300 Writing Prompts # 12: What’s The Last Thing You Searched on The Internet?

What is the last thing you searched on the internet and why?

What better way to gauge the weirdness of a person by snooping through their search history? Lucky for you, my search history will not let you down. It took me a minute to even figure out how to locate said history, but before long I was staring down the last six things I managed to Google, most of which had to be at 3 a.m. when I was not able to sleep. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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West Wing Remake?

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My husband and I LOVE the West Wing. We usually watch it from start to finish once a year (usually when all the election non-sense begins). The show is almost 20 years old, and with the recent flux of 90’s & 2000’s shows being remade today, we have often wondered what a West Wing reboot would look like. Oddly enough, we started our annual West Wing binge on New Year’s Day and a week later an article popped up hinting at the idea that cast members and writers were in SMALL talks about a remake. I read it, was excited, but wanted further confirmation that this wasn’t all bologna, so I took to google for more concrete evidence.

How many ounces in a gallon?

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One of my 2019 goals was to drink more water, actually, only water. I can say that 14 days into 2019 the only non-water beverage I have had is 2 diet Mt. Dews. I have had no milk (wow), no juice and no Starbucks. On New Year’s I bought the biggest athletic bottle I could find (64 oz) and I needed to know how many times I had to fill it to make it to my gallon a day. The answer is 2 times because there are 128 ounces in a gallon!

Medical Alert Systems?

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As I have mentioned before, we moved my mom in with us 2 years ago while she undergoes treatments for end stage kidney failure. One of our biggest hurdles is Matt and I’s ability to get out of the house for alone time but not stressed or worried about mom being alone at the house. We found that a medical alert bracelet would help ease our mind. There are tons of options for medical alert systems and the services they provide vary, but we finally found one that checked all the boxes.

How many birds can’t fly? And is a racoon a marsupial?

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Welcome to the “I googled this at 3 a.m.” portion of our post. I honestly have NO memory of searching for these, but I am not surprised, this sounds exactly like the trivial type of stuff that would keep me up at night.

How much does the average person spend a week on groceries?

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My husband and I are working so hard to get his student loans paid off quicker than expected that we have been trying to see where can make cuts. It is no secret that buying and preparing all the groceries for a week is  more budget friendly than eating out, we just wanted to make sure we were in the right spot.

 

For better or for worse, here are my most recent internet searches. What is one of the last few things you have searched for?

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…”

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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!

 

 

 

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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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..).

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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.

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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?

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,

300 Writing Prompts #5: What Are You Recovering From Right Now?

What are you recovering from right now?

 When I sat down to tackle todays writing prompt, several items of recovery came to mind. None of them seemed to be substantial in length nor of real importance, so I decided to gather them together in a short-ish list. And here we go…

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  • I’m recovering from 2018. Not 2018 in terms of events, but 2018 in terms of the numbers. Here we are 4 days into the New Year and not once have I managed to write a single date correctly.

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  • 2 words, carb withdrawl. Without turning this into the stereotypical “new year new me” post, my husband and I have been eating a lot less carbs for about a week now. Bread I could care less about, but fruit and MILK are a whole different story.

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  • The after effects of Christmas. While our whole house has been cleaned from top to bottom and our decorations and treasured presents have found their rightful spots, I keep finding pieces of glitter everywhere. 2015 Jennifer thought it would be cute to decorate the tree one year with decorative swags that feature what I thought to be a tasteful dusting of silver and gold. They only lasted 1 year, but the trail of glitter they left behind haunts me to this day.

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  • The plural of the word “cat.” I don’t know if I had mentioned it on here yet, but we recently had to have one of our pet cats Rowdy put to sleep. It was a terrible experience that I have never had to go through before, and while we are working on not being as sad, it still stings when one of says “did you feed the cats?” or “Do the cats need their litter box changed out yet?”

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  • Mother nature. She’s been on one this past fall and winter. It has been cooler here in Texas than it normally is (not that I should complain too much, I’m used to worse) and to make matters worse it has rained straight through the last few days. We are talking miserable cold with 2 ½ inches of water. Yeah, I’ll pass.

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What do you find yourself recovering from this week?