Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring is in the air

How do I know that Spring is on it's way? Here's the top ten hints

  1. The most obvious, General Beauregard told us so.  Early Spring!!
  2. The daffodils are up, trees are starting to bud, and greenery is popping up everywhere. 
  3. Temps are up too, 75* yesterday and a prediction of 77 for today! 
  4. Thunderstorms are predicted for this afternoon, with a possibility of tornadoes. Gotta love the spring storms here in the south.
  5. Pollen counts are starting to be noted and while it isn't in the 1000s as happens every year, we've already had a week of numbers in the "high" range."  And my eyes and nose know it! 
    February 2011





















  6. The back door is open and the dogs and cat are free to run outside anytime they want. Someone is really happy to nap outside!  She loves the fresh air. You can tell by her twitching nose. 
  7. Spring cleaning is calling my name. Windows. Floors. Walls. It's time to clear all the cobwebs, wipe off the soot and grime from the fireplace, replace all the air fresheners, and dust. Sneeze. AhhhChoo!! Dust and sneeze some more. I'm really tempted to don one of these  but I'm afraid it would freak the dogs out. I know this one would  It even scares me!
  8. I actually feel like doing yard work - it's time to clear out some of the smaller trees/bushes in the front yard. It's too early to plant but it's definitely time to cut and delete.    see, I already have it planned out. Anyone have a chain saw I can borrow?
  9. Speaking of purging, it's time to purge my closets. I won't do it yet, though, because I know how fickle the weather in Georgia can be. The blizzard of '93 happened on March 13th, and we've had snowfalls as late as April. But mentally ....those capris and short-sleeved tops are comin' out!   Gosh I hope these clothes still fit. I can't tell if I've porked out over the winter or if it just looks that way with all the layers I've been wearing to keep warm. Let's just hope it's the clothes You know, "honey, does this make my butt look big?" words no husband wants to hear you ask, ... I think I'll bring it up at dinner tonight and get back with you. 
  10. And last, but certainly not least .... I'm feeling the urge to paint and spruce up some rooms in my home. Mainly the two boy-caves. As Andrew so succinctly put it the last time he was home "they're kid rooms, mom." The question is - do I tackle this project alone and have total creative license or do I wait for spring break, get their input, and have them help? I wonder what colors I will go with this time around. I wonder how hard it's going to be to cover over those red and green walls.Do I go with manly colors? Neutrals? Decisions, decisions. When we painted the last time Andrew wanted black but I convinced him red would be better. What do you think he'd do if he came home to black walls? Black walls don't seem very spring-like do they? Maybe I should paint them a lovely pastel shade like mint green or lavender. Just kidding! He'd never come home again if I did that. 
Ok, I've tired myself out planning and typing all this out. I think I'll go back into winter mode now.Ya know, hibernation isn't such a bad thing. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

We are very FORTUNatE people

We went to our favorite Chinese restaurant last night. Unlike previous visits Chinese anyone? tonight there were no other "interesting" diners present. In fact, we were the only people there. (Unless you want to count Nancy Grace and her annoying self blaring on the TV. Good gravy that woman makes my skin crawl!)

We had our usual Hunan Spicy Chicken with fried rice, egg/spring rolls, and soup. Yummmmmm!

Tonight the only entertainment came in the form of our fortune cookies.

I think mine
will surely come true. I mean we are coming up on Spring..........right? And who doesn't want to anticipate great joy in their lives?

Dale's fortune  also holds great promise.

However Ian got this same fortune a while back. In fact there were two identical slips in his cookie. He wasn't sure if that meant it would actually happen twice, or if it would happen in six months instead of three. Anyway, the verdict is still out on what kind of good things are coming his way.

In addition to the good taste, fortune cookies provide much entertainment in our family, much more so than for the average normal  family. Gonna say it right now and get it out of the way - us Fraziers are in no way normal or average.
We're crazy - that's what we are ... CRAZY!.

We play a little game with our fortune cookies. A not so innocent, R-rated game. Ironically, it's based off an irreverent game my husband and his siblings played back in the day. For them it was using hymnals instead of fortune cookies and was apparently played during church (gasp).

As PKs, otherwise known as preacher's kids, they spent a LOT of time at church and as many kids, especially teenagers, are wont to do, they would get bored and begin looking for ways to entertain themselves. One source of entertainment involved going through the hymnals, picking out a song title and follow it up with the words "under the sheets."  For example  became
"let me live close to thee.... under the sheets"

and  became "O why not tonight..... under the sheets?"

Yes, this is irreverent. But can't you see the humor too? Can't you see them rolling in the pews laughing? Can't you see Dad glaring from the pulpit?

Somewhere along the way, that game evolved into one that my family plays. For the more updated version we use fortune cookies and the words "in bed." And yes, Dale and I, even in our senior middle -aged years,  find it amusing, as do the boys, albeit at times it can be a little embarrassing. Regardless, we all giggle as we go around the table and read our fortunes, followed by a chorus of "in bed."

Sometimes it can be even more than mildly amusing and we find ourselves howling with laughter. I'm sure the people around us are wondering what's wrong with us, but that's ok. As long as we're having fun together as a family, and aren't breaking any laws or hurting anyone, I see no harm in our game.

In fact, I've taken measures to ensure we never forget our fortune cookie game. I've created a scrapbook  that documents how the game got started and includes every fortune we've gotten since we started playing. 

It's fun to go back and flip through the different fortunes.

Sometimes there are repeats.

Sometimes there are fortunes that you make you wonder "what the heck?" 
How appropriate for Ian!

Sometimes there are ones that you desperately want to come to true , others not so much.

But always .


When read ..... followed by the words

you can't help but giggle.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Girl Can Dream

I've found my dream home

Aqua crazy: Celine Dion's $20m (£13.9m) beachside Florida mansion has two swimming pools and a lazy river Not that it is available, nor could I afford it if it were. Can you imagine the utility bills? And what about the housekeeping chores? And the pool maintenance? But, I'm guessing if you can afford this type of home you can afford people to take care of it for you.

This is actually the home of Celine Dion. You can read up on it in this article. Wow!

Excuse me while I go back to dreaming... I'm on a raft, gently floating down the lazy river.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Experiencing the FrozenTundra

Awhile back I posted this blog Cooking Experiment in which I admitted to a dirty little secret. I showed you my freezer which clearly reinforces the fact that I have hoarder tendencies. That baby was so jammed packed it was almost impossible to add anything to it. Of course many people would ask, if it's that full, what could you possibly need to add to it? Well, the correct answer would be "nothing." But that is not exactly how I roll.

The problem is twofold. First, I don't have a clue what all is in there and many times I will buy something not realizing I already have it in the freezer.

Second, I really haven't adjusted to cooking for two. I find myself making the same quantity of food that I did when the boys were home. What that means is there are a LOT of leftovers. Unfortunately, around here the word "leftover" is equated to a four letter word.

Most people will eat leftovers the next day for lunch or for dinner later in the week. My husband however is not most people. He does NOT like to eat leftovers. Period.

Consequently I am left with two choices.

One, I can simply pitch the leftovers and forget they ever existed....and apologize to all the starving people around the world.

Or, two, I can try to fool my husband by freezing the leftovers and introduce them (much) later as a brand new meal. Bingo! What a grand idea.

Shouldn't this simple solution make my life my easier? On the days I can't figure out what to fix for dinner, all I need to do is run to the freezer and pull out the leftovers. Defrost, heat, and serve. Easy-peasy.....right?

No way my problem could be resolved so simply. This solution only works if I actually remember what is in the freezer!

Today I pulled out one quart size bag and two glad containers - all filled with spaghetti sauce. And then there were the other two bags which might contain either spaghetti sauce or possibly chili but, because they weren't marked, it was impossible to tell. And is that a bag of pasta or is it potatoes? I try hard to mark things as I add them to the freezer but obviously I don't do so on a consistent basis.

It would also help my freezer storage room dilemma if I would keep a list of everything I put in there. I know you find it hard to believe, but I have NO idea what all is my fridge!

Today I found one full, and two half-full bags of frozen carrots. There were two partial bags of onion rings, three partial bags of french fries, and two single breaded chicken patties in separate boxes. I also found, among other things, an unopened bag of meatballs (expiration date 5/2010), a ring of shrimp (dated 12/2009), and a bag of dinner roll dough (dated 2007).

Well, today I decided to reclaim my freezer. I started pulling stuff out and pitched what was outdated and/or indistinguishable.

I ended up with this   And while I do feel bad for wasting all this food it's not like, at this point,  I can give it to anyone in need. I don't want to be responsible for killing off anyone by feeding them old food. So, off to the dumpster it goes! 

So what do you think?

Do I at least get an "A" for effort?

Then and now

See any difference? 

You might not be able to tell but I actually organized the shelves. There are categories!!
 Do you think I will be able to find things now?

Do You think I will be able to maintain the organization?

Do you think I know what to fix for dinner tonight?

Friday, February 18, 2011

What is: Sounds That Drive Sherri Bonkers

Today's Top 10 20 List
  1. slurping soup or cereal
  2. sipping hot drinks
  3. animal claws clicking on floors
  4. clocks ticking
  5. car rattles
  6. drumming fingers on surfaces
  7. smacking gum
  8. whiny voices
  9. incessant crying babies
  10. high pitched little girl talkers
  11. humming appliances
  12. squealing tires
  13. motorcycles
  14. car stereos with loud bass
  15. hocking loogies
  16. clipping finger/toe nails
  17. squeaking tennis shoes on basketball courts
  18. grunting tennis players
  19. LOUD talkers
  20. squishy ear drying
Do I get an "amen" on any of these? Or am I just a person with issues?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

to Chick-fil-A

I've been twice this week.

Three times if you include the trip to the Dwarf House Saturday morning to eat off the breakfast buffet.

If you've never tried it (the buffet) you need to. It's mmmmm good!

If you've never eaten at Chick-fil-A I can't help but wonder why? Are there none in your area? If so, you need to contact them and petition for one to be built. Otherwise there is no good excuse.

They have a great menu but I always get the same thing.....#1 with Sweet Tea. For those that don't know, that's a Chick-fil-A sandwich, waffle fries, and the best sweet tea in town. I like all their other stuff but I never crave it like I crave the original chicken sandwich. The only time I order differently is if I am there after lunch and I get lemonade in place of the tea.  Unfortunately I can't do the caffeine after noon. Their lemonade is quite tasty too, so all is good.

Anyway, I'm not PROUD of my addiction. We all know that any addiction is bad for you. However, if I have to have one, this is THE one to have.

 these guys are totally in agreement with my addiction.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'd like my life back

Let me start out by apologizing to all you dog lovers and warn you ahead of time that you might want to skip reading today's blog.

Today I find myself right up there with this guy Tony Hayward Apologizes. Remember him? His name is Tony Howard and up until last summer he was CEO for BP Oil. Our country was in the middle of a national tragedy, an environmental nightmare of epic proportions and in the midst of it all he exclaimed "I'd like my life back." These five not so innocent words incensed a nation and ended his career at BP Oil.

Most people would learn from this guy and not be stupid enough to follow in his footsteps. I am not most people. Today I am shouting from the rooftops "I'd like my life back!"

I'm sure most of you are wondering what is so dire in my life that I feel the need or desire to reclaim it. I'll show you with two photos. This  and this  the bane of my existence.

Let me try to explain myself and hopefully not totally outrage all the dog lovers of the world.

For the record I will state I am a cat person. Of course if you read my blog and/or are my friend on Facebook you already know that. I love kitties, everything about them makes my heart go pitter-patter. My children have dubbed me "crazy cat lady" - it's a badge I wear with pride.

On the other hand,  I am NOT a dog person. Dogs do not give me warm fuzzies. I have no desire to pet or cuddle with every dog I see. They may be man's best friend but they are not this woman's BFF - not even close.

So, feeling that way, why in the world do I have two dogs in my home? Does this not tell the whole story? 

It all started back in early elementary school when Boy #1 came home exclaiming he wanted to join the Boy Scouts. "It will be so much fun, Mom. We will go camping, and learn all kinds of skills. We will have weekly meetings, and sell popcorn. And it's not just for me, it's something that will take over the whole family and suck every spare minute away from family time, and will only cost hundreds of dollars a year." Ok, I'll admit that it's possible that last sentence was only in my head and didn't come out of his mouth.

My husband and I talked it over. Here we were, already drowning in commitments, how could we possibly add one more thing to our already hectic schedule. We both worked full time. We had church commitments two, sometimes three times a week. Both boys played Little League. And, of course, there was school and homework. We just couldn't see adding another weekly commitment, not to mention the thought of camping trips and selling popcorn. UGH!

So, being the loving, doting parents we are, we proceeded to BRIBE our son to give up this cockamamie idea. What can we talk you into that could  replace scouts? After thinking it over for about ten seconds he shouted "get me a dog!" (as I look back now, if he wanted to be a scout so bad why was he so quick to jump ship and settle for second choice? Was this just a ploy on the part of an eight year old to get a dog??").

Hmmm, a dog? Why do you need a dog? We have three cats. Isn't that enough. "But Mom, every boy needs a dog. And besides....." ok, here it comes ..... those empty promises that children utter, the ones that make unsuspecting, insane parents cave...." I'll love him, and feed him, and wash him, and take him for walks. He'll be my best friend and I'll love him forever." It didn't help that little brother was jumping up and down with excitement, shouting "Yes! We neeeeeeeed a dog. Pweeeeeze Mommy? Daddy?"

Who can resist that? And besides, this beats scouting right?

And so, that Saturday we trotted ourselves down to PetSmart for their weekly adoption event. It didn't take very long for Ian to pick out his dog of choice. A cute little black puppy. According to his chart he was three months old and was part Lab, part Chow. Knowing absolutely nothing about dogs other than he appeared to be a miniature version of our neighbors dog, we caved and adopted Max. 

I have to reiterate here, I am a cat person, not a dog person. My husband is also a cat, not dog, person (one of the reasons why I married him!). At the time neither of us knew anything about dogs. We did not know that unlike cats who automatically jump into a box of sand to go pee and poo, a dog needs to be trained to go outside to do their business. They are born with the instinct to go wherever they are and will do so gleefully, prancing around in their business and then transporting it throughout the house.

Also, no one told us that dogs will chew on anything they can get their teeth around, whether it be a $25 fitted baseball cap (or two), a shoe, a chair leg, endless toys, or even rocks, and their favorite .... cat poo! GROSS!!!!

We managed to make it through the potty training stage. And we survived the two long years of puppy chewing stage. Who knew that Labs stay in the puppy stage much longer than the average dog? The boys started out loving and playing with Max.
that's a foot chew toy - not a real foot!
It did not take too long before the love affair gradually abated and before you know it, guess who't taking care of Max? Yes, that would be Dad and Mom. I guess this is what you call payback for not joining Boy Scouts. Hindsight told me that avoidance of that one commitment, which might have only lasted a year or so, had turned into a lifetime commitment.

You'd think we would have learned our lesson here. But no, sometimes adults can be just as dense to these things as kids. It wasn't long before Son #2 decided he wanted a dog of his own. And for those of you that know Andrew, you know that when he wants something, he is relentless until he gets it. It didn't help that someone who shall remain nameless (MY OWN MOTHER) started campaigning that he needed a pup of his own. And so it was, in 2001, that we added a second dog, Holly, to our family.   

There are people who claim that once you have a kid, adding another one isn't that big of a deal. They also claim it is true with dogs. To these people ... I say that's a bunch of not-so-sweet-smelling-brown-chunks littering my backyard. Having a dog is a lot of work.

Dogs demand time and care. They are attention-whores, who follow you around the house all day. They smell bad. They bark. They're cute when they're little, but not so much as they grow older. Some people think dogs are smart, mine are not. They are the epitome of "dumb and dumber." Have you ever seen the cartoon Two Stupid DogsIt's swear it's based on my dogs!

I guess it comes as no surprise that my two sons lied to me. They don't take care of their dogs and they aren't their BFFs. In fact both boys have discovered that a) they are both cat people, and 2) having pets is too much work. Both boys had the audacity to up and leave home. They conveniently chose to run off to college knowing that no pets are allowed. They say they're seeking higher education but I know, in truth, it's just their diabolical plan to once and for all dump the responsibility of dog ownership on mom and dad.

And so we sit here, empty nesters, tied down to two aging dogs. At 14 years old (that's 98 in dog years) Max is blind in one eye and feeble. He looks terrible because he has a skin condition that causes his hair to fall out every summer. It barely grows back in time to fall out again, and his tail will forever be bald. He likes to sleep on the couch and gets quite cranky when a human claims it. He's actually been known to nudge said human out of his way, nothing comes between that dog and his couch. We won't talk about how he walks in circles whenever he enters my craft room. He used to be able to walk from the kitchen to the living room by going through that room, but now that I have it blocked off with my junk, stuff he enters the room and then can't seem to find his way back out. If it weren't so sad, it'd be funny.

Holly is still pretty agile and goes in and out of the house 56863 times a day. She barks at anything and everything. She thinks my husband is her husband and gets very agitated when he shows attention to me. He has been known to let her sleep on our bed (grrrr, don't get me started on how much that irates me) and she has the audacity to growl at me when I come to bed. She's overweight (right there with myself and the husband) and snores and snorts while sleeping. She gets into the trash whenever she can, strewing garbage, bits of tissue, chewed pieces of whatever (yesterday it was a wine cork), and yes even litter from the pieces of cat poo that she stole from the litter box, all over my house.

Let's not get me started on the dog hair - it's everywhere. On the floor, on the furniture, on my clothes. No matter how often I sweep and vacuum, there's always seems to be a hairball rolling across the floor. You know it's bad when someone comes into your house and you immediately see dog hair jump on their pants. Another sign of how bad it is is the daycare kid asking for a clean towel to sit on while he's here. 
Eddie and Holly
See even nine year old boys are repulsed it. And for those people who like to yap about cat hair ...  none of my cats ever shed as much as these two hounds.

I don't care how many baths a dog gets - they stink! And dogs with skin conditions stink even worse. But it's not just their body that stinks - have you ever smelled a dogs breath?  Ewwee, stinky breath makes me gag every time. To fight this battle I have Febreeze plug in air fresheners strategically placed throughout my house. I hope it's working .... would anyone tell me if it weren't?

Can anyone tell me why dogs like to lick? To me nothing is more repulsive than a wet, slimy dog tongue. Some people refer to it as puppy kisses. I refer to it as being marked by Satan. It really skeeves me out and they, of course, know it and find great pleasure in attacking me with that wet, slimy, gross thing every chance they get.

And speaking of dog tongues ... have you ever noticed that after going for a walk or any other form of exercise that dogs pant? And when dogs pant their tongues fall out of their mouths? Have you ever noticed how loooooong a dog tongue is? What I want to know is how in the world do they get all that tongue in their mouth without asphyxiating themselves?

All of the above is what's leading me to proclaim "I'd like my life back".

I want a house that smells good and isn't overcome with dog hair. I want furniture that doesn't have to be covered in blankets and towels, where I can put out decorative pillows and not worry about them becoming a dog pillow with slobber all over them.

I want to not have to open my back door 56863 times a day. I want a back door that doesn't look like this. 

I'd like a backyard that Eddie can walk and play in and not worry about stepping in doggy land mines.

I want my husband to be able to lay on the couch and watch tv without having a dog glare at him for not giving up his spot or worse yet not be able to get up to get a snack and come back without finding a triumphant dog (or two) laying in his space. 

I want to not have to chase a dog off my bed,   especially when I'm in it.  I'd also like to cover my bed with a blanket that doesn't have holes and string-pulls in it, and be able to cover the bed with a nice comforter and lots of pillows.

I'd like to not have to put my trashcans on counter tops and dressers and behind cabinet doors.

I'd like to open my front door and not have two barking elephants attack my visitors.

I'd like to be able to go out of town and not have to figure out what to do with the dogs, arrangements that could possibly put me in the poorhouse.

I'd like to be able to eat a meal without four eyes staring at me. And for the love of all that's holy, please let me be free of the whining (the only worse than a whining kid? a whining dog - it's like fingernails on a chalkboard).

I could keep going but I'm pretty sure I've gotten my point across.

I just wish I knew back then all that I've learned over the years. I would have made different choices. My kid would have been a Boy Scout. Who knows, it might have lasted a year or two. Or maybe even longer and I'd have an Eagle Scout or two on my hands. I might have even learned to like camping (but never selling popcorn).

Something else I've learned is about commitment. We make commitments all the time, some are short term, others longer, many can even be for a lifetime. Commitments should be well thought out before being confirmed and once they've been made, regardless of how we "feel," we must do everything we can to honor them.

I might not like being a dog owner but I am and I accept the responsibility that comes with it. I will feed them and provide them with shelter. My husband will continue to spoil them with treats  and wrestle with them over the couch. But should some saint come along and offer to take them off my hands?  ..... I will pack their bags and send them merrily on their way.