Monday, June 28, 2010

Theme Song Of The Evil OverLord

Yes. It's official. I am unemployed.

Life Without Commercials

Somehow it is already June and I've not done very good about reporting my progress on 101 goals in 1001 days. Sure, I've blocked them out from time to time- but I really haven't "shared".

I talked my son into joining me on the adventure of life without television for 1 week.

Once upon a time I had a handful (okay, more like 2 handfuls) of shows that I kept up on. This year has been a blur and I've given up on all of them.

My TV viewing seems to be mindless hours of Nickelodeon (with child)- watching the SAME episode of the SAME shows over and over and over. (I'm considering muting the television and seeing if we can act out all the lines...because really, it's THAT BAD! But then again he feels that way about Law & Order marathons; so maybe we are even.) My other daily pleasure is King of the Hill - as it has become the opening show for Adult Swim. Sometimes I "watch" it. Sometimes I listen - glasses off / totally blind - but it's a peaceful and pleasurable lullaby for me to fall asleep to.

On weekends I tend to get sucked into a vortex of Lifetime, House Hunting / House Remodeling shows, various shows that I randomly flip through, and Netflix.

Between baseball, summer school, the pool, and "other stuff we should be doing" - I thought this would be about as painless a time as ever to embark on our week without viewing.

And it hasn't been so terrible...

The weekend was the hardest - and I'm thankful that we were out of town and busy to make time pass quicker. I miss Hank on a nightly basis. But I've slept okay every night without the TV running (yes, it generally runs all night - bad habit, I know). Because the weather is either REALLY hot or just kind of hot - missing the forecast hasn't been detrimental. So really during the weekdays - we've barely missed our viewing at all.

We've even talked about doing a little "overtime" and extending it a few days. Or maybe, making it a policy not to watch during the week at all. We'll see ...

I think what we have noticed the most is that we seem to have more time now. More reading is happening. Chores don't get put off as long. No one has gone into shock and needed medical attention.

So there you go. One more goal is close to being met... How about you? Ever gone on a TV vacation? Are you meeting your yearly goals?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Not In My Ice Cream

For obvious reasons, I am not posting this on the weight loss blog.

And if you are one of THOSE readers - I'm telling you now, I can not be held responsible for any craving that may overtake you after reading about this...

I bought an ice cream maker.

Why? Regina, don't you know ice cream is not the road to weight loss?

(Yes, so I've heard.)

Well, see it all started when someone posted a frozen yogurt recipe. And this reminded me of how much I really enjoy frozen yogurt. And you can't find it in the store. And this makes me crabby. And our frozen custard store went out of business. And that makes me want to cry.

And I love homemade, plain-Jane ice cream. Always vanilla - you don't even have to ask.

I am not opposed to toppings.

And then I was served some really GOOD ice cream from a local shop. And I did the math. I could go bankrupt in a month OR I could buy an ice cream maker.

So I have a new toy. It takes no salt, no hand cranking. Keep it in the freezer all the time - in 10 minutes I can have ice cream.


Did you know? There are EGGS in lots of those recipes? Like raw eggs. I can't do that.

And the recipes for non-egg ice cream are filled with lots of small amounts of ingredients that I don't buy. So this is problematic to my previous budgeting of how much ice cream I have to eat before I've SAVED us money!

But I also love ice milk. It's so simple. Milk. (I do have to buy whole - which is not normal for us, but is do-able.) Sugar. (And I can adjust this a bit to make it a little more healthy.) Vanilla extract.


And no fear of salmonella. Well, almost no fear. You see, while I am offended by ice cream recipes involving raw eggs - there is NO hesitation for me to chop and add some cookie dough.

Logic, smogic. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wishing Wednesday

Week 25: The one where I obsess about job loss.

I wish I had a crystal ball.

I wish for a sign from the universe - you know, something subtle like a neon sign with arrows...that says "Go This Way!"

I wish to quickly recover from the "we've stolen your job away" shock.

I wish for the ability to make wonderful first impressions with people that are offering wages that are not in the same pay scale as unemployment.

I wish for my dream job / hiring process to start close to the "return to school" date for my kiddo - so that we don't have to re-think child care for the 5th time this summer.

Thankful that I did catch up with Mr. Mojito and he delivered another glass of magical yumminess!

Thankful that no one is keeping score in my life (or at least they are doing without a huge scoreboard for me to watch).

Thankful that sometimes in life you find people who keep the good memories about you in their "easy access" files.

What are you wishing for this week?

Wishing Wednesday

Week 24 :

I wish we had some answers regarding who's about to get kicked off our island of employment, who's going to willingly JUMP off the island, and who's going to be left to clean up the mess after everyone else leaves the island. (Maybe that should be a wish for patients and less wordy sentences.)

I wish on my special needs animal post I had not failed to mention my anti-social fish - who has successfully eaten EVERY tank mate (larger, equal size, and same species) out of a 55 gallon tank. Forcing me to put him in a 20 gallon isolation tank where he will live alone the rest of his days - btw, while I see this as punishment - he could care less.

I wish I had taken the package advice a little more seriously about the spacing for the mammoth sunflowers we are growing. Now I'm just praying they don't crowd out / kill my tomatoes.

I wish for the ability to let go of some of the items that are crowding up my space. (And maybe I wish for a mute button for my hubby-dear, who sometimes points this out in a less than helpful / nice way.)

I wish for two opportunity doors to open for every one that is slamming shut.

Thankful for...

The idea that the universe may have a better plan for me than I have for myself. (And kuddos to the Universe for all the eerie-meaningful messages lately.)

Pitching successes (by my son) and occasionally safety equipment that makes pitching failures less painful. (Unlike the one that nailed my kiddo in the back.) :(

I'm really thankful for flowers that have long blooming seasons.

I'm thankful that my toad isn't blogging about me - I don't think he'd have many nice things to say. (And thankful for the frequent smiles I've had from this image that Karen suggested.)

Which also reminds me that I am thankful that my dogs can't talk.

What are you wishing for? Are you balancing that with thanks?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Line Starts Here

I'm not even sure what line I'm in yet...

The line for complaints?

The line for fulfilling undiscovered dreams?

The line for the manual that explains how not-to get run over by the "Change" bus?

The line for anxiety medication?

The line for beverages that help to "fuzz out the edges"?

Oh, wait. This may be the line for severance packages and unemployment.

Why? Because, yesterday - near the end of my work I was on a serious roll of productivity and task ass-kicking...(on a FRIDAY - for the record)

Some man (it must have been a man) took out a pen in his ivory tower without windows and managed to eliminate 100% of the funding they provide for my all-important job. (Which is about 50% of my overall funding.) On the eve of my 10 year anniversary.


I know I'm not alone. Everyone that depends on the financially crisis-crazed budgets has been looking at cuts in every direction. And until yesterday - it looked like they were attacking every line item EXCEPT mine. And suddenly project Bracing for Impact started to phase into project Roll With the Punches, Hang On Tight, and Assess Damage When The Ride Comes to A Full And Complete Stop.

In hindsight, I'd rather have had my arm cut off instead of being executed.

Should I be making my way to the unemployment line - I'll bring a case of beverages and some cake - because I will be amongst friends.

But I'm not sure this is the end of the story. Until I was struck with anxiety and insomnia around 3AM I was pretty sure that there is hope. I just MAY make it into the lifeboat. I think that it will work out. I am not deluded by the idea that my job will look ANYTHING like it did 24 hours ago. But I've been there and I've done that. And now, I'll get to do something new.

Maybe in the same building. Maybe with the same benefits. Maybe not. Maybe I'll be cracking books. Maybe I'll be tapping my creative energy. Who knows?

But the times, they are a'changing (thanks Billy for the theme song). Take a number. Wear comfy shoes...we may be here a while.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Special Needs aren't Just For Peeps!

A while back (OK, it was weeks - time flies) I mentioned that my house has become a magnet for animals with special needs. Here's a short list of what is going on in the world of ME...

1. I have a narcoleptic Plecostomus fish. Incident #1 - He seemed to be passed out in a plant. Incident #2 - Found him sleeping UPSIDE DOWN at the top of the tank (apparently implementing the energy-saving "Dead Fish Float") Apparently the poor fellow eats himself into a mini-coma and then just gives up movement while he digests...this is not normal fish behavior - they usually like to be hidden or seek shelter from other aggressive fish if they are not feeding. At this point, he will be dead for days before I realize he is not just "sleeping it off".

2. I have a head-banging cardinal AND oriel. It's a female. She starts in the morning - flying INTO my window. Curtains up or curtains down. Over and over and over. On days that I've been home - she will do this for HOURS. Sometimes, she starts again in the afternoon. Doesn't matter if food is out there - she still does it. Doesn't matter if the sun is shining or a cloudy day. (It was suggested that maybe she's seeing her reflection? OR not seeing the glass?) It was also suggested that maybe they see a reflection and think it's a "mate"...but that implies EITHER that birds are color blind - or that potentially these birds are gay, since the female and male varieties look so different. So maybe I have head-banging, poor visioned, color-blind GAY birds?

3. I have a fish that is a vain interior decorator. Okay, so it is common for the Oscar fish to move things around the tank. He digs up rock - and I have LARGE rocks in the bottom - not weak little pea gravel - so this is the equivalent of weight lifting. And by saying "he digs up rock", what I really mean is that i smooth it out to cover the bottom nicely. And he digs it up to build 2 mountains on each side of the tank leaving the middle of the tank open- where he dances and dances around his reflection admiring himself from every angle. He has also buried the "ancient ruins" decoration - so either he doesn't like it or is re-enacting the scene of a landslide. He prefers his plants and heater to float in the tank instead of be mounted. AND recently, he started a new behavior of removing the filter tube from the filter - and burying it in the rubble as well. Perhaps he is part DOG?

4. I have a squirrel that needs behavior management. I am sure that to some extent all squirrels taunt dogs. But I have one - let's call him Chip - that has become a master. I should pay him for giving my dogs a workout...because between their hide and seek / tag games and all the tracking they do to find out where he's dogs are pretty active. And the squirrel is building his self-esteem with each day that goes by because his bravery is growing by leaps and bounds. He was on our deck yesterday - drinking water from the dog bowl - WHILE the dogs were following his path...let's just pray his luck holds out! For if the pups ever get a hold on's not going to be pretty - for either party! Because they are definitely in the same weight class division!

5. I also have a toad that is stalking me! Last year, he scared me on more than one occasion right off the steps of the deck - where he apparently decided to take up house. This year - we keep crossing paths. First, in our new garden site (where I removed his house to make room for the raised garden). Then, near the side door - where he had taken up a temporary shelter under my recently purchased potting soil. Then in a flower bed - under the mulch...after this encounter he relocated in the exact same bed in the exact spot where I needed to plant a week later. And just yesterday - he found me again as I was trying to weed another flower bed. Each of our meetings go something like bent over very near the area, ground begins to move, I scream bloody murder, scramble to get away, and then try to calm my pulse and breathing while he stares blankly in my direction. I don't mind him being there - but if he could announce himself a little better that would be highly appreciated.

6. And lest you think I don't have any animal fun at work - this week I was greeted in the office by a gang of flies. Bad enough to have the critters around at all (and it's quite a mystery HOW they got to our office- it's like Fort Knox) but these seem to have attended kamikazes school and really enjoy dive-bombing people. I don't think I've ever been so happy to count down the days of the life of a fly before.

Wishing Wednesdays

Week 23:

I wish my Duck-Dog would stop spitting out her medicine-filled cheese, separating the items, and eating only the one she finds desirable!

I wish to successfully complete my own medication today - Finally! I can manage to get ONE of the TWO doses in me per day...and can only take with food...leading to a 5 day medicine taking about 10 days to complete.

I wish I could locate - and then wear -the one swimsuit that I own that comes closest to being flattering - or at least not likely to result in gasps, stares, or laughter.

I wish for time and energy to tap into all the creative energy that is flooding my mind recently. (And let me clarify - I am NOT asking for insomnia so that I have more hours in the day.)

I'm wishing for more wisdom and patience - two things that I'm pretty sure you can not O.D. on!

On the list of Thankful Things....

Thankful for medicine that stops my dog from quacking!

Thankful that the vet has weekend hours so we didn't have to pay the emergency fee to help her stop quacking!

Thankful that the huge anaconda that was apparently WRAPPED around my child at SCHOOL yesterday had been fed recently enough that he wasn't tempted to snack on my kiddo.

Thankful that my glasses arrived and are FINALLY correct! (4 returns and 4 months later...but who's counting)

Sometimes (not often) but at least once recently, I have been thankful for the slowness of bureaucracy and the hurdle of red tape!

Monday, June 14, 2010

What Does the Dog Say?

I am sure -my excellent readers - that you long ago mastered your animal noises.

So if I told you that Saturday morning my son awoke to an odd noise....

And that this odd noise caused him to inquire "When did we get a duck?"

You would assume that the noise was...or sounded very much like a Quack!

And you would be right.
The confusion enters when I tried to explain that the Quack noise was coming from our smallest dog - and while her nickname is Goose, she is in fact all dog and should NOT be quacking.

But in case you have a small dog - and in case they ever start quacking....I want you to know, that after you stop laughing (and I strongly suggest recording the noise - because no amount of description does that noise justice) that you should call your vet.

Because our poor little puppy had a fever and an upper respiratory infection. Lucky we caught it in time to prevent dehydration or further complications. She will be fine after a few days of medicines and cough medicine to stop the quacking. And in the meantime, she is just happy for all the little "treats" of pill filled cheese!

I'm thankful that our son is old enough to know that the dog doesn't usually say Quack - because I can just imagine the worried looks that would have inspired from his teachers!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wishing Wednesdays

Week 22: Where I'm trying to get my head on straight.

I wish I wasn't feeling like the Universe is picking on me.

I wish for no more pool leaks, no more lost items, and a general break from drama. Please I'm begging for mercy here!

I wish I had a buy 2 get 1 free plan with the repair dude that keeps coming to see me with my lack-of-hot-water-issues.

I wish I could choose which medical tests I could fail and which ones I could pass.

I wish that anyone else waiting for medical test results would receive the results they were wanting to hear.

I am thankful for good conversation that passes the many hours that I'm spending sitting on bad bleachers watching mostly bad baseball.

I am so thankful when things WORK. It's a novel idea - I know.

I am thankful for new found resources and people.

I am thankful that while my day stared with much drama - at least it started.

Maybe I should try to convince myself that I am happy for all of the work-place drama (I mean, transistion)'s like having a soap-opera cliff hanger every day...and every day you come back thinking you will FINALLY learn the truth...but it's drug out for another week or two... I'll work on that one. :)

What are you wishing for?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mr. Mojito Where Have You Gone?

I fell in love with the mojito about a year ago. Thanks to a lovely lady - who could have easily become one of my best friends in the world - if only she was better at email communication and had a less busy schedule and didn't live clear across the state...

But she did introduce me to the wonderful mojito and for this I will be eternally grateful. And while I am not a frequent or heavy drinker by any stretch - when I do indulge, I now have this drink on the top of my wish list.

At a dinner meeting (off the clock) I recently decided to visit my friend Mr. Mojito at a local Mexican restaurant. I was served the best mouth-watering beverage I had ever encountered.

When I went to pay the bill - the young bartender asked me how I enjoyed my drink - and I was very happy to slather him with compliments. Soon I discovered that he had only recently learned how to make this variety - which included tequila and some other alcohol that I'd never heard of. I was really surprised to hear the ingredients that I had just willingly ingested and purely enjoyed...but mostly, I was just left with the impression that this was my new favorite place to order my favorite drink.

For over a week - I dreamed about the beverage. Passing the word onto others that it was pure liquid heaven in a glass. So on our next date night - I suggested that spot as a dinner option.

And I was served a mini-version without a sugar-rimmed glass filled with an icky but drinkable beverage - garnished with lime. To say that it was disappointing ...those words are simply not strong enough. It had gone from the "best ever" to the "never again" list. My dear friend - Bartender Mr. Mojito was not on duty.

When the server asked how I was enjoying my drink - I was honest that it was not making my mouth happy and I nicely demanded (requested) to know when My Mr. Mojito would be working again.

I'm already searching for a Mojito buddy to join me and redeem my memories of the yummy drink! If he can not recreate the golden liquid---I will chalk it up to a once in a lifetime bliss-and-joy experience in a glass. Cross your fingers and join me for happy hour.

What's your wonder-beverage? Can you get it anywhere or do you count on a few special mixers to make magic in your glass?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Can You Feel The LOVE?

Karen over at A Peek at Karen's World tagged me with this!

Ah, how much do you love being loved? SOOOO MUCH!

So here is where I share with you lucky readers 10 things that I LOVE!
(In no particular order.)

1. I love sleep.

Not in a sleep all day kind of way. But in a way that makes me very serious about sound snoozing. I like feeling rested and waking with a clear head (which doesn't happen nearly as much with the seasonal change right now). So it's no surprise that I get pretty close to 8 hours of sleep each night - I work even better on 9!

2. I love plants.
There is something very happy about growing things from seed or pinching it from one plant to make a whole new plant. This is why I have a long list of gardening experiments in my life...trying to grow a 7 foot wide hosta, propagating a jade plant from a single leaf, pinching my impatiens so I can be cheap and still have flowers everywhere, growing a pineapple plant from what would have been compost (he just turned a year old) and the list goes on...

3. I love it when I make myself chill out and take it easy.

This is closely related to my love of the beach. And to my love of flying kites. And to my love of hammocks. And to my love for my reflexologist. And to my love of getting swept up on movies / books. And to my love of plants. And to my love of knitting - which teaches me patience.

4. I love food.

Food is fun. Food makes me smile. I love the smells. I love the people that flock to it. I love to master making it. I love to make it taste better and be more nutritious. Is it any wonder I co-write "Does This Blog Make Me Look Fat"? I assure you - this is not by accident.

5. I love my animals. (and some of those that aren't mine)

My puppies make me feel like a rock star when they dance at the door just to see me. (Even when I just stepped outside a minute ago.) I love that they find comfort in being around me (so much that we have renamed them the pup-arrazzi). I love it when they listen and I love to see them be frisky and happy. I also love my fish - who dance wildly as I walk by their tanks or throw rocks to get my attention. I am mystified by sea creatures in general.

6. I love the people I share my life with!

My hubby. My super kiddo. Real life friends. Bloggy friends. Friends I'm soon to make. People that think I know stuff. People that know I don't know anything - but like me anyway. And even a few reoccurring strangers... the grounds keeper for the building behind my workplace stops working to wave and smile at me - and I don't even know the mans name, but he's priceless on a grumbly-dreadful-morning!

7. I love being creative.

This makes me hard to live with - because I'm always onto the next thing. I like to craft. I like to knit. I like music. I like writing. I like to cook. And generally all of these inspirations occur at the same time. My husband would say this makes me a clutter bomb for our house. But you have to answer when the muse calls.

8. I love being the mixed-up creature that is ME.

It's not an easy job and I doubt that anyone else wants it. Every time I take one of those personality quizzes - I am a perfect split between introvert and extrovert. This means I am very social - until I am not. I need balance. I crave it. I am equal parts quiet and loud. I am equal parts routine and mixing it up. And if I get stuck on one side or the other - I tend to get moody.

9. I love the small things.

Small dogs. Baby animals. Small children. Museums of miniatures. Small purses. Small cars.

And then I love the small the sunshine, birds chirping, a new blossoms on a flower, a nice writing pen in a fun color, a note from a friend, a message in my inbox, technology that works, communication that is clear, a new tube of chap stick, a pound dropped, spell check, a comment on a blog page - it really doesn't take much to excite me. (One definite exception to this is diamonds - I prefer them large.)

10. I love my to-do list and notes to self.

I doubt that a day goes by without me making a list. A list of books to read. A list of things to do. A list of grocery items. A list of projects. The list goes on... Do I complete them? Not always, maybe not even often. I often lose them in my purse or car. But for me - writing it down makes it "stick" in my brain a little better. So I often write the grocery list and then - even if it's with me in the store - I shop without checking it. If you find me checking things off my list - it is a sign that I am stressed and overwhelmed!

And now - I am charged with spreading the love and tagging others with doing this same task.

By all means, if you aren't listed...feel free to spread some love yourself and please, let me know you did! Report 10 things you love and tag 10 more people! (I'm following Karen's lead and tagging 10+1)

Kristin @ Write It Down
Erin @ Dutch Girl Diary
Tricia @ Endurance Isn't Only Physical
Lisette @ Fancy Frugalista
Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect
Funny @ In My Mind I'ts Always Funny
Sweet Pea @ Newlyweds
Cole @ All The Small Stuff
Tina @ Tina's Place
Megan @ Twinsomnia
Michelle @ Honest and Truly

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wishing Wednesdays

Week 21: 80% chance of grumpiness with happiness expected for the weekend.

  • I wish the puppy would stop having an upset has caused rough mornings for me!
  • I wish I could take a nap...since I was up about every hour of the night (with the dog).
  • I wish that the concrete dudes would fix the catastrophe of a mess they have made in the backyard and complete the project.
  • I wish for patience as I wait (again) for the concrete to dry / cure...causing a 3 day wait (again) before putting up the pool. It's June people...MOVE IT!
  • I selfishly wish for rain during those 3 days - so that I'm not wishing I was in the pool. (And so that Mother Nature can take care of watering the plants that she tortured all night with her high winds and lashing rain.)

As a bonus wish: I wish to stop thinking evil thoughts about the concrete dude that RAN OVER my brand new hosta. One would think that being on the total opposite side of the yard would ensure safety? Clearly not.

Hoping for the grumpiness to pass quickly and for a good -rest of the week. What are you wishing for this week?