Thursday, April 29, 2021

Toto, I've a Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Hugh and I spent the better part of last night texting with Queen B and the Rodeo Princess while they rode out their first tornado watch since moving to Texas. I am relatively confident that they weathered the storm better than we did, since Hugh vehemently expressed his wish to no longer have his daughter in Texas several times.

They're fine. We're fine. Everyone is fine.

I did gently remind Hugh that there are worse things than your daughter and niece living in a single-wide smack dab in the middle of Tornado Alley; they could be living on an island known to be dotted with volcanoes and surrounded by an ocean teeming with sharks...oh, wait...

Our children are going to be the death of us, y'all.

Or, at least their adult lifestyle decisions will be. Who raised them to be this independent?!

Oh, wait....

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

What's Up Wednesday, April 2021 Edition


April is almost over, and, at the risk of sounding like a broken record; I can't believe it went by so quickly! Last April (in The Year That Shall Not Be Named) crept by at the pace of a glacier, but, this year, like every month before it; has gone by in a blur. I guess I better link up with Sheaffer and Shay to recap what's been happening in my neck of the woods before I forget. 

What I'm Eating

Salad. So. Much. Salad.

I do try to throw some form of lean protein onto each salad, whether it be turkey, chicken, beans or eggs; making Chef's salad has become a favorite way to accomplish this.

I also had an amazing Asian BBQ chicken salad from a local restaurant this week at a working lunch with my team.

What I'm Reminiscing About

It's coming up on prom season here in Petticoat Junction and it looks like the kids are actually going to get to have one! It's going to be an indoors/outdoors event, which will be different than in years past, but I don't hear any of the kids complaining. Hearing about the event brings to mind the many, many pre-prom dinners that Hugh and I hosted, as well as the fun we had attending each Grand March. It's not every day that a parent gets to see their offspring dressed to the nines and I'm glad we never missed it (still feel awful for the kids who had to miss theirs last year). If you're super interested in long, drawn-out posts about other people's kid and their proms, I've linked to ours below. 

    Queen B's Junior Prom                     Queen B's Senior Prom        The Man-Cub's Junior Prom

                                                          The Man-Cub's Senior Prom

What I'm Loving

Kristi and Erin shared a sneak peek at the wedding pictures from earlier this month and they are great! What a fun wedding that was.

What I've Been Up To

Hugh has been working diligently on his EMS training in addition to running the hardware store and officiating the odd wrestling tournament or baseball game here and there. While he's been busy with all that, I've been slowly working my way through my household To Do list, which included risking life and limb when cleaning out the cabinets in my mud room. Up next will be my office and then the linen closet. Living the dream over here, folks!

What I'm Working On

To put a different spin on this question; I've been working on this new extension that allows me to convert my workspace into a standing desk. It's been great for my back and I believe that standing is a lot better for me than sitting.

And, to answer the question a bit less literally; I am also working on a golf tournament for Not So New Job. Last summer, we had a record turn-out and I'm hoping to top it this year. I'm also working on our autumn fundraiser, which is a barn dance. Due to Covid, the dance was cancelled last year so this is my first go at it. Fingers crossed for a hugely successful event.

What I'm Dreading

I've got to get serious about exercising again. I am dreading the soreness that inevitably follows because it causes me to suffer from Exercise-Induced Tourette's Syndrome, wherein every time I squat to sit on the toilet, I involuntarily curse. The same goes for every time I roll out of bed, walk up a flight of stairs, sit in a chair, get into-or-out of my car, etc., etc.

Sailors would blush, y'all. Seriously.

What I'm Excited About

Hugh and I pulled the trigger on a house rental in Hawaii for the Cub's graduation in December. It is a large expense, so it took a lot of mental debate, but; I'm so excited about it, I can hardly stand myself! Now, to lose the Covid weight so that I can frolic about on the beach without worrying that someone will mistake me for sea life and roll me back into the ocean.

What I'm Watching

I finally got on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel bandwagon. I would make an excuse about why it has taken me so long to join the party but, since I have always prided myself on being a late adopter, I'm really just being consistent (examples include Friday Night Lights and Schitt's Creek).

I'm also watching Bloodline on Netflix. I'm on Season 2 which isn't nearly as good as Season 1 but, at this point, I'm invested. Also, it stars Kyle Chandler, whom I have been crushing on since way back when his career started on Homefront (all of which makes my late adoption of Friday Night Lights all the more tragic).

Queen B suggested that I watch Dirty John and I'm five episodes in and fully invested. If you've ever known a real, live psychopath this is probably not the show for you; triggers abound.

What I'm Reading

I haven't been reading a lot this month (like, at all), but I was super excited to learn that the next book in the Outlander series is set for release in November! I have already pre-ordered my copy and cannot wait to catch up with Claire and Jamie.

What I'm Listening To

When I have time at home, I like to put a record on my record player. At the risk of showing my age, the albums in current rotation include:

Bon Jovi, who, is a hottie even all these years later. Oh, and a hell of an artist. And, a humanitarian. Ahem.

The soundtrack from Footloose, the original, not the remake starring that chick from Dancing with the Stars, although, that soundtrack is also pretty awesome and I listen to songs from it when I run because I am not a total curmudgeon (also, I totally know that her name is Julianne Hough, I'm screwing with you).

Prince, before he was The Artist Previously Known as Prince, and way before he was that ridiculous symbol that meant absolutely nothing to anyone.

The Eagles, who are timeless and therefore not indicative of my advanced age (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

What I'm Wearing

I recently set aside my leggings in favor of maxi dresses. This makes sense since maxi dresses are nothing more than the leggings of the dress world; comfy, stylish, and they hide a multitude of sins. They also have a slight advantage over leggings because they have pockets. 

What I'm Doing This Weekend

If the weather cooperates, I am planning to open the porch for the season. I also hope to replant my succulent planter; it did not fare well over the winter (my fault, apparently succulents, while super hardy, are no match for an early Colorado freeze). I doubt I can come close to recreating the look I achieved last year, but, I'm going to give it the college try.

Last year...

Here's hoping these guys fare better!

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

The Man-Cub is coming home next weekend! He will be working in Neighboring City again this year, and, while he has no idea where he will live since we sold the house there, he's really looking forward to being home. I am hoping he and Mikey will find a place to rent (Mikey is currently crashing at his sister's while he looks for a house to purchase), but, if worse comes to worse, we have offered the use of Jenny for the summer (Jenny is our motor home. What? You don't name your recreational vehicles? Remind me not to introduce you to our ATVs, Fred and Ethel)

What Else is New

I got a new rug for my office at Not So New Job. It's not just pretty to look at; it's also comfortable to stand on. Or, to lay on, like Boomer Dog did the day he came to visit me at work.

And, that's it for April. See you in May!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Sage Isn't Just For Thanksgiving Dressing

 Due to the nature of the work that we do at Not So New Job, it's only natural that the building would harbor some bad juju. Combine that with the toxicity of the previous leadership and you have a recipe for bad karma.

What do you do to rid a space of negative energy like that? Well, if you're a white girl with nary a drop of Native American blood, you call your old friend who just happens to be a member of the Lakota Sioux tribe and you ask her to come and smudge your space.

In the event that she is traveling the country and unable to heed your call, you do the next best thing, which is Google the shit out of the topic and attempt a smudging on your own. Which, is what I did.

No idea if it worked, but, as that friend of mine would say "If you wish to receive, you must first ask"*.

Stay tuned.

*She would follow that up with her catch phrase, "Smiles and good thoughts!", which I love about her.

Monday, April 26, 2021

If I Should Go Missing, Check the Mud Room

 ...I've probably been buried under a pile of debris that fell from one of the cabinets. Although, now, that isn't as real a possibility as it was on Saturday morning, when I started purging said cabinets; a chore that had been on my Master To-Do list for ages and for which I'm actually quite proud of myself for finally getting up the strength to accomplish, despite the risk to both life and limb.

While I was cleaning out the cabinets, I realized two facts: one, I have a problem with candle hoarding,

and, two, candle hoarding may not be my only problem

In addition to unearthing more chalk paint than any one human has any business owning; I also discovered several items of a nostalgic nature, including a post card that Mom and Dad sent to us the last time they visited Hawaii before Dad passed away.

I also rediscovered this photograph of Queen B.

The frame it is in is sterling silver, engraved with the time and date of her birth, as well as her weight and length. It was a gift from her God Father  and something I'll treasure, always (so, what was it doing tucked away in the deepest recesses of a mud room cabinet, you ask? You got me there).

Speaking of things I'll always treasure; this is one of the Man-Cub's many, many arm casts.

Apparently, I was saving it for the day that he is rich and famous and his fans are clamoring for a piece of his childhood, at which point I will sell it to the highest bidder (or, it went straight into the trash after I snapped this photo; I'm not saying either way).

The purging and reorganization of  the cabinets took the best part of the day but, I can now say that I have tidy cabinets that house only items that are useful, necessary, and/or sentimental to me. This means the chances of me surviving the opening of a cabinet door have been greatly increased.

As an aside, I may also have a problem with wine hoarding. Although, is that an actual problem, problem?


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sunday Self-Care Status

I knocked a few items off my self-care goal over the past few days. It required taking a couple of days off from Not So New Job, which, is an act of self-care all on its own. I am lucky to have a team at work who can handle things when I'm away; just as well, if not better than I handle them myself, if I'm being totally honest.

I wrote about Thursday's shopping excursion to Neighboring City in yesterday's post. Today, I will report that I got a pedicure on Friday, as well as spending some quality time with Boomer Dog (I taught him to crawl! It's the cutest trick, ever!). I also grabbed my favorite drink from Starbucks (Venti skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte, thankyouverymuch) and I took a nap.

So, whilst I was not terribly productive on Friday, I was relaxed and that's the point of a day off, I think. Plus, I now have pretty toes.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Friday Favorites: Going Commando Edition

Yesterday, I went to Neighboring City for an appointment with my new doctor, and, while I was there, I ran a number of very important errands.

Shopping. I went shopping.

But, not just any shopping, nooooo; for the first time in over a year, I went shopping sans mask, and, friends, trust me when I say that going Commando, Pandemic Style is glorious. Major props to Neighboring City for relaxing its' Covid restrictions to make it possible (a large portion of the county population is vaccinated, so please relax the grip on your pearls).

The first stop on my Covid Comeback Tour was Sam's Club, where I spent a good deal of time fawning over the wine selection.

My absolute favorite wine of all wine is Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio; it's expensive enough that I only buy it on occasion. But! Sam's Club had it at a significant discount, so, I bought enough to cover any occasion.

I also bought a bottle of this wine because the label is fun. 

Yep. Made a blind wine purchase based on the label, alone. I'm living dangerously over here.

After Sam's, I went to the new Homegoods store in the mall. I had high hopes. I was disappointed. It wasn't the only disappointment of the day; I also struck out a Lowes and Walmart (I was looking specifically for new cushions for the wicker set on my porch; looks like I'll have to cough up a lung to pay for some online).

My luck took a turn at Penney's, where I found a new purse and then again at Ulta, where I found my usual primer and concealer after having struck out on both items at Sephora earlier  (I'm totally breaking up with Sephora; I've been cheating with Ulta, anyway).

After all my shopping was done and I had finished up with the good doctor, I took just a few minutes to wander through the garden section of a local nursery. I'm not ready to purchase bedding plants yet (I'm waiting to see if the hydrangeas I planted last year actually make a comeback), but wandering through flowers soothes my soul and, yesterday was all about self-care for me.

Speaking of which, I made a snap decision to take today off, too. My super-awesome office manger has been gently reminding me that I have reached the point where I am no longer accumulating vacation time, so, I needed to use a few hours. I'm not sure what I am going to do with my time, but, a pedicure could be in my future. It will be a nice treat, even if I am not allowed to go commando.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

So, We Did a Thing...

I may have mentioned here, a time or two, that the Man-Cub will be graduating from college in December. I'm sure I've also mentioned, a time or ten, that he attends school in Hawaii.

Graduation from college usually means having a graduation celebration, right?


When he originally left for college, we sent him off with a grand luau, and, I always envisioned throwing another one for him upon his matriculation. Due to a combination of him having an inept student advisor his first year of school and the Covid nonsense of last year, he was forced to take an extra semester, which, means a December graduation rather than the May date that I had originally envisioned.

Anyone want to host a luau in Colorado in December?

Yeah, me neither.

So, we are doing the next best thing; we are taking the luau to Hawaii.

Last night, I pulled the trigger on renting this amazing house... cost a small fortune, not gonna lie.

Happily, along with all the stress and frustration that came with Not So New Job came an increased salary, which, combined with the sale of the house in Neighboring City, means that we can afford to pay a small fortune for the peace of mind of knowing that we, our immediate family (including the Cub's grandparents, girlfriend, cousin, and Second Son Mikey) will be able to relax and celebrate the Cub's accomplishment in grand style.

Naturally, I have all sorts of fears around this booking. Will Covid rear it's ugly head? Will an unexpected hurricane pummel the island? Will someone get sick, injured, or worse before our scheduled departure?

Hopefully, none of the above, but; I wouldn't be me if I didn't obsess over unlikely (but, theoretically possible) doomsday scenarios when planning (and paying for) a vacation. I do it every time.

So, if you are the praying type, please throw out a little request for a smooth, uneventful, totally amazing and unforgettable vacation for me and mine. We all deserve it and we will all be grateful for it.


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Horror-Mone Update: Week One

I started this HRT journey last week. I'm calling it a journey because it is becoming increasingly clear to me that there will be no short trip to my desired destination, which, is the Land of Normal. 

You know Normal? Where every day features stability in emotions, weight, appetite, body temperature and sanity? Where, upon waking, one springs from bed with nary a twinge, let alone full-on body pain? And that's after sleeping through the night, without waking numerous times to fight off the fires of Hades before being consumed.

That Normal. I owned real estate there once; it was magical.

Anyhoodle, HRT is apparently a science of trial and error, which means that I am adjusting dosages of both estrogen and progesterone until I hit the sweet spot wherein I can control the symptoms present in Horror-Monia, where I currently reside (try to avoid purchasing real estate here; it's a dump).

In addition to tinkering with the progesterone and estrogen; I will be adding treatment for my thyroid since the results from all that bloodwork I had done indicate that I have Hashimoto Disease, which is a thyroid thing (my ability to absorb new information about the rapidly increasing betrayals of my body has reached it's limit; I'll try to get more specific once I have a chance to start processing all this crap).

I am scheduled for an appointment with my doctor in a couple of weeks so that we can start sorting it all out. As a consolation for my misery, the practice in which the doctor works has offered me a complimentary relaxation facial and microdermabrasion session, as well as a free consultation with their nutritionist. 

I'm planning to take a day off from Not So New Job so I can make a day of it, complete with a stop at the new Homegoods store, which opened in Neighboring City, recently; if I'm going to continue to reside in Horror-Monia, at least I can surround myself with nice things.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Here Come the Brides

Yesterday's weather could not have been more perfect for a wedding in the mountains! The sun was shining, the temperatures were mildly cool, and there was no wind of which to speak. I actually don't think I've ever seen such a pretty day for an event of any kind.

The venue for the wedding was quite unique; the ceremony was held outdoors, and the reception was held in a reclaimed 1800's log cabin schoolhouse. Since the girls were only allowed thirty guests, the intimate setting was absolutely perfect, and, the mix and match decor provided by the event planner was an amazing reflection of the uniqueness of the couple, themselves. Which, speaking of..

..this cake topper was a bone of contention between the brides for many a moon. Kristi had it made in the Ukraine (it's made of sugar, and features both brides, plus all three of their dogs and the cat. Kristi wanted to include their ten chickens, but they wouldn't fit on the topper) and was so excited to surprise Erin with it. Erin was less than impressed (in Erin's defense, it did arrive damaged; one of her eyes was missing and Kristi's face had melted, slightly. Kristi managed to salvage it with a Sharpie and a creative application of store-bought cake fondant).

The girls compromised by adding a second cake to the reception, especially for the topper. So, Erin got her fancy cake and Kristi got her more personalized cake. Anyone care to guess which cake the guests liked best?

Hint: It wasn't this one

We started the day with mimosas in the main guest house on the property. The event coordinator provided a breakfast that featured the fluffiest pancakes that I have ever eaten in my life. She paired them with homemade maple syrup and strips of candied bacon that were to die for.

I noshed on my stack of pancakes while the stylist created the most intricate messy bun that I have ever had in my life...

..after which she airbrushed my makeup and glued fuzzy caterpillars across my eyelids (clearly I am not a fancy gal who is used to false eyelashes).

I don't have a ton of pictures from the day (it's really strange to be in front of the camera, rather than behind it), but I do have a few that I was able to get on my phone, as well as some that Hugh took from his seat during the ceremony.

The girls both looked amazing, and, most importantly, were happy as could be. Despite their reservations, each of the girl's families had made the trip for the wedding and I have to hope that they saw how incredibly happy Erin and Kristi make each other and that their support of the girls will increase, tenfold.

If that doesn't happen, the girls have more than ample support from friends who love them without condition. I am so proud to count myself among them.

Anyhoodle, here is a photo dump of what I was able to capture throughout the day. I'll have to share the photographer's photos once she gets them back to the girls. 

The shoes that tried to kill me

The basket I put together to surprise the girls with

Now, I am going to down a few ibuprofen tablets and put my feet up before I have to prepare Easter dinner for the crew who is running the ambulance today; it's a different Easter for us, to be sure, but, we're here for it.

Happy Easter, by the way!