Sunday, January 31, 2016

When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get...Scrapping?

It has been snowing all day here in Petticoat Junction. Hugh and the Cub have shoveled once and I am relatively certain that their efforts were about as effective as shoveling sand from the dessert with a teaspoon. If it keeps snowing at this rate, we will have a devil of a time burrowing out tomorrow.

But, I'll think about that in the morning.

While the snow came down, I was tucked comfortably away in my scrapbooking room, making a valiant attempt at catching up on the Man-Cub's scrapbook. I can now report: I am still six years behind, but, that is slightly less behind than I was when I started.

It's progress, and, I'll take it.







I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to start on a page layout and not to have to put it all away when I run out of time to work on it; when I scrapped in my mudroom, I was forever having to do that and it slowed my progress down to a trickle.

With my new room, all I have to do when I run out of time is walk away. There is no need to clear counter space for laundry, mail,  or groceries. And, it's that much easier to just pick up where I left off when I return.

Love!

The only thing left to do in the room is to paint the farmhouse table black and white, to make it go with the d├ęcor a little better. Oh, and I do want to find a couple of smaller, four-pane windows to re-do as picture frames for the empty wall space; that will have to wait for warmer weather, when I can get out to the flea markets, again.

Speaking of warmer weather, I'm sure my feathered friends would also prefer a day of sunshine. Or, you know, a scrapbooking room where they could while away the weather instead of freezing their feathers off.

Assuming birds would enjoy scrapbooking, that is.

 


Poor birds.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Quote of the Year

The Man-Cub had a pretty rough day, today; the JV game got really physical, the Cub got really aggressive, and, his body got really beaten up. Actually, one specific part of his body got really beaten up, and, it's not the part that a guy particularly wants to have injured. This led to him making a statement that the crowd deemed the best thing they had heard all season: "I'm not going to have any balls left after basketball!"

I hope he's wrong; I would like grandchildren, eventually.





Thursday, January 28, 2016

What Is This World Coming To?

When you can't even trust your co-workers not to eat your sandwich?


It's like End Times, people; prepare your bunkers, accordingly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Damned If You Do, Damned If... Well, You Know the Rest

I've been stewing over something for a week, now. I've told myself that it's not as big a deal as my brain is making it out to be, and, in the grand scheme of things, I'm sure it's not. BUT, I'm totally going to bitch about it, anyway. Who knows, maybe bitching about it will get it out of my system and I'll be able to stop stewing over it.

So.

At last week's Booster Club meeting, after we had addressed the items on our agenda, one of the newer members asked if she could add an item. We aren't a formal bunch by any means, so, we told her to go for it. Her "item" was actually a pretty passionate complaint about "certain" athletes getting special treatment when it came to the locker decorating that we organize during Homecoming week and the week immediately following Christmas break.

"Certain" athletes?

Yeah, I think she meant these guys...



Tonia, our President Extraordinaire, listened patiently while the new member railed against the unfairness of the Boosters making an extra effort for a few while the rest of the athletes made do with a simple banner that indicated their name and which sport they played.

When she eventually wound down, Tonia very sweetly and calmly explained that the Boosters were responsible for those simple banners, one for each and every athlete in the school, plus, a number of athletes who are homeschooled and don't actually have lockers upon which to hang them (we send those home with the athletes); the rest of the decorating is done by parents-all of whom are invited to do so by email, through the school announcements, and by the coaches of each sport. Tonia went on to say that, while she understands that not all parents will be able to take advantage of the opportunity, it was made available, so, she felt that the Boosters had done their due diligence.

Furthermore, the parents of those "certain" athletes (the moms, mostly) had gotten together to make the decorations for their sons' lockers, and, they had decided to also make decorations for the rest of the male athletes in that particular class, not because they are super-speshul snowflakes, but, because they are a pretty tight group of boys and because they (the moms) are aware that some of the boys' families have time and/or financial constraints that prevented them from participating.

The new member said she appreciated the information but that she still felt that it was unfair to the athletes whose parents didn't participate, and, in the interest of fairness, maybe we shouldn't invite parents to participate at all; the simple banners could suffice as the decorations for Spirit Week.

Tonia, again, very sweetly, explained that, as the Booster Club President, she understood the new members position and appreciated her for bringing it to the attention of the group. Then, she explained, also, very sweetly, actually, possibly even more sweetly than was strictly necessary, that, as a parent, she was very sad for the kids whose parents were unable/unwilling/uninvolved, etc. That said, she would also be damned if her kid was going to suffer in the name of fairness.

Then, she smiled, toasted us all with her wine, and adjourned the meeting.

For the record, I am firmly on Team Tonia, and, while my heart also goes out to the kids who are gypped out of cool things because they have parents who, for whatever reason, don't participate; I also know that life is not fair.

So, why am I still stewing about it an entire week later?

I wish I knew.

I Might Need to Get a Subscription to the Local Paper

While perusing the daily paper at work yesterday, I happened upon a news release from the High School. The article listed the students in each grade whom had made the Honor Roll. I scanned through the Freshmen and Sophomores and then checked the Juniors list, where I fully expected to see the Man-Cub's name.

When I didn't find it on the Honors list, I was puzzled; his grades have been pretty darn good, he's in the National Honor Society, and, he was on the list last year...

...so, I checked out the High Honors list, and...


...there it was, along with about a quarter of his entire class.

They are a smart bunch.

I am super-proud, of course. And, I really do need to pay more attention to the local news.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend Round-Up

I'm staying home today, utilizing PTO hours in an effort to kick a sinus headache that I woke up with this morning. I've slept for several hours and am just starting to feel well, again. Thank goodness for naps. And, for paid time off.

It's probably no wonder that I am tired; we had a pretty busy weekend here at Casa de Chelle. That said, I'm also pretty sure that this new head cold was a parting gift from the gymnasium that the Cub played ball in on Saturday, but, I'll get to that here in a minute.

Friday, as I mentioned in a previous post, was busy with work at Day Job. What I failed to mention was that the conference call I was on that day was the last call in a certification process that has taken me approximately a billion years to complete. Or, what feels like a billion years, six months, same difference. But! I can now say that I will be receiving the certificate pronouncing my accomplishment sometime in the very near future.

By the time Mom and I got to the day spa, I was wrung out, intellectually, and ready for some pampering, which, as I also mentioned previously, I got in spades.


The company was pretty pleasant, too.


We picked up drinks at Starbucks prior to our pedicures, which was a nice treat, and we went shopping, afterwards, making a mini day out for Mom, who had spent the past week and a half spoiling us with her fabulous cooking skills and developing bleacher butt at the Cub's basketball games; I would have hated to think that she didn't get to do anything fun while she was here.

Later that evening, I crashed the Winter Formal for the few pictures that I was allowed to take of the Cub and his date. I shared the pictures with her mother, who was also denied a photo shoot prior to the dance. We are already plotting ways to get the children to be more cooperative come prom time.

Saturday, Mom and I drove a couple of hours to the basketball game, where, as I mentioned earlier, I am certain that I picked up the germs required to brew up another sinus infection. The small gym that the JV played in was heated to just a few degrees above the Meat Locker setting, it was crowded, and the metal folding chairs that served as seating for the spectators were about as comfortable as spending an hour and a half competing in an ice-block sitting competition. Things did not improve when we moved into the larger gym for the Varsity games, although, we were able to sit on  our stadium seats, which provided a little more warmth in the derriere.

After the games, we joined three other families, including the JV coach and his wife, for dinner at a local steakhouse, which, provided us all an opportunity to thaw out and to commiserate over just how cold the gyms had been. I wonder if any of them ended up with head colds? Hmmm, I'll have to ask around...and I digress.

Sunday morning, Mom treated us all to breakfast at Denny's, which, is a tradition that she and Dad started when the kids were quite small. The only thing that has changed is that the kids order iced coffees now instead of milkshakes. Despite my recent limitation on sugary treats, I ordered my usual- pancake puppies. They were delicious, but, too sweet to finish. I guess that's progress.



After breakfast, the family headed home while I headed to the hardware store, where I finally managed to get the last of the 2015 financials on to the computer before heading back home to putz around the house while everyone else watched the Broncos secure a trip to the Super Bowl ( tend to feel like I am a jinx when it comes to sitting and actually watching the whole game; my putzing totally contributed to the win!).

Tonight, I am making margherita paninis for dinner; Mom purchased a Panini press when we were shopping on Friday and she wants to see how mine works. Afterwards, I might take a hot bath with some eucalyptus-scented epsom salts to help with the headache; as thankful as I am for PTO, there is only so much to spare and I hate to waste it on my sinuses.

That's about it for life around here, lately. Exciting, I know.

I need some new writing material.
 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

How To Beat the Winter Blahs

My best advice would be to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to the tropics, barring that, however, I strongly recommend a spa day with your mom (or, other favorite person), followed by watching your offspring get dressed up for the school's Winter Formal.




But, that's just me.

(And I would be totally up for that tropical vacation...maybe I should start a Gofundme account...or, you know, NOT)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Favorites: The Colorful Edition

Yesterday, our office at Day Job went on lock-down when the spouse of one of our domestic violence clients showed up outside with a gun. We were never in any danger, per se, and the client and her children were safely sheltered within our walls, but, despite a quick response and a lot of manpower, law enforcement was unable to apprehend the guy.

Since he is still on the loose, and since he knows that we are sheltering his family somewhere, we are on our highest security level until further notice. That means that we work behind locked doors, we schedule client meetings somewhere other than our building, we enter and leave the building in pairs, and we will probably re-visit our active shooter protocol and drill on Monday.

That's not really a favorite, but, it bears mentioning since, today, I spent my client-free time in my office on a conference call, using one of my new favorite things:

Markers and an adult coloring book.




I've been using the coloring book during conference calls for a week, now; I read somewhere that you are more likely to retain information that you receive audibly if you are engaging the other side of your brain at the same time. I have no idea if it works, but, pretty pictures!

Speaking of pretty, my next favorite thing today was spending some time with my mom, getting pedicures. My feet were in serious need of attention, and, anything that looks like summer right about now is A-Ok with me.


I used OPI Let Your Love Shine...



...and the results were fantabulous.


Mom is staying until Monday. We have another basketball game to attend tomorrow and then we are planning to watch the Bronco game on Sunday, which means that the colors we will be seeing the most of are blue and gold, and blue and orange.

I can live with that.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Teenager Strikes Again

This kid, I swear...



She is more entertaining than anything on cable; I don't know why we continue to pay for it. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Playing Catch-Up

Life has been busy, y'all. Between working at the hardware store (end of year crap, I do not recommend), working at Day Job (beginning of the year crap, also, I do not recommend), trying to keep a household running, and traveling for basketball games, it feels like I am running at a hundred miles an hour on an empty tank of gas.

Thankfully, Mom is still here; having her pitch in with the cooking has been a Godsend and we appreciate it more than she knows. This evening, I am hosting the Booster Club meeting and she has already volunteered to make BBQ meatballs, which will cut down on the chores I need to cover, dramatically.

Also, Thankfully, today is hump day; we are halfway through another week.

I'm taking my comfort in the small things, obviously.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

EnJOYment

One of the best things about this basketball season is watching the way that the JV plays the game; the absolute joy that they exude is such an awesome thing to witness. Not only are they happy on the court, but, their time on the bench, as well. I think that says a lot for their JV coach as well as for their friendship and general love of the sport.

This weekend, while the boys were playing, I focused on the bench, where I was able to catch the Man-Cub and one of his teammates right after the Cub accidentally squirted his friend in the face with his water bottle. I caught the fallout on camera.







They got called back onto the court right after I got these shots, and, they were still laughing about it as they ran down the court, which, I think unnerved the competition. It also amused the home crowd and the referees, who asked to be let in on the joke. As you can imagine, that made them laugh all the harder.

I hope they are always this joyful. I hope they continue to play the game as a game, and not as a life-and-death competition, and I hope they always take pleasure in small things. A positive attitude is a rare treasure these days.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Team Breakfast, By the Numbers

Today I hosted my first basketball team breakfast; I was a little nervous, not gonna lie. For one thing, I am not at my very best first thing in the morning. Then, there was the uncertainty of how many of the boys would actually show up, which, made planning for the food a bit nerve-wracking. Finally, the team was scheduled to leave the high school at 9:00, sharp, so, timing was going to be really important.

I really shouldn't have worried.

I dealt with the first concern by ingesting several cups of really strong coffee. Like really strong coffee. The buzz not only got me through the breakfast, but through the two-and-a-half-hour drive to the town where today's games were held. I had to pee like a racehorse by the time we got there, but, that is neither here nor there. And, I digress.

My second fear turned out to be a non-issue as well; the food I purchased was adequate for the boys (twenty-two, in total) without leaving a ton of leftovers or resulting in wasted food.

Next, thankfully, I had two of the best helpers that I could have asked for: my mom and my friend, Jill, who is also on the Booster Club and mother to one of the Man-Cub's good friends. With the two of them manning the waffle irons, the meal hummed along better than I could have hoped and we served all twenty-two boys plus their coaches and managers in just over an hour, leaving them with more than enough time to make it back to the school to catch the bus.

On their way out, most of the boys gave us hugs, thanking us for the, and I quote, "Way awesome breakfast". That is the highest praise you can get from teenagers.

The breakdown of that way awesome breakfast?

-2 large bags of waffle mix, which made around 50 waffles
-60 whistle pigs (link sausage, thus nicknamed by my children due to the whistling sound the links make when cooking)
-50 sausage patties
-1 large bottle of Mrs. Butterworths syrup
1 large bottle of Log Cabin syrup
1 bag of mini chocolate chips
1 can strawberry topping
1 can blueberry topping
6 cans whipped cream
1 small tub of fresh butter
1 gallon chocolate milk
1/2 gallon regular milk
1 gallon orange juice
1 gallon apple juice

Totally worth every penny spent and every minute in preparation, presentation, and clean-up.










Friday, January 15, 2016

This Is My Life

The Teenager came down for a couple of nights in order to watch her brother play basketball and to hang out with my mom, who is visiting for the same purpose. 

This morning, I ran to the Hellmouth to pick up the groceries that I will need for the team breakfast that I am hosting tomorrow, and, while I was shopping, I got the following text from The Teenager. 

I died, laughing. 

It was a good way to go. 



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

These Are the Things I'll Miss

Yesterday, I arrived home from work to find the Man-Cub and three of his teammates snacking on popcorn in the kitchen; the boys greeted me with hugs and hearty hellos and requests for hot snacks, to which I happily obliged.

These are the same boys for whom I used to bake cookies as after-school treats, boys who spent many nights camped out on my living room floor during weekend slumber parties, and, who were as comfortable in our home as they were in their own; I'm proud to say, they have grown into fine young men who are still happy to make themselves at home, dirty dishes left in the sink and all.

I know it won't be long before they, and the Man-Cub, are graduated and gone. I won't get the chance to listen to their boisterous chatter as they clean me out of leftovers, or opportunities to find their playfully written notes on my grocery list, requesting Pop-Tarts and Bagel Bites.

I'll miss that.

But, I'm oh-so-glad I had the chance to experience it, if even for a little while.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Out, Damn Spot!

So, I said I would update you all on the progress on my face, and, I am pleased to announce that the scab finally fell off today, leaving me with a small red mark that was easily covered with make-up.

Why didn't I just cover the original spot with make-up, you ask?

I did! But, no matter how thickly I trowled it on, the spot still showed through!

Anyway, I am a very pleased customer and will be giving appropriate kudos to my dermatologist. And, just because I love you, I am going to post what is, undeniably, the least attractive picture of myself ever to grace the internet. You're welcome.



That's the "before" picture, with the spot in all it's glory, despite a generous spackling of Benefit's Erase Paste.

It's also because I love you guys that I spared you a close-up photo of the scab, prior to it finally jettisoning itself from my face. Again, you're welcome.


So, this was taken today, sometime around 2:00ish, which is generally about the time the make-up that I carefully applied at 5:00 a.m. somehow slides off my face, evaporating into the ozone layer, or going to foundation heaven, or, wherever the hell it is that make-up goes when it disappears from your face; I'm sure there is a scientific explanation for it, but, we don't have time for that. The point is, I am wearing very little in the way of coverage and the spot is nowhere to be seen.

That, my friends, is co-pay money well spent.

Thus endeth the saga of the spot.