Living With Don Johnson

Archive for January 2012

Yesterday while I was at work, I went to send Don Johnson a text message to see how his day was going. My phone wasn’t working. I turned it off, took out the battery, and adjusted the sim card. It still didn’t work. I went down to the AT&T store to see if they could tell me what what wrong with my phone.

The lady at the AT&T store was absolutely no help at all. I had a friend send Don Johnson a text letting him know that my phone wasn’t working.

I got home last night after work and had Don Johnson take a look at my phone. Earlier, he’d decided he was going to tell me in an interesting way. He pretended to look at my phone and then told me to go stand by the window to see if I was able to get reception closer to the window. He then called me phone, and I heard it ringing, but it wasn’t ringing on the phone I was holding in my hand. He had to call it a few times for me to find the ringing box. I was shocked and couldn’t believe it.

Don Johnson, in all of his techie-ness, refurbished a broken iphone 4 for me. He was able to put a custom back on the phone, so I finally have a purple phone.

I’m very excited about it. I have been playing with it all morning.

 

Just wanted to wish my mom a very happy birthday. She is the most amazing woman I know. Wish we could come celebrate with you.

Love,

Kate, Don, and the Darling children

So, I decided to use a prompt today. I glanced through a few prompts on line and found a few that I liked. These prompts may pop up every so often if I run into writer’s block. Today’s prompt asked “Who are the people who have had the greatest impact on your life?”

Let’s start this out with the most obvious one, Don Johnson. He’s the reason behind the name of my blog. He has had an impact on my life because he is my husband. I met him a couple of years after my divorce. I was at a point where I wasn’t looking for someone to date. We met through a mutual friend. And I had no plans to date him at all. Life took its course, and here we are. Don reminded me that friendship is an important part of a marriage. Yes, you need to love your spouse, but you also need to be friends with each other.

Let’s jump from one husband to the previous husband, the ex. It does seem surprising that I’d list my ex husband as someone who has had an impact on my life. But, he has had an impact. I won’t go into a lot of details here, but good or bad, he has had an impact on my life. It is because of him that Don Johnson and I have Wendy. Wendy wouldn’t be here without the ex.

Wendy has had an impact on my life. The day she was born, my heart no longer beat inside of my body. It was now ensconced in the little 7 pound 4 ounce person in my arms. 7 and a half years later, I still find that sentiment to be true.

Another set of people I have to include would be my grandparents. I was the only granddaughter for many years, and it was a role that was rather difficult to share when my cousin Chelsea came along. When I was growing up, my grandma always told me that the sun rose and set for me. Every single child on this planet needs to feel that at least once. When you hear that, you can’t help but feel like you can take on the world and win. Wendy is lucky enough to have her Nana make her feel that way.

And  last but certainly not least on this list is Nana, my mom, and my dad. I had the best childhood growing up. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. We were a military family, and military families are never rolling in the dough. My brother and I thought that ‘generic’ was a brand name. And we proudly rocked our generic jeans. We never went without. We always had amazing birthday parties. And we always got presents on Christmas and Easter. My brother and I grew up knowing that we could count on my mom to go to bat for us if needed. We were always told that while she might not always agree with our decisions, she would support them. And she would always be there to give us a safe place to land. My dad, while not being my biological dad, has always been supportive. And it is strange how alike we are. For many years, I was the only person in my family who liked apple butter. Now, I’m not the only one. I count myself pretty lucky to have Nana and Popsi as part of my life.

There you have it. The short list of people who have had an impact on my life. Who would be on your list?

I was all set to look up some prompts and ideas for blog posts when I happened to see that Girl Scout Cookies were a trending item on yahoo. Well, that settled it for me. A blog about Girl Scout cookies. Seems like something I could write about. I was, after all, a Girl Scout for many years. As was my mom. I like to think that I know a little something when it comes to GS Cookies.

The item that was trending is the new Girl Scout cookie. Now, keep in mind that the GS have been introducing a “new” cookie every year or so for a number of years. Sometimes they are successful cookies, and they stick around for a few years like the lemon chalets. And other times, the cookie only lasts for that season of cookies (anyone remember the year that the GS sold a Cheez-it type cheese cracker? No…didn’t think so. It wasn’t popular, but I still had to try and sell it).

This year, the new cookie is named the Savannah Smile in honor of the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low. More information about JGL  can be found here. The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace Museum is in Savannah, GA. When I was a Girl Scout, I always wanted to go visit the Birthplace, but never had a chance to. I finally made it when I was 18. I went to GA on Spring Break with the guy who was my boyfriend at the time. We went to visit his friends who were moving to Germany with the military. Why I thought it would be fun to go to Hinesville, GA, I have no idea. BUT, it was a short distance from Savannah. So, on the day that we drove into Savannah, he asked me what I wanted to do. Did I want to head out towards the coast, go shopping, do the tours of ghost places and historic homes? Nope. I had one destination in mind. And it was everything that I had dreamt it would be. I loved it. (Well, looking back on it now, I loved it. I don’t remember what my feelings were at the time, but I’m pretty sure they were pretty darn close to the feelings I have about it now.)

Anyway, back to the cookies. Lemon cookies have always been a popular idea with the GS. They had the Chalet cookies for a long time. You got two kinds in the box. Some had a vanilla creme and some had the lemon creme. I remember when they introduced the Chalet cookies. I think I was a Brownie. They introduced the Lemonades a couple of years ago which are shortbread cookies with a lemon glaze. I’ve never tried the Lemonades.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had Girl Scout cookies every single year. I started selling them as a 1st grader. And since my mom was my leader, I had to attend every. single. booth sale. I hated it sometimes. It got a little repeatative to ask “Would you like to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies?” And my mom had strict rules about booth sales, and I don’t know if these were her rules or the rules of the store where we set up the booth sales. We were not allowed to ask people when they were walking in to the store because if we asked on the way in, they might not have enough to get all of the groceries they needed. We were only allowed to ask people on the way out. AND even if they said no or didn’t even acknowledge us, we still had to say Thank You. I participated in a lot of booth sales as a child. There were years it seemed like our troop did more booth sales than any other troop. My mom explained it to me when I got older. (I think she’s pretty awesome, but this just might make you think she’s pretty awesome, too). She told me that a significant number of the girls in my troop were from lower income families and didn’t have the same opportunities to sell cookies as I did. Every year, there is a cookie patch which you receive when you sell a certain number of boxes. My mom did booth sales to help ensure that every girl sold enough boxes of cookies to receive the cookie patch. Because I attended every single booth sale, I always got the extra +100 or +200 patch to indicate that I sold more than the needed number of boxes. I imagine that a lot of the boxes that I sold were divided up amongst the other girls to help them reach the needed number. I didn’t know how many I sold at booth sales. I don’t recall my mom ever keeping a running tally at the sales of who sold what.

I didn’t realize how deeply some of those items stuck in my brain until I was an adult, and I was approached to buy cookies at a booth sale outside of a Wal-Mart. The random Junior asked if I wanted to buy a box as I walked into the store. I remember being appalled that these girls had asked me when I walked into the store. I mentioned it to whomever I was with at the time. They probably just laughed at me because it is completely normal for them to ask as you walk  into the store.

The names of the cookies are different for the different regions of the country. I grew up with one baker for the cookies, so I had one set of cookie names. I grew up with Thin Mints, Samoas, Tag-a-longs, Trefoils, and Do-Si-Dos. When I moved to Texas, I got funny looks when I asked for a Samoa. They were supplied by a different baker. Therefore, they had different cookie names (although I think Thin Mint is the same across the board) like Caramel Delites, Peanut Butter Patties, Shortbread, and Peanut butter sandwiches. I will always call them by the names that I grew up with.

The age groups have changed slightly since I was an active participant in the Girl Scout Program. It used to be:

Daisys- Kindergarten

Brownies- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade

Juniors- 4th, 5th, and 6th grade

Cadettes- 7th, 8th, and 9th grade

Seniors- 10th, 11th, and 12th grade

Although, I kinda jumped the gun and was a Senior when I was in 9th grade because I’d already completed the highest award for the Cadette level, so there really wasn’t anything left for me at that level. I’d had a fantastic experience in all of my years in Girl Scouting until I reached the senior level. That was the year I joined the Bluebonnet Council in Texas. Until that point, I’d only had 2 sets of leaders. My mom was my leader until I reached Cadettes, and then I bridged up into an awesome, already established troop. And then we moved to Texas, and it all fell apart. We found the closest troop that had some openings, and in I went. And I think I wanted out almost as soon as I joined that troop. It was nothing like what I’d experienced before. I already knew at that point that my previous troops were a little out of the ordinary. My mom had told me that. Because of the number of low income girls in my previous troops, my mom always made sure that we did all the tasks for one merit badge a month so that every girl had the chance to earn some badges. And the troop (my mom in many cases) bought the badges for the girls. I think the troop also provided a sash or vest to the girls who needed it. We also did one fun thing a month and one service project a month. I did that in every single troop. We were also Troop Beverly Hills, but that is a story for another day.

Back to the troop in Texas, I was shocked when I discovered that this new troop didn’t earn badges as a troop or do service projects. It seemed like it was a self serving little troop. They just wanted to do the fun stuff and none of the work stuff. The highest award at the time was the Gold Award which was equivilant to the Eagle Award or Arrow Award or whatever the heck it was called for the Boy Scouts. It was supposed to be a project that each girl completes on her own. She was supposed to come up with the idea and plan it from start to finish. There were also some smaller awards that needed to be completed before the final award (things like the Leadership award and Community service type thing). The big project was supposed to be something that would benefit the community in someway. For instance, for my Silver award, I organzied the Vacation Bible School for my church. They had no one to run it that year, so I thought (or my mom thought) it would be a good idea for my Silver project. I ran it. I picked out the materials. I found the teachers. I planned it. As a 7th grader, I did this. I have no idea how I did this as a 7th grader. My mom must have helped out a lot!  My Texas troop decided that they were going to do a group project, and it was going to be something silly like make party decorations for some stupid event going on in town. I remember telling them that it was a stupid idea for a project, and I didn’t think it qualified as worthy to be a Gold Project. I’m surprised the troop leader didn’t tell my mom not to bring me back after that one.  My mom made me stick it out for a year, and then I was allowed to quit. I was so happy when I got to leave that troop. It was awful.

Thanks for following this little stream of consciousness post that started with cookies and ended with Gold Projects.

Now that cookie season is about to start, do you have a favorite Girl Scout cookie? Do you buy several boxes at a time and throw them in the freezer to eat later in the year?

Me, I’m a Samoas kind of girl. And I usually just get one box of Samoas (to eat now) and one box of thin mints (to throw in the freezer for the future).


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