Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'd Be Thankful For Some Help...

I think we've established that I'm not exactly domestic and that Ben and I have had our dining issues.

I managed to shock my new co-workers when I described my lack of cooking skills and the fact that I only know how to make about 4 things.  Apparently I'm the only one who buys alfredo sauce in a jar rather than making it (hello, isn't that why they sell it in a jar?), and who prefers to make cookies from the convenient little bags of cookie mix that can be found at the store, rather than making them from scratch (seriously, who has that kind of time?)

My big problem is that I simply don't enjoy cooking.  It's a chore.  It's not how I want to spend my free time.  I am missing the gene that tells me that something need a little more cinnamon, or what to do if something tastes too salty.  I'm just not that girl!

Somewhere, Julia Child is rolling over in her grave.

Also, our lack of creativity when it comes to our evening meal is really starting to bug me.  I feel like we recycle the same 5 or 6 options (most of which include pasta).  As much as I love spaghetti, enough is enough!

I know I'm a long way from being voted Happy Homemaker Of The Year, but I'm determined to branch out a bit!

So, this week, I'd be incredibly thankful for some recipe suggestions!  Yes, this is an anticipatory Thankful Thursday.  I'm planning on being thankful when you, my darling readers, come to my rescue and give me some meal suggestions!!!

Now, keep in mind, that my cooking skills are somewhat limited.  I'm not completely useless in the kitchen (I've even been known to cook pasta without the pot boiling over), but let's just pretend (for kicks) that I know nothing about cooking, am about 5 years old, and have the attention span of a cocker spaniel!  So, any suggestions need to be relatively simple (oh, pretty please). 

Yes, this is my official plea for help (as well as my great big THANK YOU).

Do you have a recipe for me???

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The economy is crap.  The stock market tanked again.  People are losing jobs, losing money, losing their get the idea.

I feel like I've taken up permanent residence in "limbo-land", as I've come to lovingly refer to this constant state of "I don't know what's next".

The move, the loss of a steady paycheck, the addition of multiple expenses - these things have been making me nuts!

Aside from the actual stress of job hunting (which, for those of you who have not had to job hunt in the last couple of years, blows), I've been dealing with the dilemma of whether to hold out for "the job" or just find "a job". 

Was it too much to ask to find a job that I actually cared about?  To find a job that utilized the administrative skills that I've come to embrace (yet that somehow manage to elude me at home)?  Was it too much to hope to find a job that didn't make me feel like the last 4 years of my life spent as a nanny were a total waste?  Impossible to think that I'd be able to work with people that I actually enjoyed and who made me feel like a valuable member of a team rather than a "worker bee"?

Apparently it wasn't too much to ask, or hope for, or expect, because I have found my job! 

Not only is it a job that I will totally rock at, but it's a job that makes use of all my skills, that will challenge me, that will allow me the opportunity to "give back" a bit, and one that I know will be so  much more than the "paycheck job" I was dreading having to settle for.  There will be no settling here!

Tomorrow is my first official day of work, so on this particular Thankful Thursday, I'm incredibly thankful to have found my new job!

Monday, September 19, 2011


This entire post might be a complete over share, but here goes anyway.

I am tired of cleavage crumbs. 

You heard me right - I am constantly finding crumbs in my cleavage...and I'm officially sick of it!

Let me elaborate.  I don't wear low cut tops - in fact, I prefer to cover up "the girls", and I don't consider myself a terribly messy eater (aside from the random dribble).  But, somehow, no matter what I do, I always end up with crumbs in my cleavage.  As if having a large chest isn't bad I have to worry about attracting ants down my shirt!

Most often I'm aware that some of my food has defected from my mouth in search of solace within the confines of my boobs, though more than a few times I have found a lovely little surprise waiting for me when I change clothes.  " M&M!"
It's terrible (not to mention uncomfortable)!

At some point over the last year or so, my boobs began attracting little bits of whatever I happen to be eating.  Crackers, cookies, sandwiches, macaroni, cereal, rice, salad - you name it, I've had to dig it out of my bra.  I try to be discrete about evacuating the debris from my chest, but honestly, how likely is it that I could be wrist deep down my shirt without someone noticing? 

Some people are destined to spill - no matter what they eat, it ends up across the front of them.  But not me - no, instead I seem destined to carry bits of my meals around with me in my own little hands-free "to go" box.

Do I need to stop eating things that come apart when you bite into them?  Do I need to run everything through a blender and sip it through a straw?  Do I need to invest in turtlenecks from now on?

I simply don't know what to do about the cleavage crumbs!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Heart Fall

Last night, I stepped outside with the dog, felt the chilly night air, took a deep breath, and loved seeing that soft plume of fog when I exhaled. 

Fall is on the way.

I love fall.  I love sunny crisp afternoons.  I love the leaves that seem to change overnight from the soft green of summer to brilliant fall shades of orange, yellow and red.  I love the cooler temperatures that require jeans and jackets.  I love that fall means football season.

This time of year, I feel like I can look forward to the upcoming holidays with anticipation, rather than a mild panic attack at the idea of having to Christmas shop, decorate, cook, and attempt to maintain my weight through yet another holiday season.

Fall is the deep breath before the insanity that seems to be the winter months.  We don't have to worry about crowded shopping malls and grocery stores.  We aren't faced with icy roads or snow days.  We can (usually) walk from a parking lot to a store without getting frostbite.

These are the days of sweatshirts, fleece, cozy afternoons, and hot drinks. 

I love fall, and today, having a glimpse of what's to come, I'm thankful for fall in Ohio!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Belated Thanks

I've lost track of what day it is, and didn't remember that yesterday was Thursday until about 11:30 p.m.

So, my "Thankful Thursday" post is a day late.

Yesterday, I was most thankful for good customer service.  Let me elaborate.

My car has been...temperamental (to put it mildly) over the last couple of years.  It's only 6 years old, has less than 75,000 miles on it, but for some reason, every few months something goes wrong.

Last Saturday, as we were driving back from the Ohio State game, the "check engine" light came on.  Shortly after, my car somehow lost the ability to accelerate from a dead stop to about 30 mph without me completely flooring it. 

Now, it's done this before, and when we took it in they couldn't figure out what was wrong, because the transmission had somehow magically corrected itself, and there wasn't anything to fix.

Being that it was a holiday weekend, we knew that we'd have to make due until at least Tuesday when the repair shops opened.

Long story short (too late), I took my car into a local auto repair shop yesterday morning, they had it for about an hour, and called to tell me that it needed to be taken to a transmission shop for further analysis.

The man I dealt with was incredibly nice, and didn't end up charging me for the testing that they'd done (though he would have been well within his rights and my expectations to do so).  I was also absolutely delighted when he didn't talk to me like I was a slow 6 year old, as I'm sure other women have experienced in auto shops.

So, when I arrived at the transmission shop, I was once again pleasantly surprised at the way I was dealt with.  The woman behind the counter was friendly, efficient, and gave a clear timetable for what they would do for me. 

A few hours later, as promised, one of the repair guys called, gave me a breakdown (which I actually understood) of what they had done, what the situation was, and what else they were going to do. 

Basically, as before, my car had magically fixed itself so they couldn't pinpoint exactly what the malfunction had been.

When I went to pick up my car, it was ready to go upon my arrival, the repair guy came out and chatted with me, basically saying "I could throw a new sensor on it for ya, but if it was my car, I'd just drive it for a while before putting money into it.  Here's your keys - no charge for the testing." 

SCORE!!!  Since when do repair shops encourage you to walk out without making a repair, changing out a whatchamacallit, or replacing the most expensive part they can think of?


This is what I love - folks who are good at what they do, who understand that we don't all have bottomless pockets filled with cash, and who are aware that some of us genuinely appreciate (and expect) good customer service (and who don't act like they're doing us a favor by doing their jobs). 

Needless to say, both auto shops have made a loyal customer out of me!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2 Years

Today is our 2 year anniversary.  Seriously, where has the time gone???

In honor of me getting to marry my best friend and love of my life exactly 2 years ago, here's a quick look at some of my favorite wedding day pics.

 Our wedding day brunch before the official festivities began (thanks Susan and Jerry for hosting!)

The boys are all ready to go!

A quick hug from Mom...

The ladies are ready to go...

Walking down the aisle with my favorite little man...

Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin Whaley

Our entire family!

A dance with Dad...

Oh, what a night!

Ben, thanks for the best 2 years of my life - looking forward to many more!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Joys Of Apartment Living

In the last several weeks, we managed to pack up enough stuff to fill a 2,000 square foot house, move it from California to Ohio, and somehow squeeze it into a 900 square foot apartment. 

No easy task.

We're adjusting to having half of our stuff in boxes, we're embracing being able to walk from one end of the apartment to the other in about 3 seconds, and we're even dealing with the fact that if we drive into the parking lot after 7:00 pm, there is no parking anywhere near our building.

All of these issues - no big deal.  We'll make it work, we always do, and when the day finally comes that we can move into a house, it will seem simply palatial after this!

But...the one thing that I simply can't seem to wrap my head around...the mysterious sounds coming from upstairs.

We have the loudest neighbors EVER!!!  Honestly, I'm not exaggerating.  It's ridiculous!  Far worse than the typical walking around, flushing of toilets, dog barking (yes, they have a small dog that barks constantly) that you'd expect to hear while in close proximity to someone else.  No, no, this is an entirely different situation.

We cannot figure out what exactly they're doing to make such noise, and at such odd times of the day!  I could probably learn to ignore the constant banging, thumping, and scurrying, if only I could figure out what was causing it in the first place.  It's a mystery and I don't like it!

At first, we wondered if they were amateur bowlers, working on their release in the narrow hallway leading from the living room to the bedroom, however we live about 2 minutes from a bowling alley, so why not go there to practice.  Then we considered the possibility that they were perhaps doing some psychotic form of kickboxing or Wii Fit situation, but the sounds aren't rhythmic enough to have that seem like the explanation.  It was also possible that they are herding sheep, but given the tight quarters that we live in, that seems unlikely.

I'm trying to figure out if there's a scenario in which I could go up there during the noise making to, oh I don't know, borrow a cup of sugar or ask directions to a restaurant and subtly sneak into the conversation "By the way, what the hell are you people doing up here?!?!"

Thumping, running, banging - what possible explanation could there be for the sounds that we hear on a daily basis coming from our ceiling?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Feels Like Home

This week, I'm thankful that Ohio feels like home!
We've been in Ohio for almost 3 weeks, and it's finally hit me that we actually live here now. 

Ben is learning his way around, we're continuing to get our apartment organized, and best of all, we are figuring out where to find important staples like wine and toilet paper in our new grocery store!!! 

While we've taken advantage of having my parents in close proximity, I feel like we're also spreading our wings a bit.

We don't rely on them to keep our social calendar full, in fact, we've managed to keep ourselves fairly busy without their help! 

As we continue to pull away from California - finally getting around to cancelling our California health and auto insurance coverage, getting local cell numbers, and seriously discussing going to the DMV to get Ohio licenses and plates - I find that we're settling in quite nicely. 

When we first arrived, I felt the need to check in with Ben every day with subtle questions like "Are you glad we moved here?", "Do you still like it?", and "If you hated it here, you'd tell me, right?"

Fortunately for both of us, we're very happy with our decision to move to Ohio. 

However, if we weren't, I'm pretty sure we'd be stuck here, because I honestly don't know if I can do that cross country drive again!