Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Did Santa Bring You That Smell For Christmas?

Years ago, long before I had a blog and could see the potential humor and the need to grab my camera for blogfodder in such situations, I had an experience on Christmas that I will never forget.

We went to k-ster's mother's house for the usual Christmas morning routine, and when I came home, I walked all over the house picking up presents to bring to my parents' house.

As I went from room to room, I noticed there was an odd smell.  And it was in every room I walked through.  This house has two rooms in the front that connect by a "hallway" at the front door and both rooms open into the odd sized living room that has 7 doors off of it and makes decorating a bitch.  So, you can picture a "track" around that part of the house.  As I walked around the "track" getting things, doing things, I continued to smell the smell. 

And then I recognized that smell.

Dog. Crap.

And I had tracked it ALL.OVER.THE.HOUSE.


When I had the sudden realization that the smell was none other than canine crap, I looked down to see circles of where I had stepped in every room, multiple times.  Oh yeah, I ground that stuff right in to every carpet.  Made sure no room was left untouched. 

Makes you wonder why I wouldn't just put all of the presents under the tree, in one place, right?  I can't explain exactly what I was doing that day.  I think I was putting things away, possibly picking a few things up, I can't really remember. 

And the flashbacks....  I like to forget about it, really.  I only brought it up to link here.

So now, around Christmas noon, with my non clearning clothes on, I had to scrub every step I had made to erase the mother ****ing mess I had made.  I didn't know where to start. 

I will admit that for a moment, I thought "well, I'll just leave this until later, when I can really deal with it" but quickly realized what that would mean.  Burning the carpets on Christmas night wasn't really in the cards that year, so I got out the ammonia and scrubbed and scrubbed. 

I think I did have the carpet cleaner at that point, but it was winter and I thought the carpets would never dry.  Plus, did I really want all that dog crap sucked up into my carpet cleaner?

So, not having a dog, how did I get such a marvelous gift stuck on my shoe, you wonder?  K-ster's mother's dog Brandy (may she rest in happy dog heaven)  was not one to venture too far to go to the bathroom in the winter and I guess she thought going outside the door was OK.  Apparently I had stepped in it as I was leaving his mother's house and drove home with it on my shoe (a little was on my gas pedal but that was it because it was only my right shoe) and then "decorated" the house with it upon my arrival.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stanley and The P Boys

Boys will be boys.  And they will continue to believe that the NHL will come up with some deal that the players will agree to and there will  be a "season" this year.  It's almost December.  Not much of a season left if they make up their minds to have one.

In the meantime, the Bruins gave season ticket holders a free tour of their new locker room.  Well, I should say that the Bruins team allowed the season ticket holders to go through the new locker room.  The Bruins themselves were not present. 

Not a single one of them.

They also brought the Stanley Cup Banner down and let everyone stand next to it and have a free picture taken.

K-ster drove all the way to Boston to see a locker room and stand with is brother next to a banner on Saturday.

And then he drove all the way home.  No wining and dining the season ticket holders.  No special autographs with the players.  They don't even have the ice ready right now.   Just in and out at your designated time and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Pretty anti-climactic, right?

Kind of like this year's hockey season.

*the P boys claim they did not plan to wear the same sweatshirts.  I don't know about that.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Elf On the Shelf Just Got Even Creepier

If you live under a rock, you  may not have heard of Elf on the Shelf.  When I first found out about him, I was in shock because we grew up with a few of those very same elves decorating our house at Christmas and I have to say, they were and still are incredibly creepy to me.

It makes me a little sick to have the f-er on my blog.  The things I do for my readers.

The whole concept of the Elf on the Shelf is to scare the bejeezus out of your kids so they behave for the whole Christmas season.  Every night, he moves to a new location and he's always "watching" the kids.  If they misbehave, you just tell them that "he's watching" and they apparently straighten right up.

I guess that the centuries of telling kids that Santa was watching them wasn't really working.  Hard to believe an invisible man could see them and wreak havoc if they misbehaved, right?   So, someone took it up a notch and created a spy who sits right in your house to watch.  And who wouldn't behave with that wretched perve watching your every move?

I'm just really disappointed that I didn't think of it first.  I spent how many Christmases having to look at those creepy elves just sitting there, their arms wrapped around their ridiculously long legs, their way too perky eyes just watching me, kind of sidewise?  And it never occurred to me I could cash in on that and spend eternity getting rich off of scaring little kids???

And what a perve he is.  Just check out what happens over at Elf Shaming.  If you find him as creepy as I do, this will make you feel vindicated because even though he's watching people as they take these pictures, he can't do a damned thing about it!

I found out about Elf Shaming thanks to Anna over at My Life And Kids.  She's hysterical anyway, but you need to go see how she shamed her elf this week and add one of your own!

Linking up here:

I Like To Decorate Outside Too

A little garland for the birds and everyone's ready for the holidays, right?

I made an apple pie and used my marvelous apple peeler.  Since it was getting late, I didn't feel like going all the way to the compost pile, so I just tossed this into the bushes in the dark.  The next morning,  it was all hanging like that. 

Now the birds can be thankful for me!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I'm Thankful For This Year

That's right.  I'm thankful that we moved the mailbox so we don't have to put up with this anymore.  After the scathing note about the mailbox being in an unsafe location, we decided to make sure our vehicles were never in the driveway blocking the mailbox.  This made for a lot of frenzied moving of vehicles early in the morning if we forgot. 

Sometimes, we get mail at 8am and sometimes at 5pm so it's really a crapshoot just how long you can leave your car in the driveway and still get mail.

So today, I'm thankful that we can park our cars in the driveway.  And if friends park there too, we don't have to do the OH MY GOD THE MAILMAN IS COMING MOVE YOUR CAR NOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW dance that we had come to do.  Or at least I had come to do.  K-ster was always slightly skeptical that they would really refuse to deliver.  But refuse, they did.

And today, I'm also thankful that we might be able to fill in this hole caused by the mailmen peeling out every time they deliver.  It's on a little slope anyway and this just makes it all worse.  I myself have twisted my ankle in that hole.  My friend's son bit the dust when he was just learning to walk because he didn't see that hole.  And it was never any use filling it in because they would just peel out the next day.

And peace on earth might actually come to all. 

Oh wait, wrong holiday.

And I'd be really thankful if you took advantage of this super deal on Black Friday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Busy, Busy Bee!

I've been a little lazy with crocheting lately, but here are some things I've actually finished and have put on my etsy.  And a lot more are coming!

Have you seen these?

Apparently these new boot cuffs are what all the cool kids are wearing these days.  And by cool kids, I mean those who have long, sexy legs.  And those who live on the other side of the bridge.  I haven't seen them on this side of the canal yet.  Those of us who have short, sexy legs would have about 6 inches of leg showing with these, boots and a tunic, so I don't think they are for me.

You just make a cute little cuff like these.  These are natural or almost oatmeal in color.  I crocheted them and just winged the pattern.  I like it! 

I've also seen people wearing them like this.  I suppose that's how us shorties could wear them so we don't look so short. 

I plan to make others in different colors and maybe slightly different patterns.  I also think different thicknesses of yarn would be nice.  If you have very tight boots at the top, these might not work for you.

I also took a stab at crocheting socks.  I tried this in the spring but I couldn't count, so I had to go back to 1st grade and today, I think I've got that counting thing mastered.

I wear a size 7 and these are slightly big for me.  I'm pretty sure up to a size 9 would be comfortable in them.  They are made from Patons Kryo Socks yarn, so they are meant for socks.  They are not big and bulky, but I think they are more for wearing around the house or in boots because they are thicker than my regular socks.  They are washable wool and I don't find them itchy at all.

And, I already show you this, but I love these hats, so I'm showing my ponyhats again!

Head on over to my etsy if anything tickles your fancy.  I can make the boot cuffs and ponyhats in custom colors.  I'm going to make more socks but I will have to see what colors are available, so I can't take requests!

And, if you're a jewelry fan, I didn't make these, but I did make this wild and crazy decision for Black Friday, so come do some early morning shopping here!  Seriously.  If you're up at that crazy 6am time, you can save you some CASH! 

Linking up here:

Skip To My Lou What's cooking, love?   and here

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I'm Not Ready For My Close-Up, Mr. Demille

I love leggings and any excuse to wear them, but I can't really find a lot of good tops that go with leggings.  Because I'm short, I have to be careful how long the top is or I look like an elf.  And because I have a butt, I can't go too short or it just looks dirty. 

I like things to come to about this length.

Part of the trend right now is to wear sweater dress/tunic  type things that are shorter than a real dress, but long enough to cover the butt.  Again, I have to be careful.  If they are too clingy, I spend the day thinking about my every curve showing and if they are too thick, I feel like I'm wearing grandma's sweater and I feel gross.

The other problem with these tunic sweaters is the patterns.  I must have been in the bathroom the day all the ladies took the vote to bring back the big geometric shapes, horizontal lines and colors that remind me of the days of the Cosby Show and A Different World:  teal, mustard, magenta , triangles, squares, lasers, it's just all wrong.

I was in Macy's for a very long time, trying to return something, and I happened to find the perfect sweater tunic/dress and a shirt to wear underneath that goes well with it.  The two items combined were the price of the one dress I was returning, so I was tickled.  $6.95 for a shirt???  Awesome.

Then I got them home and realized that I have both a legging and a boot dilemma.  I have 2 heights of  black boots and one pair of brown that don't go with the oatmealiness of the top.  They are more for jeans and almost look cowboyish but they are not pointed. 

My leggings choices are black or gray.

K-ster insisted black boots would be fine.

He also insists I need to go barelegged. 

Is it 1962?  I'd be fired in 3.5 seconds if I showed up to school like this.

So now, my dilemma is multi fold:

1.  Do I wear a black shirt so I can wear black leggings and black  boots?
2.  Do I keep the taupe top (ha ha, some people say top when they mean to say taupe, so some of you are reading that as a top top) and try to find taupe leggings?
3.  Do I wear black boots even with the taupe leggings?
4.  Do I try to find a rich, dark brown  boot that will look smashing with this outfit?
5.  Do I dare go bare?

This is the face I make when you suggest #5:

Do these boots make me look like I hadn't brushed my teeth yet?

Yep, the black boots just have to go.

I wonder how many arms and legs I'll have to fork over for the perfect pair of dark brown boots.

Linking up here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What's Happening Around My Gardens

New England is well known for mean winters where nothing can grow unless you have a greenhouse. Over time, I have learned that some vegetables will grow, even outside in the cold, until about January.

I've had a lot of success with broccoli and Swiss chard right up through Christmas. Last winter was the first full winter with the greenhouse and I had a great time growing broccoli and chard inside all winter. They didn't necessarily produce a whole lot during the coldest times, but the plants were growing and didn't die.

Inside my greenhouse, it gets really warm during the days but because I didn't fork over the $500 to heat it with gas, once the sun goes down, it's just as cold inside as it is outside. I was very sad to learn that plants that can't take frost died in my greenhouse because frost happened even inside the greenhouse.

In the early spring, I caved and bought an electric space heater. I had it set to go on only if it got really cold and it wasn't supposed to heat the place, just keep it slightly warm. Warm enough that nothing could freeze. I wasn't sure if it was really doing the job or if there just weren't any nights of frost after I bought it.

While I was visiting my sister, we had some really cold nights at home and the heater must have done just enough because I came home to find this:

Geraniums croak with the first sign of frost, so I was happy to see not only that they were still alive but they are still flowering.

The tomatoes are still going strong, but with  no bees to pollinate, I think this is the last of them.

The indoor carrots are having a great time.

And the outdoor carrots are hanging  in there.

I grow carrot "balls" no matter what I do, but the horses don't care. 

These in the cinder blocks are a different variety, so maybe they will grow straight and long in their little "chambers".

The lavender didn't get the message that summer is over, so it's blooming its brains out.

  While pretty much everything in the gardens looks like this because of the frost:

The peas are going to town.  I threw these in very late, hoping I'd have the crazy success that I had in the cold spring months.  Peas and beans are "nitrogen fixers" which means that they replenish the soil after it's been exhausted by other plants.  I thought I'd replenish the soil and have a nice crop of peas as we go into winter. 

What I sort of wasn't thinking about was the need for pollinators to make that happen.  The peas are growing really well, but their flowers are just sitting there and I am pretty sure we don't have warm enough weather for the bees to come and do their job.

So, I'll let the peas grow and do all of their "fixing" but I guess we won't get to enjoy the peas themselves.  I need to remember next year that I should start them when school starts and then I will at least get to eat some before the bees are hiding for the winter.

I know I can go and "pollinate" the flowers myself, but I'm not about to run around with a q-tip doing that right now, so I'll just let the plants do their thing.  It's bad enough I've given in and I'm heating the greenhouse, ever so slightly.  I can't be spending my days wiggling pollen into and out of flowers!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Now And Later

When my niece l-ster was about a month old, I went to see her for the first time.  And so began my trips to visit them every few months.

Back then, I showed you this picture.  We had been out doing some errands and went to Baja Express.  A-ster thought it would be funny to put some salsa in front of her like she was eating it. 

She was too tired to even roll her eyes at her silly mother.

Now, a year and a half later, we were doing errands again when I was visiting and we again thought Baja Express would be a good idea.  L-ster has become very vocal, though not saying actual words, and the whole time a-ster was ordering and getting her food, she kept yelling things to a-ster.

"Don't forget the cheese!"

"Don't forget the guacamole!"

"I like it spicy!"

"Napkins, we need lots of napkins"- oh wait, that's what a-ster said to me when it was my time to order and then I sat down with no napkins.

I can't understand her words yet, so it was just a lot of "A DO!" with lots of finger pointing and very worried expressions.  Especially because everyone around us was already eating and she was hungry too!  But I 'm sure those were the things she was yelling to her.

Eating like this might be her last meal.  EVER.  She was pretty excited and tried to touch the salsa while I was taking the picture. 

Not quite the quiet, little thing she was the first time we went there!

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Time To Pony Up

Even though it looks like this outside right now...

In November, a month that is notorious for crazy blizzards and nasty cold....

It's time to start making my ponyhats!

If you want to keep your head warm this winter, but you have long hair and get itchy when you try to corral it all under a hat, the ponyhat is your solution!  A close fitting hat that has a stretchy hole at the top to let you wear your hair in a pony tail.  Ski, play in the snow, or go for a run.  You will look stylish with your perky ponytail bobbing around.

I finally perfected the style last winter and I sold quite a few on my etsy.  I had one customer who was so thrilled, she bought 4 of them!

My favorite part is the outlet for the ponytail.  I look really bad in those beanie type hats.  I end up looking very 14 year old boy ish.  And I get sooooooo itchy.  No matter what the material.  Letting my ponytail out makes me look a little more feminine and it takes the bulk out of the hat so I don't get so itchy.

The opening for the ponytail is a ponytail elastic that I crochet around, so you don't need to put your hair up first.  If you do, you will get a super perky ponytail!

Totally machine washable and driable.  I use Vanna's choice yarn because it is soft and has a fantastic array of colors.

Check out my etsy today and if you're looking for a specific color, let me know and we can work out a deal!

Linking up here, here and :

Skip To My Lou

What's cooking, love?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Just Relaxin'

We went to the zoo today, which I always enjoy.  We've gone almost every time I've visited a-ster.  L-ster is currently obsessed with her stuffed panda, so we thought she'd go crazy over seeing them in real life. 

She was interested for about 2 seconds and then thought everyone else was m uch  more interesting.  Especially the weird lady that was wearing a winter hat shaped like a panda.  She didn't really get that this was a real, live panda in front of her.

I, on the other hand, could watch pandas for hours.  This one was eating bamboo and totally cracking me up with its laid back attitude about it.  Leaning up against the rock, stripped leaves off the bamboo.

This is pretty much what I look like when I visit my sister's.  Except I don't bother to lean up against rocks to eat.

And she hasn't served me any bamboo. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Face Is Stuck Like This and I Really Need A Bathroom

As I flew to visit my sister, etc., I realized that I've traveled more times alone than with someone.  And when one travels alone, one tends to spend a lot of time in one's own little world while waiting in line, sitting on a plane or bus, waiting in the terminal.

And by one, I'm talking about myself.

Usually, when I travel alone, I have a little routine and I have things located in special places in my luggage so I know just where to reach to get it.  And when I'm alone, I have to haul my carry ons to the bathroom or to the newstand or wherever so no one steals my unattended luggage.  This adds to being in my own little world, with my own little dialogue.

Since I've taken the train to my sister's the last few times, I'd kind of forgotten the strictness of traveling by plane and the urgency with which we have to get to the airport on time and wait in lines.  For the train, you sail in 5 minutes before it leaves and hop on and no one cares if you bring water, firearms, or live animals. 

I like to bring my own beverages.

And as I left my car to get on the bus to begin leg #2 of my journey to get to my sister's, I realized that I didn't have a beverage in a disposable container.  And the vending machine wouldn't take anything bigger than a $5 bill and all I had was a $20.  I was already feeling parched.

But, I had some grapes with me, so I figured I'd ration them until about 1/2 way there, enjoy the juice of the grapes and then get a nice beverage when I arrived at the airport.

For the first time, in all of my years taking the bus to the airport, we were a little bit late.  Which meant that I was a little pressed for time to get through security and onto the plane.  Logan tends to have outrageous security lines, so when I got there, I didn't get a drink right away, I just plowed right through security.

And that's where my stone face became set.  Because I was thirsty, and the woman in front of me was taking all the time in the world to get undressed and go through security.  I had to go to the bathroom and I wanted a drink and I wasn't sure how far the gate was from security, AND the TSA woman was barking at everyone, so I was aggravated.  My internal dialogue became a litany of "would they just MOVE for God's sake, I have to go to the bathroom, I want a drink" whine, whine, whine.

And I had a huge bag of fresh cranberries for my sister and I wasn't convinced they'd pass through security with no problem, so that was adding to my annoyance.

Apparently little red balls of liquid are fine to bring because no one even looked twice as that bag went through.

After I put all of my own clothes back on, she even made me take off my scarf!, I saw that the gate was right there and I had plenty of time to get a drink and go to the bathroom.  Several times, even, if I had wanted to.

It was also the witching hour supper time and I think we all know that if I haven't been properly fed, this time can be very ugly for everyone.  I had an Odwalla bar in my bag and I had just had some grapes.  I knew we'd be getting supper when my sister picked me up.  And I knew there would be a snack on the plane, with a beverage, so I decided not to get something from the newstand other than water.  I decided to just eat the snack they gave and I'd splurge and have a coke on the plane.

I had a few sips of water, ate my Odwalla bar and stood in the terminal, waiting to board.

And made my very serious face.  My I am very busy and have no time for chit chat with you face.  Because I will NOT engage in conversation with other travelers that I might then have to spend hours with because our plane is delayed or we get stuck on a desert island, or whatever.  And my face was stuck that way for the rest of the trip.

I'm that fellow traveler that you don't like because I ignore you but secretly watch what you're doing and never crack a smile at you.  I've always been this way and I just can't see to  help myself.  I bring things to read or listen to and that also helps me remain in my little world.  And not talking means I don't lose that ultra serious face.

I know, you hate me already.  You know exactly which fellow passenger I am and you know you hate getting stuck next to because it's like sitting next to a ghost.

So, I might have relaxed my face slightly as I watched a Directv episode or 2, drink a whole can of coke that the flight attendant handed me, and ate the 3.5 cookies that were in the little bag.  In fact, my mood lightened quite a bit.

It's such a quick flight that they don't even bother to shut off the seatbelt light because you're up and down before you know it.  And I didn't need to use the bathroom anyway, what with the lack of water the whole way to the airport and using the bathroom right before I boarded.

However, just as we were coming in to land, I realized that I actually did have to use the bathroom.  I had a whole can of coke plus some water sitting on my bladder.  I really though I was going to have to wet myself.

As we circled the airport several times because we were still so high, I kept imagining that I'd just burst out of my seat and run to the bathroom yelling "emergency" so  I wouldn't get in trouble. 

As we kept coming lower but not soon enough, I imagined pressing the flight attendant button and making one come over to me so I could ask permission to please use the bathroom so I would not explode.

As we landed, I began to feel sick, I had to go so badly.  I fantasized that as we were taxiing in, I could just run down the aisle and go.  But I've been on planes where they've stopped the plane on the spot because people got up to get luggage when we were not at the gate.  I figured I could hold it a little bit longer.

I was in row 10.  We were on the tarmac.  It would just be a couple of minutes.  I could wait.  Maybe I could say loudly that I really had to go, so could I please be first off?

Or maybe I could use the plane's bathroom as I was deplaning?  But where would I put my luggage? 

We must have driven past 100s of gates before we came into our own.  I started to feel myself vibrating, I had to go so badly.

The second that seatbelt sign went off, I burst out of my seat to get my carryon.  I thought if I looked super pressed for time and kept my ultra serious face on, the face that now probably looked very pained and angry, people would think I had an important place to be and would let me go.

And then they took like 5 minutes to get the door opened.  I actually thought on two different occasions that I was going to just wet myself, standing right there with my luggage in hand.

Apparently my serious face did nothing to convey my desperate need to get to a bathroom S.T.A.T.  Not everyone in front of me had jumped up to get their bags and they were taking FOREVER.  And they had to get winter coats on.

When they finally started moving, I saw the bathroom getting closer and closer, but the flight attendant was standing in front of it.  And she was saying something about blocking the door to the bathroom.  Did she know I had to go?

Ok, how long can a jetway be?  It's just a short corridor, right?  There's a bathroom right outside, right? There has to be.  RIGHT??????

I figured I could make it another 100 yards and then I could just run to the bathroom.

And I was so discombobulated when I got off the jetway, I couldn't find a bathroom sign!  I couldn't find the way out!  It was a circle!

I think I was delirious.

I finally saw a men's room but not a ladies room.  I imagine the ladies room had to be right there, right???  Right next to it, like in many airports, right????

It was across the hall and the sign was blocked.  I almost missed it.  And as I finally got to the stall, I had the sheer panic that I might just have to rip my pants undone because I couldn't even get the button to undo, I had to go that badly. 

I made it with like a nanosecond to spare.

I think years were taken off my life as I sat with a full bladder, stewing for several hours.

All in the name of not bringing water from outside the airport into the terminal.

Linking up here. and with this crazy mama.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm One of the Dumbest People I Know

I'm not afraid to admit that.  Because I'm that dumb.

K-ster hates it when I point out my flaws on my blog but I do it anyway because it entertains me, somehow.  Simple minds....

So, the whole turning the clocks thing has always kind of mystified me.  I understand why we do it and what happens, but I sometimes forget that in nature, the clock isn't really moving forward or backward. 

Here's an example.  I was talking to someone about her chickens the other day and she said that they aren't really laying much right now because winter is coming.  She said she thinks she'll put a lightbulb in the chicken house and see if it helps.  I've heard this does help.

I also thought it would be helpful to remind her that, yes, we are losing daylight and when we turn the clocks back, we'll lose even more.


We stood there for a minute and there was even more   .....

Then we both said "well, I guess the chickens won't know that we've turned the clocks so it won't really affect them".

Let me tell you, I puzzled on that for the rest of the afternoon.

Why do we get such short daylight hours in winter? 

And then I realized what I wanted to say.  I know chickens don't know clocks. 

What I meant to say was that with the tilting of the earth, we are losing daylight and the darkness is growing longer because we're into winter.  NOT because we turned the clocks back an hour.  I am somewhat intelligent and I do know what I meant to say. 

In the heat of the moment, it just didn't come out like that.

And I never went back to tell her what I meant to say.

I figure she can just look at my Vanderbilt Alumni license plate holder and just laugh and laugh that someone with my brain graduated from such an institution.

Linking up here!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

But...You Said There Was A Guarantee

I've been a lia sophia consultant for 5 years.  One of the reasons that I became intersted in the first place was their lifetime guarantee.  And 5 years later, I still think it's one of the best reasons to buy lia sophia jewelry.  As long as you have your receipt, they will honor it and either replace the item or give you credit for what you paid.

And they totally stand behind their guarantee, as long as you  have your receipt. 

No matter how long ago you bought the item. 

No matter that your dog jumped up and broke your necklace. 

Or you put your hands into lye and melted the ring right off your finger.

Or you worked the stone out with a knife just because you wanted to get something different in place of it.  (people actually do this)

But here's what that guarantee does not do.  It does NOT replace an earring when you lose it.  If you lose a piece of jewelry, it's gone.  There's no guarantee on a missing piece of jewelry. 

This is not an insurance policy.  I didn't even know this was something I had to explain.

When I first became a consultant, I remember getting an email that reminded us to tell customers that a missing earring is their own fault and not part of the guarantee.  I remember thinking that was the dumbest thing to have to tell customers.  Who in their right mind loses something and then thinks that the lifetime guarantee applies to replacing the missing piece?

Well, two women at a show I did last night, that's who.  In all this time, no one has ever asked me if the guarantee would replace a missing earring.  And last night, at two different times, two different women came to me and said:

"Oh, I had a pair of earrings from lia sophia that I just love.  But I lost one.  So can I get it replaced with the guarantee?"

"You  mean, like, will they send you a new pair because you only have one now?"



(This is when I have to exercise extreme self control when I respond. You know how hard this is for me.)

"Ahhh, no.  The lifetime guarantee is only for pieces you actually still have, that might be damaged.  A missing earring isn't something that they are responsible for."

And in both cases, I kid you not, each woman said:

"Oh, but I thought there was a guarantee?"

"Yes, but only on pieces you actually still own."
And each of them said:

"Well, what will I do with the other one? Do you want it?"

What in all of hell would I do with one earring?

And then, like they had rehearsed this, each of them said:

"Well, maybe the missing one is in my house.  Maybe I'll find it somewhere in my house.  Like in my carpet."

I was surprised when the first woman had this conversation with me.  But when the second woman rewound the tape and had it with me an hour later, I really thought I had flipped my lid.  I cannot believe two women in the same evening had the same ridiculous thought:  Hey, I lost something.  But someone else must be responsible for it.  So I'll get them to replace it.


Linking up here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Barn Full Of Drama Mamas

Last month, I showed you a barn full of babies.  Right after I posted that, most of the puppies had been given away and then there was a crazy situation with the kittens.  They were taken.  They were returned.  It was tense. 

I should have seen something coming from that incident, but ignorance was bliss.

I had just discovered a school pony that I was really clicking with and I was about to take pictures of her and tell you all about her.

And then Monday, I got a text that r-ster couldn't do a lesson.  It was really abrupt and out of character for her.  I replied that maybe Tuesday would work and heard nothing.  Even more out of character for her. 

K-ster said "I bet she's leaving that barn."

I said "No way, she loves it."

She left that barn faster than I could say "what the....".

The amount of weird drama behind it is far too boring to explain, but here we are, on to barn #5 in the 4 years I've been riding with her.  This was a total blow to me for two reasons. 

One, I have absolutely grown accustomed to riding year round in an indoor ring.  Weather and dark was not ever an issue last winter.  And even in the cold months, riding inside was slightly warmer, especially since there was no wind.  I had a very streamlined system for grooming, tacking up and getting out to ride.

Two, I had stopped riding Tucker.  Tucker and I had come to a crossroads in the spring.  He wasn't going to listen to me and I wasn't going to put up with his shit and would spend the lesson frustrated that he was ignoring me and I was knocking myself out.  R-ster must have noticed because that's when I started riding Jake.  But then he was lame and I had to go back to Tucker, who explained to me, very clearly, that he really wasn't going to listen to anything I asked of him. 

Then the barn sold and the new owner let me choose any of the school horses to ride.  That was a great experience because it let me try some horses that were worse than Tucker and some that were amazing.  I actually really fell in love with Candy but then she went lame and when she got better, she threw me off and that was the end of that.

I found little Molly, who was definitely the best horse I'd found at that barn.  She is literally only a little bigger than a great Dane !  She's so small!  We were really clicking.  R-ster was constantly saying how great we were doing. 

And then Monday came and Molly was but a figment of my imgination.

And I realized it meant that I was back to Tucker.  And I dreaded it all day the first day.  Because Tucker got to a point where he wouldn't do what I'd ask and r-ster would tell me to make him do it and he still wouldn't do it and it was just a circle of frustration.

But, r-ster had been riding him regularly for all that time that I wasn't riding him and he learned a thing or two.  And after riding him for a week, I have a new outlook on Tucker.  One, or maybe both, of us has had a major breakthrough.  He is listening to what I'm telling him and I'm convincing him that I'm going to make him do what I ask.  And r-ster is really impressed.  And I can feel the change.

But, we're back to an outdoor ring.  Which will be a problem when we change the clocks and it gets dark so early.  And when it's cold this winter.

And Tucker is a lot bigger than the horses I've been riding.  It's hard to believe, but it really does take a lot of work to ride a bigger horse.  You think you just get on and go, but it takes a ton of work to make that sucker go!

Of course, I can try to go back to the last barn and make arrangements to ride, but I like having r-ster as an instructor.  And it's too early to get in between them.  There's talk of her maybe being allowed to go back and teach there but it's too soon to know.

Here's Tucker eating a carrot from my garden because he was so good.  This is one of the seeds from the Kerrit's pants that I love so much.  They really do grow!!

This is the new barn.  It's literally right next door to where we were, so it's no farther to drive, which is a plus.  And it's a nice barn with a nice ring.   It's just not enclosed.  And a bathroom for us to use.  At least that is enclosed. 

This is where Tucker and Quinn reside.  They have run-in sheds.  Jackson must be her favorite because he got a room in the barn.  These guys just have each other down the driveway and they don't have doors.  I'm curious what will happen in bad weather.  The overhang might be enough to keep out the rain and snow, but we'll have to see.

5 barns in 4 years with 3 horses, 2 foolish people who ride them= 1 crazy story.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I Have To Confess Something

I know you come here for all sorts of healthy recipes and suggestions for how to cook from scratch and amaze all of your friends and family with delicious treats.  You can find all sorts of healthy food suggestions all over my blog. 

I know people flock here from all over creation to be inspired by that which is healthy eating.

Be prepared to take me off the pedestal you have put me upon for all that high quality, good eating.

Because sometimes, I make things like this.

Which is made with this:

You take chicken breasts and put them in a pan (I cut mine up so they would cook for sure), pour a packet of soup mix over it, drizzle olive oil over the whole thing, add about a 3rd of a cup of water.  Don't bother stirring.  Cook it for an hour at 375.

Serve it with this:

Ok, at least I don't put butter in the rice.  And it's organic.  So it balances out, right?  All the chemicals in the packet of soup mix go away with the organic, American grown rice, right?

Oh wait, even organic rice has arsenic, they've decided. 

So maybe the soup mix chemicals bind with the arsenic and that's what makes it all taste so good.

And don't forget to serve it with vegetables.  That will surely balance everything out.  I'm certain.