Thank goodness for friends and laughter!

Y’all might remember my friend Sheila from my story about our Day with Bakerella and Pioneer Woman. Well, Miss Sheila was on vacation last week (during all my drama) and she was reading my BLOG DRAMA from the past week or so and getting caught up on what she missed while she was scuba diving, tanning, laying on the beach, and living it up in Cozumel last week. (Not that I’m jealous.)………………………(okay, just a little bit.) Sheila is quite the character. I think this photo gives that away.

Yep! Shes a character.

Yep! She's a character.

Anyway, after the last couple of days working on some late night updates and a lot of lost sleep, I arrived at work today to find an e-mail from Miss Sheila. She KILLS me! I laughed and let me say, I felt a lot better about life in general after reading her story cuz  – I’ve just been feeling a little like the Job lately (you know, the guy in the Bible).  And, with her permission I’m sharing it with you today. Because you’re my Bloggy Buddy Friends (BBF’s for short) and because I want you to have a giggle to0 and know ‘those type of days happen to all of us’. Enjoy a giggle! Here’s the e-mail:

First, I hope you are well-rested, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed this morning. I asked my source why you were up so late and was really relieved that he wasn’t to blame. If he was— well, I’d have laid a good guilt trip on him for you!

Second, while I was in Cozumel my phone completely and finally crapped out on me. Got back Stateside and went 3 more days waiting for a warranty replacement. It arrived but with updates & tweaks, some apps different & some missing, not much quite “right”. And, because it was major SIM card issues, I lost a lot of phone numbers. Including yours. Please send me your number again because I need and want it. I don’t want to lose touch.

Oh, and I must confess something. While you were catching up on your sleep I was tempted, very tempted, to do a runaway with your blog. ;-) In my comment I was gonna start a thread of conversation and just see where you ended up when you finally woke up. I imagined the thread to go something like this:

Me: “Oh, Starwoodgal, I’m so sorry to hear that you were up so late! You poor exhausted baby. First the dogs, next the hot water heater, now sleep deprivation. I’ll bet this kind of chaos never happens in the life of Pioneer Woman… Readers, what do you think? Name one thing you think just wouldn’t happen to PW… “

I think a thread like this might be entertaining reading. Let me tell you what made me consider it in the first place…

I was back from a lovely vacation to a tropical isle. Someone else made my bed while I was diving. Someone else brought me fresh towels each day. Someone else scrubbed the shower and the toilet. Someone else cooked and cleaned up after every meal for a week. But, now I was back home and the magic spell was broken.

In my real world I make stock about every other week. Here’s the routine. I keep a couple gallon sized zipper bags in the freezer, clearly marked Stock. Each time I’m preparing a meal I’ll add to the Stock bags. Onion tops & tails, apple or pear cores, carrot and celery scraps, garlic skins, bell pepper bits, fresh herb stems, and whatever is trimmed away from whatever meat I’m prepping. Usually the stock is chicken-y, but hey, this is just “at-home-everyday” stock so sometimes it has 3 or 4 different meats in it. Whatever, it works for my purposes. Anyway, I make the stock, strain out the vegetable/meat schmutz and stick it all in a clean stock pot in the fridge to chill overnight. Next morning I easily skim off the hardened fat that separated in the night. Then, I line a colander with my “special straining cloth” to separate out the tiny little float-y bits. Depending on the volume of stock I end up with, I’ll either keep it fresh in a plastic pitcher in the fridge or I may freeze some surplus for later.

Ok, so. Monday after vacation I spent all day washing out wetsuits & dive gear, running regular laundry, and occasionally peeking at the stock gently simmering on my stove top. All was well, I felt quite productive.

Tuesday, clean up the kitchen, uncover the dining table where stuff had been piled when we got home from vacation, make a list and shop for groceries. Come home put away said groceries and evaluate the chilled stock. I’ve got about a gallon, maybe a little more. I’ll freeze most of it. Get out the freezer containers. Label them with my blue painter’s tape and purple Sharpie–Chx stock, 3/30/09, 16 fl oz. Now, anyone can reach in my freezer and know what this is…

Set up the colander and special straining cloth (really just an old white cotton pillowcase used just for this purpose and marked Stock Stock Stock all around the edges with previously mentioned purple Sharpie). Strain the stock into yet another clean stock pot. Beautiful. Now for distribution into the freezer containers. Scoop, pour, snap the lid on. Scoop, pour, snap the lid on. Scoop, pour, snap–$#%! Just as I start the “snap” the freezer containers somehow shifts, knocks into something else, and I’ve got 2 tumbled containers of chicken stock dripping down my cabinet, pooled on my countertop, and splattered all over me and the floor!

With lightning speed I grab about 4 of my handy-dandy bar towels (couldn’t function without ‘em) and start blotting, mopping, sopping, and swiping. All the while muttering to myself. “I’ll bet this never happens at Pioneer Woman’s house…” (My thoughts here – LOL! Wanna Bet?  I guess Sheila hasn’t read this story yet.)

The only good thing I can say about it is that I’m really, really, really glad this character-building experience happened at the final straining–not when the stock was hot and still laden with stinky chicken fat! And thank God for bar towels!

Yes, you may laugh at my expense here. It was just another crazy moment in my life and it made me smile too (hours later).

Thanks for the story and the laughs, Miss Sheila.   :)  I would come over and help you degrease that kitchen, but I think margaritas or wine would need to be involved.  Call me, girlfriend! 

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8 thoughts on “Thank goodness for friends and laughter!

  1. Okay. Sheila needs a blog. Seriously.

  2. GypsyBiscuit

    This is Sheila. Just one more thing to consider about this story and my sometimes crazy life… if you too have a fondness for homemade stock AND you have a fondness for easily identifiable contents of containers in your fridge/freezer AND you just happen to run out of blue painter’s tape, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT make stock until you replenish your blue painter’s tape supply. Why? Well, just because *you* know that the unlabled plastic pitcher in the fridge contains veggie/chicken stock doesn’t mean that your teenage son will ever forgive you when he takes his big swig from that tall glass of iced “tea”… Honestly, it happened– I’m just sayin’ is all…

  3. starwoodgal

    Bwahahahaha! :)

  4. starwoodgal

    Yes! I agree – she does. Sheila?

  5. Kelly

    Thats too funny!

  6. GypsyBiscuit

    Oh good grief! I wouldn’t know the first thing about running my own blog. You’d have to teach me, baby-step by baby-step. Or, I could just do the occasional guest spot on yours…? ;-)

  7. I have never heard of this kind of “stock”. Interesting but it would require too much thought on my part. In other words….I’m too lazy.

    We all need friends that make us laugh. Glad you have a good one!

  8. My sister was just telling me all the steps/details in making/freezing your own stock. Sounded very interesting but alot of time involved. So to hear this spilled all over your counter is sad. :( But hilariously written!!!! :)

    To think a forever hungry teen boy drank it and probably spit it on said counter is tooo funny!!!

    Thanks for the laugh.

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