July 27, 2017

Outfit of the Day....well...after the fact, of course, because we are talking about ME here.

So, I read something today about how it's a good idea to take a picture if you want to see what something looks like because, apparently, your eye tends to edit things out that you don't want to see in real life but that same eye finds ALL the flaws when you look at a picture.  It sounds like flawed logic to me but I figured I'd try it.

Remember a few posts ago when I complained about not being able to find anything at all in the stores and I felt like I was walking around dressed like a ragamuffin?  Well, the weekend after the Charleston trip, I hit the jackpot.  Probably because I wasn't looking for something too specific and I was willing to compromise on a couple of purchases.

At any rate, that weekend I scored two shirts, two skirts, two pairs of shoes and a pair of shorts.  Jackpot!  Those seven items made me feel like I had a whole new wardrobe!  Now granted, one of the skirts is just a plain, tan skirt and one of the shirts is a plain white shirt - nothing to get overly excited about.  But this shirt, I love.  I love the neckline.  I was concerned that the piece around my neck would aggravate me; it didn't.

Not only that, this outfit made me feel confident and pulled together.  It helps that I received a few compliments about it.  So this one is a keeper.

Also you should know, I rarely wear white pants.  I feel the need to have a pair in my closet for some reason, but I rarely wear them.  Mainly, because I know as soon as I do, I will spill.  Has that ever happened?  Not to my recollection, but still...the fear is real.  I have since made the determination that I will wear white pants in the summer a bit more often; spills be damned.

With the sweater.  Ignore the wrinkles, this was taken AFTER a long day at work

Without the sweater.

And can we talk about the shoes for a minute?

You know how much I love my shoes!

These shoes, along with the other pair, are the compromises I was talking about.  I have been looking for shoes with the ankle strap, chunky heel and a zipper in the back all summer - okay, it might have been my summer obsession.  When I found this pair sans the zipper, I snapped them up - I figured I could live without the zipper - although that feature WOULD make getting them on easier.  Then I sourced out another pair in black.  And I LOVE both pairs even though they are different brands.  These heels are ridiculously comfortable.

In fact, I have a wedding to attend this fall and I think I could wear the black pair for the entire wedding and reception without issue because they are THAT comfortable.  I'm not sure why these shoes are more comfortable than my lower heeled shoes but I think it has something to do with the chunky heel; surely there is some scientific explanation for this phenomenon.

So there you go - my outfit of the day - granted full of wrinkles and rumpled after a very LONG day (the alarm went off EXTRA early today - don't ask) but very pleased with this outfit.

And regarding that first paragraph, it's true.  I'm seeing plenty that the naked eye didn't see before.  Mainly, I need to thoroughly clean this room.

July 26, 2017

Saying yes instead of the expected no...

The other night, around 6:00 pm, my friend texted wondering if I wanted to go with her to get a pedicure.  Totally out of character, I agreed.

After my friend picked me up, she expressed total shock that I'd agreed.  In fact, her husband told her to jump at my yes - because he knows me all too well and figured if she didn't come to claim me quickly I might change my mind.

Now, I'll be honest, generally by 6:00, I am already in my pj's and winding down, yes...I know, I should be ashamed of myself.  That night, I was actually still dressed...only because Man-Child's girlfriend was here.  I DO have some standards, doncha know?  One is to actually be dressed when Man-Child's friends or girlfriend are here...at least until it's an acceptable time for someone who goes to bed and wakes up ridiculously early to don pj's, because these darn kids seem to be nocturnal.

I will also admit that depending on how I'm feeling, lately there is only a small group of people that I am willing to spend time with - most of the time, I'm fine with being on my own.  Sometimes I shock myself and am willing to spend time with random people - but the older I get the rarer that seems to happen...is that a sign that I'm getting old and crotchety?  Or is it a sign that my true nature as an introvert is taking over?  Who knows.

My friend is one of those people that I'm usually willing to spend time with - I adore her and am usually willing to spend lots of time with her - provided it's before 6:00 pm on a weekday, what can I say?  4:45 am dawns bright and early Monday through Friday around here.

To be honest, I shocked myself when I said yes.  Which tells me that I really needed this night out.

And I did.  We laughed and laughed.  We chatted and chatted.  It was worth keeping my bra on past 7:00 pm - that's HOW nice it was; also pretty toes and a pedicure!  It's been a long while since I've had an actual pedicure - what a treat!

Although the woman doing my toes sniffed (inaudibly) when she saw my handiwork on my toes - apparently, I don't meet her expectations as a nail artist.  But, I must admit, she was right - my toes looked so nice once she got done with them.

This event ended with this text message exchange...


The first message is from me...in case you weren't sure.

I hadn't heard of the book she references - but I looked it up.  I think that my choice in phrasing along with her mentioning the book is a sign.  Which probably means this is probably something I need to read and practice.  Again, the older I get the more I find myself finding reasons not to do things; things that I would probably enjoy.  Things that are outside of my routine.

This, obviously, isn't a good way to live life - particularly when it is brought to your attention that your habits are SO well known that even your friend's husband is aware of them.

And yes, this meant that bedtime that night was pushed back to *gasp* 11:00 pm!!  It also meant that I was a tad tired the next day - but it was totally worth it.

Plus?  Cute toes.

July 21, 2017

My husband, the comedian

Apparently, it is going to take some time for Man-Child to live down yesterday's incident.  I say that because this is what I found on top of the dishwasher this afternoon...




I had to laugh.  I also knew that as The Husband was writing this note he was cackling maniacally; he does tend to crack himself.  Since the note and the gel pack was still in place, I knew Man-Child had not yet seen it.  You may wonder WHY he hadn't wandered into the kitchen at any point before I got home - there were two reasons for this, the first being he didn't work today so he slept in and the second was because no one was home to magically make food appear in there.

This meant I had the unbridled joy of getting to see his face when I called him into the kitchen to see what his father had left for him.  I wish I had thought to get a picture, but being that I am notorious for never remembering to take a picture, I didn't (hell, as it is, I had to re-create the picture above because I didn't think to snap a picture before calling MC into the room!) but the expression on his face was priceless.

We met The Husband for lunch and I can confirm that he was still cackling maniacally over his note then too.

July 20, 2017

Man-Child will be 23 this year and the life lessons keep on coming...also - men and women; two TOTALLY different species

Our schedules are all varied lately.  I leave extra early, The Husband is next to leave and Man-Child is the last to leave the house in the morning.

After I left this morning The Husband left a note asking Man-Child to start the dishwasher; he complied.

When I came home this afternoon, I opened the dishwasher to discover bubbles; I knew immediately what had happened.  I asked Man-Child (whose current schedule not only has him leaving the house last but also has him coming home first - I find this extremely unfair...but there you go, life IS unfair) exactly WHAT he had put into the dishwasher.

He pulled THIS out from under the sink...



Oh yes, he did.  I was actually surprised to note that the bubbles seemed to be contained IN the dishwasher.  We've all seen the stories and pictures that abound on the internet of what could happen if you mistakenly use this instead of dish detergent.

Man-Child claimed that the bottle said "Dishwashing Liquid."  And he's right, it does.  But the difference between Dishwashing Liquid and Dishwasher Detergent is huge.  Also, to his credit, he hadn't realized that we had switched from liquid detergent to the pod-type detergent, so he figured this liquid under the sink was THE liquid to use.

If you've never encountered this kind of mess, here is what Google tells you to do...wipe out as many bubbles as you can, pour some vinegar over the rest and run a cycle or two.  Then re-wash your dishes using detergent.

When The Husband came home and was questioning why there were soapy towels in the kitchen, I explained what happened and he said, "Oh, so THAT'S what the foamy stuff was on the floor."  I looked at him completely flummoxed.  HOW does one walk into the kitchen, notice bubbles on the floor under the dishwasher and NOT investigate?!  

Apparently, he just wiped them up, picked up whatever it was he'd forgotten and walked out.  And that, my friends, is the difference between men and women.

July 16, 2017

A relaxing, fun AND productive vacation...

As you may remember, I mentioned a few posts ago that I was headed to Charleston...again.  This was actually my third trip to this fabulous city.

That is not a complaint, I LOVE Charleston and firmly believe that every time you go, you will discover something new.

A pleasant bonus was that I made it to Charleston without getting lost once; thanks to Google Maps.  Yes, it meant my phone was dead by the time I got there but I didn't get lost.

My friend flew in to Charleston and the plan was for me to pick her up.  Little did I know what a challenge this was going to be.  I'm used to our teeny, tiny airport - where there is metered parking just steps from Baggage Claim.  Turns out Charleston's airport is also fairly small but lacks the metered parking.  Also, interestingly enough, Arrivals and Departures are in the same place.  So basically, unless you were dropping off or the person you are picking up is standing right there you can't stop.  Do you know how hard it is to find one person in a sea of people?  Next to impossible.  But after circling the airport about five times, I finally found her and we headed off to the hotel.

Now, while I didn't encounter any issues on my drive, my friend did have an incident at the airport.  Last time I was in Houston, I bought some spices at a grocery store that we don't have to bring home for The Husband.  Turns out those spices were a great hit and he'd asked her to bring some with her and we'd pay her back.  Bless her, she did.  Little did she know what kind of havoc that would wreak.  Apparently, she'd decided against checking her bag and after she'd gone through security, a TSA agent asked her to come with him; talk about unnerving.  They took her to a tiny room and began going through her bag.  Once they uncovered the spices, they proceeded to test them one by one.  After they had been declared "safe" the TSA agent told her that had she checked her bag it wouldn't have been a problem and that those spices better make some darn good hamburgers (they do, FYI).

Since this was my friend's first trip to Charleston, finding a decent hotel in historic downtown was my charge.  After the last trip, where we ended up nowhere NEAR downtown and public parking is a nightmare, I did my due diligence.  And, if I do say so myself, I am very pleased with where we ended up.  Although, at first I was a tad disappointed, because it wasn't as close to everything as I would have liked BUT it turns out that right across the street was the main stop for every free bus, so it turned out perfect.  The hotel itself was great - they even offer a breakfast every morning that is not the typical hotel breakfast.  Considering what they were able to do in their kitchen, I'm kind of surprised they didn't serve any other meal or even a cocktail hour.  I would keep this gem a secret, but since I'm sure this information will stay just between us - if you find yourself headed to Charleston check out the Hampton Inn Charleston - Historic District, you won't be disappointed.

Now, I will say this, we had SO much fun BUT...Charleston in July is HOT.  And not only is is HOT it is HUMID.  Now, is it more hot or humid than either Houston or Somewhere in NC?  Probably not usually, but generally we aren't walking around in it all day either.  I took this screenshot on Tuesday and I think on that day the humidity was off the charts.

Just LOOK at the RealFeel temp!!


As you can imagine, we were hot and sticky and tired.  But not tired enough to shower and head out to the hotel's courtyard with a glass of wine to chat; something we did every night.  We loved the courtyard; the mosquitoes not so much.

I didn't take as many photos as I have in the past, mainly because I already have a bunch of photos from Charleston - but my friend was constantly snapping away.  So basically, all I've got is what you see above.

Except for this...after eating fabulous seafood a couple of days in a row (my friend, despite living on the Gulf rarely gets seafood as her other half doesn't eat it and I rarely get any good seafood because we are landlocked) we decided to "go local."  We didn't need a full meal but knew we needed some kind of fuel to get us through the afternoon.  So we decided to try this place.



Yes, we found the name to be hilarious - but...seriously the BEST nachos outside of Texas.  Juanita Greenberg definitely knows their way around some nachos.

The trip went by way too fast but we had a great time and, of course, loved spending time together.  Who woulda thunk that we'd get to see each other twice in less than six months?  Usually, it's a few years between visits.  Something we have agreed to rectify; even if it means meeting somewhere in the middle.

Although Google Maps got me to Charleston without issue, we will not discuss how Google Maps lead me astray on my trip home, directing me through the town I ALWAYS get lost in and sending me through a very sketchy neighborhood where the police were stopping all the vehicles...looking for what, I can only imagine.  But eventually, I made it home safe and sound.

The "productive" part of this vacation started after I got home.  I had decided to take Thursday and Friday off as well, since I didn't see any sense to going to work for only two days.  Besides, I wanted to get a few things done around here.  Mainly, in my flower beds.

The one giant bed took me two days and over seven hours.  Unfortunately, it's not completely finished yet, but it is SOOOO close that I figure I'll just need a couple of hours next weekend finishing it off.  I would have gone ahead and finished it, but I knew I had reached my limit.  I weeded and removed the overgrown lamb's ear.  The Husband questioned why I was getting rid of the "good" stuff.  I had my reasons.  Mainly, because it was overgrown, plus it's not a favorite of mine and lastly, because I figured it was a haven for snakes as it was so overgrown.

The back yard is so close to being where I'd envisioned it when we bought this place.  Not enough to take pictures but still, when I look at the back yard I am pleased.  I can see progress.

Funnily enough, as I was pulling weeds a car drove up to the yard and a woman yelled out the window, "We used to live here!  Just reminiscing."  I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking her if she was the one responsible for the damn blackberry bush!

Speaking of which, while weeding, I hunted down every burgeoning sprig and either dug it out or snipped it and spritzed it with a brush killer.  It may take out a few plants as the blackberry bush is a sneaky one and likes to pop up in the middle of plants.  At this point, I don't care.  I will replace a few plants, if necessary.

After spending far too much time in the sun and pushing myself to the very limit, I have determined that I need to spend a little bit of time in the yard every weekend rather than spending that much time every month or so in the yard.

Someone remind me of this next weekend when I will invariably find a reason not to go out in the heat!

The Husband was involved in his own yard project but he was in the shade and worried over me the whole time.  He kept reminding me to take breaks and then chastised me as he knew I was overdoing it.  He was right - but let's not tell him that bit, shall we?

I have to say, the reward of overdoing it in the yard was well worth it.  But, as great as it feels to have accomplished so much, at this point I'm looking forward to work tomorrow, so I can relax!!

July 7, 2017

"You Want to Tell Me Why There is a Cart Full of Weeds in the Garage?"

How did I know that those would be the first words out of The Husband's mouth when he came home today?

These are the weeds in question / well look at that...
I actually have a picture to accompany this post!

I knew because I know him so well.  So I had a response ready, "You should THANK me for those weeds."

Today, I decided to finally tackle the weeds in the little bed around the mailbox.  Well, I should clarify that to say, I finally noticed just how bad the little bed around the mailbox had become and determined that I would take care of that today.

So I headed out with my trusty little spade and garden gloves.  As bad as it looked, I figured this would be an hour long job at the most...famous last words.  Eventually, I had to give in and go get the shovel and some water.

As I weeded and tossed the weeds into the grass, I noticed that the guy across the street was mowing his grass.  About two hours later, I noticed he'd finished but was still puttering in his yard...at this point I figured he was hanging out just to make sure I didn't pass out in the street.  Right about then I decided it would be a good idea to go inside and cool off.  And get more water.

Once I had lowered my body temperature enough, I headed back outside to finish the job.  Finally, about THREE hours after I started, I was done.  I surveyed my work and was satisfied.  I gathered my tools and headed back to the garage.  And was faced with THE CART.

The Cart's existence came to be because of my weeding "habit."  Generally, I will be the one to pull weeds - I rarely ask The Husband for assistance because that kind of yard work is something he despises.  And while I also despise it, I know it needs to get done and I don't despise it AS much as he does.  But much to his chagrin, I generally fight the weeds and throw them into the grass.  And then leave them there.

My thinking is that I have done the hard work and that when he mows the yard they get chopped up.  Yes, I realize this is a flawed way of thinking but it works for me.  The Husband bought The Cart with the hopes that I would toss my weeds into it and dump them in the woods.

But in my zeal to rid that small bed of the weeds, I had walked right by The Cart several times and it never clicked - until I walked into the garage as I was finished.  I'll admit freely that I was sorely tempted to just keep walking until I hit the shower.  But I forced myself to drag the cart back down the driveway and I picked up ALL the weeds that I'd tossed into the yard and tossed them into The Cart.

By this point, I was so close to heat exhaustion that I couldn't face pushing The Cart to the back of the yard to dump them so I left them in the garage.  Again, figuring that I had done all the hard work AND picked up the waste...so to my way of thinking, I had gone above and beyond the call of duty.

And that is why The Husband owes me a thank you - one I have yet to receive AND we still have a cart full of weeds in the garage.  Maybe he'll get to that tomorrow...fingers crossed.  But the mailbox area is weed free - so I'm happy.

July 5, 2017

Seriously? It better just be allergies.

So, remember my recent trip home?  Well, during my time spent with my oldest friend, we discussed the possibility of meeting up away from our respective homes occasionally.

About two or three weeks after I got home, I received a text from her asking how far away Charleston was from me.  It's only about 4 hours, I responded.  Too far to drive? she asked.  NOPE was my answer.

And with that short exchange we planned to meet up in Charleston this coming Sunday...exactly FOUR days from now.  So you can imagine my horror when I began to sneeze and suffer from a stuffed nose today.

My only hope?  All those weeds I pulled from the flower bed yesterday are finally catching up with me.

That better be the answer because I do not want to spend the short time I have with her sneezing and feeling ill.  I want to be ready and willing to walk all over Charleston in the heat.  Taking in tours, eating fabulous food and enjoying her company.

So cross your fingers that it's only allergies.

June 30, 2017

Let's talk about shopping, shall we?

I'll admit it - I'm in a rut fashion-wise.  But it's not my fault entirely.

Is it just me or am I the only one that wanders into a store looking for work clothes only to discover there is nothing appealing?  Or that could even be considered "work" clothes?  Well, I should amend that to say "corporate work" clothes - the clothes I've been seeing could possibly be appealing to what some might call a "working" person, maybe...but it's doubtful seeing as how hideous it all is.

I need skirts.  And not micro-mini skirts either.  I need tops - WITH sleeves that actually cover the shoulder, thank you very much.  I need pants - that preferably do NOT need to be altered to fit my very short frame.  And SHOES, I NEED shoes.

But yet, every single time I go into a store I am confronted with LOUD and BUSY clothing.  And the shoes?  Nothing is calling to me.

Yes, I am being much more mindful about what I will consider, i.e., I must LOVE it if it is to come home with me.  And I'm not finding much to love out there.  I know I should consider online shopping...but honestly?  I'd rather find it, try it on and go home with it as I absolutely despise having to return things - either in person or by mail.

Which means that I am wearing things that really, truly need to be replaced.  But with what?

And it's not only me that is having this problem - my co-worker is having the same issue.  Are you?  And if not, WHERE are you shopping?  Because all my usual haunts have apparently killed off any buyers that have taste and have replaced them with bots that can only pick out hideous clothes by the loud and obnoxious prints - as evidenced in every single store that I have been to in the last year or so.

So help a girl out...where can one find tasteful, affordable work clothes these days?

June 21, 2017

The Headline read, "...but he SNEEZED repeatedly your Honor..."

That title is definitely going to be on the front page of the local paper if The Husband sneezes ONE more time this evening.  This is what twenty-six and a half years of marriage comes down to...

The Husband has been sneezing.  And it's never just ONE sneeze, oh no, it's usually several in a row.  I can hear you asking, "So?  It's a sneeze, no big deal."

But yes, faithful Reader, it IS a big deal.  Because, apparently, The Husband believes that his brain will blow out of his ears if he tries to tame the sneeze in any way; which means that when he does sneeze the result is so loud and obnoxious that I'm already deciding where to bury the body when I lose it once and for all.

The man is already loud.  He talks loud.  He cooks loud.  He chews loud.  For God's sake, he even SLEEPS loud.  The least he could do is sneeze quieter.  Really?  Is that TOO much to ask?

Yes, I know.  He's a good man and I love him dearly but if I hear one more sneeze tonight that is loud enough to shatter my eardrums I can't be held accountable for my actions.

If you love me even a little, start a legal fund.

June 16, 2017

Balancing the check book?

I was chatting with a co-worker the other day.  She was telling me that she had finally set up an account for her daughter to teach her how to handle money and deal with a debit card.  I agreed that it was an important thing for her to learn.  We had done the same with Man-Child when he was in high school.

She then went on to tell me about trying to teach her daughter about balancing the check book.  I looked at her in shock and then uttered, "But...she can see all her transactions online...she doesn't really need to actually balance the check book..."

My co-worker figures that she balances her check book and that her daughter should as well.  Despite the fact that her daughter will probably never actually write out a check in her life.

Now, I don't know about you, but we (The Husband or myself) haven't balanced a check book in YEARS.  We write so few actual checks these days; maybe about three a year - in fact up until recently we had been using checks that had our address from three houses ago - that there doesn't seem to be much of a point to it.  Yes, we check our activity online to make sure that we aren't being compromised but in our minds, as long as the bank is recording our transactions we are pretty squared up.

So here's the question, are we the weird ones?  Is everyone else still physically balancing their check books?

I'll be quite relieved to hear we aren't the only ones, if that is the case, because if I have to go back to the nightmare that balancing a check book was for me, I may just cry.  Or better yet, I'll pretend I never read that I should be doing it.

June 13, 2017

It's Official! And other bits of random news.

It came quietly; but it came...

Man-Child has graduated from college.  He got the notification on Friday.  Pomp and Circumstance was not involved.  Mainly, because Man-Child discovered that "walking" was NOT a requirement in order to get the actual degree.  And because he needed to take a CPR class before he was conferred the degree.

He took the CPR class two weekends ago, a week or two after the actual ceremony and received the official word that he is done.  So far, he is refusing a celebration of any kind, other than a small, family dinner.

I keep telling him that a party is in order and he continues to refuse.  Despite the fact that this is the child that has historically demanded a party for any occasion; no matter how small the event.  Despite the fact that this child has so many people that want to celebrate his accomplishments, he refuses to even consider the possibility.

I've also been trying to get him to let me take a picture so I can at least send announcements.  He claims he will but then spends every weekend somewhere else.

I think he is just being obstinate to spite me at this point.

At any rate - that's the big news.  As for the other news, well...I really should write more often if only so I don't have to go back and figure out what I haven't told you or when it happened or temper the good news with news that isn't as good.

There is much going on in the Gigi household of late.  That dream job that Man-Child landed back in December for the upcoming school year?  Gone.  Thanks to budget cuts.  Which let me interject a little rant here - just WHERE is the lottery money going anyway?  We were told it would be for education but yet it seems that the schools never have enough money and their budgets are always slashed.  So much for making education a priority North Carolina.

As if THAT wasn't disheartening enough for him, the VERY next day his car died on the interstate.  What is it with us and cars anyway?!  It seems we are killing them off very quickly in this house.  So now we are trying to figure out that solution - which, let me be honest, The Husband is dragging his feet on.  I know, I know...he doesn't want to make a stupid, hasty, expensive and, possibly regrettable, decision, but at the same time this has been going on for over a month now...despite the fact that HE is the one being the most inconvenienced.  I'm hoping that this issue will be resolved this weekend.  In fact, I'm putting my foot down.  It WILL be resolved this weekend.

The Summer Hours thing?  Well, I'm here to report that yes, the days are still extremely long and I can't yet say that it is worth it considering that last Friday afternoon I did absolutely nothing.  Well, I had lunch with the guys but once I drove here to do that I really didn't want to drive back to town and it was too hot to do yard work.  And I really didn't have anything fun to do.  So I read a magazine.  The main reason I bought the magazine because the main article was something along the lines of "how to get stuff done."  So basically, I read an article about how to get stuff done rather than actually getting stuff done.

So I know you are now wondering - what magical tips did this article have to get stuff done?  I'm sure you are sitting there thinking, "I sure hope she tells us what the article said!"  So I will tell you...

Just do it.

Yup, in a nutshell, this article that spanned a good three or four pages all boiled down to those three little words.

I was a little disappointed, as I am sure you are.  I wanted some magical cure but there isn't one.  If you want to get stuff done you have to do it.  Or fork over the cash to have someone else do it but, either way, you have to make it happen.  And to think I spent $6.00 for this bit of knowledge.

And if you think about it, this post is kinda like that article...I could boil this post down into a much smaller version:

  • He graduated
  • He lost his job
  • He lost his car
  • Summer Hours
  • Wasted time and money reading an article

But where's the fun in that?

The one really good thing about Summer Hours, so far?  Since I come in ridiculously early now, I can pretty much have any parking spot I want!  Yes, it is five years later and I still am aggravated that MY spot has been usurped pretty much on a daily basis...but now, at least during Summer Hours, I have an even BETTER spot - unless I go out to lunch.  So take THAT anonymous spot stealer!

June 7, 2017

Summer Hours...this better be worth it.

Our company has decided to try something new.  Which considering the company we used to be is nothing short of a miracle.

They have decided that we will take a stab at "Summer Hours."  What are Summer Hours?  That is when you work eight and half hours (versus the seven and a half) Monday through Wednesday and eight hours on Thursday, taking only a thirty minute lunch, so that you only have to work until noon on Friday.

Sounds fantastic, right?

Until you start to look at the nitty-gritty logistics of it all.  First, let's examine this thirty minute lunch.  This is flat out impossible.  We don't have a cafeteria.  Even if you were to bring in your lunch every day - unless it's a sandwich - odds are you are going to need to use the microwave.  Now if everyone is bringing their lunch in there will be a line at the microwave thereby reducing your time to actually eat said lunch.  And even if you don't bring your lunch, there isn't even time to run to the MacDonald's on the corner to pick something up to bring something back to eat at your desk.

Fortunately, they have said that the individual managers have to ability to be "flexible" with how the time is worked out.  As long as we are putting in the requisite amount of hours to equal the thirty-seven and a half work week hours, it should be good, if our manager is okay with it.  Do not ask me why some of us only work thirty seven and a half hours per week, I do not have an answer, nor is it a question I want to raise.

Now MY manager has yet to address this issue.  And knowing this manager he probably never will.  So my co-worker and I have set our own hours for this experiment.  We both determined that thirty minutes for lunch will NOT work for us.  And we both determined that we still needed to be able to leave the office at 4:30 pm.  So we did the math - it was a grueling task.

And here is where we landed - we are coming in at 7:00 am every day, taking an hour lunch and still leaving at 4:30 pm (except for Thursday).  Perfect plan, right?

Until day three of arriving at work at 7:00 am.

On day three we have discovered that getting to work at 7:00 am daily necessitates either rushing through and/or discarding some of the morning routines OR having to go to bed extraordinarily early (which is saying something considering I am in the equation and already go to bed fairly early - which means I'm going to bed REALLY, REALLY early, as in it may still be daylight outside when I turn in).  On day three, we have also discovered that the extra hour means for a REALLY, REALLY long day.

Considering that tomorrow is Thursday, we only have one more day of this torture before we get to Friday.  The day when we finally discover if all this will have been worth it.

And?  I just have to say, I'm glad I wasn't in on these meetings.  The math involved in just figuring out how to type this post has made my head hurt (and I'm sure it's still off somewhere); I can't imagine having to figure this out company wide.  I've also made a mental note to myself to send the lady who handles payroll a sympathy card.

June 3, 2017

A quick update / The Husband is doing his level best to drive me insane...

Before we jump into this particular blog post, a quick update, regarding what has now earned the permanent and official scientific name, That Damned Blackberry Bush ("TDBB") (patent pending).  The guy finally showed up today - when no one was home.  He removed the majority of it - but it appears he just weed-whacked it.  Although The Husband claims he put something on it so that it won't come back...we shall see.  Yes, it's safe to say, I'm skeptical.

On the plus side, for now TDBB is gone and my guys got a few things done in the yard today.  Unfortunately, I've achieved next to nothing.  Well, there's always tomorrow, right?

At any rate, as I am typing this, Man-Child is re-watching Stranger Things on Netflix.  The Husband is standing in the kitchen and asking questions.  I informed him that this was a great show and that he would love it.  He wondered if he'd be able to catch on since he missed the first episode.  As this was only the second episode, I assured him he would.

As I've continued to fiddle around online, The Husband continued to ask questions all while puttering around in the kitchen doing whatever it is he is doing.

I finally looked at him and said, "You will be able to pick up what is going on, if you STOP what you are doing, sit down and WATCH the show."

Obviously, he isn't prepared to do that as he is still puttering around in the kitchen and looking to me to fill in the gaps.

Although, I haven't been blogging much lately, you can see that the family dynamic hasn't changed much and, if the truth be told, it probably never will.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

June 2, 2017

Another post about that damn blackberry bush...

It's a giant thorn in my side (get it?  Oh boy, I slay myself!)...

A couple of weeks ago, I was out there digging up the bush that continues to resurrect itself on a daily basis and I ran across a snake.  A baby snake, but still...where there is a baby, there is bound to be a mother and possibly a father and several siblings.  And, with my luck, that mother snake couldn't move away from her extended family after she married the father snake...

For all I know there is a whole VILLAGE of snakes out there.  And between you and me, if I am unwilling to deal with one baby snake then it is a foregone conclusion that I WILL NOT deal with a whole village of snakes.

So I abandoned the project mid-dig and ran to find The Husband.  Turns out that not only is he unwilling to dig up that stupid bush; he is also unwilling to deal with a village of snakes.  But promised that he would get someone out there to deal with the burgeoning bush STAT.

He called a guy.  The guy promised to come out and give us a quote to remove the bush (hopefully for good) and seed the random beds I removed with grass.  And then he never showed.

The Husband called him again last week and eventually he showed up and gave us a decent price.  He then promised that he would come by sometime this week to do the work and said he would permanently remove any snakes that he comes across (okay, before you all start claiming that snakes - particularly black snakes - are actually beneficial, I don't want to hear it.  I mean, honestly, YOU weren't the one that came face to face with a snake...a snake that WASN'T a black snake).

Has this guy shown up yet; late on a Friday evening?  No, he has not.  And not only that, with all the rain we had last week the blackberry bush has since TRIPLED in size.  It has reached the point that now there is no way I'm about to venture back in there because I wouldn't be able to see the ground; thus not being able to see the snake before he/she sees me!

At this rate, the blackberry bush is winning.  So are the snakes.  When I was a little girl this is not what I imagined my life would be like as an adult.

*sigh*

May 7, 2017

Want to get the house whipped into a semblance of normalcy relatively quickly?

Invite people over at the last minute.

No, seriously.  In the midst of all the projects that we wanted to get done this weekend (which,sadly, we did not accomplish BUT we did make progress...and the weather was gorgeous - so no complaints here) we were also invited to a "dedication" service for our friends with the new baby.

I had no idea what we were wandering into - and truthfully, she didn't seem to know what to expect either, as when they had their older children they weren't attending this church.  We've been to christenings and baptisms but had never even heard of a dedication.

It was lovely - a little out of my comfort zone - but beautiful.  The basic premise was that of a christening but with more audience participation.  What the new parents had to say about why they had invited the guests they had moved many of us to tears.  I, especially teared up, when the grandmother, who is from out of town, called us surrogate grandparents - not that I am ANY where near being old enough to be a grandparent (quit giggling), I loved the comment and the fact that she was overjoyed that we are here when she can't be, I loved even more.  Yes, these friends have become family.

But back to the purpose of this post....

She had wanted to host a small get together after the service but the older children had a make up soccer game, plus she just had a baby, plus she had just moved.  So basically, it wasn't happening.

The Husband felt that "something" should be done to commemorate the day; so he invited the family over for dinner tonight at the last minute.

And that was all the motivation that was needed to clean off the dining room table and the counter tops and anywhere else that clutter seems to gravitate.  Both bathrooms were given a good scrubbing, laundry was completely finished, and most surfaces were met with a dust cloth and....ta-da!  The house is now ready for company.

Is it perfect?  No.  Is it ready enough for me to throw open the doors and welcome our friends?  Yes.  Yes, it is.

And really, that's all that matters.  Spending time with those with love and not worrying whether or not the house is "perfectly ready" for company.



May 5, 2017

I had big plans for today...I should have known....

The Husband and I took today off in a valiant attempt to tackle some of those pesky projects.  Our thinking was that during the weekends we usually have to deal with errands, laundry, cleaning, etc.  Today was supposed to be all about projects.  No laundry, no errands, no cleaning.  Nothing but focusing on the list and getting stuff done.

As of now, not one thing on the list of projects was touched.

My phone, which has been giving me grief for about a month and then magically fixed itself, reared it's ugly head and started acting up again.

My garage door, which we JUST had repaired, also decided to break a spring.

So instead of spending the day working on projects, The Husband and I found ourselves dealing with those issues.  Which, while these issues have been dealt with, meant that the entire day was wasted.

It's so frustrating.  Yes, I know.  I can't actually expect that in ONE day we could have gotten through the list, but I expected to have at least made headway.  That the backyard would be ONE step closer to being finished, the porch - while it couldn't have been painted today, could have been cleaned off and ready to go should the weather cooperate tomorrow.  One or more doors could have been sanded.  SO much could have been accomplished but wasn't.

I keep reminding myself that it could be worse.  Friends a little north of us had a tornado touch down last night (they are all okay and no damage to the house) and are now dealing with a GIANT tree down in front of their home.  And, as they just discovered, their homeowner's insurance will not cover the cost of removing it.  Unbelievable.

So here's to tomorrow.  Hopefully dawning cool and with no humidity.  Maybe then we can start to make headway on that list.  But, to be honest, at this point, I'm not counting my chickens...


April 30, 2017

Home maintenance...feeling overwhelmed and then making a little progress

There are several "projects" that need to be addressed.  The term "projects" needs to be clarified as these are things that NEED to be done versus the "wish list" projects that I'd like to be done.

I woke up bright and early yesterday with the intention of being productive.

I had asked The Husband Friday night, if he would fix the paint on the porch floor yesterday.  He informed me that the front porch WAS his priority.  When I laughed and said, "Yeah, right." He responded with, "I've been married to you long enough to know - you bought furniture for the front porch, which is still sitting in the garage - I know what my priority is tomorrow."

Smart man.

Unfortunately, when I went out to get the paper, I knew immediately that painting the front porch floor was out of the cards - it was too humid.  I'm sure he was relieved.

Mainly, because of the heat and humidity, not much was accomplished yesterday.  Which meant that the list of all that needed doing kept spinning around in my mind - making me stressed.

Finally, I sat down and did what I should have from the very beginning - I wrote a list.  A VERY detailed list that included ALL the projects that need to be done along with ALL the steps needed to complete each project.

When will I remember that I am a person that NEEDS handwritten lists to soothe my nerves?

This morning dawned much less humid and fairly cooler.  So, The Husband and I went our separate ways to run our various errands and then met back home for lunch.  After eating, he went to clean the front porch but unfortunately it was too late and still a little too humid to actually paint.  He plans to do that next weekend, if the weather permits (please Mother Nature cooperate - otherwise I'm afraid we will have to wait for the fall).

While he was dealing with that, I headed out to the backyard to get dirty.  Despite my moaning about not being productive, I have been making headway on my backyard project, small bites at a time.

Easter weekend found me digging up daffodils and day lilies to hand over to a co-worker as her son and daughter-in-law just bought a house and were doing their own backyard dreaming.  Unfortunately, I had WAY more than they could use.  So the majority of the day lilies will have to be disposed of but I did find a taker for the daffodils - particularly since she doesn't need to plant them until the fall.

This afternoon found me digging up and relocating irises.  Again, I had WAY more than I needed - but the same beneficiary of the daffodils also wanted irises - again because she doesn't need to plant them until the fall - truly, I shouldn't complain about all I have to do as she has a newborn AND just moved AND has two older children with MANY activities.

All I have left to do to return the yard to the way it should be is relocate the hostas, seed the two areas with grass and have The Husband remove the godawful bird house...


Just a reminder as to how ugly it is.

then I can move on to the fun part....adding some of my favorites to the yard.  And prodding The Husband to put in a path from the front to the back.  I think once I mark this project Done then I will feel more motivated to move on to the other projects.

  • Like painting the Master Bath
  • Painting the exterior door to the garage
  • Painting the back door
  • Re-building and painting the back steps
  • Having someone come in and sand the guest bath (apparently, someone removed wallpaper from that room and didn't do it properly which means that the glue keeps bleeding through the paint which is fairly horrifying when you walk in there)
  • Painting the front porch floor and eventually placing the furniture out there
  • The endless weeding...
  • ...and the list goes on and on and on...

I have suggested to The Husband that we should both take a couple of days off to get some these things knocked off the list as weekends are usually filled with weekly errands and duties (laundry!) and he agreed.  So hopefully soon, we will give ourselves a long weekend and get some more things done...which will go a long way to easing my mind about everything that needs to be done.

April 26, 2017

Apparently, they DON'T work like socks...

So, Man-Child asked me yesterday if I had a pair of earbuds he could borrow as his had mysteriously died - side note, I can keep a pair of earbuds forever, I don't know WHAT this child of mine is doing to his as he is always having to get new ones.

At any rate, I handed over my magenta colored earbuds, so he could watch whatever movie he was watching on his computer.  Once he had them in hand, he began inspecting them.

I asked him what he was doing and he said he was looking to see which was the left and which was the right.  To which I replied, that earbuds are like socks - they work in either ear.

He found this to be uproariously funny and told me that ALL earbuds have a left and a right.  And then pointed out the very, teeny, tiny, absolute minuscule L and R imprinted on each earbud.

Huh...who knew?

But, in my defense, the type of earbuds I use actually DO kind of work like socks...

April 23, 2017

At Home....aka Garden Ridge

Seriously, Garden Ridge?  What could have possibly been the reason to change your name?  Particularly to something so colossally ridiculous?

Surely, someone involved in this decision had to have had the same conclusions that I have as to why this was not a good move.  Instead of pooh-poohing that person's protestations, y'all should have given them a raise and a promotion; because they knew what they were talking about.

Yes, I've known about the change for some time now but considering today found me at your store TWICE - which, in and of itself, isn't a big deal except for the fact that the drive from here to there is approximately an hour long round trip.  So, in doing the math, I spent about two hours pondering your name change.

Make no mistake, I love your store.  The only reason I don't haunt our local store more often is because of the location - the most congested part of town.  So, if I don't get over there early, early (and I do appreciate that you are open early, early on Sundays), I usually don't go.

But we got up and out fairly early this morning (yes, I was able to drag The Husband along) with the intent of purchasing some outdoor furniture for the front porch.  Unfortunately, we were unable to fit both chairs into the car at once.  Thus, necessitating the second trip back, which I made solo.

And that's where I really began pondering on the ridiculousness of the new name.  As I was thinking if this whole adventure was blog-worthy, it occurred to me that if I had to type the line, "I purchased these chairs at At Home." for a post I would hate myself for the remainder of my life - even doing so as, I did here for an example, I feel dirty.  Of course, I could leave the first "at" out altogether but then it would sound like the name of the store was just Home.  Ludicrous.

Then, of course, my mind kept going - as it does.  And I imagined a scenario where someone called me while I was at your store - most likely, this would be The Husband wanting to know where I was and if I wanted to have lunch and I would have to say, "I'm At Home."  And he would say, "Well, I'm here and can't find you!" because he would be at our home and I would be at the store and then confusion would abound.

All in all, it's ridiculous.  And that's why you will always be Garden Ridge to me.

April 15, 2017

I guess they get brownie points for trying...

Today was shaping up to be an extra busy day - as most of my chores for the Easter holiday need to be done prior to the big day.  Particularly any of those that need to be done in the kitchen as The Husband will take over the kitchen bright and early tomorrow to create his culinary delights.

So I was up and at 'em bright and early.

Unfortunately, no one else was.  Finally, in a fit of frustration to start the day, I tiptoed back into the master bedroom, past The sleeping Husband, into the bathroom to get ready to leave the house.

While I was getting ready, Man-Child apparently woke up and was lounging on the couch when I tiptoed out of the master bedroom.  I informed him that I had a lot to do today and was headed out.  As I was heading out the door, I mentioned that it would be helpful if someone would mop the kitchen and bathroom floors while I was out.

I never expected that it would actually get done...kind of.

While I was browsing the grocery store for the necessities I would need for my baking spree, I received a phone call asking where the mop might be located.

Here's where you should be aware that we have a complicated mop.  A mop I fully intended to blog about - and never did, which I totally should have because now I can't remember which mop to tell you to stay far, far away from and which one I totally love*. *sigh* Yes, I am a terrible blogger.

At any rate, we have a mop that can wring itself out AND has a detachable mop head that can be washed.  This works for me on SO many levels - because honestly, who wants to touch nasty mop water?  And having the detachable head that can be thrown in the washing machine is an added bonus.

The problem with this?  I am the only person who knows how to re-assemble the mop.

So I explained, as best as I could, how to locate the various pieces and re-assemble the mop, hung up the phone and figured I'd be doing the mopping later today.

You can imagine my surprise when I came home and discovered that the kitchen floor was mopped.

When I expressed my delight, Man-Child proudly admitted he had done the floor.  When I asked if they were able to figure out the mop he said no and that dad (The Husband) had gone out and bought a Swiffer.  I asked why - since we have a Swiffer and he said....wait for it....

"We couldn't find it."

It was sitting in his bathroom.  The bathroom he uses EVERY SINGLE day.  Multiple times.

Now we own TWO Swiffers and a mop that only I can assemble.  And?  The bathrooms weren't touched.

But on the plus side, I was able to get two desserts made and deviled eggs.  I guess the bathrooms just get added to tomorrow's outside the kitchen list.



*I found it!  Sort of.  The mop I hated was the Clorox Twist Mop (sorry, Clorox, it was impossible to figure out).  The mop I have, I think, is the Libman White Tornado Twist Mop...all I know is that I bought it at Target and it wasn't the Clorox Mop.

April 9, 2017

That damn blackberry bush has risen from the dead...dammit!

I knew it would.  In fact I predicted that I would be fighting that bush for the rest of my life.  Also, according to that link I was supposed to have relocated several plants by now...and I did move a few irises a while back - but I have not relocated and/or disposed of the rest of them.  So much for that feeling of accomplishment I was enjoying for a short moment.

I declared that this weekend would be a productive one.  Immediately after uttering that statement, The Husband muttered, "God, I hate when she says that..." and then hid from me for the remainder of the weekend.  I kid...or do I?

My thought was that this would be the perfect weekend to weed the beds - in hopes that would be the incentive I needed to finish relocating/discarding those other plants.

As you may recall, that back bed which housed the god-awful blackberry bush, is HUGE.  So yesterday, I attacked the top half - which was relatively easy.  And I am happy to report, I didn't see any trace of those morning glories, which I feared would make a reappearance this year.  Mainly. all I had to deal with was milkweed and other random weeds.

Today, I spent about two hours tackling the bottom half - and to be honest, I'm STILL not done - but I had to give up and call Uncle.  The blackberry bush had sent out many offshoots - all of which are connected to HUGE roots, which I was attempting to pull up of much of it as I could possibly manage.  It is back-breaking work.  I had hoped to attack all those offshoots today - but it just wasn't meant to be.  Now, I'm going to have to talk myself into finishing the job next weekend somehow.  Hopefully, Man-Child will be home next weekend (actually, he'd BETTER be home, I just realized that's Easter weekend!) and can convince him to use his muscles to pull on those roots.  I should reap the benefits of his weight lifting, right?!

I would love to know whose bird-brained idea it was to plant that bush right smack in the middle of a garden bed?  Anyone with an ounce of sense would have placed it at the wood line if they truly felt they had to have a blackberry bush.

In fact, if I could figure out whose bright idea it was, I would have half a mind to go find them and force them via a shovel to get out there and dig and dig and dig until all the roots are gone.

But even though I wasn't able to finish weeding that bed this weekend, I feel pretty good about this being a productive weekend.  Although tomorrow, I won't be able to move.

Which is another reason to curse both that bush and the person who thought it would be a good idea to plant it.

April 3, 2017

Amazon Prime Pantry - it's becoming a game really

I simply cannot tell you how much time I have spent adding items to the Prime Pantry box, only to delete and add something else.  All in the quest to fill this box - and ONLY this box - to the perfect limit in order to qualify for free shipping.

It's an art.  One that I have not yet honed.

Currently, my box is 98.2% full.  According to the helpful note under this statistic, I need THREE more qualifying items for the free shipping (is this that Common Core Math they keep talking about - it seems to me that only one item would do the trick?).

Here's the deal - I have added and subtracted fifteen thousand different ways and have yet to hit upon that magic number.  At this rate, I'll either have to get in the car and drive to the store to get what I need OR I'll have to attempt to fill the second box to perfection; which between you and me?  I don't like my odds on filling that second box considering how difficult that first box has been to fill.

Yes, I realize this could be considered the epitome of lazy BUT I figure I have been VERY busy this weekend helping our dear friends move to the house two doors down, VERY tired from said weekend AND I'm paying for the membership to Prime, so why shouldn't I take full advantage of my membership?

Besides, I'm thinking this will surely help me work on my math skills; which are sorely lacking...obviously.



Do you Prime Pantry?  If so, what is the trick to filling that ONE box?  C'mon, be a pal, help me out.

March 29, 2017

Going home to Texas...trip re-cap.

I finally came home to North Carolina yesterday.  Considering I came back with just a smidge more than I left with - and everything I left with ALSO came home with me - I consider this trip a success.

There were only two, small hiccups during the trip.

The first involved the hotel in Austin. The hotel was GORGEOUS and I can highly recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Austin (I'm only linking it for anyone looking for accommodations, not because I'm being asked/paid too).  It's not an inexpensive hotel but the stay was worth it - particularly since I wasn't paying for it.  The room/suite was HUGE and beautiful.  They also offer a complimentary breakfast and a "social" hour for all guests; not that I took advantage of those amenities.  This hotel was perfect and the hiccup was of no fault of the hotel or staff.

No, the fault lies with me.

The first time it happened was a total accident but by the third time....

I think this sums it up quite nicely. *sigh*

You'd think I would have figured it out after the first time, when the person at the front desk said, "You must have gotten the card key too close to your phone."  Did that register with me?  No.  No, it did not.  Because I repeatedly shoved that card key into my back pocket.  The same back pocket that held my phone.

The second hiccup involved the parking lot at the Charlotte airport long term parking.  No, I didn't forget where I parked.  I wrote it down, remember?  The shuttle driver dropped me right where I needed to be - but despite all my best efforts, I simply could not find the ticket stub that clocked me in.  I panicked just a little because all the signage led me to believe that this was a fully automated parking lot so I couldn't suss out how I was going to get out without that ticket.  

I finally chased down a shuttle and the driver informed me that it WASN'T a fully automated lot and the attendant would be able to help me out - so crisis averted.

And?  Guess what I found today?  That stupid ticket.  And it was in the most obvious place.  Of course.

The rest of the trip was wonderful.  I learned a great deal during the training (which totally justified the cost - which I will share with my boss over the coming days - once I get caught up) and had SO much fun catching up with my oldest friend.  It was during the course of our visit we realized that we've been friends for over 30 years - this shocked both of us. We simply couldn't figure out where the time had gone since we are both still SO young..

We stayed up late into the night talking and binge-watching season one of  This Is Us (if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it - as long as you have a big box of tissues with you).  We both felt a little guilty spending so much time with the television but believe me, we still had plenty of time to catch up and have fun.

The majority of the nights found us up until 2:00 am (yes, ME, up that late!).  On Monday, we both decreed it an early night so I could get up to fly home only to find ourselves going to bed around 12:30 am.  That's what the power of a friendship separated will do to you; it will force you to stay up far too late, for far too many nights trying to eke out every last bit of time you have together.

I met her brand new grand-kids - they are SO cute - and marveled over the fact that her sons are old enough to have babies of their own.  We hit Galveston for a few hours.  We shopped.  We ate.  We had a wonderful time.

We agreed that we need to meet up at least once a year.  But we both know - as you probably do - that life will most likely get in the way of that; so we will settle for whatever time we can take.

The only thing that I didn't like?  The traffic.  Austin traffic was bad but compared to the Houston traffic, it was nothing.  The morning I was to leave we were up having coffee, saying our goodbyes, and glancing at the local news.  It was 5:30 am and the traffic report showed the Gulf Freeway in bumper to bumper traffic - AT 5:30 IN THE MORNING!

I remember traffic being bad when I lived there but I don't remember it being as bad as it is now.  I have since vowed to never, ever complain about the traffic here again.

And despite what life may throw at us - and the traffic, I'm hoping to get home again soon.  Maybe next time, I'll actually be able to see a few other people too...I doubt it though.  She is one of my favorite people that I want to spend time with...

March 22, 2017

Austin, TX...

I am currently typing this on a tiny tablet in a GINORMOUS hotel room in downtown Austin, Texas - so please forgive any and all typos and formatting issues that may ensue...


Remember that work trip I told you about, WAY back when?  Well, it's now.


Yesterday, I drove to Charlotte to catch a direct flight.  Charlotte's about an hour and a half away from home.  The drive was ok, I've done it before but I was nervous.  I couldn't put my finger on it for the longest time and then I realized...this was the first time I've flown out of Charlotte.  I've flown THROUGH Charlotte, but never had an originating flight from there.  As I pulled into the airport, I became a little overwhelmed.  It also dawned on me...this is the first time I've ever gone completely solo.  Usually, Man-Child is with me or I'm headed directly to people I know.  This time...I'm on my own.  At least until I hit Houston, sometime Friday afternoon.


Usually, when I fly out of our airport, I have someone drop me off and I know exactly where I need to go and what I need to do.  Yesterday, I was a bit at a loss.  I parked in long term parking since I will be gone for a week.  If I'd thought it through a bit more, I might have parked at the closer long term parking.  Lesson learned.


I caught the shuttle to the actual airport and the driver was extremely helpful.  She reminded me THREE times about where she picked me up and where I should be to catch the shuttle back to my car.  Being the forgetful diligent person that I am, I wrote it all down.  I successfully checked in and yet somehow completely botched tagging my bag.  At my airport, they do it for you.  Luckily, the charming guy that checked my bag was able to fix it.  After I apologized one too many times he replied, "If this is the hardest thing that happens to me today then it will be a good day."


With baggage and security behind me, I settled in to wait for my flight.  This time was completely uneventful.  I boarded my flight and settled in for the trip.


I was saddled with a mother and child for seat mates.  To be honest, I really can't complain.  The child was very well behaved, as was the mother.  But after being without a small one in the house for a VERY long time, the constant questions from the child became a bit tiresome.  BUT, she was well behaved.  And seemed to be a very bright and inquisitive little girl, which speaks well of her mother - but again, the sing-song way she responded to the child also got tiresome after awhile - but I'm NOT complaining, because it could have been SO much worse.


The one thing I CAN complain about...the guy across the aisle?  He decided to watch a movie on his phone.  Which was fine.  Except he didn't have headphones.  Now, while the noise level wasn't excessive, I could hear most of the dialogue and background noise - which didn't really become an irritant until the end of the flight.  I felt more sorry for his seat mate who finally gave up trying to read her book and just played solitaire on her computer.  Manners and consideration, people...they mean more today than ever before.


Upon landing, I thought "Ahh, I'm here!"  thinking I could relax.  Hahahaha.  I forgot about the navigating around a strange city.  I found my rental car with only a little difficulty.  I looked at the directions to the hotel and immediately got a tension headache.  Finally, I just typed the address into Google Maps and followed the voice...tell me, HOW did we exist before our current technology??!!


After fighting and cursing through the unrelenting 5:00 pm traffic I ended up at this gorgeous hotel where I settled in and relaxed a bit before heading out to dinner.  I made a beeline for the Mexican restaurant on the corner to enjoy a margarita and what I hoped was some good food.  It wasn't the best but it was good and the margarita was perfect.


Since there was still plenty of daylight, with lots of people around, I decided to walk around the block to see what is around here.  Once I turned the corner, it was quiet and empty.  As I kept walking, I noticed a young man turn the corner ahead and began walking toward me.  I didn't think to much of this until - after he passed me - I had a feeling and turned back to look - sure enough, he was now walking back toward me!  I didn't panic but was concerned enough to pick up my pace AND kept an eye on him until I reached the corner where a restaurant's patio seating was full of people.  He walked quickly past me and off into another block.


At that point, I figured it was time to get to my room and hunker down for the night.  Which I did, until 1:00 am.


At almost exactly 1:00 am the fire alarm began to go off.  Up until this point in my life, I'd always wondered whether I'd sleep through a fire alarm - turns out I won't.  Particularly, this one.  It was crazy loud - which I imagine it has to be to empty a hotel.  How I managed to grab my robe, my purse and my room keys, I'll never know.  It was SO disorienting.  As I staggered out of my room, a young woman came charging out of her room asking what we should do.  I responded by pointing toward the emergency exit.  Just as we hit the door, a policeman came barreling through it.  Presumably to get people out.


It's a strange thing to be milling around outside, in the middle of the night, disoriented and sleepy while in your pajamas with complete strangers.  All of which seemed to have the presence of mind to have grabbed their phones.  The young woman beside me was concerned because her friend was housed several floors above us and she didn't see her in the crowd.  I pointed to her phone and asked if she'd tried to contact her.  We drifted away from each other as she tried to contact her friend.  I'm sure she was probably in another group similar to ours on the other side of the hotel.


We all watched as the fire trucks came and the firemen headed inside.  We noted that one window on the 8th floor had a flashing light and assumed that whatever had triggered the alarm came from that room.


We were in the street for maybe twenty minutes before they gave us the all clear to head back in.  I have to tell you, prior to the alarm, I was out like a light.  But after?  My sleep was fitful at best.


Of course, after such a poor night's sleep, I found myself up WAY before I needed to be this morning - not even taking into account the time difference.  My body was still on East Coast time.  I found an endless supply of coffee and caffeinated myself accordingly and headed over to the Boot Camp/Conference, which was fairly uneventful and would be totally boring for you, so I shall refrain from submitting you to that - you are welcome.

 Now here is where I mention the most important part - I simply CANNOT wear my hair straight here.  It does what it wants, which means today was a frizzy, wild hair kind of day.  Tomorrow, I will acquiesce and let the curls take over.  I should have known.

Now that I've experienced creating a post on the tablet, I can promise, I won't  be doing it again. What a pain!











March 17, 2017

The great ketchup (or, catsup, IF you insist) debate...

It all began as I was describing to a co-worker just how badly a local fast-food restaurant completely messed up my order.

I will admit, I went there under duress, as I've been avoiding fast food but I had spent the majority of my lunch hour snuggling my friend's brand new baby (love!) and needed a quick meal before returning to work.  I ordered a bacon cheeseburger, no onions, no ketchup (hey, if I'm going to eat crap, I reckon I should enjoy it).  Instead I received a cheeseburger - sans the bacon - slathered in ketchup.

I declared to said co-worker, that ketchup on a hamburger is a total abomination to which she replied, "Really?"  I looked at her in horror as it dawned on me that she is of the "ketchup on a burger camp."

I asked her, "Do...you eat your hamburgers with ketchup?!"  She replied that she did - but preferred just a little on it.  I was horrified.

I looked at her and said, "What about hot dogs?  Please tell me you don't put ketchup on hot dogs."  To which she nodded again, qualifying that she only wanted a little.  But, apparently, her husband and daughter love the stuff and coat everything in it.

In my mind, hamburgers should be eaten with either mayo or mustard - alone or together.  And hot dogs get mustard period.  The only things that require ketchup is meatloaf and occasionally I'll use just a dab for french fries.  And my little family agrees with me.  Neither The Husband or Man-Child put ketchup on anything else.

Considering I've known this woman for 16 years this was quite the revelation.  We've had lunch together many times and I'd never known this about her.  Apparently, we don't eat hamburgers or hot dogs at these lunches - come to think of it, it's usually Mexican food.

After this conversation, it occurred to me, surely I can't be the only one who has firm beliefs about the use of ketchup.  And surely, her family can't be the only one who uses ketchup so indiscriminately.

Where do you fall - in the ketchup should only be used in conjunction with meatloaf and french fries camp or the ketchup on everything camp?

March 10, 2017

Amazon Prime and a Mystery

AMAZON PRIME:

Why hasn't anyone told me how fabulous this service is and how much I needed it in my life?!  Yes, I live under a rock.

I assumed, incorrectly, that Amazon Prime was basically just a way to avoid shipping on certain items and considering how infrequently I ordered from Amazon, I figured it wouldn't be worth the cost for me.

I finally signed up for a free trial when there was a particular item that I could only get from Amazon that I needed fairly soon.  And then it began to dawn on me just how awesome Amazon Prime could be.

Streaming, Reading, Pantry, not to mention the free two day shipping.  I'm sure I still haven't plumbed the depths of awesome that is Amazon Prime.  That free trial is over.  This is a service I will definitely be keeping. Now if we could just figure out how to get it to stream on the television The Husband would be happy...I have a feeling that would necessitate a new television though...which, again, would make The Husband happy.

THE MYSTERY: It's Either Paranormal, An Intruder, They Are Gas-Lighting Me, or I'm REALLY Not Paying Attention:

So you know how you go through your every day routine without being very "mindful" about what you are doing?  That's what I was doing yesterday.  I started the Roomba, checked that Man-Child's door was closed and any obstacles were out of it's way.  I headed to the kitchen to load and start the dishwasher prior to leaving for work.

As I got into the car, I realized I'd forgotten to actually start the dishwasher - annoyed, I went back into the house - luckily I did, the stupid Roomba had somehow closed itself into the bathroom so I freed the robot, started the dishwasher and left.

When I came home last night, the first thing I noticed was that Man-Child's door was wide open.  The next thing I noticed was a glass in the sink.  I could have sworn I'd checked that door and that the sink was empty.

When The Husband came home, I asked if he'd come home for lunch, as he sometimes does - no.  When Man-Child came home, I asked if he'd come home after work before heading to the the gym (which he never does) - no.

Now, I suppose it's possible, I didn't pull that door completely closed and the Roomba went in and somehow came out without getting tangled in all the crap on his floor.  Doubtful, but possible.  Except for the fact that I vaguely remember pushing the door to make sure it was latched.  And I feel sure that when I came back in to start the dishwasher, I would have noticed the glass in the sink - particularly since it was upside down - unusual, because I cannot recall a time when anyone in this house has ever put a glass in the sink upside down.

But since these were routine tasks I can't be 100% positive.  I try to be mindful about certain tasks like unplugging my curling/flat irons every morning because I don't want to burn my house down but I can't tell you how many times I've been halfway to the office only to think, "DID I unplug those things?" and subsequently text The Husband to ask him to check on his lunch hour.  And 99% of the time, I had.

Now here's where I tell you that we still haven't changed the locks or the passcode on the garage door since we moved in, well over a year ago.  I know, I know!  The Husband nagged me about these things when we first moved in but as I want to change all the knobs, etc. I needed to determine what finish I wanted - and as for the passcode - well, we couldn't easily figure that out.

When I got home yesterday, the garage door was closed (which, if someone had come in they would have had to figure out how to get it closed since it will currently only open.  In order to get it closed requires special maneuvers more involved than just hitting the button), all the doors and windows were locked.  So the odds of someone getting in are slim; unless they had a key.  Besides, nothing else was missing or messed up.

Suffice it to say, this morning I was EXTRA mindful AND I have decided on a finish for all the door knobs.  And when I came home everything was as it should have been - well, other than the Roomba sitting in the middle of the living room floor for no discernible reason.

As to the explanation that one of these guys of mine is gas-lighting me - Man-Child has never had the ability to look me in the eye and lie without detection and I cannot imagine The Husband going to these lengths to make me crazy, particularly since he knows he has the ability to make me insane without taking extra steps.

That only leaves the paranormal.  And if that turns out to be the case, I am SO selling this place.  Because I don't have the time or patience to deal with poltergeists.

And yes, the locks are getting changed this weekend.

March 6, 2017

Without a doubt, today was a Monday...and the coffee saga continues.

Mondays are always difficult - but today was exceptionally difficult as our alarm didn't go off as expected this morning.

That always heralds the beginning of a rough day - having it occur on a Monday is nearly lethal and always ensures that I'm going to be extra discombobulated for most of the day.

Today was no exception.

After rushing around this morning, fighting with my new curling iron (it worked fine but that one lock of hair just refused to curl - as the day went on that one lock of hair just wilted even more.  As I am typing, it is the one piece that was constantly falling into my face until I finally, in a snit, shoved it behind my ear.) and leaving at the last possible moment, I made it to work - on time; minor miracle.

My normal routine is to unlock the offices, turn the lights on in the copy room, grab a cup of coffee - if any has been made already - and start the first or second pot because I'm considerate that way; return to my desk to read the Life section of the paper and begin my day.

Today was no different - or so I thought.

As I was setting up the second pot of coffee a co-worker and I were lamenting the fact it was Monday.  I finished what I was doing and we both went our own ways.

About five minutes later another co-worker came to me asking how to reach housekeeping.  Apparently, someone had made a pot of coffee but neglected to put the pot on the burner.

Oh, the shame!!

And that is why I started my morning cleaning up as much coffee as I could before housekeeping arrived to save the day.

***

And speaking of coffee....just as we thought we'd resolved the issue we find that the coffee saga continues.

Apparently, the person who prefers the swill actually demanded that it be brought back.  Luckily, my co-worker happened to be in the vicinity and made the demand that the Maxwell House NOT be removed.  The swill-drinker claimed that there those that preferred sludge.  Although, after a very informal poll it appears he's the only one that likes it.

So now have both types of coffee are back in the break room and we are back to pouring out swill whenever we have the chance and replacing it with the good stuff.  At least, we are until I actually remember to pick up a small coffee pot for my desk.  The rest of the office can deal with this guy but my co-worker and I will have our own source and know that every cup we pour will be the good stuff.

Now I just need to remember to buy the stupid coffee pot.

March 5, 2017

It's getting all kinds of fancy over here...

Apparently, we are inching closer and closer to living a Jetson's kind of life around here - how?  Read on.

Yesterday, I decided to try something different with my hair other than the usual crazy, mass of curls or the straight bob - so ignoring the flat iron I pulled out my one inch curling iron and set about trying to do my hair.

I failed.

Well, I didn't fail - my old, useless curling iron did.  It never really got hot just...tepid.  So I clicked the flat iron on and went about my business.

While browsing Marshall's, I wandered over to their hair care area to pick out a new curling iron.  I truly just looked at the selection and noticed on the box that this curling iron supposedly heats to 400 degrees; I didn't notice anything else.  400 degrees sounded a lot better than tepid and, bonus, it is shiny, so I bought it.  After I took it out of the package, I looked at it somewhat puzzled.  It appeared, I would need to read the directions to figure out what was going on with the new curling iron.

Hmmm..what ARE those buttons?

Apparently, I now don't even have to twist my wrist to wind the curling iron.  All I have to is hit the right or left button to have the thing curl the hair!  Then after releasing the hair, I hit the C to have the clamp return to it's normal position.

First the Roomba and now this...like I said all kinds of fancy.

February 21, 2017

The Blessings....a book review

Apparently, I'm on a hot streak when it comes to selecting something new to read.

After my last review - where I re-read yet ANOTHER book by accident, I tweeted about the lack of fresh reading material being available in my home.


Being a woman of my word, I headed straight to Barnes & Noble on Sunday and picked up three new books.  I should have picked up a couple of more as I found myself drawn into The Blessings by Elise Juska, so much so that I read it one sitting!

This is a tale of family.  And how the events and circumstances within our extended family shape the people within it.

From the front cover,

"When John Blessing dies, leaving behind two small children, the loss reverberates across his extended family for years to come.  His young widow, Lauren, finds solace in her large clan of in-laws, while his brother's wife, Kate, pursues motherhood even at the expense of her marriage....and nephew Alex a gifted student travels to Spain and considers the world beyond his family's Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood.  Through departures and arrivals, weddings and reunions THE BLESSINGS reveals the struggles beneath the surface of a close-knit Irish-Catholic family and the rituals that unite them...."

This story reminds us that family is everything - most of the time.  The traditions of family are comforting and constant.

I absolutely loved this book and would definitely recommend it.

I've now started my second book, which is by Lisa Scottoline - she is always a good read so don't be surprised if another book review pops up soon.  I love it when I hit on a string of good books!

February 18, 2017

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons...a book review

About two or three pages into reading Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik, I quickly realized that I'd read this book before...but seeing as I didn't really remember the story and I  was enjoying it, I soldiered on.

Upon finishing this book this evening, I headed over here to see if I'd reviewed it before - apparently I haven't, much to my chagrin.  It was about this time when I toyed with the idea of creating a page of every book that I read from this point forward if for no other reason than to keep me from re-reading books I've already read!

But I quickly discarded that idea because if I had such a list, I wouldn't have re-read this book and would have missed out on the enjoyment that this book gave me again.

This is one of those books that remind you to cherish your friendships.  This story is about a group of women who spontaneously decide to create a book club and spans thirty years of their lives.  It is a testament to how important it is to have friends that you can rely on for celebrations and heartbreak.

An excerpt from the back cover:

"The women of Freesia Court are convinced that there is nothing good coffee, delicious desserts, and strong shoulder can't fix.  Laughter is the glue that holds them together - the foundation of a book group they call AHEB (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons), an unofficial "club" that becomes much more.  It becomes a lifeline...."

The Denver Post's blurb:

"It is impossible not to get caught up in the lives of the book group members...Landvik's gift lies in bringing these familiar women to life with insight and humor."

It's true...while reading this book, I recognized traits in some of the characters that mimic traits in friends of mine.  In fact, one character reminded me so strongly of a blogger that I follow that I had to tweet it to let her know I was thinking of her at that moment....

Ignore the typo - I have clumsy thumbs!

And just like *that* I was reminded that my circle of friends is larger than I realized.  Blogging has brought me into contact with people I would have never met in real life.  And I count them as true friends - people who will let me cry on their shoulder when I have that need and are there to rejoice with me when a celebration is in order.

So I leave you with this - read this book and tell your friends how much they mean to you.