Friday, December 31, 2010

The Last Day of 2010

Let's just say you were not my favorite year. As a matter of fact, I hope there is never another one like you.

This year is so different because I am more aware than ever of how blessed I am. But it came at a price. The price was way too high. I never agreed to pay it, but I paid it all the same.

A year ago today I woke up sobbing, and throughout the year there have been so many tears. Life has been bittersweet, when it decided to be sweet. Some of the year was just bitter.

Yesterday we had a prayer service for healing. It was the anniversary of Victoria's death. In some ways it was harder yesterday than a year ago because reality has had a year to dig deep holes in our hearts. Shock has turned into despair and bitterness and a very painful feeling of being lost.

While new people we are thankful for have entered our lives I find myself afraid to love them deeply. Afraid to become hopeful for the future. Afraid of loss. Bitter. Angry. Sad. Out of energy, out of my mind, out of nearly everything. Except I know there is this glimmer of hope. It is always out there, off in the distance. The idea of falling for it is a bit much for now.

Thank God I have:
A husband more wonderful than I could ever deserve.

Children who, despite my multitude of parental failings have the hearts, minds, and bodies to do anything they want in life.

A lovely mother who sets a wonderful example to all of us just around the corner.

Two loving grandparents who are staying around for all of us.

An extended family full of golden, wonderful people.

Children by proxy. (Friends of my children) Such a wonderful addition to my life.

My little dog. I never thought I would be one of those people who would include a dog in a list like this. I am!

Friends. I am in awe at the amazing people who I get to call friend.

I am absolutely ready to claim this new year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Passed

I made it through Christmas! I mean it, I really did!

Christmas Eve I got up while everyone else was still asleep and made a few batches of hot fudge sauce to give out to my family. I hope they all enjoy it. It was tasty and delicious, I think. I had my moments, at the kitchen sink, crying the ugly cry. It was okay because there was so much other stuff going on in the house they were my solitary moments. Sometimes you just have to let it go and be left alone, you know?

I managed to score a great gift for my mother. She was the easiest one this year because I knew for months what to get her: A blu-ray player with wireless and Netflix, Pandora, and all sorts of groovy junk like that. No more watching Netflix on the computer. I know mom is a multi-tasker like me, so having a movie or show take over the laptop is not fun.

I ended up letting the kids select a lot of their gifts. They got exactly what they wanted and I got to give them the right gifts. This makes me happier than anything else. Surprises are wonderful - when they are wonderful. But better than a so-so surprise is truly making people happy. Every year I remind myself that it may be the last year before everything changes. At some point kids will get married, move, etc. I hope they all stay close, but I don't count on it. I taught them to go, unafraid, to new places. I gave them those blasted wings!

On Thursday we are all gathering together for a prayer service for healing. Please send us all your prayers, good vibes, happy thoughts, etc. We will appreciate them.

Beverly Hills Never Looked So Bad: Housewives

So, Housewives of Beverly Hills, anyone? I haven't watched most of these 'Housewives' shows, but I did catch some Orange County and some New York.

The contender for phoniest person to date has to go to the wife of Frasier. Dude, seriously? Couldn't you find anyone more shallow? I don't usually dislike public figures, but this woman doesn't seem to have an authentic bone in her body - unless she's being catty. Better yet, she's the most authentic I have seen her when her psycho psychic friend is being catty. That's when she really seems the happiest of her season. Wow. I can't recall seeing a less human person portrayed anywhere else before. Is it just me? 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shoveling Sunshine

Jo Schaffer from Shoveling in a Jo Storm  presented me with the Sunshine Award. Thanks Jo!

Now, I do not mean to sound ungrateful in any way. As a matter of fact, I'm more curious about how my little blog, which I assume about three people might see every month, could get an award at all. I was fairly certain those people were here quite by accident, and stayed only long enough to hit the escape button. Since I haven't filled you in on any of my embarrassing stories lately, what is there to come and see?

Not to worry, there has been embarrassment aplenty! A couple examples:

1. The other day I was in the living room with my college aged daughters. I was in my pajamas, and was not wearing socks. I see my daughters give each other one of those looks. You know, the look which makes you positive people are communicating something (about you) right in front of you. Crystal looked at me and her eyes got wide. Allison looked down and solemnly said "I'm not sure what to think." Oh! That! I hadn't shaved my legs.

2. The other month (almost a year ago now) I got to the house with a van full of Zachary's friends and we were all around the door removing our shoes and boots. I lost my balance, as I am prone to do, and grabbed the wall. Except it wasn't the wall. It was the derriere of one of Zachary's friends. Yes, mom of the year, right here. Very embarrassing. You know teenage boys never bring up stuff like that again to embarrass you. Oh wait! Yes, yes they do.

There is more. So, so much more. But you know, I need to leave some of the stories for my kids(and their friends, apparently) to tell to their therapists.

Thanks again, Jo!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Night At The Movies - Closed


I don't know about your family, but in ours we watch a lot of movies. We watch most of them at home thanks to Netflix, Amazon, Redbox, and the local public library. Going out to the movies is something we  do a lot less, because it costs a lot more. General Mills not only makes cereals everyone loves, but they want to send everyone to the movies, too! Isn't that great?

FedEx just dropped off a box for me with a box of Honey Nut Cheeries, a box of Reesse's Puffs, and four movie cash certificates. (The movie cash certificates are worth up to $12 each) Once I go online and enter the codes in the two boxes of cereal that's -count 'em- five movie certificates for us!

The fun doesn't stop here. You can get a box in the mail just like I did, with two boxes of cereal and four movie cash certificates. All you have to do is enter to win.

Right now you can receive a free movie ticket when you purchase two specially marked packages of Big G cereals including Honey Nut Cheerios® (17 oz.), Cinnamon Toast Crunch® (17 oz.), Lucky Charms® (16 oz.), Trix® (14.8 oz) and Reese’s Puffs® cereal (18 oz.).

After purchasing two participating cereals, visit to enter the unique code found inside each box of cereal and print your free Movie Cash certificate (good for one admission of up to a $12 value at participating theatres). To find a participating theater in your area, log onto

 Now on to the giveaway:

Anyone in the good old U.S.A. can enter. Unless you live in my house with me. (Then nose goes.)

First Entry:  Tell me who you will take to the movies &/or which cereals you are looking forward to eating to earn movie tickets. 

Extra Entries:

Follow me on twitter - 1 entry

Follow with google friend connect - 1 entry

Leave a relevant comment on any other post on my blog and let me know which post - 1 entry (unlimited)

Follow my other blogs with google friend connect - 1 entry per blog

Subscribe to this blog via email or reader - 1 entry each

Share on facebook  - 1 entry

Subscribe to my any of my other blogs via email or reader - 1 entry per subscription

Blog about this giveaway - 5 entries
Send me cookies - 100 entries (just kidding... or am I?)

You can always earn up to 2 daily entries by tweeting up to twice a day. Here is one you can use:

Giveaway: Go win 5 movie tickets and cereal from &

Add this Giveaway to a Sweepstakes site, Mr. Linky, your giveaway list etc. Leave the link!! (2 entries per submission - unlimited!)

Fave this blog on technorati - 1 entry

There are buttons at the bottom of the post to make sharing simple. Feel free to use any/all of them for your entries.

*If you digg, stumble, kirtsy, share on a message board, email friends, or whatever else please let me know what you did, leave a link if you can  and take another entry.

*Please be certain to claim each entry by leaving one comment per entry earned.

* You can find my other blogs listed across the top 

I will draw a winner on December 15th. Winner will be notified by email.

*General Mills provided me with the information, movie cash, and two boxes of cereal through My Blog Spark. They will also be providing the winner with movie cash and two boxes of cereal.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Ugly Truth

     As Thanksgiving approached this year I found myself wanting. Not for a single thing, but wanting all the same.

     My pain is eleven months old today, so thanksgiving wasn't full of that all-consuming can't-eat-can't-sleep-I-want-to-wake-up-from-this-dream-right-now-please heavy feeling. It was a normal Thanksgiving on the outside. Even on the inside for me it was a fairly normal Thanksgiving. I didn't eat a single bite of any dessert, but other than that, normal.
     Leading up to Thanksgiving was another story. I was reading blogs and entering giveaways on blogs and everywhere people wanted an answer to the question "What are you thankful for this year?" What the heck, world? Why did that question make me vacillate between bitterness and tears? 

     I try so hard to go out into the world every day and make up for what it is missing with that sweetest of beautiful girls gone. I smile at people everywhere I go. I am even more extra-nice to people everywhere I go whether it's shopping or driving or hauling kids or whatever. There's a big void to fill and I feel an absolute duty to do it because I am so blessed to have known Victoria.

     I still feel bitterness creeping around me. Me alone. Me, all by myself and mad - so mad. And I feel guilty about it because I know it isn't how I should  feel. Except should can really bite me right now because things are not as they should be.

     I'm not the only one and I know it. There are handfuls of us still carrying around the sometimes-empty spot which used to be so full. Of course there are moments of rejoicing over great memories. But they do not totally fill up the empty spot for me. Do any of you ever feel bitter and angry about it? Or am I the only jerk who can't process this properly. I feel like I am failing my course in grief, failing myself, and failing the people around me.

     So there you go. There is the ugly truth.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I did it! I made the sheet music wreath and took it to my aunt. She didn't immediately hang it, but she did seem very pleased when she saw it and verified it was for her. Thanks, internet, for keeping me honest. We're a great team. Now I have a request for a bunch of small ones she can use to decorate her tree. I'll try my hand at it and we'll see what happens.

I didn't get a picture because I forgot to take my camera... again. Yay me! So what are you doing today? Did you go shopping?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Borrowed from Stones

Suck: You can't always get what you want.

Rock: If you try sometimes, well, you just might find, you get what you need.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am Ever So Thankful

Many times I have started writing the post about my grandparents. It goes to the drafts folder every time. There is nothing I can write to do justice to the legacy of love they have bestowed upon our family.

My grandmother taught me how to hide candy, shell peas, husk corn, plant beans, pick berries, and love people with all your heart even in the moments you are sick of them. She used to let me comb her hair, fake-shave my legs with lotion and a metal nail file, and play Johnny Cash until she was probably desperately tired of him. She spent hours looking for four leafed clovers in the soft patch of grass between the house and the grapevine.

She walked downtown with me to the IGA when it was still there for years. I remember my shock when I asked her to go with me one day and she declared herself too old. She sat on the swing down under the pine trees in evenings as the heat faded and I remember singing with her, and her singing to me. One song I especially remember is about telling Aunt Fanny the old gray goose is dead. Tomorrow I will embrace her while somehow trying to squeeze all of those moments into one good hug.

My grandfather let me paint the basement with him when I was five years old. I have always loved to paint, probably because he is the one who taught me. I don't remember him teaching me anything, I just remember sploshing paint on uneven stone walls with an over-saturated brush. It is a feeling I will never forget. He presented me with a Mickey Mouse watch after the job was done, and I felt oh so very grown up. If I was at his house I felt safe. He taught me to hide candy under the couch and that your stomach does not know what time it is.

I'm still deciding if his theory, which he still contends to this day, is true: "That's what you looked like when the picture was taken." His other ideas have also been met with some resistance. For example "You don't come out of the bathroom looking AN HOUR better, so you don't need to be in there for an hour" seems to have some flaws in it as far as I'm concerned. I think my sense of humor comes mostly from him.

These are just two of the people I am ever so thankful for this Thanksgiving. I was going to write about a bigger handful, but believe me, these two are a handful all on their own!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Ignorance Knows No Bounds/boundries/boundaries

Suck: I think I was spelling it 'boundries' all my life.

Rock: Spell check recognizes boundaries!

Thanksgiving hostess gift: A Sheet Music Wreath

I am going to try my hand at a sheet music wreath like I have seen from Michelle at Primp. The first one I ever saw was from Miss Mustard Seed, but the tutorial I found was from Primp. Michelle's  finished product is terrific and her tutorial makes it look like something I can do.

I am going to make this  for my aunt, who has been having everyone for Thanksgiving for several years now.  I'm pretty sure she does not read my blog, so it will be a surprise. I think this would suit my aunt's decorating style. I can imagine this displayed on or around her beloved piano. 

I seem to do better at things when I have released my intentions out into the world. This way I can't hold it all inside and be the only one to know I didn't do what I thought about doing. If I had done all the things I told myself I was going to do the world would be a much different place! Do other behave this way?  Thank you, internet, for anonymously holding me accountable.

*the photo above is taken from Michelle at Primp


Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Review of Free-Arm Sewing Machine with 26 Stitches


Originally submitted at CSN Stores


  • 26 built-in stitches, each with multiple stitch funtions
  • Free-arm / flat-bed convertible sewing surface
  • Twin needle for decorative stitching
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Built-in 4-step buttonho...

A total novice finds happiness

By tammigirl from Sharon Center, OH on 11/7/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Easy To Use

Best Uses: Home, Sewing Projects

Describe Yourself: Novice

Was this a gift?: No

I took this out of the box and all I needed was thread. The instructions for some things are very easy to follow, and for other things you may need to figure out what they mean. I do not know my way around a sewing machine, and I got myself going.

One thing I had difficulty with was the bobbin. It was threaded, but had no tension. It wasn't grabbing what it needed to grab under the little plastic guide. I had a sewing teacher come and take a look. She played with the machine for quite a while after solving the bobbin issue and proclaimed it to be a really nice machine.

I am thrilled with the wealth of options provided with this machine. It included several different feet - even one for doing a rolled edge. I am sure this will suit all my sewing needs for a long time.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Short on Time Truffles

As the title suggests, I was short on time one day. I decided to make Oreo truffles since I didn't have time to bake a cake and let it cool. These are so simple to make:

1. Get a bag of Oreos. Or, if you buy the big family boxes at Sam's get three sleeves of Oreos.

2. Get a package of Cream Cheese.

3. Put Oreos in food processor until they are all crumbled up.

4. Add cream cheese to food processor and let it go until everything is a big blob.

5. Put all of this in plastic wrap or a bowl or whatever else will hold it and put it in the freezer for an hour or less. (You could also put it in the fridge for longer than an hour.)

6. Take it out and roll it into balls. I recommend about a tablespoon each. Or less. I used a coffee scoop this time and I felt like they were too big. As far as I am concerned one to three small bites is perfect. Do them whatever size makes your mouth happy.

7. Dip them in chocolate. Or make them into little cupcakes. We've done both. They are splendid no matter what. If you like Oreos, I think you will love these Oreo Truffles.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What's under your sink?

     I know, I know... You've been sitting around wondering what my favorite ways are to clean. I don't want you to lose sleep over this. Here they are, in no particular order:

This stuff is magic. Oil on the floor of your car? No problem. Dirty bathroom? No problem. Spots on clothes? Let Quick n' Brite take care of it. Windows, walls, carpets, floors, stoves, wheels of the car, leather furniture? No problem! This stuff does a great job and it's  a thousand percent safe. It  can safely clean the inside and outside of the car. All of it. 

Here's a little blurb from their website: 
"Quick 'n Brite has been pioneering the way in environmentally safe cleaners for over 56 years. The unique blends of non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients are eco-friendly, yet strong enough for the worst stains and messes. They make cleaning a breeze while removing 99.9% of germs. Quick 'n Brite replaces all your household cleaners from your showers and kitchen cleaners, to clothing stain removers and carpet cleaners. In fact, Quick 'n Brite works so well it was recommended by Better Homes & Gardens as an "all-time favorite." And remember, we always have a 100% satisfaction guarantee for as long as you own the product!"

I have been using this stuff for fifteen years. It has not let me down once. I will share the best deal I found, but deals change all the time, so do a Google shopping search to see if you can find anything better.

     Pure Gold. Even comes in a gold can. I can't speak about the liquid, but I learned about the magical gold can of powdered stuff 20 years ago. When you need to pass a military inspection in a pre-World War Two house, Bar Keepers Friend is your biggest ally. If you have white sinks or tubs, you triple-need this stuff. It's amazing on stainless steel, too. If the bottom of your stainless steel pans aren't pretty, then you haven't been using Bar Keepers Friend on them.

     I've also started using it on my cooktop. Oh I wish I had tried this years ago. It works so much better than the expensive stuff they sold me especially for my cooktop at the appliance store. 

Mister Clean Magic Eraser

     Seriously, what else is there to say? You need these. 

     Do not sass me, I know other cleaners (even Quick n' Brite) do a great job on glass. This isn't about doing a great job on glass. It's about doing the most amazing job you've ever seen on glass. Without copious amounts of elbow grease. Do get the spray can. It works best. I bought this on the advice of the Auto Zone dude, and quickly realized how great it is. I use it in the house, too.

     I also use Brillo pads, the occasional Clorox or Lysol Wipe, the Dawn grease-cutting concentrated dish stuff, which is terrible for my hands, causing me to use the Dawn hand renewing dish stuff on the rest of the dishes. When it comes to laundry, I think most of the good brands are pretty much the same. If the prices are all equal (which they never are) I would use Tide with Febreeze, Tide with Bleach and Tide Color Care. ( I think it's called color care - it's the one they advertise to keep black clothes from getting faded.) Downy dryer sheets are terribly important to me. I've been known to carry several boxes of them out of the country with me. I need them.

What cleaners are your favorites?

*I was not compensated in any way by any of these companies. The opinions stated are my personal opinions and experiences with these products.                        

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mila's Daydreams


If you like creativity or babies or things that make you sigh, you should definitely go check out Mila's Daydreams. Adele has a blog like no other I have ever seen. She has lots of neato pictures. I guarantee you will like it or your money back!

Wet Puppies

Suck: The doggie is a little stinky.

Rock: He always falls asleep, wrapped up in his towel, while you hold him after his bath.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

SOHO South Cafe in Savannah, GA


Food: Above and beyond expectations!
Price: $8.50 - $12.50 per person
Service: friendly and attentive
Atmosphere: 'relaxed eclectic'

     I feel very fortunate to be able to tell you about SOHO South Cafe in Savannah. I highly recommend you visit this place before other more touristy places. The first and best reason is the food.

     Mom ordered their signature sandwich, a lump crab-cake sandwich. It looked so perfect I was even jealous of her roll! You could tell it was freshly baked with love and beautifully buttered and toasted. The greens on her salad were perfect and dark and lovely, the tomato was dark read and juicy. She declared it the best meal she'd had the whole vacation! Not only that, she also declared it the best seafood she has ever had. I was, frankly, just a lot jealous. Until I bit into my sandwich. I had a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. How exciting could it be, right? Quite exciting, actually. The bread is fantastic, the cheeses were lovely, it was perfectly done, and the giant bowl of soup was amazing. I thought I was ordering a plain lunch. Instead I got something delicious well beyond my expectations.

     As I looked around the restaurant all the meals looked as if they were prepared with the same amount of love as ours. You do not see pictures on a menu then get served something which sort of looks like it might be the same thing. You get no pictures on the menu. Any meal they serve, picture taken, would do any menu justice.

     Beautiful, delightful, four thumbs up!

SOHO South Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wowee Wow Wow Wow!

     My mom and I took a road trip. We haven't gone on vacation together before. My mind races, trying to remember it all. We had such a good time, and even came out under budget somehow - without even trying. That never happens.

     First we went to Asheville, (which spell-check always tells me I'm misspelling) then we went to Hilton Head Island, Savannah, and Columbia South Carolina!

    Things were magicy.  (Like magical, but better - poetic license, okay?)

     My mom introduced herself to the ocean. The Atlantic Ocean was friendly and welcoming, like a long-lost friend she'd never met before.

     We are both fair skinned mermaids and denied ourselves more than a little time in the marvelous ocean - until the last day. On the final day I announced I was going down to the gift shop to get myself a hat. Mom had the good sense to bring a hat with her, but I did not own one.  I went down and got the hat with the biggest brim. I suggested we add to our arsenal of giant hats and sunscreen - "Let's wear our t-shirts over our bathing suits." Mom knows a good idea when she hears one, and quickly agreed.  This (genius) idea afforded us a real luxury -  time in the ocean. I can usually stay in the sun about fifteen minutes. We stayed in the ocean a good two hours. The only reason we left was that old nasty ritual hotels like to call 'check out time.'

     From now on, though, we both know how to beat the sun. For me, the best part of the whole trip was those two hours in the ocean! We took a walk in the ocean the night before - in the pitch black darkness. The moon was nowhere to be found. The stars were bright, and they danced around as if they were swaying in their own ocean.

     We had great meals - lots of them were seafood. Katrina took us to Fatz Cafe - oh my gosh! The poppy-seed rolls are amazing. I brought a couple dozen of them home with me. If we had a Fatz Cafe nearby I would live on those things.

     We saw a pretty bad car accident, which kept us tied up on the road for quite some time, a lady in distress at a restaurant who we think had too much sun that day, a ton of adorable babies and children, starfish, sand dollars galore, dogs chasing sticks into the ocean, a school of jumping fish just feet away from us, diving pelicans, things glowing in the sand, a beautiful sunset over the water, a man who owns a bar near our home, miles and miles of glorious foliage, mountains, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, barns, cattle on hillsides, a cloud which looked exactly like an alligator, another cloud which looked like our dog, rain so hard we had to pull off the road for a moment, met a new friend in the ocean, and my mom got to spend time with her wonderful friend, who she hadn't seen in forever. 

Recommended highly:

Going on a spur-of-the-moment trip with your mom
Hilton Head Island
Making sure you name your own price on a resort at Hilton Head Island. (Hint: I bid $80 a night)
Crowne Plaza Hotel HHI - especially the bellman Bobson
Room service breakfast - even if they forget the toast, still worth it!
Spending the day in the ocean. (In the ocean, not just at the ocean.)
Talking to strangers you meet in the ocean.
Fatz Cafe - they have quite a few locations in four states
South Soho Cafe in Savannah for lunch - amazing, out of this world, 5 stars, can't say enough about the food!
Staying an extra night with a good friend.
Coming home to an excited-to-see-you warm puppy!

Now get off the internet and go call your mom!

who can explain the glowing things in the sand?



to conclusions.

     How often do I do it? It is such a simple thing to do. A while ago I decided I needed to be able to approve the comments on my blogs so people could not leave comments in characters I do not understand. I decided this before I even tried to make sense of them. I told myself it was 'spam' since I couldn't read it. 

     Then, one day, I dropped one of the comments into Google and translated it. It took a few seconds of my time - just a few. It wasn't just random characters, it translated into real, honest-to-goodness, sentences. Comments, if you will. 

The world is getting smaller, for certain. I hope my mind is not.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The End of Ten in Ten


Today is the end of the Ten Things in Ten Days Challenge. 

Here was my list:

1. Finish painting my dressing table. Even though I know I will change it soon(ish?) I would like to actually complete something. 

2. Get the pictures from my camera loaded to this computer. It's honestly more difficult than it should be.

3. Help the boys get their room in order. If I showed a 'before' photo right now you'd faint.

4. Paint the little table which is now residing on my porch.

5. Paint the cute chair which is also residing on the porch right now.

6. Mani/pedi. This one is long overdue.

7. Get rid of the boxes which managed to homestead in my bedroom. Seriously, when did they take over the room? There might be a couple boxes still in the room, but they wil be gone shortly and most are gone.

8. Pack up the dishes I inherited and store them safely in my bedroom closet shelving.

9. Clean the inside of the van with all the right stuff so it's shiny-perfect. (Shortcuts are so ugly when it comes to stuff like this. Can you say "Streaked windows"?

10. Do a tax amendment form. Pray for me on this one, I'm flying solo with just my reading comprehension skills.

Not exactly ten out of ten. I did accomplish a lot, though. I painted another table, mirror frame, and soap dispenser, primed yet another table, cleaned out some vintage suitcases (yuch) and planned a last minute vacation. I am taking my mother to Asheville, Hilton Head, and Savannah. She's never been to the ocean before, so I am taking her. I have to admit the past two days were mostly spent trying to wrestle a winning bid out of  the hotel section at Priceline.

I also scored a great new bunch of tables and other things. Of course they all need substantial amounts of work. I still want to make the van perfect, get the boys room rolling along, and do the pedicure before I leave in a couple of days. I also need to do a mountain of laundry, along with planning and packing for the trip. 

The ten in ten was fun. I feel like I accomplished a lot. I'm not even beating myself up about not sticking to the list. I did much more than I might have done without the challenge. 

I'm most excited about trying new things and having success with them.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Progress report update: Photos


My first project was this little table. I found it last week, very unloved. Sand, prime, paint, L-O-V-E! Boy, this is kind of fun.

Next up, little chair. It was unloved, too. It had a few decades of grime on it. I think I spent more time scrubbing it than anything else. Hello, Ocean Breeze Blue!

I think they make an adorable couple.
By this time I am really having fun with the spray paint, truth be told. Until now I had always been afraid of spray paint and I had never used it before in my life. What was up with that? My mom brought me an adorable patio set and a can of spray paint about six years ago and I still have the paint sitting on it in my basement. I was just too chicken to try it. Guess what I'll be painting soon?

Next  I found this coffee table and a matching end table: 

I decided I was ready to try something a little more complicated, since I am a professional now. (After painting two things) I grabbed the end table and did this: 

Right now these guys are a bit of an odd couple:

Here's a sneak peek at something else I found the day I found the odd couple:
While there may still be boxes in my room, my nails are sans polish, and the boys still haven't had my help with organizing their room, I still feel very accomplished so far.

Progress Report, Sort Of

Ten tasks in ten days. What was I thinking? I vaguely remember feeling like it was a great idea to make me get stuff done. I still feel this way, but I've strayed from my original ten somewhat.

Here they are in all their glory:

1. Finish painting my dressing table. Even though I know I will change it soon(ish?) I would like to actually complete something. 

2. Get the pictures from my camera loaded to this computer. It's honestly more difficult than it should be. 

3. Help the boys get their room in order. If I showed a 'before' photo right now you'd faint.

4. Paint the little table which is now residing on my porch.

5. Paint the cute chair which is also residing on the porch right now. 

6. Mani/pedi. This one is long overdue.

7. Get rid of the boxes which managed to homestead in my bedroom. Seriously, when did they take over the room?

8. Pack up the dishes I inherited and store them safely in my bedroom closet shelving. 

9. Clean the inside of the van with all the right stuff so it's shiny-perfect. (Shortcuts are so ugly when it comes to stuff like this. Can you say "Streaked windows"?

10. Do a tax amendment form. Pray for me on this one, I'm flying solo with just my reading comprehension skills.

Instead of finishing the dressing table, I acquired a few more pieces of furniture. Of course I abandoned all my 'old' plans (this list) so I could completely redo a side table. It was a labor intense project and a first time for a lot of what I was doing, so I learned a lot. I do not regret commandeering my time in this way. 

Today I plan on working on more furniture projects. Plans have changed, but I am happy with it. At the end of these ten days I will have accomplished a lot of things I wanted to do. This was the whole point from the beginning, right?

Photos really are on the way!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 5 of 10

I  finished the table I have been working on for days now. It came out cute. It is not perfect, because I have much to learn, but I like it! I still do not have my camera. This one was not a number on my list, because I didn't get the table until after the list was made. It doesn't bother me, though. I still accomplished something so I am going with it. I used more Breezy Ocean Blue and some black paint. I also used some black glaze. Luckily, it all scrubbed off of my hands.

*I ate ice cream when I was done.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 4 of 10

I have not completed another item on my list of ten today. It's only 4:00, though. I did start working on another table. It's going to be so cute! I would be taking pictures and sharing them as I go, but my mother still has my camera. I need to go get it back later. Hopefully I will remember tonight. 

Right now I am trying to be patient while part of the chair dries. I only have one final part to do, but I really should wait until tomorrow to do it. Patience is not my strong suit, but I'm doing well so far. 

I picked up a few great things yesterday at garage sales, and one super-cool item from the side of the road. The house had more out, but my van was nearly full and this item was for sure the star. I promise pictures of everything in the next couple of days.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 3 Of 10


Here I am, with another item completed! I painted the cute little chair on the porch. It took more time to clean it than to paint it. Whew! I have lots more to do. The only reason I am inside instead of outside squeezing spray triggers is the sun. I have a nice little burn already. I do not need to be miserable. 

The chair was #5 on my list. I painted it Krylon's Breezy Ocean Blue. The table I painted yesterday is is Krylon's Raspberry.

Two Down, Eight (Million) To Go

Okay, I am on a roll, even if it is only a two day roll. Today I tackled #4 - painted the little table. I love it! If the weather would have cooperated I would have done the chair today as well. As it was I was lucky to get the table finished. I also sprayed my daughter's iPhone in the same color - watermelon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One Down, Nine To Go

I am working on my 10x10 list. I started working on the little table on the porch yesterday. I took her outside and got her ready to paint. I painted her legs, and got nearly everything but the top surfaces. Then I ran out of paint. I resisted the urge to run out right then and buy more, since I had to go out later. Then we got monsoon-type rains so I did not get to finish the table yesterday.

I did conquer #8, though. I boxed up the inherited dishes and they are put up safely in my closet.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ten by Ten


Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage has thrown down the gauntlet. She has challenged us to choose ten tasks to get done in ten days - starting today! Here are the ten tasks I have chosen:

1. Finish painting my dressing table. Even though I know I will change it soon(ish?) I would like to actually complete something. 

2. Get the pictures from my camera loaded to this computer. It's honestly more difficult than it should be. 

3. Help the boys get their room in order. If I showed a 'before' photo right now you'd faint.

4. Paint the little table which is now residing on my porch.

5. Paint the cute chair which is also residing on the porch right now. 

6. Mani/pedi. This one is long overdue.

7. Get rid of the boxes which managed to homestead in my bedroom. Seriously, when did they take over the room?

8. Pack up the dishes I inherited and store them safely in my bedroom closet shelving. 

9. Clean the inside of the van with all the right stuff so it's shiny-perfect. (Shortcuts are so ugly when it comes to stuff like this. Can you say "Streaked windows"?

10. Do a tax amendment form. Pray for me on this one, I'm flying solo with just my reading comprehension skills. 

Wish me luck, I know I will need it to really follow through and get all ten of these completed. Especially since today is already the first day!

*I'm already thinking about amending one of these to "Finish eating the ice cream in the upstairs freezer."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Three days worth of treasure hunting.

My feet are happily exhausted.

On Thursday I went to Goodwill. For some reason I decided I must go to Goodwill. It's odd for me since I have maybe gone to this Goodwill five times in fifteen years - until recently. I got a great mirror for Allie's room - it used to be part of an old dresser. It's very pretty and has lovely character. Then I found a mirror for the boy's room as well. I got quite a few neato glass pieces. One is a glass and silver decanter. I'm waiting for Jeannie to come an make a home in it. I got little crystal salt and pepper shakers, frames and wooden 'thingies' for a bathroom project, and a pyrex beehive cannister. I got a candlestick with great character and a pretty pink globe to a lamp. I had a totally full cart when I left Goodwill. I'm sure I am forgetting things.

Friday I went to a neighborhood garage sale and got a metal miter box with saw, a staple gun, 2 weed whackers, 6 vintage suitcases, a table with two chairs, some great old Hardy Boys books, some beautiful glass decanters, a bowl to replace one I broke in a crock pot, three metal boxes with handles, a cheese cloche, and stack of vintage sheet music - *happydance*!

I went back yesterday and bought a bunch of very old books, nearly half of them first editions. I struck gold when I got a whole set of antique dishes donated to me. (Because I'd gone twice the day before to offer to buy the dessert bowls, and the lady wouldn't break up the set. We are invited to her grandson Matthew's graduation party next Saturday at 1:00) I also got a pretty old typewriter from them. I honestly got so much amazing stuff in the last three days I can not remember all of it. 

I have been working on a few projects, as well. I'm a regular at Home Depot now. I have a dressing table and a dresser in progress, along with a few other pieces either started, or in the planning stages. I hope to share some of these projects here soon. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Ocean Is Wet

To say this school year has been difficult for our kids would be like saying the ocean is wet. Tyler Froats is fighting his leukemia for the third time. He got a bone marrow transplant from his sister. Kori Wiita was badly injured in a football game in late October. They are in out thoughts and prayers every day. Our dear, sweet, lovable Victoria died a few days after Christmas. She is embedded so deeply in my heart it leaves me unable to express my feelings. Last week, Erin and Andrew Erhbar both died after yet another car accident. In the other car was a fellow student, Jon Slifka. By the grace of God, Jon is physically fine.

Frankly, I just want to take everyone I love, and everyone they love, and tie them all up with a string and never let them out of my sight.

Here is what the Highland community did last night:

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Few Of My Favorite Things for Spring

My super giant George Foreman grill. It is 160 inches of sensational dinners. I hate kitchen doo-dads with a passion because most are a huge waste of space. The George Foreman grill is the single most useful kitchen gadget we own. It has earned every inch of space it occupies.
 Hooray for my Uggs. No, I do not care who thinks they are ugly. They are like a soft cloud of 'miracle' wrapped around my feet and they make me happy.

My Longchamp Lilac pliage bag. Love it, Love it, L-O-V-E  Love it. Lightweight and girly, it announces the arrival of spring for me.

My violet Kitchenaid mixer. It makes fast work of everything it does. How did I ever live without it?

My Spaceship. Some people call it a minivan. It's a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country. It has awesome EVERYTHING. I feel just a tinge of guilt over having something so awesome, but I am keeping it - just like my husband.

Here are a few other things I am glad I have:

My flip video camera.
My iphone.
My lamps - Gorgeous!
Good dish towels.
essee Nail lacquer.
Pureology shampoo & conditioner.
All the wonderful Lancome stuff I use to pull, peel, spackle and smooth my face. 
Pevonia Botanica lip serum and cream.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Apparently, You CAN Fool Me Twice.

Saturday, we needed help with the cable. Our new box, which just replaced the new box we got on Wednesday, wasn't working properly. I made an appointment for 'some time between noon and two.'

At 10:38 I was out and about, nearly done with my errands, when my phone rings. It was Dino with Time Warner Cable. He said would like to come to the house a little early. When I asked how early he responded '10:45'. I was not going to be home by then so I had him call my husband.

Flash forward to when I get home. Dino had already been there a few minutes, waiting for the box to finish doing it's thing. We talked about Adelphia vs. Time Warner and how he used to work for Cablevision. We talked about all sorts of cable related items. When he was ready to go I joked that I should take his picture because last time a cable guy was out he did not take care of things properly. He had promised to call first thing the next morning, and we never heard from him again. I told him I even blogged about it and saved the name, supervisor's name and number, and ticket number in my phone. I started taking out my phone as my husband ushered Dino out the door. You can read about the past ordeal here, I'll wait.

Yes, you read it right...

Dino, you sneaky, slippery little sucker.

Our cable box still isn't recording or pausing, so someone will have to come out again. I hope it's Dino. I'm going to tell him!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hurricanes in Ohio

Who knew? We have a hurricane machine at Summit mall in Fairlawn, Ohio. Last night a couple of the kids took a turn inside. These were the preliminary results:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Can't Understand

Today I waited in the parking deck. I chose an unpopular area facing outward so I would be as secluded as possible. There was a song on the radio. It doesn't even matter which one, does it? Anyway... I started to cry the crazy cry. The tears and sobs just didn't stop coming. I was just sitting there, in my blurry Saturday morning private escape, making deals with God he refused to acknowledge. Sounds like the work of a crazy lady, doesn't it?

Someone broke into my world. A little black car drove up beside me. I finally looked at it, something I feel compelled to do when someone parks next to me. The driver looked shocked when she saw my puffy, red, tear streaked face. She rolled down her window. I rolled down mine. "Is it VJ?" she asked. I nodded.

Did you send her? I needed the reminder to be thankful for all the blessings I still have. It didn't break my sadness though. It clings to me today in a desperate embrace.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Betsy McCall Will Be Your Doll

Lots of people enjoy doing the fun things they did as children. If there are children around and you can pretend it's for them, even better! Who remembers paper dolls? I do! If you don't, maybe you should go ask someone who Eddie Haskell is.

So, I found this website with ten years worth of Betsy McCall paper doll pages. They are cute and fun and you can print them right at home. Some of you clever gals may even decide to use them in frames and whatnot to decorate a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, or dollhouse. Maybe you will plaster them to the side of your car. Or your face! Okay, yeah. So have fun with these.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

1,000 Tiny Little Kisses

Yesterday when the snow landed all over my face I accepted it as a thousand little kisses. For some reason yesterday, things were okay. It felt so good. I could feel happy without feeling bitterness creep in. Don't mistake this for lack of sadness. I am still the most disappointed I have ever been in my life. Somehow yesterday I managed to embrace the good without repercussion.

Your mom is so great, but you already knew it. When I told my mom yesterday about how she is still hosting the party after the dance we shared our celebration of what a one of a kind family you have. I know it will be good for your mom to host and she is bringing comfort to so many of us by accepting us/our children into her world like she has always done. I have been learning where you learned to be such an organically loving person. Wow - what a family. I wish I had learned this much about them under different circumstances. I'm learning to move my own feelings of inadequacy out of the way so I can reach out to people more. I'm thinking less about how they will measure me and find me failing and more about what I can do for them or with them.

Tonight I will take as many kids as I can fit in my van to dinner, then to the dance. After the dance the cool kids are going to your house. When the party is over the guys are all spending the night together again.

P.S. More cupcake treats for your house tonight, with a few Oreo type thrown in.

P.P.S. We got fifteen inches of snow last night! The Snowball will be snowy this year.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ice, Ice, Baby

     Auntie Kitten is at it again, kiddies! A little back story to start: One time we were at Great Wolf Lodge and some toilets were having issues. The maintenance crew brought giant buckets of ice and flushed them down the toilets, clearing the lines. It was icy magic, I tell ya'!

     Fast forward to today at my house. The toilet seemed a little hesitant to do its' thing. I remembered the ice lesson and poured a lot of ice into my toilet. Guess what? I had a toilet FULL of water and ice. I know you're wondering what I did next. I did what any logical person would do. I flushed it. Then I stood there saying "Oh noooooo. Oh noooooo. Lather, rinse, repeat a couple of times. My husband and son were of very little help. They were kind enough to laugh at me and tell their friends, respectively. I poured hot water in the toilet. Three times. It just welded the ice together.

     I offered to make ice cream in there, but sadly, I had no takers. Weirdos.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Got Nothin'

It has been one month plus one day. It feels fresh every day. It feels like forever. It hurts and it doesn't seem to be getting 'better'. Sure, there are moments when I think about the wonderful things and they fill me with warmth and even laughter. The problem is even the warmth turns cold and when the laughter fades away the blinding, stinging pain is still right there with me. I do not know what to do.

Now two days because I sat staring at this last night, but did not post it. I am slowly giving up on wishing for this to all be a dream because I have never had a dream last this long before. But if I could wake up and find this was a terrible dream of some kind, I would be thrilled.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Friends and Angels

Suck: You are gone.

Rock: You left behind a bunch of great people to hold up one another.

We're all trying our best, but you didn't make this easy, did you?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Victoria Mackenzie Jackson, You Doll


     Wow. I have no idea where to start. I love you. I miss you. I am so glad we went to see "She Loves Me" at the same time. I am glad we got to share a hug and our sentiments. I wish you had not left us so soon, I had big plans for us, starting with more hot fudge cakes and continuing into sharing your babies with you and watching them grow up. I still hope God sends me a grandchild just like you. I am allowed to hope for anything I want.

     Thank you for being a part of our family, for teaching us so much, for not judging my terrible singing voice, for calling me mom, and my mother grandma, for sharing your wonderful parents and punky little brother with us, for always making me feel like you love me, for always letting me love you like my own third daughter, for throwing that wheat penny at me, for sending huge beautiful snowflakes at just the right time, for enjoying mini cupcakes, for sharing bags of mints from Abuelos, joining our family at Great Wolf Lodge, being a witness to Zachary, and your enthusiasm for everything.