Substandard

via Daily Prompt: Substandard

Where to begin… Everyone has a different idea about what they consider “substandard”. My idea includes second-rate, sub par, and half-ass effort. Basically, it sucks, whatever IT is. Please allow a rant, or three.

A lot of people think our president is substandard, rather I think that Congress as a whole is substandard.  I think telling the country that you will do something if given the chance but then, in essence, saying “we were just kidding” is garbage. I think that Congress said they wanted to repeal Obamacare and passed bills for years that they knew had no shot for any number of reasons, including that several of them are making money off of healthcare related investments (via stocks in Big Pharma, medical supply companies, etc). I thought this before I ever heard and Talk Radio talking heads say this.

Some people think that McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Whataburger, etc. serve good, tasty food, and I disagree. I think those place serve substandard food, since most of it is cheap quality, made of GMO ingredients,  chemical-laden, and detrimental to your health. If you disagree, please watch “Supersize Me”, “Food, Inc.”, “King Corn”,  and any other more recent films that discuss the quality and health of the American food supply. I know the argument about people buying what they can afford and what is available, and I understand that food deserts do exist in many areas. However, many cities have expanded availability of farmer’s markets, which often times take food stamps (or whatever they are now called in your state) as payment. I go on this little rant because I have family and friends/co-workers with serious health issues that will cost them and the healthcare system A LOT of money throughout their lives because they refuse to make simple changes. I am not a perfect  person or eater, but I like to think that I learn from at least some of my mistakes

I think it is substandard to misrepresent yourself and your abilities, especially if you own a business that provides a services for which  people pay you a lot of money. When we renovated our newly purchased home, this was a HUGE  problem. We hired painters, with good reviews on Yelp, that couldn’t paint and we hired tile installers that either didn’t know how to grout or didn’t care about doing a good job. The end result was Husband repainting the house after we had some re-texturize the walls, and he later had to replace grout that crumbled in less than 3 months. We are looking at our options regarding the tile job and, unfortunately, the outcome of legal involvement against the painters resulted in us not owing them the result of the bill (after paying half) and them not paying us the money we wanted back for crappy work… and it ended up costing us more to fix/finish the job. Completely SUBSTANDARD!

I am not asking for much, just for people to get up everyday and do their best to be good, decent, and honest people. I make mistakes too, but I at least 90% of the time try to do what I should do as a good, decent, and honest person. I don’t think that this is asking too much.

 

Local- GO TEXAN

via Daily Prompt: Local

This month marked four years since Husband and I moved to Central Texas from the Chicago area. One of the things I love about Texas is the abundance of food, drinks, snacks, and other items that are Texan made marked with the GO TEXAN logo. You hear so much about the importance of shopping local and buying local, but Texans are fortunate in that you really can support your state  and your community economies almost every time you buy food or drinks without much conscious effort.

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GOTEXAN.ORG

Some of my favorite products include Kombucha, either Buddha’s Brew, Holy Kombucha, or Kosmic Kombucha  depending on what flavor I’m feeling. Buddha’s and Kosmic are made in Austin and Holy is made in Dallas-Fort Worth. When I indulge in an alcoholic beverage, I prefer cider and I really like Austin Eastciders Pineapple or Dry Apple.

As for food, we like to go to our local farmer’s market  on Saturday to stock up on farm-fresh, free range eggs, meat, and vegetables. Many of the farmers are from the greater Austin area, and they provide quality products verses what we would find at Whole Foods or other local grocery stores that sell products from around the country.  It’s also fun to see what new foods and vegetables are in season, and try new things.

 

 

Bitter….

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Bitter makes me think of unsweet, unripened fruit, maybe lemons or limes, certain  roasts of coffee, and people full of regret and resentment. I can sweeten the fruit and the coffee, but a bitter person is a whole other thing.  ruffled

I think of my parents, especially my father. He has been a reliable father, a dog-lover, and a wonderful friend to many… just don’t ask him about my mother, don’t bring up sports he doesn’t like, or politics he doesn’t agree with. If he were a cup of coffee, he would have an aftertaste, even with a health dose of cream and coconut sugar. On the wrong day, you might switch to another coffee blend, or just drink tea.

Bitter also makes me think of bad choices, like fruit picked at the wrong time or eaten out of season. Have you ever had a good winter peach, or enjoyed a strawberry that is pale rather dark red and sweet? Not my preference, for sure.

Letting go, or taking time to chill out can keep you from becoming bitter, like candy without the sweetness. I am trying to remember this, as I slowly begin to  feel overworked and exhausted. I try to seek laughter and sunshine, rather than darkness, anxiety, and the impulse to recoil. I don’t want to be bitter before my time.

Daily Prompt: Vanish

via Daily Prompt: Vanish

At one time, we were inseparable, you and I. Two tall, brown-haired, brown-eyed girls from the Southwest side of Chicago.

We laughed, we shopped, we partied. If you didn’t call me, I would call you. We caught up almost everyday, laughing, making plans, joking, complaining… You were a high school acquaintance, a friend of a friend, and then it was just us. I knew your mother, your brothers, your little girl, a big part of my world for awhile. Almost like my other family when I needed a break. People expected to see us together, me and you, you and me. friends-2015053155

People came and went in our lives, until…. I met someone, the One. And then you met someone. We tried to keep it going, girlfriends with relationships. We made plans to hang out for awhile… but I’ll have to call you back, something came up. Your man has a thing planned, work got in the way, my man lives too far for you to come out that way… The good old days, fun while they lasted. We were two girls who needed to have fun and a few laughs while we had a few drinks, but we had to grow-up… and ended up growing apart.

I called her about a year or so ago to say hello, what’s new? Pleasantries and catching up until the ex-husband came by with the youngest child after visitation, I’ll try to call you soon!  A year or so before that, she called, then I called, phone tag… then I called again and we chatted for a few minutes.  Friends so close until life happens, and then they vanish. Life changes while we are making other plans, but we never quite forget, do we?

 

Reminiscing… and feeling a bit abandoned (revised)

In response to the Daily Prompt, “Abandoned“:

One year ago, Boyfriend and I were hanging out with my mother and my aunt. They came to visit us in Central Texas over a four-day weekend. There were a few interesting moments, but there were also great opportunities to talk with them and to share our corner of the world with them. I had not spent an extensive amount of time with my aunt in a very long time, perhaps since I spent overnights as an adolescent, and I had not seen my mother since I moved from the Chicago area two years prior.

Wow, time does go by. There were moments I could have handled differently, which I learned from, and I hope for another chance for my mom and aunt to visit. I actually hope that my father and my brother and his fiancée all visit because I not only want to show them the beautiful landscape and the places we like in Central Texas, but also because a phone call only does so much. We are all very different people with different interests, ideas, and viewpoints,  and it can be hard to really relate in a meaningful way on the phone.

I feel lucky that I was able to visit my brother and his fiancée’ this past November. I got to see their new apartment and neighborhood, as well as experience a little of their daily existence in NYC. I visited my parents while I was in Chicago last summer, and I think we need a change of venue.  I know that life can be busy, and travelling can be challenging… I think its time for another family visit in Texas!

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