meatloaf and neurotoxins

I just made meatloaf. I looked up the recipe yesterday and let the ground venison (We’re all about the venison in this household and rarely eat beef; this makes for interesting recipes as venison is quite lean and has to be treated differently than beef. But I digress.) defrost in the fridge overnight. I almost always forget that step and end up defrosting in the microwave which is the worst. I was at the store today and was like, “Hey, I’m making meatloaf later. Do I have all the ingredients? I think so. Except I need tomato paste.” So I bought tomato paste.

Then I got home and looked at the recipe again and realized that it called for tomato sauce, not paste. And also I didn’t have bread crumbs or onions. I decided to improvise, which is usually ill-advised. I just used the paste instead of sauce without altering the amount (shrug, so lazy) and instead of onion I used onion powder, which I know is not the same but what are you gonna do. The whole breadcrumb thing was a little dicey though. We didn’t even have actual bread in the house. I toasted 1.5 English muffins and ran them through the blender (hmmmm) and that didn’t quite make the 1 cup of bread crumbs I needed, so I then tossed some rolled rye in the blender too (double hmmmm).

So, I was already on thin ice. Then I dumped everything together and smooshed it around and put it in a loaf pan and put ketchup on top, like the Husband likes. Then I took a look at the recipe, trying to find the correct temperature to bake at (lol I didn’t preheat the oven, of course not) and realized that half the ingredients I’d mixed in with the meat were actually meant to be a glaze on top. Except one of those ingredients was vinegar, which I’d completely forgotten and it was now too late to backtrack and add it. So, whoops.

It took about a million years to cook and there were still visible flecks of the poorly-ground rolled rye in the loaf. But you know what? It turned out legitimately delicious. It goes against all logic, doesn’t it? But I guess maybe when you put tomato product + eggs + ground up bread product + delicious wild venison + spices all together it is hard to mess it up that badly.

After not having the internet for a long time we finally got it again a while ago, and then we went crazy with getting all the streaming video services on our Wii. We have Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime Instant Video. We still don’t watch a ton of TV; I love my trashy reality shows and Husband has been watching everything with the word “gang” in the title (who knows). I also love re-watching The Office, Friends, and 30 Rock. Question: When is Sex and the City going to be on any streaming service other than HBO Go? Never? Okay. Anyway I watched the last season of Parks & Rec and I’m really impressed with the way the show stayed golden and hilarious until the very end (and that last episode is a tear jerker!). Also, Husband and I are both into Cutthroat Kitchen. I love Chopped but Cutthroat Kitchen takes it to a whoooole different level. He and I watch it together and spend a lot of time yelling at the contestants about how much they should bid on the different auction items and what they should obviously be cooking. Stamp of approval for that show, in case you’re on the fence. (I doubt you were. But just in case.)

I have been thinking about doing one of those “What’s in your purse?” posts but it would just be kind of embarrasing because mostly in my purse is old receipts, gum wrappers, pay stubs that I never remember to file away, the Valentine’s Day card I got from my husband and have been meaning to hang up at work but keep forgetting and thus shuttling it back and forth in my purse for weeks, four or five lip products, a pen that probably doesn’t work, my wallet and keys but only maybe since I always seem to lose them somewhere in the house, and probably a fork or something. Not worth it.

I tried to order flea medicine for the dogs (’tis the season) from the 1-800-Pet-Meds website. (Btw I think it is really silly that they kept the phone number as the name of their website. Years from now when the 1-800 number is defunct because no one uses phones anymore and the internet is the tyrranical king, the name is going to make no sense.) I did this rather than buy at a store because after comparing prices, I realized that it was cheaper online. Especially after googling “1800 pet meds coupon codes” which EVERYONE SHOULD ALWAYS DO BEFORE BUYING ANYTHING ONLINE. SERIOUSLY. IF YOU’RE NOT DOING THAT, YOU’RE SILLY. I placed the order on February 17th. I immediately got an order confirmation email, which said I would be receiving a second email once my product shipped. Meanwhile my dogs probably already have fleas. So I’m being pretty patient, thinking 7 days shipping might not include processing before they send it out, and probably only counts business days. Today, it’s been 12 business days and not a sign of the package, or even the email saying it’s been shipped. I finally give them a call to see what gives. I’m told that in order to process the payment, they need the CVV code from the back of the card we paid with. That card was in my husband’s wallet, with him, at work. I said I’d call back. I also asked what the hell–why wasn’t I informed of this? I’ve been sitting around twiddling my thumbs for over two weeks and all they needed was those three little numbers. The lady told me that they sent me an email on February 17th, the day I placed my order. I told her that I got an email but it was only the confirmation. She said she had record of both emails going out that day. I told her I didn’t get it and she just gave me strong overtones of “Well, we sent it, so that’s not really our fault, is it?” without saying it outright. Anyway I hung up but I was really cranky about it. So I go into my email to look for this supposed email. Checked my spam and trash, though I really don’t delete stuff from my inbox often so there’s not a lot in the trash. No email, of course. I’m not saying they didn’t send one, but I definitely couldn’t find any trace of it in my email. At that point I decided to just call and cancel the order because I was so annoyed. I have to say I won’t be shopping there again. The part that I don’t understand is that they supposedly sent me an email on the day of the order saying they needed that code, but then I didn’t respond for almost 3 weeks so they just let my order sit in limbo? I wonder how long they were going to let it go without sending a second email or just cancelling the order or something. Moral of the story: price be damned, I’m buying those little packets of neurotoxins at a brick and mortar pet supply shop instead.

hey there, it’s march

Writing this from my same ol’ laptop, the spirit of which has been bolstered by the arrival of a new battery!!! My sister was in town and helped me decipher the tiny numbers on the original battery and figure out how to buy a (non-HP-endorsed and therefore cheap) replacement. So far, so good. Up until today, the laptop died every time it was unplugged. Husband’s solution was to plug a 50 foot orange extension cord in to a bedroom outlet and then just drag it with him to whichever room he wanted to use the laptop in. Hm. It worked okay, except for UGH I got really tired of looking at that stupid extension cord. Also, our dogs were frequently running by and tripping over the cord and unplugging the laptop, and bloop, it would die. Needless to say, I’m stoked about the replacement. Foot-loose and cord-free!

I keep a little list on my phone of things to write about here, but my phone died and the charger is in the other room so I’m just going to type until some ideas happen.

I bought a pattern for the Emery Dress a few weeks ago, and went to the fabric store immediately. I actually bought plain muslin and am making a muslin mock-up for the first time in my life. I worked on it for one day and then kinda haven’t picked it up again since then. I actually have a really good excuse, though!

I’ve lost 15 lbs in just over a month. Woo hoo! I have been going to my MIL’s doctor’s appointments with her and I stepped on the scale at the office just out of curiosity, since I didn’t own one at home. UM. I was horrified to see the highest number of my entire life. So I got the MyFitnessPal app as well as a Misfit fitness tracker and have been keeping close tabs on my food intake and activity levels. I feel healthier and happier than I have in a long time. I have more energy and my meals are more nutritious. I’m also cooking at home for the vast majority of my meals so I’m saving a lot of money.

This ties in to the whole dress thing because I cut out the muslin based on measurements before I started all that, which means the dress will be too big. It would be so unbelievably frustrating to put together a dress and have it be a few sizes too big, so I decided I won’t make the dress until I reach my ~*goal size*~. Btw I’m sorry to talk about weight loss–I feel like it is so grating and annoying but I’m pretty proud of myself and am never going to be one of those bonkers Fitness Ladies.

I’m also irritated because remember that awesome skirt I got from Asos back in December? Yeah, it doesn’t fit anymore. Sigh.

I’ve also been mostly sorta kinda keeping up with my book-reading goal for 2015. I set a goal of 52 books for the year and Goodreads tells me I’ve read 6 so far, and am nearly done with my 7th. So I’m actually slightly behind but I feel pretty good about accomplishing the goal by the end of the year. The books I’ve read so far are pretty lame. Not even sure I want to say this here but I read the first two Twilight books as well as 50 Shades of Grey. I don’t have a good explanation for this, except curiosity…and then once I got into the first Twilight book I felt that I needed to hear the end of the story. So I’m currently tracking down the third book at Goodwill (I refuse to pay for it new, yuck!). Twilight isn’t actually THAT poorly written but the story itself is eh, plus problematic as people have been pointing out for years. 50 Shades of Gray is SOOOOO poorly written. The author seems limited to about five descriptive phrases and repeats them over and over and over again during the sexy scenes. It’s irritating and bad. I still might finish the series (I just always want to know how things end) but I refuse to enjoy it.

I had Trader Joe’s cookie butter for the first time, finally. It’s pretty good. It definitely tastes good but the texture is a little odd. It isn’t oily like peanut butter, and it isn’t grainy like cookie dough (two textures I really like). It’s more…sticky? Idk, I don’t really like the way it sticks to the inside of my mouth. But the flavor is fairly redeeming, so I’ve been having a tablespoon of it by itself or on an English muffin every now and then.

I just taught my husband how to take a screenshot on his phone. Baby’s first screenshot:)

It was really sunny today (and has been for days/weeks, wtf, is this end times or???) and we had a really nice day. Husby woke up early to babysit our nephew for a couple of hours (I slept in because lazy) and when he finished we went out to lunch at Lardo, a sandwich shop which grew out of one of the famous Portland food carts. Um, yum. Though the name doesn’t bode well for currently-calorie-counting me. I had the Italian Tuna Melt and it was crazy delicious. Capers in tuna salad! Genius, and I’m totally doing that from now on. I skipped the fries but Chris got them and offered me a taste, and those rosemary Parmesan covered potatoes are the business. I also got iced tea and I think their iced tea might be a jasmine black tea because it was definitely above average and had a floral taste.

We then went to Music Millennium, a record store in this funky building. Very Portland. I got Cat Stevens’s album Cat’s in the Cradle on vinyl (and some incense because I am 15 years old). That album includes the song I Love My Dog…

…which is amazing, and obviously speaks to me on a very deep level.

We then came home and did some chores, and then went to Home Depot


for plants. We got our pea and Swiss chard starts in, and are starting some tomato seeds indoors to plant in a few weeks. We already have a few volunteer tomatoes from ones that dropped off the vine last year, which is nice and easy for us!

I also got some flowering perennials (English daisy, Shasta daisy, pincushion flower) for my flower bed in the front yard.

THEN our friend finished working on his boat and took us for a ride in the river! Afterward we made dinner (chicken korma and rice) and now I’m going to read Julie and Julia until I pass out. (Spoiler alert: this book is a total bummer!!! I mean maybe I’m being harsh but it is making me sad to read it.)

fancy stuff

I had a weird drifting-off-to-sleep thought last night. You know that time, when you’re not yet asleep but your brain is kind of heading into dreamland so your thoughts start out normal and then take a sharp left. Well the thought was “It would be horrible if books were made of sand”. I was actually halfway dreaming that I had a book made of sand and every time I tried to turn a page, it just, you know, acted like sand and kind of sifted through my fingers and it was unbelievably frustrating.

I think the reason I was thinking about books and reading is that I made an uncharacteristically vague New Year’s resolution for myself, which is basically “read more”. But I always like to set goals which are quite firm and definitive and that was a bit too wishy washy for me so I ended up downloading the Goodreads app and am now tracking all the books I’m reading; to give the whole thing more structure. I read two books in the first 6 days of the year, which felt like a good start. It isn’t really an accurate picture of how much & how quickly I read, though, because the bulk of that reading took place while we were at the cabin this weekend for two days. I parked it in front of the woodstove with m&ms and donuts and a pile of books. I read Ann Rule’s Heart Full of Lies which was extremely meh. I am usually a true-crime fan, and I have liked the majority of Ann Rule’s stuff that I’ve read, but this one had a few glaring mistakes that were hard to overlook. It was interesting, though, because the crime took place in my home state and I found out that the criminal has actually been released from prison and is living not far from me. Huh.

The other book I read was My Life In France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’Homme which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have never cooked a Julia Child recipe and though I do remember watching her show a few times as a kid, most of what I know about her comes from Meryl Streep’s (lovely) portrayal of her in Julie and Julia. Being 6 feet tall myself, I’m always infatuated with really tall women and I had been meaning for a while to learn more about her. This book was fascinating and I really enjoyed her photographs and words about Paris in the 1950s. Right up my alley. I’m going to get my hands on some of her cookbooks and try a few French recipes, though they sound VERY complicated and detail-oriented compared to my typical style (aka no style) in the kitchen.

I think overall I’d like to read 52 books in the year, which is one per week (duh) and so far, so good. I think that might be a little on the high side and I might end up in a mad scramble at the end of the year, but I guess we’ll see.

I got an iPhone 5s in gold which is the nicest electronic I think I’ve ever owned. I’ve always had different Android phones and have been disappointed time and time again, so when my mom’s phone broke and she decided that she wanted to change plans, we moved to AT&T together and both got iPhones. She got the 6, fancy lady. I’m really excited about the phone in general, but specifically, the camera is so great and I’ve been taking a lot of photos! Also, apps! And texting is great! Especially iMessage. ALSO I got to FaceTime with my little sissies overseas. iPhone: A+.

Here are the other goals I have for the next year:

-Visit the mortgage consultant with husband and get the ball rolling on buying a house. This will take place within the first six months of the year.
-Take at least one fun trip, most likely domestic and not international (but don’t say no to an international trip if it comes up…). I am thinking of visiting the East Coast, maybe Boston? I was born there & lived there as a wee babe, and have been back one time for a crazy day trip where we did SO MANY THINGS in 12 hours, but I’d like to go back for another, less rushed, visit. Especially with husband, as he’s never been. Other options; Washington DC? (Husband’s been, I haven’t.) NYC? (Neither of us have been, this might be far too overwhelming.) San Francisco? (Husband and I have both  been, but not together.)

Husband was 100% on board with the trip, particularly domestic. We have traveled internationally together multiple times and he really, really doesn’t like long plane trips. The older I get, the more I dislike them. Being 6 feet tall at 18 was fine because I could just fold up like an umbrella and hang out on a plane for 24 hours. But my knees and back are starting to rebel so I don’t enjoy plane rides like I used to. (That said, there are plenty of international trips we could take that call for shorter plane rides so we might revisit that point.) He also said he feels a little silly traveling to other countries when there are parts of the US that we’ve never seen. Point taken.

He also wants to spend more time exploring our area and getting away from the city. In particular, he wants to go to the cabin with me more often. And we managed to go in the first week of the new year! If we’re smart about it, we might even be able to go once a month or something. The most exciting part of going to the cabin this week is that we TOOK OUR CAT WITH US. I had to ask for that for a whole week leading up to it. Husband thought it was a really weird idea because we always take our dogs to the cabin but taking a cat seemed silly, but I told him about the cat that my family had when I was a teenager and how we used to take her to the family cabin with us, and he finally relented and we took her with us.


And here she is, helping us unpack our food and beer.

Other stuff, in a list:
1. I’ve been listening to a TON of podcasts for the first time in my life. My favorites: No Such Thing As Fish (from the writers of British quiz show QI); Sound Opinions (music opinions & reviews, interviews, playlists, etc.etc.); CRIMINAL (short episodes, 15 mins each, crime topics); The Moth (people tell stories about their experiences in front of live audiences); Radio Lab; This American Life; and SERIAL!!! Which is the podcast that got me into this whole podcast thing. A true crime story–FASCINATING and a must-listen.
2. The No Such Thing As Fish podcast made me want to watch QI which is what I’m doing as I type this. I think an unofficial resolution for the year is to take in better media in general. More reading, more podcasts, more well-made television. Less vegging out in front of hours and hours while watching reality television.
3. That said, I am in no way prepared to defend my choice of books. Books are good no matter what, right? Even if I’m reading cheesy chick lit or true crime garbage? Right????

Alright, I think that’s enough for now!

good little consumer

Be warned: this post is mostly about buying stuff.

I think I’ve stayed up too late, because I just went on an online shopping spree. I do love online shopping and do a lot of Amazon Wishlist curating, and I did just buy a lot of Christmas presents for people online. But I feel sort of terribly guilty about buying stuff for myself. But I can justify it by remembering that I desperately need new work clothes (seriously–I wear the same two or three shirts, one skirt, and one pair of slacks all the time). I just needed a few more items so I have a tiny bit more variety in my wardrobe. Plus, Forever 21 is having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on all sale items (dang) AND free shipping (double dang) so my total was really reasonable.

As I’ve mentioned before, I wear almost all black, almost all the time. I also wear gray, though. And sometimes white. But mostly black. I actually went out on a limb and bought some non-black clothing!

I got this top in blush.


I got this top in peach (and black, natch).

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I got this sweater in charcoal (so, like, black) as well as heather grey. I think I’m the most excited about the sweaters. Darn if I don’t love sweaters.
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I also got this faux leather bag in black.
And I may have gone slightly nuts and shopped at Asos for the first time in my life. I found this midi-length skirt and got it in black. The photos are in green, though, because the black doesn’t really look that good in photos–hopefully it looks okay in person! I really wanted the green, actually, but it is something I would have a hard time wearing frequently and the point is to get work clothes I can actually wear. I also found a promo code for 10% off and shipping was free. So, there. Justified.image2xxl image4xxl

I’m currently watching Love Actually for the second time this holiday season. Definitely a favorite of mine. Other favorite Christmas/Holiday movies:

  • Elf
  • The Family Stone
  • The Santa Clause (the original and the other two!)
  • The Grinch (the live action one, though the original cartoon is also excellent)

I will watch literally anything holiday related, though–I’ve sat through the crappiest of crap holiday movies on Netflix. Year-round, if I’m feeling bummed out for whatever reason, I’ll watch a Christmas movie on Netflix and feel better. Christmas is just my jam.

I’m whitening my teeth right now with these Crest 3D Whitestrips Luxe Glamorous White (jesus could that name be any more cringey/long?). I used to whiten my teeth once a year or so with the strips, and I remember them being really thin, and goopy/slimy feeling, and always sliding off my teeth. It’s been a few years since I’ve bought them, mostly because they’re expensive and a very very very First World thing to purchase which always makes me feel a little gross. But I’ve been watching The Only Way is Essex nonstop* and their teeth are just so damn white in that show. It just kept nagging at me that I haven’t whitened my teeth in so long and I could really use a box of Whitestrips and then I ordered them from Amazon like some kind of zombie. ANYWAY. The point of this is that Whitestrips have gotten so much better in the past few years. I was, like, shocked. Super surprised. They aren’t slimy anymore, they’re quite sticky. The plastic feels smooth now, instead of bumpy, and they don’t fill my mouth with slimy gross white hydrogen peroxide foam like the old ones used to. These stick on and don’t budge. You can actually drink water while wearing them. They’re actually so sticky that they’re a bit hard to remove, but whatever. As far as how well they whiten, well, I don’t know about that, as I’m only on day 3. So I guess I’ll get back to you on that one. (OF COURSE I took before photos–what kind of monster do you take me for?) I’ve also noticed that they do make my teeth a little sore, especially my bottom teeth, which are kind of sensitive to begin with. But it isn’t so bad and I’ve been able to pretty much ignore it so far.

*It’s ridiculous how much I love this show. I’m always watching British TV; not sure how or when the whole Anglophile thing started for me but I’m in too deep to escape at this point. I also love trashy American reality stuff like Jersey Shore, and TOWIE (yeah I did that) is like the perfect culmination of these two things. The makeup! The fake boobs! The yelling at one another in clubs! It’s too much.

By the way, I’ve found THE MOST EXCELLENT red lipstick of my whole life, and it only costs $3 at WalMart. I KNOW. It’s made by e.l.f. and it is a “matte” lipstick in Rich Red. The other colors of these matte lipsticks are utter garbage and not worth buying. The colors are really muted and weird and not at all flattering. Seriously, don’t bother. But this Rich Red color is amazing. First of all, the lipstick is quite thin–I guess it is called a crayon? You can basically use it as lipliner before applying the actual lipstick. The color is a really nice, bright red. Now, I wouldn’t call it matte, honestly–it’s more of a satin. But I can put it on before work and wear it all day without reapplying. It doesn’t wear off much (kind of like a lip stain really) and doesn’t clump or feel sticky. It’s slightly moisturizing but mostly just pleasantly dry and doesn’t feel like you’re wearing lipstick at all. Here is a better review than I’ve just given. My future does not lie in cosmetics reviewing. (I just stumbled upon this and now desperately want those other colors…I wonder if they’re available in the US! Didn’t see them at WalMart. Going to look into that because those colors are really nice.)

I got a cat. Did I mention that? Well, I did. Long story short, she was abandoned in the snow and my sister rescued her, but as my sister has two cats and an enormous dog already, she needed to find a home for her. The Husband had agreed that we could take in a homeless cat if we found one but he didn’t want to actively seek one out…I managed to convince him that my sister finding one was CLOSE ENOUGH. We have had her for over two weeks now and are having Name Problems. We didn’t call her anything at all for the first few days, but eventually decided on Mimsy, except that hasn’t really stuck. We just call her Cat. I don’t want that to be her name for good so I’m trying to find something suitable…Twiggy is sounding pretty good, as is Wellie. But Nothing is sticking. Meh.

Alright, Emma Thompson is explaining her love for Joni Mitchell and I have to work tomorrow and it’s 1 am. Time for sleep. (Or laying down and watching TOWIE in bed since Husband is already passed out…)


It’s been a million years since my last post so let’s just ignore that and I’ll jump into a brain dump, okay? Okay.

-Dollar Tree’s q tips: why do they even try? Such total garbage. The cotton part is so tiny, and the sticks are made of bendy plastic so if you try to stick it into your ear, it just wobbles around and doesn’t get any wax out. Apparently I will only ever love Q-Tip brand q tips, which is something I’m learning to live with.

-We keep our garbage can by the curb all week, because we have a long driveway leading to a locked gate that we have to enter a passcode AND use a key on and I’ll be crowned Queen of England before I move three massive garbage cans up and down that driveway and through that gate twice a week. No thanks. Anyway, this means that they’re in arm’s reach of any pedestrians and GODDAMNIT if I don’t find bags of dog poop in my garbage can constantly. I don’t freaking get this. You’re considerate enough to pick up your dog’s poop and bag it, but not considerate enough to find a public garbage can or take it home? I just feel like basic human decency means recognizing things that are yours and things that are not yours. I pay for the garbage and you don’t!! End of story!*

*I probably wouldn’t be so frustrated about this if I hadn’t accidentally ordered the very smallest garbage can our company orders, which only fits one kitchen-sized garbage bag in it. Not a big deal since we’re just two people with roughly that much garbage per week, but every stupid dog poop bag makes it so my garbage doesn’t fit. ARGGGGHHHH.

-You know when you’re at a red light with your turn signal on and for a few seconds it synchronizes with the turn signal of the person in front of you? Is there anything more satisfying than that? Reminds me of this. (I almost didn’t link to that because it is such a horrible video but couldn’t find any other ones so whatever.)

-I wear black every day, basically. Some days I wear black from head to toe. Black shoes, black tights, black skirt, black sweater. I’m essentially Emily the Strange, except unlike Emily, I wasn’t smart enough to get all black cats. I have a white dog, a gray dog, and a tabby cat. So basically I am always covered in dog and cat hair. I should get black pets next time. Or start wearing clothing that matches my pets’ hair.

-I am 2/2 on taking down decorations on time this year. I literally took down my Halloween decorations the day after Halloween and my Fall/Thanksgiving stuff down the day after Thanksgiving. To be fair, I waited until October 28th to put up my Halloween decorations, and the only reason I took down my Thanksgiving stuff so promptly was because I LOVE CHRISTMAS and was so so ready to put up my Christmas stuff.

-Speaking of, my Christmas tree this year is the best one we’ve ever had. The parents of a friend of a friend own a tree farm and have a tree lot, so we had a hot tip on a freaking Noble for $20. A 7.5 foot noble for $20? Uh yes thanks! It’s so pretty. You’re probably expecting me to post a photo but I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed because I’m way too lazy for that. Trust me, it’s gorgeous.

title optional

It is very hot. I don’t remember if I wrote about this or not, but Portland really didn’t have much of a spring at all this year. It has been rainy and cool, more like fall weather, with a very small handful of springy-ish sunny days sprinkled throughout. And then it became officially summer and the cloudy, fall-like weather continued. I have literally been wearing a fleece jacket on my way to work because it has been so chilly. I actually wore my winter coat to the grocery store about a week ago. And then today the weather went INSANE! It hit 99 degrees F today, which is pretty hot by most standards. In one of my bio-anthro classes in college, I learned that the human body requires 10 days to acclimate to a new climate. So after lots of cool weather, that 99 degrees feels like roughly one million degrees. Also most of the windows in my house are not designed to open, and we do not have air conditioning. It is ridiculously hot inside my house. I checked the thermostat and at 11 pm it is 88 degrees F inside my home. Earlier I put my hand in my purse to retrieve a chocolate bar and realized the chocolate had actually melted. Completely. To a liquid. INSIDE MY HOUSE. I’ve been completely useless all day because I have a really stupid cold, plus the weather, and I’ve done nothing but lay on my bed and sweat since I got home from work. Gross. 

That is particularly annoying because I am leaving for Tennessee tomorrow and I still need to pack. I’m realy not sure how that’s possible. I love packing! I make packing lists on this very blog! I think it is just because I’ve been sick. I managed to get my suitcase pretty much packed up but since I’m delirious with the heat i’m expecting that I’ll get to Tennessee and find that I’ve forgotten lots of important things. 

The other day, I was being really whiny about my sore throat and Chris walked to the weird little grocery store by our house to get me an ice pop. When he came home, he told me that the ice pop and the beer he bought were both free because he found $5 on the ground on his way to the store. Then he gave me $1 of the change. I was like “We can never spend this because it is a lucky dollar.” And the very next day, I actually lost that damn dollar on the street somewhere. I am not sure if that’s karma or irony or what but hopefully someone finds it and buys an ice pop with it. 

The ants are totally crazy this spring. In Eastern Oregon ants aren’t really a problem. I mean they live in their ant hills outside and sometimes you’ll see a ton of them carrying a dead wasp or whatever. Or like if you leave a lollypop on the floor they might try to get it. But really they mostly stay out of your house. In Portland, they are everywhere and it is such a nightmare to me. They sometimes march in their little line to get like a tiny crumb of tuna fish or something, but for the most part, they’re just walking around by themselves. Ants aren’t supposed to do that! They’re literally in every single room of the house. They’re in the bathroom constantly, in the tub and sink. They crawl on our hot water heater and in our kitchen. I find them crawling on the dirt of my houseplants all the time. It just grosses me out so badly. And the WORST is when I find them in the bedroom. There have been ants crawling on my nightstand all afternoon and there’s nothing there for them to eat or even drink and yet THERE THEY ARE. And every now and then, one will get in the bed and crawl across me. It is the most disgusting sensation! So now even though I’m safely on the (hopefully) ant-free couch, I keep feeling like there are ants crawling on me. Ants everywhere, man, crawling all over me!!!!


This is how I feel about ants. 


Today while I was watching ukulele* videos on youtube, I watched an ad that began with “Do you really have time for brown spots?” and it cracked me up. Damn those pesky brown spots on my skin, taking up so much time! “I’m sorry, Judy, I really want to make it to Jack’s birthday party, but you know . . . I’ve got brown spots. They’re just so time-consuming. I don’t think I’ll be able to fit the party into my schedule as well.” What a weird angle.

*I’m trying to learn the ukulele! Well, technically I’ve been “trying” to learn for like a year but I keep forgetting to even touch it. And then, yesterday, I got the best text that a husband has ever texted:


And it made me smile like crazy! Then when I got home from work, he was still at work but I saw he had my cheap ukulele out on the couch and had been playing with it before work.

My current ukulele is nothing special at all. We literally found it in our shop building in a pile of stuff left behind by a previous tenant. It is wooden but is definitely a souvenir someone brought home from Hawaii. This is how I know:



I had been reading reviews online sporadically and checking out Amazon also. A lot of uke-enthusiast websites say that for beginners, a cheap $50-ish ukulele will do the trick. I have a (strong) feeling that my Hawaii ukulele cost less than $50 and it has been working fine for learning on, although it only stays in tune for a few minutes before I have to mess with it. But you can’t really complain about something you found in a garbage pile.

After spending a few hours on Amazon and different ukulele websites last night, we ordered this one. This brand was recommended on a few different websites, and the reviews for this are really good — about 73% of the 236 reviews are five-star. The handful of one-star reviews complain about the uke not staying in tune, but I’ve read you need to break a ukulele in for a week or so before it will stay tuned. Plus there are small adjustments that can be made to the tuning pegs to help with that. It should be here soon and then Chris and I can play together and I’ll be able to compare it to the Hawaii ukulele and post about it here (I’m sure all zero of my readers are waiting with bated breath!).