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That’s what I’ve been doing for so very long.

One year ago today, I attended the memorial service for, and said goodbye to, my dearest childhood friend, JT.  It was two measly posts ago that I wrote about it.  I’ve been back to my blog one time since I wrote about my greatest heartbreak and I couldn’t bring myself to write about anything.  Not that anything before that point was prize winning, but I have been going down a very long road with the grief.

In one week, I’m participating in my fifth half marathon.  I’m not ready.  I hit a nasty block with the Air Force Half Marathon.   Had I not joined Fisher House Foundation‘s charity team, Team Fisher House, and raised money, I likely would have bailed. but I didn’t want to let those who supported me down.  I ended up traveling alone and running alone.  It rained and I was 20 minutes past gun time starting because traffic was a nightmare trying to get on base even though I gave myself over 3 hours to get there.  I developed a blister about mile 1.5, lost my interval timer and stupidly backtracked trying to find it, which I never did.  However, I was a finisher.  That was five weeks ago and I’ve put my running shoes on once.  Today.

Today, Fab wanted to go for a run with me.  I purposely didn’t time it and I refused to look at the clock because I didn’t want to know how long it took us.  It was the slowest two miles I’ve had in a long time, but I swear it went by the quickest.  She reminded me to be aware of what was around us, asked if my phone was fully charged, and we were off.  We talked, laughed, and had a great time.  She told me she was sorry for being slow.  I told her it didn’t matter and I meant it.  We finished our two miles and we did it with a smile and a high five.  She has asked for a fuel belt for Christmas.  Her biggest concern is what to put in the zippered pouch since she doesn’t have car keys or a phone.  But she wants one because I have one and she wants to run with me.

Next week I’m meeting up with one of my besties.  It will be her first half marathon.  I’m so proud of her and the strides she’s made with running.  She’s an inspiration to me and I’m looking forward to supporting her and cheering her on.  Next week I’ll lace up my running shoes and don my calf compression sleeves and running jersey to raise awareness for a cause I believe in.  Next week I’m dedicating my run to JT.  Just like everything else I tackled in my life, he supported me with a whole heart and unwavering love.  I will do my best, albeit slow, and count my blessings with every step I take.

Be well.

And I come back to my blog.  I think Faceb00k has me spoiled.  I can post my drivel there so much easier.  I’m lazy.  I admit it.

I scrolled back over the years of posts seeing the piccies of O and all the things we’ve done, the happy things, recipes I love and what I’ve bitched about.  I had something all lined up to write, but then I remembered, and read, my last post about losing JT and I can’t do it.  It’s been almost a year and my heart and soul still have a huge void.  And I miss him.  Oh, how I miss him.  I’m not sure why my heart won’t get over this hurdle.  Maybe I’ll try again soon.

xo

Our most heartfelt thanks to all those who have worked and sacrificed to make our nation as great as it is.

We’ve had a bumpy road, but, when all is said and done, my soldier and I come together on the things that mean the most to us. And duty is at the top of that list.

So, I felt good blogging about meals I’ve cooked that were budget friendly.  I don’t know that anyone cared, but writing has been therapeutic in the past, so I thought it would be now.  Why not put two of my favorite things together: cooking and saving money.  But you know what I love more?  WORKING for said money.  This unemployment thing sucks.   One would think I would have all these magnificent projects done around the house.  No.  One would think I’d be well-rested and ready to perform at my peak.  Not even close.  One would think…One would think…I would think.

Over the past four weeks that I’ve been unemployed,  I have learned some things:

1. I have chosen to surround myself by some really awesome people.

2. These really awesome people randomly check in on me to make sure I’m still picking my head up off the pillow.

3. These people don’t judge me when I am honest about how I’m feeling.

4. My husband really does love me.  Maybe this one should have gone first, and I could have deleted it and moved it up there, but I decided to just keep it as it was because, well, it’s where it fell in my thought process.

5. Choices are so much more important than I ever thought.  I have preached it and believed it, but guess got a little complacent with it.

6. Not everyone who gives their word will keep it.

7. Everything (and -one) has a period of usefulness.  When it is outlived it is gone.  Period.

8. People still respect me.  And they always will.

9. I am beneficial to someone in some way.  I just might not know it yet.

10. People believe in me.  I only wish I did one third as much as they do.

11. My family loves me.  No one can ever take that away.  I don’t care how much of an asshole they are.  Being an asshole only reinforced it.

We finished. I’m not dead, but might be a wee bit injured. It’s an azz kicker, that’s for sure.

Today’s the mud run. Went to bed last night with a fever, aches all over, stuffy head and sore throat. Woke up pretty much the same. Hopefully D*yquil and adrenaline will kick in soon. Otherwise, I have this overwhelming desire to go back to bed.

Wish us luck!

We’ve been singing this song quite a bit lately and there’s a reason.  The backstory is my parents have sold their place on the coast.  They still have their boats at the marina, but the main house has been sold.  I’ll admit, it was a little bittersweet for me as they’ve had a place somewhere in Southport since I was in college, but they are grateful to be out from under the pressures of maintaining two homes that require constant prettying up, so it’s gone.  And I totally appreciate that.   That was one of the places we had to go for a vacation.  The other is our timshare through Wyndham Vaction Resorts.  We bought ours on the resale market and saved a LOT of money and it has served us well for the past seven years.  So, what to do now.  Will likes to camp.  I don’t.  It was hot, dirty and too much trouble for the amount of time we were there.  I’m a chronic hand washer and didn’t have that luxury while tent camping as our site had no water and the bath house was forever away and was nasty, even if I did decide to go down there.  That was a $400 weekend that remains packed up in storage only to be talked about in jest.

Moving on to Holiday Road.  Mom and dad decided their retirement needed to include a motorhome.  Come to find out, they have some friends who have some friends who had one for sale.  So B and F hooked mom and dad up with MJ and B and my camping future would forever be changed.   It wasn’t quite what mom and dad were wanting in one, so my dad called me.  It was an incredible deal.  Super sweet, to be exact.  Will and I talked it over and we decided we would become the new owners of Holiday Road.  This past Saturday it was official.  We drove down to Southport and picked her up.  We stayed at an RV campground that probably set the bar kind of high for my future of what to expect from an RV campground.  Will backed her right up, we hooked up the power, water and turned the a/c on.  Bliss.   This is my idea of camping.  There was no cable there and our satellite tracker is gone, so we had no television, but I did have the forethought to take some movies, so we watched movies when we were in.  She needs some cosmetic work and we’ll do it slowly and little bits at a time, but she’s awesome and we had a blast.

Meet Holiday Road:

Camping is so much more fun with appliances and a/c

Mar says these t-shirts will make our adventure complete.  While I think they’re awesome, I’m not quite ready to have Olivia repeat what my shirt reads

Today I went skydiving.  I’ve had to put it off a few times because of the weather, but it was awesome!  I only had a few moments that I was scared and snuck in a few extra prayers.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I was pleased and had tons ‘o fun.  It’s HARD catching your breath when you’re moving so fast and my ears had a time adjusting, but it was a clear day, my instructor was awesome and we had a “textbook” landing.  I’ve never had an adrenaline rush like that.  Ever.   I’ll probably do it again at some time, but we’ve got some other pretty big things going on right now, so I chose to not spend the money on that.  Hopefully by next week I can show you what else we’ve got going on …

Have a wonderful week.
Be well,

Susan

There is a song by the Robbie Seay Band, a Christian rock band, called Love Wins.   I like the song alot and have since I first heard about the band at This Is Reverb.   I bought the CD and listened to this song over and over.   It’s in (on?) my iTunes at work, which isn’t the iTunes I use to sync my iPod, so the only time I hear it is when I listen at work.  But usually I listen to Pandora Radio, so iTunes gets a wee bit dusty.

Today, I dusted off iTunes and listened to the song and it got me thinking…does love really win?  There is no secret I’ve had some struggles over the past couple of years and this song made me wonder… is love really enough?  I’m not talking about faith.  I’m talking love.  Loving our family, our spouse, our friends.   I’m talking pure, unadulterated, makes your heart flutter and be glad, but watch out or you’ll end up behind rose colored glasses love.

We love things, the thoughts of things – dreams – and we love people.  But our love changes.  It goes to like.  And then to meh.  A new purse, for example.  We see it, love it and buy it.  Then, when we decide it isn’t quite right for us, we put it in our closet and usually the next step is to get rid of it, but not before it hides in the recesses of our closet for who knows how long.  Things that works for.  But what about the rest of our loves? If I were to declutter my people list every time someone lost their luster, in my eye, I would be a sad, lonely girl.   In this respect, I’m a hoarder.   I try to hang on to relationships and people; much like I do old purses.  It’s not that I don’t like them, because I still do, maybe it’s just not the right “outfit.”  It seemed a little simplistic to me at first, but the more I think about it, the more I question love being enough to continue down a path.  Do we love our jobs enough to remain in an environment that is unhealthy for us or do we do it out of necessity?  With the economy the way it is, I say this question gets answered differently than, say, five years ago.  What about relationships and the people in our lives?  Is the love we have enough to overcome hurt?  Is the passion enough to continue to forge on when our hearts are broken?  What about the one who gave us away when we got a scratch and weren’t “perfect” anymore, but didn’t tell us?  Forgiveness is important and, admittedly, it is not one of my best qualities.

If love, in fact, is enough, I don’t think I would have been on this roller coaster known as my life for as long as I have.  On the flip side, love helped get me here, so there’s an opposite pull on me.  I want love to win.  I do, but how do we roll ourselves back to find the love we lost along the way so love can win?

We are alive and well.  I’m still searching for my happy place and to get my zen back.  I think we’re going on about two years now, but, for the first time in a long time, I think I am actually getting close.  My heart and mind seem to be getting on the right track, now if I can just get the chip off my shoulders I will be there.  Just so you know, being a total control freak wreaks havoc and loosening the grip is so very hard.  Baby steps, right?

Now, to break out the super cool bullets of what’s going on and what will (hopefully) follow in future blog posts.

  • We didn’t have a garden this year, but mom and dad did and I’ve been lucky enough to be the recipient of some of the fruits of their labor.  I have shelled butter beans and like it less now then when I was a kid.  I’ve learned to can.  That’s a whole post in itself.  Blueberry season is here.  I haven’t been picking, but a family friend has and has shared his crops with us.  We have squash, squash, squash, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, butter beans, cantaloupe and watermelon.  Thanks mom and dad!  xoxo
  • Olivia has her first crush.  BIG crush.  It, too, is a post all its own.
  • Survived the transition to the Y.  In a couple of weeks she’ll be moving again to the place where she’ll attend after school care.  Hoping it will go more smoothly.
  • Running still sucks.  Hugely.
  • Jillian Michaels has azz kicking DVDs and it’s hard resisting the urge to sit and watch them with a bag of Cheez Puffs.
  • I cried during Toy Story 3 and even caught myself saying, “nooo!”  Will laughed at me.  Only because he has a cold heart and wasn’t moved like the rest of us.
  • I turned 37 on the 15th.  Either I felt old before, or the transition to getting older is easier than it used to be.

Hope all is well with y’all!

Be well,

Susan

Who doesn’t search for it?  Who doesn’t sit back and ponder, “exactly what is happiness?”  Some might say it comes chocolate dipped.  Others might say it’s  a fat, big ‘ol gut bustin’ piggy bank.  Apparently, it’s a little more simple than that…

No tan lines.  Crap.  I just knew a fat piggy bank and a gold box marked G0diva held my bliss.   While I appreciate finding the answer, my take on it is this:  It must be for those who have the ability to turn a color other than pink and fish belly white.  ‘Cause I’m a religious SPF50 girl who, if not careful, can burn by the light of the moon.   I know you’re all just dying to know where I found this gentleman sporting the faded blue tank…in the sporting goods department at the Wal Marks while waiting to get my salt water fishing license so I could enjoy the day trolling the ocean blue catching fish with my little Fabul-O.

And just so you know, I’m still holding out hope on the chocolate and a fat bank roll.

Nothing much, really. Nothing anyone would be interested in, anyway. In January, I lost a contract job I’ve held for seven years. No, it’s not my “real” job, so I’m still working full-time (and very grateful for that, I might add). However, it was a pretty big blow to our household budget, so I’ve made saving money my new mission. Now, I’ve always watched for sales and stuff and avoided paying full retail unless it was absolutely necessary, but when you have more “disposable” income, you tend to not pay attention as closely as you should. Okay, “you” = me/I. It took a while to get used to not having to work in the evenings and I’m enjoying being able to spend time with Fabul-O. I’m cooking more and loving being able to go to bed when I’m tired, not when a deadline has been met. OH, and having a weekend that is completely free. *squee*

So, I’m a couponing diva now. Yes.I.Am. And I love it. My coupon binder is my third love and I *heart* my reusable bags. I love super doubles and triple coupon weeks make my heart swell. We’re still able to donate and give at a level we’re comfortable with, so that’s an added bonus. Saving an average of 70% on my grocery bill is freaking awesome. Awesome, I say, and I haven’t paid more than .25 for toothpaste since December. And, no, I don’t buy things we won’t use just because I have a coupon for it. Not for our personal use, anyway. I recently donated 60 cans of dog food and three bags of cat food to our local animal shelter. We don’t have a cat because of my allergies and PomPom doesn’t eat canned food. But it all worked out to be free, so it was a win all the way around.

I negotiated a better rate with Time-we’re-sucking-your-bank-account-dry-because-we-can-Warner and even made the courageous feat to give up our Blackberries. It’s a luxury, a purely evil luxury, but I missed it terribly while it was gone. Yeah, we’ve got it back, but only thanks to Will’s company insisting he have it and the reimbursement method they chose covers most of my service, too. We already have Vonage, but I’m not quite ready to give that up yet, even though we hardly ever use our home phone, so that expense stays. Our room addition/playroom/three-season porch is about 80% done. Will take a wee bit more time to get it finished, but it’s been closed in since October, what’s a bit more time among friends? BUT I was able to do it in the evenings and on weekends. We are sprinters on that project…run for it and then stop. We’ll sprint on again soon. I need to paint the trim, pick out flooring and hang the curtains. After I buy the rods.

I hurt my foot a while back, so my Couch to 5K training came to a halt. I’m not sure I’m meant to be a runner, but we are currently training and getting ready for the Marine Corps Mud Run in September. Four months from today, actually. Running is one of about a half dozen things that makes me feel defeated and deflated. I’m trying hard not to let it, but it does. I’ve set the goal to finish it. And I will. Our team is “Ladies and Grunts.”

I’m also dealing with some “heart” issues. Not as in health, but as in forgiving, forging on and being made whole again. I have a hard time forgiving, no matter how hard I try. Dudes, it is so stinking hard. I have lost my will to be a greater person and I want it back. I need my head and heart to get on board together. Has anyone else ever noticed you can’t force those two to jive? It’s like oil and water. I need it more like peanut butter and jelly. If I don’t do something, my life as I know it will never, ever be the same and I’m not sure I want that.

Olivia has two more weeks at her current school. Friday is field day, and I’m off work, so I’m going to spend the day with her at school and hopefully make some nifty little treat for her class. Then we’ll spend the afternoon packing for a little coastal get away with my family. Will’s parents just left/ they visited with us for a week and a half and I know they were exhausted from having Olivia climb all over them, but it was nice to have them here. The big plus was they were here for Fabul-O’s end of year program at school, which she rocked, by the way. Totally rocked. All the kids did. And you can tell from the way they screamed they were told to speak loud so all the audience could hear. Pre-K has had its challenges for us this year, but it makes my heart sad that Kindergarten is on our horizon. My little girl gets bigger and bigger each and every day. I only wish she knew how much I love her.

So, with a wee bit over 900 words, you see what I said was true…nothing much going on and certainly nothing interesting. I miss blogging. I truly do and hope to get my mojo back. I’ve tried for about a year, with no success, but I’m going to keep trying.

Thanks for hanging around.

At the Bon Jovi concert and it kicks ass. Fabul-O says it best, “Bons rocks!” To the freaking Nth degree and some.

All around the blogisphere, you can find “Favorite Things Friday.”  From time to time, Shanny posts a few of her favorite things and I wanna do it, too.  So, here we go.
I’ll start in the kitchen.

Those who are FB buddies know I lurve.lurve.lurve. my “magic pot” from Pampered Chef.  They actually market as the Deep Dish Covered Baker.  Most weeks I use it at least three days a week.  In the microwave.  I know!  Never in one hundred bajillion years would I ever think I ‘d make chicken in the microwave, but I have.  Whole chicken, boneless/skinless chicken breasts, and bone in chicken.  I have also used it for pork loin, browning hamburger, made tacos, meat loaf.  Let me tell you, ever since I browned hamburger for the first time – virtually unattended – I haven’t cooked it on top of the stove again.  6 minutes on high, break it up some more, stir it up, cook it for 4 more minutes and, voila, it’s done.  Drain it well and use it.  Because it’s the stone ware, clean up is more than simple.  Bottom line: I love it.   FYI: My preference are chicken breasts with the skin on…just tastes good.  Rubs work 150% better than using a sauce. And I do have the cranberry one.

Reynolds Wrappers Pop-Up Foil Sheets.  I bought some moons ago from S*m’s and have finally just run out of them because I don’t use them all that often.  Besides, it was an industrial size package I bought.  They are the perfect size for lining a small pan, covering a dish and wrapping stuff up.  Sometimes I have to overlap them, but I love them.  Plain and simple and I, honestly, can’t tell you why.  I just do.

Plastic gloves.  Another lurve of mine.  I bought a double pack at S*m’s and have had them forever.  There are 500 in a box and I think I’m still on my first box.  They’re great for handling poultry or pork.  Heck, they are great for handing all types of meat and when you don’t want to get your hands dirty.  Of course, they don’t do well around heat, so you gotta make sure you are smart about that.  A wonderfully smart, inexpensive must for my kitchen at Chateau L.

Temp-tations Stoneware.  I bought this on the recommendation of my friend Amy and it it awesome.  Awesome, I say, and I’m hooked on it.  I have the blue.  They are heavy weight and look nice.  I’ve baked lasgna and macaroni and cheese in them and it.has.never.stuck.  Never. Ever. And, no, I didn’t use any type of spray or butter.   I baked a pineapple upside down cake in it not too long ago and it came right out without such ease.  Of course, that one had a whole stick of butter in the bottom of the pan so there was no way it would have stuck 🙂   It is pretty inexpensive stuff and I have replaced all my old stoneware with it, except for a couple of Pampered Chef pieces I use (see “magic pot” above).  This is definitely worth it’s weight in gold.

I buy some of my spices from Penzey’s.  I wish they had a store close to me, because I don’t like paying shipping.  I have used many of their spices, but these are my favs: Beef Roast Seasoning, Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle (this is yummy sprinkled on pasta tossed with some crisp-tender veggies), Breakfast/Pork Sausage Seasoning (yes, I’ve made my own sausage and it was good.  No, I didn’t grind up a piglet, but I started with ground turkey and ground pork…I like controlling what’s in it), Galena Street Rib and Chicken Rubsalad dressings: Buttermilk Ranch, Creamy Peppercorn, Italian Vinegar and Oil.  I have, but have not used Country French Vinaigrette and Sandwich Sprinkle, and Shallot Salt.  I really love the shallot salt, but I’ve ordered it twice and both times I have had horrible problems with caking.  The first time I ordered it, I didn’t use it right away and when I opened it, I had a problem with caking.  I called to talk to them about it and was told since I waited so long to open it, they wouldn’t exchange it.  I ordered it again after they told me they had started a new anti-caking agent, but I have the same exact issue.  I chisel it out of the jar when I want to use it. Aside from the Shallot Salt, I’ve not had any issues with their spices.  Maybe I just got a left over jar of the old stuff.  Who knows.  I’ve ordered more of their stuff – some I liked pretty well, but not really well like these. Others I am lukewarm on and some of them I just didn’t like.

My beloved Kitchenaid mixer.  Oh, I how I love thee.  Let me count the ways.  I don’t have the fancy dancy big one, just the basic one and it r.o.c.k.s.  It has made more cake mixes and batches of butter cream icing than I could ever dream of and it has never missed a beat.

KitchenAid food processor.  I totally don’t use this to it’s fullest capacity, which will change soon.  It’s awesome for making salsa and cole slaw. My dad recently asked me have I ever used it to shred cheese.  Not one time did I ever think about that.  It’s on my to-do list since I’ve started buying my cheese in blocks vs. pre-shredded.  I don’t mind shredding it by hand, but I’m gonna give it a whirl.  Slight pun intended.

Programmable pressure cooker.  Shannon recently asked if any of her FB peeps used a pressure cooker and was it scary.  Yes, I do.  No, not in the least.  Again, this isn’t something that I use to its fullest potential, but I like having it.  It sat in a corner of a spare room for at least a year before I dusted it off and began using it.  Seriously.  I couldn’t believe I didn’t use it before I did.  It certainly isn’t the old fashioned pressure cooker my mom used, that’s for sure.

So, there you have it.  A few of my favorite things from the ktichen.

Hi, I’m Susan…slacker blogger extraordinaire.   But it’s not without a reason.  (Never said it was a good reason).  Diznee pictures are screaming to get off my evil CF card.  I didn’t buy a new reader before now because Will needed something to get me for Christmas.  And he did.  Along with a minimuffin pan that our secret blurter gave away.  Conversation was a little something like this:

Me:  Olivia, if you and daddy go shopping, I’d like to have one of the muffin pans that has a bunch of little holes in them to make tiny muffins.

Olivia: We already got that for you so we can’t buy it again.

So, now I we had this dumbass brilliant idea to rearrange the living room.  When it’s only the size of a shoe box to begin with, you ain’t got a lot of options.  But let me tell you what we used to move the heavier-than-hell-two-ton entertainment center.  The same entertainment  center, which was empty, that took 3 men to bring in the house when we first bought it.  The same entertainment center we pinky swore would be sold with the house should anyone ever decide they want to live her after us.  We used these.  But we used the ones designed for hardwoods because I was paranoid of still scratching our floor with these because the package didn’t specifically state, “Susan, don’t fret, your floor will be fine.”  And that damn thing is so heavy, the entertainment center now has slippers because we aren’t lifting it to remove them.  Oh, yeah. We never unloaded it…still has the t.v., Wii, DVD player, mack daddy huge tuner thingy for our surround sound, all our DVDs and CDs in it.  Slid like a cold knife through tepid butter.  Meaning: not without some effort, but we certainly didn’t break a sweat and no one complained about it.

Rearranging brought with it the asinine idea to drag everything out of hiding so we can sort through it.  Oh, yeah.  We’re also trying to prime and paint the addition at the same time.  Nobody ever said I we were good planners.

Pictures to resume on my next night of insomnia, which is likely soon.

I hope your Christmas/Holiday/Festivity, whatever you celebrated, was Merry and Bright and your New Year totally rocks.

…Yeah, you know me…

I hate trying to figure out where to stay when I visit a city.  Some places we visit over and over I have my set places. Not a problem.  I try to stay within one particular chain just because I have the best success with walking across the room and not worrying about my socks getting dirty.  Seriously.

For everywhere else, holy cripes…it takes me FOREVER to figure out where to stay.  Like the return trip from Dizney Werld, for example.  We’re stopping in Sa*van*nah on the way home and it’s been YEARS since we were there and I have no clue as to where we stayed.  So, for the past week or three, I’ve been stressing over it.  Where should we stay?  How much do we want to pay?  I know the area we want to stay, so that narrowed down the 139 choices on Tr*vel0city down to just slightly over 100 and when I took out the one and two star places, I still had about 70 choices.  The F0ur P0ints Sherat0n was a kicking special with good location, but the reviews were bad.  Then there was the non-chain hotel that would have been nice and it was priced reasonably and there was no valid reason to NOT choose that one.  Except for the other non-chain hotel that was sooo quaint, but it was a little higher priced, but would have been neat to stay there.  Then there’s the Ec0n0-L0dge that I could have paid $39 for off the interstate, driven to the historic district and not had this anxiety.   Damn self-inflicted anxiety.  It gets the best of me.  Well, since Will went to bed early and Fabul-O has zero interest in talking about it, I had to do something.  I mean, vacation starts soon.  Verrrrry soon.  I used Pric3line dot com.  I’ve never used them before.  Evah.  Talk about anxiety? They didn’t bite at my four-star hotel for $75.  Mixed emotions…I didn’t have to give up control of deciding where to stay, even though every freaking search engine knows my dates and preferences by heart and Firef0x is so tired of searching for me, it just shuts down when it sees me coming.  As I got ready to click to close my screen, I had to give it one more shot.  So, I threw in a 3-1/2 star rating and threw caution to the wind.  Next thing I know, my heart is beating rapidly, I have no color in my face and I’m sweating.  My offer was accepted and my credit card charged.  Imagine a slow-motion run like I’m trying to catch a Faberge egg flying through the air with a long, drawn out “Noooooooo.”  Except it wasn’t out loud… it was a silent struggle because Will is strapped into his flight mask (CPAP) snoring away and Olivia is dosed up on cough med/decongestant and if Pom Pom hears me, she’ll want to go out and I’m not in the mood to wipe muddy paws this late. But the feeling was there.  I did it.  I gave up control and have a room.  I couldn’t even focus my eyes to see where it put us at first….Not bad….we’re staying here. I saved about $45-50 off the lowest discounted rate I could find, so I guess that’s pretty nifty.

Will I use Pric3line again?  I don’t know.  It’s too freaking stressful for me.  Now I’m wondering if I should have put a lower offer in to see if it would have been accepted.  See the imaginary stress?!?!  gah.

Now I have to book a hotel for the stop on the way down.  I know which one I’m choosing, but I always get buyer’s remorse and wonder if I made the right decision and my fellow travel mates aren’t that much help.  They’re the last ones who want to help, but aren’t shy about their displeasure. *sigh*

You’d think I would have done it by now.  Since I need it in, ohhhh, two  days.  Can’t use P.line because there are too many choices that could be oh.so.wrong. for that stop. And I just don’t have the mental capacity for it.  Sad, huh?  But I certainly can’t be the only one who has useless anxiety.

Oy vey…free my mind……………………
Oh, yeah….insomnia is kicking my arse this week. I need this vacation. Desperately.

 

So much to bitch and ramble tell about…where do I begin?

  • Fabul-O has been mega stuffy the past several days so I called the doc’s office. They were slammed today and not able to work her in.  Don’t gasp, she doesn’t have a fever and normally I wouldn’t stress over it, but since we go on vacation, ohhh, in four more sleeps, I wanted to be safe.  Our doc’s office has an attached urgent care and it was suggested that we go there.  She must have heard the hesitation in my voice because she followed up with that it only costs our usual office co-pay to be seen since we are established patients.  I’m holding off on the “score” until I get the bill.  They wouldn’t take our co-pay at the window because we pay a percentage vs. a set amount.  BUT, we were in and out in an hour and that included a flu test, which was negative.
  • Because we made our detour to the doc’s office tonight, it threw off my routine a weensy bit so I flip-flopped what I had planned for the evenings and we are packed for vacation!  There are two small loads of laundry to be completed and socks to match, but if we left tomorrow, we’d be fine.  *woot*
  • While packing, I’ve noticed something very disturbing.  My being a paperweight with my health issues for the past several months has packed on some weight.  Quite a bit, I might add.  My jeans still fit – bless that 2% of spandex, I suppose.  Where has it all settled?  In ye ole ta-tas.  Dadgummit.  If we were headed to Maine or somewhere cold, I’d be perfect ’cause your buttons don’t bulge in a hoodie.  My cute button up blouses?  Ain’t happening.  A recurrence of a migraine has kept me grounded, but…
  • When Mar and crew came to Chateau L, she really does have the same tennis shoes that I loathed.   After talking with her, it was discovered these particular shoes run a tinsy bit small – okay a half to full size.  I reordered them in a half size bigger and they are okay…just need to be broken in, but totally doable.  Had I ordered a full size larger, I’m sure they would be grand, but the right one eats my sock now and I can only imagine if there was more room for my socks to bunch.
  • I need to have my hair did, but I’m on the fence about where to go.  I found a new salon when they sponsored a day of pampering for National Guard wives not too long ago, but my first visit there was e.x.p.e.n.s.i.v.e., even with the “new customer” discount.  The color was fantabulous.  The best I’ve ever had, but I’m not so sure that justifies the money to get it done. Seriously.  I had a follow-up appointment, but chickened out and will reschedule somewhere after Thanksgiving.  My friend JW gets her hair done at a different salon and her hair always looks smoking.  So, roots until I get home.
  • I’m looking forward to this trip on so many levels.  Olivia loves the wonder in everything and I’m really hoping Disney will be no different.  I have our itinerary pretty much laid out and will need to tweak it a little, but our main game plan is done.  There’s a lot we want to do while we’re gone, so a plan was a must!
  • I have my alarm set to wake and see the meteor shower, but I’m betting I say screw it when it actually goes off.

I hope all is well in the lands of you……….

I got my new shoes yesterday.  They aren’t comfortable. At all.  I’ll be sending them back.  Unfortunately, this was the smallest of my most recent round of disappointments.

I’m kind of at an impasse right now and I don’t know what to do.  I tried to come up with some cute, quippy analogy, but I can’t.  I’ve always been proud to call myself a strong, independent woman, but right now I feel defeated.  Totally and utterly defeated within an inch of my being.  And alone*

No comments and no questions, please.  My health is fine and Olivia is doing just great.  I have some supa cute pictures to post from a wedding we attended over the weekend.  She was totally macked on by our friend’s little boy.  He’s a handsome little fella.

____________

*I know I’m not really alone because I have real life peeps and I have my e-peeps, but for this I am.  I’m sorry I can’t say more.  One day maybe, but not right now.

My little brain spasms are back.  With a slight vengeance.  I have a headache for the third week in a row, but it’s manageable with OTC medication.  My seizure medicine will produce a baby with three heads should my eggs decide to do something asinine like fertilize.  I don’t think it’s working, so I’m oddly concerned that I’m not seizing like Dr. Huha (HeadUpHisAss) thinks I am, but I could be.  Who knows.  I have tremors at night when I rest sometimes.

Last weekend, we were at C0stco and I got disoriented, which I refer to as getting lost in my brain.  I get slight dizzy spells from time to time and I’ll feel a feeling of warmth wash over me, but usually it’s nothing too terrible.  Then I get a weird thumping feeling in my chest.  Imagine yourself at a concert too close to a speaker and you feel the vibrations moving through your body.  That’s the sensation.   Sunday was bad.  Will was with me and I totally lost track of me, my environment and what I was doing.  I couldn’t help but cry.  Right there in the store.  Next to an end cap of noodles.  My FIL gets disoriented at times and I could never understand how he felt when he tried to describe it.  But now I know.  It is one of the scariest feelings around.  I went home and laid down.  Olivia drew a picture.  When I asked her what it was, she said it was me.  In bed sick.  I cried again.  My child sees me as sick all the time.  I’m not, I just get lost in my brain, but I don’t know how to explain it to her in words she’ll understand.  I try not to make too much of the headaches because it scares her.  But she sees me as sick.  I’m tired of being sick.  I’m tired of being tired.  I’m tired of being snappy.  I’m tired of being void of energy.  I’m tired of being tired of being tired of stuff.  I’m tired of getting lost in my brain.

So, next week, I’m going back to see Dr. Huha and see what we can do.  I think the medication is keeping me from getting “better” enough to feel better.  I think it’s taking my energy and making me less happy than I want to be.  No, it’s not the root of all my ills and issues, but anything that has the side effect of a baby with multiple heads has the capability to bring one into a constant state of pissed offness.

I need to get better.  I need to get healthy.  I need a challenge and I’ve found one.  I want to do a mud run.  I think the closest one to me is in Columbia, SC unless Carolina Marines does another one at Belmont Abbey College.  I have one year to get my crap together to do it.  I really, really want to.  Has anyone ever done one or know anyone who has?? I’ve read about the one atCamp Pendleton and hear it’s exhausting, but totally fun.  I told Will I want us to do it; I think we can do a two man team, unless some of ya’ll who are local wanna go it with us for a four man team.  I have one year to get into shape for it.   I can do it.  I know I can.  I have to work on my discipline, though.  And until I get this blah Eeyore-ish feeling to go away, I can’t do that.  Which means from time to time I may pimp for support…ya’ll up for the pimping?

Hooah!

Last night I put a Boston butt in the crock pot.  I cheated a little and used a bottled Carolina style barbecue sauce.  I was adventurous last year and made my own rub and sauce.   Not so much this go round.   I put my butt in the pot, poured in a bottle of sauce and let it cook for about 7 hours.  On PomPom’s 7,000th trip outside last night, I turned off the slow cooker (about 3:30 a.m.) and I put everything in the fridge before I left for work.  We spruced it up with some additional bottled sauce while it was reheating on top of the stove and it was good.  I’m not crazy about the bottled sauce I chose, but ease won.

I also reheated Glorified Hash Browns I found in a “Taste of Home” potluck magazine I made last night for dinner.   I cut it in half since Will and I were the only two eating it:

Glorified Hashbrowns

(2) cans cream of celery soup (I used reduced fat)

(2) 8 oz. tubs of onion and chive cream cheese

(1) pkg. (2 lbs) frozen cubed hashbrown potatoes

(1) cup shredded cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine soup and cream cheese.  Cover and cook on high for 3-4 minutes, or until cream cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.  Add potatoes and stir until coated.

2. Spoon into greased 13x9x2″ baking dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

A couple of changes I made and my insight:

  • I used reduced fat cream of celery soup
  • Like I said, I cut it in half since Will and I were the only two eating it.  It made enough for dinner last night and again tonight.
  • I stirred in some shredded cheese – not too much, but some.
  • I thought it was too much cream cheese.  I also have a hard time using full-fat cream cheese and am not a huge fan of the onion and chive one to start with, but it gave it pretty good flavor.  Will thought it was just right.
  • I actually baked it for a little over an hour.  Now, I used a round baking dish so it was probably “thicker” than if I would have spread it out into a rectangular dish like the directions called for.  I also increased the oven temp to 400 degrees to speed it along.

Next time I make it, I’ll change it up a little to better suit my tastes, but, all-in-all, it was good.  More of my hangups than anything else.

For dessert…Twinkies.  And I love the fact C0stco now sells them in bulk.

Love supa simple suppa nights.  Love.them.

It’s What Day?!?

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