December 29, 2016

Why I've been ignoring you and the laundry...

Sorry about that but I have an excuse - really.  I bought a jigsaw puzzle.  Yes, I have been derailed from life by A PUZZLE.  How's that, you ask?

Well, not only have I been neglecting my online life, I've been neglecting my real life as well.  Case in point?  Today alone, I estimate that I've spent at least 6-7 hours working on the damn thing.  I finally had to quit because I'd given myself a headache from staring at it.

I should have known better.  I know how I am - I can easily get derailed by a challenge.  And this particular puzzle is a challenge.

At any rate, I'm about halfway done and have almost decided that this will be the puzzle that never gets finished.  There is too much sky and too many greens.  But, I know myself, and I will do whatever it takes to finish that damn thing.  I'm just hoping that will be sooner rather than later.  Because between you and me?  The laundry needs doing, errands need to be run, the house needs to be know, the list goes on....besides, I only have four more days of vacation that I'd like to spend doing something besides a puzzle.

December 14, 2016

That first real step into being an adult is on the doorstep...

Well, would you look at that?  SIX posts for the month of December so far...looks like I'm on a roll - let's see if we can keep the momentum up.

I have NEWS!

Man-Child had his first real, grown up interview last week (I think - this time of year really screws up my sense of time).  He said that it went very well and that they seemed shocked when he told them that it was his first interview.  The position he applied for was a high school Physical Education Teacher/Coach.  Basically, exactly what he wants to do.

Two days (I guess) after that, he finished up his student teaching with the elementary school kids.  During that last week, he brought home stacks upon stacks of notes from all the kids.  They told him how much they would miss him, some reminisced on their favorite moments with him, some wished him good luck and "congratuions".

It was all very touching and sweet.  I asked him if this was making him re-think his desire to teach mean, old high schoolers.  He replied, "A little."

In fact, The Husband's boss has children that go to that school and they told their dad that Mr. X had left and they were sad because Mr. X spent so much time with each kid and that Ms. M (their regular teacher) wasn't as nice (which I'm sure is not true because Man-Child loved working with her).

Fun fact - the elementary school that Man-Child was student teaching in is approximately two minutes from the house and we live in a very small community.  Being seen around town on the weekends by the elementary set with a "teacher" is entertaining.  It's like he is a rock star.  Some of them giggle and point.  Others are shy; peeking out around their parents legs.  And then there are those bold enough to run up and say hi and then remind him (so he tells me) in front of their friends at school that they saw him at such and such; in case he forgot.

Anyway...Fast forward to this week.  He got a call from the school he applied to - they wanted his references and needed his signature for a background check.  A teacher from the elementary school informed him that they only run background checks if they are serious.  The thought that this might really be a possibility amped him up - but he kept trying to temper it because, as we all know, the odds of getting a job - your dream job - on the first interview, at that; are slim to none.

This morning, bright and early, he received THE phone call.  He has the job!

When he called to tell me I could hear the utter shock and amazement in his voice.  He couldn't believe it.

Honestly, I could.  I've seen how hard this kid has worked.  I've seen the reports from some of his professors.  I've seen this kid in action around adults since he was tiny - that kid has known how to carry on an adult conversation practically since he learned to talk.  I've seen him interact with children young and older, and seen the patience and kindness that he has.  I know that this kid knows his stuff - he has made it a point to because he had a dream.

One that he has now achieved - all due to his hard work and dedication.

He starts in January.  Unfortunately, as he is one online credit shy of his diploma (which, let me tell you, came as a nasty surprise to us as we assumed he was done), they can't hire him on as a full time teacher just yet - but they are going to hire him as a long-term substitute until he gets the degree, which should happen in the spring (if it doesn't, then I'll have to kill him).  Then they told him they would bring him on full time with benefits.

This school is out of our county, which means he'll have a bit of a drive, and is a smaller school but I think it will be the perfect place for him to start out.  And I am so over the moon excited for him and so very proud.

This is it guys - he's taking his first, real step into adulthood.  *sniff*  That completely empty nest is suddenly looming.  Somebody hold me.

December 11, 2016

If he'd read the directions first - it would have never happened

Do you know what this is?

No, contrary to what you may think, it is NOT an ordinary bathroom vent.  It is actually a symbol of my husband's undying love for me.

I know what you are thinking - "Well,what do you know - she's finally lost her marbles.  I knew it was only a matter of time."

I'll have you know that all my marbles are still intact, thank you very much.

It all started a few days ago when the temperatures here dropped drastically.  For some reason, the master bedroom/bathroom - but particularly the bathroom - are at least ten degrees colder/hotter than the rest of the house; depending on the season.

So when the temperatures plummeted, I asked The Husband how difficult would it be to install a vent/heater combo in the bathroom.  We had one at the last house, which is the only reason I knew this was an actual thing and not a daydream.  He responded that he didn't think it would be a difficult thing to do.  Which then prompted me to ask him to install one as I was getting tired of the unbecoming blue shade that I acquired after spending the time in there getting ready for work in the mornings.  He never really responded.

This morning he informed me he was headed out for a walk.  I thought it was his way of getting out of the house as I wrestled with the cookie press; after all these years he knows when it's time to make himself scarce.  The next thing I knew he was walking in the door a couple hours later with a big box containing the vent/heater combo.  Apparently, he'd hit Lowe's Home Improvement after his walk.

He then proceeded to unbox the item and went and looked at the old vent.  About this time, I decided it would be prudent for me to take all the goodies to the office in order not to have to worry about getting them there in the morning.  You see, after all these years, I've also learned when it's time to make myself scarce.

When I came home about an hour or two later, I walked into the bathroom to discover a pile of insulation on the floor, a gaping hole in the ceiling and The Husband beyond aggravated.  He informed me that we needed a bigger breaker for this contraption - something he doesn't feel comfortable doing himself - but figured he'd attempt it after getting the vent/heater in - yes, at this point it still was sitting on the floor.

I suggested that he take a break and that we grab a bite of lunch.  He agreed.

After lunch he headed back to the bathroom and I headed toward my closet/room/studio/whatever to finish wrapping a couple of gifts.  This is when we learned that no matter how loud my husband can be - and believe me, he CAN be loud - when we are on opposite ends of the house I can't hear him.  As I was finishing up the last gift I heard a faint noise and thought I'd better go check on him.

When I arrived he said, "About time!  I've been calling you for at least ten minutes!!"  as he was standing on the ladder holding the new contraption trying to keep it from falling.

Ooops.  Lesson learned, when The Husband is involved in a project, it's best to stay within earshot.

Another lesson learned - when The Husband is involved in a project that's in the ceiling - it would be prudent to have a taller person than me on hand.  I ended up standing on the toilet, on my tiptoes, trying to hold the contraption while he finished connecting whatever it was that he needed two hands to connect.  Eventually, he was able to connect it and shove it up into the hole in the ceiling.

At this point, I figured I'd best stay in the area.  He finally succeeded in getting everything situated just right and was able to finish the project - minus replacing the breaker.  At this point, he'd spent approximately four hours on this project and was done.

I helped clean up the mess and told him how much I appreciated this "easy" project.  And he informed me that had he read the directions before he started (he didn't, he never does.  His preferred method of madness is to jump right in and only when he gets stumped does he stop to look at the directions) this project would have never been done.

Apparently, one of the first things the instructions said was "you will need access to the attic above the space" - which we do not have; if we had, this project probably would have been as easy as he thought.

And that, my friends, is why that humble vent is a symbol of his undying love.  Because he did it for me and suffered untold aggravation to get it done.

December 10, 2016

Finally! It's about time we started getting our act together for the holiday....

And by "we", I mainly mean "me."  Although The Husband has been pulling his weight and doing the things I demand ask nicely of him.

I took yesterday off in an attempt to get some things done - hopefully bypassing the shopping crowd that I expected today.  I failed; at least in bypassing the crowds.  Apparently, everyone else in town took the day off for the same purpose.  But, I persevered and got a lot accomplished.  And by "got a lot accomplished" I mean, "I spent a boat load of money."

But, in my defense, I will give the same argument I gave The Husband, it was all necessary and you should have seen how much money I actually saved.  As a defensive argument, I will admit it's weak but it's all I have at the moment.

This morning found me running a few errands and then headed home to hide from the crowds.  Since I hadn't followed my own advice of wrapping gifts as they were bought, I found myself in a marathon wrapping session.  One which brought to a screeching halt as I realized there were two wrapped gifts without half the gift packed inside.  Surprisingly, I was actually able to unwrap and re-wrap the gifts without too much effort.

Speaking of paper, this year, I feel victim to Pinterest and all the neutral decor and decided to wrap all my gifts with white kraft paper and let the ribbons add the color.  After wrapping a sea of white gifts, I decided that I needed a little more color under the tree and wrapped a few using Christmas paper.  Then The Husband wandered in and declared, to my surprise, that he liked the white gifts. Huh.  Who would have thought that he, of all people, would be on board with something new?

The wrapping was again brought to a halt because I ran out of boxes - but the majority was done.

On to the next project...making goodies for the office "thing" on Monday.  Generally, our floor is pretty sedate about Christmas.  A few will decorate tastefully.  And some will bring in a few treats.  There may be a departmental lunch here and there.  But for the most part, Christmas is ignored on our floor.

Until this year.  A co-worker decided that we needed to have a floor-wide Christmas thing.  And she dragged me into it.  So we decided to have a Christmas/Holiday Goody Day - similar to what other floors do every year.  Although, I have recently been aggravated with some of my co-workers, I begrudgingly agreed.  Which is why after the marathon wrapping session, I found myself in another marathon - of the kitchen kind.

I made a cheese spread, fudge (which I just realized I banished last year - let's see if it fails me this year, if it doesn't it stays in rotation), peanut butter fudge (which is divine - recipe here), and almond bark.  I fully meant to do the spritz cookies tonight but was completely worn out; so they may get done tomorrow - but hopefully early.

My plan is to take all the goodies to work tomorrow to store in the fridge so I don't have to carry everything in on Monday.

And then there's this - a post done.  Yes, it's been a very productive day.

Although I am no where near ready for Christmas, I'm that much closer to being done.  And?  We have a tree!  The Husband found the perfect one today.  Currently, it's sitting in half in our front hall and half in our living room.  It has lights and the angel and is otherwise bare but it's beautiful.

In addition to cookies, I've just added decorating the tree to tomorrow's ever growing To-Do List - it appears tomorrow may also prove just as productive.

How about you?  Are you ahead of the game or are you like me - just getting by?

December 8, 2016

It's been what? Not quite six months...

Remember when I told you it took me ELEVEN YEARS to have my wedding rings repaired?

Well, guess what?  Yup, another diamond went missing today.  Are you freaking kidding me; less than six full months later?!  Am I THAT hard on my jewelry?  I think not.

If you ask me, it is a serious design flaw if the diamonds just keep falling out.  Instead of asking them to fix it, I plan on seeing if they can re-design it using the same stones.  I have a feeling they are going to tell me that to re-design the ring using the existing diamonds will be utterly expensive.

Luckily, I'm off tomorrow, so I plan to hit the jeweler then - fingers crossed - we already have plenty of evidence on the table that shows I have the ability to put things off forever.

The Husband just looked disgusted when I told him; shook his head and muttered, "If I had to do it again, I wouldn't have bought that ring!"  I hope he meant that he would have bought a different design.

*Kidding...I hope.*

I'm posting this in hopes that it will spur me on to get the issue resolved.  And if it doesn't, well then I will have an accurate record about how long I've procrastinated next time.

December 4, 2016

The Christmas Tree dilemma solved

Thank you DJan and Booksandcandy for your suggestions to my Christmas tree dilemma.  I spent a good portion of the day trying to figure out to incorporate one or the other into our living room. Considering it's an "open" floor plan there is very limited wall space; it was challenging.

But all is not lost!  No, the boys, knowing just how disappointed I was, spent some time today while I was out coming up with a new game plan.

Now this new plan means that the living room chair needs to be moved into the dining room - because the chair is too big to fit through the door to the bedroom - of course, the buffet in the dining room needs to be moved either into our bedroom or the kitchen and that means we will have even less seating in the living room than we already have but we will be able to squeeze a tree in there.  So basically, we have to rearrange the whole damn house.

And although it is utterly ridiculous to have a giant chair in the dining room; I have decided to make the best of it and call it a "reading nook" as there is plenty of natural light due to the double windows. That, my friends, is called making the best of it.

Those two are my heroes.  They saw how unhappy I was and set about to make me smile again - the best Christmas present!

Yes, I'm impossible to live with - I know this and own it.  Someday's I can't even stand myself.  But they claim to love me anyway; I honestly don't know how they put up with me.

Sadly though, this game plan came about too late in the day to go get a tree - not too mention the fact that it was seriously cold and rainy here today - so most likely we won't get a tree until next weekend.  Unless they decide to pick one up after work this week.

But nonetheless - we WILL have a tree!!

Let the Christmas insanity begin...

December 3, 2016

Is it still Christmas if there isn't a tree?

Yes, I know the reason for the season - but still, we generally do up the house for Christmas with all the usual trappings up to and including a tree.  Even when we were in the tiny condo - we had a tree.  Even when we moved into said condo exactly three weeks before Christmas, we had a tree.

This year, sadly, it is looking like there will not be a tree. *sob*  I've never had a Christmas without a tree.  This annoys and saddens me to no end.

This morning the boys went off to do something so I pulled out my boxes and began happily decorating the front porch, my mantle and tucking in festive touches here and there.  When they came home, we spent the majority of the morning rearranging the living room in hopes of finding a spot for the tree.  We failed.

I left the house frustrated in search of battery operated candles with a timer, which also exasperated me as I have plenty of window candles with cords that have the sensor in them to turn them off and on.  But can I use them? No.

Because of the five windows facing the street only ONE of them is anywhere near an outlet - of course.  Luckily I did find the candles - but am dubious about how well they are going to work.  I've held onto my receipt just in case.  If they don't work that will be the final nail in the coffin on this holiday season - because along with the tree we always have candles in the windows.

Yes, I am a big believer in tradition.  And one by one all of our traditions are falling by the wayside.

While I was out I did have the brilliant idea that if we moved the TV, etc. upstairs we could shove a tree in that little corner of the living room.  The Husband nixed that idea immediately because he's a Grinch who would rather not be inconvenienced when watching TV than having a tree.

The only other areas that could accommodate a tree is the kitchen (never gonnna happen - how ridiculous is that?), our bedroom (nope - for the same reason) or the back porch - where at least we would get to see the tree from the living room - but honestly; how would the decorations hold up in the elements?

So unless some amazing idea comes up within the next day or so - we will be without a tree come Christmas morning.  I KNEW this was going to be an issue when we bought this house - I just didn't realize how big of an issue it was going to become.

At this point, I'm practically ready to pack all the decorations I put out this morning away and just forget about the whole damn thing; that's how annoyed I am right now.

What a way to start the Christmas season - annoyed and frustrated to the point of tears.