|Don't forget to go check out Crystal's 10 for Tuesday!|
Ten Things I Once Hated But Now Love
- Mushrooms. This is serious, you guys. Of all the things I thought I would never learn to even tolerate, the mushroom was at the top of the list. I mean, let's not even discuss how the odd little mushroom begins its strange life. Or the fact that I always felt like mushrooms had exactly the same consistency of a worm. But here's what I've figured out: if you get the shiitake mushrooms and chop them up pretty small, and it you fry those bad boys up with some garlic and onions, the funky texture goes away and you're left with a delicious morsel that adds some serious flavor to your dish. Mushrooms, you win. You're a tasty treat that I'm happy to add to any meal. Except salad. Or sandwiches. I can't deal with the uncooked mushroom.
- Memoirs. I grew up reading a fairly large variety of genres. Everything from fantasy to psychology and even a little self help (as if anything could actually help me). But one thing I really struggled to get into was the memoir. I'm not sure when I made the switch to a memoir-filled bookshelf, but after reading Becoming Odyssa I realized that a well written memoir is something worth savoring. These days, I'm not only reading memoirs, but I'm writing one, too.
- Flip flops. As a child, I couldn't stand how the thong of the flip flop felt between my toes. As an adult, I thought they looked tacky. I'll admit it, as the director of a small private school, I didn't let my teachers wear flip flops to work. I just couldn't see how anyone could run after a child in an emergency with flip flops flapping on their feet. But I'm a definite flip flop convert. I blame my summer trips to Ranch Rudolf in Michigan for this. I bought my first pair when my aunt told me I could wear them into the river and put them on my hands to help paddle my tube around. Well, thanks a lot, Aunt Billie. I've been wearing them ever since. And yes, I wear them to work.
- Being alone. This was a hard one. I used to fear being alone. But then, I used to fear a lot of things. These days I look forward to my alone time. I play my music, write, read, or watch some TV, or catch up on homework. Being alone is no longer something I fear. Quite the opposite; I've become a little greedy with time to myself and often have to force myself to socialize.
- Waking up early on the weekend. Don't get me wrong here. I love sleeping in. Intensely. Passionately. To wake up without the blare of an alarm in my ear is lovely. But on the weekend, if I sleep in too late, I feel like I've wasted the precious time I have to myself. I'd rather get up, meditate, do a little yoga, work with my sweet puppy, and make some coffee.
Cutest. Puppy. Evah.
- Which brings us to coffee. Oh, coffee, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: as black as my soul, as dark as a moonless night, and as tall as a mountain. This is all my mother-in-law's fault. I had never in my life considered myself a coffee person. Give me tea, sweet fruited tea, or give me nothing. And then I spent some time in Iowa. In the winter. And began a sick and twisted love affair with coffee. These days at the Starbucks window, you can hear me ordering a Venti Americano, no room for cream or sugar, thanks.
- Wine. I was one of those dessert wine drinkers. Pour the Riesling, and keep it coming! Red wine may as well have been mushrooms, for all I cared. But then, again because of my dear mother-in-law, I found a red wine I actually enjoyed. And then another. And another. And oh man, it just really goes downhill from there. I don't even know how I survived this long without wine at my side.
- Driving places without my GPS. Much like being alone, this really freaked me out. But then I realized that my GPS is a liar. A liar, you guys. I can find much faster ways and easier routes to get where I'm going if I just shut that stupid GPS lady's mouth and go it alone. And the upside? I actually remember how to get there the next time.
- Not having a schedule to follow. Oh man, was I a list maker. An itinerary creator. A slave to the schedule. When I was getting my undergrad degree, I literally made a minute by minute schedule to live by each week. Granted, I was a single mom running a school and going to school -- but wow, guys. What a life. I even build itineraries for my vacations, afraid I might miss something important. No more, friends. I am willy nilly, flying by the seat of my pants. And loving every minute of it.
- Cooking without a recipe. Sense a theme here? I measured the water for macaroni and cheese, guys. Macaroni and cheese! I don't even know what to say about that. But then I met an awesome personal trainer that taught me all about nutrition and healthy things, and made me eat an abundance of vegetables and things I had never tried before (he was the first person to suggest cooking the mushrooms long enough to make that icky texture go away, actually), and I start throwing all sorts of random things together in pans and pots and casserole dishes, and now I love my kitchen time. Just give me my Pandora station, a selection of veggies and spices, and let me go. Always a culinary masterpiece. Nom.
Made this sweet egg fried rice last night, with mushrooms!