Maybe She Was Driving To The Police Station

There's a high school down the street from my office. You never know what you're going to see.

On my drive home one day, I watched a young driver turn out of the school parking lot. She slammed into the SUV in front of her and put her hands to her head, probably thinking something like OH NO, OH NO, OH NO. I felt bad for her, especially with her classmates everywhere. Some were pointing. Some were laughing. Scarred for life, right? Well, the poor girl made things much worse.

She put her car into reverse and pulled around the SUV, trying to drive away like nothing had happened. I didn't feel quite as bad for her anymore, what with her brazen criminal ways and lack of smarts on display. At just after 5pm, summer school had just gotten out, along with most of the many offices along the street. She was caught in a traffic jam! Knowing this, she still tried to drive away.

The driver of the SUV pulled over, got out of her car, and slowly walked around the car that had hit her, taking photos with her cell phone every step of the way. The young girl never wavered from her decision to pretend nothing had happened. Her gaze was fixed on the road ahead, her hands were at 10 and 2, and she continued to drive away, albeit just a slow creep forward toward the distant red light.

Many students enroll in summer school for admirable reasons, like getting a head start on the new school year. I don't think that's why this particular girl was there.

No hit-and-runs here. Sexy Nerd is a stickler for the rules.

I will never miss being a teenager.

Sleep Training a Jerk Russell

I've been so tired lately. The last time I got a good night's sleep was...let's see...3 weeks ago? 4? I finally, finally scheduled an appointment to have a sleep study done. Hopefully, it will shed some light on my lifelong (yes, even as a baby) sleep troubles.

Exhausted at work yesterday, helpful coworkers pointed out, "You look SO tired!" (I'd actually thought I looked pretty good.) Sexy Nerd was out of town on a business trip, so I decided to get to bed nice and early. No internet or TV, a comfy, cool room, despite the scorching heat wave we've been experiencing here in Albuquerque, and twice my usual sleeping pill dosage (don't freak out - I usually break the pills in half) meant I had a good chance of catching up on some desperately needed sleep.

Or so I thought.

Our dogs have a nightly routine which you must never ever vary from, lest you destroy their little dog worlds. Even though I was getting to bed a bit earlier than usual, (like, an hour) I made certain to keep things normal for Pica and Biscuit, including ample time to play outside after their dinner, snuggle time upstairs in our bedroom, and goodnight smooches. It's pathetic. After they were tucked in and the lights were out, I went upstairs and got in bed. A good night's sleep was going to be sooo perfect. Until...

Bark! Bark! Bark!

Actually, that's a bit of an understatement. It was really more of a...

AIEEEEE WOOOOOOO AAAAAEEEEE WHEAEAEAEAEAEA AAAAAARACK AIEEEEEEEE

Which, translated, I assume means something along the lines of

I'M A DERANGED IDIOT AND I'M HYSTERICALLY FREAKING OUT DOWN HERE FOR NO GODDAMN REASON.

Followed by nonstop barking, whining, howling, and some sort of high pitched shriek my ears were probably only able to hear 1/8 of.

I opened my eyes, glaring a death stare into my ceiling. Perhaps Pica would stop if I ignored her.

(Yeah right.)

As I waited for her theatrics to subside, the little voice at the back of my mind grew concerned. What if Pica was hurt? What if there was something terribly wrong, like the dishwasher had exploded into a ball of grease and flames, and Pica was actually a hero dog trying desperately to alert me? How would I ever be able to live with the guilt of leaving Pica and Biscuit, my sweet, precious fur-babies, downstairs to die a fiery death? I slumped out of bed to investigate.

Pica was thrilled to see me. The barking continued, but she ran away from me and went to the cupboard. The cupboard where we keep the leashes. That fiery death thing suddenly didn't seem so bad.

Nevermind the darkness outside. Nevermind that mommy is full of sleeping pills. (Well, sleeping pill, at least.) In Pica's twisted mind, it was time to go for a walk.

(%#@&*#!@#$%&!)

Nothing I tried could deter her. Each time Pica was settled down, all comfy in her bed, and I'd returned upstairs, I'd close the bedroom door and wait. No sound. Ready to finally sleep, I'd get back into bed, close my eyes, get comfortable and relaxed and sleepy and no longer want to strangle her. Every time I was on the brink of sleep, the hysterics began again. I tried waiting, allowing Pica to self-sooth in a bizarre twist on Ferberization. Surely, she would lose interest or exhaust herself soon. But if you know anything about Jack Russell Terriers, you know that's not at all how they work.

Also, never get a Jack Russell Terrier. They're cute as puppies, but no. NO.

Every time I came downstairs, Biscuit had a look on her face like, "Oooh, you're in trouble now." Pica, however, always had a big, dopey grin.

Such a jerk.

Which makes sense since, apparently, we were going for a walk.

Sad Jack Russell

Pica has been dreaming about the posh new bed she's going to win, leaving her nights on the cold, hard floor behind her. What a mean mom and dad she has! ;)

Our little troublemaker is behind in the competition though. If you have a free moment, please pop over to my Instagram to like Pica's contest entry. I think she's beautiful.

Thank you! Thank you! (One from me and one from Pica. She's very polite like that. We raised her well.)

(Is it super obvious we don't have kids?)

I know I'm biased, but just look at that face! She could be a model, that pup of mine.

P.S.
Don't tell Pica, but we're totally going to make her share her new bed with Biscuit. Mean parents, I tell ya.

P.P.S.
With this post titled "Sad Jack Russell", I'd hate for you to be disappointed to have clicked the link, only to find Pica beaming that mischievous smirk of hers. If you're mean like that, here is a sad photo, just for you:

There's sad dogs, and then there's saaaaaad Pica.

We wouldn't give her any corn on the cob. She's a bit of a drama queen.

Caption Contest!

You know how cute weird it is when you come downstairs and find your husband asleep on the couch? Mine truly believes in sharing everything 50/50.

"Move over, Dad."

Have a better caption? Leave it in a comment below!
(And, yes, our house is trashed right now. We'll clean the next one.)

Chicken Curry Ramen Noodles Recipe

*Be sure to also check out my Cheesy Chicken Ramen recipe, which is a spin on macaroni and cheese. Yum!

Let me start this post with a confession. I am a chocoholic, one who puts other chocoholics to shame. At work, I've developed an unfortunate reputation as the girl who pigs out every time another office sends us anything chocolaty or whenever an employee restocks our candy drawer. (Betcha never thought your kid's dentist had one of those!) Those dozen Mississippi Mud cupcakes that were just here? I ate them. You knew I was working today so if you didn't get in there and get one, it's your own silly fault.

What does any of this shameless chocolate-talk have to do with today's recipe? As much as I love chocolate, I love Ramen Noodles even more. Just look at them:

Hey there, gorgeous!

I will always remember "The Noodles That Got Away", otherwise known as when my mom threw my bowl of just-made noodles down the sink in 4th grade. I don't recall what I'd done to make her angry, but I do know that I'd been looking forward to those noodles all day while I was at school and that it was THE LAST PACKET! Scarred for life? Obviously.

So, my friends, use this recipe carefully. If you see an angry person coming toward your noodles, protect them! I hope, of course, that you never find yourself in this situation.

Chicken Curry Ramen Noodles Recipe
(Also known as "Even Better Ramen" - this tastes better AND has less sodium! Win-win!)

What you'll need:

Chicken-flavor noodles, curry powder, and milk. I've tried different milks and almond milk actually seems to work the best, but it's expensive and any kind of milk will do.
Well, maybe not strawberry milk...

3 Easy Steps to Chicken Curry Noodles:

1. Make your package of noodles the way you usually do.

I microwave mine for a few minutes in a plastic container. I'm halfway through reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck (great book, by the way) and know that I shouldn't cook food this way. Yes, I do have perfectly good glass containers, but I figure that I've microwaved my plastic ones so many times that all the BPA must have leached out by now. That is how this works, right?

2. When your noodles are nearly cooked, drain all of the water and pour in about 1/4 C of milk. Cook until boiling. 

When preparing my noodles in the microwave, this step takes approximately 1 minute.

3. Don't drain the small amount of milk that remains in your noodles. Sprinkle with curry powder to taste. I love curry powder so I cover my noodles generously. Add 1/2 the chicken-flavor seasoning packet and stir. Lately, I've also started to throw in a dash of black pepper because I've read the healthy stuff in curry powder is more easily absorbed by the body when it can work in conjunction with pepper. You didn't realize this Ramen recipe was going to be so educational.

Nifty bonus? You now have the rest of the noodle seasoning for another cooking attempt. I usually add it to angel hair pasta to create a Ramen/Spaghetti hybrid.

Construction Week 4 - Muuuch Better!

Remember all those terrible rocks I told you about? Well, right after my last construction post, we stopped having to worry about digging up giant sandstone boulders. Because once we got through all that annoying, expensive sandstone...


...we hit a solid sheet of GRANITE. (*sob*)

But guess what? Just a few days later, the world's best construction crew had everything taken care of.

Whew!

I know I should be a home-building expert by now, but that's at odds with my naturally cheap frugal ways. Sexy Nerd has explained to me again and again why we couldn't just build the house on top of the granite and it makes sense every time he says it...but it's not like the giant slabs of granite were going anywhere, right??

I understand...not really.

At the beginning of the week, we had mountains and mountains of dirt.

But by Saturday...

...they'd all disappeared!

Sayanora, you &*%#ing rocks.

During week 4 of construction, I also got to meet a few more of our neighbors. They seem nice.

Their dog loooves to bark at us. 

Which is not very nice of her, considering she's technically on our property.

Also, so happy the new neighbors seem to be understanding about moving their fence! I've considered just letting it stay, (what's a few feet when we have more than 13 acres?) but we've heard that can be a liability.)

Funny enough, it turns out one of our new neighbors works for a dentist, just like I have for the past 11+ years. But we didn't discuss it because I thought Sexy Nerd had already told her where I work when they'd met a few weeks ago, back when he found out she works for a dentist. He hadn't.

Another great thing that happened during week 4?

We got a water meter!
(Isn't it funny the things that seem exciting when you're building a house?)

See this crazy guy next to me? In what I'm sure will make a great future blog post, he's planning to move a pile of granite from one end of our lot to the other, all by himself, rather than have the construction crew move the same rocks in 20 minutes.

Blogging gold, that husband of mine.

Sexy Nerd Quote Of The Day

"I'm going to beat you with this frozen loaf."

Muttered after I finished the last slice of thawed bread and didn't take a loaf out of the freezer.

Yeah, he looks like a nice guy, but mess with his stockpile of bread and you'll incur the wrath of Sexy Nerd!

*I'm a bit worried that someone is going to read this and email me information on women's shelters. Really, he hadn't had his coffee yet and I laughed hysterically after hearing this. Sexy Nerd is not the type to "beat" anyone.

Good Deed Gone Awry

I've been having a lazy holiday weekend and haven't left the house since Thursday. Heck, I've barely even changed out of my pajamas. As you may recall, Sexy Nerd has no respect for a lazy, pajama-wearing afternoon (especially not when that afternoon stretches into 3 consecutive days) so he ditched me to go sort through rocks on our lot.

Well, I decided I'd finally had enough of being a lazy bum. In fact, I decided to drive up to our lot and surprise Sexy Nerd with a picnic lunch of Subway sandwiches! Best wife ever? Obviously.

I got myself gussied up, complete with head-to-toe sunscreen and the perfect outfit for 4th of July weekend. 

Then I opened the garage door...

 
Apparently, this is the face I make when I am trapped.

We were going to buy an automatic Mini Cooper, non-negotiable. But then Sexy Nerd fell in love with this one, even though it's not an automatic (and even though it was the only one he looked at). Not a problem though because he was going to teach me how to drive it!

Not ready to give up, I decided to Austin Powers my car dilemma and finagle the Volt around the Mini Cooper, however many times it took to pull forward and back up. I moved all the obstacles from the garage. There was plenty of space! Surely, I would not damage both of our cars simultaneously. Surely, the neighbors would not all have a good laugh. Surely.

Isn't it funny how it always looks like there's plenty of space when you're outside the car, but no space whatsoever once you get inside?

Defeated, I closed the garage and returned to my lazy spot in front of the computer. I'd had such high hopes for my romantic surprise and instead my day was doomed to be wasted. Sexy Nerd hadn't even replied to my text. I needed some pity food. I needed a tub of ice cream.

This thought did make me feel a bit better, as I recently purchased the BEST. ICE CREAM. EVER. You know how it's impossible to choose the perfect ice cream because you're always sacrificing one delicious option for another? Well this ice cream has chocolate and Oreos and coffee AND cookie dough! It's called Turkey Hill Double Dunker and it's my ice cream soulmate.

Yes, ice cream was exactly what I needed.

But where is it???

Dying on the inside.

I don't like today.

Bad News! Construction Weeks 2 and 3

Everything went so smoothly during our first week of construction, clearing trees and dirt faster than we'd imagined, that we began to expect the entire process would be much easier than everyone had said. People have been voicing their concerns to us ever since we purchased our lot. Clearly, though, everyone else was wrong.

Ha!

First, the good:
(Keeping with the theme of our last two weeks of construction, this part is brief.)

Five years in, we finally brought Pica and Biscuit to see their future home. After many attempts to get them both to look at the camera, this was our second best result.
Small dogs = small attention spans.

Close enough. 

Thus ends the "good" portion of this construction update. On to the bad.

Oh, it's so bad.

GIANT ROCKS!!! (Oh no!) 

There were barely any rocks found during the first week of construction, but with only a small section of earthwork to go, the crew hit rock, rock, and more rock.

Special equipment had to be brought in, all at an extra expense not covered by our construction loan.

A week later, rock is still being removed. We have no idea what this is going to end up costing. So why all the smiles? It could have been sooo much worse, especially if this equipment hadn't been able to handle the rock, which the crew was iffy about.

Plus, all these rocks will be great for landscaping. You know, with 13.1 acres of rocks, we'd hate to run out of rocks for landscaping.
Gotta stay positive!

See how close we were to not hitting any rock?


Note there are no photos of Sexy Nerd in this post. The construction stress is getting to him and he has been such a big sourpuss that he refused to be photographed.

Don't feel too bad for him though. I just read him what I wrote and he had a good laugh. He also insisted that if anyone has been a sourpuss, it's me. But, of course...

THE PHOTOS DON'T LIE, MY LOVE!

What is going on with my hips in this photo?!

At least our new neighborhood has a beautiful golf course where we can go to unwind after a stressful day of construction issues.

After the last two weeks, I have a feeling we're going to be at the golf course a lot!

(And, on a completely different subject that I'm not sure I should even mention, everyone warns not to wear a peplum shirt because it makes it look like you have a giant butt. I said "Oh, but not this peplum shirt." Whoops!)
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