Weekend Rewind 9/27/15

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It’s Sunday and time for the latest installment of Weekend Rewind, my weekly casual chat post – no prompts, no rules, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

Once again, I did not update my graphic for this feature. Readers who have been around here for any length of time are not surprised (and new readers are wondering why a feature called Weekend Rewind has an image that says Casual Fridays. Welcome to my quirky world). Anyone want to start taking bets on how long this task will take me to complete? I did actually pick a new image and then I fell into the time-sucking vortex known as Pic Monkey. Result: nothing got accomplished. Stay tuned.

The big news of my week is that I was in a car accident Friday morning. Correction: I caused a car accident Friday morning, which is something that I have never done before. It happened in front of the hospital where I work, in a large intersection as I was turning onto the street that leads to my parking garage. I was turning left through that intersection, yielding to the oncoming traffic. When my light turned yellow, I thought the oncoming drivers also had a yellow and they appeared to be slowing down. So I turned left to beat the red light only to get T-boned by a BMW. I spun completely around and came to rest on the street perpendicular to where I started. Before my car had even come to a complete stop, I was cursing myself for making such a stupid mistake that was going to have implications not just for myself but for the other driver as well.

Chaos ensued as this happened in a high-traffic area. Police and security officers showed up immediately and went through the protocol of making sure no one was hurt, moving the cars out of the way, directing traffic around the wreckage.  Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. The BMW has all front-end damage. I was hit on the passenger side, rear panel. I must have been jarred to the right on impact because all of my bruises are on my right side. My right elbow is swollen and covered in a large, nasty purple bruise. I also have bruises on my right upper arm and my right hip. Otherwise, I am fine. I stood on the sidewalk and called my husband. Then I called my insurance company to start a claim, get a tow truck, reserve a rental car and pick the repair shop that would restore my car to its pre-accident glory. I did all of this while the police gathered our information and took statements. I felt so guilty as all of the activity went on around me. I just kept thinking that all of said activity – the hassle and inconvenience – was all because of me. It took close to two hours to get it all cleared up.

After work, a coworker gave me a ride to Hertz to get my rental. I drove the rental across the street to the body shop. I met a really nice mechanic named Brian. He asked me if I was okay before he even mentioned my car. He gave me the hefty estimate of the damages, assuring me that it was all cosmetic and amazingly, the frame and structure of the car appear to be good. He even told me that I might be sore the next day and recommended taking some advil. Brian thinks my repairs will take three weeks. Until he is finished working automotive magic, I will be driving my rental with Texas plates… a Toyota Yaris (insert the 😐  emoji face here).

So here are some things that I am thankful for this week:

  • good auto insurance
  • while two cars have significant damage, the people involved do not
  • the accident happened when I was alone and not when my kids were in the backseat
  • people who treated me with kindness and didn’t make me feel like a total idiot

In other random news, I had parent-teacher conferences this past week. My kids rock. I have a presentation in three days and I finally got to work on the slides this weekend. I cannot wait until that presentation is over. I am counting the minutes. The eclipse/blood moon thing has made my cat and dog lose their minds. It is almost October!

Have a great upcoming week, everyone!

Weekend Rewind 9/20/15

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It’s Sunday and time for the latest installment of Weekend Rewind, my weekly casual chat post – no prompts, no rules, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

I obviously did not update my graphic this week. Fail. I will move that task to this week’s to-do list.

I hope everyone is having a restful Sunday. I just spent my afternoon watching the St. Louis Rams lose to Washington. It was an ugly game, too. Ugh.

Overall, it has been a good week. I really can’t complain. I had a manageable volume at work – surprisingly since it was a short week. I enjoyed my day off Friday and I’m trying not to think about what awaits me Monday morning.

So what did I do Friday? I had a little kitchen therapy. I’m not much of a cook (more from lack of effort rather than lack of talent) but I do have some baking skills. That’s fitting given my love of all things sweet. I made a gooey butter cake (which is so sinful it is the devil incarnate), red velvet cheesecake brownie, oreo pops and peanut butter balls. Making the oreo pops was time consuming (who knew there was an art to putting oreos on sticks) but it kept my hands busy and let my mind wander.

Between tasting as I baked Friday and sampling the offerings (I had to familiarize myself with the inventory, right?) at the actual bake sale Saturday, I believe I have eaten my weight in sugar, butter and lard this weekend. I’ve intentionally avoided my scale. This was our troops’ first bake sale attempt and I have to say it was moderately successful money-wise. We had fun and made a little money for our upcoming camping trip so I call that a win.

Last night we did our first firepit of the season. It is just another reason why fall is my favorite time of year. There is something magical about sitting by a fire on a crisp night, snuggled in a jacket, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. My girls love roasting marshmallows, shoving them into the fire until they are flaming and charred even though neither of them will eat the charred ones. I actually favor the blackened ones so I always get my fill.

We did decide to hire the cleaning lady and she came for the first time this past week. Coming home after a long workday to a truly clean house completely obliterated any reservations I had about delegating my housekeeping duties. This woman is good (a freaking cleaning ninja) and she saved me precious time. Worth every penny.

Fear the Walking Dead is on tonight and The Walking Dead is only a few weeks away. The Voice starts tomorrow and several other shows I watch start back up this week. So much tv, so little time!

Have a great upcoming week,  everyone!

Weekend Rewind 9/13/15

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Happy Sunday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Weekend Rewind, my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

So I realize that if I am going to change the name of my weekly feature to Weekend Rewind, then I need to develop a new graphic. That’s my new project for this week.

Let me just mention work and get it out of the way. I actually had a great week. It was not as busy and I actually caught up with all of my paperwork. That’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to jinx it.

The worst part of the workweek was my morning commute on Friday morning. I was in fairly thick traffic moving along at a good clip when an 18-wheeler jack-knifed about 3 cars in front of me. I saw the truck’s cab swerve toward the median and hit the guardrail and then all I saw was brake lights and cars coming to a screeching halt. Blind panic took over for a few seconds (amazing how things like that seem to happen in a split second but somehow also seem to move in slow motion). Amazingly, no one hit the truck. I managed not to get hit though the car next to me in the right lane got rear-ended. As the chaos settled, people slowly started to get out of their cars and check on each other. We made sure the truck driver was okay and began to mill around and survey the damage. After I came down from my adrenaline high, I started to think about how lucky we all were that things didn’t turn out much, much worse. I am so thankful that there were no serious injuries.

We had a glorious fall weather weekend. It was crisp and cool with beautiful blue cloudless skies. It was a promise of what is to come. It was a perfect weekend to break out our firepit and roast hot dogs and s’mores. I know some people move to Florida or California or Hawaii to live in perpetual summer but if I could I would move somewhere where I could bask in perpetual sweater and football weather.

In our first football weekend, the Rams managed to beat the Seahawks. Color me surprised.

The school year is plugging along. Our first parent-teacher conferences are already in just under two weeks. We spent some time this weekend working on science with my sixth grader. She is studying the scientific method and creating hypotheses (and independent variables and dependent variables). She is a straight-A student and she loves science but she has been slow to warm to these concepts. I think we made some progress, though. Caitlin, my second grader, is looking forward to the fall field trip about a month from now. I already have the day off work so that I can go. She also went all week without a checkmark for talking!

We had a housecleaner come to our home on Saturday morning to give us an estimate on her services. I am hesitant to hire someone to clean my house. She used to work for my dad cleaning at the school and she is the mother of my husband’s homecare client. She has a great reputation so I am not worried about that. And she is very affordable so that is not my problem. Hiring a cleaning lady is admitting I need help and that, to me, is a fail. I feel like I should be able to be superworker and superwife and supermom and get it all done. But with my work hours and my dwindling energy level, I have a hard time keeping up with the cleaning. After all, I live with two small humans and a man (therefore the equivalent of three children), none of which are very good at cleaning up after themselves. Oh, and then there’s the hair machine dog. The amount of hair in my house borders on insane. So I am considering hiring this woman. It would let me spend more time enjoying my family. That is how I rationalize it anyway.

I have another short workweek this week because I am off work Friday for a dentist appointment. But guess what came up for Saturday? A bake sale for Girl Scouts. So guess what I will likely spend my day off doing? Baking. Packaging. Pricing. Is it worth it? Yes, definitely. We are raising money for our camping trip next month. This is the same camp that I went to as a scout eons ago. The girls will get to do archery and horseback riding. They will get to hike and sleep in cabins and eat s’mores around the campfire. So I will bake my little heart out.

Have a great upcoming week, everyone!

Casual Fridays/Weekend Rewind 9/6/15

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Happy Sunday! That means it is time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays (Sunday edition), my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

It is another glorious lazy Sunday morning in my house. My husband is at work and my kids are currently in the playroom doing blind taste tests. With an actual blindfold. I am listening to my James David Carter youtube channel and all is right with the world.

It is Labor Day weekend which means I have a three-day weekend and I am beyond grateful. I have another vacation day the following week so that means I will have a four-day workweek two weeks in a row. It seriously couldn’t come at a better time. I actually brought work home this weekend and spent a large chunk of time doing that yesterday. I worked on my laptop while I watched Big Hero 6 with my kids. I worked on my laptop while the kids played around me. Then I worked on my laptop after the kids went to bed.

I had a meeting at work this past week regarding a presentation that I am giving at the end of the month. Luckily the presentation is a joint effort between myself and two physicians. I sat in this meeting and had an epiphany. I watched one of the physicians get so excited about the material we were covering. He actually said “I am really excited about this” several times. And I realized that I couldn’t care less. I was going through the motions. I have lost my fire. I think I am actually about a millimeter away from falling into the cavern of burnout. I’m not sure if this is why I have lost my passion or if it is more a matter of age and increasing disillusionment. Whatever the reason, it is a scary place to be. Its not like I can just walk away.  I have obligations, responsibilities to consider. So my mind has been busy analyzing all of the angles and thinking about a plan.

Enough of that mess. I will brag on my kids for a minute. I spoke to my sixth-grader’s reading teacher this week. I had called with a simple question but I got more than the simple answer that I sought. She told me that my daughter was the sweetest, kindest girl and that she was truly a delight to teach. She gushed about her. This is not new, I have heard this from many of her teachers. But as a parent, it never gets old. It touches my heart every time. My daughter loves reading class and reads way above her age level, but I am more proud of the fact that she is kind and respectful.

My second grader – the feisty and fabulous Caitlin – has been working hard at toning down the “socializing” during class. I know it is difficult for her so I am proud of her. That girl is creative, she is always coming up with elaborate and impressive stories. I see a future writer in her and it excites me. I feed it as much as possible, playing story and word games. She is going to be a force.

This weekend is hot and humid but next week promises to be cooler and more autumnal. The hot cocoa-drinking and sweater-wearing girl inside of me rejoices. During my drive home the other day I noticed a faint hint – oh so slight – of color change in the trees. It is barely there, but it is coming.

Have a great weekend and upcoming week, everyone!

Can’t Fight This Feeling

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Crush.”

The middle school gym was stuffy, filled with the bodies of young teenagers. It was 1987 and I was a gawky 13 year-old. A beanpole, I was taller than many of the boys in my class and probably didn’t weigh a hundred pounds soaking wet. The spring dance was on a warm, humid evening. I was wearing a cute dress and I had teased my hair to impressive heights with the aid of a half a can of Aqua Net (80’s girls can relate). I was standing in a group of my friends, safety in numbers.

When a slow song came on, I saw Randy approach. He walked right up to me, smiled and shyly pulled me away from my friends. He led me out to the dance floor and we began that awkward process – stepping into each other’s personal space, figuring out where to put hands, shuffling around stiffly in a circle. My heart was pounding so loud that I was sure he could hear it. Looking into his brown eyes set off a flurry of butterflies in my stomach. We had been friends and neighbors for years but there, on that night, we stood on the brink of something that neither of us yet understood.

We danced to Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon. I still think of him when I hear that song.

After that dance we became an official thing. It was a typical middle school relationship that consisted mostly of hanging out and holding hands. He also gave me my first real kiss. About a year later, he moved away. This was long before email, text and social media so we quickly lost touch and our great romance came to an end. I probably wouldn’t even recognize him if I passed him on the street today. Funny how that happens.

I had to include the video because it is cheesetastic and features some totally rad 80’s hair: