Thursday, February 12, 2009

Row row row your boat....

This is not my week. It all started Monday while I was doing the dishes the old fashioned way (by hand) because my dishwasher has decided to go on strike. My how dependant we become on these modern appliances. I never had a dishwasher until 3 years ago, and now, to do them by hand is downright painful. Anyway, I ran out of hot water half way through. That was strange, because we never run out of hot water. I can be running the dishwasher, doing laundry and have one of the kids in the shower all at once, and still have hot water. Then 3 or 4 hours later I go to hop in the shower and waited.....and waited.....and waited for the water to warm up. No hot water still. So I sent Mr. Fix it to the basement to wave his magic wrench so I could have a nice hot shower after a rather long and stressful Monday. A minute later, he resurfaces with a look of aggravation. He then tells me the basement is under water. I said WHAT?!! Apparently our pump stopped working, and from the 2 feet of snow that melted off all at once, it was just too much for the pump, and it went on strike with the dishwasher, leaving my basement submerged in several inches of water, which of coarse affected the hot water heater, leaving us without hot water. I reluctantly went to the top of the basement steps and peered down, and there it was, a lake in my basement. I've never seen such a sight. We had been in the process of finishing the basement a few months ago, then progress stalled, and as every basement becomes, it was our catch all and storage. So several things that were on the concrete floor were ruined, such as my daughter's baby crib, a nice wood kitchen cabinet, some of my husband's tools, etc. So there my husband went, with camera in hand, pant legs rolled up, looking somewhat like a photographer on National Geographic. There he went into the freezing cold water to survey the damage and record it. And there my heart went as it sank. Some things were spared, whatever I had in totes, but the thought of my daughter's beautiful crib sitting in water getting ruined just made me sick. He got the pump working again and pumped the water out, then began the process of drying it out. Fast forward to today. Today would've been the day we would be able to turn off the fans and dehumidiers and begin the process of clean up. Except for one tiny snaffu. As we began down the steps, there it was, another lake in our basement. Once again our pump failed under the pressure of all the ground water and massive rains we had yesterday and last night. Our system is set up so that all the ground water comes in under the basement and then gets pumped back out. A very backwards logic, whoever decided this was a good idea when building our house was mistaken. And there my daughter is yelling up to me "mommy, the basement's floating again!" At this point I am disheartened. The remedy we think is to install another pump and have it double pumped. The ultimate fix would be to have the pump OUTSIDE of the house, but that will come later, as that will be a costly endeavor. So here we are back to the drawing board, dehumidifiers and fans blazing, hoping this time it has the chance to dry so that we can begin clean up and then my husband can install the new pump. A brook runs through our yard, beautiful as it is, I believe that also contributes to our current plight. The walls are fully sealed, so our only problem is the this indoor well system and the fact that what is outdoors is being brought in, and then being pumped back out. Absolutely ridiculous if you ask me, but what do I know about building a house? I guess if there's a bright side it would be that at least we didn't have the basement fully finished with nice furnishings yet. Still, my baby's crib is ruined and God knows what else. I had to share my pity party tonight, its just been one of those weeks; one of those weeks that a kind word and some water wings are worth their weight in gold.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

To Read or Not To Read

Another older draft I never got around to posting! What was it with me stockpiling posts? Anyway...I wanted to try out my new siggy, so figured I'd post this, enjoy!

Today I was asked what the last book I read in it's entirety was. crickets chirping

There I was staring at the vast collection of books that I've accumulated that have gone unread, half read, skimmed over and so forth. That got me to thinking. I used to LOVE to read. I used to read a lot. Not just novels, but I LOVED poetry. The greats, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Witman, just to name a few. Yes I was once an intellect, but then I had kids. HA! And it's not at all that I dislike reading NOW; if the book REALLY grabs me, then I can easily finish it in a day or two, if all else around me is neglected. HA! I guess it goes back to "busyness" and Mommyhood. I use my down time ("Me time") in different ways, depending on my mood or what I am "into" at the time; such as writing, sometimes reading, scrapbooking or sometimes I just run screaming out of the house and get away for a nice nervous breakdown. My son is a bookworm and so was my Mom. Even when she got to the point that she couldn't see very well, she would get the large print books or books on tape. Her love affair was with reading, mine on the other hand is with chocolate. Of coarse the first of the two is much better for mind and body. I so wish I could get into some of my books, but I lose interest after a time, and then bookmark it, lay it by my bed, and then it gets shuffled to the floor, then to the closet. Another problem I have is the self help books. Oh they're wonderful, they're great, and they make me realize what an utter failure I am areas I need to work on. It's not that I can't take criticism, or helpful advice, but man alive, enough already!! I will never be THAT perfect, so lets be real, k? I have good days and bad days, I have mood swings and PMS, I go on chocolate binges, I struggle with the past, I struggle in the present, I am human!! Don't we allllllllllll have these issues? Okay well some more than others, I'll give you that. One of my friends said about self help books, that all these books make you think of is someone else it could benefit other than yourself! hahaha Okay well that isn't the case for me, but I just found that humorous! For me, I get easily distracted I guess. Once again, the self diagnosis of ADD creeps up. I am pretty sure I have it. But that's a whole other post my friends. I am going to make a concerted effort to dust off those books that are bookmarked at chapter 5, and start them again, with highlighter in hand. As I'm reaching for the book, I'll look down and see a pile of laundry that needs to be addressed. I'll pick up the clothes and walk them to the sorter in the hallway closet. Uh oh, almost out of towels. Then I'll go downstairs to get the mountain of clean towels that's been towering on top of the washer for 3 weeks. Then on my way down, I see a crumb trail. Hailey is nearby. So I get out the vacume and sweep up the graham cracker crumbs. Then while I'm at it I might as well vacume the Family Room. Then the phone get my point! This is how my mind and my life work! So this MUST be why the towels are never put away and the books never seem to get read. Anyone else have this problem, or is it just me?

Get up offa that thang!

I have struggled with how to post this in a comedic way. I don't want to sound preachy, I am far from it. But here are my current gripes. Dear America, stop giant sizing eveything. A large isn't big enough now? We have to overstuff ourselves with extra fries, extra this, extra that...more more more. What was once a large is now a small or medium, and now we are used to ordering "biggie size" or super stomach stuffer, or any number of catch phrases to get you to eat more and spend more money. Also, the electronic hover rounds that are meant for senior citizens at the stores...could we maybe hide those? Not get rid of them, but maybe not make them accessible to just anyone? I am all for assisting and aiding the elderly enjoy a productive life, but these things are not safe. I nearly got run over the other day at Meijer, not by a car, but inside the store, by a hovercraft doing mach 10. I have also been side swiped and bumped with those things; it hurts, and you can't really do anything about it, it wouldn't be kosher to be caught yelling at a Senior. And another thing....I have seen younger people riding around on those. Now unless you have injured legs, why not walk? Have we gotten that sedentary that we must sit n spin while grocery shopping instead of walking through the store like in the good ole days? And last but not least America, stop mass producing such delicious junk food. It's not good for us. Read on for more on that topic. So, are you one of the millions of Americans who have junk in YOUR trunk? And hey, I'm no one to talk, since quitting smoking I've gained a pound or two ten myself. So its time for us to take a stand! Its time to eat better, and get up and move! Oh the thought exhausts you and makes you want to scarf down a bag of Cheetos huh? Well let me create a visual that might thwart your inner junk food junkie. I came upon a few posts about Cheetos a couple weeks ago on Cafemom. It almost gave me nightmares, fortunately I am not addicted to Cheetos, but I am sure they're not the only junk food with surprises inside. Here's what I found: There were a couple other posts but I can't locate them because I didn't bookmark them. But ewwwwwwwww oh my God is that not disgusting?!! The other post I had read was of a Mom that upon finishing off a bag of Cheetos, noticed those last few pieces didnt' taste quite right so she spit them out (picture was included) and lo and behold, there were dark/black hairy pieces of something in her bag! The company didn't offer to do anything except examine the contents. I would've been flipping out and going to the news! Anyway.......this post isn't a Cheetos bashfest, its to make you more aware of what you are putting in your mouth. Can we really trust these big companies? I think we all like to turn a blind eye.....until someone bites into a snake or hairy black pieces of ??? Not to mention these junk foods, even without the snake and rat or whatever that was, isn't so great for us. Many are loaded with MSG's, and are just plain empty calories. Again, I am NOT preaching because I am admittedly a junk food junkie myself. I am trying to reform my bad habits and find something that is both pleasing to my pallette and good for me. So first lesson we can learn is no Cheetos OR at the very least, dump the bag out and sort through them before consumption. But really, there are far healthier snacks we could reach for, such as any number of fruits & veggies, or if you want something crunchy and flavorful but still healthy in moderation, try these...they are deeelish! Or these: Next is the main idea of this blog, exercise! It's time we get up, stand up, (which reminds me of Bob Marley so now that tune is humming in my head = great example of my A.D.D.). Whatever way you can get your butt off the couch, do it! What do you enjoy doing that has some physical activity to it? Walking maybe? Since its winter and I am not one to brave the cold to go on walks, I got a set of ankle weights and wear them around the house, to run errands, around the mall, etc. Rent/buy some workout tapes. Get an exercise buddy, try to avoid the over zealous ones unless you know you're gonna be up for it. I had joined a group for weight loss on the internet, but found the leader to be overly zippy and annoying with her constant emails about doing laundry and running laps while running loads of laundry up and down 3 flights of steps. Um, yeah not me, sorry. One email after another about her amazing ideas on how to be active every second of every day. And some of the ideas were plain corny. Such as "Who wants to have a dance party while doing dishes?!!" Um not I. I'm clumsy enough without trying to dance a jig while putting a glass casserole dish away. I am smart enough to avert disaster before it strikes. So my point is, you know you. If you need that level of enthusiasm then girl, go bust a move while flinging the plates into the cupboard. But for me, I'm not always a "people" person, actually scratch that, I am a people person, I just don't do "perky" very well. I like everything a little more low key. So for me, I left the online group and I joined Curves and got a Wii Fit. Both of which are awesome. The Wii Fit is a great way to incorporate exercise into the family in a fun way. And Curves is awesome because its for women only, and they just came out with a Curves Smart that may just kick my butt, if the instructor lady doesn't first. While getting tested for the Curves Smart, I found myself in a position I'd never been in before. It was similar to a boot camp experience. This lady followed me from machine to machine yelling and hollaring and cheering "Go Liz Go Liz you can do it, go FASTER, FASTER FASTER, go hurry Liz, gooooooooo!" I am sure I don't have to tell you that got old fast. I wasn't sure why she felt the need to follow me screaming these things, except that the faster you go while its programming you into the system, the more intense a workout it will give you when its all said and done. I still think I could've managed my way through the workout without the heckling, but hey, whatever. My point is I'm trying and so should you! Find something, anything, it doesn't have to involve investing any money at all. Get together with friends and exercise, borrow their DVD's, rent some from the library, get online and go to Spark People and My Fitness Pal. Just get up off that thang....remember spring isn't far off, which means summer is right around the corner. Are you ready to show some skin? I know for me, the thought of shorts right now makes me cry. But we still have a few more months to bust a move and shed a few pounds for summer. Ready? Get set! Go!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Exclusive!! Frozen Meat Salesmen Exposed!

I found this post in my "drafts" and got a good chuckle out of it, thought it was both informative, tragic and hilarious all at once. So of coarse I have to share it....sit back and enjoy. NEVER ever NEVER trust a travelling meat salesman. That is the lesson of the day. For those of you who know me, you know this story, and for those of you who don't, sit back and take notes folks, this is an episode of Frozen Meat Truckers: Exposed To this day, the abundance of frozen meat sitting in my freazer haunts me. It started innocently enough, last October/November. We had just bought our new home, and were expecting company over any minute, when the doorbell rings. I sent my husband down, expecting it to be our friends, but instead he shows a stranger into our home, with brochures and boxes of frozen meat. Are you kidding me? you ask... and to that I say, unfortunately, no, this is all true and uncensored. So this gentleman, and I use this term loosely, is trying to give us this once in a lifetime amazing frozen truck meat deal, as I am impatiently wanting him and his frozen meat in a box OUT of my house because we're expecting company and I don't have time for this nonsense. But instead, my husband was dazzled perhaps by the meat, or perhaps by this man's charm. To this day, I'm not sure which got him sold on this truck meat. I tell him no, it's not a good idea, and remind him we have company coming. He brushes me off while he looks dreamily at the mystery cuts of mystery meat laying in it's coffin box. I am beyond irritated at this point. Not just at the complete and utter nonsense of it all, but that this guy showed up at our doorstep to dazzle my husband right at dinner time. That's just low. And my husband loves meat, much more so than I. I will eat a good burger, or a good steak from time to time, but my fancy is chicken. But do you see me buying chicken from a truck? Heck no! Something about a guy in a beat up pick up truck that says the back is a freezer and that these are all "aged" to perfection....something just doesn't seem right about this. But my husband was quite taken and it was obvious we were NOT getting rid of this guy until my husband had his truck meat in hand. So he bought it, and the guy was happy to go. Fast forward a week. I decide to try the truck meat, so I thaw out two mystery steaks, and cook them up with some tasty sides. We sit down to dinner and everyone is chewing...and chewing...and chewing....this steak was so tough one bite'll do ya for hours. It was like meat flavored chewing gum. The hard stale kind though. MMMMMMM tasty. Then I thought perhaps it was MY cooking? Maybe I didn't cook it quite right. So I tried again a few days later, only this time I wanted to marinate the steaks first. But to my dismany, the steaks turned gray upon being exposed to air. Hmmm. Well go figure. Who woulda thought truck meat could be this fickle? So I tried yet again, and once again, not even 24 hours after I had put it in the fridge from the freezer, it turned gray. So I decided to get out my handy brochure that the meat trucker left with me. Oh looky there! A handy 1-800 number to call! And that I did, but the answering machine came on and didn't sound very professional for an "aged frozen meat" business. I left a message anyway, and no one returned my call. Shocker. So I left another....and a week or two later, still another. Then as my last resort, I turned them into the better business bureau, but to no avail, because they wouldn't respond to them either. So now, here we are 8 months later, and every time I go to the store and have to come home and cram and jam things into the freezer, I am faced with great aggravation at all this meat that sits in my freezer that we will never use but for some reason I have not been able to force myself to throw it away. To me, it's like throwing money in the trash. Let my unfortunate meat mishap be a lesson to you all. Never, ever, never ever never trust a frozen meat salesman driving a beat up Ford pick up with an Igloo cooler thrown in the back!! If you see this man, if God forbid he shows up on YOUR doorstep, just to mess with him, go ahead and invite him in, then play along just long enough to make him believe he's going to make yet another mystery meat sale. Then tell him he's been EXPOSED and he's on a Dateline exclusive (or you can subsitute any number of other primetime hidden camera shows), and watch how fast him and his meat mobile make a fast getaway (probably while peeing his pants). SNORT!