26 February 2009

Snow Day Brownies


I have an unexpected snow day today so I'm feeling lazy. I just made brownies, as I've meant to do for weeks now. Why is it I always think of making them at 9:30 pm, when it's time to begin thinking about bed and not brownies?

Anyway, I just finished my in-laws taxes so I figured brownies are the perfect treat after such toil.

And I'm missing my BFF K today. She lives too far away! *pout*
I think I'm feeling ennui because I was digging through pictures the other day and found some of her back-in-the-day.

I wish I could walk over to her house, flop on the couch and be consequently covered in children, and eat brownies together while discussing our long time boyfriend John Cusack. *wistful sigh*

So instead, I am making brownies in her honor and posting an old post about brownies.

The Brownie Story


So, I've had a craving for brownies for a few days...nope, not pregnant or doobie smoking...just one of those funky "Hey, that sounds really good" kind of things.

I mention this to my friend today while we were shopping, who says-with a slight eye-roll - "Why don't you just make some?" gesturing to the baking aisle. Then she catches herself and says "Wait, what am I thinking? Look who I am talking too. You do not cook!"

And on we go with our shopping.

Last stop on the way home was Freddy's to pick up stuff for my husband's dinner. (It's called car crash...if you don't know, be glad) so I decided what the hell, I'll make some brownies. The oven will already be on! It's destined to be!

I chose the mix wisely: which one has the least ingredients required.

I actually had to buy oil as the only oil we have is for something with four-wheels & an engine.

Off I go home.

I make dinner...ugh, the things we do for our husbands. Good thing he's cute.

Then I begin to really read the directions for the brownies.

Oh, it needs a cake pan. Hmmm...cake pan, cake pan, cake pan...OH, that's right, I used it as a paint pan when my friend & I painted the kitchen floor blue. Uno smallo problemo.

I called my sister-in-law who thankfully lives next door. Of course she, being Suzy Homemaker, has all kinds of cake pans.

I walked over to her house and she has two pans and asks which one I need...Like I'm going to know. So, I took two home.

And use the tape measure to see which one I need. (9x9 by the way)

I mix everything up, no harm, no foul. Read the directions again...
"Grease the pan" Really bad words here.

Okay, improvise...fake margarine stuff that resembles butter. Close enough.

Put it in the pan...put it in the oven. (you know the one that flew out of my truck on the freeway - another story)

Set the timer and TA DAH! Brownies in 34 minutes according to the directions.

One minute left, we're eating dinner. (if you can call dinner "dinner") and my husband says - because he's met me - "Are you burning the brownies?"

Nope, one minute left! But I check anyway, also having met me.

A little overdone but no big deal. How can that happen when one meticulously-ish follows directions? *giggle*

Then dinner's done, and the telephone rings and the dishes need to be done and the brownies need to cool for a half-hour. (what a stupid rule)

Now it's 9:30 p.m., I'm exhausted and going to bed...without my damn brownies.

Guess what I'm having for BREAKFAST!?!?!?

24 February 2009

Random Item of the Day


This funky little item is probably older than I am. I know, it hardly seems possible.

It's a notepad holder. They used to make - perhaps they still do - little "Just the Facts, Ma'am" notepads that slid right into them. My mom used them for grocery lists, "Be home soon" notes, etc.

Now in modern times, Post-it's fit perfectly! This used to sit right next to the telephone but now we no longer have a landline. So it's slowly becoming dead technology.

My mom used to have one of these but I don't know what ever happened to it. This one I inherited from my great aunt's house. She had a few of them and now I wish I'd kept all of them. Somewhere in this house, there is a little pen that attached to the side.

So, if you see one of these, now you'll know what they are and how you can use them!!

23 February 2009

If I Could Turn Back Time























BFF C and I have been enjoying a time travel theme lately. It started with books and now it's branched out to television. On SOAPnet, there is a new drama called Being Erica.

Erica is in her 30's and her life sucks. She feels it all started to go downhill in high school. So her "therapist" sends her back to fix what she thinks went wrong. Of course, she fixes it just to have something else go wrong.

The theme of the books I've recently read are similar. The characters gets a chance to revisit her past, all with varying results.

Now with all the 25 Random Things About Me, "Firsts" and other getting-to-know/remembering-you pass-alongs, I've been asked numerous times in the past month if I would go back to high school again.


Okay, so this is what I have been thinking: Yes, I would go back to high school. A) I had a good time, when I was actually there. and b) I would make changes starting at oh, seventeen.

I've mentioned before that I would let some friendships go and work harder on others. It would be nice to have friends who kept in touch. I think I would kick two friends to the curb, knowing what I know now. The friendships, while fun and important, were unhealthy in the long run. Also, I think I would pay more attention to others. I had broad scope of people I knew and a few close friends. I think a better balance could have been made.


I think I would try harder in school or perhaps even have switched schools. I was such a ridiculous underachiever in high school. In fact, during my senior year I visited a neighboring high school and loved it. The classes were better, there were no preconceived notions of me so the kids seemed nicer. I went to an English Comp/Lit class regularly there even though I wasn't an enrolled student.

However, I would have fear of altering anything in the past that would affect the future. I think I would be frantic to not change anything while I was in the past.

But I am fascinated to hear stories about that time period, to browse through my high school yearbooks & pictures. I have forgotten many things and I think it would be fun, not necessarily to re-experience them but to be in the midst of the excitement of being a teen again.



I have friends who loved high school and I have friends who hated high school. It's amazing to me how so many humans can be put into the same building, with the same people and the essentially same experiences (perhaps milestones might be a better word) and yet come out so incredibly different.

C will describe something to me sometimes and I am astonished. How she perceived the situation was completely different than I had. Often, neither of us are "right" or "wrong." Well, that's not true: sometimes I was definitely in the wrong. It's all a matter of perception. So, I think it would be interesting to see high school through a different filter.

Just seeing high school through an adult filter via the 10th & 20th reunions was an experience. It certainly changed my perspective about myself, my friends, and how we all related. Certainly, there were still cliques and old behaviors but for the most part, we were all clinging to a metaphorical life raft, having all experienced high school together.

I think it's doubly important for someone who didn't have a good high school experience (ahem, C?) to go to reunion. I think it would be tremendously difficult to do but I think the benefit of a new perspective would outweigh any negative.

I find myself much like I was in high school. Blogging has become homework. As I write this, I have my feet on the desk, the CD player playing & the television on in the background. I have chores to do and I'm ignoring them. I still wear Levis & sneakers. As much as some things change, others never do. I guess that I could be considered lucky that I'm still similar to the kid I was then.

It is an interesting thing to think about, really. Would you go back to high school? What would you do differently?

This will only make sense to Bea

With apologies to Wendy...see? Pantene isn't so bad? (:-D

Father of the Bride

They say that women often marry men like her father. To this I react with a psychological tic.

I was not blessed with a normal father. I really had to measure my descriptive word of my father in that sentence as he is difficult to define. I've described him before as a non-communicative Archie Bunker, without the end-of-episode "he really does have a heart" moments.

My dad wasn't meant to have kids. My mom even said once during my childhood to not feel bad: "Your dad just doesn't really like little kids."
I. am. so. not. kidding.

So when I read articles citing statistics about how fathers-in-law and husbands are often quite similar, I want to toss the magazine across the room with disgust. Then I have to remind myself that I'm seeing it through my own filter and it's not fair to generalize my personal experience to everyone else.

But I believe that statistics like that really must have some bearing in truth (duh) so I thought about it further, squelching the inner screaming of "I did not marry my dad!!!"

While, in fact, I did. The first time. Michael was quite a lot like my dad. Distant, non-communicative, a drinker. (a trifecta!) It was no wonder that the marriage didn't last. It was no wonder that I jumped into marriage at 19 years old. It felt comfortable, normal.

And, in a random sidebar: my mother married when she was 16 to a guy who was 18, a serviceman. I have no idea how it happened, how long it lasted, or how it ended. I didn't find out about it until, literally, weeks before my first wedding. I know! Very Erica Kane! But unlike my mother, when I married again, I made a much different choice in a man. Thus, hopefully, breaking a pattern in history.

Meanwhile, where does Kevin fit into this scenario? I was baffled. I couldn't figure it out. Finally in a middle of the day, random, epiphany it came to me: Kevin was the father figure I had as a teen. My then BF's father. He was loud, opinionated, funny, honest and stern. Kevin!

I felt such relief, figuring that out. It's just a silly statistic, I realize but it was like solving a riddle. I was so determined to prove that I hadn't recreated history.

I've said this before and I'll say again, many times: family is who you choose them to be. They don't have to be related by blood. Family is not only who you were born to but who helped you to become who you are.

I didn't marry my dad. Yet I did: the dad I chose. Thanks Jeff.

20 February 2009

Glue


This was a flair from Facebook during the week of Valentines Day. In the spirit of the six word love stories, I felt this summed up my life.

Blogher asked everyone to write a "Letter to my Heart" post. I seriously considered it but didn't follow through. Big surprise. But I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea.

Then this flair popped up and I thought: "That's it. That's exactly how I would write that letter.

First marriage ended badly...pass me the glue.
Serious relationship didn't survive...just pass me the glue again.
Lost friends to time or circumstance...just pass me the glue again.
Loved ones die unexpectedly...just pass me the glue again.
Family, children & spouses unintentionally break our hearts often...just pass me the glue again.

To paraphrase a quote from the movie Almost Famous: "We are intrepid" especially in matters of the heart. No matter what, we pick ourselves up again and again. Brush ourselves off. We love again. No matter what happens, who leaves, or who hurts; we remain faithful, fearless, determined that we will love. Again. Still. Forever.

Crimes Against Humanity

The other day I mentioned playing with clothes at work and the endless entertainment it provides.

This week, we hit the mother lode of all donations. You won't even believe it if I tell you so here are the pictures. I can't believe someone actually purchased this stuff AND wore it.

Prepare yourself, send the children away, this is graphic:

I can't even describe the fabric. It's not satin, it's not vinyl but a strange mixture of both.


This one took forever to upload. Is it so bad that it made the internet sick?


This has a strange scaly feel to it. Obviously the previous owner lost the silver glove accessory that went with it.

And last but not least: from the David Bowie collection.

I apologize for any trauma this may have caused you. I felt it important to share the above so that these crimes may never be permitted to happen again.

19 February 2009

The Plant Died

The other day, I was thinking to myself that right now was one of those moments in life when everything is good. Everything is going well. Everyone is as healthy as they're going to be. The sun has been shining more, as we get closer to spring. We have fun things to look forward to in 2009. Life is good.

So, I'm happily puttering around the house and I notice that one of my Christmas cactus had finally given up. It had been in a coma for awhile and it finally just went toward the light.

As I was cleaning up the pot and subsequently repotting another plant, it occurred to me where the dead plant came from. It was from my old job at the school. One of the many program directors gave it to me for Christmas years ago.

While repotting, I realized that I'm so over losing that job now.

I've realized that it wasn't the loss of the job that made me upset at the time. In retrospect, I was really, really resenting the job. Frankly, I should have bailed out at least a year prior.
At the time, I think I was more angry with myself for not doing something about it sooner. I was more upset about it going down the way it did than the actual loss.

Now, three years later, I've got a pretty good job. It's nearly exactly what I wished for. I am now one of those cliches: Things always work out for the better.

Oh, here is the reason I had the plant in the first place. Just in case you think "Wow, that *firegirl* is really enlightened:

When I packed up my office, my BFF D was on the phone with me the entire time. Now that's a BFF, hanging out on the phone for about an hour on a Saturday to listen to me pack & bitch.

I was nearly finished when I noticed the plants I'd brought over the years to spiff the place up.
In a little burst of spite, I took those home too; leaving the office barren and with little stains on the counters where the plants used to live.

They're just lucky I didn't take the fish home a la Jerry Maguire.

Anyway, I've realized that I've moved on. All is well. And as if I needed cosmic confirmation: the plant died. Moving on...

18 February 2009

If I had a million dollars...

Well, not a million but I do have $50. Yesterday I received my rebate from Verizon in the form of a $50 Visa card.

It's been burning a hole in my psyche ever since...

What. To. Do?

Cash it out and put it in savings?
Go to E*Trade and buy stock?
Pay a bill?
Give it to Kevin as a surprise?
Pay it forward?
Regift it?
Use it for one week of weekly expenses? (mochas, gas, mochas)
Blow it on Amazon, Target, Value Village, etc?

I went to the book store tonight to exchange two books because I am a *GENIUS* and ordered two books I already had. I was very pleased that I didn't come out with a wagon full of books. However, I can only plead so much maturity level, as I remembered that I had the card as I was walking out of the store. And trust me, it was like an alcoholic walking by a bar. Whew!

So, I ask again: What to do?

What would you do with a surplus-ish $50?

16 February 2009

Happy Presidents Day!

As BFF D posted on Facebook, we are actually celebrating Presidents Day today for the first time in a long, long while.

Lincoln has always been my favorite president. I wrote a paper about him in the sixth grade and I've been a devoted follower ever since. With that, I've found many quotes from him that I adore:



Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.


~~~~~~~~~~~~


I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
~~~~~~~~~~~~


My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~



The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.

~~~~~~~~~~~~




With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.





I couldn't find quotes that rang as true from George Washington, though I am sure there are many....


We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.
~~~~~~~~~~~~



And then, there is our newest Superhero:

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
~~~~~~~~~~~~



It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~



Hope – Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.
~~~~~~~~~~~~


The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them.
President Barack Obama

15 February 2009

About Last Night

We went to a Valentine's Day party last night. I haven't been to a Valentines Day party since I was in grade school. My BFF D put it all together and it was one of the best times we've had in a long time.

Of course, the b & s-i-l went, as did my nephew and his new girlfriend. Of course we all traveled together...because nothing says romance more than traveling in a van with your family. *ANYWAY*

D is married to Kevin's BFF W and they live near the Canadian border so we don't see them as often as we'd like. D invited her BFF from high school & her husband. Kevin and L have only met once before, at D &W's wedding, and they are like bickering siblings. I don't know what happens between the two of them but it's So ON when they're together. In a good, funny, sassy way.

They also invited one of Kevin's oldest & dearest friends and his wife. His wife is the one that made the snarky comment a few months ago about "Oh, you even vaccumed!" We try to avoid her at all costs possible. She is one of those "Enough about you, let's talk about Me some more" people. And it's never positive. Ever.

Unplanned, avoiding her became a party game. We started in the kitchen, she joined us, we moved to the living room. Some of went into the dining room, she followed and we returned to the living room. I don't know how she did not notice that the group shifted en masse upon her entering the room.

At one point, she began talking about horses. One of her favorite topics. There is not one single horse person in the room so you could see all of our eyes begin to glaze over.

She mentioned something about taking horses across the border and how strict they are but she can still essentially smuggle things across. At this point, D says "Um, that's my job...to help people bring stuff legally across the border."

Bouncing off her like she was surrounded by a shield, the wife says something along the lines of "Oh? You could help me get things across?"
D's eyes bugged out of her head. "No, I help prevent people like you from doing that." The wife starts to say "I know..." when D interrupts her and gestures to L who works for the POLICE DEPARTMENT OF THE TOWN DIRECTLY ON THE BORDER and says "And she is a police officer..."

At that point, she kind of got it but I still think she thought they were kidding. We were all laughing incredulously. And I have no doubt that L probably stored her information in her memory for future use.

Well, later on, poor Kevin kept getting stuck with her. The unofficial party game ramped up, with new rules.

Toward the end of the evening, she sat near him and began blathering on, and on, and on. Kevin was seated on a chair to my right. She was on his left and I was sitting on the couch with D. Finally, I stage whispered to D "Save Kevin."

She thought for a minute and finally began to tease him about not eating her dessert. (a running joke all evening) This gave him a momentary relapse until she literally began talking over everyone. L jumped in, teasing him mercilessly to no avail. There was simply no shutting up the wife.

A few minutes later, I noticed that W was in the dining room, snacking & taking pictures. I walked over and said "SAVE KEVIN. If you love him at all, you will create some sort of distraction." W sighed heavily. "I couldn't take it. I had to walk away. I can't help him."

So, I returned to the couch but not before making some inane comment to Kevin, trying to break the stream of nonsense that the wife was spewing. D and I are doing the shorthand thing: silently signally "WTF! what can we do?"

Finally from across the room, my nephew, God bless that boy, said very loudly "So! Racing is on tomorrow, right?" knowing that six out of the twelve people would have something to say about this. For about ten minutes that rescued Kevin until mercifully, her husband decided it was time to go.

As the door shut behind them, I think the entire house breathed a sigh of relief.

12 February 2009

This Will Break Your Heart


"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.


Go to their website to learn more & sign the petition...

11 February 2009

Blog Fun!

Today on The Bloggess, she mentioned Wordle which scans your blog and makes a collage of your blog using random words. Totally fun!

This is the first version:

I find it very funny that "Chicken" is prominently profiled.















Another fun thing is that you can alter it. The above is the first version and I liked the colors so I left them. But I did take out the word "chicken" and this is what happened:





So, take a minute out of your busy day and go play on Wordle!

10 February 2009

Today's Adventure

is getting my ass kicked by chicken. No, not live chicken. Dead chicken. Chicken breast, specifically. In frozen form, nonetheless.

I've really been making an attempt to cook & eat like a grown-up. While I've not been entirely successful but that's not my point....well, actually, it is.

I have forgotten two days running to take the frozen chicken breast out of the freezer. Last night, being Monday, I just moved on and made a easy (a.k.a processed) dinner. It was Monday, after all. No one cooks on a Monday.

Tonight, I arrived home with the best of intentions. Then I realized I forgot to take the chicken out again. I happened to be on the telephone with my mom at this point so I mentioned this to her. She suggested defrosting it in the microwave. I demurred because it's chicken and I'd really rather not have food poisoning.

And boy, was she excited that her DAUGHTER was COOKING and, she got to offer advice. I think she's going to go a few days on that.

But I persevered. I tried to defrost it, slowly, in warm water with the intention of over-cooking it so that I didn't poison us. (Kevin likes it dry anyway. Lucky me)

AND THEN...Kevin comes home early because he's tired and had a rough day. Well. sh*t.

Again, I kept going. This is where I made my first mistake.

Oh, wait. I forgot a part:
Kevin took mail over to his parents and when he came back, he said wistfully "Mom's making fried egg sandwiches and they sounded SO GOOD but I know you won't make them for me."
I replied "No, because they're FRIED and I don't fry and No, because I have no eggs." Well done me, I forgot to put them on the shopping list and thusly, ended any further debate.

Meanwhile, the breasts are softening up and I'm thinking "Okay, if I can break them apart, I will attempt to defrost them in the microwave."

Um. Yeah. No.

They won't come apart.

Oh wait, one more time: these are from a large pack that I bought. I made baked chicken breast last week & oh so smartly & efficiently wrapped them up and froze them for later. Not so smartly, however, wrapped them together so now we're having the above mentioned issue of two chicken breasts frozen together.

I tried and I tried. I even grabbed a knife...have I mentioned that I'm scared of knives?...but I realized that frozen & slippery meat vs. me with a sharp object was simply not going to end well.

Kevin, in a chivalrous gesture, half-heartedly offered to help me. Then he realized what he offered and just as quickly rescinded his offer. "That's gross, I'm never touching you again" was a direct quote.

*Fine* she says with waning patience...I will defrost them in the microwave.

I set them on the convenient "Defrost Chicken" preset button and for the thirty second increment. This is overly cautious, I believe, but who knows?

Well, Kevin actually winced at the popping noise they made. I assumed...never a good idea...that it was water/ice bubbles popping. Um. No. The microwave was cooking them! What part of DEFROST CHICKEN does the microwave not understand???? It has a very specifically labeled button JUST FOR THAT PURPOSE for God's sake.

Again, I persevere. I will not be defeated by chicken.

I abandon the defrost button and reset the microwave to cook at 50%, as this will usually defrost hamburger quite nicely.

Apparently, chicken is finicky. It cooked MORE. And it is still frozen in the middle.

SIGH................................................

Kevin is trying not to laugh and is trying to hide his surprise that I am even attempting this culinary feat at this point.

Finally, I just give up. I couldn't foresee a cooked on the outside, frozen on the inside chicken turning out in any way good.

Kevin called his mom and in attempt to save my dwindling dignity began to ask his mom if he could have dinner at their house. I saved him by shouting, and I quote:
"*FIREGIRL* Got Her Ass Kicked By Chicken and Kevin needs
to eat at your house."


To their credit, they both tried not to laugh too hard.

I think I'm having cereal for dinner. As God clearly intended.

Freakin' Chicken. Stupid Microwave.

Morning Routine

I begin each morning visiting my friends. I have a routine that I follow and the day just doesn't seem started properly until I have touched base with everyone. How could I possibly I do this? you ask.

Why with the magic of the internet, of course.

Some of my friends are flesh & blood friends that I've actually met, some are people whom I've regularly "talked" with over the internet, and some are blogger friends that I just stop by for a quick visit each day.

First stop is my BFF K. I check her blog & Twitter each morning without fail. Even though she lives so very far away, it feels like I talk to her every day. We've both noticed that with blogs, Twitter, & Facebook, we have forgotten to regularly email each other.

Second stop: Facebook. This lets me check in with friends from school, work, K, and family. I love getting info in little soundbites. Also, it has more of a passing notes, taping pictures on your locker door, wearing pins on your jacket kind of feel. It reminds me of being in high school, but in a good way.

Of course, there is my email too. But that's kind of feeling old school now. (:-D Not that I am not excited when I see email from friends!!

Then I wander aimlessly around my friends and stranger-friends blogs. As I read, I feel like I'm beginning to know them as friends. In fact, I've become blogger friends with a few pretty awesome people because of this.

I am amazed at how small the world has become with the internet. I am amazed that it is now possible to post a third grade class picture and chat with people actually in the picture. I can keep in contact with my high school BFF who lives in Germany and my current BFF who lives in New Hampshire. Then there's the lovely Dynamita, my furthest away blogger-friend. It feels as if they're just next door.

"It's a small world after all..."

09 February 2009

Clothes Horse

I have never been a girly-girl. This we know. But today I had a startling revelation...I think I've become one somewhere along the way. Who knew!?!


The YW has a program where women in the community can get free clothing. I, being an employee, can also get free clothing at will. And I have! I've found that I look forward to digging through the bags of donations that we receive daily. I've also found some great clothes and shoes too! My outfit that I wore today? Totally from the "boutique".


Also, I find intriguing, I am beginning to choose clothing that I would normally never wear. Fun stuff like, oh, color! (for those of you not in the know, I am Wednesday Adams...black is my favorite clothing color) This change, I suppose, is due to access to the clothing and that my co-workers will often pick something out for me. As they've little preconception of me, they will often grab something that I would never wear. Sometimes I'll try it and others, I decline immediately. I draw the line at dresses or Anything floral.


I have been a consultant in the boutique when the regular consultant couldn't make it. Consultants help women choose clothing that is appropriate for the workplace (or whatever setting that they are needing clothing) and making sure that they get everything that they need. So here I am: Susie Clothing Consultant. I would have never, ever, believed it if a fortune teller told me this is what I'd be interested in during my adult life.


However, if I reflect upon my childhood, I guess I could predict this at some point in my life. My favorite part of getting new school clothes was not the clothes themselves but the MATCHING of said clothes. My mom, ever the diligent budget shopper, always made sure that all the pieces of my wardrobe went together. (early training, perhaps)


And, I grew up in the day of Garanimals. Do you know Garanimals? Oh My God, it's the best thing EVER. You match the clothing tags and it gives you a variety of outfits. Match the Monkey tags and you'll have three coordinating shirts and pants! LOVE IT! I wish they did it for adults.

Surely, as I've posted pictures here randomly, there have been some "Oh. My. God. That's Simply AWFUL Why Did They Make That AND someone bought it?!?!?" items that have come in. It's amazing that someone chose some of this clothing. But then, perhaps they didn't and that's why we have it. (just another service the YW provides: hiding the hideous clothes that you're given :-)

When next you're cleaning closets, think about donating them to your local YW or shelter. Not only will you provide someone with much needed clothes, you will also provide someone with an endless source of entertainment.


06 February 2009

It's a Ghost! Scooby Doo

Okay, I know this house is new. No one has lived in it but us. But I think it's become haunted.

Suddenly, doors will not shut but move. I heard running water the other day and I was the only one home AND I wasn't using water.

Kevin mentioned the other day that something keeps catching his eye in the living room. And he's noticed the doors too.

What.

The.

Hell.

Now, it's not like it's the Exorcist. It's not like we don't know people who have died. Unfortunately for us, some of them were mischievous. So, I'm saying it now:

Uncle Don & Aunt Susie, Knock it off!!!

Actually, I do believe in ghosts. Call me crazy but I do. In fact, an encounter I had was in the Moody House - my in-laws house in which they lived with the aforementioned Don & Susie. (split-level house)

We were remodeling downstairs, where they used to live and I was alone. I was putting in new lightbulbs after painting. It turns out I wasn't tall enough to reach one light so I set down the lightbulb on brand new, thick, carpet to go get the ladder. I ran upstairs, got the ladder and came back down. No lightbulb. None. WTF.

I looked around and around and finally I found it on the bathroom floor, which was around the corner. It would have had to make a 90 degree turn. Nice. I actually said aloud: "Very Funny, you guys".

So, see? I wouldn't be surprised if they were just bored and decided to come "visit".

Malibu Barbie Dream House

This is an old post that I never posted...this happened in 2005...

When we bought this property, it had an older mobile home on it. The wiring & plumbing had been redone and the rest of the house was solid. We tore out the carpet, painted, and did everything we could to rid it of the mobile home feel. My friends often described our house as cozy. It had kind of a cabin feel to it, rather than a camper.

Because we chose to have a racecar, we lived in our house well beyond the use-by date. It was getting to be a panic situation when out of the clear blue sky, my dad offered to buy us a new house. As with everything in my life, this is a longer story than I'm willing to tell. So, I am focusing on that one fact.

We decided that we would put a new manufactured/modular home on the property versus building as we had nowhere to stay while the building occurred. This meant that we stayed in Kevin's shop for seven weeks. Seven weeks to. the. day. I wish I had a blog back then because WHEW would I have an endless source of topics.

Kevin put the racecar in storage and laid carpet from the old house on the concrete floor. We moved in our bed, our recliners, our television, one dresser and the microwave. See something missing from that list? Running water. Not to be defeated, Kevin backed our camper up to the shop and that provided us with a kitchenette and a "bathroom". Bathroom is in quotes because it had a camper toilet and a sink. No shower, we showered at the neighbors every single day for seven weeks. Yeah, that was fun.


It was actually quite cozy. It was during the summer so we were warm and we were working outside until late anyway. This is what "home" was for seven weeks:

.


In order to put the new house in, the old house needed to be torn down. We tried everything we could to give it away but regulations kept us from doing so. This was the hardest part for me. We took the day off work, I loaded my camera with film and we all gathered around.

Without warning because he knew I was having a difficult time, Danny - the BEST contractor ever - began tearing the house down. It was gone in thirty minutes. 10 years of memories were nothing but a pile of broken wood & steel.

Kevin came over about half-way through the process to see if I was okay. Without even looking up, I just said "Shut Up." He smiled and walked away.




As soon as the house was finished, we were moving stuff in. The permitting process wasn't complete so we kept the curtains closed during the day. The first night, we didn't have power. We hooked up the generator to have lights, television, etc. We were not going to live in that shop for one more day further than we had to.

Kevin is a great interior designer. He decided during all of our moves where our furniture should go. I didn't even pay attention when they brought the furniture in. However, we did discover, upon moving in that we needed a loveseat and not a couch. We gave the couch away to my in-laws and my nephew said he had one in storage. It was only a few miles away so he & Kevin went to get it.

Now I will remember this FOREVER. I was standing there with Bruce, my father-figure, waiting for the boys to return. The grass wasn't installed yet (we put turf in the front yard later) so we watched the boys drive by the living room windows with the loveseat. Bruce looked and said "What. in. the. hell. was. that?" *That* was a crime against humanity and interior decorators everywhere. It looked like it had been stolen from the Miami Vice set.



The cover you see was one that I found the very next day at Value Village. It was too big but I just didn't care. I wasn't going to tolerate that hideousness for one moment longer than necessary. Now we have a very nice loveseat that I can use as a couch because I am not so much tall.

Now, the house is "done"...as houses are never truly done. Looking at it now, the seven weeks doesn't seem like a very long time. But it was. (:-D Now we've been here four years and sometimes it still catches me off guard. Sometimes I still wake up expecting to be in the new house or go to flip a light switch in a room in the old house.

I wouldn't trade any part of the adventure for anything. Look at the end result:


04 February 2009

With this ring...

For my Very Big Birthday, my BFF D gave me a ring. It's silver with my birthstone (blue topaz) with diamonds on each side. It is engraved with our motto, or catchphrase if you will, GYKILY. This stands for "Gurl, Yew Know I LUV Yew" (spelled phonetically so you get the full impression of the pronunciation :-)

Mostly the jewelry I wear is what Kevin has given me over the years. One of his first gifts to me was a gold cross that I never take off. One of his last (as in most recent...) gifts is diamond stud earrings. He's got pretty good taste in gifts, that boy does. He even double-checked with D before buying the earrings. I think I might keep him!

On my left hand, of course, I wear my wedding rings. There is a simple gold band and my engagement ring, which is two intertwined gold bands in a marquis setting. As Kevin can't wear his wedding ring anymore, I wear it. With the marquis setting, it stays on even though it's too big. I like the weight of the rings and the continuity of wearing the engagement ring and both wedding bands.

On my right hand, I wear a sapphire ring that Kevin also gave me. It is paired with a ring I had when I met him. I've tucked D's ring behind those two rings.

I also have a Black Hills Gold ring that my mother-in-law gave me years ago. I think I've told the story before...it was too big but I attempted to wear it anyway and I lost it. It was lost for well over a year, if not two years. The day before the old house was due to be torn down, the ring suddenly reappeared. Right in the middle of the kitchen floor. As my m-i-l said, "someone wanted you to find that ring".

I love my rings. I love that each one was given to me by the most special people in my life. I like that each one tells a story and each one matches without it being planned. They're a reminder of how life goes on and the people who have been an important part of it.

With this ring...The circle is the symbol of the sun and the earth and the universe. It is a symbol of holiness and of perfection and of peace. This ring is a symbol of unity, in which your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.

Update!!

I realized this afternoon that there were still a few untied loose ends out there in blog world so I will do a quick update...

The Mom Thing....she's home again. She got home in time to watch the Super Bowl.

She mentioned that the nurses nor doctors were impressed with Dad going to play pinochle. I replied that "It was an interesting choice that most people wouldn't have made..." and she said:
"It's better than having him here, bugging everyone and telling all of his horror stories. It's MY Turn." Um, okay, WOW. So, it turns out that Mom was enjoying her little respite in the hospital!


The Dad Thing...
As previously mentioned, he still has cancer. He's in between chemo rounds right now and it looks as if they're just doing it to keep it at bay. For those of you wondering, he has tumors on his liver and spots on his lungs. He's made it further than any of us would have predicted.


Food Thing:
When I had to change all of the email subscriptions I have accumulated, I signed up for a two more...both of which are recipe/cooky kind of things. Strangely, two recipes for chicken breast popped up in my email yesterday that I might try. Who knew!?!?! (:-D
Also, Kevin is still eating a good breakfast every morning so that's all good.


DISH Networks feud vs. KOMO TV...
Right before my birthday, in December, DISH stopped transmitting the ABC affiliate and hasn't made any motion toward resolving the problem and refuses to allow us the Denver affiliate. So I signed up for DIRECT TV, which is here right the very second. Now, I can get caught up on LOST, Brothers & Sisters, Private Practice, etc. etc. And watch my fave local news as the other three channels, frankly, just aren't that good.
Oh, and continuing with the joining the current century, we now have a DVR so I can stop worrying about VHS tapes.


Shooting in Alger
The shooter Isaac Zamora was involuntarily commited to the state mental health hospital for evaluation. He has refused any sort of help and appears to be irretrievably mentally ill. He said he killed the six people for God. There was a small kerfuffle about how long to keep the memorials up...some people thought forever to that we would never forget and some people thought temporarily so that everyone could heal.
The memorials came down, eventually.



Getting Pulled Over Thing...this is the best one & what made me think of an update:
The head of the Public Works suddenly resigned with no warning, citing personal reasons. It looks like that was who pulled me over. From the description I got from his STAFF. (I could be a private detective, really) I haven't heard from the Sheriff's department but everything matches up a little too coincidentally. So, that's a good thing. I can relax now.


So there! Everything tidied up in a neat little package! Whew!

03 February 2009

Fourth Picture

Bea tagged me for a Picture Blog post. This is perfect timing as my brain is mush this morning (no mocha as I'm waiting for DIRECT TV *pout*) and I was reading my blogger friends & trying to think of something to post.

Okay, here's how it works:

1. Go to the the 4th folder where you keep your pictures on your computer.

2. Post the 4th picture in the folder.

3. Explain the photo.

4. Tag 4 fellow bloggers to join in the fun!

Unfortunately for you, the picture is lame & I'm not sure why I kept it. This just means that I have to use the creative part of my semi-conscious brain to make it entertaining. Okay, let's see how I do:


This is the fountain in the lobby of the Excalibur in Vegas. We went to the Tournament of Kings dinner show on Sunday night after being eliminated at the races.

It is a medieval themed hotel with a show in which kings compete like in a Knights Tale, complete with horses, pyrotechnics and a midget. Because it's in Vegas, right?

Meanwhile, what was I saying? Oh yes, the picture. hmmm.

It was taken with my trusty cell phone and I believe at this moment I was avoiding the Fam because it was Day 5 of our trip and I was ready to begin taking hostages. I "wandered" off to take pictures. The next picture in the series is Kevin posing in front of the fountain and he appears to be just as tired/harassed/ annoyed as I was.

I tag:
Urban Oasis
Swistle
Dynamita

AYNTK

01 February 2009

Quote of the Day

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you.
What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.


-Mary Pickford