2.07.2018

Making Friends In Minnesota

A friend on Facebook, well, actually, we're friends IRL, (also neighbors) posted a link to this article on Facebook. It describes the friendships that Minnesotans have with each other and with newcomers.

It hit the nail on the head dead on.

I'm not a transplant, I am a native however, Bimmer Man and I moved away for three years and then moved back. In that time frame I became an outsider to my college friends. I wasn't invited to Christmas parties or shopping or coffee or lunches or dinners or much else unless it was a large scale party.

But hold on - before you think I'm blaming them for my "outsider-ness" let me go on. I'm the type of person that gets wrapped up in my life - I'd rather be immersing myself in a book (I just started The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and I think it's AMAZING! It's also a trilogy, yay!), or riding my bike or exercising or walking or cleaning. Or I'm just freaking lazy and want to watch tv. Those things don't really include friends unless I choose to ask someone to do them with me. And I value my alone time. It recharges me for being me. And I can be a terrible friend. I'm socially awkward, I can say the wrong things, I ask too many personal questions, I really have no idea how to have an adult conversation without being awkward. I am who I am and that won't change.

Another part of it is that in Minnesota most people are friends with their family, or their childhood friends, there's not much want for a change in the social circle of a Minnesotan. Once a Minnesotan has a circle of friends, they don't want to let new people in as a close friend - acquaintance: yes - but not a close friend. That holds seriously true. It also holds true for when someone leaves - that new open spot is either filled by someone new (most likely a cousin or childhood friend) OR the circle just closes.

So see? I don't blame them at all for my becoming an outsider. That's just what happens in Minnesota.

My friend that posted this article also pointed out that people in Minnesota say, "Let's get together!" when in fact, that's not what they want at all, people just say that to be polite. I find that truer than snow is white and grass is green. I've actually stopped saying that so when I do say "Let's get together!" I make plans and stick to them. If someone says "Let's get together!" to me, then I wait for the other person to make plans - if that's something that they want to do, then by all means, I'm going to let that person plan it and I will show up!

Since moving away and now being back for several years, I've realized that I have had to "date" friends again to see if we get along. It's been interesting and crazy and fun to catch up with people I haven't seen in years. It also makes me realize that I'm totally socially awkward. I realized that I had to put myself out there and contact people, which inevitably ended up in a lot of self-reflection.

(To the point of self-reflection - I met up with my old best friend from high school, which somehow we ended up fighting in high school over something, I apologized and now we're friends again - when we talk it's like we've seen each other daily, she's amazing! She has now moved to northern Minnesota and so I don't get to see her but I think of her daily. If only she were my next door neighbor again, I'd love it.) And this whole paragraph totally shows how awkward I am. I share details that most people don't need to know? Or maybe need to know to understand my point since I ramble? I'm not sure! HA!

I could do a whole other post on "MOM DATING" too. Because dating other moms is sort of fucked up because you not only need your kids to get along but you have to get along with the other mom and realize that if you go a week without texting, it's ok! Sometimes people are only in your life for a short time, like during ECFE classes or through preschool and then you don't see them again. And you have to be ok with that too. There were lots of moms that I enjoyed in ECFE and preschool and I don't see them anymore - since the little ones have grown up, we're now doing different activities, at different schools, and there's new moms to meet. Luckily, I have found my fellow mom. She's awesome. And not from Minnesota!

In any case, after reading the article and talking to my fellow neighbor friend, I reflected on the fact that making friends as an adult is really hard. It's not like school growing up where you're thrown together with a bunch of kids and everyone is "your friend." You have to date; you have to do a lot of self-reflection; you have to realize that not everyone wants to be friends - some people only want to be acquaintances AND you have to be ok with that; you have to know what you want out of friendships; then you have to go out and find that person(s).

And hopefully be accepted into THEIR friend circle.

Good luck my fellow transplant, non-native, native-outsider Minnesotans!

Link to article:

https://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2015/06/many-twin-cities-newcomers-social-climate-uninviting-weather

Plans Have Gone Awry

I love that word.

Awry.

It looks so odd - like when you look at a word for too long and it just looks wrong. That's how I feel about awry. Like this week. My plans have gone awry.

Chewie has a cold. With a new ECFE class that started last week I watched three little kids come in with snotty noses and knew immediately that we would be coming home with whatever germs those three had. So double colds it is. The Monkey is the only one to avoid it so far and I'm pretty sure that's because she's gone all day at school and doesn't have the opportunity for Chewie to bath her in snot. YUCK.

So my house is a mess - this week I was supposed to clean the kitchen (I've been following the Fly Lady routine since September, October-ish and we have a clean house! OMG! I've decluttered and organized, it's been amazing, maybe I should do some blog posts about that). The only thing I've done is cleaned the stovetop. :::SHRUG::: It's not like I want to deep clean the fridge when I have a cold.

I tried to meal plan and came up with nothing.

Whatever.

Yesterday it was BBQ Chicken sandwiches for dinner. Today's lunch is leftovers and if I feel up to it I'll throw stuff in the bread maker for pizza dough to make some individual BBQ chicken pizzas tonight. The Monkey won't put cheese on hers. I find that strange - but kids are weird so I shouldn't be surprised. HA!

Thursday: I have Italian sausage in the freezer, along with peppers and onions over risotto.

Friday: :::SHRUG::: Maybe pizza again.

Colds really get me because nothing actually seems good.

Yesterday I picked up a cookbook by Real Simple, the magazine called Dinner Made Simple.



It's organized a bit strangely though - by main ingredient, not by protein or which part of the meal. I've tried recipes by Real Simple before and they are so easy and fast plus I usually have most of the ingredients on hand. I'm going to aim to try a couple over the weekend and a few next week. We shall see!

2.02.2018

Friday Finds - Doorbells

All doorbells are from Wayfair. Every once in awhile I get obsessed with our doorbell. The sound is original and it definitely "BUZZES" and chimes. It has a seriously terrifying sound if you're in the kitchen under the buzzer. However, the button to press is super boring and doesn't fit our lovely old house. I want to update it at some point, maybe this summer. I can't quite decide how crazy or not-so-crazy I want to go with it. I keep finding bells that I love!










1.29.2018

Menu Planning 1/29 - 2/2

Monday: Pasta Shell Salad from Disney Princess Cookbook (I let the Monkey pick out dinner)

Tuesday: Gnocchi + Marinara

Wednesday: Carrot - Lentil Soup + Samosas (Soup subject to change, I may need to use up other ingredients or have leftovers. Not quite sure yet)

Thursday: Sesame Chicken Noodles from Chrissy Teigen's Cravings

Friday: Pork Chili

1.24.2018

Book Review: What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty




Liane Moriarty is the same author who wrote Big Little Lies. That was a fantastic book, there's a tv series as well (I've only made it through the first few episodes, which it's great so far!). Because of Big Little Lies I had seriously high expectations but after the first half of the book, I realized that I really hated What Alice Forgot. It was super cliched, frivolous, and totally predictable. It left me rolling me eyes. I'm not sure I can even talk about the story because even that is a bit too ridiculous.

Lady bumps her head. Forgets her current life and thinks it's a decade earlier. EYE ROLL.

I would not recommend unless it's the only "good" book left in the Free Little Library down at the park.

So that's my honest feedback. Should I laugh? Should I cry? Nope, I'm just banging my head against the wall because I wasted time reading this book when I could have been reading something different!

1.23.2018

Meal Plan 1/22 - 1/26

Monday: Portuguese White Bean & Kale Soup with Bread

Tuesday: Leftover soup

Wednesday: West African Peanut Soup with salad and Lemon Tahini Dressing

Thursday: Dino Chicken Nuggets and Fries/Tots and frozen veggies

Friday: Chicken Pot Pie

Notes on this week's menu -

The Portuguese White Bean & Kale soup is from the Moosewood Cookbook and it was super bland. As in the only seasonings in it were dried Thyme, salt, and pepper - I even added a teaspoon of Herbes de Provence and that still didn't help! The leftovers were supposed to be today but I've vetoed that. The Monkey says she was McDonald's but Bimmer Man vetoed that (I could go for chicken nuggets!), which means it's either going to be MyBurger or 5 Guys. YAY!!!

This also means that I'm a bit leery of the Peanut Soup recipe - others that I've looked at have more spice to them which means this one might end up bland too. I'll make it according to the recipe and we'll see!

Happy Tuesday!

1.20.2018

Obsessed: Cookbooks

Oh man. I LOVE FOOD. I love to cook food. I love to eat food. I love to smell food. I just love food. Lately I've been really good at menu planning and one reason why I've really stuck with it is that I've reserved cookbooks every single week at the library. I try to make at least one recipe out of each cookbook. That has seriously forced me to realize that not all cookbooks are created equal, nor are all cookbooks that great. Not all of them are for me and I've come to realize that I have limitations to what I'm willing to make.

Example - I was set on getting out Nigella Lawson's cookbooks and I really thought I would enjoy them. But then I opened one up and looked at her ingredients and shook my head. NOPE. None of these recipes would ever be made in my kitchen. Which is really too bad because years ago I used to enjoy her show.


This week I went overboard on Moosewood Cookbooks from the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. I must have reserved 5 or 6 of them and...four of them were ready for me at the library at the same time. Which is a lot. And I forgot to put them on hold so they would be ready one at a time. Oh, well. I guess I'll have to speed read through them!

The first one I'm going to tackle is Simple Suppers. I'll choose a few to make next week and then by that time I'll have to renew all the others. I'll update and review later this month.

1.17.2018

OMG. 4:30 is TOO Early

I got up at 4:30 this morning and went to the gym.

People were lined up outside at 4:45. They scan our cards so of course there's a line. There were 22 cars in the lot already. And the cars just kept coming. Holy crap.

I seriously thought that maybe I had beat the New Year's Resolution-ers to the gym for a workout and boy, was I wrong!

Truth be told, I don't have time to go during the day. By the time The Monkey is dropped off at school and we're home it's almost 10 and I still need to do dishes, laundry, clean SOMETHING in this house (or garden or shovel or something is in desperate NEED of attention like bills, etc...). Then it's 11 and Chewie is screaming for lunch. After lunch is nap. During nap is time for laundry, more dishes, mopping, wiping up crumbs from the floor, taking out the garbage, getting everything ready for dinner, and basically not losing my mind.

So no, I don't have time for the gym. Possibly on Thursdays but in general Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for Tot Time so I can see adults and practice speaking to adults. I'm a bit out of practice in that adult socialization department. And time is fleeting.

Pretty sure Bimmer Man would be like "but you have time!" to which I would reply "well, you don't mop the floors or make it look pretty around here or disinfect the bathroom, amiright?!?"

There's just no time during the day. It just doesn't happen when I need to work around nap time.

I was reading an article awhile ago about how if moms want to do anything for themselves they either need to stay up late or get up early but either one they choose is to sacrifice their sleep for their own needs. Isn't that terrible?

But I've fallen prey to it and will do this until Chewie is in Kindergarten and then I can actually get shit done during day. It is what it is...

Until then coffee is my best friend.

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1.16.2018

Menu Planning 1/14 - 1/19

Sunday Football Day - Vegan Enchiladas with a spicy Basil-Cilantro Chimichurri + Bimmer Man's Taco Dip

Monday - Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Cous Cous

Tuesday - Pot Stickers + Fried Rice + Steamed Frozen Veggie Packet

Wednesday - Italian Cous Cous Casserole from Thug Kitchen Party Grub

Thursday - Roasted Gnocchi and Brussel Sprouts with Lemon Viniagrette

Friday - Family Fun Night with Pizza