Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Sunday, September 13, 2020

How to Get Your Floor Clean

 Today we got our kitchen floor VERY clean. You too can get your floor clean by following these steps:

1) Decide to wash your face before going to bed.

2) Look for a washcloth in the laundry room.

3) Notice that you have an extra water filter on the top shelf.

4) Decide that NOW is a good time to change the fridge's water filter.

5) Recruit your oldest to remove the old filter.

6) Wonder why water is spewing from the port in the fridge.

7) Watch gallons of water pour into the fridge and onto the floor.

8) Figure out how to turn off the water behind the fridge.

9) Watch more water come out of the port.

10) Locate every towel you have when you regret owning only a Swiffer floor cleaner.

11) Wipe out every shelf in the fridge, throwing out old bottles of this and that.

12) Move the fridge back in place and see what interesting detritus is exposed.

13) Recruit the oldest to clean it up. 

14) Return to washing your face which is all you wanted to do in the first place.

It's been a long time since you have been blessed with an Annemarie "How-To". You're welcome.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Story Time

It's been a long time since I told a proper "Annemarie" story so here is today's antics.

You see this dress. I love this dress. I got a deal on it. I think I have worn it once before. I like it because it's 100 degrees here today and still have to dress for my job as a Curriculum specialist at my school, so it's cool enough but long enough to cover the little shorts I wear under dresses. Why is this dress the center of my story?  Follow along my friends.

School starts at 7 a.m. We are 100% online and technology issues often arise, so I like to be on time to catch the help line. That means leaving close to 6:30. I was so proud of myself for getting out at 6:35 (I have a 15 year-old who likes to oversleep.) Backpack on, purse over my shoulder, coffee cup in one hand and water cup in the other. All items are being placed in the back seat when I find I can't remove my backpack. The tiny little hook is caught in the seam of the bag. Try as a I may, the hook won't come undone. At one point I looked like a dog chasing her tail. I finally found myself lying facedown in the back seat of the car, legs sticking out,  hoping to relieve the stress of the backpack on the tiny little hook. No such luck. I had to call my daughter outside. "Come out to the car. I need your help. I can't explain." Cryptic, I know.

Daughter comes out and unhooks me, laughing all the while.  I leave for work. I'm now cutting it close, but I slide in under the wire. That should be the end of the dress issues, but no. It continues.

The dress has a white liner. I have on black shorts. The liner is opaque enough to hide the shorts...EXCEPT...the liner spent the day riding up over my bum. I can't count how many times I had to find a way to pull it down without others seeing. If I had stayed in my office all day, I would have been fine, but that's not what my job is about. I had to drive to another office to pick up curriculum materials. I had no idea how many boxes awaited me. Four flat bed trollies later, my friend and I had them squeezed into the bed of the truck. All the while I'm pulling the liner back in place.

When we returned to campus I got the privilege of unloading the truck with my coworker. It's 100 degrees and we have been wearing a mask all day. One hand truck, one tiny flatbed, one massive shopping cart, hand truck, flatbed and so on until another coworker comes out to help. And what is that liner doing? You guessed it. The darn thing is up around my waist at this point and I've had it, but I can't go home because it is only two o'clock and I have two more meetings to attend. One of which I am leading. 

What's a girl to do? I led from my seat. I just couldn't bring myself to play that game for another hour.

I'm home now in my jammies trying to problem solve: Keep the dress and pay someone to make a better liner? Keep the dress, cut out the liner and buy a slip? Get rid of the dress? What would you do?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

I'm Baaack...At Least for a Bit

Long time no post. So what brings me back? Quirky Dutch Summer.

Week 1 has me making my own art journal.  This sent me on a field trip to Hobby Lobby where I found quite a deal on journals, canvases and a pad of primed sheets of canvas. (More than 75% off.)

I then dug through a very old stash of acrylic paint. All of my art supplies are in the garage after I cleaned out my office for Thanksgiving a year and a half ago. I needed room for a long table. I also didn't want my company seeing my messy workspace. I've not brought much in since then. That's what I'm liking about Quirky Dutch Summer. It has me playing in my art stuff again.

I have no plans this summer and my youngest is about to leave for cousin camp, giving me plenty of time to get my hands dirty.

So let me show you what I've made.

First I painted the front of the canvas.

Then I painted the back and let them dry overnight. 

I folded the edges over and glued them down. I used Aleene's Clear Tacky Glue. Not too bad, but then it took a good effort to keep the edges down. 

Next I  freehand drew a mandala on the cover.

I followed Marit's directions on book binding and ended up with my very own handmade art journal. Not my first, but definitely the easiest I've ever made.
Now we wait for Week 2. At least it will get this blog going again for the next two months or so. 

See you next week. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

I Love a Giveaway

Doodling, Tangling, Zentangling....I've been doing these for years. Last year I joined the Tangle It! Pattern Club. It's a great source of inspiration. The folks there are Ah-Mazing!

Well, is holding a giveaway. The prize? a Tangle-It Planner. It's not only a planner, it also has tips, tricks and suggested tools for keeping a Tangled Planner.
Click HERE for the giveaway

Here are some of my latest tangles and doodles.

Wanna join the fun? Go to Facebook and join Tangle It! Pattern Club.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Here I Am - Three Years Later

It's interesting how it still hurts to really talk about how much I miss you. However, it does get better. Everyday I feel better. 

When you first left so suddenly, the pain was so strong, crippling, paralyzing. Then the numbness came. I had to work. I had to become an automaton. Get up, help the kids, go to work, help other people's kids, get along with coworkers, drive home, be a mom. Lather, rinse, repeat. I did find out I was difficult to be around so I had to numb myself some more.
Dusty Shoes - Post Canyon Hike
Getting Goofy at Disneyland

The following summer, I took the kids on our dream road trip seeing everything you and I said we would see with all of our kids (eight in total). Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Washington, Colorado. We saw it all, minus a few kids. It was fun and sad all at the same time. Visiting your relatives was especially poignant. Sitting out in your uncle's backyard, I could imagine you sitting out there chewing the fat, sipping a beer, watching the sun set, wishing you could see your family more often. That year I found CrossFit and Fit Camp. Exercise became my outlet. It meant working out at 7:30 at night in order to get classes for free. I also had to rely on Caitlin to pick up James from football practice so I could make time for myself. I slowly felt my sanity coming back, and I had the added benefit of being healthier. I still dreaded driving home from work and the gym in silence. No more bluetooth conversations discussing our workdays and our fitness achievements.

Yeah, I was lost.

The next summer, I still needed to get away. I found myself in Arizona, hiking the trails of Sedona. As I got lost more than once, the solitude provided me with the quiet I needed to reflect on what direction I wanted the rest of my life to go. I could no longer maintain the status quo. Something had to change. That's when I made the decision to improve myself professionally. I researched what would take to become a school administrator, borrowed the money from my mom and enrolled in a principal certification program. Your encouragement was noticeably absent.

This summer is underway with no major trips for me in the foreseeable future. Instead, I am wrapping up the nine month process of earning my principal certificate. I have passed the test. I have completed my major coursework. I have four more days of required professional development, and then I am officially done. DONE. DONE! I know you are proud. 

Today I have new struggles. As life goes on, I meet people who never knew you as the other half of me. They don't understand why today is a sad day.  We never got to be married. We didn't get to share a name (even though I told you I would never change my name again. LOL.) Our unique relationship is hard to describe. People also love to ask if I am ready to date. Why do they do that? There is no simple answer. I know there is no replacement for you. I know that you want me to be happy. I don't like sitting home watching Netflix without you, but I don't have what it takes to forge new friendships at this time. There is only so much energy, and mine is dedicated to advancing my career and ensuring James's and Caitlin's wellbeing. 

Despite these obstacles, I'm doing okay. I've accepted that it will never be the way it was. I don't expect it to be. Instead I live a new kind of normal - one that finds me achieving new things and wishing I could call tell you all about it.
Your memory wall

On the anniversary of your passing, I won't dwell on the negative. I will use this day to honor you and your memory by reflecting on the progress I've made and anticipating the progress yet to come.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Mistress of Make Do

One of my favorite online/TV people is Ree Drummond - AKA The Pioneer Woman. When I need something tasty, I often choose her recipes over those of other celebrities like Martha Stewart or Ina Garten. The PW makes meals that aren't complicated but full of flavor and appeal to everyone in my family.

The easiest recipe I have found on her site is for oven roasted potato wedges. The problem with most recipes in my house, however, is I don't always have all of the ingredients. This means I either have to forego the recipe or make do with what I have in the pantry. This weekend like most weekends was a make-do kind of day.

I really wanted to have potatoes, but when I looked through the pantry and fridge, I found I was short ingredients like olive oil. I also am not eating butter this month (say it ain't so!). This left me wondering what to do. I then looked in the closet and found a jar of coconut oil. I couldn't figure out how to pour a solid over potatoes. Then it hit me, Warm it up! After melting it in the microwave for a few seconds, I poured it over the potatoes and mixed in a variety of seasonings  I found in the cupboard (salt, pepper, garlic powder, cajun seasoning) before throwing it in the oven 450 degrees on a foil-lined pan that I sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

The result? Golden tasty potato-y goodness.
 Straight out of the oven - hard to resist burning the fingers.

The Mistress of Make Do is in love with these potatoes, and they are perfect for my current Whole30 way of life. I might have to make them every week.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Reason #2367 Why I Don't Sleep

I was asleep until my cell phone rang. It was my house phone calling. Why is my house phone calling? Hello? Hello? James is that you? Click
Me: (debating whether to get up or not and finally getting up to look for the phone.)
James, why do you have the phone?
James: I thought there was someone looking through my window?
Me: (confused how he saw someone in the window with the lights off, dark outside and the view of the  window blocked by a bookcase. )
Give me the phone. (Hanging it up and heading to bed)
James: Sorry, mom.
Me: Goodnight  (but now I'm curious. Did he really see someone? Dang it! Putting on winter coat and boots, I head outside with the phone as if I could do anything)

Now I lay awake when I should be asleep since I have class tomorrow morning. And people wonder why I don't leave him home alone.

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