Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Care to spare a dime? I am homeless. Here's the deal-

I called my landlady yesterday to see what the situation was, whether I could go home after work yesterday. She called me back and said that the water was spreading and that I needed to come home and move all my stuff. Basically, the water had spread so much that my front room was soaked, my kitchen (obviously, since that's where it started), and the hallway. I took some pictures but can't get them on here since my home computer where I need to burn the pics on a CD is now in hiding. Two boys that are friends of my landlady's kid were over there helping. Let me tell you, it's a disgusting filthy mess. Mud and smashed dogfood everywhere. We had to move everything in my front room and kitchen. All my belongings are either in my bedroom (which was fortunately saved from disaster), the back storage room, or the backyard. Yep, there's my baker's rack sitting in the back yard. We got everything moved and that is good. It's funny to me because people keep asking about how my stuff is. The reality is that my "stuff" is mostly just crap. I'm not worried about my $5 coffee table that was already broken, for example. I don't have "nice things" so that is the least of my worries. I got the stuff that I actually care about taken care of. Like some of my photo albums that were on the ground under a bookshelf. I got those dried and the pictures are okay. My kitchen table is the one thing other than the photo albums that I was most worried about. It's wood. AND I grew up with that table. But fortunately, the legs have a little bit of pegging to put it higher up, so there's not really any damage to that. They came in yesterday and sucked out all the water and pulled the carpet pads and set up humidifiers. Today they are pulling up the rest of the carpet, the lenolium in my kitchen, cutting into the drywall to see if there's any water damage to the walls, and setting up fans. Basically, my apartment is a disaster area, I've had to ask Billy to watch Sunni, and I'm kinda staying with Michael until things are taken care of. The worst part about the whole thing is just not knowing if I'll have a place to go home to. If the water damage is bad, then they'll have to re-do the basement. Which means I REALLY wouldn't have a home for a while. I packed a bunch of pants and shirts into a suitcase and will be living out of that for a while. This whole thing is crazy!

But here's my optimistic mind for you: I've been needing to go through all my stuff and get rid of junk for quite a while. Now- it's all ready for me to go through! AND, since I've been wanting to move for a while, I'll just have to pack up the stuff I want to keep and just leave out the essentials. So when moving time comes, it's just furniture and a few things here and there. Everything else will already be boxed and packed. Excellent, right?

So as akward as this whole situtation is, it's probably good for me. And I'm fortunate enough to have wonderful friends, a wonderful family, and Michael. (Not sure if he's considered a "friend" or a "boyfriend" since we are just letting things happen as they happen.) I am truly lucky to not be completely alone in this and to have a roof over my head and the things that I care about safe and not ruined. Basically, I'm having an adventure and it's going to be quite the ride.

Much Love!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, My Kitchen's A Tub

Wow. Just to start, I'll say wow.

Saturday night I had a movie night with a friend of mine. Self-explanatory- we watched movies. I didn't leave his house until about 1:30 or so in the morning and went home. I wasn't quite tired yet (I have borderline insomnia or something) so I threw in another movie at my place. I like the sound of the TV on low when I sleep, it's comforting for me. Maybe because I don't hear all the other sounds, night sounds. My landlady walking around, the cat upstairs jumping around, birds flying into their nests in the roof, etc. It takes my mind off these other random noises so that I can just tune out the TV sounds and fall asleep. I made the mistake of putting in a movie that I haven't seen for a while, so of course I had to watch the whole thing. When it was over, I put it on commentary and played it again. I was able to fall asleep during this phase.

Then I woke up in the morning. Still sleepy-eyed and blurry-eyed, I took a step into my kitchen. Splash. What? Splash splash. I had a swimming pool in my kitchen! Now, when I asked for a swimming pool in my letter to Santa last Christmas, I didn't mean to it to be in my kitchen. I guess I should've been more specific.

So I wandered around to see where this was coming from. My kitchen sink? No. The hallway? No. The ceiling? No. The walls? No. I opened my door to the outside, and a tidal wave of water came careening in to fill in the unfinished pool on my floor. I live in the basement apartment of a house. There is a little drain at the bottom of the concrete steps going down to my apartment. And apparently, this drain was gushing out water. So not only is it water, it's brown water. And the leaves that had gathered on the ground were picked up by this water. And the dog food bag on the floor by the refrigerator joined the ride- it disintigrated and the dog food took a swim. ALL the dog food.

(Not really my apartment above, but close)

My kitchen is a swimming pool. A public swimming pool for leaves, mud, dog food, etc. Disgusting! I called Billy who came to get Sunni. (Thank you, Billy!!!) My landlady wasn't answering her door, though I could hear her up there. (Note to any landlords who live above their tenant(s) in an older house without soundproofing- They KNOW when you are home.....) No way was I staying in my apartment filled with drain puke. So I threw on some shorts and a tank top, grabbed my flip-flops and purse, and waded through the juicy landfill to get out of there. Knocked on my landlady's door one last time before just writing her a note, and she actually answered. Imagine that! Anyways, so she decided to get a plunger. Like that was going to work. She handed me the plunger (stating that I know where the drain is better than she does) and asked me to try to unclog it. Now, I'm not a stupid woman. Hard to believe, I know. Heehee. First off, it's not MY responsibility to unclog this drain since I'm the tenant and she's the landlady. Secondly, I realized with the amount of water, a small little toilet plunger was NOT going to unclog this drain. So I pretended to give it an attempt and then pretended to give up. She said that she was going to make some calls. I gave her my cell phone number and left. I went to my favorite coffee shop and sipped an iced chai while reading my book. Landlady called and said that she had some guys coming with a water vaccum/pump thing. I asked her to call me when it was taken care of so that I could start cleaning up the stuff that got wet in my apartment.

Michael woke up from his nap and I went over there for coffee. We hung out for a while, had dinner, etc. Landlady called and said that they were going to be pumping all night since the drain was still gushing, and that a plumber was coming tomorrow (which is now today) to snake the drain and see what the problem is. So that left me homeless. Sweetheart Michael said that I could stay at his house, even though he was going to work and wouldn't be home until tomorrow morning. (He drives truck, so for example- he will leave Sunday night and get back on Tuesday morning.) So I watched some movies with his dog after he left, and fell asleep.

Still no word from the landlady today. I will give her a call in a bit to see what the status is since I'll have to start an immediate clean-up to avoid mold and all that fun stuff. However, I left my apartment in short shorts and a tank top. I can't exactly where that to work. We are casual, but not THAT casual. So I had to make a stop at Wally-World this morning for some cheap pants to wear. And coffee cream. Though the cream has nothing to do with the flood.

So there you have it, ladies and gentleman. If you feel like taking a dip in the pool, let me know and I'll invite you over. It may not be fixed today, meaning I may be homeless yet again tonight. Exciting! So Rub-a-dub-dub, my kitchen's a tub.

Much Love!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chef Jessicadee

So I made Michael dinner last night.

My mother is an excellent cook and loves to play with recipes and try out new things. She can whip together some crazy dish just from thoughts in her head. When I lived with her in Kansas, it was amazing how every single dinner that we had was absolutely tasty. And she truly enjoys to cook and bake. I think it somehow centers her and gives her something to focus on other than my step-dad, my younger brothers, the dog, soccer games, football games, wrestling matches, running a billion errands, the house-cleaning, her job, etc. She is a busy woman but she always makes sure that dinner is on the table and that whatever is the dinner choice is delicious. It relaxes her. And she learned to cook from her mother.

So it seems that the love of cooking sometimes stems from watching your own mother cook and sometimes assisting with that particular "chore". My mom has mentioned that she always loved to help my grandma in the kitchen with dinner. I didn't grow up with my mom. To clarify- I grew up with my other mom. My parents were divorced when I was very young and my dad and step-mom, Debbie, got custody of me, my older brother, and older sister. So I grew up here in Utah, and my biological mom moved to Kansas and got married to my step-dad, Alex. My step-mom is wonderful and I love her guts. I have always considered her my mom, along with my biological mom. (Yes, I'm lucky enough to have 2 wonderful moms!) Now Mom Debbie always did the cooking growing up, but I never really got into it. It seemed like so much of a chore instead of an enjoyable relaxation technique that happens to end up with food on the table.

When I was 19, I moved to Kansas and lived with my Mom Lurena (bio mom) for a year. I was always running around being a typical 19-year-old girl but would come home to dinner. Sometimes I'd hang out in the kitchen and watch her. So my enjoyment of cooking began.....

I LOVE watching cooking shows on the weekends. I don't have cable (the idea of monthly payments to sit on my butt and be entertained just doesn't appeal to me), so I'll watch PBS or one of those types- that has cooking shows on the weekends. Sometimes I'll decide to invent something. Some of my cooking inventions end up in disaster, some of them are actually not bad. I taught myself how to make homemade spaghetti sauce, for example. And I threw together a Mesquite Chicken deal that is really good and Michael loves it. Just off the top of my head.

We have a secret family recipe for lasagna (if I told you, I'd have to kill you). I enjoy making that. It takes a while to make it and I'll throw in some crab-stuffed mushrooms as an extra treat. I make an awesome chili. My white cream chicken enchilladas are pretty darn good, as well. I really do enjoy being in the kitchen and cutting things and throwing things in pots and pans. It feels good. And I love it when people enjoy whatever it is that I've spent time making.

So I made Michael dinner last night. Shrimp in garlic sauce over noodles, garlic bread, and steamed vegetables. And I'm a little disappointed with myself. Michael works at nights- he leaves around 10 PM. So granted, I didn't have much time to make anything since I worked late last night. It took all of 15 minutes. Here's how to make it: boil noodles, throw the shrimp and garlic sauce frozen entree into the microwave. When that's done, throw the bag of vegetables (packaged in a special steamer bag) into the microwave. Throw the frozen garlic bread into the oven. And there's dinner. Granted, it was good. But not as good as something homemade. But hey- give a girl credit for at least making some dinner, okay?

I blog about food a lot. Think that says something about me? :)

Much Love!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday Madness

The Gallivan Center downtown has some really cool stuff going on during the summer. Last year, we'd go to the the Twilight Concert Series once a week (find info about it HERE) and enjoy the sun, the music, the beer, etc. Some friends from work would leave work early every Thursday to throw down some blankets and "reserve" seating on the ground. We saw some great bands last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

There is also the Rock' N' Ribs festival (which is being held on August 23rd this year). I have some great video of that last year with some of my buddies, and Gene. There is this old guy, named Gene, that goes to EVERY downtown festival, concert, whatever. Last year he always wore this bright purple shirt. He's got this crazy white hair and only a couple of teeth. But that man can dance! He has absolutely no inhibitions. He doesn't get embarrased and he just loves to be the center of attention. I aspire to be him someday. As a woman. With more teeth. We have honored him with a couple of beers over the years to quench his thirst, and have given him the official name of: Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. He's awesome.

So I went to the concert last night for a bit with my gorgeous sisters Rachel and Emily and Emily's best friend (also named Emily). There was a guy playing that I've never heard of but that sister Emily loves. He's actually really really good! Josh Ritter, if any of you know of him. Apparently, this little guy from Idaho is HUGE in Ireland. I attributed it to his curly hair. My buddy Dave showed up with his amazing moustache. Anyways, so there we are just tapping our feet and clapping and screaming appropriately when Dave taps me on the shoulder. Sure enough- Gene Gene the Dancing Machine is there rocking it out and dancing with strangers. Seriously, he is my hero.

We were standing somewhat close to the stage. Just right of the stage, by the stairs, for anyone familiar with the Gallivan center. I'm really feeling the music and loving the sun and since people-watching is a hobby of mine, I'm watching people watch people. Apparently, there are a lot of us "people-watchers" out there. Right in front of us were some people who sat down. Maybe they were overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of live music? Perhaps they just wanted to concentrate on the words of the songs without being distracted by fans? Nope. This is what I saw:

I thought it was very interesting. Texting people on cells phones is SO much more exciting than listening to live music, right? Apparently so. And then I laughed quietly to myself in the irony that I took out my cell phone to take a picture of other people playing on THEIR cell phones during the concert. Hi, I'm the pot. And these people are black. (I sure hope you all get that joke as it has nothing to do with race........)

There was this crazy lady there. Just standing by the stage drawing on a sketch pad and dancing to the music. Which is fine. A bit eccentric and artistic thrown together. But it turns out that she was sketching the band and when she was done, pretty much tried to rush the stage to give her sketches to them. She ran up there holding her sketch pad over her head and kept screaming "Josh!!!" over and over again. It was quite humorous, to be honest. You go, girl.

And for tonight, you ask? I will be found at Rotary Glen park (just East of the zoo) for a free movie in the park under the stars. Ah, summer.

Much Love!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Celebrate Good Times

We had our work party today. We had this whole thing planned for June 28th at a park in Riverton with bounce houses and a balloon animal dude for the kids, a catered BBQ and lots of water games. But nobody was going. Basically, out of the 60-something employees in my office, there were only about 13 or so going. And 6 of them were on the planning committee. So they cancelled it and we just did it today at work. We got to be off the phones from 11:30 to 1, which is nice. And since I'm on the planning committee I helped set up starting at 10:30. So I have almost three hours of my workday done already just by the event. Anyways, we had catered lunch and played Bingo, which was actually really fun since I work with funny and awesome people. And then we had the drawing for prizes. We had some awesome prizes this year and everybody got something. Prizes ranged from a $100 gift card down to a company T-shirt. There was a portable DVD player, some gravity chairs, some I-Pod shuffles, etc. So yah, we had some nice prizes. What did I win, you ask? One of these
for $50. Pretty sweet, huh? I'm always okay with free money. So yah, it was nice. And we are all stuffed and hot and a little richer than we were before today. Which is always a good ending to a work party. And the best thing was that people seemed to actually like it! It's almost impossible to do something that an office of 60-something women and 2 men (that were there, at least) enjoy. Not bad, huh?
And..... Someone that I love and care about told me a secret yesterday. What is it about secrets that just make the person being told the secret feel so special? I mean, just knowing that the person I'm referring to trusts me and cares enough about me to tell me a secret about a certain something just to help me out with something I'm going through is amazing to me. I'm trusted by somebody. Somebody sacrificed their own comfort level by telling me their secret just to comfort ME. And that makes me love this person even more. Sorry to be so cryptic about it, but it IS as secret, after all. I hope the above made any sort of sense.
Nothing too exciting today, but I must get to work so that's all you are getting.
Much Love!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Absolutely Genius!

Once upon a time there was a store named "Kentucky Fried Chicken". "Kentucky Fried Chicken" was founded by a man named Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952. "Kentucky Fried Chicken" was shortened to "KFC" in 1991. Every Mother's Day, my family would head to the KFC and get a bucket of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, potato wedges, biscuits, coleslaw, and their homemade root beer. A family tradition to give Mom the day off from cooking. The one Sunday a year that my dad would actually spend money. I'm not kidding. Imagine this- Superbowl Sunday comes around and into the microwave goes the Little Ceasars pizza that was purchased the day before in order to avoid the sin of Sunday-Money-Spending. Ah, it was glorious. But I digress......

The drumsticks were the desired hunk of meat and we always had to make sure to split them evenly among the kids. I mean, honestly, one person can't just get them all, right? We'd gorge ourselves on greasy chicken and side dishes until we couldn't even move. And then we'd wash our hands with the little hand wipes they provide (in the package with the famous "spork") which always smells like Fruit Loops to me. And I'd be content and happy.

Now that I am older and wiser, I still embrace the belief that KFC is a smorgasbord of pure love. Powdered mashed potatoes have never tasted so good. Chicken with an inch of greasy skin have never been beat. And the Macaroni and Cheese? Well, let's just say that if I died with KFC's Macaroni and Cheese dripping from my mouth, I'd be dying a happy woman.

Remember how you used to have to order everything that you wanted separately if you were just eating for one? I couldn't really ask for a large bucket of chicken with the large sides it comes with on my own, right? So this is what I would say: An individual size of popcorn chicken, a large side of mashed potates and gravy, and a large side of mac'n'cheese. And then I'd return to my childlike state of gorging. But............ now I can get my mashed potatoes and gravy and popcorn chicken in one big bowl! I mean, seriously? How in the world did I live without the Mashed Potato Bowl for so long? Granted, I lose out on my mac'n'cheese. But have you tasted the Mashed Potato Bowl? It's amazing! It's like going into a restaurant and having them throw a bunch of wonderful pleasures into one bowl for you to eat!

Now I need to go and finish gorging on my bowl of happiness as I've spoken my peace.

Much Love!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Another Year

Well, folks, today is my birthday. I am officially 29 years old as of 11:06 AM. And so I begin my last year in my 20's. Remember how exciting birthdays were when we were kids? Parties and presents and friends and all that. It was tied with Christmas for the most exciting day of the year. But on your birthday, it was ALL about you and you didn't have to share the day with anybody else. And then we grow up. And birthdays are just another day that just happens to add another digit to the way our chronological years are numbered. Amazing how things can change like that. Don't get me wrong, I still love my birthday. Though I pretend like it's a big deal, I have no problem with getting older. Mostly because I'm still young. Hahaha! So my birthday is like a game to see how many people remember, but I don't get hurt if people forget. (I'm horrible with remembering birthdays myself.) This year I'm scoring pretty good, actually. Emails and e-cards and phone calls and texts and in person. It's interesting to think about how many people each of us really knows. We look at our circle of friends and our family and they are a given. But my goodness, I've had people wish me Happy Birthday that I don't even talk to very often at all! So to be perfectly honest, I'm feeling special today. And after dinner with some of my closest friends, I'll be one happy camper. Without the camping, unfortunately. :)

Anyways, I had a crazy busy weekend. It was nice to get out and do so much and see so many people. 4-wheeling with Jarad, the Sugarhouse Art Festival and a Bee's game with Billy, and spending some nice relaxing time with Michael. I had an excellent weekend and feel refreshed and happy. And that, ladies and gentleman, is a wonderful thing.

If you aren't aware, I got a DUI and am at the tail end of my probation. I'm technically supposed to be on probation until October, but my PO has talked about taking me off probation early so I doubt I'll be on it much longer. I have to call a phone number every day to see if they call my number and if they do (it's a 2) then I have to go in for a pee test for drugs, and a breathalyzer. Which is weird since people could still drink the night before and then pass the breathalyzer. But today they are doing a pee test that can actually test for alcohol for the past 5 days. And it'll be so nice because when I pass (since I have been a very very good girl) then maybe they will take that into consideration and let me off even earlier! It's not that big of a deal since it's just one time a month for my probation meeting and then the random tests. But it will be SO nice to not have to call the phone number every single day and then work around my plans and work to get in there when it's my number. I guess we'll see when I meet with my PO later this month. Maybe it's silly, but I'm excited about this test. Knowing that I'm going to pass is a very good feeling. I'm sure that there are going to be plenty of people that they "bust", but I am extremely proud to say that I won't be one of them. Wahoo!!!

I am going to leave work early today. I had the entire day off but came in for a few hours. I'm going to grab a nice cold iced tea and change into shorts and a tank top and grab the book I'm currently reading and head to the park to enjoy the sun and freedom and nature. And think about everything in my life that I'm grateful for. Even with troubles and worries and problems and issues, life is good. And this life is MINE. So I'm making today, my birthday, my individual Thanksgiving.

Much Love!