Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fish Whisperer

I almost got a dog.  She is a beautiful border collie.  A little skittish but I could tell she’s smart.
It all started when I got home the other night around 10pm after going for a swim.  It was dark outside but I had my exterior house lights on.  When I pulled into my driveway there she was, sitting in my yard.  Very strange since all of the dogs in my neighborhood come with a leash and an owner attached at the end of said leash.

As I got out of my car she began barking and howling at me.  My first reaction was, “What is it Lassie?  Did Timmy fall down a well?”  I am so funny.  Until the dog wouldn’t stop barking.  The neighbors’ lights started coming on.  One neighbor came outside and asked if I needed help.  I just yelled back, “It is not my dog!”

And the dog kept barking and howling.  It would look at me and then look down the road.  And I wish I was joking about what happened next but I’m not.

I spoke to the dog.  I asked the dog “Is there someone in my house?”  The dog kept barking.  “Is someone in trouble?”  The dog kept barking.  “Is there a fire in the area?”  And, I kid you not; I sniffed the air trying to find smoke.  The dog kept barking.

I gave up.  I finally went inside and the dog left.  If she would have come near me I could have seen her tag and called the number to let the owner know I had their dog.  Or, I could have taken the tag off and claimed the dog as my own.  But it was already past my bedtime, there was no fire and I had just tried talking to it without success. 

I hear fish are pretty good pets.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Real Fake Women

During my workout last night I was thinking about how outside influences (movies, music videos, advertisements, etc.) affect how women think about their bodies.  I know guys have their own set of issues but I have never been a guy so I can’t speak about their issues.  However, I’m sure they are along the same lines.

I could attack the whole consumerist culture we live in but I won’t (I’m tired and don’t care to get that deep or type that much).  So, I’ll attack two well known figures (pun intended): Barbie and Jessica Rabbit.

If Barbie were a real woman she would be six feet tall and 100 pounds.  Her measurements would be 39”/19”/33”.  If Barbie were real she would beg for back surgery.  She would also be called “hoochie” by the mean girls in school.

If Jessica Rabbit were a real person she would be six feet tall and 109 pounds (33% of that weight is from her boobs).  Her measurements would be 38”/17”/34” and her cup size is N.  The ratio of her legs to her top is 2.64.  If that were me or you our legs would go up to our nipples.  She would be called “freak” by the same mean girls in school.

If that’s not enough to scare you think about all of the horrible situations these ladies have been in.  Barbie is in a relationship with a metrosexual who keeps losing a leg, arm or head (at least my Ken dolls turned out that way).  She is also blamed for having an affair with a military man (G.I. Joe) who is half her size.  Nothing was ever confirmed but you heard the rumors going around the toy box.  And to top it off … she could never have tangle free hair.

Jessica Rabbit, while being married to a rabbit who adored her, never changed clothes.  She wore the same red cocktail dress and a size 1 shoe.  Speaking of her adoring husband, he couldn’t handle his liquor.  He was also mixed up in some murders and Jessica got thrown into the mix, too.  Jessica’s collagen-filled lips are probably sagging down to her knees by now.

So, I may not have the Hollywood body but at least I don’t have their issues.  I workout to have a healthy lifestyle and I enjoy how it makes me feel.  I may never have Barbie’s pink convertible but my hair is detangled and I may not have legs a mile long like Jessica Rabbit but at least I have a torso.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Line of Defense

My curb has a temporary wall of tree trimmings waiting to be picked up by the city.  The 8-foot wall of branches has created a fort wall in front of my house.
I have decided to add more updates to the yard.  I think I'll feel more safe and secure with these adjustments.  Below is only a rough drawing as I'm awaiting construction permits from the city.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Shout Out: Klime Time

I am thug!  Well, not really but I did receive two notices from the City saying I needed to have some tree limbs that were crowding the alley removed.  I got most of them myself but there were a few branches that were intertwined with my neighbor’s electrical wires.  Even though I’m up for adventure being shocked is not one of them.  Thus began my search for a tree trimming service.

In addition to having the possible-electrical-shock limbs trimmed I also needed three other trees trimmed.  Keep in mind that the other three trees are HUGE.  Some would tower over a three-story house.

On my regular drive through my neighborhood the other day and came across a work truck for Klime Time.  Lucky for me the crew member (Jose) was talking with the homeowner in the front yard.  Being the crazy woman that I am I stopped in the middle of the road, yelled in a nasally voice (sinus infection side effect) to Jose if they did tree trimming and I was able to grab a business card from him.

Five minutes later, Jose came over to my property and gave me an estimate of what it would cost to do the work.  He explained what type of cuts they would be doing and why it was needed.  He also pointed out another tree on my property that needed to be trimmed as well.  Additionally, he also recommended getting rid of some useless trees (they are hard to maintain and add no value to the property) but I elected to wait on that until I can get some trees that will add value to my property to replace them.  (I am accepting donations!)

The brief walk through and a guarantee to have the work completed in 24 hours would cost me less than half of another company’s estimate I had received two days earlier.  WOOHOO!  Plus, Klime Time is insured and bonded (important so I don’t have to foot the bill if one of their workers is injured on my property).

The next day by noon, the five man crew was at my house and had the entire project done in two hours.  These guys are true professionals.  Robert, Jose’s brother and part owner of the company, walked me through what they were doing and recommended some things I could do on my own to help preserve my trees.  The crew had to climb on my roof to trim my pecan tree and they made sure that all large branches were tied off so they would not fall on my roof during the cut.  After all of the cutting was done they cleaned my property of debris and placed it on the curb for pick up.  (Side note: My city picks up tree trimmings for free so their estimate did not include the haul off fee.)  Additionally, the Klime Time crew picked up projects from four of my neighbors and was able to have everyone’s property done in six hours. 
The left side has been done and they are working on the right side.

Completed trees.  In the bottom of the picture you can see the 7 foot wall of tree trimmings waiting to be picked up by the City.
I will definitely be using them again in the future and highly recommend them to anyone needing an expert tree trimming service. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch

I had lunch with my neighborhood association ladies on Friday.  It was my first time to attend one of these monthly lunches.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but I did have some ideas.

1.       I knew I would be the youngest.
2.       I knew I would be the newest member.

I was right on both accounts.  I received a lot of “Oh my goodness!  You’re a baby!”  I’m actually 30 but thanks for noticing that my moisturizer does its job. 

I was also the only person at the table who was a “workin’ woman” as the ladies put it.  I enjoyed listening to their stories of how they filled their days … doctor visits, tending to family pets, tending to family, gardening, visiting museums, etc.  These ladies get more done between the hours of 5am and 8am than Congress has ever thought about accomplishing.

My neighborhood ladies are also hilarious.  The biggest round of applause at the lunch was when Sue could remember her psychics name (all of the attendees said they had a difficult time remembering names these days), Pat showed off her new Nook reader (she says it is so much better than the Kindle), and Barb was shocked that my neighbor was getting his house renovated and had not died.  One of the attendees said she told people she was 76 for several years until she read an article in the paper about someone born the same year as she was but had a different age next to their name.  She did the math and about fell out of her chair!  She was, in fact, 79.
I am fortunate enough to live in a well established neighborhood.  Some of the original home owners are still here and everyone looks out for each other.  We discussed local politics, local bond programs, city ordinances, and upcoming vacations.  It was a wonderful time getting to know the women who have helped make my neighborhood desirable.  I hope that I’ll be as fortunate as them to call my neighborhood home for 30 or more years.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chump Don't Want No Help

I'm fighting some allergy issues today.  So, in an effort to make myself feel better (besides some over the counter allergy medicine) I inserted the following sentences into The Dialectizer

I’m sick!  My allergies decided to act up right before the weekend.  That’s what they call “Murphy’s Law”, right?  Well, Murphy is a jerk. 

I elected the Redneck version.  It makes me happy.  I feel better already.

I’m sick! Fry mah hide! Mah allergies decided t'ack up right befo'e th' weekend, cuss it all t' tarnation. Thet’s whut they call “Murphy’s Law”, right? Wal, Murphy is a jerk. Shet mah mouth!

Then I elected the Jive dialect.

I’m sick! Right on! Mah' allergies decided t'act down right befo'e da damn weekend. Dat’s whut dey call “Murphy’s Law”, right? Well, Murphy be a jerk. Ya' know?

Not nearly as funny but brought back memories of the movie 'Airplane'.  I'm definitely on the mend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Christmas Came Early

My house is 60+ years old.  It is about to start collecting Social Security.  It has been a member of AARP for a while and it likes the early bird special.  My house also makes weird noises.  When I first moved in those weird noises would wake me up at night.  However, the noises have become familiar as time goes by.

Until Tuesday night.  That night I was woken up by the strangest noise.  It was not breaking glass or squeaky doors.  I couldn’t quite place the sound in my sleepy state.  Maybe it was Santa!  It took me about 10 minutes to come to my senses and when I did I jumped out of bed and ran to the window.  I peeped through the blinds and realized that the mysterious noise was rain.

I had forgotten what it sounded like.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Demon from my Past

Let me start off by saying this ... "I HATE LOCUST!"  Sorry.  I don't mean to confuse you.  Let me rephrase that ... "I HATE LOCUST EXOSKELETONS!"

I'm pretty sure if there were a plague of locusts I would scream like a banshee but I have not witnessed a plague yet.  Thankfully.

Growing up my brothers would somehow find a locust exoskeleton on a tree and chase me around the yard trying to put the little demon from hell on my head.  The running plus the screaming plus the hyperventilating almost made me pass out.  Thankfully, mom would step in and throw down some wholesome justice with the phrase "Leave your sister alone!"  She said it in that mom tone that meant the next thing she did to put law and order back into our family would be whoopin's.  Whoopin's is a country technial term that meant mom would give you spankings followed by the automated message "Wait until your father gets home."  Which led to further spankings.

While being a good neighbor this past weekend and trying to tiddy up the yard I came across an exoskeleton attached to the side of my house. 
First, I thought maybe my brothers drove the two hours it takes them to get to my house and placed it where they thought I would see it.  But I realized that gas prices are too high for shenanigans.  Second, I was proud of myself for not screaming like a little girl, running to the corner of my yard, curling up in the fetal position, and sucking my thumb.  Go me!  Third, I still HATE exoskeletons.  I put my yard gloves on to flick the creepy alien off the wall and I was sure to use my middle finger. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

War and Peace and Dad

Father’s Day was yesterday.  As I lay on my couch watching ‘War and Peace’ (all THREE PLUS hours of it) I had plenty of time to ponder the significance of the holiday. 

I find it funny that we have holidays like this.  For example, Christmas is sometimes the only day of the year that some people go to church (and they act like a heathen the rest of the year).  Or Thanksgiving may be the only day that people feel thankful for what they have (the other 364 days of the year the theme is “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”).

I tend to treat a holiday like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day the same.  My parents get a lovely card that usually makes me out to be a perfect child and, yes, the cards are HILARIOUS!  But I also hope they know that I don’t want that one day out of the year to say “Thanks” for everything they have taught me. 

My dad has taught me how to change a tire (reason #1 why I don’t do manicures … a flat tire will just ruin them), do home improvement projects (I’m not about to pay Joe Schmo $300 to fix my AC condensation line when I can do it for $4), skin a deer (I used this process to ace my anatomy/physiology class in high school), play chess (score is Dad: 37 and Me: 1), and work hard (shoveling manure during the summer as a kid was the only time I was allowed to curse … best time ever).

Dad has taught me numerous things that have carried me through life.  He’s a big part of my gift of common sense, my unique understanding of math, and my love of all things outdoors (except for bugs).  He has provided for my family through long hours at work, coaching my brothers and me on the t-ball field, and showing us how to ride a piece of plywood being pulled by a 4-wheeler during an ice storm.  He also showed us how to crack a rib by letting go of the plywood at the wrong time.

So, why only say “thanks for everything you do” once a year?  Why can’t children give shout outs to their dads on a random Thursday or at high noon on Monday?

To all of the dads out there, I hope your holiday was a momentous occasion that allowed you a longer nap or a special dinner in your honor.  But I also hope you know that you mean just as much to your children on the days that aren’t named “Father’s Day”.

To my dad, a continuous thanks for being the best example of what being a father entails.  You are welcome that I turned out so great.  Kidding.  But, honestly, I am a better person for being able to call you “Dad”.

Dad, I promise this is the only topless picture of me on the Internet.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pinching Pennies

On my path to financial freedom I have had to take a closer look at my own life and come to some realizations that are quite hard for this American.  I recently sat myself down and had a heart-to-heart talk between my goal oriented self and the “fly by the seat of your pants” self.  The conversation was not pretty.  There was yelling and screaming and crying.  Thankfully, no one else saw this psychotic episode.

The end result … I do not need cable TV.  (And the cyber world gasps all at once!)  I honestly do not watch that much television.  If I do feel the need for some mind numbing entertainment I have Netflix.  So, I called my cable provider (to protect my liability, the provider’s name starts with a T and ends in a Warner).  The customer service rep asks what she can do to help me today.  I tell her “I need to cancel my cable”.  These were my options:

Option 1: Keep my cable the same way and hope I start enjoying TV.  Um … no.
Option 2: Upgrade my cable to include more channels and it will save me $5 a month.  You don’t know me at all.  I don’t want a plan that is going to offer me More TV and a $5 savings that will be eaten up by fee surcharges for the extra channels.
Option 3: Get rid of the cable and keep my Internet service for $45 a month.  Perfect.  That’s what I want.
Option 4: Keep your Internet service and reduce your channels to local channels and pay $40 per month.  Wait!  What?!  It is cheaper for me to have Internet and 12 channels (25 if you include the Spanish channels) than it is for me to have Internet and no channels. So even my cable provider knows how bad TV is and they are willing to pay me to keep a few channels. 

I took Option 4.  It is saving me $50 a month and I still get amazing entertainment like “Wipeout”, “Family Guy” and “MythBusters”.  In the words of John “Hannibal” Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lobotomies Are Not That Technical

I have come to realize that I know a lot of information.  Not all of it is useful.  Most of it will not let me win Jeopardy.  Majority of it is not even useful to my career other than for the pure entertainment value. 

However, random facts are fun.  I know that lobotomies are not that technical and what the perceived goal is for the procedure.  I can tell the difference between roach poop and mice poop based on the differences in anatomies.  I understand the chemical reaction of making bread.  I scientifically know why the sky is blue.  I know how meth breaks down the jaw bone creating "meth mouth".  I can visualize the particles of solar panels creating energy.  I know why cows do not run long distances. 

Are any of these facts going to win me a medal?  I really hope not.  That would be weird because all I'm doing is repeating what people have known about for a very long time.

However, if you are playing against me in a game of Trivial Pursuit be prepared to get clobbered!  Unless you have the original version of the game and keep asking me geographic questions about Canada.  Honestly, who cares who the Prime Minister was in 1924?!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quick Dish: Cooked Kale

First, I love to cook.  Second, I don't want to make a huge dinner production on a work night.  Third, I go to the grocery store once a week.  There is a grocery store a half mile from my house but I can't be bothered with buying MORE groceries; especially if I have food in the fridge that is screaming to be eaten.  (Note: My food does not actually scream.  If yours does please call your closest animal control center and seek immediate psychological help.)

I had some fresh kale (nutritionist call it a super food because I think it wears a cape when I'm not looking) and decided to add it the dinner menu for last night's date night with the boyfriend.  (I usually cook for the two of us but the sweetie makes a mean turkey and mustard sandwich.) 

I used two bunches of kale and took out the center vain.  Squeeze the leaves into a large sauté pan, pour a half cup of chicken stock (or veggie stock or water or white wine to go the vegan route), and sprinkle with sea salt. 
Cover the dish and cook over medium heat until the leaves are tender yet still crunchy (about 15 minutes).
After the leaves have reduced to about half of the volume of the original amount (leafy greens wilt under heat in case you haven't ventured outside Arby's in a while) add two tablespoons of pickle juice to the pan.  If I had a lemon I would have used the juice of the lemon but, seriously, I couldn't be bothered to make the trip to the grocery store.  Remove the pan from the heat and serve.
The side dish is fan-tas-tic!  The pickle juice adds a hint of tang to the strong leafy greens to enhance the flavor and makes you appreciate home cookin'.  I served it with honey glazed carrots, mashed potatoes with grilled bell pepper, and grilled chicken.  In case you scrunched up your nose at the idea of this dish I would like to point out that it did get the seal of approval from the boyfriend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shout Out: Hirsch’s Specialty Meats

The months of summer are upon us and I refuse to heat up my house cooking.  So my grill has become my new hobby.  I grill everything.  And I tend to grill enough to last me for the week (grilled veggies go into a casserole dish, grilled meats are cut up and go into salads, grilled fruit are healthy snacks during the work week, etc.)  I haven’t worked out the numbers yet but I’m pretty sure that my weekend grilling ritual is saving me money.  As an added bonus, I get a lovely tan while grilling.

On a recent Groupon email there was a deal for Hirsch’s Specialty Meats in Plano.  The deal was $15 for $30 worth of meat goodies.  So I snatched up the deal and made my way over to Hirsch’s last week.  It is a glorious butcher shop of yore.  It should be called “Ye Olde Butcher Shop”.  The staff behind the counter is knowledgeable about the meat, butchers behind them are constantly crafting cuts of meat, and the store is crowded (always a good sign). 

I grabbed some chicken breasts and marinated steak kabobs (cuts of sirloin with red onion and green bell pepper).  And when I say “grabbed” I mean I took a number, waited for the staff to call my number and then they waited on me until I said I was done.  I ended up paying $4 at the counter ($19 in total with the Groupon discount).  Paying almost twenty dollars for chicken and steak may seem like a bit much but once I got the meat on the grill and tasted it … OH. MY. HEAVEN!  Well worth every penny I paid and didn’t pay. 

Next time I have a dinner to cook for guests or in need of a good steak I’m heading to Hirsch’s.  Their store also has seafood and exotic meats (bison, venison, elk, etc.) and it is seasonal.  I can’t say enough about this new found treasure (it has been around for 30 years but I just found it).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ready or Not Here I ... OUCH!

Everyone who has ever been succumbed as a child to their mother yelling "Get out of the house NOW!" knows how to play hide-and-seek.  It is the perfect pastime to ditch younger siblings/cousins (I was that younger sibling and cousin ... therapy starts next week).  The game also is the beginning of finding out if you are allergic to poison ivy, seeing how long you can go without screaming at the spider crawling on the tree you are standing behind, and realizing that your Punky Brewster high tops do not make you faster than the person who is "It".

However, my extended Texas family (there is a Louisiana side of the family, too.  Those stories will be in a future posting) kicked it up a notch.  Family get-togethers at grandma's house included enough food to feed the US Army with plenty of leftovers to get us through a long hard winter.  When you eat that much food you must succumb to a food coma for a good two hours and then partake in the street football festivities.  (Street football is similar to street hockey from Wayne's World: "Car coming!", "Game on!", and "Moonpie!"  I guess "Moonpie" was something my family created in an ode to my uncle.)  Anyway, by the time that everyone gets to the point of playing hide-and-seek it is already pitch black outside.

Since grandma lived behind the backwoods of east Texas the shadows created by the security light were like black holes.  So dark that you could stand in the middle of the shadow and no one could see you.  This made playing hide-and-seek in the dark adventurous!  Especially when we had at least 10 people playing. 

We would use the random patio table in the yard as base.  Grandma's yard had the deepest, darkest shadows plus climbing trees and all of the vehicles that the various family members used to make the trip.  Hiding options were endless!  However, the game would never have passed OSHA standards.  Grandma's yard also had dips, valleys, and potholes. 

Imagine running from the "It" person trying to get to the random patio table in the yard (that some cousin thought would be hilarious to move to the other side of the yard without telling anyone else) and either falling into a valley full of potholes or colliding with a person standing in a tree shadow.  You had those two scenarios and the scenarios were mandatory.  By the end of the game someone had a broken rib, someone else had a broken finger and everyone had scrapes and bruises.

Now when the family is able to get together we still look for an opportunity to play hide-and-seek in the dark.  We are not nearly as agile as our younger selves or are we any smarter.  But through the huffing and wheezing we are still able to laugh about all of it.  The games don't last as long and they usually end in having a beer to help with the pain of the scrapes and bruises and to relive the stories that just occurred and the ones that happened 20 years ago.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quick Dish: Steamed Radishes

I'm a big fan of turnips.  Why?  Because I was raised right.  My grandmother made the best cooked turnips and greens.  And no one ever said "No Thanks" to grandma's turnips.  Plus, she always "seasoned" food with bacon grease.  She was a true Texas woman.

However, sometimes I can't get fresh turnips at the store.  So I improvise ... with radishes.  This recipe requires 2 bunches of radishes, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1.5 teaspoons of sea salt (or whatever amount you prefer).
I made a foil pouch for the cleaned and trimmed radishes.  I drizzled the olive oil and sprinkled the sea salt on top of it.  Since it is Sunday and I can't be bothered with turning on the stove I put the pouch on the grill.  Let the pouch steam until the radishes are soft.  So delicious! 
Even though there was no bacon grease I believe my grandma would be proud.  Steamed radishes taste just like cooked turnips.  They bring back memories of playing hide-in-go-seek in the dark in grandma's yard.  What?  You don't know what that is?!  See tomorrow's post.

Friday, June 10, 2011

She Sounds Expensive

In case you haven’t figured it out, I like to tell people what to do.  A lot.  (Just ask my family.)  That’s why I think my dream job would be a business consultant.  I’ll tell you what you should do and you either use my advice or not.  Either way, I still get paid.  Perfect job!  (I truly enjoy my current job but in an ideal world where I didn’t have bills or a mortgage I’d be a business consultant in Monopoly Land where the jail is always clean and no one cares if I don’t get $200 for not passing go.)

From time to time I do get asked to help a start-up company and I’m happy to oblige.  However, I’m not going to sugar coat anything; it is business, not a cookie factory (unless your business is a cookie factory).  Many times individuals wanting to start their own company do not consider the work required before they can say “We are open for business!” … which is what happened recently.

I was asked to help out a friend of a friend who is looking into opening his own company.  No problem.  It is a service company and I know some things about their work history.  So I begin to ask questions: who is their target market, what makes them different than their competition, what is their budget for the first year, does he have an exit strategy, etc.   While words were spoken in return as answers the real noise was “chirping”.  As in grasshopper chirping.  Meaning he had not thought that far in advance.  No problem.  I understand that when you are considering starting a company you don’t initially think through every last detail.  But eventually you should before turning on the open sign.

So, I write a semi-detailed email of what he should consider and be prepared for (I send it through my friend who forwards it on to the potential CEO).  America is a great place to do business as long as you cover all your bases because Americans are trigger happy with lawsuits.  Actually, I think suing people is the new American pastime.  Take that, Baseball!  Plus, being over prepared in business saves you heartache, headache, and money.

His response to my email was “She sounds expensive”.  I’m taking it as a compliment.  However, I’m not expensive.  Consider me the Baltic Avenue in Monopoly Land because the rates are dirt cheap, but I do like to give the same services at the Boardwalk level.
I will be more than happy to do whatever it is a company needs help with but I'd prefer to see someone succeed in their business instead of just survive.  Survival causes companies to be reactive instead of proactive.  I'd rather be the leader instead of the follower.  I'm pretty sure the followers were the ones who lost in Monopoly.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reading Agenda

I just finished Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace".  I'm very excited to be on this journey to financial freedom and can't wait to see how basic financial principles will play out in my life.  The whole idea is to not be in debt and not living on credit.  Just like grandma and grandpa!

So, I finished a financial planning book.  Kudos to me, right?  Right.  Since I'm a bookaholic I had to immediately pick up the next book I had simultaneously checked out from the library (financial planning tip #1: be frugal).  Let me point out that I got rid of several cable channels and only have the basic stations.  Therefore, reading books is my form of entertainment.  Just like grandma and grandpa!

Next on my list of items to read: Celia Rivenbark's "We're Just Like You, Only Prettier" and "You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start In The Morning".  Kind of a gigantic leap from financial planning to smack talking like a Southern lady but, again, this is my entertainment.  I can't wait to discover how Southerners are better than everyone else in a redneck, white trash sort of way.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

I grew up watching "Bedknobs and Broomsticks".  Angela Lansbury flying around on a broom made witches cool.  Even when she conjured up the army to save Britain I knew there was something more to witches than black cats and green faces.  Heck, witches were patriotic!
So, while I was in Paris I took the Eurostar to London for the day.  I have wonderful friends who live in London, I watch BBC shows, and pay attention to world news.  I knew what to expect in London.  BUT ... I wanted Angela Lansbury to be flying around on her broom anyway.
I was disappointed.  No Angela, no David Tomlinson, no flying bed, no magical army battling off the Nazis.  I love London and I hope to go back for a much longer visit next time.  Until then, my next vacation might be to the Island of Naboombu.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fence Art

My sister-in-law showed me how to make fence art this weekend.  All you need are children (preferably your own or at least get their parents' permission; I do not condone kidnapping), a water hose with a spray nozzle, a hot day, and a fence.  Get the kids to face the fence and make a pose. 
FYI - I asked my niece if the wedgie bothered her and she shrugged her shoulders.
Using the water hose, do a quick soak of the kids and you have fence art.  My nephews and niece loved making all of the art.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Squirrel World

I don’t know if you have heard but the land that my house sits on is special.  I’m not even sure how the builder was allowed to put a dwelling on that spot of land back in 1960.  There seems to be some kind aura pulsating from the ground.  And that aura attracts squirrels.  It attracts them by the hundreds.  No.  Thousands.  No!  Millions!

FYI ... I'm not Snow White.  They are driving me nuts.  (Oh, did you see what I just did?!  I said “nuts”.  I’m talking about squirrels and I used the word nuts.  I’m so clever.)  They dig in my yard and plant evil seeds that sprout cruel plants.  These cruel plants then require me to break my back every weekend pulling them out of my yard.  And the squirrels sit back on a tree limb, grab a bucket of popcorn, and point and laugh at me for their amusement. 
The squirrels also like to have their version of the Kentucky Derby on my roof.  I don’t know where they found the squirrel equivalent of Jabba the Hutt and got that chucky fat butt to run around on my roof at 6am but I’m pretty sure he’s racing against the Fat Albert squirrel.  I can’t tell who comes in first but I want a cut of the winnings because one of these days a fat squirrel is going to fall through my roof.
If you think squirrels are adorable, then you have issues.  If you think squirrels are tasty, then you are welcome to come over to my house at any time.  Bring your own trap.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Infomercial: The Diet to End All Diets

Are you tired of watching your calories?  Does going to the gym throw a kink in your schedule?  Do you get a headache with the thought of eating fruit and vegetables?  Then you should try the new “Tonsillectomy Diet”!  This fool proof diet plan will guarantee you to lose weight, clear up your complexion, and get you plenty of rest.

The “Tonsillectomy Diet” is simple and requires little effort.  In three easy steps you’ll go from “Ho Hum” to “OH WOW”!  First, get your tonsils removed.  The tonsils are like the gallbladder … good for nothin’.  Removing your tonsils will help with the second step of the diet which is letting your throat and tongue swell up.  Don’t worry!  You don’t have to lift a finger.  Your throat and tongue will magically swell up all by themselves.  And the last step is “Try to Eat Something”!

Try getting a burger past your swollen tongue or a slice of pizza down your doubled-in-size throat.  You just can’t do it!  The miracle of the “Tonsillectomy Diet” is that your body will only want water and flavored water (also known as chicken broth).  Just watch the pounds come off your body!  And the hidden bonus is since you are only able to intake water your complexion will be marvelous. 

Legal note: A swollen tongue and throat will require you to sleep sitting up.  Lack of sleep is guaranteed on the Tonsillectomy Diet.  It is recommended that you take plenty of pain medication prescribed by a Board Certified doctor in order to get any sleep.  If you should try to eat anything other than water or flavored water while on the Tonsillectomy Diet I am not responsible for your error.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

You Don't Have the (Cake) Balls For It

Yesterday was my first attempt to go back to work after my surgery.  I gave it a good shot but only worked half a day before the pain meds wore off.  When I jumped in the car as my mom came to pick me up (I can't drive yet because I can't turn my head) she handed me my bottle of pain meds and I quickly took a dose.  Twenty minutes later ... beautiful peace.

Today will be my second attempt to work all day.  And I'll be more prepared this time.  Specifically, lots of soup, lots of water, my allotted doses of pain medication and cake balls. 

The cake balls are not for me but for my co-workers.  If you read my blog and are in my neck o' the woods tomorrow please stop by and grab a few.