Holidays are fun.

Holidays are fun.

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 conditioned...hair.)  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...

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

"Yeah."

"THOSE WORDS ARE IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE WORDS 'FABRIC SOFTENER.'"

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 you...it'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 shops...my 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 problem...you 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 innocent...like 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 night..you are out of luck!  So hurry!

Thank you! Enjoy!

The difference between a Meijer employee and a heart attack? Not much.

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Holidays! When I was little I lived in Michigan, home to a wonderful store called Meijer's Thrif...