Saturday, January 23, 2016

Not such a loser after all.....

As Adele would sing...."'s me....."

Today is the perfect day to catch up on business as we are snowed one is going store....nothing...nada......It's called Jonas, for some reason. Since when did we name snow storms? As a kid this would be amazing except it is snowing on a an adult, this is also amazing AND it is snowing on a Saturday!

Dad and the big kid worked on the snow blower and it is ready for action even though the snow removal experts in my home are still in bed. Nevertheless, they are ready....although......

The driveway has already been plowed! It seems that the man who mows our lawn took it upon himself to remove the snow. I watched as he did it even though I never ordered it. Guess what? I am really happy that he did it. The last thing dad needs is to go outside in a blizzard and try to remove snow from the driveway with wind gusts up to 50 mph. And the big lefty is still limping, so he does not need the extra work out...and so...I watched and applauded the guy as he went up and down the driveway removing the first layer of snow. I have to admit that when dad finds out, he will verbally express his displeasure then look outside and be relieved.....

On another note, I joined the Biggest Loser at my gym this month. My goal was to fit in my pants without needing a crow bar. It took a great deal for me to decide to do this since I have a distorted view of how my body looks. I wanted to think that I was a size zero, but I cannot live in this state of denial so, I bit the bullet and convinced a friend to join with me.

When I was weighed and measured, I asked the trainer not to tell me the weight. After all, the number does not reflect how I physically feel and would depress me, so I kept my eyes closed.....he did not gasp or gulp when he wrote the number on my measurements sheet.

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Anyway, the first night of the competition, I looked around at the 30 people who I am competing against....of the 30, there were 2 whom I thought should be there. The rest were like me with their pants size on their minds. We were divided into three teams and given tee shirts with our team colors on them. I am on Team green...also know as kiwi.....I looked at the other kiwis and figured we were doomed as a team. A kiwi  raised his hand and asked if he got points for working out at hotels when he traveled for work. The answer was 'no'. Another kiwi asked if playing tennis would help to accrue points. Again...another 'no.'

Doomed...our team is doomed!

Anyway, that night the trainers worked us out and I felt the feeling of doom again. Dang! I really do need this program as I tried squats, crunches, jumping jacks, treadmill running, stair climbing, and burpies. My kiwi colored shirt was drenched by the end of the night as I looked forward to a very hot shower.

The weeks have gone by and I am feeling the results. In fact, I wore slacks to work on Wednesday and did not need any vaseline around the hips.

Here is how the competition goes...we are to work out, attend nutritional counseling, create a wonderful low fat dinner, and wear our tee shirts while at the gym. Each event has a point total. For example, if you attend an exercise class with your tee shirt on, you accrue 3 points for yourself and the team. Ok, this I have been fairly steady attending a class and hitting the treadmill until it happened......

A member of the purple team was in the gym more than I was. In fact, the big lefty works at the desk at the gym while rehabbing and he would text me with the words.."you're screwed...the ringer is here. Better get here....." Dang. just what I need.....more competition, so I upped my workouts to daily with an extra exercise class. Thinking that I was going to be the winning 'loser', a team mate said to me..."this is my third class today."

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Huh? What? You are going to more than 1 class a day? Seriously? That's three hours in the gym, lifting, running, and squatting....seriously? How often do you do this?

Her response was 'every day."

Like the big lefty said...I am screwed.....

And so, here I a biggest loser contest and there is no way that I can possibly take the trophy. No way in the world. I don't have three hours in the gym to give to the kiwis. So, I am going to have to reconcile that I am not a big loser but a little loser....

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With that, I am going to work today and maybe hit the treadmill in the basement for a bit.....

Stay warm and dry!


Friday, January 1, 2016

Oooh that smell!

I'm back! Happy new Year! I have not written for a while for a number of reasons.
First, I was burned out. Completely and totally. When I was not working or running around, I went into some sort of shut down mode and needed a break from life and extras.

Second, I did not have much to say since the big lefty is still rehabbing the hip with Yoda. Once he finishes with Yoda, he heads to Jersey. After he completes his transformation, he goes back to Seattle to be discovered.

Third, the holidays were upon us and my elves were no where to be found. They disappeared....evaporated....went on strike...were MIA.....unless there was food on the table, I was alone...#whattheheck....

Once we celebrated Christmas, Tink, the pups and I headed to South Carolina for the week to chill and ignore all student requests for a grade change. On the way down I 95, we noticed a pattern...the pattern was that we would speed up for a mile and slow down to a crawl for five miles. Frustrating? Yep. After 14 hours in the car in stop and go traffic, my right leg started to spasm and either we had to stop and find a hotel that allowed dogs only 50 miles from our destination or find an alternate route.

Fortunately, we found the route along the back roads and made it to the house. I was wrong in my assumption that if I left the house at 5 am, I would miss all I 95 traffic and be early in our SC arrival. Boy, was I wrong.

We finally arrived to the island and it looked like it was spring break. The traffic was a nightmare, but we persisted until we got to the house. Hurray! Time for pizza,  salad, a glass of merlot, and that order.....

As a side note, I must admit that the pups were terrific. They slept most of the way and we only stopped twice to let them do their business at a rest stop.

The next day, Tink and I had to go to the grocery store to pick up chicken and kibble for the pups and decided to use the car in the garage that is kept at the house for when we are in town.

I opened the car door and was knocked over with a scent that could be compared to sweaty sneakers, rotten trash, and fishing bait. I immediately blamed dad and made no bones about him not cleaning his truck before he left for home. Dang, it smelled so bad, that I was going to abandon it along I 95 for anyone without a nose to take. First, I would place a sign on it...." stinky car...low mileage".

Rather than abandon a perfectly good car, I opened the windows and took it on  a spin around town thinking that that would eliminate the smell.....Wrong!
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Yep, as we drove, the scent got stronger and I began to gag as I crossed a bridge. Pulling out Siri, I asked for a car detailer who made house calls....found one....he was coming to the house in two much? yeah, problem....I got some spare change and can sell a pint of blood at the hospital....

My car detailer, Rodney came after driving two hours. He found the source of the scent...a rodent....squirrel, perhaps, died under the car and his bones were visible on the garage floor right under the in peace, you varmint!

OK, Rodney spent three hours working on what he called 'death' smell. When he finished, I could still smell it, although the car was amazingly clean and shiny! Uh, Rodney, it still stinks. What gives?

"Well, death, Miz BPM takes a while to go away" as he told me a story of vultures and how they find the carcasses to eat by identifying the smell of death. Yum....

As we continued to chat, he told me that he has not worked since Thanksgiving since his contracts had dried up. I was certainly glad that I could help out in my little way. Also, he was a veteran and his father was a marine. Semper fi!

While Rodney was finishing work, a neighbor drove by, saw Rodney and hired him to power wash his mildew-y drive way. In the meantime, dad also wanted the car that I drove to the house detailed. This seemed to be a very good day for my new friend Rodney.

It was now 5pm and Rodney wanted to clean the interior rather than hitting rush hour traffic. The next day, he could finish the car and the neighbor's driveway.

OK, Rodney, if you can see in the dark, go for it. While you are working, Tink and I are going to pick up our take out for dinner. Want anything?

It took us 45 minutes to pick up Rodney's dinner and as we drove into the driveway, he finished the interior of the car. It was now pitch dark and no one could see in front of their faces since there are no street lights. Giving Rodney his dinner, we said good by and see you tomorrow as he backed out of the driveway.

As Tink and I entered the kitchen, we could see that Rodney's van was not moving. Was he dead? Did we poison him?

Nope... It seems that Rodney backed his van into a ditch in the neighbor's front lawn and could not pull out of it. Oye! That's right! Oye!

After calling security, Dave, my new security friend who stopped by to assess the situation, contacted a towing company. Thinking that I could use my AAA card (since Rodney was not a member), I made plans to use it when the van and Rodney were pulled out of the ditch. I did not want Rodney to be in the hole financially as he pays the money that he made detailing my car for his tow.Image result for towing van gif

While waiting for the tow truck, my neighbor finally notices that there is a large white van in the middle of her front lawn with a police car's lights shining like  a strobe, along with Dave, the police officer, Rodney, Tink, two pups, and me with a needed glass of Merlot standing in the street as if it were a block party. As she joined us, I  met another neighbor who seems pretty calm for having a large white van embedded in the front of her house. I decided at that moment that she was cool and I liked her. We exchanged contact information and decided to get together to hit a few tennis balls before I left.

Finally, the tow truck arrives and takes 5 minutes to pull the van out. I handed the guy my AAA card and he refused it. Apparently....yes, apparently, there is an unwritten policy that states if security or police call AAA instead of the card holder, we cannot use the card to pay for towing.Image result for towing van gif

Yikes! Is this going to be an "ouch" or an "forget about the boots that are on clearance this month" invoice?

"95 dollars, mam." Crud....double crud....triple crud. I just paid Rodney, the tow truck guy does not accept American Express, and I do not have the check book....Uh, Tink? Got any money?

And so, Tink was my hero as she pulled out a Visa card that was a gift from Christmas to pay for Rodney's van. As he got into the van to leave, he whispered in my ear "you don't have to pay for the second car tomorrow." What a kind man.

However, I could not not pay him for his work. After all, he has not had steady work, did a terrific job on the detailing, and proved that he was a decent guy. In a word or three...I swallowed it and insisted that I pay for all of his work. After all, it wasn't really his fault. I gave him the burger which must of distracted him as he pulled out.

And, because of Rodney, I met two neighbors who seem pretty cool. So, I have Rodney to thank for it.

On to the stinky still stunk. I bought some cinnamon scented pine cones and hoped that they would mask the  scent.


Rodney scrubbed the undercarriage ....scent gone?


Dad finally arrived and was also disgusted by the scent. He opened the hood of the car and finally, we had a reason for the smell. It seems that our friend, the squirrel, made a nest in the motor. There were acorns, droppings, some twigs, and a bar of Irish Spring soap! Yep, the squirrel pulled the soap into the car and used it as a blanket.

AS dad scrubbed the top of the engine to eliminate all traces of the squirrel, we drove  to dinner with the air conditioning blasting to rid the car of the scent. Did it work?

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Then I googled getting rid of rodents and smells in cars. It seems that we have to place traps around the car and not bars of Irish spring soap, leave the hood of the car open, and add moth balls around the tires.  Mind you, this car is in the garage.....

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On the way home from dinner, he picked up Lysol and sprayed it into the vents, ran the air conditioning and heat full blast, and kept fingers crossed that the scent is now gone.

I will know in a few minutes when we head out to run errands. All I want is for the odor to dissipate. Is that too much to ask????

So, let's review.....

if you remember, last year....I had the same problem.
The car's internal wires were eaten by a squirrel. Leaving me with squirrel poo and a huge invoice from the dealer to clean it up and replace the wires.
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This year, I did not see evidence of eaten wires, but the squirrel left me a gift...that is...the gift of scent.....Kind of like, Jean Nate gone bad.....

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Before we leave, it is going to be my mission to rid the garage of squirrels looking for a warm dark place to nest during the winter. Let them find a nice tree to nest in or perhaps.....a little ditch across the street....

For now, I am going to booby trap the garage and make sure that this does not happen again.

Happy New Year to all!