On my way into work this morning, I was hurrying to get inside and out of the cold when I heard a noise. I did a double take as I saw a big bird walking alongside the building. It wasn’t the typical duck or goose that you see frequenting the office park, but a giant turkey!
I almost wanted to stop and ask him how he survived thanksgiving in THIS economy when I saw someone in my periphery. The guy behind me didn’t even look up at the large bird heading our way. In an attempt to seem as un-phased as he was, I continued into the building.
I don’t know about the rest of you but I’ve NEVER seen a TURKEY wondering around in the city. Once in WV, on a farm, yes. But seeing them as I walk into the office??
I asked the guy incredulously, “was that a turkey?” He confirmed and proceeded to tell me that usually there are a group of them. -----Side note, that got me wondering what you call a group of turkeys, a brood, a cackle? Any guesses without googling?
He offered his opinion on the matter, which validated my initial reaction since he has also pondered their presence. He thought they were drawn to their reflection in the side of the building.
This reminded me of when Franklin was a kitten. I lived in an apartment at the time, so I had no control over some things. In particular, those lovely mirrored sliding closet doors. Well Franklin would run like a crazy cat all through the house, literally bouncing off the walls of each room, until he caught a glimpse of his reflection. He would stop abruptly, staring at the stranger cat, immediately puffing up and arching his back. In the puffed up, arched back state, he assumed the stranger cat was in the same defensive state. He would hiss at the stranger cat, who refused to back down, and run through the rest of the house.
Franklin was only about 6lbs when he would do this. Harmless compared to the rafter of giant turkeys. (did you notice I just gave away the answer to my question? Real subtle, I know.)
This year with Thanksgiving so late, Christmas arrived like an impatient party guest. I’m answering the door with a towel covering my wet head and appetizers still in the oven. Um, go ahead and make yourself at home, but I’m not READY.
It’s been about 7 years in the making but Husband and I have set expectations with our families. Christmas Eve belongs to Husband’s Mom and extended family, Christmas Morning along with the champaign breakfast belongs to my family, and Christmas night belongs to Husbands dad’s family. Somewhere in there, we exchange our gifts and take care of Sammy.
In years past, Christmas Eve has been at Husband’s Mom’s house. It is always a great time. This year, we get the opportunity to host it at our house. It will be an open house of sorts, where people come and go at all hours of the evening. We’ll have food and drink for all. Husband is most excited to make a Wassail (a warm spiced alcoholic drink). I was looking on my grocery list this morning and it says “wassail makins” followed by the ingredients with exact measurements. Also on the list, exactly as written: *Need reusable tea bag HA! (Cheese Cloth?).
Let’s hope it tastes as good as he expects. We can raise a glass to a new tradition.
Yes, it has been awhile. I'm all a mess because I don't have a routine right now. I'm officially through day two at the new job.
It's crazy to think that there are only two weekends until Christmas. I'm lucky that the time off between jobs allowed me to get the majority of my christmas shopping done.
The new job has a 'white elephant' gift exchange on Thursday that I'm little hestitant about. I mean, how funny can you be when you don't know anyone that well? What's funny to me, may be deamed inappropriate to some (ok to most). Right now, just trying not to make any waves, so the big phalic shaped ornament will have to wait till next year.
So just know that the posts will be a little light this month, until I find my new rhythm.
Side note: I just discoverd that the new christmas saying Husband has been trying to make trendy "sooo Tinsel" was STOLEN from a disney tv show.
Today I deviate because things are changing for me.
I am leaving my current job for a new one. My last day sitting in this cube, staring at this MacBook will be next Monday.
I will start my new job, in a new cube, with a (GASP) PC! Goodbye user friendly Apple. Hello laptop with a working delete key!
I will be starting my new job on December 7th. I’m excited, nervous, sad and anxious all at the same time. The new agency is right down the street so I’m hoping I can still meet my friends for lunch, while fearful I might arrive at the wrong building in my pre-caffeinated morning drive.
I think it’s time for a trip down memory lane (names have been ommitted to protect me).
The interesting characters I’ve worked with: The sleeper – he was a huge guy who would actually fall asleep at his desk. After he got in trouble for that, he would go into a conference room and fall asleep. He would sleep so soundly that he would snore!
The entry-level guy that thought he was smarter than the president of the company. It was overheard that he walked into the president’s office and laid down an agenda for how our office should operate. If I remember correctly, a reader of this blog had a thing for him.
The one guy that walked around with ipod ear buds in his ears to try and mask what he was really doing—eavesdropping. He would wear the same vest to work every day and it stunk. I think they found a lot of porn on his computer after he was fired.
One guy, had his kids in daycare at the same place as his boss that had just gotten let go. One day he saw his ex-boss at daycare. Rather than talk to him, he RAN away. I mean physically ran.
Of course there were the two that had a secret love affair that lasted several years. The secret only ended when they got engaged.
Oh and the things people wore, from the too tight and exposed to the overly adorned. One person came to work with a hairpiece that was reminiscent of Cindy Lauper, circa 1982. Then there was the barely there outfit, a very loose, sheer, patterned blouse that wasn't opaque enough to hide the fact that she wasn't wearing a bra. Is that part of the pattern? Nope, that was a nipple. Couple that top with some extremely short shorts and I knew I'd never have to worry about a dress code.
Then there were the names we gave our small communities within cube land: BOOBs – It’s an acronym, I promise. Hoe Row The Cell Block Bitch Row
There has been so much in the past 5 years that I can't remember all of it now. Needless to say, I’m going to miss them all! I only hope my new work family will be half as dysfunctional.
On the weekends, I'm typically the first one awake. On this typical Saturday, I got up and went about my routine, making coffee, letting the sleepy dog outside and petting the cat. The cat is always happy to see anyone in the morning, purring emphatically. The dog, on the other hand, watches me closely to see if I really INTEND to get up. Not until I have gone downstairs and gone to the bathroom without returning to bed, does Sammy decide it is ok to abandon the warm nest she's made and follow me downstairs.
On this particular morning, the dog had already gone out and come back in, only to reclaim her warm spot next to the sleeping husband upstairs. Franklin, who relishes in the quiet morning routine was so cute that I couldn't resist making him a treat. I got out a can of wet food for him. He HEARTS wet food—runs around the kitchen and makes noises that are a weird combination of purrs and meows.
I sat the food down for him to enjoy, barely coming away with 10 fingers intact, and head into the living room to enjoy my own treat—warm coffee and quiet time.
Sitting on the couch, to the left of the tv I can see into the kitchen, to the right of the TV is the stairway to the bedroom. In the kitchen I can see Franklin wolfing down his favorite snack. I turn on the TV as I pick up my yarn and current crochet project. It was only a minute later when I noticed Franklin leaving the kitchen, passing in front of the TV, and head upstairs. I thought this was a little fast, even considering the voracity at which he was attacking the food, but I shrugged it off. It wasn't a full minute later before I heard stirring upstairs.
Thump, Thump, Thump, Thump was the sound of Franklin quickly taking the steps back downstairs. He passes in front of me and makes his way back into the kitchen as I crochet away.
Then the scratch of Sammy's nails on the floor as she stretches, yawns and shakes her ears thwack, thwack, thwack. She makes her way down the stairs, passes in front of me and follows the cats path into the kitchen.
I look up from my project and notice the cat is back at his dish, eating more of his treat. The dog, as she has been trained to do, doesn't disturb the cat, instead she sits pitifully nearby, waiting for her turn to have at the cat's wet food.
I stop for a second and realize what just happened. The cat stopped eating to go upstairs, wake up the dog and taunt her that he had food downstairs. POOR SAMMY.
The fall means many things for me, football, leaves falling, dealing with colder weather and a reintroduction to running. How is it that during the skin baring summer months, the season of bare shoulders and short skirts, I don’t workout? Maybe its that I don’t have a need to rev up my internal temperature until there is a chill in the air. Or, I’m freaked out by the fast approaching 6-mile race I have to run on Thanksgiving.
4 years ago Monkers and I started a tradition—to run in the Turkey Trot, a 10K race that takes place on Thanksgiving Day. I love this tradition! Every year, I spend the night at her house and we get up early to head downtown. We meet up with about 12,000 other people wait anxiously. The energy and excitement is palpable. Everyone’s breath is visible as the people cram together, jogging in place to keep their bodies warmed up. When the gunshot does finally crack through the crisp air, it’s still a good four minutes before those of us in the 10 min. mile group cross the starting line. The first mile is adrenaline packed—tying not to get run over or trip on the ankles of the person in front of you. By the middle of the race, I’m usually fading. This is when I start thinking about all the turkey dinner I’m going to wolf down later that day without guilt. What other motivation do you need?
After I cross the finish line, the endorphins overflow. If the thought of food doesn’t get me through the race, the runners high at the end will. After sifting through the crowds, searching each other out, we head to the bar for a celebratory drink with the 12,000 other finishers. You may be sweaty and gross, but so is everyone else at the bar at 10:30 AM on Thanksgiving.
So here I am, November 10th, I’m in a familiar “oh shit” spot. I’ve gotten back into running over the past month, but I’m still not comfortable with my pace or endurance. I’m realizing how close the race is and how little I’ve actually exercised in the past 6… no 9 months.
Each weekend, I’m increasing my distance, while working on short runs during the week. This past weekend was four miles. I donned my typical outerwear and headed to the trail to run. My typical outdoor running gear is made up of several layers of clothing, my ipod, cell phone for safety and my keys. All of this and only ONE tiny pocket in the wrist of my long-sleeved shirt. My ipod is at home in an armband that is quickly loosing elasticity. My cell phone and keys were battling for the small pocket. Only one would fit and my cell phone was just about the perfect size. What about my keys? I thought about leaving the phone behind and putting the keys in the pocket. But no, have I learned nothing from Stephanie? Instead, I looped the key ring around my thumb and carried them in my fist. “It’ll work like a weight,” I thought, “burning more calories.”
Off I go.
Wait… Did I mention it was 70 degrees and sunny this weekend? I was wearing multiple layers, the outermost being a long sleeve shirt. This shirt was the ONLY thing that had a pocket in it. Another rationalization “I’ll burn more calories if I sweat more”. Well two miles in, I was dying. It was SO HOT and because there aren’t any leaves for shade, the sunlight created a strobe affect, blinking through skinny tree trunks as I ran past.
Around halfway, I decided to stop, strip off the offending top layer, and tie it around my waist. I was immediately cooler, but then my phone in the sleeve pocket, acted like a weight, pulling the shirt and consequently my pants down, all while thwacking me in the leg with each stride.
And so I ran the remaining two miles with each sleeve in either hand to keep my pants up and stop the thwacking. My keys were still in my right hand and my armband threatening to fall of my left arm. Obviously, I am not accustom to running in warm weather.
With all the requests for chocolate and crocheted thingamajigs, I've got to get busy. Instead of a lengthy post - a picture recap of the week.
Halloween is always a dress up occasion for the fam. Husband and I were a Tea Bag and Dirty Sanchez. Not real classy but real funny.
Biscuit definitely wins this year for best costume. She was Mrs. Pac Man and Nick Nick was a superhero.
Then came Sunday - the day of cleaning. For some reason we had a ton of boxes around. As they were gathered in the living room, Franklin discovered them. He was overwhelmed with joy. Which box was the best? He spent all day trying them all out. Almost made me not want to throw them away.
(yes, two of those boxes are cases of wine!)
And then, the icing on my week. Husband treated me to an unexpected delivery at work. Bright spot in my gray cube.
I was at the grocery story for lunch today. You know what I saw? Christmas wrapping paper. My guess is that it showed up BEFORE Halloween.
I have heard others say the season gets earlier and earlier every year, but I couldn't believe my eyes. Part of me thinks it has to do with the economy. Retailers are looking for any special event to encourage historically high purchasing.
It all stinks of desperation. This could be my empty wallet talking, or the cynicism of knowing what really drives marking campaigns, but consumerism has gotten out of hand. Take Easter for example. WTF is up with kids getting PRESENTS on easter? A basket of candy isn't enough to look forward t? Now there are PRESENTS in the baskets. What's next, presents on Thanksgiving to show how thankful we are for each other? Oh the money!!
Its official, everyone is getting a homemade present this year. If I were you, I'd get your request in for some type of candy or cookie otherwise you'll end up with a crappy crochet thingamajig.
We might need to actually invest in some dog toys for Sammy. She wanted to play and the bath mat was the only thing available. You'd think I'd be mad. Instead I was so proud of her new trick, I had to show you all.
This year has provided me with something I had forgotten—spare time. In the past three years, I’ve done a good job of using up every imaginable minute of my life outside work. If it wasn’t going to school, it was planning a wedding or training for a marathon.
My reintroduction to my spare time went a little something like this…
Me: Hello Spare Time, I’ve forgotten what you look like. Spare Time: I’m looking a little empty. You should fill me up. Me: With what? Spare Time: Most people fill me up with hobbies. Don’t you have any? Me: Hobbies, I forgot all about those. Spare Time: Better find some quickly or Work will come back and fill me up. Me: Ok, Ok. Maybe I’ll learn to crochet. All I need besides you is yarn and a hook.
And so went my attempt to Crochet. I headed off eagerly to the Jo Ann Fabric, excited to find multiple aisles of yarn. There was yarn of all sizes, textures and colors. I gingerly selected my first couple colors. Already I was envisioning the beautiful scarves, hats and blankets I would be making—oh the color combinations, the textures, the possibilities. Spare Time, you won’t be empty for long.
The idea was all very romantic in my head. I would be an expert in no time, flying through projects, adorning my friends with colorful gifts. But then there was the reality, I have NO IDEA what the hell I am doing. I have NEVER created anything from YARN. How did I get this romantic idea in my head. I’m pointing straight at you Linda! She comes in with scarves and baby blankets in a plethora of colors and styles. Beautiful pieces she whips up in a week or so. “It’s so easy” she says…
You Tube taught me enough basics that I began my first scarf with a simple stitch. I knew this first attempt would be messy. I struggled through it until I find a rhythm, or so I thought. I got through the second ball of yarn, needing a third to make the length appropriate for a scarf, when I had to stop. NOONE, not even the proud crafter herself, will EVER wear this thing. I gave up. But then there was this nagging voice...
Spare Time: Hey, I’m a feeling a little empty again. What happened to the crocheting? Me: I don’t have everything I need for that Spare Time: You have the yarn, the hook and me. Me: I don’t have skill!
So for Biscuits Birthday I wanted to make her a cake. When I told her this she said, “I have one I want but it will be difficult.” I really wanted to make something, so I told her to give me the recipe and I'll make it. .
She then showed me the recipe for this cake—delivered to her door courtesy of Martha Stewart. Holy Crepes Batman!
Well, I was excited to take on the task. So a couple of Saturdays ago, I devoted myself to a day in the kitchen.
First, I had to make ALL the crepes. Mind you, I've never made crepes but thought I could make it work. Thank goodness for flat cooking surfaces. As you can see, I'm a mess in the kitchen. The first 5 - 10 were a rubbery mess. I couldn't find the right utensil, so resigned to finger flipping. That worked and I soon got into a rhythm.
Here are a pile of about half the finished crepes. Notice how the plate is precariously perched...I've been know to drop things in the kitchen. After seeing this picture, I now know why.
Then I had to make the hazelnut filling. Let me just tell you about how rich this was. The hazelnut filling called for 2 cups of whipped cream, 2 ½ STICKS of butter, and egg whites along with some sugar and everyone’s favorite staple Nutella. Ok so maybe it didn't call for Nutella. That doesn't really sound like Martha, now does it. Well it call for something I couldn't readily find in Ohio, so Nutella was my replacement (and a damn good one).
So then I layered, layered and layered some more. The biggest problem was keeping the cake vertical as I stacked. The bottom layers wanted to shift left and right. It was a wobbly to say the least. As I tilted it to fit it in the fridge, the layers all shifted. I had to pull it out and give it a shake to straighten it out.
And then I had to top it all with a yummy chocolate ganache. Then is when I realized I didn't have corn syrup. Corn syrup is what gives it that shiny texture and finish. Oh well, I figured there is enough sugar in this thing anyways.
So the cake was in the fridge firming up, but what about those candied hazelnuts? I made those too. I won't even tell you about the experience trying to find WHOLE hazelnuts at the grocery store, UGH.
Here is the candy in the making. mmmmmmm sugary bubbles...
Ok, definitely not as spectacular as the picture to begin with, but YUMMMMM. Thanks for giving me a challenge biscuit, it was fun.
Check out the inside!
NOTE TO BISCUIT: While scouring the internet for the original picture of this cake, I found a dozen bloggers who also were lured into ATTEMPTING this cake. One annoying person replicated it beautifully HERE, while the majority of others struggled as much as I did. I'm linking you to the successful execution because I really didn't believe it could be done that professionally outside of a test kitchen and food stylist. I guess you were the only one lured into the decadent, layers of chocolate hazelnut intoxication.
One of Padre’s favorite ways to end a good evening on the boat is with a bloody-mary. Padre is not much of a drinker, but this is one of his indulgences.
On our last night in the cabin, Biscuit and I mixed up some loaded drinks, handed one to dad and sipped on ours as we cooked dinner. As usual, they went down smooth and fast.
Dinner helped temper the buzz.
After dinner, Biscuit and I had our eyes set on the fire pit. We even bought dry firewood so we were stocked. Are you remembering that this vacation was plagued by rain and clouds? One may say it was forboding.
We ambitiously stacked the logs and found kindling (and cardboard) to get things started. Try as we might, the fire wouldn’t start.
To all of you people out there thinking I did it wrong (I'm looking squarely at my husband), I did not! Not only do I have a fire-pit in our yard, I also, just the Friday before we left, built a fire with only a lighter and some scraps from the woods.
So this fire wouldn’t start. Even the cardboard wouldn’t light. It was getting dark. The lighter was burning my fingers as I circled the pit, fanning, lighting, and fanning some more.
It was after the first twenty minutes that we (I) had ran out of cardboard, broken the lighter and spilled two drinks.
Now what? No lighter or matches to be found.
Enter Padre to the rescue with our next idea. Dinner was cooked on the charcoal grill. “I’ll bet those coals are still glowing hot” he said. Off he goes to scoop up some coals and add them to the fire.
Now we have glowing coals lying in the moist ash at the base of the dry firewood—still no flames. We had more paper, but the coals wouldn’t catch it on fire. I think it was Padre under the influence of too many bloody mary’s who said “Sparklers?” Long story but yes, we had sparklers with us. Biscuit returned with the sparklers. What a sight, the three of us bent over the non-existent fire, holding sparklers to the glowing coals. Still nothing.
I think that was about when Padre gave up and went to finish his book.
I had another idea, I ran inside and grabbed a roll of paper towels. FINALLY something the coals were hot enough to light. I circled the fire ripping off sheets of paper towels, stuffing them in the base, followed by Biscuit who ensured they lit. FLAMES!
The flames only lasted until the fuel of paper towels ran out. So we continued to circle, fueling the fire with Brawny. After a whole double roll was engulfed, the dry logs had finally caught fire. We took turns watching it, fearful it would go out.
So what was the point? Why did we exhaust all sources of spark and fuel?
SMORES, why else.
Oh and don’t forget about those sparklers. They were still in the fire pit, One ignited while I was taking the picture below.
This trip was the one-in-a-million where Mellow Yellow performed at her peak. She was begging us to ski, to show off how great she was performing. When we were kids, the boat served one purpose—pulling us on a tube, skis, wakeboard or whatever contraption dad would allow. We would fight for turns in the spotlight, refusing to get tired thus relinquishing the rope.
We all remember fondly those days, as now we are lucky to make one trip on the boat per season, even luckier to have to boat in good working condition.
So why am I telling you all this? Sure, the memories are nice but there is another reason. In our anticipation to bring back to life the vacations of our childhood, we (I) sometimes forget how much things have changed (size, weight, stamina, athletacism, etc).
A good example s illustrated below. When we were kids and we were cold, wet and tired, the best place on mellow yellow to cuddle up was this little cuddy. Biscuit and I remember fitting both of us int here at a time with a big bath towel around us, bouncing with each wake, heading back to the dock for the night.
And for perspective, here is a grown up biscuit in the same cuddy.
Skiing is like riding a bike, none of us have forgotten or lost our ability. The time spent behind the boat has decreased exponentially resulting in the rooster tail of spray from our ski isn’t as tall, the slice through the wake isn’t as quick and smooth, and the angle on the water isn’t as sharp. The most noticeable change for me is how loud that voice is. The voice that reminds me of how painful it is to bite it. The voice that says, don’t push yourself too hard, you don’t want to be aching the rest of the trip. The voice that represents fear has gotten much louder and more persuasive.
Being that we were the only ones on the lake and mellow yellow was running so smoothly, the glass surface of the water was calling us. We all skied successfully. It just wasn’t the as long, sharp or tight as I remember it.
As I mentioned in my last post, It was cloudy, rainy and cool for most of our trip. The first full day on the lake, we were all hesitant to get wet. Instead, we decided to go exploring. The last time we were on the lake, we saw a man-made tunnel high on the cliff-side that we’d never seen before.
We were probably only seeing it now because of the lower lake level. Let me take a minute and provide some damn history….
Lake Cumberland was the result of the Works Progress Administration. The Wolfe River was dammed in 1952 to create the lake. Under the lake resides the remains of communities that were uprooted and relocated to higher ground. Think the end of "O brother where art thou”. Recently, the Army Corps of Engineers noticed a damn leak. To stave off a damn failure, they lowered the level of the lake. This reduced the damn pressure exponentially—allowing the reinforcement work to take place while providing boaters summertime fun. So why all this damn background? Because the low water level led to some cloudy daytime adventures.
The tunnel we had spotted on a previous trip was once a road that connected to a bridge over the river. We anchored the boat on the side of the hill with the soft sloping bank, near where the old roadway broke the surface of the water. The previously submerged road led us up the hill, over dritfwood and through foliage that had waited 50 years to flourish.
Once upon the tunnel, the boulders stacked up in front of the entrance as if a landslide was the reason it was no longer used. It was as if the tunnel was a secret waiting a generation to be discovered.
Inside, the roadway was covered in a thick dirt and driftwood. It was eerie to explore the space that was probably a fish haven just a few years ago.
As much as it may have felt like OUR discovery, the interior walls of the tunnel told a different story with fresh names etched into the cement.
Up the sloping bank and through the tunnel was once the start of the bridge. Now, instead, the slow incline of the cement road culminated to a 50 foot drop. It was an adventure that kept us busy climbing around, scaring dad and taking pictures.
I know what you’re thinking – seriously, a whole post about a DAMN tunnel. Don’t worry sports fans, boating, skiing and FIRE to follow by Friday.
PS hope your English is good enough to catch the damn references. MIne wasn't. Husband mentioned how witty it was. Yes, sure, witty. I know how to spell DAM.
In my last grasp at summer, I talked padre into an end-of-season boatiing trip. Of course the weather leading up to our trip led me to believe we’d have nothing but sunshine days and cool nights. It was the day before we left when padre checked the weather. I think I’m quoting the weather channel’s caption for the week ahead: “soggy in the south.” Looking forward to a vacation either way, we loaded up the car and headed down to the lake.
When looking for somewhere to rest our head, Dad looked up a place he had stayed years before—the lost lodge. He and Momma T had stayed there with young kids when stretching a buck was the only way to afford a vacation. Stretching a buck is again all the rage, especially in our family.
Growing up mom and dad had told us stories about this place—the place with the never ending stairs, so many stairs that the establishment put in what they call a hillevator. They advertise this unique feature on their website. I couldn’t wait to explore this contraption.
Let me just interrupt my story right here to mention MY DELETE BUTTON ISN”T WORKING. So every time I have a change in direction or a new thought or even a SPELLING ERROR, I can’t fix it. I have to highlight the offending sentence, word or error and hit the space bar. Just one more reason typing this post has taken me several days.
Ok, sorry about that.
Dad and I were the first to arrive, with Biscuit and Monkers not far behind. This gave us an opportunity to unload the car and explore. My first priority was to check out the hillevator, and I will do my best to explain to you what I found.
At the end of the road, a path leads you towards the lake. The path forks, one way towards a steep cement staircase that descends into the forest, and another way towards a platform at the top of the hillevator. Standing there at that platform, there was almost too much to take in. First was the extreme angle of the hill. Standing at the top and looking down into the forest with only a glimpse of the dock, the feeling was dizzying.
Second, the snaking of the cement staircase down the hill with only a rusted steel railing for grip. Each step classified by a high rise, but narrow tread, leaves one having to side-step all the way down. Additionally, because the lake is about 50 ft lower, there are MORE steps where the hillevator ends to get you down to the current water level. Let me just say that after a long day of skiing, when your legs are shaking and your back can barely hold up your own body weight and the stairs seem insurmountable. You take a deep breath and take them one at a time because you know they are the only thing between you and a hot shower!
Third, and most notable, the hillevator. The website failed to mention that this machine is as old as the lodge itself. There next to us was a steel basket that would hold four adults—MAX. The basket and the rails leading down through the dark forest was dark brownish-red. You know, the color of RUST. You know what my dad told me about RUST. It is cancer to metal. HMMMM, do I want to get into this terminal contraption? HELL YEAH I DO.
Dad and I got into the basket and per the homemade sign, pressed the green button to go down. He pressed the button and we waited. My thoughts were clouded with disaster scenarios as we waiting. We waited some more. Did he actually push the button? Just as I looked at him to ask, the basket jerked to a start. We both jumped, gripped the sides for dear life and laughed nervously. As we rode down the hill at a grueling 1mph, I was repeatedly checking the structure of the rails—still contemplating worst case scenarios. Halfway down the hill, I notice that some of the rails are reinforced with wood and secured with………
wait for it……..
ZIP TIES. I am not kidding. The weight of 4 adults that could exceed 700lbs is being reinforced by ZIP TIES? I’m not sure if I was more scared or impressed by the durability of plastic.
Well, since we are all back home in one piece, the hillevator proved to be durable. We rode it up and down the hill all weekend. When contemplating the alternative of 327 steps, we were most grateful for it’s longevity, and the excitement it generated.
As tempted as I am to just post this picture with a one-line comment, I heard from monkers that she gets pretty mad when I cop out that way. After Sammy played so hard she ripped her pads, we were trying to keep her from re-opening the wounds. You'd wake up in the middle of the night to hear her lick, lick, licking.
Those socks coupled with the hardwood floor left her scrambling. So picture this: Sammy unwilling to get up because she can’t keep her footing. Husband and I calling her with treats so we could watch her slide all over. Finally, she would stumble towards us only to stop and try to bite off the offending socks.
After being thoroughly entertained, we took the socks off and let her take care of herself. We just check them every once and awhile to ensure they were clean. Her paws are all better—at least until her next opportunity to run wild.
I know what you’re thinking… but no, this post isn’t about NYC, terrorist attacks or the thousands of lives lost in 2001. Instead, 9/11 is a celebration in our house—Husband’s birthday.
This year, living on a shoestring budget, I’m unable to lavish gifts to show my affection. So, I’ll devote this post to him. He always says my blog posts are making fun of him. To this, my answer: That is because you are funny!
To the man I have spent the better half of a decade with – I’m so lucky to have you in my life. You always make me laugh, usually in spite of my attempts to keep a straight face. Remember the time you put a rubber band around the sink sprayer, so when I turned on the sink it sprayed all over me. I was so mad, impressed and laughing all at the same time.
You keep me on my toes, calling bullshit when I claim to know something, which is quite often. You make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world—quite a feat if you know the state of my self-esteem. You have the most generous heart and spirit. There isn’t anyone you wouldn’t want to befriend or help.
All of these things make me feel like I’ve found something special, something I need to keep close to my heart and protect or else someone might steal you away.
My dad once told me that we were rich in love. Being a teenager, I rolled my eyes and wondered if he really bought into that crap. Now I understand. Happy Birthday, baby.
Recently, due job changes and exciting new ventures, Husband and I have found ourselves living as a one income family. I’m sure, in this economy, we aren’t the only ones experiencing the downsizing.
Our income has been cut in half, resulting in some interesting attempts to save money: Entering more contests, which already paid off thanks to Lodge Cast Iron. Driving to Sonic and sitting in a drive-through line for a half an hour for ONE free root beer float Buying the animals store-brand food. We even bought Sammy a 50LB pound of discontinued dog food for $12! Dollar theater movies Dinners of Mac and Cheese and frozen pizzas – Healthy is expensive. Using any and all credit card rewards for necessities Packing lunches And the most pathetic new trend, mooching off my younger, less-than-wealthy-but-oh-so -generous sister
You all better be excited for some homemade Christmas presents.
Here’s hoping my haircut will last a few extra months. I’ve considered selling my iPod for a new pair of JEANS!
Ok so I know there are only a few of you that read this blog. I know this because I actually have tracking implemented for my blog. I know that my Mom and Dad don’t read it regularly, My husband almost NEVER reads it and most traffic from Linda’s blog (holla)! So instead of rambling on about the kids or something pertinent to my life, I thought I’d direct you to a couple links that defy explanation.
Ugliest Tattoos Just peruse this site for a minute and I bet you’ll find something disturbing, sad, or just inexplicable. I mean, there is a guy who got implants for his busty lady TATTOO. Seriously, you have to check this site out.
Cake Wrecks They can make cakes into anything anymore. That doesn’t mean they should!
It seems it is unseasonably cold today, 73 degrees on August 31. It's either that or I am in disbelief that summer flew by so quickly without even a heat wave to complain about.
My tomatoes aren't even all ripe and the temperature is dipping into the 40's at night. Even family fun day was too cold for swimming. Check out the photo husband took of the beautifully undisturbed lake we were too cold to brave.
I seemed to have missed the brutally hot days when all you want is to eat ice cream and take a refreshing dip in the pool. I was too busy sitting in a gray cube, with fake heat blasting my feet, fighting the blasts of icy cold air conditioning. The only times I felt the welcome warmth of the sun on my face were in the moments after work, walking to my car, shedding the layers of clothes that kept me comfortable in the conditioned air. On my drive home, the sun would set and I would promise myself I'd take a day off soon.
So many of my friends love the fall. I hate it. It is a season that stinks of dying summer. The sun begins to say goodnight earlier, the air gets colder, the leaves even fall to the ground in a dramatic despair. I'm hoping to go boating soon, but am afraid the autumn sickness may have already weakened the sun to the point of no return. If it weren't for football season, I might get depressed.
The changes maybe so subtle you don't notice, but they are there all the same. I have added google ads to the page - Please click away on these ads, I get about a tenth of a cent for each click. (Obviously I didn't win mega millions)
Also I've added RSS feeds and and email subscrption so you can know when I post something new.
So I was recruited at work to go buy the Mega Millions tickets today at lunch. I wonder if they think I'm lucky OR they know they can blame my lack of luck when we don't win.
Since the jackpot is now over $200 million, we all put in an equal amount of money towards 125 tickets. Yes, I know it may be a pipe dream, but it sure gives us all something to hope for, talk about and dream of.
I started thinking about everything I'd want to buy with my cool ten million (before taxes): a new house, new car, fat savings account, vacations, taking care of any debt, taking care of my family and maybe starting my own business.
A friend of mine even found the house she is going to buy as soon as we win. I think I decided I wouldn't buy a huge house, just one that we could be comfortable in. I would maybe also buy a vacation home on the lake that everyone could take advantage of.
Of course all of the decision I made today, were made without any consideration or discussion with Husband. He always says the lottery is a tax for people bad at math. So I figure I'll be rich, bad at math and making all the decisions!
So, I'm all about social media—exploring the development of things like twitter. Anyone on twitter knows companies and brands are exploring the space as well. This has benefitted me greatly. Lodge Cast Iron, in an attempt to get the word out about their social media initiatives, launched a sweeps on twitter.
Being that I follow some foodies, I heard about the sweeps and entered.
I WON! I won a 5-piece cast iron set. Some of you may not care, but this benefited me in two ways. First, FREE CAST IRON! Second, being broke, this presented a great B-day gift for someone else who loves cast iron, Biscuit.
I made fried chicken last night in my NEW cast iron and invited Biscuit and Nick Nick over to enjoy. This is when I presented her with her gift - the cast iron dutch oven, complete with handle. Her response was just what I was hoping for "fuck yeah!".
Lucky day to me, Happy birthday to Biscuit, and Fried Chicken for the family all thanks to Lodge Cast Iron!
I love when my parents tell me stories about when they were young. I put the parent filter aside and try to imagine them as young, impetuous and unsure of themselves. Sometimes, when I catch them in the right mood, it’s becomes a magic moment where THEY enjoy sifting through the memories for the textural details I'm begging for.
We had one of those moments when we were home for Grandma’s funeral.We sat around the kitchen table as mom and dad talked about their lives before us, before responsibility. Each the trip back in time gives us a new glimpse into their past. There were many layers to their lives that were new to the story. I heard about how my dad, just back from being deployed, passed up a career opportunity at the NSA. Instead he ended up back in our hometown. Seems too significant a detail to have never heard it before. It was a turning point in his career, in his path that ultimately led to us, sitting in that kitchen,
That detail has haunted my thoughts as of late—the unknown of where your path is leading. Gives me faith that my decisions (good, bad and ugly) are leading me in down the right path...
My dad called me yesterday morning— a phone call too early in the day to be anything good. Even though my grandma had been in the hospital, I didn’t expect the phone call so soon.
The emotions are a thick emulsion of heartache, grief, guilt, sorrow and joy.
Heartache for my mother—the care she took, the love she expressed, the decisions she had to make—all ending with the pain she is experiencing.
Grief over the loss of stubborn, rebellious, mischievous and spirited woman that made the world a more interesting place to be.
Guilt that I didn’t spend enough time with her, didn’t have kids for her to meet, didn’t care for her the way I wanted to.
Sorrow for the last of my grandparents to pass. A generation lost to me.
Joy as I remember- remember the way she said “Here Now” when she was reprimanding one of us, remembering the trip to Florida with her and Grandpa, remembering the playful bickering between the two, remembering the holidays spent at their house, remembering her behind the bar at Gina’s, remembering her dancing at my wedding just 6 months ago and remembering the lifelong friendship she had with her sister – Aunt Lou
Joy for the family we have. This family knows too well the way a funeral brings us together. I find joy in the support of each other.
Have you all (all 4 of you that is) checked out the new addition to my blog? -------------------------->
That three-d image moves as you mouse over it. It is of all the tags of my past blog posts, my blog consciousness. Click on a tag and it brings up the posts. I'm so proud, you would think I created it. I didn't. I just copied the appropriate HTML code!
Before I was slammed at work this week, I spent the weekend boating. Boating is THE Terrett family past-time. We have endless stories of trekking through the hills of MI, KY and TN in the woody wagon with the ’78 yellow sea ray in tow.
Each story is defined by either the boat or the car breaking down. “Remember the time the boat would only go in reverse?” or “Remember the time we couldn’t figure out what was wrong because moms seat was on the gas line” or “Remember the time we had to turn the heat on in the car so it didn’t overheat in the middle of summer?”
As often as we were speeding across the lake, we were stranded at the dock as Padre worked on the engine of Mellow Yellow. The distance traveled and the weight of the boat about killed the Dasonmobile, the woody station wagon. This is how we fondly remember our family vacations—always an adventure.
Recently Padre made probably the last big investment into Mellow Yellow. She’s now working great. So Husband, Momma T, Padre and I left Friday night for a weekend in KY on the lake.
It was my suggestion to camp, mostly trying to save a couple dollars. Always up for an adventure and saving money, the rents agreed to rough it. Mind you roughing it includes electricity, running water and a bathhouse.
Mom and Dad beat us down to the site and had everything set up. It was great. We sat around the fire and caught up.
We woke up on Saturday to a very gray sky. We launch the boat and she started without hesitation. That gray sky hung around long enough to dupe us into not applying sunscreen. We swam, we drove, we swam some more. Although the boat was still recovering from the work she had done, I was able to ski. And at the end of the day, everyone had a sunburn.
We came back to the campsite and made some delicious, but lethal bloody mary’s. We were pretty toasted by the time we ate dinner. It was a good night!
Sunday started the same, gray sky and some drizzle but it didn’t deter us. Again after a couple hours, the sun emerged. The beautiful day made it very difficult to pack up and leave.
We left Momma T and Padre in KY to play with Meg for a couple more days.
I do love to travel but will never give up the vacations that exist only a couple hours away. Can’t wait to go back.
Despite the rain, we had a great 4th of July party as usual. My family showed up early to help me set up, brought me some great new patio furniture and spent some quality time. Husband’s family followed a little later in the afternoon.
The friends started to crowd the back yard not long after the burgers were put on the grill. The food was fantastic (probably because I didn’t make any of it). Biscuit was the chef of the event.
One of Husbands very intoxicated friends decided to prune our peach tree, Burt. I stormed over to make him cease and desist, but not before he hacked away some of poor Burt’s lower limbs. I couldn’t believe it. Imagine me showing up at a party and deciding the living room should be painted another color. Then I get out the paint out and apply a few brush strokes! The audacity of some people!
The rain was mostly a steady drizzly, not enough to force anyone to leave but enough to warrant a dry haven. Thanks to Husband’s cousin for supplying the BAC (Big Ass Canopy) that kept us dry on the deck.
As always the fireworks show was great. Especially considering the boys didn’t buy any new this year, they just used leftovers from years past. – Hoping to get pictures from biscuit.
The fireworks were what brought the cop around. He was very friendly, just telling us about a complaint. Not long after he left, the complainer emerged from her house, two doors down and started screaming at us. Guess the cops being called wasn’t enough. As we tried to make peace, the scene just got strange, too weird to publish.
Late night the drinking got serious – I actually was the last one awake at 4am. Even more uncharacteristic, I was nursing a bottle of Jim Beam. Guess I didn’t want the dreaded hangover to start yet.
A big shout out to my sisters who truly are my best friends in the whole world. It wouldn’t have been fun without you. Love you!
Honestly not much to talk about this week. The weekend was one of debauchery. Got very drunk and couldn't find anything the next day. Was picked up by Mo and stumbled to the pool where I got crispy burnt. Hangover means forgetting to put on sunscreen - OUCH.
I've also been getting ready for the third annual Fourth Of JULY party. Biscuit is helping me throw the party this year - shout out to little Biscuit. Going to be burgers, dogs, kids, fireworks and Sangria. The combination of those things usually provides the setting for some good stories.
It's an open house atmosphere, come on by if you're not afraid of the east side. Maybe this year it wont storm cause God knows there isn't enough room inside my house for all those people.
I have a new perspective that is helping me tackle some of the more daunting home improvement projects and it is this: Our house is just a "Test" house. This house is just for us to try out our skills or get better at them so we're ready for our next house.
In other words, before moving in I didn't know how to tackle painting paneling. We tested it out and discovered that you should have more ventilation when applying primer. Lost a lot of brain cells to that test.
I didn't really know how to change a light-switch. Let's test it out. OK, maybe I didn't need to turn the power off to the entire house, but I didn't get electrocuted.
So when I got the idea in my head to re-caulk the tub, i didn't worry that I had NO IDEA what I was getting into. It's just a test.
So let me just fill you in on what I learned. Removing caulk: The people that flipped our house didn't know the meaning of craftsmanship Mold isn't as gross and slimy when it's dry A razor blade can't get all the caulk off but it will scrap plastic off the bath-fitter Old caulk doesn't come off in nice big strips like on TV This was a bigger job than I anticipated I should have planned where to shower before I got started.
Applying Caulk Make sure you have a working caulk gun BEFORE the store closes This is a good one - you can cut the tip of the caulk, but nothing will come out until you break the seal DO NOT TOUCH THE CAULK it is sticky and will stick to everything Do not get meticulous—the clumps come from trying to add more, clean up, or smooth out the caulk Have a wet rag handy (or a couple of them if you're new to this) Warn the spouse that no criticism will be tolerated, since I had the guts to take on the daunting task, i mean test.
Finally, last lesson - clean up's a bitch, which is why I still haven't done it yet.
So Husband is out of town this week, which is a rare occurrence. Usually I am the one out of town and he manages the house.
Since i have all of this alone time, I've decided to do some major cleaning. My first project will be a big one so I'm going to start tonight. I'm going to re-caulk our nasty bathtub. This will be a big chore so I'm sure I'll have a long post about my mishaps and before and after pictures.
I also have to tackle the volcano of laundry and ironing that has piled up, clean the nasty oven and do the typical sweep/mop/dust. THANK GOD the dishwasher is fixed.
Gotta get ready for our party so the house can get thoroughly trashed all over again.
I am so proud to show you how my baby grass has grown. It is still young and fine but you can see how it has started to fill out. I’m so proud. If this is indicative of motherhood, watch out. You know that Family Guy episode where the guy slams his pictures of his kids into strangers’ faces?
In addition to the grass, I planted some Clematis to try and cover the ugly but functional chain link fence. It doesn’t look like much, but only a month ago it was an inch off the ground. Hopefully by next year it will grow to a lush blanket of blooms hiding the old, rusting fence.
Finally, there is my first attempt at a vegetable garden. It’s a small bed with tomato plants, peppers, cucumber and a couple flowers. I’m a little worried about the cucumber, but we’ll see.