I dropped off the edge of WP

Sorry if it seems I dropped off the edge of WP. The day after my last post, I came down with the flu. I spent way too many days in bed staring at the ripples on the ceiling and talking gibberish to my dead grandma. After the fever went away, I ended up with a bout of colitis. Let me tell you, fun times. I am still not eating solid foods and every time I move too fast I hack up a lung. But I am slowly improving to the point where I can finally do the laundry, clean the house, and turn on my computer again.

I blame it on trying to do too much and not getting enough rest. Apparently I am not 25 anymore. I didn’t sleep well the night before Thanksgiving. That one was my own fault. I changed my cartilage earring from a stud to a hoop. The hoop was way too tight which swelled up my ear which woke me up in the middle of the night in throbbing pain. I spent hours starring at the ceiling wondering if I should get out of my warm bed to change it. That made Thanksgiving morning come way too early. Then Paul and Angel were off to run the Turkey Trot race. I stayed home by myself to keep an eye on the turkey, cook, clean, and decorate for the party at noon. No one was home so I blasted my music and got to work.

After Paul and Angel got back, my mom and Matt were the first to arrive to the party. When my mom arrived I turned off my music, then she came into the kitchen and turned her music on without asking. She yelled at my brother Matt for where he was setting things down which is out of character for her. Paul and Angel were talking about the race and my mom asked me if I ran too. I was getting upset at this point and told her I did not run for a year. Besides there was no way we would put the turkey in the oven and leave the house for several hours.

Everyone seemed to arrive at once. My best friend’s son brought his new girlfriend. He introduced me to her as the matriarch of the family which I thought was really sweet of him. My mom put him in his place and told him I wasn’t the matriarch, she was. It was a very awkward experience. This may or may not have been the point when I started drinking. Everyone was in the kitchen trying to talk and ask questions as Paul was trying to cut the turkey and I was mashing potatoes. My mom was asking where the bowls are. Paul’s step-dad Darryl was talking Paul’s ear off about hunting and fishing while his fiance asked if I wanted her to put whip cream on part of the Jello or all of it. I told her to go ahead and put it on the whole thing, then my mom came over a told her not to.

Finally the meal was ready and it was time to eat. As I was eating, my mom came over to the table with Matt and showed everyone his incisions from his gallbladder surgery. I didn’t have much of an appetite after that. Then it was time to clean up. Afterwards the drinks were flowing and we played games and opened the pool. The last guests left around midnight and I stumbled into bed once again not sleeping well.

The next morning Paul, Angel, Alex, Lexi, and I went to the Christmas tree farm and picked out two trees. I spent most the day decorating the house and trees with the kids. Then Paul and I went Black Friday shopping for a couple hours for a futon couch which we didn’t find. Saturday I went shopping again until I finally found a futon couch. Then I also stopped at Kohl’s because I needed socks and bras. Maybe this is more than you want to know, but I threw out 4 bras in the past month that were worn out. I no longer had any plain white socks either. Both items I don’t buy myself at the thrift stores. But I wanted to get them on sale. Sale, sale, sale. Then I spent the afternoon with Angel volunteering.

Sunday was church, then I spent the rest of the day shopping the sales online researching vacations and creating the family calendar for 2023. I turned my computer off at 9 PM exhausted. Then I was back at it again on Cyber Monday shopping the sales for Christmas on my computer. In the morning I shopped with Paul, then the afternoon I shopped with my mom. By that evening, I was sick and fell off the edge of WP. I think I am finally on the mend.

12 days

We finally found a dress for Arabella at a bridal store whose tag line was something like it’s all about you. Arabella laughed at that one. She said her sister would kill her if she made it about her. Instead of department stores and boutiques, my best friend Cindy suggested dress shopping at a bridal store. Back in the day, before I met her, she worked at a bridal store and knows a lot about dresses. I really give her the credit for helping Arabella find a dress.

It was a very challenging experience because Arabella is not very proportionate. She must’ve tried on at least a dozen dresses before we found the right one. We had to find the largest sizes and they still didn’t fit the bust and were large everywhere else. There was one we were thinking of getting, but even that dress needed a lot of alterations to fit properly. Most of them did not fit at all and the rest of them showed most of her cleavage. If there is one complaint about bridesmaid type dresses right now it’s that they are very low cut. As the mother of the bride and bridesmaid, I do not want my cleavage hanging out. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to wear a low cut dress with a lot of cleavage to anyone’s wedding.

We pretty much exhausted every option for Arabella at the bridal store when we found ‘the dress’. She was fading fast and said she was pretty much done trying on dresses being very discouraged with the process and selection. As a last ditch effort, I started looking for dresses in the granny section. That is where I found the dress. It looks a lot like the dress my mom picked out. It was even the right color! It had a sparkly old lady poncho over a nice dress. I knew my daughter was going to say no way. But I told her to try it on anyway. I convinced her by saying she didn’t have to wear the ugly poncho over it and it was the last dress to try on. She tried it on and it fit perfectly. No alterations needed. It took a granny dress to find something that fit without showing too much cleavage. Sad, but we are done!

We were so overjoyed to find the perfect dress in the right color that didn’t need alterations. Now I think I’m ready for the wedding. My son’s girlfriend didn’t have a dress yet either. So I am letting her borrow one of my new dresses I never had a chance to wear because COVID cancelled the event I was going to. It looks amazing on her and matched my son’s dress clothes perfectly as well. Finally things are coming together. Just 12 more days…

Gratitude week 142

  1. We experienced a notably warm summerlike weather pattern this week after three days of cool and rainy days last weekend. The cold rainy days made me appreciate the warmth more.
  2. Cool nights and a campfire.
  3. Friday afternoon relaxing on the patio by the pool.
  4. Finding dress clothes and shoes for my son to wear to the wedding within 15 minutes at the first store. After one day of dress shopping and a cancelled order, my best friend and I are taking Arabella dress shopping again this afternoon. I’m really hoping and praying we can find something today…
  5. I ordered a wedding gift for my daughter and her fiancé and it arrived the same day.
  6. I finished the book Don Quixote which was a challenge due to it being over 400 years old and over 1,000 pages long. There was a lot of wisdom to be found in it. It was interesting to get a glimpse of life back then. I couldn’t help but notice how different life is today. There definitely was not an emotional component to the book, yet I never dreaded to pick it up to read.
  7. Yesterday we went out to eat and sailing with friends to celebrate the September birthdays. The weather was perfect. It only started to rain right after we got off the water.
  8. We had Angel and Dan over for supper on Friday night. Oh my gosh, the wedding is less than two weeks away! Thankfully my daughter is very organized.
  9. I’m grateful Angel’s future mother-in-law is a seamstress. My mom and I went in to get our dresses fitted this past week.
  10. Mom and I got a massage.
  11. My son got together and practiced with his band this week. It’s been the first time since COVID. I didn’t know if they were ever going to meet again as several of the members are older retired school teachers. This group has had a positive impact on my son’s life and I’m grateful they are back together again because I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen.

19 days

My son didn’t have to work today so I took him shopping to find dress clothes for my daughter’s wedding. It took 15 minutes, in and out. The first shop. The first set of clothes he tried on. I guessed correctly his shirt and pants size. Everything was the right color scheme. Found some black dress shoes. I had a coupon for 20% off. Done. It almost made me like shopping.

Meanwhile I got home to find out the dress I ordered for my daughter Arabella from Facebook marketplace has been cancelled. They didn’t even give me a reason. I will have to set up another dress shopping day. I’m running out of ideas of where to shop and time.

My daughter Angel sent me a message this morning that my Facebook account got hacked. I hope it had nothing to do with my attempted purchase. The fake account had my profile picture with a pride frame listing my pronouns as him/his. Really?? I don’t think any of my friends would be convinced I changed genders. It would be laughable if I wasn’t so frustrated about the dress order that got cancelled several hours after I changed my password. I’m hoping my credit card info didn’t get compromised. I don’t think it did, but still.

So, good news and bad news today.

If the dress fits…

As if the weekend shopping in Chicago wasn’t torture enough, the girls and I went shopping again a few days later.

We didn’t intend to go prom dress shopping that day. Back when Angel was a junior in high school, the going rate for a prom dress was $600. We decided to go to a bridal/prom store just to get some ideas. Thankfully (due to internet competition) the going rate for a prom dress is half as much as it was a few years back.

Estelle, our foreign exchange student from France, fell in love with a dress on the mannequin. It shimmered white like freshly fallen snow. Once she put it on, she didn’t want to take it off. It was the second dress for Clara, our foreign exchange student from Germany. However, my daughter Arabella tried on dress after dress until the sky grew dark and the cows came home in Wisconsin.

Last year right after Arabella’s 16th birthday she decided to go on a diet. She was over 250 lbs. Since then she lost around 45 lbs. Sadly none of the weight fell off her chest with a cup size halfway through the alphabet. None of the dresses fit her body shape. It’s been a problem since middle school. I was really concerned she might not find a prom dress in a dress store full of options.

Arabella found a dress she liked. The store took her measurements and said they may be able to special order it in her size. I was concerned that the dress, although pretty, would not fit her right even in her size. By this time the other girls had their dresses purchased and were in bags. The clerk looked up the dress she wanted to order and said it wouldn’t be delivered until April, the week of prom. Apparently shopping three months in advance is not enough.

At this time Arabella was close to tears. The clerk kept bringing out more and more dresses, big sizes that were 20+. I’m so sorry for you bigger girls out there. The dresses were hideous. Seriously, who wants to go to prom looking like a zoo animal?

Then Arabella found ‘the dress’. It looked like something Cinderella would wear to the ball. It was shimmery light blue, size 16. I was worried she would be crushed if the dress didn’t fit her. She was already close to tears. Thankfully it fit and she looked like a princess in it.

One last thing the prom store does is make sure that no other students from the same school wear the same dress. Before leaving I had to make sure the dress she loved was still available. The clerk said even if it wasn’t available, she could buy it. The clerk felt bad dress shopping was so difficult because of her body shape. The other girls had an easy time because they have an average body type. I never appreciated being average as much as I do now.

Later that evening Arabella begged me to allow her to get reduction surgery. She hates her body and how she looks. For this, I feel sad. Body image is hard enough for a teenage girl as it is. Reduction surgery is a major surgery and at this point I don’t think I want her to go ahead with it until she is an adult unless she is having serious back problems. Parenting can be hard when you don’t know what you are doing.


Thailand, Day 2


We arrived in Bangkok around noon. We were greeted at the hotel with a glass of sweet juice in a flavor I never tasted before and a washcloth. We were tired from the long flight, but not overly so. We decided to walk around the hotel. This is the view of the river from the hotel. It was a beautiful view while eating breakfast outdoors in the morning.


Since we had a light schedule the first day, we decided to head down to the pool. I went down by myself at first clad in my swimming suit covered with a robe. I didn’t know how to get out of the hotel. The obvious exit to the pool had a sign that said fire exit on it. I was afraid that if I went out this way, I would set off all kinds of alarms because that is what would’ve happened in my country. I wandered around in my robe through the dining area and got a couple of  looks. I finally asked how to get out and the man pointed at the fire exit door directly in front of me.

We weren’t exactly sure how to use the outlets either as they didn’t look like ours at home. A few sparks flew that night. Here is what some of the outside wiring looked like.


The day we arrived was the coolest day that we had there. There weren’t any reclining chairs in the sun. It was windy and the pool wasn’t heated. I just dipped my feet in and ordered a drink. They really didn’t have any wine to select. The common beers were Chang, Leo, and Tiger. They all tasted like Bud Light. I’m spoiled by every flavored craft beer at home.


That evening we decided to check out the nearby night market. We decided to eat supper there. Paul bought some sandals, something we couldn’t find a good selection of this time of year at home. I fell in love with a red cashmere shawl, Paul liked the black one on me better. We bargained down to 2,000 bahts (which is approximately $70 at home). Just getting off the plane, 2,000 of any currency seemed like too much money so I walked away.


We couldn’t decide what to eat. We really weren’t interested in the above delicacies. We decided on a restaurant and were seated without a wait.

The server gave us our menus and stood by waiting for us to order. They don’t just drop off the menus and come back later. I ordered the salmon dish and it was excellent. It came out in 1/4 of the portion size that you would get in the US.

As we were eating, a cat roamed by our table. We saw several apparently owner less animals wandering around. We left after the meal, forgetting Paul’s old shoes in a bag by the table. The server chased us down quite a way from the restaurant to return Paul’s old shoes which was very kind.

We went to bed early that first night…exhausted.

Getting malled

This morning…like really early this morning before I woke up…I received 2 emails from a large online company saying that they had a technical error and couldn’t send me an item I ordered on cyber Monday. I try to avoid the mall if at all possible. I’ve never even been black Friday shopping. Maybe I should go next year if I can’t run a marathon…it might give me the same feeling…waiting in line and then running as fast as you can towards the prize. Although I probably wouldn’t get the ‘free’ banana. I’ll have to rethink that..

Anyway…as I was saying, this company couldn’t complete my order but they didn’t tell me what item(s) out of the 25,000 that I ordered they weren’t sending…I tried to contact customer service, but didn’t see the option to choose that I received an email saying they couldn’t fulfill my order. I got a reply right away when I emailed them under the category of fraudulent email. It didn’t seem legit to me anyway. Two emails sent in the middle of the night with an order number and no product description. They sent a quick reply stating that they couldn’t send me an immersible blender. (Although I do still see it for sale on their website at 4 times the price I paid).

The immersible blender is the one item that my mom said that she wanted from me for Christmas. An immersible blender?? What??

This weekend I will be heading to the mall with half the population of Wisconsin to try to find an immersible blender. Did I mention that I HATE SHOPPING!! But before you start to picture me in your mind limping around…there is hope. I will go to the mall during the Packer game. Hopefully the mall will be packed only with pissed off sales clerks that will be missing the game. Fingers crossed on that one!

I feel really blessed to live around a large population of Packer fans when I don’t care about football. Please don’t let the word get out…I get a little nervous if I accidentally wear the opposing team’s colors to church as I am surround by people in Packer jerseys. It is almost like a cult.

Wish me luck on finding an immersible blender without getting mauled by a zillion Christmas shopping mall goers this weekend..

Yeah, good luck with that! I’ll let you know how it goes..

Shopaholics amnotathis

I have a confession to make…I hate shopping!

I can almost hear your collective gasp…

I don’t own a million pairs of shoes.

Maybe it’s the bright lights. I feel blinded when I walk into the store. Then the changing rooms! There is nothing like trying on clothing while in a bright spotlight that highlights your every blemish and flaw. Seriously, maybe stores would sell more clothes if the rooms were dimly lit. But that makes me think of a swanky run down lingerie store with one buzzing flickering light bulb. You just can’t seem to win that one!

Then there is always the mother with tons of crying kids…Do you need to get out that bad?..the elderly health nuts that use the mall as a track for fast walking…Can you not afford a gym membership??…The teens that are trying to look cool…Do I have time to do a survey??…Would I like a “free” sample??…Messy changing rooms…Long check out lines…Aarg..

Plus shopping is sooo boring. Rack after rack and row after row of boring drab garb that lacks inspiration.

Oh, and my ex-boyfriend Brad owns a sword kiosk at the mall. There’s that! I have seen him there before and quickly walked by looking in the other direction. Sometimes I imagine Paul and Brad swirling around the mall in a sword fight. Now that would be exciting.. I probably would need something new to wear for that.. Hmmm.. Yeah, no..

Maybe I don’t like shopping because my mom would take me clothes shopping for 12 hours straight when I was a kid. She always made me try on ugly clothes that she thought were sooo cute. Then if they fit, she would buy half of them. I would end up carrying heavy bags of clothes I didn’t even like around the mall for hours. I would go home sore and miserably exhausted.

I always felt guilty when my mom would buy things for me. I still feel guilty about buying things today regardless of whether I can afford it or not. Do I really need this?? I know the one I have is falling apart, but there is duct tape. Okay, maybe I am not that extreme..

Do I $80 like how this dress looks on me? Probably not.

I don’t like grocery shopping either…

Online shopping, barely tolerable.. I could sit and think about what color to choose for hours and by the time I decide, the item is gone..

But I had to break down this week and go shopping at the mall with Paul for dress clothes. He apparently does not know how to match clothing. Also, I’ve heard that athletic shorts and old race shirts don’t exactly make for proper business attire. Our sales guy said that he was sick of seeing Paul in the same old dress clothes that he has been wearing for years…

Paul will be traveling a lot this next month. It all starts this weekend with a conference on the west coast, then a few weeks after that he will be flying out for a meeting on the east coast. In between all of this there are trade show booths and public speaking.

I had to take one for the team. But I had a little help. I violated my general principle of no drinking during the week and went on a beer flight. Cindy said that having a few cocktails always helps her tolerate Christmas shopping. Not bad advice since I find shopping to be a mild form of torture.

I am happy to say that I made it through shopping with my husband (who hates shopping too)!

Then, after I got home, my son came up to me and said that we needed to go shopping for dress clothes for homecoming. Twice in one week!!

I hope I survive!