You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Michigan!’ category.

1. We had pizza for dinner tonight.  I made my lovely family a terrific thin crust that they all thought was pretty tasty.  Thinking myself a badass, I also thought I’d try to make GLUTEN free pizza crust from scratch (because the only ‘mix’ I had on hand was my ridiculously over priced but amazing bread mix).  Yea.  About that.  So … take a box of graham crackers and subtract all forms of sweetener.  Then leave them out on the cupboard for a week to get stale.  Slather with pizza toppings and toast the snot out of them in the oven.  They will resemble dust in texture and … well, burnt dust in taste.  Yum.

2.  Some days, I fricking hate being GLUTEN free.  Knowing that I can’t cheat only makes it worse.  F this jazz.

3. I do not hate ice cream.  The local walk up ice cream place (which is far less ‘local’ than I would prefer … stupid living in the country) reopened so we headed down there after dinner tonight.  MmmmmmicecreamIloveyou.  My mother suggested we make it out summer goal to eat everyone of their 24 flavors, excluding the crap “kid ice cream” (superman, cotton candy, etc).  I think this is an admirable cause to take on … except the part where I can’t eat the ones that have cake in them.

4. I want someone to come clean my house so I don’t have to do it.  Mostly, the basement.  And by clean, I mean haul away the crap I already know no longer needs to live here.  Applications and interviews available through the comments section.  Compensation negotiable (by which I mean, largely nonexistant … unless I can pay you in crappy GF pizza).

5. I got a very sweet email today.  It kind of made my day.  The end.

6.  My desk is a disaster.  I am fearful the Department of Desk Safety may come knocking and take my lovely french colonial desk (and by lovely, I mean you can’t even tell it’s partly particle board) to live with a foster family that will love it enough to not pile unending crap on top of it.

7.  I had the shortest employment stint I’ve ever had this week.  I mentioned before that I was offered a job with the US Census.  After 2 days of training (well, one day of training and one day of them pretending we didn’t spend all day screwing off with the fingerprint pad) I was told my job was contingent on me upholding their departmental non-disclosure agreement.  The one that stands in direct conflict with the state law I swore to uphold years ago when I was granted a medic license (Fun fact: I once took 27 credit hours in one semester so I could finish my medical training at the community college while trying to finish my bachelors degree programs at the university.  Indeed, I was a crazy person.).  Yea.  Abdicate my previous responsibility (and sworn personal integrity) for some schmuck job that only lasts 4 weeks?  Not happening, US Census, so sorry.

8.  Other opportunities to fill in the income gap created by giving the Dept of Commerce the proverbial finger have already started appearing.  I couldn’t ask for them to be so speedy.  I’m just here for the ride.

9.  I dropped off my graduate school applications today.  I couldn’t mail them.  Mostly because they were due today and I finished them  yesterday … and because leaving those beauties in the mailbox instead of personally watching them arrive at the admissions office was terrifying me.  Please cross your fingers or knock on wood or cast some awesome sacrifice to your heathen deity for a speedy acceptance letter to arrive in my mailbox.  I will worry myself into a hot mess of heartburn and pacing regardless.

10. It’s still 74 degrees here, even after 10pm.  Please don’t let this be a sign of some bizarrely hot summer where I spend an entire 3 months melting profusely all over town.  We do not air condition our house.  We barely heat it, let alone cool it.  I hate that.  Well, I hate it when it’s hot.  I don’t hate it when the electric bill comes.

11.  Speaking of electric bills, we have hot water again!  The water heater died on Monday, and the replacement arrived today (3 days ahead of schedule! yes!).  I am not so stoked about the hit our savings account took to make that happen, but I am pretty elated that the new water heater uses something like 1/100th of the energy the old one did (that math is completely made up, but I swear, it’s a LOT less energy).  That Boy spent the day installing it.  If I can’t find him later, I think I’ll check the basement.  He’s more than likely sitting there staring at this new machine, drooling and mumbling, “Ooooooh, prettttty.“.

12.  Sometimes, I wish water tasted less like water.

Anything wacky going on in your neck of the woods?  Having a fabulous week?  Tell me about it in the comments.

Em.

This post is linked to Jen’s 7 Quick Take Fridays over at Conversion Diary.  You should go check it out.

Advertisements

1. If you’re still hanging around after the Ultimate Blog Party, it’s nice to have “met” you.  Feel free to keep hanging around (and commenting on the inane hilarity I continue to post) as long as you’d like.

2. My dearest That Boy has been gone THREE STRAIGHT DAYS from early until far later than he should be with my car doing favors for other people.  I say my car, because even though we downsized to one car, the one we kept is indeed titled in my name.  Most of the time, I don’t mind sharing a car.  I say most, of course, until I’m stranded in my house for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS with places to go and errands to run and one That Boy who will not stop running off with my only source of transportation for 13 hours a day.  Boo.

3. I should have cleaned more while I couldn’t leave.  I didn’t.  Great.  Now I’m angry about not leaving and guilt-ridden about not cleaning.  Fab-u-lous.

4. I did manage to clean the office, and a storage bookcase that was in desperate need of attention.  Three bags of trash later (and a box that still needs to leave my house), and it’s looking pretty clean in here.  That is, if you ignore the cat hair tumbleweed I found under the worktable but have yet to find a vacuum for.

5. I hate vacuuming.  That Boy loves it.  I am totally ok with this arrangement.  When it’s vacuum time, I go into the office, shut the door, jam to loud ass music from my iTunes and play Bubble Spinner until it’s over.

6. The good people at the IRS told me they’re depositing my tax refund tomorrow (after 23487 years, I think).  They also told me my return was incorrect and had to be “adjusted”.  That makes one hold one’s breath while on hold for “a customer service agent” for 10 loooooong minutes with words like audit and penalty and federal frickin’ prison floating around one’s head.  As luck will have it, I have been spared.  The adjustment was because I missed a $390 tax credit apparently.  Let me say that again … there will be an extra $390 in my refund (if the damn thing ever shows up).  Yes, please.

7. A week from today is National Take Your Brat To Work Day.  You should do that.  Take your brat with you and entertain them for 8 hours photocopying your body parts and screwing around with the vending machines.  My mother has wrangled me into providing “supervision and activities” in the afternoon for the brats her employees are bringing in.  I don’t remember the legislative proclamation saying the day was called, “Bring Your Brat To Work So Em Can Entertain Them For Hours” Day, but I will oblige my mother nonetheless because she “gave me life”, and as I am consistently reminded, “can take it away when ever she wants”.

8. My brother and I totally saw “The Midwestern Fireball” last night.  We were outside letting the dogs out during the 1st period intermission of the Red Wings (are you a fan?  you should be.  it’s state law.) game when the sky lit up like it was noon for a couple seconds then faded back to black.  We were much less concerned than we probably should have been, now that I think about it.  Don’t put us on the front lines against the alien invasion, because apparently we’ll just chalk up giant flashes of light as “rogue lightening” even when the sky (and radar) are completely clear.  We were preoccupied dissecting an obviously terrible Stanley Cup first round prediction by some idiot blogger who (falsely) thinks teams from states that don’t have snow should win hockey games.

9. Are you ready for Stanley Cup season?  If that last one wasn’t enough of a warning: We are Red Wings people (um, because we’re for MI … and because they might be the winning-est franchise in the NHL and we like to back winners).  We (and by we, I mean me, obviously, and my imaginary friend that just crept right into my grammar all of a sudden) will reserve the right to blog about hockey during the playoffs whether or not you want to read about it.  We will (now this multiple pronoun is getting weird, but I feel like I need consistency …) expect you to either smile politely or cheer along for the Wings, but not for those other crap teams from your hometowns that you may be in love with.  This is especially true of Chicago and Pittsburgh.  Native Canadians will be excluded from this rule as their national law (not unlike the great state of MI) also mandates they be hometown hockey fans.  You have been warned.  /crazyhockeytalk

10.  Tomorrow, if That Boy lets me go near my precious vehicle, I have to return 3.2 million empty pop bottles.  They have been accumulating in the basement for much longer than is commonly decent.  Why not throw them away?  Well, first, that makes Mother Earth cry a little.  Second, each one of those little devils is worth a whole dime here in MI.  I had to pay them 10 damn cents for each one to leave the store, and by golly, I will get my dimes back.  Returning 3.2 million empties is not really on my list of “Coolest Things Em Could Ever Want To Do” nor does it make the “Marginally Ok Not Too Terribly Irritating Things Em Could Spend A Friday On”, but that little pile of dimes, which will be added to our Tropical Wedding (not ours, mind you) Vacation Fund, is motivation enough for me.  Oh, and the part where there are bags and bags and bags and bags of empty cans littering my basement like someone is building a shanty town.  That helps too.

A nice even 10.  Yes.  The round number monster has been appeased.

Sooooo, any weekend plans?  Any hockey trash talk?  Any life in bullet points you’d like to share?

Em.

ps, this post is linked to Jennifer’s 7 Quick Takes Friday at Conversion Diary.

Let me start this with, we are not Irish.

At all.

We are Scottish, though, which is … close (just don’t tell my very Scottish husband I said that, ok?).  Close enough for me at least.  We love the St. Patrick’s Day season, and because Irish cultural traditions are similar to Scottish cultural traditions (kilts, pub food, stout, pride, etc), it all kind of fits together for us.  Great food, great music, great friends, dancing in the streets, and an excuse to drink great beer in the middle of the day … who doesn’t want to love that?

Here’s the montage …

In the few days before St. Patrick’s, I got the best. news. ever.  My el favorito local Irish rock band, great friends who we thought had broken up for good in September (after 7 awesome years) was going to get back together to play a pre-St. Patrick’s show at a country club.  A country club?!  This is a rowdy band with an even rowdier group of die-hard fans.  We are dancing on chairs kinds of people, and we were highly skeptical of the ‘country club crowd‘ being entertained by that.

Do I have to tell you it was an amazing time, or does the picture prove it?  (Sidebar: We are not all wasted.  We’re trying to be funny.  Or something.)  The country club crowd wound up being great.  They were dancing and clapping and getting rowdy with us.  The band played fabulously, including two special additions that I’m still super stoked about.  We danced.  We sang.  We laughed.  We broke a glass … on accident.  Great times (until the drive thru guy dumped an entire large Sprite into the lap of That Boy on the way home … ).

On St. Patrick’s itself, I woke up my family with a giant pancake breakfast (because, um, pancakes soak up alcohol pretty nicely …), after which we put on all of the green we could find and headed down to the parade.  We live in this town with the State’s or the Country’s or the World’s (I don’t know what they claim exactly …) Longest Running Unfinished St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The route goes from one end of main to the other.

The parade is great fun.  There’s a marching band.  The residents of this town all participate.  People who don’t live here show up and stand on the sidewalks and wave at us like we’re important.  We throw things like any good parade.  And, of course, we dress our dogs up in hilarious outfits.  That isn’t my dog above, but he’s still really freakin’ cute.

So that parade route I was talking about, the one that no one ever makes it to the end of?  Well, there might be a reason.  That place above is half way in between.  The parade never makes it past the front door.  It’s a 20 or some such year running joke.  See all the people milling about?  Yea, we’ve tried in previous years to make our way into the pub after the parade, but … it’s kind of not worth it.  The people inside are shoulder to shoulder, it’s hot, there’s a giant line outside to get in.  Eww.

Instead, we throw a party in our front yard.  We drag out the grill.  We invite a bunch of friends.  Hell, we invite a bunch of strangers sometimes.  We wear a bunch of green.  We stand around toasting people that drive by.  We laugh. A lot.  We drink beer.  We dance in the street.  We have a blast.  Every. Single. Year.

I love St. Patrick’s.  Mostly, I love the people I spend the day with.  Do you have any great St. Patrick’s traditions?  I want to hear about them.

Em.

Every night during those quick words between the “Our Father” and “Goodnight”, I say thank you for a laundry list of things.  I like gratitude.  A lot.  I think grateful, rather than demanding, hearts and attitudes are the way to get what you really want.  And on that list of things I say thank you for, every single night, is finding That Boy a job.

Back Story:  That Boy was in an accident at his last job, an entirely not his fault-almost could have killed him-no good very bad deal kind of accident.  It caused injuries that required 2 surgeries, months of physical therapy, and a court battle over his company randomly deciding they could stop paying him in the process (which they very clearly cannot, thank you Michigan Legal System).  For a long, long time, he wasn’t allowed to work by his surgeons.  Then, they released him to sedentary only work, which he hates, and largely does not have the experience or skill base for.  I mean, we’re talking, cannot move, cannot lift, cannot sit too long or stand too long … impossible, especially in this market (Have you heard?!  We live in the worst employment market in the whole country … awesome.).  They’ve since lifted the restrictions some, which is good.

Because of this whole deal, That Boy hasn’t worked in nearly 3 years.  THREE!  My goodness.  We’ve made it work, and I could write an entire book on the my gratitude for providence, but he’s starting to get restless.  Everyday he applies for more jobs.  Everyday he doesn’t hear from anyone.  Everyday we have tense conversations about how many applications he’s filled out or resumes he’s submitted.  Everyday he gets a little less confident that he’ll ever hear from anyone.

I think that’s the worst part of the job hunt.  It’s not rejection, although that also sucks.  It’s not hearing anything … left hanging in the ether somewhere … booo.

Yesterday, I woke up to his phone ringing.  It was an employer with whom he had applied.  They not only wanted to offer him an interview, they wanted to do it immediately over the phone.  Yes!  I didn’t know this until I inquired as to why he was dancing around the kitchen in his bathrobe while he thought no one was looking.  (isn’t that adorable?  he’ll hate me for telling you … alas, irresistible)

An interview?!

YAY!

Now, it would be great if that interview went well enough to warrant them calling him in for interview numero deux (which we’ll hear about on Wednesday, they say … please, please, please, pretty please), and even cooler if that led to him scoring this job.

BUT.

It’s not even about that for me right now.  The interview opportunity itself has renewed his confidence (at least partially) in his own worth, the market, and the continued pursuit of the perfect (read: first one to say yes) job finding him.  That’s good enough for me.  I am soooooooooo grateful already.

It’s not my plan, after all.  It will all work out in the end.  I can just be joyous and filled with gratitude at the chance to participate in it.

Em.

For more Gratituesday, check out Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.

I am not grateful for winter.  Ever.  I know it’s supposed to be a perfect time for cozy conversations, lingering over dinner, and spending weather imposed quality time with your family.  Many, many people are grateful for the beauty and splendor and natural pace of winter.  I am not one of them.

I grew up in Michigan (we also currently live in MI, but I had to run off to France in college so I can’t say I’ve been here the whole time).  We have a special relationship with the winter.  It could start as early as October, and years when it doesn’t are hilarious for the number of children in giant Halloween costumes because their Michigan native parents know they must be big enough to fit over a snow suit … just in case.  It could go as long as after Easter … even years when Easter is in mid-April.  Some years we have more winter than we have anything else in the year combined.

As a West Side (uh, the ‘best side’, for the record) MI native, I use terms like Lake Effect Snow and 10-12 inches of new accumulation overnight on a regular basis in the winter.  The snow dumps on us for weeks and weeks.  The winds are cold.  The sun doesn’t show through the ugly overcast clouds from literally December to February.  I don’t pine for pretty picture perfect snowfalls or enough fresh powder for Christmas morning snapshots, snow angels, or skiing.  People that do are from places where snow is a luxury, not a mandated annual torture.

You can imagine my delight when I saw this while waiting for the dogs to finish playing in the backyard this morning (while wearing a tshirt, mind you, because anything above literal freezing feels like a heatwave around here) …

That’s right.  The snow has begun it’s retreat.  What you’re looking at is the middle of my backyard.  To the left, the snow has miraculously vanished.  To the right, it still covers the yard completely with it’s many inches deep blanket of tundra.  This area in the middle is the greatest sight around … the little remnants of snow melting away as the temperatures rise above -287 Fahrenheit (ok, above freezing, but … exaggeration is necessary sometimes), giving us hope once again that MI may shake off this frozen coat sometime before Memorial Day this year.

Yes!

Melting snow means tulips soon, walking barefoot, eating deliciously fresh and natural foods grown in my own backyard, ice cream on random Tuesday nights, warm sunshine (what does that even look like?!), swimming, sitting by the fire late into the evening discussing politics or philosophy or the necessary preparations for the Zombie Apocalypse, and Oberon.  Spring brings tshirt weather, new growth, renewal, and a chance to shake off all the duldrums and dust we collected over the (loooooong winter).  Spring is like magic.

Magic, I am always grateful for.

Em.

For more Gratituesday awesomeness, check out Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.

Past Tense

Advertisements