Hello. It’s me…

I retired last year.

This year, I’m ready to go back to work.

Only, not the same kind of work. The last few years before retirement, I worked a thankless, brutal job of customer service over the phone. This encompassed back-to-back calls of helping people, which would have been okay in-and-of-itself, but they weren’t ordinary people. They were scary, grumpy, rude, threatening, bullying, downright awful people who lived to torment me and destroy any semblance of happiness I may have mustered up between shifts. 

No more. Not even. No way. 

So, a couple weeks ago I discovered a new way to work and am determined to give it a damned good try. Wish me luck. Pray for me. Adopt a troll doll and give her my name. Point your coffee cup toward The Emerald City. Whatever you can do to spirit me to success.

Thank you. I really appreciate it. I feel a lot less jittery, knowing you are all on my bandwagon. Singing with me. Dancing with me. Taking my self-respect and dignity for a walk. Singing Kumbaya, My Lord. It’s a beautiful thing.

So, I suppose you are asking: What is this big, fancy job of which I gush/speak/sing/whine about?

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I’m going to be a Pampered Chef Consultant!!

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Just take a sec and let it sink in.

  • Yes, I can cook.
  • Yes, I know how to read a recipe.
  • Yes, I have a head for business.

BUT

NO, I am not a salesperson!

So maybe it’s time to get a little nervous.  Especially since I start tomorrow. Just kidding. I’m okay. Really.

If I’m being completely serious (and honest), I’m going into this with my eyes wide open. I realize that, in order to succeed, I will need help. My sales will come from organizing and running online parties, and those parties come from getting friends and family like you to book a party with me.

So, here’s the pitch…

You knew it was coming.

I need your help.  Please consider throwing a party in the next couple months.  It is totally done on Facebook, so you can party in your PJ’s if you want to.  You invite your friends/family to the group page I create, and I do all the work.   You’d be surprised how much people love Pampered Chef.  Your sales will quickly rise, and you will be able to load your kitchen up with tons of free stuff. 

Courtesy of me.  You’re welcome.

Well, and your friends and family on Face book.

Sooooo, that is it in a nutshell.  I’m not asking for start-up capital, or a GoFundMe account for work expenses.  I don’t need any of that.  Pampered Chef provides everything for me except customers. My director will take me under her wing and make sure I have the best sales training around.  Of that I am certain, as I have seen her in action, and she is amazing.

So, I love you all and I know you love me. 

That won’t ever change.  Love is good. Love is kind. Caring is sharing and all that stuff. 

Message, email, text, call or holler if you can help me out.  Or if you want more info. Or if you’re really mad at me for even asking.  

It has not been easy to reach out, because that’s not my persona, but I truly believe in this company and these products, I believe in myself and my capabilities, and I really need something to do besides watching “Family Feud” every day at 3 pm.

Help me…

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Quite Frankly

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Wow, I was just sitting here, staring at my blog, and realizing it’s been quite awhile since I made an entry. My apologies. I do have an excuse or two.

I have been busy.

Wait, no that’s not an excuse. Well, it would be an excuse if it were true. I have not been busy. I have been un-busy.

And quite frankly, I’m pretty good at it.

Again, my apologies. Let’s just skip the excuses, shall we?  I can make that stuff up later.

Most of you know that we moved to Boise from Las Vegas last July.  Life has definitely changed for the better since we moved.  Reasons for the positive change are bullet-pointed below:

  • Our Las Vegas apartment had eighteen very large stairs leading up to the door. Our Boise condo has no stairs and the over-sized garage is just off the kitchen.
  • Taking out the trash in Las Vegas was a nightmare. Eighteen stairs down, then a hike up the street to the dumpster, a hike back, then eighteen stairs up. UGH. Here at our humble abode in Boise, we have our own little personal dumpster in the garage that we wheel to the curb when the garbage man is due.  After that, maybe a nap.
  • The man in the apartment below us in Vegas yelled and stomped and hit the walls (and probably his wife) and had us nervous all the time. Here in Boise, we have kind neighbors who shovel our walkway and sometimes even bring us our mail. Mimosa’s anyone?

I think I’ve made my point.  We love it here. 

Quite frankly, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this retirement stuff years ago, when I had time to enjoy it without arthritis and wrinkles. 

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Since moving here to beautiful Boise, I have been losing weight and getting in shape.  Well, I’ve been losing weight.  The shape is still melon…ish, but that’s a shape, right?  Seriously, I am eating healthy and taking care of myself better than I have in years. Of course, I didn’t do it alone.  Joan has been right there, riding that bandwagon with me. She’s eating right and exercising more. I am proud of her. I’m proud of us.

I still have about 35 pounds to go before I reach a total weight loss of 110 pounds. I’m planning on losing those last pounds as I did the first ones…very slowly. Lots of friends and relatives have shared their favorite roads to health with me, and I’ve learned there are apparently as many and varied ways to lose weight as there are bad politicians in Washington.  I am always patient when given advice and listen intently, taking each nugget of wisdom into account.

And then, quite frankly, I forget all of it and do my own thing.

“The Terri Diet is the latest and greatest diet to hit the universe since…well, forever. It is quite effective, easy, wholesome, NOT boring, and will have you dancing the skinny dance in no time!”

That’s my marketing pitch. What do you think? I’m going to be rich! Skinny, maybe. Rich, probably not. One needs a market in which to make a pitch, I suppose. So never mind.

Truth-be-told, I actually gleaned a little something from all the good diets out there I could find, threw out the stuff I didn’t like, and consolidated the rest into a program I could handle without cheating every thirty minutes.

Somehow it worked, and here I am, a skinnier, healthier, albeit more-wrinkled and a bit tired, person. But, quite frankly, such brilliance should be shared, so I’ve bullet-pointed the elements of my diet below, for your enlightenment:

  • The majority of my diet encompasses vegetables. Green beans, potatoes and peas are fine, but the real gold lies in the dark leafy greens. KALE, BABY! Eat it in the morning, eat it at night, eat it on the weekends because it’s DY-NO-MITE!
  • If you really must have meat, try to opt for chicken, and then only 3 ounces or less. Prepare it anyway you want, but keep in mind that calories really do count.
  • Drink water, water, water. I am not a big fan of water. In fact, just writing about it makes me want to pee. Drink it.  You must, or you’ll die.
  • The last important thing on this diet is to include variety. For me, that was the key. For gosh sakes, don’t get into a rut of eating kale and drinking water just because you are too lazy to find a new recipe and make a pot of tea.  The spice of life. Oh yes, use spices too. I love me some cumin. And red pepper flakes make me blush with culinary happiness.

That’s about it.  It’s so easy. The beauty is in its simplicity. 

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So, what’s next for this crazy, soon-to-be-skinny grandma?

Tune in soon for the next chapter on my new and improved retirement life.  I have much to tell.  Soon I will be taking on a new venture, the thought of which has me all giggly and goose-pimply. 

Are you curious?  Well, quite frankly, I have laundry to fold so I can’t discuss just yet. 
However, the picture below is a HINT. 

Any idea what I’m up to?

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Guest Blogger: Julie C Gardner, Author

Today! Julie C. Gardner is my guest blogger. Today! Julie C. Gardner’s new book, “Lily by Any Other Name” debuts. Today! Is a good day indeed.

Up first, a taste of Julie’s wit and wisdom in her post below, “What Happens in Clovis Stays in Clovis.” After the post, I’ve included all the links and info you will need to get your (vitual) hands on Julie’s brand new book!  Let’s do this…

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So I have these friends who shall remain nameless because they aren’t bloggers, writers, or seekers of Internet fame and I want them to still love me tomorrow.

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I met this group years ago at a karate studio where our kids were training to be black belts. The six of us moms just clicked. In fact, we clicked so loudly, everyone must’ve been relieved when we began gathering off-site for happy hours. For family barbeques. Road trips to Vegas.

As the group grew closer, our kids grew up. Our friendships had to evolve to survive. But I’m happy to report, after all these years, we’re as tight as ever. Maybe we don’t see each other as often, but we make the effort.

We make it work.

Since I promised not to name names, I’ll describe us by the roles we play:

THE ORGANIZER: The one whose ideas brought you together in the first place. She starts the ball rolling, then she keeps lists for you in the notes on her phone. You’ll find her researching Groupon get-togethers on lunch breaks, emailing options, texting details. Her enthusiasm is infectious. She’ll create a kick-ass slideshow of the fun within 24 hours.

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY: The one with the loudest laugh, the raunchiest mouth, the biggest smile. She’s up for anything and up the longest. When the rest of you start eyeing your beds, she’s ready to start Round Two. She embraces a life is short motto. If you need a partner in crime, she’s your girl. And she’ll post bail.

THE MOM: The one who brings the stocked first-aid kit, the antibacterial wipes, and the Tupperware to store any leftovers. She is the first at your doorstep with flowers, the last to leave if your dishes aren’t done. Her heart is enormous, but then she drops a line to remind you moms aren’t just lovable. They are hilarious.  

THE QUEEN OF BLUNT: The one who tells it like it is, who fearlessly says what others are thinking (good, bad, or ugly). If you’re making a mistake, she’ll let you know. When you’re getting ready to go out at night, she blurts, “LOOK HOW AWESOME WE ARE!” She’s so confident, you believe her. With her, you do feel awesome.

THE MESS: The one who plays the fool to entertain you (or maybe she’s just a fool). She’ll buy leggings from the clearance rack at Target and wear them in Vegas for days, only to realize afterward they are xhilaration pajama bottoms. Sometimes she worries she doesn’t deserve such loyal friends. Sometimes she laughs so much, she pees.

THE ANGEL: The one who fought cancer so damn hard, you still can’t believe she’s gone. Whenever you take pictures of the five of you now—this group that should be six—there’s a gap you see later. A glow between you. That streak of light above your heads. “Look!” you say. “There’s her space. There she is!”

Always and always.

I’m so lucky these are my people. Thanks to them my world is brighter, tough times are easier, and joys are more…ummm….

Joyful?

Maybe we just got back from a road trip and I’m too happy to care about adjectives.

Maybe we went to Clovis instead of Vegas because The Organizer moved there and we wanted to celebrate. Maybe we talked too much and ate too much and drank the right amount of wine. Maybe we pledged again not to take these lives for granted. Maybe we cried a little when we said how much we love each other.

Maybe you have friends like this, too.

Maybe you know which one I am.

Maybe when you’re shopping the clearance racks at Target, you should double-check that someone didn’t accidentally slip a pair of xhilaration pajama bottoms in with the leggings.

Anyway, that’s what my friend says.

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Want more of Julie?  You should  visit her blog at juliecgardner.com. You should read her books! Her talents extend to her books, blog and so much more, but everything she does includes heart. She is a published author and her newest novel is out today!

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Just click on the book image above to be magically transported to Julie’s new book on Amazon.  “Lily by Any Other Name” can be found at any one of the following links, as well:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075YDVGMK

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lily-by-any-other-name

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1310056461

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1127406324?ean=2940158915123

“Yes, my Young Adult book baby (that older-ish adults can read, too) officially releases today. And I might be thrilled to share the news!

LILY BY ANY OTHER NAME is a story of love and friendship, of heartbreak and hope.

It’s about making wishes that come true in ways nobody sees coming.

And it’s available NOW for just $3.99 (LESSTHANFOURDOLLARS) at all the above sites.” ~ Julie C. Gardner

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Julie C. Gardner

 

Thank you, Julie, for taking the time out of your busy writing day to visit my humble blog and brighten my day, as well as delighting all my readers. Godspeed on your writing endeavors. I have my Kindle copy of “Lily by Any Other Name” and cannot wait to read it!

 

 

 

Halloween – Humpf!

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Happy Halloween Eve!  The magical night of frightful fun and frolicking is nearly upon us and I must confess to being underwhelmed. I’m not even dressing up this year. I’m not EVEN turning my porch light on to summon trick-or-treaters. I’m such an old biddy just not that into it.

Get off my lawn, you little fairy princesses and shrimp-sized super heroes with your cutesy faces and your little plastic pumpkins! I swear I’ll turn the sprinklers on ya!

Where was I?  Oh yes, I suppose you are asking whatever could be my reason for excusing myself from these nationally accepted and revered holiday traditions?  Not in the mood. Hey, a girl can’t always be in the mood for sex, so why can’t that same disinterest work for Halloween?  

I have gathered a list of my top ten excuses for skipping Halloween and provided them below, for your reading enjoyment.

Read it and deal with it. Bah freakin humbug.

  1. I have a headache.
  2. I need to wash my hair.
  3. I got my period. (and after 5 years without one, it is blowing my mind)
  4. My treat will be wine. My trick will be doorbell avoidance.
  5. Chocolate doesn’t last ten minutes in my house, so there’s nothing left for the snot-nosed little goblins.
  6. I couldn’t afford candy. But if you ghosts and goblins, Wonder Women and Scooby Doos would like to leave some cash in the can near my front door, I can save up for next year. I promise.
  7. I’m thawing out the turkey for Thanksgiving.
  8. I’m entertaining a gentleman caller. Shhhh, Joan doesn’t know.
  9. I need to dance like no one’s watching. I mean No One! Not even a pint-size version of Khaleesi or John Snow.
  10. I have Kampanaphobia. Fear of Bells. Doorbells, in this case. It’s a thing. Ask not for whom the doorbell tolls, because I’m not going to answer it.

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Seriously, wishing everyone a very Happy and Safe Halloween!  

 

 

Embrace your Lazy

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Do you ever wake up and not want to make your bed? Or brush your teeth?

Or remain upright? Yea, me too.

I am lazy.

There are different types of laziness. Some people are just lazy in their dreams, meaning they think about not doing stuff, but they eventually muster up enough chutzpah to get stuff done anyway. Those people are Lazy Wannabees. They work hard for an hour or two all their lives while dreaming of retirement, a beach chair, a good book, and a pina colada containing lots of rum and one of those tiny umbrellas. Whatever gets you through the day, I suppose. My dream would include a mug of hot Bailey’s and Coffee, hold the umbrella, and park my ass in a rocking chair on the porch of a cabin in the mountains.

However, I’m probably lazier than that, so let’s press on.

Other folks might be Selectively Lazy. This type of person has no problem leaving her bed unmade, but will painstakingly brew the perfect cup of coffee, if it takes her all morning. She might leave a sink full of dirty dishes, but vacuum twice a day because it feels good to have control over a naughty, ferocious, roaring beast loud piece of heavy equipment. Actually, she might have some other issues, but we won’t go there in this post. A selectively lazy person might sit in an easy chair for hours, and not get up for food, beverage, or to use the facilities. She has either found the perfect book, is binging the latest Netflix original, or lost in thought, contemplating world domination peace. Selective laziness. It’s a thing.

I’m pretty close to being that lazy.

The next level of laziness moves beyond selective and lands right smack in the “you should be ashamed of yourself” category. This person is lazy beyond reasonable comprehension, yet still manages to somewhat contribute to society. I call this type of lazy Downhill Slide Lazy. If you fall in this category, you never make your bed. Hell, sometimes, you can’t even find your bed for all the clothes, beer bottles and pizza boxes lying around. You manage to show up for work, but you don’t smell very fresh. You wonder about that look everyone is giving you, but soon your thoughts move on to a lunch menu and how many bath room breaks you can get away with before being fired. Your love life is lacking, as well, unless you are so attractive your partner(s) can forgive the smell or your inability to provide them any stimulation other than an occasional grunt of approval.

I’m pretty sure I’m not that lazy. I have a sensitive nose. I think I’d know.

My kind of lazy can’t really be pigeonholed. Some days, I don’t make the bed. Some days, I don’t do dishes or vacuum. That vacuum cleaner holds no power over me or my dominatrix tendencies.

What?

Most of the time, I use the fact that I am retired to excuse my lack of productivity, whether it be housework or reaching my projected writing word-count goal for the day. Also, my mind wanders. I don’t like multitasking, but my brain is still recovering from a life-time of meetings, deadlines, annoying coworkers, and office potlucks. Anyone who has not yet retired will find out about this soon enough. It’s like a train going full-speed for forty years and then trying to come to a complete stop immediately. Your scrambled brain spawns laziness at this point to protect you from possible impact resulting in internal combustion and/or the zombie apocalypse, whichever concept appeals to you. This might be Preventive Laziness. No judgement. No apologies. No regrets. It’s okay.

You do you. I’ll do me.

**DISCLOSURE:  The above is only conjecture. My personal coping mechanism, if you will. Kind of like a child sucking her thumb or grasping her blankie. I need to rationalize my behavior, and then soothe my tendency to over-compensate by eating my feelings. It’s not my fault if I don’t possess the rational facts to back it all up. Not to worry, though. No animals, doctors, or therapists were consulted, contacted, or contracted  harmed by this post.

But, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am still not making my bed today.

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Clap. Laugh. Repeat.

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Recently, on a mission to stave off boredom while calming my anxiety issues, I turned to YouTube for enlightenment. And when I say enlightenment, I mean anything that keeps my brain from atrophy. Turned out, I uncovered a gold mine of frolicking good fun and a level of weirdness I had never quite experienced before.

In video number one, an attempt to answer an age-old question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” had me falling out of my chair in convulsions of laughter. I’m not so sure I reached enlightenment, but my stomach is still sore from the belly-laughs.  Check it out. I will wait…

YouTube video number one

The apparent Zen boss guy attempted to approach the one-hand clapping question as a kaon, which is a story or question used in Zen practice to test a student’s progress. It is expected to lead to higher enlightenment. I understand the concept, but my brain works in strange and mysterious ways, attempting to find the humor in everything, especially things I don’t understand.  This has landed me in hot water more times than I can convey.

After my chuckle-fest, I collected myself and moved on to other thoughts, but my mind kept reverting to that video. The Zen boss guy slapped the student guy, which I assumed was either the example of a sound of one hand clapping, or a punishment for a non-compliance issue of some sort. I really didn’t care, because in my mind’s eye, I saw air-clapping…someone trying to clap at air with one hand. I even tried it myself. Epic fail. But funny nonetheless.

Not to be dissuaded by Zen boss guy, I perused some other You Tube videos on said subject, and I discovered some people really can make a sound of one hand clapping. It was underwhelming, but for the lack of anything else with which to entertain you, please enjoy this next video. I will wait…

You Tube Video number two

The guy in video number two is kind of creepy, am I right?  I fancy myself as a forward-thinking, liberal, change-accepting, Zen kind of girl, but that guy is the stuff of which nightmares are made. Stephen King could write a horrifying story around this video. I would watch it. But still CREEPY.

And yet, I laugh. Again and again. For some reason, this is funny to me. My partner just stares at me every time a commercial comes on TV mentioning one hand clapping (for which I could not find a video. Sorry). I immediately start chuckling and trying to clap with one hand. It never gets old. It is equally funny. Every. Single. Time.

There must be something wrong with me. A chemical imbalance, perhaps. Hormonal issues. Fucked up chakra. I am not worthy!

But I am not sorry, either! No apologies. No regrets. That shit was funny! Oh my gosh, I’m laughing now. There goes the hand!  I tried to make my own one hand slapping video, but my nails are a mess. And I’m camera shy. And I have an arthritic witch’s bump on my knuckle. Too much sharing? Another thing I do uncontrollably.

One-hand slapping has given me hours of happiness and laughter. It’s a thing. Like an ear worm, only without the ear. Or the worm. Just that one hand, and that lonely, fucking hilarious clapping.

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Oh gosh, there I go again. 

Thanks for stopping by.  I think I will research meditating. It’s so peaceful in my head right now. Perhaps I can expound on that and reach new heights of self-awareness. Oh wait, never mind. It’s just nap time.