I am Gandolf! (sort of)

— 1 —

My lower back has been extremely painful this week. Changing positions is the worst, but I’ve found myself holding my breath because even breathing is painful. And, of course, I showed up at my doctor’s office for a scheduled visit only to find out he’d called in sick that day. And it’s not like getting rides to and from doctors’ appointments is an easy thing for me, so I’ve been in pain and grumpy. I’m currently using a pool cue as a cane until Michael can pick one up for me from the selection at my grandmother’s house, so I do look a bit like Gandolf sans beard.

— 2 —

 The day before the pain hit I took John and made a Kroger run. About halfway through I was miserable, so when I got to the pharmacy at the far end of the store I was spoiling for a fight. This is one of the many reasons I didn’t realize for quite some time that the pharmacy tech was hitting on me! That did perk me up a bit, and since he’d guessed my age as ten years younger than my date-of-birth proved I have him my Nerium card :) He hasn’t bought anything yet, but who knows?!

— 3 —

Since the pain has severely limited my activities I’m savoring the small happy moments – like watching The Walking Dead and Talking Dead with my sixteen-year-old. I think I may enjoy the after-show more than the show itself, mainly because the host, Chris Hardwick, reminds me so much of both my sons. His dark yet goofy sense of humor is right up my alley :)

— 4 —

John and I also watch Face Off, and have every season. This was the first year that we both had a favorite from the very first episode . . . and it’s the same person! Dina, or as we call her, “cake girl”, quit her job decorating cakes to compete on the make-up effects show. She’s doing really well, and we may have to throw a party if she wins!

— 5 —

In other competition show news (yes, I am spending a lot of time lying flat watching TV or reading) I was very sad to see Chris March get the boot on Project Runway All-Stars. I just love him and his over-the-top designs, and wish his solo show would have lasted more than one season.

— 6 —

John learned an important lesson this week. He usually has pretty good manners – he opens more doors for me than Michael, by far. But when he had a friend come home on the bus with him this week I was completely embarrassed. John came in the door, told me, “I have a ton of homework,” and headed for his room, completely ignoring his guest. I limped around, getting the young man a snack and giving him passwords for the laptop in the living room so he could work on his own homework. Then I read John the riot act about never running off to leave a guest to their own devices, no matter what is going on. I insisted that he do his homework in the living room so as to be in the same room and be sociable, or in the dining room if they both needed computer access. He argued, but I think I got through to him how important it is to be a considerate host as well as how to be a considerate guest if the roles were reversed.  After all, haven’t we all been in that position? We have a guest over, but there are things we simply have to do? It’s a hard one for many adults, so if he learns it now it will hopefully serve him well later in life. We’ll see.

— 7 —

Then, this morning, I got a text from John that he’d forgotten to turn in some homework. He can do this by using turnitin.com, and even gets confirmation.  Seriously, how much easier can it be to turn in homework? But he’d forgotten, so I had to log onto his computer with its blue-painted keyboard, find the assignment, and send it. I would have been grumpy, but when I initially logged onto his computer this is what greeted me:
jdesktop
At least the kid doesn’t have self-esteem issues!

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Imgur + Grocery Mistake = Delicious Supper!

John loves Imgur. I’ll hear him giggling away in a corner of the sofa and it’s almost always something he’s pulled up on Imgur.  I Haven’t been sucked in yet, but I was interested when he showed me a sort-of recipe that involved crescent rolls, refried beans, and hamburger. It looked like something that could be put together in less than fifteen minutes (which is about how long I can stand without my back pain becoming more than I can tolerate) and that we’d all like.

So I made a grocery list and John and I went shopping. Michael has been doing most of the grocery shopping lately, and he got into the habit of shopping on the way home from work each evening. You’d think this would be fabulous, very European. The freshest fruits and vegetable, bread hot out of the oven, meats carefully wrapped by the butcher. Not so much.  We ended up heating up canned or frozen meals most nights, and I’m not entirely sure he ever visited the produce section.

This led to my shopping trip with John. I needed something green in my diet, and something that didn’t involve cardboard or cans. The problem was that the grocery was busy and at about the halfway point (Mexican and Oriental aisle) my back was killing me even though John was pushing the cart and doing all the lifting. All I had to do was walk and point, but it was too much. I really, truly felt the need to just sit on the floor and lean against a refrigerated case. So I told John we needed to pick up the pace. I grabbed at what I thought was a package of taco mix. It wasn’t – it was a package of enchilada sauce mix. So here’s what we had for supper (a pain pill and a long rest later). The guys loved it so much I didn’t have the heart to tell them it was a “mistake meal”!
imgur supper
2 pkgs refrigerated crescent rolls
1 can refried beans
1 lb ground chuck, cooked and drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup shredded chopped cheddar
1/3 cup picante sauce
1 cup enchilada sauce mix
toppings of your choice (sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, etc)

Preheat oven to 375.
Once meat is drained stir in enchilada sauce packet and set aside.
Roll out one package crescent rolls on cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray.
Press seams together to form large rectangle.
Spread refried beans on rectangle.
Top with beef.
Add onions and cheese.
Add picante sauce.
Roll out second package of crescent rolls on countertop and seal seams.
Place on top of other ingredients and seal edges with tines of fork.
Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Slice and serve with your choice of toppings.
Serves four.

printable version

End Your Week With Happy Kids!

— 1 —

My thirty-year high school reunion was this past weekend.  I didn’t go, but I was totally stalking the whole thing on Facebook. Everyone looked wonderful, and it sounded like they all had a great time.  But Michael was working, and I just couldn’t take my high-school BFF up on her offer of being my transport. It’s an eighty mile trip each way, and she’s a busy teacher with a lot going on in her life. To be completely honest, I was a little afraid to go. My memory just isn’t anything close to what it used to be. I don’t know if it’s the pain, the meds, the stress, or some combination of them all, but I have huge gaps in my memory. Even with nametags on I’d think – “I know him. We were in homeroom together.” Then I’d realize that wasn’t possible because homerooms were alphabetical. And some names brought no memories. I can honestly say I knew nearly every single person in our graduating class of six hundred . . . but I can’t remember the teachers, the classes, the funny stories – it’s all just gone. And that horrifies me, because I loved high school. Also, how would I answer when people asked, “What are you up to?” I mean, I don’t want to lie, but an honest response would kinda put a damper on the party mood, ya know? Talk of disability, suicide attempts, looming foreclosure, etc is a downer at parties.

— 2 —

 John and I were able to catch up on the episodes of Doctor Who we’d missed in time to watch the finale together on Saturday. It was a fabulous way to celebrate the end of Marching Season and a break for us all. I wish there were more shows Michael and I enjoyed watching together, but John and I have a whole list: Walking Dead and Talking Dead are our favorites, but Doctor Who and Face Off are a ton of fun as well.

— 3 —

In fact, SPOILER ALERT we were debating how long Eugene would last with the group now that he’s admitted he has no “secret cure”. Then there he was on Talking Dead afterwards, mullet still intact, so obviously he last quite a bit longer on the show. BTW, is there anyone else who finds the post-Apocalypse Beth more appealing than the actress herself? For some reason she annoys me.

— 4 —

I did host my first Nerium Twitter Party on Tuesday as planned. It wasn’t a big crowd, and I still ran over a bit, so I’m going to have to edit it down before I do it again. There are just so many important facts to share about Nerium, and so many fantastic pictures! Editing my Facebook and Twitter Parties for Nerium is harder than editing a manuscript.

— 5 —

Speaking of manuscripts, I’ve been a NaNoWriMo slacker this week. I could make all sorts of excuses, but what it comes down to is I just plain didn’t do it. Right now finances are more important, so Nerium comes first. Someday I will make money from my writing, but with Nerium I get paid every week. So that’s where my time and energy is going. Here’s my Nerium website if you have no idea what I’m talking about. It truly can make huge changes in the way you look and the money in your bank account!

— 6 —

John turned sixteen on Wednesday! Unlike his older brother, he’s in no hurry to get his permit.  He thinks things through very thoroughly, and is appropriately cautious about the responsibilities driving will entail. Of course there’s also the issue of the sole car in the family being a massive tank that simply can’t be parallel parked. That’s going to have to be rectified before he can take his actual driving test!

— 7 —

Last night I got to spend some time with the Kennedy Kaboodle for the first time in a LONG time! Even though Maeve slept through my entire visit I filled up on baby cuddling and little boy hugs. Then I got an update from Rachel on her 5K training and her favorite story in mythology. SO nice to hang out with people who understand just getting through the crazy day-to-day and enjoying the moments as they come.  And I always come away with great app or plugin suggestions, a new book idea, and some new songs in my head (in a 45-minute drive!)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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