One Lovely Mystery

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I’m making an exception to my never-having-time-to-do-tags anymore to do a tag by one of my favorite bloggers and friend, Mischenko. She has so graciously nominated me for both of these awards plus I like the title because I like to think I’m a lovely mystery on occasion. Anyway, thank you Mischenko. You obviously know how inspiring you are to me; especially when it gets me gifted with expensive blenders 😉

RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself
7 More Facts about me:
  • I am very good at finding things on the internet especially a good deal because I’m cheap and poor
  • I did my own hair and makeup for my wedding because I’m weird and felt that nobody was else was good enough at doing my hair and I used a Youtube tutorial for basic makeup
  • On a regular day, I don’t wear makeup at all. Too much work and I think it makes me look like a different person
  • I hate wearing dresses unless it’s absolutely necessary. I hate wearing heels more. I’m all about comfy clothes and would come to work in my pajamas if I could
  • I have a younger sister. Most people think I’m an only child though cause we rarely talk to each other
  • Which leads into my family is very dramatic so I make it a point to see them a couple times of year cause I can’t handle more than a couple hours at a time
  • But I have a huge extended family through my friends network and I’m super grateful for that.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

This award was originally created by Maggie @okoto enigma

“Mystery blogger award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

RULES:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Since I just shared 7 things, I’m just going to answer Mischenko’s question.

Mischenko’s Questions:


1. What’s your ideal pet?

I already have 2 cats and a painted turtle. My next ideal pet is most definitely a dog. I’ve only ever had a dog as a pet once in my entire life and I love him still. He was a pit-bull/lab mix named Cinnaman (cause he was the man) and he was mine. He lived to be the ripe old age of 14 years old. Since his passing I’ve vowed that if I ever get another dog it will be a pit bull mix of some sort.

2. What’s your favorite food? 

Lol, I don’t even know how to answer that. I love eating. It’s life. For the past couple days it’s been KFC fried chicken. I also love sushi and alfredo and steak and zucchini fries and authentic ramen and pho. I love food.

3. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

If I could do over anything I would probably have chosen to go to community college instead of a private college. Student loan debt is not fun and I wish it would go away faster. I definitely don’t regret the friends or the experiences but expensive college is overrated considering my degree is sitting on a shelf collecting dust.

4. What is your favorite music?

Girl! I just love music! I will pretty much listen to any genre except country (sorry folks, I can’t take the southern twang) oh and also Taylor Swift. Not of fan of her at all. I love artists such as Pentatonix, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Prince, Pink, Ed Sheeran, Gavin Degraw, Evanescence, Lindsay Sterling, Leona Lewis, Radiohead and occasionally I will jam on some classic Disney tunes. Yes, I am that friend that will sing in dance in public if I know and like the song. I’m always discovering new music though from listening to Pandora and Tidal all day.

5. Who do you most admire in life?

I pretty much admire anyone who is following their dreams and accepting people of all walks of life no matter their skin color, religion, gender, any of that. Life is way too short to worry about those things especially with much bigger problems going on in the world. I also admire everyone taking steps to protect the environment and the animals that live within it whether that be lifestyle changes or volunteering or donating. Oh! I also admire authors because they keep me sane with all their wonderful pieces of gold, silver and precious gems that make me even more poor but super rich at the same time.

My favorite posts will have to be my stories. Just click the “story” tag and you’ll find them. I still can’t believe half of them are my life but I enjoy sharing them with you all and bringing smiles to your faces each day. I also like my endangered posts cause they bring awareness and Facebook Friday posts seem to be a hit as well. (I really like my blog can you tell?) 😀


Consider yourselves tagged. I’m too lazy to list people and I know I’m not the only one who has tags upon tags on the back burner. Again, I made an exception because Mischenko is very influential in my life and I love her. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you’re missing out and you should probably remedy that situation!

Trip Takeaways

As you all probably know by now, the husband and I went on a little road trip this past weekend to visit my very pregnant friend whom I haven’t seen in years. It was a pretty chill weekend as she can’t move very much due to her load but I did learn a few things that I’ve decided to share with you all today.

  • All gas stations are not created equal

The hunt for a toothbrush had never been so tough until this weekend. Normally, when we go on a trip we take our electric toothbrush and spare toothbrush heads. Our toothbrush has been on the fritz lately and I think it’s dying after so many years of service. I figured we could take our toothpaste and just buy a pack of toothbrushes at the first gas station we stopped at. Wrong! Unlike the many gas stations in Ohio, the one’s in PA don’t care toothbrushes or toothpaste or any hygiene related products in general. I was seriously baffled and we ended up getting a pack from a pharmacy eventually.

  • Service plazas are better than rest stops

There is a distinct difference! I didn’t know that before. A rest stop has janky bathrooms and vending machines. A service plaza has all kinds of food options and huge fancy bathrooms! I think all rest stops should be converted to service plazas just to make any and all road trips more pleasant.

  • Cash only doesn’t really mean cash only

We are huge fans of not taking the super scenic route when it comes to getting to our destination quickly. That means we are on the turnpike for as long as we can be paying at each toll road. I usually take out enough cash to cover the tolls both ways. Pennsylvania, we found out, has ridiculous toll prices. We pulled up to one with this huge yellow sign that said “CASH ONLY” and was ready to pay only to find out I did not have enough cash on me and the husband didn’t have any cash on me. I freaked for about 10 seconds until the lady was like “do you have a card?” Well, well, well! Toll road signs lie! They will except plastic just so you know and aren’t like me freaking out and trying to see if there’s an ATM embedded in the mountain somewhere.

  • Human babies in the womb freak me out

I got to touch my friend’s 9 months pregnant belly and, guys, aliens exist. I felt it’s (she doesn’t know the gender so it’s an it) head moving around in there and it got the hiccups and it was extremely weird and my husband and I just had huge “woah” faces on. It’s really cool but really freaking freaky.

  • Third party bookings can overcharge you

This is real! I booked our hotel through Hotels.com because once you buy a certain number of nights, you get one free and they always talk about how they have the lowest prices. I’m not saying it’s always not true but in this case lowest prices were a lie. I prepaid to get locked in at the price even though you have the option to pay later. When we got to the hotel, I asked for a receipt to make sure the numbers matched up only to discover I had been overcharged! Hotels.com quoted me $70/night but the actual hotel only charged $50/night. I called customer service so fast! If it was a couple dollars difference I wouldn’t have made a fuss but that’s a $20 difference. Luckily they were great about it refunded me the difference. For the future, booking through third party is great but I would still call the hotel or go to their website and double check the prices for your booking dates to see if they match.

  • Reviews are always harsh and

The reviews for our hotel were pretty decent but I feel like some people were just flat out rude. Our stay was pretty comfortable and the staff was pretty friendly for the price we paid. There were a few things we wished could be better but we were int a 5 star Caesar’s Palace (and even those people still find something to complain about) but for the price we paid, it was a great stay. Look for the honest reviews when you’re looking at them, not the negative nancies who are being negative for the sake of being mean.

  • David’s Tea is the new Teavana

We went to this giant mall called King of Prussia and stumbled upon David’s Tea in there because my husband loooves loose leaf tea. We ended up buying all the oolong flavors including one called Lemon Pound Cake and let me tell you, it smells exactly like it’s title! We also got this one called Hot Chocolate which is a pu’erh tea (blacker than black tea) with literal chunks of milk and dark chocolate in it. I’m excited to drink these!


There you have it. My takeaways this trip. In about a month and a half, there will be another trip but this time we’re taking a plane instead of driving. Have you experienced any takeaways from a recent trip that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

Death By Chocolate

The following story may make you sad or it might make you laugh. Or maybe a little of both. Either way, before you proceed, here’s your warning that your reaction may be completely different from mine.

My place of work is in a rural part of NE Ohio. If you live in a rural area then you know 1) the only fast food place you’ll likely have nearby is McDonald’s and it’s going to be at least 3 or more miles away; 2) downtown is postage stamp size and 3) there are a lot of wild animals that like to make their appearance in or around your house not normally seen when you live near a city. There are other indicators that prove you live in a rural setting of course but those are the main three in my opinion.

My job consists of a small building that was later built upon. So there’s the office side and then the plant side where all the hustle and bustle takes place. The plant attracts all kinds of critters who are looking to find a warm place to sleep. Just yesterday we pulled a shipment out of storage and it was covered in raccoon pawprints. Not only have raccoons made an appearance but in the last couple of months we’ve had a groundhog run through, birds flying around as well as stray cats making a home.

Yo-Yo was this year’s cat. He stumbled in right before winter and made the plant his home. This is a normal occurrence and Mr. Grumps usually befriends them and ends up taking them home. He’s accumulated four cats this way.

Anyway, the story goes like this. On my desk, I like to keep candy out for the guys in the plant. It’s a way to get them to come visit me and to make their hardworking days sweeter. Before it was just mini packs of Skittles and Starburst. One day, I decided to ask them what their favorite candy was and the general consensus seemed to be a Hershey chocolate variety. I went to Sam’s Club and bought the big bag of Hershey mix and a second bowl of candy was added to my desk.

A few weeks ago, I would walk into my office to find shredded candy wrappers either on the ground or on my desk. Something was eating my chocolates. I told everyone about how I was finding these perfectly unwrapped wrappers and was told there was a ghost in the place since it’s been open since 1971. The other theory was one of those raccoons has been helping himself and prefers chocolate over Skittles. So of course I started getting scared I was going to walk in my office and raccoon would be sitting on my desk. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked many years in wildlife rehab but raccoons are mean so you just never know. This became an ongoing mystery for days and I started locking the candy in a filing cabinet at the end of the day.

Last week our resident chocolate ghost mystery was solved. When Mr. Ghost can’t get chocolate (poor shunned Skittles), he goes next door to my co-workers office for her coffee. She sometimes forgets to dump it because we get caught up in work and there was one such occasion when she came in and there was a tipped coffee cup with a trail of coffee across her desk.

She came in, like she normally does, and grabbed her coffee cup to dump the old and fill with fresh. I was talking to Mr. Grumps when all of sudden we here this scream and she’s like “NEL! GRUMPS! Come see this now!” I’m like oh god. Grumps walks in front of me and HE screams and jumps back! Now I don’t want to look but of course I do anyway. In the sink was a little, dead field mouse. I’m like “Where did that come from?!?!?” and she goes, “my coffee cup…..” I burst out laughing because I’m a terrible person and say, “That’s the ghost??!”. You see when Mr. Mouse couldn’t get into my Hershey bowl, he went into her office to get some of that mocha deliciousness. The last time it happened, her coffee was in a paper cup so he was able to knock it over. This time, he was a tall ceramic cup and the poor little guy fell to his doom and drowned.

For now, I’ve decided not to keep any more chocolate on my desk at least until winter time where hopefully all these little critters are in hibernation somewhere.

Anniversary

Long time ago back in like 2004ish? (I can’t remember specifics), Nel was a young kid getting excited for high school. Because of certain neighborhood events that occurred, my mother decided she wanted to move away. Since this move was happening right around school starting and my mom didn’t like the ratings of the school district in the area we were moving to, she decided to homeschool me and my sister. I don’t know if the school still exists but it was my first venture into the world wide web. There was a homework help chat room a lot of us would frequent and not talk about homework.

One day this cool guy comes strolling in the chat room legitimately looking for homework help. It was pretty comical at first but he really wanted to get a good grade and back then I was great at math. He was looking for help with understanding Algebra II quadratic equations. So I decided to help him. So we get on Skype and I share my screen so he can follow how I’m solving the equations. I’m sitting here explaining the steps and he interrupts me to say he didn’t really care about the process; that he just wanted me to give him the answers. Of course, I said you won’t learn that way if I just give you the answers but he didn’t care. I can’t remember if I caved or not and did his homework. Definitely sounds like what a hopeless 16 year old romantic would do. We ended up deciding to have an internet relationship after that.

I don’t even remember how long the relationship actually lasted but I ended up breaking it off cause I was falling in love and it scared the hell out of me. Yes! Nel was a coward! We went our separate ways for the duration of our high school years. Back then MySpace was really popular and I sent him a closure message along the lines of I was an idiot but I wish you well in your life. I didn’t expect him to answer me back but in 2007 that’s exactly what he did. He was having a rough time in his life because his car got set on fire and his life was just in this crazy chaotic spiral.

When I saw the message, my heart soared. I won’t deny it! I ended up turning into that friend that low key wanted to be more but didn’t want to be a home wrecker. But if the chance to date him again was ever presented itself, I’d take it.

It was August of 2007 and for one reason and another, he broke up with his girlfriend. I truly was sorry their relationship ended because they seemed so in love but I screamed inside when he asked me to go on a date with him. Yes, I was the rebound chick but I wanted to be! Plus, it would have been the first date I’d ever been on in my life. My mom was out of town but I was a very responsible teenager so when I called her and told her, she agreed on one condition. She wanted to talk to him and pretty much glean every piece of information out of him except his social security number… It was so embarrassing! That night over watching Superbad in theaters, eating peanut M&Ms and Chinese food, we bonded.

It’s now 2017 and here we are. We’ve endured lots of bads but plenty more goods in ten years. There were truly moments where we didn’t think we’d endure the test of time but we’ve exceeded even our expectations. If you ask my husband, he always without a doubt, from the first moment, that I was his forever. I, on the other hand was skeptical back then but now I can definitely say I agree. With Endangered Thursdays being tomorrow, I thought I would share this with you all today. Officially, tomorrow is my ten year dating anniversary and it’s a miracle I haven’t gifted my husband yet because I usually get so excited and impatient to know his reaction to his gifts. I’ll share the story behind the gifts another day in case he decides to take a peek at my blog, I don’t want him to know what I got him.

I will however share pictures of us from 2007 vs. 2017 for you lovelies:

Hope you all have a happy Tuesday. ❤

Try Before You… Wait What?

I try to take a lunch to work every day. Usually it doesn’t happen because I’m the type who likes to sleep as long as possible before getting out of bed. I have the brush teeth, shower, get dressed routine down in 20 minutes before I have to be out the door to get to work on time. Most days, unless some leftovers are packed form the night before, I’m getting lunch from somewhere.

I work in a very small town so my lunch choices are, unfortunately, very limited. I can go to Panera but we ate it so much at my last job that I don’t want it anymore plus I hate paying $10 for a sandwich. There’s also Subway which I haven’t had in literal years so don’t feel the need to start now and another sub place called Jersey Mike’s. I could go the pizza route but I can eat one slice or two of pizza and then I’m done with pizza for a few months. I could get Mediterranean or Chinese food but that requires me to drive further than I wish.

I usually settle on going to the local grocery store, Heinen’s. They have a variety of food and if I have a taste for something, I can make it myself since we have a full kitchen in this office. The day before yesterday, nothing but chicken noodle soup sounded appealing to me. I go up to Heinen’s to get said soup. They have a hot soup section all year round and the flavors change daily.

I walk up to the soup bar and there are these two little old ladies standing there trying to decide between the chicken noodle and the chicken paprikash. Before you yell at me for saying old ladies, there is no other way to describe them. They were short with white hair and they looked like they were 90 years old. So the one is slowly ladling out some soup in the to go container while the other one is standing and waiting. She notices me standing behind her and asked if I wanted to cut in to get some soup. I told her that I’m perfectly okay with waiting and she can take all the time she needs. See? I respect my elders.

There are three soup container sizes. Cup size, bowl size and family size. There are spoons and crackers you can take with your soup if you so desire. The lady filled one bowl size and one cup size. Then I stepped up to fill my bowl container. While I’m doing so, the ladle lady hands her friend the cup size, opens a spoon and some crackers, hands it to her friend and says, “Here, you want to try it before you buy it.” Then proceeds to open up a spoon and crackers for herself and starts eating out of the bowl.

What am I witnessing? Am I missing something? Is this the all you can eat soup hour? I put the lid on my container and made a swift walkaway because I didn’t want to be associated with this pair in case an employee happened to walk by. I understand try before you buy. I really do. I mean, I like to try on shoes and clothing before I buy them. I like to rent a movie before I buy it. But soup? Especially without asking first? Eat a whole cup and then refill it to buy? So I asked a friend who used to work at the grocery if that was a normal occurrence and she told me no but it’s a generally accepted, unspoken practice among the old that’s allowed.

I don’t know about you all, but these rules better still apply when I’m 90! I looked back at the women on the way out of the store and all I could do was chuckle to myself because they were slurping that soup with their pinkies out and a saltine in the other hand like they were eating the golden chicken and there was no where else they’d rather be.

Have you ever experienced a situation that wasn’t quite right but funny nonetheless? Let me know in the comments below!

Ode To This Tree

I love nature. I really do. I love animals and their habitats and humans are evil for destroying them and all that. You all know I love all things nature??

So believe me when I say it breaks my heart that one of these days, this tree is coming down.

Our house was built in 1950. You can tell the whole block used to be a forest because there are trees and tree stumps everywhere. In our yard alone, there are 4 of these beauties. I love trees, I really do. They bring all kinds of wholesome, clean oxygen to our air thanks to all that photosynthesizing they do. They also bring shade from the burning sun. Our house doesn’t have air conditioning (yet) but thanks to these trees, the house stays relatively cool because of the wonderful canopy cover.

There are two main reasons this beautiful piece of nature has to go. First, as you can see, it is as close to the house as a tree can possibly get to a house without growing through it. I don’t know who’s idea it was to build a house this close to a tree in the first place but there’s only one thing to do about it now. You see, this tree, has a network of roots. Very large and in charge roots that have the strength of Kratos in that they can grow through concrete. It’s not showing now but eventually, it can become quite possible that this tree will pierce the concrete walls of our foundation and affect our home in a very expensive way. We have insurance of course but it’s better to nip this in the bud as soon as monetarily possible.

The other reason tree gotta go is because it’s interrupting my sleep. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, how does a stagnant tree interrupt someone’s sleep? You may think that maybe the branches are brushing against the window but the branches are taller than the house and we sleep on the first floor so that is not the case. The reason the tree is interrupting my sleep is because it causes my husband to wake me up in the middle of the night to have conversations such as this:

(me, nicely content in dream land)

“Wife…”

…..

“WIFE…..”

(is this really happening.. tell me this isn’t happening…)

“CHANEL!!”

“WHAT!!!!”

“Did you hear that??”

“Are you serious?”

“Did you?”

“Hear what?”

“That loud thump upstairs.”

“Of course I didn’t hear it! I was asleep! Why did you wake me up? It’s the middle of the night!”

“I wanted to make sure I didn’t imagine it”

“And you had to wake me up for that??”

“I’m gonna go check it out”

*grumbles”

“I investigated the situation and I don’t know what thumped. I’m gonna go to work now. Sorry I woke you up. I love you.”

“I love you too. Go away.”

I am a very light sleeper. Lights and the softest sounds can wake me up which is why the cats get banned from sleeping in the room cause they’ll yowl their heads off like roosters at the crack of dawn when they want out. Once my sleep is interrupted, it’s really hard to go back to sleep especially when you’re counting the minutes til your alarm goes off. Who ENJOYS being woken up before their alarm?? I sure don’t.

Turns out a branch fell off the tree, hit the roof of the house, and smashed on the concrete. Clearly, this tree has a history of things falling out of it. Remember Mr. Squirrel? So I’m sorry to have to cut down something that has probably been standing there for hundreds of years but tree, you gotta go.

What do you think of this situation? Let me know in the comments below!

Cringeworthy 200

Good morning! or evening depending on where you are in the world.

My Reader is full of all these wonderful July wrap up posts. Congratulations to everyone that made a goal and reached it! Also, can you believe it’s August already?? 2017, you are going too fast!

Today, is my 200th post here at RT and I bet you’re wondering why its cringeworthy. Well, I’m glad you asked voices of my friends! Yes, I have imagined what all of you sound like, my regulars, and when I read your comments, I hear your specific voice in my head. The post is cringeworthy cause I was having a conversation with a coworker the other day about sounds that make us cringe and I thought it would be fun to talk about them here and see if you all share the same sentiments or can add to my list.

So here we go:

  • nails on a chalkboard: iconic I know but the thought of that sound makes me cringe. I can barely even listen to chalk on a chalkboard!
  • chewing with your mouth open: I literally want to punch a wall when I hear people chew with their mouth open and subsequently:
  • teeth on your utensils: when a person puts food in their mouth and scrape their teeth when pulling the utensil out of their mouth I want to scream and adding to that:
  • when your fork scrapes your plate: that’s basically the same sound as your teeth on your fork as well as:
  • slurping your food: stop just stop. Funny thing is, I don’t have a problem with people who slurp the last drops of a drink through a straw but slurping soup causes me to rage. (Clearly I have issues with people eating, haha)
  • styrofoam scratching another piece of styrofoam: AAAAAAH! that’s all I can say
  • when my cats groom themselves near me: I’m terrible cause I yell at them go away. I can distinctly hear those rough tongues on their fur and I can’t take it
  • water dripping: when my turtle tank water starts getting low, you can hear the water flow from the filter. Supposedly running water or a bubbling brook sound is supposed to be calm and soothing but it just makes me angry!

Those are just a few that I can think of right at this moment. Keeping this post short and sweet today. Do you all have any sound triggers? Are some of them on my list? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank Yous & Other Shenanigans

This post is essentially going to be one long life update of sorts. I had quite an interesting weekend and why not start a Monday with a life story?

First, I would like to send a big thank you to yellowfuzzyduck over at Turtledesk. For the last week, she has been absolutely wonderful in creating a new logo for RT. It’s minimal, features my favorite colors and it just fits. She was absolutely great to work with. She’s not offering logo services anymore for now but keep an eye out on her site in the future if you find yourself wanting to spruce up your site!


 

Now on to my life. It all started on Thursday when I livestreamed the RITA awards on YouTube. I was half listening cause I was pretty absorbed in my book but a moment came where I stopped in the middle of a sentence to look up and listen. Author, Beverly Jenkins, had went on stage to accept the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and the moment she started talking, I was hooked. It was seriously the best, most inspirational speech I’ve heard from anyone all year long. When you can start a speech talking about your roots with slavery and segregation and end it with a Game of Thrones quote, you’re definitely my new hero. If you would like to listen to her speech, click here and fast forward to 1:04:00, when her speech starts. It’s maybe 10 minutes but I promise it will be the best 10 minutes you’ve ever listened to.

Friday evening, I participated in a Christmas in July Facebook event that I was invited to by an author. There were a few giveaways and all around good fun. Then Friday night was interesting. I had a moment where I literally thought I was dying but I refused to go to the ER cause that’s always a good idea. I lived to see Saturday and spent the entire day being a lazy bones doing absolutely nothing except talk theories with Lana, which btw, thank you Lana for distracting me from my real world problems by talking about our buddy read.

Actually I also need to thank my girl Peela. We’ve become quite close since meeting in the blog world. We talk essentially everyday even though we’re like 9 hours apart and I’ve really begun to rely on her wisdom. She’ makes me laugh so much and offers such great advice. I can talk to her about anything and everything under the sun and I’m so grateful for WP for bringing us together.

Sunday. Sunday was my day. I woke up early which is unheard of on a Sunday but there I was, awake at 7am. I sat down and messaged my buddy James to see how his morning was going when I get this message from an author I follow. Now I know this isn’t a huge deal for some cause I’m sure you all are so fantabulous that you speak with you favorite authors on the regular but for me it was like a life changing moment! I’m not really a book blogger as you all can probably tell. However, I am 100% a bookaholic and I’m very active on Goodreads with leaving reviews. So she tells me that she’s noticed I’m really good at leaving reviews for her books and wanted to know if I would like to be on her review team. I jumped off the couch because I was so excited! And you know how authors and other people have assistants or a team controlling their social media but this was the author herself and I just feel really special right now. 🙂

Then later in the day, I found out that I won a Sephora gift card giveaway at the Christmas in July event. I never win anything so that was pretty awesome even though I don’t shop at Sephora; too girly for me. I’ll probably re-gift it to someone who loves makeup and all those other girly things. The evening ended with Game of Thrones (!!!!) of course and James making me laugh talking about cows. I also want to thank James for just being your awesome self. I always look forward to our morning and evening chats cause you just never know where our conversations are going to go. I know you all know this fantastic guy so I don’t have to gush about him too much.

So that was my weekend in a nutshell. Did anything interesting happen over your weekend? Let me know in the comments below!

Case of the Mondays

I planned on writing a story today because it’s been a while since I’ve written one but my brain is just not cooperating. All I can think about is finishing this book I’m reading. I’m about halfway and I’m seriously addicted. The other thing I keep thinking about is my cat.

I’ve introduced my cats on here before. Milliardo, the jerk, has been really social lately. We’ve had an unusual amount of traffic come through our house and usually he hides. Well, unless it’s my husband’s brother because they have the same tone of voice and I think Mil thinks the brother is the daddy. In the last week, my mom stayed with us, my grandma came to visit, my mother in law came to visit as well as my cousins.

Lately he’s come out and cuddled with everyone. I don’t know if it’s his older age and he’s mellowing out or what but we like this Milliardo.

So yesterday, we’re chilling on the couch. My husband is playing video games and watching Youtube and I’m reading; our normal Sunday activities.

You ever have one of those moments where you can foresee what’s about to happen, and you could prevent it from happening, but you let it happen anyway? We had one of those moments.

I was deep into my book and he was deep into his game. Even though we’re involved, we’re still aware of each other and our surroundings. Milliardo decides he wants to come up and cuddle with us. Usually he picks a body and makes himself comfortable on said body. This time he decided he wanted to lay between us. The best way for me to describe this is by showing you a crude drawing:

I’m the stick figure on the left and my husband is the stick figure on the right. The green dot is the pillow fort behind us and the brown rectangle is the table that my husband has feet propped on. The red one is Millardo. He decides to jump on the couch at my feet. I’m usually the body he chooses because he likes me a little bit more than my husband most days. He jumps up at my feet and lays down to get comfortable. Then he decides I’m not very comfy and he wants to go lay on the husband instead. Again, we were involved in our respective entertainments but we watched him start to walk over.

Cats like to pat out their path before actually taking the steps; have to make sure its a solid area. He pats the yellow area between us and must have thought it was safe. He placed one paw and all his weight into this spot and SPLAT he landed on the floor! Then he immediately jumped up on the couch and had these huge eyes at us before he ran away.

We both burst out laughing.

Me: Did you see that??

Hub: Yes, I did.

Me: He didn’t judge that very well did he?

Hub: No, he didn’t. I knew that was going to happen.

Me: Why didn’t you stop him from doing it?

Hub: Why didn’t YOU stop him from doing it?

Me: I mean cat’s gotta learn… It was like watching a person trip and fall and get back up like it never happened!

Hub: (laughs) You’re terrible. He’s never going to trust another blanket again.

Me: He’ll be fine! We’re laughing with him not at him. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Hub: Cats don’t laugh?

Me: Says who?

Hub: *shakes his head*

Have you ever had moments where you knew what was going to happen but you let events play out anyway? Do you think we should have stopped Milliardo from his fall? Let me know in the comments below!

Live, Learn and LOL

There must be something in the air I tell ya. I’m full of stories this week! I promise you, dear readers, I do not make these things up. Sometimes I surprise myself with how fantastical my stories sound but this is my life for you!

My mother is coming to town today and has decided she wants to stay at the ‘El hotel aka our house. Fun fact, me and my husband rhyme. Both our names end in “el” (his with two L’s). We have a lot of nicknames similar to Brangelina unfortunately. Guess that’s what happens when you’ve been together 10 years.

So when mom comes to town you know what that means…

Cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning.

You see, we both work all day long. By the time we get home, we have other leisurely things on our minds we want to do rather than cleaning. I’m usually trying to dive into a book and he’s looking to play his video games. There’s also feeding the screaming cats, Turtle and ourselves. By the end of the night nobody wants to do any additional cleaning so that stuff usually waits til the weekend.

Obviously it got bumped. The pile of laundry my cats have been making a bed in the last week went in the wash, the kitchen, living room and dining room got cleaned and sheets put on the bed in the spare room.

Earlier in the day my husband went to Wally World (Walmart) to get some food stuffs we didn’t want to get at Sam’s. For those that don’t know Sam’s Club is warehouse shopping. That means you buy things in bulk. Instead of one box of pasta noodles, you buy 6. I wanted red potatoes. Sam has them in a bag of like 30 potatoes where Walmart has a bag of like 10 potatoes. We’re only two people and 2 cats who are obligate carnivores. It’d be a waste to buy 30 potatoes and watch them bad.

Tangents! Sorry. Back to the story.

One of the things he went to Walmart to get was Drain-O. It’s a really strong chemical cleaner that unclogs drains. In our case, we needed it for our bathroom sink. We originally thought the stopper was stuck in the down position and that’s why the drain was backing up. Turns out the stopper is broken and we have a big clog. Since he forgot the Drain-O I decided to consult our buddy Youtube because I remember seeing “natural” drain cleaners.

Youtube led me to a few videos that showed people using baking soda and vinegar and really hot water to unclog their drains of debris. If you ever made a paper machè volcano in grade school, you have an idea of what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar. I poured the baking soda down the drain and then followed it with the vinegar and watched the fizzy action. Then we flushed it with hot water.

It didn’t quite work.

So I went and grabbed a butter knife to try and try to break some things up down there. I should mention that we haven’t had any drain clog problems since we moved in last September. I have no idea when the previous owner may have flushed their drains. The butter knife was loosening up some of the stuff buried in there but the knife wasn’t long enough. The light bulb went off in my head that maybe a chopstick would work better cause it’s longer than a butter knife. We keep chopsticks in our house cause we eat a lot of Chinese food and sushi. My husband liked my idea and suggest I tape two together so we had a longer probe to poke the clog with. I went into the kitchen and searched in the drawer of random for some masking tape and taped the two sticks together.

I was poking at the clog and you can hear it making little air pockets. Of course we had a conversation that went something like this:

“Hmm.”
“What’s wrong?”
“I don’t think I’m poking it hard enough”
“Really now?”
“Yeah. Maybe you should try it. You’re better at poking things than I am”
“What does that mean?”
“Exactly what I said.” (With this cheesy grin on my face)

*husband just shakes his head*

Sometimes I just can’t help myself.

After a while we just decided to flush with hot water again and walk away for a few minutes. When we came back it was still clogged. We’re both getting a little frustrated at this point and I start to think maybe we should make another Walmart run and get the Drain-O. My husband didn’t want to do that because it was late in the evening.

“What are we going to do then? I’m not taking the sink apart and I know you don’t want to either.”
“Let’s try the baking soda and vinegar again”
“I think that stuff is part of the clog now.”
“Hmm.”
“I KNOW! Let’s try the plunger!”
“I knew were going to say that.”
“It works for the toilet so logically that force action should work for the sink.”

Suffice to say, the plunger DEFINITELY worked. However, we learned a valuable lesson.

You see that hole? I never really gave that hole a second thought until last night. When I plunged the sink, all the sludge buildup that’s been sitting in that drain for who knows how long came blowing out of that hole. Think of a whale spurting water out of his blowhole but with black sludge all over the bathroom sink and mirror.

We both froze the minute it happened and then I started laughing and laughing and laughing. I had sludge on my face and arms and all I could do was laugh. That was the funniest thing I never expected! I looked down at the drain, ran the water and shouted, “ALL CLEAR!”. My husband was not amused but he couldn’t help but crack a smile because I was hysterically laughing from that moment until the end of us thoroughly disinfecting our bathroom.