Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Pretender

My sister, Debbie, posted this a while back on her blog.  These are her words about our experience growing up in a children's home.

We had food, a roof over our head and a bed to sleep in, the things that would keep a child’s body safe.

The ones that could have been our examples went in their room each night and shut their door. They closed up their hearts and left us to cling to each other.

We were wounded and broken. We were not shown our individual value.

All of us had dreams, some were grand but most were simple.

It was our spirits that begged for attention. We knew they never expected us to succeed.

We were all scattered at different times to different places. It has been amazing when we find each other again. There is a joy that we feel to know that another of us made it out.

We all have heard the same response when people hear our story. “You seem so normal to have had such a horrible childhood.” But we are not normal.

We just became very good at hiding our pain. No matter how hard we try to cover up where we came from it cannot be changed. We were the unwanted. No matter what we succeed at we never believe we are good enough. How can we be? We were the thrown away trash.

The strong personalities and the stubborn will are the tools we used to pull us up so we could show everyone that we do have value. It started as a front to show the world. It becomes a wall that we make everyone face, even the ones we love.

Debbie hit the nail on the head.  Sometimes I feel like a survivor of some sort of tragedy.  I can only imagine a small piece of what others feel who also go without food and shelter.  At least we had that. 

But don't all kids deserve just that little bit more?  Don't they deserve to be held accountable for their choices, and be asked to rise to a certain level of behavior and achievement?  Would it be so hard to listen to what they say?  I feel like the bar was set really low for us.  So when someone gets to know me and they notice that I can hold down a job they are amazed. 

What might have happened if someone had cared just a little more?  Asked me how my day was? Quizzed me on my times tables for math?  Heck, maybe even gave me a hug?  Maybe I wouldn't think that I have to solve all my problems myself, alone, without even God to count on.  Maybe I would be able to do mental math instead of counting on my fingers (sneakily).  Maybe my physical personal space would not have to be quite so big. 

Am I stronger?  I don't know.  Probably not.  I am just a really good pretender.       

Thursday, April 21, 2011

100 things about me....

This was inspired by my friend Nellie.  It was hard, too!

You should try it!

1.       I do not like to exercise.  But recently started doing it anyway.
2.       I love food.  Eating makes me happy, soothes me, cheers me, and comforts me.
3.       I love to read more than almost anything.  Only fiction.
4.       I have a wonderful supportive husband, Kim.  He is just right for me.
5.       I have a son, Jacob who is 17.  He amazes me and makes me laugh.
6.       I do not like chocolate cake.  NO.THANK.YOU.
7.       Nothing smells better to me than baking bread.
8.       Breaking an addiction to QT Vanilla Cupcake cappuccino almost broke me.
9.       God has been my friend for many years.
10.   I love people, but strongly suspect that people secretly don’t like me.
11.   I stupidly worry a lot about what people think about me.
12.   I have 3 dogs, two are big, Bonnie and Clyde, one is smallish, Pixie.
13.   My Grandmother is 89. She has had a hard life, but just keeps going.
14.   I have an older brother and sister, 3 half brothers and 2 foster brothers.
15.   I lived in a children’s home from Second grade through 5th grade.
16.   I lived in a foster home from 6th grade until I graduated from High School.
17.   I really wish I could be a homemaker.
18.   My foster mother was amazing lady.  I would love the chance for one more day with her.
19.   Burgundy/Maroon is my favorite color.
20.   The number 25 is my favorite number.
21.   I regret that I haven’t had the chance to get to know my brother’s kids in Pennsylvania.
22.   I love babies.  Sigh.  I really do.
23.   My favorite season is Fall.  The trees and the colors just make me so happy.
24.   I am constantly amazed at how God has moved in my life.
25.   I have secrets.
26.   My sister, Debbie is amazing.  I love her with all my heart.
27.   I played basketball in high school and fantasize about playing again.
28.   I was a really bad basketball player, but in my mind, I was awesome.
29.   It really hurts me when people who I thought loved me walk away.
30.   Sometimes I forget to be careful of other’s feelings.
31.   Coffee on a cold morning is a comfort, but only if I have cream and sugar!
32.   I get really grouchy when I get hot.
33.   My senior year of high school really was one of the best years of my life.
34.   I love to knit, sew, cook, embroider, or just anything creative.
35.   Mean people make me very angry.
36.   I very often forget to pray.  My focus is weak.
37.   Studying other religions is fascinating to me.
38.   When I see an old house, I want to know the story of its life. Who lived there, when and why?
39.   Most of the people in my family are very mischievous, I am no exception.
40.   I like to make people laugh, but often get carried away.
41.   I desperately want to be a light for God, but worry that more often I cast shadows.
42.   I have very little will power when it comes to my diet.
43.   I won’t show my toenails unless they have been painted.
44.   I used to KNOW I was smart, now I KNOW how little I will ever know or understand.
45.   I often feel helpless and frustrated.
46.   I have a lot of questions for God.  Just a lot.  
47.   I usually think that you need to know what I think.  So it pops right out of my mouth.
48.   Pasta, pasta, pasta.  I love you pasta.
49.   I crave security.
50.   I don’t care what kind of car you drive.  It surprises me that people think anyone cares.
51.   In my dreams, I can fly.
52.   My father is still living, but I have not seen him or spoken to him in over 20 years.
53.   I am not afraid to die.  But I don’t want any pain.  Ha!
54.   I do not like artificial sweetener.
55.   I love Sharpies.
56.   My mother lives in a nursing home.
57.   I am not afraid of germs.  Bring it!
58.   Rolo’s are my drug of choice.
59.   Bacon. 
60.   I flipped off Santa when I was a child.
61.   I love Survivor, the television show.
62.   Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
63.   I am extremely allergic to poison ivy and get it nearly once a year.
64.   Sock monkeys creep me out.  They are the “Chuckie” of stuffed animals.
65.   I can’t grow stuff.  I kill plants.
66.   My mother has schizophrenia and I am afraid sometimes that I do too, and no one is telling me.
67.   I do not visit my mother as often as I should, this produces guilt.
68.   Baby giggles, OH YEAH!
69.   I don’t like to be late, and rarely am.
70.   I like thunder storms.
71.   My finances depress me.
72.   I do not like being tall.
73.   I am very loyal.
74.   I am ashamed of my house.
75.   I think it is creepy when people say “sexy”.
76.   I sneeze a lot.  No, really, a lot.
77.   I usually cry every time I think about my foster mom. There, just teared up typing this.
78.   I like to go shopping.
79.   Cinderella was my favorite story as a child.
80.   My name is not Lisa.
81.   I love country music.
82.   I find myself attracted like a magnet to funny people.
83.   I like the smell of Liquid Paper.
84.   My best friend lives in Texas.  I miss her.
85.   Sometimes I text and drive.
86.   I love to travel.
87.   I have to doodle when I am on the phone, or listening to people talk.
88.   I do not like to drink from a plastic cup unless I have a straw.
89.   I could easily eat potatoes with every meal.
90.   I am so happy we have email.
91.   I have little ears.
92.   Sometimes if I get really mad, I throw stuff.
93.   I am very sad that Jacob does not like to read.
94.   I know I have a guardian angel, and he is good at what he does.
95.   I try really hard not to have an “entitled” attitude, but sometimes, I think I deserve more.
96.   I have disappointed many people in my life, and that breaks my heart.
97.   I wish I could go back to college.
98.   I like to talk to elderly people about their lives.
99.   I love prairie stories, like Little House on the Prairie.      
100.  I like to draw pictures.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Brunch at Sarah's, a Restaurant Review

This is my first official restaurant review.  Quite possibly my only one.  We'll see.

Today I had lunch at a local restaurant called Brunch at Sarah's.  Someone had brougnt a menu by our office and since it is located just down the street from the office at 80th & Yale, I thought it would be a great place to try.  I have to be honest here, I have never reviewed anything, and I don't know if there is a preferred format or what.  So I will just do it how I want.

First, what is offered.  A variety of breakfast and lunch items, including omelets, eggs, wraps, pancakes, waffles, soups and sandwiches.  The bread is from Farrell Natural Breads, which is right next door.  Very convenient and fresh.

Next, what I ate.  The Cranberry Orange Club on whole wheat.  Smoked ham & turkey, cheddar and Swiss cheese, hickory smoked bacon, cranberry orange sauce, spinach, red onion & tomato.  It comes with a choice of sides.  Fries, potato chips, mixed fruit, potato salad or pasta salad.  I chose fries.  I had a moment of weakness when I went to pick up the to-go order and popped for a cranberry oatmeal walnut cookie.  The lady who rang me up said she had just made them and they were fresh and delicious.  Last but not least, and icy cold Pepsi to wash it all down.

The review:

I will start with a small critique and get that out of the way.  Best to end on a good note.  This is tiny.  Very small.  Well two, ok 3 little complaints.  When I was ready to call in the order, there was no phone number on the menu.  I said tiny!  No big deal, I can google!  Next, no pickle!!!  It was supposed to come with a pickle spear and I was robbed of my pickle.  This was a little traumatic, I admit, because I have a special feeling about pickle spears, but I will get over it.  Last, when I asked my friend what she thought of her lunch (which was identical to mine) she said there was an awful lot of meat on the sandwich.  Now, I don't think it is fair to complain about that, too much???  So let's just forget that one.  I will throw in one last concern.  I like to keep my lunch budget small.  I am just a poor girl.  Eating out is a splurge for me.  I usually pack my lunch, and this cost about double what I would normally pay for my lunch when I do eat out.  The sandwich & fries were $7.99.  I was a little dubious for that reason, but fear not!  The sandwiches are HUGE!  Really more like a sandwich and a half.  You can easily split this between two people making it quite economical.

Here comes the good part.  It was delicious!!  The bread is nicely toasted and tasted good enough to eat alone.  The spinach and tomato were fresh.  The cranberry orange sauce added a nice tangy zip.  The meat had a nice smokey taste, that contrasted nicely with the zippy sauce, and there was NOT too much.  I mentioned before that the portion was huge, so this is more than most people (except Jacob) eat for lunch, but I forced myself to eat it anyway, it was too good to leave.  I had to leave some of the fries which were crispy and delicious, too.  The cookie, oh the cookie!  JUST.GO.EAT.ONE.  My word, I have a new addiction!  A side note, there was a lady checking out as I was waiting for my order, she said that she and her husband eat there a lot.  She favors the Veggie Wrap, and her husband likes the Spinach Omelet. 

I highly recommend this restaurant for lunch, and I hope someday I can revisit for a breakfast item.  Sorry, I don't know what their hours of operation are, but I can tell you the phone number, 918-488-1855.  Located at 81 & Yale area, in the shopping center with the Food Pyramid.