So Ya Want To Push My Buttons, eh?… “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That…”


what really gridns my gears After watching an episode of Family Guy with Peter Griffin on the news with his “What really grinds my gears..” bit, I thought that since I had already wrote a blog on what I was thankful for (read it HERE) that I should write one talking about the opposite, you know, the every day, mundane things that seem to get to us the most.  Since most of my readers know me on a personal basis..take notes..this could come in handy some day..just saying..

1.) Laundry…why are you so two cats require less attention than you do.hang nail

2. Hang are not welcome..go home no one invited you. ( not google hang wont like what you see.)

3. The crusty crust and residual liquid found on/around ketchup and mustard bottles. You can stand to learn something from the other members of the condiment family, like mayo for example. They have their act together. What’s your excuse?

bra 4. Bra straps, wires, and hooks. A unfortunate necessary evil literally designed to help AND paralyze the person who has to wear it…all day…every day…you five year olds have no idea how easy you have it.

5. My husbands stuffed pig, aka, “Boris T. Rockefeller III” that he shot while on a hunting trip with a good friend. Doesn’t Matthew know that if our life was really a Stephen King novel, Boris would indeed be the villain/killer and we are just sitting ducks in this apartment/crime scene awaiting Boris’s evil plans to come to a head. (yea..I’m not paranoid or anything..)

6.Stubborn Pimples that appear on a face that usually pimple free (yep..not that I’m bragging about that or anything ) and refuse to leave or surrender.

7. Opening up a full mailbox, heading back to the apartment with an anxious feeling of “ohh what did I get!!” going through it all..and see nothing but bills and coupons for a restaurant that has had laundrymore health code violations then hair on my head..

8. As an appendix to the first item on this list, laundry that appears dry when you go to take it out of the dryer, that is until you’ve exhausted all effort removing said laundry from the drum only to find that in fact 65-95% of it is still sopping wet. See, I told you it was needy. 

9. Articles of clothing that you haven’t worn in years,go to put in the goodwill pile where it will sit for two days untouched..that is until sentimental feelings rear their ugly head..then its back on the hanger it goes..(maybe next spring..but no..probably not)

apple vs android 10. Applications that you download bc you think you will love them, keep them on your phone for a month, then you decide you need to make life easier with less clutter and chaos so you delete said un-used application only to find yourself needing it just two hours later. Well played neglected app. Well played.

11. Expensive pens that make your hand writing look like that of a calligraphy god, that is until said pen is stolen and replaced with a 10 cent bic pen that is missing its cap. Goodbye beautiful penmanship, hello 3rd grade serial killer writing. handwriting

12. Shoes, socks and underwear that refuse to last more than 5 years..if my cat can live past the age of should you.

Ok readers, I’ve shared what pushes my buttons…now tell me..what pushes yours?


“Don’t Worry, I Found it on Craigslist…”

It started like most other internet adventures begin..I was bored, it was cold/rainy outside, and the people or things I generally “stalk” (just to be clear, see this article here to see if you are an official Facebook stalker, I ‘think’ I passed lol)  on Facebook were apparently living non-virtual lives at the time (ugh). I became hard pressed to find something better to do. So for kicks and laughs I wondered on to Craigslist to see what the local Texans & not so local Hoosiers were giving away or selling. And since not everyone has the time to casually scour craigslist like I, I have compiled a list for you so that you can perhaps spend those hard earned tax checks, the right way! P.s. if any of my readers were the original authors of these real posts ( a big part of me hopes not!) consider this as more of a new marketing strategy than sheer mockery. For all others reading this..please feel free to “lol” “SMH” “ROTFL” and “LMBO” or whatever other clever acronym you can think of.

Animals…yep..we got em’!

1.) If you or yours are looking to start a new business in the booming world of poultry, than craigslist has got you covered! These were just 2 of the countless posts of sellers seeking buyers for their feathered friends! I learned a few things from this experience..1. Did you know that there are more than one breed of chickens? 2. Like most Apple products today, its best that you pre-order your chicken, as to avoid them selling out before you get yours they are apparently in high demand. and 3. You get a 72 hour warranty on their life..that’s it. After those 72 hours its a shoe box a shovel and tears shed for a broken business..but no replacements (at least with apple you get a one year warranty!)

2.) As for this second post from “Sean”, there are many things I find worrying and confusing here. 1st red flag, you gave it a search tag of “prohibited” that sounds real legit! Also, I feel you may have had more luck/success with this post if you changed a few things. First, make it more inviting.. (And less illegal..that will help you too…) “Friendly “pet” rooster seeks friendship from funny Texas chicken little. Must be looking to start a family but willing to give up one or more of offspring at the choosing of my human guardian Sean. Must be willing to travel as my family and I are from Haiti. Can’t wait to hear from you..” Picture9



3.) What if poultry isn’t your cup of tea? That’s alright, the wonderful residents of Terre Haute have you covered with the best of the best. Meet this female dumbo rat! I have lovingly named her Muffins, but if you purchase her for your family, feel free to name her what you please! She does come complete with a new hamster cage (makes sense..I cant remember the last time I saw a proper rat cage at Wal-Mart that wasn’t from the lovely people of D-Con) and proper utensils. She is well behaved and well dressed as she has a ‘nice coat’ (probably came from Burlington!) Picture1

4.) The most popular sought out animal on craigslist tied between cats and dogs of course. Which is completely understandable. Who wouldn’t want to buy their next pets from here, especially with such warm and welcoming descriptions the next two give… I am so confused by this first post, I cant decide whether the source is trying to find kittens so he can feed his pet snakes, or he is trying to warn the good pet owners of America that there is a mid to high risk that a rouge vigilante snake owner army out there that may try to steal my cats to feed to their snakes. . If the second half is true..WHY IS NO ONE WARNING THE PEOPLE!! lets start a petition, get a celebrity spokes person, put together a facebook group, organize a prime time concert and raise the funds so that we can save these critters Cats are friends..NOT SNAKE FOOD! “WAKE UP PEOPLE IF YOU LOVE YOUR KITTENS” Picture3 130130-220932

5.) They say when selling a property that location location location is every thing. I’m pretty sure with craigslist its all about the title. With that said, I couldn’t help but click on a post that said “good loving sexy pit-bull” further more I couldn’t help but read said post to decide if the good loving sexy pitbull was in fact referring to the animal or the owners (eeek).. (I blocked the faces to protect the innocence of the



Craigslist, the premier provider of used batteries, flip phones and used furniture…

Kids these days, they have it made! When I was youngin’ when we wanted to go through peoples old random junk, we had to wait till that person put their stuff on the curb ready for trash dasy. THis person was not always your neighbor (although when it was, YEEE HAWWW) so you had to scope it out..know your houses and know your trash days ( just for the record..I never did this honest ) Well now a days, people post online their actual address (seems real smart to me..not) what was going to be on the curb and when it was going out. Where is the fun in that, you have taken the hunt out! The following are what I like to think of as “come and get it ya’ll” posts…

6.) The first picture, came to us from the “historic” district of temple (yep..that’s one history lesson i don’t want to learn..). Sir, You had me at yellow, you sealed the deal at velvet, and left me with tears of joy at free. These people went with the honest sales approach.. “its old and seen better days..& hasn’t been rained on…yet”


7.) As a person who sells cell phones for a living, this next post is near and dear to my heart. For 10$ this person is selling a sprint flip phone. Now, i know what your thinking..10$ what’s the catch? No catch that I can see..(other than the carrier lol) it comes with full ‘signal bars’, 2 1/2 g’s service, it is easy to ‘texas’ on (text on to most people lol)  polyphonic Britney Spears ringtone, snake…IN COLOR..all the kernels are intact (bahahah)  and it makes that snap noise when you open it that says “I’m large.. in charge”Picture15

8.) How many times have you bought the kids a new toy and thought “dang it..forgot the batteries” well no more are the nights of running quickly to wal-mart to grab the batteries. Now, just pull up the C-list, get your batteries and refill your bottle of vitamins while your at it. Picture22 “60% of the time..these batteries will work every time..” I find it alarming that they didn’t find the effort to test all the batteries, but did take the time to compile a basic pie chart of the amount of power left total.  Even more alarming on my part is that it took me a full minute to figure out what the “five one two 568 four six six three” nonsense was..must be a new language that only true craiglisters get..(I know now its a phone

9.) If your in the area of Harker Heights, we can get you a great deal on a work out mat.  Not Picture14a lot of info nor a price, but we have a motivated seller as they want it gone NOW.! I am not entirely sure what this yoga mat did or what it is capable of doing, but buyer be cautious as the previous owner does not appear to be completely satisfied..

10.) Remember that booming chicken business you allowed your self to think about starting when you first started reading this blog post…well I got you your chicken coupe to complete your ensemble! Your chickens will have the hottest crib on the block in this luxurious 3 bedroom 2 bath chicken condo. While most poultry are not normally migratory birds, with beauty, you can pack up your fine feather friends and head for the south when the weather gets to be a bit cold! How many of those standard model coupes can do that, huh?


Looking for people…yep, we got them too..

This is perhaps the creepiest part of craigslist. After reading some of these posts I felt the need to shower…twice. Others were harmless..some even promising!

11.) The only promising one out of the lot Picture26was a job post fit for a special person. Only craigslist can you find a job that pays you 15 dollars to distract a cat from its owner until the sun is bright enough for a window nap. 15 dollars an hour..a cat.. and they are providing breakfast and lunch. Sign me up!

12.) The harmless but still weird post is from an individual who is seeking an R. Kelly impersonator Picture7to narrate their day to day life. Sounds harmless as the applicant would get an hourly rate, although i don’t think there will be any health benefits offered. Intrigued, I did a quick Google search since i really don’t know who R. Kelly is and quickly determined that I would probably not pass the first round of auditions..maybe next time.

13.) The weird just keeps getting weirder…Picture13this post was simply titled john and was posted a mere 23 minutes before I had stumbled upon it. Apart from the poor grammar, the post in all sounded like a drunk conversation or at best a long Facebook status. I cant be 100% sure, but it is possible that the author was listening to “every breath you take” by the police as they were writing this. (Ps. if you know john very well..why do you not know his last name so that you can facebook stalk him like the rest of us…lol)

14.) The ONLY reason I am posting this next and last ad is because I feel that I may be of some service by helping these lost souls make their connections. Earlier in this blog (#5) we discovered in the animal section a “good loving sexy pit-bull” that was looking for a new home that promised not to poop or pee on the carpet (can’t necessarily promise that with the alternative..). While this current post is looking for something in the 18 year age range, this puppy is almost there in dog years and if I do say so myself that pit-bull does look pretty classy..(or was it lassy..either way)


A New Year…A Newish Me!

new years I mentioned in my last blog that I would come up with a list of my “resolutions” for the 2013 year and that is exactly what this weeks blog is going to cover. These resolutions, while they may seem silly, are genuine and are ones that I spent a lot of time thinking and praying about as we ushered in the new year hence why I am just now getting around to posting them 4 weeks in to the new year!

1. Jennifer, please learn to set your alarm more than just an hour beforealarm you have to be at work, and set an alarm on days that you have off as well!

Did you know that if you are awake for even just a few hours before you actually have to be at work (when working a closing shift) that you can not only have more time to get ready, iron your clothes, straighten your hair etc.. but you can actually do a load of laundry? further more..the dishwasher and vacuum..they both work before noon! Who would have ‘thunk’ it…;)

EmptyGasGauge 2. Jennifer, do not let your gas tank empty light come on.

While the rush of not knowing if your going to make it home or not is quite addicting, I imagine over time the over all effects of my car rolling in on fumes will be less entertaining when im spending hundreds of dollars that I don’t have to fix a machine that I rely on daily.

3. Jennifer, stop trying to figure out gifts/Christmas presents before youpeeking get them.

My husband after 5 years with me knows that I am terrible at this. I will exhaust every effort in order to know what present I am getting whether it is for my anniversary, birthday or Christmas. The sad part is since I was little I’ve almost always known what items awaited me. I can recall as a young child sneaking in the living room to where my mom kept her car keys, and making my way out to the trunk of our brown Chevy celebrity  and peeking in to the bags to see what “santa” had brought me! I’ve been known to check we browser histories, emails and bank statements until the secrets are revealed. Terrible to admit but sadly true! What’s worse is I tell Matt all the time that I want him to surprise me all the time..but yet I make it so hard for him. Poor thing..he had no idea what he was getting himself into 😉

 laundrysort4. Jennifer, Don’t just make piles but organize.

Try putting your clothes in the right sorting bin when you take them off rather than just throwing them on the floor, or just putting them in any ol’ bin i feel like. (This also means not throwing them in the bathtub to sit until you take a shower.)

5. Jennifer, do something different with your hair at least two times a week and take more pride in my appearance!cuthair

I’ve never been a girly girl. Never learned to French braid, heck, I barely learned to do a normal braid. I was that girl that owned one Barbie. Gymnast Barbie, not the electric one, but the early 90’s barbie that you used your imagination with to make her do her flips and turns. She was beautiful for the first month or two. Then she became ‘I don’t care barbie’. She became late for work, often was missing her clothes and when she did have them on they were miss matched. She had a lot of float time in the bath tub, her hair was matted, that is until some 9 year old with her moms scissors got a hold of her beautiful blonde locks and cut them all off. This should have been a sign right of the bat. Maybe if I had been one of those girls who practice braiding their dolls hair to perfection I may have carried that over to my own head. Not so much!

 pen caps6. Jennifer, stop chewing..on everything!

This resolution includes but is not limited to the following. Hoodie cords, finger nails, pen tops, water bottle lids, straws, I tried a Google search for a term for a person who has to chew on things most of the time and a solution for such a problem. Most of the web responses and forums i found were for golden retrievers and other mis-behaving pets, and while I am not a canine, I have decided just the same that I should probably give up my chewing ways.

7. Jennifer, when you are done with a roll of toilet paper, replace the toilet-paper-rollold  cardboard with one that has a brand new roll of white fluffy toilet paper attached to it!

(again a novel concept) This is where my behaviors scarily mirror that of a college frat boy and I become truly ashamed! (thank goodness I don’t have to make the conscience decision to put the seat up and down lol)

greys-anatomy-mcdreamy 8. Jennifer, realize that Dr.s are your friend, not the enemy!

I have no problems taking my cats to the vet once a week until they are all better, but you have a better chance of all 4 of The Beatles going on a reunion tour than you do have of getting me into the Dr.s office. I can do the dentist and Eye Dr. but that is it. Maybe I should feel blessed that nothing has seriously effected my health to date, but that is not always going to be the case and the older I get it probably does not hurt to be more proactive and preventative then reactive and waiting till its too late

9.) Jennifer, for the love of God, you are 25 years old and have a commas Bachelors degree, learn where a comma goes in a sentence once and for all!

If you have been reading my blog from the beginning you probably already know that comma placement is a common theme I bring up when talking about my poor grammar skills. I owe it to every teacher that received many a grey hair from teaching me for 12 years to learn this basic skill once and for all.

Please_Put_Things_Back 10. Jennifer, put things back where you got them after you use them.

Its truly a novel concept, one that I should probably have learned in kindergarten, but we all see how well that comma thing worked out, did you really expect that to be the only lesson that has taken me twice as long that the average person to learn?

11. Jennifer, please limit food,cat and other random instagram photosinstagram posted to facebook to half of your current usage.

It is no secret that I like instagram like everyone else out there, but do you all really need to see the picture of my coffee at work in “sierra” tone and a picture of an empty toilet paper roll at home in “earlybird” hue? Probably not! These are not the most moving pictures to be posted and if they happened to be omitted from social media it would probably not be the end of the world.

excuses-excuses-850 12. Jennifer, stop making quite as many excuses.

I’m a difficult person, I will be the first and definitely not that last person to admit it. One of my most unattractive people qualities is my inability to admit blame or defeat. “Jennifer, you only sold 10 of your required 50 tablets last month” Me: “But I had that headache that one day, and and and someone took my clipboard and and and, my socks didn’t match today and and and I could not find my lucky pen, ……”  Accept constructive criticism and move on, not everyone is out to see your failure!

13. Jennifer, remind your husband daily how much he means to you!matandjen

And remind yourself how different your life would be if he was not at your side. God has blessed you, don’t let yourself take that blessing for granted.


14. Jennifer, when the

drive through attendant

asks you if you want to

supersize that order,


 15. Jennifer, make sure you have the right phone number before you go texting friends a silly text message!

Just today a co-worker and I made the terrible decision to send a series of funny texts to who we thought was a co-worker, only to find that we were off by one number and now texting some random man pictures of our cats in their new bow ties. Needless to say the shock and embaressment could have been avoided if we would have checked the full phone number one more time before sending the text 🙂IMG_1684[1]IMG_1683[1]

16. Jennifer, try not to beat myself up so much on the child/kid/Young Adult you used to be, but use those experiences to make your present and future self a better person.

One of the biggest problems I struggle with as a 25 year old is reflecting back on the way I acted as a child and mentally beating myself up for it. Many times I think “what i wouldn’t give to go back and change it all..” I would have liked to have been the one who got mostly A’s and B’s starting in 1st grade (not waiting until my junior year of high school). What would it have been like if I was the the child who did everything they were asked of at home versus making the other sibling or worse mom do it after I complained/lied/threw a fit. Did I ever tell so and so how much I truly appreciated when they did this for me that one time? Did I ever apologize to so and so when I did whatever it was that I did? Why does it take me sooo long to learn lessons? Almost all of these resolutions are ideas I should ALREADY be practicing as a 25 year old and not just committing to for the first time. I guess they say better late then never, right?

The Who What Where When Why of About That!

fivewsA new year usually means new beginnings, resolutions made, resolutions broken, and a rush to get ones tax return check back as soon as possible! I do plan to have a post about my amazing resolutions as soon as I find out which ones made it past the first few weeks and which ones bit the dust before the sun rose the next morning, but today’s post is about this blog specifically. I realize now, almost 4 months and 13 blog posts later, I never really explained what it was I am doing here. It was not until last month a reader sent me a message as follows: “Hey, love your stuff, really funny, but what is your theme of your blog?” Wow..theme? really? This isn’t college midterms and no finals. Just ask any of my teachers in High school, (several read this blog 🙂 ) and they will be the first to tell you that one of my many writing errors in school was my ability to swim around a subject for hours, 5 pages worth of type, but never really make once concise point, valid theme or legitimate statement that brought the whole paper together. (Some things never change) So it is my first resolution that I bring you, The 5 W’s of my blog.


For those of you who do not know me (probably none of you, but letsmemattcats pretend) my name is Jennifer  Shidler, I am a 25 year old Scorpio who enjoys short walks on the beach and reading looking at pictures in books/magazines! I spent 23 years of my life in beautiful Parke County Indiana where everyone knows your business and most everyone has your back! I graduated from Turkey Run Jr-Sr High School (No Texas readers, for the last time..we did not race turkeys) my class had about45 students. Don’t let our small size fool you, I was blessed with some of the best classmates (many of which I had been in class with from preschool all the way to college) and many teachers that I am so very proud to have as friends and apart of my life today! As a person I may come off as naive/silly but most of the time that is used as a wall to avoid or diffuse serious situations. ( I can be really smart, promise). I have 2 cats. Rowdy and Mosby. Even if you don’t know me in person, you should know this information just by the sheer fact that I turkey run am slightly obsessed with them and they are usually brought up at least once or twice in each post. (Learn to deal with it..I know I am 😉 ) I am terrible at spelling and grammar and I rarely put the right punctuation in the right spot and I like to overly use (………..) when trying to make a point that is intended to make you ponder. Comas..they exist..just not sure where they belong so, I put, them, where, I feel, like I would, need, to take, a breath, in the, middle of a, sentence. Depending on my exercise habits for that week, this could mean a lot of commas or a few commas, could go either way. Even though terms like “LOL, and Hahaha” have no place in official writings for school, they have a home here in my blog, if for nothing else but to let you know that you were supposed to laugh at the end of that last statement (just in case you didn’t get to that emotion on your own). I will write a sentence then write a another sentence in parentheses just so you can know what I am thinking in my head. (as if the whole post isn’t already what I’m thinking.)


“Hey, love your stuff, really funny, but what is your theme of your blog?” Thank you Mr/Mrs  caray2anonymous , 1. for reading (lol) and 2. for asking a valid question! Answer..Nothing..this is a blog about nothing (hey, it worked from Seinfeld didn’t it?) As I said earlier, there is no real theme for this blog. I know a lot of blogs out there focus on sports, music, art, fan sites for their favorite tv shows and so and so fourth, but those are usually posts from experts to people looking to become experts. Lets be real, there is not a whole lot I’m an expert on! When eating a whole box of cereal in two days and finishing off a gallon of milk in one becomes a real attention getter for a blog, I’ll switch over to a theme, but until then I will stick to what works so far. Randomness! The posts from me that you read are nothing more than the little thoughts that pop up in my head as I am driving to work, cooking supper or doing the laundry. If my thought process was a baseball game then my writings are a Harry Caray and Ron Santo commentary, a play by play if you will! If any of you reading who have known me for a while have wanted to know what goes on in my head..this is it! (now you know why I always have a smile on my face!)


Ok, I really did not think of the concept of the 5 W’s all the way through, as where really does not IMG_1619apply here, but I will take a stab at it!  Where…um..This blog is coming to you all the way from sunny Temple Texas! (read all about Texas in an earlier post HERE). I Started writing this blog right after we moved here as a hobby. I was working part time at my job so for the first time since HS I had a  little more time on my hands, but seeing as I was now 18 hours away from home, boredom was more depressing than fun, so I needed a hobby to revive me. Now even though I’m back to work 40-45 hours a week, I am still trying to make time to post one of these every week or two. I write this blog in several different places. Like a puzzle, you will find its pieces on my phone in the notes section, written of to the side on my clipboard at work and through funny instagram posts. Its right before I post the blog online to all the pieces come together as one.


When ever I get a chance! I am in no way brief when it comes to writing (or talking) so it is a lot to try to write more than one of these a week between work, house duties and my studies on becoming a card carrying cat lady (takes a lot of work ya know!). I am also a competitive person (even with myself) Each post i try to out do the one before it, and while it does not always work, I still manage to over think and over analyze ever thing making an hour process last three days. Yeah me! I can guarantee that my posts come at night after I’ve gotten off work as I have now learned that i get all my best ideas or funny ‘diddeys’ at 2 in the morning. (P.S. almost nothing you write after midnight sounds anywhere near as catchy the next morning. Case in point “diddy” diddy is not a mid day word, diddy is clearly a product of a 2 am thought)This means the post is there waiting for you when you get up in the A.M. so you can drink your caffeine of choice and either read the newspaper or what ever funny thing I have to say. ( PICK ME PICK ME!)



I have pretty much already summed up in other sections this last “W” (again, I didn’t really think this through) but I will attempt to do something that I am not really good at, tying this all together. I Write this blog for a few reasons.

  1. To give myself something to do. My normal routine I’ve become accustomed to the last few years has been disrupted, and to be honest, this blog, crocheting and Pinterest crafts have filled the void quite nicely! Plus its a great way for friends and family back home to keep up with their Texas cowpokes.
  2. To make you laugh. The minute people stop telling me this is funny or people stop dropping  by to read, I will probably stop typing my random thoughts up. Not saying that the random thoughts and voices will stop (bahaha) friends will still be receiving their daily Jennifer funnies/crazies, but they will just come from their normal format. Facebook posts, annoying instagram photos, and witty texts. It will happen some day I’m sure, just hope its not for a while! So if you want these to keep coming..let me know..send me a comment, write on my fbook wall, or sign up to follow me (that’s right..I’m asking you to stalk me!)  Picture1
  3. I want to be like my momma! Right before Matthew and I found out we were moving, I spent a few days at my moms house spring cleaning and mom and I came across some of her ‘funnies’ she had written on a type writer years ago. Funny poems about my brother and I as kids and short stories (even an obituary) about Smokey the Bear (a great friend of the family!) had me rolling on the floor laughing and practically in tears. I know a lot of people as they are becoming adults (holy cow..I’m an adult now too aren’t I?) say they don’t want to sound like their parents..well I can say with certain confidence that I have no problem being witty and funny just like her!  

How Not To Cook A Turkey Dinner

  About That Evening Post

Turkey Found Abused & Tortured

Temple, Texas–A one year old turkey found dead and burned after what officals are calling an ‘apparent temperature overdose’. “The scene was gruesome, and showed obvious signs of pre-meditation” said Rowdy Hen, Senior detective Temple Police. “The kitchen looked like a bomb went off, and a charged burning stench poured out of the oven.” The defendant in custody, 25 year old Jennifer Shidler, told the reporters that it was an accident and she didnt mean for anyone to get hurt. The call to police came in just after noon on Christmas Day, when neighbors reported hearting strange loud noises, screams and profanity. “All was quite at first, then all the sudden we heard a few shouts, then screaming followed by a thud, then all we heard was crying. Next thing we knew, the whole apartment building began to smell like burnt gym shoes,” Georgia Kipper, neighbor of Shidler, recalled. “We had no idea she (Jennifer) was capable of such cruel devistation.” Shidler is being held without bond while she awaits trial. Services for the Turkey, 1 year old Edward B. Utterball, will be held January 1st at noon…..

Ok ladies and gentleman, it is the long awaited sequel. Last week I talked about the best strategy on how to shop for your food for your first ever holiday dinner, and i completely intended on the next post (This one) to talk about how to cook that food (specifically the turkey)for the very first time, that is until I realized  I am the very last person to be giving this advice (real or funny). But hey, that hasn’t stopped me before has it ;)The turkey was a bit burnt on the outside..apparently with out a little bit of liquid in the roaster with the turkey and a tempture set 25 degrees higher than intended for an hour longer than intended is a sure fire way to produce an overly done turkey. After a 30 minute cry session and phone chat with the turkey whisper (my mom)the burnt bird was carved and deemed edible by my guests. I repeat, no family or friends were harmed in the making of this Christmas dinner.   

How NOT to cook your first ever Turkey dinner

1.)Pick the perfect bird, give him or her a name. After three phone calls to my mom and three goggle searches in the middle of walmart at 10 oclock at night, we choose Edward (eddie for short). A proud 13 lb butterball. Edward was raised with out hormones,unlike the chef cooking it!I like to imagine that Eddie was raised in a quiet upstate New York farm where he was valedictorian of his class, lived a full life and acomplished all his dreams before retiring to my oven in late 2012. (hey..whatever helps you sleep at night, right?) Dont be alarmed if you find yourself overly attached to your new friend. When you open his packaging and remove the ‘gifts’ he left behind for you in his chest cavity, those warm fuzzy feelings of love and adoration will soon fade. 

2.) Watch every youtube video you can find. As the boyscouts said, be prepared, not scared, I used every waking moment I had, either watching Youtube videos of cheery cooks with proffesional equipment cooking a turkey similar to eddie (probably a distant cousin or neighbor) with the greatest of ease, or reading magazines which showcased birds to pretty to even eat. Instead of taking advice from the Boy Scouts, i should have been taking advice from smokey the bear “Only you can prevent forrest  turkey fires”

3.) Give your bird the propper send off. We choose to brine edward. This meant preparing over 8 quarts (p.s. i took me longer to figure out the conversion rate from quarts to cups then it took the farmer to raise, plumpen, slaugher package and ship edward to my local grociery store. Mathematics fail..) of water, brother and herbal seasoning to create the perfect poultry bubble bath complete with seasonings that would open your sinus’s for a year. The next mission was finding a bag (might has well have been a body bag) big enough to allow him to soak over night. He was pampered until the very end. 

4.)Get up early  whenever you feel like it to put the bird in the oven. Just like setting an alarm to get up in the morning for work, what started out as a 6:00 am wake up call for the last rights of eddie the bird, ended up with 15 snoozes and the thought “ehh christmas dinner served at 9pm sounds alot better” Next thing you know, its noon, the presents are opened the disney parade is over and your suddenly worried because you dont know which will happen first, you will burn the bird, or the chinese resturant will close. 

5.) For the love of God, CHECK THE TURKEY! You dont want the first time you see the bird after putting him in the oven in the morning, to be through a thick smokey haze broken up only by the white fluff of the fire extinguisher. 

6.)Have the number and locations of local Emergency rooms with a color coded map detailing the best routes that will get you and your family there the fastest. This will not only save valuable time ensuring your loved ones saftey, but also allows more time for presents and the parade. Plus, it is more gas efficient (not that there will be a shortage of gas with this holiday dinner) 🙂

 7.)Get the rest of the side dishes ready. I have a tiny kitchen with limited counterspace, combined with my lack of patience and cooking skills, the side dishes were as instant as they could get. The least instant and most originaly of course being my personal favorite is the cranberry sauce 🙂 No formal dinner is complete with out this cranberry gelatin concotion. This special delicacy takes a certain finness to remove the perfect gelatin form fromt he can with out disrupting its perfect shape. Who said cooking the turkey was the hardest part of the meal anyway..

So Your Cooking Your First Christmas Dinner. Part 1.

;Twas the day of good christmas and all through the house, the food was casually burning, not a piece good enough, even for a mouse. The fire extinguisher was hung by the oven with care, in hopes the fire department would not have to ;soon be there….Ok ok, our family christmas dinner may not have turned out this bad, but the potential was definitely there! In my last post (read it HERE) I spoke of how shopping for holiday presents was not my favorite pastime, and shopping for groceries ranks right up there with it. The aisle are crowded, the check out lines are long, and I, like many other frustrated shoppers, can manage to walk in for a quick trip with specific items in mind, walk out an hour and a half later with 250 dollars with of junk food none of which were on my original quick list, nor do they manage to make one complete meal. Most of the time it is just my husband and I and two cats (who are not that picky thankfully) so the meals tend to be quick and easy. But this week we are hosting our first ever family Christmas dinner. Thats right folks, I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, is cooking a meal from start to finish, (hopefully with out the aid of the fine members of the Temple Fire Department). In order to prepare for such an event, that means that Matthew and I had to set off on adventure that I genuinely try to avoid. Holiday grocery shopping. After all is said and done, I managed to get all the items I needed and developed another one of my infamous “how to” lists!

How to successfully shop for your first ever Christmas Dinner

Go with a game plan. ;weeks before the actually shopping marathon commences, i like to do a ‘steak out’ (yes pun intended) the store in question. Just like a bank robber casing the joint before the big show goes down, i like to go and map out the aisles, make a color coded diagram and perhaps a shoe box diorama if i have the time. If your lucky/patient enough, you will learn the patterns and schedules of the cashiers. Allowing you to track and record their items scanned per minute average and their average customer service calls per transaction. This step is key as the check out process is one of the most stressful steps. ;
Know your grocery cart “types” There is nothing worse than setting out on a long journey with a bum cart. There are 3 ;

main cart types found in your common grocery stores. First is the squeaker. You know, that cart that sounds like it is auditioning for a solo in the carol of the bells. About halfway through the store you find a squeaky rhythm and next thing you know you have developed your own lyrics and they are now stuck in your head for the next 3 days. The next is the infamous Texas sidewinder. This is the cart that acts like an attention deprived dog on a leash in a park full of cats. You may start out going straight in the aisle, next thing you know your making 90 degree b lines into on coming carts, shelving unites and small unattended children. The last, and possibly the worst cart is the “rode hard and put away wet” cart. This, i think is the worst of all the carts. It is commonly found after a severe rain storm or snow blizzard and was perhaps pulled out of a retention pond just minutes before ending up in your capable hands. The handle bar is either unbearably cold/frozen, sopping wet or an awkward sticky mixture that no amount of wet wipes can fix. Old receipts and mailers are paper machined to the bottom of the basket, zip ties and old gum are holding the only things holding the wheels together and plastic bags are hanging off like streamers. This cart is likely on its last legs but still remains in the cart line up. A week before the event go to the store and tag/pre-select the perfect shopping cart. (don’t be afraid to whip out the GPS trackers) in an effort to secure the perfect cart for your shopping adventure.

Organization is Key. My weapon of choice is an oversized clipboard. Nothing says “back off, I am a serious shopper on a mission” like a clipboard and highlighter with the above mentioned color coded diagram laminated and taped to the back. This not only keeps you on point with what you need and helps minimize the back track blues. Because lets face it, no one wants to be all the way on the straight away of the last leg of a race, only to find that they missed a lap and have to go around again. (Yep, I’m just that lazy) The clipboard also gives you a point of reference to help you see the light at the end of a very long tunnel. You not only need to organize with your clipboard, but you need to keep that perfect cart organized itself. While putting a 12 pound turkey on top of 2 dozen eggs sounds like a winning idea, it really is not. (nor is the bread) ; ; ; ;
Dress the part. Just like the map of middle earth, the different regions of a grocery store require different attire. Tennis ;

shoes are a must. You need to be able to weave in and out of traffic, dash quickly from one end of the aisle to another, jump high, crouch low. The pants and shirt don’t really ;matter, but a easy to remove jacket for the dairy and frozen food sections and perfect grip gloves are ideal for cold grab and go’s. The closer you get to the finish line you can shed the layers!

Don’t be afraid to help direct traffic. It is no secret that one of the most frustrating parts of grocery shopping is the people. Everyone has a cart, everyone has a mission, and we all end up in the same aisle grabbing for the same things at the same time. Just like driving on the open road, knowing the traffic rules in the grocery store could save you a lot of time and energy. It is for this reason that I like to step up and be a leader! ;I bring with me a yield sign, stop sign, an LED blinking light for left turns, and the ever popular back up beeper. But please remember, if you take on this responsibility, know the rule book and memorize the ‘right of ways’. Women with children and elderly people get the right of ways. 25 year old men with beer bellies and a bulk size containers of cheesy puffs ;wait until the green left turn arrow appears. This is non-negotiable. ;
When the sign says, please ask for assistance for items on the top shelf, do it. There is not time in the busy holiday season to make a quick trip to the local emergency room because you didn’t foresee the 10 pound bag of flour falling on your head from the top shelf. ;
Last but not least, try not to take notes in a busy crowded aisle for your semi popular blog as this will back up traffic and will inevitably leave the people around you irritated making your cart an open target for unwanted items placed their by bored strangers. It is funny until you get up to the check out counter with 5 days worth of baby food and preparation h and you don’t have a baby or hemorrhoids.
; ;

Scrooge Goes Shopping…


Imagine this shopping experience. It is one week before Christmas. It snowed about a week ago and has been 65 one day, then 20 the next so the snow has just enough time to kind of melt, but then freeze to a nasty blackish brown slush. Every body and their brother are out shopping, and since I’m just someone’s sister (bahaha) the only parking left is by a smelly Long John Silvers dumpster all the way at the other end of the parking lot. You are wearing jeans and tennis shoes (because Santa has yet to bring you a new pair of boots) and they probably have a hole in them. By the time you travel from middle earth to whatever store you are going to, the snow/slush and sidewalk salt combo has absorbed into your pant leg and is now midway up your calf. You finally make it to the store and while it is warm your wet pant legs give you a cold friendly reminder5221772142_1a63e8d19a_m of what’s waiting for you outside. The happy people drinking their Starbucks, whom got the close parking spots and already have their warm snow boots from Santa are looking at you funny because your wet tennis shoes are now squeaking like a cheap duck call every time you take a step. You’ve probably forgot your shopping list in your car but the trip back to middle earth isn’t worth it, so you decide just to ‘wing’ it. You are wearing a coat that is big enough to keep you warm when your outside but is impossible to manage in small aisles, and does not fit in your cart with all your ‘winged’ purchases, so you decide to wear it instead. An hour later you have broke three mugs and whatever shirt you were wearing underneath your coat is drenched with so much sweat that even if you could take your coat off and leave it somewhere, you cant because, lets face it, no one wants to see that. Your not the type of person that does returns or back tracks to stores, so you have to decided right then and there if your going to buy a particular item for a person because once you lay the item down and leave that store, that present no longer exists. Because of this you will spend HOURS looking at the same framed picture of 5 dogs playing poker trying to decided if Is your house on fire Clark?Aunt Bethany is really going to like it, if it’s the right size or if you can get it cheaper at another store.  You decide after coming across grown men and woman fighting over the last cabbage patch doll (ok, I realize that statement is a bit outdated, but I am not a kid nor do I own a kid, therefore I don’t know what the ‘It” present of the year we shall go with what I know) that it is time to go, so you gather up your winged presents and head for the line that looks the shortest and has the smallest chance of having 10 price checks and minimal coupons. Your almost done and home free…300.00 later your back to your house, all of your winged treasures unloaded you find your list in your purse and began to check things off. You then realize that you forgot cousin Eddy and aunt Ethel’s second cousin myrtle who is going to be at the family dinner this year..people still like cash, right?

If you cant tell from the above scenario….

I despise shopping. When this blog began a few months ago, my second post ever (read it here) was about my strong dislike of shopping, a dislike that is only fueled during the holiday season.It is because of this,that I have developed a very straight forward and strategic method for Christmas shopping, get in and get out..ALIVE. If I can get it online I’m going to. I don’t care if Best Buy themselves are giving away 24 KG iPads to the first 1000 customers on ‘black thufriday’    you will not see me sleeping out in a tent a week in advance. I generally do 90% of my shopping online and make one marathon store shopping session similar to the one described above. That marathon occurred today, and while I am proud to say I made it out alive and most of my presents are nestled snug underneath the tree, the day did not go with out some fun observations that couldn’t help but make my experience a little bit better.

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say….

IMG_1265For the first time ever in my life my holiday shopping experience did not involve snow, hauling around a deadly coat (deadly to glass and fragile often expensive items..) and I wasn’t messing with a car whose heater may or may not be working. It was a very warm 70 degrees today when I left on my shopping expedition! I wore jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops..sun roof was open and Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka” was playing on the radio..I love you Indiana but Texas has you trumped in the department.

People make/buy the weirdest products..

The rest of this blog post is going to be simple in the fact, that it is going to be littered with all the interesting gift ideas I found while shopping in stores today and while shopping on line earlier in the week. I know we are rebounding from a recession, but some of these items could have fooled me..

The 9IMG_12500’s called, they IMG_1259want their gifts back..

Words cannot describe the sheer shock and amazement when I came across an aisle in Big Lots that showcased 4 new in package VHS tapes, none of which were titles I had ever heard of.  The fun continued when I rounded the corner and found beauty number two, a Nokia ‘candy bar’ phone complete with gray scale screen  17 pin charger and the game snake. Don’t worry ladies and gentleman, the phone is locked up in a glass case as to detour thieves. I imagine the VHS will be in there before long.

Some poor kid somewhere…


Probably asked Santa to buy them an iPad from the really cool AT&T representative for Christmas. What Santa heard was, “send one of the elves down to the local family dollar and get the new Glow Pad, 2nd generation with ‘No G’ data service for 10$ and call it a day! Same thing right?





No Holiday love for Beiber or One Direction…


Some book store out there is dying to fill the dreams of some pre-teen Bieber or One Direction fan as out of all the book shelves with all the books, this one section had about 30 copies of each book..un-touched. Even more alarming then none of these books being purchased, was the fact that the book title below looked like it had been picked over and a generally quite popular with the public. Then again, with a title such as “raising a non-violent child” how could you not purchase!


As seen on tv…as wrapped under the tree…..

What better way to get present ideas then staying up till 3 in the morning, long after Letterman andIMG_1252 Obrien have gone to bed, to watch the ever popular ‘as seen on tv’ infomercials. (I wrote another post poking fun of this hobby, you can read it here!) Best part is, you no longer have to pay shipping and handling and processing fees because you can stroll right in to your local store and IMG_1251purchase these must have items! The best item of course, was the 3 piece lint roller set (overly enthusiastic guy not included) with a 5 ft detachable pole. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like to roll lint with the best of them, but what type of clothing is this guy rolling that is going to require a 5ft pole




I would now like to take a second and offer up a moment of silence for the 6 rats and 1 1/2 raccoon that gave their lives (probably against their will) to make this bag so that it could be an unfortunate 30$ Christmas present..your short lived rodent life was not lived in vain..thank you..IMG_1268

Pets deserve presents too…

If you are an ‘avid’ reader, you already know that I’m a bit of a cat person (again, I have another blog post, you can read it here) and while I might obsess from time to time, there are clearly people out there who are going a bit over board, and if I may say so, giving the rest of us cat fans a bad rap. At any rate, I found my email bombarded with the silliest (ok not all are silly ) idea for pet and pet enthusiast presents.

1. First and fore most..CATS USE LITTER BOXES, not 400$ space ships or human toilets. “Ground control to Major Tomcat..permission to lift tail and release fluids?” “Roger that ground control, permission granted”







2. Dressing your pets, and dressing up like your pets..both ways are to cheerfully and fashionably IMG_0998celebrate the holidays. Is this Vin Diesel look alike is rocking this snowflake turtle neck, cat vest combo or what? He looks ‘purrrrrrfect’






What if you don’t have the money or time to go out and buy an expensive sweater that showcases your love for your feline friend? Do not worry, amazons got your back! This book shows you every possible craft you can make with all that valuable hair you cat leaves behind! The possibilities are endless! and to think, you’ve been rolling that hair up on your new 18$ 5 foot lint roller!



IMG_1255 Now that you’ve got your holiday outfit picked out (or made…) it is time to get your pet all spiffied up and ready for Santa. While on my shopping marathon today, I found the loveliest little holiday outfit sure to make my little princes just glow. It’s not everyday that your cat has the chance to be a jester, or one of Santa’s elves!