Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Haus Frau Has Gone Fifty Shades

One of the things I am learning to embrace about unemployment is the lack of scheduling needed to keep me on the straight and narrow.  As a recovering Type A personality (who am I kidding I am still Type A) I am indulging in reading long books while lounging in the family room.  Is there any better way to fulfill the needs of a Haus Frau than sitting on one's ass reading all day?  Well perhaps there are a couple....

With all the hype about the Fifty Shades trilogy in the news warning everyone that it is raunchy mommy porn I couldn't resist. The Haus Frau was in need of some salacious couch reading.  I read the 1st book in 2 days and couldn't wait to get the 2nd and 3rd...even fired up the Civic for  a special trip to Target to pick them up.  Within a span of 4 days I had read all 3 and I am proud to admit I loved them.

Yes I am a highly educated scientist and I am addicted to the story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.   Yes there are some highly explicit scenes in the books but quite honestly they were not as bad as all the hype.  Of course after the first 5 "encounters" I just breezed through them like a narration about going to dinner.

I am hooked and I love to see people's faces when I ask if they have read the books.... especially the moms at my daughter's school.  One particular mom was adamant that she didn't want to read such trash but later asked if she could borrow the 1st book.  Of course I obliged after wrapping the book in a black Nordstrom Rack bag.  I have yet to hear how the book is coming along.

So if you are looking for a sleazy summer read for vacation consider the Fifty Shades.... they are quick reads and for a little while they offer other Haus Fraus a chance to dream of a guy that caters to your every need.

As my mom would say.... "Christian Grey can eat crackers in my bed anytime.... provided he checks the whip, handcuffs, and other assorted toys at the door." :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chill the Bubbly! The Haus Frau is Celebrating One Year of Unemployment Bliss!

I can hardly believe it.... in a couple of days I will be officially one year removed from The Big House.  How does one even begin to plan a celebration of that magnitude?   Perhaps we will dress up the kids and take them for a night on the town at Costco where they can eat food samples until their hearts are content, or go to the mall and split a Cinnabon.... now we are talking.

I decided I was going to literally shed all of those lingering feelings of self doubt and donate 10 inches of my hair to a charity that makes wigs for kids.  I started this well before I was sprung and I had no idea how long it would take to grow 10 inches, but seeing as how I didn't have a lot of income coming in what a better way to save on haircuts than to grow your hair for charity.  It was a win-win for all!  I had to grow extra because if my hair is too short my face looks like a meatball... but what can you do.  And as with everything in true Haus Frau fashion my best intentions are never fool proof.

January 31st.... that was my date. I was finally getting my hair cut!  I couldn't wait and literally was counting down the hours because that much hair made this Haus Frau look like a throw back from the 60's.  Nobody in my family seemed to get my excitement.... I wasn't going to have to sleep with my hair on top of my head, I would have to do a yoga move to brush the entire length, and I hopefully would stop shedding everywhere.  My 1:00 appointment arrived.  My hairdresser counted off the inches (10 to be exact).  She took a picture, made my last ponytail, told me I was a Rock Star, and cut it off.  What a relief!  I now had a headless ponytail in a Ziploc bag.

I got home and decided I would measure the ponytail so that I could get an exact measure... maybe she took off 10.5 or 11 inches.  A final inch-count was the final seal of approval.   But oh no she cut off 8 inches.  The minimum requirement was 10!  What the $%^&? This was a project 18 months in the making and in one quick instant it was all for naught!  SO much for shedding the negativity.

Thankfully, one of my friends still incarcerated in the Big House had mentioned another charity that requires less hair and as luck would have it (knock on wood) their minimum requirement was 8 inches.  My ponytail is now carefully sealed in a padded envelope (I have no idea why it had to be padded) and is on its way to Ohio where hopefully it will do some good.

This past year has been one of the best experiences I have ever had and I would not change it for the world.  My kids get to have a happy mom, I get to spend my days lounging with my 4-legged coworkers, and best of all I get to pursue the things that make me happy.

I will end this with an observation my 2 year old made the other day.  At the close of the local news cast, the camera took a shot of the larger than life Marilyn Monroe statue in Chicago.  She is posed in her infamous white dress over a blowing heating grate.... to which my 2-year old says.... "Why is Mommy on TV?"  Does it get better than that?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Give a Haus Frau a Break... and By the Way... Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I have had a bit of  a hiatus from blogging, not due to actual full time employment but more from lack of topics to blog about.  That said, as my mother always said... be careful what you wish for.  And as luck would have it I have had no shortage of let's call them "experiences" to share... so I will start at the beginning.

This New Year's we decided we were going to start all new traditions, because our old New Year's traditions just didn't come through for us in 2011.... so 2012 was time for starting new.  We went to the local zoo here on New Year's Eve to see the lights and topped off our evening with confetti poppers in the living room.  It was every bit the Rager a 6 and 2-year old could hope for. We were in bed at a reasonable hour and actually got a good night's sleep despite the fireworks in our street at midnight.

New Year's day was off to a great start.  Kids were getting along, football games were on the TV, and we were sitting back in front of a roaring fire when the phone rang.  It was our favorite neighbor asking us if we had been outside that morning.  No, we hadn't been outside except to get the paper.  So she replies "well you may want to come and take a look at your garage door."

Well low and behold upon inspection, some mentally challenged imbecile decided to spray paint a 6-foot high black penis on our white garage door and then sign their name (or as I learned "their tag") on our siding. What?  It was at this point that I truly realized the benefits of being kicked out of the Big House almost one year ago.  If I had still been incarcerated I would have totally lost my cool, but this year I just laughed and starting taking pictures and sending them out.

The best was when our 6-year old asked her usual inquisitive questions about every part of the picture... all of which my husband deferred to me.  So this New Year's we learned about mineral spirits and the wonders of good old fashioned elbow grease.  Most of the artwork came off but we will need to repaint in the spring when it is warmer.  I thought about posting a picture of the artwork with this blog but was concerned about copyright infringement because anything that superbly done would have been protected by the artist.  If you are interested, just send me an email and I will happily share the snapshot of how we started off 2012.

I hope it is not an omen.... 2012 has to be better than 2011, right?  We still ate our black eyed peas for good luck, a ton of gomae for money, but perhaps we should have worn yellow underwear like they do in Brazil for a prosperous new year, or break dishes on our doorstep like the Danish.

Who knows?  All I do know is that you have to laugh at the heinous 6-foot penis on your garage door and any other ridiculous thing to come along.  So to start off the Haus Frau on a good note in 2012 I have opened a Twitter account for the old girl and will starting tweeting the absurdities I find as I continue my unemployment quest.

Stayed tuned for my fun with AT&T.....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zumba....aka Shake What Your Mamma Gave You or.....

... in my case shake what the pre-mixed margaritas at Costco gave me!  In my not-so-new life of unemployment I am now embracing things that I would never have done in the past... Pedi-Egg or Yoga Toes anyone, or perhaps a Neti pot....or in this case it was a Zumba class for me.  How bad could it be?

Well... let me tell you.... I had a blast looking like an uncoordinated idiot.  The instructor started the class by saying "if you don't get the steps just keep moving".  I remember thinking... I have been working out I can keep moving.

OMG..... the little old lady in front of me did kicked my butt.  It seems us Zumba-newbies stick to the back of the class which is fantastic for camouflage but not so good for seeing the instructor's moves.  As we floundered our way through class my fellow newbies and me definitely got a great workout and never stopped smiling and laughing.... can't say that for my 5:15am workout class.

The best was when the instructor divided the class in half to have a dance off.... are you kidding?  I thought they only did that in the movies.... but sure enough people of all shapes and sizes were shaking what their mammas (or Costco margaritas) gave them and not giving a crap what other people thought about them.  Me on the other hand.... I was born with no musicality or ability to look cool while attempting to dance so I just swayed Costco's gift to me.

Unemployment has taught me to enjoy the little things and laugh more (primarily at myself).... you only get one ride so you might as well be happy.... now that sounded profound didn't it :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

6 months and counting......

I cannot believe that it has been over 6 months since that glorious Talk.  The absurdly ridiculous placement service has been calling less and less as time passes.  They still keep sending emails wondering how I am and asking if I have had any interviews.... but as with a lot of things these days I tend to take them more in stride with everything else and just don't respond.

A couple of notable things have gone on which I thought many would find amusing:

I fell in love with those extra creamy Nutter Butter cookies and am embarrassed to say I polished more than a few packages all by myself.  They are fabulous... if you are a connoisseur of Nutter Butters.  I found, however, that sitting on my butt eating those scrumptious little cookies lead to a few more pounds following me around.  In an effort to increase our (mostly mine) physical fitness we joined a local family gym.  The 5:30am workouts have been hell but the pounds are slowly coming off and I am now doing yoga by the pool on Wednesday nights.  Who would have thought that I would have ever had time to do yoga by the pool.... certainly not me.... at least not while I was working for that awful food company.

This summer has also seen the demise of 4 swimsuits... each of my daughters wore out 2 swimsuits.... to the point that the elastic didn't have any spring left in it and the bottoms were threadbare.  For once they got to play daily, sometimes several times/day, at the pool soaking up sun and getting tan lines that I would give my left and right arms for.

Did I mention that I do yoga by the pool?

My dogs have spent their days snoozing in the sun on our deck and when it got too hot they would saunter in and lie on the couches under the fan and AC.  It is truly a rough existence for them.

In an effort to decrease our spending I have tried many different ways to save money... some have worked some haven't... but the most memorable are:

  • Mayonnaise- I admit I am a Hellman's girl, but I couldn't pass up the private-label mayo at Walmart for half the price.   OMG!  That was like opening the trash can and throwing my money right in.... 
  • Milk- We go through so much milk each week sometimes I think it would be cheaper to own a cow.  I have been able to find milk for 30-50% cheaper at Costco than at the grocery store.  It tastes the same and it lasts a lot longer which means less trips to the store for me.
  • Oats- This one thrills me to no end.... the private label at Target is much better than the branded.
  • Oil of Olay face soap- I use the Oil of Olay Regenerist line of products and had a momentary lapse in judgement one day when I decided the store brand soap was the same.... not in the least.  While I did use up the store brand I find it odd that they called it a facial cleanser and it didn't even make soapy bubbles.
  • Finally, while I was unhappily, gainfully employed we used to throw out tons of food but now we eat the same healthy food but buy less because we eat leftovers a little more often.

As we look toward fall I am reevaluating my wardrobe, and as you know I have a obsession with elastic-wasted pants during the cold months.   I am now a proud owner of a pink Snuggie that I got on clearance at Office Max for $4.99 and I have made a new discovery... Lands End sweatpants.  My oldest has them for her gym uniform, but I had not idea they made adults versions.  They are simply divine!  My first pair  arrived the other day.  As much as I hate cold weather a little part of me can't wait to try them out.

These past couple of months have been fantastic and I can only wonder what the next 6 months will hold......

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Good Bye Arch Nemesis and Hello Old Friends

Is it a good thing that I have unconsciously stopped counting the number of weeks since I was sprung? I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I survived April 8th... the last official day I received my paycheck. For 8 weeks I was fixated on that date like a dog on a bone.  What would happen once that direct deposit stopped coming in?   

Of course the 8th came and went, and you know what I am much happier & less stressed because I don't have a date to fixate on.... other than May 31st when my daughter is out of school for the summer.  I am wondering what do you do to entertain a 6 year old for almost 3 months...but I digress.

After the 8th I found myself saying goodbye and hello all within the same week.  First I said goodbye to one of my arch nemesis.  One glorious morning as the rays of sunshine were streaming through the bathroom windows, I was looking in the mirror and noticed that I looked different but couldn't figure it out.  Sure I have the grey hairs on my head that are reproducing like the rabbits in our backyard, I have lost a few pounds, but I couldn't quite figure it out.... then it hit me.... I had been wasting tons of money over the past several years, to no avail, only to find out that the simple act of being sprung from the Big House was enough to banish those freakish circles from under my eyes.  Is there an unemployment fairy that flits through the night granting random wishes to those in need?  If so please keep coming back I have several other areas that need a little sprucing up ("up" being the operative word).  So many thanks to the fairy and adios to those much hated purple saucers!

My second revelation came when I was going to meet someone for lunch.  After 8 weeks of pretty much elastic-wasted pants, sweatshirts, no make-up, and slippers I thought it would be a nice change to put on clothes with buttons.  This led me deep into the recesses of my closet to discover some old friends... my dressy, girly shoes!  Hello old friends!  In the perfect world my nice shoes would be meticulously lined up on shoe racks but let's face it our house is no utopia & since I have two shoe-loving girls, who love nothing more than to put on my shoes and clunk around on the bathroom tile, I usually find them in large piles in the closet.  And forget about having the same 2 shoes in one pile... that would be nirvana.  Nevertheless... there they were the few pairs of shoes that I splurged on in my Days of Income.  A quick dusting and we were off.

So good bye to freakish circles and hello to girly shoes!  That imaginary concrete balloon didn't fall once the paychecks stopped and my world didn't end.. in fact for some odd reason I can honestly admit I have not one shred of stress in my life right now.  How oddly perplexing!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Top Ten Things About Unemployment

On the day that my severance ends, I took some time today to reflect on what the last 8 weeks have been like and have written a Top 10 list of all the reasons why being unemployed is so much better than working for the big obnoxious food company.

10.  Having the expert outplacement service tell me that I am a match to a sales manager position at Turtle Wax... where else can I get this entertainment for free?

9.  I can shower in the afternoon or not at all.

8.  I now have a elastic-waisted pants for all seasons.

7.  I no longer dread Sunday nights and Monday mornings... all days are good again.

6.  My longest commute is to my daughter's school and it takes 20 minutes round trip.

5.  Watching Elmo sing the ABCs with India Arie over and over again in the middle of the afternoon... (it is a much better version than the one I grew up with).

4. I can hit the snooze button as many times in the morning that I want... I no longer rush to get ready.

3. Impromptu dance parties with my 1 year old at 11:30 in the morning.

2. My husband told me that our house has been a lot happier since "The Talk".

1.  I don't have drink Diet Coke in a closet anymore!

So I am going to tip back a glass tonight, sleep soundly, and see what the future holds.... stay tuned!