Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No Power Tools For Me

Happy Memorial Day......one day late. I took off Friday so that I could have a nice four day weekend,  and work on some projects around the house. Friday morning I got up promptly at 6 am. I took Keri to school and then headed out to buy some gardening tools. The three years in college and a six month stint at the DSJ left my yard in shambles. No weeds had been pulled, no bushes trimmed, nothing. For two years. It's shameful, I know, but I had to prioritize. You know, do school work or pull weeds. I picked the school work.

So I spent the ENTIRE day pulling weeds, clipping bushes, cleaning, and just generally trying to turn my yard into something semi acceptable. It took all day. I do mean ALL FRIGGIN DAY. It was dusk when I finally decided I had enough.

Saturday, a birthday party for my nephew. Which turned into an all day event.

Sunday was devoted to grocery shopping and cleaning the house.

(Bear with me I'm leading up to something here)

Yesterday was the big day.

I started with this.

And this. Sadly, per the instruction manual,  I was unable to use my power drill. Oh well, there is always next time.

I think it probably took me an hour just to get this done. Someone who shall remain nameless...Dejah Belit Jackson was SUPPOSED to come and help me but NNNNNOOOOO. I had to do this all alone.

Somehow I found the strength to go on.....ALLLL ALONE.

See that white edge directly above this print? I put the shelf on backwards then I had to take it apart and fix it.This is why I have no business doing these sort of  "projects".

Alas I plunged forward into the world of screws, do- hickeys and slabs of wood. This took a really long time. Really, I'm not being sarcastic.

I did this all by myself. I can't believe it. If someone who shall remain nameless Dejah Jackson would have showed up, I could have finished in half the time. (I think)

Let's stop and take a moment to observe what a disorganized heathen I am. Can you believe this came out my old one? I can't. I'm still sort of shocked.

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel by now. I am also getting very bored with the whole I-can-do-it-myself-independent-woman-who-needs-your-help-anyway syndrome.

Oh ye of little faith. Did you think I couldn't do it? Well I didn't think I could do it. As a matter of fact, this baby sat in my living room for a week before I was brave enough to attempt this. I did open the box once. When I saw the giant bag of screws, nails, and other metal thingys, I was so overwhelmed I put the bag of screws back in the box and didn't look at it again for a week.

 It was worth it. 

Eight hours later, it was worth it. Count them I said eight. As in one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. 
When I put my new 42 inch, LCD, flat screen TV on that baby, it was so worth it. 
Now when I can't afford to go out, I will at least have my TV. Yes, I said eight hours for me to put that thing together. I will say that the instructions were some of the best instructions I have ever read. There were even "actual size" pictures of the various screws, which came in handy cuz I am mechanically challenged. Still wish I could have used my power drill.....sigh

Friday, May 22, 2009

Going Blue (Instead of Green)

I have been meaning to get around to this post for a couple of weeks now. You know how that goes. A couple of weeks ago, in the checkout lane at Wally World, I noticed they are selling Earth friendly, reusable shopping bags. What the heck, I thought. Shamefully, I cant think of anything else I am doing to help the planet. I don't think our town offers a recycling service where they pick it up at the curb. I must interrupt and note that this is not a "brag on myself" post.

I bought four of these bags.

Let me tell you what I love about these bags. I bought four of them, and ALL my groceries fit into the four bags. Which means two things, one-the back of my Toyota is not nearly as packed when I load the groceries. Two-less trips to and from the car to get the groceries into house. Third-I am making a small contribution to help the planet. The bags only cost 50 cents a piece.

They also had this little number which I love also.

This is...well, a shopping bag in a bag. It fits neatly into your purse, and is very handy when you are just picking up a few things. I use mine when I go the drugstore.

This is what it looks like unfolded. It only takes a few seconds to fold it back.

Oh, I almost forgot. It also has one of those handy clips that attaches to your key ring.

If you are an impulse shopper (like I have been known to be) this is perfect. You know how you go into a store for one thing, and you end up with an armful of stuff. Come on, you know who you are. This bag is perfect for those trips. AAAANNNDDDD, you don't have to touch the germy, disgusting, God-knows-what-they-have-on-them baskets.

So, in conclusion, I urge you run out and buy yourself some of these wonderful bags posthaste and forthwith. So I won't be the only one surrounded by blue bags. So you too, can help our planet.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here We Go Again

Well, I'm in trouble....again. Have I done anything to deserve this new trouble plaguing my life? No. Unless breathing is cause for trouble to rain down on my head. Keri is getting pimples....at ten and a half years old. Keri has to wear a bra, and seemingly has outgrown the ones she had, causing me to have to buy her new, BIGGER bras. Keri doesn't want to wear anything "girly". What is this trouble? I think it's obvious. Keri is heading straight for that pre-teen era. A black abyss in which it will be years before I see the bright rays of sunshine again.

Today she slammed the door in retribution to something her sister said. Slammed the door. She hasn't slammed a door since she was four or five. When she was little, that's what she would do if I made her angry. She would stomp off to her room, slam the door, and declare in her little girl voice that she was "NEVER speaking to me again.......EVER!!!!!!!"

I ignored that behavior and it didn't last very long. Melissa's early teen years were no picnic. I remember them somewhat clearly despite my feeble attempts to forget all about that dark time. Yet here I am again facing all all the same trials and tribulations, but it seems to me that it's coming earlier with Keri. I mean EVERYTHING. This new body that is slowly starting to emerge. The pimples. Good Lord, I don't think I had a pimple until I was at least 13. What's up with kids these days? Not to mention the fact that I think she is tall for her age. Everyone seems to think so.

She is obsessed with peace signs now. Shirts with peace signs on them, earrings in the shape of the peace sign, whatever she can get her pre-teen hands on. And recent haircut? I think an obvious beginning to the three or four years of "anti-girly" I am in for. She recently asked me if she could start wearing makeup. I told her not over my dead body that she will have to wait until she is a little older. Melissa went through this stage. The one where the ONLY thing you get on her were T-shirts and jeans. God forbid you should come near her with anything that even had the hint of a ruffle or lace. She rejected feminism and everything is stands for. I didn't have the sense God gave a billy goat. She knew everything, I knew nothing. She was sassy, and hormonal. Throw a move to another state in the mix, and let's just say that my life was.....well....hell.

Despite saying all that, Melissa was not as difficult as I anticipate Keri being. I think all has to do with personality. Keri has been a drama queen since conception. Keri has always been a people-pleasing follower. I have begun to drill it into her head that she can't always do what everyone else wants her to do. I am taking offensive action people. I am going to meet this new phase head on. After all, I have years of experience behind me now. I am not the beginner I was with Melissa. I have strategies people. I am a seasoned veteran of these pre-teen games in which I am finding myself slowly becoming immersed in.

This Friday is the dance at the middle school welcoming all the upcoming sixth graders. I am ready people. My plan of action is in place. I have thought it through very carefully. I have plotted and schemed. I plan to sit in front of the school, wearing dark sunglasses. I will shamelessy peer through a pair of binoculars and pray with all my might that not. one. boy. dares to even glance sideways at my daughter.

Yep, I'm clever, calculating.....and breaking into a cold sweat just thinking about it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Making Mother's Day All About Me.....Me, Me, Me

Seeing as it's Mother's Day, I thought I would reflect on stuff that's....well, motherly. At present, all is peaceful and serene in my little household. The girls and I went grocery shopping today. I cleaned out our vile and disgusting microwave. It looked like it hadn't been cleaned in months weeks. I was thinking about Thursday morning.

It started out like any other Thursday morning. I got up and got ready and made sure Keri was doing the same. After I finished getting ready I went into the kitchen to make my lunch for the day. As I slapped some mayo on a piece of bread, I heard an extremely loud, girlish scream. I mean a really blood curdling scream, worthy of any scary movie ever produced. Several things happened all at once. Fear and alarm coursed through me instantly. At the same time, the logical, sensible part of my brain was trying to figure out what could cause such a scream. I mentally went through a short list. An intruder, a snake maybe, or it could be a mouse.

I also thought it was strange that even though the screaming continued, Keri never came running out of the bathroom. I went around the bar and headed for the bathroom. I met Keri at the bedroom door. She had fresh tears in her eyes. " Mom, there was a spider on my pants, a big, ugly spider. I don't know where it went". This was said with all the seriousness and hysteria that only a ten year old girl can feel. I still don't know why she took her pants off instead of just knocking the spider off.

I spotted this monter demon of a spider (which in all actuality was the size of your typical house spider) and quickly grabbed the nearest shoe I could find. Then, entirely for Keri's benefit, I gave that spider a beat down like it had never seen. (Or ever will see, seeing as how I killed it)Of course even after I beat the tar out of it, sending little spider legs flying in all directions, Keri asked, "Are you sure it's dead?"

My lips twitched as I fought off a smile, or a laugh. I knew at this point that if I laughed at her while she was still traumatized, she would be very upset with me.

It must be one of those "mother" things to be able to stand in your kitchen, hearing your child screaming at the top of her lungs, and still have the sense to be logical and try to figure out what the screaming is all about. All in a matter of a few seconds. I was very methodical in trying to narrow down the possibilities.

Melissa gave me cash for Mother's Day, per my request. She gave it to me early so I decided to go shopping yesterday. I couldn't make up my mind before I left the house on what I wanted to shop for. I decided just go browse around and see if anything spoke to me. Keri was gone and Melissa was working, so I was all by my lonesome little self. I started at Wal-Mart. It's the logical starting point because you kind find almost anything there. I walked through the store looking at household items, electronics, movies, and just about everything. Nothing really jumped out at me and said, "Buy me please, let me go home with you"

Not feeling defeated I headed over to Kohl's. Last week I bought a couple of towels there. I mean really big, fluffy, soft towels. The first time I used one, my eyes rolled back in my head and sigh of pleaure escaped my lips. I was thinking about buying a couple of more of these towels. You see, in my world, all the towels in the house can't be replaced at once. But they all sure to seem to wear out at once. I had always just bought whatever towels were cheap. No biggy right? They are just towels.

That was until I bought those fluffy, cloudlike towels last week. Knowing I still needed more towels to replace the old, raggedy ones, I was off. I did buy a couple more of those towels that surely came straight from heaven.

Over a year ago, my sister painted my living room, some of you will remember this. Since then I have yet to hang back ONE single picture on my wall. My walls have been unbearably...well bare. I spotted some frames that I liked and bought five frames, plus one cute decorative frame. Feeling really good about how I was spending my money, I headed home. You see, I have done NOTHING to decorate my living room in the last year. It just hasn't been one of my priorities.

I had some really old pictures, that have NEVER even been in a frame. So here are some of my choices. I'm not finished yet, by the way. I just didn't have enough cash to buy any more frames yesterday.

This a black and white of Melissa. I'm not even sure how old she was. My sister Marlette took the picture

Keri's second grade pic (Sorry for the glare off the camera)

I have to say that the black and white's taken by my sister are my favorite. It is such a joy to finally have them framed and on the wall.

This is an overview of the final result. I think they look pretty good considering we didn't have a tape measure
Anyway, I stopped on my way home and got some lunch. Later my sister Dejah came over and helped me hang all the pictures.
Due to some very careful financial planning and saving, an unexpected financial windfall and the fact that there are five paychecks this month, I am going to buy a new TV in a couple of weeks. I am looking for a flat screen LCD. If anyone knows a good brand, please share. I am leaning towards a Vizio. I have heard good things about them, and the company is based out of California. I like that because my money will stay here in the U.S.of A.

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers, HW, Farrell, Laura, Redneck Mommy, Jen over at Amazing Trips, Fiona Picklebottom, Kym and everyone else. Hope yours was great.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Cut It Out.....or Off

Thursday was a big day for Keri. When Keri was five, she came to me with a very specific idea of how she wanted her haircut. I took her and let her get the haircut she wanted. I have always let my girls make their own decisions about how long or short to wear their hair. After all, it is their hair. Since then, she has NEVER had a real haircut. Only the occasional trim. So she just woke up one morning and decided she wanted a haircut.

 So that was that. As we were walking out the door, I literally felt queasy. Her hair was REALLY long. 

I think she was sort of freaking out. By this point, I was pretty resigned to what was about to happen.

And so the hair cutting began. Sniff.

She has the prettiest hair color don't you think?

When I saw this, I started feeling queasy again. Gulp.

At this point, Keri was REALLY excited. I have never seen a girl make such a big decision about her hair, then just completely embrace it the way she did. 

Even THIS pile of hair did not freak her out in the least.

She was SO thrilled with the end result. She made a very good decision about the cut and style. Even I was extremely pleased with the way it turned out.

I love the layers. That was Keri's own idea and it turned out great.

All that hair gone. In just a few short minutes. Yep, I'm fine with it.........really!