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Help, I'm Steppin' Into The Twilight Zone


Left to right: Sandy, Me, Molly and Brenda


I'm very fortunate to have three awesome sisters! Check out this shot of the four of us from 2013. When we're all standing together, you can see our similarities, but the reality of it is, we're all as different as night and day.


For some odd reason, I'm taller than my older sister, Sandy (to my right), and our baby sister, Molly has stunning, long red hair. Then there's my sister, Brenda—or B as we fondly refer to her, on the end.


It's interesting. When you grow up with sisters, people find words to describe you. It's like they want to put you into some kind of category - almost like a competition. In our family, it goes something like this:

Sandy (oldest): The Free Spirit

Monica (moi): The Bossy One

Brenda: The Sweet One

Molly: The Baby of The Family (& of course, that long, beautiful red hair!)


As kids, our mom, Franny, would cut all of the older girls' hair very short. (the pixie cut was popular at this time) It was easier to maintain and she'd read that doing so would allow us to have curly hair later in life. (this turned out to be true in my case!) Molly was the only one who kept her long, red locks. (Something we've harassed her about for years—accusing her of being mom's favorite!)


Here's what that looked like:




Okay, I've gotta admit, Molly (first photo on the upper left) was adorable!











However, this blog post is about The Twilight Zone - more importantly, The Twilight Zone as it compares to how we're all living right now thanks to this darned pandemic. (How many of us are sick and tired of terms like: We're All In This Together, The New Normal, Lowering The Curve and the fairly new one - Skin Hunger- more on that later- (It's a thing! Look it up!)


Ugh! So, B and I are the middle sisters. We're also the ones who loved to watch scary movies as kids. Sandy was too cool and Molly, too young. It was Brenda who'd watch the old thrillers with me and these days, it sometimes feels like we're all in one together.




These days who needs to watch scary movies? The world is getting stranger every day!



B and me (Christmas 2019)


I thought it'd be fun to outline some of the most bizarre and interesting stuff I've witnessed since we've been "sheltering in place" (okay, I need to add this to my list of terms I'm learning to hate!)




The Most Disgusting Thing:


One especially warm day, early in this pandemic, my youngest son, Nick reported that someone in his apartment community placed a slice of American cheese underneath his back windshield wiper. The stuff melted and created a gross smear that was not fun to clean up.


The Most Ridiculous Thing:


Someone in our household (who shall remain anonymous-but his name begins with a "J")

suggested it would be wise to "toast" a tortilla in the toaster. I watched as this person folded a tortilla in half and proceeded to pop it into the toaster. Fortunately, I was able to stop this craziness before it went too far. (Note: don't try this at home! Your toaster will never be the same!)





The Most Interesting Thing:


Talking about Nick again, he's a runner. I used to be a runner - but, not so much anymore. The last time I ran, I thought I heard someone coming up behind me. I was whipping out my stun gun when I realized it was just the sound of my thighs slapping together. This being said, I've been trying to get out on the trails around our house every day. Or, as Nick likes to sing (to the tune of Tom Petty's great song: Night Watchman) Every Day A Five-K! Whether I run it, walk it, or crawl it, I try to exercise daily and go for at least five kilometers. (which is only 3.1 miles but sounds so much further, doesn't it?)


One of the more curious things has been "social distancing" (Wait! Add this, as well to my list of terms I'm learning to hate!) while meeting some of my neighbors. One day I was out on the trail and a child rode his bike near me. I was shocked when the kid's mother shrieked, "Stay away from that woman!" Realizing I was "that woman", I turned and gave the mom a friendly wave, but inside I was thinking: "Geez! The kid wasn't even that close to me! It made me feel like some kind of piranha!

Most folks are truly happy to interact with another human, even if it's from an "acceptable" distance. This makes me happy because I love people. Since our home is on a busy street, we now have LOTS of walk-by traffic. I'm meeting people and their pets I probably would never have met if not for this pandemic, so, that's one good thing!



The Most Compulsive-Obsessive Thing:


I've always been obsessed with clean kitchen counters. This might be one of the most challenging areas for me when it comes to being at home all day. I simply cannot tolerate having anything other than what's absolutely necessary on the counters.


I'm fairly certain that in the last sixty days, I've wiped down the kitchen counters at least eighty-million times a day.




Heaven help me! All I'm asking is that all the "man-pigs" who live here take a moment and clean up after themselves. Is that too much?


My husband, James told me the other day that he never knew he was married to such a clean-counter fanatic. (Really? After 35 years?) This opened the door to our "discussion" about leaving:

* Cabinet doors open

* Glasses with remnants of milk or ice cream left out overnight on the coffee table

* That ONE spoon or cup that never makes it into the dishwasher (is it not worthy?)

* Chairs not pushed back into their proper place beneath the table


DEEP, HEAVY SIGH! (Did I mention I might be a little hard to live with?)

And so, we'll continue:


The Whole Cat Thing


We have two cats living here. They think they run the place. Well, when we started working from home on March 24thm I gave our pets a special news flash: There's a new Sherriff in town and her name is MONICA! (Did I mention I'm the bossy one?) I'm not saying that our felines are spoiled. I'm saying these two are living in some kind of parallel universe where they think our world revolves around theirs.


Now, whenever anyone enters the kitchen, our cats are there, waiting to be fed. It's gotten to the point that we're wondering what they're going to do when we go back to work. Are they going to go on strike? Are we going to come home and have everything ransacked? They've both turned into a couple of fatties. Cabbit's already a bit of a diva and Alto is quite full of herself. It's going to be interesting to see what happens . . . but then again, it's going to be interesting to see what happens all the way around.


The Staring Blankly Into The Fridge Thing:



Yeah, enough of this already! This is something I will not miss next week when we're back at the office.


Since all this began, I've made some really great meals, only to find my family members strolling up to the refrigerator and perusing the contents moments after the dishwasher was loaded.


Hmm - time to come up with a name for this! How about: Munchie Monsters? or Mindless Munching? Whatever it is, it can't continue.


The Excessive Drinking Thing:


I've imbibed more than any other time in my life. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm ready to check-in to rehab or anything, but I'll admit to having my share of wine. Judging from the sound of the empty bottles clanking around when the recycling truck comes down our street every week, I'm fairly certain my neighbors are suffering from this same indulgence!


It's high time we got things back on track!



The Way-To-Much Television Issue:


I'm not a huge television watcher, but enough, already! I'm pretty sure James and I have watched (or tried to watch) everything out there—and there's so much stuff out there! I'm so over television. Full disclosure, I am sad that Outlander is over for another season! (Come on! You have to agree that Jamie Frazier is pretty darned hot!)


The Ongoing Closet ClotheSure Challenge:




At the beginning of the "shelter in place" period, I had many people ask me if I'd continue with The Challenge. Being the die-hard competitor I am (it's a challenge, remember?) I've soldiered on "outfit prepping" every week. Even James thought I was a little nutty, but he's been a real trooper, faithfully taking my photos of Monday-Thursday outfits, complete with accessories.


For a while, I referred to Closet ClotheSure as "What I Would Have Worn To Work This Week". The reality of it is, it's probably true that only a crazy person would dress up as if they were actually going to work every day when in reality they were working in shorts and a sports bra—and don't forget the scrunchie!


Well, crazy is as crazy does - I proudly present to you Week 15. (Hopefully, my last week of "sheltering in place" as we're planning on being back in the office on Monday!)



I've put Monday and Tuesday together since both of these "butterfly" tops from New York & Company are "fluttering away". It's not just because these billowy blouses make me look especially wide, the sleeves get caught in the arms of my desk chair. Although I love the colors (especially the blue-green top), it's time for them to go! I'll also be shedding the lined, cream Ann Taylor trousers - too tight and not flattering and the cropped, light green capri pants from Gap.

#whydidIkeepthisstuff #newyorkandcompany #closetclothesure #notinmycloset #goodbye





Wednesday - I have to admit, I'm on the fence on this one. This long Bengal tiger-striped dress from New York & Company was added to my closet last December. The first time I wore it, I was definitely digging it, but now . . . not so much!


I try not to let my husband influence my decisions when it comes to Closet ClotheSure, but the fact that he doesn't like this dress, make me wonder.


This is the first time I'm going to hang onto something that I'm not 100% certain about. (Did I mention this dress has pockets?)

#gonnahangontoit #stayinginmycloset





Thursday -

I bought this black lace dress from Charming Charlie in Houston about ten years ago. (Yes, on some gals, it'd be a dress—for me, it's a top!) I've paired it with black leggings (Gap) and have been pleased with it.


Now I think it's time to pack it up and let someone else have some fun with it. It has a fun, gold zipper down the backside, and on the right gal, it could be really fun.


It's just not for me anymore!

#goodbyelbd #charmingcharlie






Week 15 Scorecard - Three (and possibly four) Outfits Get The Boot!


Ya'll stay kind, and remember -

God is in control and Hope is on the move!

Love,

Monica










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