Of Champagne and Train Wrecks

This past Sunday morning was rather uneventful as usual. Normally I get up and make myself my first of three cups of coffee, and sit down to read news from around the world. But I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the State of Fear™ constantly bombarding my social and blog sites, so I decided to watch TV. I was hoping for some fun show where they completely demolish your kitchen/ bathroom/ house and rebuild it with some neat upgrades like a complete sound system in the shower or a wine dispenser in the kitchen.

Yes, they do make those.

Anyway, I was scrolling along and the next thing I see is a pair of Louboutin shoes on display on some show. I had to stop and look. Look, they were Louboutins, ok?? So I start watching two women discussing the pros and cons of buying that particular pair of studded Louboutins for a catering event and how one of the gals just HAD to get them in order to make a statement at said catering event. Then it turns out it was a commercial for some reality TV show, but before I could change it, ANOTHER reality TV show came on, and it was about a pack of wild hyenas group of well-to-do ladies (and I use that term loosely) from Melbourne, Australia called Real Housewives of Melbourne. Let me tell you, the only truth in that title is the name of the city. And so began my descent into the maelstrom of fake reality TV.

I picked up the storyline from the time Gal 1 decided to take all of them to an exclusive resort, where some of the others decided it was the opportune time to accuse her of talking behind their backs and Gal 1 AKA Barrister had enough and left them there, and Gal 2 AKA Switzerland called her to make sure she was ok, but the others ignored her, and then Gal 3 Mystic was scrambling to launch a cocktail line, but wanted a date with her hubby, so she and Gal 4 AKA Pilot went shopping at Agent Provocateur and spent $4,500 on a piece of lingerie, which her rocker hubby adored to the tune of $6,000 diamond earrings, while Gal 5 AKA Instigator is trying to fan the flames while trying to put them out between Barrister and Gal 6 AKA Plastic Barbie. So Barrister is being actively ostracized by all but Switzerland, and Mystic, who is keeping everyone at arms’ length because she comes from Newcastle and her mom is Russian and she has seen serious crap go down. And Plastic barbie is writing a book about how women can have it all (because that has never, ever been done) and is joining forces with Pilot who is also writing a book, but no one knows about what because she is too busy talking about her fantastic life and her fantastic dog. Then you have Switzerland trying to patch things up between Plastic Barbie and Barrister in a limo on the way to a special private opening of a new store from America called “West Elm”.

And this is where I lost it, yelling at the TV, “HA! I shop there you rich bimbos. You ain’t better than me!!”

And Hubby gave me a smile and a little pitying look right then.

Anyway, Switzerland is trying to make the peace by opening champagne and telling all of them this is some girl time to talk things out, because as normal people know, shopping is when women talk to each other. But then Plastic barbie gets it in her head to talk about Barrister RIGHT THERE and there is nothing Switzerland can do to mend the rifts, and Instigator full well owns up to having had a hand in it, and is cheered on by Pilot for being such a stand-up person, when in the real world a normal woman would have scratched her eyes out for being so duplicitous. So on to Mystic and her alcohol and she is by far the most normal of the Rich Pack. She doesn’t own a dog, but if she did, she wouldn’t subject it to dressing it up in costumes or taking it to a pooch party, which totally happened. Anyway she and rocker hubby are launching a new line of cocktails and she decides she doesn’t need the drama, so she steers as clear as one can while being followed around with cameras. Meanwhile Instigator and Switzerland confront Barrister to make her go apologize to Plastic Barbie, and that she needs to own up to what she had called Barbie and Pilot. So Barrister meets with Barbie and the amount of FAIL could only be measured on a Richter scale. Because as normal people know, women with chips on shoulders will never apologize when cameras are rolling. And so on to the end of this champagne-fueled train wreck, where the cocktail line is launching, and all the gals are in attendance for Mystic, while Barrister is actively ignored by Pilot and Barbie. The launch is a success, and at the end all six go sit to talk things out, and with drinks flowing and tongues wagging, it’s a miracle it was intelligible enough for closed-captioning. And still Barrister didn’t apologize, Pilot is still musing about a book, Barbie is still mad, Instigator is held at arms’ length, Switzerland has given up, and Mystic is as adjusted as a psychic married to a rock star and launching a cocktail line can be.

So I wasted my Sunday morning watching a bunch of pretentious women have cat fights on TV. Y’all didn’t think I was serious when I say I live a boring life, did you? Well, now you have proof :D


Boredness

No, that’s not a word. But it describes my feelings rather well. Hubby and I embarked on a new experience called, “Let’s install hardwood floors and watch the dogs go insane”. For the most part it has been hilarious. The past two days I have kept busy cleaning and dusting as the floor experts worked. But today everything cam to a standstill, because the painter (who will be caulking and painting the baseboards) had a flat tire. And I have no idea where he is. And neither does his boss. And until they finish tonight I can’t run errands. And that means I can’t get lunch or a new air filter.

So I decided to work on a project that I had no idea I wanted to do.

In my house there is this…. hallway. I call it the Hallway of Lost Souls. Because we have a bonus room upstairs, there is a wall that the builders put up to be load-bearing. Well, this wall divides the “formal” dining room from the …… three feet to the kitchen wall. It is a useless hallway, and if I A) had the money, 2) was planning on retiring in this area and keeping the house, and iii) cared enough, I would have hired some contractor to put a support beam and get rid of the damn wall. But as it is, I just dealt with it by hanging wall art that really didn’t fit anywhere.

old hallway

There is obviously a crappy light fixture which I will replace pronto. Anyway, those prints don’t go with anything in the house. I just hung them there when we first moved in because I had no idea what to do with them. That was eight years ago. The little house is a keepsake with all our names hanging from the hearts. That also really doesn’t go there. So, I went to the garage and dug up some stuff I had: old frame, fabric, cork pieces, an old “S”, and paint. I also had a chalkboard sold “as is” at Michaels™ that had been gouged on the bottom of the board area. And I got to work. I spray painted the old frame in an heirloom white, covered  cardboard in the burlap-like fabric, painted the “S” and adhered to wrapped cardboard, and added a flower. Then I cut pieces of corkboard to fit the gouged area and adhered to the board. I found one of my Longaberger Baskets™ to hold chalk and eraser, and now I have a message center.

new hallway

And now I have less crap in my garage, all because I had boredness. Now it’s time to work on the mirrors that will go in my dining room, flanking my Wall of Light™. But that will have to wait until I change the drapes and paint the block shelves. Change is coming, oh yes it is :D


Helpful Hints From Aggie

Sometimes I amaze myself. What takes most people minutes to learn usually takes me several months, maybe even years. It’s not that I am a slow learner. Ok, maybe I am a little bit. But I think it’s mostly that I am resistant to change. Hm…. that’s not really it, either.

Let’s just go with, I am not the swiftest boat out there.

pancake_bunny

Yes, I feel like this sometimes.

As y’all know, I changed out the ceiling fan in my bedroom, and will be gifting the old fan to a friend. Well, can’t have the fan just sitting in the middle of the floor, right? So I have to take it apart and box it separately. I learned that one should remove the lightbulbs before removing the light shades. As a side note, lay down some newspaper to catch any broken lightbulb pieces so they do not become embedded in your dreadful Berber carpeting.

Yesterday, I decided to start getting rid of clothes that no longer fit. If I haven’t worn it in two years, out it goes to the donation pile. It doesn’t bless anyone just hanging in my closet, right? Today I learned that tangled hangers can become weapons of mass disruption as they take down the stuff on the shelves above. For future reference, check hangers and remove clothing while standing, instead of pulling down clothes while sitting on the closet floor. That way you can avoid being the victim of an avalanche.

This morning I decided to reorganize the pantry. Turns out the kids think the pantry is the perfect place to stuff almost empty bags of chips and cookie boxes, not to mention I think it’s the perfect place to store crap that I think I *may* need at a later date. I admit I am just as guilty as the kids. The only one who doesn’t contribute to the wreckage in that bottomless pit is Hubby, mostly because he only goes in there for the jar of almonds, and maybe peanut butter. Moving on, this morning I learned that I should check the status of bags of grain before moving, specifically whether or not they are open. Using a container to store said grains or even a clip to seal bags will prevent itty bitty grains of rice and quinoa to go scattering all over the pantry shelves and floor, delighting the dogs to the unexpected treat. As an aside, you might as well take a vacuum to it because it is virtually impossible to get all of the quinoa with a broom.

I hope my little helpful hints will help y’all live your lives a bit better. I’m no Heloise, but at least you can learn from my experiences and have a laugh as well.  Welcome to my Monday! :D

 


When It Rains, You Get Lemons

This morning I woke up to a nice rainstorm. It was a welcome relief after a rather dry-as-dust-on-Mars August. Of course, that means that drivers out in these parts will be freaking out and acting accordingly. It’s a good thing it seldom snows here. Seriously, the city has shut down over a light dusting of snow before. A dusting that evaporated 20 minutes later. But to give us some credit, we sure know how to drive on highways.

The only bad thing about getting rain is my dog. Lenny, the Labrador mix, doesn’t like getting wet or walking in puddles. This means that sometimes I have to carry the dead weight of a 55 lbs. dog to the lawn and hold her in place until she “goes”. And let me tell you, it is difficult to hold down a dog that wants NOTHING to do with a wet lawn. And you can forget about carrying an umbrella. It’s either managing the dog, or keeping dry. Can’t have both. That means usually I am soaked. Sometimes that gets on my nerves. Now I just take it in stride, because when life hands you lemons, you can then go have some limoncello, right?

italian lemonade cocktail

Italian Lemonade

  • 2 parts Limoncello
  • 1 part Vodka
  • 2 parts Sprite®
  • 1-2 parts Sweet and Sour mix
  • Mint and lemon for garnish

Pour the first three ingredients into an ice-filled highball glass and stir. Add the sweet and sour mix to taste, and garnish with mint leaves and a lemon slice. This is a great drink with which to toast the end of Summer. Or as we in Texas prefer to call it, Summer v. 1.0.

At least it isn’t pumpkin spice, right?? :D


One Year Like Yesterday

It has been a year since my brother-in-law Draco passed away. Time has made it easier for us to bear the loss, and to enjoy thinking of his exploits and funny stories. I think he would have appreciated passing away on the anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s penning of the Star Spangled Banner, too. Draco always did have a flair for the dramatic, though he was careful not to show it. Unless it concerned a martini. Then it had to be the right glass, the right garnish, the right vermouth, even the right pick. He was hilarious.

Sometimes I am caught unawares and the pain of the loss grips me. I was cleaning out a closet and found a shirt he had left behind, and suddenly a torrent of tears let forth, taking me by surprise. Before she left, Eldest’s biggest regret was not being able to wear the bracelet Draco made for her while in basic. And today Texas A&M plays Rice University. He always looked forward to every game, but the Rice games were special, because of the band. Rice’s MOB is rather…. unique, to say the least!

Draco my brother, you are still missed every day. And not a day goes by that I don’t offer up a prayer in Heaven for you and know you are there, looking down and screaming at Manziel to get it together while giving Dallas a scritch. And I promise not to wear any Aggie or maroon stuff. We both know I can jinx it if I do. So, I shall make your favorite dish for dinner in your honor, and we will raise our glasses of lemonade and toast to your memory. We love you…. then, now, and always :)


Spinning Round

I’ve been a little morose and serious lately, and forgot that my job is to entertain my captive audience with Aggie’s exploits. Nothing so exciting as regaling y’all with stories of how I managed to be in three places at once while baking cookies.

Anyway, one of the things that has seriously gotten under my skin lately is home updates. I blame my sister Reno Queen for that. You see, she has been updating the finishes in her home, like lighting and wall decor. That means that she needs to dispose of the stuff she no longer needs, which in turn means I get to enjoy new stuff!!! So I will be updating the light fixtures in the house soon. Of course, since I am getting new lighting for the main areas of the house, I decided I had to get an updated fixture for the bedroom. But as y’all know, Hubby is adamant in having a ceiling fan. I wanted some glamorous bling and set up a fan on his side of the bed, but no. It needs to be a ceiling fan. He really meant NEED. So I looked into a new ceiling fan, and found one with an acceptable amount of bling.

a+r ceiling fanSee?? I love the drum shade that does NOT expose lightbulbs, and look, just LOOK at the glass sphere that gives it just the right amount of bling. I showed a picture of it to my sister, and her response was….. lukewarm. Not her style, she admits, but she agrees that it’s a good compromise for Hubby and me. And if I can’t have a chandelier in my bedroom, at least I have something pretty to look at when I dust it.

Next on the list? The carpeting. Whoever said Berber carpeting was awesome was either drunk, or selling it. So now the new battle begins: tile, or wood? In truth I’m fine with either, as long as I get to set the carpeting on fire :D


We Remember, Always

On this day thirteen years ago, our enemies struck at the heart of our nation.

WTC with flag

That day, a campaign against terror began in our people with steady resolve. We began to gather together not just to mourn, but to begin to understand why. Our mistake was thinking that this was some complex act of war, when the truth was they just want us dead. A political ideology cleverly disguised as a religion decided that it cannot let those who do not believe the same ideology exist. War had been declared against Western Civilization. And so, we went to war.

We took the fight to the root, and began a long campaign on two fronts. And we were not alone. Countries who not only lost their own in the attacks but who also saw the potential danger of ignoring the seed of evil now flowering in that desert joined us in the fight. WE WERE NOT ALONE. For a time the world understood that this was an act against civilization, not just one country. And we fought overseas, and at home. We fought the rising tide of fear and distrust, as well as the inevitable slide into ignorance and complacency. And through it all, we stayed strong in the face of indifference and political expedience.

Thirteen years later, the fight that was declared “ended”, though not “won” has flared again with the help of inaction and political correctness. The fear of offending has paralyzed many to the point where they declare that these people are not terrorists. We now have to win wars by winning the heart and minds of people who have been indoctrinated to kill the infidels. This war is not over, it is not ended, and certainly it was not won. Terrorists are still declaring war on us, and killing our people, instigating a genocide and even killing those who they believe not to be muslim enough. And so I ask, when will our government learn?

They want us dead. And they won’t stop until the Western World stops them. Completely.


Sunshine and Puppehs

I’m sorry I haven’t written lately. I am now a “band parent” and no longer in control of my destiny. Well, as a mom I’ve never been in control, but at least I was able to pretend most of the time. On top of that, I am still feeling lonely now that Eldest is gone. I shouldn’t whine since quite a few of my friends are in the same boat as I am, or went through the same thing she is going through. But lately I have found it more difficult to feel cheerful about anything. As usual, the social-site-with-faces keeps me entertained, but I can’t be a slave to it, no matter how attractive that can be. Internet meth is what I call it. I have been so mopey that Hubby offered to let me buy a Lolita™ wine glass, and I turned him down!!!

Yes, yes I did.

So, I am trying to cheer myself up. Eldest’s goods arrived yesterday, so she is adjusting as expected. And my friend Erin sent me a huge box of old Reader’s Digest™ condensed books for me, so there will be altering in my immediate future. I really SQUEE’ed when I opened the box. Of course, I have to find a place to store them, but that’s a small matter. I have an attic. And I think there is room under my bed. Maybe.

So for now I am cheering myself up with small things like taking walks and enjoying the sun and thanks to XBradTC, with lots of puppehs.

twin puppies

Yes, I SQUEE’ed again.

Anyway, time to go give my doggies a cuddle and maybe start folding some books. Or paint something. That’s always fun, as long as I don’t get paint or glue in my hair :)


Worst Case Scenarios, Part MCMLXXX

It always happens, no matter what we are doing or where we are travelling.

Hubby has the ability to think of 55 x 10³ things at once. It’s a gift and a curse. It does not matter if we are out having ice cream at Baskin Robbins™. In the middle of a delectable bite of Cherries Jubilee, he will ask any one of us a question involving a possible, but highly improbable scenario. It was no different yesterday on the way back from visiting family.

Hubby: Suppose we are on the way home, and suddenly you see a mushroom cloud go up in the distance. What would you do?

Me: Are you serious right now?

Hubby: Yes. What would YOU do??

Me: Uh, well… take my family away from it??

Hubby: And then what?

Me: Pray.

As an after thought I would also go beyond a place of high elevation to let the radiation rain off. But I was a bit groggy from dozing off in the vehicle. Once I was awake, we developed the “WWYD” scenario, to the flip side.

Hubby: What places would the bad guys send a nuclear bomb, and why?

Eldest: Well, high population areas, like major cities.

Me: Hmmmm…. San Andreas Fault, and Yellowstone.

Hubby: Damn honey, you are evul.

Me: Well, yeah. Oh, and add the TVA while you’re at it.

He may think of a metric ton of stuff at once, but I hone my focus to a singularity for effect. It’s a gift, not a curse ;)


In Defense of the Ice Bucket

A new fad for charity has gone viral in social media. The Ice Bucket Challenge has been going on for about two months, but it has just been in the past two weeks or so that the challenge has skyrocketed. It has helped to raise money and more importantly, awareness of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, also known as ALS. Between July 31 and August 18 of 2013, the charity had raised $1.8 million dollars. In the same time period of 2014, they have raised over $42 million. The rules are simple: first, accept the challenge, and pour ice into a bucket of water; second, you pour the bucket over your head; third, you challenge others by name to do the same. You donate a certain amount if you do the challenge, but if you choose to pass on the challenge (as some have done), you must donate a larger amount. The point of this challenge is obviously to raise money for research, so both challenger and the challenged should donate. That’s the bare bones of the whole thing.

Now to my rant.

I have been following along on social media a certain trend, if you will. Some people deride the challenge as being a “waste of water”, and a “chance at 15 minutes of fame”, and even “selfie grandstanding”. Others think the challenge is stupid because it’s not “jackass” daredevil enough. I have seen friends of friends say that it is better to send bottled water to Africa than to do this challenge. I have seen friends complain about it filling their media feed. Well, my turn to say something.

WHAT THE HELL, PEOPLE??

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Every day for a month we are inundated in pink. PINK!! And I don’t mean her music, either. Every organization, from the NFL to Hollywood to airlines to grocery stores to every single thing wears or decorates in pink to “bring awareness” of cancer. Hell, you can get a Kitchen Aid® mixer in a special shade of pink just for that campaign. They wear pink to “support awareness”. What the hell does that do? Who DOESN’T support awareness?? Putting a pink ribbon on everything doesn’t mean a thing. Most people are not aware that when they buy a pink ribbon pencil or a pink ribbon apron that the money is not necessarily earmarked for a breast cancer research foundation like the Susan G. Komen Foundation™. In fact, most of it isn’t. Only certain things specifically endorsed as having its proceeds go to a foundation are earmarked. But people still do it, and charities (plural) raise MILLIONS towards research. And yet some of the same people who complain about the Ice Bucket Challenge have no problem with Pink October. Seems a bit hypocritical to me.

Look, I’m not saying you have to do the challenge. I’m not saying don’t send water to Africa. And I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t donate to breast cancer research. What I am saying is, no harm, no foul. You don’t like it on your feed, adjust your damn settings and quit complaining. Social media doesn’t belong to you. This has done more to increase donations to a worthy cause than anything I can recall. I do think that whole “it wastes water” is a bunch of hooey, seeing as most of the water ends up on a lawn in most videos. But it makes you seem rather small when you complain about a challenge that is harmless to you and to the participant. My grandmother-in-law passed away from ALS, and a very good friend of mine has lost family members to it, and now her mother has it. Unlike breast cancer, ALS cannot be treated so research is vital. Taking the challenge is a way to show others that you aren’t afraid. If you would rather donate directly, as we do every year, go to the ALS Association website.

And enjoy the fact that you can help, and cool off at the same time :)


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