Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why can't I have the bubblegum flavor anymore?

Someone please tell me in what world it is okay that I am 33 years old and have an ear infection. 33. I am fairly sure that ear infections are something you're supposed to grow out of like acne and saying "meow" after every sentence. What no one else did that when they were a small child? Oops.

To add insult to injury the prescribed antibiotic for a 33 year old with an ear infection is not the shockingly pink bubblegum liquid. It's a pill that looks like it is more designed for a large farm animal. Or an elephant. They taste bad too. As soon as I put it in my mouth I can taste the weird bitterness and I swear my throat closes up so that the gigantic oversized nugget scrapes my tonsils on it's way down. I think they do it on purpose. If the pill is gigantic, it's possible that I could choke on it, thus further improving the cash flow of the local urgent care that has to resussictate me.

No. I'm not cranky about this at all. No it's not ridiculously annoying to have your ear fluttering like a crazed hummingbird.   It's just freaking fine.

When I was little and I had an earache Mom would plunk me on couch with tylenol and a book and I would get to rest while she checked on me and brought me soup or whatever she was cooking.  I'd nap and watch television and read.  33 year old ear achey me has a living room full of Christmas ornaments, partially hung stockings and a bare and lopsided tree that needs decorating. She has 3 classes worth of crap to grade and a salary that doesnt make her feel like doing the work,  a dirty kitchen, a husband who is still congested, a dog that keeps making noises like a teapot because he's bored and can't move around since the living room is filled with breakables and christmas presents still to buy.

I also get to go to my mom's birthday party today which is the only small brightside in an otherwise unfun day.    Maybe while I'm there she'll plunk me down on the couch, give me a book to read and bring me slices of birthday cake. Maybe she'll pat me on the head and tell me I'm a good daughter and that I am doing a good job being an adult.  Maybe she'll tell me that your 30s are a weird place where you love where you are and are excited for all the things that you know will come in the future and that you just have to be patient. That you still are young enough to long for the days when life was easy because you had so few responsibilities but that everything is going to be okay and this time of year is just rough at work and is busy at home and it's easy to get overwhelmed. Maybe she'll tell me that she even felt that way when she was my age, wasn't feeling well and had a bad week.  

More likely...we'll just eat cake.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


My poor husband has had a horrible ridiculously awful cold/flu like thing all week with super high fevers. I'm thankful that I've been able to take care of him and give him some comfort while he's been so miserable. Growing up with his dad he seems to have missed that 'woman's touch' that most moms provide when you're sick. He can't remember anyone putting a cool wash cloth on his forehead during a fever, or rubbing his back to help him fall asleep...I'm thankful that I can be that person in his life now and I'm thankful that he appears to be on the mend FINALLY.  PHEW! It's hard work taking care of an invalid! LOL!

Now...crossing my fingers that I don't get it too.

Because of his germs we're missing his family's Thanksgiving party today and tomorrow but on Saturday I'm hosting my family and my Canadian friend* and my sister's boyfriend ** for dinner and the football game.

What football game? THE game. The Ohio State v. *ichigan game!!!  It's not going to be pretty, but it's still THE rivalry game and I love football as a whole.  Speaking of football....(this is a disjointed post, sorry, deal with it)... It saddens me that so many awful things have happened this year in sports.  There's no one to blame really and then at the same time, everyone is to blame.  Have you ever been to a big football game whether it's high school or college and looked around at the crowd and thought to yourself "wow.. for those kids on the field...this has to be like magic." I mean, for one night, for one afternoon, whole cities turn out to watch them play a game. To cheer for them, to cry for them.  I can't imagine being on the field and looking up and realizing that.  Put yourself in the Shoe...109,000 people all cheering for a bunch of 20 year olds.  It makes me sad that for some of those kids that feeling of awe is not enough.  Of course, the fans and the media make it not enough. We're the ones that elevate the players and coaches to god like status and expect them to be 'normal' and 'humble' and not to take free stuff when they can get it.  We expect coaches to be infallible and to always know right from wrong and more importantly to be able to know what the PUBLIC will think is right and what the PUBLIC will think is wrong because that's the court they'll ultimately be tried in.  I wont even get into the Penn State scandal, but it's the same thing with Paterno.   There's no margin for error because the media will crucify you no matter what you do because you are the Face.  I am increasingly glad that I chose not to use my journalism degree.

I digress.

Thanksgiving dinner-- we're having beef tenderloin filet steaks, a creamed corn bacon thing, lima beans, mashed potatoes, chocolate cake with caramel frosting and gingerbread.  If things turn out lovely I'll share the recipes that I used.

I hope you all have wonderful thanksgiving holidays wherever you may be.

* My Canadian friend, I met her at the barn when we both moved our horses to Columbus around the same time. She's my riding buddy and has turned into a really great friend.  I'm very thankful to get to know her :-)
** This is the first real holiday that the sister's boyfriend has attended. He's also coming to Christmas!!! I like this 'adult relationship' that she's in.  It's a little more than just the 'college relationship.'  I'm proud of her for how she's grown up and learned what's important to her and what she wants in a partner. The kid's got good values and I like that :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

words to live by

Are you on I recently joined the bandwagon.

After a really horribly terribly awful no good very bad day I logged onto pinterest to browse some mindless do it yourself crafts (homemade snow globes anyone?) It was like God was speaking to me from pinterest..

" Don't try to win over the are not the jerk whisperer."

It's SO TRUE! I am NOT the jerk whisperer. I cannot magically make everyone not be an ass hat! Why do I let their ass hattery suck me down into that sneaky spiral of self loathing and depression?

I may have to buy this poster now...not sure it's work appropriate though.  :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photo Card

Family Snowfall Holiday
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Birthday To You...

Today is my husband's 31st birthday!  I've written posts about how awesome he is on my other blog that I have disbanded and I don't want to write something redundant so instead I'll write about...well...just his birthday.

My husband is a man of fairly simple tastes. He doesn't really like to get dressed up and go out to fancy dinners that we can sometimes afford.  He is a stay at home and watch a movie, grill out or go to a long time favorite place kinda guy.  We both had to work yesterday but thanks to a fairly awesome boss on my end and his flexible schedule we were able to leave work at 4:00 and got home early so that we could drive down to southeast Ohio and go to the Athens High School Football State Play Off game.   Bret started loosely following Athens HS when we lived down there when I worked for OU.  They were not ever that great but they were fun to watch since their stadium is in the heart of the hills and any footballl is better than no football at all.   Last year their field was decimated by a tornado.   That's a whole other story in it's own right but suffice it to say that they rose up and had a perfect season this year. This is the ONLY time in Athens history that a team has gone 10-0.  So they made it to the play offs and Bret wanted to watch the game for his birthday. We drove down and went to Dairy Queen for dinner-- usually he wants to go to Rax (does anyone remember Uncle Alligator?) but that would have taken too long so we just stopped for ice cream and then went to the game. I am the kiss of death for H.S. football. If I root for a team, they will without fail , lose.  Athens was not strong enough to beat my curse. We had fun though and came home to go to bed and sleep in this morning.

After sleeping in, we went to the gym and then to brunch at the Olde Village Diner.  Cute. Delicous. Cheap.  Then it was home to watch the Ohio State game which was sloppy and messy but a win and then out to the yard to winterize the plants and prepare for the end of fall.  Intermixed throughout all of this was me trying to cook a turkey breast. Not the kind that is just a slab of meat that you would bake or no...the actual bone in half of a Thanksgiving Turkey kind of turkey breast. While some of you may be old hands at this endeavor. It was a first for me but I wanted to do it for Bret since his favorite meal is really Thanksgiving Dinner and when we eat Thanksgiving with my family we never actually have the traditional meal.  6 hours later (cookbooks lie....325 will NOT be high enough to cook your turkey at a rate of 25 minutes per pound) dinner was FINALLY complete.  I think he's pretty happy and full... we had turkey, mashed potatos and stovetop with gravy and then I found these awesome boxed cupcakes called FundaMiddles. YUM is all I can say.  Buy them. Now.  Now we're collapsed on the couch watching football.  All in all not too different than our normal weekend...but with just a little birthday flair thrown in.

I have heard through the blog-vine that a successful blogger is supposed to be more entertaining than just recounting their day to day existence so I'll throw this little nugget in here...

I love being a wife. I love to demonstrate my feelings about this by doing things for my husband that make him happy.  I like to be with him. It's not hard. It's pretty easy given that we share similar interests and hobbies...but beyond that... I strongly feel that it is not too much effort on my part to go out of my way to make sure that he can see that I care. 

What? Okay.. so, my husband, though he's a stick and can eat a whole pizza in one sitting and still lose weight, loves food. He's kind of a picky eater...but what he loves, he loves alot. So one of the ways that I try really hard to make sure he knows how much I care is to make his lunches for the week. Every Saturday or Sunday depending on how much time we have, I pack all of his lunches for the week. I used to just buy some lunch meat and make him some sandwiches with it...but then he was getting burnt out on the sliced turkey and I read an article about nitrates and got grossed out by the fact that he's eaten the same lunch with all that sodium and preservative for ohhh 5 years. *shudder* our children are going to have 3 eyes. 

So one day, I decided to roast him some chicken breasts and make sliced chicken breast sandwiches. It didn't take as long as I thought it would. The house smelled amazing. We had leftovers for the week for dinner and he came home and gave me a huge hug about how awesome his lunch was. Well. I am a sucker for external I did it again. Same result. Since then, I've made roast pork in the crockpot, beef, more chicken... it honestly takes me the same amount of time as it did to make the lunch meat sandwiches but now we also have leftovers for at least one night of the week for dinner.  It just takes a little more planning.  Some of the girls I know at work just kind of rolled their eyes at me like I was trying to be Martha Stewart or something...but I'm not. I don't think I can explain how easy it is and how absolutely 100% rewarding it is to know that while he is definitely enjoying his lunches, he also gets that exta warmth of knowing that I put in just a smidge more effort just for him because I'm his wife and I care.   I think that when he was growing up he was largely independent...his dad's great but he raised Bret and his sister on his own for the most part and I think that there has always been a little of 'the woman's touch' that Bret was missing from his life.  His stepmom filled in some...but she had her own daughters too. I like to let Bret know that...sometimes... my job as his wife is just to take care of him. I don't think it's unreasonable and I don't feel like I'm relinquishing my 'successful independent woman' card by doing that.  

Did I mention that he does the laundry every week for me? :-) Cooking is the least I can do...

Monday, October 31, 2011

The British

My horse loving cousin V came to visit the last 10 days. As you may have gathered from the heading, she's not from these here parts.  My dad was born and raised in England and emigrated here with his first wife in his late 20s early 30s. He subsequently divorced her and married my mom (there's really no scandal here despite the fact that my mom was a rural farm girl and he was the dashing muttonchopped debonair older man from abroad.) They produced two daughters 10 years apart.  Meanwhile his younger brother stayed in England and married a Geordie and they also produced 2 daughters, who are only 2 years apart.  

My cousins and I were always aware of eachother growing up and we had random visits throughout our childhoods. They came here once when I was very young while our grandmother was living here and we visited them a bunch of times, less so after my sister was born.  It was always family vacation though...until last year when my husband and I visited England on our own. We stayed with the youngest of my cousins as she is the closest in age to us and is single and lives in a beautiful home by herself.  We had a fabulous time with her and invited her to stay with us whenever she wanted. Before we knew it she had booked a ticket for October! It's been really fun to get to know her as an adult and create memories that don't include me biting her finger which is her one outstanding memory from the last time she traveled here when she was 9 and I was 5.  Perhaps she'd been eating salt and vinegar crisps and I was hungry? 

Anyway, carniverousness and cannibalism aside, we had another great visit. We visited my sister in Kentucky, introduced her to the Cheesecake Factory, went to Hocking Hills to hike and even squeezed in a trip to the races, a boat ride and a horse ride.  I think these visits in our 30s will pave the way for a closer family in our later years.  My parents and hers have always been the glue that bound us together across the pond and I think it's really neat that we're creating our own glue so that when our parents are gone (hopefully no time soon) we will still be able to visit and be comfortable with eachother.  

I *heart* family.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I do not believe there are any fish in Buckeye Lake.

But, although I didn't catch any fish...I did catch some beautiful things with my camera.

This is Cranberry Bog ( It's a no wake zone because it's the only bog island in Ohio and the alkilinity of the water in Buckeye Lake combined with all the boaters is disolving it slowly. This causes some difficulties for boaters and residents of the lake because on occasion big chunks will break off and float across the lake. Imagine waking up with a tree in your 'front yard' that wasn't there the day before?
I just enjoy being able to put my feet up and relax while fishing. I am not too upset by the lack of actual catches...I got to spend time outside in the sun on a gorgeous day. I'm a happy girl.
The husband and his dad... This is posed. I have given up trying to catch both of them looking at me and smiling at the same time.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay

And he'll listen to me all day...

Blogger sometimes aggravates me. First, the pics I uploaded were showing up so large that they were spilling off the 'post' area. Now they're tiny. *SIGH* Oh well. Back to my post. My 25 year old horse died in May of 2010. It was traumatic and awful and horrible and my heart was broken into thousands of tiny little pieces. The wonderful friends I made out at the barn I kept him at for the last year encouraged me to keep coming out and eventually I got the opportunity to ride one particular horse named Dallas regularly. Dallas is the polar opposite of what my Colors was. Colors was a 16 hand lanky and lean Saddlebred with a temper and a high strung personality. Dallas is a *cough* husky *cough* Quarter Horse with a butt that gets cat calls on trail rides and can't be rushed to save his life. I'm fairly sure that where Colors thought "OH MY GOD THE WORLD IS OUT TO GET ME LIFE IS TERRIBLE AND OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT TERRIFYING THING OVER THERE" Dallas thinks " Dohdidohtidoh...mmm grass...hey flower whatsup...dohdidohtidoh oooh sunshine...hey birdie." I rode Colors with English style...Dallas rides western. It's been a great experience riding him and re-learning a discipline that I hadn't touched in over 20 years. My heart is still a little bruised, I don't want to own another horse right now...but it's healed. I have found my center again without the hurting. Very little can lift my spirits like the sight of a setting sun on a chestnut's coat in the autumn light. My husband, I think, is glad that I have this again. He knows it's my 'quiet place' and where I go to find the calm.
This is my calm... enjoy

Dallas and his kind eyes...did I mention that he's trained to give hugs.

Dallas and his friend Buster. serious photoshopping going on here.
Part of the Herd.
Baron. He is the boss. He thinks he's the wildest Arabian stallion in history...but he's beautiful and he takes care of his owner on the trails. He never puts a foot wrong ever.
Why can't I grow highlights like this naturally? I would save so much money...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Cone Of Shame

About four weeks ago my dog started licking at his paw. Sonneigh has always been a little obsessive compulsive about certain things so the husband and I just kind of assumed that this was his obsession du jour.  I checked his paw, nothing there, so in true Anderson (maiden name) fashion, I just ignored it for a while in the hopes that it would go away. This is a phenomenon that occurs regularly in my parents house.  "Your back windshield is greasy and seems to be covered in exhaust? Turn the radio up. It's not broken."* "You fell in the hallway at school and your arm hurts? Run some water on it, it's not broken."**Sadly, after about 2 weeks of the constant licking*** he started limping and within the course of approximately 24 hours the paw that was previously just damp was crusty and oozing and swollen.

I am the worst mother ever. When husband and I have children my friends might as well have social services on speed dial because seriously, who lets their dog's paw get CRUSTY AND SWOLLEN??? I swear though, I checked it nearly daily and there was never anything there. I promise on a stack of Bibles, my mother's grave. If I'm lying, may I never ever have enough money to own a pair of Frye boots.

We scheduled an appointment at the vet for the dog and got him in within 24 hours of the eruption of the crusty ooze.  The vet looked at it and drew back going "oooh......ew." (I was convinced that she was indeed going to be calling doggie social services at this point.) But she took him back to the mysterious back room that I imagine is lined with glass jars of poo specimens and expensive and unneccessary coat cleansers, and shed stoppers.  They checked his paw and couldn't find any initial point of wound so she determined that it was either *cue scary music* MANGE. AUTO IMMUNE DISEASE. OR the slightly less terrifying "He might have stepped on something and then just licked it to the point of infection but I don't really know what's wrong with it."

Oh my god dog doc what do we do????

265 dollars later we ruled out MANGE and the mild panic attack of what if it is mange and I lose all MY hair let alone the dogs.  That just left the Auto Immune Disease or random undiagnosable paw injury infection.  She was going to GUESS that it was just random injury and prescribed a course of steroids to stop the swelling and antibiotics since he had a staph infection. Staph infection? Isn't that what you get at hospitals and then you die from the surgery that was supposed to save your life. Awesome. Worst. Mom. Ever.

Oh. And that licking? Yeah...that wasn't going to be continuing if the paw was ever supposed to get better. So the prescription included 3 weeks of "The Cone of Shame." My dog is roughly the size of a 60 pound streamlined golden retriever. He's about knee high and whippy.  The Cone that he had to wear extended an easy 6 inches past his face. This turned him from a loveable and affectionate snugglebug into a clumsy torpedo of pain.  He ran into walls, chairs, counters, coffee tables, took out my knee and nearly shoved me down the stairs because he had no concept of space or distance. The worst part was watching him try to get any treats off the floor. The cone made his head look like an upside down trash can as he scootched it across the floor desperately trying to extend his tongue far enough to lick the ground. Or maybe the worst part was when I tossed him a marshmallow containing his meds and he missed it and it got wedged between his ear and inside of the cone. He took out two kitchen chairs and his water bowl trying to get that one. It might have also been the time that he tried to jump onto the bed but the bottom of the cone got stuck on the footboard and he just collapsed onto the ground all forward momentum finished. Did you know that when a dog drools in the Cone of Shame it just trickles back and drips down his neck? Oh yes my friends...a waterfall of drool.

I thought about taking pictures, and I did take a few with my phone, but ultimately the guilt of being the worst dog mom ever won out and I don't have these special moments saved for posterity and wont post them on the blog.  There are some things that a mom shouldn't ever make public.

2 and a half weeks into the Cone of Shame experience the vet has seen the dog again for a check up and the paw is pretty much completely healed and she's ruled out an Auto Immune Disease.   She thinks now that maybe he got stung by a bee. 265 dollar bee sting? Sweet, I'll take that over the Mange and skin eating itself any day.  He doesn't have to wear the Cone anymore and the licking seems to have stopped. I can't wait to go to sleep tonight and not have my husband's snores drowned out by the lick slurp lick slurp....

Isn't he adorable?

* The engine block was definitely cracked and leaking oil
** My bone was definitely broken and moved 18 degrees in the wrong direction.
***Constant. As in, INCESSANT. Slurp, lick, slurp,  lick. All night. So loud that we could hear him through closed doors. I cannot begin to explain the special hell that is incessant dog licking noises.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mind Games

 I love working on a college campus, it keeps me young and definitely helps me stay in touch with popular culture and fashion trends.  This year's newest crop of first year students seem to be ushering in a new era of neon.  The hot pinks and greens of my youth have made a resurgance in new materials that promise less fading and a greater ability to withstand the harsh laundry cycles of the residence hall washing machine (cough..or mom's washer since let's be honest, none of the new freshmen have ever touched a scoop of detergent let alone a dryer sheet.) I love it and can hardly bear to get my hopes up that Jelly Shoes are following close behind.  Gasp! And slouch socks...omg...if only slouch socks would return.  While many of the freshmen look like they stepped straight out of TeenBeat or Cosmo, there are a few that make me shake my head.

These 'others' are the ones that were the impetus for the new game that I play in my head as I walk around campus.  It's called  "Not as cool as you think it is." This new game replaces last year's "Honors Student or Hipster" game.  So far in my campus people watching I have found:

1. Riding the scooter to class...not as cool as you think it is.
2. Wearing volleyball shorts while running...not as cool as you think it is.
3. Wearing same volleyball shorts as classroom attire...not as cool as you think it is.
4. contributed by a police officer friend of mine "Sitting chained to a metal bench puking your guts out...not as cool as you think it is."
5. Flipping those boxers inside out and using body spray as a shower replacement...not as cool as you think it is.
6. Saying "wasssuppppppppp" to your professor....not as cool as you think it is.
7. Uggs + Short Shorts...not weather appropriate OR as cool as you think it is.
8. Horrible 70s style men's tank tops that show a serious excess of armpit and armpit hair...NOT as cool as you think it is.

I am sure that by this time next year this list will have grown exponentially becuse the students become just a little freer with their personalities with the passing of every month.  I'm sure that the newest bad decision is just around the corner....I just hope it's not jelly shoes in January. I might have to add myself to the list.

Salt and Vinegar

My last blog was started for a specific purpose. I wanted to have a place to write down my thoughts and really focus on counting my blessings while I was going through a patch of anxiety and what I would call depression for me but probably not REALLY depression.  Just a time of not being 'right' and not being 'thankful.'  I used it as a place to try to make myself remember just how lucky I am.  And it worked! I got to a point where I didn't need a reminder. Where the thoughts came naturally again and life became great.  And then...I just didn't really blog.  I didn't write much at all. This is normal for me, I go through phases and spurts and pauses. 

Recently, I've kind of been wishing that I had kept it up...not as a place to count my blessings but just as a little bit of the universe that I can use to share information and ideas and pictures of things that I think are cool.  So-- this brings you Salt and Vinegar. 

Why Salt and Vinegar? Well... not going to lie, I love it. I looooooooooooove Salt and Vinegar anything and I was feeling pressured by blogger to come up with a catchy name. But, also, I think that it's an accquired taste much like myself. It's not for everyone and never will be. Sometimes it's a little too tart or bitey for everyone and that's fine, so am I.   Also, it speaks to my heritage. I'm half Kentucky and half British.  It's a great combo for enjoying the finer things in life like fried chicken one night for dinner followed up with an amazing dark ale and a tasty steamed pudding while watching a soccer game. 

I don't know if this blog will be any more entertaining than my last. I know it wont be any more grammatically correct as I do write these things like a stream of concious and not professional journalism. I didn't want to continue with the last one because I kind of felt like I sounded really depressing in some of the posts.  Who wants to read that? So, I made a new one!  I'm hoping to share some recipes, photographs, observations on life and just general thoughts with this one.  Follow if you want :-) ~Mus