Monday, December 29, 2008

Life Lessons from Target

Yesterday, I broke free and ran to Target. I know, I know, I like to live dangerously. It has been so long since I've had contact with the outside world, I almost forgot how crazy people are. Leave it to the colorful world of Target to present me with a quick dose of reality.

After a quick and painless return, I browsed the aisles looking for a few things. Hunched over her cart and lumbering down the aisle about 4 feet in front of me was a middle aged woman. Nothing unusual there. Until she cut the cheese without so much as flinching. She farted in my general direction! Despite my surprise, I managed to keep my wits about me and immediately implemented the emergency protocol - close, hold and dodge. (That's close your mouth, hold your breath, and dodge the fumes in case you didn't learn this particular protocol in school.)

After narrowly escaping, I made my way to the checkout area eager to avoid another incident. Suddenly I hear a woman screaming "JUST GO GET IN LINE!!!" Like rubber neckers to a train wreck, all the customers turned to look at the commotion and I watched the drama unfold. A woman holding a toddler was screaming at her husband who was holding a preschooler and a carton of diapers. He looked equal parts bewildered and scared but managed to eek out a small protest before his wife started again. "JUST GET IN LINE. I'LL BE THERE IN ONE SECOND. IF YOU GET TO THE COUNTER, TELL THEM YOUR WIFE HAS THE RECEIPT AND SHE IS COMING IN JUST A SECOND." He just stared, blinking for a moment. "GO! GET! IN! LINE! NOW!!!" He turned, tail between his legs and did as he was told. I watched as his wife ran down the aisle in the opposite direction with the toddler bouncing on her hip.

After recovering from the shock of this display, it suddenly occured to me that while these people are clearly crazy, I too have my moments. Admittedly, I like things done WHEN I like them done and HOW I like them done. In those private moments at home while trying to gather up everything to run out the door somewhere, anywhere, I have been known to get a little, teeny, tiny bit snappy with the dear hubby. Never in public. I'm not that crazy. And never to that extent. I hope. Boy, was that poor man's public humiliation a slap in the face to me as well.

While I will work on being more open and relaxed, let's hope I don't get so relaxed and open that I start tooting in public without hesitation or remorse. People, there's relaxed and there's RELAXED. Sheesh.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Memories

Christmas marked our 6th consecutive day of being confined to our house by a snowy jailer. In many ways, it reminded me of that Christmas two years ago when Lillian had just finished her 2nd round of chemo. We were stuck at home then as well and spent a quiet Christmas, just the three of us. But back then, that stifling feeling of confinement was outweighed by overwhelming gratitude to be home instead of in the hospital. How's that for perspective? Suddenly, another day at home doesn't seem so bad.

As if those similarities weren't enough, Ian spiked a 101 degree fever on the big day. And the fever was soon accompanied by spots and whining. (Poor kid!) Yep, this Christmas definitely brought back some memories. Fortunately the doctor on call today says it's likely just a viral infection. Little did we know at the time but that quiet Christmas at home was perfect for our sick kiddo.

We're counting our blessings today and holding our sick baby tight. It looks like a few more days at home are likely in our future but that's all right with me. Sometimes these are the little reminders we need to slow down and enjoy the moment.

Even the tree gets an extra dose of Christmas cheer this year...

What? You mean to tell me you're still watering your tree?

Monday, December 22, 2008


The world has turned to white and there is no signs of a thaw. I'm beginning to wonder if global warming is a myth. For now, I'm feeling grateful for our newly restored power as I admire the view from our windows...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow in Oregon

Top 5 ways you know it's snowing in Oregon (other than looking out the window).

5. Chains and traction tires are required for driving but there will still be a lady in 3" platform heels hobbling across an icy parking lot to get her latte from Starbucks.

4. No one will leave their house for days until the news notifies us that there is a brief gap between storms. At this point every human on the planet will go to the grocery store and clear the shelves of potato chips and Duraflame logs.

3. Kids will snowboard in the streets, build snowmen and have snowball fights on the first day off from school. On the second day, their parents will start drinking heavily and complaining about school closures on Facebook.

2. When you finally get around the white knuckled drivers going 15mph while tapping their breaks and manage to crank the ole speedometer up to a daring 30mph, some idiot will pull out like his life depended on getting in front of you. And then he will slow to a crawl until he coasts to a stop in order to park diagonally on an incline at a stop sign.

1. The news preempts Oprah for yet another hour in their continuing coverage of the "Arctic Blast". Which essentially is telling us that it's still snowing, it may or may not be sticking and it could continue. Or not.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Don't mess with me Jack

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. A white Christmas even! After just a few days of this cold, snowy weather, I'm ready to move on. How on earth do people live with this white stuff all winter long? It's too bad the forecast is for more snow. I guess I can tolerate it as long as it doesn't start messing with some important plans. On Friday, I have a much needed haircut scheduled. I NEEEEEEED this haircut. My pixie do is more like a helmet right now. And more importantly, we're supposed to travel to Seattle and back on Saturday to visit Ian's extended birthfamily. We've really been looking forward to this visit. So Jack Frost had better cooperate. Do you hear me Jack? Trust me, you do not want to mess with my plans.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting into the Christmas spirit

We still don't have a tree and there is nary a light twinkling at our house. With just 2 weeks left until Christmas, I think it's about time to get in the spirit. So tomorrow I plan to hold a cookie baking extravaganza! I've got the ingredients for Lemon Squares, Oatmeal Carmelitas, Chocolate Toffee Crunchies, Snickerdoodles and Oreo Truffles. That should make a nice plate of treats for neighbors, friends and co-workers.

As if that weren't enough, I also made Caramel Layer Choco Squares and Cheesecake Cookie Cups last night for a party at work. With all of this baking, I predict that I will have gained 5 lbs by Monday. See what I do for you? What can I say? I'm a giver.

Now that I've shared my cookie recipes, it's time for you to return the favor What is your favorite cookie recipe? Or for you non-bakers, what is your favorite cookie to indulge in at Christmas?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wiill you help me with those last 25 lbs???

Dear Brilliant People of Nintendo*,

I lost a bunch of weight this year with nothing but a dvd player and will power. I hope to lose some more next year but I am worried that it will be harder this time around. The last five pounds have taken as long as the first forty. Which means the next twenty-five pounds will take about 4 years. And that's kind of ridiculous really. I'd like to crank things up and drop those pesky lbs in 4 months. So that is where you come in Nintendo. Lovely, sweet, smart Nintendo.*

I need a Wii Fit.

There I said it. Despite your super-compelling marketing campaign*, I've got to admit that I've been resistant. I mean the productivity in my household is certain to come to a screeching halt if we had such an addictive video game system at our disposal. And by "household," I mean my husband. He's a terrific stay-at-home-dad and I can't have him distracted by home electronics. I finally have him convinced that the computer is dull and complicated but I'm not sure I could do the same with a Wii. I blame you and your ground breaking interactive gaming technology.* So you kind of owe me.

Anyway, I resisted your siren song until you brought Jillian Michaels on board. Jillian, or Jill as I call her, is my weight loss guru and personal trainer. And by "personal trainer," I mean that I have her dvd's. Now that Jillian has created a Wii Fit workout, I MUST HAVE IT.

Which brings me to the point of this letter. I've been seeing a bunch of Wii Fit giveaways lately and well, I want in on the action. I'll gather some bloggy, facebook, myspace, twitter, internet friends and host the bestest giveaway you've ever seen. EVER! And I totally have a big mouth so I'd tell everyone about your generosity and brilliance.* So it's really a win-win. How can you refuse? Win-win situations are just good business. And I know you are really good at business.*

By the way, have I told you how pretty you are?* Cause you are soooooo pretty.


*I'm not above blatant sucking up.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas letters - Yeah or nay

I was just reading this post about Christmas letters at Rocks in my Dryer* when it occurred to me that it hadn't occurred to me to even consider writing a Christmas letter. And that's a lot of occurring.

Or not occurring.

Anyhoo, I enjoy receiving Christmas letters. I enjoy writing. I was already addressing all those envelopes. So why not write a little letter and shove it in the prepared envelope?

Well first, as previously established, it didn't occur to me. (Duh) Second, I have these blog-thingies which basically tell you all about our lives over the past year and all totaled could be considered the world's longest cumulative Christmas letter. And third, I couldn't just write a letter. I'd have to write and edit and re-write and choose pictures and then it just becomes work.

So tell me, should I expect a Christmas letter from you this year? Were you terribly disappointed not to see a letter with our card?

*Best blog name ever.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The real world

A few months ago my boss took a new job in another division. Since I don't currently have any direct reports either and my work is fairly autonomous, I took it upon myself to start working what my company likes to call an "alternative work schedule." The rest of the world calls it four 10's. I call it bliss.

Sure I left a little earlier and came home a little later but it was well worth it for the three day weekends. I started taking the kiddo to Gymboree on Friday. We'd go grocery shopping. I'd watch daytime television during naptime. The hubby was able to go hunting or work in the yard or whatever else he considers fun. So pretty much, it was awesome.

Yesterday, I was asked to start working on a project for a different group. As part of that work, they also want me to attend their weekly staff meetings. Which are on Fridays.

There goes my alternative work schedule.

So here I sit, blogging working away on a Friday. And let me tell you, it is no easy task. Five day work weeks are HARD. Why did I ever switch to four days? Adding back that fifth day is brutal! I have to focus and think and go to meetings. Oh, and put on real clothes. Do you know how hard it is to shower and put on heels? On a FRIDAY? If this is the real world, I want no part of it.

Crap, I have to run to a meeting. Stupid Friday.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not finished yet

Last week I had a meeting with a co-worker I haven't seen in a while. She commented about my weight loss and for the first time, I heard myself respond "yes, I dropped quite a few pounds but I still have more to lose."

Huh. That's new.

It wasn't until I heard myself say it out loud that I realized I'm not satisfied with my current weight. Wait, that's not entirely true. It's not the number on the scale I dislike. I couldn't care less about the number. It's the belly bulge that I'm fed up with. (Pun intended.)

Sure I look better than I used to. My arms have thinned out. I have a collar bone again. My cheeks aren't as puffy. But that darn belly still sits there, in all it's jiggly glory, mocking me. It's the first place I gain weight and the last place I lose it. And I don't feel that my weight loss is finished until it's gone. (Okay, maybe not GONE but significantly reduced.) I've come this far, why not finish the race?

Add that revelation to an extended holiday weekend of gluttony and you have a recipe for change. It's one thing to splurge on Thanksgiving. It's another thing to splurge the day before, the day after, the day after that and the day after that. If there is a healthy eating wagon, I need to get back on it.

But December is a lousy time of year to consider trying to eat healthy! So here's my plan. I'd like to find some balance over the next month. Splurge on occasion and maintain my weight as it stands. Then get back to hard-core-weight-loss mode on Jan 1. This is NOT a New Year's Resolution. That seems too temporary and gimicky. My problem has been and will continue to be one of motivation. I need a goal. A deadline. And someone looking over my shoulder. So Jan 1 will be the start. April 19 will be the deadline (my birthday). 25lbs will be the goal. You will be my progress monitors. Mkay?

Hey, do you want to lose 25lbs in 2009? Join me! Misery loves company. It'll be fun! We can swap recipes, compare work out schedules, braid each other's hair, have a pillow fight. Wait, what was I talking about? Right, we can call it the Quarter Club (or something more catchy and less dorky). I won't even make you publish your weight. C'mon, you know you want to...all the cool kids are doing it. (That's peer pressure people, I hear it's all the rage these days.)

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