November 10, 2017

Quiet house...

Such a rarity, but here it is.  The Husband and Man-Child left for a weekend of male bonding.

Yes, you read that correctly.  The Husband, of the Refuses to Relax and Unwind-kind, actually took his son on a weekend trip.  I know!  I'm as amazed as you are!

Well, if the truth be told, I booked the trip.  Because, of course, I did.  BUT, The Husband mentioned that it would be nice if he and Man-Child headed up to Smith Mountain Lake for his birthday - so like any sane and rational wife I took that to mean that I should just start scouting out a location to stay.

I found four possibilities right off the bat and forwarded them on - thinking, this is NEVER gonna happen.

And then?  The Husband said he really liked the one and asked if I would book it.  Between you, me and the wall, I about fell out of my chair.  And then, when I didn't immediately reserve the place THAT VERY MOMENT, he told me I should book it before someone else did.  (What alien life form had taken the place of my husband?  In conversations since, we have determined, if the action involves spending, I am the one to pull the trigger because it is in his DNA to not spend it - unless it's on unnecessary groceries.)

Little did he realize, no one - and I mean NO ONE - is headed up to Smith Mountain Lake in the middle of November.  Eventually, I booked the place and he was pleased.  He even said, "I'm glad you did because I was having second thoughts...particularly about the cost."  No surprise there.

And immediately after I booked the reservation the forecast changed.  Until recently, our weather has been rather warm.  As of today, the low tomorrow here will be 25 degrees, and we are significantly south of where the lake is located.  Seriously, who goes to a summer destination in the winter?  But, this is my husband - the man who is famous for going to a place known for their chicken and ordering the fish (and being extremely disappointed, I might add - when will he learn?!  Chicken place - order the chicken!).  He goes against the flow.

Now I sit in a house that is so quiet I can actually hear when the refrigerator kicks on and contemplating how I will spend my quiet time.  No television blaring.  No football.  No loud conversations about football.  Popcorn and wine for dinner.  Pure bliss.

Without a doubt, by Sunday I will be ready for them to be home - but until then?  Quiet - sweet, sweet quiet.

November 6, 2017

I get it...there are only seven more weeks until Christmas, but seriously?

Don't shoot the messenger!  I heard it on the radio the other morning.  I didn't believe them so I had to check for myself...and it's true.

Then and there, I resolved that I'd be AHEAD of the game this year - but honestly?  If I was going to be ahead of the game, I would have started before now.  But again, honestly?  Not having very many little people to buy for means that Christmas presents aren't nearly as much fun to buy as they used to be when Man-Child was small and you could FEEL the excitement ratchet up as the big day got closer and closer.

I especially noticed the change this year when we celebrated Man-Child's birthday.  There wasn't anything that he HAD to have, so I was at a loss when it came to buying his gift, therefore I left it in The Husband's hands because otherwise, he would have received cash - which, in retrospect, may have been a better choice.  Oh, he enjoyed and appreciated what he did get...but the excitement just wasn't there; on either end.

So I have started prodding people for ideas, much to their horror.  Didn't I realize that Thanksgiving was still on the horizon, they wondered; but what they don't realize is that in order to try and restore "the magic," and as the one who "does" the majority of Christmas, I need to start early.

Also, it will be easier on the pocketbook if I spread out the buying - so there you have it, if you need it, the practical reason to bring up the "C" word.

But today?  Today is where I drew a line.  Yes, I'll be starting my Christmas prep this weekend (although truthfully, I should have started a few weeks ago...) but Christmas carols? No.

We need to celebrate Thanksgiving before we start up with the Christmas carols.  Why, you may be asking yourself, is she bringing up Christmas carols?  Is she insane?  Maybe.  But maybe not.

At lunch today, I found myself in a local eatery and I heard the air conditioning kick on (because it's unseasonably warm right now) and then the music in the background finally was Elvis Presley singing I'll Be Home for Christmas and I was floored.  I hoped it was just a fluke but no, the next song was a carol, as was the one after that and so on.

So there I sat eating my salad and hearing Christmas carols - while the air conditioner was blowing - before Thanksgiving.  And that's just ridiculous.  And I, for one, applaud Target for taking a stand, of sorts.  They do have their Christmas area - usually toward the back of the store - but are keeping Christmas out of your face at the front of the store until after Thanksgiving.

So yes, I AM gearing up for Christmas as it's only prudent for me, but I'm not advocating Christmas Creep.  And having Christmas music playing on the 6th of November is far too early.  Far, far, far too early.

October 26, 2017

Lesson learned: Don't leave The Husband in charge and actually listen to what he says before agreeing to it

I made a huge, tactical mistake.  If you've been anywhere near Twitter recently, you have seen me ranting about our internet service.  A few recent highlights...

As you can surmise, the internet has been HORRIBLE around here.  Well, during a conversation with a service tech (which was probably the BEST interaction I have EVER had with this company!  They must have seen my tweets about my previous contacts with their service techs, and fixed the issue.  That's MY theory anyway), he mentioned that we should move from the DSL line to fiber - that it would probably solve all of our problems.  And, even better, it would cost about what we are currently paying.

So, after those last two tweets, we bit the bullet and set up a service call for today.  It was determined that since The Husband was taking today off anyway that he would arrange to be home when they arrived to hook us up to what is, hopefully, some kind of magical cure for our internet woes.

So I swanned off to work (and, I must admit, resenting it just a touch that he was still in bed) and thought nothing more about it.  Until, I received a call from The Husband telling me that the guy was going to set up the new fangled system where the old one was.  He also said something about drilling a hole in the floor - but I was distracted because work and said fine.  This is part of the huge, tactical mistake I mentioned earlier.  

The Husband and the tech looked at the area and neither one thought, "This might be an issue..." because, they don't think like I do.  And this is what I came home to...

"What?" I can hear you asking.  "Other than that mess of wires
from the old router, it looks fine!"

What you can't see is that this is THE first thing I see when I walk into the closet/dressing room/whatever.  Had I known that THIS was what the finished product was going to look like, I would have suggested that they place it behind the chair in the room.  Now, I'm sure once I clean up all the old routers and wires it won't be as big of an eyesore but it will still be a prominent feature in the room.  And I have no one to blame but myself.  On the plus side, if I rearrange the entire room, I may be able to minimize it's prominence.

So far, two hours later, the internet speed and connectivity is amazing - so if that continues, obviously the placement will not be an issue at all.  But since I'm currently the only one online, the true test will come when we are all home and all connected.  *fingers crossed*

October 22, 2017


The boys left about 4:30 pm to go watch the Giants play.  I am over the moon about this because I got SO MUCH accomplished!

I have realized that I prefer to do chores in the quiet, maybe with a little music in the background; but that's rare.  I like to be all alone with my chores.  When football is blaring on the television, or really anything, it does not inspire me to take care of chores.  It inspires me to play on the computer or to hide in my dressing room/closet (what ARE we going to name that room?!) and read.

I will do the chores that are necessary if they are here, with the television blaring, but those little, nagging chores?  The ones that aren't do or die necessary?  Like that shirt that's needed ironing since spring?  Those get left undone until I find myself a chunk of free time that hasn't already been designated to a different project.

Since they've been out, I've ironed that shirt finally even though it required pulling out the ironing board and setting it up in the dining room.  Because of this, if there is only one item that requires pressing, it will usually be put on the back burner...for months, apparently.  I also completed a few sewing repairs, washed the towels, cleaned the bathrooms, tidied up a bit, set the dressing room/closet back to rights and then?  Washed and dried my hair straight.  It's been a long while since THAT has happened...let's see if any of my family or coworkers recognize me tomorrow.

Oh - and I composed this post. 

It becomes more and more apparent to me that in order for me to be productive, I need to have some alone time. 

October 13, 2017

A little bit of fun...

Due to random events, I was recently reminded that I have a FaceBook page tied to this blog (come find me - but I can't promise I'll remember to check it...) ...yes, I had forgotten.  Hey, if I ignore my personal FaceBook it stands to reason that I've ignored the blog FaceBook; right?!

At any rate, I found myself over there today and came across a status update from a blogger that I love (unfortunately, she hasn't blogged in a while *sad face* but I am hopeful she will return eventually; in fact I'm positive she will return one day, she is too talented not to.) that said, "Just for fun, ask Siri what you should be for Halloween."

As we all know, I shun all things Apple, so I turned to the android version, and asked my phone, "Okay Google...what should I be for Halloween?"

I especially love how she interrupts our conversation
to answer the door to some trick-or-treaters....

I also love that she (of course Google is a she; why do you ask?  She has ALL the answers) wants to continue the conversation!  So I played along...but, of course, a bit later after I realized this could be blog material and had to ask her again...

I replied yes, and then she asked about obtaining a
brain for a demanding boss and wondered if I'd comply or
find another job...yes I failed to screen shot that portion...sue me

Umm, I think I need a different costume...but what about you?  How does Siri or Google respond when you ask you should be for Halloween?

October 8, 2017

Caroline: Little House, Revisited (book review)

I first learned about this book's existence because June mentioned it on her blog.  I loved Little House on the Prairie when I was a child - both the books and the television show...although, to be honest I remember more about the television show than the books - so I was intrigued enough to buy it.

Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller arrived on Wednesday.  I tried to pick it up and read Wednesday night but found that I was just too tired.  The same could be said for the remainder of the work week.  I was disappointed because I really was excited about it.  Eventually, I found myself ensconced in my chair with the book for all of Saturday afternoon and again this afternoon, until now as I finished it.

A blurb on the jacket states:

"Sarah Miller vividly re-creates the beauty, hardship, and joy of
the frontier in this dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story
that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never
before - Caroline Ingalls, "Ma" in Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved Little House books."

This book was authorized by The Little House Heritage Trust and I can see why - I loved it.  I don't need to explain the plot of this story, as I imagine most of you reading, either saw the television show or read the books.  If you loved it when you were young then I think you would most definitely like this book.  The Little House books were told from Laura's point of view and this book tells it from Caroline's; and tells it very well.

I will say the ending kind of shocked me but that's because I am mainly remembering the television show, but it made perfect sense that it ended the way it did.

I can also honestly say, that I could not have done it.  ANY of it.  I seriously would have died before we even got to where we were going.  The trip to Kansas was dangerous and harrowing.

No, I am very happy to have been born in an age where there are cars, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, etc.  And especially the internet.

September 30, 2017

I swear, I think he is on the cusp of becoming a hoarder...

Man-Child's birthday is tomorrow so I set about to make his requested cake - lemon pound cake.  Yes, it's not a traditional birthday cake, but it's what he wanted.  As a side note - HOW did he get to 23 already?!!

When I opened the pantry, I had to restrain from cursing.  The Husband's habit of over buying food was most definitely on display.  He is of the opinion that we always need to be "prepared."  Prepared for what, I don't know.  But I do know that no one needs to be THAT prepared.  He also loves to get a deal - so tends to buy stuff on sale; whether we need it or not.  I am convinced he is on the cusp of becoming a food hoarder.

After rummaging through the mess of cans, bags of beans, bags of rice (why do we even HAVE bags of rice?  Every time I've seen him make rice he uses the microwave type), beans and a million other things, I was finally able to unearth the things I needed to make the cake.

After whipping up the cake and popping it in the oven, I turned back to the pantry.  I knew I needed to wrestle it into some semblance of order somehow.  With our last house, we had a huge walk-in pantry and I think that's where The Husband's problem started - God forbid should we have had an empty spot in there.  But in this house, we have a small, reach-in pantry.  That was haphazardly stuffed so full that I couldn't even find the light switch!

Sometime during the process, I sent the following text to my friend.

Truly, this isn't even accurate.  By the time I was done, I found TWELVE cans
of bread crumbs and TWENTY-FIVE cans of soup. 

And that soup?  Hand to heart, I have NEVER EVER have seen him eat canned soup, generally he makes his own!

After that, I quit counting items because it was just too crazy.  The bags upon bags upon bags of rice and beans were beyond overwhelming.  It was about this time that The Husband and Man-Child walked in.  I looked at The Husband and informed him that he had a problem.  Of course, he denied it and asked why I was doing this now.  I told him I was doing it now because I had such a hard time getting to and finding the few ingredients I needed.  I then told him that his bags of beans and rice will now reside in the garage until we can free up some space in the pantry.  He acceded to that small concession and went out to mow the yard - where I'm sure he was fuming about me telling him he had a problem.

By the time he came in, I had finally finished what I'd started - two hours later.  He looked at the bags of beans and rice sitting in the garage and asked, "Are they going to just sit out like this?" 

Yes, Husband...they ARE just going to sit out here like this.

Yes, I had just dumped the rice and beans on the first available surface.  I told him we would find a better spot for them when we finally get the garage in order (another place that The Husband tends to hoard things).

As I finished, I walked into the kitchen and The Husband announced he was headed to the grocery store because he heard there was a sale on rice.  Very funny, Husband.  Very funny.  I informed him that if he brought anything home that needed to reside in the pantry that I would have him committed.

It's becoming abundantly clear...he has a problem.

Discussions with The Husband...sometimes an exercise in futility.

The Husband announced that he planned to have an inpatient procedure done next January.  He then asked what day was better for me.  I responded that Mondays or Fridays are usually my preference.

He came back with those are usually the busiest days.  I said yes, they usually are.  And he responded with, "So maybe the middle of the week?" 

Me: .....?

Him: ...?

Me:  No, a Monday or a Friday is better.  Preferably Friday.

Him:  But those are the busiest days of the week...

Me:  Yes, I know.  But make the appointment and it will be fine.

Him: the medical offices those are probably the busiest days of the week!

Me: ... (head in my hands)

I finally had to walk away for a minute because I was so frustrated.  I needed to step back and figure out exactly where the disconnect was coming from.

When I came back I said, "Here is what I'm trying to tell you.  Most people do not make their appointments four or five months in advance.  So if you make your appointment NOW you will most likely get the time/date you want for January."

Him: *light bulb moment*...Oh, I see! 

Sometimes I wonder how we ever get anything accomplished.

September 22, 2017

I do believe my "new" hairstylist has dumped me...

If you've hung around here for any length of time, you will realize, the subject of my hair always seems to pop up from time to is one of those days.

Over  two years ago, my very favorite hairstylist of all time moved to Florida.  It was a very dark period in my life.  Before he abandoned me, he was kind enough to recommend another stylist in the shop.  I've used her a few times and was very happy with her work.  Was she him?  No, but she knew her stuff.

As you might remember (if not, see the previous link), I'm not the very best about making regular appointments.  So maybe I've seen her about three or four times since he left - so yes, I'm not THE best or most regular customer - but in my defense, I tip VERY well to compensate for my erratic habits.

And then, earlier this year, I kind of gave up regarding the taming of my curls.  Then came the "Summer Hours" at work and I abandoned any and all thought to occasionally taming those curls; because who had that kind of time in the morning?

The inevitable happened - my hair grew.  And then grew some more.  I vaguely recall sending her a text and then a voicemail way back before Summer Hours was even a thing and never receiving a response.  After Summer Hours began, I forgot about it completely - because 1) time was valuable and 2) with curls you don't quite realize how long your hair is getting because it's generally an inch or two shorter when in curls than straight.

Oh, you do know it's growing as every time you go to take a bite of food the hair falls into your face and you end up getting some of it in your mouth.  And you notice more hair floating around on the bathroom floor - but it's not enough to actually make you want to DO anything about it.

Until you are faced with a family wedding.

Then you realize just how out of control your hair has become - and how slothful you've become in trying to tame the curls.  So you call your "new" hairstylist...nothing.  You call again...nothing.  You call the salon, discover she is still working there and leave a voicemail...nothing.

By now it's too late - you are headed out for the family wedding with wild hair.  You decide to wear it up and hope for the best.  And decide that when you get home it is time to find a new hairstylist. *sigh*

Last night I dried my hair straight for the first time in - oh jeez, WHO KNOWS - how many months.  I definitely need it cut but...the very thought of finding another great hairstylist who will also put up with my erratic ways is exhausting...but it's that or continuing the chew on the ends my hair every time I eat.  Or maybe I'll change my ways and not get ghosted by the new hairstylist...oh who am I kidding?

September 10, 2017

If you live with a slob then it probably wasn't a break in.

It's no secret, I like my things "just so" - they may not be perfect, but I WILL know when they've been tampered with - yes, I realize I get this from my mother.  In my opinion, that is one of the better qualities that I share with her.

The other day I came home to an empty house.  I immediately headed to my "closet"/"dressing room" to change.  Yes, I am VERY predictable - this is the first thing I do every day.  Upon entering the closet/dressing room - whatever; I noticed that the some drawers were open and others were half open.  I noticed that the footstool was pushed halfway across the room.

I panicked.  But not TOO much.  I realized that I left before anyone else that morning.  I also realized that some of The Husband's stuff is still stored in there because, even though we've been here for a year and a half, I haven't bothered to move it to his closet/dressing room yet.  So I quelled my panic for minute and texted both guys - all the while thinking, "Is someone hiding in the house?!"  Because all immediate evidence pointed to the fact that I'd interrupted a robbery in progress.

Then The Husband responded first with a "No. Why?!"  At that point, I was ready to flee.  I responded with, "drawers open; footstool moved.  Nothing seems to be missing."  My first instinct upon learning this was not The Husband's doing was to leave the house immediately.

And then it became apparent to me.  Man-Child.  That boy and his sloppiness clued me in immediately.

He had received a pair of khakis - along with other paraphernalia for his stipend paid "job"/"volunteer work".  Those khakis needed to be hemmed.  A task which he has put off for over two weeks.  One day last week, I noticed those khakis sitting on the living room table - WHY?!  What purpose did those khakis have on the living room table?!

Those khakis were not on the living room table anymore.

The drawer which was most prominently open held my miniature sewing kit.  And then it clicked.

In response to my query earlier that week about getting those pants hemmed, he informed me that he would just pin those un-altered pants up for the first game and that it would be fine.  HE had ransacked my closet/dressing room looking for safety pins.  He'd found them and left everything in disarray - as usual.

And three minutes after I reached the conclusion, he responded saying that yes, he was responsible.

September 4, 2017

How do you eat an elephant? Apparently, one bite at a time...

This afternoon found me in the garage - despite everything else I need/want to do around here.

Our garage is/was an out and out travesty.  The truth be told, the garage hasn't been properly unpacked from two moves ago.  It still isn't.

But, it HAD become a dumping ground.  Because when you have a place that is a total pigsty why not "just leave this right here for a minute?" which, of course, leads to that item times infinity living there forever.  So my mission today became whipping this area into a "semblance" of order.

Notice, I didn't say "into" order.  No.  Today my mission was to get rid of the garbage, donations, those damn plastic bags that The Hoarder (aka The Husband) hoards for some reason. and whatever other detritus I could rid ourselves of in a two hour frame.

In hindsight, it might have made more sense to weed the yard.  Although, the temperatures only reached 80 degrees today, it was easily twenty degrees hotter in the garage.

At any rate, the garage looks one hundred percent better.  All the boxes that were cluttering up the place were cut down and stored (for use in the garden before we order the truckload of mulch).  Goodwill received a large box of donations and those stupid plastic bags were FINALLY returned to the store.  It even got swept out!

Now, I can look at the garage  - and all that still needs to be done - and not shudder.

Afterwards, as I was talking to The Husband, I mentioned that every weekend should be a long one - if only to get things done around the house because, let's be honest, on a two day weekend, you seriously don't want to spend ALL of it getting things done.

But then, as I sat on the back porch and surveyed the backyard, I realized just HOW far that particular project has come since we've moved in a mere year and a half later...

Ignore the bare spots - we've put out grass seed; it's yet to grow.  Of course.

Although this project is FAR from done - the fence is down.  The ugly birdhouse is down.  The majority of the blackberry bush is gone (although it continues to pop up in random spots and will for the rest of my life I fear - unless that saved cardboard does the trick...everyone send up prayers for success here).  The backyard is slowly coming into focus; and already looks SO much better than it did...and it all happened one bite-sized bit at a time.

Then the realization dawned...ALL the projects will never get done in one fell swoop...unless we win the lottery (fingers crossed).  It's always going to be a bite-sized bit at a time.  And although that frustrates me, I'm kinda okay with it.  Because looking back and seeing what HAS been accomplished is an awesome feeling.

August 30, 2017

My love-hate relationship with FaceBook...

Yes, Ernie...I DO hate FaceBook...for MANY reasons (for whatever reason, I can't respond to you directly via email).

But right now?  FaceBook is my friend.

As you all know, thanks to Hurricane Harvey, Houston has been on mind a LOT lately...(and when I went to grab that link I noticed that all my page views have been reduced to zero - no matter how many/few comments were made - WTH Blogger?)

And thank you, by the way, Suburban Correspondent, DJan (and here and here), and Ernie for publicly responding to my plea for help - in whatever way you felt compelled - that means more to me than you will ever know.  The same goes for anyone else who felt compelled to help - you have no idea what your assistance will do for those in dire straits.

Now about FaceBook.  Yes, I despise it but...during this stressful time FaceBook has given me an insight into what is going on without having to inundate family and friends with texts while they are busy dealing with flooded streets, homes, etc.

FaceBook has also shown me how extremely HUMAN and HUMANE people can be when it comes to disaster.

I have witnessed people offering up their homes (I have room for x amount of people - DM me!), people offering up their land/resources (I have room for x amount of horses/cattle/pets - DM me!), and the "Cajun Navy" (and THIS is why I love Texas and Louisiana - both of which are so intertwined it's sometimes hard to tell them apart).  On FaceBook I have witnessed SO much love and support...which lately, we can all agree is lacking.

I have also witnessed the looting and the ugliness.  And the inane - because we ARE talking about FaceBook.  You have a major disaster happening right in front of you and yet some people are SO clueless that they continue to post about their personal problems, political issues or cat videos - yes, I get it...if it's not personal to them it's not as important.  So here I am scrolling through inane posts to get to the whole reason I bothered to log on to the site in the first place.

Inane posts aside, the love and caring stories have FAR outweighed the ugliness and inanity.  So, maybe there is hope for civilization after all.  We can only hope.

August 28, 2017

Texas - my heart.

Anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that long before I became a Carolina girl, I was a Texas child - born and raised in Houston, Texas.  And those same people know that I still consider Texas "home" twenty years later (here is where I would normally post a link but I'm too tired and emotionally exhausted to look for the one I'm thinking of - just type the word Texas in the search button and you'll see ALL the posts that mention the great state of Texas on this blog).

So as you might imagine, this past weekend has been pure hell for me as I frantically scrolled the despised FaceBook to find information on family and friends, while simultaneously sending a multitude of texts.

Luckily, all are safe...for now.  The weather forecast is not promising.

I've lived through a few hurricanes and it's never pretty.  But this?  This is freaking unbelievable.  It's practically biblical proportions of rain and devastation.

So here's where I need to ask...if you are a person who prays, pray.  And donate.

Donate money, blood, time, clothes, food.  Whatever you have the ability to give; give.  The people in Houston and surrounding areas are good people for the most part.  Every single person I know in Texas would help anyone in a heartbeat; stranger or friend.  Know that if this were happening to you, these people would respond in droves.

You can donate to the Red Cross, Samaritan's Purse or many other fine organizations.  Just Google How to Help Houston and you will find a plethora of ways you may be able to help.

Now excuse me as I go off to cry and scroll through FaceBook and send some more texts.

August 13, 2017

After all this time he still manages to surprise me occasionally

The Husband and I have been spending A LOT of time together for the past two weekends.  This is the result of having one of the cars in the shop. Man-Child's car (my old one - what can I say, it has been a summer of car issues) had a defective paint job and when we took it in for a different issue earlier this year, we mentioned the paint and it turned out that Honda would re-paint it for free. But had we not brought it up, I suspect that they wouldn't have said a word.  So last weekend, we dropped the car off with the expectation that we'd have it back by Friday.  As you can surmise from the first sentence, we are still one car short.

All of that to say, The Husband and I have generally been in the same car as Man-Child is up to his ears in coaching (volunteer, basically) as high school football season is quickly approaching.  So last weekend, as we were out and about we decided to stop for a treat - something we rarely do.  As we were headed to the frozen yogurt shop, we lamented the closing of the local Carvel.  We loved that place when Man-Child was young.  Although, ice cream isn't my weakness, I loved their vanilla soft serve with hot caramel.  The Husband would usually get a chocolate vanilla swirl.  Which is what made this trip to the frozen yogurt shop so mind blowing.

Upon arriving, I went with (no surprise) vanilla and hot caramel and waited while The Husband got his chocolate vanilla swirl and I turned to head for the cash register; and The Husband headed to the toppings bar.  I stood there in shock as he piled a plethora of various toppings onto his yogurt - toppings that I would have never considered as complementing each other up to and including a crushed candy of some sort,blueberries and on and on.

When I made the comment that I would have never guessed that he was a multi-toppings kind of guy, he just shrugged and said it sounded good.  And then proceeded to eat this wild concoction with gusto.

So yes, although I sometimes hear the same stories over and over, he still has the ability to surprise me every once in a while.

July 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Without the sweater.

And can we talk about the shoes for a minute?

You know how much I love my shoes!

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

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

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

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

July 26, 2017

Saying yes instead of the expected no...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This event ended with this text message exchange...

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

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

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

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

Plus?  Cute toes.

July 21, 2017

My husband, the comedian

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

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

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

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

July 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

He pulled THIS out from under the sink...

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

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

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

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

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

July 16, 2017

A relaxing, fun AND productive vacation...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just LOOK at the RealFeel temp!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 5, 2017

Seriously? It better just be allergies.

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

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

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

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

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

So cross your fingers that it's only allergies.

June 30, 2017

Let's talk about shopping, shall we?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 16, 2017

Balancing the check book?

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 13, 2017

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

It came quietly; but it came...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just do it.

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

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

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

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

But where's the fun in that?

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

June 7, 2017

Summer Hours...this better be worth it.

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

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

Sounds fantastic, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 2, 2017

Another post about that damn blackberry bush...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.