1) Yesterday I made a large payment to part of my outstanding medical bill (yes, I’m still paying for my February 2014 surgery). I figure I’ll be done paying it off sometime mid-2016. And that’s really depressing when I think about it.

2) I have scheduled for the doggies to go on a two-day vacation during the White Elephant weekend. Instead of being boarded in a kennel or cage (which Dobby the Dog would HATE), I found someone who will watch them locally from Friday morning to Sunday morning. I’m doing this for many reasons. First, to keep the dog hair at "nil" after my cleaning fairy comes to visit Friday morning. Second, because we have someone staying with us with a small child and … continue on, dear reader!

A Phrase We Need To Retire

Let’s talk about a phrase that is starting to really get on my nerves. It didn’t bother me until this past season of "Big Brother," and now I hate it because I’ve realized that EVERYONE says it.

At the end of the day…

If Caleb (Beastmode Cowboy) on "Big Brother" said it once, he said it half a million times. That’s not an exaggeration – I’ll be there’s a YouTube clip out there somewhere that someone made of all the times he said that phrase.

What’s maddening is that even before the summer ended, I started hearing it everywhere. It’s an old phrase, so I am not saying that everyone is mimicking Caleb (*shudder* at the though). I just think that suddenly I’m noticing it … continue on, dear reader!

A Clean Desk Works Wonders

I just cleaned my entire desk – it feels AWESOME to sit there now. It wasn’t bad before – but it was just in need of a good cleaning.

It began when I determined that my mouse was in desperate need of replacing. I went looking for a new one and found one in an empty cubicle. I swapped them out and realized the new mouse had a much shorter cord, which meant I had to move my CPU to a new spot on my desk.

It was then that I decided to do a deep clean of the desk. I took everything off the desk, then cleaned it with some serious alcohol cleaning cloths. You could eat off this desk now it’s so clean. … continue on, dear reader!

And This Is Why We Test Recipes, Ladies and Gentlemen

In advance of the White Elephant party, Denis and I usually like to do a test run of recipes we find that don’t seem like no-brainers. This weekend we each tried one – both failed.

In Denis’s case, he made vegetarian cucumber rolls and while they looked fantastic and he said they tasted good, he tested their longevity by putting them in the fridge for a couple hours – sure enough, the cucumber got mealy and weak during those two hours and, while edible, proved to be too troublesome to be able to make in advance of the party starting. We can’t very well assemble hors d’oeurves while our guests are mingling.

As for mine, a co-worker swore up and down that her family loves … continue on, dear reader!

What a Difference Between Kids – Nature vs. Nurture

Nature or nurture – that’s a debate that has been going on forever. Are kids naturally one way, or is it because of how they are raised? Parents swear they raise their kids the same way, and yet kids are complete opposites in their reactions and behaviors.

This is so true with my own kids.

When CootieBoy gets in trouble and is sent to his room or had all electronics taken away for 24 hours, he rails against the injustice of it, claims I don’t love him, has sometimes shouted that he hates me, and then slams doors when he finally stomps up to his room to endure his horrific punishment, huge crocodile tears dangling in his eyelashes as he laments the 24-hour lack of … continue on, dear reader!

On Decorating for Christmas

When do y’all decorate for Christmas? For us, we typically spend Thanksgiving weekend decorating for Christmas, with the goal of having everything ready for "go" by Sunday night. Sometimes we meet that goal, sometimes we don’t.

This year Denis and I have joked about getting the outside lights on NOW so that’s one step saved. We wouldn’t turn them on – but have them loaded on the bushes and trees so we don’t have to do it Thanksgiving weekend.

A couple days ago Denis joked about hanging the wreaths in the windows now, too – little did he know that just a few hours before he emailed me that thought, I had already been thinking it. This weekend is a "free" weekend so I think … continue on, dear reader!

So You Think You Can Dance – A Great Show

As always, this year I headed out to see the latest cast of SYTYCD on their tour. Fortunately, instead of being at Time Warner Cable Arena – a venue much too large to enjoy a dance show (although I always had great seats since I went by myself so it didn’t affect me), this year’s tour was at Belk Theater, which is a true performance hall and made for a much more enjoyable show.

This year I took the kids with me. We ended up with fabulous seats because I bought singles – we all had aisle seats, one behind the other. We were in the third, fourth and fifth rows, respectively. And when several seats next to CootieGirl stayed empty due to no shows, … continue on, dear reader!

The Hair – It’s Everywhere

I gave the dogs a bath earlier this week. Chilly the Dog proceeded to begin shedding the next day and when I say “shedding” I mean SHEDDING HIS ENTIRE COAT. It’s insane. I came home from work and all he did was rub up against my black pants and they were covered in his white dog hair. I grabbed the dog brush and brushed him for 15 minutes and despite cleaning out the brush when it got full, he was nowhere near done. And then it happened again last night when I came home from work. Hair everywhere, and despite 10-15 minutes of grooming it was still coming out. The dog is blowing his coat. Big time. Today I’ll be calling the groomer to see … continue on, dear reader!

Movie: Birdman

Birdman movie posterOn Saturday afternoon Denis and I hit the theater for a movie. For those that know Denis, they know this is a big deal because we so rarely can find a movie that we both want to see (he only likes independent movies whereas I enjoy just about everything (I’m grateful my kids like going to the movies so I have someone to go with more often)). On Saturday, we hit up “Birdman” starring Michael Keaton.

Y’all – you need to go see this movie. Or add it to your Netflix list. It is so well-done just from a technical standpoint. The director made it seem like one long shot. I knew going in that this is how it was filmed, so I tried to … continue on, dear reader!

A Return to the Laundromat

dryers-laundromat.jpgA while back Denis and I noticed that the rubber gasket on our eight-year-old washing machine was getting a bit smelly and gross. I tried cleaning it with bleach and vinegar, but that stuff wasn’t budging and continued to smell. Our clothes didn’t smell, but the machine did whenever you opened the door. For the first three years we owned the machine I would towel-dry the gasket everytime we were done doing laundry. That got older after three years, so I eventually stopped and would just leave the door propped open a bit to let it airdry. But the time had come for the gasket to be replaced.

I hopped online and found that it was apparently quite easy to replace the gasket on … continue on, dear reader!

It’s My Five Year Work Anniversary on Monday

Technically, TODAY is my five-year work anniversary, but I didn’t start work on a Sunday, so we’ll say that Monday is my five-year work anniversary. My has the time flown by! I can remember my first day like it was yesterday. I got lost once I arrived at my facility, and couldn’t find my way to the office where I was to work. I finally found the Human Resources office on the main campus and asked them to escort me.

So I was a few minutes late on my first day. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to sink into the job itself, and (bragging time) I whipped up that department and ushered it into the 21st Century. I initially worked with a lovely co-admin who … continue on, dear reader!

Christmas Shopping Made Easy

This morning I got an email from my credit card company reminding me that I had some reward points that were going to expire at the end of the month. A significantly amount of reward points. I hopped onto the rewards website on a whim to see how much of a discount the points could provide for the trip to Los Angeles that CootieBoy and I are taking in February 2015 for the Doctor Who convention.

Alas, the answer was "none" – the airfare price listed after it applied the points was the same price I’d pay for the ticket outright using Travelocity or Orbitz! Ridiculous.

But I didn’t give up hope – I went into the other rewards redemption categories offered and snapped up … continue on, dear reader!