Thursday, November 16, 2017

When all else fails, try killing everyone with toxic fumes!

Sooooooooooo…Tuesday morning, I tried to murder everyone in the house with poison gas.

True story.

SEE, what happened was, I had cleared out a bunch of way-too-old jars of food from the old pantry – you know, the home canned kind.

Which meant that I had a ton of those Tattler reusable jar lids and gaskets that needed to be cleaned. And the way I usually do that is to plop them into a saucepan of boiling water for 3-5 minutes.

So on my lunch break Tuesday, I dumped them into a saucepan and put them on the stove and carried on reloading the dishwasher. (You already see where this is going.)

I only had a somewhat tiny window on that deal, because frankly I have been not only in back to back meetings since about mid-September, but back to back intense meetings where I have had to be (ahem) rather vocal about what was being talked about, because there is a lot of Crazy going on lately, and the Mandates™ are coming from places that neither know nor care about how those Mandates™ are going to impact what we do, because what we do is very a-typical of what most applications in Wholesale do, and, well…we’re a round peg, we just don’t fit into square holes.

For bonus points, we’re one of those round pegs that support an awful lot of external structures. If we trip over our own shoelaces, we can potentially pull down nine other applications as we fall, and give literally tens of thousands of users across all those applications skinned knees and bloody noses.

Which, you know: Not on MY watch, dude.

Soooooo, yeah. I’m a bit protective of our little patch, and take a very dim view of people who have no idea what they’re doing tugging on the loom upon which our tangled web is woven all willy-nilly. And not skipping any of those meetings, because that’s always when they try to just casually slip something I’ve already flicked off the table back onto everybody’s plates.

But then as I was wildly shoving dirty plates in the general direction of the dishwasher, I got a text message from one of the kids saying she was ready to be picked up, and, knowing that my next meeting was starting too-shortly thereafter, I naturally immediately dropped everything, grabbed my keys and ran out the door.

Then came skidding back through the door two seconds before the next argument meeting was to start, and jumped straight into that and was fighting with someone within about three seconds flat and then I kinda-sorta completely forgot about the blasted canning lids and gaskets bubbling away on the stove…?

About 30-40 minutes of verbal sparring (“RULES!” “REALITY!” “RULES!” “REALITY!”) later, I hear the husband yelling “WHAT’S BURNING?!” from the other room, and then my brain went, “OH, that reminds me: You’ve got a bunch of plastic boiling on the stove, you might wanna go check on that.”


Friends…there are no words for just how bad the fumes those hard plastic canning lids put out when they are, you know, on fire.

I’m not just talking about the smell (which for the record was incredibly awful), I’m talking fumes that even in the furthest reaches of the house were setting eyes watering, throats burning, and lungs protesting.

Definitely “get the heck outta the house, now” levels of bad.

Naturally, I did not just immediately vacate the house. hahahahahaha, no, silly, THAT would have been the SENSIBLE thing to do!

Instead I grabbed the now-very-offensive (and also spewing white clouds of toxins) pot and ran it out to the backyard, then ran through the house flipping on all the fans and slamming open all the windows, and then I scuttled out of the house to join my shivering family on the driveway.

…my eyes were watery for hours

…but then again…it did get me out of meetings for a bit…


Yeah. At the end of all things?

…Worth it!…

(Not really. I’m still a bit mad at myself about it. But, nobody was actually hurt so I’m sure I’ll get over it. Just, geez, Me, of all the fool things to do, forgetting and letting the water boil away until the plastic was doing the boiling? Not your finest hour, honey…)

Monday, September 04, 2017

What I Want vs. What I Actually Buy

Our espresso machine is on the fritz. It can still be coaxed into producing that sweet, sweet elixir of life, but, the writing is definitely on the wall.

In neon.


This…is not OK, people.

SO NATURALLY, I am on Amazon this morning checking out new espresso makers. Because I am not about to allow civilization itself to utterly collapse around here.

…let the (mind) games…begin!

Hmmmm, this Saeco is awful sexy

…fully automatic, programmable, self-cleaning?!?!, oh, keep whispering those sweet nothings to me, baby…oh, but, also two THOUSAND dollars, ummmmmmm, yeah-OK, er, NEXT…!

Ah! KitchenAid makes an espresso maker?! A red one that looks like something out of a 50s pop-shop?!?! Tell me more, Oh Brand I (Mostly) Trust and Am VERY Fond Of!

….aaaaaaaaaaaand, $839 dollars. Ahem. Moving on

{repeat that basic scenario of going “ooooooooo! aaaaaaaaaah! wait, how much? er, um, what else do you have…” about three hundred times, until eventually…}

“…yeah, so, um…thanks for spending, like, two hours showing me every single thing you have, Amazon, and if you’d just, you know, toss one of these into a box and send it on over, that’d be greaaaaaaaat…”

…yeah, I’m going to end up buying exactly what I bought ten years ago, and for exactly the same reasons.

  • Gets the one (1) job we want it for done
  • Has a modest footprint on the counter
  • Doesn’t have a whole lot of fancy doohickeys to break / lose / not-get-snapped-back-in-place-just-so-resulting-in-a-huge-mess
  • Does not require a degree in physics and/or mathematics to figure out how to use it.


Still, I find these exercises in mental gymnastics a bit fascinating because honestly? Just like anybody else, I’m attracted to what is shiny and new. I am very interested in things that are “modern,” things that would make me feel like I was being pampered, things that would say, “Life is showering all the blessings upon me, for lo! I am its favorite child.”

And it always, always amuses me when I engage in these kinds of “wants all the super-fancy things => spends ridiculous amounts of time arguing with herself about allllllll the possibilities => ultimately settles on something much less expensive than originally desired that gets the core job done” exercises.

Left to itself, my basic nature would be much more on the hedonistic, instant-gratification side.

I am impulsive. I am also impatient. I want things now, and I want to put as little effort into getting what I want as humanly possible.

I am also more than a bit reckless, to be honest. Because in related news, I am also a hopeless optimist, so, in my mind? Things will always work out.

…they just…will…somehow or other…

In other words, my basic nature is a manufacturer’s dream. I am exactly the kind of person who is already screaming “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!” before they’ve even gotten to slide two of the sales pitch.

But, over the last twenty years, the core habits of the LBYM lifestyle have become engrained in me. I don’t even “have to” make myself stop and walk through the steps involved – it just happens.

It is literally just as automatic for me to start bumping up what I actually need and what I value the most against what I’m proposing to purchase in order to scratch that itch as it is for me to be captivated by the sales pitch in the first place.

And to start challenging myself whenever I try to insist that I neeeeeeeeeeeed some feature I do not currently have, and have not even thought about as a thing I needed before I saw the advertisement about it being A Thing.

AND asking myself whether or not I’d still be content with my choice if, say, the washer/dryer went out next month instead of “probably at some point between January and May of next year” like I expect them to – would I then resent the blasted coffee maker if having spent the money on it meant I couldn’t buy the new set I really wanted? (…ohhhhh, heck yes I would…I would despise that new coffee maker if it had taken cash I desperately needed two months later for a “really good” new washer/dryer…)

It still amazes me that I can be that way. That I, of ALL people, have the ability to stop myself when I see something shiny and pretty and awesome and approach the problem with, you know, cold, boring old LOGIC instead.

Which is why I still firmly believe that pretty much anybody can learn how to live below their means.

C’mon: If someone as reckless, impulsive and overly-optimistic as me can get to a point where that kind of “whoa up, there, cowgirl, let’s reexamine this here deal a bit, run it through the old sanity check right quick, because this has ‘I might regret this later’ written all over it” thing is as automatic as the “ooooooooooo, that is so cool and so shiny and I want it real bad!” impulse that triggers it?

Anybody can.

True story, y’all.

True story.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Knock-knock, Mocha-Fudger

OMG, YOU GUYS! I got a Knock-Knock Mocha-Fudger for Mother’s Day!!!! (<= fair warning, The Bloggess uses the actual-grownup words – if you’ve got a little one reading over your shoulder, might want to save that hysterical and oh-so-relatable read for nap-time).


I love him. He made me laugh so hard, and I want to put him somewhere that I can see from my office window, so that I can burst into hysterical giggles at random all day long – preferably during long, boring, ever-so-serious meetings.

I also got this last night from Boo Bug, who made it herself.

I just about fell out of my chair when she brought that in. I even saw the cookies being baked, but didn’t think they were for, you know, me! Let alone going to be turned into this!

Just, wow.

Mother’s Day is supposed to be all about gushing about how much we love our mothers, and how much they love us, and talking endlessly about everything they have and continue to do for us.

And IMHO it is very important to do that, because frankly an awful lot of What Moms Do is all about little everyday things that nobody ever thinks much about, or even notices get done on a regular basis – unless, of course, it doesn’t get done.

But you know what? For me at least, what I get from being a mom is a lot more than what I give.

For me, being a mom is a privilege. It makes me a part of the future. What I give to my kids will keep on going long after I’ve left this world; some of what I’ve taught my kids will be taught to theirs, and so on and so on down through generations to come.

Plus, I find that hanging out with my kids is better than all the anti-depressants in the world whenever I’m feeling kind of bleh – which I have to admit seems to have been happening an awful lot these last couples years.

I’m just…well…tired, I guess. My hormones are all whacked out, I seem to boomerang from not being able to sleep to oversleeping, and my mood keeps just whizzing all over the place, because, #HormonesSuck, #CanPerimenopauseBeDoneNowPlz, #GrowingOldAintForSissys.

But my kids, well, they keep me going. They give me a reason to keep on getting up and doing the old try, try again day after day – no matter how hard the Universe is slamming its hand down on the lever trying to flush my whole life right down the cosmic toilet.

They’re full of fun and cool ideas and a unique way of looking at the world. They motivate me. They give me new ideas to ponder, new projects to undertake, a new way of thinking about all the same old problems.

They make me laugh on days when all I want to do is scream, shake my fist at the world, mutter a few curse words and then hide under my desk until the day I die.

They can relight my inner fire whenever it goes out, far faster than I could do it all on my own – with well-placed witty remarks, really bad puns, and the occasional offhand remark that starts with, “Have you ever noticed that…” and ends with me going, “…whoamind…BLOWN, dude…

And occasionally…they even buy me metal roosters for my garden, and give me delicious bouquets made of love (and also cookies).


I am definitely the luckiest, most blessed mom in the world, and I wouldn’t trade a single hair on any of their heads for all the tea in China.