Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Not playing around

Hey there! Just a quick check in as we enter the holiday home stretch. I have made an effort this year to make time for things I want to do, instead of the often employed strategy of just saying  there isn't enough time. Does this mean there are some things that should be done that are falling through the cracks every now and then? Maybe we should direct that question to my nearly empty refrigerator or the growing laundry piles.

Of course I have been out shopping, which has proved somewhat alarming on various occasions. I know there are people out there wandering this earth who like to pop pimples, but do we need to start the fascination so young?
Do five year olds need to be whispering that the cashier looks like that guy in their Pimple Pete game? No, no they do not. 

Next up, evidence that I am nowhere near familiar enough with the internet...
...as I know nothing about this "sensation". I did not pay attention to the price tag on this item, but seeing what the contents of the box are, anything over five dollars is ridiculous. I suppose I am going to have to ask the google to explain this one to me, despite knowing I will be sorry. Perhaps not as sorry as I was to visit that toy department another day when this was in the middle of the main aisle...
...WHY?!?! I might not even have any words for this one. That shit is terrifying!

Is there some sort of metaphor here regarding a desperate need to use bright colors and fancy packaging to make crappy stuff seem like fun? Is this the epitome of "you can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter"? 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Top O' the Mornin' to Ya!

The other day somebody asked me what my grandmother's ancestry results said. The notion that one person out there reading was curious, of course led me to believe that the other ten of you are probably on pins and needles as well! Spoiler alert: I did promptly put this ornament of hers on our tree...
During the several weeks of processing time, I did occasionally wonder what the results would say. My biggest fear was that the report was going to come back "inconclusive due to mishandled and/or less than adequate saliva." Instead, we found out at least one thing we suspected was true...
...she is, indeed, 100% Blanche. The only thing alarming about this number is that I quickly deduced that I am 25% Blanche, and that just seems high. Let's get down to some more specifics...

Pour me a blonde Guinness and get that corned beef cooking! In the meantime, how about a crepe? While France was not mentioned in those recent video clips, it was always in the reports she gave me when we were both much younger.

I admit that this is one of the first things I did... 
 ...so that confirmed Iberia was a thing, but did not offer me much of a sense of where to find it.
Ah! (Admit it, you weren't sure either. You're welcome!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Random goes random

Well, since my husband got to the elliptical first, I guess it is chocolate and typing on the couch for me! 

Did absence make the heart grow fonder? Or did you forget about me completely? Don't don't don't don't you..."cue the distractions" she said as she thrust her fist in the air like Judd Nelson. Let's go now, before even more photos accumulate on my phone. What have I been up to, you may ask...go ahead, ask. Well, I guess November happened with its glorious stuffing and pie that apparently fueled some sort of holiday Tazmanian devil in me. There was much high speed swirling around gathering fall decor up and leaving a trail of red and green in  my wake. I eventually had to seek other means of maintaining my energy levels (aside from the ongoing instagram half moon cookie quest). 

My research showed that if you ask enough questions about the candy on display, you might get some free samples (the husband knowing the owner probably didn't hurt).

It is also a good idea to stop by a friend's house when you know she's been baking. Those Russian tea balls leave a lot of evidence...
 ...apparently there is also a lot of evidence there that points to my car needing some serious vacuuming. I have also decided to rely on Dove for advice. 
This means I will need to eat more chocolate. 

Let's move on to other things I love...
...yes, THIS! I can't wait to try to make my own. (Yes, I will be sure to capture the attempt.)

I can't think of a decent segue for the rest of these, and so the random has officially become...THE RANDOM!!

The price still seemed a little high for me, but I later realized it might have been the best deal ever...
...and absolutely regretted not making the purchase! Fruit cocktail? Soup? Beans? Solid pack pumpkin? We'll never know...unless of course nobody has bought it by the next time I go back.

Another shopping find that I was able to pass up...

 "Magically poops slime"?!?!?! There is nothing magical about that. Over $60 for Poopsie? Madness.

It took a village to put up my village this year (which I believe was to be a post all on its own), and then my mother and I invaded my aunt's town! There is some back story for this particular vignette...
That poor guy lost his ladder, dropped his lantern and now wonders just how long he spent in the Brew House as he stumbled over what seems like a freakishly small evergreen.

It's always tricky for me to break back onto the scene here after an absence, and quality control typically goes right out the window in the interest of being able to just hit "post"...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Random cycle

So apparently days of the week are on some sort of cycle, like a routine of sorts. I thought I was getting use to it, but then I missed posting some random last Tuesday. Wait! That was my birthday, so perhaps aging has something to do with my forgetting to post. I will ponder this while I cling bare-knuckled style to my forties for the next 358 days. During this time I will also seek to find the "right cookie".

Pumpkin marble cheesecake is the perfect answer when you've had the misfortune of the "wrong cookie". This could have easily been my fortune...
...or maybe more like my motto. So true. Plus, the time of year has arrived when 7:00 p.m. pajama time seems perfectly acceptable, especially when paired with a good book. 
Exercising is probably also a great idea, Sure, yeah, most likely. Although his smile makes me think he isn't getting enough oxygen, as that elliptical is pure evil. Speaking of pure evil, look what they did to the book department of our bullseye store...
...and the worker's explanation of what is going in that space was not even close to exciting enough to hold my attention. For one thing, it didn't involve books. In other store browsing news...
...all I could think of when I saw this sweater was whether or not I was serving corn with dinner. That really isn't fair for a perfectly lovely discounted designer garment. 

Take care of yourselves, and hopefully, if life can't wait...
...you are able to easily find some sour drops and lip-rageous lip balm! Crises averted!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A spot for the random


Product placement is key! How many times have you been tugging at a wedgie while standing in the rain thinking "Ugh, if only I could find something to fix one of these problems without forgetting the other!!!"
This store has got you boo! Hipsters and the elite side by side, as undies and umbrellas have always been meant to be. Just like peanut butter and jelly, or ice cream and sprinkles...
 ...or ice cream and night crawlers and red worms!? And the bathroom I just noticed! This is not your typical kitchen work triangle. And yes, I might know whose ice cream she is scooping-don't judge me.

Meanwhile, I have chosen appropriate spots to plant tomatoes, even fed them the appropriate soil. I achieved minimal results...ok, maybe I let them get too thirsty. My mother is on her second or third year of mystery tomatoes.
All of those plants there under the tree are cherry tomatoes that have never been planted. She did stake them, but provided little additional tending, other than harvesting. 

Oh, one other thing about locations...if the glimpses into my life here just aren't enough, I am on instagram (ajcasarsa) where research into the finest half moon cookies is just one of the things being highlighted! Maybe I'll see you there!

Well that is about as fascinating as I can get for now! Peace out honeybees!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Green with anticipation

My cousin was eager to know more about our heritage, specifically my grandmother's, so she ordered one of those newfangled kits and had it sent to her mother. This plan was flawed from the start. I admit that I did not understand the holdup at first. Why was my aunt taking so long to get this project underway? Folks were getting restless and we didn't even know which nationality to blame it on! Finally my [insert ethnicity here] impatience stepped in and offered to take care of the situation. My aunt gladly handed over the box, and despite being momentarily dazzled by the pretty colors, I immediately saw the problem.
"Saliva collection kit"? That read far more daunting than "cheek swab" or "little bit of spit" would have. Ew. I hadn't even seen the size of the vial yet, but in the name of science and research I tried to motivate myself. After all, we only knew what we had been told our entire lives, but mere wishes and repetition do not necessarily make something true.
And here is where my own personal filming of the movie Groundhog Day began. I never did get that beautiful Andie MacDowell hair, but luckily we only shot for three days with a very low budget. Day one brought some dismay at the notion of spitting, mixed with interest in results. I also learned that her salivary glands may not be overly active at this stage in the game. Luckily, if I planned my requests far enough apart, it wasn't as if I had asked so many times. We were nowhere near the target line by the time I left after several attempted deposits. I called the company to see if I could continue collecting, and was told I would have to start over using the stabilizing solution ahead of time. I was also given super helpful pointers like massaging the side of her cheek, and letting her carry the vial around for a few hours. Considering she would have forgotten within ten minutes what the vial was for, I wondered if my own saliva wasn't the best plan. I tried to think of any possible hiccups from the first trial I should try to avoid on Day 2, other than not going.

Day 2-we might be from Canada. She was still fascinated by the notion of this newfound test she had never heard of. I was still trying to figure out how to help her distinguish blowing raspberries into a vial from actually spitting. I headed home once again feeling both deflated and accomplished at the same time. Having put the stabilizer in, I had no visual for the target amount anymore and just forced myself to accept the fact that I was shutting this project down regardless after one more attempt.

Day 3- "Hi Gram, there is this new thing where they can do tests to see what country your ancestors came from"..."I think I've heard of it"--interesting. I had no idea the intrusion on various one minute clips of her morning this was causing.
I did quickly understand though where some of my impatience may have come from, including the recent addition of France.

While I do not consider myself to be a special snowflake, the idea of being a bit of a unique shamrock had some appeal. My mother and I went for some possibly premature celebration.
Totally buying this shirt next year if the results warrant.
Can you see my mom, even with that camo kilt? I make no promises that this will be her purchase.
I realize that just wearing a green shirt may not be enough depending on percentages.
I did introduce myself to my first Guinness! When in Rome Dublin.
The kit was registered and received, and now we wait...and hope that a message saying "insufficient saliva" is not received! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Revisiting the Random

Welcome to October! It has been quite a hiatus from the random. I had moments where it seemed I had, what seemed to be, much grander topics to discuss. The trouble with all of that fancifulness was that it would have required more thought than I was willing to spare at those times. At other times, I wondered if my random thoughts were just too silly. Had I not met myself? There always has to be something to give me a much needed kick in the ass, so here is what reminded me who I  am...
...as if the poop emoji was not awesome enough, it has now been given fanciful unicorn attributes. The colors still baffle me, butt but watch out for that horn! Very often, once one nonsensical photo takes up residence on my phone, other commonplace items take on new life. This sign here, the circled part...
...I know what it says, but my brain initially tried to process "CASUAL MALE HANDLERS". Mind you, I still cannot comprehend what a fancy mail handler might be aside from wearing long white gloves. Despite the fact that the coupon cutting around here was so far behind that some of the circulars had basically expired, the fodder they provided did not disappoint. Luckily things didn't get too far out of control thanks to Sheriff Plucky Duck here...
...he has no soul-look at him! I wonder if the target audience is duck lovers or wild west aficionados, neither of whose collection I want to see. Despite the game of Cowboys and Indians not being politically correct these days, look who was on a nearby page...
...this dachshund does not look amused by the name he has been been given, nor the fact that his headdress is too long. This is a Hamilton Exclusive, as perhaps other companies were busy with sensitivity training. I am sure both figures are of high quality, butt but can they top this craftsmanship...
...does that sentence even make sense? Have I been gone too long? I do appreciate your patronage though! Speaking of...
  ...this was the five star review I saw when I was looking for a bakery nearby recently (never you mind why). I laughed and laughed while eating the free piece of rugelach said baker heated up for me. I did not patronize him--not one bit!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Why you should DIY…and not ask me to

Crime scene?
I guess, of sorts. While the screwdriver was used to open that paint can, things really escalated when I wielded the brush (shown here subdued by a plastic bag). That circular might have been put to better use if actually read, as it was clearly no match for this event. I guess doing the bare minimum of prep work is where the reasons start for why you should do it yourself, right there at the very beginning. I can give you some tips on how to be an underachiever though that may inspire you to do a little paint makeover of your own though. Let's see how this project progressed.
Step one is apparently to not take a decent "before" picture. This prevents anyone from getting a real sense of how poor good your craftsmanship is. Some light sanding went on, but probably not enough.

Another step not to be avoided is hastiness. Why empty the creepy, and possibly antique, doll in the drawer when she can provide company and moral support?
Be resourceful when making sensible choices for propping up your project. Old televisions and computer monitors make sturdy work stations if you happen to have some sitting around. Again, do not waste a lot of time or energy protecting the floor.
I also subscribe to the notion that paint equals primer, and eventually I will have enough coats. 
This is important - act quickly! Take that "after" photo before any bleed through occurs with your paint. Yes, there are absolutely ways to prevent this from happening, but need I remind you of the title of this post? This is about being good enough with your thrifty self when giving new life to a basement find.
My daughter required more of an end table sized night stand, and she did not disappoint with how much stuff is typically spread out across the (poorly finished) top.

I can provide shortcuts and other half-assery tips for a multitude of undertakings - just ask!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

This particular nest

Perhaps you have been wondering how I am doing in my new phase of life?
Even if that was not your primary concern for coming here, can we talk about it anyway? Although, now I am curious as to why you've stopped by. This calls for a cookie! However, since I have already eaten two homemade chocolate chip cookies today, each one the size of my hand, let's try to focus. 

I know people are fond of the expression "empty nest", those might not be people who have experienced it. First of all, as you can see above, the nest doesn't really get left empty. There is dirt and and detritus that overflows in the wake of duffel bags being hauled out the front door. Look at all of those twigs-were they even comfortable to sit on? Did anybody actually use them? Why were they even kept? Surely that mother bird and I have much to discuss.

I don't think of our entire house as a nest, mainly  just this couch.
(Yes, I vacuumed for you.) This is the place where we all fit comfortably in our assigned seats. Well, some of us were more comfortable than others in a literal sense, but my soul could rest here. Whereas that mother bird eventually got crowded out, this nest still had plenty of room. It has taken some effort for me to figure out how, and where, to sit in this space.
I am 5'4" and just can't quite fill it up.
 I have to work on my sprawling techniques.
I have made some progress though, as last Monday I went and sat in my bedroom on the phone instead of looking at the empty seats, and today I am here typing on my assigned cushion...and taking dorky pictures to share with you. Thank you for giving me purpose!

No tears were shed during this post and I am very pleased to report that both kids are settled in and seem very happy!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dear Mystery Person(s)

This post is a bit late, but no less heartfelt or delicious! As I struggled to find new strategies of coping last week, a large box arrived on our doorstep addressed to me-and only me-which is super exciting to begin with. I read the return address, ecreamery, and pondered what miracles of modern day science could possibly await me inside! Dipping Dots, the ice cream of the future? Freeze-dried astronaut offerings? 
Yes, I see that the scoops of support has mysteriously been opened before photo could be taken
Nope, this was legitimate frozen ice cream...four pints! Are you seeing those flavors*?

Of course I used four spoons, I am not a savage
(even if I was in the pint of compassion before photo could be taken)
Included was this note that gave me the feels right down in my soul, and then just when I might have cracked, a dash of humor to make me grin.  
Something was missing though...the sender's name. So just to recap:  Ice cream (win), note that made me feel love and happiness (win) AND a fun mystery (win)!!! So thank you mystery person(s)--I hope maybe you visit here. 
I truly appreciate the compassion...
I was most definitely wrapped in a hug...

 And truly felt the support
 And, for a few moments, felt much better!

*Seriously, every one of these flavors were not only incredibly creamy, but also delicious and full of whatever delights the descriptions promised.