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TPG Blog #5: Fresh Starts, Fraternities and Fajitas

Kelly Giggy

Posted on January 15 2021

TPG Blog #5:  Fresh Starts, Fraternities and Fajitas


The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is one of my favorites of the year.   It has always served as a clean slate or fresh start for me – new calendar, big plans and ever so optimistic of what lies ahead.  This year, I found myself in our garage, going through a trunk of my family’s keepsakes which included a super creepy, life-size china doll (I have no words!) and a stack of pictures and negatives from my camera in college.  After a quick edit next to the trash can, I went through them again, remembering my friends, our outfits and life in our twenties. As I looked at our faces, I saw our kids and their friends and shenanigans and stories – so much the same.

In college, I was a little sister in a fraternity. It was known as the ag fraternity and the house was a slightly remodeled motel with indoor corridors, two stories, and shaped like an “L” with a common living room and kitchen on the first floor.  All brothers lived in the house, there was a pool and a Great Dane as a mascot, and all was well in the world of formals, tests, school, and phone calls from home on land lines.  We wore shirts with Greek letters on the front, our nicknames on the back and were never so proud to be a part of a community with 100 brothers and 60 little sisters.  Everyone would head home for the summer to work, leaving the college town and its life behind for 3 months. 

One summer weekend after my sophomore year, we all met up at the Riverland Resort on the outskirts of Kingsburg, California. We ate, laughed, water skied, fished a little, laid in the sun and only had one trip to the emergency room at Kingsburg Hospital – I think for stitches, Paul Viborg – which I had documented with my film camera because my 20-year-old-self thought I should!  No shoes, heading into town for stitches on Highway 99, parking pass from the resort on the rear-view mirror - we had found our people and I would remember that feeling of being able to be yourself and truly belonging, years later while sitting on my garage floor with a stack of printed pictures. 


We photograph to hold onto something that will disappear.  We remember how we felt, something funny or more details when looking at a photo.  Costco recently announced that photo departments in all locations will close on February 14, 2021 as people aren’t printing photos like they did 15 years ago.  Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat aren’t photo storage options as these platforms can be gone in the blink of an eye or you may become disenchanted with them.  I use and love Persnickety Prints (linked here) to print my pictures and owner, Chari Pack, has predicted “the next generation may be the most photographed, but also the most forgotten.”  This can’t happen on our watch, friends.  Print your photos.  Dust off those photo albums and find your stacks of pictures. Send those pictures on your phone to be printed.  We owe it to those that came before us and the next generation.  Just start where you are with what you have – let’s go, together!  

And … be yourself.  Everyone else is taken.

Thank you, college friends – my life story is definitely more colorful because of you!

And this …. Sheet Pan Chili Lime Shrimp Fajitas from Laughing Spatula will create (1) dinner table applause and (2) more time in your evening to shuffle through your own stacks of pictures and wonder how you ever got out of your parent's house in 1/2 of a shirt!

  • 1 pound raw, deveined shrimp, without tails, 31-40 count, thawed if frozen.
  • 1 each red, green and yellow pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin

 For Marinade:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 limes – 1 juiced, 1 sliced for serving
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Mix marinade and set aside.  Mix sliced vegetables and shrimp into a large bowl and toss with marinade.  Spread onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are soft and starting to brown and shrimp is cooked through.   Serve with lime slices and warmed fajita-size tortillas.  The applause should be deafening in 5-4-3-2-1!

Have a great week living your great big life!


Kelly aka Twinkles (I knew you were curious!)

Lambda Class – RhoMates, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity – Chi Chapter

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