Monday, June 24, 2013

Why I Will Never Be an Actual Grown Up

Gather round dear friends, it's time for me to tell you a story. A true story. A stupid true story that illustrates why I will never be a real grown up no matter how old I get and why does this stuff happen to me anyway?

Last Monday was my special day to drive Jonathan and his friend Stas up to NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training), an invitation only Scout Camp. I love driving hyper teenage boys to camp two hours away, except not really.

After I dropped them off I picked up a diet coke and started the trek home. After about half an hour of driving, my car started making weird noises, and then my steering wheel got all jerky-wonky. At the time I was driving with one hand because I was trying to get the last bit of ice from my diet coke and I wasn't exactly sure what was going on.

But you know what was going on, don't you? Because only a dork like me thinks, "Wow, the wind must really be blowing hard." Then I thought, "Ummm, or maybe I have a flat tire?". So I pulled over to the side of the freeway and got out to check my tires.
And the back tire was seriously popped like a balloon. So I stared at it for a minute and then went to get my phone. But I couldn't get my phone. Because my stupid door handle is broken and I have been too lazy busy to get it fixed. It is kind of tolerable because when I turn and hold the key in the door the windows roll down and I can reach in and open the door from the inside. Like a grown up, except the opposite. But there on the freeway I was tough out of luck because the keys were in the running car and BMW's automatically lock all the doors when you drive over 10 mph.

Agony.

So I stood on the side of the freeway with cars whizzing past at 80 mph for maybe 20 minutes while I pondered what the heck I should do. My hair got nice and frizzy but no one stopped to help me.

There was a fence next to me on the freeway, about 6 feet tall. It was three feet of cement and then 3 feet of chain link on top of that. So, like a grown up (not!), I decided to climb over it and see if I could get help from someone in the warehouse I could see on the other side. I kind of wonder what anyone driving past thought about a middle aged white woman hopping a fence on the freeway-but I guess I'll never know.

I plopped down and started walking around the warehouse looking for a door. My hair was a windy mess and my white t-shirt was filthy from the chain link but, whatever. I finally found a glass door and with my face pressed against it I could see the warehouse was full of boxes, but I didn't see any people. 

I gave a little tug on the door and SHAZZAM, the building alarm went off. It was awesome. I sort of shrugged and held my hands up to let anyone watching on any security cameras know that I was not a threat-but they must have already guessed that because no one came.

So I kept prowling around the building. There were cars in the parking lot so I knew there were people somewhere. People with phones. People who could help me.

People who only spoke Chinese! Yep, the next glass door opened into an office, but the two men working the front desk didn't speak English. An effort was made at sign language but "I got a flat tire and locked myself out of my car on the freeway next to your office so I jumped the fence and came here looking for a phone and oh, can I look up my husband's number on your computer because I don't have it memorized?" doesn't translate all that well.

They did let me use their computer. But it was set to Chinese. I still found Marc's office number and gave him a call. He told me to sit tight and he'd get road side service to me and call back when they were on the way. Then I sat quietly with the two men wondering if they understood why I wasn't leaving. My emotions were sort of teeter-tottering between laughing hysterically and crying and I kept telling myself to focus on how silly this all was to keep from crying.

After 30 or so long minutes Marc called back and told me road side service was on the way and to go wait by the car. Easier said than done in this case. I thanked my new friends and walked back over to the fence. My car was purring smoothly on the other side and I decided to wait to scramble back over the fence until the tow truck came. I didn't really like standing on the freeway. Surprise!

A few minutes later one of my new Chinese buddies came out and stood with me. He asked in broken English if that was my car. Affirmative. Then he pointed to the freeway and asked if I wanted a ride.

I carefully weighed my options and decided that we were fully friends now and that I did feel better about a ride with him than trying to climb the fence again. Plus it was lower down on the warehouse side and I wasn't even sure I could do it.

As we climbed into his car I wondered if maybe this was the beginning of my new life. Maybe we were going to drive off into little Chinatown together and I would live as a white slave maid somewhere. "What will my Dad think?" I wondered. But I got in anyway, took a deep, centering breath, held out my hand and said, "Thank you so much for the ride. My name is Shelley."  And my new friend took my hand, smiled, and said, "I'm Chinese."

I'm not making this up.

From there the story gets pretty predictable. I got my tire changed and drove to a close by tire place were I got to spend a thousand dollars on four new tires because "A BMW is a precision all wheel drive vehicle and if you replace one tire you need to replace them all..blah, blah, blah..."

When I finally got home I picked Marc up from Bart and thanked him for being my long distance savior. Then I made him take me out to dinner because even though we have been on the Medifast eating plan, I told him I didn't know how to get through a day like that without ice cream!

Maybe I will someday, if I'm ever a grown up.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Take Shape For Life

Ima now going to talk about my diet (or "eating plan" if you speak p.c.). On the one hand it seems kind of awkward to talk about, but on the other hand, sharing is caring and when have I ever let awkward stop me anyhow?


I'm eating Medifast. I eat five of the Medifast meals a day and then one meal that I make out of "real" food; it's called the Lean and Green meal because you eat one protein portion and three vegetable portions.

I've been overweight for about ten years now and although I've tried a couple of times to diet I haven't really been in a place mentally to make my weight a priority. For some reason(partly Maddie's wedding) I really want to get it off now. Also, I keep thinking that I had no business donating a kidney if I'm not going to at least try and reach a healthy weight.

Medifast is a good choice for me because I have all kinds of food issues and this takes away the decision making process pretty completely-I just eat the food and that's that. Obviously this can't be my life long plan...but I like that it's clearing out some time and space for me to really think about my eating issues, why I eat what I do and when I do and how much I do. I'm trying really hard to be tuned into any cravings and evaluate what triggers them so I handle myself better in the future.

I definitely need to learn how to self sooth without food. Really. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Free the Paint

Back in December I finally painted my entryway. And actually, this little entryway has taken up more than it's fair share of space on the blog as I keep trying to get it just right. But since I posted plans, I figure I should share what I did-especially since I learned an awesome paint secret which I will now share with you...how to lay your hands on some FREE paint!

Yes friends, FREE. My most favorite price in the whole world.

My brother told me about this trick. It is going to the dump and taking paint that people have dropped off to be recycled. 
Here's my brother Paul introducing me to the glories of dump  paint.
At our facility there was a whole room full of partially used gallons and quarts of paint that people had dropped off. I went in knowing that I wanted to paint the entryway a darkish blue/grey color, and that I would need about two gallons of paint to do it. I was also on the look out for white trim paint.

Here is the only real "rule" you need to remember: **When you mix paints, use matching finishes** For me that meant choosing two nearly full gallons of white-ish flat interior latex and then several quarts of blue, black, and grey flat interior latex. See what I did there? All flat interior latex. No mixing oil with latex or flat with gloss. For more painting tips check out my "Painting guide for the lazy and non-critical."
I took a whole box, hey, it's free!
I also took several quarts of white semi-gloss trim paint. They were all different brands and slightly different shades of white-no worries as long as the finishes match. At home I mixed the two gallons of white together in a big 5 gallon bucket and then started mixing in the quarts of color. I ended up using a whole quart of black to get the color as dark as I wanted.
Once I had a color that I was happy with it was a just a matter of painting as usual. But for FREE!


As you can see,I have not yet wall papered the stair risers-but I still plan to (when I win the lottery).

On a side note, I have not loved the orange entryway tile since we moved in so I decided to paint that too. Sometimes I paint unusual things on the principle that I can't hate it any worse than I already do so why not?

I used TSP cleaner to clean the tile really well first. Then I used two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and one coat of ASCP Floor Lacquer. You can see how it looks in the pictures. I'm super happy and it has held up perfectly! Yay. No more orange floor. 


Orange sweater yes, orange floor no.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How I Bit Off More Than I Can Chew and Blog About

My sweet Aunt Colleen has messaged me a couple of times to let me know that "Cranky Pants" is not such an attractive title to be lingering as my most recent post. I didn't mean to take a blogging break; life just got so busy I couldn't keep up with it an blog at the same time. Which is a silly thing to say since everyone's life is crazy busy. Still, I can only do so much.

So. Why am I so busy you ask. Well first let us all remember that I have limited capabilities and require lots of down time to read, snuggle children, and watch television. Then there was Christmas, and some major yard renovations, and Katie deciding to drop out of high school (I know, I know...that will need it's own fun and exciting post-plus now she is going to be an au pair in France)and Ellie going through extensive testing for learning disabilities, and Maddie getting engaged.

YES YOU DID HEAR ME RIGHT! And NO, I am NOT old enough to have a daughter getting married. Obviously. But apparently it is happening anyway. I know, you have questions.

Yes, we like him.

August.

They will both continue at BYU.

In the Oakland LDS temple.

Physics. He is majoring in Physics. Like with math and science. But we still like him.

He served an LDS mission in Florida.

Kenny.

And that friends is why I haven't been blogging. Wedding has taken over my brain. I fondly call it "wedding brain."

Here are photos of the darling couple.
This was when we first met Kenny, last November.
And when we visited after Christmas.

So there you have it. My fine excuses for not blogging...also including our Easter party, the entryway paint job, and starting a major new eating plan.

But I miss it so I'ma gonna get back at it. Just imagine all the wedding goodness to come :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cranky Pants

I'm telling you right now that this post is going to have too much information. Like that it's that time of month. And it is making me Crabby with a capitol C. For one thing, I'm too old for this crap. And for another, everything smells bad to me. No, I don't know why. And I wish I hadn't said "crap," but I really can't think of a nicer more lady like word for it.

You should just leave, it's only going to get worse.

Earlier this week Marc won the mulch lottery when he spotted a tree trimming company working in one of our neighbors yards. They had chipped the wood and had a whole truck full of mulch that he sweet talked them into dropping off by our trampoline.
Marc's winning score!
Then it rained most of the week.

Then this morning it was still raining but Marc insisted that he and Jonathan move mulch down into what can only very loosely be termed "garden beds" by our driveway. 

And it's just annoying me. Because the mulch is not nice like mulch you buy, it has tons of evergreen needles in it. And also, I think Riley pooped in those beds because as Marc was raking mulch around it Seriously (with a capitol s) smelled like pooh. Which, gross.

But Marc just kept shoveling up wheel barrels full of faux mulch and then raking it around in the beds...in the rain...with the pooh smell. And I KNOW it's ridiculous for me to be upset about this, but I am anyway. 

Frankly, I feel irritated by just about everything right now. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wallpapered Stair Risers

For my next trick, I mean project, I'm hoping to really update our entryway. I've been messing with it forever, but now that we've bought the Ranch I'm willing to put in some real elbow grease (money, as always, is questionable).

The space is pretty small, but since it's the first thing you see when you come into our home I'm hoping to give it a little more pizzazz.   

Here's how the stairs look now.
One of the things I'd love to try is painting the risers, or maybe using wallpaper on them.
I started out looking at chevron patterns, like this:
www.homedepot.com
And then I saw this:
via
It turns out this is actually wallpaper. Beautiful, no? I plan to paint the walls a moody grey which makes me like this picture, also done with wallpaper:
Via
But I want walls that are a darker grey, and a pattern that is a softer yellow. What do you think of these two wallpapers that I found on the Home Depot website?

OR
I kind of love them both, but the floral costs $45 a roll and the geometric print is $86 so there's that. I think the geometric is more on trend with decorating right now, but the floral might fit in well with our this old house vibe?

Anyone done any wallpaper projects, by the way? Paint and me are best friends, but the only thing I've done with wallpaper is take it down. I actually have no idea how hard this plan might be.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Not Too Old for Children's Books

On Thursday my book group is meeting and I'm super excited because we are discussing children's books. Instead of reading one book though, we each get to share a passage from a favorite children's book and then our fearless leader, Miriam, will put together a list of all of them for us to add to our reading list.

Good Grief, how to pick just one?!

I've written before about my love of the not-for-adults genre...here and here. I think that my parents raised me first and books raised me a close second. I wanted to be brave and good like Sarah Crewe, and I desperately wanted to be worthy to visit Narnia. And the magic that saved Mary Lennox in The Secret Garden, man alive, I believe in that kind of magic!
The Secret Garden
So tell me, what are some of your favorites? The children's classics? Fantasy? Newer titles like The Hunger Games? ALL OF THE ABOVE!

This is the time to leave a comment people! It can be your good deed for the day. Share your wealth of experience so we can all get cracking on your recommendation. 

Mmmmm-mmmm, I love recommendations.

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