I try to keep my food pictures under wraps, not everyone needs, wants, or is even curious as to the meals I choose to ingest but with that being said, there are exceptions. My dishes are colorful, and I’m beginning to mourn soup-season as it’s been amazingly tolerable to leave the house without fear of frostbite recently.
PHOTO TWO: March 17, 2013
One of my favorite pictures of all time. I take zero credit for the idea, only for the photo. Bennett was supposed to be getting ready for bed and instead I caught him making shadows on the wall. There were more, less obvious to the eye, shadows but this shape on the wall accurately reflected the moment.
PHOTO THREE: August 2, 2015
Traveling to Minnesota from Wisconsin. If I haven’t said it before, I’m in love with the Midwest.
I’m a career waitress, a fair share of my life has been spent observing a ridiculous range of personalities and listening to bizarre words exchanging between them. Thankfully, the days of slinging half-price appetizers to seven high school juniors are over and I’ve moved onto something more age-appropriate for a 32 year old waitress.
I wine and dine folks inside a cozy Wisconsin supper club, where the conversations and company are consistently mild, regulars come in the through the back door that we go all Cheers on and our cooks prepare a mean steak. The owner of this quaint restaurant has this saying he loves, not only because I think he probably made it up himself but also because it’s true.
The other day I experienced this first hand and while I hope you can take something from it, I’m writing mostly so I do not forget the feeling this experience gave me.
A3 is yours and it’s a 62nd wedding anniversary, the hostess spit out zipping past me. Note taken. Swiftly I glimpsed around the corner to decide how I wanted to approach their table. It varies depending on how happy, grumpy, or hangry people appear to be in the .52 seconds I take to assess the situation.
Happy Anniversary. 62 years, wow, that is really something to be proud of!
You must really like each other.
I wasn’t sure about the last line I delivered – it wasn’t really planned but with a big toothy smile this lovely woman with white curly hair laughs while her husband holds not more than a simple grin. Mentally I jotted down that this was a pair of pleasant people, which happen to be my favorite kind. They ordered two Tom & Jerrys and an order of calamari to start their celebrating and I excused myself from their table by the window.
Sitting nearby, three pretty ladies – a young grandma, a young mom and an adorable little girl over heard that it was a special occasion and insisted on picking up table A3s dinner bill.
I love it when that happens.
We discussed all the important details and I was instructed to let the anniversary couple know it was all paid for after the ladies had left – not before. As they wrapped up their dinner, I observed the gals make a quick stop and wish the couple a happy anniversary. I’ve never been good at keeping secrets but always pretty amazing at delivering good news.
I carried over a big homemade cupcake with a candle, forks, and a little coffee. Who celebrates without cake? I told them they were welcome to stay as long as they’d like, I’d keep an eye on their coffees but not to worry about the bill. Confused, I explained that the table right next door had already taken care of it.
The gentleman, with the same simple grin he had earlier in the evening thanked me and his bride sat speechless. Selflessly, she asked if I had been tipped on their tables portion of the bill. I tilted my head to the side and thanked her for asking because, let’s be real, I make $2.68/hour. In this instance, the tip was the last thing I was concerned with and told her that I was taken care of in the process and they do not need to leave a dime.
Another table nearby had been sat and before I even had their water glasses filled, we were talking about how adorable table A3 is. I let them in on the secret that another table had picked up their tab and I gushed over what a great night they were having.
On my way to deliver the new diners cocktails, table A3 was getting ready to leave. The bride with the toothy smile and curly white hair approached me and while it’s not unusual for patrons to give an additional thank you as they exit, she had tears in her eyes.
Not only did she thank me, she hugged me and held onto my shoulders so tight. In a low voice she expressed sincere gratitude while telling me that her husband has dementia and this might be the last time they dine in our restaurant together. Her chin quivering, I reached back out and wrapped my arms around her while quiet tears rolled down her aged cheeks.
Thank you for making tonight so special.
I told her that I’ll see her next time, and with that she walked over to her husband who was waiting by the coat rack. While delivering the newcomers cocktails, they pointed out how romantic it is that he still helps her with her jacket. Turning around, I watched them walk out the door hand-in-hand.
That is the night I realized that we are indeed in the people business– simply serving food.
I know, I know. I’ve draped myself in purple and walked the streets of Green Bay without hesitation claiming my fanship of the Minnesota Vikings and I’ve never waivered – until now.
The 2016 football season started so optimistic, I thought they’d really gotten their shit together and we’d go riding into (at the very least) the playoffs – and we’d have so much fun!
Now it’s like this, I’m the Viking’s girlfriend and I’m going to cheat on them with their nasty cousin, the Packers.
Because I’m bitter.
I’ve been making quite the effort to make it work this season and instead of following through with what they said they’d do, I ended up broken hearted again. The Packers can give me something the Vikings can’t.
Perhaps it’s not the right thing to do and judge me if you will, for the first time in the eight years I’ve resided in Wisconsin I’ll be actively cheering for the Packers with my friends. I won’t be sitting with my arms crossed, watching everyone else have a good time.
Sorry, not sorry.
When training camp rolls around this summer the Vikings and I can sit down and see where things are.
I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done it, but seriously…things need to change if we’re going to work out.
And in this hypothetical conversation we’d discuss what drove me into the arms of the Packers. I’d say something super cliché (but 100% true) like, I never thought we’d end up like this. Tears will be shed and we’ll end up together again because I can’t stay away.
Call me a bandwagon jumper if you’d like, I just wanna have some fun for once.
I don’t judge anyone who wants to battle for parking spots at 4am or stand in line for the out-of-this-world deals but it’s certainly not my gig. I used to think it had something to do with my ridiculous procrastination bug I suffer from, but there’s more to it than that.
 I’m still in a food coma.
Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a helluva lot of pie, a few veggies… all of that is still very present and has left me with the day-after-thanksgiving-day-bloat. I don’t think there’s anything in my closet that will fit me today, even my yoga pants are questioning my decisions from yesterday.
 I can’t handle the amount of less-than-desirable humans who are out.
Masses of people with varying degrees of cleanliness, friendliness and common sense. Sure, a lot of shoppers are showered, nice and know that it’s frowned upon to shimmy their way in front of you without an invitation – it’s the other ones that keep me home on Black Friday.
Movies, my laptop, left over pie for breakfast and lunch, hot coffee at my disposal? Yes, please.
 Why put yourself out there when you can shop online?
Even if I wanted the door buster deals, I’m not patient enough to stand in a line that exceeds 5-6 people ahead of me, ever, let alone the day after I just gorged myself with food and beverages.
 Impulse shopping is bad news bears.
Black Friday isn’t even a thing anymore, the deals start a week before and go on through Christmas… Black Friday is simply a way to get you in the door. Walmart is giving you that mixer for $2.99 with the hopes you’ll also buy that TV for $699.00. Marking and sales 101, folks. Being an impulsive person, I’d overspend like a madman.
 It seems kinda dangerous.
I am confident chances of my face getting clawed or falling down and being trampled while I am switching my laundry or laying on my couch is small. Additionally, I do not enjoy feeling like I am losing my mind. I can be a dramatic person, especially early in the morning, especially when I’m surrounded by strangers who might smell, or take my personal space for their own use. So, not only could this be dangerous my by own well-being, but for anyone around me when I reach my breaking point.
 I’m not a very urgent person.
I move to the beat of my own drum. I don’t like being rushed, pushed or forced to be quick so I can get what I came to the store for. I’m that person who calls to make sure the item I want is in stock on an average day, so my time is not wasted. I’m not waking my ass up early, or not going to bed so I can maybe get the item I’m hoping for. Fingers crossed! No, thank you.
It’s a question I’ve been getting asked as election day creeps up on us.
When it comes to the two most likely candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I still have no idea who’s more evil or how their presidency will effect my family. To put it simply, I believe they both have agendas that are bigger than you or I could imagine.
An avid Bernie Sanders supporter, his sign is still in my front yard and stickers still on my vehicle. Right now, it’s easy to say that I’ve never been more proud; anyone who drives past me, or my house knows that I had nothing to do with this mess we’re in.
I wanted something different, I still do.
Breaking it down to the bare minimum, we have a Republican candidate whose ego is larger than any desire to make this country great again and we have a Democratic candidate who voted for the Iraq war and fixed the primaries.
There were times in recent months I considered voting for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. More than both, I wanted to write in Bernie Sanders. Why not? That’s who I want as my president and it’s my vote. Unfortunately, none of the above allow me to vote with my conscience. Those options do not satisfy me. What mark on the ballot will help me sleep at night? Writing in Bernie Sanders is where my heart is, but my vote has more power somewhere else.
I am going green, Dr. Jill Stein has my vote.
Yes. I know she will not win, at this point the goal is so much bigger than the 2016 general election. Jill Stein needs only 5% of the national vote to qualify the Green Party for recognition as an official national party and receive federal funding in the 2020 election year.
Americans like to badger the two-party system and talk loud in regards to the corruption and the big, bad politicians but the same folks aren’t willing to take their blinders off. This has been an election fueled by fear. I have met few people that actually support the candidate they’re voting for – they just hate the other one so much.
While my dreams of Senator Sanders as our next president will not come true, I can to use my right to vote in a way that stands tall. I will not place my vote out of fear. I will not place my vote for the lesser of the two evils. I will not allow the media and political commercials to make me feel ashamed for doing what I feel is right.
When I walk out of the polling place and post my I Voted sticker on Instagram – I refuse to feel any shame because no vote is a wasted vote, regardless what Fox News or CNN told you.
“Casting a ballot for the lesser evil in a corrupt and failing two-party system — which only promises more of the same — is the very definition of a wasted vote. In contrast, every vote for Stein/Baraka and the Green Party is a true investment in the future. A majority of Americans are disgusted with the political farce we are enduring. They are desperate for a principled alternative to the predatory bipartisan establishment, and seek a positive path out of the two-party trap. Investing your vote in a 5-percent victory for the Green Party can make it happen.”