Friday, November 21, 2014

I am the Lord of the Flies... Wait, what?

 You never walk alone.  Even the devil is the lord of flies. - Gilles Deleuze
It is Fly on the Wall day!  Come on in, wipe your feet, and make yourself comfortable.  I'm here to dish out the dirt, along with 15 other bloggers.  At the end of the post, you will find links to them, so make sure to visit.  You won't be disappointed!

Me: LMSP, did you tell Grandma and Grandpa about your Halloween costume?
Me: Why not?
LMSP: I don't know.
B: I'm going to be Indiana Jones!
Me: Dude, the whole world knows you're going to be Indiana Jones.
B: Not yet.
(runs upstairs and opens the front door)
B (yelling): I AM INDIANA JONES!!
Now they do.

B had his first choir concert and he had to get all dressed up. The real thing: dress shirt, dress pants, and tie (which I had to Google how to tie, BTW). I didn't think it appropriate that I show up in my lounge pants and tank top, so I went to get dressed in “real clothes”.
Me: Ta da! I know it isn't up to your standards but...
B: Well, you look pretty good, for a girl.
For a girl, huh? I'll take it.

LMSP decided she needed to practice her nail-painting skills on someone. B volunteered.  He's so pretty.

We finally had a new porch roof put in. The guys DIYed it and it looks fabulous! (SSP: Shameless Self Promotion: if you were following me on Instagram, you'd already know that.)

TBG holds up a letter I'd received, with a questioning look. It's just form we have to fill out so B can continue getting his benefits. All it asks is if he was married in the past year. And I'm like no, no he has not. 'Cause he's twelve. Twelve.

I went to get my pre-op tests done: blood draw, urine test, EKG, X-rays.  First thing they call me in for?  The blood draw.  The phlebotomist was super nice, but my veins are uncooperative when it comes to this.  They hear the word needle and they run (or roll, in this case).  So the first one didn't take or the second... or the third, which was when I started to feel sick.  I don't have a problem with blood or needles (I have tattoos), but put a needle in my vein?  Forget about it.  It took one more stick, an ice pack, and the use of gravity, but they got the blood they needed.

BTW - this is just one arm...

Got a call about my tests.  Turns out I have a urinary tract infection.  TMI, I know.  But I picked up the prescribed antibiotics.  I got to reading the information sheet.  It starts as follows:

Common Uses: This medicine in a quinolone antibiotic used for treating infections caused by certain bacteria.  It is also used to prevent or treat anthrax or plague in certain patients.

I'll just leave that there...

That's it.  I hope I didn't forget anything...  

TTFN, flies!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Harvest Wreath {tutorial}

Gobble Gobble, y'all!

This month we're talking turkey.  Okay, not literally, but the Blog with Friends group is bringing you some awesome projects and recipes to make this Autumn amazing!

Also, at the end of the post, there is a linky that is open for y'all to share your projects.  We can't wait to see them!

Starting off, my project: 

1 skein brown yarn
1 giant burlap bow (or other statement piece)
1 turkey/harvest figurine, light weight and flat bottom
Autumn leaves in varying colors
twine or extra yarn
Hot glue/gun

I try (that's the operative word - try) to go into the craft store with a plan.  I had the brown yarn on hand from last year's idea, which was never attempted - that was the plan, going into the store, to make last year's idea - which was a turkey wreath.  Maybe next year.

I started this one like my Nevermore Wreathtied the yarn around the wreath and knotted it, then added a dab of hot glue to keep it still.  And, like the last one, I kept it neat, but loose, then went around a second time to add texture and cover any gaps in the first layer.

Take the twine/extra yarn and snip it to a decent length.  You'll be using it to hang the wreath, so keep that in mind when you're deciding the length.  Tie the two ends together, position the loop at the top of the wreath, then loop one end through, essentially creating a slipknot, for hanging.

I'm all about the statement piece.  When I couldn't find a piece from the idea in my head, I came across this gorgeous burlap bow.  Light bulb!  I wasn't leaving the store without it.

After tying the twine to the wreath (and using a little hot glue for assurance), I had the place to put the bow - you know, to cover the hanger.  Since I didn't have to tie the bow (it came that way), I was able to use hot glue and some pressure to secure the bow to the wreath.

Directly under the bow and as close to center as I could make it (I'm not perfect - I know, it's a shock!), I glued on my other "statement" piece.  As it is much smaller than the bow, I can't really call it that, but... c'mon.  It's a little turkey in a hat!  It's a... minor statement.  

Yeah.  We'll go with that.

I actually found this little guy at Savers when we were looking at Halloween costumes.  Just sitting near the register, waiting for someone to snatch him up.  It was me!  Adorable.

With the bow and turkey in place, I realized it needed a little something extra.  And who can deny themselves a little sparkle, especially around the holidays?  TBG actually found these amazing leaves.  I had some picked out, but I was totally settling.  The ones he found were just the pop of color and shimmer I needed!  Plus, it was after Halloween, so all harvest items were 50% off.

I sorted through the bag and found two of each leaf color and size to use, arranged them (without glue) on the wreath so I could assess their symmetry, then put a dot of hot glue under each leaf by lifting up one side, then applying pressure to make sure it stuck. 

Careful - the glue will still be hot, even through the fabric of the leaves. 

Gorgeous, dah-ling.  Simply gorgeous!  Now, onward and upward, my preciousssssess.

Stacy brought us this Fun and Reversible Table Decor for your Thanksgiving table:

Karen made this delicious Fried Walnut-Crusted Spice Cake with Caramel Sauce.  Yum! 

The always amazing Shellybean is putting the thanks in Thanksgiving with a Thankful Tree:

Check out Melissa's terrific Tech Tips for Turkey Day:

Wait until you see Lydia's Kid Friendly (and Fancy) Thanksgiving!

And Christy brought us DIY Thanksgiving Textured Leaf Cards to do with the kids:

Gobble 'til you Wobble, precioussssses!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Frozen Thanksgiving

It's another Friday, so you know what that means!  Blogging Challenge!  This week is Use Your Words, where participating bloggers pick 4 - 6 words or short phrases for someone else to use in a post.  The blogger must use each word/phrase at least once and each post will be unique, as each blogger gets their own set of words.  

Here's the twist: no one knows who got their words, until now.  At the bottom of the post, you'll find the links to all the other blogs featuring the challenge.  Make sure you stop over!

My words are: elf, gnome, leprechaun, tooth fairy, party like it's 1999, meltdown
Submitted by: Evil Joy Speaks

Yesterday LMSP asked where Charlie was.  Charlie is our elf.  I told her, he's still at the North Pole.  She asks when he's going to arrive - why would I know that?  Then B wants to rename him - I can't even remember what he said, but I'm sure it was hilariously terrible.  LS is indifferent, so things are going to have to be extra creative.  It's going to be a long elf season.

(Charlie last year)
love Christmas.  It's my favorite holiday EVER!  However, I am acutely aware that there is a holiday in between the candy-induced frenzy of Halloween and the brightly lit, festive warmth of Christmas - Thanksgiving.

I know.  There is a reason this time of year is referred to as 'holiday season'.  I've been hosting Thanksgiving every year since we received our dining table.  It's the only one large enough to seat all our Utah family.  And honestly, I love to host the holidays, even though I'm easily stressed.

Have I told you the story of the Frozen Thanksgiving?  We base all of our holiday triumphs off of that one.  We were still living in the trailer park and, if you've ever been in a crappy trailer, you know there is no halfway - it's sweltering in the summer months and freezing during the winter ones.  Not an ideal place for gnomes to live, especially in our pseudo-city.

Living where we live, winter has a tendency of rearing its ugly face early, that year being no exception.  We were proud of ourselves, having gathered all the foodstuffs ahead of time.  The in-laws like olives and jellied cranberry sauce and I planned on making a homemade pumpkin pie.  It was the first year we were hosting, so we had a large turkey defrosting in the fridge.  

Anyone see where this is going yet?? 

On the morning of that fated Thanksgiving, I went about preparing.  The in-laws arrived early to lend a hand.  I couldn't find the olives or the cranberry sauce... or anything canned.  It wasn't in the house!  I started to panic, so I asked TBG where he had put them.  Turns out he left everything in the trunk of our car.  Outside.  Where it had snowed for days beforehand.  Upon opening a can of olives, we realized what we were dealing with - everything was coated in ice.  Everything frozen.  

At least the turkey was good to go, right?

No.  Apparently our crappy fridge (it was one that came with the trailer when we rented it - something circa 1970s) decided it wasn't capable of defrosting the turkey in the couple of days I was told it would take to do so.  The turkey was also frozen.  Still.  After 3 days in the fridge.  I was tempted to blame leprechauns - those mischievous little buggers - but we don't live in prime leprechaun territory, either.  Cue the meltdown.

No gnomes, no leprechauns, not even the tooth fairy.  I know.  So sad.

Thanks to our Frozen Thanksgiving, the turkey took three times as long to cook, everyone ate lukewarm appetizers, and we had to run to the store in an attempt to find pre-made pie.  Certainly wasn't a 'party like it's 1999' moment, but has given us quite the story to pass down.

Every year at Thanksgiving, something doesn't go quite as planned, but nothing will ever top the year of the Frozen Thanksgiving. When everything goes wrong, you make it into a great story!  

Just remember, at least it's not all frozen.

Onward, my precioussssses!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tell Me About Your Day

It's Friday and you know what that means!  Time for a blogging challenge: Secret Subject Swap.  This week 12 bloggers braved the unknown by coming up with a secret subject for another blogger, while getting one in return.  No one knows who got what... until now!

Secret Subject Swap

At the end of this post, you will find links to the other participating bloggers.  Don't miss out on the fun.  Visit them all and see what the fuss is about.  And you can always join us, just ask!

My Subject is:  After a day of (stress and waiting) you get to hang out at this table of a fabulous restaurant. Dinner is on me. Tell me about your day!

Tamara, things are rough around here.  I'm preparing myself, my family, and my house for my upcoming stint in the hospital, while still attempting not to ruminate on the upcoming surgery at all.  Confusing, I know.

I'm in pain.  My headaches are getting worse, whether by condition or stress, I can't say.  Probably both.  My stress is rubbing off on my husband, though he tries to hide it.  As we sit here, I'm waiting for him to get home so we can head up to the hospital for my pre-op tests.  I try and stay upbeat, but it's difficult.

To top it all off, my eldest son's beloved ferret passed away sometime last week and he didn't notice right away.  He kept her food bowl full and fresh water in her cage - she was dead days before he came to me with concerns.  He's such a sensitive boy.

Now we are on the never-ending mission of killing flies, lots of them.  I compared them to the Hydra - every time we kill one, three spawn in its place.  Despite the tiny satisfaction of every kill, it's starting to get tedious and there are fly guts every where.

But I'm nothing, if not determined.  I've been busting my way through my reading list.  If I continue on this path, I may actually reach my goal of 50 books this year, though I'm way behind and have 2 months to get it done.  Wish me luck, since it will be harder to read after surgery, as my short term memory takes a hit.

Speaking of reading, have you read my short story yet?  I know Karen has.  I know this is SSP (Shameless Self-Promotion), but I'm proud of this story and want to share it with everyone!!  It's called My Beating Heart, though I'm thinking of changing the title to just Beating Heart.  What do you think?

Thanks for the invite to chat, Tamara!  I needed to sit in front of a fire, since we just turned on our heat.  First year in a while that we turned the heat on after Halloween.  Next time we'll talk about your day!

Onward, my preciousssses.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Holding on to Halloween

I know that Halloween is officially over and Christmas season has begun, despite there being that holiday - you know the one - in between.

I would like to hold on to Autumn a little longer - as I sit here under a blanket, wishing my heat was on - so I'm bringing Halloween back for a day.  Later in the month, after I have surgery, there will be a little more Fall to hang onto when Blog with Friends bring you their posts on the eighteenth.

Until then...

Carving Pumpkins: the first time since the first time went horribly wrong -

Our family has avoided pumpkins since we lived in the trailer park.  We carved pumpkins one year and some teenage hooligans came and smashed them.  The kids were devastated, naturally, so rather than risk it, we didn't carve pumpkins - until this year.

Little Sasquatch dug in with gusto, after some initial reservations.  He drew his pumpkin's face.

Little Miss Sassy Pants was the only one who had no qualms about gutting the pumpkins.  She had no problem getting dirty, even reveled in it.  She also drew her pumpkin's face.  As you can tell, she was super excited at the final results!

Big, Bad Bigfoot.  Yeah, right.  He oscillated between revulsion and laughter during the entire process.  His reaction was hilarious!  After he finally gutted his pumpkin, he went for a more... specific approach.  He designed his pumpkin with weapons - bullets and axes.  I'm considering taking away the XBOX.

It was also the first year B trick-or-treated without us completely.  *sad face*  He may say that he won't stop trick-or-treating, but I have a feeling that time of frivolity has passed with him, caving to peer pressure and all that.

I wasn't able to get a full picture of his costume, but he was Indiana Jones (and damn proud of it, too).  I'll be sharing how proud on this month's Fly on the Wall post.

Here he is as Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.  (Bonus points to anyone who can tell me who was actually called Indiana)

LMSP and LS were adorable, as usual.  We went out with our good friends and walked way too much for my liking, but the kiddos had fun and that's all that matters.

She wanted to be a demon bride, but I could not - for the life me, I tried - find a white dress!  Well... I found white dresses, but I certainly wasn't going to pay 30 dollars for a dress that would end up in tatters and splashed with red paint.  So we compromised.

He wanted to be a zombie, but we ran out of time to do it right, so when he saw the Dragon Ninja Warrior costume, he latched on.

LMSP is Frankie Stein from Monster High, for those of you who have yet to be introduced to it.  It was either Monster High, Ever After High, or Hello Kitty - the joys of having a tween girl.

And I couldn't resist a close-up of LS's baby-blues.  They are gorgeous!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween!