Busy

It’s a word that gets thrown around often.  Not just with me; we all use it.  Busy.  We’re ALL busy.  Caps, bold, italics.

“Sorry I never got back to you; I’ve been so busy!”

“How’s your summer?” “Busy!”

Me, personally?  It’s never occurred to me to keep track of how many times a day I say it, hear it, think it.

Any time I take my boys (three of them, all under age five) out in public?  At least one casual observer will offer a grin and a sympathetic “I bet you’re busy!”

When my husband reluctantly asks me to do a favor or take care of something household related because he works pretty crazy hours anymore?  “Babe, I know you’re busy enough already, but if you get a minute during naptime or whatever, could you…?”

When I look at the stack of library books on my nightstand or on the end table in the living room? “Ugh, if I wasn’t so busy, I’d be through those already!”

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A lot of my busy-ness is of my own making.  Apparently I took Aesop’s Fables a bit too literally as a child, because every time I ignore work to do something pleasurable, I’m reminded of the Grasshopper and the Ant.  Remember that story?  The ant worked and worked, never taking time off, while the grasshopper, all “Carpe Diem!” played and forgot to prepare for winter.  So when wintertime rolled around, the ant was warm and full, while the grasshopper died a cold, hungry death.

That must be it.  I hate being cold.  And hungry.

So I stay busy.  Not always particularly productive, but definitely busy.  And when I say busy, I pretty much mean in the sense that I start 349587348962 projects and approximately 2 get done.

Take, for instance, this spring.  I found an ant infestation in my spider plant (here we go with the ant theme again). So I carried the plant to our back deck, where I drowned those suckers out, then gave them a nice, healthy dose of old coffee grounds to show them I meant business.  Apparently, ants hate coffee.  So maybe I’m not as much like an ant as I thought.  Anyway… my spider plant.  I didn’t want to bring the ants back inside, so I let my plant sit on the deck for a couple of days.  It was still spring, and we weren’t finished having frost then, so a few leaves on my plant were sacrificed in the effort.  When I pulled them to make room for new growth, I put the dead leaves on top of last summer’s hanging basked from the deck, my Mother’s Day petunia from Ryan and the boys, which I never emptied last fall.

Fast forward to late July.  This past Saturday morning, Ryan took the boys with him to run an errand while I stayed home.  After they left, I wandered back to the deck to pick up yesterday’s swim suits and towels, and decided maybe it’s time to finally clean out that hanging basket.  What I found when I moved those dead spider plant leaves took me by surprise.

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My point is, yes, I’m busy.  We’re ALL busy.  Caps, bold, italics.  It’s not exclusively a parent thing, or a student thing, or a career thing or a sports thing or a…well, you get it.  Life is hectic, and messy, and crazy, and unpredictable.  And sometimes, under all that busy-ness, there are surprises budding that we aren’t expecting.

And aren’t those the best?

 

xoxox,

~d

 

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Pumpkin Spice. Nuff Said

I have a problem.

Actually, I got 99 problems but…

Right.  Family show.  Moving on.

So,let’s focus on my two biggest problems of the moment:

  1. I cannot for the life of me back down from a challenge, even when (especially when) it comes from my four-year-old.
  2. I have zero capacity for resisting anything that comes labeled as “pumpkin spice.”

There’s a humorous back story here, and a semi-related and wholly hilarious YouTube video parody to go along with it.  The back story is this:

Our oldest son goes to preschool three days a week, for two and a half hours each day.  He takes a snack every day, and he really loves to pick what he’s going to take- though, some days he prefers to be surprised; it really is a mood thing.  Among his favorite snacks to take are yogurt, these seasoned pretzels, fruit, graham crackers, goldfish crackers, and granola bars.  I started making my own granola bars about two years ago because they go REALLY fast in our house.  Ryan loves them at breakfast time.  And after dinner. They’re perfect for the boys’ “after nap snack,” as our oldest says.  And I love them too.  So those little boxes of eight that you pay $2 for?  Doesn’t even get us through a day- I can’t justify it when it takes just a few basic ingredients and little more skill than one needs when making Rice Krispy Treats.  So last week, the little guy asked me if we had any granola bars for me to send for his snack this week.  I didn’t, at the time, but I’d purchased what I needed with the intention of making some.  Then, he said these magic words: “Mom, could you make pumpkin spice granola bars?”

The words were music to my ears.  I immediately began searching for recipes.  Google, Pinterest, and all of my cookbooks.  But…I kept coming up empty.  I had a few results, but nothing that really sang to me (or the ingredients I had on hand.)  Sadly, I couldn’t let it go.  I had to find something that would work.  Because, not only had my baby boy asked me for something and I wanted to deliver, but also because it’s October and I’ll put pumpkin in ANYTHING this time of year!  So, I resorted to experimentation.  I went to my go-to granola bars recipe, then found one recipe on Pinterest I could tweak to my needs, and attempted to mash the two together. (By the way, if you’re following the links to check out the recipes, note that the first one is for a 13×9 pan-sized batch; the second is for an 8×8).

And so…the first attempt turned out to be pretty decent.  I would say they could still use a little something (chocolate chips are at the top of that list.  I’d also say mixing in a half a cup or so of finely chopped pecans might take this right up to where it needs to be).  But, for my first attempt and also for a completely fabricated recipe, on the first try, I’m a little proud of myself.  And my boy was happy, so, yay me!

Wanna try them?  Here’s how I did it:

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3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Heat over medium-low heat until just boiling.
Add:
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

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Pour immediately over:
2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/4 cup wheat germ (or flax-seed)

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Stir to combine, then pour into a 13×9 pan
lined with aluminum foil (this makes it easier to
pull the bars out to cut them, and also helps with
cleanup)

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If you’re going to add chocolate (and, by all means, DO!), make sure you don’t mix them into the pumpkin mixture; they’ll become a melty mess.  Instead, once you’ve pressed the bars into the pan (I use a sheet of waxed paper.  Press HARD), sprinkle 1/3 cup or so over the top, then press gently once more.  And if you’re thinking of adding nuts (I totally will next time; this version is missing a bit of crunch), add them to the oats, cereal, and wheat germ or flax-seed.  Probably 1/4 to 1/3 cup is a good starting point.  And when you fall in love with these…

you can thank my son. Because I’m off to Starbucks for a PSL.

Cheers!
xoxo

~d

 

 

 

A Cucumber Sandwich to Call Our Own

Cucumber sandwiches.  Remember that post from last summer?  The one which related our search for the perfect home to Ryan’s quest for the perfect cucumber sandwich?  Remember how frustrated I was, how absolutely worn out by the whole real-estate purchasing process?  Guess what, friends?

It’s finally over.

We bought a house.

Finally.

Two weeks ago today, we signed the final batch of paperwork and bid a tearful goodbye to our amazingly patient real estate agent, and now forever friend, Suzanne.  We have moved.

For the first time ever, all six patterns of my dishes fit neatly into one cabinet in our kitchen.  All five sets of wine glasses have found cabinet space.  My big orange Paula Deen stock pot that used to live in the front hall closet, along with the nesting set of multi-gallon capacity Tupperware containers, is in a cabinet.  The crock pots and serving pieces and cake plate and the plethora of other “stuff” I haven’t been able to use since our wedding, have homes.  And soon, all of my shoes will have their own closet as well.  No more concussions caused by the avalanche of falling high heels!

Can you tell I’m excited?  Can you tell how incredibly relieved I am that the whole saga has finally reached a happy ending?   I’d be lying if I denied the fact that I wholeheartedly believe we’ve earned this.  It’s been a long, sometimes impossible road leading here- to this place we call home now, just miles from our first home.  We’ve shed sweat and tears, literally, to find the perfect home.  And that’s exactly what we’ve found: a home that has everything that we ever wished for in a home- even some of those items we had been willing to compromise on in the past.  The house is the size I was hoping to find, on the size lot we said was our hope.  It has the exact number of bedrooms and bathrooms I wished for, with one of the bedrooms already being set up as an office, which was what we would have planned to do with an extra space.  The basement has additional living space, AND Ryan’s “man cave” (the space where he can set up his RC workshop and not have to charge batteries on the kitchen counters where I’m trying to make dinner), and the main floor is open and spacious, with a ton of natural light.  Not only do we have an eat-in kitchen as I had hoped for, but we also have a dining room.  And guess what?  One of the first things we did when we signed those papers was to paint it plum purple.  I’m still searching for the perfect table to put in the dining room, but in the meantime, it’s the exact color I had pictured.

Coming from our little ranch rental, I sometimes feel almost lost here.  It feels strange for Ryan to not always hear me when I speak to him.  And I also feel terribly naughty painting dark and dramatic colors on our walls, even though I’ve had some of these colors picked out for several years.  When I remind myself that this house is ours, though, that feeling goes away, and I am learning to revel in my long-buried interior designer persona.  I get to call the shots now- with my husband’s help, of course.  Aside from being my personal painter/handyman, I think he’s also enjoying making design decisions with me.  We’ve purchased furniture together (and as we contemplated our options, I made mention of another decision we had made.  At that point, he gasped and said, “Now I see!  Ok, let’s go with this!”).  And he also made decisions on at least half of the paint colors we’ve chosen so far.

For her part, Clohe has adapted very well to her new house.  In the weeks leading up to the move, I had frequent “talks” with her about what was going to happen when we moved to the “new house.”  I would point it out when we drove past, I would tell her that’s where the boxes were going that I was packing and stacking all over the place, and I would explain it to her as she snuggled with me in bed or on the couch.  I explained to our dog how the move was going to affect her.  (After all, we are the kind of people who feel the compulsive need to explain our major life decisions to our golden retriever.)

The day after we signed the papers for the house, I packed up the car with boxes bound for the kitchen, and all of our cleaning supplies, and Clohe.  I packed her beds and all of her toys, and she was moved in first, to help her to get settled.  (After all, we are the kind of people who feel the compulsive need to explain our major life decisions to our golden retriever.)

She seemed to settle in right away.  Within the first day, she had learned her way around, found some good places to lie down, and knew the exact boundaries of our property without us having to show her.  After our first day of working to prepare the house for our move, we walked to my Auntie’s house across the street, and didn’t leash Clohe.  She walked between us the whole way until we reached my aunt’s property line.  At that point, Clohe took off running through the yard and straight to the garage door.

Last week, we took Clohe to our empty little ranch house to load the car with the last of our belongings.  We took her in the house to show her that our things were gone, and after a brief “run through and sniff,” she seemed satisfied that we wouldn’t be leaving her in the big house all by herself.  We went outside to load the car as Clohe made one final run around the property.  We could almost see her saying goodbye.    Finally, when we were ready to leave, I called to her and said, “Clohe, let’s go home,” expecting her to go to the door between the garage and the kitchen.  Instead, she went to the car and stood by the door until we came to get in with her.

I think explaining our major life decisions to our golden retriever has paid off.  And I think she likes our cucumber sandwich too.

Cheers!

xoxo,

~d

Novel Idea

I’m kind of addicted to my Kindle.  It was a second anniversary gift from my amazing husband last year, and from the day it arrived in the mail, I’ve been in love.  So in love, in fact, that I converted my aunts from their “other brand” e-readers.  And also, I taught my mom (who is a self-proclaimed technophobe) how to use hers after my brothers and I bought her one for Christmas last year.  Mom’s addicted too.

My sister has begun composing her Christmas list, and today she informed me that she was placing the Kindle at the top of her list.  Queen of corny and stupid jokes as I am, I intentionally led her into a conversation with a punchline.  Apparently, she’s getting a little old for my childish humor, because here’s how the conversation went:

Peanut: “I made my Christmas list for this year; I really want a Kindle.”

Me: “What will you do with a Kindle?”

Peanut: “Read.”

Me: “Read what?”

Peanut: “Books.”

Me: “Hm.  What a novel idea!  Ha, get it?  Novel?  Like a book?”

Peanut: “Ok, Danielle, I have to go.  Bye.”

Guess she didn’t think I was as funny as I did.  Dear Santa, please bring me a book of grown-up jokes.  Better yet, just bring me a new sense of humor.  Preferably one that’s age appropriate.

xoxo,

~d

My Dog and I Have the Same Sense of Humor. And I’m Kind of OK With It

When Derek and I were little, my mom used to rake up huge piles of leaves for us to jump in.

There was one stipulation: once we were finished jumping in the leaves, we had to help scoop them up, into these giant orange trash bags that had pumpkin designs on the front.  The pumpkin-leaf bags would sit in our front yard as decoration for Halloween, and then would be discarded.  It was kind of genius for Mom to use this logic: first, she had helpers to rake the leaves, because we always wanted the biggest pile possible.  Secondly, once we were done jumping, we got to help fill these awesome decoration bags.  We were willing to do yard work.  In other words, we were suckers.

Fast forward two decades, and I’m still always anxious to get outside to rake leaves.  In years past, time has been limited and we haven’t always gotten around to it.  But these days, my calendar is wide open.  And this week, the weather has been far too perfect to tend to my indoor chores, so I picked up the rake and went outside.

Monday I did some picking up and burned some sticks and things around the property.  Today, I raked.

Oh, and apparently?  That sixth sense parents have when their child is getting into mischief never goes away.  Because as I raked my gigundo pile of leaves into which I planned to propel my body, my mom called, to ask a question and also to see what I was into today.  While I was talking to her, my Daddy called me, just to check on me since I hadn’t talked to him in awhile.  Daddy doesn’t call very often, because he doesn’t really like the phone, and also because his location changes frequently so his service changes accordingly, and he’s usually in bad service areas.  My parents knew, from a distance of over 150 miles, that I was about to do something stupid.

And, yes, what I proceeded to do next does qualify as stupid.  Mostly because I’m supposed to be a mature, responsible adult, but also because I was mostly alone.  As in, except for my dog.  But we did it anyway, and we had a blast.

Dance like nobody is watching, right friends?

Happy Fall!

xoxo,

~d

What Lies Beneath

When we moved into this house six years ago, the first question I asked the landlords was if we were allowed to paint the walls.  The living room was sort of pinkish-white, the kitchen was trimmed in wallpaper with little pink flowers on it, the bathroom had yet another wallpaper with little pink flowers, and the guest rooms are neon: one is blue, and the other- the closet-sized room that serves as the laundry room as well as Ryan’s RC pit/office is green.

Anyway, they told us that painting would be fine, as long as I went neutral and had approval beforehand.  And since this year seems to have been the year of sprucing-up for this house,  I decided I wanted the kitchen painted before winter.  This past week, my beloved and I struck a deal: if I removed the wallpaper from the one wall and the bulkhead above the cabinets, he would help me to paint.  Deal on.  Except that… I had never removed wallpaper before…

Before...

So Sunday, I ran to the store and bought a wallpaper scorer, to rough up the paper so I could tear.  I started to rip the pink flowered stuff down, only to realize that I was only pulling down the printed part of the paper; the backing and glue weren’t budging.  So I scored.  And I scraped with my putty knife.  An hour later, I had made little progress.  So I did what any modern, self-proclaimed handywoman would do: I Googled.  And I found that mixing a solution of equal parts water and fabric softener in a spray bottle made wallpaper fall off on its own…except that I was out of fabric softener.  The next result promised that equal parts water and vinegar would do the trick.  I had vinegar.  And- gasp!- it worked!  The backing came off easily with a few passes of the putty knife.  I was ecstatic- and so proud of myself.

You know how pride is one of the seven deadly sins?  Yeah, the heavens weren’t having it that I was proud.  So I received a curveball: there was another layer of paper underneath.  Under that pink patterned wallpaper (circa 1980) was yet another layer of wallpaper, circa 1962.  With vinegar solution in hand, and cuts on my palms from the putty knives, I managed to get each layer off by mid-day Monday.  Of course, there were still little chunks of glued- down wallpaper backing that were hanging on to the walls for dear life.  To get rid of those little suckers, I mixed some laundry detergent with water and scrubbed.  Most of the glue reluctantly gave up the fight, and the rest peeled off easily with my fingernail or a nudge from my putty knife.  By Monday evening, the walls were prepped to be painted.

Tuesday, while Ryan was at work, I packed up all my little decorative items from the kitchen and draped the appliances and table with sheets to protect them.  When he got home, we painted the ceiling so Wednesday we could paint.  While I was atop the refrigerator brushing to the edges where his roller wouldn’t reach, we had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: So this is how Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel.  Lying on his back, just like this.

Ryan: Yes, but there’s one difference between you and Michaelangelo.

Me: Yeah, I know, his work is amazing.  And he used colors; I’m painting white.

Ryan: No, he was fast.

Me: But it took him four years!  I’ll be done here in four minutes.  Besides, I can’t get ahead of you.

Ryan: He also painted pictures.  But you’re doing great.  Keep going.

Seriously, never a dull moment here.

I tackled the walls myself on Wednesday.  I had all day to work, and there was absolutely nothing else I could focus on when a) there were PAINT cans in my kitchen, and b) most of my kitchen was in the guest bedroom.  I can’t work in a room that’s not aesthetically pleasing.  It stifles my creativity.  So I painted.  I thought, for my first time painting completely unsupervised ever in my entire life, that I could handle hand-painting the trim, where the walls meet the ceiling.  I was kinda wrong.

Ryan had to fix my screw-up places when he got home.  It took him literally all of about 15 minutes, when I had spent 9 hours painting, so I thought it was a pretty even trade.  And since each color took multiple coats to cover properly, I’m glad I got it done before he got here.  Wanna see the finished product?

Wait for it…

...After!

So now, with a more aesthetically pleasing kitchen than we had at this time last week, I’m retiring the paintbrush for awhile.  My shins are bruised from my many climbs between the floor and the counter, my hands ache from clutching the roller, my neck is sore from tilting it to see to paint near the ceiling, and I’m a few pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of the week (I think there’s magic in my stretchy pants.  I lived in them Sunday through Thursday.  When I put on real button-up pants today, they were looser than I remembered them being.  I have magical stretchy pants.)…anyway, despite the fact that I can barely keep my eyes open at 9PM on a Friday, I feel great.

Ready?  One more time:

...and After!

Before...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I accomplished something this week.  Maybe I’ll paint the bathroom ceiling next week…

Cheers!

xoxo,

~d

Pumpkin Farm- Part I

One of my favorite memories from childhood was our annual trips to the pumpkin farm.  There was a place about 40 minutes from where we lived that Mom would take us to pick our would-be jack-‘o’-lanterns.  Derek and I would ponder for what seemed like forever- usually making it a competition to see who got the bigger one.  There was also a little shop at the farm where Mom always shopped for crafts and gourds and Indian corn; it was her reward to herself after enduring any length of time with my brother and me and our constant bickering.  That’s all she wanted: some cute little craft, a couple of gourds, and a bunch or two of Indian corn.

“Punkin pickin'” is still part of our fall tradition here in the Merrow household.  Every year when the leaves start to change and the weather starts to cool, Ryan starts asking when I’ll be ready to go.  He likes to plan the outing.  And picking a pumpkin is, for both of us, very serious business.  In the six years since we’ve lived here, I think there have only been one or two that we haven’t had pumpkins.  Sometimes they come from WalMart.  Last year they came from the buffalo farm up the road.  I think once we even dragged a few from Punxsy- from my sister’s pumpkin patch that she plants and lovingly tends every single year.  We just haven’t found that special place yet to make our new tradition.

This past weekend was miserable: cold, windy, and rainy.  It was the perfect weekend to stay inside and eat chili and drink cider.  But by yesterday, I needed to get out and DO something.  Anything.  So when he asked the question, “when did you want to go get pumpkins?  I found this new place we should check out,” I had made the decision and jumped in the shower before he finished asking.  We were going, rain or not.

It was cold.  It was raining.  The wind was blowing and the place was deserted despite the rows of cars in the parking lot.  We approached the admission window for some information, while I said a little “thank you” to my aunties for the Uggs they bought me last Christmas; the rest of me may have been freezing, but my feet were toasty, and for that I was thankful.

When the one lonely lady manning the booth slid the window aside to let us in, she began to run down the list of attractions the farm offers: “Oh, we do hay rides and the haunted corn maze…but they don’t recommend that for kids under ten.  And there are slides over there…you know, for the kids…and there’s a petting zoo…for the kids…and… Oh!  The white barn over there has a cafe and craft shop.  There’s a corn box…for the kids… and over here, you can pick your pumpkins.  So…will you be trying any of the attractions today?”

This was sort of a strange question, and I, at least, was a bit thrown off.  After all, we were alone.  No kids in tow, no stroller, no car seat.  We were alone.  Just the two of us.  Finally, after exchanging a look with Ryan, I responded by saying, “It’s so miserable out today, I think we’ll just check out the craft store and buy some pumpkins.”  This statement saved us the admission fee that’s charged for the other attractions.  Armed with wrist bands, we entered the farm and headed for the barn.

The atmosphere there was a fun one; as we entered, Ryan said it reminded him of what he would expect to find at Roloff Farms of Little People, Big World fame.  There was a small cafe in one corner, with picnic tables lining the walls, and a game of corn hole set up in the center aisle.  In the back corner was nestled a small, cozy primitives shop.  We walked through, staying long enough to see everything, and headed back out to tackle the task of tracking down some pumpkins to take home with us.

There were so many pumpkins to choose from, I got confused.  I would point out one that had a good shape, vibrant color, substantial size, and was consistently round, and then promptly lose it.  Ryan would find one that looked perfect from the front, but was completely planar on the opposite side.  If we pondered and walked around for five minutes, we were there for forty-five.  Finally, we settled on two that were similar in size, shape, and color, and headed for the check-out booth.  Ryan carried them while my eyes wandered to the potted Mums and the boxes of gourds and cooking squashes.  We noticed some wagons, provided to help patrons “cart” their finds out of the patch, and I snagged one in order to continue shopping.  Once Ryan had dropped the two large pumpkins onto the wagon, he immediately suggested we pick out a pumpkin for Clohe.  He found her a smaller one that was perfectly round and perfectly orange, and urged me to pick some gourds to take home.  While I pondered over those, he checked out the pie pumpkins.  “Babe,” he called to me, “do you use these?”  I turned to look, and admitted that I never had, but I knew that they were used for all the wonderful recipes canned pumpkin is used for.  “I could bake a pumpkin pie from scratch,” I said, wheels turning.  He picked out three for me to bring home.

With a new project to focus my energies on, I couldn’t sit still when we got home.  I hauled my gourds and pie pumpkins into the kitchen to wash, while Ryan balanced our future jack-‘o’-lanterns to carry to the front porch.  And I set to work…

 

More to come!

xoxo,

~d

Acting Like a Lady. Finally. Maybe.

Know how, as a girl, sometimes it’s fun to get dressed up and go out with the girls?  You know, get out of the sweats or pajama jeans (who invented those, by the way?  And if one has the desire to go out in public in pajamas, does that person care if said pajamas look like “real” jeans?  Just a hypothetical question…) Anyway, get out of the pajama jeans and put on a dress?  Fancy dinner at a restaurant that requires reservations, followed by some relatively ladylike activity?

Well, a couple of weeks ago, that’s what we did.  My dear friend Tas has introduced me to her close circle of friends, and recently I’ve spent time getting to know these classy ladies.  I’ve been invited to book club meetings, happy hours, and, most recently, dinner and the symphony.

The venue where our local Philharmonic group performs is an historic building downtown (commissioned by Warner Brothers as a movie theatre in 1929)with an Art-Deco decor and an all-around formal aura.  The only other two times I’ve ever been in the building, I was wearing jeans.  Real jeans, not pajama jeans.  At that, it felt like a sacrilege.  So when one of the ladies suggested that we dress up for our night out, not one of us disagreed.  Of course, we looked so good that we scheduled to meet prior to our dinner reservation for some photos, courtesy Tas’ little sister (a fabulous blogger and photographer, in addition to just being a sweet and fun person to know!).  Here, I thought I’d share…

Left to Right: Me, Tas, Faith, Bela, Jen, and Katherine

Fake laughing. But it's not obvious. Is it?

…and I was probably talking as Tajreen took this shot. Naturally.

We had such  a good time taking these photos.  In fact, we had so much fun that when we left Tas’ condo, we didn’t realize until we were getting into her car that she had locked her house key and  her car key in the house.   Unfortunately, Tas’ boyfriend and my husband were two hours away racing their RC cars.  Fortunately, there were still enough drivers to get us from Point A to Point B.

It was a lovely evening, and so much fun to get out and do things I know Ryan would do with me if I asked.  It’s not really a guy thing though, and sharing the experience with others who share the appreciation is truly priceless.

As the night drew to a close, after a delicious and filling dinner, a breathtaking show, followed by some drinks at a local trattoria, (clearly, WordPress is less cultured than I am, as it’s trying to correct my spelling of “trattoria.”  And now I’m just spelling it for spite), we parted ways in front of Tas’ house…which we could still not get into as the boys were still racing.  Since the guys traveled together in Ryan’s car, I told Tas and Tajreen to come home with me so they weren’t stuck out in the cold, dark, scary city.  The alternative was me sitting in the parking lot with them in the car.  My conscience would not have ever let me leave two gorgeous young women locked outside the house.

Tas and Reen are from New York City.  They’re pretty independent, self-sufficient women who make their own decisions and take care of themselves.  Asking me to stay was not in their realm of comprehension, except that Reen was freezing and Tas was determined.  So she walked around the complex until she found access to a window someone could crawl through.  Keep in mind, all three of us ladies are still in dresses and heels on a 45-degree evening.  We were cold and tired.  Fortunately, I had remembered to pack a pair of flat shoes and a real coat, which aided in our covert op.  We managed to “push” Reen through the window, she unlocked the door, and all was well with the world.  However, as I was leaving, Tas grabbed my arm and implored that I keep the detail where the girls managed to get back inside, to myself.  “When B asks,” she said, “you’re going to tell him that we didn’t want to impose by coming home with you; we’re sitting on the patio waiting for him.”  When I hesitated, she reassured me with, “for the sake of our friendship, please do this for me.”  And so, in exchange for exclusive blogging rights to this story, I agreed.

I am such a selfish creature.

From the parking lot, I sent Ryan a text message saying that I was on my way home and the girls were outside waiting for the key.  I’m still surprised that he never questioned me, knowing that I’m not the kind of girl to ever leave a friend out in the cold, either figuratively or literally.  His response was, “I know Tas can be pretty persuasive when she sets her mind to something.”  Ah, a fellow Ares.  We fire signs stick together!

In the end, despite the “lockout,” we survived, all of us looking just as fabulous at the end of the night as we did at the beginning.

Class.  If you don’t have it, fake it.

Cheers!

xoxo,

~d

Getting Out

Sometimes getting out of the house is much more difficult than it should be.  It’s after 6:00 in the evening and I’m not even out of my pajamas yet.  I cannot take a shower because there is a woman on a ladder outside our bathroom window.  In fact, I can’t even use the bathroom, since there’s a woman on a ladder outside the bathroom window.  Who’d have thought I’d ever have to worry about someone peeking into the bathroom window in our house in the country?  And I had somewhere I wanted to be in less than an hour.  So I pour myself a glass of wine, and I blog.  Because, really, do these sorts of things happen to anyone else?  Yeah, didn’t think so.

Besides, you know, this girl’s had her share of fun in the past week.  I’ve actually been out of the house, fully dressed, with hair and makeup done, every day for the past five days.  That’s a new record, friends.  I attended book club; I enjoyed dinner and the symphony with book club friends; I enjoyed a romantic lunch date with my husband before hosting a gathering at my house.

Yesterday I woke up early and spent most of the day puttering around the house while the lady (who is at this very moment dangling from my roof) power-washed my house.  When Ryan got home, we went to my Auntie’s house to fix her laptop, and we ended up staying for dinner.  And this morning, finally motivated, I proceeded to haul out my own ladder to wash the outsides of the windows that were streaked from yesterday’s power-washing.  I needed some way to keep busy while I wait to hear from my brother-in-law and sister-in-law as to whether I’m going to be having a niece or a nephew in February.  The suspense is getting to me here.

Meanwhile, this barefoot klutz stepped in some broken glass last night.  Have you ever injured the bottom of your foot?  While the cut wasn’t that deep, the sucker just wouldn’t stop bleeding because, well, I couldn’t stay off my foot long enough to let it.  Fortunately, it happened late enough that I managed to get the bleeding stopped and then went to bed; by the time I got up this morning, it seemed to have stopped.  Still, it’s making the simple act of walking into quite the challenge.  Well, I should say more of a challenge than it is on any other day.

Finally, I’ve had several requests recently for more frequent posts.  I’m working on it, I really am.  I’m just sort of at a loss for new material here.  My creativity is waning, but I’m trying.  I’d love to hear from you to find out what you like to read about!

xoxo,

~d

This Week’s Random Observations

So it appears that I’m finally returning to the swing of things after spending most of my summer in a semi-vegetative state on the couch, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy reruns and devouring the contents of our fridge.  Not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but I am fully aware that it’s just a slippery slope into absolute uselessness.  Fortunately for everyone involved, I’m recovering.  Slowly.

Anyway, now that I’m back to awareness, lots of things have caught my attention this week, none of which are actually interesting enough to warrant their own post.  So I present these items to you in list form.  For conversation’s sake.

1. If anyone ever kidnapped my dog, I would have no trouble finding her.  In the past three days, I have discovered that when she goes outside, she leaves a Hansel-and-Gretel-like trail to my most frequently visited spot in our yard (the clothesline).  And no, she doesn’t leave breadcrumbs.

2. I am loving Pioneer Woman‘s new show on Food Network. (Check out her macaroni and cheese, Penne alla Vodka, and sangria recipes!)  I’ve visited her blog numerous times, and I love her humor, her photos, and her attitude.  The more I watch her show, the more I love her.  I’m looking forward to trying some of her recipes soon.

3. The grocery on Game Day is ridiculous.  In a college town just off the interstate, on a Sunday night, it’s a place I try to avoid.  However, this past Sunday, Ryan had taken me out for a late lunch, and neither of us was really hungry till about 6:30PM.  We decided on Cheeseburger Soup, but I needed carrots and celery so I decided to run to the store before my game kicked off at 7:30.   I left the house at 6:45.  We live 2 miles from the store.  I found the 12 items I needed in about 7 minutes.  Then I waited 25 minutes in line.  I was not a happy girl.  Fortunately, I made it home and got the soup together before kickoff, which never happened till a little after 8.

4. Cleaning is therapeutic.  Very, very therapeutic.  I love spring cleaning; I love fall cleaning.  The fact that I have finished scrubbing, washing, vacuuming, and organizing before winter is sort of depressing.  On a positive note, now that I’m finished, I probably won’t walk like a grandma anymore.

5. Daytime TV kills me.  First of all is the programming:  courtroom dramas like Judge Judy and the People’s Court; talk shows like The View (mind you, these are not- I repeatnot shows I watch).  But just as funny (and by funny I mean strange- not amusing) as the shows themselves are the commercials that air during the day.  A diaper commercial will be followed by one advertising contraception; a low-cal frozen lunch commercial will be followed by a Mickey D’s commercial.  But the most peculiar one I’ve seen yet came on yesterday, for men’s hair color.  Specifically, hair color that hides some grey, but also leaves some exposed to increase a man’s sex appeal.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but that seems like a bit of a double standard to me.  Grey is sexy and sought out my men, but women are encouraged to hide ours as it “ages” us?

That’s all I have for you friends.  Discuss.

xoxo,

~d