Wow- Now That’s What I Call Karma       

You all know my mother is an avid ID TV watcher. Every TV in the house is tuned to that station as she makes her way from room to room.

I used to be an avid ID TV watcher but not so much anymore. It kinda bums me out and I just don’t want to see people begging for their lives or hear some of the awful stories you hear on that channel. I am, however, lazy. So when my mother has been upstairs and has turned the channel onto ID TV I don’t usually change it. I don’t deliberately watch a bunch of TV and when it’s already on I don’t go to the trouble of changing the channel.

Anyway, all of this prologue to tell you I was sitting at the dining room table doing something, don’t remember what, when the story of Lee Hartley came up on the TV. Let me give you the background.

Lee Hartley was a 35 or 36 year lieutenant in the Navy. As his daughter was quoted saying in an article, “My father and my mom were very happy at one time… And then my dad went through a mid-life crisis and fell in love with his secretary, Pamela Johnson.”  He had an affair with, and married, his 23 year old secretary. Shockingly, trouble was afoot. It seems that young Pam very much enjoyed drinking and flirting with the other men at the Officer’s Club when her husband was out to sea and her husband didn’t like that so much.

Huh. Who would have thought that a woman willing to sleep with another woman’s husband might not have the best moral character? I’m shocked. Who would have thought that a woman in her early 20s would want to go out dancing and partying instead of staying at home, counting down the days until her beloved older husband came home from sea? Again, I’m simply shocked.

Lee was labeled terribly jealous and it was said that he did not like Pam talking to other men. Pam, on the other hand, quite enjoyed it and wished her husband would stay out to sea so she could have her fun.

Since this is ID TV you know a murder occurs. They’re not peddling weddings and puppies on this channel. After less than a year of marriage Pam decides she wants out. Over a period of months she sends her husband care packages onboard his ship. They’re laced with arsenic. When she flew out to Spain to meet him in port (I think that’s the correct terminology) she poisoned his dinner. She continued sending him poisoned care packages. Finally, in the hospital where he was being treated after months of being slowly poisoned, she gave him one last lethal dose- in the apple juice she helped him drink. He finally succumbed to a cardiac arrest.

According to one source Pam did it because while she didn’t want to be married to him anymore, she certainly liked the status that being a Navy officer’s wife brought her; she decided it would be easier to kill him and be a Navy officer’s widow as opposed to being a Navy officer’s ex-wife.

According to the show I was watching, however, her purpose behind killing was much more altruistic… and bizarre. She claims she killed him because she knew he was so crazy about her and loved her so much that she didn’t want to hurt him by divorcing him… so she slowly poisoned him over a period of months which resulted in an agonizing death instead.

Huh. Again, I am floored. That is a new one. I killed him to spare him the heartbreak of me leaving him. Something tells me he would have been able to recover from the heartbreak a little easier than he could recover from being dead. But I’m no doctor.

That’s the story. Older, successful guy dumps his loyal wife for the shiny new secretary who is approximately 15 years younger. She turns around and kills him. When asked why she used poison her response was that women had been poisoning their husbands for thousands of years.

Oh yeah. Forgot this part. She got away with it for 14 years. She was only caught because someone decided to re-open his cold case. They discovered the polygraph test was read wrong which led to them looking at her as a suspect once again. This led to conversations with other people in the Officers Wives Club with Pam, and who admitted she had told them she was miserable in her marriage, wanted out, and she was trying to find someone to kill him. Why that wasn’t more closely examined 14 years prior is beyond me. Once finally convicted she was sentenced to 40 years in prison but ended up only serving 15 and a half.

I was only half listening to this story when something caught my ear and I realized this was an affair that went horribly wrong. I’ll admit when I realized his mistress turned wife killed him I let out a little bit of a laugh. I felt bad at first because this man left behind a daughter who adored her father, but the reality is I don’t really care. He left his wife for this person and she ended up killing him less than a year after they wed. He dumped a devoted spouse for a murderer. Maybe that’s not karma, but it’s something.

I don’t think a person who cheats, whether they’re the spouse or the accomplice, deserves to die; however, I don’t feel bad for them when it does happen, especially considering that the duped spouse is usually the murder victim in these triangles. Either the affair accomplice is trying to take them out so the spouse can be with them (or they’re pissed because the spouse won’t leave) or the spouse is killing them so they can be with the accomplice and not lose any of their money or possessions. It’s refreshing to see them killing each other off for once.

I think overall this story serves a big eye opener. Oh, not to the cheaters. They’ll never learn; they will never believe something like this could ever happen to them. No, it’s an eye opener for those who were left. It’s not always sunshine and roses despite what it may look like on the surface. We always want to convince ourselves that they’re living this amazing life and they’re so happy while we have to rebuild piece by piece. But what really happened in this story? Lee got his hot, young secretary; I’m sure all the men around him thought he had hit the jackpot. But the reality was he married a woman much younger than himself and she still wanted to act single- while retaining all the perks of an officer’s wife. She wanted to dance and drink and flirt with all the other cute, young officers and her husband got in the way of that. People might have seen them, or heard about them, in Spain and thought they were living the life- laughing, partying, drinking sangria every night. The reality was the new wife was poisoning the meals she was serving to her husband- and his friend! And while it may be true that Lee was madly in love with Pam which would definitely be painful to the discarded wife, it was also true that Pam was plotting his death and deliberately poisoning him. From all sounds of it neither one of them was happy, almost from Day One. Pam didn’t seem to realize what marriage meant. She wanted to party with other men and while her husband was out to sea it was easy to do that; she could pretend that everything she had wasn’t because she was married to him. Less than a year into her marriage she was sending him poisoned care packages. Lee discarded his wife for a woman who would soon kill him. He may have been besotted by her but he was also described as being jealous and controlling. Pam liked to flirt with other men and surprisingly Lee did not like that. It was reported that one of the reasons he wanted to get off the ship early was so that he could “keep an eye on” Pam.  To the outside world they might seemed to have had it all but in the end she killed him. And before that they made each other miserable- poor Pam not being able to go out and #$#% other guys without her husband getting upset with her and poor Lee always wondering what, or who, his much younger mistress turned wife was doing. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

I’ll leave you with Pam’s own words regarding the murder:

I’ve known a lot of people to divorce. And divorce hurts. I didn’t think past my actions… When the officers’ wives started talking about… not wanting the husbands to come home, that- planted a warped seed into a warped mind. And that’s how that seed got planted and started growing, how to get rid of Lee?… It was difficult watching what I was doing to Lee… I knew that poison was in him and that… I had done it to him. And it broke my heart.

Oh, Willow

Willow Smith appeared on her mom’s Red Table discussion recently, talking about her decision to be polyamorous. She’s twenty, so of course she’s got all of this figured out. I wish I could go back in time to when I knew everything… But I digress.

Where were we? Oh yes. Polyamory. Look, if you want more than one partner and you’re honest and upfront about it from the very beginning I don’t care what you do. If the object of your affection doesn’t mind sharing and knows what they’re getting into then have at it. It’s not for me but if two other people come to an honest agreement I don’t give a damn. Nonetheless, I have a couple of issues with what Willow is trying to sell the nation.  

“With polyamory, I feel like the main foundation is the freedom to be able to create a relationship style that works for you and not just stepping into monogamy because that’s what everyone around you says is the right thing to do…”

Hmmm… who are all of these people that are commenting on other people’s sex lives? She makes it sound like people are forced into monogamy. No one is forced to get married. No one is forced to date only one person at a time. This idea that your only two choices are monogamy or cheating is a falsehood. Personally I’m beyond tired of hearing people act like monogamy is being forced upon them. No, what generally happens is that monogamy works for the cheater, or at least the appearance of monogamy works for the cheater. Then when they’re caught they begin whining about how monogamy was forced upon them and it’s not natural.

Willow goes on to tell us that after doing some research into polyamory she has discovered that “the main reasons… why divorces happen is infidelity.”

Willow, you’re probably onto something. Infidelity probably is one of the main reason that people end up divorced. Unfortunately, being polyamorous doesn’t mean you won’t experience infidelity. That agreement you have with your partners? Those are rules you’ve agreed upon. You need to follow those. Cheaters aren’t good at following rules. They hate following rules. Rules are for other people. Not them. They’re very special. All it takes is for you and your partner(s) to have an agreement about something, anything, and for your partner(s) to go behind and your back and do the exact opposite of what was agreed upon. Boom! You’ve now experienced infidelity- even in a polyamorous relationship.

I’ve head it said many times by people who have been cheated on that it’s not the fact their partner had sex with someone else that is so painful; it’s all the lies and the gas lighting along with the discard and everything else that goes along with cheating on your partner. Now, let’s be honest. If the mobster came up to me tomorrow and said, “Sam, sweetie, I love you but there’s someone else I’m very attracted to and I’m going to have to sex with her. I thought you should know because after all, it’s the lies and not the sex with another person that is so painful. We’re good, right?” well, let’s just say that conversation would not go over well. At. All. But I get what everyone else is saying. The secrecy, the lies, the double life, making you think you’re crazy, making you doubt yourself… those are the cherries on top of the shit sundae that is infidelity. It’s also what so many cheaters thrive on. They love the double life. They love knowing something that their trusting partner doesn’t know. They get off on it.

Now add in the fact that most of them don’t want their partners having other partners. It’s fine for them to have a buffet of choices, but let’s face it. If their partner also is allowed other partners then they won’t have their full attention and that simply won’t do. Everyone is to worship them. You are to have no gods before them. It’s not a transparent agreement. It’s a one sided arrangement that benefits only one person- the person who knows what’s going on. It’s amazing how many cheating spouses claim to be  polyamorous, yet all of their partners are monogamous. Strange, huh? It’s almost like that’s deliberate, or something.

Naturally mom Jada was all about the polyamory. She, too, bought into the idea that people seek out monogamous relationships because they “feel like they have no other choice.” She then suggested that the majority end up practicing “unethical non-monogamy” (otherwise known as cheating, and called out as such by her mom, known as Gammy on the show).

Again, no one is forced to be monogamous. But when you lead a person to believe that you’re going to be monogamous and have sex only with them, they expect you to be faithful. Funny how that works. 

Let’s be real. This idea that monogamy is being forced upon anyone is a load of horse shit. It is a total cop out. Most of these poor, misunderstood people forced into monogamy are usually getting something out of it. Either their spouse wouldn’t have agreed to marry them under other conditions, or the spouse is of use to them. They make them look like an upstanding citizen. They can pull off Mother or Father of the Year with their trusty spouse beside them, pulling the majority of the weight. They’re fed, their clothes are washed, their kids are taken care of, they have a steady income coming into the household. Another person is doing all of the adulting so they can go off and play. It’s not that they’re “forced” into monogamy. It’s that leading someone on to think they’re in a monogamous relationship means they’re getting their needs met. Then when they’re caught cheating they whine that they were forced into monogamy and if only they had been allowed non-traditional avenues none of this would have happened.

When Gammy tells Willow she’s not a fan of polyamory and prefers the traditional constructs of marriage, despite being married several times, Willow takes the ol’, “What if your partner isn’t meeting all of your needs?” approach.

“Let’s say you haven’t always been the kind of person that wanted to have sex all the time, but your partner is. Are you gonna be the person to say, ‘Just because I don’t have these needs, you can’t have them either?’

Let’s begin with the obvious. You don’t cause someone to cheat. After reading Chump Lady for years I can confidently say there are  people out there in relationships where none of their needs are getting met and their partner treats them terribly yet they still don’t cheat. I didn’t get my needs met in my marriage. I didn’t cheat. You’re either the type of person who will cheat, or you’re the type of person who won’t. If you will, it doesn’t matter what the other person does or doesn’t do; you’re going to cheat. If you won’t, it doesn’t matter what the other does or doesn’t do; you’re going to remain faithful.

And what is this shit about “you can’t expect one person to meet all your needs”? Who does that? I’ve never expected one person to meet all of my needs. Does no one have friends anymore? Can people only meet your needs if you’re fucking them? I don’t even expect my friends to meet each and every one of my needs. I had friends I played Bunko with. I have friends I go out to dinner with. I had friends I bowled with. I had PTA friends and gym mom friends. I’ve got friends from work. I’ve got friends from high school. I have friends I tell my innermost secrets to and other friends where I keep it pretty superficial.

I’m shaking my head here. I’m not sure anyone rational expects one person to be everything for another person. Again, does no one have friends anymore?  Just because your partner doesn’t share your interest in something doesn’t mean you need to find another warm body to sleep with in order to enjoy that interest. Just recently when I shared that sweet J and I watched the Kentucky Derby the mobster told me he had never seen the race, nor was he interested in ever seeing it. When I told him I planned on having an annual Derby party, complete with hats and mint juleps he told he would probably be working that day. Does that mean I should go find some other man that does enjoy watching the Kentucky Derby? One that would love to attend my annual Derby party? No, of course not!

As for the sexual mismatch… to be blunt I think you should know by the time you’re committing to a person what kind of a sex drive they have. If your libidos are mismatched and that’s going to be an issue then end the relationship. It’s called dating for a reason. People are far too reluctant to end a relationship, choosing instead to settle. That’s not on monogamy; that’s on people who are willing to compromise something important in order to remain in a relationship.

Look, Willow, I know you think you’ve discovered the magical cure for all relationship woes. If I’m just not tied down to one person but can instead experience a multitude of people, all with my partner’s blessing, my life will be blissful. Oh, you sweet summer child, people don’t cheat because they’re forced into “unnatural” monogamy. Cheaters cheat because that’s what they like to do. It’s no fun with permission. It’s not because they’re not “allowed” to sample others. It’s because they like duping you. That is the real thrill, not freedom to fuck others. Polyamory isn’t some magical elixir. A lying, cheating asshole “forced” into monogamy isn’t suddenly going to become Prince Charming once you tell them they can fuck whomever they choose… within the bounds of your agreement, of course. Monogamy is not the enemy and polyamory isn’t the answer to everyone’s prayers.

Why Not Getting a Job Might Not Be the Wisest Choice

I frequently see women who have been stay at home moms advised by well meaning people who have been through the hell of betrayal and divorce NOT to get a job. Many times they are advised by their lawyers not to get a job. I was advised not to get a job. As my first attorney said (and I’m paraphrasing), “I want to put you up on that stand as a stay at home mom with no income.” Let me tell you why I think this is bs.

First of all, I get it. I understand *why* the lawyers give us that advice. Child support and alimony calculations, many times, are based upon the difference between what you are earning, and what you need to continue living the same lifestyle you and the kids have been living. Your lawyer is trying to get you the best deal possible. In regards to child support it’s usually a set formula but when it’s an income share model the more you make the less he needs to pay. That’s why Jerry Lee was insisting upon current numbers when I first tried to modify child support. If I was making $1.00 more per hour that would mean his support would be cut. It wouldn’t be cut by much but any amount he could get out of paying was worth it to him.

With spousal support you are looking at all of your expenses and what you need to pay your bills. Every dime you don’t make is a dime that your spouse is, in theory, supposed to make up. Scratch that. It’s actually the difference between what you are earning and what you need to pay your bills. When Jerry Lee lost his job, forcing us out of the house, it benefitted him greatly. As my second lawyer told me it wouldn’t matter how much money he made. If all I could show was $3000 in monthly expenses then the judge would only award me the difference between what I was making and $3000. Obviously my expenses were higher when I was paying a $2100 a month mortgage, plus utilities that ran anywhere from $400-$600 a month. Regardless of how much or how little your monthly expenses may be it  stands to reason you want as much help as possible, especially if you haven’t had a job in years. You should receive more help when you make $0 than if you’re making $40,000, or $100,000. That’s what the lawyers are looking at, and that’s what the well-meaning people on support boards are talking about.

Let’s look at the big picture though. Most of these stay at home parents have been out of the workforce for years. 10, 15, 20 years. Many of them don’t have a college degree, and we already know that a college education won’t necessarily get you a great job right away if you’ve been at home for a considerable amount of time. My main point is even if they do manage to get hired right away chances are they are not going to be making anywhere close to what the ex is making. If you’re one of those women that has supported your husband throughout the years while he’s climbed the corporate ladder, or you helped put him through school while he earned his law degree, medical degree, or other doctorate, he’s light years ahead of you. He’s been making money and getting steady increases in his pay over 10-20 (or more!) long years. You’re starting out at square one. He is going to be making so much more money than you that it really doesn’t matter if you’re making $30-$40,000 a year. Compared to the $150,000 or more that some of these men are making it’s a drop in the bucket.

You also need to consider the likelihood that he’s even going to pay. I’ve seen it more times than I can count where women are counseled to not get a job because that will affect how much they will receive in child support. We keep ourselves in poverty on the promise that child support and possibly spousal support will be more. Sometimes we luck out and he is ordered to pay a significant amount of support; however, being ordered to pay and actually paying it are two completely different things. Ask me how I know.

According to the US Census Bureau in a report from 2018 only 43.5% of all child support recipients reported that they received the full payment. Honestly, I was shocked it was that high; at one point I believe the stats were somewhere between 25-35% of support recipients received payment in full. More than 30% don’t receive any support at all, although I was unable to verify if that included people who have never filed for it, or if that was strictly people who had an order that was not being followed.

I know anecdote doesn’t equal data but back when I was still a teller I remember looking around at my co-workers. There were four of us. We were all lined up in a row. At least three of us had been married to the father of our children; I’m not sure about the fourth. Not a single one of us was receiving regular support. I think I had the best situation out of all of them, which is a sad thing if you think about it. Some didn’t pay at all. Some would toss the mother of their child $30 once in a while. Make a random payment here and there. I will never forget that image. Four women working hard to provide (barely) for the four sets of children left behind by the four fathers who didn’t care whether their kids were provided for or not. Maybe they just figured we wouldn’t let our kids starve. Maybe they didn’t care one way or the other. Kids fed and doing well? Great! Kids starving and doing without? Not my problem!

Those statistics become even more important when you consider so many states don’t have spousal support. You can spend your entire marriage supporting your spouse’s career and taking care of the house and the kids, but once he decides he’s done with you and he’s onto the next willing victim there is nothing for you. Nada. So you’d better hope that child support is generous and is paid in full.

I’m not saying to go against your lawyer. God knows, if you’re paying hundreds of dollars an hour you should probably follow their advice. I am saying it might be a good idea to question your lawyer on why they are giving you that advice.

Most of these women are terrified. They have no idea how they’re going to make it once they’re divorced. I get it. I was one of those women. I was living in a nice big house. I had a nice, cushy life. I had no money problems. Then **POOF** it was all up in smoke. I went from going on shopping binges to fill my house with furniture and putting a $57,000 inground pool into my backyard to wondering how I was going to pay for insurance and where would my kids and I live? How would I pay for my daughter’s graduation party? How would I afford college (in a state that will not order college to be paid for)? How could I provide for my children? All questions I was wondering about while my lawyer wanted me to appear in court as a fragile little stay at home mom.

In hindsight the best thing I could have done was start searching for a job right away. What I probably would have made wouldn’t have prevented us from losing the house but it may have given me more of a cushion. I was actually pretty good at staying on a budget. When he did lose his job I would have had something to put towards bills instead of having to begin draining my savings. Even if I ended up having to leave my job six months later I would have still been in a better position to get a job once I moved to Indiana. Trying to get a job after a long absence in the workforce is a nightmare. This idea that when you’re finally ready to get a job you’ll find one is a fairytale. In a lot of cases it takes a long time. Far better to start that search before you want to, so that when you need to you’re well on your way. I also might have been in a better position to ask for more money. Between having more relevant work experience and having had an actual paying job I might have been able to make more, or at least been confident enough to ask for it.

It’s well meaning advice but I don’t think it’s very prudent. The difference between what a man who is making six figures will be ordered to pay you when you’re making nothing versus making a fraction of what he makes is not worth putting yourself in potential poverty. The chances of him actually paying out what he’s court ordered to are less than half- 43.5% to be exact. And finally, just because you start looking for a job doesn’t mean you’re going to find one right away. Once you find one it doesn’t mean it’s going to pay well. It took me almost four years to finally get to the point where I’m making enough to support myself on my own if I had to. Save yourself. Don’t wait on the man who cheated on you and abandoned your kids to rescue you. It probably won’t happen.

Dreaming Of a White Christmas

I live in northern Indiana. I have spent the majority of my life living in places where snow is common in the winter months. I tell you this because the weather has been fairly balmy here and there hasn’t been much snow. Sometimes it didn’t feel like Christmas was right around the corner.

I frequently heard people saying they wish we could have a white Christmas. “Oh, a little bit of snow would be so nice.”

Here’s the problem with that thinking: It doesn’t go away after Christmas.

I remember one of the last Christmases I spent with my Mamaw. I have narrowed the year down to somewhere between 2003 and 2005. We were living in Michigan then and I was hosting Christmas at my house that year. Mamaw had come up and was staying with me. The grass was green and the weather wasn’t too chilly.

I don’t remember her exact words, but it was in that same vein of wanting a white Christmas and how nice it is when you have a little bit of snow at Christmas time.

She got her wish. It began snowing on December 23rd and snowed for ten days straight. I told her to never again say anything about wanting a white Christmas!

This year it started snowing late on Christmas Eve and continued snowing throughout the night. We woke to probably a good 12 inches of snow, if not more. I like to think my Mamaw is smiling down on us in Heaven. You got your wish, Mamaw; we had a white Christmas.

It’s been a good Christmas. I cannot complain. My daughter and I are off to pick up our order of Chinese takeout in a few minutes. Then I think I’m going to watch Hallmark movies while I eat. I’ve been stuffing myself and saying to hell with the “lifestyle change” during this period of the holidays.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope your day was wonderful. For those of you who may be reading and struggling, it does get easier. Hang in there; you are stronger than you think.

Last Weekend Before Christmas

I am exhausted. I finally have all of my Christmas shopping done. 

It shouldn’t be this difficult. I have 7 people on my list. At one point in my life I think the list was over 20. Now I have my two children, my mother, one niece and one nephew that I still buy for, the mobster, and his daughter. That’s it. And most of what I bought I purchased online right after Thanksgiving. Plus, I’ve already exchanged gifts with the mobster and his daughter. So I don’t know what the hell happened!

My mom and I went out on Saturday. I thought it was going to be a quick trip but it turned into several hours. First stop was the mall. That was probably my first mistake. But I wanted to check out Bath & Body Works for my Secret Santa and some other odds and ends gifts, and my mom had sent my brother and I pictures of some tops she wanted at JC Penney’s. 

I ended up spending way too much money at Bath & Body Works. They had their Buy 3, Get 3 Free sale going on. I intended to buy 3 and get 3 free. What I ended up doing was buying 6 and getting 6 free. I also bought 2 candles and a small thing of hand lotion because my hands are getting so dry and horrid looking what with all of this constant hand washing. I promise I always wash my hands after I go to the bathroom but my hands seem to really be taking a beating for some reason now.

My mom wanted to check out another store that had a stuffed dog in it. She recently lost her dog and she says she’s not getting any more dogs so I guess this is her replacement. She picked out a dog for Christmas after I told her not to check out the price tag, just tell me which one she liked. I also bought a few stocking stuffers for the boy.

Next we headed back to Penney’s. I had a hell of a time trying to find the tops she liked. I did end up finding a cute pair of jeggings for myself, along with a new sweater and a vest.

After we finished at the mall we went to lunch. I was starving. 

Then onto Target. I bought some more stocking stuffers and we both noted the bare aisles in the store. I’m not sure there are going to be any after Christmas sales. That stuff is gone!

I needed to get a gift card from a restaurant in town but my mom suggested going to another location because the one near where we were was horribly busy. She wanted to stop at Kroger anyway and get butter because it was on sale for $1.99.

She dropped me off to run in and grab the gift cards to the restaurants and then we were off to Kroger. I bought stuff for baking and stuff for a breakfast casserole on Christmas Eve.

We were on our way home when my mom remembered that I had promised Picasso Chick-Fil-A after our shopping trip. My mom had made him breakfast so it wasn’t like the kid hadn’t eaten. In fact, I had told him it would be several hours before I would be returning.

I placed my order online but it was still a mess with a long enough wait period. Finally I got his lunch and our two peppermint chip milkshakes and we were on our way back home.

I think we were back home around 3:45.

Now, if that wasn’t enough I had the brilliant idea to invite two of my friends over to grab holiday goodies on Sunday. I even offered up some appetizers or soup if they wanted to come inside and visit, instead of just grab a plate and go.

I started baking late. It started out okay. I made Scotcheroos first. I’m pretty good at that. They went off without a hitch.

Then it was onto Christmas crack. I didn’t have a cookie sheet with a lip on it that was big enough to hold all 40 crackers. I did have a regular cookie sheet though and I figured I could fold up the sides and that would work just as well.

It did not. I heard the timer go off and initially ignored it for a good 30 seconds and then I jumped up out of my chair when I realized it was the caramel baking onto the crackers. When I went to pull it out of the oven I realized that the caramel had escaped the confines of the aluminum foil and had spilled all over the bottom of the oven. Suffice to say there was a lot of cussing going on. I’m not sure holiday cheer and motherfucker belong in the same sentence but that was definitely going on at my house on Saturday. The crackers end up swimming in the caramel to begin with so you can imagine the mess it makes when the caramel bursts the dam, so to speak. The crackers go overboard with it. It was a messy disaster, but I got through it.

I still had two things to make- M&M cookie dough truffles, which got devoured by my kids last year, and sugar cookies.

My cookbook for the sugar cookies recipe was outside in the shed. I had to take a flashlight and root around outside in order to find it. It’s a damn good cookie recipe. Definitely worth the effort.

Both of these recipes require chilling the dough, so I think I actually made both of them before I started with the other stuff. It doesn’t matter though because I ran into problems with both of them.

For the cookie dough truffles I ran out of melted chocolate in which to dip them. So, I got through maybe half of them and had to stop.

Meanwhile, when I turned the oven back on so that I could bake the cookies it began to smoke, thanks to the caramel disaster. I tried cleaning it out and all I got for my efforts was almost being burned. The heat quickly rose through the scrubbing pad I was using, even bundled up into four layers. I tried again using the sponge on top of the scrubbing pad but it still didn’t get it clean enough. I finally dug underneath the sink and found some oven cleaner. This meant I was going to have to put the cookies on hold until Sunday while the oven cleaner did its job.

On Sunday I was once again a cooking fool. My mom asked me if I’d like some scrambled eggs. I said no thank you because I was going to make myself an omelette. She decided that sounded pretty good and told me I could make her one, too. I ended up making three mushroom, spinach, bacon and Swiss cheese omelets.

Picasso and I had an errand to run later on in the morning. I let him drive which was hair raising. He’s a scary driver. Then again, he only has about 2 hours of driving experience so far so what should I expect?

Once back home I let him out and I took off to finish up my shopping. I went to Wal-Mart first because I needed more chocolate chips for the cookie dough truffles, I needed the ingredients for my soup I was preparing for my friends, and I was hoping they would have all of the gift cards I wanted to purchase.

They, too, have pretty much nothing left on their shelves. I was going to pick up some gift card holders and the Christmas section is pretty welled cleaned out. They did have all of the ingredients for my soup, plus the chocolate chips that I almost forgot. I got all except one of the gift cards I was hoping to find. This was awesome except it did mean I needed to go one more place, which I did.

I got back home. I finished up my baking. The sugar cookies were as amazing as I remembered them being. My M&M cookie dough truffles are finished. The Christmas crack is broken up into pieces. The Scotcheroos have not been cut yet so I don’t have to worry about covering them. 

After all the baking was done I moved on to making my soup. I already knew one of my friends was not going to be able to make it. Around five my other friend called to say she wasn’t going to be able to make it after all either. Or, if she did, it wouldn’t be until later, probably around 8. That was fine by me. I just need to get rid of it!

All that’s left now is some cleanup and some wrapping and sorting. I need to wrap my mom’s gifts and I think there might be a gift or two for a kid. Most everything will be put into bags because I hate wrapping gifts. The biggest thing I need to do is sort through the stocking stuffers and Santa gifts so that those are ready to go.

This has been the rare weekend where I really feel like I need an extra day because I’m so tired after all of this running around.

Luckily for me I don’t work a full week again this year. We work a half day on the 24th and then are off the 25th. I’m taking vacation on Monday and Tuesday so I’ll have a good 5 1/2 days off. I go back Wednesday and Thursday and then am off again on Friday. I could get used to a 2 day work week. 

The mobster is flying up for New Year’s Eve so that’s something to look forward to. It will be only our second New Year’s Eve together. He’s getting in a little after 1 but I won’t be getting off work until 5. I’ll pick him up and we’ll go have lunch together and then he’ll drop me off at work and he’ll go back to the house and pick me up at 5.

I will leave you with my entry for our office’s ugly Christmas sweater contest. You probably can’t tell in the pictures but I have matching earrings. They’re little wreaths. The whole dress looks like a putting green. It’s seriously hideous. I can’t believe anyone would buy that dress for anything other than a joke. In fact, when I posted it on Facebook one of my friends told me she sees this exact dress in the Meijer up by her right near the checkout lanes and she often wondered who on earth would buy such a thing. Thanks to me, now she knows!

One Last Round Of 2020 Memes

Oh sweet Mother of Pearl, as Mr. Krabs would say. I sincerely hope these are the last 2020 memes. I can’t make any promises. There may be more heading your way, but right now, this is all I’ve got.

Yes, I know. This one is a little late. I meant to publish it in October but I didn’t.
Probably would have been better in November but it is what it is.
Another October meme.