Friday, December 10, 2010

Easy or not?

Why is it that those things that are intended to make life easier often complicate things?
(I think I have asked this question before.)

Take, for instance, direct deposit. What could be more convenient than having the paycheck automatically entered into the checking account? It is especially nice if one happens to be out of town on payday! No running to the bank in inclement weather, either. It's great, except for the "cash back" issue. That's right, some of us - my dear husband included - still like to carry a little of the green stuff around. Sure, debit cards are convenient, but cash ... There is no "cash back" with direct deposit. Now, I either have to write him a check (I maintain possession of the check book) or I have to remember to get cash back at the grocery store, or worse yet, I have to run to the bank! I thought that was something I was avoiding by using direct deposit. Hmm.

That is how I wrecked the cookies! Up to my elbows in cookie dough, I answered the phone.

"How would you like to run to the bank and get me some cash?"

It was 3:30 pm Friday.

"Uh, okay, but I'm making some cookies for you right now."

"Are you making the good kind?"

"I'm making some good cookies." They were not his idea of the "good kind" - too much oatmeal and whole wheat flour.

I abandoned my task in order to round up some cash. Cash obtained, I returned to my baking. Somewhere between "run to the bank" and "some good cookies" the dough was not properly combined. The first three dozen cookies to emerge from the oven were flat and gooey. The last were more like homemade rocks.

So much for convenience.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Looks Like Fun, Right?

I know, some of you think it is crazy to play in the snow, but what else are you going to do about it? Complain?
"I just don't like the cold."
"Winter lasts such a long time."
"I wish it would warm up and melt all this white stuff."
Complaining won't change the weather so you might as well learn to live with it. Here is a short tutorial on how to embrace the season!
Layers. I'm not talking about a new haircut. Never in the history of mankind have there been so many comfortable and convenient ways to brace against the cold. From affordable silky thermal underwear (Fruit of the Loom) to fleece outer clothing, warm stuff is available so go get some - or ask Santa for something warm. You don't have to resort to curling up in a Snuggie unless, of course, that is your thing!
Find a winter hobby - something you can only justify during the cold weather, such as skiing, snow shoeing, or reading everything ever written by Clive Cussler. (That should kill some time!) If you save the hobby for winter months, you'll find yourself looking forward to snow fall.
Find the sun - even if you have to drive. It is amazing the healing effects a few warm rays can have on ones emotions. Even if those rays can only find the tip of your nose because the rest of you is covered in fleece, they will warm your soul.
Finally - refrain from complaining! Negative self talk will only make you miserable, as well as those around you. After all, some of us are trying to enjoy ourselves!
Wanna play in the snow?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ski Season

The snow has fallen! I don't remember the last time my favorite ski resort was open in November! Here we are clear into the third day of December and the Greens have not yet hit the slopes. The boys are getting restless! The master of the house is beginning to twitch!

It creates a bit of a problem, this early season opening. I had not planned to commit my Saturdays to the ski hill until much closer to Christmas. After all, I am still a football junkie! The transition goes something like this ...

1 - Clothing. Rather than don a favorite team shirt and lounge pants, participants now must layer on warm and wicking base layers and waterproof outer layers. Gone are the fuzzy socks and slippers. It's time to cram ones foot into unyielding ski boots. Helmets, gloves, and goggles are also part of the required attire.

2 - Alarm Clock. Yes, I have to set it on Saturday.

3 - Food. No more various snacks and main courses dubbed "tailgate food," it is necessary that the meal now fit into the small crock pot (this I love!) that plugs into the dashboard lighter. Chips and sodas are allowed as the physical activity provides a bit of justification. In addition to regular breakfast, a cream filled Bismark is often consumed on the drive up the hill! Ironically, this meal is often consumed on an actual tailgate as opposed to the tailgate food that is consumed in front of a TV!

4 - Equipment. The remote control has been traded for skis, boots, poles, goggles, helmets, jackets, gloves, and ski passes.

5 - Recovery. Much the same with the addition of ibuprofen consumption.

And so it begins ...