Friday, December 31, 2010


I got a job! I've been trying for months to get a job at the fitness center of the YMCA where I work-out 6 mornings a week. I thought that I was going to be hired back in October because one of the employees was leaving for the Peace Corps. But then there was a snag in his paperwork and he said he wouldn't be leaving till the end of March.

However, there was a sudden vacancy at the front desk, and some of the employees who know me put in a good word for me, and there I am! I have a part-time job as a "Member Services Associate". I'm thrilled to have my foot in the door, as well as getting free membership. Oh, have I mentioned that it's only a 5 minute walk from my house?

Oh, yes, so I believe this counts as a routine-breaker for Day 12: Filling out my employment paperwork and getting my first hour of training yesterday.

Creativity as a routine-breaker, Part IV

Day 10: Every time I throw out a toilet-paper roll (into the recycle bin), I always think that I should do something with it. I never know what, but something. This day, I was inspired by something I saw on the internet, so my routine-breaker was to quit procrastinating and do the same:

Done with a combo of stickers and Sharpie pens. He now lives on a ledge above my dining room window.

Day 11: No music or radio today. This was torture! I usually have the radio or my music library on all day. I had the constant, nagging feeling that I was missing something.

Day 12: This one deserves a post of its own; stay tuned.

Day 13: I wake up at 4:10am in the morning, start the coffee pot, and then do some mobility/warm-up exercises. Because I'm half-asleep, I do the exact same routine every morning. This is when routines are really useful, because you can get things done without thinking about them at all. But last night my brain was racing (because of events on the mysterious day 12) and woke up at 2:00am, so I messed around with my warm-up and added a new hip mobility exercise which will now be permanently added to my routine.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Backyard Carnage, Routine Breakers Part 3

Days 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

Day 5: Washing and drying dishes on opposite sides of the sink. I don't have a dishwasher; it's all done by hand. Switching the two sides is quite tricky, because there's not much space and I don't usually need to think about how to turn and move things to keep from whacking into the faucet or other dishes.

Day 6: I switched sides of the bed with Rob. (Sleeping, that is.) Isn't he a good sport?

Day 7: Merry Christmas to all! Instead of using my automatic coffee maker, I made all my coffee today by dripping it directly into my mug with a filter holder.

The coffee tasted great, and it was a bit stronger than usual, but it's a pain in the butt standing there and waiting to add more water as it drips, so I'm reverting to using my coffee maker.

Day 8: Sitting on the opposite side of the table while eating. No problem; I don't think I grew any new brain cells with this one.

Day 9:  I usually wait until New Year's Day to take down the Christmas decor,but I decided to do it early. Probably because right before the holidays, I bought a new tablecloth I really like.

A couple of days ago I was in the laundry room when I looked out the window and saw this:

Hawk? Falcon? I know nothing about birds. Let me know if you know what this is.
He was plucking and eating his pigeon for over an hour before he grabbed it in his talons and flew off over the fence.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Routine Breakers, Part 2

Days 2, 3, and 4

I really hated day 2! My routine breaker was to stand at the computer. I took the chair away so I wouldn't forget and use it. The morning was the worst part, because I usually stumble out of bed, grab my coffee, and blob out in the computer chair while catching up on emails and forums. Wasting time just isn't as much fun when you can't sit down.

I had to prop up the keyboard and mouse on boxes so I could reach them. I don't have a desk job, but I do generally spend 2-3 hours on the computer at various times throughout the day. I definitely cut down on my computer time because of this change.

Day 3 was a breeze. I'm left-handed, and I switched to my right hand for all of my eating and drinking. No problem; I was a lot more coordinated than I thought I would be, and it didn't require much mental effort.

Today is day 4: Putting on the toilet paper roll upside-down. Because I'm doing it intentionally, it's not bothering me nearly as much as when it happens on accident.

Monday, December 20, 2010

'Twas the week before Christmas

Christmas doesn't excite me nearly as much as Halloween. But I'm not a total Grinch; I do attempt to make the house look festive:

Looks a little different than it did a couple of months ago.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Breaking Routines

I found an interesting blog called Make Something 365, which encourages people to pick a theme and make something within that theme every day for an entire year.

I'm not exactly a crafty person. I have my moments, and can create something nifty once in a while, but I don't think I could keep it up on a daily basis. It did, however, inspire me to come up with a 365 day challenge. Every day, I'm going to break a routine. The one "rule" I'm making is that it has to be an intentional change. If I accidentally plow my car into a house or have unexpected guests, that doesn't count.

As you can see from the picture up above, today I'm wearing my watch upside-down and on the opposite wrist. I'm a compulsive watch/time checker, so I figured this would make me a little more aware of how often I do it.

I doubt that my routine-breakers will be exciting enough to blog about every day, but I will attempt to summarize at least once a week.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Only 364 more days

Halloween is always a bit anti-climactic, primarily because we're off the beaten path and don't get many trick-or-treaters. I believe the doorbell rang four times last year. But I always hope, and I always prepare.

Time to carve the pumpkins:

This is my "Ernest" face after discovering an extra-slimy, disgusting, sprouted pumpkin seed:

The finished product:
We took them outside later, of course.

Rob and I settled onto the couch with a big bowl of popcorn to watch Trick-r-Treat.

I think word must have gotten around that I was giving out canned coffee drinks to the parents, because we got more trick-or-treaters than we ever had before. We went through five bags of candy. I'd say at least 80% of the girls were princesses. (0% of the boys.) Besides the preponderance of princesses, we were visited by two Winnie the Poohs, a Power Ranger, Superman, Wolfman, a skeleton, and various characters from movies and television shows that I've never heard of. Not a single pirate! That's a surprise; that's practically all we had the past couple of years.

Lots of treats, and no tricks. A successful evening.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Behind you!

                               (Happy Hallowe'en!)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's not dead yet!

Why is the post-office like a serial killer?

You know how at the end of the movie the heroine stupidly thinks the killer is dead, so she turns her back on him and closes her eyes in relief? And that's when he pops up again with knife in hand?

Well, I can't tell you how many times over the years I've heard that the post-office is dead or will be soon, but I'm here to tell you that it's not.

Earlier this month, the owner/author of Love Manor graciously offered to send out  Halloween greetings to his readers, and I got my card yesterday:

I was so excited; it came in a black envelope with white ink, and a ribbon with a wax seal on it! (I managed to keep the seal intact, as you can see.)

Now, I can read Love Manor and leave comments instantaneously anytime I want, but it's just not the same as getting an actual letter or thing that can be touched and displayed.

So the moral of the story is: Don't turn your back on the post-office or it will stab you in the back. (Think they might want to use that as an ad campaign?)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hallowe'en Eve-eve

Can you tell I'm getting a little burnt-out on posing for photos every day?

I've been perusing my iphoto library for pictures taken throughout the year that could be considered scary, and I came across this little gem:
It's a friend of my son peering through the mail slot. She's really a cute girl, but you wouldn't know it from this disturbing view.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Me and my boyfriend

Halloween link of the day: Crumpkin's Pumpkins song

Nice, creepy little addition for a holiday playlist. It's from an interactive website about an evil pumpkin patch inhabited by soul-stealing pumpkins.

Perhaps you thought I ran out of seasonal t-shirts? Not quite:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Wicked West

Last night we went to the other side of town to see a neighborhood display called The Wicked West. Very impressive. You can't see the house at all; it's totally covered. This is in the middle of a block of regular tract housing.

Here's a town hanging, complete with body twitching and jiggling:

Another execution; this time it's the electric chair:

And a walk through the jail, filled with lots of hanging things, people jumping at us, and an evil clown who insisted on silently stalking me and creeping me out.

Pretty cool, huh?

I'll leave you with a link I've been meaning to post that I enjoyed greatly:
13 Steps

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I will be very sad when Halloween is over, but my consolation will be on November 4, when we have our appointment with PG&E to have the pilot light of our floor heater turned back on.

I'm running out of Halloween decor, so you wanna see the scariest thing that happened to me this year?
That's my poor ankle that I broke on March 31. To make a long story short...I can't walk on air. (Helpful hint: If you're ever shaking out a rug at the top of some stairs, don't forget that you're at the top of the stairs.)

And here's the shirt-of-the-day shot, along with my li'l pumpkin-head pal:

Monday, October 25, 2010


That's Karny, my son's rat. OK, she's not exactly terrifying, but she's trying her darndest.

Here I am coming back from the gym in the rain. Yep, I actually go out in public like this. (Can you see my Frankenstein monster socks?)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kitchen Goddess

When the weather is cold, nothing tastes better than a hot bowl of stew. Here I am being all domestic-like fixing my pot of bandito stew. (Ground beef, onions, yams, beans and enchilada sauce.)

Got some time to waste? Here's a good link to several corny old Halloween cartoons plus a 3 Stooges short: Halloween cartoons.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lights Out

A couple of weeks ago I bought this intriguing looking linzer cookie-cutter set for making fancy, Martha-Stewart-perfect Halloween cookies:
Unfortunately, my date-nut ball recipe was just a wee bit too sticky and they didn't come out looking even remotely like the cookies on the package. Which is not to say that the product is a piece of junk; it just requires a drier recipe.

Anyway, no food was wasted in the process. I was able to shape the balls into rough skull-shapes and decorate them with white chocolate chips. I had barely begun when I heard a couple of loud THUMPS and the lights went out, which had the amazing effect of bringing my long-lost son out of his room! I actually talked him into decorating some of the balls with me. Which is why the one at the bottom of the plate is an owl instead of a skull.

Long-lost son. I think he was four years old the last time I saw him.

Turns out a transformer pole around the corner caught on fire, and all the struts had to be replaced. (That's what the PG&E guy told me; I really have no idea what that means.) Lights were out from 11:30am to 11:00pm. Time to break out the candles:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Break out the umbrellas

Needed my umbrella for the first time in ages. It's not a raging storm, but it's definitely rain. Hope it doesn't ruin anybody's Halloween displays.

T-shirt of the day:

As an added bonus, today you get to see my ghost socks!

In case you're interested, my desktop picture is from the Devil's Tramping Ground, an interactive website that's pretty cool:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Last Squash of the Season

This is it. The plants are rotting, but I was able to salvage these adorable, tasty little ones. What a change from a couple of months ago, when I would turn my back on them and they'd be the size of a bowling pin.

Halloween t-shirt of the day:


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holiday Pics of the Day

Also known as the bedroom. Uh-oh, we escaped. Bwa-ha-ha!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween T's, continued

Halloween t-shirt #2:

Here's what our letter carrier gets to see when he delivers our mail every day:
They don't bother him at all, but he does claim to be terrified of the coffin by the front door; he thinks that some day something will pop out of it. He's lucky that it's only about 4 feet tall, otherwise I'd consider it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Only 12 Days Left

The Favorite Things Guy wrote a post about getting funny looks for being an adult and wearing a Halloween t-shirt: the favorite things guy

Heck, people think I'm nuts no matter what I wear, so I wear what I like, which means a full month of nothing but Halloween t-shirts for the entire month. So my husband is going to take pics of me everyday until I go through my entire collection. I haven't counted them, but I think I have 9 or 10. Here's the first:

It's sad that the stores are already having clearance sales on Halloween decor to make room for Christmas merchandise. No fair. The Christmas people get to see their stuff for twice as long, plus they have about 100 times the selection. Even the thrift stores are down to the bare bones, but I found these two little items at the Salvation Army store that wanted to come home with me:

After the thrift store, I went to See's Candy to use a couple of gift certificates that Rob got from his customers last Christmas:
Mmmm, good chocolate! Unlike the items on my mantelpiece that I bought for their looks alone and probably taste like crap, these will most definitely be eaten.

One last picture to round out the post. This is a stocking mask that is meant to be worn as a costume, but I think it looks pretty cool wrapped around a jar of my zucchini chips:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Have you figured out the theme for the month?

Hope you're not sick of looking at my Halloween decorations, because I'm probably not done yet.