Thursday, December 3, 2015

Strange but true occurences

Strange things seem to be the norm for me.  Yes, strange things happen. All. The. Time.  I am often left saying, both in my head and sometimes right out loud, "what the heck is going on?!" or... "How is this even possible?!" or... "WTF?!"  You get the idea.  I am often baffled and confused at the extremely strange happenings in my world!

Here are a few cases that illustrate this concept:

Frisbee Overload
This very morning, I was carrying an overflowing FRISBEE full of leftover food scraps-in various stages of decomposition- to our little flock of chickens in their cute little red chicken hut all while in a dress and mud boots. Oh and best of all, this happened as the bus pulled up to fetch our kids for a day of school.  Our bus driver must really think I am crazy!

Stalked by Chickens
Another day earlier this summer our dwindling flock of chickens STALKED me down the road while I was dressed in my nicest business suit prepared for an important work meeting! You see, I decided to walk to the corner to hop in with my boss for the occasion. I figured exercise is never a bad thing. NEVER. And it would save us a couple of minutes and my boss a mile's worth of gasoline.  So all dressed up in full corporate attire, I hit the road and our chickens all followed right along behind me.   If only I had video of this occasion, I probably would've won AFV and I would be packing my bags for Disney right now!  At least the bus driver did not drive by that morning!  I suspect I felt a bit like this poor kid!  Hunted by chickens!Yikes


Tay Tay has been abducted!
This one isn't so much strange as it is MADDENING.  My Taylor Swift CD is missing. It's gone. And I am pissed. It is the one that I had been using as motivation for keeping the house cleaned.  I won't stand for such obvious acts of defiance and housecleaning destruction.  This is clearly a case of sabotage regarding my new cleaning system. I no sooner publicly declare the new Taylor Swift housecleaning technique somewhat successful and now someone is trying to keep me from cleaning our house.  It's preposterous, enraging, and down-right-mean and worst of all right before the holidays.  Heartless thief.  I won't stop until I get to the bottom of this.  Fire up the Mystery van, Scooby, we have a big mystery to solve!

Cooking ordeal:
Oh and equally maddening as my missing Taylor music, I burned the quinoa.... Again... 

The pan may not fully recover from this incident which really makes me sad because this is my favorite sauce pan, Shirley.  Shirley has been with us since we got hitched so she has sentimental value and is a pretty green color that I so love.  Oh and most importantly she cooks quinoa like none other, unless I go to hang a load of laundry on the line and my children fail to notify me that the timer is beeping and I burn the quinoa beyond recognition.  Then Shirley doesn't work out so great for me, or for her I suppose.  After all having quinoa scorched and stuck to your sides probably doesn't feel very good.  She is in the burn unit, if you'd like to send her a Get Well card I will pass it along next time I go for a visit.  Usually Shirley makes light, fluffy delicious, darn-near-perfect quinoa, I guess it goes to show that you should not leave your children in charge of cooking quinoa!?*;

I guess I can best sum this story up by saying, "Weirdness follows me like our flock of chickens!"

Vern Out

Friday, November 20, 2015

Feeling Irma Bombeckish

Yes Bombeckish is a word because I made it up and because I am one of Irma's biggest fans!  I do feel a certain presence of hers lately what with my ever growing lost sock bin and my use of multiple crock pots I am basically the modern day Irma this week.  Anyhow... 

Before 8am yesterday I had already:
  • successfully sewn two knees on some of my son's pants
  • glued a barbie head back on to Hazel's favorite doll (thus saving her world)
  • fed my kids waffles for breakfast (and not eggos, but real ones that start with flour and eggs)
  • packed three semi-nutritional lunches for my trio
  • signed all school forms required for the day
  • safely delivered three kids to the bus stop
  • hung a load of laundry on the line
Yes I feel like I may reach domestic domination someday yet...

However, I still have:
  • a son who went to school in pants that have a ripped knee and paint stains on them 
  • a house that is messy 
  • a level of disorder within that messy house that is quite appalling
  • a mudroom that "smells funny" according to my hubby
  • leftover, leftover, soup with outdated dinner rolls to feed the fam

On a more humorous note (although I actually never go on Pinterest) ain't nobody got time for that:


and to be honest most days I don't even shower...I call it a water conservation initiative and/or training for Haiti, but I might possibly have personal hygiene issues.

PS my older sister would call the dinner rolls "aged" to make them sound fancy and better, but the reality is they are outdated by two days.

Praise be to God.  We are alive and healthy.

That is all
Vern out

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Udder Chaos

So one of my dearest friend from high school, her family has a dairy company called Udder Chaos. I love the name it is so very clever so I totally stole it for this post! The Company Udder Chaos produces and hauls milk in slick 18 wheelers across the greater West Michigan area.  This one is dedicated to the Beechams.  Love you all like family.  

Chaos is essentially my lifestyle.  I tend to hop from one ridiculous thing to the next without missing a beat.  I lack planning and organization skills and do better with a loose schedule that can change at the drop of a hat.  My house is almost always a wreck and my car is a nightmare all its own.  I lose things often.  And the worst part about  this lifestyle is that I mostly don't care.  I just don't.  I do try to improve, but I certainly mostly don't lose sleep over it.  But then every once in awhile it catches up with me, or someone's offhand comment about my personality get stuck in my head and I beat myself up about it. And I wish I could be more Type A personality. More orderly. Less spontaneous. Less Type (C)haos personality.  Why can't I just make a damn schedule and stick to it?  Or why can't I just become more like my organized friends with planners and strict schedules and processes and procedures?  And why, oh why, is remembering stuff so difficult for me?  When I beat myself up long enough, I almost always end up borderline depressed and feeling badly about myself.  It can get ugly, but I will spare you the details. Other times, I am able to just embrace it.  I own it.  I declare I am mostly disorganized, Type C personality and it is part of who I am and therefore I accept it.  For the most part, life goes better when I take the second approach and focus on the positives to my lifestyle.

Positives of being Type C(haos) Personality Individual

I am spontaneous and willing to take risks.  This means I don't miss out on opportunities that come up unexpectedly merely because I had something else planned, or I am too afraid to try something new.

By owning my mistakes and imperfections publicly, I help others to feel better and free them to do the same. This is liberating people,  if you find yourself exhausted from constantly trying to be perfect please try this one, if even just for a day.  Just say I am imperfect and that is okay and own it.

As a result of my personality disorder, I am adaptive and evolve with situations while maintaining a positive attitude in most all situations. A lot of people struggle with change. I am married to one of them and you know what? Life is change;  how you deal with change, makes a HUGE difference on your outlook on life and I for one am glad that I deal with change well.  It's a big part of who I am.


Epiphany of the week alert:  Caution this gets deeper than the deepest Michigan pothole....And pothole season is just around the corner too!

 I have recently come to realize that I am a master of nothing and the idiot of most everything else.   But what I have also discovered is this: I am really good at people.  I can people all the live long day.

Peopling, as defined by Vern's Dictionary, is a verb used to describe interacting with other humans in a positive way while taking the time to get to know individuals; their talents, their motivating factors, personal needs and passions and then using this knowledge to help them to reach their greatest potential.

Connecting with people comes very naturally to me.  It always has.  I can almost always find the right person for any job. When I worked in animals shelters, I often found just the right person or family for a dog or a cat in need of a new home and I could consistently select the right staff member for the current task at hand. Even if an undesirable task that is tough to sell comes along, I find the right willing person to do it and do it well!  I have found many successful hires for many different jobs over the years.  And it doesn't stop there. I do thoughtful things for my employees, friends and family members consistently to let them know their efforts, talents and uniqueness don't go  unnoticed.  These are all examples of successful peopling.  I can people.  And that my friends is a gift. A very special gift.


Now I leave you with this powerful message....


Friends, every once in awhile it is good to follow your heart, even if it means you find yourself running to the neighbors house down the middle of a country road wearing nothing but a smile and your swimsuit (that is a true story thanks Miranda and Christy for that memory)!  It is good for your soul to do so.  In fact, Dr. Vern prescribes you to be slightly foolish and follow your heart by doing something that makes no sense logically, but that will make your heart happy.  Do it today too, tomorrow is not promised.

Things that make my heart and brain go crazy are when my kids do things like this:

Despite my Type C personality, constantly messy kid's rooms still drive me nuts! Nuts! NUTS! Out of this world NUTS.
The end...
Vern Out

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wonderful Wanda

So here's the thing about life.  It can totally sneak up on you if you're not careful.  You can get really busy with all kinds of good things, really good things and before you know it you are married with a slew of kids and a bunch of animals and they all rely on you every single day. To care for them. To provide for them. To clean them up when they get dirty.  And to fix them, when they get broken.  It is exhausting just thinking about it.  Life. Sneaky, Sneaky Life.

Anyhow, these hubbies, animals and children also need you to provide clean clothing and so enters Wanda the Washing Machine. Now Wanda has been an okay performer for the past three years. She is average. Just average. Since we moved into our new house on New Years Day 2012, I would say conservatively she has on average washed 2 loads of laundry daily. And our laundry isn't subdivision laundry either where it is worn, but not really dirty.  Our loads are country folk laundry and it is down right disgusting most days. So life has not been easy for Wanda. I can admit that.   It has been a constant struggle barely keeping her head above the constantly rising sudsy, dirty, laundry water.  Yes Life totally snuck up on her and now here she is all washed up and DEAD three years later.  Yes Wanda died.  She's dead. Gone.  Forever. And only three years old.  She is off to the appliance cemetery that is a landfill or metal recycling plant I am uncertain which one.  It matters not, she is gone and we await a new washer.

On the positive side, at least I get to name a new appliance!  But still I am mostly pissed because since when do washing machines last only three frickin' years!?  And Samsung kindly explained that they are only manufactured to last between 3-5 years nowdays which is why their warranty only last a year! What!?  Where are us humans going to live when all these old appliances take over all the space and available land?  It will be a real appliance revolution and I predict in about twenty years we may all have to take up residence in a dump, or home made of recycled appliances...

Wanda's Portrait January 1, 2012.



I can't share a post mortem photo because I will not allow the years of abuse to be broadcast to the entire free world.  That would be disrespectful and preposterous for Wanda.  Plus our laundry room is a filthy mess which for different reasons would be equally embarrassing to share.

I will leave you with this short eulogy.

Wonderful Wanda 

Not a day shall pass
That we shan't miss your ass

Already we've had to drag laundry across fields
(to grandmas) in order to have clean clothes yields

Everyday you washed our clothes real well
Even though they looked as though they'd been through hell

Until we meet again
Up in appliance heaven

We hope that you'll find peace
And finally be free of poop from the geese

We would've fixed you
but it was too expensive to do

RIP Wanda 2012-1015 Three years of faithful service.

PS Samsung is the worst Appliance Company I have ever dealt with so please FOR THE LOVE of GOD and ALL THAT IS GOOD AND PURE IN THIS WORLD do not buy a washing machine (or any other appliance) from that company.

That is all.

Vern Out




Monday, November 9, 2015

Haiti or Bust!



So What do Alex Trebek, hydrocephalus and Haiti have to do with each other!?

Absolutely Nothing. There is no punch line either. This is not a joke cleverly written by me.  However, the news I am about to share does somewhat loosely connect the three seemingly unrelated things.

 As for the Haiti bit... well I am actually going to Haiti in January 2016!!!  Now if you have a terrible memory, like me,  you may not recall my post from some months back when this little dream began.  The original post is from February so if you have no idea what Haiti Dream means read this link.

This is where Alex Trebek joins the story because you need to insert the
Jeopardy theme song here for special effects...and Alex Trebek onlooking...
Mug shot of Alex Trebek

A little assistance with that one in case you have no idea who Alex is!  But shame on you if you do not know of him. He is kind of a big deal.

Okay all caught up!?  So I am going!  I am going on my crazy, Haiti, God, Deny and a bunch of orphans and me trip.  I can’t wait to see what I learn and how I grow while I am gone.  Most importantly, I can't wait to see what good God will be able to do with my time spent there.  It is so exciting, scary, mind-blowing and kind of crazy. But this is really happening. The plane ticket was purchased.  I even have a packing list people!  And a "what to do when you land in Haiti" letter too. I have one of those too! WOW just WOW!

Prayers Please
Oh but I need your help.  I need lots and lots of help with this dream of ours.  Mostly I  need lots of prayer power so please pray for me, this unorganized, slightly crazy, lady chasing her dream, to handle the pressure of traveling to and from Haiti unaccompanied. Pray for safety of everyone involved with the trip and at God's Littlest Angels the orphanage that will be home to me for eleven glorious days.  Pray for God's Littlest Angels everyday because finances are tight and children in need are many.  Pray for Jeff, Kara, Aven, Hazel and the rest of my family left stateside while I am off doing what I can only explain as God’s will.  Please Pray.  It is the most important way you can help me.

Others ways to help
Now of course, chasing my God inspired plan that requires a trip to Haiti isn’t cheap either so if you wish to offer financial assistance that is cool too, but no pressure.  It is going to cost me about $1600.  If you would like to help with the costs of me staying in Haiti, you can support me by sending a check written to God’s Littlest Angels to me and I will send them in to the orphanage to be credited toward my expenses prior to my January 7,  2016 departure.  If you would like to help support the cost of my airline ticket, then a donation directly to me would be most appreciated.  I had to buy that large item myself.  If I pay for the entire cost of chasing this dream down, I am okay with that.  But I know some people want to help and I have learned that help is never a bad thing.  Never.  I am not asking anyone to cutback from their Christmas Funds or live without what they need, but if everyone I know sends me just $5 it will fund most of the trip... and I will remain happily married while I am at it and get to prove to Jeff that God does do amazing things when you follow His lead:)

Oh and then I plan to take my luggage full of stuff for the kids so if you prefer to help with goodies that is another option.  I am a minimalist and I have less than stellar personal hygiene practices so I will not be packing much for myself.  My luggage will be all about the KIDS.  I want to bring stuff that they can use at the orphanage.  Watch future posts for a complete list of needed items, but I know gently used sandals are in need.  It is always HOT there the expression "hotter than Haiti" didn't come from nowhere. They come by that reputation honestly.  


Deny is the inspiration for this trip! 

Here is where the hydrocephalus comes into the story.  As most of you know, I developed hydrocephalus in 2007.  To say it left a mark on my heart would be a vast understatement. The diagnosis changed my life forever.  Deny, he was Born in Haiti with hydrocephalus to a poor farming family.  His parents abandoned him at a hospital as a baby because they knew they could not care for his medical needs. He was transferred to God's Littlest Angels at the age of five and is now slated for adoption. Our family has been sponsoring Deny for the past year and will continue to do so until he reaches his forever home!   I can't wait to celebrate his 10th birthday with him... unless he is already with his adopted family by then in which case I will still celebrate it still, but it will be less festive and I will possibly cry tears of both joy (that he is home) and sadness (that I didn't get to meet him in person).

I don’t know what else to say other than this has been a long time in the making (like years).  Many of you know me and you know I don't mostly do the traditional, churchy, standard Christian practices things all that well,  I just don't.  I tend to find God in the most unlikely places-- like port-a-johns, hospital beds, out in nature and I suspect in Haitian orphanages.  In these moments, I feel His presence greatly (not that I never feel it at church. it is just less often for me).  I honestly feel God has been preparing me for this very journey for YEARS and YEARS and YEARS.  Praise Him for His great insight and planning skills because I certainly have very little.  Those of you who have traveled with me know that this is not my strong suit... planning ahead, packing, being prepared, traveling unsupervised, but I am trusting that this is where I need to go and what I need to be doing for His greater plan.

I found this and it really resonates with me given my track record with church, religion and God.
Please pray for this trip to be a wonderful learning experience and for great impact to be had and good to be done while I am there at God's Littles Angels.  Most importantly, pray for me to not get lost and end up homeless (or worse) in Haiti. And for all of us to move a little closer to Jesus.

Vern Out

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ON a completely unrelated note

On a completely unrelated note because let's face it that is how I roll, IF I ever write my book, which I swear someday I actually will, these are a handful of the chapters I have planned!  It is like my own little book preview!

CHECK IT OUT!

  • What happened to my yellow vacation request slips?
  • A bacon lover stuck in a sausage lover family?
  • My knight in a shiny egg shaped car
  • Die TV (and other stupid electronic gadgets) DIE
  • Split personalities and other psychotic episodes!
  • Freedom tastes a lot like guacamole
  • Portajohns, toilets and everywhere in between!
  • Life lessons: how to survive motherhood!
  • This is not kid friendly, but it will make you laugh
  • The Appliance Alliance and other heroic stories of household victory 
  • Snowstaches, mud boots and nature all rock
  • A guide to basic woman logic: a gift to husbands around the globe

So Whatcha think?!?  And more importantly, who will buy a signed copy and stop by to visit me when I am out doing my tour across America!?


PS my book will probably have a similar dedication to this guy's masterpiece 

you know only with my family's names inserted in place of his because otherwise it would be weird. And it is going to be more like six years earlier for me assuming I get off my ass and write this book in the next two years!


Vern Out

Food for thought

So I was out on a run with a group of friends the other day and one of them said, "you know what, Vern, you should write about Lunchables on your blog. That would be fun".  Well I believe in giving the people what they want so here it is, Barbara...My view on Lunchables.



Versus









First of all, they are complete crap as far as nutrition goes so if you are delusional and think you are saving your kids from the school lunches by packing them one of these bad boys, you are so WRONG. (To be clear, I am not suggesting that a school lunch is better than a Lunchable merely that a lunchable is not necessarily a better choice either.)  I guess what I am trying to say (poorly I might add) is, they suck equally; School lunches and Lunchables are both EQUALLY AWFUL and HORRIBLE options to feed your children.  However, I realize this is a FIRST WORLD PROBLEM and millions of children around the globe would do better on Lunchables or School Lunches than they are doing on NOTHING and CRAP WATER often laden with microbes that make them ill with dysentery or worse...

This is the horrible reality of this hard, cruel world.  While our children face the challenges of inactivity, obesity and too much screen time, millions of children are dying for a sip of potable water and a few morsels of food. Yet here in America, parents still feel the need to give their kids more. This is very perplexing to me and I don't have it all figured out, I am just pointing out some interesting noticings of mine.  This is one of the world's greatest tragedies in my opinion.  Obesity (and all its related health concerns) is arguably our culture's greatest health challenge while people in places like Haiti and Africa are literally starving to death.  It breaks my heart.  Think about it for a few minutes because I am all about keeping things light, fluffy  and fun on my blog; I am nothing if not carefree and funny, but this issue is a real ISSUE.  Take action to make a difference in the world today.  Instead of spending more quarters in the gumball machine to keep your kids in line at the store, put your change in a change jar and donate it to a developing country through an organization like GLA Haiti or TWP when it gets full.  Every penny counts! EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

Okay enough of that heavy stuff, it's making me tired and kinda hungry. Maybe I will go fetch a QUICK Lunchable!!!  Just kiddin', you couldn't pay me enough to eat one of those!  But seriously, back to the Lunchables. The blessed Lunchables.  I found a really great article you should check out for more details about how Lunchables Suck.

IF you want just the cliff notes version of the article because like me you lack an attention span longer than that of a two-year old on a cotton candy high, this summary paragraph is perfect for you:
     If a big advantage of Lunchables is that they require little thought on the part of the parents, a big downside is that they teach our children that food shouldn't require much thought or that eating needn't be preceded by thinking.  And that's what makes Oscar Mayer's cardboard-clad "meals" particularly tragic.  Besides coarsening kids' palates, they teach kids that shrink-wrapped convenience is the norm, that taking the time to make a sandwich or peel some fruit is a problem that needs an industrial "solution" like Lunchables and that you don't have to think about what you eat at all.

Do I hear an AMEN?
So aside from providing possibly less nutrition than the very box they come in and more sodium than a couple pounds of bacon, Lunchables are also full of sugar, preservatives and other artificial stuff.  And they teach our kids that food comes from a pretty yellow box instead of from mother earth and our dear farmers!  Oh and I bet their shelf life is longer than a bottle of moonshine, or Aunt Rita's fruit cake, or possibly even a pair of leather shoes!  Who knows, with all those preservatives they might out live me!

But wait there's more!  Lunchables are spendy too ya'll; they are downright expensive.  Between 3 and 5 dollars a piece to be exact!  Not only do they pollute our children's precious bodies, but we are spending a pretty penny to do so.  It is truly outrageous and yet on occasion I have served Lunchables to my trio.

Case in Point:  I will share this story with you despite the fact that it is a tad embarrassing for me. I will do this because:
  • I trust you... to share it with everyone you know. (How else will my blog go viral)
  • I care about you.  (I care about humanity in general, but especially about you!)
  • I want to help you feel better about your parenting skills (Trust me, you will!)
Here you go!
My friend--we will call her Patty to protect her identity and so that my real friend is in no way, shape, or form associated with my questionable parenting techniques-- anyhow my friend's daughter was with me for the day.  Patty's eldest child that is and she was helping me and my eldest child during pre-race week at our house (Pre-race week is the week leading up to the 5K that I direct Brainy Day 5k and it is arguably the craziest, most hectic week of the year at our house.  Think Christmas season on steroids and you get an idea of what it's like). So the three of us were cranking out lots of errands, and trail preparations, and box hauling and other manual work.  It was seriously a very productive day, but at roughly 3PM when I realized we had been working for about 6 hours without so much as a water break, I decided to swing through the local grocery store to fetch a quick lunch for the girls.  This decision was based on my fear that CPS or annoying Labor Law professionals might show up to investigate the matter and I really didn't have time to be interrogated or deal with other bureaucratic red tape that day. So in that moment I was responsible and made time to get them lunch. A quick lunch.  And nothing says quick lunch like the Lunchable.  I led the girls to the impressive display of various lunchables and instructed the girls to quickly pick one so we could return to our never ending chore list.  Now because Lunchables are viewed so favorably by children, it took them a LONG TIME to select just the right one. After searching for what seemed like a lifetime, Patty's child piped up with, "this is so cool. I have never had one of these before I cant wait to eat it!" and that my friends is when I nearly lost it.  In that instance, I felt like the worst mom ever.  I wanted to curl up on that disgustingly dirty grocery store floor in the fetal position and cry a pool of self loathing tears.  Honestly my kids have had a Lunchable at least annually, if not bi-annually, since the age of two (To make matters worse, there is probably some choking hazard on them about not being recommended for kids under 3) and here Patty's kid was having never had even one at the ripe age of 9!  How had I failed so miserably as a mom?  It was disappointing and embarrassing for me and made me question my worthiness as a parent. The girls didn't notice my moment of pain and suffering; they were too busy celebrating their selections!  Instead of whining, crying or laying on that dirty floor and throwing an all out tantrum, I am pretty sure I said something like, "welcome to the world of crap food, ugh I mean Lunchables...Bon Appetit! Now, let's get back to work."

THE END

See you feel better about your parenting now don't you? I bet you've never fed Lunchables to your kids either?!

PS This is all just my opinion and some interesting facts that I found regarding Lunchables.  I by no means claim to be a nutrition expert and I clearly do not have time to deal with a law case involving slander I mean I don't even have time for CPS to interrogate me...so take this for what it's worth (cheap entertainment) and enjoy lunch today.


PPS and honestly despite all of this research I have done, I will likely continue to feed my kids Lunchables at least once a year until they turn 18 at which time their food choices are all their own.  I like to think I have taught them to eat mostly healthy with a little bit of unhealthy for good measure. 

PPPS I know I am modeling good physical activity practices for my kids because they still get babysitters so they can go for a run every time they play house!

PPPPS apparently I am losing it more than I realized because I credited Barbara with the inspiration for this post and she claims it wasn't her...to claim credit for this concept please respond to this post or correct me next time we run together whoever you are!!!


Vern Out

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Squeaky clean update (let the kids read this one)

A few quick updates:

First things first, Chester underwent emergency surgery!  It was a bit traumatic at the time, but I am so glad we did it.  We were concerned that he was going to actually explode given how full he had gotten the past few months so we called the professionals.

The surgeon removed the following from Chester's abdomen:

  • a freezer meal
  • four packages of fish
  • two frozen pizzas 
  • a package of tortilla wraps 
  • a loaf of bread
  • an unidentified scary looking feather covered item  (I believe my husband actually killed the poor creature at some past date)
  • a partridge in a pear tree

And there is plenty more food in there too!  But this recent extraction gives me hope that I may get to the bottom of that freezer yet!

So I broke down and ironed again the other day.  It wasn't pretty and I damaged the kitchen table, again, but I did in fact iron a shirt!  Now in the name of all that is impure and horrible and wrong in this painful and broken, world, ironing, is the worst.  I curse you, Irma the Iron.  Ironing is without a doubt the worst task EVER.

This most recent ironing ambition was done in order to allow my son to have his school pictures in a wrinkle free shirt and to keep my husband happy because he hates wrinkled clothes. I honestly don't mind them, I feel like wrinkled clothes are a way of making a statement to others something to the affect of, "I have better things to do with my time than remove wrinkles from my clothes for your benefit because honestly I don't give a flying "f" if my clothes are wrinkled. The end."  However, I extended grace and compassion to the situation at hand as I knew our son was going to be photographed and the wrinkles captured forever in time via the infamous school picture if I didn't take swift sure action.  I knew I had to iron to avoid an outraged husband in a couple weeks when the pictures come in.  UGH.  What a start to my day.  I ironed.

Oh and then I wanted to quickly share my new housecleaning routine with you because you may find it helpful.  First of all, I have never had a routine pretty much for anything.  I guess I am not really a routine kind of person. I know people say, "kids do best with routine".  And maybe they do, but my kids did just fine without one too.  We are adaptive! My lack of routine goes hand and hand with my lack of order and organization skills. SIGH. However, this is one routine that is working for me despite my lack of ability to do anything remotely structured. So if you find yourself failing miserably as a housekeeper, or feeling like the worst housewife ever, it might be worth a shot.  I mean if you are feeling that way, can things really get any worse?!  And I am actually the worst housekeeper ever so don't worry, that position is FILLED by yours truly.  So here is the secret to mediocre housekeeping....I play 1989 by T Swift every morning as soon as the kids are out the door and I force myself to shake it off and clean until the entire album is done roughly 46 minutes.  So far the results are, in a word, amazing.  I have been vacuuming at least weekly. I dusted the entire house last week (and I don't believe in dusting, but my husband does so it made him happy). I cleaned and organized our closet and the pantry too.  The bathrooms have been cleaned as well and I even scrubbed the toilets!  Seriously, I am becoming a regular old Martha Stewart!  The music makes it fun and I suppose you could substitute in whatever music you wanted for the occasion! However, as for me and my family, we will stick with TayTay.

In conclusion,

Best of luck! I hope my routine works out better for you than it did for this lady.  I pray you don't end up with cooked, dirty socks or bills that get soggy from your dishwasher! Although honestly, other than me ** who actually mails bills nowadays anyways?

**side note: I fear I may be turning into an old lady, as I find myself often annoyed with modern conveniences such as online banking and e-readers.

PS If you hadn't already guessed it, I was the surgeon in this story just call me Vern M.D. from now on!
Vern Out

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Eat dessert first

This will be my shortest post ever.



Coincidence?! I think not.  I think God wants us to eat dessert first especially when our stress levels are really high.  That is why a half a batch of no-bake cookies makes me feel better when I have reached my breaking point.  Those cookies toss me into a very angelic food coma unsurpassed to date by any other over indulgence of food.


That is all,
Enjoy your dessert tonight!
Vern out



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I'll cry if I want to

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to!  But I dont. I want to laugh if I want to and since it is my birthday that is just what I plan to do.  Here is the thing about happiness, unless you have clinical depression, it is a choice.  It is a choice people.  Too many people take life WAY TOO SERIOUSLY and are PISSED off all the time and usually about stupid stuff too.  I am married to one of them.  But today I choose happy.  HAPPY!  Even though I am married to a crabby man, I am thankful for him.  He is a great provider, a wonderful father and in so many ways a down right great person.  He is just not very happy usually and it is annoying, but I am happily married.

So what does my never really happy, always kinda grumpy husband do for my birthday!?  He bought me the most unromantic birthday present ever... a new GPS.  I suspect this was more a gift to himself so that I will stop calling him for assistance when I get lost and I thought about getting grumpy about this, but I decided to be happy.  I especially thought about being grumpy when instead of spending quality time with me (when we ended up with an hour of free time. alone. together) and he decided to mount my new GPS to the dash of our van this morning.  I had another idea involving mounting (something other than a GPS I might add), but even then in that instance I thought to myself, Happy. I am going to be happy. Yes I have committed to happy at least for today so here is my super simple, easy peasy, happiness plan...

Vern's OFFICIAL HAPPINESS PLAN
Step one:
BE HAPPY

Step Two:
Repeat Step One Repeatedly until the end of the day.

Emergency Happiness Plan
And when it gets really tough I am going to rely on my often shoddy memory* and recall good happy times.

I am going to remember the good times like the last time I was in fact lost...
Even lost I chose HAPPY that day!


Or the time when we caught the monster!  Check it out! That was a HAPPY moment!


I am going to choose to be grateful for what I have, not dwell on what I do not and I am going to have a happy f*ing birthday!


*Evidence of my poor memory is a case study from yesterday. Yesterday.   I left my office inquiring as to who was baking what I imagined in my messed up head to be some exquisite and delicious baked good.  My coworker informed me that she had not whipped up a fantastic delicacy, but that she was pretty sure I was in fact baking a sweet potato.  I had completely forgotten placing said sweet potato in the over over two hours prior.  It was a well done sweet potato, but I ate it.  I am nothing if not resourceful and I refused to let my poor memory lead to wasted food.  And now you all think I have lost it, but I just had to share.  I do have a bad memory, but at least I am happy!

That is all
Vern Out

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This is not kid friendly, but it will make you laugh!

A quick update on my incredible entourage of appliances.

Chester is still alive and well and stuffed to the gills.  Speaking of gills I am removing a bunch of the bluegills from Chester this weekend for my run club's annual fish fry!  So excited to remove something from Chester; it seems all I do lately is deposit new freezer meals to him!

Brenda the blenda has been retired. She started smoking and I will not stand for that in our house it is a smoke free home, Brenda, get with the program or get out!!

Anyhow, she now hangs out with Victor (retired vacuum cleaner remember!) at our well stocked bar in the basement.  At least it was well stocked when I put her down there last month.  I better go complete an inventory. Once I get out of work, I am heading straight to our bar!  Yes she and Victor hang out often, unless he is gone golfing or fishing and then she is on her own and she drinks dirty martinis.

Irma and I are still not on speaking terms.  She is still a free loading nightmare of an iron and I just can't find it in my heart to forgive her.  Maybe someday. Time heals all wounds.

Ted the Toaster is hard core man. He has been creating wonderful early morning delights for us for nearly ten years now without so much as a complaint, or a missed shift!  The guy is amazing! And when I searched for an acceptable photo to share with you of a toaster of Ted's variety, I turned up a disturbing article about a guy in London who got his penis stuck in a toaster.  Anyhow, here is the closest picture to Ted that I found after picking my jaw up off the floor, saying eww and why??!?! and then laughing hysterically for about five minutes.  If you just must read the gross article here is the link to that recipe  Toasted Penis



As for me and the kids, we are getting back into the swing of things now that we are in the third week of school!  Although we have eaten nothing but leftover camping hotdogs and a batch of baked spaghetti for the past few week so Jeff would probably disagree that we are getting into the swing of things! He is ready for a real meal!



Vern out

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Music makes me happy

I was at Taylor's Chicago concert Saturday and she talked about how music can make us feel happier and inspire people and it is so TRUE! She is so wise and humble!  I truly felt like she was talking to me when she shared her insight with the crowd of 50,000+ at Soldier Field!

This picture makes me smile.  It lights up my soul and just makes me feel happy all over! HAPPY!!! I guess maybe, just maybe, I am obsessed.  I really LOVE both of their music so much!   I can be in a piss poor, foul, mood and having the worst day and then "Photograph" or "Shake it off" come on the radio and I am instantly transformed into a happier, lighter, better, version of myself!   My kids know this to be true.  My husband believes in this; in fact, he believes  so deeply we are actually planning a super cool, hard core, 12-hour road trip to see Ed in D.C. for my birthday just so I will be in a good mood for the occasion!  It is the last time I get to turn 30 something so it is kind of a big deal!!!  The only thing that could improve the occasion would be if Taylor showed up to sing, "I just want to know you better" with Ed for my special day!!!!  That would be the absolute BEST!!!

Oh and by the way, I really hope there is never a term Swieran or Taylor"Ed" but seriously these are two of my most favoritest artistist/musicians. And they are both cat people too. And having worked in the animal welfare industry for over a decade this fact is very important.  Cat people never really relate well to us dog people!  I love my cat too though don't get me wrong.  Gus is an amazingly social cat and I love him dearly, but alas I am still a dog person at heart! And they are both so down to earth for famous people. Seriously. Down. To. Earth.

And their music, yes their music, just speaks to my heart and soul. So if they ended up together that would be so cool, but a term should never be created to describe them together because they are both such unique and awesome individuals.  They are both so damn special and becoming TaylorEd or Swieran would be disastrous!

 That is all.

PS Oh and I still hate television and I still believe Chester, my chest freezer, somehow reproduces asexually which continues to challenge me in the realm of emptying his contents.

PPS I invited Ed to sing the national anthem at Brainy Day 5K in August!  I sent him a message on his facebook page so I am pretty sure I will get to meet him then, but otherwise September for sure!

Vern out

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Wasteland

This sucks I accidentally published this post when I was really planning to just start a new story about the throw away society in which I reside.  And now I can't figure out how to unpublish it and I am again annoyed with technology...Anyhow, I really hate waste.  Our society is nothing if not wasteful.  So my kids are accustomed to hearing things like "finish your food", "we are having leftovers" and "no we are not going to buy that because we don't need it"

PS SO finish your vegetables people and have a happy Fourth of July weekend!

PPS And for Pete's sake don't take so much of that because you will never finish it.

PPPS take that you silly blog that self published my not yet constructed story.  I finished it in under three minutes and it is still entertaining.

Vern Out

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Still alive eh!?

Yes I am still alive and yes I am still trying to empty my pantry. Oh and while I am at it I am also attempting to empty my chest freezer, Chester.  A girl's gotta have goals.  So first of all, I wanted my faithful followers to know I am alive and mostly well.  Secondly I wanted to share a quick story.  And finally I needed to confess my latest shopping binge.  Let's get started!

Happy Canada Day!  So confession first,  I totally shopped last night for the ingredients to make Nanaimo Bars in celebration of Canada Day (for those of you who have no idea what the hell a Nanaimo Bar is (which was me until 9 o'clock last night); they are a traditional Canadian dessert.  I have since learned that in short, they are a taste of heaven.  A buttery, chocolatey coconutty, taste of heaven.  They are Rich in flavor (and probably calories) and very, very, very, very, yummy.  There are many different versions of these treats.  I chose ones with almonds and coconut because I like almonds and coconut!  Did I mention they are very yummy!?  Check em out!



So how exactly did I end up dressed in Mittens in July wearing my red and white with some crazy yummy bars I had never heard of until yesterday!?  Good question.  Well we recently hired a Canadian transplant at work so now that I work with a Canadian I figured I need to be respectful of her so when I learned (yesterday) that today was Canada Day, I decided to go all out for the occasion!  I am wearing red and white and my mittens from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and I will be eating some of those delicious bars shortly.  Heck I may even run through KFC and request some poutine if I get really ambitious!  Apparently they will prepare it if requested in the US and in Canada it is a menu favorite!




Vern Out


Friday, May 15, 2015

Genie in a bottle

I have come to realize that what I really need is another one of me.  Hear me out; it's not as crazy as it sounds.  Someone who knows all the information I know, thinks like I think, can take care of my kids in a pinch and who will cook and clean while I am otherwise entertained.  A carbon copy of me.  Just one, and life would be a lot easier.  I think that would be my wish to waste if I had a genie in a bottle.  My husband's wish would probably be for one less of me, or for a less forgetful version of me, sigh....anywho...



A few weeks ago I visited my favorite dining establishment, Marie Catribs.  Well at least it is one of my favorites.  I do LOVE to eat so picking just one favorite is quite impossible for me.  I have at least three!   I ate a delicious egg sandwich called the Trenton and took home a variety of fresh yummy salads and dessert!  As always, it was really AHHHMAZING!

Here is my top three favorites when dining out:

Already mentioned this place, but might as well make it official!  Marie Catribs is my absolute favorite healthy and delicious place to eat. It also doubles as my special place to dine with my BBF (Brain Buddy Friend) so it is pretty spectacular.  There are so many yummy salads and desserts that despite eating here fairly often, I am yet to scratch the surface.  Best of all, everything is made from ingredients from local farms so I help our local economy while I eat!

Turks is my favorite, not so healthy, place to eat.  While often calorie rich, Turks food is excellent and the atmosphere is casual and kid friendly and you know how I feel about their onion rings.  Their onion rings alone are worth driving, or running, several miles to get them and I have done both over the years!  I even skied there a few years back!

 Hearthstone Bistro is my favorite place to go on a date (with my husband!).  The atmosphere is warm and inviting and for those on a date, oh so Romantic! It is so quiet and relaxing that it is perfect for date night!  Although parents of three like me often find themselves dozing off after dinner because it is so much more peaceful than any house full of children!  The Food is incredible.  Always fresh and seasonally inspired.  TASTY, GOOD STUFF!  This place is not so perfect with kiddos because of the romantic and quiet factors so do us all a favor and if you head here get a babysitter or leave your kids in the closet with a box of fruit snacks or a thing of microwave popcorn! (just kidding)



Oh and best of all I am heading there TONIGHT!  I am like a kid on Christmas Eve full of anticipation and excitement!  When I first started writing this, I was in fact heading to Hearthstone that very evening.  However, life happened and I am just now finishing this story.

PS  I get to be the substitute soccer coach for the Earthquakes (my son's super cool soccer team) and while I fully admit and my husband quickly pointed out, "you don't know a thing about soccer" I plan to have fun with the kids and who knows maybe I will learn something about soccer.

PPS I used to kind of like that song, "Genie in a Bottle" and now it is stuck inside my head and I don't like it so much anymore.

Vern Out