Saturday, September 29, 2012

Couch Transformation

So most of you readers are already aware of my devastating situation with a beautiful couch I purchased for my newly transformed den so I don't really need to rehash that (it's just too painful, trust me).  If you want to catch yourself up on my pain and suffering you can go here

I ended up finding a shorter, smaller couch for my new living space, also on Kijiji but I got this one for a mere $40.00.  It wasn't and isn't anywhere near as cool and nice as the first one I got, but it shall suffice.  My intention was to spray it with Simply Spray Upholstery paint and make it grey like I was originally intending.  In order for the 'paint' to work best you need a lighter palette to start with.  So this blah, cream coloured love seat was a great jumping off point.  And if it sucked, well it was only $40 (plus the paint of course, but I was being positive). 

Simply Spray is kind of like dye in a can.  It absorbs into the fabric to change the colour so because it's not laying on top of the fabric it isn't crunchy to sit on like most fabric paints would be.  Each can covers about 17" square feet but that seems to vary depending on the type of material and how absorbent it is.  I ended up using 6 cans to do this love seat (and I have a little left over for touch ups) but I didn't bother to paint the back or one side because there really are no other placement options in this room so it won't be moved around.  They suggest waiting 72 hours to ensure it's completely dry before sitting on it (which I'll take to heart), but it's pretty much dry to the touch the next day.

I have to say, I'm quite impressed thus far with how it's turned out.  It sure makes the love seat more appealing to my eye.  Doesn't seem as dated in my opinion, looks more modern (this picture honestly doesn't do it the proper justice, I swear).  They have a vast array of colours to choose from and I'm pretty sure this won't be the only project I do using Simply Spray. 

**I haven't even been asked by them to do a trial and endorsement, I swear.  I had to buy all 6 cans of paint that I used.  If they ever read this, they should totally send me some coupons or free paint so I can do another project with their product and sing their praises.**

The only downside I found to this product is that it isn't widely available in Canada.  The only distributor that shows up on their site for our great nation is in Quebec and it's kind of costly to have it shipped.  Overall though, it was easy to clean up and easy to use.  And I'm loving that I now have an option of changing up furniture without the cost of re-upholstering.  Technology really is great! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Placemat Pillows

So I was at Walmart the other day and I spotted these "Autumn" themed place mats for $3 each.  I scooped them up with the intention to re-furbish them into a completely different household item.  Holding plates just isn't in their future with this girl.

I decided to turn these cool, but maybe not the most practical placemats into throw cushions.  Then I quickly came to the realization maybe they weren't meant for my house but maybe they were meant for Eric's parents new rec room.  Who knows...but that's who they are intended for (a slightly tardy part of Jill's birthday present). 

First I pulled the seam out at the bottom of the pillow (with my handy-dandy new seam ripper outie thingy, thanks mom!) then I took some stuffing from an old pillow I had laying around and I crammed it all up in that leaf, getting it all nice and tight in the little tips and everything.  Once I had it filled to my liking and smoothed out, I hand stitched the opening and VOILA!  Placemat pillows!  And then I repeated the entire procedure again so she'd have two, uh, uh, uh, uh....two pillows (insert lighting bolts here)!  Make sure you read that last sentance as if the Count from Sesame Street  was saying it.  Go on do, don't be a square.  Be a leaf!   

This Moment - Part two {3}

My youngest son Roan has really taken a liking to drawing.  He's quite good at it and if I could just find a way to get past the debilitating effects of A.D.D. I could get him into a class where he could really fine tune his skills and shine.  For now though I'll take every invite I get from him to draw with him. 

I used to really enjoy drawing when I was younger.  I found I struggled with what exactly to draw and I see the same thing happening to Roan.  I was never one of those people who could just draw completely from my imagination.  I always did better following off of a picture.  I was a "mimicking artist" if you will. 

This particular drawing started with Roan hanging out in my bedroom on the floor,  quietly drawing and colouring.  Eric and I were on the bed watching television.  Roan asked if I would like to join him because he was working on a collage of monsters.  I immediately said yes.  I mean, who doesn't like to colour?  My initial thought was I'd help him colour in his work and he'd keep drawing.  But I got bit by the bug and started to draw my own stuff.  As we hung out on the floor colouring and drawing Roan thought Eric might feel left out so he too was invited to join in our collaboration. 

The above is the masterpiece we ended up with.  Don't get too scared, it's just a picture, they won't actually get you. 

It's pretty cool to see yourself in your kids.  As they get older I'm seeing it more and more and it's still fascinating to me that a piece of me (many in fact) is walking around in another human being.  I hope they only get the good stuff I have to offer and not any of my flaws.  What are some of the things you enjoy doing with your kids that you also enjoyed doing as a child?  Do your kids have some of the same interests you did? 

***And on a completely unrelated note, this is my 400th post bitches!!!!  Who'd have thunk I had it in me to commit to 400 blog posts.  Not this girl.  I have a tendancy to gain interest in something quite quickly but lose it just as fast.  I see no end in sight for this blog.  Lucky you guys.  ;)  Thanks so much for reading me babble on and for leaving me comments and feed back.  It's my favourite part! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Campfire Goodness...

Without the actual campfire!

I found a recipe that I've been looking for for what seems like an eternity and now that I've found it I want to smack myself upside the head because it is so ridiculously easy a monkey could have figured it out.  Yup, I'm a tool.  I tweaked it a teeny tiny bit and it still turned out magnificent!  That doesn't normally happen for me.  If I tweak a recipe I usually screw it up. 

Ever since I can remember, starting as a small child, my favourite cereal in the world was Golden Grahams.  Still is, with Special K with red berries coming in as runner up  (ooooh, I should make these with Special K with Red Berries next!).  So a few years ago when they put Golden Graham Crispy Treats (like Rice Krispy squares but using Golden Grahams) out on the market, I was in heaven.  At first it didn't occur to me to make them myself but after paying the exorbitant amounts of money they were asking for for said treats, it just makes sense to do it at home. 

So here's the recipe in case you were looking or in case you feel inspired after looking at the photos.  I kind of wish they would come up with a computer where you could taste a photo.  Ya know? 

6 tbsp of butter or margarine
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 tsp of vanilla
1 box of Golden Grahams
1 cup of milk chocolate chips (or mint chips, or butterscotch chips, or peanut butter chips or semi-sweet chips, or white chips, you get the drift)
1 cup of white chocolate chips (I added these as they weren't in the original recipe)

Melt the butter on medium/low heat and stir in marshmallows.  Once the marshmallows are melted and you have a smooth, creamy mixture stir in the vanilla.  Then fold in the entire box of Golden Grahams ensuring they are all coated in marshmallow mixture.  Fold in 3/4 cup of each chip (don't worry, they will melt some).  Take mixture and put into a buttered square baking pan.  Pour remainder of the chips on top and press down lightly with your hands to ensure they are stuck to the treats.  Place in fridge for 10 minutes to firm up. 

Once cool and firm, cut up into squares and ENJOY!  One square pan yields about 12 bars (if you cut them like a normal human being). 

These were actually so much better than the store bought ones.  Everyone in my house loved them (and that's an accomplishment because Roan is uber picky, even about desserts).  They only lasted one evening.  Definitely on my must make again list! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life is a Mixed Tape

So someone made me a gift,  a mixed tape.  For reals.  I'm not sure how I'll play it, but I love me a mixed tape.  This particular tape was prepared by one of my fellow zombies as a tribute to our Run For Your Lives 5K race day.  I'm actually saddened that I don't get mixed tapes too frequently anymore (there is a downside to all this technology), they were the best homemade gift ever.  Usually so personal and they provided an insight into the gift giver. 

Here's one example I came up with of a "mixed tape of a life" (not necessarily my particular life, but could be...dun dun dun) - the song list, if you will:

You made it out of high school alive!  You had highs and you had lows.  You made friends, you lost friends.  You thought you knew it all, you've discovered you still have so much to learn.  You are beginning to grow into your own person.  You're moving on to the real life now!

You met a guy, he was great.  You had a brief fling.  He is just not that into you.  It sucks.   Only time heals these hurts.

You meet someone new!  He's amazing in every sense of the word.  Everything else in your life takes a back seat to the time you will spend with him.  You envelope each other.  It's just you and him...  He is the axis to your world. 

Things have changed.  He isn't the 'be all and end all' anymore.  You've discovered he has faults and so do you.  Maybe you don't meld together like you thought you did.  You are both young.  You both make mistakes.  He's strayed from the relationship.  He's found another girl who makes him smile like you used to. 

But you're not innocent yourself.  You've made him feel guilty for stepping out of the relationship when you yourself have found someone who makes you feel beautiful and sexy again and wants you as bad as you want him.  He does and says all the right things, your boyfriend can't measure up.

You talk it out, you both realize you aren't meant for each other.  You are both full of mixed emotions:  Love, lust, comfort, familiarity, hurt, anger, resentment.  You fall prey to what most couples do at the end of the relationship.  You have one final hurrah.

He misses you.  He misses what he had.  It's easier to ask for you back than to venture out into the unknown alone.  You just wish he'd go away.  It's just easier that way.

Your single again, rid of the headaches and heartaches. You want to take back the life you once had.  You want to surround yourself with your friends, have fun and live life.  Tie up those laces and leave your worries on the dance floor.

You're finally ready to meet the right person and start the next step of your life.  The planets must be aligning for you because you've met someone who just clicks with you.  Someone that doesn't make it hard.  Someone who just gets you -  Everything about you, good and bad.  Someone who is teaching you to be a better person. 

You decide to make it official, dedicate yourselves to each other through sickness and in health, until your dying days.  You vow to stick with each other.  You complete each other.  He waits for you at the end of the aisle to take your hand because he already has your heart.

It's your first dance as husband and wife.  Being in each other's arms just feels right.  Everything else falls away, it's just the two of you, taking on the world together.  You've begun this journey in each other's embrace and you hope to end the journey in the same stance.  

The Luckiest - Ben Folds

Your life takes the expected route and the two of you are lucky enough to join forces and create another human being to walk this earth.  You nurtured her, you sheltered her, you loved her with every fibre of your being.  You put little arms and legs on your heart and you released it to run free.  You became a mother and you no longer could remember what your life was like before that day.

You raise your kids and it gives you an entirely new perspective on everything you put your own parents through and what your parents sacrificed to make your life better.  You have a whole new appreciation for your own parents.   And you hope someday your kids will be able to say that you were a good mother with complete conviction. 

You've watched your husband grow old beside you, and now he's taken ill. You're the one he turns to for comfort.  You're the one who still makes him smile through his pain.  You are running out of time.  You need to tell him what he means to you, how he's affected your life.

The Story - Brandi Carlile

He slips away from you.  You feel so hollow.  He completed you and now a piece of you is gone.  You hold on to your memories and the love you shared, but it's difficult to pick yourself up and carry on.  He was your world, your everything.  You have to say good-bye.

He only comes to you now in your dreams.  You dream about how things used to be.  You dream about the day you will reunite.  You hold on to the hope that there is more to this union than just our physical beings.  You want so badly to believe he's out there, surrounding you with his presence.  He tries his best to let you know he's here.

It's your time to move on now.  To say your final good-byes.  It's okay though, your kids are grown with their own families and you have got someone on the other side waiting to greet you, to show you around.  You won't be alone.  You'll stand watch over your family.  You can go with the peace of mind that you lived a good life.  You did it your way.

My Way - Frank Sinatra

So there's my blog version of a mixed tape to symbolize a life lived.  Obviously there are so many additional circumstances in one's life where there could be an appropriate song playing in the background.  This is just one quick version.   It's fun to make mixed tapes.  You can have them represent one specific time like the tape Barb made for me, it can just represent you and all your favourite songs, or a period of time.  Making one can be cathartic and sharing them is a silent way of sharing yourself. 

I've always maintained that we have soundtracks of our lives.  Kind of like in the movies where at pivotal moments in life there is a song to accompany it.  We've just stopped hearing the music, but it's there lingering in the background...similar to how we've tuned out our own heartbeats.   What would your mixed tape be like?  What songs would you choose to represent you? 

Monday, September 24, 2012

This Moment {3}

It's Monday folks!  Here's the picture of the week. 

Running for My Life

This past weekend we (Eric, Gage, myself, my brother, sister in law, and 4 friends) had the opportunity to take part in a 5K run/obstacle course created by Run For Your Lives that included being chased by zombies.  'Cause running 5K and completing physical obstacles isn't hard enough (especially when you are in as poor shape as I am!).  After doing some research in preparation to signing up, we discovered that you could do both!  You could complete a zombie shift AND run the course as a runner!  Win-win!

The creators and volunteers put together an amazing event.  I don't know how long they've been doing these but this was the first one in Canada.  I must say it was flawless (aside from the weather which is, of course, uncontrollable).  Everything went off perfectly (except for the total collapse of the starting cages, immediately after our particular heat, from the wind - thankfully no one was seriously injured).   It was probably the best experience I've had during an event of this caliber.  Right from the parking and check in stations, to the costume department and make up tents and the actual course and obstacles - amazing.  It really was so well done.  Kudos to all involved who put this together and helped pull it off.  I really am looking forward to doing this again if they decide to bring it back our way next year. 

I was blown away with the make-up department set up.  All of the people they utilized to transform us 7 a.m. beauties into scary zombies were so talented and friendly.  The pace was quick and kept us all excited for the next things to come our way.  They had a wardrobe department, air brushing stations, prosthetic stations, blood splatter stations, liquid blood stations, mudding and blooding stations, free snacks and bottled water stations, and personal belonging check stations.  They really did think of everything (they even had a make-up removal station when we finished our shift).   We looked so good after passing through all those check points. 

Walking out to our station (we were zone 3 - a stretch of forest) amongst the trees, which made for great cover and gave that shadowy, ominous feeling just built the excitement up for us.  I located a sign nailed to a tree and jokingly said I'd hide behind the sign and jump out and scare people.  Because there really was no way they couldn't see me.   Eric stood just ahead of me on the opposite side of the path thus forcing people to run closer to the sign and low and behold the runners were so focused on Eric that when I stepped out from behind my sign I really was scaring the shit out of them.  So gooooooood!  I suffered a couple minor injuries (two of which are actually making it difficult to type):  a wrenched ring finger that is bruised and swollen when it got caught on a runner as I reached for a flag, a thumb nail that has a pool of blood under it after some asshole runner grabbed on to me and kept running (a no-no) and I got punched in the face (totally by accident, the runner even stopped to apologize).  All still worth it though. 

Following our three hour stint as zombies (which went by so quickly, I'd have been content to do it for the whole day, it was that fun!) we counted all of the lives we stole and then headed over to make up removal and received medals, free t-shirts and beer tickets!  The medals are great quality and so are the shirts, they didn't scrimp on anything here.   We then made our way to the van to change clothes and get some food before we were due to report for our own course run.  The weather was turning a little at this point and becoming cooler and much more windy.   I was dreading the race (because I hate running) but now I was looking forward to it because I knew it would warm me up. 

We made our way over to the starting cages (titled Appetizer, Entree and Dessert - the Appetizers got released first) to line up for our heat at 2 p.m.  We decided it was best for us out of shape runners to take the Dessert position so we weren't glomming up the track. The dark clouds were starting to move in on us which made it even more appropriate.  Coming around the first bend we encountered our first obstacle (mud pits 1 - Holly - 0).  Covered in mud makes you feel even heavier than you are!  Aside from zombies staggering all over the course the next obstacle we hit were  the climbing walls.  And while they don't seem that high, after running and being caked in mud it was hard to find the energy to pull myself over them.  The 3rd obstacle was a maze of darkness that took me longer to figure out than I was anticipating.  After making our way out of the maze and through another couple of hordes of zombies we entered a darkened house (through a window) full of smoke with hanging electrodes that zapped you if you hit them.  It was hard to avoid them as they were everywhere and there were zombies in the house that scared the shit out of us thus making it even harder to avoid.  We then had to climb under barbed wire (yes real barbed wire) on our bellies through the mud,  through long covered tunnels on our knees through the mud (good luck if you are claustrophobic), up a fenced wall and down a slide into a pit of cold mud and bloody water and then under an electrified fence through the mud on our bellies.  It was a messy day but so, SO much fun.

I hope the planners had a successful day and it will be worth their effort to come back again next year.  It will be super great if they add some new obstacles and remove a couple of this years.  It was fun not really knowing what we had ahead of us when we ran the race.  I remember the feeling that came over me when I turned the corner to find the three mud pits....and then the feeling of the smile creeping over my face as I embarked on my mission.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Memories in Ink

I was cleaning out my basement a couple of weeks ago.  I was making room for a new Kijiji find and to locate stuff I no longer use so I can donate to my sister in law's garage sale to raise money for my nephews education

I came across an old suitcase.  One I will never use again.  I have more modern stuff, with handles and wheels to make dragging it behind me so much easier.  Not this old thing... I'll donate it to the cause.  But first I'll remove my address tag.  No one needs my home address.  But alas, it wasn't my address tag after all, it was his.  Printed in that familiar font of his.  I wish it had said Kit Rousseau, but I'll take this.  I ripped it off.  I'm gonna keep it.  I can actually visualize him filling this out, the way his left hand transferred the information from the tip of the pen to the address label.  I always loved his penmanship.  Always.

I find comfort in the familiarity of this and I relish in the unexpected findings. 
Hi dad!  I love you. 

This Moment -part deux {2}

So sorry everyone, I was supposed to post the follow up to Monday's post on Friday but the day got away from me and we were heading out of town so I didn't get on here. 

Here's a quick synopsis of what memories accompany that picture.

Gage had previously been dumped and had gotten back together with the girl.  He had come to recently find out that she had only gotten back together with him because she was afraid that one of his friends, whom she was not interested in, was going to ask her out (a little presumptuous as it wasn't true).  So basically she was using him and he found out.  I asked him if he was sad or mad.  He replied, a little of both.  This sent my Mama-bear instincts into turmoil.  So we hatched a plan to dump her first.  A plan I was 100% confident would send her into fits of tears.  Wrong yes, but I'm not her mom, I'm his and he said he was sad. 

I remember what it was like to be a 12 year old girl so I knew how to accomplish this task.  We took a white shirt and wrote "AVAILABLE" on it in Sharpie.  He went to school and walked up to her at recess when all her friends were around and said, "Hey ****!  You and me?  We're through!"  The idea was to wear the t-shirt in front of her at this point and say the above and walk away.  He had better plans.  He borrowed a friend's zip up hoodie and wore it over his t-shirt for the first part of his day.  Then at the selected time he did what we talked about followed by unzipping the hoodie and walking up the hallway declaring to all the girls, "That's right ladies, Gage is available, Gage is available."

He was proud as punch when he got home and reported to Eric and Eric's buddy Tony what had transpired.  That's when Eric took this picture.  It takes a lot to get Gage to smile in a photo.  He felt much better about himself, and for that reason I'm not guilted by causing a girl in grade 7 to cry.  Besides, 12 year old girls cry all the time.  Pfft. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

This Moment {2}

**I've borrowed an idea from Janine over at Reflections From a Redhead who borrowed it from Thom at To Gyre and Gambol, who initially borrowed it from Cath at Just My Thoughts.  Last Monday I started a Monday ritual. One image will be posted. No words will describe it. It will capture a moment from my past, memories that I cherish. Then on Friday I will post part 2 of this new ritual where I will share the story behind the photo. This borrowed idea is called {This Moment}.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Letter to the Ex

Hey You,

How is it that a human being can make so many wrong decisions and screw up everything that was good in his life, but yet it's still all someone else's fault? 

Blame:  to place the responsibility for a fault, error, etc. on someone else.

How can so much go wrong in your life in such a small period of time and you are still not capable of seeing how your actions and choices are the reason you are where you are?  It's always someone else's fault.  Things are the way they are because "others aren't sympathetic to your situation".  Other's don't try to understand. 

It's hard for me to understand when I, myself, am not an adulterer.  I can't simply get it because I don't bail continuously on my children and expect you to sit idly back and watch.  You're right, I don't understand how it got this far, because I chose not to turn to the bottle and drugs when shit got hard.   I cannot comprehend how putting your job on the line week in and week out is bettering your stressful situation.  I cannot fathom how one chick after another is improving things for you when you haven't finalized your shit with the one you're married to.  I will never understand how you could pick your f*cked up, drug addicted, disrespectful, violent brothers (whom you basically just met) over your own children.   I can't find it in me to sympathize with you because I will never end up where you are.  

You have found yourself in a place that you, alone, traveled to - on a bus labeled "Choices".  It's gonna be a lonely life when you realize you're going to be taking up residence in your town of Desperation.   There, you will come to understand that it's gone too far for too long to ever go back. 

How is it everyone else's fault that you don't follow through with anything you tell your children?  How is it everyone else's fault that you allowed your children to witness you in a physical altercation where you were injured?  They were in your care, relatively alone and terrified for your safety and theirs.  It was up to you to make the right choice for them. You didn't. 
How is it everyone else's fault that you are teaching your boys terrible lessons in relationships when you parade a new girl in front of them every time you decide to spend some pathetic excuse of time with them? 
How can you, with any conscience, make comments on Facebook to invoke replies of sympathy from ignorant outsiders towards you without explaining all the shitty things that you have done to bring you to this place? 
How do you keep burying your head in the sand up your ass?
How can you still think that because you pay your child support on a relatively consistent basis you're a great and contributing dad?  It's the only thing you've got going for you, and if you keep screwing up at work, that will be gone too. 
How can you even question that I think you're a loser? 

Psst...   I do!

So once again (for the umpteenth time) you need to step back and give your head a shake.  You need to target the main areas of your life that are the most important and you need to start finding a way to fix them.  Before it really is too late.   Just a heads up though; the marriage one is too far gone.  You will never get that back so you should probably stop asking her to reconsider.  You can however make the last dying days of it a little easier on you both if you man up and do your part. 
The next step is making the decision to rid yourself of your deadbeat family and focus on what should be the two most important boys in your life.  No, not your bros, your sons.  It's sad that I must keep reminding you that you had two sons.  Because it sure doesn't seem that way.  You need to stop asking me to 'bare with you, you're going through some hard times' because I just don't give a shit to listen to your inane babbling any longer.  It's all bullshit and nothing comes to fruition.  You are the boy who cried wolf.  Everything that comes out of your mouth is a lie in hopes of bettering yourself and how people perceive you. 

Get your shit together or one day you'll turn around and realize that the boys haven't followed you.  This is my last attempt at helping you because frankly it's useless as you can't see this as anything but
an attack.  Please keep in mind though it's taken me 8 months to 'turn' on you.  I've tried reasoning with you, I've tried pleading with you, I've tried working with you, I've tried compromising with you.  I'm done. 

Stop blaming other's and clean up your own mess.

With disgust,
You're first ex-wife and the mother of your children (nothing more)

Friday, September 14, 2012

{This Moment - Part deux}

This a pretty old picture of Gage and Roan.  If I hazzard a guess I'd say it's at least 4 years old.  Gage is probably around 11 and Roan is around 7.  The boys and I had gone to the movie theatre to see a flick, the title is lost on me at the moment.  We were early so we went to hang out in the lounge area which was unpopulated for the most part.  I read the weekly and free version of Tribute magazine (one of my most favourite parts about going to the movie theatre) and the boys killed time. 

Once I was finished with my gossip rag I pulled out the old trusty camera from my purse and forced the boys to pose for silly pictures with me.  We have a bunch of them from this photoshoot, but this one is one of my favourites because I forced them into one of those awkward photo poses that would be worthy of that infamous website.  I made Gage lie down on the bench on his belly and told Roan to climb on top and lay down.  Then I said SMILE!  This is what I got.  I was actually kind of surprised Gage didn't balk at this suggestion, but this was clearly before he got his braces that made his teeth straighter thus making him "way more cool" and thus too hip to act silly with his little brother and his mom.

I don't remember the movie at all, but I do remember the 40 minutes we killed, just the three of us, laughing and snapping silly pictures of each other. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Off With Yer Head!

I'm not sure if there has been a shift in the atmosphere or what the situation is/was but I feel like the bees were extra 'in your face' this year.  They were everywhere.  I killed more bees than flies this summer.  I feel mildly bad about it because, well... bees are good for our environment.  No human activity or ingenuity will ever be able to replace the amount of work that bees do for our world.  They are a huge reason we have fruits and vegetables.  In essence, they are also a critical component to us having livestock who feed on plants that continue to thrive because of bees and all the cross pollination that they do. 

Sorry, see?  I'm feeling so bad I felt the need to give you a mini science lesson to explain why I feel morose (not really) when I kill a bee.  But this particular post isn't about me killing a bee, it's about Eric killing a bee.  Not just hitting it and causing internal damages (thus leading to death) with the fly swatter, but actually unknowingly (and lacking any real skill to be able to pull it off again) perfectly beheading a bee and in the process snuffing it's life out of it.  (If they would just learn to leave us the hell alone and stay the f*ck out of my cans of pop while I'm trying to drink them, then we could all co-habitate on the same piece of property.)  

It was cleanly severed from the body and left in perfect form.  That's the bee head down there sitting on top of Eric's Zippo lighter so you get the idea of how small it is.  He would have never been able to pull that off had he been trying.  What a fluke.  Seemed appropriate to mention, what with all the dismemberments going on in our country lately (too soon?).  I was being sarcastic with that last sentence.  I wonder what it means to wake up to a severed bee head in your bed....

I wonder how we could mount and display this.  A new trend maybe?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Practical Garbage

Oh a crafting she will go.  She being me.  I went a crafting.  Not too much of a surprise there. 

So last week at work, we did a good deed for one of our competing funeral homes.  And as a thank you they sent us the most AMAZING fruit basket I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot!  By far, hands down, the best one to date.  I still can't get over how much food was stuffed in the apple basket.  Like for reals.  Here it is all spread out for us to longingly look at.  Can you believe it all fit inside that basket? 

Just a quick side note:  This whole fruit basket thing brings to mind Dimetri Martin - "I like fruit baskets because it gives you the ability to mail someone a piece of fruit without appearing insane.  Like, if someone just mailed you an apple you'd be like, "Huh? What the hell is this?".  But if it's a fruit basket you're like, "This is nice!".

Anywho's lets get back to the task at hand (I know it's really hard to tear your eyes away from that deliciousness spread out before you) shall we?  I took that apple basket and I decided it would be upcycled to lead a new life as a garbage container for my den.  If I don't provide a receptacle for the trash my kids are likely to just shove it down the cushions.  Have I mentioned how practical my kids are? 

Here's the before (pretty lame, except that it once housed all that food up there ^^). 

And here's the after using the leftover paint from the walls.  I painted the main body white and the trim navy.  Now we're all matchy-matchy.  Might be too much, but it's not always about looks, sometimes it's just about the personality practicality.  

Functional and Free!  Eric's right Double F's are pretty spectacular and sadly not experienced enough. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Drapes are the Eyeshadow to the Eyes of my House

Today was very rainy, so I only felt it fitting to stay inside and check out my brand new sewing machine that Eric got me for my impending birthday.  In the past whenever I needed to sew something I'd have to drive over to my moms to abscond with her machine and then return it after.  Thankfully she doesn't live too far but still, not overly convenient when you're in the middle of a project. 

Another sweet Kijiji find for $50.00.  Hadn't even been taken out of the box yet.

A couple of weeks ago there was a sale on bed sheets at our lovely Giant Tiger.  Ten bucks got you set of twin sheets.  The advertisement showed navy blue and white striped sheets which I thought would go perfectly in my den.  What's that you ask?  Why would I need sheets for my new den?  Well I'm not going to use them on a bed silly!  I'm going to turn the flat sheets into window coverings!  Drapes to frame the window in fact.  And, as an added bonus, Roan just scored two brand new fitted sheets for his bed and since he doesn't use the flat sheets anyway, it was totally win-win!

So today seemed to be the day to break my new machine in and get those drapes made.  And so it was.

I started out by taking 2 inches off the bottom of the 'drapes'.  I then folded one flat sheet in half vertically and cut it so it was now two long rectangles (one for each side of my window, makes sense right?).  I then hemmed the raw sides (where I cut) of the rectangle to clean them up and stop them from fraying.  Following this I folded over the large 'hem' that would have been the top of the sheet if you were to put it on your bed (you know the finished part up by your chin?) and stitched it.  Following that, I ran a seam about an 1 1/2 in from the top to create a bias so there will be some material above the curtain rod.

Et voila!  New curtains for the den for about 10 bucks total if you consider that the other 10 is allotted to Roan's new sheets.  I know they aren't high fashion or anything but they are totally acceptable for my den and they serve no purpose but to frame my windows.  The added bonus is because they are sheets, they are made to be laundered without huge fears of ruining them. 

**I even took my old broken bamboo blinds and fixed them with some new navy cording!  Look at me being efficient and frugal.  No use buying new blinds when these were salvageable.  I'm glad I didn't end up tossing them.

***This photo makes them look stupid.  But I assure you, they don't come off this hokey in real life.  I'll post more pictures once the room is completed and re-furnished.  I'm thinking new curtain rods might help too, oh and ironing them.  I just wanted to get them up to check length.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kijiji Fail

What started out as a complete high, ended in a melancholy low.  Once again had pulled through for me in my quest to find a suitable couch for my newly converted den.  I scored this beauty for 150 buckaroonies:

I loved the colour (What were the odds I'd find a decent grey couch like I was hoping?), I loved the lines (modern design to boot), I loved the condition it was in (near perfect) and I loved the price.  Too bad it didn't love me back.  It refused (similar to Dempsy being forced into his dog crate) to go down the hallway to its final forever home.  Just outright, stood its ground, refused.  There was no way we could even beat it into submission.  

So back to searching for a new forever home for this lovely lady (I think of this pretty couch as feminine and my current beige corduroy couch as masculine, is that weird?) and a new shorter couch for my den.  I've accomplished part one, Lesley is going to take her off my hands which doesn't make this disappointment as painful.  I've recouped my financial losses and every once in a while I'll get to visit with couch again and sit on her!  And I might be on to another smaller couch to take up residence in my home soon.  But with this new option I'm gonna have to paint her grey, because right now I feel she's more masculine than I'd like for my pretty new den. 

This den completion keeps eluding me. 

{This Moment}

I've borrowed (oh who am I kidding, I've stolen) an idea from Janine over at Reflections From a Redhead who borrowed it from Thom at To Gyre and Gambol, who initially borrowed it from Cath at Just My Thoughts...phew that could get long winded if someone borrows it from me and then someone borrows it from then, and so on!  Starting today I'm going to begin a Monday ritual.  One image will be posted.  No words will describe it.  It will capture a moment from my past, memories that I cherish.  Then on Friday I will post part 2 of this new ritual where I will share the story behind the photo.  This borrowed idea is called {This Moment}


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Plan For Your Future

Although the majority of my readers are my friends or people I actually know in real life it's still probably best to point out that I am a licensed funeral director/undertaker/mortician/embalmer/whatever the kids are calling it these days.  I have been working in this industry for 16 years now and luckily for me I can honestly state that I still enjoy my career/job overall.  Sure I have down days but who doesn't? 

Saw this on Facebook today and thought how appropriate!

Anyway, the point of me stating that is because I'm going to do a tiny PR post about the benefits of pre-arranging your funeral and then I'll finish with a funny example of a pre-arrangement that I've encountered. 

I've borrowed a blurb from my company's website on the benefits of planning your funeral arrangements ahead of time. 

"No one wants to think about their death any sooner than they must, but planning your funeral and cemetery services in advance, called “preplanning” or “prearranging,” is a responsible, caring act that can reduce stress for your grieving loved ones. It’s easy to understand how making decisions now about your final arrangements can help assure those left behind that your wishes are being honoured.
  • Take responsibility for your own arrangements.
  • Eliminate guesswork for your family.
  • Personalize your service.
  • Avoid emotional over spending.
  • Find the value and quality you want.
  • Lock in today's prices.
Whether you simply want to ensure that your wishes are carried out, or you want to protect your family from making difficult decisions at a time of loss, planning your final arrangements in advance is an important responsibility, and one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved ones."
There, now that that is out of the way and I feel like I've done my good deed for the day on to a fun pre-arrangement that I've come across in my 16 years of service.   Every funeral is different because every life and every family is different.  I think that statement alone is what makes me still enjoy my job after so many years.  Nothing is ever truly the same twice.

People always suggest to me that I should write a book about all the interesting, crazy, fun, unique things I've encountered in my time.  And they're right, I probably should.  But I'm not going to.  Besides, there are a lot of books written by Funeral Director's about interesting stuff that happens on the job day in and day out already, so why bother?  There have been some funny and true to life TV shows out there as well.  For now though, here's a fun story for you.  All names, of course, have been changed to protect the innocent.  I'm going to copy verbatim otherwise what we have on file for said person.

Dr. Virginia Mable Smith (fake name, just reminding you! Oh and by the way, she's not really a doctor, but that's the title she has given herself.  Maybe she likes the ring of that versus Mrs. or Ms.)
Cremated, gravesite opened and re-opened (Huh?  How many times do we need to open this thing?) of Mable Virgina Smith, Death-Valley Life Cemetery, City of Somewhere.  I am to be buried with the following items:
  • Card parliament building (I don't have a clue what this is and I've never heard of it.  Perhaps her old age security-social insurance card with a picture of the Canadian parliament buildings on it?)
  • My kids pictures (completely normal)
  • 6 grand children (I'm going to hazard a guess that the parents of these 6 grandchildren won't support this idea!  Just a hunch.)
  • The necklace I made (Now I know I can take my crafts with me too!)
  • My purse strap and junk earrings I wear all the time (I can't get over the request for the purse strap only.  I'd love to know the thought process behind that.  And thank goodness she wants her junk earrings, since they're junk anyway I'm sure her family won't mind parting with them.)
  • Bible (Legit, that's pretty normal.)
  • Christmas card (Any particular card in mind?  Is this a card she received?  One she made?  A blank one?  So vague.)
  • Divorce papers (I'm a staunch supporter of this one!  hahaha)
  • Final Decree (Probably not the most logical place for your final Will and Testament, but what do I know?)
And my father is to be moved out of that grave site first.   Mother, although already dead still beckons to me - He tortured her and beat her, she wants him to kindly be removed.  Mother and I will be at rest with eternal peace together forever, without him.  (While the historical information behind that statement saddens me, I find it interesting that her mother continues to haunt her to have him removed, kindly too!  I mean really, why be kind about it at this point?  Just yank those cremated remains outta there!  And for the love of God, why did she bury her mother beside him in the 1st place?)

I was adopted and my birth name is Darla Mary White (I hate that name).  I did a legal name change with a lawyer and Virginia Mable Smith is rightfully mine.  (Well she paid good money for that name change, so rightfully so!)

No autopsy, keep your f*cking hands off me or I will sue you
(I'd be interested to see how.) or my kids will.  (Oh, that's how.)  And I will haunt you forever.  (That's enough of a deterant.)

These are the pending lawsuits I have.  If I don't sue you before I die, my children have been left instructions to sue you all.  You will not be free of me when I die. 

Bell telephone 
(Who doesn't want to sue Bell?)
Creek Developments 
Ex husband  (If I thought I could benefit from this I might follow suit.)
Government   (How does one sue the government?  I'd like to know.)
4th Avenue  (A street?  She's suing a street?!?) 

And there you go ladies and germs, a sample of a pre-arrangment to get your ideas flowing.  So put your thinking caps on and give some thought to your final wishes.  It will make things so much easier and clearer for your children.  There won't be any confusion over who they are supposed to be suing.   And, you wouldn't want to overlook anything now would you? 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Priceless Crafts

Eric came across a posting on which said the following:

"My Uncle passed away this weekend. He left me this in his will... a first pressing of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. 1000 of these were made before they changed the stickers that came with it as Floyd did not have the copyright to the images on them."

I picked up that exact album at a garage sale for $1.00 and made it into a record bowl that Eric's brother Chris now has.  D'oh!!  Luckily Gage still has the stickers and poster from the album.  You just never do know what you'll find at a garage sale do ya? 
Oh me or my!  I wonder how much that thing was actually worth....I mean it was actually outlined in that dude's WILL for crying out loud.  I'm a doofus.  A crafty doofus.

Edit after researching on EBAY:



Sketchbook Comics and Games

I have an older brother.  He's two years older than me.  He is not really anything like me.  Growing up we were extremely different, probably still are.  He was what the kids these days call a 'straight edge' which sure made things difficult for me once I hit my teens years.  I didn't have the luxury of having a older sibling break my parents in with typical teenage shenanigans.  He had his select group of friends, he liked to play fantasy games (D&D) and tinker on the computer (keep in mind most homes didn't have personal computers at this time, but my brother did and he always kept the damn thing password protected, much to my chagrin).  The one hobby or past time he partook/partakes in that could easily sum my brother up for me is comics.  He was a comic nerd in the purest definition.  They were his passion (I think).

My brother would make weekly trips to the comic store, he knew when any new editions were coming out, he categorized the comics he had and kept them in baggies with cardboard sleeves so they wouldn't bend.  We always had to be uber careful whenever we walked in his room out of fear of touching one of his precious 'booklets'.   He had favourite artists and also did his own renderings and drawings (that were pretty fantastic if I remember correctly).  He collected comic related toys and if he doesn't anymore then that's unfortunate because I keep buying him shit.  Point is, my whole life my brother has been a total comic guy.  Oh sure he has other interests, but if you asked me to think of one thing that describes my brother then I'd immediately say, 'comics'.

So it hasn't come as a huge surprise to me to find out recently that he's this close to opening the doors to his very own comic shop in the region here.  This has been an ongoing dream/goal/aspiration for years now.  He and a partner have killed many hours discussing the possibility and searching out locations.  After some failed attempts, they've finally managed to lock down a location, complete a proper business plan, get financial backing, figure out the staffing requirements, prep the store front and secure their inventory.   Maybe there's something to that saying, 'It's all about the timing.'  Maybe it just wasn't meant to be until now.  Regardless, I'm extremely proud of him and his chance to live out a dream.  I'm turning into a braggart about my brother.  He's come a long way from that annoying kid who picked on me, in more ways than just this store opening.

They've settled on the name Sketchbook Comics and will have a store in the Cats Caboose/Dollarama plaza on Glenridge Ave. in St. Catharines.  They've created a new Facebook page to introduce fellow comic nerds (don't worry, nerds are in right now) to the Niagara Region's new comic supplier.  They are also tackling an online store as well for those who aren't within driving distance.    So if you're into comics and prefer to buy that stuff from fellow comic fans then you've found your guys.  They know a lot of useless really important information about the comic world or if you just want someone to talk to about all things superhero then this will be the place for you.  And most importantly you'll be helping to fulfill a couple guys dreams. 

Congratulations to my brother, Geoff and his partner and friend Joel.  I wish you all the best in your future endeavor and hope you find great fulfillment and success.  Much love.