The Spice of Life!

My husband’s been in the spices again.  You know how I know?  I found “dill” situated between “orange peel” and “oregano.”  Dead giveaway.  “D” spices don’t belong in the “O” spice section.

No.  I’m not joking.  Why?  Did it seem like I was?!  How do you keep YOUR spices (if not in strict alphabetical order)??

The old (hut-hum…polite throat clearing), that is to say “former” working-woman me would have kept them in the cupboard above the stove just all thrown in there and jumbled.  Which meant that I was constantly buying more marjoram.  Now the new stay at home mom me has the spices alphabetized and organized on those two-tiered, lazy-susans.  All spices are available at the twirl of the wrist (just don’t get giddy from alphabetization and twirl too hard because that sends some of the lighter containers flying towards the back where they will languish in anonymity for the rest of their lives).

Granted my marjoram section is three containers deep but I don’t have to buy any more until 2029, so I’m saving money.

Organized spices means I know what spices I have at-a-glance.  As a result?  Less of the one-income goes to buying spices unnecessarily.  Brilliant!

This is one of the many fun, time-consuming ways we stay at homers save money.  We organize and thus economize on our spices.  Hopefully this neat little trick will save me from ever having to get a job again.

Like I said…brilliant!  Right?

Ab Ripper X!

Really…I can’t stress this enough…Tony Horton is full-on nuts!

Tone-ster, Dude!  You’re totally brilliant!  But there’s a light of insanity that burns in your eyes the likes of which I’ve only seen one other time.

Picture it.  July 1990.  I’m a newly minted college grad (double major – Business and French) searching for “international jobs” in New York City.  In the middle of a garbage strike.  In July.  In New York City.

But I’m feelin’ fly!  How fresh and shiny I am!!  Got my new interview suit on, complete with shoulder pads, contrasting pocket square and matching spectator pumps!  Rockin’ it!  In July.  In New York City.  In the middle of a garbage strike.

Garbage is piled higher than my head on every street corner.

A homeless man comes up to me and says “how you like the smell, Pretty Girl?  You got a dolla’ fuh me??”  Why yes, yes I do.  In fact, here’s $5 for your trouble.  Exit stage left.

And I started interviewing for Human Resources jobs in New Jersey the very next day.

But the look in that man’s eyes?!  That “do as I say; fall in line with me and we will see victory this day!” look?  Along with the “aren’t I funny and loony-tunes all at the same time” attitude??  That’s got Tony Horton written all over it!

And to answer your unspoken question, Tony?  Yes.  Yes, your Ab Ripper X is aptly named.  After one go, my abs are ripped.  Into little shreds.  And hanging outside my body and dripping blood all over the floor.  And I can actually feel them every time I blink my eyes.


My Hair

I have to do something about my hair!  I have several inches of orange hair starting at the roots (which fades to frizzy gray at the temples within three days of coloring) followed by glossy chestnut brown from the ears down.  Not quite the look I’m going for since it implies more cheap clown, less successful working woman.  And it can’t say anything good at all about me as a stay at home mom.

So…should I let it go totally gray?  In my mind there’s a fantasy wherein I go totally gray and people wonder how old I actually am because I have “old” hair but such a youthful face!


So, Plan B involves going to a salon to consult with a pro.  But when I was a working woman, dropping $150 every 6-8 weeks was an option…as a stay at home mom, not so much.

Plan C involves washing my hair THEN dyeing it.  Instead of doing things the usual way, which would be running on the treadmill for an hour, blow-drying my sweaty, salty head and THEN dyeing my hair.  I think the salt particles attached to the first 3 inches of my hair end up resisting the color?!

I implemented Plan C yesterday.  And I used a dark brown color (instead of my usual light brown – Go Lighter As You Get Older is a slogan I simply cannot adopt!  See references above to 3 inches of frizzy red hair).

I came out looking like Eddie Munster (minus the widow’s peak).  Which is to say I had this clearly-defined black line all around my hairline (minus the widow’s peak).

The worst part was that I had to attend a School Advisory Council meeting last night – complete with other parents, school principals and administrators, and the parish priest!  We discussed school safety and there was a Federal Agent/parent present to give his take on how we can improve the safety of the school.  I’m sure everyone was giving me the side-eye and thinking to themselves “we should eliminate the goth chick on the committee for starters.”


P90X – Day 1

OWWWWwwwwwowowwowowowwwowowwwwoow    gasp!  GASP!!  oowwwowowowwwwwwfuhhhhfuuhhhhhhhhhuhhhh [just sitting down at the computer…and why is it harder to SIT than to stand?!]

ggggeeeeh!  ggggeeeeeeeehhhhh fuuuh gasp!  fuhhuhhuhiuhhhhh guuhhhhh gasp! [just bringing what feels like bloody arm stumps up to type]

Whyy does no one everr mention how “high-energy” Tony Horton iiis?!? (and whenn I say high-energyy I mean it in a manicc, Jack Nicholson-in-the-Shining “Here’s Johnny!” sortt of way.)

And whhy are my fingers not working?!  Did I literally work EVERY muscle (including my finger muscles) yesterday during my “Day 1” of P90X??

The finger muscle exercises may have happened during what I call the “Spider man scaling the wall vertically” move.  Tony calls them Calestanga Runs.  (Or something like that.  I couldn’t see what was actually listed on the t.v. screen through the film of stinging sweat in my eyes.)  And full-disclosure, we didn’t actually scale walls vertically but we might as well have because I wasn’t able to do it horizontally either.

But how can this be?  How can I have sooooo many sore, sore muscles.  (And internal organs.  We must have been working internal organs too.  Can internal organs actually hurt?  Why yes, yes they can.)  I run 6.2 miles every-other-day.  (that’s 10K for those of you who – in your youth – were also threatened with the possibility of the Metric System becoming the defacto measurement standard in the US.  Never did happen, did it?  But still, that’s the one metric-fun-fact I remember so I thought I’d trot it out!)  So it’s not like I don’t exercise!  I do!!!  And in fact I had this cockamamie plan in my head where I would alternate my every-other-day running with P90X.  Thus making it P180X.

Bad plan.  Bad, bad plan.

GUH!  GGgggggguuuuhhhhhuhuhhhhh.   FFFFFFffffrick!!!  fffrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfrrrrrrrrr gasp!   (getting up from the computer and going to take a shower now)

eeeee   eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee  eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhh

Making Soup

I got up early and made apple cinnamon muffins and hot chocolate for the kids’ first day back to school yesterday.

Then, while they were still sitting at the breakfast table, I pulled out the cookbook.  (Rock on, my main girl, Betty Crocker!!)

Them: “Whatcha doin’, Mom?”

Me: “I’m gonna make chicken soup from the leftover chicken last night.”

(side note: I made a roast chicken and all the trimmings Sunday night.  I thought it would be a nice way to wrap up Christmas break.  The family could sit down for one final, balanced meal before the lunacy of practices, homework, after-school appts etc. intruded into our Winter Idyll.  And when I say I cooked a chicken, I mean my husband did.  I’ve never cooked a chicken or turkey in my life.  It makes me gag to see a little diaperless [headless?] newborn all plucked and waiting-to-be-roasted in the pan.  Gaaack!  Gaaaaaaccccckkkkk!!!  See what I mean?!?  And let’s not even talk about the carcass.  I pitch it out before my husband’s even done carving it most times.  Or, in the case of Thanksgiving, I send it home with my mother-in-law.  But a new day has dawned.  I’m a stay at home mom with no job and I’m saving money by making my own soup!  Makes me feel like a Depression Era Heroine in a chicken-for-every-pot sort of way.  I just need to get me a cute apron to complete the role.)

Sissy: (my daughter – not actually named Sissy – but referred to as Sissy for blog purposes so as to preserve anonymity) “What do you need a recipe for?  It’s easy.  You just add noodles and soup!”

Why yes!  Yes!  That must be it!!  Out of the mouth of babes as it were…

This whole time I thought you had to do something much more complicated, like boil the baby-bones and skim scuzzy stuff off the top afterwards.  But now I’m on to you, Betty.  I’m on to you!  Ohhhhh, Betty Bettybettybetty.  How you’ve failed me!  Just add noodles and soup?  So as to MAKE soup?!?  Brilliant!!  We’re besties, Betty…why have you been keeping this from me the whole time?!

Taking down the Christmas Tree

Is there anything more anticlimactic than taking down the Christmas Tree?!?

The joy and hope of the season is gone.  And in its place is drudgery and annoyance.

Speaking of which – is there anything more annoying than those fragile ornaments that require special handling and have their own boxes into which they have to be placed vewy, vewy carefewy?!

Total PIMA*!  (PIMA, yes.  But yet not quite as PIMA as dealing with the unemployment office or the prescription portion of my husband’s health insurance.)

Also, just a word-to-the-wise: when disassembling the Christmas tree, don’t save those fragile ornaments “for last.”  Take ’em down first.  Otherwise you’ll find yourself blogging while your husband is in the other room gluing the bottom to a porcelain ornament you received too many eons ago to remember where you got it from (it’s topped with rosebud decorations that look like frosting on a wedding cake overlaid with superfine gold glitter which I’m sure will be all over Hubby’s face when next I visit doctor and patient in post-op).

And no!  I haven’t started Ptotally horrible 90-Xcruciating!  (That’s P90X to the uninitiated.)  Thanks for bringing it up.

Now I’m REALLY annoyed!!

*If you’re my mother, PIMA stands for Pain In My Attitude.  Hi Mom!