Children, Friends, Happiness, Hope, Love, Victory!, work

Serving with a side of baby.

Both of my children arrived early. My son was two weeks early and my daughter… five.

Tomorrow, I will be exactly 32 weeks pregnant… which means this lovely little girl could arrive any time in the next 4-6 weeks.

I have two weeks left at work and if I weren’t out of time, I would continue right up to the moment I went into labor.

Which is precisely what people brace for when I approach their tables now.

C- “OH GOD, you’re about to pop, huh!”

C2- “Are you sure there’s only one baby in there? I think there’s two. That happens you know. I’m pretty sure you’re having twins”

C3- Wow! You’re HUGE!”

All of these comments were made by women, I might add. Men have been so fantastically complimentary that I feel quite beautiful, thankyouverymuch.

I work with the most wonderful bunch of people…. and frankly they’re closer than most of my genetic family members. I’m your garden variety extremely pregnant woman. My back aches. My ankles are swollen. I get heartburn from a sip of ice water. I’m less than comfortable and beaming with the happiness created by the imminent arrival of a baby I only ever dared to dream I would, could or should have.

My boss is the quintessential perfect big sister…. and she’s younger than me. I work my ass off and provide great service because I love her and I want her to succeed as much as I want to pay my bills and feed my children. She’s so much more than a boss, and even more than just a friend. She’s family, she has faith in me when I’m doubtful and she is the bright smile that greets me each day and waves me home at the end of each night.

My co-servers are my chosen sisters. Women I adore who represent every dynamic and beautiful facet of feminine strength you can imagine. We are more than a team, we are a force to be reckoned with in perfectly pressed black and ever present beaming smiles. We won’t just serve you- we’ll stick in your brain as one of those magic nights you had with your wife, your kids… or yourself. We love what we do and it shows because we work with people we want to spend time with. Our restaurant is not just a fantastic place to eat, it’s an experience with the finest group of happy friends you would want to be part of.

My kitchen boys. Sigh… the same men I had such a weakness for in the past who are so incredibly attractive and dynamic. Not only can they smile your bad day into a giggle… they can cook the perfect steak and make you feel gorgeous in a pair of hot polyester maternity pants. The man behind the swinging door… My sweet Mr. Commitment, bless his heart… is afflicted with the same disease I used to have. He encrusted my steak with pink peppercorn the week I was craving pepper. He makes incredible food look like art… and he wants most what he cannot have. He’s a phenomenal man and deserves an equally incredible woman… he just likes the douchey girls. Bless his heart… I hope he knows at some point how much more he’s worth. Some lucky woman deserves to steal him away from the crappy girls that waste his time.

My favorite, Mr. Perfection blows us all away on a daily basis. Our executive chef next door, who runs his own kitchen… but also comes next door to save us when we need saving. He’s a one-man-miracle, fixing appliances, planning menus and running two separate restaurants with a level of respect and kindness I’ve never seen… and my dad is a chef. He’s the gentle one who wants to know how the night went while making the kitchen fix you dinner after hours. I had a crush on him for years but he’s perennially single and married to the job. The restaurant is his lady and our success is, in many ways; thanks to him. He’s become a dear friend and it’s refreshing to know that not all chefs have traded their souls for cooking skills. They can be good men and good at what they do. He’s proof.

The one sad fact of the job is that sometimes people leave… and my dear King Sushi has left the building. When I got this new job after escaping the hell that was my old job, I walked in to see curly red hair and sparkly mischievous eyes grinning at me. Once upon a time I would have fallen in love with his wicked ways and gotten my heart broken along with all the other girls who couldn’t help themselves… but I love him like a brother and I understand him like a friend. My Little Red loves him just the same, and he’s family in ways few people are to us. Walking in to see an empty spot where he used to be grinning is as much a death in the family as when your oldest goes away to college. He’s a hot head, he’s a red head… he pissed us all off on a regular basis…. and I miss him so much that his absence is the only thing that makes my upcoming work hiatus a little more bearable.

So yeah… my legs ache…. and I may have a few more varicose veins than I did a month ago. I slip into my black clothes, glide some lipgloss on and look forward to every minute of my night with the family I feel so blessed to have found.

They say when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life… and I love being a mother more than anything, but I love my job too.  This job has taught me that when you really have a family… their absence stings.

I’m going back to work after baby Quinn is born, which I never thought would happen. Honestly in my mommy heart, I would rather not… but it’s more than a job. It’s my family, and I love them. They lift me up when I’m heartbroken and hopeless and they have taught me the one thing I struggled so hard to learn about myself.

I’m an amazing server and I kick ass and take names with a wine key. I memorize your favorite things and catalog the shit you hate. I know what you drink, I know which hand you use and I remember your spouse, children and grand-children’s names. I don’t just go to work, I come to serve.

A year to the day I got fired from the worst job I’ve ever had… I am living proof that even the darkest days can give way to days brighter than you ever imagined.

I am reminded not to settle, and would hope my work experience would inspire anyone stuck in a job they hate, with people that make life miserable and don’t appreciate you.  Life is short and time is fleeting.

Do what makes you happy ♥

Farming, Victory!, Yarden

The Anti-Farmer

Who needs internet dating, all you really need is a giant garden bordered on one side by the road.

Boobs, sundress, tattoos… and they drop like flies neatly along my fence line.

I spent 10 hours in the garden yesterday, with the sunburn to show for it; and it was insanity. The women smile and wave, generally saying something nice about my garden or muttering about my mental stability under their breath.

The men stop.

The older retired set compliment me on being a good woman, and we chat for a while about how women don’t grow their own food anymore and how sad that is. He leaves with more compliments, referring to me as Sugar, Honey, or Sweetheart as he walks away. He always tells me he’ll be back when the tomatoes are ripe… and he always is. I have at least a dozen older neighbors that wave dollar bills over the fence every September.

The married men… and these are the worst. The big bad wolves of the neighborhood. I could tell you every single husband that cheats on his wife within a mile of my house. They leer at me. they make comments about my appearance. They start running daily during garden season. They come late afternoon to catch me rinsing off. I know these things because they tell me. Eww. There’s really nothing worse than being hit on by a guy, only to sit next to his wife at PTA meetings. Some men are just snakes…

The boyfriends… and these are the best. They talk about their girlfriend’s garden and ask me for garden advice or just tell me they think the garden is beautiful. They usually make the effort to stand my fence up a little straighter too. They’re the good guys, the helpers. Aw. There’s about one a week, so don’t get too excited.

The single men. The most challenging. Don’t get me wrong- I’ll be damn happy if my very own Prince Charming walks up to the fence to hand me a shiny 3 carat princess diamond. Yeah, sign me up- but it just isn’t that easy. These men range from absolutely repulsive to hot 23 year old half naked college student home for the summer. It’s either light hearted flirtation with a side of compliments- or outright whistling, followed by a request for my number.

With a nice exception yesterday.

I was roasting in the mid-morning sunshine. Spreading newspaper and straw mulch in between the rows to keep the weeds at bay. I’m determined to pull off this garden and work full time, and enjoy the summer with my daughter. I’m trying to cover as many bases as I can to make this as easy as possible. I heard someone at the fence and looked up.

Bald.

I laugh at myself because it’s the first thing I notice and acknowledge it silently in my head. I start walking over, smiling and melting at the same time.

Cute.

He’s cute, cute. I think I’ve seen him somewhere before. I’m not sure. Damn cute though- granted his shiny head is only helping him with me. What a weakness… good Lord.

C- Hey, this is quite a garden you have here. Is it a city project?

J- Nope, just mine.

C- Well it’s beautiful and I love the round paths, it’s very feminine.

J- I suppose that happens when there’s not a man demanding straight rows? I like it curvy.

C- It looks that way. Here’s my card, I just moved to town and I’d love to help sometime if you want. I’d like to know what makes an anti-farmer start farming.

J- An anti-farmer?

C- Clearly you’re a girlie girl, but with tattoos and 8 times an average vegetable garden?

J- Pretty much.

C- Call me if you want, I want to know more.

He smiled and jogged off and I laughed…

Perhaps I should make a poster and announce it to the masses. I’m not dating… which is precisely when they all come flying at you. I’m too happy not dating, though I’m definitely wound tightly. My life is a douche bag free zone. It’s complication free, stress free and happy. My biggest concern is a slug eating my cucumber plants. I have a new job I’m really excited about.

I have time with my daughter and my garden is going in quicker than ever before this year. I’m moving my own mountains, instead of wasting time getting my feelings hurt. I crave bad habits like everybody- but I’m finally at a point that the cost is too high for me to consider. I know that I can’t have what I really want in my life if I’m wasting time doing what I know doesn’t work.

Tempting… oh so tempting… but no.

I have tomatoes to plant. A fence to rebuild (ugh…) a yard sale to put together, a new job, etc… I don’t have time for a potential douche bag- so as sweet as they all are- and as easy as it is in the garden.

I’m throwing the number away. Sigh.

I know myself too well…. and he’s gonna look better and better while I’m doing that fence.

Blogging, Family, Friends, Happiness, Hope, Love, Truth, Victory!, Yarden

Indomitable

Happiness is free, and thank God too… because unemployment is rather stressful financially.

I’ve had plenty of reason to feel bad. Losing a job I needed to survive, watching people I thought were friends vanish as quickly as the dollars in my wallet and being 86’d for life from a place I’ve worked hard to support.

I’ve been a bitch, but I challenge anyone to tell me they’d react differently if they were walking around in my shoes.

I grew up with The Desiderata on the bathroom wall. At 6 years old I remember reading it every time I brushed my teeth. In high school it really made sense and now? I have my own copy hanging on my own bathroom wall. It’s the foundation of my hippie upbringing, and I find myself swimming in it lately.

I can be wicked hateful, and I arm myself with the details most offensive and use them to my benefit like bullets in my very own verbal arsenal. If I want to kick you where it hurts, you’re going to feel it. I’m one supercilious nightmare when inspired to be.

Which isn’t who I want to be, but who I need to be sometimes.

I take a lot of shit. I swallow a lot of pride. I also return the feeling, tenfold-when you push me too far.

I could ramble on and on with an acid tongue and a thesaurus of hurtful adjectives… but it’s just not who I am or who I want to be.

So they hate me. Oh well. I’m not terribly offended considering the facts on the ground.

So my dear friend is jealous enough to post offensive bullshit on my Facebook wall. Oh well. Jealousy doesn’t inspire me to love anyone, and I’m single. I’m fully entitled to inspire jealousy with absolutely no ramifications and beyond that? I know a man who opens his mouth only to bless me with his kindness and affection. Real words from a real man make jealous insults sting a lot less.

I wish I could say I’m surprised- but I’m not- just like I warned him…

J- You do not want to date me. We’re friends. You’re only going to hate me at some point. Trust me.

Guess who was right…

BUT….

Being hateful only drags me down to their level, something I’ve worked too hard to avoid in the last year.

So I flushed the hateful crap and took my little mangy hounds on a walk. I picked a bouquet of daffodils for the dinner table and hung the sheets on the clothesline. They’re crispy smooth and smell like sunshine and spring time.

I baked some honey wheat bread… and snuggled with my little mangy trio while cracking out on the first season of The Tudors…filling out the millionth job application. I weeded a row in the garden and planted more potatoes. I have about 15 pounds of seed potatoes left to plant… Good lord.

Hi, my name is Jenni and I’m a vegetable hoarder. I come from a beautiful line of hoarding gardeners- and hey… I absolutely loathe store-bought marinara. I may be a size 5 by the end of summer because the garden is out of control weedy…

Bonus! Free daily workout and veggies too? See how it starts? Too much of a good thing is still TOO MUCH.

I’m a little haunted by the silence and boredom in my daily life these days. I had the best interview I’ve ever had in my life yesterday, dinner and a drink with a dear friend last night and another favorite chick sighting this morning.

I know I’m being redundant… but for all the shitty men in my life? I am surrounded by phenomenal women.

My dear friend Miss Wisdom saved me yesterday with truth. Not bullshit flowery nonsense, but real “Get a grip and take your own advice” sort of words. Love her. Love them all…

It takes a real friend to see you making bad choices or flailing. We touched on the sorest of subjects…

W- Why would you go there, when you know he’s there and you know it stings and you know he’s bad for you.

J- I have a crush.

W- You HAD a crush… why would you like anyone who would treat you so poorly?

That applies to so many people in my life right now, it took my breath away. Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment? Either way- it’s a thing of the past, and I’m cutting the bullshit out of my life at record speed.

Life is too short, and it’s too beautiful outside. My garden is all the challenge I need at this point, and my favorite flowers sprouted this morning.

Baby Bells of Ireland, smiling up at me and reminding me that everything is as it should be.

Life goes on- and happier when you cut the nonsense out of your life. More than that, it’s even better when you learn to love yourself first and let the assholes fall where they may in the hurricane of figuring out how to demand respect from people.

Or how to tell them to go fuck themselves.

Either way? I haven’t been so happy in months and I made a few hundred bucks today getting shit out of my garage.

Purging at a profit… now that’s the kind of chaos I can get behind.

Yeah I’m pissed off, offended and insulted- but I’m also single, smart & funny as hell. I’m doing what I need to do and remembering who I really am, now that I’m away from the cancerous source of suffering.

Welcome to the chaos of my fancy schmancy new life. It’s scary uncertain and full of potential disaster, but when I sink to the point I use my words to hurt someone instead of to free myself- I become an asshole like the rest of them.

No hate. No haterade… and most importantly?

No haters.

That right there is quite the victory, if I do say so myself.

Children, Family, Food, Friends, Happiness, Truth, Victory!

The Last Straw

Unfortunately my settings on one of these stupid dating sites has it chiming on my phone every time an email comes in, which is a lot. I finally sat down yesterday to change the settings in hopes of putting an end to the infernal distraction.

Success… oh and 22 new emails. I open the first one…

D- Hi.

That’s all. I see so many of these I just have to wonder what the hell these guys are thinking. You’re establishing contact with someone for the first time, hoping to spurn a response.

And all you’ve fucking got is Hi? Hello? Sup? Yo? Hey? I’ve seen them all and I never respond… but then you have to be a freak to ilicit a response from me because I’m only in it for the story at this point.

The playground is shut down for remodeling… and I’m a bored woman as a result. lol… I open the second email and it only gets better.

S-

4/28/2012 11:50:37 AM

Let me guess.. You found my profile more than a bit on the vulgar side.. Perhaps a bit disturbing as
well. you must have had a few glasses of wine to have even clicked on it.. I know your type.. Your a
mile above me.. And your clearly more than a bit too classy for my common ass.. but I might just
surprise you… And it’s not like I would expect you to tell your friends about me 😉

This guy has emailed me three times, and frankly; he’s repulsive. He’s not my type, I would really be being mean if I dated him.

What really stuns me, is that they make this assumption about me based on one picture, and one paragraph. Enough to insult me for not being interested in them.

They say women are crazy? Oh no. The penis-clad species is equally as crazy, if not more so, because they’re entitled to their jealousy. We’re supposed to understand that boys can be boys and “well you know he’s a man… he’s bound to be protective.

Turn those tables and you know what they call that girl? A date crasher. A stalker. A bunny boiler. Fatal attraction.

He’s protective, masculine, he just loves you a lot.

No. He’s a stalker and if I come up missing, check his house.

Yikers. A stalker is a stalker, is a stalker- and this guy is getting his panties in a bunch because he’s emailed me three times and I haven’t responded, but he can see that I viewed his profile.

Imagine him in real life. He’s the guy who stalks you daily, the one who wants to read your emails, look at your phone and account for every minute in your day and who you came in contact with. He “just stops by” and “just stays for the weekend”. Allowing this guy into your life is like petting a raccoon. They can imprint on you and follow you for life. They come in through windows, dog doors, chimneys. If they love you- they will do anything to be next to you.

It reminds me of fungus- no thanks.

The next email is a perfect example of why I’d really love to meet a nice woman every now and again. If anything inspires me to switch teams… it’s this guy.

USMC-

USMC

4/8/2012 12:18:29 AM
Wanna Chat
USMC

4/24/2012 10:59:16 PM
All girls like me I was in the military
USMC

4/24/2012 11:11:28 PM
And I have a very large penis

Yeah… he said that.

Like he actually expects a response finally that says “Oh well in that case, let’s chat” <eyeroll>

I don’t think I can even handle these internet retards any more. I may be officially ruined for men entirely.

Disgusted with the species… I signed out of the craziness that is meeting a date online.

I decided to make dinner and invite family over. My mama, her fabulous boyfriend, Sober One Kenobe and Mr. Man Card. My little princess.

Fresh pesto tortellini, asparagus, a green salad & garlic bread. Eclairs for dessert… with a glass of wine, around the kitchen table we’d pulled into the greenhouse and filled with spring flowers. It was a twinkly perfect evening full of the stuff that feels right. Family & friends and great food, laughing around the table in the light of white lights strung around the inside of the greenhouse with the smell of little tomatoes and flowers growing.

Internet dating cheapens what it’s supposed to be. You’re supposed to see a cute guy and smile. He’s supposed to ask for your number and you’re supposed to have dinner or something in this sort of circumstance. The twinkle lights are optional but I’d say they’re worth a few bonus points.

It’s supposed to be as good as dinner with your friends and family- it’s supposed to leave you smiling the next morning, washing a stack of dishes and throwing the tablecloth in the washer.

Internet dating is depressing- and that’s not what I’m looking for.

I can do without the creepy stalking oversharers.

I officially quit my internet presence as potential prey. I climbed out of the mud puddle.

……..and I feel cleaner already 🙂

Friends, Happiness, Hope, Love, Victory!

Oh Miss Harley…

I have an amazing bunch of incredible women in my life. They represent everything the world needs more of, and for every jerk I’ve had the misfortune of crossing paths with, I know five stellar women… I have an incredible bunch of girlfriends in my life- I’m blessed with amazing examples.

Sure…we can be a rowdy bunch… we’re independent, hilarious and hot. We dance on bars and tables, we ride motorcycles and can out-cook chefs. We are incredibly artistic, tattooed, brilliant, down-hill racing daredevil girls who can get dressed up and act like ladies. We’re a well rounded bunch.

We can do some whiskey, gin, vodka, rum damage… and we are a helluva lot of fun- but we collectively have our shit together as well.

My friend Miss Harley sets the bar high in a group of really cool chicks.

She’s easily the most valuable employee where I work,  she outworks all of us. I’d bet her tips percentage blow all of us out of the water, too.  Without question…she’s beautiful, friendly and genuine, rocks a smokin’ hot body and to ice the cake? She rides her own restored 1982 Shovelhead to work every day. Without a helmet, cause she’s just not willing. (We’ve all tried to bribe her…) Her dark hair is tinted a shade of purple showing under her do-rag, dyed to match the deep purple paint on her bike, Daizy. Personalized license plates and everything. Blingy-butt Miss Me jeans showing from the back of black leather chap-wrapped Miss Harley, she’s nothing short of a calendar girl.

Does it get any hotter? Yep. She pulls her do-rag off, blinks sparkly green eyes at you and is charming enough to sell you oceanfront in Kansas. She’s also the friend who makes you soup when you’re sick and offers to take your shifts or help you with anything. She really goes the extra mile and she inspires everybody by being kind. She’s the girl nobody could ever say anything bad about- and defends even the indefendable. She’s an amazing mother and has raised her son alone for the most part. She just wants to be happy and so she is.

She’s true blue and red hot.

Miss Harley- well done!

She rides the bike her father died on when she was 11 years old. Her parents were just about home- close enough that she remembers hearing the siren of the ambulance that came to get her dad. They’d gone down on a corner and her dad had broken his neck and died instantly. Her mom kept the bike for a few years after he died but eventually had to let it go.

Years later someone got in touch with Miss Harley to let her know it was up for sale again. Seeing it only made her want it more. She offered the guy everything she had and a hug, and he took her up on it and let her have it for nearly a thousand dollars less than his asking price.

Her mom drove it home, with Miss Harley on the back. Holding hands here and there- crying now and again. It was like bringing a family member home. Miss Harley was getting the bike of her dreams and a piece of her dad back, as an adult- when you still need it just as much.

She restored it completely, on a single mom’s server/manager’s wages… until it was finally complete and so beautiful. Her mom gave her the old saddle bags that were on it before. She’s oiled and loved this bike into something beautiful enough for everyone to notice what Miss Harley always did.

They’re meant to be together. They’re a perfect match, like sisters- out knocking boys dead at every stoplight.

She recently went through a break-up because her boyfriend couldn’t handle all the attention she gets.

H- I told him, I love ya, I’m sorry you’re jealous but I’m not gonna get ugly for you. He told me he just couldn’t take it- I gotta love him for being honest!

She has her first motorcycle show today & she even brought us purple t-shirts to wear. I wrote a little thing for her poster and was stuck on the image of her mother and her riding the bike home that had been so life changing in their past. How nostalgic she gets when she tells the story… and of her calling to read what I’d written to her mom and hearing them both cry a little. She’s survived the worst of a cheating boyfriend- who lives with her sister. She’s been through a cheating husband and survived a divorce that cost her everything but the baby he didn’t support. She lost her house, her fairytale ideas about marriage and her faith in the legal system- all at once. Digging deep and pulling it all off, regardless of the challenge- and doing it with a smile.

She’s been through hell. She’s walked through fire  and  is stainless steel strong and polished as a result. She’s raising an amazing son who is growing up with a healthy childhood spent outside. She grows a garden, helps her mama and would drop everything to be there for you if you need her. She’s generous and thoughtful and sets an example with kindness rather than judgement. One helluva woman- doing it on her own with pleasure.

Miss Harley, you are a knock-out- through and through & your daddy would be SO proud.

Update!!

She tied for 3rd place!

and I got the best picture of her and her mama, waiting for the results of the voting. It was such a neat moment- and it’s such an amazing bond between them. They’re so cute- and it really is inspirational. Her dad may have died but he lives on in the two of them riding together.