Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Care Package

We mailed the Man-Cub's latest care package earlier this week, and, with any luck, he should be picking it up from his post office some time today. The package has a Thanksgiving theme, or, as
Thanksgiving-y as I could think to make it, anyway.

In the box:

- Ramen Noodle Bowls
- Harvest Trail Mix
- Wheat Thins
- Spray Cheese
- Cookie Butter
- Nutella
- Pop Secret Popcorn
- Smores Flavor Carmel Corn
- Velveeta Shells and Cheese
- Turkey Jerky
- Turkey Snack Sticks
- Little Debbie Snack Cakes
- Stance socks
- Steam gift card
- Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD
- Mini Pumpkin Pie

I wanted to include the entire menu from Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving, but, I didn't know how to get buttered toast to stay fresh during a trip over the Pacific Ocean. Plus, the Man-Cub isn't really a fan of jelly beans, so, my only nod to the movie was the popcorn.

I think he'll forgive me.

I did dress the box up a bit, you know, to add to the festive nature of the ocassion.

I'm sure the effort will not be lost on the Cub.

And, that's it for care packages for this year; next month, he'll be home (happy dance! Happy dance!), and, he won't return to Hawaii until after the new year. So, time to start thinking about his February package.

Although, why rush it? Right?


The Theme of the Week is Baby's First Car Accident

Not my baby, thank God. But, twice in the span of a week, I have found myself in the position of comforting a youth who was involved in their first car accident.

The first was a minor fender-bender last Thursday, when a sixteen year old boy accidentally put his dad's car in drive instead of reverse, resulting in the car jumping the curb and taking out a brick retaining wall in the parking lot across the street from Day Job. The poor kid was in total shock and I stayed with him until his dad arrived, talking calmly with him and reassuring him that he had done everything exactly right; he stayed at the scene, he reported it to police, he had his license and insurance card in hand, and he had called his parents. I also told him about Queen B's first accident (remember that time when the kid jumped out in front of her car and she broke his leg? Yeah, good times). He appreciated the story, I think.

Last night's accident was more serious, and, truly, could have been a complete tragedy had God not had his hand on the situation.

I was driving home from Denver, where I had spent the day at a retreat for Day Job. It was dark and the traffic was moving pretty fast on the interstate. I was about two and a half hours from home when I came up behind an accident that had just happened; a young girl had hit a deer and her car was completely disabled in the right hand lane. She had no working lights, so the car-a small, dark colored sports car-was virtually invisible until you were right on top of it. Luckily, a man had stopped at just the time I did and he had a reflective vest in his truck, so he was somewhat visible to oncoming traffic. I turned on my flashers and we did the best we could to keep an additional accident from happening until another gentleman arrived with flares and was able to assist. Once the traffic was slowed down, I spent the rest of my time comforting the poor kid- a twenty year old college student, in her brand-new car (insert sad face here), who was on her way to Neighboring City to spend fall break with her family.

She was a wreck, as anyone would be. So, I took her first into my arms and then into my car. She just needed a soft place to cry and to be comforted and I was glad I could be there to give her that. I stayed with her until State Patrol arrived, some time later, and then I continued on my way. Since I had loaned her my phone to call her phone (it was lost in the accident and we located it by calling it), I had her number, so I texted with her later in the night to make sure she got home ok.

I hate accidents. I hate that kids have accidents. But, man, I hope I threw some good karma out into the universe this week, because, if either of my kids ever needs a mom to help them and I'm not there, I hope it will return to us in the form of a good Samaritan.

Monday, November 13, 2017

DIY: Farmhouse Table Make-Over

Two years ago, after Hugh finished converting our downstairs guest room into my scrapbooking room, we purchased a farmhouse table at a local discount furniture store. The table was not exactly what I wanted, but, it was functional and it was cheap-about $75 cheaper than the table closest to exactly what I was looking for. So, we went with functional and affordable over pricey and perfect.

And, the table has been exactly what I paid for-functional; it's seen a lot of crafting, scrapping, present wrapping, and, more often than I care to admit, time spent as a storage platform for whatever the next project was that I was planning.

This weekend, I finally got around to making it into what I had originally envisioned-functional, affordable, and stylish. Gone is the forest green and brown color pallet, circa late 1998, and, in it's place, vintage shabby chic, distressed, and fabulous. And, it only took a little bit of chalk paint, some sandpaper, and a coat of wax.

Oh, and time and elbow grease, both of which were free, and, of which I have plenty, recently.

I love it, and, could not be more pleased with the result; it finally matches the rest of the furniture in the room. My only regret is that I didn't do it two years ago.

Live and learn!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Because I'm Not One of THOSE People

You know, those people. The ones who skip right over Thanksgiving and start decorating for Christmas the second their Halloween decorations are stored away. Yeah, those people.

Those people are missing out.

They are missing out on the warm, rich colors of fall. They are missing out on fall-scented candles and the feeling of bounty and blessing evoked by the sight of a cornucopia, resting on a table. They are missing out on the meaning of this particular season while rushing toward the next.

Not this girl.

Nuh-uh. This girl was born on Thanksgiving and this girl celebrates it in style. The decor in my house right now is testament to that.

There will be plenty of time to deck the halls with boughs of holly after the turkey has been eaten and the last balloon in the Macy's parade has been deflated, my friends, so, slow your roll and enjoy the downtime, friends, family, and food.

Hell, I don't know, maybe take some time to count your blessings and to express gratitude for the wonders in your life.

It is called Thanksgiving, after all.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

No Wonder My Feet Hurt

According to my Fitbit, I have walked almost 22,000 steps today.


I guess that's what happens when one ends up running instead of walking during one's daily trek around the park. And, why does one end up running? Because there was a disk golf tournament being held at the park and the threat of decapitation proved to be a very good motivation for speed.

In addition to the "walk", I also did my weekly grocery shopping, put together a care package for the Man-Cub, painted the table in my scrapbooking room, paid bills and counted money at the store, refilled the bird feeders, cleaned the house, and ran a few more errands in Hooterville.

I guess I earned every one of those steps. I just wish they hadn't come with a side dish of pain.

Getting old sucks, y'all.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Favorites: Pumpkin Smoothie

I'm still on a smoothie kick; I have one every weekday morning. I've been switching it up between four favorite flavors and pumpkin rates right up there.

The recipe is simple, but, will probably require a change once the Chobani pumpkin spice Greek yogurt that I'm currently using goes out of season. I'll deal with that when it happens.

In the meantime, the ingredients are:

1 container Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
1 scoop Vega Protein and Greens, vanilla flavor
Handful of ice

Give it all a whirl in your blender, Magic Bullet, Nutri Ninja-whatever floats your boat.

It's super yummy and packed with protein.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Because This Is All I Do: Walk, and Talk About Birds

You guys, what has my life become? I used to have a purpose! Now, the highlight of my day is the buzzing of my Fitbit as it alerts me to the completion of my 10,000 steps. I am so boring, I can hardly stand myself.


I've lost some weight (I'm whispering because I don't want to jinx myself; I still have a long way to go), and, I've rediscovered a couple of muscles that I thought were gone forever.

I've also bonded with a couple of my co-workers whom I hadn't known well, previously. A couple of days ago, those co-workers and I discovered a new walking path that will probably be our best bet for wintertime walking because it is a bike path that the city maintains year-round. It also has the added benefit of running alongside a canal that is home to a flock of semi-wild ducks. I say "semi-wild" because they have been somewhat tamed by the residents of the neighborhoods adjacent to the canal.

Yesterday, we started toting Ziploc baggies full of rolled oats on our walks so that we can feed the ducks as we make our way along their portion of our path. And, let me tell you, there are few things more humorous than watching a duck waddle, full-throttle, toward you in the quest for a handful of oatmeal.

The ducks are also beautiful; they vary quite a bit in coloring and size. We each have our favorites among them, but, between you and me, my favorite is clearly the prettiest; he (she? Fuck if I know!) is black, with iridescent blue and green undertones, like a peacock, and, I could watch him glide on the surface of the water for hours. It's very therapeutic; like counseling offered through our EAP, only at no cost to my employers.

Huh. Maybe I should suggest it as an option on our next employee satisfaction survey.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Let There Be No Doubt: I HATES Daylight Savings Time

Why? Why must we jack with the clocks twice a year? Arizona doesn't do it! Hawaii doesn't do it! Why must the rest of us line up like sheeple, toeing the line and bowing to societal pressure?


Revolt, I say!

I hate going to work in the dark. I hate coming home in the dark. I hate that I am now forced to walk on a treadmill at the gym, and I really hate that my treadmill of choice appears to be popular with at least one other gym patron who, apparently, didn't read the memo about it being "my" treadmill. Get off my treadmill, annoying woman who doesn't even use the damn television despite that being the most attractive feature on the entire damn machine! If I'm going to be stuck inside, at least give me my Hallmark Channel!

My other complaint about the Daylight Savings nonsense? The time change fuels my anxiety; I literally feel my blood pressure rising with the setting of the sun. I become irrationally overwhelmed by the need to be inside my home, with dinner on the table by 6:00, despite having given not one single fuck about that arbitrary timeline all freaking summer and fall. What the actual fuck is that all about? Hugh isn't even home before 7:00 most nights and it's not like I have young kids to feed; where is this discomfort coming from?

If you didn't just answer "Daylight Savings time", you are dead to me.

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to bed, because, despite having "gained" that hour back, I am tired as fuck.

I bet I wouldn't be nearly this tired in Hawaii.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Another Newbie Joins the Flock

I seriously am becoming the neighborhood bird lady. I hope I don't turn out like that woman in Home Alone 2, although, I'm pretty sure I'm safe, because I don't view birds as a fashion accessory and I draw the line at letting them poop all over me.

Anyhoodle, as always, no freaking idea what this little guy is, but, he's a looker.

I am also really starting to think that I need to invest in a birding book. Or, get an actual hobby that doesn't include sitting in my kitchen window with my camera, posing as the bird papparazzi.

God, empty nest, what hath thou wrought?

Friday, November 03, 2017

Life Lately

November, already! This year is just speeding by; I hope I'm not missing anything.

So, what's been happening around here? Not a lot. Our first child-free Halloween in 21 years was low-key, and, maybe just a teensy bit depressing. We didn't have nearly as many Trick-or-Treaters as we have had in years past (I blame the school Halloween Carnival; asshole stole my thunder! (I'm just kidding, the school carnival is not an asshole) Also, I just made parenthesis inside parenthesis; is your mind blown?), so my awesome decorations went underappreciated this year. I guess there is always next year.

Anyhoodle, I spent the past day and a half putting the decorations back into storage and decking the house in Thanksgiving decorations. We are hosting dinner this year, and, as I mentioned in a previous post, Mikey and his mom will be joining us, along with Oscar, Emily, Queen B, my mom, Queen B's special guy friend, and her boss. It's going to be a full house and I want to make it as homey as possible. Also, Mikey and his mom recently learned that Mikey's sister and her husband are expecting their first baby, so, we really have reason to be thankful and to celebrate (it was a long road to pregnancy for Mikey's sister).

I'll post pictures of the decorations tomorrow, once I've made the finishing touches; I picked up a few things on clearance at The Hellmouth today and I need to decide where they go.

Speaking of The Hellmouth; there really is a reason that I liken it to the portal to Hell, and, two recent shopping trips brought home that point quite clearly: Last Saturday, while perusing the holiday aisles, I realized that I was in the beginning stages of a migraine. I immediately inhaled my meds, abandoned my cart, and fled for my car, where I spent the next hour meditating in the back seat, finally dozing off for long enough to get control of the headache. For the record? While there are far worse places the headache could have happened, the parking lot of The Hellmouth is not very pleasant. Then, today, it took me three tries before I found a cart that didn't have a dead front wheel. I don't know about you, but, dying a slow death while endlessly navigating The Hellmouth by making only left turns is not the way I'm going out. Get your shit together, Hellmouth.

In news not related to The Hellmouth, I have another new addition to the guests currently enjoying the bird buffet outside the kitchen window.

As usual, I have no idea what they are, but, I want to call them chickadees, for some reason. I also want to sing in a high falsetto and have the little guys land on my outstretched fingers while I wait for my prince to come, but that is neither here nor there.

And, that about covers life lately here in Petticoat Junction. The excitement is almost too much to comprehend, I know.