Thursday, March 31, 2016

How The GIF Are You Today?

I love using GIFs in my blog posts.

I read somewhere that using GIFS is a crutch writers use when their writing isn't particularly interesting or funny.

I don't agree.

No matter how funny your post is, a GIF is only going to make it funnier, and of course the GIFs make it more interesting. They add a visual element to the post that complements the words and make the post that much more engaging.

So whoever said that, off with your stuffy self!

That being said, when I saw Mama Kat's prompt to share seven GIFS that best describe how you're feeling today, I was all kinds of on board.

 1. I'm feeling like I really need to get my eating habits under control.

Sloth eating slowly GIF
At least he's eating vegetables.

A plate of chips and salsa here, an Oreo McFlurry there, here a donut, there a drumstick...


That's what I say when I look at myself getting into the shower. Actually, I try really hard not to. Look, that is.

What I say is more like "EEEEEEEEE!" You know, shrieks of terror and disgust.

So I feel like I need to do something about that. Soon.

2. I'm feeling like I'm not getting any closer to my dream of living in a travel trailer.

The Long Long Trailer Lucy in the kitchen trying to cook scene GIF
Note to self: Don't try to make dinner when the trailer is moving.

I'd move today except for 1) we don't own one yet and 2) we have no source of income while we're on the road.

I'm supposed to be working on the second one but I get distracted and end up doing other stuff on the computer instead.

I need to get my butt in gear.

3.  I'm feeling like it should be Friday.

Winnie the Pooh Rabbit tired GIF

'Nuff said.

4. I'm feeling excited the hubs and I are taking a road trip in May.

Dog on road trip with wind in face GIF
This messes up the hair, but is exhilarating.

Our 13th wedding anniversary is in May so we're going to our favorite quick getaway spot - Zion National park in Utah.

Nothing like a road trip to someplace beautiful to inspire and motivate you and my husband is my favorite person to take one with. (With which one to take? That just doesn't sound right.)

I love road trips with my sister too, but she makes fun of my menopause moments, so I'm bumping her to second fav. Sorry sis. Also, the hubs reads my blog and my sis doesn't so...

5. I'm also feeling excited that our annual family camping trip is coming up.

Guys by campfire dancing GIF
I think they're repelling bears.

It's the topic of nightly group texts among my brother, sister, uncle, and me. And, much to his dismay, hubby Fred.

We discuss noteworthy things like what kind of bear spray to use, whether it's bad etiquette to bring a metal tub and take a bath in the middle of your campsite, and if it's really true you should blow air into worms to make them float.

It's important stuff and worthy of the 395847 phone dings I get every few minutes whenever someone chimes in with a tidbit of camping wisdom.

We don't swing our heads around like these guys (although there was that one year we danced around the fire with glow sticks), but we do have a great time reconnecting with each other and disconnecting from the rest of the world.

6.  I'm feeling tired today.

Ferret yawning sleepy GIF
Just five more minutes.

I woke up at 2:30 AM this morning and couldn't go back to sleep for a while.

What is it about the middle of the night that brings up every negative thought in your brain?

Every perceived failure, every to-do, every Debbie Downer thought you've ever had all year - they all want to party in your brain in the middle of the night.

Hence, tired.

7.  Despite the negatives...I'm feeling grateful for the positives.

Monkey smiling with lipstick GIF
A little lipstick makes everything better.

I mean little complaints about dieting, not sleeping well, and my unfulfilled travel trailer dream are nothing compared to many others.

I have food, a bed, and a car. Not to mention the hubs and I have jobs. We can even getaway to take a short trip every so often.

Really, life is very good. I'm reminded of this when I open my blinds in the morning and see the sun. It always makes me smile and think of the things to be happy about for the day.

Enough about me. How are you feeling today?


Monday, March 28, 2016

Does Buying a Smart Car Make You Smarter?

We bought a car this weekend.

We didn't know we were going to buy a car. We were just going to "look for a car."

Fred's car has been on its last wheels for quite some time now. 

I've just been waiting for that call at 6:30PM on a work night, that I need to to go rescue him from some point on his route home from work, because his car finally died.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fractured Weekend Post About Nothing

I learned no fascinating news from the Sunday paper this weekend. And nothing exciting happened at our house. So basically, this is a post about nothing.

Yup, I really know how to draw in the readers.

The only thing mildly interesting is that I may have another compression fracture in my back. It may or may not have happened while I slept Thursday. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five Willy Nilly Friday Fragments #5

Five Willy Nilly Friday Fragments image

Yay, It's Friday again!

Time for Five Willy Nilly Friday Fragments from the week!

1. Tangled

No, not the enchanting cartoon. Tangled, as in the much less enchanting and very annoying carfuffle my dog walking has become.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I Don't Know Jack...But He Knows Me

I Don't Know Jack But he Knows Me. Warning blog post about late night phone scams.

Fred does his best to protect me from the world. He tries. But I've always been a trusting soul.

I should really spell that "sole" because there have been a time or two when I've felt like a heel as a result.

See what I did there? Sole. Heel. I crack myself up.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Now I'm Thinking about Purpose in Life. I Just Shouldn't Read the Sunday Paper.

Cat stalking mailman at front door.

Reading the Sunday paper prompts all sorts of musings. Last Sunday it was Stone Age curvy Barbie and the two minute rule. This week it's purpose.

More specifically, having a purpose in life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Our Bedroom Games

Me and Mr. Wonderful like to have fun in the bedroom. Here's a few games we play that really liven up the night!

(Calm down, it's not what you think.)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Swimsuit Season is Coming and the Dressing Rooms are Full of Terrors

I need to get my butt in gear.

I've been eating all the wrong things and in the wrong amounts and with warmer weather coming, I can't cover up the fact anymore.

Winter is coming meme spoof of Game of Thrones.

I was going to write this post yesterday, but I was sucking on Pull-apart Red Vines and eating Jellybeans all day and somehow that didn't give me the motivation to write about diets.

Go figure.

Before I started noshing on candy, I was reading the newspaper and there was an ad for Nutrisystem with Marie Osmond. Man, does she look great!

I'd post a picture, but I don't want to get sued for copyright infringement and I threw away the paper and didn't get a picture of the ad. But here's the Google search so you can see.

Doesn't she look fabulous?

So that gave me some motivation, but obviously not enough to keep my face out of the candy.

And the only reason I bought the candy is because of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. She had a prompt to write about your ten favorite candies, so a bunch of blogs I read on Friday were filled with pictures of candy, which made me crave it so bad I had to stop at the store after work and get some.

First thing to work on if I want to lose weight is definitely willpower.

After I was inspired by pictures of Marie Osmond in the newspaper, I read about how there were fat people in the Stone Age. Apparently this surprises people because supposedly they all ate a Paleo diet back then, which is a huge diet fad now and is supposed to keep you healthy and slim.

Stone Age figurine shows obesity existed even then.

I don't know why this fascinated me, but it did.

It's the Stone Age version of curvy Barbie. Only not as fun to play with because, hello...headless.

I'm waiting for the news that they discovered Stone Age bakeries. How else could those Paleo diet eating people have had obesity?

Somewhere back then was a cavewoman Oprah saying, "I've been down that road, honey child. I have bread. Every. Single. Day."

I was searching for the Oprah Weight Watcher's commercial to make my point but found this instead and it's way funnier:

Anyway... where was I?

Oh yeah, loosing weight.

So after I read about the fat Stone Age people, I saw an article about getting off your rear so of course I read it. While sitting on my rear.

It said if you trade just two minutes of sitting time per hour with two minutes of light activity (like housework), you cut your risk of dying by one-third.


Those are pretty decent odds for just two minutes. I'm going to implement this into my day starting now. Even at work. There are many things I do for two minutes that I can trade off for getting up and walking around:

1.  Daydreaming about working from home.
2.  Daydreaming about living in a travel trailer.
3.  Daydreaming about winning the lottery.
4.  Daydreaming about anything but working.
5.  Giggling at my typos (like typing "dic appointment" instead of "doc appointment").
6.  Texting back and forth with Fred about how much we both just want to go home.
7.  Looking longingly at my scheduled vacation time on the calendar.
8.  Cursing at my computer when it freezes.

I'm sure there's more and I'll spend time at work thinking of them and add them later. Because I'm very productive that way.

I'll implement the two minute rule at home too. Just now, I got up and pulled out the leftover enchiladas from Chili's we had on Friday night and ate them standing up.

That took about two minutes.

This should be easy.

So my point in all of this is to say, I'm going to work on eating healthier and getting more exercise. I know what you're thinking - this isn't the first time I've written about this.

You're right. I have several rants about diets on my blog. A few of them are on Post-It notes. Remember Post It Note Tuesday? I loved that meme. I wonder if I could bring it back?

Anyway, diet rants. Yeah, I actually have lots of them. Just click the Stinkin' Diets category in my sidebar. Nevermind, here's the link if you care to peruse my diet failures.

Because THAT's so fascinating.

So yeah (and let's all take a drink every time I say "Yeah").  I'm dieting again. But as they say, try and try again. Or die trying. Or something like that.

Feeling Fat,

P.S. If you liked this post, please share it on Facebook so other fatties can laugh and we can all jiggle and shake together. Thanks.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Five Willy Nilly Friday Fragments #4

Happy Fr-i-i-DAY!

Linking up with Five on Friday, Willy Nilly Friday and Friday Fragments for another end of the week round up of...things.

1. Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds on feeder at dusk taken with iphone.

I love watching the hummingbirds on our feeder when I get home from work. There's still a little light left in the day and it seems that's the time when the feeder is the busiest. They all want a last drink before the sun slips away, I suppose. I took this just with my iphone and had to enlarge the screen, so it's a bit grainy. I could watch these little guys for hours.

2. Bears

When I told my sister-in-law we are camping in bear country this year, she sent me this on Facebook. Nice. Thanks, sis.

Funny quote about camping where there's bears.

3. American Idol

Do you watch American Idol? Kelly Clarkson was a guest judge last week and performed her song Piece By Piece. Wow. It's about her father, who apparently abandoned her family when she was young. Wow. The words go straight to your heart and her performance is so real and's just amazing.

4.  Spring

These little flowers are blooming in our yard now. We've only lived here 5 months so I didn't plant them but they're sure pretty. I googled and I think it's a Morning Glory bush, but I'm not certain. I can't wait to see what else blooms as spring comes closer.

Morning Glory bush blooming in spring with white flowers.

5. Comic

I guess it was an uneventful week because I don't have a current 5th thing today. So I'll share a comic I made a few years ago. Since it's mostly new readers visiting my blog these days you probably haven't seen it already. (Click the 4-arrow thingy in the lower right corner to make it bigger)

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Fuller House Of Our Own

It was the summer of 2005. I like to call it The Summer of Us.

A house full of family in the summer of 2005.

Fred and I had bought our house in 2003. We closed escrow just a couple weeks after our wedding. It was our dream house. Five bedrooms, a pool, big yard. It was perfect for us and our three then pre-teen kids.

And, as it turns out, for my sister.

And my brother and his wife.

And my mom.

And an assortment of pets.

By 2005 we had nine people living in our house. It was our very own Fuller House. Our kids went to their dad's every two weeks, so those weeks it was just Full House.

My brother and sister and I have always been pretty close, but we each had our demons to battle and sometimes that led to struggles with one another. We led very different lives and lived in different cities and that kept us apart somewhat.

Then our dad died in 1999 and our world changed forever. We spent a week together in my brother's little apartment in California, making arrangements and planning services and grieving together.

Philip T Mikkelson
Philip T. Mikkelson 6-23-1937 to 9-11-1999
When it was time for us all to return to our regular lives, we knew we needed to hang onto that closeness we had gained in that short week. That new found understanding that it can all fall apart in a moment, and any one of us can gone.

A couple months later my brother and his wife moved back to Vegas, where I lived. It took a few years, but in 2004 when her long-term relationship ended, my sister moved back to Vegas too.

Which brings me to our full house in 2005. I have to admit...full or fuller...I loved every minute of it.

There was always someone to play cards, or drink, or dance with...or any combination of the three.

My sister and I would put on our dad's old record albums and dance and sing around the living room. One winter night we got hot and opened the front door to let some cool air in while we danced. My daughters were mortified and fretted that one of their friends would walk by and see us.

Dance Like No One's laughing. Funny life quote about dancing.

I guess we were that bad. Apparently, there's video.

My brother had my back though. He and my son liked to tie a string around a cicada bug and put it under the bathroom door while one of the girls was in there.

I would hear the shrieking from my home office at the other end of the house and couldn't help but smile.

Bet their cicada bug dance wasn't so hot either.

Parenting was easier too. As you know, it takes a village to raise kids - taxi driver, cook, nurse, investigator, entertainment committee - the list goes on. I had my village all in one place!

With so many people in the house, you never knew what you were going to find in the fridge. My brother would go out hunting in nearby areas where it was allowed.  One time he brought back a rabbit and made a stew out of it. Fred opened the fridge and was greeted by a rabbit skeleton floating in a stew pot.

Bugs Bunny on the stove in a stew pot.
After that, any meat without a bar code was banned.

It was during that summer when I realized we really were the neighborhood Clampets. With each of the kids in a bedroom, and my sister and mom in the guest room, we didn't have a spare room for my brother and his wife. That didn't phase them though -  they parked their RV in the backyard and lived in that, although it didn't have a bathroom.

From their upstairs window, our neighbors behind us would often get a glimpse of my sister-in-law walking from our house to the trailer, wrapped in a bath towel.

Backwoods logger in the woods.
Looking back, I see why we weren't the most popular folks in the neighborhood.

If the trailer park in our backyard didn't doom us to unpopularity, then the drunken pellet gun battle between me and my sister and Fred, surely did. One night, my sister and I chased Fred down the street, us on foot and him racing to outrun us on a Razor scooter. He kept turning around to shoot at us with his pellet gun, like he was the Lone Ranger and we the wild Indians.

Good times.

My husband truly lived up to his name as Mr. Wonderful that year. He put up with all the crazy antics of his in-laws with nary a complaint. Except for the rabbit skeleton.

But all good things must come to an end. My sister bought her own house in 2006 and later that same year, my mom got married and my brother and his wife moved out.

Of course, it wasn't too long after that my other sister moved in with her three kids, and a few years later my daughter's boyfriend moved in, then my brother and his wife again. So I guess we've always had a full house.

But that Summer Of Us in 2005 will always be a special memory to me. We came together because we needed one another. It was for various reasons - a relationship ending, financial hardship, emotional strain - but we were there for each other. Just like when dad died.

Dad and the Mikkelson kids in the 70s.
Us and my dad in 1974ish. I'm in the dress. I think it was before church.
Today, my brother and sister and I still have a close relationship and we live just minutes apart. There's the expression "You can't choose your family but you can choose your friends," but when you have both in the same people, it's truly a blessing and not something to take for granted.

Every once in a while... I miss our full house.

Dr. Seuss quote about family and memories. Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

P.S. This post brought to you my Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop and her prompt: Write a post inspired by the word "Full."

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

If Gladys Kravitz Gave Oscars

I don't normally watch the Oscars. Mostly it's because I haven't seen the movies that have been nominated.

Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched gives out Oscars

One year back when my kids were real young (I'm talking three kids ages infant, terrible two, and devilish three), they had a contest at work to see who could predict the most Oscar winners. I came in dead last. Big surprise that I didn't have a lot of time to go to movies.

They gave me a consolation prize of two movie tickets so I would get out more and not embarrass myself as much the next year.

This year the hubby and I actually saw a few of the nominations (It's a wonderful thing when the kids grow up and move out). So we tuned in for a little while. Chris Rock's monologue was so hysterical we ended up watching the whole thing.

A few observations:

The singer known as The Weeknd (yes, that's his name - no, I don't know why) performed his hit from 50 Shades of Grey. My husband kept saying that he looked familiar. Suddenly he shouted, "Little Lulu!" and pointed at the T.V. What do you think?

Maybe he should take a weekend and change his hairstyle.
I guess this year they didn't want anyone going overtime in their speeches so they used ticker tape across the screen with the names of everyone the winners wanted to thank. It didn't seem to help. They still went over in their speeches and got the music queue to stop talking. I think they call that The Big Short.

Leonardo Dicaprio, however, got no music playing. I'm so glad he won Best Actor for The Revenant. His speech was perfect and heartfelt. What a class act!

Aside from watching the Oscars this weekend, I watched the neighbors across the street move out of their house, like Gladys Kravitz. Remember her?

Mrs. Kravitz nosy neighbor watching Samantha and Darren.
Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched. Yup, just like me. (Source: Wikia)
It occurred to me that many of our neighbors deserve Oscars for their guest appearances in our lives during the five months we've lived in our neighborhood. Here's what that would look like:

1.  Best Avoid All Eye Contact Routine

Wayne's World avoiding eye contact while eating.
This goes to the neighbors that just moved out. They used to be outside their house quite often and I'd try to catch their eye when I was outside too, just to smile and wave and you know...acknowledge we're neighbors.

But no. I never got so much as a sideways glance. Fred once knocked on their door to let them know their dog was out and she didn't even look at him. She said, "Yeah we got him," and closed the door.

Alrighty then. Good talk. 

2.  Best Show of Liking Your Neighbor When Actually They Really Annoy You

Nicki Minaj pretending to be nice.
This goes to our neighbors on the right side of us. I have to give them credit though, they at least wave and smile when they see us. But I get the feeling it's through gritted teeth. 

The other day we had our front door open and just the screen closed and their dog ran over and was hanging around on our porch. I went outside and was petting her and trying to get her to go back to her house. The neighbor was calling her and she wasn't listening. He said "She heard your dogs barking and that's why she went over there." Which I know was code for "I wish your dogs would shut the hell up once in a while."

Truth be told...that makes two of us.

3.  Best Portrayal of Friendly Neighbor

Samantha Jones from Sex and The City giving a friendly wave animated GIF.
This goes to the lady down the street who's always outside watching her kids play. We call that the friendly end of the street. When we walk the dogs she smiles, waves, says hello and we let her kids pet the dogs. It's all very pleasant and Mayberry-like.

Then again, she could be coming on to my husband.

Even so, of all the neighbors we've met so far, she seems the most likely one to come over and drink wine with me. Maybe I should get him to invite her.

4.  Best Show of Appreciation for Christmas Crackers

Jim Carrey saying thank you.
This goes to the guy at the very end of our street. Remember the Christmas Cracker debacle? This guy was the only one who seemed genuinely pleased to receive crackers from complete strangers. Go figure. He's also the only one with the biggest, gaudiest, Christmas light display. Definitely our people!

5.  Best Performance of "Get the Hell off My Porch"

Clint Eastwood looking mad and annoyed at his neighbors.
Last, but not least, our neighbor on the right side of us gets this one. (for more details, refer to the aforementioned Christmas Cracker debacle post). His constant "Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh," while my husband was regaling him with the story of the unauthorized house party at our old house was akin to the music at the Oscars they start playing when the winners won't stop gabbing about all the people they want to thank. 

And his delivery of the "I don't answer my cell phone at work," line when the hubs suggested we exchange phone numbers to keep on eye on each others' houses was a brilliant creative choice. Message received. No neighborly patio wine drinking for you.

So what about you guys? Any neighbors that deserve Oscars in your neck of the woods?

Neighborly Yours,