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9 degrees January 13, 2016

Filed under: I wonder,Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 4:27 am
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Tonight was a typical night for me. After work I had to run to Roncalli to pick up Kam, run over to the bowling alley for bowling practice, then hustle him downtown for play practice at the Anthenaeum.

Typical running, going through the drive thru for dinner, dropping him off to bowl with his teammates for about two hours, during the time he was bowling I was running errands – dropping off dry cleaning, talking to a friend on the phone, grabbed a Starbucks, and chatted with another friend before Kam came out of practice; jumped in the car and told me he forgot his pants for the dress rehearsal tonight. Looking at the clock, I knew I had just enough time to run him home, have him change his clothes while I made a couple of peanut butter sandwiches, sliced up an apple, grab a water and head back out onto the snow covered streets. I remember complaining the streets in our neighborhood  were basically a block of ice, I looked over and my comments were falling on deaf ears –  wireless headphones and iTunes had taken over.

I often don’t turn on the radio when I drive Kam around, mostly because I can hear what he’s listening to already. Windshield time is time for me to think about what’s next. Dinner, homework, work, tv, playing with Riley, and eventually sleep.

I dropped my aspiring actor at his destination a few minutes early (which makes me feel accomplished) and was ready to head back home to get dinner ready for Mr. D.

Downtown is usually quiet on that side of town, as I turned on Alabama I noticed there were lights about a block behind from me, but were heading my way. I pulled over and waiting for them to pass. It was a red, SUV type of vehicle, I noticed it was Indianapolis Fire Department vehicle as they passed. Almost immediately they got in front of me and went to the next block and started to get out of the SUV. Then I saw a guy on a cell phone with a blue coat talking to one of them. Two of the other firefighters were headed toward a bench a few feet away from the corner on the passenger side of my car. I don’t know why but I rolled down my window as I observed the scene.

There was a man (I’m guessing it was a man because they kept calling him bud) lying on a park bench motionless. It appeared to me that he may have been there awhile, the plastic like tarp that was covering him was covered partially in snow. He was motionless. One of the firefighters was calling something in and the other just stood there shaking his head.

That’s when a cop car pulled up to the scene and I got in the next lane and out of the way.

I cried all the way home. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. Someones father, uncle, brother, cousin, or son was laying on a bench downtown, motionless, covered by plastic and snow.

I’ve seen homeless people downtown before, but never in that condition. I’m sure there are people reading this saying “yeah, well if you think that’s bad you should see how it is in Chicago, New York, LA.” I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t care. I think it’s absolutely despicable that a man who had obviously been lying there for hours probably got past by a hundred times by people that didn’t make a call.

If I knew there was something I could do that would make a difference I would. I’ve volunteered at food pantries, gave money when I could but I just feel hopeless.

My heart broke for a man that I never met; but I will never forget him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Broccoli Soup January 15, 2014

That’s right veggy fans, Broccoli Soup!

As much as I would like to take full credit for this recipe I can’t. All the credit goes to Gordon Ramsay (you might have heard of him.) That gorgeous, half crazy, chef that I can’t seem to get enough of. Over Christmas while I was Googleing his Beef Wellington preparation I happened on this broccoli soup recipe and thought; there is NO WAY it’s that simple. As a dare to myself I decided to make the soup to debunk the recipe, like the tail wagging the dog.   Image

I’ll say it, I’m a complete &$#!*%* idiot. Not only is is simple, it’s simply delicious.

If you’re in the mood to impress your friends with a fantastic soup and you don’t want to divulge how long it took to make, or the complete ingredient list, trust me, you’ll look like a genius.

Gordon Ramsay’s Broccoli Soup

Ingredients:

1 1/2 bunch of Broccoli – you’ll only need the florets

Water

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 small log of Goat Cheese

That’s it.

Bring the water to a rapid boil in a 5 quart pot (water level should be enough to cover the broccoli.) Do Not add anything to the water – just water and broccoli. Cook the broccoli until a paring knife goes through the broccoli easily (do not overcook the broccoli – it should be slightly firm.) Using a slotted spoon take the broccoli out of the water and put into a blender. Take the broccoli water (you just made your own broccoli stock) and fill the blender 1/2 way with the water. Season with salt and pepper and pulse the blender until the broccoli blends with the water, then give it a full spin for about 45 seconds. Taste the soup, add salt and pepper, blend again, taste again until you have the soup to your liking. Remember you can always add salt and pepper, you can’t subtract, so don’t be too heavy handed. Image

Cut or crumble the goat cheese into the center of the bowl and pour the soup from the blender into the bowl. Pour around the cheese so the soup doesn’t cover it.

I’m not joking, it’s beautiful, easy, and delicious!

 

Soapbox * Disclaimer – Opinions Are My Own December 23, 2013

soapbox

Anyone that knows me personally knows that I have a slight, if not significant dispute with God.

Actually, it’s quite significant.

I sometimes feel like a hypocrite because I send my son to catholic school, even though I haven’t been to church in years. Not because I don’t believe in God (even though our relationship is very strained.) It’s because I don’t want to sit in the back of church sobbing, that’s why I haven’t been to church in years.

Look, I have rules. The two things I don’t talk about ever on Social Media:

  1. Religion
  2. Politics

Because honestly to whatever, whomever, you do or don’t believe in… I seriously don’t care. If I care about you personally, I will do whatever I can, whenever I can, if you need me I will be there to help you in any way I can.

Then I’ve seen all this crap spewed over Facebook and Twitter over these Duck Dynasty assholes,

Congratulations, you’ve got everyone talking about you. Good for you A&E!

I’m sure the hillbilly’s have never blown anything except a duck call device.

So I suppose I’ll break one of my own rules. Look, my parents paid a lot of money for me to go to catholic school, and I AM PAYING A LOT OF MONEY FOR MY SON TO GO TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL. That, by the way, does not mean that I agree with all of people that call themselves “Catholics” or “Christians” or whatever the hell they like to call themselves these days. It’s been my experience that all the heavy handed “God Squaders” (as I like to call them) are the biggest sinners. They’ll look you in the face and stab you in the back; unfortunately I’ve experienced this first hand.

Shame on you.

That’s right.

SHAME ON YOU.

Have you ever heard the expression “people that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?” While you’re preachin – you might start thinking about practicing what you’re actually preaching.

So why don’t you (that would be all of you barking up this tree)  just shut up?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t the idea be to LOVE?

Love – Beyond – Politics

Love – Beyond –  Religion

Love – Despite differences.

It’s easy if you try.

I think someone wrote a song about that once…..

 

Sometimes My Son Reappears December 13, 2013

We’ve had growing pains, Kameron and I. I don’t like that he’s not my sweet little boy that he once was, and he doesn’t like that his mom is extremely hard on him. Thankfully, every once in awhile that sweet boy comes back, if even for a moment. Tonight he did, and I thought I would share.

Assignment: Write a letter to a Kindergartner from Santa about Christmas.

“Dear Kindergartner,

I am delighted that you wrote me this letter of your Christmas list this year. My elves are working on making and buying all the other children’s presents for this year, including yours. Mrs. Clause is in her kitchen baking cookies and our feast for Christmas Eve, which is full of mashed potatoes, green beans, pudding, and roast beef. Our weather in the North Pole is freezing compared to Indiana. The polar bears are cold even in their fur coats, the penguins are hiding in their igloos, and even the reindeer are feeling like icicles. Dasher is running all around the house. Dancer is dancing his hooves off. Prancer is not prancing but pacing. Prixen is eating all of the Twix chocolate bars. Comet is trying to fly across the sky. Cupid is showing love to me and everyone else in the North Pole. Donder is bonding himself with joy. Blitzen is sprinting at the speed of light. Rudolph is shining his nose to show positive energy. Meanwhile, I am checking my list to see who was naughty and nice.

I am getting ready with my sleigh, my sack of presents and coal, and I will be at your house very soon.

Thank you for writing this letter of your list to me and have a Merry Christmas.

Sincerely,

Santa”

That’s my boy….

 

This Boy – Part One December 6, 2013

I remember thinking what idiots my parents were when they said “this is going to hurt me a lot more than it hurts you.” That phrase was usually followed by a whollap across my ass or in later years being grounded “indefinitely.” (Grounded indefinitely was a phrase that I’m pretty sure that my mother invented. It means that you’re grounded for an undetermined amount of time, lifted or enforced at will, feel free to use it when applicable.)

Kameron has not inherited my long-term memory, or short-term memory for that matter, which to me is extremely frustrating. People can make excuses for him all day long, he’s a man, he’s fourteen, it’s puberty, it’s classwork, yada yada yada… You can preach that stuff to me all day long until you’re blue in the face for all I care. The bottom line is you don’t have to deal with the consequences of his lack memory motivation.

Let me enlighten you. It’s Tuesday, BEFORE Thanksgiving. I’ve heard nothing from his father about plans, not a peep from Kam, so I decided to press on with our own plans. Those plans included Thanksgiving Day putting up the Christmas tree and watching football. Friday Samantha was going to be home and I planned on cooking our family dinner. Saturday my mom was coming over for dinner. Sunday was nothing, to relax and get ready for the week ahead. I went in to tell Kameron good night Tuesday night, he had this weird look on his face, I could tell something was on his mind. I asked “what’s up?” He looked at me and said “just wondering what I’m going to do on Friday with my Dad.” Excuse me? The two of them had made plans on Friday and just “forgot” to tell me about it. So I rearranged our entire schedule.

Tuesday of this week (I guess Tuesday is a bad day.) Kam has choir practice, it ends at 4. I left work, ran some errands, and was at school to pick him up around ten till. I was on the phone with my cousin, so I wasn’t bored, but when the clock showed ten after I started to get irritated. My cousin said “I bet he has practice until 4:30 and forgot to tell you”, I said “no way.” Sure enough, 4:30 rolls around and out he strolls with this somber look on his face. “I forgot” he says. I’ve waited for 40 minutes and “I forgot” is all he has?

Today, I emailed his choir teacher to make sure they didn’t have practice until 4:30 again today, she replied no, so I was at school in line to pick him up at the regular time. I knew they had a performance today at school, but had no idea that there was another performance at 7 tonight and he had to be back at school by 6:30. “I forgot” again. This time I was pissed. I grounded him. Which means no phone, computer, games, etc.

Now he’s grounded “under the house” as I like to put it.

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out why.

 

Progress Report November 4, 2013

kam14Last week we had parent teacher conferences at Kam’s school. I remember going to my own parent teacher conferences, the fear, the dread of what the teachers might tell my parents.

Things were different when I was in Kam’s shoes. My parents couldn’t check my grades online. They didn’t get weekly emails telling them what my grades were. Progress reports were given to parents and the parent teacher conferences were so the teachers could hold our feet to the fire in front of our parents, or the other way around. It was definitely more intimidating.

When I got to school Kam met me in the hallway. I could tell he was nervous. Report cards had already come out, so I already knew what his grades were. He made second honors, which in my book is great, not so much in his book. He puts an incredible amount of pressure on himself about his grades; and pretty much everything else. Walking up the stairs I asked who he wanted to talk to, he said his home room teacher and Mr. Carter. I put my arm around him and said “I’ve told you Mr. Carter reminds me a lot of my professor Mr. Hanna right?” He said “yeah mom.”

Mr. Hanna was hard on me. It wasn’t because I didn’t get good grades, it was because he saw more potential in me than I saw in myself. He helped me get through school, when I wanted to quit, he would just tell me “oh that’s just bullshit.” When I went to school I was working full-time, going to school at night, and toward the end pregnant. I remember crying on the phone with Mr. Hanna not wanting to leave my month old baby to take finals so I could graduate. He probably said something like it’s 2 hours, get in there and get it done, it will be ok. So I did, and I graduated.

We went into Kam’s homeroom teacher. She’s very nice, saying that Kam is participating a lot more in class, and just needs to work on his AR (some additional reading they have to do every quarter.) I assured her that we were going to be working on that. She said that he was very polite, and respectful to the girls. I thanked her, we headed out down the hallway to Mr. Carter’s room.

Mr. Carter is an old school type of teacher. Instead of talking about what grades Kam had he asked him how he thought he was doing. Kam said “good.” Then Mr. Carter asked what he was struggling with, they chatted a little. I was looking at my baby having a grown up conversation with his teacher, I could feel myself holding my breath; taking in this moment. Then Mr. Carter said “what do you think mom?”

I told him that Mr. D and I were very proud of him, we’ve noticed he’s really grown up this year. Mr. Carter agreed. He said that “in sixth grade Kameron seems a little dazed, but he’s really come into his own. He’s more confident, he applies himself, he’s respectful to the girls, he has a real presence about him. You should be very proud of the way you’ve raised him. He’s going to Roncalli next year right?” I said yes, we’re very excited.” “Good, that’s good, he’s really stand out at Roncalli, he’s be a star there.”

As we got up to leave Mr. Carter shook Kamerons hand and told him to keep up the good work. He patted my shoulder and said “nice work mom.” An oddly familiar gesture, it’s exactly what my Dad would have done.

 

I Wonder If It Will Burn Down October 1, 2013

The church I mean.

Tonight will be the first time I’ve gone to church since my Dad’s funeral.

It’s not for a funeral this time, it’s for a celebration. Kameron is getting confirmed tonight. Although, I still don’t know what the hell that means.

Kameron went to a retreat last Saturday to talk with his fellow classmates and other ministry type adults about confirmation. When I asked him about his day he was pretty nondescript. I went through the usual questions “Did you have a good time” “What did you guys do” – you know the typical questions any parent might ask. He mentioned that they broke into groups to talk about confirmation and what it meant to them. I asked, what does it mean to you? He sighed and rolled his eyes at me and said ‘they asked me why I wanted to get confirmed.” Looking at him, I could tell he was annoyed, but I pressed on, “what did you tell them?” He said “I wanted to get confirmed because both of my parents are confirmed” (sidebar – parents meaning me and Mr. D for anyone that might be confused.) I asked “is that all you said?” Knowing that the catholic church or their ministry type people probably wouldn’t accept that answer. He said “NO” sounding frustrated, “they asked me why I wanted to get confirmed.” (Here comes the big eye roll)….”I told them it was because I wanted to strengthen my faith.”

Sounded pretty good to me, I guess they bought it.

My memory of confirmation was my mom threatening me – “if you don’t get confirmed you’ll go to Broad Ripple High School because I’m not paying the tuition at Chatard unless you get confirmed.” I can remember that conversation like it was yesterday. I’ve never told Kameron that he had to get confirmed or he couldn’t go to Roncalli.

I hope tonight is more about a spiritual thing than a threat. About a year ago I promised Kameron that “we” as a family would go to church more often. I haven’t kept up my end of the bargain. It’s been too hard. I’ve told Mr. D that I didn’t want to sit in the back of the church and cry. I still haven’t found the answers as to why my Dad isn’t with me anymore, and even if someone gave me answers it wouldn’t be good enough.

Maybe I should just sit in the back of the church and cry, someday, but not today.

Today is Kameron’s day, as it should be.

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