Friday, February 26, 2010

RVing For Life

First, I just want to say that it’s so windy here I had to bring the dog in before he blew away like a little chiweenie kite. (He’s a chiweenie)

Today I had a realization. I’m kind of staggering around because it’s an idea Jace and I have tossed around but thought it was something far, far away.

I guess you need a tiny bit of background. We used to live in Colorado, about 5 years ago. We decided to come back to Texas because we still had some brain cells that weren’t fried by the heat. We like it here except the heat. It’s become a life of 6 months indoors because it’s too hot to do anything else. I can stand the heat most days but Jace cannot and what kind of fun is that when you’re by yourself?

We embarked on a goal of paying off our bills and then moving north or living in the fridge. Then we started toying with the idea of RV’ing. First it was just a camper. Then it became looking at houses online in Montana. Then it was house and camper and Montana. Last May we took a trip to Yosemite National Park and we were sold. We probably would have lived in a giant sequoia if they would have let us. We also became pen pals with a lady we met there. (totally irrelevant, I know)

Now the dream is Montana, maybe, or somewhere Northwestern. We’re now talking about the big RV. The big bus wooly mammoth RV. Today I went to the library and checked out books on RV life. So the research end of this big dream is starting to kick in gear.

I show Jace the books I got and then my brain popped. It was the moment when my nerdy numerical brain calculator went into overdrive and remembered something I did earlier today. I paid a bill. But now I suddenly realize we paid “X” amount on that bill, which we can do every month, and figuring out the other bills and interest rates we can have our bills paid off in about 2 years not 5. Which means the RV’ing thing is now zooming fast forward and I don’t even know how to open the door to get in one. I haven’t a clue about on the road medical care. Can you cook while it’s moving? How will I get my Sleep Number to fit? Yes, I have gone camping for you ninnies out there who say I’m getting myself into big trouble. There’s just a whole lotta details Jace and I have to work out. Plus the excitement of adventure and perfecting our evil laugh as we drive off into the sunset yelling “Suckas!”

I figured this was as good a place as any to blab about it and say that I’m feeling just a tad overwhelmed right now. I know it will all work out because I’m the master of making a square peg fit in a round hole. Try, try, try again and if that doesn’t work get a hammer and make it work. Oh, and by the way, this blog will be changing in a few years to a blog about 2 old people with their nagging daughter traveling around the U.S.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hair Candy Part 2

It’s five-thirty in the afternoon and I’m ready to go to sleep. I’m soooo tired. And alive. I’m still alive. So is Rowan.

I last left off with trepidation about taking Rowan with me to the hair salon. I gritted my teeth and blocked out the voice in my head that said, “cancel your appointment, stupid.” Got my directions off the ever reliable MapQuest (this will be an issue later), got dressed, got Rowan’s arsenal of things to keep her busy, and went out the door.

We made it to the place, an hour away, without any trouble. Besides me telling Rowan that I couldn’t talk because I was driving and I couldn’t do both at once. I really wanted to listen to the radio. So far so good. I also had the bribe in place and working. You’ll find out soon what that is.

The girl seated me right away. Nice comfy chairs. A little pretentious. It’s a hair place in a strip mall, it can’t get too fancy. Rowan of course did not want to watch her movie because there was too many new, interesting things going on around her. She did sit still. The girl held some piece of paper next to my hair (lunch receipt?) and told me my hair was between a 7 and 8, whatever that means. We discussed what I wanted and what she was actually going to do. The compromise was that she could do whatever she wanted as long as she covered the gray.

Now was the long 2 hour process of painting my hair with blue stuff and wrapping it in aluminum foil. Rowan did well during this part. Once my hair was all packaged up I asked Rowan if she liked my new hairstyle. She said yes. She’s a good liar. She also said into thin air, “I wish I was older and could get MY hair done.” You did Rowan, when you chopped it all off. Remember? Hmph. Finally it was time to wash/rinse/condition my hair. This is where Rowan started to come undone. Of course my head is in a sink and now she wants to wander. I think the girl could feel my anxiety as she rapidly washed and rinsed. Once done I bolted out of the seat, “Rowan get over here!” She instantly reappeared but I think she had been in and out of their bathroom, nail room, and massage room. Back in my chair the girl says all she needs to do is dry my hair. I tell her she better step on it because we’re at the end of the line I can tell you that right now. Another warning to Rowan and promises of splendid fun if she’ll sit still. Can’t that blow dryer blow any faster? And we’re done. The gray is colored and I have highlights. No, I don’t have pictures because I wasn’t wearing makeup and that’s just the way it is.

Out the door we go! Yea! We made it through the horror. We are now off to find Big Top Candy Shop. Sounds like a marvelous place. I’ve heard about it and saw pictures. A child’s dream candy store. I follow my fabulous Mapquest directions and only have to turn around once for missing an exit because Mapquest thinks the exit is really named This instead of That. We made it to downtown. Things go bad here and I would’ve just given up and gone home except that I promised Rowan. The city failed to notify Mapquest of the big fat detour. Thankfully I’ve been blessed with a pretty good directional sense and I managed to get us on the right street. After 5 minutes I’m still not seeing the place and the neighborhood is getting not so candy like. I think it’s time to turn around and drive like idiot slow people and just cause a traffic jam because I’m not leaving this city till my little monster angel daughter gets her piece of…THERE IT IS. I see it. It’s on the other side of the street. What to do what to do. Turn around turn around. Haha I got a green light. And we’re HERE!

And now we’re home and I’m done. Lesson learned. Check the school schedule before making appointments.

Hair Candy Part 1

This is a pre story.

This morning I hid under the covers as long as I possibly could. The monster was up and pacing around the house. Finally it smelled my fear and came to the room. I shivered knowing what was coming.

“Teeko teeko teeko Momma. Get up!”

Boo. I rose with heaviness of heart. I have a battle to face through my own fault. It is questionable that I’ll live. Here’s what happened…

Yesterday I made a hair appointment, which as a mom never happens because there’s only a million things to get done every day. After I made this appointment I sent out a smug tweet like “haha you peasants I’m getting my hair done.”

After Rowan got home from school I looked in her folder and heard my voice saying in slow motion “N o o o o o o.” I had completely forgot that today is a parent teacher conference day and she has no school today. Which means she’ll have to go with me while I get my hair done.

I have extreme angst about this. Rowan is decently behaved but there are those days when I wonder if I’ll need some sturdy rope and a good gag. Is today one of those days? I don’t know yet. But I’m looking at being in a hair salon for 2 hours and I have to make sure she’s not destroying the place, bothering other people, or swallowing hair color all while I have to stay sitting in a chair.

I have plenty of bribes and pleading planned. If that fails, I know there’s got to be a few bars around the area that might have a drive-thru. I’m just hoping my new hair style doesn’t resemble something like me having pulled most of it out.

I’ll be back later with the ending…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Big Snow Day

Today it snowed. Not that much. Not all at once. But it was definitely snow. I did some video but I haven’t looked at it yet to see if it turned out well. It’s hard to determine if snow falling against a gray sky will look good on video. My guess is not, but I wanted to preserve it just in case I got lucky.

There really hasn’t been too many big things going on around here. I did stumble across this wet floor sign. That floor knows me so well.

Mostly I have been working on my crafting space. I haven’t been able to work on any crafts because I’m still cleaning out the closets to stock the crafting area with all the stuff I had jammed in different closets. Of course there’s the throw away pile and the I’m not sure if I should throw this away pile. Emotional attachment and trying to figure out if something is good enough to keep, or will I use it for something else, is time consuming.

Jace is using the space. He’s a much better scrap booker than I am. Seriously, the dude can scrapbook. I look at a page I did and it still feels like 1990’s scrap booking. Jace’s page looks like a scrapbook page should look. Sigh. It’s hard to realize he’s craftier at something than I am. No I don’t have pride. And yes, I can hear you laughing about that.

I also came across his idea of creativity. Why didn’t I think of this? He put a 2 ounce candle in this decorative tin watering can. Very cute.

Today I’m making some potato soup to celebrate the snow. This is a big occasion. I’m sure the weatherman will tell everyone this is a record of some sort. I’m also letting Onslo our dog roam all over the house. Don’t tell Jace. He is certain if the dog crosses this invisible line then the dog just wants to pee on everything. Not true. But I am keeping all the doors shut and a close eye on him. I really don’t want to explain why I’m cleaning up dog pee. Dog, if you pee you’re going outside and you’ll have to walk through 5 feet of snow for 15 miles to get back in this house!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Organization is a pain

The crafting/creative/book space is now done. I'm putting up some last pictures to show you what has happened.

Things are up on the shelves now.

I found most of my containers at a kitchen store. I also added a small cork board on the bottom left of the first shelf for putting up notes.

This is how all the cd's look. Out of my way but easily accessible.

Now the tedious part. Going through all my stuff and keeping or throwing away. I found this crosstitch piece in a photo album. I was wondering where that went to.

I went through my plastic crafting drawers and now have an empty drawer for Rowan's stuff.

Here's a picture of organizing perfection. That pitcher looks just like decoration doesn't it? Well, it's not just decoration. It's holding greenery I use for other things. That's probably the lesson in all this. I try to make sure my decorative things can be used for storing other things.

And the things I store can look like a decorative element.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Most Awesome Food Site

Saw this on another blog. You will gain 20 pounds and your cholesterol will go up 10 points just looking at the pics. This is why you're fat.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reinvented Space

I have one hallway in my house. Many a builder will tell you that hallways are wasted space. Being in a small house means every square foot needs to work for me. I can’t have spaces that are only decorative. I need it to be functional also.

So I have this hallway that was clearly not functioning at its’ best potential. It was more of an eyesore. It was becoming…the catch all spot. It was a wonderful place to house books. But then it started to accumulate CD’s, a rack of DVD’s and VHS movies (yes, we still have some), Rowan’s “school” stuff, a small ice chest, a wooden duck, and a whole dresser because I had to make room for the treadmill.

I hated that spot. Couldn’t stand to look at it. I was happy that it was so dark when the light was turned out. It was the cave of despair.

One morning I walked out of the bedroom, oh about a week ago, and the light bulb over my head went off. This was a grand idea. Seeing as I hadn’t had any coffee yet, but having such a flash of creativeness, it had to work! And since the makeover shows on HGTV only take 30 minutes, this would be what…an hour…tops.
First, I cleaned out the entire hallway. Most of the stuff is stacked in my living room. The dresser has made it to Rowan’s bathroom. She’s small. She doesn’t need much space for walking. I’ll have to go through all the books and movies and decide which ones need to be sold at Half Price Books.

After a lovely trip to Lowe’s I started my plan. I painted the entire hallway. I wanted a desk area. I measured a real desk to get the right height. I screwed 2x4’s into the studs on the wall. I painted those the same as the wall color to get a uniform look. I cut a nice piece of wood for the top and screwed it onto the 2x4’s. I had my lovely magician’s assistant/princess model for me. I’m going to sand, stain, and gloss the desk top. It’s only 16 inches wide but will be surprisingly useful. I can use my sewing machine, keyboard, write on the computer, or do crafting things. That’s what I call “Work it baby.”

Next, I took the old bookcase, which has seen many better days, and disassembled(?) it. The shelves are all real wood and I thought it would be a shame not to reuse them. I found the studs and attached brackets and put up three of the old shelves. I’m still in the process of painting them to match everything else. These shelves will be used for all crafting and creative thinking supplies.

Today, I put up three more shelves. These will be used to hold the remaining books and movies we keep. The shelves go over the doorways on the three remaining walls. I was using some boards from the old bookcase but I thought they were too wide. I ended up finding some 8 inch wide pieces of wood out back which I think looks nicer. I still have to clean, sand, and paint these to match.

I still have enough brackets to put up three more shelves if we need them. I really wanted to get these pictures up. I’ll post the finished look…well, when I’m finished. I’m off to go sand now.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two sentence update...

I'm in the middle of painting and reinventing a space. Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Update: Wall Street Journal

I’m realizing that I will have to start tagging these posts because I’m starting to have updates to those said events. This is one such update. I will hunt around and see if I can find my first post about it. The IT is my post about the Wall Street Journal. More specifically, me doing an interview about couponing.

This was put on the back burner because I didn’t really know where this interview/article was going. Today I received a call from the newspaper reporter man (while I was out couponing no less). The article is moving forward and is now in the editing stages. As he put it, “it’s been sent to New York and is getting edited.” In the age of instant gratification this process of getting a story from start to printed is really slow.

He needs a few more things. Pictures. Not really pictures of me, but they would help the story because people like looking at pictures of people. He says he understands the need for privacy if I don’t want my picture in a nationally/worldwide known newspaper. I can’t really envision myself as a celebrity and don’t really think I will be getting pointed out in the store and being asked for an autograph. More importantly he needs pictures of my pantry/stockpile items.

Today I arranged as much as I could and figured I might as well post the pics here, too. I’m not sure if my picture will end up in the article. I confess I do have a fear of my picture in the paper. It’s more the opposite of celebrity. What if it angers people that I have extra? What if they say I shouldn’t have extra because I should be sending it to Haiti?

Luckily the mailman came to my rescue. He brought me a letter of “Thank You for all the loot” from the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center. I like giving to them because they are helping people who have barely escaped an abusive home with their life and have nothing else. I feel my donation won’t be misused.

All in all this was a good exercise to see what I do have. The stockpile is nowhere near where it could be. It’s actually rather modest. So modest that it won’t provide the shock and awe the newspaper is probably looking for.

I also have one serious question left. Why do I have 18 shampoos and conditioners and 12 deodorants? Guess it’s time for another donation.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hodge Podge of Everyday Stuff

As per usual I have a hodge podge of pictures going on. Oh where oh where can my black boots be? Maybe this biker chick in her princess t-shirt can tell me.

Today was loads of fun. Jace and I have a choice when it comes to having a hot date. We can go out for dinner and a movie while Rowan is at school. Or we can go shopping! We like going shopping more. We had our hot date today at Hobby Lobby and Goodwill. This is fun because we can giggle in the aisles and make silly faces. We were going down one aisle and Jace picked up this urn looking thing and he said, "hey, we could put our coffee in this." I of course said, "yes, right next to pappy's ashes." We don't really know anyone named pappy. And then we laughed and scared the girl in the next aisle.
At Hobby Lobby I saw lots of big glass jars and vases. I want some to put yarn in. The best price I can get is $30. Jace said we should go look at Goodwill. Happily we found this jar for $3.99.

In another post I wrote about Jace taking up scrapbooking. I found a 40% off coupon and this is what he picked out. It's a scrapbooking kit and some other little scrapbooking accessories.
This is my new war club. Actually it's a present from Jace. He got me this garden globe with decorative iron. This is heavy. I could kill someone with this, or stab myself in the foot.
Lastly, I received a gift from my archnemesis. It's a child disciplinary tool. Actually it's a nostapinne. That's a big Scandinavian word for something that will make a nice center pull ball of yarn. This one is made out of "Amboyna Burl. It's rare and caused by a virus in the wood. It makes a prego bump on the amboyna tree." This is what she told me. Virus in the wood! You see how she is trying to bump me off again. I touch the nostipinne and catch a virus and keel over covered in yarn balls. I still love it. And it has little stars because she knows I'm a big fan of Wonder Woman.
And this is a present from God. The first butterfly this year. It was in love with our winter honeysuckle because it's blooming right now. I'm hoping spring is not far away. Jace is pouring over seed catalogs right now. Sigh...we'll need more gardening areas.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Go Red for Women...Feb. 5th

Show your support for women's heart health by wearing red Friday, February, 5th.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Come on in, the water's fine...

This is the time of year that I hate the most. The long dragging of winter. For us it's an endless gray sky that's just cold enough to be uncomfortable when staying outside for very long. This is not a good time of year for us midlifer-crises-ers. It feels like so much wasted time.

But never fear, there is always something going on around here. Today I thought I would catch you up on what we/I do while languishing my youth away inside the house. First, we see...
A high stakes game of Cootie going on with drinking! There's probably some gambling of candy and tickles, too.
Recently I told you I had started to learn how to knit. This is a great activity for someone who is..."german" as Jace says...I can't help it if I have the ability to see things in numbers and lines (like Nemo from the Matrix...or is it Neo) Anyway, the big secret of knitting design is a graph design with symbols in each square for each particular stitch. Beginner knitting consists of blank squares or squares with dots. After figuring this out I began to imagine different designs and now I need graph paper to plot/draw out some designs.
Right now I'm knitting a scarf for Rowan so she'll get off my back because she's so sweet. It's a scarf using only a pearl stitch, some old yarn I had, and plenty of HGTV. Knitting is a great hobby if you are wanting to have a hobby that is inexpensive and takes a lot of time.

Speaking of husband, who must be an alien, mentioned he wanted to start scrapbooking some things he and Rowan are doing. I will fully support this even though I have absolutely no interest in scrapbooking. I just find it interesting to see the things he's interested in.

When the days are cold and I am wandering around the house bad idea, I get creative ideas. I was strolling past the kitchen rack thing and it dawned on me that I have some 'S' hooks. So I found most of them and hung them up. I need more hooks. This is a super space saver. In a small house every inch counts. Oh, and I also decided to repaint the front door this spring.
I've set the keyboard back up and now it is receiving lots of attention. The site is a very nice site for getting sheet music and they even have some free stuff you can print or save on your computer. It's for all different instruments. Jace is playing guitar and we hope to soon be singing an "I've got you babe" duet.

I'm still jogging. Up to 1.75 miles today. I did learn that I can only improve distance/speed in very small increments. Otherwise my body gets very upset at me.

Hope to have some interesting things to post soon. With winter it's questionable.