Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Finial! Iwanna Wednesday

Did you read the title correctly? Did you think it's said that it's FINAL? A final Iwanna Wednesday? Look's not FINAL, it's FINIAL, cause that's what Iwanna this Wednesday...some Finials. I can't do a final Iwanna Wednesday because I haven't done one in ages.

A little background on Iwanna Wednesday just in case you forgot. I want everything I see. I mean it. I can walk into a drugstore and see something and say, "I want one of those." I can drive by someone's house and say, "I want some decorative rocks like those!" My mom and sister finally started teasing me and saying, "Aye si, want everything!"

Iwanna Wednesday was born! A day when I do a post about what ever it is my little heart wants at that particular moment.

I've been looking a window treatments of late and there are tons of beautiful ideas. I notice that almost all of them have curtain rods and I mean real curtain rods, not the little white ones I grew up with that I still use. The ones that look like these. Do you remember these?

But now that I'm a grown up. I will put away little girl things and only want big girl things! Iwanna curtain rods like this.

See those cute little detail thingys at the ends of the curtain rods? Well someone got tired of people calling them detail thingys and they named them FINIALS...and that is what Iwanna today cause there are a gazillion of them!

For you wine lovers or maybe health foodies that love to eat fruit, how about these lovely little Grape Finials? These would be perfect in a kitchen or dining room right?

Sticking with the purple theme, I am so loving these! Purple beaded Finials...I think anyone would Iwanna these. I know Iwanna them *sigh*. You can find these at Etsy. I bet there are some of you crafty people out there that could buy the beads on strings and glue them on something and make these right? If there are some of you people out there, you can gladly make these for me and I would love you forever!

And I know I said I would put away little girl things, but for some reason little girl colors just call out to me...." know you love us...C'mon Alicia....look at us, love us, want us."

Oh pretty little Pastel Finials...Yes, Yes, Yes, I love you, Iwanna you. You know you wanna them too! You can find them at PBteen.

But getting back to big girl grown up and gorgeous are these? These were custom made for a boat builder and created to compliment the nautical theme in a boat cabin. They are little octopus' or is it octopi? You can find those at Allen & Baron.

This one reminds me of a TV show from my youth. I'll give you some hints. Major Healey? Master? Tony? Major Nelson? Did you guess it? If you said, "I Dream of Jeannie" then you had it. Doesn't this one look like Jeannie's bottle? Love it!

So finally I'm done with my Iwanna Wednesday Finial post! Ha! Actually, I think what I'm going to do is something that I've seen on a few blogs and on Pinterest. I'm going to make my curtain rods out of electrical conduit! Yes I am! And then I'm going to make finials out of old tennis balls. Old tennis balls you say? Yep...just keep on visiting me and I'll keep you posted. Happy Iwanna Wednesday and may all your Iwanna wishes come true!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sciatica and the Escalator

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess named Sciatica and she lived in a huge castle. The castle was so grand that the king had escalators installed to passenger the queen, the princess and honored guests up and down the various floors of the castle.

Princess Sciatica loved going up the escalators but she had an intense fear of the escalators leading down. She would see  the others getting on the down escalator with no problem, laughing and joking and hanging on to the moving hand rail, but when it was Princess Sciatica's turn to go down, she would stand at the edge and tell herself she could do it, but she would immediately feel a weakness in her legs and a sense of vertigo and she knew that if she tried to take one step on those moving stairs, her legs would not have the strength to hold her and she would fall and tumble all the way down to her death!

Luckily the King had also installed elevators in the castle and Princess Sciatica would ride the lonely elevator down to the lower floors. She could hear the laughter and joy of the others racing up and down on the escalators and she so longed to join them and swore to herself that one day she would!

One day, the Princess rode the escalator to the third floor which is where her bedroom was. She needed to fetch her fencing gloves and then she quickly raced to the other end of the castle to where the King, good King Otis had installed the elevators. She pushed the down button and waited. After a few minutes, she pushed the button again and waited. Then she did what any intelligent person knows to do, push the button over and over again! That always makes the elevator come faster cause it knows your are pretty darned ticked off by now!

Yet the elevator didn't come and the Princess did not know what to do. She roamed the third floor where she found her sister Princess Lisa and her mother, the good Queen Tomasa. She was crying and telling them that she wanted to go back downstairs but the elevator would not come. The sister and the queen knew of Princess Sciatica's intense fear of the down going escalator, but they tried to convince her how easy it was and that they would go before her so she wouldn't have to fear falling. They would catch her! But fear struck the poor Princess's heart and no amount of cajoling or pleading would help. Was our poor Princess destined to live forever in the highest floor of the castle?

Apparently...yes! I know this cause it happened to me yesterday. I am Princess Sciatica!

Yesterday I went to Macy's Department Store with my mom and my sister. My mom had a gift card and wanted to use it to purchase a set of sheets for her new bed. The bedding department is on the third floor of Macys. My mom, sister and I rode the escalator up to the second floor, then the third. I had no fear going up and no worries about how I would get back down as I knew they had an elevator. Easy Peasy!

We shopped for sheets and then searched for the elevator and headed over and did as Princess Sciatica did. I hit the button and waited....then I hit the button again and waited...then my sister Princess Lisa hit the button (in case the elevator just didn't like me) and again we waited. Then I tried the old faithful move and hit the button several times in succession...nothing! Fear struck my heart! What was I to do?

My mom and Lisa tried to convince me that it's easy to get on the escaltor going down. They would help me, they would go down before me and that way if I fell I would fall on them. Aren't they wonderful to sacrifice themselves like that for me? Especially my 78 year old mother! But I knew that I couldn't do it. I no longer had the leg strength. Not since the great Sciatica Debacle of 2010!

For some reason, ever since I had that awful bout of Sciatica in 2010; where I had to take almost a month off of work because I was in the most excruciating pain I have ever had (it was worse than childbirth. I had two kids, one natural and one me, it was worse than childbirth), I don't have the strength in my left leg that I used to. It's hard just to climb stairs using my left leg. So I have to climb them by putting the right leg on the step first and then bringing the left leg up, then the right again, then the left. It's quite embarassing!

So there we were on the third floor. I can't use the down escalator and my mom and sister can't just leave me cause I drove and I had the car keys! We asked a couple of the sales clerks if the elevator was working or not and they really didn't know. Then I saw an official looking lady in a navy pin-striped suit and I asked her. And bless her little pea-picking heart, she saved Princess Sciatica! She told us that they were doing some work on the elevator so they were not working, but that she could take us down using the service elevator. I think she saw my elderly mom and thought she would do a nice thing for the sweet, elderly, gray-hair woman.

So she takes us through some double doors by the elevator and we're in the back of the store. And she was so sweet and she pretended like she was giving us a tour and pointing out products and joking with us. She was wonderful. Then she pushed the service elevator button and the doors opened. She then opened up this cage thing and she stepped in and said, "C'mon in!"

 We were all a little apprehensive. It looked scary. My mom even asked her in a timid little voice, "You are going with us right?" Our little Guide assured us that she would never leave us alone, "Oh nowhoney...I wouldn't leave you alone, Oh Heavens No!" So we had no choice, we walked on in. Our little tour guide then proceded to close the elevator doors and then manually pull down the gate door. Now we were in the Belly of the Beast! The elevator started. It was slower than the public elevator so it took a little while for the elevator to get to the bottom. Our little guide just kept chattering to us about various "behind the scene" things at Macys. We were almost to the main floor when my mom felt she had to make one thing clear. She turned to our little guide and she said, "The reason we needed the elevator is because my daughter is scared to go down the escalator." And then she pointed at me!

Can you believe that? My own mother threw me under the bus like You have to admire her though, she didn't want to be thought of as some poor elderly lady that needed help getting around. Oh no! Not her, she's very proud of still being strong and independent! But dang-it...was my face red! Poor Princess Sciatica...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tomasa's Child and Homemade Flour Tortillas

When I was a little girl, there was nothing better in the whole world than a homemade flour tortilla made by my own dear mom.

I remember that she would knead the flour, lard (because we didn’t use the much lighter shortening or oil that we use now, we used big huge blocks of lard) baking powder, salt and water in a big bowl. I loved watching her hands, strong and sure working the dough.

Little Balls of Dough

Then she would make these perfect little balls of dough. I made the ones in this photo and they are not perfect at all, but mom's were. She would then line them all up on a clean dish towel, ready to be rolled out into perfectly round tortillas.

Mom would always give my sister and me our own little ball of dough which we would pretend to knead and roll out as she did. Sometimes, depending on our mood, we wouldn’t knead or roll it out; we would instead form it into animal shapes, like it was clay.

Here's the rolling out in process

When my mom was done making the family tortillas, she would have us roll out our little ball of dough and she would place it on the “comal” which was made out of cast iron and heated over the open flame on the stove. We would watch her flip our little tortilla around until it was perfectly browned on both sides. We couldn’t wait to eat them!

This is the Cast Iron Comal

Mom would slice a pat of real butter which had been softening to room temperature and sit us down, each with our little tortilla. She taught us to rip off little pieces of the tortilla and dip them into the warm, melting, sweet butter. There was nothing better! We felt as though we had cooked these tortillas ourselves, my sister and I. Sometimes we would save them for our dad to eat so he knew his little girls had been slaving away making tortillas for him.

Comal with a Tortilla

My mom was great at including us in on her regular household chores and making it fun and like a game for us. We didn’t need fancy play-doh with all the little accessories they come with now. We just needed the plain tortilla dough, our imagination and our wonderful mother by our side. My mom's name is Tomasa and I am her child.

This post is inspired by the novel Julia's Child by Sarah Pinneo. Worried about what her kids eat, Julia Bailey starts a prepared organic toddler meals business. With names like Gentil Lentil, can Julia balance work and family and still save the world? Join From Left to Write on May 24 as we discuss Julia's Child. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Runs

Any of you that have ever worked in any type of customer service job know that many times customers say "the darnedest things!"

That happened to me today. Well it happens to me most days but today was so hilarious I had to bite my tongue to keep from busting out laughing and telling the customer, "Really? Did you really just say that?"

Ok, to preface my story, I work in insurance and in insurance many times an insurance company will ask for Loss Runs from a previous insurance company. Loss Runs are a report from the insurance company that the customer had previously. They are a report that tells us, "yes, this insured did have insurance with XYZ Insurance Company from this date to that date." The Loss Run will also show whether or not there were any claims incurred during that time. If not it will say "no claims or zero claims". If they did have a claim it will tell you a bunch of info like the date of the loss, the claims number, if the claim is still open or closed, if money was paid out and if there was money paid out how much it was and if it involved property damage or bodily injury or both. It's kind of like a report card for drivers.

I had asked this particular client for loss runs. The client had to get them from their previous carrier and it took about three weeks. So this morning, the clients wife gives me a call and says, "Hi Alicia, I was just calling to see if...did you get the RUNS?" Now mind you, she didn't identify herself to start with (they never do) so it just came out of the blue. Luckily we have caller ID and I saw who it was and I knew what she meant, but none the less it freaked me out that she asked if I got the RUNS!

I think the poor thing realized what she said but she was embarrassed so she just kinda played it off like she didn't really just say that and I, being the ultimate professional...didn't bust out laughing and embarrass her further. But when I hung up, I could not control myself.

And I love to include pictures when I share a story with you all but how do you include a picture of "the runs"? I found the one you see and thought it was pretty cute! And...I did receive the runs, I didn't get them!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Know why you haven't heard from me? Cause I'm on a deserted really!

I know it's been a while since I've posted, not that any of you have missed me :-(
But thought I would let you know that I'm on a deserted island, kinda.

Here's the twist, you knew there had to be one right?

You’re on a deserted island, with no sign of rescue. You can have 10 things with you on the island. You just have to choose from this list. What will keep you company under the long, hot days in the sun? (my choices are in bold):

1. Chocolate or Potato Chips? Chips definitely. I cannot live without Chips, they are my one true passion. Surely on this island there must be something I can use and put together for some salsa? Maybe a luscious mango, papaya, pineapple, jalapeno salsa. Yeah, cause you know jalapenos grow wild on deserted, that rhymes. This is why I'd do ok on a deserted isle, cause I can entertain myself.

2. Fiction or Non-Fiction? Fiction definitely since the choice blogs isn't listed. Cause you know I love reading everyone's blogs. 

3. The Lord of the Rings or The Godfather movies? Oh gosh, those are my only choices? I guess I would have to go with Lord of the Rings, but only because I've never seen it and at least it would be something new. 

4. Cameron Diaz or Jennifer Aniston? Cameron Diaz because I don't think she's going to look that good without makeup and neither will I but darn that Jennifer has gotta be gorgeous without makeup...who needs that pressure? Besides Cameron is sturdier and would have to be better at gathering wood and building makeshift huts than Jennifer would.

5. 70′s or 80′s music? Since I'm a child of the 70's then 70's definitely. And by child of the 70's I don't mean born in the 70's but that's when I became semi-interested in music. 

6. Jon Stewart or Daniel Craig? Daniel Craig, see the picture...need I say more? He's already dressed for the event!

7. Friday Night Lights or Downton Abbey? Downton Abbey! I just watched Season 2 again yesterday on PBS and I love it! Pure entertainment. Love the sappy storyline, the actors, the clothing. Can't wait for Season 3. 

8. Beer or Wine? Wow...this is a tough one. Well I would have to go with the beer, but only because it would go best with my pineapple, mango, papaya, jalapeno salsa and chips.

9. Pizza or Hamburgers? Burger baby! If we're deserted on an island, we're not going to worry about carbs! But wait...if I eat carbs and gain weight...then Daniel Craig is going to run off with Cameron Diaz, makeup or not! (Yeah right! Who am I kidding, like that's not going to happen anyway!) 

10. The Rolling Stones or the Beatles? I gotta say, I'm not a big fan of either, but would probably go with the Beatles. Could I trade the bands for some more books please? 

Grabbed these cute little questions from The Zadge over at  Blue Skies and Yellow Dogs, she's hilarious! A girl after my own heart!

Promise to be back soon with posts (again...not that anyone has missed me), working on a project I hope to share with everyone.