Monthly Archives: November 2013

Black Friday – an addiction in madness

B fridayIt’s that wonderful time of the year again. Time to polish up the elbows and bring out the knee pads. Soon we will descend upon our local department stores in vicious throngs armed with the Christmas Spirit. Our need for the best deals driving us to lunge and grab for underpriced electronics as we pile drive our neighbors in a mad frenzy. It’s just part of being an American.

Last year we took my elderly Aunt along. She stood in front of the items I wanted with a buggy wedged between her and the crowd as she tried to assume a poor little old feeble lady stance. They may cuss and sneer but no one will knock about the feeble one. While we tore the plastic and snatched our items when the clock struck 8:00pm there was a code white in housewares as several middle aged women are pulling each other’s hair out in the battle for 800 thread count sheets.

b friday2Wal-Mart seems to be the favorite place for angry red-necks. If you’re not scared of a bit more violence I recommend heading on over to the Radio Shack. I braved that one only once in my life and swore to never do it again. I had been standing in line for an hour waiting for the doors to open when a heavy set lady with her teenage child walks up and tries to break into the front of the line. Bad move lady. Seriously bad move. The lady in front of me starts screaming at her. Break-in lady tries to ignore her and pushes her way in anyway. Angry lady just is not going to stand for that. She grabs break-in lady by her purse strap and whirls her around. At that time the clock struck the magic hour and the doors opened to the store. I dashed past the grappling two in the floor and jumped over their purses to snatch up the electronics that I somehow thought would be worth this effort. I did get my purchases for half of the regular price but I also met a side of humanity that scares me.

So, will I brave the idiots again this year? Probably. I can’t seem to help myself. Black Friday is a terrible sickness. The weird part is I had as much fun waiting and watching as I did getting bargains. Complete strangers will strike up long conversations with you in the excitement. It’s kind of fun in a sick and aggressive way. I think it’s the adrenaline rush that makes me do it. I’m not alone though. My husband once sat in line for two hours to get a television for half price.

I’ll have another lie please with a cherry on top

Crazy eyesYou should always be honest. Well mostly…sometimes….if it’s the easiest thing to do. What would happen if we just told the truth? Would society fall apart? Would we all run around hating each other because the truth was spoken instead of creating a lie to save one’s feelings?

When people get Alzheimer’s there is a small part of the illness that I’m amused by. They will say whatever they are thinking. My Uncle once proclaimed in a busy store “That is the fattest woman I have ever seen.” An 86 year old woman I was friends with looked me straight in the eye and said “I have gas.” She bounced her finger in the air and said “Boop, boop, boop, gas.”

Children will speak their mind also. As a child I had yet to learn the art of diplomacy and offered to help a lady clean her house because it was quite dirty. I also told my aunt her floor was sticky. We’re obviously not born with the need to lie about things. It’s something we are taught to do so that we don’t offend.

My husband likes to be brutally honest. I was standing in the bathroom spraying final touches on my hair when my dearest looks at me and says “You’re not going out like that are you? Did anyone else get hurt in the accident?”

To be honest, we are not very honest. Here are a few truths that I would like to tell but probably never will.

Person 1

I really don’t want to hang out with you because you never listen to me. You dominate all conversations. When I do manage to squeeze a word in you’re not actually listening to me. You’re just piling up paragraphs in your head whilst you wait for me to shut up so that you can blurt them out.  I’m thinking about sticking things in my nose the next time we talk to see if you notice. Maybe I’ll quote Shakespeare too. You have no idea what I’m saying so my words are pointless right?

Person 2

The dust in your office is driving me insane. I can’t take you seriously as a professional because I can’t see past the dirt. The entire time I sit in your office I fantasize about dusting. Would it offend you if I came for my next visit with a Swiffer in hand?

Person 3

Having an animal is a lot of responsibility. Since your dogs are frequently found standing in the street with cars swerving around them I don’t think you’re ready for this. Also, your cat is procreating at my house. Could we move Fluffy’s midnight screams of ecstasy to your house?

No, I’m afraid honesty is not acceptable in our society. It’s a shame though.  Many misunderstandings would never happen if we could just tell the truth.

Where’s your gumption?

The King is taking calls.

The King is taking calls.

I was about to leave a chain food restaurant with my husband when he was approached by a young man that had been sitting in a booth near us while we ate. The young man had a backpack and had spread Thrifty Nickels’ across the table to entertain himself. I thought this was odd but just assumed he was a worker on break. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This 20-ish muscled man asks my husband for a ride to JFK Blvd. We were on McCain which is approximately 4.5 miles from this young mans destination. His story was that he had missed the bus and now had no possible way to return to his hotel and could we please give him a ride.
I almost felt pity for him. Almost, then the next thought in my head was what would I do in his situation? Without hesitation I would have started walking. I have two good feet and I’m twice his age. It never would have occurred to me to camp out in a Burger King and beg for help from strangers.

What happened to society? Can people not take care of themselves anymore? What would you do?

It seems like lately I’m just bombarded with people begging for help. They’re everywhere. Why do they just assume that they can’t help themselves? Is it just pure laziness? I just don’t get it.

Fear is for Sissys

Clear The Way

Clear The Way

Fear pisses me off. How dare anything be stronger than me! I used to think my biggest fear was speaking in public. Last month my dear friends made me face that one head on. We were volunteering at a week-long event when the leader of our group decided it would be best if I represented our group at the end of the week service.  When she first told me I laughed at her. She had to be kidding. Me? Stand at a podium and deliver a short speech. Me?

Well, I did it anyway. I have found that the only way I can overcome a fear is just to do the damn thing until it’s not scary anymore.  I will not tuck tail and run. No more.  Am I not made of flesh and blood as all others who walk this earth? Why should I believe that they can do a thing but I cannot?

I can do anything I set my mind to.


Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t

Do you ever check out a new blog and find yourself thinking : Oh yeah, this dudes wearing a tutu and plotting world domination while shoveling peanut butter pickles into his …well, you don’t want to know where he puts them. No? I take it I’m special then and I just attract these nuts. Carry on. Forget I mentioned it.

I told you I had a wild hair….

kitchenI did it! My kitchen cabinets are now 1950’s red. I’m sure I’ve probably broken every modern decorating rule and ten years from now when I decide I like white I will be kicking myself for this BUT right now I’m excited! The Mr. is going to build me one more pantry to replace the antique china cabinet and I will be done.

In our previous home I had a ridiculous number of antiques but I decided I prefer to have furniture that is handmade by my husband. So, over the last three years I have sold most of our antiques and replaced them with one of a kind originals. I still have a few 1850 to 1900 dressers and a gargantuan back-bar but I’m getting there. (I’m afraid to spring too many projects on him at once. He may take off running.)

I’m still in de-clutter mode and will have to get a flea market booth very soon.  I’m afraid I have enough “stuff” to fill as store. Sigh…one project at a time. I suppose I should get through the holidays before I destroy the house again.

FYI – Valspar Ultra is the bomb diggity! Trust me. I’ve done enough bad paint jobs that I am now fully versed in what NOT to do. I once bought the cheapest white paint sold to use on my front porch. It turned pink. I kid you not. It dried to a light pastel pink. Some things we learn the hard way. OK FINE! I like to learn everything the hard way.

A virtual smack upside the head

Are you a perpetual whiner? Not sure? Go look at your facebook page. How many posts are about your physical ailments? Money problems? General complaints about the weather, your job, children….How many of your posts are complaints?

You may be a Negative Nelly and just don’t realize it. Did you know that when you constantly complain you are making your situation worse instead of better? You are sending your negative energy into the world to bring down those around you too. Why can’t you just say something nice? Your life isn’t really that bad. In fact, your life is exactly what YOU have made it. Suck it up buttercup. Quit your belly aching. Think of the people that are hampered by your litany of complaints. Are you making the world a better place? I think not.

Stop being so damned selfish. Take time to think about how your words affect others. You woke up this morning with clean running water and a solid roof over your head. Your country allows unfathomable opportunities for you. You simply have to make the effort. Get off your duff and do something constructive. Smile at somebody. Lend a hand to those less fortunate than you. Deliberately take one day and make it complaint free. I’ll bet some of your complaints are just habit.

I used to have a habitual complaint. Mine was “I can’t afford that.” I said it for so long that when I finally had reached a good financial place that I found I was still saying it. One day I stopped and realized “I can afford that.” I can actually afford anything that I want. The kicker is that I have to be willing to work for it. I have to make earning the money to purchase it a priority.

Leave the excuses behind and own your situation. Unless you are living in some 3rd world country, you are exactly where you put yourself.

You can cook. Trust me. Stop laughing, I mean it.

PralinesThis evening I made pralines. Nope, I don’t have anyone to eat them. There really was no reason for me to go to this effort. I made them simply because I can. My husband will put a good dent in them tomorrow but there is no one here salivating over my efforts. I simply enjoy cooking. I fear the joy of cooking is being lost. It wasn’t very long ago that cooking was not optional. All women prided themselves in their ability to create mouthwatering creations. There doesn’t seem to be many of us left. So, today I am going to do something unusual. I am going to give you a recipe that I created. If you’re not a regular cook please give this simple recipe a try. I guarantee your family will be impressed. I created this recipe accidentally many years ago. I was watching a cooking show on PBS and they were making Irish Soda Bread. I thought hmmm…..what says Irish more than alcohol? (I love to play in the kitchen.) So I ran to the kitchen and threw this together. Instant success and my family has been enjoying it for years. Now I’ll share it with you.

Deanna’s Beer Bread

6 Tablespoons of Butter

2 Cups of Self-Rising Flour

1 Tablespoon of Sugar

1/2 Bottle of Beer (Dark beers give a more yeasty flavor)

Dash of Salt

Cut butter into flour, sugar and salt. (Don’t panic here. Just plop the butter into the flour. Put a knife in each hand. Cut through the butter with both knives at the same time in opposite directions until butter is pea sized.) Add beer until dough is sticky. (If you’re up north you may need ¾ a bottle of beer. Humidity changes bread.) Place the dough on a baking stone into a mound. Flatten slightly with floured hands. If you don’t have a stone this can be done on a cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Just a little hint: When making any biscuit like dough, the trick Granny never told you is that you need to keep the butter cold. This means touch the dough as little as possible. Your hands can make the butter warm and therefore resulting in tough biscuits/bread.

Go ahead, give it a try. I taught an extreme novice to do this. Her idea of cooking was taking the frozen dinner from the freezer and placing it in the microwave. If she can do this even you can.

Pearl tackles the big issues.

NoseMe: Pearl, how do you feel about gay rights?

Pearl: I think everyone should have the right to be happy.

Me: No Pearl, not that kind of gay. I mean how do you feel about men being able to marry men and women being able to marry women?

Pearl: Oh, well…lets see… boys have cooties so no one should ever marry a boy. Girls do the cooking so that’s definitely better. Yeah, everybody should marry girls.

Me: That’s kind of sexist to say that cooking is just for women.

Pearl: **face paws** I just don’t understand you humans. You say some of the silliest things. Ok fine! You take me for my walks so everybody should marry girls because they take walks.

Me: But men could take walks or cook if they wanted to.

Pearl: Uh huh, but they don’t so why would you want to marry them?

Me: Well, because they….well…umm….. BUGS! They can kill the bugs when they get in the house.

Pearl: If they weren’t so busy watching TV they wouldn’t let bugs come in the house in the first place. They have one job to do and can’t get that done. Nope, nobody should marry men.

Me: Who could argue with that logic?

Pearl: Nobody. Now, are there any other worldly problems that I need to solve for you before you can fix lunch?

Me: Well, I was also wondering how you felt about ObamaCare.

Pearl: I hate it.

Me: Why do you hate it?

Pearl: Because I’m hungry.

Me: That doesn’t even make sense.

Pearl: No? Let’s discuss it over a plate of ravioli.

Me: Oh Pearl, don’t you even care about the issues of the world?

Pearl: Not if it’s going to interfere with lunch. ***opens refrigerator door** You got any chicken in here?

Me: I’m trying to have a serious conversation with you!

Pearl: You’re off your medications again aren’t you?

Me: I am not off my medications!

Pearl: Uh huh, then why are you yelling at me? I am cute and sweet and hungry. You would have to be crazy to stand here and yell at me when there is perfectly good chicken in that refrigerator waiting to be cooked.

Me: Of course, I don’t know what I was thinking…..