I am on quest to reclaim my life, one mile and one photo at a time. My goal is to share all the good and bad in a way that is both heart warming and humorous. Buckle in and enjoy my tales of travels and life's trials and tribulations. All described here in detail and photos because seriously, I can't make this shit up. I'd love to hear from you. email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, if you’re dedicated enough to check for new content after all this time without a reminder, I suppose you have earned a scoop.
At the beginning of quarantine, I posted a meme on Facebook about emerging from this whole pandemic lock down as a butterfly. I know you all thought it was a joke. But it is not. Working with my doctor and several other professionals, I have undertaken an ambitious weight loss adventure. I have chosen the word adventure because sometimes I think journey gets over used just like triggered, bandwidth and “issues”. Sometimes they are just straight up problems.
So there is no surgery involved because being on a respirator is a huge fear of mine, well that and not waking back up. I started with a 10 day fire walk of shakes and then I have transitioned to solid food. Surprisingly, as much as I hated those damn shakes, in a way it was much easier than eating solid food.
I’ve started swimming everyday – wear your masks people- I will lose my shit if the gym closes again and am proud to report that my resting heart beat has majorly decreased, I have baby bicep muscles and as of this morning, I am down 39.0 pounds.
So we all are in this weird limbo where life is different and stressful. There is a phenomenon that you may be experiencing but have been unable to name.
I’m going to call it a Corona Craving. Now what is this you may ask yourself? Let me explain with a story about my mother.
My parents live in a small town with a local Piggly Wiggly. This Piggly Wiggly has an in store bakery that makes delicious crullers that are a favorite among my family. So the other day, my mom goes to pick some things up and lo and behold, the bakery at the Pig was closed during this situation which means, no crullers. So now, my mom, who has not had a cruller in probably 2 months becomes fixated on the idea of a non- subpar cruller, and no matter what else she had, all she wanted was the cruller. I totally get it.
I’ve been fantasizing hard core about Vern’s string cheese. Not string cheese. Vern’s string cheese with all it’s hard, salty goodness that you can only get at the fancy grocery store (there are people there) or the specialty cheese store ( closed for now).
I’m sure even those of you who spent $400 at the grocery a week ago and have no fridge or pantry space left are probably missing something that readily available when life was “normal”. I’m pretty sure these cravings are part of the human experience of this time of weirdness that is a bit scary. We are craving comfort, familiar things and freedom to have what we want. But it will pass and soon enough, I will have sausage fingers from all the yummy salty cheese I was able to eat.
Now, I know that you are probably worried about me being home alone during this time of isolation. But fear not, there has been an addition – I have added a pair of snails to my fish tank and those little suckers are amazing and mesmerizing. Here is a video for your enjoyment. Don’t worry if you like it – there will be more!
So I’ve missed you. I know it’s been like 6 months since we’ve last talked and I wish I had a good reason for ignoring you like that I’ve been traveling the world or having a torrid love affair with Peter. But alas, I have not.
But now that things have progressed to “Threat Level Midnight”, I thought you might appreciate my hi jinx now more than ever. Maybe not and if that is the case, you probably aren’t reading this anyways.
IF you are a fan of the Office, please watch the full length version of Threat Level Midnight on You Tube. It will be a great 27 minutes of your life. link –> https://youtu.be/7iPyz6Yqwl4
So I’m keeping this one short and sweet, but I do have some stories to tell and will be writing regularly from now on.
So, do you remember when we were in grade school and got to play bingo for special occasions and it was so fun? Or, Maybe it’s just me, but I can live with that. Anyways, I’ve always wanted wanted to be one of those people who goes to bingo and guess what? I am now.
A couple weeks ago, on a very exciting Friday night, Jenny and I went to the Ho Chunk Casino in Wisconsin Dells where I got to play for the first time. It cost like $28 dollars for cards on Friday nights ( including the extra games) and it starts at 6 pm and lasts until like 1030. I dabbed for 4.5 hours and never won a single game.
It’s actually a lot more involved than you would realize. First off, they have free soda, but tiny cups, so you must get many to get any real volume. And then each game is looking for some weird shape so if you’re smart, which I am now, you go through and mark all your cards before the games start so you know what shape you’re looking for. And then they have the regular games and the “extras” and they are all mixed up so you have to get all your cards in the right order. And for the love of God, do they have to call the numbers so fast? Long story short, I did not win that night, but on the way back to Jenny’s house, I did not hit two deer, so I feel like that’s a win, right? Oh and I got the AC fixed in the navigator that weekend. SCORE!
So fast forward to Wednesday and we decide to go again, but this time, we took Lori and her niece with us, who I would like to state for the record are some real trouble makers.
I should backtrack here for a second and tell you, about the Bingo at Ho-Chunk. There are two ways to play. You can either do it the right way, on paper with a dabber, or the wrong way, with a computer where you just sit and watch it happen. Some of these people at bingo as super serious and will like set up a “work station” with family pictures and everything around their computer.
Ok, so it’s Wednesday night, we’re playing the bingo the right way, on paper, having fun, laughing etc and there is this mean older lady at the end of the table playing on a computer and READING A BOOK. Bitch, if you want to read a book, why even come to bingo? YES! I’m judging, anyways she was there with who appeared to be her mom and dad because they were even older. The table seats like 9 on a side – just to give you some perspective how close we were, so she’s like 6 chairs away. About halfway through, we’re getting giggly and annoyed we’re not winning and start dabbing “aggressively” and thinking it’s funny, we start laughing, not even loud, but harder. Well, book reader lady goes “that’s enough”, which only kind of eggs us on. Fast forward like 8 minutes and next thing I know, there is a security guard standing next to Lori’s niece telling us that we need to dab more softly, we’re bothering the people around us.
Yeah, that really happened. But I felt bad for the poor security guard lady. I mean, she’s the one the one who probably went home that night, walked in the door and her husband was like, “how was your night dear?” and she had to say, “it was rough. some middle aged women were dabbing loudly.” Que the world’s tiniest violin.
We’re still at bingo, trying hard to dab normally but still in disbelief about this whole thing, when this guy who was back neighbors with the reader, also playing on a computer, turns around and goes, ” didn’t you hear the lady?” The best part about this is, at this point, Jenny was trying something new for luck – see picture below and goes to him, ” ‘m not going anything” and he stammers, I think she frightened him, and goes, “well, not you, but the other three.” Two games later Lori’s niece won $250. The fun suckers won nothing.
Last week I went and played Bingo at the Knights of Columbus in Sun Prairie. Much nicer crowd. No computers. Still didn’t win. At least it was for a good cause. But keeping with tradition, Lori brought someone along who got yelled at. Nothing like starting and keeping a tradition.
So, just because I live alone, work from home and rarely leave the house because it costs money, people get all worried about me and shit. Well, worry no more my friends, as I have gotten some roommates. They are super low maintenance, not plants, great listeners and like swimming as much as I do!
That’s right! J-FO got some previously owned fish. They are lovely. I think their scales look like sequins and they are completely mesmerizing to watch. They came with names, Dora and Beauty, but I think they need new names that are like matched, like Elsa and Anna or Laverne and Shirley or Thelma and Louise. So I’m just trying to get to know them better and then I’ll rename them.
The hardest part about having fish is to not feed them too much. These ladies can pack away the pellets and they eat in a such an entertaining way, it feels like they are happy. They swim around joyfully and do tricks, who wouldn’t want to see that all day?
But I have to stay focused on the big picture. Do I want the fish to be really happy for 20 minutes and then bloat and die? Or do I want them to be regular happy every day and live for a long time? I feel that’s a metaphor for some kind of life lesson, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusion there. 🙂
So with a title like that you are probably expecting some awesome story about how I finally met someone and I’m happy as a clam. You’re an idiot. I met someone, I caught feelings ( isn’t that the worst?) and he turned out to be the biggest douche canoe I’ve encountered in a really long time. Enough about that.
No my friends, the good thing I am talking about here is a comforter from Zulily. I spied it months ago but I was in the middle of my weekly car repair season and non- necessities like the only comforter I’ve seen and liked in like 5 years was not in the cards for me. So I watched is get sold out and all my hopes of having it, were dashed.
But wait, several weeks later, I received a communication from the good folks at Zulily telling me it was back in stock! WHAT?? For real? So obviously, I bought it immediately. It finally arrived, you know how it takes forever to get stuff from them, and now it’s mine.
However, I’m scared to put it on my bed. What if I get nail polish on it? Diet coke? sweat from a hot flash? So I finally have this thing I really wanted and I’m scared to enjoy it.
So, I got to thinking, as I do sometimes. Why are we, and by we, I mean me, saving everything for a special occasion? I’m 44. I’m literally not getting any younger what am waiting for? And why do I keep needing to remind myself to live my life? I’m a grown up. I don’t need anyone’s permission to do anything. Why is this such a struggle? Did you know that there are people who buy steaks and fancy fish for themselves even when it’s not on sale and for no other reason than because they want to? And that there are people who don’t even know where to look for a coupon?
So this past weekend, I made the 130ish mile round trip to my parents’ house and in the course of trying to minimize my travel time, I will not deny having a wee bit of a lead foot while applying chap stick, eating a Sausage McMuffin, guzzling Diet Coke, calling people, and trying to get Alexa on my phone to keep a list of the things I think to do while I’m driving. Now just to be clear, I don’t do all those things at one time. That wouldn’t be safe.
But inevitably, along the way, I got myself a police escort. More accurately, a police tail. Now, I’m sure we were both just headed in the same direction, however, there is nothing like a police car directly behind you to encourage you to slow down, set your cruise control and put down your breakfast.
He eventually turned off. I did not get pulled over or even get his lights flashed at me but the incident got me to thinking. What if we all drove, all the time, like a police officer was following us?
Think about it, paying full attention to driving, wearing our seat belts, not speeding. How much safer would we all be? It’s a crazy idea, right? And think, if you always drove like that, you wouldn’t get all nervous when there is a police cruiser near you on the highway because you would already be on your “A” game.
So then I started thinking, what if we lived our whole lives like someone was watching and always did things the right way, you know, flossed your teeth every single night, always washed off your makeup, made your bed everyday and so on. It doesn’t seem like a bad way to live until the incident Sunday morning.
I was making a casserole for the week and I was shredding cheddar cheese with a grater and hypothetically speaking, I may have also shredded the tiniest bit of my knuckle on my thumb. Now I looked and I didn’t see any skin on the cheese and since this wasn’t on live TV, I did not throw out the skin cheese, but proceeded to put it on my casserole anyway. The way I figure out, the skin is probably stuck in the grater because after that, I used the other side anyway. Was that wrong?
So maybe living your life like someone is watching, isn’t always practical, but maybe we should think about upping our driving game….
So however many years ago, there was book written called, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Coleman. Although I have never read the book, I know people who have and I have skimmed many info-graphics on the five love languages while reading Pinterest, so I am practically an expert at this point.
Basically, the idea is that there are five different ways that people receive and give love. And it’s not just about romantic love but between parents and children, friends, any relationship where you care about someone. I, among other things, am a gift giver and want to talk about this.
Often, when gifts are given, there is some amount of monetary value assigned to the gift whether it’s the actual retail cost or the time that went into creating the treasure or some combination of the two. This value can, at times, cause the receiver to become uncomfortable if they feel unworthy of such a gift or in an exchanging situation if they offered a gift of a lesser value.
I’m here to tell you to knock that shit off. Personally, when I pick out a gift for someone it’s because I adore them in one way or another and most simply put, I found something that, in my mind will bring them joy. Don’t take away my joy of giving you something awesome by making it awkward. Smile. Say thank you. Put a picture on Facebook if you want. That’s all I and most of us gift givers, need in return. Enjoy the love we are giving you and let us love you in a way we know how to express it and are comfortable with.
If you are a person that loves by offering words of affirmation, an appropriate response to a gift would be a thank you note telling me I’m awesome. If you’re an acts of service person, do my laundry or make me meatloaf. I think the idea that there always needs to be an even exchange of like for like goods and services between the important people in your life is out dated. I’m not saying you should just give and give until your dry, but if you haven’t had to pump your gas in a decade, you might want to recognize that for what it is.
I know it might seem that I am making light of this, but seriously, every person gives and receives love in different languages and taking a minute to love people how they need to be loved and letting people love you how they need to show you, might help us feel more love in our lives in areas where we feel we are being neglected.
Here is one of the many info-graphics from Pinterest about the Five Love Languages. I strongly suggest if this idea is new to you, you take a minute to mull the idea over and maybe even read the book. My friends who have really got a lot out of it.
So as a product of the generation with movies like Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Say Anything and Sixteen Candles, a tiny part of me still thinks that at some point my life might resemble a modern day fairy tale. And although we all know I’ve given up on the birds cleaning my house, I still like to think that my prince charming is out there somewhere, just waiting to pick me up in a nice SUV for an all expenses paid trip to Target to furnish a nice three bedroom house with a pool where we will live happily ever after.
Since this is the digital age, and I don’t go to Balls, I realize that I might have to find him through unique means, (this is where you hear a chime in your head) hence – Craigslist Missed Connections. When I mention this, the first thing people say is didn’t they get rid of personal ads. In short, yes. You can no longer find ads where people are looking to and this is an actual quote “hook up in my roomy SUV”. They do however, still have the Missed Connections under the community section.
I do get much entertainment from reading the ads. I pretty much will tell anyone who listens about them and encourage them to read them as well. For a while, there was a woman who worked at the post office on Milwaukee street that was getting a lot of attention. Although I thought about it, I did never go there to see what all the fuss was about. Lately, there seems to be lots of encounters at the Kwik Trip along the lines of “I held the door for you and we smiled. You made my day with your blonde unwashed hair and pajama pants….”
I’ve taken some screen shots of some recent ones for your entertainment, just to give you a feel of what goes on.
I have actually been able to get one friend to read the missed connections with me and sometimes we compare notes and chuckle. Well, one day she was having a bad day and for fun, I posted what I thought was a very specific and innocent add for her. I was wrong. See below and FYI, these are the ones fit to print. Needless to say, I ended up removing the ad.
And so another day begins here at home. Where else could I be? Did you pick me up? Do you really think I would walk somewhere? On the plus side, the pink tree outside my office window is in full bloom which is one of my favorite weeks of the year and luckily I’m home every single moment of every day to enjoy it. Good thing I have run out of Zyrtec. ARGH!
So when last we discussed the Navigator, it had stranded me at the Pick and Save and I had it towed to get fixed. Long story short, they go to push it in the shop, the key wont turn ( again), had to get the locksmith back out, only to discover the problem was beyond the place where you put the key in and with the part that the key makes start the car in the steering column. I’m sure there is a more technical term for this but you know what I mean. That part comes in, key turns again, car can be shifted into neutral so that they can push it into the shop. Car’s in the shop, starter is installed. Car still won’t start. The problem is not the starter, but a pulley on the broken compressor for the AC. FML. In case you were not aware, those are $$$$$. Also, no one in town has the parts so they have to be over nighted in.
Now in all fairness, I was furloughed this weekend via a rental car but like this whole situation there were some hiccups with the pricing with that and I really have come to realize I have four options at this point in my life:
Figure out how to start pooing gold coins
Start turning tricks
Find a money tree
Win the lottery
Pricing hiccup – reserved car online at one price. Asked about upgrading at pickup, given one price for upgrade. Sign contract, leave with upgrade. Drive down street. Get phone call saying that they made a mistake and they price was wrong and was going to be close to a $100 instead of the sweet $28 I thought it was going to be ( I mixed points with a weekend special). Talk about annoying. However, I do believe that Karma had my side on this one. I got up to return it and it was not under a tree, but somehow, my sweet bird friends left like 3 giant bird poops on the windshield. So at least they had to wash it before they could re-rent it.
Obviously, since I can’t go out and about, I have lots of time to read the internet right now and partake in my favorite past time, internet dating. And let me tell you, this latest batch includes some really sweet screen shots that will hopefully make you laugh as hard as I have.