Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Accident Prone

I think at this point we can all go ahead and admit that, yup, I am accident prone.

Not only am I a dropper, but I ruin TVs by touching them, regularly walk into walls and almost cut off my fingers while making dinner more often than I care to share.

This morning I was in an Actual Accident -- you know, the car kind.

I was making a simple u-turn after driving right by the turn for my dentist's office (on my way to a filling ... which I have evaded, for now). I saw the woman sitting there, waiting to pull across the road - and she saw me. But she thought I was going straight instead of u-turning, and by the time I had looked the other way to make sure no other cars were coming and pulled into the road, there she was, hitting me.


The car doesn't have a lot of damage and I think her car wasn't hurt at all (I really couldn't see -- never did make it across the busy road to talk to her). After the police came and did their thing, we both drove away.

But I think it's safe to say that getting in a car accident on the way to the dentist is just as bad as going to the dentist itself, don't you?

The things that happen to me for your reading pleasure.

Fortunately we have very complete insurance on that car and won't have to pay more than our $300 deductible. But still -- ugh! -- $300!?! The dentist definitely would've been cheaper, that's for sure.

Oh, and remember our TV and the one we ordered to replace it? Yeah, got that home from Walmart only for Luke to discover that the entire screen was shattered. So back it went, and now we are waiting for the next one to arrive. Bonus: no football watching this weekend! (Luke does NOT consider this a bonus, for the record).

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I do not, in general, like vacations.

There are some vacations that I love. These are vacations where we have scheduled activities and lots of things to do. ... or those that are short.

The vacations that I hate should really be called "vacations." These are trips of any length over five days (including travel time), usually including visiting family and just hanging out doing nothing. These are not relaxing. They are extremely stressful. What will we do today? When will Dave get to nap? Will he nap at all? Will we all be miserable if he doesn't? Will we all just sit around and eat food and get fat? (<----- yes). Will I end up with some sort of cold or flu bug (<----- often).


But visiting family must be done. And so we are on "vacation."

I like being home. And I love structure. It makes me feel calm and organized. Without it I feel scattered and antsy and gross. I do not love it.

Cruises are perfect for me. At noon we get on the boat. There is "free" time and then there are scheduled meals and then there are scheduled trips off the boat. Everyone wins! Also perfect: Malibu Club in Canada, which we visited this summer. That was a full week of half the day spent doing a planned activity of either chapel or a meal or a family orientated contest and the other half of the day cycling through other activity options and/or napping. I always support napping.

Tomorrow we head home from Ohio. By the time we get back to Georgia we'll have had 11 DAYS of "vacation." Don't get me wrong, seeing family is great -- but there is a limit to how much of this lollygagging around I can take. Next time I vote we all go on a cruise. (<---- I, sadly, do not get a vote).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hello From Ohio

Greetings from a land of cold. And snow. And Dave's new snow boots.

Yeah, we bought him snow boots ... because I just couldn't abide the thought of my poor baby's cold feet playing in the snow. And now we own boots.

We are staying this time around at Luke's sister's house about 40 minutes from his parents' house. Yeah, this means a daily uncool commute ... but it ALSO means WARMTH for at least 12 hours a day. (His parents' house is reeeeeally cold in the bedrooms). And less chance of me getting migraines (there's a lot of dust/mold there).

It ALSO means driving by Starbucks every DAY.

Yessssssss. I don't even CARE about how much that's going to cost me.

Family gathering in Ohio tend to revolve around one single thing: eating. It's not that I don't love to eat ... it's that doing so at that level for a week straight makes me feel really, really, REALLY fat.

And so this time around I've brought my winter running clothes -- and I intend to use them. And did yesterday.

As it turns out I run faster when I'm cold -- about a full 40 seconds a minute faster! Excellent.

Did 6.15 miles yesterday at a 9:20 average. Hoping to increase it to 7.5 today.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Oh, Of Course

We're getting ready to leave this afternoon for our Christmas trip to Luke's home -- a two day journey through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and a portion of Ohio. With a toddler. And Elmo.

And of course this toddler is sick -- well, I think he is anyway. The doctor did not seem to agree.

Because I'm cheap we take full advantage of our practically free healthcare and use the on-post doctors, instead of paying to see someone elsewhere. No way am I doing that.

But the trade-off is that we see on-post doctors (I said that already but this time I mean "they are bad.") And so when I took my kid in Wednesday afternoon (in the middle of Epic Baking Day, pictures of which I will someday post) because his ear had drained and was gross, the doctor told me "he's fine." And when I pointed out a pussy eye, he said "allergies," and then prescribed a drop antibiotic for the ear (even though he's fine? what the ...) and an allergy medication.

I'm 99 percent sure neither are working.

And since his ear continues to drain once or a twice a day (which is groooooosssss) and his eye continues to be nasty, I'm pretty sure he is in fact sick and not allergic to God only knows what.

And this is what we're taking to the arctic Ohio with us. Aces.

(Oh yeah, I don't like Ohio in the winter because it's cold. Have I mentioned that recently?)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Kentucky Home

Yes, you read that right -- Kentucky. And, as suspected, Fort Campbell.

I'm in the business of finding good things about this, so if you have something to add please let me know. So far the only thing I know about it has made my cheap frugal little heart sad: their gym with available childcare not only charges for the childcare, but also requires a membership AND charges extra for showers and lockers ($5 eachish a month).

I've never even heard of such rubbish at a normal gym, much less a military sponsored one. Plus it doesn't look like they have any pools. It's really hard to train for triathlons without swimming.

Since the gym is something I use at least several times a week, this little bit of information makes me s-a-d. So if you have something positive to add to the mix, please add it.

And if anyone can give me any advice about living on or off post (with this gym nonesense I'm leaning towards "off" ... although I DO like using hourly care .... ), do tell.

I'm sure Kentucky is lovely and we'll get along famously (once I find a gym). But I'm just going to go ahead and say it:

Sometimes I forget Kentucky exists. It pretty much ranks right up there with places like "Nebraska," "New Hampshire," and "Wyoming." When was the last time you gave any thought to Nebraska? Exactly.

Bonus is that before we move we will be able to easily drive up there and scout out places to live (unlike when we moved here from Washington). Meanwhile we're still going to be here in Georgia for at least six more months, until Luke finishes Ranger School (and we know how long THAT can take).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fate Cometh

It has taken every ounce of my self control not to spend my entire weekend impatiently waiting for this afternoon. We are about to find out where will next move -- and the suspense has the potential to eat me alive.

Truly, we could've found out Friday. But by the time the hubby realized that the email with the link to his orders was in his inbox, and that said link wasn't working and he would have to call branch to find out what they said -- it was after business hours.

Ahhhhhhhh! It was like the Army was taunting me "I know where you're going -- but you can't! Hahahahah!!!"

Evil, evil Army.

But no worries, we're going to hopefully find out today. And since I wouldn't want to leave you out of the fun of suspense ...

Here are the possibilities (we think). They are in somewhat order of how we ranked them, although I'm kinda regretting it now since I made the mistake of googling Campbell and their gym looks awful and pool-less (not to mention pricey to use!):

1. Fort Carson (yesssss this is really the only one I truly want to go to)
2. Fort Campbell
3. Fort Knox
4. Fort Bragg
5. Fort Bliss

And then in who knows what order:

Fort Irwin
Fort Polk
Fort Drum
A God-Forsaken Base in Alaska

Luke seems to think we'll get Campbell. I'm pulling for Carson but with the way life seems to go for me, we'll probably get Alaska. God knows that what I'll blog from there will be way funnier than anything I could come up with somewhere pleasant like Colorado.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


New, slightly larger TV on sale at Wal-Mart: $400

Humidifier: $30

Knowing that the odds of me frying our new TV are now lower: priceless

It's like crazy crap happens to me just so that I have something to write here. Wait until I tell you about the hairdresser I went to on Saturday who thought I was a lesbian. I know.

Meanwhile, the new TV doesn't get here until late this week. Until then I'm rocking some Hulu.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Frugal Fail: The Worst Super Power Ever

I always thought that if I was going to get a super power, it should be the ability to fly. A logical choice considering I'm always looking for ways to do things faster. Flying would cut out a lot of commuting time, ya know?

What I did NOT want was the ability to shock things into submission. But this is what I'm stuck with.

Sub super power: an uncanny ability to break stuff.

Here in dumb not-humid-as-advertised Georgia, where the inside of our house is so dry that I'm single handedly supporting the moisturizer industry, I have gained the ability to shock everything and anything with a bazillion volts of static electricity. The other night I touched a light switch and actually saw what I created leave my finger like a bolt of lightening. It was kinda cool -- and kinda painful.

All I wanted to do in the whole wide world yesterday afternoon was ease the pain of folding that truly giant pile of laundry by watching some re-runs of some show on TNT. Is that too much to ask? So I turned the TV on as I sullied towards the couch.

But I couldn't find the remote (it's still MIA ... Dave, where did you put it?!) and so instead of going straight to the hunt, I opted to turn the volume down manually and THEN look for it.

It went like this.

1. I walk to TV
2. I put out my finger to turn down the volume
3. I touch the volume button
4. A shockingly (hahahahah -- sorry) strong charge of static electricity leaves my finger and goes into the TV.
5. My neck and finger hurt.
6. The TV turns off, then back on again ... sorta.

For the next 10 minutes I watched the TV turn itself on, warm-up, short out and do the process over again. A cycle that continues even now.

In short, I broke our 38 inch flat screen, wall mounted, $700 TV by touching it. Apparently surge protectors only work if the electrical charge goes into the surge protector first -- not if it goes into the TV from another spot.

Our renters insurance excludes damage done by electrical currents -- even if that current comes from your own body. Oh, and the warranty on the thing expired a year ago.

Who knew you could even break a TV by touching it?! Why does crap like this always happen to me?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Answer to This is "More Cowbell"

Hi, I'm Amy and I am addicted to downloading obnoxious Christmas music. I'm pretty sure some of it includes the liberal use of cowbell.

I am now the proud owner of the Glee Christmas album, the Target Christmas sampler (a collective of music from their commercials. Now every time I hear the songs I want to shop at Target. Like I don't already have a problem with that or something), the iTunes Christmas sampler, the Straight No Chaser Christmas album, a variety of world Christmas music and last but not least, the "Singing Christmas Tree" by VeggieTales.

I know.

To make matters worse I also feel compelled to play said music every moment possible. We have very strict rules here allowing Christmas music only between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and so I feel like I have to take advantage of every single Holiday Spirit second that I can.

(Never mind that I made up the rules).

Is the look in my husband's eye that of pending Christmas music induced insanity? I refuse to believe it. Is the fact that I have that annoying "Last Christmas I gave you my heart ..." song from Glee stuck in my head so much so that I can't sleep a problem? I won't say that it's so.

It's Christmas spirit central over here, folks. And by the time you get a taste of the delicious cookies I'm working on, you won't care that you're listening to Carol of the Bells for the zillionth time. I don't.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Price of Awesomeness

I really want people to like me. I figure the best way to make them is through delicious treats.

I realized Christmas of 2008 that the best way to accomplish this goal would be to make and distribute giant plates of Christmas cookies. I spent several days mixing, cutting, baking and decorating. The result was a giant plate of cookies -- and I mean GIANT -- for the husband's office and a plate for our small group. No one cut me off so I think the op was a success.

Last year I expanded the job to making a giant plate for the office and a pile of other small plates. To help you understand how this worked and explain why you didn't get one, I've drawn a diagram (because I am ALWAYS looking for an excuse to draw a venn diagram):
We are now in prime baking season again. Since we now live on post and we actually know some of our neighbors I decided that my awesomeness would be best advertised by giving cookie plates to all of them (not the ones I haven't met, just the ones whose names I was told but can't remember and those I do, in fact, know). I'm also planning to make a giant plate of cookies for Luke's class because those dudes have never even HEARD of my awesomeness before ... and I must advertise.

But I have discovered something: baking is way more expensive than I remember. I vividly recall how much work it is (and I'm trying to mitigate that this year by mixing and freezing the dough ahead of time .. that at least will make it less messy in the long run, I hope). But I forgot how pricey it can be.

Is the adoration of my neighbors really this important (<---- no)? I don't even LIKE most of these people that much (<----- kidding).

What I really want is the process to go like this:

Uh, sorry for the small diagram type. My awesomeness does not extend to figuring out how to make it bigger.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Motivation, Where Art Thou?

Thee? Thou? Whatever. I think "thou."

I'm trying to harness my motivation and then make it stay around. I'm very, very good at being AMPED about something for a short period of time. And then I get tired. And then I want to take a nap. And THEN I'm not motivated anymore.

Case in point: fitness. I really, really, REALLY like racing in triathlons. It is such a high. But I have a hard time remembering how much I love it when faced with a delicious looking bowl of pumpkin ice cream. For real.

And there IS a direct correlation between that bowl and the race. Because if I eat it then my next workout will be spent working that off, instead of chipping away at the back log of poor eating choices I'm carrying around from the past, oh, well ... 27 years. (I figure I've been making poor choices since day one).

My other problem: I typically have enough motivation to actually get me to the gym, but not enough for me to make what I do there mean anything. For example, yes, I'm swimming ... but slooooowly. And then I get out early and sit in the hot tub. This way I say "I spent an hour at the gym today" and you all think I'm really super awesome. But I know that what I actually did there was check out the sauna. (<---- I've never actually done that. Mostly because a small room of sweaty women creeps me out. I mean, gross.)

If I'm living in such a way that all of my time is of value and should be used the best way I know how, I need to focus! And stay motivated to do the right things (because it's way easy to be motivated to make that cookie dough disappear. Now THAT'S something I can get behind).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Better to Give ....

Over the last six months Luke and I have been making a conscious decision to give more. This is a really hard one for me -- I prefer to hoard stuff, in case you haven't noticed. Sign me up for anything free, discounted or penny-pinching.

Giving is hard. It means a conscious decision to NOT put that money in your bank account, but instead send it elsewhere.

Now, the Bible says that when you give the Good Lord will reward you by giving it back to you over and over again. Maybe it won't be in the same form, but it WILL come back.

And wow is that counterintuitive. And hard. Very, very hard.

But we have been trying nonetheless. And I am happy to report that God is faithful and that, as cliche as it is, I cannot out-give God. The more checks I send out, the bigger that number in the savings account seems to get. How is that even possible?

I'm not saying this to say "look at me and my awesome generous self." I'm saying this because I think it's a good reminder ... if you give it WILL be returned to you. And yes, it is scary hard to do. But it is so worth it. Investing in the lives of others is a blessing on which you cannot put a value. The joy of knowing God is using you in a very practical way is something that cannot be replicated. And no worries about giving away money, He'll still make sure you have enough.

I wish I had made the decision to do this sooner in life.

(But I still cringe every time I write a check).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

... It STILL Feels Like There Isn't Enough Time

There aren't enough hours in the day.

I work really hard to have correct priorities. I only have the TV on while I'm doing mindless tasks for which I am being paid (no, really). And maybe I actually watch a total of a half hour a day before I go to bed during the week and maybe a little more on the weekends, though not much.

I tend to burn some time doing mindless things on the internet that I could probably axe if I wanted -- maybe as much as an hour a day.

All of that to say that I don't feel like I waste time. I cook for my family in the most productive, least time consuming way I know. I have a cleaning schedule so that I don't ever spend too much time doing it, and I try to knock it out while on my conference call each day (for which I am being paid ... two birds, one stone). I try to do any shopping I can online so that I don't have to haul 40 minutes roundtrip (at least) to the stores. I get enough sleep.

Truly, my work time could be more productive. I get easily distracted. ... but I have this HUGE LIST of things that I need to do running through my mind. Things like updating my work website, writing, stories I want to chase, etc.

I have my priorities -- family, work, exercise and the occasional Bible study/social time. I try to spend an hour with Dave each day out doing something active. When it's sunny/warmish we go to the park down the street. When it isn't we go to the pool, also down the street. I try to exercise for at least an hour a day, outside when it is nice and at the gym when it is crappy (like yesterday .. WHOA was that a rainstorm!). We also have a very firm rule that we get 8 hours of sleep a night. We are in bed at 9:30 p.m. and up by 5:30 a.m. This keeps us healthy and productive the rest of the time.

But despite all of these measures, I STILL feel like I am running on empty and there is NOT enough time for me to get done everything I need to do. And with our trip to Ohio in just 3.5 weeks, I think my brain might explode.