formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, August 31, 2009

I Blame My Mother...

OK, so you guys know I hung out with the Pigsknuckle Liberal this weekend, right? What you might not know is that he, 1) thinks I'm way smarter than I actually am, and, 2) reads my blog periodically. And he said something to me the other night that made me think...

Now, I probably don’t have it verbatim (lots of wine, remember?), but he said something to the effect of, “I’d hate to make you mad ‘cause you could flay me alive on your blog.”

What? Me? Mr. Pigsknuckle Liberal thinks I would be mean on my blog! Me!

I was sad. And I hurriedly assured him that I would never do such a thing.


Did I say never?

Hmmmm... 'never' is a really big word, isn't it?

I mean, there was that one time when I sort of ragged on those politicians. But they’re fair game, right?

And the occasional McDonalds employee might have been on the receiving end of a snide comment.

And, well, there was our 'Dear Former Reader'. And I sort of got a little snarky with him once (or twice… or maybe it was three times…).

Then there was Troll-Guy. And… ummmm… Troll-Guy again.

Yeah, there was also my ex-husband… but come on! Who doesn’t vent about her ex occasionally? Am I right?

Hmmm… ummm… and my brother (trust me, you don’t have the time).

And, well, my mom



Mr. Pigsknuckle Liberal was right! I can be a bitch! (And no, he didn’t call me a bitch… not to my face, anyway.)

OK, clearly I need to work on this. Well, that, or Mr. Pigsknuckle Liberal could try really hard not to piss me off. I’m thinking that might be the road we need to travel… as it seems the snark might just be ingrained.

I blame my mother.

I Saw Billy Crystal at McDonalds This Morning...

I did! I was in the drive-thru (getting a yogurt parfait, since I used up all my points on wine this weekend) when he passed in front of my car, heading in for breakfast. It was a little odd, though, as he was in full make-up for his character in The Princess Bride (I love that movie... every time I watch it, I walk around lisping 'Inconceivable!' and saying 'My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die', in a bad Spanish accent for days).

Anyway, you remember Billy Crystal in that movie, right?

Oh, and this morning he was wearing a dress. And holding an old man's hand.

Yeah, OK... on second thought, it might not have been Billy Crystal after all.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Clearly I Am Not Responsible Enough to Have a Social Life...

So, I was crazy busy yesterday, running around, doing chores, mowing the lawn, etc, all so I could get out of here around 3:00 or so, to go to a cook-out. It was an end-of-summer thing hosted by one of the guys in that social networking group I joined a while ago. I asked the Pigsknuckle Liberal to go with me, since he's the only other single person I even know in Conservative County and I thought he might have a good time. Plus, you know, I like him. Turns out he was interested in getting out of the house, too, so he came with me.

It was a really good evening. There weren't too many people there (I don't like crowds), and we sat around, ate good food (much of it from the farmer's market), drank our beverages of choice (Pinot Noir for moi), and chatted up a storm. Good times.

However... I believe I consumed close to 2 bottles of the red stuff... by myself (I used every single 'extra' Weight Watchers point for the entire week). And I didn't get home until 4:30am.

And I have been useless all day today. Not quite hungover, but definitely not my normal quasi-energetic self either, I made an effort to do something constructive and took Sundance to the park... where we found the first shady spot and plopped down for about an hour of cloud-watching-cum-snoring (well, my dog snored... I used him as a pillow and tried not to fall asleep). And other than drink a massive Diet Pepsi and eat a cold ear of corn and a clementine, that's pretty much all I've done today. Useless.

Clearly I am not responsible enough to have a social life.

But it was definitely fun!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This and That...

Hi, my bloggy loves. I'm still around but I've had very little to say lately, it seems. I don't think I've had a creative thought in weeks. Don't know why... it could be the heat... could be the mosquitoes are sucking the creativity out of me every night, along with pints of my blood... could be that I'm tired as all get out... could be that I'm just a dolt. Dunno. So I'll just catch you up on this and that... you know, the stunningly mundane happenings that are my life...

Let's see... Ryan: She is absolutely loving her new school (whew!)... with the exception of her locker. It won't open. Correction: it won't open for her. Other people? No problem. But Ryan maintains she is doing nothing wrong... so I told her to look at the situation logically. Right. It seems she can't do that either. Anyway, her teacher let her out of class 10 minutes early yesterday so she could get into the infernal contraption. Didn't help. Then, later in the day, she was sort of kneeling down while working the combination lock. Lo and behold, it opened! But she got so excited about it, she lost her balance, fell forward, and slammed the locker shut... before she was able to get anything out of it. Her friend Anna told me she heard her scream, 'Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!' all the way down in her classroom. Oh yeah, Ryan's my kid. Her life, at times, is a comedy of errors. Hopefully today she'll manage it with no difficulty. Luckily, though, it's the only thing (so far) she's unhappy about. Long may that continue!

What else? Booby Walk Training: It's going well. I'm working out 3+ hours a day right now... in the heat... which is probably why I'm so tired. Sundance and I walk Ryan to school in the morning and then do the park circuit. We get about 3 1/2 miles in then. Then I walk to pick Ryan up at school, which is another 2 1/2 miles. I learned the first day of school that Sundance is not capable of the afternoon walk... I was waiting for some PETA groupie to smack me down in the middle of the street, as I was literally dragging his butt... the heat nearly killed him. So he stays home then and we do another 2 miles in the evening, just before the sun goes down. I've also been swimming, just to combat the walk-boredom, and I do between 45 minutes and an hour of laps in the afternoon. I'll be alternating the pool with weight training, starting next week. Although I'm tired, it's a good tired (I think) and I'm feeling stronger and faster (just call me the Bionic Woman) and fitter than I've felt in a long time. Ryan has decided to train for a 5K run in October with her friend Anna (Ironwoman's daughter) and I might give that a shot, too, as it's after the Booby Walk, so it's do-able. I'm not sure how my heel and ankle will handle running, though, so we'll see...

And that brings us to Weight Watchers: It's going remarkably well. I've lost every single week since I started (today marks week #8). I heartily recommend the program to anyone who wants to drop 10 pounds or 200... it's really fantastic. I wish I'd done it sooner. And who knows? Maybe someday soon you'll actually see photos of me on here!

Hmmmm... anything else? No... don't think so. Life is pretty dull at the moment. Hopefully it'll cool down soon, the mosquitoes will all die horrific, painful deaths, and I'll have something interesting to say. 'Til then, have a wonderful Thursday!! XOXO

Oh, I almost forgot! Thanks for all your wonderful suggestions for Cari's business. Some of them cracked me up even more than my 'CaCa' idea (Chris). She decided to go with CARIA (her last name starts with an 'A'), which means 'lovely'. I think it's just perfect and so pretty! She's starting an Etsy site soon, so I'll post a link when she gets it up and running.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Need Your Creative Genius...

I've told you all about my friend Cari (she's the person who inspired me to do the Booby Walk). She has a new hobby making cool, funky beaded jewelry, which, up 'til now, she's been giving away to family and friends. She's decided, though, that since she's been getting rave reviews, and since she's got a crazy over-stock of product (she doesn't go out much, so she has lots of time to create :), she's going to market the jewelry (you may be seeing a link here to a website soon). A friend's cousin, who has a consignment shop, wants to showcase her stuff, which is very cool and a nice little start to this business endeavor. The issue (and the reason I'm requesting your collective creative bloggy genius) is that she can't think of a good name for her company. Her name is actually Catherine Cari, so she was thinking of something like CC Designs, as she likes the idea of using her initials, but she's not married to it. So, any ideas? Don't be shy... pass 'em on!!

And PS... don't any of you smarty pants come up with 'CaCa Designs'... I already thought of it (and made myself laugh like crazy... I'm so easy).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Days Are Here Again...

Oh, happy day! Well, tomorrow will be. Well, for me, anyway. Not so much for Ryan. You know what tomorrow is? School! The first day of school! Whoo hoo!! Ryan's face has been tripping her all day while I can hardly contain my grin. She's convinced I hate her (and yes, I did remind her about the whole 'who ripped up all that carpet so you could have hardwood floors?' thing). I'll admit to being a little nervous for her, as it's her first day of middle school and all... but I feel pretty certain that once I drop her off (and run like hell), I'll be fine. Oh, right, and she'll be OK, too. I'll keep you posted...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I Can, Can't, Will, Won't, Should, Shouldn't...

I found this cool prompt while wandering around Blogland and thought I'd give it a go...

I can

… spit through my two front teeth.

… hula hoop.

… put up a tent in 10 minutes flat.

… rip up wall-to-wall carpet all by myself.

… recite the 50 states in alphabetical order.

I can’t

… pee outside.

… sleep with any part of me hanging off the bed.

… dance.

… go to bed in a hotel without checking under the bed first.

… watch horror movies.

I will

… be ready for the Breast Cancer Walk in October.

… travel to all the places I want to go.

… forever wear my heart on my sleeve.

… spill spaghetti sauce on myself every time I eat it.

… fall in love again.

I won’t

… ever stop missing my dad.

… beat myself up (as much) for my shortcomings.

… shop at WalMart.

… give up red wine, even for Weight Watchers.

… own an automatic car (until I’m very old).

I should

… save more money.

… learn to cook.

… stop procrastinating.

… do laundry more often.

… stop buying new books until I’ve read every one on my bookshelf.

I shouldn’t

… slouch.

… say mean things about my boss. Or my mother. Or my brother.

… even consider online dating again (but I probably will).

… wish for harm to befall Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Glen Beck.

… ever use the word ‘befall’ again.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday X 2!

Today is a special day!

Today, one of my bestest ever friends celebrates her birthday. Mel (you might know her from I'm Not Weird, I'm Gifted... but she is weird... just sayin') turns... well... older... today and I just wanted to wish her Happy, Happy Birth-DAY (conga-line tune, remember?).

Mel and I have been friends a long, long time. We met about 20 years ago, when we were both young and cool. Well, I was cool. She was a dork. Less of a dork than she is today, mind you, but still a dork. And we disliked each other instantly. We both pride ourselves on generally getting people right, so I figure it was a fluke... or we're going to find out 10 years from now that we were right and we're both awful people. Yeah. Let's go with the former. Anyway, we decided we weren't so bad after all and we eventually became friends. Best friends. Mel was in my wedding... then she became Ryan's 'GodMommy'. She's been there through good times and bad. She has been my rock and a shoulder when I needed it. She knows when I need her to stick up for me and when I need her to just let me vent. She makes me laugh like no one else on the planet. She has never let me down, not once in 20 years, and I am truly blessed to have her in my life. Even if she is a dork.

So, happy, happy birth-DAY, my friend!!

Today is also The Republican's birthday. And he's just old today. Heh heh. I haven't known him nearly as long as I've known Mel, but that doesn't lessen his impact on my life. Unlike the situation with Mel, when I met him, I liked him a lot... until we had a conversation about gay marriage... in the parking lot of the restaurant at the end of our first date... in the freezing cold. Let's just say there was no goodnight kiss... just the sound of my squealing tires, as I sped out of there like a bat out of Hell. I never expected to see him again. But see him I did, on many occasions, for many non-dates. He came into my life when I really needed someone to just like me for me, in spite of my many faults (and no, Mr. Republican, I do NOT mean my politics!). And he does like me (or he fakes it really well). I still hate his politics but I like him, too. He is generous, kind, and funny, and I value his friendship, probably more than he knows. He's doing important work in Afghanistan and while I'm happy for him, as he loves what he's doing, I worry about his safety and I miss him.

So, happy, happy birthday to you, you grumpy old Republican!

I hope you both have the most wonderful day!!! XOXO

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Am Woman...

My cousins were raised to be gentlemen. When I visit them, they all treat me like a... girl. It's nice, actually, to have someone carry my suitcase for me but when they do it, I chuckle. They act like I can't carry it... like it's too heavy for me. I always ask them how they think I manage when they're not around. It's not that I don't appreciate their chivalry... I do. But I'm used to doing the heavy lifting. As a single woman/mom, I have no choice. I do all the 'guy' stuff around the house... I mow the lawn, I take out the trash, I shovel the snow, etc. It's fine, too... most of the time. This weekend, however, it would have been nice to have a man around...

Remember when I said I was going to redecorate Ryan's room for her birthday? Yeah, I did that. It was a job. A man-sized job. Hell, it was a giant-Hagrid-sized job. See, our house is small... moving the big pieces furniture out of the room in order to redo it wasn't really an option... so I had to work around them. That doesn't sound like a really difficult task, does it? Not if you're just painting... you just throw a dropcloth over everything and have at it, right? Well, what if I told you I was removing wall-to-wall carpet to expose hardwood floors? And what if I told you I'd never done anything like it before?

Lordy, lordy. I painted Ryan's dresser first... easy peasy. Then I painted her walls. Not so easy, given how much I hate painting. I'm not detail-oriented enough to be a painter. I mean, when it comes to work, I'm all about the details... but painting? Yeah, not so much. Let's just say it's a good thing the carpet was coming up, as it was splattered pretty consistently with 'Spaqua' paint by the time the walls (and some of the woodwork, which wasn't actually supposed to be 'Spaqua'... does anyone know how to get paint off woodwork?) were finished. Then came the carpet...

I had to Google "How do I remove wall-to-wall carpet?" to find out what to do. It didn't sound that hard. Pfffffttttt. It was hard. It wouldn't have been so hard if the room was empty but figuring out how to work around a daybed (and trundle) and honkin' big dresser? It was hard. It was super-duper hard, people. I used muscles I didn't know I had... well, muscles I didn't know I still had (I thought they'd disintigrated into fatty blobs of goo a long time ago). But I did it. And then came the stupid tack-strips that were nailed around the perimeter of the room... I had to pry them off the floor. That, my bloggy friends, was %*&$#*-ing hard. I hit myself in the mouth with the prybar. I poked myself in the eye with a piece of wood... with nails attached. If I'd had any sense, I would have driven it straight through my eye and into my brain, ending it all right there.

I am woman, hear me whimper in pain and exhaustion.

Did I mention that it was hotter than Hell here this weekend? Or that I had PMS? Or that I was all alone (as a 10-year-old creates more work, not less). I was horrible to poor Ryan. I did apologize in advance because I knew it was going to be a rough few days. See, I do DIY because I have to... not because I want to. I want to pay people to come in and do it for me while I spend the weekend at the beach. But my bank account is a bitch.

Ryan tried to be a good sport when I yelled. Mostly she just stayed far away from me (which only proves how smart she is). At one point, though, she came in her bedroom (during the tack-strip prying part) and she said, "Ewww, I can actually smell your sweat." Yes, she did. Would you think less of me if I told you I very nearly threw a big hammer at her? I don't care. I very nearly did. In my head, I did. But she was right. I smelled awful. The sweat was actually dripping off me and pooling on the wood floor. In fact, later that night, when I went next door to feed my vacationing neighbor's cat (the cat who loves me and crawls all over me and licks my face), he sat on my lap for about 3 seconds... and then he got off and wouldn't come near me again.

But it's done. And it's gorgeous. Her room is this bright, fresh aqua color... she has a hot pink and white dresser, and a new comforter in aqua, hot pink, lime green, and brown stripes. On her new wood floor is a rug in all the colors of her comforter, patterned in butterflies and swirly designs. She has some new pictures on the walls and a bulletin board loaded with all her swimming ribbons and medals. And when she sat on her bed today and looked around at everything she picked; at everything she wanted; at everything I did, her face was as bright and happy as her new room. I loved it. And I told her that if she ever, ever, ever, in her entire life, doubts that I love her, all she has to do is think back to the past few days... and she will know I love her more than anything on the planet (and that I am never redecorating her room again. Ever).

And with that (and the top-to-bottom cleaning and furniture rearranging I did myself in the rest of the house), I'm done with most of the crazy-busy stuff that's been going on. School starts in a week (whoo hoo!!!) and other than work and the Booby Walk training, I can settle down to a somewhat normal schedule. I'm ready for fall!!

Sorry for being such a crap blogger lately. But I'm back... I hope you're all still out there and haven't given up on me! XOXO

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back... Gone... Back... Gone...

Hi, my bloggy peeps! Sorry I've been AWOL this past week. 'Real life' has gotten the better of me and with work, a wonky internet connection for a while, house-sitting, school registration, school shopping, miles and miles (and miles... and miles) of training walks, book/hiking/social club activities, etc, etc, by the time I sit down to look at my blog (or any others), I fall asleep. Plus, it's hotter than Hades right now and that's just beyond draining, you know?

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has checked in to make sure I'm alive... I am! But this week is busy, too... work, school stuff, swim team picnic, painting/redecorating Ryan's room (her birthday present), a DC trip (the zoo), slogging through my man-book-club book, and more and more (and more... and more) training miles.

I'm pooped.

I did want to tell you about our vacation, though. We had a really great time! Smith Mountain Lake State Park is beautiful, as is the lake (though we only saw a little bit of it). The weather overall was good, though it rained for most of Ryan's birthday. Rather than sitting in the tent all day, though, we went into town for the day and had breakfast out, saw Harry Potter (again... I didn't doze off this time), did a little shopping, and had dinner out, too. It stopped raining by nightfall, so we got to have our fire and toast marshmallows. All in all, a good birthday!

Other than that, we hiked a lot. One hike turned into more than we expected, though, as the trails weren't marked especially well. What looked on the map like a relatively easy 4-mile meander around part of the lake turned into 7 miles of up and down and up and down (and up and down). It took 3 hours, though we only had water for 2, and we were beyond exhausted. When we got back to the beach, I really thought I was going to pass out from dehydration. It was a little scary, as I've never felt that way before. But all was well after 2 giant Diet Pepsis and a dip in the lake.

We didn't do much more than hike and swim for the rest of the week, really. Oh, we did rent a paddleboat and lazed around on the water for a couple of hours (and by 'lazed around', I mean 'sweated out every ounce of bodily fluid'). And as I mentioned, Ryan met her friend Amy and I hung out with her parents, Sharon and Colin, who were really lovely. The only day I went over my Weight Watchers points on vacation, in fact, was the night we sat around and drank beer. Me... beer... English people... go figure!

I'm going to try to catch up on blog reading tonight (I promise!) but I won't be around much 'til next week. Hope you're all well!!! Oh, and here are a few pictures from our holiday!

Ryan with her mouth full of s'mores...

I do build a great fire...

The beach... where we spent a lot of time...

We met this little guy on our hike from Hell...

Ryan and Amy... upside down...

And again... rightside up!

Looks like fun, eh? Hope your summer holiday was as nice!! XO

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig...

Hello All! We're back from the wilds... exhausted, sand-covered, and rather stinky (sweat, sunscreen, and lake water do not a pleasant scent make). I'll be around tomorrow to catch up on my blog-reading but I wanted to give you a little glimpse into our vacation...

That's Ryan and her new friend Amy (who happened to be on holiday in rural Virginia from England!). They had a fastastic time together and I had to drag my child out of the water today to come home.

More photos tomorrow... when I wake up... if I wake up...