A sweet woman approached me in Target on a Saturday.
Can you tell me where your St. Patrick’s Day stuff is? She asked. That moment, we realized that today, actual St. Patrick’s Day, that the St. Patrick’s Day parade in uptown Charlotte was probably almost over and Charlotteans were likely already tipsy on green beer.
We trekked to the front of the store in search of something green to get this girl to stand out – or blend in, depending on your view.
We’d sold out of all things Kelly Green already. I gambled waiting til the last minute! She said as she shifted to Plan B, and I had a feeling this brown-eyed girl was going to be just fine. See, I know all about pushing deadlines, envelopes, carts before horses …
You know what I mean.
I’ve sat on this post a while doing anything but sitting. I’ve been job hunting and job accepting and job-first-day-dreaming a lot lately. That day was last Wednesday. It’s also, incidentally, the second day of spring, which makes timing here everything.
Sensing the seasonal shift
See, this post is about my favorite things of winter.
So, what better time than the very end of winter to post it? I’m also going to do my seasonal design change this week so all will be ready for baby chicks and pollen piles and scenes of little birds chasing big birds away from nests all over Carolina.
Favorite winter recipe
Kinda-like-Chi-Chi’s Smothered chicken
It’s been a lean eating season for us, necessarily, so this indulgence stands out.
What you’ll need
- 4 chicken breasts, trimmed
- 1 pack of bacon, on sale
- 1 bag of Colby jack, in its entirety
- 1 bottle of barbecue sauce, probably not all of it, though
What you’ll do
Cut chicken breasts into strips and chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Pan sear them at low-medium heat, covered, turning occasionally.
Fry bacon in iron skillet on low-medium heat. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Set aside (and eat three strips for yourself, the kids will never know.)
Place drained chicken chunks in a casserole dish. Top with nearly the whole bottle of barbecue sauce, the bag of cheese and a little more pepper.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Check chicken for temperature (180 degrees) and serve promptly. (It’s a good idea to have chips and salsa around in case of a kids’ revolt because they think it’s taking too long.)
Favorite New TV Show
It’s a baking show that challenges contestants to recreate exquisite desserts. It features an exuberant host, fondant action, and sad trombone music when the bakers fail hard. Camdyn told me to watch the episode Big Japan because I’d love one of the contestants.
You know, she’s right? It’s comedienne Dana Moon, who has a mean sense of humor and a podcast that probably isn’t safe for work. Sigh.
Favorite Recent Movie
Into the Wild
It’s the true story of Supertramp, and his decision to shun society as we know it to trek to Alaska and live off the land. It’s all at once liberating and heartbreaking. The wandering spirit in me hitchhiked along with him in this nearly 2-and-a-half-hour movie.
The dad in me died a little at the prospect of knowing your child didn’t want to be found.
Favorite beauty product
Moco de Gorila
So, translated directly, it’s gorilla snot. I don’t use it like the young Latino boys with all that fabulous hair can. But it gives an appearance of semi-fullness and keeps me from getting wispy. Plus, gorilla snot! What boy can resist that?
Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey – The Middle
I love this! I love her voice. I love the lyrics. It plays constantly when I’m at work at Target, and I associate it with good things. The sentiment carries a bit of that love angst that is hard to avoid – but only when both parties truly want what’s best for the other.
The middle. And it’s a hard place to find. Damned nearly impossible to find.
Yes, it’s a Target joint. I bought my first shirt out of necessity. I’d shown up for a 6 a.m. shift without a red shirt. I tried on an extra large, as is my jam for the past, oh, 30 years? Only, the extra large felt so roomy. It fit like a tent.
I looked in the mirror. It draped nearly to my knees. I looked like a guest star on Honey I Shrunk the Kids. So I pulled it off and tried a large. I haven’t fit in many large shirts since Lionel Richie crooned the original (and best) Hello.
But, it fit.
It fell just below my beltline. It clung to my arms and chest. I felt … normal. Handsome, even. Aerodynamic, definitely. And the cotton blend was perfect for six straight hours of stocking USB cables and helping soccer moms find just the right earbuds for the gym.
I decided right then and there I’d never be extra large again.
This one came from my last employer. Unfortunately, it still bears the company logo. It has a padded sleeve inside to protect my new Mac from my great new job at ACN. And pockets for essentials, such as powdered caffeine drink packs and my soccer stat book.
And with a little alteration, it becomes much more beautiful.
That, but eating damaged Easter candy with Jess in Hardlines is a close second. (It’s just going to get thrown out anyway, Plus, Reeses’ eggs? Yum.) Possibility, in working with people who see me, at Target and ACN.
Possibility in even stronger relationships with my girls. In helping kids I coach reach rare air, competing with teams that used to crush them. Of finding what’s possible when you believe in yourself and are surrounded by those who believe in you, too.
Because before you know it, seasons change. All the more reason to seize the day – whether it’s filled with thunderstorms or sleet, bacon or food pantry fare, catchy songs or new blog themes.
It’s good to be back.