The back-to-school honeymoon we enjoyed in those fresh-faced few weeks of summer is clearly over. We are swimming in the deep-end now. We are in full-on homework agony. The scheduling squeezes of after-school clubs are putting a vice-grip squeeze on us now. The once sparkly-new, back-to-school tennis shoes have turned into worn-down stinkers that fill the mudroom with an aroma worthy of a Febreeze commercial.
Cube farms are full of intrigue, drama, and even comedy when Elizabeth is listening on the other side of the wall. In this episode, Elizabeth and Jamie talk about her experience in a cube farm and grinding it out for that all important family health insurance plan! Characters abound in this episode of Way Down Deep: The Podcast.
I work in a cubicle farm. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. My cube is larger than most I’ve seen on television. That’s a plus, I suppose. Although the way my computer is situated in the corner, I cannot see people walk up behind me. Others in the farm have mounted mirrors to the left and right of their computer screens, so they are alerted when someone is behind them. It’s a little long-distance truck driver for me, but it must work. They are never caught by surprise. Last week, I carried on an entire conversation with a co-worker while she looked at me in her rear-view mirror. It was a little off-putting.
Working in a cubicle makes me feel like a little girl who has been put in the corner for punishment. Being sentenced to standing in the corner was a big deal when I was little, it was a space I wanted to escape quickly! As a grown up with a family that needs relatively affordable group health insurance, you learn to sit in the corner. With a smile. All. Day. Long.
Just like nearly every other woman I know, tonight after I got home from my full-time job, I started my second full-time job. On this particular evening, in addition to the typical routine: supper prep, supper clean-up, laundry, and homework assistance, I also peeled 8 pounds of russet baking potatoes.
Loaded baked potato casserole is one of the essential side items requested for Colin’s birthday dinner. The menu also includes fish sticks with honey mustard on the side, steamed broccoli with homemade cheese sauce and something he calls ranch salad. The recipe for ranch salad for those who are curious: chopped iceberg lettuce, ranch dressing, and croutons. For dessert, he’s asked for a Dairy Queen ice cream cake. I’ve got this.
“Mama, I’m hungry.” If I had a quarter for every time this was bellowed down our hallway, whispered into my ear, or declared aloud at the exact moment I finally sat down from any number of chores, I’d be a millionaire.
After nearly two weeks at home over the holidays with my boys, I’m convinced one of the reasons I am not a millionaire is because Jamie and I feed two children every three hours. They go through food like a buzzsaw through plywood.
Things were getting better. The initial shock was wearing off, and folks were busy with clean up, insurance, estimates, adjusters, livestock, crop evaluations. There was still no power, but we were all making do. It’s amazing how clean you can get with a bottle of water and a washcloth.
Out at Mama and Daddy’s the “Little House on the Prairie” camp was working so well, they reported they “lacked for nothing.” A friend had come by with a chainsaw and made fast work of the few trees still down, doing in 30 minutes what was taking hours for us to do with a band-saw and a hatchet. Now, Daddy’s primary concern was the pecan tree balanced on top of the gas tank in the backyard. “What if it explodes?” I asked. “Well, I guess we’ll find out,” he answered.
In Wednesday at 464 Sunset Elizabeth and Jamie talk about real life at their house which is not limited to: mouse traps, picky eaters and grocery shopping. It doesn’t get more real than this, and it’s only Wednesday.
Vegan and Primal Kale
Hopped Up on Oprah is a distillation of what happens when Elizabeth watches inspirational Olympic commercials and Oprah’s acceptance speech for her lifetime achievement award in the same time frame.
She gets all jacked up about what we are all capable of…really great things. It is a well-known fact that sometimes Elizabeth practices her Oscar speech in the bathroom after a long, hot shower. You’re never too old to use a hairbrush as a microphone, folks. In this podcast, Jamie and Elizabeth talk about peaks and valleys, the wonders of anti-anxiety meds, and wonder that is real life.
Stick around for a surprise at the very end. Sometimes it gets a little loosey-goosey in the studio!
When confidence is in short supply, Elizabeth Cantrell cranks up the radio, puts on her sunglasses, and becomes a badass. In one of the first blogs written for Way Down Deep, Elizabeth explains why this feeling she describes as Badass is so coveted and how to generate the feeling when you’re in desperate need of it. In the discussion afterward, she and Jamie, Elizabeth’s husband (and producer) dig a little deeper into her fantasy five list, music that works to generate the feeling, and how quickly one can go from badass back to normal again.
Songs Sure to Generate a Shot of Badassery:
Bad Girls by M.I.A.
Holy Grail by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z
Super Bon Bon by Soul Coughing
Sure Shot by the Beastie Boys
Things or people mentioned in this podcast:
Dave Matthews Band
Music for “Way Down Deep” by Ruka was purchased on Jamendo.com
Sunday brings with it the promise of a fresh start, an opportunity for change, a new way forward. Sunday’s place on the calendar is consistent. For centuries, it has come once every six days and follows Saturday. No surprises.
Sunday, unlike the other six days of the week, is rumored to be a day of rest. I’m not sure for whom that is true, but that is beside the point. Although considered the first day of the week, it is the final day before a five day stretch of the haram-scaram, free-for-all otherwise known as our normal Monday-Friday routine.
For whatever reason (theories abound) I frequently overlook the fact that just like every other day, Sunday is made up of only 24 hours. For it is on Sunday that I try to jam as much as possible into the handful of hours allotted before Monday morning.