Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A story to share, a story to tell...

A very good friend of mine linked me to this article this morning.  It's stories of unassuming items that are in our lives; potatoes, quilts, knives, a chair.  Behind those every day items are stories of love and memory. 

And I thought: I, too, have a story like this.

Although, to be honest, it's not my story per se, it's my husbands. 

But as I was there to witness a good portion of it, I will tell it the best way I know how (ie. in my own words). 

The Armoire

It's not even really about the armoire but more about what it carried for several years unknown to anyone except the original owner. 

Like anyone who has to divvy up an estate after a loved one passes, I can't even imagine what it was like for my husband and his brother as they went through their mother's things after Judy left this world.  In the years to come, I would get to know my mother-in-law through neighbors and friends, my husband, and his brother.  My children's grandmother cast a long shadow of love and laughter wherever she went, it would seem.  And in the town she had once lived in for many years, well, this place was no exception.

We moved to my hubby's hometown right around 2000 and settled into our rental home.  We had no jobs, a little money, and an almost two year old.  Looking back all I can think of was just how very insane it all was and that we must've had an angel looking out for us. 

Either way, we moved into that house and into our bedroom went the armoire.  Kenny had gotten it in a coin toss when he and his brother were dividing up their mother's belongings.  Simple yet effective, Kenny won the toss and proceeded to move this piece of furniture everywhere with him for several years.  I think we counted one time and it had been moved at least a dozen times if not more over the years. 

We moved again into the house we are now paying a mortgage on and moved that large piece of furniture up into our master bedroom.  And one day, I pulled out all of the drawers in the top portion to clean out the dust bunnies.  I might've been nesting at the time, but I'm not sure.  Either way, something made a clink-clink-clink and I peered into the back of the wardrobe.  There, sitting in a dark corner, was a ring.  Pulling it out, I slid it onto my index finger and got a good look at it.  It was a class ring proudly touting 'The Class of '84'. 

It was Kenny's class ring. 

Walking down the stairs, I rounded the corner into the living room.  I vaguely remember the conversation we had and he thought it was lost many years ago to an old girlfriend. 

Instead, some time in all of those years, his Mom must've gotten the ring somehow and tucked into the armoire. 

When I open up my jewelry box and see our class rings tucked in together in a tiny white jewelers box, I smile.  It's an amazingly simple story of a piece of furniture and a ring. 

And the woman who owned it once upon a time.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dear Santa....

Tonight, while recovering from a nap and an overdose of sodium by eating Ramen noodles with the girls for the supper, Sadie props her chin on her hand and says to me (as only this innately curious Aquarian can do):  'Mom, if you were still a kid, what would you want for Christmas?'

Which got me thinking as only that Middle child of mine can do.  (I've often said she is the child of my heart and this is no exaggeration)  This year, I'm trying to follow this creed for the children's holiday:

That's right.  We're trying out four gifts this year: Want, need, wear, and read.  (and I'm thinking of putting together a 'Chirstmas Eve Emergency' bag which will include jammies, slippers, and a toothbrush)

So, in the spirit of keeping Christmas about the kids and being more childlike during the holidays because nostalgia reigns supreme during the holidays, here, without any ado, is what I want for Christmas:

Dear Santa,

I've been sorta good this year and all that bad stuff we can over look, yeah?  You're a forgiving sort so I'm hoping I can slide down into the Nice list if I promise to clean my plate and actually eat my peas instead of feeding them to the dog, right?  We're good then?  Cool.

Okay, here's what I'd love for Christmas this year (in no particular order):

1.  This necklace.  It's cute, right?

2.  Hello Kitty stickers.  I love 'em and everyone has some and I'm not sure I'll get any if I don't ask.

3.  Lisa Frank folders.  All the cool girls in study hall have 'em, okay?

4.  Red skinny jeans.  Oh wait, I have those.  Purple skinny jeans?

5.  New hot pads.  My old ones are getting old and while I'm thinking about the kitchen, I could use some new tea towels, too. 

6.  New earmuffs.  This new 'do of mine is leaving my eyes shockingly naked and chilled.

7.  A hardcopy of this book.  I can't say how it changed my life by reading it. 

8.  And last but certainly not least, these earrings.  I love 'em a lot. 

So, thanks for hanging around and reading my list.  Say Hi to Mrs. Claus and Rudolph for me!  And Donner, too.  He's super cool.  I'll leave out some cookies and milk for y'all and travel safe, big guy.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year....

Morning, all! 

Just sitting here enjoying my first cup of coffee for the day and pondering the meaning of life (no, not really). 

But, I thought y'all might enjoy a status update on how the Project 333 is going. 

Well, here it is:  It's going WONDERFULLY.

Every morning this past week, we've gotten out of bed with minimal fuss and Jude has dressed herself every single morning (thanks to picking out and setting out clothes the night before) with a little coaxing from her momma. 

It's almost relaxing to get up in the morning and have everything put together already and just jump in and go essentially. 

I did splurge on a new pair of grey shoes for work yesterday and a pair of pants from H&M that I'm absolutely in love with but like they suggest, I've adopted the 'one in and one out' rule and purged my wardrobe of a couple of items. 

In other news:

1.  Jude's got a fever and a cough.  We were supposed to do family/kiddo photos today with a friend and I think that's going to be out.  Jude's little cheeks are bright, rosy red and she's feeling pretty icky.  Bless her heart.  Nothing worse than a sick kiddo.

2.  Knitting, knitting, knitting!  I've got one of Jude's slippers done and started a cowl/neck warmer thing with the yarn from Gnome Acres.  I've literally found the easiest knitting pattern - it's a honeycomb pattern and it's gorgeous!  Santa is a busy gal. ;)

3.  Who's ready for turkey day?  Yeah, me neither.  Thankfully (HA! See what I did there?) Kenny bought a turkey the other day and we've already got two boxes of Stove Top (what?  My family are stuffing purists - nothing but the finest box product for this lot) and I'm gonna snag the rest of the ingredients/makings tomorrow or yet today.

4.  Hit up Costco yesterday with my step-daughter and Mother-in-law.  WOW OVERWHELMING!  But I did stock up on some necessities pretty cheaply.  And got to sit down for a nice lunch with the Fleming gals, which is always an occasion.  We're a pretty bawdy lot.

5.  My guy has been getting up at the butt crack of dawn to go trapping and I think he's really enjoying his time off.  It always reminds me of Pa Ingalls.  Don't ask.  I married Pa.  LOL  Although, if he shot a bear, I'm pretty sure I'd crap eggrolls. 

6.  Thanks to the Project 333 my laundry sitch is so much better!!!!  Although, I think Imma wait to do any painting/more purging until after the holidays.  It always seems like it's a sprint to get things done (or at least all that I wanna do) and I'm trying to be super realistic about my time this year, but there are a few projects (besides knitting) that I wanna get done that include a set of tea towels and making brownies with apple pie schnapps gift baskets for friends and neighbors.  In addition to making single serving soups for my grandpa (which is an EXCELLENT idea for elderly relatives/neighbors/friends) and I thought I might include a few loaves of homemade bread this year, too.  The girls love helping with this stuff and I love the idea of showing them that making things for people we love is where it's at!  Who wouldn't love these gorgeous french tea towels ? (I might have to make myself a set, too.  LOL

7.  You'll be relieved to know that I did indeed buy One Direction's new album and have been loving on it for a few days.  I knew you guys were concerned about that.

8.  My fave tweet of the week:

Represent, HP fans.  Love 'em.

Keep it safe and keep it real, pals. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm lovingly pilfering today's format from the adorable Sarah at anonymous was a woman.  Check out her blog.  It's a wonderful place.  It's almost like stepping into a sigh.  I know that doesn't make any sense but when you start reading it, you just breathe out all the tension you've had all day.  It's worth a looksee in my opinion. 

Okay, here we go:

Watching:  I'm still enthralled with Once Upon a Time on ABC.  There is nothing that I probably enjoy more as an adult than my favorite fairy tale characters come to life in front of my very own eyes.  Also, princesses kicking ass?  Yes, please.  Small fact:  Ginnifer Goodwin's Mary Margaret/Snow White is who inspired my new 'do. (Another fact?  The writers for this show were on another one of my all-time fave shows, Lost)

Movie-wise, I spent last weekend watching Masterpiece Classic's version of Emma and Persuasion.  I love love looooooooove period costume dramas and none more than anything Jane Austen.  And Johnny Lee Miller's version of Mr. Knightly is just swoon-worthy.

Eating:  Right now?  A oatmeal butterscotch chip cookie from the Java House downstairs.  I love love loooooooooooooooooooove these cookies.   Anyone who gives monster-sized cookies for the holidays?  You're brilliant.  And remember where I live, please.  :)

Reading:  I'm still working on You Can Buy Happiness but I also have my copy of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe in my purse.  There can never be too much magic in a girl's life, methinks.

Listening to:  Honestly?  Take Me Home by One Direction.  Like you guys were expecting something different?

Thinking About:  Culling out the things in my china hutch in the dining room and selling it.  We have an awesome built-in china hutch in our kitchen that I adore.  The one in the dining room is a hulking piece of furniture that doesn't really fit us per se and is really just giving us an excuse to keep more crap.  I dunno.  We'll see how it goes.  :)

Looking Forward to:  Two days off next week.  I'm going to love hanging out in my jammies with the kiddos and the hubby.  The boy already lobbied for me to make the Pioneer Woman's famous apple dumplings and a friend of mine on facebook posted a cranberry salad recipe that Sadie and I can't wait to whip up.  And on Friday there will be lounging and maybe a game of Uno or three.

Making Me Happy: 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Project 333 (or wherein I regain control of my home)....

...(or at least get a better grip on my sanity)

So, here's the deal:  Y'all have heard me complaining/lamenting/shaking my fists at the sky about all of the laundry that I'm usually snowed in under 24/7, right?  I do the laundry on the weekends or late in the evening as it's more cost-effective to do so, but I feel like I never make any headway. 


Last night I purchased Tammy Strobel's book You Can Buy Happiness(and it's Cheap) book.  In instantly fell in love with Tammy's message and while I'm still reading (aka savoring) it, she also introduced her readers to the 333 Project.  The idea is that you pare down your wardrobe to 33 items.  This doesn't include pajamas/loungewear/workout gear.  I failed in the shoe department but have managed to pare down my clothing to 33 items so far.  It is a daunting task.  I'm not going to lie and say it's pretty, but it's an honest task.  I don't know how else to describe it.

I packed my summer items away at the top of our wardrobe (hello, Heather, this could've been done WEEKS ago) including sandals and summertime footwear and dug in.  While I should've taken before pictures so you could fully see the impact, I will say that I filled up one tote to 'put away' for now and then happily filled a big garbage bag for Goodwill. 

All of the photos are on my instagram feed here as instagram is being a booger and not letting me download them, etc.

In addition to doing this myself, I corralled the girls into it, too.  Not only did we go through their drawers, we went through next summer's clothes that I was getting ready to put back up into the attic in totes.  I'll be after their shoes this afternoon (I honestly think that children should have three pairs of shoes:  Dress shoes, tennies, and a pair of boots for winter).  I definitely failed in the shoe department.  I have a shoe fetish and it's horrible.  Jackets, too. 

But, I'll put my totes full of clothes away for three months and see where I'm at when it's all done.  It's hard to think about things like color schemes and also dressing for the holidays.  I was also surprised to note that I've literally got two pairs of jeans that actually fit me.  I kept four, to be honest about it because I just can't part with some but I usually only wear the one pair because I like how they look.

I couldn't give up my beloved Sperry's either. 


This will get easier, I know, and to be honest about your clothing and to pick out what fits, what feels good, what makes ME feel good wearing it, is an experience in and of itself.

But I will keep you posted about how this truly goes and whether I can live with it or not. 

I'll be honest and say I'm a little nervous but I think I can do it.  :nods:

Onto toys next maybe.  I'd also love to do the kitchen as I've got 42 Corningware casserole dishes that I've used maybe once in ten years (this is a slight exaggeration...only slight, mind you). 

So, in celebration, I'm reading while the washer is swishing away and enjoying a day full of rainy day activities before it's back to the work week ahead.

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Nite Fever....

This week I've been settling back in and today was a much needed day weather-wise.  We topped out at over 70 degrees this afternoon and I cleaned out/cleaned up our little shed and put away sandbox toys and whatnot.  While there is a box in our shed that needs to go to the county dump (and more than forty dollars worth of cans and bottles - not wine, I know what you're thinking - in there, too), I'm quite sure it can/could wait until Spring.  Either way, it's one thing I've crossed off of my mental check list of 'Things to Do'. 

In other news:

- I stopped by Hobby Lobby on Friday nite and purchased some yarn and felt.  I'm starting to knit bubble slippers for my girls.  I got purple along with a purple that has some tinsel/sparkles in it.  They'll be super cute if I can get them done in time.

-  The felt you ask?  We made these this afternoon:

Yup.  Felt cupcakes.  The girls had a great time with them!  I had gotten a bunch of felt (at 4 sheets for a buck, I felt more'n comfy enough to splurge on some of the cuter, more expensive (two for a buck) sheets of felt, too) and this cute idea off of pinterest.  I'm thinking we'll be adding more stuffs to their felt 'bags' for projects.  Sadie kept turning hers around making houses and etc out of hers.  Definitely giving this momma idears. 

- In other fun news, I ordered some Polyjuice Potion and Fawkes the Phoenix yarn from Gnome Acres this week.  I'm so excited to get my greedy little hands on that yarn.  I swear, if I could buy every single bit of it, I would.  All of her 'Harry Potter' line of yarns is so gorgeous and aptly reminiscent of the characters they're named after.  It's like a bitty yarn shoppe after my own heart.  Seriously.

- Watched Masterpiece's Emma last night...again.  When in doubt, turn to Austen (Jane Austen, that is).  There is something wholly comforting about watching those shows for me.  I can't explain it other than, when I'm knitting and it's quiet and I've got my earbuds in listening to Romola Garai and Johnny Lee Miller talk - "If I loved you less, I could talk about it more" - it's magic to my ears/eyes.

- I'm afraid to take the damn leap.  :sigh: I know - sort of - what I want our bathroom to look like.  But my laundry room has reached overflowing proportions again and there's so much to do that's like way more up there instead of painting.  I really waaaaaaaaaant to do it though.  It's just one of those projects where I KNOW I'm going to have two really enthusiastic little helpers and it's a SMALL BATHROOM.  But if I wait until they go to bed, I'll never get it done.  And if I do it while they're awake, I'll end up screaming. AHHHHH Catch-22.  Any ideas, guys? HELP

- Also recommended read:  Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee.  Okay, it doesn't strain your brain but it made me laugh my butt off and kept me awake until 11:45 on Thursday night.

What else?  I think that's all I got for tonight.

Are you guys stockpiling recipes for Thanksgiving yet?  We're at home this year (another thing to be thankful for - no running around - I can stay in my jammies alllllllllllll day) and am looking forward to maybe a breakfast recipe in the crock pot and then cooking all the side dishes (Kenny is always in charge of the turkey).

(Randomly:  I just did my Yogi Bear impression for Sadie.  I am now the funniest person she knows.  LOL)

So tell me about your week!  Gimme advice about my bathroom!  Tell me what you're reading!  Or tell me something I should know about you but don't.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's almost Friday YAYAYAYYAY


First and foremost let me say sorry for my inexcusable absence.  But in my defense, I had a root canal and a migraine and some wonky things going on with my head meds and.....yeah. 

So, today, I'm feeling a mite bit better (we shall call my condition:  Passable for human standards, shan't we?). 

Normally, per my schedule (I use the soft 'shhhhh' sound when I say this word in my head - it's like saying Ruhzuuuume for Resume - yes, I'm odd, but we already know this), today would be Thursday's Tunes.  So how 'bout it, kiddos?  Tunes?  Yes, have some. 

I've made up a playlist of sorts and lo and behold it is full of all sorts of 80's wonky musics that remind me of being 12, 13, etc. 

Who doesn't remember the Pet Shop Boys?  I just remember sitting by my tiny little red radio that my grandparents had gotten me for Christmas and tuning into whatever station was hip and cool back then (I think 102.9?  Maybe?  Correct me if I'm wrong), writing in my diary, and tapping my pen along to the beat. 

Sigh.  This one, too.  Howard Jones' No One is to Blame.  Freaking loved this song. 

Human by Human League.  I know you guys are going to think I have a thing for British Bands, etc, when in actuality, I DO.  It's been fully ingrained into my head that things in the UK must be infinitely cooler than in Iowa.  HAHHHAHA

Allow me my delusions will you please?

And lastly, but certainly not leastly:

Something About You by Level 42. 

Now, if these songs don't make you smile with nostalgia, I don't know what will.  Do y'all have songs that just make you think of being 14, angsty, lying on your bed and thinking about your crush and knowing if they only knew THE REAL YOU, that they'd love you just so very much and leave that gorgeous girlfriend of theirs for you?  No?  Rude.

Have a great Thursday, y'all.