Saturday, December 31, 2011


Last year I made this resolution.  I wasn't perfect and I wasn't able to stick to it everyday, but I think I did pretty good on the most part.  I liked it so much I want to do it again!  My New Year's Resolution is the same as last year's!

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 in a Post

Ok, folks, here's how this works.  I have compiled the biggest and the best posts from 2011 for you in one place so you don't have to hunt for them (isn't that niiiiiiiice?) and all you have to do is click the links (in orange, of course) and read away to your heart's content.  If you want to, totally optional.

Here we go!

My old car reached a high point, we went deer hunting, watched Nikki tear up a toy, and ECP turned 1.

Boots got a little handy around the house and our back yard went to the dogs.

I got plantin' fever, I actually did the plantin', I made a terrarium, I shopped for exec cas, I found a book with a title to live by, I stood on my toilet, I got stung by a bee, I decided to slow down (this was foreshadowing for June, you'll see), and I went back to college.

I thought about new cars, Boots made me supper and vacuumed the dog, and we experienced a true disaster.

I fell in love, we put up curtains, my sister graduated, and I thought about babies.

Sadness started, we went to a wedding, we put flowers in our front yard, we got a new baby, I made coffee, I wrapped up the baby, Boots painted my toes, the much talked about water leak happened, and I got a little sad.

We tore out the kitchen, I went a little crazy, I calmed down, we put up a light and a wall and another light, I wrote to our house, and Frank still sleeps like this.

We worked on our house, our kitchen started coming together, we started on the floor, we scraped glue, our hearts were broken, I cleaned out my phone photos, I dusted, we put down a floor, more dusting,

I used the kitchen, another leak, I remembered, I made a list, and we made it to a year.

We actually did the stuff on the list, I had a birthday, we bought a rug, I painted knobs, I painted doors, I wrote an alphabet, I cooked some stuff, I thought about baby names, we had a wild animal in our house,  I wrote about Christmas before we even had Thanksgiving, and I got a little mad.

I had nothing to write about, something big happened to my photography, I broke one of my big rules, I posted pictures of my messy house, I made toothpaste, and we had a pee problem.    

I put up our tree, and another tree, I spiffied up the kitchen, cleaned out from under my sink, Boots got sick, and we had Christmas.    

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Different Kind of Christmas

  This Christmas has been decidedly nontraditional for me.  Boots and I didn't skip Christmas, we both went to our company Christmas parties and a few family Christmas parties, we ate Christmas lunch with our neighbors and relaxed at home since we're both on call from work.

  We didn't buy any Christmas presents for anyone except ornaments for an ornament swap, a DVD for our neighbors' kids, and I bought Boots new undershirts and a nose trimmer that he asked for last month.  It was a giftless Christmas except for the gifts we got from relatives that didn't get the memo.  We're certainly not being Scroogey about the gifts we did get, they were very nice and much appreciated, but it's liberating not to be one of the people running around like crazy trying to get good deals on things that will probably be soon forgotten.

  I tried something new- like nonalcoholic eggnog (don't take that to mean I've tried the alcoholic version) and spiced peaches- two of the things that mean "Christmas" to my boss, thought about old traditions- putting up my Dee Dee's Christmas tree with my sisters, listening to Elvis Christmas records, and Boots and I went on our fairly-regularly holiday event date.

  We didn't ride and look at lights this year and I didn't do any baking (trying to cut back!).  We didn't make it to a single church Christmas event either.  Not going to church for anything didn't make it seem very Christmasy to me.  Maybe next year we'll do better.

Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope you've had a great day.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"In sickness and in health" pretty much locks you in for the rest of the ride.  There's no escaping sickness or health unless it's death.  Only then will your job be finished and your heart hopefully broken.  It's probably best we don't think about these things when wearing our love goggles and can only see it clearer when we take them off.  Otherwise there'd be no procreation and our world would surely end.  Our world would surely end.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm Random & Jump Around A Lot (Like a Rabbit)

  I've got a new project in the works to share with you, but I haven't actually started on it yet.  My plan was to begin this weekend and we all know how plans go......they don't!

  Boots and I spent a surprise weekend at an expensive little bed and breakfast I like the call The Hospital.  That's right- we were Boots was laid up for 3 days after going to the doctor Friday morning (I had a feeling I needed to pack a bag!) and getting diagnosed with acute bronchitis and gastroenteritis.  His blood counts (red or white?  I don't know!) were really high and his chest was very......congested? chesty? gummed up? sickly?

  Ya'll, I've never spent a night in the hospital, besides being born.  This weekend was not a good time.  How do nurses expect patients to get better when they won't let them rest?  I saw every hour on that clock next to the TV from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, I swear.  They'd come in and take his blood pressure and temp, leave for 45 minutes then bring meds, another 45 minutes then food, 45 minutes, breathing treatment, 45 minutes, x ray and repeat over and over and over again!  Couldn't they time their visits and all come at once?  The attention was really appreciated, believe me, but sleeping 45 minutes at a time for nearly 3 days isn't exactly restful.  (Nurse people I know, don't get all heavy on me.  I'm not downing- I'm just sharing.)

  **Funny part- once Boots was so asleep the blood pressure lady couldn't wake him up by just calling his name.  Her voice got a little panicky so I got up and shook him to wake him (I know this man, talking doesn't always work).  When he opened his eyes I said, "Wake up!  She thinks you're dead!"  I couldn't resist! **

  The unnecessary pestering was probably just ignorance on my part, after all, I don't know how this hospital business works.  They were all super nice though.  Except for this one chick that ran me over and the "pay for your room" counter and then turned out to be the "check your blood lady."  She was having a bad day though.

  Some good did come out of this weekend.  Boots and I got to spends lots of quality quantity time together and I got invited to write for an online magazine, PaperBlog!


  I thought it was spam at first, but these guys put you through a pretty rigorous sign up process to be spam.  (Now I've done it, they probably are spam!)

  I'm excited about writing for them, but scared too.  What am I going to write about?  I'm in disbelief that people that aren't related to me want to read what I write!  Oh, the pressure!

  Have you guys seen that Pixar movie, Up?  We watched it Saturday night and I loved it even though I cried in the first ten minutes.  Cartoon death scenes are really hard to take when you're sitting next to your sick husband's hospital bed.  I want to watch it again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm Warning You!

******Dear Uncle,

Don't read this post.  Just push that red X up at the top and go on about your business elsewhere.  You're not going to like it.******

For the rest of you still here, does your under the sink cabinet look like......


All you gotta do to fix this is pull everything out of there and organize it according to what stays and what goes, like so.  Keepers on the right, chunkers on the left.

Now this highly technical piece of equipment is a disposable aluminum tray used for cooking stuff not catching future possible leaks like we're using it in this case, but who cares?  Also that's a box of dog clipper pieces.  Being advised by aforementioned uncle to buy an "industrial cookie sheet" to use in place of this flimsy piece of metal, I've been hunting for months an appropriate substitute, but none has been found other than the ones that cost upwards of $20!  Yikes!

I'm a cheapo as you know, so I figured this less than $2 version would be perfect for the job.

As you can see, I didn't measure and/or think this thing through.  By this time, after schlepping this pan home from the store and not worrying about its state of affairs, it was dirty beyond me being comfortable returning it for somebody else to put their food in.  And because I'm cheap and not wanting to waste 2 bucks I decided to keep it and repurpose it, i.e., not food service.

Enter the keepers organizer!

Much better, right?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's The Little Things!

Do your pantry staples look like this?  (Does this sound like a Billy Mays commercial?)

I bought these from Target and I'm loving them.  They're plastic- not glass, which isn't exactly what I wanted, but you can't tell they're not glass unless you touch them.  The mouths are super wide and they lock down really tight.

The grits are my favorite, so pretty!  The scoops hanging on the side are pretty handy too.  I've been needing  some canisters for a while and at a price of $20.79 plus tax these were a good buy in my book.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas 2011

I think I'm done decorating for Christmas now.  

I hope I'm done.  (Don't they look like weird trees?)

Weird trees with white spray paint snow on them?

A whole forest of weird, snowy trees!

Weird, snowy trees piled under another weird tree!  (I call this my sad, skinny, little tree.  I won it at the company Christmas party!)

I put my Barbies on this tree since it's a little higher off the ground and hopefully inaccessible to Frank.  We'll see.

I'm also trying to burn the house down by placing highly flammable painted weird trees next to hot, hot, candles.  Yeah!

And repeat on the kitchen table!  (I'm kidding about the burning the house down part.)

I love this tree.  Here's my tree from last year.

P.S.  All of the presents in these pictures are fake.  Posers!  I still haven't bought a single thing.  I'm not going to either, unless you count an ornament for our family swap.

P.P.S.  Thanks to you-know-who-you-are for the pinecones!

Monday, December 5, 2011


If you've ever had the pleasure misfortune of putting one of these tree holder thingies together from a million bajillion pieces then you'll understand what I'm saying, if you haven't just let your husband take yours apart after Christmas this year and when next year rolls around and you try to put the tree up we'll talk.  ;)

I got mad, ya'll.  Really, really mad.  Like throwing the pieces in the box and packing up Christmas mad.  Mad enough to duct tape Boots to the bed (he was asleep the whole time), pour sugar water all over him, and leave the front door open for the ants!

Not a good time.

To make matters worse, that smarty-pants put that tree stand together in five minutes after he got up!

Here it is after twice putting it together and twice stringing the lights.  (I string lights in levels.)

Look how cute Nikki is waiting on Santa!

Here's the bad boy after lights and sticks.  I picked up sticks, painted them white in my paint shop back yard on a piece of cardboard, let them dry, and stuck 'em in the tree.  Sounds pretty simple.  It is.

After lights and sticks, I added my glitter poinsettias.

Then, I wrapped on the red ribbon and threw on some white yarn.  I have no idea where the white yarn came from (it was in the decorations box) and I had it so I used it.

That paper cone tree was gold last year, but this year it got a white spray paint makeover.  If you've noticed, yes, the tree is in the kitchen; the living room is too crowded to hold the tree this year.  

Oh, and remember what I said about presents?  I still haven't bought any.  That price in the title is for the paint I bought at the hardware store.  That's all I've spent on Christmas this year.

I've still got a few more decorations to put up so expect at least one more post on Christmas trees.  I've still got writer's block, but at least I'm cranking out something!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sleep All Day, Party All Night

If Frank was a baby I'd be in serious trouble tonight.

He slept for 9 hours under the covers today.

I hope he was doing something important under there, like curing diseases or solving complex algorithms.

P.S. Boots finally got our Christmas tree down from the attic so guess what I'm doing tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pee As In Patio

Ever since Chloe died, we've pretty much spent zero minutes in our backyard.  It needs some serious beautifying but we'll get to the outside after we finish the inside.  Which will probably be in a million zillion years.

Recently, our back patio called Patio Protective Services on us and filed a complaint stating, "neglect."

Really, Patio?  Was that really necessary?

Apparently so.

The past few days have been seasonably chilly, you see, and poor Patio has been getting......what's a nice way of putting this......

Ehh......just think about it.

That is so not nice, Nikki.  Not cool at all.

Bad dog!  You stop that right now, ya hear!

Clearly something has to be done before Boots and I get thrown in the pokie and they hide the key!

Enter the garden rake (I broke it) and the broom.  And maybe 20 minutes of action time and 1 portion of bothering Boots with my silly requests for moving the grills.  The nerve of that girl!

Nothing short of miraculous, am I right?

Pay no attention to my outdoor bathroom death zone.  Like I said, a zillion billion years.  And, also, don't come and steal my generator.  (It's not really mine!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Homemade Toothpaste

Ever since my Canadian blogfriend Marnie posted her recipe for homemade toothpaste I've been dying to try it.  

Here's the ingredients:

Mix 'em all together......

Boom!  Homemade toothpaste!  You can be a hippie too!

However, hippie's aren't cheap and I am.  At roughly $3.46 per baby food jar (what is that, 3 ounces?) Tom's of Maine is looking like a much better deal.  Less labor and time, more bang for your buck.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Tour? Sure!

It's been a long time since I've posted any pictures showing the current state of our house so allow me to update you via photography.

Standing at the carport door, this is the view into the kitchen.  At about 7ish is the laundry room, 10 is the dining room/sun room/extra tool shed.  At 3- the living room.  There's no door on the pantry cabinet, as you can see.  Our plan is to buy another pantry cabinet just like that one and put it in the bathroom and swap the doors since the kitchen is in fact not painted white and the door that belongs with this cabinet is.

Here's the nomadic paisley rug (it spent a month in the living room but decided to relocate to the kitchen last weekend) and a new-but-not-going-to-be-permanent nubby rug from Target.

Boots doesn't think it really "goes" and I'm not in love with it like the paisley rug so the decision to return it didn't take very long.

Here's the sorta sad looking laundry room.  The shelves walls need the paint touched up a bit and I plan to use baskets to keep all the stuff we throw up there corralled and hang a reedy-looking blind.  Maybe.  Maybe it will just be open.

Here we have the dining room/sun room/extra tool shed room.  And also winter storage greenhouse.  Boots flowers got moved indoors last week and Frank had himself a grand ol' time jumping in the one in front until I skirted it with a garbage bag.  Foiled again!

Another view of our mess!

This is the view of the corner part of the kitchen.

Back towards the carport door and the living room.

Is he smelling for chipmunks?  

Lots of painting to be done in this picture: the walls, the trim, the not yet existent quarter round, the door, the knobs (we really should just replace the door, it's old), a big strip of weather stripping or a door jamb or something is needed too.

Oh, and here's my little pet station for the kids' food.

There's always clothes on the couch.  Always!

The doors need to be painted, as well as the knobs, the trim and quarterround needs to be painted, curtains and/or blinds need to be bought and hung, a new rug needs to be found.

Down the skinny, narrow hall.

The Blue Room.  Pretty self explanatory, don'tcha think?

Boots is pulling the boards back up in that corner to lock together one that didn't get locked quite tight enough.

Our sad light.  I want to do something fun with the new light in here.  The paint is pretty much finished, I'd say this is our most complete room because quarterround being put down and painted.

Got to figure out some solution for closet doors.  (I hate bifolds!)

My chandy!

(I don't know what that big black thing to the right is.)

The very sad bathroom.

Boots just put the door back up a few days ago but it's got to come back down for some touch up painting on the door and the knobs.  See what power tools will do for ya?

We haven't touched the bathroom other than pulling up the old nasty floor when we had the leak so the whole thing has to be torn apart and put back together at some point.

At the end of the hall is a growing bag of I-don't-need/want-this-let's-chunk-it!

Got to do more sanding and painting here.  And change the switch.  Lots of switch changing to be done in this house.

This is our office.  Let's not even go in there.

Our bedroom with half the curtains up.  The paint needs work.

More clothes piled up everywhere, another switch that needs changing out.

More stuff!

Now you're looking towards our half bathroom which has nothing but a floor and needs a toilet, a sink, a mirror, paint, a new light, and curtains.  It currently houses vacuums.

Our chest of drawers/wedding shrine has been pushed into the closet.  Note the lack of bifold doors.  This closet really needs to go back to being a closet, complete with shelves and a bar for hangers.  In time.  At least that's what I tell myself.

And that's it for the inside!