Old Photos

So here’s the funny thing about looking for old photos, sometimes you find things you really don’t mean to.  On a recent hour-long quest to locate pictures of me as a cheerleader to show my daughter I found all kinds of things.  Sure I found some old pictures – some good, some bad – a lot with some really bad ’80’s mall hair.  But I finally found the cheerleading pictures.  I found them in my scrapbook I kept from my senior year in high school.  Pictures aside I found so much more.  I found just about everything I had ever written – well at least in my senior year.

I was the school paper editor and had saved all the editorials I had written.  Reading them was somewhat embarrassing.  I was so full of myself!  Then I found the “Lessons in Life” essays that the Senior Honors English classes had to write as their final assignment.  It was fun to look and see what great lessons my classmates and I had amassed in our 18 years of life.  There were pages filled with advice like don’t procrastinate, be who you are, treat others as you want to be treated, work together and my personal favorite (in the great words of Cowboy Bob) “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”  My lesson in life was about how friendships are important in your life, which was a common theme in the essays, but the one thing I liked about mine was that apologies are easy to give but forgiveness is hard to obtain.

I don’t know how long I sat reading the essays which were carefully printed on dot matrix printers (wow – the amount of technology we have gained in 20 years!).  The funny thing was that all these wonderful lessons that we had written like they were new concepts to us were all taught to us in 1st and 2nd grade, we just didn’t understand them fully until we were 18.  I know.  I have Teagan’s 2nd grade “Values” list to refer to: Truth, Respect for Others, Honesty, Responsibility, Kindness….  So we are all taught these values at age 8, by 18 we have experienced enough to figure out which one is most important to us and maybe mastered a few and by 38 we may have only mastered a few more.

My life lesson at age 38?  The most important things in life that happen to you aren’t usually something you wish for or plan but the ones the ones that smack you in the face at 4 o’clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday when you aren’t paying attention or expecting it.

What else did I find in my scrapbook?  Newspaper clippings, graduation cards, a pressed flower from homecoming… all the things my son will start collecting in 3 years.  I also found a horribly written poem about homecoming that I really hope I didn’t turn in for any type of grade.  Several notes from teachers saying I wasn’t working up to my potential – I guess Dawson get’s it honestly.  And my favorite – also a Senior Honors English project – a look at my life 10 years from now.  We were to write about what we thought our life would be like at our 10 year high school reunion.

I would say it was laughable but it’s got a scary parallel going on.  I thought I would drive a convertible – I do have a moon roof on my Blazer but I gave up the Sunbird convertible at age 21.  I explained my husband’s absence was due to him having season tickets to the Cubs – although my husband did not attend my 20 year reunion it was not due to baseball it was because he was working.  And my husband wouldn’t have season tickets to the Cubs, the Reds maybe but definitely not the Cubs (but it is totally believable that he would ditch a date with me for a good baseball game).  I lived in Chicago – yeah this one isn’t even close but I included it anyway.  I showed everyone pictures of my daughter “January” at her 1 year birthday party – at my 10 year reunion I had my son, Dawson, who was two.  But as you can see even back then I couldn’t pick normal names for kids!  I had a picture of us in front of our two-story house with our dogs and cats – We used to have dogs now we have only have one and we have a 1 story on a basement.  (Seriously a two-story house in Chicago? I wonder what I planned on my Cub loving husband to do for a living – probably a brain surgeon – hey that would have come in handy.) I told everyone about my occupation as a morning radio show host (I guess I was planning on using that Telecommunications degree) – well these days I do talk on the radio usually 2-3 times a week but you need an 800 mHz police and fire radio to hear me and I’m usually saying things like “copy a theft report” and not “next up Eminem and Rhianna and I love the way you lie.”

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Deep Fried Butter

Today I ate deep-fried butter.

Yep I will just leave that sentence all by itself for everyone to ponder.  It was one of those impulses that I should know at age 38 to ignore.  It was an idea placed in my head by the Sunday morning newspaper – where I read that it is not just a deep-fried stick of butter but rather a mixture of butter,cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla rolled into a ball and then frozen before being dipped in funnel cake batter and deep-fried.

I was skeptical though.  And once I hit the main drag today at the State Fair and saw the multitude of “fair food” offered I was already abandoning the idea that deep-fried butter was worth trying.  After all there were trailer after trailer offering everything from chicken on a stick to corn dogs and nachos.  But I kept coming back to the deep-fried butter trailer.  And it’s hard to resist wedged in between the chocolate covered bacon stand and the deep-fried (fill in the blank) stand.  So I finally decided to try it.  After all those same ingredients are used to make a lot of things like Snickerdoodles and Cinnamon Rolls.  I mean really what recipe for sweets doesn’t use butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla?

So I ponied up the $5 and ordered a batch of deep-fried butter.  I almost changed and ordered the deep-fried brownie that was on the menu also but in the end I stuck with the deep-fried butter.  I actually heard one of my arteries scream in horror.  The man handed me a plate with four deep-fried butter balls each one just a smudge smaller than a tennis ball covered in powdered sugar.  I bit into the first one and it was interesting.  The batter on the outside fries up just like a funnel cake would but when you hit the center it’s nothing but melted cinnamon-sugar-vanilla flavored butter.  Don’t get me wrong it’s not bad.  The first one tasted pretty good, the second one was OK but not all the butter had melted so it reminded me that I’m still eating fried butter… by the third one I took one bite and decided one deep-fried butter ball was enough.  For a lifetime.

My husband tried the “doughnut burger” – a hamburger with cheese and bacon slapped between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  I had a bite of it.  Not bad really, a little odd actually the salty/sweet taste.  Again one bite of the doughnut burger will last me a lifetime.  Come to find out the “Deep Fried” franchise at the State Fair is owned by one family – a mother and father and their adult children who are constantly trying to out-do each other with crazy food concoctions.  No it’s not Paula Deen’s family either (she was the one who came up with the sausage bacon egg and cheese on a doughnut breakfast sandwich).  They own the chocolate covered bacon stand, the deep-fried butter or brownie stand, the deep-fried (name your favorite candy bar) stand and the popular doughnut burger stand.  They also have one stand that just sells your normal everyday corn dogs, hotdogs and lemon shake ups.

As I was getting on the trolley to go to the other side of the fair (because my stomach was telling me it would throw up if I walked – luckily the butter drowned the artery that was screaming earlier) they were announcing how to get tips on a healthier lifestyle at one of the hospital booths.  Tip #1 – Don’t eat at the fair. It seemed kind of ironic to listen to tips like eat 4-5 servings of vegetables a day and exercise 3 times a week while riding a trolley past nearly 50 stands selling tons of deep-fried foods and sugar-coated desserts.

It has now been several hours since I ate the deep-fried butter and I think my stomach has finally forgiven me.  Dave did come up with some killer ideas for us to start our own concession stand.  He thought we should try deep-frying a hamburger patty and then sprinkling it with sugar and cinnamon.  Or how about chocolate covered tomatoes?  My own idea was a chocolate lemon shake up.  Maybe it would be better as a chocolate orange shake up.  Of course these ideas come from parents who have a child who eats jelly & bacon sandwiches.  Ohhhh maybe that’s it, deep-fried jelly & bacon sandwiches!!  We will make a fortune!

Next year I’m sticking to chicken on a stick.  Although they did have a chicken “sundae” – mashed potatoes covered with corn and gravy and chicken.  Hmmmm  maybe.

PS…… Yes I do feel somewhat guilty that I didn’t buy Teagan any chocolate covered bacon since those are her two most favorite foods in the whole world – Pork and Chocolate.