Butterfly in The Sky, I Can Fly Twice as High..

“Take a Look, It’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow..”

Dear Olivia

Boy do you owe me 😂 I’ve always loved to read, but then Netflix and college came along and kidnapped my imagination and replaced it with reruns of the Office and Scrubs. #eaaaaagle #thatswhatshesaid

Then, you posted about your book and I was excited! I read and loved it (I know I’ve told you that much before). I couldn’t put it down. It was easier to fight my squirrel like tendency’s when I didn’t have to work as hard to paint the picture of the story in my head (not that it would have been that hard, if anything it was amazing how accurate and detailed your writing was).

Ive driven through Judson, shopped at IGA and briefly (and terribly I might add) worked at TR Inn.

When I finished the last page I found myself in denial. I didn’t want the story to end and to be honest I had begun to miss the “me time” that I set aside to read it. So in an attempt to fill the void you left I started to read the books I’ve bought over the years with the intent to read but hadn’t (because binge watching the office & Gilmore girls for the 80th time is a better use of my time, right?…wrong).

It’s been a little over a month since I finished your book & and in that time I’ve bought (thank goodness for used book stores) and read 18 books (and I have it on good authority that Santa is bringing me more).

I’ve also become slightly dependent on Starbucks, which is only indirectly your fault. You see, there’s something about meandering down book aisles with a cozy drink that seems perfect. (Even in Texas where it’s summer 80% of the time)

So, what I guess I’m trying to say is, Thank you for paying Netflix’s ransom and bringing my imagination back.

P.s. Where do I send my bill? These books and coffees are killing my bank account. 😂

If you want to read the book in question, Land Of The Jonah Fish Fry, you can find it here on Amazon! You won’t be disappointed!

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Pierogi Math

I’ve been bit by the “Baking Bug” which, from what I hear is similar to being bit by bed bugs but this is messier and more painful.

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It started harmless enough. We are within spitting distance of thanksgiving which means Hallmark is full of all these wonderful scenes of happy people baking these perfect cookies and pastries.  They made it look easy, so I took the bait and made cookies….from scratch…..for the first time ever. Needless to say, 3 days, 2 audio books and countless dishwasher loads later, I have 40 marginally attractive cookies ready for consumption by anyone willing to risk their diabetic status and dental fillings. Let me know if you need my address.

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But this wasn’t enough for me, oh no! I craved more! More mess, more dishes and more “Hey Siri, how long should you melt butter in the microwave?”

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While cleaning earlier this week I came across my daily planner from my freshman year of college. I thumbed through the 12-year old items that I once thought worthy of a bullet point, expecting to see reminders for assignments that may or may not have been turned in on time. Then I saw it in all its highlighted glory “Pierogi Night.” Oh! Pierogis, how could I forget every one’s favorite polish treat! Lost on what a pierogi is? Let my Veggietale friends, Bob and Larry, break it down for you here!

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There were two distinct groups of people freshman year of college. Those who hated the dining hall experience and saved their meal credits for the Campus commons on the weekend and then those who had the dining hall webpage saved on their desktop, so they could plan their schedule around where their next meal was coming from. I’ll let you guess which group I was in.

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Seeing that I haven’t had a decent pierogi in 10 years, I asked my trusted advisor Siri for her best pierogi recipe.  As if the adventure was kismet I had ALL the ingredients on hand. I jumped out of bed, laid out my clothes for the day and hopped in the shower. I needed to feel and look my best for this polish adventure.

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The whole journey, while messy wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t pleasant either. Just picture Lucy and Ethel on the conveyor belt but instead of chocolate and a shift manager to fight off, I was covered in flour and dough while also feigning off two cats with a rolling pin. Yep, it was every bit dramatic as it sounds.

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I also failed to realize when I began making this dish was the number of pierogis I would be left with. 34. I made 34 pierogis for two people, 1 of which I’m not even sure likes pierogis. Hopefully he does because we each have 17 of them to consume in the next 3 days. Per person That’s 5 ½ pierogis a day, or alternatively 2ish pierogis a meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for three days straight. That’s a lot of dough and potato. I don’t know if that is a commitment I was ready to make yet.

What would you like to see me bake next? Leave me a recipe link in the comment box down below. And please, for the sake of my arteries and refrigerator space, make sure the recipe doesn’t make enough to feed a small army!

I’m Officially a Texan, Y’all

Well, it is official, after almost 7 years I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, a born and raised Hoosier, am officially a Texan, and I have H-E-B to thank! YEEE HAW!

“But Jennifer, wouldn’t your “Texan” status have been granted the minute you got your driver’s license or purchased property?”

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Well, I can see how you would think these acts would make you a true Texan, but the truth is, this is a two-step process. You can accept Texas all you want and say “y’all hail Mary’s” until your face turns blue, but until Texas accepts you back, a true Texan you are not.

Low and behold, on Friday, November 9 2018 at 11:58 am I received my admission letter in the form of a Facebook notification.

“Facebook? How, ah, informal of them..”

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Hey! I don’t need a fancy document to prove my new-found state membership! Besides, some of the greatest most powerful people in the world use social media to get their points across and no one thinks any differently about them….(sigh)

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Anyway, back to how all this started. Earlier in the day I came across a Facebook video (watch it HERE) of a wayward Turkey who had accidently made its way into the living room of an unsuspecting couple. The video was cute, I had to hit the share button and tagged my favorite grocery store, HEB, and went about my day.

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What’s HEB you ask? Only the greatest supermarket ever (that’s right Kroger, I said it). They are based out of Texas and there are at least 7 of them within a half hour drive of my house. They are the only place I feel comfortable buying sushi from that isn’t a restaurant, they offer curbside pick-up and they deliver straight to your door. THEY DO IT ALL.

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I was putting away laundry and my phone went off. There it was. HEB commented on my post (blue verified check mark and all). In fact, not only did they acknowledge my existence with a comment, but they threw in an exclamation point and a winking face emoji just to boost my ego. Did we just become best friends? YEP!

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I always knew this day would come but I had no idea it would be on some idle Friday while in my pajamas folding laundry.

To my dear Indiana, it’s been a great ride. You taught me a lot about life and you will always be my first home, but I must go now. My grocery store needs me. Yall take care now, ya hear.

 

 

 

 

 

My Quarter Life Crisis Bucket List

“Ladies & Gentlemen, we are now approaching your “Quarter Life Crisis” where local time is NOW. Please remain in your seat with your seatbelt firmly fastened. Any anxiety, stress and emotional baggage must be securely stowed away either in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you. On behalf of “Last Resort Airlines” and the entire crew, we’d like to thank you for joining us on this trip and look forward to seeing you on board again, have a nice panic attack trip!”

The quarter life crisis is described as the period of time ranging from a person’s twenties up to their mid-thirties.  Now I’m not going to crystal ball my health or anything, but I am hoping I have a few more years before I get to the “jump out of a plane, climb Mt. Everest” phase of life. But then again, I do tend to party hard with Twinkies and Mt. Dew so I’m not holding my breath.  Anyway, today is my 31st birthday, so I thought what better time than now to sit down and make a year-long to do list. Think of it as clearing the que before the heavy stuff hits.

 Tasks to complete before my quarter life crisis evolves into a full blow “Mid Life Crisis”

Finish all of my started and abandoned crafts before undertaking any new projects.

  • MLB coasters (14 of 30 left)
    • Mets
    • Tigers
    • Diamondbacks
    • Padres
    • Athletics
    • Twins
    • Red Sox
    • Phillies
    • Rangers
    • Mariners
    • Rockies
    • Indians
    • Blue Jays
    • Orioles
  • Yellow Submarine cross stitch
  • MLB hexi quilt
  • Metal file box project

Learn to play at least 1 song that isn’t a nursery rhyme on one of the many lonely un-played musical instruments in our house.

Become a member of the Mario Andretti pit crew and change a tire…in the comfort of my driveway..on purpose…and with help…

Become a bit more fluent in Spanish. Two years in high school was not enough. Si estás leyendo esto, ya hablas español con fluidez y deberías enseñarme o usar el traductor de Google como yo. De cualquier manera, hola!

Finish all my books I have already purchased before buying another one to read. (if you haven’t already guessed, I have a problem with finishing things I have started)

  • 74 Seaside Avenue- Debbie Macomber
  • 8 Sandpiper Way- Debbie Macomber
  • 92 Pacific Boulevard- Debbie Macomber
  • 1022 Evergreen Place- Debbie Macomber
  • 1105 Yakima Street- Debbie Macomber
  • 1225 Christmas Tree Lane-Debbie Macomber
  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – Caitlin Doughty
  • Fool Me Once- Harlan Coben
  • Man up!: Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence-Ross Matthews
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer
    • Also, news flash, if you have not read the book Land of The Jonah Fish Fry by Oliva Kessinger you are missing out! It is seriously one of the best books I have read in a while! Get it here on Amazon! 

Become less of an anxious hermit and join a small group at church. I practically lived at my church growing up, and sometime in my late 20’s I developed some time of squirrely anxiety about being around people. MUST OVER COME THIS.

Learn to bake a few items from scratch.

  • Bread
  • Cherry Pie
  • Noodles

Step outside of my comfort zone and get a massage. Now I know this sounds like the easiest and most fun bucket list item to complete, but in all honesty this may be the hardest one to attempt.

Complete all 300 writing prompts in a journal I recently purchased but almost half expected never to fill out. Who knows, maybe I will learn proper grammar by the time its completed. Probably not, but its a fun idea.                                                                                    IMG_0733I want to give back to the community in the form of NON-court ordered volunteer work. Nothing against those who have volunteered on the recommendation of a judge ;), but I’d like to continue my 30’s with a clean record ha. If you have any suggestions of organizations to volunteer with, please let me know below in the comments!

So there you have it, 10 clear bucket list tasks and 365 days in which to complete them. My hope is over the next year I will update you all on my progress and this time next year I will have a whole new set of fun goals to attack.