Rainbow Connection: Humor and Inspiration

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Inspire.

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try”  –John F. Kennedy.

Hearts of Inspiration...

First of all, Thanksgiving was wonderful.  Saturday’s Old Oaken Bucket game (Indiana University vs. Purdue University–sorry it’s a Midwest thing!) and enjoyed plenty of good company.  Well tonight really sums up just what a fantastic time I had because I went with a girlfriend of mine to see “The Muppets Movie”  🙂

Over the past few days, I was reminded to Inspire.  At Thanksgiving, just showing up and helping gather the food, people, and everything needed to make the show happen is the best way to be.  No one like people who just show up for food than “peace out!”  Simply playing games with the youngest members of the gathering can mean the whole world to them as a “big person” is paying them some attention.  And hugs are priceless and irreplaceable.

I am a woman who can equally perform tasks as a single or together (thank you Ms. Piggy and Amy Adams for the reminder!), I am someone with a few small gifts to offer–as everyone has SOMETHING they can contribute (thank you Walter…), life is about figuring out who you are and what you are made of (thank you Kermit for helping me never lose hope in myself), and just when you think you can’t figure it out, there are friends who are all around to help you find your way!

The Muppets single-handedly reminded me of the third best thing in the world….laughter!  What would we be without laughter?  That’s right, a bunch of serious fuddy-duds.  I said it.  Fuddy-duds.  What could be worse?  Inspiration through laughter.  What a novel idea!  Something that has far been under appreciated for years…witty, smart, dry humor.

A dear friend of mine, RL taught me a little something about humor this weekend as well when we were on our way to the Old Oaken Bucket game.  To be a stand up, you have to always be on your toes and keep your head about you.  You cannot let people catch you off guard, but play off the opportunities given to you on stage.  If you get a heckler, no need to bother.  They aren’t worth your time.  Keep the rest of the crowd engaged.  Same could go in real life situations as well.

Tonight was a final reminder my desire and purpose is to inspire people.  I am to encourage, help people discover what it is I see that they can’t see, and ultimately change people’s perceptions of themselves that they way they view their futures.  Laughter, positive reinforcements and lots of love….that is the formula.

People are too quick to give up on themselves.  They lose hope so easily!  What is that all about???  We can never ever lose hope especially not in ourselves!  For, if we do not believe we can do it, then surely no one else will.  We must stand tall on our own two feet and chose to inspire ‘I’ first then let the inspiration radiate…

So how do you inspire?  For me, it is humor and insight….but what is it for you dear friends??

❤ CatMan

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Can Can

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So on 11/11/11, I got a call from my mom. She is the school nurse at my siblings’ school. They did a food drive. The office decided that they needed to donate more. Well I get the call “CatMan, can you do me a huge favor?”. In the past, I have been asked to do a lot of crazy things, but this was by far the craziest!

I swapped cars with my mom (yes!) and was woman on a mission for as many cans as $260 would get me. And this is where the post really will make you laugh.

Oh the irony of a 4ft nothing little bitty with two carts. Case upon case upon case. “Some sale, huh?” people were saying….I just nodded my head and agreed. Then after about getting the second cart filled, I though why not have come fun!?

Next person just shot a glare my way. My exact comment? “oh it’s 11/11/11…worried the world’s going to end….must be prepared don’t ya know!” Then they moved on…for whatever reason they didn’t take me seriously! As if…

Now when I got up to the checkout line, I just politely said sorry to all those poor souls behind me…

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Ha…ring, ring, ring…pretty soon it was an assembly line. The cashier, God love her, kept ringing items up with a smile on her face. The woman behind me asked if she could help load the belt with the rest of the items into the other cart. It was a great process!

This is where it gets so funny. There was a man sitting at the other end amazed at all the stock I had! He looked at me like I was a damn nut case. I just looked at him and stated quite bluntly, “I am an extreme couponista and I bet you the total will be under $5!” His eyes got even bigger. I just laughed. Just then there was an abrupt halt. At 395 items it maxes out their transaction! Who would have thought?! I told her then at that point, “I will need someone to help me get these items out to my car please.” I paid for the first bunch while she paged for someone to help. Then she continued with the last transaction of $4 with of cans. Ha!

(upon paying) I ran out to my car and pulled up to the entrance. We loaded everything in and 10 minutes later I was on my way! I called my mom…”Santa’s Elf is on her way! Got gifts securely in hatch. Stand by!”

When I arrived at school, there were several people there to help unload. It was awesome and what a sight to see!

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The receipt was taller than me! How great is that!? (please laugh because I am also standing on the cart).

Doing the can can was in support of not only my mom and siblings’ school, but the soup kitchen as well. What an amazing event all around!

So next time you are asked to do something, don’t roll your eyes just do it. Do it with humor and joy because you could single handedly make everyone think your a nut job and that’s alright! 🙂

“Lowly” Pasta Salad

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My Grandma Mi-Mi and I have been hanging out lately.  Both of us needed a friend so we are just companions for the time being.  It has worked out rather nicely all things considered.  We eat frequently and well.  Neither one of us really “hate” on any food and we like experimenting.  So when it is time for her “daily feedings” usually that means I get fed too!  So I have a short story and recipe to share with you all.

One thing you should know about my Grandma Mi-Mi….she likes to eat.  She is skinny and eats a ton.  She is notorious for coming over the day after a holiday just to see us grandchildren (and steal our left overs!)  She has single-handedly started 3 civil wars over food at my house alone.  Imagine that….us fighting over food?!  What heathens!   Well survival tip #7 for surviving at my household:  learn to hide what leftovers there are or else you would have to sleep with one eye open!  Family will kill for food.  You know going back to the whole hunter-gatherer…thing.

Grandma Mi-Mi, she is a feisty lady.  I will give her that.  Having 12 children, I guess you would have to be!!  Well long story short, Grandma Mi-Mi had some whole wheat pasta that she didn’t know what to do with…so I made the executive decision that we would create some pasta salad.  I really didn’t know where I was going with this one except to say it would be eaten and delicious simply because I said so!

My mom and I went to the store and she gave me some pointers on flavors.  It was rather fun exploring the fresh produce section for goodies to include in this salad.  We lost her grocery cart once or twice thru the process, but either way it was a laughable excursion and we came out of the store under budget.  Surprising enough, we ended up picking and agreeing upon similar items.  Mother/daughter bonding all while picking up some “fruit”.  Sounds delightful to me!  😉

Needless to say, any pasta salad makes enough for a small army to be fed.  Well this made enough for Grandma Mi-Mi and I to be fed two ample helpings and not be overstuffed.  AND we even had some for our next daily feedings!   This large bowl ended up being downsized to a dinky Tupperware.  How dare I even suggest that we might have to “freeze” half of it for later!  I should have known that it was a silly comment AND HOW was I to under-estimate the hunger power of Grandma Mi-Mi….bad move.

Well to satisfy the hunger of Grandma Mi-Mi and myself we created this “Lowly” Pasta Salad.  I hope it brings you as much laughter and “satisfaction” as it did for us!

“Lowly” Pasta Salad
You will need:
1 box whole wheat pasta
1 to 1-1/2 cup fresh-cut pineapple
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1 small skinned and sliced cucumber
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped green peppers
2 chopped Roma tomatoes
1/2 bag Craisens
1 bottle of Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette
All you have to do is boil, drain and cool your whole wheat pasta.  Chop and prepare your vegetables. Keep the tomatoes, green peppers and cucumbers in larger chunks.  You aren’t going to be cooking any of them…but it just works best.
Once noodles are cool, pour them into a large mixing bowl.  Saturate your noodles in Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette.  I used about 3/4 a bottle to get them good and covered.  Use more or less as you wish.  Then, start by adding the ingredients in one by one and lightly turning them.  You could add a pinch of salt and pepper if you would like a little seasoning.
Another item that I paired this with was seasoned chicken.  I like the ones that are already baked that you can get from Kroger or Meijer.  They are roasted and I would stick with the original flavoring.  Basically, I pulled enough chicken off for my serving and stirred it in to my mix.  Gives you a little more protein and sustenance.  You probably wont want to mix the chicken all together unless you were bringing it to a party that way.
If not, preparing a seasoned grilled chicken breast is not difficult either.  🙂
Enjoy!
❤ The CatMan

Twitch

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Have you ever been walking and just mid-strut fall flat on your face in front of everyone?  Hurt pride?  Check!  Have you been talking to someone who is really important and no one told you that you have a big chunk of something green between your two front teeth?  Embarrassed and frustrated?  Check!  Or nervously pick at a scab just only to find that what was once a little unnoticeable issue is now major as a co-worker points out your face is bleeding!  (What would OSHA have to say about that?) Check!  OR how about a project your in charge of having a major flaw to it and catching it too late?  Double check that one!!  Have you ever been so stressed that your eye starts to twitch?  Check and heck and check and check and checkkkkkk! (that is the echo through eternity!)    🙂

Well this week has been one of those weeks to where if it was socially and publicly acceptable, I would have just stayed in bed and never woken up from a long deep slumber.  Oh I am ready for the weekend.  I keep telling myself one more day is all.  Chin up!  (yeah right…I will jump right on it!)

My twitch started yesterday in my right top eyelid.  Now the problem has seemingly jumped over to my left top eyelid too!  What the heck is that all about?!  It frustrates me greatly.  So I come to you today blog friends, how do you deal with stress and frustration?  How do you rid yourself of a twitch?  For me, I am just laughing and shaking the head until Friday about (OH let’s say….) 5 pm!

❤ The CatMan