One of Those Days

We all have them; you know those days where you are better off staying in bed. Some of us have multiple days in a row where everything you touch goes way wrong. And then there is me. When I have one of those days or multiple days that go bad, it usually means I have maimed myself in some sort of fashion, and holding true to history, I’ve done it again.

Yesterday, I was sharpening my boning knife on the sharpening stone using deliberate circles like my dad taught me. I held the knife at about a forty-five-degree angle to the stone going in a counter-clockwise motion. Flipping the knife over I repeated the process only going in a clockwise motion, when the knife slipped and sliced into my right thumb. The good news is that I got the knife good and sharp. The bad news is that I bled all over the kitchen.

Today I put a bottom round roast in the crockpot to cook all day for dinner. The roast was so tender by the time dinner rolled around that it was falling apart in the crockpot as I was dishing it up to put it on the platter. I used a large fork and spatula to try and get it out of the crockpot when it broke apart, with part of the meat plopping back into the crockpot and splashing a small piece of cooked hot onion to wrap around my little finger and another piece of onion stuck to the left side of my hand below the thumb I tried to amputate yesterday.

I ran to the sink and turned on the cold water, pulling the onion off of my finger and let the words fly. Who would think a hot cooked onion would stick like glue and burn the daylights out of you. I actually have blisters on my little finger and a long red streak on the other side of my hand. I thought that using the crockpot would make my life easier not help me meet my deductible for the year.

Needless to say, I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

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Undo

I wish I had an undo option. If I had an indo button, I could fix my stupid mistakes with a simple push of the undo button. Wouldn’t that be something special, being able to hit the undo button? Think of the possibilities. Think back through your life and all the times you said to yourself, “I wish I hadn’t done that, said that or eaten that. With an undo button you could have a second chance at getting it right. I don’t think that every mistake or misspoken word should be undoable, just the really big ones.

You have the chance to undo the harsh words you spoke to your husband or wife or child just because you were tired or frustrated from work. You could undo the night at the bar where you drank too much and woke up with someone you’ve never seen before. Or you could undo eating the super large slice of cheesecake before it ended up on your hips. There are so many undo’s waiting out there.

For me I would have been able to undo some of my biggest blunders in life. Like the time I thought a perm would be a good thing. Yeah right, a perm on a woman with naturally curly hair. Not a really bright idea. I looked like a thirty something woman with a very tight afro. I had almost shoulder length hair that was curled so tight I looked like I stuck my finger in a light socket. It took almost six months for the permed hair to grow out enough to be all cut off.

Or maybe the time I got in a hurry driving out of the airport and instead of being patient and letting the rental car bus get in front of me I decided to hit the gas in my firebird. A really bad idea since my tires were well worn and the road was wet. I lost traction and started to fishtail. I overcorrected and spun out right in front of the rental car bus and slid across the road tearing up two tires and two wheels. To add to my embarrassment the first one to stop to check on us was a deputy director of the aviation department. Yes sir, definitely an undo.

As a teenager growing up I did lots of really dumb things. Some I needed to do to learn and grow from but some I would undo. I started smoking cigarettes when I thirteen and didn’t quit until I was in my thirties – definitely an undo. I didn’t apply myself in school like I should have or go to college. I would definitely undo that, slap myself upside the head and make me buckle down and get my degree. I was smart enough, just didn’t push myself like I should have. I should have listened to my parents better, but that goes with each generation. My parents didn’t listen to their parents and my children didn’t listen to me, just wait until their children get older, that is something I wouldn’t change even if I could. Everyone should have some regrets and insights from their flubs. But some would be awesome if we could wipe them out and start over.

A Challenge

I have a challenge for you. This is a toughie even though it shouldn’t be. Go stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself. Really look at yourself, from top to bottom and bottom to top, give yourself a really close look. Look deeply at every body part then look at the whole package, all put together. Now find things you love about yourself.

I did that this morning as I was finishing up putting on my makeup. I looked at the whole package, from my curly unruly hair to my badly done self-pedicure and at first glance I wasn’t particularly pleased with what I saw. Curly hair that always looks like I just got out of a convertible on a cross country road trip. Reconstructed breasts from a bilateral mastectomy complete with tattooed nipples, and contrary to the common misconception, it’s not a boob job. A stomach that is no longer taut, legs that are too short and thighs that are too big. Nothing grotesque but no super model by any figment of the wildest imagination.

Then I looked again and really looked at myself. I decided that my curly unruly hair fits me quite nicely as I am unruly and brash. I looked at my eyes and the odd color of blue that they are is quite striking. My gaze traveled down to the rest of my anatomy and decided that I don’t care that my reconstructed breasts are not perfect but at least I’m alive and cancer free. My legs are short and heavier than I would like but I can walk and get around just fine.

Then I turned inward and looked at my soul and spirit. I found a person that doesn’t take life too seriously. I am as irreverent about life as how curly my hair is. I will almost always make a wisecrack about anything sad or happy. We’re not here long enough to get too serious. I am basically an honest person and will protect my family and friends to the death. I am passionate about living the rest of my life doing things that make me happy and whole. All in all not a bad person, fairly normal.

Now it’s your turn, what do you love about yourself? The list should be long, because there is so much more to a person that what looks back at you in the mirror. Your smile, the way you tilt your head to one side or the really tight hugs you give to the people you love, these are the wonderful beautiful parts of you and should never ever be dismissed. These things are what make you perfect

Stealth Mode

Definitely not a term that is ever used when describing a Labrador retriever. Friendly, playful, loyal, gun dog, excellent retriever and most popular family dog are all words and terms used to describe the Labrador retriever, see no stealth mode. The breed originated in Newfoundland, originally called the St John’s water dog and was bred to retrieve in the cold waters. Today the Lab is a great family dog, loyal and playful, always in the middle of everything family.

To describe a Lab, you start at the head. His head is large and square or “blocky” with soft eyes that always melt your heart and make you smile. They have amazing hearing with ears that perk up at the slightest sound of the peanut butter jar lid being turned, even if they are on the other side of the house. A Lab has a big deep chest housing a stomach that can and has eaten almost a whole fifty pound bag of dog food in one sitting. Tip, never leave a bag of dog food unsecured.

At the end of the Labrador retriever is the tail. The tail was designed to be wide at the base and strong, to help steer and keep him afloat in the icy waters. The tail also has to be very large and strong, because that is where his heart is. The tail tells you everything you will ever need to know about a Lab. The happier the dog is faster his tail wags. The faster his tail wags, the bigger his smile gets on the front end. As far as happy goes, the Labrador retriever takes top honors.

With our goofy schedule, I work days and Mitch works nights. I get up at four am to start my day while Mitch is still asleep so I try to move around quietly and get dressing without making any noise. Well no matter how quiet I am, it is all canceled out with the banging of tails wagging, thumping against the bathroom door, the wall or the closet doors. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to give them space to wag in silence, they find a hard surface to bang their happy out. Good thing Mitch sleeps like the dead.

Stealth mode, not in this home.

All I Want for Christmas

I already know what I want for Christmas. Normally I have a gazillion wants on my wish list and as soon as someone asks me I draw a complete blank. Everything is gone and I’m left sitting there with a blank face. But not this year, I know exactly what I want. Now that I’m living in Seattle but work for the same company I have for eleven years that is in Kansas City, I’m doing a fair amount of travel back there to check in, do some training and let everyone know I’m still alive and kicking.

One of my most favorite things to do is to “people watch”. It is so entertaining, sitting in the airport waiting for my flight and watching all of the different people walk and run by. As I was sitting in the airport on my return trip to Seattle I had wait for the plane to arrive that would unload its passengers, load us up then turn around and fly back to Seattle. I got to the airport early and had plenty of time to sit and watch my fellow passengers’ position themselves around gate area looking for the best vantage point.

There was the “super important” business traveler that walked up to the front of the First Class boarding line and looked around for everyone in the gate to acknowledge his presence and awesomeness, then went back to reading his cell phone. Behind him strolled up the woman business traveler who had ignored the sign right in front of her that allowed two carry-on pieces, a personal bag and one other bag. No, she had her purse, tote and rollerboard bag, three bags, no wonder there never is enough room in the overhead bins. Then there was the couple that walked into the gate area, the man carrying a portable oxygen canister and his wife. The man sat down six seats away from me and since there were no more seats around his wife decided it was best to just plop down on the floor in front of the arrival doorway and spread all of their bags around her in a semi-circle. This was going to be entertaining when the arriving passengers tripped over her and her bags.

About thirty minutes before departure the inbound flight rolled up to the jet bridge. It was only a few minutes later that people started coming through the gate from the jetway. The first man off looked like he had rolled out of bed after oversleeping, jumped in the car and flew to Kansas City in his pajamas. Seriously, he had on red plaid pajama bottoms on. The next three people that came walking by had dazed looks like they had just experienced the worst ride ever and were just glad to be alive. Then there she was. All I could think of, was does your mother know how you are dressed? Did you not look in the mirror before walking out the door and going in public? The woman came walking into the gate area wearing the strangest hat I’ve ever seen. The hat was a knitted hat, at least five or six inches tall, round and stiff sitting high on her head, it didn’t droop over like a stocking cap, made of brightly colored yarn and there was a long blond braid of hair sticking out on each side of the hat. And no it wasn’t her hair, her hair was dark brown.

I sat there and worked overtime not to laugh out loud, which would have been rude, but still it was so entertaining. I wish I had a camera with me, but that would have been too obvious and again rude, so the best option brings me to my Christmas wish. I want a GoPro camera.

Wouldn’t that be a hoot? I could strap it on my chest, camouflage it with a scarf or something and just sit and wait. I know, I have way too much time on my hands.

On the Road – Day Two

It felt so wonderful waking up in a soft king size bed with clean sheets. Clean sheets and a super soft pillow, in a nice cool air conditioned room, life doesn’t get much better than this. That was my first thought, my second thought was it’s time to feed the dogs and take them for a walk after I got a big wet nose in my face. Even on the road, nothing changes.

We made it to Gillette, Wyoming without any more incidents. I took the first exit that had hotels listed on the lodging sign options. I found a Holiday Inn and pulled into the parking lot. Wonders of wonders they had a room available and they allowed dogs, double bonus! I didn’t care that the only room available was a king suite, I didn’t care that there was a pet fee and I didn’t care that it was a lot more than I usually paid for a room. I was tired and I wanted to sleep in a clean soft bed. Even better there must have been a state police convention in town, because we counted nine state police cars in the parking lot. The state police cars outnumbered the motorcycles in the parking lot. We never felt safer than we did that night.

After breakfast, we loaded up and hit the road, there were still more than a thousand miles to go. Monday, well west of Sturgis, traffic on the highway was minimal, the occasional semi and pickup truck, but for the most part we were alone on the highway. Thankfully most of day went without incident and we made good time. By midafternoon we were almost through Montana and decided on Coeur d’Alene, Idaho as a stopping point. As we got closer to Idaho, road construction slowed us down to about thirty five miles an hour. We came up to a point where the road narrowed to one lane and as I headed in a pair of motorcycles came shooting up from behind us trying to cut us off and get ahead of us. One motorcycle cut off my friend but couldn’t get past me so he ended up sandwiched in between us with his friend behind the truck.

All the way through South Dakota and all of the motorcycles neither one of the dogs made a peep, but after this jerk came barreling up and almost landed in my back seat, Charlie went crazy growling and barking hitting the back window in an effort to eat him. I thought if I could go the rest of my life and never see another motorcycle I would be just thrilled. Then I looked in my rearview mirror and saw that he was even dumber than I originally thought. This jerk stood up and started to perform acrobatics on the bike. He stood on one peg then changed to the other peg, all this on an uneven surface sandwiched between a pickup truck and a station wagon both from Missouri and both driven by two women who were willing to run over him and keep going. What a dumb ass.

We finally lost him and his friend after we got into Idaho, and found a Best Western in Coeur d’Alene that allowed dogs, clean sheets and a soft pillow ahead. Oh, and a bottle of wine too.

Selling the House

I am learning so many things about selling a home, most of which I wish I didn’t have to learn. I don’t care if I have 80 amp service or 100 amp service. I only care that when I flip the switch the lights come on and when I push the “on” button on the remote the television turns on. I don’t care that the furnace is older than dirt, I am just really very happy that when it gets cold outside I can turn up the thermostat and voila! we have heat! I have a slow running drain in the bathroom, my sink, more than likely from hair, soap and make up. I know it and have been putting just about very chemical and/or home remedies and nothing works. It was just a bit humiliating to see a color photo on the buyers’ inspection report showing my slow draining sink. I thought great now the world knows I have a giant hair clog.

All of the steps that a seller goes through to get their house sold is mind boggling. I understand the buyers want to get the most for their money and the inspectors are there to make sure that a buyer doesn’t get ripped off, but some of the stuff on the report is nitpicky at best. I mean anyone looking at our house would know that there are going to be things that are not the latest and greatest. The original structure was built in 1928 what do they expect?

One of the things on the list that the buyers want corrected is that I have any tree limbs close to power lines cut back. I haven’t gotten any of the tree trimmers I have called to come out and even look at the house and property. The minute I mention power lines, they all say, “Nope don’t do that. Call the power company and have them come out.” Great, the power company doesn’t care about me.

I was telling my coworkers about the tree limbs and said in passing that I would have to cut any limbs I find myself. One of my coworkers suggested that I wear rubber gloves and maybe I wouldn’t get electrocuted. Another coworker said that I should take off all of my jewelry so I wouldn’t get electrocuted. I said I should put on all of my jewelry, wear rubber gloves, climb up on top of the camper shell of the truck with my Little Giant aluminum ladder with a really long limb cutter and cut back any limbs. I would have on rubber gloves and be wearing sneakers. What could possibly go wrong?

A third coworker was actually concerned for me and said the company I work for should pay someone to trim back any limbs so I wouldn’t get electrocuted. I think they were going to take up a collection, but I’m not so sure what the money was for. I think some were putting money in the pot for flowers for the funeral, you know just in case.