catching up

It’s been a long time since I did a Friday bullets, but here I am again!

ps. I don’t have a pan big enough for my stupid turkey. I DECLUTTERED it 2 years ago. Arghh.

my colon hates me

WARNING WARNING This is going to be one of THOSE posts. The squeamish should run away now while you can!

I think you all know I have IBS. No rhyme or reason, no cause, just effect. You know never know when it will hit you, what food will do you in, or where you will be when it strikes.

My digestive system is just ridiculous. You know, you never hear anyone say that they love their intestines. You know why? Because if they work well you take them for granted! You only hear from those of us who hate our guts. And whose guts hate them back.

When my gallbladder up and quit on me I thought my “issues” would get better. And they did! I could eat salad again! Seriously though, a piece of freaking lettuce used to send me running for the loo. I don’t have to play I-Spy a restroom every time I walk into an unfamiliar building anymore. It’s soooo much better. Except when it’s not.

When you have your gallbladder removed, all of a sudden you have no bile regulation. Your liver continues to spurt that acid out on a regular basis, but without the gallbladder there to send it on only when you need it, the bile just goes straight to your stomach and sits there waiting for food. When you sleep at night or otherwise fast for a time the acid really builds up. Stomach acid + say, an egg in the morning? Well, they don’t play well together. I’ve learned simple coping things, lots of whole grains/high fiber, especially in the mornings, make a huge difference.

The problem is, I have other triggers, hidden triggers. I’m still finding them 3 years post surgery. There are the obvious ones, fried foods, high fat foods, high sugar foods, and too many raw vegetables.

Then there are the less obvious. The most recent discovery? Splenda.

F…&%*$#

Ahem.

It’s really hard to try to lose weight when you can’t have any artificial sweeteners. Nutrasweet (aka aspartame) gives me migraines and now Splenda (aka sucralose) gives me diarrhea. Massive cramping, leave you on the floor in a fetal position, diarrhea. Awesome.

I’m going to drink some stupid plain water now. Humph.

 

just keeping my head above water

Soooo. Hi. I’ve been a little absent. Not just here, but in my whole life!  A few weeks ago I was asked to take on an extra book project for work, on top of the three different books I was already working on. At first I said no. I really didn’t have time. So they sweetened the pot a bit and I just couldn’t refuse. It’s a huge rush job and well, that money will more than pay for our vacation AND BlogHer in August. So, yeah.

Here’s the thing, when you freelance it’s really hard to say no to work – you never know when the next project will come along (maybe months) and if they give this contract to someone else, well that someone else might just get asked first next time. Paranoid much? Yep. But sometimes I take on more than I can reasonably do. Oops.

Anyway, the lure of extra cash hooked me and now I’m working 12 hour days, including weekends, to keep up with it all. I don’t have a moment to spare for anything. Not groceries, not sleep, not cleaning, (oh, darn!) not even Words with Friends (gasp, I know!) I didn’t even go to that one day conference last week after all. I didn’t cancel the babysitter though, I basically paid her to play Monopoly with my kid while I put in headphones and pretended they weren’t there.

It’s going to be like this until the day we leave for vacation, it will be like this again starting the day we get back, and it will last until sometime near the end of May when all four projects come to a close. So if you don’t hear from me until then, you know why!

Oh, and this boy? He turned NINE almost 2 weeks ago and I didn’t even have time to tell you. Sheesh.

 

no more stuff

My last couple of weeks have been filled with frantic get-it-on-the-market-quick house prep. It’s utterly exhausting. I have emptied every closet, cupboard, drawer, and nook, and sorted out what’s to keep, to giveaway, to recycle and what’s just plain trash! It’s amazing how much trash a house can hold.

We’re painting, packing, changing out flooring, deep cleaning, and basically finishing up every little project we’ve been putting off for years. I go to bed at night with muscles aching, and get up the next morning and do it all again.

Remember last summer when I had my yard sale? Well, we suspected at the time that a move like this might happen and we wanted to get a head start on decluttering. So we got rid of all of the stuff in our basement storage area. It’s a good thing we did. I don’t know if I could deal with all of that too!

When we first started this process we thought we’d get rid of about 50% of everything we own. In reality it might end up being about two thirds. 2/3s! Can you imagine that? Look around your house and tell me, could you give up more than 1/2 of it? A year ago I would have said no way, and yet here I am doing it.

I’m trying not to be sentimental about “stuff” anymore – I know that the stuff doesn’t hold the memories and really it’s just holding me back. I also no longer save everything that might be useful someday. It never will. It’s a lie I’ve telling myself so I didn’t have to part with it all.

I’m tired of having a big house so I have extra room store these things. I’m tired of dusting tchotchkes because they’re there. I’m tired of constantly shifting things around but never really using them. I just don’t want them anymore. I want smaller, fewer, cleaner, better organized. I want to live to do things, not to have things.

I hope you all don’t mind going through the journey with me. 🙂

down with dst

I am not a morning person. I never have been. Getting up early every day is hard on me, and you would think it would be particularly difficult in the winter when anyone would rather snuggle back under the covers. Not necessarily. Not when you factor in DST.

My body clock always wants to be a night owl; to stay up until midnight or 1 am and sleep until 8 or 9. If I get the right 8 hours, I’m great all day, the wrong 8 hours (or more) and I can’t stand it. Of course, I’ve had to fight that all of my life, for school, for work, for my kid.

So yeah, all winter when my alarm goes off at 6:30, that’s hard. But not anywhere near as hard as mid-March every. single. year. when stupid, antiquated Daylight Savings Time goes into effect.

Yeah, I know everyone hates losing that hour of sleep when we spring forward. That’s not really what I mean. It takes me weeks to even semi-adjust to the new time. You can fool my computer, and my phone, and my clocks, but you can’t fool my brain into thinking that 6:30 wake-up call isn’t really 5:30. It knows, and it suffers.

I’m sleepy and lethargic all day, so tired that no amount of coffee will touch it. I can’t be the only one who’s noticed this. Isn’t spring supposed to be energizing? When the sunlight rejuvenates us? Don’t mistake me, this isn’t blues or sadness or depression. This is my internal clock saying “WTF? Go back to bed already crankypants.”

So I say, down with DST! There isn’t any good reason for it anymore. Can anyone tell me any benefit from it other than a few farmers who might still care? It creates more problems than it solves, costs companies money, and generally pisses people off. Why can’t we just stop? Just say this is the last year and be done with it. Agree or disagree?

me vs. the driveway

It has become my nemesis. Always covered in ice, snow, slush. You name it and I’m shoveling it. Today was no different. Not enough snow to use the snow blower and too much to leave there to melt on its own. Two inches of wet, heavy, heart attack snow. Fat globs of slush plop on my neck from overhanging branches. A foot of dirt and ice clog the entrance, left there by accomplice plows. My shoulders scream for mercy but my arch enemy won’t let me rest. It’s me or the driveway. One of us isn’t going to make it out of this winter alive.

ps. Anyone have a jackhammer I can borrow? Um. No reason.

jalapeno burn

Duuuuude. Here is my very best New Year’s advice: never ever cut up hot peppers with bare hands.

Oh, really, you all knew that already?? Then how come no one told me?!!

I made a really amazing three bean turkey chili for lunch yesterday and of course it included a couple of freshly chopped hot peppers.

I thought that I had washed my hands pretty well, until around 5:30 last night when the burn started on my left hand under the fingernails, and then traveled down the 2nd knuckle of the inside of each finger. Oh my hell.

I’ve had a jalapeno burn before, but never like this. One of those peppers must have been really freaking hot.

I tried everything the online forums suggested; vinegar, milk, rubbing alcohol, baking soda and water paste. Well okay, I tried almost everything, I didn’t have any vodka in the house, and frankly I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to rinse my hand in it or get drunk to dull the pain, either way I wasn’t about to make a liquor store run on New Year’s Eve anyway. Oh, and I didn’t pee on my hand either, as one forum commenter had suggested, because, well, I don’t really think I need to explain why I didn’t want to do that.

Anyway, I finally combined the milk and the baking soda into a thin paste and soaked my hand in it for about half an hour. Then I dumped the stuff, made more, and soaked for another half hour. Thankfully that combination actually worked, and it gave me a good excuse to sit on the couch and watch tv for an hour. Oh, wait, it was New Year’s Eve – I already had a good excuse to sit on the couch and watch tv!! Dang wasted excuse.

Anyway, my next shopping list will include rubber gloves. And more baking soda.

Happy New Year peeps, let’s hope 2011 is better than 2010…

ps. The things I do for really good food…because honestly, I’d suffer all over again for that chili. 🙂

pss. These sorts of things happen to me all the time. I really am a walking disaster and I finally feeling like writing about it again.

psss confidential to F & S. That was the best lobster I ever had, and it’s a good thing it was so big because Josh ate half of it. 🙂 Thanks!!

some days I just shouldn’t be allowed to leave the house

Because I do things like this:

Those would be my new Christmas slippers.

I decided I need a last minute pre-New Year’s quick trip to the grocery store, so I grabbed my keys, my purse and took off. The minute I walked into the store I got a cart and headed for produce. As a I walked I happened to glance at my feet. D’oh!!

I forgot to change into shoes.

The old me would have cared enough to go back home and change. Seriously. The current me giggled, texted my friend about it and kept on shopping. 🙂 My jeans covered them up pretty well, and I’m hoping anyone who saw me just thought they were Uggs, but probably not if they saw the back of them…

I am that awesome.

party on

Okay, I have officially lost my mind.

So we’re having a birthday party for Josh this weekend. AT MY HOUSE. His birthday happens to fall on Saturday this year so naturally that seemed appropriate for a full out party. I am so dumb.

Last year Damon was out of town on Josh’s birthday and we did very little for it. Josh was so mad at us! It seemed (even to me) like every kid in his class last year had a huge party and he was the only one who didn’t. He was so upset he actually told all of his friends he was having one and they were all invited. Uh, no. And oy. Yes, I made him go back to school and tell them the truth.

We started planning this one shortly after that little incident. This party is a year in the making. So it should be well planned yes? Heh.

So yeah. Anyway, we invited every kid in his class. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

We also invited a few of his close friends from his class last year, as well as a few close friends that have kids around the same age and live nearby.

And almost everyone has said yes.

Not that I wanted anyone to say no!! I really like everyone we’ve invited, but still…

Put it this way; I’ve made 28 goodie bags so far. Twenty-eight. And I’m afraid we’re going to run out.

help!!

A couple of things are going in my favor.

  1. I thought in advance to ask one of my friends with older kids if they can help monster kid-wrangle, and at least one if not all three are going to actually do it. And yes, Nicole, I am paying them whether you like it or not. pffft.
  2. Most of the parents are planning to stay. I’ve bribed them with adult friendly food. (Pulled pork!)
  3. Josh doesn’t want any typical party games. It’s a Lego party, and we’re going to just play Legos!
  4. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous. Partly cloudy and 71 degrees. 71 degrees! In March! In NEW HAMPSHIRE! We can throw the kids play outside!!

Even so, I’m still a little scared. And clearly, insane. And I hope I didn’t just jinx myself and it’s going pour buckets on Saturday instead.

Dear Josh, you’d better enjoy your party, because I’m never doing this again. Love, Mom.

Sigh. Maybe.

At least getting ready for the party has kept me too frantic to have time to think about the fact that my baby is turning 7. ::weeping::

it pays to be dumb sometimes

I had a bit of good luck today, even if it was because of my own stupidity I’m pretty freaking happy about it!

So I’ve been feeling pretty guilty about spending the money to go to BlogHer. Especially the part that costs the most – the plane tickets. Last time I checked it was going to cost me $370 round trip. Ouch. Even though I have my conference ticket and the hotel room booked I just hadn’t been able to bring myself to get the flight taken care of. I don’t know what I was waiting for – but I’m really glad I did.

We do our best here to not use any credit cards. We definitely have debt, but little on our cards. We consolidated all our extraneous debt awhile ago into a home equity loan and resolved not to pay for anything with credit cards. That’s worked pretty well so far, but I knew I couldn’t pay for the plane ticket with cash and I think the idea of putting on credit was what was making me insane bothering me.

Anyway, I digress. So this morning I was upset with myself when I realized that I was late making a payment on the little bit I owe on the one card we use for emergencies. Somehow I missed that they changed the due date from around the 22nd to the 15th. Can I just say WTH? I hate it when they do that! I was unhappy with Bank of America mostly for the attitude they gave me on the phone. I won’t blame them for me not paying attention to my due date, however, I do blame them for being nasty about it.

That awful conversation spurred me to call Citibank, with whom we’ve had a card for 14 years but haven’t used in awhile. I wanted to find out what the interest on purchases was and so I could use that as my emergency card instead of BoA. In the course of the conversation with a very nice woman at Citicards, she not only lowered my rate below BoA’s, (here’s the important part!) she reminded me about my points and that I should use them before they expire.

Wha??

I don’t have points accruing on that card….

Oh. Yes, apparently I do.

Well. When hubby opened that card back in college it didn’t have points, but somewhere along the way they started giving them to us. AND WE DIDN’T FREAKING KNOW IT!!

Yeah, dumb.

But apparently to my advantage.

Because guess what I did with those points?!!

Yep. I was able to buy my tickets to Chicago directly through Citibank’s point redemption network! I had enough points to get non-stop flights at the times I wanted! Woohoo!! (And I even had a few points leftover!)

No more guilt! No more whining! Yay! Almost half my trip is paid for without going into more debt! I seriously could cry I am so happy about it. I could bawl just thinking about it.

I think the moral of the story is – check your credit cards for points programs. Except everyone already knew that but me. Duh.

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