Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter blahs

I have the winter blahs...or maybe the I just turned 46 and am unemployed blahs...

I don't have a good reason to be depressed--I just am. I am fortunate in many ways--we have a little savings, a cozy little house, the hubbs has job security, we don't know hunger and mostly are in good health...Am I just whining and feeling sorry for myself?

I am still getting up to go to school but that is about it. No socializing, my house is a wreck, and I have no motivation.  All I want to do is sleep. In the last month I have found myself close to tears for absolutely no good reason, especially since I am not a crying kind of gal...

I need to make repairs from the destructive puppy--eating my office chair, my curtains, chewing the corner of my step and peeling slivers of wood from the floor--not kidding! And no he was not harmed after doing all this--good thing he is so cute. And btw--he ate my Kohl's credit card so I couldn't even do therapy shopping!

I need to go buy the supplies for the dining room flooring update--plywood, adhesive and linoleum. I am worried if I spend the money these items will just sit in garage with all the other unfinished projects.

You see it isn't just me. The hubbs is worn out as well. Maybe we need a nice vacation. Someplace not cold, gray and dreary. We talk about it...ALOT... but then like so many other things in life it languishes and is quietly pushed to the recesses of our minds.

We are practical people. We think about who will take care of the animals, how all that money could be spent on the house or stay in safely in savings and let the spark of spontaneity wither. 

It is a vicious  cycle of broken  dreams, high hopes, and  indecision.

Is it just me? Is it the events of the past year finally catching up with me--the loss of my job--my identity and and my father dying-perhaps? Is it SAD-Seasonal Affective Disorder? Is it something worse? 

Typically I pick myself up by my bootstraps, give myself a stern talking to and soldier on. I am embarrassed for writing this and and have thought more times than I can count about deleting the post. But maybe the first step is to say it out loud and ask for help. Or at the very least acknowledge things aren't normal...

Are any of my bloggy friends out in bloggyland sad? Overwhelmed? Lonely? Struggling?  Because if you are--I know what you are going through. Maybe we can get though it together.

Thanks for letting me vent spill my guts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Time to split

some wood that is...

My super secret surprise for the hubbs FINALLY arrived yesterday!  Fed Ex was kind enough to deposit in my carport instead of on my porch and I was very grateful because this mother is heavy!! It took some finagling and a dolly but I was able to wheel into the hubb's man-land  so it would be the first thing he would see when opening the door.

The hubbs isn't getting any younger and after several  (minor) back injuries I hated to see him splitting wood with a maul, wedge and an axe. I mean don't get me wrong there is something ever so he-manly about watching my hubby chop and split wood that makes me feel like I have a school girl crush. What is not he-manly is when he throws his back out, lies around whining about it and I have to listen to it! 

I would have LOVED to get the big testosterone inducing log splitters--you know the beat your chest and grunt, 32 ton, gonna  split a forest of trees log splitter's- yeah soooo can't afford one of those beasts (>$1000). So for now we will make do with this. The hubbs likes it, I like it was cheap (<$100) and  it is something even I can manage to use. Although it takes some effort on my part.

It took overnight before it dawned on the hubbs that this is beyond a "toy" and obviously it meant work for him. So he asked me this morning, "I guess you had some work in mind for regarding the log splitter?" Why dear, I am SO glad you asked. Why yes, yes I do. It just so happens we have quite a bit of trees to clear out from the creek line. And by we--I mean him.

So come Spring there will be a steady buzzing from the chainsaw as he cuts away the dead, diseased and scrub trees. This will be beneficial two-fold. 1) it will preserve the health of the existing trees 2) It will put $$$ back in my wallet. By cutting, splitting and seasoning our firewood--we aren't paying anyone else to do it.

Unlike many of my bloggy friends, we don't actually have a farm, aren't anywhere near off grid but we do hold those high on our dream list. This is another small step for us to be a little more self sufficient. Baby steps...

We have quickly learned, while convenient, storage of firewood in the carport is a bit awkward when you have to wedge 2 cars in there as well.

We will also need to cobble together a firewood shed this Spring. I kinda like the ideal of building one from pallets. Simple, effective and it uses recycled materials--even better!


Friday, January 11, 2013

World's biggest spatula and a tortilla press

I was perusing the Lakeside Collection catalog and admist all of the tack-tastic items something caught my eye. And by caught my eye, I think my exact words were %@*^ that is a big @$$ spatula! Maybe the world's biggest! OMG- I HAVE to buy it!

Jumbo Stainless Steel Spatula

Ok maybe not the world's biggest but it is pretty flippin' huge!You see what I did there? Flippin'? Spatula? Anyone? haha

And you know what? It is AWESOME for transferring the pizza from the oven rack. And it is great for smashing the masa dough balls when making tortilla's.

Then I decided that was monotonous and what I REALLY wanted was a tortilla press. Because y'all know I have an unhealthy obsession with kitchen gadgetry!

Now I'm hungry for some burritos or quesadilla's. Who am I kidding ? I can eat both and maybe  a side of tortilla chips n salsa ...mmmmmmm

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Funky and Frugal Finds #15

Some funky, some frugal, always awesome when I can save some coin!

New Store Bargains
700 thread-count sheets for $14 and a free year subscription to BHG. The sheets are offered online for $19.96 (Walmart). The magazine subscription (coupon) included said up to a $6 discount. Currently the BHG subscription is $5.95  for a year.

6 piece set of Pyrex No Leak Lids with vent. $19.99 at Target (normally $24.99). Subtract from this a $5 target gift card and 5% discount= $13.99 

Second Hand Bargains
A quick stop at The New to You thrift store and I found these awesome deals! The best part? It was 25% off day! 

I have been wanting a heavy duty enamel on metal colander for some time; however, the cheapest I have seen them was $20.
Sale price (including tax) $2.22
I am a sucker for the French White Corningware
Sale price (including tax) $0.78 each
Anyone who knows me will tell you I LOVE bird inspired decor. Well these beauties caught my eye and will be great hanging on my kitchen wall (once I remodel it anyway). And I found some inspiration on Pinterest on how to display them.
Sale price (including tax) $1.42 each
Not to bad, eh?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My redneck car pet barrier

Remember back in October when 2 of my dogs were involved in a very bad (EXPENSIVE) fight?

And remember when I talked about how we were handling the two warring dogs?

So far things have been peaceful. And by peaceful I mean there is an uneasy truce because of the physical barriers we are using to separate the dogs.

Well today I had a dilemma. I had 2 appointments within 30 minutes of each other for both dogs. With no time to take one, come back home and retrieve the other dog, I had to figure out how to transport both safely and with no fighting or bloodshed. The last thing I needed was the dogs to begin fighting, then I careen my car off the side of the road.

I don't have any extra cages nor would my little car hold them. So I had to get creative. 

I used an expandable baby/ pet gate and 2 bungee cords to reinforce the mesh pet barrier installed in my car. While it is not the most attractive (or stylish), it worked great! Not bad for 5 minutes worth of finagling. 

The dogs were calm with the big dog (Chubbs) in back and the smaller dog (Tovah) up front. I think they were happy just to go for a ride--until we reached our destination anyway.

Admittedly it is funny and I sure did get strange looks from people, I just grinned, waved and shrugged it off as they made faces then sped on by. Maybe for fun next time, I can duct tape or bungee strap a baby-doll in the back seat. haha

Monday, January 7, 2013

Funny Monday

It is back to the grind today as I resume classes. Being the disciplined student I am, I happened upon this from Snarky in the Suburbs while perusing Facebook, and HAD to borrow it!

Can all my bloggy friends relate?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Christmas Hangover

I bet there are alot of people with a Christmas hangover!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012-The Year in Review

I realize we are 1 week into 2013 but true to form I am always late!

2012 was by far one of the most challenging years I have had AND believe me I am no stranger to hardship throughout my life.

RELAX--this isn't a post with me whining and crying. I'm wearing my big girl bloomers today, haha

In 2012

I lost my job

The hubbs and I celebrated a milestone

I learned to quilt

I learned to can

I grew an awesome garden

I did a few projects around the house as well as some crafty things


I said goodbye

I said hello

I returned to college

 and I made the Dean's List!

2012 was a journey of losses and self discovery. I discovered the hubbs and I could make do with much less. I discovered what is important isn't about things but rather people.  I discovered renewed friendship in re-acquaintances from the past. I made new friends from the blogging community. I discovered regardless of the obstacles and burdens, I am stronger because of my wonderful support network of family and friends.

Thank you all for taking the time to  connect with me by visiting my blog, pinterest, Facebook, and emailing me. I look forward to every comment, like, tag and share. I hope in 2013 to do a better job blogging and will strive to know more of my followers. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

I finally wrote the post about my storm doors

Remember waaaayyyyy back in October when I talked about my entry doors? And storm doors?


Okay then--click HERE and HERE--go ahead, I have time, I'll wait. (Man I sound like a mom even on my blog-sheesh!)

It turned out we did not have to take off all the wood strips before installing the storm door. Of course the hubbs figure this out AFTER he had removed it--DOH! Also we purposely installed the storm door the opposite swing of the kitchen door. The reason? Because the winds usual blow infrom the North (on your left) and to make it easier on me when I carry groceries in from the car. However, the dogs still go the wrong side every time, haha.

The installation of the storm door had an immediate effect of reducing the drafts by about 90%. There is a major leak coming from under the sill plate. The hubbs was going to use expandable spray foam by removing the plate (it is notched to fit the frame and in theory should have slid out) but the screws are rusted and bored out.He then tried to see if there was any kind of access from under (by going down to the creepy dungeon cellar but access is blocked (literally by block and stone). Until we actually replace the interior door I am using a high tech draft blocker by rolling a thick towel and placing it at the base of the door.

Speaking of replacing the door, since it will be custom, I need to determine size and placement of the window. Do I "match" the size of the storm door window or have a window to match the top pane of the storm door? I am not sure what would be best. Once I decide on the door/ company, I am sure they can do a mock up so I can best visualize it.

The addition of the storm door make this entry look so much nicer!

Kitchen Entry Before:

Kitchen Entry After:

We purchased the same time of storm door for the main entry. The hubs had a little trouble on the install of the upper track. On your upper left hand corner there was a bolt where the track was supposed to go. So he had to notch it out to fit. We also had a nearly 1 inch gap at the very bottom of the door frame where the storm door should sit flush. Fortunately these gaps were remedied with extra thick weather stripping. Again the effect was immediate in the reduction of cold air entering the house

Main Entry Before:

Main Entry After:

We also found the residual cold air is at the base of the door. Not only do I use the high tech towel draft blocker technique--a pet bed in front the door works great, haha!
 My high tech draft blocker
We are slooowwwwlllyyy making some progress...