January 8, 2014

Forty...Years, Not Ounces

First things first.  Happy b'day in Heaven to my nana...and Elvis.  Now, my post.

Forty.

I'm rolling that around in my mouth and it tastes like putrid yuckiness.  Like beets or radishes, the only foods I loathe.  Forty just sounds blech.

Last year when Better Half was all sour-pussed about turning 40, I was all, "Hey, c'mon, it's gonna be great!"  The cup that was half-full has since been drained and all traces of that sunshine has evaporated.  Why? Because it's my turn.  Dammit.

I celebrated 30 like a rock star.  No, really.  It was a combo birthday/divorce party and I had a hot new guy there.  He's still hot, but not so new since we're soon celebrating another anniversary.  That decade, minus the whole paralyzing anxiety/panic attacks/therapy part, was pretty amazing.  I got married, had a kid, got my dream job, and bought a house.  My thirties were good...no, I mean good.  How the hell is 40 gonna battle that?  I think of forty like B-Rabbit at the beginning of 8 Mile when he can't hold his mud at battle time.  He could be good, but he's gonna need a lot of help.

When I think of 40, I think of people who are settled...content...together. Settled I can do.  Content is even a maybe.  Ain't no way in hell am I together, though.  I wake up at least 3 times a week thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.  What?  I'm grown?  Oh, shit.  

I keep thinking there are things I want to do in life.  Granted, I'm not sure exactly what those things are, but I feel like I'm marching time, waiting for something.  Before you go all, "Well, go make it happen!"  I don't what it is. Hence the problem.  Okay, that's not really the problem.  The problem is I'm halfway to checking out (optimistically speaking if I make it to 80ish, which I might based on family history), so that means half my friggin' time is up. Halfway is good if you're running a marathon or waiting on homemade chocolate cake or pregnant.  In relation to living versus being dead?  Not so much.

I keep thinking about what I want to be by the time I hit that, ahem, great day.  Time is limited.  Truthfully, so is my dedication to anything that requires a lot of change on my part.  I'm sort of a stubborn ass.  I keep reading that being 40 allows you to be an asshole just because you're 40 now and you're so, you know, wise. I think I locked in on that at about 17.

Here are the two great things I've honed in on thus far.  

I used to have really, really short pixie hair.  Of course, like most women, I always wanted to total opposite of what I had, so my life has been a revolving door of grow-it-out, cut-that-off!  I loved my short hair, but then I envied those easy ponytails and bouncing curls of my friends and let it grow.  After a bit, it become a shield and safety blanket.  Short hair has expectations, ya know.  I couldn't live up to the sassiness required, so I sorta hid behind my long hair.  I think I'm ready to give my pixie another go.  Maybe.  The jury is deliberating, but is leaning toward it.  We'll see.

I've never worn a bikini.  Ever.  I remember being at the beach in high school with friends and one girl needing to borrow a suit.  I offered her an extra of mine, but she politely (sincerely because she was/is an angel of a gal) said she only wore two-piece suits.  I completely understood because I would, too, if I had her body.  I'd probably just strut around n-a-k-e-d all damn day.  I've never been a bikini girl.  I had baby fat that just hung around until I had three babies of my own.  *Sigh*

Maybe 40 will be the year I finally get into a bikini.  Oh, not the shape I'm in now.  There's no way in hell that's happening.  I started working out a bit and watching my food.  Let's be honest, it's not for my health since I'm halfway dead.  It's for the somewhat remote possibility I might buy a bikini this year.  It's gonna have to have some, um, support, but maybe there's nice mommy bikinis out there?  It's new territory to me, so we'll see.

I have six months and a few days to get used to 40 or to at least be able to see sunlight between my thighs.  Wish me luck.
photo: misadventureswithandi.com

January 7, 2014

Bigfoot In My Attic...Or A Husband (Either Way)

Apparently the polar vortex that has descended upon, like, 50% of the US has rendered the pump on our heating unit useless because the water has frozen in it.  Which means, TADA!, no heat from the upstairs unit.  We are blessed, despite being hetherns on occasion, and the downstairs unit has been working double-time to keep us warm through the night...just to be sure, though, J slept with 5 pairs of socks on.  No shit.

As I was headed to the attic to work on this little problem (might I insert here that it totally messes with my head that when I am in the attic I am technically about 4 stories above ground?), my husband informed me he would take care of it because I usually do all the "handyman" stuff around here.  The reason for this is not because he is not capable or is a wuss.  He wears Kevlar for a living, so he's good with the whole manhood business.  In truth, I like that stuff.  I grew up with my daddy tinkering 24-7, so it's my comfort zone.

So, since it's a balmy 1 degree outside right now, which means our attic is maybe 10 degrees, I thought, "Ya know what?  Let him have this one."  Which is how this picture came to be...
Want to know what a blow dryer won't do?
It won't thaw ice when it's 10 degrees.
Sitting in the frigid attic in his Bigfoot suit with the blow dryer (hair dryer?) desperately trying to thaw the line.

Twenty minutes later?  Ice-1  Man-0

Be aware, Polar Vortex, your ass is outta here tomorrow!

January 5, 2014

Fast Food Banished Forever! (Or At Least Until February 1st...)

photo:  med-health.net
It's funny. Each year about the time the fall/winter holidays crank up, so does our consumption of all things fast food.  It starts innocently enough with one of those damn pumpkin spice coffees anytime I see a Starbucks.  Then McDonalds, who sucked with their pumpkin spice coffee, managed to create the most magnificent white chocolate mocha EVER.  Cherry on the sundae?  I have 3 McDonald's at my whim and fancy, so no more driving 30 minutes to the Starbucks.  Score!

From there it is just down the hill into the cesspool of cheeseburgers and fried chicken nuggets.  We go upscale some nights to Bojangles or Zaxby's, but usually it's a Wendy's or McD's drive-thru.  This lasts for about six weeks until we are all gut-sick with preservatives.  But, wait!  New Year's is just around the corner, sassy and dripping with resolutions, so we'll be alright.

Last year we got a little carried away at Christmas and realized we needed to get a grip on the family budget.  When we looked over the checkbook register, we realized all our frivolous spending was fast food stops...biscuits on the way to school...coffee in the afternoons...cheesy pizza goodness after soccer. We decided to go one month without any fast food.  Any.  Nothing. Nada. Damn.

We made it with relatively little pain. I had kinda forgotten how to cook, or maybe I just blocked it out.  I have a household of 4 picky eaters and then me.  I eat everything. You want comfort food?  Buttery mashed taters? Shiny, greasy meatloaf?  Fluffy, steamy biscuits. Syrupy, ice cold sweet tea? I got you.  Wait?  You wanna be healthy? Okay.  I can do roasted brussel sprouts drizzled with balsamic along with lemon-caper chicken and never will a touch of butter or oil touch the pan.  I'll whip you up a salad sans creamy dressing and croutons, and we'll have lukewarm water with lemon juice.  Like I said, I got you.  The rest of the family?  Not so much.

I have 66.6% (repeating 6 'cause it drives the math teacher in me a little batty) of my children allergic to shellfish and nuts.  My husband thinks he's allergic to all vegetables, except green beans.  My son will only eat when and if he's hungry or has conquered the latest level in whatever stupid game he's playing.  (No offense, J.)  One has texture issues and one just has issues.  The Hurricane is a drive-by eater.  She cruises by the table, takes a bite, then does a lap through the house.  We don't worry because we know she'll come back. Usually.

So, it's January 2014, and here we are again.  No fast food month for us.  We did cheat a little and used gift cards we'd been given for a gift on the 2nd after a day of 4 dentist's appointments.  We deserved that one.  Other than that, we've been off the pipe.  I've cooked and we've not starved.  The cupboards are full of stuff I've forgotten I liked. Last night we had pan-seared filets with blue cheese and garlic shrimp and salads.  I'm fixing soup beans today.  I know I'm the only one that'll eat them, but it's okay.  Eat a biscuit if you don't like it.  Or not.  Either way, we aren't going to the drive-thru!

We'll fall back into the pattern come end of the school year when time somehow becomes smaller and shorter and schedules become fatter and fuller.  Maybe not, though.  Maybe I'll morph into super mom or win the lottery and quit my job to become super mom.  For now, I'll settle for 26 more days of no fast food.  How are you changing it up for 2014?