We All Know What They Say About Good Intentions…

When I fired Gretchen the Immaculate I just knew doing my own housework would be no big deal.  Afterall I had plenty of time on my hands so I can do chores around the house.  I even thought about it logically (yeah, me logical) and set up a tentative plan of action for when certain chores would be done.

She’s been gone almost two weeks now.  I got the upstairs and the downstairs vacuumed.  I have dusted everything except the family room coffee table – and what hasn’t been dusted has been Swiffered to death.  I have cleaned all 3 bathrooms every few days and wiped down every surface with Clorox wipes.  The kitchen is tidy, the family room is a tad cluttered, and the table next to my comfy chair is a disgrace (but underneath the stuff the wood is nice and polished).

What I’m finding out is this cleaning house stuff is for the birds.  I took it on with a good attitude and told myself I would take pride in keeping my house spotless.  Oh who was I kidding?  There’s 3 days worth of newspapers on the coffee table and I truly don’t care.  There is a pile of books on my table and it doesn’t bother me in the least.  I’m not even sure I made the bed today — although in my defense that bed has been made daily!

A friend of mine on Twitter had links to her interior design friends and I just had to hit those links.  OMG those houses make mine look like a reject in the worst trailer park available.  My house is never going to look that well designed or that perfectly put together and I can live with that — I live in my home; I don’t use it as a showcase.  (Note to self:  don’t visit those sites anymore; they only increase your dosage of Valium.)

I bought one of those Shark steam cleaners for the kitchen floor  – I’ve been spot cleaning this floor since Gretchen left and the Shark is sitting in the corner still in the box.  That’s the big project for Monday – take the stupid machine out, put it together and steam clean this floor!  At least that’s the plan.

It’s about good intentions.  I just need to attack this housecleaning thing a little at a time.  I did manage to get the dining room back in order after Scriber’s Web-inspired collage challenge was finished – man that dining room table was a disaster area for a few days but it looks nice and pretty again.  Just in time to mess it up with my next craft project.  And just so you know I didn’t make up the collage challenge,  here’s my finished project for what it’s worth:

Did u think I would pick any other subject than EmmaLou??

But back to the cleaning…

I don’t know about this kitchen floor.  I’m thinking moving the rug around might work for awhile to hide the dirty spots.  I’ll get around to cleaning it…that chore really is on my list but I just remembered I have some other things to do on Monday…

I Just Wanted to Get Out of the House for a Little While

Let’s talk a bit about why I should stay inside and not venture out into the world without adult supervision.

All I wanted to do was get some coffee and maybe treat myself to breakfast.  It was one of Devoted Spouse’s volunteer days and I felt like going out and maybe even getting some shopping done.

I should have known better.  It was extremely cold, there had been a light dusting of snow the night before resulting in a slippery driveway (shades of the Ice Incident of 2009) but I really needed some coffee.

Now the coffee at that highly rated restaurant Le Bob Evans isn’t the best, but the place is close to home and I figured I would just order twice as much coffee.  So I pull into the parking lot, park my car, and immediately upon exiting my car what do I do?  I slip on the ice — okay fortunately I was still holding onto the car door so I remained upright.  I did, however, have severe heart palpitations and visions of emergency rooms.

I’m inside the chic breakfast place and have been seated at one of their booths — the kind that has a booth on the other side but is separated by this weird type of glass partition.  So actually the tables themselves are connected but the people sitting in the booths are not because connected people would simply be bizarre.  (I’m not sure I even understood that sentence.)

Anyway, I’m sitting there reading the paper and trying to eat eggs and drink my coffee and the guy in the quasi-attached booth next to me keeps making his point to his breakfast buddy by slamming his hands on the table, thereby making MY side of the table shake.   After about 10 minutes of this, I calmly get up from my breakfast and walk ALL the way around to HIS side of the booth, politely interrupt his conversation and gently ask him to stop banging on the table because it is making my side of the table move and is actually quite irritating.  He looks up at me and blinks.  And blinks.  And blinks.  Like I’m a nutcase.  Then he looks at his breakfast buddy and goes back to discussing whatever they were discussing.  I say, “Thank you so much and enjoy your breakfast.”  There was no snark in my voice – honestly.  I even smiled.

I go back to my now getting cold breakfast and open up my paper when the man next to me AGAIN slams the table for emphasis.  Oh for the love of… I got up on my knees in my booth seat so I could look over the partition at him and I said to him, “Didn’t I ask you nicely not to bang on the table?”  Guess what?  It worked.  They even left.  I got to finish my breakfast in peace. Of course my eggs were cold but the table stopped shaking.  A few people were looking in my direction but I figured it was because I was wearing such a stunning outfit, not possibly due to my etiquette busting booth behavior.

As I finished up my breakfast, I remembered a tweet I had sent to the Twitterverse earlier and it dawned on me that I had mixed up the names of some politician’s wife I was tweeting about.  I felt so stoooopid I whipped out my SmartPhone and decided to rectify the situation.  To my surprise my SmartPhone wouldn’t let me tweet.  Really.  It flat out refused to let me send anything to Twitter.  Oh it was all ready to allow me to update my FaceBook page, but I couldn’t send out a tweet.  SmartPhone my butt… then I realized I was making all these comments outloud.  I looked up and realized the older couple at the booth in front of me were staring at me, and the women at the table on my other side were also watching me.  It was time to leave.  Leaving a generous tip on the formica table, I sheepishly made my way out of the premises and into the relative safety of my car, SmartPhone in hand.

After a little retail therapy at that famous establishment Target, (and a little more ice skating), it was time to get back to the peace and quiet of my own home.  I arrived safely and thought — I’ll back the car into the garage (which is still a little too full of “stuff” to actually park my car there) so I can unload all my goodies from the trunk without having to walk across a slippery driveway.  Good idea.  Until the sun got in my eyes as I was backing into the garage and I accidentally backed into Devoted Spouse’s tool cabinet.  Yikes.  I also grazed the snow blower.  Yikes squared.  The good news?  I totally missed the motorcycle…but not by much.

All I wanted to do was get out of the house for a little while…not wreak total havoc on the world.   Next time I get this bright idea maybe  I should just stay home and clean up the craft crap room.

Do We Have to Recap 2009?

It’s that time of the year.  Turn on the news, read a paper, open a magazine, surf the net and on all these various media you will find an endless litany of the Best of 2009 or the Worst of 2009, who died, who married, who divorced, who wasn’t married but were living together and now aren’t, who had babies while wed, who had babies while not wed, who had babies with other people while engaged to someone else, who adopted another child from Senegal or Ethiopia or heaven knows where, and an announcement that the Duggars are pregnant with their 57th child and Octomom may want more.  Tedium ad nauseum.  And of course we can’t leave out the infidelities but then  I’m so sick of the likes of John Edwards, Tiger Woods and Charlie Sheen that I can no longer find words.    Gah….

Some people have issues with the Holidays — I have issues with end of year reviews.   While I am a student of pop culture, and I will even admit to occasionally reading Perez Hilton for celebrity gossip, it gets tedious having to listen to the long recitation of which celebrities died this year and who was in and out of rehab for this drug issue or that bout of alcoholism and if I see one more story on Susan Boyle’s antics or Kate and Jon I may have to gouge my own eyes out.  Note to Kate:  honey do something with the hairstyle in 2010.  This reverse mullet thing you got going on is so not working.  So we have the media version of the Christmas newsletter – as if we haven’t been paying attention all year long and need to be reminded this is the year Michael Jackson died.  And what’s truly awful about the end of year reviews is my mute button isn’t working right.

You see (as I mentioned in a post a long time ago) we have this home theater in a box system (yes, I know it’s cheap, Greg, get over it) and when you hit the mute button it only sends the sound down a notch or two — those of us with good hearing can still hear the commercial.  And, frankly, I’m about at my wit’s end with the  “My name is Ram and my tank is full” commercial to the point that I wouldn’t buy a Dodge Ram if you paid for it and delivered it to my home with it’s flippin’ tank full.  How about the weird Dos Equis guy?  What is with him?  I would definitely say no if he tried to friend me on Facebook.  And I may resort to sticking a screwdriver into my own ear if I am subjected much longer to the inane boy band singing about their *&^%&^ free credit report.  So if I can’t fully mute some of these Best of and Worst of and Memorable Moments of 2009 I may have to check myself into some type of rehab.  Gah…

I know 2009 was a strange, unhappy, unsettling year.  Wars, poverty, job losses, retirement funds tanked, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods.  Al Gore gained 1,000 pounds and blamed it on global warming when it was just his carbon footprint getting bigger from heating up too many frozen pizzas in the microwave.  Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize while in the midst of  two wars. The Balloon Boy saga took 2 1/2 hours out of my life I’ll never get back.  Worldwide,  2009 was bizarre.  In fact, there were many times I struggled to find something humorous to write about. If it hadn’t been for the strange eating habits of EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, my own stupid human tricks, and the ridiculous time I had this past year with every stinkin’ appliance in my entire house,  I might have had fewer posts.

Heaven knows I had to resort to laughing at myself much of the time because after the “Accident of 2009″ I had 10 months of absolute hell, often wishing I could just curl up in a ball and die.  But it’s difficult to curl up into anything when you’re swaddled and wrapped in a shoulder sling for months on end and you have a broken back that is not diagnosed for 3 months.  I did manage to find humor in my own situation — having Devoted Spouse help me pull up my pants was some hysterical stuff.

So hang in there, the good news is the year is almost over.  We won’t have to put up with the Best and the Worst and the Most Memorable Moments too much longer and I’m sorry; I just subjected you to a few of my own. Perhaps 2010 will be a much better year for all of us – at least that’s my prayer.  I’m also praying for a new ottoman that EmmaLou won’t chew to bits and pieces.  I need to put my feet up in 2010.  Sigh…

Book Title Meme

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My friend Sandy from It’s A Jungle Out There coaxed me into trying a Book Title Meme.  Sounded intriguing.  Here are her rules:

Using only books you have read this year (2009) answer the following questions.  Try not to repeat a book title.  It’s a lot harder than you think! (Actually, Sandy, it wasn’t hard at all — it was a blast!!)  So here are the questions with my “book title” answers.  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed answering these questions!  And yes, every answer comes from a book on my 2009 Books Read page.

Describe yourself:  Fatally Flaky by Diane Mott Davidson

How do you feel?  Desolate Angel by Chaz McGee

Describe where you currently live:  The Winds of Dune by  Brian Herbert

If you could go anywhere where would you go?  Haunting Jordan by P. J. Alderman

Your favorite form of transportation:  The Web by Jonathan Kellerman

Your best friend is:  A Killer Stitch by Maggie Sefton

You and your friends are:  Old Friends from Far Away by Natalie Goldberg

What’s the weather like: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

You fear:  A Year of  the Flood by Margaret Atwood

What is the best advice you have to give?  Cut and Run by Ridley Pearson

Thought for the day:  Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

How I would like to die:  Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg

My soul’s present condition:  Surprised by Hope by N. T. Wright

That’s it!  I did it!  Now you give it a try – use the books you’ve read this year to answer the questions then link back to me here.  Have fun!



Step Away From the Candy

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Every year I face this particular holiday with dread.  Every year I fail in my efforts not to succumb.  This year appears to be no different than prior years.

Yes, I’m talking about the Halloween candy debacle.  Each year I buy far too many bags of candy out of fear of running out and having hordes of nasty children cover my car with shaving cream or drape my property with toilet paper.  Each year the ratio of children knocking on my door to candy overflowing from the candy bowl is skewed.  Each year I find I dip into the candy bowl ahead of time knowing full well I have more bags of candy stashed in the kitchen just in case.

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It is a never ending issue at our house.  One year I bought only candy I didn’t like — nasty things like those sticky Mary Janes and horrid Snickers bars and the ever obnoxious boxes of something gummy called Dots.  The kids gave me the look — you know the one that says, “What is wrong with you and why are you giving me this crap…where’s the good stuff?”  While I didn’t eat any of the candy that year, I did shame myself into buying the good stuff the following year.  The following year I also gained several pounds around the Halloween timeframe.

So back to this year…several days ago while in Target I decided to simply stock up on Halloween candy and that would save me another trip to Wally World (where it’s cheaper, but the store is farther away).  I justified my “cart-o-candy” to the cashier by saying I was buying some for my neighbor — now what possessed me to feel I had to justify anything I purchased to a cashier was beyond my understanding.  Oh, okay let’s be honest.  My candy splurge embarrassed even me.  Target’s stock went up the following day by the way…

So here it is several days before the little monsters show up on the doorstep and what are we doing?  Both Devoted Spouse and I are dipping into the candy dish like we are entitled to scarf up as much as possible because we both know we can jump in our cars and go buy more before the actual evening of trick or treat.  How pitiful.

I admit it and here is the pic to prove it — the Halloween detritus (pre-Halloween!) on the table next to my comfy chair – here goes another 12-step program.  I’m a pre-Halloween Halloween candyolic and I don’t know how to stop.  As I begin to burst out of my lower-size jeans I just purchased, it will occur to me to stop this and life will return to normal…until this time next year…sigh…

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I'm so ashamed...

Maybe next year I should leave the lights off and skip this entirely – no buying candy, no handing out candy. But then I would deprive Devoted Spouse of looking at all the adorable costumes on the neighborhood kids — okay maybe I should go stay at the Holiday Inn for the few days leading up to Halloween – nah, that won’t work either.  Perhaps we should do what we did when we lived on base…we gave out what was in our massive change jar — the kids were REALLY excited about that and the coins didn’t rot their teeth.  Well, I have another 12 months to decide…I think I’ll just chew on all of this with a small piece of candy…

Yes It’s True — I Have Another Blog For You!

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It is shameless plug time kids.  I have started the blog I have always wanted to do – one that is serious and allows me to write whatever is in my head or on my heart no matter how difficult it may be, no matter what the subject.  You may not always enjoy it – it may simply never be your cup of tea.  But I am giving you all a chance to glimpse another side of me – the serious side.  I have just begun – please bookmark it and give me a chance to get some of these words out of my head.  It’s called Parchment Monkey and I am looking forward to getting into it and I hope you enjoy this idea as much as I.

Shameless plug now over.  Feel free to go back to your lives.