Well, 2016 Is Off to a Rocky Start…

It has been rough getting the motivation to write. Lately I have had to catch up on my health, getting yearly check-ups, making sure bones aren’t dissolving, etc. With the start of a new year, many people are beginning the “New Year, New You” routines for better health.

I am not really among them.

But I do plan on improving myself in certain areas. I have been learning to redo and repair furniture (my sister Reno Queen would be proud), purging paperwork that is decades old (found boxes in the garage that I thought were full of books, go figure), learning to patch plaster and drywall, and of course, painting everything in sight. I found a little Florentine table that had lost most of its gilt and decided to paint it in ASCP Emperor’s Silk, a red that should have been called French Bordello, in my opinion. Wait until I post the “before and after” so you can see what I mean.

I also have plans to continue my vocational education, and learn welding. No, I never saw Flashdance. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to learn. I figure if I can do well in it I can use it for artistic purposes, because who wouldn’t want to make their own version of an Alexander Calder mobile, right?? I think learning vo-tech is a good way to stay active in the coming seasoned years, so to speak. Lord knows I am not about to start jogging or doing Zumba. If I didn’t start when I was younger, it ain’t happening when I’m older.

Hopefully my resolution to learn how to use all sorts of power tools will culminate in re-organizing the garage into a working work station. Here’s looking at maybe six weeks of work. Well, if I start now, that is. After all, there’s bound to be something that crops up to stall me. Last week, it was friends from out of town. I imagine this week will involve a package of Fig Newtons and a Firefly marathon.

A gal has to have priorities ;)


The Year in Review, Sorta

Well, another year is coming to a close. I have been remiss in blogging due to the holiday and family commitments, none of which involved a mental institution. Well, none so far. After all, the holiday isn’t over yet.

Every year around this time I find myself sighing deeply. It’s not a contented “I ate all the chocolate and feel NO SHAME” sigh, nor is it the “I wish they could stay home longer” sigh. It’s the “What happened ?” sigh. For a while, it seemed this year just dragged on and on, and suddenly–BAM!!!–it’s December 31st and I have no idea how that happened. School band, having a split household, dealing with kids away for the first time, family happenings, all take their toll and can be serious time sucks. And let’s not forget social media. That alone can make the days seem like minutes, especially when a soap opera is unfolding on the social-site-with-faces.

By the way, I started writing this post two days ago.

As usual, with the end of the year come the reflections and the resolutions. Upon reflecting on my year, I found a few truths to be rather self-evident: I am quite lax at writing, technology still escapes me, I don’t laugh at myself as much as I should. I am loathe to write of resolutions because they are lofty goals usually mired in dreams and cotton candy. So this year I resolve not to make any resolutions save one: to be happy with my lot in life, and grateful for all my blessings.

I guess that’s TWO resolutions. But they will be easy to keep.

Hope y’all have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Day, and blessings to y’all in the coming year :D


Nerd Christmas

As y’all are aware by now, I am a nerd. Established 1974, when I first watched Star Trek episodes in Spanish. That intensified when Star Wars came out, and cemented for all time when Ricardo Montalban resurrected his role of Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Don’t be fooled. I hate Ewoks.

Anyway, I wanted to get a black pre-lit Christmas tree for the longest time. No, not to match my soul but so I could display my space-themed ornaments, thinking the black would be outer space and the lights would be the stars. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?? But the topper….well, that was a quandary. I really wanted to get something like an exploding Alderran or the Pillars of Creation, but the ones I found were too pricey, so I made my own Death Star topper out of a styrofoam ball, felt, and pipe cleaners. It’s not to scale, but it will do until I take the time to make one with LEDs in it.

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Aggie’s Christmas Gift Guide, 2015 Edition

Don’t worry. As much as I <3 my Soma™ PJs, they are not on the list this year. Why? Because they should be on EVERYONE’S list every year. And not for special occasions, either. Soma PJs should be a staple in every gal’s wardrobe. Trust me on this.

This year, being cognizant of a distinct holiday fatigue, mostly due to the season being kickstarted in August, I complied a few items to help with the eventual stress that most of us who wait to shop for the perfect gift at the last minute will suffer.

lavender gift set

Who doesn’t love the calming quality of lavender? L’Occitane™ offers a wonderful gift set that will render anyone mute with appreciation. Or make them SQUEEEE!!! Either way, it’s sure to be a keeper.

If your beloved is more of a techie and/or sports type, consider gifting a set of headphones. Just not any headphones.

bose headphones

Behold the Bose™ NFL Edition headphones. Yes, they are pricey, but we are not just talking quality and sports fanaticism here. I love mine because they block out everything, including the smoke alarm. Which could be a bad thing, but that’s what I have kids for.

Last but not least, what is the holiday without some bit of indulgence? Or a lot of indulgence. I won’t judge.

moscow-mule-gift-set-o

Williams-Sonoma™ offers many food-themed gift sets, but my pick is obviously the one to which I can add vodka. The Moscow Mule gift set comes with everything you need except the booze, but I’m sure most of us already have that in our stocks, right?? And bonus: you can use the mugs for hot chocolate, too, which you can get at the site.

I hope you have enjoyed Aggie’s Christmas Picks for 2015. I also hope one or two find their way under my Christmas tree this year. I’m not picky, but just FYI, I already own the headphones ;)


Though Seasons May Change

I am starting to realize that changes in Life are a mixed bag. Some changes are simple and require nothing but an acknowledgement before one moves on: a change in hairstyle, the falling of leaves, etc. Some changes come as mixed blessings, and though part of the change is bad, invariably it enhances the good.

The other night I sat down to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. It has been a tradition in our home since before kidlets came along.

A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tu

I love Peanuts™. Growing up in Puerto Rico, it was a BIG DEAL when their specials came on (had maybe three channels, and cartoons were not their forte). It became an even bigger deal after I learned English. They are timeless, and ageless as well. But this last time I came to the realization that I sat there, alone. And it wasn’t the first time I sat alone to enjoy a family tradition. Kids are growing up and away, becoming on their own, Hubby is stationed away so our youngest can remain in this school district, and youngest is busy with band and theater and myriad other activities. One would think that leaves me time to write, but actually the opposite is true. I can’t find the motivation to write fluff when it feels like loneliness is weighing down on my heart. Some days the absolute silence in the house reminds me of how the kids used to fight hammer and tongs and me screaming for them to SHUT IT. Now I wish I had that opportunity again, just to let them fight it out Coliseum style.

I can’t wait for Christmas :)


Here, Kitty Kitty

Sometimes I am surprise by what inspires me to write.

While struggling to come up with something coherent to write, I came across the classic, campy original Batman. I remember watching it in Spanish and I can tell you, the voice actors were just as melodramatic as the original cast. I miss old movies like this one.

How can you not appreciate the shark repellent scene??

Anyway, while contemplating on the beauty of Lee Meriwether (ok, more like wish I looked like that), I began to muse over the many wonderful ladies who graced the screen as “Catwoman”. Each of them had their own style, their own take on that volatile and charismatic character.

Eartha Kitt, the most petite and most purringly devious.

Julie Newmar, the most statuesque and sultry.

Lee Meriwether, the most agile and refined.

With the revival of “Batman” came Tim Burton’s take on Selena Kyle. Michelle Pfeiffer as the new Catwoman was sharper and dark, though no less sensual than her predecessors. The last decade brought us Anne Hathaway, who was not as vivid as the others but managed to spin a nice take on Kyle’s character. I bet you think I skipped Halle Berry but to be fair, the character was different from the rest.

So the questions of the day is, who is your favorite, and why? :D


Oh, Look! Aggie Decided to Write a Post!!

Finally. Ok, to recap the last couple of weeks:

Halloween was fun. I dressed as a Crazy Cat Lady and managed to impress three Darth Vaders, 12 Capts. America, four Iron Men, four Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (only the Blue and the Black were MIA), and five Wonder Women.

I lost count on the Elsas and the fairy princesses and the ninjas.

The best costume went to toddler boys dressed as ketchup and mustard bottles. ADORBS!! Next year I will have to step up my game, though. Competition for original costumes is tough and I aim high.

As y’all may recall, I had a very long list of stuff I was going to redo, refinish, upcycle, whatever term is in fashion now. So far in the past three weeks I have managed to finish the frames and the pumpkin topiaries on that list. In case you think I have been slacking off, I added more stuff to my list and have managed to finish chalk painting a side table, Homecoming mum and garter to match, more book art, Christmas gifts (no, I won’t post photos or descriptions because I know who reads my blog), and painted a mirror, stool and little vanity table for my sister. In between thrift store skulking, I also have the privilege of being a band parent. And wouldn’t you know it? The team made the play-offs.

Yay, me….

So that’s the round-up. I hope to get back to writing fluff soon. It’s a bit difficult when you have table wax stuck under your fingernails, paint on your face, and glue in your hair. Honestly, I don’t know how that happened. It’s a risk I take in the pursuit of crafting :)


Halloweary

Yes, it’s that time again. The time to stock up on good candy, get a funny costume, and prepare to criticize every parent that lets their underage daughter dress as a sexy fill-in-the-blank. That is my main irritation with this holiday: almost all the adult gal costumes have been made “sexy”: mummy, nurse, witch, princess, even E-BOLA. I usually make my kids’ costumes for that reason. Last year Little One went as the Red Queen, and the year before Eldest went as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Best costume I ever made for myself was The Booze Fairy, complete with a crown made from mini vodka bottles. It sure was a hit, I can tell you that.

liquor bottle costumes

This year Little One suggested I go as the Red Queen. I nixed that idea. Instead, I will go as a Crazy Cat Lady, inspired by my friend, Cruel Wife. I figure that costume can keep me warm while I stand outside handing out candy.

I’ll be outside because otherwise the dogs will go insane with kids ringing the doorbell. I have to think of every last detail.

And no, there will not be any photos of the costume. I still have one shred of dignity and I shall employ it wisely. Besides, no one needs to see my humiliation at the hands of conniving kids. I’ll be sure to write about it, though ;)


Regrets of the Sith

I’ve always held fast to the belief that one should never have regrets. They tend to steep one in melancholy, or make one bitter, and nobody has time for that. That usually applies to big things, like letting go of the love of your life, or throwing away a winning lottery ticket. But little regrets? Sure, plenty of those to mull over a glass of vino.

I regret not ordering the molten lava cake the other night.

I regret not learning to knit.

I regret listening to Air Supply when I was in Junior High.

I regret matching my socks to my shirt.

I regret paying money to see Ishtar.

I regret not saying “goodbye” to my German neighbor.

I regret not keeping in touch with old friends.

I regret dyeing my hair Chocolate Cherry.

Those are but a few of my “pocket regrets”, the ones I keep in my pocket to remind me that things could have been worse. Regrets can choke you and stunt you, but reminding yourself that small ones happen can stimulate you into taking chances instead of holding you back for fear of failure. Can you imagine passing up an opportunity to be in a shark cage?? I didn’t, and I’m grateful my uncle was too chicken to do it alone.

So here’s to the little regrets, and may they always motivate y’all to keep living, and not just existing ;)


Sew Done

A few weeks ago, I regaled you with the tale of my sewing machine redo. Fun times, right? Who can forget the spider in the glove, or the tetanus scare?

I know I can’t.

Here is the before:

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Honestly, I still like the rusty look of it. But the after is still rather stunning.

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I went looking high and low for a glass top and the cheapest I could find was $80 for a 16″x 24″ size. As luck would have it, the antique store where I bought the machine had that glass top outside and the owner let me have it for free, since she couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Totally winning!!

As I was leaving with it, I noticed she had yet another antique sewing machine, everything in good condition except the table. And my eye wandered to it. Do I have a place for it? Do I have a plan for its future use? Of course I don’t! But it can sure be pretty as a sideboard :D


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