Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's all fun and games until someone ends up in an e-collar

I may have mentioned this before, but my cat is certifiably crazy.  I came home last night after enjoying the merriment of Christmas at my mom's house.  I was only gone for two nights, and usually Phoebe can handle a couple of nights on her own.  I was worried that I may find her hanging in the tree like a live ornament, but I did not expect to come home and find her tail almost chewed off.  I've heard of wild animals chewing off their own legs to escape a trap....was Phoebe trying to escape her climate controlled, filled food dish, and comfy bedded home? 

I whisk her to the emergency vet and a couple of hours later we come home with a bandaged tail, an e-collar, and lots of meds.  Houdini (aka Phoebe) managed to wriggle her way out of the e-collar in her crate during the 10 minute ride home.  A crate that is so small she can barely turn around in it.  My very own little Criss Angel had escaped her cone.  I wrangle it back onto her (which I would liken to wrestling with a greased up pig. Not that I have ever wrestled a pig...greased or otherwise.  It's just what I think it would be like.  Only my pig has claws and sharp teeth to add to the enjoyment).  Phoebe crouched in a corner and growled for a while before she tried walking around.  This is when I learned that my cat has absolutely zero depth perception as she repeatedly walked straight into the wall with her lampshade necklace.  And then growled at the wall for being there.  I carried her upstairs so that we could hopefully get some sleep. 

I was not prepared for the bloody crime scene that existed upstairs.  There were blood splatters on the walls, spots on the carpet, and I don't even want to discuss my bed.  But since all of the spots were right along the baseboards, I imagine this is what it would look like if Barbie met a violent end.  I needed Horatio Ken to investigate what had taken place upstairs.  Just as I am recreating the crime, Phoebe comes in and sits in front of me...no cone, no bandage, and a freshly bloodied tail.  And I had only left her in the bedroom for 5 minutes.

I called the emergency vet again:

Me:  Um, hi, I was just there with my cat who eats her tail...and she is evidently Houdini reincarnated.  She is now being all crouching tiger and pouncing on her tail.  Can I try some sedatives until I can get her to the regular vet in the morning?

Vet:  This is your cat on sedatives. 

Me:  Oh.  I'd hate to see her on uppers....

So off we go back to the emergency vet so she can stay the night locked up tight in a cage.  I expected them to call me and say that my escape artist had broken her chains, but all was well when I picked her up.

Now she is at our regular vet.  When she comes home her tail will be a bit shorter with fewer self inflicted puncture wounds.  And some anti-anxiety meds that I have to have specially compounded into a paste so that I can just rub it on her ears ("specially compounded" is just a fancy way of saying "uber-expensive"). 

On the bright side, Bailey is enjoying her Phoebe free home today.

Merry Christmas Mom!  I got you hundreds of dollars in vet fees for Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Disaster it yourself

I know I am posting twice in one day, but I had to share my latest and greatest DIY project. 

When I moved into my home, my main bath upstairs was carpeted in a beautiful blood red which was paired with a gold striped wallpaper.  As the piece de resistance, the plastic panels in the vanity were painted gold as well. It was not love at first sight.

The carpet has been replaced, the wallpaper torn down, and the vanity repainted.  I put up a beachy Pottery Barn shower curtain that matches my bedding in the hopes that something nice would instantly transform my bathroom.  It didn't.  If I were doing this the right way, I would completely replace the vanity and countertop/sink.  But, since I don't have two grand just laying around useless, I have done this myself.  But over the past two years the vanity doors have started to turn to sawdust and the plastic panels keep popping out.  It is vagrant living at its best.

This is where the DIY comes in.  I had the brilliant idea to buy two large picture frames and turn those into new vanity doors.  I own paint and and drill, but not a saw, so I needed to go with some sort of pre-made something.  I headed out to Micheal's and bought two large black picture frames.  The frames were originally $40, but due to a mistake in the computer system, I got them for $0.01 each!  The cashier let me have them because the manager was at lunch and she couldn't fix it.  I guess she will never take a break again.  Here are my penny frames:

I don't know what I would do without Phoebe's help with everything....

The frames have been painted and I made fabric covered panel inserts.  I drilled holes for my hardware and hung them up.  They fit perfectly but I am still trying to decide about the orange fabric (it matches the coral in the shower curtain perfectly, but it may be too much color...even for me!).  I should get some frosted glass cut and install it but that can be a future endeavor.

And no, I didn't hang them crooked, the vanity is all slanty.  My entire house slants and the counter top is level, but the floors and therefore the vanity are not. Once I got them up it dawned on me that having fabric panels under a sink of water is probably not the best idea in the world, but it will do for now.  And now I can use the money I saved on frames to buy some fancy-shmancy hardware from Anthropologie.  

My next car will come with a battering ram

Here it is a just a few, short days from Christmas and everyone is trying to finish up their last minute tasks.  Such as mailing packages.  I am one of those people.  I head over to the main post office to mail my last two items.  I expect a wait in line so I am prepared for that (which means I wasn't standing there huffing and puffing....I am patient for once). 

After waiting in line for 15 minutes (behind a super chatty woman; I now know her entire life story...too bad I don't care) I make it back out to my car.  As I approach my car, I notice that someone pulled in behind me.  There is no space behind me.  They created one.  And because of the design of the parking lot, I can't pull through.  All I can do is sit there and wait for the owner of the car to come out and move it so I can leave.

And I wait.  And wait some more.  People around me found it hilarious (I did not).  I go inside with the tag number to have the owner paged.  Except I would have to get back into line again again to speak to someone.  The post office is too large for me to stand there and yell for the owner.  I head back out to wait.  And wait.  My little bit of time I had for lunch is now gone, usurped by an idiot that doesn't understand parking lots and the idea of "spaces". Exactly how stupid does someone have to be to realize that they were not in a space?  I contemplate putting my car in reverse and ramming the little Toyota until I push it out of the way.  I hope the owner doesn't own a gun.  I hope they come out soon.  I hope they didn't run away.  I start to google towing companies. 

Finally a woman comes running to the car.  She tells me she is sorry as she rushes into her car.  She tells me she didn't realize it wasn't as space.  As I start my tirade of smartly worded arguments she drives away.  Then as she is backing out (trying to escape me) another car tries to pull into the fake spot.  REALLY????  They quickly realize their mistake as I turn my tirade towards them. 

So, I had to wait to do my business at the post office, then I had to wait for the dumbest woman in the world to do whatever she had to do, then she left so quickly that I didn't get to yell at her, and then she had time to make a getaway while I tried to back out before someone else could back me in. 

If my car had a battering ram, I could have just moved her out of the way with no damage to my car.  And all would have been right with the world.

Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What?! It’s the Christmas season already? I had no idea…

Thanksgiving, the gateway holiday to the Christmas season, has passed.  No matter what holidays you celebrate, you will be hit over the head with Christmas until it passes.  I actually started having nightmares about the upcoming holiday season as far back as July (I guess it was my own personal version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”).  I would awaken with a start, with an overwhelming sense of dread.  In my dreams, I had completely forgotten about Christmas!  It was suddenly Christmas Eve and I hadn’t done a thing to prepare.  There were no gifts, no tree, no lit up reindeer in my yard.  Of course the reindeer fall over every day they are out there so it looks more like Christmas hunting season at my house.
How could something like this happen?  Hallmark introduces ornaments in July, catalogs begin arriving with holiday gift guides as early as September, and Thanksgiving symbolizes giving thanks for Black Friday ads in order to plan shopping strategies with the fewest number of casualties.  The mall is pulling out the decorations before the lights go out in the Halloween jack-o-lanterns. 
I could go into the same complaints about the commercialism of the holidays, about how the meaning is lost amongst all of the tv ads, catalogs, and reminders to buy, buy, buy!  But I’m not…because I love every minute of it!  I become such a little kid at this time of year.  I love buying just the right gifts for family and friends.  I am comforted by the soft glow of the lights on the tree (well, at least until the cat turns the tree into her own playground and I have to dodge the flying ornaments).  I sing along with every song on the radio, and my singing is so spectacular that even the animals leave the room.  I’m sure the fish would leave also but he is stuck.  Hopefully the water muffles the sound somewhat. 
But then, when it is all over, I go through shock on December 26th.  It’s like I need a 12-step program for Christmas withdrawal.  The songs are over, the commercials have ended, and the stores are already squeezing Valentine’s Day merchandise onto the shelves.   I hate to take down my decorations, I find it all very depressing to pack everything back up into the attic for the next 11 months (except for the tree – I’m ready for that to come down because the cat has already taken the decorations off and rolled them under the couch).  As kids, my sisters and I would never let our parents try to put any of the presents away because that meant the magic was all over. 
And that is what the holiday season is all about; the magic.  I hope you and those you love enjoy the magic of the holiday season (just don’t forget about the mayhem altogether!).

Organization (or lack thereof)

I am a professional organizer's dream (or nightmare).  I can't organize anything; my home, my office, my computer, my thoughts...it is all quite a disaster.  I called my mom close to tears the other day because I did not want to be at work, yet I didn't want to come home either.  I still have 12 cans of dog food sitting on the cutting board on my kitchen island because the spot it usually goes in is full of something else.  I'm not exactly sure what it is full of; I just know I can't put the dog food up until I clean off the shelf.  As a result, I can't use my cutting board.  Which in turn led to me getting out a plastic cutting board and melting it on the hot stove as I tried to cut up veggies. 

I then decided to give up on the kitchen and attempted to organize my computer.  Right now, it looks like this:

I can't find any files at all.  Nothing.  All of these folders are full of other folders.  And my email inbox is full so I can't send anything out. 

Anyone else out there stressed by my complete lack of organizational skills?  My heart is speeding up just writing about it.  It may just give out.  I wonder if I can do a WebMD search on this??? 

I even did a search on organizing and ran across this great blog http://www.orgjunkie.com/.  The author started a 52 week organizing challenge that I really wanted to be a part of...only she is in week 46.  I missed it all!  Too late to start now...

So I decided to organize my blog.  Baby steps.  Since this hasn't gotten too out of control I think I can get it in shape.  As a result I have given my posts these things called "labels".  One of these label thingies is "Bella".  There you can read my Bella articles (but only if you live out of the area.  All you locals can support local advertisers by picking up a copy). 

If I were an ambitious person I would follow the 52 weeks of organizing and do a photo blog (with a label!) chronicling all of it.  I don't think I am that ambitious.  I swept the kitchen today. I don't want to over do it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why I will never be a true athlete

When I was a kid, I was about as un-athletic as one could get.  I was always chosen last for any team, and whenever we played a game that involved bases the opposing team would yell "MOVE IN!" when I would approach the plate.  When we attempted vaulting, I vaulted right into the horse with a loud smack.  Then we tried shot put and I lobbed the metal ball directly into the metal volleyball pole.  It was known as the "clang heard around the world".  On top of it all, my glasses were like magnets for all flying objects.  If it was a ball and flying through the air, it always headed straight for my head.  The only thing I succeeded at in PE was running the mile and that was because I cheated and said I had done all four laps (I had only done two...I guess they believed that no one could be that slow.)

Ever since I took my last PE class as a high school sophomore, I have worked hard at avoiding all athletic activities.  I knew that anything I tried would be soon followed by humiliation.

Then I got a little older and decided that I could handle the humiliation.  Embarrassment isn't as scary as it used to be to my 13-year old self.  But because I had avoided all movement, I had also successfully avoided all injury.  Over the past couple of years of attempting various types of exercise I have managed to injure myself in very creative ways.  Yesterday I pulled a neck muscle in Zumba.  A muscle in my leg I could understand.  Or a muscle in my arm.  But my neck?????  Really????  I can't turn my head left or right.  I have to turn my entire body to change my vantage point.  I have an ice pack attached to my neck with a head band.  Only I could manage to break my neck in a group fitness class.

There are people in the class that twist their bodies in all sorts of unnatural ways.  Scientifically, they should just split in two from their dance contortions.  Yet I am the one that ends up unable to move anything but my eyeballs. 

My talents (or lack thereof) continue to amaze me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Madame Treasurer

Dear Homeowners:

Thank you for bearing with me as I have assumed the duties of treasurer.  Since I haven't actually balanced my own personal checkbook in a decade, I thought this job would be right up my alley. 

I want to thank most of you for paying on time which saves me the trouble of having to send you a certified nasty-gram asking where your money is.  I'm not really the "shakedown" kind of person and as long as you pay during the month it is due, I'm happy.  And to those of you that lose track of how many months are in a year and send multiple checks....yes we are enjoying the surplus in the association checking account.  We now have enough to get the exterminator a few extra times so that I don't have to deal with leggy thingies.

I understand those of you that don't want to waste a precious stamp to mail your monthly dues 50 feet.  That's fine.  But what I don't understand is why you decide to deliver your money the way that you do.  I get it; I am rarely home which is why it is difficult to deliver your checks in person.  But please don't give me a dirty look when you knock on my door late at night, scaring me and making Bailey morph into Cujo.  If I am in my pjs already, it's too late for visitors.  No, I will not invite you in for coffee, or tea, or a snack.  Just move on along.

Also, please don't get angry with me when your check turns up missing after you have left it in some odd location hoping that I would find it on my daily check scavenger hunts.  I have found checks in my bushes, under the bushes, shoved in the storm door, crammed under the sopping wet doormat, and just laying about.  It would probably be more secure to hand your checks to random people on the street.  I'm sorry if the birds that live above my living room window have turned your check into nesting material.  Maybe you shouldn't have left your money with them to begin with.  Do you see the week's worth of newspapers on my front porch?  That is how often I use my front door.  May not be the best place to leave cash...just sayin'.

I have placed a box on my back patio for you to leave your check in each month.  What?  You don't think that is safe?  That anyone could take them?  Fine.  Continue with your method of hiding them from me (but not from the birds) in front of my house.  Just don't be surprised when I send the lawyers after you for non-payment.

Thank you!

Your Friendly Treasurer

Monday, November 14, 2011

Leggy Thingies

I am not a fan of bugs but generally I can handle them without shrieking like a 5 year old.  Unless they look like this:

Then I shriek like a 5 year old.  (Note:  Just doing a google image search for these bugs from the underworld made my stomach twist into knots.)

We had these bugs in the house I grew up in.  I called them "leggy thingies".  Uber-scientific naming, I know.  These bugs range is size from an inch up to about 3 feet long.  Ok, not really 3 feet but close enough.  I hate these bugs.  And with 7 million legs, they run faster than a cheetah.

Thankfully, they are also very easy to kill.  All you have to do is blow on one and half their legs fall off.  But they can still run on 3.5 million legs and the detached legs continue to move like possessed string puppets.  Even the wild animals (dog and cat) leave them alone. 

I love living in a townhome because my monthly dues go towards a regular exterminator.  I have lived here for almost three years and have not seen a leggy thingy.

Until tonight.  In the bathroom.

I have to move now.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bailey, the canine trash compactor

Things Bailey has eaten in her lifetime (so far):

  • A kitchen floor (in a rental unit!)
  • Numerous toys
  • A pin cushion with the pins still in it
  • A hairbrush
  • Shoes
  • Sand (this is the only thing so far that has required emergency surgery)
  • 1.5 squirrels
  • Bugs
  • Tomato plants
  • Maybe a bird (she was sitting in a pile of feathers with a couple hanging from her mouth...the evidence points to bird snack)
  • Human thyroid medication
  • A Thermacare heat wrap

Things Bailey has eaten in the past two weeks alone:
  • Tissues
  • 2 loaves of bread
  • My razor
  • 2 stuffed toys
  • A rawhide bone that had been buried for quite some time (the bone's remains have since been buried in my underwear drawer in the closet...yes, that was her choice, not mine)
  • 3 metal tips for decorating cakes (don't tell my mom - these were borrowed from her!)

You would think that by the age of 11, some of this would have settled down.  You would think I didn't feed her.  I'm afraid she missed her calling as a sword swallower and performing on "America's Got Talent". We could have been millionaires instead of spending small fortunes at the vet!

I still love her though....

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm a success!!!

I did it!  I got my first response to one of my articles that are published in a local monthly magazine.  And it  was hate mail! 

Now, everyone who reads what I write knows that I tend to be a little on the sarcastic side and a little less on the warm and fuzzy side.  I wrote about extreme couponing and how people are basically greedy for hoarding coupons so they can turn around and hoard items they will never use.  I was not making negative comments about strategic couponing (where you collect coupons from different resources so you can buy items you will use), or feel-good couponing (where you buy stuff to donate).  No, I wrote about the lady who bought out an entire store's mustard supply because she got a great deal on it (and she hated mustard!).  I could have taken one of those smiley, happy people angles and how we can save society through couponing.  But I didn't.  I made fun of people who have forced stores to create very long and hard to read coupon policies.  I also made fun of myself. 

And as a result I got my very first piece of hate mail.  My column was called disgusting and I was called selfish because I don't use my coupons.  My complete lack of organization makes couponing very difficult for me and the fact that I pay full price at Kroger means that millions of people (and animals!) are starving.

Here is the article in full:

Extreme Couponing Craziness
I was in the grocery store the other day and noticed that the store had placed a full sheet of single spaced rules regarding coupons.  I didn’t read it because my attention span won out (as well as my strong desire to get out of the store as quickly as possible – I despise the grocery store).  I assumed these new regulations were due to people who hoard coupons like some people hoard cats.
I watched the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” one time and decided that the people featured on that show should really be featured on “Hoarders” instead.  Who needs six million jars of mustard….when you don’t even use it?!  I personally know of one woman who stockpiled a pantry full of Hamburger Helper when neither she nor her husband liked it.  Why you ask?  Because she had a coupon!  Well, evidently she had multiple coupons.  Women were featured on the show that displaced their children’s belongings in order to store multiples of whatever useless crap they had bought at the store. 
These women would shudder to know that I throw away my Sunday coupons every week.  These coupon zealots would probably have a stroke if they knew that I didn’t feel the need to shove grocery items into every square inch of my home.   I tried clipping coupons.  I really gave it an honest effort.  But due to my complete lack of organizational skills it turned into a disaster.  I remember as a kid my mom had a little basket that she would keep her coupons in and every week she would go through them based on what we needed.  I attempted that method.  First I would pull the sections from the newspaper and leave them on the coffee table for a week.  The next step was to go through them and cut everything out in order to leave it in a cut up pile on the coffee table.  I would then head out to the store completely forgetting about my coupon stash because the cat had scattered them up under the sofa.  I decided to refine my methods and kept an organizer in my purse for all my coupons.  I crammed coupons in there every week.  But then my hatred of being in the grocery store would overcome me and I would rush through and not touch my little organizer.  When the organizer literally burst at the seams (although I had mastered putting coupons in, I had not mastered removing expired ones) I gave up. 
Couponing is not a sport.  You can’t letter in it in high school or get a scholarship into college because you have mastered saving money on stuff you don’t use.  Extreme couponing is the epitome of greed…buying obscene amounts of stuff just because you have a coupon is greedy.  The woman who bought all of the mustard off of the store’s shelves because she had coupons was selfish, not smart.  I love a bargain, but not at the expense of sanity. 
So there.  Maybe not Pulitzer Prize winning writing, but it is hate mail inducing.  I did respond to the hate mail writer telling her I appreciated her feedback and I was sorry that she missed the point of the column.

I haven't heard back....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I am surprised I am allowed to own a phone

My mom has a lovely ranch house with a bay window on the front.  Over the bay window is a beautiful copper roof. 

My mom also works for a local hardware store and has the opportunity to talk to many local contractors.  Just the other week she was talking to a painter and over the course of the conversation he agreed to come paint all of mom's shutters for a fair price. 

He has since painted and collected his money.  A few short days after he was done Mom happened to notice something a little different about the front of the house.  The super nice painter was also a super duper idiot since he painted the golden copper roof...it is now solid black.

She called him and was told that he thought the house needed a little something extra and decided to really make the roof "pop".  He assured mom that he would come out and look at it....IN THE SPRING.

As mom was relaying this story to me, I told her to give me his number.  She was relunctant to do so (with good reason).  After I promised not to curse at him she relented and I called him immediately.

Me:  "Hi.  I think you did some painting for my mom..."

Idiot:  "Oh hi!  I did.  As a matter of fact I just talked to her today!"  He says this all chipper-like as if I need someone to paint my window panes for me.

Me:  "Yes, you did.  I believe you discussed the fact that you painted over her copper roof.  I would like to know how you are going to fix it."

Idiot:  "Oh yeah, I promised her I'd come out in the spring and...."

Me:  "Nope.  You are going to fix it now.  For free.  What possessed you to paint a copper roof to begin with?"

Idiot:  "It was all a misunderstanding.  See, she told me to paint her shutters and I thought she meant that part too."

Me:  "So she told you to paint the shutters only...evidently we have very different definitions of the word 'shutter'.  We both assumed that someone who painted houses for a living would understand what a shutter was.  Who in their right mind would paint over a copper roof?"

Idiot:  A lot of silence

Me:  "Let's review so that there aren't anymore so-called misunderstandings.  Mom wanted her shutters painted, you painted over a very expensive copper roof.  You messed up.  So you will be calling my mom to set up a date this week to fix the roof.  And if you can't fix it, you can pay someone else to fix it.  All repairs will be of no charge to my mom and I also suggest you learn what a shutter is."

Idiot:  "I'll call her right now."

Me:  "Good idea."

He did call my mom and is going out there tomorrow to take a look at it.  I wanted to call him back to ask him why he needed to look at it when he did the painting to begin with....but mom seemed somewhat satisfied. 

If anyone needs any recommendations for house painters in the SW Virginia area, call me.  I'll give you a very short list of 1 for you to avoid.  Unless you want your roof painted....

Monday, October 3, 2011

How NOT to win against the federal government

My week has started off with a bang.  First of all I have a fruit fly infestation.  After bleaching every square inch of my kitchen, I still have fruit flies.  I feel disgusting.  I now have a trap on the counter quickly filling up with their little dead bodies.  Lovely.

Last night I had a dinner/movie date.  We were going to get together around 7pm.  I got in touch with him around 4pm just to confirm our plans.  That's when I got "well, um, see, something came up yesterday and I kinda forgot to tell you but....".  Good thing I asked otherwise I would have been stood up. What a gentleman.

Today we tragically lost a well loved family member.  Enough said about that.

Then to top all of this off, I received a letter from the United States Department of Education.  In this letter they informed me that my small student loan that I had been paying back was now delinquent and that they expected my first born child by Wednesday.  Since I do not have a first born nor am I currently pregnant, this was going to be difficult to accomplish.

I called the number on the two page letter threatening to ruin me and everyone had gone home.  Of course, I am also trying to reach someone in the federal government after 3:30 pm when we all know they are stuck on I-495.  I left a very friendly message that was in no way rude or a little yelly (you believe that, right?).   

I rushed to the computer to pull up my account in order to prove (at least to myself) that the letter was a mistake.  Instead of the loan services website coming up I get a message that their website had been disabled while they created a brand new one.  This better than ever website would not be functional until October 10th (well past my deadline of two days from now).  But, there was a number listed so I called.

I started off nice with only a slight panic in my voice.  I calmly explained that there was no way I could produce offspring by Wednesday in order to pay a loan that was in good standing.

"I'm sorry, there is nothing I can do.  Our site is down and won't be back until the 10th."

"Right, I got that...which is why I am calling.  Now help me problem solve this."

"I'm sorry.  I don't think you understand.  Our website is down and I can't access your records until the 10th.  Please call back then."

"Um, I don't think you understand how a calendar works.  My first born is due on Wednesday, but you can't help me until next Monday?"

"Ma'am, I am staring at a blue screen. If you would call back on the 10th, we can access your account.  Please call back then."

"Really?  You mean to tell me that you don't have file cabinets somewhere?  With paper records in them?  Why would you completely take the site offline while you improved it?  No one else does that.  Not for weeks anyway.  Are these my tax dollars at work here?  Because I am not impressed.  No wonder the federal government can't get anything done."

"I'm not going to discuss governmental opinions with you.  You can call back after the 10th."

"Can you at least point me in the right direction to get this rectified?  This whole issue is YOUR MISTAKE."

"I'm done discussing this with you.  You can call back on the 10th"

At this point a string of not very nice words erupted from me.

Annnnnd, he hung up on me.  I didn't even get to inform him that at least I had furthered my education so that I wasn't stuck answering phones in a call center.  I'm sure that would have gotten me somewhere (as long as I call back on the 10th).

Now I seem to be a lunatic at the gym because my pent up anger was unleashed on some poor guy as I yelled "TWO DOORS!  THERE ARE TWO FUNCTIONING DOORS!  USE THE OTHER ONE!" as he blocked my entrance trying to squeeze out the door I had opened. 

I hope the US Dept. of Ed is ready for me tomorrow...because I am calling again....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I give up!

Last night I went to bed to the sound of Phoebe retching up grass onto the floor and this morning I woke up to Bailey's late night accident in the kitchen.  That was it.  The last straw.  I'm done with trying to keep this house straight.

You know the way Dexter covers an entire room with and all of its contents with clear plastic before he slices someone up to bits?  Well I'm gonna Dexter-ize my house.  I have decided to cover the interior of my home in plastic so that I can clean it up so well not even the police would be able to determine what I do in here.  I'm not doing this so I can cut people up in my spare time, but instead so I can keep my house clean.  It would catch all of the animal hair, animal accidents, and animal stomach contents.  All I would have to do to clean would be to hose it down!  If it got really bad, I could tear it down and start fresh!

Granted, the furniture would be very uncomfortable on hot days but otherwise I see no flaws in this plan.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I used to be a domestic goddess

I love to cook.  I collect all kinds of cookbooks and enjoy reading them as if they are novels.  I also used to cook all the time and for the most part, everything turned out quite yummy.  I felt such a sense of accomplishment when people would ask me for my recipes.

Then something extraordinary happened...I completely forgot how to cook.  I can't fix a thing.  Any time I want to boil an egg I have to look it up.  I started a small grease fire while burning up some bacon the other day.  I attempted a grilled cheese sandwich and turned it into a blackened grilled cheese (three ingredients:  cheese, bread, and butter and I still managed it render it inedible!).  I was having a guy friend over and decided to make baked spaghetti.  My spaghetti was so hard I thought we would have to make emergency trips to the dentist.  Tonight I was making brownies to give to a friend who recently lost her mother.  I was supposed to make a full meal but I have lost all confidence and figured I could handle adding some water to a mix in order to create some brownies.  I mixed everything together, put the dish in the oven and waited the required 45 minutes.  I even remembered to do the clean toothpick test to make sure they were done.  I let them cool, frosted them, and then decided to try one before giving them away.  Goo.  I managed to make brownie goo.  The edges are done.  But how would it look to give someone just brownie edges?  Hi, here are your brownies I slaved over but you only get the outside of them because I don't care enough to give you all of the brownies.   

It's a wonder I don't starve to death (quick...hide the McDonald's bag!).  I'm glad nobody depends on me for nourishment...Bailey and Phoebe's food comes premade in bags and cans.  That is pretty difficult to screw up.  I might have to reduce myself to eating cereal for the rest of my life (although I'm sure if there is a way to screw up Rice Chex and milk, I'll figure it out!).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A yard sale kind of day

About a month ago I drove past a trailer park that was having a yard sale.  After I laughed uproariously at the thought of people selling stuff that they had probably bought at a yard sale (yes, this is one of the many reasons I am probably going to hell...oh well) I decided that I needed to have a yard sale.  If people were willing to by trailer park crap, I was sure they would be willing to buy my crap!

I talked my mom into hosting the yard sale.  We discuss having a yard sale at least once a year and this is the first time in a decade that we actually pulled it all together.  At our last yard sale one of my best friends brought all of her used underwear to sell.  I was shocked...I would never buy a stranger's used underwear...I mean you can buy it pretty cheap (and most importantly - unworn!) at WalMart already.  This wasn't fancy stuff, it was plain white cotton undies.  Guess what people swarmed all over?  That's right, her underwear.  She sold every last pair immediately.  I still don't have the gumption to sell my worn out panties.

On the actual yard sale day yesterday, people started stopping by 40 minutes before the actual start time (which is normal...which is why we set up 45 minutes early).  Yard salers are an entirely different breed of person.  They all knew each other, if something was more than a $1 they didn't want it, and many were looking for hidden treasures they could sell for a fortune on eBay.  Unfortunately for them we aren't stupid and sold that stuff ourselves on eBay long ago.  They rifled through our junk, fondled everything, and bought very little.  The stuff that I thought would sell didn't and the essentially garbage that I put out did sell (Used Christmas cards?  One lady bought them ALL...but expensive handbags that I was selling for $3?  Now at Goodwill).

The negotiators always make me laugh.  A woman looked at mom's Pottery Barn rugs.  There were three rugs and mom had priced them at $5 each.  This woman made an offer we couldn't refuse, "I only want two rugs, will you take $10 for them?"  Um, yes. 

We promised that we would take nothing back home so we piled everything into cars to haul to Goodwill.  As we were getting ready to leave a tremendous tractor trailer slowly inched its way down mom's neighborhood street.   People were coming out to see why this truck was crawling down the street (not much happens in mom's neighborhood...).  They were selling furniture off the back of the truck.  They gave us some made up spiel about why they had all of this high end furniture that they were selling off the back of the truck.  Being a sucker for any type of shopping I climbed aboard to check out their wares (after I made the man reassure me that he wasn't going to trap me in there and sell me into slavery or something like that).  I am now the proud owner of a settee that I bought from clean cut gypsies out of the back of a truck.  I guess my next purchase will be a designer watch that I buy out of some guy's trench coat.

Those yard sale dollars I earned lasted all of 10 minutes. 

Oh, and the new settee is completely unusable because Phoebe immediately claimed it as her own.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I seem to be on just about every mailing list out there.  My mailbox is filled with useless information on a daily basis.  I get magazines, catalogs, credit card offers, books the size of novels full of numbers I don't understand (from my 401b provider), and letters from Publishers Clearing House telling me that I "could be a winner" if I subscribe to more magazines.  I also get fliers from the guy who did my mortgage loan (I haven't been here that long...so no, I am not selling yet), every new Chinese restaurant within a 10 mile radius, and advertisements offering me more student loans (as if I needed to owe more).  I decided to teach all these mailbox cloggers a lesson by not accepting their mail.  I decided to follow Nancy Reagan's advice to just say NO.  I rifle through it and take what I need, putting the rest back in the box.  Take that you junk mailing tree killers!

Fast forward to the end of the week.  My mailbox is overflowing, my mailman has probably crammed in some hate mail (but I wouldn't know it), and I can't mail anything until I empty the box.

Junk mail:  1                  Kristin: 0


Sunday, September 18, 2011

New extreme sport

I haven't written in a while because all I do anymore is go to work, go to the gym, and sleep.  I can't write about my job, I like being employed.  Although I have plenty of posts in my head about the gym, I am sure most of you are tired of those by now.  And I'm not going to write about sleep (or lack thereof...that would just be boring).  If I think of something that I think might be remotely entertaining, I save it for my new column. I used to write as a form of procrastination while I was working on another degree, but I don't have homework to put off since the degree is finished.  So those are my excuses for avoiding my blog.  I'm sorry.

Now, onto a new post about nothing.

There seems to be a new extreme sport that has come about in the Star City of the South.  The rules appear to be very easy to follow....

1.  Make sure you are either wearing all black (or at least dark colors, navy and gray work well too, just no white or yellow or anything).  If you are wearing a hoodie, make sure the hood is over your head.

2.  Go to a neighborhood after dark that doesn't have streetlights.  If it has narrow streets with lots of curves and hills, you get bonus points.

3.  Start walking.  It's even better if you can do this with friends so that you can all spread out across the street.  And whatever you do, don't carry a flashlight or walk on the correct side of the street so that you can see traffic.  That takes the fun out of the game.

4.  Try not to get hit by a car.

Although the point of this new game may be to get smooshed by a driver with poor night vision (me).  That way you can sue for millions provided you survive the encounter with the hood of my Honda.  Not that you would get any millions from me.  You would be lucky to get a couple hundred.  But the evil part of me (and that is a very large part) hopes you do get creamed.  The world needs fewer idiots. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011


When I go to bed at night, I plug in my phone and set it on "calls only" so that I don't hear all of its beeps, bloops, and blips.  I also do not lock the keyboard because I know that if I do receive a call that wakes me, my sleep fogged mind can barely figure out how to answer much less be able to unlock it before answering.  I learned the hard way to lock the keyboard after my handbag called my sister's boyfriend one too many times....

Early this morning my phone rang and once I processed what the sound was, I panicked.  I immediately wondered who had died.  Did it cross my mind that it could have been a wrong number?  Nope...I jumped directly to death.  Must be the pessimist in me.  I root around for my phone but can't find it.  As the anxiety increases with each chime, I finally find it under Bailey (don't ask me how it got there).  I see it is my aunt in North Carolina and I assume that my entire family here had died and that was why she was calling me and not my mom.  Unfortunately in all of this I miss the call and have to call her back.

"What did you need?  Why did you call me?" I urgently ask.
"What?  I called you because you called me a half hour ago."
"No I didn't, I was sound asleep.  And I specifically asked the doctor NOT to give me Ambien to keep this from happening...."
"Yes, you did call and when I answered I just heard muffled sounds."
"Wait a minute" and I look down at Bailey....

Luckily my aunt is an early riser and has a good sense of humor.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sweaty gorillas

I have weird issues with sweat; I don't like to sweat and I don't like anyone else's sweat either.  When at the gym, I wipe everything down before AND after I use it.  I bought my own yoga mats so I wouldn't have to use theirs (this was after I saw some soppy girl drip all over one...gross).  I refuse to touch anything in the locker room after I saw a sweat laden naked chick sitting on the bench in front of the lockers.  I think I need a bubble suit just to be able to go to the gym.  And I am not a germaphobe - I work in a middle school for heaven's sake - that is a veritable petri dish of germs!

Today I was shakin' it in Zumba (in the wrong direction of course...but I was still somewhat participating) when the man in front of me began to sweat profusely.  And he was a gorilla of a man...big hulking arms that he couldn't lift above his shoulders, a slight bend to his upper back, and quite hairy.  At one point we were dancing backwards and he was essentially running while waving his sweaty gorilla arms.  I quit dancing and just started a game of dodge the big, hairy wetness.  Unfortunately in his simian excitement he flung sweat all over the floor.  As I slipped my way through the next couple of songs I was praying that I wouldn't fall in his puddle of body water.

I think I need counseling now.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New again

As part of my new column for Bella, I had to come up with a title.  I managed to come up with many, many titles.  I really liked my runner up so I decided to revamp my blog to reflect it.  I can't share the title of my Bella column at this time (you can find out in October) but here is a glimpse into what my list may have looked like.  I enjoyed the chickens, and I may even miss them.  But as I said earlier, this is a work in progress and once I become famous (ha!) I will pay someone to design my blog for me. 

Thank you to everyone who continues to read my nonsense!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Well, at least you are a healthy fat....

I went to see my doctor today in order to convince my mom that my shortness of breath and chest pains were anxiety and not heart disease (and I wonder where I get my worrying anxiety-ridden tendencies from).

The nurse weighed me and proceeded to ask me if I needed information about weight loss.  WHAT?!?  I follow Weight Watchers plus spend over an hour a day, six days a week at the gym.  No, I don't need any info on weight loss.  Thanks for asking.

The doctor also asked me about exercise (and used the fact that I could do an hour long Zumba class without dying as his evidence for me NOT having heart disease right now).  He inquired about my diet and when I complained about my lack of weight loss he informed me that although I was fat, I was a healthy fat.  He then reassured me that if I was ever in a famine that I would have no trouble surviving for a while.

So my diagnosis was anxiety and I now have a prescription for help-me-sleep-anti-anxiety-meds to try for three weeks.  Oh, and the knowledge that not only am I fat, but that I would do well in Africa.  Thanks. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

A hairy tale

I decided on a whim this summer to cut my hair short.  I had it long but it just looked like the end of a broom.  See, my hair is thick, coarse, curly in the back and sort of a frizzy straight on the sides.  Attractive, I know.  When it was long I wore it up every single day to hide the multiple personalities it seemed to have.  Plus, it took forever to dry so most of the time I'd pull it back to hide the fact it was sopping wet. 

Every time I go to a stylist and have all my pictures of movie star hair that I would love to have, I hear the same things...your hair is too straight, too curly, too thick, too (insert whatever adjective I haven't used yet here).  

So I tried short.  And as I have watched it grow out over the past month, I have had a realization.  The best cut for me would be a MULLET!!!!  That way I could have the long curls in the back and keep my sides short.  Plus, as an added bonus, the sides of hair love to feather out....which would look fantastic against a long mullet back. I would be the envy of all rednecks out there and could possibly have the best mullet in the world!

Update:  My stylist said I was too stupid to think that a mullet was a good option....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Things I will never do (ever)

I have been coming across all of these lists about what you should accomplish before you turn 30, 40, and so forth.  Since I don't like to achieve too much I've set my goals pretty low with a list of things I will never do.  I figure this list will be pretty easy to accomplish.

1.  Camping.  I am not talking about people who vacation in a tripped out RV and call it "camping".  I am talking about sleeping in a tiny tent camping.  There is a reason humans developed houses with indoor plumbing and heating/air conditioning - so we could use it!  I am not about to spend a night amongst bugs, reptiles, or wild animals when there are hotels built for spending nights away from home.  Someone I know went tent camping at the beach.  This is a great idea if your idea of fun is sleeping in sticky, humid weather in a bed of sand.  Why would anyone volunteer to do that when there is a Marriott down the street?  With showers?  And toilets?  I just don't understand...

2.  Skydiving.  I have been on a lot of dates here lately and it seems like all men my age are going through some sort of mid-life crisis and all of them are looking for women who are adventurous.  What is considered adventurous you ask?  They all answer with skydiving.  Hurtling towards the Earth with nothing but a piece of fabric between you and death?  I don't think so.  These men may consider me boring; I call it self-preservation.  I don't mind if anyone else wants to go skydiving - have fun - and I will wait for you from the safety of the ground.

3.  Eat a bug.  I realize that bugs are considered food in other countries, but I do not plan on ever eating a bug (on purpose, anyway).  You can dip an ant in chocolate but it still ain't candy....

I think three things is a good beginning.  I'm going to go ahead and start working on doing these right now.  Hopefully I'll succeed!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kardashians or Griswolds? You decide...

Our family just went on our annual vacation to the lovely shores of Emerald Isle in North Carolina.  We rented what we assumed to be a lovely oceanfront beach cottage.  In our excitement for the upcoming trip we forgot that if it weren't for bad luck, our family wouldn't have any luck at all.

We decided to rent a minivan to get half of us (plus two dogs) from Virginia to North Carolina.  I was to pick up the minivan the day before we left.  I made the reservation in person and even called later to confirm  because I didn't quite trust the clueless rental agents.

Anyone see Seinfeld's experience when he tried to rent a car?  Just curious.  The manager called me on Friday morning to let me know that they did not have a minivan and would not have one.  After I asked him to define the term "reservation" for me I told him that I would be picking up a minivan and to make it happen.  Our minivan looked a lot like a Kia SUV (my mom shrieked "A KIA?!?! Are they even built to go further than 10 miles!?!?"). 

This should have been our sign that Murphy was applying his stupid law to us again.  Our lovely little beach cottage ended up being nothing more than a cramped and smelly beach shack.  My sister and I immediately turned around and rented yet another beach home further down (but not ocean front).  So now we were the proud renters of not one, but two beach homes.  If we had added together what we spent on two homes we could have spent our week in a large ocean front home (maybe even with a pool!).  We were burning through money faster than a Kardashian. 

A couple of days later we may or may not have had an incident at a local Belk that may or may not end up costing me an additional couple of hundred dollars.  I'll just let your imaginations take over from here...

The fun continued when two of our dogs decided to medicate their thyroids with a human prescription that was on a nightstand.  We can't get them to take their own pills, but they evidently relished the opportunity to take pills that weren't theirs.

But our relaxing vacation wasn't over yet!  My mom was enjoying the rough surf when a wave swept her prescription sunglasses out to sea.  Although she was sad to see her glasses go, she was happy to give the gift of sight to a fish in need.

At this point we decided our best course of action was to hunker down and not leave the house for fear that a plague of locusts would descend on us next.

Who wants to join us next year????



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Miniature disasters and minor catastrophes

Did anyone see the Friends episode "The One with Ross's Tan?" where he uses the spray tan but only tans one side of his body?

If not, here it is on  YouTube

My skin is naturally pasty white.  I guess "porcelain" is a more attractive adjective.  I also have blue eyes and freckle with reckless abandon in the sun.  I am skin cancer waiting to happen.  I usually use a gradual self tanning lotion and I finally got the application process down so I get it all nice and even. 

Then, I watched about 5 minutes of Regis and Kelly on Friday (because 5 minutes is about all I can handle).  In the segment I saw they were going over the different types of self tanners and the girl from Allure magazine just loved the sprays.  She said anyone could do them!  I'm anyone, so I went right out and bought me some self tanner spray.

I applied it in the bathtub with the curtain closed to ensure that I did not tan the house, the cat, or the dog in the process.  It seemed to go on well so I just waited for it to tan.  A few hours later I looked down at my legs.  I had managed to spray tan them in carnival tent stripes.  Tan stripe/pasty stripe/tan stripe/pasty stripe...all around both legs.  So I hopped into the bathtub again and tried to tan the pasty white stripes.

I successfully managed to just darken the already tanned stripes. 

After my sister laughed uproariously at me this morning, I attempted to tan my legs again.  The rest of me tanned just fine the first time around.  So from the waist up I am a nice, even, medium tan.  From the waist down, it is another story altogether.  After three tries at this, I am now another ethnic background stripe/lightly tanned stripe/another ethnic background stripe/lightly tanned stripe. 

So tell me, what is it like to be normal?  Because nothing I ever do is normal....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Little Shop

This is my backyard:

Notice it is about the size of a postage stamp.  It is just enough for Bailey to watch the birds and Phoebe to play jungle kitty in the hydrangeas.  I try to plant things that will add color but not necessarily take up the entire yard.

When I bought my house two years ago, I wanted a butterfly bush more than anything.  Mom had one in her yard and I thought its size would be perfect (I didn't realize mom's was also relatively new or that they came in other varieties).  What started out as a small butterfly bush has expanded into the Little Shop of Horrors in my backyard.

It towers over my 6 foot fence, stretching its purple tentacles into my parking area.  It has taken over close to half of my backyard, and considering the size of my backyard, that doesn't leave me with much.  I found Phoebe under it one day and went into a panic, thinking that Audrey II had swallowed her up. 

I should get rid of it, but I enjoy the butterflies too much.  I'll chop it back further next year (while it is still in its winter hibernation), and hopefully my little bit of green space will not become a tiny yard of horrors.  Maybe next time I will remember that plants typically grow....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ways my life has changed...

...since joining a gym...

No, this is not going to be some uplifting post about how good I feel or how much weight I have lost (negligible) or how much better life is.  You should know me better than that by now.  I am not a make you sick to your stomach, feel good motivational speaker.  I am a realist.

All of these stupid websites talk about how much energy you will have from working out.  I exercise 6 days a week for a minimum of an hour (yesterday was 2.5 hours added together).  You would think my energy levels would be through the roof!  Instead, in between gym visits, I sit on my couch unable to move.  There are things to do, but I don't want to do them.  I sit here watching the animal hair collect and think the floors look good all white and fuzzy.  It's a nice change from clean and shiny, I think.

The laundry!  Oh my, the laundry!  I don't own that much that is suitable for the gym (i.e. large and voluminous to cover me).  Plus, my girls require some extra strapping in and the cheap sports bras from Target don't quite cut it.  They require the heavy duty stuff and I can only afford one...which leads to a load of laundry every day so that my girls aren't too free to do as they please.

Along with the gym I have also started to revamp my diet.  I cook every day...every single meal.  I am trying to cut processed (easy) stuff out of my diet and make everything from scratch.  So yesterday after an hour of Aqua Zumba (my uncoordinated body was under water and therefore nobody knew when I was just twirling around in confusion) I came home to make a full dinner.  By the time I was done, I had enough chicken to feed me, my wild animals, and the rest of the block (I haven't mastered cutting recipes in half yet).  Also?  My kitchen looked like a war zone....I think I found some homemade marinara sauce on the ceiling...

And my amazing increase in hunger has been trying to derail my diet.  Since I am burning millions of calories each day (ok, not millions, but it feels like it should be millions) my body wants food constantly.  While I lay here each day, all I think about is what to eat.  But since everything requires at least 20 different dishes, pots and pans to make, I don't have the energy.  So I starve.  I have a feeling that an emergency call to Papa John's is right around the corner.

I also mistakenly thought that exercising would lead to better sleep.  Nope.  I wake up all hours of the night just as I always did before I started running my body into the ground.  So not only do I have no energy, but I also can't sleep.  I just sort of lay around motionless with my eyes wide open all day and all night.  Sort of scary, dontcha think? 

I never knew one person could wash their hair this many times.  Because I thought it would be a fantastic idea to cut it short, in order for it not to frighten small children each time I go out it needs to be "styled" every day.  So I get up, shower, fix my hair, go to the gym, mess up my hair, and wash it again.  I can't let it dry on its own and then just pull it into a ponytail anymore.  I let it dry on its own last night and I look like I was trying to channel a Charlie's Angel with the fantastic feathered wings I have right now.  Therefore I have to wash it this morning.  And again tonight after the gym.  And then again in the morning.  Why did I think short hair would be easier?  I might just shave it all and get a wig...

And my gains from this whole experiment?  Any weight loss?  No.  Any inches lost? No (this could be questionable since the cat likes to help me measure by attacking the measuring tape and my legs in the process).  But on the bright side, I have discovered Arrested Development on Netflix streaming and I watch that.  How did I miss this show when it was on? 

After I wash my hair and do some laundry and clean the marinara off the ceiling, I think I am going to lie on the couch and watch Arrested Development while the wild animals shed all over the house.  Great plan.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I live alone.  Well, except for one dog, one cat, and one fish, I live alone.  And because I live alone I have gotten into the habit of talking out loud.  I'll talk to Bailey, Phoebe, the fish, my plants, the tv, and really pretty much anything else.  I also talk continuously in the car (mostly yelling expletives...). Yet, the majority of the time I manage to keep this talking in my head when out in public.  Although I have been known to keep the running dialogue going with Bailey on our evening walks:

"Really?  What would you do with a bunny anyway?  You don't need a bunny. Keep moving."


"Put that dead squirrel DOWN.  NOW!"


"Leave the cat alone...you already have a cat at home that you don't want anything to do with...let that one be."

That is where my talking to things ends in public.  But with school being out for the summer my talking has increased.  And it is getting a little bit harder to control.  An example would be at the gym.  Since I exercise alone and try my best to ignore everyone else around me (if I can't see them, then they can't see me doing my 10 lb. shoulder press...Wonder Woman, I know).  And then my brain slips back into all alone mode from out in public mode.

Like most gyms, mine has tremendous televisions lining the walls so that we can drown out our muscles and joints as they scream in agony.  Do you know how hard it is to keep my mouth shut during the Price is Right?  Especially when a girl won $10,000 at Plinko?

"You go girlfriend!  You show that Plinko board how its done!"

Oops...was that out loud?

Or during Who Wants to be a Millionaire....

"C!  The answer is C!  Moron.  Who needs to use a lifeline for that question other than a moron???"

Oops again. 

I thought listening to my iPod would be a better choice.  Wrong again.  What do you mean no one wants to hear a tone deaf girl try to sing Big Bang by Rock Mafia?  No fun.

So today in order to thwart my brain into silence I watched The Weather Channel.  And as a result, I paid more attention to every single pain inducing step and waited for my 30 minutes to be up.  Oh how I missed Plinko....

Sunday, June 26, 2011


As part of my whole gym "experience" I have started taking some fitness classes.  I have done Body Flow which is a mix of Tai Chi, pilates, and yoga.  That one left me sore for two days (and we will just not mention the day I fell over trying to do the triangle pose...that's my little secret).  Next I tried the hula dancing class.  The instructor for this class is a native Hawaiian.  She is young, beautiful, a wonderful dancer, and as nice as she could be.  I tried to hate her, but I can't because she is so friendly.  She makes hula seem so easy...just a few butt shakes with some arm movements...and that's hula!  Since I have ample butt to shake, I assumed I would be a natural at this class.

I had forgotten my college experiences when I learned I had no rhythm.  In college, my sorority had "song practice."  During song practice, we would all gather together in the chapter room and practice our songs and chants.  I would always get corrected during the chants because I couldn't clap and chant at the same time...it was either/or.  I could chant but not clap or clap but remain silent.  If I tried to do both, my chanting would end up off and my claps would be the lone sound in the middle of the other girls' claps.  Big loud clap from the group - one little stray clap from me - big loud clap from the group, one little stray clap from me.  You get the idea here.

So it was with this inability to do more than one activity at a time that I entered the hula class (mistakenly assuming that there was a hidden hula girl me waiting to get out).  The first couple of slow moves I could handle and my confidence grew.  Then she picked up the pace and added arm movements.  I suddenly became a flailing disaster.  People were moving away from my spasms I was trying to pass off as hula.  But I made it difficult to move away from me because I also couldn't seem to stay in my spot.  I tended to wander forward, backwards, to each side with arms going every which way.  Just like song practice where I couldn't sing and clap simutaneously, I also can't move my legs, shake my butt, and wave my arms all at the same time.  I have to choose one movement and stick with it. 

I am also stubborn and went back to the class again.  I am convinced I will work my way up to the advanced hula class and be able to wear a grass skirt to perform at the local nursing home.  This one didn't go much better.  She had us walk across the room while shaking our hips in circles.  I could either master the hips or the walking...the two could not happen together.  While everyone else was shaking across the floor, I would take two steps, shake a little, take two more steps, and shake a little more.  At the end she tried to teach us an actual hula dance.  She broke it down step by step and we would practice.  I got it!  I actually got it!  I was so proud of myself!  Then, she put it to music and we had to do it all together.  I am surprised no one called 911 for the poor girl (me) have a seizure in the back.  I finally just stopped and stood there.  I figured no movements would draw less attention to me than the hula spasms. 

I'm going back on Thursday.  I am waiting for the day she pulls me aside and just asks me nicely not to return...

Friday, June 24, 2011

A dog's story

Bailey has been quite bored with me lately.  She has been quite mopey because she doesn't find cleaning the house fun.  All she does is lay around with these big sad eyes. 

Since I don't want my dog to hate me because I am not an exciting human, I took her to the park today.  She was so excited when we got there that she just barked "LET ME OUT!"  Or she may have been barking at the German Shepherd in the next car...who knows...she's a dog.

She ran straight for the water because what is my dog's favorite thing to do?  That's right, stink herself up with nature. 

After soaking herself in the water, we walked through the park.  And by walk I mean run in circles, stop to smell stuff, roll in stuff (because it was stinky), and chase birds.

After a nice stroll (or me being dragged) through the park, she jumped back in the water one last time to cool off.  Now that she was tired, wet, smelly, and happy, we headed home.  She was little more bright eyed and bushy tailed for the trip home.  A good stinky time always improves her mood.  Too bad my pics aren't scratch and sniff...

Due to the stench of the happy wet dog, she needed a bath.  And what is Bailey's least favorite thing to do?  Take a bath.  She loves water, but bases its fun value off of the smell rating.  Dirty creek water?  Fantastic!  Clean bath water with citrus shampoo?  Steer clear at all costs.  She refused to look at me in the tub...she either looked away or closed her eyes.

Then, to make matters even worse, the creature she despises the most (we know her as Phoebe the cat) tried to help Bailey dry herself.  Bailey just ran from hidey hole to hidey hole trying to escape the grooming habits of a very fastidious cat.  The humiliation was almost too much to bear.

I hope the horrors and shame of the bath/cat licking don't outweigh the fun at the park.  Maybe, just maybe, my dog loves me again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Here we go again

I did it again.  I joined a gym.  This is the third gym I have joined.  I have also rejoined Weight Watchers (on a sidenote, my blog from WW that hasn't been updated in over 6 months now has 35 followers...where did they come from? and how do I get them here?). 

In between gym forays I took up running.  Remember how that ended?  With me attempting my first 10K, injuring my foot halfway through, and coming in dead last behind the 75 year old man with a limp.  I haven't run or walked for any type of exercise since.  So I bit the bullet and joined yet another gym.  They were nice enough to give me two free personal training sessions.  When I first met with her last week, she informed me that I had 62 lbs. to lose. My eyes widened and I explained to her how I tend to ignore crazy talk like that.  She just looked at me and asked me what my goals were.  My goal is to lose 10 pounds before the beach so I can fit in last year's clothes...that's it...no more.  Then she informed me that I was using the crazy talk this time.  She suggested I set an "event" that I can use as my goal.  Since she expects me to lose the the equivalent of a child by February, I told her I would sign up for the Disney half-marathon in January.  While I was on the floor giggling at my insane answer, she replied with total seriousness that I needed to sign up now because it sells out fast.  Um, yeah, not gonna happen.

So, because shopping is my favorite thing in the whole wide world (besides cupcakes...but that is what got me in this mess to begin with), my events are shopping events!  Yay!  I can barely wait!

So, for my first 10 lb loss, I can buy some new booksends.  Yes, I realize they are from Pottery Barn "Kids", but who cares?  They are the perfect little touch of whimsy for my home.

Now since I think I will actually lose 20 lbs when pigs fly, I thought a flying pig would be appropriate.  This is courtesy of Ballard Designs.

If I actually reach 40 lbs, I will allow myself this completely frivolous purchase:  Kate Spade Tidbit Plates.  Do I have many, many plates already?  Yes.  But do I have Kate Spade plates? No.  Therefore these are needed.

Lastly, if I make it to 60 lbs without killing myself, I can buy new glasses.  Did you know that Tiffany & Co. makes eyeglasses?  Neither did I!  Our local LensCrafters doesn't carry them and I would have to make a day trip to try them on, but I think they may be worth it.  Plus, February (if I manage to stick to the trainer-who-hates-me's schedule) will fall after tax time...absolutely fabulous.

Therefore, by my calculations, this endeavour should cost me about $550.00.  Still cheaper than entering a race I will never finish, plus travel money and hotel fees. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Intruders (or just a lack of brain functioning)

When I was growing up my dad made us do "bed making practice".  We were expected to get our beds made every day before school and if we missed a day, our Saturday was not spent watching cartoons but instead making our beds.  We would make the bed, and then Dad would come in for inspection, unmake the bed, and we would go through the entire process again until he felt we had learned our lesson.  I think out of the three of us I had the most bed making practice sessions.  Therefore, you would think that I would be meticulous about making my bed now some 25 years later.  Not so.  I am lucky to make it out of the house fully clothed in the mornings, much less get my bed made. 

Then I starting thinking "What if I had an accident on the way to work in the mornings?  What if I died?  What if I ended up in the hospital for a long period of time?".  My mom would have to enter my bedroom and she would see my slovenly bed making habits.  I couldn't have my mom mad at me at my funeral for letting all of those years of bed making practice go to waste.  So I started making my bed again on a sort of regular basis (in other words, it is a good week if it happens twice).  Today was a good morning and the bed got made up.

When I got home, I went upstairs and was shocked to see my bed made.  "Who broke into my house and made my bed?" I thought, looking around my room in a panic.  I also wondered how they got past Bailey.  Then the thought fog slowly lifted and my feeble mind remembered that I was the one who had made my bed.  See...that's how unfamiliar I am with seeing a made bed.  But that would be a scary intruder, someone who would break in so they could clean.  If there were intruders like that I'd probably just keep my doors and windows unlocked in the hopes they would drop by. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The time I almost died

The time I almost died was tonight.  I realize I have a tendency to exaggerate and over dramatize situations, but this potential death experience was real (in my head anyway).

I have this little closet under my stairs that houses the water heater, two artificial Christmas trees, my tool collection, every color of paint used in this home (and that is a lot), a ladder, a vacuum, more wrapping paper than any sane person should own, as well as a pile of wreaths for the front door.  Last week this smell started emanating from the closet, but sometimes it gets a weird smell, so I ignored it.  Today when I went downstairs, I noticed the smell had transformed itself into a full fledged stench and I was sure that some poor little critter had curled up in there to die.

I slowly opened the door, expecting whatever was in there to attack.  Then I remembered that I was looking for a dead something.  Dead somethings usually don't attack.  Unless it is a zombie...  My fear of finding something dead morphed into finding a little zombie mouse hiding out behind the water heater.  I figured that wearing flip flops while searching for zombie mice was not the best idea, they could pull my toes right off (and I just got a pedicure today!).  I briefly consider running upstairs to put on my wellies but rational thought wins out (and because I was already hot; rubber boots would not help). 

As I am searching for either dead or undead mice, a spider lunges forward in attack mode.  He lodges himself in the corner with his tremendous fangs ready to bite.  Luckily, I keep Raid spider killer on hand and I spray him.  It has no effect.  He just wipes it right off.  I spray him again; longer this time.  He starts to scurry a little but still doesn't die.  Isn't this stuff supposed to kill on contact?  I spray him four more times and he is soon sitting in a white, thick, oozing puddle of Raid.  I thought I would die from the fumes at this point but he still managed to wave a little leg in defiance before he succumbed.

I ran to identify him, and decided he was a brown recluse.  If he had bitten me I could have lost my leg! (well, according to google images anyway).

I am now sitting on my sofa paralyzed in fear.  I don't dare put my feet down for fear of zombie mice and brown recluse spiders.  Oh, and there are still some residual Raid fumes wafting about.  We are lucky I am still alive.......

PS - never found any dead critters