Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thinking About Co-Workers

I wrote about my friend and her first crappy job out of college and crappy boss. Then, over at Preposterous Ponderings, she wrote about Funky Face, which made me recall a certain person I worked with at my first crappy job out of college.

I had a crappy boss lady too, but luckily (?!?), I didn't have much day to day dealings with her as I was just lowly "support staff".

Now, let me just say that this job was a non-profit corporation, who I will no longer have dealings with because of their business practices (Okay, I'll tell, it was the Girl Scout Council).

Being that it was Girl Scout's, they didn't employ dudes, except one fat, socially backwards guy in the mail room who always smelled like dirty butt. I digress...

My main point is that it was all women up there and most of them were of the manly sort. I have lots of gay and lesbian friends, so I certainly don't care what anyone's sexual orientation is, but it just seemed fishy (pun intended) that so many of the gals up there were super butch. All with the super short hair and pantsuits, and little to no make up... it was all very strange.

My immediate supervisor was a particularly manish looking sort and she also had really bad breath. In addition to these unfortunate qualities, she also spit on you when she spoke. We started calling her "Spit Monster".

If Spit Monster used your phone, the next time you picked it up, bad breath fumes were radiating from your mouthpiece. I mean, I could smell it from a distance. Myself and other co-workers started keeping individual alcohol wipes at our desks, so we could swab the phones. We said it was for hygiene reasons (germs), but really it was because our phones had been be-funked.

My next door cube mate had a daughter who was about 4 at the time and would visit the office from time to time. Spit Monster was leaning down to say something to her and she looked up at her mom and said, "Mommy, he got me all wet." HE. See, even little kids can pick out a Pat.

And the moral of today's story is: try to always work for a man. They're much easier to get along with.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mrs.Dash, Anyone?

I have a friend who I made in college - our very first semester at Marshall University in 1986 and we've been friends ever since. Let's just call her Swank, 'cause that's her nickname, but only a few people ever refer to her as that.

We had quite a few classes together because her major was my minor and my major was her minor. Swank is not only one really cool chick, she is also, like, MENSA smart. On top of those awesome qualities, she also has a wicked funny sense of humor.

We had many a night out drinking and partying - causing mayhem when we could. She is the queen of pranks, too. I just love her.

After we graduated from college, she got some really crappy job with an even crappier boss. I never met the boss, but according to Swank, this lady was just a nasty individual. Apparently, the boss lacked just the basic proper hygiene skillz and so, she always stunk. I think she was also a smoker, which is not a terrible, awful bad thing, but it added to the oderiferous stench.

This boss would ask Swank to do tasks that were way outside of her job duties, such as fetch her lunch and dry cleaning, etc.

One day, Boss Lady asked Swank to get her a salad while she was at Kroger. (Many Kroger stores have salad bars). Swank loaded up Boss Lady's salad with the requested items. She then got back into her car to transport the salad back to the office.

Before she took the salad inside, she decided to add a li'l Swank flavor to it, just because Boss Lady was so special.

Swank was wearing leather shoes with no socks or hosiery on that day. She took off one shoe and daintily shook the contents of her shoe into the salad. We like to refer to this act as "shoe shakin's" You know, there are all manner of debris in a shoe - dead foot skin flecks, dirt from the floor, perhaps a wayward hair or two. Who knows?

Her dastardly shoe shakin' plot complete, Swank walked back into the office and casually presented Boss Lady with her lunch.

Boss Lady ate every bite.

Which goes to show you, be nice to people - even those below you on the totem pole. Because if you happen to slip and fall, those are the same people who will be having your back on the way down - if you've treated them well. If not, then.... there might be more than the contents of a shoe in your salad.

I wouldn't take my chances if I were you!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Crack is Bad For You

The Evil Twin and I worked it out so I could still go to my docs office. He came home from work and stayed with Sissy, waiting for the plumber. After my appt, I grabbed lunch on the way home. The plumber had called at about noon and said he'd be here within the hour - and he was. The Evil Twin was juuuust getting ready to go back to work, but I'm glad he was here to explain the problem to the plumber.

Home maintenance, IMO, is the husband's job and if he can't do it, then he needs to call someone to do it and relay the necessary information to said person. I'll write the check when the work is done. That's about as much involvement as I can take.

Sooo, the plumber wraps things up just in time for me to go pick up Buddy from school, but he has to deliver some bad news first. Apparently, we are no longer able to use our disposall. WTF?? He said in older homes with concrete foundations, the pipes run under that and once they start getting backed up with gunk - short of jackhammering up my floor and replacing the pipes, I just probably shouldn't use the disposer ever again.

Come on! I have never lived in a house without a disposer (or dishwasher, for that matter). A girl needs her conveniences.

The Evil Twin and I plan to get a second opinion on this most poopy proclamation. Sheesh - what's next? I'm wringing out clothes to hang on a line? I don't think so.

I WILL have a disposer - or something!

Now on to happier thoughts. I've been honored with not one, but TWO awards this week, kids! I might even have to dig up that picture of me doing my victory dance in my back yard.

The first award is from Crystal at Backyard Academy. She's a homeschoolin' mama who is a knitting fan, crafty in other ways as well and always has something interesting to say. She presented me with the:

Then, Carolyn from The Ginger Quill bestowed uponeth me the:

The Excellent Blogger Award. Super cool. Carolyn is a super sweet WV gal who loves her animal babies and often has them starring in little vignettes on her blog. Always good for a laugh.

Visit my friends and have a laugh. I'm supposed to tag 10 others with the awards as well, but I'll save that one for tomorrow. (notice: cliffhanger ending to keep you coming back - yea baby, I've watched my fair share of soap operas).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just Say No To Crack...

Okay, I only titled that because we're having the plumber out tomorrow. Seems like there's a problem in the lines somewhere and the utility sink is all clogged up.

The City had done some work on the lines on the next street over late last week, so we're not sure if that has anything to do with it. Our water looked yucky and dirty until it ran clear when we first used the faucets after they'd finished whatever they were doing over there. And, we had a lot of air in the lines.

The pisser is that I'm sick and I had a doctor's appointment tomorrow - I was hoping to get in and get a Z pack or something. This is actually an appointment I had cancelled and rescheduled from last week due to bad weather. So, this will be the second time I have to reschedule this appointment.

Hopefully, they won't be too mad at me. I've been seeing our general physician for at least 10 years and have never once cancelled, rescheduled or missed an appointment - EVER.

It's just that the plumber said he'd be here tomorrow, for sure, but gave no official time. So, I must sit and wait on him.

I just hope whatever is wrong is a quick (i.e. cheap) fix.

And on a final note - not related to my plumbing problems - I wanted to send a shout out to my friend J in Texas who gave me the Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla recipe! It is so good, I'm making it again this week! I also found a good Italian Sausage Sub Sandwich recipe that is a crock pot recipe too. I'll post that one later on (Renn - it doesn't include cream of anything soup!)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Grabbing The Reigns

I really appreciate all the advice I recieved yesterday about financial investments. I definitely have some new ideas and things to check out now and that gives me a great deal of - I don't know - a sense of calm than before? That's the best I can describe.

As you might be able to tell, I'm trying to get my life back on track with my former organizational skills. Cutting coupons, and actually using them when I can. I'm cheap and will mostly buy generic products, but there are a few items that are not acceptable to be anything but my favorites, like Tide laundry detergent. The Evil Twin will only drink regular Cokes (not the store brand or diet or any other permutation of a soda. Coke, in the red can). So, I try to use the coupongs I find for name brand items I do buy and make the most of my money with other items.

I think I've been so busy and scattered the last few years, I've let a lot of my happy frugal ways slide. However, Sissy has her birthday coming up on Feb. 2nd and after that, I really plan to buckle down and get serious with my organizing.

After I stopped working outside the home when Buddy was born, I'm such a control freak, I had to channel my energies for control elsewhere and that's when I started with my "system". I had my days down to a science and I was happy.

We went through the process of selling a home and buying this one four years ago. A few months later, my dad passed away and I spent the next 14 months taking care of my mother. I also got pregnant during that 14 months and was a little more than halfway through a high risk pregnancy when she passed away. I spent the next two years taking care of a newborn, settling an estate, selling their house, dealing with all kinds of shit with that (another blog altogether) - basically just stressed out at every turn and feeling overwhelmed at just having to rise for another day.

Now that the holidays are over, the kids' birthdays are wrapping up for another year and I have some blank slate time in front of me, I just feel the need to get back to that routine. That safety net. The feeling that I do have control over some aspects of my life and I'm damn good at those things when I take the time to do my best.

Ever since we've moved into this house, I've never had the opportunity to just enjoy it. Last summer, we survived updates and remodeling and so this spring and summer, I plan on lots of outdoor time in the hammock and the kids' playing on the swings. Lots of hours at the pool we belong to and Sissy actually enjoying the kiddie pool this year!

Thanks for listening to a dottering nearly middle aged fool vent her spleen (or liver or something bigger).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I've Got Questions

And I hope you have answers. I try to be fiscally responsible and I actually accomplish this in the short run with our bills, etc. But, I don't really understand the ins and outs of investing and such. I like to have my money available to me if needed, but it's sitting in a 4% money market account, which is not the best I can do, I think. However, I've done research and research and more research and seeing as how I'm too cheap to actually contact a financial advisor for information, I'm hoping to learn more right here.

Also, what is all this talk of recession and housing. If we have a fixed rate mortgage (which is a very low rate, to boot), then should we be worried about losing our home? Or is the panic just over the folks who have ridiculous ARM loans or interest only loans?

I'm just not sure I follow all of this madness. I've read about investment and 401Ks and all that jazz. My dad had set Buddy up with a prepaid college plan (529) as an infant and we pay $75 a month on that until he is college aged and can use it. I haven't done anything for Sissy yet and she's almost 2. The company (Hartford) no longer offers the WV prepaid plans like the one Buddy has, so I was hesitant to put money into a different plan for her.

Growing up, I was taught that three subjects were off-limits in company. Those three were politics, religion and finances and I try to stick to that even to this day. And, I'll even add one more: abortion. No matter how politely you come into the subject, someone is going to get their feelings hurt.

Anyway, without being super specific, would anyone care to answer these burning questions or even tell me what has worked for you in the past (again, no specifics - if you went with Charles Schwabe and like them, that's all I need to know. I don't need to know you rolled $30K to them for investments - that's none of my business).

That reminds me... I need to get my TurboTax software for this year. I've used them the last three or four years and LOVE it. It beats the days when the Evil Twin did a lot of freelance work on top of his regular job and I had to file a Schedule C and calculate all that crap myself. :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Cooties

Sheesh, I'm telling ya - I have had several bouts of "little" illnesses this winter and I'm not really sure what's going on.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a low grade fever. Other than my throat, I felt normal.

I decided to take some "non drowsy" DayQuil, which promptly made me so sleepy, I could just barely keep my eyes open. I've been kinda droopy all day.

As silly as it sounds, I'm looking forward to watching American Idol and that new game show that comes on after it. It looks even dumber than AI, but I'll check out the premiere just to see how it works. I'm not really a game show person, but I do like to check out the first episode or two - that way I'm not completely in the dark if others are talking about it.

Listen, whoever is sending along germs to my site, please - keep them to yourself, kay? I'd really appreciate it, because moms don't get "sick days". Hell,moms don't even get a vacation when the family goes on vacation. Hope you all have a great evening!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Beware the Fog

I'm going to tell you a true story that happened to a family member of mine a few months ago. Could be a sibling, cousin, in-law or out-law, but let's just stick with I am related to this person. And just for the sake of clarity, we'll call him or her "Exhibit A".

Exhibit A works in an industry that requires long and odd hours. Many times, it is very late at night or into the early morning hours when Exhibit A leaves work to drive home.

On this particular night, it was very foggy and visibility was poor. Exhibit A has to travel through some windy and hilly terrain to reach home. At one point, Exhibit A saw a truck in the left hand lane and it was not moving. Exhibit A figured that the truck was trying to pull a u-turn in the middle of the interstate, so Exhibit A pulled into the right lane to avoid hitting the truck.

A little ways past the truck, Exhibit A hit something in the road and pulled over to check it out. There was a lady in a minivan behind Exhibit A who also hit what they assumed to be a deer. She had said she saw Exhibit A's car hit something but was too close to swerve or change lanes, so then she in turn hit "the deer".

When the lady and Exhibit A looked closer, it was a body. A presumably dead body of a flannel wearing dude. In the middle of the Interstate.

When the police arrived at the scene, they had to get a hoist to pull Exhibit A's front end of the car up and survey the damage. The police picked stray bits of flannel shirt and other oookies from the undercarriage. The police suggested that Exhibit A and the other driver take their vehicles to an all night car wash and take care of business at hand.

Apparently, the body was a passenger in the truck. The driver had walked to get help after the truck had rolled several times and ejected the passenger who became road putty. Sad times.

Shortly thereafter, Exhibit A traded the vehicle and bought something new. Beware of low lying bodies on foggy mountain roads.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Waiting for Excitement?

Aside from Buddy's birthday and the activities therein, it's been a pretty dull weekend. I got a call this evening from a good friend and she lamented that she was also bored out of her skull. I asked her if she'd like to go to Kroger. Well, you would think I'd just asked her if she wanted a million dollars.

Pretty sad when you get a thrill from a trip to the grocery store. But, my friend and I are middle aged moms and well, that sort of thing offers the same thrill as, say, a keg party when you're in college. We discussed lunch meats and mascara. It was all very exciting.

I woke up this morning slightly before 6 am, without the benefit of an alarm. I just "woke up" which was good because I had to get dinner in the crock pot. I threw that together and got back in bed until Sissy woke up around 8 am.

Crockpot Chicken Tortillas
4 (or how many ever) boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1 jar/can of picante or salsa (whatever heat you like)
1 pkg of dry taco seasoning

Put chicken in crock pot. Add taco seasoning to salsa and pour over chicken. Set to high and cook for 8 hours. Shred and use in tortillas, enchiladas, etc. It's good with tomato, lettuce, frijoles, sour cream, cheese, black beans, black olives, etc. Dress to fit your tastes. Yummy.

The worst thing about this recipe was having to smell it cooking all day and wanting to dive headlong into the crock pot to eat it all.

This was a hit with my whole family - including Sissy who is notoriously picky with food. The best part is that there is enough left over for lunches the next couple of days! Mmmmmmmm.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Number 10, for Buddy

Tomorrow, my first baby - my 2lb, 5oz. 3 months early preemie - will be 10 years old. Hard to believe. We had no clue if he'd even survive those first few days. Not only did he survive, but he did very well. And, after 2 and half years of early intervention and therapies, he's grown to be a very typical child.

His eye were damaged - it's called Retinopathy of Prematurity - where the blood vessels grow all haywire and needed laser surgery to prevent blindness. He has worn glasses since he was 18 months old, but hey, it could have been MUCH worse. He is smart, funny and since he does look like his mommy, a very handsome young man as well (Tee hee).

He had his very best friend spend the night last night. We started off by having dinner at Shoney's, then came home for presents and cake. After that, we watched "The Simpson's Movie" - which was a BIG deal. See, we don't allow him to watch the TV show, but he really wanted to see the movie. His best friend did too. We discussed it with his parents (a couple I would describe as some of our closest friends) and they were okay with it, too. There were only a few moments that I wished hadn't been included, but I'm not going to post spoilers, so see it for yourself!

The boys stayed up ALL night. When Sissy woke up this morning, they came to the dining room for breakfast and went back to Buddy's room to play more games (I woke up at some odd point in the early AM and they were playing chess). After I had a shower, I noticed that it was really quiet in Buddy's room, so I peeked in and they were both in bed, fast asleep. LOL. (around noon!). They slept 'til 3:30 - I had to get them up and while groggy, they managed to stay up.

Believe it or not, this is the first year - a decade - that I have not had maddening anxiety as his birthday approached. It's a hard thing to get over - seeing your baby in an isolette with IVs sticking out of his head, belly button and feet, tubes down his nose and a respirator breathing for him. Wondering if he'd suffer long term mental or physical problems.

I keep this poem on hand and read it every so often.

Jefferey's Poem
By Garrison Keillor

When I first saw you, kid, you were tiny and thin,
And slimy and red and your head was mushed in,
I says to your mother, "He looks kind of sloppy,
And two pounds four ounces ain't big for a crappie."

But something about you, the look in your eyes,
Said you fully intended to grow to full size,
They slapped your backside and you let out a cry,
And I said, "We will keep him, at least we shall try."

Some babies are born in nine months, by the clock,
Some babies are born, and they sit up and talk,
Some babies are born, and no doctor is there.
Some babies are born, on a wing and a prayer.

Poor little fetus, as big as your hand,
Poor little fish thrown up on dry land,
Who came in April, though he had till July,
Too small to live and too precious to die.

They shipped you downstairs to the big Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit's computerized cradle
And attached you to wires and stuck you with tubes
Monitored closely by digital cubes.

And thanks to the latest neonatal therapeusis
And regular basting with greases from gooses
And hot chicken soup intravenously fed
You did not fade away, you grew up instead.

We'll always remember those months that you spent
With tubes in your head in the oxygen tent
And the mask on your face with the wires attached,
Sweet little boy who was only half-hatched.

I'm sure you'll grow up to mature and extend,
To six feet six inches and become a tight end,
But I'll always remember each doctor and nurse in
The NICU who helped make you a person,
The kid who crash landed, who was carried away,
Who survived it, this bundle we bring home today.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Imagine my surprise and overall feeling of honor when I discovered that I'd been given an award from Kate at One More Thing. I'm not sure if that link is going to work or not. I still haven't gotten the hang of that linky stuff yet. If it doesn't work, she's over there on the right, in alphabetical order. She's a super interesting and intelligent blogger, not to mention talented beyond words when it comes to knitting. Her yarn work is breathtaking.

Without further ado:

Very nice. I don't think I deserve it as I just come here to unload on my boring day and blather about my stay at home mom life. From time to time, I'll think of something amusing to ponder. However, I DO really appreciate my readers and commenters. I get so much great feedback and advice (see "Struggling" below).

In order to pass on the award, I'm called upon to offer three pointers on blog writing.
1. Be yourself. I feel the more genuine the writing, the more genuine the person behind the words and therefore, easy to love and want to come back for more.

2. Proofread. I self-edit and proof as I go, so if there are any misspellings or grammatical "oopsies", it's a typo.

3. Keep exploring others' blog rolls. You never know who you'll find out there and have another friend! Don't be shy - just comment away!

Part Two is that I'm supposed to link to 5 other bloggers who deserve this award, IMO. I love my blog roll and I visit every one of them (and I have others on my favorites list I haven't had time to add), and many of my top friends have already been named, so I'll have to go with: (and I don't think my links are working):

1. Buzzardbilly - funnier than a one legged man at a butt kickin' contest. She is smart (like the smart person's smarter person).

2. Wyld - He's in Iraq (I mistakenly said Afghanistan before) and has written some powerful pieces about his time in the desert. No matter where you stand on the war, he never lets on his personal preferences, just tells it like it is.

3. DonutBuzz - I'm so glad I found him this year. He has a very thoughtful manner and writes from the heart.

4. Carpe You Some Diem - She's amazing. Not only can she write, she often includes pics of her various art works and photography. Talented all around.

5. The Film Geek - He may have been tagged already, but if not, I couldn't leave him off my list. It's not all films with him, but it's all good.

Okay, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I've got more to say - different subject matter, though and if I'm feeling up to it, or perhaps, have had too many glasses of wine, I'll be back later. If not, you'll get the hangover version tomorrow.

Love ya!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


And I feel bad for complaining - that's not normal for me, really. I've really had it with Buddy right now. He complains from morning to night about *something*. He doesn't want to go to school, he doesn't want to do his homework, he doesn't want to clean his room, and it goes on and on.

In addition to the complaints are the blatant disregard for obeying me. When we get home from school, he always wants a snack. I say fine, "But then change your clothes." I don't like him to play in his uniform clothes because those have to hold up until he outgrows them.

Many times, I'll go back to check on him and he's still in his uniform - long after the snack is finished.

Tonight, he had a nose bleed, which is not unusual. The Evil Twin and I both suffered from nose bleeds as children and it's just one of those things. But, it started right before dinner and the whole time (in between general whines) he kept saying he was hungry. Well, bud, I'm sorry, but you will have to wait it out on the nose bleed.

When it was finished and he'd eaten, I asked him to please get started on his homework (he should have started much earlier, but the nose situation put us behind). Soooo, I go back to get Sissy's stuff ready for her bath and I have some things to put in Buddy's chest of drawers. I go in and he's eating a popsicle! I asked, "Are you doing your homework?" (he never does his homework in his room) and he says, "No, I'm having a snack." RIGHT AFTER DINNER!

I'm not exaggerating when I say I went off. All I ask is that he follow directions. I don't think that's so tough. And, I think he should probably eat more at dinner if he still feels a need to snack within a half hour of the meal.

He's a smart kid, he just doesn't listen. I'm sure I'm not the only mom who has to deal with this... It's silly, really, for me to gripe about it, but I wanted to get it off my chest. Phew. Thanks for listening to me whine. I promise it won't happen often.

Stolen from Tiff

I saw this on Tiff's blog NoAccentYet this morning and thought it would definitely be interesting to see what it had to say about me.

You're Not Exactly a Hippie...
While you're not a hippie, you've got the spirit of one.
Like most hippies, you have deep beliefs and unusual interests.

You may not buy into hippie fashions, music, or heavy drug use.
But at heart, you are a free spirit and suspicious of the status quo.
Are You a Hippie?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

3rd Anniversary

It's been three years since the Evil Twin stopped smoking! He quit - cold turkey on this day three years ago and has been cig free ever since! Although he did want me to mention that he wants a cig as bad today as he wanted one three years ago today. LOL. I know it's a tough addiction to break free.

As usual, I'm extremely proud of him and love him more every day (even if some days seem tougher than others with me).

We had a two hour delay on school this morning, which completely puts my routine into a tailspin. I feel "behind" all day. I don't even think I had a chance to check my regular blog lists much. So, I will try to catch up tomorrow. Or Thursday, depending on my mood - I seriously need to get out and get shopping for Buddy's birthday, but I'm kinda hoping the weather perks up just a little before I venture out for a shopping trip.

Also, for those not initiated into my world of weird addictions - American Idol season 7 started tonight and the Evil Twin and I were glued to that. What fun to watch all the "I can totally sing" people who are terribly off key and couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. It's not as if we're laughing at them.... well, okay, we are laughing at them and also wondering WHO told them they could sing or WHY they feel they can sing.... I don't even sing at church - I'm fairly sure no one else wants to hear me either. I just sing along in my head. It's much better that way.

Evil Twin, baby, I love you so much and think you are the finest thing that ever happened to me. I'm so proud of your accomplishment with not smoking - I knew you could do it. You have that kind of willpower. Amazing.

Monday, January 14, 2008


More winter, more snow today. I really need to get out and buy Buddy a few birthday presents - seeing as how we're 6 days from the big event. I might as well pick up stuff for Sissy too, since hers is right around the corner. That'll save me time and gas money.

I had cut a recipe for a crockpot Beef BBQ out months ago and finally rounded up the ingredients to make it. It was really easy and quite yummy. It makes a whole mess of BBQ, so it's a good thing I was starved half to pieces before dinner and the Evil Twin absolutely inhaled as much as he could in one sitting. Even Buddy liked his sandwich. We gave Sissy a little pile on a plate and she took one look at it and started crying. ::Sigh::

I know what I'll be having for lunch and dinner tomorrow.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Beef Sandwiches
1 3.5 lb oven roast (I used an eye of round)
2 tsp salt, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 10 oz. can of beef broth
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp steak sauce
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
12 big bakery buns or Kaiser rolls

1. Sprinkle beef with teaspoon salt and sear on grill, set aside (I did mine in a griddle on the stove).
2. Combine the remaining salt and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Pour half mixture in a 5.5 quart slow cooker. Place roast in mixture and pour remaining mix over the roast. Slow cooker setting should be on high.
3. Cook for 6 to 8 hours or until falling apart. Take fork and knife and pull beef apart. Let soak in the mix for 10 to 15 minutes for flavor.

I don't care for pork, so this seemed like a reasonable substitution for me. I ate almost two sandwiches (couldn't get those last few bites down), so I'd say I enjoyed it. I served it with chips. The recipe says it's also good with cole slaw (that's a WV thang) and potato salad.

It was a good day for a hot, filling dinner like this and yet, casual and fun too. Super easy!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I loved Mr. Rogers so much as a child. But, this is actually about being my neighbor. There is a house diagonally across the street from us that is on the market. It has been for about 6 months or so.

It was foreclosed on and the guy who lived there apparently didn't keep it up, maintenance-wise for a long period of time. The house is not trashed inside, but it does need work. It was set to be auctioned off, but the bank ended up buying it back - I guess in hopes of seeing some return of their money.

It's making me a little nervous because it is priced low and I'm afraid we'll get neighbors who are less than attentive about keeping their home and lawn up.

My best hope is that someone buys it and fixes it up. I think someone could put in a low offer, buy it, fix it up and have a really nice piece of property - worth much more than their mortgage would let on. The Evil Twin and I talked about buying it and having it fixed, then selling it, but I'm not feeling that in this market.

They had an open house on it today and there was a small trickle of lookers. We've tried to sell it to everyone we know looking for a house. So far, no luck. We've been blessed to have moved into this area - and we live on a small dead end road - and all the neighbors we have are really nice. They're not the "get in your business" type or "want to be your drinking buddy" types, but they are the types to lend a hand if you needed it.

Think about it, readers. Anyone need a lovely, affordable summer home? LOL. Maybe a nice place to send the kids' when they're on your nerves? It's that affordable! Perhaps you'd just like the honor of being neighbors of the Evil Twins?

Ah, crappity. At least keep us in your good thoughts that whoever does buy it are responsible and nice homeowners. We're kinda nut magnets, though, so I'm not expecting much.

Gotta run - there's a Britney Spears update coming up on Fox.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sometimes It's Hard to be a Woman

I feel like I work 24/7. I'm always doing something that segues into something else and then another disaster beckons.

Sissy only took one nap today and was unbearable by bathtime this evening. Buddy had a nosebleed in the middle of the night last night on his "favorite sheets and pillow case", so guess who's spot cleaning blood and unmaking and remaking a bed?

I had to schedule bills to be paid today - I do most of my stuff online, so I can keep track of it easier (and save on stamps! Y'all know how cheap I am). 2 loads of laundry and a load of dishes later, scrubbing the grout on my bathroom floor and trying to find paperwork to close out an account..... These are a few of my favorite things. LOL.

You know it's bad when your lists start sprouting lists.

Well, I do plan on knocking work off early this evening (like right now), hitting the Chardonnay and trying to not think of the millions of things I could/should be doing. Tomorrow is another day, right?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Brain Damaged from Last Night

I was just too worn out to post last night after the PTO meeting. I swear, these people need to get a life. There aren't very many parents who actually show up, but it's always a circus.

It's interesting to see what the "hot button" topics will be. Last night, it was whether to do the Secret Pal project during Catholic Schools Week. Basically, each kid is assigned another kid to be a Secret Pal for the week. The kids are supposed to exchange small gifts ($1 to $2) each day Monday thru Thursday, then the Friday gift can be up to $5.

The problem with this is that some parents spend way more than the limit, other parents send nothing. So, you have one kid open a gift that's a CD and the kid next to them opens a banana (no shit, Buddy got a banana one year).

I understand that there are some families who earn less than others. I also understand that this whole thing makes some children very unhappy. There really is no way to "police" the gift exchange - furthermore, Catholic Schools Week should focus on the faith, not on gifts. So, we'll see how this pans out this year.

Buddy has been there since preschool and is now in 4th grade and it's been an issue every single year. I thought a few moms were going to have heart attacks over the matter, though.

Well, no matter, I will gleefully attend the next PTO meeting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Gazette Stole From Me

I swear, I think the WV Gazette stole my assessment of the weather for their paper today! Bastards! Honestly, I would have been reading the Daily Mail online, only they changed the font size of their obituaries and it's about a 3 point (itty bitty). Yes, I do read the obits every day, what of it?

Maybe it's just that the staff at the Gazette are boring, dottering old fools like myself and therefore, have nothing more interesting to report on than the weather? Could be.

Here: I was another unusually balmy day in WV. Let's see if they print that tomorrow and then I'll have 'em dead to rights. Hmmmph. (you all do know I'm kidding, right?).

Ah well. There's a PTO meeting at Buddy's school tomorrow evening, so I'm looking forward to that (no seriously, I am - those things are comedy gold!).

I got the school newsletter today and discovered that Buddy scored in third place on the Kanawha County Math Field Day test for his grade (within his own class, not the county, that competition is later). Yet, he says he hates math? He won't be going to the county competition unless the 1st place or 2nd place persons can't make it. Which is highly unlikely.

I really need to get motivated on my thank you notes for the kids' Christmas gifts. Then, I'll have to turn around and do it all over again for birthday gifts. I was raised to write Thank You's and I can't turn away from that. Up until Sissy was born, I made Buddy do his own, but since she can't write yet, and I'm sending cards to the same sets of people for both kids (i.e. Aunt & Uncles, etc.), I may as well just write one card, include both kids and let Buddy draw a picture or something on it. Saves a bit on stamps and my hand as well - I have terrible handwritting anyway. I'm waiting on the day when they make printers that will print your message directly on the card of your choice and all you have to do is sign and mail! Someone come up with that soon, okay? Thanx.

Well, I've got laundry brewing, dishes washing and a host of other late night activities beckoning me. Hasta la pasta, friends.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Beautiful Monday

Well, we had two days out of school last week for snow days, but today was a balmy 70+ degrees and a sunny sky. Such bliss! It's supposed to be fairly nice all week, but I know the cold will return before winter is officially over. Still, just this one day did an amazing job of lifting my spirits.

I got a day out on Saturday with a friend of mine - no kids! It was so wonderful, even though all we did was go to Target. I found some cool things and I picked up a copy of "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert that was recommended by our own Kenju over at Imagine What I'm Leaving Out.

I am only on page 107, but I am enjoying it immensely.

I've had a bevy of interesting things to read lately and that makes me happy. Even if it's just a magazine in the mail, I love stealing a bit of time to myself to take myself out of my head and get into someone else's.

Tomorrow and the next day, I have some time off to myself. I'll have Sissy here, but as of today, The Evil Twin is back at work (after 16 days off!) and it'll be Buddy's first full week of school after the holidays, snow days, etc. I have many little things I need to work on.

I love my family, but I am a loner and always have been. I enjoy my "me time". Having the baby around doesn't count because she's no bother really. Either she'll help me do my stuff or she'll find a show to watch or a toy to play with and stay out of things.

I love having little projects!

Friday, January 4, 2008

I Should Be Committed

It's like I mentally stopped growing somewhere around age 10, maybe 18 or so. I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that I'm a married mom of two and a two time homeowner. Well liked and respected by my church community and other adults I meet at my son's school. I bet they think I'm completely normal! Well, until they see my tattoos maybe....

Just the other night, we had spaghetti for dinner. The Evil Twin always helps me after dinner by cleaning off the dishes and loading the dishwasher while I put leftovers in containers and clean up the rest of the kitchen and the dining room table (not to mention cleaning off Sissy - who was SO covered in spaghetti, I just had to put her in the bath right after dinner!). So, we have this system going. I was at the stove wrapping the leftover bread in foil.

When finished, it resembled a large, silver penis. Not being able to resist, I wagged it about crotch level and said, "Hey, honey." The Evil Twin turned from the sink and laughed at my disgusting display. Then, he said, "You know you are too old to be acting like that." and I said, "Oh, right - this coming from the almost 50 year old man who holds up cucumbers or zucchini at the market and asks 'Does this remind you of anything?' " No room to talk, there, mister!

If someone farts, we all laugh, but usually the person who did it will try to blame it on the bird - or the baby. She's a gassy one (the baby).

While I'm at it, I'll reveal another shameful tale that I still laugh about, many years later. I think I've mentioned here (and everywhere) that I really will not use a public toilet for #2 unless it is a downright emergency - and luckily, that has not happened to be the case often. After Sissy was born, we were at Walmart and my stomach started really, really hurting. When a sweat broke out on my upper lip, I knew there was only one option for me and that was to utilize the public restroom.

It was a serious situation and I was just silently praying, hoping, that no one around me was getting woozy from the vapors or could hear the carrying-on that accompanied said vapors.

I sat there for a while to try to wait out the current occupants and then I would make my move to slink out among new patrons who would have no clue where the horrid act was committed and therefore, would not know it was me. After all, I planned on washing my hands, so I didn't want to rush out - in a walk/run of shame.

When I finally found the Evil Twin and the kids, he kindly asked me if I was alright and I said that I was now - "But there was a brown light special going on in the restroom." Thank goodness he finds me plenty amusing, which is one reason he keeps me around. I can't talk about the other reason, although if you're smart and you use your powers of reasonable deduction, you can probably guess it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Moving Into 2008

And moving slowly, at that. I've noticed other blogger friends taking a day or two off to gather their wits again.

Today would have been Buddy's first day back to school (and was I soooo ready for it), but alas, it was a snow day. It's still looking kinda slick out on the roads, so I would not be surprised if we have a 2 hour delay tomorrow morning. If it snows more overnight, I'd bet on another snow day. Lord, help me.

I really need to get to the grocery store too. I was waiting until after the holiday hub bub and hijinx died down a bit to get back into mingling with my adoring public.

With any luck, it'll warm up enough to melt the snow/ice on the roads by mid-morning and the Evil Twin can take me to the store. He took a total of 16 days off work and has only 5 left, but it's been nice to have him home. We took the tree down today and it really didn't take all that long. Quite a feat, considering most of the tree is decorated in Hallmark ornaments which have to be lovingly placed back in their boxes with the original wrapping or packaging redone, then put into one of two ginormous Rubbermaid type totes.

Nothing is too good for my babies. They even get preferred storage - cause we wouldn't want them to get wet or anything if a pipe burst. Or get too hot or too cold.

Well, I'm off to get caught up on blogs. I've fallen behind the last couple of days because I actually -- don't be shocked here -- read a book! I feel like I never have time to read anymore, so I took the last two days to enjoy a book that's been waiting for my attention for a couple of months now. Oh, it was "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain. A friend gave it to me and I had been interested in it anyway. so that worked out well. It was a really interesting read, too. That man will eat anything! Blech. LOL.