Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ballot, schmallot.

It's that time again. Yes the time where ads are running amuck on TV about who to vote for and what to vote for. I don't understand the ad's continually bashing each other but never putting out ads FOR themseleves with true, fact from their piehole. So many flaws and far stretches to the actual truth.

Here is the truth. People don't really want to understand the actual reasons why candidates vote one way or the other but rather make a generalized statements that TECHNICALLY could be true, but isn't truly what the props are about.

Why should we care if it's republican or democrat. How about voting on issues because they are what we, as US Citizens, believe in no matter what side of the aisle their being pitched from?

But people seem to be SOOOOOOO having to jump on the Obama-sucks bandwagon they can't see that the 33million jobs he did create may not have been enough...but if those HADN'T been created we would be so much worse of in this dump of an economy that Bush left us in! I just wish we could give the man 4 years as we have the others. Also, I wish we could start meeting in the middle and realize that there are pros and cons of EVERYTHING in this world. Don't we always weigh both and do what's in OUR best interest? WHY must politics be different?

Teri C

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Sunday Night

I wonder to myself, when you have the weekend off why must you wait until bedtime, Sunday night to begin cleaning the house? I know this sounds odd but it's what my husband seems to do. Now, this doesn't always happens but when he feels it IS time to clean it happens at the bedtime hour.

Now, another thing is that our house is always dirty. We live right off a main street and we have three dogs. So a must is to vacuum everyday, which I do. But do I get down and vacuum out the corners or the stairs or under furniture? No. I am a surface cleaner. I think it comes from all the years of watching my mom get up at unGodly hours to clean. Everything had to be clean at all times. Making my bed in the morning just to come back home and sleep in it always seemed ridiculous to me. Still, to this day I still won't make the bed in the morning. My husband, however, will.

So tonight is Sunday. It's 9pm. I am having surgery on Tuesday. My brother is going to take me and bring me home. I told my hub that I wanted to clean. But my doctor's orders are to stay off my feet. Now, I am not taking that literally and I know I can be ON the bad foot, but I shouldn't be walking around or pressing down on the toe (which is being operated on.) So asking my hub to help clean up the house turned into a total extreme home makeover. Not that all he is doing doesn't need to be done, I just don't think at 9 o'clock at night is the time to start working on the project.

He started in the kitchen and started throwing away gadgets and things we don't use. Then it was clearing off counters and pulling everything out. I see that most stuff on the counters ended up on the pass-thru. Which, looking at it now, seems to still be housing all the "stuff" that was on the counters. Then as he needs a potty break he starts to clean the bathroom. I tell him to take on just one project he tells me that he is (??) Now the bathroom is clean and the rugs need to be washed and a new shower curtain is up, but all the dishes are still piled up waiting to be washed.

Now as he walks out of the bathroom he notices that the book shelf is dusty. So we are now going to talk about what can and cannot be taken off, put away or thrown away on the bookshelf. I asked, "If you are not going to take each item off and throw it all away and dust the whole case, please don't start it now." He then proceeded to take everything off the bottom shelf and clean it off and rearrange it. The other 3 shelves and the top remain dusty.

It's now 10 o'clock and he sees that one side of our living room is too cluttered. As he takes everything off the tables and puts it on the couch, he throws out the two oak tv trays. Now where does the stuff go? Uh-oh. He now has back pain and realizes he is out of gas. I said that is because it's 10:30pm. This is why we don't start cleaning at bedtime. However he continues to clean his way towards the tv and puts everything from that side of the living room on the couch, or just the middle of the floor as he groans in tiredness and lower back pain.

Now a loud scream comes out and his eyeballs pop out of his head as if he may have a thyroid condition. So now it's 11pm and everything is out of place and it's worse looking than when he started.

I know the intention of well meaning is there and I know he wants it to look nice so my brother doesn't think we live in a nasty, stinky house. But it's Sunday night. Even God rested on this day. We need a week off to clean this house top to bottom. But we don't seem to see eye to eye on how to attack the mess we've made in this cracker box in the last four years.

Tomorrow, while he is still asleep, I will get up and reassemble the remains and make sure that after surgery I can come home to a clean, nice smelling and comfy area to recouperate in.

For now, it's Sunday night. Let's call it a day.

Don't know the etiquette for hosting a party? THEN DON'T HOST!!

How is it....that you need to have a party. You have been put in charge or you have offered to throw the party. Say a bridal shower, baby shower, wedding, birthday, retirement...what have you. You send out invites to all the people that mean something to you. You know they will all bring presents. What is it that you are responsible for?

First off is having the party in a location that is central to your home, but close enough for everyone to get there. Perhaps having it at a relative or bestie's house might be more of a central location. If you are inviting people that live hours, or days, away from your celebratory spot then you have to figure that these people may send regrets about attending. If they do attend, will you need to help with accommodations or will it just be a day trip for them?

Next, you will need decorations to show what a happy occasion it is. Then again, if it's a funeral, the reception afterwards can still be a celebration. If you choose to have a somber gathering, then simply make your decorations all black. For the purpose of this vent, I will be laying out the rules of a happy occasion. Feel free to tweak where necessary for the more somber events.

• Tablecloths, balloons, paper plates and matching napkins & cups.

• Balloons!!

• Maybe a banner and some other neat things hanging like crepe paper or ribbon or swirly hanging things.

• Party favors! It could be a horn you blow into or fake bling or even a small bag of M&M's that you pre-ordered with colors that match your occasion (ie. baby=blue or pink, birthday=guest of honor's fav color, death=black.)

• Then if you plan to have games you must have all the games printed off, pencils and something they can use to write on.

• Now, if you have games GO TO THE DOLLAR STORE AND BUY LITTLE TOKENS TO PUT IN A GIFT BAG. You look like you spent $20 a bag and really it was $4. A candy bar really doesn't cut it. If you play three games (3) make sure you buy back up gifts in case of a tie!!! Happens more than you now!

• Music. Between mini-events and while eating and mingling are happening it's great to have some background music. It doesn't have to be classical or jazz but it doesn't need to be Ozzy or Iron Maiden either.

Let's see the blueprint for the party.

Let's pretend the party starts at 2pm so most people will arrive at 2:30. So if you want it to start at 2, write 1:30 on the invite. Then when you really start at 2:30 people won't have been waiting more than 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

1st things 1st. When your guests walk in the door. Take their coat/purse, give them their nametag and direct them to the gift table. Tell them to walk straight into the kitchen to help themselves to a beverage. Alternatively, you could have another host offering the selection as they walk into the kitchen You will have the following:

• Bowl of punch : secret recipe passed down from generations: Safeway "punch". Ice. No one will ever know. If you feel spicy put some lime sherbet in it. I don't like that, but you can do reg punch and then when dessert comes, put the sherbet in and then it's a dessert drink.

• You can also make the same punch but use A&W (no substitutes) root beer with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

• Also, you must have bottles of water, also bought from Costco, on ice---preferably in an ice chest--yes, full of ice--to keep the water cold throughout the party. Begin chilling first thing in the a.m. Add ice throughout the day to keep it cold.

• There is also an option, depending on your budget, to add in soda. You will want Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Sprite Zero.

• Hopefully no children attend because these types of parties are not meant for children. They are meant for the guest of honor. They are adult functions. But some parents believe that everyone wants to be near their children and live in that bubble of grandeur. When the parent asks if there is juice for kids you politely say, "I wasn't expecting kids so I only bought drinks for the adults. Did you bring your child a beverage?" I know, I know. We wouldn't say this but you all know your thinking it. Walk reluctantly to the fridge and get some milk. Then return to your adult guests.

Next, have everyone gather in the main room and begin by playing a game. Make sure there are bowls around the room with candy and nuts so guests can snack before the food is served. Most won't dig into the snacks so don't spend a lot of money on that aspect, but it definitely needs to be out.
The games should be fun, but quick. At least one but no more than three. The first game should be a game about who knows the host best. 2nd game is a word scramble or a word hunt and last game is something silly like "rhyme time." You could give clues like "this person takes the woman around locations and points out specific items." The answer would be "Bride Guide." Or use your computer and make a crossword puzzle with all baby words as the answers.
Or you could even have a Bingo game and instead of numbers they are replaced with words that deal with the occasion. There are also Bingo generators online that will scramble the cards for you and then you print them out. AS each person wins, give them the gift. Have them open it and everyone can do their ooohhhhs and aaahhhhhhhhs. Move on.

After the games: Tell everyone the food is ready and head to the kitchen for a feast. EAT and chat. EAT and sit. EAT and drink. Then refill food and beverages as needed. Then, clean up as the guests make their way through the line. Make sure you have a recycle bin and a garbage can. You might even want a bag for "compost" just to appear that you are a "green" home. You can throw it in the garbage after the crowd leaves. is my main pet peeve: THE MENU! Everyone knows when you go to an organized party the food is the main thing you go for. I am a middle class housewife (by the Real Housewife of (any city)'s definition. I have no kids but I am an adult with a "real" story.") I will not be serving caviar nor bacon wrapped prawns. I'm talking real-life poor people food that everyone loves and trying to offer an variety so everyone will like something that's offered. Let's go down a typical list:

  • Meat & cheese tray (two different trays for those who say their vegetarian and cant have their dairy touch the tortured souls of animals. For the vegans, get some bean dip and a spoon.)
  • Cracker assortment. Everyone loves the buttery garlic Club crackers but you can also go to a Costco and get boxes of water/table crackers.
  • Then let's have some pre-made sandwiches with a small bowl of mayo and one of mustard and a small spoon in each.
  • Chips...various kinds and of course some dips: ranch, french onion, hummus-which then allows you to also use the crackers back on the meat/cheese tray-and even liquid cheese should someone like to make cold nachos.
  • Little smokies in a crock pot with a jar of Stubb's original BBQ sauce. You could also use 1/2 of those little smokies (buy them at Costco for cost effective reasoning) and some crescent rolls and make pigs in a blanket. Again, cross reference with the mayo/mustard at the sandwich area for dipping sauces.
  • Wings. A must have if you ask me. You can make hot, honey BBQ, crispy..or plain and put sauces on the table for folks to add. Especially those who like it Kick Yo' Ass Hot wings. People will tell you that finger food shouldn't be served when you are coming dressed up. Um...have you heard of napkins? These will always be a sellout item.
  • Veggie Tray: Buy pre-made bags of cauliflower/broccoli/carrots and then add in celery. Put out a bowl of black and/or green olives. Cross reference with the ranch dip back at the chip station for veggie dipping.
  • Fruit--depending on the season of your occasion you can have a fruit platter. HOWEVER, if you can't buy the watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew or pineapple and strawberries and cut them up yourselves, don't pay for the ridiculous pre-made platter. This will always make you go over budget and the fruit is never as good as when you make it yourself. OH!! NEVER, I REPEAT NEVER serve the fruit at room temperature. ALWAYS serve it ice cold. Now you could also get some whip cream and put it in a bowl to dip the fruit in. This is optional. I try it quite often but it seems I eat it out of the container before I can get it in a bowl. Now, I just put out fruit.
  • Platter of cookies. Preferably choc. chip, peanut butter, oatmeal&raisin and sugar. Try to keep the PB ones away from the others due to nut allergies. Some ask why this wouldn't go with the dessert stations. Well, I will tell you. After you eat all the good food you need something a little sweet to get you through the stupid games and present opening. Usually the person throwing the event will put out small bowls of chocolate around the area but most feel embarrassed digging into the bowls after just chowing down on a feast. And, honestly, who can wait 1-2 hours for cake and ice cream???? Put the cookies out. It's a winner.

Next: Gifts!! Open and record all the gifts and who they are from. Gravel over each item as if you have NEVER seen something SOOOO fantastic in your life. While gifts are being opened and recorded and all the wrapping being recycled (and if it's a bridal shower the bows and ribbons are being taped on a paper plate to make a rehearsal boquet) other family members should be cleaning up the food and making way for the dessert table. Once the gifts are done thank everyone again with your most heartfelt thank you and offer everyone to refresh their beverage and join you at the main table to cut the cake. At the dessert table, here's what you will have:

  • Cake: Buy from Costco. Big cake, cheap price, feeds a lot.
  • Cookies: replenish from food table, re-serve.
  • ice cream: I like to stick to vanilla and chocolate but you can also go with what the guest of honor prefers.
  • brownies: undercook them just a bit. put a scoop of ice cream on it and OMG. better than sex.
  • toppings. Since you will have ice cream have some caramel and hot fudge AND Hershey's syrup. Go back to the fruit plate and get out the whip cream and bring it to this area.
  • plates, utensils and napkins from the food table.
  • water replenished during gift opening. Lots of water is used during this phase because of the rich dessert offerings.
  • coffee. I hate it but sooooo many people want it. If you have an espresso maker you could do that, as well, but again, what is your budget

When everyone has their dessert the host should make their "thank you for coming and spending this special day with me because your friendship/love for me is what keeps me strong in this world. Knowing that you all care for me is what I need to keep me going" speech. That is the official word for people to leave w/o feeling awkward.

Again, have one or two family members grab coats /purses for those leaving. Some will come to hug you and say good bye and others may sneak out. Don't walk them out to their vehicle or you will/may be caught outside and that can be considered a snobby move to oher guests inside. ("Oh she can spend TEN minutes with so-n-so but give ME a kiss on the cheek and sends me on my way? Nice.") Keep the love equitable.

After everyone is gone, text everyone you can and thank them again for coming and tell them how "they" made your day. This is instant gratification for your guest and we all know how that feels!

Then all family/besties left help pickup, throw out trash and return the place to a realm of normalcy.

Send out your thank you notes the NEXT DAY. Sure, sure. Etiquette books will tell you that you have months to do so but I will tell you; your friends will be impressed at how fast you were and you won't forget to do them and have people bitter at you for a reason unbeknownst to you! OR six months down the road when the deadline approaches (per Miss Manners) for sending Thank-you Cards, you become a procrastinator and then decide that online thank-you's posted to your Facebook is really okay and just as good as note cards.

Yeah...we can justify ANYTHING if we want to feel good about ourselves. Just remember, others might not feel that same joy. Get them sent out and be done. Now you can just sit, relax and enjoy all your presents AND the leftover food!

This is all basic party etiquette. Now that I've vented, if you need me to help organize your party, please let me know how I can help you be one of the GOOD party givers, not the rude one that just wants the gifts and call it a day.

Thanks for letting me vent. Good night.
Teri C

About Me

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T-town, WA, United States
I am 45, MWF with 3 dogs: Molly (My Mom's pup), Harleigh and Parker. I teach 8th grade and absolutely LOVE my job. I've been married 8 years to Ricky, whom I love with all my heart. I also like to go to movies and love the drive in! I love Netflix and reality tv (which, is truly more of an obsession.) I am on facebook so look for me! Life is changing all the time, I am just not sure if I am keeping up with the changes.