Category Archives: Fun Stuff

Sew Much Adventure

I began my day by tackling one of the dozen projects I listed in a previous post: the sewing machine. Mentally, I thought I was ready to clean it up and get it primed and painted in what I estimated would be a couple of hours.

Oh, I was so very wrong.

WIN_20150924_135839

There she is, in all her mostly clean and not as rusty glory. But the process was not as smooth as I thought it would be.

I started by setting up my cordless drill to charge. No worries, since I could go do some laundry and the bed. I come back to find the battery fully charged, and to my chagrin the part that holds the bits in place is missing. So much for using the drill. Fine….FINE!!! I will do it the old fashioned way. I go out to the garage and place the machine laying on the floor for ease of access. I get on my knees and find ten mud dauber hives. TEN!! They must have really liked this machine. Finally I see the screws, along with what seems to be an incredible amount of rust. After torquing and tweaking and squealing in frustration, I go get the WD-40β„’ and proceed to administer a life-giving dose to each screw. After waiting a few minutes, I begin to undo them, the oil having helped quite a bit. Finally I can remove the unusable top and in a fit of triumph I am overcome by the thought of having this chore done in an hour or so.

This is where y’all laugh. A lot.

I drag the base over to the grass, put on latex gloves and begin to spray it with Krud Kutterβ„’. As I sprayed I scrubbed the areas with a wire brush. And scrubbed. And scrubbed. Suddenly I feel a tingle on my thumb. The latex glove is no match for the wire brush and now I have a small cut suffused with cleaner and rust.

*makes mental note to schedule a tetanus shot*

I go back to the garage and get my gardening gloves and continue to tackle the base, now free of mud dauber hives. Suddenly I feel movement inside the gardening glove. Striving not to lose my cool, I manage to get the glove off in time to see a spider crawling on my hand. This is where I jumped around and did the Tarantella, which in retrospect was rather appropriate. I calm down enough to shake out the gloves and once I am sure no other resident is inside, I put them back on and continue to scrub as much rust as I can, all the while thinking how much scrubbing needs to be done, and how suddenly the rust looks awesome and industrial chic. But no, I need to get it primed, painted and sealed. After about 45 minutes of scrubbing, I begin to rinse it off. Now it looks a bit better, but still rusty. Next step will be to sand it a bit more to dislodge as much rust as I can.

Perhaps I will get a rust-reversing primer. More and more I am liking that idea. I want to enjoy the process of upcycling, not be resentful of it. I also wish to avoid any future trips to the clinic. Getting a tetanus shot isn’t exactly how I pictured spending my free time. On the other hand, the clinic is right by Hobby Lobby, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

I’ll let y’all know how the tetanus shot goes πŸ˜‰


When I Was Your Age…

While helping Son get squared away at school, we got acquainted with his peers, as well as his command. Walking around the school, talking with other students about campus life when some dudes were running around questing for fire was a lot of fun, and they were surprised at the many changes that had occurred since we had matriculated. The biggest change was of course, Bonfire. And then it happened.

“Back when I was your age….” I sighed, and stopped.

Oh. Dear. GAWD!!!

I keep catching myself saying that phrase more often now, along with “back in my day”. I’m not even 50 years old and feel the need to have a shawl and a cane at my disposal when I say those phrases. Little One comes up to me to ask if she can get some high heels for a dance and I spew it out like an incantation. “Back in MY day, we wore flats and LIKED IT!!” Never mind she has flats and sneakers. I have to fly off the handle like some deranged wild hag. Yesterday I was at the grocery store and a young gal asked me where to find the wine mixer cocktails. I asked her what those were and after she explained, I said, “Back in my day, we called those wine coolers”, to which she replied, “why??” I told her to check on the aisle across from the beer fridge and departed, feeling my hair turn a whiter shade of appalled.

That’s it. I am NOT going to say those phrases anymore. I refuse to go down the path of my forefathers in this regard. From now on I will be more mindful of being repetitive. I will strive to be a bit more worldly as I impart my wisdom to the younger crowds.

Henceforth, I will say:”When I was very, very young….”

Because that makes me sound like a wise storyteller, and not like a sour, prickly crone πŸ˜€


Do You Even Architecture??

Sometimes knowing obscure things can work against me. Last week, Hubby and I took our monthly trip to the home improvement store to pick up random stuff for the house. As always, I take advantage of going so I can stock up on industrial crap for art projects. This time, I was on the hunt for plinths.

Do y’all know what plinths are? well, here is a sample of plinths:

antique plinths

Those pictured above are antiques. They are architectural elements used usually to adorn doorways or around pediments. That style is called “bullseye”, but other popular styles included flowers, Fleur-de-lys, and even Corinthian fluting. Anyway, I know they are still in use today, so I wanted to get a few on which to practice my chalk paint techniques and maybe use them for altered art. So, I commenced my hunt for them in the lumber section, where you would expect to find you know, wood. But no luck. Rambling and dragging Hubby along, I was unable to locate them. Finally I broke down and asked a young man for help in locating them. After mistakenly taking us to the picture hanging aisle, he was finally able to understand what it was I was looking for.

Me: (explaining for the third time in my ridiculous way) Plinths are the decoration used in corners of doorways. Little squares?

Expert: Oh! You mean corner blocks?

Me: …..not sure, but maybe?

Expert: (shows me the exact item I am looking for) Like these?

Me: YES!!! THOSE!!!

Expert: At least you know what you’re looking for. I get gentlemen that are sent by their wives to get some obscure item because she saw an idea on Pinterest–

Hubby: *points to me*

Me: Hey, *I* get my own crap for my Pinterest projects.

Expert: *laughs at me*

So this Sith Got a few plinths. As usual, Hubby has no idea what I am going to do with them. Neither do I, but having them is half the battle πŸ˜€


Not Right in the Head

Sometimes my anthropological background rears its ugly, demented head.

It all started with a professor, Dr. Dettwyler. She was my fave prof in the department mostly because she had a nerdy sense of humor and because she didn’t give a rat’s….tail about the misogynists in the department. Back when I was majoring in Anthropology, we had a few of the “Old Guard” who still believed women shouldn’t be in the field. Not that we weren’t smart enough, but rather they felt that the Perils of Gwendolyn would play out at any moment.

And y’all thought Anthropology was boring.

Anyway, one thing that simply fascinated her were skulls, of the human variety. It is said that some people have the map of a country on their face because that area has specific genetic traits. One day we were watching Quest for Fire (while laughing out loud) and she remarked that the one actor who fit well in the role was Ron Perlman, his skull being so perfect. Perfect?? Yep, the cheekbones, the brow ridge, everything was just perfect and she would just love to own his skull for Science. This was her segue into that particular lesson. And I became rather obsessed with mapping skulls ever since.

Now, I tell you that story so I can better explain what transpired yesterday. I’m not much of a high-brow person, and tend to like irreverent comedy (Mel Brooks is KING!!). Last night I was watching Let’s Be Cops because I could, and I had an epiphany.

Rob_Riggle

ZOMG!!! Look at that skull!! Just look at it!!! Isn’t it just perfect??? How did I miss Rob Riggle’s skull before???

Me: My GAWD his skull is awesome. Just like Ron Perlman’s!!

Hubby: People are going to be concerned about you wanting to collect heads.

Me: I don’t want to collect heads. I just want to own his skull. THERE’S A DIFFERENCE!!*

Obviously I don’t actually want to own anyone’s skull. But I do enjoy mapping them to this day. It’s fun trying to extrapolate where a person originated from. And let’s face it: he is rather easy on the eyes as well. And he is definitely not the only one, either. Guy Pearce and Olivia Wilde are two others whose skulls are fascinating to me. But as with all skulls, I only admire from afar.

Because this obsession would look ridiculous on a restraining order πŸ˜‰

*In case it isn’t obvious, this post is done in humor and should be taken in the manner intended. Otherwise you are a poopy head.


Humming Along Again

This past Sunday, I got the urge to commit some floracide, so Hubby and I headed to the local home improvement and garden store to get some grass seed and some plants willing to sacrifice themselves to the Sith way of gardening. I am partial to calla lilies and petunias for containers but the lilies tend to be pricey, so I was going to settle for marigolds instead. And taking a turn towards them, Hubby discovered a damsel in distress.

hummingbird

Poor wee thing was on the floor by the marigolds, looking exhausted after battling the early morning storm, most likely. First order of business was to gather her up and cradle her to get her warm. So while I chose my sacrificial flora over in the clearance section, he walked around warming her up and rousing the curiosity of customers. Once my victims were chosen and paid for, we then journeyed over to the pet store to get a hummingbird feeder. We needed to replace the one that broke during a previous storm, and also needed snake food. Two birds with one stone (Bada BING!!). After the clerks oohed and ahhed over the hummingbird, we went home and set up some nectar and then ensconced her in the master bathroom with it.

This is where I left the house to go get some stuff at the antique store. This is also when hilarity ensued.

Hubby (via text): The hummingbird is gone.

Me (via panic): *calls home* What?? Define “gone”!!

Hubby: Well, we can’t find her in the bathroom.

Me: Oh, thank goodness. She’s probably hiding in the floral swag over the window.

Hubby: Wait….no, she was behind the toothbrush holder.

Me: I’m on my way home, so don’t lose her again!

Once home, I joined the rescue party going on around my shower stall, where the bird was sipping on her new-found manna from heaven. She was showing signs of recovery as she flitted about, so we left Hubby to catch her so he could release her outside. As he brought her out we noticed her recovery was complete, listening to her annoyed chirps while cradled gently in his hand. Once outside on the patio, he opened his hand slowly to let her get adjusted. She tried out her wings, and flitted around him before taking off over the trees.

It was a wonderful Sunday, and one spent catering to one of the least of us. I hope she is out and about enjoying the day, telling her friends where to find some awesome nectar, and that we puny humans aren’t as bad as they think πŸ˜€


Sugar is the Best Hallucinogen

I love sugar. I really do. It’s not an argument about processed versus organic versus natural. I like sweet. Always have, and always will. And I especially enjoy it in chocolate or baked goods. And chocolatey baked goods. Ok, straight from the sugar bowl.

But there is now a Dark Side when it comes to ingesting the forbidden sweet late in the evening. I thought that when I ate cake while listening to Warren Zevon that it was a fluke. Seriously, who would ever dream of drinking at Trader Vic’s and annoying werewolves? Maybe some people, but not a whole lot. Late last night I had one Tim Tamβ„’ cookie (biscuit, bickie, whatever they call it in Australia), and of course that set off probably my most ridiculous dream sequence ever, because it was about Johnny Manziel.

Johnny-manziel-rehab

You see, Johnny needed an interior decorator, which I’m not. But his problem was that he wanted someone to decorate his room so that no one could disturb his pet monkey. And he hired me because I was the only Aggie with an Anthropology degree who could possibly understand life with a monkey. And I looked around, and between the large ping pong table and the poker table, there was a monkey sitting on a huge L-shaped couch, playing Super Mario Brothers on a Nintendo thing (I assume) while Johnny was explaining how he wants to give the monkey room, so while brandishing a hockey stick (I did say this makes no sense) he opens another door and shows me a huge ballroom area with tall windows and marble floors and I tell him it is best to keep the monkey in the smaller room and for Johnny to move his stuff in the ballroom, to which he replied, “That’s awesome!! When can you do it??” And I kept telling him he needed a wrangler not an interior decorator and he asked what was the difference and before I could charge him some obscene amount of money, I woke up.

Aside the obvious weirdness of the whole scenario, I’m not even sure why Johnny would make an appearance in my subconscious. I’m more of the Jason Isaacs/ Bruce Willis/ Sean Bean school of thought, really. A dream with any or all of them would have been awesome. Can you imagine???

Maybe a dram or two before bed, and I just might πŸ˜€


Lemons and Lemonade

Last week, I was in a cooking frenzy. I have no idea what overcame me, but my family was quite happy about it. As with every new endeavor, I ended up purchasing some herbs in greater quantities than I needed. Waste not, right? But there was only so much cooking I could do. Well, at least until I needed a break from it. The sage was easy to preserve, but thyme is tricky. But I found a way. Oh yes, I did!

meyer lemon and thyme sour

Lemon and Thyme Sour

  • 1Β½ oz. Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Meyer lemon juice, fresh
  • 1Β½ oz. Thyme infused simple syrup*
  • Lemon twist and thyme sprigs, for garnish

* Instead of making simple syrup from scratch, “cheat” and buy simple syrup and warm it up with the thyme sprigs until fragrant, about 2 cups of syrup and four sprigs of thyme. Rebottle what you don’t use but discard the sprigs.

For the sour, combine the bourbon, juice, and the syrup in an ice-filled shaker, and shake well. Strain over ice into a old fashioned glass, and garnish with the lemon and thyme. Mmm, mmm gooood.

If ain’t nobody got thyme for that, just fix without. πŸ˜‰


Acting My Age

I was watching TV yesterday and there was some commercial about something to which I wasn’t going to pay any attention until I heard a certain phrase: Act your age. It took me a few seconds (I don’t multitask very well when I am eating ice cream) for the phrase to fully sink in.

What exactly does that mean, really?

Who gets to determine what each age should act like? Is there a book somewhere, or a rule? My husband is still fond of playing videogames, and I have been known to wear a tiara while cleaning the bathrooms. I still chase down the ice cream truck (I know the guy and he is no longer afraid of me). We watch old cartoons and rated G movies. I own action figures and still have a Joe Cool Snoopy. And a Hedwig. And some of the stuffed animals I had when I was a toddler. I still color with crayons and use finger paints. Let’s face it: I am far from “acting my age”.

llama in pool

And so are many other people, I’m sure. My personal experience tells me that it is one thing to act like a kid and quite another to act immature. Acting one’s age can lead to boredom, which leads to dissatisfaction, which leads to crankiness, which leads to immaturity. Ergo: you need to play like a kid in order to be a happy mature adult. SCIENCE!!! You’re welcome, world!!

Anyway, time for me to get going. I have my Legos out and need to finish building my castle, complete with moat and archers πŸ˜€


Aggie’s Unconventional Guide to Valentine’s Day

Let me be clear: I can’t stand Valentine’s Day.

stabbed heart

I love the romance and the idea and history behind the holiday, don’t get me wrong. But the commercialism makes me all stabby while pukey. I have written posts in the past to help y’all with gift ideas for your beloved. Some have been obvious (my go-to Lolita glass of the week) and some have been a bit….. odd (Zen perfume made from roses grown outside our atmosphere). So here is my list for no-fail gifts this Valentine’s Day.

#5– Electric drill

Honestly, most women would like to own one just so they could put up their own wall decor and also have a handy tool for those times when you need to be….persuasive.

#4– Santoku knife

Who doesn’t want a knife??

#3– Ear plugs

For those times when you finally run out of patience with questions, be it from kids, or coworkers.

#2– Car wash pass

Show her you love her enough to worry about her manicure, or at least worry what the neighbor’s think of her vehicular trash can.

#1– Personal vacation

Sending your beloved somewhere on his or her own is a great way to show them that you love them. Why? Because your beloved needs time away from you before that electric drill becomes necessary. News at 11.

So there you go. A list of awesome gifts for your sweetheart. I have three santoku knives, several pairs of ear plugs, and I am angling for the drill next. Also, I am not responsible for any reaction you may get from your beloved if you choose to heed my advice. As usual, my advice is unsolicited and should always fall on deaf ears, especially those ears with ear plugs. But should you feel the need to give a safer, more conventional gift, roses are always a wonderful idea.

So the florist tells me πŸ˜‰


Obligatory Best and Worst Presents of Christmas 2014

Hubby kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas. I’m at the age where I don’t need anything, but he is at the age where skipping on giving me a gift is downright dangerous. It never fails. I write a Santa’s Listβ„’ and you would think it’s written in Sanskrit from the way my family reacts. Again, what is so difficult about giving me PJs or knives or wineglasses?? In his defense he wanted to give me something I could use, and also something that I didn’t already own.

Behold the Precious!!!!

pink hoodie footie

He gave me the Hoodie Footie, not the gal. I have to say, I love that piece of cotton candy wannabe fluff. I had one a few years back but gave it to my German friend, who needed it waaaaay more than I did because, GERMANY. I admit there have been days when I wore it all day during the holidays. I am not ashamed. I love it with the burning of a thousand suns, though I am glad it’s not hot like a thousand suns because I want to keep snuggling in it and even call it Georgette.

That was the Best of this year. Normally I stop there, because I firmly believe there’s no such thing as a bad present. But this year tested the limit.

mini masher

That’s a mini masher. Not exactly a Worst gift. But it’s hard to appreciate it when it bent on first use, while using it to mash avocados. I wish I could say it was my indomitable strength, but I am trying to save y’all from spewing all over your keyboards. Still, better to be thought of than be passed over, right?

And what were your best and worst gifts this Christmas? πŸ˜€