Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Review

I'm totally stealing this idea from Autrice. Go visit her HERE.

Autrice says, "Annie is too clever for my own good. She found this fabulous idea for reviewing our year. "You simply write the first line of the first post of each month. Include a picture if you like and, voila, you have your year in review." Visit There is no place like home. You can also share it at My Romantic Home, which Annie found as well."

(Since I'm that lazy, I even stole the explanation of how to do this but I was much to lazy to do all the linking to Annie, There Is No Place Like Home, or My Romantic Home. If you're interested [and you should be] visit Autrice and make free and liberal use of her linking abilities!)

Roadchick's 2008


Over the Festive Season, the 'chick's laptop had a little accident - it wound up on the hardwood floor.


After a long stretch of hibernating, the 'chick finally left the house and did some shopping this weekend.


If it weren't for bad luck, the 'chick would have no luck at all.


Blogging can be very interesting sometimes.


Y'all, it's been Thursday for four days.


Redneck has informed the 'chick that this weekend, they will be going camping.



It's a holiday weekend which means the 'chick was released from work early, at 1:00.


If you look to the right, you will see that the 'chick has added a link to something called Roadchick Reviews.


It's September, isn't it?


I've been silent for a while now, and it's not that I've forgotten to write although I have been busy.


I have managed to catch a cold.


Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

In conclusion, all I can say is: I'm sorry that I have had such a lame-sounding year and that really, I am more interesting than this recap would prove.

Anyway - Happy New Year, y'all. Have fun and be safe!

See you in 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Get It Together!


is what I should be working on, and should've been working on all through the holiday week. (No, that's not really my desk. But it feels like it could be.)


is what has captured my attention since Christmas Eve and has turned my brain into a great big pile of video-induced haze.

Three days to work this week.

Seven days until the state shows up.

One (at least one, until I check the mail today) report to do for the after-work job.

One Christmas tree to take down and pack away until next year.

One dishwasherful of clean dishes, waiting to be put away.

One sinkful of dishes, waiting for their turn in the dishwasher.

One garage door with a broken torsion spring to be replaced, involving (hopefully) one trip up a ladder to measure the broken spring to order replacement parts.

One more minute to say - Christmas was good, sorry it's over (have I EVER said that before???), no idea of New Year's Eve plans - it may be a movie on DVD in pajamas, which would probably be ok with Redneck.

I'll post when I get a minute - and if it's later rather than sooner - HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sooper Sekrit Recipes!

Moving right along. . .

I'm baking. I cannot even believe how much that little trip to the grocery store cost. (A LOT. No, more than that. More. A little higher.)

So far, I've made a fudge pie for Redneck, to take to his mama's on Christmas Eve. One batch of fudge (with nuts in) and will make one more without nuts.

Fudge by Paul (a former co-worker)
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup pecan pieces

Over low heat, melt chips in milk & condensed milk (stir it. a lot.) When completely melted, remove from heat and add vanilla and pecans. Spread in a lightly greased 9x9 pan. Chill for at least 3 hours.

***Instead of greasing the 9x9 pan, I lined it with the non-stick foil. Easy to flip out of the pan, and NO WASHING UP to do. I recommend this method. ***

I'm trying a bread recipe that might be similar to this bread that my grandma used to make when I was little. No one ever got the recipe because there wasn't one. My mom tried and my grandma told her something like: about this much flour, a pinch of this, a few pinches of that. . . while I could've probably figured it out, my mom didn't even bother writing anything down since she's not big on baking (or cooking).

The bread should be almost done rising. Hopefully. If not, then I don't know what I'm going to do with it.

Then, I've got to make the cookies that guarantee my admittance into the house on Christmas. Russian Tea Cakes with Hershey Kisses inside.

Russian Teacakes by Roadchick

1 cup soft butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sifter confectioner's sugar

Mix first three ingredients thoroughly.

Sift together, then stir into the top three ingredients:
2 & 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Then add:
3/4 cups finely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts, but pecans are better)

Chill the dough.

Unwrap about a bazillion Hershey Kisses. Don't eat all of them or you'll be sick.

When the dough is cold, mold it around each kiss. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes until set but not brown. Let cool for a few minutes, but while still warm, roll in confectioner's sugar. Let cool completely, then roll in confectioner's sugar again.

Eat a lot of them, with milk. Yum!

I have a feeling it's going to be crazy around here for the next few days, so Merry Christmas! And remember - he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake . . .

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ho, Ho - Ho!

I am a regular little Christmas elf this year. I'm beginning to scare myself.

That would be the tree that Rockboy put up over the weekend.

That would all of the Christmas presents - wrapped.

The only thing I can think of that I need to do is make cookies, but that will have to happen next week otherwise they will get eaten before I'm supposed to hand them out to the brothers.

Fa la la la lalala.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is It A Full Moon???

It has been one of Those Days.

I should be catching up on all the work I meant to do today, until Life got in the way. Instead, I am here, to find out if it's just me, or has the world gone batshit crazy today???

The morning started out with me fiddling around with my blogger template, trying to change it to something else. That didn't work. No problem - I had the code for the template I've been using and slammed it back into blogger. Oh hell no. It didn't take. I was time-warped back to a previous incarnation including links that are a million years old. After some fiddling, I got it changed back to the way it started out before I went and got all creative.

I had to meet a client for a doctor's appointment at 9:30. No problem. I got there a few minutes early, he was already there with his staff - things are rolling right along.

TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATER we finally got called back for the appointment. Which is completely unacceptable. The explanation? There were some emergencies. I was there for that whole time. No one came out with blood on them. It was not an emergency.

Heartless? Yep. Sure am. But this client has some behavioral challenges and fortunately, he was having a much better day than I was. I had to leave that appointment early (after we finally got in back) to go to another meeting an hour away.

I got to that meeting and it started 30 minutes late. It was spectacularly unproductive.

By this time, it is 2:00 and I have yet to eat so much as a cracker - all day.

I grabbed coffee with a friend only to get a phone call from Rockboy that just about launched me into orbit.

His new (to him) XBox? Wouldn't work with his TV? So HE TOOK MY TV OUT OF THE LIVING ROOM AND HE JUST WANTED TO LET ME KNOW.

Needless to say, I informed him that he would return MY TV to the living room immediately, hook it up, and make sure it was working BEFORE I GOT HOME OR BY GOD THERE WOULD BE A KILLING.

The TV is hooked up although he didn't bother to put it back like it was. Sometimes, you just have to take a deep breath and think calming thoughts. I fixed the TV and in the meantime, eliminated 90% of the extra cords, wires, adapters, etc. that were lurking back there. (Men never do that sort of thing when they hook something up. Redneck has been back there 30 times and never did it. Rockboy certainly wasn't going to do it, since he was mad.)

Rockboy boogied out of here before I got home, but I'm waiting for him. He has to come back eventually. And when he does, it's not going to be pleasant. Because that is the kind of day I've had and I may as well take all of it out on him since he was foolish enough to give me a reason.

One of these days, he'll learn.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Morning Blah

It's Monday. Again.

This is technically the last full week of work for us, since we are going to be closed the week of Christmas, coming back to work a couple of days the next week, then off New Year's Day and Jan. 2.

Not for me.

The state moved our annual survey up from February to January 5, which is the first full week of work after the holidays, so that means I will be working when my other co-workers are at home, sleeping in, relaxing, having fun, etc.

Why, no, I'm not at all bitter about it.

The snow last week messed up my travel plans for work, so instead of traveling one day this week, I'll be away two days. Plus another day to go to an appointment with a client and a meeting for him on the same day.

Redneck is here. And that's fine, really. In the past couple of weeks, he's started staying on Sunday night and then just going to work on Monday.

But here's the thing: I've lived alone for a LONG time and I have little set routines, especially in the morning. I like to take my time getting ready, drinking coffee, watching (or listening) to the news, etc. and all of these things take place in my bedroom/bathroom.

Since Redneck does not have to get up at the crack of dawn, I have to do these things elsewhere which means I am perched on the couch in the living room. Which is ok, but vaguely unsettling. And when I get a shower and dry my hair, it's with the bathroom door closed so the noise doesn't wake him up. Same for putting on makeup.

I know that it's just a matter of getting used to a new routine but I'm struggling with it a little. Mornings are a struggle anyway because I rarely actually want to be up and moving and that makes it a little harder. It doesn't help that I'm envious of being able to sleep until you wake up. I know that he pays for that perk by having to work in the afternoon and evening when I'm at home in my pajamas, but let's not bring any silly logic into this, ok?

In other news, Rockboy and his girlfriend put up the tree on Saturday night. So far, Speedbump has stayed out of it, but I figure that will change as soon as she has the house to herself.

Christmas shopping is done and wrapping has commenced. Almost everything is in a box which will make it a lot easier for wrapping - nothing with a weird shape. I think opening wrapped stuff is more fun but I also admit to being lazy and using gift bags to just get the whole wrapping thing over with. That won't happen this year because I don't actually have bags that the boxes would fit in. I figure if I do one or two a day, I'll be done in no time with a minimum of pain and whining.

Crap. It's almost 6:30. I've got to get ready for work.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I live in Nashville.

It does snow here. Really.

But, um, hello? The weather guy did NOT say it was going to snow like that.

Now, I know to the northern folks, that amount of snow is nothing. Actually, it's not much to me, either.

Except that Tennessee has one snowplow and we all have to share it.

It was elsewhere today.

It took me one hour to drive 5 miles, from the interstate to my neighborhood, for a couple of reasons.

1. There was a line of 40387 cars in front of me and they were all going reaaaalllly, reaaaaallly slow.

2. There was a lumpy, bumpy layer of ice all over the road which makes the hills and curves a bit of a challenge.

But, it's beginning to look a LOT like Christmas. Maybe I should get the stupid tree out this weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Solution

Those of you that have been around for a few years know that I have an ongoing battle with Speedbump (the cat).

So far, Speedbump is winning.

I used to put up the Christmas tree on Black Friday. Instead of going shopping and making myself crazy, I would stay home, rummage in the attic, decorate, reminisce, and make myself crazy.

Then Speedbump moved in.

Speedbump loves Christmas. She loves it more than a toddler hopped up on cookies and hot chocolate.

She loves the presents. They're wonderful to climb on. There are ribbons to chew, bows to attack, paper to sniff. They crinkle and rustle. You can hide behind them.

But more than anything, she LOVES the Christmas tree.

She gets excited, tail twitching, as soon as the upstairs storage closet door opens. If she had hands, I believe that she would even help carry boxes downstairs.

As soon as the Christmas tree box is set down, she's on top of it, desperate to get inside. We almost can't get it open because we can't keep her off of it long enough. She insists on helping to sort the branches and straighten the tips. She inspects the center pole. She sits in the stand.

I usually wind up putting her in a bedroom and closing the door so we can get on with it already because she also likes to chase the lights and the garland.

The ornaments are particularly exciting. I used to put up a "children's tree" - a tree with no particular theme other than all the ornaments on it were made by someone I know or given to me as a gift. My mom made a zillion felt ornaments with beads and sequins - all stuffed and sewn by hand. There are the horrid ornaments I made in grade school with a styrofoam ball and glue and sequins. There are the Hallmark ornaments that Rockboy chose over the years. With colored lights, it was a gorgeous tree. Impressive. Colorful.

We don't put up that tree anymore. The soft ornaments were disappearing at an alarming rate. Some of them were found under furniture. Some were found down the hall. And some, the very unlucky ones, were found drowned in Speedbump's water bowl. Some were dismantled by systematic chewing, stuffing strewn from one end of the living room to the other.

No matter which tree we put up (there are two), she loves to climb them. She climbs up the inside of the tree, knocking branches loose as she goes. When they're just loose, it's not so bad - when they're completely removed, it becomes more difficult. Imagine decorating each branch and THEN putting the tree together after you've draped lights around them while they were in a circle on the floor. It's hard to put that stuff back together so that it doesn't look like ass.

I changed to glass ball ornaments because Speedbump can't figure out how to carry them away. She may swat them with her foot, but they don't wind up in the water bowl and their stuffins don't come out.

But, I am no longer in a hurry to get the decorations out because I know that every time I come home, I will enter the house holding my breath, waiting to see how much damage has been done this time. How long it will take to repair it.

I believe that I have found a solution. The upside-down Christmas tree. Some people buy them because they're quirky and trendy. But I suspect that the person that first hung a tree upside down from the ceiling was a person that has a demolition artist disguised as a cat.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Snapshot: Duh.

I can always tell when I'm under a lot of stress.

I get things mixed up or I forget them altogether. Of course, that is also a sign of dementia or Alzheimer's, but I think I'm still too young for those.

A co-worker's husband passed away last week. An email made the rounds about a memorial service that was scheduled for Saturday.

They live a couple hours away from me, so I got up at 6:00, drank coffee for a little while, got a shower, started getting ready.

Woke Rockboy up so that he could go take his ACT today. (Graduation requirement!)

Went back to the bathroom, put on moisturizer. (I'm trying to be better about doing that. The closer I get to 40, the more I worry about it. What kind of moisturizer do you like? There are only about forty-eleven choices and I had a panicky moment at Walgreens trying to make up my mind. What was I talking about?)

Oh yes, so duly moisturized, brush teeth, wake Rockboy up again and tell him to get his ass in gear, shuffle back to the bathroom, put on make-up.

Wake up Rockboy again, go back to the bathroom, towel-dry hair, detangle, look at make-up and wonder if I look like I forgot to wash my face due to the moisturizer making the make-up seem a little harsh.

Go get more coffee. Go back into bedroom, Redneck is awake and staring around like he has no idea why he's awake. (He's awake because he said he would drive me to the memorial service.)

Glad he's awake, go back into bathroom to dry hair with the door open. (It's hot as hell drying hair in a closed bathroom. Makes your make-up come off.)

Hair finally dry, plug in flat iron. Put on black tights. Ponder between two skirts - the long, black, drapey one or the short, straight gray one. Ask Redneck. He chooses the long one. (Good choice - it's cold here.) Ask him why he chose that one. Listen to him grumble about me asking him which one and then asking questions about it. Ignore him. Go straighten hair.

Check on Rockboy. He's up and moving. Good Rockboy.

Get dressed. Figure out which earrings to wear. (Note: sparkly Christmas stocking earrings are not somber enough for a memorial service.) Decide on long, dangly, pearl ones.

Go back to bathroom to brush hair. Drop brush on floor. Yell bad word when the handle of the brush breaks off. Decide the smaller brush (minus handle) fits better in purse.

Rockboy leaves to take the ACT. Redneck gets dressed and starts the car so it will warm up. Grab last minute crap (nail file, hanky) and find decent coat. (Note: do not wear your Harley Cafe/Las Vegas jean jacket to a memorial service.)

Program Garman, hit the road.

Drive for approximately three days. Decide to call other co-workers to see who's going.

Talk to co-worker #1: Are you going to the memorial service?
Co-worker: I don't know - we had some plans for next Saturday.
Me: Isn't it today?
Co-worker: No, I think it's next weekend.
Me: Fuck. I've got to call Co-worker #2. Bye.

Call co-worker #2: Hey, are you going to the memorial service today?
Co-worker #2: It's next Saturday - the 13th.
Me: It's not today? Are you sure?
Co-worker #2: It's next Saturday.
Me: Fuck. I'm already almost up there.

Me: (Look at Redneck guiltily.)
Redneck: Next Saturday.
Me: Um, yes?
Redneck: You made me get up early.
Me: You woke up on your own.
Redneck: Never mind, we'll find something to do up here.
Me: (Looking down at long, black, drapey skirt and boots) Ok. (Thinking my feet already hurt and I haven't walked anywhere yet.)

I ask you, Patient Reader - who the hell gets the date for a MEMORIAL SERVICE wrong? Roadchick, that's who. The only way it could've been worse was if we had driven the remaining 50 miles only to get to the church and then start wondering where everyone was.

How was YOUR weekend?

Monday, December 01, 2008

Turkey Day, Black Friday, and Beyond

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Amazingly, our family Thanksgiving did not include bloodshed this year. It was close a couple of times, but disaster was averted and a (reasonably) nice time was had by all.

I got off work at 1:00 on Wednesday and came home with the intent of cleaning the house because it's been ages since I've had the time (and an empty house) to get it done.

Rockboy was home and intent on hanging out with me for awhile, which was fine, but then he had to leave to pick up a kitten for girlfriend. Finally. The house to myself.

I started in the living room, mainly because there's not a lot of stuff in there. Couch, loveseat, chair, coffee table, 2 end tables, 2 lamps, TV, and 5 pictures on the mantle. Not a lot of knick-knacky crap to deal with. For some reason, a simple cleaning turned into Fall Cleaning - doing the windows, baseboards, windowsills, etc. Apparently, I've got something of a Black Friday cleaning tradition going on. I think that is what I did last year at this time.

This continued on for the next several days although I did take a break on Saturday and Sunday because Redneck was here and we did a little shopping.

I still have to finish the kitchen. Above the cabinets is a space - presumably for displaying your decorative items. So, I displayed decorative items. And other than looking upward from time to time and shuddering, never did another thing about it. It was time. I climbed up there and hauled all that nasty, dusty crap down and cleaned it up and put 90% of it into a yard sale box. Then I vacuumed up the dust and scrubbed the stupid woodwork rail and upper cabinets. The stuff I decided to keep is parked on the table at the moment. I really don't want to put it back up there but I don't have anywhere else to put it but it's also stuff I don't want to get rid of because it's either an antique or from a family member, or both. So, it's in limbo on the table until I can make a decision about what to do with the stuff.

It's not allowed anywhere else in the house because it's kitchen-y looking stuff AND it will not coordinate with the way the rest of the house looks.

It's a dilemma, y'all. What do you do with the stuff you can't really get rid of, but don't really want to keep? It's beginning to look like it may wind up in boxes in the attic.

Really, the entire point of the exercise was two-fold: to get the house clean, and to get rid of stuff.

I try really hard to keep my level of stuff to a minimum - I really do try. But then I get confused by this kind of stuff.

I'm not terribly sentimental - I can get rid of things that were given to me as gifts without a second thought. If I don't love it or don't use it, it's got to go.

But the gray area of family heirloom/antique kind of gets me. It doesn't help that every time I go to my mom's house, she has some little something that Great Aunt Mary crocheted or whatever and she wants me to have it. Since I'm the only girl, I've become the repository for all this stuff from my mother. I hate to tell her no, I don't want it - she gets that hurt look.

I can promise you that those doilies and back-of-the-chair-head-protector things will never see the light of day again - they've been stuck in the drawer that holds my one tablecloth and cloth napkins (for Easter). My decorating style could be considered Mid-Century Modern with a minimum of clutter/frilly crap.

And I'm afraid that if I get rid of the stuff - on Craigslist, Ebay, yard sale, whatever - that I'll wind up regretting it later. Once it's gone, it's gone, right?

Welcome to December. 24 days until Christmas. Have you finished your shopping yet? I've got some doilies that I'm sure someone on your gift list would just LOVE.