27 December 2013

Quote of the Day

"You are everything that's ever been my favorite thing. You are my love song, my birthday cake, the sound of ocean waves, French words, and a babys laugh. You are a snow angel, creme brulee, and a kaliedoscope filled.with glitter. I love you and you'll never catch up, because I've gotten a head start and my heart is racing at light speed." Lisa Kleypas

25 December 2013

Whimsy Not Allowed Here

I've struggled over the past few years with decorating this house for Christmas. I've had the most difficult time figuring it out. Then suddenly a dawning realization:
This house does not tolerate whimsy.

The old house had tons of space in which to decorate. Boughs, lights, candles, all of it. This house, I've previously mentioned, seems to shudder with the mere placement of a Santa figurine.

My collection....some might say addiction...to ornaments has oddly become the solution to this decorating conundrum.  The house will deign to tolerate randomly scattered glass ornaments and bells. It will also accept subtle Christmas linens and decorated baskets. I've even managed to have it accept the hanging of ornaments on cupboard handles. (Although Kevin is not a fan of this, so it's kind of a wash)

So instead of the Hallmark store decorating method, it's more Real Simple or HGTV. Go figure.

A Most Happy Christmas to You

16 December 2013

You're Not in Trouble Until They Call Your Name

Believe it or not the craziest part of our trip didn't happen until we were at the airport.

I put the Expedia app on my phone before we left but then just haphazardly used it.  It was nice to have the itinerary on my phone, I must admit.  I think I will use it again and actually use it as intended.

We were scheduled to fly out of Las Vegas Monday at 11:55 AM.  We had breakfast with our friends like we do each trip then headed to the airport. (these friends are the ones who Kevin crewed for thus were driving home)

We were on task and on schedule, which always isn't the case with us.  Also, we were meeting five of our friends at the airport as we were all on the same flight.  As we pulled into the rental car return, I saw a notification about our flight leaving in one hour, in which case we were really late.  It didn't make sense to me.

We turned in the car and got onto the shuttle bus.  Shuttle buses in Vegas are always entertaining because the drivers are always engaging and not a little bit crazy.  This was no exception.  This driver had just worked the Rock & Roll Marathon the day before and I think might have been a little hung over.

She missed our stop, or rather, took us to the wrong terminal.  Apparently the only fix for this was to return to the beginning and then go the correct way. (Is it bad that I could hear a line from The Princess Bride?  "Vizzini said go back to the beginning so here I am, at the beginning."  Humph.  She assured us that we had plenty of time for our flight but seemed not confident in her assurances.

We eventually got to the terminal and checked in.  They billed three bags to the brother-in-law and charged us for only one.  Because of this, we had to go to the actual counter agent instead of  the kiosk.  She checked us in and assured us we were still on time even though we still had to make it through security.

We made it through security kind of easy.  I worry now because of the hardware in my leg but it hasn't been a problem. *knock wood* or metal, be it as it may.

We then stopped at the coffee stand to get coffee as we are from Washington and that's what we do.  Although we thought we could see the gate, we couldn't see our friends.  Kevin got a text from one of our friends, asking where we were.  This was making Kevin frown.
Kevin mentions to the barista that he was worried about making our flight.  "Oh, don't worry.  You're not in trouble until they call your name.  They haven't called your name, have they?"

They hadn't but we decided that my sister-in-law and I would go ahead just in case.  We just made it to the Jetson's walkway when we hear: "Johnson, party of four, please report to the gate."

Holy mother of sweet baby jesus.

This is where I say that my sister-in-law had been simply awful about getting around Vegas.  As for her recovery from the accident, she isn't doing any of the self care that she needs to do.  (example: she left her cane at home because it wouldn't fit in the suitcase and she didn't want to carry it.  YEAH. Rest my case.)

I don't run.  I can't run, the muscle control is just not there anymore. I can do a little skip/jog thing and that's what I did. 

We get to the terminal and I can't find my boarding pass anywhere.  What the Hell is going on?  They weren't worried about it at all, just asked for my license and reprinted one.  We pointed to the guys jogging down the terminal with coffee in their hands.  They just laughed and told us to take our time, as apparently we hadn't been doing so this whole time.

We check in and head down the jetway.  We are actually stepping onto the plane when we hear "Johnsons?  Johnsons?"  Kevin actually cursed and turned around.  We hear "Did you order coffee?"
We called out "Yes" and they replied "We have it here, come and get it."

We walked back up the jetway and sure enough, there is the barista (red faced and out of breath) holding two coffees.  He felt badly and ran them down to us!  How nice is that!?!!  And how nice of the airline folks to allow us to come get it. I love Vegas.

We were, of course, the last ones on the plane.  I don't think we made anyone wait but we sure did receive some envious looks as we walked down the aisle with iced mochas in our hands.

We got to our seats and we hear "What the eff, eh?  Where's ours?" from one of our Canadian friends.

13 December 2013

Sugar Pancakes

Again with the "I'm not a cooker" posts...I am also not a baker.

Kevin's favorite Christmas treat is Christmas cookies, or as normal folks call them: sugar cookies.

Our sister-in-law makes hundreds of cookies every Christmas.  No exaggeration: hundreds.  That being said, I have no need to know how to make cookies.  I mean, I know how to, I just don't need to.

Well, I apparently lost my mind because not only did I go to Wally World this morning, I also bought premade cookie dough and two cookie shaper things...sigh, sweet baby jesus...what the hell are they called? Cutters!  Cookie cutters.  Those.  (you may think I'm kidding or that I'm being purposefully comical but hand to God, I couldn't remember what they were called.)

I bought premade cookie dough because in my ignorant arrogance, I dared the universe by thinking "How hard can this be?"

Well, in my meager defense, I did google the topic to make sure that I had everything I needed.  Oven: yes.  Cookie dough: yes.  Cookie shapers: yes (ha!)

I did not have a rolling pin because HELLO, you've met me.   But that was not the difficulty.  Sadly, I still not sure what the difficulty was.

Here is Santa's cookie workshop:
Yes, that is a measuring tape. Shut up. I can't tell how much 1/2 inch is.

So, other than the lack of rolling pin...see that plate?  I improvised...this looks fairly normal.


WTF happened, we don't know.

This is the perfect example of how no good deed shall go unpunished and how God has a sense of humor.   Kevin better appreciate these sugar pancakes.

08 December 2013

Is This Real Life?

As we know, I am not a cooker.  I've gotten better over the years and I will admit that I'm beginning to show a little interest in learning more.  That being said, my sibling-in-laws are both very good cooks.  They, however, do not cook healthy.  So there is a gap between my meager skills and theirs.

The other day they sent up turkey soup, leftovers from Thanksgiving.  Kevin put it on the stove in a pot with a lid then relayed the instructions for heating.  I followed them without lifting the lid and looking into the pot.

About ten minutes passed when it occurred to me that I should make sure all was well.

It was at a mild boil so that was right.  But there was something wrong. 

There was broth, noodles, and shredded turkey.

That's it.  Not vegetables, No spices. Nothing.  What. The. Hell?    Is this some kind of a test?

I opened the cupboard where I keep the spices. Dumped in garlic, lemon pepper, and onion flakes.  I didn't add salt because I am anti-salt and I hadn't tasted it yet.

Then I added corn, peas, and green beans.

I stood there, thinking of what else should be in a soup.  I actually tried to envision a bowl of soup.  I decided that I'd done what I could. I felt pleased with myself that I recognized a culinary problem and knew how to address it.

Then I discovered that it was SUPER SALTY.  Salt Lake City. Bonneville Salt Flats.  Deer salt lick SALTY.  To quote Swistle, "What fresh new hell is this?"

I stood there again, thinking "Something fixes salty.  What is it? Oh, potato.  But I am out of potatoes.  But if  I add a potato, then it's a stew."

Then I stopped.  "What the HELL is going on here!?!"  *I* am fixing someone elses soup. *I* know that a potato undoes over-salty. Is this real life?"

The mind boggles.

07 December 2013

My New (old) Job is Weird

I don't think I ever returned to talking about this whole job thing beyond feeling like a total dork during an interview.  (I didn't get it, btw)

I believe that said interview and resulting reference check did result in a "new" job here at my work as I suddenly received a job offer from the executive director.  I've since changed jobs internally and am making it up as I go along. 

I am the Communications Director now.  Doesn't that just sound so important?

It means that I can now legally and rightfully surf the interwebs while working.  How cool is that?
Somewhere my teenaged self is freaking out.  Hell, my adult self is freaking out a little.

I'm responsible for updating all the social media, managing the website, and writing newsletters.  I also do the correspondence for fundraising and might, maybe, begin participating in grant writing.  That last bit: not so much excited about because TEDIOUS.

It is the same 30 hours a week I was working but with a raise.  I am no longer essential staff so I can kind of come and go as I please.  I can work from home if need be. I am not in charge of anyone!  Hoorah! I'm no longer responsible for what-felt-like everything.  Huzzah!

As exciting as that is, it is a little deflating because I've gone from being busy and responsible for many things to not-so-much.  It's a bit of a gearshift.  I wonder if the lack of busyness and change is going to keep me happy and satisfied.

But a volunteer whom I hadn't seen for a few weeks said "You look really good."  I wondered aloud that it was probably just from the vacation but she was skeptical.  As it's no secret that I was so over the job, it was surprising that it was perhaps visible. 

The weird part is that my office is now the old bookkeeper's office.  She was "released" while I was gone, due to "budget cuts".  It's strange to be in her old space.  At least it's a new workstation and it's been nearly a year so any weird ju-ju is gone.  We'll know the ju-ju isn't gone when they find me taking naps on the floor at work.

The other weird part is that someone else is doing my job.  My old job that I observe every day.  I try really hard not to be around to make the person uncomfortable but it feels like just being in the building is uncomfortable for her.  (her issues, obvs, not mine)

So, lots of changes.  It definitely feels like a "Be careful what you wish for" situation.  I think it will be good though.  It's a good change, even with the weirdness.