Where have I been?

OUTSIDE! It went from -25 for two solid weeks to...wait for it......61 degrees yesterday! It was a solid week of over 50!   Most of the snow (except for the piles) is gone. I wore flip flops all last week....it was glorious!

But really, I've been busy with art at school....It's reading month at our school...so I did a "candyLand" style board for them (they requested it)

and my kids did some art in their classes..."what's in your jar?" They had requested something less "structured" for fun....

and then a bird silhouette...

But, I'm back now! Spring has sprung baby!!! 


It was -25 degrees for 3 school days....so that meant no school.

No school. Over 230 districts closed. My car battery died. If you get anywhere near a window, door or wall you will instantly be cold.  This isn't fun.  One day our high was 1.8 degrees (-8 with windchill)   I have never known so many people with frozen pipes, drains or broken furnaces.  It gets cold here, we get a hellofa winter, but this is exceptional.

The boy finally went to school today- it's been 5 days off (3 snow days and the weekend in the middle) and boy was I ready for it. We have done everything I could think of, including just letting the kid watch movies and be on his table.

BUT, we did some art. We painted a picture. It's pretty big.... enormous really. 4 ft x 5 ft.

Here it is....

The boy is there for size comparison. 

He decided he really wanted it up. So I hung it in the living room. See the ground? That's my new rug I bought,  Now, I just need to paint the green walls a light grey/blue color and find some new summer curtains...and I am as done as I plan to be for a while. This room is getting a structural update, so I don't really want to do anything else to it for the time being. ( we are removing the blue wall, new flooring and new ceiling. But, not this summer- this summer we're redoing the laundry room)


My metal art tree

I can't believe that I forgot to post this when I got it. Really, I should be ashamed of myself.  We are friends with an amazing artist, who works in re purposed metal .  He also helped install duct work through out our house when we bought it so we could have heat. Plus, he used to be a hair dresser and cut my hair. He's super talented. Anyway, my Mr. went out to his house and they worked all night long to make me something special for my back yard......

It's going to hold bird feeders and other things this spring/summer. I got it right before it snowed, and never got a chance to do much to it, but I added some hooks and some feeders for the birds this winter.... here's it's face..... 

and here's how it looks now. It's on the left of the small pine tree. It's around 6  or 6 1/2 feet tall at he tops of it's arms....

 and it's very visible from my living room windows.... 

which, apparently, are dirty. Sorry. 

But, here is my metal tree. I can't wait to see it in the springtime. 

Actually,  I can't wait for springtime period- as the high today is going to be 0. Yep. 0. It was -22 last night. I am just going to keep thinking spring. 


Living room part 2

Today I moved the big old chair to the other corner.

That door goes to the back deck. The door does open (enough) with the chair in this location.  The main problem I have in the room, is that chair. It's HUGE. But it's so comfy..... but it's HUGE.   

I moved the plycraft Mr. Chair to the left, it doesn't block the door as much, there is an ottoman for that chair that isn't in this picture..... that side table is too small. I have a larger table in the garage I think. 

This is a sample of the color I am thinking of painting the room. It's called "wood smoke" it's a grey/blue color. 

I don't know;...... 


My living room. The next redecorating project?

I hate this room. I have hated this room since we bought this house.  My husband loves it. I take that back....he loves the view. He likes the room....or it doesn't bother him. I don't know which one it is. We are going to re do the ceiling (those tiles have been the bane of my existence for a while- but we needed a septic, furnace and roof more than we needed a prettier ceiling)

So here is the room, as you walk in and look around.

These windows face the south. The red curtains are just temporary. 

I like the blue wall. One day that wall will be taken care...it's actually an old fireplace we closed up because it caught the house on fire many years ago. 

The ferns live inside in the winter, they are porch ferns in the spring/summer/fall. They are HUGE.

SO, I need to figure out what to do with this. I like the wood bookcase and the desk and the coffee table. The furniture is all covered because we have cats. BAD cats. I can't bring up my leather furniture from the family room because they would shred them in a matter of days. They can't seem to shred the denim though. 
I don't like the color. I dislike the carpet. I would like new curtains, and some new art. 

I need to plan.



I have trouble getting rid of some things......

As I have documented this purge cycle, I have come to some realizations regarding what I have problems with discarding.  It's been a very eye opening process for me, and it's gone slower than I had originally planned, because I'm trying to figure out WHY we have some items-large amounts of items, not just get rid of them. I want to try to stop the cycle.

These are the things I have issues with discarding, in no apparent order:

Bins or totes. The material that they are made of doesn't seem to matter. If it holds something, I don't want to get rid of it.

Paper items and writing instruments....  I have every notebook I've ever purchased I think. Written in or not. Stephen King wouldn't be able to fill the notebooks I have on hand.

Curtains/bedding/fabric.   I just stack these up to high heaven.  I think that if I get rid of one of my 9 freaking shower curtains, I will suddenly need that one. I have ONE shower.  I have almost 100 curtain panels and 12 windows that I put curtains on. I bet we have 50 pillowcases. I have a "fabric room"  This is my weakness.

Screws. I bet I have a lifetime supply of screws in my paint closet. I don't use screws. My husband does, but he doesn't use MY screws.   I threw away a small jar of them this week, so it's not like I HAVE to keep them, I just think they're small, I figure I might need them, and then I forget about them.

Art supplies. I might need them later. I might decided to suddenly be crafty again. You just never know. I did get rid of quite a few of my paintings that I didn't like last purge cycle, so this might be changing...... but I also have about 10 boxes of doll making supplies, and I haven't made a doll in 4 years....so maybe not.

These are my 5 areas of weakness. I can toss a coffee cup, or a waffle maker, or heck, a bookcase, easier than I can with a pen (now, not the bic kind if it's dead- I am not a crazy hoarder) . This is what I need to address.

I need to get rid of the excess, and to realize I don't need to buy more of the same things.

That is my goal of 2015.



Why I can't read Apartment Therapy much anymore....

This quote is from here 

 "Your home a space where you can retreat from the outside world and focus on what is healthful and centering for you. Tonight, why not make that make that retreat just a bit more intentional - a little quieter and deeper than usual - and see how it feels? This evening, take a break from what is for many of us the default way we relax at home; turn off the tv, put down the smart phone and and give a media fast a try." 

I am not bound to my technology. I do not need this hippy dippy bullshit to tell me to get off my computer, or phone, or tv. If I didn't want to have them on, I wouldn't. Sitting in my living room with the tv turned off isn't going to make me look "deeper" into myself, or my house, or anything.  

In this house, in this family, we are in charge of our lives. That includes what we bring into it- like technology. It's a tool. One we use,  and one that we are in control of, not one we have to run away from. 

So, yesterday we started cleaning up the basement, so we can start using that room. ARG, I almost typed space.   Anyway, we re-set the furniture, cleaned off the pool table, and we PURGED! 3 Boxes of garage sale merchandise, a bag of dress clothing to be donated to the first lady's attic at the University, and an entire truck load of stuff to take to the Goodwill...

There's two chairs, a few boxes of assorted stuff, baskets that my Mr. hates, and other things back there. I just hope Goodwill is open today so this stuff can get out of our lives. 

I'm working on another bag of clothing to donated myself today. I have reached my "goal" of items purged from this house, and we haven't even touched the garage yet. 

which is an utter disgrace. But, it's too cold out right now to do anything about this- and that's not an excuse. It's just too cold. But soon, this is fair game too..... 


The kitchen cure 2015

I'm actually not a huge fan of Apartment Therapy.  I'm not going to go into the myriad of reasons why. Sometimes though, I do the Cure that they promote.  I do it on my own time though ,and rarely get involved in the "community" over there...... I started work in the kitchen this week. Late. But as I said, I am not actually following their cure.   Here is a link to their post.  

They put the cleaning and organizing of the kitchen into two different days/posts.  I have a VERY tiny kitchen, so I wasn't worried about the time frame.

I did clean and organize the entire kitchen and pantry. I scrubbed the floors and cabinets. I cleaned my fridge. I organized the pantry and moved some stuff around. I made a list of things that I need to do, but can't until Spring.  

Now, I'm not done yet. Mainly, because I can't figure out what I really want to put in my open shelves. I feel like I want a change, but I also have to think of ease of use.  So....thinking is putting me behind schedule. I can actually live with that.

Before- Pantry....

Yes, not pretty. This is the size of a decedent walk in closet.  The floor space is approx. 4x4 ft and there are 6 built in drawers and then the shelves that you see. The one wall is pegboard for my pans. I actually like this pantry. It works, and has storage. 


Not only did I clean and organize, I put some of the food in storage jars and cleaned the drawers. 

Then, I went to work in the kitchen itself.. I cleaned out the drawers and threw away a few icky wooden spoons. 

No before pics...sorry. 

I just need to figure out if there is a better way to put these dishes in these cabinets. I also oiled the butcher blocks.... 

And I made pizza. 

Half with onions. 

I will have more kitchen pictures later....this weekend we have work in the basement scheduled. Fingers crossed we actually do it. 


Words I hate.

Here are some words that I hate. I hate to hear them being used. I try to never use them. I wish they would just go away. 

1. Curate. If you don't work for a museum. don't use this word.  You don't curate what you have on your coffee table.  You can collect items, you can remove things.  It is an editorial process, but don't tell me you curated your music list. You didn't.  You can put things together. Most people who use the word  "curate" are just regurgitating something they heard. Don't be that person. 

2. Spaces.  You have a room. You have a house, or a garden, or a yard. I hear spaces, and I think of industrial complexes or office buildings, not someones beloved home. 

3. I hate it when people use the word "literally" incorrectly. You do not literally  work your ass off.  He is not literally driving you crazy.  Don't add superlative words you don't need, or don't understand. 

4. Viral. If you send your cousin a video, and she sends it to three friends, and that's where it stops....it did not go viral. Viral is ....psy gangnam style, or grumpy cat. Actually, just stop talking about things "going viral" if you are over 12. 

5. Hack.  " I hacked that Ikea cart into a rolling beverage tray" No, you used the Ikea cart for a bar.  Or," how to hack your breakfast " instead of  "here's some tips on how to make breakfast/easier/faster/better for you "  What's worse than "hack"? LIFE HACK. PLEASE. stop it now. You mean tips. Here are some TIPS. 

6. Bae. This is just stupid if you are over 12. Don't use it. 

Listen, I know that language is fluid and changes with the times. But words have power, and you have to use them correctly. 


working concept for my walk in closet........

walk in closet ideas.... 1

The door is ALMOST done. It's in, it closes, but the trim isn't in yet, and I still need to paint. BUT, I can start working soon! 


I don't normally make new years resolutions.

In 2015 I am going to..... 
1. Sleep earlier, rise earlier - get off my phone, get off my tablet, stop watching Adult Swim at 11 pm. Just go to sleep.  I will not hit the snooze button 11 times. I will just wake up. 
2. Read more -not  just blogs and magazines... well I'll read them too. But I am going to read. Fiction, non fiction. For adults, with adult themes, not just YA, although there's nothing wrong with that.....Newspapers (what are those? ) More reading. 
3.. Eat well - and I don’t mean diet. I mean, eat well. Eat healthy, eat differently. Go to cafes. Eat farm to table if you want, but eat well. Try new things. Work on portion sizes. Don't eat crap just to eat.
4. Give myself one hour of me time weekly to take care of myself.... use leave in conditioner, use a face mask....shave my legs higher than the knee..put on nice smelling lotion and comfy pajamas. Don't just hide out in the bathroom behind a locked door to read my email..... 
5. Put in an effort in how I look -do my hair, put on clothes that aren't just a t shirt and jeans (or worse- yoga pants and t shirt, a simple coat of mascara and lip gloss.... I know it'll make me feel better.
6. Learn new VOCAB - because why the fuck not? Write down your new words that you learn while reading, use them in conversations- I'm not too old.  Learn ALL the new things! 
7. Plan an outing once a month - have something to look forward to, to be excited for. Experience

8. Set small goals - 3 small things to do every day, and don’t sleep till you have them done. 
9. Meet new people - don’t be so quick to judge. Not everyone is an asshole. Even if some days it feels like it. 
10. My art - practice makes perfect. Just do it!  and when you can’t do it,  learn. Discover artists and their pieces, their inspirations, their style.  Try new things, new styles. Do something every single day- even if it's just a sketch of something I want to do later.....

2015. It's a new year, why be content with the old things! Keep the good, change the bad. 


Winter is here with a vengeance.....

Thursday it was like this....
Yes, I know, it's not a great picture, but it was just supposed to be a photo of the new roof, not a "look at how little snow we have in January" photo..... 

Yesterday we had a "snow event" 10 inches or so in a day. Then some ice. Then some blowing, and drifting. Now.... we have no school and this... 

these are the trees you can see in the upper right corner of the roof picture. 

Do I have to tell you how much this sucks?


Smaller houses and simplified lives.....

I have a pretty small house.  A bit over 1000 sqft on the main floor, and another 800 sqft or so in the basement (that legally doesn't count, but that's another story). So, for a family of 3, we have enough space, but just enough. It's a 3 (very small) bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom home, with a full dining room and living room. It does though, have the very smallest kitchen I have ever seen. EVER. We call it the one person kitchen, and that's no joke.

Anyway, what I am getting to, is that I have a small house, with some storage, but we have a TON of STUFF.  As my Grandfather used to say, 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag.  We have a ton of technology- tablets, smart tv's, smart phones, gaming systems and on and on. Now, these are sort of necessary, as it's horrible here in the winter, and we all need something to get us through. As I type this, we're in the middle of a blizzard.

Why am I going on and on? We just had the roof re done this past week. The Amish came and in the worst weather possible, stripped off the shingles, and put up a new metal roof.  It got me thinking. Do we need all this stuff? Do we? Can we have SOME stuff, but not this much? I mean, does my 10 year old son really need 17 pair of jeans?  11 sweatshirts? Do I need over 100 pr of shoes- especially since I only wear 6  or so?  I'm thinking that there are people out there who really NEED the items that I have stored in my tiny closets.

It's time for new years resolution's, and although I rarely go in for those kind of things, I think this year I might make a point of simplifying my life, and my possessions.  I just need to make a plan.

More soon.

Happy New Years!


I am in awe of the Amish....

The roof on the house is on, tomorrow they do the garage and the final bits and pieces. It's amazing. There are two workman, and two helpers (who get the shingles and things to the dumpster) It was 9 degrees today. 9. Fahrenheit. , snowing and with the wind , it "felt like" -1 outside. They work SO hard. It's amazing. They come inside, take a break and we dry their coats and shirts in the dryer for them, then they are right back at it. Their work ethic is amazing.

Here are some updates.  (I had to wait until they were done for the day and gone, you don't take photos of the Amish)

This needs to be emptied. 

The back of the house...... 

and the front. 
The bar across the front you see is to keep the ice from falling down and beaning your head in the winter.....


We're getting a new roof tomorrow!

Yep. In the winter. The local Amish do the work, and make the metal roof. It's a brown/slate color. They'll come tomorrow and start, they say it takes about 3 days. We'll see. I won't though, I can't be here when they rip the roof off of my house. I can't bear it.

Pictures to come.


In ;the summer of course. And this was taken a few years ago, before we re did the porch.... so. just look at the roof.

Good night.


Not a creature was stirring....

Did everyone have a Merry Christmas? Ours went surprisingly well- and that is pretty amazing because of how the day started. 

We told our son to stay in his room until 8am on Christmas morning. (unless he had to go to the bathroom, we wanted our sleep, but we're not monsters). He's good about stuff like this, so we had no worries.... at 6.15 AM the boy started banging on our bedroom door, yellling that there was "an EMERGENCY". I sat up all sorts of horrid thoughts in my head, my Mr. jumped out of bed and as we opened up the door, the boy was screaming and crying that the cat had brought a dead mouse into his room. 

A dead mouse. And, the cat was throwing it up in the air and catching it..... he was having the time of his life, the cat, not so much the mouse. 

I got the boy into bed, and tried to explain how the cat saw everyone give him presents on Christmas Eve, and how the cat LOVED him so much, he wanted to get the boy something too. Since he's a cat, he brought him a mouse, the ultimate sign of love. Plus, where else was the cat going to get him a present? Amazon? The boy wasn't impressed. 

My Mr. got the poor mousy remains removed from his room, and we got the boy to go back to sleep in our bed until almost 9am -no way was he going back to his room, that room has "mouse Cooties". When he got up, he was better, Christmas morning went on without another hitch, and he loves his presents. 

I had a lot of laundry to do (the mouse had been....well played with and on his blanket and robe before being removed)but there was no blood, so that wasn't such a chore....... The boy forgave the cat, and has invited him back into his room. We have one less mouse, and a heck of a Christmas story......... 

The killer..... 

The tree 

The boy 

No mouse picture. I have one, but why would I subject ya'll to a picture of a dead mouse in a garbage can?   

Happy Holidays! 


It's Christmas Eve, eve.... and I have no gifts wrapped.

Not one. I have bought them though, so there's that.  Nor is the house clean. Even remotely. I haven't left the house in 4 days and I feel stir crazy.....but, it's icy outside and so I'm stuck. Plus, the boy is getting over a cold/flu/something.  I am going to cook....something for Christmas dinner tomorrow. What? Whatever is in the pantry. And a ham. I have a ham.  Why? because everyone is coming over here. Yippee.

We're going to have some sort of holiday storm come in tonight or tomorrow.....so there's that. We might have a white Christmas....which would be miles better than the wet/muddy/icy muck we have out there right now..... .In addition, the septic is having some sort of issue (minor I hope) so we have people coming over Friday to check that out, and then Monday, if the weather holds, I get a new roof put on this hell hole. Metal. Slate colored. Installed by the Amish.  I think the next 7 to 10 days might be a bit rough, so don't expect me to be chitter chatting away here. I might just stay in bed with my head under a pillow.

Merry freakin Christmas.

Now that that's out of my system, maybe I can get back to normal and get things pulled together here.  Here's hoping. 


My baby boy is a wrestler......

He's too young to be on the actual team, but the coach starts them young so they can learn how to do the proper holds and how to be a member of a team. It's pretty amazing actually.  He's just a little guy, and quite a pacifist in real life, but apparently, he's an "animal" on the mat.


A picture so great, I couldn't leave it on my other blog without sharing......

My Mom found this today. That's my Uncle John, me in the middle, and my little brother. According to the back of this picture, we're in my Aunts dorm room at campus. All I know, is that is one hell of a bedspread.  I have to be around..... 6 or so in this picture I'm guessing. And, I remember that pink vest I'm wearing. It was crocheted by my Grandmother. It was my favorite thing to wear for a while.  I don't remember this picture being taken, but I do have memories of that time, so for that, I'm thankful.


37th Street Christmas Lights

This is one of the things I miss most about Austin......

we'd walk the street, wander in peoples yards (totally cool to do, most of these houses have decorated front and back yards) talk to folks and have a generally great night. Then, we'd go off to either have adult beverages or Amy's ice cream. Either, not both. Gross.