Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I really have been dying to post here, but I have so many big things going on right now that I can't talk about for about another 24 hours!

No, not pregnant, just making lots of big plans!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Need Help?

If anyone has a furniture placement or decor dilemma, please send me your questions and pics and I would love to help!

Empty wall space?
Need a centerpiece?
Need to change up your table for spring?
Want to update your room but have little or no budget?

Housewifery: Days 3, 4, 5...

I've been getting up pretty faithfully between 9:30am and 11:30am... this probably sounds late to most of you, but since the HusBean is currently working a 3p-11p shift, we often don't go to bed until close to 3a.

Then, of course, Stinkerbell gets up around 5a, the cats want to eat breakfast around 7a and again at 9a, so I'm actually doing pretty well getting between 6-9 hours of sleep, none of it more than 2 or 3 at a time.

It is officially Spring everywhere, but here in Georgia it's really acting like it. I've been drinking my morning mug of coffee and reading on the back patio every morning and already have some pretty distinct tan lines.

On Tuesday, I had my friend Rochelle and her beautiful boxer Miss Foxy Roxy over for lunch. We enjoyed my Grandpa's Mac and Cheese recipe and Rochelle brought deviled eggs. Roxy and Buster had a GREAT time racing around the back yard.

I brought out the spring decor for the front door and got the fall/winter stuff put away.

I also started the process of sorting through all of our stuff to get rid of the things we don't ever use that have no sentimental value. For non-sentimental items, my rule is if we haven't used it/worn it in two full years, it gets retired. My plan is to have a yard sale and whatever doesn't sell will get donated to the Goodwill.

After Rochelle and Roxy left, Buster and I sacked out on the couch for a couple of hours and then I made a quick run to get some frozen yogurt at the new place in town and deliver some food to my (now former) boss.

I took a quick trip to a Ross where I found two cute sundresses... one for $9.99 that I think is super cute (HusBean said it was "hideous") and another for $14.99 that is REALLY comfortable (HusBean approved of that one).

Wednesday I followed my morning coffee/book routine with about an hour of playing the piano. Scott joined me on bass for a few songs toward the end... I was planning to play along with one of my Pandora stations, but couldn't find the appropriate cord to hook my laptop up to the boombox, so we played along with my Michael Buble playlist on my ipod instead.

Lunch was a green leaf lettuce salad and an open-faced fried green tomato sandwich. HusBean loves to cook as well and had made the tomatoes at 3:30a and left me a few. I put them on a piece of toasted sourdough with a little mayo and a slice of cheddar.

Anytime we clean house, all the miscellany gets shoved in to our bedroom and we shut the door. This means that there are huge piles of clean laundry and other household flotsam just hanging around in there to be tripped over. I started getting some of that put away yesterday, too.

According to my meal plan for this week, Stroganoff was on the menu for supper last night, and since I had made the sauce on Monday evening all I had to do was boil up some egg noodles and put a loaf of garlic bread in the oven for 10 minutes.

This morning I enjoyed my coffee outside and let the cats come out and sunbathe for awhile while I weeded and dug up rocks for my mini-rock-wall. It doesn't look like much, but last summer I planted some calla lilies there and it was quite pretty.

I'm having leftover Asparagus Pesto for lunch while blogging and catching up on facebook.

I'm hoping to make playing piano an every-day thing, and also hoping to make some more headway in the mess that is our bedroom today. I may also get through some of the stuff in the garage.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Housewifery: Day TWO

On Day One, HusBean and I went to the grocery store shortly after we got up. I threw on a pair of jeans, a tshirt and sweatshirt, and put my hair up in a bun. He threw on a tshirt, some shorts and flipflops.

While we were in the store he made a remark that suggested that I shouldn't dress crappily just because I don't have anywhere to go.

After punching him, I agreed.

During the morning routine I started water boiling for coffee. We use a french press and I made a combination of Trader Joe's Gingerbread and Starbucks Cinnamon and Starbucks Caramel coffees that was quite good.

The necessary things that needed to be accomplished today were picking up all of my food and miscellaneous stuff from work, taking Buster to the vet for a checkup (he hasn't had one in 2.5 years), another grocery store trip since the one we visited yesterday had no basil, pine nuts or dill, and make dinner for my friend Kimberly.

After my mug of coffee and my requisite facebooking, I cleaned myself up and put together an outfit based solely on an awesome pair of shoes I haven't had a chance to wear yet (it's hard to take a picture with your phone when your arms are only so long. I refuse to do a myspace-style in-the-mirror pic).

I managed to get in and out of Pier 1 pretty quickly, taking a picture with my boss since we didn't have a chance on my last day.

Buster had a fantastic vet visit, the vet told me that if Buster didn't have so much grey hair he would never believe that he is 12 and not 5 or 6.

After acquiring the dill, basil and pine nuts at Walmart (I'm surprised they had it!) I came home and made stroganoff for Wednesday night and did the remainder of the dishes.

I made the asparagus pesto and then got a call from Kimberly telling me that her clutch had just broken (the 2nd time in 8 months!) and she was waiting on her dad for rescue.

I am ending my day watching Dancing With the Stars and enjoying my meal.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Housewifery: Day ONE

I'm sure that my HusBean's biggest secret concern about me staying home is that I won't actually get up in time to do anything around the house. I am known for my sleeping.

As I mentioned (at great length) yesterday, the animals have developed a routine that forces me to get up and be awake in decent time. I'm guessing the latest I will ever sleep in will be 10am (I know, to some of you that is CRAZY late, but I have been known to sleep until 2p if I went to bed late).

One of the things I am wanting to be intentional about as a housewife is menu planning. We love to cook and we love to eat, but when I was working full time I was often too tired at home to prepare anything, so I spent a lot of money at the various food establishments near my work.

I am hoping to do a weekly menu plan on Sundays, grocery shop that day for all the ingredients, and then make ahead one or two things on Sunday night that can just be reheated or added to later in the week for a quick meal.

Something that is going to help me during this first week is that I have made plans to host a friend for dinner Monday night and another friend for lunch on Tuesday.

This will force me to get up both days (on Monday Buster has a vet appointment anyway, so that will get me out of the house) and be presentable.

Here is this week's plan:
Sunday Lunch: Tortilla Soup (I'm either going to use a chicken-substitute or leave it out)
Monday Dinner: Asparagus Pesto w/ fresh pasta and salad
Tuesday Lunch: Ecuadorian Potato-Cheese Soup
Wednesday Dinner: Veggie Stroganoff
Thursday Lunch: Taco Salad
Friday Dinner: Grandpa's Baked Mac & Cheese

I am only planning one meal for each day because we will invariably end up with leftovers and those will do fine to fill in the other meals. I may end up switching around the potato soup, taco salad and/or mac and cheese depending on what Rochelle decides she would like to have for lunch.

I'm intending to make the stroganoff tonight and refrigerate it, it will keep all week and is easy to microwave and eat with rice, pasta, or whatever. I'm also going to make at least a test-batch of pesto tonight, maybe the asparagus, maybe just a random-herb concoction that I will freeze if it turns out well.

I will post my versions of the Tortilla Soup and Asparagus Pesto on our food blog once I make them, as I always adapt things to what I have and take out or substitute the meat.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It is the morning of my final day at work. I don't have to be there until 3pm and could technically sleep in, but HusBean has invited people over for this evening and we need to do a little sprucing up around the house.

I got up this morning with the animals (this is what will keep me from sleeping in all day once I'm not working anymore) around 9am. The key to not being driven absolutely CRAZY by my furry children is a carefully developed plan:

1. When Stinkerbell wakes up and gets out of the bed, immediately lock her in the laundry room. This is usually around 5am. This will ensure that she doesn't leave any presents anywhere inappropriate and doesn't bite the dog and wake him up early.

2. When Maui wakes up and starts his yowling routine, GET UP. Don't prolong the inevitable. He will not shut up regardless of if you shove him off the bed, yell at him, or try to lock him out of the bedroom.

3. Wake up Buster and send him outside to do his business.

4. While he is outside,
a. let Stinkerbell out of the laundry room
b. make her breakfast (microwave some frozen veggies or cut up fresh veggies and fruit)
c. feed the cats - supervising closely because when Maui finishes eating (always first) he will head-butt Chou and Minx out of their bowls
d. start Buster's home-made "puck" microwaving
e. start unloading the dishwasher

5. Let Buster back in - mix in a little kibble and some water and garlic powder into his puck.

6. finish unloading/reloading the dishwasher, make coffee

By this time, I am well and truly awake. I might need a nap later in the day depending on when I went to bed, but now I am ready to continue my day.

If I try to go back to bed in between any of these steps, I will want to turn my children into furry little cupcakes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Input, Please!

Does anyone else have brilliant ideas either in the shower or as you are drifting off to sleep?

Whether they are truly magnificent by the light of day is always the question, but it's fun to actually get some of them written down.

As I was fading into my nap this afternoon I thought it would be a good idea to try and blog every day once I'm a housewife. Of course, I know that I won't succeed in doing it EVERY day, but trying is the main part of the idea.

With that in mind I thought it would be fun to have themes for a few days of the week so I can start to partition my many interests and hobbies.

Here's some I came up with, feel free to add other things you'd like to read about or see...

Media Monday - reviewing media I'm into currently (movies, tv, books)
Table Tuesday - a different table setting every week, themed or not, suggestions and challenges and requests accepted...
Food - sharing recipes or reviewing restaurants
Home Decor - solving decor issues a-la HGTV style... ideas for decor on a budget or just inspirations by request, home decor projects... could lump in table settings with this or keep them separate.
Fashion - trying my hand at styling... putting together outfits or sharing good finds
Memories - sharing stories that are humorous (at least to me)

I'd like to organize things so they are somewhat predictable, for my millions of readers (ha ha ha) and for myself, but I'm open to suggestions on topics, category names, etc.

Throw 'em at me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dreams and Aspirations

When our cable/dvr is working, I watch a fair amount of television. Okay, a LOT of television.

The three-plus weeks of non-dvr meant that my nightly date (sometimes postponed to the morning thanks to the technology of dvr) with Craig Ferguson didn't happen. I realized that I have really missed Mr. Ferguson's wacky, random humor, the Secretariat Dance, Sid the Cussing Rabbit, and all of his other antics that make me chuckle.

I also appreciate the wide variety of guests on The Late Late Show. If you are not a frequent (or at-all) viewer, you may be unaware that Craig Ferguson received a Peabody Award for his episode "An Evening with Archbishop Desmond Tutu". He has also hosted all manner of tv, movie and music stars, both famous and up-and-coming.

Last night's episode featured Martha Stewart as the only guest. I won't delve into my perceptions of Martha's lack of a sense of humor, but it reminded me that I have always wanted to stay home and BE a "Martha Stewart"... focus on crafts and projects.

Now that I am married, HusBean doesn't mind the crafts and projects so much but wants to see me actually FINISH some of them and maybe not make the house look WORSE in the meantime.

As I am heading in to my new career as housewife, I am excited about all the various things I can do in conjunction with actually making our home look like we give-a-$#!+.

In the past year I have thought seriously about starting an event coordination business and am wondering if anyone would pay me to do table-setting design and what all it takes to get an interior decorator's license.

During my last year at P1 I've really enjoyed getting involved in setting the tables that are "extras" - they haven't been listed or pictured in our planner with any specific direction... that's when we get to be creative.

I can always tell that I've set a great table when we sell through all the components on the table (and sometimes the chairs featured at the table) quickly and have to set it again with something else.

When I was young I wanted to be an astronaut. Now I want to be Martha Stewart with a sense of humor. Here's hoping I can still watch a lot of tv and get some stuff done around here.

Response and Resolve

My previous issues with our current cable/DVR service have been detailed at great length.

Within an hour of my posting the most recent blog, I had a comment (you can go read it for yourself) from a Comcast representative, eager to help me.

Since then I have exchanged several emails with two very eager and helpful representatives, followed by a timely, friendly and efficient visit by a tech yesterday afternoon.

I have a working cable box and most importantly, DVR feature! I enjoyed The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night and was able to FFWD through the commercials with great glee. (I also had DVR'd GLEE while napping, and watched that too)

I think it's pretty smart of Comcast to have an eye/ear on the internet and be quick to respond when people are referring to them in a public forum.

Good on ya, Comcast.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Educate Thyself

(WARNING - This post is a rant. It may bore you.)

In my previous post, I mentioned a "chat" I had with a Comcast representative because of an outage we were experiencing. You may notice the date of that posting was Monday, February 21st.

At the time, the rep assured me that the outage was 98% fixed and we should have our service restored shortly.

By the end of the day on Tuesday (2/22) we still didn't have service, so my HusBean called Comcast and held for about 20 minutes before speaking with a representative. After we assured her that we had done the appropriate turning off and on and unplugging, etc. she scheduled a tech to come out and help.

The tech was supposed to come between 4:30p and 7p on Friday. A tech showed up at our house Thursday morning at 9a (we weren't even home) and then another tech came at 1p on Friday (2/25). Fortunately I had come home from work early and was actually here.

The tech came in and did his own requisite turning-on and off and unplugging of the cable box, then went outside and discovered what we had suspected: when the local cable & internet competitor had put in their lines in our neighborhood that week they had cut our connection. He fixed the problem, and then traded out our existing DVR/Cable box for a "new" model.

It takes about 24 hours for a box to download all it's scheduling info, so by Friday night I expected to be able to schedule a dvr recording of the Academy Awards which were happening on Sunday. I was having trouble trying to find ANY shows to record, so on Saturday (2/26) I called and spoke with a Comcast rep that instructed me to unplug the DVR box and plug it back in, which supposedly fixed the problem, but now I had to wait another 24 hours for it to re-download its information.

Sunday afternoon before I left for work I was able to finally select the Academy Awards to record to the dvr and then Monday (2/28) when I tried to watch it, the dvr recordings screen said it was 34% full but showed no listings for any recordings.

Tuesday (3/1) we went to Fayetville for a concert, came back Wednesday (3/2) and then spent the next 4 days dealing with The Chou's kidney failure (he's made a good recovery). Starting on Sunday (3/6) the display on our box showed "EAS" which means "Emergency Alert System" and usually happens a few times a week when they are running a storm alert or a test or whatever.

There was no storm this week, and the box would not shut off or play channels or anything. When we called Comcast and put our information into the touch-tone system it told us we were behind on our bill, so we thought maybe that was why we had no service.

We've been discussing lessening our services to save some money, so I decided to get the whole thing straightened out tonight because I was sick of the issues. When I looked at the cable box, it was suddenly showing a channel number again and so I turned on the tv and discovered we had service again, but the dvr showed nothing.

I tried to call Comcast and after again putting all the required info into their touch-tone system was told that they were too busy and to try again later.

Then I tried to log-in online to pay the bill and change the service. I tried to first sign-up for online account management, but it said we already had a profile and gave me the user id. Of course, I had no idea what the password might be since I had never USED the user id online before, so I followed the instructions to re-set the password. Then I was given an error message and sent to a chat with a rep.

I explained to the rep WHY I wanted to get online in the first place and that we've been having issues. The rep fixed the password problem and then offered to pass me on to a service issues rep.

I then spent about an hour and 45 minutes with the 2nd rep detailing all the issues. The 2nd rep agreed to credit our bill for the total time we were without service, helped me (theoretically) fix the dvr/cable box (by.... UNPLUGGING IT AGAIN), and change our service.

I discovered that we had been paying for "Digital Preferred" service, which is basic cable and then a certain set of additional channels. I don't ever watch any of those channels, so that was an easy thing to cut. I also asked what the $4.95 monthly "TV Guide" charge was for, and was told that it is for their magazine subscription (not the actual "TV Guide" magazine we know, but their own specific publication - which I have been quite faithfully dumping in the trash on receipt every month).

I asked that we stop receiving that as well.

I recommend that anyone using Comcast (or ANY company or service) be empowered to actually check out what you are being charged for. Find the breakdown of your service package and see if you actually USE/WATCH the services/channels they include.

Is there a magazine subscription that just got lumped in? We've been paying $4.95 a month for 2.5 years for something that quite literally is garbage. That's just under $150. That's a lot of money to be throwing away.

And yes, some of you will ask why I didn't pay attention to any of this before and it is because I never had the energy.

Well guess what? SUPER-REESE HOUSEWIFE is here and TAKING CHARGE. Rawr.