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Gotta Love My Kid!

I was experimenting with a new recipe the other day and made way too much. So, I put half into another baking pan and covered it with foil. I asked The Kid to get a post-it note and write today’s date and some other things on it, so we will know what it is and how long it has been in the freezer.

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And this is what he handed me. Kids!

MacCupcake

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Consistency Was Never My Strong Suit

At least when it comes to writing in this blog, I am really ‘hit or miss’. My other blog gets much, much more attention. But it is much more interesting as well.

I thought I’d write today as something has been on my mind. Isn’t it funny how you can be going along, life being just life, when something from the past sneaks up and throws you a curve?

Well something did just pop up out of nowhere. It actually started some days ago when a name from my past fluttered by in an email. Just an off hand, normal run-of-the-mill email. And suddenly, twenty five years just melted away and I was a young woman head over heels for a blonde haired, blue-eyed Irish boy.

My heart skipped a beat. Maybe two. It was a glorious feeling for someone who has felt so lousy lately. I was definitely looking for something to change my overall disappointing mood at being, once again, in the job hunt. Once again, pinching pennies and watching the dollars. Feeling older every day as the knees creak with every step and the only time I truly feel good is those first few moments in the morning before life comes slamming down.

Anyway, there were a few days there that I was walking a little lighter and feeling better. It is a good feeling.

MacCupcake

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Women in Movies: Unrealistic Portrayals

I am on the mend from a migraine attack which has left me in the dark for the past 24 hours or so. As I recover, not only from the pain but the medication as well – I tend to have the television on, volume low. Something that when I have the strength and clarity, I can watch. I usually stream, how should I put this, movies that I don’t have to think about too hard.

For some reason, today I watched a movie simply because Tom Hanks was in it. I think it was part of a series, the whole Dan Brown set of books about ancient Rome. I didn’t read the books – God knows I have enough backlog of reading material just with my favorite author Stephen King – but I guess I didn’t realize when I started it, it was that series.

But that wasn’t what I started writing this post about. I really didn’t have the energy or concentration power to follow the story, the big thing that caught my attention is the three primary women characters in the movie. By the way, this is an action-thriller movie, just in case you didn’t know.

The three women, from beginning to end, run around and drive motorcycles and Über cars and climb stone walls and swim in a cistern while wearing tight and unrealistic clothing and heels. And not one inch heels, but teetering type heels. One character battles with a man in chest high water and never manages to lose even a single shoe nor mess her hairstyle. She essentially saves the world and never smudges her makeup.

Woman 2

Heels 2Why do directors do this? Even while the woman in the show is saving the world – or her lover or her children or government (read ‘House of Cards’) that look perfect. And I don’t mean because they save the world they look perfect, but rather while saving the world there isn’t a single hair out of place and she never wears tennis shoes and jeans or something more realistic.

Woman 1

Heels 1The men get dirty, rumpled, scratched, bloodied and bruised but that apparently isn’t allowed for the women characters. And they can run and crawl and falls down and get wet (and almost drowned) but they still come up looking perfect.

And the hair. I have long hair, and I know just how often it can get in the way. I wear it in a ponytail or braid almost all the time… but these women don’t. I don’t even see them tuck their hair behind their ears!

HAIRWhy does Hollywood insist on doing this? And why can’t I stop seeing this and just enjoy the movie?

MacCupcake

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Following Up A Rough Week with Another Rough Week

Sometimes I think that someone in the universe has it out for me. Just about the time I get past the ‘blues’ and start feeling better mentally, then I get sick physically.

This all started with having eaten something bad, I think. You know what goes along with food poisoning and I won’t go it the gory details, you’ve probably all been there/done that. So, two days down with the works, followed by a very intense migraine with (now two) days of recovery. I call the days following a traditional migraine a “medication hangover”. I am hoping that by tomorrow, I should be well on the road to recovery and feeling more like myself.

Upside of this food poisoning is that I think I lost about 8 pounds! Gah. Yuck.

At least its almost Friday and the beginning of a long weekend. Not that I ever go anywhere on these long weekends; the crowds of people trying to do everything in those three days usually accompanied by too much alcohol and stress of trying to “relax” while still trying to do it all is just results in too much danger to be on the road. The Kid and I still wanted to try and hit Yellowstone National Park, but the weather app indicates that it is still only in the forties and they’re expecting snow today and possibly tomorrow.Yellowstone National Park sign at the North Entrance; Jim Peaco; October 1992

So maybe the weekend after next. Everyone will be safely back at work and the weather might creep up just enough to not be miserable. Just a few days away from this craziness I have been dealing with – job hunting, migraines and planning for the future – and just enjoy Mother Nature.YNP.jpegMaybe just kick back and hike a bit and get physically tired instead of so mentally exhausted all the time. And I get The Kid’s company, which I couldn’t ask for better.

Anyway, had a few minutes and thought I’d jot down a few notes. The dollhouse interior is about 99% and only have a few things to finish on the exterior before taking photos and putting it away. That project has been a long time overdue, that’s for sure. I think my Dad originally built it before The Kid was born, and I’d estimate that it was more than just one or two years… so overall, probably about 25 years or so, ago. Of course in my defense, he had in it Iowa and I was in California, so it originally went to my oldest sister for quite some time. Thankfully, she really didn’t do anything to the house – other than collect some furniture and pieces, so everything that has been done was my doing.

Yep, when my sister decided to move to Colorado, she “gave” the house back to my Dad and then finally, my parents drove to California with their van which gave them enough room to bring the house with them. And of course, I didn’t really do anything to the house either, other than, much like my sister, collect “stuff” for the house. And now that its almost finished, there is so much left over that I could probably furnish another house about the same size!!

So, if weather holds here in K.C., I want to take photos of the house this weekend. Sometime I want to put plexiglass doors across the back, which I hope helps keep it dust free and any little fingers from exploring. Maybe if I get really ambitious, I have been thinking about adding a “basement” and some landscaping. We’ll see. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by!

MacCupcake

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This Is Turning Out to be a Rough Week…

I guess if I were to be absolutely honest, this has been a tough year so far. I kept the job hunting just far enough back in my head that all the failed interviews, telephone calls and a myriad of emails didn’t directly affect my day-to-day mood, but now that my unemployment has run out, everything seems to be right there. No getting around the fact that even though the unemployment check wasn’t bupkis in the grand scheme of things, the lack of it has been weighing heavily on my mind.

And having that hanging there has made my mood a bit darker and I get frustrated more easily. Not to mention that in the time that I have been off, I have gained like 30 pounds. And it wasn’t like I was skinny to begin with. This past year since the knee replacement surgeries, I seem to have become more and more sedentary. I think I have finally arrived at a place where I need to shit or get off the pot. The Kid and I walked around the neighborhood a little and I know I shouldn’t be, but was surprised to find that walking was stressing me. Not only were my knees screaming, I was winded making the final climb back to the house! This is so sad!

I made a promise on not starting any new projects until every project that I have started is completed. At the very least, I have to put a real dent in my unfinished projects. I have been working on the dollhouse that my Dad built me forever ago and am rounding the corner on completion. The Kid has been installing all the doors and their trim for me… its not joke, but working in such a small scale, is hard! The scale is 1:12, which mean for every foot in real life is equal to 1 inch for the dollhouse. So, if a room had a 9 foot ceiling, then in the dollhouse, the room would be 9 inches. And when you get down to things being six inches in real life – like a pencil – it is a half inch for the dollhouse. You gotta get crafty to make some of the stuff if you don’t want to buy it all done for you. Buying these miniatures can be costly too! The “leather” sofa and chair cost $75 and although you can’t actually by a real sofa and chair for that, it is a nice little spend when you know you’re never really going to be able to sit in it!

IMG_4081Anyway, while I wait for The Kid to do the doors, I can’t really start anything new, since I know if I do, the dollhouse will never get finished and it will sit quietly screaming that it is but one more unfinished project. I should have this thing done by the end of the week, I think. Of course I still have blog posts and pictures to do as well, but I am staying pretty much on top of that. Pretty much. 🙂

I seem to be sleeping a lot lately too. Sometimes I think that sleeping is just about the greatest invention ever. I got a great custom mattress while I was working the last job, and it is like sleeping on a cloud! Sometimes I want to figure out how to sleep more… that’s how much I enjoy it.

I suppose that’s it for today. Its funny though, whenever I feel a little bit down and I come out here and write for this post (and the other) I do seem to feel a little bit better. At this point, it could be that I am just tired and I know soon I will be asleep, but who knows.

Thanks for stopping by,

MacCupcake

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Keep Your Hands off Our Internet!

Just got caught up with John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” in which I learned that the back stabbing ISPs are back to try and influence your choices online. This happened about five years ago and now that Trump is in the White House, this is is back on the table. Again.

So, take a few minutes and tell the FCC that you don’t want big business in your online activities. John Oliver’s team was kind enough to create a link to get you through the maze of pages on FCC’s website: GoFCCYourself.com and post a comment.

Here is an example of wording that will help you:

I support strong net neutrality backed by Title II oversight of the ISPs.

And here is the episode online: http://time.com/4770205/john-oliver-fcc-net-neutrality/

You can also find John Oliver’s weekly television show on HBO and online at HBOGO, Episode 11 (May 7, 2017).

Keep our internet free of government and big business interference!

MacCupcake

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See America First, Then the Rest of the World

I will start this post off with the note that by the time I started ninth grade, I had gone to as many different schools as years. For some odd reason, we moved. A lot. And never very far, once the move constituted less than five miles. We always joked that my Dad had gypsy blood or some kind of wanderlust.

I still feel that way. I cannot seem to feel content to stay in any one place for long. I’ve done better than my father, but I also seem to have the itch to go somewhere.

On our last adventure – our recent trip to Moab, UT and Arches National Park – we started chatting about what was next. And the best way to fill in the open spots of our travels, it helps to have an accounting.

I found a simple black and white drawing of the U.S. and started filling them out. Purple states are those I have lived in, the dark purple is where I was born (Iowa). I also did this for The Kid. The blue states we’ve visited. White are those left to explore.

Mom States

Streets States

For the most part, I will be revisiting states with The Kid and am hoping that sometime this year we will try for Alaska. I am excited to see Denali National Park before Trump releases the drilling morons into that pristine landscape and the final frontier we still have left in America!

MacCupcake

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The Real Value of Government Regulations

I just finished watching a documentary about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. And it reminded me the value of government regulation.

In it, it spoke of the primary reasons for the number of young women dying – as well as some men – that it was largely the result of blocked stairwells, doors opening in and not providing information about fire escape in the form of drills or documentation.

And these were because prior to the fire, they weren’t “regulations” but rather “safety suggestions”.

Triangle-Fire-gs-1024x659Let me back up a little. The year is 1909, the city is New York. Hundreds of young women are working in the garment factory, cranking out clothing by working 60, 70 and even 80 hours a week. Sitting in row upon row of sewing machines, nearly elbow to elbow, without the benefit of union representation. Don’t want to work 10 or 12 hours a day? Quit and they will fill your spot before you reach the front door. Complain about the cramped conditions and maybe they will move you to the machines were accidents take hands, arms and even your life. Stop coming to work and lose those meager paychecks and you and your family starve or lose your home.

Now think a little about the conditions under which (mostly) women work: there aren’t any fire drills to show you how to exit the building should a fire break out. Sprinklers? Fire 9d6c9ce683dae7ef81e118676dec96a7alarms? They’re available, but not mandated, so of course the wealthy company owners aren’t going to spend money to have them installed. Fire escapes? Ditto for those as well. And to make things worse, lock optional escapes because it is mandated that someone had to check those women as they left, in case they opted to try and take home scraps of fabric.

146 young and not-so-young women and men died. Many of them by jumping from the ninth floor windows. Because New York wasn’t equipped to deal with buildings with so many floors, their ladders reached only to the third level. Once the fire broke out below them, they literally had no options.

Fortunately, something good came out of this. Regulations. Yes, REGULATIONS. Something to help safeguard the lives of the 99%. Something that the current administration in Washington wants to start chipping away at. To save money for the 1% (and worse, the über rich .01%). Because basic regulations don’t really apply to them other than it costs them money.

Trump is calling for the repeal of two regulations with the proposal of any new regulations and has been quoted as saying regulations need to be cut by 75%. All Americans should be aware and fight this. Once the regulations are overthrown, you will start to see things happening that common sense once mandated as against the people as a whole.Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 6.40.41 PM.pngWanna see drilling in the Arctic, the wild places of Alaska, Yellowstone National Park? Want to see fracking in every corner of America? Want to see Americans without safety protocols in place in constructions, mining, drug production, farming, manufacturing, automobile emissions, etc., etc., etc.

I’m really worried about our future. How about you?

MacCupcake

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The ‘Dumbing Down’ of America

I suppose that this probably puts me squarely in the “old lady” category, but I have to tell you this story. It is one of those ‘shaking your head’ in disbelief kind of stories and me and The Kid laughed about it solidly for like four hours on the day it happened and sporadically since it occurred.

My house is a computer connected sort of house. Routers – both wired and wireless -and computers and smart devices abound. I invested in a Nest thermostat about a year ago and have seen great reductions in the amount of heating and cooling we use in that time. I really like that I can make changes to the schedule and the temperature setting in the house without having to go to the hallway (where the thermostat resides) and can do it in the middle of the night with ease.

I had heard about some of the other devices being developed, so I opted to try another. I set me sights on the Nest Cam Outdoor, with installation at the front door. This is so that I can see who is there before having to try to get to the front door from my sewing room or bathroom or wherever I may be. You know, getting up and moving still takes a minute or two to get rolling ever since the bi-lateral knee surgeries.

While on one of my many trips for supplies, The Kid and I found ourselves at Home Depot. And they just happen to have a display for all of the Nest devices. Quite convenient if I do say so myself. So we take one of the purchase cards from the display and along with our other items, we head to check out.

img_3923Now, as you can read, you are supposed to take the card to the service desk and they ring it up and you pay for it… then they get the camera for you.

Well, this particular young lady took the card (and paint and glue etc) and rang the purchases. As she completes the sale via credit card, she places all the items a bag and hands it to us along with the receipt.

Let me reiterate: she places this 6 1/2″ piece of fiber board with some printing on it into a Home Depot bag and hands us it and a receipt that clearly shows that we bought a $200 camera. And then she turns to the next customer.

I’m not usually known for being tongue tied or at a loss for words, but this particular interaction caused me to be able to grasp exactly what she did. I am looking in the bag and then to my son and back again, trying to fit the pieces together in order that something makes sense!

I have to reach into the bag to retrieve the card and then assert myself back into a conversation with her. I have to have the look of befuddlement on my face as I hand her the card back to her and ask “…and you’re now going to actually give me the camera I bought, right?”.

Well, now it is her turn to be confused. She is looking at the card and then to me and back again. I ask her “you don’t think I just paid two hundred bucks for this piece of cardboard, do you?”.

I am shaking my head in disbelief. She tries to hand the card back to me. Even the generally-won’t-say-shit-even-if-he-had-a-mouthful quiet and shy young man looks at her and shaking his head says to her that she needs to get an actual box containing a camera. She turns to another clerk and holds out the card. I have no idea what she is thinking or how the hell she came to be standing behind a cash register in a store where tens of thousands of dollars must go through that store every day.

Her co-worker sort of shrugs and giggles at her and then looks at us and says that they will be right with us. They disappear behind a wall and I can her Clerk2 explaining to Clerk1 that she needs to find the box that corresponds with the code on the card. They are back there a while and I am thinking that they don’t have what we ordered and next comes that hassle that the charge she just rang up will take three days before the credit is applied when they come around the corner with the box.

And yes, I checked it and double checked the code on the box to make sure it is the right one and proceed to slice through the sticker to open the box… I want to make sure there actually is one inside! For some unexplained reason, I wasn’t sure that they didn’t know that there is actually supposed to be a product in exchange for the two hundred bucks and change! Clerk2 is watching me do this and does another sort of chortle kind of sound and make this gesture with her eyes to say ‘Clerk1 is kind of ditzy in a honest sort of way’.

Frankly, I am still shaking my head that this actually transpired! I mean, this isn’t a revolutionary new process for safeguarding expensive small items from sticky fingers… this is a time tested process. Any clue that Clerk1 now understands this is conspicuously absent from her face, but The Kid and I take the box and our bag and head towards the door. I look to my son and say, “Did that really just take place?”. He laughs.

We’re still laughing about it. It is steadfastly becoming part of our personal interaction – a “you had to be there” kind of inside joke. I’ve been wanting to write this story, but I had to go back and get one of those cards so I could take a photo for the post. This post. I’ pretty sure this will be one of those jokes that we keep between us for a long time. 🙂img_3922So, to end this post on a positive note, I wanted to show you my violets. I became the defacto owner of this plant when I took over a desk vacated by someone way  back in my job history. It has done so well that I had to separate it into two pots. The blooms this year are absolutely amazing… in this planter. The other one is barren so far.img_3921

MacCupcake

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I‘ve been mentally writing this post all day. Actually, its been in the works for several weeks. But after today, it was something that I could no longer keep to myself, nor question its validity.

One wonders just when you can experience your last love. That fluttering of butterflies in your heart when he crosses your mind. When you know you’re going to see him, if only for a few minutes.

Wondering if he feels the same way you feel? And the sheer amazement when you realize that he does. Its conveyed in such an almost invisible way that absolutely no one sees it, no one hears it, no one notices it. Just you. And him.

I remember my first love. The very first time that I gave my heart to someone and they gladly accepted it. When every breath and every thought is about him and you only hope that he feels the same.

And then you see him. And he calls you a pet name. One that would sound silly to almost anyone – to almost everyone – if you were to actually repeat it out loud. But has touched my heart so pointedly. Just thinking it repeatedly brings a smile to my face and a light to my heart.

Who says love is only for the young? Or maybe that love makes you feel young? Again? I would have never guessed in a million years that I could feel like this again. I thought that was all behind me.

But I retire for the evening, hoping that tomorrow I will get to see him again. And he will look at me like he looks at no one else. And he will glance back for one more look when we part. And he will smile and he will know.

Like I know.

MacCupcake

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