30 December 2011

New Year's Meme

It’s back! The New Years Meme!   You should do it too, it’s a fun way to look back on your year.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Workwise...so many things.  Personal life: lose.  We had the worst race season

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


Same answers as last year: I did make them and for once, I believe that I managed to at least bump into each resolution and make its acquaintance.

My resolutions for 2011:
1. Continue cooking more.
2. Continue to simplify, in every way.
3. Try to remember not to enter into melodrama of any kind. I believe Swistle referred to it as jackassery.

These resolutions worked out so well I am keeping them for 2012!!!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


Yes, our friend Scotty whose wife gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Peyton

4. Did anyone close to you die?


Not close. A few former clients from work, old-timers from my hometown. My high school best friend’s father.

5. What countries did you visit?


"Oh Canada, our home & native land.."

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
Time.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Today.  Today was one of those rare just Kevin & Me days. Easter & Christmas with the kids. Kevin & the Little birthday party

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


Not running screaming from my work and into the bay.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn’t get as much debt paid down this year, too many unexpected expenses

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I believe I was remarkably healthy this year!

11. What was the best thing you bought?


Plane tickets...books...my Vegas hoodie. (same as last year)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?


Barack Obama. He inherited a mess and is fixing it, all the while encouraging us to do the same.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?


The entire GOP

14. Where did most of your money go?


Same as last year: Bills, Racecar, Vegas trip. Mochas!

15. What did you get really excited about?
Christmas with the nephew & monkeys. Vegas!

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Adele - Rolling in the Deep

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier, in the grand scheme of things.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner!  again!
– richer or poorer? Richer this year, surprisingly. We've been Lucky.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Spent time Not. At. Work.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


Working.

20. How did you spend Christmas?


Eve - at my parents
Day - Next door, immersed in children's excitement and food

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?


I always have a difficult time choosing favorites. Castle, Big Bang Theory, Parenthood

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


No. I'm not a hater. It's a waste of time

24. What was the best book you read?
Reading? Books? what is this that you speak of?

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Adele

26. What did you want and get?
A new-to-me truck

27. What did you want and not get?
A CPSA championship

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Watching it right now: Life As We Know It

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
43 and I went Christmas shopping

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Time.  Time at home, work not so crazy busy, time to just breathe.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?


Casual, comfortable. I actually have some color in my closet and shoes that are not sneakers

32. What kept you sane?


Mochas. Kevin.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Craig Ferguson. Hello, my naughty monkey.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?


The GOP presidential nomination

35. Who did you miss?


No one that I don't usually miss.

36. Who was the best new person you met?


My new boss.  She’s pretty cool

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.


Take one thing at a time & eventually you’ll get through

29 December 2011

Mecca

My brothers each gave me a Barnes & Noble giftcard, as did Kevin.  This is my favorite kind of gift, for sure. I walked into the store today with $125 worth of gift cards! 

The one book I wanted really badly was Paul Carr's The Upgrade but it wasn't there. I have to order it from Amazon and then I have to decide if I want it in actual book form or on my droid.  This is not a serious problem, I realize, but disappointing for sure.

I usually buy my calendar this time of year but I bought one for my birthday.   I glanced at the journals but I already have too many unused ones.  They sure are tempting though, aren't they?  I already did the after-Christmas shopping for cards so I started with the sale racks.

Some day I am going to buy the classics and read/reread them.  They had a lovely set of classics that I considered but it felt like buying homework so I continued on.

I did check my Amazon wish list for books I had saved but there wasn't really one that jumped out at me.  I thought Emily Giffin had a new book out but I was wrong.  Then I blanked on author names that I wanted to check.

This turned out to be a good thing though as it forced me to go one by one down each bookshelf.  I did eventually remember who I wanted to look for but it didn't much help.  One book that I read & loved the author only wrote one book, how unfair is that?

I must have made the security folk nervous because I kept circling and circling the same shelves.  There are entire areas of the store that I am not interested in: science fiction, cookbooks, and self-help.  I glanced at teen fiction and history section but it was more out of boredom than anything else.

Eventually I realized that I was carrying eight, EIGHT, books.  I did some quick math and realized that I was finished shopping.  This didn't stop me from checking out the magazine racks though.

Then I spotted the Nook kiosk. My cards would pay for a Nook and I enjoyed playing with one of the bigs Kindle. (great story I will share later)  I looked at the stack of books then back at the Nook then back at the stack.

There is just something about holding an actual book that I can't let go.  I understand the lure of having many books in a device smaller than a magazine but it's just not the same.

I don't believe that the cashier quite understood my delight/embarrassment at having a stack of gift cards and still having to pay $5.33.

 You know where to find me

28 December 2011

Step Away from the Tree

I have defrocked the house with the exception of  the Christmas tree. It's always the last thing to be put away each year.  My mother has always said that it's bad luck to take it down prior to New Year's Day but I'm not so sure. 

This year I  just going to wait until the feeling of delight upon seeing it is gone.  If that's tomorrow or February, then I'm good with that.  (Kevin, perhaps, not so much)

Last year I decided that I was bored with our tree decorations.  We had kind of an old fashioned tree with country kitsch.  Many of the ornaments were gifts from the school, from either the families or the staff. 

Also, I have a few ornaments from our mutual pasts.  There is a pair of horses & a Christmas elf that was Kevin's before me.  I believe they were his mothers at one time.  I have a set of brass bells and the angel from my past life.  I like the blend of old and new.

However, my eye kept being drawn to the sparkly ornaments in the stores.  Michael's has a great selection as does Macys and JC Penneys.  It was fun to browse then hope that the ornaments were still there after Christmas.

So it was fun to open the box and discover the new ornaments I had purchased but not been hung yet.  I repeated the tradition this year as well.  Now I will have a handful of ornaments to discover next year. 

I've gone all Karma Chameleon with the new sparklies: red, green, and gold. Gone are the snowflakes, the gold ribbons, and random ornaments that don't match yet somehow go together. There is an ornament featured in a Hallmark movie that I really admired.  I kept an eye out for it or something similar and I finally found one from last years after-Christmas sales.

I believe I've reached the saturation point though.  I am not sure that I can fit another ornament onto the tree.  I might have to get a back-up tree if I keep this up; which is a shame because I've created a lovely tradition of buying an ornament on my birthday.  I also enjoy searching through the remnants of the Christmas shelves during the week of New Years to keep the after holiday blahs at bay.

Like yesterday when I finally purchased the church ornament I've coveted for years and the initial ornaments at Target that I never could justify buying. 

So, we'll see.  I might take it down tomorrow or I might enjoy it until it is eligible to become a Valentines Day tree.  Or, more likely, I find it in the yard when Kevin can't take it one minute more. (:-D

In the meanwhile, I think I'll just avoid the after-Christmas sales until next year.

27 December 2011

Cell Phone for Christmas

Kevin never loses anything, never.  It's a strange & wonderful thing about him.  So, it was surprising when he told me that he had lost his cell phone at his brothers on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  He said, bless his heart, that they had looked for almost an hour before he came in to tell me.  He was so disappointed.

Unfortunately the kids were at their dads so we couldn't enlist them for help.  Without them, four of us walked the driveway searching in vain.  To add insult to injury, this is Washington State so there are leaves on the ground, making it impossible to find something in a black plastic case.

Luckily, Kevin has a work cell phone so he has a back-up.  Droids have back up assist so his contacts & stuff were all saved in the ether somewhere.  I called Verizon (again: let's hear it for Verizon customer service!) to see if there was any way they could pinpoint where it was.  Unfortunately, no but it was worth asking. 

On Christmas morning Kevin told the kids that if they found his cell phone, he would give them $20.  Unfortunately for Kevin, Santa had more influence than he did.

We opened gifts with six kids.  We had supervision of the boy Littles. Kevin had one and I had the other.
They were So Excited when they opened "cell phones" from their stockings!  "Look Unca Kevin! I have a cell phone!"  They were so excited and being five, they didn't understand that they were pretend.

After presents, Nephew suggested that we could find a replacement on CraigsList.  I wouldn't have ever thought of that.  We searched, Nephew made a few texts & calls and within an hour Kevin had found a phone.  They would meet in town in an hour & Kevin would have a much cooler phone than the one he had.

The kids were playing in their room with all their loot when one of the Boy Littles came out, looking downright heartbroken. "I'm sorry, Kevin."  We both panicked a little, thinking he'd done something wrong.  "Why are you sorry, buddy?" Kevin asked him.

"Well, I'm sorry because I can't call you.  This phone doesn't work. It's not real."

Kevin expressed dismay and disappointment.  "That sucks, buddy."

Boy Little replies, in the saddest tone ever "I know, right?"

Oh my God.  Our hearts broke into a million little pieces.  Kevin said it was a good thing that he didn't have his phone because he would have given him his.

It's wrong to buy a five-year-old (or three of them) a cell phone, right? Right?

26 December 2011

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope;
The spirit of Christmas which is peace;
The heart of Christmas which is love.
~Ada V. Hendricks

23 December 2011

News & Notes - All is Calm

Wooosh, that's the month of December passing me by.

How is everyone doing this lovely holiday season?  Other than being a little overwhelmed with the work/life balance, I'm doing well.

I was radioactive yesterday.  My laptop wouldn't boot so I borrowed one from work but I have to write an essay to be published about the history of our YWCA in exchange.

Work had more of it's own surprises: a broken stove, a broken vacuum,a grandfather clock that was donated but needed transportation and an alarm beeping from our phone system.  On top of the to-do list I already had because I'm officially on vacation until January 4th.

2012 will be interesting, workwise.  My job responsibilities are changing & increasing so that will be fun.  I'm a little anxious about it but mostly looking forward to the challenge. I made it through this year with all the changing responsibilities, why not try something new?

Today I slept in, glorious! then went into town to finish shopping.  We were mostly finished but for two things that I forgot: stocking stuffers for the kids and groceries. You know, the little stuff.  We're going to need food over the next four days or so!  I also managed to wrap all of Kevin's presents into one box so I needed to think of something small to give him.  Yes, I realize that I could just unwrap the box but that's crazy talk.

I returned home with the intention of doing my regular Saturday chores so that I could relax but I was stuck in "If you give a mouse a cookie" mode.  I needed to start laundry.  I needed to make the bed before I could fold the laundry.  Then Kevin called so I ended up putting him on speakerphone so I could try to accomplish something, anything.  Then i remembered that I forgot candy for the girls at the mocha stand & the mailman.

And so the afternoon went. Now I have all the presents wrapped except for the big kids.  Our Christmas cards went out on Monday.  Our bills are paid and my chores are nearly finished. Kevin is snoozing in his chair while I write this. WHEW!

I didn't find the Target wrapping paper so I'm guessing it was just for the commercial.  I did find some Snoopy paper though so that makes me happy. 

Oh, I've been meaning to ask: what is up with the mardi gras colored Christmas decorations?  did you notice it?  Especially in Target, they had decorations of teal, lime, and fucshia.  Michaels did as well so I missed a memo somewhere.

Kevin now shares my (our) love of Target.  Before he was meh about it but he had to do some Christmas shopping and he really liked it there.  It's too bad I don't take him shopping with me more often but it's expensive when he goes!

I've discovered socks from REI.  I was given a few pair...wool and wool-esque...and I'm in love.  With poor circulation, my feet are always cold and these socks are magic.

I have a gift card for Walmart, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble.  I'm looking forward to next week when I can go shop without the holiday pressure. 

I think I hear birthday brownies calling my name.  I hope that Christmas finds you merry & bright. Take some time to sit back and enjoy the moment.

Merry Christmas!

I'll Take Smart Assery for $100, Alex

Every once in a while I watch Jeopardy.  As the child of alcoholics, I can kick ass on "Potent Potables".  (yes, I'm aware that's horrifying) and I do well with pop trivia, literature, and some history.  I do, however, suck at the "in the form of a question" thing.


Anyway, the final Jeopardy question category was NFL.  I laughed out loud at the expressions of fear and dismay of the contestants.  The question had me yelling at the television: "What NFL franchise began in the mid 1970's and both the team & city begins with the same first three letters?

Again, the contestants looked horrified and disappointed.  "That's so EASY!" I'm yelling at the television.  "Seattle Seahawks!" 


As the contestants rejectedly revealed their answers, or lack thereof, I felt myself turn into one of the kids next door, yelling "Burn! Nerd!"


Yeah, I'm a great influence on small children.

21 December 2011

Quote of the Day

People take different roads seeking fulfillment & happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they have gotten lost.
~ H Jackson Brown Jr.

19 December 2011

Brad Pitt Could Be My Dad

So I was walking through the Bon....fine, Macys. whatever...after choosing some ornaments to buy myself for my birthday when I see/hear a group of Macys employees working on a display.

It turns out they were talking about Tom Selleck.  the youngest of the group said "He's hot, even if he's old, I'd like me some Tom Selleck." 

Reflexively I said aloud "Owwww" and she looked at me.  "What? he is old! he's like my grandpa!" 

"Omg, not helping!" I said, while thinking "F*&king OW".  I laughed while I said it so she continued:

"Well, he is.  He's older than you!  People older than you can be attractive.  Take Brad Pitt! He's like 43 and could be my DAD but he's really hot."

At this point I'm just laughing and trying to squash the impulse to shove her into the sweaters.

I am exactly 43 today. 

She sincerely said "You're not as old as either of those.  You don't look old!"

Nice try, little girl.  I am still stinging from the Brad Pitt comment.

It was a nice birthday, even if I was unintentionally insulted by a preschooler.

15 December 2011

In 10 Minutes

I walked into the bank for work and was rick-rolled.  As soon as I opened the door, all I could hear was "Never Gonna Give You Up".

The kindergartener teller laughed politely when I mentioned it so that was equally embarrassing and funny.

As I was leaving, a very attractive guy in a suit was walking toward me so I smiled at him...it is the holidays after all.  Turns out he was also leaving so I held the door open for him.  He thanked me pleasantly which increased his attractiveness.

I continued down the sidewalk while he cut through the parking lot.  Not paying attention, as usual, I slipped off the curb and stumbled.  I muttered aloud "Well done, me, falling off the curb".  

Mr Attractive kindly inquired if I was okay.  I laughed & admitted that I'm just a klutz.  Then it occurred to me was that it was instant karma for flirting with an attractive guy whilst being married.

It's been cold here so I stopped at the mocha stand to buy a hot chocolate.  What's that shiny light on the dash? I asked myself.  Yep, out of gas.  again, well done me.

I did make it back to the office in one piece.  I had my doubts.  A lot can happen in ten minutes.

14 December 2011

Feliz Navidad Cha Cha Cha

The littles very first Christmas program was Monday night.  They were so excited to see almost a whole row of just their family.  It was fun to attend, although it felt like I was closer to the grandparents ages than the parents.

They did pretty well.  Girl little flashed the "Loser" sign, twice.  Boy Little P sung and danced, and Boy Little C just looked miserable.  He's more of a sports, hulk smash, guy than a Broadway guy.

The school they attend is multilingual.  To reflect that, the kids sung one carol in English & one in Spanish.  It was actually quite adorable. 

We also visited their classroom and met their teacher, which was  lovely.  They were so excited to show us where they sit, their cubbie, their art, the fish, etc.  We chatted with the teacher and offered sympathy & support for having triplets in her class (her first!). 

It was just one more lovely experience that the littles have brought us.

Yelling at the Television

Today is apparently International Yell At Your Television Day. Did you notice?

*SOMEONE* (bff C) said I needed to watch The Virgin Diaries so being the friend that I am, I set it on the dvr even after seeing the commercials and being emotionally scarred for life.

I understand that reality television finds the lowest common denominator when it comes to casting but Oh My Gah.  Where do they find these people?  While it didn't feel scripted (though I am sure that it is) I cannot conceive that these people actually exist.  Not the virgin part, but the complete lack of knowledge of human affection or interaction.

Say that they only watch network television, PBS, or Christian programming, they still feature kissing.  Even commercials feature kissing.  Disney channel, I am sure, shows kissing.  How do these people not know, even a little bit, how to do something as simple and as a human as kiss?

Don't watch the show as it has no redeeming qualities other than perhaps a conversation starter.  (such as finding out that *someone* didn't even watch the whole thing :-) Kevin just kept saying "This is why premarital sex is a good idea!"

To add insult to injury, the following program  was Toddlers & Tiaras.  After watching Living Dolls years ago, I know that my threshold for child pageants is incredibly low, if non-existent. I have never wished for an airplane ticket, a gun, and an empty credit card so hard in my life.

  I refuse to watch any show featuring child pageants because I believe they shouldn't be legal. (pageants, not the shows but really, the shows too)  I honestly believe that it's porn.  Adults are dressing up small children as adults for their own personal enjoyment.  That is a fetish, not a hobby or a competition.

While switching shows on the dvr, we could hear & see the show playing.  It caught my attention because the girl on the stage wasn't a girl, she was a baby.  A baby.  She had clearly just learned to walk and as a result, she fell.  Flat on her face, bum in the air, fell.  She started to cry, because she's a BABY.

The attendant, because "mom" is in the audience, leaves her be to see if she'll recover "properly" and continue.  Because she's a BABY, she does not. So the attendant half-assed consoles her.  All I can think is "Don't touch that baby you skeevy excuse for a human" then the camera pans to the "mom".

She's appearing worried, not because her baby has just face planted but because HER DIAPER WAS SHOWING.  "It's okay because in these circumstances, you can't help but have the diaper show."

Meanwhile you pathetic excuse for a human being, your baby is STILL CRYING.

I use the eff word. I'm no prude but it's not normal for me to use it regularly or loudly.  I found myself yelling "SHUT THE F*&K UP YOU HORRIBLE PERSON!!!" 

I startled myself, and certainly startled Kevin.  I switched it immediately because I just don't need that sh*t in my brain.  I don't want to support that "industry"  in way, shape, or form. 

Moral of the story: reality television finds the lowest common denominator and glorifies it.  We have to stop watching it, especially and specifically when children are featured.

*stepping off my soapbox now*

Where's Waldo?

Quote of the Day

“This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”   ~ Dorothy Parker

11 December 2011

Christmas in a Small Town

Things like this make me appreciate living in a small town.

10 December 2011

Lazy Girl

I have a former co-worker who claims that full moons have no effect whatsoever on human behavior.  To that, I am calling BS whilst flipping her off with both hands and laughing maniacally!  This week was crazy, in very literal terms. Three paranoid schizophrenics, six police officers, & one trespassing order is my effed up version of the 12 days of Christmas.

Today I am determined to sit here in this doggone recliner and watch mindless made-for-tv holiday movies until it is time to go to bed.  No chores. No shopping. Nothing.

Except our Christmas cards, of course.  But they're so far away, down the hall in my office. I just don't think I can make it that far and all the way back. Not without chocolate, and more coffee.  Even then, I am not quite so sure.

But we've received three cards already, including one typically horrific annual Christmas letter and photo.

We'll see how it goes.  Today I am not promising anything to anyone other than my eternal devotion to my living room.

07 December 2011

News & Notes

Do any of you watch Glee?  If not, why not?  (:-D

They sung the slow version of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and whoever thought of that arrangement is GENIUS.  I was in high school when that song was Top 40 and it was crazy popular.  To hear an ennui version one would think I would hate it but I love it more.



Tresemme and I broke up.  I thought it was long-term but when it started washing the color out of my hair & pulling it then we had to break it off.  (It was tangling & breaking when combing it out)

Also, another bathroom related topic: have any of you used the Suave Body Wash that is Cucumber/Melon scent?  Don't. Just Don't.  It smells like fruity adult beverage vomit. 

My next Christmas goal is Christmas cards.  I am going to sit down in front of Hallmark Channel this weekend and do them in one batch.  In previous years I try to do two batches but that has only been about 90% successful.

Kevin's mom has suddenly aged.  It's worrisome.  She's basically healthy, she's just aged.  The difficult part is we think that she has actually gotten to the not-being-left-alone stage of life.  She doesn't enjoy going out to dinner much anymore either, which is huge.  We thought it was anxiety or even depression but we're starting to notice the revert to childish behavior that the elderly develop. This is going to be a difficult transition.

I was chatting with our lovely college-age intern just now and it came up that people her age don't often watch the older, syndicated sitcoms and thus many cultural references are unfamiliar to them.  (think Seinfeld, Friends)  This is bumming me out, actually probably more than it should.)

So, Kevin has almost, nearly, dared me to go across the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver.  It is 450 feet long across a canyon and 230 feet above the river.  It is decorated for the holidays so it would be in the dark when we went.
I am carefully considering it.  If it were a solid bridge then no problem but it's a suspension bridge and that gives me pause. HOWEVER, I refer to my own post days ago about not letting fear make my decisions so there's that.
But it's freaking expensive! $25 per person.  We will see.

I hope your week is going well, poppets!

05 December 2011

Transferable Skills

I have gone to school & have years of experience in Early Childhood.  Beyond Psych 101 that I took as a senior in high school, I've only studied Child Psychology.

Working with adult women, as it works out, has many transferable skills from the ECE world.

New changes in my job has stretched my limits and mind in dealing with mental illness.  Nothing like having two paranoid schizophrenics triggering each other for about a 30-day period to test your limitations.

I've learned that a person has to really trust their gut.  Like Oprah says: trust those whispers (that aren't from paranoid schizophrenics) and act accordingly.  If you feel in danger, disengage.  If you feel like someone needs help, they probably do, perhaps a listening ear, perhaps a boundary, perhaps assurance that there is someone paying attention to their well-being.

Sometimes people just want to be left the hell alone.  This seems to be the case with some people with mental illness.  There are a handful that really do seem to just want to be left alone with their illness.  I think that needs to be honored too.  I believe some are just lost souls that will never find recovery.  It's sometimes tough to be at peace with that, for everyone involved.

An instructor reminded us that sometimes we assume too quickly.  Maybe that person isn't an ass, isn't a slut, or isn't just fun all the time.  Often there are underlying explanations for their behavior.  (this immediately made me think of the freshman in college, taking Psych 101, and diagnosing all their friends & family)

Recognizing also that sometimes people just are jerks.  There's always room for that, right?  And that mental illness or personality disorders are not an excuse for asshat behavior but a reason to help us "normal" folk cope with them.

One of the suggested methods of communicating is strangely much like improvisational acting, using the "Yes, and..." response.  The mental image that this gave me nearly did me in.  Also, speak slowly and add long pauses, much like Forest Gump.  (aren't these great? a comedian could have an hours worth of material here easily)

It occurred to me that these suggestions are applicable to us "normal" folk as well when it comes to communicating.  Along the same line of my ECE skills & education being helpful in working with adults.  These are good communication skills to use with everyone and not necessarily just with our friends with the tinfoil hats.

04 December 2011

Santa's Helper had a Busy Day

I went shopping a little bit this morning.  I started early while everyone else were still in church, being the heathen that I am.  While I don't enjoy being up early on a Sunday, I really don't enjoy holiday crowds.

I am finished shopping for the littles.  It is nearly impossible to find something that isn't violent, computer based, or commercial.  I finally found two Fisher Price dinosaur sets for the boy littles.  I caved a little bit on girl little and bought a Polly Pocket set.

Now I have two nine-year-olds and one eight-year-old to shop for.  Again, the struggle to get them actual toys instead of what's on the shelves.  I think I'm going to go to the book store for the two eldest. 

Shopping for my mom is easy.  She requested the new Susan Boyle CD. (I know...sigh...)   I am repeating last years present: a pretty box, the cd, a picture of us, cozy socks, and some Lindt candy.  It's my favorite kind of gift to give: lots of little fun things together.

I also discovered that I ordered the wrong book for Kevin.  Gah!  Especially since the wrong one is already here and I already ordered the dvd's he wanted.  Oh and it's three times more expensive.  So, fun.

Now I just have to buy for my brothers and the bigs then I'm finished.  I have to wait until I go on vacation the week before Christmas so that will be interesting.  At least it gives me a few weeks to think about it.

I'm not complaining though.  I am lucky to have such problems: having to buy presents for my family and the ability to buy them. 

How are you doing with your gifts?  anything fun or creative?

02 December 2011

Spam

The blog fortunately gets very little spam.  I am usually very quick to delete it. 

This one is so funny to me that I have to leave it:

I found this is an informative and interesting post for I think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. 
In fact your creative writing ability has inspired me. 

This is a lovely comment, if it weren't left by a Company Name who I shan't repeat. Or if it weren't left on a post that included a picture of a dog stuffy on a toilet.

Oh, interwebs, how I love you so.

01 December 2011

Quote of the Day

“We can choose to enjoy the magic of this time of year. We may not always get to choose the people and circumstances around us, but we always have a choice about how we relate to them.”
—  Mike Robbins

30 November 2011

Where's Waldo?

Last night I tucked him under one of Kevin's pillows on our bed.  Kevin luckily found it before falling asleep as I didn't think it through and anticipate him finding it in the middle of the night & screaming like a girl.  

The poor stuffy dog has been found in all kinds of places this week:



(under my chair)

 (This one needs no explanation, I suppose)


 
(under the dresser)

Where, oh where, will we find him next?

29 November 2011

Preschooler

I just saw another email stating how important a food diary is.  I can see the merit in this if you have a health concern like an allergy or auto-immune disease.  But if you're simply dieting or have food issues, I just see it as a way to beat yourself up. 

Good Morning America had a segment on how telling your friends that you're dieting can sometimes be counter-intuitive.  That's right, your friends want you to fail.  I am not sure what I think about that.  I would like to think that my friends aren't complete bastards but I've experienced otherwise in the past so there's that.

Anyway...if I were to keep a food diary, it would be simple: Copy & paste the average preschooler diet and we're good to go.  Well, preschoolers don't drink coffee but other than that.

Breakfast:
If I eat something, it's cereal (Cheerios) or cake.
Coffee...lots of coffee or I have no will to live.

Lunch:
PB&J...sometimes tuna, sometimes bologna.  I warned you: PRESCHOOLER
Grapes
Yogurt
Used to have chips but I'm a grown up now & have abandoned those. (stop laughing)

Snack...this is inconsistent.  If I'm making dinner I will do tortilla chips & salsa (shut up, I know what I said) or crackers & cheese if it's the weekend. 

Dinner is usually turkey something or other, salmon something or other, or chicken something or other.  With vegetables, fruit & milk.  It's rare that we have red meat.  (rare, red meat. Get it? I'm so funny. Not really)

I don't snack at night, at most I will have a piece of Dove Dark Chocolate & warm milk if I feel insomnia coming on. 

So, yeah.  Preschooler.  I am not the size of a preschooler so I'd really like to talk to someone about that.

You're up, poppets.  What do you eat?

27 November 2011

No Dogs on the Bed

Today is the last day of vacation, I'm sad to announce. We're both not ready to return to work but am ready to return to some sort of schedule.  With that, I did chores & errands like I normally would this weekend.

I also considered frocking the house for Christmas but I just couldn't get motivated.  I took out a few things but just didn't have the energy for the tree. I did manage to put up outside Christmas lights on our steps and set up the Christmas village. (which I am going to relocate, I don't like it there.)

In the meanwhile, I put away the Thanksgiving decorations and decluttered a bit. 

I brought home a dog awhile ago, a stuffed one. (or a plushie, or a stuffie, depending on where you are from)  He sat by the front door for awhile.  Today I decided that he would rest on our bed.

Kevin came in and announced "Get that damn dog off the bed!" and I laughed. Only he would refer to it as a living thing.

Hours later, I went into our bedroom to change clothes.  The dog was gone, stuffed under the bedding, Godfather style.  (if you haven't seen the movie, this is irrelevant)

He is, if nothing else, entertaining.

25 November 2011

Thanksgiving - a recap

My family:
Little Brother & his girlfriend broke up. (not during, that would be awkward)
Niece acted her age.
Mom held the boys dessert/birthday cake hostage until they put up the Christmas tree.
Mom asked Kevin if he's always been so loud.  (new hearing aids, and yes.)
Skirted political talk & called Little Brother out on "What's wrong with being gay?"

Kev's Family:
Too much food, too many people. (both problems & blessings)
Snuggly Girl Little
Rascally Boy Littles
Helpful Oldest Big
No one threw any food.  (yes, it's happened before)
Christmas planning

We slept in today and both have been wandering aimlessly.  I've half-heartedly begun getting organized for Christmas.  I shopped on Amazon for my first ever Black Friday Sales. 

I finally put on the station that plays Christmas music 24/7 until midnight January 2.

And I'm torturing the dog.  She hates these:

Entrance to the office, note her bed on the right.  
I laid down in the hallway to provide you with the dogs eye view

24 November 2011

I'm Not Afraid

One of my favorite quotes is "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."  ~ Mark Twain

I went on the New York Roller Coaster while we were in Vegas.  As I said before, it was life affirming.  (It also made me question my ability to manage my own life.)

I'm not necessarily afraid of heights but they can make me uncomfortable.  Not enough that I will allow my discomfort from going up in the Stratosphere, the Space Needle, or walking across the Deception Pass Bridge.


So it was with utter dismay that as we begin to climb up on the roller coaster's first big hill that our friend Miguel states "You know I'm afraid of heights, right?"  (this is where I lose my mind: "Are you EFFING KIDDING ME!?!?!")

"It's okay" he continues "I don't let it keep me from doing this." 

Then fast forward to after our trip when a friend tells us that they teach their daughters not to let their fears make their decisions.  For the second time in a week, I'm given two pieces of unintentional advice about fear. 

It is something I am going to think about over the next little bit.  The universe has whispered to me twice and I feel like I need to listen.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' "
   ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Happy Thanksgiving

22 November 2011

Random Item of the Day



This is Kevin's mom's chair.  It looks like a child's chair but she used it to rock her babies (her words)  I think it has further family history but it's sketchy.  Kevin's mom has memory issues so we have to eventually get the history from his aunt or uncle.

When it was time to close the Moody House (Kevin's parent's long-time home) we divided up many things, including this chair.  The parents had already designated what they wanted to go to who and the boys were responsible for the remainder. 

If they couldn't agree on which of them that would get it, then they played Paper Rock Scissors.  It worked throughout the whole time until it got to this chair.  Both boys wanted it but neither could stand the look of disappointment on either face.

So it lives here.  It's kind of in the way but it makes Kevin happy.  He can see it every time he sits down in his recliner.  I wish that we could continue the tradition but it's impossible.  Perhaps one of the grandkids can use it when the time comes.



21 November 2011

All is Calm

We've made it home safe & sound about four hours ago.  The washer & dryer are running, the house is clean, and we are completely unpacked,  Yep, unpacked. 

Once I am home from a vacation I have a deep need to be unpacked immediately. Not to imply that I want to forget my vacation but more to just quickly return to normal. Kevin also likes to just return home as if we've never left.  Thank God we found each other because we would drive someone else mad.

The nice thing about this habit, I guess I will call it, is that we're now in our jammies & chilling.  Tomorrow when we wake up, it will just be a quiet day.  No suitcases to trip over, no "I can't find socks to wear". Just a few more loads of laundry that I can convince myself is just "normal" laundry and not the remnants of a really fun trip that I wasn't ready to be over.

19 November 2011

News & Notes - Vegas Edition

This is being posted via my droid so forgive me if this has errors or appears stilted.

I am cozy in my hotel room with my feet up, a smoothie & a book next to me. There's a movie on and a view of the Strip outside my window.  We've been here three days and have two more to go.  Oh and it snowed at home while we've been gone.

We did the New York roller coaster again. Well not "we" *I* did. In the dark, which was More Fun! It is definitely Life Affirming.

Bought a pink Vegas Hoodie. So Happy!

We had dinner at Benihana for my brother & sister in-law's 30th anniversary.

We went to Coyote Ugly (like the movie) and had such a good time! I was invited to dance On The Bar...omg! (totally didn't)
I was flirted up by a lovely redneck who was strangely also from Washington. He was my people! We stick together in foreign lands!

We visited Pawn Stars. It is in the Top 10 most cool things I've done. The "Stars" weren't there but there were 2 people working that spent 10 minutes talking with us about the pawn business.  We saw many things that were featured on the show.

We went to the Bellagio to see the Conservatory & the Chilhuly Glass, both breathtakingly beautiful. One of the pictures I took is below.

We saw the MGM lions, the Seigfreid & Roy tigers and the dolphins at the Mirage. We went back to the Shark Reef at the Mandalay Bay. Its just like a trip to the zoo! We even ate lunch at the Rainforest Cafe which was neat but I was relieved to leave. (The ADD did not enjoy)

I returned to the Titanic Museum again. I'm happy to say that it was just as powerful the second time.  The passenger I was assigned survived so I still don't know how I would react if they didn't. I bought the book this time. I've been wishing for it for a whole year.

Second most fun thing was the CSI Experience.  I have never watched the show. ( I know, I'm one of three). They give you a CSI Investigators vest to wear, a clipboard and a case to solve. First step is the crime scene where you note all details, facts and questions. Next you run the information through toxicology, DNA, fingerprints, criminal database and some forensic tasks to determine what's fact. Then you examine the "body", which is a white manicquin (sp?) that a computer projects the anatomy onto it. The final step is presenting your case to Grissom via computer.  If you solved it correctly you receive a diploma. If not then you're encouraged to do it again.
It was So Fun! I want to go back to try it again!

It has been a beautiful trip, full of fun & friends. I wouldn't change a thing.  Two more days...what fun will be next!?!


17 November 2011

Quote of the Day

The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? 
Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.
Richard Bach


16 November 2011

If You Need Me...

I'll be here:

15 November 2011

Stop Wearing the Pumpkin Sweater

We've shared the Crimes Against Humanity posts in the past.  These outfits were photographed from the YWCA's clothing giveway program. (Dress for Success)
The program at my work is slightly different in that it provides clothing for all women, not just women needing work clothing.

I never in a thousand years thought that this program would be of any interest to me.  Now it's one of my favorite things to do with my day.  I love to play with the clothing donations that come in.  It's fun to create outfits to put up for display. There is a special kind of happiness in giving clothing to women in need.

I have learned so much about clothing over the years.  I knew on the surface about fabric or "fashion" but now I feel like I actually *know*.  I can put together an outfit in just a few minutes now.

Although I think I have this skill simply from wearing Garanimals as a child.  Garanimals was the clothing brand that had animal themed tags that showed what shirts & pants matched.

Because of the program, I now wear red shoes and "big girl shoes" instead of sneakers.  I have color in my closet instead of my Wednesday Adams black, and
I know what cut or style of clothing to choose that looks best on me.

Most of all, it makes me think about what I wear each day. It makes me choose items I wouldn't normally wear and it keeps me from falling, too much at least, into a rut.

Now it's your turn.  Go through your closet & get rid of the pumpkin sweaters & the stuff that you'll fit in "someday".  Give it away so that others may benefit please.  Most importantly though: try something new.  You'll see how fun it can be.

14 November 2011

Yeah That's Gonna Happen

I just text Kevin to ask what he would like for dinner.

He stated his choice then said "and get on it!"

I replied "Yeah that's gonna happen"

He replied "You know it!"

So I sent him this:


12 November 2011

News & Notes

In case I haven't mentioned it at least eleventy times, I'm going to Vegas in three days.

I spent today making sure that we have everything we need for the trip.  In that quest, I managed to forget sugar, which means no coffee and a trip back to town.  Sigh....

If you watched Grey Anatomy this week, Route 2 is actually Highway 2 and no, they didn't exaggerate the road at all.  It's a bad highway, for reals.

Chris Martin from Coldplay was interviewed by Howard Stern this week.  He seems like a genuinely nice guy.   He sung with just a piano and omg, he brings tears to your eyes.  Also, I thought Apple was a dumb Hollywood name but when you hear Chris Martin pronounce it? *swoon* I love it.

Here's the newest thing I'm trying now.  First was soda, then red meat then processed foods and now................chips.  Did you just gasp?  I know, I know.
 I seem to have grown an addiction to Pringles that needs some intervention.  you'll know that it's not going well when I'm on the national news for running a truck carrying chips off the road.

Guess what I did today?  I went back to Kohls...*facepalm*....I really dislike that store.  But I had a quest: a silver "J" to go with the other initials that I bought last weekend just to have Kevin ask why I didn't get our last initial. 

Okay, I'm watching Craig Ferguson and Dominic Monahan is doing Geoff Peterson's voice.  I have to say: I am having difficulty concentrating.  What a voice!

Hey, wanna talk about my upcoming vacation again?  No? okay!  (:-D

The thing with reading mindless fluff is that people can see the cover of the book and I don't like that.   I have a paperback of a Nora Roberts triology that I'd like to take on our trip but it's a used, older book so it looks like a bodice ripper.  Hmmm, what to do?  Swallow my pride & dignity or pack three other books.

One more television item: Glee's "first time" episode was perfectly lovely.  So well done!  I loved that they featured the straight & gay couple, they addressed being ready, waiting for the "right" person, and using protection. They hit all the perfect notes.  (pun intended)


Washington State just deprivatized hard liquor sales and I'm very disappointed.  It took two attempts for the law to pass and it was quite the debate.   Deprivatization bothers me on two levels: Costco spent millions of dollars to support the bill and I don't like that Costco "bought" the votes.  I really don't like the ease of access to alcohol now.  I can only picture my dad, a lifetime alcoholic, having now even more access.  It just makes me nervous and sad.  Oh, and 900 people are now unemployed and I'm not sure how many storefronts are closed.  In this economy, I just don't see how that is a good idea.


My mother is already done Christmas shopping.  Yes, we all hate her right now.


There are three voices that make me stabby: Richard Simmons, Jennifer Tilly, and Rosie Perez.  That's all.

11 November 2011

Spankings

i took one last look at the twitter the other night and watched with trepidation as Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) made a huge fail.

Remember Swistles Giant Internet Hand of Spanking? It's theory was put into practice right before my eyes.

He handled it as best he could with an immediate contrite and sincere apology. He went as far as to retweet the spankings that others posted to him. I am a little horrified at how judgy people became, how quickly they jumped, and how vitriolic they were.

When I read the initial tweet, decrying the firing of a certain coach, I thought "Hmm, I wonder what that's about?" Also, I was kind of waiting for a follow-up tweet. A joke, a clarification, something. Sure enough, the next one was an apology.

My first impulse was to tweet "Dude, read the headlines & delete the tweet."  It's incredibly sad to me that others impulses were to call names and judge.  Did not one of them think "Gosh, he's usually not like this. Something must be wrong."?

I guess my whole rant is that everyone needs to take a breath before posting on the interweb.

And I still will be a fan of his.  Because I hope that when I eff up next, I handle it the way he did.  With sincerity, contrition, and humor.

Happy Veteran's & Remembrance Day

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as 
it is the home of the brave.  ~Elmer Davis

09 November 2011

Sour Grapes

Today at lunch I received a text from Kevin.  He was wondering why he had such crappy grapes in his lunch:

(Jeff is the coworker)
 I just happened to be doing errands so I stopped and took this picture:


I guess his staff were waiting to see my response, wondering if it was going to be bitchy or funny.

Funny it was. 

And I win this round.

07 November 2011

Clip Clop Clip Clop Clip Clop

There was a story in my childhood that always creeped me out.  It was the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  I am scared of horses.  I can appreciate them from afar but I have no interest in being near them. 

On Saturday morning my father-in-law left early, say 6:00 am-ish, and encountered a horse in the middle of the road.  It was not quite light out and definitely foggy.  It was by grace that my father-in-law spotted it in time to stop.  Surely they both would have died if he hadn't.

It turns out that the horse had been loose a while.  It had made the rounds of the neighborhood, including walking past our house. Twice.  Most likely in the middle of the night.

It creeps me out.  Clip clop clip clop past our house in the dark.

05 November 2011

Quote of the Day


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

04 November 2011

Fast Family

They say that you make your own family, “they” mostly being people who have come from dysfunctional homes.  I think the statement is true but I also think it’s something that we say to make ourselves feel better.

Of course I have Kevin’s family, they’ve become my core support system over the years. A rough transition for all who were involved.  Me a feral child who doesn't cope with intimacy well and they who assume that everyone has a family like theirs.

I’ve come to realize that I probably won’t have the relationship that everyone wants with their birth family.  I mean, I love my brothers but we just don’t have the framework to relate to one another.  It can be learned, or grown, surely but everyone has to be willing.  

As my nieces age, we spend less time together and that makes me a little sad.  I adore my sister-in-law but it’s just a challenge to sync everyone’s schedules and make things happen.  Also, there is guilt for not including The Mom and Little Brother if we get together without them.

We returned to our home track this summer.  Our friends are all around. Everywhere I looked, there wa s a friend.  Steven who talked me out of a tantrum, Mig who doesn’t take my (or anyone’s) shit, Mig’s wife and daughters, the couple we refer to as “Our Canadian Friends” and many assorted others.  

It occurred to me as we sat around talking that this is our family.   These are our siblings and cousins and the people we call upon when things get rough.  These are the people that make us laugh, soothe our fears, and help us solve problems.  This crazy bunch of racers is our family. A fast family.