31 March 2015

aging and pets

Last night, I went to start the shower and noticed that the bath mat was all messed up. When I pulled it out to straighten it, I found a mess. Cat urine and poop.

My heart sunk. I know Pumpkin is getting older. She's 12 years old now. I've noticed a decline in her activity levels over the past year or so, and contributed it mostly to the move to the new house and the dog-- less familiarity with her surroundings, and less freedom to roam about simply because every time she emerges from the bedroom, the dog shows up wanting to be friends but mostly causes the cat to observe us from the safe zone or run back into the bedroom and hide. I hate that. She rarely goes outside anymore because she wasn't familiar with the new yard/neighborhood by the time the dog came around. I knew this adjustment would not be easy but didn't realize it would affect her activity level so much.

Either way, I've been very aware that the cat is getting older and might not have many years left. While she does have plenty of spunk, I've been paying attention to it, maybe just because I don't want to be blindsided if her health does decline.

At any rate, incontinence is NOT a good sign. In her 12 years, Pumpkin has NEVER pooped in an inappropriate place. Which was alarming. It's not her usual way. I assumed that this was the beginning of the inevitable decline.

I was gearing up towards full-on internal panic/worry mode, when Chris reminded me that Andy was outside in the back yard all day. Which means that every time Pumpkin attempted to exit via the cat door, Andy heard it and was right there on the other side waiting for her to emerge. We think that she probably tried to go outside, but was thwarted by the dog at every attempt. (Cat's thoughts: Dammit dog I just need to take a crap) We don't keep the litter box available anymore because of the cat door, so she had to resort to relieving herself inside the house. A logical and incredibly probable situation.

After that, I was so relieved that Pumpkin was probably not incontinent with failing health, and also relieved that she chose the bath mat instead of the bed. In the meantime, we brought back the litter box just in case this situation does happen again.

My feelings towards the dog change on a daily basis. Some days she's cool. Some days all I can think of is how damn inconvenient the dog is. Doesn't even let the cat go outside and totally ruins my carefully cultivated plans for litterbox-less-ness. Pain in my ass.

I'm mentally concocting a method to allow for the cat's freedom, even while the dog is in the back yard. Possibly some kind of barrier separating the cat door from the rest of the back yard that can be set up when we leave. Which is another incredibly annoying thing to have to think about just because of the dog, but at this point I have to think of solutions to the problems she creates.

Cat, you can't die yet and leave me alone with this dog-ful house. I need you as an ally.

29 March 2015


Who needs a gym membership when you have an old house and a huge yard?
My muscles are feelin' the sweeping and raking and pulling weeds and painting and everything else we do around here. If I stop mid-clean, my little heart is pumpin' just like I'm getting a workout. Yeah. I'm that hardcore.
In other exercise news, now that I'm driving to work, I walk a little bit more to get to the parking garage. I've also been trying to take the stairs more. My old rule was if it was less than 3 floors down, I'd take them. Less than 2 floors up, I'd take them. Any more than that and the risk for being out of breath/breaking a sweat was too great. Now, I take them unless it's a whole bunch of floors.

Getting in the mood for spring cleaning. Dead bugs hiding behind the blinds on the windowsills? Prepare to be swept away!... and so on and so forth. I hope I can keep my sanity as everything will inevitably get filthy right after I clean it. Now that it's warmer, cat and dog hair is everywhere. At least I have Roomba.

Speaking of, he has no problem jumping the threshold to the back porch when we leave the door open. We've had to rescue him several times. Every time he ends up out there, I can't help but think of this scene from Wall-E. Poor little guy.

So anyway, who would have thought my obsession with clean would actually be sneaky exercise?

28 March 2015

Boring ass Saturday recap

Adultful things done today:

-Quarterly review of the finances. I figured it was necessary since I planned to put my bonus into savings, but it disappeared. Meaning we spent it before it even hit the bank account, somehow. Upon review, over 1k spent on groceries this year? Yeah, we can probably cut back on that. And so on and so forth.

-Cleaned out the gutters. Well, Chris did. They were basically trough-shaped aerial weed gardens. Before venturing outside I went to grab sunscreen, but I threw out all of our expired sunscreen a few weeks ago and it turns out apparently all of it was expired. I tried to stay out of the sun but alas, it always gets me. I bought a tube of SPF 100 this evening (ALL the potential protection!), after the damage was done. Coconut oil helped after last weekend's sun exposure, so I'm back to slathering it on again. I love that stuff. It can do no wrong.

-Put a "No Soliciting" sign on the door. Everyone is always really nice when asking if you want a free estimate for paint, windows, etc, but it really is getting ridiculous. The other night we got a knock on the door at like 8pm and it was already dark and Chris was justifiably rude to the guy. Not to mention the menus and flyers and business cards always littering the front porch. Enough already.

Regular things done today:

-Frankish stopped by for a bit and it was good to chat with him for a while. I miss him. He said he liked the bathroom mirror, and then asked if the walls were pink, haha. Gotta love the effort.

-Chris keeps trying to pause the move We're The Millers at the part where Jennifer Aniston takes her pants off. He can just get the picture on the internet if he wants. Men.

Fighting the natural fatigue that comes with too much fresh air and sunshine. The wine isn't helping.

26 March 2015


Put in my request today for PTO for Suzy's graduation! I miss my suzy bear. I wish I got to spend more time with her the last time she was here.
Only a couple more weeks, really. You got this Sug!

24 March 2015

Work baby shower

My coworkers and I threw a baby shower for our other coworker today. It is pretty hard to throw a  baby shower at work. I figured out that it's much easier if you simply lower your expectations/standards.You can only haul so much stuff into work.

The following are obligatory shots of a conference room with streamers and food, plus the diaper cake I made that only kind of fell apart:

Overall, it served its purpose because she got gifts + food, and I'm glad it's over. I think she felt loved and special.

I spent most of the day gorging on leftover junk food and I'm pretty sure I just need to eat vegetables only tomorrow because the bloat is real. You know, after I finish my wine.

22 March 2015

determined gardening

Woke up with a dick of a headache, but it stopped raining and the sun was trying to peek through. I was determined to plant flowers.

I took a bunch of drugs, then went to Home Depot to get a few things + flowers. I looked everywhere, but was unable to locate much else besides impatiens and petunias. Definitely no vincas.

Disappointed but not deterred, we headed to the local nursery. There was much more variety, but still no vincas. Thinking that it might just be too early in the season for them (last year I spotted them in stores during the summertime), I headed back into the greenhouses. After a short search, I located their telltale leaves. After confirming with one of the employees that there were no larger vincas, I got two pallets of the baby vincas.
I was planting them today, darn it! We also brought home a citrus tree. I wanted a lemon tree but Chris wanted a different one, and either way they're useful, so it came home. The flowers smell lovely.

The sun poked through, and I rounded up the dog and the cat for mandatory fresh air, then dug the holes for the flowers.

Each side got two rows of flowers, alternating between a blush color and a pink color. Or, at least, that's what the tags said. We'll know for sure once they bloom! IF they bloom!

Hopefully soon visitors will be greeted with pretty flowers instead of empty dirt.

21 March 2015

sugar and plants and social graces

Eating some of those reject brownie balls from the choochoo leftovers. P.S. Here's how the choo choos turned out.

The reject balls are ugly, and plenty sweet. Probably too sweet.

It's weird. If I avoid sugar for a while the cravings go away, but the second I indulge, BAM the cravings come back full force and I'm craving brownies for breakfast.
I had Beaver Nuggets for breakfast yesterday. The boys stopped at Buccees and Chris was sweet enough to buy me a bag since I pretty much hunker down and oink my way through them. Actually, that's the excuse he usually uses to NOT buy me beaver nuggets. But he indulged me this time.
BTW, I ate pecan pralines for breakfast the day before that.
Disgusting but I can't stop myself.

I got seeds planted a bit late, but I'm seeing sprouts. Parsley is taking its sweet time but the others popped up right away.

I'm going to let them get a bit bigger (ie more sturdy) before planting them outside. I had luck with that last year, so here's hoping. The squirrels seem to leave my pots alone at this house, too. Maybe simply because there are fewer of them.

Chris' friend just left this morning, so that means I get to hang out in my underwear bra-less again. He was fun and a good houseguest, though. I enjoyed having him around. He even lined up the shoes at the door. A guest who indulges/shares my OCD whims can stay as long as they want. Of course though it's pretty realistic for a Marine who just got out to be uber tidy. Either way, I'll take it.
With him and Chris occupied doing man things, I was able to use my free time to get a bunch of stuff done. I finally got a pair of jeans that fits, hung out with my mom, checked out the new Trader Joe's, bought a baby shower gift + the supplies to throw one at work, caught up on laundry, went grocery shopping, cleaned up the front flower beds, etc. Very productive and it's just now Saturday.

Of course the baby shower today will take up the entire afternoon. I keep telling myself that I CAN NOT bail on this. Even though it's about an hour away. But I already have the gift. But it's the entire afternoon. And it's raining. And I haven't spent any quality time with Chris. But I bailed on her twice already for other things. But I'm throwing her a shower at work on Tuesday so that will redeem myself, right? But it's pretty lame to flake again. But... let's face it, I am a flake. But I insisted on being invited to the baby shower. Merp. If history prevails, I'll tell myself I'm going to go all day, until it's time to get ready and then I'll say fuck it. But we'll see. If Chris is busy studying I might as well go. There, it all depends on Chris.

The dishwasher is making a different noise than usual. Not necessarily louder or bad, but different.

20 March 2015

RIP foliage

Things that got ripped out of the front flower beds today:
  • 3 deadish grassy bush clump type things. They came out really easy so I'm taking as a sign they had to go.
  • 2 small grasses- the kind that smell really pungent when it rains and are supposed to repel mosquitoes but in reality make the area smell like marijuana farts, if you can imagine that type of odor. Not how I want visitors to be greeted. I let two small plants stay just because they were not in the way of my flower vision.
  • 1 generic bush that looks like a bad hair day all the time, now matter how well its kept up and trimmed.
  • Rouge pomegranate and azalea limbs- they were starting to merge into one plant, I swear.
I hooked Andy up to the tree, so she could enjoy the fresh air and sunny day, and went to work. Pumpkin looked on from inside the house, perched on a windowsill.

I now have clearly defined areas where flowers will soon be planted. I've wanted to plant some ever since we moved in and I noticed the whole front is desperately void of flowers. The only flowering plants are tucked in the back, up against the house, where they are mostly hidden. Makes no sense to me. They should be front and center and visible and pretty! Not hidden by bad hair day bushes.

Vincas will line the sidewalk. We had vincas at the rental house and I loved how hardy and pretty they were. Bloomed no matter how much I neglected them. My kind of flower!

A rose bush might take the place of the bad hair day bush, but I might also opt for something low-lying so that it doesn't block the view of the azaleas. I suppose it will depend on what is available at Home Depot.

18 March 2015

un muse

If it isn't obvious by the lack of interesting shit lately, I've been lacking inspiration. As much as I love to talk about the mundane, that's exactly what it's been lately. Go to work, come home, repeat.

Been thinking a lot about decluttering. Which is neither exciting or new, as I go through this phase every so often.

I came across this pin which contains simple steps (yay, simple steps to simplify things!)


I haven't actually started following the steps, just kept them in the back of my mind. The other day, I counted 4 sets of measuring spoons. I have 6 lunch boxes. No less than 3 partial sets of note cards (I do love note cards and note pads and booklets. They're good for making lists. Perhaps I should write more notes). An overflowing drawer full of underwear. An extra bag of socks tucked away on the top shelf of the closet. (I blame mom for those). At the same time, I have 1 pair of jeans that fits only fresh out of the dryer, and several tops hanging in the closet that haven't been touched in about 6 months.
I love the idea of owning only what you use on a regular basis, instead of having a house full of things that get stashed out of the way and forgotten.

*abrupt topic change* The other day someone had written a phrase on a white board with an inappropriate apostrophe, so I swiped it off with my finger when I walked by. It brought me great pleasure every time I saw it afterward.

Dude, I'm about to pay April's bills. Where has the year gone? See ya, first quarter.
Speaking of paying bills, I got a raise and a bonus. I didn't mention it to anyone because I don't really know why. It's just the annual merit raise; it wasn't for anything special. It just means I didn't fuck up enough for them to take it away. The bonus was for being a general badass, but that's also nothing special. It's just how I roll.
I plan to put the bonus cash in savings, but it's oh so tempting to treat myself to something like new pants or bras or something frivolous like a pretty overpriced lamp. But then there's the impending potential wedding reception and the kitchen redo that I have in the back of my mind as the next thing (after the new siding and gutters and windows all that exterior stuff). Long story short, even when there's more money, there's never enough.

I have an ambitious list of things that I'd like to accomplish tomorrow starting with the 8am follow up gastroenterologist appointment. But... 8am on my day off, and my stomach has actually been behaving. Even though I think they charge for skipped appointments, it seems pointless to get up at 8am to pay $35 to tell the Dr. I feel okay.

Yes, I feel okay. You read that right. After the experimental treatment, I decided to give it some time to declare it a success-- or partial success. Or anything. But honestly I've felt different. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but overall- different. Different is fucking amazing. Like you have no idea. Different is mostly good. Good enough to determine what triggers the bad-- and differentiate good from bad. Which is extremely hopeful because I wasn't able to do that before because everything was bad. The most obvious triggers? Too much sugar, eating too much in general. Which is usually a little more than my usual rations, but if that's a trigger, I can deal with that. Make fun of my tiny portions, fuckers. At least I feel good.
I have been listening to my body and when I ignore it I usually regret it. Since I completed the treatment, I've gone from feeling bad 90% of the time to feeling good 80% of the time. If I work on my diet, that should improve. Fuck, all these years and all I needed was some hardcore antibiotics. Was it really H. Pylori? I don't know. I will probably never know. All I know for sure is I like these new statistics.
At this point I would usually say now it's time to work out and get my body back in shape, but I still feel like that's too ambitious and I'm still healing. I'm still tired but I can feel myself getting stronger. Every day that passes, I get a little more confident that this is for real and it isn't temporary. It's almost like it's too good to be true and I'm timidly accepting it. No, not almost. That's how it is. I'm afraid I'll declare myself healed and then I will relapse into shit central and make a liar out of myself. Because, you know, history. This is a very huge thing for me. like astronomical. Because my life is centered around this. I've spent years and years adapting to living in a shithole for a body. And now I might have a chance to change it all? Mind. fucking. blown.

*Time out for a few observations*
Observation #1. Wine is a very good muse.
Observation #2. The use of the word FUCK correlates with the number of glasses of wine consumed.
Observation #3. Thank the good Lord wine is not [usually] a trigger.

I've been listening to aol radio waiting for Uptown Funk to come on because that's what I really want to hear and it hasn't played yet. What the hell is that about man?

Anyway I'm also doing laundry and I'm still disappointed that Desperate Housewives was removed from Netflix before I had a chance to finish because tonight I'd be watching the shit out of it. We upgraded our cable because they offered us a good deal and maybe it'll be on demand or something. At least they put Friends on Netflix because nostalgia.

So Chris asked me to wash his camping blanket so I did and that was no big deal. Except when it came out of the wash it smelled like farts- like sulfur farts. And I want to be like, 'Christopher WTF" but he's not here- he's actually camping- so I don't know why it smells like farts. But I'll dry it and see if that takes away the fart smell. An extra fabric softener sheet should do the trick, right?

You know how in the 90's it got really popular to put baby noises in songs? WHY is that coming back?? I heard a song the other day like that and it's really not cool. (BTW now I'm totally jamming to Are you that Somebody- call me old but I'm really digging the lack of oily butt cheeks in this music video)

Well I'm out of wine and I'm not about to commit to another bottle. Kitty is curled up in her bunker and we're both enjoying the lack of dog. I'll probably read this tomorrow and it will be all rambly and full of typos. Jury's still out on tomorrow's dr. appt...

I'll let you know how that all goes.

17 March 2015

planes trains and

It's no big secret that I don't love riding the bus. Yes, there are pros and cons to both riding the bus and driving, but it's time for a change. I've grown weary of the daily grind.

A few months ago, I added myself to the waiting list for one of the parking garages on campus. Just in case, you know. Well, my turn finally came and after talking it over, Chris and I agreed that it wouldn't be catastrophic if I started driving to work again. It's kind of nostalgic because it's the same garage I parked in when I was a student.

I've still got plenty of bus tickets to ride if I want to, and I do anticipate riding it at least once or twice a week. Because I still might want my morning and evening naps. But I'm looking forward to swapping stinky asians and late buses for traffic and a shorter commute. Or at least being able to pick my poison. It would probably also be wise to start keeping my rain boots in the car.

Anyway, so I'm doing that now.

14 March 2015

weekend plans

I took the day off work yesterday so hubs wouldn't have to spend his birthday alone. 28! I can't wait till he hits 30 so I don't feel so old.
We slept in, got him some donuts, lazed around, then headed to my parents' house for crawfish. It was my dad's birthday too- I still think it's a little crazy they have the same birthday- so there was much merriment already in progress by the time we got there. Spent the afternoon hanging out doing crawfish-type-things, then headed out to get Chris some new shoes and hoped the dog wouldn't puke or poo from scrounging scraps at the party. No incidents so far.

I spent the evening making train-shaped brownies while Chris watched tv. The thing about train-shaped brownies is that there is a lot of brownie left over after the shapes are cut out. I had a genius idea to make "cake balls" with the leftover brownie pieces, but they're harder than they look. When it came time to coat them, it ended up being very messy and lumpy and sad. So I will decline to take those to the party, and will bring just the train brownies instead.

I was completely exhausted at the end of the day yesterday.

We have another busy day today: Lunch with the in-laws followed by Calvin's birthday party followed by borrowing some tents/ hanging out with friends at their place. Nope, I'm not going camping. Chris's friend is arriving next week and THEY have plans to go camping while I go to work like a normal person. I'm thinking/hoping they take the dog. She's not so bad lately, maybe I'm just getting used to her, but I have zero interest in being the sole provider of care while they're gone.

Tomorrow the normal items like laundry and groceries are on the agenda, plus a much-needed cleaning in anticipation of the guest. The floors... I'm not the floor cleaning person around here and the designated floor cleaning person has been studying a lot lately and it's been raining and we have that dog... so they're pretty gross. At least roomba keeps the surface dust at bay.

Oy, another episode of being an adult and talking about keeping the floors clean and I'm about to go balance the checkbook.

11 March 2015

bright and shiny and new

This is probably the last of the posts about the bathroom! Yay! I'm sure it's not as exciting to anyone else but me, but I'm thrilled. I love the transformation. I used to avoid it, but now I go out of my way to pee in there.

I didn't take many before pictures. Probably because I avoided its dungeon-like allure.

See that dark shadowy place over there? On the right?

And remember this ridiculous mess?

Today I got off work early and made a quick trip to Kirkland's. I can always count on them for a cheap mirror. Sure enough, I got one for 30 bucks. The bathroom has a mirror now!

Plus I hung up a painting that was laying around, and artistically arranged some bath items.

I found a really cool soap pump at Kirkland's, too. I like it so much I might go get another one for the master bathroom.

Then I got all girly and picked out some of our un-grodiest towels and put them in a bowl. Because fancy people do that in their guest bathrooms? (P.S. I just noticed our bath towels are looking a little shabby...)

Before, man.

Ah, After.

Please, come over and use my bathroom-- and my cool soap pump.

P.S. In the pictures the walls look more beige, but in real life they're pinker. I love it.

08 March 2015

almost... there...

It took me most of the weekend, but I'm mostly done with the paint. Just need to do a few spot touches and find a mirror and it will be a normally functioning bathroom. Never mind about the tub and its need to be refinished. That's for another day. (And by that I mean that's Chris's job)

I love the color. I love that the baseboards are now white and the caulk lines are no longer yellow & dingy and reminding me that it used to be a little boys' bathroom. (cringe)

Also I'm sore. Everywhere. I need to start working out man.

Some minor annoyances: The previous paint job was sloppy. I managed to correct most of the offenses with new paint, caulk, barkeeper's friend, and a razor blade.

The floors, however, are less easily solved. They must not have covered the floors when it was last painted, because there are about a million tiny paint splatters on the tile, plus smears where they half-assed wiped up larger drops and spills.
I naively thought I could clean them up with a good scrub- and believe me, I scrubbed- but they're not coming off of the tile. I think the problem is that these are not regular tiles; they are raw slate tiles, which should be really fancy even though they are dark green... but they were installed really badly.  The grout lines are impossible to get/look clean, the tiles are unlevel/crooked, and they are full of paint! Not fancy.
The only way I've been able to remove a single spot of paint is with a razor blade. Unfortunately that scratches the tile and you have to attack one little tiny dot at a time. Not exactly efficient. I think I might have to use a chemical solvent, but what to use for latex paint? I bet they make some kind of product.
I was able to ignore the floor while it was a crappy dark hole in the house, but now that it's a bright clean space the crappy floors are bugging me more than they should.

I know. I'll get a nice bright rug. Or two.

Anyway. The deadline for normal functionality (floors and all) is Sunday because that's when our guest will arrive. The hunt for a mirror is ON.

07 March 2015

Drum roll on the bathroom color

We actually picked the color before anyone offered any suggestions. I was torn between 2 and 3, and he was torn between 1 and 3. The common denominator there was 3, so that made it easy!

Then mom came over and chose number 3 for the "rosy undertones." Said it would make people's skin look good, haha.

Then everyone else picked 3, and it was the clear winner.

So I'll be painting the bathroom Victorian Pearl today.

boring stuff

Last night I came home to saltine cracker crumbs all over the floor, and a chewed-to-shit saltine cracker sleeve. I don't eat saltine crackers and I have yet to convince my husband that cleaning up after himself is a good thing... so he essentially left out a nice crunchy snack for the dog. Rather than bust out the broom, I plopped rooba right down in the middle of it and ate dinner. I love that thing. And the husband got a scolding instead of the dog. I'd much rather do NO scolding, but such is life.

We currently don't have a cable box in the living room since we moved it to the bedroom, since our 'free' cable got turned off last week. Fortunately, we are able to watch House of Cards on the living room tv. This new season moves slowly and has a lot of undercurrents. I'm ready to see some of the bold moves like past seasons.

I got out of bed with the intention to start making a test batch of choo choo cookies except I'm all out of flour. Naturally, the only logical solution was to make a batch of corn flour griddlecakes for breakfast.

On to do a bunch of bill paying and other adult nonsense.

01 March 2015

help me pick

Back to the bathroom. I woke up and put another coat on the swatches, because who would have thought that shades of white on white are difficult to see?

Even with the second coat, it's hard to make out the colors, especially in photographs professionally taken with my camera phone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

I'm torn between two colors, and I can't make up my mind. The weirder thing is, each color looks different depending on which wall it's on. The lighting in here is truly bizarre.

Also since it has been covered up, I forgot that the countertop has a lot of yellow tones in it. Which helped narrow down the color choices a LOT last night. 

What do YOU think? Color 1, 2, or 3?
(click on the photo to enlarge... not that it helps!)

 P.S. the tile and tub are soon to be re-finished a white very close in color to the trim.