Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's my Potty

It's a miracle!

I dared him and it worked.
The toilet is in and working as of last night.
The floor is done.....only 101 other things left in the room to do.

Baby steps....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Balls In The Air

The last 3 weeks I have been busier than ever.
But yet it appears nothing is getting accomplished. At least it feels this way.
There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.

I am buried in homework that has become a chore and not remotely enjoyable.
Finding the time to do it has been overwhelming. Pictures, pictures, pictures.
Outdoor pictures and things that I must drive to to do.
This isn't fun, now it just seems like added stress and I certainly wasn't prepared for that.
As I write this it is 4:15a.m. I am worried I didn't do enough of what I was to do and have only a very small amount of time (lunch) to finish it all.

I have been doing some painting in my home and other assorted DIY projects and changes around here. Have a deadline of May for it all, inside and out. Jeez.

Then we have tax time around here. Oiy Vay.
I hate tax time. Enough said on that horrific topic.

Rick has begun working on our master again.
There has been a lull because he was so busy.
That is an enormous understatement.  This has been the longest project of my life.
The toilet is now out of our bathroom and sitting in the shower.
For some reason going up another flight of stairs at 2am or 5am when I wake up to pee is a royal pain. WAH WAH WAH.  I laugh because one knows this is simple whining and not a big deal. But at 2am I was cursing him. He told me it would be done in 24 hrs. I have learned that is 3 days in Rick time.  So in Rick's world my shower and toilet will be back on Friday.
I will bet you by this time next week it won't be done.

This weekend Rick informed me not to make plans because he has plans for me.
I am sure this is because my birthday is on Monday and that is not a good day to do anything in our household. We are both so tired and his first job is at 7am so he will be asleep by 9pm.  And I'm sure I'm stretching it by saying 9pm  But if I were being honest I would rather finish some of the things I'm doing in the house and my homework over the weekend than go somewhere or whatever he has planned. 
God I'm getting boring in my old age aren't I?

I also have started a book and haven't gotten past this same page for days it seems. When I do have a spare minute I promise myself I will read at least a chapter. But I find my mind wandering and thinking I should be finishing that stenciling and that primer coat has dried and it's time to paint.

So I am going to hit the schedule button so this hits the blog at 9ish and I am going to try to sleep before Izzy is nudging me at 5am to eat.

And if you want a mommy giggle check out my friend Tina.
This one cracked me up! Could be sleep deprivation, could be because I could picture her cutey son doing this to her or it's just damn funny.

Happy Hump Day my Blogger Friends.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Randomness

**Baseball is back and of course that makes me happy. My team will not win for at least another decade though. The first game was televised and I watched while our players were braking arms.  1st pitch, broken arm. Lovely. We seriously look like The Antique Road Show.  Never in a million years I'd have thought I'd say I long for George Steinbrenner.  Oh well......

**It was found that IKEA's  infamous meatballs had horse meat in them.  Now they are saying none of these horse meatballs went to the US of A.  They listed a boat load of countries but not the US? Canada but not the US?  Come on.  Now I have never eaten those little Swedish delights because of my gluten issue 'cause I never know what is in food when out so I err on the side of caution. But my hubby loves them. I bribe Rick to go with me to IKEA by saying we can get lunch/meatballs if you come with me. I know I wouldn't eat them again now but who knows about Rick. He'll eat anything. He's like Mikey in that regard.

**I am getting spam here again. Lots of it. WTF? So now they are writing the captcha's?  How do we make them stop?

** Today is Izzy's birthday and we have to bring her to a dental vet. Honestly this dog is as expense as a child. She broke her big ole incisor.  She has been making that smacking sound like she was going to be sick. But she wasn't getting sick. But she would wake me at night with that smacking noise. This past weekend we noticed she wasn't grabbing her favorite yellow ball on the left side. So Rick opened her mouth and we saw the tooth broken to the pulp. Pour thing must have been in pain. We called our vet and they sent us to a Veterinary Dental Clinic. I am so dumb I didn't even know they had such places. On the phone when making the appointment they asked if this was for a consultation or a root canal. Really? Root canal for a dog? Well  it's for a consultation.  I called the insurance company and they said this is covered. I am very curious as to what they say to do. I want to know if we have to do anything at all. Will she be okay like this? Is she in pain? It doesn't appear to be anymore. Can this get infected if left alone? Do we wait on that? Do we just pull it? Root canal really? Gee, happy 4th birthday Iz, here's a shot!  Poor thing. It should prove interesting to hear what they tell us. I just had a root canal and it was $1600 so it will be interesting to see what they charge for a dog.

**I have an addiction to DIY network and HGTV. And it's not just because I love me some big strong men in tool belts. No I love the cute little blonde thing from Minnesota that rehab's historic homes. Or the tiny little cute one who remodels kitchens. Rick is willing to trash our kitchen if she'll come remodel. She remodels in small tank tops and heels. Makes me laugh.  I can watch these damn shows all day and all night. I'm not sure I could handle the withdrawl so I can't quit. But sometimes admitting the problem is ones first step.

**The big dragon lady at Yahoo told her telecommuters they must go to the office to work or lose their jobs. Oh boy she's made herself popular hasn't she?  Now as the boss your job is not to be popular, it's like parenting. However you all know you will bust your ass for a person you like and respect far more than someone that you don't care for or respect.  I have worked from home the majority of my careers.  I find you work harder, less distractions and longer hours. Those peers of mine who worked from home still sent their child to day care so they could focus and they worked the same....only in pj's. I think people think they can leave their kids home if you work from home. That is not really working. Your focus isn't at work. A 3 year old doesn't understand that mommy or daddy is working and can't pay attention to them. 
Now I know there are people, I know them, who can't focus and make themselves adhere to a strict schedule without someone standing over them. They couldn't even stand not having the others to interact with all day. Being quiet would kill this one person I know. I get that, I really do. Working from home isn't for everyone. But to make a blanket statement that no one works while at home is crazy. I had a very high powered position and nothing was lost because I was in my office at 7:30a to 6pm.  I had no one to chat with or to take a break with. So I did neither.  I personally think this woman is attempting to make people quit to avoid severance packages.  Saves her a great deal of money by cutting people this way. I think there may be more to this than telecommuting.

**My father has been dealing with skin cancer that was found on his face/head. He had something cut out and then they found some more. So then he had to put this cream on his face. His doctor described it to him as a chemo treatment in the form of a cream. This cream made his face red, raw and sometimes scabby. It was painful and dreadful to look at. But God love him he went to work at ole Wal-Mart greeting people. When people asked he would say he had a rash, or he got a sun burn etc. (yea sunburn with 3 ft of snow on the ground)  He wouldn't tell them the truth. He is from the generation that the word cancer must be whispered. For his 85th birthday he went out to dinner with my family and he didn't hide. As my sisters said it was hard to look at.  It's been two weeks now since he was able to stop the cream. His face is almost back to normal and they gave him a clean bill of health. Will he wear sunscreen? Very doubtful. Honestly he is as stubborn as he is a work ethic billboard. I suppose at 85 he can do whatever the hell he wants to do. But just once I would like him to listen to the advice of someone.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Friday's Day of Laughter

Friday was a day off for Rick to attend the doctors with me.
If I were to have the "shot" which we thought would be necessary I wouldn't be able to drive.
So he worked Saturday and took off Friday for me.

We headed over to the spine institute very early in the morning for my appointment.
I was not paying attention to the exits or really anything for that matter.
I was thinking about this visit and my pain and just day dreaming out the window.
When I finally looked up I realized we passed the exit we wanted to take.
I mention this to Rick, "Hey Rick didn't we want the Wiehle exit? We are almost at Tyson's. We are way past it." 
He snapped out of his coma and laughed. "Well we have time I'll just turn around."

Honestly how this man gets to all his appointments each and every day on time and generally early just floors me.  Thankfully when we arrived we were kept waiting as usual so it was not an issue that Rick was driving aimlessly.

I had a series of doctors, PA's and nurses prodding me and the area of pain. 
I kept saying, it hurts THERE. So they continued to press THERE and they made me bend, twist, and do things that caused me more pain.
I told my doctor I thought he was sadistic. He just laughed.

We went over my choices of treatment. If this visit had occurred the week of severe pain and when I was down for the count I may have chosen something else.  But I had been taking my husbands anti-inflammatory's and I was feeling much better.

I shared with Dr. Good Looking that I had been taking Rick's pills and while I thought he'd be pissy he was fine with it because that was a drug he'd be giving me.
My choice was a steroid pack and a shot. Or an anti-inflammatory and a shot.
Or just try 2 weeks of anti-inflammatorys and see how I feel and go on from there.
With all choices there was pain medications to go along as needed.
I get some serious side effects from the steroid pack so I really wanted to avoid it if I could.
So I opted for the least invasive route. I am on an anti-inflammatory and the ole pain medication.  With a shot to come only if I feel necessary.

By the end of my visit (2.5 hrs) of being battered and bruised my doctor recommended I take the prescribed pain meds when I get home because he told me I was going to be worse.
Gee, no shit you all have been man handling me.

The good news of my lumbar spondylosis and my SI joint issue and pain is that the gym is making things worse. Not all of the gym but some of the gym. 
When he asked when the pain got worse I shared that once I was began going to a gym on a regular basis I noticed the pain increasing from my "normal life of pain" (Ialways have some pain at any given moment that I have just learned to live with)

Dr. Good Looking said, "Let me guess it could be spinning or the elliptical"
I was shocked because it was both! 
While I love the bike I know it causes me pain.
I hate the elliptical and when I told my trainer that both hurt me she rolled her eyes.
I think she thought I just hated them so much that was what I meant.
I told her I wasn't joking but she still poo-poo'd me.

So imagine my delight when Dr. Good Looking told me that he would prefer I not do either - I almost planted a big wet kiss on him.
He went on to tell and show me on Mr. Skeleton in the room why it bothers me so.
He explained that the weight training and stretching were good.
However the bad news was that as time goes on he would like to see me move to yoga and/or Pilate's because this injury would be better served by those things and move away from the gym.  As I age it will not get easier he said and all that gym stuff would do more harm than good.

Surprisingly that was sad to hear. Not that I love the gym people but there is no avoiding this old age shit and changing my life. This saga began in 1978 when I fell on concrete steps at the CN Exhibition Stadium in Toronto Canada while seeing a concert of Burton Cummings. 
(I was in my very early 20's.)
Rain, wet concrete and me being clumsy and now I pay the price.
Not sad about the bike and elliptical just the gym and aging.

So we got my Rx filled on the way home and I took it in the car.
I had not had any food or drink aside from water yet so these puppies hit me.
The rest of the day was giggling and less pain.
I really don't do well on pills hence why normally I only take a 1/2.
But my druggie husband convinced me to take a full one and take the day off.

Oh my.

We came home to have lunch and that was when that pill had hit me.
We were talking about work and my classes and somehow we began talking about taking pictures of oneself. I shared how this blogger I read always is taking pictures of herself with her cell phone and when I try I get everything but me. I get me holding a camera in front of my face but not me. He suggested putting the camera over my head. WHAT?

I don't know what was said or what we were talking about at that specific moment but we couldn't stop laughing. I was high on pain meds - Rick was just egging me on I'm sure.
I picked up my camera and went into the powder room and tried again.
I got this pic of me looking like I've been goosed and holding the camera in the air.
We won't even get into the exposure and other issues.
When we saw this we began laughing even more.

Everything was making me laugh and I mean everything.
I heard Rick talking to customers on the phone. Oh he is so not good on the phone with people.
That made me laugh. I wasn't panicked that he would lose business, oh no, I just laughed and laughed.   Ah drugs are good.

Now you know I don't show my face on here often because well.....my face. Ick.
But these make me laugh just looking at them.
I was a giggling fool all damn day. Oh yea, this is an ugly picture but I'm showing it because this was me all day on Friday. (hubby using my camera that makes it look like i have no hair - i have hair people!)
But hey, I wasn't in any pain.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lucky Me

Izzy's birthday is Tuesday. She will be a whopping 4 years old.
Can I tell you how many birthday cards this gal has received already?
Jeez.
My birthday is in 2 weeks.  
I bet, no I know she will receive more birthday cards than me!

Birthdays were always a big deal in my house growing up.
I love birthdays.

Izzy received the best one from doggie day care.
They gave her an interactive one. It was a hoot!
Not that she knows. She's a smart dog but thankfully not that smart!

I have a sister that starts all the birthdays in January.
Then every two weeks there is a birthday in my immediate family.
Last week was Dad's. Next is another sister. Then me. Then Mom and on it goes.

My husband has always referred to this as Malizia Birthday Season.
Every December I go in to my Hallmark store and get all my cards for the season.
They are all ready to go come January.

I want plastic surgery for my birthday this year but since I know this will not be a gift I can afford it won't be happening.  Damn. 
I don't need anything really.
Oh sure there are shallow wants but I don't need for a thing.
Cake. I always want cake. Who doesn't want birthday cake? But a need? No, I don't need cake.

Life is good. I'm happy, I'm very content, I have peace and I don't need a thing. 
I don't think one can ask for anything better or more can you?

And hey.....looks like spring right? (tulips....in my backyard) Now that's a gift!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Good Wife

My husband has a thing for this gal on HLN.
This newscaster is a cutie I admit. (Robin Meade)

One day I was in his work vehicle where he has Sirius radio.
He wasn't listening to Howard, I was shocked.
Instead he had on HLN (headline news) and I asked, " So you even like listening to her when you can't see her now?"

He responded laughing, "Margaret I know what she looks like. In fact I can even imagine her naked"

I cracked up laughing. The damn old fool!

So this week I saw that she was going to be on Anderson Cooper's daytime show as his co-host.
I didn't tell Rick but I did DVR the show.

I told him I had recorded something for him and it was on Anderson.
So while I was cleaning up the dinner dishes he turned it on.
He let out a big ole laugh and then came over to me at the sink and gave me a big kiss and told me I was such a great wife.
Goof ball.

I saw most of this show and she is really adorable.
I told him I saw her high cuteness factor so I got it.
He said, "yea, she's great looking, feisty, a bit risque and smart so what's not to love?....and she has a great rack"

Why of course he couldn't just leave that one out now could he?

I remind him she golfs, she doesn't go fishing.
He thought about it for a moment and said,  "I could take up golfing again."

I am a good wife, I didn't kill him.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Got Milk?

Girls Scout cookies R US.


My goodness do we have girl scout cookies here at our home.
I can't eat them because they don't make gluten free ones damn it.
Hey Girl Scout Leaders - make gluten free thin mints and watch those bad boys earn the girls scouts a new badge.

I bought some cookies from the little gal who lives behind us.
Then my husband was accosted by the little gal who lives next door to a dog playmate of Izzy's and he didn't know I had already bought some.

Then we had 4 more knocks on our door. I bought from one and Rick did from another.
The last 2 I just had to say no. Then they kindly informed me that I could just donate money instead of buying more cookies if I didn't need anymore.
I wanted to ask her to donate to my cause but I just said no thank you - we've purchased many already and I do feel I have donated adequately.

My husband bought me a couple of boxes of thin mints.  He knows they are my favorite American cookie. But the problem is I can't eat thin mints without getting sick so why does he do that to me?  I took those tasty little morsels and put them in the freezer in the garage.
Last night I could still hear those little bastards screaming to get into my house. No way Jose. You are staying out in the garage until I wish to be ill from gluten.  In my dreams I am eating them from the fridge or freezer (suckers are good cold man!) with a glass of milk.

We certainly have enough Tagalongs for Rick to be eating these peanut butter cookies for the year. He is not sad about this.

If you find yourself stuck with too many boxes of the tasty little Girl Scout treats here is something I have done with mine.
The thin mints I used as a cheesecake crust.
Just replace the graham crackers with thin mints in your food processor and add the butter and make the crust. It is a damn tasty chocolate mint cheesecake.  
Rick asked me last night if it would work with his chocolate peanut butter cookies.
I certainly don't see why not.
But the problem would be to get them out of Rick's hands first. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What Do You Do?

Do you open your conversations with what you do?
Do you constantly tell people what you do for a living or your title?

I find that interesting.  I am always intrigued by why people do that.
I never really knew people who did that before moving here.
I remember this one time in Vegas for a conference.
My boss and I had walked to this bar after our day of meetings.
We heard they made great bloody mary's so we decided to walk over there.
While at the bar the bartender asked if we were there for business.
We responded with a yes and a smile.
He asked my boss what he did. He just stated the industry he worked in.
He did not flaunt his title, his degrees or any such nonsense. (and they are impressive!)
That was enough for our friendly bartender.
We proceeded to chat about their legendary Bloody Mary's and off the chatter went.
As it should.

But for some reason when I moved here that is all anyone talks about.
I am a.........(fill in the blank) 
And then somehow their degrees are peppered into the conversation again and again.
It makes both my husband and I laugh.

Since I now deal with the public I get this a lot.
Now I have never called a contractor and shared with them what I do for a living. Ever.
Do you?

I had a "famous" coach of a local sports team call recently. He felt the need to tell me the reason for the area code was that he traveled so much.  No one who lives here has an area code of  the local area. I probably only get 2 out of 10 that are local. So there was no need for an explanation but apparently he felt there was a need for one.

Then he told me 3 times who he was and what he did for a living.
Maybe the first couple of times I didn't appear impressed enough I don't know.
How that pertained to his remodeling needs was beyond me. But I listened.
We made the appointment for the estimate and off Rick went several days later.
Rick called after leaving the home to say to me, "Gee guess who he is and what he does for a living?"  That made me giggle. I knew that meant that Rick had to have been told several times. I had forgotten to tell Rick about this conversation so Rick got an earful as well.  This nice man was so impressed with himself we didn't need to be.  Rick was more impressed with his gorgeous 6 foot tall wife.  Now apparently she was impressive sight to behold not the guys' job to Rick.

I have been at parties where this is all that one talks about.
It's all so silly.

I have a couple of family members with P.H.D.'s and they don't demand that we refer to them as Dr. so and so.  I have read that Dr. Jill Biden demands that because she has worked so hard for that title. I often wondered if that was true. I am sure her students need to refer to her as Dr. but family and friends? Acquaintances? I don't know her so I don't know the truth.

Does the title tell you more about the person or the way the person has to tell you about it?
Why does it not impress me what people do for a living? I don't much care.

I find this so fascinating. I am not trying to be snarky here, I seriously find this fascinating.
I want to know why people need to do this. I think I have an idea but it seems too simplistic so I think there may be more to it than what it appears on the surface.

Your thoughts?

Aah, my license.

Alrighty it appears the point you all gleamed from yesterday's post was that I have a suspended license.  I will explain.

Remember that horrific night on Hillbilly Highway? And then remember how I received a letter and color brochure in the mail with the face of the patrolman who pulled me over on it?
You know the letter stating that he knew I had just received a ticket and he could help me get out of it for only $400?  Remember all that drama?

Gee could it just be coincidence? A Twin?  A Doppelganger?

To fight this ticket I was told to not pay the ticket.
No payment means they suspend your license until it is taken care of.
But here's the little secret. Even though I live in Northern VA I am dealing with southern VA and that is a whole different ballgame people. Night and Day. 20th century vs. 21st century.
And boy do they hate us up here.

Long story short is they don't want to help a Yankee like me. (Yes, I was referred to as that)
I wonder if I called the twit on the phone Ellie May if she'd have liked it. Or a redneck.
But one doesn't try to match wits with those that are unarmed. So one keeps quiet.

The run around I have been getting would make your head spin and even though lawyers will say it's illegal to do what they do, they get away with it. The good ole boys mentality. I have been told that we can continue to fight but that I live in Northern VA so I will just lose no matter what. One attorney said he couldn't take my money even if I was right - I'm fighting "down there" he said and well, "you'll just lose" because  you're from up here.

Going through all this made me think of two things.
1. what if I wasn't a white female?
2. what the hell country do I live in?

I gave up last week and paid the friggin' fine. ($178 with late fees)
Now I have to wait until it shows up on my DMV record.
They told me 48  hrs and with the holiday on Monday it may take longer. 
Then I  must pay to be reinstated into driving in VA. 
They will determine the reinstatement fee it is not a set fee.
I imagine since I live in NoVA it will be in the hundreds because they don't like us up here.
All bullshit as we know but one must play the game to drive.

Yes, I am leaving a lot out of this that I want to say and to explain their dirty deeds.
Why Peg you don't normally do that?  Correct I don't.
If we were sitting in front of one another I would share completely.
But I am sure there are some fine people in the state that don't want to hear what I have to say so I will let it go because I have said enough.  There are good folks who love it here and love hillbilly highway.

I just don't!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day Off

Friday Rick and I have a day off.
Not for fun - oh no siree.
Rick will be taking me to the spine institute for tons of fun.

I will either be getting an epidural nerve root block or another type of shot in my hip area.
Sounds like a great way to spend a day off don't you think?
I assume all this because of my history of this pain and issue.
After making my appointment we discussed doing things while I was there and not having to go back.  I imagine I will be there a good portion of the day.

I will be so relieved to be out of pain so in that respect it will be fun.
I know the drill of what to expect. I will be unable to drive myself home and I will want a morphine drip. (besides my license is still suspended so I shouldn't drive)

Now in the big scheme of things this isn't so bad.
It is not life threatening. It's painful and a pain in the ass is all.

Eventually I know there is a surgery in my future but right now this will hold me over.
Working out really aggravated it. I knew it when I was doing some of the things I was doing.
I mentioned this to my trainer but seriously she is cute but really not all that versed in injuries.  At least she doesn't appear that way to me. In my experience trainers aren't that well versed in more than muscle groups and how to make them big or toned.
Unless of course they have had extra training in that area.
Most at your local gym don't know squat about that type of thing.

If I could go to the gym in my neighborhood I so would!
These folks are serious and their experience and education is superb.
But I can't afford that gym.
So I go where the cute trainer that is there only 2 days a week and everyone else is just there to show you how to work equipment the rest of the time. You or I could qualify for such things.
I personally would never want that responsiblity or liablity so I could never do that.
Guess that is why they make you sign something that states they are not responsible if you arm falls off or you further hurt yourself.   You're an adult and you should know.  I am and I do. 
But I did it anyways thinking it would help me lose a few lbs.
What stupid things we do for a few lbs huh?

So now I am off to get some major shit done that is going to cost me thousands of dollars.
YIPEE.  I could have put that money to much better use.
But I will no longer be in pain is my hope and no more pain ain't a bad thing from where I sit right now.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Just Silliness

Sometimes a little somethin' vacuous and silly is what the doctor ordered.
Loved these two in Wedding Crashers.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wine "Rack"

Have you seen this?
You too can have your very own Wine Rack.
"Rack" being the operative word in this phrase.

When you click on the link above it will show you what it can do.
All this fun so you can drink right from your very own cleavage.
Whoopee.
As the event goes on you become a training bra size and then you know you need a refill.

Now I have hidden a lot of things in there over the years.
It's safe, no one will grab you there or expect that.
And if it's a man they are too dumb struck staring at cleavage to think you may be hiding something in there.  Silly boys.

Now they have something for men too.
Is it sexy?
Hell no.
It's a beer belly.
Seriously that is not attractive but as he sits at that ball game his belly gets smaller and he becomes the hot guy in the stands.
(OK we know women aren't thinking this but let's humor the men here)

Again you can click on this link and watch the beer belly do "it's thang"

I bet they sell a great number of these crazy things too.
I find that is a bit sad but ultimately very American.
Whoo-hoo, big boobs and beer guts.

February Doldrums

Every February I feel like crap.

February can be a bit more dreary here. I'm tired of the cold, oh so tired of being cold.
I know I must remember this when it's 90 degrees with 90% humidity.
Must remember this feeling of my cold numb fingers typing on my key board.

My skin is constantly cold unless I am under blankets of late.
Rick grabbed my face yesterday to kiss me and said, "My God woman you are like ice."
No shit.   I don't know what this new phenom is with me.

All of my life I was the person who was warm. I am still that girl that likes to sleep in a room that is cold as a meat locker but otherwise I want to be warm. I can never get warm lately. 
This is so new to me. And I don't like it much. Although being cold is still better than being warm or hot all the time. I just keep putting on my more clothes. Can't take off more clothes.
No one will allow me to walk the dog like that!

Also in February as I look in the mirror to put on my face it looks so pale.
I need color.  No, not blush, just all over a bit of color so I look alive.
I bet February is the highest travel month for snow birds to head south.
While I don't have snow I am pale and my legs alone could be seen at night with the lights out they are so pale and shockingly white.  I got a new pair of shorts to work out in and when I put them on the stark black against my stark white legs was as Rick said, "blinding"
Guess I won't wear them until the sun hits these legs first.  May be a long while then.

I had a spray tan once. She made my feet so dark they looked dirty and I could only wear socks and shoes until it went away. It was dreadful and it made Rick laugh and laugh. The ass.
I looked ridiculous and he had the right to laugh I suppose.
If it hadn't been me I'd have laughed too.

Thankfully February is a short month.
March means spring right?  Right? Can you hear me March?
Cherry Blossoms are normally in March.

I want warm. 65 degrees would be perfection right now.
I want to plant flowers. I want to plant some herbs.
I want to put the hummingbird feeder out again and watch those little suckers circle.
Spring can you hear me?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Back

I hurt my back.
I don't know how.
I don't know when exactly either.
I just know that standing erect is so very painful.
I just know that sitting is more painful than that.
A prone position with my legs bent is the only way I get relief....and it's not much relief trust me.

I have had 4 back surgeries so I am familiar with back issues.
But this feels like something is "out"
If I attempt to stand up straight I am leaning.
If I go with the lean one foot isn't completely on the floor.
So something is amiss.

The pain is oh so much fun.
I can't sleep. I can't focus on anything but the pain.
I am trying. As I type this I am kneeling.
Maybe I should try prayer while I'm down here.
I am that miserable.

I have classes tonight and I am not sure how I can sit in those horrible wooden school chairs for 3 hrs.
Unless I can be brought in by gurney I am not seeing it happen.
I am so far over my head as it is in class missing one week will send me over the edge.
Wish there was skyping of the class - that would be helpful.
I could lie on my back with the laptop on my chest and watch and learn.
Or watch and being utterly befuddled.

Then again taking another 1/2 percocet may help more and allow me to sleep.
I am not sleeping as one can imagine.

If I were a horse they'd put me down.
I wouldn't fight that right now.

Baking

I enjoy baking. Always have. Probably because I would rather eat baked goods than savory foods. I admit that in the very early 70's it was brought on by munchies.
Yes, I said that.
We would get high and I'd make pecan rolls or banana bread.
And then when I would visit my boyfriend at his college I would make "fudgy no bakes" and boy was I a popular gal after a party.
Ah, that makes me chuckle. The good ole days of being young, stupid and able to eat fudgy no bakes and still not worry about gaining a massive amount of weight.

Since discovering that I can't ingest gluten I miss eating what I bake.
Sure you can bake gluten free but trust me it's just not the same.
So I make this stuff and give it away, make my husband "suffer" or throw the rest out.
My neighbor to my direct right takes a lot off my hands thankfully.

I got a new stove/oven in January which has 2 ovens in one. It has a convection on the bottom oven which is heavenly for baking.  So I've been making cookies, cakes and yesterday I asked Rick if he would be up for cream puffs. Haven't made those in awhile. He immediately said, "Absolutely!" 

This morning he was a different man. 
He made the announcement that I had to stop baking because he was on the scale this morning and he's gained 10lbs. 
I said, "it's my baking huh?  You do realize you ate a whole pizza on Friday night. I didn't make you or make it for you."

"No I didn't!" he explains, "I ate it on Friday and had the last 2 pieces on Saturday morning for breakfast."

"Oh yea, that's a big difference. Still you ate a large pizza....alone.
What about those burgers you eat? Those toasted rolls with nutella slathered? 
And let's not get started on all the damn pop you drink. Diet or not both are so damn bad for you. You know that. Diet pop is even worse that the regular pop. Those chemicals that are fake sugars spike your glycemic level more than sugar so you are getting fatter each time you drink one.  I don't make you eat any of that stuff so don't blame a cookie or two mister."

He muttered who knows what under his breath.

"Okay you can blame me for all of this. I will not bake anymore  so I can help you.
I don't want to be an enabler.  However out of that last batch of cookies you only ate 5 over the course of a week. The rest went next door. Those 5 had nothing over that pizza, burger 2 helpings of that casserole or the popcorn the size of Texas."

He was silent for a long time then.....
"I hate it when you're right."

"I know you do baby, but try cutting out burgers, pop and those big ass portions or at least limit them"

"I don't want to"

"Okay then, it's just all my fault."

"Yep, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it....Or the scale is really off" as he laughs at himself.

Dieting and men they just don't get it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Eagles

I'm an old woman so I happen to love classic rock 'n roll.
I'd say I was pretty eclectic with my taste in music from AC/DC to Michael Buble.
I am an old woman so I don't understand rap or hip/hop and don't even care to.
I'm an old woman who is so excited to hear that The Eagles have a documentary on this week.

I love The Eagles.
I love these artists collectively and indivually as artists as well. 

Sunday night as I was fast forwarding through the Grammy's, you know through music I didn't get, I saw a commercial that told me this documentary was going to be on beginning this Friday night.

So if you are old like me and enjoy The Eagles I think you are going to want to check this out.
If you just discovered them after they were all old - good for you.  You too are going to enjoy this.

****************Video removed because I couldn't stop the auto start*********

Monday, February 11, 2013

Movies

I can't tell you the last time I saw a movie in the theatre.

Saturday Rick had to do 2 estimates only. He said, why don't you come along and skip all the cleaning and come with me.  Don't have to tell me twice to live my life instead of clean.

We went from Alexandria to Ashburn. We found ourselves in this little town in the sticks with a movie theatre. We decided to see what was playing and see if we could see a show and still have time to pick Izzy up at doggie day care by 5pm.  We thought we'd see whatever we could fit into our day. 

We walked in and found the kiosk to buy our tickets. We were laughing because we needed our bifocals to read this. I think the kid are the end of the aisle thought these 2 old people laughing their asses off were certifiably nuts. I swear braille will be our next step life.

There was a button for seniors. We looked at one another and said at the same time, "gee could we be seniors?"  We doubted it so we bought our matinee tickets for adults. The next movie starting was Silver Lining Playbook.  We walked over to the child taking tickets and asked him what is considered a senior. He looked at us with his head tilted like the RCA dog and just stared at us for a moment. That too made Rick and I chuckle. Then he said, "well you'd be old."
We lost a gut on that comment. I swear to you he looked at us as though we were from another planet. Everything was making us laugh. 

Okay then, it's official we're seniors. We can't see the small print on the kiosks and we're old.
The young man didn't know what to make of us. He tore our tickets and we moved along.
Rick got his popcorn the size of Texas and a big bottle of water for me that I knew I would end up sharing.  As we were walking down the aisle towards our theatre we saw a man who looked like a manager or boss. For shits and giggles I asked him at what age are we are considered a senior? He told us it was 60 and he moved along quickly.  Go figure we're too young for something. yipee.

We both really enjoyed this movie!
Bradley Cooper is gorgeous isn't he? I may be old enough to be his mother. (okay i have no idea how old he is but I'm sure he is Tender Vittles)

He was excellent in this movie and my goodness he is nice to look at.
I know all the talk is about Jennifer Lawrence. But he deserves a lot of kudo's as well.
The parents of this movie made me giggle. I know these people.
When the mom is saying, "I made homemades"  Haven't heard that in a long time living amongst the young and the southerners. That was my families word for pasta too. The braciole, my absolute favorite.  The bicotti dunking in the coffee. I knew this family. But Robert DeNiro so reminds me of one of my Uncles it kills me. And boy oh boy was Mr. DeNiro good in this movie. When he cries while sitting on his son's bed it got to both of us, big time.

I am glad that this was the movie that was available at the time we needed to see a movie.
It was worth the price of admission for a change. It's been a long time since we haven't been disappointed by the hype or the movie.

The best part of all? We had the best damn seats in the house.
The chairs rocked, reclined a bit. They also had a railing in front of us so we had a foot rest.
Excellent.

Have you seen it yet? Thumbs up from me.

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's Friday!

This has been a very long ass week. I am very happy it is coming to an end.

After watching the morning news I am also quite elated that I am not living in New England right now because they are in for a whooper of a nor'easter storm. 
Then again the other side of Peg likes the idea of hunkering down with food, beverage and my hubby and dog. It sounds rather delightful if I'm being honest. If the power wouldn't go out I would be happy as a pig is slop.  But I love me some power! I'm freezing all the time with power I can't fathom how cold it would be without power and heat.  With the winds they are saying on the news I suspect there will be mass power outages. So stock up on candles, generators, batteries and blankets!

I especially enjoy it when you are stuck in the house for days. But it's not so fun when the power goes out and you are freezing and hungry for something more than canned beans. But with power on, a blizzard outside and you are trapped inside with your loved ones with some hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps - I'm so okay with that.  Aren't you?

My photography classes are difficult.  I am in a class of 17 other men and women.
The instructor told us the first day that during the day she is a teacher for Special Education.
My first thought was that this was a good skill set for her working with me.

The first assignment was tough for me. 2 photo's with one ISO and one aperture setting and then record the shutter speed. Then take the photo again with a different ISO and aperture setting and record the shutter speed. We would be comparing photo's in class.
I had to take 8 photo's. All different combinations of things. I actually kept getting a black photo. I tried different things, lighting, inside, outside, close, far. Always came out black.
I had to put my 8 photo's on a flash drive and bring them into school and everyone would be sharing their homework and we would all supposedly learn something as well as see the differences. 

When I arrived at school Wednesday night I took one look at our teacher and thought, "boy she looks awful" It was early yet so the 3 students who were there began to chat. I said, "I spent so much time on this homework and it just got worse and worse. I  really don't want to share this with the class because everyone will think I am mentally challenged and I am part of her daytime class."  They laughed.  Sadly I was dead serious. The instructor lifted her head off the desk and said, "I don't think we'll be going over this in class tonight, we'll just talk about it. I feel awful"

YIPEE. Not YIPEE that my teacher was sick. But I so didn't want to share these screw up photo's.  She told the 3 of us that she couldn't get a sub for her class so she taught all day.
She was really feeling badly and was hoping we could have a shorter class time.  (our class is 3 hrs)

After everyone arrived. She put a huge bottle of pruell on the front table along with the worksheets we had to pick up. She aplogized for being there and spreading her illness and asked if we all minded if we left an hour early so she could go climb into bed. We were all fine with that. Anyone who could see this woman wouldn't expect her to do anything else. I am surprised she just didn't cancel the class. But she plowed forward like a real trooper and taught the class for 2 out of the 3 hrs.

We did discuss our photo's and our issues. There were many like me that had black photo's.
We discussed why. I am still not 100% clear on what I did but I think I get it. 
This is so much harder than I even expected as well as so much friggin' math and fractions.
I hate math. Math intimadates me. So it doesn't help we she is talking fractions to me.
I truly feel like a dunce or a student who surely needed her daytime class.

I realize this is only my 2nd class. But I am beginning to doubt I will ever be able to take photos at this rate. I'll let you know if by late April I have learned anything more than how to turn on my pretty new camera.

She talks constantly about Meadowlark. Everyone shakes their head knowingly when she talked about a field trip there for photo's. I had no idea what or where this "meadowlark" was.
I went home that night and googled it. Who knew? It's near me to boot.
It is a botantical gardens and nature center. I've lived in this area for 13 years this month and I still don't know everything about it.  Granted the first 6 yrs of living here I was never here due to my job and all my travel but by now I think I should have noticed this. It is close to one of my favorite places here of all time called Wolf Trap. 

Dumb ole Margaret has to go there before this class trip. It may also be a place to practice  taking photo's. I know the teacher said our homework could be a can of soup but how many photo's of that do I wish to take?  She mentioned in our first class that she learns a lot about who a student is by  their photo's. What they drink, their family, if they have animals because this is what we practice on . 
All this information was on my mind when I did my first assignment.
But I was like everyone else and used what was in front of me except the dog and people in my home. (We all know Izzy won't cooperate)
My first homework assisgment were the things on my kitchen island at that point in time. 
Yes, I am that lazy. I shot a lemon, an apple, a bottle of 409 and a bottle of liquor.
I am sure that says a lot about me doesn't it?  Perhaps she thinks I am a drunk who likes things clean and uses a lot lemons and green apples.  All of which are true. 

What would you take pictures of in your own home?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Good News!

I received a call today that told me that the comment not belonging to my company was being removed. Guess if you are loud enough you eventually get heard.  Thank goodness this is gone.

We recently got a smart TV. We can stream Pandora on TV or You Tube and apps etc.
We are supposed to be able stream movies through Netflix as well.

Because we have this new feature we decided to use the 30 day free trial of Netflix.
But we can never get this to work. It will not stream on our television only our computer.
Netflix blamed the TV company but I said we can stream every other application including Hulu movies just not Netflix.  They tried and we attempted all kinds of things but nothing worked.

I called the television support number and they too had me trying everything.
They were great and they tried really hard and were very supportive.
I love their customer service! I love the TV as much as their customer service.
They of course blame Netflix because we are able to stream all other apps. 
Which makes sense I guess.

So I call Netflix again a few days later and when I called I got an automated announcement that states they are unable to stream movies in certain areas and they are aware and working on it. 
When the representative gets on the phone I tell her that we are still having trouble streaming any movies so we will have to cancel our free month trial. 
She repeats to me that I need to speak to my television company because this is their issue. 
I told her about the announcement that came on the phone before she answered and she told me that isn't true.  I giggled and suggested she hang up with me and call the number herself so could hear it. She was so nice and she laughed and said she sure would because she was not made aware of this issue. 

Both companies have been so nice and have walked me through all that they could do but nothing worked for us. Netflix told me to just watch them on my computer.
Gee I just got a new big tv why would I want to watch a big HD movie on my computer screen?
Nah, that isn't what we would use or prefer. We are old school....and old.

Do any of you use Netflix? Is it worth it?  Are you able to stream on your Smart TV?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Their Dirty Little Secret

Work has been crazy and some of that is great and some not so much.

We are "advertisers" on Angie's List.
What that means is that we pay them $400 a month to be noticed on Angie's List when you click onto a category.
So as a consumer if you are looking for a plumber let's say and you type that in the plumbers who pay will show up on the top. Those that don't are lost.

Now if you are a company who does not advertise and you have reviews you are buried.
We used to be that company.
If a consumer can find you they can leave a review but they don't make that easy.
Surprised aren't you?  Yep so was I. It's their dirty little secret.

Sunday I was in our work email and saw we received a review.
I read it and thought, that's funny that customer isn't familiar and we don't service this city. Gee, we never did this job that is being reviewed. 
I wrote an email  to Angie's list and told them to please put this review with the correct business and remove it from mine.
They responsed with no they would not and my rep would call me Monday morning.

Being a paid company on Angie's List I have a profile for consumers to see.
Address, hours of operation, cities we service, credit cards we accept and services we provide etc.

Being a paid company on Angie's List I also have a representative who is supposed to help me with issues and services. I called her Monday morning and we went over the review.
1. it is not in a city we service.
2. it states the cost was $269......there is nothing we do for less than $395 so that too is off
3. it stated that 2 technicians showed up. We only have 1 technician .
4. it stated a date we were in another city doing a full bathroom remodel including new counter tops.

Her response to me was for me to call this man and tell him he put it on the wrong company IF in fact he did.  I told her that I felt that really wasn't my responsibility I felt it was hers and besides how do I know how to contact him when he was NOT my customer. 
She said they will try do that but they will not take the review down unless it can be proven we didn't do this.  I said I can prove we didn't do this. She laughed.
I really had to keep my composure so my head didn't explode.

I asked her, "what if you don't reach this person does this review stay up?"
Her response was YES.
So I pay you $400 a month for no help or assistance in this matter?
Well these are forums for consumers.
I said, "I get that however this is a lie so how does it help the beloved consumer? You are more worried about the consumer than me. I am also a consumer with Angie's list and paid something like $25 a year. Now I pay you $400 a month and get absolutely no service or help?"
"You can write a rebuttal."

I wrote a rebuttal but it did not show up. I called today to ask why.
She told me it was because they have to verify it.
OMG.
Of course my next question was, "What are you verifying?  You didn't verify his review?"
She said, "we verify all reviews"
So snarky Peg asked her what is on your list to verify a review?
She couldn't give me a straight answer. I wasn't surprised.

I think what bothered me most from her was that she acted like I was whining about a bad review. If we did the job there is nothing I can do if it were bad. I was upset that they would not take this down because we did not do the job. How is that difficult to understand?

As a company we have over 82 reviews on Home Advisor/Service Magic.
A few on google and a few on Yelp. All excellent. 
We have reviews on Angie's List as well.
All A's except for the one we didn't even do.

How is this fair?

And while we're at it. I would like an Angie's list for the business owner.
I was talking to another contractor who brought this up and I thought it was a superb idea.
We could look at the list of the people who don't pay etc. Boy would that save us all headaches.
I'd pay for that service!