Drama Rama

It has been a little while since I did a personal update, and I’ve finally got some drama to write about. That makes for a more interesting update type post, but not great on a personal level!

So, a few months ago, I found out that my dad was selling his BEAUTIFUL lake home to my stepsister. It was going to take a while for it to happen, but that was the plan. I told him if it fell through for any reason, to let me know, as we were interested. That was the third time he sold a house to a sibling we would’ve liked to put an offer on, so I wanted it to be clear that we were looking for a bigger place. (It’s much larger than our house with a kitchen out of a magazine, plus a huge in-ground pool.)

A couple weeks ago, he called and let me know some issues came up with my stepsister buying it, and despite giving them a few weeks to think about it and figure things out, she backed out. So it was ours if we wanted it, and we 100 percent did. We went over for lunch with the intention of privately talking about it, but he and my stepmom let the cat out of the bag in front of the kids, and they were super excited.

That excitement lasted two days.

And then my dad texted me and said my stepsister was asking to reconsider. He and my stepmom thought it would “only be fair” for us to step away from the deal to give her more time. “I know you’d want to be fair to her. This is important to her and [stepmom], and they’ve been crying over it. I don’t want any resentment there and to keep the peace. But it’s your choice.”

What a position to put me in. So…our feelings didn’t matter, it didn’t matter if there was any resentment coming from us or how important it was to us, and it was on us to keep the peace (instead of my stepsister, who never should’ve come back asking after a) backing out and b) knowing we were getting it). Lovely.

I told my dad that he was putting us in a bad position considering we’d shook on the deal and he had talked about it in front of the kids (we weren’t planning to tell them until we signed anything). He said he still wanted me to be fair, though, so we were like what-the-fuck-ever and told him to do what he wanted. (I guess I could’ve stood my ground for once in my life, but that would’ve just ended badly.) He thanked us and gushed over how big-hearted we were to be so fair and give my stepsister a chance.

A few days later, my stepsister decided she wanted the house, so that was that. “Unless she changes her mind again, then you can buy it.” Ha! And then I guess she could do the same shit again? We were pissed over it, and damned if that doesn’t bring up a lot of childhood shit and hurts some of the progress we’ve made relationship-wise over the past couple of years.

As upset as we were, we got over it fairly quickly. There are a few pros to not moving (like packing), plus we would really miss our neighborhood. It’s really nice and quiet and outside of one dude, our neighbors are really nice. (We wouldn’t have any neighbors in the other house.) The way they did things sucked, but staying angry won’t help any. I’ll take the lesson learned there, remember my place in that family, and be even more grateful for my little family and home. The kids were upset but quickly came up with some pros to not moving, too, so I’m thankful for that.

I have some other stuff to write about, but I think that’s enough for one post!

I Was Today Years Old When…

Every so often, I’ll see those “I was today years old when I learned ____” memes on Facebook.

Today Years Old - Imgflip

I found this one when Googling for a meme to put here. Count me as being “Today years old” for that, too, because I didn’t know that. And since I went 30ish years thinking that was a toastiness level, I’ll have to make some toast later to confirm.

I started writing this post a few months ago and abandoned it. In that time I’ve learned that my toaster’s numbers are not the length of time something gets toasted. It’s a $10 toaster from Walmart, so maybe my cheap toaster doesn’t work right. How about yours?

I have my share of those “Today I learned” moments. Maybe even more than my fair share.

…I learned how chicken broth works

Several years ago, some ladies at the church I attended asked me to cook a chicken and bring it in the broth to the church for something they were making. So, I googled how long to cook a whole chicken and got the necessary supplies — a whole chicken and a couple containers of broth.

My husband came into the kitchen when I was getting everything together and wanted to know why I had chicken broth.

“They told me to bring the chicken and the broth up there when it was done,” I responded.

“But you don’t need chicken broth when you’re cooking chicken! You cook it in water, and it makes its own broth,” my husband told me.

Lies.

I laughed, because clearly he was full of shit. A chicken doesn’t make its own broth. Right? Broth comes from…well, I didn’t know what it came from exactly, but I knew chicken wasn’t self-producing broth. His way would be a plain old chicken in water. I certainly wouldn’t be drinking that chicken water if I were sick, like I do with actual chicken broth, which is salty and tasty.

We argued a bit and then I texted my stepmom, since she knows almost everything about cooking. (I say “almost” because she rinses her rice and pasta, sigh.) She confirmed that my husband was right and that all I needed to do was bring the chicken and the chicken water to the church.

Michael Scott Mad GIFs | Tenor

So is my bath water actually human stock, then?

…I learned Delaware is a state.

I was supposed to learn all of the states and capitals and label them on a map in 7th grade geography. I don’t remember how I did on that test, but I do remember hating that class and having to put in actual effort to do well in it. I’m assuming that I made a B on that states test, best case scenario.

So, yeah, I learned about Delaware being a state a few years ago. I don’t know how we got on the topic of Delaware, but I asked whether Delaware was in Virginia or Maryland, and my husband totally thought I was pulling his leg. I was not. He was baffled that he married someone who forgot (assuming I ever processed it) that a state was a state.

“But you collected the state quarters!” he said. “How did you not know?!”

“My grandmother collected the quarters and gave them to me. But maybe I knew and forgot. I dunno.”

Delaware STILL does not sound like a state to me.

Also, LM has 7th grade geography now. I told him he better not ask me for help on anything, just go to hisdad.

…I learned the ribbon in the battery compartment is there for a reason.

Some time ago, I noticed that the manufacturers of electronics and toys that required batteries often have ribbons in the battery compartment. This annoyed me, because I had to cram it in after inserting the batteries and it often hung out a little. Why would they waste ribbon by sticking it in a battery compartment of all places?

Eventually, I started cutting the ribbons out and throwing them away. I cut out those ribbons for years until fairly recently, when I learned why those ribbons exist.

I found an old remote control car that belonged to Toddler Little Man in storage and wanted to give it to Baby Girl. I screwed open the compartment and saw that a) I hadn’t removed the old batteries before storing it and b) the batteries had corroded. I groaned and tried to use my screwdriver to pry out the batteries. I couldn’t and was getting a bit frustrated until I saw the ribbon hanging out and had a light bulb moment. Since the ribbon was under the batteries, I could pull on the bit hanging out and hopefully yank the batteries out, so I did. I marveled at my cleverness for a moment until I had a second light bulb moment and realized that must have been the intention of the ribbon all along.

Brooklyn99 B99 GIF - Brooklyn99 B99 CaptainRayHolt - Discover & Share GIFs

…I learned that Wolverine isn’t just a character in X-Men

Surely I’m not alone in this one. This is something I’ve also learned in the past year or two. My husband and I were talking about college football, and I commented that it was odd that Michigan named their college team after an X-Men character. My husband had a WTF look on his face. “They didn’t name it after Wolverine from X-Men. They named it after the animal.”

I laughed at that, because that sounded ridiculous. Imagine — a wolverine animal!

“That’s not an animal,” I told him. “Wolverine is supposed to be like a wolf, but they just made his name sound cool by calling him Wolverine.”

Wolverine GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Another note: I know nothing about X-Men beyond what I’ve watched in the movies. And the ones I’ve watched didn’t address the origin of his name, not that I remember anyway.

“It is so an animal,” my husband said looking at me like I was absolutely insane. “Look it up!”

I rolled my eyes and just knew he was messing with me. What the fuck kind of animal could someone like the ripped Hugh Jackman with the funky hair and admantium claws be based on?

This, apparently:

State warning: That animal killing chickens and rabbits in Anchorage is a wolverine - Anchorage Daily News

Sigh.

What is your “Today I learned…” moment?

Making This Blog Hot Part 2

This is a repost (lightly edited) that I’ll link back to the other repost. Repost inception sorta?


Remember that time I published a post called Making This Blog Hot? You should; it’s one of my more well-liked posts. (This says a lot about you, the readers, that a post poking fun at a list of blog topics is one of my more popular posts.) The last time I covered about half of the list and promised that I’d follow up on that with the last half. In case you aren’t sure where this post is going by now, today I’m doing the follow up.

One of the first suggestions from the second half that caught my eye was Create a post that utilizes a bar chart or pie chartI haven’t really done charts in the almost decade that I’ve been out of college (silently weeping right now), but here:

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Did I just hear a collective groan on that chart? See the second chart, then.

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The slice is to the right of the center at the top, FYI, but due to my shading it’s hard to see.

Moving right along… This idea, though: post linkbait. Why? Why would I post the thing that everyone tries to avoid? Sure, when I was working for one of those websites, I’d post linkbait on my Facebook feed pretty regularly. I don’t mind irritating my family and friends. They have to like me anyway. But y’all? You strangers who choose to read this blog? No, I’m not irritating y’all with that mess. (Unless it’s something super funny. In which case, I’ll make an exception.)

Hold a conference or webinar through blog post. Okay. I kind of did that before with an Ask Me Anything post I ripped off a Not-To-Be-Named poster. I’ll plan on doing that one later this week, on Friday. The three of you who would like to ask me a question may do so starting at 3:23 PM, Eastern Time (better schedule that one now). This is one of the few times in your life you can find out something personal about me that you didn’t already know without reading old posts, or ask for my advice, absolutely free of charge. You may or may not feel enlightened afterwards.

Compile a list of common mistakes in your niche. I have no idea what my mistakes are, and I don’t take kindly to having them pointed out, so no. (Kidding…I know I make mistakes and don’t mind them being pointed out as long as you aren’t incorrectly correcting me. That’s annoying.)

I seriously LOL’d at this one: Abandon your blog for a week and make others think “what happened to you.” It’s pretty risky, but if you are famous blogger – this will get you a lot of buzz. 

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Me, minus the waist, flowy hair, and boxy shoulders.

I promise you, if I up and disappear for a few days or whatever and haven’t said I’m throwing in the towel, it’s because of life. Not because I’m trying to play some Where In The World Is Anxious Mom? game, although that could be pretty fun. You’d be limited to tracking me around rural North and South Carolina, and there would be shots to celebrate any and all progress. Clearly, Baby Girl would be one of the henchmen. #wheresanxiousmom #letsmakethishappen #stopthehashtagmadness

Maybe this one didn’t age well since I have disappeared a couple of times. But not to create buzz. But I always returned! 

Ask some billionaire to write a blog post for you. I’m sure one of y’all won the Powerball last week, so how about writing me a post that includes your full name, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, and your routing number?

This one I’m tempted to do, except for I think most of y’all would be too chicken to participate: dare your readers to do something. I suck at dares. I used to get wicked ideas for dares when we’d play Truth or Dare at parties and stuff, but then I’d think, “shit, they might get embarrassed and then I’d feel bad…”

The best one from this entire list? Publish a manifesto. How the fuck does someone all anxious and paranoid like me not have a manifesto published by the age of 32? This. Must. Change.

I am now 36 and still have not published a manifesto. Dammit.

Is my blog hotter now?

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Google Classroom is the Worst!

Two weeks of schooling is done. (And a new one is starting, because I apparently can’t write and publish a post in a timely fashion.) And by two weeks, that comes out to three in-person days and two online days for the girl and nine online days for the boy.

BG enjoyed her in-person day last week (no school on Labor Day) and liked the way her lessons for online were set up. She’s a very happy camper right now.

The boy is still less than enthusiastic. Everything annoys him. The other kids and their questions and constant messages annoy him. Two of the teachers annoy him because “they’re idiots.” The constant emails about assignments annoys him. Google Classroom annoys him. The list is endless. He said if it weren’t for having to get up earlier and change clothes that he’d rather be in the classroom for the two days.

Jean Ralphio GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

Replace “She” with “Google classroom.”

If he changes in January, we’ll see how he likes not being able to play Fortnite or watch TV during his lunch break. 😉 And those two teachers he doesn’t care for? Well, he’ll have the pleasure of being with them in-person.

I had my skin cancer spot removed last week and more was removed than I thought would be. It ended up being stage 2 and had spread a bit under the skin, so the area cut away was larger than expected. The original spot was about the size of an M&M, but after removing it all, the wound ended up being 2 inches wide. Luckily it’s almost at the top of my scalp, and the way I wear my hair covers the wound/scar. I “learned” this lesson in the past, but apparently it didn’t stick — if something doesn’t feel right, follow up with another doctor (or two). That could’ve been handled three years ago had my previous provider listened.

When the girl brought home her school stuff on Tuesday, she had a little book in it about being safe around each other. (Pandemic stuff.) While I very much appreciate that they’re really enforcing masks and distancing with the kids, I about peed my pants laughing at this book.

How can we greet our friends?

Other options included elbow bumping, foot bumping, and air hugging. I think I’ll go with saluting. I would foot bump, except I’d probably fall.

LM tried to get me to learn how to do this dance with him. It didn’t not go well.

Here’s to another good week!

Back To School

Yesterday was the first day back to school. Back to school in-person for the girl and virtual for the boy. The anxiety level was running high on BG’s behalf. Will they really enforce their mask and distancing rules? Is it possible for her to even enjoy being there or get anything out of it with so much change? Most people seem to think no for the younger ages.

Baby Girl went from the worst meltdown yet and threatening to “cancel school” on Sunday night to “I had the best day ever and didn’t want to come home!” on Monday afternoon. She also complained last night about not being at school.

Thank the lord. But she’s not going to be too please with the five-day break.

I noticed that every child going into and coming out of the school had on a well-fitted mask. BG said that they kept their masks on at all times except lunch and recess. And at recess they weren’t able to use the playground equipment and couldn’t stand close. They talked and played shadow tag and that was plenty. The letter home from the school also said it would be a very strict rule for everyone to wear masks properly and that if anyone had a medical exception, a face shield was required. So I feel a lot of relief on the safety end. (Compared to LM’s teacher, who included their mask policy and said they only needed to wear it in halls or when doing group work or otherwise sitting close. We made the right call with him.)

You’d think that first graders who aren’t with their whole class, can’t use playground equipment or class toys, have to wear masks, have to eat in their classrooms, can’t leave the classroom except recess, etc. would probably not be too overjoyed with being there. BG has gone so long without interaction with other kids and people (exception being seeing my husband’s mom, my parents twice, and her cousin once) that she was just overjoyed to be able to go to school and be around the kids. I’m guessing a lot of kids who have distanced from almost everyone for the better part of the last six months will feel the same.

It made me tear up to hear the excitement in BG’s voice over just  being in school. It really hit how hard this has been on her. She said her #2 best friend was in her class, too, which she was super excited about. Based on the amount of talking those two did in their kindergarten class, they may soon come to regret that lol.

Little Man wasn’t very impressed with virtual school. Being on a computer for the better part of seven hours wasn’t his idea of a good time. He did say that he preferred it to going and being away so long, though. It helped that he got to watch part of the Avengers Endgame movie during lunch. And he only has to be online for two full days plus a half day on Wednesdays, so at least it won’t be all week.

He said some of the teachers had a hard time streaming, so it’ll probably take a couple of weeks to get adjusted. Those seventh graders were savage with the comments they were leaving on class stream while they waited. 😮 They are letting them be on video too like on Zoom, so it’s neat they will be able to see their classmates. LM showed me that some kids were doing TikTok dances while waiting and DURING the class.

Most Viral TikTok Dances

This is going to be interesting.

Here’s to a great and safe school year.

Sock It To Me, Baby

Last week I wrote about underwear. This week, I’m writing about socks.

You’re probably thinking one of two things right now: this is turning into the most boring blog in existence or I did not sign up for a fashion blog.

The first part may be true sometimes, but I think BG’s hilariousness helps a bit. The second part — no, you did not, and this will probably be my last post related to what I wear. Unless I decide to write a post about my bras, which are equally unflattering as my granny panties.

I am not someone who dresses up often, and even when I do, that usually looks like “dressy jeans and a comfy blouse.” I don’t really get into fashion and all that and prefer my non fancy jeans and t-shirts, but I have an exception — my socks. I love the hell out of fun socks and have a couple dozen pairs. Even when I dress up a bit, the fun socks are there. (Also on the super rare occasion that I have to wear dress slacks, which was twice in the past year.)

My family knows how much I love socks, so that’s often one of the gifts I get for Christmas or my birthday. One of my favorite brands is Blue Q, as they have the cutest socks with funny phrases. Whatever your personality or interests are, you can find something fun.

I prefer longer socks since they don’t slip under my shoes as much, and I give zero fucks about wearing them in the summer. Zero. Crocs, loafers, sandals, whatever. Back in the day, it was fashionable to wear longer socks and Adidas sandals, so if I bide my time, I’ll be in with the fashion again. (I know this because my dad was shocked when bell-bottom jeans were in style in high school because that was from his generation.) But maybe not with the Crocs, which people love to hate.

Teen Titans Go is the absolute best, and no matter how much hate it gets, I won’t be convinced otherwise.

It’s the God of Thunder! In cutesy form! What’s not to love about that?

Blue Q socks. It has freshly sharpened pencils, y’all. My former teacher self loves these.

And speaking of freshly sharpened pencils, any You’ve Got Mail fans here? Remember when Joe says he’d send Kathleen bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils? The bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils hit my soul, and I’m disappointed my husband never made one for me.

And I Don't Think I'm Alone In This, Especially Among Readers. We Love Nora  Ephr... | Gfycat

Also Blue Q. And have been worn so much that I’ll probably have to toss them soon. I strive to be punctual and would never be less than 10 minutes early for an appointment or whatever if I could help it. My husband and son are basically villains in my world of punctuality and always make me late, so these socks are accurate.

These were a part of a big back of DC socks. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. The major heroes and villains were all represented.

Another pair of Blue Q.

Not represented are my Star Wars socks. Six pics seemed like enough, plus my favs are in the wash.

Here are a pair of socks I really, really want but won’t get because they have “fuck” on them. I mutter that word under my breath a lot, but the girl hasn’t picked up on it yet, and I’d like to keep it that way because she absolutely will repeat it at school.

These are pretty cool, too.

Do you like fun socks?

End-of-Week Brain Dump

Tomorrow is the big day. Back-to-school for the girl and the start of virtual schooling for the boy. How we’re all feeling about this:

Baby Girl: shifting towards excitement
Me: oh god, the anxiety
Husband: chill as hell
Little Man: still livid that he has to restart school

Hopefully all goes well. BG has a ton of practice wearing her mask, and we got some new ones for her (not made by myself lol) that provide more coverage and have extremely good filters. I got some for the rest of us after seeing how good hers was. (Stark face masks, if you’re wondering. Pricier than the other masks and not fashionable, but it has a .3 micron filter, doesn’t crowd the mouth, and is extremely comfortable. I never thought I’d get excited about face masks, but 2020.)

I got a voice mail from a radio station on Friday. “We’ve got some bad news and good news for you. The bad news is, you didn’t win the cruise. The good news is, you won a 30-inch pizza.”

I had completely forgotten about entering a raffle back in January for a local business that was trying to raise funds for something. The main prize was a cruise for two in December on a boat I love and in a good spot on the ship. Sniffle. I wonder if cruising will even be back in three months. Doesn’t seem like it would be, at least not for the U.S. Unlessssss all of my “COVID hoax” family/friends are right and the virus disappears on November 4th.

Imagine actually believing a political party faked a virus so your guy wouldn’t get elected, got all major medical institutions to agree to it, and got every other country in the world to fake having a pandemic. It makes my head hurt.

Moving along.

So, Week 1 of the meds went great for Baby Girl. Week 2? Not as good. A couple of days were fine, a couple others were less bad that a normal day, but then a couple other days were on the extreme end of things. I have some new bruises thanks to one particularly violent episode. And she bit the corner of the bed so hard that a bottom tooth was very loose afterwards and bleeding a bit. (She’s right at the age where she should be losing one soon, so I imagine it was a bit loose already.) There are still less meltdowns overall, though, so we’ll stick with the medicine for now and see how things go.

She has been doing a thing this year for meltdowns where she spins in the floor. She lays on her side and pushes herself in circles. It looks like a clock hand going around. If not for the meltdowns, it’d be pretty funny. Maybe next time I’ll throw a wet rag under her so she washes the floors a bit.

Hmm what else for this week?

I had a virtual doctor appointment this week to discuss weight. I am not a fan of virtual appointments. It seems so awkward. I wish they would do texting appointments. I saved an hour of driving at least. My daughter’s school had a virtual open house. Unfortunately, they messed up and required a school district email and password to access it, which most parents didn’t have. I was able to get on because LM was already logged in under his email, so yay for that. I imagine it will take a while to get the virtual schooling kinks worked out.

My appointment to get the skin cancer spot removed is this Friday. I have a nice, thick packet of paperwork to fill out, too. Hopefully all goes well with that and it doesn’t take too long. I guess I’m addicted to screens myself when the idea of sitting there for 4-8 hours without any form of entertainment is the most worrisome thing for me. Lawd.

Have a good week everyone!

Making This Blog Hot

Last week, we discussed making money and blogging. Today, I’m going to teach you about what your blog is REALLY lacking.

It’s hotness.

The office mindy kaling kelly kapoor GIF on GIFER - by Bann

I’m Erika, The Blog Bitch.

So, about five years ago, I was stuck in a writing rut and decided to get help from Google. I came across a website with an article called 101 Blog Post Ideas That Will Make Your Blog “Hot.” 

Hell yes. Hotness is just what this blog has been lacking.

I scrolled through the list and came across some interesting things, like Host a giveaway. Interesting, but what the fuck would I give away? Lord of the Rings toys? Dirty diapers? The right to name my next child (even though a third child isn’t happening)?

On to another idea. Criticize a website/blog or a person. Oooh, yes, I could have my own Burn Book type post and talk shit about all of my fellow bloggers.

tumblr_mdwkwernis1rla5a5o2_500“Fuck John for not telling me more about his swagger.” Or “To hell with NotAPunkRocker for skipping Christmas cards.” Or maybe “Damn that NerdInTheBrain and her gratitude.”

[None of these amazing posters are still blogging as far as I know. 😦 ]

Eh, maybe not. I’m not a fan of people hating me.

Number 9 is Tell a personal secret. Is there anything I haven’t overshared on already, though? Then there is Bust a myth. Is this kind of like Bust-A-Move? (Fun fact: my husband clued me in on the fact that one of my favorite arcade games shares the same name as a song.) Myth busting seems like it would take more effort than trying to come up with a legit blog post, though. And more than likely, Snopes has already got to it

Number 34 is Start a poll. I’ve never done a poll on this blog before, so there’s no time like the present, right?

That doesn’t really make for much of a post, though, does it? I suppose I could discuss my leg shaving habits in a post of its own and have the poll and all, but I kinda doubt anyone would want to read that.

Directly after that is #35 Write a post about things you regret doing/not doing. Um, no. I’m not trying to add to the depression. Maybe I’ll hit that up in January.

Halfway through the list is #51 Create a blog post about your bad habits – Smoking, alcohol, drugs. Tell them something shocking!

Dafuq? That’s just a little too much enthusiasm for someone else’s struggles, person who created that list! And I’m stopping at that one. I now have something resembling a blog post put together, plus I want to save the other half of this list for tomorrow or another day this month when I can’t come up with much of anything to write.

Looking at numbers 1 through 51 on that list only, which is your favorite? Anything you’re likely to use? Maybe the Publish your CV online suggestion?


I may post Part 2 on Friday.