Monthly Archives: January 2012

Coping, Cleaning and a Dash of Crazy

Somedays it’s just easier to empty your mind in coded words and colorful stories.  Even when your brain is itching to tell the world every last detail about what has been sucking up every cell in your brain, you just can’t let it out there.

Sometimes it’s because you shouldn’t tell every story.  Sometimes it’s because you just can’t find the words.

Today for me, it’s both.

Deja vu and deep-rooted fear of the worst always coming true, tells me that the grips of last winter have yet to let go.  Things are just all too familiar to me.  A tornado last year, this time, ripped through a town near by.  A tornado this year just passed through again.  This time last year my husband went in for a cold on this Wednesday, then ended up at a specialist on Thursday and came out with emergency spinal surgery on Friday.  He has an appointment this Thursday (one year exactly give or take a day of course, pesky calendars) to see if the surgery took.  He’s been hurting, and I fear the worst.  It’s all too familiar to me, the timing (hello we had no food or fire wood last time, and guess what’s on my to-do list this weekend, yup, ‘ello deja vu), the situations… my mind is blurring the lines together.  And throw in the special family situations and you end up with one huge ulcer of hey didn’t this just happen?!

Of course things have a chance of not turning out so bad this time around.  And you really can’t live your life building up conspiracies and jumping at shadows.  I’m defiantly not curled up into a fetile position rocking myself in a corner.  But my mind won’t let go, not fully.

And this post really isn’t about my same old sob story from last winter, or how I use the word “And” too many times to start a sentence, this post is really about coping, and moving on.

What do you do when your brain is all splashing around in turmoil?

Apparently I nest.  I’m talking nesting like Martha her self was on her way to visit.  I’m scrubbing, scouring, dusting, PURGING CRAP, braiding rugs (don’t ask), flipping mattresses, knitting, decorating, planning and scheming in ways, if I didn’t act like I had add, that would put both Martha and Caroline Ingalls to shame. 

You say we’re running low on bread?  *shazamm*  Here’s three loaves of HOMEMADE, fresh from the oven bread.  Is that a spot on the wall?  *kablam* The whole wall has been scrubbed back to the support beams. 

Except there’s much less “shazamm and kablam” it’s more of taking a whole dang day to get it done, and then noticing the whole entire house is still a mess, and the baby minion just stuffed the couch full of soggy Cheerios and sent my computer mouse for a swim in my mug of coffee.

And why doesn’t the world re-name spring cleaning, Winter Cleaning?  Who wants to clean in the spring when the sun finally appears once again?! 

I might be loosing my mind.  Maybe.  Possibly.

But when you’re running around, throwing out your back, swearing to the heavens that this time you will get your home perfectly spotless so the day it hits 60* outside you can spend every moment frolicking in the grassy warm meadows and sharing Cheetos with the goat… you don’t think bad stuff.  You don’t worry.  You forget.  I forget, and loosen up my stomach, relax the stern look across my face.

Busy stuff, is how I cope.  It’s cheaper than drinking ;p.

 

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She’s Ignoring the World

Her head doesn’t seem to be screwed on quite right. 

Her skin doesn’t seem to fit like it should.

The world seems to be just crumbling at the very tips of her toes.  And all she can do is squish her eyes as tight as they’ll go.

It’s hatred and scandal, there’s drama and deceit.

She should be falling apart, she should have already quit.  She should be decking her halls with pity party gear, slamming the days away with tears and booze.

But she is refusing to give in.  She’s ignoring the world.

She’s digging her heals deep into the earth, she’s feeding her stubbornness with all that she can.  She’s going to be strong, she’s going to win.

She’s ignoring the world and it fits her just right. 

She’s sunshine and daisies, rainbows and skittles.  She’s optimism in full bloom and she just doesn’t care. 

She’s going to be all that she shouldn’t.  Despite what they think.

 

101 in 365

I’m a list maker, a list lover even.  I could make list about list for list all dang day long.  But every year I TRY to make a master list, a challenge of sorts.  101 things I’d like to get done over the next year.  Nothing serious, nothing strict, no actual deadlines or set agendas… just a wish list of a to-do list.  Here’s this year’s list:

  1. Finish the headboard project for the master bedroom.
  2. Perfect a sourdough loaf of any kind.
  3. Finish knitting an afghan for the living room.
  4. Finish edits on “Denali” first draft.
  5. Go camping without the kids.
  6. Go camping with the kids.
  7. Build a new chicken coop.
  8. Learn how to can veggies.
  9. Stock up wood for next winter.
  10. Re-do the boy’s room.
  11. Afghan for the boy.
  12. Make/use/perfect homemade shampoo.
  13. Re-finish dining room hutch.
  14. Re-finish basement stairs.
  15. Build a seed rack.
  16. Re-do the goat hut.
  17. Fence in the garden.
  18. Write a short story.
  19. Enter a writing contest.
  20. Make a quilt for the master bedroom.
  21. Re-do the bathroom.
  22. Create/keep an exercise routine.
  23. Start a gratitude journal.
  24. Make homemade pasta.
  25. Finish tearing down the old pool area.
  26. Come up with a remodel plan for the kitchen.
  27. Finish and USE a control journal.
  28. Go hunting with the husband.
  29. Re-do the girl’s room.
  30. Make washrags for the kitchen/stop buying and throwing away sponges.
  31. Create a picture wall in the dining room.
  32. Finish kids’ hutch.
  33. Finish the “Martha Cave”.
  34. Make skirts for the girl.
  35. Re-finish the dining room table and chairs.
  36. Clean out the basement.
  37. Re-create/move the pond area to the left side of the deck.
  38. Strip down the “yellow wallpaper”.
  39. Make and use menu plans.
  40. Go fishing.
  41. Read 15 books. (current count for the year 3)
  42. Finish my friend’s website.
  43. Learn about and plan meat chickens.
  44. Research cheese making.
  45. Make homemade laundry detergent.
  46. Visit family in Minnesota.
  47. Till up three more garden plots.
  48. Finish basement bathroom.
  49. De-clutter property from precious owners’ crud.
  50. Grow a herb garden.
  51. Dry and store homegrown herbs.
  52. Write a poem.
  53. Have kids create artwork for the house.
  54. Knit scarves and hats for everyone.
  55. Make a rag rug.
  56. Make and USE seed markers.
  57. Create and USE a garden journal.
  58. Re-plant, and re-build the shade garden alongside the house.
  59. Clean out and organize all closets.
  60. Stock the deep freeze.
  61. Research good sources for meat.
  62. Create a kids’ garden and play area.
  63. Plan an “orchard”, start working on.
  64. Go on a road-trip.
  65. Re-finish hallway.
  66. Treat the deck.
  67. Install screen doors.
  68. Read the bible, again.
  69. Build a wood rack thing.
  70. Gravel the garden paths.
  71. Make something clothing like for me.
  72. Plan an etsy store.
  73. Learn how to make real soap.
  74. Find a church.
  75. Write letters and cards to friends.
  76. Plan/aim for more date nights with the husband.
  77. Build agility equipment.
  78. Make a scrapbook.
  79. Make cloth napkins.
  80. Plant berry bushes.
  81. Plan/Build a potting shed.
  82. Organize, sort and purge decorations.
  83. Clean out stumps/brush piles/ and old rotten trees.
  84. Learn how to fix my hair in ways other than the stay at home mom ponytail.
  85. Learn how to make Bagels and Donuts.
  86. Re-do kitchen.
  87. Pretty-up the deck and entrance.
  88. Research and make herbal, natural facial products.
  89. Make a “dream” journal for the house, with detailed to-do list, pictures and shopping list.
  90. Quit “bad habits”.
  91. Plan and start saving for a “Denali” vacation.
  92. Make a new outdoor fire pit.
  93. Teach the boy to do dishes!
  94. Teach the boy to take care of his own laundry- put away clean, gather dirties.
  95. Potty train the girl.
  96. Have more company.
  97. Make a master recipe binder.
  98. De-Clutter paper junk.
  99. Finish 31-days to clean.
  100. Learn how to knit a sweater.
  101. Finish everything on this list before I die.  ;p

Obviously this won’t all happen in only 365 days, not unless I win the lottery, and hire a crew of 50 men servants (’cause “slaves” is not pc).  But that’s not the point.  The point is to see how much you can get done, and to not get overwhelmed with starting projects that aren’t on the list.  Things can always be moved to next year’s list (except for potty training, that’s a must, lol).  I’ll be updating as the year goes on, and I’d love to see what your master list would look like!  Please try it out and link up with what you’d like to get done!

Sneaux Day Part Deux

Yesterday at 5:30 am I got the call, the boy’s school was cancelled due to inclement weather. 

Honestly at first I was excited.  I didn’t even have to watch the little closing notices on the news, or search the interwebs… they called me!  (This would be our first snow day ever, and when I was in school you had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to watch for your school on the tv)  And then I was excited for the boy, his first ever snow day!  He could play outside, drink tons of hot chocolate, watch movies and play with his sister so I could get laundry done!  AWESOME!

And then the minions woke up, and so did I.

After convincing the boy that going out to play in the snow at quarter to 6 in the morning, while it’s pitch black and a windchill of 0* is a BAD IDEA, both the minions got bit with the cabin fever bug almost immediately.

Fighting, crying, whining, fighting, I want I want I want, crying.

The roads were covered in black ice, my fridge was (is) literally bare, not one snack in the house, a high of 4* windchill outside for the entire day… and the three of us were locked inside.  Not even bribes of cupcakes could slice through the foul odor of the day.

And on top of it my wallpaper, my hideous awful YELLOW wallpaper started to mock me, seriously, and SOMEONE had the bright idea to tell me to read the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” – bad idea.

But I told myself, tomorrow there shall be school.  Just one day, and tomorrow I’ll get to the store, I’ll buy milk and wine and chips, and put this all behind me.  This stupid friggen winter weather.  After all, surely they wouldn’t cancel school again, with only a whole 1.8 inches of snow on the ground…

8:30pm my phone rings, “This is ————- School District, calling due to inclement weather there will be no school for tomorrow, have a good weekend.”

*Headoven*

It get’s even better.

2 snow days + the weekend + Monday and Tuesday SCHEDULED OFF = 6 days of no school.  SIX.

Putting the general concerns of when is my boy actually going to get an education to the side…

He got in trouble Wednesday for being loud in class, which equals no video games at home until he has a good day in school.  I don’t take back punishments.  Six freezing days of no school and NO video games.  *mutters* I don’t take back punishments.  *makes a mental note to check the weather before dishing out discipline*

Two minions, too wound up for words, 6 days of freezing weather, 3 working dogs barking their heads off in the basement because they can’t stay outside, a goat to tend, and 4 chickens… 6 days of freezing weather, tending to the creatures outside and two wound up children.  No wine in the house, no vodka, no snacks.  6 days.  And my wallpaper is mocking me.  The little turned up edges calling to me to rip and pull.  Yellow even, that wallpaper, such a horrid yellow.

I hate winter.

As the Sands in the Hourglass…

Last night I found myself doing some good old blog stalking.  You know the kind where you lurk from link to link, reading way back into the dusty halls of archives, learning way too much about people you have never met.  Yes my night was that exciting.

I couldn’t look away.  Like watching a train wreck, I had to keep reading.  My brain was trying to wrap itself around the reasoning that people have to share every little personal detail about their lives.  I get the idea behind blogging as one’s personal journal, and I get that some people feel as though they have nothing to hide… but every little detail, out in the masses of the non-expiring interwebs world… forever?!

I’ve thought about the future before, when my son moves out, has his own family, and one night my grandson “googles” my name, and he finds all of my blogs, my profiles…  OR when my daughter sets course for ruler of the world, and they check out her background, and find pictures of her running around in diapers…

Yes, I think of those sorts of things every time I post anything on the interwebs.

I suppose for me, personally, I’m an extremely private person.  Or maybe the best word for it is self-conscious.  My life is my life, and I choose to only let complete strangers into the “It won’t make me look bad, and it can’t be taken the wrong way” parts of my life.  In short, I prefer to air my dirty laundry inside the safety of my own private, windows locked tight, stain remover ready, laundry room.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, or maybe I’m just an interwebs prude?  ;p

Maybe I work for the CIA and if I told you anything about my real life I would have to kill you. 

Or maybe the going ons around here aren’t that interesting to begin with.  You might never know.

Even if I don’t understand the need to tell complete strangers every dirty little secret about every single instance in your life, I’m glad people out there feel the need to… gives me lots of good reading for these cold, boring, winter nights.  (not to mention some of those blogs makes me feel really sane and normal!)

~A Letter~

Dear Blank Screen,

Today I despise you.  You see there are lots of thoughts in my head, it’s been that way for awhile now… there’s so much that needs to get out.  Yet you block it all, you word/thought/idea blocker you.  You take the inspiring, moving, awesomeness of my thoughts and flash them up on the screen in jumbled heaps of what once was. 

Obviously YOU are the only one to blame, because the words are all so perfect in my brain, until you spill them out with your black simple fonts and your menacing edit suggestions.

And just in spite of you I’m going to write in BLUE.  Which actually feels a tad bit better.  Take that you big meanie.

And also while we’re at it, don’t think that I didn’t notice you FORCING me to take a short story idea and slam a whole friggen plot into it, taking a whole page, over 500 words just to do HALF of the intro.  You silently whispering into my ears, coaxing me to keep typing.  You are a new kind of evil, a lower than low bastard child of evil itself.  I will not fall for your trap of telling me that I can only write novels with 50,000 words. 

You should be punished.  Severely punished.  Tortured maybe.  It should be bad, real bad, horrific even. 

May this letter be a lesson to you, dear evil little blank screen and your buddies the black and white keys of death; you can make my words all jumbled and idiotic but I shall still post.  Neener.

Sincerely,

Me.

~A Letter to You~

Dear You, (as in the person I wish I could send this to, not you the general reader, unless of course this does indeed touch on you as well, and then you can change the you to you, and enjoy this one line, because the rest I do intend to keep somewhat serious)

This weekend a bit of information was shared about You.  I’m not sure why things are always trickled down from other people, and always seem to find us last, but that’s the way it is, I only hope THIS time we didn’t find out too late.

I get that the floor to our world had been yanked out from beneath our shaky feet.  I know that problems/troubles/pain seem to have a homing device set on destroying everything that is precious in our life.  I get it.  As removed from the situation as I am, even I have the nightmares, the dreams, the arguments with God… I have it all, in my own ways, but none the less, I too hurt. 

BUT that gives us NO excuses to stop fighting, to stop trying, to stop being.  And I’ve been told that that is exactly what you have done. 

Last time I kept my mouth shut, I waited, I watched, I let things be what they were… and I learned to never do that again.  So this is me speaking up.  This is me unleashing my mind.  This is me reaching out to you

You at this moment are all that is left in this shattered world.  Until God decides to lend out his almighty super glue, there is nothing else. 

So YOU ARE IMPORTANT, NEEDED, LOVED, treasured, respected, wanted, special, worthy… must I go on?  YOU can fix this, this situation at hand.  You can climb out, even if you need help with the rope!  I’ll help, we’ll help.  But I cannot force you to grab on.  I want YOU TO GRAB ON

Grab on.

Soon.

Please.

We’re here, without judgement.  We’ll always be here. 

I don’t have God strength Super Glue, but I do have an unending supply of tape, glues and staples. 

With unending Love,

Me

 

Stale Cheetos and Flash Fiction, There is a Connection

Somethings been swirling around in the vortex of my mind.  Popping in here and there, grabbing my attention and tickling my neurons.

I want to dip my toes in the white, rapid waters of Flash Fiction.

Actually what I’m really gunning for is to be able to share more of my writings here, and less of my ramblings about nothing.  And I’ve been told that the more you publish of a novel online the less a publisher will want to touch it. 

Flash Fictions could be my compromise, not long enough for a novel, but long enough to learn skills, develop my style and share with you the crazy weirdness that is my brainz.  And have you seen all of the contest online?! 

But there’s one problem….

I don’t know where to start, or HOW to start.  I don’t know what to do!  Oh sure I can pump out pages on pages developing a plot… but a story in UNDER 1,000 words?!  I’m lucky if I can post a blog in less than a thousand words. 

I know that you my most intelligent, awesome, ruler of the world readers have some excellent advice and thoughts.  So go on now, spill it!  After all in some time not too far off in the distance a big scary, hairy man will be standing behind you, armed with stale Cheetos, forcing you to read my attempts at flash fiction.  You might as well help me make it decent!

And Then then Storm…

The suited man on the television is telling me that the temperature outside is 50*.  Today’s high will land us somewhere amongst the sixties.  It’s January, and I live in the midwest, where last week we were having lows of 16*.  This can only mean one thing.

Welcome back Tornado season!

I say that with mixed emotions.  My aunt and uncle almost lost their homes last Good Friday from a tornado, they just got to move back in last week.  Joplin Missouri is still trying to recover and regroup after all of the lives that were lost last year.  (go jump on youtube, there’s some terrifying videos from Joplin and Lambert Airport) We still have trees snapped in half, holes in the ground where trees were uprooted, and siding to repair from where our utility box was ripped off of the wall.

Tornado season used to be fun.

Where I live is among Tornado Alley, a virtual highway for these devastating storms.  I’ve grown up with sirens blaring, trees snapping, and amazing views in the sky.  (If I can get my old laptop to boot back up, I’ll have to grab some pics for you, I have videos from last year, but my lovely dial-ups won’t let me upload them here)

I’m the kind that stands out in the middle of the storms, camera in hand, mesmerized by the whole thing.  It’s hard to walk away.

Things change though, when it’s not just you.  When there’s minions, and acres of unknown woods around you… it’s a wee bit intimidating.

But then again there’s just something about that charge that builds in the air, the stillness of the clouds, the green of the sky, the hot and the cold pulling at the tiny hairs of your skin, the quietness of it all, and then, then… the storm.

Here’s hoping, praying for a fun and SAFE storm season.

 

Rock Quarries and Sledge Hammers

I suppose it’s time to take the tree down now, even though I really don’t want to.  Behind the tree hides aged wallpaper, dark curtains and a home that is not yet mine. 

When we bought this house, just a few years back, we were escaping what my husband deems the city, what I would call the suburbs.  From a tiny shoebox sized duplex, where you could easily spit from the front wall to the back wall (and you could hear your neighbor dong the same) to a 50-year-old house sitting on 6 acres. 

The Kitchen the day we moved in

We might have been a wee bit too desperate to escape that tiny duplex.  The house, this house, needed (needs) TONS of work.  The gutters had trees growing out of them, the land was a virtual jungle (complete with rabid snakes), every surface of the house was (is) either covered in dated paneling or wallpaper (and when I say EVERY I mean it, even my cabinets are wallpapered), the carpets showed over 20 years of stains… I could go on and on. 

It doesn’t help matters much when I’m a D.I.Y. addict, honestly, I could watch This Old House for HOURS, I can’t stand to pay someone to do work for me because OBVIOUSLY I could do it so much better myself, unless we’re talking electricity which scares the heck out of me.  And I’m impatient.  I refuse to wait on other people to help me.  Ask me how many people offered to paint the baby’s room when I was pregnant, then ask me why I was left to do it on my own 3 months before I was set to deliver.  Don’t count on other people if you want stuff done.  <- but that’s just my theory.

My husband though, on the other hand, has not one impatient or D.I.Y.  bone in his entire body, not when it comes to this house.  Him- “I think we should rip out that wallpaper in our room.”  Me- “really?!  *happy dance*”  Him- “*rip, tear* How about a break?  *never shows back up*”   Me- six months later, finally finished sanding down the walls and managed to paint them, the room still sits unfinished. 

Somedays it is a wonder that we’re still together.  Had I known that his diy attitude in the duplex would disappear when we actually had stuff to do, I would have run FAR, FAR AWAY from this house.  Momma can only do so much on he own while juggling animals and children.

But I’m stubborn as well.  Like with my garden.  I began the garden after waiting almost 2 years for the promises of heavy machinery to come through and till up the billions of rocks and boulders that lay beneath the surface.  2 Years.   Then I had enough of the waiting.  With a pistol (for the snakes), shovel, and hand powered garden claw in hand I set to work.  Bleeding fingers, skinned knees, and sunburns later I had a healthy crop of green beans, radishes and lettuce.  (And a nice rocky path, I should really open up a rock store)

And so now I’m sitting here, dreading packing up all of the Christmas decorations that have been hiding the work that needs to be done.  My eyes will have no more diversions to the aged wallpaper and panelling, to the ancient non-matching light fixtures, to the years of neglect this place has seen. 

Inside I want to take a sledge-hammer to the walls and start brand new, and oh I want a vaulted ceiling in my kitchen!!!  But my budget is more leaning towards MAYBE being able to buy a can of paint… maybe.  *sighs*

But we’re talking about the girl who made a garden out of a rock quarry and who finally perfected making her own bread…  If I can write a 50,000 word novel in less than 30 days surely I can remodel at least the kitchen with nothing more than twenty bucks… right?  *starts digging in the couch cushions*  I might need a tad bit more than $20.00…

To be continued…