Friday, February 25, 2011

Seriously?? Yet Another Random Post??

If you are an optimist, you may be hoping that I'm jesting. I'm not. Well, maybe I am. Just a bit. This post might actually be helpful to someone. Then again . . . maybe not. Truthfully, I would like to discuss headaches. Not just a typical please-turn-out-the-lights-and-shut-the-blinds migraine. No. I would like to discuss your common, everyday, self-inflicted headaches. And to do so I must once again bring up the painful subject of my house. I'm not sure if it hated me first or if I started the hate-hate relationship {kind of another twist to the riddle of the chicken and the egg or the horse and the cart}. Needless to say, that relationship flourishes on a daily basis.

Please, don't get me wrong. I'm not hateful in an ungrateful sort of way. I thank Heavenly Father for my shelter every time I pray and several times while I'm at work and hear people talk about living in their cars or sleeping on a friend's couch. Someday I really will have to go into the gory details, I guess. But I'm tangenting {which, by the way, I do quite well for a spatial spastic}.

So, long story as short as possible, the contractors built a mudroom off the side of our house as a way of building a split level entrance. No questions, please. We have finished off the walls and floor underneath the upper flight of stairs and it now houses my craft supplies and multiple Granny Bag contents. However, because of the stairs not having the correct pitch or angle or height or rise or whatever the proper adjective is for it, the ceiling ABRUPTLY shortens {from 8' to 5' 6"} at a certain spot. And it's probably the only place in this whole house where there's actually a 2x4 {I was going to say 'stud' but I didn't want to offend the LOML}. It is a very real, very wood, very hard 2x4, also. I don't know of anyone over 5' tall that hasn't hit their head on it at least once. You'd think, though, after certain people have lived in this house for close to 15 years that those same certain people would be programmed {just like Pavlov's dogs} to automatically duck and thereby avoid the pain and anguish of hitting it. Evidently those were highly intelligent dogs to begin with!

Anyway, tonight, while trying to work on a portion of de-mucking my house, I was moving at lightning speed in said Under The Stair Area {UTSA}. Out of the blue or black or whatever color everything started turning, I whacked my head. I have never hit it this hard. This is the hardest I have ever hit my head in the UTSA or anywhere else. Did I mention I have never had my head hit as hard as I hit it tonight? Well, then, let me tell you . . . I have never hit my head that hard. It went all tingley all the way down the back of neck. It might actually have been a case of Pedestrian Whiplash. Like in the cartoons when Wiley Coyote gets the anvil dropped on his head and you see multiple vibrations as a way of portraying how hard the anvil hit him. That's how I visualized this incident. And, even worse, there was no one here to witness it and validate the fact that I hit my head harder than I've ever hit it before. It wouldn't surprise me if it registered on the Rickter Scale! I immediately swayed to the fridge and got a Buzz Lightyear ice pack for my head and a larger, more adultish one for my neck and then sat down in my favorite chair trying to remember how long you're supposed to stay awake after receiving {or inflicting} a whack to the head.

Now this paragraph is more for my children. I want you to know that a person {even your dear sweet Mother} who is prone to say a certain swear word, can change. After hitting my head harder than I've ever hit it before, I did not swear. Call it deathbed repentance or whatever you want, but I did not swear. {Once again, though, there were no witnesses to either confirm or deny the truth. My word will have to suffice}. Actually, I started praying because I have never hit my head that hard in my entire life! {Seriously . . . I have to ask how bad would your head feel if you hit it hard enough to crack it open or just make it bleed? Not that I want to personally experience that, I just can't imagine how bad it would hurt if I hit my head hard enough that it bled!}

So, now that I've laid the foundation for my post on self-inflicted headaches, I want to talk about the options for remedying said self-inflicted headaches.

#1: The traditional ice pack.

#2: Self Medication.

Or, my personal favorite,

 #3: Fixing the Problem

Amber calls it "blog stalking" and I do my share of it. Enough to know that every blog out there seems to have at least one tutorial for something artsy fartsy {as Nathan would say}. I've often been jealous so here is my tutorial for a DIY headache remedy:


1.  Measure as accurately as possible the length of said headache inflictor {this would involve timesing the biggest number on your ruler by how many times you have to move it across area to be remedied}.

2.  Locate a piece of batting or stuffing, which is located in said UTSA, so be sure and duck.

3.  Locate a piece of attractive fabric to cover the batting with. I chose a reddish color so if this doesn't work, it will easily hide any future blood spatter.

4.  Get out your tools - i.e. something to measure with and something to cut with and cut and measure as accurately as possible, the batting and fabric to match the measurements of the area you are remedying - cutting the fabric a squish larger than the batting.

5.  Get out some more tools, i.e. glue gun and glue sticks {notice the bag of glue sticks is open - mental note: pick up all glue sticks that flew about when removing bag from the drawer because you didn't know it was open at the time}.

6.  Folding the fabric in half over the batting, use the glue gun and seal all the edges. Handy Tips and Tricks: This step works best if both the glue gun and glue are hot.






7.  Get out some more tools, i.e. electric staple gun and appropriate sized staples or brads.


8.  Hold padded fabric in place and begin to staple it to area to be covered.



9.  Take a moment here and get someone {in my case, LOML} to find you an extension cord

so you can actually plug in your electric staple gun.

Is he really laughing at me?

10.  Continue holding and stapling until entire piece of padded fabric is attached. Tips and Tricks: This step works best if brad goes through the padded fabric. 

10.  Get some more tools, i.e. cute little girly hammer and fix all the brads that are sticking out {no need to poke your eyes out now instead of getting a concussion}!


I know I look like a crazed {am I laughing or crying???} woman, but you have to remember, it's only been a couple of hours since I hit my head the hardest it has ever been hit!

The finished product! With all its imperfections, it will

still soften future encounters with the human skull.

Who said traumatic brain injuries aren't productive?

Seriously???? Another Random Post????

How uncharacteristic is that???? Oh, well, I'm doing it anyway.

First off, I need to know where everyone disappeared to {and may I congratulate you on how quickly and timely you vanished} who supplied the motivation and the majority of the energy for this tossing-the-house-upside-down project. I've printed loads of Granny Bucks in my basement printing press but there's no one here but me to earn them!

Secondly, de-cluttering teaches you a lot about yourself - or both your selves or two of your many selves. At least I'm learning a lot about the self I've been for most of my life, my Pack Rat Self, and I'm trying to put together the self I would be more at peace with {as long as no one even looks like they're going to mention my sewing room!!!} or my Simplified Self.

My Pack Rat Self {PRS}: If it's a gadget, it's mine. If it's at the dollar store, it's mine. If it's a gadget at the dollar store, it's mine. If it's under $5 anywhere, it will most likely be mine. Seriously, though, how many spoons, rubber spatulas or cooking spatulas does one really need to have? And these pictures don't include what's out in my trailer. People should be proud because I did weed them out; sending some to DI and some to the Garbage box. I would have taken a picture of my lovely collection of cottage cheese and cool whip containers but, someone {who will remain nameless except to say she's my baby} forced me to throw them all away! I thought she was tough when she was the Fashion Nazi but you ought to see her when she turns into the Anti-Hoard Nazi! Wow! Scott's done a great job brainwashing her!


My Simplified Self {SS}: Is writing D.I. and Garbage on lots of boxes LOML brought home for me. I'm a little worried; wondering if the quantity he brought home has any connection to his expectations of just how much {and how quickly} PRS is going to let SS become the dominant personality here. All my other submissive personalities are still out voting on who they want to rule.

I did splurge {not sure which personality encouraged this} and bought me a new gas stove. I am way excited not to have to broil while sitting on the floor watching the dust bunnies dance around spicing up the food! The big selling point {besides the discounted price} is that it has a 'Jewish Sabbath and Holiday' mode! I'm still a little confused on whether or not it will work the same if it's an LDS Sabbath but I'll find out one of these days when Courageous Self {CS} comes to the frontal cortex.

So, anyway, this is my uncharacteristically random post. Maybe there will be more to follow as my progress {positive thinking} towards making peace with my house progresses.

Anyone need an ice crusher or a rice cooker? Or could I interest you in a spoon or a spatula? I'd offer you some cottage cheese containers but . . .

P.S. Oh, yeah, LOML 'conveniently' got an appt to get some 'noise' diagnosed on his truck. Three and a half hours later and he's still not home. Heck of a coincidence. Kind of like when some piece of lawn mowing equipment would 'break' and he would miraculously finish tinkering with it at exactly the same time we were loading the mowers back in the trailer, having finished the particular yardwork job. Hmmmm.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Had a defensive driving training at a staff meeting the other morning. It was really only watching a short video from YouTube and the main point of it was to be aware of what's {or who} is around your vehicle before you get in. The wrap-up point was to set a G.O.A.L. {Get Out And Look} and be a more defensive driver. I liked the acronym GOAL for more reasons than just defensive driving and have been thinking about it a lot since watching the video.

Like, Get Out {of my comfort zone} And Look for ways to push myself to be a better person. Or Get Out {of the box} And Look for alternative ways to accomplish things that initially appear to be impossible.

And then in Primary we were asked to draw a picture of one thing we liked that Heavenly Father had created and given to us because He loves us. One of the teachers mentioned seeing a newborn calf in another ward member's yard on her way to church. Whiplash! I'd driven that same route and I hadn't seen any newborn calf! My immediate thought was, "I need to Get Out {of my little space bubble} And Look at the world that's just beyond my borders.

And then I read today's Daily Motivator and it put even another perspective on my thoughts. This is how it read:


There are miracles all around you. All you have to do is notice them.

There are plenty of opportunities for moving forward in precisely the direction you wish to go. You simply must allow yourself to notice them.

The world has a way of calling your attention to certain things, yet those are only the things the world wants you to see. It's up to you to direct your focus upon those things you wish to see.

There are countless things that you can notice right now that no one else has ever noticed. Great fortunes and lives of outstanding achievement have been built by those who notice what had previously gone unnoticed.

Just a little curiosity can spark your interest. Just a little more can uncover all sorts of things that are truly amazing and valuable.

There's no limit to the abundance you can tap into when you notice that it's there. Open your eyes, open your mind, be clear and authentic about your purpose, and notice the hidden treasures that are literally everywhere. --Ralph Marston

So . . . I'm going to Get Out And Look for what I've previously overlooked. I'm going to Get Out And Look at things I choose to look at, not just the things the world throws at me. That's my new GOAL.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

On the Move . . . Again

It's all in an effort to make peace with this house of mine. But it doesn't help that I've always had a passion for moving and rearranging furniture. Bottom line truly is I'm trying to use this house as a 'whole' and be friends with it.

After all, it's not the house's fault that a crew from the Island of Misfits sold it to us, placed it on its Misfit foundation {literally}, pieced it together and then gave us the go ahead to move in. It would be a horrendously long post if I let myself go on everything that is wrong with this abode of ours and the whole comedy of horrors that actually produced the finished product. Suffice it to say it's important to me now - almost 15 years later - to make peace with it. Which brings us to Saturday night and the family party.

During the day Saturday Mandy and the girls had been helping me move stuff back to my upstairs kitchen. Ever since Nellie and Carter moved out, we've basically been living downstairs and using that tiny kitchen. I promised myself when we got the fridge fixed upstairs, I would start using that kitchen as the main kitchen again. The fridge has been fixed for about a month now.

The issue still remains as to where to have the toy room. Because of the way my house is set up, the only way downstairs is clear at the opposite end of the house so by the time you hear a child in distress, run the length of the house, descend the stairs and run the length of the house again . . . well, who knows what could have happened by then. Neither parents or grandparents want that much distance between children and adults. Someone {who shall remain nameless to protect them from further cussing} threw out the suggestion that we should just move the toy room upstairs . . . now, tonight . . . while everyone was there to help. I looked around and got agreeing nods from the other girls. Alan threw back some comment that was easily interpreted as agreement, too {which totally shocked me}. And so the decision was decided.

I ascended my Tower of Total Power and Attention and made the announcement that we would be moving the toy room upstairs tonight. Then I made the mistake of saying, "So each of you kids go grab a drawer of toys and take them up to the front room." I have never seen nine (9) (IX) children move so quickly in my entire life! And they kept it up all night! There was a break, however, when they were working so fast, they overwhelmed Grampa and Joe who were trying to move the stuff out of the room upstairs. And they all earned some Granny Bucks! I'm afraid, however, when I get Alan's bill, he will break Granny's Bank & Trust! The Toy Room still isn't totally put together all the way {and, by the way, neither is the upstairs kitchen} but there's a huge chunk done. So, I'm still accepting volunteers for help and assistance!

One of the more eager faces

Another eager face

Reagan would have helped if she could have

gotten headed in the right direction!

Aspen would have helped, too, except her

hands were a little occupied hanging onto

whoever she can sweet smile into walking

her around wherever she wants to go!

Here are some random pictures of the troops. I do believe Mariah was heard to say something about feeling like a slave. And at one point Carter came down for another load and said, "I still don't understand why we're moving it all upstairs?" I think he'd been upstairs listening to Grampa talk to whichever other adult males were up there.   

Mariah and Garrett with a load


Brian with his very literal 'drawer'

Hunter, Brian and Jodi

Carter, Colton, Mariah

Garrett and a load


Layne, Hunter and Carter loaded up

Jodi and Mariah

Thanks for all the help! Everyone was still going strong when we made them stop and eat their ice cream and cookies {thanks for the yummy homemade strawberry ice cream Krisy and the yummy cake mix cookies Amber}. And, P.S., Adam, since you're a contractor, I need you to figure out how we can put some stairs in a more central part of the house!