Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Martha Stewart Chronicles.

You guys are seriously going to poop your little pants.

Oh fine.  Maybe not - but I might.  I am pretty sure though - that you’re going to nod off reading this.  It’s boring and crafty but I want to write it down.  So there.  (I honestly can't believe I'm writing this crap.  I love reading it on other's blogs but never thought I'd write it, much less do it.)
Remember last week when I said I got a craft bug up my ass and I planned to spend the weekend channeling my inner Martha Stewart?  I wasn’t kidding.  Oh Em Gee.  I love everything I made…even though multiple cuss words may have been spewn during the making. 
So I first decided to make a burlap wreath.  I have a blue accent wall in my dining room that matches my blue backsplash that leads into my kitchen.  I decided I wanted my burlap wreath to be the obvious brown burlap color with blue accents.  I used blue chevron burlap as well as burlap with black lettering printed on it as my fireplace has lots of black in it.  I used two blue flowers as accents and went to work.

First off – it ain’t as easy as the professional Marthas on YouTube make it look.  Or maybe it is and I just don’t have their talent.  I finished the project though and then decided I wanted my wreath “highlighted”.  I put blue LED lights behind it so it’s illuminated blue while it hangs.
To die for…if you ask me.

Sooo I was on a roll and decided to mod podge my end table with various patterns of blue paper.  Super cute…and literally probably took ½ hour.  We live in a split foyer home and a while back I had mod podged the entire first wall you see when you enter our home with all different sheets and sizes of wallpaper squares….so it wasn’t my first time mod podging.  The end table was blah and scuffed before I started and this fresh, new look is just what it needed.
I decided to go cray-cray at that point.  I started work on my February pennant to hang from my fireplace mantel.  I bought a pre-cut Valentine’s Day pennant kit a few days prior.  The letters and backgrounds and triangles were cut – however – I knew I was going to add to it – like big time. 

I made it more  vintage-y looking  by using lace, stickers and burlap hearts and even some 3D flower punch thingy-s I had left over from my scrapbooking days.  I tied multiple ribbons and burlap strips to the ends to spruce it up too.  I freaking love it people!!  Love, love, love.
I ended up painting some picture frames the blue of my wall and added them to my mantel as well.  I put warm white lights behind all the pics so they’d have an illumination like my wreath does. 

And now?  I’ve finally decided what to hang from my huge barn board beam that separates my living room from my dining room.  A burlap, lace, and ivy garland and pennant.  I made 90% of the pennant from scratch this time. 
I cut out burlap triangles and bought some crème colored triangles for my pennant.  I thought for a while about what I wanted my pennant to say and finally decided on this:  R + D = W & B.  I used the first initials from our real names but in blog code names it means: Rambo + Drazil = Watermelon & Banana.  A combination of simple letters and symbols in the same blue color that is everywhere else now. 

I stenciled and painted the letters on the burlap and the symbols went on the crème triangles.  I embellished each triangle with decorative blue accents, lace and burlap hearts.  I am now letting everything dry and flatten.  Then I’ll tie ribbons of burlap and lace to the ends like I did with the Valentine’s Day pennant.  And donezo!
I can’t just hang that on my barn beam because it’s a big, long space and it needs more.  Sooo I have decided to make a burlap, ivy and lace garland.  I haven’t decided how to do it yet.  I’ve done some research and have seen multiple methods but I’m still not sure.  I want the garland to be full and obvious but match the vintage décor on the fireplace since the barn beam connects to my fireplace. 

I may make four separate garlands.  One of beige/old looking ivy.  One of crème lace and one of brown burlap and one of blue burlap.  Then I might intertwine them to make one large garland.  The garland is not going to hang…it’s going to sit in the crevice between where the ceiling and beam meet illuminated by rope light in the back because the pennant will hang below it.
I put up lighted tree garland on both sides of the beam every Christmas and it’s my favorite thing and I hate taking it down (no shit – I just took it down only last night).  I know without a doubt I want something up there – lit up and pretty – all year long.  It just makes me happy.  And now I’ve finally figured out what to put there!

So now you’re thinking this all must look pretty tacky but I swear it doesn’t.  Not yet anyway. 
I recently brought up Rambo’s childhood antique dresser from downstairs and put it in the dining room.  It has a distressed mirror and intricate detailing and I couldn’t help but decorate it too.  A hurricane with a candle in it surrounded by pink hearts sitting on a lace doily.  A tiny pennant across the mirror that says BE MINE.  A couple other Valentine’s items and blue, navy and crème berry garland across the top of the mirror.  It sits against the blue accent wall and it’s my new favorite piece now.  I plan to decorate that little space for each month/holiday. 

The plan is to make a vintage pennant for the fireplace for each holiday as well.  I’m already working on the St. Patrick’s day pennant.  It’ll be the only thing I’ll have to change on the fireplace each month instead of decorating the entire mantel.  I’m over that and now I have the dresser space to decorate and my tiny tree that I change too.  It’s finally all coming together.  It only took me 10 years to give a damn about décor in my house. 
I was too busy changing diapers and surviving before to care.  Now I’m old and I know how to survive and diapers are no longer on my agenda.  Doing this stuff passes the time when Rambo is gone and my girls like to help, of course.  It’s a damn good thing there are no craft stores in Podunk because I went to one on Friday and spent way more than I’ll ever admit on all this crap.  Oopsie.

So tonight I continue work on the garland and pennant for the beam.  And yes – when I’m all done I swear to God I’ll take pictures of everything.  I just want to wait until everything is done and put together.
I still plan to paint our dining room table in blue and crème chevron stripes too…but that may have to wait a week.  I can’t sleep until my barn beam is done. 

Okay – now you can wake up.  It’s over.  The Martha Stewart Chronicles are finished for today. 
That’s about 10 minutes of your life you can’t get back. 

You’re welcome.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ten Things Thursday with a little snark added in!

I think I should warn you that this gets a bit snarky at times. 
I’d say I was sorry if I was…but I’m just not.
1-I’m 85% done re-painting and re-designing my little girl’s room.  All the new furniture fits perfectly and the colors are bright and fun.  Her new theme is Monster High…which I happen to love.  Monster High dolls are like Barbies but with a dark side and an edge and funkier colors.  They speak to the black part of my heart like no Barbie ever could.

2-It’s butt ass cold here again.  Like negative eighty million.  I’d step outside and get the actual temp for you but if you go outside your eyes freeze shut and it’s pointless.  Also – let it be known that pigs hate cold.  Rambo is hauling hogs today and let me just tell you – in case you were wondering – hogs hate cold.  They don’t want to move.  They don’t want to go on the trailer or come off.  It could also be that they know in 30 seconds they are going to die too but who knows.
3-The last two nights I’ve had cheese popcorn for supper.  Rambo knows I love it and it’s hard to find but he finally found some at some random store and he brought home 2 bags.  Only 1 bag remains.  I am a health fanatic.  Clearly.

4-Newsflash….I suck at picking friends.  Correction – the people I be-friend are unable to look past my flaws and love me anyway.  Please sue me because I have multiple jobs, multiple kids, and a husband who works every single day so I’m a single parent half the time – oh and a general life to live.  Forgive me that I had to cancel plans unexpectedly.  Forgive the ever-loving f*ck out of me.  No wait.  Don’t forgive me.  Just call me when you grow up. 
5-If I know you don’t pay your bills and I know you receive government assistance even though you are able-bodied and refuse to work and I see you offer someone $300.00 online for an item they are selling – well then….I want to shank you.  Hard.  In the eye.  At least then you’d have a legitimate disability.  Yup.  There you have it.  I’m a judgemental bitch.  Sue me.  I have a right to my opinion like you have a right to scam the system.

6-It’s pretty human to care what other people think about you.  It’s always been extremely difficult for me to not care and to continue on without doing everything I can to change a person’s negative perception of me. Just recently, I’ve come to accept that there are shitloads of people who aren’t going to love me or even like me – and that’s okay.  However, being in politics is sincerely shaking my newfound acceptance of people not liking me.  It’s really, really, really hard to stay above the fray and know that at the end of the day you are honest and loving and compassionate – no matter what anyone says.  If that’s true in your core – then no one can change that.  It’s just hard to remember that sometimes.
7-I want to be on the Harley right now.  Holding tight to Rambo.  Wind in my hair.  Sun shining down.  Nothing to care about except what color bandana to wear.  And how much cleavage to show.

8-I got a creative hair up my ass and decided I’m going to mod podge my dining room table.  First I’m going to paint crème and blue chevron stripes across it.  Then I’m going to put a heart at each of the 4 spots that we sit at as a family.  I might then put the first letter in our last name in the center.  We’ll see.  I’m going to mod podge an end table too.  I might use decorative paper or fabric or wallpaper samples.   I also decided I’m going to make a burlap wreath with berries and a burlap banner that says something for my fireplace mantel.  Just call me Martha Stewart.  And then pay me her salary.
9-I finally got my Valentine’s tree up in my office.  It has red heart lights that blink, a pink feather boa and cupcake ornaments! 

10-I’ve spent nearly every day this week drawing up how I want our new spa bathroom to look.  Then I take the drawings home and show Rambo and he tells me if I’m insane or if it can be physically done or not…then I go back to drawing.  I think he may be making shit up because he’d rather build his big ass garage first.  Ha!
That’s enough snarky for one day!  I’m done. 
Happy Ten Things Thursday!!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Weeping in joy and tough, muddy decisions.

Something major happened yesterday.  Actually yesterday was a pretty major day all the way around. 

Let’s discuss.

First and foremost – this girl right here?  Didn’t have a single sweet or piece of chocolate yesterday.  Holy shit on a stick people!  I didn’t even do it on purpose really.  I mean – it’s January – so of course I’m trying to be healthier but that never stops me any other day.  I was too busy at work to think about it and the urge just didn’t hit me like it usually does.
Did I ever tell you that our janitor at work keeps an entire drawer filled with candy? Candy of all shapes and sizes and kinds?  Filled to the brim.  Just for us girls in the office.  Free.  Trying to resist that daily is equally as hard as trying to make myself work out every day.

Speaking of working out …I did that too!  Whoop whoop!  I did the treadmill for an hour while I watched Biggest Loser.  Boom!
Speaking of doing things that make me uncomfortable…Rambo asked me to run a Tough Mudder race with him in August.  I think there are 13 obstacles or so.  Rope climbing, walking across water on ropes, crawling over logs immersed in muddy water, fire jumps, blah blah blah.  They might as well have “rope the moon” as an obstacle.  That’s how do-able it seems to me.  When Rambo asked me, my first response was, “What if I break a nail?”  I may or may not have been serious.

I’m mad at him for asking me because now I can’t stop thinking about stepping out of my comfort zone and saying yes.  I might have to punch him for bringing it up.  Ugh.
Lastly…listen to this heartwarming story.  <<  That might have been a slight exaggeration.  I’ll let you be the judge.

Remember last summer when I wrote about a cat that kept coming around our back deck and then she ended up bringing around her 3 kittens?  I started feeding her scraps and big, tough, I hate cats Rambo went out and bought a bag of cat food for her to have. 
Banana loved those cats.  I mean she’s an animal lover to her core and she begged to bring every damn one of them inside every day.  She named them and everything.  They were hers.

Then one day the Mama cat was gone.  Then only 2 babies remained.  Then one.  Winter had come and Rambo and I knew they probably hadn’t survived.  We took the one baby who was left and gave it to my Mom who has other outside cats and he lives there very happily. 
Still – Banana constantly talks about the Mama cat named Lucky. How she misses her.  And I’ll hear her tell people that “Lucky got lost and we’ve never seen her again.”  She brings Writing Class work home from school and every story is always about finding Lucky and then losing Lucky.

For some reason – Lucky touched a place in her heart.  It’s kind of crazy and inexplicable really.
Soooo….last night our indoor cat was sitting at the back deck windows.  Going nuts pacing through the curtains and looking outside.  I finally got up to see what was outside.  Turned the light on expecting to find a chipmunk or rabbit or something and I looked once – and yup – IT WAS LUCKY!

I looked about 16 more times before I decided it was safe to tell Banana.
I yelled, “Banana – Lucky is alive.  She’s outside right now!  Come see!”

I kid you not.  She got up from the couch and froze.  It was like she couldn’t move.  Then she covered her face with her little hands and she wept.  The kind of sobbing that comes with relief and pure joy and shock – in a good way.  Her body reacted without her even knowing it was coming.  She couldn't have stopped the tears if she tried.
She kind of looked at me like she wasn’t sure if I was serious.  She finally made her way to the door and say Lucky for herself.

And she just kept crying.
When she finally stopped, I gave her some ham to take outside in the dark and cold to her little Lucky and Lucky was so starved that she didn’t even care that Banana was petting her.  Eventually Banana came back inside but I looked out hours later and Lucky was still there.

After she calmed down, Banana had to call my Mom and tell her LUCKY IS ALIVE!  To which my Mom responded, “That’s great.  Who is Lucky?” 
It’s like a damn movie, you guys.  Rambo got home this morning after working a 12 hour shift and Banana screams, “Daddy – guess what?  LUCKY IS ALIVE!!!”

Ha!  Cue the dramatic music and memory montage, right?
I’m a little in shock myself.  We recently went through temps here that were literally 40 below zero.  I don’t know how she survived that.  I really don’t.

I guess in the end – the name little Banana gave her – fits perfectly.  She’s damn Lucky.
And my little girl’s faith in miracles just went up a notch or two.  I guess she’s lucky too.

I was lucky enough to witness the exchange.  I doubt I’ll ever forget it.
Pretty heartwarming, yes?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Raises, pens and a Prius.

Ever heard of someone getting a 50% raise?  Um – yah – usually not.  Because that’s insane and stupid and would put most companies out of business and shit like that, right?  Right. 

Except for when you’re me and someone asks you for your latest invoice so they can pay you for your work and off the cuff and faster than you think you decide to up your rate by 50% and hit SEND on the email just for the shits and giggles of it and to see who freaks out and calls you a greedy whore first. 
Until no one does. 

They paid it.  Not a single question asked.  I mean I didn’t just randomly decide to do this.  I thought about my fees and my workload for the PT job and honestly – I thought about how Rambo does his PT jobs for next to nothing and the time sacrifices we make and I thought – “You know – I should be charging more.”  I was all ready with reasons to defend the raise if anyone noticed.
Until no one did. 

I think I sort of wanted someone to ask me why.  Or maybe not.  It’s just weird.  Fun – but weird.  I get in my head after I decide such things and Drazil goes to town.  He starts in on the “You’re not worthy of that raise.  Your work is not that great.  Anyone could do what you do.”
And I start to doubt and re-think my decision.  Stupid f*cking lizard.  Eat my 50% raise, you douche-canoe.

In other news – I’ve been using a Hello Kitty pen all day.  It’s pink and the top is literally Hello Kitty’s little head.  It’s juvenile to the extreme.  I love it.  If anyone dares make shit out of me for it, they’re going to find Hello Kitty’s head up their ass.  And they’ll owe me a new pen.
Um lastly – can I just say this?  I live in Podunk which is in a state that gets freaking cold in the winter-time.  And winter here lasts from like November to forever it seems.  If you live here – you know this. 

You know sometimes roads don’t even get plowed.  You know most towns have one snow truck and one dude who runs that truck and it’s gonna be a while.
Most people buy vehicles that will assist them in getting around in 12 feet of snow and 8 inches of ice – because ain’t nothing going to be closed around here just because of a little snow and ice.

Case in point.  I drove to work yesterday – in white-out conditions.  Hating every second of my life.  Debating on whether or not to kick in the 4 wheel drive.  White-knuckling the steering wheel because I’m a sissy girl.  Almost crying because I’m so pissed at myself for not living in Florida.
And what do you think is in front of me?  Someone going 35. 

Holy Mother of Zeus!?  Are you serious?  Going 35 is NOT safer than 55 when you need speed to plow through the drifts that are as tall as the hood of your car. 
I want to know why you own A SUPER DUTY 4x4 TRUCK WITH DUAL TIRES if you plan on never going above 35 in a snowstorm????????????

Get a Prius.  Then I won’t have to flip you off as I pass you on a double yellow 90 degree turn.  I’ll probably even feel bad for you.  I’ll wonder why the hell you own a Prius when you live in this state BUT I will understand why you are going 35mph at least.
JESUS balls.

The end.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The goals of 2014.

Ah 2014…how I love thee.  So far, anyway.  I mean really – we’re 14 days in.  I may be too quick in making my assessment of 2014 but anything is better than last year, yes?  Yes!

I didn’t make New Year’s Resolutions this year and it’s probably the first time ever.  I always do well with them in the beginning but then ultimately forget what they were and where I put the list.  Apparently I’m getting old.  Shitballs.
I just have a general “goal” of decluttering and organizing my mind and my physical life for 2014.  I’m an anal weirdo (wow – that sounded awful, didn’t it?) and I’m at the top of my game when shit is organized and color coded and labeled and so forth.  There’s just too much stuff going on in our lives for me to not to be organized.  It’s really not an option at this point.

Thank God my family has caught on to my anal-ness.  Yes – that’s a word.  Go with it.  They embrace it.  The large white board on the fridge denoting games and practices and appointments and birthdays and days off has become something they ALL rely on.  God bless the person who created the ingenius idea of dry erasing.  Almost as brilliant as the person who invented pop tarts.  Almost.
I still work with a hard copy planner.  I just can’t do the automated Smartphone calendar thingy.  I need to write shit down and highlight it and color code stuff and be able to put big Hello Kitty stickers on people’s birthday days.  I need to be able to draw Easter eggs on April’s page and a fat turkey on November’s page.  It keeps me sane.  It reminds me of kindergarten – when the only problem I had all day was whether to draw a Santa Claus or a Christmas tree to take home to my Mom.

I cannot for the life of me find a planner that I love in every respect so I did what any normal over-planning idiot would do….I made my own.  I can personalize dates and meetings and put clip art in and everything.  Once you get the dimensions right, it’s easy peasy.  I have to have 4 To Do lists between every month or I’ll lose my shit.  One is “Personal to do”.  One is “School to do”.  The other is “PT Job #1 to do” and the last is “PT Job #2 to do”.  My FT job doesn’t require a list.  Thank the Good Lord above. 
The monthly calendar is enough  to carry Rambo’s full time job shifts and his semi shifts and his and my board meeting details.

For my finances and budgets and my diet and exercise….well let’s all pretend that I don’t have enough Excel spreadsheets on these subjects to wallpaper a room with.  Every single one is necessary.  Trust me.
So the organizational part is going well and the decluttering part?  Welllll – let me tell you – it’s moving right along.  I’ve been selling shit like a mo fo online and in the next month or so we have decided to make over both of the girl’s rooms.  Right now they have the mixture of unmatching furniture and too much stuff in their rooms and it’s time for a change.

All the walls will be painted.  Decluttered big time.  New beds with matching dressers and desks.  I cannot freaking wait.  Luckily Rambo only has to help with the pre-makeover part because all the painting and remodeling is being done while he’s away on a week long hog hunt down South.  He sucks.
Health-wise…I’m back to pre-making mine and Rambo’s healthy lunches for the week on Sunday nights.  Pre-making breakfasts as well.  Working out regularly and back to tanning. 

January usually sucks donkey balls in that the “Christmas” feeling goes away and the pretty lights come down but it is good for something.  Starting over.  Refreshing.  Making new goals.
I don’t even think it matters if by March – we forget them all.  It matters that right now in January – I’m trying.  Reaching for more.  Becoming better.  Living fuller.

Again, I say…2013 can suck it.  2014 is well on its way and I for one, am grateful.
How’s your 2014 going?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Suck it 2013.

2013 did one thing for me.

Cemented my deep hatred for odd numbers.  Especially 13.  I’m sure a shitload of happy and good things happened in 2013 – however – if you ask me about 2013, the only things that I can remember are what happened at the end. 
During Thanksgiving, I said goodbye to one of my favorite Uncles who was in his lower 50s while he could still hold my hand and talk and tell me he loved me.  A few days later, I cried as they played taps and buried him as his 4 young children and wife lost their shit.

On Christmas Eve, I went Christmas caroling.  For the first time ever.  On one of the coldest days of the year.  On the porch of a friend who was inside – a few feet away – now 80 pounds and dying.  He was 32.  My brother’s classmate.  I haven’t seen my brother in two years and the day I see him – I stand next to him singing Christmas carols for his classmate as he sobs.
I never want to Christmas carol again. 

He died 3 days later.  Some of the last words he ever heard were those of an entire town outside on Christmas Eve only a few feet away from him – knowing he would soon die.  It was heartbreaking and amazing all at once.
About a week before that, my closest friend and her boyfriend of EIGHT years broke up.  Yah.  A week before Christmas.  F*cking fantastic, right?  Holding her while she sobs and hangs on to me for dear life are two things I’d rather never do again.  If I never have to see her hurt like this one more time – I’ll be okay with that.

So there ya go!  Aren’t you happy I came back to blog just to tell you all that happy shit above?  Nah – you’re actually thankful and happy I chose not to write during that shitty time, right?  I mean it’s Negative Nancy times 1000.  It’s also life.  Sometimes you just can’t sugarcoat it.
I’ll tell you one thing though.  People dying too soon and sickness and sobbing and hurt like I’ve never seen sure make you seek out and long for and notice the little, good things in life – and hold on to them with an iron grip.  Pain like that makes you hold your children tighter and hug them an extra time or two.  Hurt like this makes you remember why you pray and that the only real thing you can believe in is some higher being having some kind of plan because trying to reason it out on your own will drive you insane.

Please – bring on 2014.  Bring on anything that takes me further away from the pain in the end of 2013. 
Suck it odd numbers.  I’ll never like you.  Period.