This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Two adults discuss...achieving their Fitbit goals.

Many of you know that I've been getting up before work and taking a walk for my health and weight loss goals.  (Don't get excited...I find that I'm also eating more to counter balance all the good I'm doing myself with these walks.)  Last week Hubby started joining me on my morning jaunts and, as has been our custom, we also walk down to the local Starbucks for a beverage at the end of the work day. Not every day, I mean, we have to leave coffee available for the rest of the world.

Friends, I'm not going to lie. This one's a little bit of a thinker.  Some of you are going to get it right away.  Some, not so much. To those of you who get it, congrats and LOL. To those of you who don't...well, this is just going to be a little boring.

BUT, you've been warned.

Oh, and yes, while it's not a word for word recounting, this is an ACTUAL conversation Hubby and I had on our walk home from Starbucks. 

So we were walking back from Starbucks (ours is 1.2 miles from our house, so it's a legit walk) and hubby says, "I just buzzed.  I reached my Fitbit goal."

"I haven't buzzed yet," says I.

"Well I guess we have to keep walking until you do buzz then," says he.

I looked at how many steps I needed and I realized that just walking home from Starbucks was not going to get the job done.  "You're not going to want to walk as long as it's going to take to get me to buzz."

"Oh, no, really, we can keep walking until you buzz, I'm find with it."

We took a few more steps and I felt guilty.  "No, it's fine.  Maybe I just won't buzz today.  I don't want to force you to keep going until I buzz if you're already buzzed."

" know, you could always finish up yourself, Maybe you can buzz on your own at use the mini trampoline to get you there.  You like the mini trampoline."

"But it's just not as much fun trying to buzz by myself.  It's always more satisfying if we can buzz together."

"Well of course it is," says he.  "But that doesn't always happen."

"Tell me about it!"  I respond.  "It seems like you generally buzz way more quickly than I do and then I have to figure out a way to buzz on my own."

"That's just how it is, sometimes," says Hubby with a grin on his face.

"Sometimes I wish I was a guy.  It always takes women more work to achieve the buzz.  So unfair." I grumble.

Like I said, my friends...if you get it, you're laughing out loud. If not...well...have someone explain it to you. 

Meanwhile, have a great weekend!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sarah loses the war in a Panera bathroom.

Okay.  I'll admit it. I'm done.  The war is over and I've lost.  I'm done like the day I delivered my oldest and I informed the doctors and nurses (and pretty much everyone else within hearing) that after 12 hours of labor I was done and they were the medical professionals, they were going to have to get the baby out because I WAS DONE.

And such was the same feeling, albeit I was wearing far more clothing and wasn't lying on my side screaming in anguish, last night as I realized that I'd officially lost the war on public bathrooms.

Congrats, Panera bread, you've taken my life long quest to defeat horrible public restrooms and you've beaten me at my own game.  I hope you add my defeat last night to your training videos.

Oh, what, you think big corporations aren't filming us in public restrooms.  Please.

Anyway, this is how it happened.  Readers of my blog know I keep things as honest as possible and I don't shy away from showing myself is a less than flattering light.  It's what keeps you sadistic readers coming back time after time. (Yeah, I know, you all love to watch me crumble.  And I'm really, really okay with that.)

So, without further's what happened:

I have felt pretty lousy the last several days. Stomach issues continue, this time around it's again nausea and a general sense of "blech."  Good for the diet, not so good for living life. 

Hubby came home from visiting family and was hungry. I was not. I was on the verge of heaving.  (Peaches actually asked me on Saturday if I was pregnant.  I know, that would be entertaining...but no, that's not what's happening here.  I just think I have the flu and it's lasted roughly 19 months.)

But I digress.

So last night we went to Panera Bread. They have clean food, and their soups are very comforting. Just what I thought I might need on a sort of rainy, gross night (not to mention the day my beloved Green Bay Packers lost their wonderful QB, Aaron Rodgers to an  injury...and at the hands of the horrible hated Minnesota Vikings.)

There I go, digressing again.

I ordered the chicken noodle soup, literally the gentlest food a person can order anywhere.  We had a very nice, quiet meal, but at the end I felt the need for the restroom.

Now, I've been to this Panera before, but I swear to you on my honor as an author and blogger, (Yeah, there's some kind of oath we take...or wait, was that just me) that the last time I used this restroom, this was not a problem. They've clearly updated the fixtures in the last four months.

The stall experience was not the issue.  Yes, the stall was a tiny bit too small, but it's not winter yet, so I didn't feel like a sardine wrapped in a giant blanket and squeezed into a tube, as I generally do in non-handicapped stalls.  (I don't use the handicapped stalls.  I just don't.)

No, the problem was the washing hands portion of the bathroom experience.  And here's how it went.

The faucet was automatic, as was the soap dispenser. GREAT! 


They were quite close together. And when I waved my hand under the soap, after first I got no soap, a second pass turned on the water and the soap at the same time, thereby rinsing the soap off my hands before I had a chance TO WASH.

I attempted the soap again, this time getting nothing on my hands, but some got on the dispenser itself.  So I tried to rinse that off with the water, but managed to turn on the soap and the water together...again...and got MORE soap on both faucets, but now at least some was on my hands.

I went through the motion of washing, careful to avoid the faucet so as not to rinse off the soap before I was ready. However, while rinsing I also got too close to the soap faucet and again wound up with soap on my hands...and on both faucets.

This little dance went on for a couple minutes until I figured out a way (I thought) would outsmart the automatic faucets. I would not try washing the soap off with water.  No, I would bypass the sink completely and get paper towel to wipe up any erstwhile soap and water.

Humans are smarter than machines!

Yeah, that sense of euphoria didn't last long.

I waved my hand under the paper towel dispenser (On my right, mounted on the wall, a foot away from the water and soap.) and actually got paper towel.  SUCCESS!

Then I tried wiping down the two dispensers.

Every time I touched one or other other with the towel, they would BOTH TURN ON.  And, and I have no idea why this happened, though I was holding the paper towel ABOVE both dispensers, the towel got went and managed to transfer foamy soap all over both chrome faucets.
Now at this point the sink area is covered in soap and water and paper towel and I'm not one bit closer to tidying up after myself than I was minutes earlier.  Oh, and my arms are wet.  Good thing I was wearing short sleeves.

I take a deep breath and get as much paper towel as the dispense will allow. Armed with several sheets, I decide to take a "Top and bottom" approach, you know, occupying the dispensers from below while wiping them off from above.

Do I really need to tell you how this played out?

I had to admit defeat.  I deposited the wet, foamy, towels into the garbage and walked away from the still foam covered faucets. There was just no wiping them down.

All I said to Hubby when I returned to the table was this:  "Now I have a blog post."

That's it. I admit defeat. The machines have taken over and I can't beat them.  All I can do now is give up and stop using public restrooms forever (Which means I won't be going places much anymore).  The alternative, to leave a restroom in worse shape than I found it, is horrifying to me.

Yes, yes. Big Automatic Faucet has me right where it wants me now.

Friday, September 15, 2017

5 for Friday: Time Warner Tries to Ruin my life...and other bits of nonsense.

Hello everyone!

Once again, Hubby made his trek to the Rocky Mountain State where he spent two weeks with his sister and her husband and their many dogs.  Some people might wonder at why I don't join him. What kind of marriage is this? He vacations for two solid weeks without me?

Yeah, well, there are a couple reasons I don't go along.

1)  He's got infinitely more vacation time than I do.
2) If I went with him, I wouldn't have super fun posts like this one about how much nonsense happens when he's away.

In the past it's been the children who have waited for this two week period to dump massive, life changing stuff on me while I'm alone and my back up is on a mountain.  Most recently, Peaches moved out of the house two years ago.  But I swear those two just wait until hubby is out of the house to ask things like, "Can I start taking birth control for fun?" (Six years ago...) "By the way did you know I skipped out of all my gym classes using those crappy crutches I got at a rummage sale?" (Five years ago.) "Oh yeah, has the school office called you yet?" (Both kids...numerous's the first week of school, seriously?)  I could go on, but the list is pretty long and shocking.

Anyway, this year, Hubby sat both children down (I mean they're 23 and a lot of the stuff that destroyed me in the past isn't even a thing to worry about now.) and he made them promise not to do or say anything that was going to send me into a tizzy.

Hubby should have put that command a little further out into the universe.  Things went...awry.

So here's the top five nonsensical things that happened probably BECAUSE hubby was gone.

5)  The Internet, and therefore the HULU went out.

Recently the family "cut the cable" and moved to Hulu Live for TV. We also got an antenna for local stations. (HD Antenna guaranteed to get signals up to 75 miles away.)  This system has been working GREAT for the past month. And by GREAT I mean I love Hulu live for what little live TV I actually watch.  The antenna, not so much. It works for about 20 minutes and then we lose signal.

So a week ago Tuesday Skippy complained that the Wifi was out.  The children are the basement dwellers and the wifi, especially for Skippy in his fortress of solitude, is not perfect.  I didn't put too much credence on it until I started getting messages on the TV that Hulu was not connecting.

Well, our Internet service is through my very favorite people in the world TIME WARNER CABLE NOW CALLED SPECTRUM.  ( can call it what you want, it's still crappy Time Warner service.)  And Time Warner had taken it upon themselves to shut down our Internet for our own protection.  

Gee...I didn't realize my Hulu needed a babysitter.

I tried something new. I tried the virtual assistant.  That was virtually a waste of time so then I did the live chat.  After 40 minutes it became abundantly clear that THAT was a waste of time. So I called a live human person.  (At this point it's 11 PM on a school night and I'm sweating the way a fluffy girl does when she's annoyed.)  This time I got a guy named Very Nice Jason who actually seemed to solve the problem.  He told me to run three separate scans on the computer once a week and that our service was restored. 

All was well in the kingdom!

4) What you're telling me would have more effect if you weren't so messy.

Saturday my mom and I did the Waukesha Farmers Market like we do most Saturdays.  On this fine morning a woman came up and I recognized her. She'd purchased a couple of my books.  Well, this time she stepped right around my table (A Farmer's Market faux pas) and she said, "I want to talk to you about your book."

Turns out, there were some editing flaws. 57, to be exact.  She'd put sticky notes in the book noting each one.  She told me she wanted her money back and, as a parting shot, she told me I had no business selling books ever.

That's pretty serious stuff and it hurt.  I mean, as a self published author, getting an editor you can trust to do a good job is not easy.  I've hired and fired a couple in the past, and apparently the one who did the three books in question really did a far worse job than I initially thought.  My mom, who is now my editor because 1) I trust her and 2) She has the patience and the eye for line editing, sat down and looked up each of the flaws.  We fixed them. We also fixed the flaws in the other books.

Here's the thing:  Given the high righteous indignation of the woman at the market, I would have thought she'd be one of those people who treated books like treasures.  You know, you never touch a book with dirty hands.  You never leave a book upside down and open to mark your page.  You never, EVER EVER eat or drink while reading?  Because when someone is griping out the cleanliness of the book print, and one wants a full refund, one should be mindful of what they're doing with the book, right?

Not in this lady's case. Nope.  The book had coffee stains on pages and worse yet, some of the pages stuck together with some sort of candy residue.  

BUT, as I said, this alerted me to an editing problem that was far worse than I suspected and therefore we've fixed it.  That lady thinks she destroyed me...but she actually helped me AND gave me something for the blog.

And all was well in the kingdom!

3) You can take my wifi, but you can't take my PACKER GAME!
Go ahead, try and hide your real name!

So on Sunday I was all ready to watch my BELOVED Green Bay Packers play the first game of the season.  AND I was excited to watch the game on HULU live.  

And then Skippy came upstairs and announced that he'd gotten the message from TIME WARNER NOW KNOWN AS SPECTRUM that they'd shut down our Internet AGAIN for our own protection.

Oh no you don't!

So I called again, only this time instead of getting very Nice Jason I got Not Very Nice Someone who, after about five minutes, told me he couldn't help me because I hadn't proven I was a named person on the account.

This is an issue I have with Time Warner.  I AM a named person on the account.  BUT, since Hubby's name is first, that's all they see and therefore I feel like it's 1955 and I have to wait until my husband gets home for anything to get done because they can't deal with women.

To add insult to injury, the guy hung up on me.

I called back. This time I got Even Less Nice Nikki.  Nikki refused to acknowledge that anything I'd been told to do on Tuesday by Nice Jason was something she could walk me through.  She did, so graciously, turn on my Internet again, but she told me I had to call back and talk to technical support.  I asked, "aren't YOU technical support?"

"No," says she, "I'm customer service."

Well you're doing a bang up job!

But the Internet was back and all was well with the kingdom!

2) And this might be why we don't have block parties.

My parents are in the process of getting my grandparents' house ready for sale. This has involved a ton of yard work (Hubby's been helping) and landscaping, which my aunt thinks is necessary, but whatever.  So on Sunday before the Packer Game they were headed over to move some lawn waste and whatnot.  They stopped by to pick up something, although I can't recall what at this point because they've stopped by to pick up a lot lately.

As they were getting into their car, having loaded whatever it was from my house into their vehicle, my mom told me, in very loud tones, that she was supporting her back with her maternity girdle. AND THEN she yanked up her shirt and showed me.

That thing is 50 years old.

We were laughing and I said that yes, I wore mine (They are super back support) until it fell apart.  And then Mom says, "Well mine did, too, but I sewed a new panel in the crotch and I'm good to go."

My father is a man who doesn't like ruckus or a show...and this was sort of both right there in front of my neighbor's houses.  

Mom got into the car, still laughing, and said, "There, put that in your blog!"

Dad said, "Who's going to read it?"

Only everyone...

And all was well with the kingdom.

1)  What is it, you say, you do here?

Once the Packer game was over, I decided to tackle this Internet thing head on.  I sat down and called the TIME WARNER NOW KNOWN AS SPECTRUM number AGAIN and asked for Technical Support.

There was a long pause on the other end.  "Who told you to ask for that?"

Because this is completely normal with this company.  "Nikki."

"Ok...." The guy did NOT sound like that was the right answer.  

A minute later I got a guy...and at this point I don't even care what his name was. He put me through the same Spanish Inquisition proving I am who I said I was.  (Are people really calling Time Warner and pretending to be someone else?  What kind of sick, twisted, masochist would do that?)

I spent thirty minutes on the phone with this guy, discussing routers and boosters and all of that.  And after 30 minutes the guy says this:

"I'm not an expert. You're going to have to call someone else."


You are the technical support of my internet provider. If you don't know what to do, who does?  What, exactly, is your job then?

"See, you don't have one of our routers."

No, we don't.  The last time I allowed Time Warner equipment into my house, we had to go to their store every 5 weeks to get a new one because it kept not working.

"So you have to call someone else."

Ten minutes later I was on the phone with a man from Linksys. This man is in India, and his name is Mani Maren. I'm giving him a shout out because once I started talking to him, no matter what happened (phone call was disconnected three times and he called back every time) he stuck with me until we got the service fixed and going again. It took more than an hour, but Mani stuck with me and in the end, I told him if he was ever in Wisconsin, he should look me up, I'd make him dinner.

Well, I mean, I should really have Hubby make him dinner.  You know, because we want to thank the guy, not make him eat my attempt at cooking.

And all is again well in the kingdom!

So, Hubby returns tomorrow afternoon. I'm fairly certain nothing else can happen, although the cars have all been behaving a little too well...and I do have another Farmer's Market tomorrow....

Monday, August 28, 2017

Everyone expects some kind of laundry disaster...but no one expected this!

Yes, I experimented with driers in college.
Who didn't?
Good evening!

Settle down everyone, I'm going to tell you a story about a laundry disaster that happened in my house.

Let me start by saying that long ago, at the start of our marriage, Hubby and I sort of divided house hold duties. We didn't really talk about it, it just sort of fell to Hubby to deal with chores and duties outside the house while I dealt with inside the house.  While there's a tiny bit of cross over  (I'll help shovel in big snow storms...he cooks on high holy holidays because our extended family thinks I'm a moron in the kitchen...and I don't often feel the need to correct them) but generally, for the past 27 years, this is how it's worked for us.

Also, for more than 30 years, I've thought Hubby was far smarter than I.  In fact, I'm pretty sure MOST people (and certainly most people in our extended families) have felt that way about the two of us. 

My point is that this might...MIGHT even the scales a tiny bit.

ANYWAY this past Saturday, while I was down at the Waukesha Farmers Market, which is where I am most Saturday mornings, Hubby decided to do something nice.  He stripped the bed and changed the sheets and then went to wash the old sheets.

I hate changing the sheets, so yes, I should be thankful I have such a thoughtful, wonderful husband.  And I am.

But we all know things in my world are not without some sort of comedy, and this instance of marital love and sacrifice was no different.

When I got home from the market, I noticed hubby's good deed and I thanked him for it.  Then he said this:

"Those sheets are going to smell extra good."

Weird thing to say, but okay. I'll bite.  "Why is that?  Did you double up with fabric softener and a drier sheet?"

"No," says he.  "I washed it first in fabric softener."

I'm sorry...what now?"

"Yeah," says he.  "I picked up the bottle of what I thought was laundry detergent and when I poured it out I thought, wow, that's really runny, but I went ahead and washed it anyway."

"So, what, you put the laundry detergent in the other little box and everything went backwards?"  (Our washing machine has two little drawers, one for softener, one for detergent.)

"No, I didn't."  He got a sheepish look on his face.  "I washed them in the fabric softener by mistake."

Now, had this been the end of things, I would not be writing. I mean, we've all made that mistake or a similar one, right?  I know countless times I've mixed up conditioner and shampoo.  (I have a friend, let's call her Raquel, who once crept into my dorm room early one more and borrowed what she thought was my shampoo. Instead it was my conditioner, a fact she did not realize until she walked around all day with really...well  BUT that is not where this story ends. Oh no.

See, the mistake Hubby made was that he then tried to pawn this off as my fault. Like something I did lead to him having to rewash the sheets.  (Honestly, had it been me, I would have said, "good enough" and put them in the drier.)  This is how the conversation then went.

"Yeah, I thought the detergent was really runny, but I thought, since it was Gain, I hadn't washed anything in Gain before. Thought it was just how Gain is."

"Gain is the fabric softener." Says I.

"Well I know that now.  Peaches pointed that out to me."

"Yeah, she picked it up the last time we were at Target.  It was a big bottle and it was on sale."

"Yes! Right!" Hubby cries, like some detective in one of those noir films they run late at night. "It was in a bigger bottle so I thought it was detergent!  AND...the detergent was on the shelf slightly behind the softener, like it was a new bottle or something."{

"Did you read the label?"  I ask, ever so innocently.

"NO...I picked up the big bottle."  He takes a breath, loading up a new argument.  "Since forever you've been using Downey in the blue bottle, and that bottle is always smaller than the bottle of laundry detergent."

He has a point.

We let it rest for awhile, and I let it muddle in my head about whether or not this was blog worthy.  

Don't ask me how this subject came back up later in the day, it just did and this time, Hubby made the fatal error of giving me exactly the information I needed to make this hilarious.

"Yeah, the bottle was bigger and the handle was turned so I didn't see the label."

Right. We got that.

"And I looked at it and it said 'Island breeze' and I thought, well, that will smell nice."


"Wait," says I.  "You read the label enough to know it was island breeze scented?"



For those of you who have been in a marriage for a long time, and especially if you're the spouse that never seems to win a discussion (no children, Mommy and Daddy never argue. We have discussions. And Daddy generally wins.) then you know, you KNOW the sort of silent moment of triumph I was feeling.

And if you haven't...let me tell's magical!

But the story does NOT end there oh no.  See, to make sure no one else made the same mistake he had (although Peaches and I are the two who generally do all the laundry...and we haven't had this problem, but I digress) Hubby put his "fix it" brain to use and actually wrote on the handles to denote which was laundry detergent and which was fabric softener. Except...well, here's a picture:

It's not "Laundry detergent" and "fabric softener." It's "Detergent" and "NOT DETERGENT."

Monday, August 21, 2017

5 for Friday (On Monday) Shocking Weekend Discoveries!

Good day all!

Sometimes the 5 for Friday takes a little bit because I'm in the middle of living my life and don't realize how absurd things are until I've lived everything in a certain time span. Besides...who can't use a little Friday on a Monday?

Anyway, this past weekend I make several shocking and funny discoveries and OF COURSE I'm going to share them with you!

5)  Bel-Air Cantena believes in education...even in the bathrooms.

Yesterday was Hubby's birthday (HE'S 50!) so I took him out for brunch at a place of his choosing.  He chose Belair Cantena, a sort of Cali-Mex place that's new to our town.  (And if you don't have one in your town...move.)  We've been to this place a handful of times and it's always been super crowded and quite noisy so when I have taken a chance and used the restroom, all I hear is crowd chatter.  Well, yesterday we were the first ones there for brunch, so there weren't that many people in the restaurant.  I used the ladies' room and what, to my surprise, do I hear than a Spanish lesson!  Yes, piped into the restrooms is a woman saying English phrases, (We had a meeting, nevertheless, he did not show up.") and then two forms of Spanish, the first spoken by a man, the second by a woman, follow.  Not that I learned anything, mostly because I don't believe I've every used the word "nevertheless," but I did try, which made my stay in the restroom far longer than normal (for me).  Hey, when was the last time I willingly spent quality time in a restroom?  (Well, except for Von Mauer, but that's another story.)

4) Who knew the key to my weight loss was racks of expensive clothing?

So my town got a Von Maur store recently and I've sort of mocked it for being a store that does not cater to to anyone but skinny rich women. And when people wrote posts on Face Book about how glorious the bathrooms were...well...I mocked them for that too.

Who knew this store would be the key to my new, and currently successful, exercise program?

For MONTHS I've been trying to get my body out of bed and go for a walk before work each morning.  Nothing has worked for me. I just hit snooze 11 times and then get up at the last possible moment to run from my bedroom to my office (in the bedroom next to mine) to start work.  BUT then I visited Von Maur and that all changed.

First of all, the bathrooms are not oversold. They are, quite possibly, the finest bathrooms public or private I've ever used.  They are bright, shiny, clean, there are shelves in each stall for purses and bags, and the stalls are ROOMY!  (They pipe the piano music from the store into the bathrooms.) I made a point of using one yesterday and I met a woman walking in as I was walking out. She looked at me, looked around at the marble appointments and the clean floors, and said, "I may not want to leave."

Oh yes, I get it.

But that's not what's getting me up in the morning. Nope, it's the promise of buying clothing there!  Yes, the prices are ridiculously high.  I mean, a blouse for $148 is WAY over my budget.  BUT the clearance racks are huge and generous and great for the penny pinching shopper.  AND...wait for it...the plus sized department is, relatively speaking, MASSIVE.  Sure, it's not as big as regular ladies' departments, but it's far larger than any other store I've been in and the clothes are PRETTY! They aren't tents, they aren't ridiculous, they are clothes made for actual people who would actually wear them!

So, faced with the NEED to shop there, I made a deal with Hubby. If I get up every weekday morning for two weeks and go for a 20 minute or more walk, I get to buy something from the clearance rack.

I am six days in...four more to go.  I CAN'T WAIT!

3) Is this a Farmer's Market or the Love Boat?

My mother has a boyfriend.  No, my father didn't suddenly pass away, but I realized this past weekend that my mother, whether she believes it or not, has an admirer.

See, my mom makes a point of talking to every veteran she sees at the Farmer's Market. That's admirable and I love hearing their stories.  But there's this one gentleman we see every weekend. He now stops by our booth every Saturday to chit chat. At first I thought it was cute.  Now,I realize he's not there to talk to US, he's there to flirt with my mom! He stopped by last weekend and Mom was on a food run (because everything at the Waukesha Farmer's Market is so yummy) and I told him she'd be back in a couple minutes, that we could chit chat. Nope. He was not interested, in fact, he was downright disappointed. And he walked away.

This weekend he stopped and she was there and OH, MY the smiles and blushes and happy little patter that they exchanged.  (Is this what it's like, for my kids to see Hubby and me talk romantically to each other?)  when he FINALLY left I teased her about it.  I mean, my parents have been married for 51 years and now she's flirting with this GUY?  Of course MOM denies anything, says that at her age she doesn't have the energy to do anything about anything.  (And of course, you know, she's MARRIED) All I'm saying is that I think the lovely older gent thinks he's making a love connection.

2) Apparently, Hubby thinks Scooters Detract from one's Sexiness

The age old question for adults is, "What do we talk about if we don't talk about our children?"  Well, I can sort of answer that...because apparently Hubby and I are now at an age where we can turn anything into a debate.

Case in point:  We were at a stop light near our house Friday evening.  There was a man riding one of those rally scooters, you know, the ones kids ride pell-mell through Walmart when no one's watching them...or the scooters.  Anyway, there was something about this scooter, it was red, and shiny, and new, and the sunlight hit it in such a way that it caught my eye.  (The man on the scooter WAS NOT SEXY. Let's just get that out of the way.)

I made comment that it was a nice looking scooter.  Hubby agreed. I made a few more comments, I have no idea what about, and then I said, "Yep, that is a sexy scooter."

"No such thing." says hubby.

I dug my heels in, because...I have no idea why. "No, I think it's sexy."

"Scooters are not sexy, ever."

And this is when the conversations whirls into outer limits.

"So you're telling me, if Heidi Klum or Tyra Banks IN THEIR PRIME sat on that thing, it wouldn't be sexy?"

Hubby says, "Not only wouldn't it be sexy, it would make whoever is sitting on it less sexy."

"So wait, Tyra Banks, in her prime...with the Victoria's Secret Wings, sitting on that thing, not sexy?"

"Nope," says Hubby.  "Not Heidi, not Tyra, Not Gisele."

I'd forgotten about Gisele.  "So not even Gisele, all glammed out, on that scooter...still not sexy?"

Hubby says, "Nope."

At that point we pulled into the driveway and I realized we'd been discussing this for several minutes.  I was relieved. At least I know now that we can truly talk about anything, no matter how stupid, and fill the time between now and when we both go to our great reward.

So I've got that going for me.

1)  Hubby has an epiphany in the bathroom.

How long have I been ranting about public bathrooms and how I think they need to be standardized?  Only forever.  Well, this past week, Hubby FINALLY understands what I'm talking about!

He was at Kwik Trip to get coffee and use the facilities.  (He's on the road a lot, so he has to make us of public facilities.)  While in there he noticed signs that the faucets were now touch faucets. You touch them, the water turns on.  Everything else, he said, had to be operated manually.  And then he said the words I've longed to hear for so long:

I finally get it.

WA HOO!  I've been griping about bathrooms for so long, and FINALLY my husband, my life partner, the guy I talk to more than anyone else (and he says he loves talking to me, but I'm fairly certain I wear him out some days) FINALLY gets what I've been talking about.

Such a giant weight is off my shoulders. Someone finally understands!

Can you see me doing a happy dance?

And then there's this honorable mention, because I'm sassy like that.

The Swingers all think Sue's balls are delicious.

As many of you know, there are two choirs in my church:  the pie eating choir and the wine drinking choir. Saturday there was a picnic for the wine drinking choir. We were all to bring a dish to pass, beverages and meat would be there.  It was a lovely time!  Really lovely and thank you to Mark and Rhonda who threw the bash. (And I'm so glad they only live a couple doors down from us!  We didn't have to fight for parking!)

Anyway, the hosts have a back yard swing that seats two or three so I sat there with another lady and after sitting there a bit, she announced that she and I were swingers. This little bit of naughtiness was met with a round of laughter (because clever wordplay is applauded in this group, especially if it's a little naughty) so we kept that joke going.

Then another lady brought her dish to pass:  yummy little nuggets of peanut butter, honey, coconut, chocolate and quinoa.  SO GOOD! WELL DONE SUE!

However...Sue formed these nuggets into balls.

And thus this comment was thrown around:  "Have you tasted Sue's balls?  They are DELICIOUS!"

So yes, a little naughty word play is allowed in the wine drinking choir...and yes...the swingers all through Sue's balls were delicious.

And I want the recipe!

Monday, August 7, 2017

L. L. Bean Disappoints: Random Woman in Line Does Not.

Good morning everyone!

It's an old rant, but there's a new verse:  Once again I was fat shamed at a national store, but this time with a twist.

Hubby LOVES outdoor stores:  REI, Gander Mountain, Columbia, Dunham's Sporting Goods, Duluth Trading Company, you name it, he loves them.  And I love Hubby, so when he wants to check out stores like that I go with him, knowing full darn well that there is NOTHING, NOTHING in those stores' clothing departments that's going to fit someone like me.  (Because apparently only women size 12 and under want to go camping and be outside. And while that's a very fair point in my case, I'm sure there are fluffy girls who would like to be outdoorsy and still look like, you know, girls.  And who knows?  Maybe I would like to be an outdoorsy hiking type person if I could find fun clothes that fit me.)

So yesterday, after a somewhat frustrating and disappointing brunch at Cafe Hollander, (That's another story for another rant), Hubby wanted to stop in the NEW L.L. Bean store.  I knew this would be would like all the others, oh sure, they have an XL or an XXL for women, but it's never, ever going to fit.  But I love Hubby, so in I went.  And he loves and wants me to be happy, so he pointed me to the oh-so-stinkin'-cute womens' side of the store and suggested I find something fun.

I knew I wouldn't.  But I went because I wanted to make him happy.

And look there, joy oh joy...a pair of size 18 jeans!  AND THEY WERE ON SALE!

Now, sure they weren't size 18W, but I'm sort of between sizes right now as I'm still working on losing weight (I've stalled a but, but still hanging in there keeping 14 of the 20 pounds I lost last spring off.) so an 18 was going to be great!  Hubby walks over and said, "Oh those look really comfy!"

I agreed, but a tiny voice in my brain suggested I try them on. Just to be safe. This isn't Kohls. I'm not going to be here four more times this week.  So I went in and tried the size 18 jeans on.

Could. Not. Get. Them. Past. My. Knees.

Now friends, at my heaviest, which I am not at right now, I was a size 18W.   All of my size 18W pants are loose on me. Very loose. MUST wear a belt loose.  My size 18 regulars fit beautifully, and I even have some 16W's I wear on a regular basis.  

So yeah, not getting a size 18 pant past my knees was horrifying, disheartening, and made me wonder why I even bother to continue the fight to lose weight.

Thanks, L.L. Bean.  Thank you for snapping the tiniest thin thread of self esteem I'd managed to build for myself in battling to lose weight.

But that's not where the story ends.

Angry mostly with myself and my shortcomings and my failure to fit the mold of what a woman who wants to buy things at L.L. Bean needs to look like, I tried to be happy for Hubby, who found what he called, "The most perfect pants."

This is the great unfairness when it comes to shopping, and it's not hubby's fault, I blame retail stores and their focus on making life easier for male shoppers. Hubby has his own weight battles.  He's not super thin. And yet, he's never had to shop in a store for specifically plus sized men. He's never had to search high and low for the "plus" department mostly because there's no such thing as a plus sized department for men.  Sure, they have big and tall father who is 6'4" shops at them. But when it comes to big box stores, most guys don't NEED a big and tall shop.  Hubby shops in a normal human man department and he doesn't even have to try and squeeze into the largest size offered, oh no. Men's clothes are made for all sizes and shapes of men and if a guy wants a pair of dark blue pants and a white shirt in a size "super mega" he doesn't have to hope the designers deigned to make them in his size. Why?  BECAUSE THEY DID.

So yeah, Hubby can walk into any store he wants to and find a pair of pants and twelve shirts that fit and look great.

And he doesn't have to shop in a store that advertises "Selling plus sizes 14-30."  Again, because he can walk into big box stores, outdoor stores, pretty much any store, and find his size without anguish.  And again, not his fault.  This is the fault of US retailers and their notion of what women should look like and what they should wear.

So we're in line, waiting to purchase his magical pants and he's trying to be supportive and kind about my feelings. He asks if there was anything on the rack that would have fit me.  I say, "Sure, if I wanted to go to a 20 or a 22 those might have fit."

And then he says this...and bear in mind, none of this is his fault and I'm not angry at him and really he was trying to be nice, and really only plus sized women who are fighting to lose weight are fully going to get what this statement meant to me, but he says this:  "Well if it fits and it's comfortable, who cares what the number is?"

And that's when the woman in front of us, an older lady who was returning something, turned around, looked at him, then looked at me, roller her eyes, and shook her head.  

I bust out laughing, and so did she.  Poor Hubby was quiet for a moment and then he said, "I just got slapped with a look."

We chatted a bit, the lady and I, about her great "drop dead" look and I left the store feeling a bit better, if not about myself, at least about the battle I'm fighting.  Because it is a battle, and I fight and fail and sometimes I fight and win, but most of the time I lose, and not in a good way.  It's a battle that destroys a person in the worst and most complete ways.  It shatters our self image, it destroys people's respect for us (I've been told by an employer that I'm fat and therefore I'm stupid) and it shatters our desire to go, and do, and see, and be around anything and anyone. Oh and if you're fighting this fight, you know that it can be a matter or life or death, so you've got that added pressure hanging over you.

 Being fat is not about being lazy or stupid or gluttonous.  It's about a physical craving at 2 in the morning that won't be silenced. It's about looking at a $6 salad and a $2 burger and thinking about the $8 you have left in checking until payday.  It's about wanting to exercise but everything, everything in your body hurting so much that putting on shoes makes you cry. And you'd like to cut out food all together, because the whole "Cold Turkey" can work for some addictions, but hey, guess what?  If you don't eat you are going to literally die. So yes, you MUST partake of that thing that is your demon.  Also, cookies are delicious while brussel sprouts are not.

If questioned, plus sized people will tell you that it's not about genetics or some blood disorder, or whatever else the weight loss community is trying to sell to us as the cause of being overweight.  Most people who are my size will admit it's all about the deliciousness of food that's not at all good for us, and the fact that exercise is never as fun as lying on the couch with a bag of chips and a bowl of dip.  But food issues, like everything else, never starts out as an  eating marathon on a Saturday night.  It starts simply, quietly, and without any sort of warning signs.

For me it was about not wanting to waste food. I baby sat when the kids were little and those kids usually didn't finish their lunches.  Rather than just tossing the leftovers out, I grazed away, finishing this chicken nugget and that mouthful of mac and cheese, all before eating the lunch I'd made for myself because I was raised to believe wasting food is sinful.

While the kids ran around and burned off lunch and any snack I might produce, I didn't because I was babysitting and also working a telemarketing job from home.  So I'd send the kids to the back yard to burn calories and I'd sit down for a couple hours while my double lunch turned into a bigger pants size.

Every heavy person has a story about the starting point.  Maybe you had a baby and couldn't get that baby fat off.  Maybe there was a death in the family and you turned to food for comfort.  Maybe you had an injury that kept you sedentary for an extended period of time. It doesn't matter. It doesn't take much to turn a normal sized person into a plus sized person.  The siren song of food and leisure is strong.

I joke about being fluffy because it's my defense against what I just know people are thinking, even if they never say it out loud.  I need to beat people to the punch, so I laugh at myself, but the reality is that I hate looking at myself.  I hate buying clothes, which is why I return half of what I buy. I hate what plus sized clothes look like most of the time.  We're heavy, we're not blind.  Plus sized women want to look good too, and we want selection. We're even willing to pay extra for it, but hey, it would be nice if a 2X actually meant a size larger than a 12.  

Stores are going the wrong way in this fight.  Case in point, the 2 Kohls in my town have all but removed plus sized fixtures from the store, and has filled the space with clearance racks for normal sized women.  I'm not making this up...I went to two separate Kohls this weekend and the selection for plus sized was half of what it used to be (which is saying something since normally the selection is about a fourth of what's available for misses sizes) and the space was full of misses clearance.  I actually asked the cashier if they were getting rid of plus sized and she said she didn't think so because (and this was her reasoning)  "They're so excited about the men's big and tall shop."

Like what they do for men has anything to do with what they do for women.  So yeah, not reassuring.

But to bring this around back to something fun, if I ever see that lady again, I'm going to hug her, because she did give me a bit of boost when I was really down. And when you're trying to lose weight, like I am, every tiny thing helps.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Want to laugh at my misery for FREE? FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY!

Good morning!

So, this weekend, I'm offering downloads my office humor book, "Not While I'm Chewing" for FREE!

No strings.

Seriously...just click on THIS LINK and download the first volume of Elsie W's office antics!  FOR FREE!

No Kindle?  No can download it to your computer.  Seriously...FREE!

I'm trying to build my reader base, and the best way I can think of is to have people read what I write, and the best way I can do that is give away one of my books.  So click on THIS LINK FOR A FREE COPY OF "NOT WHILE I'M CHEWING!"

This is my one non-fiction book.  (Which is why the names have been changed to protect the me.)  Every word in this book is absolutely true, although some people have a hard time believing Elsie W. is a real person.

Believe me...I lived it. She's real.

This is the FIRST volume of stories I've written about my time working with Elsie W.  My second volume will be out the beginning of September. So...jump on this FREE OFFER and get the fruits of my hard labor for FREE!  JUST CLICK HERE!

I'm not sure I can make it easier!  LOL

This offer is for this weekend only. Sunday are out of luck!  So hurry!

Thank you! Enjoy!

Two adults discuss...achieving their Fitbit goals.

Many of you know that I've been getting up before work and taking a walk for my health and weight loss goals.  (Don't get ex...