workout plan

workout plan

Monday, January 30, 2012

Elsie W takes recycling to a whole new level.

Good evening. 

So last week at work was very stressful.  PM was on vacation.  This means the office was missing it's "Jasper."  (If you know the "Twilight"  books, you know that Jasper Cullen has the power to diffuse highly emotional, tense situations with a glance.  PM sort of has that power over Elsie and NBM.)
I'm sorry Alice.  Not even I
can calm the battle that brews
between NBM and Elsie W.
I tend to get more tense as tension builds around me, so I would make a lousy Jasper.  I picture myself more as a Bella...although I would more than likely go for the tall dark, and you know, ALIVE wolf guy.

But I digress.

I've mentioned before that Elsie is oblivious to the office except for the parts of it she uses every day.  For example, while she walks past the coat closets every single day, she has no idea that there are coat closets in the office.

We keep the extra T.P. stored in the coat closet.  Everyone in the office knows this, and I've told Elsie this at least three times.

Wars have been started over smaller things than this.
Elsie, as you all know, also has an issue with bathroom etiquette. The woman doesn't always remember to flush, I don't know why I should expect her to put the new roll of TP on the spindle.  She never has, she never will.  But, since my arthritis pain is at an all time high, I don't have the hand strength to change the spindle myself.  So for the last couple weeks, we've been balancing the roll on the spindle.  That seems to work.

Until today when, I guess, Elsie decided that the active roll of TP should go on the back of the toilet tank.  A fairly safe spot most of the time, but not when a completely oblivious maniac is making personal calls in there.  At some point, during an especially flail worthy call, she must have knocked the roll into the toilet bowl.

A danger zone not even Kenny Loggins could have imagined.
A normal person would have disposed of the roll and fetched another from the storage closet.  (Typically I put two rolls on the back of the tank should the active roll run out...there were two on the tank on Friday.  It's Monday, and there wasn't a single roll there.  She's the only one here on Saturdays.  You solve the mystery.)

Anyway, did Elsie dispose of the dripping roll?

If she had, I would not be blogging.

Here's what's really funny:  This is as close to what Elsie looks like as I can find without actually putting her picture on this blog.
No, instead she must have decided that since the roll wasn't completely soaked to the core, it was still good.  Which means when I next went in there  (and due to the fact that she has pretty much made every corner of that room as gross as anyone could wish, I only use the place when I MUST, like when I can't get to the Culver's on the corner) I was delighted to set my searching hand on a completely WET roll of TP.

Folks, show of hands, how many of you would use any of that paper on any part of your body?

Nope, I didn't either. 

Having learned that when it comes to the bathroom at work, I need to carry pretty much all my supplies on my person  (because any supplies not chained down can, and do, disappear several times a day) so I had a couple tissues in my pocket to cure what ailed me.

I then went to the closet  (Where I store the fresh coffee grounds as well.  Everyone in the building knows it's there except Elsie who has to by now be wondering what sort of Elfin magic I had to conjure up coffee every day where there is none.) and pulled out again two rolls for the back of the tank.  The wet stuff....well, I just left that out so the next person to use the bathroom could enjoy the same excitement of reaching for clean TP and touching wet TP.

Hey, Elsie, she truly recycles everything...even wet TP.

Now if only I could get her to stop throwing soda cans and plastic bottles in my trash.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I am every bit as TOUGH as any NFL player.

My children, not unlike most kids in their generation, have no knowledge of a time before microwaves, cable TV, and electronic entertainment. I love to pull this story out every once in a while, not so much to garner sympathy from them (which I'm not stupid enough to expect...who gets sympathy from their kids?) but to sort of put my childhood poverty into some sort of context for them.  And to get them to shut up when they're whining about doing chores.



I have a fairly distinct scar on my right heel.  If you look carefully, you can almost make out two solid rings and a couple of scrawled letters.  I've had this scar on my heel since I was 5 or 6, and like pretty much everything else in my life, I have a story to go with it.  If I've told you this story...well, stop reading, I guess! 

When I was five or six, my chore in the house was to dust things. I hated dusting.  Still do.  But that was my job.  Over the years I managed to bring down my mother's wrath on me because I was not good at this job...nor did I care. 

I would break things when I dusted  ("WHY CAN'T WE HAVE NICE THINGS?")  or I would miss things completely.   (This once led to a very long Saturday afternoon where I was supposed to dust my father's office.  My mother came down to inspect and all she said was, "You missed a spot."  After  about five inspections with the same result I started dusting the walls.  She never did tell me what I missed.  She did, however yell, "IF YOU WOULD DO THE JOB RIGHT THE FIRST TIME I WOULDN'T HAVE TO KEEP COMING DOWN HERE."  I had the nerve to point out that she wouldn't have to keep coming down there if she would just tell me what I missed.   I didn't get to watch Johnny Gage on "Emergency!" that night.)

One Saturday, bored with my usual dusting tasks, and noting that my very tall father was dusting the top of the fridge, I asked if I could.  Mom must not have been in the immediate area, because he strayed from his chore list and lifted me onto the narrow counter between the fridge and the stove, and let me dust the top of the fridge.  I loved it.  (I was an idiot.)  I loved the view from above.  i loved dusting something that was filthy even I recognized the need for dusting.  I love how I could swirl the thick, gray dust into piles and make it look like pictures.  I loved that it actually looked like I'd done something when I was done.

The next day, just home from church and still in my Sunday Best, which involved those awful white nylon anklet socks.  I hated those socks.  They didn't keep your feet warm.  They didn't stay up, when they got wet they felt yucky, and if your foot was the tiniest bit wet when you put it on, it would tear, bringing down the wrath of Mother.  (WHY CAN'T YOU BE MORE CAREFUL WITH YOUR CLOTHES?)

My mother put Sunday dinner on the stove.  There was a roast in the pressure cooker on one electric burner and a pot of potatoes boiling in the kettle on the burner nearest the narrow counter.  She then went into the living room to play piano.  (This is what she has done her entire life, and why, even as an adult, I cannot eat boiled potatoes.  She scorched potatoes so completely once she had to through out the kettle.)

With Mother playing piano, Father in his office downstairs, (probably.  Dad taught the upper grades and was the principal of a small parochial school.  Frankly, he was probably at school.)  I decided to dust the top of the fridge again.  I was good at it, I liked to do it, and I had no video games or computer to take up my time.  (Pong wasn't even invented yet and computers the size of Sherman Tanks were just making their way onto college campuses.)

With no one to lift me onto the counter, I can't recall if I dragged a chair over or if I hoisted myself up.  I think I hoisted myself up because dragging a chair would have caught the attention of my mother.  Up on the counter, I again dusted with great attention to detail.  I was so impressed with my work, I took a step backward to admire what I'd done.

The next thing I recall is hitting the floor a split second before the kettle of potatoes did.  It's all a blur after that.  My mother carried me to the bathroom and stuck my right foot in a sink full of cold water.  (Looking back, I had to wonder why she didn't use the kitchen sink.  She got on the phone  (we had one of those phone cords that stretched to the neighbor's house.) and called the pastor's wife, who was a nurse.  Mrs. Birner  (her real name, I'm not making it up) came over and looked at my foot. 

You could, if you looked closely, see the General Electric logo on my right heel.  My sock, that hateful nylon sock, melted around the burned in, branded, if you will, logo like  a charred frame.  I remember crying...a lot, and my foot swelling and turning a color red you probably don't see in human skin.

I wore my fuzzy pink princess slipper to school for weeks.  I couldn't get my foot in a normal shoe.

This might be why I don't boil potatoes or dust.  I don't know. 

But today I'm telling you this because I've been thinking about how I seem soft and weak to the culture in which I live.  This is a culture where we worship the strong, the young.  And the strongest,  let's say NFL players, have been lately proving their strength by getting "branded." 

If you're not familiar with the look or practice of human branding, it's pretty much what you think it is.  The end result looks like a raised scar. 
You think that's tough?
I did that to my foot when I was 5.

I don't think of my scar often, but when I did recently, I realized that it was the same thing as the branding these guys do to themselves.

After asking myself, "Why would anyone want to do that?"  I then had to say, "Yeah well, that's not a sign of being tough.  Show me something tough that I didn't do when I was 5."

So I figure I'm just as tough as any NFL player.  Sure, I can't run, catch, throw, or tackle, but I got branded, just like them.

And to further the argument, I have two words:  Child Birth.

For those of you wondering about my New Year's resolutions, I am back on the vitamin train.  I'm taking the gummies now, and so far my "itch that dare not speak its name" has not come back.  Also, I am getting to Gold's 2x at least a week.  The Wii thing may develop into some sort of at home exercise, like actually plugging in the treadmill I have in the basement.

Meanwhile, today is SNEAK PEAK SUNDAY over at It's a Writer's World, and I'm sharing another random chapter of  Lies in Chance.  (Available for Nook, Kindle, e-Reader, and paperback ((Amazon only for paperback.)))

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My New Year's resolutions are trying to kill me.

Good Saturday my friends.

For those of you of the MALE persuasion, and those of you who have delicate constitutions, you may want to look away.

You've been warned.

A healthy choice, or weapon of mass destruction?
Most of you know that one of my very simple New Year's resolutions involved taking a multi vitamin every day.  I've been very good at it.  I think since the New Year began I've missed only a day or two.

I have noted, however, a couple of very unexpected...and unpleasant...side effects.

1) Heartburn.

Egads.  I wake up in the middle of the night with the most vile bile in my throat.  You know the type.  You try to cough it out, clear your throat, and all that happens is you spread that sour burning all over your insides until you truly think you're going to vomit.

This is starting to happen every night.  While I'm no stranger to heartburn or to fractured sleep, having this attack of the burning vomits is something I was expecting.

2)  Infections of the most delicate type.

I haven't had an attack of yeast, except for the one a few weeks ago, in years.  Seriously.  I've learned  over the years what toilet paper, soap, and other body products to avoid.  With the exception of the one before Christmas, brought on by extended use of cheap TP, I haven't had that "itch you can't scratch" in a very long time. 

Until now. 

In case you're wondering, this is the best T.P. to keep the yeasties away.


Holy cats.  Since the last attack, I've been almost militant about the TP I use, but there's little defense when you're taking something every day that apparently throws your system so out of whack  all your body can do is produce more yeast. 

Am I slowly becoming a bakery?

Add this relentless itch to my violent attack of winter skin on my neck and chest area, and I am basically too itchy to be in public. 

So here I am, an itchy, yeasty mess, and the only real change I've made, since I was going to keep my resolutions simple this year, is the multi vitamin. 

Is this a thing?  Can multivitamins really do this to a person, or am I just a wussy wuss because I don't want to keep swallowing vitamins the size of my thumb?

The winter skin thing is something that's been sort of coming on for years, but I really have yet to pin point a solution.  I sometimes think it's an allergy to something, but I have no idea what, since I don't use perfumed soaps or different shampoos.  I've basically kept my beauty products to a minimum.  I know hot water and shaving make it worse...so I've cut down on both.  (And before you all go  EWWWWWWWW, just try living with the upper half of your body on fire with an itch that simply won't go away.  Live a day in my Gold Bond powdered skin, and then judge me.)

Love the powdery skin you're in...and the sexy scent of medicated menthol.
The thing is, I don't think I can call it winter skin, since I started really having issues in the summer when I called it prickly heat.  I know sweating also makes it worse, which brings me to my other New Year's resolution:

Working out might just kill me...but not because I'm sore or tired.  I might seriously be allergic to my own sweat.  I've gotten to Gold's at least twice each week  (though I've really made an effort to get there three times a week) and I'm fairly pleased with the work I've done.  I've lost almost two pounds in two weeks.  But the fact remains...I think I'm allergic to my own sweat.

Yes, I know, that's what all fluffy couch dwellers say.  But it might be a real thing for me.

So let's review:  The multivitamin is giving me an attack of yeast and exercise is making my skin burn and itch.

Yes, my New Year resolutions are trying to kill me.




Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saving you from Pick and Save.

Good evening.

I could have gone to a Milwaukee Admirals game tonight.  Hubby was taking our youth group from church to see the IHL team here in town play.  It's always a good time.  But I've been nursing the mother of all bad headaches today, so I bowed out.

Instead, I decided to work on the scratch off tickets I got from my local Pick n Save grocery store.  Grocery stores have promotions all the time, and sometimes we play and sometimes we don't.  Boy, do I wish we hadn't gotten into this one.

The concept of the Pick n Save scratch off game...if you aren't from around here...is simple.  You get tickets for buying various dollar amounts of groceries or for buying various special products.  You take the tickets home and scratch off 3...BUT ONLY 3... of the footballs.  If you match 3 of a kind, you win the prize...which you also have to scratch off.  Didn't win?  Well, all is not lost...there's a sort of second chance prize...which is also a scratch off.

There are HOW many steps?  And I win...more tickets?
I have yet to win anything on those second chance prizes that ISN'T a 25 cent coupon for a grocery item I don't use.

As for the big prizes, which range from a NEW HOUSE  or BIG CASH...well, I've matched 3 scratch off footballs on four of the 40 tickets I earned...just today.  (We probably have 300 of these things floating around the house.)  I won two dollars...and I've won four more tickets.

Yes, you read that right.  One of the most common prizes for scratching off these tickets is winning more tickets.  And I've spent the better part of my Saturday night doing this.  I have this stupid silver boogers all over my living room...and I still have about 20 tickets to scratch off.

This debacle of a stupid game is just the most recent thing that makes me mad about Pick n Save.  Years ago this chain of stores, controlled by the Roundy's corp, was truly the best deal in town for groceries.  They ran specials on things people actually wanted, and even their regular prices were low.

Now, in the last year or so, I've noticed our household grocery bills going up and up.  I attributed it to the bad economy, fuel prices, everything we always blame when prices go up.

Turns out, while those factors might be part of the problem, the bigger problem is this:  Pick n Save sucks.

Yes, I said it.

This dawned on me a few weeks ago when I was shopping with Hubby.  When I shop, I get what I need, making sure I find the items on sale.  I stock up on things that we use that are on sale.  But I don't go looking for things to comparison shop.  I don't have that kind of time.  But one happy evening we were roaming the store and the price of a pound of butter caught our eye.

$5.22

One pound of butter.  Not even the big fancy brand, which was on special for $4.39 a pound that night.  Nope this was a store brand.  $5.22 a pound.

I was stunned.  We do eat a lot of butter, having given up the chemistry experiment that is margarine.  Okay, we don't eat Paula Dean levels of butter, but we do use butter on a daily basis.    I then started looking around at the basics, bread, milk, orange juice, cheese, frozen waffles and frozen pizza.

All of them, without fail, ridiculously high prices.

Pick n Save has made a big deal about how they are locking down prices, and how they are slashing prices in these hard economic times.

Yeah, except for milk, bread, butter, and frozen pizzas.  Oh, and paper products.  Toilet paper and whatnot.

The next morning, after the big butter shock, I started looking around at other avenues of grocery shopping.

Kwik Trip...butter special  $1.99 a pound.  Regular price  $2.49.
We bought 10 pounds.

Target:  Frozen dinners Hubby and I take to work for lunches, in some cases 33-40% lower...and these were not special prices.

Sam's Club:  Dairy, butter, eggs, bread, and snack chips  all way, way, WAY below Pick n Save's prices.  Oh, and their fresh produce is cheap and very high quality.

Now the argument everyone has for shopping in different places is that you spend way more in gas.  But here's the thing:  We go to these places all the time for other things.  Kwik Trip is where we get gas and coffee.  So just buy butter, eggs, and bananas as well. (And the rebate you get each quarter from Kwik Trip for using their gas card more than pays for the extra gas you might use.)

Target, surprisingly, has a lot of stuff we need all the time.  And while we have a super Walmart, I tend to like Target better.  So when we need frozen dinners, or frozen food in general, that's where we go.

Sam's club we get to probably twice a month for vitamins, pain killers, and other items that are way cheaper in bulk.  So buying milk, eggs, and snacks there makes sense.

So Pick and Save, take note:  While you are busy slashing prices on cans of sardines and that weird looking fruit thing that seriously no one buys, and you're making it up on the basics everyone needs, we have figured you out. 

$5.22 for a pound of butter?  We are not amused.

Plus...now I have to vacuum my living room to get rid of the scratch off boogers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Elsie W: Dangerous at any speed.

Good evening my friends!

For those of you who follow me on Facebook...and seriously, why AREN'T you friending me on Facebook...you have been waiting since about noon for this blog.

Aren't you kicking yourselves now that I made that silly resolution to hit Gold's 2-3 times per week?

Okay, as promised, here is what happened at Dunder Mifflin, today.

Let me set the scene:

NBM is meeting with The Big Boss  (forever now known as TBB) in Florida.  Which means PM is in charge.  Well, PM already has a full time job being, you know, PM.  He has little or no time to babysit the ladies in the office.  Unfortunately for him, the minute NBM leaves the office, he, PM, is next in line for Elsie's whining.

I'm getting off topic.

Knowing that NBM isn't in house, and therefore not watching the time clock  (We don't have a time clock) Elsie generally takes the opportunity to be...let's say...MORE LATE than normal.  So when she wasn't in the parking lot at her usual 10:59AM, I was not concerned.  I was more interested in the mini van full of old people that pulled in.

Elsie refuses to be late for work.
But just as I was ready to get up and open the door for the old lady just dismounting from her lovely mini van, a rocket of a red Buick shot through the parking lot...I'm not kidding you...at about 40 MPH.

The parking lot is about 100ft long at best.  I had to admire Elsie's braking skills getting that beast of a vehicle to stop before plowing into the dumpster corral.  I was also very thankful she didn't flatten the old lady who was dismounting ever so lady like from her mini van.

And then another mini van came into our parking lot.

Friends, we don't get many visitors here at Dunder Mifflin.  While it is a showroom, it's not easy to find and most of our customers have no idea we even have an office.  So for two carloads of potential shoppers to arrive at the same time Elsie was doing her best drag race impersonation...well, that was some unfortunate timing.

But wait, this is where it gets good.  (And yes...city names have been changed to protect me.)

Yes, this is the face we show to
potential customers who
dare to enter our parking lot.
As the old lady from the blue mini van enters the showroom and I greet her pleasantly, I see, out of the corner of my eye, Elsie bounding out of her car, stomping to the gold mini van, and start to screech at the driver.

We here at Dunder Mifflin typically do NOT screech at our customers.

While I extolled the glories of our product to the lovely old lady, PM strolled out to watch the daily arrival of Elsie.  (PM enjoys race driving, like most of us, for the crashes.  I think he and the install guys have a wager on when...not if...Elsie will actually destroy the concrete dumpster corral.)

Elsie then stomps into the showroom, has a quiet word with PM, and stomps back out.  I'm trying to focus on the old lady, but find it impossible when


TWO POLICE SQUADS PULL INTO THE PARKING LOT.

Oh yes.  Whatever it is that Elsie done did, she done brought the heat to Dunder Mifflin.

Fortunately for me, the old lady didn't need a lot of detail.  She made an appointment for an estimate and went back to her mini van, where she sat, waiting for the cop car to move so she could back out.

That left PM and me free to enjoy the drama unfolding.  Now we didn't have sound, but from what we saw, Elsie and the driver of the gold mini van made statements to the cops.  One cop and the gold mini van left...followed by a very relieved blue mini van.

Elsie stayed outside for another fifteen minutes, waving her arms and getting all up in the duo of police officers' faces.  PM shared this with me.

Apparently, the driver of the gold van thought Elsie was driving erratically...and followed her from her home to the office (25 miles)  all the while having 911 on the phone.  He followed her to the office where the squads met up with them.

This lead me to the question:  Just how bad of a driver is she?  Someone was willing not only to call for help, but to follow her, on a weekday, through traffic for 25 miles.

PM snapped some pics and sent them to NBM's phone.  Not sure it will do much other than give NBM and TBB some entertainment...but we'll see.

Well, Elsie is still sort of mad at me for the conversation we had the night before.  (She said NBM was a cheap...you fill in the blank.  I said just because she didn't get a raise after 6 months of working in the place, that didn't mean he was cheap.  Meant he was smart.  There, I said it.)  So it took her until I was nine minutes from leaving to tell me her side of the story.

"This idiot followed me all the way from my house to work.  I pulled off into a parking lot and he tried to park me in, but I quick drove around him and drove here as fast as I could."

Images of Elsie doing her best "Dukes of Hazzard" driving sprang to my brain.

"He told the police I ran two red lights.  I only went through one as it was changing."

Yeah...and you only get 60 minutes for lunch.  Your internal sense of timing might not be the defense you want to stand on.

"He said he drives these streets with kids and doesn't want someone like me being a menace."

Well said Gold Mini Van!

"He said he had pictures of me swerving in and out of traffic."

Hmmmm, I'm hoping Gold Mini van had a co pilot.

"The cops said he was very convincing."

The cops probably saw you attempt to run over that old lady in the parking lot.

"They asked me if I was late for work."

You're ALWAYS LATE FOR WORK.

"I said, 'well, I never want to be late for work, so if I see I'm getting close, then sure, I drive a little faster and go around slower drivers."

Hey, any of you lawyers in the greater Milwaukee area?  You may want to NOT send any letters to this woman.  Her defense isn't exactly air tight.  Oh, and she's a nit wit.

"They said if I had been in West town while I was driving they would have giving me a ticket, but since I was in East town, they couldn't."

I thought grocery divider sticks were the source of power in the universe.
I was wrong.  It's road paint.  No police officer can cross it.
Not even to protect and serve those of us on the wrong side who
are terrified to step foot in our own parking lots.
So since she was going north on the street, she was in East town...and therefore the West town cops couldn't help out the defenseless drivers in her path?  That was the difference?  The four inch wide paint strip between the north and south bound lanes?  I'm a huge fan of the police.  Love their work.  But you're telling me there was nothing they could do?  She was standing in West Town when they finally caught up to her.  She had a lot...and an office...full of witnesses.  We could have gotten her off the road!  Think of the CHILDREN AND OLD PEOPLE AND GEESE we could save if this woman wasn't wielding that deadly weapon of a Buick!

Yeah, she's a maniac driver, and I'd shoot out her tires...but dadgumit...she's
on the Northbound side of the road!
So there you have it, my friends.  And Gold Mini van, where ever you are, if you truly have that video, I'm begging you to PLEASE send it to me!  I will make you a STAR!  (Or I'll at least post it here and you'll get a mention in the second Elsie Book.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hey, slow down, these are our precious Christmas heirlooms!

Good morning!

So yesterday...and today...we are removing all the Christmas crap from the house.  Now, I love Christmas.  I love having the house decorated.  I love the lights...I love everything about Christmas trees, pretty Christmas candle holders, garland, ornaments, Christmas stuff in the bathroom.

It's my favorite thing.

Until January 6, when it becomes my least favorite thing.

Get these cursed things away from me!
January 6 rolls around, and like some automatic alarm, something goes off in my head that screams, "GET IT OUT OF MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW!"

Maybe it's because Christmas is over and I want to declutter.  Maybe it's because I'm tired of the cats pouncing on each from the most excellent hiding spot under the tree.  (We think a cat sitting under a lighted tree is oh so pretty.  Cats think it's the best way to prepare for war.)

Yesssss.  The humans think I'm cute.  Little do they know I am sitting
here just waiting for the right moment to POUNCE!
(For the record, yes, I am one of those people who start yelling "TAKE IT DOWN" out of the car window.  I start doing that the first week of February.  There, you've been warned.)

This eagerness to de-Christmas the house might seem like the result of a wish to be tidy. 

If you saw how I store my Christmas crap, you'd have serious doubts about that.

Every year, I drag out no less than 22 big plastic boxes full of random Christmas items.  Most of these items haven't seen the light of day for at least five years.  BUT I cannot toss them or give them away.  THESE ARE MY PRECIOUS HOLIDAY HEIRLOOMS.

Now I could...I suppose...put the many items I have no intention of using in this house EVER into separate boxes.  I could label each box as to what it has in it.  I COULD  put the boxes of items I know I will use in this house each year at the top of the stack of boxes so that when I go to decorate next year, it won't be the back breaking drawn out battle it is every year.

Please don't take down the tree...I haven't reached the top branch yet!
I could.  But I probably won't.

No, instead what can...and will happen this year, because it's what happens every year, is my frantic desire to "GET IT DOWN RIGHT NOW" will overwhelm my desire to organize that pit of death under the stairs.  I will drag out all 22 boxes, I will jam random things from this year into each, and I will shove them back under the stairs without even thinking.

And next year I will curse myself and my disorganized ways as I open all 22 boxes to find that one precious thing that I MUST PUT UP.

All set for next year.  How nice.  Blah, blah, blah diddy blah!
Oh you have one of these....and you use it?  Well...aren't you just the most? 
I need to lie down.
Hubby does the outside lights, and he does not have this problem.  He has two boxes.  That's it.  Two boxes for our outside display.  Two boxes and then he hangs the dozen or so light up candy canes from a rafter in the garage.  He does everything in an afternoon.  And when he is done, there is no trace of Christmas in the garage or outside.  Everything is put away.

Meanwhile, I have three strings of lights two garland ropes, and our toilet paper roll angel that Skippy made in preschool sitting on my kitchen table.  Those items will now sit there until probably Valentine's Day, when I will be so sick of looking at them, I'll actually BUY another box to put them in.  I'd take them downstairs and put them in an existing box, but I don't have the energy, now that everything is down and I have room in my living room for the cats to do battle with each other again, to find a box with space for three strings of lights, some garland, and our precious Christmas heirloom angel.

Good enough for me!  What's on Netflix?
Which is why next year I'll have 23 boxes, and not one more degree of organization.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year's Resolutions: Day Four update

Hello all!

I'm pretty excited about work.  I've just been given the task of refiling every order ever made at Dunder Mifflin since 2004.  Instead of filing by customer's last name, I've been told I must now file by order number.

Sounds tedious and awful doesn't it?

Keep this in mind:  I get to work in the shop.  Which means I am in the one place in the building where Elsie W doesn't like to go...unless she's headed over to the neighbor's soda machine to scam a cheap can of Mountain Dew.  (Funny, I wasn't aware that Mountain Dew was part of the Atkins diet.)

Since we are at the end of day four, I thought I'd update you on how my resolutions are doing.

I have taken a vitamin every day.

I haven't been to Gold's yet...but my bag is packed for tomorrow and I have a class on Saturday, which means I'll get my two shots in.

The Wii Fit...well, it's early yet.  I may not actually get three in this week...but next week is a for sure as I look at what I have going in the AM and PM.

My water consumption is up.  My candy consumption is way down.  And I managed to find a microwave lunch I actually like.  (AND it's vegetarian!)  Healthy Choice 100% Natural Asian Pot stickers.


I hate myself for loving you.

It's spicy.  It's yummy.  It's got brown rice in it which is my new favorite thing to eat.  And...if you're curious about tofu, but not quite ready to make it at home, this has tiny bits of the powerful curd in it.  Enough to say, "Hey, I can eat tofu!"  but not enough to spend three days in the ladies' room regretting tofu.

Switching gears...and I mean REALLY switching gears here...ladies, let me ask you something really gross:

Did you ever have a punctuation leakage so bad you had to throw out your dainties because you knew they would just never be clean again?  And yes, in a pinch I had to use a product I ALWAYS said I would ALWAYS avoid...hence the result was ALWAYS what happens with this product...ALWAYS.


In case you ALWAYS miss the point...
this product ALWAYS fails.

Just askin'.  (Hey, I made no resolutions to keep the yuck factor out of this blog!)

So anyway, that's my update.  I'm golden on the vitamin thing, still okay on the gym thing, delaying a week on the Wii.  The office is still fairly clutter free, although I do have a picture to hang and some Christmas candles to put away.  The facial hair...well, that's more of a "down the road thing."

Hey, I've destroyed resolutions in way shorter than four days.  I'm very encouraged!

Monday, January 2, 2012

If it's 4 AM and you don't know where your kids are...they're probably at my house...singing loudly.

Now that I've officially entered my middle forties, my requirements in life are quite simple.  I accept that I must work full time.  So, when I get home, I desire only three things:  My couch, my TV time, and a house quiet enough to sleep in at or around 11:30 PM.

Since the children are home for Christmas Break...that's just not happening for me.


Came home after a really long day, and the kitchen was a disaster, the dining room was a disaster, and the living room was a disaster. Peaches had a couple friends over to bake cookie. When I got home, I was informed that Hubby had given the OK for them all to stay over night. Normally not an issue, but I really needed some couch time.  Not in the cards for me, I didn't get to be in the living room, and I couldn't even look at the kitchen. (You know the scene from "Daddy Day Care" where the kid misses the toilet? Yeah, that was my face when I walked into the house.)


Sure, my bathroom was a mess...but did you seen what those teens
did to that poor woman's kitchen?


So no couch time, no TV time.  We have a TV in our unfinished family room in the basement, but I couldn't go down there because Skippy was down there with his girl friend...and since he was packing to leave town for a few days, they needed some quiet time...alone  ish.  (Never completely alone.  I refuse to be called "Grandma" for at least another six years.) 

Hubby, who had been home all day NOT doing the projects he said he was going to do was like a kid who'd been cooped up all day. "Let's go to HOME DEPOT!" (I hate Home Depot).


But with no other avenue of peace and quiet, Hubby and I go to Home Depot and then hit the a local eatery for dinner. By the time I get home it's 8 and I'm beat. I want a hot shower and bed.



I didn't get either. I'm about to hit the shower when Skippy announces that he's taking girlfriend home and then he's showering so I'd better be done by then. (Due to a lack of water pressure, we can't run two showers at a time.) And I'm not waiting for him to finish because the boy has been known to shower for an hour, thus eating up the hot water.



So I take two Tylenol PM and go to bed. Hubby walks into the bedroom and says, "Oh, you're in bed. Well I'll go to bed to."



Great. He gets in rolls over and instantly goes to sleep. And snores.



Meanwhile, the entire freshman class out in my living room is watching some musical movie and shrieking loudly. I go out to tell them to shut up and the movie is on, popcorn is popping all over the kitchen, but there are no children. Oh, they are changing into jammies. Right.



So I drag Peaches out of her room and point to the popcorn mess in the kitchen and inform her that Hubby and I have to be UP AND AT WORK by 7. And they need to SHUT UP.

Hey one more musical number and we'll quiet down, okay Mrs. B?


I go back to bed to attempt sleep. Team High School Musical is still howling in the living room so I start a battle of texts with my daughter to get them to SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.

After attempting to fall asleep for almost three hours I finally take a third Tylenol PM and go into a coma.  It's now nearly midnight.



I get up at 5:30 and I find out that they all decided in order to be "quiet" they would move their operations to the basement. (They couldn't have done that at 9 when Peter took Morgan home?)   Of course, the kitchen was STILL a disaster...as was every other corner of the house.  I informed hubby that if Team Edward/Jacob was still at my house at 6 PM I would perform some sort of violent act on myself.

Flash forward to a week later.  I've nearly regained my normal schedule and I'm looking forward last night to a good night's sleep and a nice bonus holiday off today.

Peaches, who is normally very quiet on her own, and also a pretty early bird when it comes to going to bed, stayed up until 3 singing with her iPod. Have you ever heard someone singing with their iPod?  It's really just them singing...and they have no idea how loud they are. 

But she wasn't the only late night songbird.  In the basement Skippy was having his own American Bandstand night...except he had his iPod hooked up to speakers.  Since hubby's snoring had once again relegated me to the sofa,  I made the rounds....twice...from kid to kid informing them of the time and that they needed to SHUT UP!

It's an all night singing rave!  Hey, Mrs. B doesn't care if we SING...she supports
the arts.  She's a writer person.
Which worked fine, and I was finally dozing off...until 3:30 when Skippy shook me awake and said, "I have to go to Chicago...it's an emergency.  I left a note on the counter.  I'll be back as soon as I can."

Friends, something like this would normally result in a lot of questions from me.  But at 3:30 AM...I could only muster this piece of advice:  "Drive carefully.  We got snow over night."  (Chicago is about 90 minutes south of us.)

Woke this morning to Hubby asking me at 6:30, "Where is Skippy?"

I said, "There's a note on the counter.  He went to Chicago.  It was an emergency."

"Yes, but where did he go?"

"There's a note."

Hubby held up the note.  It read, "I went to Chicago, there was an emergency."

The boy is succinct, I'll give him that.

But Hubby is a genius.  He pulled out the lap top and traced Skippy's moves through the Illinois toll way because Skippy has an Ipass.  "Well, this makes no sense,"  Hubby mutters.

"What?"

"He went through Waukegen at 4:30.  He got to O'Hare at about 5.  He went through Waukegan again a little after 6."

"He wasn't even in Chicago an hour.  And why was he at the airport?"

So much for sleeping in late today.

Sure enough, Skippy walks through the door at 7:15, two girls with him.  One I knew.  One I didn't. 

Skippy rode in on his mighty Dodge and rescued two girls from...well we're not sure yet
but it must have been something fierce.  He did leave a note, after all.
Apparently...and I'm a little hazy on the details here...the girls, who are friends of his and live near the Indiana border  (We live in Wisconsin.)  were at a party in Chicago and things got out of hand.  They didn't want to ride the train alone late at night...and one of the friends had to catch a flight this morning out of O'Hare.  So...Skippy to the rescue...sort of.

So now I have two girls in my house who live almost in another time zone.  I'm not sure how they are getting home or when they are going.

I get more sleep at work!

We now know what Hubby does NOT have in his pants.

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