August 25, 2018

If you give a husband an inch; he'll take a mile.

In my ideal life, most of my counters would be clear of clutter.  But I live with two other people.

This one corner of our kitchen counter has been taken over by The Husband.

It all started because The Husband insisted that this was THE perfect area where he could charge his phones.  I said fine; I will find you a box to store the charging cables when not in use.  So I bought a nondescript, little box to sit on the very end of the counter...and, as you can see, we ended up with this mess...which is slowly creeping further and further out onto the counter.

The Husband, God love him, doesn't see this as "clutter."  Much like he doesn't see the olive oil, the spice grinder, various spices, oven mitts or the NutriBullet (that no one uses) left out on the counter as "clutter."  He is of the mind that he will need it again eventually anyway; so why put it away?  Here's the answer - because it MAKES. ME. CRAZY.

After looking at this mess all day, and because The Husband is gone until tomorrow afternoon, guess what I'm doing tomorrow?

Yep, dealing with his clutter.

And when he comes home, I will show him where his "stuff" belongs and he will agree to keep his "stuff" where it belongs...until, ever so slowly, it will begin to creep back onto the counter.

It's a never ending cycle people.

August 23, 2018

Instant Karma - how sweet it is

We've all heard of karma; but generally we aren't around to witness it, which is SO unsatisfying.  Instant karma; though rare, sometimes happens and when it does, it is VERY satisfying.

One of my biggest pet peeves is people who tailgate...well, it's a toss-up between that and people who don't use their turn signals.  And I don't know about where you live but here we have a flat out epidemic on our hands with tailgaters and non-turn signal users.  It's really crazy and drives me batty.  And no one seems to realize how reckless and dangerous both of these things are; and day by day it seems to be getting worse.

At any rate, on my way home from work this evening, a car being driven by a very road-ragey person raced up behind me and attached themselves practically to my bumper.  Now, I don't know about you but generally I have an urge to S.L.O.W.  D.O.W.N.  even further but, as usual, I resisted that urge because honestly, you have no idea what the road-ragey types are capable of or if they are carrying a gun and are willing to use it - such are the times we currently live.  And really, that is the better strategy and way safer than engaging or even prodding their rage.

As soon as practical, I pulled into the right lane and this person sped on by.  Earlier in my commute, I had noticed an marked police car travelling the same route.  I had no way of knowing if this police car was still on the same road or not.

A couple of minutes later, I saw flashing lights up ahead and I muttered, "Good.  I hope it's road-ragey person!"  And it was!!!

I don't know if they got pulled for tailgating or speeding but either way, I felt vindicated.

Now, the odds of being pulled over rectifying this person's behavior is slim - but still...instant karma.  Can't deny it - I drove by with a huge smile.

August 21, 2018

A Wedding Dilemma...

We have a wedding to attend.  This is momentous only because it coincides with a trip up north to visit my beloved Mother-In-Law.

Let us ponder why is this momentous.  Because I have managed to convince The Husband that BOTH events NEED to happen.  Will it be inconvenient?  Yes.  Will it be expensive?  Yes.  Is The Husband's anxiety ratcheted up beyond his normal levels? Yes. Do both need to happen?  Yes.

We have watched this boy grow up since before kindergarten.  His family considers us family.  The trip up north is important because The Husband's mother isn't getting any younger (thank God, she's in good health, but still...) so it is ALL important.

At any rate, we are going to the wedding.  Usually, I know the etiquette for these types of things...but this one is stumping me.

The (church) ceremony is at 2:00 pm - which denotes a certain type of dress.  The reception isn't until 5:00 pm - which gives a little more leeway regarding the dress.  The Husband, bless him, is stuck in a suit either way.

So what do you think - do I wear one dress for the church and another for the reception?  Or do I need to find that ONE (elusive) particular dress that works for both situations?

August 16, 2018

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett...a book review

Generally, I don't read via Kindle unless I'm caught somewhere where I don't have a book or something else to do.  Not because I'm a Luddite; but more because I prefer the heft of a book in my hand.  And, to be perfectly honest, I haul around enough crap every day that I don't want to add a book to that equation.

Nevertheless, I found myself in that exact situation the other day (i.e., book-less and nothing else to occupy my time), so I utilized my Prime Membership and downloaded this book from Prime Reading.

The synopsis from Amazon:

"In 1992, celebrated novelist Ann Patchett launched her remarkable career with the publication of her debut novel, The Patron Saint of Liars.  On this 25th anniversary, read the best-selling book that is "beautifully written...a first novel that second-and third-time novelists would envy for its grace, insight, and compassion" (Boston Herald).

St. Elizabeth's, a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, usually harbors its residents for only a little while.  Not so Rose Clinton, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, and stays.  She plans to give up her child, thinking she cannot be the mother it needs.  But when Cecilia is born, Rose makes a place for herself and her daughter amid St. Elizabeth's extended family of nuns and an ever-changing collection of pregnant teenage girls.  Rose's past won't be kept away though, even by St. Elizabeth's; she cannot remain untouched by what she has left behind, even as she cannot change who she has become in the leaving."

I can see why this story was a best-selling one (and can't believe I haven't found it before now); as it was very compelling and kept you guessing.  I thorough enjoyed this story though I must say that simultaneously I was and was not surprised by the character, Rose.  Without a doubt, this character is an enigma and by the end of the story you will find that she remains an enigma.  This isn't one of those stories that is formulaic or one, where from the very beginning you know how it will end - all tied up in a neat, little package.

Since this book's debut 25 years ago, this author has gone on to write nine more books (not all novels; from what I can surmise); most of which seem to have achieved the NY Times Best-Seller status.  When I chose this book, I knew the author's name sounded familiar but I couldn't place why it sounded so familiar...until I looked at the author's website...apparently, one of her later novels was on one of Man-Child's summer reading lists in high school.  He enjoyed it well enough (even though it really wasn't his "thing") that he passed it on to me - I only have a vague memory of reading the book and enjoying it (such as it is when one is BOTH aging and a voracious reader - unless I do a review on it, I generally only remember vestiges of the story).

After perusing her website, I feel sure that I could enjoy reading other titles by this author.

August 12, 2018

Scrolling through Twitter yesterday...

...and then this happened.

To which I replied...

And then I said...

To which she replied...

And my final reply...

I am forever grateful that my backyard is secluded so that no one was witness to my VERY sloppy cartwheel...back in the day they were kinda graceful.  And now I can feel it in my right thigh.   But, I CAN still do a cartwheel...but that may have been my last one...

But now I'm wondering if I can still do a roundoff...

Hmmm...better not chance it today.

August 11, 2018

A beach trip mainly summarized by where we ate...

I just searched my archives and yes, apparently it has been THREE years since our last one...that is too long between beach visits, in my opinion.

Man-Child and I decided that we needed some time away, since it's been "a while."  This is a big year as he has secured his position, an apartment that he will move into next month (apparently, I didn't post about that - so yes, he and a buddy are moving into an apartment next month - the first real step out of the nest).

Usually, when we head to the beach we go to Myrtle Beach, SC - mainly because when he was smaller he just wanted to see and do all the things and not just spend a day at the beach.  This time, he declared that we needed to go somewhere new.  I decided upon Wrightsville Beach, NC for two reasons.  One friend regularly goes there and recommended a hotel/motel and because another friend's father lives there - so she was able to give me two pages of restaurant long time readers might remember...Man-Child likes to eat on the regular.

The hotel/motel (truly more of a motel) was nice.  While it is an old building they have kept up with the renovations AND every single unit is an ocean front suite, which is key (in my opinion) for visiting the beach.  I have no desire to stay in a place that requires me to hire a pack mule to carry all the necessities down three blocks to the beach.  Nor do I want to try to navigate public parking at the beach - that is just a recipe for tears.

Now I will say, Wrightsville Beach does not seem to have all the distractions of Myrtle Beach.  I could have happily sat on the beach all the live long day.  Man-Child?  Still gets antsy after about  two hours - that coupled with his need to eat ALL THE DAMN TIME - meant that our actual time on the beach was limited.  But, this was fine, since I was able to spend ample time on the balcony looking at and listening to the surf all without getting too much sun - which we can all agree is a good thing.

Technically, we were there for four days and three nights.  We arrived mid-afternoon last Sunday - and though we couldn't officially "check in" until 4:00 pm they graciously considered us "registered" so that we could park and spend a few hours on the beach before check in.  This may have been the most time that was actually spent "on the beach."

After officially checking in we discovered that my request for two queens meant that one of us (me) got a king size bed in the bedroom while the other was expected to sleep on a queen size pullout in the living room/kitchen area that lead to the balcony.  In light of the fact that one of us (me) gets up much earlier than the other, I offered to sleep in the living room/kitchen area - it was vehemently declined...apparently, chivalry is still a thing.

Also, he claims that the pull out was not uncomfortable and it should be noted that his ability to go back to sleep after I tripped over his shoes in the room and I started the coffee maker is uncanny.

After checking in, we cleaned up and headed out to purchase our "supplies" (which may or may not have included the purchase of a wine bottle opener since "someone" forgot she'd already packed one).  It should be noted here, that this was a totally unnecessary step since there were no beach "days" in our future.  No, our beach time was counted in hours...i.e., an hour here and an hour there - not that I'm complaining.  The balcony, remember?  It counted.  And I had many, many hours on that balcony.

And after purchasing said useless supplies, we looked for a place to have dinner.  And, coincidentally, found ourselves at one of my friends recommended places (we didn't know this until later; as we had left her list at the motel); a local hamburger joint where enjoyed, of all things, some petty good hamburgers FYI, I am making note of all the places to eat because Man-Child complained that we NEVER remember the places we loved) before heading back to the motel for the evening.

Rather than recount every single day without further ado these are the restaurants that we visited and LOVED - in the event you find yourself at Wrightsville you will probably not be sorry if you dine at these fine establishments.

  • PT's Old Fashioned Grille - a local hamburger joint (I believe they also served hot dogs and some sandwiches), very tasty.
  • Causeway Cafe - We actually ate here twice - once for breakfast and once for lunch.  For breakfast I had the Crab Benedict - utterly delicious!  One word of caution; they ONLY take cash.
  • Bluewater Waterfront Grill - this place was our very favorite!  A bit expensive but worth every penny.
  • Oceanic Restaurant - this place was tasty and expensive but I preferred the Bluewater.  With this restaurant you can eat on the pier.  If you opt to do that, try to get seated in the portion of the pier that has a roof.  Why?  Seagulls.  We had seagulls hovering over our heads the whole time.
  • King Neptune Restaurant - Based on the meal I ordered but didn't eat, I wouldn't recommend it BUT Man-Child's meal looked and tasted (he claimed) delicious - so I would try it again but just stay away from the biscuits and me.
  • Paddy's Hollow - it should be noted that this in not in Wrightsville but in Wilmington about 10-15 minutes away.  It is located at The Cotton Exchange, which is chock full of cute shops and some restaurants.
While we were in Wilmington we decided to do an Escape Room.  Have you heard of these?  It was SO much fun!  I would recommend it.  I think it would be even more fun if there was a group of us.  The coordinator claimed that we escaped with three seconds to spare - I have a feeling she fudged the time, but we decided that we would claim that three second victory.

My friend whose dad lives in Wrightsville said that we should try paddleboarding.  I was not keen on this as I can't really swim and I don't like water in my face (should I fall off).  Man-Child was so eager to try it that I eventually gave in...which turned out was a bad idea on my part.  Even though we were paddling in the Intercoastal Waterway and NOT the ocean - it had never occurred to me that there would still be a current that I had to battle against and boat wakes.  Needless to say, I quickly gave up and headed back to shore where I kind of had to be rescued because I just couldn't make it all the way to the shore.  Needless to say, I was quite shaken but kind of proud of myself for having at least tried.  Man-Child, on the other hand, had a grand old time...but then again, he can swim.  And he has arm muscles...whereas I have noodles for muscles.  Would I try it again?  Maybe.  If we were on a lake and I could just paddle in the shallow area.

As usual, just a couple of days away worked out perfectly for us.  The traffic is crazy - which meant that I was always driving past our destination and having to turn around.  By Tuesday, every time I had to turn around I would hear a heavy sigh from the passenger seat.

All in all it was a successful trip.  And I had the foresight to take Thursday and Friday off as well.  I needed this time more than I realized.  I haven't had any significant time off since Christmas and I truly needed some downtime.  Plus, with all the upcoming changes (i.e., Empty Nest), we needed this time to connect.

I think I'm ready for, I'm really not...just trying to talk myself into it!