Me vs. Them

I haven’t done every day’s assignments but I am still following along with the Writing 101 class.  Here’s today’s writing challenge /  assignment:

Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.

This is another kind of writing I haven’t done since I was a kid, but it lends itself perfectly to me expanding on my last post about trying to feed my kids healthy food, or get them to do anything else healthy…

“So, Mad, you want to help me make dinner?” I asked my daughter through her closed door.  I had to ask loudly as she was blasting screamo (we used to call it punk and I like it but won’t admit that to her) AND watching Supernatural on her tablet)

“I’m good”

“I didn’t ask if you were good or not, I asked if you were going to help me make dinner” I helpfully reminded her.

“What are you making?”

“I’m trying out this new vegan recipe I found” I told her.

“Ewww, I’m good.”

OK, seriously?  I opened her door. “I was just pretending to give you a choice, come out and chop a tomato.”

Much eye rolling, dragging of feet, and asking if everyone could make their own dinners tonight ensues.

Finally we were both in the kitchen and she watched me pull the ingredients out of the fridge. Cue predictable teen enthusiasm.

“I hate mushrooms.”

“I hate dill”

“I don’t like soy sauce”

“What is that even?”
I told her “rice noodles, it’s something different.”

“I don’t like rice.”

In a voice I was pretty sure (but not totally sure) the neighbors couldn’t hear “It’s NOT RICE, it’s rice noodles.  You can’t hate it, you’ve never even tried it!”

“I hate rice.”


Me, “Oh good god I’ll make it myself. I should have just made a frozen pizza.”

The worst part of all?  None of us liked it.  It was a cool recipe but we all found out we only like dill when it’s part of a pickle.  Even worst?  I made myself eat everything on my plate to prove a point.

Even knowing that I don’t care too much for dill I think it looked dang good halfway through making the sauce.


On the plus side I think with some modifications (no dill, maybe some hot peppers) this could be pretty good.

Do you have your kids help cook?  If so do they enjoy it or not so much?  My kids can actually all 3 cook better than I did at their ages, but they prefer to cook when it isn’t considered helping.  Especially if I foolishly say the V word!




The Starting Line

Today’s Writing 101 writing assignment:

We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.


Two of my favorite places are the start and the finish of a run.  These two places can be very, very close to each other in space but they are really very, very far apart in every way that matters.

The starting line of my first mud run (which was also my first race of any kind) was a pretty terrifying and exhilarating place.  There was a group of perfect, could have been model girls off to the right all in matching running outfits all doing pushups and lunges and other warm up type stuff in unison that seemed pretty official and intimidating to someone who had never even run a 5K before.  Was I supposed to be warming up or something?

There were big, muscly guys also warming up and yelling encouragement to each other.  Um, I’m barely over 5 foot and way too little and un-muscled to be doing this.  What was I thinking?

The starting line was like a holding pen, lots of people standing close together, all of them kind of bouncing and moving in place somehow while waiting for the cannon to signal them to start running.  Looking past the starting line all I could see was dirt and mud.  No obstacles in sight, how far was I going to have to run before I could stop and climb something?

There was a couple standing next to me in t-shirts and work out pants like me.  I asked them how many of these they had done, none.   Yay, I wasn’t the only one!

Just like anywhere else I found that the more I talked to people the more people talked to me and come to find out there were a lot of first timers there.  I think you could literally feel the nervousness in the air.  But as we talked we started to feel like old friends pretty quick and to relax.

And the people who had done a mud run before all had the same thing to say.  You’re going to love it!  Just wait, you’ll want to sign up for another one as soon as you’re done, don’t worry people will help you if you need it, on and on not a negative word from anyone.

You could smell dirt, sweat, and tension in the air.  Don’t ask me what that smells like, but you’ll know it when you smell it.

Then the count down began.


Why did I sign up for this?


What was I thinking?


Didn’t they say there would be barb wire and electricity?


How cold is water with ice in it anyways?


I better move up to the front so I at least don’t start off last


Should I have worn shorts?


Should I have worn longer pants?


I can actually feel the excitement in the air like the electricity after a lightning strike


This is going to be awesome





Overwhelmed – food choices

I don’t seem to be able to get back into running OR writing ever since I stopped when I was sick.  It’s not because I don’t have time or anything logical like that, I just got out of the habit and haven’t got back in yet.  To help me get back in the habit of writing (since I do, after all, enjoy it!) I joined a Writing 101 class.  It’s not exactly a class, but that’s a close enough description for me.

The first assignment?  Just to write freely for 20 minutes.   And then post it. I am taking the fact that it is an assignment as an excuse to simply write for 20 minutes without worrying about wrapping up the subject, giving an  answer to the problem, or looking for a picture to go with it. One neat thing about this assignment is that when I was done I had all kinds of other things that I wanted to write about.  I do believe this class may work to get me back into writing!

So here is assignment 1, free writing.  It’s kind of funny because writing the first paragraph I wasn’t even planning to write about food.  🙂



Am I the only one who sometimes looks around and feels overwhelmed by everything there is to do and everything there is to accomplish? I want to do so many things, but I just don’t. I’d like to say there isn’t enough time, and there really isn’t sometimes but most of the time I simply don’t know how to get started or after I have started I don’t know what to do next.

One of my big challenges right now is eating right, and making certain that my kids start eating better. One big challenge is that the boys and I have tae kwon do classes three or four nights a week and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking dinner, especially since we don’t want to eat right before we leave for class. Running around with a just filled stomach is not the most fun thing ever.

I know that prepping food on the weekends, planning easy things like sandwiches, and using the crockpot all would help. Knowing this and doing it are two very different things! Of course it doesn’t help that my kids see any food that’s not what they usually eat as something to run from. Frozen pizza, burritos, or chicken nuggets are their idea of the perfect dinner. It should be as easy as not buying the things I don’t want them to eat and I do that often enough, but then there’s the little part where I have to supply healthy food as an alternative. Curses!

One thing I never learned at home was how to cook. My mom always did a meat, a veggy and a starch and we always sat at the table together and ate. But us kids had nothing to do with the actual cooking. I think the most I ever did in the kitchen was make kool aid. Of course it didn’t help that I became a vegetarian and moved out when I was 17, I didn’t even know what vegetarians where supposed to eat let alone how to cook whatever it was.

I bought the book Lauren’s Kitchen and started making my own breads, sprouting, and all the interesting things that were in the book. Not bad for someone who was known for burning water. But then I had kids, and baking bread and sprouting was replaced with walking around and around the house or neighborhood with a colicky baby, reading stores, taking day trips to the library for story time, all the things that moms of little ones find consuming all of their time. Food was the last thing on my mind, I ate at work or grabbed a cheese sandwich, whatever was quick and easy.

All of that seemed fine and good and I really didn’t worry about what I was feeding myself or my family much. But with the advent of social media a person really can’t ignore or say they didn’t know about just how bad some of the food is that we eat every day. Chemicals in the food, hormones in the dairy and meat, and now GMOs to worry about. How is a person not to be overwhelmed?