Welcome to the Show!

Welcome to the Show!
This is the story of my life.
It isn't much, but it is mine. It can be a zoo.

Please keep your hands and feet tucked in at all times.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Damn It!

The days seem a blur of work, eat, drive, cook, and sleep. Each time I open my eyes, I know for certain I'll be up for at least another 18 hours. Rinse and repeat with 1 day off a week for 2 week stretches, and you have one zombified woman. Amidst this lovely daily grind, I have an amazing amount of ideas and things to do for Halloween this year. With planning and 8 pages of lists, I will be adding myself and science as an attraction to our annual haunt. Normally, we let the garage become one big mad lab, but the witch in me wants to baffle and inspire the little ones with a few spells from Mr. Wizard himself. I have an extensive collection of spooky items that would make the Sanderson Sisters of "Hocus Pocus" proud. These past years we have herded families in and out of our garage in the hopes that they were scared by the devious genius I call my husband's work. While I make a rather fine assistant Igor, this time I want to inspire more than fear. We love science and science fiction in our home and I think the kids should get to see both sides. I plan on setting up my own work space, and making magic for my little pretties.(and sometimes their dogs too.)

The easy part of it all is putting the whole thing together. The hardest part is coming up with a rhyming spell for making snow, and figuring out the proper ratios of diet coke to mentos in an attempt at avoiding a sticky mess. Anyone know where I can buy bulk dry ice on Halloween? Besides these things, we need a small batch of minions to help us finish cleaning out our garage to make room. We have a back breaking amount of tile in the garage awaiting our upcoming bathroom makeovers, and they need to be shuffled away to darker, less in the way locals.

Soon enough I will be embarking on my 34th year. This garners no excitement for me other than the fun of a family gathering, with food and drinks. I didn't want a spectacular blow out, since I rarely have the energy for much more than a yawn. Low key is my party theme this year. Break out the barbeque and beers! I am looking forward to a relaxing time with the ones I love.

As per usual, I know this game all too well. First it's my birthday, and the next thing I know it's Christmas. The Gauntlet is back! I am not too sure how I will be able to balance the festivities and work all at once. I know I will find a way. It will probably be in the form of caffeine, but there is no slacking when it comes to merry making in my world. I have been booked for cake baking and Santa pit stops so far, and we aren't even to October. I am like the seasonal department of your your favorite store. Just as you are getting ready for Halloween, I am stocking the shelves with Christmas crap. It's the only way to keep up honestly.

While I have been driving between work and home, my 9 year old love has begun 4th stinkin' grade! My dear sweet Master Pigglesworth is growing up rapidly now. I am not saying he is maturing, so much as growing. Seriously, this kid is super tall. He's going to be giant. He has size full grown man feet at the tender age of 9. He's growing up so fast he's already referring to himself as 10! As per usual, he is my favorite source for a laugh. Of course like any other child, he tests his boundaries in a manner that would make Mr. Rogers himself curse. While we endure these typical growing pains, I still look at him and see my wrinkled old man baby. Then he runs off barefoot down the street screaming at his friend, and I shake that vision right off. PUT YOUR SHOES ON BARNEY RUBBLE!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ready, Set, Saute'

Whew! The fourth came and went with a bang. I partied. There was food and drink had. It makes me want to hit the rewind button and do it all over again. But since I can’t do that, and because we are already on Tuesday, we must press forward and make the best of it.  Of course I am staring down the long barrel of a six day work week, fresh off my three day weekend. As thankful as I was for the time off, it’s harder to get back into the groove.
Now we are getting into the hottest months of the year, it is becoming increasingly important that I have a pool to soak in. Thankfully, my parents have one in their back yard that fits my bill. (free) I usually have to share that pool with a crazy 9 year old boy, but we make due. This pretty much sums up my entire calendar for the next few weeks. Amazingly, I do not have plans. There are no parties to attend or assemble, no holidays to fret and fuss over. July and most of August should be quiet by comparison to the rest of the year. This immediately makes me want to start a project. Free time = Project time. Since my office still hasn’t been touched, I believe that is what I will be working on. Of course I would like to be working on our bathroom, but sadly, we are still storing a garage full of someone else’s worldly belongings. We have no room to store our items or work on anything. It doesn’t look like these items are going anywhere, anytime soon on their own accord. I hate to take action, but once again, we are left with no choice.
With the coming of some additional down time, I want to make it my plan to get my kitchen back into a healthier state. While I am proud of the additional veggies we have added over the past few years, I can’t help but notice how far out of the lean meats and whole grain pattern we have gotten. While I still occasionally buy ground turkey, I have been buying hamburger because of the cost difference. I have also been trying to use up all the boxes of hamburger helper we seem to have, when I know I can make my own, tastier and healthier ”helper” with just a little more effort. So I plan on keeping the addition of the kale, sweet potatoes and, zucchini to our table, be reintroducing lower fat preparations.
This reminds me that I haven’t cooked anything for the pure enjoyment of it in a while.  I cook to provide sustenance more often than I cook for the pleasure. While providing nourishment is the overall idea, I have a real love of creating in the kitchen. Sometimes I get one off “franken-dishes” that I couldn’t replicate even if I had a recipe. Other times I get meals that satisfy, but don’t make me ring the proverbial bell. These average dishes make me strive to make them into delicious victories. This is how I fought the cheesecake monster and won. Same goes for the bread beast. When something confounds me, I fight back until I win. I need to go toe to toe with something scrumptious and come out flour streaked and triumphant. I’m on a hunt for the next contender.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

You Put The Lime In The Coconut

Do you ever get so caught up in a flavor trend that you worry yourself? Lately my flavor of choice has been coconut. I blame it on coconut flavored sparkling water. It really is refreshing. We started out with that, and now I can't help but notice that most of the cold beverages I am buying have a coconut flavor. For example, Central Market brand has a kaffir lime and coconut Italian soda. This mixed with premium white rum and ice makes an amazing refreshing drink. It's simple and delicious. In fact, I am almost tempted to go back to my nearby HEB and pick up more just in case they sell out by next weekend. I plan on making this my summer drink of choice.

I am looking forward to the next couple of weekends. Next Saturday, I am going on a day trip with my sister to pick up her two miniature donkeys. Jax and Guinness are finally coming home, and I know my sister couldn't be more excited. To make it even better, they will also be welcoming their first longhorn calf named Big Tex, the following day. As if my sister didn't already have her hands full, she's now adding rancher to her many titles. If I know anyone who could handle it, she would be the one. I actually feel sorry for those poor animals. They will feel like life before my sister was torture. She will spoil them rotten, like she does everyone else. She's really good at that.

Of course America's independence day is coming up very soon. We love holidays and like to make a big deal out of cooking and getting our loved ones together. We decided on a hot dog bar, with a giant vat of baked beans, and chips. This sounds about as perfect the apple pies we will bust out before the fireworks show. We really don't need a reason to make all this, but we like to have an excuse. I think my nephew is slightly disappointed that there is no Uncle Sam and his team of freedom eagles to bring all patriotic boys and girls presents for being so American. He will have to console himself with some fun outdoor activities. This is South Texas and I have no doubts that it will be a hot mammer jammer. Water will be involved.

Even with all this wonderful family time and events coming up, things aren't all sunshine and roses. Stress has infiltrated my life in abundance. As strong as I thought I was, I was sadly shown that even I need help dealing with stuff. These past few months tested my limits and introduced me to a highly impatient and rather irritable side of myself. I didn't know how to stop it. Even with most of the reason removed from my sight, the residual issues have created enough of a mess for me to lose my cool. It is like someone came up to the little pond that is my life, cannon-balled, splashing half the water out, and left their trash around my shores. I'm in recovery mode and my first instinct is anger and the second is more anger.

I'm trying to reboot myself. Carrying this negativity around is heavy and I know it's not good for me. I can't avoid dealing with my disgruntled thoughts. It is easy to internalize your emotions for the sake of someone else, but then it backfires. I feel like I was on the verge of an epic explosion. I am glad that I didn't, because the damage would have been vast. I would have regretted things I had said, and damaged relationships beyond repair. This is not my goal. No lesson would have been learned, nor any good would have come of it. So I do what I always do when I have things to say, but no one needs to hear. I write, and promptly erase it. Every time a word document asks me if I want to save, I hover over the button just a second before saying no. Life isn't always about kicking sand in your enemy's eye. It's better to look them in the eye and know you can, but you won't.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Intolerance and Silver Linings

Here we are in the middle of 2014. For the first 3 months of our year, our life was getting into a new groove. At the end of January, I started a long term assignment with a 2 hour daily commute and 10 hour shifts. I was working every other weekend, but now work 12 days in a row and then have 2 weekends off. I start my day at 5am and get home around 6:15pm. I’m generally tired, but manage it. Just as we started picking up to full speed, we were asked to help out someone that was in a bad place. We agreed to change our lives and home around so the temporary fit into our world was as easy as possible. It was soon apparent that we were from different universes, not just planets. Combining them was about as smart as putting a hunting dog in the same cage with a skunk. In the course of ten weeks, our patience and charity was tested, abused, and eventually ran out. We decided that we needed our home back, and made it so. The relief was tainted by frustration and anger that it had to end the way it had, but there was relief.

Not only did this verify the adage that no good deed goes unpunished, the entire episode was exhausting. It's not completely over, as we are still boarding animals and storing furniture. Soon, this will be over as well. I have learned that I do not tolerate bullshit as well as I used to. Once upon a time, I may have endured or been bullied into giving more time, money and energy. That just isn’t the case any longer. We work too hard for what we have, and I refuse to be disrespected in my own home. I like helping others, but not to the detriment of our happiness. I have no obligation to destroy my own peace for unappreciative interlopers.

There is a silver lining. It's now just the two of us living in our home for the first time in several years. Our long term roommate decided to move to avoid the drama we were enduring. I can finally shower without worrying if my bedroom door is closed. My bra is optional when I change into comfy clothes, and I have an office of my own. My husband is able to lock the doors before bed without worrying if someone will be coming home after we fall asleep. Our home is once again a sanctuary, and if it's messy, it's our own fault. I can't tell you how wonderful it is. There is quiet. I would say you can't put a price on that, but the mortgage company says different.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lazy Sunday

Its officially time for me to get back to work. Tomorrow I will begin an 8 month assignment working 6 days a week about an hour away from home. This should be interesting. I'm partially sad because I've been able to spend so much time with my sister and nephew. I won't be there to pick him up after school any longer. As bitter sweet as this unplanned hiatus has been, it's time to bring in some cash. I'm also looking forward to interacting with people outside my small circle again.

Today marks my fathers 60th year on the planet. 12 years ago, we were just hoping to keep him for a few more months. The initial cancer diagnosis was bleak. Our whole family was in a tailspin of disbelief, grief, and desperation. I would have sacrificed a baby goat on the third full moon of the year if it would have meant we got to keep him. Thankfully, voodoo wasn't needed. He went to MD Anderson in Houston. They saved his life and ours. His only sister donated bone marrow and he's now our father/aunt cellularly speaking. It doesn't get more redneck than that, and it's a beautiful thing. Last night we enjoyed a quiet party with our family and a few bottles of whiskey around a fire. For his gift we decided he was finally old enough to handle a tablet PC and so he's got his very own Kindle Fire. I hope he and mom both know that no matter how old and senile they get, we will always love them. Most people take for granted that their parents will always be there for them. We had a rude awakening. Every birthday is an achievement and special. I can only hope that my parents will be here for my 60th birthday.

Now I'm off to enjoy my Sunday. I have a plan that involves laundry, eating, and watching movies. I hope you all have a relaxing day too.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys, Less Stinky Too

The tree and it's trimmings are stuffed away for another year. The kisses were kissed for the new year and we are officially out of the thick of it. Here at Casa De La Beebs we had a pretty awesome holiday blitz. The essential 3 F's were present and accounted for (family, friends, and food). I think all of us gained a few pounds. Blame it on my cbb's baby! (Cheesy bacon balls. Yum!)

Now that 2014 is already burning up the calendar pages, I would like to note that I have passed my 3rd blogoversary! Yay for writing and such! My favorite part of writing is knowing that my readers can laugh with me. Life is funny. I find things to laugh at all the time, not excluding myself. Half the time I forget to write it down, but every once in a while, l'll remember something totally inappropriate I've done and I share it. Like having a pillow fight with my nephew in the Target check out lines, as if we were all alone. Also, letting him get the last hit in the busy parking lot. Even if it was the full face rearranging kind. I so wanted to retaliate, but I'm 33 and he is 8. Rest assured next time we hang out, I'm serving him a Diet Coke with Mentos ice. Sweet, sweet revenge will be mine!!!!

In other news, I'm still off the ciggarettes!! I'm slowly converting the rest of the world with me. Not smoking is wonderful. The world is also a very stinky place. Sadly, my husband has had two chest colds since he quit smoking. He is threatening to start smoking again. I hope he doesn't! The occasional cravings are hard enough. The wierdest craving trigger yet has to have been watching some cartoon on Adult Swim. One of the characters  had a smoke behind his ear, and suddenly my brain was awash with thoughts of ciggarettes. I puffed on my e-cig and reminded myself of how nasty they taste. I am retraining my brain after 19 years of smoking. It's not easy. 

In my typical tradition of not setting resolutions but goals, I have declared three things to be on my list:

1. To keep off the cigarettes! 

2. To remodel the bathroom. We needed a new shower like 2 years ago. 2 bondo patches later, and I'm sick of having to stand in the very cold back side of the tub. Shaving my legs is an Olympic sport!  So over it!!

3. To be happy. Now, don't freak out y'all!! This does not mean I am unhappy! Because I am happy. But, I plan on blocking the bullshit from my boots. I know sometimes you can't avoid it. Some times the bullshit has a tendency to stick to your shoes and come in uninvited. Let me give a warning now: check your shoes at the door, and leave your mess behind. I don't want your stink around. Yee-haw.