High Speed Pursuits and Showers

Yesterday, I had to make a run to our local post office to pick up a couple of packages they had attempted to deliver while I was gone over the holidays. Our post office isn’t very far away. I’d guess maybe a mile or just slightly over that. Anyway, I live on a street with two schools on it, and our apartment complex is basically sandwiched between them. I was pulling out of the driveway, and I stopped at the street to check for traffic before pulling out when a silver Honda CR-V flew past me followed by at least six police cruisers – lights, sirens, the whole nine yards. At first it didn’t dawn on me that a police chase was happening right in front of me, because my very first thought was, “Wow! Those cops must have an urgent call to be flying down THIS street that fast!” which was followed not even a second later by, “Oh holy shit! They’re chasing that guy!” I checked again to make sure no one was coming and made my right turn into the street, going the same direction the maniac and police cruisers had gone, and when I got to the stop light at the corner, I noticed the idiot in the CR-V had plowed down all of the signs and shrubbery in front of the school there. They were all laying out in the street. Three more police cruisers quickly flew past me while I was waiting at the light, driving balls the walls down the street in front of me. At that point, I decided it may be a good idea to turn off my radio and crack my windows so I can listen for them in case that imbecile decides to come back in my direction.

Luckily for me, that was the last I saw of them, but after I stopped at the post office I had to run to the bank, which is a few miles away in a different city. As I was driving down the main road to get there, I started seeing small chunks of tires and car body, a headlight, and other debris strewn across the lanes I was in. Needless to say, this shook me up quite a bit, because I usually observe this sort of Southern California insanity from the comfort and safety of my own living room, rather than physically in person. Had I been even thirty seconds faster in leaving my apartment complex, this jackass could very well have hit me on the street while I was driving. I definitely consider myself quite lucky.

One of the packages I got at the post office was the Christmas present my husband’s aunt sent us. I love this! It’s the coolest idea ever, because we will use it the entire year, and she knew it. I was so excited when I opened the envelope and saw it, because I love looking at scenery photos.
IMG_3454

How awesome is that?! We have a Swiss calendar, in French and German, to use this year. What’s really cool about it is that I had told myself yesterday morning, before heading out to run these errands, that I should really stop at the store and buy a new 2016 calendar. Now, I don’t need to.

El Niño has finally arrived here in Southern California, and I’m so stinkin’ excited about the rain, you have no idea! I planned this week’s meals around the weather, and today it finally decided to rain on us, so I’ll be making split pea and ham soup in my Crock Pot. I’ve mostly held off on my soups and chili this year, because I didn’t want us to get tired of them before the rain came. Now, it’s here, and I’m taking full advantage of it!

Sunshine, Breezes and DMCA

The weather has been gorgeous this past week here! I’ve had our windows wide open and the air conditioner off. It’s been so nice! The nights have been cool, bordering on chilly, and the days have been just barely warm! I’m loving this weather! But, it’s supposed to start warming up again here today. They said we have a heat wave coming and by Sunday we should break 100° again. YUCK! I’m not looking forward to that! I love having my windows open and just enjoying the breeze and cool, comfortable temperatures.

My son goes back to school again in two weeks. I took him shoe shopping yesterday and then surprised him with lunch at Chipotle. We don’t eat out that often, and when we do, it’s usually a case of grab-it-and-bring-it-home rather than just sitting down and enjoying it. I like Chipotle because, besides the fact that their food tastes amazing, I don’t really have to worry about what’s in it. I mean, don’t get me wrong! I have my junk food moments, but I try to make sure we eat healthy and don’t consume a lot of super-awful foods. That’s probably why I cringe so hard when my kiddo asks for a Chicken McNuggets kid’s meal, because I know how god-awful the ingredients in that is! But, you’re only a kid once, and what would a childhood be without the occasional McNugget dipped in Ranch?!

I’m guessing that I’ll probably be able to get back to posting more regularly once my spawn hits the books again! It’s so hard to keep him busy while at the same time sitting down for a little quiet time to gather my thoughts and pound out a blog post. He keeps me on my toes, and more times than not I am left wondering where the hell he finds all that energy for his little body! I have also come to cherish my alone-ness when he’s in school and the husband is at work. It wasn’t always this way, because back when the recession first hit, my husband lost his job and didn’t have one for a few years. With myself at school full-time and him at home taking care of our child, pretty much the only alone time I had was on my drives to and from campus. So, being alone at home was pretty much foreign to me, and wasn’t necessarily an idea I relished. But, I’ve come to love it and appreciate the solitude.

We’ve been video-chatting with my husband’s aunt in Switzerland on an every-other-weekend basis lately. It’s kind of cool to watch my husband slowly become reacquainted with his lost mother tongue. He’s spoken English for so long now that he finds it very difficult to communicate in French. I do have to say, though, that as the time goes on during the conversations, you can notice a difference in how easy it is for him to respond and speak. He usually starts out the conversations very jerky and having to grasp for words, but toward the end he’s speaking more fluently. I, on the other hand, have such a limited vocabulary in that language that I’m still pretty much stuck asking him to translate what I want said.

I recorded a video on my iPhone on the drive home from taking my husband to work of me trying to get my son to sing along and dance along to the music playing on my iPod. My child was being somewhat comical and refusing to play along, but overall I thought it was a pretty amusing clip, so I uploaded it to YouTube as a private video to share with my husband’s aunt, since she doesn’t know myself or our child very well, and doesn’t have Facebook. It was a “home video” of us enjoying a drive while listening/singing along/dancing along to music. I had sent her a link to it after uploading it yesterday, and kind of left it at that. This morning, I got up and checked to see if she’d seen it, and she replied that she was unable to view the video. As it turns out, the video got flagged for DMCA violations and restricted on YouTube. I was pissed. It’s a freakin’ home movie and falls squarely under Fair Use doctrine. But, whatever. I can’t get it to work on YouTube now, and it’s pretty much spoiled the novelty of a cutesy little car video, so I removed it. The whole point in uploading it was to share it with only her anyway, and since that cannot be achieved, I just said FUCK IT! I yanked it down off YouTube. There’s no point in leaving it there if the one person who was supposed to be allowed to see it can’t. But, I’m still pretty upset about that. I learned way back in one of the first political science courses I took in college that the laws of this country are always written to protect and benefit corporations and never private citizens. Kudos! They’ve struck again!

So, fuck Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. You guys can go die in a bag of herpes infested rat dicks!

Happy Father’s Day!

I hope everyone’s Father’s Day was amazing! Ours went well. We had a very laid-back day, sitting around the house playing video games, watching TV and just chilling. I made the Italian chicken I was talking about yesterday, and as promised, I have a photo. It was delicious! I highly recommend this because it’s so fantastically easy and tastes amazing.

Italian Chicken

Tomorrow, it’s back to the grind. Our kiddo is in summer school, so he has to be up bright and early to catch the bus, and hubby dearest has work. Thankfully, I spent this weekend catching up on some of the housework that I flooded myself with this past week, so this next week shouldn’t be nearly as hard, especially considering I’m not gearing up for anymore birthdays or holidays now.

Well, except for the 4th of July, but that’s nothing! I always do something simple, kind of picnic-y, but we still have to figure out where we’re going to go to watch fireworks around here. It’s gotten harder to find good fireworks shows over the last few years, because with our extreme and intense drought, I think the cities are scared to shoot off big huge tubes of flaming gunpowder. You can’t blame them, though! It would be pretty messed up if someone’s neighborhood burned down because of 4th of July celebrations!

Saturdays are for Relaxation…

It’s too bad I never got that memo! I’ve been doing stuff since I woke up at 7 this morning. It’s probably because I conked out early last night, thanks to a little helping hand from my husband, and two friends known as Diclofenac and Flexeril. I was a hot mess yesterday. I think the entire week of doing all sorts of stuff for hubby’s birthday caught up with me finally, and yesterday was the day of reckoning.

Anyway, this morning I woke up ready to tackle everything, which made my husband grumpy, since I dragged him out of the sheets at 7:30 to help me with it. I did try to pacify him with a nice mocha latte though, and I think that helped make him a little more cheerful! He grumbled quite a bit about how early it was and now that we’re done running around town, he’s snuck off to the bedroom for a nap.

I was perusing his aunt’s blog for recipes again the other day, and found a link to one for Pork Fricassée, so I have that marinating right now in my refrigerator. I’m hoping his aunt pops into Google chat sometime in the next 48 hours, because she made it with polenta, according to her blog, and I have no clue how to properly make polenta the way she shows it. It looks like a bed of mashed potatoes with the Pork Fricassée on top, but all the recipes I find for this polenta I have are telling me to slice it and fry it, and I’m getting rather confused. I think that she may have access to dry polenta in a box, and all I can find is polenta in a tube!

Father’s Day is tomorrow. I’m planning to make something I haven’t made in a while. Growing up, my mom had this quick and super-easy way she’d make chicken that we always loved, but for some reason I rarely make it, even though I’m crazy about it. You just take one or two bottles of cheap Italian dressing (depending on how much chicken you’re making,) squeeze the oil out of them, and then marinate some chicken pieces in that for at least 30 minutes. When you’re ready to cook it, you bake them in a 350° oven. I like to lay them out in the pan or baking dish and pour the Italian dressing over them, and then sprinkle the chicken pieces with garlic powder before baking. We always serve this with baked potatoes, and when the chicken is done cooking, we take the marinade/dressing that baked with it, and thicken it with a little cornstarch and use it as a gravy. It’s delicious! I’m crazy about it! I’ll remember to post a picture tomorrow with it, so you get an idea how fantastic it looks! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So Much to do, so Little Time!

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday. I had to remind him this morning! He said, “Is it Friday yet? I wish it was Friday, already!” I told him that it can’t be Friday yet, and he looked so puzzled and asked me why. I just gave him the biggest WTF look and said, “Because your birthday is tomorrow, Thursday, and you can’t just skip your birthday!”

A couple of weeks ago, I convinced him to get back in touch with his aunt. She has a blog about crafting and cooking/baking, so I’ve been digging through it for recipes he’s told me his grandma used to make. I found the recipe for the Hazelnut Cake he is always raving about, so I’m making that for his birthday (if you follow that link and don’t speak French, you’ll need to plug it into Google Translate.) I’m making the puff pastry crust right now, and when I’m done, I’ll get started on the filling.

His aunt also sent him a birthday card, so I put it in front of his keyboard on his desk for him to find when he gets home. Normally, I just open all the mail in our house, but this is a special birthday card, so I’ll let him open it. Besides, it’s not like I don’t know what’s in it! I’m sure he’ll be excited to get it. I would be.

I also wanted to make the caramels he’s told me so much about, but considering how much time it will take to stir while cooking, I just don’t think I’ll have the time today. I’m trying to multitask, doing dishes, laundry, and making this cake, so I can’t fit time in to make the caramels, too.

On another note, I’ve asked my amazing friend Jay from TeapotsandTesseracts to write a guest post on my blog this next week. I’m looking forward to this, because he’s an amazing writer and conveys thoughts and emotions in a unique and brilliant way. I know you guys will find his post very enlightening. His blog is new, but I’ve known him for a while, and I think having him guest post here is a great way to discuss the topic we’ve decided on and to bring him a little more exposure. Feel free to drop by his blog and show him some love, if you have the chance.

Seriously?

I don’t normally shop at Walmart. I usually avoid it like the plague. Since moving to Southern California, I’ve had a heap of bad experiences at the local Walmarts, and couple those with the fact that Walmart is just about the shittiest corporation and employer on the planet, I choose to go elsewhere for my groceries.

Yesterday, since I was feeling so crappy, I took a long nap and got up to go grocery shopping around 12:30. I decided to go to Walmart, because I didn’t want to have to go to several different stores for all my groceries like I normally do. Plus, I needed things like Dawn dish soap and SOS pads, so I figured it would be easiest to just grab everything at Walmart, instead of running through three or so different stores.

I was minding my own business, navigating my cart down all of the aisles to grab the various items I needed, when who did I run into but my husband’s ex-wife. Ugh! Some days, it feels as if there’s no escaping the woman! She is everywhere! While it’s amusing to see her pathetic self walking 2-3 miles to work every morning, it isn’t so amusing to run into her in the supermarket, when you’re dressed in your frumpy sweat pants and a comfortable T-shirt because you feel like shit.

I know the look that says, “I’m trying really hard to act like I didn’t notice you!” when I see it. She had it written all over her face. Whereas I will look someone in the eye and waggle and eyebrow or possibly smile at them if I recognize them, she was trying her best to pretend she didn’t see me. I couldn’t help but laugh when she hauled ass down the main action alley of the grocery section toward checkout after running into me. I guess her past can’t seem to stop popping up and saying hi to her, but it’s also slightly annoying for me, as well. One of these times, when I run into her, I’m just going to walk up and give her a bear hug and act like she’s my long lost best friend. I know it would be truly horrifying on her part, but it would make me extremely satisfied to make her uncomfortable while being as sweet as rotten honey to her.

I texted my husband after the encounter. When I picked him up from work, the first words out of his mouth were, “So I hear you and my ex-wife got acquainted in Walmart today!” HAH!

Well That Was More Intense Than We Planned!

My hubby and I went to the beach today. We left our kiddo with a sitter to have some us time today, planning on relaxing and enjoying the water a little bit.

Hubby got so beat up today, and I feel really badly for him. When we first got to the beach, we were just walking along the edge of the water, looking for interesting seashells. We managed to pick up quite a few interesting ones. I wanted to start a little seashell bowl to add as a decoration to my beach-themed bathroom. Anyway, at one point, we both spotted the same shell and tried to grab it and ended up knocking heads with each other. He was wearing his sunglasses on his head, and they dug into his forehead and scraped him really well when our heads met. It hurt!

Then, we decided to get into the water, which, by the way, wasn’t actually cold at all, for it being the first of October! We were having a pretty good time in the water. The waves weren’t high at all, and we were enjoying ourselves.  We did notice we kept getting pushed north, up the beach, so we got out of the water and walked further south before getting back in. At one point, a rather large wave broke right in front of us, so my hubby ducked way under to avoid getting hit full-on by a large wave. I ducked under right before the wave hit me, and my knee whacked my poor husband so hard right in the forehead that he now has a nice little knot there. He said he saw stars for a few moments, and I believe him, because my knee actually hurt!

Later on, we were out a little further where the water was mid-chest high when a couple large waves came in and I started to feel like I was being pulled away from the shore. My hubs and I had been sticking close together, holding onto each other, but I told him I was going back in to shore because that scared me. He acted like he wanted to stay, so I broke away from him and swam back in where the water was more shallow. All of the sudden, he started getting further away from me really fast and then said, “I can’t get back in. It keeps pulling me out!” I freaked. I was thinking that OH SHIT! The rip current got him. I could tell he was scared. Luckily, there were two paddle-boarders nearby, so I told them he needed help and that he was caught in a current and couldn’t get back in. They were awesome! They swam right out to him as fast as they could and got him on one of their boards. He was terrified.

So, I think it’s needless to say that he wanted to go home after that. He said he was done with the water, and I can’t blame him. It kind of sucks that he had such a crappy time at the beach. I wanted to have a nice, relaxed time. It turned out to be anything but that!

My Weirdest Quirk About Housework

There is a very specific way to make a bed. I learned how to make beds from my mother, who was a Ramada Inn housekeeper during her early adult years. I don’t just want the bed made any old way. I want it made right! If you can’t make it right, just step aside, and let me do it correctly.

I’m pretty anal about this. I think it drives my husband kind of crazy. In fact, I don’t think it does, I KNOW it does. Whenever we make our bed, it ends up in a little tug-of-war, because I’m undo-ing and redo-ing what he’s done, because it was done wrong. After eight years of making beds together, you’d think he’d have it figured out!

When you place the top sheet on the bed, you need to pull it all the way to the top of the mattress and smooth it out. Then, you go to the foot of the bed, pick up the mattress, and neatly slide the excess sheet under it all the way along the bottom. Once done, you go to each of the corners, pull up the hangover and lay it across the top of the mattress, place the side of your hand against the edge of the top of the mattress to make a new corner in the sheet, and tuck whatever excess is hanging down in under the mattress, so that when you let go, it hangs pretty and neat, straight down and in line with the corner of your bed. You don’t just shove all of the corner under your mattress willy-nilly like you don’t give a shit what it looks like. If you do, your sheet ends up wrinkled and looks like a hot mess.

When you place your blanket on top of your sheet, you fold the sewn-over portion of your flat sheet over the top of the blanket so that when you lay in bed, the blanket doesn’t touch your skin. I’m very particular about this. I want my sheet folded over my blanket, not just laying under it. If you don’t fold it over, I WILL pull the comforter back off the bed to fold it properly and then make you help me put the comforter back.

Bed-making would be so simple if we could just get it done right the first time. It’s kind of comical to me the way my husband always makes the bed like he doesn’t care what the sheets look like, and I always ask him, “Would your mother approve of the job you’re doing?” I ask this because he’s always telling me that if his mom were still alive, she’d make me re-wrap gifts properly when I’m doing them, so I think it’s only fair game to do this to him, too!

This post was written in response to the Daily Prompt. I hope you enjoyed it.

What is your weirdest quirk about housework? Leave me a comment and tell me what you can’t stand to have done improperly.

Dear Husband – I Love You, But…

If I could change one thing about you, it would be the way you procrastinate when I’m in a hurry. I know we’ve talked about this. It just annoys me like you cannot imagine! I always just assumed that because you’re Swiss, you’d value the idea of being on-time for appointments, events, etc., so when it feels like your procrastination is holding us back, I just want to scream.

I hate feeling rushed. The sense that I have to hurry more because we didn’t leave when I felt we should have makes me mad. I know that sometimes I’m as bad about this as you are, so perhaps I shouldn’t be saying this at all, but when you have a blog, I suppose you’re allowed to take certain liberties.

I should probably also say that I love you regardless of your infuriating procrastination habits. You already know this.

Is there any way that when I say I want to leave by a certain time, you could keep that in mind and try your hardest to make sure we do so? This would be so helpful! I wouldn’t be so likely to get angry in the car at everyone around me if I don’t feel like I’m having to rush and continuously check the clock. We rush every morning as it is, so if I don’t have to rush when I don’t need to, that would be amazing.

And one last time, I love you, but please, HURRY UP! 🙂