The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Truly Creepy Scary Stuff

 

 

 I’m not a person who enjoys being scared.  Horror flicks are just not my thing. I’ve never been a huge fan of Halloween: too creepy for me. However since today is Halloween it seems only appropriate to share a few things that have either scared or creeped me out lately.  

  •  Because we had planned to only live in this area for 3-5 years we rented our home.  Life happened and 14 years later we are moving next summer.  Last night I received a phone call from the people who are going to be moving in when we move out.  Yes – I know they are moving in. Why? The fellow works for our landlord so I see him quite often. He has mentioned the fact that he and his “fiance” are moving in after us , oh…..5,000 times?  Usually followed with “When are you guys moving again?”  They called last night because they want to come look at the house this weekend.  Ummmm…..we aren’t moving for 7 months, but ok?  There is nothing quite as creepy as the feeling that someone is hoping you leave early because you are in the way of what they want. I can almost see them drooling. The fact that the female in this relationship seems to be the one pushing to get in and see the house either indicates she’s excited or a psycho.  I’m hoping it’s the first.  I’d hate to be murdered over a rental property.
  • This morning I was waiting behind a semi-truck that was turning into the grocery store parking lot.  The first scary thing about that is that this city wasn’t smart enough to realize that there needed to be enough of a turn area for trucks to pull into the lot. As I watched the poor trucker block both northbound lanes of traffic to make his turn I noticed out of the corner of my eye that two seemingly impatient drivers were whipping through the office supply store parking lot to avoid the delay.  Not a bad idea really until you whip out in front of the turning truck to get into the adjacent grocery store lot.  These people have actual driver’s licenses?  Not that is scary.
  • Another creepy feeling is knowing there is someone – or a couple of someones – who would like your job when you leave.  Again – IN SEVEN MONTHS.  Not that I don’t enjoy the “So have they found someone for your job?” (Like I’d know that??) questions or the “When are you quitting again?” inquiries. Why don’t you just say, “Boy we’re going to miss you can I help you pack??”
  • I ran across this today:

         SCARY on sooooo many levels!

  • I think I shared about the squirrel who felt it necessary to continue to jump on our kitchen window screen and hang from it the other day.  That was slightly creepy. A rodent staring at you while you are doing the dishes.  Scarier still was that I’d shoo him off and he’d jump back on.  This went on for a while until the fella either gave up or decided to figure out another way into my home.  The next day I looked out onto our deck to see a fuzzy tail sticking out of my husband’s new grill.  Thankfully I just had a funny angle and the critter wasn’t actually in the grill. Yet.  I will admit for a moment I contemplated hitting the auto-ignite switch but then I decided the fur would make a big mess.  That evening I went to work with Cayenne Pepper and cooking spray on our deck and around the kitchen window. (Yes – this actually does keep squirrels away.) Yesterday I came home to discover this:

(No that isn’t a pumpkin with acne. It’s a gourd I bought because I thought he looked cooler than a plain pumpkin.)  The furry fiends have struck again!  Have I ever mentioned:

At this point I’m starting to get paranoid. I truly believe that these crafty rodents have decided their fluffy tails will disguise their true plot: taking over the world.  At the very least I’m now convinced that they are out to get me by either driving me completely insane or killing me outright. I’m serious.  If I ever turn up dead please check the squirrels in our yard for trace DNA evidence.   Or maybe the lady who is hounding everyone to find out how long it’ll take to clean up the blood so that she can move in.  Could go either way. 

Have a Safe and Fun Halloween Everyone!!

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A First, Some Lasts, and Hitting My Stride

It’s been an active and crazy fall at our house.  This is not a new thing really.  It happens every fall with the restart of school and all the activities that surround it. This year has been different, however.  This fall is our last fall in this house.  In this town.  At these schools.  It’s really rather weird when I stop to think about it and I’ve been trying to think about it as much as possible.  I want to savor the lasts.  Enjoy them. Remember them.  It’s a difficult balancing act: trying to enjoy the now while looking toward the future and wondering what it’ll be like at the same time remembering the past and feeling a bit wistful.  The last two weeks have been brought a slew of balancing and savoring for me. It’s kind of knocked me off my “stride” for a while.

As we do every year we finished cleaning up our yard for winter, bringing in the decorative things that would get ruined in the snow.  Normally those things get put in a tote and stored in the garden shed in our back yard.  This year was a little different.  We won’t be using those things here ever again so everything was brought in, cleaned and packed in a moving box.  My first moving box has been packed.  Weird but exciting at the same time.  I wonder what my birdhouses and stepping stones and garden figures will look like in our new yard?  They sure looked cute in this one. As I dumped the dirt from my trusty planters and flower pots, washed them and packed them I couldn’t help but smile thinking about all the flowers they’ve held at this house.  The color they’ve added to our yard. I hope there is a spot for them at the new one.

We attended the last home football game for the local public school.  As we bundled up and walked to the stadium located just a few blocks from our house I realized that it was the last time I would ever make that trip.  We’ve been walking to every home football game ever since our oldest son started suiting up for varsity six years ago.  After he graduated we went to cheer on his friends and our oldest daughter in the band.  This year: two daughters in the band.  Multiple Friday nights in fall walking to that stadium to watch and that night was our last walk to a game in this town.  I wondered what we’d be doing next fall on Friday nights.  Which stadium we’d be going to. Would we be able to walk there?  I guess time will tell but I made sure to savor that last home football game in the “home stands” in our current town.  I may be back to watch a game someday but I’ll be sitting on the other side.  I wanted to soak in the atmosphere, the sounds, the smells, the familiar feel.  It was no wonder I told my husband we didn’t need to leave early even though the team was leading by a lot and my feet were freezing.  I’ve spent a lot of time in those bleachers. Spending a few more for a final time seemed important at that moment.

The next day we traveled to watch what will most likely be the last band competition we will ever attend.  The school districts we are looking at for our youngest two children don’t compete in field marching competitions.  They still have band and march in parades and do halftime shows but it will be different. No traveling on Saturdays to watch them march.  No intense “we have to get a 1” pressure all fall.  As much as we’ve enjoyed the competitions I think I might be looking forward to that part: just band that is fun.  Because it was the only year our two girls will ever march together and the last year we will ever be involved in field marching competitions we wanted to make sure we made it to every competition.  We wanted to savor.  The last one was no exception.  We stayed the entire day and well into the night for the awards.  It was the last time.  We can attend again in the future but it will be different because our kids won’t be competing.   It was worth the long chilly day and the long drive home well into the night.  It was worth being tired the next day.  It won’t come along again.

This past weekend was the final musical our daughters will ever participate in at this high school.  The only one they will ever be in together.  Our oldest daughter’s last one ever.  Guess who made sure they were there? We “tag-team” attended this time: I went one night with grandparents, my husband went the next night after he got off work for the week. He got the bad end of that bargain.  He was the one who had to hug our crying daughter after the show.  He’s the one who had to find the right words to say. She’s well aware that we are hitting some last times too. This time next year she will be off at college and on to the next exciting chapter in her life. That is normal and a good thing.  The difference for her is that “home” will no longer be here.  It will have moved to a different town where she won’t be as excited to come back to attend things at the high school.  She won’t know that high school or its teachers or former students.  She’ll show up to support her siblings, but it won’t be the same for her.  She is busy doing her own savoring.

About this time of the year every year just as I feel I’m about to the end of my rope things slow down for a few weeks allowing me to regroup.  Regroup time is a good thing for me.  It’s a better thing for my family who has to put up with me.  After weeks of being too busy to do much more than cursory housework my irritability rises.  I begin to feel swamped and overwhelmed and my family starts to pay for it.  I’m not a pleasant person to be around when I’m in that state of mind. Everything starts to fall apart: the house, my exercise routine, my mood…you get the picture.  This year has been no exception.   In fact this year may have been worse with the added pressure of not wanting to miss anything and thinking about our impending move.  Thankfully I was able to regroup a little this weekend.  I had a day to throughly clean our home.  I purged some things in the process. I got back on track with my exercise routine.  Life seems a little less frantic and more under control again.  This is a good thing for both me and the poor people who have to live with me. My mood has improved as some order was restored to the chaos.  It’s just in time.

Our last holidays in this house are coming up and I intend to enjoy them as much as possible.  I want to be able to blend the nostalgia of past holidays with the excitement of what is to come next year while enjoying this year’s celebrations.  It’s a balancing act.  At least now I feel like I’m hitting my stride again.

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Monday Musings

I find myself at the start of another week again and yet I can’t seem to get my brain to go into forward motion.  It isn’t lack of coffee – trust me – so all that I can figure is that I must have too many things running through my head today.  In a sudden blast of inspiration I decided to purge them all here so that perhaps my head will clear and I can function like a human again.  If this doesn’t work I’m going straight to plan B: go to bed and wake up on Tuesday.  Here goes nothing…..

  • Today isn’t a good day to have the name “Sandy”.  I keep seeing headlines like “Why is Sandy So Big?” and “Sandy Even Scarier From Space”.  That could be enough to make you paranoid.  I’m so thankful that the last storm sharing my name remained a tropical storm and didn’t scare too many people – just fish.  Funniest part: my bosses wife’s name is Sandy.  Good thing she’s a fun person. (Not that I personally have made any of the obvious jokes).
  • The good part about a major storm threatening the eastern part of our country is that political campaigns have been suspended.  Does that mean the robot calls and commercials will stop too?  One can hope right?
  • Why do they send all those reporters out to areas that are being evacuated?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?  And while I am on the subject how much do you suppose those reporters make to stand out there in a hurricane?  I’d like to be paid for being an idiot too.
  •  What is it about four way stop signs that confuse people so badly? Maybe it’s just people where I live but no one seems to be able to decide who goes first.  Not that I’m not all for free entertainment but I don’t have time to sit at an intersection forever while people look at one another.
  • Roundabouts are worse than four way stop signs in Northeast Nebraska. No one knows what to do when they get to one.  Seriously.  I propose that since the town where I live has decided to put in three of these traffic wonders that no one understands,  the city should pay for every citizen to fly to Europe and learn how to use them from people who do understand how to use them.
  • I’m not really big on “Appreciation Days” – I think they were manufactured by florists and card companies to boost year long sales.  My personal theory is that I should probably show people I appreciate them year round rather than having to be reminded by a “national day” on a calendar. It just kind of means more that way. Personal opinion.
  • That being said, it’s nice to be appreciated once in a while.  This month is clergy appreciation month.  I think clergy should be appreciated (see above thought) and I obviously work with a few here at my job as a church secretary.  A couple sweet ladies have blown me away the last couple days by bringing me a little treat to let me know that I too am appreciated. Aw!  (So much better than on Secretaries day.)  It’s amazing how thoughtfulness from a couple of people can brighten your whole day.
  • The way to my heart really is with a caramel mocha.
  • It really is hard to type with numb fingers.
  • Why is there always one thing that I forget to buy when I shop?  Am I the only one who does this even though I have a list? Does anyone else then go through the grueling debate of whether or not the one thing you forgot is worth braving the store – again – to get? 
  • Rule of thumb for above thought: Toilet Paper – yes.  Anything else is up in the air.
  • I’m not buying the words “Easy Open” ever again.  Nope.  Going straight for the hatchet.
  • Squirrels are really freaky. Particularly ones that keep jumping onto your kitchen window screen and hanging there. Seriously? Is he a spy or does he think we’re going to throw him some food just to get rid of him.  Maybe he’s plotting an attack. I’m not sure. Creepy.
  • If you are every really bored go to one of the presidential candidates Facebook pages and watch people fight with each other in the comments of every post.  No don’t.  It’s really rather pathetic.
  • I did the above activity quite by accident and didn’t hang around long but it does have me asking: Who has time to spend all day fighting on a candidates Facebook page?
  • Who thought this was a good idea? Did no one get the memo that horizontal stripes make you look heavier? Wait.  That could be a good thing in football.  Ok – bumblebee suits it is I guess.

  • Does anyone else wonder if there is some sort of time warp that takes hours away from Sunday night and magically adds them to Monday morning? 
  • I could live to be 122 and there are just some people I will never figure out.  People who think they need to call attention to themselves are at the top of the list.
  • At what age should a person stop posting a “countdown to my birthday” every day? (See above thought.) 
  • The great thing about Mondays? They end eventually!

Happy Monday All!  Thoughts going to those of you in the path of the storm.  Stay safe, dry and warm!

 

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The Way We Really Are

I mentioned last week that we had gone to have family pictures taken at the same time we were having our oldest daughter’s senior pictures done.  The photographer is one of my best friends since…well….birth.  Okay: toddler-hood. The CD of those pictures arrived this week. Along with all the “keepers” my friend included some of the out-takes for me.  True shots from the crazy lady behind the camera who loves the crazy family in front of the camera. As we’ve looked through the pictures, multiple times, something has occurred to me.  While I love the formal “make my family look sophisticated and good” pictures the out-takes are probably a better look at the chaos that is my family.

 

Here is my family in all our glory:

Here we are right after that shot:

Here are our children looking so sweet:

This is the way they usually act:

Here is one of our daughter’s beautiful senior pictures:

Taken right before her older brother made her laugh:

With out-takes you also catch some sweet moments.

This is one of my favorite shots:

because I know this happened right before the picture was taken (I was helping fix hair and wardrobe….)

Yep.  The out-takes may well be my favorite part of the CD and I will be forever grateful to my friend for knowing me well enough to know that I  would want some of those included.  I love the “real” glimpses of my family.  The images that capture the way we act and interact with one another.  Shots of us having a good time.  Don’t fear though.  This is the one that will probably make the Christmas card:

We don’t want  too many people to know the way we really are!

 

 

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This Week’s Headlines #13

Once again I have to say that I will be most relieved when the election is past and my “trending” box isn’t full of political stuff that I don’t believe anyway.  It isn’t that I don’t care…wait…at this point it IS that I don’t care.  I don’t care to hear any more about it.  So…avoiding the obvious headlines I could make fun of, here is this week’s offering.

  1. “Jobs That Make The World A Worse Place” – Doesn’t everyone’s job make the world seem like a worse place some days?
  2. “Natural Ingredients You Should Avoid” – Dirt? Saliva? Snot?  I can think of a few anyway…..
  3. “Does Any Other Car Drive Like A Porsche?” – IF it does there are some Porsche owners feeling pretty dumb for over spending right now.  Wouldn’t it be funny if a ’74 pinto was on that list?
  4. “Steps To Lower Your Risk Of Getting Sick From Foods” – Cook it? Use it before the expiration date? Just going with stuff off the top of my head here….
  5. “A Glimpse Into Nature’s Secret Moments” – Thanks but I’ll pass.  Some things are secret for a reason.
  6. “Deaths May Be Linked To Monster” – Like Bigfoot? 
  7. “Kim K’s Over The Top Birthday Celebration” – Isn’t everything she does over the top? Yawn….
  8. “High Calorie McDonald’s Foods” – Ummm….all of them?
  9. “Foods You Should Never Eat Before Flying” – Any? That’s the way it works for me anyway.
  10. “World’s Fastest Street Car” – What is the point of this?  There are speed limits.  Is it something about merely knowing you can go that fast if you want to that is attractive to some people?
  11. “World’s Biggest Bra Put Up For Auction” – Guessing the pervs are out in droves for this one.
  12. “Florida Keys Hosts Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest” – For those college students who feel they need a bigger challenge than underwater basket weaving….
  13. “Is Your Cell Phone Making You Sick?” – Depends on who calls me.
  14. “What Makes A Woman’s ‘Perfect Day’ ” – As annoying as it is to me that we try to lump everyone in the same gender together and simplify their personalities…mine would include coffee, chocolate and quiet.  Just saying.
  15. “Get A Happiness Make-Over” – That’s assuming you have any happiness to start with. 
  16. “Would You Cook With This Yellow Water?” – Chicken Broth?
  17. “Trendy ‘Inhaled’ Dishes” – Are they watching teenage boys eat or are we talking about another thing I have to watch and make sure my kids are abusing?
  18. “Great Places To Stay Under $70  A Night” – Home?
  19. “Mother Arrested For Defending Her QB Son” – Don’t mess with a football mom.
  20. “Dead Man Turns Up At His Own Funeral” – Well that’s awkward.
  21. “Goats Force Football Team To Relocate” – Those are some big goats….
  22. “18 Things Your Feet Say About Your Health” – ‘You need to lose weight’??
  23. “Rolling Stones Big Surprise For Fans” – Please oh please of please let it be that they are retiring.
  24. “Grossest Candy For Halloween” – Yeah because I want  to be known as that lady in the neighborhood.
  25. “Top Earning Dead Celebrities” – Wonder what they do with all  that money?  Pretty nifty trick when you think about it.

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Speaking Code

While randomly searching for a different subject yesterday, I ran across the fact  that there was a documentary a few years ago titled “Speaking In Code”.   I don’t know how I missed that….wait…yes I do. I’m not a documentary fan.  The title, however, intrigued me and I, being me, began pondering how often I speak “in code”.  A friend once told me that she and her husband used to use the code phrase “playing a game of Scrabble” for their…ummm…”intimate time” when their children were little. (wow – Scrabble was much easier to type than the other word.  They may be on to something here!)  I found that amusing.  I guess “Twister” would have been too obvious. I can’t say that my husband and I ever came up with a code word for that but I realize I do remember speaking in code when our kids were little so they wouldn’t know what we were talking about. Of course kids grow up and figure out what you are talking about so code speak becomes less useful eventually. Then you just have to say, “Go away so we can talk.” which is effective but less fun.  The more I think about it, however, the more I realize there is still a lot of speaking in code going on at our house.  Here are some of my top codes:

  • “Do I look serious”  is code for my kids to know they have gotten on my last nerve.
  • “Does this house look like it came with a maid” means you had better pick up your stuff or Mom is going to get cranky.
  • “Were you talking to me?” is a signal that you might want to reword what you just said.
  • “Grocery shopping tomorrow” is the phrase I use to communicate “Just shut up and eat what I put in front of you because that’s all there is.”
  • “My ears are tired” should cue you that it is time to shut up.
  • “You know where the peanut butter jar is.” is code for “This is not a restaurant. If you don’t like what I made fix yourself something else.”
  • “Is that your final answer?” means I noticed your story is changing and I’m ready to be done playing that game. This would be your last opportunity to tell me the truth before I go “ninja mom” on you.
  • “Give me a minute” or “Hang on” is my signal that your request is not at the top of my priority list and I’m not going to drop everything to fulfill it. The sub-meaning is “Chill. The world isn’t going to end before we do whatever it is that you want me to do.”

Likewise my family has their own code phrases.

  • When my husband says “I want to get your opinion about something” what he really means is “I’m about to screw up your plans.” or “I need you to tell me that I’m not insane” depending on the “something” that follows.  This can also be coded as, “What would you think about…..”
  • “I’m fine” has two different meanings.  When one is upset it means, “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”  If one is looking sick or injured it is translated, “Leave me alone I’m trying to be tough here.”  Both have the sub-meaning “Back off Mom.”
  • “I’m just tired” is code for “I’m in a bad mood and have no idea why.”
  • After asking what I’m cooking for dinner our youngest son’s “Yessss” means “Good choice mom. I like that.” “OH” means “Seriously? You expect me to eat that.”
  • “I’m not very hungry” is a quick clue that he didn’t like what I made or he is getting ill.
  • When my oldest daughter asks “Do you need me to do something?” what she really means is “I want to take a nap so please tell me no.”
  • Youngest daughter saying “I don’t have anything to wear!” is actually her signal that she thinks her sister has more clothes than she does.
  • “Didn’t I tell you that” means “Oh! I forgot about that until just now.”
  • “Mom do you know where my fill in the blank is?” really means “Drop everything and come help me find this.”
  • “Yeah. I had it.” means “I have no idea where I put that.”
  • “Have you seen my article of clothing?” signals me that someone hasn’t brought their laundry down and they now expect me to run a load for them.
  • “I could have sworn I out that in my back pack” is our youngest son’s code for “I left it on my desk at school.”
  • When questioned about how much homework she has my youngest daughter answering “Not much” means “I don’t want to do it right now.”
  • “ummmm…” is always code for “Let me stall until I come up with a good answer.”
  • When requesting someone do something the response,”I will”, actually means “I’ll get to it after you ask me to do it three more times.”
  • “I’ll take it up to my room later” means “I’m too lazy to walk up the stairs right now.”  Then it means “It’s easier to leave it on the stairs for a week.”
  • “I hate to ask, but….” is a signal for “Prepare to be annoyed.”
  • “Do you mind if…” is code for “I know you probably aren’t going to like this but I thought I’d give it a shot.”  (Funny thing is that I usually don’t mind most things. My kids just think I’m unreasonable.)
  • “Sort of” , “Probably”, and our youngest’s “Maaaaybe.”  mean “you are one hundred percent right but I’m not going to admit it.”
  • “Guess what” is the start of the “you’ll never figure it out but I want to draw this story out to make it exciting” game. (My kids love this game.)
  • “Hang on. I have to go to the bathroom” is code for “If I waste enough time I won’t have to help with the dishes.” (Okay – I used to do that too.)
  • “Uh huh” is code for “I’m not listening”
  • “MOM!” means “Will you STOP? You are embarrassing me.” (This is my favorite one!)

I’m sure there are more but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head (which is code for “I’m getting old and can’t remember anything anymore.”). I imagine most families have their own version of code-speak. Maybe not. Maybe my family is the only one around who does this.  Nah. We can’t be the only people fluent in code can we?   What I have figured out is that you have to know someone fairly well to translate their codes.  If someone doesn’t know you they really do believe that your “oh great!” means “oh that’s great.” instead of “I’m being sarcastic here and am less than thrilled about this.”  You have to be careful to whom you speak code. They might just take what you said at face value.  It makes me wonder why we don’t just say what we mean all the time.  I’d ponder it further but my husband just started sighing. That’s the code for “Could you pay attention to me for a while please?”  I’m getting pretty good at this code reading thing!

Feel free to share your family’s “codes”. Really. It’ll make me feel more normal.

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Snapped Lessons

Yesterday I admitted my addiction to crime shows both fictional and nonfictional. I love watching the good guys follow the evidence and figure out who done it.  I have no idea why it fascinates me but it does. My husband found this amusing  until he found out I was DVRing the show “Snapped”.  For some reason my watching this show makes him nervous.  I don’t know what his problem is. Well…in fairness….it might have something to do with the fact that ninety percent of the cases they show are about women offing their husbands. He’s so sensitive about things like that.  For some reason he seems to think I’m taking notes.  I pointed out to him that all these women got caught so I’d be pretty stupid to take lessons from them now wouldn’t I?  Now he’s decided that I’m compiling a list of things not to do when I decide to kill him.   Of course since he suggested it my brain went into overdrive compiling a list.  For a blog.  Only for a blog of course.  Here’s what I’ve “learned”:

  1. If you are the beneficiary of your planned victim’s life insurance policy stop now.  They are going to know it was you and why you did it.  Purchasing a giant policy just a few months before the insured perishes in an “untimely accident” is a huge tip-off.  If your victim doesn’t have enough life insurance to pay for his own funeral you may be okay. They’ll just think  you are insane.
  2. If you plan to poison your victim whatever you do, do not, I repeat not!, use antifreeze.  They always find it.
  3. If you work in the medical industry and plan to poison someone don’t steal the drugs from the place of your employment. That’s the first place they look.
  4. Do not do a web search for any kind of poison. Or chemical like, you know, drain cleaner. They will seize your computer and find out what you searched for. Let your drains be clogged for a while.  Our daughter recently looked up the word arsenic for a vocabulary list.  I’m paranoid someone in town is going to die and they’ll come find us.
  5. If you plan to poison your husband to make it look like a heart attack and get away with it whatever you do try a different method to kill the second husband.  Or the third.  A trail of dead husbands gets suspicious looking after a while. (True story.)
  6. If you plan to hire someone to kill your victim while you are at work so that you have an alibi go with a professional one.  Your teenage daughter’s high school friends will crack and give you up.  Not worth the $50 investment.
  7.  Should your victim bleed on your carpet don’t try to clean it up with bleach.  The police will notice the discoloration in the carpet and pull it up.  Then they will find the blood in the padding.  Just go ahead and rip out the carpet and padding…and the subflooring. Blood seeps into everything and they find it.  In fact if your victim could bleed in your house just put down a tarp and dispose of it with the body.
  8. If you plan to set your house on fire to cover up the fact that you left your husband dead in the bed make sure it burns him enough that they can’t find the nick on his breastbone indicating that he’d been stabbed first.  They always figure that stuff out unless there is nothing left but cinders.  Risky plan if you have nosy neighbors who will see smoke and dial 911.
  9. While we are on the subject at least put a cigarette in the man’s hand so it looks like he did it himself.  Gas thrown about the room raises suspicion.  If your victim doesn’t smoke go with an alternate cover up.
  10. If you plan to place your victim in a car and then roll the car over a cliff so it looks like he died in a fiery accident make sure you put the body in the driver’s seat.  No – I’m not kidding – someone really put the guy in the back seat. DUH!
  11. If you don’t get along with your in-laws don’t kill your husband.  They’ll be the first ones to tell the police that they think you did it and chances are they aren’t going to help post bail.
  12. If you’ve ever publicly fought with your victim just don’t contemplate murdering him.  Someone will remember that fight and you’ll be suspect number one.  Sorry: “a person of interest”.
  13. They always examine stomach contents in an autopsy.  Don’t feed the guy, kill him and then try to make it look like he died hours later while you were gone by some mysterious intruder.  They’ll figure that out.
  14. If you are trying to make it look like someone broke into your house and randomly shot your victim don’t throw the shell casings in the washing machine. Investigators will find them.  Again – not kidding. Someone really did that.
  15. In above scenario hiding the gun under the bed or throwing it into the back yard doesn’t work either. Yeah. People are really dumb.
  16. To fake a home invasion you really should break a lock or window or something.  Nobody buys “The door was just open. I don’t know why it was open…”
  17. If you want it to look like a suicide make sure you think about “bullet entry trajectory”. (But whatever you do don’t google that!)  No one can shoot themselves in the back of the head from 5 feet away.
  18. If you plan purchase anything you will use to commit your murder within days of the deed pay cash and throw away the receipt. Oh – and remember – stores have surveillance cameras.  Wear a wig.
  19. Whatever you do don’t complain about your victim within six months of murdering him.  Don’t tell anyone you’d be better off if he were dead.  Don’t solicit anyone you know for fast gun sales or reputable hit men.  They’ll rat you out so they can see their name in the paper.
  20. If you are cheating on your victim just don’t do it.  Can you say “red flag”??  Both you and your lover are going down.
  21. If you do have a co-conspirator and you get caught, which you will, make sure you get to the District Attorney first.  I don’t care how much you think he loves you he’ll sell you out for a sweet plea deal every time.
  22. No one really ever believes the “he had a secret life that no one knew about and it got him killed by some mysterious drug dealer” story.
  23. In the same vein, if you’ve never had a bruise on your body, don’t even try battered woman syndrome.  Emotional distress very seldom works as a defense.
  24. Self defense is hard to prove if the victim was shot from behind, while kneeling, laying down or sitting.
  25.  Finally, if you have books about murder or, you know, episodes of “Snapped” on your DVR,  don’t try to commit the perfect crime.  It looks fishy and no one is going to believe it is just a coincidence.

My husband should feel pretty safe.  From my list you can tell that it is awfully difficult to pull off the perfect crime and I’m just not that savvy.  Aside from that I’m claustrophobic so a jail cell would be unpleasant for me. I can’t think of anything he could do that would be worth going to prison for. Besides: horizontal stripes make me look fat.

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Beautiful Blogger Award

I feel so lovely today…downright beautiful in fact.  Okay maybe that is taking it a bit far but I am humbled and honored to have been nominated for a blogging award by my new friend javaj240. Check out her blog Ambling & Rambling for some of the funniest and frank reading around.  I love not having to wonder what people are really thinking and her blog just tells it like it is.  She has also been instrumental in reminding me that those who work in restaurants are people with feelings too.  Who knew right? Great blog – Great fun – Thanks javaj240 for feeding my ego a bit.

Now I am supposed to share some things about myself. I’m assuming this means things I haven’t already shared and things that will not get me hauled away to a room with nicely padded walls.  This should be challenging but here goes….

  1. I tend to look at things from a totally different angle than most people. (Okay…how many of you did I throw off with the new blog name and theme?  Come on – admit it.  This seemed to be a good place to insert that.)  I like to champion the underdog, cheer for those who are down and see beauty in the simple things.  I also find humor in the weirdest places possible.  It’s a sickness really.
  2. The older I get the less I like extreme temperatures so I live in Nebraska where temps can range from 105 in the summer to -20 in the winter. Don’t try to figure it out – I haven’t.  My ultimate living environment would be 55 – 75 degrees with lower humidity all year long.  If you know of a place like that let me know.  Nah.  Don’t bother.  I’d find something to complain about there too.
  3. I am allergic to strawberries. Strawberry anything.  I didn’t know how uncommon this was until I told a few people about it. Apparently I’m the only one in America with this problem gauging from people’s reactions. I’m not sure if that makes me special or really weird.  I prefer to think of myself as “rare”.
  4. I’m a police drama and crime show junkie: “Criminal Minds”, “Law & Order”, “Cold Case”, “Snapped”, “City Confidential”…… the list too long to type them all out.  I have no idea why I like them all so much but it makes my family nervous.
  5. My favorite room in the house is the kitchen. I love to cook. Baking makes me happy. I’ve often pondered a career incorporating these things but I’m afraid that I would no longer enjoy doing it if I had to do it for a living.
  6. Following up on that thought: I have only worked at three places my entire life. Well unless you count the wife and mother thing. That makes four.  I have been at my current place of employment 12 years.  Don’t think for a minute that the prospect of our move next summer and the ensuing job search it’ll require doesn’t give me anxiety. I may be medicated soon.
  7. One of my guilty pleasures in life is a nice long bubble bath with a good bathtub book.  A bathtub book is one that requires very little brain power to read. Everyone is happy and everything turns out fine.  Life is hard some days so I believe that every once in a while a person needs bubbles and happily ever after.

Now I get to nominate some blogs that I enjoy and that make my life a little more beautiful.  This is tough since I enjoy so many of the great blogs out there and I hate to leave anyone out.  I wish I had the time and space to tell you about them all, but since I am limited, here goes (in no particular order):

The Bumble Files – Funny thoughts and observations from a mom who is in transition.  This one always makes me smile.

In This Life Mrs. H. –  Witty and well written thoughts of a newly (non)working mom.  I recently found this one and love it.

My Men And Me – Sweet blog written by a sweet woman.  Some days she reminds me of a simple truth, some days she challenges me to be a better woman, but every day she makes me think.   I am enjoying her current series :”31 Days To Loving my Home”.

How’s Your Love Life – This one, which I just found out is written by a fellow Nebraskan, is another that challenges me.  Honest and straightforward thoughts on being a Christian wife, mother….woman.

Post Departum Depression – A funny and insightful look at “life after kids” and what we moms do with it.  I love this lady.  Another one who is honest, up front and hilarious.

Motherhood Is An Art – Aside from the fact that this blog has the best name – EVER – this on is a lot of fun. A fun-loving creative mom who shares the adventures of her family. One of my favorite daily reads.

The Embiggens Project – This is honestly one of my favorites. A hilarious look at some of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen.  Don’t plan to read this one while sipping a beverage because you’ll end up spewing it all over yourself and your screen.

As I said I wish I had the time and room to nominate all of the fabulous blogs that I follow but that just wouldn’t be practical and I, above all else, like to be practical.  You can quit laughing now.

Thank you again to all my beautiful followers whose kind words and fun comments make my day.  Be sure and let me know your thoughts on the new look and Blog title.  I am a constant work in progress…..

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Filling In The Gaps

“She’s got gaps, I got gaps. Together we fill gaps” Rocky Balboa – “Rocky”

As we were retiring for the night last night my husband and I were chatting about the busy weekend filled with kid activities. Suddenly he looked at me and asked, “Do you think we’ll be one of those couples who fall apart after their kids all move out?”  I snuggled up to him and said, “Please! By the time we get the ten year old out of the house we’ll be too old and tired for any of that. Face it. You’re stuck with me.”   “No seriously” he said, “People always say that but then they end up fighting all the time after their kids are grown. Do you think we’ll do that?”  Laughing, I kissed him on the cheek and replied, “Not a chance. I like you too much.” Long after I heard his rhythmic breathing (sounds so much nicer than “snoring” doesn’t it?) signaling that he’d fallen asleep I pondered his question. How am I so sure that won’t happen to us? We are pretty deep in our children’s world right now. Is this what all couples think and then are surprised when they become empty nesters? The thoughts swirled through my brain keeping me awake. (My inability to fall asleep couldn’t have remotely had anything to do with my two and a half hour nap yesterday afternoon could it?  Nah….)

As I lay in the quiet darkness I thought about the weekend that had just passed.  Friday night’s football game where my Prince Charming knew without asking that I needed coffee from the concession stand. The night he kept asking me if I was too cold and wanted to leave.  Nope.  I was fine.  Who needs feeling in their toes anyway? (Note to self:  purchase thermal socks before next year’s high school football season.)  I thought about the way he looked after me when we walked home in the dark after the game. (We only live a few blocks from the stadium.) Taking my elbow at the street corners. Steering me around a puddle.  Adjusting the length of his “I’m a foot taller than you” stride so we’d stay in step.  Yep.  The man takes care of me.  Not because he thinks I can’t take care of myself or because I expect him to do things.  He takes care of me because he loves me.  Just like I take care of him because I love him.  Gaps filled.

Saturday morning arrived with the flurry of getting kids to where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.  Our daughters had a state marching band competition.  Our son was going camping with some boys from church.  I was rushing around, packing our son’s stuff and fussing over whether or not he was feeling okay and whether or not he had enough stuff.  My husband, in his quiet voice said, “Honey I think he’s fine.  Quit fussing. They’ll let us know if there is a problem.”  He’s  the voice of reason and quiet reassurance when I fly into frantic mode.  The one who can calm me down.  The one who can stop me before I take off into “helicopter mom”.  Just like I am the one who can calm him down when he is annoyed and frustrated.  Gaps filled.

As we were trying to herd everyone out the door our youngest daughter was taking extra time upstairs, much to the annoyance of her older sister, the driver. As our older daughter stood at the bottom of the stairs tapping her foot my husband grinned at her and called up the stairs, “Hey!  You’re going to a marching band competition not prom!”  That got her down the stairs. Yep.  He’s funny which is a HUGE asset when being married to me. I would drive a serious person insane in about 15 seconds flat.  You have to be a little warped to hang out with me for as long as he has.  I can dish it.  He can dish it back.  He thinks a lot like I do he is just a lot quieter than I am.  For example: later that day I was whining to telling him about one of my fingers which was sore from an arthritis flare up.  Not a big deal because it happens from time to time and it always goes away.  My dilemma?  It’s a middle finger so when it “catches” from the arthritis every once in a while and it looks kind of bad.  After he accused me of flipping him off he said, “Hey! I dare you to walk up to the altar tomorrow, show it to someone and ask for prayer.”  See?  He’s just as nuts as I am.  We laugh a lot in our house.  Gaps filled.

Saturday was a glorious day spent together  traveling alone to watch our daughters’ competition.  A day without kids.  We enjoyed a quiet trip and a quiet lunch at one of our favorite resturants. We sat for hours in bleachers watching bands and people.  He knew what I was going to say about a band or a person without my having to say it.  When the annoying man at the end of the row in front of us began to tell the people around him, loudly I might add, about how his granddaughter loved the dvd of the band he just bought at the last competition and how they are the best band he’s ever seen…blah…blah…blah… I looked at my husband. He grinned and said, “Yeah.  It should at least hurt to be that annoying.”  (We don’t want annoying people to be dead because…well…I’d be a goner.  We just think if being annoying gave you a great jolting pain maybe you’d quit.  Well….some people might quit anyway.  Others would just learn to live with pain. But I’m digressing here. ) I love that we can look at each other and start laughing because we were both thinking the same thing. I love that we are on the same wavelength most of the time. Gaps filled.

As sleep started to crowd into my head I thought about our lunch and the ride home.   Not a lot of talking.  No agenda to spend “quality time” or solve the world’s problems. Just a quiet time enjoying each other’s company.  We’re just that comfortable together. Our relationship is that strong.  We don’t have to be entertained or cover a montage of marriage building activities. We’re already a team so we can just enjoy being together.  I thought about how much I just like having him around. How his just being who he is makes my life better. I thought about the hundreds of little ways we compliment each other.  The give and take. The stuff we’ve survived and learned from together. The history.  The future. Gaps filled.

This morning as I remembered my husband’s late night question I came to the same conclusion I arrived at right before drifting off last night. Fall apart?  No way.  We’ve got way too much stuff holding us together at the gaps.

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This Week’s Headlines #12

Between the busy week with family and catching the most horrendous case of the 24 hour stomach flu I’ve had in history I haven’t had a lot of time to browse the news this week. Please forgive me if these aren’t as snappy as usual, I’m doing my best here….

  1. “Brady’s Trash Talk Backfires After The Game” – Thumper’s dad was right. “If you can’t say anything nice…..”
  2. “Bike Thief’s Apology Note” – Well as long as you say your sorry when you steal something…..
  3. “How To Avoid DIY Disasters” – Hire contractors?
  4. “Woman Finds A New ‘Soul Mate’ Every Month” – Seriously? Every month?  How many souls does this woman have? Oh…wait….apparently none…..
  5. “Foods That Can Make You Grumpy” – Brussel sprouts spring to mind.
  6. “Test Drive Retirement” –  Where do I sign up for that?  Are there different dealerships that sell retirement?
  7. “Cheap Kitchen Renovations” – See #3.  Cheap and Kitchen should NOT be in the same sentence….just saying.
  8. “Does Political Ad Bombardment Work” – Depends on what you are trying to accomplish.  If the goal is to annoy the snot out of me its working great!
  9. “World’s Most Expensive Cocktail Will Set You Back $8,824.” – I’m assuming only people who have already consumed several hundred dollars worth of cocktails would order that.
  10. “Prom Photos To Forget” – All of them?  Seriously – does anyone look at those 10 years later and think, “Wow! I look GREAT!”
  11. “Baffling Disappearance Of Giant Pumpkin” – More baffling: where does one hide it after you stole it?  The neighbors didn’t notice that 300 pound pumpkin that just appeared in your yard? Really?
  12. “Buy An Engagement Ring, Get A Free Gun” – Handy for those shotgun weddings. 
  13. “Body Paint Gone Very Wrong” – There is body paint that goes right?
  14. “Student Returns Check For Half-Billion Dollars” – Very honest and admirable but does anyone seriously think a bank would have cashed that?
  15. “Duo Builds Batcave Out Of 20,000 Lego Pieces” – What do you do with a Lego batcave? Get a hobby. Oh…wait….
  16. “Actress Dresses In Trashy Ensemble” – This is news?
  17. “New Technique To Catch Texting Drivers” – Here’s a thought: follow them. You’ll figure it out.
  18. “Hi-tech Costume Puts A Hole In Your Chest” – I hope they mean a “virtual hole” otherwise I think we need to recall this puppy.
  19. “Pudgy Pet Treadmills” –  Your dog needs a treadmill because you can’t take him for a walk? More like treadmills for pudgy pet owners.
  20. “Bomb Shelter Of Your Dreams” – I don’t usually dream about the apocalypse but okay……
  21. “When High Heels Become Hazardous” – The moment  you put them on your feet?
  22. “What Yoga Does For Guys” – Watching it or actually doing it?
  23. “Star: ‘I Don’t Like Wearing Underwear'” – Thanks for sharing? TMI! I don’t want to hear any more complaints for you about obtrusive media….
  24. “Does Waiting In Line Drive You Crazy? Here’s Why” – Really you think you need to tell me why it drives me crazy?  Follow up story: ‘Why stupid articles make you want to scream’
  25. “Man Wins $30 Million Lottery After Losing Girlfriend” – Bet he finds a new girlfriend rather quickly…..

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