Saturday, June 30, 2012

Driving Miss Lainey, Part Two

This week, I continued my career as an amatuer driver's education instructor.  I took Teen Wolf out for two more driving lessons.  We put in four hours of drive time the first day, double the length of our first lesson.  When I asked him why he wanted to be out for so long, he told me that he had to get eighteen hours of driving time in each month so that he wouldn't lose the bet he had going with his boss. 

It seems that in an effort to motivate our young unwilling driver, the boss made a small wager with Teen Wolf.  Teen Wolf needs sixty hours of driving time accompanied by an experienced driver before he can take the driver's test.  If Teen Wolf got his needed driving time in by the end of summer, then everyone in the office (the entirely male office, I might add) would where a dress to work for one day.  If Teen Wolf didn't get his requisite driving time in by the end of summer, then Teen Wolf would have to wear a dress to work for one day.  I'm thinking either the boss doesn't have much faith in Teen Wolf getting the job done by Labor Day or else he has a flair for cross dressing that he wants to enjoy at work for a day.

The Gender Bender Bet: 
Much needed motivation or a cruel joke against the office newbie?
The boss' strategy seems to be working because in two days I spent six hours in my car being chauffuered around by Teen Wolf.  He seemed much more confident this time around.  Teen Wolf was also much more in control of the car.  He had no trouble staying on his side of the road and the twitchy steering was no longer evident.  His control and confidence convinced me that we had advanced beyond practicing in parking lots and cruising around the neighborhood.  It was time to take this show on the road!

We started small with winding two lane country roads.  I figured there would be less pressure on Teen Wolf as the back roads would have less traffic and lower speeds than the local thouroughfares and highways.  Plus, that's what my parents did with me when I was learning how to drive.  Why endanger whole highways full of people with a teenage driver when you can drive around the countryside endangering white picket fences and cows instead, right?

The country road needs to take us home
 because I've gotten us horribly lost.
Apparently, it's been a while since I drove around my local country roads because I managed to get us terribly lost after an hour of driving through the sticks.  We drove down a tiny country lane that I thought connected two larger country byways, but we must have missed a turn somewhere because after forty five minutes driving aimlessly down the same road we came out down by the water at the southern edge of the county.  Luckily, I knew where we were once we reemerged into civilization, so I directed Teen Wolf back towards home via more widely traveled, conventional roads.

We had been driving for two and a half hours by the time we made it back to town.  Teen Wolf made his request to extend our driving time for the day and offered to buy me lunch to sweeten the deal.  We skipped the packed parking lot at our favorite local fast food restaurant and opted for a less popular, but also less crowded option next door.  I ordered, Teen Wolf paid, and we sat down to enjoy our lunch.

I've probably spent more one on one time with Teen Wolf in the last three weeks than I've spent with him in the previous three years and I'm discovering that he's a pretty cool kid.  He has a good head on his shoulders and a fairly good idea of what he wants to be when he grows up.  As we've been driving along, he's told me about his plans for the summer, all the exciting adventures he's having at his part time job, and most interestingly about the girl at the office that he's been crushing on recently.

I freely admit that I was completely unprepared for the conversation that occurred during our lunch break.  While sitting at the table, enjoying our Whoppers, Teen Wolf asked me how he could tell if a girl liked him.  Oh boy!  When did I become the trusted purveyor of love and dating advice?

He was being so sincere.  It was beyond cute.  I told him that if a girl laughed at his jokes, she probably liked him.  He countered with the "what if I'm just being really funny" argument.  So I told him he would have to look for other signs, like if she smiled at him a lot, went out of her way to talk to him, or attended non-work events that she knew he would be attending.

He absorbed this new insight while finishing his fries and I texted my honey (a.k.a. Teen Wolf's honorary uncle).  He agreed with the laughing at his jokes tip and added that it was even more telling if the jokes in question were corny or not really funny.  Then he added a few tips that made me laugh because they were all things I had done before we first started going out, such as "If she throws Bailey's chocolates at you, then she likes you," or "If she smacks you with her shoe for talking during a movie, then she likes you." Guilty on both counts.

Sorry, guys! Girls aren't going to make it easy for you
by putting up a sign like this.

We finished off the first day of driving by cruising by Mr. Mynd's office (so that Teen Wolf could show his dad how well he was driving) and getting lost on the way home.  Winding country roads are confusing.  What can I say?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Next Julia Child

"I was thirty two when I started cooking. Up until then I just ate."
                                                                                   ~ Julia Child

After reading the quote above, I have decided that I am going to be the next Julia Child.  I'm thirty two; just like Julia was when she started cooking.  Also like Julia, up until now I just ate food, I didn't cook it (unless all other options and resources had been absolutely exhausted). 

Don't get me wrong, I have a lovely kitchen in my home.  I decorated it myself in shades of turquoise and blue-green.  I have a complete set of peacock blue Fiestaware in there, complete with serving bowls, silverware, and a matching three-piece cannister set on the counter.  My mother has seen to it that it is stocked with all manner of cooking apparatus.  I have a toaster oven and Crock Pot, a wok and a stock pot, baking sheets and meatloaf pans.  It is fully loaded with everything a young cook could ever possibly need.  I've just never felt the need to spend any time in there beyond fixing a bowl of cereal or making a couple pieces of toast.

When I was younger, I loved baking and would trash my mother's kitchen making cookies, cakes, and pies.  During a brief period in my twenties, while I was dating a single father, I tried my hand at being June Cleaver by cooking pot roasts, pork chops, and chicken dinners.  Much like the relationship, most of my June Cleaver culinary experiences did not have a happy ending.  Something would always go a little awry, either the pot roast would be dry or the chicken would be undercooked.  Don't even ask about the pork chops!  I'm just lucky no one died of trichinosis.

Now in my thirties, I have new culinary challenges.  My honey fancies himself a good cook,
certainly a better cook than me at any rate, so he tends to dominate the kitchen.  He's done most of the cooking since he moved in with me and he's right.  He's a really good cook.  He makes excellent Mexican and Italian meals.  He loves spicy food.

At the start of the week, my honey decided to invite his parents over for dinner on Tuesday.  We decided to make lasagna because his father announced that he had a hankering for Italian.  We went to the store and bought all the supplies and were ready to cook.  Then, life decided to interfere with our plans.  There was a death in my family, a cousin of my mother's passed away unexpectedly.  The viewing was scheduled for the night we were supposed to have his parents over, so we had to reschedule.  I would have the funeral to go to the following day, so we rescheduled for Thursday.

After getting home from the funeral and the wake, I decided to begin my culinary career as the next Julia Child. We would get the lasagna together the night before so that all we'd have to do the next day was bake and serve.  Boy, am I glad we did that!  It was a disaster.

Let me start by saying it was entirely my fault.  I misread the label on the jar of spaghetti sauce.  The jar said 1 lb. 8 oz., but all I saw was the 8 oz. part.  Since my lasagna recipe called for 24 oz. of spaghetti sauce, I added three jars of sauce.  For those of you not skilled at measurement conversions, 1 lb. 8 oz. is exactly 24 ounces.  I put in three times the amount of spaghetti sauce we needed!

Of course, I didn't realize my mistake until after we put the lasagna in the oven.  Bake covered for thirty minutes, uncovered for ten minutes to melt the cheese on top, and out of the oven comes... Well, I guess lasagna soup would best describe the concoction that came out of the oven.  My honey let it sit for ten minutes and then cut himself a piece, ate it, and pronounced it delicious.  God love him!  He dug into my lasagna soup concoction with gusto.

Not that I didn't believe him, (Okay, I didn't believe him.  The man's in love.  He'll say anything to make me happy.) but I went to the store and got the fixings for a new lasagna.  While I was gone, he cut up the rest of the culinary calamity and put it in tupperware containers so he could take it to work for lunch.  He's going to be so sick of lasagna by the weekend that he won't want Italian for a month after this is over.

We're going to try again with the lasagna tonight.  If this one doesn't work out, I'm going to get  a pan of Stouffer's lasagna from the freezer section and call it a day.

Thankfully, my honey doesn't seem to care that I can't cook.
Gee, I wonder why?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Being A Domestic Goddess

And Other Things I Only Get To Do During The Summer

My honey and I are back from our trip to Hershey Park.  I can check one item off my summer to do list.  We had a great time riding almost all of the the roller coasters.  My honey's favorite roller coaster, the Wildcat, was out of commission while we were there and a lot of the other roller coasters had rolling shut downs during the day.  We ended up circling the park several times trying to see if this roller coaster or that roller coaster was up and running yet.  It was a lot of walking, but well worth it.  My favorite coaster, the Sooper Dooper Looper, had shut down while we were in line waiting to ride it earlier in the morning.  We checked back repeatedly throughout the day to see if it was running again and were disappointed over and over.  I convinced my honey that we should check one more time before leaving and was delighted to discover that it had just opened back up.  My honey rode it with me twice! 

Life may have been all bon bons and couch time for Peggy,
but that's not my idea of a day well spent.

Getting out of town immediately after school let out was a great idea.  Now, my honey is back to work and I'm at home - being a domestic goddess.  I guess the best term to describe me these days would be a "house girlfriend". I have all the responsibilities of a house wife, but without the ring.  Now, before you start envisioning me as Peggy Bundy sitting on the couch eating bon bons all day, let me say that I am taking a few classes this summer.  In fact, this week I have class every morning from 8:30 til noon.  But, I have the afternoons all to myself. 

My honey got a strange kick out of realizing I would be there to greet him when he got home Monday after work.  He liked it even more when he realized that I was going to have time in the afternoon to make his dream come true.  That's right.  I had time to go to the Verizon store and trade in my old standard definition cable box for a high definition cable box.  Oh, yeah.  There was one very happy man in my house that night. 

He couldn't wait to get his hands on the remote as soon as he walked in the door.  His big screen television now has high def programming.  I'm sure this will mean much more to my male readers than it does to me.  I was able to drag him away from the T.V. long enough to go out for dinner, but my honey was glued to the couch watching season two of Game of Thrones as soon as we got back.  Apparently, our busy dating schedule and my previous lack of HBO led to him miss the entire season.  Now with our cable upgrade, he's watching two episodes a night to get caught up.

But, I digress.  Being a domestic goddess during the summer is kinda fun.  I have the time to do a good job at all those little domestic chores that I usually race to get done or skip all together during the school year.  Monday, as I mentioned, I actually had time to deal with the cable company on the phone and in person.  I wasn't rushed.  I didn't get annoyed when things took a little longer than expected.  Turns out dealing with the cable company isn't that unpleasant of an experience when you actually have time to deal with them.

Yesterday, I had fun strolling through the grocery store.  I took my time selecting the best tomatoes, peppers, and onions.  I spent time standing in front of the refrigerated section deciding which flavors of Greek yogurt to get for my honey.  He's shown a preference for pomegranate lately, so I got him four of those and two blueberries (a perennial favorite) for good measure.  During the school year, grocery store trips are hurried affairs where I rush up and down the aisles, tossing stuff into the cart, and racing to get out of the store as quickly as possible.  But, in the summer, grocery shopping becomes a leisurely experience that I can enjoy.

I also had time to clean bathrooms, a chore that gets put off repeatedly until I can't stand the condition of any one given powder room in my home.  I purposefully decided to clean them yesterday. At any other time of year, I look around the bathroom while washing my hands and try to decide if I have enough time to clean the toilet and the counters or just scrub the toilet.  Yesterday, the downstairs powder room got cleaned from top to bottom, instead of piecemeal, giving me a real sense of accomplishment.

What will I do today?  Will I start the mountain of laundry?  Will I change the sheets on the bed?  Will I tidy up the living room?  Yeah, I'll have time to do all of that.

and I plan to make that dream a reality!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Life Is Just Better With Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

I have been inspired by a friend's blog.  Mr. Mynd recently wrote a post over at It's My Mynd about the merits of peanut butter versus nutella.  Now, I do not wish to weigh in on the debate, as clearly peanut butter is better, but his blog was entitled, "Reese's Without Peanut Butter Is Just A Kiss".  This got me to thinking about an essential truth in my own life, this being that life is just better with Reese's peanut butter cups in the refrigerator.

As long as I have had a place of my own, there have always been Reese's peanut butter cups in my home.  Specifically, I always have Reese's peanut butter cups in my refrigerator.  This is a strange little quirk I picked up from my dear friend, Gertie.  Gertie shares my love of the Reese's (pronounced: ree-see-z) and prefers to keep her peanut butter cups in the refrigerator so that they are always cold.  It is her "go to" comfort food in a crisis, so when I got my own place a few years ago I started stocking my fridge with an emergency pack of Reeses's cups like any good best friend would do.  If Gertie was having a bad day, she could come over to my house and her comfort food of choice would already be chilled and waiting for her.

But, something funny happens when you're a girl experiencing PMS and you know that you have the magical combination of chocolate and peanut butter chilling in your fridge.  In case you are a member of the opposite sex and haven't figured out what happens yet, I'll fill you in: the Reese's cups disappear from the fridge.  Gertie's emergency stash of Reese's became my emergency stash of Reese's.  It has been faithfully restocked, as needed, for the last several years.

Around the holidays, something wonderful happens to Reese's products.  They broaden their horizons, they expand their product range, and they distribute some truly awesome mood-enhancing, spirit-lifting holiday candy.

At Halloween, the miniatures appear on store shelves
to brighten the lives of small children across the country.

Shortly before Valentine's Day, the fabulousness that are
the Reese's peanut butter hearts bring smiles to the faces of sweethearts.

Just before Easter, the delightful Reese's peanut butter eggs
make a very special appearance in my refrigerator for a few weeks.
This last holiday treat is my absolute favorite.  As soon as they arrive on the shelves of my local supermarket, I stockpile them like I am expecting a Reese's armageddon.  My local grocery store gets them in as soon as the Valentine's Day candies disappear, which gives me almost two months before Easter to enjoy the perfection that is the peanut butter to chocolate ratio of the Reese's peanut butter egg.

It is now two months after Easter and my stash of Reese's peanut butter eggs has finally been exhausted.  I rationed them as long as I could, but the supply has finally run out.  It made me a little sad to run out of Reese's, a fact which did not go unnoticed by my honey.  This weekend, we went to the grocery store to get food and supplies for having his friends over for dinner.  As we approached the checkout, my honey said he'd be right back and disappeared for a few moments.

He came back with a package of these.
A product remarkably similar to the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.
He returned with a pack of Reese's Big Cup peanut butter cups, which have a chocolate to peanut butter ratio nearly identical to the peanut butter egg.  Now you know why I love this man.  His powers of observation and his attention to detail are second to none.  How can you not love a man like that?

♥ My Honey!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Driving Miss Lainey, Part One

I have never considered myself an especially brave person.  I covered my eyes whenever Hannibal Lector came on the screen during Silence of the Lambs.  I hid my face against my honey's shirt when the evil attack dogs came after Catniss and Peeta in the final battle scene of The Hunger Games.  These are not the actions of a brave woman.  But, never let it be said that Lainey is not a brave woman.  I know I'm not super hero brave or Congressional medal of honor recipient brave.  But, yesterday I was brave enough to let a teenage boy with a learner's permit take me for a ride in my own car.

Yes, you read that correctly.  In spite of the fact that I have no children of my own, I am helping to teach a teenager how to drive.  Let me explain how this unusual turn of events came about yesterday.  My dear friends, The Mynds, have a teenage son.  This young Mynd is affectionately known as Teen Wolf on his father's blog.  Now, Teen Wolf just recently turned eighteen years old and yet he still doesn't have his driver's license.

According to his parents, this thoughtful young lad has been very hesitant to start driving.  What a novel concept, a teenager worrying that he was going to run somebody over or crash his parents' car.  I thought the only thing teenage drivers worried about was looking cool while driving.  Mr. and Mrs. Mynd thought part of the problem might be in his selection of family cars to use for driving practice. 

Mr. Mynd has a compact car with a manual transmission.  In this car, the uncoordinated Teen Wolf would have to use both feet to manage three pedals while driving, plus use his right hand to change gears.  That's a lot of limb coordination required.  Mrs. Mynd has a mom-mobile, a very large mom-mobile.  She motors around in a Chevy Suburban.  Yes, it's an automatic transmission, but it's also the size of a tank.
Mrs. Mynd's Mom Mobile: Imagine trying to parallel park this monster!
Here's where I come into the picture.  My car is much smaller than Mrs. Mynd's, and since it is an automatic, requires much less coordination than Mr. Mynd's car.  In short, my car is much more appropriate for use in Teen Wolf's driver training. But, how did I end up as the driving instructor, you may ask?  As mentioned in a previous blog, I seem to have sucker stamped across my forehead.

So, yesterday morning I turned up with my car at the Mynd's house to begin the first two of many hours of being chauffeured around by Teen Wolf.  I figured I would take him out on the open road and let him get some highway experience.  We could drive to and from Annapolis and Baltimore to fill the two hours of drive time.  In hindsight, my goals may have been a little lofty.

Upon arriving at the Myndscape, I was informed that the family dog, Spanky, had escaped from the backyard and the children were in the middle of passing out lost dog fliers.  Teen Wolf was understandably upset, so I revised our driving plan for the day to cruising the neighborhood looking for the dog.  I gave Teen Wolf the keys, settled in the passenger seat, and began watching a very entertaining safety check.  Teen Wolf hopped into the car, buckled up, handed over his cell phone, and started adjusting things to his preferences.  He adjusted the seat for his super long legs, he adjusted the driver's side mirror, the passenger's side mirror, the rear view mirror.  He inquired about the location of my hazards.  This kid wanted to make sure he knew it all before we started moving.  I found this very reassuring.

Then I looked down and noticed that his left foot was on the brake pedal and his right foot was on the gas.  Uh-oh, I forgot he had started learning on a stick shift, so I explained how his left foot was just along for the ride today and that his right foot would be doing all the work.  I explained about my love of the parking brake and how he would need to put it down before he started driving and he asked about the gear changer.  All he would need was drive and reverse, I explained.  He asked about second and the lower gear and I stumbled through recalling that those were for slowing the car down when going down steep hills and mountains.  Since we live in a relatively flat area, he wouldn't be needing those today either.  These unneeded gears seemed odd to Teen Wolf, but he went with it and soon we were ready to start the car.  That's right!  We'd been sitting in front of the house for over ten minutes and we hadn't even started the car yet.

We finally got rolling and I discovered that Teen Wolf was not as advanced in his driving skills as I had thought.  His neighborhood has fairly narrow, unlined streets and Teen Wolf seemed to have an affinity for driving down the center of them, occassionally he would even drive completely on the wrong side of them.  I calmly and patiently explained how we would need to remain on the right at all times.  I kept my voice soft and soothing, like I was talking to a wounded animal.  I figured if I sounded scared that we were on the wrong side of the road, he would get scared and do something stupid like overcorrect to the right and hit a parked car.  So I soothingly suggested he stay to the right of the crease in the pavement left behind by the roadwork crew, which Teen Wolf did.

When we came to the first corner I discovered that Teen Wolf may have a slight depth perception issue, as he stopped ten feet short of the corner.  I gently encouraged him to pull forward if he wanted to be able to see who was coming on the cross street and know if he was safe to turn.  He inched forward a foot, two feet, five feet, and eventually, we made it to the corner.  He was worrying aloud about overshooting the line and being in the path of on-coming traffic.  Maybe that had been the case when he was driving with his father?  I'm not sure.

We circled the neighborhood, weaving between the right and wrong side of the road and stopping short of corners, for about ten minutes.  At that point, I decided Teen Wolf was ready for deserted parking lot practice, not highway practice.  So I gave him directions to leave the neighborhood and calmly steered him towards the parking lot my mother had used when she first taught me how to drive.  This required a tiny bit of driving on a local thoroughfare to get from Teen Wolf's hometown to my own.  I must say, Teen Wolf handled the traffic circle well and did much better staying in his lane with painted lines to guide him along the roads.

As we traveled from point A to point B, we discussed the finer points of braking and the difference between a sudden stop and a gentle slowing to a stop.  We discussed what to do about drivers that tailgate.  It was a necessity as Teen Wolf was afraid of exceeding the speed limit and began leading a parade down the two lane road out of his neighborhood.  This led to a discussion of the merits of five over versus five under the speed limit.  Teen Wolf seemed to prefer five under, much to the consternation of the drivers behind him.  Once we were on Route 3, the other drivers quickly got away from us and gave Teen Wolf room to manuever.

We got into my neck of the woods and made it to the driveway of the church parking lot I had learned to drive in years earlier before Teen Wolf gave me another blood pressure adjustment.  When he turned into the church driveway, Teen Wolf forgot about that pesky "stay on the right side of the road" rule and turned into the lane for on-coming traffic.  Luckily, nobody was leaving the church parking lot at that time and we were able to course correct before any harm was done.

The next forty five minutes were spent practicing stopping at corners, using turn signals, parking front end first, and gently braking.  During the first fifteen minutes of our driving together, Teen Wolf asked if it had been an hour yet.  After forty five minutes in the parking lot, he was surprised that we had been driving for a whole hour when it had only felt like a couple of minutes.  I had finally found driving practice that was right at Teen Wolf's speed. Yay me!  Yay him!  Yay for happy driving!

We drove back to the Mynd's neighborhood and Teen Wolf got another new driving experience - navigating the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant.  His siblings had requested that we return with lunch when we were done driving.  At first, Teen Wolf was leery of the drive-thru.  "Does it count as driving time if you are getting food?", he asked.  I assured him that, as long as he was behind the wheel and the car was in gear, it counted as driving time. 

His cell phone rang with a call about the missing family dog, which I answered, and immediately I could tell that this driving session was over.  Teen Wolf was instantly in "find the dog" mode, so much so that he had trouble ordering for his siblings at the speaker.  We got back to the house, Teen Wolf left to check out the tip on his dog and his siblings dug into the fast food with glee.  Apparently, they weren't sure he would be brave enough to face the drive-thru line.

I survived teenage driving! Where's my t-shirt?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

School's Out For Summer!

School's out!  The children have all gone home and the classroom is strangely quiet.  I have one more teacher work day at school and then I am off to enjoy my summer vacation.  An extended summer vacation, no less. 

Last year, my school district decided to send us back to school two whole weeks before Labor Day, therefore we were supposed to get out a week earlier than usual.  But, since this was also the school year of no snow and the county didn't use any of their five snow days, we are being let out a few days earlier still.  Now add to that the fact that the school district decided that two weeks before Labor Day was too soon to start the school year next fall and I am looking at TEN WHOLE WEEKS OF SUMMER VACATION.

The blog below is a slight departure from my norm, but I think it works.  Instead of writing about my hopes and plans for my summer vacation, I'm going to do a photo blog.  Let's hope that a picture really is worth a thousand words.
1. First, I'll need to find my zen. 
I have 10 weeks to forget all about last year
 (which wasn't an easy school year for me)
and mentally gear up for the next school year.

2. My honey has decided that our first order of business this summer is to get outta town!  So, two days after I'm done working, we will be heading back to "The Sweetest Place On Earth".  This time the amusement park will be open, so we will be enjoying all the merriment of Hershey Park, in addition to Chocolate World.

My honey and I both have a love of roller coasters.  I find this confusing since my honey also claims to be afraid of heights.  Don't all roller coasters go high up into the air before twisting, turning, and racing back towards the ground below?  I'll be seeing how he handles the heights while still enjoying the coasters soon.

I have already warned my honey that a photo similar to the one seen to the left will be occuring during our time in the amusement park.

3. I am going to further find my zen by getting comfy with my couch.  I can't wait to lay on my couch and read a book.

All year, as I sit at my dining room table grading paper or averaging report card grades, I look over at my couch and dream about summer when I'll actually have time to nap there.

I'm really looking forward to hanging with my honey on the couch.  Whether we are watching T.V. or he's playing his video games while I watch or we're fooling around, I'm excited about getting to spend quality time with him at home.

At some point this summer, I hope to teach my honey how to swim, so that he's ready to go to...

4. Ocean City, Maryland: My honey has never been to Ocean City!  As my family goes there every summer without fail, I was shocked to learn of this gap in his life experience.  I thought it was required by law that all Maryland parents take their kids "down the ocean" at least once a year, but apparently it's not.  My mom and I have a plan to remedy this later on this summer.

5.  Hopefully, I will be going back to the beach with my girls at some point this summer, too.  I'll be the one under two beach umbrellas (or better yet that tent) with Mrs. Mynd telling me to rotate further into the shade every time the sun so much as kisses my skin.

6. Then, there is the chore that awaits me every summer after school lets out. Cleaning my house! All year, I let my house get messier and messier as I get busier and busier at work. Now that summer is here, it is time to pay the piper and give the house the thorough cleaning it deserves. It shouldn't be that bad this year since my honey's parents came over to visit on Mother's Day, which kick-started a spring cleaning of epic proportions a month ago.

7.  And, of course, there will be some time being a lady who lunches as I catch up with my college roommate and other friends I haven't seen nearly enough of this year.  I'm especially looking forward to catching up with my dear friend, Gertie, and finding out what interesting things have been going on in her life since the last time we talked.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Getting Kreative With The Spelling

I've won an award!  It comes from where all my awards come from, Mr. Mynd, a.k.a. Wily Guy, over at It's My Mind: How Did You Get In Here?

For some reason, this guy really loves my writing.  It might have something to do with the fact that he is my honey's "brother from another mother".  Okay, that might have something to do with it.  I've also posted a couple of blogs about my adventures in babysitting his three kids.  Another good reason why he follows my blog.  Plus, I wrote a whole post about how I managed to get into his pantsDing, ding.  We have a winner!

Whatever the reason may be for his devoted following of my blog, I am honored to accept an award from him.  Now, on to the award rules.  No blogging award is ever complete without rules, right?  I must answer 7 questions, give 7 fun facts about myself, and bestow this award on 7 lucky bloggers.  Here goes nothing...

The Questions:

1. What is your favorite song? 

"It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M.
This has been my theme song ever since it was playing on the radio as I was driving home from my high school graduation. 

2. What is your favourite dessert?

Lemon Meringue Pie, it's like me: tart and sweet at the same time.

3. What do you do when you're upset?

I stick my head in a book and escape to another world until I am ready to deal with the world I live in again.

4. Which is your favorite pet?

My beloved puppy, Roxy, of course.  Though describing an eight year old, 130 lb. rottweiler/mastiff mix as a puppy is a bit of a stretch, I grant you.

5. White bread or whole meal?

Umm, who YOU calling white bread?!  I'd prefer seeded Italian bread, please.

6. What's your biggest fear?

Oh, there are so many to choose from.  Which should I pick?  Sharks, snakes, Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs, the dark.  Yeah, I said the dark.  Wanna make something of it?!  Don't make fun of people with night lights.  Night lights are cool!

7. What's your attitude most of the time?

Lately, frazzled seems to describe me best, but now that school is out I will strive for relaxed, calm, and happy.

Fun Facts About Lainey:

1. I had to take my driver's test five times before passing.  My parents actually hired a private driving instructor to teach me how to parallel park because I kept hitting the stupid cones during the test.  I may have a small depth perception problem.

2. My mental state is usually reflected in my surroundings.  When I'm care-free and happy, my house tends to be clean and organized.  When I'm stressed and unhappy, my home looks like a whirlwind tore through it.

3. I can cook, but I usually choose not to.

4. I have naturally curly hair, naturally spiral curly hair.  I just wash it, add a little leave-in conditioner plus gel to fight frizz, let it air dry and POOF! Instant Shirley Temple curls.

5. I was a tomboy growing up.

6. It's a tie for my favorite food between chicken soft tacos and chicken marsala.

7. My favorite time of day is the ten minutes before my honey leaves for work.

And the Kreativ Blogger Award Goes To...

1. Gertie, the fearless heroine and online dating expert over at I Throw Hammers At Boys.  Gertie graciously allowed me to guest blog about my dating experiences with my honey very early on in our relationship and after reading my posts, she wrote that I inspired her to believe in love again.  She writes some genuinely thought-provoking and also side-splitting posts.  I love her blog!

2. Morgan at Son of a Blogger because he gets excited when he realizes that people in other countries have read his blog (or at least done a google search and clicked on one of his pictures) and because he is open to suggestions about how to make his blog better, like changing the font so that older folks like his honorary aunt and uncle can read his posts more easily.  Plus, he also writes some really funny blogs about pranks you can try out to annoy your siblings.

3. Ponyboy at Marriage In The Bedroom for being such a devoted follower of this blog and, though he doesn't know it, for helping to bring me and my honey together.  I asked my honey, whom I wasn't yet dating at the time, to check out Ponyboy's blog when he became my follower to try and figure out what about my blog appealed to Ponyboy. (Ponyboy's blog is very different from my own in content and in G-rated-ness.)  After looking at the blog about Leap Year Traditions, my honey asked me out for the first time.  Thank you, Ponyboy!  Your blog inadvertantly jump-started my love life. :)

4. Last, but certainly not least, the award goes to Jeff at Jay's Ramblings .  Not only does this man write a blog that makes me smile and laugh, he has an amazing ability to write with his heart on his sleeve and bear his soul to the world via his blog.  Not to mention, I'm head over heels in love with the man.  That's right, my honey is the blogger behind Jay's Ramblings.

I was supposed to nominate seven people, but I don't read seven blogs.  So, if you are reading this, please feel free to pass this award on to someone you know who could use a bump in page views, as well as a pat on the back.