Out There in T.V. Land

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I never really watched Seinfeld. In the 1990s I was in high school and was way too caught up in 90210 and Melrose Place to make that leap. But, apparently, if I am so inclined to binge watch it, I can on Hulu (assuming I’ll subscribe to Hulu). Hulu purchased the exclusive rights to the show’s 180 episodes for a whopping $875,000 an episode or nearly $160 million windfall.

Wow. That’s a whole lot of money to try to sink into a show that has been off the air for years. Jerry Seinfeld joked that people who didn’t want to watch the show on the DVD they owned could pay to watch it on Hulu.

I’ll admit freely I am a subscriber of both Netflix and Amazon Prime. I don’t have cable or satellite or even rabbit ears at this point. While I’ve toyed with the idea of seeing what Hulu offers, I can’t say Seinfeld is going to make me run out and make the leap.

I have a few shows I watch regularly, but even those I get around to when I get around to them. I used to be a more avid watcher, glued to the television and anxiously waiting for the next week’s installment. Perhaps that change is due to the fact I can pick and choose when I have time to watch something or, better yet, binge watch entire seasons if I desire rather than be stuck on the edge of the episode’s cliffhanger. Or maybe my priorities have just changed.

This past week, or perhaps it was last week, Patrick Dempsey’s character was killed off Grey’s Anatomy. Fans around the globe mourned the loss of the beloved doctor. Me? I didn’t get it. I’ve watched a bit of Grey’s Anatomy of late. I have enjoyed the show, don’t get me wrong. But I am not chomping at the bit to find out what happens next. When I get to it, I’ll get to it.

However, Femme Wonder was upset at the loss of the good doctor and proceeded to tell me about it over and over. Our other friend was so distraught after watching the series from day one she had to go to bed and didn’t even have supper. Femme Wonder joined the masses on the internet expressing her frustrations to the show’s writer.

Now, I can understand crying when a character dies. We’ve probably all done it at least once. But to get so upset that people threatened this writer over it and have started online petitions to resurrect McDreamy is a bit much in my humble opinion.

Is the outrage a symptom of a larger condition? Maybe. I won’t claim to be an expert by any stretch, but I wonder if we are so detached from one another as a society that we’ve taken what used to be positive relationships with neighbors and friends and projected them onto characters of a show or movie. They are FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. They aren’t real. Yet we can get thousands of people to sign an online petition, but we can’t get people together to clean up a neighborhood, feed the homeless or do something nice for their neighbor.
We’re so wrapped up in things that really at the end of the day have no true value or meaning we miss the bigger picture. The hour spent watching a program is an hour you could have spent with your family or friends. And as someone who has had real experiences of death in their life, I assure you that loss is far more important than a character on a program meant purely for entertainment.

I do love a good intrigue

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Was there another shooter on the Grassy Knoll? Are there really aliens at Roswell? Are the Illuminati primed to take over the world with their New World Order? I don’t have answers to any of these, but I do love a good conspiracy theory.
Some are really far-fetched, like the creation of humanzees. (Seriously, look it up — or watch Jesse Ventura’s show “Conspiracy Theory.”) That one I can’t seriously believe a nugget of truth about.) Others hold just enough truth to make you say, “hmm…” though they could be completely ludicrous.
This past week a new one surfaced on the Internet that caught my attention. Last Monday, Wal-Mart closed five stores in four states with little notice. Workers said they were told mere hours before the store closed. In all five stores, Wal-Mart said they were closed for at minimum six months, others indefinitely, citing “plumbing problems.”
Plumbing problems? Six months? Tell me, when was the last time you saw a Wal-Mart close during renovations or any major retailer for that matter? I’ve walked around shelves being replaced, flooring being relaid, entire sections of stores sectioned off with plastic sheeting and duct tape.
 I can’t imagine it would bode well from a business sense to close five stores for that long, especially given the fact these stores aren’t in small towns. The five stores were located in Pico Rivera, Calif., (a nearly brand new store), Brandon Fla., Livingston, Tex., Midland, Tex., and Tulsa, Okla. That’s a lot of lost revenue, even if you are one of if not the biggest retailer in the world — especially if you consider the Midland locale is one of the company’s top 10 busiest stores in the USA.
Likewise, 2,200 employees were told to hit the bricks. Granted, the employees will get two months’ pay, and full-time employees could be eligible for severance afterwards. Part-timers, no such luck.
Now, here’s where the conspiracy comes into play. In all five of the cities mentioned, not one building permit had been applied for with their respective city. Not one. That tidbit had the Internet abuzz last week with speculation. First, what plumbing project has taken six months to complete? Secondly, wouldn’t you secure the appropriate permits before you shuttered the doors? Thirdly, if these were truly necessary repairs, you don’t think you’d have given your employees a little heads-up? Tried to transfer them to other stores temporarily, or something?
No, friends, the Internet has decided something far more sinister is amiss. Ever heard of Operation Jade Helm? Operation Jade Helm is a military exercise slated to begin in July and run through mid-September in several southwestern U.S. states: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. For the purposes of training, the residents in Utah and Texas will be considered hostiles. This isn’t the first time armed forces have run drills on home soil, nor the first to consider an area hostile for purposes of training. However, some say this is the precursor to martial law.
If it is, what does Wal-Mart have to do with it? Well, that is a little further down the rabbit hole. Some speculate the Wal-Mart stores may be connected to underground tunnels, or will be used as communications hubs or FEMA camps.
I’m not suggesting I agree with this theory, but it sure is interesting. A lot more intriguing than, say, Theory No. 2: these locations had rumblings of unionizing, so Wal-Mart smote them to stop the movement in its tracks. And those are both more interesting than bad plumbing.
Now, either way, I don’t approve of this whole thing. Not that Sam Walton’s descendants likely care what a reporter from Iowa thinks. If they are part of a government conspiracy to turn on its citizens, well… I think that goes without saying that is not good, and it may be time to quit procrastinating on that garden and maybe add a bunker to the to-do list. But the second, more realistic theory, still is shady in my humble opinion. Say what you will about unions — I don’t have a real opinion on them, personally — but firing people with mere hours notice is not right.
I don’t care if they were talking unions or not. Did everyone want to be part of a union? I don’t know. I can speculate that out of 2,200 people, a few of them were just people trying to scrape out a living. They had no personal politics involved, and now they are scrambling to find a new source to keep food on the table. That’s not right to me. You don’t treat people that way.
So either way this cookie crumbles, I am going to be glued to my computer to see how it all plays out. In the meantime, where’d I leave that tin-foil hat?

Keep on keepin’ on

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks, and yet I feel like I got very little accomplished. I did manage to get my tomato and marigold seeds started indoors. The weekend before Easter, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. On one side of my kitchen, I was filling seed trays with dirt and seeds while across the way I was cooking pancakes to freeze for the week’s breakfasts. (I did wash my hands as I alternated tasks.)
In my never-ending quest to get ahead, I’ve stumbled onto a few tools to speed up breakfast in the morning. If you are like me and don’t function until caffeine has been liberally ingested or the clock strikes noon, this little Pinterest tidbit might be beneficial.
Typically I spend at least one day of the weekend in my kitchen trying to cook a few days ahead. Like I mentioned, I make pancakes, which I then freeze. A few minutes in the microwave and voila! I have breakfast ready to go. But a new trick I stumbled onto has really made breakfasts nice and easy.
Am I the only one who never realized you can cook eggs in your oven? I mean, obviously you can place them in a casserole or something, but a pin I ran across seemed ingenious to me. The post calls for cooking eggs in a muffin tin in the oven. The eggs come out perfectly done and are perfect for making breakfast sandwiches at home. This has helped my Egg McMuffin obsession — or, at least, made it more economical as I cook them at home.
It’s pretty simple. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the muffin tin with a non-stick spray or a little bit of oil. Crack open a single egg in each muffin tin. Add salt, pepper or whatever spices you like. I personally don’t add anything.
Bake the eggs for 15-20 minutes depending on how you like your eggs. In my oven, 20 minutes has the yellows completely cooked and 15 minutes left the yolk slightly runny but mostly cooked. After they cool, pop them out and enjoy. I kept mine in a container in my refrigerator for a few days, again yielding a quick microwave meal in the morning.
I’ve seen other posts online in which people pre-make their breakfast sandwiches and then freeze them. This would definitely help that idea; or, if you are cooking for a large number of people, this may help you speed up the process. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Not in Kentucky, but still in the Big Blue Nation

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It’s March Madness time again. I can’t say I watch sports on any regular basis. I can’t even claim WWE since that’s not sports — that’s sports entertainment — so it doesn’t count. But when this time of year rolls around, I can’t help but feel the twinge of blue blood begin to flow in my veins.
It’s no secret I am not from here. Heh, if you talk to me for more than five minutes the hint of an accent is a dead giveaway. I am a Kentucky girl. We like our tea sweet and our basketball players dressed in blue and white.
It’s funny — growing up, I watched plenty of University of Kentucky basketball with my dad. He’d get so wrapped up in the action, I swear there were times I thought his head might just pop off his shoulders and hit the ceiling. Friends of mine wouldn’t even come over if the Cats were on.
When they played well, Dad’s hoots and hollers could be heard throughout the house. I can still hear them in my ears now. When they played badly, Dad was out of his chair and on his feet, coaching them from the living room a foot away from the television screen.
Now to me, this seems normal. My Uncle Brad stands through the game, too, finger on his chin in contemplation as he roots on the boys in blue. He jumps when they score a basket. Thankfully, he’s managed to dodge the ceiling fan. My mom was a huge fan, thanks to my Aunt Toni in recent years. Her Christmas tree was blue and white. For crying out loud, the area code in central Kentucky where I am from is 859, or U-K-Y.
Now that I am in Iowa, I still hold on to my Wildcats at tourney time. This year they have been on fire. Mom is celebrating in the beyond with Dad — probably the one thing they would agree on since “I Do” and the divorce. That thought amuses me.
I still wear UK T-shirts. I wore one to the vet’s office that had a picture of the Wildcats on one side and the Louisville Cardinal on the other with “love” and “hate” underneath, respectively. The tech thought I was dissing Cy. I found it amusing, as did the vet who assured her my shirt had nothing to do with his alma mater.
There are certain things ingrained into me as a UK fan that I can’t really explain to those not in the Big Blue Nation. But, here’s two big ones.
1. We don’t like Duke. The best thing about them are the two letters in the middle of their name.
2. More than disliking Duke, we hate Christian Laettner. Now I am sure the man is a nice individual. I don’t know. But any true Kentucky fan has never forgotten “The Shot” of 1992. And no, we’ve not gotten over it, either.
So far I am ahead in our bracket contest. I am excited, but must confess I mostly guessed based on names I am familiar with. And of course I have UK going all the way. Go Big Blue! C-A-T-S Cats! Cats! Cats!

Spring forward, fall back

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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Sorry, had to get that out. Man, has this weather not been amazing? It has been great feeling the warm sun and watching my yard go from a frozen tundra to a massive mud pit. I can’t say my furry child Missy is as happy about the climate change. While the sun is nice, my princess now has to tiptoe through the slop on her outings.

This week has been a bit crazy. It’s nearly kept me from taking a moment to just enjoy the change in temperature.

Let’s first talk about springing forward. I don’t get it. One of the many great things about living in Arizona was the lack of daylight savings time. Who does it benefit? Seriously. I’ve always thought maybe it was for farmers. But since I’ve moved to sunny Iowa, I learned quickly that along with the postal service, dark of night does not stop the dedicated farmer — especially when his combine has headlights.

One hour seems like a miniscule amount of time, but as I groggily stumbled out of bed Sunday morning I’d be inclined to disagree. That began the busy week ahead.

I could have used that hour Wednesday morning when I overslept and made a mad dash out of bed to get dressed for work. Or later in the day when unforeseen circumstances caused things to be due at the same time.

I’m sure I could use that hour today as Femme Wonder and I prepare for our first jewelry show of the season at Sibley’s Farm and Home Show from 9-2 Saturday. I’m sure I could argue I need several extra hours to prepare. I suppose as long as we look at it as a learning experience, we will have a good chuckle Saturday when once again we’ve forgotten something we needed to bring along with us.

To quote the famous philosopher Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

I am making a promise to myself that this year I will take those moments to pause and reflect. The moments to get the things done I’ve set out to do versus falling back into the bad habit of plopping down on the couch and not moving until it is time to go to bed.

Last night, I determined what exactly is going in our garden this year with input from the hubby man. Tomatoes (lots of tomatoes), carrots, potatoes and peas. Simple, yes, but it is what we are most likely to eat. I’d like to try corn personally, but, that may be too hard to grow enough for what I would want to can in the space of our yard. I can live with that.

I chuckle in the fact that my research and decision on what to plant took less than 10 minutes when I’ve put it off for two months or more. How silly it is to put off something like that because of the excuse “I don’t have time.”

It’s amazing how one hour can change so many things. There are several people I can think of right now that I’d do nearly anything to get one more hour with. I’m sure we can all relate.

Bread and milk anyone?

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Well, my little brother and the kids got a good dose of what an Iowa winter feels like last week in their own backyard. Much of my home state of Kentucky was hit by inches upon inches of the white four-lettered “s” word we pretty much take in stride around here.
I tease him mercilessly about it when the girls have snow days for less than an inch on the ground or even more so when the threat of snow leads to the district calling off classes and nothing happens.
Now to their credit, the weather in Kentucky can change at the drop of a hat, particularly in the central part where we’re from. I remember years ago what was predicted as a “light dusting” was anything but. The entire town was practically shut down and as a collective, most people lost faith in the weatherman. Since then, it seems whenever a flake is in the forecast, bread and milk aisles are cleared at Kroger, Meijer and Wal-Mart.
Just to show some things never change even decades later, my brother Shane confirmed the bread and milk blitz on the grocery store while he casually perused the discount Valentine’s Day candy. (That’s my boy! Always looking for bargain chocolate amidst the chaos.)
As you might imagine, with half a foot of snow or more can shut down the state, moving here was a bit of a shock. The first winter I spent here, I saw more snow in three months than in nearly three decades of life. Hubby kept telling me the winters here were no worse than they are back home. Ha!
I remember trying to run through a drift at my father-in-law’s house, stepped too deeply and managed to find myself able to sit on top of the snow with my legs covered and stuck. People, I am not short. I’m 5’9” and 44” of that are my legs. (Thanks Dad!) Think about that.
However, I did appreciate the ability to make epic snow angels, which I took pictures of to send back home.
I’ve adapted now. Seven winters here will do that I suppose. Thirty degree days are now considered relatively warm. I find myself braving winter temps in T-shirts when it is reasonable. Canning ensures I’ll have food on the shelves. It’s not milk and bread, I know, but I am sure we can manage.
As of Monday, Shane still had his sanity and hair following a week of cold temps and kids out of school. I keep telling him it isn’t so bad up here in the winter. I’m not sure Mother Nature helped my argument. But, now that he has survived and thrived, maybe I can convince him he needs to move closer to his big sister.
And yes dear, you were right, the winters here are finally the same as they are in Kentucky…

Making progress

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Well, we’re two months into 2015, and slowly but surely I am making progress on the personal goals I shared with you for this year. Seriously. Yeah, I know, I can’t believe it either. My zombified birthday has come and gone — pink, flesh-like cheese ball shaped into a head and all. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and actually got along, which I consider both a triumph and huge relief.
Four of my wonderful friends purchased me a pressure canner so I can continue moving forward with canning. If anyone has priced a pressure canner lately, they aren’t cheap. The cost has been prohibitive for me to make that next leap into canning. Until now, I was limited only to things that can be canned in a water bath canner. I soon plan to reclaim my deep freezer space from the frozen green beans and sweet corn that will soon find a new home in what I predict will be many pint jars.
I am behind on planning my garden for this year. I’ve been busy with work and getting the party pulled together and now jewelry season is upon us. I need to take a moment (or several) to do a little research on which plants grow best, when to plant and how to plant them to maximize the yield and benefits to each plant. Aside from planting many, many more tomatoes, I don’t have a clear vision. However, I have been listening to podcasts on the subject and watched a webinar, so I suppose that does count as progress. Kind of. I’ll give myself half a point on this one if that seems fair.
I also was successful in beginning to learn how to crochet. I am by no means an expert, but I’ve almost overcome the awkward, “I’m supposed to do what now?” stage. Hey, I am happy I got past the figuring out how to hold the yarn part. Until recently, that’s as far as I’d been able to achieve. I’ll chalk up another point on this one… Alright fine, half of a point.
Probably the most important progress I am making is trying to work through my grief for my mother. My birthday came with several tears, which I knew it would. But, here’s why.
My mother went into labor with me on February 8. Being one of nine children, she had a pretty large family and most, along with my father’s family, were waiting in eager anticipation for my arrival. My Mom’s father, my Poppy, finally got tired of waiting and decided he was going home and going to bed. I can’t say I blame him. I’m one of 27 first grandchildren on that side and closer to the upper 20s on the list so it wasn’t his first rodeo of being a grandfather.
My Granny Aggie tried to convince him to stay to no avail. According to Mom, Poppy said, “That baby isn’t going to be born until four o’clock tomorrow afternoon. I’m going home and going to bed.”
Low and behold I made my first appearance at 3:59 p.m. on Monday, February 9, as he’d predicted. Throughout my adult years and probably a few of my upper teen years, Mom called me every year at 3:59 p.m. to wish me a happy birthday, tell me she loved me, and that I’ll always be her baby since I was the first born.
Obviously, this year that call didn’t come, and the silence of my phone was met with my tears at 4:13 p.m. It’s hard to believe she’s been gone three months already. However, after going through my baby book for the first time, I got a special message from my mother she’d written when I was only two months old. That was a comfort at least. No points earned on this one yet. Eh, I think I can give that one half a point, too.

Why I love my job

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Sure, there are days that work is stressful, no matter what your vocation is. If I said the newspaper biz was always peachy keen I’d be a liar. But there are days that make me smile and be glad I do what I do.

Last Saturday I was privileged to watch students gather at Sibley-Ocheyedan to learn about science. On paper that sounds like it would be sort of dull. Though I know I’m a nerd at heart, I think most people would have been equally amused to observe the event.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched duos run through the hallways of S-O Middle School, one pushing the other on a scooter as they attempted to navigate a slew of obstacles. The screams, laughs and sparkles in the eyes of the kids instantly brought a smile to my face. To be honest, I wish I could’ve flown down the hall on one of those scooters, but I’m not sure I’d have been able to get back up off the ground afterwards. I was tired just watching the energy.

Friday night I got to cover the chili cook-off. I’ll level with you, I had no idea what to expect. I’m not really a chili person. I don’t do spicy foods well at all and when you come from a family that expects chili to be hot, well, you avoid it at all costs.

When I arrived, I was amazed at the turnout and more so by the creativity that was put into the booths. I can only imagine how long it took to create not only the aesthetics but the concoctions that were the focal point of the evening.

After a little coaxing from Jesse, our Daily Globe photographer, I finally tried a few that were on the mild side, and they were pretty good. I received an education on styles of chili and learned there were many combinations beyond just beans and beef. I can now say I’ve tried pheasant, thanks to the chili opener.

Now, while Jesse coaxed me to eat chili, no amount of coaxing on the planet could have talked me into getting out on the ice Saturday afternoon. If the shift in temperature wasn’t bone chilling enough, the mere thought of walking out across that lake scared me to death.

I know, I know, it’s sort of a stupid thing to be scared of. But all I could envision was me either A) falling down on the ice and hurting something I probably wasn’t even aware I had or B) falling down on the ice and breaking the video camera I’d been entrusted with or C) falling through the ice and taking the plunge myself. None of the above sounded like a great way to spend my afternoon.

But a few things warmed my heart while I observed people dressed as ninja turtles, sharks and even bacon jump into the water. On the shore I saw Berniece and Norma, two ladies I’d met the night prior at the chili cook-off. I found the pair delightful when I met them and discussed with them the finer points of chili, but seeing them all bundled up on the shore made me grin ear to ear.

The pair told me they were good friends, both widowed, and had pledged to go out and try new things together. They often go on outings with one another, and to continue their first Winterfest experience they had agreed to watch the dippers.

I have no idea how long they stayed. The wind was pretty brutal. But all I could think of was, “That will be Femme Wonder and me when we get to that age.” When I relayed the story to Bec later, she asked if that would be us before I could even confirm the thought.

Little warm fuzzies like those are why I love what I do. I enjoy the people I meet and the new experiences I get to have that I might otherwise never have considered. But no way am I getting out on the ice willingly. Nope. Unh-unh, not happening.

What the heck is a power femme?

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You would think in writing this blog for the past six months it would have dawned on me at some point to explain why I have, or rather how I earned, the nickname Power Femme. However, you’d be wrong — well, until this morning that is. Femme Wonder mentioned it offhandedly a while back and it went in one ear and right out the other, likely jumping the turnstile in the middle to speed up the process.

In my estimation (at least my definition) of Power Femme would be a woman who is strong, a bit feminine but can still hold her own. I think that describes me well. I like to think I am a pretty tough cookie, albeit a sweet one likely covered in sprinkles and probably full of… chocolate.

But here’s how I got the name.

Years upon years ago, I want to say 2000, I was living with another Robin. It made for some interesting phone conversations to determine which of us the caller wanted. (Aah, the days of house phones.) Anyway, Robin bought a house in a decent neighborhood back home but the house was a fixer-upper to say the least. Unbeknownst to her at the time, she’d bought the house of the neighborhood drug dealer that practically every neighbor was happy to say good riddance to. One even took the “For Sale” sign out of his yard when she introduced herself as a jail officer.

Getting the house ready to move in was a nightmare of sorts. Doors and windows had to be replaced. You never think when buying a house that you need to inspect every pane of glass in the windows to ensure they are there. When I managed to windex the bushes in the front of the house… I learned this is something you need to do.

Femme Wonder spent hours upon hours with us bleaching, mopping, painting and more to get the house in order. It’s pretty bad when Beccie splashed bleach on the wall accidentally and discovered that minty green kitchen was actually baby blue.

Part of the prepping process of the house was to paint the inside of the closets. The two-bedroom house was unique in that the closets connected the rooms to one another. The bedrooms shared a long closet between them and the second connected the front bedroom to the living room. We had removed the long shelves from the closet, moving them to the garage for painting purposes. They’d been drying outside for several days as other projects occupied our time. Finally, they were ready to return, and Beccie and I were ready to earn our nicknames.

Robin had left to go somewhere. She might have made her 1,000,000,000th trip to Home Depot or Lowe’s, maybe she was getting lunch, I don’t remember. What I do remember is she left Bec and I in the house alone with a determination that we too could be savvy with home repair.

We were given the task to put the shelves back into the closets. This should have been a no-brainer and certainly an easy enough task for two competent women such as ourselves to accomplish, right?

We carried the first one into the closet and it went in fine — a little loose, but fine. A shared high-five led us to shelf two, and that’s when we hit a snag. This one was just a little too big. We struggled, strained and tried everything short of slabbing butter on it. With glistening brows covered in sweat and not just because it was summertime in Kentucky, we began to discuss what the problem was and what the most logical solution would be.

We deduced that the wood must have swollen due to it sitting outside for however long it had been there. Kentucky summers are nice and humid, surely that would have caused the wood to expand. Well, with the problem determined, next we needed a solution. Like kids in a candy store, our faces lit up and our mouths curled up into mischievous grins as we saw the answer to our dilemma… a power saw.

Now, to be fair, Beccie tried to talk me out of it, I think. The argument being with the chute attached for blowing sawdust out of the way, we’d make a mess. Once I agreed to clean it up and to operate this thing in case Robin was upset, we were full steam ahead.

I should tell you, I can’t cut a straight line to save my life. Using a power tool I had never tried did not increase my odds either. With the saw above my head, I tackled that board now impossibly wedged in the closet. After multiple passes I had taken a good six inches off one corner and maybe half an inch from the other on the end I could get to.

I let go of the trigger and set the saw down to survey my handiwork. Beccie and I both were covered in sawdust and sweat but let out a triumphant cry as the shelf fell into place. It wasn’t soon after the front door opened and Robin returned to see us both pleased with our “accomplishment.”

I explained how proud we were but that she should refrain from putting anything heavy on that corner, since it really no longer existed. We’d managed to place a few items in the closet to cover it up.

Robin, trying to be diplomatic, nodded her head as we spoke, grinning ear to ear. She wiped her hand across her face before quietly speaking.

“You do realize you could have just switched the shelves out, right?” she asked.

Following our “triumph,” Power Femme and Femme Wonder were born, and we were never left alone with anything beyond a screwdriver or a hammer again.

Bring on the party!

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It’s one month til my birthday! One month til my birthday! If I didn’t think my co-workers would find me stranger than they already do, I’d start a conga line singing that mantra. As it stands, I am dancing in my chair. Da-da-da-da-da-da!

While another year older can occasionally be a bit distressing, this year I think will be okay. I have a theory as to why, but for me, turning 25 was one of the hardest birthdays I’ve had. Several friends have agreed with me so I am thinking I am not alone in this. My theory is that at 25 I started looking at friends and other classmates from high school to compare where they were to where I was in my life. Several had graduated from college. Others had gotten married and started families. Many had begun what I’d refer to as a career vs. a job. At 25, I had none of that, unless you count the four-legged children. It really made me question where I was and where I wanted to be. When I was 18, I was so sure by 25 I’d have graduated and found my dream job, dream spouse and started on my dream family. That wasn’t the way the cookie crumbled, and in hindsight I am thankful I didn’t get what I wanted then. Aah, the wisdom that comes from getting older, I suppose.

My biggest concern this year is a theme for my party. Last year was a no-brainer. I had a Lord of The Rings/Hobbit inspired party. As my fellow “ringers” may know, hobbits are not considered adults until they reach the age of 33. With that knowledge in mind, I greeted my guests with lots of food adorned in a cape and hobbit feet. But this year? I am not sure what I want to do this year.

Two years ago we went out for dinner, bowling and I had a Monster High cake. (Yes, if you haven’t clued in by now, I am a big kid at heart). I am seriously considering a Harry Potter themed party in honor of my Mother, but part of me wants to wait until March and have that party for her instead on her birthday. Yeah, I think that is the better choice. Well, that leads me back to square one. Hmm. You know… When I think about the past year, with all of its ups and downs, I think I can best describe it as I survived. I made it through regardless of what was thrown at me, even when I didn’t want to or think I could. And with the premiere occurring on my birthday weekend… The Walking Dead it is. If I survived 2014, I plan to thrive in 2015. Just like Rick and the others. I can face whatever comes my way, even if I lack epic katana skills.

Happy 34th birthday to me! Now to spend the next month on Pinterest researching zombie-themed party foods. (Like I needed an excuse to pin things.) But for those who want to send me a gift… Daryl Dixon with a bow on his head would be well received. Just sayin’.