31 December 2018

Annual New Year's Meme!

It’s tradition! The New Years Meme!

1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
 Meditate!  Definitely recommended and something I hope to sustain

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

I didn’t really set any last year so that’s a Yes!

3. My resolutions for 2019:
        Continuing to paint the interior of the house
        Consider getting a new refrigerator & stove
        Write more.  This is a rerun, and will always be

4. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope, no new babies this year. 

5. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, and it was awful.  I believe things come in three’s and the
third hasn’t occurred yet.

6. What countries did you visit?

"Oh Canada, our home and native land.."
(This is not my favorite question...Let's try: What trips did you take?  We’ve had some epic roadtrips )

7. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
A new government

8. What dates from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February: we stayed the night at Semiahmoo and it was perfection.
July: Our first race this year and it was just Kevin and I.  It was the most fun we have had in years.
December: my birthday was another road trip that I loved

9. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

        Successfully completing and disentangling myself from the  
freelance situation

10. What was your biggest failure?
        Not remaining hopeful. This year has been so dark and society
seems to keep digging below the bottom

11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not this year!  I'm on a three-year spree!  Go, me!

12. What was the best thing you bought?
        My new bike!  We bought bikes to ride when we’re racing and I
love it, even though I’m a little ridiculous on it.

13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Anyone who has made it through this no good, awful, terrible, very bad year.  And the Blue Wave

14. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

He Who Shan't Be Named and the people who support him.

15. Where did most of your money go?
        Racecar, mochas, books, bills

16. What did you get really excited about?
Good thing: going racing.                                                        Bad thing: governmental indictments & investigations.

17. What song will always remind you of 2018?
        In Case You Didn’t Know – Brett Young
        Almost 30 years in and there are still love songs.

18. Compared to this time last year, are you:
~ happier or sadder? Moderately happier
~ thinner or fatter? Same-ish
~ richer or poorer? Better than last year

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

Read...I look at my bookshelf and want to read everything right now.

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

        Despair at the current state of affairs

21. How did you spend Christmas?

Eve - at my parents with an excited five-year-old who still ovesthe joy of Tag! with Unca Kevin
Day - Next door, immersed in children's excitement and food

22. Did you fall in love in 2018?
Every day.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

       New: The Bold Type & Grownish, Old: The West Wing

24. 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" is my standard answer but this year He Who Shan't Be Named is SO on the list.

25. What was the best book you read?
         Looking at my bookshelves...umm, well.  There wasn't really a                     favorite this year

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
        The Greatest Showman soundtrack

27. What did you want and get?
          Time with Kevin

28. What did you want and not get?
           I'm pleased to say that I can't think of anything other than the                    obvious: puppy, books, mocha, chocolate

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
100 Foot Journey and The Greatest Showman

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 50!
We went on a road trip to Friday Harbor, which isn’t something normal humans do in December and it was glorious.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A functioning government and not the constant feeling of needing to flee to Canada

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
I'm going to quote an old coworker "I'd like to get as close as possible to wearing pajamas to work yet still look appropriately dressed."

33. What kept you sane?

 Kevin. Lucy. Mochas. Television.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Lin Manuel Miranda (see: Good Morning/Good Night)

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
the whole gawdamned gawdawful thing.

36. Who did you miss?
My former co-workers.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
        I don't know that I met anyone new, really...

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018:
        Expect the Unexpected


27 December 2018

Defrocking The House 2018

It's about halfway through December 26th and I'm defrocking the house already. (TBH: now it's the 27th)

I'm on winter break for the next two weeks so I've plenty of time to do this.  Why I feel compelled to do this So Much today is a mystery.  I mean, it's not like we had an unhappy Christmas and I just want to be done now.  It was actually a pretty mellow Christmas, for once.

My plan for today was: nothing. Kevin had to work so the only thing planned was to watch Doctor Who all day.  BBC has a marathon going right now so it's been playing here since Christmas Eve evening, if Kevin isn't around.  (He just can't even.  He glances at the television and says "Because of course the Titanic is flying through space" and shakes his head)

Right now everything is piled in my office, which I just cleaned and organized on Christmas Eve morning so the organization lasted almost two whole days. The tree is going to be an hours long task and I'm just not interested.  It's still pretty, smells good and makes me happy

I think part of this urge is that this house LOOKS decorated at Christmas.  I just haven't found a balance of decorating for the holidays with this house.  It tends toward looking/feeling cluttered, in my brain.  I'm certain that it's not, in reals.

Many of the decorations have been changed or replaced since we moved in, in an attempt to appease this house. I've mentioned it before that this house shrugs off decorations like it's wearing an itchy wool sweater.  While the old house had plenty of surface to decorate and because it was an old house, it just preened in Christmas decorations.

I guess the best way to describe the settled upon decoration style for this house is like the real simple magazine. Lots of decorative candles, bulb ornaments, white lights, and beaded garland. A few years ago, Michael's had decorations that looked like they were from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas and I loved them. They are glitter heavy and bright green and red.

It must just boil down to the  cluttered feeling and needing to control my space.  It's been not a great year and I suspect that 2019 is not going to be much of an improvement.  Kevin is just relieved, because he is definitely the Once It's Done, Be Done guy.  I used to hold out until after New Year's Day.

I did better this year with my ornament obsession. Not being able to shop on my birthday is honestly the only reason. And we bought the perfect tree this year so I was able to use all the ornaments.  Although, I was lacking in green ones  so I bought a set, okay-three sets- at Goodwill.  It's all about balance.

I have some snowmen decorations that I put out for January, just so the house doesn't look barren and sad.  Because reasons, I took them into work for that same purpose and now I have nothing.  Instead, I made a quick trip to the dollar store and bought some extra white, short-strand Christmas lights and some new candles.  It's still a little cheery for the dark days of January and February.

Also what happens every year is the intention to organize everything while putting it away.  Then I get tired and frustrated and don't do it.  This year, I am determined.  My winter break stretches into January instead of being solely in December so I've got the time.  Label maker and bubble wrap will be employed.  I will pack the closet according to need. For instance: Christmas cards easily accessed so I can ignore them until days before Christmas, as is tradition.

25 December 2018

Merry Christmas

Whatever you celebrate, may it be with all your favorite people, things and eats.
Faith and family is what you choose it to be.

24 December 2018

Making A List

Kevin really is one of the smartest people I know.  Subterfuge is not his thing though.  I mean, take shopping for his wife as an example.  

He requested a list for Christmas so I made him one with five items on it.  None of them difficult and not requiring going to a special store.  My only request is that he doesn't go with his brother because it's super fun discovering that my sister-in-law received the exact same present as me.

Item #1: a man's watch.  He had forgotten his so I put it on my wrist to remember to give it to him.  I realized that I liked the weight and the looseness of it.  I don't like tight things on my wrists at all. (criminal in a former life, I'm guessing)

He didn't want to because he didn't want his wife to look like a truck driver.  LOL, what?  I understand that it's an unusual request.  He did ask if I wanted a watch like that or just liked wearing HIS watch and it's probably a little bit of both.  About a minute into the discussion I  realized something:  
"Wait, Kevin? Let me understand: you wanted a list of things to buy me for Christmas and now you're debating said list?"  He laughed and said yes.

Item #2:  After painting our bathroom, I want to do some remodeling.  BFF K gave me a mirror for my birthday. I can put in the common folk bathroom, or buy another one and put it in the master bathroom, or buy two more and have everything match.

This intrigued Kevin and he wanted all the mirrors to match because the OCD is strong in him.  Okay, I win.

Item #3: pretty light covers for the master bath light and our bedroom.  This started a "There isn't a light like that in the bathroom" debate, closely followed by a "We looked at the junk shop and couldn't find one that fit."  Because.We.Didn't.Measure.  I win, again.

Items #4 & 5: new cozy flannel sheets and a cozy new blanket for our bed.    
I knew he wasn't going to get either of those ones so it was kind of a throw-away request.

He went, was gone about an hour, and one phone call later, he returned.  Every year he leaves the present in the shop, wraps it there and depending on what it is, takes it next door or puts it under our tree.

I was very specific: the wrapping paper is behind the door in the office.  Scissors and tape are in the middle drawer of the desk.  I went into my office this morning and the door to Monica's Closet was open.  Why?  We don't know and we're not going to ask.

AND, I have a pile of about twenty paper bows on my desk that are crushed and mangled.  I left them there last night with the intention of googling what to do with them today.  Notice the bow when you look at the photo below.

When I entered the living room, I noticed the brown wrapping paper first.  It matches nothing else that is wrapped and is on top of other presents.  THEN I noticed the giant present LEANING ON THE TREE.  

Bless his heart, he will never work for the CIA.

21 December 2018

Dust in the Wind

The lovely Pacific Northwest had a "Weather Event" yesterday.  There was an expected windstorm that did lots and lots of damage throughout Western Washington and the coast.

While I was driving to work, I noticed once I got to the farmland that the wind was strongly blowing, pushing my heavy truck around.  Once I arrived at work, the lights kept blinking on and off.  We were all kind of nervously making jokes about getting to go home, all the while hoping the building wasn't damaged while we were in it.

Not long afterward, the power indeed went out.  The main office is windowless so it was pitch black.  This is the situation where you discover who are the helpers and the panickers.  One of my coworkers is a panicker.  I calmly grabbed my phone, started the flashlight app, and helped her find her phone and way.

Someone asked her where her emergency flashlight was.  She opened a desk drawer and brought out a torch (a Bic candle-lighter)  I was all "Umm, no..." gently taking it from her "That is a super bad idea."

I returned to my office, which is separate from the rest of them and made arrangements to go home.  But when I checked in later, they were huddled around a table with a flashlight in the middle and were talking about what they could do for lunch.

The interwebs was apocalyptic with photos and updates of downed trees, power outages, and then the only freeway we have closed.  I was a little concerned and befuddled that they were so whatever about it.  I guess that maybe they thought it would...wait for it...blow over.

I just wanted to get home safely, make sure we had electricity and everything was fine.  So, I left.  One and a half hours later, I was home. It usually takes twenty minutes. All the traffic lights were out, the freeway was closed, and it was gridlock everywhere.  Once I could get to a back road, I was great.  It was just getting to it.

We had power when I arrived home.  It looked like our road was the only one in the whole neighborhood  that did, strangely.  I can't see our backdoor from where I park and I was busy looking at the trees, wondering if there was anything I could do.  Then I rounded the corner of the house and Sonofabiscuiteatingdog.

Our roof was damaged.  There were twenty roof shingles scattered on the ground and in the garden.

I put my stuff down, walked back up behind our house to look at the roof (there is a gravel road that runs behind our house) And sure enough, a section was missing and there were eight shingles still laying haphazardly on the roof.

Unfortunately, I can't see the front of the house to see what's happened on that part of the roof.  I couldn't tell if it was better or worse.  So, here I am in a windstorm, making excellent choices, and getting a 10 foot ladder in the middle of a windstorm.

I set it in the middle of our lawn, planted it well, and slowly inched my way up three steps.  All the while, muttering "I am the dumbest person alive right now."   But my courage wore out and I couldn't get high enough to see enough of anything.

It took Kevin nearly two hours to get home.  And of course, it started to rain as soon as he was on the roof.  Luckily it stopped about halfway through the repair job.  And with that, the wind died down too.

Along with thousands of other people, I had to call the insurance company to start a claim.  It was surprisingly easy and I hope that bodes well for the process.  And if it doesn't, I tend to enjoy a good fight.  We're glad to be relatively small in this situation.

Oh, beautiful PNW, sometimes you make it difficult to love you.

17 December 2018

Happiness in an Envelope

It's my annual struggle: Christmas cards.

I love Christmas cards.  I love getting them, I love choosing them in the store, I love the idea of them.  I think it's a lost and important art.  A moment for two people to connect and remember each other.

One month ago I brought out the Christmas basket that holds all of our cards.  It has an assortment of cards, super random envelopes, glitter, and mailing labels.  Oh, and a green and red pen.   Every tool needed (except stamps) that a person needs to complete this joyous chore.  This year I even bought stamps ahead of time.

It's the 17th today and I'm just starting.  Every single year this happens.  Every single year I have the best of intentions.  I had the goal of having this task completed over the Thanksgiving weekend and now we're a week from Christmas.

I have no excuse.  A little bit of the Can't Want To.  A little bit of I left them in my office and "out of sight, out of mind." Otherwise I can only blame the Hallmark Christmas movies that are on constantly right now.

Last year I had the epiphany that it was because I have too many cards to choose from.  I have church cards, Santa cards, pretty cards, kid cards.  I try to cover all the bases.  What I should have is a huge stack of the exact same card.  If I just would do that, this task would be over in about thirty minutes.

But what fun would that be?  I like finding the Santa card for the families who have kids.  The doggy cards for our friends with dogs.  I like honoring someone with a church card because I know it's special to them, even if I'm a little meh.

I see the photo cards and I love them.  Each year I think "I should do those."   Photos of Kevin and I together are few, I'm the one usually taking the photos.  I don't want to be the childless couple who sends out a photo of their dog, even though Lucy is pretty cute.  Maybe some year I will do one and I'll probably love it and wonder why I ever did it any differently.

This year and last year, actually, I have an extra challenge: Christmas cards for Kevin's staff.  Yep, I've become the typical boss's wife.  I try not to make all the cards the same because I know they will probably see each other's cards.  I worked on what to write and decided with a simple "Thank you for all you do" and our signature.

Here is a Christmas mystery I have every single year:  where do all the envelopes go?  Every year I run short of a size of envelopes.  Yet I have a stack of too small envelopes.  How does this happen?  It's not like I make a ton of mistakes.  My guess is that I've too many times bought extra envelopes and each time buying the wrong size.  Because: I am clever.   I also have the tendency to hoard birthday card envelopes.  And yes, you're right: those are much too big for Christmas cards.  Yet, I continue to do it.

So, then it's prioritizing.  I usually start with my BFF first (your card reminded me of your house!) and then family, and then friends.  I should start with our Canadian friends because it takes weeks to get the cards to them, even though most of them are less than an hour away.  One year I'll accomplish that but this is not that year.

Family and friends who are smart asses get glitter or confetti in their cards. This has had consequences over the years as I have glitter all over my desk, or in my car.  One year the bag of confetti broke open and I didn't know it.  A lovely confetti trail went from one end of the old house to the other.  Sometimes Karma is instant.

Years ago I wrote a loving post about our address book.  This is another delay that I encounter: time has to be spent looking through the address book and remembering.  Each year someone is crossed off the list (usually sad reasons) but maybe sometimes people are added too.

And in another classic example: here I am writing about a task instead of completing it.

So, if you ever want a Christmas card, hit me up.  It will probably be late or last minute but look at all the thought I put into it! 

Image result for christmas card quotes

08 December 2018

It's Not His Job

Couple friends of ours have hit a rough patch.  They have two young children  and at that horrible time when neither of the kids are in school yet. Also, her Pinterest perception of what motherhood should look like is wrong.

(I will preface this with I really like her, I really do.  She's almost twenty years younger than me so my perspective has experience behind it that she doesn't yet possess.)

And then there's Jesus.   

She'll talk about praying to understand why life is so hard, or for strength, or whatever, quite a bit.  Then she'll mention not finding the help/solace that she's looking for.

I just want to grab her by the shirt and say "JESUS isn't going to FIX THIS" while gesturing wildly. This is not broken, this is difficult. This is what life looks like. Her life is exactly the life that every stay-at-home mom with young kids has.  I  want to dial my nephew and niece with the six kids, three pets, and two jobs then hand her the phone: "Talk to them about your problems.  I think they'll find your problems Adorable." 

She has this perception that if she prays hard enough that suddenly her kids won't act their age, or that her husband won't have to work 8+ hours plus commute so she can be home, or that the puppy will stop doing puppy things.  Also, Jesus didn't make any of these choices so yelling at him about it seems misguided.

I'm not demeaning that it's difficult, I'm demeaning the approach that he's going to suddenly notice her and make it better.  She's a SAHM with little financial worries and a good support system. I know this is surface level and thou shalt not judge and all that but it's not like she's the opposite of all that. 

None of our kids are religious so we haven't really bumped into this situation.  Also, It's a confident guess that her upbringing was vastly different than what our kids experienced.

It's just astounding to me when someone has a skewed perspective of their life then gets frustrated that Jesus doesn't fix it.  a) it's not his job 2) it's not broken: it's life and c) let's look around at others lives and find some perspective. 

This is the part that I find ironic.  Wouldn't life be just a little bit easier if you're not waking the kids up on Sunday and dragging them to church for most of the day?  Or to bible study during the evenings?  They are younger than six, I think their tiny souls will be alright.

This is one of those situations where I find religion frustrating. She believes that if she just prays enough and is dedicated to the church enough that life will get easier or she will suddenly gain insight.  Umm, no. that's not how any of this works.

I always imagined praying was meant for the big stuff.  I imagine God/Jesus/whatever thinking "Really?  This?  This is what you're asking for?"  Let's keep prayer in reserve for the dying parent, the sick kid, the gratitude when things are good; not just because kids are messy and loud.  The rest of the work is on us mere humans.

If you're a believer, you don't get to know why things happen.  He considers it none of your business, he has a plan.  Stop interfering, stop asking.  Just suck it up, buttercup.

Image result for even if the prayer is just thank you

06 December 2018

I Can't Want To

I'm learning something new at work and usually I'm all in with this situation. 

Today though, man, I just can't. 

So far, I've more frequently than necessary checked email and social media.  I've completed other tasks of my job.  I've decorated for the holidays.

I'm not normally like this.  I usually like learning new things.  But I've had this project since right before I went on vacation and it keeps getting bumped (unintentionally and intentionally) to the bottom of the pile.

I started today with the intention of completing it.  I have thirty-five minutes left of my day and here we are:  Off task.  And sure, I'll be pouty and resentful when that folder is staring me in the face tomorrow.

Now I'm being all self-analytical.  "Why? why don't you want to do this?"

To be fair: I haven't been fully trained in this task.  I know about half of what I need to know.  I'm referring back to training that I had years and years ago: "If there is a field asking for info, fill it."  Which is helpful, but the documents don't match the screen; which prompts a lot of "I know I just saw it. *flipping pages* sonofa...Oh, here it is."

Oh, and some of these forms are in Spanish.  I get extra Challenge Points for that.

AND, I can't refer to the University of Google and YouTube because it's a specialized database.  Nothing in my bag of tricks is making this work.

If I really think about it: I don't like things that I'm not immediately successful with.  Not to be all Miss Smarty Pants, but stuff like this usually comes super easy to me.  So when it doesn't, tantrums ensue.  And I make mature decisions like "Hey, I'll write about this and then at least I accomplished that."

27 November 2018

Scenes from a Marriage

Everyone who knows me in reals knows that I am not human in the morning.  It takes me a little while to think clearly and successfully quash the need to throw things at you. 

We had to meet a friend on Sunday morning  and it required a bit of travel.  It's even more difficult to get your brain firing on all cylinders when you're in a vehicle for an hour.

While traveling through farm land, I noticed a lone Angus sleeping in a field. (Angus are the giant black cows)  I think I noticed because usually cows are in gangs and he was alone.

Kevin off-handedly says "There's Big Dave."

With slowed synapses, I'm trying to figure out how in the world of Carmen San Diego Kevin knows that the cow's name is Dave.  Let alone "Big Dave."

As I turned to ask him, I spot a cattle truck across the road.  He was talking about one of his drivers. 

I kind of laughed and said "I wondered how you knew the cow's name but it's one of your drivers."

"You just sit over there and look pretty." he says. 

"And everyone knows that cow's name is Dave."

Image result for angus cow
If we're being honest, he does look like a Dave

22 November 2018

Happy Thanksgiving

Related image
                             I hope this finds you happily with whatever family you have: given or chosen.                                  (If you're alone, there's a Friends Thanksgiving marathon on right now. It's                                                    surprisingly soothing) 

21 November 2018

I am Not Going

Warning: this is ranty.

I didn't go to Vegas this year, again.  Last year I had the shiny new job and deadlines so I didn't go. This year, I had the same job and the same deadlines and still didn't go.

The socially accepted reason is that leaving the parents alone is not a good idea.  While the kids did a great job during the last adventure, it's not fair to expect that from them.  Also, the Niece is in Arizona right now.  So, that is a very valid reason to stay behind.  The other is that there isn't anyone to stay with the puppy right now.  Being a shelter dog, she doesn't like it much when her humans go away.

The real reason is I cannot. CANNOT. No, really I can't, travel with the brother-in-law.  At this point in life, it is difficult to be in the same room with him; let alone being on a trip.

*Pause*  (perfect example forthcoming)

Just now, I got a text from the sister-in-law looking for the name of the Japanese restaurant that we go to while down there. It's a local place, not on the strip.  I am assuming that the google doesn't work down there.  Because you know what's super fun?  Making plans for people who are on a trip that YOU AREN'T ON.   And, they've been there about seven times now so How in the Name of Dora the Explorer do you not know this information by now.


Of course Kevin can't say "Well, Surely isn't going because she hates traveling with you."  And, the b-i-l already knows I don't like him so the fact that he is PUZZLED that I didn't want to go on this trip makes me want to kick bunnies.

One of Kevin's best friends is traveling with them on this trip.  On the second day there he told Kevin "Dude doesn't trust street signs or nav."   I KNOW, RIGHT!?!?!   He questions everything and he is right and you are wrong. Street signs are wrong. I'm here to tell you: He is Never Right.  The last time I went, he nearly caused a traffic accident because he was certain that Kevin was turning the wrong way and shouted over me who was giving directions, from my nav, while Not yelling.  Our friend Mike doesn't suffer fools at all.  He makes me look like Gandhi.  Fortunately, he goes on this trip also so there is another buffer.  I love when he is with us because he renders the b-i-l powerless.  We have perfected eye contact high fives over the years. Meaning: it's not just me that has this issue.


Kevin just phoned, equally as frustrated as me, to say that the restaurant is on a different street than before and this apparently caused a systems meltdown. I double-checked and it's the same restaurant but hold onto your socks: In a DIFFERENT location!!!  Inconceivable. What is happening!?!

Meanwhile, Kevin is at the racetrack with his friends and his brother stayed at the hotel today.  Let's see...who has time and resources to solve this problem...thinking, hmmm...it's a puzzler, oh! I know! the person who isn't on the trip and four states away.  I suggested to Kevin that he tell his brother to pack sand, which is actually pretty regular for us.


The b-i-l is the kind of guy who is curt to the wait staff then is puzzled when his food isn't exact or he's served last.  He orders steak at a pizza joint and complains  that it isn't good. (It's a G.D. pizza joint. "but it's on the menu", is his logic.)  They left 45 minutes earlier than the two-hours already planned because he was worried about traveling.  They left at 2:45 in the morning because it was easier than to argue with him.

Last weekend the brother in law was sick with the MAN COLD thus was completely disabled, as often happens with the sniffles. Everyone knows that.  Then the sister-in-law got it the day before the trip and instead of postponing, she decided to fly on an airplane. While I wondered about exploding sinuses, a friend wondered about spreading her cold throughout an airplane. But this is the same person who needed a cane to walk but left it behind because it "was inconvenient on the airplane." You know because it was super convenient for me to go buy one the next day.

Tell me, why wouldn't I want to sign up for that? it sounds like so much fun! These are just a few examples and I can go on for DAYS with more. It's a constant stream of stuff like that.  Here is a quick list, I can't help but share because it's comedic level nonsense:

I drive when we're there and the s-i-l wants to valet the car.  Okay, great.  But all the tips shouldn't be my responsibility. She eyerolls that I'm overly-solicitous to the valets, waitstaff, etc. She walks really slow, like people are annoyed slow.  She alternately laughs and/or scorns homeless people. (I stopped that when I quietly said "It must be hell to live like that.  Imagine what landed them there in the first place.")  She likes to gamble all day and I would rather eat my hair. She likes to shop and see: eating my hair.

They are a dream team.  No one can ever be as tired or as sore or as anything as they are.  The amount of heavy sighs and groans are like traveling with unmedicated old people.  Oh, and I missed that she now has ptsd from her car accident. (from four years ago) She now gasps and clings with every bump, stop, turn, movement that happens while in a car.  Dude, I'm so bummed I missed that!

But back to the b-i-l.  His codependency on his brother is a psychologist's dream.  It is the worst kept secret amongst our friends.

I mean if Kevin goes to the bathroom to wash his hands, there goes the brother.  If Kevin buys a t-shirt, he has to buy one too. (this makes packing for a trip fun. I call it "Which shirts won't make you twinsies with your brother.")  If Kevin makes a joke or uses a catchphrase, his brother immediately adopts it as if he invented it. He'll tell Kevin's stories like he was the one or was there when he wasn't.  If someone takes Kevin's attention away, there is pouting or interference.  (once he thrust his cell phone between the two of us when we were in the process of HUGGING.)

You might be wondering about Kevin's role in this.  He really is between a rock and a hard place.  He was raised to coddle his brother because "That's just him"  The fact that "That's just him" is part of the reason "That's just him" is completely lost on the family.  We've been together 28 years and it has been A Thing the whole time. If I think about it too much, I get angry that they would mantle Kevin with that kind of pressure and responsibility.

Essentially Kevin is like a battered spouse when it comes to his brother.  He HATES this analogy, and I get that. It's taken me years to make that connection.  If he rebels, there are consequences.  (Pouting, yelling, silence.) If he goes along, then it upsets me. If I do participate, then I have to squelch everything I am because hims feels gets hurt/offended by most of anything I say or do. If I withdraw then the b-i-l wonders why I'm not participating.

Reminder: he knows on a cellular level that I don't like him. There have been epic arguments about it. (none including me though because also: a coward.)

 Kevin explained that I wouldn't enjoy the trip because he would be gone for 75% of the time.  "But it's still a vacation" the brother-in-law states.  This is the awareness he possesses. In  a marriage, a vacation isn't an activity where your spouse isn't with you, you moron.  But it would never occur to  him to do something his wife likes or wants.  Wouldn't even be a blip on his radar, thus the complete bewilderment when Kevin wants to spend time with his wife.

And, pulling the psychology hat on a little tighter: he is so codependent upon his brother that he WOULD do something that he doesn't want to do because his need to be with his brother overrides the unpleasantness of whatever it would be that he didn't want to do.  He doesn't want to be at the track 24/7 at all but because Kevin does, there he is. He's been asked why and he gets defensive.  "I am having a good time!" he invariably non-convincingly snaps.  If I could post any photograph taken while they are there, you would see that indeed, a good time is not being had.

Again, we can't say "It's not a vacation when you're spending it with people you don't like." Because people are sensitive.  hahahaha...sigh...   I'm Sisyphus pushing to the rock up the mountain in this situation.  "She can't go because there are responsibilities...But she could...She can't go because she doesn't want to...But why wouldn't she...She'd rather have a pelvic exam... Wait, what?"

Kevin was originally okay with the idea of going solo because it makes his life easier and the purpose of this trip is based on his being at the racetrack almost 24/7.  Until he had to be solo.  It's not fun being separated for almost a week.  I know Kevin didn't get out our door to leave before he was already regretting it so I don't imagine it will happen again next year.

If they didn't go, I would go and spend some time at the track with our friends and the rest of the time sleeping in and doing stuff I want to do alone. (which is my heaven, frankly)   So, maybe next year I'll figure something else out, like leaving early or traveling separately.

Again: Sisyphus:
But I just remembered that I did do that the last time we went. We were scheduled to fly out alone, have one day alone, then everyone else would join us.  And they CHANGED THEIR PLANS. Kevin hasn't seen me so mad, like, ever.  Their reaction was feigned regret and uncomfortableness.  "No, you go ahead and do your thing...we'll figure something out..."

So that's why I'm Not Going.

And guess what?  They found the restaurant.  And there's a photograph and he looks miserable.

18 November 2018

Adventures in Painting

In the old house I could paint and I didn’t care one ounce if it wasn’t perfect.  It was an old house.  Thus my getting banned of ever painting in the new house. 

But now the house is thirteen years old and things need painting.  This is one of the situations where Kevin and I shouldn’t be together because we both turn into small children.  “I can’t WANT to!”

Also in the old house, when Kevin left for a trip, I would paint.  Once the poor guy left with a 1970’s harvest gold and gothic kitchen and returned to 1990’s country blue wonderfulness.  When I bored of that color, I painted it light green.  He wasn’t a fan of that one at all.

I set a hesitant intention to paint the bathroom while Kevin is gone.  I didn’t realize how big of a job it was going to be.  Let’s just say I’m 5’3” and it has vaulted ceilings.  And a garden tub.  Then I thought okay, I would just paint the laundry room instead.  It needs it too.

So, of course I’m prepping to paint the bathroom.

I thought I could get away with a household step ladder, but 5’3” so I went outside to get a ladder.  Two things at play here:  Kevin’s parents are home. (that’s why I’m home, kinda) and I forget that we live in the woods. 

Kevin’s dad is gone so I was in the clear there.  If he finds out I’m doing something, I am going to have his not-whistling person over here all.damn.day.  (We’ll check in on this decision later)

The ladder is stored outside. Dude, so gross.  November is dark and wet here so everything is soaking and slimy.  SUPER.  Now the ladder is in the common folk bathtub, soaking in scrubbing bubbles. 

Here’s something to know about me: I always underestimate how long and complicated these kinds of tasks are.  Like ladder soaking in the tub right now, thus rendering both bathrooms into a messy state. Vaulted ceilings vs. short person.

Yesterday I went to Ace Hardware because I’ve become a Shop Local human over the past years.  The young man who helped me was really good at explaining how things are done now unlike in the olden days.  Not having to prime the walls is MAGIC.  It was worth probably spending a little more just to have someone help me like that.

I did forget to buy drop cloths and I know that there is probably some in the shed.  But I really can’t want to go dig around lawnmowers, garden tools, and racecar stuff to find that tote.  See: ladder in the tub.  I did read on the interwebs to use plastic wrap so we’ll see how that goes.   Guess who took paper to the recycle yesterday?  *this girl!*

The new intention is to start in the shower and work outward.  I believe I’m only going to do the wall where the shower lives because other wall has the counter, mirror, medicine chest, window, garden tub.  I predict disaster awaits there. But I swear the contractor didn’t paint that part beyond primer so it needs to happen.  Also, I usually begin with the most difficult part of a project.  This I regret every time. 

The interwebs also says it should take an hour to paint a bathroom, once the prep is done.  I started a hour ago and haven’t even cracked a can.  I make good decisions.  Oh, I researched painting a bathroom, you ask?  Have you met me?  Research Nerd.

Okay, well, it’s now the same time the next morning.  I am not dead and ninety percent of the bathroom is painted by some paint miracle.  Or stubbornness.  It wasn’t as terrible as I thought.  Oh, wait, well the shower was terrible.  Super high ceiling plus 4x4” shower stall made for some sketchy balancing.  Only fell once.  *high five*  
Forgive the dirty shower floor. I can't scrub it until tonight

It looks pretty good.  I can see in the morning light a few places that will need a second coat but that isn’t happening until Kevin gets home.  Also, no form of applied physics and geometry was making painting above the toilet happen.  Welcome Home, Kevin. Missed you. Here’s a paint brush.

You might be wondering if I have a paint handle extension.  I do. Do I know where it is?  I suspect it went next door and never returned. Because that is what happens to our stuff.  This will be Kevin’s cross the bear.

And wow, if this doesn’t get me Get Out of Jail Free cards for a while.  Gesturing widely in response to anything “Painted the bathroom By My Self”  (I know “myself” is one word. It looks more emphatic this way)

If you’re curious what paint I used, here is a photo:

I really liked it.  It didn’t smell painty, it cleaned up easily, and covered nicely with one coat.  I chose Magnetic White, which is in the yellow section I think.  I grabbed a paint color card at Home Depot then found it at Ace Hardware.  At Home Depot, it’s called Glass of Milk.  It’s a pale/soft white (not bright or sharp) with a tiny shade of yellow. 

Now the laundry room is giving me side-eye because it really needs painting.  I don’t know that I have it in me today though.  Maybe when Kevin gets home.  It really will be one of those “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie” situations.  Painting the bathroom was singular, it doesn’t affect the look of any of the other rooms.  The laundry room (also known as a Mud room) will make the kitchen look shabby and the exterior door too.  (it’s 32 degrees here today.  Painting anything exterior has to wait until May)

I bought adhesive tile at Home Depot too so that’s another chapter.

08 November 2018

What's Too Much for a Little Peace?

It's not news to anyone that life has been stressful around here.  I mean, take away the whole elderly parents thing, just the state of 'Merica right now is stressing. And it's getting to me.

A few weeks ago I went to a conference about trauma stewardship.  I'll post that bloggity later.  It really kind of cracked my head open a bit.

Lately, I've been avoiding the news and the twitter and I've been, let's just say, hibernating and not say avoiding.  I've been perhaps, maybe, eating some emotions. (Oh, hello Halloween candy)  I've lost some interest in things that usually help me process life.   This space, for instance.

Taking heed to some of what I heard at this seminar, I really thought about things I can change.  Nothing big because who has the energy for big changes right now.  Not this girl.  This is what I'm going to do:

I'm going to take a walk during my lunch, if the weather isn't monsooning.
I'm going to listen to not triggering music.  Today I played classical all day while at work.
I'm going to side-eye what our meals look like. (also another post: Kevin got a pre-diagnosis last week)
I'm going to continue my Instagram because it gives me pleasure and takes little time.

This is my one big leap though: meditation.

I know, I know.  I'm A.D.D so this felt impossible.  I'm told that meditation can help with it.  I will let you know.  It essentially tries to teach you to rein in your thoughts. To acknowledge that too many things are happening in your brain and to purposefully focus.

I found an app, because there is an app for all.the.things.  I used the free trial and started very, very slowly.  3 minutes, working up to 5 minutes.  I didn't set a goal because that tends to spin me out when it's not reached.

I do it before I go to sleep, when I'm sleepy and on the verge of sleep.  Only once have I actually fell asleep, which was super fun when the guide started  talking again and woke me.  I know a person is supposed to do it in a quiet room, alone, and all that.  That is not how I'm wired or what my life looks like.  So, I adapted.

I've done 12 sessions, I think and can say that it helps.  My sleep was better.  I didn't wake up with runaway thoughts.  I wasn't so mentally exhausted when I got home from work.  I just felt better, like someone had saged my spirit or cleansed my aura.
<---sarcasm kinda="" nbsp="" p="">
I have an over-active imagination so I superficially worried that something like hypnotism would happen.  How pissed would I be if I started clucking every time a phone rang.  It's kind of an act of faith though, which is a whole other topic for another day.

It has been great for me, I can do it and no one is the wiser.  It takes just a few minutes and doesn't require me to go anywhere.  There isn't people, just my new imaginary friend.  There's no judgment if I can't concentrate or miss a day.  It feels doable.

But now I've hit a roadblock.  The free trial is up.  This app that I really like is relatively expensive.  $12.99 MONTHLY.  That's more than our Sirius or our Pandora or anything like that.  I did the math, because nerd trying to justify something, and it's 43 cents a day for a few minutes peace.  Breaking it down like that, it doesn't seem like much.  But they don't take it out at 43 cents a day.  It's the cost of two mochas! (Pacific Northwest currency exchange)

So, pros and cons because nerd.
it's a really good app
There are encouraging notifications and feedback.
I like the graphics and graphic design.  This matters to no one else but me, I realize.
I enjoy the guides voice, a lot.
It helps.

$12.99 a month
I'm the type of person who loses interest then forgets to cancel subscriptions. (Looking at you, CBS All Access)
There are other free apps.

"But what price is your mental health worth?" is a question.  A question that I'm going to answer "Not worth more than any of my other subscriptions to anything else"

Here's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to use another app that is free.  It's recommended by the interwebs so we'll see.  If I don't like it or use it as much, then I'll consider paying the fee.

Meanwhile, I've also created other ways to take a beat.  I downloaded an app that isn't anything but a quote on a beautiful photo. If I click an icon, there is soothing music.  It takes not thirty seconds to just stop for a moment and reset.  This is the kind of interval that I need.

I have another app that features a piece of art daily with the biography of it.

I even have a yoga app that I have yet to even open.  Let's just figure out this whole meditation  thing first then we'll try it.  I know, I know, I can multitask and try them simultaneously.  If I were another person.

So we'll see.  I was skeptical but so far, so good.  I would recommend to try it if you're needing to do something to reset.  Life is hard right now.  We gotta do something to get through it in one piece. Peanut butter cups will only take us so far.

06 November 2018

25 October 2018

35 Minutes

Every work day I leave work thinking that I will come home and be motivated to do stuff. Stuff like chores, or writing, or projects, or all of those.  But in the twenty-ish minutes it takes to go door-to-door, my motivation seems to disappear. I'm convinced it's a tear in the time space continuum

I'm unsure what happens exactly, sometimes it's as simple as watching Bones or Doctor Who, sometimes it's a nap, sometimes it's just a whole lot of I Can't Want To.

The funny/stupid thing is that if I would just buckle down and do these things, it would take hardly any time.  Instead, I unintentionally wait until Kevin phones to tell me he's on his way home.  His commute takes at least thirty-five minutes.

Suddenly with that phone call, I am motivated.  Suddenly in thirty-five minutes I will have emptied the dishwasher, sorted the laundry, paid bills, or whatever. Or all of it.  In thirty-five minutes, I'll have completed most of what I'd planned to that morning.

It's not like Kevin cares even one second about any of these things.  In fact, I doubt he notices. This is 100 percent on me. 

I can rationalize that it is the ADD because that's probably what it is.  But it is annoying.  It is nice knowing that anything I want to do is doable in 35 minutes or less.  And that Kevin doesn't give a sh*t about this silly deception...and that's not even the right word but you get what I'm saying.

14 October 2018

He Didn't Tell Anyone

We were supposed to be in Canada two weekends ago for our last race.  We were actually physically getting ready to race on Friday when my sister-in-law phones to tell us that my father-in-law had a stroke. I didn't hear the first two calls because racecar and there were two voicemails.  When my sister-in-law is freaking out, sh*t has gone sideways.


We packed up two pits in thirty minutes (a normal hour-long process) and it takes at least an hour just to get home depending on the border, then 20 minutes past that just to get to the hospital.  That was a really long ride.

It turns out that... and I have to do this in a listicle:
he took Kevin's mom's meds by accident
He didn't tell anyone FOR AN HOUR
He had chemically induced stroke and dropped.  
He was non-verbal and had little motor skills.
No one was home because we were in Canada and my s-i-l was at work.(45 minutes away)  I am usually no further than 15 minutes away, if I'm not at home.  This was the ONE TIME that I wasn't.
My m-i-l tried to call me but I didn't hear it.  She called the nephew's wife thinking it was my sister-in-law.

The kids got there first, followed by the s-i-l then eventually us. The kids were ROCKSTARS, I am so proud of how they handled this.

Because it was a chemically induced stroke,  it's reversible with little to no deficits. Right now he has about 90% of his speech back and all of his movements.  He  couldn't say "Republican" the other day and I had to laugh. (fully aware of the Hell I'm going to)

The only reason this wasn't fatal is because he takes the opposite of her meds for A-Fib and they counter-acted what he had taken.  Otherwise, this would have been a very different story. What absolute dumb luck.

So now, he's home again.  His speech is a still a little garbled at times. I'm sure they recommended he have speech therapy and I'm just as sure he won't.  He now insists that he didn't have a stroke.  "It was the medicine. They didn't say stroke."   

That's why I haven't been over there today.

We are insisting to dummy-proof the medicines because this isn't the first whoops they've had. (the 3rd, actually) and they are resistant again.  

This is an easy fix but one would think that we're insisting they sleep outside.  Kevin explained twice that if something happens to his dad, they're going into a home because none of us are able to quit our jobs to care for them.  That hit a target, for sure. I ordered two vastly different pill organizers for them and they'll be here tomorrow.  

So that was stressful enough AND THEN, like always, the brother tried to make it about him.  He was hurt because I was curt when he asked "Well, what happened?"  after Kevin had just told him word for word what his wife said. We're literally throwing things into the truck and trailer and he just sat in his trailer.  His wife had called him multiple times but he didn't answer the phone, even after we knew what happened.

in the ER room, he told his dad (who at the time is still not verbal yet) "I just knew that you were working outside and had been laying out there dying and not able to get help."  WHAT.THE.ACTUAL.FUCK.  Do you HEAR the words you're saying!?!

We heard four times (I counted) how he's doubted about taking his own medicine. Until finally one of his kids shut him down and he shut up.  This isn't about you for the love of gawd.

So, we went back to the racetrack the next morning with the families permission and left them to tend to the parents.  It was WAY THEIR TURN. (they stayed in bed the last time when Kevin's mom nearly died at the house and in the ambulance)  Yeah, the s-i-l went and stayed the day at the hospital while he stayed home and did nothing.  Again: W.T.A.F.  He had one job and sent his wife to do it.

Oh, and this is the same hospital that very nearly killed our nephew.  We watched that boy steel his spine and work through his own stuff that day, in addition to being there for his grandpa, without a word.  Seeing nurses who cared for him, walking the halls he walked, all of it.  He's the opposite of his father though and I have to express gratefulness of his strength and be so proud. He didn't make it about him and that is the shiny side of  this situation.

12 October 2018

Too Short! Too Long!

I rarely buy new clothing.  There's a few reasons:  I'm frugal, I hate shopping, and after years of having free clothing access at a job, I just got out of the habit.  Online clothing shopping can be so disappointing that I just don't usually try.  I'm an immediate gratification kind of person when it comes to clothing. Well, everything really.

Now that I have a different job, I have to think about this clothing thing.  Stuff wears out, gets ruined, or styles go out of fashion or whatever.  I've hit that point in my closet.  If I could just go to work in varying forms of yoga or track pants and hoodies, it will be all good.  But no, sometimes I have to dress like a grown-up.

I've read with interest Swistle's adventures in shopping.  Mostly I'm all What She Said with the issues she talked about and  that I've encountered.

I hate that sizing keeps changing and that it isn't standardized throughout the industry. I know this isn't a new frustration but gah, would someone please fix this?

I have found that with shopping at second-hand shops, the sizing isn't always an issue.  Clothing is often not quite on trend so the sizes aren't so varied.  Sure, there are a few designers/manufacturers that I'm a hard pass on because I know their cuts are wrong for me.

It took me a while to figure this out because I don't usually buy new.  I can grab an extra large at the second hand store and it will fit.  Grab one at a regular store and not so much.  Specifically: Target, I can rarely grab something from them "in my size" and have it fit.  Like "Fat Guy in a Little Coat" doesn't fit.

To sound like an old lady, I could usually count on JC Penney for fitment. (that's usually a car term but I'm using it here.) Also, it's that pleasant time warp whiplash walking in the store. Suddenly, it's 1986 and I'm at the mall!! But both JCPenney stores near me have since closed so that's a bummer.

I tried to buy simple t-shirts from Amazon but even with sizing up, they were too small. And so, so long.  I have the opposite problem as Swistle: these sizes are often too short for her yet too long for me.  I kept them and can report that they make excellent pajamas.  So soft!

Then, on a whim, I went to Old Navy because I remembered that Swistle mentioned the store.  My only experience with this store was from YEARS ago.  I was looking for something specific for one of the kids and they had just opened in my area.  The music was SO LOUD and there were workers scurrying around with headsets, and the place was chock full of stuff and people, and a little messy.  I was so out.  Sensory Overload times three.

This store is smaller, I think, and it was much more chill.  I did find two t-shirts that I adore.  They're also a little long but I think a few washings will take care of  that.  I went back to find if there were any more in a color I didn't hate but not so much.  I'll try again another day.

Oh, and what's with the threadbare, nearly see-through thing?  Ugh, I'm not a fan.  I've noticed that the wally world has that style of fabric also.  Oh, and another example: their sizing is too big usually.  Go figure.  My cynical mind thinks manufacturers equate poor folks to bigger bodies and wealthy ones to smaller ones.

Then that takes me to this and I can't remember if I've ranted about this before.  I am curvy because boobs. Omg, so much boobs.  So while I'm short, I'm curvy.  So it seems in the clothing industry, if you wear anything above a large, it has to be extra long. I mean, I get it but there are short larges in the world.  There is sometimes petite sizing but get this, it's often too short of a cut for my body.

Also if you wear beyond a large, you get to have big, giant DESIGNS on your shirt.  Oh, you're an XL?  here is a mammoth butterfly.   Or a GIRAFFE.  Because you also haven't earned grown-up clothing if you're this size, obvs.   And this boggles my mind: stripes.  Horizontal stripes nonetheless.  And glitter! or sequins! Sometimes all.of.the.things. Don't even get me started with the ruffles and peplums. (And yes, I know what a peplum is.  I watch Project Runway.)  Sigh...deep breath...

So, I've become Oprah when I find something I like: I try to buy many of them when I find them.  I've also become like a former coworker who once stated that her life goal was to come into work dressed in pajamas that you couldn't tell were pajamas.

03 October 2018

Shelter Plants

One of the hobbies that I have purposefully cultivated (ha! gardening pun!) is gardening.  Right now it's just flowers and the such but I do have a food garden idea in my head that I may try next year.  I worry about my attention span when it comes to something like that but my worry about the state of the world is beginning to outgrow that. (ha! another one!)

I should have gardening in my genes, it should come naturally but it doesn't.  My paternal grandfather had a huge garden, full of flowers, vegetables and fruit trees.  My ancestry is full of farmers.  But in the past, I've struggled with keeping things alive.  I mean, I have a husband who has access to any type of soil, compost, or bark that a person can imagine.  This shouldn't be this difficult.

When we bought this house in 1991, it had a very overgrown rock garden.  In fact, we didn't even notice it, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law did.  They were very excited at the time but Kevin and I were "Meh" because it just wasn't important to us. So they took clippings for their gardens and we just kind of let it be.

Now the only thing that still exists from that garden is a giant rhododendron that has been relocated twice, once by excavator.   Now it stands about about ten feet tall and provides a place for the bunnies to escape from Lucy.

When we built the house we live in now, Kevin made friends with the contractor.  Our house sits over an embankment that previously was just grass and trees.  The trees had to be removed due to their hazardous location and we had to do something about drainage because Washington = Rain.

So, Kevin and the contractor came up with a tiered rock garden idea and got it started. The state required us to plant X-amount of native plants to compensate for the new house.  We went to the nursery, handed them the list (that they promptly called bullshit) and they gathered up what we needed.  So that gave us tamarack bushes, rhododendrons, ornamental firs, and junipers.  We buried those and figured that would suffice for now.

Kevin and I disagree with the amount of native ferns that grow. (which can be a lot)  As a result, he and his brake cleaner (a.k.a weed killer) has been banished from the garden.  But again, because Washington, I am constantly battling alder seedlings.  I will spend an entire morning doing nothing but pulling those frustrating little trees.  Kevin brought home super expensive, high quality bark that he makes and guess what alders love?  that bark!  Ugh.

Then I discovered the clearance racks at Freddys (Krogers)    This has been the best thing ever for me.  Once I learned to look for perennials instead of annuals, it was off to the rodeo.  For $3, who cares if it dies?  My inner child also bonds with these plants that have been rejected because  they're not quite good enough.  I always tell them they can come grow at our house.  Like shelter dogs, only plants.

There are also these things call SEEDS that people use!  This is the first year that I tried those and so far the only thing that has grown is larkspur.  (which grows native here, actually)  Maybe some daises but I can't tell if they're weeds or actual flowers.  (short attention span, again)

Which is the other thing.  I have forgotten from year to year what I've planted.  So this is the second summer that something has grown and I have no idea what it is or where it came from.  I'd like to take credit for it but nope, it's the aforementioned attention span.

Lucy is pretty good about the garden.  She does like to dig under the giant hydrangea to be in the shady cool and daisies must be tasty for puppies. Oh, and day lilies are way to fragile to withstand Lucy patrolling the garden every day.  (we call it "walking the wall") She just looks at them and they're all "I'm out."  Otherwise she is very skilled at critter removal in the garden.

Now that I've figured all of this out, I enjoy it.  I do whine about the hour it takes to water during the heat waves but even that forces me to relax. I mean, standing there holding a hose and listening to the birds isn't a bad gig really. I eventually find it therapeutic pulling the weeds, especially when I call them names as I'm doing it.

My father-in-law is now working on a section that we've always left wild.  It's hard clay mostly and steep.  I've started planting things there just to see if it will grow and I've been mostly successful.  But it's hard work because of the soil and elevation.  I told him to do what he wants and I'll be happy with it.  We'll see how that turns out and I figure anything is better than the dandelions that happily grow there now (and everywhere.)

Then I mentioned during family dinner that I was considering doing a container vegetable garden. The whole family suddenly jumped in and I had to rein them back.  "I SAID: CONSIDERING"  Calm down, family.   Also, I figured it would be a hard no from Kevin and he threw me under the bus with his support. What the hell, Kevin?

Now the weather has turned the corner into Fall so it's too late.  I'm off the hook until the Spring then I'll think about it again.