Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Pointless Lists

February is weird with its 28 non-Leap Year days. Since there are plenty of months out there with 31, why didn't we take a couple off the end somewhere and give February a full 30? My theory is the world's collective sigh when February is over because it means spring is THIS CLOSE, even if March is like the worst month ever with its rain and chill. Or here in the Pacific Northwest, anyway. I can't speak for Australia.

Who cares, I guess. Certainly not Skilly, who is trying to eat my foot. Dude, you're never going to get through that shoe, but I admire your optimism.

So February was The Month of Travels--Longview to visit my grandparents, Bend for our great-nephew's baptism, Lincoln City for the Christmas House. It was also the month of Sort of Remodeling, what with our new awesome floor and freshly painted doors. And it was kind of quiet on the blog front because I did a lot of writing at work and felt kind of over it by the time I got home.

P.S. I just went through and hid or deleted a handful of my Facebook friends. I feel kind of guilty about that, but there are certain people I'm not close to anyway (why did I accept those requests again?) who post things I find I am no longer able to mentally accommodate. Seriously, people, filters. Just because you think it doesn't mean you have to post it.

P.P.S. Johanna woke up with pink eye. Hilarious, especially since Deb in the Front Office (not to be confused with Deb in Sales) was telling me about having to take her daughter to the doctor for pink eye yesterday morning and I was all nonchalant because Abby used to get it EVERY SINGLE TIME she had a cold (well, that or an ear infection. I'm rather glad she's over that particular phase). I think my exact words were, oh, well, it's no big deal, really. I take it back, Deb! I'm sorry!

Pointless list time!

Movies watched:
I don't know if they're technically movies, but anyway, we've been watching the Catholicism series for Lent with the girls. (Huh, the price went up. We did NOT pay that.) I'm not sure how much Johanna is getting out of it, but Abby seems to be learning a lot, and it's a good refresher for me and Eric. So that's a win.

Then, again for Lent, Eric watched For Greater Glory, which is the true story of how the Mexican president in the 1920s outlawed Catholicism. Uh, did not know that even happened. Anyway, it was supposed to be all inspirational, I'm sure, but good Lord! I wasn't really watching--I was reading, obviously--but it was horrible what these people went through. And not to give you any spoilers, but here's a spoiler: When they killed that kid, I threw a fit. DISLIKE. Humans suck.

Books read:
Well, I finally finished the Outlander series--what's seven thousand pages when you're having fun?--so Eric's jacked, but then I started rereading, so maybe he's less jacked now. I'm not ready to let Jamie and Claire go quite yet, plus I was pounding them down to find out what happens, so I can take my time now. Hear that, Eric? And I'm NOT sorry!

Most read post:
Morning view. Um, my most read post was one that contained no words except for the title. This does not do a lot for my self esteem, people.

Things I've learned:
I'm tired of being cold. Wood floors are the best. Skilly is probably drunk because he's gone from trying to eat my shoe to trying to eat my keyboard. Good books are the best. Being premenstrual and not having chocolate to self medicate with sucks. Not talking sometimes is better than talking. My capacity for coffee seems quite high.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Never underestimate the power of a clean floor

You know what I love about being 40? All the time I spend in front of the mirror, plucking chin hairs. Seriously, nobody could give me a head's up about this twenty years ago so I could appreciate being young and awesome?

Also: Finding a hair that's like INCHES long sticking straight out of my chin/neck and getting to wonder how many people saw that damn thing without saying a word. Probably feeling sorry for me. I don't need your sympathy, people! Tell me, for pete's sake!

So this weekend we made some (unintentional) progress on the minimalism front. I got a wild hair on Sunday and did some major spring cleaning. My bathroom? Is a thing of beauty right now. So is my kitchen floor. I digress. Anyway, I'd set Johanna to cleaning her room and made a side comment to Eric about moving her dresser into her closet to give her more floor space... and the next thing I know, he's in there leading a major overhaul expedition. AWESOME. I was thinking maybe this was a project I'd tackle next weekend, but hey, I am not complaining.

Johanna's bedroom floor BEFORE (P.S. if you want to be
depressed, go look up "Landfill Pictures").
And after. That's JUST FLOOR, which is totally the point.

And since Johanna was in there with him, she felt like she had some control over his ruthless tossing. She filled three paper bags with clothes and toys, which is major as she really loves her stuff. (I was trying to explain that since she has a very small bedroom--it was supposed to be Eric's office--we need to cull whatever isn't totally needed. She argued she'd be moving into Abby's bedroom eventually so it would be okay. Um, she gets the big room when Abby goes to college... in about four and a half years. We're not waiting that long.)

P.S. It turns out she has a lot of leggings after all, so it's kind of unfortunate I just bought her three new pairs at the outlet mall. It's amazing what Eric unearthed in that closet...

Abby also filled a bag with clothing and random objects, but that's not quite as impressive because she's okay with getting rid of things she doesn't need or want. Which is impressive in itself, I guess, so never mind, she rocks. Also, is it normal for a teenager to keep her room so neat? Oh, there's clothing scattered across the floor by the time the weekend rolls around, but using memories of my own teenage bedroom, I think we're getting off fairly easy.

Best project of the weekend: He had the girls (Abby LOVED this, just kidding, you could have cut the angst with a butter knife unless there's something out there duller than a butter knife, that's the level of angst we're taking about) sort the crayons, colored pencils and pens into three different groups. Anything not working or broken was tossed. Since we have a collection that began when Abby started kindergarten (i.e. nine years worth of stuff), and the effects of said school supplies were pretty much everywhere, this was quite genius. And then Eric was all, we are not buying any more of this stuff, ever. When they need stuff for school, we're shopping this first, and I was all, now that I can get behind.

So cross Johanna's room off the list. I am still trying to steel myself for the laundry room, but I haven't got depressed enough to do anything about it just yet. Next week! Um, maybe.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A day at the office


So the other day Rosie from the Press comes into the front office and just completely loses her shit. Well, she was frustrated, but the good news is we were free of customers because otherwise, wow, awkward. Anyway, Cranky Steve was at my desk telling me about something or other (pick a theme: People Lack Responsibility, Today's Children Are Spoiled Brats, or Why He Hates Our Town. It was probably one of those), and as soon as Rosie started in, he stood there with his mouth open and then rolled his eyes at me as if to say, some people!

And I was all, are you kidding me? That's you in like ten minutes, tops. He didn't take offense, though, probably because I had the sense to keep it to myself.

Other news: I am now a character on Rosie's PlayStation game! Apparently I have a sword. I'm not sure about that part, but I'm wearing navy blue, so, you know, win.

Not 24-hours after writing this, Cranky Steve was dealt a serious blow: A substitute paper carrier somehow managed to NOT deliver more papers than he delivered, thus resulting in a never ending flow of phone calls from confused and often angry customers. He spent three days trying to get everything sorted, and confided that he was thinking maybe of taking a stocking job at a grocery chain because customer service is overrated.

Poor Steve. He's cranky even under the best of circumstances, but this was beyond anything I've seen to date. It was mildly impressive, actually.

P.S. I know I need to write another post, but I just don't have one in me. Maybe later tonight (2/25).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What do shallots and the coast have in common?

I'm crying because I'm cooking shallots and it turns out shallots are jerks. Fun fact: My girls are big fans of caramelized shallots. Well, butter, you know.

I've told Eric (several times) that I'm over cooking (several times), but he's not really listening to me. He graciously announced last night that he's got dinners taken care of this week (stir fry last night, hamburgers tonight, spaghetti tomorrow, who cares, I don't have to deal with it), and then he's all, so maybe you could make some potatoes? And I was all, I don't think you're quite understanding what I'm saying here.

And anyway, we don't own potatoes, but then my conscience got the best of me, and while we don't own potatoes, we do own green beans and shallots. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Um, that is not what I wanted to write about at all.

So this weekend we went to Lincoln City for our annual Christmas House extravaganza with Eric's entire family. We're up to 24 now, except two of those are babies, and next year we'll be 25, because there's another baby on the way. So that's exciting.

The Christmas House started about 15 years ago, around Christmastime (der), when Eric's side decided that instead of exchanging gifts, we'd all just pool our money and rent a house. This? Is genius. The girls get uninterrupted cousin time, plus we've got built in babysitters all over the place! Oh, and also we get to hang out with everyone, which is a lot of fun.

Just stirred the shallots. So far, so good.

As the kids have gotten older--we have nieces and nephews in their mid and late twenties--coordinating schedules has become more of a challenge. Which is why we've had the I Have a Dream House* and the Presidential House*, except we keep calling it the Christmas House anyway because that's what it is.

So we went:
Hot tubbing
Outlet mall (I was a very good little minimalist, no worries)
Walk around the neighborhood
Beach (well, Abby anyway)
Mass (where Johanna rocked her fedora and got lots of compliments)

And we also:
Played with babies (I'm pretty sure Kayden misses me terribly right now)
Celebrated my brother-in-law Greg's 50th birthday at a casino buffet
And that's when we learned Keshia and Brian are expecting baby #2
Watched movies (except not me)
Played cards (also not me)
Watched SNL (YEARS since that's happened)
Stayed up way too late
Played games (again, not me)
Read (me!!!)
Spent a stupid amount of time online (also me)
Drank ungodly amounts of coffee
Ate a red velvet Christmas cake (definitely not me, red food coloring, yo)

...Which probably explains why I've spent all morning doing laundry and trying to clean the house in a general sort of way. Um, how does a house get thrashed when you're not even in it?

Shallots done, beans boiling. Multitasking!

*MLK weekend and Presidents weekend, just in case it didn't translate. We require four days and three nights.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be mine

Eighteen years ago, Eric proposed. We went out to dinner and took a walk in the snow, and the next thing I know, he's saying lots of really nice words and we're engaged.

This morning, the girls found Valentines Eric secretly left in their rooms before work. Too much cuteness. They were wondering where MY Valentine was, and I tried to explain that seeing them with theirs was enough, because seriously, that was awesome, but they did not give up, and eventually I did find mine.

I was not expecting that. Last night he dyed my hair and we joked that THAT was my Valentine, which is a pretty good one, I think, because how many boys will do that kind of thing? That's love right there.

Well, anyway, before you start thinking we're perfect, here's how the rest of this day is going to pan out: Eric is playing racquetball after work and I'll dig around for something in the freezer because I'm not in the mood to cook. Eventually I'll give the girls cheap-o chocolates from Walmart (why can't I break up with you, Walmart? And also, suddenly my chocolates seem even lamer, what with their Daddy's sweet Valentine words) and... I don't know. Homework and reading and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, probably.

Huh. I guess we are perfect. Never mind.

P.S. Does any one else think it's suspicious that "Valentine's Day" and "venereal disease" have the same initials?

I love me some Grumpy Cat.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Seven more things

1. I have been sitting here looking at the computer screen for like an hour and nothing is coming. I need topics, yo.

2. Well, a lack of topic has certainly never stopped me before, but I feel a bit sheepish for pulling out two lists in a row.

3. Whatever, I guess.

4. Today is Fat Tuesday and I cannot for the life of me figure out why everyone's eating pancakes. Save that for Ash Wednesday, people, jeez! (Ah, wait... Google is telling me it's a British thing. That explains it.)

5. We are celebrating with BLTs. And guacamole. And doughnuts. Maybe doughnuts. I still need to stop by the store but am I really in the mood for that? No. Maybe we'll just polish off the Almond Roca my Mommy gave me for (early) Valentine's Day instead.

6. My Aunt Jan had a bone marrow transplant last week. Maybe send some good thoughts her way if you think about it.

7. My hair is very, very big today. I have roughly a half-hour to see what my flat iron can accomplish. My hopes are not high.

BONUS THING: I had a dream about Madie. We were in Hawaii and she crawled out of the luggage, limping and completely pissed. All I could think was how hard it was going to be to get that cat back on the return flight home...

P.S. My new boots are perfect, Ann. Abby says they make me look like Darth Vader. That is even better than I'd dared hope.

Darth likes my boots.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Seven things

1. When I'm all alone and One Direction shuffles up on my iPod, why don't I change it?

2. Rosie from the Press came into the front office the other day to talk to me about the video games she plays on her PlayStation. I have absolutely no idea what she's talking about, ever, but I'm a good listener, so no harm done. She showed me the character she's named after Stacey (who can shoot laser beams out of her eyes and hands. This has quite gone to Stacey's head), and Stacey was all, where's Trisha's character? Hers would need to do something weird, like just throw snowballs. And I was like, that? WOULD BE AWESOME. Rosie said she didn't have any characters who threw snowballs, but I maybe could freeze someone. I liked that idea. I was like, I'll freeze them, and then I'll laugh... and then unfreeze them and walk away! Rosie said that is NOT how it's done (apparently you freeze people and then ninja chop them or something, I have no idea, it sounded kind of worrisome), but the more I think about it, the more I'd really like to see a character who just freezes people to laugh at them. Well, I'm nonviolent, you see, but have a soft spot for laughing.

3. There's a spider on the computer desk. Excuse me while I go flush it. Also: What? It's still winter! GO AWAY.

4. While flushing the spider I saw that it had crawled on Johanna's like 18th school fundraiser packet for the year. Oops, yet another one I refuse to participate it. Surely we can do better than to sell people crap they don't want anyway. Doesn't anyone do jog-a-thons anymore? I give you money, you give me nothing. THAT I can get behind.

5. It will come as a relief to Eric, I'm sure, to learn that I have started the final book in the Outlander series this week. He thinks I should give it up for Lent. Um, no. Jesus doesn't want me to suffer THAT much. This morning, though, I am going to be very good and do like a concentrated 15 minutes of housework before settling down to read. I mean, I'm not completely clueless about my responsibilities. Jeez.

6. I am eating my cereal out of a coffee mug this morning because apparently I forgot to start the dishwasher last night and no one else has those skillz. (Um...)

7. I LOVE MY NEW FLOOR! Yes I'm shouting, I'm excited. The guy was here until 9:30 p.m., which I felt kind of bad about. We still need moldings--those are on back order--but it's like a completely new space. It's so dang pretty. Love, love, love. The only downside is that Johanna has taken to wearing socks in the house (she never wears socks ever, even when it's below freezing) so she can slide around and do "tricks." I keep hearing loud thumps, followed by a shout of, "I'm okay!" I'm not sure I can take the next eight years of this or whatever it is until she outgrows such behavior. Surely not past the age of 16, right?!?

Hello, my pretty.
...And with that, you are COMPLETELY up-to-date, except for all that other stuff I forgot to mention.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Sort of Remodel Project, part whatever this is

The awesome thing about having a husband who doesn't sit down is that stuff gets done. The downside is this particular husband doesn't think anyone else really wants to sit down either, which is a fairly unrealistic expectation this early in the morning.

I have a routine, man! I like to drink my coffee and eat my dry cereal (um, milk issues) and poke around on the internets. While sitting down. In the quiet. I feel this is my God-given right after getting the girls out the door in the morning, because wow, that is way harder than you'd think it would be.

Well, anyway, more first world problems, but our floor is being installed today. So Eric is home, vacuuming particle board and moving furniture and generally making a lot of racket. I really should have planned an outing (even bucket drumming during Artist in Residence week at the elementary school is sounding kind of good right now), but alas and alack, that did not occur to me until this very minute.

The Sort of Remodel Project, part whatever this is, in pictures:

Abby must have taken this one... Carpet removal! Hooray!!!!

We built the house when Abby was three and let her color on the floor.
I *think* she was trying to spell Madie's name.

That's welcoming. Couch on the porch.

Particle board! You'd think it would bug me, having lived like this
for a few days, but actually, the echo makes up for any inconveniences.

Abby's room has become the furniture dumping ground, poor kid.

This is a good day. Even if Eric won't let me burn the couch...  (Just kidding. Kind of.)