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T’was the Day After Christmas …




Her absence was palpable at her home.  There sat her husband, her daughter and her grandson – and it was Christmas Day.  The one (me) who usually takes far too many photos on Christmas Day had an urgent need for SOMEONE to capture the three of us on film just sitting … the looks on our faces missing the magic that IS Christmas. And the quiet and awkward moment of us all missing her at once!!   Because that picture would have captured the fierce, overwhelming importance of how we felt without her.  And all I wanted for Christmas is for her to SEE how much she was.  How much she means.


The Night Before Christmas:

I removed my arse from my comfort zone and RSVP’d via my son to attend Christmas Eve at his girlfriends home.  I wasn’t feeling festive, I wasn’t feeling social, (well, I never really feel social lol) BUT, but, I wanted my son and his girlfriend Chelsea to see that I love what they have and was willing to be ‘part of.’

So I went.

I had the best time.  My son’s girlfriend’s parents were lovely – and welcoming and so down to earth.

We had thought about riding, ok, I had mentioned I would love to. (I grew up riding and Chels has horses.)  But it was SO cold!

We did visit the horses though, and in an attempt to kiss her moms horse on the nose, I ended up in a nostril.  Handsome moved. Lol.


We chatted, hung out, ate an amazing homemade lasagna and then presents.  Nic made out like a bandit.


And, I received a gift from both Chelsea, and her parents.

The gift from Chels?

It’s burning right now – I love it so much.


I’m also so socially awkward that I’m ‘That Girl’ that makes friends with the pets.  No exception here.


No, they weren’t sequestered outside, this is just a good shot of them there.

The larger pup made the cutest sound and the little one, found on the side of the road, had the most adorable underbite. I couldn’t get over his teeth!  I was obsessed!  I was almost POE obsessed with those teeth (Berenice reference to those who haven’t read Poe.)



Dad called Mum.  We all got to talk to her – it was amazing.

I was in tears after mum shared that Nannie can’t speak anymore.  She tries, she tries!  But, mum can’t understand it.

Yet, Christmas Eve, she said ‘clear as a bell’ “How is Amanda?”

I lost it. I absolutely lost it.  How is that fucking possible??????  I love her so much.

And I didn’t even ask what mums answer was.

Then, in the most quiet, delicate way, tears ran down my cheeks (I didn’t want her upset, but I knew and she knew, we were both crying.) I found Nic upstairs for his turn to speak to his grandma.

Grandma asked if the tree was decorated.  He said “Yes.”  I could hear both sides as I sat on the bed he lay upon.  “Who did it?” Nic said “Mom.” “Awwwwwww!”  Came from the other end and I was cutting Nic with my eyeballs at the lie and loving him at the same time for doing it.

He wanted his grandma to imagine we were taking care of one another and celebrating – he wanted her to feel like Christmas was happening, because she loves us so much.

Meanwhile, she was in her new fleece P.J’s and had chocolate. (THANK YOU ENGLISH FRIENDS YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)



SO! We’re done chatting and finally my dad get’s to see Star Wars.  It’s Nic and I’s second time.

Nic was sure that George showed up lol!


After the movie, we had an AMAZING Christmas dinner … But, I felt awful for the people working.


Then I kinda didn’t.  I thought about how after the presents are open … It’s such a downer.  Which is why I love Christmas Eve so much.  ANTICIPATION.  So, if you get to work for double time, then come home and do a holiday?  “MONEY! THAT’S SO MONEY!” (Sorry, watching “Swingers” right now)



I thought back to yesterday.

It’s ‘Boxing Day’ to us Brits.

The day we usually spend at my mums having prime rib and an open house.

The day we let loose and love everyone.


Everyone is invited.  I’m not going explain ‘Boxing Day’ – Google it. Lol.

I miss her.

I have a new perspective.

I know I’ve GOT to get life insurance.  Sorry to be a downer, but ya know, we’re ALL dying.  And last check, just to be cremated and put in a ziplock cost $2,000!!!!!!!!  (Wait, that DOES come with some death certificates.)  I don’t want to lumber my son or any of my family with this.  And I’d love to be a tree.

They have a thing where you can be a tree! Lol.

And now I finally get to share the conversation that’s been on my fridge a while (we have a dry erase board and I recorded the moment)

Me: You can take my ashes and do whatever

Nic: You’ll either be a tree or there’s this ocean thing …

Me: I’ll take the tree

Nic: I’ll make you a ficus

Me: I’ll only kill it.


LOL!  Because I have SUCH a …. Um, NOT green thumb.  He’s just gonna have to sprinkle me or keep me or do whatever he wants.

And I’m probably NOT going to know what he does – because, um, I’ll be dead.


The ‘after’ shite is for the living.

I just hope all of you remember me.  I DO want to make a mark.  Even if it’s silly.  You look at something inanimate with a face THINK OF ME!

TA-DA!  Life fulfilled!

Oh, and there was nothing under the tree for me this year … But this meant the WORLD;







I don’t know of any movie that has made such an impact on my life, or a direction in which I would go ‘geek-ely’ than Star Wars.

I remember being in primary school and pretending to be Princess Leia.

I remember loving Luke (which is so funny because today, my taste runs more to Han.)

I also owe all of this to my dad – who ‘nerded’ me out.  With not just Star Wars, but Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Original tapes and books.)

Bottom line, I am a Star Wars fan forever.


I learned Princesses didn’t have to lose their shoes at midnight – or ‘quaint’ themselves into a forever after.  I learned that they could rebel – knew how to shoot and could call the man after their heart a ‘Scoundrel’ and still love them.

I bought tickets, despite our current family situation to see the new Star Wars, and there was no way I was leaving my dad out.

And there was no way I was leaving my son out.

3 generations sitting and watching the original cast in a new movie!!!

I could barely sleep last night – we were to view Star Wars – The Force Awakens at 10:30 a.m. My time, 9:30 a.m. My dad’s time.

Tickets purchased … Ready to go!

Got there early to ensure a good seat.


Yup, that’s me. Lol.

I took my own photo of being ‘First in Line’


I never mind waiting for anything.

I adore anticipation.

We had a line behind us come opening time.

And yet, my dad hadn’t arrived.


As soon as I turned in my online reservations for tickets, I sent Nic off to grab the seats I wanted.  Middle – Center.   He left.  I got the popcorn and drinks and of course, the BB8 straws.


C’mon! We NEEDED them! LOL!

Kept going out to the concession stand – no dad.

Kept going.

Kept going.

Finally, before the previews, gave the ticket taker his ticket and said, ” Look for a cross between ‘Santa’ and ‘Jerry Garcia’.

He assured me he would.

Then came the movie.

The minute the symphony began – I cried.   And as the words scrolled across the screen, Nic reached for my hand.

I asked him later why, hoping for the right answer and I got it.

Because I was crying, and because HE was excited.

I’ll never forget him trying to NOT go pee at the last 15 minutes of the movie .

“Mom, I loosened my belt … shifted my pants – but I HAD to go!! WHAT DID I MISS?”

Ever see your kid run?  I did. LOL!  Running back to his seat.

I had peed 3 times at least from excitement.

Not during the movie though – oh, no, no no!

SO! To sum it up, my dad thought it was tonight (I never leave home after dark lol)

And as for the movie.  I’m BURSTING wanting to share, but won’t.

Just know that some major players in the first movies (old school) carry this film.

AND, Just know, yes, it’s worth seeing.  Yes, you’ll tear up seeing our familiar faces.

It’s definitely for the new generation of Star Wars lovers, and as it should be.  Star Wars should carry on – FOREVER!





Nesting, the Pope and hamster bites

Me: Do you want our room to be ‘Nerdvana’ and our living room to be ‘Nirvana’ or the other way around?

Him: What?

Me: I mean, do you want our bedroom to be tranquil and our living room to represent our fandom?

Yeah.  I was wide awake now.  After laundry, I got a ‘nesting’ thing going on.  And yeah, discovered I was sick.

Didn’t matter.

Woke Nic up to take his meds, and dug in.

I had energy from God knows where and I was up for it!

We have cleaned things and moved things and adjusted things that haven’t even been LOOKED at in months.

I was determined to have a strange and new clean place to wake up to tomorrow, after spending tonight behind the lens on the tripod.   SO excited about the moon.

Had the Pope on the whole time, and let tears run as I acknowledged what an authentic person he is.

Then came mass.  And I realized why I am NOT a Catholic.  No offense.  But I think even God would be like, “Ok, this is running a bit long, there are people out there we could be helping.”

Just me.

In my not so humble opinion.

I, the anti-organized religious chick, is SO in love with the pope.

Back to the other weird stuff I love.


So, now the living room is nerdville.  And trust me when I say, this is a FRACTION of the shite we have.  And when I say ‘shite’ I mean, stuff we care A LOT about.

So bedroom turned into this:


There is so little to do with what we have.  BUT!  What we have is so appreciated.   We are all grateful for the roof, the food, the family … But will my home grace the cover of ‘Home and Garden’.  LMAO! Nah.

Doesn’t matter.

What matters is family.   And I’ve spent time with not only my honey, but my son throughout the day.  Then I tried the animals.

I brought Nic’s hamster out of the cage – and while I do not want to pat myself on the back (OH! I SO totally DO!)  when she bit me – not once, not twice, but 5 *&%$ing times – I didn’t flinch.  I didn’t want to hurt her teeth!

I certainly didn’t want to fling her across the room, and trust me, that was HARD!  Kept calm, placed her back into her cage after she ‘released’ and then tended to my wounds.


Pope is still on TV.  I’m still loving him.  Tripod is ready for the night – and I’m SO grateful.  For everything.  For everyone.  And thank you to the Pope for being an amazing REAL person who blessed us with his visit.  I teared up more watching him than anytime in my past.  He gives me hope for religion.  #THEREISSUCHGOOD


The day I ‘fan girled out’ and became a domestic Goddess

I’ve not had time to cook – and need to be in the mood.  We’ve been eating crap.  I’m not going to lie.  Ready made meals for the men of the house, and as for me?  I eat when I’m hungry only and will participate in anything that is available.

So I downloaded a recipe or two and was determined to make them!

Eggplant Lasagna – which I’ve never made, but have enjoyed.  And, I knew I had to make some quiches again.

3 day weekend – perfect time to do this!

Oh, and as for the fan girling – that has everything to do with the Force Friday – the Force Awakens released some toys, and if you’re any kind of consistent follower of mine, you know I’m a total action figure/collectible nerd and was eager to see what was out!

Why do I love Star Wars?image

George Lucas was quoted as saying he made movies he wanted to watch.

I remember pretending to be the Princess on the primary school playground.

I had the original action figures – (where, oh WHERE are they now?!)

It fed my fantasy mind.

When Empire Strikes Back came out, I squealed in the theater.  I did the same for the next 4 movies – regardless of their merit.  I. Love. Star Wars.

End of story.

So, today, we went and checked out the toys!  I couldn’t buy any, but SO wanted Luke.  (We have to assume there’s a flashback, because he’s young in this action figure AND there’s one of Darth!)



(Yeah, you can see they were pretty much sold out – but there’s Luke. 😦 I wanted him to come home with me.)


In the second photo from the top, you can see the figure gripping my finger.  I think it wanted to come home with me too. 😉

OK. So after fan girling out, we went to the 99 cent store.

This is where I vent.

I paid freaking $3.00 per piece for the eggplants I needed at Safeway.  When we were in the 99 cent store, guess what I stumbled upon??



We left with a 10 pound bag of potatoes for 99 cents by the way.

I’m definitely shopping there first for produce from now on!

OK! So the domestic Goddess part.

I made the infamous $6.00 eggplant lasagna.


Which, was more labor intensive than I thought – but SO worth it.  Delicious!!!!

Was also the first time I worked with Ricotta cheese, and it was fun!

Then I did the quiches.


The men of the house are dubious about the eggplant, but loopy over the quiche – which is good.

It’s so nice to have fresh, homemade food in the house.  Having an extra day off was a definite motivator to be in the domestic mood today.

If they don’t cotton to the eggplant lasagna, I’m fine with that.  It’s mine! ALL MINE! Muah-ha-ha!!!!!!!!

I did make them take a bite though, and they both liked it.


Wishing all of you a happy weekend – and … may the force be with you!

Meat Mongers & Star Wars

I’ll begin with how the meat thing came up in an ironic way …  2 owners of the company I manage are very healthy eaters.

I, however, proclaimed out loud today that if they DID come up with meat grown from a petri dish, I’d be game.  Hell yeah!  Nothing creepier there than we already eat, PLUS, one less animal killed.


So it was odd that one of those ‘meat in a van’ people dropped by.  No, not Schwans.  You know the van … or truck …  “I have one more packet of steak to sell, you can have it for five bucks!”




Only, he walks in and:

Me: May I help you?

Him: I just came in to enjoy your air conditioning

Me: *slight laugh*

Him: Actually, You like meats?

Me: *stifling comments*

Because YES, not only do I like ‘meats’ but I’ve been craving a freaking burger ALL week.  The whole office knows this.

They know this because if someone is leaving and another person asks “Where are you going?” I chime in with “To get Amanda a burger?”

I’m subtle. Very subtle. *stifling laugh again*

I was actually was willing to spill out cash yesterday and treat myself and my honey to a burger – however, when I arrived home, he was outside.

In his underwear.

Me: What are you doing? (remember, it’s HOT here)

Him: I got locked out.  I’ve been out here 2 1/2 hours

Me: Why didn’t you go to the neighbors???

Him: I didn’t know your number


He was NOT locked out in his undies, he removed his shorts for ‘an all over tan’ and was VERY disappointed that my English arm was tanner than his Indian blooded skin was above the thigh this morning after such outdoor suffering.


Me: (after we were inside and he started a movie) I really wanted to get a hamburger.

Him: I was just outside in the sun for 2 1/2 hours … not really interested in hamburgers.

So we ate Hummis.

Back to the meat.

Meat Guy: I’ve got rib eyes for 3-4 bucks!

And now I’m thinking, YES!  I can buy a couple of steaks for the weekend.  Because, have you SEEN the price of ‘cow’ these days???

My body craves the red!

My bank account says … Nope.

It only said “nope!” after I invited ‘it’ in with its wares.

Turns out I couldn’t buy just a ‘couple of steaks’ – it was a package deal.

And don’t you know, that for the low, low price of $179 I could get (and I’m remembering badly here) THE WHOLE BOX OF MEAT! Not just ONE box of ONE kind of meat – but THE WHOLE SHEBANG!


I don’t even buy hamburger meat anymore because it’s like SIX FUCKING DOLLARS for a teeny tiny packet of hamburger. 😦

I had to say no to my discount from $479 to $179 –

Here is my post to my honey:


Yeah, I pouted.

After this – my inbox was empty. I had almost completed a complex project I have been working on and I was done ‘braining’.

4:30.  The room is empty.

I decide to see if there are any new Star Wars trailers.

Groovy thing about being Operations Manager.  As long as my work is done, and it always is, checking a few things out online is ok.

Watched this:

I literally cringed when Anthony Daniels called himself CP30!  CP30???  What happened??  Nerves?

So I’m still watching this and in comes one of the owners.

Her: Do you have time to order a home warranty?
Me: No, clearly I’m far too busy watching this Star Wars thing, on YouTube, on Company time.

(Of course I ordered the warranty.  But that’s the rapport we have in the office and I love it.)


Did end up having my son make a McDonalds run last night and ended up getting a cheeseburger happy meal.  It didn’t hit the spot though –

sad meal


I’m still up for some petri dish meat.

As for the carnivore carnies, if they come back – and if I have the cash, I think I’ll skip it.  Check out these Yelp reviews.  Pretty entertaining.