Tucking Tickets

January 9, 2011

Bitten’s a bit under the weather thanks to all the sick people who were on my flights, so I’ll keep this short.

Over the last few days, I noticed two different people and how they store their tickets differently than me. Most recently, I was at a Motorsports event and the gentleman sitting next to me was dressed in olive green sweats, brown socks and white tennies. What really tied together his outfit was the fact he accessorized his shoe with his event ticket. How I do not envy the ticket checker people! EWW!

Then, on my flight to Arizona, I noticed another unique ticket holding tactic. We hit the tarmac and began our hour-long taxi to the gate (anyone that’s been to PHX knows what I’m talking about). I began looking around out of sheer boredom (no electronic devices allowed yet) and saw an older man seated several rows ahead of me. He was looking to his right and I noticed his ball cap appeared to still have the tag on it (ala Minnie Pearl). However, when he looked to his left, I realized that it wasn’t a tag, but something much larger. Upon more intense inspection, I realize it’s his boarding pass clipped to his cap with… a BINDER CLIP!!! Wow. Maybe this is the adult version of traveling with your name and instructions pinned to your shirt?

Do any of you employ these ticket holding tactics? Or do you act like the rest of the world and stick your ticket in your wallet or pocket?


The Big 15

July 7, 2010

Yep – you guessed it! I’ve officially lost OVER 15 pounds. IN THREE WEEKS.

Before you go all “two pounds a week is the maximum amount to lose safely” on me, I can assure you, this is safe.

Since excercise wasn’t involved (um, what IS that anyway), this is all food related. Since I became jobless over nine months ago, I never realized how much I grazed. I knew I had a problem when I was buying a tub of frosting a week. No cake mix, just frosting. That was all I needed. Oh, and a spoon too. Add to that, eating out in drive throughs and pasta places and you’ve got a fat ass that’s growing.

I’ve written a bit about this diet when I first started. Unlike Weight Watchers (which I’ve done multiple times), I’m not COMPLETELY food obsessed. Just kind of. Because this program is all fresh and organic, and eliminated dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and anything “GMO”, it’s been a challenge to find all the necessary ingredients. It’s enlightening to realize how much of our food is genetically altered and how random things can contain other random ingredients. Yellow mustard often contains gluten, as does some vinegars (red wine/balsamic).

So anyway, hubby has lost five pounds. He has not been strict on this diet (he eats whatever he wants for lunch and if we are out). And I can’t believe it, but I lost 15 FREAKING POUNDS. My energy is up, my skin looks good (thanks to this and Proactiv), my nails are growing like mad, and I’m not bloated or gassy. (You’d think gas would be an issue with all the beans and veggies, but it’s not!) We eat smoothies for breakfast (sometimes lunch too) and “square” meals for lunch & dinner. We have a “lean, clean protein”, a starch like brown rice, quinoa, lentils, etc. and tons of veggies. Thank GOD wine is allowed! The “rule” is 4 oz. per day. I call bullshit and drink what I want. It’s my only treat.

I think the lesson is moderation. That and to not use meat and starch as the main ingredient in meals. Oh, and the limits on wine – probably mostly to do with the carefree nature that comes along with drinking. I can’t believe my willpower – I haven’t cheated even ONCE. And I’ve had some of my favorite things (home-made from scratch chocolate cake, breakfast – french toast, pancakes, eggs, etc., peaches with brown sugar just asking to turn into cobbler, ice cream, freshly baked bread, and more) all tempting me – mostly from within my own kitchen.

The point of this whole excercise is not to lose weight, but that is a happy side effect. The point is to detox from the forbidden items, and then gauge reactions when they are added back in (one at a time, over the course of a week each). I’ve had some sinus/congestion issues that have been bad, along with a lack of energy and poor mood. It will be interesting to see if any of these are to blame!

We’ve eaten out a few times – especially since my kitchen was out of commission much of the holiday weekend. From Del Taco, I got three burger patties (they aren’t that big) and threw veggies on them. From Subway I got a salad. From CoCo’s I got a steak and a ton of veggies. I was the dork that brought her own dressing in her purse. I learned the importance when I was stuck in L.A. and had to use only lemons to “dress” my salad. Everything else was contraband.  While the burger patties were probably not a good choice (fried I’m sure, and too much meat) I did the best I could with the options at hand. And that’s all I can ask of myself, right?

And… I’m back!

June 10, 2010

Well, I was never really gone.

I’ve been here all along and have been motivated with a few projects away from the computer. In a way I feel like I’ve neglected writing, but on the other hand, I feel like it’s all been so… BORING.

So here’s the scoop! After cleaning the linen closet, I realized I could move the stash of PartyLite decorations (mostly holiday stuff) from the nice guest room to that closet. And in doing this, I realized the closet rod is giving out. It seems that when I rearranged the closets, I upset that delicate balance. So I had to take EVERYTHING off the rod before it completely gave out. Been there, done that – not fun. Wall repair makes hubby swear. Simple fix = one well place screw. Back to the closet with all you heavy jackets! (Will weed through them at a later date.)

In moving all the PartyLite stuff (I was a consultant for a few years) I found things that I forgot I had. None of which I couldn’t live without. Hello EBAY! So far, I’ve sold a dozen things and have only had to stalk one person. Actually, still stalking them. If you’re reading this, I’m holding your Fairy hostage till you pay me, sucker! I listed over 25 things, so to sell 12 is good, but not great. And – it’s MESSY! I completely destroyed the nice guest room! (I could have it presentable in about 30 minutes though, so it’s not TOO bad.)

Oh, and we finally (after owning this joint 11 years) ordered sliding closet doors for the two bedrooms. We found them quickly for the office, so those have been nice for some time.

In the middle of this madness, the garbage disposal shit the bed. It was spewing ick all over the underside of my sink!! So, hubby decides he’s gonna tackle this one himself. Cool! Off to the store to buy a new disposal ($100). Hey look – it’s a shiny new faucet! You know, ours has been stuck on spray for about 5 years. Time to handle that too ($100). I won’t get into the yawn-inducing details, but let’s just say that the faucet was really difficult to install. Compounded by the fact the cold water valve had an opening that was too big for the hose. Had to replace that too. Plumbing sucks, y’all. Woo hoo – a day and a half later, we’ve got it all fixed. Or so we think.

Tuesday, I started up the dishwasher as usual and left the room. Came back a bit later & wondered why the rug in front of the sink was all wet??? UGH! Turns out there was some plug that had to be punched in order for the dishwasher to drain properly. This is what happens when you only read part of the directions, folks. So, empty out under the sink AGAIN, wipe it down AGAIN, and wait for hubby to get home. He gets home and right away we have to go vote. Then we’re met by a contractor bidding a job to paint the exterior of the house (more on this in another post). I finally remember and thankfully, it was an easy fix. Didn’t even have to take the disposal out!

Also over the weekend, hubby installed a new doorbell (sounds kind of like the chimes they play when our hockey team goes on a power play – I LOVE IT!!) and he also replaced the button and switchplate at the front door. It looks SO nice! Let’s see – what else? I think that’s it for home improvement. Well, except I got motivated to paint the doors & trim inside the house (again, after 11 years). I’m really not very good at it. But, it’s still better than how it was to start with. So far I have one door done.

Oh, I’ve also decided to start a crazy diet. LOL It’s actually not THAT crazy, and not really a diet. Basically, I’m working to figure out if I have any food sensitivities. I know I’m not allergic, but apparently food affects all sorts of things such as skin issues, headaches, allergies, lethargy, etc. I eat way too much CRAP and I know it’s bad. This give me a reason to “Break Free” (name of the program) for 28 days. I guess we cut out a bunch of stuff for a while and then add the items back in individually (like gluten, dairy, soy, etc.). This starts on Monday, so I have between now and then to get my shopping done. Hubby’s not convinced he can live without cheese. He said he would do it only when with me – but he’s not getting the point of cutting the stuff out altogether. Oh well – we’ll see how it goes, and I’ll keep you posted!

(My biggest fear is living without my coffeemate and splenda!!!)

Guest room redo

May 29, 2010

Phew! If anyone noticed it’s been a bit since my last post, I’ve been shoulder deep in clutter, crap & well, more crap.

A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law went through a divorce. Suffering from depression, fibromyalgia and laziness, she had no job and no place to go. So of course we took her in. Turns out she developed quite an alcohol problem too. Long story short, she lived with us for about a year and then went off the deep end. I loaded her in the car & dumped her at the airport, fully wondering if they’d allow her on the plane since she smelled like the inside of a Cuervo bottle, and shipped her off to her parents’. She’s pushing 40, so she really should have life figured out by now.

Not my closet - shot found at mysears.com

So the point of the post is that I finally spent some time rearranging the former guest room. Every time I went in there, it felt like she was still there even though the majority of her stuff is gone. She had changed the furniture around to suit her needs, which was fine. It’s just not how I would want it for a guest. I also swapped jackets around: riding gear in the hall closet and winter jackets in the guest closet. While it was a ton of work, I realized just how many jackets we have. And I started thinking about how many people go DON’T have a single jacket, or make do with one that doesn’t fit well or isn’t well made.

As soon as hubby is back and feeling up to it, I’m going to insist that we go through the winter coat closet. Not only will it lighten the load on the closet rod, donating (even in the summer) will help those that need it. Sometimes it takes putting everything of a kind together to realize what you’ve got.

And the end result is that I have a cleared off desk to use for sewing, crafts, scrapbooking or even wrapping gifts. There’s a dresser that I can access, and a mirror a guest can use easily. The bed is right under the window – and considering we don’t have AC – that will provide some much-needed air in afternoons. And hey – I can get to the window to open it up! Also, I put gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and bows in the drawers of the dresser. Having them empty just beckons me to put clothing in them. Why not use it to store these goodies without crushing them? And if someone comes to stay a while, I can easily throw them in a box or bag to free up a drawer or two.

I just have some rearranging of plaques and number plates. Don’t want anything falling on someone’s head in an earthquake! (This is where we’ve showcased our – yes OUR – trophies, plaques and awards for motorcycling & work, along with some personalized number plates given to us from friends.)

Now, on to the OTHER guest room. That one’s going to be much harder considering hubby’s collection of magazines. UGH!

Mr. Scuffle

May 17, 2010

Socks and sandals are one thing, but socks and flip-flops? You know, those of us born before 1980 called them Thongs for quite some time. That is, until some wise-ass (pun intended) decided that underwear should be worn in between your butt cheeks and deemed those “thongs.” But that’s a whole other post entirely. 

Imagine socks that are too big and really dirty. Now, squish them up in the toes more.


(Photo found on brainwashable.com) 

Where did I see this atrocity, you ask? In the middle of the county fairgrounds (that would be in supposedly civilized and classy Orange County) during a major car show this weekend. Hubby and I decided to go see what was there (little did we know!).  After all, I still have to decide on a favorite old truck so we can plan a new project. (As if we need another project. Shaaaaa!) 

Of course we can’t go anywhere without one of us knowing someone. While we were actively engaged in conversation, Mr. Scuffle appeared. I call him Mr. Scuffle because how else could you possibly walk with all that wadded up in between your toes? I gently nudged hubby so he’d see just how ridiculous this looks. He’s got a habit of trying to run around with socks and slippahs (like the Hawaiian kind). I am generally able to keep him from looking too much like a fool. At least in the shoe department. But I digress. Again. 

As one friend mentioned, perhaps his feet needed to be hidden? Great. Hide them. With SHOES! This vision very nearly gave me nightmares. So maybe he has to hide his feet and can’t wear shoes. Excellent. Wear sandals. Socks and sandals would be way less visually offensive. I can only imagine how annoying it would be to walk with him… scuffle… scuffle… scuffle. At a snail’s pace. Or worse yet – stuck behind him! 

Don’t ask me why this bugs me so much. Maybe it’s because as a child I was forced to wear knee socks with sandals and dresses? Not only was that a fashion no-no, it was a great way to show off my clumsiness by highlighting my scarred up knees. A neon yellow arrow would have been more subtle. And how come nothing ever matched? Maybe that’s why I’m a little crazy careful about colors now. 

The end result of our Saturday was an enjoyable time at the car show (photos forthcoming), capped off with a yummy Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. Onions & Mushrooms please!


May 12, 2010

Acne is a pain. Figuratively and literally. Especially when you’ve grown up with it. It’s even more annoying as an adult. Combine that with my unruly hair and no waist – I feel like a sloppy mess! So, after seeing the commercials for Proactiv for many years, I figure I may as well give it a try. After all, I thought Bare Minerals was a con too. (It’s not! I love that stuff!)

I bit the bullet and decided to order (5/3/10). We’ll see how long it takes to arrive (I’m sooo impatient) and how long it takes to make any improvements.

5/6: They still haven’t even activated my online account. I thought I’d go in and see if there was any progress information on my order, but I can’t even log in yet. While they did send an email immediately after my order (confirmation) I have yet to receive anything else. So far, I’m not very impressed. I guess it will be worth it if the product actually works well.

5/11: The box came while I was out-of-town (of course). I’ve decided to begin the regimen tomorrow. Trying to figure out somewhat complex instructions after driving 9 hours (4 of which were 20 mph winding roads on the edge of a cliff with the ocean as a landing spot) is just not smart.

5/12: “Before” photos taken.  Turns out the directions aren’t that complex – there’s just some choices when you include the “free” gifts. I’m a sucker for free gifts. (Precisely why I’m taking the “before” photos. They give you a travel pack for doing it.) So step one is a scrubby type cleanser. It has a slight fragrance, but it’s not offensive. Step two is a toner. This is unlike any toner I’ve used. Prior products have always felt very drying (alcohol perhaps?) and left my skin feeling tight. Not the case here. It didn’t really feel like anything. Step three is a repairing potion. I suspect it’s got some moisture in it as it’s a thicker consistency. Of the few “freebies” included in my package, I chose the oil control moisture. Seems to be a lightweight moisturizer, but it claims to control oil and shine. I don’t tend to have a problem with that, but I figured if this stuff dries out my skin at all, then it would try to produce oil to replace it.  My skin feels a little tight, but more clean than anything. There’s a very, very slight burning sensation around the corners of my nose. I guess that means I just need to go easier there!

I’m not expecting an overnight difference. And I am expecting it to take me a bit to get into the habit and work out which items are best for me. What I didn’t realize is the ongoing monthly cost. If I were to continue with everything they sent me, my costs would be in excess of $120 each month. Yikes. I don’t need (nor want) all the items on an ongoing basis, so that’s a really good thing.

To be continued….