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Fabric Covered Binders

Since I'm not able to do my three hour workouts this month, I've decided to tackle some of the 2016 Personal Challenges . This one w...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Building of The House

Me, pointing at an empty lot. Empty for 3.5 years.

Good people of the earth: I am a patient person. I can read, pick my nails or twist my hair as I wait ever-so-patiently for things like doctor's appointments, drying paint and bacon.

I canNOT, however, wait almost six months for a building permit.

Why?  Why is this happening?

I have already made four payments on a construction loan that also isn't doing anything but waiting on this permit!

Here. Here's my money. Enjoy it while I simmer in anger juices.

It took over a year to get my plans completed.

It took another year to realize I'd been had by the guy I hired to clear the land (just kidding - it took only a few months for that realization to kick in).

It took four months for me to realize the lawyer I hired to deal with the land-clearer I'd hired was a moron who couldn't write a demand letter. So fun.

And now? It's a waiting game for a bunch of check boxes to be checked and resulting comments to be addressed. Why should it take almost six months?!

My mortgage lady told me her permit took eight months. I scoffed and said 'there's no way MINE will take eight months.' Oh, wood - where were you when I opened my mouth on that one? Someone should have tapped me on the shoulder and forced me to knock on it.


I am going to just give up on my excitement and Christmas party plans and see how long things take while I'm wallowing in despair. In the meantime, I'm going to practice doing things that might or might not happen in the house that might or might not be built. I don't think I'll be smiling much until we actually have paper in hand, and even then, I'll be pessimistic and snarky. People warned me about building a house. They did. To them, I say thank you, yes, you said it. I didn't realize, though, that the problems would begin as far back as they did. Can I at least get a foundation poured before the drama starts? No?  What lovely things are in store for us!?  *knock knock*

If you could, please send me good vibes, and don't take it personally if I'm not as chipper as I usually am.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Pottery for sale!

One of my many, many cheese platters

Fairly soon, I will be starting up a little shop for people to order pottery.

I make everything by hand. Since I make it by hand, it is fairly customizable...and takes a while to accomplish.

I'll let everyone know where sales will take place, as well as prices and custom options.

Thanks for the support so far!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Make Spooky Spiders and Scare...Children?

RAWR...or whatever spiders say

I usually get really busy in the last third of the year, every single year. That bums me out, since I have lots of projects I need to accomplish during that time and I usually don't. Before you suggest I do my project in the beginning or middle of the year instead, let me just stop you right there. Who can make scary spiders in the middle of Spring Break? Exactly!

So, I have a list of three Halloween projects to complete in four days. Perfect! Well, we'll see how that works out. Here is the first of perhaps three. 

Start out with the following items:
- styrofoam balls in size of choice
- eight black pipe cleaners for each ball
- glue
- black spray paint
- floral pick or small gauge wire for display

First, you put glue all over the styrofoam ball. If you don't and use spray paint on it, it will disintegrate into a lumpy mess. So, yes, put glue all over the ball. 

If you get dog hair or even possum hair in it, don't worry about it. Shoot, if it falls off the table into the dirt, all the better. This spider is supposed to be scary!  A dirty spider is a scary spider!

Once the glue has dried, spray the ball with spray paint. FYI: I didn't use that set-up to spray the ball. I put the ball on a wire and turned it slowly as I sprayed.  Once dry, poke four holes on each side.

Grab all eight pipe cleaners and bend them like below. Make one leg longer to make up for what you stick into the ball. Make feet, too! Aren't they cute? Stick them into the holes.
If you feel that you live in a windy area, go ahead and glue the legs. After dry, poke the floral pick or wire into the bottom of the spider and place in your yard or side garden. Wherever! I also thought about using googly eyes, but I think I vowed never to touch those things again after this project.

I haven't scared any actual person, so far, but I did make the cat hurry away. However, the dog wanted to eat it. Fun times!  I mean, scary times!  Scary, scary times!

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Lizard Story

In February of this year, I had a moment. I posted on FB about that moment. I will share here, so people all over the world can share in my moment.

Fun story of the day, because apparently, I like communicating my awkward moments. The set-up: about a week ago, I noticed a tiny, tiny gecko baby by the side of the oven. I rescue things often and wanted to do so right then and there, but alas, he scurried down the side of the stove. I feared for him! Stoves are hot, you guys. Didn't know if you knew...

Scene of the incident -- at least part one.
So, fast forward to today, and I see the little darling again. At this point, he was on the stove itself. The stove top is black, so the gecko baby was fairly dark, as well. Hard to see, but he scurried and revealed himself.

I jumped into action, slo-mo.

It was cinematic.

I slowly pushed the knife block against one side of the stove so that the gap was covered. The other side got a pair of tongs. I had trivets and oil containers for him to use as a hiding place, so I slowly inched him to a bright orange funnel.

Well, that didn't work. He doesn't like orange.

Forward. Forward.

What the...?!

He jumped on my leg! I squeaked a little and then applied a calming technique to keep him where he was, but he freaked and went straight for my crotch.


So, I trap him there with both hands and start hobbling toward the back door. I know I probably look like a hunched old woman who needs to potty. Can you picture it? What a weirdo.

Yes, I make it outside, and that's when junior decides to jump on my arm and make a beeline for my armpit.

Disaster. Who is this perverted gecko?!

Not a gecko, but a cute pic, nonetheless.
I coax him out and eventually get him on the porch wall. He looks a little bit relieved and starts side-stepping to a less offensive hiding place. I thank the stars I didn't have to disrobe outside.

The end.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Admitted Bibliophile

I luurrrrrrvve books. I do. I have to read from a book before I go to sleep or I feel weird. It's like driving without a seat belt, you know? Weird!

My love of books has cost us a lot of money. It cost various amounts of money to buy them. We had to buy shelves to store them. The cost was most apparent when we last moved: our bill included an additional $5,000 fee to haul my library from Texas to Florida. That was the kick in the pants I needed to pare down before we moved again.


I don't have time to read four or five hours a day, since I have things to do and places to go. However, I have found something awesome that allows me to clean and organize and exercise AND READ AT THE SAME TIME!

Yes, you are reading that correctly.

I did this before, years ago, when it took me an hour to get to work, an hour to get to school, and hour to get to the doctor, etc. I had books on tape and books on CDs and I'd learn things as I drove. Meh. I don't know that I heard important parts as I careened through traffic going 55 mph or more. I would get out of the car and grumble about not remembering anything I just heard.

Fast-forward to this year and you'll find me doing mindless tasks as I listen to books from my library (on hoopla for free!). I couldn't concentrate on the Italian back then because I was paying more attention to the traffic. Call me clever, people. I hadz brains.

I'm really ramping up the book purge lately because we're about to build a house. I don't have plans for six floor-to-ceiling bookcases to house my library. Those are for my art and pottery projects!

Weaving a clay basket and making pinch pots!

But seriously...  In the last two weeks, I've 'read' fourteen books.I'm on a roll here and I am confident I can get rid of maybe 200 books (or more) by the end of the year. Am I dreaming? I hope I'm not dreaming.

The 'read' books, ready to be donated!

Any experience with any other phone apps that have free audio books?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Lies and Lying Liars!

You might think, at this time of year, that this post would be about politics...but it isn't. This post is about the Internetz and how easy it is to spread misinformation to the masses. I'm a big proponent of testing of internet theories (and Pinterest pins and FB posts and stuff people heard, etc). I already know not to believe pictures, but now you can't even believe videos.

These are some of my fave fake photos:

Wanna see a blue watermelon, grown especially in Japan?

Some baby owlets out in nature?

These are actually plushies!

One of my not-so-fave fakes?  This one:

Do Not Believe This, Please.

Now, I'm someone who works out, and I was actually very interested when I saw this pin. The more I looked at it, though, the more I rolled my eyes. They're stuck now, my eyes...way back in my head.

Why would someone do this? There is no way this workout burns 1,000 calories. A marathon -- 26 miles of sweaty, slobbery ambling along a hard surface -- 'only' burns 2,600 calories. People will see this pin and think they can eat a couple of brownies then burn everything off with this workout!  This plays on our need for a 'quick fix' and is something we all know and love: click-bait.

I guess my advice, should you choose to take it, would be to question everything more...oh, and don't fall for the 'iodine and baby oil mixture removes hair' myth. My early teen years were very informative, people.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Life and Loss


I'm taking a turn from my usual perky self today to talk about loss.

Ugh. Loss.

I've experienced all kinds of loss, and it's horrid. There's no way to avoid it, of course, unless you shut yourself away from all humans.

Losses that 'fit the norm,' as it were, are still painful, but, sad to say, kind of expected. I'll take my dad's dad as an example. The poor man was 99 1/2 years old when he died and was pretty miserable, physically. His wish was to avoid 100...and he got his wish. Seriously, at my age, I can't even imagine myself at that age. I'm already crotchety! He wasn't, though. He had a ready laugh and a positive outlook, and I could sure learn a lot from that. Of course, I drive and he didn't near the end, so I'm blaming horrible drivers for my temporary moments of crank.

The other side of the coin is the unexpected loss: The loss that smacks you from out of nowhere and turns you inside out; the loss that has you asking over and over, why, why, why; the loss of the young. Even years later, you'll ask yourself what they would be doing, how they'd look, whether or not they'd have kids, if only...

I lost a cousin and a sister, both too young. Even after more than 20 years, I miss them. I cry and get mad all over again because the world won't have them in it. Both could make me laugh with a single look and/or eyebrow wiggle.

If this post serves you at all, let it be a reminder to stay in touch, tell people how you feel, stop competing for the all-important last word and, lastly, love your peeps.