Friday, April 17, 2015

When it Rains


...it apparently runs right under my flippin foyer.

It all started with problems with our heating and air.  We decided after all the trouble we had been experiencing from the guy who had been working on our system, we'd make a change.  Instead of a friend of a friend of my dad's who always seemed a leeeedle shady, we went with someone who had, you know, a business license.

HVAC guy comes over...goes under the house to look at the unit under there...

"Ummm...I don't know how to tell you this, but you're going to have to replace the whole unit."

Not a huge surprise...because it was the one orginally put in when the house was built...25 years ago or so.

"Oh. And your floor.  You're going to have to replace your floor too."

Apparently, lo, all these many years, the drainage on our front steps has been for shit.  Water has just been seeping under the door sill and soaking into the subflooring and floor joists and rotting.  Since we had tile in that area we never knew.

HVAC guy calls in someone who he's worked with before to assess the damage.  The floor guy informs us that the only thing holding the floor together at this point is the dirt on top of it.  If I had ever mopped, one of us would have probably fallen through by this point.  I guess we're lucky I'm such a slob.

For a whole week, we had to avoid the area...Jeff actually set up little orange cones just like you see for road work, only 6" tall to remind us where we weren't supposed walk.  But then our contractor was able to get started this week.

Monday, I came home to this:




A GINORMOUS mudder truckin' hole in my house.  Like RIGHT. IN. MY. HOUSE.  I don't know why it freaked me out like it did, but it did.  Also?  Everything downstairs had dust on it.  I quickly scrapped dinner plans, called Jeff and told him to come get me and take me to Los Mex.


Ahhhh...that's better.  Everything seems a bit more manageable with a pitcher of margaritas and a burrito the size of my head.
So back home we went to the house with the gaping hole in the middle of it.  The dogs had to stay out that night on the back porch. (It was 70 degrees...this is April in Alabama...they weren't suffering as much as they pretended).  The cats were incarcerated in our master suite upstairs.  There was no way around it.  They had access to their litter box, water and food and at least had the bedroom and bathroom to prowl.

I did not sleep well that night.


BESIDES the four pissed off cats that were either attacking our feet or attacking each other or making pitiful noises at the door or bumping the door...I knew my house had a hole in it.  All the way down to the dirt. DIRT, I say!  As I have stated before (here) I am very leery of the thing-that-lives-under-things.  And everyone KNOWS there's all kinds of shit up under a house in the crawl space. Bugs and spiders and snakes and vampires and ghouls and the imps of Satan.
It's a deep rooted phobia, and it kept me up that night.

Thank God, the next day, my foyer looked like this:



The good news is that the thing that may or may not live under the house can no longer rise up in the middle of the night and murder us all.  The bad news is that Simba is terrified of the sound his own toenails make on the particle board and doesn't want to walk on it.  He will, if we leave him downstairs and call him upstairs, but he kind of scrambles across the floor with his tail tucked under...but when he wags his tail because we're calling him, he whacks himself with his own tail and thinks something just made a grab at his back legs and scampers sideways until he gets to the carpeted area or the stairs. Sigh.

At least I was able to sleep last night...even though we had a 70 pound blonde scaredy cat up in the middle of the bed with us.



Monday, April 6, 2015

Butterfly effect

When I was a young girl, I was tan. Always.  I spent all summer outdoors and would get as brown as a little nut.  I was always told I took after my grandfather in that respect...he was 1/4 Cherokee Indian and was so dark that he wasn't called by his Christian name, everyone...from friends and family to co-workers knew him as "Blackie".  (I know, horribly un-PC...what can I say, it was a different era.)
Of course, when I was a young girl I also had the metabolism of a hummingbird and was so skinny that my Dad would call me "Slim Pickins".  Somewhere between then and now, things have changed.
You grow up, you get a job, you spend the last 15 years of your life in an office without a window. Your only form of illumination the soft glow of your computer screen. Instead of a hummingbird, I have the metabolism of a three-toed sloth.  A sleeping three-toed sloth. On Valium.
Also?  I am frog-belly white.
This past weekend, I had my monthly luncheon with the ladies.  As it was a very pleasant April afternoon, we dined on the patio of our local eating establishment.  I spent an hour and half out in a very, very mild spring day.  Changing into my pajamas later that evening I noticed this:
 
 
 
I basically have a Rorschach test on my chest.
Jeff think it looks like a big, red butterfly.
 
Just call me Papillion.
 
 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Out to Lunch

Hey guys!  I have been horribly slacking when it comes to blog posts. There has been plenty to write about, but sadly, little time to do it in.  We have been in the midst of lots of horrible home-repair/maintenance issues...I'll be sure to write all about it when I get over my general pissed-off-ed-ness about the money I'm spending on un-fun items like floor joists.
However, even in the throes of all of my proprietor worries, I have had a few occasions to chuckle, if not completely laugh out loud.  Take Friday.  I was off work, Jeff was not.  I had been subjected to an EGD the day before (light/camera down the stomach thing).  It's no biggie, but sometimes anesthesia can throw me for a loop and I feel out of sorts for awhile, so I had already planned to take the following day off. I slept FOREVER, which was nice. (and due to the anesthesia)  It was about 11ish when I finally crawled my sorry butt out of bed.
I got up, got coffee, read my texts.  Jeff actually works in another time-zone from where we live, so it was after noon where he was.  He had shot me a text, "Well, I grabbed the wrong lunch. Sorrrrryyyyy!"
The evening before, we had opted for Olive Garden.  Yeah, I know, meh...but I was still loopy, I didn't want to cook, and soft noodles sounded easy.  I opted for something I never order...Steak Gorgonzola.  I don't know what I was thinking. Choking down pieces of steak with my sore, swollen throat...not good. I ended up eating a few noodles and packing up the rest of it.  Jeff had the Chicken Parm...which is a huge portion at dinner, so he had leftovers as well.
In comes another text, "You can eat my chicken.  Steak Gor. was very good.  Sorry again."
My throat was still pretty raw, so I decided against getting his leftover container out...I just made myself some soup.
A couple of hours later...I get a phone call.

"Well," he said, "I just got back in from the shop, and there was an email that was sent out to the entire building."
Me: "Okay.  Is something wrong?"
J: "It was from a lady named Carol.  It was about lunch-room/kitchen etiquette. Specifically, people eating things that didn't belong to them."

Pause.
J: "She was furious because someone had eaten her Olive Garden leftovers."
Me: "Steak Gorgonzola?"
J: "Steak Gorgonzola."

Now, there are a couple of levels of mortification here.  One: he ate someone stranger's lunch.  Two: he ate some STRANGER'S lunch.
My husband is a leeeedle bit of a food-germ-a-phobe.
"You think you should go ask her if she's got cooties?"
"You? Are not as funny as you think."

 Anywho...he went an apologized to Carol...and we're going back to the OG tonight and getting her an untouched meal for Jeff to take for her lunch tomorrow.
He will be carefully marking all containers.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I helps

So, to begin…I need to introduce you to the participants.


This is Maxx:

(My middle name is smuggy, smug-britches)





…and this is Simba:

(Don't judge my slobber)
And this is what took place yesterday:

Hey, Simba, want to play a new game?



I love new games!

This one is called, “Help Momma with the mail!”



I love my Momma! I would love to help her.

Well, then, what you do is…you take this mail and open it for her…here let me push this piece of mail off the table for you.


Don’t I need thumbs to help Momma with stuff like the mail?

Nah! Thumbs are over rated. You don’t need thumbs to make someone your…I mean, to use tools. Or you know, just use the tools you’ve got.



Do you think Momma will be excited???

Oh, I’m sure she’ll be very excited



So I came home and found this:






Look Momma! I helpted!

This was a letter and a book plate from Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) that she sent in support of my group (The Funkalicious Alabama Kudzu Queens) hosting a fund raising event benefitting the League of Animal Welfare and the Cheaha Regional Human Society.  Ms. Lawson herself didn't actually do the sending...her assistant, the lovely and talented Mary did.  The glitter she included in the envelope was a very nice touch, BTW. I have no idea where she founnd such delightful, insidious glitter. Not even the Dyson can get it all. Simba is basically shitting magic poo now.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Where's the beef?

I've told ya'll about my friend Annette in posts in the past.
Well, for the past few months, she has been VERY successful in getting healthier (and even better lookin).  (Bitch.)  Sadly, I am afraid that some of this healthy livin' has made her a little delusional.  For example...the other day, she posted this:
...with the caption, "Cajun spiced cabbage steaks!"
Now, I like cabbage.  I like cajun spices. I like Annette's cooking.  I am sure that the cabbage in the picture tasted mighty fine.  However, I am equally certain that it did not taste like a steak.
I'm not judging...I've had these sort of delusions myself...when I've been successfully dieting for awhile...and I have my carrot "chips" and my fat-free ranch and I'm all, "I love these CHIPS!  Why, this is just like snack chips, only better!  I'll never eat another Dorito again in my life."
Until I DO eat another Dorito and my taste buds wake up from the stupor they have been in since I decided to forgoe "bad" food and eat right.
Carrots are fine.  They taste good.  But they are not, and they will never be a Dorito...or even a Ruffles potato chip.
Cabbage is all fine and good, but is not a steak.
"But it's called a steak because of how it's cut!"  Annette said to me. (This is when I texted her and asked if it was okay that I wrote this blog post.)

I looked up the definition of steak.  Merriam Webster's entry on the word "steak" was this:

Full Definition of STEAK


1

a : a slice of meat cut from a fleshy part of a beef carcass

b : a similar slice of a specified meat other than beef

c : a cross-section slice of a large fish

2

: ground beef prepared for cooking or for serving in the manner of a steak



Examples of STEAK

1. I grilled a steak for dinner.

2. We had steak and potatoes for dinner.


Now, I'm a purist and thus, the fleshy beef carcass definition is the only way I use the word "steak", but I can concede the other two (similar slice of another kind of meat or fish) definitions are also appropriate.

This, however:

is not a steak.  It is a funji.  Nothing against the mushroom family, but let's leave the land of make-believe for a moment.

Below me is an hunk of eggplant.

which is also not a steak.  And it is not covered in chickpea and feta gravy because such a thing does not exist.

This?


Looks like a very nice start to some eggplant parmigana.  Throw some marianara and cheese on it...yum.  What it isn't?...is breaded, country "fried" eggplant steak.


I don't even know if I LIKE parsnips, because I have never had one.  I have faintly distrusted them ever since I got a fortune cookie fortune that read, "fine words butter no parsnips." (Not making that up.  You can see it here)

But this "Parsnip Steak" with "Beet ketchup"?


No.  The insanity must end.


And this is???? Cauliflower steak? Really?  And we've, what...garnished it with clover and rabbit turds?

Folks...I'm all for your diets.  I am all for lowering your blood pressure and your chlosterol.  I need to get with that program myownself?  But!  We do not have to try to delude ourselves by calling things what they are not.  Because frankly, all it does for ME is remind me that I am not, in fact, dining on a steak.

Beet ketchup, indeed.







Friday, February 20, 2015

It Could Be a Bowling Alley!

I had a great day yesterday.
At work, I was given what one might call...A Major Award!
It was major to me anyway.  My boss nominated me for it, which was flattering.
My co-workers struggled all day long to make sure it remained a secret to me until the big reveal during a town hall meeting that was teleconferenced to over 20-something corporate sites, and it was touching that they cared so much about me having a nice surprise.
The Division Manager (who is like my boss's boss's boss's boss....waaaaaay up the totem pole from my little peon self) announced that I had won it and said a whole bunch of nice things about me (well, read a bunch of nice things that my boss had written about me) in front of like 1500 of the Division employees was UBER flattering and a little humbling.
My boss called me afterward and told me that the award came with a few bucks and I was REALLY digging that.

I got to top the evening off with a lovely dinner with a great friend.  This is Tina:

 
She is smart, sexy, funny, beautiful (as you can see). You want to talk about angels among us?  That's Tina.  She runs a non-profit organization called Family Links through the Calhoun County Sheriffs Department.  She left a pretty prestigious position a couple of years ago to take this position.  Family Links works with at-risk youth in our area.  They have programs for parents to learn how to parent better...it focuses on parents of kids that are "out-of-control" and teaches parents how to get their heathens back under control before they slide into REAL mischief of drugs, violence, etc. (I'm paraphrasing here).  There's a "Success Academy" to get the kids back on the right track academically. There's a program that offers therapy for the kids...and a bunch more.  Frankly, it awes me because I don't know how she does it.
She is understaffed, overworked and underpaid. (I don't care what she IS paid, it can't be enough).  I don't know how she does what she does without burning out.  She is AMAZING.  And she is always in need of more money to help more kids...to make her programs more effective...to make more of an impact.  Right now, Tina is involved in getting together a fundraiser for Family Links.  It's called Run for FUNds and you can read all about it here. 
 
It's a 5k run/walk on April 25th, proceeds go to Family Links.  You can register to do the run for $20.  Or you can sponsor the run.  I haven't decided whether I want to actually do the run (or in my case, aggressively walk). But I did decide to become a sponsor.  Since I had just been given my MAJOR AWARD, I was able to hand Tina a check that evening over a plate Masaman curry and plum wine.
 
It was the very best part of my awesome day.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

V Day PSA


Okay, Men, here's the deal.  In a couple of hours, some of you are going to be desperate.  Yes, you both agreed that you weren't doing Valentine's gifts.  Yes, she said that she didn't want flowers. Yes, she said not to buy her candy because it would ruin her diet.  But then...she started acting funny...and in a little while, maybe during the dinner that you both agreed was all you were going to do for each other for Valentine's Day, she's going to give you a gift.  It will be thoughtful and something you really like and you will feel bad about not getting her anything.
 
You will plot to sneak out....to buy bread or something...or to pick up a bottle of wine and you will buy something for her and pretend you've had it al along.  But then, you go into the store...thinking you will get flowers and candy or something, and all they will have left is this:
 
 
Why, look at that!  That looks Valentine-y!  Pretty bow...kind of kitschy...you know, instead of a real bouquet they've used something in lieu of flowers.  Might even look more thoughtful than FLOWERS, because it's unusual.
But look closer...


 



 
Maybe at one time, they did have "bouquets" that were made with candy bars and were cute.  But those were all sold before lunch to other men who were just a leedle bit quicker on the uptake than you.  Now this one is the only one left.  Because?  It is a bouquet of diet bars.
 
I don't know what sick bastard had this idea, but it is a bad one.  Do not be taken in.  Do not tell yourself, "Maybe she will think I listened to her about the "no candy" thing."
Just. Don't.
The only thing that giving your woman a bouquet of diet bars will get you is slapped up-side your head. Maybe repeatedly.
So walk away from it.  Now.
 
Almost ANYTHING else you can buy at Winn Dixie will be a better choice than this.  You can take her home a raw chicken and tell her that your plan is to make her a roast chicken dinner tomorrow.  You can bring home cereal and milk and tell her that you're serving her breakfast in bed in the morning.  Just do not take her home that travesty of a Valentine's "gift" they are trying to lure you into buying.
 
This concludes my Public Service Announcement.