I’m not a strong salesperson. But it’s better to have dumb luck than no luck at all.
See, the TeamRMHC has a Facebook page. All of us raising money for the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia can keep abreast of one another’s running and fundraising exploits.
I was stumped. How to I get a bump in my total?
It came to me just like that. Written in Comic Sans nestled in a puffy little thought cloud above my head.
I could make pecan pies for Thanksgiving and ask donations for them like we did with the Arnold Palmer’s in hot early September.
Once I came out with this great idea, I sent out a FB status announcing such. People signed up.
* * *
I baked for two night into the wee hours of the morning.
My recycling bucket after pie-palooza or the aftermath of a diabetic coma.
And then the fun started.
I got to deliver the pies.
* * *
I did a very, very bad thing.
Impromptu on the way to delivering first pie, I thought how cool to take a pic of everyone with their pies.
Bloggers are selfish like this. We think only of 163-views-a-month-important-selves and not about the people hanging out, relaxing on a day-before-holiday-holiday.
WARNING: The next few photos might restore your faith in humankind.
Angelina and husband, Mark: Two wonderfully, creative souls. Giving people and goat lovers. Who had come to town and looked perfect. Not surprised by crazed pie, photo lady.
Kaye and Stan: Stan looks like he stepped off the cover of GQ. Always. Hate that for him. But Kaye — one of the most beautiful women in town — had just stepped out of shower. I said throw my $5 Aeropostle sunglasses on and you’ll look fab. Okay. She doesn’t look fab as much as sexy. Meow.
Kathryn: At her chiropractor’s office. But really look at the her placement of the pie in photo. Carol Merrill is green right now, my friend.
Trevor: Just want to let Trevor know that L.L.Bean called. You and Tebow made the cover of the next catalog. Can you see Tebow eying that pie?
Kim: Most fun, gracious friend. She also has a FABULOUS new magazine Design & Build. Everyone in the building industry needs to get to know this creative visionary. Don’t make me say “I told you so.”
Elise: Chiropractic yogi. I would add she is all that is healing, generous and light. But that would be redundant. Well, what the heck? Elise is giving, loving and makes my neck much, much better.
Karisa: Giving, giving, giving with our musical youth. She is the band director for middle school. The studentz and parents adore her. Nuff said.
Lucy: As a teacher and her personal life, she looks at your child and sees the most unique, masterpiece created. Nuff said.
Terri and Roy: Two of the biggest Georgia Bulldogs you’ll ever meet. But that’s okay because they have two of the biggest hearts. Terri survived five days a week with my daughter as her 3-year-old Preschool Teacher. And she still bought two pies. Nuff said.
Dana: When she heard I was saving pop tops for the Ronald McDonald House, hundreds if not thousands appeared at my door. She and Aubie parent a blended family of four girls. Effortlessly. Or at least it looks that way. Thanks for always thinking of RMH.
Sarge: When I put the call out about the pecan pies, Sarge suggested a swap. One of my pies for a pumpkin roll. And so we did. Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m glad we did.
Katie: No. I don’t have a picture of Katie with her pie because Tebow ate her pie. Well, half of her pie. Even I knew enough not to give Katie a half-eaten pie with doggie spit on it. She donated anyway. She’ll get two pies for Christmas.
Debbie: She bought two pies and I delivered them Tuesday. Before I thought of taking pics. Thanks so much xoxo
How much did this Pie-palooza raise?
Are you sitting down?
If you are standing in some Black Friday checkout line, lock your thigh muscles to steady yourself.
Grand total RMHC Pie-paloosa . . .
So all you pie-eating-people raised 37 nights (over a month of nights) for families who can’t afford the $15 per night RMH fee.
Giving those pies out felt like I was in the middle of a Frank Capra movie.
For those of you who don’t know who Frank Capra is think Quentin Tarantino light.
That’s a joke. Just google him. (Frank Capra not Quentin Tarantino)
It is A Wonderful Life.
Pies for everyone.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Got to bed last night around 12 a.m. and the alarm woke me up and at four to head into Atlanta for the half marathon with my son.
Then I hosted family, and ate lots.
Cleaned up lots.
Don’t have many pics to show because my phone is lost. And as of this moment, I don’t really care I have no earthly idea where my phone is.
I’m that tired.
I’ve got to tell you all about the wonderful result of my Ronald McDonald House pecan pie event. But that will have to be another day. Because my head just hit the keyboard.
Will tell you one short Thanksgiving Day story.
Everyone left our house and migrated to my in-laws for more family fun and feasting.
I carried some food over as well, then came back to my house to walk the dog.
I walked through the door to this.
Katie’s pie. The last one I was to deliver.
That darn dog had pulled it off the counter. He did this to me two years ago.
That Thanksgiving, I was left wondering what happened to the pie? Today, Nancy Drew caught the perp in the middle of the deed.
Oh well. Guess I’ll be making another pie tomorrow.
Was your pie pulled today?
Once upon a Thanksgiving, a great-looking redhead with an amazing bod — one amazing bod wrapped in a bathrobe — sat on her front lawn.
Her right hand held a glass of Chardonnay and her left waved at a stream of incoming guests.
She had cooked non-stop for three days.
“At that moment sitting on my lawn, I decided this was the last time.”
Great stories come at you unexpected. Like when you are in the canned vegetable aisle at the grocery. It stinks because you don’t have a recorder, phone or even a slip of paper to take notes.
This Tuesday, while working out with my trainer, Beverly Morris, we started talking about spending Thanksgiving alone. Friends invite you to their feast, it’s good but bittersweet because it’s not your family. You don’t get all the jokes about the year the turkey took 5.2 million years to cook because Aunt Maude forgot to defrost the bird.
Exhibit A: Beverly
A photo from another post a few years ago.
“I wish I could connect with a group of friends who don’t have family around,” Beverly said. “I used to do that you know. The last year I did it, I entertained 65 people in my house — most of whom I’d never met.”
This grand grateful shindig of Beverly’s started innocently enough. Most people don’t wake one day and say I’m going to cook seven turkeys and four hams. Mash a hundred pounds of potatoes. And have a seated Thanksgiving dinner for 65.
Beverly had a friend, Mr. Pete. Mr. Pete was an older gentlemen whom she had helped with a real estate problem. At the time, Beverly worked in real estate and lived with her two school age sons. Mr. Pete felt indebted to Beverly but didn’t have anyway to repay her. He was forever coming over and doing little odd jobs around the house. Picking up pine cones. Cleaning out the garage.
Around Thanksgiving, it became clear Mr. Pete didn’t have anyone to spend Thanksgiving with much less money to buy a turkey and dressing.
“Come over and eat with us, Mr. Pete,” Beverly suggested. And Mr. Pete did just that bringing a few of his friends. Friends who were Thanksgiving Lone Rangers as well.
Seems the word got out on the street and every year, the Lone Rangers all gathered at Beverly’s. Each year, more older singletons mostly forgotten by family ended up with their feet under her table. Or should I say under her tables.
Beverly whipped all the sweet potatoes. Roasted all the birds. Crushed and sprinkled all the fried onions for the green bean casseroles.
Yes. She prepared the entire feast. “They didn’t have any money most of them.”
All Beverly asked in return was that they bring something Christmas to decorate her house. So as the story goes, guests would arrive and get to decorating. Betty would string colored lights around a tree in the front yard. Bob might hang an ornament in the front window.
“It was crazy,” she laughed. “Wherever they put something that’s where it stayed.”
The Thanksgiving she was standing at the checkout holding a receipt totaling $2000 that’s when she decided this would probably be her last year.
That was also the year she cooked non-stop for three days. The year she ended up in the lawn chair on her front yard greeting guests.
“Since it was the last year, I made sure we all sat down together.” Tables and chairs lined the halls and the rooms.
Under each plate rested a slip of paper. On it were two questions.
Ugh. Here’s where I wish I had a slip of paper because I don’t remember what those questions were . . .
She laughed telling me how they got to talking about their best memory of the year. Or whatever had been the question on the paper.
Everyone — all 65 — spoke in turn. Everyone — all 65 — listened. There was so much talking, laughing and crying “it was two hours before we started eating.”
I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m grateful to anyone who stops by this blog to read.
I’d like to wish Mr. Pete one — but Beverly said he’s been gone about 15 years now.
I wish Beverly the best Thanksgiving. xoxox
And maybe next year we (you and me – Beverly) can start a new feasting tradition?
Small. It’s best to start small. Right?
Well, I written lots of posts in my head since I woke up this morning.
I’ve also baked 10 more pies — with a few more to go. Wrapped up two, slid them in a paper sack and delivered them to one very nice lady.
Looking through my recipes, I wrote down the items I’ll need to go back to the store for tonight.
But throughout the day, I’ve felt a heaviness. A sadness for what transpired in Ferguson and what that means for us all.
I have friends who are in or have been in law enforcement.
I have young friends of color.
My daughter had a young African American male friend over this afternoon. I make that point because of last night and days before that in Ferguson. And the nights and days and the years in the Fergusons before that.
Hannah and friend played video games and walked downtown for lunch.
Did I try a little harder to be encouraging, be nice — offer money so they could eat lunch? Maybe yes. Maybe no.
I was making pies for one thing.
I looked like a mad pie making woman or something.
And he’s a great kid. We’ve been through a bit of a rough patch my daughter and I, so I was happy that she was spending time with a nice, polite person. In my heart of hearts, I wanted to encourage that more than anything.
I’ve always hated conflict. I’ve always hated mean. I never got it.
But there is no denying things are different for people of color.
My wedding day. Twenty-six years ago next month.
After the ceremony, we were in the church taking pictures with the wedding party. Alease, the woman who cleaned house for us since I was a baby (and spanked my rear plenty of times because I needed it) and her husband sat in the pews.
The sanctuary was empty and I wondered why are Alease and Charles sitting there watching us take pictures instead of heading to the reception? They must enjoy seeing a bunch of kids dressed up in wedding duds posing amongst the poinsettia and white marble.
I walked over and spoke to her, giving her a big hug.
The wedding party left, Alease left and we walked out into the cold Florida morning.
I overheard my parents.
“You know she didn’t want to get to the club before we got there.”
“Well, nobody better say anything,” my dad said in a slightly serious, I-might-have-to-kick-some-ass tone.
The conversation between them turned to other weddings when other African American housekeepers were at the club celebrating marriages of a child they watched grow up. And everything was fine.
Standing there in my wedding gown — bouquet slack at my side, I was stunned. Are you kidding me? Was this really an issue?
If anyone said anything to Alease going into my wedding reception, I’d be kicking some ass, in my bad-ass ivory — Princess Diana knock off — wedding dressing.
Not that I imagined ever having to do so on my wedding day. This was December 1988 for the love of the Fourteenth Amendment. Who were these people hiding amongst the potted ferns and trays of shrimp cocktail and sliced roast beef?
But mostly, I was so very sad. So embarrassed. So afraid that I had somehow hurt my dear, dear Alease.
Alease who waited with us after the wedding because she felt uncomfortable entering a place because she was black.
I brushed back tears in the car on the way to the reception. I cried writing this post.
I don’t get it.
Things are changing —
NaBloPoMo Day 25
“Jamie Miles what are you cracking up for?”
I was facing the refrigerated eggs. Their gray and white cartons stacked up high as Lego’s in the World of Fragile Things.
A voice over my shoulder asked the above question.
I turned around to spy a friend and thought, well, I didn’t realize my chuckling was so obvious but since it was — I blundered away with the truth.
“I’m having trouble with math.”
And my complete ineptitude cracked me up.
See, lovely town folk are going to donate money to my Ronald McDonald House fund and I’m going to hand over to them delicious homemade pecan pies — except the crust. Nobody makes a crust from scratch anymore unless they are a Pioneer Woman or something.
I hope none of my Pie Project people freak out if they read that. Like I’m some phony pie person. Honesty sometimes comes with a high price.
Here’s my shopping list. Looks like at some point, standing in front of the butter I tried to figure things out.
If I needed four eggs per pie and there were 12 eggs in a carton how many do I buy? Or if I need one stick of butter per pie and I’m baking 20 pies should I buy five of the pound butters?
I must have really been confused. I first tried 4 x 5 —
Then I tried 5 x 4 and came up with 20.
At this point, I realized I was calculating that each recipe equaled one pie.
When one recipe makes two pies.
Oh well, the first two are in the oven. I might not be able to add, but I can make a lot of pies.
I hope I haven’t made any of my Pie Project people nervous with this post. Pay no attention to the woman behind the computer screen . . .
Any way. Let me know if you’d like one.
Happy NaBloPoMo Day 24.
What is it about a challenge that makes us rise up and persevere? Completing tasks we might otherwise let go . . .
First, that d@mnable abs/arm challenge with my husband. I just looked at the refrigerator — as I might or might not be getting me a glass of wine — and I spied that scorecard calendar.
My husband had done his today. UGH.
So even though I wouldn’t have stopped and done 30 pushups and 30 situps for the best fried grouper sandwich in Madison, I did it. Because I don’t want him the satisfaction of beating me at the end of the month.
Same way about this post.
If not for NaBloPoMo and this being my 23rd consecutive day, I’d be enjoying a glass of wine right now vegetating in front of the television right now.
Instead of having my wine — while I type this post.
Not that doing 30 situps and pushups or a blog post is a bad thing — I just wouldn’t have done them except for the challenge.
So what, you say?
Well, I can’t argue with you on that.
Why am I so darn arguable this evening. Well, I’ve over-extended myself.
I went into Atlanta. In the rain. On the way, I listened to the Falcons.
Which was a colossal waste of time.
No. Not really. It did help pass the time and I was out of the car when they collapsed.
Not that I was surprised.
I went in the pouring rain to pick up my son’s and my number for this Thursday’s Atlanta Thanksgiving Half. I did this race the first time when this son was two years. He is 21 now.
Lots of Atlanta and lots of rain.
Have to say, excellent shirt from the Track Club this year.
Then I just happened to go to the mall on the way out of town.
After that I got back on the interstate.
The Falcons had lost and it started pouring again.
I got off interstate again to buy my daughter a space heater about 20 minutes from home.
When I headed back toward Madison again I thought it really looks bad.
Like blowing trees and blowing leaves and weird darkness.
First of all. This pic in no way represents the danger I was in.
Not because I took this while driving, but because there was a tornado warning.
And I wanted to take a pic to show my loved ones what I went through before my car was thrown off the road.
Which didn’t happen I am happy to say.
Things like the weather can change really quickly.
Other things like wrinkles and springing maddening gray hairs take a lifetime.
They only seem to happen while you took a long nap.
NaBloPoMo Day 22.
This could have been a recipe post day.
But on a whim, I decided to look through the last five photos on my phone. Post them and explain why they are on my phone.
I took this pic this morning to show my running buddy — the friend in the fourth pic — that the cactus she gave me last Christmas was blooming.
I have a thing about Christmas cacti. Might have to write about that before this month expires.
The next two pics go together. Thursday night band concert. My daughter is in the Jazz Band at the middle school.
She’s the one with the pinkish hair blowing into the trumpet.
And photo three . . .
Side note. We are very blessed to have such a great music program at the middle school and high school levels.
Photo four. This was taken Tuesday. My dear running buddy had a birthday on Monday. My birthday gift to her was a co-session with my trainer.
We went on Tuesday because Tuesday is her day off. The rest of the work week she saves lives and mashes breasts as a mammographer at our local hospital.
I think I’m wrapping myself around her because I’m a little afraid she was mad at me for giving this to her for a birthday present instead of massage or something.
But I shouldn’t have been worried. She had a great time and is all on board to do it again. Soon.
This last pic is . . . well, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it was taken at Walmart because I know the floor at Walmart.
Tonight, I’m actually the feature style-icon on the People of Walmart.
There. That’s my Day 22. A happy shout to my sister-in-law who is the big 5-0 today. Whoop.
What photos are in your phone this week?
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Buddha
Yesterday, my post was five truths and one lie.
The challenge was to pick which one was the falsehood.
Truth: I saw Apollo 13 shoot skyward from Cape Canaveral.
Truth: I was almost arrested trying to climb over the fence onto the runway at DFW.
It seemed like a great idea when a group of us left the fraternity house at 1 a.m.
Truth: Thank the good Lord I never married a particular gentleman.
Let’s just say he loved his car a lot more than I. Most people assumed this was the lie. I think a few minutes before he came at me with his car, I had thrown my metal tennis racket at him — like on the court.
Let’s say that game didn’t end well. And we weren’t a good match.
Truth: When visiting my nice boyfriend, the one-who-became-my husband-boyfriend — I was determined to run every day I was there over the January holidays. There being a tiny burg three hours north of Minneapolis.
And so I did.
Truth: Yes. I almost called off my wedding.
It would have been biggest mistake of my life.
Lie: Was trying to think of something. Remembered a cousin’s neighbor who dated Jimmy Buffet. I thought me dating Jimmy Buffett would be a stretch, so I changed it to waiting on him.
Me as a competent waitress is actually harder to believe.
And Ruth was the only one to guess correctly. Maybe Mr. Buffett is indeed a vegetarian?
So there. That’s the truth.
NaBloPoMo Day 21.
“And, after all, what is a lie?
‘Tis but the truth in masquerade.” Lord Byron, Don Juan
NaBloPoMo Day 20.
I’ve had so much fun this month participating in NaBloPoMo and hanging out with a great group of bloggers.
Today our challenge was to post . . .
Five truths and one lie about ourselves.
So here it goes.
Honestly coming up with these, I thought it would be much more exciting to have come up with five lies and one truth —
* I saw the Apollo 13 Saturn rocket launch to the moon.
* I was almost arrested climbing over the runway fence at DFW.
* I waited on Jimmy Buffet. He ordered a cheeseburger with Heinz 57 and fries.
* I was run into by an angry boyfriend driving his Porsche 930.
* I ran 3.5 miles in 40 degrees below wind chill temps and survived.
* I was this close . . . to calling off my wedding.
There it is. Which is the untruth?
Answer reveal tomorrow. I know your anticipation of this will render sleep impossible tonight.
And I vow to live this next year in hopes my 2015 NaPoBloMo list is more exciting.
Our youngest is 11 years old. I’ve written before how he’s my last holdout, my last buddy. I realize that time is quickly (and probably already has) slipping away.
Okay. That’s not clear. He’s my last child I can talk into hanging out with mom and participating in organized fun.
For example, he and I are a team for the Ronald McDonald House race. And I often
procrastinate enthusiastically scan the internet for local 5Ks we can do together. That’s how I happened upon Lanier Under the Lights 5K.
Lake Lanier is a resort 30 minutes north of Atlanta. For us, that meant a 90 minute drive. But what’s an hour and a half of riding in a car for a chance to run through holiday lights?
They hold this race the Saturday and Sunday before the park opens the light show to car traffic.
Joe and I headed that was last Sunday afternoon.
This was at the start. Notice the castle in the background. Oz-ian I think.
It was misty and chilly, which added to the cheery winter mood.
Cheery winter mood?
Yes. I got caught up in the lights and the little whiff of Santa in the air.
This required suspending my long and fast rule: NO Christmas before Thanksgiving. I surprised myself how easy it was to drift into that mum-of-a-little-child-at-Christmas haze.
The official start.
They had waves which was a good thing. Lots and lots of children. Serious runners were up front followed by mid-pace runners, joggers, walkers and entire young families pushing toddlers in strollers.
A few photos.
These pics aren’t conveying the excited children chatting to parents. Parents encouraging their child to run to the next reindeer. The young 20-somethings running in packs. I knew that when I was snapping away. But I had to try.
My partner never likes me to stop and take a pic.
Notice the green glow-stick stuck in his curls.
The course is hilly. I knew that from a ZOOMA half marathon my friends and I ran there.
We ran; we walked with hundreds of other peeps in search of a pre-holiday buzz.
And had a great time.
The lake is down there somewhere.
A thumb way up!
Don’t know what I’ll do next year if my then 12 year old won’t do this race with me.
:/ <– Mommy angst.
How about you? Will you join me?