Monthly Archives: August 2009

Woe is Laundry

Woe is Laundry





I know that it makes the most sense to fold laundry as it comes out of the dryer. I’ve never been like that though. It also makes sense to wash laundry as it gets dirty. I’ve never been that way either. I have to be in the mood to do laundry. The bad part is that I’m NEVER in the mood! So, I wait and wait and wait and all the laundry in the house gets dirty and I’m still not in the mood. So, I’m FORCED to wash it then. After it’s all washed, I wait and wait for the mood to strike me to FOLD the laundry.

It probably goes without saying that I have NEVER gotten into the mood to fold that laundry either. So, we go a few days of just pulling what we need from the pile and wearing it, wrinkled, crumples. Who cares? Finally, we hear that someone is coming over to visit so we need to clear a space for them to sit. At that point I MIGHT fold the laundry. Sometimes I just move it somewhere out of sight.

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday




Join in on Menu Plan Monday over here!



We’re super busy around here because our house is all torn up. However, despite long periods of time without water and little access to the kitchen, I’m going to try to get back into the swing of life and cooking and eating meals at home. And then I’ll be doing dishes WITHOUT A DISHWASHER! I’m brave.

Monday
Cajun Chicken Wrap, Garden Greens Rice & Asparagus

Tuesday

Wednesday (I’ll be teaching a class at the Non Profit)
Jay’s Make Ahead Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry with Garden Greens Rice

Thursday
Leftover Stir Fry and Garden Greens Rice

Friday
Grilled Honey Mustard with Corn on the Cob from our garden and a Salad

Saturday
Shrimp Kabob & Garden Greens Rice

Sunday
Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot, Stuffing & Garden Green Beans

If I have my kitchen back at any point this week, I’ll also be making salsa, pickles and pizza crusts. If I had thought about it, I’d be doing most of my cooking in a crock pot or something. At least 2 of our meals are on the grill and 2 will be made today. Hopefully the bulk of my dishes are from today’s cooking only. You know, the one day I won’t have water at all! Smart thinking, huh?

 

Cat Ladies & Dog People

Cat Ladies & Dog People
 






Do you know what would absolutely just make my LIFE? If someone were to come across my blog because they googled “Caty Lady” or “Crazy Cat Lady”. Yes, that would make my life complete.


I must, must become the resident expert on cat ladies without becoming one myself. How do I do this? Perhaps I need to move in with a Cat Lady for a while. Nah. Can’t do that, I have allergies. Maybe I need to become friends with a Cat Lady. Our neighborhood Cat Lady is seriously NOT AN OPTION. She’s crazy!

We added a new puppy to our family this week. Her name is Jolly Rancher but we call her Jolly. She joins the ranks of four year old Pixy (Pixy Stix) and the dearly departed Reese (Reese’s Pieces). Don’t worry, we may be dog people but we’re not all weird about it like Cat Ladies are weird about cats. I mean, we do personify our dogs and put captions under photos pretending that we can read their thoughts but we’re not crazy or anything.

It’s just not like that.

 

Dishwasher Dirt

Dishwasher Dirt

 

A dishwasher has a purpose. It’s purpose is to clean dishes. Other than the occasional bottle of dishwasher cleaner, one might not think about the maintenance required to keep a dishwasher clean. When we bought this house (brand new), the kitchen and laundry appliances were “thrown in”. I can personally tell you that they have cost us far more than just buying our own appliances in the beginning. Since we’re discussing the dishwasher, I’ll tell you that this bottom of the line GE dishwasher sucks. We call it our dish sanitizer because it certainly doesn’t wash anything.

At least once a year I scrape the walls and the dish racks clear of the calcium and/or lime deposits that are a result of our extremely hard water. This is always a pain and hardly alleviates the standing water in the bottom of the machine. In the past year it has started leaking during loads. First it was just a few teaspoons of water trickling out and last time it was about a cup or more of water. “Lucky” for us, we don’t have a kitchen floor right now as a result of our air conditioning flood so now we can fix it or replace it without ruining our existing floor. In fact, I can just run it and it won’t matter because there is no flooring to ruin. Yay!
After the sticker shock we experienced while looking at dishwashers online and in-store, my husband decided to fix it himself. We argued a bit because remember, this thing doesn’t even wash dishes! Even when it was brand new it didn’t. He still went for it. He’s taken it apart piece by piece and here is what he found:
 
Gross, right? You might want to look under those traps and baskets in your dishwasher too! Who knew! I’m pretty sure that some of these things are growing… So much for sanitizing right? That darn water swisher has been useless this whole time! 

 

An American Hen Night (aka – A Bachelorette Party)

An American Hen Night (aka – A Bachelorette Party)

 

While I was discussing bachelorette party plans with my sister’s bridesmaids, the British counterparts were not familiar with a bachelorette party. Once we all began passing information back and forth online we discovered that is was their version of a Hen Night.
Keeping in mind that the bride had been diagnosed with a severe case of mono the day before, we set out for a wicked Wednesday of low key fun that would put the bride in bed before she turned into a pumpkin. So, we headed out to dinner at the Huntington Beach Beer Company. I had a whole list of locations within walking distance that we could stop in for various drink specials and entertaining events but we knew that after dinner we should probably get the bride home.
Luck for all of us a young lifeguard walked in and invited us to the bar three doors down where the lifeguards were hosting a fundraising night that included auctioning off dates with themselves. We hung around, had some drinks, danced and laughed. Oh, did I mention that we all had penis headbands on? It was really easy to find the other’s in our party. All night people came up to me and said, “Do you know you have a penis on your head?” or “Are you part of a bachelorette party?” My responses were equally smart alecky.
At 10pm the lifeguard auction started. It began with Travis, a 24 year old 12th grade teacher that wanted to “teach the ladies a bit about love”. The opening bid for Travis was $50. I raised my hand and bid $50. Opening bid right? Poor me. They couldn’t get anyone to bid even 50 cents higher. Going once, going twice. I won! Oh crap. I didn’t have $50.
When I won, they asked me to come up to stage so they could see how we fit together. Never did I think I’d say this, “Thank God for penis hats”. I was easily able to locate a group of the girls who just happened to have cash. 50 dollars to be exact. I handed it to the auctioneer and pushed the bride to the stage where she posed for photos with the lifeguard. He returned to our corner table with the 20 of us and posed for a photo. We donated him to my friend Kyleen (who contributed the most to the save my butt fund). They have a date set for this week! The rest of the lifeguards went for about $10-$30 each. At that rate we could have had three of them for $50!
So yes, this is the story about how I accidentally bought my sister a man for her American Hen Night! And, as her new sister in law said, (in an English accent) “We wore willies in our hair!”

Tea Party Bridal Shower for Barbie

Tea Party Bridal Shower for Barbie

 

In case you can’t tell yet, my little sister’s name is Barbie. She is named after my grandmother and has fully embraced the name. Some people say, “What were your parents thinking?!” but really, she loves her name and takes full advantage of the paraphernalia with her name. The closest things out there to Kat are cats themselves. I hate cats.

For her bridal shower I began an inspiration board a few months ago. From that inspiration board I focused in on a few key elements that I wanted to bring to her bridal shower. I settled on a pink candy buffet, pink donuts (I wanted to do cupcakes but since cupcakes would be a part of the wedding, I didn’t want to/couldn’t compete with them). My sister in law and I made pendant flags to decorate with. I spray painted a large tree branch and hung it with bagged cotton candy with custom labels and pink beaded necklaces. The idea was to use pink crystal rock candy but my shipment was delayed.
Thank goodness for all of the breast cancer research fundraising products out there; I found pink Oreos, pink whoppers, pink pixy stix, pink Twinkies AND starburst has a bag with just PINK AND RED flavors in it. Add that to Twizzlers, candy necklaces, pink and red ring pops and you have a beautiful buffet! Ideally I would have had larger glass containers to put these items in but keep in mind I was traveling with ONE bag from the Midwest to California.
I served a 6 foot Subway sandwich with toothpicks complete with the Barbie logo, shoes or purses on them. Also with logo stir sticks I served tea, pink lemonade and a vodka drink called the Pink Cotton Candy. Delish!
When I was to be married five years ago, my sis wanted to throw a shower for my where all of my friends would bring mismatched tea cups and saucers as gifts. That not really being my style (I mostly like things to match), I nixed the idea. Good thing because the gift idea was perfectly suited for her style!
The invitation read:
Barbie & Richard both like tea time in a special spot,
so we’ll shower the bride with tea cups and saucers or a pot.
They needn’t be new or to a matched set,
and if there’s a story, please write it down so she won’t forget
 
Because she is moving to England with her English gentleman, I also asked guests to pitch in a few dollars for shipping the treasures to her new home.
 
Barbie received adorable tea pots, cups, saucers, creamers, sugar dishes, aprons, tea collections and wonderful stories to accompany the treasures. Most touching were pieces from friends grandmother’s china sets, hand painted tea pots and wonderful stories!
 
Her England girlfriends had never experienced a bridal shower (apparently, not a tradition in England) so we played some crazy bridal shower games. It was really fun!

Monday Beach Day & Bonfire

Monday Beach Day & Bonfire

 

It was so wonderful to fly home for the weekend to see my little sister marry the love of her life. Barbie met Rich several years ago when she was studying abroad in England at Essex University. They fell in love and then were separated by the ocean and many miles. After numerous visits back and forth they were engaged and were married on Saturday. My entry into the story begins last Monday.
I met Rich for the first time in the sand at Huntington Beach, one of my most favorite places in the world! He was cuddled up with my little sister in the sand. Barbie was lying on her stomach under an umbrella, trying to get some sleep. Later, her diagnosis of strep throat would be escalated to a severe case of mononucleosis. We were introduced and said our hellos. It stood out to me that despite his “mates” being there from England, he was paying much attention to my sick sister.
As the afternoon dissolved to evening and the evening to nighttime, we roasted hot dogs and them marshmallows. We laughed and joked and got to know one another. As newcomers arrived they were introduced and my sister glowed with fever and joy! By the time the beach closed at 10pm, there were a good 25 people gathered around the fire.
I felt old. I was so glad that my “old” friends were there to be old with me. 

My Little Sister’s Wedding Week

My Little Sister’s Wedding Week

 

What an amazing week we had in Southern California for my sister Barbie’s wedding. It was a lovely week with many, many lovely events!
Monday – Arrival, Beach Day and Bonfire Weiner Roast @ Huntington Beach
Tuesday – Bridal Shower Tea Party
Wednesday – Bachelorette and Bachelor Parties
Thursday – Bridal Party Garden Luncheon & Big Old’ Family BBQ
Friday – Nail Appointments, Rehearsal & Dinner
Saturday – Hair & Makeup Appointments, Bouquet Making, Wedding & Reception!
Sunday – Bruncheon, Gift Opening & Mint Julep Garden Party
Monday – Airport Runs, Home… 

Indiana Fever – A Night Out In the City

Indiana Fever – A Night Out In the City

In high school I was on the basketball team. Notice I didn’t say that I played basketball? That would be a lie. I made the team, I practiced, I owned a uniform, I bought the $100 shoes. More than 10 years later those shoes still look brand new (I don’t know why I kept them) and I love shooting hoops with the kids from the Non Profit and I kicked booty in our company Corporate Challenge. Recently I had the opportunity to sit as close to the team and get as close to the hoop as I did in high school.

I got a chance to sit and watch some awesome action take place practically in my lap (but not in an uncomfortable way)! My best friend, DD Momma, her two kids (ages two and four), three college kids from the not for profit and I sat on the floor (in chairs) at the Indiana Fever game at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Fever? I didn’t know either. If you said the name, I could tell you that they were the Indianapolis women’s basketball team but if you asked me the question in reverse and demanded that I tell you the name of the Indiana WNBA team, I might draw a blank for a while. No more!
I know it’s probably not the best thing to tell you but we taught DD Mommas babies how to boo when the Ref’s make a bad call (every call, duh) and it was awesome because they are way more loud and proud than the adults when it comes to booing. Can CPS take kids away if you teach them bad sportsmanship? It just seemed a bit more acceptable to have a four year old booing than a grown woman. Here’s a short clip of the game, some booing and a lady yelling, “You suck” again and again. Just so you know, she’s talking about the Ref, not the team. He made a few bonehead calls but he made one call that was just terrible and almost cost the team the game! 

 

The women on the team are amazing, energetic and very talented! They play hard and holy cow, they won! It was close and the game against the Connecticut Sun was intense, dramatic, filled with fouls (the basketball equivalent to an Indy 500 car wreck) and downright fun! The seven of us women joined the crowd in cheering for the home team, gasping at the bad calls from the refs, booing (only when necessary, this IS a family arena) and praying for free throw shots. Thank the Lord we won in overtime during this very close game! I would have cried if my first WNBA game ended with a loss for my team. Yes, that’s right. This was the first of many evenings I hope to hang out cheering for MY team.
The Fever play through September so you and your family can enjoy an exciting night out even though school is back in session. Want to be in the best seats in the house for a fraction of the cost? Want to save some money and just be somewhere that you can see? Please visit http://www.ticketmaster.com/wnba and use the promo code wnbablog for 50% off of tickets! This offer is good for WNBA games in all cities. If you go to any Indy games I’m sure we’ll run into one another again! I’m hooked!

Things People Shouldn’t Have to do on Their Birthday

Things People Shouldn’t Have to do on Their Birthday

I’ve always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to birthdays. I was born in August when school is not in session, so I never had birthday cakes in my classroom making me the center of attention as 30 of my peers were forced to sing happy birthday to me. Yeah, I’m one of those people that would have loved that. I never had the ease of passing out party invitations in person to my classmates that I liked as the other ones watched with envy. Can you tell I’ve been on the sad side of that scenario before? I’ve never been pulled out of school for a special day of treats and fun. You would think that all of these pathetic sob stories would prepare me for the disappointing reality that just because I was born almost 30 years ago on this day doesn’t mean squat.

I’m not prepared.

Things I don’t want to do today because it’s my birthday and because I wouldn’t want to do them anyway:

1. Wake up early.
2. Laundry.
3. Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and renew my expired license.
4. Sit in a staff meeting.
5. Write my personal and professional goals for my review.
6. Sit in an emotionally charged, intense council meeting from 7-10pm (or later if I’m really lucky).

Things I have to do today even though it’s the day of the celebration of MY BIRTH: All of the above.