Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Loverly Weekend

Here's my question:  After a wonderful, off-the-charts, great great grand wonderful weekend, how does one go back to the regular day?  How do you relish the memories you've made these past 48 hours, and not sink into despair over the next... whatever 5*24 is?

I'm not sure.  I want to revel, I want to remember and smile and say "WONDERFUL!" really really loud, whenever someone asks me how my weekend was.  But the mind invariably drifts onward, and the future is looking cloudy, overcast, and even chilly, in contrast to the sunny, bright, and breezy last two days.

This will be my challenge this week.  I might not love it as much as I've loved the weekend.  I don't know that a person is exactly supposed to.  The weekday is, I claim without substantiated evidence, inherently different from the weekend.  But I know Monday has some treasures in it, I just have to find them.  I have to learn to love Monday for what it is, and not despise for what it can never be.

Remember, fair isn't the same for everyone, its giving each what it needs.  So I'll give Monday its due, and try and give it what it needs to be come a wonderful memory in its own right.  This girl right here, well, she might just have the right idea.  Of course, everyone's situations are different, but lets be honest: there's always someone with less time than you, and so you'd better enjoy the time you've got.

Duke wants you to have a good week, too.
He'd also like to know what to do with the excess tongue problem he seems to be having...

May your Monday be Merry & Bright,

Friday, July 29, 2011

T-Shirt Quilt Along, The Next Steps

Again, this post is for those quilting fiends out there.  If this isn't you, I'm sorry.  We'll be back to our regularly schedules inane utterings on ... well, as soon as this thingy here is wrapped up.  I leave you with another loverly photograph to thank you for stopping by.

"I hear you have a fire problem"
Most likely, the phrase Handsome will never in his life utter.
And now, back to the sewing madness.

T-Shirt Quilt Along, Getting Started

Alright folks.  If you're not into the quilting thing, I'd suggest moving along.  Here's a picture for your trouble.  Have a great day.

Whats not to love about a man who can work extrication tools?
For those of you who are into that quilting thang, please, forge ahead, and lets get this party started!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Readjusting My Attitude

I'll admit freely, it wasn't my first impulse.  I didn't want to adjust my attitude.  Nope.  My plan was to get on here and bemoan my sorry state, and tell you all the miserable awful not-terrible-but-just-not-very-good things I was feeling.

In a word, LAME-O.

But then I heard this song playing through my head.  And then God spoke to my heart in a quiet gentle way.  And the adjusting began.  And, honestly, its happened about 3 more times since the first time, about 18 minutes ago.  Yes, I'm that changeable.  But I'm trying, and I'm learning.

So instead, let me share my newly re-adjusted (and re- and re- and re-adjusted) attitude with you!  Its a grateful heart, thankful and full of humility, knowing that, especially in light of my recent terrible attitude, I don't deserve any thing that I have, I've earned just about... none of it, and I can't do anything to make it otherwise. So here's my new outlook, with a heart full of thanks to redeemer God.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Etsy Experience

I've been cruising a lot lately, and I'm pretty much super excited about it.

Not the amount of time I've spent on there, that's more than a little concerning.  I'm excited about all of the awesome things a person can find on there.  I'm thinking of doing a regular little feature of things I've found on etsy that I'm in love with and you can buy and send to me check out if you'd like.  As an FYI, etsy is an online marketplace where you can buy vintage and homemade goods.  And we're not just talking yardsale stuff here, people.  Noooo.  We're talking wood work and quilts and nice jewelry and home decor items.  Its pretty awesome.

The problem is, defining my "own personal style" is a little intimidating for me.  Not quite as intimidating as suggesting to someone, "Hey, this looks like your style" because more than once, I've had said someone go, "Really?  You think so?  I don't like that at all." and then I don't talk for the rest of the day.  Picking out and sharing with you my own personal style is not quite as nervous making as that, but its close.  Mostly because I'm not sure of my "own personal style".  Is it possible for a person to not have a style?  Like, what if my "style" is cheap, not-see-through, and clean?  Is that an actual style?  What if my only requirements are covers my swimsuit area and costs less than a gallon of milk (or 2)?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Berries with a Borrowed Child

Finally!  It finally happened!

Now, I don't really know how to put this out there without coming across as a creeper, so I'll just say it and then try to fix it.  And you can judge me or not, whatever suits your fancy.  But I'm putting this up on a Sunday, so just keep that in mind when you're preparing to judge...

ASIDE:  Handsome always acts particularly ornery on a Sunday, after he's gone to church.  Like he has to make up for all that "being good" with some really atrocious doings. He's such a ... a... I can't even come up with the word.  He's something else.
So, what I finally got to do was borrow someone else's child and go on an adventure.  Now, before you hide your kids (hide yo wife, hide yo kids, hide yo wife...) let me tell you where I'm coming from.

I've got a family.  A large one.  And they're almost all up in PA.  A few have escaped to IN, and one to CA, but most of my brothers and sisters are in Pennsylvania, within 50 miles of my parent's house.  And of those bro's and sis's, (sorry, the bed intruder song is getting into my lingo, yo.), quite a few of them have children.  In total, I've got 4 nieces and 2 nephews, with another nephew set to arrive any minute here (C'mon Izzy!! We're waiting!!).

So I'm used to having my nieces & nephews around, hanging out, and going on adventures.  Handsome and I got to be the cool aunt and uncle up home, because we were the only ones close by who didn't have kids of our own.  So we didn't really have to pay attention to things like "healthy diet" and "staying clean" and "thats enough roughhousing".  Nope, we just had good times.  We took my nephew to his first major league ball game, complete with foam scabbard (Pirates, baby!) and hot wings and cotton candy and nachos and pretty much anything he wanted.  It was grand.  He may have been sick the next day, but, as aunt & uncle, we got to return him to his parents.

I also buy loud toys for them at Christmastime.  My bro's & sis's are just waiting to exact revenge.

But down here in the lovely South, we haven't really known many people with children, and certainly not well enough that we could take them for the day for an adventure.  After the first few years, I got to missing my nieces & nephews so much that I began volunteering in the 2-year-old room at church.  This way, I could play with other people's children without being the weirdo at the grocery store making faces and following you around waving.

Now though, I don't have to be the weirdo!  I will still be volunteering in the 2-yr. old room at church, because I love those kids now, and really enjoy that hour on Sunday morning.  But now, we've made friends with a few people who have kids, and Saturday I had my first Aunt-ish adventure!  It was a smashing success, if I do say so myself.  We went to a fruit stand, and then picked our own berries out at a farm.  When that got too warm, we sat in the shade on top of a wooden bear, and ate the berries we'd picked.  There was some pouting when it came time to go home, but I just consider that the mark of a wonderful day!

It was "will you take a picture of this one?"

"and this one?"

"and this one?"

"and this one?"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Please Pray

A friend of H's from the firehouse was recently in a lake accident.  We don't know the extent of the injuries, but it is likely that he will be out of work for a good while.  Handsome and others from his shift are going to visit him in the hospital tomorrow, and then we will know more.  Please, if you have a moment, offer up a prayer for our friend Coot, and his wife & baby.  Coot isn't used to being down for the count, and I'm sure he's going to drive his sweet wife crazy while he recuperates.  Plus, while he's in the hospital, the world's tomato population may get out of control.  I swear, he's the one keeping it in check with the amount he eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The man is a walking tomato.  

I'm gonna pray for Coot every time I see a tomato.
Possibly even long after he's out of the hospital :)

Praying & waiting,

The Beautiful Thing about Working

The most beautiful, wonderful, extravagently fabulous thing about working is when you get off early.  It is.  I've done some scientific studies, and the results were completely unanimous.  I mean, its easy to get unanimous results when you only ask one person, and the person I asked is the scientific sort, so...  I feel my results are legitimate and conclusive.

Who did I ask?

Oh, that'd be me.  I said to myself, "Self, what is the best thing about working?" and then I answered, "Oh, you silly girl, you know that its when you get out of work early!"

And that pretty much sealed the deal.

As you may have guessed, I got out of work early on Friday.  I sat in on a distance learning course, and not only did they feed me (and well, too, I might add) but since it went through lunch, I racked up 5 hours that I had to take off so that it wouldn't count as overtime.  Poor me, I know.  Sometimes, life is just that hard.  So I cut out early on Friday, and an hour or so later, I found myself at the lake with some friends and our two dogs.  It was loverly.

Old Dukas, Earl of Dukes, seems to have recovered quite nicely from his header earlier in the week.  He's even learned some new skills, such as...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dinner Inspiration & Giveaway & Winners

WINNER:  drummmmmrolllllll..... Miss Hannah!  Congrats Miss Hannah, you'll be receiving your new picture frame within two weeks!  Thank you for the suggestions, you appear to know more than you think you do about feeding people!

We’re out of food.

Not in the actual, “Cockroaches would starve here” way, but in the “I can’t think of anything to cook anymore” sort of way.

I hate that feeling.

I’m on track to come in at/under the new grocery budget, which is exciting to me.  I wrote the cheesecake that I sent to the fire station off as a “gift”, so I actually probably have about $20 less than what I’m pretending I do.

ASIDE: Did you know that cheesecakes cost that much?  Ridiculous.  And here I always thought I had cheap tastes.

Anyhow, there’s so much room left in the budget because I haven’t gone grocery shopping for about a week and a half.  And I just don’t want to.  I can’t seem to get up the get up and go to go and shop.  (If that sentence made any sense to you, perhaps you’ve been here too long.)  I’m not inspired, mostly because I just haven’t taken the time to get that way.

Did you know that inspiration often takes effort?  That’s the way I’ve found it to be for me, at least, and I’ve heard from some other people that they often have to grease the wheels before they have an epiphany.  Usually, my inspiration for dinners comes from (1) sale notices in the newspaper (or the online version) or (2) perusing online food blogs/recipe sites.  But I haven’t really done any of that.

And I’m feeling tired.  It’s a 5-day week at work, and you know how those effect me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Duke got his shoelaces & belt taken away...

Its another picture montage.

I'm sorry, I know you didn't ask for this, but there's no other way I can think of to share this adventure with you. So here we go!

Hey there, Duke.
Hey, buddy!  Over here!
Duke, why won't you look at me?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cheesecake Update

Why hello, what do we have here?
Well hello gorgeous!!
Aren't you a tall drink of water... except cheesecake...
This must be your more attractive, older sister.
What do you say we go back to my place, and...
Whats that?
We are at my place?
Well then, that just begs the question...
What are you still doing wearing that springform??
Getting inappropriate with the cheesecake (again),

The Great Cheesecake Debate

I have this cheesecake recipe that I’ve obtained through unscrupulous means.  Of course, not my own unscrupulous scruples, but those of a friend. And I didn’t even ask them to unscruple their scruples. It was my Mom. Can you believe it!?!? My Mom! Of course, she requested that her dear friend unscruple her scruples in order to fulfill her daughter’s dream of a cheesecake to end all cheesecakes. So maybe it is my fault… but I’m not buying it.

This isn't my cheesecake.
(1) I would never pose something with silk flowers, it's not my style
(2) my sides never turn out that nicely, and
(3) I haven't put mine in the oven yet.
Oh, and (4) I don't have a marble serving platter (surprise!)

So I’ve had this recipe since… well, I think since my 17th birthday or so. And its not exactly stolen, since its an approximation. After all, the original recipe was for 10 cheesecakes at a time, and also probably written in Israeli and so the note my mom scribbled on a Jeff Dorton For Commissioner notepad while talking on the phone is definitely not stolen. Right? If giving credit will absolve us my Mom from all fault, I will say that there’s a baker in the tri-county area of my parent’s house who makes wonderful baked goods and is originally from Israel (a rarity in Northern PA), and if you try his cheesecake some day, it may or may not taste similar to the recipe written below…

ASIDE: I don’t really understand how a recipe can be either original or stolen. For example: I thought up, in my very own mind, the recipe for Jalapeno Chicken Popper Roll-Ups (I’m still working on the name). I did. I had some Poppers, and thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could eat these for a meal?!” So I thought about it, cogitated on it, and came up with this recipe. And then, I went on and found 3 other recipes for it.  Now, they’re not exact, but they’re similar. So was my idea original? What if I took someone else’s recipe, and tweaked it a little? Have I stolen their recipe, or have I made my own? I think that, no matter what I come up with, someone else somewhere in the world has tried the exact same thing. So are any recipes original? Please advise, I’m all tangled up inside over this very issue.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I'm having some computer trouble, so it may be a little bit before I'm on here again, but have no fear.

Loving 90's movies and hating electronics from roughly the same time period,

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Need for Change

I’ve started reading The Waiting Place by Eileen Button.  And I can already tell.  Six kindle “next page” pushes in (I wish I could convert it to page numbers), and I know.  This book could change things, if I let it.

In a similar way, I could tell when I started reading Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker that the potential for change was there.  First off, let me say that that Jen Hatmaker is a riot.  I like her.  We haven’t met, and I’m pretty sure she’s about 1200 miles away from me (how far is TX from here, anyhow?), but I like her.  The book, well, I don’t know that I can say I liked the book.  Let me first say, that Jen’s book, Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith, is a dynamo.  Now, it might sound like a snooze-fest, despite the enticing words like “adventure”.  I think they get washed away by the boring brush with words like “learning” and “the essentials” (sorry Jen!).  I don’t even remember why I picked it up.  Perhaps Heather recommended it

ASIDE: That might be a total and complete fabrication, but Heather & Jen should be friends, if they’re not already.  They’re both funny, and on the same page.  Again, not that I really know these people, but… vicarious living – the great triumph of the interweb.  Thank you Bob Dole.. 

Either way, I did pick it up.  And then I took the next logical step, and I began to read it.  It took me nearly 2 weeks to read, which is a record for me.  The Fountainhead, I can polish off in a mere 4 days, assuming I continue to eat & do laundry but not much else.  But I took my time with Jen’s book, because she was speaking a truth to my heart that I had been wrestling with for some time, and I wanted to hear, to really hear, what that truth was saying.  I wanted the change that the book talked about.

It is frustrating to me, 3 months hence, to sit here and write this and, upon examination of my life, find little of that change I so desired.  Part of me thinks, “Well, I’ll just read it again.”  But, as my wise childhood pastor said, and I now realize to be true, I have been educated beyond my level of obedience.  I know what the changes need to be in my life, and I know how to make them happen, but I just… haven’t. 

Blue & Brown Quilt


Look what I made!

This is called the... something.  I can tell you later.  Right now, tonight, late as it is that I type this, its called the Blue & Brown Quilt.  It took me 3 years to complete it.  That’s because it’s a really intricate design, and not at all because I have the attention span of a mouse.  Oh, and the fabric was also really difficult to find.  Nope, I didn’t get any of it at Wal*Mart, nope, not a bit...

Except for most of it.  And, since I’m revealing all here, lets not pretend; they’re rectangles.  I sewed together a bunch of rectangles.  It’s a pretty easy pattern. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whistle While You Work

I don’t post too much about work, because, well, it’s a downer (B-oring).  And it’s unprofessional, I believe, to tell tales on the place and people I work with.  And if I don’t go all unprofessional on you and tell those tales, I wouldn't have much to write about.  So I've pretty much been avoiding the subject entirely.  But I can share this with you, since its about me:

I did the tombstone whistle today at work. 

If this were my job, or something along these lines at least, it wouldn't have been awkward.
My job is nothing like this.   Ergo, the awkwardness...

It was awkward because I was right in the middle of the floor I work on, in my cubicle, surrounded by a good 90 other people in their cubicles.  They were doing work, talking on phones and making important things happen.  I was waiting for an email that would provide me with a sliver of something productive to do… and waiting… and waiting… When suddenly, it seemed like a grand idea to practice my tombstone whistle.  Pretty much right as someone walked by my desk.  Didn’t even faze him.  I still can’t figure out why I don’t have friends here yet…

Forgetting other people can see/hear me,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Only Deal Breaker

I’ve gotta get this off of my chest and out in the open.  I know I talked about deal breakers the other day, and I listed a whole bunch of things about me that you may not like.  You know, personal characteristics that may someday ruin or at least create distance in a friendship between us.  You may have noticed that I did not list my set of deal breakers; the intolerable habits of others that would eventually force me to stop returning your phone calls.

ASIDE:  As a habit, I don’t generally answer my phone.  I mean, sometimes I do.  Sometimes I screen.  But most of the time, I just think, “meh, I’ll get back to that eventually, when I’m done with this very important thing I’m doing just now,” which could be any activity from brushing my teeth to hunting down tomato worms, or even clipping my toenails.  So just because I don’t return your phone call (which I’m trying to get better at, since it’s a socially accepted thing to do) doesn’t mean that we’re not friends anymore.  It’s just that sometimes a lot of the time, I like to be unreachable.  I coulda done the whole Laura Ingalls thing, fo sho.  I was made for prairie life.

Anyhow, I didn’t make my list because (1) I don’t like to be negative, especially in print, (2) I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, and if you thought we were going to be friends, but then you saw that you did something on my list, you might get sad, and (3) I’m a pretty flexible and accommodating person.  One could argue that I’m just lonely and as a result have dropped my standards dangerously low, but I like to think of it as being open-minded.  I like to imagine/find the best in people. 

You all (“y’all” still feels weird in my mouth) know how much I like terrible-for-your-body-but-heaven-in-your-mouth food, and so you may think that I don’t get along with health/organic nuts.  You’d be wrong.  I have friends who do the whole “I only eat it if a cave man could have” diets.  I’m not a real girly-girl, and you may think I’m put off by that type too; wrong, again.  I’ve got some princess friends who push the girly to the max, and we can shop together.  Truth be told, I pretty much run the gamut with people I can/like to get along with.

There is one thing, one deal breaker I have, though.  Please take a moment, and open your heart to this, it may be revolutionary; you may be shocked and shaken.  There is one habit which, if you do it and we spend any more than a marginal amount of time together, I’ll want to throat punch you.

ASIDE: I’ve never been in a fight, and I always wanted to be.  I can’t explain this, I don’t enjoy getting hurt or (as mentioned above) or hurting others, or even making people upset.  But I always wanted to know if I could defend myself, and land a really good punch.  There just seems to be something so satisfying about it, although I’m pretty sure its all a lot different than I imagine.  I’ve also always wanted to sneak out of the house (sort of lost that opportunity), get arrested (but not really the whole “permanent record” part of it) and have a tattoo.  FTR.

I wouldn’t throat punch you (which is a common threat I use with my dog; I wouldn’t hurt him either), but there’d be a small part of me that would want to.  I know this for a fact, because in the past, I’ve worked with a few people who do this, and I wanted to slap every last one of them. 

What is this terrible trait, you ask?  What can turn me from an accepting person into a maniac?

Dog Ownership

Lets discuss this topic. 

A dog is an animal.  Now, when I was young, my sister used to talk to her stuffed animals and pretend like they had feelings.  When I would get totally fed up with her, I would hit her favorite animal (Beary Bear) and tell her that the bear wasn’t upset because the bear didn’t have feelings and wasn’t real.  Of course, she’d chase me around the house until she cornered me, and then hurl hair brushes and sneakers at me, so it went both ways.

Yes, we had parents, why do you ask?

Any how, I do believe that real animals have feelings, but still, it is my scientific opinion that a dog is indeed just a dog.  For example, I love Duke, but he’s not sleeping in my bed, and if he’s not welcome at the party, I’m still going to go.  Because he’s A DOG. 

And, honestly, not a very smart one.

Now, you may not know this, but I’m a big talker.  I did get Duke his own Christmas stocking, and I will spread out a blanket and have a movie night with him.  So please understand that I love my dog.  Love love love him.  He keeps me company when Handsome is out saving the world, he entertains us to no end (especially when we tie toys to his feet.  Oh, that one never gets old) and we take him with us pretty much everywhere he’s welcome. 

Sometimes, though, I like to step back and just examine the situation.  Come with me on this analysis with me.  It’ll be fun.

  • I bought this animal.  Well, not me in particular, but people in general do pay for the pleasure of ownership, or so I hear.
  • I buy special food for this animal, only to be greeted with a stanky smell when he sits down beside me. 
  • I buy toys for this animal to play with, even though he ruins them quite quickly.
  • I pay for the pleasure of domesticating this animal through veterinarian visits and training classes.
  • I make special trips to take this animal to the lake, because I think he likes it.  And then he comes home and gets my furniture all wet and sandy.
  • When this animal … you know… dukies in the yard, I scoop it.  I.  Scoop.  The poo. 

Me, the ‘higher ranking mammal’ have paid for the pleasure of putting food in this ‘lower mammal’s’ mouth and then scooping the remains out of the yard.  The question that plagues me is, to what end?

He L-O-V-E-S to lay on his back.
I can't even describe to you how ridiculously ridiculous he is when he lays like this.

Monday, July 11, 2011

House Hunting

We went and looked at houses again this weekend.  Just like last weekend.  And I keep checking out and zillow and trulia and and forsalebyowner and and and… and I’m tired of it.  I’m a getter-done-er.  Once I make a decision, I like to act on it, make it happen, and boom!, be done with it. 

Apparently, house hunting is not like that.  *understatement of the day*

Its “oh maybe this one, if we built a garage” and “this one needs a new roof and new floors” and “it would be great if only you didn’t have to walk through 3 doors to get to the only downstairs bathroom that consequently has no windows”(true story.  Seemed like a great place to hide from a tornado, thought)… 

The fairytale story I’m holding onto is that, if we were looking in a higher price bracket, we’d have an easier time of it.  Houses would have garages and more than 0.18 acres, and they wouldn’t smell like the carpet was made of cat hair.  In this perfect world, the houses we wanted to afford (because even when we’re playing Happily Ever After, I don’t want to be mortgaged to the hilt) would be painted the same color the whole way around instead of just the parts that they posted pictures of (no lie, peach on 3 sides, blue on the front.  Only picture online: the front.). 

But, from what I hear, even when you go up in the brackets, even when you’ve got Uncle Scrooge’s money problem (i.e.- too much), its still a struggle to find what you want.  For some reason, we people (I’d even suggest that its an American issue more than anything, but maybe not) have to completely personalize “our space,” drawing it out as a representation of ourselves. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Handsome is concerned about my liver.  Apparently, the other organs in my body can just giveout, that is not an issue, but my liver, no, we need to protect that.

In order to do so, H. has started a campaign against my use of over-the-counter allergy medicine.  Let me be clear: I am not abusing it.  I have a 24-hour allergy pill that I take about 3 days a week, and when I’m congested (once or twice a week, max), I take a decongestant.  I know, its out of control.  Especially for someone who has had seasonal allergies for all of her teen/adult life.  Oh, and in the winter, I don’t take any allergy medicine.  Because that’s not a season in which my seasonal allergies bother me.

Sarcasm aside, I see this level of use as acceptable.  Handsome does not.  He claims that if I stop taking the medicine, my body will learn how to deal with allergens all by itself.  He also claims that if I do not stop taking the medicine, I will do irreparable damage to my liver and it will just up and quit on my and then where will I be, eh?  I’m not sure where he gets his information, although I assume he makes it up.  He makes most things up when he’s talking to me. 

I’m not getting on here to ask you for a vote, and although I did wax (wane?) sarcastic there for a moment, I’m also not on here to mock my wonderful caring husband.  What I did get on here to do was to ask you this question:

Do you know of/have you tried any home remedies for seasonal allergies? 
If so, how did they work? 

I’m looking for everything from lemon juice in your milk to a change in behavior, such as putting AC filters in your windows.  Give me your best shot here people.  The future of my liver may be at stake.  And although I’m a Universal Donor blood type, I’m not a Universal Receiver, and so, due to bad planning in the blood-type-department, if I do end up needing a transplant, Handsome will be unable to help me.  And that would earn me a whopper of an I told you so.  No one wants that.

Taking OTC allergy medicine as directed apparently with abandon,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oh Crap!

That is what I thought last night when I checked my Gmail (who out there still uses hotmail?  AOL?  I need to know) and discovered that I had a message from Groupon that reminded me that I need to use my coupon.  Groupon is a service that sends you daily opportunities to purchase non-essentials at a reduced (usually 50%) price.

And not only did it say "Hey there, neighbor, remember to use your coupon before it expires!  Okay have a nice day bye!", it also told me the time limit I had in which to redeem my coupon which I bought a good, oh, 5 months ago.  3 days, ladies & gentlemen, 3 days.  One Two Three.  Not tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow's tomorrow.

Now, if I had purchased a coupon for, say, 50% off of Sushi (which I would never do but it was today's deal for the Gvegas area), I would just have to schedule to go to dinner tomorrow night or something.  No biggie.  But NOooooOoo.  Why buy something easy like that when you can purchase a coupon that requires a lot of your own work put into it?

No, my coupon was for blurb, a site that offers downloadable software which a person can use to make their own book.  Sounds loverly.  And I believe it is.  You can make all sorts of books.  Picture books, story books, illustrated books, and even, as I chose to do, cookbooks.  Which is great, except its hard to make a cookbook.  When I read the email, I had only about 14 recipes and 8 pictures in my supposed-to-be, originally-dreamed-it-to-be 86 page book with 100+ recipes, and pictures of each one.

Needless to say, my expectations of myself have dropped considerably.  As I sit now, with 2 days and 137 minutes to go until deadline, I've got the breakfast, appetizer, bread, and chicken sections done.  There are hardly any pictures, and I don't see very many cropping up in the near future.  I've spent about 3 1/2 hours on this so far tonight.  I think I'm going to take a break for now, and tomorrow hopefully knock out the beef, swine, fish, and pasta sections.  That should about wrap it up, since I've cut the desserts entirely.

I know, me and no desserts.  You might think I've gone mad, when in actuality, there are just too many, and they deserve their own book.  So when I get a hankering for some self-inflicted torture, I'll buy another groupon coupon, and make a dessert book.

Having only myself to blame, 

The Strangest Thing

Last year, right around the time handsome got his full-time firefighting position, we (and I use the term "we" loosely here... gulp.) decided it was time for a shopping spree.  Because, you see, we were now flush with money.  Right?  (and the paid firefighters families are laughing...)  Well, comparatively, we were, in fact, flush with $$, so it was shopping time.  We hadn't really gotten new clothes in about 2 years, other than as Christmas gifts.  

Handsome couldn't really think of anything he needed, but lucky for him, I could think of quite a few things he needed, and so I called my two best shopper friends, and away we went.  We shopped from open to near-close, and the other two girls were able to explain their hefty bills to their hubbies by ending the story with, "But Mariah spent more!"  This was unusual, as Handsome & I had lived such a tightwad existence for the past 2 years, and I think it actually bought them some leeway.

The one thing that H. did want was to realize a dream.  He'd been talking about this for months.  It was right up there with the, "When I get a job, we're going to eat red meat again!" conversations.  And his dream went like this.  
When I get a job, I'm going to get rid of all of my different socks, every single one of them, and I'm going to buy only two kinds; one short, and one long.  That way they all match, there's no unmatched, and its done.  Also, these two kinds are going to be easy to find, generic ones, that will always be around.  This way, when its time to replace some lost socks, they will still all be ...

*wait for it*

And so, on that hot sweltering August day, I truly did make his dream come true.  I bought all the same kind of short sock and all the same kind of long sock.  And I know where to get more.  When we got home from our shopping trip, I boxed up all of his current socks and put them in a box in the garage earmarked for GoodWill.  Done.

Or so I thought.

Lately, as I've been folding the laundry, I've come across some peculiar sightings.  Old socks, worn-out ones that he used to have, will suddenly appear in the pile.  The little kid's black socks that his mom accidentally bought him, will just be in with the mix.  I'm not sure where these are coming from, as Handsome has no idea that the box I earmarked for GoodWill 11 months ago is still sitting in our garage.  We don't have rodents, that I know of, and Duke is scared of the garage and all of its big scariness.

The only plausible solution I can come up with is that the dryer really was eating our socks as we laundered them, and is now spitting them back out, something akin to a piece of chewing gum that has lost its flavor.  Really, its the only likely answer.  It could be Handsome waging some sort of psychological manipulation, but he's not the type.  Outright lie, yes.  Sneakily re-integrate old socks into the wash, no.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Fourth in Review

I think Fourth of July is one of the best holidays, can I get an AMEN!?  I love it, I do.  Handsome and I watched the fireworks from land this year, which is a first for our married life.  Here’s the run-down:

2007:  I thought for sure that Handsome was going to propose this night.  I mean, after all, he knows I love fireworks, and we went with a group of friends and my family to watch, and again, we were approaching that 5-year mark which was the deadline (sort of a crap-or-get-off-the-pot kind of moment).  I did my hair, practiced my smile, and was super sweet and happy all night.  The fireworks were wonderful.  The lack of a diamond was not.  That night, when I got home, and after I had wept to my Mom about how Handsome was never going to ask me to marry him and I’d have to move to SC all by myself (She later laughed at me because this *LINK TO STBOT2* had already taken place), I resigned myself to just enjoying dating and decided not to worry about engagement.  I mean, 5 ½ months (the time left before the deadline) was a long time.  Maybe it would be Christmas.  [FYI: it was 15 days later]

2008: We had moved to SC about… 6 days prior to the fourth of July.  We didn’t know anyone, or where to go to watch the fireworks.  So we started driving to a place called Easley.  We were following Rhonda’s directions (Rhonda being the Garmin; her name changes frequently) and couldn’t figure out where to go.  We finally pulled alongside the road, and saw a few overhead, then drove home.  When we got home, there were some neighbors of ours shooting bottle rockets at the as-yet unfinished apartment building across from ours.  We talked with them a little, then went inside.  Apparently they weren’t done with us, because in the morning, there were blue and green stains on our front door and porch.  They had been trying to get us to come back outside by throwing smoke bombs at our door.  Welcome to SC.

2009:  For the first time, I was one of those people.  You know, the ones actually out on the boat?  All my young life, those people were the ones who had the river house and the boat and knew how to water ski and had beautiful hair and 8 bathing suits so they didn’t have to repeat while on vacation.  Me, well, I stood on the bridge and watched them, wearing my only bathing suit and feeling sure I would more closely resemble a rock skipping on water than a graceful skier, were I ever to be pulled behind a boat.  But in 2009, I got to be one of those people.  Seriously, that’s all I could think while I sat up in the seats on the bow and basked in the sun, enjoying the wind from the speed of the boat racing over the waves.  That night, we donned life vests and floated in the water to watch the fireworks.  It felt like everything our forefathers had fought for was realized in that one moment.  Fourth of July perfection.

2010:  For the second time, I was one of those people.  This time, the day was hot and fun, we swam and jumped and played in the water.  The night, however, was chilly, so we watched the fireworks from inside the boat.  It was still glorious.

And that brings us to the present.

2011:  This year, Handsome and I hung out with friends and their parents (who are also friends, Holla!) and chilled in the lake and ate delicious food.  Later we headed home and on the spur of the moment, decided to watch the fireworks show from one of the dikes that hold back the lakes in Clemson.  We thought it would be packed, but it wasn’t.  We brought Dukas too, which was a nice addition.  He did fine, once he realized that he did not, actually, need to defend us from the battle taking place in the sky.  The show was really good, the level of chill (as in, relaxedness/amount cooler than other people) was high, and it was great.  The only thing that could have made it better was if we had driven home in a topless Jeep.  Not to be confused with riding home in a Jeep, topless.  That’s not okay.  You can get arrested for that.

What about you?  What’s your favorite Fourth of July?  Do you have any traditions?  Special food(s)?  My only regret is that I did not make any s’mores this weekend.  That’s a major fail in my book.  The only way to recover from such a fail is to eat a lot tonight.  At least, that’s my reasoning.

Gorging myself on 50% off marshmallows,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why you don't Pre-write

Earlier today, I wrote this post, but didn't have the time to put it up:


Please don’t come visit.

Normally, I’m all for having people come over to my house.  I love to be around friends and family, and if I don’t even have to leave my cozy cocoon of a home, all the better.  There’s just something comforting to me about knowing I could go change into sweatpants any time I want, and that I know we have Heinz ketchup and where in the door of the refrigerator to find it.

However, I need to ask something of you.  For the immediately foreseeable future, please don’t come visit me; I’ll visit you.  This is not a brush-off, but really, its not you, its me.  There’s an odor in my house, coming from an indistinguishable source, and full of power.  Seriously, I don’t know where it’s coming from.

It occurs to me that, in light of recent posts and now this mystery stink, no one may want to come visit me anyhow.  But trust me, we cleaned the house this weekend; the whole house.  Like, vacuumed, wiped, washed everything. 
Heck, I even invited Mr. Clean to join me in the great refrigerator round-up of ’11.  

There are some fruit rinds in the garbage can, which I’m going to take out here in a minute, and then, everything will be perfectly clean. Once that happens, I’m going to open the windows, turn on the ceiling fans, and light some candles.  Then I might look at my dog and shout, “Lets flush this baby out!  Yeah!”  I might not, but it’s more than likely going to happen.  Probably going to throw a fist pump or two as well.  And then I’ll bow my head and say a quick “please Jesus, make the nasty odor go away,” more out of a goal of praying without ceasing than a hope for a super-natural house cleaning.

Not that I don’t believe God could clean my house with a snap of His fingers, or bring a sweet wind through the place to clear the air; I’m totally on board with God doing anything He desires.  Its just I don’t think He’s aiming to do it all showy like that.  Not that I’m trying to tell him what to do, either.  I’m just sayin’.  If the unexpected happens, I’ll be sure to share it with you.

I’m really not sure why I’m sharing this, other than I like to type, and its better that words come out of it, than just kdowe3jfkndaluf.  I would like to note that I have found that Febreeze and Glade really are a lot more proficient at eliminating air odors than your ordinary run-of-the-mill scenty froo-froo deal.  In case you were wondering.


And now, what am I doing, but preparing my house for an overnight guest.  Mystery smell is lingering, but I've put quite a hurting on it.  Tomorrow, maybe I'll pre-write a post about how no one leaves me $1 million anymore.  Its worth a shot, right?


Saturday, July 2, 2011

You Capture - Water

This week's theme for You Capture is water.  And it just so happened, I know some water.  So, I went and took its picture.



And all together now!
I'm going back to the lake, 

Let the weekend games begin!

Yesterday, H. & I's (grammar is weird) weekend started.  Oh, the fun of it.

We began by going to look at some houses with our favorite sweet dear lady realtor.  It was an adventure, as it always is when B the Barbarian is around.  We just love her, and her British accent.  And the fact that she has to jump to get out of my Jeep.  And her charming and well-told tales of woe.  Pretty much all of her.  We saw a few houses, and had a good time.  The results of the house hunting are currently being withheld until serious discussion time has both convened and concluded.

Afterwards, B the Barbarian left us (bereft) and H. & I decided to fill our time with a little adventure.  So we packed up our puppy dog (yes, the 82 lb one) and our newest toy, and headed out to the high seas.

Idyllic, no?
Let me add that it was a roarin' hot 94*, and the water was cool enough to be refreshing.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Consider Yourself Warned

Everyone is unique (just like everyone else), and with most people, I can get along.  Sometimes, its touch and go, as with my little driver buddy.  Other times, there is something about a person’s person or habits that immediately determines whether we can or cannot be friends.  For example, I’m in the grocery store and I hear someone holler down to someone else, “Why can’t we just have pancakes every night this week?  Garth Brooks would do it.  And bacon, too!” and I like them on principle.  And, sadly enough, sometimes a relationship is budding and going smoothly, until I discover a *dun duhn duh…* DEAL BREAKER.

Loosely defined, a deal breaker is any action, habit, or characteristic that renders a person unable to be on my ‘friend’ list (I’m talking real-life, here, people.  Get off of facebook and shake hands with someone).  Deal breakers are much more difficult to handle when they are discovered after you’ve invested time into getting to know a person.  I don’t want that to happen to you, with me, and so I’ve compiled a list of possible deal breakers so you can know, right off the bat, if we can be friends.

And now, in no special order, the DEAL BREAKERS!

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