31 July 2012

A Rational Discussion About Mops

The title of this post makes me think of that toilet paper commercial that begins with "We can now have a real discussion about what happens in the bathroom."
Yeah. NO.  We can't. Thanks though, fictional person.

Remember I dithered (thank you, Swistle, for using that word...I use it often) over buying a swiffer mop?  Then I threw myself down the stairs and needed one?

And I hated it?

Or was this just me, in pain meds land?

I dislike that the product/commercial implies that no sweeping beforehand is necessary but it SO IS.  I dislike that it says it can clean just as well as a regular mop.  It also implies that it can reach anywhere!  Yes, it can, if where you need to go is either at a 45 or 90 degree angle.

I hate disposable anything.  I cringe that I'm contributing in any way to the landfills.  So I had to swiffer mop from my high horse for a little while there. 

I also didn't enjoy the swiffer brand pads/sheet/thingys.  Finally I  bought a store-brand, wet-style replacement that worked much better.  Think large diaper wipes with velcro materials.  They work so much better than the real ones.

Now that I'm "able"-bodied I continued to use the swiffer, just as a comparison and to ensure that I somehow wasn't getting 100% of the effect of swifferness.

Then I realized that the floor looked (cue 1970's Mop N Glo commercial) dingy.  It also felt a little sticky.  Hmmmm.

This weekend I mopped old school style: Libman string mop and Pine-Sol.  Even though the floors had been mopped a week ago, vacuumed twice, and we were gone most of last weekend, the water was dirty at the end of it.  Double hmmm.
Also, the floor brightened.  I think the swiffer somehow leaves a residue behind.

End result: I'm returning to my tried and true mop & Pine-Sol.  I will keep the swiffer for emergency spills or instances of laziness but I'm disappointed in it, still.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programing. 

30 July 2012

Be Honest with Your Shoes

They can take it. The shoes. There comes a time in all relationships for the talk: "Where are we going?  How are you supporting me? Is the attraction still there?"

I had to go through this the other day. I put it off long enough. The time had come.

Finally I went through the laundry basket of shoes in my closet.  Yes, I know that storing shoes haphazardly in a laundry basket is sacrilege in some peoples eyes.  Nor is it convenient nor helpful.  Just ask Kevin. 

I broke up with:
a pair of hard-heeled, and high heeled, boots that I not only haven't worn since forever but now look a little dated. 
A pair of those ugly brown LL Bean slip-ons that were a little too big (new requirement: shoes that fit) and that Kevin hated.

Obviously, gone are the shoes that tried to kill me.

Not quite gone are sandals.  They are in a drawer, where all sandals should be stored, yes?   One is a broken down, well-loved pair of salt-water sandals.  The straps hit *just* below the screw heads in my ankle.  I think keeping these are more of a sentimental decision than anything else.

The other pair are black Mephistos that actually feel a little cozy.  That's something I never thought I would say about sandals ever again.  I'm keeping them until I gain the courage (and strength) to attempt to wear shoes without a brace or that are not high-tops.

I kept my skater shoes but took out the clunky, too big, hiker boots.

This leaves me with my old, trusted Danskos that didn't try to kill me.  Two pairs of regular sneakers.  My red shoes that I wrote about months ago that are the cure for a bad day.  Also, I did keep a pair of red LL Bean slip-ons that actually fit and Kevin doesn't hate. Much.

I also have one pair in the maybe pile.  They are Earth shoes that I got at work, they are black, brushed suede, and kind of a slipper-style.  I wasn't super hip on them before so I'm not sure why they are still in the basket.  Probably so I have more than one pair of black shoes.  I think they're supposed to be good for your posture too.  Yeah, that's it.

Oh, and snow boots.  I kept my snow boots.

And my cool, black & sparkly, Sketchers that I refer to as my Vegas shoes.  

All in all, the culling wasn't too difficult.  I'm mourning the sandals mostly, and I haven't even committed to tossing them yet. 

Of course, I really will probably only wear sneakers from here on out but let's call this the first step of unfriending of my shoes.  I'll do the true break-up in a few months.

((I cannot take full-credit for this post idea.  It came up in conversation during physical therapy with a human I really enjoy: my p/t Loretta.))

27 July 2012

Don't Hire the Hot Girl

Kevin has a truck boss that he is also personal friends with. Recently the hiring of a very attractive woman dump truck driver was discussed.

Kevin isn't sexist, if you can do the job he doesn't care if you're a girl or 75 years old.  One of his crew is a woman who unfortunately has the same name as his ex-wife.  In typical Kevin fashion, he chose another name for her.  Now everyone calls her by that name.


The truck boss told Kevin that he could never hire an attractive woman.  This puzzled Kevin so he asked why.  "My wife wouldn't like it."

Neither of us could believe that statement.  We know his wife and she doesn't strike us as insecure or jealous.  This is not Mad Men.  It's not like they would be working in close proximity.  What the Hell.

I wouldn't care.  I find Kevin's woman crew member attractive.  The office manager and the bookkeeper for the company are also women, both of whom wish me dead so they could hook up with him.  (long running joke, although totally serious and still very friendly with me)

I guess I just look at it like this: a) I know Kevin thus I don't worry about things like that.  2) If something were to happen, it's certainly out of my control so I don't worry about things like that.  Also) Really? Letting a spouse influence a business decision is just not good.

It just blew the both of us away because we would have never guessed that either would react to a situation like that.

What would you do?

26 July 2012

News & Notes

The dog sleeps with the radio on.  If we don't put it on, she wanders the hallway and/or sleeps with her head on the kitchen floor like a drunk.

I put my Buzz Lightyear boot in Monica's Closet to store.  The surgeon said to keep it "just in case", which is disconcerting.  I did up all the straps  and I realize that I have developed PTSD from the sound of velcro.

Does anyone else mutter "F&*k off" to the lady that narrates that Lizopene (?) commercial?  The one where it begins with "Are you overweight?"  No? It's just me?  Okay, it's time for me to step away from the television.

Almost everything we lost on the DVR switch has been regained.  Thank you summer re-runs. (again, I need bigger problems)

Now I'm fascinated with Meet the Hutterites on National Geographic Channel.  There are Hutterites around here so I'm familiar with them.  I think it's interesting that while everything is provided for them (thus no financial worries) the burdens of all the restrictions seem  so much worse than any financial stresses.

Does anyone else use the bathroom Dixie Cups?  Have you had a difficult time finding them?  Kroger only stocks plastic ones now (WTH Kroger?)  I've even had a difficult time finding them at Target.  Are they not in demand anymore? Am I still in 1985?

In other shopping news, Kevin brought home Arnold Palmers Sweet Tea in tiny little single use packets.  He gets them from a distributor at this work and I've looked online (mail order only) and at Krogers but can't find them.  frustrating as they are totally yummy  They are a mixture of iced tea and lemonade, so essentially it's sweet tea.

I haven't been to Target in over fourteen weeks.  How sad is that?

Otherwise, life has almost returned to "normal".  I only work part-time and still have restrictions but each day gets a little better.

How's your summer going?

22 July 2012

What a Birthday!

I keep forgetting to tell you about something we saw in Vegas last November.

We always go to Fremont.  You haven't been to Vegas if you haven't spent an evening there.  It was one of the places where you look around and say "This is what I thought Vegas would be like."  It is the true human circus.

There are laser light shows every hour on the hour.  It is one of the most fantastic things I have ever witnessed.  Lights, music, and everyone enjoying the show is just amazingly overwhelming.

As it was this past time.  This time though we noticed that there was a private party in the middle of  the "street." We commented that it was a great idea and how much would it cost and we should remember that someday.

Then it was time for the light show.  Unlike the other shows, it wasn't rock music.  It was "What A Wonderful World" and instead of the usual graphics, there were photographs.  Family photographs.  We were a little puzzled until we heard exclamations
It was a woman's 60th birthday.  This was her birthday party. Her family made this happen.

They provided her favorite songs and generations of photographs.  Weddings, birthdays, camping trips, babies, graduations, funny portraits, school pictures.  They had every part of her life represented in pictures.

You can't help but shed some sentimental tears over that, now can you?  It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Here is a photo from Google Images because I can't find the one I took:

21 July 2012

Closet Monsters

I can't go asleep if the closet door is open.  The open windows are fine, the bathroom door is fine and I'm meh about the bedroom door.

But the closet cannot be open.  No way. not even.

I had a wardrobe in my childhood bedroom and I don't remember being worried about closet monsters then.  But I can tell you about every apartment/townhouse/duplex/house that I have lived in as an adult.  All of them needed to have the closet door closed.

I realize that I'm forty-three years old but it's a fact.  Closet monsters exist.


20 July 2012

I Discovered that I'm a Puritan

Firstly, I struggled with an appropriate title for this post. You will understand why in a minute.

We had dinner with our Canadian friends the other night and a most interesting topic came about.  As it was a group of men, mostly, sex came into the conversation.  Our friend said that every one of his co-workers (men) complain about their lack of sex lives.   This is not uncommon or new news from the male population.  I will leave out the more graphic, yet very funny, details. (it was about the men, not the women)

What he did say after that made me feel decidedly American:

"They just go down to Hastings Street and get a rub and tug"




The other guys were in tacit agreement so it's not unusual, apparently.

It's not like I don't know that such "services" exist.  It was just the matter-of-fact-ness that set me back.  It was my first personal example of where other countries call the Americans puritanical when it comes to sex.  I felt suddenly very American.

19 July 2012

The Yellow Dog

Everyone who lives out here has a dog.  It's a country thing.  We know most all the dogs by name or at very least by face.

There is one dog that we only occasionally see .  On the really rainy, London-ish kind of days The Yellow Dog appears.  He is a long haired Golden Retriever and is always soaking wet.  (yes, rain = wet dog. I'm genius)

But that is the only time we see him.  On the rainy days.  Never on the sunny ones.  When he does visit, he doesn't come near us at all, always keeping a distance or even a fence between us.

People don't come looking for him. Unlike our friend Winston the white sheepdog that occasionally comes to visit, much to the frustration of his owner who has to take a car to come get him.  (dogs travel as the crow flies, humans not so much)

I talk to him but he always looks bewildered, almost as if he is surprised that I see him.  Missy is unconcerned with him most times, which is unusual as she has a strong dislike of other dogs who aren't Lucky Dog.

We've decided that he must be a Ghost dog.  It's the only explanation.

P.S.  The Ghost dog just appeared. On a sunny day!  And I thought "I will get a picture!  How great is this!"

My camera locked up and wouldn't work.  I swear to God. 

It's a ghost dog, I'm telling you.

17 July 2012

My Stories!

My attachment to the television has only grown stronger over the last three months.  The DVR is full of shows that I watch now that I didn't before.

So of course, the dvr would decide now is a good time to give it up.  The poor tech person has been here two hours trying to figure out WTF is up with our system.

Because of all this, we have lost all our dvr recordings.  Gone are the last two episodes of GLEE, which are my go-to bad mood eradicators.  Gone is my favorite Rob Dyrdek's Fantasty Factory episode. Gone are twenty episodes of the Ghost Whisperer.

Oh the horror.

Positive side: we will have whole home dvr which doubles our recording capacity, because we obviously need MORE to watch.  I'll be able to watch the dvr in our bedroom where previously we could not.

I so should have done this twelve weeks ago.

The tech guy looks like someone I used to date.  I mean A lot, other than the height.  It's not a little bit strange.  I wish Kevin was here to say "OMG, he totally looks like him."

Our bedroom door slams occasionally.  I'm sure it's just the breeze that does it but there is always the slim chance that it's my dad haunting the house. When it slammed just now, I made this joke to the tech guy.  He looked a little startled.  I guess not everyone believes in ghosts.

Now I get the joy of rebuilding our recording list, the channel list, and making all the user-friendly tweaks that I feel compelled to fiddle with.  But in the meanwhile, I am going to mourn the loss of all my stories I had saved.

I think I need bigger problems.

16 July 2012

Don't Hold Your Breath

I didn't know that I did it until I was living with Kevin: I hold my breath.  Specifically in stressful times, like when the flight/fight/freeze impulse kicks in. 

Think the dentist chair, think being in the hospital, think being in a confrontation.

I did some research and it's a coping skill that many children of alcoholics develop quirks like this.  It's about making yourself smaller, invisible, and not drawing attention to yourself.

Luckily for me I was aware of this prior to going into the hospital.  I could warn the paramedics, nurses, etc that I do it as not to panic if alarms went off. 

I love this song for a variety of reasons and I think of it often when I find myself in stressful situations.  I love how a song can do that.

15 July 2012

What If? A New Concept

 I think we've discussed this before: wondering what the hell someone is doing with their spouse/partner/boy-girlfriend and if there is anything we can do about it.

I liked this guy's take on it: Salon: Stop the wedding!  Instead of trying to figure out ways to change the person's mind, he asks "What if?"

"What if your friend had a need to be controlled and manipulated? What if his fiancée were meeting that need? Would it be wrong of her to meet that need?
What if he has a strong need to not make decisions and a strong need to avoid conflict?"
Isn't that fantastic? Everyone sees things through their own filter, it's human nature.  As an extremely independent person, it would have never Occurred to me that someone might not WANT to be independent. Might, in fact, enjoy being not in control.  To quote Phoebe Buffett "This is completely new information to me!!"

And really, why do we even care?  I mean, sure it's nice to see your friends happy and with people who we enjoy.  But all in all, it's their relationship and not ours. It's really none of our business.

Then he finishes it up with this Epic Mindblowing Concept that I love:
"Another way to look at your friend’s situation is to consider the possibility that he is getting ready for something but is not ready yet. Maybe his soul is getting ready. Say a fierce battle awaits the soul. We can be in a holding pattern. There is not much to do while waiting for the soul’s great challenge. So we amuse ourselves with pastimes. Maybe she is a pastime. Maybe he is waiting."

Doesn't that just give you a little light of hope for your friend in this situation?  And for me, although I thought I understood the concept, it showed me again that being married to Michael for that eighteen months prepared me for other things in my adult life. That seemingly waste of time served a purpose!

I just enjoyed reading and learning a whole new perspective about an issue we've all experienced and have had frustrations with.  I had to share.

14 July 2012

Plan Your Trips

One of the new things I've learned with this whole adventure is also a skill that I was taught in middle school home economics: clean as you go.  But I had to expand it to "plan your trip."

My middle school home ec teacher must have had OCD because she insisted that everything be cleaned as you go.  Something is simmering? clean the counter, something is baking? wash the dishes.  Waiting for the iron to heat? clean up your mess.  You get the idea.

And I do that.  I think that's part of the reason that I am not the best cook: I get caught up in the details.  I'm cleaning up while something is cooking and next thing we know: burnt.  (it's not actually that bad)


One of the better pieces of advice that a charge nurse gave me was "Plan your trips".  This was when I was on bedrest.  If it's time to go potty, figure out what you need and get it while you're up.  Get some water and a snack.  Pick up whatever has fallen out of your reach.  Put on that sweatshirt.

This took thinking ahead, which is not always my strong suit.  But now it's become a habit, which is nice.

Now I pick up  the bathroom before I leave it.  I clean the bedroom before I leave it then I can settle in the living room without having to return to either of those rooms unless I really need to.

The most difficult one is leaving the house.  It is an effort (still) to get out to the truck so I have to make sure I have everything before closing the door. (ahem...keys...cough)

I'm back at work for a measly 3-4 hours a day and I'm having to relearn this skill all over again.  It has been surprising to me how much I walked around in my job.   Now that I can't just hop up and do something, I have to think it through.

Overall, I think this is a good skill to grow.  I believe it will make me a little more thorough and economical in my movements. Just imagine when I am at full speed again.  Just look at what I will accomplish!

12 July 2012

Sole Portraits

My little brother had a girlfriend once that was a good photographer. She gave him a portrait for Christmas of his shoes on a beach somewhere.

It was her thing,  taking photos of a person's shoes. Either the ones they wore every day or a special pair. She also would personalize the setting or background.

At the time I thought it was kind of weird but now I think it could be kind of genius. Everyone has shoes, everyone has favorites,  and really a lot can be guessed from a persons shoes.

I've seen portraits done with combat boots and fire boots. They always bring a strong emotional response. Why would this not be true for your husband's sneakers or your grandma's Keds?

What shoes would you have photographed?

Rocking the Cane

our friend Paul took this picture of me this weekend.  I really need to talk to him about Thou Shalt Not Photograph Women From Behind Ever.

I am not supposed to be on the racetrack but I am Me after all.

10 July 2012


I've watched all the episodes of Grey's Anatomy while I've been home.  Every single one.  Yesterday, as I was pouting in the recliner, another episode came on with the opening monologue voiced by the Meredith character.

I don't remember the exact words because see above reference to pouting but the topic was recovery.  The last part was (paraphrasing) that the recovery process is actually more difficult than the actual injury or the cure.

Amen, sister.  Sing it.

I've diligently tried to be upbeat and positive through this whole g.d. thing but I failed yesterday. Huge.

We went racing this weekend so I was at the racetrack Friday through Sunday.  I did a lot of self-care while there but I also pushed my physical boundaries.  And I paid for it.

Monday found me swollen and sore beyond imagination.  If I were a different  person, I would have so taken the last two pain meds that I have and just knocked myself out for the day.  But that is giving in and I'm not that person.

I couldn't even complete physical therapy, which is just pathetic to me.  Turns out: I don't enjoy failure much.  I'm still annoyed about it.

Twelve weeks as of yesterday have passed.  I have seven to eight more weeks left before I'm "healed".  Right now, I feel like I'm back at the starting line.  I'm frustrated and angry.

I want to not hurt, I want to wear normal shoes, I want to bust my cane in half.  What I'm coming to realize is that even after all this, none of those listed things are probably going to happen.  I am going to hurt, I don't get to wear sandals or high heels again, and while they hope I don't need a cane, I just might.  G.D. it. (now you know how frustrated I am, using G.D. it and risking eternal damnation...haha)

So, it's a beautiful day as summer has finally reached the Pacific Northwest.  The dog is sleeping on the cool kitchen floor, and all is quiet.  I have to go to work for four whole hours.  I'm going to listen to the GLEE soundtrack at an obnoxious volume and pretend that yesterday never happened.

        Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.  
~Emory Austin

07 July 2012


So we are actually at the racetrack this weekend, I never thought this weekend would happen.

This is our second day here (we're in Mission, BC) and it's the end of the day.  We just finished dinner and were sitting around just chillin' with our friends.

Our friend in the wheelchair points out that the guy looking at our car as he walked by looked like Chad Kroger of Nickleback.  Jason is really loud and the guy heard him but kept walking.  We laughed about it and was in the process of explaining that he actually grew up around here and one of our Canadian friends knows him from back in the day.

As we're joking, the dude comes back into our pits and shakes everyone's hands.  It was funny to watch everyone try to determine whether or not he was the real deal.  This guy looks pretty scrubby and too skinny but who knows.  One friend googled images, one asked if he was working on a new album.  He had new Nikes on is all I noticed.

We teased Jason  that the guy probably just took pity on him because he was in a wheelchair.  I know, we're brutal but he's just as much to us.

Word spread pretty quickly and everyone was trying to figure it out.  One of our friends actually got on the internet to check their tour schedule, which coincidentally ended in Vancouver a week or so ago.

After all is said and done, we believe it was an imposter but none of us cares because it gave us a funny story to tell.  "Hey remember that time we didn't meet Chad Kroger?"

03 July 2012

Marriage via Texting

The other day my bff C texted me that Katie & Tom were getting divorced. I replied "Shocking, said no one ever."

Kevin has always considered Katie gorgeous so I texted him:

Me: "Katie Holmes is Available."

Kevin: "Do you have her number?"

Me: "1-800-Good-Luck-With-That"

Kevin: "Bitch"

Me: "You expected otherwise?"

Kevin: "Not really."

..............and scene.

02 July 2012

Sneaker Shopping in Reals

I got the approval to buy new shoes and be rid of the hiking boots today.  I had to go to the mall...sigh...on the Canadian long weekend.  Fortunately for me, no one was out shopping yet.

First off, shout-out to the cool girl at Famous Footwear.  She was So helpful in finding shoes.  She brought me about six pairs of shoes from all genders and ages. 

I started the conversation with my difficulty in finding high tops for someone other than eight year old girls and Victoria Beckham.  In fact, I showed her the pictures of the blog and she kept exclaiming in dismay as she scrolled through the pictures.

Fun fact: if you need high top sneakers, apparently they can also be called skater shoes.  Otherwise you get clunky basketball shoes or Chuck Taylors.  I kind of resigned myself to either having clunky men shoes or funky skater shoes.  I decided to try to keep an open mind.

These are the first ones but they didn't have my size. I was disappointed because I actually didn't hate the pink.

image from google images

Then she brought me these and at first I was all ummm, no.  But then I kind of loved them.  Again...not in my size.  Wistful sigh.  I will say that Rob Dyrdek is one of my favorite celebrities and I got a kick out of possibly buying some of his shoes.  I will also mention that while they didn't quite fit, they were comfortable.

image from google images

Finally we landed on these.  I'm not usually a fan of all black sneakers but these are canvas and still kind of skater shoes-ish. I wore them with black Dockers and looked all hipster today.

image from google images

After almost two weeks of clomping around like a disabled Clydesdale, I am so excited to announce that I can actually walk.  I wore them out of the store, out of the mall, and to work.  Such a freaking improvement.  And I don't look like a third grader.

01 July 2012

Fun with Interweb Searches

The hiking boots are not working for me.  The tread grips the carpet and makes walking difficult.  The two sizes too big makes walking difficult as well. 

The alternative is high top sneakers.  I did look in the stores while shopping for the boots but there literally wasn't any.  (Big 5, Kroger, REI)

I did a search this morning and OMG.  The choices are so unbelievably limited.  First, I'm not a middle schooler nor a hipster.

Second, if you want high tops, you must be "quirky".

Chuck Taylors have absolutely no support, ankle or arch.
DC's are cool but a little spendy.
The remainder I feel like I have to clarify that I'm not eight years old or Victoria Beckham.

Like  these:
Photo from Amazon.com

Photo from Zappos.com

Photo from Zappos.

Photo from Zappos.com