Guest room redo

May 29, 2010

Phew! If anyone noticed it’s been a bit since my last post, I’ve been shoulder deep in clutter, crap & well, more crap.

A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law went through a divorce. Suffering from depression, fibromyalgia and laziness, she had no job and no place to go. So of course we took her in. Turns out she developed quite an alcohol problem too. Long story short, she lived with us for about a year and then went off the deep end. I loaded her in the car & dumped her at the airport, fully wondering if they’d allow her on the plane since she smelled like the inside of a Cuervo bottle, and shipped her off to her parents’. She’s pushing 40, so she really should have life figured out by now.

Not my closet - shot found at

So the point of the post is that I finally spent some time rearranging the former guest room. Every time I went in there, it felt like she was still there even though the majority of her stuff is gone. She had changed the furniture around to suit her needs, which was fine. It’s just not how I would want it for a guest. I also swapped jackets around: riding gear in the hall closet and winter jackets in the guest closet. While it was a ton of work, I realized just how many jackets we have. And I started thinking about how many people go DON’T have a single jacket, or make do with one that doesn’t fit well or isn’t well made.

As soon as hubby is back and feeling up to it, I’m going to insist that we go through the winter coat closet. Not only will it lighten the load on the closet rod, donating (even in the summer) will help those that need it. Sometimes it takes putting everything of a kind together to realize what you’ve got.

And the end result is that I have a cleared off desk to use for sewing, crafts, scrapbooking or even wrapping gifts. There’s a dresser that I can access, and a mirror a guest can use easily. The bed is right under the window – and considering we don’t have AC – that will provide some much-needed air in afternoons. And hey – I can get to the window to open it up! Also, I put gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons and bows in the drawers of the dresser. Having them empty just beckons me to put clothing in them. Why not use it to store these goodies without crushing them? And if someone comes to stay a while, I can easily throw them in a box or bag to free up a drawer or two.

I just have some rearranging of plaques and number plates. Don’t want anything falling on someone’s head in an earthquake! (This is where we’ve showcased our – yes OUR – trophies, plaques and awards for motorcycling & work, along with some personalized number plates given to us from friends.)

Now, on to the OTHER guest room. That one’s going to be much harder considering hubby’s collection of magazines. UGH!


Bitten Gets Crafty (maybe)

May 25, 2010

You probably have guess that I’ve got a bit of a crafty side. I’m learning to sew, and know how to crochet (a little). In my effort to learn to crochet more than just a blanket (which never, ever comes out even) I am entering a drawing for a crochet book! If you’re interested, check out Shawnee’s Tangled Tales and tell her I sent you! 🙂

Regardless of if I win the book, I need to start thinking about holiday gifts. Yes, I know, it’s not even Memorial Day yet. But, having been out of work for so many months, and with a stash of nice yarn, I need to figure stuff out! Since most in my family have everything they really need, I know they’d love something handmade. I figure this book (or maybe a similar one) can give me that head start! Plus, I can crochet pretty much anywhere – unlike sewing. That dang machine is heavy!

Anyway, I’ve got the tools and supplies – now I just need to figure out how to use them!

Yay for me!

May 25, 2010

Yippee! I got new dishes!

My mother-in-law asked what I wanted for my birthday (in March) and I told her that I wanted to replace a few bowls from my (hand-me-down) corelle set. Trouble is, the pattern has been discontinued probably longer than I have been alive. However, the outlet stores usually have open stock pieces that will match. She couldn’t find any over the last couple months.

She realized, perhaps with a tidbit from my sister-in-law, that I never actually picked the dishes. They came with the marriage. And since there was “service” for about 4,000, I couldn’t justify getting rid of it (plus the fact that the set had belonged to her mother, who unfortunately passed away in her early 50’s). Besides, I can’t complain about something that was free, and perfectly fine.  So she asked if I’d like to pick out a new set? OMG YES!!! The idea was to go to the outlet store about 2 hours away, but it seems the corelle store left that mall. That left one nearly 3 hours away. Well, for the money savings, that much driving didn’t seem to be worth the trouble. Off to Wal-mart, K-Mart, Kohls and any other place we could think of.

After spending a day zig zagging around the county, I settled on this set. We also picked up some open stock pieces like a square serving bowl, a round one, a few soup/pasta bowls and a funny rectangular flat dish. Oh and a couple platters too. (Note to self – must pick up more platters before fall holidays.) Why platters you ask? Because a big ass dinner plate just won’t hold all the food at special occasions! lol

We packed up the old stuff (except my cat’s breakfast saucers) and it was then that I realized she had an ulterior motive. There’s a man at her church that her daughter has befriended. Evidently, he has been divorced for many years and was laid off from is banking job some time ago. He made dinner for my sister-in-law, but didn’t have any dishes. Well, that’s an exaggeration. Dinner was for three people and he had only two plates. He ate off a pie plate. My MIL wants to give him the old set. In a way it surprises me because of the sentimental value. I’m all for it. I suppose she thought about it and realized that it won’t do anyone any good in a box in the garage – why not give it to this guy who cooks?

I’m happy to know that they’re going to a good home, and I’m really excited for my new set! Hubby doesn’t get why I’m excited, but hey, who cares?

The Klutz and her Cat

May 21, 2010

Do you ever have those days where you’re just in a crummy mood? Stems from that sense of foreboding? What awful shoe is going to drop from the sky today?Today is that day for me.

My cat woke me up well before 6am. She was hungry. Dammit, she needs to grow thumbs so she can open the damn can herself.

Then, at 7, hubby YELLS at me: “DIDYOUFEEDYOURCAT???” I yell back “YESIDID” and try to go back to sleep. But between being annoyed about him yelling to wake me up and ask me a question (WTF?), and the ruckus the cat was causing, I couldn’t sleep. (Meanwhile, said cat has been quite needy today.)

I go on about my day. Drive to the coastal town where my in-laws have a house, just to clear the mailbox of junk mail. On the way, I’m delayed by 87 blue-haired looky-lou tourists. For the love of GOD – pull over if you’re gonna stare at the ocean. Haven’t you heard of target fixation? Encounter more lame drivers on the way back.

But the topper was when I attempted to get into my car to leave my house for the beach. Now, I have an SUV. It’s not very high off the ground, nor is it difficult to get into. However, in my extreme grace, I managed to:

  • turn both ankles
  • twist my (bad) knee
  • tweak my (bad) back
  • hyper-extend my wrist
  • leave a key imprint in my right ring finger

Seriously. All this – just getting in the car. What happened, you ask? My shoe caught the edge between the lawn and the concrete driveway, thus turning my left ankle. The rest was fallout from the ensuing crash. WHO crashes getting INTO their vehicle?

I need a nap. (Wait, is that wise? I could have hit my head and lost consciousness.)

Escape (to One Fifth Avenue)

May 21, 2010


  Just finished reading One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell. I purchased the copy back in August (while employed, lol) for a trip to Montreal. I never cracked it open, set it aside when I got home, and just found it on Mother’s Day weekend. Bushnell is responsible for the mega-hit series “Sex and the City”, which I loved. She also wrote “Lipstick Jungle” which inspired a short-lived network series starring Brooke Shields. It’s too bad the season finale turned out to be the series finale – it was good.    

With that background, you should have an idea that this was definitely a “fluff” book – made purely for escaping and mentally placing yourself into another location entirely. Perfect vacation or beach/pool book. I couldn’t put it down!    

The dust jacket says:    

In One Fifth Avenue, Bushnell tells the intertwined stories of five women at one swanky Manhattan address. One Fifth is the building – the chicest, the hottest, the one with the best pedigree. And within its gorgeous pre-war walls, fortunes fall and rise in the early days of the new millennium. Here, as in her previous novels, Bushnell turns a gimlet eye on the social and sexual politics of New York’s elite, this time through the lens of where they live.     

The characters run the gamut from a 22-year-old over-indulged young woman, obsessed with everything material, new to the New York scene,  to elderly, old-monied spinsters with nothing better to do than gather gossip and perpetuate old grudges. Seeing how Bushnell winds the characters lives with one another, in the search for greater fame, wealth, and happiness was captivating. I couldn’t help but like, and root for the less than perfect characters. I found the story of Billy Litchfield, not a One Fifth resident, the most intriguing. He knew the ins and outs of the social scene, and exactly how to manipulate the players. With just the right level of drama, whimsy and malice, One Fifth Avenue is a must read – perfect for summer!    

What’s your book recommendation?

Proactiv Progress

May 20, 2010


3 Easy Steps (REALLY!) 2 x daily

It’s been a week since I began the Proactiv system. So far, I’m relatively pleased. I have to reign myself in when I think about the progress. I would love for it to have been instant! Then they’d have to rename it “Magic.” In my last post, I expressed concern over the cost. I apparently used the “non-club” pricing, in addition to accounting for every product they sent me. For what I want, it will be $30. Now, the product description says 90-day supply, but the shipping frequency is defaulted to a monthly ship time. I will wait to see what shows up at the end of the month for $30. If it will last even 60 days, that’s still less expensive than what I was doing! 

Anyway, I have been SO good about using it properly – morning AND night. I only skipped last night. Last night I had a terrible migraine and wanted only to sleep. Also, I was pissed off at it! Yes, at Proactiv. You see, the instructions clearly say to use a white washcloth as the Benzoyl Peroxide might discolor your cloth otherwise. What never occurred to me was that the peroxide formula was in steps two and three as well as step one (where the washcloth is required). I noticed some weird orange-ish stains on my once beautiful gold pillowcase. Yep, you guessed it.  The peroxide ruined my pillowcase! Grrr. 

So off to target to buy some cheap, white pillowcases today. Oh, and don’t worry. I change my bedding often – it’s just my favorite linens so I’m sure to wash early in the day so I can use the same set again straight from the dryer. 😉 

But back to the matter at hand – or face, as the case may be. My skin looks good. Really good. Except the few areas that are still breaking out around my chin and mouth. I know some of this is because I rest my chin in my hand when I (try to?) think. Also, the nightly ritual of chapstick has ceased, as it was evidently sliding off my lips and clogging every pore around my mouth. I’ll take the chapped lips in the morning over the self-produced volcanoes, thank you very much. 

I’m optimistic, and why shouldn’t I be?

Newest Morning Obsession

May 20, 2010


I have a tendency to be repetitive. I like to eat the same things, often several days running. I guess you could say that I’m both a creature of habit, and can be somewhat obsessive.

I like quick & easy in the morning. Not because I have to scurry off to work, or have some crazy busy life. It’s because it takes about two hours before I’m fully functional and can even consider picking up something even remotely sharp. I’ve been on yogurt kicks, cereal kicks, and even eggs. (Now, working with fire is pushing it!) My latest obsession is with granola. Specifically Special K. It’s soooo good. And because the fine folks associated with Smart Source included a coupon for almond milk a couple of weeks ago, I decided to give that a try too.

Based on my experiences with soy milk, I decided to start with Vanilla. It’s good – fairly sweet, but good. The granola isn’t that sweet, so it’s a nice way to change it up.

This combo is just so good. Heaven in a bowl. If hubby weren’t around, I’d eat it for dinner too. But he’s not a breakfast guy and he really takes exception when I have cereal for anything but breakfast. Weirdo.

What’s your favorite breakfast combo?