Friday, November 8, 2019

Luck and Winning: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 7 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

My subject is: Have you ever won anything?
It was submitted by: Rena of Wandering Web Designer.

I'm not the luckiest person on the planet, but then I'm not the unluckiest either. When the boys were little and the powerball jackpot would get high, Hubs and I would each play a ticket and we'd let the boys pick numbers too. Inevitably the payout would be small, but wouldn't you know it would be one of them who had picked the winning numbers.

I think I told this story once before, but when I was working in the buying office for Zayre, I once won the grand prize at our holiday party. Well, I might not have won really, but I got the prize anyway. I think I may have told this story before on this blog, or parts of it anyway, I'm not sure. Between age and the number of years I've been blogging sometimes it's hard to remember what stories I have and haven't told. 

Anyway, Rena, since you asked, I'll tell it. We, each of us who went to the party, each were given a numbered ticket for a drawing later on in the night. The rules were, you had to be there to win, ensuring that most of us stayed until the end of the party. It wasn't all that hard to do, there was dancing, fun, socializing not just with coworkers but with significant others, booze, good food and sweet desserts.

Crockpot Pineapple Balsamic Chicken, simple to prepare but full of flavor | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Crockpot Pineapple Balsamic Chicken
Crockpot Pineapple Balsamic Chicken, simple to prepare but full of flavor | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

I was at a table with a group of my immediate coworkers. I don't remember everyone who sat with us, but I know my friend Kathy was there. She was from California but was living in the Boston area with her boyfriend (now husband) who had come to go to MIT. And there was Ken. He was our boss, and a bit of a putz. He wasn't mean or difficult, just, well, I don't know, putzy. He was older and married, we were young and carefree, so we didn't have a lot in common with him, but we didn't dislike him either. 

Anyway, Ken decided to leave. And he gave his ticket to Kathy. You see where this is going, right?

So time for the drawing came. The first number chosen for the grand prize was Ken's. Of course. Putz. So Kathy, being an honest person, said that she had the winning ticket but it was Ken's and he had left. The rules were well known, they drew again. The winning number? Mine. I had won a trip for two to Hawaii.

Later, Kathy told me she was not happy, she should have just claimed the prize. I thought she was upset with me maybe thinking I should give her the trip, but we continued our friendship to this day (well, on FB anyway, she moved back to California a few years later) and she now tells me she doesn't remember being upset with me at all.

Ken, well he's another story. He was definitely unhappy with both Kathy and I. He thought Kathy should have claimed the prize for him (as if) and I should give the trip to him (yeah, right). Anyway, I took my sister to Honolulu and we extended the trip ourselves jumping over to Maui for a few days before returning. 

I have to mention here something I know I've talked about here on the blog. Years later, I went through infertility treatments, surgery and IVF attempts each with a 20% chance of ending in pregnancy, suffered a miscarriage after one, a chemical pregnancy after another, lost my older son's twin, yet somehow ended up giving birth twice. I can tell you without reservation that was the biggest lottery win of my life. Twice.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

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Crockpot Pineapple Balsamic Chicken

Printable Recipe

3 large boneless, skinless chicken halves
salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in juice
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 
1 cup snap peas 
1 carrot, shredded or thinly peeled

OPT: cooked pasta or rice for serving

*Grease your slow cooker.
*Trim the chicken breast halves and cut each into 3 - 4 pieces, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then place in the slow cooker.
*Drain the can of pineapple chunks, reserving the juice. Place the pineapple chunks in the fridge for later.

*Whisk together the pineapple juice, balsamic vinegar, green onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pour into the slow cooker and turn on to low. Cook for 4 hours. 
*Add the pineapple, snap peas and carrot. Cook for another hour and a half.
*OPT: Serve over pasta or rice.


  1. Nope. That trip was definitely yours.
    And you're right. Winning the pregnancy/birth lottery was the biggest win of all!

    1. Yes it was the biggest win, especially twice. Couldn't have been any luckier than that.

  2. I never win things that's my husband. People say he has a horseshoe up his ass, but that doesn't seem very lucky to me lol (Rena)

    1. Or comfortable either. But just in case, he better stay away from magnets.

  3. I've won a couple of centerpieces at an employer's holiday party but that's about it. And I don't think I will even decorate much for Christmas this year. But you are right..going through what you did to have two wonderful children is the best lottery win of all. Alana

    1. Yes, that's the one that really mattered, and I know so many people who were unsuccessful with IVF, it breaks my heart.

  4. If your boss wanted the prize, he should have stayed. Glad you went and enjoyed yourself.
    And yes, the grand prize twice over, two healthy boys.

  5. You won fair and square. The only thing you could have done was to take Kathy to Honolulu.
    I agree though, the real grand price was having two healthy baby boys against all odds!
    That chicken pineapple dinner sounds wonderful. I'll be over around 6pm, OK?

  6. Typically when we left an event before all the prizes are awarded, we give our tickets to someone for THEM to claim as THEIRS. Humph... (lol) I agree, it was yours since Kathy said it wasn't hers. Glad you enjoyed the trip.

  7. I love getting lucky, but I often have to be humble about it, because I'll overlook how much preparation had to do with that luck.

    1. In many cases that's very true, and proof that we often can make our own luck.

    2. If the rules say must be present to win, that's that! You did get blessed with the children, that's the best win of all.

  8. that was totally your trip, and I'm glad you took it without giving in!


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