Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Subliminal Christmas Thoughts

I have failed miserably at writing a 'real' post for about a week now. Don't go getting your hopes up... I'm afraid I still don't have a 'real' post in me.

A small consolation is that these feelings of blog inadequacy is echoed throughout the blogosphere (except for the few over-achiever bloggers out there that can just do it all- you know who you are and I bow down to you!!!)

This is my first Christmas blogging. The multi-task of blogging/kids home from school/husband home on 'leave'/Christmas may have been more than I have anticipated- that's putting it gently-can you say aneurysm?

This house is brimming with holiday dysfunction love. I'm over Christmas I love Christmas! I will be lucky if we all make it to the New Year without any fatalities I am so grateful that we are all together! I can't wait to put all of this Christmas shit away and reclaim my house again I can't wait to see the kids' eyes on Christmas morning! I will throw up if I have to eat another Christmas cookie I will gladly eat the cookies that the kids lay out for Santa. If I have to wrap another present, I may cut off my fingers- purposely All the presents are wrapped. Thank God, it will be over in just two more days The anticipation is exciting! I can't wait to send my kids' asses back to school and focus on what's important again- blogging! I will probably be spending less time blogging till the holidays are over and will see you on the other side!

I want to wish everyone the BEST HOLIDAY SEASON POSSIBLE! Thank you all for being a part of this year with me. May 2009 be a healthy, happy, and blessed one for all of you!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Worn out

I just received this from a good friend and it about sums up the way I feel after a night of my nieces and nephews spending the night (or any night!)...

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard; I could tell
from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was
well taken care of.

He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head;
he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the
hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep Can I come with him tomorrow?'

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fragments

So here's my abbreviated, my head is spinning because I have so much going on version of Friday Fragments. Join with your little bits of this and that with Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissing Time.

*** Kids are officially done with school. I just got home from the Christmas party. I am the room mom for the 4th grader and was in charge of coordinating everything.

Parents volunteer to contribute items. I assigned items for them to bring. One mom forgot to bring her items in (12 small cans of Sprite). 3 E-mails, and two phone conversations where she insisted that she would bring them chilled with her to the party- must have slipped her mind!!! What's worse, she was there!!! As we scrambled to find extra Sprites or coerce the kids into wanting bottled water, "forgetful mom", just stood by and watched! No apology, no admission of early onset Alzheimer's- NOTHING!!! I would have been mortified and pleaded for her to forgive me- some people!!!

*** Driving the kids to school today- saw a woman driving in her car- alone- eating a bowl of cereal- WOW- that takes some talent!

***FUCKING COMPUTER VIRUS- need I say more?

*** New rule: no kid is allowed to yak(vomit, throw up, toss cookies) while I am baking Christmas cookies!!! It's just plain old gross and unappetizing! Cookies, anyone?

*** Why do I cry when other people receive stuff on TV? Example: Ellen's 12 Days of Giveaways- I cry like a baby and get goose bumps when they get all this fab stuff- I should be crying because it's not me... BUT NOOOO, I'm happy for them, complete strangers, WTF? Sensitivity is a curse, I tell ya!

*** What's the deal with North Face? Are the zippers lined with 14K gold or something else I'm unaware of that affects the price? And why does every person in the universe wear these now? Please, I must know, what am I missing out on? I just bought one for my almost 14 year old son who is in desperate need of a coat. I couldn't bear the "Denail" price and went with the fleece- I'm still looking for cash in the pocket - why else would it be sooo expensive???

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I've got Christmas Spirit, DAMMIT!

Do you smell that? That is the smell of Christmas oozing out of my pores. As you may know, I am a whore for all things Christmas.

This year, it would have been much easier to just ignore it and pretend it didn't exist, but what kind of mom (and Christmas whore) would that make me? Jay's post yesterday, spoke exactly the way I, and I'm sure many, were feeling... UGH, Christmas? Not this year... It's good to be reminded that everyone has their own kinds of struggles and are equaling having a hard time- SO SUCK IT UP!

Determined to keep my reputation in tact, this weekend I immersed my family into everything Christmas-y that I could find.

First stop, Historic St. Charles, MO Main Street. It's so picturesque down here and just a few minutes from my house! The place is stuck in a time warp- carolers (in old-fashioned costume) line the cobblestone streets, "Santas from Around the World", and horse and carriage rides...

I love it, it's as close as I will ever get to my dream of a "New England" Christmas. Oh yeah, and I bought myself an awesome purse that I've had my eye on, but I wrapped it up- it will be from Santa!

Next, we headed to a local Church for their "Journey to Bethlehem". I have wanted to try it since we moved here, but the cold and snow has always been too much to justify getting the kids sick before Christmas (it's outside). I decided that this was the year. Beebs is no longer a baby, the weather was 'mild'- and we I could use a reminder of the 'reason for the season'... It was pretty fantastic. Every parking attendant is dressed in shepherd garb.

They have sheep, donkeys, and camels all over the place.
You role play as a member of the family of David and follow the course that Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem to pay their taxes. They lead you through a mulch trail in the winding woods with tents and recreate marketplaces, Nazareth and the manger scene. They even give you 'papers' to show to the scary Roman Soldiers along the path.
The pictures totally suck because I put my son in charge and he was scared shitless that he would get in trouble for snapping shots- they were pretty scary!

Sunday, we went to my daughter's first Christmas band concert... this is her first year playing the flute and, you know, they weren't half bad!

Now, I think this is funny, but apparently I have a warped sense of humor... so, if you love chipmunks... you might want to skip it, but if your kids have made you sit through the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie about 1800 times in the last year, I think you may appreciate it...

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Explanation that probably explains nothing

It's been a tough year. Not necessarily for me, but for my husband. He has been dealing with some demons and personal issues and he has made it impossible for me to live without medicating myself (I know, I made it about me again!)

I try not to divulge many things or details about him on my blog because I think it's inappropriate (and I don't want anything held against me in a court of law- yeah, at times, it's that bad. Hello? Anonymous blog???) However, I thought it was acceptable to explain my occasional silence or lack of blogging.

It has been difficult to blog semi-regularly without mentioning the thing foremost on my mind much of the time. Blogging has given me the ability to put things into perspective and try to put a positive or humorous spin on some of life's tests. It has been a great coping tool. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't have a similar outlet (he's just a tool!)

Short of pouring out some ugly words through my tears, let's just say, it's still hard and my absence usually is a sign of just not being able to put a cheerful non- implicating story to an event.

The last few weeks have brought about, yet another test in his life, and thus, mine and our family. His ability to manage stress is less than stellar- he really sucks at it! He makes mountains out of molehills, can't see the forest for the trees, and every other cliche you can think of!

I don't sugar coat things (if you haven't noticed) and my tough love way of just deal with it and get on with things... is lost on him as "cold", "naive", and simply "cruel". Therein lies the problem and much of the conflict.

I don't know that I would have made it through this year without being institutionalized if it weren't for this little haven that I have found on the intawebz. My spewing random thoughts and making friends and getting support (AND PRESENTS!!!) have kept me sane (I know that's debatable- but I haven't seen the white coats- I've been looking and expecting them, but none yet!)

So there you have it. A vague, non- detailed, inconspicuous, non-sensible peek inside the chaos that is inside my head. See why I have to keep a clean house?

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Step inside my sickness...

My dear, sweet friend, Jen, mentioned her struggle with CHAOS the other day...Can't Have People Over Syndrome... then I found this and it got me thinking... so now I'm going to come clean- literally.

I always keep my house "ready for company"- why? I have NO idea! No one EVER comes to my house! I just chalk it up to the OCD. I am a crazy uptight clean freak about my house. I have many, many, many flaws, but a dirty, messy house is not one of them: Candles burning, new, fresh plug- ins in every bathroom, beds made, sinks shining, toilets scrubbed, laundry baskets not over-flowing, wooden surfaces polished, baseboards scrubbed, no fingerprints on windows, I run the vacuum once a day and the Swivel Sweeper about 20 times a day. I have a sickness.

My mom was not a clean person and it drove me nuts! Even growing up, my room was the cleanest in the house!

My kids play, they have toys, I just 'train' them from the get go- to clean up after themselves and everything has a place- organization is definitely another aspect of my disease! I still have their pictures up and their artwork- my hallway upstairs is a gallery of some of my favorites.

I hope my house doesn't feel 'sterile'. Actually, I am very conscious about trying to make it a 'comfortable' place to be. I do like nice things and everything in my house was found for a great deal- I am cheap, and poor, but a good bargain shopper!

When you enter my house- this is what you will see- the only clutter will probably be a few kids...

Our family room: the coffee table is a toy box and the kids have always known that as soon as they are done playing , the toys go back in the box!

Walk up my steps- I wipe down the banisters daily- especially this time of year-Christmas is dusty!!!

(some of these photos are pre-Christmas that I had on my computer- I didn't want my scroogy friend, Sabrae's head to explode from having to see all of my Christmas decorations. Oh yeah, and I was too lazy to take new ones!

This is my bedroom, I make the bed and polish the furniture daily.
These are my kids' rooms... they look like this 90% of the time. The other 10%, I feel like my skin is crawling with little creepy bugs that infest my brain and make me seize (OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but I don't like it when their rooms don't look like this.)

I seriously do envy people that have 'lived- in' houses and don't feel the need/ urge/ tick to pick up 400 times a day. I don't expect to be able to relax in a room with too much clutter anytime soon. I am not one of those people, you know, normal. I enjoy my kids and I don't only clean, we actually have it down to a science at this point. They know what's expected and they do it.

So, in conclusion, I definitely have 'chaos', but it's in my head, not in my house and PLEASE stop by, anytime- completely unannounced- I'll be ready for you!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Friday Fragments

Oh yeah, it's that time of the week again (and that time of the month again, I know, I know TMI)... Friday Fragments- join in a Friday Fragment post with Mr. Linky over at Half Past Kissing Time.

I am writing this with a splitting headache that hasn't gone away after 2 days and about 18 Aleve and feel nauseous, so pity me, won't you?

*** I have been my normal abnormal compulsive self lately. I have been eating too much. Shopping for clothes and trying on clothes especially, was just the kick in the fat ass I needed. The homemade chocolate chip cookie dough and homemade dark chocolate truffles in my fridge, however, are not helping!

The first trip into the fitting room , I tried on some things that were eeehhh- ok, I guess, if I lost about 12 lbs. I guess I was ambitious that day and forgetful of the diabetic coma inducing contents in my refrigerator and that I always eat a lot during the holidays and pretend that it's OK because it keeps me "warm" (WTF, right?) and that I am an emotional eater and I have been dealing with many emotions as of late and not of the good variety BECAUSE I BOUGHT THOSE CLOTHES! Thank God, I came to my senses and returned them and realized the denial ain't just a river in Egypt and I sooo am not about to LOSE 12 lbs before all of my holiday parties and events.

Back to the fitting room with large over-sized, long sweaters- in black- boring! Maybe I'll find a cute pair of shoes!

*** In case you were wondering, the neighborhood meeting that I hosted last night- no big deal. I am on the Board of Directors for the Estates that I live in. That is the technical terminology- really not as important as it sounds- there are only 25 houses! We just make sure that standards and architectural integrity is maintained. But it did get a little heated- as one owner put vinyl siding on their house last year as approved by the President at the time- who was ousted last night. The charter states that our "Colorado" style homes should maintain cedar face. Many of us were pretty steamed at the time, but one guy was yelling and talking attorneys and getting all crazy, still... seriously, dude, it's one house- it won't happen again- drop it- I thought he was going to have a heart attack in my living room! I used to be the Treasurer and moved up to the Secretary last night- 3rd in command, just call me Hillary!

***Remember my daughter that was struggling in the fourth grade? Second Quarter progress report...

Art 4 Projects Avg Grade
100 100 A
Language Arts 4 96 97 A
Math 4
Timed Test
Daily Work
Tests 96 96 A
Music 4
Participat 100 100 A
Reading 4

AR %
Daily Work 100 95 A
Religion 4
Daily Work
Tests 99 99 A

Science 4
Daily Work
Test/Proje 84 85 C

Social Studies 4
Daily Work
Tests 89 92 B

(It didn't copy right, but you get the gist) Seriously, this kid got 3 "F"s last quarter and was under evaluation of a "care team" and about to be tested for learning disabilities!!! I will say, however, that she has been working her little skinny ass off! She's has been doing 4-5 hours of homework/studying each night, only breaking for dinner! As awesome as it is (for her confidence) to see these grades, I can't help, but still wonder if this curriculum is just too advanced for her. I'm so proud of her, but I want to her to still have a life!!! My dilemma about schools continues...

*** I have spent too much money on Christmas. Tiffany and I are making plans to live in a box after the holidays, as it seems that may be all we'll be able to afford. Don't worry though, it's going to be a nice one- with enough room for her Twilight books and pictures of Edward and my Christmas trees! We can blog from her i-phone, can't we?

*** SSS- Thank you! I loved it! Now, down to business... Jill is it you? If it's you, and you were yanking my chain about who you had- tell me now, I need to know- if not, back to the drawing board! All I know is Texas (unless they are lying about that, too, but that would have to be quite the elaborate lie because the return address was Texas) and that they "love me"- sadly, that kind of narrows it down.

*** They are predicting a wintery mix of ice and accumulating snow this weekend into next week. Bad news- I live on a ski slope- not a real one, but my driveway is really scary steep! Good news- we have underground wires and ice makes for beautiful pictures... stay tuned!

***Boy, am I glad no one is reading this shit since I keep adding new bullet points after I've already published! I want to send a shout out to Jaime- for that rockin' Christmas tree countdown that I stole from her- I think it adds some class to the place, don't you!

*** Send good thoughts to Em over at Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit... I felt the pain, fear, and uncertainty in her post yesterday. She and her family have been added to my list of prayers.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If you give a mouse a cookie or something like that...

If your Secret Santa gives you a black poncho, you may feel obligated to take a picture of that poncho to post on your blog. Since pictures don't do ponchos justice unless on a person, you may be faced with the reality that you haven't showered in a couple days and you and your greasy hair have no business in a picture with the lovely poncho.

you may also be very troubled by how people take pictures in mirrors, obviously, I have no idea what I'm doing!

If you take that much needed shower, you may notice that your bathroom needs cleaning. After you've cleaned your bathroom you will feel obligated to clean the rest of the house since you are hosting a neighborhood meeting tonight. If you try to clean the house, you may find that you are out of floor cleaner and need to go to the store.

If you put on the poncho to go to the store, you may realize you need a new hat, scarf and gloves to match the poncho. If you want your kids to behave while you are at Target, you may bribe them with renting WALL-E- if they behave. If you rent them WALL-E, you may rent yourself Step Brothers. If you go to Target for floor cleaner, you may forget that and only buy a hat, gloves, and a scarf and some new clothes.

If your Secret Santa gives you an ornament of a snowman holding a cactus, you will put that ornament on the tree.

If you put that ornament on the tree, you may feel guilty that you never put your outside lights up. Since you are now in the Christmas spirit, you decide to put the Christmas lights up outside- finally- as lame as they may be since you may be afraid of heights!

If you put up the outside lights when it is 25 degrees outside, when you get inside you will want to wear your new comfy socks that your Secret Santa got you.

If you get comfortable in your socks, while the kids watch WALL-E, you may waste 2 hours of your life by watching Step Brothers- 2 hours that you will NEVER get back.

If your Secret Santa gives you a card that reads, "You are the hardest person to buy for an SSS. You're lucky I love you", you may get very compulsive and spend time searching all over every blog you've ever read to find who that person might be and if they are indeed from Texas.

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My computer was down for much of the day, but am I gonna let that get me down? No way! Wanna know why? Because I got presents today!!! Yippee! I was convinced that my SSS hated me and was just pretending she never received my name or the package 'got lost in the mail'.

Well, she didn't hate me at all! She must love me, since she told me she so in the card and my presents were BEE- YOU- TEE- FUL!!!

I love getting stuff! Thanks whoever you are, now I must go and start stalking and investigating to figure out who you are- all I know is that she is in Texas and she made my day today!

I will elaborate in detail my goodies tomorrow, but I'm still playing catch up today since I wasted way too much time doing this... I've seen it everywhere, so, original, I am not, but I couldn't resist...

I hope it works... it's been giving me a heap of trouble today... don't hold your breath... but here is the link, just in case...


Send your own ElfYourself eCards

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Gingerbread Joy

As promised, I thought I would show you the joy that is our annual tradition of making gingerbread houses.

The day got off to a bang when I stopped for gas and sent my son into the gas station to find a few milk cartons (we use them as the base for our 'poor white trash' gingerbread houses.) When he got back in the car, I drove away BUT I WAS STILL PUMPING GAS!!! This is where I would be laughing and pointing at someone else, imagine my embarrassment!

I grabbed all four kids and went into to talk to the attendant - I NEVER GO INSIDE THE GAS STATION!!! Certain that they all were laughing at me and were well aware of what just happened, I said, "Please tell me I'm not the first person that did that and that it happens all the time!" He was very kind and and I think he recognized my nervous breakdown setting in, "no, you're not the first- it happens - he didn't say "all the time" which would have really helped. The guy that was driving the Pepsi truck that was chuckling at me from behind the freezer door, I saw you and you can suck it- it's been a hard few months- and I don't like Pepsi, so there!

Apparently there is some kind of emergency release for idiots like myself that have no business behind the wheel of a car, much less, pumping gas, during just this sort of instance. The hose just released off of the pump and flew across the lot ( with the ounce of dignity that I had left)- no breakage, no gas leak, no explosion, no damage- just my pride- and my kids that much closer to watching their mom fly off the deep end!

On to my mom's house to create more unforgettable Christmas memories... My mom was brave enough to host gingerbread tornado again this year (plus the fact that you could land an airplane in her kitchen makes it easier to work or make messes, whatever). She had everything set up so organized and nice when we got there...

That would be short- lived!

Beebs surely ate as much as she put on her house which looked like one of those houses on "What's With That House?"

You'd have to have a strong stomach to witness the "after" shots, but at least from these pictures you couldn't feel the sprinkles getting stuck to your feet, hard candy crunching and marshmallows glueing you to the floor.

After my jitters went away from my fiasco, I, too decorated one, but they all kind of looked like crap, I couldn't tell you which one I did, but we like them.
Here is where we display them...

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Putting on a Happy Christmas face

We are making a huge mess and wasting 600 lbs of candy decorating gingerbread houses today- so, if I can find my camera under all of the royal icing and graham crackers, maybe you will see our masterpieces!

I have filled this out before via e-mail back when I had a life that didn't revolve around blogging. I saw it on Georgie's blog and decided to steal it since I'm not much on cheerful material right now, but I will not let it get me down, dammit! If you're dying to know, I made a confession over at Georgie's place- that's the short of it!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Both with big bows and all coordinating colors- this year, I'm going for the country Christmas look.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
2 artificial- got sick of picking up pine needles and Yankee Candle 'Christmas Wreath' smells just as good, if not better (without the mess!)True story- when we moved out of our last house I was STILL finding pine needles wedged in the door frame- our last 'real' tree was 7 years earlier!

3. When do you put up the tree? take the tree down?
It's up- I put them up Thanksgiving weekend and it will come down Dec.26!

4. Do you like eggnog?
ick ick ick- my Step mom makes that and Wassail- It is the 1800's, right?

5. Favorite gift received as a child?
My first CD player in 1986- thought I was the shit! First CD that same day- Milli Vanilli! Still have it and am known to pull it out to jam to a little "Blame it on the Rain"- it was a great song- even if they didn't sing it!

6. Hardest person to buy for?
All adults- they always get corny crap and pretend to love it- but I am a necessity gifter. Anything an adult needs, they buy! This year my kids made pottery for them. If you have OCD or any control issues- I don't suggest this, but I'm sure they'll love it!

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes, I love it -it's a Roman Fontanini- I don't have a lot, just the essentials.

Yes, Jill, the Wise Men were following the Stiletto- didn't you know?

8. Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail, sent the day after Thanksgiving this year- a record for me!

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
My Step dad's parents (who we never knew that well) bought me a red sequined tie- in their defense, it was the 80's, but I remember it was pretty bad still!

Last I checked I was never a male stripper.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Elf, A Christmas Story. I also love the corny movies that come on Lifetime,Fox Family, and ABC Family each year that start with 2 beautiful, disgruntled, over-worked scrooges that live in the most picturesque snow covered towns and inevitably meet and miraculous things happen to them that make them love Christmas and so happy you want to puke! I love those!

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I started late this year, for me- about 3 weeks ago!

12. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No, but I have something that my husband gave me last year ready to go! Who's up for a white elephant giveaway? It's not crap, but I don't scrapbook and my husband is well aware of that- so he clearly put a lot of thought into that gift!

13. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My mother in law's potato salad when she goes LIGHT on the onions.

14. Lights on the tree?
one is a pre-lit with white and one has the large LED multi-color bulbs.

15. Favorite Christmas song?
Mary Did You Know- Kenny Rogers/Wynonna
Step into Christmas- Elton John
Last Christmas- Wham!

16. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
My husband's family on Christmas Eve
My dad Christmas Eve
My mom Christmas Day

17. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
Dasher,Dancer,Prancer,Vixen,Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
(I kept that from Georgie- no way could I have named them!)

18. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Angel on one and a Santa on one

19. Open the presents Christmas eve or Christmas day?
Santa comes Christmas Eve, silly! So we open presents on Christmas morning! I have never understood when people (my husband's family) open gifts on Christmas Eve and says (to MY kids) that they are from Santa- NO- HE HASN'T COME YET- THEY ARE FROM YOU!!!

20. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

21. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I love the ones that my kids have made- even the crappy ones made out of paper- but the preschool that my son and daughter went to when we lived in the city, made THE BEST ORNAMENTS!!!

22. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Turkey, Mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole

23. What do you want for Christmas this year?
unrealistically- my bills to be paid or a laptop.

I have asked for the following:

Arrested Development on DVD

Still mourning its absence!

Keurig coffee pot- they had one of these at the hospital and I secretly prayed for my husband to have a 'reaction' to the medication so I could enjoy it and it's wonderful coffee for just a little while longer

Wall mount hair dryer

Realistically, I would be happy with a comfy pair of pajamas or slippers.

AMMENDMENT-UPDATE-WHATEVER YOU LIKE TO CALL IT... this morning I peeked in at the ol' blog to see, yet another follower has bit the dust, but I ain't letting it get me down (yes, I am, but anyway...). I did want to drop in this Mission Monday info. I know, I suck at contests and rules, but I like the people that do this and I am trying my best to not mess this one up (oh, yeah, and I prematurely put my link into the Mr. Linky because I'm a freaking idiot and didn't want them to think I was just trying to get free press or something, 'cuz I'm not, I'm just a dork!)

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Friday Fragments with visual aids

Friday Fragments is a name given to my everyday randomness (on Fridays) created by a woman that's got her shit together way more than me, Mrs. 44444, join us in sporadic words...

***My 9 year old daughter DESPERATELY wanted the part of Mary in the Christmas program. She has long straight brown hair and I think she didn't mind the type-casting.

She came home today, deflated that "Kate" got the part.

"Kate has very messy hair and always has a red ring around her mouth."

This may sound like an odd description, but it clicked with me right away. I was the kid with the ring around the mouth. Every winter, I would I lick my lips and they (and about an inch perimeter beyond my mouth) would become red and chapped. EVERY WINTER. Until I discovered Carmex. As an adult.

I don't know when Carmex was invented, but when I was a kid, we didn't have it and that ChapStick sucks ass and that's all we could afford, I guess!
I might as well have just rubbed a candle on my lips!

***I was looking all over for a cute pair of boots since apparently the air masses around Missouri have ignored all of the "Global Warming" hype! IT'S COLD AND SNOWY HERE!!! After much searching, I found a cute pair- BONUS- they embarrass my kids. Why, you ask? They are from Justice, a girl's (Tween) clothing store. The mortification and eye rolling when their little friends come up to me and compliment my boots- definitely worth it.

*** Damn you, Better Homes and Gardens! You post these ideas that I think I can handle and you trick me every time! I was raised by Martha Stewart, you see, well the poor version, anyway. My Grandma was a Sunday School Teacher, Girl Scout Leader and LOVED crafts. Her entire basement was warehouse of cataloged ribbon, beads, and rick rack. I have confidence in my crafting ability because that's ALL we used to do, but when a certain magazine boldly lies about where to get the materials and the prices of those materials and the degree of difficulty- well, that just not right!

For about 13 years now, I have searched for the cutest, most efficient way to display Christmas cards. Every year I've tried another crafty disaster after another and have been disappointed. This year, I saw this idea and thought it looked cute. Not that fast... check the supplies and make sure no sewing or skilled trade or $50 supply is needed.

Jute (noted that it was available at Joann's)

Straw Wreath

Sewing pins

small silver binder clips

Not so bad, I evaluated that this is a project that I could handle. I made my way to Joann's Craft store- literally at that minute because I am horribly compulsive. I looked around, but could not find "jute" (notice the jute that they use in the picture has a cute red stitching). I finally broke down and asked for directions (I'm like a man that way, not a fan of needing help), only to be told that all they have is large bolts of burlap! Plain colored burlap. So, I'm already there and my compulsion to get this thing done has turned me to be far too ambitious, so I buy 2 yards, thinking I will cut it into strips and draw the embellishment by hand- WTF was I thinking?

Next, straw wreath- nope, none- had to settle for one made out of twigs. Sewing pins? I'm not even entertaining this, I'm not sewing anything- I'll use hot glue. Small silver binder clips... they don't carry these either! I'm sorry to the guy that told me they didn't carry these because he got the brunt of my frustration when I asked why BH & G says these supplies are available at Joann's- only to look like an ass when he points out that the article states that they are available at Joann.com- oh, sorry.

So, home I go to put on my crafty hat. It was very messy, stringy burlap was everywhere! The twiggy wreath residue covered my floor. My 'embellishment' was a really messy, unstraight line of red Crayola marker down the sides. I still have not located "small silver binder clips"! On the bright side, I only burnt myself with the glue gun once and the whole project only cost about $10!

*** I still have not received my SSS gift, just sayin'.

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