Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Apple, It Does Not Fall Far From the Tree

My parents arrived in Petticoat Junction Saturday, just in time for lunch. Since the children were more interested in taking their cousin (who is visiting with my parents since they are keeping him over his spring break) to a high school baseball game in Hooterville than in breaking bread with their elders; the Pod People and I were on our own for the meal.

Your loss, chillens! We took advantage of being child-free by dining at a Mexican place in Hooterville that specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine, including classic margaritas, of which, my father took full advantage.

He did a fairly decent job of finishing the thing off and was mostly stable when walking to the car after the meal (mostly being the relative term, here).

Since they had already thrown caution to the wind with alcohol, the Pods decided to indulge in a bit of dessert, as well.

Fried ice cream is definitely not on the Lenten menu, so, I got to watch them eat the entire thing. I'm guessing that was payback for something heinous that I did to them back in my childhood-probably that time I stood in the aisle at church and urged my sister to run before my mother could spank her.

Speaking of church, my mother and I attended mass last night, so, I have managed to be faithful to my Lenten vows, thus far, despite the temptations placed before me by my parents. I am feeling quite virtuous.

Just the way the parents raised me to be.

Friday, March 28, 2014

You're Killin' Me Smalls

The Man-Cub just pulled a chocolate cake out of the oven. He baked it for his grandparents, who weren't able to make it to Petticoat Junction yesterday as planned, but, who are making the trip tomorrow, once the weather has cleared up.

The Cub plans to ice the cake with a fluffy white marshmallow frosting, which, happens to be one of my favorite flavors of icing, and; he is quite proud of his culinary efforts.

You all remember that we are smack dab in the middle of Lent, right?

If I could remember how to pray the rosary, I'd be praying it and asking for strength right now because, that cake smells ah-mazing.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lest We Forget That Springtime in Colorado is Bi-Polar

Monday evening, I went to the Man-Cub's baseball game. Despite a steady breeze, the weather was quite mild. I did choose to watch the game from my car, but, when I got out to take pictures of the team, the sunshine warmed my face and I was fine with a light sweater.

The boys were perfectly content to play the (very long) game, not minding the fact that it went the entire seven innings (first time they hadn't been ten-run ruled in the fifth inning so far this season) in the least.

The cherry on top, of course, was the fact that they won the game by three runs.

The boys have another game this evening and my parents are making the trip over the hill to watch, so, of course the weather has taken a turn toward wet and cold. Because, I can't invite my parents to a game played in good weather, that would go against the stellar record we have going that includes sitting through snowstorms during football games and drizzling, freezing rain falling during baseball games. Indeed, I am starting to think that the only games they will ever enjoy in relative comfort will be the basketball games, given the fact that they are always played indoors.

Gah, Colorado. Gah.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Best of the Best and All the Rest

Here are a few of my favorite tables from the luncheon. They include a completely awesome Coca-Cola table that my friend Rose put together and the baseball table that my friend Allison's mother came up with.

Another favorite was a table that featured a full-sized bicycle and an awesome picnic in the park theme. The bicycle reminds me of my beloved Lulu, and the table made me itch to break Lulu out of the garage, air up her tires, oil her chain, throw a baguette and a hunk of cheese in her basket and take a spin in my local park. That, my friends, is the sign of a successfully done luncheon table.

Of course, the rest of the tables were amazing and each one had it's fans. These are just my personal favorites.

And, as usual, I am already excited for next year's luncheon, and, not just because I will, once again, get to relax and enjoy the event without running it.


Monday, March 24, 2014

All American Springtime

So, the luncheon went spectacularly well. Mostly because I didn't have to do a damn thing except for serving my guests their lunch, sipping wine, visiting with people I don't get to see more than once or twice a year, and, ultimately, cleaning up the mess.

The mess wasn't even that big of a deal; with The Teenager's help, I had the table dismantled and the dishes loaded in my car within a twenty minute time span. That's pretty good. Plus, once I got home, everything-with the exception of my wine glasses-went straight into the dishwasher, saving me most of the hand washing.

I also got tons of compliments on my table. The overall theme of the luncheon was All American Springtime, and I knew there would be red, white, and blue patriotic tables (there were) as well as baseball themed tabled (yep, two), so, I had chosen my theme to be classic American but not star-spangled; I chose Sipping Iced Tea on the Porch. Because, porches are American. Rocking chairs on the porch are American. Iced tea, Southern, at the very least.

And, I already owned so much of what went on my table, it was a no-brainer for me. My table was indicative of my porch philosophy, which, is apparently well-known as numerous women approached me at the luncheon to coo over how much the table made them want to get started with Porch Night season.

Bring it on, says I.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the luncheon, including some of me with my partner in crime- The Teenager-and her father, who graciously agreed to serve wine at the event, despite his history with old ladies who pinch (no pinches this year, but he did get a marriage proposal which he should have accepted since the old woman in question has a shit-ton of money and The Teenager's college financial aid award was less than impressive. Also, Sister Wife! And, I digress..).

Clearly, I am biased, but; I thought my table was the best. I'll post pictures of some of the other tables in another post, though, just to be fair.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Yesterday, I primped and polished and buffed and glossed until I shone. Then, I carefully slipped into my new dress, the dress that I spent weeks searching for, only to have the zipper break as Hugh attempted to zip me in.

To say I was disappointed would be a vast understatement.

Hugh braced himself for a blow-up, but, if I have learned anything in the time that I have been employed at Day Job, it is that a minor crisis does not a ruined day make. So, I grabbed a suitable-if not stunning-dress from my closet and slipped into it, instead.

Then, The Teenager and I headed to the event center to make sure that my flowers had been delivered to my table (they had, and they were gorgeous! Pictures and a full luncheon report to come, tomorrow). Then, I did my photography duties, snapping shots of all of the tables, until 10:00, when the store at which I had purchased the Dream Dress opened.

I then grabbed The Teenager and we went to return the dress. Once we got to the store, it occurred to me that the same dress, in one size smaller, might fit, so; I tried it on, and, lord of all lords, it fit. So, instead of a refund, I exchanged the busted dress and walked out of the store in the Dream Dress in an even dreamier size.

On the way back to the event center, The Teenager commented on how well I had handled the whole ordeal and we had a great talk about the things in life that are worth stressing over and the things that just...aren't.

I shared with her the motto that I recently wrote on my white board at work, the saying that I repeat to myself every day as I leave work, in an effort not to take the problems of other people home with me: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

The teenager is planning to use that quote as her motto when she is stressing over college stuff, high school stuff, etc., and; I can't help but think that it might be one of the most important things that I have ever taught her.

I hope so, anyway.

Friday, March 21, 2014

T-Minus Twelve Hours and Counting

My table for the luncheon came together as well as I had hoped, and, with tomorrow's addition of the centerpieces, it will be totally good to go. Assuming, of course, that the centerpieces fit into the narrow area left down the center of the table (those tables are a lot more narrow that I had expected).

Since I completed the work on my table early, I didn't get to see the majority of the other tables; the couple that I did see, however, were awesome. Like, Martha Stewart level awesome, so; I have no reason to expect anything other than another fabulous event, tomorrow. Plus, I hand-picked the women who will be sitting at my table, so I know I'll be having fun.

Speaking of fun, when I finished with my table, I went shopping for some jewelry to go with the dress that I purchased yesterday. Unfortunately, the search proved far more difficult than I had anticipated and I ended up driving from store to store before finally finding just what I was looking for (and a few things I wasn't looking for but couldn't pass up).

The items I purchased will look great with the dress and I am actually pretty excited about putting it all together. It's a nice change from last year, when I had to wrestle myself into two pieces of Spanx just to corral the rolls of fat that threatened to make me look like a coral-colored Micheline Man.

Take my word for it; Micheline Man is a good look on no one.

Except, obviously, on the Micheline Man.

And, I digress..., luncheon in T-minus twelve hours and the only thing I have to worry about is what color to paint my toe nails.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Look, Ma! No PTSD!

Spring Luncheon is only a day away and my eyelid hasn't twitched once; this is a great sign that last year's luncheon didn't completely scar me for life. Thank heavens.

Tomorrow, I am planning to spend the morning decorating my table for the luncheon, which, I anticipate shouldn't take more than a couple of hours, tops. And, that includes steaming the wrinkles out of my chair covers prior to draping the chairs.

I got smart this year and ordered my centerpieces from a local florist, so, there will be no need to stress over my arrangements, plus; the florist will deliver and set up the flowers on Saturday morning, freeing me to enjoy the chaos that surrounds the early hours of the luncheon.

Today, I finally found a dress for the event, so, I am feeling completely relaxed and ready to enjoy the day rather than wondering if everyone in the crowd can tell that my eyelid is dancing a jig.

All things considered, 2014 is shaping up quite nicely.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I Can Feel It Coming in the Air Tonight

The pollen count is up, so says the television weatherman. I didn't need him to tell me; all the signs were present:

1.  I woke up with my eyelashes glued to my cheekbones with a thick paste of eye goop (I'm so pretty!).

2.  A steady stream of snot is running out of my nose at a nearly constant rate (once again, soooo pretty!).

3.  When I don't slather a layer of powder over three layers of foundation, over a thick blanket of concealer, I have under-eye circles so dark; they look like I just went twelve rounds in a prize fight.

4.  Blinking my eyes feels something like dragging a sheet of sandpaper over my corneas.

5.  I now hold the office record for number of consecutive sneezes in a thirty-second period (15).

Happily, I have procured a bottle of Zyrtec and am expecting relief from the allergy symptoms sometime around June. Or, when the pollens naturally abate, whichever comes first.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kiss Us, We're Irish

Finnigan and Guinness would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy St. Patrick's Day.

They also want you to know that the reason they look less than festive is because they were denied even a morsel of the corned beef and cabbage that I made for dinner last night. So, they are grumpy Irishmen.

Also, leprechauns aren't real, just in case you harbored some illusion that there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, somewhere.

Yes, they are that pissed.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Back In the Swing of Things...Literally

I managed to snap a couple of pictures of the Man-Cub at this week's baseball game. I basically slipped out of my car in between snow showers and rain showers and braced myself against the wind in order to do it, but, I kind of like the kid, so; I guess he's worth the effort.

Of course, I might change my mind about that somewhere around the fiftieth time that I am bleaching the grass stains out of those white baseball pants.

Ok, probably not.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Head. Desk.

Yesterday, the parent of one of our clients tried to defend herself against the Department of Health and Human Services in their quest to remove her children from her care. Unfortunately, when your best defense includes the sentence "And my drug test came back clean! The only thing on it was meth!"; you aren't making a very good case for yourself.

Like, seriously.

As I've said before; never a dull day at Day Job.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Because This is All I Have Time For

Bullet points...

  • The Man-Cub had his first baseball game of the season this afternoon. It snowed. And then, it rained. And then it snowed. And the wind blew through it all.

  • The boys lost by many, many runs. Batting practice may be in order. Some attention to the outfield may need to be paid, as well.

  • After the game, the Man-Cub reminded me that we needed to be at the basketball team's awards night. With a covered dish. And a side salad.

  • Much like the little drummer boy of yore, I had no gift to bring. Luckily, I had a few leftovers that, when cobbled together, created the illusion of a decent contribution to the buffet table. I made the Man-Cub deliver them to the table in an effort to hide the identity of the "cook", which, failed since we live in a town of roughly 2500 people where anonymity is not exactly possible. 

  • I did manage to speak to three of the parents on my To Call list for The Teenager's graduation party, so, all was not lost.

  • I am really feeling the sacrifice of Lent this year; I miss my Diet Pepsi, and, a Cadbury Cream Egg would go down real easy right about now.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

It's Like Riding a Bike

I went to mass last night. I hadn't stepped foot in a church since, um, I can't even remember when; maybe when my grandmother passed away in 2007? That's a really long time to go in between masses.

It was so long, in fact, I actually debated whether or not I was allowed to take communion. The part of me that argued that I had received all the sacraments while growing up and was, therefor entitled to the host won out and I joined the line; I did, however, call my mother immediately upon leaving the church to confirm my decision with her (she said I was legit).

Other than that, the experience really was somewhat like riding a bicycle; I wobbled a little at first, but, as the service picked up momentum, I was able to ride it out without tipping over.

So, that's an additional aspect of Lent for me this year. I'm hearkening back to my New Year's resolution about inviting God into my life in a more meaningful way, and, truth be told, I've missed the routine of mass. I've missed the peaceful feeling that the music evokes in my soul, and, I've missed being part of something bigger than myself.

Plus, checking in with the spirit might help me resist the temptation of the Diet Pepsi bottles currently residing in my fridge, and, frankly, some days I need all the help I can get.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Situation Report

Lent: Day Three

Number of times I have absently reached for an imaginary Diet Pepsi while preoccupied with menial tasks...15.

Number of times my mouth has watered at an M&M's commercial....three...and I don't even like peanut M&M's.

Number of times I have walked by the bakery section of the grocery store, just to moon over the brownies, cheesecakes, carrot cake, and donuts...two.

Number of pounds I inexplicably gained this week...two (I blame PMS and my body's confusion over where the hell its' Diet Pepsi has gone).

Number of hours of sleep I am going to lose come this Saturday (damn you, Daylight Savings Time! Damn you!).

Number of kisses I just bestowed on The Teenager against her will simply because I want to stockpile for the inevitable moment when she realizes that she needs a kiss while she is away at college...sixteen.

Number of margaritas I am tempted to drink when at dinner with Jana later this evening...three.

Number of margaritas I will actually drink while at dinner with Jana

Sit Rep Status: Complete

Thursday, March 06, 2014

One Down, Dozens Still To Go

I finally finished the FAFSA application, enabling me to check one more item off my massive To Do list. Now I just sit back and wait for the financial aid to come pouring in....

....ha,ha,ha,ha,ha! As if!

Anyway, it was a chore that had to be done and it is. I really don't want to talk about that anymore. Instead, lets talk about the next Grad Party fundraiser that we are holding: it's a dodge ball tournament and I am trying to pull together a team of parents who are willing to offer themselves up for a pummeling by their children, all in the name of good fun. This endeavor has proven far more difficult than one might expect.

It does, however, beat the hell out of struggling over scholarship applications and financial aid applications, any day of the week.

So, there's that.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

In Like a Lion

March has finally arrived and with it came rain and wind. But! It also heralded the return of peep-toed shoes and maxi skirts so I'm not complaining. Today, I wore a black maxi skirt that is done in a striped pattern and I got so many compliments on it, it was ridiculous. In fact, at least six people at my women's club meeting stopped me to compliment the outfit and to comment on my weight loss, which, apparently, they had just noticed, you know, three months later. Also, not complaining; a compliment is a compliment.

In other news, today is Fat Tuesday and I have wasted not a minute of it by indulging in Cadbury mini eggs and the last Diet Pepsi that I will see for a while. That's right, I'm giving up Diet Pepsi for Lent. I've done it before and I didn't kill anyone so I am relatively confident that I can do it again.

If not, at least I already have a striped skirt in my wardrobe; it can take the place of prison stripes and I'll get tons of compliments on what a fashionable little serial killer I am.

Lookin' on the bright side, cuz that's how I roll.