The Piggy That Went To Market…..

……And Never Came Home

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What do you get for the person who has everything? A gift card? Flowers? Fruit of the month membership?

How about for the person who has just casually lost a toe at home like it was no big deal (Yep..I said toe..no awkward auto correct here). A get well card? New socks?

I mean, at least for baby teeth, you just DM the Tooth Fairy, she drops a dollar or two under the pillow and you call it a day. —Side note, what are kids making these days for teeth? I imagine with inflation the whole exchange is worth more now than it was 25 years when I last cashed in on that ‘savings bond’.

Before you answer the real question at hand, I feel like I must explain my situation just a bit. If you are squeamish…move along..trust me..

It all started with an ant bite. Yep, you read that right, an ant bite. If you are a long time follower of my blog, you know that 1. I already hate ants (read here) and 2.  I take care of my mom who is in ‘end stage renal failure’.

My mom, who is freezing even when its 90* outside (side effect of Dialysis), has turned my garage into a little living room complete with T.V. , fridge, recliner and microwave (sounds weird but I promise you, a lot of people do that around here..).

One day the ants went marching one by one (hooh rah..hooh rah..) and decided to make a picnic of my moms foot while she was napping post dialysis. These ants weren’t just black ants, by the way, these were Texas Fire Ants. Other wise known as ‘satan’s little gardeners’.

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This situation all took place last summer. Since then, she has had two surgery’s. One to remove her big toe (buh bye..) and the second surgery to try to save the another one (spoiler alert..second surgery didn’t work)…Now we have a long-standing appointment every Wednesday to see her podiatrist/wound care specialist in an attempt to help her body fight off an infection where every one else would just rub some cream on it, grab some gasoline to light the ant mound on fire and then call it a day.

Now, to say I’m squeamish, is an understatement. With that in mind, my mom often excludes me from graphic discussions about what is going on underneath 30lbs of gauze and bandages on her foot. Until one day, I walked in on my mom and her home nurse re doing the dressing on her foot. It was then that I noticed that she was down half a toe. As you can imagine, I had some questions and a lot of statements. Mom and the nurse laughed as they realized I was pretty much clueless to what was going on. Apparently, they have been anxiously awaiting for the toe to drop off. Just wating…like you wait for pizza rolls to cook in the microwave. Ding..its done or gone. (Andddd I just ruined pizza rolls for myself…)

So, here we are one month, post-toe and I have yet to present my mom with an adequate gift to commemorate such a ‘special’ occasion…here are some of the leading ideas suggested by friends, family and the Dr. himself….

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I’m Officially a Texan, Y’all

Well, it is official, after almost 7 years I, Jennifer Lynne Shidler, a born and raised Hoosier, am officially a Texan, and I have H-E-B to thank! YEEE HAW!

“But Jennifer, wouldn’t your “Texan” status have been granted the minute you got your driver’s license or purchased property?”

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Well, I can see how you would think these acts would make you a true Texan, but the truth is, this is a two-step process. You can accept Texas all you want and say “y’all hail Mary’s” until your face turns blue, but until Texas accepts you back, a true Texan you are not.

Low and behold, on Friday, November 9 2018 at 11:58 am I received my admission letter in the form of a Facebook notification.

“Facebook? How, ah, informal of them..”

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Hey! I don’t need a fancy document to prove my new-found state membership! Besides, some of the greatest most powerful people in the world use social media to get their points across and no one thinks any differently about them….(sigh)

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Anyway, back to how all this started. Earlier in the day I came across a Facebook video (watch it HERE) of a wayward Turkey who had accidently made its way into the living room of an unsuspecting couple. The video was cute, I had to hit the share button and tagged my favorite grocery store, HEB, and went about my day.

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What’s HEB you ask? Only the greatest supermarket ever (that’s right Kroger, I said it). They are based out of Texas and there are at least 7 of them within a half hour drive of my house. They are the only place I feel comfortable buying sushi from that isn’t a restaurant, they offer curbside pick-up and they deliver straight to your door. THEY DO IT ALL.

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I was putting away laundry and my phone went off. There it was. HEB commented on my post (blue verified check mark and all). In fact, not only did they acknowledge my existence with a comment, but they threw in an exclamation point and a winking face emoji just to boost my ego. Did we just become best friends? YEP!

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I always knew this day would come but I had no idea it would be on some idle Friday while in my pajamas folding laundry.

To my dear Indiana, it’s been a great ride. You taught me a lot about life and you will always be my first home, but I must go now. My grocery store needs me. Yall take care now, ya hear.

 

 

 

 

 

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

We did it! Matthew and I have been wanting to start our own business for a while, but we couldn’t decide what direction to go in. Luckily for us, a lucrative business opportunity presented itself and we just couldn’t turn it down.

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I know what you are thinking. “This is so sudden Jennifer, how did this happen?” Basically, our house had come under attack. Due to the drought in our area, ants, who generally live their lives outside, came inside in an attempt to find water. They seemed to really enjoy our spacious sink and views out our kitchen window. We spent days battling the pests, guests with no real success. It wasn’t until I saw an ant taking a refreshing dip in a measuring cup, that I realized they were just trying to escape the pressures and realities of life. (same here, ants, same here).

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So, might I formally introduce to you Château Shidler, Central Texas’s premier luxury ant resort!

 

 

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You are Welcome Here!

Tired of being turned away from every home you visit? Look no further! Chateau Shidler is a rustic 21st century home, which offers a mix of quaint and second-hand furnishings within. We are centrally located on a busy street with over 10 garbage cans for you to explore. Newly renovated hotels complete with 10 doors is guaranteed to fit you and 100 of your closest friends.

Sit Back and Relax

The Spa is set around a man-made, stainless steel pool with custom sponge floats. Looking for a more intement experience? Visit our candle lit serenity deck and lounge next to our cozy vinegar infinity pool.

Looking For More Of an “Active Retreat”

You are invited to climb one of our many scenic trails that take you down our custom stone back splash and over the majestic Keurig ridge to coffee mountain. For the thrill seekers, take the self-guided excursion up our 8-ft cabinet wall before diving down the island light fixture.

We Offer an Extensive Menu Guaranteed To Fit Every Taste:

  • Blue Buffalo Kibble (lamb and beef flavor)
  • Meow Mix (chicken flavor)
  • French Fries
  • Toast Crumbs
  • Pasta Sauce (Aged to perfection in our finest pans)
  • Hunter/Gatherer Packages available (Upon Request)

 

Thirsty? We Have A Wide Selection of Drinks

  • Vinegar Water
  • Droplets of Orange Juice
  • Stale Coffee
  • Milk (for an extra cost)
  • Raid

Resavations not required but prefered. 2 night minimum stay in our newly renovated hotel required for weekend and holiday guests. Earn bonus towards your next stay for referring us to your friends! Other places say if “You can check in, but you won’t check out” well, we will let you leave, if you take your friends with you.

How Not to survive a day at the park….

Because you should totally take advice from me, the Ariel of six flags hurricane harbor, Arlington Texas.

First and for most, I must say I had a blast with my girls, De-bor-ah and Liz lemon, celebrating Debbie’s birthday!! The bond we share, (the side eye, awkward laugh, this is why I love you, what had happened was, no ma’am, donut getting, know what the other one is thinking or looking at without having to say it out loud kind of bond) is a friendship like no other.

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Second, before I begin, I just want to make it clear that you will not see any mocking of swim suits and the bodies they are attached to in the post. I am the LAST person that needs to be making judgment calls based on beach ware as I once received an epic wedgie’ from a massive water slide that went unnoticed for a half hour. Your welcome  for that intense visualization in advanced.

1.) Sun tan lotion and sunscreen….know the difference. Make the wrong decision and it becomes the deciding factor between sun kissed beauty and fried lobster.

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2.) Choose a friend with a good attention span and great spatial reasoning to apply your sun screen. If you choose wrong the consequences could be scary and psychedelic. My friend Debbie here, selected the wrong sunscreen buddy (Cough Cough Liz Lemon) ,and will be living with the side effects of tie dyed skin for weeks to come. Lets all share a moment of silence for Debbie and her sunburned back.

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3.) If your bored while waiting in an hour long line for a 30 second ride, play fun games like iSpy or a new family favorite, appendix, appendix, no appendix (Similar to duck duck goose and reflector reflector, DEER if you read my last blog).  Its fun, simple and you don’t even have to be a brain general surgeon to play!

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4.) Fix your hair in a way that won’t leave you frustrated and irritated the whole day. Nothing more obnoxious that fixing a pony tail every 3 mins. With this warning I give you another. If you pick a hairstyle as classy as cornrowesque twist’s tight in the top of you head, please wear sunscreen (not sun tan lotion) unless you want to look like a college ruled note book with a chance of bad dandruff in the weeks that follow, please head my advice.
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5.) Find a place you can relax. Many would choose the lazy river for this..well I am here to tell you that in some cases, this is not the place to go. The lazy river is the only place in the park that you can go from relaxed to kicked to groped (on accident) in less than 25 seconds. For tense situations such as this, I have borrowed techniques from other frustrated and disgruntled adults before me ( shout out to Marc Antony/William Shakespeare) and have written a simple speech that shall be read upon my entrance in to said lazy river. “Friends, Parents, Children, lend me your ears. The lazy river is for relaxation, not hyper-ness. The splashing and running you all do, will follow behind you, as I am bigger than you and can splash 10 times harder…take heed and take cover”

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HOW NOT TO PREPARE FOR A 18HR CAR RIDE..

….because being practical and flying is soo 1903..

Ahh, the great American road trip; hours of ispy, rock, paper scissors and STOP TOUCHING ME, that childhood memories and divorces are made of.  Nothing tests the strength of your patience and marriage more than sitting side by side in a car with someone for 18hrs.

4 years ago when I married a private pilot, I thought my long distance driving days were over. I could not have been farther from the truth. So today I bring you  6 steps to prepare for your long journey that will not only secure your marriage but your sanity.

1.) Proper sound is track required. Now I know I mentioned how important it is to save ones marriage in this impossibly long trip, but you cant win all the battles and in our house hold, music is where there is definitely a dividing line. We agreed when we left Texas that who ever was driving picked the music on the radio. If you want to listen to 5 hours of Jimmy Buffett and George Strait (I don’t care if you are honoring his last concert) that is fine by me, but you better be prepared for 7 hours straight of Streisand, Bel Biv Devoe, Neil Diamond (#sogood, #sogood, #sogood shout out to Amy Lambert) Frozen and Fiddler on The Roof. Nothing wakes your senesces up more than Singing shouting the hills are alive with the sound of music at 3 in the am.

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2.) Scientists and country music artists everywhere have proven that your vocal talents really sound the best at three am. Its a mix of confined spaces, tired enthusiasm and deep tenor snoring accompaniments that make a Grammy performance . So don’t be afraid to turn that radio up…and find your favorite rumble patch along the road and give the best Bob Dylan impression you can do. (Ps for better acoustics or for more daring musicians/driver, the Bob Dylan effect also works great on railroad tracks.. preferably abandoned 🙂

3.)  Become better at recognizing the difference between deer eyes, large white wild flowers and road side reflectors. You know the game duck duck goose..this is similar..reflector reflector.. DEER!!!

Speaking of road kill….

4.) Issue all warnings and memos to wild life prior to departure, you know, just in case your “reflector, reflector, DEER, skills are rusty. I find that in cases like this a simple ‘form letter’ will work perfectly and can be adjusted to the particular state and wildlife you are aiming to reach. Feel free to use mine.

“ To the deer and other medium to large sized wild life residents of Arkansas, don’t think for 1 second that I did not see your beady little eyes staring at us from the side of the road. you stay put and I will do my thing and you will do yours. Please let the dead raccoon next to mile marker 215 serve as your one and only warning…good day” ©

5.) Scented sachets make your car smell great from just sitting there, but by placing them over defrost vents makes your car smell even fresher at 430 in the morning when your husband, who has been snoring for an hour, passes gas and you are left with no way out. Just flip the vent from air conditioning to defrost (full power for those hard to tackle stenches) and  BAM..your no longer in a stuffy dodge journey in the middle of Arkansas reliving last nights tacos, but now in the middle of a Kirkland’s, Bath and Body Works or  Yankee Candle Company.

And finally the most important step of them all…

6.) Have your imaginary brakes serviced. Even the most novice of back seat/front seat drivers, know the importance of fake brake control.  The imaginary brake is like the Schrödinger’s cat (Schrödinger who? read about him HERE..)of long distance driving. Unless you press the fake brake you may be either dead or alive.  

Good Idea; Bad Idea

Over the last 10 months, I have been keeping a running list of all my good ideas that have ultimately ended in bad ideas. Today, I share with you my wisdom through experience. Please take heed….

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Good Idea: Stocking your bathroom with plenty of fresh clean towels

Bad Idea: Running naked/wet to other end of the house where the linen closet is. The cats are showing signs of bad vision and the neighbors will no longer look you in the eye.

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Good idea: Buying your favorite ice cream to be enjoyed on a hot summer’s day.

Bad Idea: Buying your favorite ice cream to be enjoyed on a hot Texas summers day, and forgetting it is in the car for about an hour.

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Good idea: Giving your cats a bath every few months or so

Bad idea: Giving your cats a bath every few months or so without sedating them first

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Good Idea: Plugging your phone in at night before you go to bed so it is charged for work the next day

Bad Idea: Plugging your phone in at night without first making sure that your cord is actually plugged in to the outlet

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Good Idea: Listening to great road trip songs like “Running on empty” By Jackson Browne and “Drivers Seat” by Sniff “n” the Tears while on a 16 hour car ride

Bad Idea: Being in the drivers seat in the middle of a 16 hour car ride, when the dashboard tells you that you are in fact running on empty and the nearest gas station is 30 minutes away.

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Good Idea: Keeping a fully stocked pantry with all essential staples such as tuna, ketchup and your favorite salad dressings.

Bad Idea: Only going through that pantry once every 5 years to find that the thousand island dressing was in fact ranch dressing with an expiration date past due more years than you and your husband have been together

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Good idea: Using generic house products like great value Lemon Pledge to dust your furniture, and great value cooking spray to coat your cooking pans versus the brand name versions, it gets the job done just the same.

Bad Idea: Laying both of these generic products next to each other on the counter leaving you 100% positive that your bookshelf will never stick to the pan if you decide to put it in the oven, and giving your salmon that extra splash of lemon you always wanted.

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Good Idea: Using a leash when taking your cat for walks around the block.

Bad Idea: Taking your cat for a walk around the block, with or without a leash.

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Good Idea: Driving through Arkansas to get to Indiana to save an hour on your total time.

Bad Idea: Driving through Arkansas at 1 am only to see deer and other medium to large sized wild life residents and their beady little eyes staring at you from the side of the road. You will stay put and I will do my thing and you will do yours. Let the dead raccoon next to mile marker 215 serve as your one and only warning.