Monday, December 11, 2017

show us your books: december

That month sure went by fast, it's already time again for the monthly book linkup again with Steph and Jana.  I read a bunch of books this month.  It's amazing how much time you have when deactivate your Facebook.  When I went into the library the other night to pick up my most recent request, the librarian pulled it right off of the shelf and said, "You're in here so often I don't even need to ask your name anymore!"

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

Like Cheers.  Or the local library.

Anyway, this month confirmed that during the holiday season I am powerless to resist a Christmas book set on Nantucket. 

First up, Christmas Letters by Debbie Macomber.  



Totally cheesy but perfect to read under a blanket by the Christmas tree.  Also, the main character's job is to write Christmas letters for people, so basically I've identified a new life goal.  If you're typically a fan of Debbie Macomber's books, you'll like this one.

Next, Winter Stroll and Winter Storms, by Elin Hilderbrand.  





There are two other books in this series but they were checked out of the library so I haven't gotten to them yet.  Despite not reading the books in order, I had no trouble catching on to the plot and characters.  Matt asked what my book was about and I said, "It's about a family who is dealing with some troubles, including jail time for insider trading, drug abuse, a prisoner of war, a woman with two boyfriends, ex-wives, new spouses, celebrities, and the father's ex-wife having an affair with the town Santa Claus."

I couldn't quite see but I think he might have rolled his eyes.

Despite the slightly ridiculous story line, I enjoyed both books.

I also read The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella.  


This was my favorite book this month.  The characters were so enjoyable. Much like her book My Not So Perfect Life that I read over the summer, I wished they were all real because I'd love to meet them in real life.  I truly didn't want it to end.

Finally, I finished up with Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly.



 And by micro, she means micro.  Some were as short as a sentence.  It was a small book so I read it in a night, but I had super high hopes for it and it kind of fell flat.  I think someone with a little more life experience might enjoy it, but after reading it, I don't agree with a lot of the reviews I read.

Right now I'm in the middle of Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery, and Last Christmas in Paris is in the lineup after that.  Did you read anything great this month?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

it's beginning to look a lot like winter

Matt left for a hunting trip on Wednesday night.  I didn't mention that here on the internet because I didn't want anyone to know little old me was home alone.  But, as the late, great P. Swayze would say, I had the time of my life. I also had soup and cheese and crackers for dinner because while I consider that a full dinner, Matt laughs in the face of cheese and crackers as the evening meal.

Just kidding.  I missed Matt (and his stellar coffee making skills), and was happy when he decided to come home a day early because of an impending snowstorm.  Despite watching countless episodes of Dual Survival, he and his dad didn't want to get stranded in woods of northeastern Pennsylvania, and I can't say I blame them.  

In preparation for his hunting trip, Matt decided to try out his new tree stand last weekend.  Initially he was going to do it in our backyard, but then changed his mind and took it to his dad's house which crushed the possibility of me getting a photo of the whole experiment.

But, dreams really do come true because a few hours later my father in law texted me this picture.




I hope Matt knows these telephone poles don't exist in the woods.

I decided to take a vacation day on Friday, and originally I planned to wake up at 6 am and clean and ambitiously sort and organize the ENTIRE house, but then I decided I'd rather use my vacation day to do absolutely nothing.  And so I slept until 9:30, and then relaxed all morning with coffee and a book.



Around lunchtime I decorated our fake Christmas tree in the living room.  I got it seven years ago at Walmart, and I think it's beginning to show its age.  Its a little tilted.  As Michelle brilliantly called it, the leaning tower of tree-sa.



After lunch I went to the library, Ulta, Home Goods, and Bed Bath and Beyond, and wound up at my parents' house.  I let their puppy Pearl out when I got there and within fifteen minutes she'd shredded both a plastic bag and a glove that she discovered on a walk with my dad earlier in the day and carried all the way home.





When my mom got home we turned on the local news, and we knew snow was coming because Cecily Tynan was wearing a sleeve.  Cecily wears sleeveless dresses 355 days a year, so you know she means business/severe weather when she wears a sleeve.



And sure enough, it snowed all day today.



Matt and I played 3 games of scrabble and stayed in pajamas until noon and then finished installing the rest of the kitchen floor.  

Growing up my mom always made spaghetti and meatballs on the first snow day of the year, so that's what we had for dinner.  It was delicious.

Just as good as the cheese and crackers I've been eating all week.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ford focus on the little things

My friend Rose and I talk on the phone several times a week.  She has three kids and a busy life and we usually catch up when she's in car line or when I'm driving to a meeting or when we're both cooking dinner before our husbands get home.  Once in a while we can talk for 45 minutes, but usually it's five or ten minutes here and there, and depending which of her kids are around, she has to spell half of her end of the conversation which always makes me laugh.

Anyway, Rose called me early the other morning and when I answered she said, "Oh I'm sorry! Did I interrupt you in the midst of some kitchen installation?"

When I told her that I was driving to work, she said, "Oh, it sounds like you're sawing!"

Her comment officially completes a trifecta of construction tools that my car, and its very loud, rattling dashboard, has been mistaken for.  I drive a lot for work so I have my car's Bluetooth set up, and I've also been asked by unsuspecting callers if I was using a drill, or if I was standing near a jackhammer.

I took a video to give you an idea of the noise.  This is how it sounds when I'm parked in the driveway.


It gets even louder when I accelerate and/or drive up a hill.

Then, according to my sister, it transitions from construction tools right into helicopter category.

All that to say, Rose and I talked for a few minutes about how lately it seems like so many moments in life are built up and staged and documented for Facebook and Instagram.  There's so much pressure to make things fancy and perfect.  We started talking about the most vivid memories from our childhoods.  I have lots of awesome memories from big events growing up, like going to Disney World and vacations at the lake every summer.

But I also remember random little things.  For example, I got a Shark watch when I was little and thought it was the coolest thing in the world.  It was also water resistant to 200 meters which was perfect in case I took up deep sea diving in the second grade.  My dad showed my how to set the alarm, and I selected 8:12 p.m.  I have no idea why that time was significant, but the alarm went off every night at 8:12.  Now when I look at the clock at 8:12 I always think of my Shark watch.

On big days, like report card day, we got to have a backwards dinner.  Chips Ahoy and milk before dinner was the ultimate day in my world.  I was living large.

One weekend, when my dad and brother went fishing, my mom took me to J.C. Penney and I got a ribbed turtleneck sweater.  It was blue and magenta and lime green striped, and I have no idea why that particular day and sweater stands out to me, but I loved it.

When I was about 22, I woke up and dramatically and JOKINGLY declared that I wish I could have cedar plank salmon and broccoli and alfredo noodles for dinner with strawberry shortcake for dessert.  That night, when my parents told me dinner was ready, I walked downstairs to the exact menu I'd wished for and it was like I hit the jackpot.


One year my mom and I made Christmas cookies with a homemade red glaze.  I remember dripping red frosting all over the booklet for Amy Grant's Home for Christmas CD, which I had out on the table so I could follow along with the lyrics, OBVIOUSLY.  I bet if you looked at the CD booklet at my parents' house you would still see some red frosting stained on the pages.

Growing up, watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympics was a major event.  One year I watched at my cousin Jackie's house and my Poppop was there.  As the parade of nations began, we were so excited that the USA would be near the beginning because America starts with A.  My Poppop broke the news that we would be near the end, because, United States of.  And then when the winter Olympics were in Salt Lake City in 2002, right after 9/11, we watched the opening ceremonies and we all stood right there in our family room as they played the National Anthem.

With the exception of the fancy salmon dinner, none of those things were photographed or set up to be big events.  But I remember them all.  So in 2018 I'm going to try to remember that the big things in life are great, but the little things sure are are great too.

Like people thinking my car is a construction tool.

Monday, December 4, 2017

we'e been to lowe's so many times i feel like i should invite the employees over for christmas dinner

Well, as of today we have officially owned our house for two years.

In that time we've remodeled the master bedroom, office, living room, and family room (which I somehow do not have a picture of) from floor to ceiling.  New paint, new floors/carpet, all new woodwork, everything.







We've also done a lot of little things.  We built a chicken coop, removed an ugly black wrought iron railing out front, tiled the floor inside the back door, built a huge vegetable garden, installed a new back door, put all new water pipes in the laundry room, installed a new toilet in the upstairs bathroom, converted the fireplace from gas to wood burning, and chopped down two trees.

Well, a professional chopped one tree down.

We chopped the other down.

And then we threw it away little by little in our trashcan every week in a strategy I'm not so certain was legal.

Anyway, I have to give Matt a lot of credit.  He does not let moss grow under his feet.  I would never turn down a weekend to just lay around and relax but Matt's motto is that weekends are not for relaxing.  He never stops.  He also has a healthy amount of self-confidence when it comes to home projects, and that confidence combined with Youtube tutorials and an affinity for This Old House has worked in our favor.

Not only is today two years since we moved in, it's two months since our kitchen cabinets were delivered.  Some of them are now on the walls, and some are still stacked in the living room.

And the dining room.  And the family room.

But we got counter tops installed on the half of the kitchen that's finished, which felt like a big milestone.  Now, we move onto phase two.  We didn't want to be without a sink, so now that the sink in the island is working, we can work on the other side which had the main sink.





Growing up, my dad did a lot of work on our house but plumbing was his least favorite department.  It's the same around here.  When Matt hooked up the sink in the island, he said excitedly, "Well, give it a go!"

I turned the faucet on, full blast, and the tiniest trickle of water dribbled out.

I didn't want to hurt his feelings but I said, "It's a bit of a weak stream."

We decided to just let it run for a while and crossed our fingers that the issue worked itself out, and sure enough about fifteen minutes later, we heard a VERY LOUD gurgling, looked at the sink, and there was BREAD coming out of the faucet.

"Oh yeah, I forgot I put that bread on there and then used the blow torch in it.  Now, it's wet toast," Matt said.

After a few minutes the bread had worked through the pipes and it ran perfectly. 

I can't say the same for the water dispenser at the fridge.  On Saturday night I was filling up my cup with water, and when I pulled it away, the water just kept spraying out.  All over our beautiful brand new hickory hardwood floor.  Matt thought I was joking around until I screamed "IT WON'T STOP."

We held a giant bowl under it and eventually it stopped.  I don't know what the problem was. 

Maybe we need to put some bread in the pipe.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

congrats to the happy couple, whatever their names are

I just put the finishing touches on a nice, long post and then highlighted the whole thing to change the font, and instead deleted it.  It started out with the story of how I found out Prince Harry was engaged and I'll admit, it went down from there.

I'm sure now you're dying to know how I learned of the news, so I'll tell you, although fair warning that the last minute 11:00 pm Thursday night draft won't be nearly as funny as the draft I wrote when I was bright eyed and bushy tailed at noon on Tuesday.


My eyes were barely open on Monday morning when Matt announced "Did you hear the news? Rachel and Peter are engaged!"


Rachel and Peter, Rachel and Peter.  I knew it was early, and that it was the Monday after a holiday weekend, but for the life of me I could not think of anyone we knew named Rachel or Peter.

After a few seconds I asked, "Wait, do you mean Meghan Markle and Prince Harry?"

"Yeah!" he said.


I know Meghan Markle's name on Suits is Rachel, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why Matt thought Prince Harry's name was Peter.

Anyway, I could not be more thrilled for another royal wedding.  If you weren't around back in 2011 when Will and Kate got married, I took a vacation day from my job and woke up at 4 a.m. to watch every single second of royal wedding coverage.


With scones.  And a tiara.


It was one of the best days of my life.


Michelle and I have analyzed and over analyzed the impending nuptials and are planning a sleepover once the happy couple finalizes that May date.  I'm glad we have a few months because it gives me time to find my tiara and perfect my scone recipe.


So, that's the royal engagement news.  And I cannot even remember what else I wrote about in my original post, but I do want to share that Matt has worn his headlamp every single day since Monday.  In fact, he's worn it so much that the light bulb burned out tonight. 


I tried to take a stealthy photo of him in action wearing the headlamp, but he caught me and said living with me is like living with the paparazzi.


I bet Prince Peter feels the same way when people try to get pics of him wearing his crown.


I mean, Harry.

Monday, November 27, 2017

never thought id' say thank goodness for the head lamp

I woke up around 6:30 last Sunday morning to complete and total silence.  I immediately knew something was amiss because normally our bedroom sounds like an airplane hangar, since we sleep with two or three fans, a humidifier, and a sound machine.

I know the words you're looking for.

Low maintenance.

Anyway, Matt wasn't in bed so I walked downstairs to find him and my suspicions were confirmed.  Our power was out.  It was a windy morning and our neighbor's tree had blown over onto a power line.  The worst part of it all was that Matt had made a pot of coffee just before the electricity went out, but he'd forgotten to put the lid on the pot so the grounds went everywhere and we couldn't drink it.

Sad trombone.

It was also dark in the house, since the sun doesn't rise until about 7:00 now, and Matt had his headlamp at the ready.  That headlamp is a frequently worn accessory in the wintertime when the sun sets early and rises late.  He wears it to do chores at the chicken coop and take the trash out and all manner of things that require a hands free light after sunset.

One of my dad's hobbies is to make fishing rods, which is extremely intricate work and requires the use of diopters.



I always used to laugh when he would wear them.

And then, I married a man who wears a headlamp on a regular basis.

Life is funny.

Matt lit a fire in the fireplace because it was chilly with no heat, and looked at me totally seriously and said, "If the power isn't restored by 3:00, I'm going to have to start collecting evening rations."

Well, that escalated quickly.

The power didn't come back on until about 5 pm but I was already gone because my dad had an invitation to an after hours event at Cabela's, World's Foremost Outfitter, and I wasn't going about to miss that.

There were mocktails, sales, and snacks galore.  My parents shopped and Emily and I visited the aquarium, enjoyed a popcorn bar, a sophisticated cranberry beverage, root beer floats, cotton candy, and even got our photo taken with Santa Claus himself. 





I took a vacation day on Monday, and Emily and I went to visit my niece and nephew in New Jersey.  Emily was staying overnight to babysit so I made the drive home solo.  Before I left, Matt texted me and said, "I placed an order at Tractor Supply, could you stop and pick it up on your way home?"

And that's how I found myself in the Tractor Supply parking lot on Monday night, picking up 100 pounds of chicken feed. 


I listened to Dan Fogelberg and the Eagles on the rest of my drive home and sung my little heart out.  I didn't get home until well after dinner, so while I ate, Matt unloaded the various chicken supplies from my trunk.

The headlamp comes in handy yet again.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

the traditional thanksgiving day dog show

Growing up, we always watched the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day.  I've carried that tradition into our married life.  Last year when we watched the dog show we got so caught up in it that we sent emails to some dog breeders, and a year later I just have to say I am forever grateful we did not go down that route.  

We are currently watching the Toy Group and Matt and I are aggressively rooting for our favorites.  The Pomeranian was just shown and Matt said "BOOO!!"


(No offense to anyone who knows or loves a Pomeranian.  This one just looked like it needed a comb and a barrette.)


We always want the English Springer Spaniel to win, because, Exhibit A, Rosie.





And exhibit B, Pearl.


Anyway, today I'm thankful for traditions.


I'm also thankful for friends and family, and for the following things that make life a little happier, in no particular order:


Dunkin' Donuts


My Dyson vacuum


Annie and Jack (they fall under family but I feel like they deserve a special mention).


Matt's enthusiasm about everything I do.  For example, I was vacuuming this morning (I was not kidding when I said I am thankful for my Dyson.  Imagine how much I'd vacuum if we'd actually gotten a dog.) and Matt walked in and said "Well ladies and gentlemen it's the World's Greatest Vacuumer, right here in PENNNNNSYVLAAANIAAAA!"  You know that song that goes "Oh I think that I've found myself a cheerleader?"  I have.


The library


Podcasts


Everything But the Bagel Spice from Trader Joe's.


Fires in the fireplace on a chilly night.


Funny memes.



Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

since i'm not going to be able to sleep tonight, i may as well write a blog post

Well, I'm coming to you live from the middle of a police manhunt. 

I think.

Let me back up.

Until we moved into this house, we had little to no contact with law enforcement.  When we moved in, things started off innocently enough.  First, there was the time that I called the police because I noticed a low hanging wire in the yard.



And those are only the times I've written about.  Earlier this summer our neighbor's teenage granddaughter had a party and served a few too many cocktails to her guests, who ended up in our backyard throwing up and falling asleep and we officially became "those neighbors" who call the cops to bust underage drinking parties.

And one time a man deposited a suitcase at the end of our neighbor Paul's driveway, and found his way across the street and into the bed of our neighbor Rob's pickup truck.  The man snoozed in the pickup for a bit and then woke up and tried to break into their house.

Anyway, we downstairs watching TV tonight and Matt said he was going to make himself a snack.  He stood up and looked out the window for a few seconds longer than normal.  I almost asked him "Is there someone out back?" but I knew he would probably say yes just to scare me and I'm no fool.

Instead he calmly walked upstairs.  A few minutes later I went up and saw he wasn't in the kitchen, but in the upstairs guest room looking out the window.  "The cops are here, and they're looking for someone," he said.

And sure enough, there were police cars out front and police officers in our backyard and the neighbor's backyard, running around with flashlights.  

For several minutes we watched as the cops searched, then got back in their cars, and sped off with their headlights off.

Shortly after we saw their flashlights again, this time in the backyard of the house behind us.
My heart was beating out of my chest.  I could barely speak.

Matt said, "I hope the chickens are okay."

We were in the cross hairs of a possible felonious pursuit and Matt was concerned about poultry.  

While Matt watched the backyard I looked out front, as a black SUV pulled up in front of our house.  Someone got out, carrying a brown bag, and WALKED UP TO OUR FRONT DOOR.  At the last second, she turned and went to our neighbor Diane's house.  And then, she turned and went to Paul's house, on the other side.

In a split second my mind went wild and I hoped my friends and family would say nice things about me when Keith Morrison interviewed them for Dateline.

She turned around before she got to Paul's house, got back in her car and drove away.  I am going to assume she was a food delivery driver, and just had the wrong street.  Because that would be some intricate planning for someone on the run.  But still, BAD TIMING.

We haven't seen flashlights in about 40 minutes and the cops aren't driving by as much, so I'm hoping they found whoever they were looking for.  

I'm still too keyed up to go to sleep, so I think I'll watch a show first.

But definitely not Dateline.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

what i read: november edition

It's time for November's book post with Steph and Jana.

I didn't get much reading done this month because pretty much all of our nights and weekends were filled up with kitchen work.  

Or, watching the Fall Harvest movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Either way, here's what we have.

First, Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes Courter.


This is a memoir written by a young woman who spent nine years in the foster care system, in fourteen different placements, was ultimately adopted as a teenager and is now an author, speaker, and adoptive parent.  I should start by saying that I work in the foster care/adoption field, on the legal, government side.  For the last six and a half years I've spent five days a week working on cases like Ashley's, and seven days a week thinking about them.

Because I work on the state side, hearing about the foster care system from the perspective of the child really hit home.  It brought tears to my eyes several times, especially when Ashley said no one ever celebrated her birthday until she was seven years old.  

Ashley writes about advocates who worked tirelessly on her case, but also about caseworkers and foster parents who mistreated her terribly and didn't do their job.  The social workers that I work with have an incredibly difficult job, one that I couldn't do.  They get paid next to nothing and have to work within a system that is at times, admittedly broken, just like the families are.  But they work their hearts out for those kids on their caseloads and I feel fortunate that I've gotten to see that.    

I could write forever about my thoughts on foster care and adoption so I'll end this here.  I highly recommend this book.  Chances are you or someone you know has some sort of connection to the foster care system and this book will be an eye-opener.

Also, November is National Adoption Month so you can go here if you're interested in learning more.

The second book I read was The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.


A colleague recommended this to me and it was pretty short, but I read it really slowly and took it all in.  I don't always love books about abstract ideas and inspiration (exhibit A - my very unpopular opinion on Big Magic), but I liked this one.  It was direct and thought-provoking.  I got it from the library but I think if I owned it, it would be one that I would pick up again and again and read a little bit here and there.

Right now I'm in the middle of two books- The Dogs of Littlefield, and High Performance Habits.

Have you read anything great this month?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

how am i going to cook my orville redenbacher

In a moment of brutal honesty, this is how our kitchen looks at this very minute.


I know, you're wishing that this picture had one of those fancy buttons you could click to pin it on your Pinterest boards under "HOUSE GOALS."

But Matt just looked around the room and said, "If you really think about, the kitchen is virtually finished."

I think we have different definitions of the word "finished."

What we also have is a brand new, operating, microwave, and tonight as I was re-heating some pizza (which I would normally do in the toaster oven, but that's currently upstairs in the guest bedroom because I had to bake chicken up there the other night when we were getting electrical work done downstairs and I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT), I took a look at the fancy presets.

What struck me was that the largest section is for "fit choices."

And on that fit choice list, a setting for prawns.


I don't know that I've ever had a prawn in my entire life, let alone frequently enough to necessitate a pre-set on my microwave.  Truth be told, I'm not even entirely sure I know a prawn is.  

Do you know what I could use a pre-set for, but don't have?

Popcorn.

Even though they are classified as kids meals, I think I'll be using the settings for hot dogs and nachos far more often than prawns and quinoa.

I also wonder if I could have used the butter softening section when I melted my peanut butter last night to drizzle on my bowl of ice cream.

How about a setting for that, Samsung.


Monday, November 6, 2017

lots of words about lots of things

Here we are a week into November.  It was dark by 5:00 tonight, and I'm sitting on the couch watching a holiday baking show, drinking a cup of pumpkin spice tea and and thanking the good Lord for heating pads, because my back is killing me.

I have scoliosis, and wore a back brace from freshmen year of high school through sophomore year of college.  I hated it, because what teenage girl wants to wear a hard, thick plastic brace from her shoulder blades to her hips with three giant velcro straps in front for 22 hours every day?  But man, what my 29 year old self wouldn't give to have that back brace right now.

I don't know for sure why my back hurts but I can only imagine it might have something to do with all the work we have been doing in the kitchen.  I use the term " we" loosely.  Matt has been doing the lion's share of the work and he is doing a great job.  It's not close to finished, but last night we turned on some good music and poured some wine and cooked a real dinner in there on our plywood counters and cardboard covered floors and I almost cried with happiness.



Matt took the entire week off last week and spent every day working on the kitchen.  Which means our text message conversations looked a lot like this.



I'm happy to report that he did eventually find his crow bar and I successfully turned on the water main.

One day he had to do a little work on the gas pipe which never fails to make me nervous.  He had the gas main off, and before he went outside to turn it back on, he said "You should probably wait outside when I turn this on" and then gave me a kiss and said, "Just in case things go south, I love ya."

He's a romantic.

On Friday morning I was making coffee and when I turned around I saw him shove slices of honey wheat bread down a water pipe and then fire up a blow torch.  I asked him what that particular method of plumbing was called and he said it was called "cross your fingers and hope this works."



It did work, and apparently it's a method Tom recommends.

And by Tom I mean Tom Silva, from This Old House, obviously.


We should invite Tom over for dinner when this is all said and done.  This is the kitchen that Tom and Youtube built.


Other things that have happened since I last posted:


- Michelle got married.  She now has her very own husband named Matt, and I have the text messages we exchanged the night after their first date which we have laughed and laughed about recently because they wouldn't exactly lead you to believe this day would come.  But, it did, and I couldn't be happier for them.  She was a beautiful bride and everyone should be so lucky to have a best friend like Michelle.





- Penn State lost to Ohio State by one tiny point two weeks ago and then last week lost to Michigan State by three points.  Heartbreakers.  WE ARE Penn State  very sad.


- Halloween came and went, but in a moment of early October brilliance I hid an extra bag of Reese's in our kitchen and then promptly forgot about it.  I found it the other night when I was emptying cabinets and it was a highlight of the month. 


- I had MORE car issues which I think are finally resolved, knock on wood or my brand new valve cover.  I did write a post about it but it was too fresh to be funny.  I've since found the humor so maybe I'll post it this week but let's just say I was literally not firing on all cylinders. 


- Due to the aforementioned car trouble, I had to drive Matt's F-150 for a few days, which is roughly three times the size of my tiny Ford Focus.  It was generally fine except for the time I accidentally turned into a dead end parking lot with many anxious pizza delivery drivers who wanted to get out of the lot and were being held up by Oh Laura Darling in the F-150 making a 476 point turn.  My sincerest apologies to any residents of Folcroft, Pennsylvania who have received cold pizza.  You're more than welcome to come and heat it up in our kitchen.  The gas stove is questionable, but you're more than welcome to use the blow torch.


Monday, October 23, 2017

i wonder if they had roadside assistance in bedrock

I was up early on Saturday to watch College Gameday and cut my coupons and drink my coffee and it was everything I dreamed it would be.  Matt was hunting and when he got home we did a little work in the kitchen.  I wore my favorite Penn State shirt, which is the softest one I own, probably because it's been washed hundreds of times over the last 11 (oh my word it's practically vintage) years.

I couldn't wear the shirt all day though, because after dinner we had to get into costume.  

And here we are, as Fred and Wilma Flintsone.

We had a lot of fun at the party and while we didn't win the contest, everyone loved our costumes.  I got to meet Matt's boss and coworkers and I'm happy that he works with such nice people.  They also must be sympathetic because they were all very concerned about his broken toe.

After his fall down the stairs last weekend, he went to the doctor and it turns out his toe really was fractured.  There's not much you can do for a broken toe but I was running to CVS for some first aid supplies later that night and I asked him if he needed anything else.  

"Could you ask the pharmacist if they sell something for the foot called a bunion splint?"

A bunion splint?  In the wise words of Meatloaf, I will do anything for love, but I won't do that.

Matt works in the city and has to walk to and from the train station each day, and wears a suit and tie and dress shoes that have absolutely zero comfort level at all.  I felt terrible for him and the poor guy was limping in pain, but he turned down my suggestion to wear sneakers with his business suit for the commute and God helps those who help themselves.

He did, however, request a gallon of whole milk for some extra calcium to speed along the healing process.

I mentioned in my last post but last week was not my favorite.  I woke up this morning optimistic for a fresh new week.  Unfortunately it didn't start off that great, and when I got to the third office/meeting of the day, I locked my keys in my car.

I've never done that before and I don't even know how it happened but I did tear up a little right there in the parking lot.  All I had with my was my phone and my lunch box, so I sat on the curb next to my car and ate my salad among the litter and cigarette butts and chuckled to myself because if you don't laugh you'll cry, and I was getting dangerously close to the latter.

(I keep scissors in my lunchbox because I don't like to rip things open!)

As I waited to the locksmith, I tried to think of the positives.  I had something to eat.  I had my phone to call roadside assistance.  I have a car that works, though lately it's been lurching forward a bit and when starting from a dead stop, feels sort of like a go-kart.  It's fine once I get going, but 0-25 mph is a rough stretch.  

All things considered, it could definitely be worse.

I mean, we could have a Flintmobile.

And with Matt's toe, we would get nowhere fast.




Friday, October 20, 2017

nothin' but blue skies

Well, this week was not my favorite.  Work was very lousy for many reasons, and I was so relieved when 4:00 came around this afternoon.  I was going to run a few errands after work, but Matt's train was canceled so I had to pick him up at another station and then drive him to his regular station to pick up his car. 

Instead of going right home after that, I decided to cash in a free drink reward I've been saving at Dunkin' Donuts and go to Payless, because sometimes a girl needs a little retail therapy but happens to be on a tight budget.  I also ran into the mall for something and felt like I was walking through the junior's department of JCPenney, circa 2001.  Hello again platform sneakers, ribbed striped sweaters, and all manner of velour apparel.  I've never stopped loving you.


We ditched our cooking plans and I picked up pizza on my way home, and now I'm sitting on the couch with a new candle, a glass of wine, watching We Are Marshall.  College football was a big deal in our house growing up and I remember my dad telling us stories about the Thundering Herd.  My parents bought the movie when it came out and my dad even has a Marshall sweatshirt.  I cry every time I watch it, but I love it.


I was going to cut coupons while I watched but I decided to save that for tomorrow morning during College Gameday because I wouldn't want to get too wild on a Friday night.  Plus, tomorrow Gameday is at Penn State, my alma mater, so I will be spending three hours on the couch watching TV and drinking coffee.


And cutting coupons.


I won't be able to watch the whole game because we are going to a Halloween party.


At Matt's boss' house. 


As Fred and Wilma Flintstone. 


We tried on our wigs tonight and I laughed so hard that I lost a contact lens.


And now that I write all of that out, I guess this week isn't so terrible after all. 


Plus, we had an entire cloudless day.  It was a big deal on the news because it hasn't happened here since February.  There was legitimately not one cloud in the entire sky for the entire day.


Cloudless skies. Dunkin' Donuts.  New shoes from Payless.  A great football weekend.  Pizza for dinner.  A hilarious Halloween costume.


I've got nothing to complain about.