27 October 2011

Recipe for a Halloween tricky treat

Step 1:

Wash thoroughly. If you bought this at the local party store and don't know how many grimy hands haven been on this....on that note, you don't know how many faces have tried this on. Wash the inside for good measure too!!!!

Step 2:

Cover with cream cheese (or BBQ sauce if that's more your taste) it gives it a nice slimy effect! You can make and shape a cheese ball if you want to make it completely edible (but I was short on time so I opted for the mask!)

Step 3:

I hope you bought LOTS of lunchmeat!!!!! Cut into strips, cover and layer it on! I used brown sugar ham, but of course turkey or roast beef works too! Yum.

Step 4:

BE CREATIVE!! If you can imagine it you can do it!!!
So I also took it upon myself to start a small worm factory.....

But don't worry its only jello!

Sugar free too!!

Perfect for a Halloween potluck! If you can get your friends/coworkers to eat it!!

Bon appetite!!

- Posted using BlogPress

24 October 2011

The nightmare before housesitting

I call myself a housesitter. I have been housesitting for over 10 years. I have and am willing to take care of sick cats, stubborn dogs, lizards that eat crispy dried pieces of crickets, goldfish who attempt to intimidate you into feeding them more with a dubious stare, and numerous personable rodents. I have only 2 rules before accepting a "job" to housesit your abode:

#1. Dont ask to leave your kids with me.

#2. Dont ask to leave your parents with me.

Except I only made up rule #2 after one of my last jobs after I had not near enough fun (and a few minor head scratches) with a little lady we are going to dub "Francine"

Francine is 73 years old. You have to expect a few senior moments, right?

A few days before the big job I go to the house to interact a bit with Francine, talk a bit about the things I needed to tend to while staying at the house. I have watched this dog in the past, so I kind of knew what to expect from him. But, this was before Francine arrived on the scene.....

The daughter told me how I just needed to stay over night there, take care of the dog(who is a bit stubborn so I would be relieving the responsibility of the mom), I was told that she was independent and would have premade meals in the fridge and freezer. Sounds well planned hey? Sigh.

The job started the day the town was experiencing rolling blackouts; power outages every other hour for about an hour at a time. Not to worry, except where Francine is concerned, every time the power went out, she could not recall why it had gone out!! Needless to say she was a little bit frazzled and was more worried about resetting the digital clock in the kitchen than thinking about it going out again the next hour.

These power outages also reset the cordless phone; every other hour. And numerous times I tried to explain to her not to worry, it would come back in an hour(She seemed to understand why the lights were out at least). But then, when the handset had battery power, she could not remember how to dial out (she was adding the area code 907 while trying to call a local number to her daughter that was "not in Alaska" currently). So I would dutifully dial, update the daughter as best I could on our current situation as Francine stood nearby awaiting her turn.

The next day she rings me up to ask me if I had fed the dogs? Yes, I fed the dogs(which I find out later she ALSO has fed the dogs) She then calls me to ask if her daughter had called me, because she had called the house to check in with her(Ok, being on the same page is not a bad thing- right?). She would call me to tell me she was locking the door now. Ok, I tell her, go ahead and lock the door I have a key.... I admit I was busier than usual this Alaska holiday weekend so im going to attempt to communicate with her better. This week should go by smoother....right? Im beginning to question whether this job is too much for me. Give me animals any day, give me people....NEWSFLASH! I am NOT a people person.

Yes, I could have communicated with her at more regular intervals, but I had family in town that I wanted to spend at least some time with. So yes I was gone for some extended periods of time (not to mention most of the night of the Alaska day ball and another unpredictable night where my relatives had a few too many smoked salmon bloody marys and a few too many bits of fun ;)

At one point I walk in and she had taken everything from the fridge and was piling it into the already too full freezer in the entry way room. "Um, Francine, what seems to be the issue?" I ask her. She calmly replies. "Oh, it seems as though the refrigerator is not working. I didnt want to bother you." I place some of the perishables outside on the porch where the temperature is about 34 degrees. "Do you think we will attract bears?" Francine asks me. "Maybe." I tell her. Though it IS October- so Im not extremely worried. The breaker box looks alright but I call the neighbors and they are able to find the problem and fix it quickly(a outlet switch just needed to be changed out in the kitchen most likely caused by the frequent blackouts)

One unforgettable night includes a panic stricken phone call where Francine breathlessly tells me that she has locked herself out of her room!! I am currently at my grandmothers house for dinner so I tell her I will be there as soon as dinner is done. She then tells me her medication is locked in the room. FRICK!! Really? How did the door get locked!!! So I rush out of dinner, all the way out the road, down the steep hill and up their winding gravel driveway. Where I fling myself out of my truck and race into the house as fast as I can. Francine is standing at the bottom of the staircase with a screwdriver and a nail in her hand. "Oh, I got it honey."

The dog water bowl goes completely missing, and so does the garbage can outside, which I had been asked to take down to the street to be collected on trash day (where can a little old lady hide such a thing?!) It was there just 2 days ago! I get a few quick little sporadic rants on religion, and why my not having any type of religion is not a good thing. Which is never a topic I ever choose to initiate into with others.

And the ever present "I cant get the phone to work" rears its head at least once per day. Including an incident on Sunday morning (of course the night of being out super late at the ball) when she could not call a friend (because, alas, she still could not get the phone to work) that was supposed to pick her up to go to church. She waits til 20 minutes before she needs to be there to ask me for a ride. So me, *cranky, sleep deprived, sarcastic, and needing some serious alone time* ask her what her friends phone number is. I call. I get her husband that does not know where this woman is. I go into the mudroom where Francine is waiting, dressed in her Sunday best. I pull on my grubby extra tuffs. As I shrug one arm into my jacket she opens the door and says "Oh, heres my ride!" And walks out, pulling the door shut gently behind her. I slump down onto the bench with a huge sigh, and clumsily kick the boots off. Where the dogs eye me wearily, "I thought we were going somewhere?"

Second to the last day of this endeavor Francine asks me if I can get her an envelope so she can mail a letter off to her friend. I dig around my house (instead of theirs) and come up with a business class envelope and deliver it to her. She then asks me why I did not bring her a different size, as the letter is in fact a card.... I start to bristle. So I tromp back to my house, dig through more envelopes and find one that I think will work for her. Back at her house she smiles angelically and takes the envelope.

The next morning (and finally the last day) she calls me while I am at work and says she needs another envelope, as the one I gave her has been written with the wrong address(in her handwriting must I point out!!!) My patience has hit its limit. At this trivial point I dont even want to go back to the house. I call a friend, and ask her if she has any card envelopes she would be willing to part with and can she please please please PLEASE drop it off for me at the house? Which this wonderful friend did for me without hesitation on her lunch break!

The count is 38. Thats right, 38 phone calls in a 5 day period. I almost did not survive I tell you!!!! Really it was not that bad (unless you start me raving about it) But this story must be told for its entertaining values (and maybe others have pulled the same amount of hair out in situations like these as well?!?!?!)

A year has gone by since this episode in my life. After 10+ years of housesitting I have established these important certain rules:

#1. Dont ask to leave your kids with me.

#2. Dont ask to leave your parents with me.

Except....by the way, apparently I cant say no.....I am housesitting here again for 3 days next month. Its only 3 days....right? We shall see how this chapter turns out.