Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cup of Tea - Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - January Selfies

I'm trying a thing this year, where I'm trying to take a Selfie every day for the entire year. I'm doing this because I HATE to have my picture taken.I'm trying to get over that.

It also works as a chronicle of my mood swings and battles with depression.

I didn't get myself EVERY day in January, but I did get a lot of them.  Today's Wordless Wednesday is my January selfies.

Jan 1st

Mmmm.  Coffee.
January 7th.
The Day my cat was killed by a stray dog.
(sorry for the wonky formatting here.  Don't know what I did.  Don't know how to fix it.)

Mmmm.  Tea.

A depression is setting in.

Could hardly drag myself out of bed. But "being" depressed
is a luxury for those who can afford to say "abed". I had to
get up and "adult."




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Artful Blogging as a Life Goal

Well, it's happened again....

We went to the book store today and while we were there I went by the magazines and...

I left with a copy of Artful Blogging.

I've mentioned this magazine several times in this blog and some of my others.  I love it, though I very rarely buy it (it's $15 an issue).  When I do get one in my grubby little hands, I devour it.

Then I get all mopey.

Why does actually getting my hands on a magazine make me all mopey?

Well, because I want my blog to be the kind of blog that can BE in the magazine.

And its not.  I mean, content and photographic skills aside (which I've brought up before in Beauty and Bowls), Noner Says sometimes isn't "family friendly" and you kinda gotta be to be featured.

I've often though that I could easily just start another blog, build it up for a year, and submit it.  Blogger is free, I can have as many blogs as I want.  Many of the bloggers featured in Artful Blogging have free blogspot blogs.

The only thing stopping me would be a "theme."

I'm a personal blogger, but I don't live a beautiful or bloggable life.  I work retail. I come home and play on the computer.  Sometimes I make crafts, but nothing like the amazing things in artful blogging.

Today, looking at the photos in the current issue, I found msyelf thinking about my last post here.

If my Dream of Homesteading was able to come true, I would have something PERFECT to make an Artful Blogging blog about.

Rustic and Rugged farmhouse photos.  Chickens, and nests full of handsome eggs.  Rich dirt in gritty gardens.  And myself and my boys living and loving an artful and fufilling life.

Yeah, that would be a much more appealing photographic feast than me trying to sneak pictures of the grey wall across from me as I stand behind a register for 8 hours a day.

Not to mention that countryside itself makes tons better pictures.

Look at this handsome beast!
(image credit)
Who would not rather see a picture of my (hypothetical) neighbors cows than a picture of the crack house down the street?

Some people can find beauty anywhere.  They could take my little Cannon PowerShot, shoot a photo of a manhole cover, add a filter or two, and have a work of art.  I am not one of those people.  I gotta have something beautiful to work with to take even a halfway decent picture.

The Potholes on my street are not so photogenic.
(image credit)
So, I'm about halfway though this issue and I've all but decided that I'm gonna have to do SOMETHING.  Because I need a goal in life, and since every goal I set for myself turns into fairy dust I need an ACHIEVABLE goal.

Is creating a new blog good enough to get into Artful Blogging an achievable goal, when I live a life like the one I have?

Nope, its not.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Dream of Homesteading

Just lately I've been hankering for a more simple life.

Its no secret that I long to be a stay at home mom.  Or even a work at home mom.  But I'm very far away from that currently, as I work a full time job.

I spend more time out of my home than in it, and its very sad.

My house is a mess. I don't like to clean because I have so little time here I don't want to waste it by cleaning.  Not to mention the other little tasks like cleaning and organizing my book shelves and craft supplies.

I don't get to spend enough time with my kids.  I get to spend about an hour with them in the morning, while getting the oldest one ready for school, and 2 hours with them at night, while doing homework, giving baths, and putting them to bed.

I want more time at home, with my family.  I want less stress from struggling to keep a job just to pay bills.

Just lately I've been thinking a lot about homesteading.

I think it would be heaven to get a little land (it doesn't have to be much.  A couple of acres). I would love to have a home built for our family on that land, and to live a little simpler.

Or, find some land with a house like this one already on it, and work on fixing it up!

 I would like to start a garden.  I would like to learn how to can foods and store them.

I would like to own some chickens, maybe raise a hog or two for food.

Therein lies one of the problems.  My husband cringes at the idea of raising an animal for food.  He would be fine having chickens, but not eating them.  He doesn't really eat pork at all, so that would be just for me.


I'm a country girl.  I grew up in the middle of nowhere, with dirt roads and sunshine.  Our nearest neihbor wasn't miles away (Were in fact just down the hill from us) but you also couldn't reach out your bedroom window and touch the side of their house, like you can now.

My husband is a city boy.  I long for trees, and he can't imagine living an hour away from the nearest movie theater.

Now, I our family to try our hands at homesteading, but its not like I'm asking him to go completely off the grid.

I mean, I like electricity and indoor plumbing!  I want my computer and internet access.  He could keep his TV and cable and obscenely large DVD collection.

Not that it really matters, because we can't afford for me to stop working, and we can't afford to buy land, and we can't afford to build a house.

Thank goodness for the internet, so that I can live vicariously through youtube and bloggers.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Frozen Dragon - Wordless Wednesday

I live in the south. It doesn't get cold here like it does lots of other places.

But today, it was cold enough to freeze a dragon.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Bookshelf Before and After

Today I decided to start tackling the hot mess that is my bedroom.  Since hubby took care of my laundry I had let pile up, and the mountain of stuff that was my side table I didn't have to worry bout those.  Just the two shelves to the right of my bed.

I'm sure I've shown pictures of them before.

This one to the left here is probably the easiest to fix.  I need to go through it and decide which books to get rid of and which to keep.  I need to re-arrange a little and make more use of the space that I do have, since I don't have much space.

I thought I would start at the top and work down, but changed my mind.  I decided I'd start with the most annoying one.

The second shelf down, where everything is all leany.  That is all of my craft magazines and spiral bound notebooks.  And every time I pull one out, they all flop over!

The Leaning Tower of Notebooks!
I thought, I need a magazine file, but I didn't just happen to have any of those on hand.  Then I thought, how hard could that be to make?

So I went to youtube, because youtube is my favorite, and I found a video for a 3 pocket magazine holder.  All I needed was some boxes, and some paper.  And some glue.  And I had all of that on one.

At first I was worried that I woudln't be able to find enough similar sized cardboard to make it.  However, a trip to the recycling trash can brought me to these boxes.

They are from my husbands last order of Snap-N-Store Double Wide CD Storage Boxes (he uses them to store his DVDs in) and they turned out to be perfect.

I mean, they were the perfect thickness.  And the perfect size.  And there was the perfect ammount of them.

I even have one left over that I think I'm going to try to make a pencil cup out of.  But that would be another post.

So instead of hitting that shelf, I dug out a too small cutting mat, a box cutter, my metal yard stick, and I proceeded to make a hot mess.

My crafting process isn't pretty.  And my "studio" is a baby's room.
There is a reason I'll never be a "professional" crafter.
 My husband had been mildly amused to see me dragging his boxes back inside out of the recycling.  He was pretty much non-interested in the craft at this point.

This is also the point where the baby went to bed for his afternoon nap and I had to move to the dining table where I may or may not have glue some scrapbooking paper to the table while turning those cut down peices of cardboard into this:

I was surprised when I showed it to my husband and he thought it was "neat."  He said, "Thats what you made with the boxes?"

Yep.  I made a thing.

Then I took the thing into the bedroom and started stuffing my stuff into it.

The notebooks went in the left.  Magazines in the center and right.

Admittedly I didn't organize the magazines, just stuffed them in.

I had a 6 year old and a 2 year on in my bed at that point, and there is where I had the stuff laying.

Then, taking it one step forward, I turned the box backwards, completely hiding the stuff!

I put the other things back on the shelf, all in a row instead of a leaning tower just waiting to fall down and impossible to get things back where they came from because of the crazy tilt.

So, I only got one shelf done, but really, you can only do one shelf at a time anyway, right?

And I hope to make a second magazine file to go to the right, to hold unused canvas boards, and blank 8.5x11 papers that are on that shelf (and others) as well.

I have to go on another cardboard hunt though...don't have enough of those perfect boxes left.

When I get the cardboard for the second one, I think I might make a more detailed tutorial post on the process.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Goodbye Moe-Moe

Chapter 1
Page 7/366

This is my Moe-Moe.

She has been in our lives for about 13 years.  She is somewhere between 14 and 15 years old.

When I worked at the pet store, she was a stray who took up with us.  She was pregnant.

She was a petite cat.  Small and naturally thin.  She looked like she had swallowed a watermelon.

"Cat" I would tell her, "You have moe belly than any cat I've ever seen."

She became known as Moe Belly.

Her belly left after her babies were born.

Then Moe-Moe.

She kept living at the pet store for a year after I moved on.  But when the pet store closed she came to live with us.

She didn't stay with us long before she discovered my in-laws across the street.  She fell in love with my father in law and decided she was HIS cat.

Cats are funny that way.

But that was only across the street, so I could still see my cat any time I wanted.

I'd walk up and say, "Hey Moe-Moe" and shed start meowing away.  We'd have whole human/kitty conversations.  She was a very vocal cat.

She was vocal, but wasn't a super friendly cat.  If you couldn't read her moods you could just as likely be bitten or scratched if you tried to love her.  After we lost my father in law I was the only one who could/would pick her up.

She would purr, but only tolerate a little bit of loving.

She lived indoors for a long time, then she became an indoor/outdoor cat.  Then she was an outdoor cat, because she would NOT use a litter box.  She would poop in the floor, or the bed, or the sofa. But never the litter box.

But she was a home-body.  She used to wander when she was younger, but the past few years she stayed around the house, under the bushes or in her kitty house under the carport.

Just this morning, as we left to take Parker to school, she came stretching out of her box, asking for her breakfast.

After all, she was 15 years old.  A 15 year old cat isn't going to get into much mischief.

Unfortunately, after 13 years living in the same spot, some mischief came to my girl.

I noticed a strange dog in the neighborhood.  One of my dogs woofed at him through the fence when he was outside.

It was a large dog.  White with black spots and marks.

It ran away when it saw me.

Meanwhile, an hour or so later, when my hsuband got home from work he says, "There are two cats dead in the street.  I'm going to go take pictures."

We've had trouble with stray dogs in the past and have been trying to get the city to do something about it.  He wanted documentation.

Just a few minutes later he came back in, very very VERY angry.

"I think one of the cats is Moe, I need to you to come look at her."

There are a lot of stray cats in our neighborhood too.  And lots of them are black, like my Moe Belly.  But this svelt little body curled in the street....I knew it was my Moe.  I didn't want it to be.

(Warning, the rest of this is kind of graphic)

Covered in slobber, she had clearly been attacked by a dog.  As has the other dead cat.

I slid my hand up under her belly, because Moe had a knot of bone on her under side that was unusual.  That knot was there.  It was my Moe.

And I had her blood on my hands.

I sat down in the street and cried, while my husband called the police and yelled and ranted and raved.

After a while the person who lived in the house I was sitting in front of came out to see why this crazy white woman was sitting in the front of her house, crying.

"A dog killed my cat." I told her.
"Whose cat?"
"Mine.  A dog killed MY cat."

Then Robert showed up with a box, and a shovel.

I wasn't going to let my poor baby be shoveled up.  It wasn't right.

I reached my hand under her...into her guts.  And I lifted her into the box with as much dignity as she had left.

She had been gutted by whatever beast caught her.  Gutted, and left in the street while it ran off to kill another animal.

So today my cat was killed, and I had my hands in the parts of her that should have been inside of her.

She's buried now, and nobody official cares.  And we told our little boy that Moe was dead, and he cried.  And the dog that killed her is likely still running the streets, looking for other pets to murder.

Goodbye Moe.

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