The Late Show With Jennifer Shidler Presents: Top Ten Blogs of 2018..

At the beginning of the year I saw several posts from other bloggers, listing their most viewed posts of 2018. Well, I’m about 10 days late to the party, but I enjoyed reading through their lists and thought this was another way to give my new readers some insight on what you can expect to find here ( No suprise, it’s all satire). So join me as we count down my top ten and prove once again that I’m a trend follower and not a trend starter 😉

Car Shopping {ish} With Jennifer:

IMG_2212

We spent 2 months shopping and then 8 hours in the dealership the day of (insert eye roll here). So, in this particular post I take you along on our latest car buying experience where I outline 6 factors every person should follow when buying a car. None of which my husband found slightly relevant.

A Christmas Poem:

IMG_1255

Honestly this is one of my favorite things I’ve written, and even though it was written with only 7 days left in 2018, it still made it to #2. I thought it would be cute to bake my first pie from scratch the day before Christmas, and well…it didn’t end the way I thought it would. I expressed my anger artfully and wrote a poem to the rhythm of “The Night Before Christmas.” I had way more fun writing the poem then baking or eating the pie.

Halloween Costumes for the Practical Adult:

Halloween Costumes

Fueled by my hatred of what adult’s wear as Halloween costumes these days…aka anything with the word “sexy” in front of it, I outlined 4 Halloween categories that I felt were truly unrepresented and should honestly frighten any adult.

Quiz Me Friday: Spelling Edition:

Spelling Edition

This blog post was actually a video, and whether you’ve just started following me, or have been here since 2012, you will know that I am terrible at spelling. We thought it would be fun for my husband to give me a basic, and I mean basic, spelling test. It was humiliating but fun!

I’m Offically a Texan Y’all:

Becoming a TExan

This post is me losing my mind after the verified HEB (a popular Texas grocery store chain for you non-Texans) Facebook and Instagram account commented on a post I made about them. This post is an exaggerated announcement that the grocery store chain and I are now best friends for ever and by doing so, cementing my status as a true Texan and not a Hoosier (an Indiana term 😉 )

Pet Grooming {ish} With Jennifer:

IMG_2318Oh! Another one of my favorites to write, not one of my favorites to experience however! If you have curious cats and use wax warmers in your house, you will want to read this one, so you know what to do in the event your cat tries to give himself a spa treatment. Fur and wax do NOT go together.

Cinema {ish} With Jennifer Toy Story:

IMG_2263

In this post I dissected the American Film Institute’s #99 movie Toy Story, but since we have all seen this million at least a dozen times, I used this  time to write a brief case study on Sid from Toy Story. Active imagination or pre-teen psychopath in training? I encourage you to read this and re-watch toy story with an open mind and decide for yourself.

Getting Old {ish} With Jennifer:

IMG_2171

After I turned 30 last year I still felt like I wasn’t considered an adult, so I thought if I applied for the job of adult and submitted a resume then maybe I would be hired. Still waiting for the acceptance letter, but the resume is still up for your approval or disapproval!

My Quarter Life Crisis Bucket List:

quarter life crisis

To piggy back off of the previous post, for my 31st birthday I was still not feeling too much like an adult, so I made a small bucket lists of things I want to accomplish before my 32nd birthday. If you are new to my blog you may already be familiar with this theme as I have posted an update to how my list is coming along.

The Ants Go Marching 1 by 1, Hurrah! Hurrah!

IMG_2463

Another one of my favorites. This spring (like every spring) we found ourselves with a bit of an ant problem. I took my annoyance to a satirical approach (like usual) and decided to turn my kitchen sink into a vacation destination for the ant community. I made a flyer and advertised like this was a Sandals resort in Jamaica.

So there you are, the top ten posts I wrote in 2018 as voted by WordPress views. I had alot of fun writing them, hopefully you have/had fun reading them!

 

300 Writing Prompts #10: What is Something You Purchased Used?

Listen, I’m a frugal gal who likes to stick to a budget, so if I can get a steal of a deal, I will. Below are some of my favorite items I have acquired 2nd hand.

screen shot 2019-01-08 at 5.59.15 pm

Every car I’ve ever owned! I imagine this will be a common response among people. The second you drive a new car off the lot it will depreciate by as much as 11% of its value, and can lose up to 30% in the first year (I googled that info. I’m not that smart I promise..) Now I’m not good with math or numbers…but 30% seems like a lot especially since no one drives cars until they die like people did when I was little. If you have the money to buy a brand-new car without a loan more power to you, but if you search and find a good deal on a used car that won’t let you down then WOOOHOOO!

used-books-stack1-1-1024x576

Books, lots and lots of books! Even in college at the book store (or on ebay) I would hunt out the used books first. Now, as an adult and avid reader, I get a thrill from digging through the shelves of used book stores as well as Goodwill! I wanted a book at Barnes and Noble the other day, 18.99. Found it at a local bookstore for 4.50. “But Jennifer, the spine will already be bent and worn…” Um, what do you think I’m going to do to it? Read it with white gloves and turn the pages with tweezers? I read in bed, in the pool and in the bathtub, that book isn’t going to know what hit it when I’m done with it!

My Pets! This sounds weird, but stick with me on this one. Every pet I have had has been rescued by us or adopted from rescues. For one reason or another their original owners realized they couldn’t take care of their sweet faces anymore and humanely surrender them to shelters. We came along, fell in love and brought them home where they are showered with kisses and treats daily.

So tell me readers, what is something you purchased used?

 

 

 

 

 

300 Writing Prompts # 9: How Would You Improve Airplane Travel?

Oh I am SOOOO glad this question has come up, because I travel by air frequently and one of my biggest pet peeves in life takes place at airports, and it’s not the size of the pretzel/peanut bags they give us either. Let’s dive into this topic, shall we.

All people in the terminal will be strapped in to their seats once they arrive to their gate. When, and ONLY when their boarding group is called, will the seat belts be unlocked, and passengers will be allowed to stand in a single file line to have their ticket scanned to board the plane.

5-500x375

I don’t know if it’s the inability for 200 adults to follow simple directions or the traffic jam that is caused when everyone surrounds the boarding line like a football huddle, but I become filled with rage every time I fly. I mean, how hard is it? Look at your ticket, find your boarding group number, sit and relax and until the number on your ticket matches the number the gate agent has called out. They aren’t going to leave you behind if you’re at the right gate, and it’s not like your seat is going anywhere. (Double check first if you are flying United..) We all have tickets for the same flight and each of us has our own seat as well.

Also, I’m sure every major airline has conducted studies and focus groups on the best ways to load its passengers and have trained their flight crew to follow the best practice. Trust the process, they know what they are doing (most of the time).

Annoying traveler: “But Jennifer, I need to make sure I get on the plane before the overhead bin is full I only have carry-on luggage…”

screen shot 2019-01-08 at 4.34.34 pm

Well annoying air traveler, I understand your concern, and this is a risk we all take when not checking luggage. If this is a recurring issue for you, try investing in a suitcase that fits underneath the seat in front of you, they make them now for this specific purpose and they are great. Also, worst case scenario, if the bins are full they will courtesy check your bag and it will go to your final destination or will be waiting on you when you get off the plane.

 

There you have it folks, my suggestion to all the airlines. I think they would also agree how frustrating it is when people don’t listen to directions and crowd the boarding area. Someone just needs to take matters into their own hands and “tighten the buckle”

What is something you would change to improve air travel, let me know below!

 

 

 

In Memory of Rowdy Shidler

If you read Tuesdays “300 Writing Prompt” entry (read it here), you will know that we recently had to put our beloved cat Rowdy to sleep. Today I share his obituary that is every bit as sassy  and silly as he was.

Rowdy Roo Shidler

Spring 2010 – December 17, 2018

Rowdy Roo Shidler, 10, of Nolanville Texas, drifted peacefully into eternal sleep on December 17, 2018 while surrounded by his family. Rowdy was born in Terre Haute Indiana in the early spring of 2010.

He was an aspiring medical helicopter pilot, but his dream was cut short when it was discovered he was a recovering catnip addict. He was later adopted in June 2010 by newlyweds Matthew and Jennifer Shidler. They survive.

Rowdy was a proud ‘spirited’ cat with a passion for attacking ankles unprovoked and hissing without being spoken to. He followed the typical cat rulebook to a T, never deviating from standard protocol once.

img_1112He was a loving and protective big brother to Mosby. The two could often be found rough housing, giving each other baths, chasing each other through the house at 3 a.m. and getting into other general mischief.

Rowdy was known by all to have a sophisticated pallet, often dinning on the finest hair ties, shoe laces and most exotic yarns he could get his paws on. If something didn’t meet his standards, he was not afraid to let you know, often at 3 a.m. and in the middle of a well-traveled pathway.

While never having the chance to be a father his self, (a major mix up at the veterinary

18222165_10101998704557164_5347491317964317101_n

office he always claimed) Rowdy took on the role of “Father Figure” with pride when his parents adopted two deformed and untrained cats, Lucy and Wrigley. He made it his personal mission to turn the two into functioning cats, but unfortunately never saw his dreams come to fruition.

Rowdy will be dearly missed but never forgotten. All that were blessed with the opportunity to feed him or with the rare opportunity to pet him un-harmed, know that their lives are forever changed.

Rowdy is survived by his loving parents, Matthew and Jennifer Shidler. Brothers, Mosby and Wrigley and little sister Lucy. Other family members include his Aunt Jonie Shidler, Estel & Cindy Shidler and Carla Kilburn.

A celebration of life was privately held at his residence December 24, 2018. Guests shared stories, pictures and passed around his favorite balls of yarn.

A GoFundMe has been created in Rowdy’s name to raise funds for Catnip for underprivileged inner city cats.

screen shot 2019-01-08 at 12.58.54 pm

 

 

Just a Quick Thought

I was working on Wednesdays blog post and came across a small promblem…I couldnt spell purpose right to save my life. One of these days I will spell ‘Purpose’ right on the first try instead of ‘Porpoises’…..until that day comes, if you are reading something I have written, just assume I’m talking about something that is intentional and not a small aquatic mammal… unless I write a blog about whales on porpoise (see what I did there..). If I do write that blog, just reguard this message! 😉

 

While The Husband is Away, The Wife Will Play….

27332240_575906742801465_2748318378541393756_n

My husband is gone for work for the week, and these are 10 things I will be doing in his absence. He may or may not be excited he isn’t here to join me.

  • 3 words: Gilmore Girls Marathon
  • Cheesy Romance novels and puppy snuggles
  • The house temperature will be 70, then 75, then 70 then 75 again….in one hour
  • I will Sleep in the middle of the bed with all my pillows
  • Text him every half hour asking him what he’s up to
  • Homemade Zoodle Shrimp Alfredo all to myself
  • Oil changed on the car…wait…this doesn’t sound like an advantage.
  • Give my doggo’s too many treats and lots of kisses
  • Bubble baths and while playing the best of Cher and Abba
  • The following movies will be on repeat
    • You’ve Got Mail
    • Sound of Music
    • The Mirror has Two Faces
    • Beaches
    • The Bridges of Madison County
    • Pretty Woman
    • Sleepless in Seattle

Because in most things in life there is balance, these are the 10 things I will miss with his absence. Again, he may or may not be excited he isn’t here to join me

  • I will miss telling him to roll over every time he snores in my general direction
  • I will miss reading him these blogs before I post them for a laugh test
  • I will miss the smell of his body wash wafting into the room at 5 a.m. after his morning shower
  • I will miss him showing me a million things on Facebook, even though I’ve already seen them lol
  • I will miss him talking to me about his flights that day even though I don’t understand
  • I will miss the way he makes pumping gas look so effortless ;).
  • I will miss him ‘yelling’ at me for sorting the dirty clothes wrong
  • I will miss him ‘yelling’ at me for loading the dishwasher wrong (confession, I’m a terrible housewife)
  • I will miss seeing how excited the dogs get after he walks through the door after he has been at work all day
  • I will miss the way he talks to our puppies early in the morning when he gently wakes them up to take them outside for potty time.

This post started as a silly weekday ramble, but the more I wrote the more I was reminded of two things…

  1. How much of the little and big things that I love about my sweet husband.
  2. So many people I know are missing their spouses for more serious reasons such as military deployment or death. This makes my complaints of a five-day separation sound trivial and minuscule.

Hug your loved ones and don’t take the little things for granted 🙂

300 Writing Prompts # 8: Have You Ever Had To Put A Pet Down?

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 11.03.43 pm 

If I had started writing in this journal when I bought it 6 months ago, the answer to this prompt would have been boring, containg satirical stories of me flushing my State Fair goldfish down the drain, (for the record it was a lovely service) but as luck would unfortunately have it, I now have experience and insight for this question.

His name was Rowdy. He was the first pet I ever had that was all my own. We rescued him the summer we got married. The airport my husband worked at had “adopted” a cat on accident, and while the pilots in the medical helicopter hangar wanted to keep this kitten they had grown to love, they needed to keep a sterile atmosphere for the medical equipment. My husband was tasked with finding a new home for the cat. He instantly curled up in the truck next to Matthew and the next thing I know I was getting messages that could have very well come from a 4 year-old. “Can we keep him!” “He won’t be any trouble!”

I didn’t need to be convinced. He came home that day and after some careful discussion we named him after fun stories we heard about a local farm hand with a weird passion for Rush Limbaugh ( a long, but true story).

b011bf21-4d16-416f-8d8d-d488fedc03b5

Rowdy was never a perfectly ‘healthy’ cat. He first got sick 5 months after we moved to Texas. Like a lot of male cats, even fixed ones, his body would often develop crystals that would block the bladder causing infections and major illness if undetected. Over the next 8 years, Rowdy was prescribed different types of cat foods and had several (like 5) procedures to unblock his bladder. I won’t bore you with every detail of Rowdy’s life (I will leave that for his upcoming obituary), but what I will tell you is that we loved him even though he fit the stereotype of a typical house cat to a T.

On December 17th 2018 we found ourselves at the emergency vet office faced with 2 options, another unblocking procedure with several rounds of tests and a referral to a specialist in Austin, or to peacefully let him sleep. We spent 40 minutes trying to decide what to do, but with the guidance of the caring vet we made the decision to let our little Rowdy peacefully sleep.

img_1178

It’s not been a month yet, but we miss him and still catch ourselves calling for him or referring to our cats in the plural.

img_1216

I won’t ask anyone if they have ever had to put a pet down although you are welcome to answer if you would like. I do invite you to tag me in any of your blog posts about your wonderful pets our furry friends should be shared!

 

 

 

300 Writing Prompts #7: What’s A Food You Hate That Others Love?

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 9.01.06 pm

I have a strong feeling this post is going to cause a lot of my readers grief, but the truth must come out. I strongly dislike BACON. Actually, if I am being honest with myself, the only items from a pig that I eat willingly are hard salami and pepperoni. It’s not that I’ve taken some great vow for pig rights (no offense to those who have) but I don’t like the taste. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat it if offered to me or if my only option, but in all honesty, bacon leaves a taste on my tongue that I instantly feel like I need scrape off my with my teeth or with a butter knife (do not use a knife in public unless you want to look like cousin Eddy..).

f2d8801465b741f120ef1b86b36234f8

How do my I know my readers are going to textually assault me on this? Because I’ve already received quite the beating on Facebook. If you have any type of social media you have no doubt seen the posts that say, “one must go.” This is the post I shared, and all hell broke loose on my Facebook feed. 20 different people commented with words and GIFS conveying their varying degrees of disapproval.

Screen Shot 2019-01-06 at 9.22.14 PM.png

 

The good news for me is the whole comment section didn’t exactly gang up against my choice. The most common “go” item was sushi, but five brave souls said they could toss aside the donut and 1 sad soul said he could live a life without tacos (you are in my prayers lol ). He is married to my best friend, so I must forgive him of this sin, but it will be hard.

 

So, tell me readers, what food would you toss aside that most others love?

Football From The Eyes of an MLB Fan

cheese!

“As for me and my house, we serve the Lord and the Chicago Cubs….”

This past weekend on a whim, my husband and I decided to go to the NFL wild card game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts. My football appreciation starts and ends with Super bowl Sunday. I’m there for the food, commercials and half time show. Because I am not a diehard Texan or Colt fan (even though I grew up in Indiana) I went to this game with no expectations other than a fun afternoon and a good fight between rivals. While we had a blast (we really did) I left the game with a lot of observations and a few questions for the NFL and Texan fans.

Observations:

  • Football spectators are way louder and more alert than baseball fans.

getloud

  • The Texan announcer excitedly requested that the fans SHOUT out the last name of the starting lineup, citing it as tradition. If I knew there was going to be a quiz, I would have studied. (probably not)

 

  • If you are going to cheer for the visiting team, do so at your risk. Football fans tend to be built like the football players they cheer on. Say the wrong thing and a tackle could be in your future.

46566543_609699942844597_4033560740166066257_n

  • It is harder for a novice to follow football in person than on TV. The yellow line of scrimmage (had to google what it was called) does not actually show up on the field. You have to find the guys on the sidelines with the sticks and connect the dots yourself. When I finally find out whats going on, I’m the only one cheering.

6672788

  • Speaking of ‘harder to follow in person’, the flags on the field make a lot less sense if the TV commentators aren’t force feeding me the facts. I was left to my own devices to decide what the heck a “neutral zone infraction” was. Heads up, it’s not passing gas in the middle of a huddle. Although I imagine some deserve a 5-yard penalty for that.

screen shot 2019-01-06 at 4.02.19 am

  • 15 minutes in life and 15 minutes at a football game are not the same. That being said, I grossly misjudged the length of time my bladder is able to hold liquids safely. Towards the start of the 4th quarter, I quickly realized I needed to use the restroom. “Only 15 minutes left, I can do this…” 45 minutes later I am begging my row to stand and let me out in the middle of a tense play.

maxresdefault

  • In relation to the above observation, don’t drink copious amounts of water unless your seat to aisle access ratio is less than 3. You haven’t lived until you’ve straddled 6 adults and 1 child while trying to get out of a crowded row doing the “I have to pee” dance.

56841985354__4845b70c-b276-427d-8f06-903825c89588

Questions:

Where did this guy buy his ticket, because I didn’t see the option for section 615 row M seat 16 with optional spa and facial package.

img_1393

What bet did this bride lose to not only have to go to a football game minutes after saying “I do” but to do so in the nosebleed section. Also, pretty sure they could have saved money with a caterer at the reception vs. the concession stand.

What is this guy’s game day routine look like? “I need to go to bed early tonight honey, I want to get up early and do my hair for the game in the morning.”

img_1400

Do the Cheerleaders ever fight over where they stand during the game. They divide them between the four corners of the field. You can’t tell me Suzy isn’t upset that her BFF Jill is on the opposite side with her enemy Jolene, and don’t get me started on Karen pretending to best buds with Macey.

img_1396

 

Are you still considered a band wagon fan when the closest thing to representing team gear is wearing a hoodie that says Indiana on it?

img_1414

 All jokes aside, congratulations to the Indianapolis Colts! We had a blast at this game which is surprising because I walk a fine line between introvert and high functioning agoraphobic. Ha. Tell me friends, what sporting events do you enjoy in person?

300 Writing Prompts # 6: Write a Thank You Note To Someone

Dear Shower in Room 1319 Crown Plaza Hotel, Houston:

You may not remember me, but I’m the woman you heard screaming yesterday morning. Hi! I wanted to send you a word of thanks for the most violent shower experience of my life. Never in my 31 years of bathing have I gone from 3rd degree burns to frostbite in a matter of minutes. You really kept me on my toes, which is good, because they were the only body part left un-effected by your ‘Psycho’ Alfred Hitchcock thrill ride. Who knew the most effective way to clean your body was to sear the top layer off to make room for the new layer.

I was worried the memories of our weekend together would quickly fade away, but those fears were soon replaced by the constant smell of fried bologna on my skin that seemed to follow me where ever I went. That small reminder will have to do until our paths can cross again.

You truly went above and beyond, and I thank you for your service!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Shidler

 

Tell me readers, who would you write a thank you note to this week?

Extra credit: whats your worst hotel experience in recent memory?

to my love & light,