Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Buh-Bye, February. Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Ass

Last day of the longest month of the year, folks! Can I get an amen! A-MEN!!!

And, since February is the final month of winter, it's time to check in on my Winter Bucket List. How did I do? Well, I didn't kill anyone and I'm not currently rolled up in a ball, rocking in a corner, so, does it really even matter?

Ok, maybe a little.

On to the list!

1. Have a laid-back, relaxing holiday. Ummmm, I did my best. I had an enjoyable holiday. I spent quality time with family. I probably could have done a little less stressing over stupid shit, but, all in all, I'm going to consider this one a success.

2. Spend quality time with the Man-Cub while he was home on winter break. I did this as well as a child with a vast social circle would allow me to do in between his jetting off with friends and attending parties, etc. Good enough.

3. Continue on the road to physical health. I can absolutely say that I have rocked this one!

4. Improve my photography and editing skills, launch my official Facebook page. I would consider this partially done. I did create the Facebook page, but, I haven't taken it live, yet. I am adding more photos before I do that.

5. Make more time and head space for friends. Girl's Weekend, anyone? I've also spent time doing fun things with co-workers, etc.

6. Do, or say, one kind thing to someone everyday. I was really pretty good at this one and will continue to do it, even without it being on a bucket list.

7. Find, and tackle, one new challenge each month. Ummmm, I may have failed completely at this.

8. Make it to Spring. Well, we're here, aren't we?

Tomorrow, Spring Bucket List!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sante Fe

Thursday morning, I awoke to three inches of snow. Because, of course I did!

Before leaving, I had a 9:00 meeting to attend. I figured that I would check the road conditions once the meeting was over, to determine which route I would be taking to Sante Fe because, screw you, Mother Nature! I was going to see my Girls.

I had initially planned to take a southern route (over one of the most treacherous passes in Colorado) to meet up with three of The Girls, at which point we would continue the journey together, but, Mother Nature wasn't having it. So, I ended up taking the route through my hometown, which was safer, but lonelier.

Once I arrived in Sante Fe, I checked into the resort (La Posada de Sante Fe) and waited for the rest of The Girls to arrive. While I waited, Phoebe and I chatted on the phone (she wasn't able to get away from work until Friday) and we kept in touch with the rest of the group on Facebook Messenger, which is how we knew that they initially went to the wrong hotel (never gonna let them live that one down!) before finally arriving at our room.

Once they did arrive, we hit the lounge for margaritas in honor of National Margarita Day. We laughed and joked and were our usual obnoxious selves, shutting down the bar after accidentally clearing it out with an unfortunately timed comment about anal sex (it was one of those awkward moments when a previously loud bar crowd gets unusually quiet just as you say something completely mortifying while still shouting to be heard above the noise. Yeah, one of those moments).

There was really no good way to follow up that stellar moment, so, we retired to our room, where we laughed until well after midnight.

The following morning, we grabbed breakfast at a little restaurant called Tia Sophias, stuffing ourselves full of breakfast burrittos and huevos rancheros before waddling back to the resort, where we mixed up some mimosas and settled in on the patio outside our room to wait for Phoebe to arrive.

Once she did arrive, we walked to the town square for site-seeing, stopping first at the famous Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi, where, despite our initial concerns, lightning did not strike us all dead for our sins (this was mostly a concern for Jules and Tee;).

 Phoebe and Jules, waiting for the lightning bolt

 Tee. NOT On fire

 Thank you, Jesus

Since none of us had been struck down, we chanced it a second time, stopping at the Loretto Chapel, where we saw the famous "mysterious" staircase.

Then, feeling virtuous, we ambled about the square, searching for the perfect dirty martini for Tee. As one does following the lighting of candles in a church, I mean, obviously.

Had we known that finding that perfect dirty martini would take stopping at three different bars, one of which was a complete and total dive, where we couldn't even get the bartender to acknowledge us, let alone serve us (Crow Bar, I'm looking at you), we might have lit an extra candle, asking for patience and fortitude.

Oh, dirty martini, where for art thou?

On the bright side, by the time we found the right bar, we had already sampled several other drinks as well as a plate of nachos reminiscent of the nachos we used to eat during college. Plus, we had ample opportunity to make fun of our general lack of map knowledge and the fact that three-out-of-five of us are severely directionally challenged.

We capped off that night with drinks back in the room in front of the fire in the kiva fireplace, finally calling it a night. At 10:00. Because we are old.

Saturday morning, we slept in, finally rising just in time to make it to our 10:00 spa appointments. I had an 80 minute Swedish massage, followed by a pedicure, while the rest of The Girls sampled facials, pedicures, and oxygen massages (note from Phoebe: Skip the oxygen part of the massage, it's a waste of money). It was a relaxing way to spend the morning and better part of the early afternoon.

For dinner that evening, we went to La Fonda, where we once again managed to mortify the waitstaff with an unintended, but definitely inappropriate, act that may or may not have involved one member of our party licking another member's finger while making a suggestive comment. As one does when dining at a fine restaurant.

Please note the absence of any waitstaff, whatsoever

Later that night, Jules and I finally brought Reece and Phoebe into this century by connecting them to Snapchat. We now have a Snapchat group, aptly named Awesome Bitchez, with which to keep in touch.

My life is complete.

On Sunday, following another amazing breakfast at Tia Sophias, we said our goodbyes.

 Girls Weekend, where your parting gift is a bottle of wine. Or, three. Whatever

This is always the hardest part, but, we left one another with plans to see each other again, soon. We are planning a beach getaway for the next time, which, means that Mother Nature will drum up a hurricane or a typhoon or some other such bullshit, I'm sure.

Anyway, I'm back at the grind today, with hardware store duties calling my name. I also really need to get back on the treadmill since, thanks to the great food (and, numerous alcoholic beverages) I consumed, I am now carrying a food baby verging on nine pounds.

I wonder if it's a boy or a girl?

Who am I kidding? It's a burrito.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Birthday Fit For a Queen

Despite February's efforts to derail our Girl's Weekend, we managed to dodge the snowstorms long enough to make the trip; as you can imagine, this made me very, very happy.

It also made me very, very tired, which is why I won't write about it today. Instead, I feel it is important to use the little bit of energy that I have left for the day to tell you all that, while on that Girl's Weekend, I missed Queen B's birthday.

Now, she knew I was going to miss it, which is why she and I celebrated a couple of weeks ago, but, I would be lying if I said that I didn't harbor a lot of guilt for missing it, despite that fact. I can't help it, I'm a mother, we have guilt. I'm going to try to assuage that guilt by extholing the virtues of the child who made me a mother, so, bear with me.

Queen B, at the age age of 22 (22! How did that happen?!), is funny, smart, responsible, dependable, loyal, snarky, sarcastic, and amazing. She has grown into a lovely young woman, capable of doing anything she sets her mind on. She is adulting like a seasoned pro, holding down a job, making rent and car payments with not a complaint. She's thisclose to graduating from college, and she's got the student loans to prove it.

I enjoy every moment of every day with her and I miss her when we are apart. I could not have asked for a better daughter. So, while I may be just a titch late (hey, she was a whole week late when I was pregnant with her; paybacks!), I want to wish the Queen a very happy birthday!

Whew! I feel better now.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February Funk

Remember that item on my Winter Bucket List about trying to hate winter less this year? People, I did so well! For, like, all of December and January, I did a great job of not bitching, moaning, or generally shaking my fist at the sky and cursing Mother Nature for the long, dreary, dark days and endless stretches of gloom. Instead, I kept to my exercise routine, continued to eat well, got out in the fresh air as often as possible, and genuinely embraced the season.

Then came February.

February is my winter Kryptonite; it drains my super powers like nobody's business, and, this year has been no exception. February brought the first snow storms of the year to Petticoat Junction, and, because Mother Nature and Father Winter are assholes, it looks like there will be another blizzard tomorrow, just as I'm preparing to drive over high mountain passes to reach The Girls and our first Girl's Weekend in two years.

I am less than pleased.

Not surprised, oh, hell, no. As I said, February.

(The only good thing to come out of February was Queen B's birth back in 1996; celebrating her birthday is always the highlight of the month. )

Damn you, February.

Damn you.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Recipes From the Porch: Ginger Carrot Soup

The week before last, after attending a meeting for Day Job, some co-workers and I went to a lunch at a little restaurant in a community just over the hill from Hooterville. Three-out-of-four of us had the soup-of-the-day, which was the tastiest carrot soup that I had ever had. If memory serves, it was also the only carrot soup I've ever had, but that is neither here nor there.

Once I got home, I started searching the Google for carrot soup recipes, and, after a bit of trial and error, landed upon one that, with a little tweaking of my own, most closely resembles that of the soup that I had in that restaurant.

This is the recipe.


6-8 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
4 tbsp butter
2-3 strips of orange zest
1/4 tsp ground ginger
salt to taste

Melt butter in a dutch oven or large pot. Add carrots and onion, cooking over medium heat until soft.

Add water, vegetable stock, minced ginger, and orange zest.

Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are soft.

Remove and discard orange zest.

Blend, using an immersion blender, or, by transferring small batches of the mixture to a standing blender; process until smooth.

Return to heat, add ground ginger and salt to taste.

Serve with a small sprinkle of thyme, if you like thyme, which, I do.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Favorites, Part Deux: The Trainer Answers!

My session with the personal trainer went really well! My arms are now so fatigued, I fear I may never raise a wineglass, again. This is especially unfortunate considering the fact that the trainer has no beef with wine consumption. As for the answers to my other questions:

1.  She assured me that she falls far, far to the right of the Profanity Tolerance Scale, in fact, she warned me that she has no filter, is completely uncensored, and, may offend me on occassion, which? Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha! She has soooo much to learn.

2.  When I asked about the crying, she clucked her tongue at me and said, "Oh, come on, now; you're better than that".

3.  As I said, wine, check! She does insist that I eat a good deal of protein following heavy workouts, but, wine is totally allowed as a chaser.

4.  For the record, she is fine with clients who puke and/or pass out. As far as urinary incontinence goes, she actually said "You know there are exercises for that, right?"

I am in such good hands.

Friday Favorites: Questions to Ask the Personal Trainer

I have my first session with the personal trainer today, and, have developed a list of standard questions that I feel all potential trainers should be required to answer prior to entering into a contract with a new client. Or, with this particular client, anyway.

1.  On a scale from "Oh, gee, goodness, oh, my!" to "ShitMutherfuckerDamn!", where do you fall on the Profanity Tolerance Scale? (The answer, I'm sure we can all agree, should fall farther to the right of the scale than the left).

2.  What is your typical response when a client cries? (I'm A-Ok with the answer including any form of the phrase "Are you crying?! There's no crying in personal training!")

3.  Do you have a policy limiting the amount of wine that a client can consume? (Y'all know the answer to this one better be a big, loud "NO, ma'am", right?)

4.  Will you sign a confidentiality agreement that prevents you from disclosing the number of times a client throws up, passes out, or pees his/probably her pants while under the supreme duress of working out following years of leading a mostly sedentary life? (This had best be a no-brainer, folks).

Now, I am off to change into my workout clothes (which, may or may not include some form of adult diaper) and to print off a copy of that confidentiality form.

Because, I like to be prepared in advance.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Happy Valentines Day, you Hallmark holiday, you! Hugh is on the road to Denver for the state wrestling tournament, so, we are not reveling in the romance. He did, however, have a lovely bouquet of roses sent to me at Day Job, so, he covered his floral-purchasing obligation for the year.

And, last night, we celebrated Emily's birthday at her favorite restaurant, so, that sufficed as our romantic dinner for this year.

The babies were in attendance. Well, two out of four of them, anyway.  But! Coincidentally, Miss Shelley was at the restaurant with her new beau, so we chatted about Mikey, and, we texted with the Man-Cub throughout dinner, so, it was almost like they were there.

All said, it made for an especially nice celebration.

Emily was intrigued by my experience with DNA testing, so, we gifted her with a test of her own. I'm looking forward to hearing her results, since she passed some of her DNA on to my children. I also keep trying to convince Hugh to do a test, but, so far, he isn't terribly interested; I'm betting I'll eventually wear him down.

And, speaking of wearing down, I am still not 100% over the sinus issues that plagued me on Monday, so I think I will call it an early night. I hope your Hallmark celebration was at least as exciting as my own.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

An Audience With the Queen

Sunday's early-birthday bonding time with Queen B included all of her requested activities:

1.  Pedicures

2.  Treasure hunting for her class project.

3.  Watching a scary movie on the dish network while indulging in our favorite cheeses (Muenster for her, smokey cheddar for me).

4.  A trip to the Ross in Hooterville (because the Ross in Neighboring City could best be described at ghetto, and, that's being really, really generous).

5.  Corned beef, cabbage, and all the trimmings.

6.  Cream cheese swirled red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.

7.  A sleepover in her old room.

It was a great day.

The following day, she got the most adorable haircut, and, now she is less than two weeks away from turning 22.

Photo shamelessly stolen from Queen B's Facebook, because I'm her mother and I can.

It's crazy how fast time goes by.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Weekend in Pictures

Queen B and I spent a lot of quality time together yesterday and I enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately, today, I am feeling under the weather, so, I'm not going to write a play-by-play post about our time together; I'll save that for another day.

Instead, here are a bunch of pictures of how I spent the first two days of the weekend, including breakfast with Kortni and Kristi on Friday, some awesome shots of the cabinet-organizing spree that I went on on Saturday (my life is soooo exciting!), and, a few of the latest bird to visit the feeders in the backyard (although, he wasn't there for the seeds, he was there to eat the birds who eat the seeds; nature is a war zone, folks).