctor says 'man your numbers they don't lie' The graveyard's full of folks that didn't have time to die"

The day I truly heard those words...they stopped me cold. "Don't have time to die?" That couldn't describe me any better. The day I was in an extremely serious car accident- I called my JOB before I called anyone else and said I might be a little late. Now, to be fair, I had been knocked unconscious and had a really bad concussion....but that is just me using a convenient excuse. I was devastated that day to let my JOB down and I was so worried about it until I saw the looks of fear on the face of my mom, sister, nephew, and husband as they peered down at me while I was strapped to the stretcher, not allowed to move. Should it take seeing that worry that I might DIE to switch my focus to MY LIFE? Of course not....but that is how I have been living for the past 10 years.

What in the world was I doing with my life? I spend each and every day working from the moment I wake up, till the time I go to sleep, and wake up at night thinking about and dreaming about work. I was spending ZERO time on Rebecca and almost as little time on my family and friends. I am not exactly sure what I have been running from, hiding from, for all this time...but I do have a few very painful ideas. Infertility....the loss of my step-father....the loss of my grandfather....these are all things I have never fully dealt with as I consumed myself with work to get through them. Work has been my crutch.

The truth is- my job and my work are in fact very important. I am dedicated, I am an over-achiever, and I CARE. Those are important qualities in the field of child welfare and I have always prided myself on being one of the best there is. I have used those qualities as an excuse to work myself into the ground for the greater good. The children and families I work with have ALWAYS been well served and better off because they had ME. My employees were always fortunate to have been taught by me. My bosses lives made easier because they had me. I honestly and truly believe that. With all my heart. I still believe it is true.

But the fact is that I can be the best there is BECAUSE of those traits- without working 24/7/365. I don't always have to be the one to say yes. I don't always have to be the one willing to do what no one else is. The world isn't going to end if my stats are not perfect. If I am not perfect. If my unit isn't perfect. I need to take some of those great qualities and make MY life great too- not just those around me. How much better would things be for not only me but also them if I put that into action? I have been blessed with talent and I have only thought I was using it to the best of my abilities- but in the process, I was wasting so much potential not realizing how much more I had to give- to me and those I love. Not just those I serve.

I looked at myself in the mirror while I was off and I hated what I saw. Not just was I disgusted with what had become of my weight but I saw the pain, the strain, and the pull in my face. I told several of my friends- I was aging before my very eyes. The long hours, the never-ending work week/month/year, the lack of sleep, the poor diet, the caffeine intake, the constant stress, pressure, and deadlines, it had all completely changed ME, my face, my aura, my personality, my being. I was beyond tired, exhausted, worn, and battered and I was empty. It was time I took control back of ME and my LIFE.

People who know me well were concerned by my new found philosophy on life. Not concerned that I was making the change. But concerned I could never keep it up and wondering how many days, or hours, or even minutes, it would last once I returned. I also had my doubts. I nearly made myself sick before I returned worrying about how I was going to keep this promise to myself.

I have been back for two weeks now. I have not worked late one night. I have not "cheated" on my diet once. I have eaten breakfast and lunch every day. I have slept 8 hours every single night. I have had dinner with my husband and not checked my email while we ate. I have had dinner with my husband before 10 PM! I have had dinner with my husband on REAL plates. We have gone shopping, gone to the zoo, I have gone to get pampered at the spa....I have gone to lunch with my best friend and spent time talking to other friends. I randomly dropped by to see my sister on a Thursday night- and didn't check my email or talk on the phone while I was there. I have sent workers' after-hours calls to voice mail- and not called them back till morning. I have turned off my phone at 5:00. And two weeks later- I like the woman I see in the mirror. I take that back- I LOVE her. I am smiling- my happiness is evident to all around me. I feel so much peace. I feel so blessed. I am HAPPY. I am sticking with the promises I made to MYSELF and all areas of my life are just falling into place. The world hasn't stopped because I don't respond to email at 10 PM, 1 AM, etc., anymore. It's a miracle! :-)

I am not sure where I would have ended up if Tim McGraw hadn't put that song on the radio to save my life (oh what? You don't think that's what happened? UMPH!) and make me see the error of my ways. But it wouldn't have been pretty- that I do know.

Where I am now is where I want to stay. I take that back- I want to GROW from here. I want to take my new energy, my new freedom, my new passion for LIFE and do bigger and better things than I ever thought possible before. Before, when I was only focusing on the one area of my life that I KNEW I could bring greatness to....I was selling myself and everyone else short. Now....the possibilities are endless.

Thank you Lord for helping me see the light. Thank you for giving me the time I needed to get here. Thank you for giving me the strength to get through it all to make it to this point. Thank you for giving me the talent, the wisdom, the skill to do whatever I want and the knowledge that it is possible. And thank you for being patient and forgiving my imperfection while I took my detours to find the right path. Thank you for letting me find my way through the pain so that I could fully appreciate these feelings I have now. And thank you for loving me when I couldn't even love myself.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A more successful night

Just wanted to share a little bit of GOOD news on the grilling front. Tonight we had grilled turkey breast, grilled corn on the cob, and grilled pineapple. It all turned out fantastic and no one gagged, spit it out, or broke out in a rash. It was DELISH! We even made the little Betty Crocker warm delight mini's with Light Blue Bell Ice Cream for dessert. What a perfect night!

Now- don't you wish you had come for dinner? :-)


Saturday, May 2, 2009

As Promised...

Last Sunday night, Troy and I were shopping at SAM's. We happened across some lobster tails which were on sale and looked to die for. They were HUMONGO! We love lobster and lots of other seafood and have prepared it all at home before and decided it would be a nice dinner to have before I went back to work from my vacation. We eat at Uncle Julio's all the time and split their awesome "Cadillac platter" which is fajitas but with a grilled lobster tail. It is absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS. It is our Saturday "reward meal" after a long week of living right with moderate diet and exercise. We head over there right after our 10:00 Weight Watchers meeting, LOL.

I came home and "googled" grilling lobster tails and all of the sites indicated that this was a fairly simple task, takes "no time", and that even a "novice grillman" can pull this off. I am quoting. That's what it said. Even a novice.

We luckily figured out that our lovely tails were frozen and needed to thaw first so we put off our meal until Monday evening. Troy came home and fired up the grill and I pulled out our prizes and started to prepare them. Well, they felt awfully cold and I realized that there was still some ice in the package. So, all the sites say you can run them under cold water to thaw them quickly- no problem. I proceed to do this and am starting to wonder how I will know when they are thawed...since they are in the shell? I can feel some of the meat outside of the shell and I think I am doing a pretty darned good job on my end of this deal and they appear to be defrosting nicely. The best I can tell anyway.

For those who aren't aware, my dear husband is allergic to shellfish. But in a really weird way. He can EAT shellfish- and it doesn't bother him. As long as it is WARM. He can't eat crab legs or shrimp that have been cooked and placed on ice, and he can't touch any cold shellfish- whether it is cooked or not- or he will swell up like the Michelin man. He tried to cook me a shrimp dinner once soon after we were married and I walked in the door to find him puffed up like the marshmallow man on Ghostbusters with his fingers unable to bend at the knuckles and pathetically looking at me saying, "I'm sorry honey! I tried, I really did!" I thought I was going to have to take him to the ER. I was horrified! So, people make fun of us, but whenever we go eat seafood, if it is cold at all, I have to do the peeling for him. That's just the kind of dedicated wife I am. (Cue LOL's from the peanut gallery.)

So, I have finished what I believe is my part relating to the lobster grilling experiment and Troy comes over to inspect my work and says, "Okay, now what do we do?" I look at him with confusion by his reference to WE and indicate that my handy work is complete! I have defrosted the meat. He says, "Well, I can't touch it, and we have to cut it out of the shell." I glare at him. Then I proceed to cut open the lobster on what he then points out is the WRONG side of the shell. Umph. Flip it over. Start again. I am not strong enough to get through the HARDER part of the shell. He is going to have to touch it. He gets the lobster out, and proceeds to wash his hands. The break out is already starting, but luckily no swelling yet. I think we are on the right path and moments away from enjoying our lobster delight. (Remember the google search? Takes NO time!)

Troy disappears outside with our scrumptious looking tails after I have seasoned them appropriately and I stay inside and begin cooking our very healthy brown rice and vegetables and setting the table. For some reason, I decide to head outside to watch my babies cooking on the grill. "Um." I look at the grill and tilt my head in confusion. "Troy, isn't the meat supposed to be on the grill? Not the shell?" Troy glares at me. "I have no idea!" He practically growls at me! I noticed that the rash was spreading. I am still happily anticipating my feast this evening and so I am confused by the glares. "What's the matter," I ask innocently. "This is stressing me out," my poor husband responds.

I realized at this point we might be well out of our comfort zone. He is trying to pull the meat out of the shell now, he nearly drops it in the fire at least twelve times and I am on edge not wanting my yummy dinner to burn up in flames. "Careful!" Now I am growling. His rash is getting worse. The lobster is now on the grill (meat actually touching the grill) and starting to curl up. Oh, yes, I think I remember now, we were supposed to soak some wood skewers and put them through the meat. Whoops. I keep quiet. Troy is poking them and says, "They are curling up. Did google say anything about that?" Hmmmm. "Maybe, I can't be sure. I might remember something like that. But wood skewers need to soak for 30 minutes, so too late now." More glaring. And more curling.

The websites all said that the lobster needed to cook for 10, 12 minutes tops, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side. We were working on 20+ minutes at this point and the meat still appeared to be slightly raw. We proceed to flip them. More curling. Still looking kind of raw. I decide that if I spoon my garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice marinade over them, perhaps it will help them cook. (I know, sounds yummy, huh?) I start to put one little spoonful on top of the tails and flames shoot up everywhere. I scream. Troy snatches the spoon. "Be careful! We are almost out of olive oil! Don't spill ANY." I am snapping orders now even though I am clearly not capable of handling the situation on my own. More glaring. Rash still spreading.

We finally decide that they are as cooked as they are going to get, after all, they have been cooking for 3 times the recommended cook time! We don't want our lobster getting tough. Who likes tough lobster? We bring our precious dinner inside and cut them open. Still look raw. "5 more minutes," I suggest but also more like a question. Glaring has now passed, sighing has begun. The tails go back outside. 10 minutes later, we decide they are ready to eat. Back inside to the table where the rest of the food is now ice cold.

Whenever we eat dinner at home together (happens rarely due to our schedules), I am the one who says grace. I take Troy's hand and we bow our heads. "Dear Lord," I begin. I am quickly interrupted by my husband. "Please just let me live." My head snaps up. "What!?" He looks truly panicked now. He thinks he is going to die. I glare again. I finish grace (also requesting that the good Lord let him live- after a little bit of thought) and proceed to eat my brown rice. He starts eating his grilled pineapple. I move to my pineapple. He moves to his rice. I am glaring more. "Are you going to eat that lobster?" He assures me that he is. "When?" He assures me he is just waiting for it to cool off for a minute. It has been cooking for like 6 hours now so it actually might need to cool off a bit. I'll concede the point.

After another 10 minutes, we each have nothing left on our plates except our big, honking, curled up lobster tails. He cuts off a small piece. I am watching, anxiously waiting. He puts it in his mouth. Next thing I know, he is gagging, spitting, and glaring some more. "It's not cooked," he declares. "WHAT?!" (I am yelling now.) We cooked those danged tails 4 times as long as they were supposed to be according to google! I even watched a you tube video! NOVICE grillman can fix them! That's a quote! My husband is NOT a novice grillman by any means, so just what is his problem that he can't cook this lobster?! He is poking it with his fork. (Probably still praying too.) He finally asks..."Are you sure this lobster was defrosted all the way?" Hmmmm. I do seem to remember some ice in that package. "Yes, I defrosted it by hand, under the water." He wants to know how I knew it was thawed. Since he was the one that cut it out of the shell. Hmmmmmm again. "Well, I suppose I can't be POSITIVE." More glaring.

We threw the lobster away. Good thing we also picked up some Cheerios at Sam's and that we both like eating cereal for dinner. Oh, and probably a really good thing the man loves me and vice versa. :-) Anyone want to come over for dinner next weekend?