Life Lessons With Miss Smart

by Sarah on November 1, 2010 · 12 comments

Life Lesson #1: Costumes Are Fun
(Especially when you choose your Halloween costume solely because it means you can wear your favorite “dress-that-I-never-have-an-occasion-to-wear.”)
Kathleen ain’t nothin’ but a golddigger, Teddy‘s a very fashionable dinosaur, I was a fairy (“No, I am not a specific fairy. Well, unless you want to call me the Fairy of FUN!”), and Cara nerded out as someone (also named Cara) from Battlestar Galactica who I pretended to know about for all of five seconds before admitting I was clueless. 😉

Life Lesson #2: Shop with a Purpose.

So this lesson is one I’m definitely still working on when it comes to the grocery store, but over the weekend I went to the SFC Sun Valley Farmers Market with an intense focus. I got out of my car, walked straight to the farm stall I wanted. Pointed and said, “I need those. Now.” Got back in my car, and went home. Never have I been so leisurely at the market.

But I knew what I wanted.
And I wanted persimmons.Ever since my last trip to the farmers market I have been CRAZY about this fruit, and they are so expensive at the grocery store, where they cost at least $1.50 each. I managed to get 11 for $5.00.And immediately broke into one….yummmmmmmmmmmmmm…..
Created a lovely cereal base of puffed millet at Nature’s Path Crunchy Maple Sunrise…
…a heaping helping of my other new favorite thing: goat’s milk yogurt.
…and topped it off with persimmon “jelly” and cinnamon.
Even just looking at this picture makes me want it again. RIGHT NOW.
Life Lesson #3: Ask for Help When You Need It

So, on Friday, the “Low Tire Pressure” light on my car went on. Now, my roommates laughed at me when I said this, and you can feel free to do the same, but putting air in my tires is something I have never been able to do. I have been shown multiple times, even been guided through the process on more than one occasion by both my father and mother, and yet, when I have to do it myself, it ends up with me letting more air out than goes in, and the “fffffffffffffff” sound of air escaping haunts me for days.

What to do?

Well, I went to Jiffy Lube, and I played “stupid girl” with the line: “You’re probably going to laugh at me but…” which led to a very nice, fatherly-like man guiding me through the process and letting me practice in a very kind, calm way. I, of course, offered to pay him something, and when he refused, I reverted to my usual, “If I had brownies, I would totally give them to you,” giggle-and-flee maneuver.

Life Lesson #4: Sometimes simple is better.

I have all these recipes for squash that I compulsively gather like I compulsively purchase the strange squash for which those recipes are intended. Stewed, sliced, stuffed…baked, boiled, braised…you name it, I’ve considered it. But in the end, I realized, that sometimes, all you need is a dash of spice and a little time in the oven to produce something fabulous.

So the dapper delicata….
…was seeded…
[actually, it was sliced, THEN seeded, but sliced rhymed better with the next step, which is…]
[olive oil spray + thyme and curry, separately….not together. :)]
Baked for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees……these are delicious simple squash RINGS! :)
Lesson #5: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

For me, the generic romantic comedy script never gets old.

I watched Letters to Juliet this weekend, sitting in my room, on my portable DVD player, and was completely transfixed by it. I had forgotten how much I love a good romance.Maybe it was the lush Italian scenery, maybe it was the appearance of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or perhaps it was simply the fabulous use of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” but despite it’s all-to-predictable storyline and incredibly cheesy cinematic tactics…I loved it. And I am not ashamed.

Life Lesson #6: Don’t Be Afraid To Let (Your Hair Go) Loose

So, my hair has never been this long in my entire life. At least not that I can remember. This is mostly because Kevin, who has known me since I was just a little seedling in Mama Smart’s belly, lives on the East Coast and I refuse to let anyone else carrying scissors within a 20-mile-radius of my head….but regardless, it has a weird texture that has always required blow-drying or strange quirky kinks develop. A hairdresser, pre-Kevin, once told me my hair wanted to be curly but wasn’t (????)

But not anymore. Why, hello there tousled waves of glory.
My hair was happy to have a heat-free morning.

Mini-lesson #6.5: Every outfit becomes instantly more awesome with a scarf. Even when it is 85 degrees outside…….On the last day of October.

Life Lesson #7: Abandon Type-A For-a-Day. [Let. It. Go.]

I have told y’all about how I tend to excessivly buy groupons, lunchdeals, and living social meal vouchers. And I love it. It really is the best way to discover new or un-buzzed-about restaurants. Yet, sometimes the expiration dates creep up on me. Luckily, I am a perfect dining companion and everyone jumps at the chance to share a meal with me (and my camera).* So a lunch date was easy to find.

*Mini-lesson #7.5: The answer to “Do you want help me spend free money on food?” is usually “yes.”

Thus, I found myself on a Sunday afternoon, dining al fresco at Maggie’s Cafe, a new burgers-and-comfort food restaurant that is so proud of being mom-and-pop (and, yes, the owner is really what you would think of when you think of the mom in ‘mom-and-pop’) that they will probably never have a website. The cafe is named for the owners’ dog, and although the eponymous pet was nowhere to be found (I did drop my straw in her water bowl, however), I did find homemade potato chips, a side of both BBQ and tzatziki sauces, and this yummy sandwich:
The vegetarian sandwich, to which I naturally added bacon.

[Waitress: “You realize that that’s intended for vegetarians?”
Me: “You’re point is…?”]Mini-lesson #7.75: Be nice to waitresses. Then they will bring you an entire ginormous deli pickle instead of a puny 1/8-of-a-pickle spear when you ask for an “extra pickle.”

If you are nice to waitresses, they will also not ask you to leave their restaurant despite the fact that you have been sitting on their “patio” for three hours, enjoying the most leisurely lunch of all time….the kind of lunch where you talk about everything and nothing and literally have no clue how three hours have passed and then when you do, it takes thirty more minutes to actually get up and be on with your day (or evening, in this case).

And that is where the lesson comes in. Y’all know how I tend to spend my Sundays, including all of the intense preparations for breakfast and lunch throughout the week, and lots and lots of cooking (usually because I am scared of taking night photos for the blog and therefore hate to try new recipes during the week). Sunday is when all of my Type-A tendencies that I can usually mask with what my co-workers have come to know as zen-like “it’s all gonna be fine”-ness come out in full, anal-retentive force.

But yesterday, I let it go. And it was wonderful. I just didn’t care.

So what that my lunches might have to be made ‘off-the-cuff’ or that I wasn’t sure what breakfast was going to be every single day of the week? So what that I might have to rely on older photos of recipes I haven’t yet blogged about, or even {gasp!} night photos? Certainly my little Smarties (read: y’all) will allow me to be a little disorganized for once. Trust me, living in the moment is SO worth it.

Life Lesson #8: “Never mess with a girl.”

This last lesson comes from one of my students, actually. Today we were reading “Keelboat Annie,” a tall tale from the Mississippi Delta about a giant-sized woman who gives to the poor and beats up bullies, usually involving prying out one tooth from each of the bad guys’ mouths and stringing said teeth onto a necklace she wears around her neck.*

*Violence in schools…what?

So after reading this silently to themselves, one of my boys turns to the other boy in the group and says, “The lesson here is that you should never mess with a girl.”

The response? “Yeah. Especially one who is 7 feet tall and weighs 300 pounds.”

My kids are really smart.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free November 1, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Fun Fun!!! I need to remember that "shop with a purpose" thing!


Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg November 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Haha…I love the lesson your kids picked up from that book. So true, so true :-)

Persimmons = LOVE. I love how juicy yours looks! (I feel really awkward typing that, but you know what I mean)


Ravenous Rowie November 1, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Love your dress! I hate it when you find something so awesome, and then never have anywhere to wear it! Great choice, and you are definitely the fairy of fun!!!


Brittany @ A Healthy Slice of Life November 2, 2010 at 8:15 am

you're hair is so pretty natural!

ps- ok, I'm clueless… how does one eat a persimmon??


Jen November 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I was wondering what a persimmon was!!! Thanks :)



loveofbreakfast November 2, 2010 at 4:33 pm

your hair is gorgeous! and i totally love this post. thanks for stopping by my blog! i am excited to read yours.


Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert November 2, 2010 at 4:53 pm

You would be the best and funniest fairy princess! And I loved that movie too – and I'm and ashamed either. Thanks for sharing!


Lindsay and James Cotter November 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Um I need to follow number 7 more often, okay a lot more often. Just ask my husband, haha.

You've got me hooked on persimmons!


Lindsay and James Cotter November 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Um I need to follow number 7 more often, okay a lot more often. Just ask my husband, haha.

You've got me hooked on persimmons!


Lindsay and James Cotter November 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Um I need to follow number 7 more often, okay a lot more often. Just ask my husband, haha.

You've got me hooked on persimmons!


Lindsay and James Cotter November 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Um I need to follow number 7 more often, okay a lot more often. Just ask my husband, haha.

You've got me hooked on persimmons!


atastelife November 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Question: I bought persimmons at TJs last week and they looked nothing like yours on the inside. In fact, I dare say I don't like persimmons based on my experience. They were bland. Very bland. And hard – like an unripened peach…What do I do?


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