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.


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


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.

February 15, 2017

Slowly losing my mind at work and an unexpected trip home...

OMG!!  When I say it has been dead at the office, I am not even kidding.  It's reached ridiculous proportions.  Take yesterday, for example...I got to work, logged on to the computer to check my email.  Hmmm, I had three new emails.  Two were "junk" emails - industry newsletters that I never read and one from my personal email sent to remind me that I needed to pick up dish washing detergent.  As I was busy deleting the industry newsletters one new email popped up that was work related.  Then I did not receive another email until well after lunch.

Things got so boring that I popped into visit with my co-worker.  She was struggling with a PowerPoint...which was her son's homework.  PowerPoint is not really her strong suit - so I offered to do it - which is how I found myself doing her son's homework.  Now granted, he had typed most of the text so all I had to do was pretty it up a bit...unfortunately, that didn't take too long.

Today was another snoozer.  Days like this make me absolutely crazy - because I continue to think of ways I could be productive...if I weren't at work.  Ah well, hopefully this lull will pass quickly and I need to remind myself - if the Legal Department isn't busy that's good for business...right?

As a quick aside - I am getting to take a trip for work.  I need to get some training for the system we use to pay outside counsel, so basically I am handling all the billing for our department.  Yes, I said billing.  The woman who was handling our billing decided to take another job within in the company and billing was dumped on me.  ME - the woman who can't even balance her checking statement.  The woman who once screwed up our bank balance so badly that The Husband was ready to close the account and start over.  THIS is the person they decided should be in charge of paying the bills?!  The person who left was tasked with training me.  Let's just say she was a very poor trainer.

So while I haven't COMPLETELY screwed it all up...yet; I've been winging it - which as we all know when it comes to bills isn't a very good idea.  So when this opportunity came up to attend this training I jumped.

Particularly since the training is to be held in Austin - a mere two hours away from Houston.  And this training ends on a Friday afternoon.

So I asked if I could tack on a vacation day and spend a quick three day weekend at home and it was granted.  Oh happy day!

The last time I was home was two years ago and was a very sad occasion.  I can't believe it's already been two years since he passed.

I had expected that my next trip home would give me more time to visit, do and see.  Since I will only have three days, I expect that I'll keep this trip simple and quiet since so many of the people I want to see live so very far from where I will be staying.  I'm mulling over whether or not I should ask my brother to meet me halfway to Houston.  I'm still very irritated with him from our last encounter - which after searching my archives, I find that I didn't tell you about.  Let's just put it this way - during the election he was sharing things on FaceBook that were VERY offensive.  I finally called him out on it in a private text message and it wasn't pretty; but apparently effective as he has been just a teensy bit more reserved in what he shares publicly.

So yeah, there's that bit of tension.  But, he still has a large majority of my mom's albums, which  I've talked about here and here.  So basically, he is sitting on a virtual gold mine and I could potentially get some of that there "gold" and have it shipped home - since it is apparent that he is not going to get off his keister to ship them like he promised two years ago.

The jury's still out on this one but I have about a month before I have to make up my mind on that, so we shall see.


This post was originally going to be titled Random Nonsense...because I had so many little things rattling around that seemingly weren't post-worthy on their own.  And then I sat down to write it and found that I had more to say on this particular subject than I first thought.  Just goes to show, sometimes you have more to say than you think.  Something I definitely need to remember for future posts.

February 9, 2017

The Great Coffee Caper

The beginning of this story actually started a few years ago...the distribution company that services our offices has their own coffee brand.  So naturally, they wanted to distribute their coffee.  I'm sure it saved the company a few pennies.

We gave the coffee a chance - but it was AWFUL.  So a good majority of us complained.  And they brought us a variation of their coffee...it wasn't much better.  So we continued to complain and eventually became the only floor in the building that was receiving Maxwell House.  Apparently, the other floors don't mind drinking swill.

So, for the past couple of years, we've enjoyed decent coffee.  Until a week or so ago...when the awful coffee showed up along side the Maxwell House.  We shoved it to the back and continued to use the Maxwell House.

But, to our utter horror, someone kept pulling the swill to the front and using it to make coffee.

Now you must realize, the fact that someone was actually making the coffee - someone other than the three or so of us that usually makes it - is a minor miracle.  But the fact that they were intentionally using the swill?  What the hell is wrong with this person's taste buds?

Finally, I contacted the person who deals with this vendor.  He assured me that it was a mistake on the part of a new driver and promised that from here on out they would only deliver the good stuff.  And as promised, they came out that day and delivered the good stuff...but failed to take away the gross stuff.

At first, we kept pushing the coffee to the back and pouring out full pots of sludge.  And it kept reappearing.

Obviously, this person was NOT getting the hint - or was flat out ignoring it.

This morning was the last straw.  When I came in there were two full pots of this vile liquid.  Then and there I concocted a plan.

The majority of the floor generally leaves the building for lunch at noon.  I generally head out around 1:00 pm.  Around 12:10, I headed toward the break room only to discover that someone actually decided to eat in there today, drat!

For the majority of the hour, I skulked around hoping they would leave.  Finally around 12:45 pm this person packed up and went back to his desk.  Here was my chance!

I hurried into the break room, snatched up the two offending boxes and carted them off to the executive kitchen (apparently our CEO loves this stuff) - which is kept under lock and key to most - and deposited the boxes of sludge.

So tomorrow morning?  I know without a shadow of a doubt, that there will be good coffee in the break room.  And one confused person.

February 5, 2017

The Baby Shower...

If you've been following along with the last several posts then you are aware that I was hosting a baby shower brunch today.  And I've pretty much been up to ears in planning, test baking, and fretting for the past couple of weeks.

And, as a direct contradiction to my last post, I would do it again - for this particular mom-to-be especially - in a heartbeat.  All the work was totally worth it.

The large group of women that descended upon the house was an eclectic group to be sure - but we showered the mom-to-be with lots and lots of love.  And lots and lots of food.

Speaking of food, the recipe that I deemed perfect for the coffee cake was indeed perfect.  As promised, here's the recipe, which I found at the Bon Appetit website.  I also discovered this article over there - which explains how to make the perfect crumb topping - a skill that I was woefully lacking until now.

I also found the almost perfect Lemon Poppyseed muffin recipe - I say almost perfect because although they were heavenly they were very pale....they almost looked uncooked.  I did modify the recipe a bit.  I omitted the orange zest and juice, I just threw another lemon into the mix (and I'm glad I did!  One of the women is actually allergic to oranges - who knew that was a thing?  I'd never heard of it, have you?).  I think next time, I will throw a crumble on top of it.  Yes, I DO love a good crumb topping - don't judge.

The Husband's contributions were TWO breakfast casseroles and TWO frittatas - it's like he thought this was a gathering of men.  He left me with explicit instructions on what temperature and length of time to cook the casseroles and how to heat the frittatas.  In fact, as he was leaving he admonished me to not burn his casseroles.  I didn't.

But because it's me, there HAD to be one disaster...

His instruction regarding the frittatas was to stick them in the microwave to heat.  The first one went into the microwave and was warmed beautifully.  The second one - the one I really wanted to try (it was a spinach frittata - you know what a sucker I am for something with chopped spinach in it!) would NOT fit in the microwave.  So we decided to throw it in the oven for a few minutes.  And then the damn dish shattered!

It's not that the glass plate was too cold - I had taken it out in plenty of time for the dish to warm up prior to hitting the oven.  Maybe the dish wasn't oven safe?  Who knows.

We closed the oven and acted like nothing happened - very few guests were witness to this disaster.  After the shower the debris was cleared and the glass covered frittata was tossed, sadly.  The Husband has promised to make me another one soon.  Luckily, we had PLENTY of food so there was no reason to stress.

Coffee was made.  Lemonade and orange juice (the better to make mimosas with) were served in crystal pitchers - the ones I rarely use because of the animals I live with - this actually became a topic of discussion among some of the ladies.  We all agreed that we SHOULD use our beautiful things more often - and I am going to work on getting over the fact that one of the guys in the house might break it; but the truth of the matter is this:  it is most likely that *I* would be the one to break it; but at least I would have enjoyed it while I had it rather than letting it gather dust in the cabinet; only being brought out for special occasions.  Surely, I'm not the only one who does this?  It will definitely be something that I will try to do more often - use my pretty, beautiful things more often and enjoy doing so.

To call this shower a success is an understatement - this shower was the longest shower I've ever attended!  The last guest left around 4:00 pm - this shindig commenced at 11:30 am.  We talked, we laughed, we ate, we cried, we laughed some more and showered the mom-to-be with love and good wishes - all in all it was perfect.

As I type this missive, The Husband, Man-Child and The Girlfriend are watching "the" game.  If you know me at all, you know this is something that doesn't interest me in the least - so while they are enjoying themselves, I am doing something that I enjoy - it all works out.

And Man-Child is happy with the plethora of leftovers at his disposal - in addition to the food The Husband prepared for the game...all in all it's been a good Sunday - how was yours?  Are you watching the game?  Or are you, like me, hiding in another room - finding something else to do?

February 4, 2017

Why I will (probably) never host a brunch again...

As I mentioned in the past two posts, I'm hosting a baby brunch tomorrow.

Here's the thing, I LOVE brunch.  But prepping for one?  Not so much.  Now granted The Husband will be doing most of the heavy lifting.  His contribution includes breakfast casseroles and fritattas...they will be delicious.  Although Man-Child was aghast when he learned that his father would be cooking and then be expelled.  The child has yet to realize that there are times when men are excluded - not always, of course, but occasionally.

And although The Husband is doing the majority of the heavy lifting, I was left with the rest of it.

The cleaning (done).  The shopping (done).  The baking of the coffee cake and the lemon poppy seed muffins (done).  The making of the deviled eggs (done).  The decorating (semi-done).  The ordering of the gift (done); the wrapping of the gift (NOT done - just realized I'm out of wrapping paper!! - which means I have an early trip to the store tomorrow).  And now, at a mere 6:30 pm, I am exhausted; which is a good thing since I need to get up SO very early tomorrow.

The problem with a brunch is that it happens fairly early in the day.  Which gives you less time to work with.  I purposely scheduled this brunch for a Sunday so I'd have an extra day to prepare without having to take time off from work.  Lesson learned?  Next time I (IF I ever again) have a brunch, I'll be sure to build in at least two days off prior to the brunch.

Left off the list of To-Do's that have been abandoned?  At least six to seven To-Do's that have been deemed as unnecessary due to the time constraints.

Will all this complaining diminish my pleasure from enjoying the brunch and the guest of honor's pleasure?  Not one single bit.

These life events are meant to be enjoyed - even if there is a bit of work involved.

February 1, 2017

Neighborhood news...

I don't believe I've mentioned it here - but my very dear friend, who lives around the corner, is expecting.  We are all very excited for them.

Of course, when she told me, I nearly drove off the road as I had no idea they were even trying.  The last time she sprung some news on me, I was expecting her to tell me that she was pregnant.  Instead, she told me then they might be moving to Arkansas.  Luckily for all of us, that move never materialized.

I promptly offered to host a baby shower/brunch for her.  She asked me to team up with another friend of hers that I don't know to co-host the shower.  I agreed.  This person seems VERY nice but from her most recent email, I now know why my friend's husband was laughing when he discovered that me and this other person would be teaming up.

Turns out we are very different - which is fine.  Turns out our ideas on what constitutes as "baby shower activities" are very, very different.  So while she is doing her thing for her activity, I'll be doing mine.  I'm sure it will all be fine.

As I mentioned here, I have been in search of the perfect coffee cake recipe.  As of the typing of this post, I am currently on my THIRD test cake...yes, I know. I'm insane.  It also appears that I mentioned the baby shower earlier than I did the baby, that I am SO very excited about - if this kind of thing keeps happening, I will be asked to turn in my blogger card...

At any rate, I think I may have found the perfect recipe - until I got home and started pulling it together...seems I didn't have any sour cream or enough butter.  I had to ad lib the whole thing.  We shall see how it turns out.  At this point, I have told myself that if this cake turns out to be tasty then the recipe done correctly will be fabulous.  That makes total sense, doesn't it?

This is why I shouldn't bake in the evenings.

Although, I just peeked in on it...based on looks and smell this one may be the winner! *crosses fingers*

So now that I've reported all the mundane news...on to the bigger news.

So, my very dear friend, that lives around the corner, she and her husband have been in mild state of panic about their house.  Even before they discovered they were expecting.  You see, her husband has declared that their house is too small for their family.  He kept nattering on and on about moving (further) out into the country.  She, on the other hand, was adamant about staying in the neighborhood and keeping the children in this school district.  They were at an impasse - so the husband began to reluctantly discuss expansion.

Then the house across the street from us went on the market.  They wistfully talked about that house but it was quickly snapped up.  I've since been inside that house and I don't think they would have liked it anyway.

About two weeks ago, a Coming Soon for sale sign went up two doors down and I knew this one was going to go FAST.  I texted my friend.  She came by to get a peek at the outside and saw some possibility.  Once it went on the market she made an appointment and loved it.

We were discussing the house but she didn't seem ready to jump.  I don't blame her - what with her due date being a little over a month away.  I figured that was as far as they were going to take it.

Me, being me, I kept an eye on the house and sure enough, the house was already in due diligence yesterday morning.  I sadly reported this info via text to my friend. She came back with "Wow.  That was fast.  How do you know?"

I informed her that I still receive an MLS report every day.  And she responded with, "Well, smart people I guess.  Probably took a leap of faith with encouragement from a good friend. ;-)

And then I realized, THEY had made the offer and it was accepted.  There was much rejoicing in this house last night, I can tell you.  Because although they are only around the corner, two doors down is MUCH better.  Especially with a new baby!

And that coffee cake?  Well, it looks promising...

And, after a tiny nibble, I think with all the right ingredients, we have a winner.  I'll let you know after the shower.

January 29, 2017

Searching for the impossible...the story of my life

This weekend found me scrambling all over town - I'm hosting a baby shower brunch next week and am in need of supplies.

Man-Child also requested that I search out some Frisbees for his classes.  Did you know that you can't just walk into any old store at the tail end of January and find a plethora of Frisbees?  I didn't but I do now.  Apparently, this is more of a "summer" activity.  Who knew?

Truth be told I spent more time searching for the flying discs than anything else.  I finally located some and promptly bought their entire meager inventory.  And upon returning home was pressed into helping him perfect his throw - because the teacher needs to remember how to do it perfectly before he can start to teach.  I am also woefully out of shape because the 30 minute exercise of walking all over our huge yard to retrieve the disc that never quite made it to my hands (except for the one that hit my hand and ricocheted up to hit my nose) wore me out.  But, it was fun.  We may need to make this into a regular activity...acting like kids out in the yard.

This weekend also found me in search of the perfect coffee cake recipe.  So far, I've made two.  The first one looked perfect and the crumbly struesel topping was delicious, the cake itself? Meh.  The second cake looked anemic and lacked the crumbly struesel topping but was amazing.  Now I find myself looking to make another cake tomorrow - third times the charm, right?

I think I have found a recipe that will fill the bill but who knows...at this rate I'll be making a cake every night this week until I find one that I deem perfect enough for this shower.  Do you have a tried and true recipe that you want to share?  Please?

January 27, 2017

I'm turning into my mother...and I *think* it's in a good way.

We've all thought it, at one time or another.  Sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes, we'd think it's not such a good thing.

Particularly if you are a parent, you have surely found yourself saying to or doing something with your child and it dawns on you - your mother used to do/say the exact same thing to you.  I remember, with great clarity, when I once told Man-Child that if he was so bored that I had a list of "things" (chores) to keep him busy.

And while, I now agree in theory, when I was a child this infuriated me beyond belief every time she said it.  As a child, I quickly learned not to complain that I was bored otherwise I would find myself dusting the baseboards.  I have to give it to her, she followed through.

At any rate, this morning as I was reading the paper I came across two little snippets of information that I thought would be interesting for two of my friends.  I quickly found the one article online and texted it to one friend and then headed over to the cubicle next door to hand the other friend the actual article.

And then it hit me.  I'm turning into my mother.

Way back in the days before the internet my mother would clip articles she thought I needed to see - this started around the time I was in high school and continued into my early adulthood before she died.

As a teen, I suffered through it, sullenly reading the article and silently thinking, "WHY is she making me read this drivel?"  As a young woman, I thought "Well, this is interesting but it is information I could probably live without."  As a young mother, I teetered between the two thought processes and occasionally thought, "Wow!  I'm really glad I read this."

Then we moved to North Carolina - and although she called, she wasn't big on actually sending the articles so she would just mention them.  And I listened.  Sometimes, I admit, with limited patience.

It's been years since I'd thought of those carefully clipped articles that would be waiting for me.

Until today, when I digitally "clipped" an article and sent it and then actually clipped another article and handed it over.

And I realized what was actually behind all of those articles...love and caring.  She looked at those articles and thought of me.  Just as I'd looked at these two articles this morning and thought of my friends.

And passed along the articles...and the love.

And all of this reminiscing brings to mind something else my mother used to say..."If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all!"  But THAT is another post for another day...


After typing this, I began to wonder if I'd ever posted anything else about turning into my mother.  So I did a search of my blog.  The first thing I learned is that apparently, I've been at this blogging thing since 2009!!!  Who knew?  It feels like only yesterday.  The second thing I learned...I DID post about turning into my mother before.  The third thing I discovered...sifting through your archives is amazing.  I remembered things I'd forgotten, I remembered the voice I had back then and the carelessness about posting.  I was also confronted with the differences of blogging today vs. then.  Then there was many more comments; today this is less common.  Back then there was a lot of focus on "fun" and "awards".  Today it seems to be more about "sponsorship."  Not that there is anything wrong with that; but I kinda miss the old days - the fun and the comments.  Any chance we can bring that back?

January 9, 2017

NC DOT - you can expect a call from me tomorrow and it's your own fault.

As I mentioned in my last post, we've been snowed in.  Today was the third day of the incarceration.

The Husband was able to make it out to work but told me to stay home as the roads in our neighborhood weren't safe.  So being the good, little wife that I am, I stayed home.  So having eyes in my head that could see the street in front of the house but little else, I stayed home.  And slowly went insane.

When he came home this evening, I insisted that he get me out of this house, even for just a few minutes.  He obliged and took me to the grocery store two minutes up the street - it took at least ten.  I almost wish he hadn't.  I knew that the bit in front of our house was bad but I had no idea just HOW bad the rest of the roads were.  Once we made it to the main road it was fine but the roads in our neighborhood and one of them getting out were solid sheets of ice.  I had my eyes closed the whole time - it was terrifying.

The return trip was even worse as we had to turn around because of an accident and go another way which involved several steep hills covered in ice while maneuvering around several large Duke Energy trucks parked in the street.

I can already tell that I won't be going to work tomorrow either.

And this was after the NC DOT came through yesterday and "plowed."

Well, whomever they sent in should be ashamed of themselves - these roads were NOT plowed in any way shape or form.

At first, I thought since they didn't get to us until late yesterday that they'd be back today.  They have not.

Which brings us to the WHY of me having to give them a call.

Our little town does not have the resources to remove snow and ice and so it is the responsibility of the NC DOT according to our town website.

So upon returning home (safely, thank God!) I went to the NC DOT webpage.  I clicked on the Contact Us button as I couldn't find a complaint form or a service request form.  And started typing.  I wasn't being long-winded but wanted to explain where we were and what the problems we were having.  And then...I couldn't type anymore.  I physically couldn't type anymore.  Apparently, I'd hit the character limit, which was ridiculously short.

So I looked up the phone number and as it's well after 5:00 pm, tomorrow I will have to actually pick up the phone, navigate an infuriating phone tree to get to a human to explain the problem, once I've done all that navigating, I will be frustrated and bad tempered.

And to be honest?  That irritates me more than the shoddy "plowing."

January 7, 2017

Snowed in...

Last night we got anywhere between 6 to 8 inches of snow.  That's quite a lot for this area.  While I hear that the main roads are clear, I wouldn't actually know since I've been stuck in the house all day as the DOT has yet to venture into our subdivision.

You would have thought I'd done something productive with all this down time.  But no, I haven't even bothered to get out of my pajamas today!  The laundry remains undone.  The plants remain unwatered.  I didn't even bother to set my little minion to work.  Heck, I didn't even bother to venture outside to take a picture of the very pretty landscape for this post.

Lazy.  That's what today has been.

I spent a portion of it goofing off on the computer.  A little bit more time wiping the floor with Man-Child during a fierce game of Rummy - today instead of playing it safe and biding my time, I played a more daring game and it paid off; much to his dismay.  But the majority of the day was spent quietly reading, something I actually haven't being doing much of lately.  Oh sure, I read a bit each night - usually a chapter or two before turning in, but I haven't sat down and spent a long stretch just reading.

It was delightful.

Our newest neighbor came by and invited us to come over - but I was ensconced in my pj's with my book and the boys were watching football so we stayed in.  Maybe tomorrow.

For now, I'm content to sit here and compose this post while my guys discuss whatever it is they are discussing in the other room.

Tomorrow there will be plenty of time for chores while we wait for the snow plows to come dig us out.  And, most likely, more time to snuggle down with another good book.  And maybe, if I'm lucky, another successful game of Rummy.

Now?  Now, I think it's time to watch some Netflix; any suggestions?