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YellowDaisyChickChat

Sunny sides. Flowery rocks. Fresh air.

Be The Change

As you may have learned from my last post, I was devastated by our election results.

And I still am.

It’s a combination of :

-Disbelief that so many people would believe in and vote for a rich guy from a reality-show, who also happens to be bigoted, divisive, inexperienced as an elected leader and just…so…mean.

-Sadness that there are so many people who believe only people who look like them, worship like them, love like them, deserve to have the same rights and freedoms as they do.

-Anger that as hard as women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, and non-Christians have worked to gain these same rights, any progress we have made will now be undone.

-Sense of failure that as a parent, I could not protect my children from having to experience this election.

I am still working through all of these emotions and more and will continue to. I am lucky to have some wonderful friends and family who are going through the same thing and we will get each other through it.

What I’ve decided is that what I can control is my own actions. I must now walk the walk for myself, my family, my children, my minority friends and their children, my gay/lesbian friends and their children, and my non-Christian friends and their children and women everywhere.

I am pledging to myself to work in four areas to try to be the change we need in this country: women’s issues, education, the environment, and outreach to marginalized groups. I keep a bullet journal and it has helped me organize myself during this stressful, frightening time. It will also keep me accountable and help me track my work.

So far this week, I have made plans to attend the Million Women March in Washington DC (for women); signed up to volunteer at Books for Africa on Inauguration Day (for education); and I have emailed friends in marginalized groups to start a dialogue on how they are coping and taking care of themselves during the election aftermath (for outreach). And it’s only Wednesday.

This brings me to another important action item: self-care. If you are emotionally distraught over the election, feel targeted by the now emboldened bullies/bigots, or perhaps have strained, damaged or severed relationships post-election, you must take time to care for yourself. However you need to do that. Take care of yourself and then you will be able to take care of others.

If none of this makes any sense to you or you think I am a “whiner” or a “sore loser”, please go away. Truly, from the deepest part of my heart, I have zero interest in you. If you really do want to understand, go read. Go do the work. Yes, I know your crazy candidate won. But the rest of us are all still here. And we are organizing. And we are working hard to make things right. I’m a white, Christian Democrat and I am deeply sorry I haven’t been working this hard before. I am praying a lot about my own failures. But now I’m going to work my ass off. And readers- I would love for you to join me. ❤

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Yellow Daisy Chick

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Not Gonna Make Nice

OMG. What have you done? America…you have really screwed the pooch this time.

I didn’t. I didn’t vote for him. Girl, please. I have some self respect. I have respect for others who are not like me. I have respect for the greater good.

Interestingly enough, I live in a heavily-Republican, small town in Georgia. I’ve met some good people here. Some good Republicans. I’ve always voted Democrat. I’ve tried to get along and live my life.

But now. This was no ordinary Republican. This is not a simple case of the average Republican white dude beating my Democratic candidate. This is a repulsive, hate-spewing, divisive, lying-by-the-minute egomaniac joke with no experience serving his country.

It’s shameful. It’s soul-killing. It makes me deeply, darkly sad. I’m a white woman in a red  town, county and state. I am disgusted by the white race. I’m particularly disgusted by the white women who voted for him.

If this pisses you off, I don’t care. If you’re feeling guilty now that you voted for him and he actually won, that’s on you, boo. I think there are many of you. Good luck reconciling that when you’re trying to sleep at night.

If this resonates with you, please know that I am with you. If you feel unsafe, or weak, or lonely in your support of Hillary Clinton and all of the people she stands for, contact me and I will help you. I feel so deeply concerned for all minorities and all marginalized people who are truly scared for their safety. I am not sleeping at night because I am so worried about you.

For all of you who voted for him and are calling for us to all “come together,” it’s too late. He said horrible things about many of us, we all got the message real clear, and you’re on your own with that shitshow. He is not us. We will not unite behind him. We will fight until he is gone.

Phew. That felt amazing.

Please take care of yourselves. AND EACH OTHER!

Yellow Daisy Chick

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Quick Dinner Inspiration: Easy Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas

Today’s quick dinner inspiration: Easy Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas!

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Who DOESN’T need quick and easy dinner inspiration? I couldn’t find a recipe I was happy with, so I combined several into this yummy one-dish meal. It’s quick, easy, healthy and tasty…the major criteria for a winner, winner, Mexican dinner!

These are the basic ingredients you’ll need, plus a rotisserie chicken:

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You’ll make a quick filling, heat the tortillas, dip in a prepared enchilada sauce, fill tortillas, cover with more sauce, top with cheese and bake. Serve with baked tortilla chips, a quick guacamole and salsa.

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 minced garlic clove

Cumin

Chili powder

Salt

Pepper

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can diced green chiles

1/2 can black beans

1 small can corn

Chopped chicken from rotisserie chicken

8 corn tortillas

2 cups shredded Mexi-cheese

Directions:

Saute onions in 1 T olive oil for 5 min. Add garlic, sprinkle of cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper and heat for 1 min. Add chiles, canned tomatoes, corn, beans and chicken and heat through. Remove from heat.

Heat tortillas as directed on package. Spoon 1/2 c. of enchilada sauce into bottom of 9×13 pan. Dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce, spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of filling in center of tortilla, roll up and place in pan seam side down. Continue with remaining tortillas. Top with enchilada sauce and Mexi-cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Quick Guac: Mash 2 avocados and mix with lime juice, 3-4 T. green salsa, cumin, salt & pepper.

Buen provecho!

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Eat well, my friends!

xo- Yellow Daisy Chick

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Quality Time

Quality Time: 5 TV Shows I Can Actually Watch With My Preteen and Teen

There’s nothing worse than watching a show with your middle and high school kids that you think is going to be fine but actually is not. You settle in with your popcorn and wine and blankets and get all cozy with your favorite people and then, out of nowhere, characters start making sex jokes or using mildly bad words (that are the ones everyone uses and you really don’t care, but still, out of principle!) and it all gets pretty awkward, pretty quick.

What does a mom have to do around here to watch a tv show with her kiddos?

It’s getting harder and harder. Unless it’s sports, our tv options are getting slim and slimmer with the kids. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, we had tons of wholesome tv to watch with the family: The Dukes of Hazzard, where I aspired to one day wear short shorts and drive a white Jeep like Daisy Duke; Little House on the Prairie, where I learned that child birth was horrifying before modern drugs (thanks a lot, Ma); Solid Gold, where I learned the joys of ending a group dance in a dramatic pose; and perhaps the all-time best — The Love Boat, where no one ever got norovirus and everyone fell in love.

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As my kids get older, they’re so busy with school and activities; it’s hard to even find a night that we can all hang out together, much less sit and watch a show together. Fortunately, with the magic of DVR, we have been able to find time to watch some favorites together. Finding a show that appeals to an 11 year-old girl and a 15 year-old boy also presents a challenge, but we’ve managed to find a few that brings us to the same room at the same time with limited awkwardness, and for that, I am forever grateful.

1. Dancing With the Stars:
Not only is this show a winner to watch with the kids, it’s works with grandparents, too. I do try to hold my tongue and not be totally catty, except when someone really sucks or their “star” status is questionable. But there’s always a sports star for my son, a young Disney star or Olympian gymnast for my daughter, and plenty of eye candy and cool dancing for me. Win-win!

Watch Laurie Hernandez’s MJ Routine!

2. The Middle
This show is totally underrated. We love the Hecks! We love their honesty, their epic fails and how no matter what, they always get back up. We love Brick’s pizza bag-backpack. We love Sue’s Dollywood job. We love Axl’s torture of his sister and emerging sweetness. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a tv family that isn’t rich or perfect. We usually make it for this one at its actual time.

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3. Sister Wives
Are you judging me now? Look — if my 15 year-old son wants to watch a crazy TLC show with me, I’m in. He loves him some TLC and this one is actually one of the more tolerable ones. We talk about how crazy they all are and how miserable they all seem and it helps me to know that I have not raised a polygamist. Disclaimer: my daughter doesn’t watch this one. Maybe in a few years, I’ll make sure she binge watches it so I can ensure I haven’t raised a sister wife.

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4. American Ninja Warrior
I could write an entire paper on how I feel this show epitomizes America: survival of the fittest; strong, hard-working individuals working hard to win at the game of life; doing crazy stuff for reality tv. We love the vignettes. We love the women. We love the super crazy ones and root for them. We cringe-laugh when they fall on the first obstacle. We bond over the successes and failures. And props to the parents on Facebook who made ANW courses in their backyards…thankfully, we have aged out of that. (We would have just put out a few cardboard boxes beside the swing set and called it a day.)

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5. Fixer Upper
Oh Chip and JoJo: how you complete us. We all watch your sweet selves and chuckle at Chips’s zaniness and I continually wonder how Joanna does all the millions of things she does and still manages to bake cookies with her kids. Clearly, she’s a better time-manager than I am. I salute her and wish my house looked like hers. My one concern: I hope she finds time to go on a girls’ trip. She seriously has earned a trip to the beach with her mom friends! And JoJo- if you haven’t…give me and my friends a call. We love the beach and wine and laughing and you would fit right in. Plus, you can fixer upper my house anytime!

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So thanks, TV, for giving me and my growing kids, who are also growing too cool to hang out with me, a chance to bond and escape together from our busy days. No matter what some may say, it’s quality time and I cherish every minute.

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Take care of yourselves and each other,

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Yellow Daisy Chick

August Break

I’ll be taking a break from blogging this month. I apologize to all of you and hope you will be able to make it this month without me. Haha!

I’ve decided to take this month to rejuvenate, revitalize, refresh, and renew. We all need to take a break from our lives and I’m hoping to be more creative when I return.

Until we meet again…take care of yourselves and each other!

xo YDC

We Are Better Than This

I’m adding my voice to the noise.

When I’m upset and my brain is chaos, I write to try to make sense of life. I know that I won’t make sense of any of this but maybe I’ll feel better.

I want to add my voice because I’m heartbroken like the rest of you. Too much violence. Too many people hating each other.

I’m adding my voice because I’m angry and I want things to change.

When I became a social worker, one of my major motivations was to do my small part to improve race relations. As a child of the South, I’ve always paid attention to racial conflicts and wanted to do whatever I could, in my own life, to work to help black and white folks get along.

Part of that work involved listening and putting my (white) self in the other person’s shoes. Living in my white neighborhood, with my white friends, with the legacy of my white ancestors before me, I may not have always understood things from a black perspective. So I listen and I learn and I work to understand where my black neighbors and fellow citizens are coming from. That is my job as a human being. That is all of our jobs as human beings and as Americans.

The shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were captured on video, which left us with many questions. We weren’t there but the situations shown on the videos were horrific to watch and frightening to see human beings shot and killed over what appeared to be small things…nothing, really. And if there is more to it…why haven’t we heard the “more?” Can’t someone say something to make this make sense? Because it doesn’t seem like they can. Which smells like injustice. Which makes people justifiably angry because they are not being heard. Especially when these incidents have been happening forever and only seem to be getting worse.

And now someone took it upon himself to murder white police officers. That only makes everything worse. More pain. More fatherless children. More hate. More anger. More. More. More hearts breaking and more divisions and more of a gulf between the races.

A man supposedly hanged himself in Piedmont Park and the FBI is looking into it. Some guy named Joe Walsh is tweeting about “the Real America”, meaning white America. Trump stokes the racial fires. What year is this, y’all? It can’t be 2016. It’s either a bad dream or we’ve time travelled to the 60s.

It’s a sad, sad day but I’m more motivated than ever to keep my focus on loving people and listening and learning. I’m going to keep on working on race relations in my daily life because I think we are better together. I don’t want to live in a white America. And I’m white. I love my black friends and we are all the real America together. And I stand with you and know that we all want the same things in life: peace, prosperity, health, happiness for ourselves and our children. Black people are not the enemy. White people are not the enemy. Hate is the enemy. Love is the answer. We are better than this.

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

Happy Summer, y’all! I recently returned from a week at the beach and I have so much to discuss. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been at the beach for a WHOLE WEEK and I learned so many valuable lessons.

First of all, in case I haven’t mentioned this before, I am extremely good at vacationing. I mean, I have skills. I can relax with the best of ’em. It’s a shame I’m not filthy rich, because I would vacation at the beach every. damn. week.

I visited the Sunshine State and I really do love the ol’ Panhandle. We usually go somewhere between Panama City and Destin on 30A, and if you haven’t been there, go. The water is Caribbean-blue and clear, with mild waves (usually) and a low water-to-critter ratio (disclaimer: this is not research-based; it is a purely anecdotal observation). The sand is powdery white, the beaches not as wide as the Atlantic or as good to walk on but absolutely beautiful. It’s a happy place.

I am a beach girl, through and through. My mom passed that trait down to me, and I to my offspring. I know in my heart that the beach is my natural habitat.

Although I do enjoy relaxing on vacation, I also like to learn a few new things. Here are my Top 10 Things I Learned On My Summer Vacation:

1. We Are Not All Super Models and That Is Ok.

Look, it’s a relief, quite frankly. When you go the Florida Panhandle, you see a cross-section of America, and we all need to just face reality and say, “We are human beings, we’ve had children, we are not super models, and it’s ok.” I include myself in that observation, for the record. But hey, if you want to tattoo your entire body and go out on the beach in a string bikini, then go for it. If you want to wear a teensy weensy bikini / Speedo and you’re 70, then do it. Why hold back? It’s a free country, damn it. You do you.

2. Never Order Turkey Bacon on Vacation.

I think that one speaks for itself. But just to clarify: you’ll be so disappointed in it because it will never, ever measure up to real bacon. And you’re on vacation. So just order the real freaking bacon.

3. Enjoy Your People

I love my people. Every summer, the four of us go somewhere together and I love every minute. My oldest offspring will only be around for 3 more school years, so I am savoring each and every moment we all have together. They are truly my favorites and the ones I would most want to be with.

4. My People Are Fun

During the humdrum day-to-day, we might lose sight of how fun we can actually be. But darn it, we ARE fun! Give us a week away from work, school, chores, yard work, laundry, etc. and we will play hard. We really should do this more often.

5. I Like Mojitos

I am a wine and vodka girl, with the occasional light beer in the mix. So color me surprised when I ordered Great Southern Cafe‘s Cherry Mojito and it was incredible! I didn’t know I liked rum, but let it be said that I do think beach drinks taste exponentially better at the actual beach. It was so light and refreshing on a hot night…I’ll be ordering that one again.

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5. I Love To Read

Ok, I already knew this, but who has the time or energy during the work week? It normally takes me months to get through a good book, since I only have time at night and am so tired by then, I only make it through a few pages. On vacay, I flew through The Husband’s Secret and started Ghettoside, and it was lovely. I was in my own little world and when I retire, I am just going to read all day long, every day.

6. I Like To Exercise

On vacation, I got up in the morning, had my hot tea and banana, and was ready to roll. Several mornings, I went out and walked or ran before hitting the beach. It’s pretty great to exercise with the Gulf of Mexico in view, so I posit that I would be more fit and healthy if I moved to the beach. It was hot as hell and I still got out there willingly. At home, if it’s over 80 degrees, I can easily wimp out. I think I should get a doctor’s note to move…

7. Eating Lunch In A Bathing Suit & Cover-Up Gives Me Life

If I owned a restaurant, it would be on the beach and only allow customers wearing cover-ups and flip-flops. From beach chair straight to restaurant chair, I didn’t have to worry about my beach hair or makeup-less face…the only thing I had to stress about is which fruity cocktail to order. I don’t really want to leave the beach ever, so to just stroll over to the tiki hut to order a sandwich and drink suits me just fine.

8. The Rebel Flag Is A BeachWear Trend

Wow. Just stop. Please. Where do they even order their confederate flag bikinis?  Rednecks R Us?

9. Tropical Storms Are Not That Big of A Deal When You’re There For a Week

Charlie who? Girl, bye. We had one day of rain and two days of rough water. I got some work done, my people frolicked around town, and we went to the pool to swim. No one was sweating that storm since we were there for a WHOLE WEEK anyway. Howevs, the waves were crazy strong for a while so, I also learned…

10. R-E-S-P-E-C-T Mother Nature

God love her, she is everything. I am so thankful for the beauty that God has given us to enjoy with our people. That beach, that water, that sky, that sunset (don’t know about the sunrise, never saw it)…mad respect for that gorgeousness and mad gratitude for these natural gifts we have been given. I don’t take it for granted and I get back there as often as I can.

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What are you and your people doing this summer? What life lessons will you learn? Enjoy your summer vacations and may they be lasting memories for you and yours for years to come.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

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Yellow Daisy Chick

May: On Aging

I’ve been mulling over this blog for a while now.

Today, I feel like finally putting it on paper. Today, this is how I feel about this topic. Tomorrow, I might have something different to say, but it would generally be the same. Today, I feel like telling you what I think about aging at this point in my existence.

Y’all. I’m 45 and I’m fine. I’m good. I have way more pros than cons right now, so I’m so good.

But sometimes, I see things in the media or I hear other people saying things about aging, or I have a bad day, and I’m not fine. I’m pissed. Because I truly believe that by the age of 45, I’ve earned the right to not give a damn about my (naturally) aging body.

I’ve been 18 and I’ve cared a LOT about looking cute for the boys. I’ve been 23 and cared a LOT about meeting a mate with whom to have babies. I’ve been 29 and 34 and had two babies and I’ve cared a LOT about losing that baby weight.

And now I’m 45 and am so grateful that God has given me that husband and those babies and this body that grew those babies and fed those babies. I have a job that I love and friends that I love and a supportive family. Can’t we just be happy with that?

Because sometimes, I feel that I’m physically not enough. I’m too fat, too out-of-shape, too saggy, too gravity-challenged, too grey, too creaky, too glasses-dependent, too tired, too imperfect. I’m not that skinny mom. I’m not a MILF. I’m not hot. I’m not enough.

You know what I am, though? I am 45 and have earned the right to be valued for my mind and my knowledge and my experience and the way I treat others. I would rather be judged on how well I do my job, how my children treat others, how well I put goodness into the world. Or how well I don’t. I don’t want to be hot. I don’t want to be a MILF, except to my own husband, who so far, loves me no matter what. I exercise and eat healthy because I want to feel good, not because I want to be a skinny mom.

I love being 45. I shouldn’t have to care about my ass or my crow’s feet. Simply by aging, I’ve earned the right to be my natural self and will happily leave the “being hot” to the young set. I am thrilled to pass the torch to the cute young things heading out into the world to meet their mate. And I extend my 45-year-old, wrinkled, freckle-y hand to anyone else who wants to join me here on the other side.

April: These Are My Jams

(This blog is brought to you by Chick Fil-A Tea/Half and Half and HGTV’s House Hunters, two of my jams.)

Happy Friday, y’all!

Last month, you heard me describe my first-world March Madness problems. I had 99 problems and a hobby wasn’t one. (Please excuse the whiteness of that sentence.)

I whined and opined and complained myself blind about not having any time. All I did in March was work, work, work, work, work. April, however, was going to be good to me.

And so far, it has been. No complaining today. I’ve found some time to remember that I like things. I like to do things. As my kids hate to hear me say, they are my jams. And here they are:

1. Hiking

If you’re feeling burnt out or stuck or down, get out in the woods. Go see some wildlife, find a waterfall, work some muscles. Breathe deep. The woods help me feel alive, as well as comfortably insignificant. Love. It.

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Warwoman Dell, Clayton, GA

2. Essential Oils

I’m totally into making concoctions and have been making some lovely roller balls, room sprays, and diffusions. They make me feel better and I’ve even gotten my teenage son into them! (Like me, he uses them for asthma and allergies.) If you’re looking into getting started with them, I’ve got a guy. Actually, it’s my cousin Lauren, who has shown me everything. Click on her name if you’re in the market. They are so much better than a scented candle and they help my moods and my breathing better than anything else. Nothing removes pet and teenage odor better than these oils diffused in the room. (Don’t tell them I said that.)

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3. Books

I love my book club and I’ve finally gotten to actually read some of the books we’ve picked.  I’ve finished March’s book, After You, and had already read our April choice All the Light You Cannot See so I read The Sound of Gravel. Whoa, what a story. A memoir by a woman who grew up in a dysfunctional polygamist family. And I can’t wait to start our May pick, Brooke Shields’ There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me. A bonus? Reading them all in real live book form. No iBooks. Real books are my jam.

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4. The Americans

If you’re not watching this show, you’re missing out. OMG it is so stressful, but in the best way possible. Keri Russell is also my jam, ever since Felicity and Waitress. Russian spies, 80s cold war (not to mention the amazing fashions), politics, family drama, and sooooo much more.

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5. Getting Control-Freaky on My Dresser Drawers

Yes, I did this. Yes, it’s OCD. But who wouldn’t love their clothes looking like this? It’s inner peace, it’s a small way to control my chaos, and it’s my jam.

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This is not weird. At all.

 

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6. Drugstore Makeup

I’ve been a fan of department store makeup for many, many years. And I do still use it for some things. But I haven’t been happy lately with some of my makeup purchases, so I checked out some drugstore options and found makeup bliss. Particularly, Almay Lip Butter (Fair) and Burt’s Bees Lip Shine in Smooch have made my spring. I like the ease of running in any corner drugstore and being able to find it.

7. Van Morrison

He’s always been my jam, but this month I finally get to see him perform live! Can. Not. Wait. Love his chill vibe and always brings me back to the old college days of listening to classic rock.

So there you have it. You may not have wanted it, but you got it. These are my jams.

What are yours? Let me know so I can add to my list!

Take care of yourselves and each other,

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Yellow Daisy Chick

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