Cheese in exchange for love

As we’ve all come to understand, I’m learning this step-mom thing in the fashion of “baptism by fire.” I try things (I try lots of things). And sometimes those things result in the kids responding positively and sometimes they ignore me completely (I’m looking at you Mr. Parker). But what I’m finding is that the same thing rarely has a positive effect when it’s used too many times. Except for one thing: Cheese conditioning.

I know, I know: You’re probably confused and definitely thinking about what your hair would look like if you usedimg_8418 cheez whiz as a conditioner (and if you weren’t thinking that before, you definitely are now). But no, sadly this is not a new beauty trend, it’s simply the art of winning kiddos over by using something they love. In this case, I found out early that all three of us LOVE cheese.

Think of these young kiddos as Pavlov’s dog in this scenario. When I first met Roberino’s kids, I wanted nothing more than for them to like me. So I brought something I loved (so. much. cheese) and shared it with them. I did it so frequently that I used to walk into the front door and they’d ask me if I brought any cheese. And of course, I had. And of course, they loved it. And now, of course, they love me (even when I show up empty-handed). See? Cheese conditioning!

So while the days of guaranteed cheese every time I arrive are definitely gone, I’ll always have the fond memories of watching their eyes light up like they do on Christmas morning for the mere prospect of eating a delicious slice of Vermont Cheddar from Cracker Barrel before dinner is done cooking, and a hilarious story to tell about how I won the love of two small children with the peace offering of wonderfully glorious cheese.

Now THAT’S what I call a love story!


This was week 1 of the prompts from Hannah! Come back next week for another installment of “What can Melynda and Hannah get the other one to write about?!”

Until then,



Whiskey gingers: My beloved

The only thing that makes the feeling of getting off of a week-long duty stint full of students who should know better but just can’t help themselves feel more like euphoria is the stiff drink I get to have when I go home after passing off the duty phone.

Tonight’s poison: A tall, dark, and handsome whiskey ginger.

In the words of Hannah, this is the drink that makes my world go ’round.

Sure, sure, I talk about the beauty of a good IPA with good friends, and at some point in the past five years I’ve gotten over my (well-deserved) fear of tequila, and, though it’s been years and years since I’ve had one, there’s still a special place in my heart for vodka/crans.

But the drink that I continue to put on a whiskypedestal time and time again starts with a strong pour of Jameson followed by a splash of Canada Dry (because anything else is inferior, and you all know it (even though I’m upset with Canada Dry right now for their support of the Salvation Army (but that’s another issue for another blog post))).

And maybe had I not gone to Ireland and drank the elixir straight from the fountainhead, I wouldn’t have the appreciation and love for Irish whiskey that I do right now.

And maybe I’d always feel like my life was missing something.

But I guess we’ll never know.

So tonight, I’m working on my second whiskey ginger and loving the way the world feels as it turns.

Until tomorrow,

slánte! xx

Today I went to Target and spent less than $15

Yep. You read that right: I walked into Target for one thing and only left with two additional items all while spending less than $15.

Clearly this means that I’m the best there ever was!  

Or something like that anyway…

Friends, you and I both know that Target is one of our weakest of weaknesses (and if you say you don’t, you’re lying to yourself). I mean, have you SEEN that dollar section!? And don’t get me started on the clearance end caps…

But honestly, what exactly is it about “The $100 Store” that makes it so easy to mosey around and put things that we know we don’t really need into our baskets but don’t realize it until we get home and actually look at the damage?

Case and point: Do I NEED the mug that says “Good morning crabby lovely” on it that I walked out of Target with after finding it on a clearance end cap (I told you not to get my started on those damn end caps…)? No. No I do not. The same can be said about the thank you cards with the cat and the dead mouse on them. But, at the very least, I know NOW that I don’t need these things. Too bad that mug feels so at home amongst the others on my mug board, huh?

Though I’m not convinced just yet that the bullseye isn’t a portal into the Bermuda Triangle where all my money goes to disappear, I’ll count today’s $15 trip, despite still buying things that I didn’t need, as a win. 

Hooray for life’s tiny victories!
Until tomorrow,

cheers. xx

The perfect cookie quest

It’s been 171 days since I left Minnesota and drove 1,468 miles to Milton, Massachusetts for a new job. And on day one in my new home on the first floor in a residence hall with brick walls and carpet in my kitchen, I discovered the worst thing any hobby-baker could find: My oven is a piece of shit.

“But Melynda! It can’t be that bad!” they exclaim.

You haven’t the slightest clue, my friends.

At first, it was finding out that I have a smaller-than-average sized oven which doesn’t adequately hold my cookie sheets. *sigh*

“They’re just cookie sheets, Melynda! You can get smaller ones!” they plead.

“But I like MY cookie sheets. They’re high-quality and they bake 12 cookies at a time!” I throw back.

THEN! I realize that my hotter-than-average oven runs, well, hotter-than-average when the Digiorno pizza that kid sister and I had been craving all afternoon BURNED a full eight minutes before it was supposed to be done!

“But at least your oven is hot at all!” they try to compromise.

“I want things to cook when they say they’re going to cook! Not before! Not after! Right on time!” I scream with my fist in the air.

And then the final straw: When my perfected-cookie-baking-technique was compromised by my hotter-than-and-smaller-than-average, no good, dirty-rotten, pig stealing, great, great grand-oven and my usually beautiful cookies were RUINED. And they were ruined over, and over, and over again.

I was devastated.

Ask any of my co-workers; they’ll tell you the effect this oven has had on my well-being.

BUT! This, my friends, is a bad story-turned-happy!

There are silver linings to be seen here! Like my smaller-than average sized cookie sheet being delivered from Minnesota (at least it was already mine, right?) and realizing that my cookies take, on average, three minutes less than usual! And by combining these things, I’ve had fewer burnt cookies and happier RAs.

My perfect cookie quest continues as I battle the dragon-oven, but you know, my snickerdoodles were borderline perfect on Tuesday evening.

My well-being has significantly improved.

Until next time,

cheers. xx

Today I did a thing

Today I wrote and read some poems at a public poetry reading.

You read that right: I wrote and read today.

I woke up this morning knowing that I needed something at least semi-holiday themed for a poetry reading that I somehow agreed to take part in, sat down, and wrote two poems which I then proceeded to dictate publicly less than an hour later.

Who even am I anymore?

I’m starting to think that I’m the type of person who can not stop herself from taking things right down to the wire. But when my writing is well-received, it’s not much of a motivator to stop procrastinating, now is it?

But really, the point is, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone today and read my work to a public audience rather than hiding behind a computer screen. And pushing my boundaries is apparently what I’m all about these days.Y

In an effort to keep things as tidy as possible, this is where you can read Falling and Snowman.

Until tomorrow,


Good things; no context

If I can judge the success of my day by the size of the blisters on my toes, I’d say that I’ve had pretty damn successful day.

The second day of new experiences, a cat shirt to guide the way, and one killer joke to tie everything together; I don’t think I’ve ever felt so confident in my entire life.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love how life seems to put us exactly where we’re supposed to be at exactly the right time.

I came to Boston with one thought in my head, stayed for two extra days, and am leaving in the morning with a completely different head full of things to consider.

But there’s one thing that I’m pretty dang sure about: I look pretty damn good in purple. 😉

Until tomorrow,