Sunday, November 27, 2011

Frosty the Snowman is a fairytale they say...

I've got my "White Christmas" Pandora music station playing -- and I'm really starting to get into this whole Christmas vibe. I'm pretty sure that I can ride this Christmas spirit thing right on into the new year (God willing and the river don't rise).

I've already started elving, even. I started now in high hopes that I won't panic myself into grinch-mode. My desire to make or find the just right perfect gift for absolutely everyone often leaves me over stretched, over budget and over cranky. Not this year! This year, the elving starts early and I've plotted and planned so I won't go over budget!

Ignore the wall -- I'll explain why in a bit. But for the girls: homemade organic bath goodness!

For my Nana and Gram respectively. Hand drawn love.

And now for the "why my kitchen is destroyed". Well, it's kind of simple and convoluted. The Boyfriend™ has a friend at work whose girlfriend is making him replace his nearly-new kitchen appliances with stainless steal stuff. This is a boon for our house because it means we get new appliances! So, The Boyfriend™ trying to be all proactive and stuff decided to start taking out appliances that we're not going to be using between now and next week. One thing led to another, add a whole heap of boredom (and a Troll-free weekend), and he was tearing up and tearing down tile. So... yyyeah... we'll be living in a demolition zone for a while. Well, at least in the kitchen.

Our version of Christmas decorating.

But seriously! I'm stoked about the potential of getting rid of this circa-1972 style kitchen and getting some modernization up in this bitch. If for no other reason than it'll increase the resell value on the house -- which will get us to Massachusetts sooner, rather than later.

And now for the BIG BIG announcement!

I finally got off my ass and posted some stuff on the etsy shop! Holy shit, right?! The pickings are slim, but it's a start -- and just in time for Christmas! Go! Go forth and check it out. Buy some stuff if you want!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Twofer -- Things I'm Grateful For

I am insanely, ridiculously thankful for these boys of mine. The Trolls are my heart and soul. The Boyfriend™ is the piece of me I didn't know I was missing -- until I found him. There is no place I'd rather be than with my boys, at home.

The Monkey -- being monkey-ish. Cuz that's how he rolls.

I love this kid. More than he knows. Since he's going through the God Awful Puberties right now, we fight more often than we get along. But this child is solely responsible for teaching me how to love -- wholly and unconditionally. He loves and lives so fully and loudly and I can only hope that I can be so bold someday.

The Nugget -- 'nuff said.

Oh, how I love this child. He's saved me a couple of times in his life. I think he's part guardian angel. He's moody and sensitive. He's quizzical and just so unapologetic about being him. We could all benefit from taking a page out of his book.

The Boyfriend™ -- it was sheer coincidence that he was making the same face as The Nugget

If The Monkey is my heart and The Nugget is my soul, then The Boyfriend™ is the glue holding it all together. The dude gets me, puts up with me and doesn't mind assuaging me on a daily basis. He should be nominated for sainthood. OK... he's not that perfect, but he's perfect for me and that's what counts.

12 Things - Thanksgiving Edition

It's Thanksgiving -- the time of year when, traditionally, people will go about saying what they're thankful for. I kind of hate that part of the holiday, but only because we should tell those that we're grateful for that we're grateful for them all the time, rather than just a specific time of year.

...Let me step off my soap box now.

This is my 12 Things About My Thanksgiving -- sort of like a list of things I love about this time of year. Autumn is, hands down, my favorite time of year -- especially in New England. The weather is cool and crisp and you know it's time to reap your harvest and batten down the hatches. It's when family bonding happens with a vengeance.

1) My dad's side of the family has a tradition of anonymously writing down what they're thankful for and putting it in a basket. The basket gets passed around the table and each person takes a turn reading someone else's thankful list. It's pretty darn awesome.

2) Cheese rolls. My nana started this one -- cheesy delicious wrapped in a crescent roll. But not just any crescent roll -- potato dough goodness.

3) I have never been able to make cheese rolls because I have absolutely no skill when it comes to baking bread. Yeast and I have agreed to see other people.

4) I am hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner this year. With The Boyfriend™. It makes me insanely happy.

5) I miss my family the most during this time of year -- which is just action packed full of getting together and enjoying the hell out of each other.

6) My Aunt Lis's house -- where we traditionally go for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve -- always smells like fabric softener (though I don't think she uses the same brand all the time) and something else I can't quite put my finger on. The smell of her house is one I associate with love.

7) The smell of my gram's house is the one I most associate with "home." Her house smells like Palmolive dish soap, the basement (but the good basement smell) and her perfume -- which she almost never wears. Actually, I don't think my gram wears perfume -- she just smells that good all the time.

8) My gram can fart. Loudly. She giggles when she does it.

9) We know when it's time to leave when Gram starts getting to go bags ready. She does this even when we're not at her house.

10) I have never left my gram's house without a to go bag. Even if it's just a sandwich bag full of lollipops. The woman is a food pusher.

11) I love the eating holidays. The food pushing gene runs strong in me.

12) I can't eat most traditional Thanksgiving food because I'm allergic to it. That has not hindered my love for it though.

So, tell me. What are your 12 Things for this time of year?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So, as it turns out, The Boyfriend™ needed stitches...

We're hosting Thanksgiving at Casa de Our House this year. Originally The Boyfriend™'s idea (though he'll never admit it), I ran with it like the wind. Because, really, it was kind of my idea -- insofar as the direction I was turning the topic of conversation was most decidedly heading in the "Let's have the parents over for Thanksgiving" direction.

...Because I'm nuts.

So, because The Boyfriend™ and I would rather hang out watching horrible television, while completely pretending that we don't have stuff we should be doing instead (see The Boyfriend™! TV is bad!), our house had kind of, sort of gotten rather... let's call it "lived in." Not that our parents would be all judgey about it or anything, but still. I'm not comfortable sitting in seven year's worth of someone else's dust; I wouldn't want to do it to anyone else.

...And also because The Nancarita ingrained the whole "when having company, one must clean every possible surface EVAR" thing in me. The bitch.

So, The Boyfriend™ was doing the dishes last night and gashed hand WIDE open (well, the webbing between two fingers). Like, I could see his shoulder, the gash was so deep. I told him he needed stitches, but The Boyfriend™ thought it would be a MUCH better idea to make the gaping wound in his hand talk to The Trolls. Totally gross.

Flash forward 24 hours -- past the point of safely stitching the wound closed (unless you want to run the risk of massive infection) -- and we're at an urgent care clinic getting the talking wound checked out. The doc said The Boyfriend™ should've had stitches (while implying -- really strongly -- that The Boyfriend™ was a jackass for not getting Handy, The Talking Gash checked out sooner). I gloated. The Boyfriend™ got a tetnus shot. It was awesome.

And in other news, the cleaning-in-preparation-of-cooking festivities continues. Ironically, I'm not mad about doing most of it myself. It's the price I have to pay for being right. Totally worth it.

It's not The Boyfriend™'s hand, but this picture is another from the bajillion I unloaded from my camera. I don't know why, but I heart this picture so much. It's The Nugget, being unusually camera shy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pictures -- I took some!

Some photographic snippets from our trip up north this summer. Remember, don't be a douche and steal photos. These are mine -- no using them without permission 'n' shit.

This is a covered bridge in Greenfield, MA. It was mostly washed away during Irene this year. The Boyfriend™ and I smooched in it. It was cute... and schmoopy.

Washington DC has some phallic monuments, y'all!

The Trolls like to be contemplative while contemplating monuments. And the heat! It was ferociously hot that day.

This was a bridge in New York City. The Boyfriend™ took the photo. Who knew he knew how to use a camera??  

This is SOOC. It's called the three sisters garden or something like that. Beautiful. A little creepy. Right in Goshen, MA
Wherein The Boyfriend™ convinces Trolls the house is haunted. And the ghosts proceed to leave The Trolls notes -- everywhere -- for the rest of the trip.

This has nothing to do with Massachusetts, except that it's a great pic of The Nugget and The Boyfriend™ and I heart it! With all my heart, even.

Twas a Thursday Night in Florida...

And all through my house
Not a human male was stirring
Not even my spouse (err... The Boyfriend™, I mean. But "The Boyfriend™" doesn't rhyme with "house"... so what are you going to do?)

The children were warned,
as I put them to bed,
Not even to play
Don't even... something that rhymes with "bed."

Credit where it's due -- I tried. But a poet I am not. Unless you count the angsty stuff I wrote when I was a teenager and it was cool to write poems that talked about death and decay and life sucking. Because everything sucks when you're a teenager and it's cool to write melancholic poetry about it.

...Unless you were one of the preppy kids (remember preppy kids?). Then it wasn't cool to write poems talking about eviscerating your soul. If you were preppy, you didn't even know what poetry was -- unless it was a school anthem. But school anthems hardly count as real poetry. Thus, the whole high school caste system begins -- thems of us that know what actual poetry is, and thems of them that thought thems of us that knew what actual poetry was were weird.

But I digress. As usual.

So, yeah. I have the whole house to myself (in case that wasn't obvious). The Boyfriend™ conked out early. The Trolls are pretending to sleep (and I'm pretending that I can't hear them playing). I should be doing something remotely constructive and getting-off-my-to-do listy -- and I will (promise). But I'm enjoying the fact that I can wander from room to room without a Troll asking what the answer to number three is, or demanding something to drink because he's "SOOOOO thirsty! And dooooessssnnnn't waaaant waaaaater! (pleasecanIhaveasoda?)"

I'm trying to practice doing less... because trying to begin a simplicity practice when it's holiday crunch time is SUCH a good idea... and enjoying the lack of to-doing. But, fuh rillz, it's hard to enjoy doing nothing when the big monster of "stuff to do" looms large and in charge.

So I blog. Which means you have something to read now while you're trying to procrastinate, too. See? I'm so helpful!

Namaste, y'all!

(P.S. I'm about to load some pictures off of my camera from my Massachusetts trip. This may be a two-fer blog kinda day. Don't say you weren't warned).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Here those sleigh bells jingle...

Halloween and Christmas decorations co-mingled in store aisles? Check!
Christmas carols clogging up the airwaves -- before Thanksgiving? Check!
Black Friday gossip floating around the workplace -- before Halloween? Check!
Nary a gift idea thought up nor handmade goods started? Double check!
Panic that I can't possibly get it all completed and still pay my bills? You betcha!

'Tis the season for panic, resentment and grinch-like behavior. I'm determined, this year, to get with the holiday spirit; to throw myself head first into the joy of finding just the right gift for just the right person. I love nailing the perfect gift!

What I don't like is the pressure. I don't like the consumerism that's become par for the course during the holidays. I hate that the Trolls' Christmas lists look like the inventory order form for Toys 'R' Us. Ironically enough, I hate that The Boyfriend™'s wish list is decidedly sparse -- mostly because he's impossible to shop for.

But this year, more than anything, I am steadfastly determined to do it much differently than last year! We'll be decorated and festooned. We'll have a big ole real tree, too! We'll put up Christmas lights outside and rack up the light bill! This is The Boyfriend™'s first Christmas with Trolls, so... we need to show him how it's done. I actually can't wait to get out the lights and the decorations and rig up the house until it looks like the north pole's sister location. I can't wait to intermingle our old Christmas traditions with the new ones that include The Boyfriend™. This Christmas will be very good!

Right now, though, I should be in the study and turning all of my down time hours into a veritable one-person sweatshop of Christmas making. Right now, I'm procrastinating by rambling here about how much I'm panicking about Christmas. Oh, the sweet irony.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Full Moon

Oh how I adore a full moon! Not even being spooked out by American Horror Story (the one TV show I actually want to stop what I'm doing to watch) quite dulls how much I love bathing in the mother's radiant light. It's like being awash in blessings.

Bright blessings to you, too, my fellow travellers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Behind...And Other Double Entrendes

My, oh my has it been a while since I graced the interwebs with my blogging presence. It's been crazy, here in the Land of S. So much going on, most of it having nothing at all to do with my plans, ambitions, life lists or The Two Year Plan.

My day job moved into its new corporate headquarters. Because I hold a position of some importance (read: I'm salaried. In other words, free labor), thems of us with a rather important title were put to work for most of the weekends in October.

As ill humored and ungrateful as I sound, I'm actually quite pleased with the move. The new location shaves 20 minutes off of my commute home each day which, when you add it all together, gives me back a WHOLE DAY in three months. That may not seem like a lot to most people, but 20 minutes a day means the difference between my feeling harried and harassed when I get home, and my being able to relax and be a sane human being for the remainder of our waking hours at the homestead.

So, I've been plumb worn out with not a whole lot to give toward artistic (and other) endeavors. I DID manage to find enough stamina to make The Boyfriend™'s life rather hellish for a few days. But that's why he loves me -- for the particular brand of craziness I bring to the relationship.

Yesterday was the end of daylight savings time and a return to the normal cycle of light and dark. In theory, I understand the necessity of daylight savings time, but I equate it to communism: great on paper; horrible in practice. But with the return of the regular cycle, my body has found its rhythm again. How I love these shorter days and the call to hurry up and get ready to hunker down for the really short days. My DNA reaches back through time to a place where people busied themselves with canning and preparing and readying for long, cold winters. Since I'm a New England girl, that hard coding in the DNA, despite modern conveniences, is still a very important survival instinct. Prepare. Get ready. Don't waste the daylight, for there won't be much soon.

...I spent the goodly portion of yesterday in the kitchen, hacking up veggies for soups, chicken for stock and my poor middle finger. This particular finger has taken quite the beating lately. 

...I wish I hadn't let my second attempt at a kitchen garden go to pot. Though, now that the weather's cooling off considerably, perhaps I should make another go at growing potatoes. Potatoes, as it turns out, are finicky beasts, who prefer colder climes and steadfastly refuse to grow in tropical locales, such as Florida.

And lest I go one blog post following a singular train of thought, off to other topics...

The Two Year Plan, while still in effect, has been delayed. Mostly because The Boyfriend™ suck at follow through. Yet another reason we're perfect for each other -- neither of us minds when the other one gets distracted by something shiny; likely because the other was already distracted by some other, different shiny thing. So, it's go time effective January 1st. So, it's only a four month delay, but, I think, a necessary one. Had to get the crap behavior out of our collective system.

The Boyfriend™ also got it into his craw that web pages of the real sort be procured, FEINs applied for and gotten, and businesses of all varieties fermenting and readying themselves for take off. It kept him distract for a week or two. But I am now the proud owner of "Sam and Sady -- Enterprising Enterprises", which I will be combining with the as-yet-developed Etsy store -- and my web page (which I need to go develop some). With Christmas just around the corner (EEK!), it's prime craft making time. Between the developing of the Etsy store and this blog post, I've given the shop some thought. While I want to include a bunch of handmade goods, I also want a place where my less graff-leaning, naked lady art can be viewed and displayed.

Speaking of graff -- The Boyfriend™ in all of his loveliness got me an airbrush! The heretofore partially closed door of stencil art has been reopened with his gesture! He thinks I'm not thrilled. He is sadly mistaken.

And speaking of all of that, I must away myself to the land of art and airbrushes. I promised myself I'd get this stencil cut out and do some airbrush work tonight. While the longer hours make this night owl exceedingly happy, I do have a day job and Trolls to get to school way too early in the morning.

I promise: more posts very soon -- including the long promised Fearlessly Phobic Corn Chowder.

In the mean time, I wish you all the very best of everything your heart desires!