I love Halloween. But every. single. year. I put off creating a costume till the last minute.

This year is no different.

Now, I need to come up with something by Friday night, for my husband's work party. I am at a total loss.

I've never been big on the 'sexy' costumes. As in, naughty nurse, slutty police officer - you know, the unfortunate standards. I prefer something silly or witty.

The last time I officially dressed up, I was 'THAT' bridesmaid at the reception: you know, dress ripped and on backwards, messed up hair, missing a shoe, cried off makeup, carrying a wine bottle with a straw and the crushed bridal bouquet I hip checked the other women to catch.

I've been Sporty Spice (yes, my friends were the other Spice Girls). I've been a Fairy Princess, complete with a wand, huge poufy skirt, wings and glitter to throw at people (cause THAT isn't annoying).

My best costume ever? Probably in the fourth grade when I dressed up as an old lady - saggy boobs, one of my Grandma's old shift dresses, a gray bun, glasses on the tip of my nose. It was exquisite.

So. What should I be? I NEED HELP. AND QUICK.

And, what was your best costume ever?


Shrink-a-Versary Extravaganza!

There are some VERY exciting things happening over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.

I'm serious. VERY EXCITING.

Tomorrow we start our newest challenge - running from October 28 through December 16th. That's seven weeks to whip your heinie into shape before the Holidays!

And there's more. This challenge coincides with the Sisterhood's one year anniversary. There will be much celebration. And giveaways galore.

So, if you've been looking to drop a few pounds (or stone) and get fit with some serious Sisterhood (boys are welcome too!) support, make sure you visit the Sisterhood tomorrow for all the details.


Idiot Box

When I was a kid, we had a 13" television, no remote control and three channels.

Oh, how times have changed...

Cartoons on the big screen. I am creating a monster (in my defense, I only use the electric babysitter when I'm sick...or tired...or...oh, never mind).

For more technology, zap on over and visit Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry.


Finally, Some Good News

I'm laying on the couch today. I feel like I'm dying - okay, not DYING. But I feel terrible. Fever, chills, aches, and the worst headache I've ever had.

So much for the Tamiflu, right? I took my last dose yesterday morning, and by 7 pm, I was running a fever of 102.


The phone rang about half an hour ago and the caller I.D. said 'The Home Depot'. We've been talking a lot with a very nice manager there who has been very pleasant. That said, I feel like crap and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about how we're going to collections.

But, I picked up, and I'm glad I did. Home Depot has decided to honor the additional insurance contract - so we now owe them nothing AND are no longer the proud owners of a busted chipper.


Thank you Home Depot for doing the right thing. It may be a small thing on your end, but to us, it's means so much. So, again, thank you.


Easy Like Sunday Afternoon

Today I had grand plans.

As in, I planned to get out of the house by myself for an hour or two. Groceries. A trip to the mall to see how tragically out of style I am. A latte (eggnog is back, curses). Maybe a pedicure.

And, as is normal with a 'free' day, here it is, 4 pm, and I've not left the house - once. Whoops.

But, the house is clean, the child is napping.

I watched my football team get their asses handed to them. Nice one, Seahawks. I'm crying inside, for reals.

I picked a zillion green tomatoes that refused to ripen and now, being the frugalista that I am (I hate letting things go to waste), I'm looking all over for recipes - I'm thinking pickles - for the actual green tomatoes, or maybe some magical way to ripen them.

Most likely, as with my other best laid plans, I'll forget about them outside and will discover green tomato compost sludge next March.

Yes, I have many grand plans. My home is the land of unfinished projects and abandoned hobbies.

Cause to be honest, most of the time, I end up playing an hour of Bejeweled, then run around the house frantically trying to at least pick up and get some dishes done before nap time is over.

Do I wish I were more efficient, that I made the most of my free time? YES. But, you know what? It's MY free time. So I guess I can waste it if I want.

And I could whine and say there's just not enough hours in the day. But if there were, I'd probably waste them too.


Bet Your Bottom Dollar

Today, the BTOH (brown truck of happiness, love that) came. It brought two things- a one piece bathing suit that is a size smaller than the one I had to wear this summer...good thing. Even better? A movie I ordered last week. The first film I remember watching as a little kid.


Oh, I was obsessed. I wanted to BE Annie. I had the soundtrack on tape. I would perch myself on the windowsill in my room (tough, as it was probably only two inches wide) and sing along to 'Maybe'.

Give me a break. I was six, okay?

For many years, I was convinced I was adopted. I blame Annie. Come on, what kid who saw that movie didn't have the fantasy of beng adopted by Daddy Warbucks? I wanted my bath drawn by Mrs. Greer. And Drake to bring my tray. And Mrs. Pew to come take it away. Dammit.

And Miss Hannegan, Rooster and Lily St. Regis? When you're six, scary - no, TERRIFYING. Now, genius. Could the casting have been any better? I LOVE TIM CURRY.

My mother in law were looking at Amazon the other day trying to pick out some movies for the grandkids. And I saw Annie and just wanted so badly to share it with my nieces (and nephews).

But now I'm kind of scared. How will they react in a world of Hannah Montana (ugh), The Jonas Brothers (dry heave) and High School Musical (seriously, do not even get me started).

I'm sorry, but if they don't like it, I'm disowning them (not really...well, maybe).


When It Rains...

On Tuesday, in the midst of my Home Depot drama, I started getting a sore throat.

I thought it was from talking on the phone all day.

Well, no such luck. After pulling a 101.5 temperature yesterday, I decided to hit the walk in clinic last night after B returned home from work (I chose the walk in clinic for two reasons: I don't have a general practitioner and I couldn't get to a doctor during regular business hours).

I had about an hour wait to see the doctor. Which, sad to say, I found quite pleasant. An hour to read magazines and play solitaire on my phone by myself? Dare I say luxurious?

Sitting and being examined, I started to feel like a jackass for seeking medical attention after only feeling poorly for a few days. But then again, I am caring for/living with someone who has a depressed immune system. So, I felt a *little* justified.

The doctor took about a three minute look at me and said, 'Yup, you have influenza.'


So, today, after starting Tamiflu last night, I feel SO much better. Still have a sore throat, but the fever is gone.

Can I get a WOOT WOOT for Tamiflu? Where has this (admittedly expensive) stuff been all my life? Expensive, but dude, how much would you pay not to have a flu that kicks you in the ass for a week?

I'd pay a lot. I mean, I PAID a lot.


As If I Needed Something ELSE On My Plate

On Saturday, my husband decided to tackle the massive brush pile in our backyard. It's been there for two years. Definitely time to go. He rented a wood chipper from Home Depot, and bought the additional insurance (good boy). He was supposed to get instructions for the chipper, but Home Depot didn't have a copy. The rental clerk helped bring the chipper out to the truck, where he watched my husband hook it to the truck hitch to tow it home.

On the way home, my husband was going thirty miles an hour, max. He's fairly experienced in towing things, and knows better than to go flying down the freeway with something in tow.

About halfway home, he felt a pull and an impact on the side of his truck. He looked in the rear view and saw the chipper DRAGGING behind the truck.

He pulled over into a nearby parking lot where he discovered one of the wheels on which the chipper was riding was completely destroyed. After further inspection, he discovered that he had driven over a plate in the road and the chipper had failed to clear the plate (which was raised about three inches off the road surface).

By some stroke of luck, a man came up to him in the lot he'd pulled into and said he had a forklift in back. The very kind gentleman used the forklift to place the chipper into the back of the truck.

My husband drove back to Home Depot, thinking all would be fine as HE'D PURCHASED THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE.

Upon arriving at Home Depot, he learned the insurance was COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.

At this point, they tried to force my husband to take the chipper home, as they had quickly deemed it a complete loss. He refused to take it. Why would we want a destroyed chipper?

Before he left, he was told THREE times they would not charge our check card, but instead would wait until we could contact our insurance company.

He came home, visibly shaken up (Seriously, it was a miracle no one was behind him. This would be a very different story). He called the after hours insurance line who took the information and promised a call back on Monday.

Unfortunately, our auto insurance will not cover the damaged chipper. Maybe, our homeowners will. But only with a $500 deductible.

Monday, I felt the urge to check our bank account online. I felt something was wrong. Boy, was it. Home Depot had gone ahead and put a hold on our account for $1900. What? WHAT?

I called Home Depot and asked for the manager in charge. After several phone calls, she basically told me that the insurance only covered damage while under 'normal use'.

To which I asked "Is the chipper MEANT to be towed?"


"So wouldn't TOWING it to the site where it will be utilized part of NORMAL USE."


"So were we supposed to rent the equipment, and then bring all our scrap wood down to your parking lot and chip it there?"

(No reply)

I will give her this -she reversed the charges off our card. But, they're still sending us to collections.

In the meantime, I'm building my case. It's pretty strong. I've talked to an attorney, I've talked to my insurance adjuster. They both agree we are not at fault.

The Home Depot additional insurance contract reads that we should be covered.

They are choosing to interpret it in a way that absolutely makes no sense. At all. And, in doing so, are acting in bad faith.

Which leads me to ask - what in the world is the insurance policy for if not to protect the consumer? We are insured from all angles. And NO ONE wants to pay.

It's astounding that we take all the proper precautions and are still getting the short end of the stick.

It truly blows my mind that a huge corporation, to whom $2000 is a drop in the bucket, would sell a customer insurance, only to pick and choose what they will cover.

Like I told the manager yesterday, THAT IS OUR MORTGAGE MONEY. We are not irresponsible people. We didn't even ask Home Depot to pay for the damage to our truck.

So come on Home Depot. Step up. Do the RIGHT thing.

I don't feel like fighting right now, but believe me, I will. I'm not a fan of being taken advantage of.


A Meme Saves the Day

Mendie (who is just the sweetest thing) over at The Little Ladybug That Could tagged me for a fun little meme today. And thank God for her, because I clearly am having the most colossal fit of writer's block EVER. So Mendie, you're my hero tonight!

Without further ado, ten things you probably don't know about me.

1) I hate cotton balls. They make my skin crawl. Even worse? That cotton they stuff in your mouth at the dentist...is that necessary? REALLY?

2) I absolutely, positively cannot whistle. Many have taken it as a personal challenge to teach me, but I am unteachable. I think it is physically impossible.

3) I consider condiments a food group. I have at least 30 residing in the door of my fridge. My current favorite? Hoisin sauce.

4) On the subject of condiments, I have been known to drink pickle and olive juice. Digusting? Possibly. Delicious? HECK YES!

5) All of my animals have human names. Our dogs are Carl and Sadie, and our cats are Boris, Bridget and Violet. Why we have five animals is another issue entirely.

6) My husband suggested our son's name (which I will divulge here this once - George). I agreed, after a while. It grew on me. Many asked if he was named after someone, as it's quite old fashioned. I always thought no, we just picked that name. Well, I found out months after our son's arrival that he IS actually named after someone, per my husband - Ken Griffey, Jr., whose real name is George Kenneth Griffey, Jr. However, I like to pretend he is named after George Clooney.

7) I love MMA and UFC. I know. How embarrassing for me.

8) I would eat McDonald's soft serve every day if I could.

9) I do not find either Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt attractive. And yes, I am heterosexual.

10) I still hold the girls high jump record (5'4") at my high school, according to my mother, who still checks on a regular basis (glory days!).

I would tag some peeps, but my brain hurts and, let's face it, I'm LAZY tonight.

Yeah, I said it. LAZY.


Belly Laughs.

So I haven't laughed much lately, but I've got to give props to The Office last night.

I laughed out loud. And cried a little at the end. Cause seriously? Jim? Does such a man REALLY exist?

'I was waiting for my wife'. SOB.

I used to be a hardcore believer that the British version of The Office was superior. I have a weird little crush on Ricky Gervais (he is a genius). Though Steve Carrell is brilliant, Ricky Gervais is painfully hilarious.

So, yeah, this anglophile is maybe converting. The Yankee version, it's growing on me.


Fire in the Sky

The sky last night. Absolutely amazing and several shades of red.

I needed a sky like this. To remember beauty.

For more red, go visit Beth over at I Should Be Folding Laundry.


For Colleen

Today I got news I knew was coming.

I knew it was coming, but I was not ready. Not in the least.

There are some people that you lose contact with, but never forget. For me, my friend Colleen was one of those people. We met in grade school. We played soccer together. She was slight and sprightly with the hugest blue eyes you've ever seen. She had a super cute giggle. Collen was someone who had a truly pure, beautiful soul. Kind, funny, sweet. All those things.

In a word, lovely.

Colleen and I have not been in close contact since we graduated high school, but I have thought of her often. I would get periodic updates from her mom, who I'd run into from time to time.

About five years ago, I was out at my parents' house and her mom showed up. I was the only one at the house. She hugged me hard and we sat down. She told me Colleen had been diagnosed with breast cancer. As she looked in my eyes, her pain bored down into my heart. I ached for her.

Over the past few years, I've heard news from time to time. I could not even fathom the fact that Colleen would lose her battle with cancer. It just never crossed my mind.

I found her on Facebook, and watched in awe as this woman, who was incredibly sick, was living her life with so much vigor.

Colleen lost her battle last night. She was at home. She was, no doubt, enveloped in love.

On October 24, Colleen was going to ride in the Livestrong Challenge in Austin. As of tonight, she has raised $40,830 for the cause.


Tonight, I will cry for Colleen. I will mourn her and celebrate her. I will think of her loving husband and her wonderful family.

I will hope for peace and comfort for those who loved Colleen.

And there were a lot of us.

(If you are so inclined, Colleen's fundraising page is still up. How awesome would it be to get her WAY past her fundraising goal?)


Line Curse

I think there should be an award for ALWAYS choosing the wrong line at the store. And if such an award already exists, I would like to officially nominate myself.

Scenario 1: At Babies r' Us and feeling pretty chipper because my child has not yet thrown a tantrum or hit/pinched/bit me. I spy a line that is only one person deep, which is pretty amazing for a Saturday afternoon. I hop in line. And wait. And wait. Turns out the women in front of me are trying to use expired coupons. And they do not speak English very well. And they are being very rude to the cashier. Ten minutes and two manager calls later, they're finally done and it's my turn. About halfway through MY checkout, they PUSH IN FRONT OF ME and accuse the checker of charging them twice for a pack of diapers. The poor checker is almost in tears and my kid is starting to shriek.
After the they were finally convinced to go to customer service, I rolled my eyes at them for the checker's benefit. I hope it helped.

Scenario 2: At the grocery store. Holding my child with one arm underneath his armpits as he has turned into a human noodle and is trying to escape. Again, the line is only one person deep - but don't you know I get behind the woman who is pissed because the butcher did not open up her jumbo package of chicken breast cutlets, AND REWRAP EACH CUTLET INDIVIDUALLY.
What what what WHAAAAT? Okay, I completely understand not wanting to touch raw chicken, it can be kind of gross. But come on. Sometimes I wish I could get my kid to pinch/hit/bite adults who are behaving badly. Wouldn't THAT be the party trick?

I want to also point out that this was my only time out of the house with just the kid this week. Note to self: Babies r' US and the grocery mid-day on a Saturday do not equal relaxation. Good to know.