Monday, October 11, 2010

BIg Step.

No, I'm not talking about changing my lifestyle, or improving my health, or even cleaning up my office (although that is on the docket - not saying I'll get there anytime soon, but it IS on the list!). 

I'm talking about running boards.

At this point, the 3 of you who read this are probably thinking I should just go have another cup of coffee and take another run at the whole "Monday" thing.  You may be right, but the fact is that running boards are invading my life and I'm not sure I'm happy about it.

It probably started when I got my car.  That was the point in my husband's mind where the pickup became solely his domain.  That was when he turned his attention from tricking out his motorcycle to spending lots of time perusing the interwebs looking for ways to Man Up his Honda Ridgeline (heretofore abbreviated by MUHR).  It wasn't very long and the first of many boxes appeared on the front porch via the man in brown. 

First came some contraption that replaces something else and majickly increases horse power.  I can honestly say that my only observation of this majik is that said contraption causes the engine to sound like a herd of howling monkeys when you step on the gas.  I may have even mentioned this out loud in my husband's presence, and was treated to a show of deep indignation.  (I might add that I have learned my lesson and refrain from any comments whatsoever on further MUHR developments other than "oh, that's very nice.")

Next came the "Lift Kit."  This, I was informed, was necessary to create enough room for the new tires.  Which were totally necessary.  After all, there are over 50,000 miles on the truck, and I wouldn't want him sliding off the road because his tires were bald, would I?  Having been suitably chastened over the howler monkey addition, I refrained from questioning the need for new tires so large that the vehicle needed to be physically raised from the ground.  Apparently it's a guy thing.

So here we are, a few months later, and now the truck (I can't really just call it the Ridgeline anymore; after all this boosting and fine-tuning and MUHR I must simply call it a truck, which is apparently the manliest appellation possible) is louder, more powerful, taller, and possesses four of the gnarliest tires known to mankind.  There's just one teensy problem.  It's a little harder to actually get IN to the truck.  And since the truck with its leather seats and moon roof and nice speakers and comfortable cab is responsible for taking customers to luncheon meetings and thereby enhancing the income of the owner and contributing to his opportunities to MUHR, it is necessary that said customers actually be able to enter the truck.

Enter running boards.  Previously despised by the owner of the truck, apparently redemption was found in necessity  (who knew it was so simple?).   The only trouble is that running boards are kind of hard to maneuver with/around.  There really isn't enough room to stand on them, being more of a ledge than a step, and somehow I always start with the wrong foot so I have to do a little shuffle before I can sit down. So now I have to think about how to actually get into the truck (which may be a dangerous overload of the little grey cells on some days).   Getting out is even more confusing - again, there isn't room for my whole foot, and it doesn't work at all to just put my toe on it because I'm not turned that way - I usually end up skipping it altogether and just sliding down to the ground; generally inflicting uncomfortable contact on the back of my calf as a bonus.  I've more or less kept these thoughts to myself; it isn't like anything is going to change, and as has been established, I have my own pretty little SUV that doesn't howl at me and is a perfect height for egress without confused feet OR little grey cells.  And life goes on.

This last week, we finally bought a new bedroom set.  For a pair who gets bored with furniture at the rate we do (or perhaps just furniture that has disappointed us in its ability to provide comfort - I'm looking at you, black leather sectional), managing to hang on to the previous set for 17 years was phenomenal.  Styles have certainly changed during that time.  Much more massive, the new bed has a beautiful wooden frame skirting the entire mattress, and an elevation that can only be described as majestic.  As I've worked to adjust to the new topography of the bedroom in the dark (watch those toes!) I've had some difficulty figuring out how to get into and out of bed with any level of grace (a commodity that is often barely adequate to begin with).  This morning, as I slid out of bed and felt an uncomfortable bump on the back of a tender calf muscle, it hit me...

My bed has running boards.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back Again :)

I think it's rather telling that my last post here took place when I turned the air conditioning on, and now it's very near the time of year when I can finally turn it off!  (It should be nearer, I dunno WHAT is going on in Denver this fall.  Other places are already decently chilly, why can't we dip our toes in the chill of Autumn???)

Today's big project is painting our bedroom, because my DH has fallen in love with a bedroom set (one of us had to and I've been looking and waffling and changing my mind and failing to commit to anything for about 5 years, now).  There didn't seem to be much reason to paint (ok, in MY mind) until we were going to choose furniture and really do the room, so while other parts of the house have undergone major changes since we moved in, our bedroom was still mostly white-walled (and ok, I realize after moving furniture out this morning, dusty!).

I helped cut-in the edges after all the preparation of tarping and taping and spackling was finished.  My assignment was the lower regions - baseboard, corners, around outlets.  It's a ten foot ceiling, so DH got the pleasure of climbing up the stepladder and edging along the ceiling.  Having fallen off a stepstool many years ago while painting, I heartily endorsed this plan.    And I have to say, the soothing repetitive motion of easing paint onto a wall DID give me time to think and meditate.

For instance, I now know:

1. The chances of having a hot flash are much greater if I am in a particularly awkward position (i.e., painting far up over my head with the paintbrush at an angle to make sure the corner gets filled with paint.  There's a subset to this observation; namely, the more awkward the position, the fiercer the hot flash.

2. Progressive lenses (i.e. those nifty hidden bifocals for you blissfully ignorant youngsters reading this ;)) are wonderful creations, but they are not the most effective invention for being able to actually see the wall when you paint.  Again, there's some significant interpolation with the awkwardness of the angle.  It did finally occur to me that I have computer glasses, and once I switched with those I was able to accomplish much better results.  Or, I was at least able to see what a lousy job I was doing.

3.  The silent rhythm of painting is a nice juxtaposition to the oldies rock station my DH had blaring on the radio.  Sadly, however, the fact that "My Sharona" definitely took me back to memories of how I felt as a teen, it was unable to erase the pain in my knee and was powerless against the hot flash mechanism.

So now as DH does the big surfaces with a roller, I wait to view the finished product (after watching HGTV and Trading Spaces all these years, he knows how much I LOVE the "reveal.").  The best part?  It will be done!  My body may be older than I like, but my spirit definitely remains impatient, instant-gratification-ly toddler at heart!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's that time again.

Today I broke down and turned on the air conditioning.  ::sigh:: It has been a weird spring weather-wise, but I guess that is what spring is all about :)

I also made a couple of discoveries today.

The vacuum cleaner actually works much better when you put in a new bag.  Go figure.

I do have a desk.  All this time I just thought it was a really tall pile of stuff.  Turns out I have a chair in my office, too, and not just a guinea pig food /things I need to scan pile.  Huh.

I have a lot of gadgets.  I want to take them all with me on vacation.  This is turning out to require a lot of charging cords.  Funny how I "think" I keep them all in the same place and then when I want/need one it isn't there...

It's also remarkable how the comforter doesn't fit back in the big plastic case it came in very well.  So I went ahead and jammed it in.  Pretty sure it's uncomfortable.  Which is all kinds of wrong.

OK, back to cleaning.  Hope you enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An embarrassment of riches?

I've been unhappy about my visual status for some time.  The most recent pair of glasses has been around for about 3 years, and I've pretty much disliked them since I got them.  Why on earth would you buy expensive glasses that you don't like? you may ask (notice how freely I speak for my reader(s) - it's largely to distract from my constant stream-of-consciousness whining - is it working?).  Well, it's because I can never see what they look like, being one step short of bat-level vision.  Admittedly there were a few times when I was wearing contacts that I could see what glasses looked like, but hey, I was wearing contacts and I didn't care what my glasses looked like, so they don't count.

Factor in some recent degradation of prescription accuracy, and you have just the right conditions for eye fatigue, neck fatigue (whose idea was it to put the closeup part of progressive lenses at the bottom - do you know what that makes you do when you work on the computer?  which leads me to think it was chiropractors that came up with the evil plan [please don't feel that you need to trouble me at this point with the unassailable logic of assigning the bottom portion of the lens as the closeup portion; I understand that it is perfectly reasonable and right and just but I'm ranting here and ranting is incompatible with such a rational response], and general visual and emotional malaise.

The logical response would be to go and get new glasses.  I know that in my head.  But it took about 6 months of the above-mentioned discomfort to actually be driven enough to go to the trouble of finding the acceptable provider for the vision insurance that came with DH's latest employment excursion, making an appointment when I would actually have a vehicle in order to get there (not as easy as it sounds in a household of 4 people, 3 cars, and 3 jobs), and the intestinal fortitude to pick out yet another pair of frames without really knowing what they were going to look like.  That last one was the real deterrent to action.  But finally I reached critical-phase desperation, and yesterday I drove my absent-due-to-dream-vacation-slash-second-date-daughter's* car to VisionWorks and took the plunge.

Exam, yadda yadda slight changes to prescription yadda yadda and then the moment I was dreading - pick new frames out of acres of frames that all somehow look alike when resting on the fake plastic noses of the display case, but ranging in varying degrees of awfulness when resting on my nose - clearly visible awfulness even without the proper visual correction that is somehow needed to identify stylistic success.  There were a couple of times that I quailed from trying any more at all and just fleeing the building til I could find a trusted family member to come with me and give me thumbs up or thumbs down (not that that method worked so well with the previous pair, thanks honey, 'preciate the help).  Finally out of desperation I grabbed the handful of frames I'd found possible and demanded the young man at the counter give me his opinion (this is hard for an introverted perfectionist, trust me).  I was a little surprised - the first couple he vetoed in no uncertain manner.  That gave me hope - at least he had opinions and wasn't afraid to voice them.  We worked through the assortment and I settled on a comfortable pair.  Whew! right?  Well, yes and no.  Because in the exam room I had had the perfectly AWESOME idea of getting a second pair for exclusive computer use - single vision geared for that fairly specific distance at my desk.

I have to say that at this juncture, I was not particularly pleased with myself for my creative thinking.  But I soldiered on and eventually settled on a nice pair that incorporated something I don't usually get to include in a frame decision - skinny lenses (no progressive lens demand for depth) in a snazzy brownish-coppery metal.

Then I prepared to wait for Phase II.  Y'know, where the glasses finally come in after ten days of waiting/anticipation/dread and I find out whether it was a good idea or a bad idea to listen to whomever told me they looked "just great."   Only by some strange twist of fate, they had the lenses in stock, and I got both pair by the end of the afternoon.

So here I sit in my snazzy new computer glasses, trying to adjust to the fact that I can actually look down and see (and also noticing that my defense mechanism of sitting wayyyyy back in my chair to give my neck a rest now takes me out of the proper range and makes everything fuzzy, LOL).  My new all-purpose glasses are on the shelf waiting for their spell of duty; my young frame-selecting assistant having proved to be a competent and reliable consultant.  It's enough to make me take a second look at that mental list of distasteful tasks I've been procrastinating and see if lightening can strike twice...


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oh well.

I tried a new recipe this weekend. 

Woo hoo, you may be saying.  Get the girl a medal.  Whatta risk!

Well, don't scoff.  I tend to stick to tried and true, and for good reason, as this latest experiment underscored.  Because frankly, m'dear, it sucked.  It's difficult to cling to "You have to try something new!" and "Nothing ventured, nothing gained," because honestly, one doesn't use those expressions when the experiment WORKS OUT.   There's no need for stressing the positive when your tummy is full of goodness and you're suffused in a rosy glow of yummy success.  "At least I took a risk" is thin gruel indeed at the table of the properly-cooked and well-seasoned fatted calf of Triumph.

Part of my dismay stems from the streak of perfectionism that I swear exists deep within my soul, though my housekeeping habits try hard to cloak any such tendency.  I don't like that it wasn't perfect.  I am chagrined that I chose the recipe, pictured it in my mind, and gave it enough credence to put forth the effort of making it.  I feel duped.  Or worse, ignorant and gullible.  Like this, this, ...perpetrator preyed on my weakness and took advantage of me.  Oooooh, cinnamon roll MUFFINS!  That's a good idea!  I won't have to work hard like I would with regular cinnamon rolls!  Perfect!  I should waste an hour of my time proving how good it is not to have to work as hard as I could! (said weakness being the streak of laziness that unfortunately is not nearly as well hidden as my streak of perfectionism, and indeed, rather bothers the streak of perfectionism every bit as much as the failure of aforementioned recipe). 

One saying that unfortunately is every bit as accurate as it sounds, is that there is no shortcut to success.  If a recipe that offers untold glories for very little input, well, you're just begging to be disappointed.  And chagrined.  And reluctant to tell anyon... oh wait a minute, nevermind on that one.  

So now I'm left pondering (because pondering is a sit-down task and requires very little cleanup afterwards, unlike the aforementioned cinnamon roll muffin disaster).  Do I analyze what could have been done differently with this recipe to make it work?  My mind probed this possibility all day.  "What if I had done _____.  Would that have helped?  Maybe I should have ____ the ____.  That surely would have made them better.  Then the Pride side of my personality stepped in with a "I can't take the humiliation of cooking slop TWICE" admonition so I contented myself with "just because you find a recipe on someone's blog and they claim it's the most wonderful thing they ever ate since the beginning of time and you went to the trouble to make it and it was the most disgusting experience of your children's lives does not make you a bad person routine and decided to leave well enough alone.

Until now.  Because I know that I won't be happy until I find some OTHER recipe on someone's blog that is the most wonderful thing known to mankind and easy besides! and make it and it IS the most wonderful thing known to mankind AND easy besides! and the dishes practically do themselves afterward...  but I'm not putting the recipe on my blog.  My supersecret streak of perfectionism can't handle the responsibility. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Life Leveling

I was pretty darned proud of myself today.  I came out of Target, and I knew right where my car was.

Yeah, I know, it's sad when that's something to be proud of.  But I've wandered in a lot of parking lots, y'know?  And my pride was enhanced by the fact that a woman well my junior was obviously searching for HER vehicle (Going up and down aisles is much less obvious than cutting across from aisle to aisle, just so you know).  I felt very virtuous and special and superior.

And then I had a doozy of a hotflash, and suddenly everything was equal again, LOL. Ma Nature doesn't cut you much slack...

Thursday, March 25, 2010


It occurred to me this morning that I'm a bit mixed up.  Part of me is on the verge of being an old lady, another part of me is definitely kindergartner

A few days ago, my bangs were irritating me.  Gettin' in my eyes, doing funky things when I tried to curl them, you name it, they were/were not doing it (the "not" is for the things I wanted them to do).  So I did what any impulsive 5 year old would do, I grabbed a scissors (DH's mustache scissors were conveniently at hand, which is really a step up from the cuticle scissors, which I have also used upon occasion when sorely tried by my hair) and abbreviated them.  I have it down to a science - comb it all into a clump, grab, and snip.

Except this particular time, I apparently was in too much of a hurry to grab ALL of my bangs.  So when I was finished, I had shorter bangs in the front, and longer ones on top of that.  And in such a manner as to look particularly ridiculous.

I was immediately taken back to my elder daughter's haircutting binge.  For three years in a row, starting at age 3, she chopped a nice meaty section right out of her bangs, somewhere in the vicinity of oh, I dunno, the scalp.  Generally before a holiday where pictures were desirable.  (For some reason there is no photographic record of my younger daughter's hairdressing career, although I do remember she did some rather injudicious trimming of her own a time or two).  I consoled myself with the clarification that a) my cut was nowhere near the scalp, b) I used real scissors, and c) hardly got any thrill at all from the sound of blades cutting hair.

This morning I finally got around to fixing it - I used real scissors and combed it and everything.  Mulled over the kindergartner/old lady thing and decided not to think about it any more :) 

After all, I'll be too busy thinking up an excuse to tell my hairdresser...