Monday, June 30, 2014

Group Fitting Room, Party of One, or Two

 picture from here

I had the most bizarre experience at Land's End today. Actually, it wasn't Land's End, it was the Land's End at Sears.

I was looking for a new gas grill, more on that later, and as I passed by the Land's End, I was blown away by the $10 tank tops. That's like a price tag from the olden days, so I grabbed a few and decided to try them on.

I went right into the fitting room, locked the door and tried them. I love it when you can just help yourself to a fitting room and not have to count your items and swear on your life that you won't steal them.  They are not the most spectacular tank tops, but for $10, they are awesome. And I think they will get better with washing and wearing. Most of Land's End clothes are like that.

That's not the bizarre part.

As I was debating the need for another couple of t-shirts, which were also $10, I happened upon some pants.  Chinos.  A walnut brown like nothing I've ever seen.

I wear chinos or khakis a lot and I usually find a pair I love and wear them right to the last thread.  I'm kind of in need of some new pants.

And the price was $19.99 and 30% off.  I almost wet my pants, I was so excited.

Is this Candid Camera?  What are these prices?  Is it the 90s?

This isn't the bizarre part, though it did seem way too lucky.

The pants were all 32 inseam, but we know I can sew, so I didn't let that hold me back.

I grabbed two sizes and went into a different fitting room because a woman was in the one I first went into.

There were clothes all over it.  Have you ever been in their fitting rooms?  They are almost the size of my bed room. There are two of them and they are each that big.  It feels a little too open for my liking.

Especially when I am wearing a dress.

And there were clothes from one end of it to the other.  Not hanging, but strewn about.
When I tried on the shirts, I didn't  bring in a pair of pants, so it was bizarre trying on the tops with no bottoms.  At least when I went to try the pants, I brought in the two tank tops I was planning to buy, so I'd have an outfit.

So, I went into the 2nd fitting room with the pants, locked the door and put my stuff down.  I had my shoes off and was debating whether I should put the pants on under my dress and then, if they fit, take off the dress and put on the tank top to get the full effect.

Or, should I just take off the dress and try on both the pants and a tank?

Just as I was pulling the dress up, the door whips open and a woman comes in.  I said something, maybe "ummm?" or something like that and she just came in, shut the door and was mumbling.  I figured I must have taken her fitting room and the clothes strewn about were hers.

So, I started saying things like "oh, were you in here?  Are these your things?" and she was completely ignoring me, putting her stuff down. 

So, I kept talking, I have no idea what I said, and started gathering my pants and my tank tops and I think I repeated the question about had she been there already. 

I also mumbled something about how I was sure I locked the door.

I was just a stuttering mess, so taken by surprise.

Finally, she looked up and said "oh, isn't this a group fitting room?"

And I said "ummmmm, no and I was in here first, but if you need me to leave, I guess I can go find another fitting room" as I had everything in my hands.

And she said "oh, I thought it was a group fitting room because every time I've been here, there have been lots of other women in here."

Well yes, because you've just barged in and taken over and ignored them when they've said that they were here first and didn't want company!

Did you link up your smiles yesterday?  Go do it!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Super Sunday Smilefest #2

Welcome to another Super Sunday Smilefest!  The rules are simple:

1.  Follow me in some way.
2.  Write a post that tells about what  made you smile this week.
3.  Share your post (just one per week) in the linky at the bottom.
4.  Go visit a few other people and enjoy their sharefest too!

Link  up at the bottom of the post.

Here we go!

As a Pampered Chef consultant, I have fantasized about this little gadget for a while. I love the little yellow, neoprene sleeve! I'm a fan of flavored waters and teas and I thought this might be a great way to use some of the mint that I grow.  I finally broke down and got one and I foresee much drinking of water and tea in my future!

And many trips to the potty.

And another discussion with my dentist about tea stains on my teeth.

 We finally put the hammock out and I have found some time to enjoy it now that school is out.

I repeat:  school is finally over as of June 27th.  Yes, you read that correctly. June.  27.  GRRRR.

A student that really enjoyed my class handed me this rose as I walked by during dismissal.  I am not  a fan of bought roses, especially the red kind.  How cool that she gave me a pink one!

While I once cried about how nasty my classroom was without this bookcase, and I bemoaned the lack of happiness that this new classroom provided me, I couldn't have done a happier dance as I cleared it off on Friday and put away my books for the summer.

I made myself a new set of these dish cloth.  I love how bright and white they are and I made a little loop so they can hang. 

But I don't have anything to hang them on....

I'm linking here:

Now link up your smiles with me!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Homegrown Awesomeness

I just love this time of year when I can say "oh I wish I had an onion or some potatoes"

And voila:

A quick trip out to the garden or greenhouse and I'm in business.

I'm still a little confused about how the whole potato thing works since I never actually plant them and they just magically keep reappearing.  I'm not sure about eating food that I didn't intentionally plant.

Don't forget to link up with Super Sunday Sharefest!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Super Sunday Sharefest #1

After I promised last week that I'd get back to my regular frequent posts, the whole week slipped by with nary a word from me.  I went to see my niece and the rest is history.

This week, I'm starting a weekly link-up that I'm calling Super Sunday Sharefest.  The rules are simple:

1.  Follow me in some way.
2.  Write a post that tells about your highlights from the week.
3.  Share your post (just one per week) in the linky at the bottom.
4.  Go visit a few other people and enjoy their sharefest too!

Link  up at the bottom of the post.

So, I hadn't been to see my sister, BIL and niece since last July.  Too many excuses kept me from going this year.  I saw them at Christmas, but that was the last time.  I've been going over April vacation for the last few years, but I couldn't go this year and something really felt like it was missing.

To make this long story slightly shorter, I decided that even though I still have a week of school left- I'm going to pause for a minute while you southern readers gasp at the thought that I'm STILL IN SCHOOL AND IT'S ALMOST JULY.

I just gasped, myself.  Remember my mantra:  'tis easier to get up on a June morning than a January morning?  I sang that every day we had a snowday this winter.  All 5 times.

It's very, very true, but OMG I can't believe everyone is out of school and I have another full week!

Anyway, I had some personal days to use that can't be carried over, so I went for a visit.

See that flash of a body running by?  That's pretty much what my visit was like.  On the go all day, every day, seizing every single moment.

That girl never quits.

We started the week with an appointment for my sister, so I watched L-ster run around the courtyard while we waited.  It was exceptionally HOT.

On the way to the appointment, we had to stop and pick up this.

That's right.  It's a saddle in a suitcase.  After a monthslong desperate search for a saddle, I believe I have found the magic one.  It was on ebay and as I was checking out, I realized the woman lived fairly close to my sister.  The woman agreed to meet up at the barn and refund my shipping fee, and like magic, the appointment was not far from the barn.  Plans were made, a saddle was handed to me and off we went.

It's an English saddle and there are no stirrups, so it's not that heavy and easily fit into this suitcase.  I was pretty excited.  I haven't tried it on this impossible to fit horse,  but someone else at the barn has this very saddle and it fits, so this better fit him.

More details to come on the saddle front.

We went to the zoo one day and when L-ster saw the carousel, she asked if she could ride.  Neither my sister nor I especially like the carousel because it's fairly nauseating but she's too little to ride alone, so I said I'd go.

She waited her turn very nicely and looked at all of the animals going by.  I assumed she'd immediately pick the panda but first she said she wanted to ride the giraffe.  The giraffe was so tall, it didn't go up and down, so then she thought she wanted to ride the zebra.  I suspected she really wanted to ride the panda, so I made a bee-line for it, but someone else grabbed it.  Thankfully, I hadn't told her we were going to the panda.  I saw another panda open and asked if that's what she wanted and she said yes, so panda it was.

It must have been put together by Noah, with every animal having a mate.  Brilliant.

We aren't looking so thrilled here but she really loved it.  She was much more at ease than when we went on a different one in July and I enjoyed this one more because it wasn't as fast as the last one we went on.  We pretty much needed seatbelts for that one and I thought I was going to ill, ill ill after riding.

This was much tamer.

We went to the pool one day where she had a blast jumping off the side and almost knocking my head off more than once.  It was pretty hot that day, so I was really glad to cool off in the pool.

She also let me braid her hair "like Elsa".  She has a bit of an obsession with the movie Frozen right now.  I have a bit of an obsession with her amazing hair at 3 years old.  I'd love to have hair like that.

But, because she sings Let It Go on a regular basis, any putting up of the hair must be taken down during her rendition of the song because that's what Elsa does when she puts "the past in the past".

I almost wet my pants the first time I watched her sing this song and do all of the motions from the movie.  Her timing is unreal.

I had a fabulous couple of days and wore her right out.  Aunitesparkling asks way too many questions, I think.

And I was chastised for singing Elsa's part at the wrong time.

And because when I was told to read, I read silently.  After that, every time she handed me a book, she said "you read this with you MOUTH".

And when I arrived at home, I almost fainted because k-ster had changed the sheets without me even asking!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Lead A Very Strange Life

So, about this time every year, I have lost my mind because: 

It's the end of the school year and those snow days I so loved are making me drag my butt into school everyday while fantasizing about not being trapped inside.

It's the time when the scholarship recipients are chosen for the ABWA chapter that I belong to here and I'm the chair, so it's a lot of work.

AND we can't forget that the annual road race that I chair also happens this weekend.

So, a true test of my organizing skills arrives every June and any sense of reality slowly slips by as June comes to a close.

Let me give you a little run down of the last 48 hours.

1.  school ends but my day does not.  It's Friday afternoon and I must teach my spin class at the gym  because I am going to be gone next week and I worry if I get a sub too many times, my little job there will be history.

2.  before I can go teach my class, I have exactly 1 hour to pick up the START flag for the race.  It was a fly by night plan I had last week.  No one ever understands where the start is because it's not visible from the registration area, so I thought I'd get one of those giant flags that everyone has that stick right in the ground and stand about 12 feet high.  This company down the street said no problem, it would be ready Friday.

Show up at 3:10 to find out that, well, you see, there's a problem.  They would DEFINITELY have it for me by 9am the next day.  Probably tonight even.  Don't even get up set because this is the year that this race is not going to ruffle my feathers.  I've done it for 11 years, everything that can happen has happened and what.ever. 

The guy shows me the special UHAUL truck outside where he will put  flag when it's done so I can pick it up and if it's not done by tonight, they will bring it to me tomorrow.  For sure.  Really.

3.  teach spin class.  Look at the girl sitting directly in front of me and know that she was a student of mine in another century.  Really, I taught in the late 90s so that is a true statement.  Sit through an entire spin class while she literally looks through me, makes no eye contact and does not answer me when I say "hey e-ster I didn't realize you were a member here!"

4.  get supper from the burrito place we must get supper from every Friday because it's good and easy and fast and on the way home from the gym.  And when we don't eat there on a Friday, I'm not sure what to do with myself.  We must not break with tradition tonight.

5.  drop off t-shirts and food for the race tomorrow, run into two women who used to sing in a chorale with me and shoot the breeze for too long.

6.  run back to the secret UHAUL truck and get the flag.

7.  eat supper and then run through the list in my head 53,000 times to make sure I didn't forget anything for tomorrow's race.  Ask k-ster if there's anything he thinks I forgot and roll my eyes because he can't come up with anything.

8.  put the flag together and stand it up on the patio to make sure it looks decent and will work and won't be so tall that we'll hit telephone wires.

9.  go to bed secure in the knowledge that everything for tomorrow is taken care of.  Find the bed to be exceptionally comfortable and the temperature just right.

10.  drift off to sleep only to be jarred awake by k-ster's phone just as I'm fully asleep.  Yell at k-ster for leaving it on and not acting fast enough.  Lay in a puddle of sweat as my heartrate tries to slow down from being awoken from the best sleep of my life.  Fantasize that k-ster's phone is now under the tires of the car I just heard go by.
11.  wake up around 3am with a weird stomachache.  Lay wondering if I'm actually sick because who wakes up at 3am to go to the bathroom like that?  Go the bathroom, sure that I will probably die because the magic burrito from #4 was poisoned and the race will have to run itself tomorrow.  Decide that I will not die, I am not sick, but don't completely rest and sleep well until it's really time to get up.

12.  get up at the usual time and debate oatmeal or nothing on my weird but not hurting stomach.  Opt for business as usual so I don't faint as I'm  handing out awards after the run.  Wonder if I am already ramped enough without tea but have some anyway.

13.  arrive to set up for the race nice and early, only to be greeted by a registrant 45 minutes early.  Grrr.  Ask him to wait until registration people show up.

14.  run around like a chicken with no head as I assign everyone their jobs and check in with everyone 50 times.  Stand like a fool while a group of people tell me they don't like my assignments and they will do their own,  see, we have it all planned out right here.  Make noises and faces and tell them that as long as those posts are covered I don't give two $hits who does it.  Ok, I didn't really say that but I am sure I was exuding that and more.

15.  have issues with not having a police cruiser and call the station to send one because if one doesn't lead the race, all hell might break loose.  Hope it arrives in time.

16.  listen to suggestions for improvement for next year's race before this year's has even started.

17.  walk the walkers to the starting line, say thank you and good luck and wish them well.

18.  run back to the registration area and check in some more while answering 500 questions.

19.  assemble the runners, cops and timing people at the start line and then stare at each other while we wait for exactly 930.  Start the runners.

20.  run back and draw names for all of the walkers who won a prize in our raffle.  Decide that the number of walkers is equal to the number of prizes therefore all walkers get prizes.  Easy math for a hectic day.  Write names on board to make it look official.

21.  eat some yogurt as I feel the mid morning blood sugar drop falling faster than a speeding bullet.  Wonder if I will actually faint as I give out the awards.  Ironic since I didn't run this year.

22.  assemble all of the medals and prize and get a little excited.  The yogurt has kicked in.

23.  give walkers their prizes as they straggle in.

24.  check on food people to make sure all is well.  Say thank you to the people whose jobs are done and send them home.

25.  give out awards.  Fantastic decision to do it inside this year.  Everyone can hear me and I do love me a mic.

26.  immediately get attacked by 4 people who have issues with times, places or names.  Direct them to the timing people who thankfully hadn't left and straightened it out.  Pull 2 extra medals directly out of my a$$ and smile and thank them 100 times for their patience.

27.  clean up what is left which magically isn't much due to an amazing volunteer crew.  Wait for 45 minutes for a woman I am going to tutor.  Discover my phone isn't working and she cancelled yesterday.  Do a slow burn as I drive away.

28.  go home and tally the income.  Be amazed that weather didn't ruin this race and we made some good cash.

29.  check email and find out that we have one more scholarship available from ABWA so I need to contact that winner too.  Email the committee and tell them I'll deal with it shortly.

30.  ride Jackson because that's what I do.

31.  come home and mow because the grass reached the elephant's eye and I'm going to be gone most of this week.

32.  cave at my strange urge for Chinese food and wonder if that's a good idea considering last night's weird stomach.  Decide it's fine since I literally have NOTHING planned for tomorrow.  Not one.single.thing.

33.  enjoy Chinese food and then have a wonderful MSG induced sleep.

34.  wake up with the craziest urge for muffins.

35. convince k-ster to go get milk so I can make muffins.

36.  while muffins are cooking, talk to my sister e-ster and decide I should go to breakfast with my parents for father's day.  Decide  muffins are for later.

37.  attend breakfast and come home with 40 plans for the rest of the day.

38.  check my greenhouse and decide two beets are ready to pick.
Marvel at how they look just like the seed packet.  Prepare them for roasting and dream about beet salad for lunch.  Warm.  With Feta.

39.  decide it's time to update my resume because I want to apply for a part time job that actually needs a resume.  Realize my resume hasn't been update since 1996.  Explore resume templates, which they did not have in 1996, and spend a long time figuring out what to include.

40.  spend more time working on resume.

41.  investigate strawberries in my garden, most of which keep getting eaten by some animal just as they ripen.

42.  decide it's time to buy bras.  It's the only chance I've had in a while where I am not sweaty or about to get sweaty and I actually have some time to go investigate.

43.  decide that since I'm going in that direction, I need to recycle and go to the grocery and I might as well stop at the Cultural Center and take down my students' exhibit that needs to come down today anyway.

44.  spend too long trying to find bras that are remotely appropriate and appealing.  Decide on a few and think it's high time I throw out my current selection.

45.  drop off recycling.  Severely injure arm on the Salvation Army metal box and wonder if I should get a tetanus shot.  Fume about doing good and getting hurt all the way to the Cultural Center.

46.  take down exhibit in less than 5 minutes and then almost drop all of them all over the parking lot.  Congratulate myself on the good save.  Wonder if anyone was watching.

47.  start making sauce for pasta and realize I don't have a can of tomato sauce.  Convince k-ster to go get some.  Marvel that he's been out twice today to get groceries without complaining.

48.  fiddle with resume and decide it's ready to upload.

49.  upload resume to application website and realize I am supposed to upload cover letter.

50.  eat supper and think about cover letter.

51.  take clothes off the line and play in the garden for a while, thinking about cover letter.

52.  write cover letter and upload to site.  Realize I must have done something wrong because it says this is the job you have applied for.  And it's blank.  Check all parts and see that they are all there.  Get to final step and see nothing listed.  Click where it says to click if you're having trouble.  Explain trouble in an email and don't dare close browser in case none of it is really there.

53.  check email and ponder going back onto a board of trustees that I used to be on. Because I need one more thing to do.

54.  realize that I am supposed to upload pictures from the race to the companies who gave me free samples.  Discover I have no pictures of people touching one of the samples, realizing that if I don't follow the rules, they won't send me any samples next year and samples at a race are a major plus.

55.  remember it's a school night and decide it's time to call it quits for the day.

Thus my fairly quiet behavior around here lately.  But I'll be back if we ever get out of school.

Linking here: 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Total Transformation

When we put up the greenhouse,  I was determined not to get sucked in to all of the many things I could buy to make it all neat and tidy.  They make all kinds of special shelves just for my greenhouse, but I had spent enough and decided I could make my own shelves and organize it as I wanted.

What I didn't realize was the degree to which it would  become a cluttered mess.

K-ster fashioned one table for me out of leftover parts from the greenhouse (there were not meant to be any leftover, so it's kind of weird that we had some...) and then we put some old screens on it.  It's always been a royal pain because the screen are ripping and nothing was ever level, etc.

I had fashioned a table out of cinder blocks and a piece of an awning but cut myself on the corner more than a few times, and it was a hazard because if you put heavy things on one end, the other would flip up like a see saw.

And then we have some random benches and a picnic table that someone was throwing away.

Clutter seems to follow me no matter what I do, so the greenhouse had quickly become a catch all for anything garden related and once plants were put in it, it was deadly walking around and not banging into something.

Determined not to buy anything, but to reuse things, I didn't get very far in the organization because nothing ever suited my needs.

Plus it's a pain to clean up, isn't it???

As luck always has it, a friend of k-ster's was closing up shop and had some shelves to give away.

My first thought was to use them in my sewing room.  But when he got them home, we decided the greenhouse was #1.  And we weren't ready to install them the day he brought them home, so we put them in the greenhouse until later, which made for really tricky maneuvering in there!

I decided last night was the night, so once the sun went down, I got to work.

This was the biggest problem.  It's an old wheelbarrow full of dirt that grows things really well and currently has potatoes growing.  It's really heavy and I was alone, with no chance of k-ster coming back before dark. I didn't want to do just part of the remodel, so I somehow dragged it into the current wheelbarrow without losing a finger.

First, I had to take just about everything out so I could walk around and move things.  I think we currently own about 50,000 pots of various sizes.

Once I got everything out that was going to move, I took out the piece of awning and made a new shelf there.

Then I made a second shelf below the one that k-ster made so that I could store all of those pots.  Like in my house, if it's sitting right on the floor, it's a disaster.  If there's a shelf, it seems to be neater.

I took the two benches that used to be in the middle and put them on the sides and used one as a base for another.

I covered them all with black weed blocker because it really helps things heat up in there.  See how far those tomatoes are already?  The same age tomatoes that I put outside haven't done much in the few weeks they've been out there.

So, with all of the new tables, the center is nice and open.  I can't tell you how many times I was tempted to vacuum....

Any bets on how long it will remain relatively neat?

And with the 4 leftover shelves, I might be able to make headway on my sewing room...

Linking here: 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

This Is Exactly What It Looks Like

The house has recently been looking like someone yelled GET OUT and no one came back to straighten up.

Particularly in the living room because it's the entry and a total catch all.

And currently k-ster's office.

As I left this morning, I did the unthinkable and asked if maybe he could clean some of it up.  I sort it very calmly, not giving a directive, and he said "ok".

By the time I got home, I had totally forgotten about it.

So I was shocked to walk in and see things neatened up.  It even looked like he had vacuumed!

And then I walked into the kitchen and saw this...

The rest of the grout from the great tile debut.  Sitting right in the middle of the kitchen floor.  But I shouldn't complain because at least it made its way out of the living room.

But then I saw this and went from 0-1000 in about a millisecond....

Right behind it.

On the way to my brandy new trash can.

On my nice, new tile.

A big dollop of P**P!!!!

I was outraged.  HOW did he not see this?  HOW could he have left this, after cleaning and taking out the trash?????  Everything he had done was undone by this one thing.


So I walked closer, FUMING.  I was sure it must be fake.  Like that might be something I thought was funny.  A pile of crap is never something that's funny, real or otherwise.

Not.  Ever.

And as I got closer, I was more and more amazed that the cat could even do that.  Without dragging her butt all over the floor and smearing it everywhere.  And it was way too big to be a mouse.  Just what kind of rodents do we have in here?

(isn't it amazing how many thoughts you can have in the span of 2 seconds?)

As I got closer, I thought maybe it was a..... chocolate munchkin?  A round brownie?  A weird cookie I haven't made?

I got more and more angry as I got closer and could not believe he'd leave a literal pile of crap on the floor.  I wanted to scoop it up and leave it on his pillow.

Which would only make me more furious when I had to do the laundry.

And then I took one more step and realized...

It was one of the potatoes that I threw in the trash because I was afraid they were too old to eat.

He must have knocked it out when he took out the trash.

I laughed so hard, I had to sit down.

It sure looked like a potato, right?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Linking here:

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Like Mime Only Better

Have you seen this summer's hottest movie??

I'm madly in love with this new Pampered Chef tool  called the scoop loop and I wanted to take a video of my using it so I could show it on the facebook party I'm doing right now.

K-ster was in the other room and I didn't want to talk AND I was in the middle of making a salad so it was a now or never moment. 

I chose to remain silent.


I don't usually tape myself cooking, so I don't know if I'm always this dramatic in my actions or if I was just in a hurry.

I sent it to my sister first, to see if it is actually funny or if I'm totally out of my mind.

She said it looks like I am passively aggressively making a salad and flinging things everywhere.   And that it is, indeed, humorous.

I picture that my face was going "SEE, DO YOU SEE ME DOING THIS?" this whole time.

And it looks like it's been sped up but I promise, when I sped it up for fun in imovie, it was even more Charlie Chaplin-esque, so I left it as it was.

I think of mime when I see it.  Or a flight attendant's manual.

It's a great tool if you  make a lot of stuffed mushrooms, stuffed tomatoes or stuffed zucchini.  I'm looking forward to using it to remove seeds all summer!!

Linking here: