Friday, July 31, 2009

Just Have Your Servants Do It

I needed to stop for gas on my way to work this morning so I pulled into the 7-11 that is close to my house. I get out my car, swipe my debit card, and as I'm about to enter my pin number, I hear some strange mumbling coming from the guy who is on the opposite side of the pump. I couldn't see him, but I could sure hear him.

"I don't do this stuff! I have the servants do this for me!"

At first I thought someone was with him and that he was trying to make a joke, but I quickly realized he was alone.

Servants? Who says that? And who has servants to pump their gas for them? Maybe the President, maybe the Queen of England, but surely not this guy.

I begin filling my car with gas and hear the weirdo on the other side drop the gas nozzle as he's trying to set it back in the anchor.

"God damn it! I don't know how to do this shit! I have servants who do this crap for me! Where are my damn servants?!?!"

Okay, now I'm feeling a little uneasy. Should I stop filling up my car and get outta here? What's next? Is he gonna storm into the store and whip a gun out on the cashier because there aren't any servants in there to fill up his slurpy?

As my car finishes filling up and I turn to grab my receipt, I catch a glimpse of him. He's standing there with the driver's side door of his beat up red truck wide open, and his bald head and Charles Manson-like beady eyes looking right at me and says "You should have your servants do that for you". Then he slams his door shut and peels out of the parking lot leaving me there to wonder what kind of medication this person should be on.

Uh yeah, my servants. Right. I'll go get them.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

You Do Brush, Right?

I hate the dentist. More than I hate grasshoppers. And that's saying a lot.

Last November I had a lot of work done. Mainly because I hadn't been to the dentist in a long time. I blame my lack of visits on not having dental insurance (that happens when you lose a job), that, and having worn braces for 5 years turned me completely off to having anyone mess with my mouth. Oh, and did I mention I don't really respond to Novocaine so that whole numbing thing? It takes FOREVER to happen (if it happens at all) and then I stay numb forever.

So here's a recap of what went down in November:
  • 6 new cavities (like I said, I hadn't been to the dentist in a LONG time)
  • Replacements of all the old metal filling with the new fillings (that appear natural so teeth don't look like they are full of metal)
  • Deep cleaning (this is where they literally lift up your gums and clean underneath them)

Needless to say, I was freaking out. That's a lot of crap to have done. The dentist told me I'd be there for at least 4 hours. Therefore, I opted for oral sedation. That's right. I paid a whopping amount of money to have an anesthesiologist come put me under so I could get all this stuff done in one sitting (I guess this isn't too uncommon for people having major work done, like getting wisdom teeth pulled). I did this so I could do everything in one visit, so I could be in la la land while that damn drill was wreaking havoc on my mouth, and so I wouldn't have to deal with the excruciating pain. PAIN- I HATE PAIN.

I went back to the dentist on Tuesday for my yearly check up. I'm thinking no problem! With all the work I had done in November, the deep cleanings, the new fillings, and all that jazz, there's no way I'm walkin' outta here with bad news.

Boy was I wrong.

Three. THREE. THREE WHOLE CAVITIES. Actually FOUR if you count the "baby cavity" that is starting up that my dentist wants to deal with "before it becomes a full blown one" when he takes care of the other THREE (did I mention I had three new, NEW cavities???)! I guess they are all in between my teeth, not in my teeth. Oh the joys. I didn't even know you could get cavities between teeth.

To make this visit even more joyful, while I'm laying there with a totally pissed off/stressed out look on my face (because I'd already started to imagine the sound of that damn drill in my head), my dentist looks at me and (trying to be funny) says, "You do brush, right?"

Ha. HA HA. HA HA HA HA HA! You're sooooo funny mister dentist man. Where is that god damn tooth brush. I'll show you how I brush, bend over!

Just kidding. I didn't say that.

After he realized that I did NOT think his joke was funny, he explained to me that I suffer from soft enamel and that I probably need to brush and floss more often than most people. Great. You tell me this now. NOW after I have three (wait, four) new cavities. How convenient, since you'll be getting paid for every time you drill a damn hole in my mouth.

He asks me what color of tooth brush I'd like for my "goody bag". Who the hell hands out goody bags at the dentist? I mean, c'mon. It's the dentist. I tell him none. Keep them for the kids. I have one at home (a rather expensive Oral B spinning toothbrush that I'm particularly fond of cuz oh, I thought it was WORKING). Then he says he's gonna give me some tooth paste that focuses more on enamel protection rather than tarter control. Super! Just dandy! Whatever...

Guess I'll be back in the chair on September 9th. Yay. I can't hardly wait. Maybe I'll be able to develop a few more cavities before I get there so we can make it a real party!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

SLC Law Firm Indicted on Immigration Fraud

Today is a good day. Why? Because Alcala Law Firm, one of the largest law firms working to help companies employ illegals, has been busted, thanks to the Salt Lake City I.C.E team (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) at Homeland Security.

My husband has been working many long, hard hours along with his coworkers at ICE to pull the plug on this illegal operation. Today it all went down, in a good way :)

Be sure to tune in to the news tonight. And here's a quick read explaining a little bit about what's going on: - Law firm indicted on immigration fraud

Congrats ICE! GOOD WORK!

Monday, July 27, 2009

When Rules Apply to Everyone BUT Me

I just love coming back from lunch and driving all over the damn parking lot in search of an empty spot. What I love even more is ending up in the one vacant spot that couldn't possibly be further from the building entrance.

But what I love the most is making the long trek across the the miserable, scorching hot blacktop in route to the double doors of my building (it's so damn hot right now that I'm seeing mirages of a tropical oasis inhabited by beautiful men ready and willing to serve me ice cold Dr. Peppers from silver platters while wearing nothing but little leaves to cover up their you-know-whats). As I'm barely surviving this long, hot journey to the double doors, I'm lucky enough to witness some jerk off whip his BMW into one of the green vehicle/car pool parking spaces located just mere steps from THE DOUBLE DOORS.

Now, there are big ole, hard to miss images painted on the blacktop of each of these designated parking stalls to remind employees that these specific spots are reserved for those who either:

A- Drive a green vehicle
B- Carpool

Mind you, the douche-tard I just saw is:
A- Driving a BMW (which is NOT considered a green vehicle)

B- Driving by himself (which does not qualify him to park in the carpool lane)

Tell me, when did the rules of society become optional?

I also love getting to work on Monday morning and driving all over in search of a parking space only to see that 75% of all the spaces marked "Reserved for VP" (which are also front row spaces) are empty.

Boy, I can't wait to be all growed up with a big girl job so the rules of parking and going to work don't apply to me either.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When Priorities Change

I think the older we get, the pickier we become about how we spend our free time. I know I am. Back in high school, when the school day only lasted from 8:25-3:00, there was plenty of time in the evenings for fun. And, at that age, I know I certainly had more energy to do things like go to movies, concerts, hang out with friends, and stay up to all hours of the night.

But as time has passed, I have certainly noticed how not only my interests have changed, but my body has as well. I now work full time, have a husband and step-son, and have a new home to keep up. It's amazing how exhausted I feel most of the time. When I think back to when I was in high school, I'm amazed at how I had the ability to get up at 6:30 in the morning, be at school all day, participate in any after school activities, do homework, work part time, make time for friends, and usually not get to bed before 1-1:30 in the morning. Now I struggle to stay up past 11:00. I just can't run around like I used to. Even if I wanted to, I think I'd have to have a caffeine IV permanently attached to my body.

In addition to my lack of energy these days, I've also noticed that my free time has become even more precious to me. When working 40+ hours a week, the weekend becomes almost sacred. I value the ability to sleep in so much more than I ever have before. I'm pickier about how I spend my quickly fleeting 48 hours of time spent away from the office. Especially when at least half of that free time is spent catching up on running the much needed errands, grocery shopping, cleaning house, etc… And then of course, a quarter of that time is spent catching up on sleep.

I’ve learned that as we age, our priorities change, mostly because they have to. Here are a few ways my interests and priorities have changed:

  • I now have a husband whom I want to spend every second of my free time with.
  • I now have a home that I'm interested in decorating, cleaning, and improving.
  • I have a larger interest in cooking- not only because it's cheaper and healthier, but because I enjoy spending the evening with Michael, and having a home cooked meal on the table.
  • I take pride in a clean house, a well kept yard, and having a relaxing space to sit and watch the sun set.
  • I now like spending more time at home whereas a few years ago, I couldn't wait to make plans for the weekend.
  • I don’t have to be going and doing every second of the day.
  • I’ve learned to appreciate just being.
  • I value surrounding myself with people who appreciate the same things I do as well as offering different points of view.

So to sum it up? Yes, I've become selfish with my free time and more particular about who that time is spent with; and, I think most people, who are in the same place as I am in life, have as well. And I know I'll probably become even more selfish with my time when Michael and I start a family. As I said, priorities change, usually because they have to.

This summer has taught me a lot about myself and what I place value upon. And I’ve learned that with having only two days out of the week that really belong to me and my family, I should be selfish about how that time is spent. And that’s okay, regardless of what anyone else may think.

Monday, July 20, 2009

When the Work Pays Off

I came to the greatest epiphany this weekend. Kids (even ones that aren't yours) CAN do chores around the house.

Kyle has been with us all summer. Kyle has hung out in his room playing video games ALL SUMMER. Therefore, Kyle got to help clean this weekend, and it was amazing how much more got done in just one day than what usually does in an entire weekend.

Dusting, Windex, bathroom, kitchen floors, dishes... and basement remodel.

Had I tried to do it all myself, I'd still have things to cross off the to do list. But in just an hour, Kyle and I had the main floor all done. Granted, I had to supervise and explain that when you sweep the floor, you make a pile, you just don't sweep back and forth spreading everything around before you mop. But like a 16 year old boy addicted to video games understands that.

Anyway, with all that out of the way, I was able to help Michael with the basement. He did an amazing job taking down the crappy florescent lighting, patching the ceiling, and putting up our new and beautiful track lighting. You can't even tell something hideous was there in the first place. My hubby does great work.

We also got the curtains and all the art work hung up which makes the room feel that much more cozier. I can't wait until my last two pieces of furniture arrive and I have an official entertainment room. I couldn't be happier with the way everything turned out. The colors are perfect, warm and inviting. I already find that I want to spend all my time down there (perhaps it's because it's hotter than hell outside and my basement is now cool as well as welcoming).

I'm also a happy camper because we are finished for a while in terms of house projects. We've spent the past 6 months doing more than most people accomplish in ten years (if you ask my mother). Here's the list of our recent DIY accomplishments:
  • New carpet throughout the entire house (not a DIY project)
  • Re-finished the hardwood floors (not a DIY project)
  • Re-finished the bathroom on the main floor (paint, new fixtures, new toilet)
  • Painted the entire living room
  • Installed new lighting in the entry way
  • Changed out all exterior light fixtures and lamp post
  • Put in new mail box
  • Installed porch swing
  • Purchased deck and porch furniture
  • Got the yard up to par and did new landscaping in all the flower beds
  • Planted, planted, planted, weeded, planted, raked, dug, trimmed, planted (you get the idea)
  • Worked on sprinkling system
  • Installed patio lighting
  • Added solar lights to both front and back landscaping
  • Installed water feature just off the deck
  • Installed new light fixture in dining room
  • Re-finished bedroom in basement with new paint, baseboards, bead board, trim, and decor
  • Re-finished basement with new paint, baseboards, track lighting, carpet, decor
  • Painted accent wall in family room
  • Added new trim, carpet, accent lighting and paint to stairs/hall leading to basement
  • Purchased all new furniture for master bedroom
  • Purchased all new furniture for basement
  • Purchased new furniture for formal living room

As you can see, we've been busy. Actually, more like exhausted. We didn't have the luxury of buying a brand new home in the area we wanted to live so we bought one that needed some TLC. And even though the majority of our Friday and Saturday nights have been consumed with hard work (and may trips to Lowes and Home Depot) I am so happy with how everything has turned out. All it took was a vision, a talented husband, and a good cash flow. I always dreamed of being happy in my home, but I never knew I would grow to love it as much as I do as quickly as I have. I am so blessed.

And now (even though there is still a large TO DO list) we're finally able to relax. There are still big projects down the road, but we're taking some time off to enjoy the fruits of our labor, and our new home!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting it Together

Well, thank God it's Friday is about all I can say right now. I can't even explain how much I'm looking forward to sleeping in for two glorious days. In exchange for sleeping in, I've promised myself I would do some serious cleaning around the house. I've been playing host for three weeks and stuff needs attention.

Things need dusted, shelves need to be cleared of contents and wiped down. Glass needs Windexd, bathrooms need scrubbing, the kitchen floor needs a good sweeping and mopping, the laundry needs to be folded and put away (yes, it's still sitting out from last weekend), and the biggest project of all? The basement needs to be finished. It has officially been a month since the ill-fated flood, and we're still not done. Granted, walls are painted and carpet is in, but trim isn't finished, furniture is missing, curtains need steamed, decor needs to be hung, and the dreadful storage room needs some serious organization. *sigh* It's NEVER over.

Although I'm thankful to have a job in this economic trying time, I do wish I had time during the week to actually keep up on house projects. A weekend is all too short when it consists of cleaning for two days straight, just to get back up on Monday and start all over. I need a maid. Someone to have dinner ready when I get home from work, someone to tell me "No, you sit down and relax, you just worked 40 hours this week, I'll mop the kitchen."

I need someone who is going to notice the 5,000 things around the house that need to be done, and just do them. Problem is, what I really need is someone to do all this for me and not charge me. I'm not willing to pay for this service considering I know I could do it myself.

Too bad I can't train KeeLee to actually take out the garbage instead of getting into the garbage.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Please Condone Me or Clone Me

I need 8 more arms, and about 2 more brains. Or, just a clone of myself. Maybe then I wouldn't be so tired and feel pulled in 5,000 directions.

Let me explain.

I've had company ALL SUMMER. First of all, Michael's son Kyle arrived the end of May and he's staying with us until August. In addition to him, my friends from Boston and Dallas have come to stay. And although I love them, I haven't loved every minute of it.

I've enjoyed having time to spend with friends, but I feel like I can't keep up. A lot of it probably has to do with the fact that Michael and I are refinishing the basement and it's been crazy. Another part of it is the fact that for the past few weeks, I don't feel like I've had 5 minutes to just stop and relax (and now it's sorta making me grumpy). And I'm a little disappointed that I took three vacation days last week and not one of them was spent relaxing whatsoever. I didn't even sleep in. Not ONCE. I hate that.

Seems every second I turn around, there are groceries to be purchased, meals to be made, trash to be taken out, dishes in the sink that need attention, a dishwasher that needs to be unloaded, sheets and bedding that need to be washed, beds that need to be made, laundry that needs to be done, bathrooms that need more towels, toilet paper, q-tips, cotton balls, nail-polish remover, and the list just goes on and on and ON.

And then, there are requests. Pedicures, massages, visiting friends, going here, going there, seeing this movie, doing that activity, eating at this place, driving to that place, inviting everyone over to hang out tonight, tomorrow, and the next night. And of course, wherever there is a party, there's a mess to clean up, a table to clear, trash to take out, and new chores filling up space where old ones were just completed. It adds up, and when your husband is busy finishing the basement, you're the only one left to do the rest.

I'm grumpy. I'm tired, and I'm not able to enjoy everything and everyone like I want to. In fact, I was so tired and had so much to do yesterday that I canceled all plans for Sunday so I could stay home and get my life in order considering I had to go back to work today. I started laundry at 9:00 AM and it's STILL NOT DONE. It's clean, but not folded or put away, and the blankets we had sitting out on the lawn are still waiting their turn in a pile on the floor of the laundry room.

The snow cone juice from someones Styrofoam cup is still sitting in what is now a sticky puddle on my deck because it wasn't thrown away. Pieces of this and that are still littering my kitchen counter tops because they don't have a home. Piles of pillows and pictures are scattered across the sofa in the basement because the paint isn't quite done, and the circles under my eyes are still there because I haven't had a full night's sleep for two weeks.

All I can say is that I either need my life back, or more help (and probably more patience, too). I get the feeling that this is exactly what my mother used to complain about when I was little and she had to get dinner going the second she walked in the door as well as run me to piano lessons and my brother to baseball practice all the while being certain that the laundry was done and we had clean beds to sleep in and food in our bellies. I really am turning into her, and what's scary is the fact that I don't even have children yet.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Cutie Patootie

I just HAD to share this cute pic of KeeLee. She got a bath yesterday because she still had paint all over and she had that nasty haven't had a bath in a while smell.

KeeLee doesn't mind bath time because bath time is actually shower time. And she either is in there with me or Michael. It's just easier to put her in the shower rather than kill my back bending over the tub and trying to keep her in there instead of jumping out and running all over the house getting water everywhere. The shower has a door on it so once she's in, she's not going anywhere.

Although she doesn't mind her shower, her favorite part of the entire bathing process is getting her hair dried. I think she enjoys the warmth of the heat, and there's something about the sound she likes too. In fact, she likes the hair dryer so much, that when I'm drying my hair, she always comes and lays down on the rug in the bathroom just to be near the dryer.

My friend Jen is staying with me on vacation and snapped this cute picture of KeeLee yesterday morning after her shower. She's obviously excited for this part of the bath process. I love how innocent her eyes look here, especially in comparison to the picture below where she looks like a smart ass, so when Jen emailed it to me, I had to share it. I can't get over her cute smile.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mama's Lil' Helper

So in the middle of painting the basement, I feel the oh so familiar scratching on my leg which means KeeLee wants/needs attention. Picture how a cat will stretch but use your legs to do so, while tapping on your shin or calf to let you know "Hey! I know you're a giant and all, and perhaps busy, but I'm little and down here. And dammit! It's time for you to love me!"

So back to me painting the wall....and I feel this scratch. I turn around to say hi to my puppy and see this:

Although she looks pissed in this picture (I think the flash on the camera made her squint her eyes) she really had an innocent look on her face like "Mom, aren't you glad I'm helping too?"

Yeah. Apparently she wanted to get in on the painting action. For a split second it was like I had a small child who just created an unrecognizable drawing with a crayon and stood there to say "Look what I did, Mom!"

The best part? After I snapped this photo, I took her upstairs to wash the paint off her face. I figured it would be easier while it was wet. About 20 minutes later, I feel the same familiar tap. This time the paint was on the opposite side of her face. So off we went upstairs to clean her up again. And on my way back down the stairs, I put the baby gate up behind me (yes, owning this dog requires a baby gate) so she didn't come downstairs and decide to recreate the Mona Lisa or something.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What Happens When You Get that Wild Hair Up You Know Where...

Yesterday's conversation went a little like this:

Setting: Couch in the family room. TV on. Michael, Jen and I in pj's just laying there like zombies on the couch, having not yet showered even though it's 1:00 in the afternoon.

Michelle: I just want to be lazy today.

Michael: Yeah me too, but I have work I should do.

Michelle: Meh- I'm tired. I feel like just laying here all day. Between Lagoon on Friday and the BBQ party yesterday, I'm worn out.

Jen: Yeah.

10 minutes of silence later...

Michelle: I'm bored.

Jen: Yeah, we should do something.

Michelle: But the question is what?

Michael: I dunno, but I can sit here and watch golf while you two figure it out.

Michelle: What we really need to do is get the crap in the basement moved before we get our new carpet Wednesday.

Michael: Yeah.

5 minutes of silence later...

Michelle: We really should paint before we get new carpet too.

Michael: Go for it.

Michelle: (said jokingly) Hey Jen, wanna paint the basement today?

Jen: Sure why not?!

Michelle: (confusion) Seriously?

Jen: Yeah, let's do it.

Michelle: (starting to consider the idea, for real this time) Michael?

Michael: Go for it.

Michelle: Okay, I guess we're painting the basement.

And thus, that was the end of our lazy Sunday. 15 minutes later we were at Home Depo purchasing paint and new floor boards. By 6:00, the basement had been cleared out, taped off, and the first coat of paint was on the walls. Second coat was done before we went to bed. Now I don't have to worry about paiting and trying not to get it on my new carpet. Woot Woot for DYI projects.

We rock. But dammit, I'm sure tired.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Come One, Come All!

Good times have arrived, and more to come :)
So what has gone down recently and what is still to come? Well...

1- Jen G. arrived Monday night and we've been having fun ever since. I LOVE this girl! Monday was a basic hang out day since she didn't get in till the evening, but we enjoyed dinner and dessert on the deck. I love when long-time friends come to visit. Here's a pic of me and Jen:

2- Yesterday we had to run up to Park City because Michael needed to pick up some stuff for an audit he is doing today. On the spur of the moment, we decided to make a mini shopping trip out of it and spent some time at the Tanger Outlet mall up there. LOVE that place, great deals, great steals, and was in good company. Then it was back to SLC to meet friends for dinner at the Cheesecake factory. Good food, left too full, but have some cheesecake waiting for me when I get home tonight!

3- Cafe Rio and Public Enemies on Thursday night with the friends. Yay for yummy food, Johnny Depp, and of course, Kettle Corn! There might be some band practice goin' down too. We'll have to see if the gang feels like rockin' the Rock Band afterwards.

4- Lagoon on Friday with tons of friends!
The Pierce clan: Dave, Pibby, Nenny, Heather
The Cousins clan: Me, Michael, Kyle
The friends: Amanda (she needs to get over her cold) and Jen G.
We're still trying to talk Tracy into coming.

5- Fourth of July BBQ at my house with tons of good food and great company. I love me a summer BBQ, and of course... WE'RE GONNA SEE THE FIYA-WORKS (if you know me, you know the song I invented in my drunken stooper many 4th of July's ago).

6- My oldest and long-time friend Kim M. arrives a week from today and will also be staying with me. I LOVE this girl too (even though she's making me get out of bed to pick her up at 7:45 in the A.M.). But that's okay, it just means she'll have more time here which is a good thing. I've missed her! :)

7- I'm taking the 8-10th off to hang with the girls, sleep in, stay up late, and have as much fun as possible before Jen G. has to go home to Boston. And I'm getting new carpet for the basement on the 8th so woot woot for that!

8- Not sure which day (probably Saturday of next week) there will be a cook-out in the canyon. And yes, this will involve s'mores and probably a card game or two.

As always, everyone is invited to join in the fun. I don't wanna hear any excuses about anyone not being invited or being left out. If you know me, there's ALWAYS a standing invitation! So come have some summer fun and leave your worries behind :)