Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I Just Had the BEST Hair Day

No doubt, due to the fact that I have an appointment scheduled with the stylist tomorrow, at which I was seriously contemplating committment to an extreme haircut; this is how the universe works, you see.

In unrelated news, I survived both days of my training and returned to my office today; several co-workers inquired as to how I enjoyed the training to which I responded "The kool-aid tasted the same as it always does". Perhaps you can relate.

On another topic, I forgot to mention that I finally saw my massage therapist last Friday. She took one look (feel?) at me and berated me for not having called her sooner. I reminded her that she was in Hawaii, and wouldn't have been able to see me, anyway, and, she was only slightly less annoyed with me. This is why I love her.

I also love the fact that she got me on the road to recovery; my arm and shoulder are 100% better since she ministered to me. She also identified exactly what I was doing wrong, that led to my rib slipping out, that led to three weeks of agony: I was curving my shoulders inward and hunching my back for extended periods of time. Her theory is that I carry my stress in my chest, which, indicates to her that I am protecting my heart, for some reason. She's quite the philosopher. Anyhoodle, I am making a conscience effort to pull my shoulders back and to relax my chestal area, which, she also said may be difficult for me to do until I build up my core strength, because, and I quote: "Big boobs on a small frame realllly require a strong core to keep things in line".

Well, shit.

Looks like I have another goal to discuss with the personal trainer at my consultation on Friday. Clearly, I am just a hot mess.

But! I have GREAT hair. You know, today.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Quiet Rebellion is Rebellion Nonetheless

I just got home from the first of two days of training for Day Job. The training is mandatory for all supervisors and is meant to be intensive and thought-provoking.

It's also meant to be a cell-free zone, which is why I was forced to smuggle my phone into the building in my boot. Hey, my son is on a tropical island within range of a nuke and his safety plan, in the event of a missile warning, is to grab a corona, sit on the beach, and make some phone calls; if you think I will ever take a chance on missing that call, you are clearly taking advantage of Colorado's lenient pot laws.

Not that I ever hope to have to take that call, but, you know what I mean.

And, as is often the case, I digress.

So, the training has been on my radar for almost a year. I was among the very last of the company employees to take it, mainly because my schedule wouldn't accommodate it the first seven times it was offered, and, as this was the final opportunity, I didn't have much choice. The good news is, it didn't completely suck, and, it got me out of the office for a couple of days.

Plus, I had spent the weekend doing enjoyable things (including, going to the local community theater's production of Calendar Girls with Co-Worker Kristi and working on hobbies at home; I'm a party animal, what can I say?), so, the thought of two days of sipping the corporate kool-aid was tolerable.

Of course, now that I am home, all I want to do is slip into comfy jammies, turn on the fireplace, grab a glass of Pinot Grigio, and veg on the sofa. Actually, that's exactly what I'm going to do; consider it recharging for Day Two (when I will again don my highest cuffed boots for proper cell phone concealment).

It's good to have a plan.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Kiss Me, I'm Irish!

Well, more Scottish, actually, but, Irish comes in second. I'm also made with a dash of Italian, German, and Greek (?!), but, no evidence of Native American, which, may have come as a surprise to my great-grandfather on my dad's side, who swore up and down that we were Cherokee or some such nonsense.

Yes. Well, then.

Obviously, I have received my DNA results from It took less than the 6-8 weeks that I expected, which, was a nice surprise. In addition to the information on my double helix, it also connected me to a list of possible relatives, several of whom I can positively verify because they used to change my diapers.

It also connected me to relatives whom I have heard mentioned in passing but never met. So, the possibility of my parents having accidentally taken the wrong baby home from the hospital is pretty slim. Also, my older sister was clearly lying all those times that she told me I was adopted.

I'm really happy to have the Scottish connection verified; Dad always claimed we were of noble Scottish birth (wasn't exactly able to confirm that, but, I act like a queen, so, he was probably correct). I'm also super stoked about the Irish connection because it allows me to celebrate St. Paddy's like a beast, which, means that I will be eating alll the corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread that my tummy can handle come March 17th. Plus, the naming of my cats makes perfect sense, now.

It was meant to be!

The Italian and Greek connections are slightly more tenuous, but, what the hell; I'll put Italy and Greece on the Travel Bucket List along with Scotland, Ireland, and Germany.

 For research purposes, of course.

And, speaking of research, here are the Scottish kilt patterns of my people, according to the Internets.

Elliot Clan Tartan

Gibson Clan Tartan

I probably won't be wearing a kilt anytime soon, but, if I decide to at some point, I have two lovely patterns with which to work. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to binge-watch the first season of Outlander. You know, to connect to my Highlander roots; not to ogle Jamie Fraser.

This time.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Hypothetically Speaking

Question: Would Workmans Comp cover you if you accidentally fell off the treadmill when reaching for your phone to answer a client call while not technically on duty?

Asking for a friend.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Forecast Calls For Pain

At the gym tonight, I approached the personal trainer about taking me on as a client. When she asked what my goals were, I basically told her that I really would like to not have a pancake ass. After a cursory glance at my backside, she nodded in understanding and said that she sees a lot of squats in my future.

Prepare yourselves, now, for lots and lots of whining in future posts, because; squats are the devil and I am a wimp.

Hopefully, soon to be a wimp with a nicely rounded ass, but, a wimp, nonetheless.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Stuff, In No Particular Order

- My shoulder continues to hurt. The rib that had slipped out is back in place, but, the inflammation it caused in the surrounding muscles and tendons appears to have contributed to a pinched nerve, somewhere. I'm experiencing some weakness in my arm, which is frustrating.

- In brighter news, the Man-Cub received notification of his place on the Deans List as well as an invitation to apply for the honors program. We could not be more proud.

- Not to be outdone by my own son (like I care);  I was recently recognized as an expert in my field by state officials. So disturbing.

- The Girls and I have finally, finally made plans for our next getaway; we will be meeting up at a spa in Sante Fe late in February and I can hardly wait.

- These plans almost certainly assure a blizzard of epic proportions will hit the area in late February.

- I should probably get to work; I wouldn't want my co-workers to go without my expertise for any longer than necessary. Bah, ha.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Gettin' Crafty With My Baby

The weekend was a blur, a paint-smeared blur. In addition to finishing the buffet for the dining room, I also re-painted the small table that used to sit in the space that now houses the buffet; I'm planning to use it on the porch, so I painted it a lovely shade of blue to match my summer cushions (pictures coming soon). Then, because I hadn't had enough, I grabbed Queen B and we headed to my girlfriend's pallet painting studio in Hooterville to work on a mason jar project.

My arm and shoulder may never recover from the past three days, but, I have three awesome projects to show for it, and, I got to spend some quality time with my firstborn, so, I'll pop an Aleve and call it good.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Trash to Treasure: Dining Room Buffet Project

Remember that crappy entertainment center that I scored for free when our deadbeat renter skipped town?

With just a little paint and elbow grease (and, Hugh's master carpentry skills), it's now a serviceable buffet/wine hutch in my dining room, and I love it.

I used white chalk paint to achieve the look that I wanted, painting directly over the original black and brown finishes.

Hugh built the wine and wineglass racks, utilizing the shelving that came with the piece as well as some wood scavenged from the hardware store. I painted them with the chalk paint once they were finished and installed into the cabinet.

Then, I used sand paper and sanding blocks to distress the areas where I wanted those old finishes to show through.

After wiping it down with a damp cloth, to remove the dust from the sanding, I sealed the paint with a clear wax, allowing it dry and cure overnight before buffing it into a really pretty, silky finish. Then, the last step was to install new drawer pulls and doorknobs, purchased from Home Depot.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I absolutely love the finished piece. Not only is it gorgeous, but; it increased my storage capacity by quite a bit, which, led to a purge and re-organization of the china hutch in the dining room. Now, all of the pieces that I use most frequently are easy to get to. I also rediscovered a few things deep within the recesses of the hutch that I had completely forgotten I owned, due to them being buried beneath a shit-tonnage of crap that I had no place else to store. Bonus!

Another bonus is the increased surface area on which to display photos and seasonal decor, which, we all know I like to switch up on the regular. All in all, this little project has been quite the coup, which, is probably going to be a terrifying thing for Hugh, since, now, I will be on the hunt for more furniture to transform.

People? I may have just discovered the answer to Empty Nest Syndrome.

(Run, Hugh. Run)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Meeting of the Brain Trust

Last night, I hosted the Boosters for our monthly meeting. Since the Man-Cub's class graduated last spring, our numbers have shrunk (shrunken? Shrank? Shrinked? Miss Axelrath, my high school Honors English teacher would be so proud), so, it is getting harder and harder to provide the level of awesome that we have historically provided.

This is apparently becoming obvious to the parents of our athletes, who, have sent us encouraging and helpful suggestions via Facebook Messenger, gems like "You need to get off your asses and cover the wrestling team more" and; "I don't follow your Facebook page or listen to the school announcements, or read the newsletter that you send home with my kid! How am I supposed to know when you are taking button pictures or decorating lockers?!"

When I replied to the wrestling comment, I was on my best behavior; I used my indoor voice (no virtual shouting in CAPS LOCK) and was incredibly diplomatic, going so far as to offer an invitation to the commenter to join the Boosters so that he, too, could work tirelessly on a volunteer basis while also holding down a full-time job and managing a personal life, all for the reward of being criticized by people too lazy to volunteer, themselves.

 I haven't heard back.

When I saw the other comment, I ignored it, completely; it came from a parent with serious substance use issues and I didn't feel the need to poke the bear, if you get my drift.

Anyhoodle, we are a small group, but, we are mighty in our determination to support our athletes to the best of our ability, so, despite the haters, we will continue to do the best we can with our limited resources. Not coincidentally, we will also continue to drink wine at the meetings. Lots and lots of wine. Oh, and Tippy Cow*, for those among us who don't prefer wine.

*Tippy Cow is an orange cream flavored rum drink that tastes just like an orange dreamsicle, but, with a kick. It's delicious and very popular among the Booster moms because it numbs us to The Haterz.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It's Like He Forgot Who He's Dealing With

Yesterday, I had to remind the Man-Cub that, despite having just spent the last month with him, seeing him on the regular, I am not yet sick of his face, and, do still require daily Proof of Life now that he is back in Hawaii.

He appears...unimpressed with my directive.

Ask me if that changes anything.

No. No, it does not.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Next Four Months Are Going To Creep By

The Man-Cub flew out this morning.

I'm experiencing a mixed bag of emotions about this; one the one hand, I am so proud of how well he is doing in school (he finished the semester with a 3.9 GPA) and I know how much he is enjoying the Hawaii experience. On the other hand, just yesterday, everyone on the islands got a notification on their cell phones about an incoming ballistic missile, informing them to seek shelter; it wasn't until 24 minutes later that it was reported to be a false alarm (as an aside, someone's getting fired). I'm going to spend the next four months worrying about my honor student, is my point.

On the bright side, we made the most of our last few hours together. Queen B came down from Neighboring City to eat dinner and spend the night. We went to one of the kids' favorite restaurants and I got to bask in the brotherly/sisterly love.

Then, we came home and watched IT on pay per view, which, was a minor miracle in and of itself, given Queen B's deeply ingrained fear of clowns. The Cub was not scared in the least, but, that never stopped him from crawling in my lap for back tickles before, so, why start now?

When we left the Cub at the airport, he was clearly excited about getting back to school, and, as of five minutes ago, he was looking forward to stretching out on his connecting flight from Denver to Honolulu because, miracle of miracles, the two seats next to him are empty (fingers crossed for no-shows rather than tardy passengers).

I guess I'll just have to set my apprehensions aside and focus on looking forward to his eventual return at the end of the semester, and, in the meantime, there is always wine.

Clearly, I'm going to need a bigger wine rack.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Favorites: Winning!

It's finally Friday! Win!

Since I got all of my year-end book work done at the hardware store last weekend, I don't have to go in for an extra day this weekend! Win!

I won a $100 Target gift card at Day Job by completing the annual No Gain Challenge with a 13 pound weight loss; two of my favorite co-workers also completed the challenge by maintaining their weight, so, they each won a rolling massager. Win and win! (although, I won the best prize, I mean, obviously. Not that I'm competitive or anything.)

I scored this Pier One entertainment center for free because it was left behind when the last tenant of the apartment above the hardware store skipped out on the rent. I'm going to transform it into a shabby chic wine buffet for the dining room and, because I already have the supplies on hand, it's only going to cost me the price of four new drawer pulls. Win!

Let's see...what else...oh, I haven't gnawed my own arm off yet, despite the constant nagging pain it's in due to my rib still being out of place. Win?

Whatever, I get to sleep in tomorrow!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Choose Love

After two particularly harrowing trips between Petticoat Junction  and Hooterville today, I was completely prepared to write a tremendously venomous and scathing post about idiots who monopolize the passing lane whilst most definitely not passing other cars, thus impeding the progress of the cars behind them, driven by drivers who most definitely do want to use the passing lane for actual, you know, passing, like the good lord intended, but, then, I was like, "no, Chelle; you're better than that", so, instead, I'm going to post this text exchange that I had with Queen B yesterday, because, what the world needs now is love (sweet love), and, I choose to be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Aren't you glad I spared you the rage?

Yes, I thought so. And, I digress..

...this is our conversation, starting with the screenshot that she took of her text conversation with her nana.

I can't even! They are seriously the cutest humans on my planet. This totally makes up for all the lane-hogging assholes on the highway. Totally.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

A Day In The (Really Boring) Life

As someone who works closely with all different types of people, learning about their family dynamics and unique culture, I am always looking for ways to better understand what makes them tick. One exercise that I use when first engaging a new family is the "day in the life" exercise, wherein they share what a normal day looks like, and, let me tell you, it is always fascinating to hear what they have to say (by fascinating, I sometimes mean horrifying, but, those are stories for another day).

I can't compete with some of the stories I've heard, but, here is what a typical day in my life looks like, currently.

5:00 a.m. My alarm goes off and I head to the shower, where I will stand under a strong pressure jet for as long as it takes to sufficiently wake up, after which I slap some make-up on, dry my hair, throw on the first thing I grab from my closet and call it good. What can I say? I'm not my best before coffee..

6:00-6:45(ish). Drink coffee, feed cats, take collagen supplements, check email, read blog, and generally surf the web until it is time to roll out to the hardware store...

6:50 (ish)-8:00. Count money until my fingers are black (money is hella dirty; trust me on this). Do whatever else needs doing and then make a mad dash for Hooterville and Day Job.

8:15 (ish)-12:00. My view for the morning consists of my computer and the quarterly report that I am currently working on. I sip on my breakfast smoothie and drink several cups of herbal tea as well.

Today, my morning routine was broken up by our weekly staff meeting, at which I am required to don a wig and to channel my inner Jewish woman. What? You heard me. Meet Hildy, my alter-ego.

Hildy co-hosts the weekly staff meeting, using a morning talk show format, complete with a microphone and a ditzy sidekick, known affectionately as "Office Mom". This morning, Office Mom and Hildy welcomed a special guest, the CFO of the corporation that runs Day Job; he appreciated Hildy's fabulous energy and awesome Bronx accent, not to mention the (two sizes too small) T-shirt  presented to him for making the trip down from Neighboring City.

(Hildy was supposed to be a one-time thing, a fun departure from our usual lame office meetings; then leadership got involved and the next thing I knew, it was part of my job duties. Life is weird, y'all.)

12:00-5:00 (ish). Lunch at my desk, generally a pre-packaged, portion-controlled, low-calorie entree that I have liberated from freezer camp, aka: my stash in the office deep freeze.

In a total departure from the usual, today, Co-worker Kristi aided me in a dumpster diving adventure, aimed at recovering the local newspaper, which had been thrown out by the cleaning lady before I had a chance to clip the articles on Petticoat Junction's basketball team for the Boosters. Kristi is good people.

Then, we took our daily walk. We were joined by Co-worker Erin and we made our way to a local neighborhood, where we fed the flock of domesticated ducks that live in the canal.

After work, I hit the gym, where I finished off my 10,000 steps for the day on the treadmill. You know, for it being less than two weeks into the new year, there doesn't seem to be much of a rush to pack the gym in Petticoat Junction; guess fitness resolutions weren't super high on the priority lists of the locals. Hey! More privacy for me!

When I got home, I washed my face, leaving a layer of bubbles in the sink that appeared to really, really fascinate Finnigan.

Meanwhile, downstairs, Guinness was perfecting his roadkill impersonation.

Recently, I have been suffering from a displaced rib in my back, so, Hugh hooked me up to his tens machine and I twitched and spasmed for an hour or so while I ate left-over blow-out chili (three bean recipe, gets the job done!) and am currently surfing the internet and watching Drunk History (love this show!) while waiting for the Man-Cub to get home from a basketball game in a nearby town (he's also been making his rounds this week, saying his farewells until summer).

It's almost 9:00, which is my bedtime, so I hope he gets home soon.

And, that's about it for a (really, really boring) day in my life. No wonder I find the antics of my clients so much more interesting.